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Thread: The Alphabet Game #3 - April 2017 Data Update

  1. #926
    Join Date
    07-03-12
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    Another season at Cardiff beckons but we have made significant progress.


    Hull were the leaders for a time but they collapsed, starting when we beat them on Boxing Day. They were 17 points ahead of us going in to that match. The same couldn't be said for Reading and a 3-0 defeat at the Madejski Stadium in February meant that catching them was always very unlikely. It was one of just three defeats in the regular season after my arrival but too many draws, especially away from home cost us. At home, it was a different story as we have won all but one Championship fixture at the Cardiff City Stadium since my arrival and in fact, we completed an entire league campaign unbeaten at home (W18 D5). We could have overtaken Hull but promotion would have made things too difficult (I know, I'm a coward). I had no intention of being promoted via the playoffs either, but we beat Brighton in the semis to generate some extra revenue from our Wembley visit. Wolves took advantage of my unwillingness to make things more difficult for myself and will be heading to the Premier League instead.

    In the FA Cup, we knocked out Oldham in the Third Round but Premier League Derby ended our dreams at the next stage. The Rams went on to lose the final to Charlton (also Premier League)!

    In January, I strengthened the squad with the likes of Wes Morgan (who got himself sent off twice, including on his debut), Lee Cattermole, who was immense and Mexican forward Marco Bueno. I inherited an unbalanced squad, with lots of wide players but some of them have been sold on. There is still plenty of money in the bank, so I'm fully confident of success next season.

    Also, is there going to be a new alphabet game starting soon? If so, I'll probably wait until then after ticking off C.

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    AMC

  3. #927
    Join Date
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    Another bumper Update !

    After resigning from Queen’s University, it took longer than expected to land a “R” job. Actually that is not strictly true, I could have taken over Roskilde (Danish second tier) after just a few weeks, and I did think hard about it, but there was no chance of them winning the league this season and they were out of the cup. If I had to wait 12 months for a trophy than there had to be better options available. A few similar clubs came up, but I didn’t even apply. I wanted either something quick, or at a decently high level. It took until the middle of April, but it was worth the wait.A top flight club and 3 chances of silverware in the next 7 months !

    Racing

    It was worth the wait. They are a top club and I take over just 2 points behind Central with 5 games to play in the Closing season. The transfer window was closed, but I already had a decent team. A quick title was certainly possible and we were on fire. 5 wins, 17 scored and none conceded …. But we failed to pick up a single point on Central who also closed out with 5 wins.



    Next chance was the Copa Argentina. For some reason we were not at our best. Narrow wins over Los Andes and Santamarina, both from the league below us, took us to a semi final against River. The game was rescheduled several times for Rivers Continental commitments, but that gave me the chance to stamp my own signature on the squad. It didn’t need much, a bit of dig in midfield and an upgrade across the defence, however for this first outing it just didn’t gel. Although we were by far the better side, we missed a hatful of chances. River defended well and with 20 minutes left, they broke from our corner and bagged the only goal of the game.



    Two down and one to go. Before the next League program, we had Austria’s challenge for the Euro’s. Despite not winning anything, we were ranked 1st in the world and therefore one of the favourites. That was underlined by a 7-2 whipping of Czech Republic in our opener. We followed that with a 1-0 win over England. All we needed was a draw with France, which we got, and we progressed as group winners, along with the French. That was important as we avoided Spain and instead took on the Russians who we beat 1-0. Typically, the squad was now tiring and we just didn’t have the resources to challenge Belgium in the semi final.For the second tournament running, we go out in the semi final.

    Idly looking at the international jobs, something caught my eye. David Moyes had retired from the Scotland job, I immediately applied,and so for the next World Cup, I will have my dream job ! Thistle and Scotland in the same career …. The gods are being very kind !

    Back to Racing, and although we never regained that free scoring football of the first 5 games, we were very tight at the back and wrapped up the title with a game to spare. All Boys pushed us close and even led with 5 to play, but we were so consistent. Once we beat them, we never looked like anything other than Champions.



    It was very much a team performance so picking a key player is hard, however I will award that to Gastón Igartúa. The 22 year old midfielder was a Ł725k capture from Independiente and had been brough in to provide a bit of a backbone to all of the flair midfielders that we already had. Instead, he chipped in with 9 goals and 5 assists. Not all of my plans work as they were supposed to !

    Just a week before my title was confirmed, Southampton appointed a new manager. Sporting had done the same, a few weeks earlier. Either would have been interesting as I was looking for a move back to a top club in Europe. It didn’t quite work out like that, but I did get a job very quickly

    Sassuolo

    Serie B would not have been my first choice, but to be handed a 2 point lead in the league with 19 games to play, I’m not sure that I’d get anything better. Not surprisingly, it was already a very good squad, but with a transfer window about to open, I could again upgrade the defence. I certainly didn’t need any strikers as I already had a beast of a Uruguayan (Cavani regen ?)



    I’d need to check, but I think that Pérez might have scored in every game that he started. We quickly built a small gap on the chasing pack and from there on it was a when we win Serie B, not an if. Cittadella kept us honest, but we secured the title with 3 games to play.



    No question who the key player was. Sebastián Pérez had to be the man. Luigi Alberto Napoli, a DMC that I got from Castelfidardo, was the best of my additions to the squad.

    Back to the job market and it didn’t take too long to get a club with European ambitions.

    Trabzonspor

    This was certainly a hot seat. I was the 13th manager in 23 years. 5th place last season was not good enough for the previous incumbent to save his job. My task was to close the 34 points that we were behind Galatasaray last season.

    Again I had a good squad that just needed a few tweeks. We had too many average foreign players and too many strikers. The prime target was a good keeper. It was a surprise therefore that the first signing was a foreign striker ! Sebastián Pérez made a Ł7.5m move from Sassuolo before anyone else could snap him up ! I did get my keeper, a former Turkey U21 who was a Bosman from Besiktas, and I added some more defensive players. It was a big improvement and early one, I thought that we were going to run away with the league. Pérez kept up his amazing goal scoring. I don’t think it was every game, but it was rare that he didn’t score. Gradually Galatasasray wore us down and while it was always very close, with a game to spare, Galatasary held onto their title.



    The Türkiye Kupasi was a different story. The draw for the third round and last 16 was horrendous. Gaziantepspor who we beat 2-1 (Deniz last minute winner), then Galatasaray 3-2 (Günes last minute winner). Both were away. With them gone, the draw opened up. Quarter final Erzin Bld. 8-2 on aggregate, then a semi final with Yesil Kirsehir 4-1 on aggregate put us in the final. Just a one off game and Akhisar Bld. Were never going to cause us a problem, particularly when their keeper was sent off after 24 minutes.



    That was the trophy that I needed, but there was stil a Europa League final to play. Earlier, we had got past Gorica VG, Sheffield Utd, Red Star, Dortmund (two defensive performances with a goal in each game from Pérez got it on away goals) and Leicester City. We would face Wolfsburg. How we didn’t win is a mystery. They played for 40 minutes with 10 men. We had 22 shots on goal, 13 of them on target. They had just 2 efforts, one of them in first half injury time and it found the net. If we had not already won the cup, I would have been gutted.

    I don’t want to, but I have to give the the key player again to Sebastián Pérez. You can’t deny his goal total, he just misses too many games with suspensions or international call ups, and one he has his goal, he thinks his job is done. I don’t think he ever got a hat-trick. Günes with 15 assists and 6 goals deserves a special mention.

    Before the next club, an update on Scotland. In the qualifying group, Spain were our nemesis. Twice we did enough to win the ties, but twice they picked our pockets with the decisive goals. They topped the group and we qualified by beating Bulgaria in the play-off. And so to the World Cup proper. Netherland, USA and South Korea. 3 wins and an easy qualification. Poland had put out Portugal, but were still no match as Knox and Cadden both scored in a dominant first half. The quarter final is always tricky as the first string are starting to get tired, and Italy give you nothing. Twice we went behind and twice we drew level, the second from MacDonald was the last kick of the 90 minutes ! Again we went behind, but Walker, with his second of the game made it 3-3. It was heading for penalties when right back Keiran Anderson went forward for a corner. Captain Billy Gilmour swung it in …. 4-3 Scotland !

    We were totally spent for the semi final and that gave Senegal an easy passage and recovered to beat Ukraine for 3rd place. That is 3 tournaments in a row where my team has made it to the semis, but no further.

    Back to the main plot and I thought that “U” might take a while. There were no clubs in the top tier of any nation, so when a job did come up, I didn’t think twice.

    Utrecht

    This is the first club that I have used in both of my Alphabet games. 13th in the Eerst Division means that I have work to do in the summer and with no money to spend, it will need to be freebies, exchanges and loans.

    Despite having next to no cash (we did get just over Ł1m when the league fixtures were announced), it was a revolving door at Utrecht as last seasons failures were swept out and a raft of additions brought in.
    31 players departed over the 2 transfer windows. 19 players were added, along with 4 loans (3 of them turned permanent) and a complete new backroom. It was a risk to make so many changes, but I didn’t have much choice. The ones that I inherited were nowhere near good enough.

    It may have been a risk, but it worked. It was all very close upto the start of December. We beat Achilles ’29 to go 5 points clear, then won our next 10 in a row to seize control. A 4-0 win at Gronningen won the title with 5 games still to play.



    That left us with a KNVB Beker semi final against ADO Den Haag. Previously we had put out Feyenoord (sorry guys) Rijnsburgse Boys, Helmond Sport and Jong Ajax (who have finished above Ajax in the league for the last 2 years !). We gave it a good shot, we created the most chances, but ADO had that little bit of Eredivisie class and it was they who got the only goal. The league was the focus and as we got that, I am free to move on.

    It was very nearly a third key player running for a Uruguayan striker. Maximiliano Martínez was on fire for the first half of the season, but the goals dried up after January and that allowed his strike partner, Kosovan international Myqerem Skourtis to pip him to the honour. Right back Ben Baas would have been in the running were it not for an injury that kept him out for 2 months. He still got 5 goals and 8 assists !

    Where next ? There are some very good V jobs around. The VfB Stuttgart fans have been complaining about performances, and Villarreal has been in various states of insecurity for the last 2 months. I do need to be careful. I want to be in a good place to last a few seasons waiting for “X”. That could be tricky as XV de Piracicaba have been relegated from their regional league and have diced with relegation from Serie C for the last few years. Xanthi survived a relegation out of the 2nd tier in Greece with a draw on the final day of the season. On the positive, Xerex B are in the second tier in Spain, but I’m not sure if they are a separate club from Xerex who are not in the league structure.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  5. #928
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    Great stuff again, Kingsley! I believe trunky had the same situation with Xerez and ended up managing the B team, so you should also be able to.

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  7. #929
    Join Date
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    Season 23 - G



    The League Two title was secured with 4 games left to play at Grimsby!

    It'd been a bit of a journey to that stage though. Having won the Scottish League One title at Forfar in March, I didn't actually get a 'G' job until July where I made the trip to Turkey for the first time to take over Gebzespor in the lowest tier. That certainly saw my world reputation take a hit, especially as I could only managed a 3rd place finish, missing out on 1st only in the last couple of games. I didn't enjoy it there, only being able to sign Turkish players so I kept an eye out for any other 'G' jobs and fortunately, Grimsby came up the following year. 8 signings and 9 months later, I'm now on the hunt for a 'H' job though there is nothing immediately available.

    In terms of my world reputation, I was 226th when I won the title with Forfar and that move to Turkey along with working in League Two with Grimsby had seen my reps drop massively. Thankfully, I'm on the up again and now I'm 231st.
    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

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