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Thread: [STORY] From Riches To Rags

  1. #26
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    From Riches To Rags - 2016/17 September

    Iím not sure why Iím surprised and delighted to have made a winning start with City. It is hardly the toughest side to get a result with and I know there are only 22 usable players to work with, but 20 of them are full internationals, the exceptions being Caballero and Fernando. It may be small, but it is a very good squad. Sagneís injury, which left Zabaleta as the only recognized right back, showed how thin the squad is and I did send Sunderland notice that we may be forced to recall Jason Denayer from his loan. We will continue with what we have for now. The question was, how long could this squad maintain this winning run.

    The answer was Ēnot very longĒ

    Our first game in September came after the international break, which allowed tired legs to recover. We were back to full strength, with the exception of Leroy Sane who had been called up for Germanyís Olympic squad. He was replaced by Nolito on the left wing, with Jesus Navas on the right to give de Bruyne a rest. It was afterall only Stoke City.

    The game was very much like the Spurs match where we had all of the possession and Stoke sat back and soaked it up, with only the occasional break. The difference was that on one of these attacks, Zabaleta slipped and left Imbula clear to find the back of the net with a low drive. Our first goal conceded.


    After that it was the Jack Butland and Ryan Shawcross show as they thwarted everything that we threw at Stoke. Aguero was having a stinker, so he was replaced by Gabriel Jesus for the last 20 minutes as we went all out for an equalizer. It came in the 89th minute via a Fernandinopunt into the box and Gabriel Jesus got his head infront of Muniesa.

    Not the ideal preparation for the most important of the Championís League group games away to Lyon. There were 3 changes from the Stoke 11 with Stones, de Bruyne and Sterling replacing Kompany, Silva and Navas. Hardly a weaker side ! I need not have worried as we virtually mad our qualification in the first game. A de Bruyne freekick was put into his own net by Rybus and, after Nolito had missed a penalty, Silva came off the bench to make it 2-0. There may be 5 games to go, but it will be hard for Lyon to recover from that

    Back to league action and a visit from early leaders Chelsea. The changes were again forced, Kolarov and Kompany returning to the defense and Delph and Toure making their first starts in midfield. It was a fantastic match with goalmouth action at both ends. The build up play from both sides was a joy for the neutral to watch and if the forwards had finished to the same standard it might have been a 4-4 draw. Instead we had a goal for each side just after the interval. Yaya played a one-two with Aguero to give us the lead and Moses pouncing on a lose ball after Toure had blocked an earlier effort. Iím certainly happy with a oint against a very good Chelsea side.

    Onto Dortmund at home and Sagne was back to give Zabaletta a rest after starting all 7 games so far. I had expected the Germans to give us the closest challenge, but they were very poor and we romped to a 3-0 half-time lead. Sagne, Silva and Sterling with the goals. To cap a great evening, Kolarov thumped in a free kick to rub salt into the wound of Schmelzerís red card. Blue Moon was being sung from all corners of the ground.


    After 2 draws, it was time to get the league campaign back on track with a visit to Southampton. St. Maryís is not the sort of place that you want to go needing a result and I made the bold call of dropping an ineffective Aguero to let Gabriel Jesus start. I am also finding that Kolerov can only manage 1 game a week, which allowed Stones another chance to claim his place. He didnít make that claim. Martin Caceres was allowed to canter down the right wing and his cross found Jay Rodreguez unmarked. Where was John Stones ? Fergie may have had a hairdrier on the other side of Manchester, but Kingsley has something far more powerful. They got the full treatment at halftime


    It had the desired effect. De Bruyne opened his account for the seson by running onto Sagneís low cross to level the scores. Forster will be having nighmares about our winner. His goal kick went straight to Aguero who returned it with interest to give us a 2-1 win.

    There are no easy games in the Championís League, except that FC KÝbenhavn is. I rested several of the regular starters and Iheanacho got the chance to lead the line. The opener came from Fabian Delph who latched onto a through ball from Sane. It looked like plain sailing, except that Fernandino was sent off for an off the ball incident. 70 minutes to play with 10 men. God knows what would have happened if it had been 11 ! Iheanacho grabbed a brace and Otamendi scored a very rare goal to give us a 4-0 win. Aside from Fernandinoís suspension, Fernando picked up a thigh injury which will keep him out for a week. And he will miss the league games with West Brom and Liverpool.

    So, still unbeaten and on the brink of qualification to the Championís League second group. Not really the desired start when relegation is the goal.




    In other news, City have drawn QPR away in the EFL cup 3rd round. Weíll see what the squad is looking like in November, but Iím not sure that this cup is a priority. My ranking is upto 20th in England and 413 in the world. I think Iíd be in with a shout of a struggling Premier League job if it came up, but Iíd like Pep to get a job and see him out of the picture.

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  3. #27
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    A draw at the Etihad? Just like IRL

    Will you apply for the first job that becomes available?
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  4. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    A draw at the Etihad? Just like IRL

    Will you apply for the first job that becomes available?
    I thought you'd be pleased, although it was at the Brittania/bet365/whateveritscalledthisweek Stadium

    No, I won't necessarily take the first. In a perfect world there will be a job at a club who are cast adrift. I might start to panic if we get to late March/April and I'm still at City
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  5. #29
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    From Riches To Rags - 2016/17 October

    I have started my contingency plans, just in case Iím still at City next season. I know that Iíll have a lot of players returning from loan, but I really donít want to lose anyone if I can avoid it and so I have started the negotiations with all the players who will be out of contract at the end of the season. When I say ďnegotiationsĒ, Iím not bothered about the Sheikhís money, so whatever they ask for, they get.

    Cabalero, Clichy, Gunn, Navas, Sagna, Smith-Brown and Zabaleta have all accepted new deals. The only contract rebel is Yaya Toure who refuses to even start a discussion. I suspect that means that he is going to retire in the summer, but there is nothing much that I can do about it.


    Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva were both offered new deals to fend off interest from Bayern and Kolorov got a new contract just to keep him happy. That takes us to nearly £3m in signing on fees just to keep the players weíve already got.

    Back to the action and we start the month with a 3-0 hammering of West Brom. Zabaleta had picked up a knock in training, so when Sagna was also struggling at half-time, we reverted to 3 at the back. Before that, Sterling, de Bruyne and Nolito had put us in complete control and made it easy to see out the game with no drama.

    Drama is what we did get at Anfield. I was pleased to have Zabaleta back on the bench. Being a genuine utility player he is perhaps the most missed when not available. Delph gave us a 4th minute lead which was cancelled out by Wijnaldum in the 23rd minute. Then the drama. With Aguero down needing treatment and Nolito trying to get the ball out of play, Firmino pounce to keep it in and centered for Mane who was through on Bravo to make it 2-1. 2 goals in 3 minutes and controversy about that second. Kolarov was booked for his protests. How would we react ? In the best way possible. Delph won a free-kick that Kolarov put everything behind and Mignolet did well to get out of the way ! Almost from the kick-off Gabriel Jesus (Aguero will be out for 3 weeks with a broken toe) beat half the Liverpool defense before squaring for Delph to make it 3-2. We were back in front just 6 minutes after going behind and the fans had seen 4 goals in 10 mad minutes. That was it for the scoring, mainly due to crossbar who was probably Liverpoolís best player. Dirty cheating scousers !


    A 1-0 win at Bournemouth with Icheanacho scoring in the 73rd minute was probably as dull as it sounds. It also put us top of the league which might present a problem as I am on a mission not to win anything ! I probably need to lose to either Sunderland or Middlesborough to avoid getting a Manager of the Month award.

    Before that, FC KÝbenhavn and a draw would ensure that we progress with 2 games to spare. It was an opportunity to give the supporters the chance to see the youngsters that they had been asking for. Gunn started in goal, Garcia in midfield and Ambrose up front. Ambrose marked his 1st team debut with a goal. It was the 3rd of 3 with Sterling getting both the others. Results else where ment that Dortmund joined us in the second phase in a very uneven group.

    It was pretty much the same 11 that started at home to Sunderland, except that academy players Terry Atkins and Ishmael Haseley started in the full back roles. It had the desired effect as Jermain Defoe ripped us apart. The league strugglers inflicted our first defeat, the only consolation being Delph and Sterling getting consolation goals in a 3-2 loss. Job done and United take the league lead with a 100% record in October.

    The Lyon game was a dead rubber, so I kept the youngsters in the starting 11. Although Navas had given us an early lead, Lyon came back and it was Lacazette who scored in injury time to give the visitors the win. We need a draw in Dortmund to top the group.




    That is enough of these defeats. I wanted a top drawer performance against Middlesborough to finish off the month. I didnít get that, but I did have Aguero back and it was he who got the only goal to give us the points which keep us in contact with United at the sharp end.


    I finish the moth with my reputation in England upto 17th and Worldwide at 380th. We have seen the first casualties of the season, Mark Robins at Coventry and Chris Wilder at Sheffield Utd. Neither are of interest to me, and there is no hint of a vacancy in the Premier League so Iíll press on for now. Next up is QPR in the EFL cup with a Chelsea game the reward. Iím even less inclined to win this now ! I also expect a Championís league game in November to be added to the fixtures.

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  7. #30
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    Guess there won't be any complaints for Hull and Watford for a while either with low expectations. Palace perhaps the one to keep an eye on.
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  9. #31
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    Maybe Sunderland if they don't start to pick up.

    Bournemouth are the lowest to have a chairman with low Patience.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    I think Iíd be in with a shout of a struggling Premier League job if it came up, but Iíd like Pep to get a job and see him out of the picture.
    Somehow I don't think Pep would be interested in the Hull job when they're 10 points adrift in March, unless he's on the same mission as you are. Hopefully you will get an opportunity before the end of the season. In the meantime, at least you've got something of a losing mentality after a couple of home defeats, which will be vital to prepare you for the rest of the story.

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  12. #33
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    Every single save I have started on this update, Toure doesn't extend.

    He generally carries on elsewhere though so we'll wait and see on that.

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  14. #34
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    I'm not sure how I feel about you winning stuff. I think I just want you to destroy Man City. Max out all the contracts, signing on fees, 10 year deals for everybody. And of course put them back into League One when they might fill the Ettihad

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  16. #35
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    You have set yourself some goal

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  18. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebfatz View Post
    Every single save I have started on this update, Toure doesn't extend.

    He generally carries on elsewhere though so we'll wait and see on that.
    To be honest, I'm not bothered about losing him. If I'm still at City, Gundogan will be back and will be a much better replacement (not that I actually want good players !). I just don't want him to go down as a player sold on my record

    Quote Originally Posted by Dermotron View Post
    I'm not sure how I feel about you winning stuff. I think I just want you to destroy Man City. Max out all the contracts, signing on fees, 10 year deals for everybody. And of course put them back into League One when they might fill the Ettihad
    I know what you mean, but it would have been the same for me at any of the other big 6 sides. If it is any consolation, I can guarantee that City will not win any league or cup while I am in charge

    Quote Originally Posted by samsami View Post
    You have set yourself some goal
    Woudn't be fun otherwise ! As big a challenge as winning the EPL with Rovers ?
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    From Riches To Rags - 2016/17 November

    Jose took the October manager of the month award for taking United to the top of the league, so the loss to Sunderland paid off and my record of winning nothing is kept intact. Kante and Alli got player and young player of the month.


    Back to the task in hand and Iím going to continue with plan A which is to do as well as I can at City before jumping ship for the last couple of months of the season. That said, I could well do without another game against Chelsea in the EFL cup, so it was a much weakened side that faced QPR at Loftus road. Gunn was in goal, with Garcia in midfield and Ambrose up front. I also found space for the academy players Haseley and Atkins. There was also a surprise in the formation which was a very defensive looking 5-4-1. It was a rampage. QPR were 3-0 up before Nolito pulled one back on the stroke of halftime. QPR restored the 3 goal advantage and it is mission accomplished as we go out at the first hurdle without a whimper.

    It was all change for Arsenalís visit in the league. There is no way that I will let up against any of the big boys, so it was back to 4-2-3-1 and the full first team, with the exception of Nolito who had picked up a shin injury in training.His place was taken by Leroy Sane, a player that I am starting to grow fond of. This was his day, crossing for Aguero to get the first half opener, then breaking quickly to collect Clichyís long pass and beating 2 Arsenal defenders before sending a rocket past Cech. 2-0 the final score.

    There was much to think about for the midweek trip to Dortmund. A draw and we would top the group and perhaps get an easier draw for the second phase, but would that count as a league win on my record ? With nothing other than pride at stake, I played it safe and fielded a weakened side again. We went down 3-0 to come runners up in the group. You have to think that Lyon seriously underachieved.


    In the draw, City were heavily penalized for that defeat in Dortmund. It was called the group of death. Barcelona, FC Bayern, Manchester City and PSG. The fans can atleast look forward to some big games at the Etihad !

    Back to league action and a routine 2-0 win over Everton took us to within a point of United. Aguero and de Bruyne grabbed the goals before 20 of our players went off for international duties. Although he didnít play, Caballero got his first call up to the Argentina squad as a 35 year old however the biggest shock was Angus Gunn starting in goal for Scotland against Ireland. Quite what Gordan Strachan sees in him is beyond me, but then again, donít get me started on Strachan !


    As is becoming the norm, Fabian Delph returned with an injury, although Nolito was fit again. Aguero gave us the lead against Swansea on the stroke of half-time, and when Silva added a second almost from the restart, it should have been game over. Instead we let them back in it first through Jack Cork, then Jeferson Montero with the equalizer. I was out of the dugout pacing the touchline driving them on for the winner, but it just didnít happen.


    And so to Munich for the start of the next phase of our European adventure. All of the big guns were out and fired up from the rollicking they got after the Swansea game. Sergio Aguero in particular is on a rich vein of form and it was he who beat Neuer to a Sterling cross for an early lead. Robben did pull one back, but 2 goals in first half injury time put us firmly in control. Sane laid a delicious pass right on Toureís run and he scored a typical Toure goal. That was followed by Aguero and de Bruyne combining for the Argentineís second.


    Second half and a Lewandowski strike made it very interesting for the last 30 minutes. We hit the bar and had 2 penalty claims denied. Lewandowski had a goal chalked off (he was offside) and both Bravo and Neuer made brilliant saves. In the dying seconds, Zabaleta had to be carried off, which reduced us to 10 men, but we held on for a famous win that the gentlemen of the press took notice of.


    For the final game of Novemeber we travelled to West Ham and having dropped just 1 league point I was again worried about the Manager of the Month award. For that reason we again went for the 5-4-1 defensive line up and a very weak side. The Hammers lived upto their name with a 3-0 win. I think that I have found myself a tactic that can lose on-demand, which might well be useful later on !

    Away from City, the managerial merry-go-round is now in full swing. Norwich, Cardiff, Notts County, Rochdale, Wrexham and Peterborough all became available, however there is still not a hint of anything in the Premier League for now. There were double celebrations in the Neville household where in consecutive days we saw this




    For now, everyone at City is happy with the way we are progressing. Second in the league, progressing in Europe and 2 very big games to start off a busy December program




    I am upto 15th ranked manager in England and 274th in the world. I am still concerned that Pep might want the same jobs as me, although it wouldnít surprise me if he were to return as the next City manager !
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  21. #38
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    I missed that you were even trying to avoid winning manager of the month too
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I missed that you were even trying to avoid winning manager of the month too
    I didn't set off with that in mind, but it seemed like a good idea to add to the challenge. It would be good to get to the end with the history still keeping all the zeros

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    Now that would be remarkable feat!

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    I highly doubt that winning a Champions League group would count on your statistics, or that anyone would think of it as winning something, but better safe than sorry I suppose.

    Some nice heavy defeats there. Tough Champions League group, hopefully you won't have to intervene to prevent yourselves from winning it this time.

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    From Riches To Rags - 2016/17 December

    This is becoming a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I know that winning all the time with City is nothing special, but the winning and losing when ever I want gives an almost god like power ! I also hope that this wonít go on much longer before it starts to get more interesting, possibly within the next couple of months.

    What better way to start a month than with a Manchester derby, and a Manchester derby between the top 2 in the league. Jose sent out a very defensive 4-5-1 Ö. 3 defensive midfielders ! Ö.. so apparantly bus parking is OK for this game. We were our usual attacking formation and the only regular missing was Zabaleta who was taking a while to get back to fitness following his injury.

    2 early penalty claims had been denied which upset the home support. When the ref gave United a soft freekick, they let him know what they thought. Mata sent in the cross which was cleared by Fernando to Sagna. I have no idea what he was doing, a rush of blood to the head, but charging through the middle was Vincent Kompany. The United defense stood off for too long, this was not a scenario that Jose had considered. Finally the challenge came in from Smalling, but that left de Bruyne in acres of space.H picked his spot and 1-0 to City Ö.. Blooo-ooo-Moon !


    To be honest, the rest of the game was a bit dull. Zlatan might well have been sent off for a vicious late challenge on Sterling, but only got a yellow card. We survived with ease and are just 3 points behind with a game in hand.

    Next up we host Barcelona. Itís a tough life being a top football manager. Zabaleta was still out so the defense was unchanged, but the front 6 was all swapped around, Gabriel Jesus starting up front to give Aguero a rest. We were claiming most of the possession and territory with Barca looking to break quickly. It was from one of their breaks that we caught the defenders out of position. Nolito, Kolarov and Sagna worked the ball from left to right before a long diagonal for Yaya split them apart. 22 minutes, 1-0. It had been a fantastic ball from Sagna to Toure, but in the process he had been caught late and it would be the end of the action for my only fit right back. I thought about giving Kolarov a run on the right, but 70 minutes v Barca would be one hell of a risk. Instead I went for 3 at the back and packed the midfield. 3-6-1 might be the formation. It worked well. We were rarely troubled and might well have extended the lead. Delph and Toure were both replaced as a precaution at half time, but it made little difference as we strolled through the next 45 minutes. Sadly there was 3 minutes of injury time and that was enough for Iniesta to spoil the party. Disappointed, but makes it easier to top the group.


    After that it was all league games and a big chance to inflict some pain on the struggling clubs. Burnley were swept aside 3-1 and although the fans had been expecting a goal-fest against Hull, they had to settle for a single Sane strike to take the points.

    I was interested in what the fans thought of the way we were playing so I went to one of the local pubs for a chat with the grass roots support.


    I thought that they might ask about why we were not getting more goals from Aguero, or why I continue to play John Stones when he is rank useless (6.56 from 13 games), or why we have some inexplicable slip ups against teams we should beat easily. Instead, the question was what do we have to do to get a penalty.

    There had been 4 claims against Hull, taking it to 32 claims since we last had a spot kick awarded. I told them that I would write to the FA to complain. The reply was the standard blah blah blah, unfortunate when decisions go against you blah blah blah. Perhaps it would influence the referee on the visit from Palace.

    It didnít, but we didnít need it to. Despite another 3 claims being unrewarded, and despite an injury to Gael Clichy, we still managed to put 4 past Mandana. 2 for Aguero, Sagna and Nolito were the men on target.

    With the current run of league form and 2 easy games to follow, Leicester was the last chance to avoid that manager of the month award. Perhaps I was the only one surprised by the 2-0 win for the defending champions. They and Spurs are both on good runs, so I think I should be safe from any awards this month.

    The final 2 games looked easy on paper. Everyone expected big wins, but there was a problem. Ihenacho, Navas and Aguero joined Clichy in the physio room which left me with just 18 fit first team players and Gabriel Jesus as the only recognized striker. That was fine for Watford who were lucky to only let in 4. Fernando, Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus and Delph with the goals. The unsuccessful penalty claims went upto 38 !


    Hull would probably have been happy enough to come away from Etihad with a 3-1 defeat. To have done it with 10 men for the second half is quite probably a boost in confidence for the bottom side. City supporters will be less delighted with the score, but they did see Kolarov dispatch a 7th minute penalty, followed by another from Kompany late on.

    Smiles all round as we again close in on United at the top of the league. If Spurs win their game in hand it could become a 3 way battle. At the other end, there had been 3 points between 19th and 10th earlier in the month, but all that has changed and the bottom 3 are in danger of getting cast adrift.


    Still nothing significant on the jobs front, but that might start to hot up next month. Solihull Moors was the only vacancy to become available.

    After 3 hectic months of action, we have only 5 games in January. They do include Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and 2 diddy sides.


    Rankings and I am now 13th in England and 228th in the world.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  28. #43
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    Go for the Solihull job!

    Only one defeat, that must have put you into contention for that manager of the month award
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  30. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Go for the Solihull job!

    Only one defeat, that must have put you into contention for that manager of the month award
    Leicester and Spurs were unbeaten. Pochetino got the award, although Aguero and Sane were payer and young player of the month
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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    From Riches To Rags - 2016/17 January

    It is just as well that January is a light month. It gives us a chance to have some of the injury list recover. We start with Clichy, Navas, Ihenacho and Aguero all requiring treatment. On the eve of the Spurs game, they were joined by Fernando who will be out for a month with a groin strain in training. It left me with just 17 fit 1st team players. Young Garcia was therefore promoted from the reserves to make up a bench.

    Although we were not involved at City, it was a busy transfer window for the other Premier League sides. Some of the headines

    Pedro, Chelsea to Dortmund £13.5m
    Welbeck, Arsenal to West Ham £12.25m
    Dembele, Spurs to Liverpool £11m
    Shelvey, Newcastle to West Ham £10m
    Phil Jones, Man Utd to Dinamo Kiev £7m
    Fabregas, Chelsea to Juventus £7m
    Lamela, Spurs to Sociedad £6.5m
    Clasie, Southampton to Anderlecht £5.25m

    But perhaps the most headline grabbing was Wayne Rooneyís £3.4m move from United to Arsenal


    Our visit to White Hart Lane was a funny old game, between 2 inform sides, that managed to cancel each other out. I still think it was a game we could have won as we managed to hit the target on just 3 occasions from 13 attempts, however we were heading for a 0-0 draw with just 6 minutes left when Sissoko managed to squeeze a shot from a tight angle past Bravo. All out attack from us and 3 minutes later Gabriel Jesus sent de Bruyne clear to level the scores. United also drew, so it was parity at the top.

    Nobody expected a surprise from Peterborough in the FA Cup, and nobody was surprised. Clichy was available again to easy the injuries slightly and he was straight into the starting 11. Although Fernandino had given us a 9th minute lead, Posh hung on. It was well into the second half before Gabriel Jesus got the second. Fernando quickly made it 3-0 and Gabriel Jesus again got a 4th. Safe passage through to a home game with Arsenal in the last 32.


    Next up was Liverpool at home. Navas, Aguero and Iheanacho were once again available, but Stones had now picked up a knock (you could argue that this improves the team). We were close to full strength starting 11 and it showed as we dominated most aspects of the match. Silva and Delph had given us a comfortable lead that should have let us coast to the final whistle, but Liverpool never gave up and Firminoís late strike made it a nervous last 5 minutes.

    Another week allowed Stones back, but Gabriel Jesus was now out. The Physio team are certainly earning their wages at the moment, which is more than can be said for the players. Stoke had taken a point at their place and have become a hard team to break down. We didnít do it and with the fans starting to leave with a 0-0 draw nailed on, Crouchie pops up not once, but twice to give the visitors a shock 2-0 win ! As a consolation, this was the final League game of the month as the Chelsea game was moved for the Arsenal cup tie. It should therefore be enough to avoid that manager of the month award.


    Finally it was Arsenal and a warm Etihad welcome for Wayne Rooney. To be fair to him, he was starved of any service as Arsenal tried to sit back and earn a replay. Sterling and Gabriel Jesus earned us another safe passage and another home tie against either Aston Villa or Oldham.

    We have lost a bit of ground to United, but we are very safe in the top 3 so I donít think there is any risk of getting sacked if we carry on in this way. At the other end, Hull had been 10 ponts adrift at the start of December but have made a miraculous recovery. It may be too little too late, but they have a chance. Watford are now 10 games without a win and have scored just 3 in those 10 games. I think they look doomed.


    Dover was the only job to come available, but there are the first signs that Walter Mazzarri could be the first Premier League casualty. He was given £12m to spend on the likes of Scott Brown, Ashley Young, Massadio Haidara and Marc Wilson and he needs them to gel quickly or I might have a job to apply for.

    For now, February starts with a League game against Chelsea and sees a recommencement of the Championís League.


    Rankings remain at 13th in England, but there is a massive drop of over 150 places to 385th in the world.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  33. #46
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    Watford would be a good one to get relegated immediately! Hope the Italian gangster gets the bullet soon then!
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  35. #47
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    You have to get relegated from each and every division right?

    * Like the way Mark glossed over your mention of Stoke as a diddy side!!

  36. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebfatz View Post
    You have to get relegated from each and every division right?

    * Like the way Mark glossed over your mention of Stoke as a diddy side!!
    That is right, I need to be the one that is in charge when Relegation is absolutely guaranteed, but I must not get the sack as a result. I must also be in charge for the 1st game of the following season.

    Mark didn't mention Crouch's brace either. I think he might be ill.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  38. #49
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    I was going to say that Crouch's best ever goal for us IRL was against Man City too. I forgot to include it in my reply
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    From Riches To Rags - 2016/17 February

    Walter Mazzarriís coat hanging on a shoogly peg suddenly makes this a lot more interesting. It is all well and good seeing how well I can do with a team of international superstars, and John Stones, but that isnít getting me much closer to the Northern Premier. So, with one eya on developments at Vicarage road, we start off a busy month with a visit to Chelsea on League business.

    We were without Fernando who has just resumed training after his groin strain, but more of a concern is Otamendiís suspension for collecting his 5th yellow card. He has been a rock alongside Kompany in defense. Clichy was still under 100% from the Arsenal game, so Kolarov has to be at left back which leave John Stones as the only option to cover for Otamendi. For once, Stones actually had a good game. It was a very even encounter, but our defense was always on top of the Chelsea attack and that was the difference. At the other end, Fernandinho scored after 5 minutes to set us on our way to 3 points. Midway through the second half he grabbed a second and Chelsea had an unclimbable mountain to climb. We left it late to put the icing on the cake, but Saneís sumptuous pass through to Toureís run that put him one on one with Courtois was worth waiting for. The only negative was a late tackle on Raheem Sterling that will leave him out for a month. Watford lost at Sunderland to add more pressure on Mazzarri


    Next up is a visit from Southampton. In addition to Sterling being out, Nolito twisted a knee in training and will also miss 3 weeks. On the positive, Fernando is finally back, as is Otamendi, however John Stones kept his starting place as I had completely forgotten that Otamendi had been out for the Chelsea game This was one of those games where we were made to pay for chances not taken. It might have been 3 or 4 nil by halftime, but Zabaletaís 21st minute shot from distance was the only one that counted. Southampton had their first attack after an hour of play and typically Target got in a cross and Gabiadini lost his marker for an easy finish. Who was his marker ? John Stones ! Still we piled on the pressure and we retook the lead. It was not however great team play, but from a solo, mazy run from Navas who beat 3 players before finishing himself. 13 minutes to hold out, but we managed less than 1. Rodriguez combined with Redmond who burst between the central defenders to level again. 2-2 the final score. Watford lost 1-0 at Middlesborough. This was better than Palace who went down 5-0 at home to Bournemouth and suddenly there are question marks over how long Big Sam will survive in the hotseat.

    I canít blame John Stones for the 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns. He wasnít even on the bench ! Scapegoat for this game is definitely Kolarov. A crazy opening saw the scoreboard showing 1-1 after 7 minutes, Aguero canceling out Yacobís opener. Morrison made it 2-1 for the Baggies before Kolarov was shown a straight red card for a trip on Morrison that Mr Drysdale considered to be a professional foul. We are fortunate that Tony Pulis would have a nosebleed if one of his teams were ever to score 3 in a match, so while West Brom sat back to defend against 10 men, we had plenty of chances to draw level. Give Aguero plent of chances and he will eventually take 1. He did, with 15 minutes left, so we rescued a point. It should have been 3 if we had kept 11 on the park.


    Watford lost 1-0 for the 3rd game in a row, this time at Arsenal, while Palace had another heavy defeat, this time 4-0 at United. The handing over of a brown envelop from an associate of Alardyce ensures that his job is no longer on the line.

    The first of 3 consecutive cup games sees us host PSG. We have played some of our best games in Europe and this was no exception. Aguero scored twice in the first 15 minutes before PSG reorganized to park the bus. They were never going to get back into the tie, but it was enough for damage limitation. A win in the return and we should be qualified with games to spare.

    Before that, Villa for a place in the FA cup quarter final. If we have played well in Europe, we have been poor against lower league sides in the cup. It was a game heading for a replay at Villa Park. We were well into 3 minutes of injury time. Iheanacho, on as a substitute for Aguero, gets through one on one with Hennessey. He gets his toe on the ball a split second before the keeper and down he went. Penalty. Red card to Hennessey. Kompany converts and we are through to play Southampton away in the quarter final.

    Nolito returns to action for the trip to Paris and what a game it was. A 7 goal thriller. The goal-fest started in the 4th minute when Cavani beat Bravo to a cross and the header went in off the post. The keeper made amends with a fantastic stop to prevent Cavani making it 2-0. Finally we got our game going and from a de Bruyne corner, Sane headed down for Sagna who teed up Navas for an equalizer. Suddenly itís all City. Nolito forces a save from Areola and de Bruyne pounces on the rebound for 2-1. Next it is Bravoís turn to make a Horlicks of a Lucas freekick and Thiago Silva nets from the spillage, but still there was time for another goal before the interval. Fernando crossed and Fernandinho applied the finishing touch. PSG came out firing on all cylinders for the second half. A string of fantastic saves from Claudio Bravo kept the narrow lead intact, right up until injury time when finally Cavani got the goal that PSG probably deserved. There was however a sting in the tail. Did they get complacent following the last gasp goal ? Was it just a fluke ? de Bruyne had spotted Gabriel Jesus in acres of space. His long diagonal was way overhit and as the hands were going up in disgust, Up pops Nolito who stretched to reach the lose ball and ended up volleying into the net. 4-3 and results elsewhere meant that we had qualified again with 2 games to spare.


    It has been quite some group already. Bottom side Bayern have scored 11 in 4 games !

    There were some very hard decisions to make for the final game of February, a league visit from Middlesbrough.If we were to win, we would have identical records to both Spurs and United, so who would get that Manager of the month award ? Would the European progress tip it in my favour ? If we lost, Spurs could move ahead of us in the league and United go further clear. To counter that, 3 points for Middlesbrough would put further pressure on Watford and make any escape even less likely. I decided to go for the 5-4-1 defensive and try to sneak a draw by playing the best players. It was clearly not going to plan when Kompany dispatched a 4th minute penalty as a result of Sane being brought down by Victor Valdes. It might have been worse, but the ref decided that a yellow card was sufficient punishment. Brough were offering virtually nothing until just before the interval First Bamford scored with an opportunistic shot that Bravo should have saved, then Forshaw ran through unchallenged to make it 2-1 to the visitors. Time to switch to the preferred 4-2-3-1 and what a difference. Aguero converted the cross that came from a brilliant run down the left by Gael Clichy and it was time to sit back again, 2-2 a near perfect result. Bang Ö. Forshaw freekick. Bang Bamford put clear. 4-2 to Brough. Clearly I am not god and cant just control exactly the results I want. Watford ended their run of 1-0 defeats by going down 3-0 at home to Everton. Mazzarri canít last much longer.


    Although anyone from Everton in 11th down are far from safe, it is looking bleak for Hull and Palace with just 10 games left.

    March fixtures are a strange bunch with just 2 league games due to a FA Cup weekend and an international break at the end of the month. Watford face Swansea and West Ham. My ranking remains fixed at 11th and now 364th in the world.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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