Page 6 of 6 FirstFirst ... 23456
Results 126 to 147 of 147

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

  1. #126
    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    4,184
    vCash
    19400
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Clearly Messi isn't cut out for management!
    Pogba has been no better. His record is

    Albirex (sacked)
    Angers (sacked)
    Independiente Mza. (sacked)
    Consolat Marseille (sacked)
    Alanyaspor (sacked)
    Lille (sacked)
    Gazélec Ajacco

    He has yet to hold onto a job for over 1 year !
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  2. #127
    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    4,184
    vCash
    19400
    Chapter 21 - Diamonds Are Forever




    Aarhus Fremad


    Jobs were few and far between as most of the European leagues had finished. The only one immediately on offer was in French National and while I considered it, Bézier just didn't fire any enthusiasm, so I held on where I was until after the summer data update when a lot more jobs came up. I'd have liked to continue my way through Denmark, but nothing was happening there. I did consider some big ones. Roma, Wolves and Valencia all offered me jobs, but I was looking for something in a lower ranked country. I applied for the Stoke job and would have been obliged to take it, but they offered it to Alberto Paloschi (AC Milan) instead.

    I was seriously considering the available job at Dover (newly promoted to Conference North) when something interesting came available. It ticked a lot of my boxes, so I applied, rejected Dover and a few days later I was on my way to the Balkans.




    Dinamo Zagreb


    Građanski nogometni klub Dinamo Zagreb is a professional Croatian football club based in Zagreb. The club was founded in 1945. They play their home matches at Stadion Maksimir. They are the most successful club in Croatian football, having won 19 Croatian Football League titles, 15 Croatian Football Cups and five Croatian Football Super Cups. The club has spent its entire existence in top flight, having been members of the Yugoslav First League from 1946 to 1991, winning 4 league titles and 7 cups, and then the Croatian First League since its foundation in 1992. They can also claim the 1966/67 Inter-City Fairs Cup.

    Dinamo won 4 more titles between 2018 and 2021, but since then just 1 more, with 3 second place finishes. There have also been 3 cup wins, including last season and this was one of the attractions. A low impact league with just 30 games, but European football on offer. With Dinamo's financial advantage over everyone else, I would consider it to be a fail not to win the league or the cup, so the big challenge would be to break a dismal European record where they have never made it past the third round of the Europa League. My target would be to still be involved in the New Year.

    The squad was very good, but with quite a bit of dead wood to clear. In total I got rid of 34 during the first transfer window, although many of them were duds from the academy. Once I could see what was left I had an idea of what was needed. A goal keeper, which was filled by 35 year old former Ajax man Dominik Kotarski, who is still part of the national squad, and was available for free. A striker and there I brought in a Kosovar, Shpetim Rashani and a couple of wingers. In total I brought in 10, mostly to fill out the squad to cover the European games.

    With the Kosovar scoring for fun and Kotarski rolling back the years, we cruised to the title.


    It was new goals and points record and although it looks easy, we trailed Osijek for most of the first half, due to games in hand, and even Osijek equalled the old points record in keeping us honest.

    The Hrvatski Kup was a similar run in the park. Nedelisce, Naprijed Hreljin and Crikvenica was an easy route to the semi final. Over 2 legs of the semi final, Varazdin didn't stand a chance, which left us with only a second tier side, Koprivnica in the final. The 2-0 win was far too easy.


    So that leaves a European campaign and it doesn't get much easier than Partizan (Serbia) and Astra Giurgiu (Romania) in the second and third rounds. Big wins in the first legs made the qualifying academic.

    1.FC Köln looked tough when it was drawn, but when you looked closely it was an ageing squad that relied on 39 year old Timo Werner. Completely against the run of play, it was Werner who opened the scoring for Köln. We just had to keep on doing what we were doing, and early in the second half, Rashani equalised. Basic put us in front, but I was still worried about that away goal. The pressure was eased when Hamzic got us a third deep in injury time.

    Hat gave us some breathing room and we needed it. Werner again gave Köln the lead in the second leg, but our defence held firm and they never did enough to snatch a second goal. We had made it to the new year, but the run went on.

    Lyngby in the last 16. Seriously ? Rostov for a place in the semi-final. No offence to Eagles supporters, but Crystal Palace in a European semi final. Someone is having a laugh.

    You couldn't make this up. We were through to the Europa League final and who do we get ? Hajduk bloody Split. At least they made it a match. The defensive 5-3-2 was never going to win any fans, but at least by parking the proverbial bus, it went to 90 minutes at 0-0. I was starting to think penalties, as we had resorted to aimless punts into their box. But it was from one of them that 20 year old substitute Ivan Leko used his head to put himself in the Dinamo history books.


    I had been looking for jobs since before the Europa final, but none had tempted me to miss that chance of glory. Then, a few days after the win, news broke that Simone Inzaghi had upped sticks to leave Palermo for Hannover 96. Why was that interesting ? Palermo were in the semi final of the Champion's league and had drawn the first leg with Chelsea. Win both European titles in the same year ? I'm up for that. I applied, watch Palermo win the second leg 2-0 and saw they would face Spurs. I then stopped in total disbelief when they appointed Simon Rolfes. I did then smile when they lost the final, even if it was to Spurs.

    There were quire a few jobs that came up, although nothing in Croatia looked interesting. I was on the brink of accepting an offer from Randers to move back to Denmark when one last look at the jobs list made me reject them. It was tight for what I wanted, but with 3 days to spare I landed my target, and it was a diamond !

    No, this is not the one about A man who walks into a jewelry store to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring. Looking behind the glass case, he comes across an exquisite band with a large-sized rock in its centre. Excuse me sir, the gentleman says to the salesman. How much is this ring? Ah, that's a beautiful piece, the salesman replies. It goes for £10,000.
    My God! the man exclaimed. That's a lot of money!
    Yes, but a diamond is forever.
    Perhaps, the gentleman replied, but my marriage won't last that long!

    That is nothing to do with this story. My next job would be …..



    Urawa Reds


    Urawa Red Diamonds, are a professional association football club playing in Japan's football league, J1 League. The name Red Diamonds alludes to the club's pre-professional era parent company Mitsubishi. The corporation's logo consists of three red diamonds, one of which remains within the current club badge. Its hometown is the city of Saitama in Saitama Prefecture, but its name comes from the former city of Urawa, which is now a part of Saitama City.

    I could tell you a lot about their squad and recent history, but I really wasn't interested. All I needed to know was the next fixture.


    Come what may, I was here for 1 game and all I needed was the 18 players to play in the final. Even with that, there was a curved ball as they only had 1 keeper on their books. I called up an academy player.

    Umm-Salal. A team from Qatar with 11 professionals and one of them out injured. What could possibly go wrong ?


    Four days after joining Urawa Red Diamonds I resigned, proving that forever is 4 days !


    International Update




    Switzerland


    Europa qualification was completed with as much ease as a Dinomo Zagreb league campaign.



    Portugal beat Romania in their playoff and by chance we will play them again in the group stage of the finals. We will be joined by Netherlands and Alex Woodyard's England. For those who don't know, IRL Woodyard is currently a midfielder with Peterborough ! His management career has been Southend, West Ham (sacked) and Luton.[/size]
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kingsley For This Useful Post:


  4. #128
    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    4,184
    vCash
    19400
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Dalglish's Smile View Post
    Yay, France! And a cracking LC Final to boot. Second half of the season is a bit mad with all those cup games, you're right.

    Boooo, Århus! Although Århas Fremad tho, so not quite so bad. Hopefully you had time for a trip to ARoS while you were there. Middelfart top of Division 2 West this season, btw, and clearly the best side in it IMO... so hopefully they will get back in your game too
    I hadn't noticed before that you were based in Copenhagen. I'd much rather visit Momo than an art museum !

    The problem with Aarhus is that I just want to sing the Madness song

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  5. #129
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    25,438
    vCash
    746
    That's a whopper of a season!

    Shame Stoke overlooked you. The boardroom still making odd decisions!

    Easy job at Dinamo though, more trophies ticked off!

    The Urawa Red job definitely makes up for being overlooked by Palermo!

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


  7. #130
    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    4,184
    vCash
    19400
    Unfortunately it is only the first that counts with Dinamo .... The League. The rule is that I have to win each title with a different club.

    Dinamo was a bit too easy, but it is going to be hard to beat them in the cup. When the time comes I just hope that someone knocks them out before I have to play them
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  8. #131
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    25,438
    vCash
    746
    I know, was just saying it's a superb season Shame you didn't land the cup final trophy first!

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


  10. #132
    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    4,184
    vCash
    19400
    Chapter 22 - Berner Hobelkäse


    International Update




    Switzerland


    And so to Ukraine and the Euro finals. The build up had not gone well with 3 players calling off with injury during the last few weeks. Fortunately our midfield 3 of Ivan Lungoyi (St. Pauli), Andrea Smiljanic (Mainz) and Thomas Giger (Liverpool) were all fit. These 3 are crucial to everything we do.


    Our first obstacle was a much fancied England who's fans included David Badiel and Frank Skinner plugging the latest version of “Football's coming home 36”. Seventy years of hurt.

    It was a relatively young squad that included Reading's Harry Kay leading the attack in a 4-3-3 formation. Norwich's Charlie Newell captained the side. From the evidence there is more hurt to come. After a cat and mouse opening, The Swiss took control and the first half goal from Fabio Tsimba, put through by Thomas Giger had been looking likely for some time. A second dully arrived in the second half from Dario Ramadani and that secured a comfortable win. Earlier Netherlands and Portugal had drawn 1-1.


    Onwards to a Portugal side who we had beaten twice in the qualifying. This time they seamed to be up for the battle and it was a bruising encounter. Dario Ramadani gave us an early lead which was quickly countered by their new superstar, David Morais, an F RLC. The decisive moment came towards the end of the first half. In a calamity moment, their keeper played a goal kick straight to Tsimba. Through on goal, the keeper ran out and pulled him down. Central defender Dusan Simic stepped up to score his first ever international goal. That knocked the stuffing out of Portugal and the second half was relatively uneventful.
    Later that day, a rampant England will have been disappointed with just a 1-0 win over Netherlands. It was a result that confirmed our qualification from the group.


    It was all change for the final group game. The chance to rest players being more important than winning the group. That said, a couple of injuries and suspensions meant that I still had to start Andrea Smiljanic, who I would like to have rested. He was told that he would be only getting 60 minutes. In many ways it was similar to the England game. Right winger Philip Knezevic gave us an early lead which was cancelled out before Luca Alessandrini bagged a second half winner. By topping the group, we would face the hosts, Ukraine, rather than group winners Croatia. France and Austria had bombed out of the group.
    Joining us would be Portugal who came from behind to beat England 4-2.


    Despite the extra rest, we still had several of my preferred starting 11 who were not 100% recovered. This included Thomas Giger who started, but was unlikely to finish the game. It was the easiest game of the tournament. We raced into a 3 goal lead (Giger, Ramadani and Giger again). Giger and Smiljanic were pulled at half time to rest for the semi and that gave Ukraine a chance to pull 1 back, but we were always in control and could have raised the intensity if we had to.


    Semi finals saw Portugal play Russia while we would face Spain. The Spanish were looking for their 4th Euro title in a row. Smiljanic and Lungoyi both failed late fitness tests and were only good for the bench. It was a major blow when about to face one of the worlds best sides. The Spanish had their own selection issues and they looked tired even in the warm up. It was a highly competitive match and we probably just shaded the first half, although the penalty decision that gave Simic the chance to give us the lead was probably harsh. Perhaps the ref realised this as he evened it up by sending off Simic in first half injury time. It was a bad tackle, but he had not been previously booked.
    Spain didn't need a second invite. They took control and scored twice in the second half to take their place in the final against surprise package Russia.


    For those who don't know it, a Berner Hobelkäse is a Swiss hard cheese.


    In the final Spain came from behind to win 2-1 and take their 4th consecutive Euro championship.

    Last edited by Kingsley; 03-12-18 at 04:12 PM.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  11. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kingsley For This Useful Post:


  12. #133
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    25,438
    vCash
    746
    I think you mean 'hurt', not 'pain'

    A great start to the tournament in beating three of the biggest European teams.

    What is it about red cards/disallowed goals when you lose?!

  13. #134
    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    4,184
    vCash
    19400
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I think you mean 'hurt', not 'pain'

    A great start to the tournament in beating three of the biggest European teams.

    What is it about red cards/disallowed goals when you lose?!
    Thank's I've changed that to hurt. It's not a song I sing very often !
    I think it's fair to say that my teams don't respond very well to red cards. I usually pull of a striker, but with Switzerland playing 4-1-4-1, I sacrificed the DMC, but that is a crucial role as our central defenders are not the best.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  14. #135
    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    4,184
    vCash
    19400
    Chapter 23 - Are You Leamington In Disguise ?




    Odense

    Odense Boldklub (also known as Odense BK or the more commonly used OB) is a Danish professional football club based in the city Odense. The club has won three Danish championships and five Danish Cup trophies. OB play in the Danish Superliga and their home field is Nature Energy Park. OB were founded on 12 July 1887 as Odense Cricketklub, with cricket the only sport. In 1889, football and tennis departments were included in the club, and it changed name to the present Odense Boldklub. The club were then located in Munke Mose (The Monks bog) in Odense. OB moved to Ådalen in 1968, where the club still trains today.

    I was offered several jobs before settling on Odense. I was particularly interested in who would take over at Dinamo Zagreb as it was less than a week since I had left. In the end that went to the unemployed Luka Modric, previously sacked by Xanthi, Osijek and Lokomotiva, so that didn't open up an avenue. With nothing available in Brazil, Denmark was the other nation where I had unfinished business and it came down to a straight fight between Esbjerg and Odense. Odense were the first to make an offer.

    Odense had never been outside of the top-flight and had been runners up 3 times, the latest as recently as 3 seasons ago. They were able to claim 2 dups and 3 more finals, so there was some history of success. The question was, could we pull back a 25 point deficit in just 1 season ?


    The first job was to review the squad and my initial reaction was to ask myself if this was Leamington Spa ? We had no fewer than 18 nations represented



    Armenia, Brazil, Congo, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mali, Namibia, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Spain and Tanzania

    In addition, we had a decent veteran Czech keeper joining on a Bosman. My initial reaction was to use this as the base to create a squad with no more than 1 player per nation, however although I had £2.6m to spend, our wage limit was just £1.8k per week and it was extremely difficult to recruit anyone on these wages. This wage limit was a huge problem. Lyngby were able to offer upto £13k per week, and FC Copenhaguen £10k per week. In addition, a large number of the players I had were pretty useless and would need to be shifted, reducing the number of nations.

    I moved on players from Ecuador, El Salvador, 2 (out of 3) Spain, 1 (out of 2 Brazil), both Ivory Coast, Cyprus, Italy, Namibia, 1 (out of 2) Croatia and 12 out of 23 Denmark.

    Coming in, I was most excited about English right back Lee Gibson, who I had in my Melbourne Victoria squad and looked a class above anyone else in Odense.


    I captured another right back, Heitor Nascimento, a Brazilian from Dinamo Zagreb, as Modric started to dismantle my good work. I failed to complete deals on another 4 from Dinamo ! A Belgian winger, a Turkish winger, a Paraguayan forward and a Serbian midfielder, along with 5 Danes completed my summer transfers. A further Danish left back arrived on loan from Copenhaguen. Along with the Czech keeper, that brought the nations represented down to 17.

    I could at this point tell you the one about a boat being shipwrecked on a desert island. The survivors are one woman and two men each from England, France, Germany, Greece and Italy. A year later a rescue party arrives and finds that ...

    The two Italian men have shot each other over the woman.

    The two German men have worked out a rota system to share the woman.

    The two Greek men have shacked up together and the woman is doing the cooking.

    The French are living happily in ménage à trois.

    The English men are still waiting to be formally introduced to the woman.

    But I won't tell that one as it has no place in this story. Instead I'll start off with a League campaign, which started with a crazy 6-2 win at home to Midtjylland and followed by a 1-3 loss to Nordsjælland. It summed up the first half of the season, lethal going forward but fragile at the back. Twice we shipped 5 goals, but twice we scored 6. It was certainly entrertaining, but by the winter break, we had all but lost contact with Lyngby, who we actually beat at their place.


    While there was still a chance, I made some more changes. Gibson and Kolak, the Czech keeper, had both been disappointing and they were moved on, along with the Paraguayan that I also signed in the summer. The Tanzanian and the Congolese plus 6 Danes were also sold in a mini clearout. Replacing them were an Iranian midfielder, on loan, who immediately broke his leg and was returned. A Nigerian goalkeeper, also on loan and 2 more Danes on loan. The permanent deals included a Sudanese, a Pole and 2 Danes. The final total of nations being 15.

    We had finished the first half of the season by losing 2-1 to FC Copenhaguen and started the second half against the same opponents and suffered the same score. That pretty much ended our chances in the league. We still had another game to play against each of the top 2, but lost both of them, so 3rd place was as good as we could do. The gap to the champions was only 10 points, so we had made huge progress and were somewhere between best of the rest and worst of the best.


    To put it into context, Lyngby's 82 points and our 86 goals were both league records. 72 points would have won the league on 8 occasions. Losing 5 of the 6 games against the top 2 showed that we couldn't compete with their financial power.

    But what about the cup, the DBU Pokalen ? We were entered at the Fifth round, the last 16 stage and faced third tier outfit Kjellerup. An early goal settled any nerves and with 2 in the last 5 minutes, the 4-0 final score was as comfortable as it looked. 1st Division leaders VSK Aarhus were also brushed aside by an identical score and that paired us with FC Copenhaguen for the 2 leg semi final, with the first game played in the capital.

    It was played immediately after the second of the 2 league defeats, so it meant that we played them 3 games in a row. It ended in exactly the same score, 2-1 to FC Copenhaguen. 2 weeks later and we had them at our place. I didn't go into the game with much confidence, but atleast we made a game of it and we changed ends with the game still 0-0. With that away goal from the first leg, we just needed to fluke a goal to be in the final. 10 minutes into the second half, we got it. A corner was headed down by Djordjevic and it fell for Malian leading scorer Cheick Diarra to lash home the loose ball. After that, Copenhaguen threw the kitchen sink at us, but Piotr Jaworski in just his second game between the sticks was a man possessed. He was not going to be beaten and we were in the final, thanks to that away goal.


    In the other semi final, Nordsjælland held Lyngby to 2 goalless draws, then beat them on penalties so we would be facing Nordsjælland in the final.

    All of our loan signings had departed, but it was still a strong squad and as we had long since abandoned hope of the league, the key players were all rested and ready to go. Nordsjælland showed us why Lyngby had problems in the semi final. Their ultra defensive 5-3-2 was incredibly hard to break down. Right from the kick-off it was clear that they were looking to win on penalties. They offered nothing and recorded not a single effort on goal. It was all about whether we could break them. 2 minutes after half time we got the goal. And it was all 4 of the midfielders who were involved. Djordjevic won the ball in midfield and laid it off to Buitynck. The Belgian right winger advanced and sent in a deep cross which was won by left winger Rune Svensson. He headed down to Spanish midfielder Borja Merino and Nordsjælland were finally beaten.




    That is one huge get out of jail free card used. Looking at the deals lined up by both Lyngby and FC Copenhaguen it is going to be even harder to win the league next time round.



    International Update




    Switzerland


    World Cup qualifying is underway and it should be a straight fight between France and ourselves for the automatic spot, with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Norway making up the numbers. First blood has gone to the French who beat us 3-1 in Paris, but all the other games have gone to form.


    The next game is in Bern, against the French and it's a must win or we are looking at the playoffs.

    The 2 friendlies were a very encouraging 1-0 win in Argentina with an experimental side and an experimental 4-3-3 formation. The regulars also came away with a 1-0 win from Sweden.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  15. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Kingsley For This Useful Post:


  16. #136
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    25,438
    vCash
    746
    I thought you were saying about Leamington in disguise because of the runners-up places, then saw the nationalities

    Great to tick off another trophy! You'll have to hope to get the Copenhagen or Lyngby jobs in future.

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


  18. #137
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    6,252
    vCash
    33699
    Seems like I'm forever playing catch up on stories

    Monaco then, and two chances this season in the domestic cups, what a stroke of luck then you had no problem signing that Brazilian right winger despite it looking like he was joining your former club

    Won one lost one in terms of semi finals against Chambly, home advantage for both teams paying dividends, and it was a bit of a slog in the final before running riot in extra time and land that trophy.

    Real Madrid would have been a great move but it wasn't to be, while missing out on a fourth USA job is a worry, hopefully there's no problems there. I certainly didn't expect you to head to the Danish 3rd division but you can't beat a quick trophy, well the possibility of one anyway, and sure enough you won the league to tick another one off.

    Plain sailing with Switzerland.

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


  20. #138
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    6,252
    vCash
    33699
    A nice recap of your previous clubs, with the common theme of most of them falling apart after you've left, a bit of a shame teams never stay a force for long after you leave. AVB smashing it with Hertha though, while Moreirense have kicked on again following your departure. Monchengladbach on the other hand have dropped like a stone!

    Looked over by Stoke, not sure Mark would have approved given your record of success on your travels, but Dinamo Zagreb is a great job and you smashed it with a domestic double, and that fantastic Europa League win! That would have been story if you then managed to win the Champions League, stupid Palermo not appointing you though, but instead you've another short stay back in Japan, and a successful one at that too.

    Looks a tough group with Switzerland for the Euros though.

  21. #139
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    6,252
    vCash
    33699
    Well you had no trouble with that Euros group, and then turned on the style against the Ukraine, before red card heart break against Spain which you couldn't afford against such a top class team. Agreed the DMC role is pivotal in any formation, I'd have probably sacrificed a winger and gone 4-1-3-1.

    Odense up next then, and overturning 25 points is quite the challenge, but I'm sure some wheeling and dealing coupled with your tactical nous will give you a good chance of doing it, quite the collection of nations as well, Mark would be proud!

    Early impressions say you're a delight for the neutral fan with the amount of goals in your games, but from an Odense perspective your defence is terrible, so no surprise some more wheeling and dealing was done although Lyngby are well in control, and they converted that in to the title, not much you can do when they have a record breaking season.

    Nice work in the cup though, a bonus in Lyngby being knocked out on penalties in the semi final, but you can only beat what's in front of you and that's what you did in a tight game, and move on.

    Fingers crossed you can get that win over France to even things up, it's a playoff if you finish 2nd isn't it?

  22. #140
    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    4,184
    vCash
    19400
    Nice summary

    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    Fingers crossed you can get that win over France to even things up, it's a playoff if you finish 2nd isn't it?
    Yes. The top 6 second placed teams go into the play-off. Unless something goes horribly wrong, we should manage that.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    A nice recap of your previous clubs, with the common theme of most of them falling apart after you've left, a bit of a shame teams never stay a force for long after you leave. AVB smashing it with Hertha though, while Moreirense have kicked on again following your departure. Monchengladbach on the other hand have dropped like a stone!
    Other than Monchengladbach, I was surprised by how many had just resumed at the level where I found them. It looks like the Germans hit that problem where they don't recruit a single player and that is why they dropped like a stone.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  23. The Following User Says Thank You to Kingsley For This Useful Post:

    AMC

  24. #141
    Join Date
    08-03-12
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    508
    vCash
    500
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    [size=5]
    Our first obstacle was a much fancied England who's fans included David Badiel and Frank Skinner plugging the latest version of “Football's coming home 36”. Seventy years of hurt.


    Good to see you back in Denmark again and a classic champman evolution of the Danish leagues there with the likes of Marienlyst and Rosklide in the top flight! Always nice to see Lyngby back as a real power, especially if they are preventing FCK from any kind of success...

    I can't remember exactly how it is implemented in 0102 but the Pokal is a seeded draw, so you should usually get lower league sides in the early rounds and then a tough draw in the semis.

  25. The Following User Says Thank You to Kenny Dalglish's Smile For This Useful Post:


  26. #142
    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    4,184
    vCash
    19400
    Chapter 24 - Carry On Up The Jungle ?




    Kongsvinger

    Kongsvinger IL Toppfotball is a Norwegian football club from the town of Kongsvinger in Hedmark, founded in 1892. Its home ground is the 6,700 capacity Gjemselund Stadion. Despite limited financial resources, Kongsvinger played in the Norwegian top flight for 17 straight seasons between 1983 and 1999. Among the club's achievements were a silver medal in the league in 1992, bronze in 1986 and 1987 and a 1–1 draw against football powerhouse Juventus in the UEFA Cup 1993-94. Kongsvinger dropped out of the top flight in 1999, in the end struggling both financially and on the pitch. Only two years later another relegation sent the team down to the 2. divisjon, level three in Norwegian football. After a mediocre interlude in the 2002 season, former HamKam player Vegard Skogheim took over the job as Kongsvinger manager in 2003, instilling new enthusiasm into a young squad of part-timers. In 2003, the team went undefeated in their division and secured promotion back to the 1. divisjon, the second-highest level.

    I was offered several jobs after the Danish cup win, so perhaps the Norweigian second tier is not the most obvious choice. I'd have liked to stay in Denmark, or return to Croatia, but these were not available options, so a team sitting 3rd in the league with half the season remaining looked like an interesting option. If I've got to play these crappy leagues then I'm going to make it as easy as possible.


    On first inspection, I was delighted to see that we had the leagues leading goalscorer in Fredrik Aamodt (8 in 16 starts), but it was midfielder
    Øyvind Rise who really caught my eye. There can't be many better midfielders at this level.




    The rest of the squad was a bit of a mixed bag, but I had 3 games to play before the transfer window opened and that would give me a chance to assess what was needed. Any thoughts of an exciting run in for the title were quashed in those 3 games. We won all 3 of ours, while Sandefjord dropped 7 points (from 4 games) and Florø 5 points from their 3. We were already top of the league and with Aamodt scoring in all 3, the writing was on the wall. I'd have probably made it without making any changes, but I did bring in a few loans. A better keeper, some support for Aamodt and a defender and midfielder as cover.

    Aamodt kept scoring (12 in 14 games). We kept winning (14 on a row) and the title duly arrived in Kongsvinger


    I expect that Kongsvinger will struggle. They have a number of players and my loans leaving, so the new guy will have to recruit fast, with no money, if they are to survive in the top flight. But that is not my problem. I had a job just waiting for me.




    Cuiabá

    Cuiabá Esporte Clube is a Brazilian football team from Cuiabá in Mato Grosso, founded on December 12, 2001 by the retired footballer Gaúcho. They were not even in the ODB ! The town center is located in the geodesic center of South America and is deep in the Amazon jungle, not that far from the border with Ecuador.
    In the following years, due to Gaúcho's dissatisfaction with the Federação Mato-Grossense de Futebol and a financial crisis after the club not renewing the contract with their sponsor, Cuiabá closed its football department in 2006. Cuiabá reopened its football department in 2009, competing in the Campeonato Mato-Grossense Second Level. The club has won six state titles and one Copa Governador do Mato Grosso.

    In 2015, Cuiabá won the greatest title in its history to date. After losing the first match to the Remo by 4–1, it obtained a historic turnaround and won by 5–1, obtaining the title of Copa Verde of that year. With the title, the club secured a place in the Copa Sudamericana the following year and participated for the first time in an international competition.

    So, Tarzan and Jane were in the jungle and while Jane was asking Tarzan about his life she asked him how he had sex. Tarzan wasn't sure what she meant so she proceeded to explain. Tarzan explained that he used a knot hole in a tree trunk.
    Jane was shocked by this and said 'You can't do it like that I will have to show you'. So she takes of all her clothes, lays onto the ground and points to her privates 'Put it in there' she says.
    So Tarzan takes off his loin cloth and gets closer and then kicks her as hard as he can in the groin. Jane is rolling around in agony and says 'What did u do that for?' Tarzan says 'checking for squirrels'.

    But back to the story. On the face of it, a struggling Serié B side might not be the obvious place to go for a title especially as I jumped ship from Konsvinger at the first opportunity


    But look closer and the state championship, Campeonato Central, is one of the weakest, with no Serié A sides, and Cuiabá have won it 7 times, with 3 runners up. If I use the remaining league games to sort out the obvious goal scoring issue (8 from 14 games) then we must be in with a shout.

    The squad was in a bit of a mess, with 8 players having already agreed terms to leave and the 4 replacements looking very ordinary. There were also a host of good players in the reserves who had been marked as not needed. I also had a host of players who's contracts would be expiring in December. I relegated all of the agreed transfer players to the reserves, along with some dross that I was not interested in and who were also listed. I offered new contracts to all those expiring, and any who didn't sign were also sent to the reserves and listed. I did have to bring in 4 loan players to be able to fill the bench, but they were not used unless there was no alternative.

    From the wreckage of the squad there was a remarkable recovery, helped partly by two strikers, Malian Ousmane Touré and Brazilian Luiz Batista. The former had been languishing in the reserves. However the real star was another rescued from the reserves, Martinician right winger Nelly Thauvin


    He started 13 games, scored 8, with 4 assists and 5 man of the match awards. His average rating of 8.15 was close to unplayable and had me asking if he wanted a Swiss passport ! The goals were now flowing, and the defence still solid. We scored 31 goals in the remaining 13 games and if there were a few more games, we might have made the playoffs !


    Clearly there was only tinkering required, although once the loanees had returned, I only had 14 players who had made the grade. I certainly needed a new keeper, and the goal scoring alternatives to Touré and Batista were woeful. In all, 13 players arrived and 5 on loan as insurance for a hard season ahead. Striker Jean Carlos da Cruz looked to be the pick of the bunch, and so it proved as he bagged 13 from his 19 starts. However even he was over-shaddowed by the Martinician magician on the right wing. 18 starts, 10 goals, 15 assists and 11 man of the match. We romped though the league program, and the only disappointment was the goal that we conceded to Brasiliense.


    But of course this is Brazil, so the job is barely half done. We have the playoffs. Our progress in the Copa do Brazil suggested that we were no São Paulo. We had dispatched CRAC, Juventude and Serié A Bahia comfortably, so we knew how to win knockout games.

    First up, Navirense were beaten 4-0 in the first leg to end the tie. The final aggregate was 6-1. We then took revenge on Brasiliense with a 6-0 aggregate win. It set up a final with Gama. The first leg, at our place, was all one way traffic as the visitors looked to come away with something to play for. They will have been pleased to have held us to 1-0, although it was mainly our wastefulness in front of goal that helped them as we had 12 efforts, but only 5 on target. Into the second leg and we probably needed a goal. I wasn't going to rely on a 0-0 draw. Gama were more adventurous, but lacked a cutting edge in the final third. We took advantage and grabbed goals from Júlio César and Jean Carlos, both in the first half. They needed 4 to win and that never looked likely.




    An again I found a new home without much trouble. I'll be moving to a club much sought after my many previous managers. For some, the most popular club in the world.


    International Update



    Switzerland


    World Cup qualifying was in the balance. We had to beat France at home to stand any chance of qualifying automatically. We got the early goal, but couldn't put away the second and were made to pay with a second half equaliser. Although we went on to beat Norway and Kazakstan, we could only manage second place, which meant a playoff with Serbia.


    The first leg, in Belgradewas another game where we dominated, but couldn't score. I was starting to settle for a 0-0 draw when Bajic beat the keeper to a cross and headed the win for Serbia. We had everything to do at home.


    We needed a goal to get back in the tie, but it seamed destined not to come. We had 3 strong penalty claims denied and a goal chalked off for a dubious offside decision. But then Thomas Giger, so often our hero, got his head to a Wicht free kick to nod us level on aggregate. We pressed for a winner, but it was just not happening up front and so we were heading for extra time. Deep into injury time, Selmani won the ball in midfield. He looked up, spotted the run of Ramadani and sent him clear to chip over the keeper. What a time to bag his 20th international goal. There was not even time to kick off.




    We have been drawn against Italy, Jamaica and Japan in Group B for the finals.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  27. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Kingsley For This Useful Post:


  28. #143
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    25,438
    vCash
    746
    Easy stuff in Norway! You were clearly just settled in Scandinavia!

    That sounds like a proper challenge in Brazil, deep in the jungle (checking for squirrels ) and great to see you tick another title off in arguably the toughest country to complete.

    Your OP needs updating BTW

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


  30. #144
    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    4,184
    vCash
    19400
    Chapter 25 - He's one of our own


    International Update



    Switzerland


    Qualification for the World Cup finals in Argentina had not been the smoothest. Dario Ramadani's late, late goal in the qualifier had been the difference between joining the party and watching on the TV. Still, the warm up had gone well with comprehensive wins over Sweden (3-0) and Slovakia (5-0). Now for the real test and an opening game against Italy would probably determine who would take top spot in the group. That would be worth having as the runners up would be likely to face Netherlands in the last 16.


    There had been the ubiquitous call offs in the final weeks, but nobody important and there was cover brought in. Left back Pascal Wicht was suspended, but otherwise I had a full squad to select from. They say the Italians don't give you anything. Well they did exactly that. A low cross from the left was turned into his own net by their captain, Spur's Cristiano Testa, to give us a 7th minute lead. It didn't last long, Andrea Silvestri leveling 6 minutes later. Back we came and midway through the half, Smiljanic set up Thomas Giger to put us back in the lead. We were starting to boss the midfield and Italy were restricted to occasional attacks, but with Silvestri up front, that is all they need. With the final play of the half, he got his head to a cross and we changed ends at 2-2.

    That goal gave the Italians the boots they had been looking for and now we were on the back foot. Silvestri hit the bar when he looked on for a hat-trick and then his partner, Marco Ferrero thought he had scored, only to be thwarted by the linesman's flag. With 15 minutes left, I sent on Daniel Djuric to give fresh legs to the midfield and that looked as if it might have been enough to get us the draw as the Italians ran out of ideas. But then, from a throw in, Evan Christen used all of his pace of 4 to walk down the wing and send in a low cross. Djuric had been left unmarked and he lashed home a low drive. Italian heads dropped, but they were given a lifeline when Ivan Lungoyi received a straight red card for a late challenge on Testa. We weathered their storm and won a corner. Christen floated it to the back post and Dario Ramadani applied the finish with his head. I'm not sure we deserved it, but we had our opening win.


    Earlier, Japan had beaten Jamaica 2-0

    The hardest part of the job may be done, but there are no easy games at this level. We would be missing Lungoyi for the Jamaica game, but Wicht was back, so his recall was the only change. It meant Wasser swapping from left to right and Babic moving from right back to defensive midfield. To be honest, I'm not sure it would have mattered who we had put out. Lehmann, Ramadani, Waser and Christen all scored in the first 45 minutes. We took our foot off the gas and that allowed Dodd a late consolation


    There was a shock in the other game as Japan beat Italy 1-0. With a game to spare, we had qualified with Japan and the Italians were on their way home.

    Go for top spot, or rest players for the longer game ? I took the second option and made 10 changes, with only the keeper and Giger (who was told he would be pulled after 60 mins) starting from the Jamaica game. It also made a formational change to a 3-1-4-2. Japan started well and had us on the back foot for most of the first half. It was completely against the run of play when Giger his a hopeful shot from about 30 yards out that slipped through the keepers hands. Having got our noses in front, the flood gates opened. Lehmann scored 2 quick goals at the start of the second half and then Mike Pillar opened his international account with 2 headers from 2 late corners. Again I think the score flattered us.


    As predicted, Netherlands won group A and would face Japan. On paper, we had an easier task facing Romania for a place in the quarter finals. Despite the extra rest, we were still without 3 players who had not recovered from the Jamaica game to be able to start. And 5 of the starting 11 were less than 100% ready. It was therefore a bit of a mish-mash of 1st team and backup, but we were back to our 4-1-4-1 formation. Romania had a very aggressive 4-2-1-3 line-up, but then tried to defend. We were restricted to just 3 shots in the first half, but from one of them Djuric gave us the lead. Romania opened up a bit after the interval, and Lucescu earned them an equaliser, but there was really only one team that looked like getting a winner. It came from Djuric with 7 minutes of normal time remaining and set up a quarter final with the hosts, Argentina.


    We were set back by 2 huge blows in the buildup. Striker Dario Ramadani failed a late fitness test and he would have to settle for a place on the bench. Defensive midfielder Ivan Lungoyi was also not able to start the match. Smijanic was pulled back to cover for Lungoyi, but without his surging runs and Ramadani's eye for goal, we lacked a cutting edge. Argentina on the other hand had arguably the player of the tournament in Carlos Cisneros, the forme Colón man having made a £18m move to Man Utd. It got worse as Ramadani's replacement lasted just 30 minutes and had to be replaced by Dylan Hermann making only his 3rd appearance. We did well to hang on for an hour, but once Cisneros had put Romero through for the opener, you knew it was not to be. You could only applaud their second, Cisneros beat Lehmann and Smiljanic, played a 1-2 with Romero then chipped the keeper for a wonder goal that only he could have scored.




    If only I hadn't discovered him and given him his breakthrough, how it might have been different. After previously going out on red cards, at least this time we can say it was a better team.

    Argentina went onto the final where they would play Portugal. It was the game that everyone had wanted as arguably the worlds best 2 players would line up against each other. Carlos Cisneros of Argentina v Miguel Ribeiro of Portugal. But it was not to be. Cisneros was an unused sub. Ribiero bossed the game, scored one and set up another in a virtuoso performance that earned him man of the match in the 3-1 win.


    For Switzerland we have an interesting Euro qualifiers about to start where we will be facing Scotland. Armenia, Belgium, FYROM and Luxembourg complete the group. I think I'll be looking for a tactical change. Against the bigger teams, we lack the firepower up front and I'm playing wingers more to accommodate the best players than because we have natural wingers. I'm considering a 4-4-2 diamond or maybe a 4-3-3 for the qualifiers.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  31. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Kingsley For This Useful Post:


  32. #145
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    25,438
    vCash
    746
    Not even Ramadani could help beat Messi!

    Maybe it's time to find a new country with a better chance of winning tournaments?

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


  34. #146
    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    4,184
    vCash
    19400
    I do look at the options after each tournament, but it should be possible to win with the Swiss. Austria and Serbia have won The Wold Cup with AI managers, so it should be possible. I do need some new blood as this is pretty much the same squad that I had for my first tournament. There are some coming through the U21s, but I'm also looking to change the formation to maybe get the best of the current squad. Forinstance I have Giger on the left wing so as to accommodate Smaljanic and Lungoyi, but I suspect that my best player would be better in central midfield
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  35. #147
    Join Date
    08-03-12
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    508
    vCash
    500
    Brilliant result against Italy though!

  36. The Following User Says Thank You to Kenny Dalglish's Smile For This Useful Post:


Page 6 of 6 FirstFirst ... 23456

Posting Permissions

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