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Thread: Home is where the Hearts is

  1. #76
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    Wow - what a write up there

    Oh so so to CL glory but my word you did well just to scrape out of group and then pass Barca in SF!

    League Cup - at last!

    League - hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Devastating injuries didn't help

    Bloody fans on your back - do they not realise where they came from before you!

    Would l;ove to see this continue but like you I'm not a fan of the qhoel regen thing so understand if you start something else

    It's been a hell of a ride though

  2. #77
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    Let's have one more season - you are too close to that European Cup to stop now!

    Sent from my SM-J510FN using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fourfourtwo View Post
    Let's have one more season - you are too close to that European Cup to stop now!

    Sent from my SM-J510FN using Tapatalk
    Agreed, get them youngsters in, there should be plenty of great regens out there now, get your scouts to Italy, France, Germany, Holland as well as the UK and check some of the u21 squad and see who you can get, with that Champions League run you should have a fair bit of dosh.

    Well done on landing that League Cup at last though

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    SUMMER UPDATE

    The inquest

    As identified last year, the squad has an extremely high average age and so this summer is a chance to rebuild.

    Kim Kallstrom exits for Reading for next to nothing having been transfer listed by request. A shame to see him leave, not least because heís one of my favourite all CM players, but also because he has a good average rating in each of his five seasons with us. At the age of 35 though, perhaps good to get him off the wage bill. Donít forget too, that 36-year-old Rafael van der Vaart retired midway through last season due to injury, another big earner.

    The first question mark of the summer is over Italian DMC Leonardo Manfredi. 32-years old, still a bit left in the tank. 23 apps last season at an avg rating of 6.93. Been with the club six years. Out of contract. Do I keep him or do I signify the start of a new era?



    So time to analyse the squad:

    GK: Gordon (35), Mouselimis (37)
    RB: Collet (24), Parsons (23)
    LB: Cooper (20), Eyimofe (33)
    CB: Tobros (32), Gasperoni (33)
    CB: Hutcheon (20), Ferdinand (32)
    DMC: Montero (30), Gerrard (38), Antonioli (32), DíAngelo (28), Schaap (24)
    MC: McKenzie (22)
    MC: Singh (36), Marongiu (31)
    MC: Hearn (34)
    ST: Tevez (34), Blanco (28)
    ST: Di Lauro (25), Samba (32)

    We spent 8.5m on Derek Cooper from Man Utd last year, surely the future Scotland LB. Clearly, in the back five, a goalkeeper is priority.

    In DMC, wondering whether Gerrard might retire. Antonioliís presence might just mean thereís no point retaining Manfredi. DíAngelo never really established himself in his debut season last term, playing just 19 games.

    Some of the DMCís are obviously stepping up to play MC, but it is clear here is the main place to strengthen. Club stalwart and legend Harpal Singh is on his way out, and Charley Hearn hasnít really done much in his three seasons - in truth a player I had wanted several seasons earlier but to no avail.

    No problems with the four strikers, who all have goals in them.

    I am keen to ensure I can identify the best starting 11, and then drop in a rotation system where appropriate.

    Itís World Cup 2018. A scout has been sent. Iíve also sent a scout to italy, Scandinavia and UK & Ireland to identify players.

    The first lot of recommendations come in, and Iím beginning to wonder whether a chance of system from 4-1-3-2 might be in order, perhaps introducing wide midfielders. This guy is one that turns my head, 425k min fee clause.



    The news then comes through that Charley Hearn has retired. Slightly unexpected, but again helpful for building the ďnew eraĒ. I need to move on with recruitment now, as hit the end of June.

    One player getting recommended as a stand out at the World Cup is this guy. Had a look, but thereís just something holding me back.



    And almost as a say that, it comes through that a bid has been accepted for Thomas by Motherwell. Perhaps a sign that I made the right decision not going for him.

    The scouts keep teasing me with players I donít really need, Iím determined to focus on positions I want to strengthen. But here is a guy I want to look at



    Then finally, someone crops up with serious interest.



    And then a £13.25m bid comes in for Di Lauro from Barcelona, no chance heís going!



    SIGNING ALERT

    France international goalkeeper Bruno Dyduch comes in from Juventus for £3m. Worth 875k, I bid £1m and then £2m, and then they asked for £3m. I bit their hands off.



    Having not offered Manfredi a new deal, he stayed at the club, but then on 14th July, decides to leave. I was still undecided. As the season edges nearer, I am getting a bit worried about the lack of bodies, especially as I donít seem to be making a great deal of progress with new signings in central midfield.

    SIGNING ALERT

    I wasnít looking to sign a CB, but may try and move Ferdinand on, so when this guy cropped up, I took a look. £500k from Olimpia, bargain.





    This is a distraction I wouldnít need! Followers of this save will remember I briefly took charge of the England team, but it just got in the way, so I quit after a tournament.

    Another distraction from the recruiting comes in the form of the Champions League qualifying draw, another frustration, caused by me only finishing 3rd last season. Dinamo Zagreb or CSKA Sofia the opponents will be.

    And then, in comes this offer.



    I turned it down btw.

    Anyway, Iíll end the update here, as the season is about to start with Partick Thistle away. Iíll do my normal style update at the end of the season...

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  6. #80
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    "And then a £13.25m bid comes in for Di Lauro from Barcelona, no chance he’s going!"

    Get ready to have a very upset player

    I understand your refusal to accept the challenge of taking care of the Brazilian team, it is never easy to accumulate functions. Still, it's always a very tempting invitation.

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  8. #81
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    Some good moulding of a new squad there mate - and some crackers identified

    Midfield certianly the area most needed!

    Ooooooh - Brazil must have been tempting

    Good luck with the new season - you look good to challenge on all fronts!

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  10. #82
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    By far my favorite story on here! Getting a bit old that squad, but at least I hope you'll keep Harpal Singh, can't just forget what he has done for the club!

    And if you think of ending the save, as you may have some money stacked on the bank you could go all out the final season with signings to make a final go for the big one!? Would be glad to see this continue though!

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    Season 18: The transition phase

    The first four games of the season set the tone, and that was important.

    A 1-0 win away at Partick was then followed by a come-from-behind 2-1 win at Celtic, including a late goal from Barcelona target Daniele Di Lauro. A crucial 1-0 win away at Dinamo in the Champions League qualifying round first leg was then followed by a solid 2-0 win at home to Motherwell, where Hans Schaap scored two from the central midfield role that Harpal Singh has occupied for most of the past 15 seasons.



    Finally managed to get the man I wanted for central midfield in Mario Garcia. Admittedly, a little older than Iíd have liked at 29, but a decent addition nonetheless. Columbus played hard and I ended up splashing out £6.25m for a man who I think can make a decision.

    OK I know youíre going to shout, but I couldnít resist this one. Alexander Farnerud, a CM legend, available on a free following release from Bayern. In truth, I only put an offer in because everyone else was (including Celtic, Arsenal and Liverpool) and I offered him the maximum possible £30k a week, even though he was asking for £70k. In the end, he chose Hearts, and I thought, right letís go.




    Can he be the man that fires us to Champions League glory?

    SIGNING ALERT

    I was still a bit worried about the number of bodies in the middle, so while our own Derek Cooper was with Scotland Under 21s, I had a look at their centre mids, and ended up getting this guy on loan from Liverpool.



    Everything seemed to be going swimmingly. Iíd won 7 from 7 in all comps, and then a 2-1 home defeat to St Johnstone brought me back down to earth with a bump.



    A Champions League group of Parma, Brondby and Porto ought to have been OK, but we struggled. With Farnerud and Garcia ineligible, we made just one point from our first three games, putting us in a real hole and struggling to qualify.



    But a win at Porto breathed life back in to the campaign, bringing us level on 4 points with them and Brondby with two to play.

    We just about managed to see it through.





    Next phase: Anderlecht, Inter, Real Madrid. Ouch.

    You know your squad is old when four retirements come through on the same day - Christian Gasperoni (averaging 8.14 across 15 apps this season!), Steven Gerrard, Michael Mousemilis (sub keeper) and the club legend Harpal Singh (680 apps, 358 goals).



    I then have the news that Willie McKenzie, one of the younger faces in the squad, his contract is now unprotected, but according to coach Roy Keane he hasnít got a future. Who am I to argue. To be fair, McKenzie has never really forced his way to being a regular.



    Meanwhile, on the pitch, three consecutive 1-1 draws have stunted progress, though we still sit top of the league.



    Out of the blue, a bid comes in from Liverpool (£2.9m) for Phil Elliott, a defender sat in my reserves.



    A quick chat with my coaches reveal they believe him to be a class act. I signed him on a free, and he is yet to make a first team appearance. Time to look at him more closely perhaps.

    Elsewhere in player news, Carlos Tevezís contract becomes unprotected, but I canít offer a new one as he hasnít played the required number of games (only 64%). This is partly down to the fact I have him, Di Lauro and Samba, so they are rotated, but a slight oversight from me. So I will try and ensure Tevez plays enough between now and the end of the season to get his percentage up.



    A bad defeat to Anderlecht, not helped by the early sending off of Tobros, virtually puts an end to our Champions League hopes. The first time for quite a long time weíve failed to get out of the group.



    My clear out of dads army continues with the sale of Anton Ferdinand, who hadnt featured all season, to Motherwell, which prompts me to promote the aforementioned Phil Elliott to the first team.

    SIGNING ALERT

    My scout spotted this guy at Kilmarnock, so I brought him in for £1.8m.



    A win at the San Siro somehow meant I would go in to the final group game with an outside chance of going throughÖ



    Sadly, all I could muster was a 0-0 at home to Real Madrid and the European dream is over for another year.

    The transfer dealings keep on rumbling. I decided to sell Juan Blanco, after Blackburn came in with first £2.2m and then £4.1m. Blanco had scored 21 goals in four seasons, albeit heíd only played 50 games.

    Out of Europe and out of both cups, thereís just one focus.

    Things are going alright until a 1-0 defeat to Rangers means itís squeaky bum time going in to the final phase of the season.



    And then, another blow.



    But we steady the ship and win the league with two games to spare.

    One player who didnít stick around to celebrate was left back Joseph Eyimofe, who decided to leave when his contract expired (I wasnít offering him a new deal).



    So the title was secured



    Amazingly, the retiring Cristian Gasperoni was named Scottish Player of the Year, with two of our other centre halves (including one of the summer signings mentioned in the previous post) finishing as runners up. Gasperoni made 34 appearances boasting a 7.88 average rating, shame to lose him.







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  13. #84
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    Helluva write up

    Meh - I'm ok with that season

    Out of 2 national cups was dissapointing and you made real heavy work of CL and arguable lucky to get through the 1st group stage

    But winning the league is still a fine acheievmenet and TBH, when I read through all that it has been a HUGE transitional season

    Seems like you had players being bought and sold and retiring everywhere!

    I expect CL Quarter Finals next year and maybe some more domestic cup progress but I'm thinkng by the time the new season starts there may be a bit more summer dealings but yoiu should have a relatively "new" squad by then which you are at ease with

  14. #85
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    Great read as always!

    Expect a bit of a hard time with so many players leaving the squad, but could be a good time to build a better team anyway. It's sometimes hard to get rid of the old guys and one tend to keep them for too long. I just hope that you made Harpal Singh captain during that last game so that he got to lift the trophy for the last time!

    Champions league was a disappointment, do you keep the formation that you used to play before or have you changed it?

  15. #86
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    I should have posted some team line-ups really - I am still playing the 4-1-3-2 that I've played for the majority of the save.

    If you remember, at one point I did try and make the transition and play wingers, but it never really worked.

    I've got two bonus updates to come in the next few days once I've had a few more replies to that last update

  16. #87
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    Harpal Singh: A tribute

    Those who have followed this story will have seen it dominated by one name - Harpal Singh.

    With him now retiring, I thought it only fair to devote a whole post to his contribution.

    Sadly, he finished just one short of an incredible 700 appearances for the club.





    Appearances: 699
    Goals: 358
    Assists: 96
    MOM: 84
    Avg Rating: 7.37

    All of this from MC

    In the first two seasons of the save, he was loaned in from Leeds. Partly because he was pretty much the only decent player we could attract on loan at that stage, but he soon stood out simply due to being so prolific from midfield.

    By season three, I had enough to spend £1m on him, and we never looked back.







    7x SPL Team of the Year
    2x SPL Top Goalscorer
    4x SPL Player of the Month
    8x Supporters Player of the Year

    I was astonished that despite his profilacy, he never earned an England call up.

    I was able to put that right during my brief spell in charge of the England team, handing him his first cap at the age of 32. He went on to score five times in 11 caps, carrying his Hearts form to international duty and not looking out of place.

    His stats continued to look bang average on paper, but he kept banging the goals in.

    It was only in the last two seasons where he visibly started to wane and his influence diminished, coinciding in fact with the team losing that ďzipĒ it had during the spell of consecutive league titles.

    Harpal Singh. CM legend. Will forever go down in my own personal hall of fame, and his like I may not see again.

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  18. #88
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    37 goals in one season from an MC is totally nuts! Think his status as a legend grows even more as he wasn't an expensive signing but a loanee that continued to join the club for a small fee and then never let you down. Probably he won't be as good in other saves, got to love those one save wonders!

  19. #89
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    Touching stuff - what a career!

    8x Supporters player of the year says it all - was loved by the fans

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    His stats throughout the save hinted nothing that he would be any good. He came on loan not as a panic buy, but just as a body and someone who could maybe add to the squad then. I never in a million years expected him to take off as he did.

    Whenever I showed his stats to my mates they just couldn't believe that a player with his attributes/rating was contributing in such phenomenal fashion.

    As has been said, it might just be a complete one-off for this save. I might never sign him again just so I don't tarnish it

  21. #91
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    What a player he was for you!

    Ending it out with another accolade too.

    Let's hope there is a European title for you come next year

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  23. #92
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    SUMMER UPDATE

    So with plenty of activity expected, I thought I’d provide a summer update as per last season.

    The first bit of news sees our longest serving player exit Tynecastle. Craig Gordon, out of contract at the age of 36, will be released. With a first choice in Dybuch established, and a new backup arriving on a Bosman, it was the end of the road for my namesake - after 740 games where he conceded 903 goals.





    OUT: Craig Gordon

    Whereas last season I was proactive with my recruitment, I may sit tight in the early weeks to see who’s left after the retirements and the contract expires.

    The next player to go is David McCann, returning to Liverpool after his loan spell. He only made five appearances, but perhaps someone to keep an eye on.

    Out: David McCann

    The next contract to expire is the retiring legend, Harpal Singh.



    Out: Harpal Singh

    And then goes Cristian Gasperoni, the reigning SPL Player of the Year.




    Out: Cristian Gasperoni

    I’m always keen to recruit Scottish players, and I have been keeping my eye on a few youngsters recently. Here is one that keeps popping up



    Then, someone on my shortlist goes on the transfer list. Slower than I’d like for my full backs, but he would only be back up to the excellent Derek Cooper anyway. At £1.5m, a potential snip



    SIGNING ALERT

    The first new face is a goalkeeper, a reserve ‘keeper signed on a Bosman from Foggia.



    Out: Steven Gerrard



    Out: Michalis Mousemilis



    That leaves a very thin looking squad:



    We have at least reduced the dads army element. There are now nine players 30 and over - Farnerud (35), Tevez (35), Antonioli (33), Samba (33), Tobros (33), Marongiu (32), Montero (31), D’Angelo (30), Garcia (30).

    Of those, I would probably look to try and move Marongiu on as he didn’t feature at all last season. It wouldn’t be the end of the world either if D’Angelo and Antonioli left at this stage.

    GK: Dyduch, Imparato
    RB: Collet, Parsons
    CB: Tobros, Elliott
    CB: Caballero, Montero
    LB: Cooper, Gordon
    DM: Giresse, Hutcheon, D’Angelo
    MC: McKenzie, Garcia
    MC: Schaap, Antonioli
    MC: Farnerud, Marongiu
    ST: Tevez, Samba
    ST: Di Lauro

    Selling Blanco was perhaps a mistake, as he was quite happy sat as fourth choice striker. I feel like I will need to find maybe a young striker that has potential to fill in when Tevez and Samba retire, which isn’t far away.

    And then just as I consider my options midfield wise, news come through of a youth prospect coming up to the reserves. Signs of promise.



    I then launch a move for Robert Whyte, the highest valued player interested in joining me apparently. £8m, £10.75m and £11.75m bids are rejected.



    Could he be the superstar signing that I need to take me to the next level?

    And that’s it. The end of the July and the season is upon us. Motherwell away. We are certainly heading in to the season unprepared and a little cold. Let’s see what’s in store.

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  25. #93
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    Lovely update

    Squad does still look thin

    What are the players unhappy about? Depth?

    Some crackers you've identified but not got them over the line? Cooper I like the look of

    Gerrard didnt really do much for you

  26. #94
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    Seems like your readying yourself for the long haul, hopefully you'll be fighting on all fronts as you do tho...

  27. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Lovely update

    Squad does still look thin

    What are the players unhappy about? Depth?

    Some crackers you've identified but not got them over the line? Cooper I like the look of

    Gerrard didnt really do much for you
    Yeah depth, as always!

    I have made a bit of an error selling Blanco I feel, but we'll see how things go in the early stages of the season.

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    Season 19: 5 out of 6 ainít bad

    First game of the season was a 1-1 draw at Motherwell. Slightly disappointing but not unexpected, as Iím still behind the eight ball when it comes to recruitment.

    SIGNING ALERT: Ignacio Rodriguez Perez (Rotherham, 2m)



    Iíve had my eye on Perez for a few years and he was actually my top target for left back, I just couldnít get him. I ended up with Derek Cooper, who is better, but when Perez became available at a snip £2m I thought he would be a good back up option. Not only that, but he opens the door to a potential switch to 4-4-2 when needed.

    SIGNING ALERT: Vicente Benitez (Genoa, 120k)



    Iíve been looking for a fourth striker that can potentially grow, and Benitez was someone of interest. It turned out his contract was unprotected, so after having a 500k bid rejected, I ended up getting him for a quarter of that. Even if it doesnít work out, not much money lost. However, Iíve a feeling he will do well.

    I was still struggling to land my main target, Scotland international Robert Whyte from Liverpool



    I did eventually get them to accept £15.75m, but started getting nervy about finances (given we only had £16m in the bank). I started to look at other targets.

    SIGNING ALERT: Stuart Cooper (Dundee Utd, 3.1m)



    One for the future really, to replace the ageing Tobros at some point.

    An unbeaten start to the season continued (5-3-0), and a mixed start to the Champions League saw a defeat with 10 men at Lyon followed by a comfortable win over Atlantas.

    SIGNING ALERT: Saverio Franchi (Leeds, 4.4m)



    One my scout had sent through a while back, had moved to Leeds from Spurs but was transfer listed citing lack of first team action. Potential replacement for Tevez.

    I then opted to sell Willie McKenzie (Kilmarnock, 750k) as the midfielder just wasnít good enough and hadnít lived up to expectations. To counter that, I brought in David McCann in on loan from Liverpool (same guy we had last year).

    Central midfield was still a struggle, as I try to fill the void left by Harpal Singh. Hans Schaap has been doing an OK job, but Iíd like to find an AMC that can play at MC. I had to give up on Whyte from Liverpool, and I turned my attention to Domenico Bruno, who agreed to come for £7m untilÖ



    Hopes of an unbeaten league season were ended in game 10 - thanks in part of a clean sheet by our former keeper Craig Gordon, now at Raith.



    A disastrous home defeat to Lyon left our Champions League hopes all but over.




    With Lyon playing Celta, they can orchestrate a draw to both qualify and thatís what happened. It mattered little though, as I drew away at Atlantas anyway. That meant for the first time in several years (in fact probably the first time since I won it), I was heading for the UEFA Cup.

    A 4-1 win at Bordeaux helped ease us through in the UEFA Cup, and a dramatic penalty shootout win over St Johnstone kept us going in the League Cup too. Whisper it quietly, but all of a sudden Iím dreaming of success on four fronts and an unprecedented quadruple.

    And then some sad news



    SIGNING ALERT: Bjorn Lang



    One of the AMC options I was looking at in the summer becomes available for £2.5m, so I take a gamble. Can he be the new Harpal Singh?

    And he soon makes his mark.





    A further blow



    Heís been praised in the media for the form of his life. Heís played 97, but missed 53, leaving him on 64% and below the 75% requirement.

    We then hit a week that was going to define the quadruple attempt. Hibs away in the league cup semi final, Rangers away in the Scottish cup, and two-legs of the UEFA Cup v Copenhagen.



    Well two out of three aint bad. But Rangers would go on to end our Scottish Cup hopes and then beat us on penalties in the Scottish League cup final, while we departed the UEFA Cup against Parma.



    So talk of a quadruple attempt long since forgotten, and now itís time to close out the league campaign, where Rangers once again were the biggest threat especially after thisÖ



    But I wasnít to be denied, and although it dragged out longer than I wanted after a blip following the Rangers defeat (which ended a 15-match unbeaten run), I got it done.



    That is my fifth league title in six years - my sixth in eight years, and my seventh in total at Hearts (all in last 10 seasons).

    So a Championship winning season again, but nothing else. The rebuild is now coming towards the end of the transition period. I still feel like we need some star quality to kick on and challenge in Europe.

    The wait goes onÖ



    Slight flaw in the game? Caballero only played 18 games in my 50+ game season.



    Giresse too only managed 18 games (only 11 starts).

    I thought Iíd show my first choice line-up.



    Would love to have more comments and feedback guys. Look forward to your responses!

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  30. #97
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    Hmmmm - not sure how to call that season

    League win is excellent but looking standard these days

    However not to be sniffed at as this year was very much trabsition - loads of new faces - most look very good but I can see what you mean by superstar quality needed

    Will have to be ayoung regen or old as would think you may not have cash otherwise?

    Tevex on trasfer list then if contract can't be renewed?

    Cherno Samba on ebnch

    Unsure what stage and how you departed UEFA Cup as no screenie but dissapoinitng CL campaign - 10 goals conceeded in 5 games is not good enough

    What are your full back ratings like? Masive arrows and although I think Cooper looks great froma defensive side not sure he has the "wing back" att's?

    Backroom staff all top notch? Able to improve ground/facilities or both at max?

  31. #98
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    Yeah, standard as you say.

    UEFA Cup I lost to Parma over two legs. They beat me 2-0 at home, which was the killer.

    I'll have a summer recruitment update soon.

    There are two Coopers - Derek Cooper is the LWB. Oh for the days of Jamie Victory and Mike Duff

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    Summer Update 20/21

    So as I have been doing last few seasons, I thought Iíd run a summer update.

    First player coming off contract is veteran DMC Mirko Antonioli.



    I hadnít realised just how long heíd been with us. Itís never really felt like heís commanded a regular starting spot.

    Signed on a Bosman in 2007/08, he went on to make 360 appearances, scoring 28 goals, at an average rating of 7.09.

    The most he managed was 48 in the 2012/13 season.

    At 34, he may well be moved on. However, I may offer him a new deal. Weíll see.

    I send my scout Paul Telfer to the European Championships and he wastes no time in recommending a few Dutch players, including this guy:



    Problem is, the premature end to my Champions League run has left the bank dry. Prior to budget announcement, there is just 700k transfer funds left, and even less in the bank.

    That may impact on my recruiting. Arts is available on an unprotected contract deal for 850k, but I may choose to spend the money elsewhere.

    One guy I ummed and ahhed about was Stjepan Stanic. Old, but highly recommended by scouts and cheap. In the end, before Iíd made my mind up, heíd signed for Carlisle for 190k.



    Due to the concerns over budget, I plump to give Antonioli another deal.

    Now for my biggest issue. Tevez. Out of contract. And canít get a work permit. Disaster.



    I give up and release him. He saves 25k a week off the wage bill and at 36 is nearing the end. But he was brilliant last season. In three seasons, he scored 38 goals in 117 matches.

    With Tevez out and Samba retiring, I move quickly to get a new striker in before the first game. Jorge Costa was spotted by scout Paul Telfer at the Euros, and he joins for 600k on an unprotected deal.



    My next move, with finances in mind, is to try and move on Alexander Farnerud. Now 36, heís on 30k a week. You may remember I signed him two summers ago from Bayern Munich. Nostalgia and the fact he had been one of the worldís best attracted me, but in reality his wages could be better spent elsewhere. Will I find any takers though?

    Samba retires!

    He signed for £1m ahead of the 2005/06 season, another great servant. 620 appearances, 219 goals. He will be missed!

    New deals for Tobros and Garcia, but no other real movement transfers wise.

    SIGNING ALERT: Steven Burns (loan, Newcastle)

    We do bring in a lad on loan to boost the midfield numbers.



    As I try to improve the coaching side, I chop Roy Keane and bring in Sean McCarthy.



    Any advice on finding the right staff would be appreciated!

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    AMC

  34. #100
    Join Date
    04-12-15
    Location
    Warrington
    Posts
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    Season 20: Searching for purpose

    A very disappointing start to the season has me searching for answers.

    One win, three draws and one defeat prompt a change in formation. Iíve decided I want to try and get wide men involved. Initially in a 4-4-2, but potentially something a little more exotic once personnel are in place.

    That means a double transfer swoop



    The change doesnít bring a change in fortunes, as we lose 1-0 to Aberdeen. Iím in what feels like the start of a crisis, something I havenít experienced in probably 15 years in this job.

    A slight change to the formation, and dropping my Ďkeeper, brings a 1-0 win over Milan to start the Champions League campaign.



    League form still struggling, but another win in Champions League keeps us going.


    (news)

    A third straight 1-0 win in CL is followed by a home defeat against Dundee United. We are 1-4-4 and 11th in SPL. How long do I give the new formation before reverting to the tried and tested?!

    A penalty shootout win over Rangers keeps us in the League Cup, and then




    That is followed by a fourth straight 1-0 win in CL, this time at Everton, which secures our place in the next round with two games to spare.

    But what is going on? League form is horrendous and showing no sign of improving.



    A bad egg is identified in the camp and sold on for £1.7m, Mickael Montero. In five seasons with us, he never really commanded a regular spot despite having decent stats.

    I give up and resort to the old 4-1-3-2 formation that has been present for virtually the whole save. A win against St Johnstone means we are still 11th after 14 games, 13 points behind the leaders.

    A defeat in the first game of the second group phase against Grasshoppers, has me wondering whether I need to change system for European games.

    With fans protesting against my management and turning up at training routinely, a huge Derby win couldnít have come at a better time









    A typically horrible cup draw sees me bow out of the League Cup to Celtic, the round after beating Rangers. I tried what will now be known as my ďcupĒ formation, but it wasnít lucky.

    I then get a £5m bid for Jonathan Ward, a 19 year old with one first team appearance. Clearly a player of some potential. I keep hold of him.

    And then somehow, we hit top of the league for the first time this season after a 1-0 win with 10 men over Motherwell



    Itís ours to lose. A 0-0 draw with Rangers and weíre still top.

    And then a £10m bid comes in for Jonathan Ward! What do I do?! Do I sell?! But then if Arsenal are coming in with £10m, he must be good?!

    Amazingly, we manage to wrap up the league title with a game to spare - an unbroken 16 match unbeaten run.



    Itís been a crazy season, and certainly a bit more interesting, but ultimately the end result is the same - just a league title.

    Final word for these two faced lot!


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