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Thread: The County Championship

  1. #951

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    I predict a riot! Definitely going to cruise this league!

    Great to see Hopkins in. 178 goals in 311 games, surprised he doesn't have more than that. I'd be interested to know exactly how many he's scored under you as a manager though, bet the percentage of goals to games rockets right up!

    Some good experience in now. Plenty of big names getting old in this update now but can't argue with Henderson's impact too. Good old Hendos

  2. #952

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    Great start to your tenure
    Getting Hopkins again is fantastic news. Can't believe that he is still only 28.
    Good mix of youth and experience.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  3. #953
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Great to see Hopkins in. 178 goals in 311 games, surprised he doesn't have more than that. I'd be interested to know exactly how many he's scored under you as a manager though, bet the percentage of goals to games rockets right up!
    Would be interesting. I don't think there is a great deal of his career that he hasn't had with me. When I left him at Newcastle he didn't get games. When I left him at Watford he didn't get games. He probably got a few with Stoke after I left.





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  5. #954

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    Ah, I just assumed he wouldn't be as prolific without you. The average rating for Brighton and Newcastle though

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    He's never been given a chance to see if he's any good without me!

  7. #956

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebfatz View Post
    Vincent Kompany.
    Definitely? Thought he would have stayed as Belgian when regening.

    Forgot to say board room staff shouldn't have stopped you bringing in a coach, you sure you haven't got a player/coach in there somewhere?

    Still need to read last update so will do that now, I may get some answers there

  8. #957

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    Another local team in Marine played in pre season, but there's rumours you were too scared to take on Southport, especially so early in your tenure at Everton

    Hopkins signed on the dotted line, they may as well give you the title now No better start for him either with the winner in the opening game against Fulham. A tough draw away at Palace followed, before Morecambe were put to the sword in the League Cup. Hopkins bags again in a narrow win over Burnley, but already the games are coming thick and fast, thankfully you've a squad for them and had no trouble against Reading, the only down side being them couple of injuries.

    Already top and some very good signings to go with Hopkins, Hendo must just enjoy Merseyside so I expect him to sign for Southport one day

  9. #958
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    Definitely Kompany. Got GPF2 running and I check players when I change club or after I have signed them.

    Never before I must stress.

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  11. #959
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    September 2024

    Still early days. We've made a good start but better sides will await us as we go along.

    Matches and Roundup

    One thing I wanted to tie up before the transfer window closed was the purchase of another decent striker. I have Drew Wright and Andy Hopkins but not much else after that. Should I rely on youngsters to come in and pick up the slack or should I make a purchase. I had a big bid in for an Italian teenager and also a free transfer bid for an Argentine legend who would command a huge wage. I didn't really know whether I should go for one, both or neither. I might have a couple of big decisions to make early in the month


    [spoiler]


    I decided against Aguero as I didn't want a repeat of the David Silva affair from Watford. He was old, his stamina was dropping, it was difficult to see whether he could finish a match or not.
    The 10m bid for young Pietro Nanni was also rejected so I turned my attention elsewhere but after a loan bid for a young striker was rejected, I decided to stick with what I already had and just hope that Hopkins and Wright can stay fit for as long as possible.

    First game of the month saw us take on a tough fixture, away at West Brom. After a number of average seasons, where they finished lower mid table in the Championship, they had made a strong start to the season and were just a point behind us. Kieron Gibbs had returned to full fitness and came straight back into the side but Van Crombrugge (2 weeks, ankle ligaments), Darren Malcolm (3 weeks, groin strain) and Andy Tanner (1 week, bruised thigh) were all missing.

    So it was a bit of a patched up side that took to the field but still a side full of my signings bar Drew Wright. So I wasn't overly worried that we would be walked over but I wanted them to put in a decent performance.

    It was a slow start but 10 minutes before half time, we got a breakthrough and it wasn't one we really looked like losing. When Jordan Henderson added a second it was icing on a cake that I had planned out to perfection.

    Spoiler!



    And so it was now 5 league matches unbeaten and I was being vindicated in my decision to not through a huge wage at an aging Aguero and also not pay over the odds for an Italian teenager.
    How long for though as I'm sure my lack of decent forwards would catch up with me in the end.

    We returned home to face a Rochdale side who were in the Premier League three years ago but had dropped like a stone since. Relegated from the top flight, they had finished 14th and 16th in the Championship since. I was confident we would get something from this one.

    Josh Owen for Ryan Ledson was the only change to the side and it took us just 14 minutes to take the lead through Torro in what turned out to be the only shot in the first half. There were a few more shots in the second half and we used them to good effect as Henderson and Hopkins added to our total.
    We did concede which annoyed Rui Patricio for losing his clean sheet but overall, I was happy with the overall result. We had started slowly but had grown into it.

    Spoiler!


    Just four days later we were back on the road and visiting Swindon Town and trying to regain the top spot that Preston had taken from us by playing a day before us. Swindon had made a decent start to the season also and were 11th. They were a side that didn't score many but crucially dod n't concede many either, just 5 in their five games so far.
    So we knew we would have to work hard to get anything from the game.
    Drew Wright was not fully fit but I left him in from the start. Kieran Gibbs was not either but I decided that he would be replaced and Billy Bell would get another game. We got a goal relatively early from a man who was turning into a goalscoring machine but then had some bad news as Callum Paterson was sent off leaving us without a right back for the full second half.

    But as I was about to send them out for the second half, I decided that it was a decent opportunity to rest Wright so he came off and I didn't lose all my attacking threat as I brought on Gnabry to play right back. He would hopefully still get forward and occupy Swindon thus stopping them troubling us. That was the plan and to a degree it worked. We stifled them somewhat but in truth they were just not that great going forward so Paterson kind of got away with one.


    Spoiler!



    I was particularly pleased with that result as we had been a man down, with players who were unfit but we dug in and ground out the result. I was very aware though that if we had been playing a better side or one with a more clinical front line, it may have been a different story.

    But that one was in the books and we had the points so it was onto game number four for the month which was definitely going to be a more difficult encounter as we travelled to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City.
    They were in their first season back in the top flight as winners of the Championship last season so the side was not quite as strong as you would think but they were a Premier League side with a Premier League budget, most thought that they would cruise through to the next round. I wasn't so sure. I didn't think that there much of a difference between them and the side that I had managed to mould in my time on Merseyside.

    There were a couple of changes though. Lucas Torro was not fit so dropped out, Andy Tanner coming back in after his injury. Josh Owen also sat out and Frederic Bulot came in. I went with a strong side as I expected Leicester to do the same and I wanted to make a decent game of it.

    I wasn't wrong. They did bring in a couple of youngsters from the reserves but the majority of the side were the ones that played in their last league match.

    And we matched them. In fact we more than matched them. Hopkins (2) and Henderson had us in a comfortable lead before they pulled one back near half time.
    Bulot adding a fourth in the second half allowed me to take off a tiring Henderson very early and I managed the bench well for the rest of the game to get everyone through unscathed. A Premier League scalp and none of the big European playing teams that join in the next round would want to meet us that's for sure.


    Spoiler!



    An emphatic win and it made a bit of a statement that if I'm honest, I didn't want them to make. I'd have been much more happy with a quiet 1-0 win and continue to fly under the radar. Now, with a 4-1 win, away from home at a Premier League side, people were a little more aware of us and that of course means that teams may go in to games against us a little more cautiously.
    We wait and see.
    We weren't the biggest giant killers of the round in fairness as MK Dons humbled Arsenal 3-0 and Bradford City defeated West Ham. Even our Merseyside neighbours struggled as they only made it through after extra time.

    The next game in the month saw us return home and taking on a big historic football name in Aston Villa. They had come down with us last year but had failed to adapt to the lower level at all and were still actually winless in the season having played 7 league games and only picking up one draw so far. As such, Branislav Ivanovic's job was on the line so he really needed to get a result to save his job but I was not feeling like being charitable.

    I was pleased to hear that the FA had reduced Callum Paterson's ban by one game so he would only miss two games now after his red card. That ban would start after this game so he was available to play right back, Kieran Gibbs returned at left back. That was the only change though. Van Crombrugge and Malcolm would soon be back fully fit so they would give me a bit of a problem but at the moment the team was playing well and only fitness would see me having to make changes.

    Villa looked solid. A lot more solid than they had at any point so far during the season. That was until a certain man decided to take the game by the scruff of the neck. He essentially won it on his own in the space of 13 minutes. It should have made the second half somewhat of a procession.
    But we proceeded to let in two goals to make it nervy for a couple of minutes before Hopkins turned it on again and Drew Wright got himself on the scoresheet as well to make it a very good day at the office. We lost Kieran Gibbs to injury for the second time already this season and I was now wondering if there was some kind of underlying fitness problem with him.

    Spoiler!



    And still two more games in the month, the penultimate game would see us staying at home and hosting another famous English club fallen on hard times in Nottingham Forest.
    They are one of just a handful of sides that have been able to not only win the European Cup but also retain it by winning it the year after as well.
    I was right on Gibbs. He had broken his toe for the second time but the physios had diagnosed him with an groin strain that would not get any better without physio rehabilitation. So I had to decide whether I would continue to let him play and pick up niggly injuries or send him off for around two months and hopefully cure him of his ills.

    I decided to send him away and rely on youngsters for a period. But kept an eye out for a potential new signing if transfer windows would allow.
    We went into the game in good spirits and relatively confident of chalking up another win.
    The left back spot was given to Andy Widdowson on this occasion. And Ryan Ledson was asked to play slightly out of position as a defensive midfielder as Darren Malcolm was not back from injury and Sverrir Ingason was unfit to start the game.

    It was a tight game. One that could have gone either way. Forest were more than in it and were drawing us into some silly tackles leading to us having four yellow cards to our name by half time. I would hope that the boys that picked up a yellow would be sensible going into the second half.

    It was just four minutes into the second half when we fell behind and it was no more than Forest deserved. But it took us just 10 further minutes to pull level. And into the last minutes before full time, we completed the comeback by scoring a second and winning the game.
    Special mention to Ryan Ledson who was a machine in that DMC position today.


    Spoiler!



    And so just three days later, we faced our last game of the month, a trip to London to face Queens Park Rangers, a team that were in the Playoffs last season after finishing 5th. This would be a tough end to the month. We would have a struggle ahead of us solely because Andy Hopkins picked up an injury in training and my physio team informed me he would miss around 10 days.
    When you bear in mind he has started his Everton career by scoring 13 goals in his first 11 games. He is going to be a big miss. And without any other decent striker in the squad I was seriously thinking about a change in formation but in the end I decided to not deviate and stay in the tried and tested 4-1-3-2.

    I gave the nod to play alongside Wright to 21 year old Marvin Hill who was probably the most experienced of the young forwards on the books. 82 games he had under his belt, mostly as sub but games none the less. That was the only change as we went in search of a 10th straight win.

    We never looked like getting it if I'm honest. Too many just didn't turn up on the day. Q.P.R. took a lead on 50 minutes and it was left to Drew Wright to drag us out of the hole when he equalised on 72 minutes to earn us a draw. The run of wins was gone but we were still unbeaten as the month drew to a close.


    Spoiler!









    Transfers

    IN -



    OUT -


    Another great month for us as we took our game to allcomers, QPR aside. Lots of points on the board and we stay top at the end of it.

    Seven games in the month. Of those, three were at home and they brought attendances of 35921, 40552 and 40553. Near capacity crowds as we end the month.

    Finance wise, income for the month was 3.2m and expenditure was way up at 5.33m so a loss of 2.13m. Making a loss but a sustainable loss if that makes sense. We have enough in the bank to mean it wasn't an issue losing that much a month. It might later in the season though.

    The bank balance is now 35.29m and a transfer fund of 30.5m.


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  13. #960

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    Great month, unbeaten despite the draw at the end where I think injuries and lack of Hopkins/Gibbs caught up with you. Tricky decision to make on Gibbs, would have been easier if you knew you could rely on a backup.

    Hopkins failing to score to begin with but then going on a streak again. Four goals in one game! Go 'arn Hendo as well

    Love how you tried to build up to the possible Aguero deal, then failed with the spoiler

  14. #961

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    Aguero still looks class but like you say for how long? A very good win away at West Brom and it was backed up with a home win over Rochdale, Hendo with 2 in 2! Hendo then bags again in a game where it sounded like (and turned out to be) whoever scored the first goal would win the match, and once again you go top. A fantastic win over Leicester in the cup, Hopkins with a double and Hendo continuing his rich vein of goal scoring form.

    Hopkins then runs riot against Villa, and then bags another brace as you overcome Forest by a tight margin. Not a time for your talisman to go down with an injury then ruling him out of the next game against QPR. The winning run came to an end which maybe isn't a surprise with Hopkins out, regretting not signing Aguero now? Even if you gave him a month-to-month or six month deal, as soon as his stats dropped or he didn't perform you could release him without paying any/much compo.

    Still two points clear at the top, you can't grumble at that.

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    What font are you using?

  16. #963

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    Christ - WHAT A MONTH!

    I would have taken Aguero - 1 season wonder if nothing else

    Hendo on

    Any special instructions for him or is he playmaker?!

  17. #964

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    Cracking start to the league program and sets it up nicely for the nitty gritty over the next few months.
    If you can get the break from WBA then it should be plain sailing
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  18. #965
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Great month, unbeaten despite the draw at the end where I think injuries and lack of Hopkins/Gibbs caught up with you. Tricky decision to make on Gibbs, would have been easier if you knew you could rely on a backup.

    Hopkins failing to score to begin with but then going on a streak again. Four goals in one game! Go 'arn Hendo as well

    Love how you tried to build up to the possible Aguero deal, then failed with the spoiler

    Didn't plan a spoiler. Decided against him but maybe I should have taken the chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    Aguero still looks class but like you say for how long? A very good win away at West Brom and it was backed up with a home win over Rochdale, Hendo with 2 in 2! Hendo then bags again in a game where it sounded like (and turned out to be) whoever scored the first goal would win the match, and once again you go top. A fantastic win over Leicester in the cup, Hopkins with a double and Hendo continuing his rich vein of goal scoring form.

    Hopkins then runs riot against Villa, and then bags another brace as you overcome Forest by a tight margin. Not a time for your talisman to go down with an injury then ruling him out of the next game against QPR. The winning run came to an end which maybe isn't a surprise with Hopkins out, regretting not signing Aguero now? Even if you gave him a month-to-month or six month deal, as soon as his stats dropped or he didn't perform you could release him without paying any/much compo.

    Still two points clear at the top, you can't grumble at that.
    Month to Month not an option, a six month deal may have done a job. Hefty wage for if it went wrong though.

    Quote Originally Posted by BartCM View Post
    What font are you using?
    The font is called ResPublica. Here it is:

    https://www.sendspace.com/file/0hps7c


    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Christ - WHAT A MONTH!

    I would have taken Aguero - 1 season wonder if nothing else

    Hendo on

    Any special instructions for him or is he playmaker?!
    Nope. He is playing the left side of the midfield three in the default 4-1-3-2. He's having a stormer!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    Cracking start to the league program and sets it up nicely for the nitty gritty over the next few months.
    If you can get the break from WBA then it should be plain sailing
    Still early days. A lot can happen. If we are in this kind of position come Christmas time/turn of the year then we'll be in with a chance.

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  20. #966
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Great month, unbeaten despite the draw at the end where I think injuries and lack of Hopkins/Gibbs caught up with you. Tricky decision to make on Gibbs, would have been easier if you knew you could rely on a backup.

    Hopkins failing to score to begin with but then going on a streak again. Four goals in one game! Go 'arn Hendo as well

    Love how you tried to build up to the possible Aguero deal, then failed with the spoiler

    Just looked back at th post and saw the half a spoiler tag. Don't know where that came from?!
    Poor copy and paste attempt I'd assume!

  21. #967
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    October 2024

    Not looking to add anyone to the squad for the time being so should be able to make our way through this month concentrating on just the matches.

    Matches and Roundup

    First game of the month after the international break saw us travelling to Bolton, a side that Everton have never played since I became a manager back in 2015. Bolton have become a bit of a yo yo club. Unfortunately for them it's between the Championship and League One levels not any higher.
    Should be a game we have no trouble in considering the decent form we have been in.

    Accolades come in thick and fast as I am named Manager of the Month for September and of course Andy Hopkins is named Player of the Month after his blistering start to life on Merseyside. I just hope the old curse doesn't hit in the next game.

    After saying that there would be no transfer activity, a full three weeks after making a bid, Fenerbahce finally come back accepting a bid for a defender that I put in when considering whether to send Kieran Gibbs for rehabilitaion. It's a sizeable fee but the player looks good and he is young and has room for improvement. He may even push Gibbs to be the back up full back when he actually returns.
    He signs less than 24 hours before the Bolton game though so he doesn't come straight in but is in the stands to watch his new teammates on the day.

    Paterson started his suspension so Jonjoe Kenny came in at right back and of course fit again Andy Hopkins returned up front in place of Hill.
    Darren Malcolm and Guy Van Crombrugge were both now back to full fitness but they would have to wait for their chance.

    Things did not exactly go to plan as Bolton opened the scoring on 20 minutes but we fought back an drew level on the half hour. We continued to knock at the door in the second half but could not break through and it finished honours even. It was a game we should have won. We had enough chances and Bolton's goal came from their only shot on goal in the game.

    Spoiler!



    Next up was Bristol City at home. Another game that should be good for us, especially at home. Just three days had passed so there were some weary legs and we needed to make some changes. The first saw Sipos come in at left back for his debut, Van Crombrugge for Halstensen at centre back, Josh Owen replaced Andy Tanner in midfield and Malcolm replaced Jordan Henderson with Ledson moving forward into his natural central midfield slot.

    We had a goal disallowed inside 5 minutes and were then made to wait until the final five of the first half to take the lead. Darren Malcolm scored his first career goal on 57 minutes and then we went goal crazy in the last ten minutes as Wright, Ledson and Hopkins all scored to give the scoreline a very flattering look.

    Spoiler!



    It was almost the perfect performance. Goals galore, Andras Sipos had a superb debut, we were solid and got a clean sheet, and as well as his goal, Drew Wright bagged a hat trick of assists.

    Four days later, we were back on the road and travelling to Norwich City. A decent but aging side with players like Martin Kelly, Patrick van Aanholt and Christian Atsu in the ranks they were in the lower reaches of the division as well and with the form that we were in, we should be expecting another three points.

    An unchanged side that had just won by five. I expected another few goals in this one. A Ryan Ledson double and goal number 17 for Andy Hopkins had us 3-1 up at half time. Ledson completed his hat trick before we suffered a blow with Van Crombrugge being sent off. It didn't actually put us off our strie in the end and we scored five for the second consecutive match when Darren Malolm completed the scoring.


    Spoiler!



    We were in amazing form. 10 goals in two games had certainly made up for the two draws that preceded them. But games were coming thick and fast and it was just three days later we back at home and hosting Luton Town.

    Somehow, we managed to go in unchanged again. Not everyone was 100% fit so I would need to manage the bench well but I was happy that everyone who had played in the previous one was available again.

    I wanted us to hit early so that we could make those changes confident that any slip ups wouldn't be punished.
    We were punished early though as we fell behind after just 2 minutes but that snapped us into gear and we had turned it round by half time as Andras Sipos got his first goal for the club and Drew Wright put us ahead on 36 minutes.
    And that surprising was that for the scoring. We had done what we needed to and didn't add to our lead. But more importantly, we didn't concede either.


    Spoiler!



    With a four day gap between the Luton win and the next tie away at St James Park to take on one of my former sides, Newcastle United.
    After I led them to the League One title in 2019, they made it back to the Premier League under Alan Pardew but it was short lived, they finished bottom and were gone after a season. It's been steady decline since then. 5th in their first season back in the Championship, then 12th and they currently sit 20th.

    Callum Paterson replaced Jonjoe Kenny at right back in the only change. It seemed Newcastle had decided to wait until facing us to become a decent side. Decent in defence anyway. They had stood firm for a long period until the 53rd minute in fact, when Drew Wright broke the deadlock. He had a second 5 minutes later. That looked like that would be it but I should have known better than thinking Andy Hopkins would let a game go by without scoring.

    Spoiler!



    That was in for the month in terms of league matches. Our final game of the month sees us in League Cup Third Round and taking on Chesterfield. A team in our division and one that we would be playing in the first match of next month as well. So this was the first of a double header really. It would not be as easy as it sounded as they had made a good start to the season and were currently sitting in 4th place.

    Would they rotate to try and save people for the league or would they focus on progression in the league. I didn't know. I knew what I was going to do though.
    I would be going in strong with just one change, Jordan Henderson would return in place of Frederic Bulot.

    We went out hard and fast and determined to pin Chesterfield back and we did just that. Andy Hopkins opened the scoring, we were helped by an own goal and Drew Wright got his 10th of the season. We even managed to concede one and that was all before half time!
    We made it nervous for ourselves as Chesterfield made it 3-2 but the next goal went to us through Josh Owen and we were through to the next round.


    Spoiler!










    Transfers

    IN -

    Andras Sipos - 6m


    OUT -

    Jake Ford - Free Transfer (25% future fee)



    Slow start with the draw at the start of the month but it could not have gone better after that. Looking at the table already, it's looking all too easy and hopefully we will be able to it going.

    A six game month. Half of those were at home and they brought attendances of 38219, 36304 and 34227. Crowds down on last month and not sure whay as performances have arguably been better.

    A big deficit this month obviously with the purchase of Sipos. Income for the month was 3.08m and expenditure was way up at 11.48m so a big loss of 8.4m. I won't be buying players every month, if at all anymore so I can cope with the deficit this month. Small losses from here on in I would hope.

    The bank balance is now 26.8m and a transfer fund of 21m.

    Last edited by ebfatz; 27-01-20 at 11:15 PM.

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  23. #968

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    Unbeaten in the league
    Best attack and best defence
    8 point gap already
    What can possibly go wrong ?
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  24. #969

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    The County Championship

    Tearing it up

    Lot of dough spent on Sipos but could be a beastly DM

    Nice cup progression as well

  25. #970

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    Great month! Goals galore indeed and solid at the back.

    Siphos looks to have settled in incredibly well!

    PS Norwich screenies are a repeat of the Bristol City game.

  26. #971

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    Hopkins back for the trip to Bolton, but it's them who take the lead before Hopkins levels things up shortly after. Unfortunately though despite your dominance you would have to make do with a point. Tough going initially in the home game against Bristol City but then you ran riot to cruise to victory.

    The goals continued in the next game at Norwich, the only blemish being a red card to Crombrugge. Luton at home didn't go to plan initially but you hit back twice to lead at half time, and that's how it ended for another three points. A trip back to a former club and one you have that extra soft spot for, but your team showed no mercy on them running out comfortable 3-0 winners although it did take a bit of time to break the deadlock.

    The month ended with a League Cup game at home to Chesterfield and it was an entertaining game which thankfully you were on the right side of as a 4-2 win saw you progress to the next round.

    Clear in the league already, I'd just put the attendances down to the colder weather coming in

  27. #972
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    Cheers Mark.

    Norwich screenies now added

  28. #973
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    October 2024

    It's all looking too easy at the moment but how long would that continue for?

    Matches and Roundup

    A clean sweep of the Championship awards as we begin as I am named Manager of the Month again, Drew Wright is Player of the Month and Josh Owen completes the treble with Young Player of the Month.

    First game of the month is a repeat of the last game of last month as we host Chesterfield, this time in the league.
    Van Crombrugge serves a one match suspension so Havard Halstensen comes in at centre half in the only change.
    Andy Hopkins is far from fully fit but I just can't drop him so he starts and I hope I can bring him off early.

    I can do exactly that as we run riot in the first half and lead by five at half time.
    We take our foot off the gas a little too much mind you and when Chesterfield score their third, we are rightly worried for a while but we manage to pull through to the end for the win.

    Spoiler!


    Next match up sees us travel to Wales to take on Cardiff City. Always good to visit Wales and also a shame knowing that I won't manage there.

    We make no changes and there is no change to the end result as a goal in each half sees us to another victory.

    Spoiler!



    We have a week off and internationals are played during it, Andras Sipos is injured whist playing for Hungary and will miss a month with ankle ligament damage. It just so happens that on the exact same day, Kieran Gibbs reports back for training after his specialist treatment and the signs are apparently good that he will not pick up as many injuries anymore.


    We also managed to offload an unwanted winger, initially on a free but we will receive a fee as soon as he makes his debut.
    We are on the road again as we visit London to take on Brentford.

    As well as Gibbs for Sipos, I swap Andy Tanner in for Josh Owen in midfield. It looks for all the world as though a defeat has finally caught up with us. I even start making substitutions to try and rest players, ready for the next fixture effectively writing this one off as a bad day.
    I should have known better as 21 year old Marvin Hill, on for Andy Hopkins, dragged us level in the dying embers of the game to take something from it.


    Spoiler!



    Another seven day break and everyone was fully fit and rested when Hull City arrived in town. There was a change on form though as Ben Campbell dropped to the bench and Guy Van Crombrugge came back in. It could be a short lived change though as the Congolese is just one yellow card away from another ban.

    Ryan Ledson's first half goal gave us the lead but then a quick fire double from Hull saw them take the advantage before Drew Wright got us level with around 15 minutes left.
    It was a fair result and despite the long breaks we were having between fixtures, we were starting to show fatigue and I think it was mental more tahn physical.


    Spoiler!



    We were stuttering a little but I was still happy. We were showing that we were resilient enough to play badly and recover, fall behind and strike back, hang in to games. Some players though were struggling with concentration and form. Havard Halstensen had been poor in the previous game and I was looking for Ben Campbell to make an instant return and would play alongside Van Crombrugge. But Van Crombrugge was injured in training so Halstensen was saved.


    There would be just four days before we hosted Stoke in the League Cup so I expected some heavy legs. Paterson went off injured in the Hull game and would also be missing so the right back slot went to Andy Widdowson for the biggest game of his career.

    It didn't matter if Stoke played a first team or a changed team, the team would be very good. My old side had quality throughout. I had assembled a great saud and they had jjust added to it since I had departed. Ondoa in goal, Lascelles, van Dijk, Cresswell, Trippier and Mangala in defence, Alan Browne, Zaha, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Iker Muniain and Mo Salah in midfield, Yassine Benzia and Britt Assombalonga in attack. Half of these guys didn't get in their side on a regular basis.
    Expectation was to just hang into the game for as long as possible. From pundits anyway. I had higher hopes. I knew it was going to be tough but I wanted us to at least put up a fight.

    And I obviously got that message across to the players as we took the lead after just 7 minutes through Andy Tanner.
    We had a second on 13 minutes from Drew Wright.
    And a third from Andy Hopkins on 27.

    We were in dreamland. Stoke and their Star Studded Champions League playing squad were being torn a new one at Goodison. They pulled one back to give us a bit of a wake up call but Drew Wright soon restored the cuion by getting his second.
    Stoke pulled another back in a relatively quiet second half by comparison but they were never going to get near us. We had done enough to but enough daylight between us and earn the win that gets us through to the next round.


    Spoiler!


    The money for Bobby Cooke came through as he made his Chesterfield debut in the league programme that now also gave us the advantage of a game in hand for a period. And we also found out that after defeating one former employer, I would now be visiting my most recent former employer as we would be travelling to the AMEX to take on Brighton in the League Cup Quarter Final.
    We ended the month turning down a 20m bid from Stoke themselves for Drew Wright. But for a who had now scored 14 and assisted 10 in 23 games this season, 20m wasn't even close to a figure that I would even consider, let alone accept.

    But these were heady times for the club. You can tell how bad they had been in times past before my tenure that this is a record set and we are not even in December yet. Or maybe it tells us something about the player himself.










    Transfers

    IN -


    OUT -

    Bobby Cooke - Free Transfer (400,000 after one appearance)



    Overall, I can't complain as we are unbeaten. I'm not sure what happened in the middle but they've earned themselves a couple of off days to be fair. There will be more to come as well no doubt.

    Just the five games in the month with three of them being at home. Two league games and a cup match brought attendances of 36388, 40477 and 34809. Up and down in terms of attendance. I expected the cup game to be the least attended and it was but it was still a decent crowd.

    Finances in the month were exactly where I thought they would be. Outgoings outweigh income but not by much. Income for the month was 3.31m and expenditure was 5.14m so a loss of 1.82m which will be what we are looking at each month normally.

    The bank balance is down to 24.9m and a transfer fund of 19.25m.


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  30. #974

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    Maybe the week break for the ose 2 games you drew wasn't the best and they lost rhythm!

    Anyway - unbeaten and still on

    Losing nearly 2m a month - let's hope you get silverware otherwise finances may be stickier next year (unlikley as league looks good thus far)

    Can we have a screenie of the rebuffed 20m man Drew Wright

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    ebfatz is offline Social Media Bod
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    All these guys are set to 0 to try and get them off the books. Whenever I then counter and ask for a fee they pull out.
    That was one way of getting it done.
    That said, he was valued at 1.7m so I've not got full value for him.

    Finances could be a concern come seasons end but as you say, hopefully it won't be my problem by then!


    Here is Drew. Valued at 8.75m.


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