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Old 02-02-2014, 10:29 PM   #201
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. October 16, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Tottenham (5-0-2, 15 points, 2nd) vs. Dover (4-2-1, 14 points, 3rd)
White Hart Lane, London, UK

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

Tottenham is a club we've had some decent success against, considering their size, with points in five of seven matches. They were VERY disappointing last year, likely suffering from Continental hangover, to finish 12th on the Premier League table, their worst finish in 17 years. They didn't spend much in the offseason but made a couple of key free transfer signings, most notably cultured striker Bas Dost from AS Monaco in France (my first Champions League opponent) - Dost has been a prolific scorer in his long career and has 3 goals already for Spurs in six matches this year. Gareth Bale is still a great player but he's 32 and this looks to be an aging club that hasn't really done enough to bring young blood in. That said, they're off to a great start this year and sit second on the table behind Manchester United. With no continental play ahead, they can solely concentrate on their league matches.

I have a big Champions League match coming up in three days at home against CSKA Moscow so I'll be careful about our players' fitness. Despite having two weeks off, many of my key players have returned from exhausting international matches and I'll be resting a few of those players today in order to make sure they're fully fit for our midweek Moscow match. Neil Cairney and Salim Loucif will both miss their first starts of the season but will be on the bench. Starting in their place will be Shaun Spall, who has been excellent in limited minutes so far and Jozef Kuciak. Giorgos Gesios also played two games for Greece recently and will be on the bench in favour of Shanon Andrea, our leading goal scorer so far. I've had success using a one striker formation against Tottenham but I'm going to go with my flat 4-4-2 Counter mentality, as it's worked well against bigger clubs so far this year.

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

Tottenham are in a 4-2-3-1 with two DMCs, a formation I've never seen from them before. Looks pretty tight - we've always had lots of goals scored in games between us but they are obviously trying something new under manager Rafa Benitez, who has been with the club for just under a year now. I tell the lads this is a winnable game and pull aside Andrea (I have faith) along with Rocca and Rooney (Pick up where you left off) for personal chats.

4' - We clear a corner but the ball is worked back outside to Gareth Bale. He sends a pass into Bas Dost and his quick shot is saved by Wilke.

7' - OH MY. On a routine looking play, well, as routine as one can look when we're in their area, Arsene Bamba outworks two Tottenham defenders and passes to Andrea, who is MAYBE two yards from the goal line. He has the net at his mercy and shoots RIGHT AT their goalkeeper Matthieu Dreyer. Incredible chance blown!

12' - On a play that looks way offside, Spurs right midfielder David Hollett is fed a long ball and he's in on goal but Wilke makes the tough save.

14' - Bamba with a nice pass up field to Andrea and he gets off a shot that is saved by a sprawling Dreyer.

27' - Dost beats a tackle from Rayane Hamon and storms into the area before shooting just wide. We're fortunate there.

32' - Tottenham seem to be controlling the majority of play here and a ball comes through the area to midfielder James McCarthy but he shoots right at Wilke and the chance goes for naught.

A few corners but no more real chances. Gianluca Bolis gets hurt right at the end of half but can shake it off.

HALFTIME - We're somehow dominating possession, holding 56% so far but are being outshot slightly 11-10 (4-3 on target). Bolis is at around 60% effectiveness so I pull him out at half for Kostas Kalfas. I tell the team I'm pleased and pull aside a few players for personal chats. I kept getting notices from my assistant about Claudio Contreras being "nervous" so I tell him I have faith in him. I also tell an ineffective Wayne Rooney to "Prove a point" and tell on-coming Kalfas to "pick up where you left off".

Tottenham have moved to a flat 4-4-2 to start the second half.

65' - Tottenham are definitely controlling play in the second half but thankfully there have been no dangerous chances. Rooney is playing poorly and is tired so I bring in Giorgos Gesios. Maybe we can find a goal here but I'm going to stick with the counter attack mentality.

89' - Crazy but no chances until a wild back and forth scene where Gesios is chasing a ball down field and the Tottenham keeper was almost at the half way point in the field, retreating furiously back toward his net. Gesios couldn't get to the ball in time and Spurs clear back up field and Dost is all alone on Wilke and he makes a brilliant save. Wild!

90' - Cameron Murray is on for Arsene Bamba. Three minutes of injury time…lets play for the draw.

Dull second half but we'll take the point on the road with a less than full lineup.

Tottenham 0 - 0 Dover
Goals -
Assists -
Man of the Match - Rayane Hamon (8.3)
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.2), Jozef Kuciak (7.1), Claudio Contreras (7.2), Renato Gaucho (7.2), Kostas Kalfas (5.9), Wayne Rooney (5.8)
Attendance - 36,310

Tottenham controlled the second half but couldn't break us down - possession was dead even for the game and they outshot us 19-15 (5-3 on target). Rayane Hamon was excellent and named man of the match. Claudio Contreras had a great bounce back half to get a rating over 7.0 and our whole defence played great. Jozef Kuciak always steps up when I need him to, a great thing to have from a depth player. Rooney was non-existent and Kalfas, who came on as a sub at half, is too slow to make a difference out wide by the looks of it. Still, a good point against excellent opposition and even better, we did it with Neil Cairney and Salim Loucif on the bench the entire game.

-- There were some BEATDOWNS in other Premier League play. Chelsea smoke Southampton 6-0 away and United win by the same scoreline at Old Trafford over Blackburn. Sheffield Wednesday continue to play well, beating up on Everton 4-1 and Man City finally get back on the winning track, defeating Reading 2-0 away. Sunderland also win and that pulls them level on points with us but their better goal differential knocks us down to fourth place after eight matches.



Dover U18 Team Update

-- Our U18s beat up on Kingstonian 5-0, with Gregoire Lambert notching a hat trick. Emmerson Harvey and Pete Smith notched single markers.



Injury Report

-- Zoltan Bardi is back to light training and almost set to return to full training after missing close to three months with a torn hamstring. It will likely take him quite some time to regain match fitness but it will be great to have him back. I can do more things tactically with him available, as he's equally adept at playing striker or an attacking midfield spot just behind the striker. We're struggling for goals this year somewhat and his return will help. We also get word that U18 striker Gregoire Lambert will miss three weeks due to an injury picked up in training.



Next Up

-- We have a big Champions League tilt at home versus winless CSKA Moscow.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 02-02-2014 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:07 AM   #202
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue. October 19, 2021

UEFA Champions League - Group Stage
Dover (1-1-0, 4 points, 2nd) vs. CSKA Moscow (0-0-2, 0 points, 4th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

We don't get much respect here as Moscow are slight favourites in our stadium despite two losses in the competition. They are in first place in their league this year and have an impressive 20-3-3 record. They've won their league seven times in their history and also won the Europa League in 2005. Their top scorer is Senegal international striker Lamine Thiam, who has 17 goals in 32 matches this year. They are a smaller club than us with a current value of £27.5 million (we're at £67 million right now) but we'll treat them with respect.

We'll have a pretty full lineup today. Giorgos Gesios returns up front and will have Wayne Rooney beside him. Neil Cairney and Salim Loucif are back in their normal starting slots as well and Paulus Tjiuoro will play in place of young Claudio Contreras, as I continue to look for low-pressure spots to put him in. We used a control mentality against Schalke so there's no reason to go with anything else against Moscow.

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

They are also in a flat 4-4-2 to start. I tell the team they can win this game. Let's get it!

3' - GRR. Right off the bat, one of their defenders make an ugly tackle on Gesios and he needs to come off for some treatment. No foul call either. This means war!

10' - We storm up field with incredible speed and precision. Bamba has it down the left side and passes in to Cairney. He one-touches a brilliant through ball to Wayne Rooney and the veteran is in on goal. Rooney clinically finishes with his left foot and we open the scoring in fine fashion! Beauty! DOVER GOAL 1-0

17' - Rooney gets another great chance off a pass from Gianluca Bolis but his hard screamer is saved and cleared.

18' - Moscow move back up field and their striker Alan Kardec has it. It's a harmless looking possession at the edge of the area but our in-form defender Rayane Hamon completely whiffs on a tackle and Alan Kardec is in on Wilke and makes no mistake, putting it into the far corner of the net. Not good guys. CSKA MOSCOW GOAL 1-1

30' - Gesios shows his incredible speed and skill as he dribbles through the defence from centre half and has a half step dribbling into the area before blasting just wide.

36' - We work a counter attack up field with Bamba but he gets a weak shot on goal and Valery Zverev, the Moscow keeper, is in position.

39' - Renato Gaucho gets a yellow card.

45'+2 - They have a free kick and send it into our area and Paulus Tjiuoro is called for the hand ball! PENALTY! UGH! Midfielder Alan Dzagoev gets picked to take the kick and WILKE MAKES THE DIVING SAVE!!! WOW!

HALFTIME - We need to be better. We hold 52% of possession and shots are 8-8 (3-2 on target) in our favour. I make another cardinal mistake at half, as I accidentally bypass the team talk screen and head right into the second half. Great. Lets see what that does.

48' - Gesios gets a yellow card.

49' - Man. Hamon gets skinned by Alan Kardec AGAIN but Wilke this time makes a great save. Geez guys.

59' - Bamba sends a great pass over to Bolis, who is streaking into the area but Zverev makes a lovely save.

64' - We are playing like crap. Neil Cairney now with a yellow.

66' - I take out Wayne Rooney and bring in Samir Nasri. We switch to a 4-4-2 DM Control system, with Nasri dropping in behind Gesios. We need a goal.

78' - Bamba gets a weak header on goal but Zverev easily makes the stop. Gesios comes out and Shanon Andrea is in.

81' - Another nutty play. Andrea is way out and takes a curling shot that Zverev can't control. The ball pops loose and Nasri runs into it and shoots but it's right at Zverev and deflects to safety.

87' - Off a goal kick, Wilke sends it downfield and Andrea controls it. He dribbles all the way in and takes a hard shot that is turned behind the net by Zverev. We can't do anything with the corner.

Very disappointing draw.

Dover 1 - 1 CSKA Moscow
Goals - Wayne Rooney (7.2)
Assists - Neil Cairney (6.9)
Man of the Match - Valery Zverev (CSKA Moscow GK - 8.6)
Other Dover Notables - Rayane Hamon (7.5), Andrea Rocca (7.3), Arsene Bamba (7.0)
Attendance - 14,312

They end up edging us in possession 51%-49% and we outshoot them 15-14 (9-4 on target). Rightfully so, their keeper is man of the match. I talked about Hamon getting skinned on our goal and one other chance but he was 15 of 16 in headers and won 13 tackles so he gets a team-high rating. We're having a lot of trouble scoring goals this year. Not much to say, other than the fact that this is the type of game we likely need to win if we're going to advance to the knockout stages. In the end though, we played poorly and were very fortunate to escape with a tie considering the missed Moscow penalty late in the first half.

-- Thankfully, Barcelona do their job and knock off Schalke so we maintain 2nd spot and now have a two point cushion on the German side. Our next opponents, Manchester United, knocked off H. Tel-Aviv 6-0, their second win in a row by that scoreline. Yikes. Talk about being in-form!

-- We're given £348,000 for the draw



Next Up

-- We face first-placed and very much in-form Manchester United in Barclays Premier League play.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:37 PM   #203
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. October 23, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (4-3-1, 15 points, 4th) vs. Manchester United (6-1-1, 19 points, 1st)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 13-2 Draw: 11-4 Manchester United: 2-5 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 0W 0D 8L

Simply put, we've been Manchester United's BITCH, losing all of our eight matches and we've only scored 3 goals against their 24. We played one *really* good game against them last year at home, where we lost 2-1 but dominated possession and shots so it showed we could hang with them but oddsmakers are giving us NO chance today - 13-2 odds at home? Wow…one of the worst sets of odds I can ever remember for us and we've only lost one game this year.

United are obviously rolling so far and have piled up an astonishing +21 goal differential already in eight league games. They shockingly lost to Fulham 3-2 after drawing Aston Villa in their opener but have since reeled off six consecutive wins in Premier League play. The amazing Yaya Sanogo has FIFTEEN GOALS already this year - that's in 11 matches. We need to stop him…somehow. Our former centre half Cristian Rodriguez is hurt and will miss this game. United will be facing Manchester City in a 4th round League Cup match mid-week but I doubt their focus is on that game.

We'll start a full lineup today but with out of form Giorgos Gesios on the bench. United manager Jurgen Klinsmann came out in the press and said Gesios needed to be stopped so I guess I'm doing the work for him - I've found that Gesios struggles when attention is on him so he'll be on our bench today. I had success in that 2-1 loss last year playing a flat 4-4-2 control mentality so against my better judgement, which would be to stay back and counter, I'm going with a bit more of an offensive approach. We play Liverpool in the League Cup in a few days but I'll be going almost exclusively with a backup squad in that contest.

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

They are also in a flat 4-4-2 to start. I'm going all out on Sanogo today - marking him tightly, closing him down, tackling him hard, etc. I also move Rayane Hamon over to his side, as he's faster and more adept at tight marking. I tell the team that despite the odds, they can win this and pull aside Andrea, Rooney and Rocca to tell them I have faith in their abilities.

11' - Play seems relatively even so far. Eden Hazard gets the ball on the edge of the area and rifles a shot right at Wilke and he easily holds on.

19' - Neil Cairney has two shots from distance that just sail over the crossbar. Still no great chances on either side.

22' - Eden Hazard blatantly takes down Salim Loucif and there is no call. Hazard storms all the way down the left side and cuts in toward goal, sending a sharp shot to the far corner. Wilke dives and turns it aside.

25' - We get a glorious chance as Andrea dribbles through the middle of the field into United's area. He sends the ball into the middle and it spits out to Andrea Rocca and he gets a point blank shot on goal that is saved well by United's fine keeper Emiliano Viviano.

28' - We work a counter attack up field and Arsene Bamba dribbles all the way into the United penalty area. He has two defenders draped over him and tries to cross but it hits defender Dedryck Boyata and deflects right to the foot of Rocca. He takes the immediate shot and it's IN THE NET! Rocca's first of the year and we have a LEAD on Manchester United! DOVER GOAL 1-0

30' - United get a free kick just outside our area but Omar Hernandez's cross is headed away to Rooney. He sends a quick pass to Gianluca Bolis and we're working a quick counter. Bolis has way too much speed for their fullback and is able to dribble all the way down the field and into the area. He sends a shot to the far corner but Viviano dives and makes the spectacular save. But there is a rebound and Shanon Andrea is there and puts it into the empty net. IS THIS A DREAM?!?! DOVER GOAL 2-0

35' - Eden Hazard gets a glorious chance on a header from in close but sends it right at Wilke and it's an easy save.

44' - We retain possession after a failed corner kick and Neil Cairney gets off a rocket from the top of the area that Viviano does well to push over the bar.

45'+1 - Rooney gets taken down on a challenge and is hurt. He'll have to come off but the ref blows the whistle for half.

HALFTIME - Possession is 56% in our favour. Shots are 11-7 (6-5 on target) in our favour. We're DOMINATING this game. I hesitate changing tactics but they really started pressing at the end of that half. I will move to a counter attack mentality in the second half. Giorgos Gesios is on for the injured Rooney. I tell the team I'm pleased and pull aside Gesios to tell him I have faith in him. Let's lock it down boys!!!

46' - These United BASTARDS! Now they tackle Shanon Andrea and HE'S HURT. He's able to stay in the game but he has the dreaded cross over his name so he'll likely miss some time.

54' - Sanogo's strike partner Ishak Belfodil gets away from Paulus Tjiuoro and dribbles into the area before sending a shot that Wilke barely pushes behind goal. They get a corner and it's the quiet-until-now Sanogo heading it off the crossbar and out. Whew!

63' - They earn another corner and Hernandez's cross is headed again by Sanogo but the lethal striker makes no mistake this time and it's in the net. Wilke was WAY out of position here, anticipating that the ball would be over his head and essentially, we had an empty net there. Ugh. MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL 2-1

79' - Geez, Omar Hernandez gets off a piledriver, pivoting from way outside the area and Wilke makes a spectacular effort to dive across and make the save.

80' - Bolis takes a pass from Cairney and cuts into goal before sending a shot that Viviano has to push above the bar.

86' - We get a corner and Rocca goes near post to Andrea but his header is saved by Viviano.

88' - We start milking time. Rocca is out and Mancini is in.

90' - One more change, as Aitor Zubizarreta comes on for Shanon Andrea. Three minutes of injury time. HOLD THEM OFF!!!

90'+3 - They work off a throw in and it's in the middle of the field to Hernandez. He dribbles toward our area and unleashes a blast that JUST curls wide. Oh my God.

OH MY GOD. WE JUST BEAT MANCHESTER UNITED!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Dover 2 - 1 Manchester United
Goals - Andrea Rocca (7.9), Shanon Andrea (7.5)
Assists - Gianluca Bolis (7.1), Arsene Bamba (7.0)
Man of the Match - Andrea Rocca
Other Dover Notables - Renato Gaucho (7.0), Ingo Wilke (5.8), Giorgos Gesios (5.5)
Attendance - 14,805 (Sell-Out)

We end the match with a 53% possession edge but they outshot us 18-14 (8-8 on target) as we sat back for the entire second half. This is one of the most important wins in club history, as we finally knock off United! Just a beautiful result and I tell the team as much in the post game team talk. Wilke is rightfully blamed for Sanogo's goal but was excellent otherwise. Giorgos Gesios continues to struggle and I will plan an individual talk to express my dissatisfaction with his game.

-- We get good news and brutal news from our doctors after the game. The good news is that Shanon Andrea suffered only a bruised rib and will miss only about a week of action. The bad news? Wayne Rooney, like our other striker Zoltan Bardi, tears his hamstring and will miss up to three months. Well shit…Rooney was a rock for us this year.

-- A lot of crazy results in other Premier League play, as Chelsea get humbled 4-0 by a very strong Aston Villa club and Liverpool drop a 1-0 decision to Sheffield Wednesday. Sunderland and Man City also win so despite our victory, we remain in 4th place on a PACKED Premier League table. I guess it's appropriate to look at the table for the first time this season.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 29 GAMES REMAINING UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester United - 19 points
2. Sunderland - 18 points
3. Aston Villa - 18 points
4. Dover - 18 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Manchester City - 18 points
6. Arsenal - 17 points
7. Tottenham - 16 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Middlesbrough - 15 points
9. Huddersfield - 13 points
10. Liverpool - 13 points
11. Chelsea - 13 points
12. Sheffield Wednesday - 13 points
13. Reading - 9 points (31 Games Remaining)
14. Fulham - 8 points
15. Everton - 8 points
16. Newcastle - 7 points (30 Games Remaining)
17. Wolves - 7 points
----------------------------------------------------
18. Blackburn - 6 points
19. Derby - 5 points (30 Games Remaining)
20. Southampton - 4 points



Dover U18 Team Update

-- Our U18's squeak by Southampton 1-0 on a Pete Smith goal.



Bardi Returns!

-- Striker Zoltan Bardi, who has missed the entire season after tearing a hamstring in a match for Hungary, returns to full training! The timing couldn't be better with the long-term injury to Wayne Rooney. Bardi will need weeks to regain match fitness I'm sure but this is a very welcomed addition to the squad!



Next Up

-- We head into the fourth round of the League Cup and host Liverpool at Crabble Athletic Ground.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:02 AM   #204
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue. October 26, 2021

League Cup - 4th Round
Dover vs. Liverpool
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 7-4 Draw: N/A Liverpool: 5-4 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 3W 2D 6L

I'm pretty sure we've faced Liverpool more times than any other team in this dynasty - they started by winning the first six meetings and now we've gone undefeated in our last five, including a 1-0 away win earlier this year. Our win over United has earned us a bit more respect from the oddsmakers, as the 7-4 line to win is MUCH better than it was a week ago for this game. Liverpool are struggling so far this year, sitting in 10th place and manager Marco van Basten is under fire in the press for the team's lack of wins.

I'm pretty much going with a full "B" squad today but will start Giorgos Gesios up front. Unhappy loanee Paul Moses will start up front beside him and Zoltan Bardi is available off the bench. I'll also have Andrea Rocca and Neil Cairney available to come on if necessary.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - Y. Sylla
D - J. Varga, C. Contreras, A. Kokaina, J. Kuciak
M - C. Murray, Mancini, S. Spall, K. Kalfas
S - G. Gesios, P. Moses
Bench - S. Loucif, P. Tjiuoro, A. Rocca, N. Cairney, S. Nasri, A. Zubizarreta, Z. Bardi

Liverpool are using a lot of spares today as well but a few key players are in, including goalkeeper Chris Dunn and midfielder Adam Hill. Raymond de Winter is up front along with Antonio. I tell the team to do it for the supporters and pull aside Moses, Spall and Sylla to say I have faith in their abilities.

7' - Abdallaye Kokaina gets a yellow card.

10' - Paul Moses stupidly takes a shot from way out near the right sideline and the ball deflects off a defender and up field. Liverpool work the counter and Raymond de Winter is sent through the defence. He makes no mistake putting it by Sylla and Liverpool take the early lead. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-1

30' - Incredibly there is very little action until Cameron Murray gets a ball down the left flank. He dribbles to the byline and sends in a cross and there is Kostas Kalfas, at 6' 4", rising above the Liverpool defenders and heading it forcefully off goalkeeper Chris Dunn and into the net to pull level! DOVER GOAL 1-1

32' - Striker Antonio has his back to goal on the edge of the area and pivots to his stronger right foot. His low shot is turned aside by a diving Sylla.

34' - Paul Moses crosses a ball into the area that is cleared but right to Shaun Spall. He sends a hard shot back toward goal and Chris Dunn shows his great reflexes by making the save.

40' - We control possession after a Liverpool goal kick and Gesios sends a great through ball to Shaun Spall. He drives a low shot that Dunn does well to push behind goal.

HALFTIME - Liverpool are edging us in possession 53%-47% but we have a shots edge 10-8 (4-3 on target). Our central defenders aren't having good games, with Kokaina sitting at 5.9 and Contreras at 6.0. I tell the team we only need one goal…you can do it!

51' - And…we don't respond out of the room. Liverpool have a throw in and the ball is eventually fed from Adam Hill to Bi Quattara, their fine midfielder. He is in the middle of the field and unmarked and from just outside the area, he blasts a low shot that Sylla can't corral and it's in the net. LIVERPOOL GOAL 1-2

54' - Kokaina takes down de Winter in our area and therre is no foul call. Yikes - that looked like a sure penalty and Liverpool are FURIOUS.

64' - Zoltan Bardi is brought on for Paul Moses.

73' - Nothing much happening. I bring in Andrea Rocca and take out Mancini and we move to an Attacking mentality.

75' - Our substitution almost pays off immediately. Rocca takes a free kick and the ball squirts to Claudio Contreras. He sends a low shot through traffic that Dunn dives to stop and Liverpool clear before the slow-to-react Cameron Murray can pounce on the rebound.

84' - We overload.

Nothing comes of it, as usual, when we are forced into changing to attacking formations.

Dover 1 - 2 Liverpool
Goals - Kostas Kalfas (7.6)
Assists - Cameron Murray (7.0)
Man of the Match - Kostas Kalfas
Other Dover Notables -
Attendance - 14,658

Possession essentially stayed the same, with Liverpool holding 53% of the ball while we outshot them 19-14 (6-5 on target). A very disappointing result - I hoped that with Gesios and Moses up front that we could get a win but they disappointed. Gesios is really struggling to regain form after his injury and it's becoming worrisome. At the end of the day, it's just the League Cup…not a big deal - we have bigger fish to fry!



Next Up

-- An away matchup against high-scoring surprise package Sunderland, currently sitting in second on the table.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:03 PM   #205
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. October 30, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Sunderland (6-0-3, 18 points, 2nd) vs. Dover (5-3-1, 18 points, 4th)
The Stadium of Light, Sunderland, UK

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

Sunderland are flying high early in the season, with six wins from nine matches, an impressive +11 goal differential and they are on a six game winning streak across all competitions. 28 year old Scottish striker Craig Flett has 10 goals already in only 11 matches and will be the man we need to watch. Matt Barber is an excellent midfielder who compares quite closely with our own wonderkid Neil Cairney. Sunderland spent BIG in the transfer market, most notably paying £7,500,000 for 29 year old Brazilian attacking midfielder Zezinho from Lazio. They also spent £3.4 million on another attacking mid, Argentinian Cristian Bagalini from Torino but he hasn't played a league game as of yet. Overall, Sunderland spent almost £17 million in transfer fees in July and August and it's obviously paying off thus far.

We have a huge Champions League match against CSKA Moscow in four days but I'm going with a pretty strong club today, with the thought that most of the players will be ready to go by that mid-week game regardless. I'm going with a one striker formation, as Giorgos Gesios has been brutal lately and Zoltan Bardi is far from being fully fit. Both will be on the bench today. We'll start Shanon Andrea up front and sitting behind him will be Aitor Zubizarreta, getting his first start of the season - he's been excellent with the reserves this year and deserves a chance today.

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

Sunderland are in a flat 4-4-2 with Flett and Ben Sahar, another dangerous striker, up front. Barber is in midfield along with former Dover loanee George MacKenzie and Zezinho is flanked out to the left. No personal chats today - I tell the team this is winnable.

5' - They have a throw in deep in our territory and it's Zezinho with the ball. He pivots toward the byline and immediately crosses into the area. Ben Sahar outfights Paulus Tjiuoro and heads it into the net for the quick strike. SUNDERLAND GOAL 0-1

9' - We work the ball up to Arsene Bamba and he streaks down the left sideline. He sends a cross into the box to Andrea and he is able to get a shot at goal but Sunderland keeper Sam Cowler is there. The rebound pops out and Sunderland defender Kanda Nantoume tries to tackle the ball away from Andrea and in the process, he puts it into his own goal! DOVER GOAL 1-1

30' - It's pretty much all Sunderland in highlights. Ben Sahar gets off a rocket from distance and Wilke sticks his arm up and blocks it away.

33' - We're just gifting possession all over the field and it's apparent I need to make a tactics change at half, at the very least. Sunderland work a counter and Flett storms up field. He gets a harmless looking pass through to the middle and Sahar heads it at goal, forcing Wilke into a save.

42' - Neil Cairney, who has already received a warning in this game, now gets a yellow. We'll have to be very careful with him.

43' - Off the ensuing free kick, Sunderland work up field and George MacKenzie is able to avoid a tackle from Tjiuoro, walk in and shoot but Wilke is there again with the save.

45' - We win a tackle around midfield and Bamba has the ball about halfway in the Sunderland end of the field. He's being closed down by the right fullback but makes an INCREDIBLE pass into the box to Shanon Andrea, who somehow escaped his marker and he's inexplicably all alone. He is clinical with his finish and we have a shocking lead! DOVER GOAL 2-1

45'+2 - Ben Sahar gets another header off a cross but it just goes over the net as the referee blows for half time.

HALFTIME - Unquestionably, Sunderland have been the better team in all respects except for the most important: the scoreboard! They held 54% of possession, a number which seems small but outshoot us by a wide margin, 11-3 (5-1 on target). We need to make changes here and do - we move to a flat 4-4-2, take out Zubizarreta and bring in Zoltan Bardi at striker. I encourage the team in the dressing room and pull aside Rocca (who my assistant says looks disinterested today) and Tjiuoro (who was skinned a few times) to tell them I have faith in them.

50' - Great. While making a pass, Andrea Rocca goes down and needs to be taken off. Shaun Spall is in.

53' - Sunderland get a corner and MacKenzie crosses it to the near post to Nantoume and he makes up for his earlier own goal by heading it into the net. Sunderland pull level. SUNDERLAND GOAL 2-2

56' - Salim Loucif gets a yellow.

69' - Rayane Hamon with the yellow on a blatant takedown of Flett.

There's nothing going on other than shots from distance. Poor performance from our club but a draw is okay.

Sunderland 2 - 2 Dover
Goals - Shanon Andrea (7.2)
Assists - Arsene Bamba (6.9)
Man of the Match - Kanda Nantoume (Sunderland DC - 7.5)
Other Dover Notables - Renato Gaucho (7.0), Zoltan Bardi (5.9)
Attendance - 39,074

Sunderland maintained their 54% possession edge and outshot us 21-8 (7-2 on target). A really poor performance but I stay positive and tell the team the result was good. Bardi, who is woefully unfit, gets a brutal rating for his second half, as he barely touched the ball and looked poor when he did. Simply put, we need to play better than this.

-- Thankfully, the news is positive on injured midfielder Andrea Rocca, who only suffered a bruised thigh and will be back in around a week.

-- United continue to storm through the league, destroying Middlesbrough 6-1. City defeat Southampton to move into second on the table and we fall into fifth after the draw.



November Update

-- November sees us play four Premier League games, with Everton and Blackburn visiting Crabble Athletic Ground and we'll travel to Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday. We also have two Champions League matches, first against CSKA Moscow in Russia and then we host Barcelona at the end of the month.

-- We get positive training reports from Giorgos Gesios, Arsene Bamba and Claudio Contreras, along with U18 players Sebastian Kraft, Ben Lee and Phil Whitbread. Negative reports come in for Samir Nasri and Jozef Varga. Both Varga and Nasri get talking-to's.



Premier League Monthly Awards

-- The sensational Yaya Sanogo from Manchester United wins player of the month honours.

-- Sheffield Wednesday striker Steve Pates wins the young player of the month award. Renato Gaucho continues to impress, coming in third.

-- Aston Villa boss Phil Brown wins manager of the month honours.



November Board Confidence Update

-- The board are delighted with the leadership qualities I'm demonstrating. Stature increase continues to be the positive and Oliver Nicholas' departure the negative.

-- We lost a measly £4,530 last month.



Injury Update

-- Andrea Rocca will be out a week or so and Wayne Rooney is months from returning.



U18 Team Update

-- United loanee Paul Moses scored once and added three assists as we wallop Exeter 6-0 in U18 Cup action. Moses is down with the U18s to ensure his fitness but with him being so unhappy, I don't really want him around the senior team unless necessary.



Next Up

-- We're back to Champions League play and we head to Russia to face CSKA Moscow!
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:24 PM   #206
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. November 3, 2021

UEFA Champions League - Group Stage
CSKA Moscow (0-1-2, 1 points, 4th) vs. Dover (1-2-0, 5 points, 2nd)
CSKA-Peschanoye, Moscow, Russia

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

This is pretty much a must-win game for Moscow, as they are languishing at the bottom of Group F. They continue to run away with their league, as they hold a seven point advantage on Spartak Moscow with three games left on their schedule. This is the weakest opponent in our group and it would be great to get a win here but they played us very tough a few weeks back at home to earn the draw.

With Andrea Rocca hurt, Mancini will come into midfield in his place. We'll go with two strikers up front and Giorgos Gesios will once again get a chance to contribute. I'm going to start with a control mentality to try to get an early lead and can revert to a counter attack later in the game.

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, G. Gesios
Bench - Y. Sylla, J. Kuciak, C. Contreras, S. Spall, S. Nasri, K. Kalfas, Z. Bardi

Moscow is in a flat 4-4-2 formation. I reinforce that this is a winnable game and pull aside Gesios, Cairney and Mancini to tell them I have faith in them, as all three have only "good" morale right now.

3' - UGH. We lose possession at midfield and they work up the left side. A cross comes into the box and Paulus Tjiuoro AGAIN is outworked for the ball and it's a sliding Lamine Thiam, the Moscow striker, putting it into the net for the quick goal. A second consecutive game where we give up an early one. CSKA MOSCOW GOAL 0-1

7' - Moscow almost score again off a corner, as Wilke makes a spectacular diving stop off a header.

17' - We are looking terrible…very disjointed with no flow to our game.

Nothing but shots from distance. HORRIBLE!

HALFTIME - They hold 56% of possession and outshoot us 11-5 (2-0 on target). We're generating NOTHING. I peel paint in the dressing room and tell the players I expect a result here and want no excuses. I'll narrow up our formation a bit in a sideline shout as well, as the field is narrow.

46' - We get our first chance of the game, as Gesios sends a great through ball to the usually reliable Shanon Andrea. He's in all alone and shoots WOEFULLY WIDE. WTF?!

52' - I switch to a counter attack mentality due to the narrow field.

55' - Gianluca Bolis is hurt and needs to come off. Kostas Kalfas is in.

58' - Mancini with a yellow card.

67' - Still nothing. My God. Moscow get a shot from distance and Wilke makes a great save.

70' - Wholesale changes. Zoltan Bardi comes on for Shanon Andrea and Samir Nasri is on for Mancini. We move to Overload.

73' - Yellow card for Renato Gaucho.

75' - We're finally showing some urgency with our ball movement and pressing. Zoltan Bardi gets off a shot from the edge of the area and Akinfeev, the Moscow keeper, makes a save.

76' - Salim Loucif with a yellow.

78' - Ingo Wilke makes a SENSATIONAL diving stop off a free kick.

81' - We move swiftly up field and Kalfas gets the ball into Bardi. His quick shot is turned behind the net by Akinfeev, setting up a corner. We do nothing with it then Gesios gets a yellow card. God. Gesios will be suspended in his next match for yellow card accumulation.

Nothing again.

CSKA Moscow 1 - 0 Dover
Goals -
Assists -
Man of the Match - Bakary Sako (CSKA Moscow ML - 7.4)
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.1), Salim Loucif (7.1), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.0), Renato Gaucho (7.1)
Attendance - 23,236

Can we miss Wayne Rooney this much?? Does his influence effect our game to this extent? We simply can't score and we're in big trouble in Champions League play now, as we'll definitely need a win against Schalke by the looks of it if we're to advance to the next stage. Our last twenty minutes saw us hold most of possession but Moscow just stayed back and gave us nothing. We ended up edging them on possession, holding the ball for 51% of the game but they outshot us 18-11 (5-2 on target). I tell the team I'm disappointed in their efforts.

-- Barring a complete collapse, Barcelona is through to the next round, as they defeated Schalke. Moscow moves into third place with the win over our club but I'd still say things are between us and Schalke for that coveted second place position.

-- As indicated above, Giorgos Gesios will miss our next Champions League game against Barcelona due to yellow card accumulation.

-- Gianluca Bolis will miss a couple weeks with a groin strain.



U18 Team Update

-- We defeat Oxford 1-0, with striker Eddie Robinson scoring our only goal.



-- We have a Sunday match this week against Everton and that allows us to watch some Saturday contests. There are some incredible scores in these games: Chelsea beat Tottenham 4-3 in a wild game, Man City THROTTLES Aston Villa 6-0…and this is a Villa team that was in third place in the league until that point! Even better, mid-table Newcastle DESTROY Southampton 7-1 (!!), the same Southampton team that held us to a draw at Crabble Athletic Ground earlier this year. We're still fourth on the table but even a win won't propel us any higher, as we're three points back of 3rd place Sunderland and they have a much better goal differential than us.



Next Up

-- We try to get back into the win column against struggling Everton.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 02-12-2014 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:20 AM   #207
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sun. November 7, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (5-4-1, 19 points, 4th) vs. Everton (3-2-5, 11 points, 14th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Everton are really struggling in the league and already have a few nasty defeats on their record, including a 7-0 bloodbath against Manchester United. They are in Europa League Group Play right now but are coming off consecutive losses to Real Madrid. They've lost 5 of their last 6 in all competitions but did beat Blackburn on the weekend 3-0, a result that got the Blackburn manager sacked. Everton spent over £11 million in the transfer window, with £7 million of it on Cameroon international Henri Atangana, an attacking wide midfielder. He's made little impact so far. Chris Wood is their danger man up front with 7 goals in 15 games. Jack Rodwell is playing at a very high level right now in the midfield. Ekow Mumuni has been their top scorer for a couple years but seems to be a surplus to requirements this year, as he's only seen action in two games as a substitute. This after 34 league goals in the last two years.

Andrea Rocca is back today and will move back into the starting eleven. I've been getting poor play from everyone lately but I'm shaking things up in the midfield a bit, with Rocca and Cairney switching roles. Cairney will move to a box-to-box role and Rocca will move into an attacking role. Andrea and Gesios start up front again and Kostas Kalfas starts at right midfield for the injured Gianluca Bolis. I also insert Claudio Contreras for Tjiuoro.

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

As expected, Everton are also in a flat 4-4-2. I expect a win today but with morale being relatively low, I tell them to go out and do it for the fans today.

3' - Thankfully, a much better start. We get a good chance with Andrea racing up the field, holding up, then feeding an oncoming Bamba but his shot is high and wide.

4' - Off the ensuing goal kick, Di Capua sends the ball to midfield and we head it back over the defence. Giorgos Gesios wins the race, cuts to his left foot and shoots but Di Capua makes a brilliant save. However, the rebound pops out to Shanon Andrea and he makes no mistake, giving us the early lead! DOVER GOAL 1-0

6' - Wow, Everton strike back right away, as striker Uhrik takes a long pass and volleys it directly into the net. But wait…the assistant has his flag up! Uhrik is called for fouling Ingo Wilke and the goal doesn't count!

8' - We're looking great so far. We win a couple of tackles and move up field. The ball is on the edge of the area and Bamba gets loose on the left side. Di Capua comes out to challenge and forces Bamba's shot wide but it hits Everton defender Antonio and deflects into the empty net! Four minute double salvo! DOVER GOAL 2-0

12' - Now it's Andrea getting sprung on a partial break and Di Capua has to make a great save again.

15' - Uhrik makes some nice moves through the middle of our defence and gets off a shot that hits the woodwork and bounces away.

21' - Everton is making a push, as they get a free kick from distance and send in a cross that is headed toward goal. Wilke is in good position for the save.

23' - Neil Cairney gets a yellow card.

34' - We get a free kick and Rocca sends a great ball that Gesios latches onto. Our struggling striker heads it high over the net. Damnit! We need Gesios to start scoring!!!

HALFTIME - The stats don't necessarily show it but we're playing well here. A modest 51% possession advantage and a 10-8 (4-2 on target) shot advantage. I tell the team I'm pleased.

50' - Gesios with a gorgeous feed into Andrea and he's completely stoned by Di Capua! What a through ball by Gesios.

53' - We work a beautiful counter attack, with Gesios sending a high pass down the left flank to Bamba. Two defenders are drawn in his direction and from the byline, he sends an arching ball into the box to the foot of Shanon Andrea. He's all alone, Di Capua is way out of position and he easily finishes for his second of the game! Beauty! DOVER GOAL 3-0

57' - Gesios wins a ball in the Everton penalty area, gets a left footed boot on the ball but Di Capua is there for the stop.

61' - Double substitution, as Zoltan Bardi comes on for Gesios, who was great today, and Shaun Spall comes on for Andrea Rocca.

71' - Neil Cairney is out and Aitor Zubizarreta is in.

74' - Yellow card for Rayane Hamon.

89' - Andrea has a GLORIOUS chance for his hat trick, as he takes a great feed from Bamba and is two feet from goal but shoots weakly and Di Capua gets into position for the save. Andrea retreats with his hands on his head!

90'+1 - Chris Wood gets off a rocket from way out and Wilke is forced into making a good stop to preserve his shutout.

Good game!

Dover 3 - 0 Everton
Goals - Shanon Andrea 2 (9.2), Antonio (OG)
Assists - Arsene Bamba 2 (8.3), Giorgos Gesios (7.1)
Man of the Match - Shanon Andrea
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.9), Rayane Hamon (7.2), Claudio Contreras (7.6), Renato Gaucho (7.5), Andrea Rocca (7.2)
Attendance - 14,805 (Sell-Out)

Now THAT'S better! We hold the ball 56% of the game and outshoot them 23-13 (10-5 on target). A great defensive performance as well and Shanon Andrea continues to impress in his first year with the club, as he hits the ten goal mark already.

-- Everton sack their manager Robert Kelly after the loss and I'm declared as the favourite for the job. I release a statement declining interest in the position.



International Update

-- Eleven of our players are called up for international play. Emmerson Harvey, Jonathan Adam, Louis Read, Gregoire Lambert, Claudio Contreras, Salim Loucif, Zoltan Bardi, Paulus Tjiuoro, Thomas Anderson, Giorgos Gesios and Kostas Kalfas get the call.



-- Shanon Andrea makes it into the Barclays Premier League Team of the Week for his two goal performance.



Dover Reserves Team Update

-- We had almost a month between reserve league games and that has resulted in most of our depth players being less than match fit. I was able to get a full game in for Zoltan Bardi, as we battled Chelsea's Reserves to a 3-3 draw. Abdallaye Kokaina, Aitor Zubizarreta and Paul Moses were the goal scorers. Goalkeeper Youssouf Sylla continues to struggle immensely in his first year at Dover, showing poor positioning and poor decision making. I may actually try to move him at the transfer deadline, as I can't trust him to play a meaningful game at this point.



Next Up

-- We head out to face mid-table Huddersfield Town in Premier League play.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:15 AM   #208
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. November 10, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Huddersfield (4-2-5, 14 points, 12th) vs. Dover (6-4-1, 22 points, 4th)
The Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield, UK

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

We are rare road favourites in this contest against mid-table Huddersfield, a team we've had great success against in past meetings, winning five of seven total matches and four in a row. They seem to be giving it their all in the League Cup and have reached the quarterfinal stage in that competition but have had an easy road, with wins over lower league Tranmere, Birmingham and MK Dons. They just got blasted by newly promoted Blackburn 3-0 on the weekend and with 12 goals in 11 league games, they are obviously having difficulty finding the back of the net. They certainly splashed the cash in the transfer window, spending £25 million overall, with £9 million spent on Catania DM Jose Antonio Marco and £5.75 million on Brazilian midfielder Antonio by way of Mallorca. Striker David Caldwell leads the team with 4 goals in 12 contests and the team has a number of key players missing today, including dangerous midfielders Dennis Lotters and Sergey Gusev.

We are about to hit an international break, with our next meaningful game taking place in ten days against Blackburn. Therefore, we'll go with the best lineup I can put on the pitch, the same starting eleven from our win against Everton on Sunday. We've used a 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) with success against Huddersfield in the past but I'll start with a flat 4-4-2 control mentality to start. I only make one change to my bench, with Paul Moses being named as a substitute over the unfit Zoltan Bardi.

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

Huddersfield are in a 4-1-3-2 formation with a DMC and three central midfielders, a pretty tight formation. Paul Lumsden and Nelson Oliveira are starting up front and leading scorer David Caldwell is on the bench for some reason. I tell the team they can win tonight and pull aside Gesios and Cairney (I have faith) along with Shanon Andrea (Pick up where you left off) for personal pep talks.

9' - We've carried the play thus far, with a couple of corners and extended possession but no shots on goal. We get a free kick from midway in Huddersfield territory and Rocca lines up for the kick and sends it into the area. Arsene Bamba meets the ball with a diving header and pots it into the far corner of the goal. Great start men! DOVER GOAL 1-0

24' - Giorgos Gesios, who my assistant has been telling me looks "ill-disciplined", takes down a man for the second time in the game and now is yellow carded.

30' - Gesios takes a pass at midfield and races past his marker and in toward goal. From the top of the area, he shoots woefully wide. Gesios continues to struggle immensely for us this year and still only has one goal since his return from injury.

33' - Wilke is called upon to make a great save on a curling shot from outside the area.

38' - Huddersfield are taking the play to us right now. Oliveira gets a header from in close but puts it over the goal. We're under heavy pressure and not matching their formation well at the moment.

42' - Another great chance sees Oliveira get past his marker into the area but Wilke again is there for the fine save.

44' - Andrea takes a throw in down the left side and crosses into the box but Kostas Kalfas heads it over the goal. "That should have been a goal", the announcer bellows.

45'+1 - We get one more chance on a counter, as Gesios sends a great ball up field to Andrea. He cuts in toward goal but shoots low and wide.

HALFTIME - After a great first ten minutes, it was all Huddersfield, as they hold 53% of possession but we outshoot them 6-5 (1-2 on target). Gesios (6.3) and Andrea (6.2) are struggling up front while Wilke is continuing his incredible form in goal. I encourage the team in the dressing room and decide to switch to a counter attacking mentality.

47' - We work a quick counter and Andrea Rocca sends a great ball up field to a streaking Shanon Andrea. He's dribbling in all alone but Huddersfield's keeper Alex Smithies charges out and makes a great stop. That was a great chance.

50' - We have a free kick and Rocca sends in another delightful ball to the foot of Gesios and his point blank blast is saved spectacularly by Smithies. We get a couple of other cracks at the ball before it's kicked to safety. Gesios is officially jinxed right now…what a brilliant chance.

51' - On another free kick, Rocca's cross is headed toward goal by Claudio Contreras and another scrum ensues that sees Huddersfield clear just in time. We're POURING ON PRESSURE!

65' - Things calm down for a long stretch and we bring in disgruntled striker Paul Moses for a completely ineffective Shanon Andrea.

73' - A wild play near our goal, as Salim Loucif is taken down right in front of the ref and all of our players have their hands up but no call is forthcoming. That allows Lumsden to walk in on goal but Wilke again is there to make the great stop.

79' - Claudio Contreras takes a knock but can shake it off. We'll have to evaluate him after the game.

80' - Aitor Zubizarreta comes on for the exhausted Kostas Kalfas.

86' - Gesios takes a nice feed from Zubizarreta in the penalty area and shoots hard at goal but Smithies does well to push it over the net.

87' - I take out Contreras and bring in Paulus Tjiuoro.

We hold them off the rest of the way. Decent second half where we had complete control by the looks of it.

Huddersfield 0 - 1 Dover
Goals - Arsene Bamba (7.6)
Assists - Andrea Rocca (7.3)
Man of the Match - Ingo Wilke (8.3)
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.2), Claudio Contreras (7.4), Renato Gaucho (7.4), Neil Cairney (7.1)
Attendance - 15,537

Indeed, the match stats prove my thoughts on our second half domination, as we hold 55% of overall possession and a huge 16-6 (7-3 on target) shot advantage. We did everything but score in that half. Wilke was sensational in goal for us and he may be the most unheralded player on my team - I always seem to be looking for the "next" guy in net but Wilke consistently outperforms his ratings.

-- Thankfully, Claudio Contreras comes away from the game with no lasting injury. He had the dreaded "cross" over his name so I feared the worst but he'll be just fine. He's upped his game considerably in the last few weeks and has become a first-choice player again over Paulus Tjiuoro.

-- In other Premier League play, Man City beats Fulham 3-0, United knock off Chelsea by the same scoreline and Sunderland can only manage a draw against relegation candidates Derby, which allows us to move past them on the table into 3rd place.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE PLAYED 12 GAMES UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester United - 28 points
2. Manchester City - 27 points
3. Dover - 25 points
4. Sunderland - 23 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Aston Villa - 22 points
6. Arsenal - 21 points (11 games)
7. Liverpool - 19 points
----------------------------------------------------




International Update

-- We have four more players called up for international duty, with Arsene Bamba and Youssouf Sylla getting the call from Ivory Coast and Neil Cairney and Cameron Murray getting called up by Scotland.



Dover U18 Team Update

-- With many of our top U18s away on international duty, we still are able to secure a 3-0 win over Portsmouth. Striker Eddie Robinson bags a brace and Ben Lee notches a single marker.

-- A few days later, the kids are back in action and beat Carlisle 1-0. Once again, it's Eddie Robinson doing the scoring.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- Steve Ingram and Carlo Cerbone score in a 2-0 win over Wolves. Jozef Varga had an assist and was man of the match in a game where many of our lesser known players got a chance to play.



International Update

-- Many of our players take part in international friendlies. Giorgos Gesios scores both goals for Greece in their 2-1 win over Bulgaria then pots two more in a 3-0 win over San Marino a few days later - good to see Gesios put a bunch in the net and I hope it starts happening with the club that pays him! Paulus Tjiuoro (Nambia), Zoltan Bardi (Hungary), Salim Loucif (Algeria), Claudio Contreras (Argentina U20), Louis Reed (England U20), Youssouf Sylla (Ivory Coast) and Neil Cairney (Scotland) all get positive notices. Loucif is captaining Algeria, a great sign - he's our vice captain this year and we're performing well with him as acting captain with Wayne Rooney on the injured reserve. Louis Reed earned his first youth cap with England. And Kostas Kalfas came on as a substitute in that 3-0 Greece win over San Marino, giving Kalfas his first ever senior team cap. He was delighted and says as much in the press afterwards.



Free Transfer Deadline

-- The free transfer deadline passes with no Dover activity. I contemplated picking up a young fullback but I don't need any extra players right now - I figured I could sell the guy eventually but I ended up passing.



Next Up

-- We host Blackburn, newly promoted from the Championship.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:06 AM   #209
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. November 20, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (7-4-1, 25 points, 3rd) vs. Blackburn (2-4-6, 10 points, 16th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 4-7 (Favourites) Draw: 5-2 Blackburn: 4-1
Past Meetings: 3W 1D 2L

We are HUGE favourites at home versus Blackburn, who held Sheffield Wednesday to a 1-1 draw in their last match and beat Huddersfield the game before that to escape the relegation zone. Alan Shearer, legend of the game, manages Blackburn and even engages me in the press, saying how good a job I'm doing with limited resources. Hey buddy, lets grab a beer after the game!

We outclass Blackburn in every area according to our coaching staff but we'll have to worry about complacency and hope the squad isn't looking ahead to a midweek Champions League game against Barcelona. Blackburn was quiet in the transfer window, only spending £2.9 million in total, all on Slovenian midfielder Darko Music, who has played very few games thus far for his new club. That inactivity won't get it done for a newly promoted club but again, they are out of the relegation zone…for now. Striker Sergi has four goals to lead the team but their most dangerous player is fellow striker Graham Allan, a pacy Scottish international.

Gianluca Bolis has returned to full training but I will hold him out until the Barcelona game. In other good news, striker Zoltan Bardi is match fit for the first time this year after his two international games for Hungary but I'll keep him on the bench for today - I plan on starting him for the first time against Barcelona, as Giorgos Gesios will be serving a one-game suspension in that match for yellow card accumulation. I have a few slightly tired players in the lineup today and I'll be hoping to build a lead big enough to substitute players like Salim Loucif and Neil Cairney so they're completely rested for our Champions League encounter in three days.

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

Blackburn play a defensive 4-4-2 and go with Allan and Sergi up front. No screwing around today - I tell the lads that I expect a win.

4' - Giorgos Gesios continues to be snake bitten, as he takes a great pass from Andrea near the byline, turns on a defender and shoots right at the Blackburn goalkeeper Stephen Brown. Come on Gesios! We need goals from you!

5' - My God. The ball is booted back toward our end and Claudio Contreras is blatantly taken down by Graham Allan but the ref keeps the whistle in his pocket. That allows the dangerous Allan to walk in and shoot but Wilke makes the point blank save. He's out of position on the rebound though and Blackburn's leading scorer Sergi has it. His shot? WIDE. He hangs his head as he retreats back down field. Terrible refereeing.

16' - I'm not really happy with our game so far. Blackburn has had a couple more counter chances and we're not doing enough with the ball. Shanon Andrea gets a weak shot off that's easy saved by Brown.

21' - Cairney has been very active so far and intercepts a poor pass from Blackburn and immediately feeds Gesios near centre half. He turns and uses his trademark speed to dribble into the Blackburn zone but his shot goes into the side netting.

26' - We have the ball in the middle of the field and Rocca gets it up to Gesios. He's 25 yards out and for some reason, tries to shoot on goal with his left foot but it's blocked by Blackburn's defender. It bounces back to Gesios and he touches it over to Shanon Andrea and he takes two steps to his right and fires the ball into the top corner of the goal. "A cracking effort from Andrea" screams the announcer" and we have a lead! DOVER GOAL 1-0

37' - Blackburn's left fullback Fraser Baxter misplays an aerial attempt and Arsene Bamba streaks down the left side. He crosses into Andrea and his shot is turned aside by Brown - Gesios is there for the rebound but it's blocked behind the net by a defender. We can't convert the corner.

HALFTIME - A pretty decent half I guess. We have 53% of possession and outshoot them 14-9 (5-5 on target). The announcers call it a "tremendous half" with lots of scoring opportunities. Their strikers are dangerous and we've given up too many counters. I may have to counter attack myself but for now, I'll stick with a control mentality.

46' - We get a GLORIOUS chance off the opening kick off, as we work quickly up field and Rocca sends a fantastic pass into Andrea who is in all alone. His hard blast is saved in spectacular fashion by Brown.

48' - Rocca gets the ball in the middle of the field and plays it up to Andrea, who is on the outer edge of the area. He turns and shoots but it is blocked by Blackburn's defender but the ball ricochets to Gesios. He immediately sends a GORGEOUS one touch pass through the defence back to Andrea, who rounds the keeper and easily slots the ball into the net for his second goal of the game. Great play by Gesios and we're ahead two!!! DOVER GOAL 2-0

Blackburn change to a 5-3-2 formation.

66' - We're just dominating right now but can't get that third goal past Brown. Cairney gets a great shot from distance that is stopped by Brown and Blackburn are fortunate to clear the mess before we pot another one home.

70' - I've already called for Neil Cairney to be substituted, as I look to save him for Barcelona in our upcoming Champions League game but he gets a yellow card as play continues.

71' - Cairney is off for Shaun Spall and I take out the excellent Giorgos Gesios after easily his best game of the year and bring in Zoltan Bardi.

78' - We have the ball down the right flank and Loucif and Kalfas play some give and go's. The ball comes to Andrea Rocca and he sends a wicked, curling left footed blast that hits forcefully off the far goalpost and out. Blackburn clear the ball from danger. We want a third goal! What a strike that would have been!

84' - We make our final substitution, with Aitor Zubizarreta coming on for Rocca.

88' - Shanon Andrea gets through the defence with his great speed and has a chance for the hat trick but Brown once again is up to the task. Blackburn's keeper has been sensational today.

90'+1 - Zoltan Bardi takes a pass at centre half and just SPEEDS through the defence and in on goal. His shot gets past Brown but once again, we hit the goalpost and it bounces to safety. My goodness! Bardi is still looking for his first of the season.

90'+2 - We win a corner and it's Kostas Kalfas taking the kick with Andrea Rocca substituted out. His cross is to the near post and Rayane Hamon heads it toward goal. It hits Zoltan Bardi and then bounces right to the golden boot of Shanon Andrea, who quickly kicks the ball into the net past the stunned Stephen Brown. "The smile on his face tells the whole story", the announcer says as Andrea runs to the corner flag to celebrate his HAT TRICK! DOVER GOAL 3-0

SENSATIONAL!

Dover 3 - 0 Blackburn
Goals - Shanon Andrea 3 (9.6)
Assists - Giorgos Gesios (7.4), Kostas Kalfas (7.9)
Man of the Match - Shanon Andrea
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.4), Rayane Hamon (7.6), Claudio Contreras (7.2), Renato Gaucho (7.7), Neil Cairney (7.0), Arsene Bamba (7.1)
Attendance - 14,493

One of the most dominant 3-0 games you can have and that second half was something special, as we had 21 shots (!!!!) in that half alone. For the game, we held 58% of possession and outshot them by a ludicrous 35-9 (12-5 on target) margin. Just a sick performance as we continue to show no mercy against poor teams. And what can I say about Shanon Andrea - the guy has been a revelation in his first year - we had 41 goals between Gesios and Bardi last year and this year they have ONE GOAL COMBINED. It's been Andrea all year and we're lucky to have him. Great to see Gesios have a great game and he was robbed of an assist on Andrea's first goal in my opinion. A wonderful game all around.

-- Arsenal shock Manchester United at Emirates 4-1, which propels them into 4th place and brings us level on points with United but behind them on goal differential. Despite the heavy defeat, United still have a ludicrous +27 goal differential. City defeat Spurs 4-1 to move into first place in the league, a position they're familiar with the last few years. After an off-year, lethal striker Enrique is back playing striker and scores a hat trick in the match. He has 12 goals on the year in as many league games and 21 (!!) across all competitions. Jelle Hoegee, after scoring 27 goals in 23 league games last year, has been bench fodder for City and only has 2 goals this year. City play a 4-5-1 formation so last year, they could play Hoegee up front and Enrique at midfield. This year, they've elected to go with Enrique up front and Hoegee, who can't play midfield, sits on the bench for the most part. I've scouted him, hoping to see if he's unhappy and interested in a possible move to Dover but my scouts say he'd have no interest in joining us at this time.

-- In other Premier League play, Man City beats Fulham 3-0, United knock off Chelsea by the same scoreline and Sunderland can only manage a draw against relegation candidates Derby, which allows us to move past them on the table into 3rd place.



600 Games!

-- I get some good press, as it's noted that our upcoming Champions League game against Barcelona will be my 600th game in management, all with my "beloved Dover" club. I'm taken to a screen to see other long-serving managers and I note that I'm one of only TWO managers in-game that are deemed "world-class" - it's just me and Man City's Carlo Ancelotti!



-- Shanon Andrea once again is named to the Barclays Premier League team of the week for his three goal outburst against Blackburn.



Dover Injury Update

-- Wayne Rooney is the only Dover player still injured and it will be a while before he's fully recovered from his torn hamstring.



Next Up

-- We're back to Champions League play, as we host Spanish powerhouse Barcelona at Crabble Athletic Ground.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:41 PM   #210
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue. November 23, 2021

UEFA Champions League - Group F
Dover (1-2-1, 5 points, 2nd) vs. Barcelona (3-1-0, 10 points, 1st)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Barcelona are sizeable favourites in our return matchup at home after we battled to a scoreless draw back in September in Spain. Barca are in 3rd place right now in the top Spanish league and only need a draw today to lock up qualification for the next round. This game isn't do or die for us but a win here would certainly put us in the driver's seat to earn qualification for the knockout stages. Barca look pretty healthy and we'll need to stop Pascal Reinhardt to have any chance of getting a result today - he has 11 goals in 17 matches thus far. Spanish Canadian midfielder Juan Ramon Vazaquez and fellow midfielder Tim Stark are two of the largest transfers in football history (in this game anyway) and also need to be watched.

Giorgos Gesios is suspended today so Zoltan Bardi will get his first start of the year today and is thankfully match fit for the first time in 2021. Gianluca Bolis will return but I plan on bringing him in for the second half today - Kostas Kalfas was dynamite in our last game so he'll start again today. I contemplate putting 25 year old Paulus Tjiuoro in for young Claudio Contreras just to bring more of a veteran presence to our lineup but I'll stick with the in-form Contreras at home today. We're going with a flat 4-4-2 counter attacking mentality today.

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

Barcelona are in a 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) with Reinhardt up front, Vazquez and Zidane at attacking midfield positions and Tim Stark is at MC. I'm throwing the book at Reinhardt today - tight marking, closing down always, hard tackling and show onto weaker foot. He's the man we need to stop today. I simply tell the team to go out there and perform well for the fans.

4' - Reinhardt takes a pass about 25 yards out, jukes past Contreras and hits a hard shot from the edge of the area that Wilke dives and pushes over the crossbar.

10' - Reinhardt is something else. We have a throw in deep in their end and they head it away. A long ball is played up field and Reinhardt just EXPLODES past our defence and has a clear breakaway. He looks likely to score, as it gets past Wilke but not the goal post and Contreras is back and able to clear just in time. We work back up field and Bamba gets a cross into the box, where Bardi is able to head it on goal but Barcelona keeper Marc Cremades makes the point blank save. What action!

17' - Zoltan Bardi has the ball around half way into Barcelona territory and feeds it into the middle to Shanon Andrea. The two strikers criss-cross and that opens up a bit of space for Andrea, as he dribbles into the area and unleashes a THUNDEROUS DRIVE into the top corner of the goal! WHOOOO! DOVER GOAL 1-0

22' - REINHARDT! Barcelona's danger man has the ball and dribbles into our area. Claudio Contreras seems to have him marked well but Reinhardt uses his skill to weave around him and shoot - the ball deflects off Rayane Hamon and into our net. Damn. Quick reply. BARCELONA GOAL 1-1

26' - Kostas Kalfas is taken down just outside the penalty area and is hurt. I was bringing Gianluca Bolis on at some point but preferred to do it at halftime. I'm forced to do it now, as Kalfas can't continue.

27' - On the ensuing free kick, Rocca's cross is headed out of the penalty area to Neil Cairney. He sends a quick pass to a retreating Rayane Hamon and then the central defender showcases rare skill in back heeling a pass through the defence. Zoltan Bardi, making his first start of the year, looks offside but runs into the ball and strikes it into the goal! Barcelona protest with the assistant but to no avail. We're back ahead on Bardi's first of the year! DOVER GOAL 2-1

38' - Just have to say this game is ALL SORTS OF AWESOME, with back and forth rushes and my arms are turning red from gripping the table so hard while watching.

41' - Reinhardt gets another fine chance from just inside the area but Wilke scoops up the low shot and holds on.

43' - FUCK. Arsene Bamba gives the ball away in horrible fashion and Barcelona strike quick on the counter attack. Of course, it's Reinhardt again getting past our defence and Wilke can't get enough of the shot, as it goes into the net for the equalizer. BARCELONA GOAL 2-2

45' - This game is NUTS. We work up field off the kick off and Shanon Andrea just bursts right through the centre of the park and in on goal. He seems to slow up a bit before shooting and that gives Cremades enough time to dive and make the save.

HALFTIME - What a battle this is! We held 53% of possession (!!!) but are outshot narrowly 8-7 (6-4 on target). I tell the team I'm pleased and make no tactical changes.

48' - Rayane Hamon tackles Reinhardt hard and the Barcelona striker is hurt - play stops after Barca foul us right afterward. Reinhardt needs to come off for brief treatment and we get a free kick against ten men. We move up field and Gianluca Bolis sends in a pass to Andrea in the penalty area. Barcelona central defender Chris-Michal Bigirimana is there but Andrea tackles the ball away from him and immediately shoots - Cremades wasn't ready for the shot and it's past him and into the net! Holy crap! Andrea is ON FIRE! DOVER GOAL 3-2

50' - We work a counter up field and Andrea Rocca springs Neil Cairney, who splits through the defence and is in on goal. The ball is tackled away from him but goes right to Bardi. Cremades is WAY out of position after the tackle and Bardi is free to shoot. Loic Nestor, another Barcelona central defender, tackles it away from Bardi but the ball goes right into the net! MY GOD!?!!! DOVER GOAL 4-2

I edit my opposition instructions against Reinhardt, keeping the "tackle hard" and "show to weaker foot" instructions but eliminate "close down" and "mark tightly" - I'm going to just sit back now and I don't need our defenders roaming out of position anymore with a two goal cushion.

54' - I simply can't believe how good Shanon Andrea is for us - what a signing! He dances through the Barca defence like we're playing a Conference side and Cremades has to make a sensational stop to keep Andrea from a second consecutive hat trick.

55' - The speed of Pascal Reinhardt is breathtaking to watch. He gets a ball in a harmless enough position and we have four men back but he just SPRINTS past Hamon and Contreras and in on goal. Wilke somehow gets his fingertips to it as it just rolls past the outside of the goalpost.

66' - A brief scare, as Vazquez takes a cross and heads it into the net but he's WAY offsides and the correct call is made. No goal!

79' - Gianluca Bolis is exhausted despite only coming in halfway through the first half so I bring in veteran Samir Nasri.

80' - Neil Cairney with a GREAT through ball to Andrea. He has Cremades at his mercy but his shot from in close is JUST wide. So close to the hat trick! "You'd have bet money he would have put that in!", says the announcer.

86' - I simply can't believe our game today. We have possession deep in their end and Cairney has it. He starts dribbling toward the area and just when I start yelling "SHOOT", he makes this ridiculous pass to his left to Shanon Andrea. Two defenders went at Cairney so that leaves Andrea all by himself and our MOLTEN HOT striker unleashes a blast into the back of the net. TWO CONSECUTIVE HAT TRICKS FOR SHANON ANDREA!!! Oh yeah, the score? DOVER GOAL 5-2

90' - I take out three goal man Shanon Andrea for Paul Moses. Andrea gets a standing ovation…his manager included!

90'+2 - Barcelona have four men up front now and we clear a corner and it's a two on one with Bardi dribbling and Moses alongside. Bardi sends it through to Moses and his low blast is saved in fine fashion by Cremades, as we almost struck for our sixth! Incredible.

OH MY!!!

Dover 5 - 2 Barcelona
Goals - Shanon Andrea 3 (9.6), Zoltan Bardi (8.6), Loic Nestor OG
Assists - Rayane Hamon (7.5), Neil Cairney (7.9), Zoltan Bardi
Man of the Match - Shanon Andrea
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.7), Salim Loucif (7.1), Claudio Contreras (7.0), Andrea Rocca (7.1)
Attendance - 14,805 (Sell-Out)

Simply put, this is the biggest win in Dover Athletic FC history!!!

A Champions League shocker over Barcelona. We held 53% of overall possession and shots were 16-15 (9-8) in favour of Barca but who the hell cares? We had most of the great chances and save for Reinhardt, we matched them and EXCEEDED them throughout the pitch. Just a sensational performance and I applaud the players and their efforts in the room after the game.

-- Making it even more interesting is the fact that CSKA Moscow upset Schalke in the other Group F contest 1-0. Therefore, Barca sits with 10 points, we sit with 8 points and CSKA Moscow has 7 points. A Barcelona win at home over Moscow in their last group stage game would not only see them through, but it would guarantee US a spot in the knockout stages! So in essence, we control our own destiny, as a win away at Schalke would see us through but we're in GREAT shape to move on now!

UEFA Champions League - Group F

1. Barcelona - 10 points +5 GD
2. Dover - 8 points +4 GD
3. CSKA Moscow - 7 points -4 GD
4. Schalke - 3 points -5 GD

-- We're given £696,000 for the win over Barcelona!

-- Kostas Kalfas suffered a fractured arm in the game and will miss the next three to four weeks.

-- In other Champions League action, Rangers shocked Man City 1-0 but it's a meaningless game for City, as they already have guaranteed qualification to the next round. Group C is already settled despite two games being left for all clubs, as FC Bayern and Porto will be through to the next round. Group H is also set with one game remaining, as Anderlecht and Galatasaray are through over Sevilla and Litex. Chelsea and OM are also through to the next round.



Stadium Expansion COMPLETE!

-- Our planned expansion of Crabble Athletic Ground is completed, as seating capacity is increased by 7,250 seats, giving us a 23,000 all-seater at Dover! I wonder if we'll be able to sell the place out in the near future - this is a major expansion, easily our largest yet and we've been expanding every year since entry to the Premier League - this *may* be the last one for awhile! We'll see! The expansion is finished one day late - if we had 23,000 seats available for Barcelona, I'd bet all of them would have been sold! As it stands, we go on the road for our next FOUR games, so we won't be back at Crabble until December 18th against relegation candidates Derby County.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- We continue to score at will lately, even at the reserves level, as we throttle Aston Villa's reserves 7-0 at Crabble. Cameron Murray was man of the match with two goals and an assist. Paul Moses also bagged a brace and singles came from Mancini, Paulus Tjiuoro and Emmanuel Agbo. Aitor Zubizarreta had three assists and continues to dominate at the reserve level - he'll get some additional opportunities to dress for the senior team with Kostas Kalfas currently injured.



Contract Update

-- We extend the contract of reserve DR Jozef Kuciak for an additional two years - he gets a modest raise of £500/week which brings his salary to £5,500 - he's a 2.5/2.5 player but he consistently outperforms those ratings - last year, his average rating was 7.22 in 13 league games, a pretty fantastic number for a backup player. This is his fourth year with our club and we're pleased to have him here until June of 2024.



Next Up

-- We head on the road to face mid-table Sheffield Wednesday in Barclays Premier League action.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 02-20-2014 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:40 PM   #211
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. November 27, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Sheffield Wednesday (5-3-5, 18 points, 12th) vs. Dover (8-4-1, 28 points, 3rd)
Hillsborough, Sheffield, UK

Betting Odds: Sheffield Wednesday: 11-5 Draw: 11-5 Dover: Evens (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 4W 1D 3L

Sheffield Wednesday are a success story in this dynasty, as they were a League One team when I started managing at Dover and have solidified their spot in the Premier League, now in their fifth consecutive season in the top league in England. Sheffield was one of the biggest spenders in the transfer window, splashing an incredible £34.5 million, with the largest outlay on DC Saber Nasri - if you recall, I was one of the three teams to bid on Nasri, along with French powerhouse OM and Nasri picked Sheffield in the £11 million deal. They also spent £6.25 million on AM Eugenio Balestra from Celtic, £3.3 million on DC Martyn Bristow and finally, £5.25 million on Gerardo Escobar in a deal with us. Escobar has three goals in 12 appearances so far but their leading scorer continues to be English international Steve Pates, who has six goals. Nasri has been good so far and has also chipped in a couple goals for his new club.

We will move to a 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control mentality today - Sheffield is adept at defending against the flat 4-4-2 and I've had some success in the past against this club with the one striker formation, so we'll play Zoltan Bardi just behind Shanon Andrea today. Gianluca Bolis is back in the starting lineup at AMR with Kostas Kalfas injured, otherwise, there are no other changes from the Barcelona game.

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

Sheffield is in a flat 4-4-2 and Escobar is up front with Steve Pates. I tell the team they can win today and pull aside Neil Cairney ("Pick up where you left off last game") and Gianluca Bolis ("I have faith in your abilities") for personal chats.

1' - HAHA. We give the ball away off the opening kick and Sheffield storm down field. Pates feeds the ball into Gerardo Escobar, he evades Ingo Wilke and scores. Our former player strikes in 40 seconds. Awful. SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY GOAL 0-1

12' - Oh boy, I think we're suffering from Champions League letdown. Pates gets free past our defence and Wilke storms out of the goal to ward him off. Pates beats him to the ball and attempts the lob and just as it's about to go in, Claudio Contreras is JUST able to head it clear from the open goal.

33' - What a horrific half, with no chances so far for us. Escobar has a free kick from outside the area and hits a piledriver that Wilke is able to turn aside.

35' - Now it's just getting embarrassing. Rayane Hamon whiffs on a tackle of Escobar at midfield and the striker moves down the field. Claudio Contreras has to leave Pates to challenge Escobar so the Spaniard cleverly slots the ball to his strike partner and Pates rounds Wilke and has the gaping net at his mercy. He doesn't miss. SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY GOAL 0-2

We change to an attacking mentality. We need a goal before half.

39' - Salim Loucif with a yellow card.

43' - Escobar looks amazing today and we look like pure garbage. He starts another attack down the left side and we leave one of their midfielders wide open in the area but Wilke makes a big save.

HALFTIME - What a letdown this game is. We somehow held 54% of possession but they outshoot us 7-5 (6-2 on target). I consider tilting on them but I decide to go for the more subtle "I want to see more from you" chat. We switch to a flat 4-4-2 control tactic.

61' - NOTHING HAPPENING. I'm PISSED.

63' - Seriously, our first solid chance of the game sees Andrea dribble up the left flank, cut to the middle and send the ball back to Neil Cairney. He gets a weak shot off that Sheffield keeper Erwin Mulder easily saves.

72' - Loucif gets a cross into the box and Arsene Bamba heads it to goal but Mulder turns it aside.

73' - I make wholesale changes - we move to a 4-3-3 attacking set and bring in Giorgos Gesios up front and Shaun Spall in midfield, taking out our two wingers Bamba and Bolis.

75' - From bad to worse. They win a corner and midfielder Jack Cork heads it in. Just a disaster tonight. SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY GOAL 0-3

81' - Claudio Contreras with a yellow.

83' - Contreras wins a header off a Rocca corner but Mulder makes the great save.

84' - Jozef Kuciak is in for Salim Loucif.

Wow. Never saw this coming.

Sheffield Wednesday 3 - 0 Dover
Goals -
Assists -
Man of the Match - Steve Pates (Sheffield Wednesday ST - 8.5)
Other Dover Notables - Rayane Hamon (7.0)
Attendance - 28,543

Just a horrifyingly bad game. We edge them in possession with 51% and outshoot them 12-10 (6-7 on target). I tear into the team after the game against my better judgement, as it usually doesn't help matters. In the press the next day, reporters and fans alike talk about my "tactical blunders" in changing from our successful flat 4-4-2 formation to a one striker formation. Guess I should expect that - we've used the 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) as a main tactic for years and it's worked against them in the past. Just not our night.

-- Morale takes a HUGE drop after my tirade, with many players dropping to "Okay" from "Superb".

-- Reading move to within one point of us after beating Aston Villa on the road and they also have a game in hand on us. Arsenal beats Sunderland 1-0 to move into fifth spot. And City wins the Manchester Derby, beating United 2-1 at Old Trafford to take command in the league.



Dover U18 Team Update

-- Our U18s win 4-0 over AFC Wimbledon. Strikers Gregoire Lambert and Eddie Robinson both score twice in the win.



-- We arrange the transfer of reserve DC Matthew Thompson, sending him to Burnley for £10,000 on January 1st when the transfer window reopens. Thompson is actually one of our longest serving current players, as he's in his seventh year with our club but has only played in 19 league games for us over that period. He was a home-grown player but for whatever reason, his 0-21 status didn't qualify him as home grown according to Champions League rules so he was completely useless to us here and surplus to requirements.



FA Cup 3rd Round Draw

-- There are a crapload of Conference level teams still in the competition but we get drawn against Middlesbrough, our next Premier League opponent. At least it's a home match.



-- I see a note come through that former Dover captain Darren Pratley, who just retired in the offseason, has accepted a managerial position with Tamworth in the Blue Square Bet Premier. Good luck my friend!



December Update

-- December is always busy and this one is no exception, with SIX Premier League games: we have Middlesbrough, Chelsea, Manchester City and Newcastle in road games and Derby and Arsenal at home. We also have our final group stage match in Champions League play coming up against Schalke. It will be really busy around the Christmas season, that's for sure.

-- I get positive training reports for Andrea Rocca, Jonathan Adam along with youth players Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz, Emmerson Harvey and Louis Read. Negative reports come in for Neil Cairney and Carlo Cerbone. Unacceptable and I let them know it!



Barclays Premier League Monthly Awards

-- Man City's Enrique is back in lethal form this year and he scored NINE goals in four games last month to win the Player of the Month honours.

-- Steve Pates from Sheffield Wednesday wins Young Player of the Month and our own Renato Gaucho finishes second.

-- Carlo Ancelotti once again wins Manager of the Month honours.



December Board Confidence Update

-- The board continue to be delighted with the leadership qualities I'm demonstrating. Our stature increase the the main positive and our 3-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday this week is the negative.

-- We made a profit of £282,000 last month.



Dover Reserves Team Update

-- I sent Giorgos Gesios down to get some confidence and he scores three goals and adds an assist in 50 minutes of action to lead us to a 4-1 win over Arsenal's reserves. Shaun Spall scores the other Dover goal.



Next Up

-- We try to bounce back in an away game at Middlesbrough in Premier League play.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:50 PM   #212
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. December 4, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Middlesbrough (6-4-4, 22 points, 10th) vs. Dover (8-4-2, 28 points, 3rd)
The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, UK

Betting Odds: Middlesbrough: 5-4 (Favourites) Draw: 11-5 Dover: 7-4
Past Meetings: 4W 0D 3L

Middlesbrough were big sellers during the window, selling off £23 million worth of players while only spending £4.7 million. That said, they are in 10th so far and playing well, having recently knocked off Everton and Huddersfield while also just drawing Blackburn 4-4 in a barn-burner of a game last weekend. Their top scorer is striker Luke de Jong, who has only started 8 of 14 games. Attacking midfielder Thorgan Hazard is their highest valued player and they usually play with three central attacking midfielders.

We need to regroup after our disastrous game against Sheffield Wednesday so we'll go to a flat 4-4-2 Counter for this game. We have our last Champions League group game coming up in four days so I'll be careful here - I'm going to rest Shanon Andrea, our leading scorer. He's been sensational but he's essentially played every game this year due to all our injuries so he'll play against Schalke later this week. Giorgos Gesios and Zoltan Bardi will start up front for the first time together this year. I'm also starting Paulus Tjiuoro for Claudio Contreras - the Argentinian will play against Schalke later this week.

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 - G. Gesios, Z. Bardi
Bench - J. Kuciak, C. Contreras, Mancini, S. Spall, C. Murray, A. Zubizarreta, S. Andrea

Middlesbrough come out in their tight 4-2-3-1 formation, with three central attacking mids. Chris Gadi is up front - he's got 2 goals in four games so far so he's not used often. I tell the team they can win this and pull aside Gesios ("pick up where you left off"), Bardi and Rocca ("I have faith") for pep talks.

2' - Bardi starts a counter and moves the ball quickly up field to Gesios. He storms in and shoots hard and low to the near post but Middlesbrough keeper Sinan Bolat makes the save.

12' - Bolis runs down the right flank and crosses into the box. Gesios gets up and heads it to goal but Sinan Bolat is there for the save.

16' - Middlesbrough work the ball around nicely outside our area and the ball comes to AMC Taksiarxis Fountas (what a name) - he hits a "trademark piledriver" from 20 yards that is perfectly placed into the far corner of the goal. Their first real chance and we're down. MIDDLESBROUGH GOAL 0-1

23' - We're playing poorly again. They get a gorgeous through ball to Abdullah Demir and his shot from inside the area is high and wide. That's a brutal miss and it should be 2-0.

Nothing.

HALFTIME - Brutal again. Middlesbrough are dominating - 51% of possession and a 12-6 (4-4 on target) shot edge. I peel paint in the room and tell the team they must get a result here. I switch to a 4-4-2 DM Control mentality to start the second half.

52' - Bardi gets off a rocket from distance that Sinan Bolat has some trouble with but it's cleared to safety.

53' - Man, Gesios. He's just cold as ice for our senior team. He gets a glorious pass from Rocca and moves into the area but shoots weakly right at the keeper. Easy save.

57' - Middlesbrough striker Chris Gadi weaves through our defence into the area and there are about three shots directed at goal but somehow we keep it out. Just a crazy scene.

59' - Bolis goes on a long run down field on a counter and cuts into goal with a hard shot that is turned aside by Sinan Bolat.

72' - We continue to get weak shots on goal, this time from Bamba in close.

74' - Aitor Zubizarreta is in for Bolis. We switch back to a flat 4-4-2 and go overload.

77' - Right away, Zubizarreta makes an impact, as he wins a tackle down the right and crosses into Bamba but his header is once again right at the keeper.

80' - Middlesbrough spring super-sub Luke de Jong on a breakaway but he shoots wide. Can we take advantage of that miss??

86' - Neil Cairney with the yellow card. I just don't understand this letdown AGAIN.

90'+4 - Add insult to injury - Cairney gets a second yellow and is gone.

We're officially slumping?

Middlesbrough 1 - 0 Dover
Goals -
Assists -
Man of the Match - Taksiarxis Fountas (Middlesbrough AMC - 8.3)
Other Dover Notables - Renato Gaucho (7.0), Giorgos Gesios (5.8)
Attendance - 18,589

Wow. We score five against Barcelona then get shutout in consecutive games against Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough? We were dominated and we could never get comfortable against that formation of theirs - they hold 53% of overall possession and outshot us 22-16 (6-10 on target). Gesios gets a brutal rating and he just hasn't been the same player since returning from injury, although he's still doing great for Greece (and our reserves team).

-- Reading moves ahead of us with their draw on the strength of their nine wins versus our eight (we're tied in goal differential) plus they still have a game in hand on us. United and City both win as well to pull further ahead of us, as things tighten considerably in the top seven.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE PLAYED 15 GAMES UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 36 points
2. Manchester United - 31 points
3. Reading - 28 points (14 games)
4. Dover - 28 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 28 points
6. Liverpool - 26 points
7. Chelsea - 25 points
----------------------------------------------------



Dover U18 Team Update

-- Striker Gregoire Lambert scores three times and Phil Whitbread bags the brace in a convincing 5-0 win over Reading's U18s.



Next Up

-- We head to Germany to face Schalke in our final Group stage match in the Champions League, with hopes of moving on to the knockout stages.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:20 AM   #213
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. December 8, 2021

UEFA Champions League - Group F
Schalke (1-0-4, 3 points, 4th) vs. Dover (2-2-1, 8 points, 2nd)
VELTINS-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany

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

Schalke are done in the Champions League for this year after this game, regardless of the result. Even with a win, they won't move on so my hope is that they start some youngsters and save their key players for league play. Schalke haven't lost a league game since we played them in late September and they've moved all the way up to 4th place in the Bundesliga. That said, they've lost *every* Champions League game since that date. Their top scorer is a young Mexican international Salvador Bravo, who has 7 goals in 15 matches. I really like the look of young MC Benedikt Raab - 19 years old and a 4.5 star talent - I'll be keeping my eyes on him for the future

We beat Schalke at home 2-0 in September using a control mentality but I'll revert to a counter attack on the road versus the favoured Germans. Shanon Andrea, our leading scorer by a country mile, is back in the starting lineup alongside Zoltan Bardi. Claudio Contreras is back in at centre halfback.

Here's the info you need for this game - if Barcelona beat Moscow, we move on regardless of our result. Ideally, we want to take care of our own business but we can still move on with a loss under the right circumstances.

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, Z. Bardi
Bench - J. Kuciak, P. Tjiuoro, Mancini, S. Spall, S. Nasri, G. Gesios, P. Moses

Well, Schalke look to be starting a full strength lineup despite having no chance of moving on in the competition. They are in a flat 4-4-2 with Bravo and Diego up front. Morale is a bit low so I just go with my assistant's plan and tell the team to go out there and play for the supporters.

It's snowing today. Fun.

3' - Great. Neil Cairney gets hurt trying to make a tackle and needs treatment. He has the dreaded + above his name and I'll keep my fingers crossed that it's nothing serious.

15' - Cairney sends a nice pass up to Andrea and he gets a low, hard shot off that is turned aside by Schalke's fine keeper Miguel Angel Lozano. We're looking better so far today and seem to be controlling the early play.

16' - We work a quick counter and it's Rocca sending a ball past the defence and Shanon Andrea latches onto it. He cuts into the area and sends a perfect lobbing shot into the far corner of the net and we're on the board!!! DOVER GOAL 1-0

19' - We're getting chances everywhere. First, Andrea Rocca is sent in and shoots high then Shanon Andrea feeds Bardi and his low blast is just wide. We're looking great so far.

23' - Rocca sends a crazy good ball up field from midway in our territory and Shanon Andrea steams down the field after it. He's got a step on his man as he moves into the box and fires on goal. Lozano makes the point blank save but Andrea chases down the rebound near the byline. He crosses back into the middle and after a bit of a scrum, it's Arsene Bamba right footing the ball into the back of the net! Wow! Where has this been the last two matches??? DOVER GOAL 2-0

We basically control the rest of the half but get no real scoring chances.

HALFTIME - A great bounce back so far!. We're in complete control, with 54% of possession and a huge 11-3 (6-1 on target) shot advantage! Andrea Rocca took a bit of a knock and while he'll ultimately be fine, there's no reason to keep him in so I sub him out and put in Mancini. I tell the team I'm pleased and tell Mancini to pick up where he left off in his last reserves game. In the other key Champions League matchup, CSKA Moscow actually took a 1-0 lead away at Barcelona but the Spanish side have stormed back with two late first half goals to take a 2-1 lead.

46' - Schalke counter with Salvador Bravo and he gets their first real chance of the game from in tight but Wilke is there to make the save.

49' - Damnit! A third injury in this game and another one with the dreaded "+". This time it's Salim Loucif and he can't continue. Crap. Jozef Kuciak is on in relief.

53' - Bamba makes a terrible pass, something he does a bit too often for my tastes, then takes down the guy who intercepted it. Yellow card for Bamba.

56' - Now Cairney gets a yellow.

60' - A third consecutive yellow, this time to Gianluca Bolis. Man…tone it down guys!

61' - Andrea gets a good shot off from the outer edge of the area and Lozano makes a lovely diving stop.

72' - We're working little one-two's over by the left sideline and eventually move the ball into the middle to Mancini. The young Brazilian makes a splendid pass into the area and Andrea runs into it. He's on his left foot but is skilled enough to make the kick with his stronger right foot, putting the ball into the short side for his second of the game and we're now comfortably ahead!!! DOVER GOAL 3-0

74' - With an insurmountable lead, I make my last substitution and bring in Samir Nasri for the exhausted Arsene Bamba.

Barcelona are now up 3-1 on CSKA Moscow, not that it matters now based on our result!

79' - Andrea continues to amaze and he gets another run into the area but Lozano is there for the stop. Andrea is one goal away from his third hat trick in four games…

80' - Bravo sends the ball up to Schalke substitute striker Sebastian Gerber and he skins Rayane Hamon but shoots right at Wilke and we keep the clean sheet for now.

81' - Schalke begin a counter and they send a direct ball up field to Bravo and he's on a complete breakaway. He rounds the keeper and has the net at his mercy but somehow, someway, Wilke recovers, dives full out and gets his fingertips to the shot to turn it aside. BRILLIANT SAVE!!!

Sensational result and we're THROUGH TO THE KNOCKOUT STAGES!!!

Schalke 0 - 3 Dover
Goals - Shanon Andrea 2 (9.4), Arsene Bamba (8.1)
Assists - Andrea Rocca (7.1), Shanon Andrea, Mancini (6.9)
Man of the Match - Shanon Andrea
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.5), Rayane Hamon (7.6), Claudio Contreras (7.9), Renato Gaucho (7.6), Gianluca Bolis (7.0), Neil Cairney (7.0), Zoltan Bardi (7.4)
Attendance - 43,362

Just a fantastic performance again when it counts, as it seems like we're saving our best football for continental play. We hold 56% of possession and outshoot them 23-11 (10-5 on target). Masterful!!! Viva Shanon Andrea! Long may he score!

-- We're given another £696K for the win.

-- Neil Cairney thankfully only suffered a bruised rib. He'll miss a week and definitely won't be around for our weekend game against Chelsea anyway, as he's suspended for a red card he got against Middlesbrough so in the end, it won't hurt us at all! The news is just as good for Salim Loucif, as he came down with a dead leg - he'll likely miss the Chelsea game as well but should be fine by next week.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - GROUP STAGE (FINAL RESULTS)

Group A
1. At. Madrid - 11 points (Q)
2. Chelsea - 11 points (Q)
3. Shakhtar - 5 points
4. Spartak Moscow - 5 points

Group B
1. Manchester United - 13 points (Q)
2. Ajax - 10 points +3 GD (Q)
3. Palermo - 10 points +0 GD
4. H. Tel-Aviv - 1 point

Group C
1. FC Bayern - 16 points (Q)
2. Porto - 13 points (Q)
3. Zaragoza - 3 points
4. Partizan - 3 points

Group D
1. OM - 16 points (Q)
2. Besiktas - 9 points (Q)
3. HSV - 7 points
4. AaB - 1 point

Group E
1. Manchester City - 13 points (Q)
2. Benfica - 11 points (Q)
3. Rangers - 8 points
4. Panathinaikos - 1 point

Group F
1. Barcelona - 13 points (Q)
2. Dover - 11 points (Q)
3. CSKA Moscow - 7 points
4. Schalke - 3 points

Group G
1. Olympique Lyonnais - 12 points (Q)
2. Leverkusen - 12 points (Q)
3. Sampdoria - 9 points
4. FK Austria Wien - 3 points

Group H
1. Anderlecht - 14 points (Q)
2. Galatasaray - 12 points (Q)
3. Sevilla - 5 points
4. Litex - 2 points



Premier League Update

-- We have a pivotal early season matchup against Chelsea on Monday so we get a chance to watch some Saturday and Sunday football. Tottenham struggle in a 1-1 draw against Wolves and end up firing Rafa Benitez after the game. I'm evidently the top candidate for the position but I decline comment on the matter. I'm not leaving Dover for any job in the world right now.

-- Derby of all teams upset Middlesbrough 3-1, the same Middlesbrough team that dominated us last week. Football…what a game! City win again and Liverpool go into provisional fourth with a 1-0 win over out-of-form Sunderland. Arsenal destroy Blackburn 7-0 on Sunday to move into third and United beat Reading 3-2 away to maintain pace with City. We're now in fifth with a game in hand on all the teams ahead of us.



Dover U18 Update

-- Young star to be (hopefully) Emmerson Harvey scores twice in a 2-1 win over Chelsea's U18s.



Injury Update

-- Damnit. Andrea Rocca strains his back lifting weights in training and will miss the next three to four weeks. We'll be without both of our top midfielders for tomorrow's game, as Neil Cairney is suspended (and injured as well).



Next Up

-- We have a huge matchup against Chelsea, a team that usually gives us fits, in Premier League action.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:04 AM   #214
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Mon. December 13, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Chelsea (8-1-6, 25 points, 7th) vs. Dover (8-4-3, 28 points, 5th)
Zola Stadium, London, UK

Betting Odds: Chelsea: 4-6 (Favourites) Draw: 9-4 Dover: 7-2
Past Meetings: 0W 1D 6L

Chelsea certainly have our number historically but we did finally manage a draw in our last game against them last year. Like us, they just moved onto the knockout stages in the Champions League so they should be just as tired as we are.

They spent BIG in the transfer market, splashing an incredible £71 million in the offseason. Miguel Sousa from Olympique Lyonnais was a £27.5 million purchase and Ignacio Villa from OM was £19.5 million. Sousa has been okay while Villa has only played 2 league games and four overall. They continue to be led up front by the awesome Romelu Lukaku, who has 17 goals in 20 games so far this year…he's their Shanon Andrea! Their second best scorer has four goals and that's DC Shane Duffy. Stop Lukaku and we have a chance!

We have some major injury concerns right now - our two starting central midfielders are hurt today so Mancini and Shaun Spall will both go into the lineup. I've also called up 17 year old Emmerson Harvey from the U18 program and he will be on the bench with a chance to see his first ever senior league game if he's brought on. Jozef Kuciak will start at right fullback for Salim Loucif, who isn't quite ready to return today but will be good to go for next weekend. We'll play the counter attacking system that seemed to work well against fellow large clubs Barcelona and Schalke.

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

Crap. Chelsea are using the same bloody tight formation that Middlesbrough used against us, with three attacking central midfielders. Lukaku is up front and we'll tackle him hard and show him onto his weaker foot. I go with my assistant again on the team talk ("You can win tonight") and pull aside Bardi, Mancini and Spall for personal chats. With both captain Wayne Rooney and vice-captain Salim Loucif injured, young Renato Gaucho wears the captain's armband for this game.

5' - It's ALL Chelsea so far. Lukaku takes a pass in our penalty area and scores but he's clearly offsides. No goal.

8' - Chelsea have a free kick near the right side of our area and the ball is sent back to the outer edge to Lukaku. He moves to the right and DRILLS a low blast that gets through the traffic and into the far corner of the net. A classy shot and Wilke had NO chance on that one. CHELSEA GOAL 0-1

12' - We have a goal kick and Wilke sends it up field. Chelsea defender Shane Duffy pushes Shanon Andrea to the ground but there's no call. The ball is up for grabs and Zoltan Bardi touches it past Duffy's partner in crime Mamadou Sakho and storms in on goal. With his left foot, he finds the corner of the net and we draw level almost immediately! DOVER GOAL 1-1

16' - Luis Carballo, a skilled left midfielder, gets away from Kuciak and is in on goal but shoots wide of the far corner. Kuciak was way out of position there.

27' - Chelsea continue to dominate highlights but are shooting from distance and generally being wasteful. We get rare possession and send it out to the left to Bamba. He makes a delightful pass up field to Andrea and he latches onto the ball and cuts into the area, blasting a shot that Chelsea keeper Rafael Romo stops but can't control. The rebound pops right out to Zoltan Bardi and he volleys the ball into the net for his second of the game! Two chances, two goals and both are Bardi's!!! DOVER GOAL 2-1

37' - Bardi takes a neat little pass from Andrea and speeds through the defence, only to shoot just wide! Almost his hat trick!

HALFTIME - The stats don't look great but I love the look of the scoreboard right now! Chelsea have dominated possession, holding 62% of it thus far and outshot us 16-8 (4-3 on target). They are shooting from everywhere, with most of them being long and inaccurate. I'm pleased and tell the team as much in the dressing room. No tactical tweaks needed.

52' - Chelsea have a throw in around the halfway line and work up field. Midfielder Andrea Sasso sends a great little through ball to Lukaku, who gets away from Rayane Hamon and quickly one touches the ball past Wilke into the net. Lukaku's second and the game is level once again. CHELSEA GOAL 2-2

Chelsea are in a flat 4-4-2 now.

56' - Zoltan Bardi gets a yellow card.

70' - Shanon Andrea has been pretty quiet so far but he shows his incredible speed and skill when he takes a head ball at midfield and just storms through the defence. He gets a wicked shot from the top of the area and Romo makes a lovely diving save to push it over the net.

74' - We make a double substitution, bringing in Giorgos Gesios for two goal man Zoltan Bardi and Aitor Zubizarreta for the ineffective Gianluca Bolis, who quite frankly has done NOTHING for about 15 games now. The inconsistency is rearing its ugly head again with Bolis...

75' - Right after the change, Lukaku gets another great chance but Wilke is there to make a tough save.

85' - Claudio Contreras has taken a couple knocks this game and is exhausted so I bring in Paulus Tjiuoro.

We'll definitely take a draw away at Chelsea!

Chelsea 2 - 2 Dover
Goals - Zoltan Bardi 2 (8.8)
Assists - Ingo Wilke (7.6), Shanon Andrea (6.9)
Man of the Match - Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea ST - 8.8)
Other Dover Notables -
Attendance - 49,400

Chelsea dominated the stats, holding 57% of possession and a 24-11 (6-4 on target) shot edge. Don't care - it's a good result and I tell the team as much after the game.



Champions League - First Knockout Round Draw

-- I guess when you get this far, you can't expect to get a cupcake. We draw Belgian champions Anderlecht and we'll host the first leg on February 16, 2022. As of right now, Anderlecht hasn't lost a single game all year IN ANY COMPETITIONS. Not a single blemish. That said, Belgium's Pro League is quite a step down from the EPL so perhaps we'll have a chance - if we can knock off Barcelona, why be scared of Anderlecht?



Next Up

-- We host relegation candidates Derby County at the newly expanded Crabble Athletic Ground, our first game since increasing capacity to 23,000 seats.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:35 AM   #215
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. December 18, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (8-5-3, 29 points, 4th) vs. Derby (2-4-9, 10 points, 19th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Derby promoted back up from the Championship this year but are favourites to head back down again. They did spend a few bucks in the transfer market, most notably on Watford MC Dean Parrett but he's struggled to find playing time so far. Striker Niels Hendriks leads the team with 6 goals in 11 games. They just beat Middlesbrough 3-1 last week but that was their first win in ages. This is a team we need to beat - they'll likely play very close to the vest today and could prove tough to break down.

We have another game in three days against Arsenal so I'll be putting a few key players on the bench today to try to save them for that one. Most notably, I'm going to give goalkeeper Youssouf Sylla his first Premier League start today. This is a big risk but he's played better recently in reserves games and we're playing the lowest scoring team in the league. Salim Loucif is back from injury and will start. I'm going with a one striker formation today and Giorgos Gesios will get the start up front. Shanon Andrea, our leading scorer, will watch from the bench and I can bring him on later - I need him for that Arsenal game. Neil Cairney is back from injury/suspension as well and will start alongside Shaun Spall, as Andrea Rocca will be out another couple weeks at least. Aitor Zubizarreta will start at AMR for the ineffective Gianluca Bolis - hopefully the game off will wake him up.

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

Derby are in their patented 3-5-2 formation and they often drop back into a 5-3-2. Hendriks is up front. I want to demand a win against this sad sack team but with odds that are relatively close, I'll go with my assistant again and just say it's a winnable game.

3' - A good start for us. Arsene Bamba has seen two crosses already come to him in the box and he's narrowly missed scoring on both headers.

8' - We win a corner and it's Bamba taking the kick. He sends it right to toward the goalkeeper and GIORGOS GESIOS, with a rare header, puts it into the net!!! A hopeful SLUMP BUSTER for Gesios! DOVER GOAL 1-0

As expected, Derby drop into a 5-3-2 formation.

21' - Shaun Spall gets hurt on a tackle and needs to come off. Mancini comes in for him.

25' - We have a throw in down the left side and Bamba sends a pass into Gesios. He's got his back to the goal, turns to his left and feeds Aitor Zubizarreta. The young Spaniard dribbles into the area and unleashes a savage right footed shot that hits the bottom of the cross bar and drops into the net! ZUBIZARRETA!!! His first ever senior team goal for Dover!!! DOVER GOAL 2-0

35' - We get another corner and again, Gesios gets his head to it but the Derby goalkeeper, former Dover player Fraser Forster, makes the save. Gesios has been sensational so far.

45' - We earn another corner. Bamba's cross is to the near post and Rayane Hamon rises above the defender and heads it forcefully at the goal. It's knocked away by the fullback protecting the post but it goes right to GESIOS, and he calmly deposits the ball into the net. Gesios has two goals and an assist in the first half and we're blowing them away! DOVER GOAL 3-0

HALFTIME - Pure domination. We hold 62% of possession and outshoot them 10-3 (4-0 on target). A vintage Gesios performance today! Youssouf Sylla wasn't tested at all, just what we were hoping for! I'm pleased.

48' - Sylla is finally tested from distance on a hard shot but easily grabs and holds on.

49' - Zubizarreta dribbles down the right flank from midfield and is able to get a cross into the area. Gesios is there but Derby defender Sandy Pettigrew puts the ball into his own goal. Everything is going right today! DOVER GOAL 4-0

62' - Sylla makes a great save on a hard blast from the right edge of the area.

64' - With a huge lead, I take out Neil Cairney and Arsene Bamba so they can be fresh for our game in three days. Samir Nasri and Cameron Murray come in.

83' - We're holding them off nicely, although they've had some opportunities in this half. Gesios gets a chance in tight with his left foot but shoots into the side netting. He's looking for a hat trick.

We hold them off the rest of the way. Good game!

Dover 4 - 0 Derby
Goals - Giorgos Gesios 2 (9.0), Aitor Zubizarreta (8.1), Sandy Pettigrew OG
Assists - Arsene Bamba 2 (8.9), Giorgos Gesios
Man of the Match - Giorgos Gesios
Other Dover Notables - Youssouf Sylla (7.4), Salim Loucif (7.5), Rayane Hamon (7.7), Renato Gaucho (7.6), Neil Cairney (7.5)
Attendance - 12,764

We expand to 23,000 seats and barely fill half of it today! Haha. Derby isn't exactly a great draw but that's a paltry turnout for a pretty good game! Our defence was superb and nice to see Sylla get a good rating in his first senior game for Dover. Great games by Gesios, Bamba and Zubizarreta! We hold 59% of overall possession and outshoot them 14-9 (4-2 on target).

-- We get awful news on Shaun Spall, as he broke his leg in this game and will miss the rest of the season. I may need to look at bringing another midfielder in when the transfer window opens but I do have Zubizarreta and Kalfas who can play midfield if necessary. I also have young Emmerson Harvey with our U18s and of course, Mancini will be the first option off the bench.

-- Speaking of Kostas Kalfas, he resumes full training today.

-- Man United was upset at Old Trafford by Liverpool and that allows us to creep within two points of United. We're provisional third right now.



Dover U18 Team Update

-- We beat up on Crawley 5-1 in U18 play, getting two goals from Eddie Robinson and singles from Gregoire Lambert, Emmerson Harvey and Johnny Mardenborough.



-- We have three players named to the Barclays Premier League team of the week: GK Youssouf Sylla, MR Aitor Zubizarreta and ST Giorgos Gesios.



Next Up

-- We expect a much larger crowd as we welcome Arsenal to Crabble Athletic Ground as both teams battle for Champions League positioning on the Premier League table.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:16 AM   #216
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Join Date: Nov 2000
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Good win vs Barca..

Hope that when your manager retires, he doesn't go into prognosticating.. "It's going to be us vs Schalke for the second transfer spot"?
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:45 AM   #217
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirFozzie View Post
Good win vs Barca..

Hope that when your manager retires, he doesn't go into prognosticating.. "It's going to be us vs Schalke for the second transfer spot"?

HA! Did I type that?
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:30 PM   #218
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue December 21, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (9-5-3, 32 points, 3rd) vs. Arsenal (9-4-3, 31 points, 5th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Our emergence as a top contender in the Premier League actually effected Arsenal last year, as they'd finish fifth and lose out on Champions League play for 2021/22. That said, they're in the first knockout stage of the Europa League and playing quite well this year in league play too. They were modest spenders during the summer transfer window, only utilizing £14.5 million with the majority on two players: £6 million on DL Luis Agualusa, who has been solid for the Gunners and £5.5 million on Canadian defender Lorenzo Tomaselli, another solid addition. They're scoring in bunches this year and have a prolific attack led by two strikers: Teddy Gallo, an Italian international and Nchimunya Munyao, a Zambian international. Gallo has 12 goals from 20 matches and Munyao has 11 in 22 games. Boakye is a third striker with 7 goals in 13 appearances so they are deep. Cristiano Ronaldo was signed in the offseason but the 36 year old is just veteran depth at this stage of his career.

We rested some key players in our last game and they'll all be back today - leading scorer Shanon Andrea will team with Zoltan Bardi up front. Gianluca Bolis is back in at right midfield, even though he's been slumping - we'll give him another chance. Ingo Wilke is back in net after getting his first day off in league play all season against Derby a few days ago. Mancini will start at central midfield with injuries to Rocca and Spall. Young Emmerson Harvey is recalled from the U18s and may have a chance at seeing action off the bench for the first time as a senior player.

We've had success just playing a flat 4-4-2 control when at home against top sides, using it to beat Manchester United, among others. So we'll go with that mentality to start.

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 - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, P. Tjiuoro, E. Harvey, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, G. Gesios

Arsenal match our formation and have Gallo and Boakye up front. Cristiano Ronaldo is starting today for the first time all year in league play. Dangerous striker Munyao is actually playing central defence today, as he's accomplished at both positions. My assistant thinks I should tell the players to go out and perform well for the fans and I go with it - he's been pretty good at team talks lately. This is our second game in our newly expanded stadium and expectations are that we will set a new attendance record today.

8' - Andrea feeds a little pass to Bardi, who has his back to the goal at the edge of the area. He pivots and shoots hard but Oscar Ustari, the Arsenal keeper, makes the great diving save.

15' - We win a corner on the left side of the field and Bamba takes it. He goes near post and Rayane Hamon, our central defender, boots it into the back of the net for his first ever Dover goal! DOVER GOAL 1-0

21' - Boakye is sent in past Renato Gaucho but he shoots low and just wide. That was a glorious chance for the Gunners.

34' - Play has been a bit sloppy both ways and Arsenal have had some good stretches of possession but no real chances. We strike back on a counter, as Arsene Bamba avoids a tackle from Tomaselli around midfield and speeds down the left flank with the ball. He sends in a beautiful cross into the box and right to the foot of maligned winger Gianluca Bolis, who volleys it hard into the net for his first in at least two months! Gorgeous! DOVER GOAL 2-0

36' - Adam Hlousek, the Arsenal captain, gets a header off a nice cross into the area but Wilke is in good position, as usual, for the save.

43' - We win a corner on the right side and Cairney takes it. It's cleared out and comes to Cairney again. He dances along the byline, sends a touch pass to Bolis and he immediately passes to Bardi. From in tight, Bardi turns and slots another one home and we have struck for three! Wow!!! DOVER GOAL 3-0

HALFTIME - Outstanding half where we cashed in on every chance practically. Stats were pretty even: we hold 51% of possession and outshoot Arsenal 8-7 (4-2 on target). I am pleased, to say the least! No tactical changes necessary!

57' - Cairney takes a free kick from just outside the right side of the area and sends it back to Mancini outside the box. He rifles a left footed blast that Ustari dives and deflects off the goalpost and back behind the net. Sooo close!

63' - We have a throw in down the left side and Bamba throws it to Mancini and the midfielder delivers it back to Bamba on the sideline. He takes a look and sends a high cross into the area and it's Gianluca Bolis, jumping in the air and winning the header that deflects off Ustari and into the net! Boy, Bolis runs hot or cold but we'll take it! That's two for him today! DOVER GOAL 4-0

66' - Claudio Contreras trips over his own feet and that allows Boakye to spring Teddy Gallo on the break. He shoots and Wilke makes the acrobatic diving save!

67' - Time to start resting guys. Jozef Varga comes on for Renato Gaucho.

68' - Mancini sends a long ball up field and the Arsenal defender misjudges his jump and that allows Zoltan Bardi to get a step. He dribbles into the area and from a very awkward angle, sends a shot to the near side that somehow gets past Ustari and into the net! Ustari has been TERRIBLE for Arsenal today and that's two for Bardi now! FIVE BELLS! DOVER GOAL 5-0

72' - This is just MAGICAL! We work a STUNNING counter attack and it's Bolis cutting in diagonally to the area. I'm thinking hat trick but he selflessly dishes back to Neil Cairney, who then one touches a pass to a wide open Shanon Andrea, quiet until now, who EASILY deposits the ball into the net. Just a GORGEOUS passing play and I want to cry tears of joy looking at this scoreline! DOVER GOAL 6-0

73' - Well, 17 year old Emmerson Harvey, come on down! The highly rated youngster comes in for his first ever senior team game! Aitor Zubizarreta also comes on and we take out Neil Cairney and Shanon Andrea.

74' - Harvey immediately gets hurt trying to make a tackle. I think he'll be okay but comes off for brief treatment.

76' - Arsenal have no answer for anything we do. Bardi wins a tackle at midfield and dribbles all the way down the field, getting off a hard shot to the far corner that is JUST turned aside by Ustari. Almost the hat trick for Bardi!

80' - Contreras coughs up the ball and is forced to foul Teddy Gallo. Yellow card for Contreras.

If you didn't know it by now, we have officially ARRIVED!

Dover 6 - 0 Arsenal
Goals - Gianluca Bolis 2 (9.5), Zoltan Bardi 2 (9.4), Rayane Hamon (9.1), Shanon Andrea (8.4)
Assists - Arsene Bamba 3 (9.3), Gianluca Bolis, Neil Cairney (8.3), Mancini (8.4)
Man of the Match - Gianluca Bolis
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.5), Salim Loucif (8.3), Claudio Contreras (8.2), Renato Gaucho (7.8)
Attendance - 16,178

Well, we set a new attendance record today and hopefully that performance will put more butts in the seats! Simply an astonishing result, as we hold 53% of possession and outshoot Arsenal 18-12 (10-4 on target). We were relentless all game and this is a GOOD TEAM we just played - we're turning into a world-class club and every single starter had a rating at 7.5 or better.

-- With his two goal performance, Zoltan Bardi has now scored 56 league goals in his Dover career, a club record total that moves past Aaron Greene's 55. Arsene Bamba now has FIVE assists in his last two games and is up to a league leading 12 on the season.

-- Man City and Man United both win so we maintain our hold on 3rd place on the Premier League table. Everton beat Liverpool so we now have a three point cushion over the Reds.



Next Up

-- We face long odds as we travel to Manchester to take on two-time treble winners and one again, Premier League table-toppers Manchester City at Etihad Stadium on Boxing Day.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 02-16-2014 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:55 PM   #219
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sun. December 26, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Manchester City (13-3-1, 42 points, 1st) vs. Dover (10-5-3, 35 points, 3rd)
Man City Stadium, Manchester, UK

Betting Odds: Man City: 1-6 (Favourites) Draw: 5-1 Dover: 10-1
Past Meetings: 0W 1D 6L

I believe City are the only Premier team left that I haven't won a point against - the draw in our past meetings up above was from a preseason friendly. City are the dominant team in world football right now - they've won two Premier League titles in a row, THREE Champions League titles in a row, two League Cups in a row and are also the reigning Club World Championship winners and European Super Cup winners. They started a bit slow in league play this year but have rung up ten consecutive Premier League wins and are rolling. Enrique is back to dominating affairs for City and he has 23 goals in 26 appearances this year but he hasn't scored in his last five games. Midfielder Gylfi Sigurosson is in great form as well with 10 goals on 27 matches. Last year's top scorer Jelle Hoegee, proof of City's incredible depth, only has four goals in 18 matches, 12 of which are as substitutes. City were pretty quiet in the transfer market, actually selling £89 million worth of players, most notably Enzo Zidane and Chris-Michal Bigirimana to Barcelona in deals totalling £78 million. They brought young midfielder Junior over from Barca as well for £10.75 million.

We are HUGE underdogs on the road today and will do everything we can to get a draw if possible - a win is unlikely considering City's form. We'll move to a flat 4-4-2 counter mentality but will keep the exact same lineup that defeated Arsenal. Kostas Kalfas is back to being match fit after missing four weeks with a broken arm and will be on the bench today - Emmerson Harvey is sent back to the U18s.

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
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 - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, P. Tjiuoro, K. Kalfas, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, G. Gesios

Well, I can see why Enrique has gone a bit cold lately - City are playing him in the midfield again and it's Yahia Traore playing up front in their 4-5-1 (with DMC). Joe Hart is still tending goal for City as well. I go with my assistant's team talk and say that they can win today.

3' - City get a corner and Wilke has to make two incredible saves, first on a header and second on a rebound in tight from Darko Gusic.

17' - It's pretty much all City at this point and Enrique gets off a low rocket from distance that's just wide.

23' - We get a good chance off a corner, as a scramble ensues near the City goal but their defender clears the ball off the goal line just in time.

25' - OH MY. Bamba gets an incredible through ball to Shanon Andrea and our in-form and lethal striker gets in on Joe Hart, goes around him but with the net at his mercy, he left foots WIDE.

39' - Arsene Bamba makes his daily bone-headed pass and City storm up field on a counter. Their fantastic left winger Sigurosson fires a curling shot from distance and Wilke does well to turn it behind the net.

40' - City have a throw in and Traore has the ball near the byline. He attempts to pass into the middle but the ball deflects off our defenders and is there for the taking. The lethal Enrique shows great off the ball awareness to pounce on the loose change and slip it into the goal. MANCHESTER CITY GOAL 0-1

45' - We have possession deep in their end but Cairney's cross is intercepted and sent out to Sigurosson. He's just on the outer edge of their area and for some reason, he passes back toward Thiago, one of City's midfielders but Shanon Andrea intercepts the pass and with one lethal strike, he pots the ball past Joe Hart for the SHOCKING equalizer! That's Andrea's 20th goal of the season already!!! WOW! DOVER GOAL 1-1

HALFTIME - Umm, you'd never tell from the highlights but we held an INCREDIBLE 61% of possession in the first half and kept up with them after holding off their furious start. They outshoot us 13-11 (4-1 on target). A number of their players are "playing nervously" according to my assistant so we're confounding them a bit so far. I expect them to make some changes, perhaps putting Enrique up at striker. I tell the team I'm pleased - if we keep this up, we may be able to get something from this match.

And I was right - Traore is taken out, midfielder Simon Kjaer comes in and Enrique moves up to striker.

52' - We have a dangerous looking possession in their end but City clear and it's up to Enrique at midfield. His speed is unstoppable, as he just runs right past Hamon and Contreras and in toward goal. He slows up a bit and shoots and Wilke is able to cut the angle down enough to push the ball behind the goal. On the ensuing corner, we look like we're going to head it clear but we mistime the jump and City is able to direct the ball goalward. Wilke is there again in spectacular fashion.

59' - Enrique again, this time with a rocket from distance and Wilke does what he can to stop it. City look to grab the rebound but Contreras clears the ball to safety. We're holding on a bit here.

66' - I guess it was coming. City work the ball in to Thiago and he unleashes a blast that Wilke dives to stop. He's on the ground and the rebound pops right to right winger Giuliano and he makes no mistake putting it into the net and we're behind again. MANCHESTER CITY GOAL 1-2

After the goal, Jelle Hoegee comes on to play striker and Enrique is moved back into midfield.

69' - Hoegee makes his presence felt right away, turning and unleashing a piledriver from the edge of the area that Wilke does well to turn aside.

73' - Time for changes. Giorgos Gesios comes in for Zoltan Bardi and Kostas Kalfas comes in for Mancini, who was great today. We change to a control mentality.

86' - We bring in Aitor Zubizarreta for Gianluca Bolis and move to an overload mentality.

87' - Wow! Gesios takes the ball off a City goal kick and weaves into their penalty area, left footing a blast that Hart is just able to clear above the cross bar. Great chance Gesios! We get the corner and they immediately clear it up the field to Giuliano and he speeds past Salim Loucif and in on goal. His shot is low and Wilke can't make the save. Nice counter and we're done. MANCHESTER CITY GOAL 1-3

90'+2 - Gesios sets a ball out to Zubizarreta and his hard blast is turned aside by Hart.

Good try men.

Manchester City 3 - 1 Dover
Goals - Shanon Andrea (7.2)
Assists -
Man of the Match - Giuliano (Man City AMR - 8.8)
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.8), Mancini (7.3)
Attendance - 62,065

We played well, holding 56% of possession against arguably the best club in the world and they outshot us 24-17 (11-3 on target). A good effort and I tell the players as much. They just have so much elite talent and can strike so fast with their speed.

-- There were a couple of shock results. Cellar dwellers Southampton held United to a 2-2 draw while Middlesbrough shocked Arsenal 2-1 as the Gunners all of a sudden are struggling a bit. We have reached the halfway point of the season and here is how things stand on the table and on the stat sheets:

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE PLAYED 19 GAMES UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 45 points (18 games)
2. Manchester United - 38 points
3. Dover - 35 points
4. Liverpool - 35 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Chelsea - 32 points
6. Reading - 32 points (18 games)
7. Arsenal - 31 points (18 games)
----------------------------------------------------
8. Sheffield Wednesday - 31 points
9. Aston Villa - 29 points
10. Tottenham - 28 points
11. Middlesbrough - 28 points
12. Sunderland - 26 points
13. Newcastle - 21 points (31 Games Remaining)
14. Wolves - 20 points
15. Everton - 20 points (18 games)
16. Huddersfield - 18 points (18 games)
17. Blackburn - 17 points
----------------------------------------------------
18. Fulham - 15 points
19. Derby - 13 points (18 games)
20. Southampton - 11 points


-- At this stage last year, we had the same amount of points and the same goal differential. Incredible. We had four more goals scored at this point last year but also four more goals ALLOWED last year. Eerie!

Here's a look at some Barclays Premier League stat leaders

GOALS -
1. Yaya Sanogo, Manchester United, 18
2. Craig Flett, Sunderland, 17
3. Enrique, Manchester City, 15
4. Shanon Andrea, Dover, 14
5. Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea, 14
6. Stanislas Vigneau, Newcastle, 12
7. Hani Megahed, Reading, 10
8. Steve Pates, Sheffield Wednesday, 10
9. Teddy Gallo, Arsenal, 10

-- Gianluca Bolis is tied for 21st with 5 and Zoltan Bardi has 4 to put himself in a tie for 28th despite missing more than half the season so far.

ASSISTS -
1. Arsene Bamba, Dover, 12
2. Omar Hernandez, Man United, 11
3. Bruno, Man City, 8
4. Graham Allan, Blackburn, 8
5. Axel Parisot, Liverpool, 8
6. David Maclennan, Newcastle, 8
FIVE TIED WITH 7

- Andrea Rocca has 5 and is tied for 19th and Giorgos Gesios has 3 which is tied for 39th.

AVERAGE RATING -
1. Omar Hernandez, Man United, 7.82
2. Yaya Sanogo, Man United, 7.72
3. Enrique, Man City, 7.69
4. Craig Flett, Sunderland, 7.64
5. James McCarthy, Tottenham, 7.48
6. Hani Megahed, Reading, 7.46
7. Shanon Andrea, Dover, 7.43
8. Matt Barber, Sunderland, 7.41
9. Bruno, Man City, 7.36
10. Bogdan Marinescu, Man United, 7.35

-- Arsene Bamba is 11th at 7.33, Rayane Hamon is 28th at 7.22, young Claudio Contreras is 30th at 7.20, Andrea Rocca is 35th at 7.17, Salim Loucif and Gianluca Bolis are tied for 37th at 7.15 and Neil Cairney is 43rd with 7.12. Not bad!



Barclays Premier League Team of the Week

-- Rayane Hamon and Zoltan Bardi both do well enough to make the team of the week.



Dover Injury Update

-- Wayne Rooney and Andrea Rocca are both back to light training after their injuries. Rocca will likely take less time to get fully fit, as he's only missed about a month with his back strain while veteran Rooney will likely need extensive time with our reserves to regain full fitness.



Premier League Update

-- There are three Tuesday games in Premier League play, with Arsenal knocking off Derby, United beating Villa and Liverpool oust Blackburn 3-0. Liverpool move provisionally ahead of us into 3rd place with that win.



Next Up

-- Our last game of 2021 sees us head to St. James' Park to face favoured mid-table club Newcastle.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:57 PM   #220
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. December 29, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Newcastle (6-3-10, 21 points, 13th) vs. Dover (10-5-4, 35 points, 4th)
St. James' Park, Newcastle, UK

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

Newcastle are the narrowest of favourites as we begin the second half of the season. We defeated them 2-1 in our season opener at home, needing an extra time goal from Gianluca Bolis to put them away despite dominating. Newcastle are coming off a fine 4-0 home win against Blackburn in their last game so confidence is high. Stanislas Vigneau has 12 goals and is their danger man up front.

We have an FA Cup 3rd round match coming up on the weekend against Middlesbrough so I'll use some of my depth in that game. Today we'll go with the same lineup as the last two games and stick with the counter attack mentality on the road. We need to score the first goal today...

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
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 - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, P. Tjiuoro, K. Kalfas, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, G. Gesios

Newcastle are in a 4-2-3-1 (4-4-2 DM) formation with Vigneau up front. I concur with my assistant: "we can win today!". I pull aside our strikers and tell them I have faith in their abilities.

4' - We work a quick counter, with Renato Gaucho sending a long ball up the field to Zoltan Bardi. He marches into the box and sends a rocket that is stopped by Jak Alnwick, the Newcastle keeper.

7' - Kind of the opposite thing from recent games, as we're allowing Newcastle to maintain possession but we're operating some quick deadly counters. We steal possession in our end and spring Shanon Andrea up field. He moves through the defence and gets a hard shot off that Alnwick saves. Andrea tries to pounce on the rebound but shoots into the side netting.

10' - Again, we pounce on a Newcastle mistake at midfield and Andrea storms into their territory. Alnwick again makes a brilliant stop and it's behind the goal. We do nothing with the corner.

16' - Now it's Gianluca Bolis making a great half field run through the defence but his shot is weak and easily saved and held by Alnwick.

18' - Arsene Bamba gets a yellow card and my assistant says that he's "persistently fouling". Time to dial it down Arsene...

43' - We have an extended period of possession in their end, with a couple of corners and two free kicks and it culminates in a fierce blast from Neil Cairney from just outside the area that Alnwick brilliantly saves. The rebound comes to Andrea in tight but he's ruled offsides. Alnwick is something else...

45'+1 - We have a throw in at midfield and Loucif throws to Bardi. Ross Barkley misses a tackle on him and that allows Bardi to move up field. He passes to Shanon Andrea in the middle and he immediately sends a through ball to the right side of the penalty area to a streaking Gianluca Bolis. He's on a poor angle but he's in on goal and he drives the ball low into the short side of the net past Alnwick for the dramatic, injury time goal! DOVER GOAL 1-0

HALFTIME - The possession numbers look ugly but the shots definitely tell the tale. Newcastle hold 55% of possession but do nothing with it - we outshoot them 16-5 (7-0 on target), as our counter attack game is working on all cylinders. Yeah, it would be nice to have a couple more goals but at least we got one at the end of the half - we deserved that one. I tell the team I'm pleased.

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

48' - Neil Cairney with an ugly foul and he earns the yellow.

56' - Bardi is hurt making a tackle and needs treatment. We're controlling much more of the play in the second half but have had no great chances, just some shots from distance that have been off-target.

60' - We win a free kick and Cairney crosses into the box. Claudio Contreras sends a wicked header at goal but it hits the crossbar, drops down to the goal line and is cleared out. What a header that was!

64' - I take out Bardi and bring in Giorgos Gesios.

69' - Gianluca Bolis with a yellow now.

73' - We have a free kick and send it up to Gesios. He turns on the defender and bolts in with a shot that Alnwick saves.

75' - We hit Newcastle on a counter and Andrea sends in a RIDICULOUS pass to Gesios. He looks offsides but there's no flag up but Alnwick STONES Gesios with a massive save! "How did he miss that", says the announcer! Wow! This goalkeeper is incredible.

82' - Cameron Murray is in for Arsene Bamba.

87' - Wilke is called upon to save a header off a corner but it's weak and right at him. We've limited them to very few chances. We work up field off Wilke's throw and Andrea once again feeds Gesios and from point blank range, he's stymied AGAIN by Alnwick. He's made at least 12 saves I'm guessing by this point. What do we have to do to score?!?!

90'+1 - AGAIN!!! Holy crap. Gesios takes a corner and Claudio Contreras RIPS it on the volley and Alnwick makes the stop. Can we intentionally FOUL goalkeepers? If that kid isn't man of the match, something is wrong...

Man. Good match but I think i need some medicine to calm down.

Newcastle 0 - 1 Dover
Goals - Gianluca Bolis (8.0)
Assists - Shanon Andrea (6.9)
Man of the Match - Gianluca Bolis
Other Dover Notables - Rayane Hamon (7.4), Claudio Contreras (7.1), Neil Cairney (7.0)
Attendance - 31,173

Man - we DOMINATED that second half but give credit to their kid in goal, who made countless big saves. We hold 53% of overall possession and outshoot them 27-9 (12-1 on target). Jak Alnwick got a 7.9 rating and SHOULD have been man of the match but Bolis takes those honours. A good game and we'll take the three points but it would be nice to cash in on a couple more of those great opportunities!

-- Palermo is in first place in Italian Serie A and their boss, Antonio Conte was at St. James' Park to watch Gianluca Bolis play - he comes out in the press and unequivocally states his desire to bring him to his home country of Italy. I guess I should be expecting an offer soon and Bolis is the type of guy who would pout if I decline but I don't plan on sending him anywhere. Napoli's boss was also in attendance, looking at Bolis, Shanon Andrea and Zoltan Bardi.

-- In other transfer news, Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey wants out and the club offers him to me for £10 million. I counter with £4.5 million (just below his current value) but I doubt they accept. My scout says he'd be extremely interested in joining us but his salary demands would throw everything out of whack at the club and I don't think I'll pursue it much further.

-- Sheffield Wednesday continue to perform well, upsetting Chelsea 2-1. City defeat Middlesbrough and keep on truckin'.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE PLAYED 20 GAMES UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 48 points (19 games)
2. Manchester United - 41 points
3. Dover - 38 points
4. Liverpool - 38 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 35 points (19 games)
6. Sheffield Wednesday - 34 points
7. Reading - 34 points (19 games)
----------------------------------------------------


Change Season Expectations

-- We hit January and I'm offered the opportunity to change our expectations for the season. Unlike last year, there isn't currently any additional transfer money but the board will allow me to increase the wage budget by £50K/week if I say we are going for Continental qualification (versus our current goal of a top half finish). While we don't need the money, I'll take it and perhaps edit my budget to allow us to buy a player or two either in the transfer window or later in June. I'm reasonably confident we're on track for at least a Europa League spot next year.


January Update

-- We have five Premier League games this month, with home dates against Wolves, Liverpool and Aston Villa along with road dates in Reading and Southampton. We also have an FA Cup 3rd round match at home later this week against Middlesbrough and if we prevail in that contest, the 4th round game would also be played at the end of the month. So seven possible matches, not including a potential FA Cup replay in the case of a draw.

-- Emmanuel Agbo, Abdallaye Kokaina and Zoltan Bardi, along with U18s Damian Thorne and Pete Smith all get positive training notices while Kostas Kalfas gets a negative report. I have a chat with Kalfas to tell him it's unacceptable.


Yearly Awards

- Man City's Enrique wins European Striker of the Year. He also wins the FIFA Ballon d'Or Award AND World Player of the Year.

-- His teammate Joe Hart wins Goalkeeper of the Year.

-- Read Madrid's Paulo Henrique wins European Midfielder of the Year.

-- Arsenal's Nchimunya Munyao wins defender of the year despite playing a lot as a striker.

-- Man United's Yaya Sanogo wins French Player of the Year.



Premier League Monthly Awards

-- Gylfi Sigurosson from Man City wins Barclays Premier League player of the month honours for December. Our very own Gianluca Bolis comes in third.

-- Steve Pates from Sheffield Wednesday once again wins the Young Player of the Month award. Claudio Contreras comes in second!

-- Carlo Ancelotti needs another trophy cabinet as he once again wins Manager of the Month honours.


Transfer OUT

-- The transfer window reopens and Matthew Thompson makes the previously announced £10,000 move to Burnley in the Championship. We picked up Thompson on a free in July 2015 after he spent two years with Wolves in their youth system and that makes Thompson one of the longest serving players at the club, with six and a half years spent here. He had loan spells at Leyton Orient, Norwich and Preston North End and played 19 scoreless league games for our club, including 14 during our 2017/18 season in the Championship. He was here only for his home-grown status but again, for whatever reason, his 0-21 status for some reason didn't meet the Champions League requirements so he wasn't needed here anymore.

-- At this point, I'm not really looking to add any players to the team. I think we're good enough to achieve our goals but I won't hesitate bringing in a youngster or two for grooming purposes.



January Board Confidence Update

-- The board continue to be delighted with the leadership qualities I'm demonstrating. Our 6-0 win over Arsenal was the main positive and the 3-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday is the big negative.

-- We made a profit of £1.85 million last month.



FA Cup Update

-- It was worth noting that Man City LOST to Everton at City of Manchester Stadium in their 3rd round FA Cup match. That's pretty crazy stuff there - City has dominated so many Cup competitions and here they are one and done.



Next Up

-- We attempt to gain some revenge against Middlesbrough as we enter the FA Cup in the third round at home.

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Old 02-17-2014, 07:28 PM   #221
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sun. January 2, 2022

FA Cup - 3rd Round
Dover vs. Middlesbrough (Barclays Premier League)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 4-6 (Favourites) Draw: 9-4 Middlesbrough: 7-2
Past Meetings: 4W 0D 4L

We lost to Middlesbrough in league action about a month ago, dropping a 1-0 decision on the road but we're big favourites to move on today at home as we both enter the FA Cup in the 3rd Round. Middlesbrough just brought 30 year old midfielder Tom Cairney over from MLS to patrol the midfield and I expect the Scottish international to be in the lineup today. No relation to our own Neil Cairney, at least according to their personal pages but they both are from the same country.

I am going to take this game relatively seriously, as our board have expectations of us reaching the 5th round so I'll start a mostly full-strength lineup. Leading scorer Shanon Andrea will get the day off completely, as I'll go with Giorgos Gesios alone up front with Zoltan Bardi sitting behind him in our 4-2-3-1 formation. We have a big game in three days against Reading so I'll hope to have most of my key players available for that game. Youssouf Sylla starts in goal today and Paulus Tjiuoro starts on defence.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - Y. Sylla
D - R. Gaucho, P. Tjiuoro, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - Mancini, N. Cairney
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios
Bench - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, C. Contreras, K. Kalfas, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, P. Moses

Middlesbrough come out in their 4-2-3-1 with 3 AMCs formation that has given us fits in recent memory. Their leading scorer Luke de Jong is up front and Tom Cairney indeed starts only two days after arriving at the club. I tell the team they can win this and pull aside Mancini and Gesios for personal chats.

3' - We get an early chance off a Gesios corner kick but Middlesbrough clear off the line.

12' - Sylla is called upon to make a nice save as Taksiarxis Fountas is sent through on goal.

13' - Neil Cairney springs Gesios but Sinan Bolat comes off the line to beat our striker to the ball just in time.

23' - We have possession around half way in Middlesbrough territory and work some one-two's. Cairney feeds the ball through the top of the box and Gesios latches on to it and fires a low shot into the near corner of the net. We're ahead courtesy of Giorgos Gesios! DOVER GOAL 1-0

30' - Gesios gets away again, this time courtesy of Mancini but while his shot beats Sinan Bolat, it doesn't beat the goal post, as it hits off the woodwork and out of play. Great chance!

32' - Middlesbrough have a throw in deep in our end but Renato Gaucho heads it out of danger. Bamba gets the ball and makes a long run up the left flank. A defender comes over to engage him and that opens up Gesios so the pass is made up field to our suddenly in-form striker. Gesios has a clear path to the goal and he shoots low to the far corner and it's IN! Gesios has two! DOVER GOAL 2-0

HALFTIME - An excellent half! We hold 55% of possession and outshoot them 9-5 (4-2 on target). I tell the team I'm pleased. No tactical changes needed.

53' - We work a counter after a failed Middlesbrough free kick and we have a two on one develop with Zoltan Bardi and Gesios. Bardi elects to shoot but his rocket is blocked away by Sinan Bolat. Play continues with us holding possession and Gianluca Bolis sends in a little cross that hits Gesios and deflects into the net! When you're hot, you're HOT! That's a hat trick for Gesios and we're up three! DOVER GOAL 3-0

55' - We make a beautiful three way passing play around midfield culminating in Cairney sending Bolis in all alone. Bolis shoots right at Sinan Bolat, however and our lead remains three.

61' - Gesios makes a brilliant pass to a breaking Neil Cairney but he's absolutely robbed by Sinan Bolat.

62' - Yellow card for Rayane Hamon. I start thinking ahead for our next game in three days, taking out Neil Cairney and Gianluca Bolis and bringing in Kostas Kalfas and Aitor Zubizarreta.

71' - I take out Zoltan Bardi and bring in Paul Moses, switching to a flat 4-4-2 control in the process.

73' - We work another counter attack and Moses springs Gesios. Our three goal man enters the area and hits a left footed shot that is turned behind the net by Sinan Bolat.

75' - Bamba storms down the left wing past the Middlesbrough defender and sends in a cross. Aitor Zubizarreta wins the ball and strikes it with fury into the back of the goal! What a game! DOVER GOAL 4-0

77' - Salim Loucif takes down a man and gets a yellow.

88' - Giorgos Gesios gets two more incredible chances, one off a header and another on a point blank rocket but Sinan Bolat makes both saves in spectacular fashion.

90'+1 - Off a Bamba corner, Hamon gets a header toward goal then Paul Moses has TWO quick cracks but again the poor Middlesbrough keeper, under fire all game, makes the great saves.

90'+2 - Sylla saves his shutout with a point blank save on a Middlesbrough counter attack.

PURE DOMINATION!

Dover 4 - 0 Middlesbrough
Goals - Giorgos Gesios 3 (9.6), Aitor Zubizarreta (7.4)
Assists - Arsene Bamba 2 (8.7), Salim Loucif (8.3), Neil Cairney (8.0)
Man of the Match - Giorgos Gesios
Other Dover Notables - Youssouf Sylla (7.0), Rayane Hamon (7.8), Paulus Tjiuoro (8.1), Renato Gaucho (7.5), Mancini (7.6), Gianluca Bolis (7.1), Zoltan Bardi (7.0)
Attendance - 11,475

Just a fantastic performance - we hold 56% of overall possession and outshoot them 25-8 (14-4 on target). 12 of our players get ratings over 7.0. Spectacular!

-- We are given £69,000 for the win.



FA Cup - 4th Round Draw

-- With COUNTLESS lower league teams still in the competition, we are lucky enough to draw Manchester United as our 4th round opponent. Yeah, that's sarcasm. At least we're at home for that match but man, another BRUTAL draw.



Transfer Window

-- Chelsea once again come calling about our fine midfielder Neil Cairney and I'm smart enough to have clicked on the "reject all offers" tab so I don't have to really deal with them anymore.

-- Yikes. Man City come in with an official inquiry on Rayane Hamon - he's not for sale, gentlemen!

-- I've made a few Bosman contract offers to players with less than six months remaining on their deals. We'll see if anything goes through.



Injury Update

-- Andrea Rocca returns to full training. I assume Wayne Rooney isn't far behind. Rocca missed a month but I don't imagine it will be too long before he's match fit again whereas Rooney will need extensive time in the reserves due to the length of his injury and his advanced age.



Premier League Update

-- We have a Wednesday game this week and get to watch as Chelsea shock Man City at the Etihad 1-0. United beat up on Tottenham as well so we remain in 3rd spot, 6 points back of United and 10 back of City.



Dover U18 Update

-- We destroy QPR's U18s 5-0 behind two goals from Phil Whitbread and singles from Pete Smith, Emmerson Harvey and Gregoire Lambert.



Next Up

-- We head on the road to Reading in Premier League action.

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Old 02-17-2014, 09:02 PM   #222
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. January 5, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Reading (10-3-6, 33 points, 8th) vs. Dover (11-5-4, 38 points, 3rd)
The Madejski Stadium, Reading, UK

Betting Odds: Reading: 6-4 (Favourites) Draw: 2-1 Dover: 13-8
Past Meetings: 5W 0D 2L

Reading are the slightest of favourites at home today as they try to build upon a fine first half in Premier League play. They are getting balanced scoring up front, with the ever dangerous Hani Megahed's 13 goals in 20 appearances leading the team. Fellow striker Cees Duarte has 12 in 25 contests and two other strikers, Jay Rodriguez and Simon Church each have six apiece. That's a lot of goals. They've made it through to the Europa League knockout stages so they are enjoying Continental success as well and also moved on in the FA Cup after beating Leeds 3-0. Our first game against them this year was a 6-3 thriller of a win at home and I expect a lower scoreline today.

We have Andrea Rocca back and he's match fit but I'll put him on the bench today with the aim of bringing him in if necessary. He'll certainly start on the weekend though. Otherwise, we put a full strength side on the pitch today, with Shanon Andrea, Claudio Contreras and Ingo Wilke back as we go with a flat 4-4-2 counter mentality today.

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
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 - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, P. Tjiuoro, A. Rocca, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, G. Gesios

Reading come out in a flat 4-4-2 as well with Megahed and Rodriguez up front. Against my better judgement, I go with my assistant's team talk to do it for the travelling supporters.

1' - We force a turnover after Reading control the opening kick off and it's Andrea breaking in. His shot is stopped by Reading keeper Antonio but the rebound pops right to Zoltan Bardi. He's got an open net…and SHOOTS WIDE. Ouch!

3' - It's going to be like that, is it? Lots of action early, just like in our last game, as Reading midfielder James Gregan sends a rocket off the crossbar and it bounces away to safety.

6' - Oh boy. Shanon Andrea is taken down at midfield and is hurt. He has the dreaded "+" and needs to come off. Not good. Giorgos Gesios comes into the game.

21' - We show great ball movement, with a number of passes leading to Zoltan Bardi springing Gesios. He's in on goal but shoots right at Antonio and it's an easy save.

23' - Gesios again gets sent in and his left footed shot is turned aside by Antonio. Nice save there.

42' - Renato Gaucho gets hurt and needs brief treatment. Looks like he'll be okay.

HALFTIME - We're controlling play nicely, with 56% of possession and a 10-4 (5-0 on target) shot advantage. We just need to finish one of these great chances we keep getting. I tell the team I'm pleased and don't make any tactical changes.

57' - Zoltan Bardi makes a splendid cross field pass into the box to a streaking Gesios but he's in too close and Antonio is able to push the ball behind the goal. Nothing comes from the corner.

We take out Mancini and bring in Andrea Rocca.

71' - Cairney gets a great opportunity off a cleared corner but his curling blast is stopped by a diving Antonio.

80' - Aitor Zubizarreta comes on for Gianluca Bolis.

85' - Gregan with a rocket from the edge of the area and Wilke pushes it above the bar.

Antonio was just too good for Reading today.

Reading 0 - 0 Dover
Goals -
Assists -
Man of the Match - Antonio (Reading GK - 7.4)
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.1), Rayane Hamon (7.3), Renato Gaucho (7.4), Neil Cairney (7.2)
Attendance - 19,801

We deserved three points here but will have to take a draw. We held 55% of overall possession and outshot them 16-12 (8-3 on target).

-- As expected, the news is terrible on leading scorer Shanon Andrea - he tears a hamstring, our THIRD torn hammy of the season, and will miss around three months. Man…at least Gesios is starting to fire on all cylinders again.

-- Liverpool beat struggling Middlesbrough and that moves them ahead of us by two points on the table, dropping us to fourth.



Dover Injury Update

-- We lose our top scorer and get another striker back. Wayne Rooney returns to full training after HIS hamstring injury but will need a lot of time to get back to full fitness.



Future Transfers IN

-- Le Mans FC striker Orlando Scolari, an Argentinian, comes to terms with our club on a Bosman contract. He'll need a work permit and the deal won't go through until after the season is over but the 19 year old will be a nice depth addition and a likely loan candidate next year.

-- We sign another striker on Bosman terms, this time Mexican 20 year old Rogelio Garcia from Porto. This 6' 3" lad also will require a work permit and if it goes through, we'll welcome him in the offseason.


-- After inquiring about Rayane Hamon earlier in the week, now Man City are sniffing around my 17 year old midfield prospect Emmerson Harvey. He's not for sale either!



Next Up

-- We host Wolves at Crabble Athletic Ground in Premier League play.

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Old 02-17-2014, 10:31 PM   #223
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. January 8, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (11-6-4, 39 points, 4th) vs. Wolves (6-3-12, 21 points, 16th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 4-6 (Favourites) Draw: 9-4 Wolves: 7-2
Past Meetings: 4W 1D 1L

We are comfortable favourites against Wolves, who are faring just fine in their return to top flight English football. We were held to a scoreless draw in Wolverhampton earlier in the year and they have also reached the League Cup Semi Finals against Sunderland. Striker Emanuele Testardi is their top scorer with 7 goals in 23 games - they play a defensive style and don't score too many goals.

With Shanon Andrea on the shelf long-term, Giorgos Gesios is back in the spotlight and will need to continue his recent good form in Andrea's absence. We'll go with a 4-2-3-1 formation, something that has been successful for us at home recently and we have a full lineup going today. Andrea Rocca will start for the first time since returning from his month-long injury.

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

Wolves come out in a very defensive 4-2-2-2 formation with 2 DMC's. Leading scorer Testardi is on the bench and they have Stefano Zeno and Steven Fletcher up front. I tell the team this is a winnable game in the dressing room.

12' - No highlights until now as we must be having difficulty breaking down their defensive formation. Bardi sends a nice through ball to Bamba and his shot is turned aside by Wayne Hennessey, the Wolves keeper.

15' - Fletcher turns on Rayane Hamon at the top of the area and unleashes a blast that is stopped by Wilke.

36' - Man there is nothing happening. We get a ball into Gesios at the edge of the area, he pivots and shoots and Hennessey can only turn the ball behind the net on his rocket of a shot. We get a corner and Bolis runs onto Rocca's cross but the header is blocked behind the net again. The second corner is headed wide by Hamon.

45'+1 - We get a free kick from just outside the area and Rocca curls a blast around the wall and off the goal post! Man!

45'+4 - There were only supposed to be two minutes of injury time but here we are with Wolves having a corner. The cross comes in and Neil Cairney is called for a foul in the area. That's a PENALTY. Steven Fletcher takes the kick and Wilke goes the wrong way and it's in the net for the shocking goal. Oh boy. WOLVES GOAL 0-1

HALFTIME - We hold 52% of the ball and outshoot them 11-3 (4-2). This is a team we can't lose to, especially at home. I change to a flat 4-4-2 control mentality and tell the team that they're letting each other down and that our pride is at stake!

48' - Rocca has a free kick from distance and the goalkeeper has to make a great save on the curling blast.

61' - NOTHING!!! My god, why can't we break this team down?!?!?!

73' - Off a free kick at midfield we work it up to Bardi, he cuts through the D and fires but Hennessey is there once again.

We move to an overload system.

86' - We're piling on pressure but they have so many guys back. Rocca gets a great shot from the edge of the area but it's blocked aside by Hennessey behind the net. We get a corner and Rocca's cross is HEADED INTO THE NET BY BARDI!!! Wow! DOVER GOAL 1-1

I made a change just before the goal to move to a three striker formation, with Paul Moses coming on for Claudio Contreras. We'll stick with it and see what we can do, putting us in a 3-4-3 formation.

No highlights the rest of the way. We're fortunate to escape with a draw against a bottom dweller.

Dover 1 - 1 Wolves
Goals - Zoltan Bardi (7.4)
Assists - Andrea Rocca (7.2)
Man of the Match - Gueida Fofana (Wolves DM - 7.8)
Other Dover Notables - Rayane Hamon (7.0), Neil Cairney (5.6)
Attendance - 13,328

Cairney gets the obvious blame for the penalty kick goal against and his rating suffers. We hold 54% of possession and outshot them 21-5 (9-2 on target). We just couldn't get the ball into the net and it's looking like we're REALLY going to miss Shanon Andrea's goal scoring touch.

-- In other action, Man City shockingly lose a second straight game, this time to Arsenal 1-0. United win big over Sheffield Wednesday so they're only a point back now. Liverpool could only manage a scoreless draw against league cellar dwellers Derby County so we stay in fourth place although Arsenal are now nipping at our heels.



Transfer Window Fun

-- HSV bid £9.5 million on our vice-captain Salim Loucif and I immediately reject it. Loucif has a £15 million release clause so if they want him, they know what to bid.

-- Juventus and Liverpool both make formal offers for Giorgos Gesios, with Liverpool offering about £12.5 million and Juventus approximately £14.5 million. Both are rejected - if I had Shanon Andrea healthy, I'd CONSIDER moving Gesios for the right price but that price would be closer to 20 million.

-- Man City offer me £10 million for Rayane Hamon and Chelsea bid £8 million on Arsene Bamba. Rejected and rejected. Go away - like I'd sell my top players to my rivals…who do you think I am? Arsene Wenger?



Dover U18 Update

-- Pete Smith, Gregoire Lambert, Eddie Robinson score and we also benefit from an own goal as our U18s wallop Wycombe 4-0.



Next Up

-- We have a big game at Crabble, hosting third placed Liverpool in Barclays Premier League action.

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Old 02-18-2014, 12:05 AM   #224
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. January 12, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (11-7-4, 40 points, 4th) vs. Liverpool (12-6-4, 42 points, 3rd)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 11-5 Draw: 11-5 Liverpool: Evens (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 3W 2D 7L

We face Liverpool for the third time this year, having beaten them 1-0 away in Premier League play then lost at home 2-1 in League Cup 4th round action. They are on a five game unbeaten streak in all competitions and have balanced scoring, with Piotr Parzyszek leading them with only 8 goals. Liverpool are favourites on the road and hopefully our club can rally behind that fact.

We're going with a flat 4-4-2 control mentality, something that has worked as a great home tactic against good competition, as we've beaten Man United AND Arsenal with it, most recently humbling the Gunners 6-0 last month. No lineup changes - we need our best players to perform today.

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

Liverpool start in a flat 4-4-2 as well, with Rafael Flores and Parzyszek up front. Jonjo Shelvey is in midfield and always plays well against us. Chris Dunn is their keeper and he's always a thorn in our side as well. Like the Arsenal game, my assistant recommends telling the players to go out and express themselves for the fans so I go with it but pull aside Cairney, Rocca and Contreras to tell them I have faith in their abilities. We've really played well against top competition this year and I'm hoping that we bring our "A" game again tonight.

2' - Liverpool control play for most of the first two minutes. Their right midfielder Erik Koning, a guy I don't really recognize from previous encounters, skins Renato Gaucho early but he recovers to stop that rush but Koning has the ball a minute later and feeds in the middle to Parzyszek, who calmly deposits the ball into the net for the quick goal. Damnit. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-1

9' - We feed a great ball into the box to Bardi but he embellishes a trip and is given a yellow card for diving.

11' - Contreras misses a tackle on Parzyszek and the Liverpool striker storms down the field. Hamon tries to come over to help but Parzyszek hits a hard low blast into the corner for his second goal in eleven minutes. We're in BIG trouble. Contreras is having a horror game already, as he missed coverage on the first goal as well. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-2

17' - Rocca sends a glorious through ball to Gesios in the area and he pounds the ball into the goal! But wait…the assistant's flag is up and Gesios is called offsides. FUCK YOU! The replay is inconclusive. No goal.

Our whole team is essentially wound up right now.

19' - Parzyszek is sent in AGAIN past Contreras, who is looking horrifyingly bad tonight and Wilke has to stop a breakaway. This is awful stuff.

24' - We simply have no answer for Parzyszek tonight as again, he gains a step on Hamon and shoots hard at goal but Wilke makes the save.

27' - We have about three glorious chances off a corner attempt, with Cairney, Rocca and Bamba all getting shots off but we can't convert.

34' - Now Gesios embellishes a foul in the Liverpool area and is yellow carded. Can I bench the whole team at half?

43' - So after we have two calls go against us in the Liverpool penalty area, what do you think happens? A Reds player goes down in our area and this fucking referee calls a penalty. Two goal man Parzyszek steps up, Wilke guesses right but can't get there and Liverpool's striker has a first half hat trick. Holy shit this is a disaster. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-3

45' - Bamba sends in Gesios, who looks about ten yards offsides but his hard shot is saved by Chris Dunn.

HALFTIME - What can you say? We held 55% of possession and outshot them 14-8 (4-6 on target). They've made their chances count, we haven't for a third consecutive game without our top scorer and we're getting blasted in front of our home supporters. I read the riot act in the dressing room and storm out.

47' - There is NOTHING going right and now the worst thing possible happens as Neil Cairney gets hurt and needs to come off. I bring in Aitor Zubizarreta and we'll hope that it's nothing serious for Cairney but he's got the dreaded "+" above his name.

50' - We have a chance in close off a corner kick but Bamba's hard blast is turned behind the net by Dunn.

53' - This ref is a joke. Zubizarreta with a yellow where he did take someone down but play continued for about 5 seconds before the ref blew his whistle.

63' - Bardi sends in Gesios down the left side, he cuts into the middle and fires just wide.

Pretty much time to give up and think about our next game. We take out Bardi and Rocca and bring in Paul Moses and Mancini.

68' - Annnnd…it gets worse. Liverpool's solid midfielder Adam Hill makes a BEAUTIFUL back heel pass to substitute striker Nikita Kalinic and he hits a piledriver from the outer edge of the area past a diving Wilke. Worst loss of the year coming - we haven't lost like this in awhile. Spectacular goal though. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-4

75' - We get one back. We move the ball around nicely and it's Paul Moses finding Gesios at the top of the area. He sends a relatively weak shot at goal but it's perfectly placed beyond a diving Chris Dunn and we're on the board. Little consolation at this point. DOVER GOAL 1-4

78' - Bolis streaks down the right wing and sends in a cross that the Liverpool defender kicks into his own goal!!! But wait? The assistant's flag is up AGAIN?!?! Moses is called for a FOUL?!?! WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?! THESE REFS ARE ON THE TAKE! That's TWO disallowed goals for us, a penalty shot for them…two diving penalties for us in their area. This is a travesty.

90'+1 - Wilke saves a Parzyszek shot that denies him a fourth goal.

I'm going to be sick.

Dover 1 - 4 Liverpool
Goals - Giorgos Gesios (8.3)
Assists - Paul Moses (6.8)
Man of the Match - Piotr Parzyszek (Liverpool ST - 9.5)
Other Dover Notables - Claudio Contreras (5.8), Renato Gaucho (5.9)
Attendance - 18,584

Nice game for a record home crowd to see isn't it? Yeah, I think not. We edge them in possession, holding 51% of the ball and we outshoot them 20-14 (7-9 on target). Just a horrific game. I don't go into the dressing room after the game - let them figure things out themselves. Still, the refs were a disaster today and were a big reason why we lost.

-- Thankfully, Neil Cairney's injury isn't too serious. He suffers a twisted ankle and will miss about three weeks.

-- Wow. Man City lose a THIRD consecutive game, this time to Everton 1-0. And United only draw Fulham?!? Looks like we're not the only team struggling but this race is REALLY tightening up. We're still fourth but Arsenal and Reading are now tied with us in points and both have games in hand.



Transfer Window Fun

-- Our work permit for Le Mans FC striker Orlando Scolari is approved, setting the stage for the youngster to join us in July. It's doubtful he'll play for us next year but I will look to loan him out and perhaps sell him down the road if he doesn't turn into a useable player for us.

-- Man City come calling for young Emmerson Harvey, offering me £4.6 million, a measly 100K more than I paid for him. Rejected.

-- Chelsea offer £9.5 million for Arsene Bamba and that's rejected too.



Contract Extension

-- I'm happy to announce that we've extended the contract of Salim Loucif, our fine right fullback for an additional year (to 2026) and that also gave us the opportunity to raise his minimum release clause to £18.5 million. He also gets a nice raise of close to £10,000/week, bringing his weekly wage to £32,500.



Next Up

-- We head on the road to face relegation candidates Southampton.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:27 AM   #225
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. January 15, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Southampton (4-5-13, 17 points, 18th) vs. Dover (11-7-5, 40 points, 4th)
St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, UK

Betting Odds: Southampton: 5-4 (Favourites) Draw: 11-5 Dover: 7-4
Past Meetings: 1W 2D 1L

Southampton promoted up from the Championship this year and are in the relegation zone but despite that, they are favoured today at home. They held us to a 1-1 draw at Crabble earlier this year but we dominated every aspect of that game except on the scoresheet. The Saints are actually on a good run of form recently, having won 3 of their last 4 in all competitions so I don't expect this to be easy. Striker Mike Hall has 9 goals in 19 games and midfielder Nathan Redmond has 6.

We're making some changes today. Youssouf Sylla will start in goal, Paulus Tjiuoro comes in for Claudio Contreras, Mancini is in for the injured Neil Cairney and Kostas Kalfas starts at right midfield for Gianluca Bolis. We'll play with one striker up front in Gesios. Wayne Rooney is on the bench as we may need his influence to calm things down a bit. Control mentality today.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - Y. Sylla
D - R. Gaucho, P. Tjiuoro, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - Mancini, A. Rocca
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, K. Kalfas
S - G. Gesios
Bench - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, A. Zubizarreta, G. Bolis, C. Murray, W. Rooney, P. Moses

Southampton are in a flat 4-4-2 to begin the game. Mike Hall is up front with Oliver Spilar. I tell the team they can win today and pull aside Rocca, Bardi and Sylla to say I have faith in them.

5' - We get a glorious chance early, as Rocca sends up a ball to Gesios, he breaks through a tackle and is in on goal but John Ruddy, the Saints keeper, makes the tremendous save.

6' - Almost right away, Southampton work back up field and they send Spilar into our area. He sends a hard blast past Sylla and we're down early. The slump continues. SOUTHAMPTON GOAL 0-1

11' - Gesios is sent up field nicely by Bamba and gets off a rocket that is stopped by Ruddy. The big rebound comes to Bardi and with an open net, he shoots wide. This seems like a repeat of last game and we're only ten minutes in...

15' - Southampton work a counter attack as our defenders are woefully out of position after a botched free kick. Thomas Ince gets a great ball into the box to midfielder Roberto and he has a sitter that he shoots wide? Looks like our finishing lately. That should have been another goal for the Saints.

23' - We intercept a bad Southampton pass and Bamba sends it up to Gesios. He shoots hard from distance and Ruddy makes the nice save.

28' - Gesios gets a yellow card.

34' - Now Salim Loucif gets a yellow. He's looked particularly bad today.

37' - Arsene Bamba gets loose inside the area and RIPS a shot off the pipe.

38' - WHAT IS GOING ON?!?! There is a scramble at the top of the area and Ruddy, their keeper, for some reason comes bursting out to try to grab the ball. Bamba sees this and sends a lob over his head but for the second time in two minutes, he hits the goal post and Southampton clear JUST before Gesios gets to the ball. We are slumping something fierce right now.

39' - A continuation of the previous play sees Rocca dance around a tackle, walk into the area and shoot but Ruddy makes the brilliant save.

44' - Now it's Ruddy looking like a Hall of Famer on a Bardi shot. We make all goalies look great!

HALFTIME - I'm at a bit of a loss right now with this team. We're controlling this game but we just can't score. 57% possession and an 11-8 (6-2 on target) shot advantage. Hard to tear into them - the team looks motivated, we just can't get any breaks. All I can do is sympathize with the team in the room and tell my strikers I have faith in them. I bring in Gianluca Bolis, move Kalfas to midfield and take out Mancini. I switch to a flat 4-4-2 control mentality.

58' - Not much going on until a counter attack 13 minutes into the second half. Gesios is moving up field and spots Bolis cutting into the middle. Southampton claim he's offsides but there's no flag and Bolis deposits the ball into the net! Our half time substitute pays off! DOVER GOAL 1-1

62' - Southampton are playing a bit nervously after our goal and we win a corner. Rocca's cross is headed toward goal by Paulus Tjiuoro but Ruddy makes the spectacular diving stop.

69' - Incredible! We have a throw in down the left side and Bamba throws it to Gesios. He sends it back to the sideline to Bamba and he immediately crosses into the box. Zoltan Bardi measures it then jumps, heading it past Ruddy and into the net! We're ahead and Ruddy can't believe it! DOVER GOAL 2-1

75' - Southampton have possession and work some nice passes, eventually getting it to Thomas Ince. The midfielder, on a poor angle, turns and fires a shot that hits off the inside of the goal post and goes in. You have to be kidding me. SOUTHAMPTON GOAL 2-2

80' - We're on edge all of a sudden and Thomas Ince is sprung again, walking right into goal but Sylla makes a spectacular, game-saving stop.

83' - We get a free kick in our territory and we send it over the Southampton defence to Bolis. He dribbles down the flank and crosses and there is Gesios but his left footed volley HITS THE POST. UGH!!!

We bring in Paul Moses for Kostas Kalfas. Bardi moves back to central midfield and Moses is at striker.

90' - Bardi makes a tremendous pass to Bolis, who speeds through the defence but is on his weaker foot so the shot is easily saved by Ruddy.

90'+3 - There's only two minutes of injury time but Southampton foul us on a move up field and get a yellow. I'm expecting the whistle to blow before the free kick but the ref keeps it in his pocket. We're at midfield and Tjiuoro sends the free kick to Bamba down the left sidelines. This is definitely the last rush and Bamba runs down the left past Southampton fullback Stearman and sends in the desperation cross. It goes through the box and there is Gianluca Bolis, hitting it on the volley and past Ruddy for the SHOCKING GOAL! Bolis is the SUPER SUB and that's his second of the half and likely game winner! Holy SHIT! Late drama in Southampton!!! DOVER GOAL 3-2

The ref actually allows them to kick off at 94 minutes and they get one last rush but we head it away and the whistle blows. Gutsy effort.

Southampton 2 - 3 Dover
Goals - Gianluca Bolis 2 (8.7), Zoltan Bardi (7.7)
Assists - Arsene Bamba 2 (7.7), Giorgos Gesios (6.8)
Man of the Match - Gianluca Bolis
Other Dover Notables -
Attendance - 19,328

What a HUGE relief this is! We hold 52% of possession and outshoot them 20-11 (11-4 on target). Bolis made all the difference as a half time substitute. What a dramatic winner!

-- Two of our closest rivals lose, as Derby shock Reading 2-1 and Newcastle upset Arsenal 1-0. City finally win after three losses in a row, beating Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 and United win 1-0 over Sunderland. Liverpool throttle Chelsea 4-0 and they are officially on fire. We'll hold onto fourth spot for another week.

-- Arsene Bamba's agent comes to me after the game looking for a new deal, mostly in light of my refusal to entertain an offer from Chelsea. Bamba has been SENSATIONAL for us this year, with 16 (!!!!) assists already on the year. I think we can put something together and it also gives me the chance to increase his minimum release clause.



Dover U18 Update

-- Eddie Robinson scores twice, Emmerson Harvey scores on a penalty and Gregoire Lambert adds an injury time goal in a 4-0 U18 win over Woking. The U18s are undefeated so far this year and in fact, have only one tie. That's a lot of wins. They are 14-1-0 with 46 goals for and THREE GOALS AGAINST. Hahaha! Looks like we have some talent down there!



Transfer Window Fun

-- Man City continue to knock on our door, now offering £12 million for Rayane Hamon. That's a lot of money but Hamon is my replacement for Cristian Rodriguez and he's not for sale. They also continue to bid on young Emmerson Harvey to no avail. Harvey is now "Unsettled" as he thinks it's unfair that I don't entertain the offer from a "superior" club.

-- The work permit comes through again, this time for Mexican striker Rogelio Garcia from Porto. The 21 year old will join us on July 1st on a free Bosman transfer.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- With all of these games we're playing, essentially two a week, we haven't had a reserves game since December 1st!!! Needless to say, my spares are all lacking match fitness so I decide to schedule a friendly between the reserves and Cambridge City FC, a team we cancelled a preseason friendly against in August. We only win 2-1 away, with goals scored by Paul Moses and Wayne Rooney in his return from his hamstring tear. Rooney looked S L O W out there.

-- Paul Moses got hurt in the game but will miss only one to two weeks with a sprained wrist.

-- Kostas Kalfas suffered a groin strain in training and will miss up to three weeks.

-- We now have five players hurt: Moses, Kalfas, Shanon Andrea, Shaun Spall and Neil Cairney.



Contract Extension

-- We're pleased to come to terms on a two-year extension on Arsene Bamba's contract - he gets a little bump in pay, now making £21,000 per week, we get two additional years and also a much higher minimum release clause at £27.5 million. Excellent all-around.



Premier League Update

-- Some teams play makeup games and Reading, Arsenal and Man City all win while Chelsea loses. We hold on to fourth place but Arsenal are now tied with us in points and still have a game in hand. Reading also tie us on points but finally have matched us in games played. It's SUPER TIGHT for continental positions right now with most teams having 14 games left.



Real Madrid??

-- Jose Mourinho is possibly leaving at the end of this season when his contract expires and thoughts are that I'm the front runner for the job. Interesting.



Next Up

-- More Premier League action, as we welcome Aston Villa to Crabble Athletic Ground.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:54 AM   #226
SirFozzie
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: The State of Insanity
Crazy Finish.

And I think you at Real Madrid would be awesome
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:59 AM   #227
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirFozzie View Post
Crazy Finish.

And I think you at Real Madrid would be awesome



Yeah, at this point I'm obviously not leaving Dover, as I still think the Premier League is winnable at some point, especially now that I have a stadium capacity I can grow into. We haven't come close to selling it out since the huge 7,200 seat expansion so that gives us time to keep growing as a club and on the balance sheet.

But if I ever decide to move on, I think I'd pick a large club and see what I can do with them and a large club in a different league altogether would be very interesting as well.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:58 PM   #228
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. January 22, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (12-7-5, 43 points, 4th) vs. Aston Villa (11-5-8, 38 points, 7th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 6-4 (Favourites) Draw: 2-1 Aston Villa: 13-8
Past Meetings: 3W 1D 5L

Villa have been Premier League constants, having been in the top flight of English football since 1987/88. They are having a fine season and are threatening for a Continental position for next year, sitting in 7th on the table. Striker Joshua King leads the team with 9 goals but he is just as likely to be on the bench as he is in the starting lineup, as 10 of his 24 appearances have been from the bench. DC Kevin Renton is second with 7 goals so this is a dangerous set piece team, quite obviously.

Wayne Rooney is already back to being match fit, a bit of a surprise actually. Still, he'll be on the bench today as we go with the same one striker formation at home, with Giorgos Gesios alone up front and Zoltan Bardi sitting right behind him. We are in a bit of dire straits with injuries right now, with Shanon Andrea, Kostas Kalfas, Neil Cairney, Shaun Spall and Paul Moses all on the shelf. Young Emmerson Harvey is called up from the U18 team and will be on the bench today. Our two goal man from the Southampton match, Gianluca Bolis, is back in the starting lineup, as are GK Ingo Wilke and DC Claudio Contreras.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - Mancini, A. Rocca
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios
Bench - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, P. Tjiuoro, E. Harvey, C. Murray, A. Zubizarreta, W. Rooney

Villa are in a flat 4-4-2 with King and Will Keane up front. I tell the team they can win this and tell Gesios I have faith in his ability.

3' - Rocca gets a great through ball into the area to Gesios and he's taken down just as he's about to pull the trigger. NO CALL?! At least call a dive there!

13' - Villa have a free kick and the ball squirts into an open area at the far edge of the area to Wilke's right. Joshua King gets there first and Rayane Hamon is in decent position but King gets onto his stronger right foot and sends a curling shot that seems to surprise Wilke and it's into the far corner. Kind of a weak goal there, which is very uncharacteristic of our fine goalkeeper but Villa is ahead. ASTON VILLA GOAL 0-1

23' - Bolis and Villa midfielder Anderson battle for a ball and just as Bolis comes away with it, Anderson goes in with studs up. STRAIGHT RED CARD!!! Villa is down to ten men for the remainder of the game.

26' - WHAT?!?! On an innocent looking goal kick by our team, Gesios fights for the ball and looks like he pushes the Villa defender. The ref calls him over and I'm expecting a yellow and Gesios is ALSO GIVEN A STRAIGHT RED! WHAT?!?!?!?! I've never seen that before on such an innocent looking foul. Maybe Gesios punched him? Now we're both down to ten men.

29' - We win a corner and Rocca's cross is headed toward goal by Rayane Hamon. It's off a defender and in! DOVER GOAL 1-1

34' - Villa are coming unglued. We start a quick counter deep in our territory, with Bamba switching flanks to Bolis. Our right midfielder dribbles down the sideline, pauses near the byline and sends in a high cross and there is Bamba, working all the way up field, heading the ball past Antonio Kraljevic and into the net! Two quick ones and we're ahead! DOVER GOAL 2-1

40' - We have another corner and Rocca again goes near post. I have Renato Gaucho up in an unfamiliar position in the box due to Gesios being sent off and he heads the ball toward goal. It goes off a Villa defender and past Kraljevic. An own goal but we're now ahead two! What a weird half! DOVER GOAL 3-1

43' - For whatever reason, Villa continues to go with two strikers up front with only ten men and that means they have only one central midfielder. We're seemingly dominating possession and it's Bamba again avoiding a tackle and sending it into the middle to Rocca. He one touches a pass through the defence and it's Gianluca Bolis striking the ball with fury past the under-fire Kraljevic and we have FOUR first half goals after initially falling behind! DOVER GOAL 4-1

45' - Wilke is finally called upon to make a save, this one on a header off a Villa corner kick.

HALFTIME - We're both at ten men and we're in complete control now, holding 60% of possession and outshooting Villa 11-9 (4-4 on target). I simply tell the team I'm pleased. I'll keep the same formation for now, with Bardi up front at striker, two wide attacking mids and two central mids.

Villa change to a tighter formation, with two MC's, an AMC and two strikers.

50' - Villa are coming out playing well with the new formation and Wilke makes a fine save in close against King.

56' - Damnit. Villa have a corner and Arinze Issah sends in a cross to dangerous DC Kevin Renton and he heads it forcefully past Wilke and into the net. That's Renton's eighth goal of the year already. ASTON VILLA GOAL 4-2

For some reason, Villa revert back to the 4-3-2 formation with two wide midfielders. They were causing hassles with that tighter formation.

65' - We have a free kick just outside the area and Rocca's blast goes right into the Villa wall. However, it pops over to Renato Gaucho and our left fullback, up on the play, dribbles in and shoots low past Kraljevic and into the net!!! Renato Gaucho's first goal of the year and I'd say the game is in our hands! DOVER GOAL 5-2

73' - I make a double substitution, taking out the brilliant Andrea Rocca and Zoltan Bardi and bringing in young Emmerson Harvey and Aitor Zubizarreta. I need to make sure Bardi and Wayne Rooney are good to go for our next game, since Giorgos Gesios will have a suspension to serve for his red card tonight and my other two strikers are both hurt. We also move to a counter attack mentality.

84' - Renato Gaucho is off and Jozef Varga comes in.

Wild game.

Dover 5 - 2 Aston Villa
Goals - Rayane Hamon (7.9), Arsene Bamba (8.2), Gianluca Bolis (8.8), Renato Gaucho (8.1), Mike Gaye OG
Assists - Andrea Rocca 2 (9.0), Renato Gaucho, Gianluca Bolis, Zoltan Bardi (7.3)
Man of the Match - Andrea Rocca
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.2), Claudio Contreras (7.0)
Attendance - 14,293

Crazy stuff. We hold 59% of possession and outshoot them 20-16 (8-6 on target).

-- I look at the match report after the game and it turns out that Gesios elbowed their defender Phil Jones in the face and that's the reason for the straight red. I decide to appeal as I can't really be without Gesios for longer than a game with all of our injuries right now. The FA rule against my appeal so the one match suspension stands and I wait to see if they decide to extend it. At the very least, Gesios will miss our 4th Round FA Cup match at home against Manchester United. I fine Gesios two weeks wages for the indiscretion and he accepts it without incident.

-- Speaking of United, they are shocked 2-0 by Everton and that allows us to crawl within five points of second place. City win again and are starting to run away with the league, holding a six point advantage over second right now. 3rd place Liverpool also lose, getting beat 3-0 by Arsenal at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal are tied on points with us but we're ahead on goal differential. Arsenal do have a game in hand on us though. Liverpool are only two points ahead of us now in third.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE PLAYED 25 GAMES UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 57 points
2. Manchester United - 51 points
3. Liverpool - 48 points
4. Dover - 46 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 46 points (24 games)
6. Reading - 44 points
7. Chelsea - 39 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Aston Villa - 38 points
9. Tottenham - 38 points
10. Sheffield Wednesday - 35 points
11. Middlesbrough - 34 points
12. Everton - 33 points (24 games)
13. Sunderland - 30 points
14. Huddersfield - 29 points (23 games)
15. Newcastle - 28 points
16. Wolves - 25 points (24 games)
17. Blackburn - 21 points
----------------------------------------------------
18. Derby - 18 points
19. Southampton - 17 points (24 games)
20. Fulham - 17 points



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- We beat up on Bolton 6-0, getting goals from Giorgos Gesios, Carlo Cerbone, Samir Nasri, Cameron Murray, Dennis Kunz and Johnny Mardenborough.

-- Cerbone got hurt in the reserves game and will miss some time. That's four strikers on the shelf due to injury or suspension now.



League Cup

-- It's relegation candidates Wolves facing Huddersfield Town in the League Cup finals. Crazy.



Tutoring

-- I get positive reports from three tutoring sessions and one luke-warm report. Most important was Emmerson Harvey being delighted with the impact Andrea Rocca had on him but I get equally glowing reports for the rapport between Jonathan Adam & Samir Nasri and GK's Louis Read and Youssouf Sylla. The lukewarm report comes from young striker Gregoire Lambert, who was slightly disappointed in the linkup with Wayne Rooney but he did admit he learned a lot about the mental game from Rooney.



Transfer Window Fun

-- Man City come with a weak £8,500,000 offer for Rayane Hamon and I swiftly reject it. They are still interested in young Emmerson Harvey too. Napoli is also sniffing around Andrea Rocca - none of these players are going anywhere.

-- City sign yet ANOTHER striker, this time a good looking 29 year old Czech. They have Enrique, Jelle Hoegee, Yahia Traore and now this guy and they only play a one striker formation. There's going to be some turmoil there and hopefully one of their main guys gets upset and causes some unrest.



Next Up

-- We host Manchester United in the 4th round of the FA Cup.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:35 PM   #229
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. January 29, 2022

FA Cup - 4th Round
Dover vs. Manchester United
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 7-2 Draw: 9-4 Manchester United: 4-6 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 1W 0D 8L

We finally got our first win against United, beating them 2-1 at home earlier this season. We'll face them again in a few weeks in league play but they'll be looking for revenge today. They are coming off a shocking 2-0 loss to Everton, who played a very defensive 4-2-1-2-1 formation with 2 DMC's. Yaya Sanogo has THIRTY goals already and fellow striker Tom Bull is second with 10. I'm guessing United will field a pretty full lineup today, as I am - our board want us to get to the fifth round so we'll put a pretty good starting eleven out there today.

Wayne Rooney will get his first start since returning from his torn hamstring and Zoltan Bardi will be up front with him in our flat 4-4-2. Youssouf Sylla will be in goal, otherwise, we'll have the same lineup from last week. I'm forced to call up striker Dennis Kunz from our reserves team to be on the bench today, as I'm missing four strikers due to injury or suspension today.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - Y. Sylla
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, Mancini, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - Z. Bardi, W. Rooney
Bench - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, P. Tjiuoro, E. Harvey, C. Murray, A. Zubizarreta, D. Kunz

Sanogo and Tom Bull are up front for United. Our young friend Cristian Rodriguez is fit but on the bench and Liviu Dragomir is in goal and not Emiliano Viviano, a surprise. I tell the team to do it for the supporters.

Sanogo plays on the right side so I move Rayane Hamon into a LDC position to watch over him, as Hamon has better speed than Claudio Contreras.

1' - We get a chance off the opening kick, with Mancini shooting just wide from distance.

5' - Mancini pulls down Sanogo just outside the area and on the resulting free kick, the ball is deflected off our wall and into the cross bar before we head it away.

13' - We're doing well with possession but United have the better chances, as they work a counter and Sanogo feeds Bull but Sylla makes a brilliant save in tight.

22' - And there it is. Bull has the ball near midfield and turns and sends a great pass up field. Sanogo is through the defence, walks in on Sylla and puts a hard low shot into the net. That Sanogo is pretty good. MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL 0-1

25' - Rocca works the ball to the middle to Mancini and his low blast from outside the area is saved in dramatic fashion by Dragomir.

29' - Tom Bull gets a step on our defenders and Sylla again is forced to make a fine save.

30' - Claudio Contreras gets a yellow for holding a player back.

39' - Bull has another chance from a poor angle and shoots into the side netting. United is now controlling play quite clearly.

41' - Our strikers both lack something today but they finally show their class. Bolis has the ball down the right and cuts toward the middle. The ball is tackled away from him by Eduardo Padilla but goes right to Andrea Rocca. He sends a great ball through the defence and Bardi is on it but his shot from in tight is stopped by Dragomir. There's a rebound though and it pops right out to WAYNE ROONEY and he shows his great composure in potting the ball into the back of the net and we're all tied up!!! DOVER GOAL 1-1

HALFTIME - United gained momentum after their goal then we seemed to control the last five minutes or so after ours. United held 53% of possession but we outshoot them 12-9 (4-4 on target). I tell the team I'm pleased but pull aside Bardi and Contreras (6.2 rating at half) to say I have faith in them.

74' - Nothing happening, just shots from distance. We take out a tired Wayne Rooney and bring in Aitor Zubizarreta. We change to a one striker formation (4-4-2 DM) with Bardi alone up front and Zubizarreta right behind him.

77' - Sigh. Bardi gives the ball away and Sanogo flies through our defence and scores. I make the mistake of switching formations but NOT moving Rayane Hamon over to Sanogo's side and that costs us. Contreras just doesn't have the speed to match Sanogo and we're in trouble. MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL 1-2

I take out Mancini and bring in young Emmerson Harvey.

83' - I take out Arsene Bamba and bring in Cameron Murray, just to save Bamba for our next game. We move to overload.

87' - We have control and it's Rocca sending the ball to Bolis. He's near the right edge of the area and he sends a low pass into the box and it's CAMERON MURRAY, just on for Bamba, beating two defenders for the ball and putting it into the net for the SHOCKING equalizer!!! That's Murray's first goal of the season. Wow!!! DOVER GOAL 2-2

We revert back to a control mentality.

We get some possession but no chances. Good result!

Dover 2 - 2 Manchester United
Goals - Wayne Rooney (7.2), Cameron Murray (7.4)
Assists - Gianluca Bolis (7.2), Andrea Rocca (6.8)
Man of the Match - Yaya Sanogo (Manchester United ST - 8.8)
Other Dover Notables - Zoltan Bardi (5.5)
Attendance - 17,162

Anytime we can get a positive result against United, how can I be upset? We edge them in possession, holding it 51% of the game and we also outshoot them 18-14 (5-5 on target). Bardi takes blame for Sanogo's second goal and gets penalized with a brutal rating.

-- We now have a replay to look forward to and funny enough, it's on Wednesday February 9th at Old Trafford, only three days before we play a league game against United, again at their stadium. That won't be a pleasant stretch of games: two in a row on the road at Old Trafford then a home match against Anderlecht in a Champions League 1st knockout stage game.



Dover U18 Team Update

-- Our U18s destroy Brighton 6-0 behind four goals from Gregoire Lambert. Matt Hewitt and Eddie Robinson notch singles.



Gesios Suspension

-- We get word that the suspension of Giorgos Gesios for his flagrant elbow in our Aston Villa match is extended for another two games. He'll miss matches against Fulham and Tottenham. Wonderful.



Transfer Deadline Fun

-- FC Bayern comes calling for 18 year old defender Carlos Guzman from my U18 team, offering £2.1 million, the same amount I paid for him. No thanks. The deadline is now come and gone so we should be good for awhile now.



FA Cup - 5th Round Draw

-- If we do the impossible and get by Man United at Old Trafford in our 4th round replay, we face Fulham at Craven Cottage.



Injury Update

-- Neil Cairney returns to full training after missing three weeks with a twisted ankle. Couldn't come soon enough!



February Update

-- It's a busy month, as usual, with four Premier League games (at Fulham, vs. Tottenham, at Manchester United, vs. Sunderland), an FA Cup 4th Round replay at Old Trafford vs. United and a Champions League 1st Knockout Round home tie versus Anderlecht. If we advance past United in the FA Cup, we'll also face Fulham later this month in the 5th round so that's seven possible games.

-- We get positive training reports for Claudio Contreras, Dennis Kunz, Carlo Cerbone and on the U18 club, Eddie Robinson and Pete Smith. We get negative reports for Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Agbo, Mancini and Matt Hewitt from the U18 team. Nasri has been pretty poor for us and I can't trust him in senior level games due to his lack of speed but I'm disappointed in Mancini, as he's been getting a lot of playing time lately. We'll have words...



Premier League - Monthly Awards

-- Liverpool's Piotr Parzyszek wins Premier League Player of the Month honours.

-- Our own Renato Gaucho has been knocking on the door all year in the Young Player of the Month voting and finally breaks through after a terrific January, winning the award.

-- Arsenal manager Ertugrul Saglam wins Manager of the Month honours for his four wins in five games during January.



February Board Confidence Update

-- The board are very pleased with my overall leadership of the team. The main positive is still our big 6-0 win over Arsenal in December but they are slightly disappointed in the departure of Gareth Mace? HAHAHAHA!!! That might be the funniest thing I've ever seen! Mace played three years for Dover, never playing a senior team game and he's now playing for Shrewsbury in League 1 and sucks there too. Pretty funny stuff!

-- We lost £2.09 million last month, mostly on signing bonuses on contract renewals.



Premier League Update

-- We have a Wednesday game against Fulham but there are three Tuesday night games and in the most important to us, Man City beats Liverpool 1-0 so City continue to roll but now we can pass Liverpool on the table with a win tomorrow night.



Next Up

-- We head to Craven Cottage to face Fulham, the worst team in the Premier League standings.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-24-2014 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:27 PM   #230
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. February 2, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Fulham (4-5-16, 17 points, 20th) vs. Dover (13-7-5, 46 points, 4th)
Craven Cottage, London, UK

Betting Odds: Fulham: 11-5 Draw: 11-5 Dover: Evens (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 5W 2D 2L

Fulham are in the basement and they are going to struggle to stay up this year but they certainly have shown enough tenacity in past years to stay afloat so I won't take them lightly today. They are winless in their last seven Premier League games but just knocked off Championship 1st place side Burnley in the FA Cup to move onto the fifth round where they await the winner of the replay between our club and Man United. Fulham's most dangerous player is easily striker Milan Djuric, with ten goals in 27 matches.

I'm rolling the dice a bit today and going with my nemesis Paul Moses up front with his buddy Wayne Rooney. Zoltan Bardi will be on the bench after a terrible game against United a few days ago. Neil Cairney is fit and ready to go but likely won't be able to finish the game - that said, I'll start him and hope to get an hour out of him. Paulus Tjiuoro will come in for Claudio Contreras and our regular keeper, Ingo Wilke will be back in today as well.

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

Fulham come out in a 4-4-2 DM with one striker (Djuric) up front. My assistant suggests telling the team to perform well for the travelling supporters and I'll go with it - I don't like this team talk on the road but we'll see how it goes. I do pull aside Moses and Cairney to say I have faith in them.

4' - We have possession about ten yards outside their area and Bamba, who is down the right side of the field for some reason, sends a pass up to Paul Moses. He turns and uses his speed to separate from the defenders and unleashes a rocket that is stopped by Joe Lewis, the Fulham keeper. However, garbage collector Wayne Rooney is there to gobble up the rebound and he pounds it home for the early goal! Rooney can barely move at his age but he's positively DEADLY from in tight and his leg still has plenty of life! DOVER GOAL 1-0

7' - Moses is making his presence felt early, as the 18 year old takes a little feed from Rocca and delivers a hard low blast that is turned behind the net by Lewis. We don't convert on the corner.

13' - We've already had both Neil Cairney and now Andrea Rocca get banged up in this game and with Rocca off getting some attention, Fulham win a corner. Marco Ezio Fossati takes it and the ball hits Paulus Tjiuoro, who isn't paying attention for some reason and deflects into the net. Terrible and I'm already regretting starting him. FULHAM GOAL 1-1

18' - We have a throw in deep down the left side and it's Renato Gaucho getting it to Bamba. He makes a move to the byline and sends in a cross but it's headed out of the area by Fulham's defence. Salim Loucif retreats, takes the ball, pivots to his right and unleashes perhaps one of the best shots I've EVER seen in my ten + years of managing this team, a rocket from outside the area that hits the far goal post, ricochets back to the near post and goes in. PURE INSPIRATION from Salim Loucif, his first ever Dover goal! A shot for the ages!!!!! DOVER GOAL 2-1

21' - Tjiuoro almost makes up for the own goal when he heads a Rocca corner toward the net but it's cleared off the line by the fullback protecting the post.

25' - It looks like we're in for a battle today. Marco Astvald, Fulham's right winger, sends in a ball to Kevin McDonald, the attacking central midfielder and from outside the area, he unleashes a rocket into the top corner of the net past a diving Wilke and it's tied again. A great strike, no question about it. FULHAM GOAL 2-2

35' - Wilke is forced to make a save when Salim Loucif makes a terrible pinch and their midfielder gets off a shot from in close.

36' - We're playing sloppy football and almost have a big error result in a goal due to miscommunication between Wilke and Hamon but the Fulham player shoots over the net.

39' - Bamba has the ball and sends it up to Moses. He turns and just BURSTS by Guillermo Piras, the Fulham defender and is in on goal. He shoots low to the near side and IT'S IN! That's the first Dover goal for Paul Moses! Oh, how I wish you didn't hate me, you young stud! DOVER GOAL 3-2

HALFTIME - Basically, we're doing very well but they've cashed in on both of their great chances and it's a bit closer than we'd like. We hold 56% of possession in the first half and outshoot Fulham 11-4 (8-2 on target). Moses has a goal and an assist already. I tell the team I'm pleased.

Fulham come out in a flat 4-4-2 to start the second half.

53' - Rocca steals the ball at midfield and sends it to Rooney. The veteran sends a little pass to Moses and the youngster is off to the races but shoots JUST wide.

56' - My God our defending today is horrific. They have a corner and we clear but they get it back into the area and it's our former striker Robbie Benson in tight and he easily puts the ball into the net. Where is our defence?!?! Rayane Hamon takes blame for that one. FULHAM GOAL 3-3

57' - This game is officially nuts. Right off the kick-off, we send it wide to Bolis and he streaks down the wing. His cross is through the area to a WIDE OPEN Arsene Bamba and he just toes it over the line and in. Horrific defence on both sides but we'll take it! DOVER GOAL 4-3

62' - I move to a counter attacking mentality.

75' - Things have thankfully slowed down but Fulham definitely are taking it to us a bit on the possession meter. We make a double substitution, taking out Cairney and Rooney and bringing in Mancini and Zoltan Bardi.

81' - Bamba gets a feed into the box that goes through traffic and right to Gianluca Bolis but his shot is stopped by Lewis. Game saver there...

84' - Fulham are taking it to us and flowing nicely with their movement and it's Benson getting off a shot from distance that's destined for the far corner but Wilke gets his fingertips to it and it's over the net.

87' - Rocca sends Bardi up field and with a defender all over him, he gets a shot off but Lewis is up to the task and deflects it by the post. Gianluca Bolis is off and Aitor Zubizarreta is in as we set up for the corner and Rocca's cross is headed by Hamon and hits Moses before deflecting into the net! Moses has two and we're comfortably ahead now! DOVER GOAL 5-3

Holy Moses!

Fulham 3 - 5 Dover
Goals - Paul Moses 2 (9.3), Wayne Rooney (7.3), Salim Loucif (8.3), Arsene Bamba (8.2)
Assists - Rayane Hamon (7.1), Gianluca Bolis (6.9), Arsene Bamba, Paul Moses
Man of the Match - Paul Moses
Other Dover Notables - Andrea Rocca (7.2)
Attendance - 15,947

We edge them on possession with 51% and also outshoot them 18-11 (13-4 on target). Quite the game! Not for the faint of heart, that's for sure. Moses was sensational.

-- Reading and Arsenal draw 1-1, United beat Huddersfield 2-1 and Chelsea can only manage a draw away at Wolves. That means we now move ahead of Liverpool into 3rd place, five points back of United. Liverpool are a single point back and Arsenal one further back with a game in hand.



Dover U18 Update

-- We throttle Man City's U18s 5-1 behind yet another hat trick from Gregoire Lambert. Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz and Eddie Robinson score singles. Lambert missed some time this year due to injury but he has 25 goals in 19 non-competitive matches so far.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- We squeak by Reading 2-1 on goals from Abdallaye Kokaina and Emmanuel Agbo, two central defenders.



Injury Update

-- Kostas Kalfas returns to full training after missing a couple weeks with a groin strain.



Next Up

-- We are slight underdogs as we host Tottenham at Crabble Athletic Ground.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 02-22-2014 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:56 AM   #231
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. February 5, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (14-7-5, 49 points, 3rd) vs. Tottenham (12-5-9, 41 points, 7th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

We usually have high scoring games against the Spurs but they've changed managers and we could only muster a scoreless draw earlier this season at White Hart Lane. Striker Bas Dost, picked up in the offseason, leads the team with 11 goals in 23 appearances. Gareth Bale is still producing but he may not be fully fit for tonight's game. Spurs have been up and down this year but are holding onto a Continental position right now with Chelsea breathing down their necks. I'm a bit surprised they are favoured in our stadium to be honest...

A few changes today, as we battle fixture congestion and look forward to back-to-back games against Man United next week. Claudio Contreras is back in today and I'll rest Wayne Rooney and go with Zoltan Bardi up front today. Paul Moses, coming off a two-goal and one assist performance against Fulham, will get his second consecutive start. He still isn't talking to me, by the way and still wants to leave the club. Giorgos Gesios is serving the last of his three game suspension today and will be ready to play against United next week if I decide to go in his direction.

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 - P. Moses, Z. Bardi
Bench - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, Mancini, E. Harvey, C. Murray, A. Zubizarreta, W. Rooney

Tottenham match our formation and have Bas Dost up front with Daniel Pacheco, another dangerous player. Incredibly, Gareth Bale is playing but I don't think he has the fitness to finish the match. Once again, my assistant thinks I should tell them to play hard for the fans and I go with it, pulling aside Cairney and Rocca to tell them I have faith in their abilities and also pulling aside Moses to tell him to pick up where he left off against Fulham.

12' - Our defence continues to struggle with closing people down and not properly filling in for their partners. Hamon comes up on James McCarthy, the Spurs midfielder and for some reason, Contreras moves to the middle of the field, which allows McCarthy to spring Pacheco. He walks in all alone and makes no mistake putting it by a suddenly struggling Ingo Wilke and we're down early. TOTTENHAM GOAL 0-1

15' - Rocca sends a ball through to Moses but his shot just goes into the side netting. Great chance!

29' - We're pouring on pressure but can't get any great shots. We have a corner and Rocca's cross is headed to goal by Contreras but Zoltan Bardi can't put away the rebound and Spurs clear.

32' - Moses gets the ball down the left flank, moves back to the inside and sends a great cross into the box to Bardi. He battles the Spurs keeper Mathieu Dreyer for it and Dreyer is just able to send it over the goal. We don't capitalize on the corner.

We continue to pour it on but most of our shots are from distance and not on target.

HALFTIME - We've done everything but score but we're definitely starting to press a bit. 54% of possession is in our favour and we outshoot them by a WIDE margin, 17-2 (3-1 on target). Lots of wasteful efforts. I tell the team we can win this still.

47' - We have a free kick and it's Rocca sending in a ball that meets the head of Paul Moses and the youngster propels it past Dreyer and into the net! We get one right away! DOVER GOAL 1-1

64' - We take out Bardi and bring in Wayne Rooney.

65' - You HAVE to be kidding me!! Bolis gets the ball down the right flank and crosses into the middle and it's WAYNE FUCKING ROONEY sliding into the ball and sending it into the net! The guy came on thirty seconds ago and scores right away, his third in three games since his return from injury. The captain puts us in the lead! DOVER GOAL 2-1

Bale comes off for Tottenham. He's made no impact at all today and I haven't noticed him in highlights at all.

74' - Tottenham get a rare chance, as Wilke's goal kick is headed back over our defence but Dost's kick is right at our keeper and he hold on safely.

77' - Spurs with a free kick and it's headed off the crossbar. They're starting to take it to us in the last ten minutes.

79' - Andrea Rocca is out and Mancini is in. We move to a counter attacking mentality.

87' - We try to milk time, bringing on Cameron Murray for Arsene Bamba.

90'+3 - There's some wild back and forth action and Spurs get a glorious chance when Dost gets through our defensive line and forces Wilke into a great save.

Good comeback!

Dover 2 - 1 Tottenham
Goals - Paul Moses (7.3), Wayne Rooney (7.3)
Assists - Andrea Rocca (7.1), Gianluca Bolis (6.9)
Man of the Match - Wayne Rooney
Other Dover Notables - Rayane Hamon (7.0)
Attendance - 17,104

We end up with 52% of possession and a 24-13 (7-5 on target) shot advantage. Rooney plays less than 30 minutes and nabs man of match honours. He's been incredibly influential for us this year at 36 years young and is up to 8 goals in 18 games (15 starts). Moses now has three goals in his last two games but he'll be in the stands for our next two games, as he's ineligible to play against his parent club Manchester United.

-- Not many upsets this week, as United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool all win while City draws with Reading. We hold onto third place but Liverpool and Arsenal continue to bite at our heels.



Dover U18 Update

-- Gregoire Lambert bags another brace and Matt Hewitt adds a single in a 3-1 win over Havant & Waterlooville in under 18 action.



Barclays Premier League Team of the Week

-- Two of our players get named to the team of the week: Salim Loucif and young Paul Moses are honoured for their fine play.



-- Tottenham are in the process of a board takeover and there are rumours that a "rich tycoon" will be coming in and investing large sums of money on the club. I don't like the sound of that!



Next Up

-- We head to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the first of back to back games, with the first one a FA Cup 4th Round replay.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 02-23-2014 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:09 AM   #232
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. February 9, 2022

FA Cup - 4th Round Replay
Manchester United vs. Dover
Old Trafford, Manchester, UK

Betting Odds: Manchester United: 4-7 (Favourites) Draw: N/A Dover: 4-1
Past Meetings: 1W 1D 8L

This is the third meeting of the year between us and United and we will face them one more time in only three days. The winner of today's match moves to the fifth round to face Fulham. As usual with United, if we can stop Yaya Sanogo, we have a chance. We have a win and a draw against them this year in home matches but we've never gotten a positive result at Old Trafford.

We'll play tight today, going with a counter attacking mentality. Youssouf Sylla will play in net and Giorgos Gesios, back from a three game suspension, will take over a striker position from in-form Paul Moses, who is ineligible today because he's a United player on loan with us. Zoltan Bardi will be on the bench and Wayne Rooney will start against his lifelong club.

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
GK - Y. Sylla
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, W. Rooney
Bench - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, Mancini, E. Harvey, C. Murray, A. Zubizarreta, Z. Bardi

Whoa! Sanogo ISN'T starting for United today! They go with Tom Bull and Marco Tebaldi up front and Sanogo isn't even on the bench! Liviu Dragomir is also in net again in place of regular starter Emiliano Viviano so United is not taking this game as seriously as we are. Still, these are all good players and we'll have to be at our best to get a result. My assistant wants to say that we can win tonight and I go with that assessment. I tell Gesios I expect him to pick up where he left off with his form before the suspension and also tell Sylla and Cairney I have faith in their abilities (their morale is middle of the road right now).

3' - We have complete control early but United work a bit of a counter. It's an innocent looking play as Omar Hernandez works toward the area but Salim Loucif is there and kicks the ball away from him. Unfortunately, it hits Andrea Rocca and bounces back into the danger area and Tom Bull gets it and quickly sends it by Youssouf Sylla and we're behind early. Terrible bounce and simply bad luck. MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL 0-1

8' - We seem stunned by the United goal and now they are carrying play. They move up field with precision and it's Bull sending in strike partner Marco Tebaldi. He beats Sylla with a shot but NOT the cross bar and the ball bounces to safety.

10' - Gesios chases the ball down the left side and wins the race. He sends a quick pass back to Arsene Bamba, who is just approaching the left corner of the area and he immediately feeds Andrea Rocca in the middle. Rocca sends a left footed curling shot into the left hand corner of the net and just like that, Rocca redeems himself and we're tied! DOVER GOAL 1-1

15' - United work a quick counter attack after a botched corner and Salim Loucif is forced to take down a player from behind. Easy yellow there.

17' - United cross into the box and midfielder Brett Adams sends a header toward goal but Sylla is there for the save.

29' - Rooney gets a glorious chance on a Gesios cross into the area but Dragomir knocks it away just as the veteran was about to strike it in.

32' - Our old friend Cristian Rodriguez, the young defender who was snapped up from us by United last year, fouls Bamba and we get a free kick from midfield. Cairney gets the ball to Bamba who then feeds a through ball into the area. Gesios wins the race and shoots - it's going wide but it hits central defender Bruno Ecuele Manga and goes IN TO THE NET! That's officially an own goal and we're AHEAD! DOVER GOAL 2-1

35' - Now it's United that seems stunned. Rooney works a counter down the right flank and sends a low cross into the area. Gesios finds it and shoots hard but JUST wide!

41' - HOLY CRAP! We work another counter and again it's Bamba sending it up to Giorgos Gesios. Rodriguez has him covered but from the byline, Gesios sends in a lovely little left footed cross and Wayne ROONEY heads it into the net past a diving Dragomir! Rooney has been drinking from the fountain of youth! His fourth goal in four games and we're up TWO!!! DOVER GOAL 3-1

HALFTIME - Well, United have good control of the ball as we're content to sit back and counter today, as they hold 56% of possession and shots are 5-5 (3-2 on target) for United as well. It seems like there's been more action than that but I'm delighted, even with United starting mostly a B squad. I tell the team I'm pleased and make no real changes - I eliminate a couple of "opposition instructions" I had on their strikers, as it seems to push our central defence out of position. We'll just sit back and counter the rest of the game and hopefully close them out.

51' - This is unbelievable. We work a throw in down the left side and we pass the ball beautifully, from Bamba, to Gesios, to Rocca and then to Rooney in the middle. He's five yards outside the area and sends a lovely ball through the defence that GIanluca Bolis latches onto and calmly deposits past Dragomir and into the net. Even I'm stunned at this development! DOVER GOAL 4-1

55' - Rooney has the ball in midfield and sends a great ball up to Gesios. He's in on goal and he's fouled in the area by Antoine Jong. THAT'S A PENALTY!!! Neil Cairney steps up confidently but picks the wrong corner, as Dragomir makes a brilliant diving save to keep the score 4-1. Damn Cairney!

59' - Time to start thinking about the next game against United. We take off Rocca and bring in Mancini.

60' - Gesios feeds Cairney just outside the area and his hard, low shot is saved by Dragomir.

65' - Aitor Zubizarreta is on for Gianluca Bolis.

69' - Marco Tebaldi runs down field and beats Claudio Contreras to the ball. From a poor angle he rips a shot that gets past Sylla but hits the goal post! Whew!

73' - We make our last substitution, taking out Arsene Bamba and bringing in Cameron Murray.

76' - Gesios deserves a goal today - he's been brilliant. He storms down the left side, makes a great move back inside and delivers another glorious cross but Rooney's header is saved by Dragomir.

82' - Tebaldi gets a great cross into Bull but from the penalty spot, his shot is right at Sylla and it's an easy save.

86' - United work the ball up field nicely and substitute striker Ishak Belfodil gets through our defence and shoots low into the far corner of the net. United strikes but too little, too late. MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL 4-2

87' - Off the ensuing kick off, Gesios storms up field down the right side, feeds Rooney in the box and his piledriver is saved by Dragomir!

We beat United at Old Trafford!

Manchester United 2 - 4 Dover
Goals - Andrea Rocca (8.1), Wayne Rooney (8.6), Gianluca Bolis (8.1), Bruno Ecuele Manga OG
Assists - Giorgos Gesios 2 (7.9), Arsene Bamba (7.9), Wayne Rooney
Man of the Match - Wayne Rooney
Other Dover Notables - Youssouf Sylla (7.1), Salim Loucif (7.3)
Attendance - 57,299

Sensational! United hold 54% of the ball today but we outshoot them 14-13 (7-5 on target). Another milestone victory for our club as we knock off a Premier League powerhouse in their stadium. Rooney is incredible right now.

-- We get £92,000 for moving on to the next round, where we'll face Fulham at Craven Cottage.



Next Up

-- Yet another game against Manchester United and again it's at Old Trafford as we face each other in a key Premier League matchup.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:34 PM   #233
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. February 12, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Manchester United (18-3-6, 57 points, 2nd) vs. Dover (15-7-5, 52 points, 3rd)
Old Trafford, Manchester, UK

Betting Odds: Manchester United: 4-7 (Favourites) Draw: 5-2 Dover: 4-1
Past Meetings: 2W 1D 8L

I expect we'll see a much stronger lineup today from United.

We have the fittest club in the league and that allows me to continue to utilize most of our starters from the game three days ago. Under normal circumstances, I'd have Wayne Rooney on the bench (he's at 93% conditioning right now) but he's playing way too well to put on the bench. I go with the exact same lineup as Wednesday's game with one change: Ingo Wilke is back in goal.

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 - G. Gesios, W. Rooney
Bench - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, Mancini, E. Harvey, C. Murray, A. Zubizarreta, Z. Bardi

United is in their flat 4-4-2 with Sanogo back up front with Tom Bull. Emiliano Viviano is in goal. I tell them they can win this game too and pull aside Gesios and Rooney (pick up where you left off) and Cairney (I have faith in your abilities).

1' - Gianluca Bolis loses the ball at midfield and Tom Bull goes streaking in but Wilke makes the great save. Yikes!

6' - Off a United corner, the ball comes into Sanogo and he turns and shoots but Wilke is in great position for the save!

20' - All of the highlights are going United's way and it's the super dangerous Yaya Sanogo again getting some space and shooting from distance. His blast is turned away by a well-positioned Wilke.

33' - Literally every highlight has been for United so far but we're keeping their shots to distance. We finally get our chance when Bolis dribbles into the area, through the defence and shoots but it's JUST wide of the goal.

HALFTIME - We have a slight possession edge with 53% but they are outshooting us by a wide margin, 13-3 (4-1 on target). They are definitely the more dangerous team so far but we'll stick with this counter mentality and hope to score on a break. I tell the team I'm pleased.

57' - Rooney has been quiet today and I take him out for the speedier Zoltan Bardi.

65' - Renato Gaucho injures a United player on a tackle and they are forced to make a change. United switch to FOUR STRIKERS! Wow…they REALLY want to beat us here. They are in a 4-2-4!

68' - We get a corner and Rocca's cross is headed JUST over by Rayane Hamon! So close!

74' - I'm still in shock that United are panicking like this. We control possession and Bardi feeds the ball through the United defence and Gesios is in all alone. He aims for the far corner and it skims the post and misses. WOW.

79' - We have an exhausted team right now. Cameron Murray is on for Bamba. Gesios has a bit of a knock and is tired but will stay in.

88' - Milking time as Mancini comes in for Andrea Rocca. United is still in their four striker formation.

FIVE minutes of added time.

90'+4 - Gesios takes off down field and it's a two on two with Bardi. Gesios is blatantly taken down from behind just outside the penalty area but the referee keeps the whistle in his pocket. While everyone looks around in shock, Gianluca Bolis takes the ball and shoots but Viviano makes a brilliant stop to keep the game scoreless. What a chance!!!

We'll take the draw!

Manchester United 0 - 0 Dover
Goals -
Assists -
Man of the Match - Rayane Hamon (7.6)
Other Dover Notables - Claudio Contreras (7.2), Renato Gaucho (7.2)
Attendance - 73,001

Rayane Hamon covered Yaya Sanogo the whole game and gets rewarded with man of the match honours. We held 53% of overall possession but United outshot us 19-8 (4-2 on target). That's four games in a row without a loss against United now!

-- Liverpool win over Sheffield Wednesday to move ahead of us into 3rd place and Man City continue to roll, beating Wolves narrowly. Chelsea throttle Aston Villa on the road 6-1 and they are making their push now as well. Arsenal also knock off last placed Southampton and with that, despite a positive result, we fall from 3rd to FIFTH. This is a tough league.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 10 GAMES REMAINING UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 64 points
2. Manchester United - 58 points
3. Liverpool - 54 points
4. Arsenal - 53 points (11 games remaining)
----------------------------------------------------
5. Dover - 53 points
6. Reading - 49 points
7. Chelsea - 46 points
----------------------------------------------------



Champions League - First Knockout Round

-- In Tuesday action, Olympique Lyonnais knock off Chelsea in London 3-2 to take a lead back home for the second leg. FC Bayern also win away, defeating Galatasaray 2-0.



Next Up

-- We host Belgian powerhouse RSC Anderlecht in our Champions League First Knockout Round matchup.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:56 PM   #234
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. February 16, 2022

Champions League - First Knockout Round First Leg
Dover (5th in Barclays Premier League) vs. Anderlecht (1st in Belgian Pro League)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

We are shown great respect in being favoured over Belgian powerhouse Anderlecht today. They are coming off their first loss of the season in all competitions (!!), a 1-0 defeat to Lokeren, the third placed team in their league. Anderlecht have won the Belgian Pro League an incredible 11 of the last 12 years with the only blip being in 2019 when they finished runners up. They've got two dangerous strikers and both are players I've looked at buying in the past: Chiquinho is a 25 year old Belgium international with an incredible 31 goals in 37 appearances this year. He's big AND fast and my scouts love him. They also have a dual threat in Said Henni, a speed demon who can play striker or left wing with equal aplomb. He has 11 goals and 9 assists in only 18 games. They've got solid talent across the field but we're a slightly bigger club by value and should match up reasonably well.

I'm taking a chance and going with a one striker formation today to start, as my advanced scout says they play well versus a flat 4-4-2. Giorgos Gesios will be up front and Zoltan Bardi will sit behind him. We'll utilize a control mentality at home.

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

Anderlecht are in a 4-5-1 formation with a DMC. Chiquinho is up front alone with Said Henni on the left wing. I say to go out there and perform for the supporters and tell Rayane Hamon to pick up where he left off in the United game.

4' - We have a throw in half way in their territory and Cairney gets it over to Andrea Rocca. Rocca passes up to Gianluca Bolis and from outside the area, he unleashes a vicious shot into the far top corner of the goal! STUNNING strike and we're ahead right off the bat! DOVER GOAL 1-0

23' - Not a lot of highlights but we seem to be controlling play. Gesios with a nice little back heel pass to Cairney but his shot is weak and right at Anderlecht goalkeeper Bill Weiss.

25' - We come close again, as three little passes result in Bardi feeding Gesios in the box but his shot from in tight is stopped by Weiss.

26' - Now it's Cairney sending a curling rocket off the crossbar! Man. "Dover are piling on the pressure", says the announcer.

30' - Renato Gaucho with a throw in down the left to Neil Cairney and he sends it back to the Brazilian. Renato Gaucho sends a long cross into the area and it's' GIANLUCA BOLIS AGAIN, directing a great header past Weiss and into the net. Bolis has two and we're comfortably ahead! DOVER GOAL 2-0

32' - Chiquinho shows his skill as he avoids a tackle from Rayane Hamon and bolts in on goal but his shot is weak and right at Wilke. Great buildup and disappointing finish by the Belgian striker.

34' - It isn't going to be easy. It's Chiquinho again getting a step on Claudio Contreras and he shoots for the far corner but Wilke pushes it away. The rebound is right at Said Henni and the lethal winger easily puts it into the empty net and Anderlecht are on the board. ANDERLECHT GOAL 2-1

44' - Henni gets another great chance and Wilke makes a sensational save. The Belgian side is taking it to us the last ten minutes.

HALFTIME - This is a bit closer than expected based on our first 30 minutes. We held 55% of possession but Anderlecht outshoot us 10-9 (5-4 on target). I may have to switch formations eventually, as we're starting to give up some chances but I'd like to get that third goal. My assistant wants me to tell them to do it for the fans so I go with it. I tell Bolis and Wilke I'm pleased with them and tell Gesios to go out and prove a point in the second half.

49' - Henni and Chiquinho are working well together and the winger sends the striker in on goal and Wilke makes a sprawling save.

50' - Anderlecht with a header off the crossbar. Yikes…they keep coming!

51' - Henni heads a cross toward goal but Wilke is in great position for the save. Wow we need to change tactics.

52' - Gesios is having a horrible game and he gives up possession in the opposing end and Anderlecht counter. Wilke botches a long Chiquinho shot and there's a big rebound but Wilke is able to scoop it up without further issue.

53' - Rocca sends Gesios in and the striker shoots harmlessly wide.

I switch to a flat 4-4-2 control mentality.

62' - Bardi has a chance to cross and it deflects off an Anderlecht defender and right to Gesios but his shot is weak and right at Weiss.

74' - Wayne Rooney is on for the completely disappointing Giorgos Gesios.

82' - Mancini is on for a tired Andrea Rocca.

88' - There's some sloppy play in midfield and Chiquinho comes up with it and sends it to Henni. He's cutting in on goal and Wilke comes out to challenge. Henni tries the lob and Wilke jumps and gets enough of the ball to deflect it just wide.

We hold them off the rest of the way. It's a win but not really convincing.

Dover 2 - 1 Anderlecht
Goals - Gianluca Bolis 2 (8.8)
Assists - Renato Gaucho (7.1), Andrea Rocca (6.9)
Man of the Match - Gianluca Bolis
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.7), Salim Loucif (7.2), Rayane Hamon (8.1), Giorgos Gesios (5.9), Neil Cairney (5.8)
Attendance - 15,762

We edge them on possession with 51% but they outshoot us 18-15 (9-6 on target). Terrible games from Gesios and Cairney and both will be benched in our next game, an FA Cup tie versus Fulham. We need to be better in the second leg if we're going to move on but we'll take the win. Wilke and Hamon were outstanding and of course, Bolis continues to improve by leaps and bounds this year! He's up to an incredible 14 goals on the year, not bad from a right midfielder!

-- Barcelona beat Ajax 3-2 away to take command in another Champions League matchup. Still to come are first knockout round matchups like Porto vs. Man City, Leverkusen vs. Man United, Besiktas vs. Atletico Madrid and Benfica versus OM.


Next Up

-- We head to Craven Cottage and are huge favourites against Fulham in FA Cup 5th round action.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:06 PM   #235
DukeRulesMAB
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Alexandria, VA
Love this dynasty!

I'm gonna go ahead and call bull on you not selling out a Champions League knockout round game. If nothing else, non-Dover fans should have been showing up just to watch the festivities.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:45 PM   #236
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeRulesMAB View Post
Love this dynasty!

I'm gonna go ahead and call bull on you not selling out a Champions League knockout round game. If nothing else, non-Dover fans should have been showing up just to watch the festivities.

Thanks Duke!

Yeah, we haven't sold out the stadium since the recent expansion and haven't even come close to be honest.

We have a small season ticket holder base too (just over 4000 STH's) so perhaps we're having some trouble adding supporters. After four years in a row of stadium expansions, I'm guessing we won't see another one for awhile yet.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:46 PM   #237
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. February 19, 2022

FA Cup - 5th Round
Fulham (19th in Barclays Premier League) vs. Dover (5th in Barclays Premier League)
Craven Cottage, London, UK

Betting Odds: Fulham: 4-1 Draw: 5-2 Dover: 4-7 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 6W 2D 2L

Fulham's manager just quit and went to last placed Southampton in a weird lateral move, leaving Fulham without a manager today. We just beat them a couple weeks ago here by a score of 5-3 and we are significant favourites on the road.

We'll make a few changes due to poor form but we have a full week off after today's match so we can go with a reasonably full lineup. Neil Cairney and Giorgos Gesios are both out of form and won't start - Cairney will be on the bench but Gesios will watch from the stands today. Paulus Tjiuoro will play for Claudio Contreras and we'll go with Paul Moses and Wayne Rooney up front. Mancini will start for Cairney. Flat 4-4-2 control today.

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

Fulham have been playing with one striker a lot this year but with their manager gone, they are playing a flat 4-4-2 today. The dangerous Milan Djuric is up front with Wim Georges. I'd like to tell the players I expect a win but instead go with my assistant who says to do it for the travelling supporters.

4' - Moses with a nice little pass to Rooney in the area and the veteran forces Joe Lewis to make a nice save.

6' - We get a free kick and there's a disaster as Mancini is tripped and Fulham storm up field on a counter. It's a bloody 4 on 2 and Djuric's shot is stopped by Wilke but the rebound is right there for Wim Georges and he easily puts it in the net for the stunner. HORRIFIC defence. FULHAM GOAL 0-1

7' - Right off the ensuing kick, we work nice little passes up field and Moses is on the tail end of the possession. He speeds through the defence and shoots but hits the goalpost!

17' - We continue to gift them possession with terrible giveaways and Mancini especially is playing poorly.

22' - I've got steam coming out of my ears as Jake Livermore, their central midfielder, beats a tackle from Hamon and walks right in before shooting off the goalpost.

28' - Rocca with a shot from distance that hits the crossbar.

35' - We work a great counter with Rooney feeding Rocca who then feeds it through the defence and it's young Paul Moses in on goal. The in-form striker shoots and it's WIDE. One of those halves...

41' - Bamba sends the ball up the left flank and Moses runs it down. He's in the area at the byline and left foots it back to Rocca and his quick shot goes into the far corner and we're finally level! DOVER GOAL 1-1

45'+1 - We have a throw in down the right flank and Bolis takes the ball and touches it up to Rooney. From well out, maybe two yards outside the area, he fires a low shot at goal that should be saved but it goes right through Lewis and into the net. That's Rooney's 10th of the year and we have two in five minutes to take an undeserved lead! DOVER GOAL 2-1

HALFTIME - We have 51% of possession but Fulham outshot us 11-9 (5-3 on target). Somehow, we strike for two quick late-half goals and we're ahead. I tell the team I'm pleased with the scoreline.

49' - Rooney steals the ball from fine central defender Sam Magri and feeds Paul Moses. The youngster speeds through the middle but has defenders all around him. He shoots from distance and again, it's not a great shot but Lewis simply isn't very good and the shot is in the net. Moses is up to four goals in his last three games and we now have a comfortable lead. DOVER GOAL 3-1

53' - Mancini with a shot from well out and Lewis has to dive to make the save. We get a corner and Mancini gets another piledriver off but Lewis again saves in fine fashion.

55' - Some sloppy play on our part leads to a header toward goal from Djuric but Wilke is in good position for the save.

58' - I think we're in decent shape here so I pull both Gianluca Bois and Andrea Rocca and replace them with Kostas Kalfas and Aitor Zubizarreta.

65' - Kalfas lumbers up the right side but feeds a WONDERFUL cross into the box to Moses. He has an open net but takes an extra touch and shoots right at Lewis. Terrible finish. That was a sitter.

70' - A bit more sloppy defence sees Djuric jump on a loose ball in our area but he's on a poor angle and Wilke makes the save.

84' - Jozef Varga is on for Renato Gaucho.

85' - Oh boy, Fulham have a throw in deep in our end and the cross meets the head of Marco Astvald and he heads it past Wilke and into the net. This game isn't over. FULHAM GOAL 3-2

We switch to a counter attack mentality.

86' - We get a great chance off the ensuing kick as Rooney sends in Moses. He cuts in from the left and shoots but Lewis makes the fine save to keep them in it.

Fulham switch to a 4-2-4.

We hold them off the rest of the way and move on in the competition.

Fulham 2 - 3 Dover
Goals - Andrea Rocca (7.8), Wayne Rooney (8.5), Paul Moses (8.1)
Assists - Gianluca Bolis (7.1), Wayne Rooney, Paul Moses
Man of the Match - Wayne Rooney
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.2), Rayane Hamon (7.0)
Attendance - 13,845

Way closer than we would like but it's a win. We hold 51% of overall possession and outshoot them 18-16 (9-9 on target).

-- We win £184,000 for moving on to the quarterfinals. Last year was our best FA Cup effort when we lost in the semis to Tottenham.



Dover U18 Update

-- Emmerson Harvey, recently sent back down to the U18s, scores our only goal in a 1-1 draw versus West Ham.



FA Cup - Quarterfinal Draw

-- I can't get any breaks in any of these draws. With eight teams remaining, we still have Barnsley, a League 1 side in the competition and two Championship sides in QPR and West Bromwich. I draw Arsenal, of course. At least it's at home.



Champions League Updates

-- Man City win away 2-1 at Porto and Atletico Madrid win by the same scoreline at Besiktas. Benfica win 2-1 versus OM and Man United win away 2-0 at Leverkusen to take control of that matchup.



Dover Reserves Team Update

-- We put a strong team on the pitch for this one, with a few out of form players getting some action in order to build confidence and it works. Zoltan Bardi nets a hat trick and Giorgos Gesios and Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz net singles in a 5-1 win over Burnley.



International Update

-- We have 16 players called up for international duty. No need to give the names - it's the same group as usual. The International break is coming up midweek next week.



Next Up

-- We host 14th placed Sunderland in Premier League play.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 02-23-2014 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:42 PM   #238
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. February 26, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (15-8-5, 53 points, 5th) vs. Sunderland (11-3-14, 36 points, 14th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Sunderland came out of the gates this year like a house on fire and had a six game winning streak at one point. However, they've fallen on really rough times lately and find themselves in 14th spot in the league. That said, they have a +6 goal differential so they're to be respected. Like us, they've moved on in the FA Cup to the quarterfinals after beating MK Dons from the Championship and they've won 4 of their last five in all competitions. Scottish international Craig Flett is their most dangerous player and he has 20 league goals and 22 overall on the season. He's fast and pretty strong and we'll need to stop him to get a result. I'm also a big fan of Matt Barber, a fine central midfielder. We played them to a 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light earlier in the year.

Not too many changes today - we'll stick with the same formation despite Sunderland being adept at playing flat 4-4-2 formations. Claudio Contreras and Neil Cairney are both back in today and we'll stick with Paul Moses and Wayne Rooney up front. Both Giorgos Gesios and Zoltan Bardi are on the bench today, just in case.

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 - P. Moses, W. Rooney
Bench - J. Kuciak, J. Varga, Mancini, C. Murray, K. Kalfas, Z. Bardi, G. Gesios

Sunderland come out with Flett and Ben Sahar up front in their flat 4-4-2. I tell the team they can win today.

7' - Rocca with a great through ball to Bolis but our in-form winger shoots into the side netting.

11' - We get a great chance as Rocca feeds Moses in tight but the Sunderland keeper Sam Cowler makes a fine save. The play continues and Arsene Bamba is hurt. Uh oh. He's got the dreaded cross above his name and needs to come out. Cameron Murray is in.

15' - Rocca with a shot from distance and it's off the crossbar!

16' - Bolis has possession down the right side and feeds into the middle to Paul Moses. The youngster evades a tackle from one Sunderland defender then speeds past the other into the box. He's in on goal and shoots low past Cowler and it's IN! DOVER GOAL 1-0

30' - We've controlled the game for the most part and it's Moses again getting the ball around half way in Sunderland's end. He dribbles down the field and from ten yards outside the box, unleashes a PILEDRIVER that goes past Cowler and into the net. What a PHENOMENAL STRIKE from 18 year old Paul Moses and he has two already! DOVER GOAL 2-0

42' - We work a counter and Gianluca Bolis is running fast down the right sideline. He crosses into the area but Cowler punches it out but the ball pops right to Wayne Rooney and he pounces on that rebound and drills it into the net. What a half! DOVER GOAL 3-0

45'+1 - Rooney is down and on the sidelines getting treatment and Moses is sent in by Cairney. Cowler makes the great save but it's pushed behind the net. Rooney comes back on for the corner and Rocca's cross is headed by Rayane Hamon and it's IN!!! Holy crap it's a whitewash! DOVER GOAL 4-0

HALFTIME - It's a massacre! We hold 53% of possession and outshoot them by a mile, 16-2 (9-0 on target). Rooney is really banged up and I'll need to take him off at half. I'll bring in Zoltan Bardi - I tell the team I'm pleased and tell Bardi to pick things up where he left off last game.

Sunderland is in a 5-3-2 for some reason despite being four goals down.

68' - No chances at all for us and a few from distance for Sunderland. For whatever reason, despite not making any tactical changes, we've just stopped playing. Sunderland get in the area and Salim Loucif takes down their striker Craig Flett and it's a PENALTY. He makes no mistake and Sunderland get on the board. SUNDERLAND GOAL 4-1

71' - What? Sunderland with a throw in and their player throws the long bullet throw into our area and it's headed directly IN THE NET by Kevin Long. Guys, this isn't good. SUNDERLAND GOAL 4-2

75' - We finally do something offensively, as Hamon heads a Rocca corner toward goal but Cowler makes the save.

76' - We make our last substitution, taking out Bolis for Kostas Kalfas.

86' - We have a free kick and Rocca's cross is into the box but Kevin Long takes down one of our players. PENALTY! Paul Moses gets to take the kick, looking for his third goal and it's SAVED BY COWLER?!?! WHY CAN'T WE SCORE ON PENALTIES?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! We get a corner and Rocca's cross comes right to Moses and now he hits the goal post! Wow.

Terrible second half but we'll take the three points.

Dover 4 - 2 Sunderland
Goals - Paul Moses 2 (8.6), Wayne Rooney (8.0), Rayane Hamon (7.7)
Assists - Gianluca Bolis 2 (8.5), Andrea Rocca (7.9), Wayne Rooney
Man of the Match - Paul Moses
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.2), Claudio Contreras (7.1), Renato Gaucho (7.3), Neil Cairney (7.2)
Attendance - 14,654

Possession was dead even on the game and we outshot them 22-8 (14-2 on target). Poor second half but I tell the players I'm pleased with the win. Moses continues to play great and what can I say about Wayne Rooney? Another goal and another assist in only 45 minutes and he's up to 11 goals and 6 assists in 23 appearances at 36 years of age. Hell of a signing!

-- Thank goodness! Arsene Bamba only suffered a dead leg and will be back within the week.

-- In other games, Man City beat Southampton and Liverpool humble Reading but United only gets a tie against Middlesbrough and Arsenal also draw versus Aston Villa at home. We move into fourth place with our win!

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 9 GAMES REMAINING UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 67 points
2. Manchester United - 59 points
3. Liverpool - 57 points
4. Dover - 56 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 54 points (10 games remaining)
6. Reading - 49 points
7. Chelsea - 49 points
----------------------------------------------------


Dover U18 Update

--The kids destroy Aldershot 8-2 behind a hat trick from unheralded Pete Smith. Gregoire Lambert bags a brace and Damian Thorne, Johnny Mardenborough and Eddie Robinson score singles.



Contract Extension

-- In the "I Had to Do It" files, we resign Wayne Rooney to a one year extension at £10,000 per week LESS than what he was currently making. In the press conference, Rooney signalled his intention that he "wants to see out his career in a Dover kit". Rooney has been phenomenal when healthy and this was an easy deal to strike - it's really low risk and even if he decides to retire this season instead of next, I'm happy to sign the contract.



March Update

-- A reasonably quiet month but one that could end up being busier depending on our success in cup and continental play. We only have three Premier League games: away at Everton, home versus Huddersfield and away at Blackburn. We have the second leg of the Champions League First Knockout round against Anderlecht and if we're successful, we'll likely have a Second Knockout round match at the end of March. We also have an FA Cup quarterfinal match against Arsenal at home so that's six potential matches and five for sure.

-- We get positive training reports for Zoltan Bardi, Salim Loucif Jonathan Adam and youth players Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz and Pete Smith. Negative reports come in for Jozef Kuciak and Wayne Rooney.



Barclays Premier League Team of the Week

-- Gianluca Bolis and Paul Moses are named to the Premier League team of the week.



Monthly Awards

-- Arsenal DC/ST Nchimunya Munyao wins player of the month honours in the Premier League.

-- Marek Adamski from Newcastle wins the Young Player of the Month. Renato Gaucho finishes in second and young Paul Moses comes in third.

-- Carlo Ancelotti wins the Manager of the Month award again. I come in third place.



League Cup Final

-- Mid-table Huddersfield Town beat Wolves 1-0 to win this year's League Cup. More importantly, Huddersfield win a coveted continental position in the Europa League next year and that will mean that only the top six teams in the Premier League will see European play. Yikes - we'll need to stay sharp! Depending on what happens in the FA Cup (which we're still in), it might only be the top FIVE going into Continental play.



March Board Confidence Update

-- The board are delighted with my leadership qualities. Our stature increase is the main positive and NO negatives this month!

-- We made £809,000 last month.



International Update

-- Gaining caps in U20 play were Claudio Contreras and Carlo Cerbone. It was Cerbone's first youth cap for Italy.

-- In senior team action, Giorgos Gesios (Greece), Youssouf Sylla and Arsene Bamba (Ivory Coast), Paulus Tjiuoro (Namibia), Salim Loucif (Algeria), Zoltan Bardi (Hungary) and Neil Cairney got capped. Notably, this was Bamba's first ever cap for Ivory Coast, having played his youth football for France. Bamba is obviously DELIGHTED at finally getting a senior cap and now he's permanently tied to the Ivory Coast. Gesios scored for Greece, Bardi got on the scoresheet for Hungary and Cairney scored twice for Scotland. I wish I could get him to score more here…

-- I also get a note that young Paul Moses got his first SENIOR team cap for England. He's only 18 years old and it's clear to me that Moses will be a star in this world for years to come. Boy, if only he would get over that one little fight we had early in the season. He still hates my guts despite being molten hot for us and getting plenty of recent playing time. I have an option to buy him but it's clear he won't sign for us at the present time.



Dover Reserves Team Update

-- We LOSE to Derby 4-3, with young Gregoire Lambert scoring twice and Mancini adding a single. Rare that we lose any reserves or U18 games but we have most of our depth away on international duty right now.



Next Up

-- We head on the road to face 9th placed Everton in Premier League play.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:01 PM   #239
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. March 5, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Everton (12-6-11, 42 points, 9th) vs. Dover (16-8-5, 56 points, 4th)
Goodison Park, Liverpool, UK

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

We are the slightest of underdogs on the road versus Everton. They continue to move on in Continental play, as they've just gotten past Florentina in the Europa League 1st Knockout Round and will next face Napoli. They are an excellent home team but struggle to score on the road so we'll have to be careful going into their home today. They haven't lost a home Premier League game since November 10th against Middlesbrough. Chris Wood and veteran Daniel Sturridge are their leading scorers with 16 and 14 goals respectively.

With a big Champions League game coming up in four days there are a couple of guys I decide to rest for this match: Arsene Bamba and Salim Loucif. Bamba will be on the bench but I'm giving Loucif the night off. In their places come Cameron Murray and Jozef Kuciak. I see no reason to change the successful striker partnership developing between Paul Moses and Wayne Rooney and they are up front again today. We'll go with a control mentality to start but I may need to move to a counter attack at some point.

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

Wow - Everton are going with a 4-4-2 diamond formation and both of their top scorers Sturridge and Wood are on the bench! They are obviously saving them for their Europa League game next week. Good news for us!!! They have Erik Uhrik (8 goals) and John Guidetti (5 goals) up front today. I tell the team they can win this and pull aside Cameron Murray to tell him I have faith in his abilities.

10' - Everton with the first good chance as Uhrik gets away from Rayane Hamon and speeds toward goal but Wilke makes the great save.

15' - Everton have a corner and it's new signing Henri Atangana taking it. Claudio Contreras looks like he's going to head it out but mistimes his jump and that allows Ryan Shawcross to head it past Wilke and into the net. EVERTON GOAL 0-1

24' - Rough start and we have no shots on goal. Paul Moses pulls a guy down and gets a yellow card.

30' - Cameron Murray gives away possession easily and forces Claudio Contreras to take someone down, getting a yellow in the process.

HALFTIME - We have 61% of possession but NO SHOTS ON GOAL. We have 7 versus their 6 but they have two on net. We can't break them down yet. We are going to attack in the second half and I tell the team I want to see more from them.

47' - We work a counter attack and Moses sends the ball up field for Rooney. He's got a man chasing him so he shoots from distance and it's right at Franco Di Capua, the Everton keeper. At least we got a shot on net!

63' - We're generating nothing and I think I need to coerce them into coming forward so I switch to a counter mentality. I also take out Rooney and bring in Zoltan Bardi.

70' - Yellow for Neil Cairney. Nothing going on offensively. We bring in the cavalry, with Arsene Bamba and Giorgos Gesios coming in for Murray and Moses.

77' - Ok, time to Overload. Right afterwards, Rayane Hamon gets a yellow. This ref is calling everything...

90'+2 - We're putting pressure on but no shots on goal until we win a corner and Rocca's cross is headed by Gesios. Di Capua makes the game saving stop.

Poor effort.

Everton 1 - 0 Dover
Goals -
Assists -
Man of the Match - Ryan Shawcross (Everton DC - 8.7)
Other Dover Notables - J. Kuciak (7.1), Rayane Hamon (7.0), Andrea Rocca (7.0), Neil Cairney (7.3), Wayne Rooney (5.9)
Attendance - 34,335

We held 57% of possession and outshot them 14-9 (2-3 on target). We just couldn't break them down. I tell the players I'm disappointed in the effort. Rooney puts up a dud in his first game with an extended contract but that's how he's been this year - either he scores and plays great or he does nothing.

-- Aston Villa shocked Man City 2-1 and Wolves were able to battle Liverpool to a draw but everything else went according to script, with Arsenal topping Fulham, United beating Derby and Chelsea tied with Tottenham. We fall to fifth with the loss.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 8 GAMES REMAINING UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 67 points
2. Manchester United - 62 points
3. Liverpool - 58 points
4. Arsenal - 57 points (9 games remaining)
----------------------------------------------------
5. Dover - 56 points
6. Chelsea - 50 points
7. Reading - 49 points
----------------------------------------------------


Dover U18 Update

--We win the U18 Cup Finals in convincing fashion, destroying Sheffield Unied 5-0. Gregoire Lambert and Johnny Mardenborough each scored twice and Eddie Robinson notched a single in the win.



Injury Update

-- Shanon Andrea is getting close to a return from his hamstring tear and should be back in full training soon. Shaun Spall will miss the rest of this season with his broken leg.



Champions League

-- FC Bayern win 2-0 over Galatasaray and 4-0 on aggregate to move on to the next round. Chelsea are done, losing 4-1 (7-3 on aggregate) to Olympique Lyonnais. After the game, Chelsea sack their manager Ioan Andone - pretty harsh for the sixth placed team in the Premier League but that's Abramovich for you! I'm named as a possible successor…don't think so!



Next Up

-- The second leg of the Champions League First Knockout Round takes place in Belgium as we face Anderlecht and hold a slim one goal lead.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 02-23-2014 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:30 PM   #240
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. March 9, 2022

Champions League - First Knockout Round Second Leg
Anderlecht (1) vs. (2) Dover
Stade Constant Vanden Stock, Brussels, Belgium

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

Anderlecht were on a four game run without a win but just got off the schneid with a 1-0 win in league play on the weekend. We have a slim one goal cushion going into the second leg but we need a goal here - a 1-0 loss won't work obviously as we'd lose on away goals. That said, I'm going to utilize a counter attacking mentality to start, something that has worked for road games against favoured clubs.

A few changes - we'll start Giorgos Gesios up front today with Wayne Rooney - I want some "cultured" players in the game today and Gesios scores at will for his country. Salim Loucif and Arsene Bamba are also back in the starting lineup.

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 - G. Gesios, W. Rooney
Bench - J. Kuciak, P. Tjiuoro, Mancini, K. Kalfas, C. Murray, Z. Bardi, P. Moses

Anderlecht once again come out in a 4-5-1 formation with Chiquinho at striker and the dangerous Said Henni at AML. Interestingly enough, their starting keeper Bill Weiss is hurt and they have to go with their two star backup. Hmmm. Lets get some shots today boys! My assistant wants to encourage the lads and I think that's a good strategy since we need a goal here. Lets do it!

2' - Right off the bat we get a glorious chance, as Bamba feeds Gesios in the box and his shot is barely wide.

7' - Wilke is now called upon to make a great save off a blast from Said Henni.

10' - Rooney is taken down hard and Anderlecht get a yellow card. Rooney has the dreaded cross above his name but he can continue for now.

19' - Anderlecht are the better team right now and it's scaring me. They work a deadly counter with Henni speeding down field. He gets off a hard blast that Wilke saves but there's a rebound and it's Henni again with the volley but Wilke makes that save too. We're generating nothing so far.

20' - Cairney with a yellow card.

35' - We're settling down here and Gesios gets a header off a Rocca cross and Bartos is finally called upon to make a save.

45'+2 - Rooney with a yellow now. Wilke has to make another save off the free kick.

HALFTIME - This is VERY dangerous. We're edging possession with 52% but they are really outshooting us 15-7 (8-1 on target). What a dangerous scoreline - I can go in two directions with this: I can move to a control mentality to try to get more chances on their young goalkeeper but that will open things up for them - we've kept Chiquinho in check so far but Henni has been very dangerous for them. Or we can continue to sit back and hope that they press forward and give us some counter chances. For now, I'll stick with the counter. I tell the team I'm content for now.

54' - Rayane Hamon gets a yellow card for fouling Henni. They get a free kick and it eventually comes to their midfielder Gaucho and he scores…but he's offsides! No goal!

57' - Holy crap. Now Said Henni takes a pass and scores and HE IS OFFSIDES TOO! Two goals disallowed in three minutes and the fans are getting UNRULY!

58' - I take out Wayne Rooney and bring in Paul Moses.

67' - Okay this is a first. Anderlecht score AGAIN and AGAIN it's called offsides. This one looks sketchy…man, on the replay it looked like he got back onside before the pass was delivered but yeah, I'll take it. We're under fire and I don't know what to do. We need to hold on.

74' - Disaster. We lose the ball at midfield and it's sent over our defence. Wilke is in no mans land and Chiquinho beats him to the ball at the top of the area and heads it into the open net. Sigh. ANDERLECHT GOAL 0-1 (2-2 ON AGGREGATE)

We need to attack.

77' - Arsene Bamba takes the ball off a free kick and walks through the defence and into the area and we finally get a glorious chance but Bartos is up to the challenge and makes the key save. We get a corner on the play and Rocca's cross is to the far post and Contreras but he's FOULED. THAT'S A PENALTY!!! Oh my god…it's Neil Cairney stepping up….and he SCORES!!!!!! OMG!!! DOVER GOAL 1-1 (3-2 ON AGGREGATE)

We're back to a counter! HOLD ON!!!

84' - Time to milk time. Neil Cairney is out and Mancini is in.

Anderlecht is in a weird 5-2-3 formation.

Three minutes of injury time.

90'+1 - We work possession and Rocca springs Moses up field. The youngster speeds in and shoots but Bartos makes the fantastic save! Wow!

90'+3 - Paulus Tjiuoro is on for Rayane Hamon. BLOW THE WHISTLE!

They get another corner but we clear and that's it!

Anderlecht 1 (2) - (3) 1 Dover
Goals - Neil Cairney PENALTY (7.2)
Assists - Claudio Contreras (6.9)
Man of the Match - Chiquinho (Anderlecht ST - 7.6)
Other Dover Notables - S. Loucif (7.0), Renato Gaucho (7.0), Arsene Bamba (7.0)
Attendance - 25,738

We didn't play great but held 55% of possession. They outshot us 22-16 (11-4 on target) but we are able to get our away goal and the draw to advance by a single goal on aggregate, with help from THREE disallowed Anderlecht goals, one of which was very iffy. Poor Ingo Wilke was BRILLIANT today but gets a 6.4 rating for screwing up big time on Chiquinho's goal. We're on to the next round! Money, money, money, MONEY!!!!

-- Haha - speaking of which, we're given a paltry £2,609,000 for just playing in that round!!! NICE!

-- Neil Cairney will be suspended from our next Champions League match due to yellow card accumulation. Crap.

-- Wayne Rooney, despite having the dreaded cross above his name, has no lingering effects after taking the knock and is fine.

-- Barcelona also move on after beating Ajax 2-1 away and 5-3 on aggregate.



Next Up

-- We reach the FA Cup quarterfinals and host Arsenal at Crabble Athletic Ground.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 02-23-2014 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:24 AM   #241
NoSkillz
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Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. March 12, 2022

FA Cup - Quarterfinals
Dover (5th in Premier League) vs. Arsenal (4th in Premier League)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Arsenal will be looking for revenge after our 6-0 win over their club in late December but we're in the comfy confines of Crabble Athletic Ground where that destruction took place! Their top striker Teddy Gallo is out with a broken foot today but they have more than enough guys to step into that role, including DC/ST Nchimunya Munyao, who is tied with fellow striker Boakye with 14 goals to lead the team.

We have a week off after this so I can go with a pretty full strength side - up front I'm starting Giorgos Gesios and Zoltan Bardi - I considered starting Paul Moses but decided against it when I noticed that Gesios took well to my press conference comments so we'll give him a shot and see if it pays off. Youssouf Sylla has been better lately for us in goal and we'll start him today and give Ingo Wilke a breather. Our flat 4-4-2 worked well with a control mentality against them in December so we'll go with that again.

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

Arsenal are in a flat 4-4-2 as well but have Lee Ross and Darijo Jukic up front and Munyao is back on defence, at least for now! Like last time, I tell the team to go out there and perform for the supporters and pull aside Gesios and Bardi to tell them I have faith in their abilities.

1' - Yikes. Right off the opening kick off, the ball comes up to Lee Ross. He runs in on Contreras and evades a tackle, walking in on goal but he shoots wide.

6' - Bolis has a couple of great dribbles down the right but we can't do anything with his crosses. Now, Arsenal come back up field and Sylla makes a great save on a partial break from Jukic. We move back up field and after some nice passing, Bardi gets it over to Bolis at the edge of the area and he shoots hard into the far corner past Oscar Ustari and it's in! Bolis has us on the board! DOVER GOAL 1-0

15' - Cairney with a lovely ball up to Gesios. The striker has men chasing him down and they force him to his weaker foot. The shot is stopped awkwardly by Ustari but his defenders clear the ball to safety.

25' - Arsenal have possession and Jack Wilshere, the Gunners captain, makes a delicious pass into the area to Jukic and he beats Sylla with a low shot and we're tied. Poor defending by Contreras and Hamon there as they got crossed up in coverage. ARSENAL GOAL 1-1

30' - Gesios is back to being snake bitten again, as Cairney sends him in all alone and Ustari makes the great point blank save.

31' - Rocca from distance blasts one off the crossbar.

38' - We send the ball up to Gesios and he gets in the corner of the area and is making his way to the byline when he's fouled by Aaron Ramsey. It looked like a dive but the referee points to the spot! PENALTY! Neil Cairney steps up for the second game in a row…or maybe it's the third game in a row…and SCORES! DOVER GOAL 2-1

41' - Lee Ross with a PILEDRIVER from distance that almost knocks the net over but it's the crossbar and we clear to safety.

HALFTIME - A good game so far and the neutrals will be happy. We hold 51% of possession and outshoot them 13-10 (5-3 on target). I tell the team I'm pleased with their performance so far.

48' - Lee Ross gets through the defence but his shot is stopped by Sylla.

56' - Rayane Hamon with a yellow card. Arsenal are taking it to us so far this half.

62' - Now it's Gianluca Bolis with a yellow.

63' - Bolis is banged up and I bring in Kostas Kalfas for him.

67' - Giorgos Gesios and Arsene Bamba work a give and go and Gesios gets a shot away that's saved nicely by Ustari.

74' - I bring in Paul Moses for Zoltan Bardi and move to a counter attacking mentality.

75' - Arsenal continue to push and Jukic gets loose for a shot that Sylla just gets his fingertips on! They get a corner out of it and Wilshere sends it in and there is Munyao, Arsenal's talented dual threat heading it in and the game is tied. Shit. ARSENAL GOAL 2-2

Back to a control mentality.

80' - Wow. Arsenal go with a direct ball over our defence and Lee Ross is way behind and in all alone. He makes a brilliant decision to hold off for just enough time and lays it off to an oncoming teammate in substitute Tiago Alves and he has a gaping net to shoot at and easily puts it home. Two goals in four minutes and suddenly we're behind. ARSENAL GOAL 3-2

We Overload.

85' - Gesios with a yellow card for a take down.

They hold on. Disappointing loss as Arsenal comeback with two in the second half to beat us.

Dover 2 - 3 Arsenal
Goals - Gianluca Bolis (7.6), Neil Cairney PENALTY (7.4)
Assists - Zoltan Bardi (6.9), Giorgos Gesios (6.8)
Man of the Match - Jack Wilshere (Arsenal MC - 7.6)
Other Dover Notables - Claudio Contreras (5.8), Andrea Rocca (5.9)
Attendance - 16,484

Arsenal DOMINATED that second half - we went from 51% possession in the first half to only 45% overall so they really controlled things in the last 45. We were also outshot 23-17 (8-6 on target) so that means they outshot us 13-4 (5-1 on target) in the second half. They deserved that win and we put up a stinker at home, a rarity for us. Another rarity is such a poor rating for Andrea Rocca. At least we don't have a replay! That would have been death with all the games we've played this year.

-- Despite the assists, I continue to feel let down by Gesios and Bardi after such great seasons last year - they just aren't performing well enough this year and their timing couldn't be worse, as Shanon Andrea soon will be returning from his injury. It will be tough to get him in game shape but at this point, Gesios and Bardi are falling behind Rooney and Moses on our depth chart too.



Dover U18 Update

-- We get a pair of goals from Pete Smith and one from Matt Hewitt, along with an own goal in a 4-0 win over Kingstonian.



Champions League Update

-- Atletico Madrid ease past Besiktas and Manchester City need to go to penalties after losing at home to Porto but get through to the quarterfinals as well. Man United, as expected, win again over Leverkusen and OM comes back from a one goal first game deficit to win 2-0 and win on aggregate by a single goal.



Champions League Quarter Finals Draw

-- There are eight teams left in the competition: Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, FC Bayern, Manchester City, Manchester United, OM, Olympique Lyonnais and ourselves. At this point, we're unquestionably the weakest and smallest club left in the competition so it really doesn't matter who we get, as it's unlikely we'll go any further. I guess I hope I'll get one of the French teams. Let's see how the draw goes, in order:

Barcelona vs. Dover
Atletico Madrid vs. FC Bayern
Manchester United vs. Manchester City
Olympique Lyonnais vs. OM

So, we get a couple of HUGE rivalries in the Manchester derby and Ligue 1 and we draw Barcelona, a team we faced in the Group stage and went undefeated in two games against them, with a win at home and a draw in Spain. At the very least, it should be a good gate for both games but I expect that Barca will be in fine form for this two game set. Barcelona will host the first game at Camp Nou on March 30th.



Tottenham Get Their Own Sugar Daddy

-- In news that will likely mean something going forward, Kuwaiti businessman Hamad Al-Shammari takes over the Spurs and says he "will stop at nothing to ensure Tottenham become one of the greatest forces in domestic and continental football." More competition! Great…



Dover Reserves Team Update

-- Carlo Cerbone scores twice and Aitor Zubizarreta notches a single in a 3-2 win over Fulham's reserves.



Next Up

-- We are back to Premier League play as we host League Cup champions Huddersfield Town.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 02-24-2014 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:45 AM   #242
NoSkillz
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. March 19, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Dover (16-8-6, 56 points, 5th) vs. Huddersfield (12-5-12, 41 points, 11th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Huddersfield just won the League Cup over Wolves and wins qualification to the Europa League for next year. They are on a good run of form lately, having won four consecutive games in all competitions. They have major injury issues for today's game, with their three top goal scorers, David Caldwell, Nelson Oliveira and Martin Shearer all injured. Paul Lumsden will be their danger man today and he has only three goals while Dennis Lotters is a solid midfielder.

We're now winless in three games and I'm going back to Paul Moses and Wayne Rooney up front. Gesios won't even be on the bench today. Otherwise, we'll go with our regular starting lineup. Control mentality today at home.

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 - P. Moses, W. Rooney
Bench - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, P. Tjiuoro, Mancini, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, Z. Bardi

Huddersfield are in a flat 4-4-2 as well. I tell the team we can win today - Bamba has only "okay" morale so I tell him I have faith in his abilities.

10' - We're controlling possession and get a great chance when Rooney feeds Bolis cutting into the area. Huddersfield keeper Alan Smithies charges out and Bolis attempts to lob him but it's JUST over the net.

20' - Two of our defenders miss tackles on Paul Lumsden and he gets a hard shot off that Wilke does well to stop.

28' - Loucif is hurt and needs medical attention. He can continue but he's got the cross above his name and may miss some time.

35' - Huddersfield are dominating play over the last 20 minutes but we force a turnover and Rooney passes to Moses at midfield. It's harmless enough but Moses simply turns on the jets and bursts past the Huddersfield defence and in toward goal. He slows and shoots and the ball is past Smithies and into the net. Moses is FAST! DOVER GOAL 1-0

36' - Off the ensuing kick, Sergey Gusev dribbles down the right, reaches the byline and sends a cross that hits Claudio Contreras and deflects off the post. Geez, almost an own goal there.

HALFTIME - It's rare for us to lose on possession but this is ridiculous, as Huddersfield hold 60% (!!) of possession in the first half but we outshoot them 7-5 (2-2 on target). I encourage the players in the dressing room.

56' - We're doing much better with possession but all of our shots are off target.

71' - So many wasteful efforts, especially from Andrea Rocca today but he makes up for it. We win a corner and Rocca sends in a perfect cross to Rayane Hamon and he heads the ball into the net and we're up two! DOVER GOAL 2-0

74' - Zoltan Bardi is in for Wayne Rooney.

82' - Mancini in for Rocca.

Not our best but it's a win..

Dover 2 - 0 Arsenal
Goals - Paul Moses (8.3), Rayane Hamon (7.8)
Assists - Wayne Rooney (7.0), Andrea Rocca (6.9)
Man of the Match - Paul Moses
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.3), Renato Gaucho (7.3)
Attendance - 12,995

Huddersfield controlled 54% of overall possession but we outshoot them 20-11 (4-3 on target). A boring game but we needed the three points.

-- Salim Loucif pulled his hamstring and will miss about three weeks. Jozef Kuciak will step in.

-- There are some shock results in other Premier League play, as Chelsea destroy Man United 4-0 and Arsenal lose to Tottenham. Liverpool do squeak past Southampton and maintain third place while we move up into fourth.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 7 GAMES REMAINING UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 70 points
2. Manchester United - 62 points
3. Liverpool - 61 points
4. Dover - 59 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 57 points (8 games left)
6. Chelsea - 53 points
7. Reading - 52 points
----------------------------------------------------



Dover U18 Update

-- Gregoire Lambert is a man amongst boys, scoring SIX GOALS in a 10-1 win over Oxford. Eddie Robinson scores two and Pete Smith and Emmerson Harvey score singles. Lambert has 39 goals now on the year in non-competitive play.



International Update

-- Youssouf Sylla, Arsene Bamba and Paulus Tjiuoro are called up for international duty. The game takes place on March 27th, which is only one day after my upcoming match against Blackburn so I'm guessing they'll be travelling that day.



Shanon Andrea is Back!

-- Shanon Andrea returns after three months on the sidelines with a torn hamstring. It will take some time before he's match fit but incredibly, he's still leading our goal scoring chart by a mile.



Next Up

-- We head on the road to face relegation candidates Blackburn.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:45 PM   #243
NoSkillz
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Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. March 26, 2022

Barclays Premier League
Blackburn (5-6-20, 21 points, 18th) vs. Dover (17-8-6, 59 points, 5th)
Ewood Park, Blackburn, UK

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

Blackburn are five points from safety and need to start winning if they have any chance of staying afloat in the Premier League. This is a poor team and we have to take care of business today. Striker Sergi leads Blackburn with 10 goals in 32 appearances.

We're without three players today due to international commitments, most importantly Arsene Bamba. Cameron Murray will start in his place. Jozef Kuciak will take over at right fullback while Salim Loucif recovers from his hamstring injury. Paul Moses and Wayne Rooney start up front again today and I have Shanon Andrea on the bench. We'll stick with our control mentality being big favourites.

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

Blackburn are also in a flat 4-4-2 and have Sergi and Alexandre Deiana up front and Stephen Brown in goal. I tell the team they can win this and pull aside Murray to say I have faith in him.

6' - Not a great start. Blackburn have most of the possession and Rooney gets a yellow card.

13' - Horrible. Deiana gets through our defence easily and Wilke has to stop a breakaway. We haven't shown up to play…very disappointing.

14' - Now Cameron Murray gets stripped of the ball and brings down a man. Yellow card. This is ridiculous that we aren't showing up against such a weak team.

I change to an attacking mentality to try to wake these guys up.

29' - We've generated nothing whatsoever but finally get a break. Bolis storms down the right sideline and crosses into the box. Two Blackburn defenders watch it fly by and right on the foot of Murray and he slams it home. First chance and we convert. DOVER GOAL 1-0

We move back to a control mentality.

36' - Wonderful. Cameron Murray is taken down and he's hurt. With Arsene Bamba away on international duty, I have to bring in Samir Nasri.

40' - It's Bolis again streaking down the right, as the left fullback just can't keep up with his pace. Again he crosses and this time it's Paul Moses all alone and he puts the ball past Brown and into the net. We don't deserve this lead but we'll take it. DOVER GOAL 2-0

HALFTIME - Poor effort, as we hold 51% of possession but are outshot 10-3 (2-2 on target). We're fortunate to have converted both of our only chances. I try to encourage the team at half.

59' - Moses looks like the only guy who has shown up, as he gets two great chances but Brown makes the saves.

I bring in Shanon Andrea and take out Wayne Rooney.

71' - Andrea gets his first chance, beating Blackburn's defender to a headed ball but Brown makes a fine save.

74' - Mancini is on for Andrea Rocca.

76' - We cause a turnover and Nasri sends the ball up to Moses. He weaves toward the penalty area and shoots but it deflects off a Blackburn defender and right on the golden foot of Shanon Andrea. Our leading scorer nails it into the back of the net in his first game back from injury. Oh, how I've missed you Shanon! DOVER GOAL 3-0

88' - Gianluca Bolis with a yellow.

We're lucky Blackburn suck.

Blackburn 0 - 3 Dover
Goals - Cameron Murray (7.4), Paul Moses (7.8), Shanon Andrea (7.3)
Assists - Gianluca Bolis 2 (8.1), Samir Nasri (7.0)
Man of the Match - Gianluca Bolis
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.2), Jozef Kuciak (7.4), , Rayane Hamon (7.6), Claudio Contreras (7.3), Renato Gaucho (7.4), Neil Cairney (7.1)
Attendance - 16,701

We definitely upped our game a bit in the second half and ended up with 52% of possession and a 16-10 (6-2 on target) shot advantage. They had no shots in the second half. So, so nice to have Shanon Andrea back but we had very little "flow" out there today and while my assistant didn't talk about overconfidence, it was apparent that our guys were looking ahead to our next game…Barcelona in Champions League 2nd Knockout Round play.

-- Cameron Murray just suffered a dead leg and will be ok by next week.

-- Man City knock off Tottenham and United beat Arsenal in a key match for our Champions League hopes for next year. Arsenal won a make up game mid-week against Huddersfield so now we're two points ahead of them with an equal amount of games played. Liverpool win 4-1 over Aston Villa to stay two points ahead of us.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 6 GAMES REMAINING UNLESS NOTED)

1. Manchester City - 73 points
2. Manchester United - 65 points
3. Liverpool - 64 points
4. Dover - 62 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 60 points
6. Chelsea - 56 points
7. Reading - 52 points (7 games left)
----------------------------------------------------



Clause Money IN

-- Former striker Gerardo Escobar reaches ten goals with Sheffield Wednesday and that means they have to pay us an additional £500,000. Free money is cool.



Dover Reserves Update

-- We didn't have a Reserves game scheduled for a couple weeks but I need to get Shanon Andrea some playing time to get him fit so we schedule a friendly with FC United in their stadium. We win 4-0 and Andrea scores once and adds two assists. Aitor Zubizarreta, Carlo Cerbone and Steve Ingram score the other goals.



International Update

-- Youssouf Sylla, Arsene Bamba and Paulus Tjiuoro all get caps in African Nations qualifying, with this being Bamba's second cap for Ivory Coast.



Bolis Unhappy

-- Gianluca Bolis is unhappy and we have a chat, as he feels he deserves a new contract. He's only making £23,000 per week so I agree - I get together with his agent and I hope we can come up with a quick resolution. Bolis has been sensational this year and is finally fulfilling the huge promise we've had for him since bringing him to Dover three years ago. He has 15 goals and 11 assists in 43 total appearances this year.



Next Up

-- We head to Spain and Camp Nou to face Barcelona in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

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Old 02-24-2014, 03:01 PM   #244
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Time to put the fear into Barca!
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:44 PM   #245
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Location: Rennes, France
Exciting finish ! And nice writeup. To me, your writing formula is just perfect. Good amount of inforamtion (enough detailed and not too much info). Formatting makes it for a clean reading too.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:47 AM   #246
NoSkillz
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Originally Posted by Tellistto View Post
Time to put the fear into Barca!

Ha! Well, we have a win and a draw against them so far and I imagine they'll have revenge on their minds! Regardless of the outcome, getting to the final eight in our first year of Champions League play is a huge accomplishment.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:49 AM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alf View Post
Exciting finish ! And nice writeup. To me, your writing formula is just perfect. Good amount of inforamtion (enough detailed and not too much info). Formatting makes it for a clean reading too.

Thanks Alf!

I've often wondered if my "game recaps" are boring or too long and if people just gloss over them. I like giving the pregame detail of how my opponent is doing in the league, their top players, big transfer deals, etc just to flesh things out but I wonder if people really read the minute-by-minute rundown of the games.

If not, I could tighten things up a bit but if you guys like it, it hasn't been an issue writing it all up.

I really appreciate the positive comments!!
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:40 AM   #248
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I read the pregame and postgame religiously but I don't really read the minute by minute (although I like the goals "progression").
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:13 PM   #249
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I love the prematch reports and the post game reports. I love seeing how my favorite players do (Neil get healthy soon). I read the match reports only in that having to scroll to see scores adds some suspense but I don't really read them. So if you stopped I wouldn't really miss them.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:19 AM   #250
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkeep49 View Post
I love the prematch reports and the post game reports. I love seeing how my favorite players do (Neil get healthy soon). I read the match reports only in that having to scroll to see scores adds some suspense but I don't really read them. So if you stopped I wouldn't really miss them.

Thanks Barkeep!

Good info to know - maybe when I hit next season, I'll just recap the goals that are scored and *maybe* do full recaps like I'm doing now for only key games (Champions League, key Premier League matches, etc). That way, I can maybe move a bit faster through the seasons.
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