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Thread: The World of Football Management - Chapter 6 - Awesome Threesome

  1. #51
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    • Goma with a “sprained wrist”
    • Palacio headbutt will mean about an 8 game ban or something?
    • Argggh – Riquelme injured – nooooooooooooo
    • Away goal with 10 men – not too bad
    • Hang on – how the feck was Palacio not banned?!
    • He pays you back anyway in a great return leg!

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    Just got caught up. Seems you've been busy on this one Mark!

    Goma has been performing steady as a rock.
    Rykun has really picked up the pace in the last two months which might compensate for his slow start.
    Sand's 3 month injury almost ruined it all for you, but thankfully he's back now and started scoring again. He's doing very well in that regard!

    Weird call on that Copa Mercosur win. So you win 1 and lose 1 which makes it a 'draw'. And because you're higher placed, you win it?

    Third isn't that bad for the Opening Stage, but a club like Boca should always be pushing for the title! You need to step it up in the Closing Stage!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Goma with a sprained wrist
    Palacio headbutt will mean about an 8 game ban or something?
    Argggh Riquelme injured nooooooooooooo
    Away goal with 10 men not too bad
    Hang on how the feck was Palacio not banned?!
    He pays you back anyway in a great return leg!
    Yep, no ban for Palacios. I love this league Actually, I think it's because it's the Inter-American Cup final so I guess there are no retrospective bans for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by GFRay View Post
    Just got caught up. Seems you've been busy on this one Mark!

    Goma has been performing steady as a rock.
    Rykun has really picked up the pace in the last two months which might compensate for his slow start.
    Sand's 3 month injury almost ruined it all for you, but thankfully he's back now and started scoring again. He's doing very well in that regard!

    Weird call on that Copa Mercosur win. So you win 1 and lose 1 which makes it a 'draw'. And because you're higher placed, you win it?

    Third isn't that bad for the Opening Stage, but a club like Boca should always be pushing for the title! You need to step it up in the Closing Stage!
    Yeah, trying to get this story over and done with so I can move on to something fresh

    I still don't get the logic of winning the trophy but I'll take it

    Yep, Redders tip to make him playmaker seems to have done the trick. I do think it's meant less of a role for Riquelme but that's not the point of this challenge I suppose!
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    Buenos Aires was as alive as ever that night after Boca Juniors had confirmed the Inter-American Cup with a 6:3 aggregate win over Pachuca. I would have loved to have given the players the night off to join in with the celebrations but the team were starting the 'Close' stage of the Premier Division just four days later. I advised them all to go home to celebrate with friends and family but that was it. As for me, I raised a few cheeky glasses of whiskey with Dave, the man who persuaded me to fly out to Argentina and accept the job. With the Inter-American Cup and the Copa Mercosur now added to my trophy cabinet, it was a move that was starting to pan out!

    With a sore head the following morning, I looked at the fixtures ahead and the draw for the Copa Libertadores group stage where we'd be taking on Olimpia, Bolivar and Cruzeiro. We simply had to aim for glory in that competition but for me, the big task now was to overhaul the top two after we had finished 3rd in the opening stages. Velez had finished top by two points and Estudiantes (LP) had finished 2nd, two points ahead of ourselves.

    Frustratingly, I couldn't enter the transfer market to boost our chances given the restriction of buying only three players. All I could do now was hope that the awesome threesome of Alain Goma, Olexandr Rykun and Jose Gustavo Sand stepped up their efforts between now and the rest of the season. All three had done well but I wanted more!

    As we moved into February, we had five solid games to play in the league against Racing, Gimnasia (J), Godoy Cruz, Huracan and San Martin (T) before seeing the month out with a trip to Paraguay in the Copa Libertadores. For the first game at Racing, we were without the services of Juan Roman Riquelme who was still two weeks away from full fitness after strained knee ligament damage against Pachuca in the first leg. I'd called upon Leandro Diaz as his replacement for the second leg and he'd done well enough though he didn't score or assist in our 5:1 win. He remains in the team which is unchanged for the game. We got off to the worst start possible, conceding after 14 minutes, allowing Racing to lead at half-time. But a rollicking in the dressing room must have paid off as goals from Sebastian Battaglia, Rodrigo Palacio, Sand and Rykun helped us to win 4:1! Diaz meanwhile, had set up two of the goals before being subbed.


    The comeback had been enough to start off the closing stage at the top of the table and to boost the squad, Fabian Andres Vargas had agreed a new deal though the defensive midfielder had only started once as he is Battaglia's backup. There was also news of a sale as I allowed Alvaro Gonzalez to join American de Cali for 3M as he didn't feature in my plans.


    For a third game in a row, the team was unchanged for the visit of Gimnasia (J) at home. It was a good sight though to see Riquelme return to light training but he wouldn't join in the physical stuff for another 10 days. To the game itself, we took the lead through an Alain Goma header and looked comfortable and set for victory until they equalised five minutes from time. A frustrating draw!


    Ahead of our next match, Julio Cesar Caceres was the next to put pen to paper as I continued handing deals to ensure the focus of the players remains on the pitch. Like Vargas, Caceres hadn't been involved much as he only had five starts but was the first player I call upon if Gabriel Paletta or Goma had a problem. There was still no return for Riquelme for our trip to Godoy Cruz so the team remain unchanged in a game I viewed as a must-win after dropping two points. To help us on the way was another of my own signings as Rykun dispatched home a delightful free-kick. Thankfully, despite late pressure, we were able to protect our lead and take home three points.


    Back at the top of the table, there was mixed news for our next game at home to Huracan. Martin Palermo, my 3rd choice striker had been ruled out with a one month injury so his spot on the bench went to 22 year old Ricardo Daniel Noir who'd scored only 4 goals in 3(14) appearances. But the good news was that man Riquelme was back and as a result, he goes straight into the team at the expense of Diaz with namesake Damian Diaz dropped to the reserves so that Leandro may sit on the bench. By now, I was a little concerned that Sand wasn't hitting the heights that he was before his 3 month injury. Hopefully the return of Riquelme would offer him more ammunition but it wasn't to be, as although we had 14 chances and Huracan had 0 in 90 minutes, the game ended 0-0.


    To make matters worse, my first choice left-back Claudio Morel Rodriguez had sprained his ankle in the game and was out for 3 weeks. I didn't have a natural left-back on the bench and had to ask Hugo Ibarra to play on the left with Caceres, a centre-back by trade, on the right. Jose Maria Calvo was called up from the reserves to take over and in fairness, he's done well before in five games. That was the only change to the team as we travelled to San Martin (T) and at last after 3 games without a goal, Sand put us ahead! It turned out to be the winning goal as we recorded a third clean sheet in a row.


    The final game of the month was the trip abroad to Olimpia in Paraguay. Paletta couldn't play after a one match ban carried over from the Copa Mercosur which gives Caceres a start and I also opted to rest captain Ibarra which saw Calvo move to right-back and Juan Krupoviesa start on the left. Urging the players to simply enjoy their football, Sand was able to register his 15th goal of the season but we conceded and then lost Sand to injury in the space of 9 minutes. Fortunately, sub Noir won us a free-kick which Rykun scored for his 15th of the season too! But again, Olimpia equalised to hold us to a draw.


    We ended the month top of the league but only by goal difference. Velez were worrying close to us so overall, they're 4 points ahead.


    The bad news with Sand's injury is that he's now out for two weeks and likely to miss the next four games which was a shame having seen him score in the last two games and increase his goal tally this month by three, though his average rating has dropped from 8.22 to 8.17. He'd also won one man of the match award.

    Alain Goma meanwhile had scored his second goal of the season but his average rating had also dropped from 7.22 to 7.18. He's still playing well but I had hoped his rating would be better given our clean sheets of late.

    As for Rykun, he's enjoying his free-kick role! 3 goals, 1 assist and 1 MotM award is his return for this month and it sees his average rating increase by 0.01. With Sand out, we'll need him to weigh in with more goals next month!



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  9. #55
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    Hello - not seen this for a few months

    • Good effort on 2 trophies!
    • Decent Copa Lib group – Cruzerio look toughest
    • Good set of league results – still behind overall but being unbeaten is not to be sniffed at given the number of games and will only give confidence!
    • Shame Sand is out for a pell again
    • The other 2 fellas are doing well especially Rykun since he’s now bein asked to be the architect of everything

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    Yup, happy to see Rykun banging them in from midfield. 15 goals is a great return already!

    Gutted about Sand, he's not having much luck at the moment
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    Shame about the injury to Sand, how far away is Palermo from fitness as well?

    I was going to say in terms of the challenge you need more assists from Rykun, but with Sand out you need the goals from him as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    Shame about the injury to Sand, how far away is Palermo from fitness as well?

    I was going to say in terms of the challenge you need more assists from Rykun, but with Sand out you need the goals from him as well.
    Palermo is 2 weeks away from full fitness so Noir is set to start up front in the meantime. He does have 4 goals despite 3 starts but it should be all about Sand this season.
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    It was with a look of rue that I saw Jose Gustavo Sand fielding questions at a press conference prior to our next game. The striker, who'd scored 15 in 24 starts for me (that's 16 games he has missed!) was still 2 weeks away from full fitness on the day that we face Velez at home, a key fixture in our hunt for the title as they are level with us on points in the 'closing stage' and overall, top of the league by 4 points.

    Having been rested last time out, Hugo Ibarra and Gabriel Paletta were restored to the starting XI in place of Jose Maria Calvo and Julio Cesar Caceres. There was a third change of course as Ricardo Daniel Noir took over from the injured Sand. The 22 year old was raw but has done well when called upon, scoring 4 in 3 starts though he has come off the bench 14 times! Assisted by Sebastian Battaglia, it was Noir who got us up and running against Velez who had a player sent off in the second half, allowing us to add a 2nd goal through Olexandr Rykun himself, his 16th of the season! It's a huge win for us which puts us top of the table.


    Next up is Bolivar of, you guessed it, Bolivia, for the Copa Libertadores. Leandro Gracian was the only player looking tired from the last game so he got a rest with Leandro Diaz making his 12th start of the season. Having drawn 2:2 in the first group game against Olimpia, I was looking for victory in this one but we fell behind after 20 minutes. It transpired to be one of those games where we had plenty of chances (12) but lost with Bolivar registering just 4 attempts all game.


    After that result, I had no hesitation in bringing Gracian back into the fold in another big game for us, River away. They were just three points behind in a very tight closing stage league table so following up the Velez victory would be crucial for us. A familiar name in Augusto Matias Fernandez scored against us before we lost Gracian to a red card after just 33 minutes for a ridiculous headbutt, forcing me to bring off Noir and leave Rodrigo Palacio as a lone striker. River struck again before half-time and we saw out the rest of the game to keep the scoreline as it was but slipped to 3rd after our first defeat in the closing stage.


    Surprisingly, the players were jeered after the full-time whistle and the media turned against Paletta once again. It was true that he was getting a lot of stick with an average rating of 6.61 but he was a good defender on his day and I was determined to keep him partnered up with Alain Goma. I spoke out in his defence and he worked even harder in training which was a great response.

    Next up was another Copa Libertadores game and we headed to Brazil to face Cruzeiro, leaving behind Ibarra, Juan Krupoviesa and Palacio who were rested as well as Battaglia who was banned. Santiago Hernan Villfane was handed his first appearance at right-back with Calvo employed on the left. Fabian Andres Vargas filled in for Battaglia and Marcos Mondaini was also handed a first start up front in a very different looking team. Riquelme was handed the armband and I had a word with Gracian to produce a response after his antics against River. Sadly, he was found wanting as the team crashed to a 2:0 defeat. It was going to take something special to qualify now as we sit 3rd and 5 points behind 2nd place.


    We were struggling with the injuries and fatigue during a packed schedule and I think that contributed to three defeats in a row without scoring. Hopefully I did the right thing in resting Krupoviesa, Ibarra and Palacio as they come back in to face Gimnasia (LP) as does Battaglia. Gracian of course, serves a suspension which he probably needs so Diaz comes in to start once more. For the fourth game in a row, there was no clean sheet but thankfully, we had take the lead through Diaz and Noir restored it with a second half brace!


    A 5.5M bid from Atletico Madrid for Palacio was rejected ahead of our next fixture, a must win game against Olimpia to keep our qualification hopes alive in the Copa Libertadores. We had not one, not two but a treble boost in Claudio Morel Rodriguez, Martin Palermo and one Sand all making a full return to training ahead of the game and they came straight in although Riquelme and Rykun were both left out due to fitness. Surprisingly, it was Goma to grabbed the headlines at first by setting up our opening goal for Battaglia and Diaz made it 2:0. Olimpia did pull one back but Palacio restored the two goal advantage and we had our first group win at last. It was going to be tight though, for with 2 games left, we were now 5 points behind Bolivar and Cruzeiro.


    After Atletico Madrid had made an offer for Palacio, I'd offered him a new 6 year deal and he accepted which will hopefully be a boost to the club. We had bad news for our next game though as both Goma (suspended) and Rykun (training injury) were unavailable but Riquelme made a return after his rest. Away at Central, he scored his 10th goal of the season after 14 minutes and Palacio made it 2-0 in the 20th minute. Yet again though, we couldn't hold on to a clean sheet as we conceded twice but thankfully Sand had scored a 3rd goal which secured us a win to return to the top of the table.


    Signing a new deal didn't stop Barcelona from tabling a 6.75M offer for Palacio which of course was rejected. It hadn't unsettled him either so he lined up for a crucial game against Bolivar where we saw Goma back in for Caceres whilst Ibarra was rested and Calvo started in his place. After 5 minutes, we were down to 10 men...! Calvo had been dismissed for a two footed challenge and with no right-back on the bench, I switched to 3 at the back to keep our attacking options alive. But we still fell behind and to a penalty as well that Roberto Abbondanzieri gave away. Hopes of a comeback came alive in the second half with Gracian scored but it was ruled out for offside. The players tired after that though and we couldn't get back into it at all. There would be no qualification for us after all.


    The 9th and final game of March was a home game against Independiente. We had a two point lead at the top and it would be nice to keep that and increase it. After Rykun made a full recovery from injury and Ibarra back in, I finally named my preferred starting XI for the first time in 10 games. Could we end the month with an emphatic win and a clean sheet? It started well with Battaglia and Sand scoring but Rykun had one disallowed. We nearly lost the clean sheet when Independiente won a penalty but thankfully, Abbondanzieri saved it and we won the match with Riquelme scoring his 50th Boca goal right at the death!


    It may have been a poor month on our adventures overseas but despite losing to River, we had managed to stay top and establish a two point lead. We'd been 4 points behind Velez overall though this time last month and that hadn't changed.


    Alain Goma had started all but one of the games this month and despite an assist, his average rating had dropped by 0.01. Rykun had started 6 of the 9 games but had scored just once, so his rating has also dropped from 7.78 to 7.67 which is worrying. As for Sand, he'd missed five games to injury of course and had managed to add 2 goals to his tally since his return but again, his rating also dropped from 8.17 to 8.07.

    I can only hope, once we've got the last group game of the Copa Libertadores out of the way, everyone will remain fit now to focus on the title challenge. Less games being played in midweek will also mean less rotating so here's hoping the trio can get their average ratings back up!



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    Good to see Sand already back among the goals since coming back from injury, hopefully once he's fully match fit his average rating will increase again, as well as Goma's and Rykun's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    Good to see Sand already back among the goals since coming back from injury, hopefully once he's fully match fit his average rating will increase again, as well as Goma's and Rykun's.
    Hopefully he'll avoid injury for the rest of the season at the very least! I should run a physio report on him actually but wouldn't want to see the dreaded surgery word!

    Sucks that he's missed 21 games for me overall
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    • Belter of a win v Velez!
    • 2nd MOM in a row for Battaglia but not good enough in the mad Libatadores!
    • HUGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Game v rivals River. Couldn’t have gone worse – fans fuming after it?! (just read on and the are!) Headbutt mean a lengthy ban for Gracian?
    • Nother bad Copa result – travelling maybe taking it’s toll and not ideal to see Gracian to not bounce back
    • Great 3 wins on the bounce then! Sand back in the game!
    • Top news in the new contract for Palaciao
    • Limped out of Copa Lib then  Another red card!
    • Sand aain last game and finally a clean sheet! Ah damn – I thought the “overall” gap may have closed after those last few wins.


    Should this be in?!

    As for Rykun, he's enjoying his free-kick role! 3 goals, 1 assist and 1 MotM award is his return for this month and it sees his average rating increase by 0.01. With Sand out, we'll need him to weigh in with more goals next month!

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    Ah, cut that bit out!

    Gracian only got the one match ban, it's normal in Argentina isn't it?

    Agree that the gap could have been closed by now. Think we can have a real go at it now once the final group game is out of the way.
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    Although we hadn't qualified from the group stage of the Copa Libertadores, I was trying to look at the positives and decided that the loss of trips abroad will be an advantage for us as we close out the remainder of our league campaign, which only had 9 games left. We were currently clear at the top by 2 points in the 'Closing Stage' and a point clear of Velez overall. With Jose Gustavo Sand back to full fitness, I was aiming to close my season out in Argentina in style.

    First though, was a dead rubber game against Cruzeiro and we went into it without the services of Rodrigo Palacio after suffering a strained wrist in training, allowing a start for Martin Palermo. Also left out to be rested were Hugo Ibarra, Alain Goma, Juan Roman Riquelme and Leandro Gracian. Five first teamers not involved though I was not concerned at all given it was our final game in the Copa Libertadores. As Jose Maria Calvo was serving a one match ban, Santiago Hernan Villfane started only his 2nd game at right-back with Julio Cesar Caceres, Matias Nicolas Rodriguez and Leandro Diaz also starting.

    The game started in horrendous fashion, the much criticised Gabriel Paletta doing himself no favours with a red card after 4 minutes for a two footed tackle! I opted to hook Sand to keep him fresh and brought on Juan Krupoviesa at left-back with Claudio Morel Rodriguez switching to the middle. Bracing myself for the worse, we actually put in one of our best performances with Olexandr Rykun scoring not once, not twice but a hat-trick! At least we ended that group stage on a high!


    Now we can focus 100% on the league! As expected, I brought back Ibarra, Riquelme and Gracian but Palermo kept his spot as Palacio wasn't fit yet. We were up against 9th placed Arsenal de Sarandi at home and I expected 3 points but we fell behind after 6 minutes. But that man Sand, who must feel a bit embarrassed that Rykun had now passed him on goals (with 19!), scored an equaliser just before half-time. Rykun then got his 20th of the season to put us ahead but we conceded a minute later and then lost Palermo to injury!


    Palermo's injury was confirmed as a thigh strain and would only be out for 10 days. Luckily, Palacio made a full recovery for our trip to Colon which was the only change, despite the media getting on the back of Paletta once again. It was a cagey game, with Sand wasting a hat-trick of chances before we found a breakthrough with Gracian, ably assisted by Rykun!


    Next up was Tigre at home. A rarity occurred with an unchanged line-up and once again, it was a 1:0 victory with Palacio scoring this time, his 17th goal despite starting 43 games!


    Playing three days later, a third game in a week, I made just the one change as Sebastian Battaglia was rested with Fabian Andres Vargas taking over for just a 3rd start. Away at Banfield, we fell two goals behind after the first 20 minutes which threatened to end our recent 6 game unbeaten run in the league. It was a poor performance as we never threatened truly Banfield in truth and they scored again, meaning the defeat saw us drop to 2nd with River going 1st on goal difference.


    Battaglia was back in for the next game at San Lorenzo where I hoped Goma and Rykun were looking fresher too after being subbed at Banfield. We conceded early on once more and looked as though we'd struggle to fight our way back oncce more before Palacio equalised.


    For the first time since January, we had a full week to recover from our last game and our last game of the month was at home against Lanus. We were now 3 points behind River in the closing stage and needed a win to get back on track with only 3 games left after this. An unchanged side lined up and saw us take a 6th minute lead through Paletta only for Lanus to equalised 9 minutes later.


    It turned out to be an opportunity missed as River had drawn their game to go 3 points clear of us with 3 games left of the season. Overall though, we were actually 2 points clear of Velez so we'd better get our acts together fast!


    Olexandr Rykun was certainly doing his best to get us going again this month. Four goals, two assists and a man of the match award in 7 games had seen his average rating increase from 7.67 to 7.71. Sadly, the same cannot be said of Jose Gustavo Sand who has managed a grand total of one goal in 7 starts this month, seeing his average rating drop from 8.07 to 7.89! Alain Goma had started six times, and had done well at the start of the month but recent games saw his average rating also drop from 7.17 to 7.13.



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  26. #65
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    • What a result down to 10 men (even though nothing on it) but lots of points for Rykun there
    • Balls – Palermo injury in a draw for dropped points
    • Ah 10 days – that’s ok
    • Deserved win v Colon where ya nearly got superkeepered!
    • 2 clean sheets ina row with an important consecutive win
    • Banfield maybe 1 game too many – you were not awful but they really raised their game – hefty defeat tho
    • Helluva tussle v San Lorenzo – cancelled each other out but good resilience for a late equaliser
    • Balls – another draw

    Frustrating end to the update but sounds like still in decent shape to win the “overall stage” and in a shout for “Closing” – not a great deal of joy for your “threesome”nin last few games though

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    Typical that when I thought we could focus on the league 100%, the fixture schedule didn't get any easier!

    Sand needs a rocket up his arse again, I don't know what's up with him!
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    Concerning stuff for Sand, you should have a word with Rykun and ask him to pass a bit more to Sand rather than score so much himself

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    Haha yeah Making him the playmaker and putting him on set pieces has got Rykun going even better than before
    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!

  32. The Following User Says Thank You to Mark For This Useful Post:

    AMC

  33. #69
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    5,366
    vCash
    32000
    Have you got Sand on pens? He probably only needs one goal and he'll go on a run again.

  34. The Following User Says Thank You to AMC For This Useful Post:


  35. #70
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    23,347
    vCash
    1498
    Yep, he's on penalty duty though we don't get many!
    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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