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Thread: You Can't Win 'Em All ....

  1. #1

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    You Can't Win 'Em All ....

    Chapter 1 – Don't Cry For Me Argentina

    …. Or can you ?

    This started with what was meant to be a short game, to win something with All Boys and a team of players who were eligible to sign on either a decent young player or hot prospect contract (Get it ? … All Boys … young players … I promise the gags will get better !). Anyway, once I had achieved my goal I was stuck for what to do next. I didn't want anything that would commit me to long game time, but something that I could pick up and play, then put down for several weeks. It was then that another job came up which caught my attention and soon I had the idea of trying to win everything that there is to win, in a single save and with a different club/nation for every title.

    By my initial calculation, we have

    143 domestic club competitions (124 completed)
    9 continental club competitions (7 completed)
    9 international competitions (9 completed)
    161 total (139 completed)

    I'll be keeping track of progress here

    Spoiler!


    That is a total of 161 titles to win and each with a different club.It is not including some of the regional lower leagues, like Sweden, where there might not be evidence of a title won. However, the one and only rule is that I make up and change the rules as I go along. I might decide that Swedish Division 1 East Gotaland is a valuable and much sought after piece of silverware, in which case, the list of competitions will get changed

    This could take some time, but as my game time will be varied, it fits my needs as it will in effect be a series of short saves. Also, this will not be a typical narrative story involving hanky-panky with secretaries, nor will it be a detailed game by game account of my progress. More likely it will be a mega “How are you doing” account, with sometimes several seasons between updates, especially when faffing about in Croatia 2. HNL. I expect more regular updates when battling for La Liga, if I ever get that far. That said, I refer to rule number 1 !

    Without any more of my ramblings, lets bring the story up to date.



    All Boys

    According to the ever reliable Wikipedia, Club Atlético All Boys is an Argentine sports club based in Floresta, Buenos Aires. The institution is mostly known by its football team, which currently plays at the Primera B Nacional, the second division of Argentine football league system. Other sports and activities hosted by the club are basketball, chess, futsal, handball, kick boxing, roller skating, taekwondo and sipalki. The name "All Boys" reflected the youthfulness of its founders, and followed the Argentine tradition of naming football clubs in English, such as Newell's Old Boys (now there's a future challenge), Boca Juniors, River Plate and Racing Club had done before.

    Sadly the club I took over didn't reflect this youthfulness. Of the 20 players in the squad, only 7 were 22 or under and one of them is on loan from Racing. Individually, there were perhaps 2 players who might make a competitive first team. Financially, there was a little bit to work with. I had £625k in the transfer kitty and a maximum wage of £1,800 per week. Time to start wheeling and dealing (© Mark Henderson).

    It is fair to say that I made a bit of a mess of the start. The race to be the Primera B champion is a 24 game sprint, with no room for any error, and I made lots of them. I had transfer listed all the players I didn't want and shifted 11 of them before the start of the season. Unfortunately the replacements were not really of the required standard and it took too long to realise that loan transfers were still available. As a result, we struggled. It took a win on the final day of the season, away to Guillermo Brown, saved us from a relegation that would have brought a premature end to this story. Maximilliano Salas, a striker I had initially dismissed, was the hero (although it does look as if they sell pies in that part of Argentina).




    The Argentine cup didn't fare much better. We beat Boca Unidos 1-0 before going out to Huracán by the same score

    For the second half of the season, Central, the Champions, play no part. The other 24 teams compete for one promotion, initially split into 3 groups of 8, then the 8 best teams go into a knock out. A little wiser and with the benefit of another transfer window, we were much more competitive. The previously leaky defence was now tighter than a gnat's whatsit and that is always a good sign that I'm on the right track.


    That should have been good enough to make the play-offs, but for some reason it was the 3 group winners and the next 5 teams from group 1. Probably some sort of bribe, but the Argentine FA will one day pay for the contempt they showed us. Not that I wanted promotion, it is going to be hard enough to win the second tier ! The lack of games left more time for wheeling and dealing (© Mark Henderson) so that we were ready for the new season. I had 14 players to move on as some of those bought last year were now over age.

    By the first game of the new season, I was happy with the 16 permanent and 6 loan players that made the squad. There was a good core, with cover in every position and I was able to add to that with another permanent and 4 more loans during the league season. (I will confess that there was 1 over age player who was in the reserves and didn't have a squad number on game 1. The was subject to a bid, so I couldn't release him and he left the club the next day. Remember rule 1, and I say that is OK !)

    It was an inauspicious start. A late goal salvaged a 2-1 win at Aldosivi and it was followed by a 2-2 draw at home to Chacarita. However we won the next 4 to go top and despite a defeat to Unión, dropped just 1 more point to win the league with a game to spare.


    No question of who was the star. Leonel Rivas scored for fun from midfield


    Mission accomplished and without much idea what I wanted to do next, I applied for everything available and 24 hours later was offered a job that caught my interest.



    U.C.D.

    Ever helpful, Wikipedia tells us that University College Dublin Association Football Club is the football team of University College Dublin. They play in the League of Ireland. The club, founded in 1895 was elected to the league in 1979 under the management of Dr. Tony O'Neill. Since the 2008 season they have played at the UCD Bowl, also home to the college's rugby team. 'The Students' play in sky blue and navy.

    I like the Irish leagues, short season and 3 cups to break up the routine. I was in, despite “The Students” tricky situation.


    A squad of 42, the vast majority of them mince and possibly the best out on loan to rivals Finn Harps, this certainly required a transfer window of wheeling and dealing (© Mark Henderson). And yes, this guy is the best !


    Financially, the cupboard was bare and I could only offer £250 per week so my hands were very much tied. Despite that, I managed to shift 29 players mostly for free, but I did generate £160k, of which I saw not one penny. There were 2 exchange deals and 14 other players arriving, plus 6 on loan. None were world beaters, but it was a squad that I could work with and the impact of the changes was dramatic. The defence was now solid and the forwards started to find their shooting boots. We rocketed up the table and a win on the last day of the season (this is already becoming a habit) seized second place and the chance of promotion to the top flight. All that was needed was a 2 leg tie with Waterford. That was almost a formality with a goal in each half of the away first leg. Another 2 goals in the first half of the second leg allowed us to cruise over the line. U.C.D will be playing in the Premier League next season


    “Why”, I hear you ask, “did you go for the promotion when anther year in the second tier would be an easier option”. And that is a very good question, for which I have a very good answer. Like many good Irish stories, it starts with St. Peter. An no, this is NOT the one about the Pope arriving in heaven, where St. Peter awaites him. St. Peter asks who he is.

    The Pope: "I am the pope."
    St. Peter: "Who? There's no such name in my book."
    The Pope: "I'm the representative of God on Earth."
    St.Peter: "Does God have a representative? He didn't tell me ..."
    The Pope: "But I am the leader of the Catholic Church ..."
    St. Peter: "The Catholic church ... Never heard of it ... Wait, I'll check with the boss."
    St. Peter walks away through Heaven's Gate to talk with God.
    St. Peter: "There's a dude standing outside who claims he's your representative on earth."
    God: "I don't have a representative on earth, not that I know of ... Wait, I'll ask Jesus." (yells for Jesus)
    Jesus: "Yes father, what's up?"
    God and St. Peter explain the situation.
    Jesus: "Wait, I'll go outside and have a little chat with that fellow."
    Ten minutes pass and Jesus reenters the room laughing out loud. After a few minutes St. Peter asks Jesus why he's laughing.
    Jesus: "Remember that fishing club I've started 2000 years ago? It still exists!"

    This forum is not the right place for that sort of joke and I couldn't possibly tell it here. No, more precisely, this starts with St. Peter's and a 3-0 win in the 1st round of the FAI Cup. The same score saw us past Cork City and then we went one better, beating Wembley (IRL) 4-0 in the quarter final. We had already beaten Shelbourne 4-0 in one of my first league games, so this looked like an easy one. It was anything but and it took a late equaliser from Columbian winger Cristian Montaño to earn a replay.


    I had got him from Port Vale in an exchange deal. The replay started badly with a red card for Dean Casey after just 19 minutes. We held on until half time when with the whistle in the ref's lips, striker AJ Leitch-Smith squared for young German midfielder Yannick Leersmacher and he powered a header past the Shelbourne keeper. The second half was all about the defence and could they hang on Ross Kenny had his troups well organised and behind him Conor O'Donnell got his hands to everything that got to him. We were into injury time. An aimless punt out of defence found AJ in space with just 1 man to beat, he failed, but the loose ball was picked up by McClelland who spotted Sloggett arriving late. He teed it up, Sloggett fired first time and there was no way back for Shelbourne.

    Onto the final and Sligo. It was a game we dominated and took an early lead thanks to right winger Lee Dixon. We were left to rue the missed chances when a late goal earned Sligo extra time. The next goal would be decisive and was scored by Neil Farrugia with 3 minutes remaining of the first half of extra time. Sligo heads dropped, Leersmacher added a third and Euan Murray a fourth to wrap up the cup. The new manager would have European football as well as top flight action to look forward too. I was off as soon as I could find a job.

    I applied for everything, including Stoke City who decided to reappoint Mark Hughes, but the only offer I got was from Greve IF who had already had relegation from the Danish Second Division confirmed. I politely declined. I had to wait until the summer data update and a list of clubs newly promotted from the lower leagues was released. I was heading to Germany.



    Walldorf

    FC Astoria Walldorf is a German association football club from the town of Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg. The club is named after John Jacob Astor, who was born in Walldorf in 1763 and later emigrated to the United States where he became a successful businessman. His descendants, founders of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, generously supported the town of Walldorf and the new football club, formed in 1908, was named Astoria in his honour. Like TSG 1899 Hoffenheim the club is supported by Dietmar Hopp, the founder of software maker SAP. Hopp initiated negotiations to merge FC Astoria Walldorf, TSG Hoffenheim, and SV Sandhausen to create FC Heidelberg 06 with the long-term objective of reaching the Bundesliga. The talks were abandoned in 2005 due to the resistance of the latter two clubs, and the failure to agree on whether the new side's stadium should be located in Heidelberg or Eppelheim.

    But enough of the facts, we have a story to catch up on and Waldorf were in not too bad a state for a newly promoted side. Admittedly the finances could be better, nothing to spend and a £500 per week wage limit, but there were a few decent players. Right back Nico Hillenbrand particularly impressed, especially after he agreed a new deal as a player/coach


    There was certainly a core of a squad to work with, not that a core to work with would ever stop me from some wheeling and dealing (© Mark Henderson)

    In the summer we had 8 departing, with a further 5 leaving in January. That generated £375k, but I was still not able to get my hands on 1 euro of it. I had to make do with free agents and loans. There were 12 new faces for the start of the year and 4 more in January, along with a player assistant and 3 more player coaches who are way too old to actually play. In addition I brought in ne fewer than 14 loan deals. It was a major overhaul would they gel as a team ?

    Not half !

    It was way overkill. The Walldorf steamroller demolished everything in it's path, setting goal scoring and points records on route to a title that was won with 5 games to spare


    With almost a goal a game, Felix Lohkemper was the star, although his strike partner, Antonio D'Angello, on loan from Braunschweig, also bagged 13 and 5 assists.


    Although it doesn't go down as an honour, my history does record a league won and it gets a mention in the achievements, so, referring back to rule 1, this goes down as a title


    The DFB-Pokal campaign was over before it started, probably as soon as the draw was made. Even with home advantage and facing their reserve team there was a gulf in class between Waldorf and Dortmund. The 0-1 final score flatters us hugely and probably reflects their strikers having a personal competition to see who could hit the furthest up row Z of the stand. It is quite impressive that with a capacity of 5,000, we do have a row Z !

    And so my one year stay at Waldorf is over and I'm back on the job trail. My reputation is sitting at 40th in Germany, so I fancy a crack at 2. Bundesliga with a return to wrap up 3. Liga Nord later.


    International Update

    I didn't think I would be doing this for a few updates, but right at the start I used the editor to set all nations playable. I didn't apply for any at the time, but once I realised I was in for a career, I started going for and getting turned down for, everything that was going. And then, halfway through my tenure at U.C.D. Someone was desparate.



    Panama

    It is a funny looking squad to take over. In Gabriel Torres and Ismael Díaz I have 2 good strikers. The central defence also looks to be strong, but there is no width, the midfield is so-so and the less said about the goal-keepers, the better.


    I was given just 2 days to prepare for a friendly in Nicaragua, using the previous manager's squad and which we lost 2-0. With my own men in and a change from 4-4-2 to 3-1-4-2, we thumped Dominican Republic 4-0. And that was all the prep that I got for the 2019 Gold Cup.

    It started brilliantly with a 4-0 win over Costa Rica that we followed up with 4-1 against Canada. 12 goals in the last 3 games ! W were through with a game to spare and that allowed me to put out a reserve team against Dominican Republic and still won 2-1.

    Luck was on our side for the semi finals. While hosts U.S.A were battling with Mexico, we had to face Nicaragua. Winger Armando Cooper bagged 2 in a 5-0 romp.


    Could we go all the way so early ? It was certainly a positive start against the hosts. 10 minutes in and Roberto Chen played the ball out of defence to left winger Amir Waithe. It was a low hard cross tht found it's way through to Armando Cooper who lashed the ball past Ethan Horvath in the U.S.A. goal for the opener. Unfortunately we couldn't build on that lead. Altidor levelled mid way through the first half, then Morris and another from Altidor put them firmly in control. A late strike from Cooper gave us hope, but it was not to be. It was fun while it lasted !


    The good news is that I'll only need to wait for 2 years for another crack at the Gold Cup. In the meantime there have been friendlies which we won against Malaysia (5-0) and Tanzania (3-0) before World Cup qualification started

    Central American Zone Group 1 paired us with Canada and Belize. The winner goes through to the CONCACAF finals and runners up head for a playoff. We took the easy route Canada (4-0) Belize (3-0) Canada (4-1) Belize (4-0). Never in doubt !
    Last edited by Kingsley; 11-06-20 at 12:51 PM.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  2. #2

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    Nice one!

  3. #3

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    Kingsley's back!

    No infringement of the copyright, I see

    Why, oh, why would Stoke re-appoint Hughes

    How many years are you already in then? Going well though. I've always wanted to do something like this but never really have much faith in loading all leagues.

  4. #4

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    I've got the material for another couple of chapters, but first I want to redo the first one. Some of the graphics are a bit big, and the text is lost, so that is my next task.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  5. #5

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    Done. I hope that looks better
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  6. #6

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    Kingsley is back!

    The King is back

    Can't wait to see how it turns out for you, looks rather successful so far

  7. #7
    Dermotron is offline Sir Mergements
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    An honours list in the OP be ideal mate (spoilered of course)

  8. #8

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    Great to see you back mate, a good start so far, that was a thumping title win with Walldorf, when you say you're back on the job trail have you resigned from Walldorf then? Hard luck with Panama and that Gold Cup Final though, easy stuff so far in WC qualification but it's going to get tougher that's for sure.

    Agree with Derm an honours list would be ideal, CF had one and may have it in his story he did of winning everything, or GFRay may have it in his story.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the comments. I have added a tracker to the first post. Unfortunately the img file is being re-sized by postimg so that it looks ridiculously small. while I work out how to sort that, I have added a link to download the full spreadsheet.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  10. #10

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    Chapter 2 – Achtung Baby

    The hunt for a new job was again sorted with the data update and the promotions from the lower leagues. I had wanted a 2. Bundesliga job, but having been rejected by Braunschweig and Regensburg, I realised that was not going to happen and so I turned my attention to the 3 clubs promoted into 3.Liga North. Namely Germania Egestorf, Wuppertaler and …..



    Jena

    FC Carl Zeiss Jena is a German football club based in Jena, Thuringia. Formed in 1903 and initially associated with the Carl Zeiss AG factory, they were one of the strongest clubs in East Germany from the 1960s to the 1980s, winning the DDR-Oberliga and the FDGB-Pokal three times each and reaching the 1981 European Cup Winners' Cup Final (Beaten by Dinamo Tbilisi). Since German reunification in 1990, the club have competed no higher than the second tier.

    The squad I inherited numbered 15, plus 1 who's loan was about to end and another in the final days of his contract (saving me from having to sell him). The star player was without doubt defender Phillip Ziereis who had previously played for St. Pauli.


    Along with him, striker Dominic Bock, midfielder Jan Löhmannsröben and full back Florian Brügmann would all have made my Walldorf side and there were a few others who would have been backups. More interestingly, I actually had a transfer budget, with £1.5m available if I needed it and wages of upto £2.5k per week. After the part-timers of U.C.D and Walldorf, I was back with a full time team.

    Clearly this was again work to be done, but with that sort of budget, a free hand to sign who I wanted would have been a bit too easy. Instead, this would be an all German team supp all German backroom. The scouts were sent out and the wheeling and dealing (© Mark Henderson) got underway. Once again it was a full squad overhaul with 8 players leaving over the summer (another 3 departed in January) which generated an additional £450k in transfer funds. I spent £825 to bring in 21 players, every one of whom carried a German passport. In addition, I made full use of the loan system, bringing in a further 5. There was a Croat, a Kazakh, a Pole, a Serb, a Swiss and a Turk, but every one of them had a grandmother who once owned a German Shepherd and were therefore allowed to carry a German passport. Not all of them were a total success and the squad of 30 became a first team of 25 and 5 that would play with the youth squad for the season. But would it be enough for a more competitive league ?

    More of that later, as we can tidy up the DFB Pokal pretty quickly. Quicker even than last season's first round exit for Walldorf to Dortmund. I had no great expectations of winning the cup with Carl Zeis Jena, but this time we weren't even entered into the draw ! Incidently, Walldorf didn't fair much better than last time, drawn away to Red Bull Leipzig, away. No luck !

    So it all came down to 34 league games for the Jena season. Any anticipation of a competitive season were very soon put to sleep as we thrashed Aue and Kassel in the opening 2 games. In fact it was game 30 before Cottbus finally beat us, and even then they had the help of a referee who sent 2 of our guys off, and we finished the game with 8 men following a late injury. And that was the biggest story of the season, the red cards, the suspensions and the injuries, but the 3. Liga is very week and we just cast them aside, winning the league with ease. At one point it looked like we mike break the goal scoring and points records set by Waldorf, but that defeat scupperd the points record, so we had to make do with just the goals.


    The 2 best signings were both loan players. Tobias Stoßberger, from Ingolstadt led the line and bagged 19 goals, 4 assists and 7 man of the match awards, but I think that he was just overshadowed my Maximillian Thiel, from Greuther Fürth. In 27 games, he scored 11, got 11 assists and 9 man of the match awards.

    Fortunately that is the end of Germany's 3. Liga, I can't imagine any reason to return and the standard is so low that I won't be in any hurry to come back. Instead, in the next part of the story I will become a Kaiser …..

    No, this is not the story about Kaiser Wilhelm leaving his court laughing out loud. One of the courtiers asks why he is laughing, and the Kaiser says he just heard the funniest joke in the world. The courtier asks him to tell it. “I cannot,” the Kaiser says, “I just sent someone to the Konzlager for telling it!”.

    To tell that one in this forum would be totally inappropriate.

    If you'll let me finish my sentence, I will become a




    Kaiserslautern

    1. Fußball-Club Kaiserslautern e. V., also known as 1. FCK, FCK or 1. FC Kaiserslautern, is a sports club based in Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate. It is internationally known, especially through its football division. In addition, the club also operates in several other sports.

    On 2 June 1900, Germania 1896 and FG Kaiserslautern merged to create FC 1900. In 1909, the club went on to join FC Palatia (founded in 1901) and FC Bavaria (founded in 1902) to form FV 1900 Kaiserslautern. In 1929, they merged with SV Phönix to become FV Phönix-Kaiserslautern before finally taking on their current name in 1933.

    As a founding member of the Bundesliga, FCK played from 1963 to 1996 uninterrupted in the top division. They have won four German championships, two DFB-Pokals, and one DFL-Supercup, and historically is among the most successful football clubs in Germany, currently occupying tenth place in the All-time Bundesliga table. The club's international performances include reaching the Champions League quarter-finals in 1999 as well as two participations in the UEFA Cup semi-finals. Kaiserslautern won the German championship in the 1997–98 season as a newly promoted team, which is unique in German football. After a six-year spell in the second tier, in 2018 they were relegated to the 3. Liga for the first time.

    Since 1920, Kaiserslautern's stadium has been the Fritz-Walter-Stadion, named after the captain of the West German national team who won the world title in 1954.

    Actually, the story of getting the job is not quite so simple. I've decided on a strategy to work through the German leagues. Winning the Bundesliga should give my reputation (currently 21 in Germany and 832 in the world) a bost to go onto other things. The first to come up was Greuther Fürth, just relegated from Bundesliga and I was offered and accepted. Having built a team around Maximillian Thiel (yes he is that good), the game crashed on 1st July. I could do nothing to get past that point, but I did have a save from my last day at Jena and with that I could holiday past. I went back to that save and rejected the offer from Greuther Fürth, didn't get offered the Bochum job, but did get Kaiserslautern, newly promoted from 3.Liga South.

    My first job would be to break a rather repetitive run of league finishes


    But with a £7.5m transfer budget and £9,750 per week available on wages, I swooped to sign up a lot of the players that I had previously signed for Greuther Fürth. How history could have been different.

    I probably didn't need to do as much as I did. The 22 man squad had some pretty good players already on the books, including Denis Linsmayer who, other than a yard or 2 of pace, maybe the best player I've managed so far.


    He was one of 7 who avoided my cull as I brought in a further £2.4m for new players. At £1.2m. Robert Leipertz transfer to Bochum became my first 7 figure transfer deal. With the budget available, I was astonished at the class of player willing to join a team that had only just been promoted and was everyone's favourites to go straight back down. Just some of the names were

    Trezeguet, the 58 times capped Egyptian winger
    Felipe Gutiérrez, the 48 times capped Chilean midfielder
    Barnabás Bese, the 36 times capped Hungarian right back
    Tim Väyrynen, the 15 times capped Finnish striker
    Jonas Lössl, the Danish keeper with 2 caps who was superb in the Huddersfield challenge
    Willian Arão a Brazilian midfielder with a single cap

    Possibly the most eye watering of all was the loan deal for Federico Palacios Martínez who brought some serious fire power to the attack


    In total I spent £2.9m (Trezeguet at £650k the highest individual) which built a 23 man first team and 9 in the reserves in case of emergency. The squad was perfectly set up for the 4-4-2 that has so far done well in the German leagues. This season would be no different. The press suggested that we were “Steamrollering” the league. In fact it was more like Kaiser Wilhelm and his Panzer tank division, with Palacios Martínez the lead Panzer. With a hat trick on the last day of the season, he bagged 30 from his 29 starts, which was surprisingly not enough to win the golden boot. That went to 1.FC Köln's Bas Dost with 33.

    It was enough to seal the championship with 4 games to spare, won with a 4-0 win and another Palacios Martínez hat-trick away to runners up St. Pauli.


    Part of me is interested to see how this squad would get on in the Bundesliga. Judging by the cup run, it might do quite well. A narrow 1-0 win at Braunschweig was followed up by a 3-2 thriller at Bochum. Finally a home tie, but against top flight Mönchengladbach. They attacked from the start with a very offensive 3-4-3 formation. They had more of the possession and created the bulk of the chances, but Tim Väyrynen scored midway through the first half, and that was enough to get us to the quarter final.

    Hannover at home looked like one of the easiest options, but twice we fell behind and twice we drew level. Going into the last 7 minutes and Pawel Stolarski, my second choice right back, picked up a loose ball 20 yards out. He needed a touch to gain control, picked his spot and thumped home the winner. We were in the semi final and the mighty HSV, who were not as mighty as the once were and in the process of being relegated. It was better than the alternative where Bayern played Werder Bremen. HSV even looked like a relegated team with no confidence. 4-5-1 at home to a team from a lower league did not show much ambition. They got what they deserved. Palacios Martínez (2) and Gutiérrez scored our goals in an emphatic 3-1 win. But could we prevent Bayern from landing a 3rd consecutive domestic treble (they were also heading for back to back Champions Leagues.

    Douglas Costa, Gündogan, Rojo and Khedira are just some of the names added to the glittering stars already on their books. The best I can say is that it was not a slaughter. In truth, there was only one team that looked like winning and Munir El Haddadi's second half strike proved to be enough, although we have to be thankful to the linesman who put his flag up to chalk off strikes from Tolliso and Müller. Runners up should still get us a Europa League spot, so whoever takes over will have quite a nice job to step into.


    My task is to find a club that can compete with Bayern, Dortmund and Leverkusen who have been the top 3, in that order for the last 3 seasons. Some of the other 1. Bunesliga clubs also look a bit tasty.


    International Update



    Panama

    As we left it, Panama had comfortably qualified for the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers semi finals. We found ourselves in a group with Bermuda, arch rivals Cost Rica and Honduras. The top 2 go through to the 6 team league that decides CONCACAF's representatives in the World Cup finals. Nailed it. 6 wins out of 6, 18 goals scored. No problems and Costa Rica join us in the final 6. Friendlies against Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and Haiti were all won and this happened while I was on the day job with Jena. On current form, we were looking good for the finals and one of the favourites for the Gold Cup which started in the Summer and was the key target. This made it a very tough decision to make when I was given an opportunity with another Nation. But in the end, the other job looked better.



    Costa Rica


    There is no loyalty in this game. Total mercenary and at the end of the day, Costa Rica had the better players. Most notably in goal, where either Keylor Navas or Estebán could do a better job with one hand tied behind their back. Up front, Andy Reyes and John Jairo Ruíz had goals in their boots while I could also call on Joel Campbell Cristian Gamboa , Bryan Oviedo or Celso Borges. It is true that the depth dropped off, probably more than Panama, but a full strength first team was streets ahead …. on paper.


    I ha just 1 friendly, a 5-0 thrashing of Honduras, before the World Cup qualifiers started up again, and I wondered if I had made a huge error in leaving Panama. It started well enough, beating El Salvador 3-0, but then we went down 2-3 to Jamaica and were held 1-1 at home by U.S.A. Looking more closely though, we had dominated both games but were thwarted by Goal Keepers. Navas had a stinker against Jamaica and Bill Hamid the game of his life in the U.S.A goal. In the final game before the Gold Cup, we travelled to qualification leaders Mexico. It was a tense first half with Costa Rica marginally on top, but unable to get that decisive chance, until the brink of half time when Borges headed in a Campbell cross. Straight after the break, Ruíz made it 2-0, but back came Mexico, 2-1. Christian Marín looked to have sealed it in the 73rd minute, but Mexico replied seconds later for 3-2. Was it a low cross ? Was it an audacious shot from an angle ? Who cares ? Borges celebrated …. 4-2 ! We were back on track and full of confidence for the Gold Cup


    That win was a massive boost and the Gold Cup draw made even better reading. We avoided the big guns and started with Belize and Guatemala, before taking on Panama. Even better, Mexico had not even been invited ! Without them, the field looked very open. As expected, the group came down to the head to head with Panama. After beating Belize 3-0 and Guatemala 5-0, we had the goal difference advantage, so only needed a draw. Panama came out fighting and we just picked them off. Marín (2) and Campbell made it a perfect qualification, with no goals conceded. Then we avoided U.S.A. Only Haiti between us and the final. Reyes, Ruíz (2) and Campbell put us in total control before an unsightly incident in the final minutes saw both sides reduced to 10 men. Marín the man dismissed for us.

    Meanwhile, U.S.A. needed a late equaliser and extra time to put away Honduras. Would that be significant in the final. Would it also be significant that Marín would not face any suspension ? Certainly The States side looked lethargic and suffered an early set back when defender Matt Hedges limped off. We exploited the reshuffle of their defence. Campbell broke down the right wing and crossed to where Hedges would have been. Instead of the defender, Celso Borges was waiting, unmarked, and tucked away an easy opener. 12 minutes later and we had breathing space. Borges gets credited with the assist, but it could have gone very wrong as he turned his man inside our own penalty area then fed Ruíz who had started his break. Just one man to beat and he was through on the keeper. He rounds him, rides the late lunge and taps home the second. With one hand on the cup, the second hand joined it when Borges got on the end of a Reyes cross to make it 3-0.

    18 goals scored, none conceded. Emphatic !




    I thought that either the U.S.A. or Mexico jobs might come up to give me an outside crack at the World Cup. They didn't and so I resigned to concentrate on Kaiserslautern. A couple of mid-ranking European jobs came up which I didn't get and wasn't sure where they would take me, then the Asian qualifiers ended. I didn't get Japan, China or South Korea, but I was back in the International management game.



    Kuwait


    There were no matches scheduled
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  11. #11

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    Great story to read mate! Keep iT up!

  12. #12
    Craig Forrest is offline Manager
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    I don't read stories, but this caught my eye as it's the same as my "Win Everything" unofficial challenge.... previous versions crashed, but I've secretly started again (I'm on v3 at the moment)..... 13 or 14 years in and I've won
    24 titles, both club and international

    Keep up the good work

  13. #13
    Craig Forrest is offline Manager
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    I also restarted on 3.9.68 vanilla, as all the updates/patches/etc... caused crashes at various points of the game

  14. #14

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    Thank God for them German Shepherds aye Smashed it with Jena mate, shame you weren't in the cup to see how you fared against the teams in the leagues above, but it did allow you to concentrate on the league.

    Outstanding stuff with Kaiserslautern, a hell of a job to land with their reputation and their reputation and you made the most of it smashing another league campaign and a fantastic run to the German Cup Final, just a shame you couldn't go one step further, hopefully you can land a decent Bundesliga team, your exploits certainly merit it.

    From Panama to Costa Rica, you swine! (Although understandable). Fully justified though, with a great Gold Cup campaign, who knows if it may have been different if Mexico was there though? (Probably not). What tournaments do Kuwait play in? The Asian Cup?

  15. #15

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    Congrats on the international scene! A good one to tick off nice and early.

    Finding it easy going on the German scene as well imo!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Forrest View Post
    I also restarted on 3.9.68 vanilla, as all the updates/patches/etc... caused crashes at various points of the game
    I'm using the latest update and Saturn patch. I've done a few of the alphabet challenges and not faced any problems, so I think it is quite solid now. That said, I'd be very surprised if there are no issues with competitions getting hung.

    3.9.68 will give you quite a few more continental cups, and all the Welsh competitions. I used to like smashing pub teams with Cardiff/Swansea (or better, smashing Cardiff/Swansea with a pub team )

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Congrats on the international scene! A good one to tick off nice and early.

    Finding it easy going on the German scene as well imo!
    This was all done before I decided to do it as a story. I'll try to make it less of a goal fest once I catch up.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  17. #17

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    Chapter 3 – I am a doughnut



    Kaiserslautern

    With no Bundesliga jobs immediately available, Kaiserslautern continued to employ me for a second season. There was a moment of drama when FC Bayern sacked Maurizio Sarri in the close season. He had only won the league and cup double for the second season running and this year added the Champions League, so I guess the sacking is justified. My eyes lit up at the prospect as I was into the top 5 managers in Germany and had to be a contender. The job went to CSKA's Julian Nagelsmann so it was as you were and I started the new season in the hot seat.

    It was a very quiet summer. Although I had around £17m to spend, there were no departures and just 2 arrivals, both strikers to replace Palacio Martinez and Tim Väyrynen who left at the end of their loans. I was tempted to get Palacio Martinez back, but I wanted him as a target for wherever I ended up. The first of the incomers was Lucas Röser, a 28 year old released by Darmstad who looked OK, but a 20 for finishing convinced me to give him a try. The other was Cameroon international Joel Tageue who cost £875k from Cruziero. After all the wheeling and dealing (© Mark Henderson) of previous seasons, it was quite a change, although for how long.

    As the season started, it quickly became apparent that we were not quite good enough to challenge, but never at risk of being caught in any relegation scrum. That could not be said for RB Leipzig who sacked André Schubert after just 11 games. I applied and as they were still in the Cup, I was tempted, but when I looked at the squad, it was ageing and very poor. It needed a complete overhaul and there was little money available to do that. I rejected the offer as there were other jobs at risk.

    Europa League kicked off and neither Carrick Rangers nor Vorskla (Ukraine) offered much resistance. Marseille on the other hand are a class act and we went down 2-1 at the home leg. I was then offered my next chance. M'gladbach did provide me with the funds I needed to build a competative squad, but they were already out of the cup and there was another coming very close behind. They were a big team and would be certain to still be in the cup as they played Kaiserslautern in the next round !

    After 14 games of the league season, it was time to leave Die roten Teufel. The league table showed us in a rather flattering 3rd place. We had been beaten by Dortmund and Werder Bremen and had yet to play Bayern or Leverkeusen. Nevertheless, there should be enough points on the board to save them from relegation this season.


    But could my new club catch them ?




    Hertha BSC

    Hertha, Berliner Sport-Club e.V., commonly known as Hertha BSC and sometimes referred to as Hertha Berlin, Hertha BSC Berlin, or simply Hertha, is a German association football club based in the Charlottenburg locality of Berlin. Hertha BSC plays in the Bundesliga, the top-tier of German football, after finishing first in the 2. Bundesliga in 2013. Hertha BSC was founded in 1892, and was a founding member of the German Football Association in Leipzig in 1900. The team won the German championship in 1930 and 1931. Since 1963, Hertha's stadium has been the Olympiastadion. The club is known as Die Alte Dame in German, which translates to "The Old Lady".

    Berlin is also the setting for John F Kennedy's speech that included the quote "Ich bin ein Berliner", literally translated to “I am a doughnut” (ein Berliner is a jam filed doughnut). As I am now part of the set up, I guess that I am also a doughnut.

    It was already a star studded squad. To name a few of the top players I inherited, I'd have to include Baláz Megyeri, Ognjen Vranjes, Salif Sané, Leroy Fer, Sergio Córdova, Hakan Calhanoglu, Valentino Lazaro, Nicolai Jørgensen and Sandro Wagner. We had the basics for a good team, but it is fair to say that the quality did drop off and some of the older players were starting to lose their physicality.


    To counter that, I had £101,867,805 in the bank, with £23.5m to spend on any one player. If I had to buy the Bundesliga title, I had the resources to do it, but first I had to get Hertha out of relegation trouble. Quite how Joe Zinbauer managed to gain just 2 points in 15 games with this squad is beyond my comprehension. That said, I immediately added a goalkeeper, a right wing and a striker as the loan window was still open. There were 4 games scheduled before the winter break, which would give me a chance to assess the squad. VfB Stuttgart (A), Nürnberg (A), RB Leipzig (H) in the league and Leverkusen (A) in the cup all ended in 2-0 wins. The cup win was particularly significant as upto now I had not laid a glove on any of the top 3.

    Now for the wheeling and dealing (© Mark Henderson) but this would be a bit different. Upto now I was looking for quantity. This time it was quality, but first, the departures. I released on day 1 about half a dozen spotty teanagers that were never going to make it. A further 8 departed, generating just over £20m. About half of that came from Mitchell Weiser's £9.25m move to PSV. I didn't particularly want to lose Weiser, but that was a ludicrous bid and with him going it settled my indecision on formation. I would drop my favoured 4-4-2 and resort to a 3-1-4-2 that fitted better with the squad. I might change it in the summer, but I'd need too many full backs to do it now.


    9 new faces arived on permanent deals, with a total of £10m being added to the Chairman's credit card. Every department was strengthened, but the most significant names were Matej Vydra who cost £3.4m from Palace and would partner Jørgensen up front. Defender John Anthony Brooks came from Leverkusen for £2m and would be a naturally left footed central defender. The American would also be team captain. Dorian Antonetti arrived from former club Kaiserslautern for £1M as I was desperate for a left winger

    My plan was to pair him Matej Vidra with Nicolai Jørgensen up front was a bit of a fail. Neither looked like scoring, so I dropped Vydra into central midfield where he came alive. The stars of the new signings played further back and it was the new central defensive unit of John Anthony Brooks and Angelo Fulgini (along with Nicholas Stark who I inheritted) who stole the show. They were the proverbial brick wall and very little got past them, which is just as well as I had no confidence in any of my goalkeepers, even the emergency guy I got on loan.

    The wins started to rack up and relegation fears a distant memory. Unfortunately we drew Bayern in the Cup semi final and suffered from the predictable outcome. That was the end of any potential trophy hunt for this season, but we worked our way up the league, and then, the game that told me we were really onto something. “Das wunder von Berlin”


    The mastermind was 18 year old defensive midfielder Sebastian Albrecht who was already on loan from Palace. Those 3 points helped to propel Hertha BSC upto a very creditable 6th place finish. A long way off the top 3, but with Europa League football and a great deal of confidence for next season. I know where we are strong, midfield and central defence and where we need to invest, goalkeepers, full backs and strikers. I have my targets lined up and the finances to land them. It could be a busy summer !



    International Update



    Kuwait


    I should have done my homework before accepting the job. We had no friendlies scheduled and were not invited to the World Cup qualifiers. I'm not sure what would have happened if we had been invited. The squad is seriously shit and it says something when your best player is a Turkey. I'm sure my local indian had that on the specials board at Christmas


    I was looking to move on, but nothing was coming up. I was offered the Samoa job, but that was no better than Kuwait, so I held fire, until …



    Peru


    The squad reminded me a lot of Panama, but a bit better. I had 2 good young strikers in Pedro García and Jair Aguirre and a very solid midfield, even if the wingers Christian Cueva and André Carrillo had seen better days. The defence was solid if unexciting and the goalkeepers a nightmare. I only had 3 friendlies scheduled, the first of which I used to convince some fring players to commit their future to Peru instead of their joint nation. We still beat Venezuela 3-1 and followed it up with wins over Equador and Gabon, both by 2-0. After new year we had 2 more friendlies, Venezuala (again) which we won 3-0 and Armenia who we beat 4-1. Next game is the start of the Copa América where we have been drawn with Argentina, Columbia and Ecuador in the group stage (China and Qatar have bizarrely been invited to the other 2 groups). I suspect that this might be a step too far for Peru (I'll be happy to get through the group as a lucky loser), but might it might lead to a bigger job in South America in the usual post tournament merry-go-round.

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  18. #18

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    I thought the headline meant you'd seriously cocked up somewhere and thought you'd gotten relegated with Hertha BSC

    Strong finish to the season though, in a very good position to challenge the dominance of Bayern imo.

    Glad you've left the useless Kuwait! Peru should represent a greater chance of achievement, that's for sure! Bring on the Copa America (tough group though)!

  19. #19

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    I also thought the title meant you'd messed up

    Great turn around with Hertha, just a shame that massive win over Bayern Munich couldn't have happened in the Cup Semi Final but we can't have it all that easy really Best of luck with the wheeling and dealing (© Mark Henderson) in the summer.

    As Mark says a no brainer to move on from Kuwait to Peru, are Kuwait only entered in the Asian Cup then?

  20. #20

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    Chapter 4 – Hot Time In The Town Of Berlin



    Hertha BSC

    The goal, to win the league, or the cup, at any cost. Europa League was not an immediate target, but if we progress, I might become a bit more interested. With £140m to spend and upto £24m on any single player. Not that it was certain that I would be kicking off with Hertha.

    Firstly, the German national job came up, I would have been very tempted if it was offered, but instead they gave it to Leverkeusen boss Heiko Herrlich. That left a vacancy perfect for me, but it was given to Roma's Eusebio di Francesco. Dortmund then sacked Carlo Ancelloti and again I was interested, only for Pochettino to opt to leave Spurs. In the past year I have not been offered the jobs at Bayern, Dortmund or Leverkeusen. Time for them to pay !

    I would be putting together the best squad that I possibly could. But first I had to make some space, so 9 players were sold and a further 4, including 34 year old Leroy Fer, released. I didn't make much money, around £6.5m, but I didn't need to with that much in the bank. It also removed the remaining fullbacks, commiting me to the 3-1-4-2 that had worked well and beaten Bayern last season. The first team squad now comprised of

    Keepers
    1 Thomas Dähne Carried over from last season and did OK in the 4 games when needed
    21 Timo Horn I wanted a good keeper and got one of the best. How he has not been capped is a mystery. The £2.5m paid to Basel looks like a bargain
    31 Thomas Didillon £650k capture from Lille. The 28 year old Frenchman will be my backup to Horn

    Defenders
    4 Alexander Barboza Once capped, 29 year old Argentine who cost £1.2m from River Plate
    5 Niklas Stark 29 year old German who will be starting his 9th season with Hertha. Very stron last season and can play in midfield.
    6 Boy Kemper 24 year old Dutch defender who cost £750k from Ajax. Probably used mostly as a backup, but still a very good player
    20 Angelo Fulgini 27 year old French signing last season who was brilliant on the right of the back 3. He can also play in midfield
    22 Abdulahi Nura 17 caps for Nigeria and £1.5m paid to Roma, but another who will probably be a backup for defence and midfield.
    23 John Anthony Brookes 49 caps and 3 goals for U.S.A. Outstanding player last season on the left of the 3 and also the club captain.
    25 Ruben Gabrielsen 32 year old Norwegian with 6 caps. Naturally left footed, so a backup to Brookes. Cost £1m from Molde.
    34 Linus Walqvist 7 times Swedish international who signed on a Bosman in January, just for a bit of extra cover !

    Defensive Midfield
    15 Sahverdi Cetin 23 year old Turk who has 8 caps andsigned on a Bosman following his release from Frankfurt
    16 Sebastian Albrecht Youngster who was on loan from Palace last year and completed a £1.5m transfer at the end of his loan. At 18 he won't need a European Squad selection

    Midfield
    12 Fabian Benko Free scoring midfielder going into his 6th season with the club. He is a bit of a fans favourite.
    18 Matej Vydra 53 caps and 11 goals for Czech Republic, he was a revelation when moved from attack to midfield last season. He will be used as a midfielder this year, but with the option to go forward in an emergency
    26 Fredrik Midtsjø Norwegian international with 10 caps who was released by AZ.
    30 Kerim DemirbayGerman international attacking midfielder who was unsettled at Lille and moved for £4.3m
    35 Kevin Stöger Austrian international who can play central midfield or wide left. Signed on a Bosman last season and proved to be very versatile

    Wingers
    7 Hakan Calhanoglu The Turkish international is a firm fans favourite and was much in demand by the top Bundesliga sides in the summer. He was going nowhere and can play left wing, central midfield or up front if needed. He is worth playing for his setpieces alone !
    8 Sergio Córdova Venezuelan right winger who showed a lot of talent, but also had a few poor games. Needs to show more consistency in his second season.
    11 Georgios Manthatis Uncapped Greek who can play either flank and also entering his second season. The 24 year old showed a lot of promise at the tail end of the season
    27 Levin Öztunali 28 year old Turk who has 1 cap and can also play on either flank. He doesn't stay anywhere for long and has played for mor German clubs than me. £4m prised him away from Nürnberg
    37 Dorian Antonetti Young Italian purchased in January from former club Kaiserlautern. He was a star there and I had no hesitation in paying £1m for him


    Attackers
    10 Nicolai Jørgensen Lucky so survive as the Dane, with 79 caps and 27 goals was very poor last year. He has now had physiotherapy on a back problem, so I hope for better from him
    29 Lorenzo Gonzalez 24 year old Swiss, with 12 caps and 3 goals £4.3m was invested to get him from Man City and we beat several other clubs to bag his signature. I have very high hopes
    32 Ragnar Ache The only other survivor from last seasons attack. The german looked very good when he came on as a sub last season, so I hope he can continue that into the new one.
    33 Michael Ikuepamitan £10m is a lot to spend on a 21 year old Nigerian who's only experience is in China and with the U21 team. He does look like the real deal. They are already calling him the new Yakubu Aiyegbeni !

    Including some waifs and strays in the Amateur team, where we have a further 21 caps ! That was a total of £30m spent. But how much does the Bundesliga (or DFB-Pokal) cost ?

    Dropping with tradition, we'll start with the story of the cup. No this is not the one about the guy who went to the doctor complaining that whenever he drinks a cup of tea his eye hurts, the doctor brought him a cup and asked him to drink. When he finished the doctor told him “from now on try taking the spoon out first”. We certainly won't be telling that one here.

    This story started with a first round tie at non-league Stuttgarter Kickers. Ragnar Ache bagged 4 of his own in a 6-1 mauling. 2nd tier Hoffenheim did little better, going down 5-0 in the second round. Then it got tougher. Again away, we had to play Köln, where we raced into a 4-0 lead within half an hour. Into the second half and they pulled 1 back from the kickoff, but then had a player sent off in the celebration. But they had the crowd behind them 4-2, then a second red card and this time a penalty which Jørgensen converted. But Köln were not done and the 9 men made it 5-3 and a very nervous end !




    The semi final, again away, at VfB Stuttgart was much more regulation. We came from behind with a goal each side of halftime to take a 2-1 win and a semi final against Dortmund, but with home advantage for the first time. Isak scored for the visitors aftrer 90 seconds, and then they decided to park the bus. We hammered their goal. Antonetti equalised just before the hour mark with a magnificent solo run, then, with 15 minutes left, Benko released Demirbay who took it early and found the top corner for a magnificent winner. Bayern await in the final, but more of that later !

    The Europa league early rounds didn't provide much resistance. Zorya Luhansk (Ukraine) went down 6-1 in the first leg, so we played a second string at home and still won 1-0. IFK Göteborg suffered a similar fate. 4-0 and 2-0 the scores from each leg. It normally gets hared with the last 32 and dead it was a tense finish against St. Mirren. Having won the first game 5-0 and going 4-0 up in the second with 25 minutes still to play, the tension was whether we could break double figures. Sadly not ! But now it did get harder.

    Espanyol will feel unlucky to have lost the first leg 2-1 as it gave them a mountain to climb. They attacked, got one of the goals they needed, then conceded 3. We had a quarter final. The first leg in Rome was very even and it took a late Gonzalez strike to cancel out Roma's opener and set up an exciting home leg. There was no addition to the score going into the last 20 minutes when Abel Ruiz found the net for an away goal …. that was cancelled out by the linesman's flag ! Öztunali picked up the ball from the freekick, beat 3 men and thumped the ball into the net for 1-0 to us. No flag from the linesman, just applause.


    Roma attacked, but were caught on the break by Ache, who hit the bar, with the rebound dropping for Midtsjø to head into an open net. It was tough on Roma who deserved to pull one back, but that is all they got as Jørgensen headed our 3rd in the final seconds.

    You won't get a much easier European semi final than Kayserispor, but they did make it very hard. They got an away goal and were only trailing 2-1 at the start of their home leg. It never looked like being enough, and we were on the ropes for much of the first half, until, with the whistle in the ref's lips, Gonzalez was left unmarked and volleyed Antonetti's cross to silence the crowd and kill any hopes that the Turkish side had.

    How would we do against Chelsea in the final where we return to the Olimpico di Roma ? But more of that later !

    Now for the league, which was always the top prize. It started with a scene setting 3-1 win in Köln where Vydra bagged a brace and we had 2 players stretchered off injured.


    Despite the constant queue of players going into see the physio team, we went on a 9 game winning run, which created a break from the trailing pack. Bayern had a shocking start, losing 2 and drawing 2 of their opening 9, while Dortmund started worse with a draw and 2 defeats in their first 3 games. Stuttgart were the only challengers, but they soon drifted off the pace. By the New Year, we were still unbeaten and 12 points clear of the rest. It was then a question of when, not if and the Bundesliga title was wrapped up with 3 games to spare following a 2-0 win in Stuttgart.


    1931 is the last time that Hertha BSC had been champions of Germany. It had been an amazing season. Ragnar Ache was the surprise top scorer with 25 from 28 starts, but Gonzalez was not far behind him on 22 from 34. Vydra (15), Demirbay (12), Öztunali(12) and Calhanoglu (11) also made double figures. Öztunali topped the assists with 14, followed by Antonetti and Ikuepamitan with 10 each. The player who really caught my eye was John Anthony Brooks who led by example and had the defence sychronised in everything they did.


    But what about the DFB-Pokal and Europa Leagues ? Quite frankly, who gives a shit ? Within 24 hours of lifting the league title, I had a new job. I now had to plot a way to beat Hertha ! Just for the record, Hertha beat Chelsea 3-1 (Benko, Ache, Stark) to win their first ever European title then beat Bayern 1-0 (Antonetti) to make it a domestic double. What sort of monster have I built ?

    However that is new gaffer Sergy Semak's story as I am heading for the Rhine valley.



    Düsseldorf

    Düsseldorfer Turn- und Sportverein Fortuna 1895 e.V. is a German association football club based in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Fortuna played the 2017–18 season in the 2. Bundesliga, the second tier of the German football league system. They finished the season in first place, winning the 2. Bundesliga championship and earning promotion to the 1. Bundesliga where they will play in 2018–19. Founded in 1895, Fortuna entered the league in 1913 and was a fixture in top-flight play from the early 1920s up to the foundation of the nationwide Bundesliga in 1963. 2018–19 will be their 24th season in the Bundesliga.

    Just 4 games of the season remained for me to look over the squad, which did need a bit of a make over. We won all 4, but there were clearly holes to be filled, In goal, at full back and up front. The finances were very similar to Hertha, £140m in the bank and £25m on any single player. It was a job I had done before, and I knew how much I needed to spend to buy the league, except it was the cup that I wanted ! Was it as easy to buy a cup ? In single tie knock outs, it only needs a superkeeper in 1 game to end your dreams.



    International Update



    Peru


    The 23 man squad was named. Despite concerns about his stamina, veteran winger André Carrillo kept his place in the squad, but it was the young guns of Jair Aguirre and Pedro García who would be targetted with getting the golas, and supported by Italian veteran striker Gianluca Lapadula who had decided to utilise his Grandmother's Peruvian passport at the age of 33. Ther is no tougher tournament opener that Argentina, except perhaps Argentina at the altitude of Quito

    Argentina Not surprisingly, the tournament favourites, who had Pablo Dybala as their talisman after the retirement of Messi, attacked from the whistle. We defended deeply, but mainianing the structure of our 4-4-2 at all times. In goal, Roberto Rivas was having one of his better games and with players tiring, the first half ended at 0-0. The second half was more of the same, until a couple of substitutions brought on fresh legs for the last half hour. 3 minutes after the change, Cueva, moved from left wing to right, advanced down his flank and sent in a low cross. García got free of his man and fired low under the keeper's dive. Peru went wild. The lead lasted 5 minutes. Vietto's header finally beating Rivas, and that is how it ended. Final score 1-1


    Colombia If we had rode our luck in the opener, we used up a get out of jail free card in this one. Colombia had taken a deserved lead midway through the first half and were dominating all aspects of the statistics. In a rare break, Morales had a run at Tello and was sent flying by a late tackle. The referee pointed to the spot, although Colombia protested it was outside the box. Cueva held his nerve and sent Ospina the wrong way for the equaliser. 6 minutes later and an incident Ospina will want to forget. First he miskicks a goalkick straight to García. One-on-one, García goes round the keeper before being halted by a rugby tackle. Straight red card for Ospina and Cueva beats the new keeper from the spot. Final Score 2-1

    EcuadorResults elsewhere meant that we had qualified and Ecuador couldn't, before the kickoff. I made 11 changes to let players recover for the quarter final and the result was a nil-nil that flattered both sides. The less said the better Final Score 0-0

    Venezuela A place in the semi-final at stake and as we had beaten Venezuela in all our friendlies, I took a risk and rested some key players. It was a totally one sided game that remained a contest only because of their keeper. Save after save was miraculously completed. He was beaten once in each half. Cueva pounced on a save that Olses failed to hold and bagged his 3rd of the tournament. With their only shot on target, Rondon found an equaliser, but justice was done before the finger nail biting with a García goal. It was similar to the Ospina incident, the fluffed goalkick, García going round the keeper, but this time, no rugby tackle, just an open net. final score 2-1

    Argentina I'm not sure how, but we had somehow earned ourselves a semi-final. A look at their line up before the kick-off and I knew we had half a chance. They had not rested any players and started every game with the same 11. Dybala looked less than 80 percent fit, and some were even worse. We were back in Quito, which is no place for half fit players. That was obvious when after 4 minutes Simeone limped off. It was still a big task as Argentina piled forward, but were unable to break down a rock solid back 4. The first half remained goalless. With the first attack of the second period, Morales found Ramirez in midfield. He in turn released García who could have had a pop himself, but instead fed Flores who had come in from the left wing and sent a low shot past Rossi to open the scoring. I'm not sure we deserved it, but I'll take it. After that it was backs to the wall. Vietto did find the net but was clearly offside and Pavón hit the crossbar with a freekick. But don't take that away from a famous victory. Peru were in the final of the Copa América !Final score 1-0


    Uruguay In the other semi final, Uraguay had come from behind to beat Brazil 4-3, with 2 goals in the last 3 minutes. How would their nerves be holding ? They looked jaded, and started slowly. We won the ball from a Uruguay free kick and captain Tapia launched a long clearance for García to chase. He got on the end and cut inside his marker before finding the corner with a low drive. Could we dare to dream ? Uruguay came alive and it was 37 year old Luis Suárez who created the equaliser. His cross was met by de Arrascaeta who placed his header wide of Rivas. They had us for the taking, but inexplicably took their foot off the gas. As a result, an entertaining half ended 1-1 with all to play for. Like in the first half, Uruguay started slowly. Aguirre had a chance to run down the left flank. He beat a couple of Uruguayans and spotted Cueva screaming for the ball on the opposite wing. The diagonal pass was a thing of beauty. Cuevas didn't have to change his stride. He took it first time and nearly ripped the net out of the goal posts. But could we hold on ? Uruguay put on another forward, but some how they were all getting in each others way. Shots flew wide of the post or over the bar. Rivas pulled off a couple of wonder saves the clocked moved slowly to full time. The ref blew his whistle Final score 2-1

    We had only gone and bloody done it ! Copa América Champions !

    That was before Hertha BSC had even kicked a ball this season. Since then, not a single international job has come up. Zilch ! Peru though have grown in confidence. Comfortable friendly wins over Niger and Bolivia were followed by a draw in Paraguay. Then the World Cup qualifiers started and what a start. Torres and Cueva scored as we tore Brazil apart and we followed that with a 4-0 demolition of Chile and a 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia to top the embryonic table.


    How far can we go before I find a new job ?
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  21. #21

    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    29,427
    Massive update!

    Plenty of deals done, hopefully sets you up nicely for a title challenge. Some recognisable names too.

    The doctor joke

    Congrats on making it to the final. It just had to be Bayern though...

    Doing well in the cups, Europa League final too!

    Bayern dropping points at the start can only be a bonus, especially with you starting well.

    Well, you stormed it! Bayern in 4th as well. Gives hope for the cup final perhaps...

    Not that your there for it

    Busy season indeed, moving on after the title win but rightly so in terms of the aim of the story.

    So you need to win the cup but you could have stayed and won it with Hertha? Did I miss something? Is it a restriction to move on once you've won something?

    Great stuff in landing the Copa America! The OP shall need updating

  22. #22

    Join Date
    05-03-12
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    Ribble Valley
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Massive update!
    Plenty of deals done, hopefully sets you up nicely for a title challenge. Some recognisable names too.

    So you need to win the cup but you could have stayed and won it with Hertha? Did I miss something? Is it a restriction to move on once you've won something?
    Just wait for the Düsseldorf team
    Yes, I'm going to try to win every trophy with a different club/nation, so only the first thing that they win counts
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  23. #23

    Join Date
    05-03-12
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    Tracker updated
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  24. #24
    ebfatz is offline Social Media Bod
    Former Holy Trinity Member
    Stories Mod

    Join Date
    02-03-12
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    Read the whole thing.

    Flying through Germany picking up those trophies and working wonders at international level first with Panama and then Peru.

    Another great read from Kingsley!

  25. #25

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,399
    Outstanding stuff with Hertha mate, shame you didn't stay for the German Cup and Europa League Finals but understandable given the story/challenge, and a similar situation with Dusseldorf to what you had with Hertha, hopefully you can have the same run in the cup and obviously this time you'll be sticking round for the final. If say the Bayern Munich job comes up can you move having not won anything with Dusseldorf or now you are with Dusseldorf you can't move till you've won something with them?

    A fantastic achievement in winning the Copa America, always a bonus to be able to rest players for the knockout stages after qualifying from the group stages after two games, for some reason recovery in international competitions isn't great in 01/02, despite being alright in 00/01. To close out with wins over Argentina and Uruguay is particularly nice, we never complain when we get easy draws but I think it's more special when you beat strong opposition, shame no other jobs have come up yet but I'm bet you're glad you didn't get that Germany job earlier in the season.

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