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Thread: Intrinsically Valuable

  1. #76

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    Awww, I might've kept him if I knew that.

    Fucking Jamo, though.

  2. #77

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    Intrinsically Valuable - part 16



    Lenny the Lion, master of buckets

    League Two Game 32: Shrewsbury Town (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Zola, Tesoro, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic - Garratt, Laget - Collins - Blake, Bertarelli
    Result: Shrewsbury Town 0 - Bristol Rovers 0
    Goals:
    MoM: Fredrik Bryngelsson (Shrewsbury)

    Notes: Tuesday night sees us making the trip up the M5 to face Shrewsbury Town at every school boys favourite ground, Gay Meadow. It means happy, fact fans. Not much to be happy about here, though. Having barely scraped a win against bottom of the league Torquay at home on Saturday we put in an equally terrible performance here, at least from an attacking sense against the 23rd place side in the division. Despite starting in the diamond shape which had help us comeback last match we can’t muster a shot on goal. Switching to the flat 442 on 70 minutes barely changes things and the fans of both sides won’t remember this game for long as neither goalkeeper has to make a save over the 90 minutes. Awful!



    Theo. Aye.

    League Two Game 33: Leyton Orient (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Kaczmarek, Zola, Tesoro, Boxall - Montenegro, Osinski, Godfrey, Ducros - Therkildsen, Bertarelli
    Result: Bristol Rovers 1 - Leyton Orient 1
    Goals: Therkildsen; Canham
    MoM: Andrew Ducros

    Notes: Nearly 7.5k supporters at the Memorial Ground is a great sight for the visit of the ‘O’s. Leyton Orient have won their last 4 road games and are right in the mix for the third promotion spot so we know this will be a tough game. With two games a week at the moment some squad rotation is vital, so we change shape again and line up with a blend of experience and youth.

    Great start for the visitors who are playing with confidence. Dangerman Lee Thorpe starts the move which results in a cross from the right, a wee bit of head tennis in our area and eventually the ball is poked home by central midfielder Scott Canham. By ten minutes played Orient could have easily extended their lead, Zola blocking a goal bound effort while Thorpe fizzes a shot wide.

    This is Orient’s best spell in the match, however, and as the half wears on the game becomes wave after wave of Rovers attack, with Therkildsen finally breaking their resistance after another lovely assist by Ducros in the wide right role.

    In the second half I expect us to kick on, but we don’t quite manage it, and despite bossing the game in all the statistics we only come away with the point. With four points dropped in the last two games and Hull continuing their winning ways the gap between the top teams is reduced. A rather flat end to the month, probably resulting from some tiredness.



    League Table on March 1st. Still a lot of work to do to hold off Hull City.

    February’s youngsters in the first team rotation have been Montenegro and Enrico Palini. The young italian has shown a few glimmers of quality but will head back to the reserves to continue his development. All-in-all he started two cup games and came on in two league games, average rating of 6,75 but no goals or assists to show for it. Montenegro showed that he is some way ahead in his development, starting two games each in league and cup, with one league sub appearance. Average rating of 7,6, with 1 goal 1 assist and a man-of-the-match performance at Oxford. Gael Laget has done enough to become a fixture in the first team squad now.



    Clarence the Dragon and Kerry Catona

    Vans Trophy Southern Final Leg One: Northampton Town (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Murray, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic - Garratt, Laget - Collins - Blake, Ducros
    Result: Bristol Rovers 1 - Northampton 0
    Goals: Blake
    MoM: Gareth Downey (Northampton)

    Notes: A massive match sees Kerry Catona unveil herself as the Gas’s basically first ever celebrity fan and she is treated to a neat and tidy performance from the boys, and valuable clean sheet. Kerry loves a clean sheet. Northampton are just off the promotion pace in League One and sport some dangerous attacking players in Welsh Wing Wizard Paul Trollope and targetman Jamie Forrester. With the fixture hot on the heels of Saturday’s grinding draw with Orient it is once again necessary to rotate, and we have to field a pretty inexperienced central midfield pairing in Garratt and Laget. Ducros gets another chance to impress as a forward and loanee Frederick Murray deputises for the tired Kaczmarek.

    Over 11,000 fans pack into the ground for this early evening Tuesday fixture and to wish the lads well in their quest to reach their first cup final, and they see a comprehensive performance all over the pitch. Northampton don’t register a single shot, but their keeper Downey is in fine form and we will take a single goal lead into the return fixture at Sixfields next week. Josh Blake is the scorer with a very well taken low finish after a clever chip over the defence by Martin Garratt. The only downside is when Murray goes down under a clumsy challenge on the hour and will miss at least a month with a groin injury.


    March’s remaining schedule:

    Carlisle (A)
    Northampton Town (A)
    Macclesfield (A)
    Rushden and Diamonds (H)
    Cambridge Utd (A)
    Rochdale (A)
    Oxford Utd (H)

  3. #78

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    Every schoolboys favourite ground

    Awful performance there but you're allowed a few!

    The increase in attendance over last few games = glory hiunters turning up!

    11k - wow - what is capacity?

    Nice 1-0 win and a clean sheet (away goal rule in this?!)

    Final surge needed now to finish as champions

    Kerry Katona

  4. #79

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    12000 capacity stadium, 4000 seats. Glory Hunters

    Away goals DO count, yeah. So potentially a great clean sheet there.

    Speaking of glory hunters, hopefully not the last time Katona features...

  5. #80

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    What an entertaining run!

    Still unbeaten though. No surprises to see Palini isn't making headlines.

  6. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    No surprises to see Palini isn't making headlines.
    Oh aye? Show up in your story and criticise Bonne did I? No need to take it out on a poor, vulnerable young lad making his way in a new country

  7. #82

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  8. #83

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    Intrinsically Valuable - part 17

    With just a few days between the Vans Trophy Southern Final first leg and the next league fixture away at Carlisle I give the players a day off to rest up. Mark McKeever’s agent catches up with me to let have a chat about some interest in his client from Peterborough. I let him know I would consider to let Mark move up a division, but only if the price is right. He mentions £200k. I tell him, double it, at least.



    Olga the Fox, with fox on plinth. No. Me neither.

    League Two Game 34:Carlisle United (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Kaczmarek, Zola, Tesoro, Boxall - McKeever,Osinski, Godfrey, Ducros - Therkildsen, Bertarelli
    Result: Carlisle United 2 - Bristol Rovers 2
    Goals: Holloway, Dickinson; Kaczmarek, Therkildsen
    MoM: Marcin Kaczmarek

    Notes: Our third consecutive league draw, but this was a great game from a fans perspective with plenty of end-to-end action. The conditions were really awful, blowing a gale and driving rain, added to a long trip North to Cumbria to create less than ideal conditions for the team, and facing an opponent who have an excellent home record, and dangerous players in many positions. If it hadn’t been for the draws which preceded this game I would definitely have settled for a point here. In the end we had to come from behind twice, Kaczmarek with a great mazy run and shot, then later in the second half Therkildsen’s 20th goal of the season. In the end we could have won it, the linesman flagging for a penalty but the referee didn’t want to give it. Stonewall for me.

    On the bus back to Bristol my phone rings and whadya know? It’s McKeever’s agent again. This time it’s Cardiff City… they are wondering if we might accept £425k. Nah… but we might get tempted at 700...

    We have a lot of really tired players now at this point of the season, having played three games a week for what feels like forever, so training is reduced down to just recovery, physio and tactical preparation/film study. There’s a huge game on Tuesday… the return leg with Northampton Town.



    Clarence with bananas growing out of his head.

    Vans Trophy Southern Final Leg Two: Northampton Town (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Kaczmarek, Tesoro, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic - Garratt, Godfrey - Collins - Blake, Bertarelli
    Result: Northampton Town 0 - Bristol Rovers 4
    Goals: Bertarelli (2), Bachtobji, Collins
    MoM: Luca Bertarelli

    Notes: They are only one goal down, but Northampton start like a team possessed, pushing everyone forwards and looking for an early knock-out blow, but we have seen off better sides than this in the FA Cup this season, and we are resilient in the opening phases of the game, limiting the home team to speculative long shots, one of which McGlynn has to tip over. From the quarter hour we start to enjoy some possession and create a few chances of our own. Then, right on the stroke of half time we win out third corner of the game and Kaczmarek delivers a delightful ball for Bertarelli to score! That one settles the nerves, and with the away goal Northants now need three goals to knock us out. They don’t get them, and in the second half we punish them ruthlessly with counter attacking goals and finally a lovely move with many passes leading up to Ducros, on as a sub feeding Collins who slots a joyous fourth! A fantastic performance and result, with the only dark cloud being a possible injury to right back Danny Boxall. We’ll have to wait and see on that one, but we have a Wembley final to look forward to, and we will play Carlisle United in a month or so.

    During the week we settle a deal for Mark McKeever to leave the club in the summer. The deal will net us £650k as he signs on at Cardiff City. There is a pretty good chance that means he will be playing Championship football next season, so good luck to him.

    Meanwhile our recruitment policy is starting to get the attention of some of the bigger teams. Scouts from several sides have been watching Martin Garratt and Portsmouth have been present at several recent matches.



    Yet another Roary the Lion

    League Two Game 35: Macclesfield Town (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Kaczmarek, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic - Osinski, Godfrey - Collins - Therkildsen, Bertarelli
    Result: Macclesfield Town 0 - Bristol Rovers 1
    Goals: Therkildsen
    MoM: Steve Thornley (Macclesfield)

    Notes: Macclesfield have a chance at making the play-offs and are in good form so I expected a tight encounter. Defensively the are really good, and I change the shape on the hour mark with the game scoreless, Montenegro and Andrew Ducros coming on to make the pitch as wide as possible, while I deploy David Collins behind Therkildsen in a 4-4-1-1 shape, and the switch earns us a tight win when Therkildsen latches on to a poor back pass, rounds Tom Phillips in the home goal and finishes cooly. After that the win is not seriously threatened.

    Once again there is only limited time for recovery before a home fixture against another strong side, Rushden and Diamonds. I was half expecting more transfer business based on the interest in our squad, but the main development was our first ever international call-up, as Vitalijs Astafjevs is selected for ‘Latvia-B’. You gotta start somewhere!



    Another lion, but this time meet Dazzle (on the right!)
    League Two Game 36: Rushden & Diamonds (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Kaczmarek, Tesoro, Bahtobji, Boxall - McKeever, Osinski, Laget, Ducros - Blake, Bertarelli
    Result: Bristol Rovers 5 - Rushden & Diamonds 2
    Goals: Blake, Ducros, Laget, Osinski, Tesoro; Darby Underwood
    MoM: Josh Blake

    Notes: How. The. ****. Were these level at half time? We absolutely rip into Rushden for half an hour with goals by Blake and Ducros the least we deserve but somehow we go in to the break level. The second half sees us dominate again, but this time without the mistakes and with better focus. Laget scores his first for the club, Osinski scores his first for good while, and to cap the performance Tesoro scores an outrageous goal, striding forwards from centre back before unleashing a 30 yard drive to make it five! As a certain German manager would say, that was ‘very cool’!



    Marvin the Moose.

    League Two Game 37: Cambridge United (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Challis, Zola, Tesoro, Kaczmarek - McKeever, Osinski, Laget, Ducros - Blake, Therkildsen
    Result: Cambridge 0 - Bristol Rovers 1
    Goals: Osinski
    MoM: Suni Barreto Pontes (Cambridge)

    Another solid 1-0 win on the road earns us a play-off spot at a minimum and there are few scares in this encounter. Trevor Challis returns to the line up with Boxall carrying a knock, while Laget and Ducros keep their places in the 11. Despite some calls for fans for Ducros to play at centre forward he is really doing the business in as a wide forward in a 442 system. Laget meanwhile has really grown through the season and looks the real deal in th middle of the park. The goal comes from Osinski just before half time, his second of the week and a welcome return to form.



    Desmond trying to avoid getting smacked in the balls by a rampaging Getty Images sign.

    League Two Game 38: Rochdale (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Challis, Tesoro, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic - Garratt, Godfrey - Collins - Blake, Therkildsen
    Result: Rochdale 0 - Bristol Rovers 1
    Goals: Blake
    MoM: Mohamed Bachtobji

    Notes: Boring, Boring Rovers? Not so much, as we create a lot of chances and dominate the game for long phases. Rochdale have a fantastic performance from the centre half and captain Richard Jobson to thank for martialing their backline and throwing himself in front of several goal bound shots. We score early through Blake and try as we might, more goals won’t come. But that is a third consecutive away one goal win, no goals conceded, and that is worth a lot at this point of the season.

    March’s remaining schedule:

    Oxford Utd (H)

  9. #84

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    • Olga the Fox Bitch of a journey up there – point is fine
    • Da fuq is Clarence all about?! Bananas out of head Belting win and a fine price for McKeever
    • Latvia “B” call up
    • Dazzle a cheap ass mascot Great 2nd half v Rushden and a crackerjack of a long range effort!
    • Marvin is my favourite this month  Great week for Osinski! (what nationality is he?)
    • Wahahahahahaha – no Desmond is awesome – what is he – a Dragon?! Very impressive defensively again

  10. #85

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    Osinski is a Polish AM/FC, we usually play him either MC with an arrow forwards in the 442 shape or plain old MC in the diamond.

    Here he is:




    I think Desmond is dragon, yeah.

  11. #86

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    Wow - he looks awful on paper!

  12. #87

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    Yeah. But he is 'Intrinsically Valuable'

  13. #88

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    There is some very strange mascots out there? Fox with a fox on a plinth? A very feminine looking dragon. A scary rabbit, perhaps inspired by Donnie Darko!

    All going nicely on the pitch, unbeaten run going on. Good deal for McKeever!

  14. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Dalglish's Smile View Post
    Yeah. But he is 'Intrinsically Valuable'
    I think I understand your principles.

  15. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by samsami View Post
    I think I understand your principles.
    I'm sure you do

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    Intrinsically Valuable - part 18

    Success in the various cups has left us a game behind most of the league, so we have a midweek fixture to close out March. A win would see us promoted with seven games to play.


    Cap’n Gas and some glory hunters.

    League Two Game 39: Oxford United (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Challis, Zola, Bachtobji, Kaczmarek - Montenegro, Osinski, Godfrey, Ducros - Blake, Therkildsen
    Result: Bristol Rovers 2 - Oxford United 0
    Goals: Blake, Ducros
    MoM: Josh Blake

    Notes: Aaaaaand we’re up! We never had to get out of second gear in this game. Josh Blake put us ahead with the first attack of the game, before setting up Andrew Ducros for the second just before half-time. Oxford saw plenty of ball in the second half as we sat back and looked to soak up pressure, but they rarely gave McGlynn anything to deal with and we could and probably should have had one or maybe even two penalties in the second half. Oxford themselves are right in the playoff hunt so this is a really convincing win which puts us 8 points clear of Hull with seven each to play. We will save the real celebration for the end of the season, but there is time for a wee little drink after the game ends, and I notice that celebrity superfan Kerry Katona was once again good value in the lounge.

    The next morning I give the lads half a day off and get together to discuss the state of affairs with the analytics team. We look ahead to the summer and next season a little bit, but the major topic of discussion is the number of talent scouts attending our matches these days. Olly tells me that there were scouts from Dunfermline watching Mark Fox, Portsmouth watching Kaczmarek and Garratt, and Sheffield Wednesday giving Montenegro a look. We’ll have to keep an eye on teams looking to get the benefits of our innovative recruitment strategy.



    Yorkie and Norris the Knight

    League Two Game 40: York City (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Kaczmarek, Zola, Tesoro, Boxall - Mandic - Garratt, Laget - Collins - Blake, Therkildsen
    Result: Bristol Rovers 1 - York City 1
    Goals: Blake; Grant
    MoM: Josh Blake

    Notes: York are a mid-level side in the division who are hard to judge due to their inconsistent form. Terry Dolan sends them out in a really defensive 532 system with the strikers dropping back to shield the midfield. Almost immediately their system becomes a 531 as centre back Gary Hobson is sent off for a horrible two-footed tackle on Laget. When Josh Blake scores a stunning goal on 5 minutes, bursting past two defenders before scoring from the edge of the box with a left foot rocket it feels as if the three points are in the bag. But Howarth in the York goal is in inspired form, while we are a little complacent. With twenty minutes to go I try to shake things up and search the killer second goal, bringing on three players and switching to a 4312 system, becoming 4132 in possession. Almost immediately York score from their first and only attempt, a header from a long distance freekick hoofed into our box. The game peters out without either side really creating another decent chance. Disappointing! But Hull lose to Oxford at home so we end up extending our lead.

    Despite only 40 games being played the league publish their League Two team of the season and it is rather disappointing that we only have a single representative: Gary McGlynn is selected as the best keeper.



    Best mascot in the division. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Elvis J. Eel!

    League Two Game 41: Southend United (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Murray, Zola, Bachtobji, Boxall - Mandic - Garratt, Godfrey - Ducros - Bertarelli, Fox
    Result: Southend United 2 - Bristol Rovers 2
    Goals: Searle, Clarke; Bertarelli, Bachtobji
    MoM: Steve Clarke (Southend)

    Notes: With promotion secured, and a few tired legs, it is a good opportunity to give one or two youngsters some first team action, and foremost amongst those is Mark Fox, who starts here alongside the experienced Bertarelli. The lads know that the York City result wasn’t good enough and I challenge them to put that right in this game at Roots Hall, one of my favourite grounds in the division, and against a damn fine side that Rob Newman has put together. Rob himself is 38 years old now, but he has played every minute of every league game this season at centre back.,

    We storm into an early lead for the third game running, Ducros looking very lively in this AMC role, and net from two goals from corners through Bertarelli and then Bachtobji. Approaching half-time our intensity drops and we are stunned to concede two goals in five minutes to send us in level at the break. The second half is an even affair with no more goals, but the real kicker is that Slavko Mandic goes down with a thigh strain and will miss a few weeks of action. That puts him out for the Vans Trophy final, and as our only senior DMC will mean that I will most likely have to change formation away from the one I had wanted to play.

    Nonetheless, this draw means we are 14 games unbeaten, a club record, and a great way to be heading into a cup final.

    The build-up to the final sees more international call-ups for Rovers players. Astafjevs has now been called up to the Latvian national squad, while Wayne Carlisle will join up with Northern Ireland B after our Wembley trip.

    There are a full round of fixtures the day before the Vans Trophy Final and Hull secure their own promotion with an easy home win over Scunthorpe. They are just two points behind us again, albeit we have the game in hand.



    Bristol Rovers’ first ever visit to Wembley Stadium!

    Vans Trophy Final 2016: Carlisle United (N)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Kaczmarek, Tesoro, Bachtobji, Boxall - McKeever, Osinski, Godfrey, Ducros - Blake, Therkildsen
    Result: Carlisle United 1 - Bristol Rovers 2
    Goals: Foran; Blake (2)
    MoM: Michal Osinski

    Notes: Nearly 56k in attendance which is a fantastic following for two of the best sides in League Two. Our record against Carlisle this season has been excellent with a good home win and a battling draw at Brunton Park so the opponents hold no special fear for us, but the occasion? The historic venue? The desire to win our first ever silverware? I couldn’t be certain how the team would respond.

    Carlisle lined up in a 442 shape, Brian Wake their dangerman in attack, but they went for experience at right back with Juan Carlos Guerrero, and a very defensive winger in front of him, Simon Grayson, a very experienced and hard working midfielder.

    With Mandic unavailable we also setup in a nominal 442 shape, but whereas Roddy Collins likes his wingers to push on in possession I prefer to use McKeever and Ducros a little deeper, and have Osinski breaking the lines from a more central position. Josh Blake has been in scintillating form so it is no surprise that he gets the start here, and yet again he gets the opening goal, timing his run onto Osinski’s probing pass and sliding the ball under the onrushing Matthew Glennon. The goal had been coming, as we had Carlisle penned in from around the ten minute mark and by the time Blake opened the scoring Carlisle were already starting to tire.

    Therkildsen could have extended the lead on 38 minutes with a nice run and shot just wide, but we didn’t have to wait long and when the goal came it was a wonderful effort worthy of any cup final. Osinski once again found space between the defence and midfield and cracked open the Carlisle back line with another clever through ball. This time Blake still had work to do, but he easily held off the challenge of Guerrero before dribbling past Whitehead and smashing the ball past Glennon into the roof of the net. He just keeps getting better and better!

    Carlisle made changes for the second half, but we were fairly comfortable for the most part. Blake was brought down very clumsily by Guerrero on the hour but for some reason the referee didn’t give the penalty for what looked a clear foul. I’m pretty sure he would’ve given it at 0-0 and I hate it when referees give too much importance to the context. Yes we are well ahead and comfortable but Carlisle can still get back into this, and when Foran scores for them on 86 minutes the team and their fans do have hope. It’s squeaky bum-time for us as Carlisle win a series of corners in time added on and McGlynn makes two very solid saves but eventually the referee blow his whistle and the Intrinsic Method has its first silverware!

    Carlisle made us sweat at the end there, but the better side won through. Michal Osinski was magnificent in the centre of the park, constantly making himself available to receive the pass and then dangerous when in possession. Josh Blake announced himself big time with two great finishes and just keeps getting better and better.



    The Imp.

    League Two Game 42: Lincoln City (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Murray, Zola, Moss, Boxall - Coynes - Osinski, Laget - Collins - Fox, Bertarelli
    Result: Bristol Rovers 2 - Lincoln CIty 0
    Goals: Bertarelli, Fox
    MoM: Luca Bertarelli

    Notes: Plenty of changes after the excitement of the cup final but a nice regulation win. Paul Pettinger seemed like he was on a one man mission to earn Lincoln a point this evening but two goals in three minutes around the hour mark settled the match. Luca Bertarelli made the breakthrough but it was youngster Fox’s goal which got everyone excited and was richly deserved for the quality he has shown over the past few games.



    Scunny Bunny and another celebrity fan. This time it’s….. top tracksuit Mel C!

    League Two Game 43: Scunthorpe (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Murray, Tesoro, Bachtobji, Kaczmarek - Montenegro, Osinski, Godfrey, Ducros - Blake, Collins
    Result: Bristol Rovers 2 - Scunny Bunny 0
    Goals: Blake (2)
    MoM: Josh Blake

    Notes: Mel C in the house (no Katona this time) to watch the new Gas standard performance, 2-0 and comfortable. It’s that man Blake again with two goals in the first 15 minutes, after which the only really notable moment is Montenegro having to go off with a knee injury. Ducros and Collins with the assists. One more win and we will wrap up the title.


    The parade of visiting scouts shows no signs of abating, indeed, there is more and more interest in our young talents and we are vulnerable to quite a few minimum release clauses. With the league almost wrapped up I take the time to sit down with the agents of all the affected players and offer revised deals with no release clauses. For certain this will mean better wages for all concerned, but most of them seem to be happy to buy into our project. The main players affected are:

    Gary McGlynn (GK)
    Mohamed Bactobji (DC)
    Marcin Kaczmarek (D/AMRL)
    Andrew Ducros (FRC)
    Mark Fox (FRLC)



    H’Angus.

    League Two Game 44: Hartlepool (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
    Team: McGlynn - Murray, Zola, Moss, Boxall - Mandic - Osinski, Laget - Collins - Blake, Fox
    Result: Hartlepool 1 - Bristol Rovers 2
    Goals: R. Fox; Blake, M. Fox
    MoM: David Collins

    Notes: For the first game in, well, ages we fall behind as an old warrior and long time veteran of the Premier League with Norwich, Newcastle and Tottenham, Ruel Fox pops up in League Two and puts the home side ahead. That is about as good as it gets for Kevin Hodges’s side, however, as first Josh Blake heads home a David Collins cross; then, when the same combination had forced a decent save from Jason Matthews, Mark Fox reacted quickest to score his second in two starts. We batter Hartlepool for the rest of the match but without further troubling the scorers. The result is never in doubt and these three points mean we go up as champions!


    Now we can celebrate and it is a fantastic atmosphere on the bus home. I take it pretty easy, at least regarding the booze, and to be honest the team are also pretty restrained. It is a good bunch of professionals and I can tell they want to give their best for the remaining two fixtures.

    Sunday morning sees more good news. Mark Fox, Gary McGlynn and Mo Bachtobji have all signed new deals without release clauses leaving only Ducros and Kaczmarek to resolve.



    The legend that is… Pilgrim the Panther

    League Two Game 45: Boston United (A)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Kaczmarek, Tesoro, Bachtobji, Boxall - McKeever, Osinski, Godfrey, Ducros - Blake, Bertarelli
    Result: Boston Utd 0 - Bristol Rovers 2
    Goals: Osinski, Fox
    MoM: Michal Osinski

    Notes: A great reception for us at York Street as champions but we show no mercy and put Boston to the sword with a very classy 2-0 win. Osinski breaks the deadlock just before half-time, and Mark Fox scores a again, this time off the bench for the injured Bertarelli. Osinski and Godfrey are dominant in the middle of the park and Andrew Ducros impresses yet again from a right midfield berth. After the game he tells me that he will be signing the new contract offer and is happy to let his existing release clause expire. Great news!



    Our last game in League Two (we hope!) and our Welsh friends have served up a special treat. Here’s Clarence!

    League Two Game 46: Wrexham (H)
    Formation: 4-4-2
    Team: McGlynn - Murray, Zola, Tesoro, Boxall - Montenegro, Osinski, Godfrey, Ducros - Blake, Collins
    Result: Bristol Rovers 2 - Wrexham 0
    Goals: Ducros, Tesoro
    MoM: Andrew Ducros

    Notes: it is HUGELY disappointing that our opponents don’t have a pig-based mascot called Rex Ham but ANYWAY the final round of fixtures is more about who will make the play-offs with four teams in the mix for three places. Swansea, Oxford and Leyton Orient have the places at the start of the last round of games, but Southend will leapfrog Leyton as the results come in and leave the O’s missing out on goal difference between three sides all on 81 points. Meanwhile we score two for the seventh game in a row and finish the season on a massive 113 points! That is a record which will probably stand for a long time and a testament to our Intrinsic recruitment methodology. Hull City, the pre-season favourites finish comfortably in second place, also breaking the 100 points barrier but 10 points adrift of us. Rushden and Diamonds also come up in one of the automatic promotion places, while Exeter City drop down into the Conference.

    As a final note, Sunderland sack their manager Peter Reid. Why is this of note? They only have an FA Cup final to play next weekend!


    The final league table looking very, very nice.


    Up Next:

    Plenty of analysis on the intrinsics of players and end-of-season review.

  17. #92

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    wow, what a game from osinski in the trophy! You are making good use of his characteristics. I think he may have good 'important matches' attribute as well?

    Glad to see fox renewed contract!

  18. #93

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    • Cap’n Gas
    • Great to get promoted so early – massive congrats
    • Who the feck is Norris the Knight?!
    • Hangover game v York
    • Wow – surprised 1 player in team of season but I think you have rotated a lot havcen’t and brought the high performing “reserves” in haven’t you? How many players have played more than 30 games say? (not that number of games means you should have more chance of being on the team of year)
    • Wahahahahahahaha – Elvis J Eel
    • Oooooh – I had Wayne Carlisle early doors in my Swansea Story – he was VERY versatile for me – did well as attacking full back at home and covered midfield areas – I think in the end he was too versatile and didn’t really improve quality wise
    • 56k in final
    • Roddy Collins - helluva name
    • Congrats on first silverware (2nd coming with League I guess)
    • The Imp – looks a freaky fecker!
    • Scunny Bunny looks odd
    • Da fuq is H’Angus?!
    • Did the players agree the new deals? If so, great to tie them up with no release clauses
    • RUEL FOX
    • Campioneeeeeeeeee!
    • Pilgram Panther – mwahahahahahahah
    • Clarence the Dragon disappoints me 
    • Reid sacked is harsh – always like him even though he’s a bluenose
    • GUWON THE SWANS FOR PLAYOFFS!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I reckon you should do "celebrity" fans of the clubs for next season - although I love the mascots!

  19. #94

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    Reid is a massive red, you know, even though he played for them

  20. #95

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    Promotion confirmed in March... Bravo!

    Excellent work on the Vans Trophy too. Nice to get a double at that level

    Rex Ham

  21. #96

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    It has been a busy period leading up to Christmas but I finally found the time to begin the season review. The spoilers tags contain detailed information on the players' intrinsic attributes, so if you don't want to see them you have been warned. However, I guess if you are following this story seeing the intrinsics is kind-of the point Without further ado...


    Intrinsically Valuable - part 19 - End of Season Review Part 1

    All-in-all a fantastic season for the Intrinsic Method with a Vans Trophy victory, promotion as champions ahead of a very strong Hull City side, and a nice FA Cup run, with the highlight being a storming 4-0 away win over a Watford side who finish in 5th place in the Championship and have a chance of promotion via the playoffs.

    As the season reaches its conclusion with the FA Cup Final between Sunderland and Chelsea and the various playoff scenarios I begin the process of review with my team of analysts. We look at overall team performance, individual performances, and the summer transfer strategy.



    Team Performance

    Whichever way you slice it this team has a shout to be the greatest Rovers side of all time already. Previously ‘the gas’ have one trophy in their history - winning the old third division (now League One) in 1990, ahead of Bristol City as it happens, to achieve promotion to the Championship. This year we have brought a new methodology and instantly tripled the trophy count of a team with 120 years of history behind them.

    Fundamentally this success has been built on the defence. Throughout the season we have played with a back four, zonal marking scheme. In Championship manager terms this is not an optimal setup for achieving star wars numbers ratings on the defenders, in particular their individual ratings, but also the amount of tackling. You can definitely argue that a zonal scheme is overall better for the whole team, however, and one of the key stats of the season is the 27 goals against in 46 league games. This is a phenomenal achievement at this level, with the volume of games and the number of dangerous forwards outnumbering the quality of the defenders several times over. Looking through the European leagues there are only a handful of clubs with better defensive records, and they have all played significantly less games than we play in League Two:

    • Arsenal (17 goals conceded - which makes Lazio’s 6-0 aggregate win in the CL semis all the more remarkable)
    • Lyon (24)
    • FC Bayern (19)
    • Dortmund (22)
    • Inter (19)
    • Roma (24)
    • Milan (28)
    • Valencia (22)
    • Real Madrid (20)



    In other words, the only teams to have conceded less than Bristol Rovers this season are playing in the best leagues that Europe can offer, and in every case have played a minimum of 8 games fewer. While the individual ratings for the defenders might not be the best, the overall effectiveness cannot be argued with.


    Defensive Players

    In this review of the defensive playing staff I will only focus on the players who have been recruited according to the intrinsic assessment method.

    Goalkeepers



    More than a few eyeballs were raised when I decided to spend a significant proportion of our transfer budget on Montrose’s goalkeeper, but McGlynn has gone on to establish himself as the division’s finest keeper without question.

    Spoiler!



    Defenders

    Our recruitment approach has prioritised tackling and positional play over other abilities, and our defensive unit is not blessed with great height (Tesoro the exception) or pace (although Zola can shift when he gets going). Nonetheless, the model has been a great success, and Bachtobji in particular has been a threat from set pieces.



    Mandic has been deployed primarily at DMC in our 442 diamond shape, while occasionally being used at centre back, typically off the bench or in early rounds of the Vans Trophy. He started 22 league games and came on as a substitute six times, averaging 7,11 and 2.6 tackles per game which is respectable. Adding in six cup appearances he won 26 games and lost just the three, with only 19 goals against.

    Spoiler!





    Anthony Tesoro signed from the lower league system in Australia and was originally pencilled in as a candidate for the right back position. As the season wore on it became clear that his potential lies more in the centre back position where he has established himself as a regular starter, and comfortable playing on either side. Across the season he started 36 games and came on six times, averaging 7,02 and 3,2 tackles per game in 32 victories, just the three losses and 26 goals against.

    Spoiler!





    A journeyman centre back having played for the likes of Triestina, Albinoleffe and Montichiari before joining Rovers, Zola has featured mainly at centre back with a brief spell filling in at full back less successful. Headline stats include 40(1) games played, average of 6,83 and 3,5 tackles per game, winning 31 times, four defeats and 24 goals conceded.

    Spoiler!





    Mo Bachtobji emerged as probably the most consistent centre half over the season, having arrived for a bargain £16k last summer from German amateur side FC 08 Homburg.

    Playing as the right of two centre backs his stat line is: 41 starts, average rating of 7,05 and a team high 4,1 tackles per match. 33 victories, just three defeats and 22 goals against.

    Spoiler!





    Polish wingback Kaczmarek has seen plenty of time at both left and right back position in both of our tactical setups and has gone from strength-to-strength during the season. His return of one assist every 3,8 games is a very good return from this position, and his dribbling skills and quickness helped him to achieve the highest average rating for a defensive player at 7,47.

    At the end of the season he signed a new contract as an important player and a significantly raised release clause of £975k. It will not be a surprise to see a championship club look closer at him in the next year so hopefully this amount will be enough to deter too many offers.

    Spoiler!





    Loaned from Cambridge United as part of our player evaluation programme, Murray is a more defensive full back profile compared to Kaczmarek. In his 9 games he averaged a slightly disappointing 6,89 but still racked up an impressive 3,1 tackles per game. He is a potential summer acquisition with the departure of Trevor Challis.

    Spoiler!



    Play-off Picture:

    Swansea defeated Oxford United 2-1 on aggregate, two goals from Jon Keaveney there.

    Carlisle were comfortable in their 3-0 aggregate victory over Southend United.


    Up Next:

    Midfield and attack under the spotlight, plus the results of the League Two play-off final between Swansea and Carlisle.

  22. #97

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    Some excellent ratings all round there. Zola perhaps could do better given your dominance this season?

  23. #98

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    Great Christmas post!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Dalglish's Smile View Post
    he is a superb penalty taker (27) which explains his 6/6 on the season. In the end our keeper is our equal sixth highest scorer.
    Nice one, I think i've missed that, did u or the AI put him to kick penalties during matches?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Dalglish's Smile View Post
    Finally, McGlynn is a very intrinsically valuable player because he has some complementary non-CA attributes in Bravery and Determination.
    Totally agree, including great agility, jumping, strenght and a 18 for consistency, really great for gks! I believe handling is not as important as common belief says, but its hard to confirm that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Dalglish's Smile View Post
    our defensive unit is not blessed with great height
    This can explain defeat to West Ham 2x0 with two header goals while Bristol team played very well, although Tesoro was playing too, so not sure...
    Last edited by MadScientist; 24-12-18 at 05:46 PM.

  24. #99

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    Interesting profiles and comments about players' strength.

    I wonder how important one-on-ones is for goalkeepers. It's important for strikers, but for goalkeepers it must also be useful and that might indeed explain why McGlynn performs so well.


    ps) I can't send you PMs because your mailbox is full .
    Last edited by samsami; 25-12-18 at 10:05 PM.

  25. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by samsami View Post
    I wonder how important one-on-ones is for goalkeepers. It's important for strikers, but for goalkeepers it must also be useful and that might indeed explain why McGlynn's performs so well.
    I also think one on ones is important for strikers too, and I thought I was the only one... Not sure why you think that too, but Im glad to see im not the only one!

    But for goalkeepers its definitelly important, probably one of the most important atts for gks
    Last edited by MadScientist; 25-12-18 at 04:44 PM.

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