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Old 03-03-2014, 12:03 AM   #251
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. March 30, 2022

UEFA Champions League - Quarterfinal Leg 1
Barcelona vs. Dover
Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain

Betting Odds: Barcelona: 4-7 (Favourites) Draw: 5-2 Dover: 4-1
Past Meetings: 1W 1D 0L

Well, here we go! We've made it way further than we could possibly imagine and now we're facing Spanish powerhouse Barcelona, the biggest club in the world by estimated value. We played them in the Group Stages and incredibly went undefeated, tying them in Spain and winning convincingly 5-2 at home. They are in third place right now in LIGA BBVA behind Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid so they'll be battling the rest of the season to ensure they reach the Champions League once again in 2022/23. We are 4-1 dogs today, slightly better than the last time we faced them in Spain, as we were 9-2 that day.

Pascal Reinhardt is one of the great players in football right now and he'll be the key man for us to stop. Midfielder Enzo Zidane, just purchased from Manchester City last year, has 11 goals in 35 appearances to sit second on the team scoring list. Tim Stark, another midfielder, fetched an incredible £48 million for Juventus in the July transfer window and he has scored 5 goals in 36 games so far for Barca. Another midfielder, Spanish-Canadian Juan Ramon Vazquez was brought in from Palermo two years ago for the ungodly sum of £55 million, the largest transfer fee in this gaming universe thus far. He has 8 goals so far this year from an attacking left midfield position. Barca are stacked everywhere.

We have some major injury and suspension issues to fight through today - top midfielder Neil Cairney will miss today's game due to yellow card accumulation and our constant at right fullback, vice-captain Salim Loucif is still injured. Therefore, we'll be playing Mancini in Cairney's spot and Jozef Kuciak will play DR. Also, I'm giving 18 year old Paul Moses his first ever Continental start at striker alongside captain Wayne Rooney. Moses deserves the start after his fine recent play. Zoltan Bardi will be on the bench, as will Shanon Andrea, who is still not match fit after his three month recovery from a torn hamstring. We'll play a flat 4-4-2 counter attacking mentality today and hope to keep things tight.

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, J. Kuciak
M - A. Bamba, Mancini, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - P. Moses, W. Rooney
Bench - P. Tjiuoro, A. Kokaina, S. Nasri, K. Kalfas, A. Zubizarreta, Z. Bardi, S. Andrea

Barca are in their 4-2-3-1 formation with Reinhardt up front and Lionel Messi is actually starting at AMR! My assistant feels I should tell them we can win tonight and I go with it but pull aside Mancini to tell him I have faith in his ability.

2' - A good start, as we win a corner and after the ball gets sent back out to Andrea Rocca, he unleashes a hard shot that is turned behind the net by Barca keeper Mariano Borrelli. We get another corner and Claudio Contreras heads just over. Good start!

10' - We've completely dominated the first ten minutes and get another corner that Rayane Hamon heads toward goal. It's blocked away by one of Barca's defenders. What an encouraging start!

13' - Renato Gaucho fouls Messi just outside our area (thankfully) and is given a yellow. I believe he'll miss our home match against Barca as a result.

23' - Barcelona are starting to take the play to us and Reinhardt is sent in beautifully through our defence by Zidane. Their fantastic striker slots a shot past Wilke but it hits the post and Renato Gaucho clears!

26' - Heavy pressure is being put on by Barcelona now and Zidane takes a hard low shot from the edge of the area that Wilke turns aside and we barely clear just in time.

31' - Reinhardt again gets the ball with his back to the net, turns and fires and the shot is again off the post. We're getting lucky now.

36' - Wow! A long ball is sent up field to Paul Moses and he's onside. He's got a defender chasing him from behind so he shoots as he reaches the penalty area and Borrelli makes the diving save.

45'+3 - Disaster. With Gianluca Bolis off being tended to after taking a knock, Barcelona move swiftly upfield in injury time with us only having ten men on the field. It's Juan Ramon Vazquez cutting in from the left side and feeding a ridiculously good through ball to the far post and fellow midfielder Kevin gets there just before Renato Gaucho and slots the ball home for the opening goal. Tough break. BARCELONA GOAL 0-1

HALFTIME - That sucks. Barcelona is controlling things after we had a great opening ten minutes so I guess they deservedly lead. They held 58% of the ball and outshot us 14-7 (5-3 on target). Bolis is banged up pretty bad - it's nothing that will keep him out of future games but he's only at 58% fitness so I'll need to take him out. Kostas Kalfas comes in to replace him. I need to be careful here - I'm going to continue to play a counter mentality and would prefer to keep the scoreline close but perhaps we'll open up a bit later in the game if necessary. I sympathize with the players after the late half goal and tell Kalfas I have faith in him.

50' - Reinhardt again with his patented turn-around and kick move but Wilke again makes the save. My assistant notes that Reinhardt is "having a poor game" so hopefully Barca take him out before he scores against us! Ha - right after, on the ensuing corner, Reinhardt pushes down Renato Gaucho and gets a yellow card. He's obviously frustrated.

52' - Now it's Wayne Rooney with a yellow.

56' - Mancini has been aggressive defensively tonight and has been "ticked off" by the ref on a couple of occasions so it's no surprise he finally gets a yellow after another infraction. He will ALSO miss our next match due to yellow card accumulation.

63' - Wilke with a big save on Vazquez, who is playing like a superstar today for Barca. We aren't generating much today.

66' - I bring in Zoltan Bardi for Wayne Rooney, who has done little today.

78' - We have a rare offensive highlight and it's off a throw in down the left side. Rocca gets the ball in the middle of the field and plays some give and go with Bardi. Rocca gets it back then sends the ball through the defence and Bardi gets there first. He's in the area and barring down on goal with Barca captain Pique and fellow defender Feyyaz Kurnaz right on top of him. Somehow, Bardi dekes past the diving Borrelli and slots the ball into the empty net for the SHOCKING EQUALIZER! Holy crap!!! DOVER GOAL 1-1

That was SPECTACULAR!!! Time to milk this thing for all it's worth!

80' - Right away Barca storm down the field and smoke a shot off the crossbar. Wow.

87' - Barca are panicking and sending everyone up and we have had two chances to counter, unfortunately without success. We take out Mancini, who was excellent today and bring in veteran Samir Nasri for the last few minutes.

There's three minutes of added time and we HOLD ON FOR THE DRAW!!!

Barcelona 1 - 1 Dover
Goals - Zoltan Bardi (7.3)
Assists - Andrea Rocca (7.6)
Man of the Match - Andrea Rocca
Other Dover Notables - Wayne Rooney (5.9)
Attendance - 93,712

The stats don't look great but what a great result! Barca hold 58% of overall possession and outshoot us 27-12 (9-6 on target). Pascal Reinhardt was a complete non-factor and we neutralized his speed all game. We get a coveted away goal and head home for the second leg knowing a win or a scoreless draw will move us on to the next round.

-- In the other three Champions League quarterfinal matchups, Atletico Madrid pound FC Bayern 4-0 in Spain to take control of that series while Manchester City win at Old Trafford 1-0 over United to take command there. In the other game between French clubs, Olympique Lyonnais beat OM 1-0 at home.



Contract Extension

-- Well, that didn't take long. We happily announce that Gianluca Bolis has accepted a contract extension that will see him make £39,500 per week, up from £23,000 and we have him locked up until June 2026. A good deal for both sides. He is in superb form this year, with an incredible 15 goals from the right wing along with 11 assists in 44 appearances.



April Update

-- An exceptionally busy month, as we have five Premier League games (home versus Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Chelsea and away versus Derby and Arsenal) and also the second leg of our Champions League quarterfinal matchup against Barcelona at Crabble Athletic Ground. If we are able to somehow get past Barca, we will have both legs of the semi-finals in April as well. So that's EIGHT possible games but I'd guess that at least one of the Premier League games would be rescheduled if that happened.

-- I get positive training notices for Gianluca Bolis and Claudio Contreras on the senior team and Pete Smith and Emmerson Harvey from the U18 club. I get SIX negative notices - Emmanuel Agbo, Samir Nasri, Jonathan Adam, Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz, Garry Doyle and Carlos Guzman. I'll be having chats with those gentlemen…



Premier League Awards for March

-- Paul Pogba from Sheffield Wednesday wins the Player of the Month award. He scored four times in three games and considering he now has 4 goals in 28 overall games, yeah, I'd say he performed well that month!

-- The Young Player of the Month award goes to our star in the making 18 year old loanee Paul Moses, who scored twice in three Premier League games. We sweep the top three, with Renato Gaucho finishing second and Claudio Contreras finishing third.

-- Sheffield Wednesday won all three of their games in March so Malky Mackay wins Manager of the Month honours.



April Board Confidence Update

-- The board are delighted with the leadership qualities I'm demonstrating. Our stature increase is the major contributing factor but Wayne Rooney's recent performances are a concern.

-- We made £300,000 last month.



Next Up

-- We are at home to face Middlesbrough in Premier League play.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-07-2014 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:24 AM   #252
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. April 2, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (18-8-6, 62 points, 4th) vs. Middlesbrough (11-8-13, 41 points, 13th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: Evens (Favourites) Draw: 11-5 Middlesbrough: 11-5
Past Meetings: 5W 0D 4L

We have faced Middlesbrough twice this year, losing to them away 1-0 in Premier League play and throttling them 4-0 here at home in FA Cup action. They've lost two in a row off the heels of a seven game unbeaten streak so we're catching them at the right time. They haven't scored in three games either. Striker Luke de Jong has 12 goals to lead the club and attacking midfielder Abdullah Demir is second with only 5. Not an overly dangerous club but this is a game we can't take lightly despite having it sandwiched between two Barcelona ties in the Champions League.

Shanon Andrea is almost match fit and I'll get him in this game at some point but he won't start. Instead, I'm bringing Giorgos Gesios in for the shock start up front in our one striker formation, with Zoltan Bardi starting just behind him. This was the formation we used to beat them 4-0 earlier this year and my advance scouts say Middlesbrough has trouble defending against this formation. So we'll go with it. Neil Cairney will be back in the lineup today - I've got some tired players today, including Jozef Kuciak and Andrea Rocca. Both will start but I'd love to get them off at some point to rest up for our pivotal Tuesday home tie versus Barca. 20 year old Renato Gaucho wears the captain's armband today.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, J. Kuciak
M - N. Cairney, A. Rocca
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios
Bench - R. McLaughlin, P. Tjiuoro, Mancini, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, S. Andrea, P. Moses

Middlesbrough start striker Jack Kelly up front in their 4-2-3-1 formation that has given me fits in past games but obviously not the FA Cup tie earlier this year - Kelly has NO GOALS in 14 games. My assistant thinks we should motivate the lads by telling them to perform for the fans and I agree but pull aside the struggling Gesios to say I have faith in his goal scoring abilities.

1' - Middlesbrough get a great chance early and Wilke is called upon to make a point blank save on a through ball.

37' - We seem to be controlling play and have had a number of decent counter attacking chances but no real dangerous shots. Andrea Rocca gets a yellow card.

45'+1 - We blow our best chance, as Arsene Bamba sends in a glorious through ball to Neil Cairney but he misses WIDE from eight yards in front of goal. Come on Neil!

HALFTIME - Continental letdown once again, as we should be destroying these guys. Possession is split down the middle and we have an 11-4 (2-1 on target) shot advantage. Rocca is exhausted so I bring him out at half and bring in Mancini. I reiterate that we need to perform well for the supporters and pull aside Gesios, Cairney and Bolis to say they can be the players that make the difference today.

63' - This is embarrassing. We have complete control when Middlesbrough attacking midfielder Alfonso Martinez crosses into the box. Renato Gaucho has control but is stripped of the ball from Thorgan Hazard and he fires the ball immediately past a stunned Ingo Wilke and we're down at home. MIDDLESBROUGH GOAL 0-1

I bring in Shanon Andrea and change to a flat 4-4-2 Control.

78' - We're generating NOTHING today. Ross McLaughlin is in for Jozef Kuciak and we move to an Overload mentality to try to get the equalizer.

79' - We win a corner with Cairney and he sends it out to Mancini outside the area. The midfielder sends it back out wide to Cairney and he crosses into the box and there is Zoltan Bardi with the baseball slide, putting it past Sinan Bolat for the tying goal. Unreal. DOVER GOAL 1-1

We move back to a Control mentality but maintain the flat 4-4-2.

83' - All of a sudden we're pressing and it's Mancini firing a shot off the goalpost!

89' - Gianluca Bolis with a rocket that Sian Bolat dives to save. Great chance!

We move back to an overload for the four minutes of injury time. Lets see if we can get a late goal with this momentum, as it's clear that Middlesbrough are content with a draw and are sitting back now in a 4-4-1-1.

90'+2 - Shanon Andrea takes Bamba's feed and strolls in down the left side, getting off a low shot that Sinan Bolat turns behind the net. On the corner, Bamba's cross is headed by Hamon off the crossbar! There's a WILD SCENE in front of the goal as we get three chances to score but all three shots are blocked by Middlesbrough defenders and they clear in a panic. WOW.

We're fortunate to get a draw.

Dover 1 - 1 Middlesbrough
Goals - Zoltan Bardi (7.0)
Assists - Neil Cairney (6.8)
Man of the Match - Sinan Bolat (Middlesbrough GK - 7.3)
Other Dover Notables - Renato Gaucho (7.3), Arsene Bamba (7.0)
Attendance - 14,473

We dominated that second half from a statistical perspective but the only stat that matters is 1-1. We held 53% of possession and outshoot them 21-8 (6-4 on target).

-- With only a single point, we don't fully take advantage of the fact that Liverpool lose against Tottenham and Manchester City get smoked 3-0 by Sunderland. Everton also throttle Arsenal 4-0 and Chelsea can only garner a point in a scoreless draw against Huddersfield so with all that, we retain our hold on 4th spot.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 5 GAMES REMAINING UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 73 points
2. Manchester United - 68 points
3. Liverpool - 64 points
4. Dover - 63 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 60 points
6. Chelsea - 57 points
7. Reading - 56 points
----------------------------------------------------




Dover U18 Update

-- The U18s defeat Southampton 1-0 behind another goal from Gregoire Lambert.



Next Up

-- We welcome Barcelona to Crabble Athletic Ground as we look to shock the world in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:20 AM   #253
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue. April 5, 2022

UEFA Champions League - Quarterfinals Second Leg
Dover (1) vs. (1) Barcelona
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 3-1 Draw: 2-1 Barcelona: 4-5 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 1W 2D 0L

This is it.

We're still big dogs at home to Barcelona but we have the distinct advantage of having a key away goal at Camp Nou so we move on with a win OR a scoreless draw. A 1-1 tie sees us move into extra time and any other ties see Barcelona move on.

Shanon Andrea is still lacking match fitness but I'm going to start him up front with Wayne Rooney - I really want Zoltan Bardi in there but I need my captain on the field today. Bardi will come in at some point for sure. The other HUGE news is that with Renato Gaucho out due to yellow card accumulation, 19 year old Carlos Guzman will be starting at left fullback in his first ever senior level game. Fellow left fullback Jozef Varga isn't registered for the competition so my hands are tied. We'll stick with the flat 4-4-2 Counter that has done well for us against Barca so far this year.

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
GK - I. Wilke
D - C. Guzman, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, J. Kuciak
M - A. Bamba, N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, W. Rooney
Bench - P. Tjiuoro, S. Nasri, K. Kalfas, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, Z. Bardi, P. Moses

Barcelona once again are in their 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) formation with Reinhardt up front. Marc Cremades is in goal for Barca. A few key players are on the bench, including last game's goal scorer Kevin, DC Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi. I encourage the team in the room before the game and pull aside young Carlos Guzman to tell him there's no pressure on him today. Throwing the poor kid into the fire in his first ever Dover game!

2' - Right away, we need Ingo Wilke to make a huge stop off a corner kick and he's up to the task.

9' - We get our first good chance on a counter attack and it's Rocca feeding Bolis down the middle. Cremades comes out to challenge and Bolis tries to lob him but it goes just wide.

24' - Most of the dangerous possession is from Barcelona but we get another good chance when Andrea is sent in by Bolis but his shot is just turned aside by Cremades. We get a corner but Claudio Contreras heads it just over the bar.

45'+2 - Great. Andrea Rocca is hurt and will need to come off as the referee blows the whistle.

HALFTIME - We are doing great, holding an incredible 57% of possession but are being outshot 13-9 (3-2 on target). Most of Barca's shots are from distance. I bring in Kostas Kalfas to play midfield for the injured Rocca - again, this normally would be a spot for Mancini but he's suspended today just like Renato Gaucho because of yellow card accumulation. I tell the players to go out and get the result for the record crowd in attendance today.

Barcelona are now in a 4-5-1 formation with a DMC.

58' - Kostas Kalfas gets stripped of the ball at midfield by Barcelona substitute Gerard Pique and Zidane latches onto it. He immediately feeds a charging Pascal Reinhardt and against claims of offsides from our defenders, he storms in and shoots past Wilke and into the goal. We're in trouble. BARCELONA GOAL 0-1

I take out the once-again ineffective Wayne Rooney and bring in Zoltan Bardi.

66' - We work a counter and it's young Carlos Guzman sending a BRILLIANT ball up field to a streaking Shanon Andrea. He's got a breakaway and shoots but Cremades makes the sprawling save. There's a huge rebound and it pops right out to super sub Zoltan Bardi and he has the empty net at his mercy and makes no mistake!!! We've pulled level!!! DOVER GOAL 1-1

83' - We're playing nervously and it's our top player Neil Cairney as the biggest culprit, as he twice gives away easy little passes and my assistant notes that both he and Jozef Kuciak look tight out there.

86' - Okay, I'm ready to have a heart attack now as Shanon Andrea and Zoltan Bardi head out on a 2 on 2 rush but Andrea shoots wide.

89' - OH MY GOD NOOOOOOOO. Arsene Bamba with a spectacular pass up to Shanon Andrea and he's in all alone but shoots wide from inside the area. NOOOOO!!! That was our chance!!!

FULLTIME - After 90 minutes, we hold 54% of possession and they are edging us in shots 17-16 (5-4 on target). We still have a substitution available and they are clean out of them. Gianluca Bolis is completely exhausted but he's been one of our most dangerous players so I don't want to take him out yet. Plus, he's good at penalties so that's perhaps going to be needed. For now, I'll stick with the current lineup. I tell the team that we only need one goal. Let's get it!

92' - Shanon Andrea gets loose and shoots from the edge of the area but it's right at Cremades.

94' - Cairney has it near midfield and feeds Bamba to his left. From about ten yards outside the area, Barcelona substitute fullback Marcos Vargas tries to tackle him but whiffs and Bamba dribbles into the area. He is in on goal and shoots for the far post and it hits the woodwork…and bounces INTO THE NET! OHMYGOD!!! DOVER GOAL 2-1

99' - Barcelona are pressing and after young Carlos Guzman goes down and misses a tackle, we are fortunate to clear on a cross. However, Juan Ramon Vazquez gets the ball and sends it into the area and it's LIONEL MESSI sliding at the ball and kicking it past Wilke and into the net. Wow!!! This game is nuts and I'm in need of medical attention. BARCELONA GOAL 2-2

100' - Okay, poor Carlos Guzman is melting down now, as he blatantly passes at midfield right to Pascal Reinhardt and their danger man dribbles into our zone but shoots way wide. I don't have any other left fullbacks so I'd be just shooting myself in the foot if I took that kid out. Man up kid!!!

HALFTIME IN EXTRA TIME - Ok, that's it. Let's try to win this at home before extra kicks. I move to a control mentality.

112' - Pascal Reinhardt with a missle but Wilke dives and makes the game saving stop.

118' - Bolis, from distance, sends a shot OFF THE CROSSBAR!!!

119' - I bring in Samir Nasri for Jozef Kuciak. Nasri is good at penalty kicks so we'll put him in and see what happens.

Extra time is over and OH FUCK WHAT HAVE I DONE. I lose on away goals?!?! I figured if it got to extra time all even that we would have penalties but that's a HUGE ERROR on my part and we are OUT OF THE COMPETITION.

Dover 2 (3) - 2 (3*) Barcelona
Goals - Zoltan Bardi (7.2), Arsene Bamba (8.0)
Assists - Neil Cairney (7.4), Shanon Andrea (6.8)
Man of the Match - Arsene Bamba
Other Dover Notables - Wayne Rooney (5.5)
Attendance - 22,232

We end up all even in possession and are outshot slightly 23-21 (8-6 on target). Just a horrible way to go down but the chances of me scoring in the last twenty minutes of extra time were likely remote. What a great run though to get to the final eight. Lets hope we can make it back next year! And thanks for showing up these two games Rooney…sigh.

-- We are given £2,870,000 for playing in the Champions League quarter finals.

-- That's our largest home crowd ever.

-- HORRIFIC news sees Andrea Rocca suffer fractured ribs in the Barcelona game and he is out for the next four weeks, likely ending his season. Damnit.

-- In the other match, FC Bayern wins 3-1 over Atletic Madrid but lose 5-3 on aggregate. Manchester City prevail over United as they continue in their bid to repeat as European champions and also moving on are Olympique Lyonnais over OM in a French quarterfinal matchup.



Captain FINED

-- I decide to fine Wayne Rooney two weeks wages for his two stinkers against Barcelona. He's upset and actually says something to the effect that "while as captain, I know I am held to a higher standard but it's not my fault that my teammates didn't allow me to play my best." PARDON?!?! Ha - I tell him I stick by my decision to fine his ass and he sees my point of view eventually and leaves without further incident.



Dover Reserves Update

-- Giorgos Gesios scores our only goal in a 1-1 draw versus Chelsea's reserve team.



Next Up

-- We host Sheffield Wednesday in a "must win" game in Premier League play.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-08-2014 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:24 AM   #254
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. April 9, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (18-9-6, 63 points, 4th) vs. Sheffield Wednesday (15-5-13, 50 points, 10th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 5-4 (Favourites) Draw: 11-5 Sheffield Wednesday: 7-4
Past Meetings: 4W 1D 4L

Sheffield Wednesday embarrassed us earlier in the year to the tune of 3-0, with our former striker Gerardo Escobar causing us grief all game in a contest we obviously took too lightly. We won't be complacent today and we desperately need all three points, as we still have games remaining versus Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City, all league powerhouses. The only "soft" game we have left is against Derby. Sheffield are on a five game winning streak across all competitions and have reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where they'll face Reading next weekend. Dangerous forward Steve Pates leads the team with 17 goals but Escobar is right behind him with 13, as he's starting to fit in nicely with his new club.

Sheffield's manager came out in the press and indicated that they'll need to stop Shanon Andrea to have any chance today. This tactic has *always* worked well against our strikers but this is the first time Andrea has been given this "honour". I'm going to stick with him anyway - he's been our best player this year when healthy and he's officially regained full match fitness. He'll start up front with Zoltan Bardi. With Andrea Rocca out due to injury, it will be Mancini taking over in midfield. We also welcome back Salim Loucif, who despite missing a month of action due to injury is already match fit. Renato Gaucho is also back after missing our last game due to yellow card accumulation. Paulus Tjiuoro will start at DC for a tired Claudio Contreras. Despite Sheffield's ability to play well against a flat 4-4-2, we will go with that formation today.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, P. Tjiuoro, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, , Mancini, N. Cairney, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Z. Bardi
Bench - C. Contreras, J. Kuciak, S. Nasri, W. Rooney, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, P. Moses

Both Pates and Escobar are up front in their flat 4-4-2. Lets do it for the fans today guys!

5' - We have a throw in down the left side about half way into their territory. Bamba throws in to Shanon Andrea and he sends it right back to Bamba. From the touchline, Bamba sends a glorious cross into the box and Zoltan Bardi heads it forcefully past Sheffield keeper Erwin Mulder and we have the quick lead! Bardi is on fire lately! DOVER GOAL 1-0

14' - On a free kick from distance, Neil Cairney rifles one off the crossbar!

19' - So far, so good. Bolis with a lovely cross to Bamba. He's on a poor angle and Mulder makes a fine point blank save.

21' - Sheffield are VERY undisciplined so far and Kostas Zagos receives their third yellow already.

27' - Bolis sends a nice through ball to Bardi and his hard rocket is turned aside by Mulder.

32' - We are putting incredible pressure on them but Mulder continues to be a difference maker, stopping a partial breakaway from Bardi. Seconds later, Bolis gets a hard shot on goal that Mulder saves and their keeper AGAIN scoops up a possible chance on a Bardi deflection. Mulder has been sensational so far.

45'+1 - They get their first great chance as Pates sends through Escobar but our former striker shoots wide from point blank range.

HALFTIME - We are in complete control but the scoreline is very dangerous. We need to convert for at least one more goal here. We have a 52% possession advantage and a huge 14-4 (7-2 on target) shot advantage. I tell the team I'm pleased with their play thus far.

Sheffield come out in a 4-4-2 diamond formation to start the second half.

51' - We have control near midfield and Rayane Hamon sends a great ball up the right side to Bolis. He has a step on his man and attempts a cross but it deflects off Sheffield defender Tommy Spurr. Thankfully, it bounced right to Zoltan Bardi and our in-form striker makes no mistake putting it past Mulder and into the goal for an early half insurance marker! DOVER GOAL 2-0

61' - Gianluca Bolis with a yellow.

69' - Aitor Zubizarreta is on for the excellent Gianluca Bolis.

75' - Samir Nasri is on for Mancini, who has only been "okay" playing for Andrea Rocca.

81' - Neil Cairney cracks another shot off the crossbar and substitute Aitor Zubizarreta is there to pounce on the rebound and put it in the net but the assistant rules him offsides. No goal. That looked dubious at best...

82' - We use our last sub, bringing in Cameron Murray for Arsene Bamba. We also move to a counter attack for the last ten minutes.

88' - A nice counter culminates in a good chance for Nasri but he shoots right at Mulder.

90'+1 - We work another lightning fast counter and it's Zubizarreta cutting into the middle of the pitch and sending a superb through ball to Bardi. He looks offsides but the flag is down as he bares in on goal and shoots low past Mulder and into the net for his hat trick! Fantastic game for Bardi!!! DOVER GOAL 3-0

Sensational game!

Dover 3 - 0 Sheffield Wednesday
Goals - Zoltan Bardi 3 (9.6)
Assists - Gianluca Bolis (7.1), Arsene Bamba (7.1), Aitor Zubizarreta (6.9)
Man of the Match - Zoltan Bardi
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.5), Rayane Hamon (7.7), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.5), Renato Gaucho (7.5), Neil Cairney (7.1)
Attendance - 14,645

We dominated that contest, with 53% of possession and a wide 24-9 (10-4 on target) shot advantage. Other than Escobar's miss from in close at the end of the first half, they had no real chances and we completely negated their top scorer Steve Pates. Brilliant performance from Bardi, who is on FIRE right now, with six goals in his last four games.

-- We get some help from Everton, as they hold on for a draw against Chelsea. Arsenal win 1-0 over Sunderland to keep pace with us and poor Manchester United have to face City once again for the third time in four matches and they lose all three, this time by a 2-0 score as City pull eight points ahead on the table and look primed to win the league for the 3rd consecutive year. Liverpool win 3-0 over Fulham to stay a point ahead of us in third. With United struggling, second place is DEFINITELY up for grabs here but they have a pretty weak schedule the rest of the way, with only Liverpool next week offering much of a challenge.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 4 GAMES REMAINING UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 76 points
2. Manchester United - 68 points
3. Liverpool - 67 points
4. Dover - 66 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 63 points
6. Reading - 59 points
7. Chelsea - 58 points
----------------------------------------------------



Dover U18 Update

-- The U18s win 3-0 over Portsmouth behind goals from Gregoire Lambert, Phil Whitbread and Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz and a man of the match performance from defender Carlos Guzman, who obviously is reacting well to his first-ever senior level game last week against Barcelona.



Unhappy Players

-- I've been reasonably fortunate over the years to be able to balance playing time well enough to avoid too many controversies but two players speak out after today's game in fullback Jozef Varga and goalkeeper Youssouf Sylla, with both saying they want first team football. Varga is strictly a backup quality player and he backs down when I tell him it's my decision whether he stays or goes but Sylla stands up to me, asking if I really want an unhappy player on the team disrupting things. I agree and tell him I'll look to move him in the next transfer window. Sylla is a Ivory Coast international and he's started to settle in alright here but Wilke is definitely our first choice keeper and Sylla makes WAY too much for a backup so I'll be happy to make a sizeable profit off him in the offseason.

-- I transfer list Sylla and within a day, Paris Saint-Germain make a bid of £3,000,000, a total which meets his minimum release clause so the offer is auto-accepted and Sylla is free to negotiate a contract. I picked him up on a free so this will be a tidy one-year profit if the deal goes through. Valencia is also sniffing around so he may see another offer come rolling in.

-- Two days later, Sylla indicates that he's accepted a contract offer from PSG and the £3 million transfer will go through on June 9th. Cool.



Barclays Premier League Team of the Week

-- Zoltan Bardi makes the team after his scintillating three goal performance.



Mid-week Games

-- Three games are played mid-week and in a shocker, Arsenal drop a 1-0 decision at Emirates to Huddersfield, which gives us a slight bit of breathing room as we prepare to face relegation candidates Derby on the weekend. Reading continue their fine play in knocking off Tottenham by the same scoreline as they firm up their grip on 6th place in the league.



Next Up

-- We head away from home to face 17th placed Derby Town in Premier League play.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-09-2014 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:41 AM   #255
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. April 16, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Derby (7-9-18, 30 points, 17th) vs. Dover (19-9-6, 66 points, 4th)
Pride Park, Derby, UK

Betting Odds: Derby: 7-4 Draw: 11-5 Dover: 5-4 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 6W 0D 2L

Derby are in their third consecutive year of top flight football and despite being in a dangerous slot on the table, they are actually an astounding nine points clear of relegation, as Southampton (19 points), Blackburn (21 points) and Fulham (21 points) look destined for the drop with only four games remaining. This is pretty much a one-man show for Derby, as striker Niels Hendriks leads the club with 15 goals and in second is Joao Henriques Almeida with only 4. Old friend Fraser Forster is still their main man in goal.

Derby play well against flat 4-4-2 formations but I see no reason to change tactics and will stick with what's been working. I only make one change from the winning lineup from last week, reinserting Claudio Contreras at DC for Paulus Tjiuoro. I do call up Emmerson Harvey from the U18 squad to sit on the bench.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, , Mancini, N. Cairney, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Z. Bardi
Bench - P. Tjiuoro, J. Kuciak, S. Nasri, E. Harvey, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, P. Moses

As usual, Derby are in a 3-5-2 formation and they usually switch to five defenders if they get down a goal. Hendriks and Almeida are up front and Forster is in goal. I tell the team that they can win this today and pull aside Hamon and Renato Gaucho to tell them to pick up where they left off last week while also pulling aside Shanon Andrea to tell him I have faith in his goal scoring abilities.

24' - Kind of a bland start, as we aren't generating many chances. Derby get the first real chance as Almeida gets into our area and shoots but Wilke is there to turn it aside.

31' - Bardi gets the ball inside the area and his little pass inside to Bolis is saved by Forster.

38' - Bolis from a bad angle curls one off the crossbar and it bounces over harmlessly.

HALFTIME - We are controlling possession, holding 55% of the ball but have nothing to show for it. Shots are in our favour slightly 6-5 (1-1 on target). I contemplate a tactics change but I will stick with this for now.

Derby drop to five defenders in a 5-3-2 formation.

59' - We have possession in their end and Bardi passes to Andrea. He pivots and runs past one of Derby's central defenders and dribbles into the area. He uses his left foot and places the ball past Forster and into the net! We finally break them down! DOVER GOAL 1-0

72' - I take out our goal scorer Andrea and bring in Paul Moses and hope his speed on a break can get us an insurance marker.

76' - Samir Nasri is on for Mancini and we move to a counter attacking mentality.

78' - Arsene Bamba with a yellow card.

87' - Cameron Murray is brought on for Bamba.

BORING game but we'll take the three points!

Derby 0 - 1 Dover
Goals - Shanon Andrea (7.3)
Assists - Zoltan Bardi (7.1)
Man of the Match - Renato Gaucho (7.4)
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.3)
Attendance - 19,375

Super dull game to watch but we were efficient and gave them very little, holding 56% of overall possession and outshooting them 13-9 (3-1 on target). Claudio Contreras was given a 6.5 rating for some reason.

-- In the game of the week, Manchester United win away at Liverpool 2-1 and that allows us to move ahead of Liverpool into third place on the table. Chelsea walk all over Blackburn 3-0 and City beat up on Everton by the same score. Southampton lose to Aston Villa and with that loss, Southampton are officially relegated from the Premier League. City have also guaranteed Champions League play for next year.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 3 GAMES REMAINING UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 79 points
2. Manchester United - 71 points
3. Dover - 69 points
4. Liverpool - 67 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 63 points
6. Reading - 62 points
7. Chelsea - 61 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Everton - 55 points
9. Tottenham - 53 points
10. Sheffield Wednesday - 53 points
11. Aston Villa - 52 points
12. Huddersfield - 49 points
13. Middlesbrough - 45 points
14. Sunderland - 43 points
15. Newcastle - 38 points
16. Wolves - 33 points
17. Derby - 30 points
----------------------------------------------------
18. Fulham - 21 points
19. Blackburn - 21 points
20. Southampton - 19 points



FA Cup Update

-- Arsenal knock off Barnsley 1-0 and Reading beat up on Sheffield Wednesday 4-1 to both advance to the FA Cup finals. This is good news, as both clubs are already in the top six on the table so with Huddersfield assured of Europa League play due to their League Cup win earlier this year, we are certain that six of the top seven teams on the table will be taking part in Continental play, which is definitely better than only five of the top seven teams! I think we're pretty safe but now, we need to shoot for a return trip to the Champions League!



Champions League Update

-- Barcelona and holders Manchester City battle to a scoreless draw at Camp Nou while Olympique Lyonnais take control of the other matchup after a 3-1 win in Spain against Atletico Madrid.



Next Up

-- We host Chelsea in a key Premier League matchup at Crabble Athletic Ground.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:02 AM   #256
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. April 23, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (20-9-6, 69 points, 3rd) vs. Chelsea (18-7-10, 61 points, 7th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 13-8 Draw: 2-1 Chelsea: 6-4 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 0W 2D 6L

Chelsea are one of the few teams we haven't beaten yet - perhaps City is the only other team in this league but if there were ever a time to get our first win, this is it. We've battled to two consecutive draws against them and we are the slightest of underdogs at home in this one. Chelsea are in good form, having gone unbeaten in five in all competitions but actually haven't lost in Premier League play in their last eleven games so they will be tough. It's Romelu Lukaku who does all the damage for Chelsea, with 25 goals on the year. Midfielder Miguel Sousa is second on the team with 9.

My assistant thinks I should bench Ingo Wilke due to bad form but that's not happening. Paulus Tjiuoro is in again for Claudio Contreras otherwise we go with the same lineup as last week. I make a couple of moves for the bench, with Wayne Rooney and Giorgos Gesios available as substitutes instead of Samir Nasri and Paul Moses.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, P. Tjiuoro, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, , N. Cairney, Mancini, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Z. Bardi
Bench - C. Contreras, J. Kuciak, W. Rooney, E. Harvey, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, G. Gesios

Chelsea are in a 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) formation and Lukaku is alone up front. I tell the team to go out there and win it for the fans and pull aside Mancini to tell him I have faith in his ability.

6' - Chelsea look good early and are moving the ball crisply. Lukaku wins a race against Rayane Hamon but his hard shot is right at Wilke and he makes the stop.

9' - Wilke again with a stop on winger Miguel Sousa, who beats Renato Gaucho up the sidelines.

18' - Chelsea defender Fabio takes down Zoltan Bardi and he's hurt. ASSHOLE! No foul call either and Chelsea actually march up field with the ball and don't kick it out of play. We tackle the ball from them and Bardi needs to come off. Damnit. He's got the dreaded cross and he may miss time. I bring in Wayne Rooney for Bardi for now.

28' - We work possession down the left side and Neil Cairney gets it to Bamba just outside the area. He cuts in towards goal but is tackled by Sebastian Toro. The ball is loose though and Shanon Andrea pounces and immediately kicks the ball past Rafael Romo, the Chelsea keeper and it's IN! DOVER GOAL 1-0

39' - Mancini takes a pass from Cairney and unleashes a piledriver from outside the area but Romo makes the fine stop.

40' - Rooney dives in the penalty area and is given a yellow card.

HALFTIME - Chelsea look dangerous and are the better club today on the statsheet but not the scoreboard. They hold 53% of possession and outshoot us 10-6 (4-2 on target) but we have the lead. I switch to a counter attacking mentality for the second half and tell the team I'm pleased with the performance so far.

46' - Right off the second half kickoff, we move up field and it's Arsene Bamba cutting into the area before sending a pass toward the middle. Two defenders and Romo converge on the ball but Gianluca Bolis beats them all to it and taps the ball into the net for the HUGE second goal! DOVER GOAL 2-0

Chelsea immediately make a substitution and switch to a flat 4-4-2.

51' - Sousa dribbles down the right and he's got a step on a chasing Renato Gaucho. Sousa crosses in and it's substitute Nassim Ben Khalifa heading the ball past a diving Wilke and Chelsea strike back right away. Crap. CHELSEA GOAL 2-1

57' - Rooney has the ball at midfield and passes up to Andrea. He's tackled on an innocent enough looking play by DC Shane Duffy and the ref pulls him over. I'm expecting a yellow at most but Duffy is given the straight RED CARD and he's OUT! Chelsea is down to 10 men!

I switch back to a control mentality.

60' - Salim Loucif with a yellow card. They have a free kick deep in our end and Lukaku sends a ball past Wilke but Renato Gaucho, protecting the post, is there to kick the ball to safety! Whew!

Chelsea, by the way, are in a 3-4-2 right now, with three DCs.

63' - We work a counter up field and Andrea storms down the left side. He's about to reach the byline but makes a ridiculous move on Fabio, the Chelsea defender and cuts back to his stronger right foot before sending a pass into the middle. It's right to Wayne Rooney and he sends a hard left footed blast into the net and we're up two once again!!! DOVER GOAL 3-1

Now Chelsea are sitting back in a 5-2-2…wild.

81' - Arsene Bamba with a horrific pass in the middle and the giveaway forces Rayane Hamon to pull a guy down and he's given a yellow card.

Jozef Kuciak is in for Salim Loucif.

85' - Kuciak passes up to Rooney and his shot from just outside the area is a howitzer that is stopped in spectacular fashion by Romo.

86' - Gianluca Bolis scores but he's ruled offsides after taking a nice feed inside the area from Bamba.

88' - Hamon is out and Aitor Zubizarreta is in. Mancini moves back to DC.

90'+2 - Zubizarreta has the ball and dribbles in towards the area. He shoots from distance but it hits a Chelsea defender and bounces out to Neil Cairney. From 30 yards away, Cairney unleashes a ROCKET on the half volley (!!!) and Romo can only watch as it goes into the far corner of the goal for the BEAUTY goal! WOW! DOVER GOAL 4-1

WOOO!

Dover 4 - 1 Chelsea
Goals - Shanon Andrea (8.2), Gianluca Bolis (8.2), Wayne Rooney (7.8), Neil Cairney (8.1)
Assists - Paulus Tjiuoro (8.1), Arsene Bamba (7.7), Shanon Andrea
Man of the Match - Shanon Andrea
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.1), Salim Loucif (7.3), Rayane Hamon (7.1), Renato Gaucho (7.3), Mancini (7.2)
Attendance - 16,611

A DOMINATING second half performance that certainly was helped by their foolish red card. We hold 58% of overall possession (!!) and outshoot them 21-15 (8-8 on target). Our first ever win against Chelsea and in dominating fashion, no less!

-- Zoltan Bardi broke his arm on that Fabio tackle and will miss our last two games.

-- Man City lose a 2-0 shocker to Huddersfield and Liverpool keep pace with us after beating Sunderland 2-0 as well. Man United can only get a draw against a tough Reading team and in another absolute STUNNER, 18th placed Blackburn destroy FA Cup finalists Arsenal 4-1 (!!!) City retain the Premier League title after these results, their third consecutive championship.

-- Our win, coupled with the Arsenal loss, puts us in a tie for second with United at 72 points. Liverpool is two back of us with 70 and Reading is now up to fifth with 63 points. With a nine point edge on fifth place with only two games remaining, DOVER HAVE GUARANTEED A SPOT IN NEXT YEAR'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FOR A SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 2 GAMES REMAINING UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 79 points
2. Manchester United - 72 points
3. Dover - 72 points
4. Liverpool - 70 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Reading - 63 points
6. Arsenal - 63 points
7. Chelsea - 61 points
----------------------------------------------------



Dover U18 Update

-- The kids knock off AFC Wimbledon 4-0 behind a brace from defender Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz. Sebastian Kraft and Gregoire Lambert notch singles.



Transfer Clause Money IN

-- We sold defender Emir Faccioli to Livorno in the offseason since his influence wasn't needed after the forced sale of Cristian Rodriguez to Man United. Faccioli has played in 20 games for Livorno and that activated a clause in our transfer agreement that sees them sending an additional £100,000 our way. Cool.



Barclays Premier League Team of the Week

-- Gianluca Bolis is named to the team of the week for his fine work in the Chelsea game.



Champions League Update

-- Olympique Lyonnais are on a mission, as they throttle Atletico Madrid 4-1 at home to win 7-2 on aggregate to get to the Champions League finals. Man City notched a 2-1 away win at Barcelona to move on as well. City are looking for their FOURTH consecutive Champions League title and this would complete a treble for 2022 (Premier League, Club World Championship and Champions League) if they win over Olympique Lyonnais.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- Paul Moses scored a hat trick in a 4-1 win over Wolves Reserves. Emmanuel Agbo scored from the penalty spot for our other goal. We win the reserves league for a third consecutive year and the board is delighted. It's the little things that matter sometimes!



Next Up

-- We are FAVOURITES on the road at Emirates Stadium as we face FA Cup finalists Arsenal.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:15 PM   #257
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. April 30, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Arsenal (19-6-11, 63 points, 6th) vs. Dover (21-9-6, 72 points, 3rd)
Emirates Stadium, London, UK

Betting Odds: Arsenal: 7-4 Draw: 11-5 Dover: 5-4 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 3W 2D 6L

It's a definitive statement that the pundits feel we've arrived, as we're road FAVOURITES against Arsenal!!! The Gunners are really struggling right now, coming off an embarrassing 4-1 loss to the likely relegated Blackburn last weekend and they've lost four of their last six matches in all competitions. We destroyed them 6-0 at home earlier this year but also dropped a home FA Cup tie against them a bit later in the year. They have some balance in their scoring, with DC/ST Nchimunya Munyao leading the club with 16 goals, ST Boakye has 15 and fellow striker Lee Ross has 14. Arsenal are getting set to face Reading in the FA Cup finals in a couple weeks.

With essentially nothing to play for other than positioning (still important), I'm going to give a few players a day off today. GK Ingo Wilke, Rayane Hamon, Salim Loucif, Gianluca Bolis and Shanon Andrea are all going to be watching from the stands today. Youssouf Sylla will play his last game in a Dover kit today in goal and DR Ross McLaughlin is in line for his first start of the year. Also starting for the first time ever as a senior player will be MC Emmerson Harvey. Aitor Zubizarreta deserves a start at MR for his fine play this year and getting their last starts up front this year will be on-loan Paul Moses alongside captain Wayne Rooney. We'll stick with a control mentality to start, since we're favourites, but I won't hesitate to move to a counter if we get a lead or if Arsenal put a lot of pressure on us early.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - Y. Sylla
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, P. Tjiuoro, R. McLaughlin
M - A. Bamba, , N. Cairney, E. Harvey, A. Zubizarreta
S - P. Moses, W. Rooney
Bench - A. Kokaina, J. Kuciak, J. Varga, Mancini, S. Nasri, K. Kalfas, G. Gesios

Arsenal are starting a top lineup, with Boakye and Ross up front, Aaron Ramsey at MR and Munyao is at DC. I tell the team they can win this today and pull aside Tjiuoro to tell him to pick up where they left off last game, Harvey to tell him there's no pressure on him today and finally out-of-form Claudio Contreras to tell him I have faith.

1' - Ouch. Emmerson Harvey gives the ball away and Arsenal move up field quickly, with Lee Ross bursting past Contreras and shooting past Sylla into the net. Instant goal. Ooh boy. ARSENAL GOAL 0-1

20' - We've settled down thankfully and have a good chance off a Bamba corner but the ball rattles around and we can't really get a strong shot on Oscar Ustari, the Arsenal keeper.

27' - Ross with another great chance on a through ball but Sylla makes the great save and we clear.

41' - We're not playing well. Now it's Ramsey being sent in alone and Sylla makes a brilliant stop on the breakaway to keep us in this game.

HALFTIME - Well, we're not playing a full strength side so I guess this is to be expected. Arsenal hold 54% of possession and a 11-7 (5-2 on target) shot edge. A number of our players have poor ratings and Rooney leads the way with a 5.9. Boy, it's feast or famine with that guy. Either he's great or he sucks. I tell the team I want to see more from them after half and move to a counter attacking mentality to start.

50' - Cesc Fabregas plays a one-two with midfielder Yann M'Vila and then sends a delicious through ball to Boakye and he is in on goal and makes no mistake. ARSENAL GOAL 0-2

53' - Boy, we're sitting back and they are STILL taking it to us. Sylla with great positioning to make another save off Ramsey. He should have scored on this one.

60' - I take out Rooney and bring in Samir Nasri. We move to a 4-4-2 DM and attack, with Zubizarreta moving to AMC and Nasri is at AMR.

62' - We have a throw in down the right side and Emmerson Harvey gets the ball. He avoids a sliding tackle from Fabregas and dribbles slowly toward the penalty area. He sends a little touch pass through the defence and Paul Moses gets there first, rounds the keeper and puts the ball into the empty net! We are still alive! DOVER GOAL 1-2

72' - A double substitution as we take out the ineffective Ross McLaughlin and bring in Jozef Kuciak while also taking out Zubizarreta and bringing in Kostas Kalfas. Nasri moves to the middle and Kalfas is out wide to the right.

73' - And just like that, we're done. Sylla kicks the ball up field and it's headed back over our defence. Boakye gets there before Kuciak and Sylla can't stop him and we're down two once again. ARSENAL GOAL 1-3

80' - Ross has the ball down the left and crosses into our area but Renato Gaucho is there. He's about to clear but he's stripped of the ball by Boakye and he quickly shoots past Sylla for his hat trick. What a disaster this game is and if anything, I learn that my depth, simply put, isn't very good versus the best teams. ARSENAL GOAL 1-4

We change back to a control mentality.

81' - We're frustrated now. Arsene Bamba with a yellow card.

87' - Moses has a partial break and he's pull down from behind by Munyao. I'm thinking it might be a straight red but the referee only gives him a yellow. We have a free kick and Samir Nasri crosses into the box and there's Bamba with a header past Ustari and into the net. Too little, too late. DOVER GOAL 2-4

Oh well, we'll move on.

Arsenal 4 - 2 Dover
Goals - Paul Moses (7.2), Arsene Bamba (7.5)
Assists - Emmerson Harvey (7.1), Samir Nasri (6.9)
Man of the Match - Boakye (Arsenal ST - 9.4)
Other Dover Notables - Ross McLaughlin (5.8), Paulus Tjiuoro (5.5), Claudio Contreras (5.3), Wayne Rooney (5.8)
Attendance - 60,184

Arsenal get a deserved victory, holding 52% of possession and a 21-13 (12-4 on target) shot advantage. Poor Sylla was under fire. Our defence was terrible today and Contreras, like Wayne Rooney, continues to be a picture of inconsistency this year.

-- Wow. United lose to Wolves (!!!) 3-1 and Liverpool can only get a draw against Everton so we stay in third place, level on points with second placed United! Blackburn joins Southampton and Fulham as the teams to be relegated. Reading and Chelsea will battle it out for the final Europa League spot, with Chelsea in the drivers seat just because of their last opponent, who is Derby. Reading face a tough Everton team in their final game.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 1 GAME REMAINING UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 82 points
2. Manchester United - 72 points
3. Dover - 72 points
4. Liverpool - 71 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 66 points
6. Chelsea - 64 points
7. Reading - 64 points
----------------------------------------------------



Dover U18 Update

-- Defender Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz scores two more goals in a 3-0 win over Reading's U18 club. Gregoire Lambert scores the other goal.



May Update

-- We have only one game left, a home matchup versus league champions Manchester City.

-- We get positive training reports for Abdallaye Kokaina, Paul Moses and Emmerson Harvey and a negative report for veteran Samir Nasri. On the U18 squad, positive notices come in for Garry Doyle, Ben Lee and Gregoire Lambert.



Barclays Premier League Monthly Awards

-- Aston Villa's Kevin Renton wins Player of the Month, with the DC scoring three times.

-- Renato Gaucho once again wins Young Player of the Month honours!

-- Sheffield Wednesday's Malky Mackay wins manager of the month honours after leading his club to four wins in five matches, their only loss to us. I finish in third for the month.



May Board Confidence Update

-- The board are delighted with the leadership I'm demonstrating. Our stature increase is the main positive and the negative is our loss this week to Arsenal.

-- We made £2.91 million last month.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- Paul Moses bags a brace and fellow striker Carlo Cerbone notches a single in a 3-3 draw against Aston Villa's reserves.



International Update

-- Louis Read and Emmerson Harvey are called up by England's U19 club.



Injury Update

-- Andrea Rocca returns to full training after missing a month with broken ribs. He may be on the bench at the very least for our season finale against City.



Dover U18 Team Update

-- The U18s finish off the season with a 2-0 win away at Crawley, with Gregoire Lambert and Phil Whitbread scoring. The youth team goes an incredible 24-2-0 this year, scoring 91 goals and allowing only 8!!! Lambert scored 44 goals in 33 non-competitive games this year. Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz, our fine DC prospect, scored 12 goals.



Spanish Young Player of the Year Award

-- Our Danish defender Thomas Anderson, who is playing on loan at Getafe in LIGA, finishes third in young player of the year voting.



Next Up

-- We host Premier League champions Manchester City at Crabble Athletic Ground in our final game of the 2021/22 season.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-09-2014 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:42 PM   #258
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sun. May 8, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (21-9-7, 72 points, 3rd) vs. Manchester City (26-4-7, 82 points, 1st)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 7-4 Draw: 11-5 Manchester City: 5-4 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 0W 1D 7L

Despite playing better lately against City and dominating possession in our last two meetings, we still have never gotten a positive result in a game that matters against them, with the draw shown above being in a preseason friendly a number of years back. City are three time consecutive league champions and are going for a 4th consecutive Champions League title in two weeks against Olympique Lyonnais in a game taking place in Florence, Italy. We are slight dogs today - these are easily the best odds I've ever seen against City so our time is now! City continue to be led by the sensational Enrique, who has 43 goals this year. Just a dominating player. Winger Gylfi Sigurosson is second on the team with 12.

We are going with a top lineup today and it will be Shanon Andrea up front with Giorgos Gesios. Mancini is starting in the midfield but Andrea Rocca is back to full fitness and will be a second half substitute for sure. With this being a home game, I'm going to play a control mentality and try to play a positive, attacking game.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, P. Tjiuoro, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, , N. Cairney, Mancini, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, G. Gesios
Bench - J. Kuciak, A. Kokaina, K. Kalfas, A. Rocca, C. Murray, W. Rooney, P. Moses

City are in their trademark 4-5-1 with Enrique up front and Joe Hart in goal. I tell the team to go out and perform for their supporters and pull aside Gesios and Mancini to say I have faith in them.

4' - A good start in the first five minutes as we control play. We have a corner and Cairney's cross is headed by Tjiuoro just over the net.

10' - Mancini springs Gesios and he delivers a ROCKET but Hart is there for the spectacular diving stop!

11' - There is Enrique with a turnaround shot but Wilke makes the fine stop.

19' - Gesios sends a ball through to Andrea and he's in on goal. A defender catches up and tackles him and the ball gets past Hart and is rolling toward goal but Hart recovers just in time to snatch the ball before it crosses the goal line! Wow!

26' - Paulus Tjiuoro is off getting medical attention and that allows Enrique to storm through our defence and get a hard shot on goal but Wilke is up to the task!

30' - Enrique. Enough said. He gets the ball at midfield, turns past Hamon and just JETS through our defence, shooting low into the near corner and City are ahead. MANCHESTER CITY GOAL 0-1

32' - Off the ensuing kick off, we work the ball up field to Gianluca Bolis and he speeds past the left fullback. Bolis sends in a low cross and there is Arsene Bamba, sliding towards goal and kicking it past Hart and into the net! INSTANT REPLY! DOVER GOAL 1-1

37' - Neil Cairney gets a yellow card.

43' - End to end action as Bolis speeds through the defence again but his cross is turned back up field by City. Of course, it's Enrique getting the ball and his shot is saved by Wilke. Furious pace!

45'+1 - City with a goal kick and we head back up field. Andrea is there first but under pressure, he shoots wide! OH that was a chance!

HALFTIME - A tremendous match so far - City hold 53% of possession but we outshoot them 12-8 (2-6 on target). Enrique is brilliant and we have no answer for him right now. I introduce Andrea Rocca at halftime for Mancini and tell the team i'm pleased thus far. Lets get this win!!!

57' - We win the ball at midfield and Cairney feeds Shanon Andrea. He fights with a City defender for the ball and wins the battle, sending Gesios through. Our out of form striker has a half step on the defence as he bares down on goal and slots a long shot from just outside the area past Joe Hart and INTO THE NET to give us the lead!!! DOVER GOAL 2-1

We move to a counter attacking mentality.

62' - We have an extended period of possession and Rocca gets the ball up to Shanon Andrea. He takes it about five yards outside the area with his back to the goal, turns and fires with his stronger right foot and slams the ball with precision into the top corner of the goal past a diving Hart and we have a two goal lead! Holy SHIT!!! DOVER GOAL 3-1

WORLD CLASS strike from Andrea there!!!

72' - We get a corner and Rocca's cross into the box is met by the foot of Paulus Tjiuoro and his left-footed half volley goes past Hart and into the net! OHMYGOD!?!?!?! DOVER GOAL 4-1

City are STUNNED and move to a flat 4-4-2.

74' - Incredible. Enrique takes the ball down the left side near midfield and dribbles through the middle. He cuts across to the right side of the area and shoots and Wilke dives to get a piece of it but it's off his hands and into the corner of the goal. Fuck that guy is SENSATIONAL! Enrique gets City right back into it. MANCHESTER CITY GOAL 4-2

80' - I take out the excellent Gesios and bring in some influence in Wayne Rooney.

85' - Wilke with a great save on the dangerous Sigurosson.

90' - Abdallaye Kokaina comes in for his first ever league game in place of Tjiuoro.

Simply put, one of our finest wins EVER!

Dover 4 - 2 Manchester City
Goals - Arsene Bamba (7.8), Giorgos Gesios (7.5), Shanon Andrea (8.6), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.7)
Assists - Andrea Rocca 2 (7.6), Gianluca Bolis (7.9), Shanon Andrea
Man of the Match - Enrique (Manchester City ST - 9.1)
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.3), Rayane Hamon (7.1)
Attendance - 18,851

City hold 54% of overall possession but we outshoot them 20-14 (6-9 on target). SENSATIONAL WIN!!!

-- United win against Southampton in dominating fashion so we tie them on points but they finish second on goal differential. We finish third, our best finish position ever but interestingly, we finish with one less point than last year's fourth place finish. Liverpool lock up the last Champions League spot despite losing to Huddersfield. Arsenal win over Middlesbrough to lock up a Europa League spot and while Chelsea beat up on Derby 5-0, they have to sit and wait for the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Reading. If Arsenal win, Chelsea get a Europa League spot - if Reading win, then it's their club that gets the coveted Continental spot despite being behind Chelsea on the table!

-- We win £14,400,000 for finishing in third place in the Premier League! We pay out higher than normal bonuses of approximately £1.5 million to the players for the finish.



-- With that, our players are now officially on holiday until the start of next season!



Next Up

-- Stats, recaps, awards, etc.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:17 PM   #259
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Sad elimination vs Barcelona but great season finish. Looking forward for next season !
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:42 PM   #260
NoSkillz
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The stats shown above take into account all competitions with our senior team and include everyone who played at least one game for the big club this past season.

We have the fittest squad in the Premier League and even with an extra ten games or so of Continental play, I was able to ride our best players for most of the season.

GK

-- Ingo Wilke was his usual solid self - his average rating was down but there was no drop in his performances. Youssouf Sylla took a long time to get settled into the club and finally started playing capably near the end of the year. However, he requested more playing time and I wasn't prepared to give it to him so he's been sold to PSG in France and will be leaving the club in early June.

D

-- Our defence continues to mature and both Salim Loucif and Renato Gaucho performed at a level that defies their young age. Loucif took on additional leadership responsibilities as vice-captain and Renato Gaucho will also be a future leader on the team. Jozef Kuciak continues to outperform his average skill set and can always be counted on when Loucif is out of the lineup. Carlos Guzman performed capably on the biggest stage, starting against Barcelona in a Champions League quarterfinal for his only senior level game when Renato Gaucho was suspended. Jozef Varga and Ross McLaughlin are depth and weren't used much.

-- In the middle, new signing Rayane Hamon was SUPERB, more than making up for the loss of Cristian Rodriguez last year. He'll be in hot demand from the bigger clubs in the world but he isn't going anywhere! We continue to get inconsistent play from our other two top central defenders, Claudio Contreras and Paulus Tjiuoro. Contreras has a very high ceiling and at only 19, will continue to get better with age. Tjiuoro is a good veteran to have around and played very well down the stretch. Abdallaye Kokaina has lots of potential but wasn't needed much, as our defence was healthy all year.

M

-- Out wide, the story of the year was the blossoming of superstar winger Gianluca Bolis - formerly a very inconsistent player, he still showed some of those tendencies midway through the year but he just exploded in the second half, scoring 16 goals and adding 13 assists. Equally sensational was the man on the far side of the field, Arsene Bamba - he's always in great position and a few dumb passes aside, his playmaking ability is always a concern for our opposition. Cameron Murray continues to be a bit unheralded here - he's put in two good years in a row as our backup left winger. On the right side, our biggest offseason signing by dollars was Kostas Kalfas and I'm afraid he won't reach his potential with us. He's got incredible mental skills and intangibles but the system I run demands pacy wingers and Kalfas, at 6' 4" and 200lbs just can't run fast enough in our offense. Aitor Zubizarreta was strong as a backup and worked his way into our lineup after a few years of being on loan.

-- Andrea Rocca continues to be the "straw that stirs the drink" inside for our club. He's continually outperformed his ratings and he's invaluable on set pieces as well. Neil Cairney regressed a bit in year two with our club - I had huge expectations this year after a scintillating preseason but he only scored five goals and isn't as involved in the offense as I'd like. That said, he played better in the second half of the year, as we used him more in a "box to box" role and his presence in our midfield isn't always seen on the stat sheet. Mancini is another unheralded player - he doesn't score much or add much offense but he's very capable defensively and versatile. Young Emmerson Harvey saw action as an 18 year old with us and has enormous promise - that said, the question will be whether we can keep him here before a big club makes an offer we can't refuse. Shaun Spall showed offensive flair before having his leg broken in a mid-season match and we look forward to seeing him next year once again. Samir Nasri is well past his prime and may not be around much longer.

S

-- Shanon Andrea was added as depth this year in a move that didn't get a lot of attention. Injuries early on to our two incumbents meant Andrea saw plenty of action and he seemingly scored at will, earning a full-time starting job. He was scoring at an unprecedented rate until tearing a hamstring mid-season and despite missing 20 games, he still led our team in goals and points. That average rating is easily the best from a Dover player in the Premier League era as well. Young on-loan striker Paul Moses will be a SUPERSTAR in this league when he matures but unfortunately, I had a falling out with him early in the year and our relationship has been non-existent all year. He'll return to Manchester United on July 1st and unless he has a change of heart, I won't be able to pry him away from them despite having a buy-out clause in our loan deal. Zoltan Bardi and Giorgos Gesios both dealt with long-term injuries - while Bardi was able to get back into fine form late in the season, Gesios struggled immensely after being our leader up front last year. Wayne Rooney was a great addition but his inconsistency was maddening at times. Still, getting 12 goals, 19 points and great leadership from a 36 year old was surprising to say the least.

RESERVE TEAM PLAYERS

-- I keep a number of players around that have either reached home-grown status or are working on it. DC Emmanuel Agbo, MC Jamie Matthews, ML Steve Ingram, MC Jonathan Adam, ST Dennis Kunz and ST Carlo Cerbone played a bunch of reserves games but never made it into a senior team match.

LOAN PLAYERS

-- We had five players out on loan for the season. DC Andrew Stanley was at Coventry but only played 10 games. He's not a real prospect. DC Thomas Anderson, on the other hand, IS a prospect - he was a starter for Getafe in LIGA, playing 23 games this year and he continues to develop nicely. MC Jonathan Gauthier is another "non" prospect who played at West Ham United this year, getting in 21 games and scoring twice. Striker Roberto battled injuries all year and only saw five games of action with AJ Auxerre in France, scoring one goal. French striker Ryan Bodin scored ten goals for Coventry in 25 games, helping them gain promotion from League 1 into the Championship.

U18 PLAYERS

-- Gregoire Lambert scored an incredible 44 goals in 33 games this year and will graduate from our U18 program and either be a loan candidate or stick around to gain home-grown status. DC Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz was also sensational this year, scoring 12 goals in 39 games. We have two fine DL prospects in Carlos Guzman and Sebastian Kraft. Our top prospect is likely MC Emmerson Harvey, who played a bit with our senior team and scored 11 goals in 33 games for the U18s. We also have a decent GK prospect in Louis Read but he won't ever be good enough for our club and will be sold at some point. Beyond that, we have homegrown talent like Johnny Mardenborough, Matt Hewitt, Garry Doyle, Damian Thorne, Eddie Robinson, Ben Lee and Phil Whitbread, all of whom are marginal prospects at best and will likely find themselves playing in lesser leagues in the future.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-09-2014 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:43 AM   #261
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
2021-22 Barclays Premier League - Team Stats

-- We moved up to 2nd in goals scored with 79 but fell to fifth in goals conceded, giving up 42. Both numbers are one higher than our totals last year.

-- Our average league attendance continues to be the smallest in the league at 15,027 but that's a nice improvement on last year's 13,255. Still, we now have a 23,000 seat stadium and for the first time since we've arrived in the Premier League, we won't be seeing any additional construction at Crabble Athletic Ground. We didn't sell out once in the newly expanded stadium, even in Champions League play. Hopefully, we can continue to add fans and build on that average attendance.

-- Other key team stats: we were 2nd in goals scored from corners (17, up from 11 last year), T-8th in goals scored from IFK's (5, down from 7 last year) but once again, we didn't score on any direct free kicks. We continue to be highly disciplined, generally speaking, finishing 17th in yellow cards (45) and T-12th in red cards (2).



2021-22 Barclays Premier League - Player Stats

-- 21 players participated in all 38 games across the league but none of them were from our club. We had three players take part in 37 of the 38 games: Arsene Bamba, Rayane Hamon and Renato Gaucho were our iron-men.


GOALS
1. Enrique, Manchester City, 33
2. Yaya Sanogo, Manchester United, 30
3. Craig Flett, Sunderland, 24
4. Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea, 21
5. Shanon Andrea, Dover, 18

T22. Zoltan Bardi, Dover, 10
T22. Gianluca Bolis, Dover, 10
T32. Paul Moses, Dover, 8
T48. Wayne Rooney, Dover, 6


ASSISTS
1. Miguel Sousa, Chelsea, 20
2. Omar Hernandez, Manchester United, 18
3. Arsene Bamba, Dover, 17
T4. David Maclennan, Newcastle, 14
T4. Nathan Redmond, Southampton, 14

T6. Andrea Rocca, Dover, 13
T11. Gianluca Bolis, Dover, 11


MAN OF MATCH AWARDS
T1. Enrique, Manchester City, 9
T1. Yaya Sanogo, Manchester United, 9
3. Craig Flett, Sunderland, 8
4. Kevin Renton, Aston Villa, 7
Four Tied with 6

T9. Shanon Andrea, Dover, 5
T11. Gianluca Bolis, Dover, 4
T18. Paul Moses, Dover, 3
T18. Andrea Rocca, Dover, 3
T44. Rayane Hamon, Dover, 2


AVERAGE RATING
1. Enrique, Manchester City, 7.82
2. Omar Hernandez, Manchester United, 7.61
3. Yaya Sanogo, Manchester United, 7.56
4. Shanon Andrea, Dover, 7.43
5. Dedryck Boyata, Manchester United, 7.36

T11. Gianluca Bolis, Dover, 7.29
13. Arsene Bamba, Dover, 7.28
22. Rayane Hamon, Dover, 7.22
T28. Andrea Rocca, Dover, 7.18
T36. Salim Loucif, Dover, 7.13
T47. Renato Gaucho, Dover, 7.09

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-10-2014 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:57 AM   #262
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Barclays Premier League Awards

-- For the FIFTH consecutive year, Enrique wins the English Footballer of the Year award, with Omar Hernandez and Yaya Sanogo from Manchester United coming in second and third respectively.

-- In perhaps one of the biggest honours for our club, Gianluca Bolis is named as the Players' Player of the Year winner!!! Arsene Bamba comes in second and Chelsea's striker Romelu Lukaku comes in third. Wow!!!

-- Sheffield Wednesday forward Steve Pates wins the Players' Young Player of the Year award, with Chelsea teammates Luis Carballo and Aziz El Arabi coming in second and third.

-- Malky Mackay wins the Manager of the Year award for his fine performance leading Sheffield Wednesday. After winning the award last year, I finish in second this time and City's Carlo Ancelotti finishes third.

-- Barclays Premier League Players' Team of the Year
GK - Antonio, Reading
DL - Danny Wilson, Manchester City
DC - Kevin Renton, Aston Villa
DC - Nchimunya Munyao, Arsenal
DR - Daniel Schwaab, Manchester City
ML - Arsene Bamba, Dover
MC - Omar Hernandez, Manchester United
MC - Enrique, Manchester City
MR - Gianluca Bolis, Dover
ST - Yaya Sanogo, Manchester United
ST - Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea

Woooo!!! Bamba and Bolis both make the English Players' Premier League Select team!


Yearly Dover Training Summary

-- I get positive reports on Gianluca Bolis, Salim Loucif and Renato Gaucho (second year in a row for Renato Gaucho).

-- Negative reports come in for injured midfielder Shaun Spall and veterans Wayne Rooney and Samir Nasri.

-- On the youth side, Eddie Robinson, Damian Thorne and Ben Lee get positive reports and MR Pete Smith gets the extra mention for his significant improvements made in training.



Youth Recruitment Investment

-- The board announce that plans to improve our youth recruitment network have begun and we should see this completed in about a month.



FA Cup Final

-- Holy crap Reading! They beat Arsenal 1-0 to win their SECOND CONSECUTIVE FA Cup! That means they gain qualification into the Europa League once again and despite finishing 6th in the league, Chelsea are OUT OF CONTINENTAL PLAY for 2022/23!!!

-- We pay out £67,000 in bonuses to our squad for our sixth round FA Cup run.

-- Arsenal fire their manager Ertugrul Saglam and I'm named as the top candidate. Going against form, I publicly deny any interest in the position. Considering what I've done with Dover, there's no job in the world that I'd be interested in at this point - I really think I can keep building with Dover.



Champions League Final

-- Man City wins 1-0 over Olympique Lyonnais to win their FOURTH straight Champions League title. After the game, significant praise is bestowed on Carlo Ancelotti for the win and he's now considered to be the most successful manager in football history…high praise indeed.

-- WOOO! We are given £18,116,000 for Champions League television revenue!!! Holy CRAP!! We are now in the black for our fiscal year and our revenue has simply EXPLODED this year, as we eclipse the £100 million mark in turnover. Our bank balance is currently north of £34 million as well. Money money money MONEY!!!

-- We pay out bonuses totalling £400,000 for our quarterfinal appearance in the Champions League to the players.

-- Next year's final will be played in England at Zola Stadium.

-- Enrique once again is named the competitions Best Player. Olympique Lyonnais' Maximillian Geiger wins the Golden Boot competition for the event.



International Call-Ups

-- Eight players get called up by their respective countries: Louis Read (England U19s), Emmerson Harvey and Jonathan Adam (England U21s), Zoltan Bardi (Hungary), Salim Loucif (Algeria), Arsene Bamba and Youssouf Sylla (Ivory Coast) and Paulus Tjiuoro (Namibia).



Dover Shareholders Payout

-- Dividends totalling £4.5 million will be paid to our shareholders on turnover of approximately £107 million this year. What an explosive year for revenue!



Dover Contracts Expiring

-- Only two youth players have expiring contracts: GK Garry Doyle and MF Matt Hewitt. Both are pretty horrible players and I'll be letting them go without a new deal.

-- I still have 13 staff members with expiring contracts and I'll have to get to those in short order.



New Manager Contract

-- I sign a three year extension with the club and see my salary skyrocket once again, this time from £24,500 per week to £43,500/week! Our chairman is delighted to have me commit to the club until 2026.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:02 PM   #263
Tellistto
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whitman, MA
Very nice job, Noskillz. Looking forward to more!
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:15 AM   #264
NoSkillz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellistto View Post
Very nice job, Noskillz. Looking forward to more!

Thanks Tellistto! More coming tonight I hope!
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:56 PM   #265
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
June Update

-- This is a World Cup year so we'll have a number of our players taking part in this great competition in June and July. We'll talk more about it as the time comes. The Premier League transfer window opens on June 9th as well - I don't have a LOT of money right now (just north of £5 million) but that number is sure to rise when I get my new budget. I'll be scouting players closely all month as we look to add youth, some depth and maybe a key player or two to complement what we have.


June Board Confidence Update

-- No change here: the board is absolutely delighted with the way I'm leading the team. Stature increase is the highlight and Wayne Rooney's performances are the lowlight.

-- We made a profit of £24.64 million last month. HILARIOUS! Gotta love that television revenue for the Champions League!



International Round-Up

-- We've got four players taking part in the annual African Nations qualifiers and all four, Youssouf Sylla, Arsene Bamba, Salim Loucif and Paulus Tjiuoro play well for their clubs.

-- Final friendlies take place in the buildup to the World Cup. Neil Cairney and Cameron Murray play for Scotland in a 3-0 win over United Arab Emirates, Giorgos Gesios comes on as a substitute for Greece in a 1-0 win over Uruguay and Zoltan Bardi earns a cap for Hungary in a 1-1 draw versus FYR of Macedonia.

-- In U21 action, Jonathan Adam gets an assist and Emmerson Harvey also earns a cap in a 5-1 England win over Northern Ireland. On loan striker Paul Moses also plays.





-- So yeah, the Champions League makes quite a difference to the bottom line! We eclipse the £100 million barrier in turnover and despite skyrocketing wages and bonuses, we clear a £4 million profit. Our bank balance is as high as ever and with no stadium improvements on the horizon for the first time in years, we should have a bit of extra money to spend when the transfer window reopens.


World Cup 2022

-- Five of our players are called up for the World Cup: Salim Loucif for Algeria, Giorgos Gesios for Greece, Gianluca Bolis for Italy, Shanon Andrea for Holland and Neil Cairney for Scotland. It's great to see Andrea get a callup from Holland but the big news is Bolis' callup - he is still looking for his first ever senior cap for Italy so this is a HUGE step for him and I'm delighted that he's going to get a chance to play. Cameron Murray, despite playing in friendlies leading up to the event, does not get the call for Scotland, nor does Andrea Rocca, who is also still looking for his first cap for Italy.



Youth Recruitment Improvements

-- Our planned expansion to the club's youth recruitment network has been completed. We now move from "average" to "above average" youth recruitment.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:02 AM   #266
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Transfer Window Opens

-- The Premier League transfer window reopens and I may be under fire a bit, with some of my better players as likely targets. Right away, Tottenham and their sugar-daddy new chairman approach me to ask about Salim Loucif and I tell them he's not for sale. Remember, I negotiated a new contract with Loucif last year, increasing his minimum release clause to £18.5 million - if they want him, they know the price. Another target is likely going to be star winger Gianluca Bolis but he does NOT have a minimum release clause so I can choose if he stays or goes. Manchester United is rumoured to be preparing a £20 million bid, which would be insane.



Transfer Market - Needs

-- Okay, what are we looking for this year? At the moment, we have only about £5.8 million in our transfer kitty but that total will surely increase when my chairman finalizes our budget for the upcoming year.

STRIKERS: One thing I'm definitely looking for is a big, world-class striker to play a "target man" position - there are two that are on my short-list right now: one is 23 years old and the other is 26 and my scouts feel both would be interested in coming to Dover. I'm always on the lookout for pacy strikers too and with Paul Moses heading back to United on July 1st, I may look for a young player to groom.

GOALKEEPER: With Youssouf Sylla heading out, I'm down to only one viable option in goal in the always dependable Ingo Wilke. Wilke is only 28 so he's heading into the prime of his career but while excellent, he's not world-class. In fact, he may be my weakest starting player by skill level so if I can either upgrade here or find a good young player to come in and learn the position as a backup, I will. Either way, I need to find somebody at GK.

CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: Mancini and Shaun Spall are fine but it would be great to have a third excellent option in the middle along with Andrea Rocca and Neil Cairney.

DEPTH: I'm still a bit worried about our central defence, as Claudio Contreras and Paulus Tjiuoro both had trouble taking hold of the second starting spot alongside Rayane Hamon so adding a great starter could help. I'm also looking for depth at fullback and on both wings.



Transfer OUT

-- As previously discussed, we bid adieu to GK Youssouf Sylla after only one year at Dover. Sylla had trouble settling in to the club and played so poorly in the early goings that I basically couldn't put him in any games that mattered. He finally started coming around near the end of the year but by then, he was already demanding more playing time and with Wilke outperforming him, it made little sense to disrupt our chemistry so Sylla is gone to Paris Saint-Germain in a £3 million deal. Good luck to the Ivory Coast international.



Transfer List

-- I decide to place three players on the transfer list and I have offers accepted for MF Samir Nasri and young strikers Carlo Cerbone and Dennis Kunz. None of the three are in my plans for this year and Nasri is earning entirely too much considering his worth to our team.



World Cup Update

-- Neil Cairney plays well for Scotland but they lose 1-0 to Brazil. Striker Giorgos Gesios comes on as a substitute in Greece's 1-1 draw versus Russia while fellow forward Shanon Andrea scores the only goal in a 1-0 Holland win over Slovakia! Salim Loucif also plays well in a 2-1 Algeria loss to Mexico.



Transfer Talk

-- Remember the name Cheikh Bocande in the future. He's a 23 year old Senegal international striker who I tried to buy from Sporting CP in Portugal. My £18.25 million bid was accepted but Liverpool also offered the same amount and I would end up losing the bidding war. He's a 4.5 star player already and a monstrous 6'6 tall. He is going to be something special and now I'll have to deal with him in the Premier League. A work permit is granted for him shortly thereafter and now I see why I lost the bidding war - he gets a contract worth a whopping £155,000 per week, which was about £75K more than I offered. I'm not looking forward to playing against this beast!



Transfer OUT

-- Carlo Cerbone accepts a contract with Norwich and we move him out for £1.6 million, a tidy profit after buying him for £35,000 two years ago. He spent 2020/21 on our U18 team and he scored goals by the bushel load but he struggled with our reserves last year and was never in our long-term plans. He's a 2.5 star prospect and we wish him well with Norwich.



European Club Rankings

-- We move up 36 places (!) to 45th on the European Club rankings list with 54.192 coefficient points. Manchester United somehow is still in first but Man City, who have won four Champions League titles in a row, will take over first place next year without question.

-- Despite finishing third on the table last year, it looks like we'll be forced to once again take part in the Best Placed Playoff as opposed to getting a bye into the Group stages. This is because 4th placed Liverpool has more coefficient points than us.



Contract Extension

-- We come to terms on a new deal with midfielder Neil Cairney, where he gets a nice signing bonus and £3,000 more per week, bringing his weekly wage to £62,000. Why did I do this, you ask? Well, in addition to getting an extra year on the deal (taking us to June 2026), I get his "Match Highest Earner" clause taken out so if I get a big fish or two, I won't have to worry about having anyone on the team with that clause!

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-13-2014 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:32 AM   #267
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
World Cup Update

-- Neil Cairney plays well in Scotland's 1-1 draw against Saudi Arabia. Holland and South Africa battle to a scoreless draw and Shanon Andrea comes on as a substitute in that contest. Greece win 3-1 over Algeria in a battle between Giorgos Gesios and Salim Loucif. Gesios hurts his arm during the game and will miss the next two weeks.



European Golden Boot

-- Enrique from Man City wins the European Golden Boot, with United's Yaya Sanogo finishing second and Tiago from Olympique Lyonnais coming up in third.



Preseason Friendlies

- I accept offers from Olympique Lyonnais, Ipswich, Watford and Sutton United for preseason friendlies and turn down Maidenhead. I'll start working on my other preseason friendlies soon.



Transfer Talk

-- In a definite first, I have Samir Nasri approach me, looking for our club to compensate him if he's to accept a move to Bolton. Nasri is looking for £6K per week for the remaining year he has on his contract due to the fact he'd be accepting a smaller deal with Bolton. In the end, I'll be LOSING money, as the compensation will be more than the transfer fee coming back but I'd rather take the small loss than have to continue paying him £27,500 per week to sit on my bench. I accept his offer and we'll see if the transfer goes through. And so it does…



Transfer OUT

-- Samir Nasri departs to Bolton in a £200,000 deal with potential clauses. I'm going to have to pay him £300K just in compensation for him accepting a smaller deal but again, the alternative was me paying him over a million pounds if he stayed for the entire season. He's a shell of his former self but he was a good influence on our younger players.



Transfer IN

-- We make a HUGE splash before even getting our 2022/23 budget!!! If you can recall in my last post, I had my eyes on two potential world-class strikers. I struck out on the 23 year old Cheikh Bocande, who elected to sign with Liverpool in an £18.25 million deal. So I went after the 26 year old shortly thereafter and for about half the price, I end up striking a deal with Anderlecht for one of their stars. Please welcome Belgium striker Chiquinho to Dover!



I pay £9.5 million for Chiquinho (real name is Francisco Santos), who has essentially spent his entire career with Anderlecht, playing 243 games over the past seven seasons, scoring a whopping 172 league goals!!! We saw him in action during our Champions League Group Stage matches and he scored once in our two game set and was very impressive alongside his strike partner Said Henni. Chiquinho is a 4.5/4.5 player and immediately becomes the best player Dover has ever seen. He's extremely durable (over 30 league games played six consecutive years) and EXTREMELY productive (he's scored no fewer than 24 league goals in his last five years). He will immediately be a first-choice striker alongside Shanon Andrea and we have our own explosive target man up front. I'm ELATED!

-- The shockwaves are immediate. First of all, Anderlecht fans are LIVID that their favourite player has been sold after "building up a great rapport with the supporters". Secondly, Dover's Commercial Director (I didn't even know I had one!) notes in a financial update that "the purchase of Chiquinho is likely to cause a sharp increase in revenue due to shirt sales. It's a GOOD DAY!!!



Staff Contract Extensions

-- I have a number of contract extension offers accepted by some key scouting staff, including my chief scout.



Transfer Clause Money IN

-- Former striker Gerardo Escobar, who I sold to Sheffield Wednesday last year, gets sold again, this time to uber rich Tottenham for the ridiculous sum of £13,500,000. WOW! I was smart enough to build in a 20% sell-on clause so I get £525,000 up front and an additional £2.2 million over the next 24 months! WOW again! I can't believe Escobar, a 3 star player, went for that much money. He did play great for Sheffield last year and led their club in scoring but we'll see what he does with a top club like Spurs.



World Cup Update

-- Neil Cairney plays well again in a 1-1 Scotland draw versus the United States. Shanon Andrea came on as a substitute for Holland in a convincing 4-0 win over Iran and Salim Loucif's Algerian squad shocked Russia by the same scoreline.



Preseason Foreign Tour

-- Every year, I pick a new country to visit during the preseason for a two-game tour. Last year we visited Germany, the year before it was Italy and prior to that it was Greece. This year we will head to Holland, Shanon Andrea's home country and we'll face Dutch powerhouses PSV and Ajax in friendlies.

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Old 03-13-2014, 09:52 AM   #268
Tellistto
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whitman, MA
If I were you I would seriously consider trying to get the board to upgrade your facilities further. Not the stadium size, but your training ground and such. That should help you greatly with players now and players considering your club.

Just a thought.

Nice work!

Tell
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:50 AM   #269
NoSkillz
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Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellistto View Post
If I were you I would seriously consider trying to get the board to upgrade your facilities further. Not the stadium size, but your training ground and such. That should help you greatly with players now and players considering your club.

Just a thought.

Nice work!

Tell

Yup - I asked for training ground improvements and after being rejected ("the players don't come here based on our training facilities, their motivations are financially driven" was their quote), I continued to plead my case.

Thankfully they backed down and they are in the planning stages of another improvement. We're at "Average" training facilities now from what I remember.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:36 PM   #270
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Premier League Sponsorship

-- Manchester United continue to bring in sponsorship money at a ridiculous rate, netting £60 million while we continue to attract little attention, garnering only £250,000, easily last in the Premier League.


England Season Summary

Here's a look at the TEAMtalk.com Season Summary report on all the English leagues, with a full recap of the Premier League and just a quick look at the promotions/relegations in the other leagues.

Barclays Premier League 2021/22
Winners - Man City
Relegated - Southampton, Blackburn, Stoke
Top Goalscorer - Enrique, Manchester City - 33
Most Assists - Miguel Sousa - 20
Highest Average Rating - Enrique, Manchester City - 7.82 (32 apps)
Overachievers - Sheffield Wednesday
Underperformers - Middlesbrough
Signing of the Season - Dover's Shanon Andrea (£5.5m)
Worst Signing of the Season - Fulham's Guillermo Piras (£5.5m)

npower Championship
Winners - Burnley
Promoted - Burnley, Stoke, Birmingham
Relegated - Preston, Bristol City, Doncaster

npower League 1
Winners - Coventry
Promoted - Coventry, Swansea, Tranmere
Relegated - Stockport, Gillingham, Bournemouth, Crawley

npower League 2
Winners - Crewe
Promoted - Crewe, Oldham, Brentford, Rushden
Relegated - Wrexham, Morecambe

Blue Square Bet Premier
Winners - Rotherham
Promoted - Rotherham, Aldershot
Relegated - Havant & Waterlooville, Port Vale, Histon, Dartford

Blue Square Bet North
Winners - FC Halifax
Promoted - FC Halifax, Stalybridge
Relegated - Harrogate, Bedford, Brackley

Blue Square Bet South
Winners - Cheltenham
Promoted - Cheltenham, Eastbourne Boro
Relegated - Bishop's Stortford, Farnborough, Maidenhead

Other Winners
FA Cup - Reading (Second Year in a Row)
League Cup - Huddersfield
Community Shield - Reading
Johnstone's Paint Trophy - Brighton (Second Year in a Row)
FA Trophy - Rotherham

Europe Qualification
Champions League Group Stage - Man City, Man United, Dover
Champions League Best Placed Playoff - Liverpool
Europa League Fourth Qualifying Round - Reading, Liverpool, Arsenal
Europa League Third Qualifying Round - Huddersfield

-- So, the biggest surprise out of this is the fact that we are officially in the Group Stage based on our third place finish. For some reason, I thought we'd be back in the Best Placed Playoff due to having a lower coefficient versus Liverpool but I'm happy to be wrong on that!

-- Great to see us get a thumbs up on the Shanon Andrea bargain buy!

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Old 03-15-2014, 02:53 AM   #271
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Dover Fans' Player of the Year

-- It was likely a close race with striker Shanon Andrea but in the end, it's right midfielder Gianluca Bolis who is named as Dover's Player of the Year by our supporters. Bolis was sensational, without question. By the way, Bolis still hasn't received his first senior team cap and has been on the bench for Italy during the World Cup. He's blocked by Inter's 24 year old phenom Jonathan Bottone and Bolis will likely need a Bottone injury to see action.



Dover Best Eleven for 2021-22

-- No major surprises here:

GK - Ingo Wilke - 48 apps 0g 6.96 avg
DL - Renato Gaucho - 54 apps 1g 7.07 avg
DC - Rayane Hamon - 54 apps 4g 7.20 avg
DC - Paulus Tjiuoro - 21 apps 1g 7.00 avg
DR - Salim Loucif - 47 apps 1g 7.15 avg
MC - Andrea Rocca - 45 apps 3g 7.16 avg
MC - Neil Cairney - 48 apps 5g 7.08 avg
ML - Arsene Bamba - 53 apps 9g 7.28 avg
MR - Gianluca Bolis - 50 apps 16g 7.29 avg
ST - Shanon Andrea - 31 apps 24g 7.52 avg
ST - Paul Moses - 22 apps 9g 7.11 avg

Other notables: DR Ross McLaughlin 1 apps 0g 5.80; DR Jozef Kuciak 13 apps 0g 6.91; DC Claudio Contreras 39 apps 2g 6.96; DM Mancini 26 apps 0g 6.94; ST Zoltan Bardi 35 apps 13g 7.07; ST Wayne Rooney 31 apps 12g 6.95; ST Giorgos Gesios 34 apps 8g 6.86

A slight surprise to see Paul Moses get on the team but it's obviously heavily slanted towards average rating so it's understandable to see him up there. What Ross McLaughlin is doing on the other notables list is beyond me...

Let's take a look at our overall Best Eleven since I took over management of the franchise:

Dover Best Eleven - Overall

GK - Ingo Wilke - 251 apps 0g 7.01 avg
DL - David Ogilby - 178 apps 8g 6.98 avg
DC - Olly Schulz - 120 apps 18g 7.32 avg
DC - Oliver Nicholas - 316 apps 28g 7.14 avg
DR - Conor Morrissey - 230 apps 1g 6.98 avg
ML - Arsene Bamba - 192 apps 36g 7.22 avg
MC - Zoltan Bardi - 200 apps 70g 7.03 avg
MC - Andrea Rocca - 190 apps 35g 7.27 avg
MR - Abdeltareck Sakali - 176 apps 50g 7.14 avg
ST - Alexander Rattke - 125 apps 55g 7.13 avg
ST - Aaron Green - 141 apps 65g 7.18 avg

No changes to the starting eleven from last year.

Substitutes:
GK - Liam O'Brien - 219 apps 0g 6.84 avg
DL - Aziz Deen-Conteh - 122 apps 2g 6.95 avg
ML - Ismael Fofana - 206 apps 38g 6.98 avg
MC - Richie Ryan - 131 apps 28g 6.98 avg
MC - Jon Wallis - 135 apps 13g 6.94 avg
MR - Gianluca Bolis - 123 apps 29g 7.11 avg
ST - Ben Hunt - 156 apps 70g 7.12 avg

Gianluca Bolis comes onto the list for the first time and former striker Gerardo Escobar comes off.


2022-23 Barclays Premier League Fixture List Announced

-- We open our season on the road at Everton and our first home game is against "oil-rich" Tottenham. For the THIRD consecutive year, our Boxing Day game AND our final game of the season are both against Manchester City.

-- We are given £40,000,000 spread over 12 months for Premier League television rights. Sweetness.


Start of Season Expectations

-- OK here we go! For the second consecutive year, the board is hoping we achieve a top half finish in the Premier League for the upcoming season but I'm more ambitious then they are. I'm really gunning for a league title but I won't be that bold in our budget meeting and instead tell them my goal is European qualification again. For that they'll offer the following:

2022/23 TRANSFER BUDGET - £38,000,000 (Last Year: £27,500,000)
2022/23 WAGE BUDGET - £700,000 (Last Year: £450,000/week)

These are hefty hikes from last year, with obvious help from all that Champions League money we earned. I may use some of that transfer money to edit our wages higher but we'll see how things go.


Youth Intake - U18 Club

-- Once again, I'm completely let down by our youth intake and our best prospect from this class has a meagre 1.5 potential rating. With two improvements made to our recruiting network I've been expecting better. We haven't developed one true "home-grown" talent in all my years here at Dover.

-- Two players are promoted to our senior team due to turning 19: promising left fullback Carlos Guzman and GK Louis Read. Both have a chance to play a bit this year but will likely be sent to our reserves for seasoning.


-- Chelsea is rumoured to be preparing a £40,000,000 bid for Neil Cairney which would activate his minimum release clause. If they want him that bad, I'll take the money and run but obviously I want to see Cairney develop here.

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Old 03-15-2014, 03:39 AM   #272
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Preseason Friendlies

-- We finalize our preseason schedule, with an intersquad game and nine other friendlies. It's a pretty tough schedule, as usual, with some good money-making opportunities and a confidence-building game at the end of the preseason.

July 9 vs. Dover U18
July 16 at Ipswich (England Championship)
July 19 vs. Olympique Lyonnais (France Ligue 1)
July 22 at Ajax (Holland Eredivisie)
July 24 at PSV (Holland Eredivisie)
July 27 at Watford (England Championship)
August 1 vs. Fiorentina (Italy Serie A)
August 3 vs. Sampdoria (Italy Serie A)
August 5 vs. Real Madrid (Spain LIGA BBVA)
August 8 at Margate (England Non-League)



World Cup 2022

-- In second round play, Holland defeat Greece 2-1 to advance, with both Shanon Andrea and Giorgos Gesios playing for their countries. Italy defeated Poland on penalties but once again, Gianluca Bolis doesn't get off the bench. Other teams moving on include the US, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Germany and Argentina.



Attendance Record Broken

-- We get a note that we once again break our attendance record at Dover, with an average of 15,081 supporters watching us play this past year. We hope to get a bit closer to our new capacity of 23,000 as we continue to move forward.



Barclays Premier League Odds for 2022-23

-- Three time consecutive champions Manchester City are once again favoured by Sky Bet, with odds of 5-4 to win for a 4th year in a row. United is second at 3-1, newly rich Tottenham skyrockets to third at 14-1, Liverpool is fourth at 16-1, Arsenal are 5th at 16-1 and Chelsea is at 20-1. With odds of 33-1, we are starting to gain respect all over the league (last year we had 150-1 odds) and we're projected to finish 7th this year.



-- We've sold 1071 season tickets thus far, with the board expecting to sell approximately 4900 this year.



-- I sign five new coaches and sack five others as I continue to improve our training setup at Dover. We are now rated at 4.5 stars right across the board for all training categories except for Aerobic, where we have a perfect 5 star rating. For the U18s, we're slightly lower, with ratings between 4 stars and 5 stars.



Loanees Return

-- Roberto, Jonathan Gauthier, Ryan Bodin, Andrew Stanley and Thomas Andersen all return from their year-long loan assignments. Paul Moses departs Dover and heads back to Manchester United. I wonder if the time away during the holiday will mend things between us, as I contemplate sending an offer to United for his permanent services.



Possible Transfer

-- I come to terms on a deal that would bring Mexico national team starting GK to Dover but I'll have to get a work permit approved first. If things go through, as expected, I will shed more light on the 24 year old.

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Old 03-15-2014, 02:30 PM   #273
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Dover Player Retirements and Other Departures

-- We hit July 1st and for the first time that I can remember, we have no player retirements. We've gotten very young over the past few years and while I still have 36 year old Wayne Rooney, he's still hanging around, at least for this year.

-- We also have ZERO player departures beyond Paul Moses, who was a loanee. Two of our U18 players, MR Matt Hewitt and GK Garry Doyle have expired contracts but they are sticking around on a week-to-week basis.

-- We lose no "Dover favourites" for the first time in my recollection either.


Transfer Market Plans

-- I've already discussed this earlier but that was before we were given our budget for the year. I'm always looking for strikers and I've got an offer in on at least two of them right now - I have a huge surplus of strikers on the club right now but I'm actively trying to sell a number of the fringe players right now to bring down the squad size. If I bring in anyone substantial, there's a chance I'll have to sell one of my starter quality players.

-- We continue to need a goalkeeper but again, I have an offer that is accepted pending a work permit so I'm content to sit around and wait for a positive answer there.

-- I'd like to add starter quality backups to both wide midfield positions, one central midfielder and perhaps a left fullback. Also, if I see any reasonably priced U18 talent, I'll try to jump on it.

I continue to chase young English forward Paul Moses - even after our battles last year when I accidentally sent him to the reserves and he stopped talking to me, it's looking like time has healed those wounds. Moses seems open to a move according to my scouts and when I praise his skills in the press, he reacts very positively. United is looking for way too much money but I may be able to work something out like last year, where I loan him in and get a reduced buyout rate because of it. If that doesn't work out, there is a young Argentine that has incredible promise as well. I've also placed a bid on a young German midfielder that looks to be on the move but I'll be battling against Barcelona for his services so I won't expect anything there. I've also placed a bid on a cultured striker that knows our new man up front, Chiquhino, VERY well. Nabbing him would definitely mean a likely exit for Giorgos Gesios but it would unquestionably be a coup for the club if we secure his services.


World's Richest Club List

-- Real Madrid have moved past Barcelona to take over the top spot on the richest club list with a total value of £836 million. Barca are at £819 million, which is about £100 million LESS than last year. Arsenal are the top rated English club in 3rd place at £430 million. United are 6th at £393 million and City are 7th at £354 million. We make a HUGE JUMP on this year's list, going from 64th all the way up to 36th with a value of £102 million. Superb!!!



Transfer IN

-- We welcome two new players to Dover on Bosman signings completed while the transfer window was closed, with both players being promising young strikers. First, welcome Rogelio Garcia to Dover!



Garcia is a 21 year old Mexican who has great size and pace. I signed him on a free from Porto in Portugal, where he scored 11 goals in 13 games for the senior team as a 20 year old. I'd like to loan him out to an English team in order for him to learn the language.

-- Also, please welcome Orlando Scolari to Dover, also here on a Bosman signing!



Scolari is a 20 year old Argentina native and I nabbed him from Le Mans FC in France. He played for their feeder squad last year, scoring 9 goals in 16 matches. Scolari doesn't have the same size or speed of Garcia but he is a very talented young man as well. Like Garcia, I'm planning on loaning Scolari out for the season. Scolari comes to Dover with an estimated value of £4.5 million while Garcia comes valued at £5 million so these are two great free signings for us!

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Old 03-15-2014, 03:01 PM   #274
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
July Board Confidence Update

-- The board are very pleased with my overall leadership. The stature increase is the main reason but they are slightly disappointed with the departure of Youssouf Sylla. Whatever! He stunk for us.

-- We recorded a loss last month of £15.61 million


Manager, Team & Stadium Status and Media Expectations



I get a huge raise and my domestic player bias continues to trend down toward more of an international flavour.



Another five percent increase on tickets, something that has become standard practice over the years for us. Our estimated value almost DOUBLES - again, Champions League money has a major impact on our bottom line and our wage and transfer budgets are up in proportion this year.



For the first time since we've been admitted to the Premier League, we have no stadium expansion plans underway. We have a lovely 23,000 all-seater now and a bit of room to grow into it after only averaging a little over 15,000 supporters per match last year. We are working on improving our youth facilities, a welcomed change for sure.



World Cup Update

-- Holland and Brazil went to penalty kicks and while Shanon Andrea scored on Holland's first kick, they'd eventually lose 4-3 on penalties, meaning Brazil advance to the semi-finals. Mexico also win, destroying the United States 5-0. The Mexican goalkeeper that I'm hoping to sign doesn't play in this game. Mexico will face Spain in the semis, as they defeated Germany 3-2 and Argentina get past Italy 3-0 and they will face Brazil.

-- The big news out of that Argentina/Italy matchup is that Gianluca Bolis finally earns his first senior team cap for Italy, actually earning the start in the contest! Unfortunately, Bolis got hurt during the match, suffering a twisted knee that will likely keep him out for about two weeks. He'll miss a few preseason friendlies…no big deal.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:15 PM   #275
Tellistto
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whitman, MA
Curious. Did you try to buy Moses before he returned to ManU? As in, execute the buy option and find out if he would sign a contract?

Tell
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:01 PM   #276
NoSkillz
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Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellistto View Post
Curious. Did you try to buy Moses before he returned to ManU? As in, execute the buy option and find out if he would sign a contract?

Tell

I didn't, only because at that time, he still "wanted to leave the club" so I figured it wouldn't be worth the effort.

Now, he seems to be over the issue so I'm going to take advantage of it.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:01 PM   #277
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Training Camp Begins

-- The players return from their vacation and two players are hurt as they arrive to camp. We already knew about Gianluca Bolis but DC Thomas Andersen suffered a fractured skull (ouch) during a match while on loan at Getafe.

-- In our team meeting, my coaches give me the low-down on where we stand in relation to other teams in the league.

Aggression - Low (Last year we were lowest in league)
Dribbling - Poor
Height - Good, among the tallest squads in the league (Last year we were "Poor")
Speed - High
Fitness - Best in the League (Second year in a row)
Age - Youngest team in the League (We've been the youngest squad all five years in the Premier League)



World Cup Update

-- Mexico defeat Spain 3-2 to move onto the finals of the World Cup.They will face Argentina, who defeated Brazil 1-0.



Transfers OUT

-- We start moving players out and the first player to go is reserve striker Dennis Kunz who comes to terms on a contract with Havre AC in French Ligue 1 and departs on a £250,000 deal. We picked Kunz up on a free from FC Carl Zeiss Jena in Germany in 2018 and he played a couple of years with our U18 squad before moving onto our reserves team. He never played a senior level game for us and we're happy to get something for him.

-- Next on the move is striker Ryan Bodin, who leaves for Tranmere in the Championship in a £875,000 deal. We picked up Bodin on a free from FC Sochaux-Montbeliard in French Ligue 1 in 2020 and sent him on two season-long loan spells. He scored 16 goals for Rushden in 2020/21 and 10 goals last year in 22 matches for Coventry. He's a decent Championship level player but was never going to make it into the first team here. He leaves our club without having played in a single match.



International Duty

-- Emmerson Harvey is called up to play for England's U19 club.



Transfers OUT

-- Two more strikers depart. 19 year old Gregoire Lambert, who tore it up for our U18 team last year, is off to Hull in a £875,000 deal. We picked him up on a free from Girondins Bordeaux in Ligue 2 and he never played a senior level game for us.

-- We also move ST/AM Roberto to Osasuna in Spain's LIGA Adelante in a whopping £2 million transfer. We scooped Roberto up on a free from Los Angeles in MLS in 2018 and he spent two seasons out on loan, first at West Ham in the Championship in 2019, scoring 17 goals in 40 games and also last year at AJ Auxerre in Ligue 1, where he was a victim of the numbers game and only played in three games, scoring once. He played 16 league games for Dover, scoring 2 goals and adding 1 assist.



Loan IN

-- Well, we got him again! 18 year old stud striker Paul Moses rejoins our club on loan for the season from Manchester United and I am able to include a £19 million buy-out clause in the deal. Moses is a wonderkid with blazing speed who put up 8 goals in 16 league games for us last year despite having a feud with me all year. He's over it now and I WILL be activating that buyout clause at some point and hope he'll sign with me long-term. I just have to make sure I don't screw this up this time!



Stadium Stuff

-- Our pitch is re-laid like it usually is just before we start our season and it's back to being in perfect condition.

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Old 03-16-2014, 12:31 AM   #278
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. July 9, 2022

-- We play our annual intrasquad game between our reserves/backups and our U18 team.

Preseason Friendly
Dover 3 - 0 Dover U18
Dover Goals - Kostas Kalfas (8.1), Rogelio Garcia (7.8), Shaun Spall (8.0)
Dover Assists - Mancini (7.1), Cameron Murray (7.3)
Man of the Match - Kostas Kalfas
Other Notables: Jozef Kuciak (7.2), Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz (7.7), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.4), Carlos Guzman (7.0)

U18 Goals -
U18 Assists -
Other U18 Notables - Garry Doyle (5.9), Ben Lee (5.6), Mario Lennon (5.8)

-- The senior team rolled to a 3-0 lead after 35 minutes then stepped off the gas. Nobody got hurt and that's the most important thing.


Transfer OUT

-- We get an offer we can't refuse on a young centre halfback and it's 20 year old Abdallaye Kokaina leaving for SK Rapid Wien in Austria in a £6 million transfer. I picked up Kokaina in July 2020 amid a flurry of moves that saw us pick up fellow DCs Thomas Andersen, Cristian Rodriguez, and Paulus Tjiuoro as we looked to overhaul a weak middle portion of our defence. Kokaina played that first year on our U18 squad and was on the senior team last year but only played three games for the senior team, as he was always the fourth choice behind Rayane Hamon, Claudio Contreras and Tjiuoro. With young Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz getting promoted from the U18s this year, Kokaina is surplus to requirements and I'm elated to get six million for him.


-- Olympique Lyonnais want Arsene Bamba but he's not for sale. Bamba is upset and wants a bigger contract but we have a chat and he's content with the same wage for now.


World Cup Final

-- Mexico defeat Argentina 2-0 to win the 2022 World Cup! After the game, a bunch of managers step down from their posts and for the first time that I can recall, the Canadian and England jobs are available. Hmm. I've read enough dynasties in the past to know that it's practically impossible to do both jobs at the same time so I decide against applying for the positions.

-- Enrique wins the Golden Ball for his performance with Spain and also wins the Golden Boot, scoring 11 goals in the competition. Man United's young Brazilian midfielder Rogerio wins the Best Young Player award and GK Antonio takes home the Golden Glove for his fine play for Holland.



Transfers IN

-- We are pleased to welcome 24 year old Scottish wide midfielder Graham Allan to Dover in a £7.5 million deal with Blackburn.



Allan, who has received 10 caps for Scotland at the highest level, spent two years with Blackburn and is coming off a fine season where he scored 9 goals and added 9 assists in 32 appearances. He's been all over the place and I guess that's a bit of a concern but he has blazing speed and is extremely versatile, with the ability to play on both wings AND can play striker in a pinch. He should work well in our system and likely will be an upgrade over young Kostas Kalfas for now.

-- We finally get a work permit approved for 24 year old Mexican international goalkeeper Manuel Perez!



Perez is a four star player already and has played 16 games at the highest level for Mexico, including a couple games in their recent World Cup championship victory. I don't expect him to snare the starting job away from Ingo Wilke in year one but I'll bring him along slowly and hope that in a year or two he can make a larger impact. This is the latest in a line of goalkeepers who have tried and ultimately failed to unseat Wilke but I think Perez is the best of the bunch.



Transfer OUT

-- We move DC Thomas Andersen to Middlesbrough in a £4.7 million deal. Andersen is a 5'10" centre halfback who is slow, a pretty poor size/speed combination to be honest. He's extremely determined and will work his butt off and likely succeed but ultimately, he wasn't in my plans and it was an easy deal to make. Andersen played 10 games for us in 2020/21, scoring one goal and adding an assist and he spent the last two years on loan, with separate spells at Burnley in the Championship and with Getafe in LIGA BBVA. Good luck to Thomas. Andersen's former club, AZ, will receive £850,000 over the next 24 months due to a 40% sell-on clause I had in my deal with them a couple years back.


-- A 24 year old D(RC) rejects my offer and signs with Chelsea. Back to the drawing board.



Transfer IN

-- OK, now this just isn't fair. It's an embarrassment of riches for us at the striker position, as we complete a £7.5 million deal to bring Algerian international ML/ST Said Henni over from Anderlecht, a former strike partner of Chiquinho's!



Henni is equally adept playing left midfield, attacking left midfield and striker and has scored 31 goals in 55 appearances for Algeria in international play. He played five seasons with Anderlecht, scoring 76 goals in 135 league games. He's got world class ability and is rated 4-4.5 stars by all my coaches and scouts. Like the addition of Chiquinho, my marketing manager indicates that this signing will mean plenty of jersey sales and extra revenue for the club. I expect Henni to get approximately 30 starts playing either left wing or striker as he learns the English language and attempts to settle into the club. This is a great signing! At 27 years old, this player is meant to help us right away but with Andrea, Chiquinho, Bardi, Moses, Gesios and Rooney already on the team, someone will have to go…



Loan OUT

-- And with the Henni deal, I decide to move Giorgos Gesios out on loan to Sevilla, getting a nice loan fee of £4.1 million in the process. Sevilla will also pay Gesios' salary for the whole season and I believe there is a clause for them to purchase him at any point for around £13 million or so. I would have preferred moving him out completely but this is a nice compromise.



Dover U18 Team Update

-- I sign four players for our youth squad, all on free transfers. They all have decent potential (between 1.5 to 2.5 stars) but there is nothing here other than depth as we look to continue our success in the U18 league.



Transfer Talk

-- Juventus make a £15 million bid for Salim Loucif. Yikes. It's swiftly rejected but that's very close to his £18.5 million minimum release clause so they could get him if they really want him.

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Old 03-16-2014, 02:45 AM   #279
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. July 16, 2022

Preseason Friendly
Ipswich (Championship) vs. Dover
Portman Road, Ipswich, UK

Ipswich have been in the Championship since 2002/03, a span of 21 years! Now that's consistency - no promotions…no relegations with their highest finish being 6th in 2018/19.

We'll start a very strong lineup, with only the injured Gianluca Bolis not in the lineup. Newcomers Chiquinho and Graham Allan are starting.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Allan
S - S. Andrea, Chiquinho

Ipswich 0 - 8 Dover
Goals - Neil Cairney 2 (9.1), Shanon Andrea 2 (9.4), Graham Allan (9.1), Chiquinho (8.6), Said Henni (8.2), Zoltan Bardi (7.5)
Assists - Chiquinho 2, Andrea Rocca 2 (8.5), Renato Gaucho (8.8), Shanon Andrea, Wayne Rooney (6.9)
Man of the Match - Shanon Andrea
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.3), Salim Loucif (7.7), Rayane Hamon (7.6), Claudio Contreras (8.6), Arsene Bamba (7.5)
Attendance - 13,226

Umm, so yeah, we look pretty decent to start! We build up a ridiculous 6-0 lead at halftime and we basically substitute the entire starting roster out at that time. Chiquinho and Andrea were unstoppable up front in the first half then Said Henni scored a ridiculous goal playing left midfield and I'm going to love watching him play that position spelling Arsene Bamba, as Henni's stronger foot is his right so instead of long runs up the sidelines, Henni prefers cutting inside then using his right foot to send rockets toward goal. His marker here was a curling 30 yarder from way out and it was breathtaking! Just a scintillating performance against a pretty decent club.

-- Kostas Kalfas came on as a sub and got hurt near the end of the game. He will miss about a week with a bruised rib.



Transfer OUT

-- We send Aitor Zubizarreta to Roma for £3 million. We brought the young Spaniard in for the 2018/19 season on a £1.7 million deal with Manchester United and he spent two years with our club and two years on loan in Spain with Gimnastic. In all, he scored 9 goals in 39 games for Gimnastic and scored 1 goal and added 1 assist in 24 league games with Dover. Interestingly enough, after the sale is confirmed, our supporters group rejoiced, saying that Zubizarreta was a locker room problem and now it is expected that things will be much more harmonious at the club. Very interesting. Either way, I'm happy to get a good chunk of change for Zubizarreta but will miss his talent.



Transfer IN

-- I've been watching this guy for at least two years and I'm finally able to come to a deal. We spend a lot of money for a guy who will basically backup both fullback positions but his pedigree can't be denied and there were way too many advantages to doing this deal. We spend £9 million to bring 22 year old England international DR/DL Kostas Zagos to Dover!



Zagos was purchased by Sheffield Wednesday in 2018/19 for £7.75 million and make a small profit on this deal. Zagos was a perennial starter for them since he was 18 years old, playing 114 games over those four years and contributing 6 assists. He's been capped four times already by England at 22 years of age - he always seems to have high tackle numbers in the year-end Premier League stats and he has great speed, work rate and endurance. He will be our main backup for both Renato Gaucho and Salim Loucif and he singlehandedly makes two more players obsolete, as we transfer list Ross McLaughlin and Jozef Varga. It's great getting another England native, as it helps us meet our domestic guidelines for the Premier League.



Transfers OUT

-- With the signing of Said Henni, our backup left midfielder for the past three years becomes surplus to requirements. Therefore, we send Cameron Murray to Burnley for £1.5 million. The 26 year old Scotland international came over from Hibernian for £3.8 million in 2019/20 and was solid but unspectacular for us, scoring only 1 league goal and adding 3 assists in 40 league games. He was always just a bit too small for my tastes and while I wish I got a little bit more for him, it was apparent he wouldn't be needed here. I have Bamba, Henni and even newcomer Graham Allan can play left midfield so we wish Murray the best with Burnley, who are likely in for a rude awakening in their return to the Premier League this year.

-- We also bid adieu to DR Ross McLaughlin, who departs to Fulham in a £1.4 million deal. We picked up McLaughlin on a free after he spent his developmental years with Celtic before moving on to Manchester City for three years. McLaughlin was a guy I watched for awhile during his time at City and I jumped at the chance to pick him up when he was available for nothing but unfortunately, he never played well in his limited time with our club, either during reserves games or during his few chances at Senior team action. He leaves Dover after only three senior level games.



Transfer IN

-- With the departures of Thomas Andersen and Abdallaye Kokaina, we needed another central defender just for depth purposes and we pick up cultured 29 year old Ivory Coast international Daniel Traore on a free.



Traore spent the last six years in France playing on Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille Metropole and he was a very effective player for them, playing 161 league games, scoring three goals and adding 19 assists. He also has 67 caps for Ivory Coast and two international goals. He's a great tackler, has solid mental and physical attributes and will be a capable fourth or fifth defender for us over the next two seasons.



Transfers OUT

-- We move two more players out. First, it's 21 year old AMC Jonathan Adam moving to Southampton in a £750,000 deal. Adam was a free pickup in 2019/20 after spending his first couple of years in Aston Villa's youth system. Adam played two years with our U18 squad then was promoted to our reserves last year. He never played a senior level game with Dover, making him easily expendable but he's got some talent and it will be interesting to see if he can become a regular with Southampton. He's got some interesting attributes and he might be a guy who could contribute in the Championship.

-- We also say goodbye to Jozef Varga, our backup left fullback in a £1.9 million deal with AS Nancy Lorraine in French Ligue 1. Varga was a bargain buy from Stuttgart in 2019, as we paid £130,000 for his services. He spent two years in France on loan deals with Evian TG FC but he played 21 scoreless league games for Dover as well over a three year span. With Kostas Zagos coming to the club this year and the promotion of Carlos Guzman to the senior team from the U18s, the writing was on the wall for Varga and we wish him well in France.



Loan IN

-- I've been trying to swing a transfer for this kid for a couple months but Inter simply want the world for him. So I am able to negotiate a loan deal for 17 year old Italian Gian Marco Fanfoni, with the youngster joining us for the full season and I also have a buyout option at a whopping £17,500,000!



Fanfoni is rated 2.5/4.5 as a 17 year old so as you can imagine, this guy is oozing with talent and may be the midfield version of Paul Moses. I will keep him on our senior team for the season, giving him a lot of reserve league action in addition to some bench time with our senior team and some possible starts depending on how he adjusts. It was a low-risk move and at the very least, we have some acceptable depth now at central midfield.

-- With this signing, we're pretty much done with adding to the main roster. That is unless something fantastic comes along. I still have about £17 million in my transfer budget but that is being saved for a possible Paul Moses buyout.



Next Up

-- We welcome French powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais to Crabble Athletic Ground for a preseason friendly. OL were Champions League finalists last year, only to lose to Man City.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-16-2014 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:49 AM   #280
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue. July 19, 2022

Preseason Friendly
Dover vs. Olympique Lyonnais (France Ligue 1)
Dover Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Olympique Lyonnais are the defending French Ligue 1 champions and Champions League finalists. This is an elite club and they'll give us a much tougher match than Ipswich.

Once again, we'll go with a relatively full strength side for today's contest. New GK Manuel Perez will start, Paulus Tjiuoro will man DC and Kostas Zagos will play DL, otherwise we'll start the same players as the Ipswich game.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - M. Perez
D - K. Zagos, P. Tjiuoro, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Allan
S - S. Andrea, Chiquinho

Dover 4 - 1 Olympique Lyonnais
Goals - Chiquinho 2 (9.3), Arsene Bamba (7.4), Steve Ingram (7.4)
Assists - Chiquinho, Shanon Andrea (7.2), Shaun Spall (6.9)
Man of the Match - Chiquinho
Other Dover Notables - Manuel Perez (7.4), Salim Loucif (7.2), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.2), Neil Cairney (7.3), Andrea Rocca (5.8)
Attendance - 10,679

Chiquinho is SO good. He's going to be a delight to watch this year - equally adept with both feet by the looks of it and so explosive. Perez looked great in goal and we HUMBLE one of the best teams in the world, albeit in a meaningless game. Still, we'll take it! Not sure why Rocca's rating suffered.

-- Gianluca Bolis returns to full training after missing three weeks with a twisted knee.



Transfer OUT

-- This was not planned whatsoever but Everton made an official enquiry into the availability of third string DR Jozef Kuciak - I asked for more than twice his worth, not thinking they'd bite but they did and I decide to accept the £4 million and give him a chance at some more playing time. Kuciak came here on a free from Liverpool in 2018 and played four full seasons for our squad. He was a rotational starter for two of the seasons and a backup for the other two but he always played great when called upon and always seemed to outplay his skill level. He leaves Dover having played 66 league games and notching 3 assists. Good luck to Jozef in Everton.



Next Up

-- We head out on our annual tour, this time venturing to Holland to face Ajax in our first match then PSV two days later.

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Old 03-16-2014, 09:11 AM   #281
Alf
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Rennes, France
Very nice offseason so far.
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:54 AM   #282
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alf View Post
Very nice offseason so far.

Thanks for reading Alf! So far, so good - the new players look to be pretty decent but we'll see what happens when the games start to count.
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:54 AM   #283
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Fri. July 22, 2022

Preseason Friendly
Ajax (Holland Eredivisie) vs. Dover
Ajax, Amsterdam, Holland

Ajax finished in second last year in the Eredivisie and have won the league seven times over the 12 years of this dynasty. Mexican striker Jorge de la Torre is valued at almost £10 million and is perhaps their most dangerous player.

I'm going to start working in unfit players for this middle stretch of preseason games as I work to get everyone at full fitness. Holland native Shanon Andrea will start up front with Zoltan Bardi. Said Henni gets his first start at left midfield and Shaun Spall will start in the midfield. On defence, new arrival Daniel Traore will slot in for Rayane Hamon

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, D. Traore, S. Loucif
M - S. Henni, N. Cairney, S. Spall, G. Allan
S - S. Andrea, Z. Bardi

Ajax 0 - 0 Dover
Goals -
Assists -
Man of the Match - Luciano (Ajax GK - 9.6)
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.4), Daniel Traore (7.0), Renato Gaucho (7.1), Said Henni (7.3)
Attendance - 29,340

We held 57% of possession and outshot them 25-9 (11-4 on target) - their goalkeeper Luciano was BRILLIANT, making countless breathtaking saves and deservedly gets an astronomical rating. Henni was very dangerous again and Shanon Andrea had a number of great chances, only to get thwarted by the excellent Ajax keeper.



Season Ticket Update

-- We're up to 3834 season tickets sold and expect to get to around 4800 in total. Last year we were at 4078 so that would be a nice increase in supporters.



Next Up

-- We face PSV in our second game on our preseason tour of Holland.
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:13 PM   #284
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sun. July 24, 2022

Preseason Friendly
PSV (Holland Eredivisie) vs. Dover
Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Holland

PSV have a storied history and are 21-time Eredivisie champions but haven't won since 2008 and haven't finished runners up since 2004. They were 8th last season and won't be taking part in continental play for the first time in years.

Lots of changes to our lineup today. Said Henni will see his first start at striker alongside his buddy and partner over at Anderlecht Chiquinho. 17 year old Gian Marco Fanfoni will start at midfield for the first time alongside fellow Italian Andrea Rocca and completing the Italian trifecta will be winger Gianluca Bolis, making his first appearance since returning from injury. Carlos Guzman and Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz will start on defence and newcomer Kostas Zagos will play right fullback. Manuel Perez is in goal today.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - M. Perez
D - C. Guzman, M. Yilmaz, R. Hamon, K. Zagos
M - A. Bamba, G. Fanfoni, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Henni, Chiquinho

PSV 1 - 3 Dover
Goals - Chiquinho 2 (9.3), Said Henni (8.9)
Assists - Said Henni 2, Chiquinho
Man of the Match - Chiquinho
Other Dover Notables - Kostas Zagos (7.4), Rayane Hamon (7.2), Carlos Guzman (7.2)
Attendance - 11,140

Another solid game and it was truly the Henni and Chiquinho show, as they combined for six points. Chiquinho is up to a LUDICROUS 5 goals and 4 assists in three preseason games!!! We held 53% of possession and outshot them 25-16 (8-6 on target).



Loan OUT

-- New signing Orlando Scolari heads to Leverkusen on a season-long loan. Hopefully he gets some decent playing time - he's 20 years old and has some decent ability. I'm still trying to loan out fellow youngster Rogelio Garcia but he's been rejecting all comers so far.



Transfer News

-- HOLY SHIT! Manchester City star Enrique, who has tormented me for years, is heading to Barcelona in a £70,000,000 transfer! WOW!!! It is by far the largest transfer ever in this gaming world, eclipsing the £55 million transfer of Spanish Canadian Juan Ramon Vazquez from Palermo to…Barcelona. In fact, Barcelona have four of the five highest transfers in this game. I can't even fathom Enrique working a strike partnership with Pascal Reinhardt…sick! In the end, this works out in our favour but I imagine young Jelle Hoegee will get back into the starting lineup more often after barely coming off the bench last year. He's wildly talented as well.


Next Up

-- We stay on the road as we travel to Watford to face this perennial Championship level squad.
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:42 PM   #285
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. July 27, 2022

Preseason Friendly
Watford (England Championship) vs. Dover
Vicarage Road, Watford, UK

Watford have been a Championship constant, having been in the division since 2007/08, with finishes as high as fourth during that period but no promotions to the Premier League since the 2006/07 season.

We'll be starting a bit of a weaker side but still formidable. Striker Paul Moses, who has been on international duty with England's U19 team, is back and will start for the first time today alongside Zoltan Bardi. Mancini will start in the midfield and Kostas Kalfas will play right midfield. Kostas Zagos is playing left fullback and Daniel Traore is in the middle of the defence.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - K. Zagos, D. Traore, P. Tjiuoro, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, Mancini, A. Rocca, K. Kalfas
S - P. Moses, Z. Bardi

Watford 0 - 10 Dover
Goals - Paul Moses 5 (10.0), Zoltan Bardi 3 (9.7), Rogelio Garcia (7.2), Mike Powell OG
Assists - Kostas Kalfas 3 (9.3), Arsene Bamba 2 (9.2), Daniel Traore (8.8), Andrea Rocca (8.9), Mancini (8.8), Paul Moses, Zoltan Bardi
Man of the Match - Paul Moses
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.3), Salim Loucif (8.5), Paulus Tjiuoro (8.5), Kostas Zagos (8.6)
Attendance - 9,731

I've never seen anything like this. Paul Moses scored five goals in the first 22 minutes alone!!! He is absolutely sensational. We had eight goals by half time and put the brakes on after that. We'd actually only hold 46% of possession but we outshot them 26-2 (15-0). Moses is supposed to be my THIRD STRINGER!!!



Loans OUT

-- It's a little bit risky but after the game, I accept a loan deal that sees third string right midfielder Kostas Kalfas head to Sheffield Wednesday on a season-long loan. The deal was too good to pass up - they are paying me £2 million up front for the loan, paying his wages obviously and also have an £8.5 million buyout clause if they decide to keep him. Kalfas has great intangibles and excellent size but his lack of speed hurts him in our system. I'm a bit worried about only having two right mids on my roster right now in Gianluca Bolis and newcomer Graham Allan but I'm guessing Said Henni can play there in a pinch.

-- We also are happy to see new striker signing Rogelio Garcia accept a season-long loan to Sporting CP in Portugal. Garcia has great pace and talent and he's definitely a candidate to be sold in the future but could also make an impact with our senior team as a backup at some point as well.



-- Our next three preseason friendlies have all been selected for television, as we'll be hosting Fiorentina, Sampdoria and Real Madrid all at Crabble Athletic Ground over the next week.



International Duty

-- One of the young U18's I signed this offseason, Unisa Wright, plays for Sierra Leone's U20 team and does well. Wright also has three caps for their senior club but he's a middling prospect at best.



Season Ticket Update

-- We've officially eclipsed last season's totals, as we reach 4562 packages sold and we still expect to sell close to 4900 before the season begins.



August Update

-- We have four more friendlies this month before opening up our Premier League schedule on the road versus Everton. We have two other Premier League games this month, with a home contest versus Tottenham and a road matchup against Sunderland.

-- DC Claudio Contreras and two reserve team players, MC Jonathan Gauthier and GK Louis Read all trained well in July while Damian Thorne and Phil Whitbread from the U18s also get positive notices. Ingo Wilke and MC Jamie Matthews failed to impress - Wilke should be a bit more motivated with a fine young keeper now threatening his playing time and I have a chat with him about his training room dedication…or lack thereof.



August Board Confidence Update

-- The board are very pleased with my overall leadership of the team. Our stature increase is the positive and the departure of Youssouf Sylla is a slight disappointment.

-- We lost £17.14 million last month. Ouch.



Bonus Clause Buyout

-- We sold U18 midfielder Frankie Taylor to Tranmere in 2020 for £100,000 and we built in a 25% sell-on clause. We're given the opportunity to buy out that clause for £182,000 and I can't push accept quick enough! Free money! Taylor has been pretty good for them, notching 7 goals and 8 assists last year in 33 games.



Next Up

-- We have a three-game home stand start with a matchup against Italian Serie A side Fiorentina as we hit the second half of our preseason schedule.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-16-2014 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:39 PM   #286
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Mon. August 1, 2022

Preseason Friendly
Dover vs. Fiorentina (Italy Serie A)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Fiorentina are three time Serie A champions but went 46 years between titles when they finally won again in 2015. They finished in third last season on the table. During this dynasty, they also picked up the Europa League championship in 2014. They picked up a crazy good Argentinian midfielder on a free from Real Madrid in Raul Ale, who is worth an estimated £12.75 million.

Only a few of our better players are still unfit and I'll start two of them today: Gianluca Bolis and Mancini. Zoltan Bardi is also struggling to regain fitness but I'll bring him off the bench at some point. Shanon Andrea and Chiquinho will start up front. Said Henni is at left midfield today.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - M. Perez
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, K. Zagos
M - S. Henni, N. Cairney, Mancini, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Chiquinho

Dover 4 - 1 Fiorentina
Goals - Chiquinho 2 (8.8), Gianluca Bolis (7.7), Zoltan Bardi (7.3)
Assists - Mancini (6.9), Neil Cairney (7.6), Said Henni (7.0)
Man of the Match - Chiquinho
Other Dover Notables - Manuel Perez (7.5), Claudio Contreras (7.1), Emmanuel Agbo (7.1)
Attendance - 9,540

A solid, professional win. We didn't look great and in fact, my assistant thought we looked overconfident and cocky but Chiquinho continues to run wild with two more goals and we beat a good opponent. We only held 43% of possession but outshot them 19-11 (7-4 on target).

-- We have our first injury and it's swingman Kostas Zagos suffering a fractured arm and he will miss 3-4 weeks. He's an injury-prone player from what I understand and now I'm going to likely need to find another player to come in on the cheap, as we don't really have a backup for right fullback now.



Transfer News

-- So Man City sell Enrique for £70 million then spend £56 million on Portuguese attacking mid Mario Brito. Brito is not the player that Enrique is so that's a good tradeoff for us. That said, he's still a world-class player.

-- Olympique Lyonnais keep bidding on Arsene Bamba and Chelsea are hot after Salim Loucif. Neither are going anywhere.



Next Up

-- We host Sampdoria at Crabble Athletic Ground in our third last preseason friendly.
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:47 PM   #287
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. August 3, 2022

Preseason Friendly
Dover vs. Sampdoria (Italy Serie A)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Sampdoria are the FOUR-TIME consecutive Serie A champions so they are on a serious roll. They are loaded with excellent players.

Only Zoltan Bardi among potential starters is still trying to regain full fitness and he'll start up front with Paul Moses today. Gian Marco Fanfoni and Graham Allan are in the midfield and Carlos Guzman and Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz are on defence today.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - C. Guzman, M. Yilmaz, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, G. Fanfoni, A. Rocca, G. Allan
S - P. Moses, Z. Bardi

Dover 1 - 1 Sampdoria
Goals - Zoltan Bardi (7.2)
Assists - Paul Moses (7.3)
Man of the Match - Ingo Wilke (8.0)
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.1)
Attendance - 15,863

We lacked great scoring chances but we play well with a half-strength lineup against a world powerhouse in Sampdoria. Possession was dead even and they outshot us 20-17 (10-8 on target). I'm not overly impressed with Graham Allan so far but it's early.

-- The injury bug continues to bite us, as our goal scorer Zoltan Bardi twists his ankle and will miss about 3 weeks of action.



International Duty

-- Ten of our players are called up for international friendlies. Marcel Quade from our U18 club is called up by Austria's U21s and Kostas Kalfas (Greece U21) and Carlos Guzman (Argentina U20) also get youth callups. As for senior team players, Manuel Perez (Mexico), Said Henni & Salim Loucif (Algeria), Gianluca Bolis (Italy), Arsene Bamba & Daniel Traore (Ivory Coast) and Paulus Tjiuoro (Namibia) get the call from their countries.



Transfer IN

-- We are a bit lacking in depth on the right wing with the departure of Kostas Kalfas on loan so I add a talented 18 year old prospect in Bulgarian Lyubomir Kunchev, who comes to Dover in a £1.9 million deal with AS Saint-Etienne in France.



He's nothing super special but he'll play for our stacked U18 team and be available should the need arise.



Next Up

-- We host Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid in our last preseason friendly at Crabble Athletic Ground, with only a road matchup against non-league Margate to come.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-16-2014 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:18 PM   #288
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Fri. August 5, 2022

Preseason Friendly
Dover vs. Real Madrid (Spain LIGA BBVA)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

What can you say about Madrid? The biggest club in the world right now but they are coming off a season where they weren't in the Champions League for the first time in about 20 years so you know they'll be hungry this year! They finished second in LIGA last year to earn qualification back into the best continental competition. They are a pretty young team and managed by Jose Mourinho.

A pretty full squad today as this will essentially be the final preparation for our season opener. We have one more friendly but it is against very weak competition and I don't want to start anyone really important in that game if I can help it. I want to see more from Shanon Andrea, as he's struggled to find the net in the preseason after lighting the lamp at will last year.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - M. Perez
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - S. Henni, N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Chiquinho

Dover 2 - 1 Real Madrid
Goals - Rayane Hamon (8.4), Chiquinho (7.7)
Assists - Andrea Rocca (7.3), Neil Cairney (7.9)
Man of the Match - Rayane Hamon
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.0), Salim Loucif (7.0), Renato Gaucho (7.2), Shanon Andrea (5.9)
Attendance - 11,044

The first half was utter DOMINATION, as we held 72% of the ball and outshot them something like 20-2 and outscored them 2-0. The second half was a different story and Madrid played much better but we were able to hold on. We held 63% of possession and outshot them 32-12 (13-8 on target) for the game. Crazy numbers. Shanon Andrea was terrible and he may have lost his starting job to either Said Henni or Paul Moses.

-- Speaking of Said Henni, he gets hurt in the last couple minutes, pulling a hamstring. He'll miss 2-3 weeks as the injuries mount.



Transfer IN

-- It's not a sexy signing but we gain some additional depth at right fullback by signing 20 year old Steve Reed on a free transfer.



Reed was part of the youth setup at Liverpool before being let go in June. He's determined and has decent intangibles but he's purely depth and likely reserves fodder. Still, with Kostas Zagos being injury prone, this was a move we needed to make.



Dover Captains for 2022

-- I decide to keep Wayne Rooney as captain and Salim Loucif as vice-captain. Loucif, more often than not, will wear the armband on the pitch.



Next Up

-- Our last preseason game could get ugly, as we travel to former rivals Margate, a non-league team.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:48 PM   #289
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Mon. August 8, 2022

Preseason Friendly
Margate (England Non-League) vs. Dover
Hartsdown Park, Margate, UK

Margate at one time got as far at the Blue Square Bet Premier division back in 2003/04 but since have fallen into the depths of non-league football. This game could get REALLY ugly.

We're fielding a very weak lineup today but Paul Moses, Wayne Rooney and Graham Allan will play. I call up a ton of my U18 players as well.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - L. Read
D - S. Kraft, E. Agbo, M. Yilmaz, S. Reed
M - S. Ingram, E. Harvey, S. Spall, G. Allan
S - P. Moses, W. Rooney

Margate 0 - 3 Dover
Goals - Emmanuel Agbo 2 (9.3), Emmerson Harvey (7.8)
Assists - Shaun Spall 2 (8.4), Steve Reed (7.6)
Man of the Match - Emmanuel Agbo
Other Dover Notables - Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz (7.0), Sebastien Kraft (7.4)
Attendance - 1,581

A very uninspired performance today, even if I did start a bunch of scrubs. I still expected Paul Moses to score five goals and he never even got loose in this game. I think Wayne Rooney is completely done but we'll see…I kind of thought the same thing last year and I couldn't have been more wrong. We held 55% of overall possession and outshot them 16-2 (5-0 on target). They sat back in an ugly 5-2-2-1 formation, with five defenders and two defensive midfielders. Yawn.

-- We close out the preseason undefeated, with a 7-2-0 record.



Transfer News

-- Yikes. Palermo come calling for Gianluca Bolis, offering £20,000,000. Ooh boy. No sale but that's a LOT of money. He's way too important to our team to give up so the only chance he leaves is if the board steps in.



Injury Update

-- We have three key players injured right now: Zoltan Bardi, Kostas Zagos and Said Henni are all a couple weeks away from returning to training.



Champions League Update

-- As indicated previously, we're fortunate enough to be entering the competition at the Group Stage. Right now, during the Best Placed Playoff, you have matchups like Olympiakos vs. Porto, Club Brugge vs. Le Mans FC, Liverpool vs. Wolfsburg, Fiorentina vs. Ajax and Barcelona (!!) vs. Metalist. Can't believe Barca finished fourth last year in the league and are forced to enter at this stage despite making it to the semi-finals last year.



International Roundup

-- Arsene Bamba, Daniel Traore, Manuel Perez, Paulus Tjiuoro and Salim Loucif all earned caps for their respective countries in international friendly play. Gianluca Bolis did not dress for Italy.



2022-23 Dover Athletic Squad

-- We head into our season opener against Everton with 28 first team players. Here's a look at a breakdown of our senior team along with notes on our reserves, players on loan and key U18 personel. Preferred starters are noted in bold.



GOALKEEPERS -
Manuel Perez, Ingo Wilke

IN: Manuel Perez (Cruz Azul - £3.3m)
OUT: Youssouf Sylla

Wilke has been excellent going back to our days in League 1 and he will be our main starter to begin the year. Perez was brought in from Mexico and will get plenty of opportunities as he attempts to acclimate himself to life in England. If you were to ask me if we're stronger or weaker in goal this year versus last, I'd likely say we're about equal but the future looks much brighter with Perez around versus the older Youssouf Sylla.

DEFENDERS -
Emmanuel Agbo, Claudio Contreras, Carlos Guzman, Rayane Hamon, Salim Loucif, Renato Gaucho, Paulus Tjiuoro, Daniel Traore, Kostas Zagos

IN: Carlos Guzman (U18), Daniel Traore (LOSC Lille Metropole - Free), Kostas Zagos (Sheffield Wednesday - £9m), Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz (U18)
OUT: Abdallaye Kokaina, Jozef Kuciak, Ross McLaughlin, Matthew Thompson, Jozef Varga

We return with all four starters from last year. Hamon, Renato Gaucho and Loucif are known quantities but Contreras is still wildly inconsistent and we'll rely on Tjiuoro quite a bit most likely for support. Guzman is a highly touted prospect up from our U18 club but the key substitute at fullback will be injury-prone English international Kostas Zagos, who can play both sides effectively. Traore was brought in as depth. Yilmaz is also a very highly touted centre back prospect and qualifies as home-grown for Champions League play now. Overall, I'd say we have better depth this year versus last year but much of that depends on the health of Zagos, who will be very important for us this year.

MIDFIELDERS -
Graham Allan, Arsene Bamba, Gianluca Bolis, Neil Cairney, Gian Marco Fanfoni, Steve Ingram, Mancini, Jamie Matthews, Andrea Rocca, Shaun Spall

IN: Graham Allan (Blackburn - £7.5m), Gian Marco Fanfoni (Inter - Loan),
OUT: Kostas Kalfas (on loan), Cameron Murray, Samir Nasri, Aitor Zubizarreta

For the third consecutive season, all four starters return and I'm really hoping this is the year that Neil Cairney busts out. Last year it was Bamba and Bolis, our two wide midfielders, exploding with superlative play and it would be wonderful to see Cairney live up to his huge promise. We've upgraded our backups on the wings, with Graham Allan better suited for our system versus Kostas Kalfas, who is away on season-long loan and striker Said Henni will be our backup at left midfield if necessary. Young star to be Gian Marco Fanfoni is here as depth behind Mancini and Shaun Spall, who is returning from a bad injury suffered early last year. Ingram and Matthews are only here for their home grown status. I think our depth at midfield is a slight concern, especially in the middle of the park and it's something that will need to be addressed at some point - hopefully next season!

STRIKERS -

Shanon Andrea, Zoltan Bardi, Chiquinho, Said Henni, Paul Moses, Wayne Rooney

IN: Chiquinho (Anderlecht - £9.5 million), Said Henni (Anderlecht - £7.75 million)
OUT: Giorgos Gesios (on loan)

Here is the only position to see a change at starter and it's BOTH striker positions seeing an overhaul. Andrea was supposed to be depth last year but that's before he exploded for 24 goals last year. He's been pedestrian in the preseason but he will start alongside new addition Chiquinho, who has been SENSATIONAL in the preseason, scoring in every game and flat out dominating the opposition. Henni, Moses and Bardi will all get plenty of chances to start and contribute but I expect Wayne Rooney to be more of a factor in training sessions and in mentoring roles versus an on the field role. Then again, I said the same thing last year and he went out and scored 12 goals in 2021/22! We are unquestionably stronger here versus last year and with Giorgos Gesios still on the team, albeit on loan, we are absolutely stacked with world-class talent at this position.

RESERVE TEAM -

GK Louis Read, DC Andrew Stanley, DR Steve Reed, MC Jonathan Gauthier

Steve Reed may play a role on the senior team this year, as he is essentially our third string right fullback. The other players are transfer list fodder, although GK Read could eventually fetch a pittance on the transfer market.

U18 SQUAD -

DR Hans Briers, MC James Campbell, GK Garry Doyle, MC Jay Doyle, MC Emmerson Harvey, DL Shane Holmes, DL Sebastian Kraft, MR Lyubomir Kunchev, DR Ben Lee, ST Tomas Liska, MC Johnny Mardenborough, DR Dean Morgan, ST Ben Patterson, MR Marcel Quade, ST Eddie Robinson, GK Richard Schaap, ST David Smith, MR Pete Smith, ML Joshua Stokes, DR Damian Thorne, DR Daniel Wagner, MC Phil Whitbread, DR Geoff Williams, MC Sean Woolley, DC Unisa Wright

The key prospects here are Emmerson Harvey (4 star talent) and recently acquired MR Lyubomir Kunchev, who like Harvey could see some time on the senior team this year.

PLAYERS AWAY ON LOAN -

MR Kostas Kalfas, ST Giorgos Gesios, ST Orlando Scolari, ST Rogelio Garcia

I tried to sell Kalfas and Gesios but I was able to get more than acceptable up-front fees for their season long loans. Scolari and Garcia are talented youngsters.



Next Up

-- We open the 2022/23 season on the road versus Everton.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-17-2014 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:49 AM   #290
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. August 13, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Everton vs. Dover
Goodison Park, Liverpool, UK

Betting Odds: Everton: 5-4 (Favourites) Draw: 11-5 Dover: 7-4
Past Meetings: 4W 1D 4L

Everton are one of those teams that are almost always in the upper part of the table but not quite good enough for Continental play. They finished 11th with 57 points last year and the year before, they had 58 points but it was good enough for 6th and a Europa League spot. Pundits are picking them to finish 10th this year. They basically broke even in the transfer market, buying £17.5 million worth of players and selling off £17.75 million. Their top addition was AML Daniele Bentivoglio, a 21 year old who was brought in from Atalanta in Italian Serie A for £9 million. He looks very good. Their second biggest buy was from us, spending £4 million on right fullback Jozef Kuciak. He will likely get some playing time as Milan Mojsky, Everton's fine DR, was moved to big-spending Tottenham for £14.25 million. Everton's top scoring threat is striker Chris Wood but he's 30 years old now and that's when strikers usually start to regress. A case in point is another one of their 30 year old strikers Ekow Mumuni, who scored 19 goals as a 27 year old, 15 as a 28 year old then scored ONE goal last year for the club. He's still hanging around, as is 31 year old Jack Rodwell. These guys are decent and will be tough at home but they are certainly beatable.

We'll start as good a lineup as possible today. Shanon Andrea, despite struggling with form, will start up front with Chiquinho and I'm also going to start Paulus Tjiuoro at DC alongside Rayane Hamon. Otherwise it's all of our normal starters today. I'm going to start in a counter attacking system on the road but will move to a control if and when necessary.

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, P. Tjiuoro, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, , N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Chiquinho
Bench - D. Traore, C. Contreras, S. Spall, Mancini, G. Allan, W. Rooney, P. Moses

Everton are in a 4-4-2 diamond formation, the first time I've seen them in this look. Chris Wood is up front with Erik Uhrik and Franco Di Capua is in goal. Jozef Kuciak isn't dressed at all for them. My assistant feels we should tell them to go out and perform for the travelling supporters so I go with it. Let's get off to a good start boys!

1' - Right off the bat, Chiquinho makes his presence felt, as he takes a pass from Andrea Rocca, sprints past his marker and drills a blast that Di Capua is ready for.

17' - Bamba cuts in from the byline and sends a great pass over to Gianluca Bolis. He's outside the area and sprints through the defence but his shot is weak and right at Di Capua.

21' - Everton with a nice little play to spring Chris Wood but Wilke makes a great save from in tight and we clear to safety.

23' - Rayane Hamon has it at midfield and heads it up to Neil Cairney. He immediately passes up to Shanon Andrea and he turns on defender Tomas Kalas and heads toward goal from about 10 yards outside the area. Another Everton defender, Ryan Shawcross, tries to cut Andrea off just as he reaches the edge of the penalty area but somehow, Andrea switches the ball to his stronger right foot and blasts one that gets past Di Capua and into the short side for the opening goal! Great shot! DOVER GOAL 1-0

26' - Wilke again makes a brilliant save on a blast from just outside the area by Rodwell.

29' - Chiquinho with the ball down the right flank and his cross hits an Everton defender and goes right to Andrea. He's in too close though and his blast hits Di Capua and dribbles just wide!

37' - Wood with a nice through ball to dangerous wide midfielder Henri Atangana but Wilke again makes a marvellous save.

39' - Everton seem to be pressing hard and are very aggressive on the ball and they get called for a foul around halfway in their territory. We send a bunch of men forward and Rocca's kick into the area is headed first by Rayane Hamon and then by Gianluca Bolis and it's past Di Capua and into the net! Bolis!!! DOVER GOAL 2-0

HALFTIME - Everton hold 52% of possession in the first half but we outshoot them slightly 9-9 (5-4 on target). I think we're playing decently and while we're sitting back a bit in the counter, there is no reason to change when we have a two goal lead on the road. I tell the team I'm pleased.

46' - Everton get an early corner and the cross is headed toward goal but Wilke dives full out and gets his fingertips on the ball. Great save Wilke!

50' - Shanon Andrea blatantly dives in the Everton penalty area and is called for it. Yellow card.

52' - Andrea and Chiquinho work a little give and go and Andrea sends a ROCKET from outside the area that is saved in fine fashion by a diving Di Capua. The rebound pops right out to Bolis and he has a complete open net but shoots WIDE. Ugh!

67' - Atangana is dribbling down the right flank and Bamba is in pursuit. He looks like Cristiano Ronaldo with all the cross overs but he gets to the byline and sends a cross that eludes our defence and goes right to substitute Daniel Sturridge and he makes no mistake and Everton are back in the game. EVERTON GOAL 2-1

72' - Everton are controlling this half bigtime and now they take Bolis down and he's hurt. He only needs to come off temporarily but he takes a fitness hit. For now, I take out the yellow carded Shanon Andrea and bring in Paul Moses.

78' - I bring in Graham Allan for the hurting Gianluca Bolis.

84' - Yikes. We're completely disjointed in this half. Everton are moving everyone forward and Sturridge gets loose and shoots past Wilke but hits the goal post and we clear to safety just in time. We clear off the ensuing throw in and Chiquinho sends a long ball up field for Paul Moses. He cuts in toward goal but his shot is JUST high.

85' - Andrea Rocca is out and Mancini comes in.

90'+4 - Off a failed corner, Allan crosses into Chiquinho and his header looks destined for the net but Di Capua saves.

A bit tougher than we hoped for after the early 2-0 lead but we'll take the three points!

Everton 1 - 2 Dover
Goals - Shanon Andrea (7.5), Gianluca Bolis (7.9)
Assists - Neil Cairney (7.2), Rayane Hamon (6.9)
Man of the Match - Ingo Wilke (8.8)
Other Dover Notables -
Attendance - 40,158

We end up edging them on possession with 51% but they outshoot us 21-17 (10-8 on target). Wilke was fantastic. Good road win against a pretty good team. This is the first game I recall that Chiquinho hasn't scored for us since arriving. He was still dangerous all game and Andrea played great as well.

-- The only slight surprise is seeing Reading defeat Manchester United 2-1 otherwise all the games seem to go as expected. Chelsea beat Liverpool 1-0, City beat up on newly promoted Birmingham 3-0 and Tottenham win 2-1 versus Stoke.



Dover U18 Update

-- Our kids get off to a great start, defeating Kingstonian 4-0 behind a brace from stalwart MC Emmerson Harvey. New striker Tomas Liska and midfielder Pete Smith notch singles. I have a loaded youth team and I fully expect another solid season from them.



Transfer Enquiry

-- Hmm. FC Bayern submit an official enquiry for reserve fullback Carlos Guzman, asking how much I want for him. He's only a 1.5/3.0 player right now at 19 years old, valued currently at £2.3 million. I say I want £6.5 million plus clauses, a ridiculous number for sure but lets see if they just go away or if they come back with something. I'm guessing it's the former.

-- Yup. They aren't that interested. Haha.

-- Palermo bid £20 million for Gianluca Bolis. Haven't they already tried this? Denied.



Season Ticket Sales Update

-- We announce that season ticket sales have reached 4562 for the year, up from 4078 last year. That's a nice 10%+ increase.



Premier League Team of the Week

-- Shanon Andrea is selected to the team of the week. Surprised that Ingo Wilke didn't get the nod.



Injury Update

-- Lots of injuries right now but nothing super serious. Zoltan Bardi is almost ready to come back from his twisted ankle. Kostas Zagos (Broken Arm) and Said Henni (pulled hamstring) are about two weeks away from returning to full training. Reserve goalkeeper Louis Read dislocated his shoulder in training and will miss a few months.



Champions League Update

-- In Champions Playoff and Best Placed Playoff action, AaB wins over Ferencvaros 3-1, Grasshoppers beat M. Tel-Aviv 2-0 and Partizan beat FC Wacker Innsbruck 1-0. Also, Club Brugge win over Le Mans FC 2-1 and Porto knock off Olympiakos 3-1. Also winning are Liverpool, Fiorentina, Barcelona and Zrinjski while Slovan Bratislava and Sheriff battle to a scoreless draw.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- We start off the reserves season with a bland 1-0 win over Fulham, with U18 winger Lyubomir Kunchev, a recent acquisition, scoring the only goal. I started a lot of U18s in this game just because of our injury trouble - my "mid-grade" depth this year is poor, as I've changed my approach somewhat to have a number of "starter quality" backups and the fact that I'm fearful of starting them in reserves games will likely mean that our reserves team will suffer somewhat.



Next Up

-- We host big spending Tottenham in our Premier League home opener at Crabble Athletic Ground.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:49 PM   #291
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. August 20, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (1-0-0, 3 points, 4th) vs. Tottenham (1-0-0, 3 points, 6th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 13-8 Draw: 2-1 Tottenham: 6-4 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 4W 3D 2L

Tottenham struck gold in the offseason when Kuwaiti oil baron Hamad Al-Shammari bought the team and inserted considerable money into the club. They spent money with abandon in June and July, with the largest pickup being former Dover striker Gerardo Escobar, who they purchased for an astronomical £15.75 million. They spent £14.25 million for both Mihal Vladescu, a right midfielder from OM and right fullback Milan Mojsky from Everton. In all, Spurs spent £64 million and only sold off £6.75 million in players. They obviously expect to win NOW. Other dangerous Tottenham players include Italian midfielder Anderson and veteran Gareth Bale, who still is contributing at 33 years of age and scored in their opening day victory.

The only change I'm making from the Everton game is to insert young central defender Claudio Contreras into the lineup. I like the idea of giving the youngster some home games while giving our veteran backup Paulus Tjiuoro some of the road games where we are underdogs, just to add some additional influence to our lineup. Since we're at home, I'm going with a control mentality.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, , N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Chiquinho
Bench - D. Traore, P. Tjiuoro, S. Spall, Mancini, G. Allan, W. Rooney, P. Moses

Tottenham are in the same formation as we are and Escobar is up front with Danny Pacheco. Matthieu Dreyer is in goal. I tell the team to perform well for the home supporters and tell Shanon Andrea to pick up where he left off in the last game.

9' - Tottenham win a corner and we head it away to safety. Andrea gets the ball and sends a pass to Chiquinho at midfield. It's a two on two situation and Chiquinho bolts down the right side. He dribbles all the way to the byline and crosses into the area to a completely unmarked Andrea and our striker easily slots the ball into the back of the net for the early lead! Great play! DOVER GOAL 1-0

12' - Wilke with a nice diving save off a Gareth Bale blast.

20' - Andea is sent in toward goal by Chiquinho and is tackled down from behind by Milan Mojsky. Yellow card for Mojsky and Andrea Rocca lines up a free kick from just outside the area. He sends a trademark curling blast around the wall and into the net for the GLORIOUS goal! GET IN! DOVER GOAL 2-0

41' - We're controlling play and off a failed corner, Rocca feeds a ball into Bamba inside the area. His shot is saved but it comes right out to Shanon Andrea and he puts it home for his second of the game! But wait…Andrea is called offsides? The replay confirms it and there's NO GOAL.

HALFTIME - Very solid in all aspects. We hold 53% of possession and outshoot them 9-5 (4-2 on target). I tell the team I'm pleased and I don't change tactics.

Tottenham come out in an ugly 5-2-1-2 formation with an AMC to start the half.

53' - Rocca is having a fine game and he gets off a low blast from 5 yards out that Dreyer is able to scoop up for the save.

64' - Escobar shows some good speed in racing past Hamon and his blast is saved brilliantly by Wilke and we clear to safety.

67' - I bring in Graham Allan for Arsene Bamba.

75' - Spurs continue to sit back in this 5 defender formation and we have the ball in their end. Renato Gaucho has it on the sideline and feeds Neil Cairney. He turns to his stronger side and cuts toward the middle and from 25 yards out, sends a blast that curls past Dreyer, off the goalpost and into the far corner of the net. SPECTACULAR shot! DOVER GOAL 3-0

Tottenham moves back to a 4-4-2.

80' - With the game well in hand, I take out Andrea Rocca and Shanon Andrea and bring in Shaun Spall and Wayne Rooney.

82' - Graham Allan shows incredible skill and vision as he dribbles up field from our end and dekes around at least three defenders on his way toward goal but his shot is saved by a diving Dreyer. Great chance Allan!

89' - Chiquinho gets loose on a counter attack and gets in on goal but his shot is stopped by Dreyer.

90'+2 - Oh Chiquinho!!! He dribbles around two Spurs defenders and eludes one more tackle at the edge of the area to go in all alone on Dreyer but shoots JUST wide. He hasn't scored in two games but is SO dangerous!

Domination against a top club. Excellent!

Dover 3 - 0 Tottenham
Goals - Shanon Andrea (8.2), Andrea Rocca (8.3), Neil Cairney (8.2)
Assists - Renato Gaucho (8.5), Chiquinho (7.3), Shanon Andrea
Man of the Match - Renato Gaucho
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.5), Salim Loucif (7.6), Rayane Hamon (7.6), Claudio Contreras (7.3), Gianluca Bolis (7.0), Arsene Bamba (7.3)
Attendance - 18,771

We win 54% of possession and outshoot them 21-11 (11-5 on target) - it wasn't even close! Every single player in our starting eleven gets a rating over 7.0 in a thoroughly dominating performance. Superb!

-- No real shockers this week, as Liverpool bounce Reading 3-1, United destroy Aston Villa 5-0 and City beat Wolves 2-1. We provisionally move to the top of the table, tied on goal differential with Manchester City.



Dover U18 Update

-- Once again, the kids win by a 4-0 scoreline, with Pete Smith, David Smith, Sean Woolley and Eddie Robinson scoring the goals.



Transfer Stuff

-- Man United bid about £9.75 million for Arsene Bamba. No chance, of course and I reject the offer - Bamba's agent wants a new deal for about the tenth time in the last month or so and I reject that request again. I imagine there could be some fallout here but he's under contract for four more years so unless he gets to be a problem in the room, I will continue to reject requests that are less than his minimum release clause.



Premier League Team of the Week

-- Renato Gaucho is selected to the team of the week for his fine performance against Spurs.



Injury Update

-- Zoltan Bardi returns to full training after missing some time with a twisted ankle.

-- A day later, we get striker/midfielder Said Henni back to full training. Henni missed three weeks with a pulled hamstring.

-- Kostas Zagos (Broken Arm) is close to returning to full training. Reserve goalkeeper Louis Read dislocated his shoulder in training and will miss a few months. Giorgos Gesios, on loan at Sevilla, suffered fractured ribs and will miss a bunch of time while on loan.



Transfer News

-- DAMNIT. Napoli make a bid of £6.75 million for defender Paulus Tjiuoro and it's auto-accepted, as it meets his minimum release clause. If he comes to terms on a deal, I'll definitely have to find another defender but at least it's a pretty decent fee coming our way.



Champions League Update

-- In Best Placed Playoff action, Liverpool beat Wolfsburg 1-0 to win 4-1 on aggregate to move onto the Group Stage. Joining them are Fiorentina, who won 5-1 over Ajax on aggregate, Barcelona, who won 5-2 on aggregate over Metalist, Porto, who defeated Olympiakos 5-2 on aggregate and Le Mans FC, who won on away goals after tying Club Brugge 2-2 on aggregate. In the Champions Playoff round, Dinamo moves on after winning 4-1 on aggregate over Zrinjski and Slovan Bratislava edge Sheriff 2-0 on aggregate to get to the Group Stages. Also moving on to the Group Stages from the Champions Playoff round are Partizan, AaB and Grasshoppers.

-- We are given £6,174,000 for qualifying for the Champions League Group Stages! Lovely!




Dover Reserve Team Update

-- Paul Moses bags a brace and adds an assist in our 3-0 win over Wolves in Reserves league play. Mancini notches our other goal.

-- Said Henni, in his first action since being out with a pulled hamstring, comes out of the game early with a stubbed toe. The injury-prone Henni will miss another week. Sheesh.



Champions League - Group Draw

-- Alright here we are! Our improved coefficients mean we are 3rd seeds this year. Here are the seeds:

1st Seeds:
Manchester United (ENG)
Manchester City (ENG)
FC Bayern Munich (GER)
Real Madrid (ESP)
Atletico Madrid (ESP)
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
Barcelona (ESP)
Sevilla (ESP)

2nd Seeds
OM (FRA)
Sampdoria (ITA)
Palermo (ITA)
Liverpool (ENG)
Galatasaray (TUR)
Dortmund (GER)
Benfica (POR)
Porto (POR)

3rd Seeds
CSKA Moscow (RUS)
Shakhtar (UKR)
Anderlecht (BEL)
Fiorentina (ITA)
Le Mans FC (FRA)
AZ (NED)
Dover (ENG)
Panathinaikos (GRE)

4th Seeds
Hoffenheim (GER)
Celtic (SCO)
Fenerbahce (TUR)
Partizan (SRB)
Dinamo (CRO)
AaB (DEN)
Slovan Bratislava (SVK)
Grasshoppers (SUI)

Actually, it's a pretty dangerous looking group of 3rd seeded teams. I'd prefer to avoid OM, Sampdoria and Liverpool in the 2nd seeded group. Lets see how we did...

We're drawn into Group B and on the surface I'm happy:

GROUP A
Olympique Lyonnais
Dortmund
Anderlecht
AaB

GROUP B
Sevilla
Porto
Dover
Slovan Bratislava

GROUP C
Manchester United
Galatasaray
Panathinaikos
Celtic

GROUP D
Barcelona
Palermo
AZ
Dinamo

GROUP E
Real Madrid
OM
CSKA Moscow
Grasshoppers

GROUP F
Manchester City
Benfica
Le Mans FC
Hoffenheim

GROUP G
FC Bayern
Sampdoria
Shakhtar
Fenerbahce

GROUP H
Atletico Madrid
Liverpool
Fiorentina
Partizan

By coefficient, Sevilla was the third worst #1 seed, Porto was WORST #2 and Slovan Bratislava was the WORST #4. I don't think it was possible to do any better than that! Sevilla is worth £146 million, Porto is worth £107 million (tied with us right now) and Bratislava is worth £22 million. Group H looks daunting, as does Group E. Poor Grasshoppers will get smoked in that group! Group A looks to be the weakest.



Transfer OUT

-- And just like that, Paulus Tjiuoro is gone. He accepts a contract with Napoli to complete a £6.75 million transfer deal that met his minimum release clause. I bought the Namibia international for £3.2 million in 2020 and he played in 52 league games for us over two seasons, scoring five goals and adding 3 assists. He was going to likely start close to 20 games for us this year and now I have to decide whether to go out on the market and find another defender or stick with what I have for now. I do have Daniel Traore and Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz but have little depth beyond them.



Injury Update

-- Kostas Zagos returns to full training and none too soon! We need his versatility, especially with Tjiuoro now gone.



League Cup - 3rd Round Draw

-- We never seem to get great draws in this competition and it continues, as we face fellow Premier League club Reading. At least it's a home match and it will be played on Tuesday September 22nd.



Next Up

-- Our tough early season schedule continues with a match against 4th placed Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:10 PM   #292
Barkeep49
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Not too far away
Curious: did you try offering Tjiuoro a new contract to stay with you given the role you imagined for him?
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:03 AM   #293
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkeep49 View Post
Curious: did you try offering Tjiuoro a new contract to stay with you given the role you imagined for him?

I didn't but perhaps I should have. That said, it's not a HUGE loss, as Claudio Contreras was always destined for the starting job at some point but Tjiuoro was a young veteran that could easily step in and play at a high level. He was great insurance.

Daniel Traore will now step into a larger role and Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz may get a few senior level games too. I do have some flexibility as well with vice captain Salim Loucif able to play in the middle of the defence, which would allow Kostas Zagos to go to right fullback.

So lots of options. In the end, getting that much money for Tjiuoro might be a blessing in disguise.
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:04 AM   #294
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. August 27, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Sunderland (1-1-0, 4 points, 4th) vs. Dover (2-0-0, 6 points, 1st)
The Stadium of Light, Sunderland, UK

Betting Odds: Sunderland: 6-4 (Favourites) Draw: 2-1 Dover: 13-8
Past Meetings: 3W 1D 4L

We are underdogs for the third straight game as we face a tough Sunderland team. We tied them 2-2 in Sunderland and beat them 4-2 at home last season but we have a sub-500 record against them lifetime. Their big transfer this season was a £4.2 million deal for CFR Cluj striker Lucas Alba, a young and VERY fast Spaniard. He looks to be an interesting prospect. Their most dangerous player continues to be striker Craig Flett, who already has two goals and fellow striker Connor Wickham has two as well.

We'll go with the same starting eleven from last week. On the road, I'm going to start in a counter attacking mentality but may move to a control mentality if I think I need to open it up a bit. Zoltan Bardi is trying to regain match fitness but will be on the bench in place of Wayne Rooney. Steve Reed will also be on the bench just for cover at right fullback, as Kostas Zagos isn't ready for game action yet.

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, , N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Chiquinho
Bench - D. Traore, S. Reed, S. Spall, Mancini, G. Allan, Z. Bardi, P. Moses

Sunderland are also in a flat 4-4-2 with Flett and veteran striker Ben Sahar up front. Matt Barber and former Dover loanee George MacKenzie are in midfield and Sam Cowler is in goal. I tell the team they can win this and pull aside Shanon Andrea and Andrea Rocca to tell them to pick up where they left off last game.

3' - Just over two minutes in and Sunderland already have two yellow cards, with MacKenzie and Flett both being watched closely.

6' - Wow, and now a third and it's solid midfielder Matt Barber getting a yellow. I'm glad we are in a counter attack and laying back a bit as this ref is a bit whistle happy so far!

12' - No shots on net for either side but Shanon Andrea gets the best chance so far after a FOURTH yellow for Sunderland, as he's sprung upfield by an Arsene Bamba pass but his shot is just wide of the goal.

19' - The first shot comes from Craig Flett but it's right at Ingo Wilke and it's an easy save. Sunderland is definitely controlling play and I don't like that. I may have to get more aggressive soon.

25' - We have some possession finally and it's Gianluca Bolis sprinting into the area and getting off a hard shot that Cowler saves.

28' - Shanon Andrea with an inspired run up field, weaving back and forth and finally getting a low shot off from just inside the box but it's an easy save for Cowler.

32' - Our skill is starting to take over and our ball movement is sublime, with quick, crisp passing resulting in a Chiquinho shot that goes off the woodwork but is cleared to safety by Sunderland.

43' - We work up field and it's Bolis getting through into the area. He makes a move on left fullback Rastislav Baron and is in on goal but Baron takes him down. PENALTY! Baran already has a yellow and is lucky not to get a second one, as Neil Cairney steps up to take the kick. Cairney goes to the right side and Cowler guesses right but he can't get enough of the ball and it's IN the net for the opening goal! DOVER GOAL 1-0

45'+2 - Bamba with a foul and he's given a yellow card.

HALFTIME - Well, we did much better in the second part of that half and while Sunderland edge us on possession with 51%, we outshoot them 13-3 (6-2 on target). With this trigger happy referee, I'm going to continue to sit back in a counter and hope to get a second goal on the break. I tell the team I'm pleased.

48' - Ben Sahar gets off a rocket and Wilke makes an enormous diving save!

51' - Craig Flett is hurt and on the ground but we SHOW NO MERCY! We move the ball upfield and a little touch pass from Rocca to Chiquinho is immediately moved through the hole to a breaking Shanon Andrea. Our suddenly in-form striker moves in all alone and shoots hard and low to the far side, past Cowler and into the goal! We have a cushion! DOVER GOAL 2-0

55' - Yellow card for Shanon Andrea.

64' - And now it's Rayane Hamon with the yellow.

70' - And now Chiquinho with the yellow. That's nine yellows in this game alone.

73' - Sunderland substitute Connor Wickham gets through our defence and in on goal but Wilke is there again for a sensational save. My goodness...

78' - I make a double substitution, taking out Chiquinho and Bamba and bringing in Zoltan Bardi and Graham Allan.

82' - Cairney with a blatant trip just outside the area on Matt Barber and he's given the tenth yellow card of the game and five consecutive yellows to our club.

85' - Great…Shanon Andrea is tackled and is hurt. He needs to come off and has the dreaded cross of death above his name. In comes Paul Moses.

86' - ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? On the throw in after Moses comes in, the ball comes to the youngster and HE'S TACKLED AND HURT. His game is over after 26 seconds. FUCK YOU! I'm down to ten men as I have no substitutions left and they've injured two of my strikers.

90'+3 - Wilke is ridiculous and makes yet another spectacular diving save off a shot from distance from Nantoume.

We get the win but I'm scared to look at the injury report…

Sunderland 0 - 2 Dover
Goals - Neil Cairney (7.4), Shanon Andrea (7.4)
Assists - Gianluca Bolis (7.4), Chiquinho (6.8)
Man of the Match - Ingo Wilke (8.4)
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.5), Rayane Hamon (7.8), Claudio Contreras (7.2), Renato Gaucho (7.9), Andrea Rocca (7.3)
Attendance - 42,991

A pretty quiet half there - Sunderland hold 52% of overall possession but we outshoot them 15-12 (7-6). Another fine game from our defence and Wilke was superb and deserving of his man of the match award. Chiquinho was quiet again and now has gone without a goal in all three of our games, this after scoring in every single one of his preseason matches. Fingers are crossed for no major injuries...

-- Thankfully, the injuries are NOT severe! Paul Moses sustained a dead leg on that challenge and will only miss a couple of days of training. Meanwhile, Shanon Andrea suffered a thigh strain and will miss a couple of weeks. Whew. Not bad…there is an international break coming up and we don't have a game for another two weeks so we should be just fine.

-- Man City beat Everton 2-0 and we are tied with them in first place with the same goal differential as well. Reading surprises Arsenal 1-0, Villa draw Liverpool 1-1, Chelsea beat up on Newcastle 3-0 and United beat Wolves 2-0.



International Duty

-- In what is easily a Dover record, we have 17 players called up for international duty. I won't list all 17, don't worry!



Transfer Stuff

-- Palermo keep calling for Gianluca Bolis and it's once again a £20 million offer with barely any money up front. No chance guys…he's too good.



Premier League Team of the Week

-- Ingo Wilke and Rayane Hamon are selected to the Premier League team of the week.



Transfer IN

-- In a deal that came together quickly on the last day before the transfer deadline, we come to terms with 18 year old DC Mwemere Mutesa, a Rwanda international with 12 senior team caps already in a modest £300,000 deal with Hungarian club Ferencvaros.



This is more of a depth move, as my scouts gave him a 1.0/3.0 rating but upon arriving at Dover, my assistant manager gives him FOUR star potential. Excellent!!! Making it even better is the fact that our scouts felt a work permit was not going to be granted but we work some magic and Mutesa is now a part of our club! He will be sent to the U18s for the season and will be available if needed. Oh yeah, he's our 18th player now on international duty!



Dover U18 Update

-- In an absolute shocker, our U18s LOSE a game to QPR 3-2 in extra time, bowing out of the U18 Cup in the first round after winning it last year. In fact, our U18 team didn't lose a single game last year so this is a shocking upset. We don't have a lot of star power at striker this year with our youth team so that might be hurting us. In addition, five of our best youth players are away on international duty. No big deal either way!



September Update

-- After a quiet start, business certainly picks up in September, as we have three Premier League games (home vs. Huddersfield, away at Sheffield Wednesday and home vs. Burnley), a 3rd Round League Cup match at home vs. Reading and two Champions League matches (home vs. Porto, away at Slovan Bratislava). So six games this month.

-- Three players get lauded for their training: Gianluca Bolis, Arsene Bamba and Claudio Contreras while veterans Wayne Rooney and Said Henni get bad reports. Henni was injured all month so that must be the reason for him. Two U18s get positive reports in Eddie Robinson and Marcel Quade while Phil Whitbread gets a negative report as well.



Premier League Monthly Awards

-- The Premier League player of the month is INGO WILKE!!! Our goalkeeper was sensational all month, allowing a single goal in his three games. Young fullback Renato Gaucho comes in third! Wow!!!

-- Speaking of Renato Gaucho, he wins the Young Player of the Month award!

-- Carlo Ancelotti wins Manager of the Month honours and I finish in second.



International Update

-- Two more of our players get called up by their country: Tomas Liska from our U18 club and Carlos Guzman, bringing our total to TWENTY PLAYERS. Incredible.




September Board Confidence Update

-- The board are very pleased with my overall leadership. The stature increase is the main positive and Youssouf Sylla's departure is the negative.

-- We made a profit of £3.11 million last month.



Champions League Registration

-- No issues this year with home grown players, as we are able to register a clean lineup, albeit one with four spaces in it. Still, we have plenty of U21 talent available to play without the need of registering them.



International Update

-- Gaining caps for their country are Paul Moses (England U21), Kostas Kalfas (Greece U21), Lyubomir Kunchev (Bulgaria U21), Marcel Quade (Austria U21), Tomas Liska (Slovakia U21), Carlos Guzman (Argentina U21), Manuel Perez (Mexico), Daniel Traore (Ivory Coast), Chiquinho (Belgium), Graham Allan & Neil Cairney (Scotland), Salim Loucif & Said Henni (Algeria), Kostas Zagos (England), Zoltan Bardi (Hungary), Giorgos Gesios (Greece), Mwemere Mutesa (Rwanda) and Unisa Wright (Sierra Leone). So 18 caps…not bad!



Injury Update

-- Geez, the injuries just keep coming to our strikers, as Paul Moses is hurt again during play for England's U21 team. He hurt his elbow and will miss two weeks. Tough timing, as he was going to start our next game with Shanon Andrea on the sidelines as well. And in Hungary's game, Zoltan Bardi is ALSO hurt again and he'll miss about a week with a stubbed toe. Unreal.



Dover U18 Update

-- The youth team draws with Brighton 1-1. Phil Whitbread scores our only goal.



Dover Reserves Team Update

-- We win 2-0 over Derby's reserves, with Shaun Spall and Wayne Rooney scoring goals.



Next Up

-- We're finally back in action after a two week break, as we host Huddersfield Town at Crabble Athletic Ground.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 04-24-2014 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:39 AM   #295
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. September 10, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (3-0-0, 9 points, 1st) vs. Huddersfield (1-2-0, 5 points, 10th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 5-4 (Favourites) Draw: 11-5 Huddersfield: 7-4
Past Meetings: 7W 0D 2L

We have had great historical success against Huddersfield Town and look to continue that today as favourites for the first time this year. Huddersfield made it through to Europa League Group play after earning qualification by winning the League Cup last year. They spent £29 million in the transfer window, with the most notable additions being Marino Pervan, a 24 year old right midfielder from Hearts brought in for £6.5 million and Adrien Fahrasmane, a 26 year old right fullback brought in from Fiorentina for £5 million. Overall, Huddersfield spent £29 million and sold off £17 million or so. 24 year old striker Musa Obiero has been lighting it up in Europa League play so far, with six goals in only four matches. He was a spare part last year but has obviously developed into a first choice player for the most part so far. Dennis Lotters is a dangerous midfielder and a player to watch.

We have our first Champions League game coming up in a few days so I'll be mindful of that. Still, I'll be starting close to a full squad although we do have some injuries - Shanon Andrea is actually ready to play but he's a bit fatigued so it will be Said Henni getting his first league action of the year, as he's finally healthy. Also making his first start for Dover is goalkeeper Manuel Perez, as we look to see what the Mexican international can do. Kostas Zagos is also healthy and will be on the bench today. Control mentality at home and as favourites.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - M. Perez
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, , N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Henni, Chiquinho
Bench - D. Traore, K. Zagos, S. Spall, Mancini, G. Allan, W. Rooney, S. Andrea

Hudderfield start in a flat 4-4-2 as well with veterans Nelson Oliveira and Paul Lumsden up front. I tell the team to perform well for the supporters and pull aside Perez, Chiquinho and Henni to tell them I have faith in their abilities.

17' - Nothing is being generated on either side. Very disappointing.

18' - And just as I say that, we get our first shot on goal. We have a throw in down the left side in their territory and Cairney gets it. He sends a pass into the box but Huddersfield defender Mathias Jorgensen is there. He's trying to clear but Chiquinho steals the ball from him and immediately shoots past Alex Smithies and it's IN! That's Chiquinho's first Dover goal!!! DOVER GOAL 1-0

19' - Off the ensuing kickoff, we steal the ball at midfield and it's Gianluca Bolis storming up the right sideline. He crosses into the box and Chiquinho latches onto it. He's on a terrible angle but shoots anyway and it goes off Smithies and INTO THE NET! Holy crap - Bolis' speed is ridiculous! Two goals in a minute for Chiquinho and we're up two!!! DOVER GOAL 2-0

27' - We clear a header to safety and it's Claudio Contreras sending a long ball up field to Said Henni. He speeds toward it and sends in a low cross to the box - there's a fight for it with Chiquinho and a Huddersfield defender and the ball squirts loose to Bolis and he pops it home and the rout is on! DOVER GOAL 3-0

28' - I had to open my big mouth. Huddersfield march right back down the pitch and Lotters sends a delicious through ball to Oliveira. Hamon just watches him go by and he's through all alone and he beats Perez with a wicked blast and Huddersfield are on the board. HUDDERSFIELD GOAL 3-1

32' - Chiquinho flops in the Hudderfield penalty area and is called for the dive. Yellow card for that.

37' - Yikes. Come on guys. Oliveira is sent through again and he beats Perez but it's called offsides. Hamon is having an uncharacteristically bad half so far.

45'+2 - We have a free kick deep in their end and Rocca sends it to the middle of the pitch and Cairney, who is just lurking outside the area. His blast hits a Hudderfield defender and somehow Smithies is able to push it behind the net as the referee blows for half.

HALFTIME - Well, it took awhile before we finally got some chances but we've finished pretty much everything we've had so far. We hold a slight possession advantage at 51% and shots are 7-5 (5-3 on target) for us as well. I tell the lads I'm pleased and we'll continue with the same mentality. It would be nice to score one more and maybe get some guys a rest, especially Cairney and Rocca.

56' - Chiquinho steams down the right and cuts in toward the area. From a ridiculously brutal angle, he unleashes a low rocket that Smithies does well to turn aside. I have no clue how he was able to get that on target but that's talent shining through.

59' - We have a corner and Rocca's cross deflects right to Hamon but his blast from in tight hits the post and goes out of play. A sitter missed!

63' - We have some crazy action, as Chiquinho's cross to a wide open Said Henni is deflected and then sent back down field by Huddersfield. They work a counter and it's midfielder Robbie Brady getting loose but Perez makes a great save to keep us in a two goal lead.

Huddersfield have gone to a tight 4-4-2 diamond, with a DMC and an AMC.

70' - I take out Andrea Rocca and bring in Shaun Spall.

75' - We have possession and Chiquinho sends it out wide to Bolis. He attempts a cross and it deflects off a Huddersfield defender and right to Arsene Bamba and he makes no mistake putting it home and we have our three goal lead back! DOVER GOAL 4-1

76' - With a three goal lead, I feel comfortable enough to use my last two substitutions, taking out Gianluca Bolis and Neil Cairney and bringing in Graham Allan and Mancini. We need Bolis and Cairney fresh for our Champions League game this week.

Nothing else worth noting as we hold most of the possession the last fifteen minutes to close them out.

Dover 4 - 1 Huddersfield
Goals - Chiquinho 2 (8.8), Gianluca Bolis (9.2), Arsene Bamba (8.0)
Assists - Gianluca Bolis 2, Said Henni (7.8)
Man of the Match - Gianluca Bolis
Other Dover Notables - Manuel Perez (7.1), Salim Loucif (7.2), Claudio Contreras (7.2), Renato Gaucho (7.1), Neil Cairney (7.3)
Attendance - 21,358

Wow - a huge crowd on hand…maybe our biggest ever? Will have to check that one out. We hold 53% of possession and outshoot them 17-11 (9-5 on target). Great game by Bolis - he's SO dynamic and it's great to see Chiquinho finally score, even if both were kind of ugly goals. We'll take it!

-- Nope, while the 21,000+ was a new record for us for Premier League attendance, the overall record was 22,232, which was for our Champions League quarterfinal home tie against Barcelona last year.

-- The marquee matchup sees Man United beating Liverpool 3-2 while Man City get past Tottenham 2-0 to keep pace with us. We are now in first alone with a perfect 12 points and ahead of City on goal differential.



Dover U18 Update

-- New signing Mwemere Mutesa scores our only goal in a 1-1 draw versus West Ham. Great to see the young centre halfback get on the scoresheet already!



Champions League Odds

-- Barcelona and Manchester City are joint favourites according to Worldsoccer.com at 4-1 odds. Man United is at 5-1, Sampdoria is 15-2 while Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid are at 9-1. We were 33-1 last year but we get more respect in our second attempt, with odds this year of 20-1. Not bad.



Premier League Team of the Week

-- Gianluca Bolis and Arsene Bamba are selected to the Premier League team of the week.



Transfer News

-- We have a deal accepted for a young Mexican midfielder that's contingent on a work permit being granted. We wouldn't take ownership of the 19 year old until the end of the season, as he's currently on loan in France for the year but he's a wonderful prospect and I felt I had to swoop in on him. More details if the permit comes through.



Next Up

-- We welcome Portugal's Porto to Crabble Athletic Ground as we begin group play in the 2022/23 Champions League!
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:29 AM   #296
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue. September 13, 2022

UEFA Champions League - Group B
Dover (0-0-0, 0 points, ---) vs. Porto (0-0-0, 0 points, ---)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 6-4 (Favourites) Draw: 2-1 Porto: 13-8
Past Meetings: 0W 0D 0L

Porto are two time Champions League winners (1987 & 2004) and they have won Portugal's Liga ZON Sagres a remarkable 31 times, including six years in a row between 2014 and 2019. They haven't won it since, finishing 2nd last year. They weren't buyers in the offseason and actually, they sold us a player in young striker Rogelio Garcia, who is spending the year on loan at Sporting CP. Striker Sergiy Yakymchuk leads the team with 7 goals in 7 games already. Their highest valued player is left midfielder James Rodriguez. This is a very good team but we're not bad either. We can win this game and it's the first time I remember being favoured in a Champions League game.

We go with all of our main starters, including Shanon Andrea at striker and Ingo Wilke is back in goal. Young defender Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz is on the bench for the first time as a senior team player, as Daniel Traore is suspended for this match. Paul Moses is on the bench along with Said Henni. As favourites and at home, I'll stick with a control mentality.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, , N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Chiquinho
Bench - M. Yilmaz, K. Zagos, S. Spall, Mancini, G. Allan, S. Henni, P. Moses

Porto come out in a flat 4-4-2 as well with Hulk and Yakymchuk up front. Sergio Romero is their goalkeeper and Rodriquez is at left midfield. I tell the team to do it for the fans and pull aside Bolis & Chiquinho ("Pick up where you left off") and Rocca ("I have faith in your abilities"). Lets get this started!!!

7' - It's ALL Porto for the first seven minutes as we barely touch the ball. Hmm.

19' - We're finally starting to make an impact on the game but there are no dangerous shots for either side yet.

21' - Shanon Andrea gets the ball just past midfield and bursts right up the seam, running past three defenders and into the box, where he shoots low to the far side and it's past Romero and into the net. SPECTACULAR individual effort by Andrea and we're ahead! DOVER GOAL 1-0

23' - Porto work possession off the ensuing kick and defender Jorge Blanco sends a ball into Hulk in our penalty area. From a narrow angle, he shoots hard and high and it handcuffs Wilke and it's in the net. Instant reply from Porto and they pull level. PORTO GOAL 1-1

29' - Yakymchuk challenges Contreras and gets a step on him but his shot is saved by Wilke.

33' - We win a corner and Rocca's cross is headed just over by Rayane Hamon.

34' - Chiquinho feeds a ball into Andrea inside the area and he embellishes a challenge and gets a yellow card.

40' - We work a quick counter attack off a failed Porto free kick and Chiquinho has a partial breakaway from midfield. With a man chasing from behind, he shoots from just outside the area but his blast just misses the far post. So close...

HALFTIME - We are the more dangerous team after a slow start, holding 54% of possession and a 13-7 (3-4 on target) shot advantage. I remind them that our supporters expect a good performance.

49' - On a Rocca corner, Shanon Andrea leaps up and heads it off the crossbar but it's safely over the goal and out of play.

50' - Wilke with a sensational stop on Yakymchuk, who uses a huge left foot to get his shot off.

53' - We work a throw in down the right side and start a glorious four-way passing play, first to Chiquinho, then to Rocca, then up to Cairney just outside the area who one touches through the defence to Arsene Bamba. He bolts off the defender's back shoulder and hits the ball on his first touch past Romero and we have the lead again. Brilliant passing and a superb finish from Bamba. DOVER GOAL 2-1

54' - My goodness. Hulk gets away again just like on our last goal and he's onside and in all alone. He has Wilke at his mercy but shoots WIDE. Hulk leaves the area with his head in his hands. Shocking miss.

61' - Porto are pouring on pressure and we change to a counter attacking mentality.

66' - On a goal kick, Porto head the ball back over our defence and Hulk gets there first. He's again in on goal and AGAIN he shoots wide. Incredible.

67' - Claudio Contreras is getting abused so I take him out and bring in Kostas Zagos. Zagos moves to right fullback and Salim Loucif comes into the middle beside Hamon.

74' - We win another corner and Rocca's cross is headed by Renato Gaucho and he hits the crossbar! We rarely move Gaucho up into the box but I decided to put him there instead of Loucif since he's taller and it almost worked out with a goal.

76' - Arsene Bamba steals the ball at midfield and sends a great ball up the middle. Shanon Andrea latches on to it and approaches the area. Romero is way out challenging him, as are two defenders so Andrea smartly stops and feeds the ball into the middle to Chiquinho and he has a wide open net to shoot at and makes no mistake! Big goal Chiquinho! DOVER GOAL 3-1

We take out a very fatigued Andrea Rocca and bring in Shaun Spall.

81' - Porto get a corner and Jairo Flores sends a cross to the far post and substitute striker Da Silva delivers a header that goes off Kostas Zagos and into the net. Porto are back in it. PORTO GOAL 3-2

Porto move to a 4-2-4 formation.

84' - Shanon Andrea is out and Paul Moses is in. Hopefully we can use that speed on a counter attack.

87' - Off an innocent throw in, Shaun Spall takes a curling shot that hits the cross bar and bounces out. What was Romero doing there?

They get one more mad scramble in front in the third minute of extra time but Wilke punches the ball away. What a game!

Dover 3 - 2 Porto
Goals - Shanon Andrea (8.0), Arsene Bamba (7.8), Chiquinho (7.9)
Assists - Chiquinho, Shanon Andrea, Neil Cairney (7.0)
Man of the Match - Shanon Andrea
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.2), Rayane Hamon (7.0), Claudio Contreras (7.2), Renato Gaucho (7.1), Neil Cairney (7.3)
Attendance - 20,162

We end up with 55% of possession and outshoot them 22-17 (6-8 on target). Shanon Andrea continues to perform at a ridiculously high level and we knock off a very tough Porto team.

-- We win £696,000 for the victory.

-- AaB defeat Anderlecht 2-1, Dortmund upset Olympique Lyonnais in France 2-1, Sevilla stomp Slovan Bratislava 3-0, Celtic upset Galatasaray 3-1 and Manchester United can only squeeze a draw at Panathinaikos. In Group D action, AZ win at Dinamo and Barcelona win 3-1 at Palermo.

-- In Group E action, just like I thought, Grasshoppers get annihilated against Real Madrid 8-1 (!!) while OM beat CSKA Moscow 1-0. In Group F, Hoffenheim upset Benfica 1-0 while Man City win 3-0 over Le Mans FC. In Group G, Fenerbahce and Shakhtar battle to a scoreless draw while FC Bayern beat Sampdoria 2-1. Finally, in Group H, Liverpool and Fiorentina draw 1-1 while Atletico Madrid knock off Partizan 3-0.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- Paul Moses scored once and added two assists in our 3-3 draw against Aston Villa. Wayne Rooney and Zoltan Bardi also scored.



Pre-Game Buildup

-- We next face Sheffield Wednesday and manager Malky Mackay comes out in the press and says we're "early favourites" in the division and that he doesn't see anyone who is able to knock us off. Ahh, mind games.



Next Up

-- We head on the road to face Sheffield Wednesday in Premier League action.
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Old 03-22-2014, 07:09 PM   #297
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. September 17, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Sheffield Wednesday (3-0-1, 9 points, 5th) vs. Dover (4-0-0, 12 points, 1st)
Hillsborough, Sheffield, UK

Betting Odds: Sheffield Wednesday: 6-4 (Favourites) Draw: 2-1 Dover: 13-8
Past Meetings: 5W 1D 4L

Sheffield Wednesday were one of the surprise packages in the Premier League last season, finishing 8th after holding a continental position for most of the year. There are off to a roaring start once again this season, with wins against Newcastle, Derby and Stoke, admittedly weaker teams but a good start nonetheless. They were sellers for the most part during the transfer window, most notably getting £15.75 million for former Dover striker Gerardo Escobar in a deal with Tottenham but they also moved Kostas Zagos to our club in a £9 million deal.They did pick up English international Darijo Jukic from Arsenal in a £2.7 million bargain buy and he already has two goals in his first two games for Sheffield. They also picked up former Dover loanee Simon Woodman, a 22 year old defensive midfielder from Arsenal for £1.9 million. Steve Pates is still their most dangerous player but he's scoreless in their first four games. I loaned Kostas Kalfas to Sheffield for the season but he's ineligible for today's game. That said, he hasn't even suited up for them in a game yet.

We're a bit tired but I'm going with mostly a full strength side today - we have a League Cup match coming up midweek and that will give me an opportunity to utilize some of our backups. Zagos will be on the bench today against his former team. We'll be using a counter attacking mentality to start on the road and as slight underdogs.

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, , N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Chiquinho
Bench - D. Traore, K. Zagos, S. Spall, Mancini, G. Allan, S. Henni, Z. Bardi

Sheffield is in a flat 4-4-2 as well with Pates and Jukic up front. Saber Nasri is on defence and has been a transfer target of mine in the past and Erwin Mulder is in goal. My assistant says to go out there and perform for the travelling supporters and I pull aside Chiquinho (Pick up where you left off) and Rocca (I have faith) for personal chats.

10' - It's been all Dover on the highlights and we've had four chances at goal but nothing on target yet. A good start though.

23' - Sheffield have a free kick deep in our end near the left sideline and the cross into the area is in traffic and Wilke is forced into a nice save.

24' - Now it's the lethal Steve Pates getting off a piledriver from distance and Wilke dives headlong for the brilliant save!

29' - Sheffield are looking the more dangerous team right now and it's new striker Jukic unleashing a curling blast that hits the crossbar and bounces out. They have dominated the last ten minutes of possession but we're not giving them much other than outside shots.

35' - We hit them on the break and Chiquinho sends it up to Bamba. He runs in and crosses through the box and Andrea Rocca is there. His first shot is saved by Mulder and he gets a second crack but he again shoots it at Mulder and it deflects off him, then the post and finally behind the net. What a glorious chance! We do nothing with the corner.

44' - Bolis is forced to take a man down after a horrible pass from Chiquinho is intercepted and he gets a yellow. On the ensuing free kick, the ball is sent through to Pates but he shoots wide.

HALFTIME - Not our best half but possession is dead even and we outshoot them 13-7 (3-4 on target). I want a bit more possession so I switch to a control mentality to start the second half. I tell the players I'm pleased generally with their play and reinforce to my two strikers that I have faith in their ability to score.

47' - Rayane Hamon with a yellow card. As he's running back to his position, Sheffield Wednesday are able to take the free kick and they immediately send it up to Pates. Hamon is still way back trying to get in position and Pates lobs Wilke and it's in and I'm FURIOUS. That's bullshit that he's not allowed to get back into his position before they take the kick after a card. SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY GOAL 0-1

54' - We have a throw in down the right and Chiquinho gets it to Bolis. He attempts a cross into the middle and Bamba is there with two Sheffield defenders. Mulder makes the save then it pops off Bamba, then Saber Nasri and off Mulder and barely across the goal line but IN. We pull level on an own goal for Mulder. DOVER GOAL 1-1

56' - We almost strike again, as Andrea gets a shot off that's deflected and it's sitting in front of the open net. Chiquinho is ready to pounce but Sheffield's defence clears behind the net just in time. Rocca's corner hits Chiquinho and it just dribbles past the post and out of play.

60' - We're putting incredible pressure on them now and Rocca's shot from outside the area is saved in fine fashion by a diving Mulder.

68' - Rocca again with a shot that is bobbled by Mulder but he scoops it up just as Bolis was about to jump on it.

71' - I bring in Said Henni for Shanon Andrea.

79' - Now I bring in Zoltan Bardi and Shaun Spall and it's Arsene Bamba and Andrea Rocca coming to the bench. Henni moves to left midfield and Bardi is up front with Chiquinho now.

We get a decent chance in injury time off a corner kick but can't get it in the net. We just couldn't break them down but we'll take the draw.

Sheffield Wednesday 1 - 1 Dover
Goals - Erwin Mulder OG
Assists -
Man of the Match - Steve Pates (Sheffield Wednesday ST - 7.5)
Other Dover Notables - Neil Cairney (7.1), Arsene Bamba (7.0), Andrea Rocca (5.9)
Attendance - 35,063

We had a good second half but just couldn't get that second goal. We held 54% of possession and outshot them 22-15 overall (6-6 on target). Rocca gets a poor rating, as he took 10 of our shots, with four going on target. A bit of a rough rating in my opinion, as he was dangerous all game.

-- Sunderland manage to battle City to a 1-1 draw as well so we remain at the top of the table. Chelsea win 4-0 over Derby and Spurs beat Everton 2-0. United also knock off Arsenal 3-0 and they are now in third place.



BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE PLAYED 5 GAMES UNLESS NOTED)

1. Dover - 13 points
2. Manchester City - 13 points
3. Manchester United - 12 points
4. Chelsea - 12 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Sheffield Wednesday - 10 points
6. Tottenham - 9 points
7. Arsenal - 9 points
----------------------------------------------------



Future Transfer IN

-- I'll hold off on the screen shot until he actually arrives at our club but we gain a work permit for 19 year old Mexican midfielder Rafael Ramirez and that completes a £5.25 million transfer from OM in France. I may be overspending a bit on this 1.5/3.5 prospect but he has great ratings in key areas and I think he'll fit in very nicely as a rotational player a la Mancini or Shaun Spall. Ramirez will join us at the end of the season.



Next Up

-- We begin our march in the League Cup with a 3rd round tie at home versus fellow Premier League club Reading.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:55 PM   #298
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue. September 20, 2022

League Cup - 3rd Round
Dover vs. Reading
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 4-6 (Favourites) Draw: N/A Reading: 7-2
Past Meetings: 5W 2D 2L

Reading are the two-time defending FA Cup champions and they are once again taking part in the Europa League so I expect a tough game despite the odds that are significantly in our favour. They made a bunch of smaller moves in the transfer market, with the biggest signing being 32 year old Magaye Gueye, an attacking midfielder for £3.2 million from Benfica. He's already proven to be a good addition, with 3 goals in the early goings. Striker Hani Megahed is still their most dangerous player and he already has 5 goals in his first four games this year.

The board expect us to reach the quarterfinals of this competition but I couldn't care less about the League Cup. We have much more important matches in league play and of course, Champions League play. Therefore, I'm starting a full lineup of backups, albeit with many starting level players or guys coming off injury. At home, we'll play a control mentality. Kostas Zagos will be captain for today's match, his first official start with our club.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - M. Perez
D - C. Guzman, D. Traore, M. Yilmaz, K. Zagos
M - S. Henni, Mancini, S. Spall, G. Allan
S - P. Moses, Z. Bardi
Bench - S. Reed, R. Hamon, A. Rocca, G. Fanfoni, G. Bolis, A. Bamba, W. Rooney

Reading is in a 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) with Megahed alone up front. Gueye is at AML, James Hunter is at AMC, Adam Lallana is at MC and Antonio is in goal. They are starting a full strength side so it looks like they are taking this game much more seriously than we are. This could be a shock result coming…I tell the team to go out there and do it for the fans.

2' - Megahed gets a step on Daniel Traore early and our new central defender takes him down just outside the area. Yellow card for Traore.

4' - We work a counter attack off a failed Reading corner and Bardi has it at midfield. He lays the ball off to Mancini and the Brazilian makes a great feed through the defence to Paul Moses. The lethal youngster bears in on goal and shoots low into the corner of the goal for the dream start! DOVER GOAL 1-0

14' - We win a corner and it's Graham Allan taking it on the right side. His cross is headed out by Reading but Kostas Zagos comes running in from all the way back near the midfield stripe to grab it. From at least ten yards outside the penalty area, Zagos strikes the ball WITH FURY and I'm in SHOCK as it rockets into the top corner past a sprawling Antonio and INTO THE NET!?!! Holy smokes what a SHOT from Zagos and the right fullback scores on his debut with our club. WOW!!! DOVER GOAL 2-0

16' - On the ensuing kick off, James Hunter makes his way toward our goal, eludes a poor tackle from Traore and walks in on Perez but the Mexican international makes the great save.

23' - We have possession again at midfield and Henni moves it into the middle to Mancini. He uses his weaker right foot and sends a lob up field to Bardi. Reading's defence is slow to get there and Bardi gets to the top of the penalty area and shoots low past the beleaguered Antonio and we are up three. What a shocker this is!!! DOVER GOAL 3-0

32' - We continue to dominate, as Shaun Spall sends a great ball up to Bardi and Antonio finally makes a save but the juicy rebound is on the foot of Graham Allan. Luckily for Reading, his shot is deflected and Antonio can recover in time to make the second save.

34' - Reading work a counter and Carlos Guzman takes down Megahed from behind and now he has a yellow too. On the free kick, James Hunter crosses into our area and midfielder Besart Abdurahimi leaps up and heads it past Perez and into the net. Reading are still alive. READING GOAL 3-1

43' - We work a counter and have numbers, with Allan leading the charge down the right flank. The cross is a good one but Said Henni dives and is called for it. Yet another yellow card.

45'+2 - We're supposed to have one minute of injury time but here we are and it's Hunter with possession for Reading. He sends a great ball through our defence and against claims of offsides, it's Abdurahimi again getting in and shooting low past Perez and it's in. Oh my god. Reading have pulled two back and this game is getting interesting. The replay looked offsides but not by much. READING GOAL 3-2

HALFTIME - Reading really took over in the last twenty minutes and they have a 53% possession edge but we outshoot them 8-7 (6-4 on target). I tell the team I'm pleased despite the two late goals. Mancini was superb in that half, with two assists.

51' - Reading work a counter now and it's the dangerous James Hunter again getting loose and shooting left footed from inside the area but Perez makes the great save. We're having trouble with this formation of theirs right now and will likely need to move to a counter mentality soon.

52' - It's Hunter AGAIN getting through our defence and again Perez makes the brilliant save. Traore and young 19 year old Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz are no match for these guys.

60' - We need a bit of influence in there right now so I bring in Andrea Rocca for Shaun Spall and also move to a counter attacking mentality.

73' - We have a corner and Rocca's cross is headed toward goal by Yilmaz but it's off the crossbar and out!

75' - It's Abdurahimi again with a header but Perez is brilliant in pushing it behind the goal.

83' - Reading change to a 4-2-4 formation.

84' - We cause a turnover and Moses is sent in on a partial break but his high shot is pushed over the net by Antonio.

85' - Time to start milking the clock. Zoltan Bardi is out and Wayne Rooney is in.

90'+2 - Steve Reed comes on for Carlos Guzman.

A nail-biter when we thought it might be a rout but we'll take the win.

Dover 3 - 2 Reading
Goals - Paul Moses (7.3), Kostas Zagos (7.6), Zoltan Bardi (7.3)
Assists - Mancini 2 (7.8)
Man of the Match - James Hunter (Reading AMC - 9.0)
Other Dover Notables - Manuel Perez (7.9)
Attendance - 14,942

Reading won 53% of overall possession and outshot us 17-13 (8-7 on target). Still, we win with a second string team against a Premier League team so not too bad. Zagos and GK Manuel Perez were very impressive, as were Abdurahimi and Hunter for Reading, with Hunter deservedly winning man of match honours in the loss.

-- Man City lost to League 1 Colchester 2-1 in extra time. Funny stuff. United also lose 2-1 to Aston Villa in the other major upset.



League Cup - 4th Round Draw

-- As usual, we get another terrible draw, as we will play Everton away in the next round. There are three League 1 teams and a Championship team but we get another Premier League club. Oh well...



Next Up

-- We host newly promoted Burnley at Crabble Athletic Ground in Premier League action.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-23-2014 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:36 AM   #299
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat September 24, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (4-1-0, 13 points, 1st) vs. Burnley (1-2-2, 5 points, 15th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 1-3 (Favourites) Draw: 3-1 Burnley: 7-1
Past Meetings: 0W 0D 2L

Burnley were the winners in the Championship last year and earned promotion to the Premier League for the first time since 2017/18. They dropped that year and we would get promoted the same year and for that reason, they are the rare team that we've never faced in league play, with our two losses coming in a preseason friendly and a 2014 League Cup tie. Befitting a club making the jump, they weren't huge spenders in the preseason, with their biggest purchase being a £3.2 million deal with Newcastle for midfielder Stefan Gospodinov. Striker Haris Seferovic has three goals in six games to lead the club in the early goings and they also have Cameron Murray, our former backup left winger that they picked up from us in a £1.8 million deal in July.

We're back to a full strength side for today's league match. We do have a Champions League game coming up on Wednesday, followed by a matchup against Chelsea next weekend but this is a game we should be winning convincingly.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Chiquinho
Bench - D. Traore, K. Zagos, S. Spall, Mancini, S. Henni, Z. Bardi, P. Moses

Burnley are in a flat 4-4-2 to start with Harry Kane and Seferovic up front. Cameron Murray is starting on the left flank and it's Dwayne Miller in goal. I don't beat around the bush in my pre-game chat: I tell the players I expect a win today.

2' - Rocca springs Shanon Andrea and his blast is turned aside by Miller.

4' - Shanon Andrea suffers a knock and he's off for brief treatment. He can stay in the game but he has the dreaded cross above his name in the highlights. Not a good omen.

6' - Neil Cairney has the ball at midfield and sends a delightful ball up the left middle to Andrea. He cuts back inside from near the byline and crosses, hitting a Burnley defender and deflecting right to the left foot of Andrea Rocca and it's an easy finish into the wide open net for our midfielder! DOVER GOAL 1-0

8' - Rocca with a free kick just outside the area and it's headed away by Burnley but Cairney gets the ball back and hits a curling shot that hits the goalpost and bounces out. Oooh!

23' - We send the ball up to Andrea again and upon reaching the area, he's tackled from behind. He's hurt again but it's a PENALTY! Neil Cairney steps up and shoots low into the left corner and it's IN and we have a two goal lead! DOVER GOAL 2-0

38' - Cairney sends a ball upfield and Chiquinho is racing to it. It's a 50/50 type of ball and the Burnley defender slides at it, knocking Chiquinho down and sending the ball past Miller and into the Burnley net! But wait…Chiquinho is called FOR A DIVE?!?! No goal and a yellow card for Chiquinho, who along with Henni are diving a bit too much for my tastes and getting called for it. Damn - I hate that stuff and when these guys aren't producing…it could mean some time on the bench. He'd better start scoring...

40' - Burnley with their first good chance of the game and it's Cameron Murray making a play off a missed Salim Loucif tackle. His cross is in to Kane but Wilke is in good position to make the save.

42' - Rocca has been great so far today and he again sends a great ball up to Andrea but his rocket blast is saved nicely by Miller.

45'+2 - Rayane Hamon called for a foul and he's given a yellow.

45'+3 - Andrea with fantastic touch pass through to Chiquinho but the snake-bitten striker has his blast saved beautifully by Miller.

HALFTIME - The scoreline is still slightly dangerous but we're in complete control here, with 58% of possession and a huge 19-4 (9-2 on target) shot advantage. I want more goals so I encourage the players in the dressing room and tell Chiquinho that I have faith in his abilities.

65' - There were essentially no highlights for the first ten minutes of the half but we've controlled possession since then and get a free kick just outside the area on the left side. Rocca crosses into the box and Gianluca Bolis, quiet until now, heads it into the far corner and we're three ahead! DOVER GOAL 3-0

67' - We work a counter and it's the incredible Shanon Andrea running up field. He runs into the right side of the area and crosses into the middle and there's the much-maligned Chiquinho sliding again, only this time he boots it past Miller and into the goal! Two in the space of three minutes!! DOVER GOAL 4-0

We start to look ahead to our Champions League battle and take out the excellent Andrea Rocca and the yellow carded Rayane Hamon, bringing in Shaun Spall and Kostas Zagos.

70' - We use our last substitution, bringing in Said Henni for Arsene Bamba.

75' - Neil Cairney has it at midfield and sends it up to Andrea. He turns to his right and from a few yards outside the box, delivers a ROCKET that curls into the right corner of the goal for the highlight reel blast!!! Holy crap! He's got the dreaded cross above his head and is hurt but he's playing like a MACHINE!!! DOVER GOAL 5-0

90'+1 - We continue to dominate and it's the ridiculous Shanon Andrea again, avoiding a tackle and sending substitute Said Henni in to the area. Henni works in between two Burnley defenders and shoots low. Miller likely wants this one back but it's IN THE NET and Henni has his first ever Dover goal! My God…Shanon Andrea is just DOMINATING despite the injury!!! DOVER GOAL 6-0

So, so good!

Dover 6 - 0 Burnley
Goals - Andrea Rocca (9.1), Neil Cairney PEN (9.2), Gianluca Bolis (8.6), Chiquinho (8.4), Shanon Andrea (9.6), Said Henni (7.4)
Assists - Shanon Andrea 4, Neil Cairney, Andrea Rocca
Man of the Match - Shanon Andrea
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.0), Salim Loucif (8.3), Rayane Hamon (7.3), Claudio Contreras (8.2), Renato Gaucho (8.2), Arsene Bamba (7.3)
Attendance - 19,165

Pure unadulterated domination! We hold 58% of possession and outshoot the newly promoted club 30-9 (16-3 on target), showing no mercy at any point during the game. Just beautiful to watch. Our whole starting lineup gets ratings over 7.0, as does goal-scoring sub Henni. Andrea, with four assists and a goal was devastating and the four assists must be a Dover record. Now, we just hope he isn't hurt badly…

-- And we breathe a sigh of relief, as Shanon Andrea only has a stubbed toe and will maybe miss a week. Said Henni will likely get the start at striker alongside Chiquinho in our upcoming Champions League tie, although Paul Moses is another option. Andrea is in LETHAL form this year, with five goals and six assists in six games. Those are video game stats alright!!!

-- I think it's worth noting that Neil Cairney, one of our most high profile signings, is FINALLY living up to the advanced billing. In 34 league games last year, he scored one goal and added three assists. In six league games this year? Three goals and two assists! He's been incredible so far and I hope he keeps it up!

-- In other action, City upend Huddersfield to maintain pace with us while United can only muster a draw against Newcastle. Chelsea storm past Stoke 6-2 and Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-0.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE PLAYED 6 GAMES UNLESS NOTED)

1. Dover - 16 points
2. Manchester City - 16 points
3. Chelsea - 15 points
4. Manchester United - 13 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Sheffield Wednesday - 13 points
6. Tottenham - 12 points
7. Arsenal - 12 points
----------------------------------------------------



Dover U18 Update

-- We win over Reading's U18s 2-0, with fine young midfield prospect Emmerson Harvey scoring both goals.



Premier League Team of the Week

-- In what must be a record, we get SEVEN players named to the team of the week, with Renato Gaucho, Salim Loucif, Claudio Contreras, Gianluca Bolis, Neil Cairney, Andrea Rocca and Shanon Andrea all getting honoured!



Injury Update

-- Our only injury right now is Shanon Andrea but he'll be back in a few days and may be ready for Chelsea on the weekend. Reserve GK Louis Read is still out for awhile.



Champions League Update

-- In Group E action, CSKA Moscow beat Grasshoppers 3-1 while Real Madrid knock off OM 2-1. In Group F, Man City beat Benfica away in a storming game 4-3 while Le Mans FC win 2-1 over Hoffenheim. In Group G, it's Bayern Munich destroying Fenerbahce 6-1 while Sampdoria beat Shakhtar 4-2. And in Group H, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool battle to a scoreless draw while Fiorentina win 4-0 over Partizan.



Next Up

-- We head to Slovakia to face Slovan Bratislava in Champions League group play!
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:22 AM   #300
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. September 28, 2022

UEFA Champions League - Group B
Slovan Bratislava (0-0-1, 0 points, 4th) vs. Dover (1-0-0, 3 points, 2nd)
Pasienky, Bratislava, Slovakia

Betting Odds: Slovan Bratislava: 11-5 Draw: 11-5 Dover: Evens (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 0W 0D 0L

Bratislava is a bit of a mystery, as the Slovakian First League is unplayable in my universe. They went undefeated through the first two qualifying stages but lost 3-0 to Sevilla in their group play opener. They only have three players valued at over a million pounds and it's a small club that's valued at only £20 million. Dover favourite Ben Hunt, who was one of my top strikers while I was in the lower leagues, comes out and mentions their top player in the press but he's only rated as a 1 star player by my scouts. I'm guessing they are overmatched but since the game is on the road, I won't take them lightly.

That said, we are going to rest a couple of players in this game but will have them on the bench should the need arise. Manuel Perez will start in goal, Kostas Zagos will play left fullback for Renato Gaucho, Daniel Traore will be on defence instead of Claudio Contreras, Mancini will be in for Andrea Rocca and Said Henni will start up front for the injured Shanon Andrea. We're favoured so I'll go with a control mentality to start despite being on the road.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - M. Perez
D - K. Zagos, D. Traore, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, N. Cairney, Mancini, G. Bolis
S - S. Henni, Chiquinho
Bench - M. Yilmaz, C. Guzman, G. Fanfoni, A. Rocca, G. Allan, Z. Bardi, P. Moses

Bratislava is also in a flat 4-4-2. Their forwards are Juraj Rehak and Nail Guschin. Ivan Penkov is their danger man at right midfield and their goalkeeper is Bohdan Spanik. I tell the team this is a winnable game and pull aside Chiquinho to tell him I expect a performance like the Burnley game. By the way, we're wearing our alternate kit today, which is a blue and black striped jersey with black shorts, something that is VERY rare.

4' - We have the ball in their end and Kostas Zagos moves it to Mancini and he quickly passes to Neil Cairney. From way outside the area, Cairney unleashes a curling rocket that goes past Spanik into the far corner of the goal for the early stunner! CAIRNEY!!! Molten hot! DOVER GOAL 1-0

14' - Arsene Bamba with a perfect cross to an unmarked Gianluca Bolis but his header is over the goal.

16' - We have a corner and Cairney's cross is booted into the net by Daniel Traore for seemingly his first in a Dover kit but there's Chiquinho AGAIN with a foul, disallowing the goal. Come on man!

35' - We're dominating play but just aren't getting any shots on target.

37' - Cairney with a free kick on the right sideline and he passes to Mancini lurking outside the area. His blast is destined for the far corner but it's headed out by one of Bratislava's defenders.

39' - Mancini again, this time off the crossbar!

40' - FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!! Chiquinho dives in the area AGAIN and it's a yellow card. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?! The last striker I had that did this all the time was Robbie Benson and I sold his ass after one year. This is happening every game now with Chiquinho and it's killing us.

43' - Cairney with gorgeous corner kick to Daniel Traore but his header is turned aside in brilliant fashion. We just can't get that second goal.

45'+1 - Bamba is taken down hard just outside the box down the left side and he takes the free kick. He goes back to Mancini, who immediately shoots - it's heading wide but it strikes Daniel Traore in the head and deflects into the left corner of the goal for the shocker! Traore deserved a goal and he gets one in the most unorthodox way possible! DOVER GOAL 2-0

HALFTIME - We're dominating against a team that simply isn't a match for us. We hold 62% of possession and outshoot them 14-2 (3-0 on target). We need more shots on goal and I encourage the team in the dressing room. I tell Chiquinho that I'm angry at him - this is a bit of a risk, as there's obviously no way for Chiquinho to know that I'm angry at his diving but I don't care right now. It's driving me mad.

56' - In just a superb individual effort, Said Henni takes the ball at midfield, splits three defenders and bursts toward goal. From 20 yards out, he unleashes a rocket that goes off a diving Spanik and into the net for the beauty! Great goal Henni! DOVER GOAL 3-0

With a commanding lead, I take out Neil Cairney and bring in young on-loan midfielder Gian Marco Fanfoni for his first ever senior team match.

60' - Henni with another great run but his shot is weak and right at Spanik.

61' - Salim Loucif with a yellow card.

63' - We work a lightning fast counter and it's Henni sending a great ball upfield for Chiquinho to run into. He's in on goal but Spanik dives in spectacular fashion to thwart his fine effort.

72' - Bratislava have a goal kick and Fanfoni heads it back over their defence and who is there first but Chiquinho? Of course, as usual, he makes up for his blatant diving with immense skill as he rounds Spanik and easily puts the ball into the empty net. Fanfoni gets an assist in his debut!!! DOVER GOAL 4-0

We take out Arsene Bamba and insert Paul Moses, moving him up to striker and Henni moves to left midfield.

75' - Now I bring in Graham Allan, taking out Gianluca Bolis.

88' - Chiquinho with a long-range blast and it's off the cross bar and out of play!

Easy win!

Dover 4 - 0 Slovan Bratislava
Goals - Neil Cairney (8.2), Daniel Traore (8.5), Said Henni (8.2), Chiquinho (8.0)
Assists - Mancini 2 (8.3), Arsene Bamba (7.8), Gian Marco Fanfoni (6.9)
Man of the Match - Daniel Traore
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.4), Rayane Hamon (7.4), Kostas Zagos (7.5), Gianluca Bolis (7.0)
Attendance - 4,943

We outclassed them in every way, with 59% of possession and a whopping 31-2 (8-0 on target) shot advantage. Mancini has four assists in his last two starts and Traore was very effective in a man of the match performance. A great win with a few key players getting some much needed rest!

-- As usual, we earn £696,000 for the Champions League win!

-- In other Champions League action, Olympique Lyonnais won 2-0 over Anderlecht and Dortmund knocked off Aab 4-0 in Group A. In our group, Sevilla beat Porto 2-1 away so we move to the top of the Group B table on goal differential. In Group C, Galatasaray beat up Panathinaikos 5-1 while Man United win 2-0 over Celtic. In Group D, in a humiliating contest, Barcelona get a hat trick from former City striker Enrique as they ring up a 10-1 win (!!!) over Dinamo. In the other Group D match, it's a beauty for neutrals as AZ and Palermo battle to a fun 4-4 draw.



Premier League Stuff

-- In the buildup to our weekend league match versus Chelsea, their manager, Leonardo, praises me and tips us as the likely Premier League champions. I decide not to comment but I'm asked about it in our press conference and just brush the question aside. I've never really engaged in mind games in this dynasty and don't plan on starting now.



October Update

-- The games keep coming, as we have four very tough Premier League matches (AT Chelsea, vs. Reading, vs. Manchester United, AT Aston Villa), a Champions League home tie versus Sevilla and our League Cup 4th round match versus Everton in Liverpool. So six more matches to play this month.

-- We get positive training reports for Gian Marco Fanfoni, Renato Gaucho and Arsene Bamba, along with youth players Phil Whitbread, James Campbell and Daniel Wagner. Negative reports come in for Daniel Traore, Zoltan Bardi and Johnny Mardenborough. I'll be chatting with those three...



Premier League Monthly Awards

-- Man United striker Ishak Belfodil wins Player of the Month honours, with Shanon Andrea coming in third place.

-- DC Claudio Contreras put together a great month after the sale of Paulus Tjiuoro and is named as the Premier League Young Player of the Month for September! Renato Gaucho finishes second.

-- Leonardo from Chelsea wins the Manager of the Month award and I come in third for September.



Next Up

-- A huge early season Premier League road tilt versus rivals Chelsea.
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