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Thread: The World of Football Management - Chapter 7 - Global Attraction

  1. #701
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    Gutted with cup after being 2 goals clear!

    Eek on Corcoran - no more injuries!

    A fine month indeed - right back up the table and settling nicely

    Typical championship form and goals in both ends!

    Breeden was ok but don't think he has cult statu (and the att's) to deserve a coaching role

    Powell seemed to do well this month

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  3. #702
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    Yeah Powell done well indeed! I expected Bonne to have fought his way back into it by now but Powell seems to have taken up the role of shit striker on shit hot form

    Breeden was a hero, had the most appearances before we let him go!

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    Great start to the season. Lavery stepping up nicely, and Sousa Silva more surprisingly perhaps.
    Pastoor looks like making that spot his own so far, McCarthy got competition for it.
    I find in lower leagues pace and work rate certainly more important.
    Bonne not playing is harsh as hell! Like leaving Harry Kane out because of a bad pre season!

    #bringbackbreeden

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  6. #704
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    #bringbackbonne

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  8. #705
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    Quote Originally Posted by dweatherston11 View Post
    Great start to the season. Lavery stepping up nicely, and Sousa Silva more surprisingly perhaps.
    Pastoor looks like making that spot his own so far, McCarthy got competition for it.
    I find in lower leagues pace and work rate certainly more important.
    Bonne not playing is harsh as hell! Like leaving Harry Kane out because of a bad pre season!

    #bringbackbreeden
    Sousa Silva always been solid in DMC! Four years in a row now he's had an average rating of 7.06+. A dependable player!

    Bonne will get his chance, he's had two appearances off the bench but not made an impact yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big E View Post
    #bringbackbonne
    I still think he'll break back in eventually. I'd be surprised if Powell keeps his form up.

  9. #706
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    Global Attraction - Season 9 - October
    Nations = 24
    Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Burundi, Canada, Cyprus, England, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, Luxembourg, Montserrat, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Saint Lucia, Scotland, Spain, Surinam, Wales, Zimbabwe


    After playing six and seven games in the last two months, to have just five on the calendar for October is somewhat relief! Perhaps it'll allow the team to look settled as we continue to adapt to life in the Championship although some would argue we've already adapted rather well in being 8th after 10 games! Those four games at home made a difference financially too as we didn't lose 'as much' as we had done in previous months, only coming out £974 in the red by the end of September. With that in mind, I would argue that we only need to expand by a couple of thousand seats and fill out our stadium on a regular basis to start making money for the first time. Admittedly though, we do have a small wage budget for this league, having paid out £429,468 last month. That could well change over the years as we replace various players with new ones. Indeed, we still have 10 players on a wage below £1,000!

    The reason for a five game month is because international games take place to begin with. Harry Kyprianou was on the wrong side of a 6:0 battering by France when the Cyprus goalkeeper was sent off after just two minutes. In fairness to Kyprianou, he didn't do a lot wrong on his 9th cap. Murray Wallace celebrated his return to the international set-up with his 2nd cap after coming on in injury time during Scotland's 2:2 draw at Slovenia, that was enough to hand them a playoff spot for the World Cup. Elsewhere, Inaki Valenzuela Lozano once again captained Andorra on his 20th cap but lost 1:0 to Gibraltar. Sadly for Caolan Lavery, he returned without being capped for Northern Ireland again.

    Championship

    Other than Adam Corcoran's broken collarbone, we have a fully fit squad to choose from as we start the month at Reading (24th). There's a change in defence as Michael Hughes makes way for Inaki Valenzuela Lozano to line-up at right-back and Anfernee Dijksteel moves over to take Hughes' spot in the middle. A second change sees Chris Willock replaced by Aaron Drinan who had been rested for the 2:2 draw at Blackpool. With Reading being bottom of the pile, this could be a measure as to whether we truly can survive at this level. But we conceded after 8 minutes and Reading doubled the lead by the half hour mark. We then lost Dijksteel to injury in the second half but managed to pull one back through Drinan (3) in the 69th but couldn't find that equaliser. The defeat puts us 11th and Dijksteel will be out for three weeks with a twisted knee.

    Reading 2:1 Leamington
    Pastoor 6, Valenzuela Lozano 7, Donacien 6, Agovic 6, Dijksteel 5 (Hughes 7), Sousa Silva 6, Drinan 8 (Chapman 7), Marsh 6, Powell 7, Lavery 7, Michos 6 (Willock 7).
    Goals - Drinan.
    Assists - Powell.

    Championship

    The team look just about fit for the Tuesday game against Hull (18th) though of course, Dijksteel cannot play. The replacement is Hughes making a 7th start at the back in the only change. The first half is an absolute bore as we manage just one shot off target and Hull not at all. We bring on fresh legs up top with Macauley Bonne, Willock and Jay Chapman coming on for a good half hour and though Alen Agovic (1) puts us ahead, Chapman is forced off injured in the 75th to leave us with 10 men, a situation that Hull use to their advantage when equalising at the death. We manage to move up a place to 10th while Chapman has a bruised shin that puts him out for a week.

    Leamington 1:1 Hull
    Pastoor 6, Valenzuela Lozano 6, Donacien 7, Agovic 8, Hughes 7, Sousa Silva 7, Drinan 7 (Chapman 7), Marsh 7, Powell 6 (Bonne 7), Lavery 7, Michos 7 (Willock 7).
    Goals - Agovic.
    Assists - Hughes.
    MotM - Agovic.

    Championship

    Luton (7th) have certainly had an interesting time while I've been at Leamington. Originally in League Two, they did exactly what we've just achieved in landing back to back promotions to the Championship where they spent just three years before breaking into the Premier League. They didn't manage to stay there but dropped down and then won the title to go straight back up before finishing 18th and returning this season. They're also the team who spent £3.9M on our nemesis Bradley Fewster who has 12 goals in 30 starts since leaving Wycombe. We prepare for the game by changing the goalkeeper after Wouter Pastoor hasn't been himself in the last two games, starting Alex McCarthy instead. Fewster starts in a three man attack force but our good selves who take the lead with Luis Sousa Silva getting his 5th goal of the season already which matches his personal best! But Luton hit back through not Fewster but Venezuelan Josef Martinez and the game ends as a draw with Luton's goalkeeper picking up the man of the match award. This time, the draw doesn't stop us from dropping to 13th.

    Luton 1:1 Leamington
    McCarthy 8, Valenzuela Lozano 6, Donacien 5, Agovic 8, Hughes 5, Sousa Silva 7, Drinan 6 (Soisalo 7), Marsh 8, Powell 6, Lavery 6, Michos 7 (Willok 6).
    Goals - Sousa Silva.

    Championship

    Oxford (9th) are a team we've met three times and never defeated. We welcome to the New Windmill where we've not lost since the opening day defeat to Sheff Wed. Valenzuela Lozano hasn't taken his chance in recent games so loses his spot with Tom King coming in and Janoi Donacien moving to right-back. There's a shuffle in midfield too with Panagiotis Michos coming out and a fit again Jay Chapman lining up in the middle, Lavery moving to the right and Drinan to the left. Jak Marsh and Sousa Silva are also rested with Erik Stokke and Tarek Taravel coming in. After fifteen games on the sidelines, the time has also come for Macauley Bonne to make his first start of the season with Powell dropping to the bench. Hopefully the 29 year old Zimbabwean is ready for the step up to this level having managed 51 goals in League Two and One. However, it's not Bonne who opens the scoring for us but instead, Frenchman Taravel marks his first start of the season to make it a goal in each year with us so far. Bonne fails to get into the game and ends up being replaced in a triple change on the 64th minute and Michos is one of those coming on and helps to set up Lavery (5) for our second goal to win the game and push us back up to 9th. The attendance of 5,992 is a record as we're just eight away from a sell-out!

    Leamington 2:0 Oxford
    McCarthy 8, Donacien 6, King 6, Agovic 8, Hughes 6, Stokke 9, Lavery 8, Taravel 9, Bonne 6 (Powell 7), Chapman 6 (Michos 7), Drinan 6 (Soisalo 7).
    Goals - Taravel, Lavery.
    Assists - Stokke, Michos.
    MotM - Stokke.

    Championship

    Burnley (2nd) have become a yo-yo team of late, being relegated from the Premier League three times in the last seven years. They're in a good position to go back up once more but hopefully we'll help put a stop to that as Jonathan Muleba gets a first start of the season with Donacien dropped and Hughes moving to right-back. Bonne has also lost his place and it's an interesting change as Michos gets a run out up front which maybe shows that our strikers aren't quite firing on all cylinders at the moment. Burnley put us under pressure early on and after a few saves already, McCarthy ends up picking the ball out of the net after 20 minutes though Michos collects a Chapman pass shortly after and converts his 4th of the season. They go back in the lead after half-time and again, we fight back through Lavery (6). But their class shows through in the end as they score a third and we simply don't have a response.

    Burnley 3:2 Leamington
    McCarthy 7, Hughes 6, King 5, Agovic 6, Muleba 6, Stokke 6 (Sousa Silva 7), Lavery 8, Taravel 7, Michos 7, Chapman 7 (Soisalo 7), Drinan 6.
    Goals - Michos, Lavery.
    Assists - Chapman.

    The month ends with international news again as call-ups are announced for five players. Lavery (Northern Ireland), Kyprianou (Cyprus), Agovic (Luxembourg) and Valenzuela Lozano (Andorra) are back in their national squads but there's no call-up for Murray Wallace with Scotland. Instead, the fifth player is Mikael Soisalo in the Finland squad which is a first as a Leamington player though he has 11 caps already.

    We're smack bang in the middle of the table after a very tough month indeed where we've managed to win and draw two in five games. It's left us five points away from the bottom which shows that once again, the Championship is rather tight!


    Fresh from earning his first caps for Luxembourg (only missing out last month through injury), Alen Agovic has been superb in October where even a below-par performance at Burnley did not knock the spotlight off him. Since those two years where he made just 17 starts, Agovic has proved himself a mainstay in our defence which is still feeling its feet at this level.


    After learning that our ex-Malawi defender John Lanjesi has now retired since moving to Ourense for £24,000 two years ago, we instead look at Daniel Udoh who joined Waterford on a Bosman on the same day. Now 29 and worth £28,000, Udoh has perhaps found his level in Ireland where he's scored 34 goals and set up 15 in 74 starts. He first joined us on loan without making an appearance six years ago and despite that, I snapped him up from Crewe on a Bosman. He spent three years with us, scoring just 4 goals as an advanced midfielder from 46 appearances.


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  11. #707
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Nelson just loves proving Kingsley wrong I doubt he'll get much game time now, seems to have gone off the boil a bit.
    I still think he's gash and the goals are some sort of illusion caused by the mushrooms in the club pies.

    Safely in mid table, but still within striking distance of the play-offs.
    Taken some big scalps already. Those Billy Bigtimers won't like going to your little ground
    Goals against column is a bit of a concern, but I guess this season is about getting the points on the board to consolodate.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  13. #708
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    He is gash but we're loving the fact he's scored a few

    Yeah, definitely all about consolidation and we'll slowly improve the squad as we go along. These boys are part of Leamington's history now after their efforts in recent years, they won't be just discarded into the wilderness!

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  15. #709
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    • Not an idea set of results in first 3 games and more small injuries
    • Bonne back! And a win! Near sell out as well
    • Bonne out after 1 game!
    • You are where I expect you to be so nothing to panic about. Game in hand as well over a few teams
    • Never took to Udoh but he’s earning his crust nicely now

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  17. #710
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    Yeah, I'm starting to wonder if Bonne can't step up to this level but time will tell. Fingers crossed he'll keep his legendary status going!

  18. #711
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    Global Attraction - Season 9 - November
    Nations = 24
    Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Burundi, Canada, Cyprus, England, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, Luxembourg, Montserrat, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Saint Lucia, Scotland, Spain, Surinam, Wales, Zimbabwe


    We have a six-game mnoth ahead of us against a mixture of teams throughout the league. It'll be a busy one so it's fortunate that for now (touch wood), we only have Adam Corcoran out with a broken collarbone who himself is only two weeks away from full fitness after nearly three months out. It's been an interesting ride in the Championship so far but I'm only too aware that we're five points from the bottom three. Hopefully we can bridge the gap to that zone now.

    Championship

    The return to training of Anfernee Dijksteel means he comes in at right-back with Tom King being replaced, meaning Michael Hughes moves to left-back. Aaron Drinan is replaced in midfield with Panagiotis Michos moving back after a lone striker role last time out at Burnley, with Ryan Powell returning up front. Powell puts us in the lead with his 5th goal of the season which is his best record for three years (bearing in mind he's only played 16 times in the last two). It's not our best performance in term of creativity and dominance on the ball as Derby outplay us but we tighten it up at the back and go home with three points and a clean sheet which puts us 11th.

    Derby 0:1 Leamington
    McCarthy 8, Dijksteel 7, Hughes 6, Agovic 7, Muleba 6, Stokke 6, Lavery 7, Taravel 6, Powell 8, Chapman 7 (Soisalo 6), Michos 7.
    Goals - Powell.
    Assists - Michos.

    Championship

    Hughes and Erik Stokke have both been below-par of late and they're replaced by Janoi Donacien and Luis Sousa Silva for the visit of Rotherham. Powell (6) hits the target after just three minutes and Taravel (2) doubles the lead. Despite storming ahead, Rotherham are actually playing very well and I'd be the first to admit they deserved to score before half-time. After a stern talking to in the dressing room, the team fail to wake up as Rotherham have a goal disallowed before Jonathan Muleba is sent off on the 62nd minute for pushing a Rotherham player in the chest. Jay Chapman is hooked, Inaki Valenzuela Lozano comes on with Dijksteel moving inside and we shut up shop admirably until the death where, moments after we'd been denied a clear penalty, Rotherham score with the last touch of the game.

    Leamington 2:2 Rotherham
    McCarthy 6, Dijksteel 8, Donacien 6, Agovic 8, Muleba 6, Sousa Silva 6, Lavery 7, Taravel 6, Powell 8, Chapman 6 (Valenzuela Lozano 6), Michos 7 (Drinan 6).
    Goals - Powell, Taravel.
    Assists - Dijksteel.

    An international break arrives during which every Leamington supporter and colleague are delighted for Caolan Lavery when he finally earns his first cap for Northern Ireland as a 33 year old! Sadly, it was a 2:1 friendly defeat to Finland but he did come on in the 57th minute and set up the goal! Mikael Soisalo was an unused substitute on the other side. Elsewhere, Inaki Valenzuela Lozano captains Andorra to a 2:1 win over Liechtenstein on his 21st cap and Harry Kyprianou is on the losing end of a 1:0 defeat to Israel on his 10th cap for Cyprus. Also losing is Alen Agovic who earns a 3rd cap for Luxembourg as a second half substitute as Kazakhstan win 1:0.

    Championship

    Three changes mark our trip to Huddersfield. The suspended Muleba is replaced by Valenzuela Lozano as Dijksteel moves inside. Jak Marsh and Richard Laws are also brought into the fold with Sousa Silva and Taravel dropping to the bench. 2nd and gunning for promotion, Huddersfield are firm favourites but fall behind with Marsh (4) scoring after five minutes. But just four minutes later, Powell is sent off after a decision goes against him and he backchats to the referee! I'm livid at both, Powell for losing his head and the referee for not at least booking him first. We play on without a striker until Chapman comes off in the 66th and Macauley Bonne comes on to give us an outlet. The goal from Marsh is our only attempt at goal all game and despite playing with 10 men for 81 minutes, we win the game! I do complain about the referee, appeal against the red card and issue an official warning to Powell which he accepts.

    Huddersfield 0:1 Leamington
    McCarthy 8, Valenzuela Lozano 6, Donacien 6, Agovic 8, Dijksteel 7, Laws 6, Lavery 7, Marsh 7 (Taravel 6), Powell 6, Chapman 7 (Bonne 7), Michos 6 (Soisalo 6).
    Goals - Marsh.
    Assists - Powell.
    MotM - Agovic.

    Championship

    After serving a one-match ban, Muleba returns with Valenzuela Lozano making way and Dijksteel again moves to right-back. Bonne starts for only the second time this season with Powell out suspended himself. Aston Villa (19th) are the opponents and though Bonne comes close early on in just missing the target, Aston Villa take the lead with two goals in the space of ten minutes which is a tough pill to swallow as we put in a good performance. We come out for the second half with a steely determination and Marsh's 5th of the season halves the deficit. Michos then gets clipped in the area to win a penalty but it's punched away by the Villa goalkeeper. Lavery and Michos but attempt to follow it in but fails. But one man announces his return to form and gets his first goal of the game in the 72nd minute to save us a point!

    Leamington 2:2 Aston Villa
    McCarthy 7, Dijksteel 9 (Valenzuela Lozano 6), Donacien 7, Agovic 7, Muleba 7, Laws 8, Lavery 7, Marsh 10 (Taravel 7), Bonne 8, Chapman 7 (Soisalo 7), Michos 7.
    Goals - Marsh, Bonne.
    Assists - Marsh.
    MotM - Marsh.

    Championship

    Bonne may have scored his first of the goal against Aston Villa but Powell's form prior to his suspension has earned him a recall to the team for the visit of Fulham (7th) which is the only change made. But again, we fall behind by two goals with Fulham scoring in the 7th and 14th minutes. We improve as the game goes on but cannot find a breakthrough and lose only our second game of the season at home, which is a shame for the attendance of 5,998 which is a new club high and only two short of a sell-out.

    Leamington 0:2 Fulham
    McCarthy 7, Dijksteel 5, Donacien 7, Agovic 7, Muleba 7, Laws 5 (Sousa Silva 7), Lavery 7, Marsh 7, Powell 6, Chapman 7 (Soisalo 7), Michos 6 (Wells 7).

    Championship

    We have the chance to make up for the Fulham defeat with a trip to Bristol Rovers (20th) where Laws is dropped in favour of Sousa Silva. Dijksteel, Donacien, Marsh, Lavery and Chapman are also rested as the game comes a few days after the Fulham one. Valenzuela Lozano, Hughes, Taravel, Soisalo and Dominic Wells come in with the latter two making their first starts. For a third game running, we concede two in the first half and for a second game running, we're unable to fight our way back into it to be condemned to a 2:0 defeat.

    Bristol Rovers 2:0 Leamington
    McCarthy 6, Valenzuela Lozano 6, Hughes 5, Agovic 8, Muleba 7, Sousa Silva 6, Wells 6 (Willock 7), Taravel 8, Powell 6 (Bonne 6), Michos 6, Soisalo 6 (Byrne 7).

    After a good start to the month and two games where we'd won despite having 10 men and also come back from being two goals down, it's a shame to have then lost two in a row which leaves us 12th. Surprisingly, we're only 4 points from the playoffs and more importantly, we've built an 8 point gap to the bottom three. The FA Cup draw has also been made and it's pitted us at Fulham, who we've just lost 2:0 to.


    Top marks to 22 year old Jak Marsh this month who has reached five for the season from 15 starts. It's his third best return in a season having previously scored 10 and 9 goals which he may just beat this season if he can continue his work. I didn't expect our academy player, now in his 7th year at the club, to keep Arthur Theate out of the team but both he and Tarek Taravel are doing just that right now.


    How is our two-time loanee Maziar Kouhyar getting on? We had him on loan from Northampton for a season and a half during which he scored 10 times in each season, making it 20 goals from 52 appearances which is a fine record. The Afghan has since returned to Northampton and has yet to make an appearance for them even though they have now dropped into the National League! Kouhyar remains on our shortlist but it remains to be seen whether he'll make a return to the New Windmill one day.


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  20. #712
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    Holding your own in the Championship.

    Will you be spending some ££££ in January, that is the question....

    Still think the defence needs improving and #bringbackbonne

    Always knows where the Onion Bag is....

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  22. #713
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    No signings expected in January. I have a 33 man squad so happy with that unless we manage to sell Djalo or Kyprianou who are the only players on the transfer list.

    I think Bonne's set for a run now after Powell's recent 6's.

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    The story you can't afford to fall behind in

    Some very interesting signings now you reached the Championship though, but despite the recent goal I think Bonne has found his level here. Go 'ed, Maccy, prove me wrong!

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  25. #715
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    I've read all 29 pages over tomorrow and today, and so far it's absolutely brilliant stuff Mark! Looks like a nice mid-table finish this season as well.

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    Good effort I'd say, McCarthy stepping up early in the month, and Powell/Marsh too.
    Bonne ready to step up over winter, he enjoys the cold months.
    Still could go either way, a good or poor run could happen and cause playoffs or relegation trouble.

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  29. #717
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Dalglish's Smile View Post
    The story you can't afford to fall behind in

    Some very interesting signings now you reached the Championship though, but despite the recent goal I think Bonne has found his level here. Go 'ed, Maccy, prove me wrong!
    I think we'll see an improvement in the new faces now we're at this level. But the loyal side of this story will see us give the ones who got Leamington there every chance before we do replace them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom View Post
    I've read all 29 pages over tomorrow and today, and so far it's absolutely brilliant stuff Mark! Looks like a nice mid-table finish this season as well.
    Thanks Dom! Nice to see us pick up a new follower Are you from the Czech Republic? Sorry we haven't signed any one from there yet

    Quote Originally Posted by dweatherston11 View Post
    Good effort I'd say, McCarthy stepping up early in the month, and Powell/Marsh too.
    Bonne ready to step up over winter, he enjoys the cold months.
    Still could go either way, a good or poor run could happen and cause playoffs or relegation trouble.
    That's a good point, I don't think Bonne tends to hit the ground running to begin with so it'll be interesting to see how he does now

    Powell and Marsh definitely exceeding expectations. They probably wouldn't even play for a National League team if they were released

  30. #718
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Thanks Dom! Nice to see us pick up a new follower Are you from the Czech Republic? Sorry we haven't signed any one from there yet
    Yes I am! And don't worry, you'll eventually get one

    (oh and apologies, I meant to say "yesterday and today", not sure where tomorrow came from )

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  34. #720
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    If only all your games were away from home.

    2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats is a bit of a mixed bag, but no damage done and a tough schedule out of the way. Players are starting to settle into their new level and I have hopes for your traditional second half surge (unless you are leading at new year in which case it's a traditional second half slump)
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  36. #721
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Yeah, I'm starting to wonder if Bonne can't step up to this level but time will tell. Fingers crossed he'll keep his legendary status going!
    Doesn't help the lads confidence to play 1 game then get binned though

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  38. #722
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    • Thought you snuck that Rotheram game with a win there – killer blow
    • Real good performance v “big boys” Villa
    • Fulham attendance – maybe the 2 missing were you and the Ass Man not in seats and on sideline
    • Mixed month – one that is good enough to stay away from relegation. As everyone says – keeping them out still seems to be main problem
    • Tough cup draw but a revenge mission!
    • Did you mean and 8 point gap to bottom 3? If not, how far away from bottom 3?
    • That is fine numbers from marsh fair play
    • Kouyhar was a cult hero – get him back!

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  40. #723
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    If only all your games were away from home.

    2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats is a bit of a mixed bag, but no damage done and a tough schedule out of the way. Players are starting to settle into their new level and I have hopes for your traditional second half surge (unless you are leading at new year in which case it's a traditional second half slump)
    But our form is better at home? The recent Fulham defeat had been our first defeat at home since the opening day.

    We do like to finish strongly but surely even we can't break into the playoffs?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Doesn't help the lads confidence to play 1 game then get binned though
    He should take his chance when it comes, it's as simple as that

    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    • Thought you snuck that Rotheram game with a win there – killer blow
    • Real good performance v “big boys” Villa
    • Fulham attendance – maybe the 2 missing were you and the Ass Man not in seats and on sideline
    • Mixed month – one that is good enough to stay away from relegation. As everyone says – keeping them out still seems to be main problem
    • Tough cup draw but a revenge mission!
    • Did you mean and 8 point gap to bottom 3? If not, how far away from bottom 3?
    • That is fine numbers from marsh fair play
    • Kouyhar was a cult hero – get him back!
    I did mean to the bottom three, sorry! Fixed that typo

    I did like Kouhyar but we don't need him right now. Who knows in the future though!

  41. #724
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    Global Attraction - Season 9 - December
    Nations = 24
    Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Burundi, Canada, Cyprus, England, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, Luxembourg, Montserrat, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Saint Lucia, Scotland, Spain, Surinam, Wales, Zimbabwe


    We're fast approaching the usually busy Christmas season but this year we have just five games on the calendar, with a game coming each week until the end of the month when we'll be playing on the Tuesday night after our fourth successive Saturday game. With all five matches against teams around us, we'll have a very good idea as to where we could end up this season once we come out of the other side.

    In the meantime, though we don't expect to do any business in January, I can now at least scour the shortlist for players who will come to the end of their contracts in the next six months in order to see who may improve our squad in the Summer. The Bosman market is certainly a situation I like to use to our advantage when we have no money to spend. This year could be different given that we do have £7,631,344 in the bank right now but I have no intention of spending that cash, instead hoping that it goes on improving stadium and training faculties instead.

    Championship

    We begin the month against my childhood team Stoke (18th) who I meet as Leamington manager for the first time. The previous game at Bristol Rovers had seen a few changes so for this one, Janoi Donacien, Anfernee Dijksteel, Jak Marsh, Caolan Lavery, Chris Willock, Jay Chapman and Macauley Bonne all start. Willock's first goal of the season puts us ahead but Stoke equalise before we lose Marsh to injury. On comes Tarek Taravel but the game dies down after that explosive start. That is, until the 86th minute when Alex McCarthy is sent off for fouling the striker in a one v one situation. Wouter Pastoor comes on but is unable to stop the penalty going in that wins the game for Stoke.

    Leamington 1:2 Stoke
    McCarthy 5, Dijksteel 6, Donacien 6, Agovic 7, Muleba 7, Sousa Silva 7, Lavery 6, Marsh 6 (Taravel 6), Bonne 6, Chapman 7 (Pastoor 7), Willock 8 (Byrne 6).
    Goals - Willock.
    Assists - Donacien.

    Championship

    With McCarthy now banned for three games, it's fortunate that we had 18 year old Adam Corcoran back in training at the end of last month following his broken collarbone so he can provide backup to Pastoor. Marsh had twisted a knee in the game and was also ruled out for a couple of weeks so Taravel starts for the sixth time this season. Ryan Powell also returns to lead the line with Bonne yet again not taking his chance when starting. Norwich (5th) are another promotion contender and confirm that on our patch in scoring twice in a seven minute spell early on in the game. We slowly build our way back into the game, Panagiotis Michos (5) coming off the bench to pull one back but it wasn't enough to stop us losing a fourth game on the trot.

    Leamington 1:2 Norwich
    Pastoor 8, Dijksteel 6, Donacien 7, Agovic 6, Muleba 7, Sousa Silva 7, Lavery 7 (Smith 7), Taravel 7, Powell 7, Chapman 6 (Byrne 7), Willock 7 (Michos 8)).
    Goals - Michos.

    Championship

    We head to Sheffield Wednesday (16th) with a steely determination to end our losing streak, especially with the knowledge of our hosts being only a point behind us in the table. There's just the one change as Powell drops out of the squad completely with Bonne handed a fourth start of the season to impress and Adam Nelson named on the bench. Unfortunately, we have developed a habit of not conceding first but conceding twice and it happens again at Hillsborough with Willock (2) pulling one back with a timely strike before the break. Two disallowed goals for the Owls is a relief for us but is a situation that we fail to use to our advantage as they finally get a third goal to kill the game off though Donacien does power a header in late on, his first goal for the club since his debut season six years ago!

    Sheff Wed 3:2 Leamington
    Pastoor 6, Dijksteel 7, Donacien 6, Agovic 7, Muleba 7, Sousa Silva 7, Lavery 8, Taravel 6, Bonne 6, Chapman 6 (Michos 7), Willock 9.
    Goals - Willock, Donacien.
    Assists - Lavery, Sousa Silva.

    Championship

    The long journey to Sunderland (9th) comes two days after Christmas where in advance, I have a heart to heart with Bonne to try and get him firing after struggling to make an impact in recent outings. He keeps his place in the team but knows he needs to get going. Meanwhile, a fit again Marsh comes back in for Taravel and Chapman is replaced by Michos in the number ten role. But after 11 minutes, our plans are up in the air when Willock is forced off injured and Chapman comes on after all as Michos goes wide left. Sunderland score four minutes later and we're looking as though we're on for another defeat when Bonne scores just before his number is put up on the board! But the goal is not enough to stop the bad run of defeats as Sunderland then strike a winner in injury time!

    Sunderland 2:1 Leamington
    Pastoor 8, Dijksteel 7, Donacien 7, Agovic 8, Muleba 6, Sousa Silva 6, Lavery 7 (Smith 7), Marsh 6, Bonne 7 (Nelson 6), Michos 6, Willock 6 (Chapman 7).
    Goals - Bonne.
    Assists - Dijksteel.

    Championship

    With Willock out for three weeks with a twisted knee, he is replaced along with Lavery and Michos who are rested as this game comes only a few days after the Sunderland match. Dijksteel also loses his place to Inaki Valenzuela Lozano with the attacking three consisting of Warren Smith, Jamie Byrne and Aaron Drinan. Having finally scored his second of the season in his tenth appearance, Bonne finds the net to break a horrible sequence of conceding first only for Q.P.R. to score twice. We try our best and their goalkeeper picks up the man of the match award as we lose for a seventh match running.

    Q.P.R. 2:1 Leamington
    Pastoor 6, Valenzuela Lozano 5, Donacien 6, Agovic 6, Muleba 6, Sousa Silva 7, Smith 7, Marsh 6, Bonne 7 (Powell 7), Drinan 7, Byrne 6.
    Goals - Bonne.

    Well, aren't we in trouble now? Seven defeats on the trot is an unwanted club record having previously only ever lost three on the bounce before. We're also now eight games without a win which hopefully won't result in another unwanted record as we have previously gone 11 games without a win before, four years ago in our first year in League Two. The high of being 7th seems a long time ago now as we hover just two points from the relegation spots. Do we have enough about us to rectify that?


    It's often tough to pick out individuals during a bad run but in this case, it's clear that Chris Willock has been key this month in scoring his first goals for the club and fighting his way back into the starting eleven. Typically, he was then injured and will miss our next three games including the FA Cup tie against Fulham.


    DJ Buffonge had been an exciting but injury-prone attacking midfielder when we had him on loan from West Brom. After a bright start, he scored just 5 in 25 appearances before returning to the Hawthorns. He featured just seven times for West Brom the following year before Burnley spent £2M on his services last season! He has since only just this season scored his first goal for the club despite 25 appearances since moving to Turf Moor. Ironically, he is out injured again with a torn groin muscle that keeps him out for 3 months. The Antiguan & Barbudan does remain on our shortlist but I'll be surprised if he does make a return to Leamington in the future.


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  43. #725
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    Oh my days - WTF is going on!

    I think you are at a point where your selection policy is going against you as you are now playing teams of a much higher level

    If players do not take a chance for whatever reason they are binned next game and it's a constant change of matchday XI which IMO is leading to a real lack of understanding

    I reckon if you stuck with what you perceive to be your "best XI" then would come out of this but I don't think you'll do that

    So - instead, ya need a big dose of luck, some defenders and GK who want to keep the ball out of the net and someone up top taking the mantle and leading the line


    Worrying times for Hendo...........

    How are the board taking results/general confidence? What was thie inital hope for season - battle relegation it should be which is what you are doing I guess


    DJ - having an awful season at Burnley - I liked him as well

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