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

  1. #2276

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Easy looking CL group - if you read carefully to see it - I always a ike a pic

    Christ - rocky start to season

    Goals leaked everywhere!

    Element of bedding in I guess

    Can you show a pic of your perceived first team XI and formation please?



    Like the look of the young fella in reserves - a far cry away from the standard you have now though in your team!

    Again - brillaint looking signings in Rose and the Swiss
    Yes, got to read it to see it. It's a story after all, not a picture book!

    Formation has not changed in the entire duration of the 24 seasons at Leamington. It's the 4-5-1 that you'll already be familiar with. No point doing a perceived XI as the team is picked by form so it changes game by game.

    We didn't sign a Swiss. The other new signing is from Kazakhstan.

    Quote Originally Posted by James_y View Post
    Rose looks awesome apart from you'd probably like better movement (off the ball) from a winger
    He still looked to be the best of all AMs we had on our shortlist. Hopefully he'll settle in well.

  2. #2277

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    doh - the swiss was shipped out

    we look forward to visualising in our heads the CL group tables again

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  4. #2278

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    Nah mate, he wasn't Frey is the Switzerland player, he's still with us!

    The Hungarian is the player who left.

  5. #2279

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Nah mate, he wasn't Frey is the Switzerland player, he's still with us!

    The Hungarian is the player who left.
    FFS - I've had a mare today - I'll get me coat.................

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  7. #2280

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    It started so well in spotting who the CL opponents are

  8. #2281

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    Global Attraction - Season 24 - September
    Nations = 32
    Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Wales


    Well, the transfer window ended with good news that we'd managed to secure all three of our main targets in Oscar Ponce, Yury Borisov and Lars Rose who replace Tobias Kruger, Muhammed Gungor and Mark Farkas, costing us 68,000,000 in the process. We recouped 26.3M from the sale of Kruger and Farkas, which has left us with 90M in the bank. We're looking in good shape there. Interestingly, since we changed our policy in the transfer market, I'm now the 4th biggest spender in the county with 485M spent in 24 years. At the other end, we've received 424M.

    On the pitch, things haven't started too well with three defeats in our opening four games. I'm extremely disappointed to have lost to Tottenham and Sheff Utd, teams who could be up there in terms of challenging for a league title which I am desperate to win back. In addition, losing to Man Utd is always a sore point after they did the double over us. However, I can only hope we'll find a settled XI before long to put a run together. Defending has certainly been a weak point and we must find a solution soon as we not only have four league games to play this month but the first three games in the Champions League too. It's a good job we've got a big squad to choose from!

    Meanwhile, one pundit claimed that we do not know what our best XI is. While I'm keen to point out that our selection policy has been the same for 24 years and has brought us success, it's true that we don't always have a settled XI. If one was to see who the best XI is in terms of valuation, you'd be seeing the following every week:


    Football doesn't work like that at Leamington though!

    A busy month begins with caps picked up for 17 players. However, Nemanja Susic has returned to us with a dead leg and will be out for a week after being subbed after just 2 minutes for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    The transfer window may be closed but Liverpool surprised us with a 57M, 68M and 82M bids for Jurijs Jaunzems, which were rejected. Juventus then get involved in tabling a 98M offer and Barcelona bid 117M! Hopefully he won't be the next player to declare that he wishes to move on! Brighton (5.5M) and Bristol City (9M) also had offers turned down for Marko Kovac. Man City also try their luck with a 16M offer for Unai Torres and Southampton offer 19.25M for Philipp Gren.

    There was no interest in Stefan Hopfer, Marko Simic or Dean Quinn who are the only ones available to move on.

    Meanwhile, we have registered our Champions League group and the unfortunate eight to miss out on the 25 man squad are Raffi Ferreira, Tiago Andre Luz, Noel Kone, Jose Machado, Moritz Hoffmann, Hopfer, Mansour Faye and Simic. Graduates Dominic Reed and Carl Dyer qualify as under 21 players to make it 27 options.

    We shall also play host to Brentford next month after the EFL Cup draw is made, who are 17th in the Championship.

    Premier League
    Borisov (21) and Rose (29) are handed debuts at Brighton as part of 4 changes. Despite conceding 4 at Bramall Lane, Kovac and 3 of his defenders stay in the team but concede six minutes after Antonio Bruno had put us ahead. The Italian striker goes on a mission in the second half though, scoring another THREE goals before substitute Chang-Su Choi makes it 5:1, who had replaced an injured Jonas Van Houdt. Not since Caolan Lavery 18 years ago has a player scored four in a match for the club!

    Brighton 1:5 Leamington
    Kovac 9, Kone 7, Frey 6, arr 7, Dyer 7, Ngama 7 (Quinn 7), Rose 8, Luz 7, Bruno 10 (Gren 7), Borisov 9, Van Houdt 7 (Choi 7).
    Goals - Bruno x4, Choi.
    Assists - Borisov, Rose, Ngama, Dyer, Luz.
    MotM - Bruno.

    Champions League Phase 1 Group F
    The Ukrainians are becoming familiar faces to us after we defeated them in the Quarter Finals of the Europa League on our way to glory and did likewise last year in the Round of 16. This time we meet in the Champions League for the first time with 3 changes including a not quite fully fit Susic starting and a not quite fully fit Marek Bilek on the bench who have both been injured. It's a gamble and one that somehow pays off as Susic manages to get through the full 90 as Chris Barr's first ever goal puts us ahead before Musaba Ngama rounds off a solid performance. What pleases me is Borisov and Rose both carrying on from where they started in their debuts, assisting a goal each.

    Leamington 2:0 Dynamo Kyiv
    Kovac 8, Nikolaou 7, Frey 7, Barr 9, Dyer 7, Ngama 9, Rose 8, Susic 7, Bruno 8, Borisov 9, Torres 7 (Reed 7).
    Goals - Barr, Ngama.
    Assists - Rose, Borisov.
    MotM - Ngama.

    Premier League
    Susic deserves a rest as Luz comes back in to play against Everton in a tough league tie. Kone and Reed, making his first start, also return as 3 changes are made again. This time, Rose becomes a scorer, opening his account for the season before Reed scores his first professional goal in only his 5th appearance for the club! Everton are hit by an injury nightmare with 3 players forced off in the first half and it allows us to see the game out with ease, as Ngama strikes again to make it 3:0.

    Leamington 3:0 Everton
    Kovac 7, Nikolaou 7, Frey 7, Barr 7, Kone 6, Ngama 9, Rose 9, Luz 8, Bruno 8, Borisov 8, Reed 8 (Torres 7).
    Goals - Rose, Reed, Ngama.
    Assists - Frey, Ngama.
    MotM - Ngama.

    Champions League Phase 1 Group F
    We're off to Norway to play Rosenborg where we'd won a friendly five years ago. We've a few tired legs for this one as it takes place two days after beating Everton so there are 8 changes for what ought to be a routine win. Choi gets us started early on with a goal before assisting Torres and Philippe Diakhaby in the second half.

    Rosenborg 0:3 Leamington
    Kovac 8, Ponce 7 (Olsen 8), Barr 7, Carvalho da Silva 7, Dyer 6, Quinn 9, Choi 10 (Borisov 7), Susic 7, Gren 8, Diakhaby 9 (Jaunzems 6), Torres 8.
    Goals - Choi, Torres, Diakhaby.
    Assists - Quinn, Choi x2.
    MotM - Choi.

    Premier League
    The team is looking fresh and hungry as we head to Chelsea but our troubles away, winning just once in three games so far (four if you include the Community Shield) seem to continue as Chelsea lead 1:0 after a first half where we had just one shot on target. But Borisov chooses a perfect time to shock Stamford Bridge with an equaliser three minutes into the second half. We don't really improve from there though and I'd be the first to admit we're glad to go home with a point.

    Chelsea 1:1 Leamington
    Kovac 8, Nikolaou 6, Barr 5, Olsen 6, Dyer 5, Ngama 6, Choi 8, Luz 6, Bruno 7, Borisov 8, Rose 6 (Diakhaby 7).
    Goals - Borisov.
    Assists - Choi.
    MotM - Borisov.

    Champions League Phase 1 Group F
    Schalke 04 are a team we beat on away goals despite a red card on our way to Europa League glory. Would they be out for revenge in our 3rd group match? It looks to be a frustrating night for us as we probe and test the German defence but finally find a way through in the 78th minute thanks to Bilek, before Quinn makes it 2:0 just two minutes later who is actually named Man of the Match despite only coming on in the 76th minute!

    Leamington 2:0 Schalke 04
    Kovac 7, Nikolaou 7, Frey 7, Barr 8, Olsen 8, Ngama 8 (Quinn 9), Choi 8, Bilek 8, Bruno 8 (Gren 9), Borisov 7 (Rose 6), Diakhaby 7.
    Goals - Bilek, Quinn.
    Assists - Ngama, Gren.
    MotM - Quinn.

    We're in prime position to qualify halfway through Phase 1. It's certainly been much easier than facing Milan, Olympiacos and Real Madrid!



    Premier League
    Our third home game of the season in the league actually sees no changes despite playing in Europe in midweek. It's a quiet game in all honesty as we aim to keep our home record at 100%. Bruno helps us to do just that, heading in a cross from Bilek in the 50th minute.

    Leamington 1:0 Watford
    Kovac 7, Nikolaou 7, Frey 7, Barr 6 (Hopfer 6), Olsen 6, Ngama 8 (Quinn 6), Choi 7, Bilek 9, Bruno 8, Borisov 7, Diakhaby 7.
    Goals - Bruno.
    Assists - Bilek.
    MotM - Bilek.

    From 13th at the end of last month, we're now 6th after an undefeated month that has seen me pick up the Manager of the Month award! We will actually play 3 of the bottom 4 teams next month as well as Man City, so I feel next month will tell us more about our challenge for the title!


    Do you Remember...?


    Afif joined us for free in our fourth year in the Championship and lasted just a year before retiring at the age of 32. The Qatari remains our only player from Qatar to have played for the club and helped us to a 11th place finish.

    Starts = 23 (#163).
    Sub Apps = 10 (#93).
    Total Apps = 33 (#152).
    Goals = 5 (#101).
    Assists = 2 (#143).
    MotM = 1 (#126).
    Yellow Cards = 2 (#129).
    Red Cards = 0 (#147).
    Int. Caps = 3 (#87).
    Int. Goals = 1 (#45).

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  10. I think we can safely say Leamington are back on form!

    If your only "bad result" is drawing at Chelsea then you know it's a good month...

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  12. #2283

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    True, although Chelsea have finished in the top 4 once in the last 12 seasons

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  14. #2284

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    A good month!

    And after reading it carefully and adding up all the CL points and visualising a table in my head, it's right there at the end after all

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  16. #2285

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    Haha! Yeah Redders and Kingsley did ask after last season if I could include a CL table going forwards so thought I'd better do.

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  18. #2286

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    Just catching up and looking good again after a dodgy start.
    Fingers crossed that this will be the year to get the title back.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  20. #2287

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    Kovac in the sticks and we're right back in the groove now

    Flying in CL - group is very kind - likey to be tougher next time around

    Flying up the league as well - goals aplently!

    Love the CL table pic and cheers for the formation/highest valued XI pic

    Leamington on the march once agin

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  22. #2288
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    Lars Rose looks like an absolute beast imo.

    Although we all know what happened I pinned my colours on a Leamington winger.
    Wonder how old Montiero is doing since he's left?

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  24. #2289

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  26. #2290

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    Just catching up and looking good again after a dodgy start.
    Fingers crossed that this will be the year to get the title back.
    Here's hoping! Just wary of Man Utd and some of the world class squads that are in the league now. But we're close to getting there too after all the money we've spent in the last few years!

    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Kovac in the sticks and we're right back in the groove now

    Flying in CL - group is very kind - likey to be tougher next time around

    Flying up the league as well - goals aplently!

    Love the CL table pic and cheers for the formation/highest valued XI pic

    Leamington on the march once agin
    Yeah, pleased that Kovac had a chance to come in and is taking it. Needs a solid run of games, and for offers to stop coming in for him and maybe he'll sign an extension at the end of the season. If not, we could be cashing in!

    Quote Originally Posted by ebfatz View Post
    Lars Rose looks like an absolute beast imo.

    Although we all know what happened I pinned my colours on a Leamington winger.
    Wonder how old Montiero is doing since he's left?
    He started well along with Borisov but got a couple of 6's now.

    I posted about Monteiro at the end of last season, he barely played for Spurs when moving there last January. Just checked and he's not featured at all this season.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZanSnake View Post
    Good month indeed!!
    Can't complain!

  27. #2291

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    Global Attraction - Season 24 - October
    Nations = 32
    Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Wales


    After going through a seven game (but unbeaten!) month in September, we're set to repeat it this month. Four league games, three against teams in the bottom 4, will hopefully put us in a better position. For me, it's all eyes on Man City away though where our form has not been amazing. We'll also play two games in Europe to hopefully guarantee qualification early to Phase 2, whilst hosting Brentford in the EFL Cup.

    We mentioned last month that a bidding war seems to have started for our club record signing, Latvian Jurijs Jaunzems. Arsenal have gotten involved, with a whopping 141M offer. It's not quite near the record of 180M we'd received for Joao Paulo Moura but we've no intention of letting the right winger go, despite just one appearance from the bench. We also rejected another offer of 169M!

    Birmingham also saw a rejected 4.5M offer for Marko Kovac who has been great since coming back into the team. It sees Man City try their luck at 17.75M later in the month which is of course rejected, as is Bournemouth's 8.25M bid for Raffi Ferreira and a 9.5M offer from Watford for Sean Hooper. Southampton also got involved with a 20M offer for Philipp Gren, Bournemouth try for Jonas Van Houdt at 13.5M and Everton bid 15.5M for Musaba Ngama!

    Meanwhile, negotiations failed with a number of clubs when trying to persuade clubs to up their offer to 19M to recoup the money we'd paid for Dean Quinn.

    During a short international break, we had 15 players in action for their country with our new signing Lars Rose finding himself banned after picking up two yellow cards in the World Cup Qualifying stage for Germany. Like last month, we had a player returning injured as David Olsen bruised his shin.

    Premier League
    Hosting 17th placed Norwich, we know a win could see us up to 2nd if other results go in our favour. For me, I'm not concerned about that as we name an unchanged XI, preferring that we just keep our 100% home record going in the league. Musaba Ngama has been inspiring of late, and he puts us ahead before a quick fire brace from Antonio Bruno that puts him on 11 goals in 11 starts in all competitions. After the break, we get ourselves another 3 goals thanks to Marek Bilek, Vasilios Nikolaou and Bruno getting his hat-trick!

    Leamington 6:0 Norwich
    Kovac 8, Nikolaou 8, Frey 9, Barr 8, Olsen 7, Ngama 8 (Quinn 8), Choi 8 (Van Houdt 7), Bilek 9, Bruno 10, Borisov 9, Diakhaby 7 (Rose 7).
    Goals - Ngama, Bruno x3, Bilek, Nikolaou.
    Assists - Borisov, Frey x2, Ngama, Quinn.
    MotM - Bruno.

    Premier League
    With Olsen returning from international duty at this point injured, along with Bilek being warned for looking unfit in a training session, two changes were required as Oscar Ponce and Nemanja Susic replaced them for our 2nd vs 3rd clash. Both teams were going at it in the first half, but despite ending with twice as many changes, it was Man City who found the breakthrough first. Both teams ended up having 5 chances on target overall but the defence had been punished and we were unable to find an equaliser, even Bruno!

    Man City 1:0 Leamington
    Kovac 7, Nikolaou 6, Frey 6, Barr 6, Ponce 5, Ngama 6, Choi 6, Susic 7, Bruno 6 (Gren 7), Borisov 7 (Rose 7), Diakhaby 7 (Van Houdt 7).

    Champions League Phase 1 Group F
    We're off to Germany and it gives us the chance to freshen things up. Ponce had not taken his chance at Man City, so in comes Moritz Hoffmann whilst Quinn and Philipp Gren both take over from Ngama and Bruno who perhaps need a break anyway. However, like at the Etihad, we're not able to break down a resolute German back four and are forced to settle for a point, the first time we've done so in Europe this season.

    Schalke 04 0:0 Leamington
    Kovac 8, Nikolaou 7, Frey 6, Barr 6, Hoffmann 6, Quinn6 (Ngama 6), Choi 6 (Reed 6), Bilek 7, Gren 6, Borisov 7, Diakhaby 6 (Torres 6).

    Premier League
    Believe it or not, this is only our 6th meeting against Preston who we last faced in League One 15 years ago! After something of a wobble in the last couple of matches, I'm pleased to welcome back Olsen after injury and there's a surprise start for academy boy Dominic Reed on the right flank. Susic and Bruno also return for Bilek and Gren. Preston have not picked up a point since being promoted and sadly, for them, that continues with 3 goals in the first half from Bruno, Susic and Yury Borisov.

    Leamington 3:0 Preston
    Kovac 8, Nikolaou 7, Frey 7, Barr 6, Olsen 8, Quinn 9 (Ngama 7), Reed 7, Susic 8, Bruno 9, Borisov 8 (Choi 7), Diakhaby 7 (Van Houdt 7).
    Goals - Bruno, Susic, Borisov.
    Assists - Quinn x2.
    MotM - Quinn.

    Champions League Phase 1 Group F
    We jet off abroad again to play in the Ukraine where victory will guarantee qualification with a game to spare, as Dynamo Kyiv are 5 points behind in 3rd place. It's a return to his old stomping ground for Borisov as an own goal give us a fortunate start before a brace from Bruno ensures we're through!

    Dynamo Kyiv 0:3 Leamington
    Kovac 8, Nikolaou 7, Frey 9, Barr 7, Olsen 7, Quinn 7, Reed 8 (Rose 7), Bilek 7, Bruno 9, Borisov 7 (Choi 7), Diakhaby 8.
    Goals - own goal, Bruno x2.
    Assists - Diakhaby.
    MotM - Bruno.



    Premier League
    Ipswich are 18th in the table and the third team we've faced in the bottom four this month. Another victory would go a long way to making up for defeat to Man City. We make just the one change as Borisov makes way for a return of Rose. We don't start well, conceding in the first half and are thankful for a string of saves from Kovac to keep it at 1:0. Having said that, we have plenty of chances of our own and it's Rose who puts us back on level terms just two minutes into the second half before a late, late surge on the Ipswich goal mouth sees Bruno win us the game!

    Ipswich 1:2 Leamington
    Kovac 8, Nikolaou 7, Frey 7, Barr 8, Olsen 6, Quinn 8, Rose 9, Bilek 6 (Luz 6), Bruno 8, Reed 7, Diakhaby 7 (Borisov 8).
    Goals - Rose, Bruno.
    Assists - Quinn, Rose.
    MotM - Rose.

    EFL Cup Third Round
    The EFL Cup seems to be cursed for us as we've been knocked out of the Third Round four times in the last six years! The other two times, we were beaten in the Fourth Round. It's an embarrassing state of affairs for the club, who did reach the Quarter Final twice prior to those last six years. Brentford, 13th in the Championship, have never beaten us in five games under my management, the last one coming 13 years ago. We have a fully fit squad to choose from and as always, select our best side by form. It sees one change again as Philippe Diakhaby, having an unusually quiet season to date, is dropped as Borisov returns. It takes 20 minutes to score and comes from Bilek. Sadly, we're not able to add another but it's a clean sheet at least and we're through.

    Leamington 1:0 Brentford
    Kovac 7, Nikolaou 7, Frey 7, Barr 7, Olsen 8, Quinn 8 (Ferreira 6), Rose 7, Bilek 8, Bruno 7 (Gren 7), Borisov 7 (Diakhaby 7), Reed 7.
    Goals - Bilek.
    Assists - Quinn.
    MotM - Bilek.

    After a slow start, we're slowly creeping up the league as we move from 6th to 4th. It could have been a lot different of course as we failed to stop Man City from beating us whilst Man Utd continue to lead the pack. We don't face them until the last game of the calendar year so must start picking up more points from teams around us if we are to challenge for the title.


    Do you Remember...?


    Oh, now we have a true legend of the club! Signed from Kayl-Tetange in readiness for my fourth season at the club, a year where we finished 2nd in the National League, Agovic went on to play for another 11 years at the club as we climbed right up to the Championship, retiring when helping us to win the Championship title! His 12 years at the club have only been matched by Adam Nelson and Adam Corcoran and only Jak Marsh has served longer. Though he does not hold the record for the most appearances for the club, he does hold the record for the most starts, making a whopping 337 appearances overall. He even has the most yellow cards as he showed a ruthless side to his game and loved a goal from set pieces too. Will we see his like again?

    Leamington Statistics
    Starts = 320 (#1).
    Sub Apps = 17 (#54).
    Total Apps = 337 (#2).
    Goals = 24 (#15).
    Assists = 7 (#62).
    MotM = 8 (#15).
    Yellow Cards = 50 (#1).
    Red Cards = 2 (#5).
    Int. Caps = 36 (#2).
    Int. Goals = 1 (#18).

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  29. 6-0 against Norwich!!!

    Another great month and 4 points off top this stage of the season is nothing.

    Champions League has been a cruise, no goals conceded so far is an impressive record!

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  31. #2293

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    Yeah, I do feel disappointed that we've lost 3 games already in the league but at least we're not miles behind!

    Loved it in the Norwich match!

    Yeah, we've not conceded more than 1 goal for something like 14 games now Since THAT 3:0 surrender to Sheff Utd.

  32. #2294

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    A good month, although you were right about City. But a good month nonetheless!

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  34. #2295

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    All we can do now is keep picking up wins and hope we limit the losses!

  35. #2296

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    Champions league progress without conceding
    Defence has been superb, but United even better
    Good to see Kovac getting a good run
    Bruno is a beast and fast becoming a club legend

    Agovic .... Total legend !
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  37. #2297

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    Was glad to give Agovic a name check to bring some memories back of a legend

    Yep, really pleased with Kovac. I really hope that he gets a solid run of games this season to potentially sign a new deal. I'm just wary of those vultures making offers unsettling him!

  38. #2298

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    Agovic - proper clubman and lives long in the memory

    Man U with TWO goal conceeded

    Great CL stuff - qualified and no goals let in - wow!

    Bids everywhere for ya players - any unhappy with them being turned down?

    Defence all had an off day v City

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  40. #2299

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    One of those legends in the early stages that you won't forget, have that affinity with those sort of players instead of the new faces as you well know

    Yeah, some players getting unsettled. Inevitable, isn't it!

  41. #2300

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    Global Attraction - Season 24 - November
    Nations = 32
    Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Wales


    We've come through a busy period of 14 games in just two months but are set to play only five games in November, which will hopefully help us to continue our momentum in going five games unbeaten, tasting defeat just once in the last 14 games. In fact, we've conceded just 4 goals in those games as well with Marko Kovac earning 10 clean sheets! He's certainly looking like he's enjoying his football again and hopefully we'll continue giving him enough game time to be open to a new contract at the end of the season.

    Having been set to play five games, we will actually play six after the EFL Cup draw was made for the Fourth Round, pitting us against Man Utd of all teams!! We do at least have home advantage though, and I can only hope we beat them to put some doubt in their minds about defending their Premier League title.

    But on the eve of our first game of them month, we suffer a blow as Antonio Bruno twists his ankle in training to rule him out for a month! The Italian striker will be a massive miss for us as he has scored 16 in 16 starts! I can only hope Philipp Gren is up to the task of replacing him, with a 32 year Matthew Lafferty waiting in the wings to provide some cover too.

    Also, obviously, there are bids for my players again which have all been rejected. Jurijs Jaunzems (Barcelona - 44M, Fulham - 53M, Arsenal - 63M, Juventus (76M), Milan (91M), Unai Torres (Bournemouth - 11M), Philippe Diakhaby (PSG - 37.5M) and Sean Hooper (Watford - 9.5M, 11.5M).

    We did finally come to an agreement to move Dean Quinn on though. It'd been a long time coming after we dug our heels in, forcing clubs to up their bids from around 11M to the 19M that we'd spent on Quinn to recoup our money. The Irish defensive midfielder will be joining Arsenal in January, and we'll start the hunt for a replacement immediately.

    A whopping 18 players also featured for their countries during the international break in the middle of the month. Thankfully, we had no injuries to worry about this time.

    Premier League
    After our EFL Cup win over Brentford, there's some tired legs as six players are rested in addition to Bruno's injury, handing starts to Mansour Faye, Moritz Hoffmann, Stefan Hopfer, Nemanja Susic, Chang-Su Choi, Philippe Diakhaby and of course, Gren. Arsenal are down in 11th but still pose a threat to us, but I hope home form will help us to swing it. Indeed, David Olsen managed to power in his first goal of the season to put us ahead to put us on the path on a fantastic win given there were so many chances. However, Arsenal scored in the 84th minute to end our 100% record at home so far this season.

    Leamington 1:1 Arsenal
    Kovac 8, Hoffmann 6, Faye 6, Hopfer 7, Olsen 7, Quinn 7 (Ngama 7), Choi 7, Susic 7 (Luz 7), Gren 7, Borisov 7, Diakhaby 7 (Machado 7).
    Goals - Olsen.
    Assists - Hopfer.

    Champions League Phase 1 Group F
    There were those who thought we'd field a weak side given that qualification is already assured in the Champions League. However, I don't believe in such things and will always field my strongest side for every game. That saw those rested last time out return to he team and young Dominic Reed put us ahead. Rosenborg equalised in the 75th minute to set up a repeat of the Arsenal scoreline until an own goal was forced over the line to make it an unbeaten Phase 1 campaign! The next stage will be a lot tougher as we meet with Real Madrid once again along with Ajax and Dortmund.

    Leamington 2:1 Rosenborg
    Kovac 7, Nikolaou 6, Frey 7, Barr 6, Olsen 6, Quinn 8, Rose 8, Bilek 7 (Susic 7), Gren 8, Reed 8, Diakhaby 8 (Torres 6).
    Goals - Reed, own goal.
    Assists - Olsen.
    MotM - Reed.



    Premier League
    Back to league action and to our local rivals away, Reed is replaced by Yury Borisov despite scoring in Europe, and we welcome back Susic for Marek Bilek. Gren has not scored yet this season in 4 starts but thankfully does so here after just 2 minutes. Olivier Frey also opens his account for the season after 38 minutes which should have handed us a comfortable lead, only for Birmingham to score just before half-time and our recent record of only conceding once in the last 16 games goes out of the window as they then tie in the 53rd minute and then go ahead in the 67th minute. I'm furious on the sidelines, keen to avoid a repeat of the Sheff Utd debacle, and goals from Diakhaby gets us level again before Bilek puts the lead back in our favour. Just for good measure, Gren scores in injury time!

    Birmingham 3:5 Leamington
    Kovac 7, Nikolaou 7 (Faye 7), Frey 8, Barr 6, Olsen 6, Quinn 9, Rose 9, Susic 6 (Bilek 8), Gren 9, Borisov 10, Diakhaby 7 (Reed 7).
    Goals - Gren x2, Frey, Diakhaby, Bilek.
    Assists - Borisov x3, Rose, Quinn.

    Premier League
    While I'm disappointed to have lost our 100% win rate at home this season after the Arsenal match, we are at least still unbeaten and hopefully we'll add another win against the Saints. Two changes sees Bilek and Reed back in and it's the Czech midfielder who puts us ahead in a fast paced start indeed, as Lars Rose then gets a brace and Reed makes it 4:0, all before half-time and there was even a missed penalty from Bilek too. The goals dried up after that, but it didn't matter as the job was done.

    Leamington 4:0 Southampton
    Kovac 7, Nikolaou 7, Frey 7, Barr 7, Olsen 8, Quinn 8, Rose 9 (Diakhaby 6), Bilek 8 (Susic 7), Gren 8, Borisov 9, Reed 8 (Van Houdt 7).
    Goals - Bilek, Rose x2, Reed.
    Assists - Borisov x2, Gren.
    MotM - Rose.

    Champions League Phase 2 Group B
    So thanks to the EFL Cup and Phase 2 of the Champions League, we do actually play 7 games after all this month as we return to Europe with a home game against Real Madrid, who we were unable to defeat last year. There's just the one change from the last game as Borisov is rested and Diakhaby plays in the middle, having largely been ineffective from the left flank. He lasts 47 minutes before being taken off. The players tire after holding them to 0:0 until the 56th minute, and another two changes are made but with 19 minutes left, Carl Dyer gets injured to leave us with 10 men and only 3 recognised defenders. By this point, Real Madrid had scored 7 minutes earlier and added a second in injury time to condemn us to a first home defeat of the season in front of a crowd of just 14,374!

    Leamington 0:2 Real Madrid
    Kovac 7, Nikolaou 6, Frey 7, Barr 7, Olsen 7 (Dyer 6), Quinn 7 (Ngama 6), Rose 7, Bilek 6, Gren 7, Diakhaby 6 (Van Houdt 7), Reed 7.



    Premier League
    The last league game of the month is at home to Fulham, once old foes of ours who we have beaten four times in a row. We aim to keep that going with the return of Borisov along with Faye and Hopfer who replace Nikolaou and Barr. I'm left wondering if the constant succession of games are leaving us tired, as we look slow and laborious to begin with. Ultimately, Faye gives away a penalty which Fulham score with 6 minutes on the clock and it's down to an older face in our squad to dig us out of trouble, as Jose Machado equalises with the last kick of the game!

    Leamington 1:1 Fulham
    Kovac 8, Faye 6, Frey 6, Hopfer 6, Olsen 6, Quinn 7, Rose 8, Bilek 6, Gren 7, Borisov 7, Reed 7.
    Goals - Machado.
    Assists - Rose.
    MotM - Kovac.

    EFL Cup Fourth Round
    Manchester United... We once went 7 games unbeaten against them, before they swung it around with 8 games unbeaten themselves. We won our last league game against them but that didn't matter as they won the treble, and then went on to beat us in the Community Shield. They have only lost once again in the league this year, conceding just 5 in 15 games. The defence have been struggling of late, so 3 changes are made at the back and Susic also returns in midfield. A win is of course, necessary, for us to plant the seeds of doubt in the minds of Man Utd and despite a decent first half, it's still 0:0 and that trend continues up to the final whistle to take us into extra-time. But just before that final whistle, Man Utd were left with NINE men having used all 3 substitutes when one of them is sent off for pushing Quinn in the chest! It opens them up for us, and Barr finds a way through in extra-time to send us through to play Stoke away in the Quarter Final!

    Leamington 1:0 Man Utd
    Kovac 7, Nikolaou 7 (Olsen 6), Frey 7, Barr 8, Kone 8, Quinn 8, Rose 7, Susic 7, Gren 6 (Lafferty 7), Borisov 7, Reed 7 (Machado 7).
    Goals - Barr.
    Assists - Susic.

    After two unfortunate draws, we find ourselves still in second place as Man Utd surprisingly drop to 2nd in the league. We have made slight progress though, as we are 5 points from the top as opposed to 6 this time last month. It's a shame our defending has gone out of the window though!


    Do you Remember...?


    Our first six figure signing had been the 120,000 forked out to Melbourne City to sign Lithuanian goalkeeper Evan Alexandrow-Ridley. The goalkeeper spot had been a problem position for us until his arrival in the 4th season, but unfortunately, he wasn't very good, conceding an awful 44 goals in just 26 starts! After four years, we made a loss on the goalkeeper who joined Barrow for free.

    Leamington Statistics
    Starts = 26 (#153).
    Sub Apps = 1 (#190).
    Total Apps = 27 (#175).
    Clean Sheets = 5 (#12).
    Conceded = 44 (#11).
    MotM = 0 (#203).
    Yellow Cards = 0 (#205).
    Red Cards = 1 (#62).
    Int. Caps = 0 (#116).

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