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Old 11-18-2013, 11:01 PM   #51
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Location: St. Catharines, Canada

I've simply organized all of the players by the position they played most this year, ordered by Average Rating.

The GK ratings are a bit misleading - I basically used Wilke in most big games and gave Fabianski more of the easy matches. Wilke especially was a key factor in our second half surge.

At fullback, the biggest surprise is seeing 18 year old Renato Gaucho doing so well at such a tender age. Veteran English international Glen Johnson will be retiring at the end of June and I'll be releasing DL Bob Harris when his contract expires next month.

Our central midfield traditionally has been a strength but we had disappointing seasons from Oliver Nicholas, loan pickup Alen Krivic and the aging Stephane Mbia. Lukas Stetina was quite solid in his first year despite having difficulty grasping the English language. Mbia will be moving on next year.

Gianluca Bolis was excellent in his first year, becoming great friends right away with fellow Italian Andrea Rocca - he'll be a key player going forward for us. Cameron Murray played very poorly for us and I'm worried the Scottish international is not fitting in with our club. Veteran Cristian Rodriguez has seen his skills decline greatly and will not have his contract renewed next year.

At central midfield, it's Rocca leading the way. He's simply a superb player and we're lucky to have him. Veteran Darren Pratley continues to play well despite his age and was resigned for one more season. Frantisek Kroulik looks to have great potential and I'll lean on him much more next season. Mancini, a defensive midfielder, was largely disappointing for us.

At striker, Giorgos Gesios is having trouble living up to his huge transfer fee but in all fairness, he battled injury for more than two months. When healthy, he showed explosive ability. Gerardo Escobar was better in year two at Dover but still isn't a big producer while Zoltan Bardi suffered through a horrific five month long slump before getting hot in the last two months of the season. Petr Simek was very reliable off the bench or as a spot starter. Rideout won't see his contract renewed.

May 11, 2020

For our 11th place finish, we collect £7,369,000 - not a bad haul! That temporarily brings us into the black for the season.

Stadium Expansion

Without any prompting from me, the board announce a £6,400,000 stadium expansion plan that will see 5250 more seats added at Crabble Athletic Ground. This will take us from 10,500 to a capacity of 15,750! Very exciting news! We see current capacity reduced to 9135 until the expansion is finished, with a projected completion date of November 30th.

In the same press conference, the board announce plans to also build a Youth Academy. This will be a £450,000 project that is expected to be completed before the end of August.

Transfers Out

Two players with expiring contracts have agreed to deals that will see them move on July 1st. DC Stephane Mbia will be heading to Krylja Sovetov while ST Simon Rideout has agreed to terms with Blackburn, who was just relegated to the Championship. Rideout had a number of teams to choose from, including Peterborough, Hull City, Crewe and Bristol Rovers.

Champions League

Manchester City were monsters this year, winning the treble - Barclays Premier League title, the FA Cup and the Champions League. They defeated crosstown rivals Manchester United IN ALL THREE! That may be a fireable offense for Man U! Their current manager is former star player Jurgen Klinsmann.

Man City's MC Moussa Sissoko, a French international, claims the Champions League best player award.

International Friendlies

Two of our defenders are called up by their respective countries: DC Oliver Nicholas will be looking to add to his 41 caps for Eritrea while young fullback Rachid Diallo, who I loaned out to Spanish side Rayo this year, is called up by Togo. At 20 years of age, he's been capped 3 times so far.

Dover Takeover Talks

Current chairman Chris Dunphy has been entertaining offers on the club since we arrived in the Premier League - I guess that will happen when our estimated value goes from less than a million pounds upon his purchase of the team to over 30 million!

A consortium led by board member Chris May is evidently close to a deal with Dunphy but the most interesting thing about it is that May has another manager in mind to possibly take over for me should he buy the team!

You have to be kidding!

I'm not going to get too worried at this point…May would get skinned by our supporters if he tried to pull off a stunt like that…right?

We hit the end of May and with our players on vacation, I'm actively scouting in preparation for the opening of the July transfer window. That said, while the takeover talks are ongoing, I have a transfer embargo placed on me - needless to say, I hope the bloody thing gets settled before the 1st of July!

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-18-2013 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:49 PM   #52
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June Board Confidence Update

The board are delighted with the leadership qualities I'm demonstrating, with the major contributing factor being the amazing increase in stature the club has experienced since I took charge.

They also ask for my continued patience while they deal with the speculation regarding the club's future.

We made a profit of £2.03 million last month and that is notable, considering that £6.63 million is being spent on the stadium expansion/renovations.

Premier League Updates

Man City's ST Enrique wins the Player of the Month award for May, scoring 5 times in 2 games. Everton fullback Milan Mojsky wins Young Player of the Month, while our young MR Gianluca Bolis comes in second.

Carlos Ancelotti wins Manager of the Month for Man City and I finish in 2nd.

With our 2019-20 fiscal year completed, we saw about a 10% increase in revenues but over 25% more spending, mostly due to Giorgos Gesios's transfer fee. In the end, we lost a little over £200,000 last year…not a bad number, all things considered - hell, we've had three stadium expansions in less than two years!

With the increased capacity, our average attendance skyrocketed to over 8700 per match and with capacity being increased to over 15,000 by November, I expect to see more records for attendance broken this year.

EURO 2020

Italy is hosting the European Championships and at this point, we have two players called up for the event: Greece's Giorgos Gesios and Poland's Lukasz Fabianski.

I send two of my staff members to scout the championship.

Dover Chairman Demands End to Takeover Saga

Chairman Chris Dunphy tells the potential new owners to get their butt in gear in order to give me proper time to work in the upcoming transfer window.

Dunphy goes on to say he will "pull the plug on the take-over if an agreement can't be reached soon".

And just like that…we have a new chairman…

Consortium Complete Dover Takeover

A consortium led by Chris May has successfully completed a takeover of Dover Athletic, replacing former chairman Chris Dunphy.

He reveals that he has "big plans for Dover and there would be changes sooner rather than later at Crabble."

Speculation is that manager NoSkillz will be replaced by Lee Clark. Clark managed Huddersfield for almost 8 years between 2008 and 2016 and most recently had a two year spell at Newcastle. He's been out of management for over a year and a half.

I meet with the new chairman and after thanking me for my patience during a stressful period, tells me that he's pumping almost 15 million pounds into the club's bank account in addition to working on improvements to our training ground and youth facilities.

Wow - that's cool!

Then, ominously, he finishes by saying that "it was always the intention to appoint a new manager following the takeover and a decision on my future at Dover will be made shortly"

I think I'm going to be sick...

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-18-2013 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:07 AM   #53
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yeah, you're safe... if they fired you the new chairman would soon become the exchairman
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:29 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by SirFozzie View Post
yeah, you're safe... if they fired you the new chairman would soon become the exchairman

Needless to say, I hope you're right!
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:35 AM   #55
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June 4, 2020

New chairman Chris May brings serious cash over to Dover. With the £15 million cash infusion, we now have a bank balance in excess of £26 million and our estimated value has skyrocketed to £48,000,000, which takes us into the top 100 in the world, sitting at 74th. Along with Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City, we are now considered "Rich"

My god…I've got a sugar daddy!

At least for now. No sign of Lee Clark…not yet anyway!

Contract Extension

U18 graduate Dennis Kunz signs a three year deal to stay at Dover. I'll most likely loan him out this year and hope to develop him enough to sell him.

International Round-Up

Two of my fine young players, DL Renato Gaucho and MC Frantisek Kroulik perform well in their U21 international matches.

In other matches, Oliver Nicholas captains Eritrea to a World Cup qualifying win over Uganda while Zoltan Bardi plays well for Hungary in a 3-1 win over Azerbaijan.

Transfer Window Opens

On June 9th, the transfer window opens but the embargo remains at Dover while my future is decided.

That said, I made a few moves well in advance of the embargo and one of those players arrives at Dover as the window opens.

New Signing

Welcome 18 year old Italian striker Carlo Cerbone to Dover!

The 6' 2" 182 pound forward is very raw and will play for our U18 team this year in hopes of developing his skills. We scoop him up for £35,000 from Lecce in Serie C1/B. Cerbone tells journalists that this is the best day of his life and that he plans on making himself a firm favourite with our supporters.

I like his spirit already!

Transfer Out

In another pre-arranged move, striker Simon Rideout leaves Dover for Blackburn in a free transfer. Rideout originally came to us on loan from Leicester in 2015 before we'd eventually buy him for £75,000 in 2017. In all, he played 51 league games for Dover over three seasons, scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists.

-- In other news, reports out of Fulham state they are set to make our striker Gerardo Escobar their main transfer target.

Good luck with that boys…

Meeting with New Chairman Chris May - "D-DAY"

I'm asked to report to new chairman Chris May's office this morning.

He informs me that I will be allowed to stay on as manager of Dover!


He tells me he was impressed by the support shown for my management at the club and was persuaded to let me remain in charge.

Our transfer embargo is lifted and I'm now free to start making moves! I'll have to wait until we have a transfer budget before I make major moves but I can at least look into some expiring contracts to see if there are any Bosman transfer possibilities.

Youth and Training Facilities Upgrade

This guy means business! Construction work begins immediately on an upgrade of our training and youth facilities. The construction project will cost approximately £1.3 million and only take a short time to complete.

This has been a GOOD day!

Last edited by NoSkillz : 05-14-2014 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:45 AM   #56
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What's the outlook on the budget? Any idea what they'll give you?
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:08 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Grover View Post
What's the outlook on the budget? Any idea what they'll give you?

Not yet - I'm still operating under last year's budget, presumably until July.

We have over 27 million pounds in the bank account right now, a number that just floors me - again, most of this is from a 16 million pound "investment" made to the team from the new chairman.

I'm *very* excited to see what is in store for our budgets going forward!
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:51 PM   #58
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EURO Cup 2020

-- Greek striker Giorgos Gesios comes off the bench to score a goal in Greece's 3-1 win over Denmark in the European Championship. Greece has 1 win and 1 draw in their first two games of the tournament. He then follows that up by scoring a HAT TRICK in a 3-2 win over Norway! He's now up to 8 goals in as many international games. It's great to see him playing so well and this will do wonders not only for his confidence but I'm hoping he'll arrive at our club in great shape after this tournament.

-- Our other participant, Polish GK Lukasz Fabianski hasn't played thus far in three games, with Poland dropping two decisions and drawing one other game. They are already knocked out of the competition.

-- Preston come calling looking to grab our young DC Matthew Thompson on a season-long loan. They are willing to pay us £120,000 as an up-front fee and will cover his modest £775/week salary too. Thompson is a 2 star potential player and will not be in our plans so I accept the offer. I also offer him up to other clubs around the league for the same amount and get a couple more offers that I accept.

-- West Ham come calling for MR Ismail Mkhize on a potential transfer, offering me £825,000 plus incentives. They only offer £90k up front so I up the deal to an even million and try to negotiate. In turn, I offer him out to other clubs as well. Mkhize played a few games for us last year - he's a 6' 4" winger with decent speed and is rated 2.0/3.0 at this point. He could be a backup for us but he's expendable for the right price.

-- Swansea and Preston North End propose friendlies and I accept. I always try to do a little tour of one country during the preseason and this year I'm going to choose Italy. I propose friendlies to both Napoli and AC Milan and they are quickly accepted. Hopefully Andrea Rocca and Gianluca Bolis enjoy the trip to their home country!

Home Grown Players Report

-- Swansea make an offer to take one of our young DC's on a season long loan - Andrew Stanley is a 20 year old 1.0/2.5 guy - nothing really special but I've got a big issue on my hands potentially in that I have only one "home grown" player on my senior team and that is DC Matthew Thompson, who I just loaned out for the season to Preston. Now, this isn't a worry for this season but if I somehow qualify for Continental play next year, I believe I'll need four home grown players registered on my squad. DL Renato Gaucho will qualify in late December 2022 and I have three middling prospects on my reserve team that currently qualify in GK Simon Hayward, ML Steve Ingram and MC Ollie McCall. Stanley is due to qualify for home grown status in one year if I keep him here, so I decline the offer.

Transfer OUT

-- And just like that, Ismail Mkhize is gone, as he accepts a contract with West Ham - I'll get a cool £1,000,000 for the transfer. Mkhize joined Dover as a 17 year old in 2016 and played on our U18 team and also on loans to Swansea and Chesterfield. He only played 4 scoreless league games for Dover.

-- Oh cool - I guess I had a clause in deal that I made with Las Palmas to sell them GK Eduard Hanke that would pay me an additional £50,000 if they got promoted to LIGA BBVA (I sold him in July 2019). It looks like Hanke got them there, as he led them to a 1st place finish in LIGA adelante - he played 33 games for Las Palmas and allowed only 37 goals with a 7.01 rating. Not bad - I'm sure the team is okay with sending that cheque!

-- Speaking of my home grown players, Scottish Premier League club St. Johnstone make a £450,000 offer for 20 year old GK Simon Hayward. I scooped Hayward off the street when he was dropped from the Man United U18 club in 2016 and he's been a staple on our own U18 and reserve teams over the past four years. He's got a rating of 1.5/3.5 right now - again, I don't have any thoughts that he'll be able to contribute to our club but I'm worried about the home grown status thing. Still…that's a lot of money for a spare part. I think I'm going to ask for a bit more (maybe get a sell on clause added) then open up the bidding for other teams as well.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-20-2013 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:23 PM   #59
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EURO Cup 2020

-- Greece gets knocked out of the Euro Cup just before the quarter-finals in a 3-0 loss to Russia. Giorgos Gesios played the whole game and was one of Greece's best players in the game.

Sponsorship Money

-- A report comes out detailing the sponsorship dollars accumulated by Premier League teams. In a league that generated in excess of £205,000,000 in sponsorship, Manchester United raked in approximately £63 million of it! The lowest earner? Of course, it was us - we only made a paltry £250,000 - hopefully our new chairman will get on that!

England Season Summary

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

Barclays Premier League 2019/20
Winners - Man City
Relegated - Wolves, West Brom, Blackburn
Top Goalscorer - Enrique - 43
Most Assists - Omar Hernandez - 23
Highest Average Rating - Enrique - 8.10
Overachievers - Huddersfield
Underperformers - Wolves
Signing of the Season - Sunderland's Ben Sahar (£0)
Worst Signing of the Season - Middlesbrough's Barry Maguire (£7.75m)

npower Championship
Winners - Newcastle
Promoted - Newcastle, Bolton, Norwich
Relegated - Swansea, Coventry, Rochdale

npower League 1
Winners - Leicester
Promoted - Leicester, Cardiff, Bristol City
Relegated - Rotherham, Oldham, Yeovil, Millwall

npower League 2
Winners - Exeter
Promoted - Exeter, Crystal Palace, Luton, Bournemouth
Relegated - Gateshead, Darlington

Blue Square Bet Premier
Winners - Burton
Promoted - Burton, Crawley
Relegated - Hayes & Yeading, Alfreton, Kettering, Bury

Blue Square Bet North
Winners - Port Vale
Promoted - Port Vale, Kidderminster
Relegated - Workington, Southport, Ashton United

Blue Square Bet South
Winners - Havant & Waterlooville
Promoted - Havant & Waterlooville, Newport Country
Relegated - Lewes, Eastbourne Boro, Tiverton

Other Winners
FA Cup - Manchester City
League Cup - Manchester City
Community Shield - Manchester United
Johnstone's Paint Trophy - Bristol Rovers
FA Trophy - Mansfield

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-21-2013 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:11 AM   #60
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Dover Fan's Player of the Year

-- No surprise here - the fans smartly and correctly vote our stellar 23 year old Italian central midfielder Andrea Rocca as the Player of the Year.

Dover Best Eleven for 2019-20

-- A few surprises, as usual, on our Best Eleven list:

GK - Lukasz Fabianski - 20 apps 0g 7.00 avg
DL - Renato Gaucho - 16 apps 0g 7.03 avg
DC - Luke McCullough - 34 apps 2g 6.85 avg
DC - Lukas Stetina - 25 apps 1g 6.91 avg
DR - Jozef Kuciak - 25 apps 0g 6.84 avg
ML - Liam Craig - 30 apps 2g 6.89 avg
MC - Andrea Rocca - 37 apps 6g 7.35 avg
MC - Darren Pratley - 25 apps 2g 6.92 avg
MR - Gianluca Bolis - 33 apps 6g 6.95 avg
ST - Petr Simek - 20 apps 5g 6.98 avg
ST - Gerardo Escobar - 28 apps 11g 7.15 avg

Other notables: GK Ingo Wilke 23 apps 0g 6.89; DL Bob Harris 20 apps 0g 6.82; DM Mancini 21 apps 0g 6.74; DM Simon Woodman 3 apps 0g 6.83; MC Frantisek Kroulik 27 apps 2g 6.89; ST Giorgos Gesios 25 apps 10g 6.94; ST Zoltan Bardi 29 apps 6g 6.89

Fabianski over Wilke is understandable, as his average rating was better. Petr Simek getting on there instead of Gesios is a bit of a reach, as Simek only started about 10 matches for us.

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

Dover Best Eleven - Overall

GK - Ingo Wilke - 167 apps 0g 7.00 avg
DL - David Ogilby - 178 apps 8g 6.98 avg
DC - Olly Schulz - 120 apps 18g 7.32 avg
DC - Oliver Nicholas - 316 apps 28g 7.14 avg
DR - Conor Morrissey - 230 apps 1g 6.98 avg
ML - Arsene Bamba - 106 apps 16g 7.20 avg
MC - Richie Ryan - 131 apps 28g 6.98 avg
MC - Andrea Rocca - 103 apps 26g 7.33 avg
MR - Abdeltareck Sakali - 176 apps 50g 7.14 avg
ST - Alexander Rattke - 125 apps 55g 7.13 avg
ST - Aaron Green - 141 apps 65g 7.18 avg

Andrea Rocca is the only new addition to the Overall Best Eleven.

GK - Liam O'Brien - 219 apps 0g 6.84 avg
DL - Aziz Deen-Conteh - 122 apps 2g 6.95 avg
DC - Luke McCullough - 186 apps 16g 6.98
ML - Ismael Fofana - 206 apps 38g 6.98 avg
MC - Jon Wallis - 135 apps 13g 6.94 avg
ST - Ben Hunt - 156 apps 70g 7.12 avg
ST - Zoltan Bardi - 125 apps 39g 6.98 avg

2020-21 Barclay's Premier League Fixture List Announced

-- We will start the season off at home against Tottenham on Saturday August 15th, a team we defeated in the final game last season. The traditional Boxing Game match will take place at Man City Stadium against this year's league Champions and we'll face Man City again at home in our season finale on May 23rd.

-- We are given £40,000,000 for Barclays Premier League TV rights for the upcoming season. Lovely - this number seems a little higher than last year, as I thought we were in the £37m area in my first two years in the league. Either way, we'll happily accept the money!

Start of Season Expectations

-- Ok here we go! Our new chairman expects us to achieve a safe, mid-table position within the Premier League this season. For this, the board is offering me the following:

2020/21 TRANSFER BUDGET - £33,500,000
2020/21 WAGE BUDGET - £245,000/week

WOW - those are HUGE increases over last year, especially with our transfer budget!!! I have additional money available should my ambitions be higher, up to an incredible £53 million transfer budget and a £275,000 weekly wage budget should I aim for a Premier League title.

With a new chairman on board and one that reluctantly kept me on, I'm just going to go with their expectations and take the 33.5 million. Silently, my goal is Continental qualification but we'll see how we're doing in January.

This is fun!

Youth Intake - U18 Club

-- Nothing to see here. The best prospect is a 0.5/1.5 GK named Garry Doyle. My first preseason friendly is always a warmup match against my U18 squad and my normal M.O. is to cut anyone who isn't a 1 star potential (or above) right after that match. I'm hoping that the construction of our new youth academy, our improved youth facilities (currently under construction as well) and the hopeful development of our youth recruitment system (being planned now) will all help improve our future youth intakes.

-- Newly promoted Newcastle come after my young star MR Gianluca Bolis, offering me £8,500,000. Yikes - that would easily be the most money I've ever received in a transfer but Bolis is going absolutely nowhere. I reject the offer and issue a hands off warning as well.

-- And the bids continue to come in, this time for young MC Frantisek Kroulik from Reading for £4,800,000. I reject it again - I still have big plans for Kroulik but that said, I could see taking a larger offer for him in the future.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-21-2013 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:37 AM   #61
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Transfer Market Plans

My goal is to build a great team piece by piece. I feel that we have solid players for the future in place at DL in Renato Gaucho, two excellent centre mids in Andrea Rocca and Frantisek Kroulik, a great young MR in Gianluca Bolis and three really good strikers.

One weakness that will soon be rectified is my right fullback situation. About a month back, I made a Bosman signing that will see 21 year old Algerian international Salim Loucif join Dover on July 1st. I somehow was able to steal Loucif from Olympique Lyonnais for absolutely nothing. My scouts LOVE him - he's rated 3.5/4.5 right now and has some very impressive ratings (tackling 17; anticipation 15; concentration 16; creativity 16; determination 12; influence 16; positioning 15; teamwork 19; work rate 17; accel 16; agility 17; balance 15; pace 15; stamina 18). Looks VERY good. My only issue is that he doesn't speak English yet - I'll likely look at bringing in at least one other French speaking/English speaking player to help his transition.

At this point, my biggest goal is to improve the middle of our defense. We have three capable DC's in vice-captain Luke McCullough, veteran Oliver Nicholas and Lukas Stetina but we need at least one stud at the back...maybe even two.

My next biggest weakness is at left wing/ML - I'm convinced I still need to find an absolutely elite striker if I'm to get to continental play - if I do find someone, I'll likely look to move one of my current top three of Gesios, Bardi or Escobar, simply because they will not get the playing time they need.

I may also look to improve the GK position - Fabianski isn't getting any younger and Wilke, while excellent, isn't a star at this level.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-21-2013 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:20 AM   #62
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-- I'm actively scouting central defenders, left midfielders and strikers to start and I've put in a couple of offers already on some young DC's...we'll see if I can sign them but they both have some decent potential.

-- Frantisek Kroulik wants me to look at increasing his wage in light of my refusal to sell him. I tell him that's not happening and he apologizes for bothering me. I like these young kids that know their place in the grand scheme of things

-- A whole bunch of teams want young GK Simon Hayward on loan but only one, Millwall, tell me he'll be a starting keeper. I ask them to pay his modest wage in a renegotiated deal. As that happens, I get word that St. Johnstone have met my transfer fee demands for Hayward. Hmm…I guess I have to accept that! We'll see what Hayward decides but I'm guessing he will take the opportunity with St. Johnstone after he comes out in the press and declares his delight at my acceptance of the deal.

-- We set a new average attendance record last year at Crabble Athletic Ground of 8,735. With another stadium expansion taking place as we speak, we should see another major increase in supporters again for 2020/21.

Barclays Premier League Title Odds

-- Manchester City are touted as favourites for this year at even money. Man U is second at 5-2, Arsenal is 5-1, Liverpool is 6-1, Chelsea is 14-1 and Tottenham are 25-1. We are longshots at 1000-1 and the pundits feel that a high mid-table finish is in the cards. I'd prefer to see how we do in the transfer market first before making such assumptions!

Loan OUT

-- 21 year old DC Andy Brown is loaned out to AFC Wimbledon for 7 months. They indicated he'd be in the mix to start and that prompted me to accept their deal. He's definitely a surplus to requirements here.

Transfer OUT

-- Simon Hayward signs a contract with St. Johnstone and that completes a £450,000 transfer. I also negotiated a sell on clause in addition to negotiating a £50K payout should Hayward reach 20 league appearances. Hayward did not play a single league game with Dover and since I got him on a free, this is all pure profit. He was never going to be in our plans.

Season Ticket Update

-- We've sold 913 season tickets so far and the club expects another 3300 to sell to bring us to around 4200 total. We sold 3793 last year but the hope is that we continue to add subscribers to fill up our growing stadium, which will seat over 15,000 supporters by November this year.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:17 AM   #63
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Dover Player Retirements and Other Departures

-- Two of my players file their retirement papers. Right fullback Glen Johnson had an incredible career: he played in 417 Premier League games, scoring 22 goals and adding 46 assists. He started out at West Ham in 2001 and had spells at Millwall, Chelsea and Portsmouth before spending the prime of his career at Liverpool. We picked him up on a free in July of 2018 but he was largely ineffective in his time at Dover, going scoreless over 33 games in two years. He received 93 caps for England, scoring once. A legendary career and he moves into coaching.

-- Cristian Rodriguez also retires after a wonderful career. The Uruguay international wore his country's jersey on 82 different occasions, scoring 13 goals. He started his league career at Club Atletico Penarol in Uruguay before moving to Paris Saint-Germain in 2005. He'd have a brief spell at Benfica before moving to Porto for six seasons. He'd come to England for the first time in 2013 to suit up for Chelsea and we were able to grab him on a free in 2018. In all, he played 33 league games for Dover, scoring three times and assisting on five. For his career, he played 309 league games, scored 52 goals and added 26 assists.

-- Fullback Bob Harris sees his contract expire and leaves Dover. At one time, Harris was our largest transfer signing at £95,000 in 2016. He was an excellent player for us and an enthusiastic tackler at left back. He played four seasons for us, making 92 league appearances and contributing 7 assists.

-- We return two players to their parent clubs after taking them on loan last year: DC Alen Krivic made 15 appearances for us last year, scoring a goal while DMC Simon Woodman had trouble breaking into the lineup, only appearing in 5 games. Krivic especially has a lot of talent but never really settled in with our club.

Dover Players Returning from Loan

-- We have a slew of players returning from loan assignments: DR Jackson Ramm comes back from Watford, DM Shaun Halsall and AMC/ST Roberto return from West Ham, AMC Stuart Rogers is back from Luton Town, AMC Aitor Zubizarreta returns from Gimnastic, MR Frankie Taylor comes back from Charlton and DR Rachid Diallo returns from Rayo.

-- Newcastle won't quit: now they offer me £10,500,000 for Gianluca Bolis. I reject it again - Bolis will play a huge role for us going forward and I'm not even remotely interested in selling him. So far, he's been quiet and I hope he doesn't get upset about this situation.

-- PSG boss Laurent Fournier publicly expressed his interest in our striker Gerardo Escobar. He hasn't been spectacular for us but I'm not really ready to give up on him quite yet. That said, if I find another striker in the transfer market, someone will have to go and the easiest to move would be Escobar so I'm going to keep an open mind.

New Manager Contract

-- Well, I guess I've convinced new chairman Chris May that I'm the man for the job. Only a couple of weeks after I thought I might be sent to the curb due to his takeover, May offers me a three year contract at a whopping £24,000 per week, a huge increase over my previous salary of £13,250. It's nice to be wanted!

Transfer IN

-- We are pleased to welcome 19 year old central defender Thomas Andersen to Dover in a £2,300,000 transfer deal with Eredivisie champs AZ Alkmaar. The Danish defender is a driven individual (20 determination) and looks to have pretty decent potential down the road. My two main scouts both listed him at 2.5/4.5 and now that he's on the team, my coaches give him anywhere from 2-3 stars currently and all have him down for 4 stars potential. He speaks a number of different languages, including English, so I think he might be able to contribute off the bench already this season but I will consider loaning him out as well. A good prospect for the future. I have one more deal on the table for a younger DC that I hope gets accepted soon as well.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:16 AM   #64
High School Varsity
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Australia
Come on Dover!
Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments will hum about mine ears; and sometimes voices,
That, if I then had wak'd after long sleep, will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches ready to drop upon me, that, when I wak'd, I cried to dream again.
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:32 PM   #65
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Transfer OUT

-- We again receive an offer we can't refuse on one of our former U18 GK prospects. Ryan Alnwick was scooped up on a free after he was let go by Liverpool in July 2018. He played two years with our U18 team and now we sell him to Southampton for £275,000 plus future incentives. He wasn't a part of our future plans so it was an easy deal to make.

World's Richest Club List

-- Real Madrid top the list of the richest clubs in the world, with an estimated value of £967 million (!!). We have moved onto the list for the first time ever, partially due to our league success and also due to our new owner. We are now listed with an estimated value of £57 million - nice! That's good for 62nd in the world and 9th in England.

Preseason Friendlies Set

-- We will engage in a much more arduous preseason schedule, as I look to work on team unity and get all of our players in the best shape possible before the season's start.

July 7, 2020 - Dover U18
July 12, 2020 - Folkestone (English Non-League and Dover rival)
July 15, 2020 - Galatasaray (Turkish Premier League)
July 19, 2020 - AT Preston North End (Championship)
July 21, 2020 - AT Swansea (League 1)
July 25, 2020 - AT A.C. Milan (Italian Serie A)
July 28, 2020 - AT Napoli (Italian Serie A)
August 1, 2020 - Panathinaikos (Greek Superleague)
August 5, 2020 - AT Margate (English Non-League and Dover rival)
August 8, 2020 - Athletic Club Bilbao (Spanish LIGA BBVA)

A very challenging schedule, with some of the world's elite clubs. Panathinaikos is Giorgos Gesios's childhood club.

Transfers IN

-- In a previously negotiated deal, Dover is extremely pleased to bring in Algerian national Salim Loucif on a free transfer. Loucif is a 21 year old right fullback that's rated very highly by my scouting team and assistant manager (3.5/4.5) and comes to us after a four year stay at Olympique Lyonnais. He started his professional football career at home club Jeunesse Sportive de Kabylie as a 15 year old and incredibly, he's already compiled over 300 league games as a 21 year old! Loucif doesn't speak English though - he currently speaks Arabic and French so I'll be looking to bring in at least one other French speaking player to help his transition.

-- In separate deals arranged prior to the opening of the transfer window, we welcome three other young Frenchmen to the club: 19 year old DC Jonathan Gauthier comes over from PSG, 18 year old striker Ryan Bodin is brought in from FC Sochaux-Montbe and fellow striker Gregoire Lambert, a 17 year old, comes over from Girondins Bordeaux. I'll likely look at loaning out Gauthier and Bodin and will put Lambert on our U18 squad.

Transfer OUT

-- In another deal arranged before the opening of the window, veteran DC Stephane Mbia leaves our club for Krylja Sovetov. Mbia joined our club from CS Sedan Ardennes in France in 2018 and played two years at Crabble, suiting up for 21 league games and contributing 2 assists.

-- I have two transfer offers for stud MLs accepted but once again, because of greedy agents, I can't come to terms with either because both want agent fees my board won't allow me to spend. Ridiculous.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:26 PM   #66
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
July Board Confidence Update

-- The board are very pleased with my overall leadership of the team. They are still most satisfied with our stature increase but slightly disappointed with the departure of ST Simon Rideout. We made a profit of £14.64 million last month, most of that coming from our chairman's investment.

Manager Team & Stadium Status and Media Expectations

As indicated previously, my salary is almost doubled this year and I'm given a two-year extension by the new chairman. Tactical consistency is down (not surprising) as is domestic player bias - again, not surprising, as I continue to add a lot of international flavour to our squad.

TIcket prices are up again, this time around 6%. Our value has skyrocketed to approximately £54 million and our squad status changes to Ambitious. I'm consciously trying to move this to a more determined squad.

There is an incredible amount of construction going on right now, with a 5250 seat stadium expansion being worked on in addition to a youth academy and training ground/youth facilities improvements. Incredible!

Transfer IN

-- As indicated earlier, I was hopeful of getting a second young centre halfback signed and we just get word that a £2.5 million deal to bring Abdallaye Kokaina to Dover from FC Bayern has been completed! The German-born Kokaina is only 18 years old but has a 2.0/4.5 rating from our scouts. He played 32 games as a 17 year old for Bayern's #2 team, scoring twice, adding 9 assists and coming through with an average rating of 7.60. I think I'd like to loan him out this year in order for him to learn English but I may keep him with our U18 squad as an alternative.

-- One of my major needs was at left wing/left midfield and after getting thwarted by greedy agents on two potential transfers, I finally get one to go through. And to top it off, it's a name familiar to Dover fans. 23 year old Frenchman Arsene Bamba returns to Dover, only this time as a fully contracted player! We purchased Bamba from Metalurg for £7,000,000 - Bamba is a former Arsenal U18 who played three years with us on loan when we were in League 1. He was arguably our best player all three of those years, playing 94 league games, scoring 12 goals and adding a mind-blowing 49 assists during that period. He's a 3.5/4.0 player and he'll immediately jump in as a first choice player here at Dover. The other two players I was chasing might be better players but Bamba might be the best fit. Very exciting!

Transfer OUT

-- We move DR Jackson Ramm out in a £500,000 transfer deal to QPR. Ramm has been with Dover since 2016 and played two full seasons for us, one in our League 1 winning season and also in our npower Championship promotion season, playing 57 games and contributing 5 assists. In the past two seasons, I've loaned him out to Championship clubs Southampton and Watford, where he was a backup player on both squads. He's not a Premier League quality player so this was an easy decision to move him out.

Loans OUT

-- New signing Jonathan Gauthier accepts a loan assignment to Brighton. In reality, Gauthier will never be in my plans and I'm honestly just hoping he develops enough to sell at a profit in the next year or two.

-- I also loan out middling prospect ML Steve Ingram to Brentford. I'm only keeping Ingram around because he's achieved home-grown status.

-- Juventus are starting to sniff around my stellar young left fullback Renato Gaucho. They made a £1.8 million bid that was quickly rejected and I've issued a hands off warning. The 18 year old is a big part of my plans going forward. Of course, his agent tells me he's unhappy with his contract now but after a short talk with the player, he's back to being happy again.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:35 PM   #67
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Training Camp Begins

-- The players return from holiday and my assistant reports that there are no fitness concerns whatsoever, a good sign that everyone has shown up in decent condition.

-- Our backroom staff get together and go over some comparisons with other teams in our division. As usual, we don't match up very well on paper versus the majority of teams just yet:

Aggression - Lowest in league
Concentration - Poor
Flair - Low
Dribbling - Poor
First Touch - Poor
Height - Shortest Team in the league
Speed - High (!!)
Passing - Poor
Strength - Weakest Team in the league
Technique - Poor

-- It will take a bit longer before we start improving in these areas. I've always looked for speed over everything else so I'm not surprised about the good marks there. I'm consciously trying to get bigger too, especially down the middle of the field. We are also the youngest team in the league

Transfers OUT

-- We sell DR Rachid Diallo to Litex for £1.4 million. Diallo was signed on a free from Pau FC in 2018 and was sent on loan to Dag & Red that year and then to Rayo in LIGA BBVA last year. He never suited up for Dover in his two years at the club and was surplus to requirements.

-- I also sell DC/MC Shaun Halsall to Swindon for £100,000. Halsall has been with us for four seasons, joining us in 2016 after being let go from Blackburn. He played on our U18 team for a season then spent time on loan at Brentford, Colchester and West Ham. He didn't see any league action with Dover during his time with the club.

-- An offer comes in once again for our fine young MC prospect Frantisek Kroulik, this time for £7 million. I decide to stall on this - Kroulik is a huge part of my plans going forward and I felt I was in great shape at midfield with Kroulik and Andrea Rocca but one of my scouts just recently brought another young midfielder to my attention that's worth exploring. He's been labeled as a "Wonderkid" and one that may be interested in moving to Dover (that's very rare for a player of his calibre) so I'm working on that right now.

-- Renato Gaucho is interviewed by and states that he was flattered by the interest shown from Juventus and would consider any offer they make him. I've already issued a hands off warning to all teams but this won't help matters.

Rooney to Dover?

One of my scouts points out that Manchester United released Wayne Rooney this week and that he is potentially interested in a move to Dover. Rooney is 34 years old at this point and while his trademark pace has become average, he still has plenty of skill and mental capabilities to contribute for another year or two. I offer him a contract that his agent accepts and I think I may have him but a couple days later, Rooney calls me to say he's over-ruling his agent, as he wants more money, a sell-on clause AND wants assurance he'll always be our highest paid player. I'm not willing to go as far as I need to and I walk away from a legend of the game.

-- New DC Thomas Andersen is called up to play for Denmark's U19 squad

-- Our preseason friendly against Turkish side Galatasaray will be televised

-- Our pitch gets relaid, as usual at this time of year. It is now in perfect condition.

Transfer IN

-- We may have paid more for striker Giorgos Gesios but this may qualify as our biggest signing to date. I wasn't even in the market for a central midfielder but one of my scouts pointed out that there was a "Wonderkid" that he felt was attainable if we were willing to spend the money. I started talks with Manchester City manager Carlo Ancelotti, who guided City to the treble last year and after some back and forth, I was able to come to an agreement with him. It took some doing and a lot of money but in the end, I was able to come to a contract agreement with the player as well…

Welcome 20 year old Neil Cairney to Dover! I paid £12,750,000 for the rights to this incredible prospect and will be paying him a salary of £39,000 per week as well, easily the highest on the club but now matched by Giorgos Gesios, who I stupidly gave the "match highest earner clause". Anyway, back to Cairney!

He is Scottish and started with Celtic in 2017-18, actually playing 11 games in the Scotish Premier League that season. He was scooped up by Man City for £3.3 million the next season and played on loan at Middlesbrough in the Premier League in 2018-19 (29apps 4g 5a 7.04 avg) and at Stuttgart in Germany (30apps 2g 4a 7.30 avg). He looks to be a brilliant prospect - I'll soon put up a screen shot of his attributes, along with everyone else on our senior team, in an upcoming post.

As a result of this signing, I go ahead and accept a couple of deals for Frantisek Kroulik, as he'll now longer really have a spot here and it's hard to turn down £7 million pounds for someone that won't be playing much.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-23-2013 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:47 PM   #68
High School Varsity
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Australia
Ooooh, exciting!
Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments will hum about mine ears; and sometimes voices,
That, if I then had wak'd after long sleep, will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches ready to drop upon me, that, when I wak'd, I cried to dream again.
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:46 PM   #69
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Dover Athletic - 2020-21 Senior Team Roster Report

Here is a look at how our team is shaping up as we're about to start our preseason friendlies later today, with a game against our U18 squad.


Lukasz Fabianski - GK

Ingo Wilke - GK

I'll likely start the season with Wilke, who is much younger than Fabianski. I'd still like to look at bringing in another great keeper but I likely don't have the transfer money to do so.


Renato Gaucho - DL

Jozef Kuciak - DR, WBR

Salim Loucif - DR, DC

Jozef Varga - DL, WBL

We're set at starter with Gaucho and newcomer Loucif. I'm not happy with my depth on either side and will likely look to supplement what I have in the free transfer market or a bargain buy is an option as well.


Thomas Andersen - DC

Luke McCullough - DC, DR

Oliver Nicholas - DC, DR

Lukas Stetina - DC, DM, MC

So far, this is the biggest disappointment in the early part of the transfer window. I am having a very tough time finding an elite central defender that actually will come to Dover. I've been fortunate enough to sign two very good prospects in Andersen and young Kokaina but I'd like an anchor player in the middle of the defense. I'm still looking and hopeful to find someone who can step in right away as a starter this year.


Neil Cairney - MC

Frantisek Kroulik - MC

Mancini - DM, DC, MC

Darren Pratley - MC, AMC

Andrea Rocca - MC, AMC

Aitor Zubizarreta - AMC, AMR, ST

Cairney, my wonderkid signing from Man City, is a 3.5/4.5 prospect who should step in and contribute right away. Kroulik is on the transfer list and I will likely take advantage of whatever money comes in on his sale to supplement the rest of the roster. Depth is a concern here though - Pratley is way past his prime and Zubizarreta, while a great young talent, doesn't really fit in well with my roster because he can't play MC. We rarely go with an AMC and when we do, I'd prefer using Zoltan Bardi.


Arsene Bamba - ML, AML, WBL

Gianluca Bolis - MR, AMR

Liam Craig - MC, ML, AML

Petr Kostal - MR, AMR, ML, AML

Cameron Murray - ML, AML

Well, again, we're set at starter with newcomer Bamba joining last year's revelation Gianluca Bolis. Cameron Murray will hopefully bounce back after a terrible season last year. Kostal isn't very good. Again, depth is a concern.


Zoltan Bardi - ST, AMC, MC

Gerardo Escobar - ST

Giorgos Gesios - ST

Roberto - ST, AMC

Petr Simek - ST

We're very deep at striker but maybe lacking that absolute ELITE forward that most great teams have. I certainly hope Gesios can prove he's that guy - his value has dropped over 10 million pounds since I bought him last year but he's coming off a sensational Euro Cup and is in great shape to start the preseason. Escobar and Bardi will be counted on a lot as well.

Current Reserve Team Players

- Gareth Mace - DC, DR, ST
- Andrew Stanley - DC
- Emmanuel Agbo - DC, DM, MC
- Jamie Matthews - DM, MC
- Frankie Taylor - MR, MC
- Jonathan Adam - ML, AML, MC, AMC
- Dennis Kunz - ST

Current Players Loaned Out

- Matthew Thompson - DC (at Preston)
- Andy Brown - DC (at AFC Wimbledon)
- Jonathan Gauthier - DC, MC (at Brighton)
- Steve Ingram - ML, AML (at Brentford)

Notable U18 Prospects

Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz - DC

Abdallaye Kokaina - DC

Ryan Bodin - ST

Carlo Cerbone - ST

Gregoire Lambert - ST

DC Kokaina is an elite prospect with 4.5 potential. He's actually got the talent to play this year in a reserve role but I'd like him to learn the English language before being thrown to the wolves at the Premier League level. I plan on keeping him with the U18 team this year. I've had numerous offers for another young DC in the past 12 months, Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz - if others think he's going to be good there's no reason for me to move him just yet. He's a guy I'd like to achieve home grown status.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-22-2013 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 11-23-2013, 01:04 AM   #70
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
July 10, 2020

-- We always start our preseason with an intrasquad friendly, pitting our backups and reserves against our U18 squad.

Dover 4 - 1 Dover U18
Dover Goals - Roberto 2 (8.8), Petr Simek (7.3), Andrew Stanley (8.5)
Dover Assists - Cameron Murray 2 (9.0), Jozef Varga (8.1), Mancini (7.9)
Man of the Match - Cameron Murray
Other Notables: Lukasz Fabianski (7.2), Jozef Kuciak (7.2), Petr Kostal (7.2)

U18 Goal - Carlo Cerbone (7.3)
U18 Assist - Gregoire Lambert (6.8)
Other Notables - Garry Doyle (5.2), Simon Hassan (5.7)

-- Nothing much notable out of this match other than it was terrible football.

Transfer OUT

- Frantisek Kroulik accepts a deal from Celta and he leaves Dover with immediate effect. I kind of regret moving him to be honest - he would have been my #3 MC behind wonderkid new signing Neil Cairney and our star Andrea Rocca and it's not easy finding 4.5 star potential players. That said, it's hard to turn down the £7,500,000 I made in the sale and hopefully I can use that to get the big DC I need in addition to adding a touch more depth. The 7.5 million pound fee is by far the largest in Dover history, surpassing the £2,500,000 I received for Fraser Forster last year.

-- I find out that a second DC I had a contract offer into picked another team other than Dover. In the end, the other team offered a substantially higher salary so I get why the decision was made. Back to the drawing board…

Transfer IN

- I sign 22 year old DR Ross McLaughlin on a free to a £5000 per week contract. I've long had my eye on McLaughlin and he was recently released by Man City - he'll provide depth at right fullback for us and I'm guessing he'll get some decent playing time behind our new signing Salim Loucif.

Season Ticket Update

-- We've sold 2181 season tickets so far and are projected at this time to reach about 4200 in total.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-23-2013 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:32 AM   #71
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sun. July 12, 2020 - Preseason Friendly

Dover Athletic vs. Folkestone Invicta
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

We play one of our old rivals in our first competitive friendly. This should be a nice easy contest - hopefully no one gets hurt. My hopeful starting eleven will all be going today, barring any new additions before the season begins, of course.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, L. McCullough, L. Stetina, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, A. Rocca, N. Cairney, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, G. Escobar

Dover 7 - 0 Folkestone
Goals - Arsene Bamba 2 (9.4), Petr Simek 2 (8.6), Giorgos Gesios (8.1), Oliver Nicholas (8.6), Gerardo Escobar (8.0)
Dover Assists - Andrea Rocca 3 (9.1), Renato Gaucho (8.4), Neil Cairney (6.8), Arsene Bamba, Mancini (6.9)
Man of the Match - Arsene Bamba
Other Notables - Salim Loucif (8.6), Lukas Stetina (7.7), Gianluca Bolis (7.6), Ingo Wilke (7.2), Jozef Kuciak (7.2), Petr Kostal (7.2)
Attendance - 5792

Domination, as expected. Shots were 35 to 0 (12 on target) and possession favoured us 64% - 36%. Wonderkid Neil Cairney missed a penalty shot (well, it was a great save actually) and I think that's why his rating suffered, although he did force a few long shots. Bamba and Loucif were sensational in their first game and Rocca, as usual, was awesome.

Injury Report

- Crap. We have two injuries in this game, both to key players. DC Luke McCullough sustained fractured ribs after a robust challenge and will miss about four weeks. Star MC Andrea Rocca suffered bruised ribs but will miss only a week.

Loan OUT

- New striker Ryan Bodin will head out to Rushden and Diamonds on a loan deal for six months. He still doesn't speak English so hopefully he can get some basic knowledge of the language while he's on loan.
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:35 AM   #72
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. July 15, 2020 - Preseason Friendly

Dover Athletic vs. Galatasaray
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

This will be a much tougher contest against the Turkish Premier League side, especially since I'll be starting my "B" lineup today, for the most part.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - L. Fabianski
D - J. Varga, G. Mace, L. Stetina, R. McLaughlin
M - C. Murray, Mancini, N. Cairney, P. Kostal
S - P. Simek, Z. Bardi

Dover 1 - 4 Galatasaray
Goal - Zoltan Bardi (7.2)
Assist - Neil Cairney (6.8)
Man of the Match - Marcos Antonio (Galatasaray)
Other Notables - Ross McLaughlin (5.6), Lukas Stetina (5.8), Gareth Mace (5.6)
Attendance - 8615

A pretty poor game on our part but our depth quite obviously isn't as strong as it needs to be. Our defence had a rough night. Thankfully we had no injuries coming out of this one.

Transfer OUT

- We say goodbye to former U18 player Frankie Taylor, who leaves on a £70,000 transfer to Tranmere. We picked Taylor up on a free in 2017 when he was dropped by Huddersfield. We sent him on loan spells to Leyton Orient, Brighton and Charlton but he was rarely used, only playing 2 official league games to this date. I'm thrilled to get anything for him, to be honest.

Loan OUT

-- For the second year in a row, I loan out AMC Aitor Zubizarreta to Gimnastic in LIGA BBVA. I get an upfront fee of £200,000 and we also included a clause that allows them to purchase Zubizarreta at any point during the deal for £3,800,000. Interestingly enough, that gossip magazine got a sound bite from our captain Darren Pratley that revealed he was happy Zubizarreta was gone, as he was causing issues in our locker room. Hmm.

-- I lose out on another target, this time a depth left fullback, who chose to go to Duisburg over Dover.

-- Wayne Rooney signs with Fulham for basically the same amount I offered. No big deal - I think we're fine at striker without him.

Euro U19 Championship

Our new Danish central defender Thomas Andersen played the whole match and contributed an assist in a 2-1 Denmark victory over Ireland. Andersen's team has made it to the semi-finals, where they'll face Portugal while Slovakia and Italy battle it out on the other side of the draw.
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:12 AM   #73
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sun. July 19, 2020 - Preseason Friendly

Preston North End vs. Dover
Deepdale, Preston, UK

We head to Preston in our first road friendly. We start a pretty strong lineup today, with only Luke McCullough and Andrea Rocca missing due to injury. Otherwise we have a pretty full squad for this one.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, L. Stetina, O. Nicholas, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, D. Pratley, N. Cairney, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, G. Escobar

Preston 2 - 2 Dover
Goals - Arsene Bamba (7.7), Giorgos Gesios (8.2)
Assist - Giorgos Gesios, Neil Cairney (7.0)
Man of the Match - Giorgos Gesios
Other Notables - Salim Loucif (7.4), Renato Gaucho (7.1), Gianluca Bolis (7.2)
Attendance - 4770

We were up 2-0 with about 10 minutes left in the match but after substituting most of our starters, Preston would score twice in a three minute stretch to even things up. Once again, our depth looks very poor and I may have to look for some veterans in the free transfer market.

-- After the match, I get word that one of my transfer targets has accepted his contract but that we need to get a work permit issue sorted out. My scouts don't have much faith that we'll be able to get the permit for Namibian DC Paulus Tjiuoro but we'll find out next week. I'm not optimistic.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-23-2013 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:17 PM   #74
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Dover Injury Report

-- We have a couple players on the shelf right now. Veteran ML/MC Liam Craig pulled his groin early in camp but will soon be available for selection. Meanwhile, DC Luke McCullough is still recovering from his fractured ribs and will be out for another few weeks at least.

Tue. July 21, 2020 - Preseason Friendly

Swansea vs. Dover
Liberty Stadium, Swansea, UK

This is another game we should comfortably win, playing against League 1 side Swansea. That said, we're going with all of our second choice players today, with the exception of DC Lukas Stetina, who a year after being brought to Dover is still trying to fit into the team…and still hasn't learned English. I also call up Abdallaye Kokaina from the U18 team to see what he can do against men.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - L. Fabianski
D - J. Varga, L. Stetina, A. Kokaina, J. Kuciak
M - C. Murray, Mancini, J. Adam, P. Kostal
S - P. Simek, Z. Bardi

Swansea 0 - 1 Dover
Goals - Petr Simek (7.3)
Assist - Petr Kostal (6.9)
Man of the Match - Abdallaye Kokaina (7.8)
Other Notables - Lukas Stetina (7.0), Jozef Varga (7.1), Jonathan Adam (7.0), Cameron Murray 7.0
Attendance - 4302

A boring match - we outclassed them, winning the possession battle 59%-41% and outshooting them 15-4 but we had trouble breaking them down. 18 year old Abdallaye Kokaina was excellent and was named man of the match.

-- Left midfielder Cameron Murray sustained a bruised rib during the game and will miss about a week.

Euro U19 Championship Update

-- DC Thomas Andersen continues to perform well for Denmark, notching another assist in a 2-1 win over Portugal. Denmark moves onto the finals and will face Slovakia.

-- Striker Zoltan Bardi isn't happy with his current contract and wants a raise. He's only making £6,250 per week but I'm not really big on re-working contracts well before their expiry and his contract is in effect until June 2022. He's apologizes for bringing it up when I have a chat with him so all is well.

-- FC Bayern again come calling for young left fullback Renato Gaucho. I decide to counter their mediocre offer of £2,400,000 with a new bid of £20,000,000. Needless to say, they pull out of negotiations and i hope they finally get the message. Of course, Gaucho's agent once again approaches me to say his client is upset with his current contract terms but we've already been down that road before.

-- I've rarely had anyone approach me for GK Ingo Wilke but now Espanyol come calling, offering a paltry £1.2 million, half of his value. Quickly denied, of course.

-- Liam Craig resumes full training after missing a couple of weeks with his groin strain.

Transfer IN

- Holy smokes. I spoke in a prior post about coming to an agreement with a DC that required a work permit, one that my scouts said wasn't likely to be granted. Perhaps having a sugar daddy owner helps in these cases, because I just get word that FC Twente's DC Paulus Tjiuoro has been granted a conditional British work permit for his move to Dover!! Tjiuoro, which is going to be really hard to spell, is a 24 year old Namibian national who has essentially dominated every league he's been in. His home town club is Eleven Arrows and he had a one year spell in Azerbaijan at Qarabag FK Agdam before being bought for £600K by Bolivian club The Strongest CF…and yes, that's the actual name! He spent four years there before being purchased by FC Steaua Bucharest in Romania then went to FC Twente the following year. I paid £3,200,000 for this youngster who is rated anywhere between 3.0 and 4.0 stars currently by my coaches. He speaks perfect English and I expect him to be a major player for us this year and going forward.

-- And to prove the feast or famine theory, another major DC target of mine accepts his deal on the same day. Like Tjiuoro, he will need to get a work permit approved but my scouts don't think this one will be an issue. I'll have more on this if it goes through but this youngster would immediately become my best centre half back if the scouting reports are to be believed!

- In related news, Thomas Andersen, who isn't even with the club right now due to the U19 Euro Cup, indicates he's unhappy that we've added these players, giving him "too many rivals for the position". I want to tell him that it's none of his business but in a way, he's right, so I tell him that I'll likely move to balance things out with a transfer out.

-- The odd man out would be Lukas Stetina - he has more talent than our long-time DC Oliver Nicholas but he's one of those guys who has been around so long that I can't pull the trigger on a move. Stetina has 3.0/3.0 ability but a year after picking him up, he's still shown as "having trouble settling in" by my assistant manager. He's also got a value of £2,600,000 so I can make up almost all of the money I just paid for Tjiuoro if I can get that. Stetina isn't happy with being transfer listed, as expected but I have a quick talk with him to say I don't see a future for him here and he goes on his way.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-23-2013 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 11-23-2013, 07:35 PM   #75
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. July 25, 2020 - Preseason Friendly

A.C. Milan vs. Dover
San Siro, Milan, Italy

I like to take two-game tours every year to a different country - last year we visited Brazil and this year we head to beautiful Italy. Game one is against A.C. Milan - this should probably be a pretty close matchup. If I was playing this game for real (ie: if it meant something), I'd likely dial down my tactics and play a counter attacking game but I want to keep working on our creativity, especially in a showcase matchup like this so I roll with most of my first-teamers and continue playing a control system. Despite just arriving today, and with no training time with the club, I throw new signing Paulus Tjiuoro into the starting lineup.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, O. Nicholas, P. Tjiuoro, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, A. Rocca, N. Cairney, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, G. Escobar

A.C. Milan 2 - 1 Dover
Goals - Giorgos Gesios (7.3)
Assists - Andrea Rocca (6.9)
Man of the Match - Timo Hiltunen (Real Madrid - 8.0)
Other Notables - Ingo Wilke (5.7)
Attendance - 16186

A.C. Milan dominated the first half but we performed well in the second 45 minutes to make a game of it. Stats were very even, with A.C. Milan having a 16-15 shot advantage and 51-49 possession advantage. Ingo Wilke got a poor rating for messing up on the first Milan goal. Our big signing this year, wonderkid MC Neil Cairney received two yellow cards and was booted from the game.

Euro U19 Championship Update

-- DC Thomas Andersen had another fine game for Denmark but ultimately they were defeated 1-0 by Slovakia in the Euro Cup U19 finals.

Pitch Alterations

-- As usual, we are given the opportunity to made changes to our pitch confirmation. We maintain the same dimensions of 72m x 110m, a wide and long pitch to utilize our speed.

Transfer Delayed due to Work Permit Issue

-- As expected, we have a delay in our transfer for a young Argentine centre half back, as the initial application for a work permit is denied. We appeal and we'll have to wait about a week for the decision. Again, our scouts feel that it should be addressed to our satisfaction but I'm keeping my fingers crossed - hell, they were wrong about Tjiuoro so they could be wrong again!

-- Offers start coming in for transfer listed DC Lukas Stetina - I reject a couple that just offered his value for one that met my asking price. Now it's up to Stetina to agree to a contract

Season Ticket Update

- We are up to 3278 season tickets sold and it's expected we'll sell about 900 more to get to around 4200.

-- I'm disappointed to hear that we miss out on signing cultured winger Gervinho, losing out in a bidding war to Rangers from the Scottish Premier League. He's way past his prime but would have given us a nice veteran presence as a rotational player.

-- Add GK Ingo Wilke to the list of guys upset with his current contract after seeing me decline a transfer bid. We have a quick talk and all is well.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-23-2013 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:55 PM   #76
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue. July 28, 2020 - Preseason Friendly

Napoli vs. Dover
San Paolo, Naples, Italy

We finish off our 2020 Italian preseason tour with a matchup against Napoli, who finished 4th in Serie A last year to qualify for the Champions League. This will be a very tough matchup, most likely. We're going to mix things up a bit here, moving to our attacking 4-2-3-1 formation just to see how it looks this year. We're starting a few of our preferred eleven in this contest, as a few guys like Andrea Rocca and Gerardo Escobar are still trying to achieve full fitness. New DC Thomas Andersen will suit up for the first time, as he has finally returned from the U19 Euro Cup. Liam Craig will also see his first preseason action after returning from injury.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM Control (4-2-3-1)
GK - I. Wilke
D - J. Varga, A. Kokaina, T. Andersen, R. McLaughlin
M - A. Rocca, N. Cairney
AM - L. Craig, Z. Bardi, P. Kostal
S - G. Escobar

Napoli 2 - 3 Dover
Goals - Petr Kostal (8.2), Andrea Rocca (7.4), Liam Craig (8.3)
Assists - Petr Kostal, Liam Craig, Gerardo Escobar (6.9)
Man of the Match - Luis Felipe Salazar (Napoli - 8.6)
Other Notables - Abdallaye Kokaina (7.0),
Attendance - 13454

What a thriller! We took the early lead on a Petr Kostal goal off a Liam Craig cross but Luis Felipe Salazar scored twice in a seven minute span, the second on a penalty kick after U18 prospect Addallaye Kokaina was called for a hand ball in the area. I peeled some paint in the halftime team talk and the team responded with goals from Rocca and then Craig to seal the great team victory. We edged them on possession 53-47 but were outshot 13-9 (5-4 on target). It may have been one of Kostal's best games and may have singlehandedly saved his backup job, as I've been actively looking for alternative cover for Gianluca Bolis.

Squad Win Bonuses

-- As usual, we promise the players that we will pay out higher than normal collective win bonuses for both League and Cup competitions. Morale gets an obvious boost with the prevalence of ambitious players on the squad.

-- Crap - DC Lukas Stetina rejects the contract offer from Livorno, saying it's unacceptable and insulting. Great. I have to offer him up again to clubs and lower my transfer fee expectations a bit. Thankfully, a few more teams come calling and I pretty much accept all of the offers this time except one that offered no up front money (on a 3 million pound deal…ballsy!).

International Duty - 2020 Olympic Games

-- Two of our players are called up for the Olympics - Algeria's Salim Loucif and Italy's Gianluca Bolis will participate for their country. I'm not sure if this is just a rule that's in game or not but it looks like it's an U23 championship, with a maximum of 3 over-agers allowed.

August Update

-- We still have three friendlies left this month: Greek club Panathinaikos visits Crabble Athletic Ground on August 1st, we travel to Margate on August 5th and finally, we host Athletic Club Bilbao on the 8th. We also have three Premier League games scheduled for August: our home opener is against Tottenham on the 15th, we travel to Norwich on the 22nd and we host Bolton on the 29th. Actually, it's a pretty decent schedule to start and hopefully we can get away with at least a couple of wins. We will likely have a League Cup match at some point this month as well.

-- Our assistant manager tells me that GK Lukasz Fabianski, DC Thomas Andersen and DC Andrew Stanley have all trained well this past month. Great to see that from the 35 year old Fabianski! On the other hand, ST Gerardo Escobar, DMC Mancini and DC Gareth Mace all disappoint in training. As usual, I request talks with all three and while Mancini and Mace admit they need to be better, Escobar is defiant and walks out of my office. Wonderful - he'll be riding the pine for a while now. I do get good reports from the U18 squad, with top prospect DC Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz and GK Garry Doyle having a good start to their training.

-- Rushden & Diamonds come calling about reserve team DC Gareth Mace, offering to take him on loan for 6 months. They feel he'll play on their first team so I accept the offer. Mace just earned home-grown status so I'm okay with sending him away on loan now.

Transfer IN

-- Well, he's not quite a stud but he's certainly a player who can become a top player in the Premier League with the proper tutelage. We gain a conditional British permit for 20 year old Argentine central defender Cristian Rodriguez and with that out of the way, we finalize a £7,000,000 transfer (with additional clauses that could bring the deal to 8 million pounds) to bring him in from PSV in Holland.

He's very well developed for a 20 year old and my coaching staff have him pegged as anywhere between 3.5 & 4.5 stars already and there is some room to grow as well. I like his speed but I especially love his determination and his leadership. Once he learns the language, I'm hoping this kid can evolve into a possible Dover captain and lead the charge from the back line. I'm elated with this move and we've done incredibly well to add major pieces at DC, ML, DR and MC during the preseason. I strongly feel we have top quality prospects at every position now and while squad depth is a slight concern, I believe we have a team capable of finishing in the top half of the division for the first time and maybe, just maybe, we're good enough to challenge for continental play!

PS: this isn't the same Rodriguez we let go without a contract in July - that Cristian Rodriguez was an aging midfielder from Uruguay!

-- With this move, our transfer kitty is basically bare. I do have plenty of wiggle room right now with salaries so I can make adjustments if I find some bargain buys but we are done with major transfers coming into the squad for now.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-23-2013 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 11-24-2013, 02:00 AM   #77
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. August 1, 2020 - Preseason Friendly

Dover vs. Panathinaikos
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

We return from our Italian trip to face Greek Superleague side Panathinaikos, which happens to be our star striker Giorgos Gesios's childhood club. We revert back to our 4-4-2 for this game and will field a pretty good side, with new signing Cristian Rodriguez going in right away. We are missing two key contributors in Gianluca Bolis and Salim Loucif, with both taking part in the Olympics.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - L. Fabianski
D - R. Gaucho, P. Tjiuoro, C. Rodriguez, J. Kuciak
M - A. Bamba, A. Rocca, N. Cairney, P. Kostal
S - G. Gesios, Z. Bardi

Dover 2 - 2 Panathinaikos
Goals - Zoltan Bardi (7.3), Roberto (7.3)
Assists - Neil Cairney (6.8), Andrea Rocca (7.2)
Man of the Match - Jose Francisco de la Torre (Panathinaikos - 8.0)
Other Dover Notables - None
Attendance - 4142

We need an extra time goal from substitute Roberto to equalize late and salvage the draw. Gesios was terrible (6.0) versus his former club and our new central defence, Rodriguez and Tjiuoro had issues stemming perhaps from lack of communication. It's strange - I'm playing very large teams in this preseason (well, most of them are anyway) and my demands are much higher than normal - perhaps I should be happy we're competing well but I'm upset we're not winning some of these games. We outshot them 23-9 and possession was dead even. I'm still trying to find a good balance at central midfield too - Rocca and Cairney are similar types of players but one has to play a defensive role (right?) and I don't think I'm getting everything I can out of Cairney especially.

August Board Confidence Update

-- The board is very pleased with my overall leadership and our increased stature again is the reason. They are slightly disappointed with the departure of DC/MC Shaun Halsall? Hahaha!!! The guy was a complete non-factor for us and never had the talent for the Premier League anyway. Maybe he's buddies with our new chairman - that said, if that's all they can find wrong with my management, I'm doing all right!

-- We recorded a whopping loss of £25.22 million last month! Yikes! That's obviously all transfer activity and we should be fine going forward despite a negative bank balance at the moment. We get a note saying that our transfer spending has reached a record high of £29.5 million so far this year, eclipsing last year's record of £24.4 - it's nice to be rolling with the big boys this year!

-- Teams continue to make bids on our players. I have to issue another hands off warning to Reading as they keep talking about Ingo Wilke in the press. Then I get an £8,500,000 bid put in on Zoltan Bardi by Chelsea. Oh boy - that's a LOT of money for a guy who is our #2 or #3 striker. I still decline the offer, saying it isn't good enough - again, I'm in the mode where I want to win now and my depth will prove to be important if I'm to go anywhere. Bardi, of course, is very flattered by the interest.

-- The next day, a story comes out on where Wilke says he's never asked to leave Dover nor requested that he be allowed to talk to Reading. He says he's under contract to us and will continue to work hard for the club and his teammates. Sounds good to me.

-- Now Huddersfield get into the act, offering me £5,000,000 for vice captain Luke McCullough - hmm, now this one is interesting. He's been here forever and still is more than capable of contributing (26 years old, 3.0/3.0) but I've added so much depth at DC that even with fellow DC Lukas Stetina half way out the door, I guess I'd be willing to move McCullough if the right offer came along. So I throw them a bone, saying I'll consider moving him for £8.5 million. If they want him that bad, that's good by me.

Loan OUT

-- DC Gareth Mace will be heading to Rushden & Diamonds on a six month loan. He's not in my plans, now or in the future.

Loan IN

-- We bring in our first loanee of the year, ironically enough from Reading. 20 year old MR/WBR Martin Prochazka will be coming here on a season long loan. I needed cover behind Gianluca Bolis and Petr Kostal, as I had no one else on the roster who could play right midfield besides those two. I should be able to get the youngster at least 10 games. At 2.5/3.5, he's a decent prospect for Reading - I had to pay an upfront fee of £275,000 for Prochazka.

-- I'm still in the market for one more player, as I need cover at left fullback before the season starts. I've got a transfer offer in on a veteran DL that hopefully goes through.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-24-2013 at 02:02 AM.
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Old 11-24-2013, 03:51 PM   #78
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. August 5, 2020 - Preseason Friendly

Margate vs. Dover
Hartsdown Park, Margate, UK

Margate is an old non-league rival. This could get really ugly but it's a very small pitch that may be well suited to keeping the scoreline down.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - L. Fabianski
D - R. Gaucho, T. Andersen, C. Rodriguez, R. McLaughlin
M - C. Murray, L. Craig, N. Cairney, M. Prochaszka
S - G. Gesios, Z. Bardi

Margate 0 - 7 Dover
Goals - Zoltan Bardi 2 (8.7), Giorgos Gesios (8.0), Jordan Rose OG, Cameron Murray (9.3), Tom Haywood OG, Roberto (7.4)
Assists - Renato Gaucho 2 (9.2), Ross McLaughlin (8.8), Liam Craig (9.0), Cameron Murray
Man of the Match - Cameron Murray
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.2), Cristian Rodriguez (8.4), Thomas Andersen (8.5), Martin Prochazka (8.4), Neil Cairney (8.1)
Attendance - 1580

We had a 5-nil lead at half time and called off the dogs for the most part. We enjoyed a 62-38 possession advantage and a 31-1 shot advantage. It wasn't even close, as expected.

International Update - Olympic Games

-- DR Salim Loucif notches an assist and plays well in a shock 2-1 Algerian win over Brazil at the Olympics.

-- MR Gianluca Bolis also plays well but doesn't come away with any points in a 3-3 Italy draw versus South Africa.

-- Chelsea come calling again for Zoltan Bardi, this time to the tune of £10,500,000 - boy, that's a hell of a lot of money for Bardi but I don't really want to sell him right now…in fact, I'd rather sell Gerardo Escobar and Chelsea is interested in him too.

-- I mentioned the offer that came in from Huddersfield for DC Luke McCullough and how I sent back a counter offer of £8,500,000. As expected, it was rejected and as usual, the player was upset and wants new contract terms. I have never buckled down to this request and I've had no issues in the past with any player but McCullough is defiant, saying he won't be happy unless he gets a new deal. He leaves in a huff and I confront him the next day - perhaps it wasn't one of my finest moments as a manager but I tell him he's handling this unprofessionally and he storms out again and I feel that we're at an impasse. I may have to transfer list him now - I do have plenty of depth but I worry again about squad unity with so many new acquisitions.

Transfer IN

-- We bring in what may be our last player of the transfer window in cultured French international Laurent Koscielny, a versatile defender who can play pretty much all three positions on the back line. He is now 34 years old but still has great mental attributes in addition to decent technical and physical skills that should help provide some leadership for this season. It was a modest transfer deal with Arsenal at only £100,000 up front with a potential clause for another £120k should Koscielny play 20 games or more this year.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-24-2013 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:10 PM   #79
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. August 8, 2020 - Preseason Friendly

Dover vs. Athletic Club Bilbao
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Our last preseason friendly of the year against the reputable Athletic Club Bilbao from Italy. I'm not going to go with a full strength side but we'll put in Andrea Rocca against the Italian side, along with Cristian Rodriguez and brand new signing Laurent Koscielny at the back. We'll go with our 4-4-2 DM formation (4-2-3-1)

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - L. Koscielny, P. Tjiuoro, C. Rodriguez, R. McLaughlin
M - A. Rocca, L. Craig
AM - C. Murray, Roberto, M. Prochazka
S - P. Simek

Dover 5 - 1 Athletic Club Bilbao
Goals - Petr Simek 3 (9.5), Paulus Tjiuoro (8.2), Gerardo Escobar (7.4)
Assists - Andrea Rocca 3 (9.1), Cameron Murray (8.0), Darren Pratley (7.0)
Man of the Match - Petr Simek
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.0), Ross McLaughlin (7.5), Cristian Rodriguez (7.4), Laurent Koscielny (7.4), Martin Prochazka (7.2)
Attendance - 4332

We actually were tied at 1-1 at halftime but our men came storming out of the gates in the second half and won in a walk over a very strong Athletic side. Perhaps our finest preseason performance and we only fielded about 4 projected opening day starters.

-- A number of teams submit bids on our newly transfer listed DC Luke McCullough - I asked for £8,000,000, an admittedly inflated number and the teams have basically offered up to £5,750,000 - I reject all of the bids. At this point, until I get the dreaded "he's causing issues in the locker room" note, I have no reason to overreact, as he's under contract at a very reasonable wage until June 2022.

Dover Captains for 2020

-- He won't play an awful lot this year but we keep MC Darren Pratley on as captain for a fourth consecutive season. He won't be back next year so we'll have to begin a transition program to a new captain. I strip Luke McCullough of vice captain duties and give that to goalkeeper Ingo Wilke, a very respected player in our room. Ideally, I'd like newcomer Cristian Rodriguez to eventually take the captain's armband but he's only 20 and doesn't speak English yet so he's at least two years away.

-- Chelsea comes back with yet another bid on Zoltan Bardi, this time with a bid worth £12,750,000 plus clauses that could add another million or so. There is very little money upfront in this deal and I'm afraid of another rejection so I up the bid to 20 million and see what they'll do. The next day, they withdraw their bid. Cool by me.

-- I see the first rumblings of someone coming after Giorgos Gesios - remember, I paid an ungodly sum for him last year and his value has dropped all the way to £5,250,000 - simply put, someone would have to bid at least £20 million to make me interested at this point. Gesios had a really solid camp, scoring in every game but one from my recollection so I'm expecting a great bounce back year from him and see no reason to give up on him yet.

International Update - Olympic Games

-- Both Salim Loucif and Gianluca Bolis play well in their last group stage games for Algeria and Italy respectively. Algeria is knocked out of the competition after finishing third in Group C behind England and Brazil while Italy moves onto the quarterfinals after finishing 2nd in Group D behind Mexico and ahead of South Africa and China. Loucif will return to Dover in time to play in our league opener while Bolis will stay abroad and finish out his Olympic experience.

League Cup - Second Round Draw

-- We enter the competition at this stage and are fortunate to draw League One Rochdale in a home match. The game will be played on Tuesday August 25th.

Transfer OUT

-- We bid adieu to DC Lukas Stetina after only one season at Dover. Stetina was arguably our most consistent defender last year but never really settled in with the club and had no success picking up English during his time here. He was expendable due to all of our transfer window signings and easily the most marketable player I could move. In the end, we get £3,500,000 from Italian Serie A side Livorno in the transfer. The 29 year old Stetina leaves Dover after 23 league games, where he scored 1 goal and added 1 assist.

2020-21 Premier League Season About to Begin

-- We played nine preseason friendlies, not including our intrasquad match, and came away with a record of 5 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses. I've already done a thorough breakdown of our roster by including screenshots of all our players and their attributes but I'll just document our senior team here one last time, by position, as we are about to embark on a quest for continental play next year. Projected "Best Eleven" noted in bold.

Ingo Wilke, Lukasz Fabianski

Wilke was named vice captain this year and I will likely give him at least two thirds of our games, barring injury or a poor run of form.

Cristian Rodriguez, Oliver Nicholas, Salim Loucif, Paulus Tjiuoro, Laurent Koscielny, Renato Gaucho, Thomas Andersen, Jozef Kuciak, Ross McLaughlin, Jozef Varga

We are incredibly deep now, especially down the middle. Tjiuoro had a great preseason and will start immediately. I'm unsure yet whether I'm going to play our big offseason signing Cristian Rodriguez right away. He didn't look great in his first two friendlies with us and his inability to speak English will hurt his cause. I'm excited to see what Loucif can bring at DR and if Gaucho can build upon a spectacular half-season last year as an 18 year old.

Mancini, Martin Prochazka, Arsene Bamba, Liam Craig, Neil Cairney, Petr Kostal, Gianluca Bolis, Cameron Murray, Darren Pratley, Andrea Rocca

We added two elite pieces in Cairney and Bamba. Bamba especially was spectacular in the preseason, picking right up where he left off a few years ago when he dominated as a loan player for us during our League 1 days. I'm still trying to figure out how to best use Cairney to be honest - he's extremely skilled but I already have a star "advanced playmaker" in Andrea Rocca and it will be interesting to see if these two skilled players can gel in the middle of the park. I was very worried about depth on both wings before the season began but Cameron Murray was excellent in the preseason, as was Petr Kostal.


Zoltan Bardi, Roberto, Petr Simek, Gerardo Escobar, Giorgos Gesios

Bardi has elevated himself into our first choice at deep lying striker over Escobar, at least for now. Gesios was fantastic in the preseason, scoring 4 goals in 5 games. Simek is a speed demon and clinical finisher and a great choice to come off the bench and Roberto, after playing at West Ham on loan last year, will be our depth striker. He's shown a penchant for being a clutch performer in late game situations so he's an ideal sub candidate, like Simek.


Luke McCullough, Andrew Stanley, Emmanuel Agbo, Jamie Matthews, Jonathan Adam, Dennis Kunz

McCullough is here only because he's currently transfer listed and I don't want him causing issues in the locker room. He could still make an impact for the senior team at some point. The other five guys are strictly reserves and will only be called upon in an injury crisis.


Garry Doyle, Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz, Abdallaye Kokaina, Matt Hewitt, Steve Sinnott, Gary Cook, Johnny Mardenborough, Gregoire Lambert, Carlo Cerbone, Chris Paterson

Kokaina and Yilmaz are the two best prospects here and Kokaina could see some action on the senior team at some point, perhaps in a cup match.


Gareth Mace, Matthew Thompson, Andy Brown, Jonathan Gauthier, Steve Ingram, Aitor Zubizarreta, Ryan Bodin
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Old 11-25-2013, 12:43 AM   #80
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. August 15, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Dover vs. Tottenham
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

We open our season against Tottenham, a team we beat for the first time in our season-ending game last year. They are slight favourites in this one but we have the distinct advantage in that they are sitting some key players, including 31 year old Gareth Bale, presumably due to Euro Cup qualifying in four days. Bale isn't even on the bench for this one despite being fully fit. Our scouts only say that they struggle against teams with reputations similar to ours, which I gather to mean that they play down to our level of competition They start with a 4-2-3-1 formation (3 central attacking midfielders) in a tight formation, the same look they showed us last year. Therefore, I'll counter with the same formation I beat them with last year, our 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1 with the attacking midfielders spread out) and utilize a control philosophy with no further tweaks. We basically have a full-strength team with one notable exception, that being MR Gianluca Bolis, who is still participating in the Olympics. Petr Kostal will be slotted in his place after a solid preseason. My pre-game team talk is "you can win today"!

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, S. Loucif
M - A. Rocca, N. Cairney
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, P. Kostal
S - G. Gesios

5' - We get fouled just outside the area and Rocca's free kick is cleared. He gets the ball back and crosses over to a wide open Bamba but his blast strikes the woodwork and bounces away.

15' - Tottenham's Stanley Hermsen gets the ball into the box to an open Vladimir Koman and he puts the ball into the net. However, the goal is ruled offsides. Whew!

23' - Arsene Bamba takes a knock but he should be able to shake it off.

28' - Their dynamic attacking midfielder Gabriel Obertan splits our defence and is in all alone but our new signing Cristian Rodgriguez comes out of nowhere to make the successful challenge, kicking the ball back to GK Wilke in the process. On the ensuing throw by Wilke, the ball is played up the left wing to Bamba, who ends up crossing a ball in from the byline to a streaking Bardi and he calmly deposits the ball into the net! DOVER GOAL 1-0

30' - Hermsen again, this time with a rocket just over the bar.

34' - Gesios takes a lovely feed from Rocca but is forced to use his weaker foot and just misses wide from in close.

36' - Wilke comes up huge with a big save from in close and the rebound is fired off the top of the crossbar. Our D looks a bit confused…

45' - Rocca with another brilliant little pass into the box to Gesios. Tottenham defenders think Gesios is offside but the flag is down. Gesios is stopped on a great save by Matthieu Dreyer but the big rebound goes right to that man Bardi and he kicks it home for his second of the half! DOVER GOAL 2-0

HALFTIME - We're losing the possession battle 47 to 53% but we're up in shots 7-5 (4-1 on target). I use the "encourage" team talk and make no tactical changes.

47' - Tottenham come out motivated but Bardi gets away again, only to be turned away by Dreyer

50' - A sloppy clearance by Wilke leads to a partial break from halftime substitute Seydou Doumbia but he just misses high.

51' - Seconds later, Koman leads them down field and after some lovely passing, it's Doumbia again all alone and he makes the clinical finish to cut the lead in half. TOTTENHAM GOAL 2-1

57' - Tottenham continue to pile on the pressure and we revert to a counter attacking mode

65' - They win a corner and the cross meets the head of super-sub Doumbia, who heads it home and Tottenham has pulled level from two down. TOTTENHAM GOAL 2-2

We change back to a control philosophy.

71' - Gesios runs down the middle and shoots wide from long distance. Wasteful.

74' - Paulus Tjiuoro with the yellow card. I bring in Laurent Koscielny for a tired Renato Gaucho.

84' - I make two more substitutions for fresh legs, bringing Petr Simek in at striker for Gesios and bring in captain Darren Pratley for Andrea Rocca.

86' - Yellow card for Neil Cairney.

88' - Cairney exchanges a one-two with Petr Kostal and cuts into the right side of the box. He tries to curl one in but hits the side netting.

90' - We keep the pressure on. Simek takes a clearance at midfield and makes a great long feed down the right wing to Kostal. He streaks down the touchline and sends in a long cross that meets the foot of a sliding Simek and goes into the net. Dramatic goal!!! DOVER GOAL 3-2

We go to a 4-1-4-1 and narrow it up for the last three minutes of extra time.

92' - Unbelievable. On the ensuing kickoff, our defence lets them walk right in but thankfully Mohamed Messaoudi shoots wide.

93' - On the ensuing goal kick, they regain possession and have another chance, only to see it swept aside by a diving Wilke. They have a corner kick but the referee blows the whistle! GREAT WIN!

Dover 3 - 2 Tottenham
Goals - Zoltan Bardi 2 (8.8), Petr Simek (7.4)
Assists - Arsene Bamba (6.9), Giorgos Gesios (6.8), Petr Kostal (7.3)
Man of the Match - Zoltan Bardi
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.3), Cristian Rodriguez (7.1)
Attendance - 9135 (Sellout)

A sensational result in our first game! Possession didn't change at full time (Tottenham 53% to 47%) but we outshot them 14-11 (7-4 on target).

Post-Game Injury Report

-- Arsene Bamba suffered a twisted ankle and will miss about three weeks.

U18 Update

-- Our kids destroyed Readings U18 team 8-0. Carlo Cerbone and star DC prospect Abdallaye Kokaina both bagged braces. Striker Gregoire Lambert also got on the board.

International Update - Olympic Games

-- Gianluca Bolis' run at the Olympics ends with a 2-0 loss to England. He evidently didn't have the best of games and was substituted. Still, it's great to get that Olympic experience.

Season Ticket Sales

-- We end up selling 3930 season tickets for the year, less than the projected 4200 but still up from last year. We'll look to add more subscribers next year as we'll be looking for ways to fill our soon-to-be 15,000+ capacity stadium.

Barclays Premier League Team of the Week

-- Zoltan Bardi was selected to the Premier League team of the week after his two goal performance.

-- I receive five new bids for transfer listed DC Luke McCullough - again, most of them are around £5,500,000 or so, much less than my asking price but close to double his estimated value. I decide to accept all of the deals but one - I reject the offer from division rival Aston Villa and want McCullough as far away as possible.

-- Sunderland come calling again for Gianluca Bolis, offering me £8,500,000, which I quickly reject, saying he's "indispensable to the club".

Reserve Team Update

-- Despite being "underdogs", our reserve team embarrass Blackpool's reserves 9-0. We get two goals from both Liam Craig and young Gregoire Lambert and singles from Mancini, Gerardo Escobar, Jonathan Adam, Roberto along with an own goal.

-- Mancini gets injured in the match and will miss four weeks after fracturing his ribs in an accidental collision.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-25-2013 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:54 AM   #81
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. August 22 2020

Barclays Premier League
Norwich (0-0-1, 0 points, 17th) vs. Dover (1-0-0, 3 points, 5th)
Carrow Road, Norwich, UK

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

We head to Carrow Road to face newly promoted Norwich. In-game, this is their first trip to the top flight of English football since the 2004-05 season and even then, they finished 6th last year in the Championship, shockingly winning the playoff to get the Premier League golden ticket. Quite frankly, I'm amazed they are favoured and I'm hoping the team takes it personally! They lost 5-3 to Reading in their opener and their best player looks to be 26 year old striker Paul Bryce, who they picked up a year ago from Inverness CT. He scored 17 goals in the Championship for Norwich and scored twice in their Premier League opener. Our scouts don't know much about Norwich, likely due to the fact we haven't seen them in three years. They start with a flat 4-4-2 and we'll go with the same formation and philosophy as we did in our win against Tottenham. We make two lineup changes: Cameron Murray comes in at AML for the injured Arsene Bamba while we insert Gianluca Bolis at AMR after his return from the Olympics, replacing Petr Kostal.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, S. Loucif
M - A. Rocca, N. Cairney
AM - C. Murray, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios

I tell the lads, despite the odds, I expect a win against these guys!

2' - Wilke is forced to make a diving stop on a blast off a Norwich throw in..

12' - New MC signing Neil Cairney looks good early. He just misses a curling rocket that slips by the bar then on an ensuing corner, he narrowly misses a header, again just putting it over the woodwork.

19' - What a crazy sequence - Norwich gets the ball out wide on the left and the cross hits the back of our defender Tjiuoro and ricochets off the goalpost. We clear it up to Giorgos Gesios and he puts a brilliant through ball up to Zoltan Bardi who makes a beeline towards the net. Needing to use his weaker left foot due to defensive pressure on his right, he pokes a perfect shot off the post and into the net. 3rd goal of the year already for Bardi! DOVER GOAL 1-0

21' - Off the ensuing kickoff, the ball comes to their right midfielder, who cuts inside and left foots a great strike that Wilke just turns aside.

23' - Holy smokes! Renato Gaucho with the throw in at midfield and the ball is lofted up the left side to a chasing Cameron Murray. He heads it on the volley to Bardi and with his left foot again, strikes a vicious shot that the keeper gets a piece of but it still goes into the net. It's that man again!! Bardi is on FIRE! DOVER GOAL 2-0

37' - Gianluca Bolis takes off down the right wing on a counter attack and the only defender back is chasing him but THREE of our attackers are running down the field unmarked. Bolis is able to get the ball across to a wide open Gesios and he almost takes too long but finally buries it for his first of the season. A dream start for Dover! DOVER GOAL 3-0

38' - We are horrible defending kickoffs. Again, they are able to get take advantage of a pinching defender and get a partial breakaway. The shot is weak and easily stopped by Wilke.

HALFTIME - A fantastic half of football. We lead in possession 54% to 46% and 8-7 in shots (they have 5 shots on target to our 4 though). I tell them I'm pleased but pull aside Neil Cairney, who my assistant says is having serious problems blending into the squad - I tell him there's no pressure on him today and also pull aside Renato Gaucho, who's been skinned a couple of times to tell him I have faith in his game. We'll move to a counter attack for the start of the second half.

53' - Wild play as Bolis gets the ball on the right flank and finds Gesios unmarked at the top of the box. The Norwich keeper storms out to intercept and Gesios tries the lob, only it hits the post and sits on the goal line. Their defender clears just as it's about to cross the line. Insane!

56' - Bardi gets hurt on a challenge and is being tended to on the sidelines as we win a corner. Rocca curls one in from the left side and it meets the head of Cristian Rodgriguez, who propels it off the underside of the bar and into the net. Rodriguez's first Dover goal! DOVER GOAL 4-0

65' - Wilke is forced to make a diving stop after Gaucho lets his mark get by him down the right wing

66' - Bardi is a bit banged up and I take him off, bringing on captain Darren Pratley

70' - We're under a lot of pressure for the first time all game. They have multiple opportunities to score but either miss the net completely or put easy shots right at Wilke. We take out Andrea Rocca and bring in Gerardo Escobar, moving to a 4-4-2 Control with narrow width.

75' - Neil Cairney with the yellow. He's a very aggressive player and gets yellows in almost every game, or so it seems.

82' - Liam Craig is in for Cairney.

85 - The ball is won by Gesios at midfield and he storms down the left side. He avoids a sliding tackle, moves into the box with his left foot then cuts back to his right and delivers a ridiculous, curling shot into the right corner of the net. A magnificent strike! Gesios' 2nd of the contest and we're up five! DOVER GOAL 5-0

87' - Norwich is down to ten men due to injury.

91' - We just keep pouring on the pressure. A great sequence of passes results in a beautiful through ball by Escobar to Bolis. He cuts into the area alone but his shot is turned aside by their beleaguered keeper.

And that's it!

Norwich 0 - 5 Dover
Goals - Zoltan Bardi 2 (9.1), Giorgos Gesios 2 (9.5), Cristian Rodriguez (8.7)
Assists - Renato Gaucho (8.3), Andrea Rocca (8.0), Gianluca Bolis (8.5), Cameron Murray (8.1), Giorgos Gesios
Man of the Match - Giorgos Gesios
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.6), Salim Loucif (7.9); Paulus Tjiuoro (7.8)
Attendance - 24808

We edge them on possession 51% to 49% but they outshoot us 19-16 (9-8 on target) - thankfully, most of their shots were from well outside the box. A dominating performance!

-- Well, we've done it. A 2-0-0 start with a +6 goal differential has us, for the first time ever, sitting at the top of the table in the Barclays Premier League!

U18 Update

-- Our U18s lost a heavy 3-0 decision to Southampton. Young French striker Gregoire Lambert, who was extremely impressive off the bench for our reserve team last week, was noted again for his performance despite the loss.

Transfer OUT

-- Long time defensive stalwart Luke McCullough accepts a contract with Celtic FC and will be headed to Scotland in a £5,750,000 transfer deal. McCullough was a huge part of our rise through the leagues so it's not an easy decision for us to let him go. However, we obviously got into a little spat about money and it was apparent that he wasn't going to be a big part of our team going forward so getting almost two times his value is just good business.

McCullough was signed in July 2012 after he was released from Manchester United's youth system. He battled major injuries in two of his first three years with us, only playing a total of 43 league games during that time but he'd eventually become a major part of our team. His best season was in 2016-17, when he was one of our best players in our League 1 promotion year, scoring 6 goals and adding 5 assists from the backline in 35 league appearances. In total, he played 184 league games for Dover, scoring 15 goals and adding 9 assists. We wish Luke the best going forward.

-- The host for the 2028 Olympic Games is announced and it will be hosted in my home country of Canada

-- Sunderland won't give up on Gianluca Bolis, now offering £10,250,000 for him. No thanks - he's only 21 and destined to become a great right midfielder here at Dover. The same day, I get an offer for Bolis from Turkish side Besiktas JK, this time for £12,500,000 plus future incentives. Wow! Still a no but I'm starting to worry that Bolis is going to get upset. I've heard nary a peep from him on any of these rumours, thankfully! The transfer deadline is in one week so I won't have to be reading these stories for very long.

Barclays Premier League Team of the Week

-- Our scintillating performance gets SIX of our players named to the Premier League Team of the Week!!! Renato Gaucho, Cristian Rodriguez, Gianluca Bolis, Zoltan Bardi, Andrea Rocca and Giorgos Gesios all are honoured with the selection.

Injury Update

-- We have a couple of injuries right now. Arsene Bamba is still a couple weeks away from returning from his twisted ankle while DMC Mancini is our only long-term injury and he's out at least a month.

Next Up

-- We will be facing Rochdale in the second round of the League Cup at home

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-25-2013 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:48 AM   #82
High School Varsity
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Australia
In my experience with FM, the odds are almost exclusively decided by a team's reputation, hence I'm not too surprised by the bookmakers being against your side almost every single time.

Keep it up!
Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments will hum about mine ears; and sometimes voices,
That, if I then had wak'd after long sleep, will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches ready to drop upon me, that, when I wak'd, I cried to dream again.
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:44 AM   #83
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. August 22 2020

League Cup - 2nd Round
Dover vs. Rochdale
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 1-6 (Favourites) Draw: N/A Rochdale: 10-1
Past Meetings: 3W 0D 1L

We have what should be a routine matchup against League 1 side Rochdale. They've moved between three divisions during this dynasty, spending five years in League 1, four years in League 2 and one year in the Championship, where they were last year before finishing last and being relegated back to League 1. We will be going with a full set of backups in this game with one exception: we will play wonderkid Neil Cairney again in an attempt to get him settled in and perhaps a jolt of confidence playing a lower league side. We will go to a flat 4-4-2 Control game as opposed to our 4-4-2 DM look (4-2-3-1) that we've played in the past two games.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - L. Fabianski
D - J. Varga, T. Andersen, O. Nicholas, R. McLaughlin
M - L. Craig, D. Pratley, N. Cairney, M. Prochazka
S - P. Simek, G. Escobar
Bench - L. Koscielny, J. Kuciak, C. Murray, A. Rocca, Z. Bardi, P. Kostal, Roberto

Rochdale are lining up in a flat 4-4-2. I tell the lads I expect a win tonight and tell Cairney I expect a great performance.

11' - We've controlled play for the first ten minutes and had a few decent chances. We get a corner that's taken by loanee Prochazka and he lobs a soft ball to the top of the box. Liam Craig takes it with his weaker right foot and shoots for the far corner. It ends up hitting the back of the head of striker Petr Simek and bounces into the net. Weird sequence but we'll take it! DOVER GOAL 1-0

15' - There's another extended sequence of possession that sees the ball switch flanks to the right side and our fullback Ross McLaughlin. He sends a pass right into the middle of the field to Neil Cairney and from about 20 yards outside the box, delivers an incredible curling rocket of a shot into the right corner of the net. A sensational strike and Cairney's first ever Dover goal! The Wonderkid strikes!!! DOVER 2-0

25' - Rochdale gets the ball out wide and sends in a cross. The ball is won by their striker but he left foots a ball just wide. Poor defending there and we're fortunate to escape.

29' - Cairney sends in a long free kick that's hits Liam Craig but his shot is blocked. On the ensuing counter attack, Oliver Nicholas goes in hard with studs up and takes down their man. I'm expecting a straight red card but am relieved to see the ref pull a yellow. Ugly, ugly challenge.

HALFTIME - A pretty solid half, with us leading possession 54%-46% and a 7-1 shot advantage. I encourage the team to keep working and tell Gerardo Escobar I have faith in his abilities.

58' - Simek steals the ball at midfield and charges down the length of the field, only to miss wide with his left foot. He has a couple more chances in the next minute or two as well that go by the wayside.

62' - Darren Pratley with a yellow card.

64' - Roberto comes in at striker in place of Simek and Koscielny comes in for Nicholas on defence.

86' - They've had a lot of possession over the past ten minutes but no real chances.

87' - I bring in Petr Kostal for Darren Pratley

90' - Cairney one-touches a lob into the keeper's area to Prochazka and he heads it in but he's clearly offside on the play.

Two minutes of injury time.

We close it out.

Dover 2 - 0 Rochdale
Goals - Petr Simek (7.3), Neil Cairney (8.3)
Assists - Ross McLaughlin (8.0), Liam Craig (7.1)
Man of the Match - Neil Cairney
Other Dover Notables - Thomas Andersen (7.2), Jozef Varga (7.1)
Attendance - 6865

We didn't play well in the second half and ended up losing possession 48% to 52%. We had a lot of weak shots from distance, hence a 21-5 shot advantage (4-0 on target). I tell the lads the result was good but the performance wasn't good enough. I do pull Cairney and McLaughlin aside individually and tell them they did well.

Reserve Team Update

-- We beat up on Chelsea's reserves in London 4-1, using a whole bunch of our U18 team as well. Substitute Carlo Cerbone replaced an injured Gregoire Lambert and bagged a brace, with Petr Kostal and Roberto notching the other goals.

-- Lambert tore a calf muscle and will be out for close to four months. That's unfortunate - hopefully the kid bounces back - he seems like he has a lot of talent and while it's a long shot that he makes an impact at Dover, I'm sure he'll make an impact sometime in the future.

Dover Youth Academy Established

-- We now have a youth academy! Our £450,000 construction project is completed and we also see our youth facilities upgraded to "Basic" from "Minimal". We're still in the planning stages of improving our youth recruitment network so if you couple that with this new academy, I'm hoping that means we might have some better prospects coming out of our youth system in the future.

-- All of this transfer talk surrounding Gianluca Bolis has him unhappy and saying he wants to pursue opportunities with bigger clubs. It doesn't help when a big club from his home country come calling in Genoa. I have a chat with him, saying that I think we're well on our way to playing relevant football and he's happy with the talk. He's only 21 years old and I hope I can keep him as long as possible.

League Cup - Round Three Draw

-- We are the last name out of the hat for round three and we will have to climb a mountain in order to stay in the competition, as we head to Emirates Stadium to face division rival Arsenal. The match will be played on Wednesday September 23rd.

Next Up

-- A Premier League home matchup against Bolton Wanderers

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-25-2013 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:18 PM   #84
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. August 29 2020

Barclays Premier League
Dover (2-0-0, 6 points, 1st) vs. Bolton (0-1-1, 1 point, 16th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Bolton is back up in the Premier League after finishing 2nd in the Championship last year. They've been up and down between the two leagues during this dynasty, spending four seasons in the Championship and the rest in the Premier League. They finished 7th in the Premier League in 2010-11, my first year of management but haven't finished higher than 16th since then. Their best player is DC Saber Nasri, who they just bought from Sunderland for £5.5 million in the offseason. Nasri was one of my potential targets as well. Bolton went into Emirates Stadium and drew Arsenal 1-1 in their first game back at the top level but are coming off a 3-1 home loss to Reading. We'll go back to our successful 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) formation, as our scouts say they do well against flat 4-4-2's. We're still missing Arsene Bamba but will field a full strength team otherwise.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, S. Loucif
M - A. Rocca, N. Cairney
AM - C. Murray, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios
Bench - J. Varga, T. Andersen, L. Craig, D. Pratley, P. Kostal, G. Escobar, P. Simek

Bolton are using the same formation as we are - okay, I like this matchup on paper. I tell the lads I want another win today - we need to take care of business with our relatively easy early season schedule.

1' - Wow, talk about a dream start for Bolton. They take the opening kickoff and send a long ball over our defensive line. Their left midfielder Graham Carey latches onto it and with Wilke indecisive about attacking the ball, Carey lobs it over him and into the empty net. Just an awful sequence. BOLTON GOAL 0-1

2' - My God it almost happens again! Rocca makes a poor pass in midfield that is intercepted and now they direct a long ball up the right side. Wilke again can't decide whether to charge after it or stay in net and is in no-man's land again. This time, the lob barely goes over. Get it together boys!!!

6' - Neil Cairney wins a header at midfield up to Giorgos Gesios. Gesios wins a challenge on the edge of the area and for some reason, their goalkeeper seems to be taking lessons from ours, as he's way too far up in the box and Gesios lobs him for the quick reply! DOVER GOAL 1-1

25' - After a long period without anything happening, Gesios is tackled hard and hurt. Thankfully, he looks like he'll shake it off.

28' - Another wild sequence in a game filled with them so far. Bardi takes the ball upfield and tries to send a long ball down the left to a streaking Cameron Murray. The Bolton right defender heads the ball into the middle of the field where Gesios makes a hard challenge against Saber Nasri, one I think will be called as a foul. However, the ref lets play continue and Gesios is all alone in the area. He makes the clinical finish for his second of the game and we're now ahead! DOVER GOAL 2-1

36' - They bring the ball into the box and Cristian Rodriguez makes a sliding challenge that's close to a foul. The ball comes back into the middle of the box and Wilke barely turns aside a low drive, bringing up a corner. Wilke safely handles the corner and we escape.

44' - We have an extended period of possession in their side of half but we can't get any real scoring opportunities.

HALFTIME - We had a terrible start but took advantage of a couple Bolton breakdowns to take the lead. Possession is dead even and we have an 8-4 (3-2 on target) shot advantage. I decide to encourage the team at half - I'm not entirely sure I like that team talk, as it hasn't really resulted in good second half performances but we'll see what it does here. Renato Gaucho is actually blamed for that first goal against and has a 5.3 rating at half. I tell him I have faith in his ability.

49' - We win a corner and Rocca makes an outswinging kick that DC Paulus Tjiuoro latches onto and propels a vicious header toward the net. The ball hits their defender guarding the post, ricochets off the goalkeeper and into the net. Officially an own-goal but that was a great header by Tjiuoro! We have some breathing room!! DOVER GOAL 3-1

51' - We come close again on another corner setpiece, with a mad scramble in front that sees the ball just cleared off the line before crossing.

57' - Gesios slowly weaves his way into the area but doesn't really have much room on his weaker foot to do damage. However, the Bolton defender makes a poor decision and tackles him, forcing the ref to call the penalty. With two goals already, Gesios steps to the spot confidently and drives it into the left side of the net. Hat trick for Gesios! "He's played his heart out for the team today!", says the commentator! DOVER GOAL 4-1

That's our first ever penalty shot goal in our two+ years of Premier League play by the way. In fact, I only recall only one other opportunity in our time at the top level and that was missed.

59' - My goodness Gesios is incredible today! Cairney sends a perfect through pass and Gesios beats the defender to the ball. The Bolton keeper makes a tremendous save on the partial break and Bolton clear.

66' - Gerardo Escobar is on for the phenomenal Gesios. Standing ovation from the Dover faithful for a splendid performance from the Greek international!

74' - Liam Craig is in for Andrea Rocca and Jozef Varga comes on for a "complacent" Renato Gaucho.

75' - On an ensuing corner, Graham Carey heads the ball hard but we clear it safely away. That looked dangerous.

82' - Cairney goes on a long run and as he's approaching the right side of the box gets tackled. He ball squirts free to the right and Gianluca Bolis is there to make the one time cross. It deflects on the way, right into the oncoming foot of substitute Gerardo Escobar and he's got nothing but net to shoot at! His first of the season! DOVER GOAL 5-1

We maintain possession for the majority of remaining time and salt away another impressive performance!

Dover 5 - 1 Bolton
Goals - Giorgos Gesios 3 (9.5), Gary Cahill OG, Gerardo Escobar (7.3)
Assists - Paulus Tjiuoro (8.1), Neil Cairney (8.4), Gianluca Bolis (7.6)
Man of the Match - Giorgos Gesios
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.2), Salim Loucif (7.2), Cristian Rodriguez (7.5), Andrea Rocca (7.7), Zoltan Bardi (7.1), Cameron Murray (7.2)
Attendance - 9135 (Sellout)

All of our starters, with the exception of Renato Gaucho, get ratings over 7.0. We were excellent in the second half and ended up winning possession 54% to 46% overall and dominated in shots, 18-6 (8-3 on target). I'm happy we're taking advantage of our relatively easy early season schedule.

U18 Team Update

-- We defeat Portsmouth 3-1, getting goals from Johnny Mardenborough, Carlo Cerbone and Chris Paterson.

-- We suffer another long term injury, this time to middling prospect Steve Sinnott, who broke his leg during the game. He will miss up to six months of playing time.

-- Blackburn make an £800,000 offer for Roberto, who is our fifth choice striker this year. I realize that he's not going to make a huge impact here with the quality we have in front of him but he's versatile (ST, AMC), cheap and he comes through with plenty of clutch goals when called upon. I like him as a depth piece and see no need to move him. He gets upset, of course, when I reject the deal but we have our little chat and all is well at the end of the day.

-- We continue to sit at the top of the Premier League table but Manchester United is right behind us. We have a goal differential of +10 and they are at +8.

International Duty

-- We hit an early season international break, with our next league game not for two weeks. We have eleven players called up for international duty: Gianluca Bolis, Thomas Andersen, Ross McLaughlin and Renato Gaucho are called up by their respective U21 or U20 teams while Neil Cairney, Cameron Murray, Salim Loucif, Oliver Nicholas, Paulus Tjiuoro, Giorgos Gesios and Zoltan Bardi are all called up by their country's senior teams. If Murray gets in the lineup, it will be his first senior team cap for Scotland.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-25-2013 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:10 PM   #85
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
September Update

-- The transfer window closes today. We're all done - I contemplated bringing in a young Man U midfielder on loan but I think we have more than enough depth at this point, especially once Mancini returns from his injury.

-- We have only three league games this month: Sheffield Wednesday on the 12th, Stoke on the 19th and Chelsea on the 26th. We also have a 3rd round League Cup match at Arsenal on the 23rd. All in all, a pretty light month of action, as there are plenty of international games going on, most importantly World Cup 2022 qualifying.

-- We get word from our assistant that Gianluca Bolis, Giorgos Gesios and Thomas Andersen have all trained well with the senior team while Carlo Cerbone and Abdallaye Kokaina are doing well with the U18's. However, DR Salim Loucif hasn't been training hard enough aerobically so I call him into my office and have a chat about his dedication to the team and thankfully, he promises he'll work harder in training.

Barclays Premier League Team of the Week

-- Paulus Tjiuoro and Giorgos Gesios are named to the first eleven on this week's team.

Barclays Premier League Monthly Awards

-- In a first for our club, we not only see one of our players win the Player of the Month, but we pull of a complete SWEEP of the top three! Giorgos Gesios, who scored five goals in only three games, is named Barclays Premier League Player of the Month for August. Zoltan Bardi finished in second and Gianluca Bolis finishes third!

-- The hits keep on coming! Our big new DC signing Cristian Rodriguez is named Barclays Premier League Young Player of the Month for August after scoring once with a 7.77 average rating! MR Gianluca Bolis finishes third for this award as well!

-- Gesios' magnificent goal against Norwich was named the 3rd best Premier League goal of the month.

-- I am completely robbed of my first ever Manager of the Month award. Somehow, the bozos give it to Man U's Jurgen Klinsmann - yeah, they are also 3-0-0 but they are SUPPOSED to be good! I finish in second place for the monthly award. Robbed I say!

Injury Update

-- Arsene Bamba is close to returning to full fitness after his ankle injury and Mancini is about two weeks from getting back to training after suffering fractured ribs.

-- Oh my! New DC signing Thomas Andersen hands in a TRANSFER REQUEST, only three games into our new season!! He started our League Cup match but hasn't featured in any other games yet. He tells me that my failure to reassure him over his first-team future at the club has forced his hand. It's pretty ridiculous to see something come so soon after a player's arrival but he must see that our strong preference is to use Rodriguez and Tjiuoro over him. I reject the request and the transfer window closes the next day without any further complaints. His morale is in the gutter but otherwise he's got no complaints showing on his player page so I assume he'll get over it if I find him some playing time in coming games.

U18 Update

-- The kids lose a 3-1 match against West Ham and our only scorer was 16 year old youth pull Chris Paterson.

-- A few days later, they battle Brighton to a 0-0 draw. Striker Carlo Cerbone was the top performer.

September Board Confidence Update

-- The board is very pleased with my overall leadership of the team. Increased stature still the main reason; Simon Rideout's departure still the main disappointing issue. We lost £253,000 last month.

-- Arsene Bamba returns to full training following his ankle injury. He missed three weeks of action.

International Update

-- All of our international call-ups receive caps, including Scottish midfielder Cameron Murray, who expresses delight at receiving his first senior cap.

-- Paulus Tjiuoro sustains a thigh strain in the Nambia game and will likely miss a week or so of action. That should make Thomas Andersen happy, as he's now in line to start his first league game for us.

Reserve Team Update

-- We throttle Arsenal 5-1, getting two goals from Roberto and singles from Petr Simek, Liam Craig and Dennis Kunz. Roberto was incredibly dangerous all game and missed a penalty shot that would have gotten him his hat trick.

Another International Update

-- The extended international break continues, with Zoltan Bardi continuing his hot early season form with two goals in a 4-0 Hungary win over Luxembourg. Cameron Murray picks up a second cap but in bad news, molten hot striker Giorgos Gesios picked up an injury in extra time in Greece's 2-1 loss against Denmark. I hope it's not serious…

-- The next day, there are no injuries listed for Gesios so it must not be that serious. He's listed as being very tired so I'll likely hold him out for our next match.

Next Up

-- We return to Premier League action in an away match versus Sheffield Wednesday

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-25-2013 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:15 PM   #86
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. September 12, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Sheffield Wednesday (1-0-2, 3 points, 14th) vs. Dover (3-0-0, 9 points, 1st)
Hillsborough, Sheffield, UK

Betting Odds: Sheffield: 5-4 (Favourites) Draw: 11-5 Dover: 7-4
Past Meetings: 2W 1D 3L

Sheffield Wednesday have progressed nicely in this dynasty, getting promoted from League 1 in 2014-15 then two years later, they won promotion in a playoff from the Championship to the Premier League. They've finished between 13th and 17th during their three years at the top level, just outside the relegation zone each year. Their best player is ST Steve Pates, but he broke his foot during a preseason friendly and is out for a couple of months. They had tough matchups against Man U and Arsenal in their first two games, losing both but are coming off an impressive 2-1 away win at Reading, so we'll need to be careful. Our scouts say they struggle versus teams with our reputation and talk about the narrow field at Hillsborough, saying wide players won't have much impact. We'll stick with what works, going with our thus far potent 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) formation. Arsene Bamba will make his return to the lineup after recovering from his twisted ankle but I'm holding leading scorer Giorgos Gesios out of the lineup for this game after he picked up a knock for Greece a few days ago. He's just tired but should be fine for our next contest. Gerardo Escobar will take his spot. Thomas Andersen will see his first league action for Dover as well, taking the place of the injured Paulus Tjiuoro.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, T. Andersen, S. Loucif
M - A. Rocca, N. Cairney
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Escobar
Bench - L. Koscielny, R. McLaughlin, L. Craig, D. Pratley, P. Kostal, Roberto, P. Simek

Sheffield Wednesday utilize a narrow 4-2-3-1, the same formation used by Tottenham, with three central attacking midfielders. I may have to eventually narrow my formation up a bit but for now, I'll use my standard formation.

11' - A relatively slow start for us sees Sheffield carry most of the play. We finally get a counter attack with Escobar and he seemingly takes a dive in the area, hoping to draw a penalty but it's denied.

18' - They continue to press but we start a counter attack with a long ball from Thomas Andersen. One of Sheffield's DC's jumps for it but it goes over his head. A charging Escobar runs it down and curls a ball in past their goalkeeper Hughes from short distance for the early lead! Andersen with an assist in his first league game! DOVER GOAL 1-0

31' - We have a free kick from about 20 yards outside the area. Andrea Rocca curls one in that's headed to safety but Neil Cairney takes the clearance, dribbles into the area, eludes a sliding tackle and beats the Sheffield goalkeeper with a low blast on the short side. Tremendous goal for the youngster! DOVER GOAL 2-0

35' - It's Cairney again - he collects a pass from Gianluca Bolis, eludes a defender and this time, his weak shot just misses to the left.

44' - They have an extended period of possession and somehow find a wide open striker in the middle of the area. Wilke shows incredible reflexes to make the save and deflect the ball safely to the sidelines.

HALFTIME - Despite our lead, we are being dominated in the possession battle to the tune of 58% to 42%. Their five central midfielders are owning play but their shots are mostly from distance. They are winning the shot battle too at 7-5 (2-2 on target). We are simply making the most of our chances. I tell the lads I'm pleased and use the "narrow formation" shout upon the start of the second half.

Sheffield switches to a flat 4-4-2 for the start of the second half.

46' - Despite having control of the second half kickoff, we concede possession and their left midfielder delivers a beautiful cross. Their striker slides at it but Wilke is once again up to the challenge with a key stop and we clear the ball to safety.

54' - They are really dominating possession. Cairney gives the ball away in their half and a direct ball is played up the right wing. Renato Gaucho whiffs on a tackle and their winger is in all alone, only to have Wilke deflect away the shot over the bar. On the ensuing corner, they head the ball over.

64' - We weather another storm and head up on a counter attack, only to see Arsene Bamba stop and kick the ball out of play due to Gaucho being down injured. Give me a break! At least take advantage of the opportunity! Gaucho is banged up but ultimately he returns to the game.

66' - They grab possession again and from close distance shoot barely wide. I bring on Laurent Koscielny for Gaucho and switch to a much narrower counter attacking formation.

74' - We bring in Roberto for Zoltan Bardi, who hasn't been at his best this game.

83' - We launch a counter attack down the right side. Bolis feeds the ball toward the middle to Escobar and with his back facing the goal from just outside the area, he wins a challenge, turns back toward the goal and rifles a right footed shot past the surprised goalkeeper for his second of the game! DOVER GOAL 3-0

We ask to retain possession for the rest of the game. They switch to a 4-2-4.

90+2' - Cairney plays a ball into the far left side of the penalty area. Bamba wins a challenge on their defender Zagos that likely deserved a foul call but play goes on. While the flabbergasted Sheffield defenders hold their arms up in dismay, Bamba sends a cross into Gianluca Bolis and he has a yawning cage at his mercy! DOVER GOAL 4-0


Sheffield Wednesday 0 - 4 Dover
Goals - Gerardo Escobar 2 (8.8), Neil Cairney (8.3), Gianluca Bolis (8.2)
Assists - Thomas Andersen (7.4), Gianluca Bolis, Arsene Bamba (7.7)
Man of the Match - Gerardo Escobar
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.6), Salim Loucif (7.6), Cristian Rodriguez (8.2), Renato Gaucho (7.0)
Attendance - 33239

We ended up losing out on most of the key stats, losing the possession battle 54% to 46% and they outshot us 15-13 (6-6 on target). We just showed better killer instinct in front of the goal. It was great seeing Escobar play so well up front - we're simply getting astonishing play from all of our strikers. The only starters with less than a 7.0 rating were Rocca (who my assistant called "complacent") and Bardi.

-- I kind of screw up my post game press conference when the media ask about Neil Cairney's great start. I say that he's capable of achieving great things and we've seen nowhere near his best yet. Of course, he takes that negatively and is worried about my comments. I hope I didn't just put too much pressure on the kid when he was just starting to play great football! I have a little chat with him the next day just to reinforce that I'm happy with the way he's playing and he takes that well, thankfully.

Barclays Premier League Team of the Week

-- Ingo Wilke, Cristian Rodriguez and Neil Cairney are named to the the Premier League Team of the Week.

Injury Update

-- DC Paulus Tjiuoro is back to full training and DM Mancini looks to be a couple of days from returning to full training as well. Mancini will need extended time with our reserve team to get back into shape while Tjiuoro will likely be ready for action by the weekend or in time for our League Cup game against Arsenal. Everyone else is healthy!

Reserve Team Update

-- Another nice win for our reserves, as we defeat Aston Villa 3-1 at Villa Park. Roberto (on a penalty), Oliver Nicholas and Petr Simek score the goals and Nicholas is singled out as our best performer.

-- Mancini returns to full fitness. We will put him with the reserve team until he's fully fit but either way, he's our number 4 or 5 choice at midfield when everyone's healthy, especially since we're not utilizing a defensive midfielder at the moment.

Next Up

-- We try to keep our great run of form going at home against Stoke City, who currently sit in 14th on the table

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-25-2013 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:55 PM   #87
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Join Date: Dec 2002
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-- We have a Sunday matchup against Stoke this week and that allows Everton (!!) to pass on the table, as they destroy Middlesbrough 5-1 on Saturday to move to 4-1-0 on the year and one point ahead of us for now.

U18 Team Update

-- Our youth team prevails 3-1 over Kingstonian, with Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz, Carlo Cerbone and a Kingstonian own goal creating the margin of victory. Cerbone continues to impress.

Sun. September 20, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Dover (4-0-0, 12 points, 2nd) vs. Stoke City (1-1-2, 4 points, 14th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

We welcome Stoke to Crabble Athletic Ground for a nationally televised Sunday matinee. Stoke, similar to my last opponent Sheffield Wednesday, have spent most of their time in the Premier League. They were demoted to the Championship two times but went right back up the next year both times. Their best finish in the Premier League since 2010-11 is 13th but for the most part, they are always battling against relegation. They opened this season with a shock 1-0 away win at Liverpool (who are struggling this year) and also drew away against Arsenal, with their two losses coming against Man U and Reading. So, needless to say, they've had a brutal schedule to start their season! Their highest valued player is 6' 8" defender Guillermo Piras while their most dynamic player might be 30 year old striker Billy Ketkeo, who has three goals in five games this year. My scouts talk about how they don't do well against narrow formations and slow tempo but I'm going to stick with what's working and maintain my same 4-4-2 DM look. Giorgos Gesios will return to the lineup after a one game absence due to injury. He will replace Gerardo Escobar, who scored twice in that game. I'll also stick with DC Thomas Andersen for one more game over the returning Paulus Tjiuoro - Tjiuoro is healthy now but I'm going to save him for our League Cup game next week and possibly bring him off the bench in this game.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, T. Andersen, S. Loucif
M - A. Rocca, N. Cairney
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios
Bench - L. Koscielny, P. Tjiuoro, L. Craig, D. Pratley, P. Kostal, Roberto, G. Escobar

They are using a 3-5-2 formation to start. My wingers should be able to take advantage of this. No mincing words - I tell the team I expect a win today - our schedule is about to get tough so we need to keep taking advantage of these early matchups.

4' - An extended period of possession for us sees the ball come to Neil Cairney but he blasts high over the bar from just outside the area.

9' - We win a corner and Rocca's beautiful kick is headed toward goal by Cristian Rodriguez but their keeper makes a brilliant save to keep the game scoreless.

23' - A long period of inactivity before we win a ball in midfield and move it up to Gesios. He has a step on his man but again shoots high. We're not making the most of our opportunities so far.

34' - They get their first great chance on a counter attack. One of their strikers is being chased down the field by Rodriguez and their other striker Zavon Hines is completely wide open for the pass. Their ball handler elects to shoot and misses high. Wasted chance there.

39' - After a long period of great possession but wasted chances, we get another ball down the right flank to Bolis. His cross is a good one to Arsene Bamba but he's taken down before getting the chance to shoot. PENALTY! Neil Cairney steps up to take the kick and just finds the inside of the post for the huge late half goal! DOVER GOAL 1-0

45' - Andrea Rocca takes down a man on the edge of the box and gets the yellow. The ensuing free kick hits one of their players and deflects harmlessly out of play.

HALFTIME - They switched in the last minute of play to a 5-3-2 so perhaps we'll have a better time of possession in the second half, as we're edged 53% to 47% right now. Shots are in our favour 8-5 (2-1 on target). Gesios hasn't been effective (6.0) - I once again go to the "encourage" team talk and tell Gesios I have faith in him.

Stoke stay in their 5-3-2 to start the second half.

47' - Their midfielder gains possession and unleashes a rocket that hits the woodwork and bounces to safety.

49' - We use the "exploit flanks" shout, as they aren't using wingers and there is plenty of room on each side of the field.

66' - Gesios hasn't been good today and I put in Escobar. Hopefully the fresh legs help.

73' - We finally work into the box to Escobar but he flops to the ground when he's barely touched. Yellow card to Escobar for the dive.

75' - I bring in Roberto for Zoltan Bardi, who again didn't do much for the second game in a row.

79' - Escobar makes a great play in the box from the byline, doing a 360 turn with the ball and firing a left footed blast that's turned away behind the net We get a couple chances at corners but nothing comes of it.

85' - On a seemingly harmless play, they slowly work up the field on a counter attack but spring their forward behind the defence, he cuts to the left around Wilke but his shot hits the goalpost and is booted away.

87' - We bring in Laurent Koscielny for Renato Gaucho and also switch to a counter attacking philosophy and try to maintain possession.

We do a good job keeping the ball the rest of the way. Dull game.

Dover 1 - 0 Stoke
Goals - Neil Cairney (7.3)
Assists - Arsene Bamba (6.9)
Man of the Match - Cristian Rodriguez
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.2), Thomas Andersen (7.1), Cristian Rodriguez (7.4), Andrea Rocca (7.1), Giorgos Gesios (5.9)
Attendance - 9135 (Sellout)

A really boring game where we struggled to break them down. I will have to figure out ways to play these teams that defend hard like that but maybe you just have to take what they give you. We ended up winning possession 52% to 48% and outshot them 17-7 (6-1 on target). We really had no superb chances all game and our only goal is on a penalty. Gesios had a really poor game but it's nice to see our new Argentinian defender fitting in well so far. We'll take the three points!

-- We move back to the top of the table after our victory and Man U keeps pace, sitting in second on goal differential.

Next Up

-- We head to Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal in the third round of the League Cup

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-25-2013 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:26 PM   #88
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. September 23, 2020

League Cup - 3rd Round
Arsenal vs. Dover
Emirates Stadium, London, UK

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

We have a very tough matchup, heading to London to face Arsenal. They have one Premier League championship in this dynasty, winning the league in 2014-15 and they've never finished worse than 6th going all the way back to the mid-90s. They've struggled somewhat to start the year, drawing against lowly Bolton and Stoke at home but they have wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland as well as a loss to Chelsea. They are loaded with star players, with 29 year old DC Leonel Galeano their highest valued player. They also have noted stars Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Cesc Fabregas. Arsenal usually play a flat 4-4-2 and Emirates favours a direct passing game. I have a lot of former Arsenal players and I decide to give them all a chance to shine tonight. Giorgos Gesios, Arsene Bamba, Zoltan Bardi, Andrea Rocca, Laurent Koscielny and Lukasz Fabianski will all hope to defeat their former club tonight. Other than that, we'll rotate a lot of our veterans into the lineup. We'll stick with our 4-4-2 DM formation but I may move to a counter philosophy if the going gets tough. I'm hoping they start a weaker side, as they have Champions League games to deal with in addition to the league.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - L. Fabianski
D - J. Varga, L. Koscielny, P. Tjiuoro, R. McLaughlin
M - A. Rocca, D. Pratley
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, P. Kostal
S - G. Gesios
Bench - O. Nicholas, T. Andersen, L. Craig, Mancini, M. Prochazka, G. Escobar, P. Simek

As expected, they start with a flat 4-4-2. I tell the players that the pressure is off and they have nothing to lose.

5' - Darren Pratley feeds a gorgeous through ball into Gesios and his close range blast is stopped by Ustari, the Arsenal keeper. Great chance!

14' - We've had some great back and forth action. We counter up the field and there's a great three way passing play from Gesios, to Bamba and finally to Kostal right in front but his redirection is stopped again by their keeper. Nice movement there. Arsenal is pressing all over the field so we're trying to move it as quickly as possible.

16' - We send everyone into the box but one player for a throw in from Varga, our LD who can throw long. The ball is grabbed by Arsenal and immediately cleared up field. Ross McLaughlin whiffs on a tackle and that sends striker Teddy Gallo in all alone. He rounds the keeper and has the open net. Easy finish…horrific defending. ARSENAL GOAL 0-1

23' - We work on a counter attack up the field and Kostal gets the ball up to Gesios in the middle of the field. He's taken down from behind and the defender gets a yellow card. Andrea Rocca lines up the free kick from the edge of the area, curls one around the wall and into the corner of the net. Trademark curling strike from Rocca! We pull level! DOVER GOAL 1-1

25' - Wow, they build up a slow attack and it's Aaron Ramsey with the big bomb but it strikes the goalpost. Lucky.

28' - Ridiculous action, with both teams getting great chances.

31' - This is definitely not for the faint of heart. Their winger Bulot races down the left side and throws a low cross into the box. Teddy Gallo outbattles veteran defender Laurent Koscielny and with his back to the goal, turns quickly around and right foots the ball past Fabianski. Gallo's second of the half. ARSENAL GOAL 1-2

Our defence is playing horribly.

43' - It's Ramsey again with a brilliant little touch through our defence and Fabianski does incredibly well to make a point blank save.

45' - The awful defending continues as Gallo is unmarked in the box yet again but he somehow misses the sitter. We're lucky to still be in this game.

HALFTIME - Arsenal leads in possession 54% to 46% and in shots 11-7 (7-3). It's great entertainment for the fans, as both teams are going all out but I think I need to play a different style to start the half. We'll move to a counter attack and play our struggling defence a bit deeper. I'll also try a more direct passing game. I tell the players they can still win this game.

46' - What an awful game from Koscielny. It's obvious he doesn't have the talent to play against teams of this calibre. He mistimes a jump and the ball gets over his head. Fabianski is called upon to make another big stop.

49' - Another turnover by McLaughlin and Gallo is sprung again but Fabianski is up to the task yet again. He's trying to rally the troops but I think I need to make some substitutions. What a waste to use them on defence at this stage of the game though.

50' - We have no answer for them and I can only chalk it up to poor squad selection. They win a corner and Fabregas' kick meets the head of Jukic. Fabianski makes another great save but defender Jan Lems is there for the rebound and we're down two. ARSENAL GOAL 1-3

51' - The awful Koscielny is pulled for Oliver Nicholas and we revert back to our Control game down two goals.

58' - Bardi makes a great tackle near midfield and goes in on a two-on-one with Gesios. Bardi elects to shoot and misses by a mile. Not a great decision.

64' - We give a mercy pull to Andrea Rocca and bring in Liam Craig. Maybe I can save Rocca so he can play against Chelsea on the weekend.

69' - A nice sequence of ball movement sees Bamba feed a great through ball to Gesios. He runs in all alone and fires WAY wide. It's not our night.

70' - Simek is brought in for an ineffective Gesios.

82' - Simek's speed buys us a corner and Bamba's nicely delivered ball causes havoc in the box but Bardi's vicious strike is ultimately blocked and cleared.

87' - Bamba streaks down the left side and feed a low cross into the box. Simek slides for it and knocks it home! Too little too late? DOVER GOAL 2-3

89' - Oh my!!! We grab the ball again at midfield and everyone is going forward. Bardi makes a glorious feed inside the area to a streaking Bamba but his blast slams into the post and bounces out of play. What a glorious chance wasted!

90' - Varga gets a yellow card.

We can't really get the ball back and that's it. Hell of a game.

Arsenal 3 - 2 Dover
Goals - Andrea Rocca (7.3), Petr Simek (7.4)
Assists - Arsene Bamba (6.9), Giorgos Gesios (6.8)
Man of the Match - Oscar Ustari (Arsenal GK - 9.2)
Other Dover Notables - Zoltan Bardi (7.1), Ross McLaughlin (5.3), Laurent Koscielny (5.9)
Attendance - 51761

If anything, this may prove that we aren't quite ready to play an offensive style on the road against elite teams. But that said, we started a very poor defensive unit and it came back to haunt us. McLaughlin and Koscielny were especially brutal. We lost possession by a whopping 59% to 41% and Arsenal outshot us 24-13 (13-5 on target). Fabianski was pretty damn good. Overall, the board were hoping for us to reach the fourth round so this is a disappointment, for sure.

Next Up

-- Back to Premier League play and an away match at Chelsea

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-25-2013 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:51 PM   #89
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. September 26, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Chelsea (2-0-2, 6 points, 10th) vs. Dover (5-0-0, 15 points, 1st)
Zola Stadium, London, UK

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

We have lost all five previous matchups against Chelsea. The oddsmakers actually give us a fighting chance in this game, with Chelsea only slight favourites at home. Roman Abramovich still owns the club and they continue to be one of the perennial contenders for the league crown. They last won the league in 2011/12 in this dynasty and finished 5th last year so they are playing in the Euro Cup this year. Chelsea made quite a play for Zoltan Bardi before the transfer window shut down so there may be some bad blood here. Their key players look to be striker Romelu Lukaku and winger Diogo, a 25 year old Brazilian. Chelsea have been traditional slow starters since I came into the Premier League but they are on a good run of form right now, with four wins in a row across all competitions. They usually play the same formation I use, the 4-4-2 DM. I'm going with that formation but I'm going to play narrow, deep and slow the tempo to start. We'll change up our personnel somewhat too. Gerardo Escobar will start up front and for the first time this year, Andrea Rocca will play AMC instead of Bardi, who will be rested today. Cameron Murray is in for a resting Bamba. Wonderkid Neil Carney is back in after his first game off all year against Arsenal. Bolis is back in, as are all of my main starters on defence - Thomas Andersen will go in for Paulus Tjiuoro. Ingo Wilke back in goal.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, T. Andersen, S. Loucif
M - L. Craig, N. Cairney
AM - C. Murray, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - G. Escobar
Bench - L. Koscielny, P. Tjiuoro, Mancini, D. Pratley, M. Prochazka, Roberto, P. Simek

They are in the same formation as us. We'll see how we match up, I guess!

4' - On an innocent looking run up the middle, Escobar somehow eludes a tackle and splits right through the defence. His low drive just misses wide. Great early chance but one he should have had.

19' - They win a corner and it's Liam Craig losing a battle in front, allowing Salamon to easily poke home the sitter. CHELSEA GOAL 0-1

21' - It goes from bad to worse. Their star winger Diogo races down the right and arcs a gorgeous cross into the box. Their midfielder Tabanou is there for the forceful header and we're in trouble. CHELSEA GOAL 0-2

27' - We're getting our butts handed to us. They curl in a free kick and their DC is unmarked. Thankfully, Wilke stops his point blank header and the rebound is cleared to safety. This is a mess!

39' - Wilke is forced to make another diving save on a header off a corner kick.

44' - Yellow card for Loucif on a rough challenge.

HALFTIME - Our worst half of the year. Chelsea has a modest possession advantage (52%-48%) but a 9-3 (5-1 on target) shot advantage. My assistant thinks our recent run of form has some guys thinking that they can just show up and win. Lunacy! I tell the team I want to see much more from them this half and switch back to our normal width, tempo and depth.

47' - Andrea Rocca goes on a long run through the defence and gets a pretty good chance inside the area but he's on his weaker foot and the keeper is able to make the save.

53' - More horrendous defending on corners - I'll really have to look at our assignments after the game. We get two headers blocked and are fortunate to clear.

58' - Cameron Murray gets the ball around midfield and Chelsea's right back goes down to make a tackle and misses. Murray storms up the left sideline and as a defender approaches, he feed the ball into an unmarked Gianluca Bolis. He calmly sets the ball down and finishes into the half empty net. We're back in this! DOVER GOAL 1-2

65' - Cristian Rodriguez with a yellow card. He has been a bit wild today with his challenges and our assistant could see that booking coming from a mile away.

67' - Chelsea looks dangerous as their striker Lukaku cuts against the grain into his stronger foot and Wilke is up to the task once again.

68' - Roberto comes in for Liam Craig. I drop Rocca back into the central midfield and hope Roberto's fresh legs up front can help.

77' - Petr Simek is in for Escobar and Tjiuoro is in for Cristian Rodriguez.

81' - Time to attack and press.

85' - GLORIOUS CHANCE! Rocca gets the ball across the field to Bolis and his one time shot is saved by a diving Chelsea keeper. The rebound pops right out to Simek and with the net at his mercy, volleys wide. Unreal.

87' - Chelsea has the ball on an extended sequence following a corner and they get another point blank blast away that's saved by Wilke.

Three minutes of extra time.

90+2' - Bolis takes a long clearance from Loucif and screams toward the goal. His shot is deflected behind the net. The ensuing corner is cleared.

And the whistle blows.

Chelsea 2 - 1 Dover
Goals - Gianluca Bolis (7.4)
Assists - Cameron Murray (6.9)
Man of the Match - Franck Tabanou (Chelsea AML - 8.2)
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (5.8), Gerardo Escobar (5.7)
Attendance - 56776

Wilke was blamed for one of the goals, likely the first one. That's crap - that was Liam Craig who lost that battle, not Wilke. Our keeper singlehandedly kept us in this game. We lose possession 52% to 48% and they also outshoot us 18-10 (9-4 on target). This was a winnable game but we fall once again to one of the traditional powerhouses.

-- Man United loses to Middlesbrough so despite the loss, we maintain our hold on the division lead.

Dover U18 Update

-- Our under 18's draw 1-1 versus Ebbsfleet. Carlo Cerbone strikes for our only goal.

Dover Reserves Update

-- Our reserves continue to dominate, showcasing our improving squad depth. I sent Gerardo Escobar down in hopes of him gaining some confidence and maybe it works, as he nets a hat trick in a dominating 6-2 win away against Wolves. Darren Pratley, Jonathan Adam and Emmanuel Agbo notch the other markers.

October Update

-- We have four league games this month: we're at home to Sunderland on the 3rd then we have a one week international break. We're back in action on the 17th away at Liverpool then make our way to Emirates Stadium again on the 24th, this time for a league match at Arsenal then finish the month with a home date against Manchester United on the 31st. Needless to say, this is a very difficult schedule for us and our upcoming match against Sunderland, who are sitting at the bottom of the table, is vitally important.

- Our assistant manager points out that Andrea Rocca, Gianluca Bolis and Martin Prochazka all trained well last month while Lukasz Fabianski, Darren Pratley and Zoltan Bardi all failed to impress. I have a sit-down with each of those three to express my displeasure with their work ethic in training and all three agree they need to be better. On our U18 squad, Matt Hewitt, Abdallaye Kokaina and Johnny Mardenborough all impressed with their training efforts.

Barclays Premier League Monthly Awards

- Manchester City's star striker Enrique wins Player of the Month. Everton's fullback Milan Mojsky wins Young Player of the Month, with our own Gianluca Bolis coming in second and Neil Cairney coming in third. Chelsea's Leonardo wins Manager of the Month after handing us our first defeat.

October Board Confidence Update

-- The board are very pleased with my overall leadership of the team. Our stature increase continues to be the main reason and Simon Rideout's departure their main disappointment. We made a profit of £1.44 million last month.

-- We are offered a buyout on two separate transfer clauses we included in deals made in the offseason. We are being offered £200,000 to wipe away the 30% profit clause we included in Ryan Alnwick's £275,000 deal to Southampton and being offered £105,000 to void the 30% profit clause included in fellow GK Simon Hayward's £450,000 deal to St. Johnstone. I don't even need to do the math on this - I know these are good deals and I accept both. The board also negotiated buyouts on separate "games played" clauses at about 75% value - I decide to take the money here as well.

Next Up

-- We will host league cellar dwellers Sunderland at Crabble

Last edited by NoSkillz : 11-27-2013 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:32 AM   #90
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. October 3, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Dover (5-0-1, 15 points, 1st) vs. Sunderland (0-1-5, 1 point, 20th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 1-2 (Favourites) Draw: 13-5 Sunderland: 9-2
Past Meetings: 1W 0D 3L

Sunderland are off to a very poor start, losing their first five Premier League matches this year against admittedly good competition (Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man U and Arsenal) before drawing 1-1 against Reading. They dropped down to the Championship in 2011-12 but went back up the next year, remaining in the top league ever since. They usually finish just above the relegation zone but they had a phenomenal 6th place finish in 2018-19 to qualify for Continental play last year then finished one spot below us last year in 12th. We beat them 5-2 in our most recent meeting but they won the previous three times we faced each other. They just bought a young stud MC from Wolves named Matt Barber - he has very similar attributes to our own Neil Cairney and Sunderland were smart to scoop him up from the relegated Wolves for £9.75 million. Striker Craig Flett is their big goal scorer but he's out of form right now, with only 1 goal in their first six games.

Simply put, we need to win this game. I'll go with our full strength lineup today and go to our 4-4-2 DM with no tweaks. I expect a win boys!

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, S. Loucif
M - A. Rocca, N. Cairney
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios
Bench - T. Andersen, J. Kuciak, L. Craig, D. Pratley, P. Kostal, G. Escobar, P. Simek

They start in a flat 4-4-2.

3' - Gianluca Bolis turns the ball over on a careless pass and their dangerous striker Craig Flett gets the ball at midfield. He's brought down on a challenge from Paulus Tjiuoro and Flett is hurt badly enough to be substituted off. No foul called on the play either.

9' - We pass the ball around well in their half and it's Neil Cairney taking the ball into the area. He eludes a sliding tackle and makes a brilliant pass to the left to an unmarked Zoltan Bardi, who one times it past their stunned keeper. A special play by Cairney! DOVER GOAL 1-0

17' - They have a throw in deep in our end and they make the long throw into the box. Somehow they gain possession and are able to get a shot off but it's weak and Wilke easy holds on.

19' - On the ensuing clear, Giorgos Gesios is fouled and their defender is given a yellow. We take the free kick and the ball comes back to Andrea Rocca. His through ball finds Gesios in the middle of the field and from 25 yards, he fires a bullet past the diving Sunderland keeper and we're up two! What a strike! DOVER GOAL 2-0

24' - Their new midfield signing Barber gets the ball past midfield and while cutting to his left, makes a splendid pass up field to a breaking Ben Sahar. The struggling Sunderland striker bolts past Tjiuoro and cleanly strikes the ball low into the corner of the net. Sahar's first of the year and a nice goal but poor awareness on Tjiuoro's part. SUNDERLAND GOAL 2-1

36' - On a free kick from our half, Tjiuoro, lofts one deep down the right flank. Gianluca Bolis gets there first, cuts in and rips a rocket just past the bar. Close!

45' - Off a throw in, Renato Gaucho sends in a cross that eludes the Sunderland defenders and finds the foot of Bolis but his quick shot is stopped by their diving keeper. Incredible save!

HALFTIME - The scoreline is a little tight for my liking but we're dominating this game. 59% possession and an 8-5 (5-3 on target) shots advantage. We need to keep pressing and I encourage them to keep going.

49' - They work a counter attack after a poor corner on our part. A pass comes into their stud MC Barber around the top of our penalty area, he cuts to his right foot with his back to the net and unleashes a rocket that hits the woodwork, then bounces off a diving Wilke into our net. Incredible goal by the youngster and Sunderland comes from two back to pull level. Ouch. SUNDERLAND GOAL 2-2

53' - On a Sunderland throw in deep in our zone, again they try to throw into the penalty area but Bardi intercepts and sends a quick pass up to Gesios. He beats his mark and strolls into their area and just launches it high. Good chance there.

58' - I'm livid. Their player gets hurt on an attempted challenge and we show good sportsmanship and kick the ball out of play so he can get medical attention. Instead of throwing the ball back to us upon the resumption of play, Sunderland keep the ball and their MR Sterling has a point blank chance that's stopped by Wilke. This means war!

66' - I substitute Tjiuoro out for Thomas Andersen and change to an attacking philosophy.

70' - We're in shock. After another terrible corner, Barber starts the counter attack by lofting a direct pass over the heads of Loucif and Gaucho, who were defending by the halfway line. Their striker Sahar gets there first and holds the ball up in our area. Loucif goes down to tackle him and completely misses and now there are THREE Sunderland players entering the area to our one defender. Sahar has the pick of the lot, makes the cross crease pass to a wide open Kieran Gibbs and we're now down. This is a disaster! SUNDERLAND GOAL 2-3

85' - We're getting nowhere. INCREDIBLE. I overload.

90 - We simply can't get the ball - no highlights - I tried to take Gesios and Bolis off minutes ago and just now, they get substituted.

No more highlights. What a disastrous result.

Dover 2 - 3 Sunderland
Goals - Zoltan Bardi (7.6), Giorgos Gesios (7.2)
Assists - Neil Cairney (7.1), Andrea Rocca (7.3)
Man of the Match - Matt Barber (Sunderland MC - 8.9)
Other Dover Notables - None
Attendance - 9135 (Sellout)

They obviously smoked us in the second half, as we ended up only edging possession for the game 51-49 despite holding it for 59% of the first half. Shots were in our favour too, 13-10 (6-5 on target). Our defence was terrible, with Gaucho getting a 6.0, Loucif 6.1 and Bolis was uncharacteristically bad at 6.0. An interesting thing that I noticed too is that GK Ingo Wilke, on his personal page, indicates that "the team would do just as well if Bolis was sold" under "poor relationships". I wonder if Bolis is developing a bad attitude due to the fact he wants to move to a bigger club. Something to keep an eye on.

-- I absolutely peel the paint off in the dressing room after the game, telling the players they should be embarrassed in themselves. Morale drops huge of course but I had to do it. We really needed this win and now we face three powerhouse teams in a row. We are in big trouble all of a sudden and could easily lose five in a row by the time this month is out.

-- Man United actually lost 1-0 to Arsenal so we stay level with them on points but it's Manchester City taking over the lead in the division as they paste Middlesbrough 4-0 behind three more goals from the sensational Enrique.

Dover U18 Update

-- Our U18 squad came away with a 2-1 win over Wycombe. Chris Paterson continues to impress my assistant but it was Richard Rae (a "greyed out" player) and Gary Cook scoring the goals for Dover.

International Duty

-- Ten of our players are called up by their respective countries for international duty. Thomas Andersen, Gianluca Bolis, Renato Gaucho, Zoltan Bardi, Salim Loucif, Oliver Nicholas, Neil Cairney, Cameron Murray, Paulus Tjiuoro and Giorgos Gesios all get the call.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:34 PM   #91
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Reserve Team Update

-- We defeat Reading's Reserves 2-0 behind a Gareth Hancock own goal (off a deflected Mancini blast) and a late game breakaway marker from Gerardo Escobar.

International Duty

-- U18 player Carlo Cerbone is called up by Italy's U20 team. This is the first time I've seen a call-up for Cerbone and since he's currently uncapped, it could very well be his first international appearance if he's called upon to play.

-- Defenders Renato Gaucho and Thomas Andersen both put in good performances for Brazil and Denmark respectively in international friendlies. Gianluca Bolis notches two assists in a 3-1 Italy win over Turkey in Euro U21 qualifying play.

-- We have five players who took part in World Cup qualifying. Of the five, Neil Cairney played best, scoring a goal in a 2-1 Scotland win over Belgium but Paulus Tjiuoro (Namibia), Salim Loucif (Algeria) and Zoltan Bardi (Hungary) all got positive notices for their work in their games. Oliver Nicholas wasn't at his best for Eritrea in a heavy 4-0 loss to Zambia. Cairney's goal, by the way, was his first ever international goal and a press release states his delight.

U18 Update

-- Dover's U18s defeat AFC Wimbledon 4-2, with young Carlo Cerbone notching a hat trick! Gary Cook scores the other Dover goal.

-- Zoltan Bardi continues to be upset with his contract. He's making peanuts compared to Giorgos Gesios and I do think it's something I'll need to address. He leaves in a huff when I say we should talk about this later. The next day, it's GK Ingo Wilke's turn and I tell him he's being very unprofessional. He apologizes for his behaviour and leaves.

Training Facilities Upgrade

-- After almost a decade of inactivity with respect to our stadium and training grounds, it's incredible the amount of work that's being done right now at Crabble Athletic Ground. We complete construction of a second training ground upgrade in two years, with our training facilities upgraded to "Average" from "Adequate". Final work is still being completed on our stadium seat expansion and we're also in the planning stages of upgrading our Youth Recruitment Network.

Injury Update

-- We are pretty much 100% healthy. GK Lucasz Fabianski comes down with the flu so I send him home to recuperate before he spreads it to the rest of the team.

Next Up

-- We head to Liverpool Stadium for a big game against The Reds
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:52 AM   #92
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. October 17, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Liverpool (3-0-4, 9 points, 9th) vs. Dover (5-0-2, 15 points, 2nd)
Liverpool Stadium, Liverpool, UK

Betting Odds: Liverpool: 4-5 (Favourites) Draw: 2-1 Dover: 3-1
Past Meetings: 0W 1D 6L

We've played Liverpool more than any other Premier League team due to a few cup ties over the years. They are struggling a bit out of the gate with only 3 wins from 7 matches. They continue to be a powerhouse and haven't missed out on Continental qualification in decades, finishing 4th last year. They just bought a flashy new striker, Rafael Flores, from Turkish Premier side Besiktas JK for £14.5 million, something which has made their normal top forward Edinson Cavani a surplus to requirements. This despite 23 goals from Cavani last year! That said, Cavani is now 33 years old while Flores is a young pup of 25. Liverpool also bought another striker during the July window, Piotr Parzyszek from Aston Villa for £12.25 million so that's a lot of money on forwards! We've had little to no success historically against Liverpool but did play them to a 1-1 draw away in our last contest. The odds certainly aren't overwhelming against us for the first time so it's nice to start getting some respect!

We'll need to simplify here to have a chance. I will run a flat 4-4-2 for this game, utilizing a narrow, deep and slow tempo formation as instructed by my advanced scouting team.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, A. Rocca, N. Cairney, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, Z. Bardi
Bench - T. Andersen, J. Kuciak, L. Craig, D. Pratley, P. Kostal, G. Escobar, P. Simek

Liverpool are utilizing a 4-4-2 Diamond formation for the first time in any of our contests. Flores is starting up front with a fifth striker named Raymond de Winter, usually a backup player for them. I also get a strange note from my assistant manager, who tells me in the pre-game buildup that many of the squad members are struggling to get motivated with Ingo Wilke as our captain (he's our vice captain but Pratley is on the bench). Interesting...

11' - We're doing a good job with possession but other than a few shots from distance, there are no real chances on either side.

12' - I had to open my mouth. We turn the ball over in midfield to their AMC Shelvey. He races up the centre of the pitch and when challenged by Cristian Rodriguez, springs a wide open Raymond de Winter. He speeds past Tjiuoro and sends a low blast off the left post and into the net. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-1

20' - We continue to hold possession for the most part and we have an extended sequence deep in Liverpool territory off a throw in. Renato Gaucho plays some give and go into the box and out with Zoltan Bardi. It comes back to Gaucho and he sends a pass into the box to Andrea Rocca. With his stronger left foot, he turns and sends a screamer that hits the top of the crossbar and down into the goal. Great strike! DOVER GOAL 1-1

27' - We win a corner and Rocca sends a ball to the near post. Rodriguez turns and heads it just over, missing by a whisker!

45+1' - We continue to dominate the highlights, with plenty of long efforts just missing. Neil Cairney sends a lovely through ball to Bolis up the right side deep in Liverpool territory and it's kicked out by their defender, setting up a corner. Rocca sends one deeper this time toward the far post and it's Paulus Tjiuoro who latches onto it and heads it into the back of the net. Tjiuoro's first ever goal for Dover as Liverpool's manager tears up his half time notes! DOVER GOAL 2-1

HALFTIME - Perhaps our finest half of the year so far! We lead possession 52% to 48% but are getting all of the chances, outshooting them 13-3 (2-1 on target). Again, we're taking a lot of long shots but so far so good. I tell the lads I'm pleased.

Liverpool change to a 4-1-3-2 to start the second half, with a defensive central midfielder.

50' - Edinson Cavani, who came on at halftime, heads the ball upfield to himself and gets a dangerous ball into Shelvey but his shot goes over the net from in close.

53' - We send a long ball up the right side and Bardi latches onto it. He moves diagonally into the corner of the area and delivers a rocket that is stopped by a diving Chris Dunn, the Liverpool GK. The rebound comes right onto the foot of Giorgos Gesios and he one times it into the empty net. Big goal!!! DOVER GOAL 3-1

54' - They work a counter attack shortly after the resumption of play. It's Cavani in midfield who finds their right fullback Papasthatopolous screaming down the sideline. He sends in a low cross and it's right back to Cavani, who one times it into the net. Nice goal by the veteran and we have ourselves a game again. LIVERPOOL GOAL 3-2

56' - Salim Loucif takes down a player just outside our penalty area and gets the yellow card.

61' - I bring in Gerardo Escobar for Zoltan Bardi and go very narrow, slow the tempo, deepen the line, etc. Time to protect this lead.

64' - We are scrambling around in a bit of a panic. We're blocking shots and nothing is getting through yet but I'm worried.

72' - I take off a tired Gesios for Petr Simek. Hopefully we can spring him on a counter attack and he can utilize that great speed.

84' - Holy crap! We have an extended period without highlights and we come to a throw in deep in their territory. Bamba throws in to Simek, who cuts toward the byline and then sends in a left footed high cross into the box. With the keeper and two defenders right there, it's Gerardo Escobar leaping over all of them to head the ball into the goal! What a dagger! Can we possibly win away at Liverpool?!?! DOVER GOAL 4-2

They move to a 4-2-4.

89' - We bring on Jozef Kuciak and switch to a 5-3-2 formation.

90'+1 - Great - Cairney gets hurt and has to go off. We're down to 10 men and drop Escobar back into the midfield.

That's it! WHAT A WIN! Hopefully Cairney isn't badly hurt.

Liverpool 2 - 4 Dover
Goals - Andrea Rocca (8.8), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.8), Giorgos Gesios (7.4), Gerardo Escobar (7.3)
Assists - Renato Gaucho (7.6), Andrea Rocca, Zoltan Bardi (6.9), Petr Simek (6.9)
Man of the Match - Andrea Rocca
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.1), Cristian Rodriguez (7.0), Neil Cairney (7.4)
Attendance - 58526

They ended up edging us in possession 51%-49% but we outshot them by a wide margin, 19-10 (6-2 on target). This may be one of the greatest wins in club history and the press agree, calling it a "historic win". The fans are "jubilant" after the victory and I tell the lads it was a fantastic result. Wow!

-- Man United lost again, this time to Reading 1-0 at Old Trafford but Man City continues to lead at the top of the table after a thrilling 4-3 win away at Tottenham.

-- There aren't any notices about Neil Cairney so thankfully his injury isn't serious!

Dover U18 Update

-- Dover's U18s win a close 1-0 game over Havant and Waterlooville, with our lone goal scored by unheralded striker Chris Paterson.

-- I give my players Sunday off from training, not a surprise, as it's something I do a lot during the season, especially after wins or during weeks where we play more than one game. I use this time to have some individual player chats to show appreciation for good games and when complimenting Escobar's key goal (which he shrugged off by the way), I noticed that he thinks Bardi's "poor attitude" will possibly affect team harmony. I decide to have another chat with Bardi and he immediately jumps on me, saying he's talked with the other players on the club about his contract situation so I bark right back at him about his unprofessionalism. Thankfully, he backs off, saying he'll show more respect starting right now and the next day, he's back to being happy at the club. Whew!

Barclays Premier League Team of the Week

-- We get three players named to this week's best eleven. DL Renato Gaucho, DC Paulus Tjiuoro and MC Andrea Rocca all get honoured this week.

-- The bad vibes keep coming, this time from our stalwart new DC signing Cristian Rodriguez. He requests a chat and tells me he's having great difficulty settling into English life. I have the opportunity to send him away from the club but opt to tell him that I'll try to find someone to bring into the club to help him settle in. He tells me he'd be delighted if I brought MR Marcelo Astudillo in. Time to scout that 26 year old winger. By the way, Rodriguez is playing exceptionally well so far despite not knowing the language, playing 8 games, scoring once and having a 7.45 average rating, which is superb.

-- I end up getting a positive scouting report on Astudillo (3.5/3.5) but he's a left footed MR and I don't think he really fits my schemes here. I start looking for cultured Argentinian DCs who are based in England - maybe I can find a cheap veteran to bring in during the next window to tutor young Rodriguez.

Next Up

-- A date at Emirates Stadium with Arsenal in Premier League action

Last edited by NoSkillz : 12-01-2013 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:26 PM   #93
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. October 24, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Arsenal (3-3-2, 12 points, 8th) vs. Dover (6-0-2, 18 points, 2nd)
Emirates Stadium, London, UK

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

We meet Arsenal for the second time in a month, with our last meeting a 3-2 loss that took us out of the League Cup. I'm hoping they are a bit tired, as they're coming off a Wednesday Champions League match against Anderlecht, drawing 1-1.

My scouts seem to think that our flat 4-4-2 will work well against Arsenal but they suggest a HIGH defensive line. I'm a bit worried about that, as Emirates has a very deep field. I'm going to go with the exact same lineup and substitutes that helped us win at Liverpool last week.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, A. Rocca, N. Cairney, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, Z. Bardi
Bench - T. Andersen, J. Kuciak, L. Craig, D. Pratley, P. Kostal, G. Escobar, P. Simek

Arsenal starts with a flat 4-4-2 just like us, with Teddy Gallo and Boakye up front. Jack Wilshere is playing right midfield, Cesc Fabregas is in the centre of the park and Aaron Ramsey is playing right fullback. I tell the players that the pressure is off.

1' - They get an early chance, as super fast striker Teddy Gallo dribbles up field. He sends it down the left and a cross comes in from ML Adam Hlousek right back to Gallo but he's saved by Wilke. Gallo gets another chance and Tjiuoro tackles the ball away just in time.

2' - Salim Loucif gets a very early yellow card for bringing down Hlousek.

10' - Loucif misses a challenge and gets hurt. He can't shake it off and I need to make the very early substitute, bringing on Jozef Kuciak.

13' - It's all Arsenal early. They get a free kick from well outside the area and it's headed barely over.

16' - Another Arsenal free kick comes into the box. Cristian Rodriguez has possession but is stripped of the ball by Gallo. His quick shot misses just wide. He should have scored there. We need to get some possession.

20' - Arsenal continue to control play and generate chances. Wilshere crosses dangerously into the box off a give and go with Aaron Ramsey and Hlousek gets his head to the ball, only to see Wilke dive across for the fine save.

25' - Paulus Tjiuoro with the yellow card.

26' - Gallo gets the ball just outside the box, turns to his strong foot and shoots, forcing Wilke into a diving save.

37' - We finally get a few highlights. Bolis gets the ball in the area but is on his weaker foot and shoots harmlessly wide. We're pretty much generating nothing right now.

40' - Cristian Rodriguez gets a yellow card. We're very undisciplined so far today.

41' - We finally get a good scoring chance. Neil Cairney gets a lovely ball through the defence to Gianluca Bolis and he beats the keeper…but not the goalpost! So close!

44' - It's Wilshere again making his presence felt, delivering another gorgeous cross into the box and again it's Wilke, making a glorious point-blank save. Wilke is singlehandedly keeping us alive.

HALFTIME - Possession is surprisingly dead even but we're being outshot 9-4 (4-1 on target). I tell the team that they can win this game and we slightly widen our formation to start the second half.

46' - Their ML Hlousek has been very involved and he is at it again to start the second half. In a play right off kickoff, he gets the ball down the left and eludes a weak tackling effort by Kuciak. Hlousek delivers a shot that's stopped by Wilke but Teddy Gallo is there for the rebound and makes no mistake. Easy goal and we're behind. ARSENAL GOAL 0-1

48' - Zoltan Bardi makes a terrible giveaway and Andrea Rocca is forced to take an Arsenal man down at midfield as they start a quick counter. Yellow card for Rocca.

51' - We simply aren't playing well. It's Hlousek again skinning Kuciak and he sends it to Fabregas. His one touch through ball to Gallo is a thing of beauty but Wilke is there again to turn it behind the net. Sensational save again from our keeper. He has to come up big again on the ensuing corner. We're a one man team right now. Wilke throws it out to Gaucho and he sends a long ball over the Arsenal defence. Gesios is racing to the ball against Aaron Ramsey and takes him down in the Arsenal box after Ramsey barely beat him to it. Bad challenge and yet another yellow, our fifth in the match already.

56' - Arsenal work yet another counter attack and it's Dover killer Gallo getting through the defence again. This time, Tjiuoro, already with a yellow, makes a key challenge and wins the ball back to Wilke. Bold tackle but it worked. Wilke throws it out and it ends up getting to Gesios at midfield but he loses it. Arsenal has incredible speed on the counter and Wilke again is forced to make two point blank saves against Hlousek. Jozef Kuciak simply can't handle that guy's speed. And Wilke is putting on a display today. Wow.

61' - I decide to make a change and get Petr Simek up off the bench to come in for a very ineffective Giorgos Gesios while also looking to widen my formation. However, before those changes are made, we get possession in midfield and the ball eventually comes to Rocca in the middle of Arsenal territory. He sends a wonderful pass through the defence to a breaking Zoltan Bardi and he gets into the area and puts a stiff left footed strike right into the top of the net. A shocker! DOVER GOAL 1-1

62' - Simek is on for Gesios.

63' - Unbelievable. Arsenal get a throw in deep in our area down the left side. Hlousek gets the ball and sends in a weak cross that hits Paulus Tjiuoro and deflects past a diving Ingo Wilke for the quick reply. ARSENAL GOAL 1-2

74' - I bring in Thomas Andersen for Tjiuoro.

78' - Wilshere gets a yellow card and we win a free kick from distance. Rocca sends a curling ball into the box and Arsene Bamba jumps and barely heads it over.

81' - Wilshere again with a bad challenge and I'm thinking he's getting a second yellow but instead just gets a stern telling off. Damn. We have another free kick but Bardi mishits the header and it goes harmlessly wide.

82' - We move to an attacking philosophy.

90'+3 - We're generating nothing, as usual, when we move to attacking formations. A frustrated looking Bardi picks up a yellow for an ugly challenge.

And that's the game.

Arsenal 2 - 1 Dover
Goals - Zoltan Bardi (7.2)
Assists - Andrea Rocca (7.1)
Man of the Match - Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal MC)
Other Dover Notables - Cristian Rodriguez (7.0), Paulus Tjiuoro (5.9), Renato Gaucho (5.9)
Attendance - 59753

Not a very good game for us but again, we have to give credit to a strong Arsenal team. They out-possess us 54-46 and outshoot us by a very wide margin, 24-6 (13-2 on target). Ingo Wilke only gets a 6.9 rating, which is ridiculous. 11 saves, most of which were point blank. We generated very little offence in that game and obviously, the better team won the game.

-- Man City win big over Bolton and Man U also prevail in a walk over Aston Villa. City now are 5 points clear at the top of the table. We are currently second and Man U is tied on points but behind us on goal differential.

Injury Update

-- The news isn't good for Salim Loucif, as he sustains a broken arm in the Arsenal match and will miss the next five to six weeks. Jozef Kuciak was skinned early and often in his place so I'll be relying on a rotation between him and Ross McLaughlin going forward.

Dover U18 Update

-- The kids put in a marvellous display, beating Aldershot 4-0. Once again, it's the superb Carlo Cerbone scoring another hat trick. Maybe I have something with this kid! He's up to 11 goals in 9 U18 appearances. Johnny Mardenborough scored the other Dover goal.

Dover Reserve Team Update

-- We earn a 3-1 win at home versus the Derby reserves, with young attacking midfielder Jonathan Adam bagging a brace and striker Petr Simek notching our other marker.

Next Up

-- A huge league matchup, as we host Manchester United at Crabble Athletic Ground
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:32 AM   #94
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. October 31, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Dover (6-0-3, 18 points, 2nd) vs. Manchester United (6-0-3, 18 points, 3rd)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 7-2 Draw: 9-4 Manchester United: 4-6 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 0W 0D 5L

We welcome Jurgen Klinsmann's Man United to Crabble Athletic Ground. United continue to be a powerhouse in this dynasty, having won three Premier League championships over the past ten years, including two in a row (2017-18 & 2018-19). They have qualified for Champions League play every single year since 1990-91, a span of 20 years! We both have the exact same record at this point of the season, with us up due to a better goal differential. At 0-0-5, it goes without saying that we've had our troubles historically with United, as they've scored 17 goals in those games to our 2. I'm hoping we have put together a team that can compete with them in the future…and hopefully the present as well! Like Arsenal last week, United is currently in the Champions League and has a match coming up in four days so I'm hoping they play a weaker side today. Wishful thinking, perhaps, as I notice that they are leading their group with a perfect 3-0 record and will be facing the winless SK Rapid Wien on Wednesday. THEY'LL likely be getting the weaker lineup!

It's a new era at United, with iconic striker Wayne Rooney sent packing to Fulham after years of great service. French striker Yaya Sanogo is their main threat up front, having scored 5 goals in 9 league games thus far. Javier Hernandez is also still around at 32 years old. They are loaded with high-valued players, like DM Omar Hernandez, 28 year old defender Luiz Carlos, 25 year old defender Eduardo Padilla and midfielder Eden Hazard.

My scouts, as usual, say they struggle versus a 4-5-1 but i've played that formation many times against them with no positive effect. I've looked at their losses this year to Arsenal and Reading and both of those teams played a flat 4-4-2 so that's what we'll go with. I'll likely start with my control philosophy but I'll be ready to revert to a counter attacking mode should United prove to be too strong. I'll be making a few changes to the lineup - Jozef Kuciak will come in for the injured Salim Loucif at right fullback. I'm giving ML Cameron Murray a chance to play over Arsene Bamba today - Cameron has been lights out for our reserves team and Bamba has struggled in recent contests. Lastly, in perhaps the boldest move, I'll bring in striker Gerardo Escobar for the in-form Zoltan Bardi - Escobar used to play for United so I want to give him a chance here to see what he can do. He's played well when called upon this year so it's not an outrageous move by any means.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, J. Kuciak
M - C. Murray, A. Rocca, N. Cairney, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, G. Escobar
Bench - T. Andersen, R. McLaughlin, Z. Bardi, D. Pratley, P. Kostal, A. Bamba, P. Simek

As expected, United come out in their customary flat 4-4-2. Sanogo and Hernandez are both up front so they are definitely taking this game VERY seriously. My assistant thinks I should tell the lads that they can win today and since they're an ambitious bunch, I go with it. I pull both of our strikers aside to tell them I have faith in their abilities and tell out-of-form winger Gianluca Bolis I expect a performance today. The kid isn't playing well with all of the transfer attention on him lately.

10' - Incredibly, most of the highlights have been in our favour and we've missed a couple of long shots by narrow margins. We win a corner and Rocca's ball is played right to the head of Paulus Tjiuoro, who hits a hard header right off the post and it luckily comes right back to Viviano, the Man U keeper. In the end, it wouldn't have counted anyway, as Escobar fouls a United defender in the box.

13' - We have a throw in down the left side of their zone and it's headed out to safety. Gesios chases the ball down in the middle of their side of the pitch and plays a ball up to Rocca. He immediately one-times a gorgeous pass into the box to a charging Gianluca Bolis and he strikes the ball with fury into the net! But wait, the assistant referee calls him offside? The replay shows that he was just on the guys outside shoulder - a marginal call and the game remains scoreless.

39' - We've had a number of highlights going both ways but no real great chances. They finally get their first one, as Sanogo is sprung in the box but he has a poor angle and Wilke turns him aside. The play continues on and Hernandez wins a challenge inside the area and has the net at his mercy. He makes no mistake and we're down. MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL 0-1

42' - It's Javier Hernandez again, this time running down the left flank, cutting inside and getting the ball to Sanogo, who is stopped on a point blank effort by Wilke. The ball is moved back the other way as we counter and after a great number of passes, the ball is played into Neil Cairney but his shot is stopped by Viviano. Nice sequence there.

43' - We continue to pour on pressure. Cairney gets a nice through-ball to Cameron Murray and his strong left footed blast just misses wide, hitting the side netting.

HALFTIME - We are completely dominating this game, winning possession by an incredible 61%-39% margin and lead in shots 11-7 but they have five on target to our one, so we're not making our shots count at all. I tell the players I'm pleased but single out Gesios (Prove a Point) and Rocca as having underperformed. My assistant tells me that Rocca looks "disinterested" today - not a good thing from one of my best players.

47' - Gesios starts the play at midfield and works the ball up to Escobar. He feeds Bolis cutting into the area and his strong shot is turned aside by a diving VIviano! We can't get the rebound through and it's deflected away for a corner. Rocca's corner from the left side is headed away but we work it back into Bolis again, courtesy of Cairney and Bolis' shot hits the goal post! We just can't put the ball away!

60' - Sanogo wins a challenge at midfield and streaks toward our goal with everyone behind him. For some reason, he takes a wasteful shot that goes harmlessly wide.

62' - Zoltan Bardi comes in for Escobar.

65' - Oh my God. We have a throw in deep in their territory and it's Gesios making a left footed cross into the box. The ball deflects around and comes right to Bardi and with the net at his mercy, he fires wide from no more than 8 yards away. A complete sitter missed! Was that our chance? A shocking miss.

71' - Jozef Kuciak, who has played well for the injured Salim Loucif, is tired so I take him out in favour of Ross McLaughlin.

74' - We win a free kick in our end and Cristian Rodriguez sends the ball up the left side to no one in particular. Man U defender Luiz Carlos is taken off the ball by Gesios and he streaks down the left side toward the area. United central defender Boyata comes over to help and strips the ball from Gesios for a split second but Gesios won't quit. He takes the ball right back on what could have been a foul and then fires a low shot past the startled United keeper! We have tied it up!!! What a great effort from Gesios, who I almost took out of the game minutes earlier but reconsidered. DOVER GOAL 1-1

77' - It's still all Dover. We win a free kick just outside the box near the right byline and Rocca's cross is a good one but Gesios fouls one of their defenders. Yellow card for Gesios, our team's first on the day versus three for United.

80' - Wow, we're playing well! We steal the ball again and start a counter down the right flank with Bolis. He sends a nice ball into the middle to Bardi and his low blast JUST misses wide! We take out Gesios and replace him with Petr Simek. Hopefully we can utilize his world-class speed against the tired United defenders in the last ten minutes of the match.

82 - Ross McLaughlin takes down their man just outside the box and is given a yellow for the foul. On the resulting free kick, it's Luiz Carlos sending in a curling left footed pass that meets the head of Sanogo and he sends it forcefully into the net. What a dagger. We don't deserve to lose this game. MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL 1-2

90'+2 - We get a couple of corners but don't capitalize.

And that's it.

Dover 1 - 2 Manchester United
Goals - Giorgos Gesios (7.2)
Assists - None
Man of the Match - Luiz Carlos (Manchester United DR)
Other Dover Notables - Renato Gaucho (7.0), Neil Cairney (7.0)
Attendance - 9135 (Sellout)

Simply put, we deserved a better fate. We won the possession battle by a 57-43 mark and outshot them 20-11 (3-6 on target). We lost this game but if anything, we finally proved to them and maybe ourselves that we can compete with any team in this league, playing our own style and not playing defensively. I tell the players they gave a good effort

-- We take a big hit on the table after this loss, dropping all the way down to 5th place. Manchester City destroyed Norwich 7-1 and now is five points clear at the top over United.

November Update

-- We have a busier November, with five league games against Reading (home), Middlesbrough (away), Aston Villa (away), Derby (home) and Huddersfield (away). Not quite as tough as last month but Reading is in 4th place and Middlesbrough are in 6th so it will still be a very challenging month. There are no easy games in this bloody league, that's for sure.

-- I get positive training reports for Andrea Rocca, Gerardo Escobar and Ross McLaughlin, along with our top youth prospect Abdallaye Kokaina. The only negative report comes back for our captain Darren Pratley - I don't confront him on it, as I usually do in these instances. Pratley is simply getting old.

Barclays Premier League Monthly Awards

-- Man City's superlative striker Enrique once again is player of the month, with two of his teammates finishing in 2nd and 3rd.

-- Dover's own Neil Cairney is awarded as the Barclays Premier League Young Player of the Month for October! Cairney only had one assist in his four October games but he continues to impress on the pitch. Our young DC Cristian Rodriguez finishes third in the voting.

-- City's Carlo Ancelotti wins the manager of the month once again, as his team won all four games and outscored the opposition an incredible 19-5 in only four games!

November Board Confidence Update

-- The board are delighted with the leadership qualities I'm demonstrating. Stature increase a plus; Simon Rideout's departure continues to be the disappointing thing. Get over it guys - our strikers are killing it this year and Rideout would have never seen the pitch! We made £495,000 last month.

-- We're given the opportunity to buyout yet another transfer clause, this time for defender Rachid Diallo. I sold him to Litex in Bulgaria for £1,400,000 in the last window and also got a 20% sell-on clause added to the deal. I'm being offered a buyout for £712,000 - that would mean the only way I can lose is if Litex sells him for over £3,500,000 - I don't see that happening. I will take the £712k and run! I go to accept the deal and see that there is another buyout available for MC Shaun Halsall - the figure is more modest but again, the deal is too good to turn down and I accept another £47k in free money, this time from Halsall's new club Swindon.

Injury Update

-- Backup striker Petr Simek collided with star midfielder Andrea Rocca in training and unfortunately, it was Rocca who took the worst of it, sustaining a facial injury. He'll be out for about five days, likely missing our game against Reading this weekend.

Next Up

-- The big games keep coming. We welcome 4th placed Reading to Crabble Athletic Ground in Barclays Premier League action.
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:50 AM   #95
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. November 7, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Dover (6-0-4, 18 points, 5th) vs. Reading (6-1-2, 19 points, 4th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Interestingly enough, we are bigger dogs versus Reading than we were against Man United, despite having some decent historical success, with a .500 record in five previous games. Reading are fourth in the table with one less game played and they already have wins this year against United and Arsenal, amongst others. In this dynasty, Reading promoted up from the Championship after the 2010-11 season and they've remained in the top flight ever since. Their first three years in the Premier League were spent barely avoiding relegation but in recent years, they've shown great consistency, finishing just outside of continental play in five of the past six years. They've had four 9th place finishes in a row, quite a statistic!

Their top player by value is right fullback Patson Seleman, a Tanzanian international who was just purchased this year from Sheffield Wednesday for £9m. Their most dangerous player is 23 year old Egyptian striker Hani Megahed, a clinical finisher with great speed. He's only scored once in five league games though and is still recovering from an ankle injury. I may just avoid him but there's a chance he'll be on their bench at the very least.

My scouts don't have an awful lot on Reading but I've had success against them using multiple formations. I'm going to stick with the flat 4-4-2 that helped us dominate possession against United last week. I'll be throwing Lukasz Fabianski in net for the first time in league play this year. Arsene Bamba will return at left midfield and captain Darren Pratley will start for the first time this year in the midfield, as Andrea Rocca won't be ready to play today due to injury. Zoltan Bardi is back in at striker alongside Gesios.

One other interesting tidbit on Reading. Their new manager is Lee Clark - if you recall, Clark was my new chairman's personal pick to take over my job when he bought the team. Thankfully, I was kept aboard and Clark caught on with Reading. Clark comes out in the press before the match to say how much he dislikes me (or something to that effect) and I just ignore the comment. I'm not big on "mind games" in this career, as it seems to hurt my players more than help.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - L. Fabianski
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, J. Kuciak
M - A. Bamba, D. Pratley, N. Cairney, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, Z. Bardi
Bench - T. Andersen, O. Nicholas, Mancini, C. Murray, P. Kostal, G. Escobar, P. Simek

Surprisingly, Reading decide to start a recovering Megahed up front. There doesn't look to be any way he can play a full game but perhaps they hope he can score a goal before half or something. I tell the team to tackle him hard, hopefully to knock him off his game. Reading are in a flat 4-4-2, just like us. I tell the team they can win today and pull aside Fabianski, Bolis and Bamba for some individual words.

10' - Gianluca Bolis dribbles down the right side, cuts into the box and hits a hard, wrong footed shot just wide. Pretty good chance!

13' - This time it's Giorgos Gesios penetrating the box and left-footing it into the side netting.

35' - Not an awful lot of action, other than a few corners. Reading get a free kick from their side of half and send a direct ball toward our zone. Jozef Kuciak heads it to centre field and Bardi is there to head it forward into space. Gesios uses his blazing speed to beat the defender to the ball and the Reading keeper is out of position in no mans land. Gesios makes the clinical finish and we take the lead! DOVER GOAL 1-0

38' - Gesios is hurt on a challenge. He can continue but I'll have to monitor his fitness at halftime.

HALFTIME - A dull half, with few offensive chances on both sides but we'll take it. We lead in possession 56-44 and in shots 4-3 (1-0 on target). I tell the team I'm pleased and I don't make any adjustments for now. Gesios seems to be okay so I'll keep him in.

50' - They work a counter attack and it's their captain, left midfielder Lallana who cuts in past Kuciak and just misses wide from 15 yards. On the ensuing goal kick, they head the ball back up field and it's Megahed, still in the game, who beats Fabianski to the ball and puts it into the open net. But wait, the flag is up! Offsides! Whew!

52' - All of a sudden it's all Reading. Again, it's Megahed who takes a beautiful through ball and is in all alone but Fabianski is there to make the key stop!

55' - We get a free kick from distance and Neil Cairney throws a brilliant ball into the area but Cristian Rodriguez's header just goes wide.

61' - We win a throw in and the ball comes to Pratley. He makes a little touch pass to Cairney and he immediately sends an excellent ball into the left side of the area to Gesios. The defenders think he's offside but the flag stays down and Gesios takes a few steps and sends a vicious ball into the lower lefthand corner of the net. Gesios bags his brace and we're up two! DOVER GOAL 2-0

62' - We take out Pratley and bring in defensive minded midfielder Mancini in his place.

63' - They work the ball upfield on the ensuing kickoff and Paulus Tjiuoro takes down striker James Hunter for the hard foul. Yellow card for Tjiuoro. Hunter takes the free kick and it curls just wide.

66' - We work a counter attack and Gesios sends a lovely ball up to Bardi. He has a poor angle going down the right side but he forces the keeper to make a tough stop on a hard shot.

68' - Renato Gaucho gets called on a ticky tacky play and the ensuing free kick from distance is headed toward the goal but a diving Fabianski gobbles it up and holds on. Later, after Fabianski puts the ball back into play, Gesios brings down a Reading defender and is given a yellow card.

72 - I switch to a counter attacking philosophy and I take out the excellent Giorgos Gesios and bring in Gerardo Escobar up front.

84' - Off a throw in, Escobar gets the ball and sends a wicked ball through to Bardi. He gets off a left footed blast that's saved and held by Reading keeper Federici.

They get a couple of chances from distance but that's it! Great result!

Dover 2 - 0 Reading
Goals - Giorgos Gesios 2 (8.8)
Assists - Neil Cairney (7.0), Zoltan Bardi (6.9)
Man of the Match - Giorgos Gesios
Other Dover Notables - Jozef Kuciak (7.1), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.0), Cristian Rodriguez (7.6), Renato Gaucho (7.7)
Attendance - 9135 (Sellout)

A deserved victory over a tough side that was heavily favoured, again proving we're onto something with our roster and our tactics. We edge them on possession 52-48 and outshoot them 11-9 (5-3 on target). Their dangerous striker Hani Megahed lasted 74 ineffective minutes, getting a 5.9 rating. Not a good decision to start him when he was obviously unfit.

-- After the Sunday slate of games, we see ourselves move up two places on the table to 3rd, 8 points behind runaway leaders Man City, with United 3 points ahead of us. City continued their torrid stretch, winning 4-0 over Sheffield Wednesday for their 11th win in a row across all competitions. In fact, they haven't lost in 19 games, with their only loss of the season being the Community Shield, where they dropped a 3-1 decision to Arsenal.

-- Just one further note about our superlative striker Giorgos Gesios. Again, if you recall, we bought him for the ridiculous sum of £14,250,000 last year from Arsenal and he had a tough time adjusting to life at Dover, scoring 9 goals and adding 3 assists in 25 league games. This year? How about 10 goals through his first 9 games, along with two assists - he's proving to be worth the considerable outlay! Gesios is currently 3rd in Premier League scoring, behind Enrique's 12 for Man City and Everton's Ekow Mumuni has 11.

Next Up

-- We're right back in action four days later, with a midweek trip to the Riverside Stadium to visit Middlesbrough.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 12-05-2013 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:58 AM   #96
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
By the way, being that I'm so far into this dynasty, if there are any teams, leagues or players you'd like updates on, let me know and I'll give you a recap of what they've done in this world!
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:53 PM   #97
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. November 11, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Middlesbrough (6-1-4, 19 points, 6th) vs. Dover (7-0-4, 21 points, 3rd)
The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, UK

Betting Odds: Middlesbrough: 4-6 (Favourites) Draw: 9-4 Dover: 7-2
Past Meetings: 2W 0D 3L

Middlesbrough have been a constant mid-table team in the Premier League since getting promoted in 2010-11 from the Championship, finishing as high as 4th in 2014-15. Belgium midfielder Thorgan Hazard is leading their club in scoring with five goals in nine games and they have an expensive midfield, with their seven highest valued players all being in the middle of the pitch.

David Moyes' team plays a conservative 4-4-1-1 formation and try to control the ball. Today, we'll stick with our flat 4-4-2 (I have notes from last year saying they struggle against that formation) and I'm also making a few player changes due to fixture congestion. Ingo Wilke will be back in net and on defence, I'll be inserting Thomas Andersen for the excellent Cristian Rodriguez, just to give him a night off. Petr Kostal will be manning the right midfield position, as Gianluca Bolis is out of form right now. Andrea Rocca is back to being fully fit and will return to the lineup.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wike
D - R. Gaucho, T. Andersen, P. Tjiuoro, J. Kuciak
M - A. Bamba, A. Rocca, N. Cairney, P. Kostal
S - G. Gesios, Z. Bardi
Bench - C. Rodriguez, O. Nicholas, Mancini, C. Murray, G. Bolis, G. Escobar, P. Simek

My assistant suggests telling the players that the pressure is off and we have nothing to lose and I go with it.

2 - A unthinkable error to start. Jozef Kuciak has the ball back in our end and passes the ball back to Wilke but it's a terrible pass and their striker latches onto it. He has a wide open net but hits the post and Wilke dives on it just in time.

11' - It's pretty much all Middlesbrough in the first ten minutes. They win a corner and their tall defender sends a violent header that Wilke barely gets to, sending it over the net.

25' - We're generating absolutely nothing and they get a great chance again, as a weak clearance is gobbled up just outside our area and their midfielder takes a shot and it deflects into our net past Wilke. Thankfully, it hit their striker Kelly on the way in and he was clearly offside. No goal!

28' - Off a throw in, their right defender Walker gets the ball back and sends an immediate cross into our box. Their very tall left midfielder Abdullah Demir gets his head to it and sends it into the goal past a diving Wilke. A much deserved goal for Middlesbrough and we're down. MIDDLESBROUGH GOAL 0-1

29' - We are playing horrible football. Off the ensuing kickoff, Neil Cairney gets the ball but can't decide what to do. He's tackled and their right midfielder is sent into the area with a gorgeous through ball. Thankfully, he shoots into the side netting. My God…

34' - There's no justice in the world I guess and for that, we should be elated. We get a throw in deep in their end and Rocca touches the ball back to Renato Gaucho. Gaucho sends in a cross and Zoltan Bardi out-jumps two Middlesbrough defenders and heads the ball past their keeper. That's our first shot on net all half and it's in! DOVER GOAL 1-1

HALFTIME - We're lucky to get to half all even. Middlesbrough are dominating in all facets of the contest: possession is theirs by 57% to 43% and shots are in their favour 14-3 (7-1 on target). It's been apparent all half that I need to make changes and I do, changing to a 4-4-2 DM formation (4-2-3-1) and telling the players they can win this game. Now go out and do it!

Middlesbrough made a formation change as well, moving to a flat 4-4-2. Interesting.

54' - Their highly rated midfielder Geraldo weaves through midfield and gets to the edge of the area before sending a curling, left-footed blast toward goal. Wilke makes an incredible diving stop and swallows the ball without a rebound. Beautiful save!

58' - Kuciak takes down Abdullah Demir and earns a yellow.

64' - We bring on Gianluca Bolis for Petr Kostal. I also decide to move to a counter attacking philosophy instead of control.

66' - The changes pay off immediately. Bolis gets the ball down the right and uses his pace to get past the Middlesbrough defender. He passes into the midfield to Andrea Rocca and his one time pass springs Bardi in the area. He unleashes a low blast into the corner of the goal and we're in the lead! DOVER GOAL 2-1

70' - We gain possession again and it's Bardi again, unleashing a rocket from just outside the area that is stopped by the diving Middlesbrough keeper. Great save!

73' - We take out a tired Andrea Rocca and bring in defensive minded midfielder Mancini.

79' - They've had a few chances that have gone by the wayside and we win a throw in deep in their zone. Bardi gets the ball into Cairney and he one touches a pass into the middle. Gianluca Bolis looks offside but the flag is down and he calmly deposits a left footed shot right into the corner of the net. Bolis is the super sub and we're inexplicably up two goals! DOVER GOAL 3-1

81' - What in the hell is going on?? We get a throw in from almost the same exact spot moments later. Again, the ball comes to Cairney but this time he sends a through ball into the left portion of the box. Against more claims of offside from Middlesbrough defenders, it's Arsene Bamba who gets to the ball and sends a rocket that their keeper gets a piece of but not enough. It's yet another goal. Four bells! DOVER GOAL 4-1

84' - This is getting ridiculous! We send a long ball up to Bolis and he works his way into the area. The pass is deflected right to Giorgos Gesios but his one-time blast is saved by their beleaguered goalkeeper.

85' - Gesios takes down a man and gets a yellow card

87' - I bring in Oliver Nicholas for Kuciak.

89' - We have a nice period of possession and we slowly work the ball into the box to two-goal man Bardi. He can take the shot but elects to pass to strike partner Gesios and his low blast hits the post and bounces out. So close!

92' - Their striker Kelly beats Thomas Andersen after a long ball up field and his shot is turned behind the net by Wilke. Wilke has to make another save off the ensuing corner but it's an easy one.


Middlesbrough 1 - 4 Dover
Goals - Zoltan Bardi 2 (9.1), Gianluca Bolis (7.7), Arsene Bamba (8.2)
Assists - Neil Cairney 2 (9.0), Renato Gaucho (8.0), Andrea Rocca (7.1)
Man of the Match - Zoltan Bardi
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.6), Jozef Kuciak (7.5), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.1), Thomas Andersen (7.2)
Attendance - 18715

What a fantastic result! We obviously had a better second half but the overall statistics still favoured Middlesbrough greatly - a 56-44 possession edge and a whopping 23-9 (11-6) shot advantage but we did much better after changing to a counter attacking tactic. I'll put that in the memory banks, you can bet on that. Great games from Bardi and Cairney, along with Ingo Wilke in goal.

-- There's no change at the top of the table, as Man City beats Stoke 4-0 on Tuesday and Man United destroys Huddersfield 6-0 so both remain in first and second place respectively.

-- After their disastrous loss, Huddersfield's manager Dennis Wise gets sacked and I'm named as the bookies choice to replace him. Huddersfield are usually a mid-table or better team but this year, despite Euro League play after a 7th place finish last year, they are mired in 19th place in the league this season. I decide to not even respond to the rumours but obviously, I have no desire whatsoever to leave Dover for Huddersfield.

International Update

-- I get the usual blanket email telling me that eleven Dover players are being called up for international duty but get a separate email going into detail about one of the call-ups. It's a significant moment for our 25 year old star midfielder Andrea Rocca, who is called up for the first time to Italy's senior squad! I've wondered how long it was going to take them to realize how good he is and Rocca finally gets the call up! Hopefully he gains his first senior cap for Italy - he's played three times for Italy's U18 club.

-- The rest of the callups are Carlo Cerbone (Italy U19s), Renato Gaucho (Brazil U20s), Thomas Andersen (Denmark U21s), Emmanuel Agbo (England U21s), Gianluca Bolis (Italy's U21s), Giorgos Gesios (Greece), Zoltan Bardi (Hungary), Lukasz Fabianski (Poland), Neil Cairney and Cameron Murray (Scotland).

-- Speaking of Cairney, the media are dousing him with praise after his last game, which definitely was the best he's played since arriving at Dover. He's got 3 goals and 5 assists in 13 appearances so far, along with a 7.48 average rating. Excellent numbers for the former "wonderkid"!

Coaching Staff Additions

-- I've never really talked about our coaching staff, nor do I think I really need to often but I've added two new members to the staff to help some of our youngsters settle in…or at least I'm hoping there's a positive effect! I bring in former Argentina national Fabricio Coloccini in hopes of him helping Cristian Rodriguez settle into the club - Coloccini had a storied career in Spain and England, speaks fluent English and hopefully can help young Rodriguez. I also bring in Italian coach Erminio Rullo to help tutor Gianluca Bolis, who still hasn't picked up English despite being in his second year at Dover. Rullo played in Italy and also had a four year spell in the Championship with Swansea.

Next Up

-- We head to Villa Park in Birmingham to take on Aston Villa in Premier League weekend play.
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:42 AM   #98
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. November 14, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Aston Villa (5-4-3, 19 points, 6th) vs. Dover (8-0-4, 24 points, 3rd)
Villa Park, Birmingham, UK

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

Villa, like Middlesbrough, have been a Premier League mid-table constant and have played top flight football since 1988-89. In this dynasty, they've finished as high as 6th and as low as 14th, finishing 10th last year. They have started out well this year and play a very defensive style under manager Andre Villas-Boas. Their top goal scorer is 27 year old Will Keane, who has four goals in 8 league appearances. They blew their transfer budget this year on 28 year old right fullback Phil Jones, an influential English international with 16 caps to his credit. They also made a splash in the free transfer market. luring legendary English striker Theo Walcott over from Arsenal. Walcott has three goals in five games but broke his foot recently and will miss the next 3-4 months.

I will maintain the same 4-4-2 DM Counter attacking tactic that worked well in the second half of our last game. My scouts feel that we should play through the middle of the pitch at Villa Park due to the narrow nature of the setup so perhaps a counter attacking formation will work well. We are coming off a game only three days ago but I'm going to field a mostly full-strength squad. I'll bring in Lukasz Fabianski to play goal and Cristian Rodriguez will return to his spot in the centre of the defence alongside Paulus Tjiuoro. Gianluca Bolis also returns to his right winger spot. I do make extensive changes to the makeup of my bench, simply due to the fact many of my starters may tire quicker and I need some cover in different positions.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Counter
GK - L. Fabianski
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, J. Kuciak
M - A. Rocca, N. Cairney
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios
Bench - L. Koscielny, R. McLaughlin, L. Craig, D. Pratley, M. Prochazka, G. Escobar, P. Simek

Villa are going with a standard 4-5-1 with a defensive midfielder. I tell the team that they can win today and have individual talks with Gesios, Bardi and Bamba.

11' - They work the ball down the right flank and are able to get a cross in. Kuciak heads it out but they pick the ball up just outside the area and send a blast toward the goal. Wilke makes a nice diving stop to keep it out.

13' - We start a counter attack and Bardi sends a nice through ball down the right centre of the pitch to GIanluca Bolis. He uses his pace to stay in front of the chasing defenders and Villa's keeper Guzan makes a lovely stop to keep the game scoreless.

15' - Arsene Bamba gets the ball in his wheelhouse, down the left side of the penalty area but his far corner blast just skims the top of the bar. So close!

20' - We work a give and go between Bolis and Zoltan Bardi and Bolis then sends a lovely cross into the box toward Giorgos Gesios. Gesios loses the battle but the ball comes free to a charging Bardi, who blasts the ball off a Villa defender and into the goal! DOVER GOAL 1-0

27' - Fabianski plays the ball upfield and Gesios takes a Villa player down on an ugly challenge. Yellow card for Gesios and he's reached his yellow limit and therefore will miss our next match against Derby.

31' - There is some sloppy midfield play by Villa and Neil Cairney wins a challenge up to Gesios. Villa defender Kevin Renton goes in with a horror tackle on Gesios and Renton is given the straight RED CARD! Villa is down to 10 men!

Villa change to 3 DCs, bringing their fullbacks into the middle (3-5-1)

39' - In an inexcusable blunder, we lose the ball in their end and they start a counter attack. They have numbers on us and their left winger gets the ball into our area and their man Rehak is wide open. Somehow, he misses the sitter and shoots wide from 10 yards away. Shocking miss. We still are playing a defensive formation so I'm totally upset that we were so badly out of position there.

40' - We move the ball upfield right away and it's Cairney heading the ball to Bamba down the left side. He cruises into his favourite spot and unleashes a shot that is saved by a diving Guzan!

HALFTIME - With us up a man, we have an understandable possession edge 56-44 and are outshooting them 7-6 (3-2 on target). I tell them I'm pleased but I change to a slightly more aggressive control philosophy.

Villa switch to a flat 3-4-2 to start the second half.

54' - We're playing very sloppy offense right now, with missed passes and Villa, to their credit, are playing very aggressively despite being down a man. They actually change to a 5-2-2 and get a counter attack. They spring a nice pass into our box and Paulus Tjiuoro makes an incredibly bold sliding tackle in the area to deflect the ball out of play.

I change back to a counter attacking philosophy.

56' - Their fullbacks are really jumping into the play and we take advantage on a counter. Bolis streaks unopposed down the right flank and sends a low cross into Neil Cairney. He has time but elects to one time his shot, just missing on the right. A real chance wasted.

65' - Great - Gesios is taken down hard again and he's hurt enough to force a substitution. I bring in Petr Simek in his place.

Aston Villa now change to a 4-3-2 formation.

70' - We win a corner and for the first time in what seems like ages, we capitalize on one. Rocca's lovely ball is headed in by young defender Cristian Rodriguez and we have a two goal cushion! DOVER GOAL 2-0

75' - I make a double substitution, taking out Bardi and Rocca and inserting Gerardo Escobar and captain Darren Pratley. I also switch to a flat 4-4-2 counter attacking formation.

81' - Despite playing a very defensive style, their striker is able to get past our defence and storm into the area but thankfully, Fabianski is there to make the point blank save. We work a counter attack off that stop and Simek sends a lovely ball up to Bolis but his shot from inside the area is way wide.

They have a few chances from distance but nothing of note the rest of the way. We close it out.

Aston Villa 0 - 2 Dover
Goals - Zoltan Bardi (7.4), Cristian Rodriguez (8.6)
Assists - Gianluca Bolis (8.1), Andrea Rocca (7.7)
Man of the Match - Cristian Rodriguez
Other Dover Notables - Lukasz Fabianski (7.2), Jozef Kuciak (7.6), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.6), Renato Gaucho (7.3)
Attendance - 33912

It was a pretty dull game to be completely frank but anytime you can win on the road, you take it! We win possession 57% to 43% and outshoot them 14-11 (6-3 on target).

-- Thankfully, Giorgos Gesios wasn't seriously hurt and isn't listed as having any injuries at the moment. That said, he'll miss our next league match against Derby due to suspension for yellow card accumulation.

Dover U18 Update

-- The kids had a couple weeks of rest and come back to beat MK Dons U18s 1-0. Midfielder Matt Hewitt scored the Dover goal.

-- There's still nothing to comment on with respect to the Premier League table. We continue to sit comfortably in third place with 27 points, five points up on Everton and Reading. Manchester United are three points ahead of us and Man City continue to roll at 11-2-0 and sit five points clear at the top.

-- Athletic Club Bilbao fire manager Ronald Koeman and I'm named as his possible successor. Not happening fellas.

-- We get two players named to the Premier League Team of the Week. Cristian Rodriguez and Zoltan Bardi are given honours.

Injury Update

-- Right midfielder Petr Kostal sustains fractured ribs in a training ground collision with Cristian Rodriguez and will miss at least four weeks of action. Kostal is our second choice right winger but I have enough cover with Martin Prochazka so this shouldn't be an issue. Gianluca Bolis gets the majority of playing time anyway. Our only other injury right now continues to be DR Salim Loucif, who is still a couple weeks away from returning to training after breaking his arm.

Dover Reserve Team Update

-- We destroy Blackpool 5-1 away behind a 1 goal, 2 assist performance from our captain Darren Pratley. Young striker Dennis Kunz scored twice and Roberto and Matt Hewitt notched the other markers. Mancini also had two assists in the match.

International Update

-- Of the eleven players away on international duty, only Cameron Murray found the scoresheet in Scotland's 2-0 friendly win over Andorra. That is Murray's first ever International goal! Gianluca Bolis contributed an assist for Italy's U21 team. Unfortunately, Andrea Rocca did not get into Italy's senior team match and therefore hasn't received his first cap.

-- Ah, the circle of life…Sacked Athletic Club Bilbao manager Ronald Koeman just got hired by Huddersfield. Meanwhile, AC Milan pays £2,000,000 to Sunderland in order to pry away their manager Oscar Garre and bring him to Italy. Garre has always been a thorn in my side during my time in the Premier League and he's listed as one of the guys that dislikes me most in this universe. Now he's gone, which can't be a bad thing. And yes, dispatched Huddersfield boss Dennis Wise ends up getting hired at Sunderland. Hilarious!

Next Up

-- A home match against struggling Derby County.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:35 PM   #99
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. November 21, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Dover (9-0-4, 27 points, 3rd) vs. Derby (2-4-7, 10 points, 16th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 4-7 (Favourites) Draw: 5-2 Derby: 4-1
Past Meetings: 3W 0D 2L

We are touted as comfortable favourites against Derby, who currently are just above the relegation zone. We've had six very tough games in a row against top half sides (and 8 of our last 9) so this is a welcomed matchup. That said, we'll definitely have to guard against complacency.

Derby have been up and down many times between the Premier League and the Championship over the course of this dynasty, having been relegated three times in the past ten years. This is the first time they've enjoyed consecutive seasons in the Premier League since 2001-02 but they only barely stayed up this year after a 16th place finish in 2019-20. Old friend Fraser Forster is their starting keeper but their most notable player is new signing Joao Henriques Almeida, a Mozambique striker picked up in the last transfer window for £10,250,000 from French club Stade Rennais FC, likely breaking the bank. He has two Premier League goals in 9 appearances.

We'll run with our single striker formation (4-4-2 DM Control) and with Giorgos Gesios unavailable due to suspension, I'll go with Gerardo Escobar up front. Ingo WIlke is back in goal, otherwise the lineup is the same as last weekend, with some changes made to our bench composition.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Counter
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, J. Kuciak
M - A. Rocca, N. Cairney
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Escobar
Bench - T. Andersen, L. Koscielny, Roberto, Mancini, M. Prochazka, C. Murray, P. Simek

Derby start with a 3-5-2 formation. Hopefully I can really take advantage of that with our wingers but with five midfielders, they'll likely have a possession edge. Boys, I expect a win today!

1' - Lots of action right off the opening kick. We gain possession and Jozef Kuciak heads it upfield to Gianluca Bolis. He dribbles from midfield all the way into Derby territory and into the area but his low, left footed shot through traffic is gobbled up by Forster. Nice run by Bolis there.

20' - We're getting plenty of possession and pressure but no real scoring chances.

24 - Dumb foul by Neil Cairney and he's given a yellow. We're possibly getting frustrated at being unable to break these guys down and my assistant notices that Cairney "looks ill-disciplined".

31' - We win a free kick from the right side just outside the area. Rocca's in-swinging kick meets the head of Paulus Tjiuoro but his vicious header is stopped by Forster! He gets the rebound and hits the post before a defender kicks it out for a corner. We're piling on pressure and that's our best opportunity so far. Forster certainly didn't make saves like that for Dover! On the ensuing corner, Tjiuoro gets another chance but the ball is kicked off the line by the defender guarding the post.

36' - We win yet another corner and it's headed just wide by Cristian Rodriguez.

42 - We build up play nicely from the back, with a beautiful pass upfield from Kuciak to Escobar. He dribbles down the centre and springs Zoltan Bardi cutting into the middle. Bardi's curling blast just misses the post and hits the side netting. Half the stadium thought it was in!

HALFTIME - This is nuts. We are DOMINATING this game, with an unfathomable 70% possession and 11-0 (4-0 on target) shot edge. We simply can't break them down. I want to send more players forward to start the second half but I'm worried about a counter attack against us. I think I'll just stick with this formation for now but change to an attacking philosophy.

47' - We build on offense and Cairney delivers a lovely ball into the box but Escobar can't get to it before Forster. Andrea Rocca is hurt on the play and comes off for a bit but he can shake it off for now.

64' - Arsene Bamba dribbles down the left hand side from midfield and gets to the byline before making a high cross into the box. Bolis is there but his header strikes the crossbar! Forster is out of position after attempting a diving save and it's Zoltan Bardi who is there to clean up the mess, heading it in off the ricochet to FINALLY get us on the board! DOVER GOAL 1-0

We'll revert back to our control philosophy and Derby changes to a flat 4-4-2.

69' - After taking a pass from Bamba, Gerardo Escobar dribbles halfway down the field, weaving through the defence. He is able to get a step on them through the middle but his shot JUST misses to the right. "He missed a sitter", says the commentator.

74' - Kuciak picks up a yellow card.

81' - I bring in Petr Simek for a tired Zoltan Bardi and in the process, switch the formation to a flat 4-4-2 counter.

90'+5 - They are down to ten men after making all their substitutions then losing a defender to injury. We're deep into extra time and they have a dangerous free kick in our area. It's not a good one and Cairney intercepts and sends the ball immediately up field to Petr Simek. It's basically a two-on-two situation as he dribbles down the right centre of the pitch with a defender chasing him. Escobar is cutting to the net and two other Dover players are coming in, leaving the last remaining defender in no mans land. Simek feeds the ball into a wide open Escobar and he easily one times it past Forster for the final dagger! DOVER GOAL 2-0

The ref blows the whistle before Derby can even kick off!

Dover 2 - 0 Derby
Goals - Zoltan Bardi (7.1), Gerardo Escobar (7.4)
Assists - Gianluca Bolis (7.1), Petr Simek (6.9)
Man of the Match - Jozef Kuciak (7.5)
Other Dover Notables - Paulus Tjiuoro (7.3), Cristian Rodriguez (7.1), Renato Gaucho (7.4)
Attendance - 9081

Well, we showed great patience and perseverance in this one and we finally were able to break them down in the second half. Overall possession was in our favour by a 64% to 36% mark and we outshot them 17-2 (6-0 on target). A solid effort and we did well to avoid complacency. Jozef Kuciak has played extremely well at right fullback while Salim Loucif recovers from his broken arm and was awarded man of the match. He's strung together four wonderful games in a row, which is great to see.

-- We've now won four in a row and the press comment on our great run of form, saying that even our harshest of critics can't help but "admire the way Dover play the game". We have a reasonable schedule coming up and there's a decent chance we can keep this thing going for awhile. Our next three games are as follows:

AT Huddersfield (16th)
AT Newcastle (14th)
vs. Fullham (20th)

We end December with tough games versus Everton (4th) and Man City (1st) but with a record of 10-0-4, we're only 5 wins away from matching last year's total!

-- Man City draws 2-2 against relegation candidates Sunderland, who did beat us earlier in the season so there's not much I can say. United continue to roll, defeating Newcastle 5-0 so we remain in third place, six points back of first but SEVEN points up on 4th place.

-- Lots of manager turnover in the Premier League, as struggling Tottenham sack Tony Mowbray. As usual lately, my name is at the top of the pundits list of potential replacements but I don't comment on the move.

Dover Injury Update

Petr Kostal is our only long term injury right now and it looks like DR Salim Loucif will soon be ready to return to full training after breaking his arm. We also send DC Oliver Nicholas home for a few days when he gets the flu.

Possible Transfer

-- Ok, we're still operating under a closed transfer window but I come to an agreement on a deal with Independiente out of Argentina for yet another young central defender and also come to an agreement with the player on a contract. We'll have to go through the permitting process but my scouts feel that everything will work out. I'll hold off on reporting on the player until we get official confirmation but this is a move that will hopefully satisfy our young star in the making DC Cristian Rodriguez, who still is looking for us to bring someone in to help him settle in England. This new defender is a fellow Argentinian so I'm hoping this works out. He is rated 3.0/4.5 by two of my scouts so he has star potential. Very exciting - I have to make some budget adjustments if this is to go through and may have to move a player out at the next window as well but if it makes Rodriguez happy, it's all worth it.

Next Up

-- We travel to visit surprise relegation candidates Huddersfield Town for a Sunday afternoon televised matchup.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:36 AM   #100
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sun. November 29, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Huddersfield (2-5-6, 11 points, 20th) vs. Dover (10-0-4, 30 points, 3rd)
The Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield, UK

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

This feels very much like a trap game.

After Saturday's matches, Huddersfield has dropped from 16th right to the bottom of the Premier League table but have only played 13 matches while many teams have played 15.

When this dynasty started, Huddersfield were in League 1 and after moving up to the Championship in 2011-12, it took them only two more seasons to reach the Premier League. They'd finish dead last that year, winning only three games but would win the Championship in 2014-15 to get another promotion and they've been a mid-table constant in the top flight ever since. Last year was their finest yet, finishing 7th and qualifying for the Europa League this year. They've progressed through two qualifying rounds and are still in the competition and I'm guessing that's a major reason for their problems in league play this year. That said, I have to treat this team with the respect it deserves and not just look at their poor league record.

Huddersfield have a dominating presence up front in 26 year old Scottish international Paul Lumsden, a 6' 7" striker, who has 10 goals in 18 total appearances thus far. He's been with Huddersfield since 2015-16 after coming up through the Aston Villa youth system. They have another dangerous striker in Nelson Oliveira, a Portugal international, who has traditionally been their leading scorer. However, he's very much out of form this year (0 goals in 9 league games) and is currently injured. In fact, a number of key players for them are on the shelf right now, including young MC Sergey Gusev and attacking midfielder Robbie Brady. They have a Europa League match coming up in four days (away at AIK in Sweden) so there is a chance they'll field a less than full strength side.

We'll run with our single striker formation (4-4-2 DM) and go with a counter attack philosophy. Giorgos Gesios returns from a one game suspension to play up front. Otherwise, there are no other changes to the side.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Counter
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, J. Kuciak
M - A. Rocca, N. Cairney
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios
Bench - T. Andersen, J. Varga, D. Pratley, Mancini, M. Prochazka, C. Murray, G. Escobar

Huddersfield will start with a 4-1-3-2 defensive formation, with a DMC and three central midfielders. Again, I want to show this team much more respect than I normally would give a last place side and simply tell the players that they can win today.

16' - Not much happening as far as chances but Huddersfield seem to have the majority of possession. They win a throw down the right side in the final third and their fullback makes a lovely cross into the area. Striker Lorenzo Sion sends a weak header that I think should be stopped but a diving Wilke misses it. Bad start guys. HUDDERSFIELD GOAL 0-1

22' - We have possession in their zone and after a bunch of passes, it's Gianluca Bolis dribbling into the penalty area and striking a left-footed shot that it pushed over the bar by the Huddersfield keeper. The in-swinging corner is cleared away.

40' - Again, a lot of midfield possession and chances from distance but very few highlights with shots on goal. We gain possession in their end down the right flank and midfielder Neil Cairney plays the ball to pinching right fullback Jozef Kuciak. He sends a beautiful, high cross to the far post and it's Arsene Bamba who is there to head it past the Huddersfield keeper! Great cross! DOVER GOAL 1-1

45'+1 - Neil Cairney steals the ball around midfield and starts a counter attack. Bolis switches flanks nicely, sending the ball upfield to Bamba. He races in down the left flank and sends a low cross to Bolis but instead of passing it to Giorgos Gesios, he tries the poor angle shot and misses the net. That was a good chance wasted.

HALFTIME - We are dominating possession by a 61% to 39% margin but shots are only 4-4 (3-2 on target) in our favour. Quite a dull game. I'm going to change to a control philosophy to try to open things up slightly. I tell the team I'm pleased thus far but pull aside Gesios (6.1) and Cristian Rodriguez (6.0) and tell them to go out there and prove a point.

46' - Right off the opening kick, it's Sion dribbling up field and through our defence, only to shoot the ball over. Not a great start to the half.

49' - We win a corner and Rocca's out-swinging boot is headed just over by Rodriguez.

55' - Off a throw in down the right side, Zoltan Bardi, very quiet to this point, eludes a sliding tackle near the right edge of the box and sends a low cross toward Gesios. There's a struggle for the ball and it squirts past two defenders and the diving Huddersfield keeper and right to an unmarked Bamba, who calmly deposits it into the open net. A brace for Bamba and we're ahead! DOVER GOAL 2-1

63' - Lots of sloppy midfield play from both sides results in Cristian Rodriguez tackling a player down and getting a yellow card.

I switch our formation up to a flat 4-4-2 control. We'll eventually move to a counter but for now I'll go with the more aggressive philosophy.

70' - Gesios, another player who has been very quiet today, gets the ball up to Bardi and he quickly sends Cairney into the area. His close range shot is turned away for a corner but they easily clear on our set piece.

76' - I take out Bardi and bring in Gerardo Escobar.

We change to a counter attack.

86' - They've switched to an attacking 4-2-4 so I switch to a 5-3-2 formation, taking out wingers Bamba and Bolis and bringing in DC Thomas Andersen and DMC Mancini.

90'+4 - They've had possession for the last ten minutes but we work a counter, with Gesios screaming up the left flank. He sends a low ball into Escobar but he can't get free of his mark and the Huddersfield keeper is able to swallow up the ball. Good chance there at the end.

And it's all over!

Huddersfield 1 - 2 Dover
Goals - Arsene Bamba 2 (9.0)
Assists - Jozef Kuciak (8.2)
Man of the Match - Arsene Bamba
Other Dover Notables - Neil Cairney (7.0)
Attendance - 9899

Yet another game where our opponents are staying back and forcing us to be patient and again, we're able to come through with timely goals to keep our winning streak alive. We hold the ball for 58% of the match but are outshot 9-7 (5-5 on target). These are the games we've lost in previous years but we're taking care of business so far this year and it shows in the standings.

-- We maintain our hold on 3rd place but Chelsea is charging hard right behind us. They are in the Europa League and made up three Premier League matches in the past week, winning all three to climb within three points of us with a game in hand. Manchester United could only squeeze out a 2-2 draw against Everton so we're within a single point of 2nd position now. City continues to roll over everyone in their path, destroying Liverpool 5-0. Liverpool had been on a fine run of form prior to that game, going 7 matches without a loss but the team sacked manager Bruno Labbadia after the match. I've already been offered the Liverpool job in this dynasty if you recall and again, my name is brought up as a potential choice. This time, I decide to engage the press, saying I'm not interested in the position whatsoever. Who would be at this point if the manager is sacked after one game like that, albeit a pretty bad one

FA Cup Round Three

-- We enter the FA Cup in round three and are amongst the last teams drawn. We draw Bristol City, a Championship side in an away contest. Poor Liverpool draws Man United in a marquee matchup and I note that there are two semi-professional clubs still kicking around in AFC Hornchurch (Blue Square South) and Salisbury (Blue Square Premier).

Stadium Expansion Complete!

Our planned expansion of Crabble Athletic Ground has been completed! The £6,400,000 construction project sees our capacity increase by 5,250 seats and now our all-seater stadium holds a total of 15,750 supporters! Fantastic news! This is the last of the current construction projects at Crabble but we are in the planning stages of upgrading our youth recruitment network. Our first home game in our newly expanded stadium will take place in two weeks when we host Fulham on December 12th.

-- Salim Loucif returns to full training. I'll likely put him in the reserves until he's fully fit. There's absolutely no rush in pushing him into the lineup, as Jozef Kuciak has been sensational in his place and is up to an incredible 7.37 average rating in 8 league games.

December Update

-- A pretty busy month is coming up, with five league games: away matches at Newcastle, league leaders Manchester City and finally Tottenham along with home matches against Fulham and Everton.

-- I get positive training reports on Giorgos Gesios, Ross McLaughlin and Jonathan Adam, in addition to youth players Garry Doyle and Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz. Negative reports come in for Lukasz Fabianski, Mancini and Laurent Koscielny. Fabianski and Koscielny are simply getting old but I tell all three to step it up if they want playing time. None are first choices at the present time.

-- Man United striker Yaya Sanogo wins Barclays Premier League Player of the Month honours.

-- We sweep the Premier League Young Player of the Month list! It's fullback Renato Gaucho coming through in first place, followed by Neil Cairney and Gianluca Bolis!

-- There was no stopping me this month! After being thwarted a few times, I finally win my first ever Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month award! We went 5-0-0 in November and I edged out Ancelotti at Man City and Klinsmann at United.

December Board Confidence Update

-- The board is delighted with the way I'm leading the club, with our "fantastic overall performance in the Premier League" being the highlight. Simon Rideout's departure is still the lowlight. By the way, Rideout can't even get on the pitch for Blackburn in the Championship! Again, get over it already!

-- We made a profit of £2.47 million last month.

-- I'm offered another clause buyout, this time for defender Lukas Stetina - I included a 10% sell-on clause in my arrangement with Livorno and I can buy that out for £515,000 - I'll take the money now!

Injury Update

-- Crap. Arsene Bamba, just coming off a two-goal performance, breaks down in training and is suffering from a sports hernia. He'll miss about a month. We have Scottish international Cameron Murray who will see the majority of playing time in his spot.

Dover Reserve Team Update

-- In perhaps the most lop-sided game I've ever witnessed, we defeat Burnley's Reserves 9-0 at Turf Moor. Both Liam Craig AND Roberto score hat tricks and Petr Simek bags a brace before getting hurt. Dennis Kunz scored our other goal. Simek will miss approximately three weeks after pulling a hamstring.

Next Up

-- We head on the road again to take on newly promoted Newcastle.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 12-08-2013 at 01:38 AM.
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