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Thread: Hennes Weisweiler

  1. #651

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    Catching up again.
    Hrustanovic needs to start every game. No pussyfooting about. The Bosnia/Luxembourg is a give away that he is a regen of Miralem Pjanic.
    Going well in Europe, but need to start getting more consistent in the Bundesliga. Dusseldorf are already away, so looks like the fight is for the cup and top 4.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  3. #652

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renitor View Post
    Nice month.

    Pushing forward on all three fronts.

    Good cup run, hopefully you can go on win one (or both) and only 4 points off the champions league spots.

    Fourth best defensive record is great, ninth best in terms of goals scored which I think has always been an issue, are you creating chances and just not putting them away or struggling to create chances?

    I'd say you are in a pretty strong position.
    I think that we're creating more chances in recent seasons. In our 6 games in November, we came up against the opposition keeper getting Man of the Match in 2 of those games, and Dortmund's keeper also did well against us.

  4. #653

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    Catching up again.
    Hrustanovic needs to start every game. No pussyfooting about. The Bosnia/Luxembourg is a give away that he is a regen of Miralem Pjanic.
    Going well in Europe, but need to start getting more consistent in the Bundesliga. Dusseldorf are already away, so looks like the fight is for the cup and top 4.
    Düsseldorf have been incredible.

    I think you're right about Pjanic. I've just checked on Wikipedia, and he played for Luxembourg U-21s. I've never managed him before, but I'm well aware of him being one of the most creative players in the world in real life.

    This is great news. Hopefully he'll create chances and score goals, and just be generally brilliant. I feel like I need to do something special at Viktoria Köln to eventually get the Borussia Mönchengladbach job, so having a player like this is excellent.

  5. #654

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    What's going on at Dussel?!

    Brilliant result in Europa and should get through that

    Fine win over Schalke in cup as well!

    7/12 is fine in league - seems Europa place form to me so may need to squeak a few more points to make top 4 but its VERY close there!

    I see you mentioned the CM0102 LEGEND that is MARK KERR - is that him - and if so, when did you sign him and have you got a screenshot please?!

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  7. #655

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    What's going on at Dussel?!

    Brilliant result in Europa and should get through that

    Fine win over Schalke in cup as well!

    7/12 is fine in league - seems Europa place form to me so may need to squeak a few more points to make top 4 but its VERY close there!

    I see you mentioned the CM0102 LEGEND that is MARK KERR - is that him - and if so, when did you sign him and have you got a screenshot please?!
    Düsseldorf have been unreal. I think they have Modric's regen amongst their ranks.

    I'm afraid it's not THE Mark Kerr. My one is a Northern Irish left back, who is currently second choice, but hasn't developed in the way that I hoped, so he'll probably be transfer listed in the near future.

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  9. #656

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    December 2029

    Results

    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 3 Leverkusen 1

    I made one change for this game against struggling Leverkusen. Marvin Lehner was knackered, so I brought in Maurizio Milani for his first Bundesliga start of this season.

    We were dominating the first half, but just couldn't find a goal. Low and behold, Leverkusen score with their first chance of the game, to take a 32nd minute lead. Once again, James Streete will have been disappointed that he didn't deal with it better.

    I wondered if it was going to be one of those games, but a big slice of fortune came our way in the 53rd minute. Tarik Hrustanovic played a one two with Alex Duran, then fed Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos. The young Brazilian sent the ball towards Khalifa Shrahili, but got too much purchase on it, and the ball flew into the back of the net to give us a bizarre but deserved equaliser.

    Four minutes later we'd turned the game on its head, when Milani got on the end of a loose ball in the box, to fire us in front.

    We kept at Leverkusen, and when Shrahili won a free kick just outside the box, Man of the Match Cardoso dos Santos struck a perfectly executed dead ball shot, to double our lead in the 73rd minute, and complete the scoring.


    (Europa League Round of 32, 2nd Leg)

    Viktoria Köln 1 Galatasaray 0 (4-1 on aggregate)

    Khalifa Shrahili was ineligible for this game, so I recalled Alexander Erdogan to the starting line up. We dominated the first half, and after good build up play between Antonio Cvitanovic, Maurizio Milani, and Tarik Hrustanovic, the ball came wide left to Erdogan, who sent a cross into the far post. Jannick Thiel got above the visitor's keeper, and headed it down to provide Milani with a simple finish.

    From then on, their keeper made a string of saves to keep the score down, and earn him the Man of the Match award.

    The second half was a bit more even, but we were by far the better side in both games, and comfortably qualify for the last 16.


    (Bundesliga)

    Augsburg 1 Viktoria Köln 1

    We were unchanged for the trip to 8th placed Augsburg. We dominated the first half, and when Antonio Cvitanovic fed Jannick Thiel on the right, the young German sent a cross into the box for Maurizio Milani to get above Lorius Karius, and head us into a 17th minute lead.

    We had numerous chances to extend our lead, but good opposition goalkeeping, poor finishing on our part, and the woodwork meant that the 1-0 lead we had at half time, didn't do us justice.

    The second half was a lot closer. We had another chance to double our lead in the 60th minute, when Alexander Erdogan hit the post.

    Our failure to kill the game off was punished in the 73rd minute, when the hosts equalised with just their second chance in the game. Jannick Thiel hit the crossbar in the 80th minute, and Man of the Match Karius, prevented our sub, Marvin Lehner from grabbing a winner.

    A really good performance. When the opposition keeper is the best performer, and you hit the woodwork three times, you know that you're on the right track.


    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 1 Frankfurt 0

    A record attendance of 8994 saw us make four changes for the game against mid table Frankfurt. Antonio Cvitanovic, Alexander Erdogan, Yhoan Itoua, and Maurizio Milani were all knackered after the Augsburg game, so I brought back Pape Mbaye, Khalifa Shrahili, Marvin Lehner, and gave Jean-Claude Evina his first Bundesliga start of the season.

    Frankfurt deployed defensive tactics throughout the game, and made it very difficult for us to break them down. As a result, our defence was completely untroubled, though our back three were seeing far too much of the ball for my liking.

    Midway through the second half, I switched to the Attacking 352 formation, and played Mbaye behind the front two. This also meant that my wide midfielders would receive the ball higher up the pitch.

    This change had an impact, and in the 75th minute, Lehner was brought down in the box by the Frankfurt keeper, to win us a penalty, that also meant that our opponents were down to 10 men. Marvin picked himself up, and made no mistake from the spot.

    There was no way back for the visitors after that, and we secured a difficult but satisfying win. Evina was Man of the Match, though looking at the stats, it's hard to know what for!


    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 1 FC Bayern 4

    We were unchanged for the visit of the champions. The first half was a scrappy affair, but we managed to take the lead in the 45th minute when the ball fell to Jean-Claude Evina just outside the box, and he sent a ball into the area for Marvin Lehner to send a header past the Bayern keeper.

    The champions responded immediately by equalising in first half stoppage time.

    We started the second half well, but Bayern weathered the storm. Midway through the second half, they adopted a more attacking mentality, and we couldn't deal with the pressure, conceding 3 goals in a period of 16 minutes.

    We suffered a heavy defeat, and were defensively poor, with James Streete and Belmin Music particularly culpable. Changes will need to be made for our next game, which is a 'must win' cup quarter final.


    (DFB Pokal Quarter Final)

    Viktoria Köln 3 Hoffenheim 0

    I made five changes for this game against the bottom side in the Bundesliga. I dropped James Streete, Belmin Music, Jannick Thiel, Khalifa Shrahili, and (a bit harshly, considering he's had a couple of very good games), Jean-Claude Evina.

    I recalled Xaysavath Souvanhansok, Reverson Valuarth De Araujo, Jose Vitor Belo da Silva, Dominik Bozic, and Alexander Erdogan, and lined them up in the 433 formation.

    We dominated the game from start to finish. We had 59% possession, and 21 shots at goal (16 on target). Hoffenheim couldn't register a single shot at our goal.

    We started superbly, with Marvin Lehner playing as the central striker. He fed Erdogan coming in off the left. The young German got a shot in, which the Hoffenheim keeper could only parry into the path of Lehner, who fired us into a 4th minute lead.

    An excellent run from Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos, playing at the heart of midfield, saw him take the ball past three Hoffenheim players, then deliver a cross from the left, for Lehner to get above the keeper to head us into a 2-0 lead in the 29th minute.

    Our opponents then went down to 10 men early in the second half, and we were able to take advantage when Bozic, coming in off the right, headed the ball into the path of Man of the Match Lehner, whose volley was parried by the keeper, but the Austrian striker was first to the loose ball, and smashed us into a 3-0 lead, which meant he completed a hat-trick.

    A fine win. Hoffenheim have their keeper to thank for keeping the score down. We have a tough semi final against Bayern Munich, and the winner will play either Borussia Mönchengladbach or Frankfurt.


    League Table






    I'm pleased that we've moved up to 5th. If we can have a better second half of the season, I think that we have a chance of a top four finish. It'll help if opposition keepers stop getting Man of the Match against us. That's four times now in our last twelve games!

    If our form tails off however, there are plenty of teams just below us, who are capable of overtaking us.

    The Bayern defeat was a bit of a blow in what was otherwise a decent month. I think the changes I made for the Hoffenheim cup game were the right ones to make, and the resulting win means that getting to the semis is the furthest we've gone in the competition. We'll be clear underdogs for the trip to Bayern, but if we can get a result, we'll have a great chance in a final against either Borussia Mönchengladbach or Frankfurt.

    We play Utrecht of Holland in the last 16 of the Europa League. We mustn't underestimate a side that put Frankfurt out in the previous round.


    Player Focus




    Now that I've been informed that this is a regen of Miralem Pjanic, this knowledge adds another dimension to this signing. So far he's been steady but unspectacular in the Bundesliga, but has done very well in the Europa League games that he's played in. I'm not sure if this is a coincidence, or whether there's something hidden in the game that causes this.

    In real life, Pjanic didn't really start to be considered as one of the best midfielders in Europe until he reached his mid twenties, so I guess the same will happen with Hrustanovic. I'll be pleased if he emulates the form of Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos in the near future though.


    Forthcoming Fixtures




    Just a couple of games in January, including our rearranged game against Wolfsburg. We could do with winning that, what with them being four points above us in 4th place.

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  11. #657

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    I bit better luck and 4th is achievable. Lets hope that you can keep the cup runs going winning one of them would be a huge boost.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  13. #658

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    Fine cup win - bitch of a draw though

    Pjanic regen is insane but as you say taking his time thus far

    4th spot is UP FOR GRABS - will be hard pushed to do better than that but for sure a fine chance - league form doing nicely barring the Bayern game

    Leverkusen manager under threat at all - surely so?!

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  15. #659

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Fine cup win - bitch of a draw though

    Pjanic regen is insane but as you say taking his time thus far

    4th spot is UP FOR GRABS - will be hard pushed to do better than that but for sure a fine chance - league form doing nicely barring the Bayern game

    Leverkusen manager under threat at all - surely so?!
    Paulo Sousa got that job in March last year, and kept them up. He isn't under any pressure at the moment, but Patrick Helmes at Borussia Mönchengladbach is slightly insecure.

  16. #660

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    - got confused - thought it was Leverkusen job you want but it's Monchenglad

  17. #661

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    - got confused - thought it was Leverkusen job you want but it's Monchenglad
    I did wonder! This story has been going on so long, its hard to keep track!

  18. #662

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    January 2030

    Results

    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 1 Wolfsburg 0

    With captain Afram Hanna injured for this game against a Wolfsburg side that started this match 1 place and 4 points above us, I recalled Hussein Michel Melki to the side, and gave the armband to Alex Duran. We continued with the 433 formation.

    The visitors showed their respect for us by lining up in the 4321 formation with a defensive mentality. They made it difficult for us to create chances in the opening twenty minutes, but after that, Wolfsburg became less defensive, which allowed us to put them under pressure.

    Our reward came in the 39th minute, when left back Jose Vitor Belo da Silva made a good run down his flank, then delivered a near post cross for Alexander Erdogan, who'd come in off the left wing, to head us into the lead.

    We remained the better side in the second half, having numerous chances to double our lead, but Wolfsburg had their keeper to thank for keeping the score down.

    They gave us a bit of a scare near the end, when Xaysavath Souvanhansok was forced to save their only effort on target throughout the game, but we held on for an important win, that closes the gap on Wolfsburg to just a point.

    Tarik Hrustanovic had a very good game in midfield. He played on the left of the three, and played the most passes, created 3 chances, won 6 tackles, and made 5 interceptions. The Man of the Match award though, goes to Hussein Michel Melki, who looked like he'd benefitted from having several weeks rest. He made 8 tackles (5 of which were key), won 3 key headers, and was an absolute rock at the back against a good side.

    This was possibly one of our best performances of the season, having 12 shots at goal (8 on target), to their 2 (1 on target).


    (Bundesliga)

    Bochum 1 Viktoria Köln 1

    We were unchanged for the trip to struggling Bochum, knowing that a win would mean that we'd leapfrog Wolfsburg into 4th place, albeit possibly for just 1 day.

    We'd started the game well, and had chances to take the lead, but when Hussein Michel Melki gave away a free kick just outside the box in the 23rd minute, the hosts scored from the resulting direct free kick, which Xaysavath Souvanhansok should have dealt better with.

    Ten minutes later, we were unfortunate to hit the post through Marvin Lehner, but a couple of minutes before half time, captain Alex Duran headed in his first goal of the season from a Pape Mbaye corner to give us an equaliser, which on the balance of play, was the very least we deserved from the first half.

    We couldn't sustain the level of performance in the second half, so at the midway point, I took off the under performing full backs, Reverson Valuarth De Araujo and Jose Vitor Belo da Silva, and brought on Mario Aguza and Leonardo Mustaccia, so that we could switch to the flat 352 formation.

    I can't say the change made much difference in terms of performance, but Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos did hit the woodwork in the 84th minute.

    Frustrating not to get the win after we'd done so well to beat Wolfsburg in the previous game.


    League Table







    Just the two games in January. The win over Wolfsburg has put us firmly in the race for 4th place. It was a shame that we couldn't get the win at Bochum. There's three teams below us that will also fancy their chances for 4th, so we need to do whatever we can to be the best of the teams around us between now and the rest of the season.

    We're not picking up the points away from home like we did last season. Sometimes we've been unlucky, but hard luck stories are no good. I may need to try something different against Bayern in the cup. I need to find a way of giving us the best opportunity of getting to the final.


    Outgoing Transfer News






    There's been quite a bit of interest in Vierundo ever since he joined Viktoria Köln. As you can see, he never really got going during his time with us, so when 2. Bundesliga side Nürnberg offered £26M for him, I basically bit their hand off.

    Nearly £18M profit on a flop seems like good business to me.


    Incoming Transfer News




    I've been trying to sign this guy for about 18 months, so I'm delighted to get my man at last. I've a feeling he's a regen of Neuer. I know my constant signing of keepers is a bit of a running theme, but when someone comes up who has THAT combination of Handling, Agility, and Reflexes, what can you do?

    In the short term, this we probably mean the end for James Streete. He's been decent at times, and has shown form that has kept Xaysavath Souvanhansok out of the side, but the Englishman hasn't been able to sustain it.

    Xaysavath keeps the gloves for the moment, but there's no doubt in my mind that Schulz will become first choice sooner or later. My concern at this stage of the season is that he's still very young to be playing regularly, and show the consistency I need with us challenging for a Champions League place, along with a place in the DFB Pokal final, and the Europa League.

    I need to give him game time though, so I've decided to use him in our remaining Europa League games this season. If he does well then great. If he struggles, then perhaps he's not ready for regular Bundesliga football just yet.


    Forthcoming Fixtures




    A busy February coming up. Once again, this will be a test on the quality in the squad.

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  20. #663

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    Schultz looks the business. You are building quite a team around you now.
    Time to win some silverware
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  22. #664

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    The keeper

    Great profit on the player out!

    Helluva win v Wolfs - shame it couldn't be backed up but remain in position to pounce!

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  24. #665

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    February 2030

    Results

    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 0 RB Leipzig 0

    I made two changes for the visit of mid table RB Leipzig. Reverson Valuarth De Araujo was left out in favour of Lucas Blanco, and Sebastian Delgado came in for the injured Dominik Bozic.

    The visitors used the sweeper system with a defensive, men behind the ball mentality. We just couldn't break them down, and couldn't register a single shot at goal in the first half.

    I took the full backs off just after the midway point of the second half and switched to 352, and we were a little more creative, but it still wasnt enough. Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos needs a break from first team action. He was outstanding earlier in the season, but in recent games he's been below par by his standards, and has been finishing games exhausted. He's started more games than anyone else, so it's time now.


    (DFB Pokal Semi Final)

    FC Bayern 0 Viktoria Köln 1 (aet)

    I made 4 changes for this game, but continued with the 433 formation after much deliberating. I left out Pape Mbaye, Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos, Sebastian Delgado, and Marvin Lehner. I brought back Leonardo Mustaccia and Szymon Maszota into midfield to play either side of Tarik Hrustanovic, with the thinking that their tackling abilities would hopefully restrict Bayern's chances, and allow the young Bosnian to be our creative hub. I brought in Kasidech Samakorn to play as the AMR, and Jean-Claude Evina as our central striker.

    Everything was going to plan. This was a scrappy game, but we started well. In the 15th minute, Blanco sent a free kick into the box, and the Bayern defender jumped unfairly with Hrustanovic to win us a penalty. Well done ref. Mustaccia had the captain's armband for this game, he stepped up for the penalty....and it was saved! Imagine my dismay.

    The remainder of the game was scrappy, but even and it went to extra time. The ball came to Evina, who laid it into the path of Hrustanovic. He moved it left to the onrushing Jose Vitor Belo da Silva, who sent the ball into the area to Alexander Erdogan. The young German headed it into the path of Hrustanovic running into the box, who drove in a low shot to give us a 95th minute lead. Just 25 minutes to hang on.

    Alex Duran received a second yellow card in the 106th minute, so I took Evina off and brought on Afram Hanna. We continued to defend well as a unit, and held on to reach the DFB Pokal Final, where we'll face Frankfurt, who got past Borussia Mönchengladbach on penalties.

    This is a fantastic result. My game plan worked superbly, and there were some superb individual performances. Bayern had just 3 shots at goal in the entire game. Xaysavath Souvanhansok dealt well with the 2 that were on target. Mustaccia didn't let the penalty miss affect him, and won 9 tackles, and central defender Hussein Michel Melki won the Man of the Match award by winning an incredible 12 tackles (8 key).


    (Bundesliga)

    Werder Bremen 0 Viktoria Köln 0

    With Alex Duran suspended after picking up a 5th yellow card in our previous Bundesliga game, along with several players knackered after the Bayern win just 3 days ago, only Xaysavath Souvanhansok, Szymon Maszota, and Jean-Claude Evina kept their places in the side for the trip to 12th placed Werder Bremen.

    We continued with the 433 formation, and despite the 8 changes to our starting line up, we completely dominated the first half, having 9 shots at goal without reply. A mixture of poor finishing and good opposition goalkeeping (that subsequently earned him the Man of the Match award) meant that we were level at half time.

    The second half was entirely different. The hosts were the better side, and we had to rely on Souvanhansok to make some important saves, but on the balance of play, I felt that we were unfortunate not to win the game.


    (Europa League, Round of 16 1st Leg)

    Utrecht 0 Viktoria Köln 0

    I made 3 changes for this trip to Dutch side Utrecht, who are currently in 6th place in the Eredivisie. I rested Xaysavath Souvanhansok so that I could give Soren Schulz his debut. Sebastian Delgado was injured, so I brought back Kasidech Samakorn, and Jean-Claude Evina was ineligible, so I brought back Maurizio Milani.

    We were the better side in the first half, but could only manage 1 shot on target. The second half was closer, but having just two shots on target throughout the game isn't good enough, and we've wasted a chance to get an important away goal.

    We contained the hosts well enough, and Schulz had a very good debut in goal, dealing efficiently with anything that came his way. He was our best player on the night.


    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 0 Hamburg 0

    Xaysavath Souvanhansok returned to the side, and five other changes were forced upon me due to injury and low condition for this game against struggling Hamburg. We lined up in the flat 352 formation, and Hamburg deployed the usual defensive visitor's tactics.

    This was another scrappy game where we had just 2 shots on target. We got what we deserved.


    (Europa League, Round of 16 2nd Leg)

    Viktoria Köln 3 Utrecht 0 (3-0 on aggregate)

    I made 7 changes for this game, in a bid to get us scoring again. We started the game well, and when Alexander Erdogan found Tarik Hrustanovic, the young Bosnian skipped past a challenge, and hit a fierce shot that gave us a 9th minute lead.

    In the 18th minute, a five player move led to Leonardo Mustaccia sending the ball into the area for Kasidech Samakorn coming in off the right wing, to head us into a 2-0 lead.

    Just before half time, central defender Alex Duran made a wonderful run from deep, beating 3 players, then finding himself in a one on one with the keeper. The young Spaniard kept his nerve, and finished neatly, to send us in at half time with a 3-0 lead.

    The second half was a bit more even, but we'd done the hard work in the first 45 minutes, so we go through, and meet another Dutch side in the quarter final, AZ Alkmaar.


    (Bundesliga)

    Düsseldorf 2 Viktoria Köln 2

    I made 3 changes for the trip to league leaders Düsseldorf, who have had a rough couple of months, winning just 1 of their last 8 games in all competitions. Xaysavath Souvanhansok replaced Soren Schulz in goal, and Lucas Blanco and Vitor Hugo Vieira were knackered after the Utrecht game just 3 days before, so I brought back Reverson Valuarth De Araujo and Szymon Maszota.

    We went in goalless at half time after a scrappy first half. All the action took place in the second half. The hosts took the lead in the 53rd minute, but when Tarik Hrustanovic received the ball from a throw in, he nutmegged his opponent, then crossed the ball to the near post for Alexander Erdogan coming in off the left wing to get above the keeper to and head in a 60th minute equaliser.

    Düsseldorf were back in front in the 68th minute, so shortly after, I made a double substitution, taking off Leonardo Mustaccia and Kasidech Samakorn, and bringing on Marvin Förster and Dominik Bozic. This had an almost immediate impact, when Förster received the ball in midfield, dribbled past two players, then sent the ball into the area for Erdogan to once again get above the keeper, and head in a 75th minute equaliser, and his second goal of the game.

    A draw felt like fair and decent result.


    League Table







    A tricky month. On one hand we've gone 10 games unbeaten since the Bayern defeat just before Christmas, but on the other we've drawn our last 5 league games, which has allowed Wolfsburg to take advantage and move 9 points clear of us in the race for 4th place. At this stage, remaining in the top half of the table seems like a more realistic challenge than finishing 4th.

    The squad has found it difficult to create chances this month. I felt that Pape Mbaye and Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos needed a break from first team action, which has meant that Tarik Hrustanovic has been our main creative option. He hasn't been available for every game though, and Vitor Hugo Vieira hasn't stepped up and taken the chance that has come his way. I'm thankful that we've been defensively solid, as that has helped us get the points that we have managed. 8 clean sheets in 10 games has been excellent. Is it a coincidence that Xaysavath Souvanhansok has played in 8 of those games, and kept 6 clean sheets? I think not.

    I was pleased to get past Utrecht in the Europa League. AZ in the Quarter Final will be a tougher challenge. They are currently in 2nd place in the Eredivisie.

    Of course the overwhelming highlight of this month was the win at the Allianz Arena over Bayern to reach the DFB Pokal Final against Frankfurt. I was pleased with how I set up the midfield, and knew that I needed to do something after they spanked us 1-4 in the aforementioned defeat just before the Yuletide celebrations.


    Player Focus








    I've focused on Alex a few times down the years. He had a rough spell last season, but has been strong this season, and I was pleased with his wonder goal against Utrecht. It's a shame he received a red card in the semi final of the DFB Pokal, as he's suspended for the final. He's captained the side quite a few times this season, but hopefully we have enough quality at the back not to miss him. Who knows, there may even be a second chance at playing in a cup final this season.


    Forthcoming Fixtures




    We've got a chance to get back to winning ways in the Bundesliga against our Cologne rivals. It would be nice to string some wins together before we meet Wolfsburg again at the end of the month. I'll bring back Mbaye and Cardoso dos Santos soon, so hopefully they'll be back with a point to prove, and will hopefully add some creativity to our midfield.

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  26. #666

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    Awful league month - 4 points from 16. That's surely any hope of CL gone

    0-0 in 3 of the league games!

    I was worried with no away goal in Utrecht but you battered them at home - looks a favourable draw again for QF

    WHAT A WIN over Bayern in Cup! Heart in mouth when pen was saved and red card late on but congrats! First final? Have you won silverware before? Still work to do though so don't let the lads know they have won it already!

    Those tackling stats for Duran

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  28. #667

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    All about the cups now. Win one of them and the league is irrelevant. This will have been a great season
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  30. #668

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    I think Kingsley is right. Win the DFB cup and go all out for the Europa League too.

    That'll be the key to your reputation and the Monchengladbach job.

    $th place will give you less of a boost than either trophy, despite what Arsene Wenger said 4th isn't a trophy!

    As for the league if you can match St Pauli the a 6th place finish and the cup runs I think that's a great season.

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  32. #669

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Awful league month - 4 points from 16. That's surely any hope of CL gone

    0-0 in 3 of the league games!

    I was worried with no away goal in Utrecht but you battered them at home - looks a favourable draw again for QF

    WHAT A WIN over Bayern in Cup! Heart in mouth when pen was saved and red card late on but congrats! First final? Have you won silverware before? Still work to do though so don't let the lads know they have won it already!

    Those tackling stats for Duran
    I haven't won silverware in this save before. I wonder how this young squad will cope with their first final. I'll certainly be keeping an eye on which players perform in big games, as they may have a high hidden attribute for important matches, which could make a difference on the day.

  33. #670

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renitor View Post
    I think Kingsley is right. Win the DFB cup and go all out for the Europa League too.

    That'll be the key to your reputation and the Monchengladbach job.

    $th place will give you less of a boost than either trophy, despite what Arsene Wenger said 4th isn't a trophy!

    As for the league if you can match St Pauli the a 6th place finish and the cup runs I think that's a great season.
    I think after doing the hard bit, and beating Bayern in their own backyard, I'll be gutted if we don't win it. 4th place would soften that blow, but that looks well beyond us now..

    It would be great if we could win both trophies, but I'm probably being greedy! One would be fantastic.

  34. #671

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    March 2030

    Results

    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 1 FC Köln 1

    I rewarded Marvin Förster and Dominik Bozic with starts, in favour of Leonardo Mustaccia and Kasidech Samakorn, for the impact they made as substitutes in our previous game against Düsseldorf.

    We completely dominated the first half, but a combination of poor finishing, good goalkeeping, and the woodwork prevented us from scoring. The visitors however, took the lead in the 8th minute with the only effort they had at goal in the game. Xaysavath Souvanhansok was poorly placed. We also suffered a blow just before half time, when Tarik Hrustanovic went off injured. Vitor Hugo Vieira came on to replace him.

    We remained the better side in the second half, if not quite as dominant. Jose Vitor Belo da Silva received the ball on the left, made a good surging run, then delivered a fine near post cross for Alexander Erdogan to head in a 48th minute equaliser.

    The game finished 1-1. We had 60% possession, and 14 shots (7 on target) to their 1. Captain Alex Duran was Man of the Match, winning 8 tackles (5 key).

    The board had a dig afterwards, saying they were a little disappointed at the performance. I've taken it on the chin. It's no good having possession and chances, if we're going to be sloppy where it matters.


    (Europa League Quarter Final, 1st Leg)

    AZ 0 Viktoria Köln 1

    I made six changes for this game against the Dutch league leaders. Three were through choice, and the other three were due to injury, ineligibility, and tiredness.

    We contained our hosts superbly, limiting then to just two chances throughout the game. We didn't create loads of chances, but the recalled Pape Mbaye sent over a corner that Alexander Erdogan got on the end of to head us into a 33rd minute lead, that proved enough to win the game.


    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 2 Hoffenheim 2

    I made five changes for the visit of bottom club Hoffenheim, four of which were due to low condition, with this game coming just three days after the trip to Holland. We lined up in the 451 formation, as I felt that this was the best option with the players that were available.

    We started the game well, and when Khalifa Shrahili swung in a corner, the ref harshly gave us a penalty for handball. Mario Aguza stepped up to fire in the spot kick, and score his first goal for the club.

    Three minutes later, Pape Mbaye won a free kick just outside the box. If goals are like buses, then it didn't take long for a second one to come along, when Aguza struck an exquisite free kick over the wall to double our lead, and his goal tally.

    We didn't play so well in the second half, and allowed Hoffenheim to get into the game. They had a slice of fortune in the 69th minute when Mbaye scored an own goal, then poor defending led to them equalising in the 76th minute.

    Shortly afterwards I took off Szymon Maszota, brought on Benedikt Langer, and switched to the 442 Attacking formation. This worked well, and in the last 10 minutes, had three great opportunities to grab the winning goal. Unfortunately for us, the Hoffenheim keeper made three great saves which earned him the Man of the Match award. A frustrating result.


    (Europa League Quarter Final, 2nd Leg)

    Viktoria Köln 1 AZ 0 (2-0 on aggregate)

    I made four changes for this second leg game, and continued with the 451 formation. We were the better side throughout the game, and took the lead in the 21st minute, when Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos took control of a loose ball in midfield. The young Brazilian swung the ball out wide to Jannick Thiel on the right. The young German put a low cross into the box, which Pape Mbaye controlled, then found the net with a low shot, for his first goal of the season.

    We limited the visitors to just one shot on target, and Mbaye received the Man of the Match award for a 10 out of 10 performance that saw him complete 39 out of 43 passes, win 3 tackles, make 7 successful dribbles, and create 3 chances to go with his goal.

    We meet French league leaders Lyon in the Semi Finals, whilst the other semi is between Inter and Valencia.


    (Bundesliga)

    Schalke 1 Viktoria Köln 1

    I made five changes for the trip to 10th placed Schalke. Along with Xaysavath Souvanhansok replacing Soren Schulz in goal, I had four players that needed to be left out due to low condition, with this game coming just three days after the AZ game.

    We went with 451 again, and dominated the first half. Our reward came in the 41st minute, when Jannick Thiel won a free kick. The wall blocked Jose Vitor Belo da Silva's shot, but the ball fell to Luis Gomez - making his first league appearance of the season - who drove in a low shot to give us a lead.

    The second half was a scrappy affair. We had no shots in the second half, but were containing Schalke well, with Leonardo Mustaccia winning 6 tackles in the DMC role, and Man of the Match Mario Aguza, winning 4 tackles and 5 headers in central defence.

    It looked like we were heading for victory, but Schalke scored from an injury time corner, with their only effort at goal. A frustrating end to the game.


    (Bundesliga)

    Wolfsburg 0 Viktoria Köln 1

    We were unchanged for the trip to 4th place Wolfsburg, both tactically, and in terms of personnel.

    The game had a cagey start, but when Luis Gomez won a free kick just outside the box, Jannick Thiel sent the ball into the area, and Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos was fouled, to win us a penalty. Our captain Leonardo Mustaccia missed one at FC Bayern in the DFB Pokal semi final, but he made no mistake this time, so we had a lead.

    We contained Wolfsburg well for the remainder of the first half. The second half was a different matter. We came under quite a bit of pressure, and it wasn't easy to keep the hosts at bay. Thankfully, Xaysavath Souvanhansok had one of his better days in goal, and pulled off a few saves to earn him the Man of the Match award.

    Wolfsburg will rightly feel that they deserved something from the game, and I know exactly how they feel after we didn't get the result we deserved in our previous game against Schalke.


    League Table






    A bit of a mixed month in the league. We didn't get the results our performances deserved in the three games we drew, then won the game we didn't play well in.

    All these points that we've dropped since January, means that we're well out of the race for a top four finish. I still want us to improve on last season's 6th place finish though, and try and equal our 5th place finish of 2027. Even though we've dropped a lot of points, at the time of writing, we are 16 games unbeaten in all competitions (10 in the Bundesliga), so I can't be too critical.

    I'm pleased to have reached the semis of the Europa League. Young goalkeeper Soren Schulz has played in each of the last four Europa League games, and is yet to concede.


    Player Focus






    Mario has done well in recent weeks. He had a good run a couple of seasons ago, but somehow fell down the pecking order. He's come back in this season though, and done really well. I was pleased with him getting a couple of goals against Hoffenheim, and he was superb against Schalke. He's suspended for the Lyon game.


    Forthcoming Fixtures




    Massive game against Lyon coming up. They have won Ligue 1 twice in the last three seasons, and are the current leaders. They were Champions League Semi Finalists two seasons ago. This is our toughest test so far in the Europa League. I'll bring back Soren Schulz in goal, and have two other changes forced upon me. As I said previously, Mario Aguza will be suspended, so I have to choose between Afram Hanna and Hussein Michel Melki to partner Alex Duran in central defence. Do I go with the experience and leadership of Hanna, who recently won his first cap for Sweden at the age of 29, or do I go for Michel Melki, who is a better defender, and put in a Man of the Match performance in the DFB Pokal Semi Final against Bayern, proving that he can handle important matches? I'm 90% sure what I'm going to do. Marvin Förster is ineligible, so I'll bring back Tarik Hrustanovic.

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  36. #672

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    Europa - nicely progressed - expected you to but still had to do the job. Bitch of a draw but it' the "big boys" stage now isn't it. Then if you win that Inter or Valencia will be a cracking final

    League results poor overall but as you say performances were good. Nice to beat Wolfs but 4th looks out of sight

    Hell - if you didn't beat Wolf you would be OUT of the European places!

    So - even though the focus is surely on the cups then you have to make sure not to finish worse than 7th as no European footie next year?

    A quandry indeed who to pick - gotta go with your gut really

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  38. #673

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    All about the cups from here
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  40. #674

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    8 consecutive draws in the Bundesliga is a bit unfortunate. Great cup run continues.

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  42. #675

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Europa - nicely progressed - expected you to but still had to do the job. Bitch of a draw but it' the "big boys" stage now isn't it. Then if you win that Inter or Valencia will be a cracking final

    League results poor overall but as you say performances were good. Nice to beat Wolfs but 4th looks out of sight

    Hell - if you didn't beat Wolf you would be OUT of the European places!

    So - even though the focus is surely on the cups then you have to make sure not to finish worse than 7th as no European footie next year?

    A quandry indeed who to pick - gotta go with your gut really
    I think there's a very good chance that we could end up trophyless this season. Our cup final opponents Frankfurt, have been in good form since they replaced their manager just before the semi finals. I would say that there's no clear favourite. We are capable of performing well, which gives us a great chance, but our lack of cup final experience could go against us on the day.

    8th and possibly 9th will be good enough to reach the qualifying stage of the Europa League, but that didn't exactly work out well for us when we played in that a few seasons ago!

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