Thanks a ton :)
I learned about soccer b/c of this game way way back when... CM 01/02 I think, and started following the sport a bit more b/c of the game.
April 9th, 2016
Woking (27-7-6, 1st) @ Hereford (13-10-17, 18th)
Hereford are surprising favorites today, 5:4 against our 7:4 to win. We're 2-2-1 against these guys in our history including a 3:1 win at our place in October.
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Williams/Ogogo
Mathieu Manset is their leading scorer with 12 goals. No one else has more than 6, this team isn't going to score a lot. Vince Taylor is back and outside of Williams at DC instead of Smith we're starting our best 11. We're attacking these guys. We need 1 point to clinch promotion and will likely do it even in a loss.
9': We give up 3 corners, on the 3rd one they finally get a shot off that is saved by Lynch.
25': We've put two shots off target, boring start.
31': They win a ball in mdifield and send it foward to their right midfielder, our defense on that side is way way out of position, but Ogogo was lagged behind on the other side of the field to keep him onsides, their man runs into the area, fires, and puts it inches wide... clear cut chance there, we got very very lucky.
37': Ogogo with a dangerous tackle, and his second foul that i've seen at least, its good for a yellow.
43': We have a throwin in their end... they clear it out and make their own run, Ogogo makes a sliding tackle as their AML runs down the left side... he's called for a foul and I'm stunned he didn't get a red.
HALF: Hereford shoots twice, the clear cut chance being their big threat. We have 5 shots, just one on target, we don't look really good right now. I'm bringing in Alcock for Ogogo, I'm worried about his fouls and worried that he's getting burned and will pick up a red if I leave him in.
54': We control the ball in the midfield, Nikolaou plays it long to Colin who is behind the defense, and onsides thanks to a lazy defender on the other side, but he puts a shot wide... sounds familiar.
60': Constantino makes a run down the right side, we have a couple men in the penalty area, Constantino tries a cross, Colin comes flying in with a diving header, he meets it squarely and its by the keeper, goal!!! 1-0
73': N'Diaye in for N'Guessan, Moseley in for O'Sullivan.
76': We lose the ball in midfield, they take it and are off, star striker Manset receives a pass 20 yards out, he plays it out wide left, its crossed back in and their other forward Eyre, we are crying about offsides as he walks it in... ok maybe not literally, but it sure feels that way. 1-1
83': Cross into the area for Hereford, Alcock makes a tackle... and he's called for a foul...... its a yellow for him, and a penalty, they convert and we just collapsed holy crap. 1-2
90': N'diaye crosses in, we get a corner... 4 minutes of extra time... corner taken short to Williams, passed back out to Upson, its a great cross to the far post, n'diaye is there, the keeper didn't rotate over right, the net is WIDE OPEN... header goes over. The commentary says it alll "How did he manage to miss that!?!?"
An amazing and horrendous collapse here.
Hereford 2 : 1 Woking
They only took two second half shots!!! Both were goals. Both a little controversial. Then N'Diaye misses a header into an open net from less than 6 yards out. Just amazing how we managed to lose this one.
Goal: Colin (7.6)
Assist: Constantino (6.8)
For giving up the penalty Craig Alcock earns himself a fancy 5.4 rating. Everyone else was just average.
Oxford beat MK Dons, and that's all we needed.
We aren't happy with our loss today, but its official. Woking have clinched Promotion to League 1
-- a spokesman for the fans states that I'm one of the best coaches around and the fans desparately hope that I stay with the club.
-- a spokesman for the board states that we weren't expected to promote and that it shows how great a job I have done for "delivering the unthinkable"
I attend the postgame press conference, hoping to get to say something about winning promotion, instead its all ref chatter, and I decide to take a stab, I don't specifically call out the refs for the penalty call, but asked a separate question about the impact the referees had on the match, I answered "it changed the game hugely"
-- Woking have set a new record for the number of goals scored in a season in League 2 with their tally of 95 goals. The previous record was 94 set by Port Vale. Woohoo!
April 12th, 2016
Oxford(21-9-11, 4th) @ Woking (27-7-7, 1st)
We're 5:4 favorites today, they're 7:4. We're kinda limping along at the end a little here but we're so far out in first that we just need to grab a few more points to secure the league title. Playing spoiler to Oxford's promotion chances would be fun though.
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Williams/Ogogo
Same lineup for us today, Christian Smith is healthy but not fully ready to go. I have him listed as an available sub today. We'll attack at home.
8': Vince Taylor picks up a ball out near midfield, he passes foward to Harsanyi who is about 40 yards out, their defense is not really lined up well at all, Harsanyi passes foward to Constantino and there is a huge, huge hole in front of him. constantino runs into the area and fires a strong shot by the keeper, easy looking goal! 1-0
31': No highlights for almost 20 minutes, a couple off target shots not shown in highlights.
35': Upson and O'Sulllivan pass back and forth in the midfield looking for an opening, Upson with a through ball to the penalty spot, N'guessan breaks onto it, controls it and fires it into the right side of the net! 2-0
46': Colin with a long run down the left, a cross into the area, Constantino meets it and heads it... just wide.
HALF: We shoot 7 times, 2 on target, both goals. Oxford only has 1 shot, we have a crazy 63/37 possession edge, everything is going our way.
58': O'Sullivan plays a ball forward to Harsanyi, he shoots from about 30 yards out and its on target and a very solid shot, the keeper makes a good save to turn it behind. They clear out the corner.
76': N'Diaye in for N'Guessan, Dan Taylor in for constantino, Moseley in for Upson
77': Moments after we use all our subs Colin goes down hurt, his fitness is down to 40%. He'll just have to tough it out and we'll see how long the injury duration is.
That'll do it!
Woking 2 : 0 Oxford
Oxford shot twice today, once in the first half, once in the second half. This was some crazy dominance.
Man of the Match: Harsanyi (7.5)
Goals: N'Guessan (7.3), Constantino (7.1)
Assists: Harsanyi, Upson (7.5)
Notables: Ogogo (7.4), Nikolaou (7.3), V Taylor (7.3), O'Sullivan (7.5)
-- Colin is out for 5-7 days. No big deal.
-- No title clinch yet, we've got a 14 point lead on stockport, we have 4 left, but Stockport has 5 left to play.
-- A win clinches the leauge 2 title for us. A stockport loss would do the same, a tie by both teams would also do it.
April 16th, 2016
Woking (28-7-7, 1st) @ Rochdale(19-8-15, 10th)
Rochdale are actually big favorites today, even money compared to our 11:5. We're 5-0-1 in our history against them. The first time we ever played they beat us 4:1. The last 5 times we've played we've won 1:0 every single time, including our game at home back in December.
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Smith/Ogogo
Smith is back in today, Moseley starts for O'sullivan, kelly for the injured Colin, and Subotic gives Harsanyi a rest. Standard mindset today.
21': We've shot a few times but I was chatting with someone and missed it. Constantino has the ball in the midfield and plays a ball foward to Subotic, one of their defenders misses an interception, Subotic picks it up and shoots, the keeper is beaten! 1-0
29': We give up a corner, they take it to the near man in the area, he shoots and Lynch makes a good save, second corner is cleared.
HALF: A couple highlights the rest of the way but just a bunch of off target shots here. We actually have 8 shots but 4 of those were in the early game that I mised. Rochdale has 5 shots but 4 are from long range and just nothing at all. Possession is 50/50, pasing, tackling, and heading are all pretty even, its really the one missed interception for Rochdale that's the difference here.
55': We get out first clear cut chance after a very long buildup, Subotic passes ahead to the right side of the area, Ogogo is there and all of a sudden wide open, but he puts it wide.
63': There's a very quick buildup by Rochdale, a pass out right, a cross in and they get a man free in the 6 yard box and he buries it past Lynch to tie this one up. Christian Smith misses a header and takes the blame for this one, his rating just tanked as a result. 1-1
70': Moseley ahead to Constantino, constantino with a brilliant turn around his man, he gets into the penalty area and looks sure to score, but the keeper dives and makes the save on his shot... I was sure that was it.
75': Moseley has it about 35 yards out, he turns by a defender and puts a through ball into the area, Constantino gets to it... and puts it wide, another one where I cannot believe he missed.
79': Dan Taylor in for Constantino, N'Diaye in for N'Guessan, Ferry in for Upson.
83': We have a free kick about 35 yrds out way to the right, Smith crosses into the area, vince Taylor gets his head to it but its way over.
88': Kelly makes a run down the left and tries a cross, its blocked and we get a corner... we have two shots blocked in the area after the corner, they end up stealing it away and they try their own counterattack and cross but we handle it fine.
91': N'diaye loses possession in our end, they quickly get it down the left side, there's a cross, Nikolaou misses a header... and their man heads it in. 1-2
We made so many huge mistakes today.
Rochdale 2 : 1 Woking
Subotic ends up man of the match as they didn't actually play well, we just played worse.
Man of the Match: Subotic (7.6)
Assist: Constantino (6.9)
Notables: Moseley (7.4)
Nikolau made one mistake allowing a goal and earned a 5.6 rating. Christian Smith made a mistake leading to the other goal, 5.6. Constantino missed two clear cut chances from within 15 yards. We just really had this one in hand and made mistake after mistake to allow them to win.
in the 94th minute Abu Ogogo was hurt, its actually a broken arm... and he's out 6-7 weeks, the rest of the season.
Stockport wins today. We have 3 matches left, they have 4, and we lead by 11 points. They play their makeup match before we play again though.
Stockport's make up game is a home game against Bury, currently fighting for relegation in 23rd place... and Bury wins 3:2.
-- It isn't pretty, we're backing our way in, but Woking have clinched 1st place in League 2
We have 91 points with 3 matches to go. Stockport has 80 points. Stockport has clinched a playoff birth and is 1 point away from clinching promotion themselves. After that it gets crazy. Rushden in 3rd has 74 points, Rochdale in 10th has 68 points. It's wiiiide open.
Congrats, Radii! Great showing this season and those loans made all the difference. I just wonder how long Lynch will be able to keep up with the rest of the team as it improves. Fear he's going to become your backup in not too much time if he's not still doing any improvements in his skills.
Won't be such a bad thing for that to happen, all things considered.
Thanks! And yeah, Lynch has been my starting keeper in three different leagues now, its really, really difficult to imagine that he'll remain my starting keeper in League 1.
Since we've already clinched first lets just blow through the rest of the season with a little more speed.
April 23rd- We host #19 Aldershot, neither team has anything to play for. We start a group full of backups, Alcock/Nikolaou/Williams/Thomas/Moseley/Ferry/Kelly/N'Diaye/Paterson/D Taylor
We get a great pass from Dan Taylor to Matthew Paterson in the 76th minute leading to a goal, we dominate the match, only allowing them to shoot twice all match. That's our only goal.
Woking 1 : 0 Aldershot
Paterson is man of the match.
With just two matches to go the playoffs are starting to take shape, technically only Stockport has clinched a playoff spot, a couple wins in the next match would secure a bunch more going into the final game.
1. Woking - 94 pts
2. Stockport - 80 pts
3. Rushden - 77 pts
4. Brighton - 74 pts
5. Oxford - 73 pts
6. MK Dons - 73 pts
7. Chesterfield - 73 pts
8. Walsall - 71 pts
9. Rochdale - 69 pts
10. Notts Co - 68 pts
-- John Moseley's loan term ends with us, he played 9 matches and averaged a 7.23 rating, he did exactly what I needed him to do, help out with our depth after Zak Middleton went down injured.
April 30th - We travel to #4 Brighton, a huge game for them.
They shoot a ton more though we get a few really good looks, in the end, neither team scores.
Brighton 0 : 0 Woking
Playoff Update - 1 Match left
1. Woking - 95 pts
2. Stockport - 83 pts
3. Rushden - 78 pts (tied)
4. Oxford - 76 pts (won)
5. Brighton - 75 pts (tied)
6. Chesterfield - 73 pts (lost)
7. MK Dons - 73 pts (lost)
8. Rochdale - 72 pts
9. Notts Co - 71 pts
10. Walsall - 71 pts
Chesterfield and MK Dons both lost, but MK Dons lost 4-1 and they gave away their goal differential edge, so they switched places from 6th to 7th. For now both would still be in the playoffs but should MK Dons tie or lose their final match that goal differential could be the difference between 7th and 8th.
-- We lost 104k in April, but the board is of course delighted since we won the league. All good.
-- Its announced that we may have a sellout for our final match at home.
May 7th - Woking vs Wycombe - Wycombe are 15th and have nothing to play for. With an expected sellout I decide to give our starters a sending off and start everyone who is healthy who carried us here.
-- Constantino makes a long run and great pass that Ed Upson finishes in the 17th minute to give us the lead. This is our 100th goal in 46 league matches. In the 28th minute we go up 2-0 with a goal from Constantino this time, finishing nicely with a header off a cross from Nikolaou. In the 51st minute we give a goal back on a corner and lead 2-1. We get it back almost immediately, Upson with a graet long ball foward to Constantino who finishes one on one against the keeper, 3-1 lead!
Woking 3 : 1 Wycombe
Its a perfect ending to the season. We give up a goal but we overwhelm the opposition. Lynch makes a couple really nice saves, Constantino and Ed Upson are nearly equally spectacular. 2 goals and an assist for Constantino earns him a 9.1 rating and man of the match.
-- 5900 fans came ot the game today.
-- Woking have been given $115,000 for their final position in League 2
Final Playoff Standings
1. Woking - 98 pts
2. Stockport - 84 pts
3. Rushden - 81 pts
4. Brighton - 78 pts
5. Oxford - 76 pts
6. Chesterfield - 76 pts
7. Rochdale - 75 pts
8. Walsall - 74 pts
9. MK Dons - 73 pts
10. Notts Co - 71 pts
Rochdale wins their last match and makes the playoffs by 1 point. Walsall beat MK Dons, they just missed out, but that loss by MK Dons took them out of it. They were a top 3 team much of the season, finishing a horrible 1-1-5 to fall all the way out of the playoffs, missing by 2 points.
We end our season with a remarkable 30-8-8 record, scoring 102 goals and putting up 98 points in 46 matches.
Rushden's Sam Smith had a great finish to the season, ending with 34 goals. The two goals Constantino scored in our last match end up being the difference as Constantino scores 36 league goals.
We'll get through the playoffs and postseason/offseason soon and then will begin preparations for League 1 play!
Congratulations on a great season.
Are you going to listen to any of the job offers you're going to get or will you remain a Cardinal for life?
As long as I feel like the team is financially able to compete I won't be leaving. If I feel like I can't get access to the funds/growth needed to compete at newer levels I'd try to get a job in the same league at a better financial situation to try to continue the climb up.
I may try for international jobs if I ever have the reputation to do so, but I wouldn't consider like Luxembourg or anything, but if I thought I had a chance at a legit world cup level team I'd be interested.
**GA = Goals Allowed | SO = Shutouts
Lynch's play was actually better in league play by a little bit, more games total and more goals allowed due to cup play. Martin is leaving the team at the end of the year.
**GL = Goals | TCK = Tackles/game
Eveyrone improved this year, Vince Taylor was really solid at DC, I know our offense is a big reason for the ratings to go up but I believe Taylor helped some too.
**GL = Goals | TCK = Tackles/game
We had Zak Middleton here for a good part of the season and John Moseley for a bit as well, both were solid for us, but Ed Upson was one of the best 5 players in the league this year and turned into a huge player for us with the goals and assists, he was so solid.
**GL = Goals | Drb = Dribbles/game
Mikael Colin is one of the most successful loanees I've ever had, I expected a ton from him given his skills and value and he really worked out beautifully. N'Guessan may not be worth the $3500/wk I laid out for him but he was a very solid starter and I desparately needed that at the time.
** GL = Goals | Drb = Dribbles/Game
Harsanyi had one of his strongest seasons ever, winning and keeping the starting job over Dan Taylor is a pretty impressive thing really, Taylor was almost as hyped as Constantino coming in. But the story here is obviously Constantino. He's the best player in the league this year, and the best player I've had the pleasure to coach and to watch play in this career. His speed just tore this level apart and he had the skills to do something with the ball once he outran everyone. 36 league goals, 44 total goals including cup games smashes all kinds of Woking records. He also had the highest individual rating in League 2 this season.
Any chance you'll be able to afford Constantino after you promote?
I'm sure Working would love to have $2 million to spend on the transfer market!
You're right, no doubt. I once picked up a comparatively expensive winger that lit it up for me while on loan because his contract was up and he just seemed to like playing for me that much. But I recognize that was likely a fairly rare confluence of events.
It does certainly seem unlikely, maybe he'd come on loan again if his EPL team isn't ready to use him though!
Woking 2015/16 History/Leaders
2009/10 - BS South - 1st - 24 W - 12 D - 6 L - 62 for - 39 ag - +23 GD - 84 pts
2010/11 - BS Premier - 17th - 14 W - 10 D - 22 L - 60 for - 65 ag - -5 GD - 52 pts
2011/12 - BS Premier - 4th - 26 W - 12 D - 8 L - 87 for - 51 ag - +36 GD - 90 pts
2012/13 - BS Premier - 1st - 26 W - 11 D - 9 L - 88 for - 56 ag - 89 pts
2013/14 - League 2 - 18th - 12 W - 17 D - 17 L - 50 for - 54 ag - 53 pts
2014/15 - League 2 - 9th - 20 W - 9 D - 17 L - 57 for - 58 ag - 69 pts
2015/16 - League 2 - 1st - 30 W - 8 D - 8 L - 102 for - 50 ag - 98 pts
Top Goalscorer - Constantino - 44 goals
Top League Goalscorer - Constantino - 36 goals
Most Assists - Constantino - 16 assists
Highest Average Rating - Constantino - 7.60
Most Man of the Match - Constantino - 13
-- Tottenham beats Sunderland to win the FA Cup on penalty kicks after a 1:1 draw.
League 2 Playoff Semifinals
Chesterfield 1 : 0 Oxford
Rochdale 2 : 1 Brighton
Oxford (3) 3 : 1 (2) Chesterfield - Oxford Advances
Brighton (3) 2 : 3 (5) Rochdale - Rochdale Advances
League 2 Playoff Finals
Rochdale p 0 : 0 Oxford
The game goes to penalty kicks, after 5 kicks each team has hit four, but on the 6th Rochdale scores and saves the pk by Oxford. Rochdale will advance to League 1 along with us.
-- Woking pay out $275k to the players as their bonus for winning the league.
-- Our finish is obviously our best ever, but we get a mail telling us
-- Constantino is the top goalscorer, we knew that but here its officially recognized
-- I am the league 2 manager of the year
-- Stelios Nikolaou, Joe O'Sullivan, Ed Upson, and Constantino are all named to the players team of the year
The board is delighted of course. We lost $325k in May.
The European Championship is in June. I hadn't really mentioned the qualifiers that much, Portugal and the Czech Republic did not qualify both finishing 3rd in their groups (behind Switzerland/Ireland for Portugal and Montenegro and Israel for the Czech). Germany/Italy/England/Spain are in different groups for the upcoming group stage.
... A few weeks go by and we set up our friendlies for July and go back to the European Championship:
Italy and Greece advance, Greece a -1 Goal Differential, Norway and the Swiss -2.
Ukraine loses by 1 to France, Spain loses by 2 to France, ties everywhere else, so the Ukraine advance and Spain are out.
Holland beats England by 2, England beats Croatia by 2, everybody beats Bulgaria by 1... the difference is Croatia winning 3:0 over Holland. That makes Croatia +2, England +1, Holland even.
Scotland and Germany play to a 0:0 draw. Both teams lose to Russia 1:0. The difference is a 3:0 victory for Scotland over Sweden that Germany can't match, allowing scotland through.
Ukraine 1 : 0 Italy
Greece 0 : 1 France
Croatia 2 : 0 Scotland
England 1 : 0 Russia
Ukraine 1 : 0 England
France 1 : 2 e Croatia
Ukraine 1 : 2 Croatia
Croatia Wins the 2016 Euro Championship
We get a new sponsorship deal, our last one paid us $61k/year, our new one is worth $110k/year.
Fans Player of the Year
Ed Upson is voted the Woking Player of the Year by the fans. This is the 3rd year in a row he has won this award!
Woking Best Eleven
No Surprises here
D: Nikolaou, Smith, Taylor, Ogogo
MC: Upson, O'Sullivan
AM: Colin, N'Guessan
ST: Constantino, Harsanyi
Bench: Middleton, N'Diaye, Ferry, Williams, Alcock, Subotic, Oliver-Pearce
Reserve defender James Oliver-Pearce named to the team over Dan Taylor, Matthew Paterson or Shane Kelly is actually a surprise. He only played one match! Kelly was only a 3 month loaner but I think he should have had that last spot.
All Time Best Eleven
Constantino is given a backup spot on the team, but only one new starter is named this year. Vince Taylor takes over at DC for Mike Williams. Here's the team:
GK: Kevin Lynch (289 apps/6.75 rating)
DL: Stelios Nikolaou (147 apps/7.13 rating)
DC: Vince Taylor (80 apps/7.01 rating)
DC: Mark Ricketts (153 apps/3 goals/6.86 rating)
DR: Abu Ogogo (115 apps/6.94 rating)
ML: Sam Sloma (84 apps/4 goals/6.70 rating)
MC: Ed Upson (124 apps/16 goals/7.25 rating)
MC: Joe O'Sullivan (222 apps/15 goals/7.15 rating)
MR: Moses Ademola (167 apps/37 goals/6.85 rating)
FC: Giusepe Sole (130 apps/62 goals/6.94 rating)
FC: Zoltan Harsanyi (218 apps/96 goals/7.04 rating)
If Harsanyi can survive for a bit in League 1 (and I have to assume that at worst he'll be a backup all year next year), he has a shot to be the first player to score 100 goals for Woking.
Best Eleven - Where Are They Now?
Giuseppe Sole was signed by Dartford in the Blue Square South last year but didn't play a match. Unfortunately they were demoted out of the BSS last year.
Sole is the only "starter" in our best eleven to be actively playing for another team. Seven still play with us, while Sam Sloma, Moses Ademola and Mark Ricketts have retired.
Promotion Salary Increases
A very common clause is an automatic raise should we earn promotion. Most noteworthy players on our squad received such a bonus. Dany N'Guessan makes $4400/wk and Ed Upson now makes $4100/wk for us. Ogogo and Vince Taylor bump up to over $3000/wk.
Woking receive $619,000 for Coca Cola League 1 Television Rights. We received $437,000 in league 2, so this is a nice bump for us.
Clearly we have only one goal in our first season in leauge 1. We will do everything in our power to avoid relegation.
For this we receive a $1000 transfer budget ($1k, really?) and a weekly payroll of $49.5k/wk. Our allotment last year was $34k/wk and we never got close to that, we were about $4k/wk under budget most of the season. With the raises we gave out for promoting to league one we currently sit at $36,182/wk. We have a lot of room here.
-- We receive two parachute payments as Nottingham Forest and Burnley make it back to the EPL. Combined we make $165,000 from these.
Two seasons ago we averaged 3637 fans, but in our promotion season we saw that skyrocket to 4743.
League 1 Promotion Odds
Wigan are the favorites here, 2:1 to promote back up to the championship. Peterborough and Bournemouth are both 6:1 and no one else is even close. Swindon, Colchester and Crystal Palace are 20:1, we are 40:1.
I'd like to give a shout out to Quiksand and one of the best series of CM/FM Dynasties ever seen on this board and go ahead and state: "We hate Wigan". (holy shit I just searched the archives and that was 8 years ago, why do i remember that?)
This takes us up to June 27th and our "Pre-Season" coaches meeting. Its time to step back and review my coaching staff and roster and identify holes to fill for the upcoming season.
We have our pre-season meeting and our coaches tell us that our concentration, determination, dribbling, first touch, speed, passing and technique are all very poor compared to the rest of league one.
We are tall and have good fitness.
I'm offered a 3 year deal to stay at Woking at $1400/wk. I make $1000/wk now. I accept it.
July rolls around and we receive $33k as part of our deal with our parent club QPR.
Players leaving the Team
-- Lewis Martin has officially left for the Czech First Division club he agreed to play with during the last season. He only played 12 matches for us while he was with the squad, spending much of his time on loan elsewhere, completely stuck behind Kevin Lynch.
-- Makhtar N'Diaye leaves the club, he's 34 years old and declining. He was a nice 2 year utility guy for me, playing in 50 matches, scoring 5 goals and making 5 assists, putting up a rating of about 6.75.
-- 26 y/o DLC Aswad Thomas leaves the club. He's been with Woking since the 09/10 season, playing in ~190 matches, scoring 10 goals and putting up a 6.79 avg rating. He's been an ok reserve but he took a noticible dip in League 2 and I don't feel he can contribute in League 1.
-- 29 y/o DLC Mike Williams also leaves the club. He signed with Woking in the 11/12 season and spent 5 years with the team. He played 154 matches for Woking, scoring 15 goals and averaging ~6.8 rating for us. He was a fine backup in League 2 but not someone i feel could contribute anymore.
The board is pleased with my leadership, with my tight control of finances being the main reason. They're sad to see Mike Williams go. We made $270k profit last month.
GK: Kevin Lynch/---
DL: Stelios Nikolaou/---
DC: Vince Taylor/Christian Smith/---
DR: Abu Ogogo/Craig Alcock
DMC: Vince Taylor/Simon Ferry
MC: Ed Upson/Joe O'Sullivan/Simon Ferry
AML: Zoltan Harsanyi/---
AMR: Dany N'Guessan/---Abu Ogogo---
FC: Zoltan Harsanyi/Danijel Subotic/Mathew Peterson
So we basically have coverage everywhere but are in need of depth and some star talent somewhere.
We must sign a GK, loaning in a much much better one and playing Lynch some to see how he does is an option.
We must sign DL and DC depth. Nikolaou is young and improving, Christian Smith would be the most likely candidate to try to find a more talented player instead of just adding a backup
MC: I think Upson/O'Sullivan would be acceptable here, we could use a 4th player who can play the position and if we found another guy like we had last year in Zak Middleton who could secure a starting spot over O'Sullivan that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
AML: The first thing I did when the transfer window opened was try to loan in Mikael Colin and Constantino again. Waiting to hear back on them. If we can't get Colin again we must do something here.
AMR: N'Guessan and Ogogo isn't enough, we need depth. A backup that could play AML and AMR is probably ideal.
FC: I'm trying to get Constantino back.
Question here for you. I did that, and only had seven players returned. I'm guessing that's because I'm at a crappy club. But more importantly, I see no way to do a loan offer for any of them. I can offer them transfer contracts, but not loans(the option is greyed out for all of them).
Any idea what's going on?
Two years ago we sold about 850 season tickets. Last year we sold around 1150 I think. This year we've sold 837 already and the club expects we may sell up to 1400 more!!! That would be huge for us.
-- Something I've not really done before is to go look at the "transfer rumors" page for our league. I see lots of guys rumored to be signing with our competition and go scout them out, a couple nice looking potential free transfers.
-- I put in for loans on a couple really really strong looking MC's. Next I look at GK and there just aren't any listed. So loaning in a GK I guess isn't a legit option. I look at free transfer keepers and don't see anything remotely close to Lynch's levels as far as handling and reflexes, maybe finding a new keeper isn't something that will happen overnight, Lynch will likely get a chance to prove himself at this level.
We get going early this year, playing at EPL side Watford on July 5th. We trail 2:0 at the half when we sub out are starters, putting in a number of reserve players since we haven't really filled out our roster yet, and the results are predictable, they run all over us for the entire second half.
Watford 7 : 1 Woking
AML/ST Mickael Colin was available for loan for a second year in a row and he enjoyed his time at Woking last season and has agreed to come back again this year! Colin was one of our best players last season, scoring 8 goals and notching 8 assists with a 7.31 average rating at the AML position. We're thrilled to have him back.
-- As the first week of July comes to a close we have 4 other loan offers outstanding and we have a few free transfer contracts outstanding as well. We've filled out our staff as well.
Hopefully someone else can help you out here, I do not remember seeing the loan option greyed out at any point when i've been playing. The only one I ever see greyed out is the "co-ownership" offer.
My careers have always been in England, perhaps there are different rules/windows to sign players in Portugal?
This is the one anyone who followed last season was hoping for. ST Constantino Is not quite ready for the EPL, he's still listed as a reserve for Aston Villa. Aston Villa are happy to have him come back to play for Woking for another season and he is agreeable too. Why wouldn't he be, he broke every record in our books last season and will get another year of experience as a starter.
Usually I go for flash, flair and offense when I look to bring in guys on loan, but we have a lack of depth in our defense as well and going into a new league a big upgrade always helps. We loan in our second Spaniard, second player with just one name, and second Aston Villa Reserve, DC Marc to play for us this season.
Marc doesn't look like a complete superstud, but he has some very solid ratings and looks like a very solid player. He's strong physically, all his physical ratings are between 12-15, pace 15, balance 14, jumping 14, stamina 14. He seems to show all the right Mental strengths, Teamwork 17, Work Rate 15, Determnation 13, Bravery 10, Aggression 15. Positioning of 8 is a bit low for a defender. Heading 15, Marking 14, Passing 11, Tackling 10, all solid for a central defender, again not a guaranteed dominant star but a strong looking addition.
Marc is another one of those guys we'd never even try to get in previous seasons, he's valued at $2.8 million and is paid $9000/wk by Aston Villa.
-- We now have filled 3 of our 4 available season long loans. We have 3 free transfer offers outstanding and one last loan offer out there or a MC that I am really hoping to sign. We have done nothing to address our depth at keeper as of yet.
-- I miss out on the last big splash loaner I was trying to bring in. Liverpool MC Sam Cook isn't going to be coming here. I go back out in search of another target.
League Cup 1st Round Draw
We draw a home match but its an unlikely one to win as we'll be hosting Championship side Coventry, a team that has finished in the top 10 in the Championship league each of the last two seasons. ,
New Free Transfer Signing
-- We take care of a backup GK, its a clear backup though and if Lynch can't cut it at this level we have a ton of work to do. We bring in 17 y/o Jason James, the current U21 Welsh goalkeeper. 17 balance, 12 jumping, 10 agility... 10 bravery, 10 concentration, only 7 positioning and 6 composure. The reason to sign him, besides the fact that he's basically free and should improve, is 15 handling and 14 reflexes.
James will make $150/wk but is a better backup than the reserve crap i have now. This gives me a slightly warmer body if Lynch gets hurt, that's all.
-- As July 10th rolls around the two free transfers I was hoping for have received offers from 5+ teams each and I believe its very unlikely that i'll sign either. I keep my offers out there but I'm basically moving on.
Here's a quick update of my depth chart
GK: Kevin Lynch/Jason James
DL: Stelios Nikolaou/---
DC: Marc/Vince Taylor/Christian Smith/---
DR: Abu Ogogo/Craig Alcock
DMC: Vince Taylor/Simon Ferry
MC: Ed Upson/Joe O'Sullivan/Simon Ferry
AML: Mickael Colin/Zoltan Harsanyi
AMR: Dany N'Guessan/---Abu Ogogo---
FC: Constantino/Zoltan Harsanyi/Danijel Subotic/Mathew Peterson
Some holes have been filled, a 4th DC probably wouldn't hurt, a DL backup,and an AMR backup are both necessary.
The new loan offers I went out and made were both for high quality MC.
We bring in a central midfielder, he may not be exactly what I was hoping to get at first but he fills out our depth and could easily earn a starting job. 18 y/o Arsenal Youth MC Paulo will be our fourth and final full season loan this year. He's valued at $2.6 million and makes $9500/wk for Arsenal for whatever that's worth.
Paulo isn't the strongest (str 8) but he's fast (pace 15/accel 13) with good balance and agility (15 each). He shows solid decision making (13), Determination (12), and Flair (13), his positioning and off the ball play is acceptable but not great. His technical abilities look quite solid, passing (14), Heading (14), First Touch(12), Marking (9), Tackling (8), Technique (14), he can finish pretty well and shoot from pretty good range, both nice bonuses for a MC.
He's better than O'Sullivan in all but 2 or 3 ratings across the entire board.
We play the Glen Hoddle Academy and get crushed by them. Its tied 3:3 at the half, we have two goals disallowed due to offsides before they score 4 times in the final 15 minutes.
Woking 3 : 7 GH Academy
DR Craig Alcock was hurt in the 2nd half today and will miss 2 months with a dislocated shoulder. doh!
-- One of the free transfer players we went after has signed with Cardiff up in the Championship, we had no shot.
Welcome 28 y/o DL Rhoys Wiggins to Woking. Wiggins has spent most of his career in the Welsh Premier League putting up crazy good ratings for TNS (The New Saints) after coming up through Crystal Palace's youth system.
He looks like a decent, but not spectacular, all around player, the type of guy we need to back up Nikolaou. 13 pace/11 accel is nice since our DL's get foward a lot. No Mental Attributes re below 9, most are in the 9-11 range with Determination up at 14. 10 Marking, 10 Passing, 12 Tackling, 11 Crossing, 11 First Touch, solid but not spectacular.
Wiggins will make $1100/wk in a "backup" role. He can only play DL, which is a bit unfortunate as we would love a utility guy that can play all over the defense, but it fills a need.
We lose out on a couple other free guys we were looking at, including a couple that would have filled AMR depth.
Great thread. It can be done. I'm playing Welling United in the handheld currently and had them in the playoffs to for promotion from the championship after 7 seasons. Of course they lost, but still, it's always fun to take a club from the "bottom up". :)
We host our parent club, QPR for our yearly friendly. N'Guessan gets an early goal and then one of their defenders is given a red card. Our new MC Paulo scores a goal to give us a 2:0 halftime lead. Our starters come out at the 60 minute mark, we give up 1 goal and pull out a win.
Woking 2 : 1 QPR
A few days later we host Championship side Sheffield Wednesday. They attack hard from start to finish, at the half they have 10 shots, 9 on target, Lynch does a great job stopping 7 of them. Its 2:0 at the half. Constantino gets us a goal early in the second half, we bring in subs at 65 minutes, they get one more goal late.
Woking 1 : 3 Sheffield Wednesday
Thanks! :) It is the most fun way to play for me for sure.
Just throw my 2 cents in, this dynasty coerced me into purchasing FM 2011...I'm currently skippering the Boston United team.
Ditto, except I think I might wait for FM12, if I can stand it.
There for a while I had it going on my phone and computer at the same time. That is when you know that you have a problem. :D
Thanks as always for the comments all, its great to know people are enjoying the dynasty :)
-- Another AMR we tried to sign goes elsewhere, still more offers to be made
though, its July 21st.
Finally one we are supposed to win, we travel to AFC Telford from the BS North for a friendly. We outplay them like crazy in the first half but cant score, lots of close chances missed. We fall behind 0-1 on a freak goal in the 65th minute after a couple weird bounces. Backup DC Aaron Gough scores off a corner after we make our subs to tie it up at 1. Matthew Paterson gets our second goal in the 89th minute to seal up a win.
AFC Telford 1 : 2 Woking
Not our first, or second, or fifth choice, but we find a backup AMR that I hope will be similar to Makhtar N'Diaye, an aging but decent player who can play a few positions and fill a few needs for us.
Welcome 31 y/o AMLR Imad Zatara to Woking. Zatara has actually spent the last 6 years in League 1 as a starter for Brentford, consistantly putting up ratings in the 6.75 range. Heck, 2 years ago he had 10 assists for Brentford. 13 pace/11 accel, he can still run pretty well. Determination 13, Flair 13, Off the Ball 11, but his positioning is only 6, his other mental attributes are all 8-9. He shows the of the most important abilities for a wide midfielder for me, Crossing (12), Dribblign (11), and First Touch (12). His passing is only 8 and the rets of his technical skills are in the 6-7 range.
Zatara is actually a member of the Palestinian national team currently going through Asian World Cup Qualifying. He has 29 international appearances and 3 goals.
I'm happy that Zatara can play AMR and AML. He'll make $2200/wk for the next 2 seasons. He'll clearly be a backup but if he can back up both Colin and N'Guessan effectively he'll see a lot of time on the field.
We host Sheffield United in our last friendly on July 28th, a bit over a week before League 1 play begins. We trade goals a couple times, they score one real early, reserve ML Alan Leonard gets it back in the 22nd minute. They go up 2-1 early in the second half, Constantino gets it back in the 70th minute. After we bring all our backups in though, they get a goal in the 85th minute and another goal in the 93rd.
Woking 2 : 4 Sheffield Utd
Colin and Upson both picked up injuries in this match, that's the big concern...
... but its not a big deal. Upson is fine and Colin is out 5-7 days, he should be ok for the start of the season.
Our new AM Imad Zatara is playing for Palestine in the "Challenge Cup" (more info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AFC_Challenge_Cup). He's scored 2 goals in Palestine's last 3 matches and has led them to the top of their group.
-- I'm asked to select our captains. No changes here for the last few years. Kevin Lynch is our captain and Ed Upson is vice captain.
-- The first couple months are always busy. We play on the 6th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 20th, and 27th. Additional games may be played if we can find a win in the League Cup.
-- The board is pleased with my leadership. Getting Mickael Colin back on the team is a highlight. The 7-1 loss to EPL side Watford is a lowlight. We made $641k last month! This is mainly due to our season ticket revenue. It's all downhill from here.
-- I hadn't updated it since the first mention. We've now sold a whopping 2049 season tickets, with another 200 expected to be sold.
-- We're ready for the season now. I had an offer for a free transfer striker w/ 18 pace fail as the guy chose to go to Plymouth instead. So the team I've got now is the one we're taking into the season. I don't know if I've done enough. We haven't made any big signings, we've basically signed depth and brought in high quality loaners. Will it be enough to avoid relegation? I hope so.
We actually had the chance along the way to sign a couple guys that would have been deemed big splashes. Guys that wanted $4500-$5000/wk contracts. To me, I just didnt' see how they were going to blow the doors off my current starters, so I held on to my money. The end result is that we have a ton of money we can spend on salaries if we want, but I'm not seeing obvious places to do it.
We are $14k/wk under our allotted wage budget. I go and play with the slider and I see that I should have done that awhile ago. If i lower my wage allotment from $50k/wk to $47.5k/wk our transfer budget goes up to $150,000. Its actually a massive, massive error on my part most likely that I haven't played with this yet.
So anyway, I do exactly that. If I want to try to go buy a player or two I totally have the funds to do so for the first time in team history, and we have the payroll to basically max out their deals as well. I will work on this during the early part of the season.
-- Wild blast from the past in our opening League Match. Jordan Clarke came up through Coventry's youth program. He was one of my early star loaners in defense, in the 11/12 season he started 47 matches for me putting up a 7.10 rating. He never did make the cut at Coventry, playing a couple seasons on loan in League 2, but now he's been released on a free transfer and picked up by Rotherham. He'll be making his debut for Rotherham against us, the first squad that ever gave him any league playing time 6 years ago.
August 6th, 2016
Woking @ Rotherham
We are 7:2 dogs in our first match, they are 4:6 at home today. This will be our first meeting. Rotherham has been in league one since the 10/11 season. They're generally a mid-table team, finishing 12th last year.
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Marc/Ogogo
Alcock is hurt, Wiggins is serving a suspension from a prior lifetime in English play from years ago i guess, and Zatara is still out in the Challenge Cup, so we are digging pretty deep to fill our subs.
10': N'Guessan is hurt, he can stay on and will since our options are a bit limited but that's bothersome.
14': Our first shot in Leauge 1... a header way over the bar on a corner.
16': our first clear cut chance in league 1, they're trying to pressure us, Upson is deep in our own end when he finds Constantino just past midfield, he beats one man, another misses a sliding tackle, and constantino is off to the races, he shoots just inside the penalty area as a man is closing down, but the keeper makes the save.
27': they get a corner, we clear it and start the counter, and again its a crazy individual effort by Constantino, beating two defenders before trying a difficult shot, its turned back for a corner, but we can't do anything with it.
36': Paulo clears a ball out of our defensive end and sends it long, Constantino gets to it and makes a run down the right, a cross... header by Harsanyi... right at the keeper.
HALF: We're looking pretty darn good out there. We have a 55/45 possession edge, we've taken 5 shots and put 3 on target. Rotherham have just 2 shots, both were blocked, and one was from long range. We are winning every tackle and header practically and really look like the better team right now. Its still scoreless though.
54': Throwin for Rotherham near midfield, a pass is blocked and ricochet's back to Constantion about 40 yards out, he begins a run toward sthe area, he makes one man miss, the defense really is failing to close down here, Constantino into the area, he shoots, its by the keeper and into the left side of the net!! 1-0
59': We were in a standard mindset, we switch to defensive.
75': They have it near midfield, there's a ball straight into the area, run on to by attacker Law, he's got a good look but he hits the right crossbar.
79': Run up the right sideby Law for Rotherham, he plays a ball through the 6 yard area and striker John Turner is there and puts it in. 1-1
The only highlight in the final 10 minutes is a free kick of ours that's immediately cleared out. We'll take a tie on the road in our first match!
Rotherham 1 : 1 Woking
Rotherham only put 1 shot on target all match, they only had 2 shots in the second half, we were really the better team today but are ok with the draw.
Man of the Match: Constantino (8.0)
Notables: Nikolaou (7.0), Upson (7.2)
Everyone else is 6.8-6.9. The goal was unassisted.
Dany N'Guessan is going to miss 2 weeks with a thigh injury he picked up today. Could be worse.
August 10th, 2016
League Cup 1st Round
Coventry @ Woking
We're 4:1 dogs at home against this Coca Cola Championship side.
D: Wiggins/V Taylor/Marc/Nikolaou
N'Guessan is hurt and Zatara is still gone on international duty. Rhoys Wiggins is back though and he'll start at DL, Nikolaou slides to DR, and Ogogo AMR. We'll try to defend here.
10': Upson makes a beautiful pass through the penalty area to set up Ogogo, he's at a tough angle but he gets a shot off, it hits the right upright...
12': We clear out a cross, but they push it foward again. Taylor misses a tackle and striker Tomas gets a great shot off and beats Lynch. 0-1
26': They get foward and there's a shot blocked by a defender of ours, they get a second shot on the rebound and its just over.
30': Marc gets a yellow for a foul in the midfield.
31': Midfielder Caulker gets a yellow
36': Colin has the ball in the area for a very quick highlight, he goes to the end line and crosses over the keeper, Paulo is theer but they win the header and head it behind for a corner, we can't do anything with it.
HALF: We aren't really playing well here, they have 57/43 possession edge, 8 shots to 4, they're passing much much better than us.
51': We have a throwin in their end, there's one pass to Paulo about 20yards out, he turns and fires a quick shot, its aimed nicely to the left side of the net, the keeper dives and just barely turns it behind. We can't do anything with the corner.
53': Constantino receives a pass in the mdifield after we win a ball... he makes a great run by a defender, he goes a little wide and Paulo fills the gap, Constantino makes a solid pass, but Paulo's first touch isn't great and they are able to close down.
58': Yellwo for midfielder Deegan tackling Constantino about 25 yards out. free kick is wide.
66': O'Sullivan comes in for Paulo
75': Lets try to turn it around and attack to get this goal back.
78': Subotic in for Colin, Subotic to forward, Harsanyi AML.
87': We get a free kick and cross it into the area, O'Sullivan heads it way over, time's running out.
We can't break through.
Woking 0 : 1 Coventry
It was a decent effort, they are just better, by a lot. They shoot 13 times, we shoot 9, but we only manage two on target.
Nikolaou puts up a 7.1 rating, Ed Upson a 7.0. Colin and Ogogo are 6.6, most everyone else is in the 6.8-6.9 range, we really didn't play that bad. But we're out of the League Cup again in round 1.
-- India beat Palestine in the final of the Challenge Cup. New AMR Zatara should be available for us soon.
August 13th, 2016
Stockport @ Woking
Stockport finished 2nd last year in League 2 behind us and was in the top 3 for the vast majority of the season. We're very slim 6:4 favorites today to their 13:8. We lost to Stockport both times 1:0 last year, and we have had horrible results lifetime against them, 0-0-6! Ouch.
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Marc/Ogogo
Zatara gets his first start at AMR today, otherwise our lineup is the set. We attack today.
14': We have a free kick out left near their end line... like maybe 10 yards out, weird spot. Upson takes it and sends a low pass to Vince Taylor, Taylor turns and fires quickly, and beats the keeper!! 1-0
27': we get a shot on a free kick that's blocked, and then a shot on our corner that's headed over.
30': We work the ball foward after clearing out a cross, Constantino has it 25 yards out but has no space, he finds a seam to get a pass to the right to Zatara, he shoots, but its saved, it was a tough angle.
42': Marc commits a foul about 35 yards out, there's one pass on the free kick and a long shot, its close but over.
HALF: We could stand to be up by more than 1 here, We have 9 shots and 66%(!!!) of the possession here, Stockport has 4 shots, all way off target except the last one and 3 are from long range. We are just totally dominating this game but only have 2 shots on target, it feels like we are at risk here if they can turn it around at all.
54': Again we're all over them but they aren't allowing us to do anything productive, 3 throwins deep in their end but we can't generate a shot.
66': A good bit of time goes off, there's a foul by one of their defenders about 30 yards out way out wide, Upson crosses in the free kick and they clear it behind, they win a header on the corner and it goes out for a throw... we throw it back out instead of into the area, Vince Taylor takes a shot from 35 yards out and bends it beautifully, the keeper has no shot at all, but it hits the right post, soooo close!
81': We drop to defensive as another 15 minutes fly off the clock.
84': Ferry and O'sullivan in for Upson and Paulo, Wiggins in for Nikolaou.
86': Colin receives a pass naer midfield, he makes two great moves and burns two men to get down the left side, he makes a nice pass into the area, Harsanyi beats a man and turns and fires... i thought this should have been a clear cut chance but it wasn't considered to be one, he hits the right post and it goes wide.
We easily kill off the rest of the clock, its against a League 2 opponent from last year but hey, its our first League 1 victory!!
Woking 1 : 0 Stockport
The second half is boring. We end up with a 62/38 possession edge in the end so we really maintained full control, but each team took 2 shots in the half and that's it, pretty dull stuff there.
Man of the Match: Vince Taylor (8.4)
Goal: Vince Taylor
Assist: Ed Upson (7.1)
Notables: Colin (7.9), Ogogo (7.1), Nikolaou (7.1), Marc (7.3)
We get a bye in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy so we don't have to play til Round 2 there.
-- Vince Taylor is named in the league 1 team of the week this week!
August 16th, 2016
Woking @ Bradford
Bradford are 4:6 favorites at their place today, we're 7:2. We played them in a friendly a few years ago, that's it. This is Bradford's 7th year in League 1, last year they finished 13th.
D: Nikolaou/V Taylor/Marc/Ogogo
O'Sullivan gets his first start today, and Matthew Paterson starts for Harsanyi today, its a busy month, need a little rest here and there. Bradford Striker Kayne McLaggon played two seasons for Woking back in our BS Premier days, he was decent then, he's been average at best for Bradford. He is starting today. We'll defend on the road.
3': There's a ball blocked well up into the air on their end, McLaggon volleys it but puts it wide, first shot of the match.
21': Great through ball for Bradford but their man doesn't run onto it well, Lynch comes out and blocks the shot from point blank range. we haven't shot yet.
22': Bradford has it in our end but not much is happening, all of a sudden there's a really long through ball, their other striker Elliot is deemed onside, I have my doubts... but he gets a look at Lynch and beats him easily. 0-1
30': We earn a corner and O'Sullivan puts a header over, noteworthy not because it was even remotely close, but because its our first shot.
HALF: Ugly, ugly ugly. Bradford shoots 5 times and puts 2 on target. We just take the 1 shot, we are getting outplayed badly here. But its just 1 goal and anything could happen.
48': We have a long shot blocked, but hey, its a shot, and a corner, the corner is cleared to the other side for a throwin near the end line. We do nothing there either.
52': They move the ball foward, there's a pass to an attacker at the edge of the penalty box, Marc goes for a tackle and misses it, allowing their man Elliot to turn and fire a shot that beats Lynch... ugh. 0-2
66': Subotic is in for Paterson and Ferry in for Upson. We're laying a massive egg here, lets just rest Upson.
75': We counter after clearing out one of their attacks, there's a ball to the right side for constantino, he makes a run to the end line, cuts by a defender, runs through the 6 yard box, the keeper dives and he somehow evades the keeper and walks the ball into the net, crazy!!! 1-2
75': Lets attack fellas.
83': Harsanyi will come in for an exhausted Colin to try to give us a bit of an edge.
... No edge there, 10 minutes fly by, the game ends without another highlight.
Bradford 2 : 1 Woking
Their scorer is man of the match.
Goal: Constantino (8.3)
No one else is over a 7, and Matthew Paterson puts up a horrid 5.5.
August 20th, 2016
Peterborough @ Woking
We're underdogs here but not by too much, we're 7:4, Peterborough are 5:4 to win at our place. We played these guys in the FA Cup a few years ago when they were one or two leagues above us. We tied at our place and got killed at theirs in a replay. Peterborough got demoted from the Championship last year.
We're going to try to attack at home.
7': Constantino picks up a bit of a knock, he's ok though.
8': A quick blast by Peterborough rockets off the crossbar.
24': A good bit of time passes, they get a free kick in our end out wide right, they generate a shot which we block for a corner. We clear out the corner.
37': We have a throwin near midfield, its thrown to Paulo who immediately fires a long pass into the area, they have a defender miss an interception, Harsanyi controls the ball perfectly and puts it by the keeper! our first shot due to a big mistake on their end and Harsanyi finishes nicely. 1-0
43': They get our defense spread out a bit, a nice pass in between our central defenders leads to an open shot but its taken from 20 yards out and put over.
HALF: Peterborough has 4 shots and a 51/49 possession edge, but 2 of their shots are from range and only one is on target. We have one shot, the goal that we scored. It sure isn't like when we would attack last year in league 2!
47': Constantino receives a pass 20 yards out, he makes a nice turn to get a bit of space between two defenders, he fires a shot but its off target, its our second shot of the match.
58': They have a strong buildup and have many men foward, there's a great through ball to the left, their man pulls it out wide and makes just as nice a pass back into the middle and they get a very easy goal once we can't get to those two passes and clear it away. 1-1 We argue about an offisdes and Paulo gets a yellow after the play.
69': We earn a corner, Upson takes it, Paulo heads it and its just wide.
72': Upson plays a ball to Zatara, he centers it to Colin, Colin dodges a slide tackle in the area and lays it off to Constantino, he shoots and puts it by the keeper!! 2-1
72': We go into a defensive set.
77': Subotic gives Harsanyi a rest. Christian Smith comes in for Constantino and we change to a 5-2-2-1 formation.
90': We're basically stalling here, but we have it in the midfield and Upson sees an opening, he places a beautiful ball into the area for Colin, Colin controls it and before he can shoot he's tackled, its a penalty! Their defender gets a yellow, and Upson takes the PK and buries it! 3-1
Woking 3 : 1 Peterborough
We shoot 5 times total, they shoot 8 times total, we really played a solid second half here and get a great win.
Man of the Match: Paulo (8.2)
Goals: Upson (7.8), Constantino (6.9), Harsanyi (7.4)
Assists: Paulo, Colin (6.8)
Notables: Lynch (7.1), Ogogo (7.1), Nikolaou (7.1), Vince Taylor (7.2)
Our first win was against a team we were better than last year, this one is against a team that was two league above us last year, its a great win that gives us confidence that we can compete in this league.
August 27th, 2016
Woking @ Swindon
Swindon are struggling bad and currently sit in last in the league. They're favored pretty big here today though, 4:6 vs our 7:2. We've met Swindon twice in cup competitions, losing both times. Swindon has spent most of the last 15 years in League 1 with a couple seasons up in the Championship. They made the playoffs each of the last two years but didn't manage to win promotion up.
N'Guessan is healthy again and gets the start, we are happy with everyone else in the lineup. Standard mindset today even on the road, lets see what we can do.
10': They have control so far, on one of their many attacks, they pass it in to a striker, Austin, he turns by a defender at the 18 yard line and fires an absolute rocket that is in the back of the net before anyone has a chance to even see it really... 0-1
12': Constantino receives a pass near the edge of the penalty area, he beats a defender and gets into the area and has our first shot and its a clear cut chance, but the keeper makes a diving save, he should have been able to put that away.
24': midfielder Spearing gets a yellow for bringing down Colin.
30': Midfieldear Spearing brings down Upson in the midfield... its a foul... and a card, RED CARD! We get a man advantage for 60 minutes.
41': Upson gets the ball to Harsanyi after a defensive stop. Harsanyi is on our defensive side of midfield... he burns his man and he's off, with the man advantage there is a pretty damn big hole here, he sprints towards the area, there's one defender trying to close down, Constantino is running up the middle too... Harsanyi gets in the area and blasts a low shot near post and its by the keeper!! Great individual effort. 1-1
HALF: They're better but hey we have a man advantage. We have 6 shots but just 2 on target, they have 5 shots and just the one on target. We've been in control since their man got sent off, hopefully we can get another goal here.
50': they have it in the midfield, there's a long through ball to an attacker Porter, he's WAY behind our central defenders but Ogogo was hanging back screwing up the offsides trap. Their man Porter is in the area nd scores easily. UGGH giving up a goal a man up is sad. Ogogo is at fault there for screwing up our back line. 1-2
63': Ogogo crosses into the area, the ball bounces loose for a bit, Upson is first to control it and fires a shot that hits the left post and bounces back into play... they clear it, so close.
67': Zatara in for n'Guessan, O'Sullivan for Paulo.
75': constantino makes a long run down the right side, croses into the middle, Colin gets his head on it but its over. We have 14 shots now but only 4 on target, we just haven't done well .
77': Constantino with it again, he gets wide right, sends it back to Upson who pushes it ahead to Harsanyi, Harsanyi with a clear cut chance, he's got a point blank look at their keeper... but can't put it by, its saved.
79': Taylor with a yellow for a tackle near midfield.
81': Zatara has it down the right side after receiving a pass from Upson, he lofts in a cross, Constantino is about 15 yards out on the right side of the goal, he heads it across to the left side of the net and is able to place it by the keeper and in the left side of the net, a great, great header!! 2-2
They do a really good job of killing the clock after this to secure the tie a man down.
Swindon 2 : 2 Woking
We end up with 19 shots to their 8, we piled on the pressure but that second goal we gave up was just horrible.
Man of the Match: Harsanyi (8.3)
Goals: Harsanyi, Constantino (7.6)
Assists: Upson (7.6), Zatara (6.9)
Notables: Paulo (7.0), Colin (7.1)
Objectively the tie is a great result but going a man up 30 minutes in we really should have gotten a win here.
-- Ed Upson is named to the league 1 team of the week.
After lots of scouting and debating on whether to even try to bring in someone new, we take a shot buying DC James Chester from League 2 side Blackpool for $16,000. He's valued at $22k. Blackpool got relegated out of League 1 last year, Chester had spent the last 3 years in League 1 putting up ratings between 6.95 and 7.15.
DC seems the one position where I will take a technical guy over an athlete, at least I hope that's how it works out, because this guy isn't exactly constantino running around out there. Pace 9/accel 7, Balance 10, Strength 11, lower than we'll usually even consider. He's solid mentally, Positioning 17 is a huge factor, Work Rate 14, Determination, Decision making, concentration, bravery all are 12-15. But here's why we signed him: Heading 14, Marking 15, Tackling 16. We don't have anyone like that. We don't have anyone CLOSE to that in our defense. So he won't be chasing down speedy attackers out near the midfield but he should be an extremely solid anchor in our defense.
Chester is 27 years old and will make $3900/wk for us.
-- The fans are thrilled at this new signing.
Kevin Lynch is hurt in training, he's out 5-8 days. He might miss 1 match, and if he does, our backup might be travelling with the Welsh U21 squad, and if that's the case, we might as well forfiet.
-- We play 5 league matches in september, on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 27th. We won't play in the FA Cup this month, the qualifying stuff from lower leagues is still going on, but we might have a Johnstone's Paint Trophy match.
-- Constantino is second in the League One Young Player of the Month Voting.
-- Harsanyi's goal in our last match where he received a pass in his own halfof the field and took it all the way to the penalty area himself before scoring was voted the best goal in League One this month! Constantino had a great individual effort against Bradford that was #2.
-- The board is pleased with my leadership. Bringing in Colin is once again the best news and Mike Williams leaving the team remains a downer. We lost $79k last month.
Johnstone's Paint Trophy South Round 2 Draw
We'll be playing at home against League 1 Swindon, the team we just tied after they got a red card. This match won't be played until Oct 4th.
September 3rd, 2016
Mansfield(0-2-3, 23rd) @ Woking(2-2-1, 6th)
That's right, our respectable start has us all the way up in 6th place. Mansfield were in the BS Premier league in 08/09 and quickly moved up to League 1, they've been here since the 12/13 season. They've been inconsistent in League 1, last season they were a playoff team finishing 6th, but were 17th the year before. We're actually favored here, 5:4 vs Mansfield's 7:4. We played a friendly 7 years ago, our only meeting.
David Berry is a guy off the street basically. Lynch with a short term injury and Jason James out on international duty is going to cost us this game. We had a 3rd keeper on the reserve squad but I didn't like him any and hadn't given him a full time deal and he signed with a BSP team about 2 weeks ago. I didn't even think it noteworthy. Oops.
New defender James Chester will get his first start today. We're going to attack under the idea that we basically have to outscore these guys.
6': Throwin for us in their end, they clear it out long and the ball goes straight to Marc near midfield... and he whiffs trying to send it back in. They have an attacker nearby and with the massive massive mistake by Marc their attcker gets to charge after the ball and take it into the area all by himself unopposed. Easy goal. 0-1
17': Nice buildup for Woking, a throwin near midfield, passes between Paulo and Upson and Nikolaou position us nicely, its sent foward to Harsanyi, he plays it to Constantino at the edge of the penalty area, Constantino is one on one against a defender and he makes him miss a tackle, takes a step foward and buries a shot by the keeper! 1-1
21': They have a little 2 on 2 with our two DC's, Chester makes a nice tackle on an attacker, but the ball goes right to the other attacker, while Chester is still recovering from the tackle it turns into a give and go, there's a shot, Berry makes the stop but there's a rebound and they put the rebound in. 1-2
26': Harsanyi has it 35 yards out, he cuts right and plays a great ball into the area, Colin runs onto it and the defense is just not there, awful timing by the defense, Colin has a pretty poor first touch but the keeper stayed back, allowing Colin to recover and put it by the keeper! 2-2
30': N'Guessan to Constantino for a goal but he's severely offsides. This is craziness though.
35': Our defense is just falling down without Lynch back there to direct them... they earn a corner, its taken into the 6 yard box, Ogogo makes a really poor challenge on a header and they score. 2-3
40': There's a battle for possession in the midfield, Chester intercepts a pass and sends a long ball foward, Constantino beats a defender to the ball, controls it perfectly with his first touch just inside the penalty area and scores!!! The defender is blamed for missing a header on the long ball allowing that goal. 3-3
48': We have a corner, Upson takes it to Chester in the near side of the area, Chester is tackled, and its a penalty! Upson to take the penalty and he buries it. 4-3
HALF: We have 9 shots, 5 on target, 4 clear cut strikes, 4 goals. They have 7 shots, 5 on target, 3 clear cut chances and 3 goals. This is insane!!! Possession is pretty even, just we're seeing huge numbers of mistakes and keepers that can't come up big ever.
58': Mickael Colin is hurt, he can finish out the game but it shows as a legit injury which always has us worried about the postgame reports. He's staying in though his fitness didn't really drop.
60': We give up two corners before clearing the ball away. We've gone 15 minutes without a goal on either side.
63': Another Mansfield attack, we clear a ball behind for a corner, Paulo easily clears the corner out.
65': Defender Manny Smith gets a yellow for tackling Harsanyi. The free kick is just outside the area all the way to the left, its crossed in but cleared. We recover the clearance and push it back in, Colin makes a nice run in the area through a crowded defense but loses the ball when he tries to lay it off for Constantino.
70': Subotic in for Colin, Harsanyi moves to AML, Subotic up front. Zatara in for N'Guessan.
73': We allow a through ball and an open shot from the left side of the area, Berry makes a nice stop though!
76': Marc is hurt defending a throwin and making a tackle, we'll check on him after the match.
86': Guy off the street stops clear cut chance!! They generate a quick attack, playing in a cross from the left side that we aren't in position for, there's a shot form 10 yards out but Berry gets down and makes a save to turn it behind! Corner is cleared.
We kill off the last few minutes and a full 4 minutes of extra time.
Woking 4 : 3 Mansfield
I think my attacking idea was the right one, we had to simply outscore these guys and we managed to do so.
Man of the Match: Harsanyi (8.8)
Goals: Constantino 2 (8.8), Colin (7.4), Upson (7.3)
Assists: Harsanyi 2, Chester 2 (6.9)
Everyone in the defense put up 6.8-6.9 numbers, which is really not bad for giving up 3 goals.
Colin is out for 2 weeks with a thigh injury "after miskicking the ball" ... way to go buddy!
September 10th, 2016
Woking(3-2-1, 5th) @ Dag & Red(1-3-2, 19th)
Dag & Red are off to a slow start and we seem to be getting a bit lucky getting some of the lower teams here early on. They are 6:4 favorites, we're 13:8, basically an even matchup on the road. We played these guys one year in League 2 and once in the johnstone's paint trophy. We're 0-1-2 against them, twice losing 3:2 thrillers.
Harsanyi AML, Subotic starts at forward today. I give Vince Taylor + James Chester a try at DC, and of course, Lynch is healthy again and starts immediately. We'll set out defending today.
5': Dag & Red with a nice buildup, there's a through ball to the right side but we recover nicely and close down, there's a backpass and a shot that's blocked.
16': We have only seen a couple of these highlights but Dag & Red has 6 shots to our none so far.
31': Upson is hurt and then Paulo is hurt, neither in highlights, neither are bad but both our MC's are a bit slowed at least for now.
44': Another shot blocked, Taylor seems to be playing a great game today, we're defending non stop and Taylor isn't letting any through ball lead to a good look and is all over the place.
47': They clear out a ball after Constantino tries ot make something happen. Taylor wins a header in midfield to send it right back forward. Its played right to constantino 25 yards out, he turns by one man and charges into the area, another defender closes down but there's a shot before a stop can be made and its by the helpless keeper!!! 1-0
HALF: So Dag & Red shoots 10 times, but only puts 1 on target. 5 are from long range, but it feels like they have constant pressure on us. We only manage one single shot, in extra time, and we are in the lead 1-0 at the half. We actually have a 56/44 possession edge despite the rest of the stats. I feel like we need to keep defending but I'm not sure we can withstand 10 more shots in the second half. We'll look to come out of our shell if they continue this kind of barrage, even if its all from long range.
51': Upson makes a nice tackle in our defensive half to generate a bit of an attack, but they tackle Harsanyi as he receives a ball forward, it goes behind for a corner and we can't do anything there.
55': An example of just letting in too many attacks, they finally generate a shot after a through ball, its contested and Lynch makes a solid stop, there's a rebound but Taylor is there and clears it safely. But they're already up to 13 shots and just keep piling on the pressure.
63': I bring in midfielder Simon Ferry for Subotic. I switch to a formation with a DMC and only Constantino at striker.
74': We've only allowed one long shot since making our last sub. Highlights are still them on offense but our defense is just playing great today, and with Ferry back there too they just can't seem to generate a shot.
84': O'Sullivan in for a tired Paulo.
91': We get a couple attacks but they clear after a corner and get a counter attack. its just 2 on 4 but they get an extra man down the side... there's a pass out wide, a cross, and they finally win a header, I swear it looks like its going in slow motion and is going to go in, but it hits the crossbar and bounces back into the area where Chester makes a clutch clearance.
We hold on for the win!!
Dag & Red 0 : 1 Woking
We aren't quite built to win these kinds of matches, we're built to attack hard to keep our defense easy, today we did the opposite and I debated many times switching to a more attacking mindset but never pulled the trigger and we managed to hold on.
Dag & Red shot an incredible 17 times, but they only put 2 shots on target. 9 were from long range and they just couldn't find the range today. We only shot twice, once in the first half for the goal, once in the second half. Vince Taylor is a god today. He makes 9 interceptions, wins 18 headers, 5 of them deemed key.
Man of the Match: Vince Taylor (8.5)
Goal: Constantino (7.3)
Assist: Vince Taylor
Notables: Ogogo (7.1), Nikolaou (7.1)
James Chester spent much of the game with a 5.9 rating or so. He made some key plays late and ends up with a 6.8, but he only won 1 out of 7 headers he contested, that seems really bad!
7 matches in we sit in 3rd place, we've scored 13 goals, 7 of them from Constantino. He's not the best player in the league, but he is the leading scorer so far!
-- Vince Taylor is picked to the league 1 team of the week.
September 17th, 2016
Woking(4-2-1, 3rd) @ Milwall(1-5-1, 15th)
Milwall are even money favorites today, we're 11:5 to get a win. Milwall made it up to the championship for the 10/11 season but otherwise has spent the last 10 years in Leauge 1, mostly as a mid-table team, finishing 14th/11th/18th/10th the last 4 seasons. 5 draws in their first 7 matches points towards a similar likely outcome this year. This will be our first meeting.
A few changes today, we go back to Taylor/Marc at DC and give Alcock his first action after his injury at DR. O'Sullivan starts over Paulo today just for a change of pace, and Zatara is in at AML, Harsanyi back to foward. Millwall plays a crazy defensive 4-1-4-1 formation with a DMC and 4 midfielders. Standard mindset today.
14': Best look of the amtch so far as Upson crosses in to N'Guessan after a throwin, he puts a header just over. There are 2 shots by each team so far, all off target.
16': Constantino has it in the area and is tackled... but the ref decides its a dive and Constantino gets a yellow.
22': N'Guessan goes down with an injury, he's ok to stay in but his fitness levels are hurt a bit.
27': Zatara receives a pass in the box but its tackled behind for a corner before he can make a move. First corner is headed behind for a second, the second one is taken to Vince Taylor who just misses high with a shot.
30': Upson plays a ball foward to Harsanyi who fires a rocket from 20 yards out, the keeper makes a save, the first on target shot by either team, and it was a pretty dangerous one.
37': A long buildup where we can't really find an opening to generate a good look. Zatara shoots and earns us a corner. Upson takes the corner to the far end of the 6 yard box, O'Sullivan gets his head to it and its actually considered a clear cut chance... and he heads it wide. The keeper was out of position and he as just literally 3-4 yards away, oof.
44': One of their men get a yellow, Vince Taylor is hurt on the tackle. He can stay in but he's got the legit injury icon and we'll see if its long term afterwards.
HALF: We're pretty solidly in control here but with no goal we have to be worried. Constantino has a poor 5.7 rating but we've seen that change quickly after poor halves with off target shots. We have a huge 59/41 possession edge and 10 shots, but only 1 is on target. They only have 2 shots, also both off target and both from long range, one was a poor free kick, I didn't see the other.
47': We're going to attack harder, our easy control of possession so far makes me want to put more pressure on them.
48': O'Sullivan is hurt, he can stay in just like Taylor but I'm going to pull him for Paulo soon.
58': Paulo is in.
61': We open a highlight with Harsanyi charging down the left side, dodging a tackle and earning us a corner. We can't do anything with the corner but maintain control after a clear. We pass it back to Lynch and slowly build up. Paulo ends up after a long buildup pplaying a great ball to N'Guessan charging in from the right, he has our 3rd clear cut chance of the day but puts what does seem like a very easy shot wide...
76': They have it in our end and we struggle to clear, Alcock tries a header out of the area but its not strong, they get to it and head it across the area from the right to the left, there's another weak header foward and a 3rd weak header that is just inches out of lynch's reach, 4 very weak slow headers in a row that sees the last one just loft in inches over Lynch's outstretched arms... 0-1
90': Paulo plays a ball up to Harsanyi, he turns and shoots from 20 yards out, its barely, really, just barely saved and turned over for a corner. Upson takes the corner and plays a cross to the far edge of the 6 yard box, Marc is there, as is a defender, Marc gets up higher though and gets his head to it, he directs it on target and beats the keeper!!! 1-1
94': The last play we see is a corner from Millwall, we tackle it nicely away and that's the match.
Millwall 1 : 1 Woking
This is a bit of a mixed bag. Its a road draw against a team that was favored over us pretty heavily, but we also dominated the first half and couldn't find a lead, so we ended up giving up a semi-freak goal and having to make a last minute comeback. We should have won here, but we have to be happy with the point.
Man of the Match: Marc (8.6)
Assist: Upson (7.7)
Notables: Nikolaou (7.3)
Lots of average play. constantino ended up with a 6.5 after a poor start. Marc was spectacular in defense, winning 5 tackles and 14 headers in 17 tries, 7 key headers and making 6 interceptoins.
-- Mickael Colin is back to full training and will be starting again soon. We're looking foward to that.
-- The league cup is into its 3rd round and this week League 1 Stockport has upset West Brom of the EPL on the road, pretty big win there!
September 24th, 2016
Rochdale(4-1-3, 7th) @ Woking(4-3-1, 4th)
We are even money favorites at home today against a Rochdale team that promoted up with us last year, they won the playoffs in league 2. They're off to a great start just like we are and sit in 7th place. We have a great 5-0-2 record against Rochdale. Every single win is a 1:0 win, all of these matches were in league 2 except for one meeting in the FA Cup.
Rochdale are led by Will Buckley who has 6 goals, just one fewer than Constantino in league play. He's playing the right midfield role in a 4-4-2 formation today, he's also capable at Striker. I think we're starting our best 11 today, Ogogo is back in, Paulo and Colin.
We set our orders to tackle Buckley hard and we will attack.
10': Paulo is inside the midfield circle when he plays a long ball into the area, N'Guessan is there and has a shot from a tough angle, its saved, but that's the first shot of the game and was a really really nice ball from Paulo.
15': Constantino plays a through ball to Harsnayi but his shot is poor and way over.
19': We have a throwin in their end, Paulo ends up putting a ball into the area for Constantino who controls it beautifully between their two DC's and fires a shot before they can close down, he beats the keeper and we take the lead! 1-0
30': We play a ball into the area for colin, they clear it out and we set up, Vince Taylor passes it up to Constantino, he turns and jukes a defender, these defenders are completely outclassed here, Constantino just goes right by his man and calmly puts it by the helpless keeper. 2-0
38': They pass it up ahead to Buckley, he makes our D look almost as bad as Constantino is making their defense look... he burns Taylor and beats Lynch pretty easily. 2-1
39': We pass it 3 times afte rkickoff... Taylor to Pualo to Harsanyi to Constantino, Constantino runs onto the ball nicely and its again just like the defense isn't even there as he runs into the area and burns the keeper. Its a hat trick! 3-1
HALF: The individual play of Constantino to get such easy shots today i really didn't think I would see in this league, even against a team that was in League 2 with us last year. Constantino is just an amazing individual player and he's clearly just as deadly in League 1 as he was in League 2. Rochdale's goal by Buckley is their only shot. We have an amazing 66/34 possession edge, we're passing, tackling, and heading extremely well, better than them by huge margins.
47': They get a through ball to a foward, Marc is blamed for missnig an interception, but Lynch makes a great spot, its a clear cut chance and they really needed to score there. Nikolaou clears it out for a throwin and we defend that well.
54': They commit two fouls as we build up on offense, the second one gives us a free kick at the right corner of the penalty area, Upson sends it in but they head it out. We recover and build up on offense again, but they clear for a second time successfully.
61': they earn a corner and are beginning to attack a bit more, the corner is a dangerous one, a header is put by Lynch but vince Tayor clears it off the line.
62': We change to a defensive mindset, they are starting to pressure a lot more as I mentioned and we need to hold this off.
70': Upson gets a yellow.
74': Chester is in for Harsanyi. Chester moves to DC, Taylor to DMC, just Constantino up front.
79': N'Guessan makes a run down the right side, he plays a great cross up for Constantino, but Constantino's first touch is poor, this should ahve been an easy 4th goal but instead he runs with the ball basically into the keeper.
82': Ogogo is hurt, he can stay in but is listed as injured.
86': Ferry in for Paulo (this is a bit of a defense for offense sub in the midfield since Ferry is a natural DMC), Alcock in for Ogogo.
We play well and don't allow any strong attacks towards the end.
Woking 3 : 1 Rochdale
Man of the Match: Constantino (9.5)
Goals: Constantino 3
Assists: Paulo (8.2), Taylor (8.0), Harsanyi (7.4)
Notables: Ogogo (7.4), Nikolaou (7.0), Marc (7.3), N'Guessan (7.1), Colin (7.0)
The Chester signing I think gives us some pretty powerful options like we employed today. This is an offensive team, I want to score goals, Upson, Paulo, Constantino, Colin, and Harsanyi can generate crazy offense and so far it seems that potential remains in League 1. That's what I want to do most of the time, even on the road.
That said, I think when we need to play periods of clutch defense, the ability to run Chester/Marc as DCs, Vince Taylor at DMC, and Simon Ferry at MC instead of Paulo or O'Sullivan gives me a stronger defense than i've ever had before. I could even put Alcock at DR and Ogogo at AMR if I wanted and I think we can play some great defense that way.
-- Ogogo "suffered a strained neck" and is going to miss 8-10 days.
Impressive start to the League 1 season.
I keep wanting to get into FM but never have managed it.
-- Paulo and Constantino are named into the League 1 team of the week this week.
September 27th, 2016
Southend(3-4-2, 10th) @ Woking(5-3-1, 3rd)
This is Southend's 5th year in League 1. Their best finish is 9th, last season they were 17th. Its going to be our first ever meeting. We're slim 6:4 favorites compared to their 13:8 today at home. This will be our only game of the month on short rest. Our scouts identify AML Shane Kelly as their most dangerous threat. That's a name that should sound familier, we got him on loan from QPR last year and he played 16 matches for us behind Colin. He's still with QPR but on loan to Southend this year. Of course, when I get to the starting lineups I see that Kelly isn't starting today, but I see another name I instantly recognize, ST Mark Cullen. We loaned him from Hull for two seasons in a row when we were in the BS Premier League. He played 49 matches for us and scored 23 goals. He is starting today.
We just make a couple changes on short rest today, Rhoys Wiggins gets a start at DL and Imad Zatara starts at AMR.
7': We have a free kick from 30 yards out. Upson takes it and fires a blistering shot around the wall, it bends just enough and finds an opening in the right side of the net, goal!!! 1-0
10': They attack quickly after our goal, there's a through ball to attacker Pepper, he is behind the defense when he receives the pass and quickly puts it past Lynch. The entire defense feels its offside... it was close. 1-1
23': Constantino receives a pass on our side of midfield and begins a long run, he blows by a man down the right side and makes his way to the right corner before putting a cross into the 6 yard box, the keeper doesn't come out for it, they haev a defender miss a header, and Colin is there to put it into the net! 2-1
26': Upson passes the ball to Harsanyi 30 yards out.. he makes a man miss and heads to the penalty area, the same defender recovers and tries a second tackle, missing again, Harsanyi is now at the penalty spot and sends a low shot by the keeper for another goal! 3-1
39': Wiggins makes a really nice tackle to stop a midfielder streaking up the right sideline, he plays a ball back to Vince Taylor who sends it long.. Harsanyi isthe first one to the ball, he plays it forward with his first touch and sprints after it, recovering it in the penalty area, he fires a shot... and its off the crossbar, so close to a 4th goal!
44': Paulo with a pass to Harsanyi, he plays a ball into the area from 30 yards out, Constantino runs onto it and easily buries it... and is called offsides. I dunno, wow that was close. I watched it again at a slower speed, that was REALLY close. But its disallowed.
HALF: Southend do manage 6 shots in the half, putting 2 on target, but just the one goal. We shoot 9 times, 5 on target, only one clear cut chance, we're making some great plays to get these goals today it seems. Possession is even and the stats are pretty close to even though we're passing a little better, we are just making some classy plays on a couple of these goals.
46': Wiggins gets a yellow for a foul on their right midfielder. Its way out wide, the free kick is crossed in, and they put a header over the bar.
60': Paulo gets a ball foward to Constantino, he turns by a defender in the area and fires a shot, just wide... surprised it wasn't considered a clear cut chnce.
62': They get on the attack quickly, there's a through ball to Cullen and he has it and really should score here, but he doesn't place the shot well enough and Lynch makes a solid save.
64': they have a throwin near midfield, Colin steals the ball immediately and we have a bit of a break, Colin makes his way down the left sdie, we've got two men in the area, there's a cross to Paulo, and he's tackled in the area... its a penalty!! Upson takes it and buries it. 4-1
68': Ferry in for Upson, Subotic in for Constantino, both subs to rest key players with this lead.
72': They have a counterattack after stealing it from Zatara, there's a long run, their man takes it out wide, pulling three defenders out there somehow...there's a cross, a header, and its by Lynch and in... and called offsides. That surprises me, I thought they had a goal here.
74': Paulo was hurt, and was in fact receiving treatment during that last breakaway by Southend. I bring O'Sullivan in for him, using my last sub.
80': We'll defend the final 10 minutes.
90': Their striker Pepper receives a pass about 22 yards out and fires a shot immediately, Lynch wasn't ready for it and he gets it into the net. 4-2
That'll do it!
Woking 4 : 2 Southend
Man of the Match: Zoltan Harsanyi (9.0)
Goals: Upson 2 (8.8), Harsanyi, Colin (7.7)
Assists: Harsanyi, Upson, Paulo (7.7), Constantino (6.8)
Notables: Taylor (7.1)
The defense was average today, but the offense was spectacular. Upson's free kick was beautiful, as was the run and cross to Colin. Constantino just missed a couple times as well.
-- Leicester in the Championship has fired their coach and I'm considered the leading contender. I go out of my way to tell the press I'm not interested. On the same day AFC Bournemouth in League 1 fires their coach and I'm the leading contender. I make sure everyone knows I'm not interested there.
its weird, I had a rather long dynasty years and years ago, like in the 02/03 version, the whole marriage thing sent FM to the side, I wasn't willing to make this the big timesink I committed to. I bought it again in 08 and 09 and hardly ever played it, never got into it. For whatever reason I made it stuck this time around and have obviously really enjoyed it.
My scouts recommend a 19 year old, ST Bob Green. I almost never make signings for the future, but that's pretty much what this is. Green's physical attributes are all in the 11-12 range, he's got solid flair (14) and influence (14), Teamwork and Work Rate (15/12). He's a poor passer (4) but can finish real well (14) and dribble well (11). He's not much right now, but he was not playing for anyone, only wants $400/wk, and I'll either play him on the reserve squad or loan him out. I won't be paying him much, right now my coaches say he'd just be our 6th best striker but that his potential is sky high. This is basically the first time I've ever tried to make an investment in a player, hoping he'll either develop into someone we can use, or develop some value so we can make some cash selling him down the road.
-- We play on the 1st, 4th, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th. Our match on the 4th is the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Should we win that we may play again in October.
-- Constantino is 3rd in the Young Player of the Month voting for September.
-- I am the manager of the month for September! We went 4-0-1.
-- The board is delighted with my leadership, and mostly pleased with our league 1 performance. Mike Williams departure is still the only negative to mention. We lost $65k last month.
Some nice notes this month, worth mentioning.
-- Stelios Nikolaou's Composure(13), Decision Making(10), Off The Ball(8), Positioning(12) have all improved recently. He's one of my most reliable players and seeing him improve is thrilling.
-- Backup/Young Keeper Jason James Aerial Ability(6) and Strength(7) improve.
-- 32 y/o Imad Zatara shows improvements in his First Touch (13), Free kick Taking (9), Long Throws(7), Marking(6), Penalty Taking (9), Technique(12), Composure(11), Positioning(7), Acceleration(11), Agility(9).
Zatara's improvements are odd since he's 32. Is that a "getting back into shape" recovery of skills maybe?
October 1st, 2016
Woking(6-3-1, 2nd) @ Gillingham(5-3-2, 4th)
Gillingham are slim 6:4 favorites today, we're 13:8, almost even, we are pretty darn happy about that seeing that they're in 4th place right now. Do we really belong in the playoff race in League 1? Gillingham spent one year in the Championship but got relegated immediately. Their last 3 seasons in Leauge One showed finishes of 8th, 2nd and 5th. They're a good team for this level. We've never met before.
Gillingham is led by Simeon Jackson with 8 goals, a 29 y/o Canadian worth $1.2 million. This is the type of guy and type of value we don't have access to and may well be the difference between our chanes to advance and Gillingham's. He's not on loan, he's a member of a league 1 squad worth over $1 Mil. Also on Gillingham is AML Antonio German. Another player who we loaned in for one season, he was a key player for us in one of our BS Premier Seasons.
On our side, Nikolaou an N'Guessan start again today after a game off. Today Chester starts for Marc and O'Sullivan starts for Paulo. We'll defend on the road today.
10': Three highlights, all three we make a poor pass, they use superior speed to get someone in range to intercept, they quickly pass foward and take a long shot. The third time, their star Simeon Jackson fires a rocket from 30 yards out that bends into the net.. 0-1
16': Mickael Colin is hurt... his fitness is mostly ok but he's got the injury mark, we'll see how he does.
28': Midfielder Weston gets a yellow for tackling Harsanyi.
36': Our first shot that I get to see a highlight of, Colin gets down the left side, crosses into the area, and N'Guessan puts it over.
HALF: Can we do better than this? Gillingham shoot 9 times, 5 from range but 5 on target. We end up managing 5 shots but all off target, only two were worthy of highlights that I even got to see. The highlights I'm seeing make Gillingham look stronger, faster, and simply better by a large margin. But its only 1-0. We have a big edge in posession, 62/38. What i've seen of that so far is that whenever gillingham get the ball they can very very quickly get it into position for a reasonable shot. We'll keep trying though!
53': Constantino runs around the offensive end with the ball for quite awhile looking for something, eventually he makes his way to the end line on the left side and crosses it in, N'Guessan is there with a very weak header, its on target though, our first on target shot, just no power behind it at all.
55': They control it in their offensive end forever, Jackson can just run around with the ball for as long as he wants whenever he gets it, they get two shots that are blocked and we clear out a couple crosses, each time they send it back foward right away, we finally make a clearance.
70': N'Guessan gets a yellow.
75': Midfielder Lewis for Gillingham gets a yellow. Zatara in for Colin, Paulo in for O'Sullivan.
80': Lets try to attack and see if we can come up with anything the rest of the way.
82': Subotic in for an exhausted Harsanyi
85': Vince Taylor picks up an injury, we'll check on it postagme.
One last highlight of a very long shot for Gillingham before it ends.
Gillingham 1 : 0 Woking
We shot one time in the second half, a super weak header that had zero chance unless the keeper slipped and fell over.
Notables: Lynch (7.2), Taylor (7.1)
This team was just better than us, and watching the match it didn't feel remotely close. This felt like a team that we do not yet have the resources to compete with. They started 4 players valued more than anyone on our team who make more than the max salary i'm allowed to offer.
Vince Taylor will miss 2 weeks with a thigh strain he picked up today. Mickael Colin is fine.
New Signing Update
So I signed this guy with a lot of pretty numbers to a $400/wk "hot prospect" contract. I mentioned that I hoped his value might approach something useful if he plays well out on loan, etc. Well, he comes in and is immediately valued at $140,000! That's currently more than anyone else on the team. I'm not really hurting for cash so I'm not itching to sell him, but at the same time, Woking isn't exactly the type of place to fully develop players either. Something to keep an eye on perhaps.
I would agree about that player showing get back into shape improvements. Was my first through when I read he'd gained skills at 32.
-- QPR tried to give us a midfielder on loan but since we've already used up our long term loans for the year we can't take anyone new. Upson/Paulo/O'Sullivan are working great anyway.
October 4th, 2016
Johnstone's Paint Trophy South Second Round
Swindon(24th, L1) @ Woking(4th, L1)
We played Swindon to a 2:2 draw on the road in one of our earlier League 1 Matches. It was a weird match though, it felt like they were the better team, but they had a man sent off. This will be our 4th ever meeting, we're 0-1-2, with the two losses in cup matches in 2014 and 2015. We're even money favorites today, i'm a bit skeptical after what I saw in our first match.
Ogogo is back from injury but not quite ready yet. Taylor is hurt so we get Chester and Marc in the back. Zatara starts for N'Guessan today because he's going to be out on international duty for a bit after this so we give N'Guessan a rest today to prepare. We attack today.
14': Cross comes in from Colin after a run down the left, Zatara is at the far end of the 6 yard box and heads it... off the crossbar, close!
30': We've taken 6 shots but I've only seen a couple, only 1 on target, 3 from long range. We've only allowed one off target shot. They're trying a lot of through balls whenever I see highlights in our defensive end but Marc and Chester are doing a good job back there.
40': We control it for a good long while, Constantino makes a run that earns us a corner, we put the ball into the area many times, 5 or 6 times between crosses and putting clearances back in to try to find a shot... and tehre's just nothing there. Eventually they finally clear the ball away and possess it.
HALF: Constantino and Chester are struggling a lot here. Chester has been a pretty big disappointment so far, maybe the physical skills are bringing him way down. Nothing has changed from my 30 minute update, we have 6 shots, just 1 on target, they only have 1 shot that was blocked. We have a nice 58/42 possession edge but we really haven't generated anything that looked like a really good chance outside of Zatara's header off the bar.
52': Upson plays a wild long ball forward from the midfield... they have two defenders there, but constantino comes in and steals the ball away! I dunno what he's supposed to do here, it is basically a 1 on 5 situation, Constantino runs into the area, and he's brought down, penalty given! Upson takes the penalty and buries it. What a weird, weird sequence. 1-0
66': Ferry comes in for Harsanyi and we drop into a more defensive formation, Ferry DMC, just Constantino foward. We drop back into a standard mindset from attacking.
71': Paulo is hurt, his fitness drops like a rock and he needs a treatment of a number of minutes off the pitch.
75': O'Sullivan is in for the injured Paulo
81': Constantino makes a tackle in our defensive end, about 30 yards out, but can't clear the ball away, they recover, our defensive line is well set but they put a through ball into the area and its like we're asleep, this one is on chester... their forward Austin runs onto it and beats Lynch, evening the match late. 1-1
81': Back to attacking.
That's it, no more highlights on either side, we're going straight to penaltis here.
Swindon: Porter lines up, shoots to the right side, goal. 0-1
Woking: Ferry is up, he shoots slightly left of the keeper, not well placed, and its saved. 0-1
Swindon: Kinsella puts it in the left side of the net, no chance. 0-2
Woking: Colin steps up and buries it to the left of the keeper. 1-2
Swindon: Milsom is up, he goes left, into the back corner. 1-3
Woking: Constantino takes his turn, low to the right, its in. 2-3
Swindon: Vangeli is up, he sends it right... its the closest one yet, Lynch dives, but just barely misses. 2-4
Woking: Zatara steps up, he has to score here... but he doesn't, the keeper saves.
So disappointing, we were better all day, HEY THIS LOOKS FAMILIER KINDA. We shoot 12 times, control 60% of the possession, adn only allow 2 shots all match. We just totally dominated except they got their one goal and we couldn't finish more than one chance of ours. Penalties come up and we fail pretty hard.
Woking 1 : 1 Swindon (2-4 on Penalties)
Just a really disappointing result for us.
Man of the Match: Marc (7.3)
Goal: Upson (7.1)
Assist: Constantino (7.2)
Notables: Alcock (7.0), Colin (7.0)
James Chester is terrible today, winning only 3 of 11 headers and ending up with a 5.6 rating.
Paulo is going to miss 2 weeks with a thigh injury picked up late in today's match.
-- Zoltan Harsanyi is going to tutor my new young Striker Bob Green.
October 8th, 2016
Preston(4-5-2, 8th) @ Woking(6-3-2, 4th)
Preston are slim 5:4 favorites at our place today, we're 7:4. This will be our first meeting. Preston is at a pretty low point, from 2000 to 2010 they were in the championship league. In the 09/10 season they actually finshed 3rd, 2 points away from auto promotion and the favorites in the playoffs, so they were that close to promoting to the EPL. The next season they finished 23rd and were demoted into League 1. 11/12 they won league 1, 12/13 they got demoted, 13/14 they won league 1, 14/15 they got demoted. Last year they fell apart and finished 19th in League 1 and are now fighting for playoff position. Very interesting history, it must be so painful to get that close to the EPL and then fall out of even the #2 league.
Paulo and Taylor are injured and backup GK James and Zatara are out on international duty. O'Sullivan starts at MC for Paulo. We attack at home.
3': Its a quick clear cut chance as Colin and Harsanyi work a give and go and Harsanyi gets a shot from about 8 yards out off to the left, he puts it way high though.
9': Free kick from 30 yards out, Upson takes it and fires a shot but its just over the bar, close.
17': We shoot from long range and earn a corner, Chester shoots on the corner and its blocked behind for a second corner, Chester shoots again after the second corner and they clear. We ahve 6 early shots but just one on target.
29': we build up a bit, harsanyi with a ball foward for Constantino, he's wide open,takes his time and scores but I think he knew how far offsides he was... yep, no goal there.
32': Upson has it 40 yards out, his man tries to go for a tackl, Upson recovers and puts a quick ball into the area, Colin scoots in behidn the defense and gets a great look, he shoots low to the left and beats the keeper! 1-0 Great control and great pass from Upson.
Just one highlight of a corner for Preston the rest of the way, we take a 1-0 lead into the locker room.
HALF: This is a lot like our Swindon match except we found a goal with our early dominance today. We have a 58/42 possession edge with 8 shots, 3 on target. We only allow 2 long range off target shots to Preston. Preston is tackling well but otherwise we have the edge all over the place.
56': Preston get their first on target shot, a cross in from the left and a header that Lynch picks up pretty easily.
70': we clear a ball out of the defensive end, N'Guessan controls it and avoids a tackle, he sends a long ball up ahead to Constantino, he's about 25 yards out, he blows by a defender but cuts out a little wide to the right. He pulls up and fires from a very tough angle, sending it perfectly across to the far post, by the keeper and in the side of the net!!! 2-0
75': A preston attack, they get a midfielder in the right side of the area, he gets down to the end line and crosses, there's a header, Ogogo lost it, he was right there, but the header is off the crossbar, Lynch jumped for it and is out of position, they get a man to the rebound first and pass it into the open side of the net before Lynch can recover. 2-1
75': Wiggins in for Nikolaou, Paterson in for Harsanyi, Ferry in for O'Sullivan.
83': We give up a corner, they take it, Marc jumps for a header, he's deemed to have fouled his man, its a penalty... they bury the penalty and we just collapsed pretty badly here! 2-2
No more highlights the rest of the way.
Woking 2 : 2 Preston
I set up my 3 subs to come in a couple minutes before that first goal, the subs were mostly done to get some lesser used players in for a comfortable 2:0 win. They come in and then there's the penalty. Very disappointing play at the end by our guys.
Man of the Match: constantino (8.3)
Goals: Constantino, Colin (7.5)
Assists: Upson (8.0), N'Guessan(7.0)
Notables: O'Sullivan (7.0)
James Chester wins 3 of 8 headers and puts up a 6.4 rating, easily the lowest on the team. I thought I had a great signing here but Chester has been really really frustrating.
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