Page 3 of 26 FirstFirst 123456713 ... LastLast
Results 51 to 75 of 647

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

  1. #51

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,734
    That story by rapinoe looks fascinating. I'll need to read it (after catching up with yours of course)
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  2. #52

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,734
    Quote Originally Posted by ebfatz View Post
    You are genuinely the only person I remember ever playing in Japan or Korea.

    Must have a game there sometime.
    Wanted to see you last longer at the Korean side. Could have been looking at the likes of Son Heung-min ('s little brother) and the like!!
    Hope you like the new story
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  3. #53
    ebfatz is offline Social Media Bod
    Former Holy Trinity Member
    Stories Mod

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,522
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    That story by rapinoe looks fascinating. I'll need to read it (after catching up with yours of course)
    I have somehow managed to completely miss this story as well. Will have to read.

  4. #54

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,734
    Chapter 10 – The Emperor Of Japan



    Matsumoto

    The priority in the close season was to reduce the player numbers from the 46 I inherited, down to a more reasonable 25. I had to reduce some valuations, but I successfully moved on 15, bringing in £1.6m, while a further 4 were released. That left me with 27, but the 2 remaining transfer listed players were not getting any offeres, even with the price reduced to £0. I think that the wages were putting off bidders, and this was also a problem for me as it would fake over £200k to release them. I did have the money, but didn't want to antagonise the board.

    The reduced squad did allow me to better assess the players and I thought that I had identified 2 secret weapons. Firstly 20 year old striker Takahiro Shimizu, who I had initially though as a promising backup but on reflection could be the man to lead the line. The other was a 20 year old forward, Keita Anzai who is one of that rare bread that is listed as a midfielder, but not a forward. That must mean that he can play a free role. My plan was to play them together in a 4-4-1-1, with Shimizu leading the line.

    I think it is fair to say that my plan worked quite well


    God knows how many more Shimizu might have scored if he had not been called up to the Japanese Olympic squad, only to sit on the bench.

    When you have a striker on that sort of scoring form, you don't need a lot more, however I thought that I had problems on the left wing and at left back. When the transfer window reopened, I sacrificed a midfielder, listed the left winger and released the cheaper of the 2 transfer listed players. This allowed me to bring in the left winger I wanted, and he just happened to be Takahiro's brother, Kota Shimizu. I was then able to sell the left back and I had my target lined up in Antwerp's Yuta Hasegawa. A final change was a swap of goalkeepers with Albirex which saw us get the better keeper and £150k as well !

    There really was no stopping us it was a riot that saw a new points and goals record


    We won with 11 games to spare and I was on the look out for an opportunity to challenge for the Emperor's Cup. The only one that I was offered was with already relegated Nagasaki. It would have been a challenge, but as they are dropping out of the league altogether, I was not sure that I would survive to the end of the tournament and so I turned them down. It's a shame as winning the cup while being relegated might have been a good story. Instead I played on, waiting for anything to turn up in either Japan or South Korea. Nothing did.

    To put Takahiro Shimizo's scoring exploits into context, he created a new scoring record for the Emperor's Cup. The previous record of 8 goals was smashed as he fired in 21 goals in 7 games. It included all 5 against Hachinoe and hat-tricks against Verspah Oita, Urayasu and Urawa Reds on our way to the final where he got 4 of our 5 goals as we smashed Albirex.

    He is the Emperor of Japan and a 1 man wrecking ball at the same time.

    Talking of wrecking balls … Two labourers, John and Dave, were working and John, upon a scaffold, accidentally cut off his ear. He yelled down to Dave…” Hey! Look out for my ear, I just cut it off”
    A bit later Dave calls up to John, “Is this your ear?”John looks down and says, “No! Mine had a pencil behind it!”


    International Update




    Germany


    After another friendly against Spain, which we won 2-0, the squad for the Euro finals was announced. As promised, it consisted of only players aged 25 ou under. Most had a couple of caps from the friendlies against Spain, but there were 4 uncapped players and 4 teenagers in the 23. There were some familiar names in Sebastian Albrecht (ex Hertha BSC), Mike Burger (M'gladbach), Michael Fink (ex M'gladbach) and Manfred Yilmaz (M'gladbach). Despite the lack of international experience, they all played in the Bundesliga, so they were all good players.

    Belgium It was totally one way traffic as the young German team took apart the remains of the golden generation. Some how it remained 0-0 until injury time when central defender Richard Huber (FC Bayern) found himself out wide on the left and put in a hopeful cross. Daniel Möller (Ingolstadt) out jumped Jason Denayer and headed past Courtois to claim the points.

    Sweden Deja vue. We battered the Swedish goal, only to find ourself behind at half time to a sucker punch from Henrik Fredriksson. Matthias Fink (Dresden) cancelled that out within minutes of the restart, but we again had to wait until injury time for the winner. Benjamin Boller (Nürnberg) squirmed past a couple of defenders to score off the inside of the right hand post.

    Turkey We had beaten them twice in qualifying, but both had been close games. There was a risk that if we were beaten 2-0, we might not qualify, so I couldn't afford to rest key players. We were not as dominant as Turkey defended well, but this time we didn't leave it quite so late. Midway through the second half, Boller fed teenage left back Robin Kunert (FC Bayern) who cut inside his marker and curled a fierce shot past the keeper.

    3 wins out of 3, but hardly convincing. Belgium were the team to join us in the quarter final.

    Bosnia I was tempted to rest some players for this one. They had won just 1 of 3, but edged past Italy and hosts Romania having scored the most goals. The question was, would I survive a quarter final defeat ? I couldn't take that risk, so it was the strongest available team that was sent out. It was typical of the other games. We controlled all areas of the pitch but couldn't put the ball in the net. The only goal came just before the interval. Boller's shot was spilled by the keeper and midfielder Daniel Bader (Werder Bremen) was first to react to the lose ball.

    Spain We had won the 2 friendlies, so should have been favourites, however the intensity of tournament football had finally caught up. There were 9 changes from the team that beat Bosnia. We were a shadow of the previous teams and never got going. Abel Ruiz and José Amo had given Spain a 2 goal lead before Boller did pull 1 back for us. Any though of a recovery was thwarted by Sergi Samper netting a 3rd for Spain

    The Spanish went onto beat Switzerland 3-2 in the final.

    Getting to the semi final was obviously enough for the German federation and my job was not at any risk, so I took control of the U21 team to prepare for the Olympics.

    6 of the 23 man squad had played in the Euros, so in relative terms, this was a very experienced U21 squad. To be honest, it was men against boys

    Mexico The game was over before it started Nils Huber (Union Berlin) and Daniel Bader (Werder Bremen) had us 2-0 up before most fans had found their seats. Julian Vogel (Kaiserslautern) and Marc Enders (Braunschweig) added 2 more as we cruised through the second half

    Australia we rarely had to get out of second gear, particularly when Marcel Rathgeber (Hertha BSC) scored a first half brace. As a contest, it was over when the Aussi keeper was sent off and Bader converted the resulting penalty.

    Ivory Coast We were in the quarter final before the kickoff, so the first team could have that crucial rest. The backups were looking to impress me and won 2-0 with strikes from Philipp Pluntke (Hoffenheim) and Lars Hahn (Club Brugge).

    Ghana They gave us a shock by taking a 15th minute lead, which was probably their mistake. The lads rolled up their sleeves, went out fighting and took no prisoners Marc Endres (Braunschweig) levelled 7 minutes later and Robert Njie (St. Pauli) put us in front before the interval. Into the second half and 2 goals in 90 seconds killed the game. Pluntke got the first and Benjamin Boller (Nürnberg) the second. Into the last 10 minutes and then we ran riot. Bader, Daniel Groß (Regensburg) and Boller with his second completed a 7-1 demolition.

    Brazil So often this is a game to savour with the contrast of European and South American styles. This time Europe overpowered them. Bader scored in the first minute. Vogel and Boller added to that and the passage to the final was competed without drama.

    Australia We knew what to expect having beaten them in the group. It was all too easy. Njie scored twice in a minute to set us up. Bader made the game safe and Boller finished the game in style with a 4th in injury time.




    I'm very pleased to have got that one out of the way as it is difficult to find yourself at the right team at the right time to get in the Olympics. I know I could have won something bigger with Germany, but there will be plenty of time and many more chances for World Cups and Euros. For now I'll play on with the Germans until I get another top offer.
    Last edited by Kingsley; 02-10-18 at 03:50 PM.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  5. #55

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,734
    Chapter 11 – Where Is Nurse Joy When You Need Her ?



    Matsumoto

    The J2 league was won and I was looking for my next job. There had been a couple that were slightly insecure, most notably FC Seoul, however I was preparing for a good part of the season to be spent with Matsumoto. Historically, there are only about 3 J1 League jobs that come up each year and just 1 or 2 in K-League Classic. I wasn't really looking anywhere else. I did make a couple of squad changes ready for the new season. A goal keeper and a defender were freed and I sold a third one for a decent £875k. Finally midfielder Keisuke Mochizuki was complaining that I was rejecting offers, so when Vissel came in with a big bid, I countered with an exchange that got me a better and younger midfielder in Takuya Kinoshita plus £900k in cash.

    Also arriving were Korean defender Seul-gi Jong and keeper Daisuke Kawakami, both for free and utility midfielder Naoki Yokoyama on loan from Ventforet. We were all set for the new season and still within the 25 man squad restriction.

    But I didn't get to see any of the new boys in action. Out of nowhere a job came up, and what an opportunity it was



    Reysol

    Kashiwa Reysol is a Japanese professional football club based in Kashiwa, Chiba. The team competes in the J. League Division 1 from 2011 season.

    Formed in 1940 as Hitachi, Ltd. Soccer Club in Kodaira, Tokyo, Reysol were founding members of Japan Soccer League in 1965 and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of Japanese football. They have been Japanese league champions twice, in 1972 and 2011, and have won three Emperor's Cups. Reysol have a rivalry with neighbours JEF United Chiba and the two sides contest the Chiba derby. The club have been based at Hitachi Kashiwa Soccer Stadium since 1985.

    They are also the defending champions, having beaten Kyoto Sanga in last seasons J1 League final. That gives me 3 chances for success this season, J1 League, Emperors cup and the Japanese Super Cup where they will play none other than Emperors Cup winners Matsumoto. If I fail in all 3 then we will be in next seasons AFC Champions League, which kicks off in September. To fulfil my ambitions, I have £6.75m in the transfer kitty, although I don't have plans to spend much of that. The squad is already too big, so I will be looking to sell before I buy. We have a decent Chilean keeper, some good central defenders and a reasonable midfield. I can't say that I am too impressed with my strikers, 21 year old Russian Vladimir Shogenov who has scored just 2 goals in 19 appearances over the last 3 seasons, or 25 year old Venezuelan Rafael Díaz who is starting his 8th season with Reysol and has only once made double figures for a season.


    The biggest gap appears to be at fullback, and a long tail of deadwood that should be no where near a professional football club. I had 22 days to mould this group into a team that could beat my previous club and make this a very short stay.


    Before the big Super Cup showdown, I did manage to sell 7 players, bringing in £4.75m, although £100k of that was used to release a further 4. Only 1 player came in, and not surprisingly it was a fullback. 26 year old Takuya Ozawa can play on either side, or even on the wing, so his versatility will be extremely useful. My biggest worry was how to stop Takahiro Shimizu from scoring. I did think that the best way was to buy him, but the £2.8m valuation was a stumbling block. I did have a £3.5m bid rejected, but I might revisit that if we don't win the cup.

    And so to the Super Cup, played in front of 44,000 at the Saitama Stadium 2002, the venue for the World Cup Final. The new man didn't even make the bench as we lined up in a 4-4-1-1, which saw Shoganov lead the line and Taiga Kanai play in behind him. Matsumoto went for 4-4-2 that included 4 Forwards ! Keita Anzai started in central midfield with Shota Yoshida on the right wing. Shimizu and Tamura were the 2 strikers. It was a very aggressive line up, but would they be up for a midfield battle ?

    Sadly, I was unable to prevent Shimizu from getting his regulatory goal. It came in the 69th minute, but by that point, we already had 4 of our own. Super Cup in the bag and a chance to look at getting another club for either the league or the Emperors Cup to add to it this season. It is a big bonus to get this one out of the way without having to win the league or cup for a second time.




    There was nothing immediately available, so I continued with the squad rebuilding, selling 3 more and releasing a 4th with the proceeds. I also lost my star winger, Jamaican Marvin James, who had a persistent Thigh injury that required 6 months of surgery. That left me with 21 players plus the injured James and one on the transfer list. It didn't look like quite enough, so I added another defender who was available for free. Whoever I passed the baton onto would have a much better squad to work on.

    I did hope to land a job before the midseason break, which would give me a decent chance to shape my new club, in either Japan or South Korea, into a team that might win something this year. It didn't take long before 3 clubs came on my radar. JEF Utd and Gwangju stayed in various states of insecurity, but 12 games into the league program I got my offer. Reysol are left with a great chance to be in the League Championship show down once again, although the challenge from Grampus needs to be watched closely.


    But what about my new club ?




    Albirex

    Albirex Niigata is a Japanese J2 League association football club based in Niigata. In 2003, while still playing in the second tier of Japanese football (J2), Albirex attracted the best average crowd in the country of over 30,000. Since promotion to J1 in 2004 they have recorded an average crowd of over 38,000, and in 2005 Albirex were the first ever club in Japan to record an average gate of over 40,000.
    For many years it had been a local autonomous amateur club, Niigata 11, that could never hope to see the light of day in an old Japan Soccer League dominated almost entirely by company teams. The creation of the J. League spurred the club to rise, and in the 1990s it began climbing fast through the divisions. In 1998, Albirex Niigata joined the Japan Football League, and was merged into the J2 league after its creation in 1999. The team gradually became competitive and on 2001 and 2002 it came close to getting promoted to J1 and in 2003, it became the champion of J2 and finally joined the top flight.
    The team name is made from combining the star Albireo of the constellation Cygnus (the Swan) and the Latin word Rex meaning 'king'.[4] In 1997, due to copyright issues, the team name was changed from Albireo Niigata to the current Albirex Niigata.

    In recent years, the club have been regular top 3 finishers and have twice been runners up in the Championship play-off. I inherit a massive 49 man squad (19 teenagers) and over £12m to spend on new players. From the league table, and only 3 games left, The First Period is long gone, however the Second Period starts with a clean slate and the winners of each period meet to decide the champions. That would be my number one objective, with a back up of the Emperor's cup. To do that, I had to make some space for my own players. I started immediately and brutally, with 19 players being released on day 1. A further 11 were slashed when the transfer window opened, 8 of them sold and generating £3m. That left space for some new recruits. I desperately needed wingers, so 3 of the new men were to fill the wide midfield roles. I also landed a Brazilian striker, a defender and a central midfielder to back up those already at the club. A further 3 came in on loan, to give me a squad of 28. And I needed all of it

    I have never known an injury crisis like it. Even with 3 of the best physio's I could afford, there was never less that 4 players out, and at it's worst, 8 ! It usually targeted specific positions, for example in consecutive games I lost both my left backs with broken legs. Both out for 6 months ! There were a couple who had specific problems that the physios identified, and they were sent for rehab, but the epidemic never stopped. I swear that even Japan's most famous medical practitioner, Nurse Joy, would have had trouble in getting this lot ready for battle.


    Which reminds me, what did the Pokemon say when he looked through the window? Peek-at-choo!

    The result of all the injuries was that I was unable to name the same starting 11 for 2 games running, and rarely the same formation. I tried 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1, 4-3-3, 4-1-4-1, 4-1-3-1-1, 3-1-4-2 and even a desperation 3-4-3. Results were as inconsistent as the team and my record in the league of W12 D2 L4 was hardly championship. I had stopped looking at the league table long before the end and thinking that I might need to ditch Albirex if I wanted to win anything. It was therefore with incredulity that after a final day win from behind that I was told that Albirex had qualified for the final. After rubbing my eyes, I looked at the table for the second period.


    I still have no idea how that happened. Last time I had looked Gamba were 6 points ahead of us, but the table doesn't lie and we had the most unexpected Championship playoff and against former side Reysol, over 2 legs.

    The drama was all in the first 45 minutes of the first leg when we played our best football of the entire season. In particular my captain, midfielder Takeshi Endo and my Venezuelan defensive midfielder Edgar Romero, destroyed Reysol. Endo bagged a first half hat-trick and Romero a brace, which effectively won the title. The second half was as dull as the first half was exciting, and the second leg a virtual non-event. But I didn't care. The work was done and I would be happy to ditch this team of sicknotes.


    There was no new jobs on the horizon, and an early exit from the Emperor's cup to JEF Utd ended the season early in December. I was no longer interested in the injury situation, but my focus was only on the job market. On the 30th of December I got an offer and I would be starting 2030 with a new club, but it would not be in either Japan or South Korea.



    International Update




    Germany


    Following the Olympic success, it was back to World Cup qualifying. The old guard were again available for selection and they did the job with relative ease.


    Leroy Sane in particular was a man possessed and he bagged 10 of our qualification goals.

    I always had my eye on the International job market, looking for a role that would allow me a decent chance of international success. I was disappointed not to be offered the Brazil job. Although Peru have won the Copa América, there is still a World Cup to win. I was also passed over when the Australia job came up and that might have led to an AFC Asian Cup.

    I did get offered the 3rd job of interest following their failure to qualify for the World Cup finals




    New Zealand


    The All Whites failed to qualify for the World Cup, loosing to Paraguay 5-0 on aggregate. They have no friendlies scheduled, so I am looking at 3 years time for the OFC Nations Cup, which New Zealand have won on every occurrence since Australia joined the Asian federation. Last time it was tough as they had to beat American Samoa, Vanuatu, Tahiti and Vanuatu again in the final to seal the cup. This could be a tough one !
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  6. #56

    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    29,427
    Good work in Japan yet again! So am I right in thinking you do need to go back at some point for one more title?

    Did you take the New Zealand job? I'm surprised, thought you would stay with Germany for the World Cup!

  7. #57

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,734
    In Japan I still need the Emperor's cup, but I will need a second title from one of Australia, South Korea or Japan to get in the AFC Champions League.



    The K-League classic is looking like the difficult one in Asia. There are very few jobs that come up and the schedule is brutal, so no guarantee of success. I'm not relishing the thought of winning that twice

    I did take the New Zealand job. The World Cup might have helped the reputation, but I've got to win the OFC Nations cup at some point and with the Kiwi's I would have to have the best chance.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  8. #58

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,399
    Well behind on stories so catching back up now.

    A great debut league win with Dusseldorf, but what a shame to lose the final, if only Kean didn't get injured then it could have been a different story. Looking at them numbers for the backup strikers in Heynke and Boyd then you're right to prioritise another one or two strikers in the summer, especially with Kean unable to last a full 90 mins, hopefully them physio sessions over the summer will do the trick for him.

    Can't believe no managers got sacked after Euro 2024, but at least you got your move in the end to one of the big African nations. A fantastic away win over Ivory Coast in the WC Qualifying stages, a repeat in the home game against them and you'll be competing in the World Cup. First though the African Cup of Nations, bizarre strategy with you selection policy for it though, sod it if it maybe easier just get it won

  9. #59

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,399
    Another season done

    Some significant signings in the pre season, forgot you had the chance of the League Cup now but you took your eye off the ball there and the chance was gone (I remember doing similar on one of the challenges, had the WCC Final the day after the Super Cup which offered more points in the challenge and I played my strongest team in the wrong match). Well done on retaining the league title, but heart ache in the Cup, just the Champions League left now. What an unbelievable comeback against Roma that is though! But then you throw it away against Marseille Another season in Dusseldorf then, hopefully you can land that league cup quick and be off on your travels again.

    So to Cameroon, and how would the African based players do at the Cup of Nations? A very inexperienced squad indeed, I'm sure they'll be hoping this is their time to catch the eye of some scouts and move to Europe or elsewhere to earn some serious money. Two exceptional wins to start with over Egypt and Ivory Coast before a blip against Mali, no shame in finishing 3rd but can't believe you messed up again and restricted yourself to this squad for the rest of the WC Qualifiers, but they did the job in the end. Make sure to change your squad back now pronto!

  10. #60
    Dermotron is offline Sir Mergements
    Director
    Manager
    VIP
    Captain

    Join Date
    15-12-11
    Location
    Your Mother
    Posts
    29,995
    Wankewai Rooney Eva isn't a regen. Outstanding

  11. #61

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,399
    Another slow morning in work so another season read

    A great run in the World Cup with Cameroon, and no shame in going out to the eventual Champions, even if it was a surprise winner in Austria.

    Nice to see you wrap that Super Cup up, and you can turn your attentions to finding another club to land that elusive German Cup, and not a bad job either in being announced as manager of "A German team" Shame the transfer window had just shut on you though, you may not be able to buy the cup but you can sure make it easier to obtain with a better squad. A rear guard of 99, reminds me of Juve's back line of Bonucci, Barzagli and Chiellini A nice bonus you could still bring in some loans to beef up the squad though.

    To the season itself then and mission accomplished The league was never the priority and with only one transfer window to stamp your mark on the team it was probably always going to be a tough ask (especially when saving your best eleven for the cup games), but your policy paid dividends with that win over Mainz. Be interested to see where you end up next.

    What an end to the update though landing the German National job! Success is nigh on guaranteed, just a case of what tournament is next for you.

  12. #62

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,734
    Thanks for being a bit behind. It reminds me of the past exploits
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  13. #63

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,399
    Back again

    Valencia and Villarreal were definitely the pick of them available clubs, surprised you didn't go to either but you did say you wanted to go to a league you haven't managed in for a while, and so to Japan it is.

    Sounded like quite a job for you with where they were when you took over, but then I forgot the format of the Japanese league, and then you've the two cups into the bargain. Easy stuff in the second stage after the squad revamp, it's all for nothing if you don't win that decider though Dramatic stuff in the cup Semi Final but you squeezed through and give yourself another opportunity of a trophy, and one you seize, who needs the Championship Decider?!

    What a random club in Sangju Sangmu, and sounds a hell of a challenge as well, you aren't taking the easy way on this challenge that's for sure! I say that and then you smash the Korean Cup! What a stroke of luck with Anyang knocking out Gwangju (the magic of the cup hey), but you still had to beat them and you did it in style. A shame you didn't stay longer with the restriction of changing your squad every couple of years but good to see you've carried it on with a separate story (another to get up to date on now ).

    Back to Japan then, a temperamental board, a bloated squad (10 keepers!), next to no backroom staff and little cash this could provide a nice little challenge for you. Hell of an unbeaten run with them, shame you threw away that 2-0 lead in the cup semi final but it bodes well for next season.

  14. #64

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,734
    Chapter 12 – We Come From A Land Downunder



    Melbourne Victory

    Melbourne Victory Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in city centre of Melbourne, Victoria. Competing in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia, Victory entered the competition in the inaugural season as the only Victorian-based club in the newly revamped domestic Australian league.

    Recognised as the most supported and currently the most successful club in the league to date, Victory has won four A-League Championships, three A-League Premierships, one Pre-Season Challenge Cup and one FFA Cup, the only club to have won all four domestic trophies in the modern era of Australian soccer. They have also previously competed in the AFC Champions League on six occasions with the 2019 campaign confirmed to be the seventh occasion. Their furthest placement in the tournament was the 2016 campaign, where they were knocked out in the Round of 16.

    In more recent times, Victory have won the A-League, the only tournament playable in Australia, on a further 3 occasions and been runners up twice. There were no jobs coming up in either Japan or South Korea and that was unlikely to change in the close season, so this looked like an opportunity to have a free shot at the title, with a chance to head back to the far east in the summer when the J1 League is near it's half way point. As Aussie clubs are entered into the AFC Champions League, there might be an option to win a second title and then enter that tournament. That does put the OFC Champion's League in some doubt as I'm not sure how I can qualify for it.

    This has been a tough season for Victory and it cost former player, Harry Kewell, his job. Actually the club appear to go through managers quickly, and I'll be the 8th since this adventure started. Managers rarely last more than 2 years. The board have asked me to Improve the squad and have given me £1.7m to do so. There is £25m in the bank, so I expect that the £1.7m is for any individual player and that it will be topped up if I spend it. Despite an impossible looking league table that shows us bottom, and 23 points behind local rivals Melbourne City, I had bigger plans for this season than just improving the squad. I wanted the title.


    The A-League has a crazy setup that means we still have as good a chance as anyone. There are still 11 games to go in the Opening Stage where all the teams play each other 3 times. After that, the top 6 play out the Closing stage, A 5 match sprint where you play the other sides once. After that, the top 2 play off for the title. So, to be in with a chance, all I have to do is make up the 4 points (5 if Western Sydney win that game in hand) and I have 11 games to do it. I also have a transfer window that opens in 5 days time and I think I'm going to need it.

    I inherit a 40 man squad, but most of it is garbage and I have a 6 foreigner (excluding New Zealand) restriction which has been fully used. The other consideration is the 5 subs restriction, so do I use one of them for a keeper, who is rarely used, or do I list 5 outfield players and hope for the best.

    I have 6 keepers. 1 is out on loan, there is a Namibian international who is garbage and the only decent one is 37 year old Matthew Ryan (ex Brighton). Can I rely on a 37 year old, even if he does have a good injury/suspension record ? I have added a goal keeper to my shopping list.


    Looking at the defenders, there are 11 and again 1 of them is out on loan. He actually looks the best of the lot, so Paul Fox will be recalled. I also have ex Wigan man Dan Burn who is now 37 and his legs are shot. He is a waste of one of the foreigner places. Left back Deklan Wynne is in my New Zealand squad and pole, Kamil Wasilewski looks a reasonable right back. The rest look very average, so there is work to be done to form a decent defence.

    With 16 midfielers you would thing there might be something to work with, and there is, but there is very little width, except for a guy who is out on loan, and not very good. The only left sided midfielder that would make a squad is St. Kitt's international Baz Holman and I'm not sure that he looks like a winger. Actually, I'm not sure what he looks like, possibly another central midfielder.


    On the right, we have a decent Nigerian AMRC, but again, I'm not convinced he is a winger, and the backup is very poor. In central positions, two of my best have already been sold and will be off in 5 days time, but I do have a decent core, so to start with I might look at a narrow midfield.

    Up front and there is one standout. Jason Anastasiadis does look like the real deal. I have 6 others, plus Holman who are a mixed bunch. One is a useless looking Ghanaian who I will try to punt.


    And so to the Wheeling and Dealing (© Mark Henderson). Of the 40, 11 were released, including Burn and the Ghanaian. 9 were sold, including the Namibian keeper and the 2 already agreed and Paul Fox was recalled from loan. With 2 players still out on loan, that gave me just 18 to work with, and 7 of them were basically reserves.

    8 players arrived on permanent deals, plus 4 more on loans, to give me a working squad of 23. 3 of them were from my Kiwi squad, including a 4 times capped keeper and an international defender who had played English Premier League for Sheffield Wednesday. There were 2 utility defenders, an English right back, a Lithuanian left back and a fantastic looking striker onloan from Brisbane Roar.

    We were ready for action, and my first game would be a derby against league leaders City. I decided on a 4-4-2 formation, with Holman on the left wing and a Nigerian, Kelechi Nwakali on the right. But it was my captain, Mark Ashcroft, who gave us an early lead with his 1st of the season. Despite an onslaught from the hosts, we almost held out for the win. Their equaliser in injury time was a sore one to take, even if it was deserved.

    The formation didn't really work. Neither wide player was happy, and there was nobody on the bench when they got tired. I then switched to a 4-1-3-1-1 for the remaining games as that gave me more cover for substitutions. It worked pretty well, to start with and within 4 more games we were in the top 6. It then went off the boil, so although we were safely in 5th at the end, we only picked up 5 points from the last 4 games.


    I had to either change something, or pray.

    No. This is not the story about the devout Australian cowboy who lost his favorite Bible while he was mending fences out on the range. Three weeks later, a kangaroo walked up to him carrying the Bible in its mouth. The cowboy couldn't believe his eyes. He took the precious book out of the kangaroos mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, "It's a miracle!"

    "Not really," said the kangaroo. "Your name is written inside the cover."

    That has nothing to do with this story and is totally irrelevant to the plot, so you won't catch me telling that one here.

    The transfer window was firmly shut, even for loans, so my only option was tactics. During my Wheeling and Dealing (© Mark Henderson), I had picked up a Kiwi midfielder, Zac Ridenton, who looked as if he could play out wide left. There was also an AM RC, Scott Konstandopoulos who might be able to play wide right. I had Holman and the Nigerian, Nwakali, who could be back up, and I recalled an AM RL from loan so that I could have 3 players for each winger role. I was also aware that I had Anastasias and on loan Scott Janjetovic who both had 20 for finishing, but I had never played them together. It was time for a 4-4-2.

    Newcastle Jets (a) We started out like demons and Zac Ridenton, in his new left wing role, charged into the box and fired us into a 4th minute lead. From there we took control, but the front 2 were determined to miss the target as often as they could. We were never in danger as the defence looked solid, but we didn't add to the lead. Final score 1-0

    Sydney FC (h) The interstate derby and the only change was Nwakali for Konstandopolous on the right. It was totally 1-way traffic and it is a mystery how Sydney held out until nearly half-time. Once the dam was breached, they fell apart and Janjetovic bagged a second half hat-trick. Final score 4-0

    Melbourne City (a) Another city derby and this one started with a City goal in the 3rd minute. They then had a second disallowed as they looked to be totally overpowering us. On our first attack, a howler by their keeper gifted Janjetovic the equaliser and from there we took over. Janjetovic got a second before Anastasiadis and Ridenton got late goals. Final score 4-1

    Adelaide Utd (h) Despite his goal, Anastasiadis has not impressed, so, with 1 point needed to be in the grand final, I brought in Holman and changed to a 4-4-1-1. The visitors parked the bus and it was a game of few chances. We got the point we needed and I was happy with the performance. Final score 0-0

    Wellington Pheonix (a) With 1 eye on the final, I kept the same 11 and got the performance I was looking for. In a first half blitz, Janjetovic scored twice, along with Ashcroft and Ridenton. Ridenton added another in the second half and we goto the Grand Final full of confidence. Final score 5-0


    Melbourne City (h) We had home advantage, even though we share the AAMI stadium with our city rivals. I recalled Konstandopoulos to the right wing in the only change. This would be my 4th encounter with City and the record was 1 win and 2 draws. I had no doubt that this would be close. Like any derby and any final, this was a hard fought and bruising encounter. No prisoners taken and no surrender. For the most part, the midfields cancelled each other out and there were few chances created. We might have just edged it, but an injury to midfielder Nathan Meyer forced us into an early change and it took some of the impetus out of our attack. Into the second half and it was more of the same, but now we were starting to create a few more openings. The goal finally arrived in the 66th minute. Konstandopoulos tried an audacious effort from some distance out. The keeper had it covered, but decided not to claim it, thinking it was going out for a goal kick. He didn't realise that Janjetovic was lurking behind him and the onloan striker had the simplest of finishes, even if he did look to have been off-side. From there we closed the door and it was upto city to find a way through. They didn't and we had gone from bottom of the league to champions in 17 games !


    I love this league. Advance Australia Fair.


    International Update




    New Zealand


    No games have been scheduled, however looking back historically, I'm likely to have 3 friendlies, probably in Africa, scheduled in the Autumn. I have established a 49 man training squad ready for the action when it comes.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  15. #65

    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    29,427
    Blimey, sure did turn things around quickly. 17 games to win it

    Did think you'd be there for at least another season bearing in mind the foreign restriction and the squad you inherited.

  16. #66

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,734
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Blimey, sure did turn things around quickly. 17 games to win it

    Did think you'd be there for at least another season bearing in mind the foreign restriction and the squad you inherited.
    The Aussie Leagues are my favourites for a short game. You are never out of it until very late in the season and in terms of quality there is not much between the best and worst that a decent tactic can't sort. I was pretty sure that I would be in the final based on past experience. Although that is the only Aussie trophy, I would like to continue, or return, to get the AFC Champion's League.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  17. #67

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,399
    Getting closer to being up to date

    Move over Skalidis and Tsigalko, Shimizu is in town! Absolutely smashed it with Matsumoto, hopefully you haven't built too good a team there so it's difficult for your next job, don't blame you for turning down Nagasaki.

    A good run in the Euros with the u25 squad, but you landed that trophy with the Olympics, I've only won it once with Holland ages ago as I always forget about it and only certain National teams are in it, it's a bugger it doesn't show in your managerial history either.

  18. #68

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,399
    Landed on your feet with that Reysol job mate! If you can get Shimizu in then your attacking worries will all be over Ah that's what you tried, you should have gone big on him as you know what he can do. Well that didn't last long at all Shimizu gives you a reminder what he can do but it's all in vain as you crush your former side.

    Another massive squad with Albirex to contend with, but good funds available for you to shape the squad to your liking, and it was quite the turnover of players you did. What awful look with them leg breaks, it would have to be for both left backs too, no wonder you changed formations quite a bit. Somehow you did it though and land another trophy, interesting to see where you're headed next with it not being in Japan or South Korea.

    The Brazil job was always going to be a tough ask but I'm surprised Australia didn't want you. Screw them anyway as you're off to New Zealand where the country and the people are nicer Tough teams you'll be facing there as well

  19. #69

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,399
    Melbourne is nice despite what I just said

    Not surprised you went for a more narrower formation in midfield given your write up of the squad and the lack of decent wide men, which took you into that top six, but not a great run at the end going into them 5 games against the rest of the top 6. So you revert back to 4-4-2 What a turnaround as well, absolutely smashed it from there on in, from bottom to Champions is quite something!

  20. #70

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,734
    Chapter 13 – Cherryaid



    Cerezo

    Cerezo Osaka is a Japanese football team, currently playing in the J League. The team name Cerezo (Spanish for cherry tree) is also the flower of Ōsaka city. The team, originally called Yanmar Diesel, started in 1957 as the company team of Yanmar and was an original founder of the now-disbanded Japan Soccer League. With four Japanese league titles to its credit, it was a mainstay of the JSL First Division until 1990 when it was first relegated, and joined the former Japan Football League in 1992.

    In more recent years, they have gained 2 promotions and 1 relegation. Although they have not won any honours, they have been runners up in both the J1 League and the Emperors Cup. The team that I inherit are struggling, but with the bottom half of the table very congested, it won't take much to move away from the relegation places. The Cherries need some aid, and I know just the man to do it !


    A closer inspection shows that they have made a good start to the second period and with 2 wins and a defeat, are just 3 points behind city rivals Gamba. I don't have much to spend, a rather pathetic £130k, but the wage limit of £8k per week is decent and there is a transfer window open. Not that this is a major rebuild, there is only 30 players in the current squad and my attention will be on a goalkeeper, and some wide players in both defense and midfield.

    The 2 star players are Daiki Oyama, possibly one of the best teenage midfielders I have ever seen, and Liberian forward Dion Shama.



    Day 1 and 3 foreign players were released to make way for new recruits. They were all well past their best and of no use to me. 4 more followed out the door, bringing in over £1m and there are 3 others who remain transfer listed.

    And so to the recruits where I didn't spend a penny (or even a yen). The goalkeeper was a Brazilian that I have been tracking for 2 years and I don't understand why nobody has given him a chance. It is not often that you find a 30 year old rookie.


    The only other foreign signing was a 23 year old Ghanaian international defender Bernard Nuhu. The other 5 permanent and 4 loans were all Japanese. The backroom also needed a complete overhaul

    The plan was to use the League and League Cup to identify the best formation and players for the post season Emperors Cup. However my 4-4-2 worked well from the getgo. 5 wins and 2 draws took us to the autumn break leading the second period and starting to aim higher. During the break, the League Cup is completed. A 2-0 away win at Ventforet looked to have us cruising, but Nuhu picked up a red card after 27 seconds of the second leg to set the alarm bells ringing. It was backs to the walls until a fast breakaway put captain Eiji Mori clear and the right back killed the tie and moved us to the semi final.

    Former club Vegalta are deep in the relegation mire and showed little fight in going down 4-0 on aggregate. We were in the final and facing Urawa Reds. This was a hard fought battle with most of the play in the midfield third. Chances in the first half were few and although both sides had goals disallowed and both sides hit the woodwork, it remained goalless. After the hour mark, the game opened out. The deadlock was broken by going route one. A long ball from Miura was headed on by Shama. The keeper should have claimed it, but somehow made a mess and gave Kim a chance. The keeper recovered to make a great save, but only managed to direct the ball to Shama who made no mistake. 7 minutes later and it was all over. A first time cross from Mori tottaly baffled the defense and Shama was on hand to finish them off.


    Back to the league, where 3 wins and a draw put us 3 points clear of city rivals Gamba going into the final game of the second period. They had a better goal difference, so effectively we needed a point. It was probably our worst performance of the season. The midfield was ineffective and the few chances that the forwards got were squandered. Were it not for the defense where Santana and Nuhu were rocks, it might have been worse than the 1-0 defeat at Urawa Reds. It had been close, but I reminded myself that the league was not a priority. And then I looked at the other scores. Zwiegen had beaten Gamba 4-2. We were in the League Final !


    Despite playing for almost 1 hour against 10 men, we failed to take advantage in the away leg. In fact it was the 10 men who scored first, only for Shama to equalise, but that was as good as we got. We did have the fine margin of an away goal to take home.

    All was looking good. We deservedly took the lead after 15 minutes thanks to a Kim strike and continued to press for a second goal that would surely seal the title. The second would just not come and we were caught out by a sucker punch equaliser that took the game to extra time. Just before half time of extra time, Grampus broke down the right, crossed and Vlahovic headed passed Santala. The keeper was quick to react and spotted the linesmans flag while Grampus were still celebrating. He took the free kick quickly. Ueda fed Suga and 30 seconds after the ball was in our net, we had the lead. Now it was a case of holding on. Time ticked by and Grampus were fast running out of ideas. Into injury time. Wada picked up a lose ball and hit it goalwards …. 3-1 …. We are the Champions !




    Of course that was just the hors d'oeuvres, a small amuse bouche before the main event. Which reminds me.

    A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders a sandwich. He eats the sandwich, pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter dead. As the panda stands up to go, the manager shouts, “Hey! Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn’t pay for your sandwich!” The panda yells back at the manager, “Hey man, I m a PANDA! Look it up!” The manager opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for panda: “A tree dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterized by distinct black and white colouring. Eats shoots and leaves.”

    But perhaps I should forget that and stick to the story. We had a week to recover before taking on non-league side Imabari in the 3rd round of the Emperor's Cup. They were no match for a full strength Cerezo and we cruised to a 4-1 win. Urawa Reds away would be a much tougher nut to crack and indeed we did concede the early goal before powering past them with 2 of our own to take us to the quarter final. Vissel put up a strong defence and it took us past the hour to break them down. It was left back Segawa in only his 5th start of the season who scored. We pressed for a second, but it didn't come until late. Shama coming off the bench to bag a brace in the last 5 minutes.

    A semi final against a relegated side is as good as it gets, even if it is away and against a former side in Albirex. It was all over in a 10 minute first half burst where Takahashi, Suga and Shimizu all hit the target. There was even better news to follow as JEF Utd had beaten Gamba in the other semi final. It wouldn't be easy, but certainly Gamba would have been a tougher draw.

    3 and a half years after first setting foot in Vegalta, could this be my final game in Japan ? The loan players had departed and a couple of injuries left the squad looking a bit thin, especially on the bench. That depth was tested early as my central defender, Genta Miura, had to hobble off and was replaced by Takuya Kataoka, who had only ever played at right back until now. Fortunately he didn't have much to do as we took the game by the scuff of the neck and gave JEF Utd very few chances. That said, our front 2 were being especially generous, with Shama particularly profligate in front of goal. A linesman that seemed to be a JEF Utd supporter disallowed 2 first half goals didn't help and as a result, a very one-sided first half ended goalless.

    Into the second half and it took just 2 minutes to break the deadlock. Eze was moving in on target, but was tackled just outside the box. The ball broke to Oyama who hit it first time and clipped the post on it's way to the back of the net. Our midfield had a strangle hold and were not going to let that lead slip. JEF Utd were camped in their own box, but while it was still 1-0, there was always a risk. Into injury time and we won a corner. Nuhu played an out swinger, Miori headed down for Suga who fired past the keeper. 2-0. We had won a domestic treble !


    I still need to win a Korean League title and an AFC Champions League, so I'm not quite finished with Asia yet. I think I am done with Japan and I'll try to win the AFC Champions League with an Australian club. But that is for the future. There are no jobs on the horizon in either Australia or Korea, so I might just carry on and get the Supercup so that Cerezo hold all 4 domestic trophies.



    International Update




    New Zealand


    We have played the predicted 3 friendlies. A disappointing 1-1 draw with Togo, a solid 3-0 beating of Sudan and an excelent 2-1 win over Morocco, all at home. So far 7 players have been given international debuts in these 3 games.

    18 months until the OFC championships kick off. I have a trip to Sierra Leone and a visit from Jamaica lined up, but I expect 4 or 5 more friendlies to be scheduled before then.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  21. #71

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,399
    Dion Shama the new George Weah

    Well done on the Emperor's Cup win, can't blame you for wanting something new outside Japan, in the meantime a Super Cup win can only boost your reputation, if you're still around for it that is.

  22. #72

    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    29,427
    I thought Cherry Aid was actually the name of a new club you were managing

    That 4 for agility might be why no-one has signed the GK!

    Eats shoots and leaves

    Congrats on finally winning the emperor's cup, bet it felt like a long three and a half years?

  23. #73

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,734
    Chapter 14 – Get upstairs and do your homework



    Cerezo

    With the Emperor's cup nicely polished in the trophy cabinet I had a quick look at the options. I would like to finish off Asia , which means the AFC Champions League and K-League Classic, however as it is the close season in Japan and Korea, and there was nothing on the horizon in Australia, it was likely to be at least 6 months before anything cropped up. That gave me the chance for a quick trophy in Europe or South America before heading back, assuming there was something interesting. 2 jobs were immediately available. Amiens SC were struggling in the French top flight, but are in the later stages of both cups. I applied but didn't get it.

    I did get the other one !



    Moreirense

    Moreirense Futebol Clube is a Portuguese football club based in Moreira de Cónegos, Guimarães Municipality, in Minho. Founded on 1 November 1938, it plays in the Primeira Liga, holding home games at Parque de Jogos Comendador Joaquim de Almeida Freitas, with a capacity for 9,000 spectators. Moreirense achieved its first top level national title on 29 January 2017, winning the League Cup (Taça da Liga) by defeating S.C. Braga in the final.

    More recently, they spent a couple of years yo-yoing between the top 2 leagues, but are now in their 5th consecutive season in the second tier, LigaPro. My interest is in the current situation.


    10 points clear with just under half the season played, you've got to fancy your chances ! There was even a small amount, around £200k to spend, if I thought I needed it. And then I looked at the squad. Secretário (oh er missus … there must be a story line there !) must have been a genius to get this lot to where they are before he bunked off to Vit. Setúbal. The only decent keeper was out on loan, the defence consisted of 6 left backs, and not much else and the midfield was threadbare. The one bright spot was their star striker, Jota, and he had been in the reserves all season !


    On the positive, I did have 8 days before my first game and the transfer window was open. On the negative, I'd not done any scouting in Western Europe, so I would be looking to Brazil for most of my recruits. It was a mad dash that saw 9 arrivals (5 from Brazil) and a further 4 on loan. I got rid of 9 of the worst of the deadwood. There were no fees involved in any of the deals.

    Results wise, we recorded 2 hard fought wins to maintain the advantage, before I resigned. The Benfica job was available, but I wasn't going for that.



    Melbourne City

    Melbourne City Football Club is an Australian professional football club based in the northern Melbourne suburb of Bundoora, Victoria. It competes in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia. Founded in 2009 as Melbourne Heart, the club competed under that name from its inaugural 2010–11 season until it was acquired and subsequently rebranded in mid-2014 by the City Football Group, (Manchester City, NY City). The club plays home matches at AAMI Park, a 30,050 seat multi-use venue which it shares with Melbourne Victory.

    We know that the current team is decent enough as they made it to last years grand final, only to be beaten by Victory in that final. My mission is to win the AFC Champions League and the first step is to win that Grand Final. I take over with City struggling a bit in 7th place, but being just 2 points away from top 6 with 7 games to play, that doesn't mean an awful lot.


    The problem is that the transfer window is firmly closed, so I have to make do with the players I inherit, although I did recall a defender and goalkeeper from loans. It wasn't a bad squad, I just didn't think that it had the flair to win the title without a bit of Wheeling and Dealing (© Mark Henderson). The biggest issue was at right back where my Australian International, Dylan Peiras was out for 3 months and left me with few options. On the positive, I had a Nigerian U21 who appeared to have been scoring goals for fun.


    The first part, getting into the top 6 was relatively simple. We beat 10 man Perth Glory in my first game in charge to leap frog them and although Western Sydney kept us honest, a 3-0 win at Wellington Pheonix on the final day confirmed our participation in the closing period. Western Sydney lost to make the margin look bigger than it was.


    We were starting to play some decent football at just the right time and breezed through the Closing Stage, putting 5 past Melbourne Victory. In fact the only point and goal conceded was away to Newcastle Jets in the final game after both sided were confirmed as qualified.


    This would be a year ahead of schedule, but I was not going to let up for the Grand Final. Having won the Closing Stage we had home advantage. I was close to full strength with just 2 of the regular substitutes out injured and so I sent out a very familiar 4-4-2 formation. Newcastle Jets countered us man for man, but that didn't stop us from dominating the first half. It was only an overly fussy ref, who disallowed 2 goals that kept the game goalless at half time. Newcastle had not recorded a single shot on target. The main talking point was the injury to captain James Enticknap that forced a reshuffle of the midfield after just 20 minutes.

    The second half started in much the same way, with our players encamped in their half. Pressure finally told. Isaak Davies lost the ball going past the defender, but Andrew Knowles picked up the lose ball, sent in a low cross and Aaron Rose supplied the final touch with his 7th in 12 starts, all since I took over. We continued to push for a second, but it just wouldn't come and I was expecting the late counter from the team that had not offered any attacking threat. We finally got that second goal in the 89th minute. Scott Brown beat a couple of players on the right wing. His shot was saved, but not held and midfielder Peter Genreau was first to the lose ball and his strike capped a man of the match performance.


    I wasn't expecting to win the title in my first season and I'm not sure that the sqaud is good enough to challenge for the AFC Championship. The squad had a nice balance, but I just needed more quality, particularly in the backup players if we were going to make a serious challenge. And so the Wheeling and Dealing (© Mark Henderson) started. The first man in was a very familiar face and an absolutely cracking signing for this level. French left winger and former Kaiserslautern, Hertha BSC and M'gladbach favourite Dorian Antonetti (who I am pretty sure is a regen of (Frank Ribéry).


    There was another familiar face on loan as Cerezo's Aussie keeper, Scott Edwards, agreed a season long loan. There would have been a 3rd, but Takahiro Shimizu couldn't agree personal terms following his release by Matsumoto. In total, there were 9 permanent and 3 loan players arriving at a cost of just under £1m. Departing were 15 of last season's squad, which brought in £2.1m. Although Aaron Rose and Isaak Davies had been banging them in last season, I had been looking for another top striker. I do have 2 more on the books although I'm not sure that I have that much confidence in them. Apart from that, it was a pretty good summer.

    The league program doesn't start until October, so come the end of August I was sitting my my phone waiting to see where we would start our Asian adventure. The draw was made for the AFC Champion's League

    WHAT THE ****


    Western ****ing Sydney ! They've not won **** all since Adam was in short trousers. An explanation was needed.

    It transpires that the Australian qualifiers are drawn randomly and success, or lack of it has no impact on who gets selected. At least it is always one of the topflight teams. In South Korea, it is equally random, except it is always a team from outside of the K-League. It means that the only guaranteed route to the tournament is via the Japanese league, which is, as far as I can tell, a solid place for the Champions.

    I should have done my homework, which reminds me. Little Johnny was sitting in class doing maths problems when his teacher picked him to answer a question,
    "Johnny, if there were five birds sitting on a fence and you shot one with your gun, how many would be left?"
    "None," replied Johnny, "cause the rest would fly away."
    "Well, the answer is four," said the teacher, "but I like the way you're thinking."

    Little Johnny says, "I have a question for you. If there were three women eating ice cream cones in a shop, one was licking her cone, the second was biting her cone and the third was sucking her cone, which one is married?"
    "Well," said the teacher nervously, "I guess the one sucking the cone."
    "No," said Little Johnny, "the one with the wedding ring on her finger, but I like the way you're thinking."


    International Update




    New Zealand


    3 more friendlies and 3 more wins. Sierra Leone (a) 3-0. Jamaica (h) 1-0 and Benin (h) 2-0. I have 3 more before the end of the year, Bahrain and Canada, both away and New Caledonia at home. I think that will be it before the OFC championships kick off in 9 months time.

    I'm quite happy with the results, but I just think I'm not getting enough out of star striker Max Mata


    Considering the opposition he has faced and that he has 302 goals in 482 games for his clubs, I would have expected a better return from him. I may try a different formation for the remaining 3 games.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  24. #74

    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    29,427
    Gotta love a little Johnny joke

    You certainly jumped ship in Portugal quickly! Would it not have been worth trying to tick off that lower league division? Perhaps you have regrets now that you weren't put in the AFC Champions League draw! At least you've ticked off the A League Grand Final though!

  25. #75

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,399
    You definitely should have stayed in Portugal

    Australia has always been weird, I remember on one of the past Pass the Parcel stories (using no patches), despite winning the opening stage with Sutherland Sharks the closing stage never happened, and it looked like it was hard coded that Central Coast Mariners was in the WCC for each edition so we had to move clubs.

    You did what you thought you had to do anyway, like ya say a top 6 finish wasn't going to be too difficult but Adelaide romped the opening stage so they could have proven tricky, at least you know what you need to do now to get that AFC Champions League trophy.

    Decent joke for a change too

Page 3 of 26 FirstFirst 123456713 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •