Page 35 of 35 FirstFirst ... 253132333435
Results 851 to 875 of 875

Thread: The County Championship

  1. #851

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,041
    vCash
    19400
    Considering the squad that you started with, you are storming it.
    Plenty of work still to be done, but the form so far must give you encouragement.
    Good money for Lua Lua
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  2. #852
    ebfatz is offline Social Media Bod
    Former Holy Trinity Member
    Stories Mod
    Tournaments Won: 1

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,182
    vCash
    435000
    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    • 12 shots you had v Chelsea – their keeper must have done well – how many shots did they have?!
    • CR7 still at Saints
    • Sucker punched v Saints
    • TWENTY ONE shots v Bluenoses
    • Christ – another 18 shots v City! – What team instructions have you got? Any arrows on the 4132?
    • Nice red card helped there – very good month overall!
    • Great price for Lua Lua
    • Any staff signings/contract renewals for the expenditure?

    Just looked and Chelsea had 9 shots, 5 on target. Not a great day for Eoin Murphy!
    Against Man City yes it was 18 shots but only 9 on target. Could do better mark for those taking the shots. But I'd rather they were taking them than not.

    Formation is the default 4-1-3-2 so it comes with forward arrows on the midfield three. Full backs have arrows also.
    As at end of October:




    No changes to the backroom team or contracts signed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    Considering the squad that you started with, you are storming it.
    Plenty of work still to be done, but the form so far must give you encouragement.
    Good money for Lua Lua
    The form is good. I feel a crash coming at some point though. Just not sure when. Probably in the cup game. First up in November.

  3. #853
    ebfatz is offline Social Media Bod
    Former Holy Trinity Member
    Stories Mod
    Tournaments Won: 1

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,182
    vCash
    435000
    October 2023

    If we proceed in the cup, this could be a very busy month. So games may end up getting re-arranged to ease the burden a little though.

    Matches and Roundup

    The month starts with a trip to Manchester, to Old Trafford, to face the current Premier League Champions, but this time in the League Cup Third Round.

    There had been a lot of talk in recent days from interested onlookers as to whether the bigger sides play weakened sides in the cup. I would soon find out as we arrived at the ground with 25 players and still unsure who I would select.
    I was unsure if and who I would rest for this one. I was waiting on any rumours on who Man U would be playing. Would I weaken our team and take the risk? Should I go in with the strongest XI available to me? I wasn't sure. Brighton had only won once against them in 12 attempts in over 5 years, whatever side I put out, it was going to be a tough ask.
    But we could but try.

    Plosnik was not 100% fit so he sat out anyway and was replaced by Alex Grant who would make his first appearance of the season. That would be my only change. I was going to go in strong and hope.
    When the team sheets came through I was pleasantly surprised in what I saw. They had rested a few players but they still had the likes of De Gea, Daley Blind, Lazar Markovic and Andrej Kramaric. They'd also decided to deploy Victor Wanyama as a centre back. This evened up the game a little and it would hopefully be a good contest.

    We didn't help ourselves. Man U started on the front foot and things got even better for them on 12 minutes when Muhamed Besic flew into a tackle with Nick Powell, felled him and received a straight red card for his troubles. We were really up against it now and our hopes of winning diminished significantly. They took advantage just 9 minutes later when they took the lead and they never looked back.
    Things got worse for us 5 minutes before half time when Eder Alvarez Balanta had to come off to be replaced by Mick MacDonald. We were still in the tie but it would need a huge turnaround if we were going to get something from it.

    It wasn't to be. We just couldn't get into the game. When they scored their second, it killed off the game. Defeat and a very early cup exit. Not what I wanted at all.

    Spoiler!



    We played poorly. Alex Grant had a shocker. Tom Reid wasn't much better in the other full back position. It was a bad day at the office and I really wasn't happy going out of the cup at this early stage. The decent league position countered it a bit but we would have to give the FA Cup everything when it comes round. And hope to avoid a nightmare draw early on.

    But now it was back to league action and it was back on the road and to a former side of mine in Stoke City.
    Stoke had made a slow start to the season and were down in 12th place but they had already qualified from their Champions League group so they were obviously still a decent side.
    It was only three days after the cup exit so changes wee made to the starting line up but first it was changes to the back room as Colin Calderwood, as expected left the club to be manager of Swindon Town.
    He was replaced almost instantly by a huge upgrade in talent as we recruited Craig Hopkins from Portsmouth to become my new assistant.


    But the changes to the starting line up were more pressing. Balanta would miss two weeks with a twisted knee and MacDonald was promoted from the bench to replace him. Alex Grant dropped straight back out after his horror show with Plosnik coming back in as a natural left back. Dennis Praet was the other change with Alexander Ahlberg making the start. This was going to be another tough tie.
    There may not be much coming from this one.

    It appeared they went into the game with the same mindset. Both sides sat back somewhat looking to soak up any pressure that was thrown their way. Neither side really attacked that much though. Both had a couple of shots but nothing unduly worrying and it was goalless at half time.

    I instructed them to up the tempo in the second half as I believed that we had them in terms of stamina and work rate. I banked on them tiring earlier than us and I was right. They went earlier than I thought though. On the hour, a flowing move left Stoke flat at the back with Mario Vela springing the offside trap. He had the simple task of beating the keeper to open the scoring.
    An goal away from home and I think Stoke expected us to sit back on our one goal lead. We did the opposite, we smelled blood and went for it.
    We were only four minutes further down the line when we doubled our lead, Grzegorz Tomasiewicz drilled the ball home from 15 yards. A two goal lead was great. Now we needed to hold it.
    We battled hard to hold that two goal lead as Stoke came at us in the final 20 minutes. It was tough. Very tough. We conceded one goal after 74 minutes which it may have made quite a nervy end to the game.
    That was until the 81st minute when we managed to break into the box and with a cross came in, it was blocked by a defenders arm. The ref pointed to the spot and after some arguing by Stoke defenders, Oskari Qvick was the man to step up, keep his cool and slot the penalty past the keeper to seal the game. A very unexpected three points. I'd have been happy with one pre game but we played very well in this one. Very well indeed.


    Spoiler!



    I was elated after the win. Absolutely overjoyed. A wonderful win. We weighed up the opposition, worked out where their weaknesses are and exploited them. It was a great tactical win. We now had a 14 day break before once again we were on the road, this time to the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea City. The long break of course came from internationals.
    Had we progressed in the League Cup the gap would have not been so large though.

    It was Euro Championship Qualifying Playoff time and Tomasiewicz scored in Poland's first leg and Kurowski scored in their second leg to help them to qualify. Alexander Ahlberg also scored in his countries second leg but Sweden were beaten and he would be having a quiet summer as Hungary would be the one's to qualify from that tie.

    Interestingly, most other teams in the Premier League played over the same weekend as these international matches even though there was a full round of friendlies going on. Those in Europe had also played two games over that period as well so I felt very happy that my players could go to Wales feeling quite rested and rejuvenated and also now having the luxury of having a game in hand as well, for a period anyway.
    Many say they would rather have the points on the board than the game in hand but I think it very much came down to the individual situation. In this instance, when the time for the game came around, we would know what everyone else had done and what the benefit of winning the game would be.

    Muhammed Besic, with a booking in the last match had collected 5 yellow cards now and that equalled a one match ban which added to the 3 match ban for his sending off meant we would not be seeing him again until mid December at the earliest. I had a mind to leave him out even when he returned but he played bloody well when he stayed on the pitch. His replacement would have to do well to keep him out the side.

    His replacement would be Hasan Ozkan as he had done well when coming in previously. The other change saw Ahlberg drop out as he was not fit and not mentally ready after his countries loss in the Playoff. He needed some additional rest. Karlo Lulic came in for him. I also brought Joao Cancelo back into the side to play right back. He had been struggling to settle and a news story had come out that he thought he may have made a mistake in coming to England. I had to try and integrate him a little better.

    We would of course be coming up against Oriel Romeu in this one as he started for his new side. They were a solid mid table Premier League team. Never finishing higher than 9th but never finishing lower than 15th in this their tenth season in the top flight. Decent players, no world beaters but solid dependable players. This is the kind of side my teams normally struggle against so I was apprehensive going into the game.

    My fears looked like they might have some substance when we fell behind a quarter way through the match. But we battled back well and had the lead by half time. Kurowski continuing his good goal scoring run and Lulic scoring on his return.
    But Swansea were never out of it and they proved that by equalising on 50 minutes. But once again, we instantly bounced back and regained the lead just three minutes later though through Mario Vela. A topsy tervy game which petered out a little after that 5th goal and we managed to come out on top. Just.

    Spoiler!



    And so, there would be just one more game in the month. The lads were buoyed when they watched Arsenal only draw 0-0 away to West Ham the day after our Swansea tie. That gave us a bit of breathing space ahead of them but we had to capitalise on that again in our next one, amazingly away again, this time at Pride Park, Derby.

    The Rams were still stabilising in the top flight after having a great 1st season back last season and finishing 10th. So far this season they were a little worse off, being in 16th but I was under no illusions that this one could be one of those where the players under estimate the opponent and get turned over.

    Late in the month we received a bid from Tottenham for Polish midfielder Grzegorz Tomasiewicz, I countered with an improved bid and waited. I didn't have to wait long. Spurs came back accepting my terms almost instantly and the Pole had agreed terms with the London club before the day was out. I wish him well as he makes his move. Four goals and three assists for me at the start of this season had been good. I have others who can play in that midfield position though.

    This meant obviously at least one change to the starting line up. And it was only one as I thought long and hard about who should start in the midfield. In the end, I gave it to Sergio Pavone who was promoted from the bench, with Alexander Ahlberg taking his place in the replacements.
    One thing I had to watch out for was how Pawel Kurowski now performed after his Polish counterpart had left the club. I hoped he would be professional and get on with his job but I had to monitor it.

    I should have had no worries over Kurowski and no worries on Derby being a bit of a bogey team either. I challenged Mario Vela before the game to get himself nearer the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts. He was by no means doing badly with 7 in 13 so far but at the top of the list at the moment was a rampant 34 year old Daniel Sturridge of Watford with 11 in 15 so far.

    Vela took the words to heart though and by half time had bagged himself a brace to move up that list. We as a team had 5! Kurowski had got a goal, Qvick was keeping up his scoring from midfield and Karlo Lulic had also scored again.
    We needed do no more in the second half. John Ross was given a run out up front, Ivanauskas was given some minutes in midfield. All round a great day at the office topped off by Lulic scoring his second and our sixth on the stroke of full time.


    Spoiler!









    Transfers

    IN -


    OUT -

    Grzegorz Tomasiewicz - £15m (plus 25% future fee)




    I don't think in all my years I have ever had a month where every one of the games was played away from home. Or at home for that matter. Total new one on me but the boys coped admirably. We lost the game I thought we would lose although then won a game I expected us to lose. We followed those up with two very good wins and it keeps us in a great position.

    We lose Tomasiewicz. It's a good thing if only for the fact I won't have to spell his name anymore! He was a player in form but we have players in the background in Ahlberg, Freeman, Ivanauskas even Tom Cairney who could come in a do a job.

    As mentioned, no home game this moth so no home revenue. We are back at home to start next month and there are four home games coming although amazingly there is a run of three straight away games in the middle of them.

    And so finance. The transfer fee received is actually going to be paid over 12 months so we won't get it all at once but there will be a gradual drip of it coming in. That coupuled with the fact we had no home games mean we made a loss. Income was £4.22m and expenditure £6.90m so a deficit of £2.68m. After the wages going up inexplicably to £5.66m last month, they have stayed at that figure this month. It pains me to think our wages take up all but £1.3m of our expenditure!

    The bank balance is now £65.72m and a transfer fund of £64m.

    Last edited by ebfatz; 17-10-19 at 10:46 PM.

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ebfatz For This Useful Post:


  5. #854
    Tournaments Won: 10

    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    28,468
    vCash
    0
    Amazing fee for an outgoing player, yet again!

    Ooh, the wrong Hopkins signed on the dotted line for you Must be Andy's uncle!

    Screenshots are of the Chelsea defeat in the Man Utd game spoiler.

    Me and Redders won't be happy with those two wins but what a way to sign off the month. Keep it going for another 6 games and everyone will start to think you're serious title contenders.

  6. #855
    ebfatz is offline Social Media Bod
    Former Holy Trinity Member
    Stories Mod
    Tournaments Won: 1

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,182
    vCash
    435000
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Amazing fee for an outgoing player, yet again!

    Ooh, the wrong Hopkins signed on the dotted line for you Must be Andy's uncle!

    Screenshots are of the Chelsea defeat in the Man Utd game spoiler.

    Me and Redders won't be happy with those two wins but what a way to sign off the month. Keep it going for another 6 games and everyone will start to think you're serious title contenders.
    Just a test to see if anyone actually looked at the spoilers!!
    No, I joke. Amended now.

    Expected to beat the Swans but the Stoke win was a great result for us.

    Very decent fee. And I've got enough midfielders on the books that I don't need to replace him. Bear in mind it's x2 values as well.

  7. #856
    Tournaments Won: 4

    Join Date
    03-03-12
    Posts
    24,663
    vCash
    4815
    • Cup exit – meh
    • The “Pole” looks decent – but can see why you sold when given a £15m offer!
    • Lucky win over Swans – obvs 😉
    • Great month league wise!
    • Cracking asst man


    - We lose Tomasiewicz. It's a good thing if only for the fact I won't have to spell his name anymore!

  8. #857

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,041
    vCash
    19400
    Who cares if you lose a cup game when you are murdering the league
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  9. #858
    ebfatz is offline Social Media Bod
    Former Holy Trinity Member
    Stories Mod
    Tournaments Won: 1

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,182
    vCash
    435000
    December 2023

    A busy month. And could be a pivotal month. If we are up there at the turn of the year, we could be in with a shout of being up there by the end of the season.

    Matches and Roundup

    Squad management would be key this month I think. I will need all hands on deck and things are helped as Eder Balanta comes back to full fitness at the start of the month. He was quickly followed back to full fitness by Ashley Buswell who came back quicker than I expected.
    I started the month by receiving a bid for Alexander Ahlberg. The fact that the bid came from Sunderland, who would be visiting in just two days time was just a cheeky attempt to unsettle my player. It was rejected out of hand.

    It gave me added incentive to beat them after that little stunt.
    As such Eder Balanta came back in at centre back in place of Mick MacDonald. The rest of the side picked itself at the moment. Pavone was the closest to losing his place but I felt he was on the cusp of hitting his stride so left him in to try and prove me right.

    Sunderland proved a stubborn prospect though. They dug in doggedly from the off and made things very hard for us. We managed to pepper off a few shots in the second half but weren't able to make the break through. At half time, I looked at the stats and saw that Balanta and Ozkan were seeing a lot of the ball and using it well so I would have to rely on the fact that they could pull the strings, control the tempo and hopefully we would be able to bag a goal at some point.
    The second half began in much the same vein but as 60 minutes went by, there was a change in emphasis from Sunderland which caught us cold and they took advantage almost instantly by taking the lead.
    That was a blow. A big blow. We had been on top for the whole game and now found ourselves behind.
    I took off Pavone and replaced him with Ahlberg and hoped he could help with fresher legs.

    Unbelievably, it took him around 12 seconds! He ran on as Denis Plosnik was aiming a free kick into the box from around the halfway line. Players went up for the header but with the pushing and shoving it was missed by everyone. It made it's way through the ruck of players and it looked like it might go out for a goal kick but Ahlberg got there to head the rising ball and loop it over the keeper and into the far corner. What an introduction!



    I could not believe it. The eleven on the field, all the subs and most of the backroom staff ran to celebrate with Ahlberg. I just stood there in the technical area in shock. I'd heard stories of wonder subs but this was something else.
    But the game was not over, there was still 17 minutes to play and I wanted more. I urged them back to get ready for the kick off and spent the next 30 seconds poking my finger into my own temple, trying to get them to retain or regain their focus, their concentration.
    We could turn this around now and win it.

    I decided to see if I could repeat the trick. I sent Allan Johnstone on for Pawel Kurowski with instructions to make himself a nuisance.

    It took him a little longer but he did indeed repeat the trick. It took him 13 minutes but he did get his goal as the game ticked over into second half injury time. To add insult to Sunderland's injury. Oskari Qvick then bagged himself a goal as well just before the final whistle blew. We had worked hard but the scoreline flattered us a little bit but despite that, I was happy to beat them after their Ahlberg stunt. I was even happier that he'd managed to get one of the goals.

    Spoiler!



    A great win and another three points on the board. People around Brighton were starting to think that this was a little more than a flash in the pan. I wasn't getting carried away. Although the time I started at the start of the season was fast approaching (the New Year) so I might have to start looking a bit more closely at the table soon.

    But for now, it was still one game at a time and the next was West Ham at home. The Londoners had beaten us the last two times we had played so we definately owed them one. One of those had been the only time they had beaten us at the AMEX in 5 attempts though so we should be able to come out on top.

    We went in unchanged and gunning for the win. I fancied a few goals for us in this one. I'm not sure what gave me that feeling.
    I was very wrong. We did have two goals disallowed during the 90 minutes but despite dominating, we could not officially get on the scoreboard.


    Spoiler!



    Just three days later and the first of three straight away games and three very tough away games at that. The first was a visit to Ashburton Grove, home of Arsenal.

    Brighton had enjoyed just one win over the Londoners an that was 4 years ago back in 2019. Since then Brighton had tried and failed to beat them on seven occasions. There was no doubt that this would be tough and knowing what was coming in the fixture list, it could very much change the landscape of where we stood in the table if we did badly in all three.

    We would need something to go our way, a little break to help us out.

    Plosnik had had a good shift at left back but with Buswell now back, he was afforded a break. Muhamed Besic returned at DMC in place of Ozkan, Johnstone came in for Kurowski and Pavone sat out to be replaced by Ahlberg.

    The changes were something we needed to look at with a busy December ahead. I just hoped the changes wouldn't disrupt our flow too much.

    We were a goal down within 3 minutes as we conceded a penalty which they converted. We contained them for the rest of the half and grew into the game as it progressed. We pressed them more and more as they fell deeper and deeper trying to protect their lead. With just 5 minutes remaining, we got our reward and got our equaliser. Mario Vela scoring his 10th goal of the season.

    I thought we had stolen a point. I should have thought again. We were only level for less than 2 minutes and Arsenal retook the lead.
    With just three minutes to go, there was no way back this time!

    Spoiler!



    Many were saying it was a tough loss to take. But was it? Really? Did people really think little old Brighton were going to beat Arsenal? On their own patch? People needed to be brought back down to reality. The Arsenal game and the following one, away to Man Utd would be the reality check that the club's fans needed.

    A full week passed so everyone was fully rested. That would help us somewhat but it would still be an uphill struggle. We would need to keep an eye on their star striker, Koen Boez, he was currently one of the best in the world in his position.


    In the build up to the game, I saw the completion of a deal I didn't think I would see. I had signed Arianit Ferati for Southampton for the huge fee of £53m. I thought I had overpaid a little at the time but I'd obviously got a snip as Real Madrid had just shelled out £94m for him! For a midfielder that has just 27 goals and 47 assists in over 300 career games, he's done well there to be so highly sought after!

    But he was the past, now I had to try and conjure up a way of stopping Man Utd. And that wasn't going to be easy! One win against them in 13 attempts. At Old Trafford. With all their riches. Another tough match.

    Subotic served a one match ban for accumulating 5 yellow cards so I gave Amerdeep Singh his league debut. Baptism of fire it would be but I hoped he would be up for the challenge of trying to stifle the Man Utd attack.

    That was the only change to the lineup after the rest and I whipped them up in the dressing room before the match. I told them they were unlucky against Arsenal but if we wanted to be taken seriously, we would need to take something from this one and possibly even the next as well.

    They took those words to heart and executed exactly what we had worked on in training in the first half. They frustrated, they broke up play, they disrupted them. That was what I wanted to happen, then hopefully, in the second half space would open up and we would be able to exploit and steal something.

    They got the first half right and we went in goalless. They just had to find and take a chance in the second, whilst staying tight at the back as well.
    If we could get away with a point, that would be great but to grab all three would be great.

    We reached the hour still level. I was starting to look at the fitness levels of the players on the pitch, I needed to keep it fresh but I was wary a change might upset the rhythm. Two subs were made in the end and the players that came in came in at match pace and they didn't upset our plan. 90 mins, no goals.
    I'll take that.


    Spoiler!



    I was probably more happy with that point than any other we had taken in the season. The lads played so well to contain them and we fully deserved the point. Now we would probably have to do it all over again as it was the third straight tough away game as we travelled to Anfield to take on Liverpool.

    This would be another tough tie, although we had a very even record against them. Both sides had won both twice and there had been 6 draws in the 10 encounters they had played.
    We had a chance in this one but we frst and foremost would be looking to not concede. Anything more would be a bonus.

    One change. Karlo Lulic, whilst still playing well, had gone off the boil a little so he was replaced and Deividas Ivanauskas came in for his first league start for the club. He'd played well in his games off the bench so he deserved a start.

    If we were going to get anything from the game, we would need to put their defence and specifically their centre backs under pressure. Efe Ambrose was now 35 and his age was catching up with him. At the other end of the scale, Keith Fox was just 18 and had made 3 career matches so far. We had to get forward enough to trouble them though.

    In a way it would be better for us if we did concede as that would then there would be more emphasis on us going forward but whilst it was still 0-0, the first priority was not conceding. But, 4 minutes before half time we did indeed concede.

    The turning point of the match was Liverpool's keeper, Wojciech Szczesny going off injured as they celebrated the goal and a young keeper, Bobby Cox coming on in his place.
    That changed my half time team talk and made me urge them onto the attack a bit more to try and get something from the game. I needed them to step up and take the game by the scruff of the neck and get something from it.
    They did just that and it was the sub I brought on at half time that did the damage. Alexander Ahlberg was looking jaded so I replaced him with Ryan Freeman who, through no fault of his own, had not been getting game time. He showed me I had been wrong within 35 seconds as Vela knocked a header down and he swept the ball home from the edge of the area.

    On the hour we had the lead. Vela was a constant thorn in their side and as he took the ball past their left back in the area, he was blocked off unfairly and the referee gave a penalty.
    Oskari Qvick buried the spot kick.
    Now another dilemma. Do I get them to sit back on the lead or keep going as we are, pressing them back and hoping for more. I went for the latter and was rewarded on 71 minutes as Ryan Freeman doubled his account. Two goals in 26 minutes for him.

    We had them under the kosh now, they were broken and it was a surprise we only added the one more through Ashley Buswell. It could and probably should have been more.


    Spoiler!



    Three very tough matches on the road and I was delighted to come away with 4 points from them. I thought that was a decent haul.
    We would now be at home for the remainder of the month and the remainder of the calendar year. The first game back at the AMEX was against Fulham, a Boxing Day clash against a side currently sat in 18th position.
    This would be the first time we had played them in 5 years but we had a good record against them before that time. They were struggling and we were favourtes. The problem was there was only three days break since the Liverpool game.

    There were a few changes made. Tom Reid came in for Joao Cancelo at right back. And Freeman earned a start with Qvick dropping out for a rest. Ahlberg, despite only playing 45 minutes had not recovered fully either so Dennis Praet came in for the final change.

    We were given a rapturous welcome back home by the Brighton faithful and we aimed to pay them back with a great performance.

    Praet started the ball rolling after just three minutes and Freeman again got on the scoresheet after 26. Mario Vela got rewards for his hard work up front as well by adding our third on the half hour. The game was won after just a third of it and it was just a matter of the players enjoying the rest of the tie now.

    We didn't add to the score but we managed the game, we rested some tired legs and overall it was an easy ride after the early goals went in.

    Spoiler!



    And so, the final match of 2023 would see us playing at home to my most recent former club, Watford. It would be a chance to check in with some of the players that I left behind and see how they had been getting on since Antonio Conte took the reins.

    First of all, of course, Andy Hopkins. He had made just one substitute appearance in the season but surprisingly, he wasn't too unhappy about it. He had stated that he was willing to fight for his place in the first team but the first choice pairing up front was very much Daniel Sturridge and Callum Wilson. Uffe Bech had even been pushed back to play in an attacking midfield role so Hopkins chances, I felt, were limited. I feel a bid coming on in January. They hadn't added anyone to their ranks since I left but were playing in a different style. Nieminen and Toure were still bossing their midfield. It was interesting to see Sam Magri lining up as a central defender in a back 5 though.

    They sat 7th in the table which was a very good effort after just coming up and I knew this would be a tough encounter. There would be some players on their side trying to put themselves in my shop window for bids in January, not only Hopkins but others also.

    I was happy to see Denis Plosnik sign a new contract just before the game and I gave him the nod at left back as Ashley Buswell had not yet signed on the line for his new deal.

    That was the only change.
    Watford were obviously worried about the threat that we posed as Wilson was dropped and they played a very defensive looking 5-3-1-1. They looked like they didn't have much intention of attacking. So we had to make defending hard for them by putting them under constant pressure.

    We did and we took the lead after just nine minutes as Ivanauskas scored his first of the season. It was a breakthrough we needed as it drew Watford out a little. But not much. They still seemed content to sit back and absorb the pressure and so at half time, we went in at 1-0. I knew they had to come at us at some point and we needed to be ready.

    They changed things a couple of times, switching formations but it was when they took off Birama Toure to bring on Callum Wilson that we took advantage. We grabbed our second on 68 minutes with a long awaited goal from Allan Johnstone as he'd been barren since his goal off the bench at the start of the month. We topped it off as Ryan Freeman scored for the third game in a row to seal the points and keep us in a very lofty position as the year came to an end.

    Spoiler!










    Transfers

    IN -


    OUT -



    A very long month comes to an end and it went very well for us. Not least because of our results (W4 D2 L1) but aso because those around us dropped points. 2nd placed Arsenal lost twice in the month, 3rd placed Man Utd are 5 games without a win. It leaves us in a great position.

    Four homes games in the month and they drew attendances of 32309, 32282, 34956 and 34969. The last two being just below capacity and directly over the Christmas period are great figures.


    Finance wise, despite the four home games, we made just £2.36m and spent £5.56m, a loss of £3.19m. That was a much lower income than I was expecting considering we got more in gate receipts in November and we didn't even have a home game!!


    Can't get my head round that one.

    The bank balance is now £64.19m and a transfer fund of £61m.


  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ebfatz For This Useful Post:


  11. #859
    Tournaments Won: 10

    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    28,468
    vCash
    0
    Mind games with the bid for Ahlberg! Nice that it was Ahlberg who scored the equaliser so quickly Talk about supersubs, what a game.

    Sounds like bad luck and one of those games against West Ham. Clean sheet though!

    Statistically looks like you still played well enough at Arsenal to get something out of it.

    Doesn't look like Singh impressed on his debut. But that 6 seems harsh considering you did get a clean sheet at Old Trafford!

    What a turnaround at Anfield though It's good to see different players all contributing to the cause.

    Certainly back to usual business with the wins over Fulham and Watford too. Hopkins is just waiting to be signed up by you

    Really are looking like favourites for the title, just playing too well not to throw it away now!

  12. #860
    Tournaments Won: 4

    Join Date
    03-03-12
    Posts
    24,663
    vCash
    4815
    BIG month that

    Some 'orrible away game and navigated them pretty well all in all

    Then some huge wins to round the month off

    You've got the lead and more importantly you seem to have the "Leicester" confidence now when they won the league

    You'll have to go some to drop a wedge of points but can't let complaceency come in

    Got a screenie of Qvick please?

  13. #861
    ebfatz is offline Social Media Bod
    Former Holy Trinity Member
    Stories Mod
    Tournaments Won: 1

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,182
    vCash
    435000
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Mind games with the bid for Ahlberg! Nice that it was Ahlberg who scored the equaliser so quickly Talk about supersubs, what a game.

    Sounds like bad luck and one of those games against West Ham. Clean sheet though!

    Statistically looks like you still played well enough at Arsenal to get something out of it.

    Doesn't look like Singh impressed on his debut. But that 6 seems harsh considering you did get a clean sheet at Old Trafford!

    What a turnaround at Anfield though It's good to see different players all contributing to the cause.

    Certainly back to usual business with the wins over Fulham and Watford too. Hopkins is just waiting to be signed up by you

    Really are looking like favourites for the title, just playing too well not to throw it away now!

    Couldn't believe the Ahlberg goal. Managed to pause quick enough to get the screenie otherwise it's too unbelievable to be true!
    Yep, Singh struggled a little but I left him in and he improved a bit until now he has got injured. So it's chosing his replacement now. Subotic has been poor so there's a decision to be made.

    We are in the prime seat certainly. Not sure how. These players really have come together quickly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    BIG month that

    Some 'orrible away game and navigated them pretty well all in all

    Then some huge wins to round the month off

    You've got the lead and more importantly you seem to have the "Leicester" confidence now when they won the league

    You'll have to go some to drop a wedge of points but can't let complaceency come in

    Got a screenie of Qvick please?
    The run of away games is like nothing I've ever seen. A full month of them in November and then those opponents one after the other in December. We just had to come through it relatively unscathed and we'd be in a good position. Which we have.

    And here is Mr Qvick.


  14. #862
    Tournaments Won: 4

    Join Date
    03-03-12
    Posts
    24,663
    vCash
    4815
    Christ - Qvick is punching well

  15. #863
    ebfatz is offline Social Media Bod
    Former Holy Trinity Member
    Stories Mod
    Tournaments Won: 1

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    8,182
    vCash
    435000
    January 2024

    A New Year and new challenges.
    (A new style of writing as well. Going to cut back on some of the detail and try and get updates out quicker. )

    Matches and Roundup

    I am genuinely shocked to find us top of the league at the turn of the year. I said after the bright start that I would pay no attention to the table until January. Well here we are and I have to pay attention now. And work out how to try and stay there.
    The transfer window is open of course and I may dip into the transfer funds as the month goes on.

    A clean sweep of awards took us to the first game of the month, Charlton away. I was named December's Manager of the Month, Ryan Freeman picked up Player of the Month and Deividas Ivanauskas, Young Player of the Month. Confidence was high in the side and as such I didn't really want to change any personnel. But needs must due to fitness issues.

    Singh's injury meant Mick MacDonald getting the nod to start. And Ivanauskas was replaced by Qvick in the midfield. Charlton were a side we had a similar record against but we had beaten them 5-1 earlier in the season so we were confident.

    It was tougher than we thought and it took us 25 minutes to even get a shot on target. We were a goal down by then but fought back to equalise on 25 minutes through Vela.

    We had the best of it in the second half but could not find another goal and so it finished honours even.

    Spoiler!



    It took a matter of around 17 hours from bid being lodged to transfer being completed for me to complete the first transfer of the window. Bet you can't guess who it was!
    No one in their right mind would pay that kind of money for him looking at his stats but I knew him, I knew how he worked and I knew what he could offer me.

    Ashley Buswell signed what will probably be his last contract as at 33, he is now tied to Brighton until 2027.
    Zanka signed a Bosman to leave us in the summer. No loss to me as he had not been near the first team picture after saying he wanted to move to a bigger club. He'll actually be dropping down to the Championship when his move comes round in June.


    Our new signing would get his debut in our FA Cup Third Round game away to Middlesbrough. He would come in for Allan Johnstone. I wasn't expecting him to hit the ground running but it was a good opportunity for him to get used to playing alongside his new teammates in a match situation.

    He didn't get his name n the scoresheet straight away but he did provide the assist for Ryan Freeman to open the scoring. Another goal from Freeman and one from Qvick won us the game before half time had even come around and it was a very comfortable passage through to the next round.

    Spoiler!



    Safely through to the next round and after we were drawn at home to Bury in the next round, we focused back onto league action as we prepared for Southampton at home, my old team who Brighton have an awful record against. It was December 2018 when Brighton were last victorius but I aimed to end that statistic. I would need all my players on form and I was glad that as well as one pundit earlier, others were now spotting the form of Oskari Qvick.


    He was indeed playing out of his skin and I stated so. I hoped it would continue.

    The two men that had been in the news continued to be so as Hopkins scored his 1st Brighton goal on 17 minutes and then Qvick doubled our lead ten minutes before half time.
    We were magnificent but Southampton were not the Southampton I knew. They were so poor. Kasper Schmeichel was a shadow of the one I managed. That was good for us though as Mario Vela grabbed a second half brace and Hopkins added his second and our fifth for a very comprehensive win!

    Spoiler!



    It was after this match that bids started arriving. Sheff Wed wanted Ahlberg. Sunderland bid for Plosnik, West Brom wanted a cut price deal for Ben Amos, Arsenal bid for Dennis Praet.

    All were rejected apart from Praet who, for the second time in my career was a player who managed to slip a Minimum Fee Release Clause past me when signing for the club. A measley fee as well (£9.5m) considering the form he had been in. All I could do was offer him a new contract and hope that he signed that instead of moved to London.


    He had not made a decision by the time the game away at Villa Park came round so he sat out. Sergio Pavone came in. Mick MacDonald had a slight knock so he sat out and Subotic was given another chance in the side.

    Aston Villa were in the drop zone but didn't play like that as they had the best of the first 45 minutes. They were on it in the second as well. Andy Hopkins was obviously settling in well as he managed to grab the man of the match award. And as a club, it looked like it was going to be a 0-0 draw until Mario Vela managed to pop up in second half injury time to pock home a goal to win us the game. It's often said, if you want to win leagues, you need to win when you don't play well.
    We definately did this here!


    Spoiler!


    Next up would be a the FA Cup 4th Round and Brighton's first ever match against Bury.
    I was delighted when Dennis Praet came to me and told me he would be signing the contract we had put in front of him. I wasn't surprised. He would be doubling his money and would now be taking home £80,000 a week. But he's with us and will continue to be and that was great news.
    I was expecting that to be the end of it but Arsenal did not back off. They threw in another bid. I didn't want to sell. The wage I had given him was evidence of that but everyone has a price. If they wanted to pay me a lot of money then I would sell.

    We welcomed Bury to town with expectations of brushing them aside easily. I would put out a strong side and if the way we have been playing recently is anything to go by, we could have the game won easily and quickly.

    Just one change as Joao Cancelo coming in for Tom Reid at right back. Cancelo has not settled as well as I had hoped but I'm hoping a run of games would help.
    We barely got out of first gear let alone second in the first half. Oskari Qvick bagged his 10th of the season and we needed do no more.
    It was an easy outing, like a training game really.
    But we switched off a little too much and Bury only went and equalised just after the hour.

    They were level for less than 60 seconds. Qvick got his second almost straight after kick off. A quick fire brace from Hopkins in the final 12 minutes meant the score was flattering but not unexpected.

    Spoiler!











    Transfers

    IN -

    Andy Hopkins - £6.5m



    OUT -



    A great month overall. A slow start in the first match but we got right back on it after that. Still in the cup as well just in case the league campaign goes all wrong but that is looking increasingly unlikely looking at the cushion we have. And of course I am more than happy to have my main man on the payroll now as well especially considering the start he has made!

    Two home games. The second being the cup game so I expected a lower attendance. We drew 33831 and 26819.


    A big loss made on the finances, mainly due to the outgoing transfer fee. Income was just £3.08m whilst outgoings topped £14.54m. A big Finance wise, despite the four home games, we made just £2.36m and spent £5.56m, a loss of £3.19m. A big loss but it was offset by the money being very well spent so far.


    The bank balance is now £53.6m and a transfer fund of £48.5m.


  16. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ebfatz For This Useful Post:


  17. #864
    Tournaments Won: 4

    Join Date
    03-03-12
    Posts
    24,663
    vCash
    4815
    Prefer this new style myself

    But do very much ike your storytelling style either way

    Return of the HOP!

    First game for him and he has equal most touches of the ball

    Another brillaint month - insane how well you are doing

    Good news on Praet in the end

    Could be a treble or something on here

  18. #865

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    7,717
    vCash
    46000
    Another story for me to catch up on, thankfully it's only a couple of pages compared to the 22 I had to read to get up to date on Red's story

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


  20. #866

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    7,717
    vCash
    46000
    You'd just left Watford when I last checked in and as we expected you took over the reins of Premiership side Brighton, where you still had a bit of work to do in the remaining few weeks of the season to keep them up, but after that you had a nice kitty to strengthen in the summer. A bit late in the day for me to give my recommendations on the squad you've inherited but Amos and Murcia both look decent keepers, defence could do with some work, a few decent options in midfield but could also do with a few more numbers, while up front it doesn't look great at all, definitely need a few in there come the summer, like CMA I've also heard good things about one Andy Hopkins

  21. #867

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    7,717
    vCash
    46000
    £120k a week for Amos! He may be decent but he ain't worth that money, would anyone take him on with that wage though? Cairney another on a big wage, he'll have to impress you in the last few games for him to still be there after the summer, and more dross on big wages in the striker department, even more reason for an overhaul there.

    Any potential sales would have to wait for now though as you had your first game away at Leeds, you may not have got the win but it sounds like they put in a performance for you which bodes well. Mass overhaul for your debut home game then, and a disappointing loss despite what sounded like another good show, your lack of finishing prowess once again your downfall but nothing we didn't know already really given the strikers available. Another loss follows away at West Ham, but thankfully results before your game made sure the gap stayed at 5 pts, but you finally got your first win at the club away at Norwich and practically ensure you'd be playing Premiership football next season.

    Now a look at the incoming transfers, and all should boost the squad, Cancelo should have the right back spot nailed down while Praet should also play a big part, Ozkan I don't see playing much but should be a steady hand when called upon, and all three signed for nothing!

  22. #868

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    7,717
    vCash
    46000
    May starts with the signing of a very steady keeper (assuming he plays like Given IRL), and with him signed on the dotted line it looks like Amos may be on his way out (and save you a fortune in the process). When you read Richards stats it's amazing he scored against Norwich, hopefully he can repay the faith in you in the relegation battle game against QPR. You do take the lead through an unlikely player but QPR equalise and it's game back on again, and then things get even worse as you concede twice to go down 3-1 and maybe relegation isn't out the questions after all (winning the Championship would be easier though ).

    You do stay up though when Sheff Wed fail to win, and more good news in the signing of a striker who knows where the back of the net is from the sounds of things, a hefty wage but justified if he bangs them in for you, and if Amos does move on then you're just swapping one wage for another really. A difficult away game at the Emirates completes the season and a real dead rubber from the sounds of things, but you do take the lead before Arsenal comeback to win.

    Losing Romeu and Pereira will be a blow if they do move on, I'm sure they were two you earmarked as pivotal for next season, plenty of money in the bank to go recruiting with though, and still TV money, season ticket money and potential player sales to add on too.

    Now go get Hopkins

  23. #869

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    7,717
    vCash
    46000
    Subotic looks a very good signing on a free, he should definitely improve your defence, while some nice sales done as well raising a bit more dosh. Surprise move from the board to expand the stadium but the fans are turning out to see you, and with TV money now in there weren't too much difference between the two, hopefully a few more season ticket holders in there as well to boost the coffers, but you really need to get signing some players, hopefully at the least there will be a host of decent freebies come July 1st.

  24. #870

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    7,717
    vCash
    46000
    Plenty of signings in July though, so let's look at them, Qvick arrives for just £150k and has a few nice stats but I can't see him making the impact Niemanen did for you at Watford, still worth the gamble though, but I can't say the same about Johnstone, great pace but doesn't look like he can do much with the ball, and at £3m I think you could have got better (time will tell though). Spencer is only young but already has exceptional passing skills, I just hope the rest of his game improves quickly as again he's not a starter for me, while Singh looks a decent enough backup centre back but at 32 how many seasons will you get from him?

    Pavone is a bit more like it, and still only 21, having already experienced the English game with West Ham he should settle quickly, while Ivanauskas is another for the future. Robbie Hunter should come in useful playing at left back or centre back, and Lulic should get some assists from midfield. Having worked with Freeman before you can't knock him back on a free, while Besic is another decent DMC, although like you say you need to move Romeu on sharpish.

    Going out the door then and that's a hell of a deal for Pereira, while a decent fee for Dambe too who was well down the pecking order, surprised you let Murcia go out on loan though, thought him and Given's regen would be fighting it out for the number 1 shirt, especially with you keen to move Amos on.

    The wage bill is a concern but you're still lacking real quality all over the pitch so I'd spend it while it's there, not much use bleeding money you have while you're in a relegation battle, I'd rather have a decent team on the pitch and the finances sort themselves out hopefully with gate and prize money as well as making decent profits on players you've bought cheap which are performing.
    Last edited by AMC; 12-11-19 at 03:32 PM.

  25. #871
    Tournaments Won: 10

    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    28,468
    vCash
    0
    Hopkins

    That's 6.5M well spent already! He's made an impact in all starts already. An assist, two goals, man of the match, two goals!

  26. #872

    Join Date
    07-03-12
    Location
    Blackpool
    Posts
    428
    vCash
    500
    Wow, your first season at Brighton is turning into a dream! Some amazing results so far, particularly at Anfield. And a win at Villa Park which has the hallmarks of champions, can anything go wrong? None of the teams below you putting together a consistent run and with an eleven point advantage at this stage (effectively twelve due to goal difference), it's definitely Brighton's title to lose. However, as Hopkins wasn't part of the squad for the first half of the season, I'm not sure it should count.

    I like your new writing style too. Your most recent update still contained plenty of detail, no feeling of it being rushed at all. It would be nice to have more regular updates if possible, or you might not finish this. No pressure though, as I'm sure you have lots of other commitments outside of this forum.

  27. #873

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    7,717
    vCash
    46000
    August marks the start of the season and so your focus turns to matters on the field as well as off the field, but before you lead the team out for the new season some more recruiting. Some bad news starts the month with the failed work permit for a Brazilian defender, but that's short lived as you find an even better replacement, before further rejections from a few veterans, Di Maria and Aguero may have diminished physically like David Silva did to you previously but I'm sure they still would have had wonderful talent to start, and in Neuer and Lloris neither would have been impacted by their reducing fitness.

    Great news that you managed to move Boljevic on, was there no one from Spurs you might have got in a part ex or did you not want to jeopardise the deal, and just get it done and him off the books?

    Game day soon enough though and a home tie against one of the promoted teams, not a bad start even if Villa will be in high spirits being back in the big time, but what a performance from the lads in front of the home crowd, Vela with a brace on his debut and you finish the opening weekend in top spot - end the season now!

    A return to Watford in the next game, and with Conte not making any signings or sales it was a very familiar team you were facing, interesting to see no Hopkins in the line up though, hopefully that continues and you can sign him once again. Nice to see you receive a warm welcome from the Vicarage Road faithful, but once the game started you mullered them! Praet and Lulic both with goals early on in their Brighton careers can only be a good thing, and you end another game week in top spot - stop the season now!

    Things do get trickier in the next game though as champions Man Utd come to the AMEX, not the time to have a few tired bodies then and so some enforced changes and debuts to people. Honours even after 45, and still 0-0 on 70, do you stick or twist? You twist slightly but the score finishes 0-0, a fantastic point against the title holders (even if it does drop you to 2nd ), who knows what might have been if you could field the likes of Cancelo etc

    A look at the signing then and Balanta does look a solid signing, him and Subotic with Murphy behind should mean a very mean defence for the season. That's a hell of a fee for Boljevic as well (and a chance of even more if some other idiots sign him ), while Evans doesn't look much of a loss at all and also means some for money in the coffers.

    Besic player of the month is a great start for him, and with him protecting an already tight defence you'll be a tough team to break down this season, and I'm glad to hear you aren't finished recruiting even with only 12 days of the window left, you're definitely short up front (which you've mentioned) and I'd like to see another body or two in midfield as well to assist and notch a few goals. Hopefully you can move Amos's massive wages on, maybe even list him for free just to get them off the books.

  28. #874

    Join Date
    05-03-12
    Location
    Ribble Valley
    Posts
    5,041
    vCash
    19400
    Hopkins is back and back to scoring.
    11 point lead at the end of January. Can't see you losing that now
    Back up of the FA cup and some rather nice draws so far.
    Glad you have Praet tied up. He is a gem.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  29. #875

    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    7,717
    vCash
    46000
    To September and your first full month of games with Brighton, hopefully the good run can continue, and nice to see your early success has meant a few international call ups and in Murphy a chance for his first cap. Doesn't take much guessing that it's Romeu who's moved on, like you say you're well covered in that position (especially player of the month Besic) and he did want to move on as well, I skipped ahead to see how much you got and it's another good deal who at 31 (and 32 come the end of the month) may have had his best days behind him anyway.

    Charlton also enjoying a good start to the season but once again you blew a team away, although you did concede your usual consolation goal from your opponents again 14 goals in 4 games, maybe I was wrong about needing better strikers? Not sure on the thoughts of an implosion in the offing, just enjoy the great form so far and worry about that if it happens. Leeds away up next and despite their average looking squad (your words) a trip to Elland Road can be a tough away day, and it was to begin with until Vela got the opener before half time to set you on your way to another win, funny that your only clean sheet this season has been against the defending champions Man Utd.

    The League Cup then and one you've rightly earmarked as a priority for the season, and facing a team two divisions below you is a decent draw, even if you are away. Surprising then given the importance of the competition you decided not to stick with the players that have done so well for you in the Prem so far, and instead hand debuts to some players as well as field some fringe members of the playing squad, hopefully you won't regret that decision. 80 mins gone and still goal less the nerves must be kicking in now, as a late goal for Wigan would see you out at the first stage, but thankfully it was yourselves who got the dramatic winner thanks to Johnstone, phew! Good point on the strikers again, only three you have faith in, a couple of injuries and you're well and truly snookered, definitely a priority in January for a couple.

    Home to Spurs in the league to close out the month, and given they were top at the end of August despite your amazing start it promises to be a tough game, and no surprise your first choice players were back in for it, but once again you sealed a comfortable win thanks to a magical spell before and after half time to leapfrog Spurs into top place, and you even kept a clean sheet (a second in a row ).

    Bugger of a League Cup draw, like you say you have to go as strong as possible there, and hopefully Utd will rest a lot of players too. Finances and attendances very pleasing to see as well
    Last edited by AMC; Yesterday at 11:14 AM.

Page 35 of 35 FirstFirst ... 253132333435

Posting Permissions

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