Front Office Football Central  

Go Back   Front Office Football Central > Main Forums > Dynasty Reports
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read Statistics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-08-2013, 02:28 AM   #101
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. December 5, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Newcastle (4-4-7, 16 points, 14th) vs. Dover (11-0-4, 33 points, 3rd)
St. James' Park, Newcastle, UK

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

After qualifying for continental play in 2018-19, Newcastle were distracted enough to finish 18th and thereby get relegated out of the Premier League and back to the Conference. Perhaps our last opponent, Hudddersfield, are having the same issues. I believe this is the first away game of the season where we are favoured and by a considerable margin as well.

Newcastle came back and finished first last year to earn immediate promotion back to the top flight and they are doing well in 14th, coming off an impressive 3-1 home win versus Arsenal in their last game. Their top striker is Andy Carroll, who has four goals in 12 games thus far but they don't have any real stars on the team. They play a defensive style and usually go with a flat 4-4-2.

I'm going to go with one striker today and our 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) with a control philosophy. Cameron Murray will be in for the injured Arsene Bamba, otherwise there are no changes.

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

As expected, Newcastle start with a flat 4-4-2. I tell the lads I expect a win today.

5' - Off a cleared corner, we get the ball to a retreating Paulus Tjiuoro and he sends a rocket just over the bar. I didn't know he had that in him!

11' - We get another corner and Cristian Rodriguez just skims the crossbar!

22' - We seem to be dominating possession and certainly the highlights. We build up a nice attack and it's Neil Cairney, who has been all over the field so far, sending a lovely through ball to Bardi but his shot hits the post and rattles out. So close!

25' - Bardi gets a yellow card.

26' - Off the ensuing free kick, the ball gets into our area and their left midfielder Maclennan gets off a weak shot that Wilke misjudges but Tjiuoro is there to clear the rebound.

27' - We work the ball up to Gesios who sends a delightful ball through to a charging Gianluca Bolis. He's got half a step on the defenders but slots the shot just wide. He should have done better with that.

31' - We win a corner and get a great chance when Tjiuoro's header gets bobbled by the Newcastle keeper. Gesios is there but is tackled hard and goes down. He needs to come out. Damnit. Gerardo Escobar is in for Gesios.

44' - Escobar is a house of fire since coming on, with loads of energy. He beats the Newcastle defence to a long ball and his blast is saved by Alnwick, their keeper. However, there is a big rebound and Bolis is there but the Newcastle keeper recovers just in time to stop it as it was about to go into the net. Another great chance.

HALFTIME - Newcastle actually edge us in possession 51% to 49% but we have a huge 11-3 (4-2 on target) shot advantage. I change to a flat 4-4-2 Control and tell the team they can win this game.

47' - We work a counter attack and Bardi sends a gorgeous long pass up the right flank to Bolis. He is able to cut in toward the goal but his low blast is way wide past the far corner. Bolis hasn't been effective today.

49' - Bardi gets two glorious chances at goal, having one stopped by Alnwick and the other is sent wide. So wasteful today...

54' - Bardi heads a ball upfield and Escobar uses his fresh legs to latch onto it first. The Newcastle keeper charges out and seems to be out of position but gets enough of Escobar's hard shot to just deflect it behind the net. Rocca's corner kick is headed by Tjiuoro right at Alnwick and he makes the easy save.

59' - We continue to get plenty of chances from distance, this time from Cairney, who sends a curling shot from well outside the area just wide.

70' - Cameron Murray is given a yellow card.

71' - I take out Murray and put in veteran Liam Craig.

75' - They get a free kick from a dangerous area just outside the box but the shot over our wall is stopped by WIlke.

77' - We waste another shot from distance, this time from Escobar, as he needlessly shoots from afar when he could have continued his dribble into the area. I bring out a very ineffective Zoltan Bardi and bring in captain Darren Pratley. I move back to a 4-2-3-1, putting Andrea Rocca in the AMC slot.

78' - Yellow card for Cristian Rodriguez.

81' - This is just not our night by the looks of it. After some sloppy midfield exchanges, we win the ball and send it long up the middle. Escobar is in the area with the nice first touch but left foots it just wide past the diving Newcastle goaltender. Wow - we just can't finish tonight.

83' - Again, we get the ball upfield after some tackles on both sides and this time it's Bolis charging in from the right but like everyone else, his shot is off target. COME ON!

86' - We FINALLY find the back of the net, courtesy of a Bolis header but he's ruled offside. The replay shows that the refs got the call right.

87' - Oh boy. On the ensuing free kick, the GK kicks it upfield and their striker somehow gets past our defence. Cristian Rodriguez catches up and takes him down from behind. He already has a yellow and is given the straight red for the takedown! Oh my. We're down to ten men.

I move to a counter attack obviously and am forced to drop MC Darren Pratley into a central defending position.

88' - Wilke makes a diving stop of the ensuing free kick from just outside the area.

90'+2 - We steal possession and send Escobar up field. He's got fresher legs than the defenders and dribbles past before sending a low blast just wide of the bar. Sigh.

Disappointing result.

Newcastle 0 - 0 Dover
Goals - None
Assists - None
Man of the Match - Jak Alnwick (Newcastle GK)
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.3), Jozef Kuciak (7.3), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.9), Cristian Rodriguez (7.5), Renato Gaucho (7.1), Neil Cairney (7.2), Zoltan Bardi (5.5)
Attendance - 32606

Their keeper rightfully gets man of the match. We dominated the game, winning the possession battle 52% to 48% and outshot them by a ludicrous 24-7 (7-4 on target) margin. Just way, way too many shots missing the net. I tell the team I'm disappointed with the result - by the way, that was our first draw of the season. Bardi was terrible today after the Newcastle manager came out in the press the day before saying they'd have to stop him to have a chance. Well, they did their job. Escobar wasn't much better (6.0) even though he looked as lively as I've ever seen him - he simply wasted too many opportunities. I just hope that Gesios is okay…

-- Giorgos Gesios sustained only a bruised rib in the match and will only miss four or five days. Whew. He's definitely out of form right now though, having gone four games in succession without a goal.

-- Cristian Rodriguez is suspended for one game due to the red card. Hopefully he isn't banned anything more than that - it was a straight red he was handed (as opposed to two yellows) so I'm sure it will be looked at.



Dover U18 Update

-- The kids continue to win, defeating Oxford 3-0. Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz, Carlo Cerbone and Gregoire Lambert, who just returned from injury, scored the Dover goals.



-- Liverpool lost again, this time to lowly Norwich and Man City crushed Arsenal 5-1. Boy, Man City is unstoppable - not only do they have the incredible Enrique but they have another incredible "Wonderkid" striker named Jelle Hoegee, a Dutch international who has 14 (!!) goals in only 11 games in the league. City play a lot of 4-5-1 formations so Hoegee is the BACKUP. We move into a temporary tie with United at 34 points but they play a Sunday matinee. Chelsea is four points back of us with two games in hand.

-- United win 2-0 over Tottenham on Sunday to maintain their 2nd place positioning and Chelsea also win to creep within one point of us. I haven't shown the standings at all to this point so I'll do that now:

ALL TEAMS AT 16 MATCHES PLAYED, UNLESS NOTED

1. Man City - 42 points
2. Man United - 37 points
3. Dover - 34 points
4. Chelsea - 33 points (1 less played)
----------------------------------------------------
5. Aston Villa - 25 points
6. Everton - 24 points (1 less played)
7. Reading - 23 points (1 less played)
----------------------------------------------------
8. Arsenal - 22 points
9. Liverpool - 21 points
10. Middlesbrough - 20 points
11. Sunderland - 19 points
12. Norwich - 18 points (1 less played)
13. Tottenham - 17 points
14. Newcastle - 17 points
15. Stoke - 17 points
16. Sheffield Wednesday - 17 points
17. Derby - 14 points
------------------------------------------------------
18. Huddersfield - 12 points (1 less played)
19. Fulham - 12 points (1 less played)
20. Bolton - 12 points


-- On the following Wednesday, our next opponents, Fulham, hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw. Chelsea ties us on points but we maintain our hold on 3rd place due to a better goal differential.



-- We get word that our work permit application for Argentinian U19 international Claudio Contreras has been granted! I'll have more on this youngster when he arrives at Dover on January 1st but again, my hope is that current Dover defender Cristian Rodriguez is happy with this move and that having a fellow countryman here at the club will help him settle in. The worry is that neither speaks English...



Next Up

-- We have our grand re-opening of the newly expanded Crabble Athletic Ground as we welcome Fulham to Dover. A record crowd is expected for the match, with hopes of seeing over 15,000 supporters in attendance!

Last edited by NoSkillz : 12-08-2013 at 02:33 AM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013, 10:23 PM   #102
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. December 12, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Dover (11-1-4, 34 points, 3rd) vs. Fulham (3-4-9, 13 points, 19th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

We welcome struggling Fulham to our newly expanded Crabble Athletic Ground, where we expect in excess of 15,000 supporters! Fulham is one of the few Premier League teams that we have a winning record against, winning four of our six previous matchups. We're solid favourites in this game against the relegation candidates.

Fulham have spent 19 of the past 20 years in the Premier League, with the outlier being the 2016-17 season when they slipped briefly down to the Championship. They'd win the league that year to get promoted back up and they've finished in 15th spot two seasons in a row coming into this year. Their big offseason signing was to bring Manchester United great Wayne Rooney into the club. Rooney is in the twilight of his career but has 8 goals in 19 games so far this year across all competitions, joint leader with the suspended Milan Djuric, another Fulham striker. Djuric is their highest valued player at £3,300,000 so we're fortunate to avoid him this time. They also have a fine young DC in Sam Magri but other than that, they have few stars.

Fulham are struggling in Premier League play but have inexplicably stayed alive in the League Cup, reaching the two-leg semifinals against Southampton, another curiosity.

We are forced to make a couple of changes in this one. Cristian Rodriguez is serving his one game suspension today so Thomas Andersen will slot into his spot and we'll play Gerardo Escobar up front all alone, with Zoltan Bardi sitting directly behind him in the AMC slot of our 4-4-2 DM. Giorgos Gesios is available off the bench but he's a bit tired recovering from his bruised rib suffered in our scoreless draw last weekend against Newcastle. DR Salim Loucif is fully fit after missing a month of action and will head back into the starting eleven. Jozef Kuciak was superb in relief of Loucif but will move to the bench for this match.

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

Fulham start in a flat 4-4-2 with a tired Wayne Rooney up front. I tell the team I expect a victory today.

4' - We win a throw in down the left side and Gaucho tosses it to Cameron Murray. He sends a lovely ball into Neil Cairney, who takes it to his right foot but sends an inexplicably weak shot right at the Fulham keeper. I expected a bullet there!

14' - Not many chances so far as it's raining in Dover. Murray works a counter and a nice cross comes into the box but Bardi takes down their man in their area and gets the early yellow card.

26' - We're generating nothing and I'm getting impatient as Renato Gaucho takes down Rooney and also gets a yellow.

29' - Fulham win a corner and Menno Hoek sends a lovely ball that meets the head of 25 year old reserve striker Mark Wright and he sends it nicely into the back of the net. His first ever goal for Fulham and we're down to the 19th placed team in the league. FULHAM GOAL 0-1

35 - A wild play ensues after we win a corner. Rocca's ball is headed by Paulus Tjiuoro back to the far post and Bardi heads it again towards goal. It is stopped by a Fulham defender guarding the post but it pops back out to Thomas Andersen, who boots it past a diving Fulham keeper to tie it up. Andersen's first goal for Dover! DOVER GOAL 1-1

36' - Just before our goal I made a shout to hassle them more and to also get stuck in and off the kickoff, we tackle the ball away from them and move up field. Cairney gets the ball and sends a lovely touch pass through the defence to Murray but his hard shot is stopped before the ball is kicked behind the net by the Fulham defender. We do nothing with the ensuing corner.

45' - Rooney gets hurt on a challenge from Andersen and is pulled out. Coming on for him is a former Dover striker, Robbie Benson.

HALFTIME - We lead in possession 58% to 42% and in shots 6-2 (4-1 on target) but I feel like we aren't playing well. I change to our 4-4-2 Flat control formation and tell the team to go out and win for the record 15,000+ supporters in attendance!

59' - Still nothing happening. Renato Gaucho takes the ball around midfield and makes his way down the left flank. He sends a diagonal cross into the area that hits the back of a defender and bounces out to Cairney, whose left footed one-touch strike just goes wide.

60' - A careless turnover in midfield by Cairney results in Andrea Rocca taking down an opponent and getting a yellow.

62' - Giorgos Gesios is brought on for a very ineffective Escobar.

71' - We win a corner and Gaucho heads it just over.

75' - We get another corner and Bardi takes it at the near post off his chest and with no reason whatsoever, shoots it straight out of play. What is going on guys??

I immediately take Bardi out and replace him with Darren Pratley. I move back to a one striker formation (4-4-2 DM).

86' - Renato Gaucho gets hurt on a tackle and needs to come off. Jozef Varga comes on as a replacement.

I switch to attack for the last five minutes. It hasn't worked in the past but I feel we need to press for a win.

88' - Ha - right away they cause a turnover and barely shoot wide. Fulham are in a 4-2-3-1 with 2 defensive mids right now.

Fulham basically go into full-on turtle mode for the four extra minutes and get their draw. Very disjointed performance from our team and I'm thinking of peeling paint, but that usually doesn't work well after games.

Dover 1 - 1 Fulham
Goals - Thomas Andersen (7.3)
Assists - Andrea Rocca (7.1)
Man of the Match - Mark Wright (Fulham ST)
Other Dover Notables - Renato Gaucho (7.1), Cameron Murray (7.0), Gerardo Escobar (5.8)
Attendance - 15,750 (Sell-Out!)

I go with a more subtle approach and just tell the team that their effort wasn't good enough. Fulham controlled play in that second half enough where total possession was only 51-49 in our favour. Shots ended up 10-4 (4-2) for us as well. Really poor performance in front of a capacity ground at our new 15,750 seat stadium. All of a sudden, we're generating little offence.

-- Great. Renato Gaucho broke his ribs in the game and will miss at least four weeks. He's almost irreplaceable - Jozef Varga is the next man up.

-- Ingo Wilke once again speaks out about wanting a new contract and after I hear he's causing issues in the locker room, I confront him about his unprofessionalism. He apologizes and goes on his way.

-- There's a marquee matchup on Sunday and it's United defeating City 1-0 in the Manchester derby, City's first loss of the season. United moves to within two points of 1st place after the win. Chelsea beats Bolton 3-0 on Sunday as well and moves ahead of us into 3rd on the table. We have an eight point cushion over 5th placed Everton right now…our next opponent.



Injury Update

-- We've got a few players on the shelf right now. Petr Kostal should be back to full fitness within the next few days from his broken ribs and striker Petr Simek is also close to a return after his hamstring pull. ML Arsene Bamba is at least a couple weeks away from a return from his hernia surgery and of course, we'll be missing Renato Gaucho for another month or so.



Next Up

-- A tough 4 vs 5 matchup at home versus Everton

Last edited by NoSkillz : 12-11-2013 at 10:25 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2013, 12:52 AM   #103
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. December 19, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Dover (11-2-4, 35 points, 4th) vs. Everton (7-6-4, 27 points, 5th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Everton are a Premier League staple, usually finishing mid-table in this tough league but they have one continental appearance over the past ten years, playing the Europa League in 2017-18. They are off to a great start this year and sit just below us on the table.

They've got two explosive strikers in Ekow Mumuni and Chris Wood. 28 year old Ghana native Mumuni has 12 goals in 16 total appearances already this year - he was picked up on a free from Le Mans FC in France so he's turning out to be quite a bargain buy for Everton. Their best player is likely Jack Rodwell, a 29 year old MC who has been with the club his whole life. Rodwell is extremely influential and a great defensive-minded midfielder by the look of it.

We have a number of players out of form right now and my coaches are suggesting I bench Zoltan Bardi and I agree with their assessment. I contemplate bringing in Roberto for his first start of the year but after I find out Everton play well against a flat 4-4-2, a formation I considered going with, I decide on my one striker formation and will go with Andrea Rocca at AMC and slot him behind Giorgos Gesios. Captain Darren Pratley gets a rare start at midfield with Bardi out of the lineup. Jozef Varga is in for the injured Renato Gaucho. I'm also going with Lukasz Fabianski in goal after Wilke's little tirade about his contract earlier this week. Got to show who's boss

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - L. Fabianski
D - J. Varga, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, S. Loucif
M - D. Pratley, N. Cairney
AM - C. Murray, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios
Bench - L. Koscielny, T. Andersen, Z. Bardi, Mancini, M. Prochazka, L. Craig, Roberto

Interestingly enough, Everton have the explosive Mumuni on the bench to start and aging striker Daniel Sturridge is up front instead alongside Chris Wood. They start in a flat 4-4-2 and I tell the team that the fans deserve a win - go get it for them!

1' - We start quickly and after some nice passing, it's Jozef Varga crossing into the box onto the left foot of Gesios but his weak shot is handled easily by Di Capua.

4' - Cameron Murray gets a yellow.

7' - We work possession off a throw in at midfield and Pratley sends a ball to the edge of the area to Cameron Murray. He turns to his stronger left foot and sends a wicked blast low to the corner of the net but Di Capua does brilliantly to push it behind. Great save! The ensuing corner is cleared but we regain possession and Pratley ends up sending a rocket just wide. A good start for us…now lets put one away!

10' - Our hot-headed wonderkid Neil Cairney loses possession then pulls down the guy who stole the ball from him. Yellow card for Cairney.

11 - We must commit another foul seconds later close to our area. We set up a horribly placed wall and Frenchman Jires Kembo-Ekoko is able to send a straight blast into the corner of the goal and we're behind despite controlling play. Ugh. EVERTON GOAL 0-1

18' - Lethargy has set in and they are taking it to us now. They work a counter attack and a long ball is sent up to Daniel Sturridge. It's a two-on-two but Paulus Tjiuoro misses a tackle and they have numbers. Sturridge brilliantly lays it off for an oncoming midfielder but Fabianski makes an excellent save and we are able to clear the ball to safety. That should have been a goal.

26' - Varga with the ugly takedown near midfield and he gets a yellow too. Three yellows already for us.

27' - Geez. Make that FOUR yellows. Now it's Cristian Rodriguez, just back from suspension after a red card against Newcastle. He will be suspended for our match against Man City next weekend due to piling up too many yellows. Very undisciplined game for us.

29' - Pratley has the ball at midfield and feeds it to Gesios. He's about 10 yards outside the area and he takes it with his back to the goal, turns to his left foot and uses his speed and skill to race into the box. He gains enough space to get the ball onto his stronger right foot and finds the short side of the goal for the splendid reply! Great goal Gesios! His first in six games and we pull level! DOVER GOAL 1-1

31' - Oh my goodness. Perhaps Sturridge ISN'T aging. The 31 year old takes the ball at midfield and just floors it past Salim Loucif and Paulus Tjiuoro. He steams in on goal and sends a wicked blast that is stopped by a diving Fabianski. The ball pops out and Varga loses a battle against their other striker and it's Chris Wood slotting it home into the empty net for the rapid reply. Terrible defence. EVERTON GOAL 1-2

34' - Man, I'm kicking myself for being so blasé about Sturridge. He again flies past Tjiuoro on a through ball and Tjiuoro is forced to bring him down from behind. Our FIFTH yellow card. On the free kick, it's Kembo-Ekoko again firing a rocket off the woodwork. Incredibly lucky there.

40' - Gianluca Bolis, a name I haven't really called out in two games, gets pulled down about 15 yards outside the area and draws a foul. Their star midfielder Jack Rodwell takes a knock on the play and goes off for a bit and on the ensuing free kick, Rocca passes to Pratley, who delivers a heavy blow off the crossbar. He had all day to walk in on that one.

45'+1 - They win a corner and the header is stopped by a diving Fabianski before we clear.

HALFTIME - Shots are even at 7 apiece but they have SIX on target to our four. Possession is in our favour 54% to 46%. That all said - we're playing horrible football. My assistant tells me that the team is showing "false confidence" due to our recent strong form and think they can just show up and win today. I question the team's passion and hope that spurs them on. No tactical changes yet. Rocca and Rodriguez are playing particularly poorly - Rocca doesn't play much in the AMC position and has not made any impact at all…a rare thing for him.

52' - Varga makes a stupid cross field pass to the other flank and Bolis is forced to take a man down. Another yellow. My God - more than half our team have yellows. We're in BIG trouble. I dial down the aggression.

62' - We continue to let Daniel Sturridge just dribble without consequence. He takes the ball at midfield and weaves in and out of our defence before rifling a shot that is barely turned aside by Fabianski.

65' - Pratley sends it through to Gesios and he pounds it into the net! But the side judge has his flag up. Offsides? The replay is inconclusive - it looked like Gesios was onside before the pass was made.

68' - Rocca finally shows some skill, gets into the area but right foots it weakly wide.

I need to do something so I move Cairney up to the AMC (not a trained position for him) and move Rocca back to midfield.

71' - Gesios is hurt but can shake it off - he sends in a lovely through ball to Bolis and his point blank shot is saved. We get the rebound and after some passing, Cairney's long blast is held by Di Capua.

73' - They get a corner and get the ball into the net but only after Chris Wood blatantly pushes down Tjiuoro. Foul is thankfully called and the goal doesn't count. By the way, they have ZERO yellows at this point.

76' - I bring in Roberto for Darren Pratley and move to an attacking 4-4-2, with Roberto moving up to striker.

77' - Wow, right away we get a chance! Gesios moves the ball beautifully upfield to a streaking Roberto and he's behind the defence. They force him to shoot a bit early and Di Capua is out to challenge and make the save.

81' - Gesios is tired and I have to bring in Zoltan Bardi.

84' - The wheels are falling off. SEVEN yellow cards, this time it's Rocca getting the honour. He too will miss our huge game against Man City. What a disaster this is...

85' - I bring in Liam Craig for Cameron Murray.

They hold us off nicely the rest of the way. Another horrible performance.

Dover 1 - 2 Everton
Goals - Giorgos Gesios (7.3)
Assists - Darren Pratley (6.9)
Man of the Match - Jires Kembo-Ekoko (Everton MC)
Other Dover Notables - Neil Cairney (7.0), Cristian Rodriguez (5.8)
Attendance - 15,750 (Sell-Out!)

They edge us in possession 51% to 49% while we outshoot them 15-12 (7-8 on target). I lock the door to the room and tell the team they should feel embarrassed about the performance. Morale hit coming but they need the shake up. We're looking at a dismal matchup next week on Boxing Day against table leaders Manchester City away and that will be a match we'll have to play without Rodriguez and Rocca, who will both be suspended for picking up too many yellows.

-- United win again and take over the league lead in points over an idle City, who see their game postponed due to a pending League Cup tie versus Huddersfield on Wednesday. Hopefully they'll be a bit tired for our Boxing Day matchup three days later. Chelsea draws and are now three points ahead of us on the table.



Dover U18 Update

-- The kids continue to dominate, winning 4-2 over Reading. Superstar youngster Carlo Cerbone scores ALL FOUR GOALS in the win. Cerbone has an astonishing 22 goals in 17 non-competitive appearances so far this year and my scouts indicate that many of the biggest clubs are sniffing around him. He's only valued at £35,000 right now, the price I bought him at in the offseason. I'm sure that value will skyrocket.



-- Petr Simek returns to full training. We could use his speed up front and I may start him at some point when he's fully fit.


-- I see that Man City beats Huddersfield on Wednesday 2-1 in the League Cup quarterfinals. They do it with both of their stud strikers, Enrique and Jelle Hoegee, sitting in the stands. That means City was holding them out to play against us on the weekend. CRAP. Takes a lot of balls to hold both of them out of the lineup in a big game like that - hell, they weren't even on the bench for the match!



Next Up

-- We face league powerhouse Manchester City away on a Boxing Day matinee
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2013, 04:32 PM   #104
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. December 26, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Manchester City (13-3-1, 42 points, 2nd) vs. Dover (11-2-5, 35 points, 4th)
Man City Stadium, Manchester, UK

Betting Odds: Manchester City: 1-3 (Favourites) Draw: 3-1 Dover: 7-1
Past Meetings: 0W 1D 4L

Man City are likely the most powerful club in the league right now, sitting on 42 points after only 17 games, which puts them 4 points back of United with two games in hand.

City are the defending European Champions, knocking off United last year both in that competition and the FA Cup. They'd also win the league last year to complete the treble and they are in similarly good form this year. Earlier this week, they defeated Argentinian club River to win the FIFA Club World Championship, adding to their impressive list of accomplishments.

They have stars galore but none brighter than explosive central midfielder/striker Enrique. His list of accomplishments is staggering since his purchase from Real Madrid in 2016 for £35,000,000. In five years with Man City, he's scored an astonishing 148 goals in 149 league games. Already this year, he has 20 goals in 23 games across all competitions and he's basically won every award in domestic and international football. He's likely the best player alive right now. Making it even crazier is the fact they have a striker in waiting in young Jelle Hoegee - the 22 year old has 14 goals in only 12 league appearances this year and has scored 27 goals in 28 international appearances for Holland. City usually plays only one man up front so it's quite incredible that both of these players find the goal so often. City have ELEVEN players valued at more than £10,000,000. They are loaded everywhere.

This is a Boxing Day matchup and we are just about to start an incredibly exhausting stretch of football. City today away, Tottenham away in two days, Norwich at home two days after that and then Bristol City on New Years Day - that's four matches in the span of seven days. We'll need to rotate our squad to keep players fresh.

We will be without two key players in today's matchup, as both Andrea Rocca and Cristian Rodriguez will be serving one game suspensions for yellow card accumulation. We will a more defensive mindset so I decide to give young Brazilian midfielder Mancini his first start of the year in place of Rocca. Thomas Andersen is in for Rodriguez. We're still missing DL Renato Gaucho and ML Arsene Bamba but other than that, this will be as good a side as I can field. We'll play a flat 4-4-2 and sit back in a counter attacking mode.

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
GK - I. Wilke
D - J. Varga, T. Andersen, P. Tjiuoro, S. Loucif
M - C. Murray, Mancini, N. Cairney, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, Z. Bardi
Bench - J. Kuciak, L. Koscielny, D. Pratley, L. Craig, P. Kostal, G. Escobar, P. Simek

City start in their 4-5-1, with Enrique playing in the central midfield and Hoegee up front. I'll be marking Enrique very tightly with Mancini and hope to neutralize him as much as possible. It's a landmark game for him: 275th league appearance and 150th league appearance for City. He also is two goals shy of 150 for his career so we hope he scores it against someone else! In my pre-game pep talk, I tell the team that there is no pressure.

5' - It's all City to start and Enrique gets a good chance from inside the area but Wilke is there to make the nice save in traffic.

8' - These guys are sensational - Hoegee is like a hot knife through butter, splitting through the middle of our defence with great speed and rifles a shot just wide. Lucky not to have conceded there.

16' - They win a free kick from a long way out and their fine right midfielder Bruno sends a lovely ball into the box that meets the head of left winger Gylfi Sigurosson and he puts it home with authority. MANCHESTER CITY GOAL 0-1

28 - Still all City. They get another free kick and Enrique lays a little touch pass to Sigurosson and his low shot from outside the area is JUST wide. We seemingly can't keep the ball.

45' - We have the slightest bit of momentum on our side, as Hoegee gets tackled hard and needs some medical attention. WIth City at 10 men for a bit, we work the ball up field and have a numbers advantage but Gesios decides to take a shot from well outside the box and it's harmlessly over the net. Poor choice by our top goal scorer.

HALFTIME - Umm, can this be right??? We are DESTROYING them in possession by a 59% to 41% margin! That said, they have a huge 11-3 (5-0 on target) shot advantage so they are taking better advantage of their opportunities. Still, it's great that we're holding the ball so well in hostile territory. I remind the players that the pressure is off and that they have nothing to lose.

48' - We're very tenacious in defence as City controls the ball in our end, with our players winning multiple tackles. Zoltan Bardi gets a bit carried away and draws a yellow card on one of them.

56' - Some of our players are starting to show some nerves, as Cameron Murray gives up possession and the ball is worked up to Hoegee. He takes a hard shot that is nicely pushed aside by Wilke. We've done a very good job so far on both Hoegee and Enrique - Mancini is shadowing him across the pitch and it's working out quite well so far.

61' - Hoegee again shows his considerable skill and flair to penetrate right through the heart of our defence. Wilke again is up to the task and makes the difficult save.

62' - We make a double substitution, taking out Bardi for Petr Simek and veteran Liam Craig comes on for young Cameron Murray at left midfield.

67' - Can't say I've seen this type of thing in awhile. Wilke has the ball and throws it up to DL Jozef Varga. He's hesitant upon receiving the ball and somehow loses possession to Bruno, who closed him down tenaciously. Thomas Andersen tries to help but completely misses the tackle, allowing Bruno to take a wicked shot at goal. Wilke makes the point blank save and there is Hoegee snatching the rebound. He finishes with precision and there's the dagger. Varga shows his inexperience and it's amazing the difference in ability between Varga and our injured 19 year old starter Renato Gaucho. MANCHESTER CITY GOAL 0-2

72 - I pull out Gesios in hopes of saving him for Monday night's game and bring in Darren Pratley in his place. We switch to one man up front but a more attacking formation.

78' - City win a free kick and they somehow are able to put a direct ball through to Hoegee but Wilke again is up to the task. He's been brilliant again tonight for us.

85' - City is just too strong for us, with too much attacking talent. It's Hoegee again and he is at the right edge of the box before delivering a beautiful arching ball to the far post. Sigurosson outjumps both Loucif and Tjiuoro and it hits the woodwork before deflecting in off a diving Wilke. Thankfully it's not called an own-goal and Sigurosson has two. MANCHESTER CITY GOAL 0-3

They hold the ball the rest of the way.

Manchester City 3 - 0 Dover
Goals - None
Assists - None
Man of the Match - Gylfi Sigurosson (Manchester City AML)
Other Dover Notables - Thomas Andersen (5.9)
Attendance - 62,003

The second half was all City - despite holding the ball for 59% of the time in the first half, we get edged overall 51% to 49%. They outshoot us by a margin of 31-4 (13-0 on target). We were outclassed in every area. Sigh - it's amazing how good the ELITE teams are in this game. We're simply not there yet. The one positive out of the match was holding Enrique off the scoreboard and to a very average 6.9 rating - that's abysmal for him! Young Mancini did an admirable job.

-- Speaking of Mancini, just before the game we learned that he accepted a 2 year contract extension with our club on £10,750 per week, a modest raise of about £500 per cheque. He is labelled as the "next Gilberto Silva" so that can't be too bad - he hasn't really been in our plans much but perhaps we'll give him more playing time at some point. With the formations we play, which utilize only two central midfielders, it's hard to justify playing him over Andrea Rocca or Neil Cairney.



Dover U18 Update

-- Carlo Cerbone continues to dominate at the U18 level, scoring our only goal in a 1-1 draw versus Portsmouth.



Premier League Update

-- Well, despite four games without a win in league play, even the most ardent of critics has to respect what we've accomplished through 19 games. We hold onto the last Champions League place with 35 points, four ahead of Everton at the moment.



-- We are 2nd in goals with 41, albeit 17 behind league leaders City. Our defence is 4th best with only 22 conceded in 19 matches.

He's a look at some of the Premier League's individual stat leaders:

GOALS -
1. Yaya Sanogo, Man United, 18
2. Jelle Hoegee, Man City, 15
3. Enrique, Man City, 13
4. Ekow Mumuni, Everton, 12
5. Giorgos Gesios, Dover, 11
6. Ben Sahar, Sunderland, 11
7. Gylfi Sigurosson, Man City, 10
8. Zoltan Bardi, Dover, 10

Gerardo Escobar is 22nd with 5 goals and Arsene Bamba is 47th with 3 goals.

ASSISTS -
1. Bruno, Man City, 10
2. Miralem Pjanic, Man City, 9
3. David Maclennan, Newcastle, 8
4. Paul Herd, Sheffield Wednesday, 7
5. Jonjo Shelvey, Liverpool, 7
6. Andrea Rocca, Dover, 7
7. Ryad Boudebouz, Aston Villa, 7
8. Gylfi Sigurosson, Man City, 7
9. Danny Wilson, Man City, 7

Gianluca Bolis is 19th with 5 and Neil Cairney is right behind him with 4.

AVERAGE RATING -
1. Jelle Hoegee, Man City, 8.18
2. Enrique, Man City, 8.03
3. Bruno, Man City, 7.74
4. Yaya Sanogo, Man United, 7.73
5. Gylfi Sigurosson, Man City, 7.69

Cristian Rodriguez leads the way for us with a 7.30 mark and Giorgos Gesios and Neil Cairney are tied for 20th with a 7.23 average.



Next Up

-- A rare Monday night game versus Tottenham

Last edited by NoSkillz : 12-14-2013 at 04:35 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2013, 10:53 PM   #105
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
We're back!

Mon. December 28, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Tottenham (5-7-7, 22 points, 13th) vs. Dover (11-2-6, 35 points, 4th)
White Hart Lane, London, UK

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

We head into the second half of the season with a match against Tottenham, a club we've defeated twice in a row.

The Spurs are struggling mightily in the league thus far, mired in 13th place but they're coming off an impressive 3-0 win over Reading just two days ago.

Much of their focus this year is on the Europa League, where they've qualified for the knockout stages after finishing second behind Ajax in a group with Aris and Terek.

Gareth Bale continues to be the main player for their club and he looks as if he's fit enough to play in today's game. Their top goal scorers are striker Mahmoud Ashoubi and midfielder James McCarthy, who both have six goals.

Despite our winless streak, I will be going with more of a "B Team" lineup today in order to keep our main players fresh for our game in two days against a weaker side, Norwich. We have four games in an eight day stretch so our squad depth will be severely tested. We'll go with the one striker system that's won our last two games against the Spurs (4-2-3-1). First teamers playing today include Cristian Rodriguez and Andrea Rocca, both of whom are returning from suspension. Other than that, just Paulus Tjiuoro is a first team player. I'm starting weak players like Laurent Koscielny at left fullback, a position he's not really strong at and also starting Roberto for the first time this year. Hopefully we can keep this close with our starting centre backs in the game.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Counter
GK - L. Fabianski
D - L. Koscielny, C. Rodriguez, P. Tjiuoro, J. Kuciak
M - D. Pratley, A. Rocca
AM - C. Murray, Roberto, P. Kostal
S - G. Escobar
Bench - R. McLaughlin, O. Nicholas, J. Varga, Mancini, L. Craig, M. Prochazka, P. Simek

Tottenham are playing a similar formation to us, a 4-2-3-1 but with two defensive central mids and three attacking mids. Bale is playing left fullback today…I always wondered why he kept making the Best Eleven at fullback but there you go…he's actually playing there for once! Midfielder Gabriel Obertan, a notorious thorn in our side, isn't even in the lineup today. I tell the players that the pressure is off.

4' - They send a nice long ball through to their lone striker Vangelis Angos and from a poor angle, he rifles the ball over the bar from just inside the area.

11' - Other than a harmless corner that we won in the first ten minutes, it's been all Spurs. They send a nice ball through to their right midfielder Vladimir Koman and he easily eludes the stoic Koscielny and sends a shot that Fabianski turns away. I really need to find another left back while Renato Gaucho is hurt.

18' - We finally get a decent amount of possession in the Tottenham end, winning three corners in succession. On the last one, Rocca's lovely ball to the far post is headed beautifully toward goal by Paulus Tjiuoro but Spurs keeper Aaron Flynn dives to keep it out. It looks as if the ball is over the goal line but no goal is called.

We're losing the possession battle by a large margin so I send a shout to the players to retain possession.

23' - Koman makes a run down the right side, taking advantage of Koscielny's poor pace and sends a great cross into the box but Frank Cvijanovic's header is stopped beautifully by Fabianski.

28' - Tottenham win a free kick near the right touchline deep in our end and after the cross is sent in, Roberto takes down a man and the referee points to the spot. Penalty kick! Gareth Bale steps up and calmly puts the ball into the right corner of the net. Disaster for Roberto and we're down a goal. TOTTENHAM GOAL 0-1

31' - We win a free kick from just outside the area near the top left of the box. Instead of sending the ball in, Rocca feeds the ball backwards to Darren Pratley but he had no room to shoot so passes back to Rocca. He dribbles into the box and somehow eludes two defenders, reaches the byline and sends a cross to the far post to an unmarked Tjiuoro and he easily heads the ball into the open net for the quick reply! Fantastic!!! DOVER GOAL 1-1

41' - Jozef Kuciak is taken down on a run down the right centre of the pitch and we win a free kick from about 10 yards outside the area. I'm secretly hoping Rocca attempts his devastating curling drive into the corner of the net but instead he sends a lob pass to the right side of the area. Winger Petr Kostal gets there and sends the ball to the touchline to Kuciak and almost immediately, he sends a pass back to the top of the box to Rocca. He takes one step forward and sends a shot that the diving Tottenham goaltender gets a piece of but not enough, as the ball squirts into the side of the net for the shocking goal. Wow! DOVER GOAL 2-1

HALFTIME - A shocking last 15 minutes give us the lead. Tottenham is dominating possession to the tune of 58% to 42% and shots are also in their favour 8-6 (4-4 on target). I tell the players I'm pleased thus far and decide to revert to a counter attacking philosophy to start the second half.

47' - Pretty much off the opening kickoff, we lose possession and Angos is able to direct a long shot from well outside the area that Fabianski is forced to turn behind the net. On the ensuing corner, Koman's ball is headed by their central defender and it deflects off two of our players near the goal line. In the scramble that follows, it's Angos who is there to deposit the ball into the net. VERY sloppy defending and they pull level right away. Ugh. TOTTENHAM GOAL 2-2

I notice that Tottenham have moved Bale up to attacking left midfielder from left fullback.

63' - I bring on Mancini for Roberto. I move Pratley up to AMC and Mancini plays in the middle of the park alongside Rocca.

72' - I take out major liability Laurent Koscielny and bring in Jozef Varga in his place.

78' - We have possession at midfield and Pratley sends a great long ball ahead to Kostal. He's being chased from behind and gets away a weak shot that is easily saved by Flynn. A pretty good chance.

80' - I'd love to find a goal here so I bring in the speedy striker Petr Simek and take out Gerardo Escobar, who has frankly done nothing in this match.

90' - You've got to be KIDDING! We have a throw in down the right side deep in their territory and Kuciak sends it in to Kostal. He turns toward the byline and sends a curling cross into the area that somehow makes its way through to Mancini at the top of the box. He runs into the ball and sends the first touch RIGHT INTO THE BACK OF THE NET! Holy SHIT! That's Mancini's first senior goal for Dover and we take the last minute lead! DOVER GOAL 3-2

They change to a 4-2-4 but we hold them off without incident for the three minutes of extra time. GREAT WIN!

Tottenham 2 - 3 Dover
Goals - Paulus Tjiuoro (8.1), Andrea Rocca (8.2), Mancini (7.4)
Assists - Jozef Kuciak (7.1), Andrea Rocca, Petr Kostal (7.0)
Man of the Match - Andrea Rocca
Other Dover Notables - Darren Pratley (7.3)
Attendance - 36,310

We obviously edged them in possession in the second half, as their overall advantage dropped to 51% after full-time. Shots favoured the Spurs 14-10 (8-6 on target). Just a fantastic result as we finally break our losing streak and start the second half of the season in style, with a very weak side I might add!

-- Basically everyone around us on the table wins except for Man City, who draw 1-1 at home against Aston Villa in a bit of a shocker. We hold onto 4th place, four points ahead of Everton and six ahead of Arsenal.



-- Andrea Rocca is named to the Barclays Premier League Team of the Week for his great performance against Tottenham. I give Rocca and our two central defenders, Paulus Tjiuoro and Cristian Rodriguez the day off from training, hoping they can recover enough to take part in our game against Norwich on Wednesday.



Dover Injury Update

-- Arsene Bamba is back to light training and close to full fitness after his long-term hernia issue. Left fullback Renato Gaucho is a few weeks away from full fitness, otherwise we're pretty healthy right now.



Dover Contract Updates

-- I have nine players with contracts expiring in the next six months:

- GK Lukasz Fabianski: Fabianski is our backup keeper and has done quite well for us but he's 35 and I don't see the need to offer him a new deal right now. I may look into a better keeper in the summer and move current starter Ingo Wilke into a backup role next year.
- DC Laurent Koscielny: The 35 year old has been a big liability every game he's played. No chance of returning next year.
- MR Petr Kostal: I may keep Kostal around as a backup but he's not really cut out for this level of football. I may offer him a deal later in the year before his contract expires.
- DC Oliver Nicholas: A true stalwart for almost this entire dynasty, Nicholas is the fourth man at DC this year and soon will be the fifth man with the new Argentine coming in when the transfer window opens in a couple days. He's played sparingly this season - I may offer him a token contract extension but his days as a Dover player are likely ending in June.
- ST Roberto: Roberto's skills have diminished despite being only 22 years old and my scouts don't feel he's cut out for this level any longer. His terrible tackle in our area against Tottenham was a killer and we were lucky to escape with a victory. He won't be renewed.
- ML Liam Craig: Another fine Dover veteran who is in the twilight of his career. Craig is 34 and declining quickly. He won't be back.
- MC Darren Pratley: Our long time captain is 35 and is somehow maintaining most of his skills - I doubt I'll keep him around but we'll see what happens near the end of the year.

Two of our reserve players are also on expiring contracts: ML Steve Ingram, on loan at Brentford and DC Andy Brown, who is at AFC Wimbledon, are certainly not good enough to play for our club but I may offer them token contracts if I qualify for Continental play, as I'll need a few "home grown" players for our roster.

I also have 15 (!) staff members with expiring deals so I'll start making contract extension offers soon there as well.



-- I have my main scout looking at potential left backs to add when the window opens. I don't have any money to spend right now so that could be an issue. I'm not sure if my board will give me the chance to add to our transfer kitty due to our impressive early season performance but if I can free up some cash, I'd like to add to our depth there.



-- We get another weak offer for right midfielder Gianluca Bolis, this time from Russian club Rubin Kazan. It's swiftly rejected.



Next Up

-- The rush of games continues, as we play our third game in five days, welcoming Norwich to Crabble Athletic Ground, where another sellout crowd of over 15,000 supporters is expected!

Last edited by NoSkillz : 12-28-2013 at 11:01 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 01:32 AM   #106
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. December 30, 2020

Barclays Premier League
Dover (12-2-6, 38 points, 4th) vs. Norwich (5-4-11, 19 points, 18th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Norwich have struggled since returning to the Premier League this year and are in the relegation zone with 19 points, one point from safety. We had our way with them earlier this year, destroying them 5-0 at their ground. They are on a poor run of form, having gone winless in five games but their last victory was a good one, a 2-1 home win over Liverpool.

Their best player thus far has been striker Paul Bryce, who has 8 goals in 19 appearances this year. Their second leading scorer, midfielder Liam Palmer, has only three goals. Their -23 goal differential is second-worst in the Premier League, with only last placed Bolton worse at -25.

We will field a very strong team today - midfield stalwart Andrea Rocca and central defender Paulus Tjiuoro, both of whom had big impacts in our last game against the Spurs, will be absent from the starting lineup due to being tired. Rocca will be on the bench and Tjiuoro will get the night off entirely. Thomas Andersen will play DC alongside Cristian Rodriguez, Jozef Varga is back in at left fullback and Liam Craig gets a rare start at AML in place of out-of-form Cameron Murray, who hasn't done much with normal starter Arsene Bamba out due to injury. The hero from the other night, young midfielder Mancini will start in the centre of the park with Neil Cairney. We'll go with our 4-2-3-1 formation.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - J. Varga, C. Rodriguez, T. Andersen, S. Loucif
M - Mancini, N. Cairney
AM - L. Craig, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios
Bench - R. McLaughlin, O. Nicholas, D. Prately, A. Rocca, C. Murray, M. Prochazka, P. Simek

As expected, Norwich start in their customary flat 4-4-2 and will likely play a defensive style. Against big dogs, I tell the team that I expect a win today.

3' - Liam Craig runs down the left after a throw in and gets tripped as he's making his way into the area. Giorgos Gesios runs into the ball and sends it into the side netting from an awkward angle. Pretty good chance out of nothing to start.

4' - We turn the ball over in their end and they make their way up field. Cristian Rodriguez closes down a player and gets out of position and Norwich take advantage, with striker Chris Maguire getting behind our defines. Ingo Wilke is able to turn his hard shot over the net and force a corner. Nothing further would come from that.

8' - More sloppy play, as Mancini takes down a Norwich player just outside our box. The free kick is taken well and Wilke dives to send the ball away. We're getting outplayed early.

9' - We immediately move the ball up field and exchange numerous passes in front of their penalty area. Mancini sends the ball to the right to Neil Cairney and he sends a one-touch pass back to the left to Gianluca Bolis, who has made his way from the right wing all the way into the left centre of the area. He makes a great move to elude a sliding tackle, cuts to the net and right foots the ball into the short side of the net for the lovely goal! Beauty from Bolis! DOVER GOAL 1-0

13 - A wild play, as we win a corner, only to have it headed back to the original corner taker, Liam Craig. He sends a through ball into the area but it gets through to the keeper. It seems like a routine play but with rain falling heavily, the ball squirts loose and it looks like Giorgos Gesios is going to get it but their keeper recovers just in time to control the ball.

15' - Another period of extended possession in our favour ends with Zoltan Bardi sending Bolis clear but his blast from point blank range is blocked by Tommy Devlin, their under-fire goalkeeper. Great chance and great save from in close!

23' - Neil Cairney, who had a lovely assist on the Bolis goal, has given a couple away in sloppy fashion but makes up for it by springing Bardi on a partial break. Bardi's blast hits the goalpost and bounces harmlessly away. Another good chance.

41' - Cairney almost makes me eat my words. We win a free kick at midfield and Cristian Rodriguez makes a short pass to Cairney. He dribbles the ball all the way into the zone, past two defenders and whistles a shot JUST wide. That would have been a highlight reel goal for sure.

42' - Ugh. Rodriguez gets taken down on a horror tackle near midfield. Hilariously (in my eyes anyway), Neil Cairney comes and delivers a horror tackle of his own to the offender, with no fouls given for either indiscretion. Rodriguez isn't getting up and the ball is sent out of play. Hopefully he's okay.

HALFTIME - We're playing pretty well, with possession in our favour by a 54% to 46% margin and outshooting them 11-5 (3-3 on target). Still, a bit too close for comfort right now but no need to make any tactics changes. Rodriguez is banged up pretty badly but he doesn't look to have a long term injury so I will replace him in the second half with veteran Oliver Nicholas, who hasn't played in quite a while. I tell the team I'm pleased with their performance thus far and tell Nicholas I have faith in his abilities as he takes the pitch. I was hoping to bring Andrea Rocca in right after halftime but with the injury to Rodriguez, I'll be patient and wait until the 60 minute mark to make a decision there. If it's still 1-0, I'll likely bring Rocca in to bring some additional skill to the field.

56' - No highlights for the first ten minutes of the half but the first one goes to Norwich. The ball comes to their dangerous striker Paul Bryce and he eludes a poor tackle by Thomas Andersen and has the goal in his sights but shoots shockingly wide. Poor shot from Bryce - we're very lucky.

58' - On the ensuing goal kick, Gesios eventually wins a tackle and sprints through the defence like a hot knife through butter. His shot is turned aside and they are forced to concede a corner, one that they are able to clear to safety.

59' - On comes Andrea Rocca for Mancini.

65' - Thomas Andersen draws a yellow card for taking down Bryce. Andersen hasn't been very good in the highlights so far.

69' - Norwich win a corner and the resulting cross is headed off the woodwork and bounces over. Yikes.

78' - We move the ball around at midfield and NIcholas sends a long pass up the left side to Gesios, who hasn't been very sharp today. He uses his speed to gain some room past the defender and sends an absolute rocket from his wrong foot that nails the cross bar and ricochets away. Bolis gets the rebound and is tripped just outside the right side of the box. Rocca's free kick is headed wide by Thomas Andersen.

90' - We bring in Cameron Murray for Liam Craig and also move to a counter attacking philosophy for the final three minutes of injury time.

91' - We win a corner and Rocca sends the ball directly to Cairney who is lurking outside the area, He steps into a wicked low blast that the diving Devlin saves. Another great save by Devlin.

We continue to hold possession for the remainder of injury time to close things out with ease.

Dover 1 - 0 Norwich
Goals - Gianluca Bolis (7.5)
Assists - Neil Cairney (7.7)
Man of the Match - Salim Loucif (8.0)
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.0), Thomas Andersen (7.2), Jozef Varga (7.1)
Attendance - 15,750 (sell-out)

Possession and shots were both in our favour - 53% to 47% and 17-9 (5-4 on target) but I tell the players that the performance wasn't good enough despite the good result. Striker Giorgos Gesios got hit with a 6.4 rating…not much of a factor again but that's the way strikers are sometimes I guess. Loucif was a curious choice as man of the match, as he got skinned quite a lot during highlights.

-- We benefit from a Chelsea loss to Liverpool to move up to third on the table but United and City both continue their winning ways and are well ahead of the rest of the pack. We are actually level on points with Chelsea but lead due to a better goal differential. We gain a bit of breathing room as well as far as Champions League qualification goes, with a six point spread between us and 5th placed Arsenal.



YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME

-- Liverpool makes a bid for our Wonderkid midfielder Neil Cairney and it's not looking good for us…they offer us £25,408,000 - yes, that's right, over 25 MILLION POUNDS for our first year midfielder. The offer is immediately accepted by our board, as it meets the minimum release clause that was included in our contract with Cairney. This is a TERRIBLE turn of events for our club, as Cairney was going to be a staple of our midfield for years to come. More importantly, this will severely impact our hopes for continental qualification if he accepts a deal. Sigh. The waiting begins…I'm sure it won't take long.

-- In MUCH less important transfer news, Manchester United come calling for our youth striker Carlo Cerbone, offering a measly £28,000 for him. Denied.



-- Arsene Bamba has returned to full training after missing a month due to hernia surgery.



Transfer IN

-- The January transfer window opens and we welcome 18 year old Argentinian DC Claudio Contreras to Dover!



The towering Contreras, already 6' 6" tall, is a 3.0/5.0 rated prospect and already has some very impressive attributes. I plan on starting him right away in our upcoming match against Bristol City in the FA Cup but may put him with the U18s for awhile. My hope is that he pairs up with fellow Argentine Cristian Rodriguez to not only form a formidable pairing at the back but to also help settle Rodriguez in with the club. That said, Rodriguez's player page shows that he's still waiting for a player to be brought in…maybe he's looking for a veteran. Either way, it's a great addition to our depth and we are absolutely stacked at centre half now.


-- With the opening of the transfer window, I AM given the chance to change my expectations for the year in light of our impressive performance to date. I change my goals from "mid-table finish" to "top half finish" and that moves my wage budget to £350,000 from £325,000 and we are given another £12 million pounds for transfers! If Cairney accepts a contract with Liverpool, I will not hesitate to use whatever is necessary to fill that vacant midfielder position.



January Update

-- We have a pretty busy month on tap but thankfully not as busy as December! We are looking at four Premier League matchups this month: Bolton (away), Sheffield Wednesday (home), Chelsea (home) and Stoke (away) in addition to our 3rd round FA Cup match against Bristol City. If we defeat them, our fourth round match will take place at the end of the month.

-- I get positive training reports for Andrea Rocca and youth players Carlo Cerbone, Matt Hewitt and Abdallaye Kokaina. Kokaina is quickly falling down our depth chart - it's crazy to think that he was our first DC signing in the summer window and now he's an afterthought despite playing great for our U18 club this year. He's currently rated 2.0/4.0 by my assistant manager so he's still a great prospect.

-- Liverpool's Atila Turan wins the Barclays Premier League Player of the Month for December.

-- Lorenzo Sion from Huddersfield wins the Premier League Young Player of the Month.

-- Jurgen Klinsmann from Man United once again wins Manager of the Month in our league.



Year-End Awards

-- Now that 2020 is in the rearview mirror, a number of season ending awards are announced:

EUROPEAN STRIKER OF THE YEAR: Yaya Sanogo (Man United)
EUROPEAN GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR: Emiliano Viviano (Man United)
EUROPEAN MIDFIELDER OF THE YEAR: Enrique (Man City)
EUROPEAN DEFENDER OF THE YEAR: Salah Abbes (Man City)
FIFA BALLON d'OR: Enrique (Man City)
WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Enrique (Man City)
FRENCH PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Yaya Sanogo (Man United)



January Board Confidence Update

-- The board continue to be delighted with my leadership qualities. Our stature increase is the highlight and Simon Rideout's departure continues to be the only disappointment. We made £2.2 million in profits last month.



-- Those bastards at Liverpool are now sniffing around Arsene Bamba, sending me an official inquiry into my transfer demands. I tell them to take a hike. Another offer also comes in for Gianluca Bolis, this time over £10 million pounds but I reject that as well.



Next Up

-- A third round FA Cup match at Bristol City

Last edited by NoSkillz : 12-29-2013 at 01:34 AM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 03:49 AM   #107
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. January 2, 2021

FA Cup - 3rd Round
Bristol City vs. Dover
Ashton Gate, Bristol, UK

Betting Odds: Bristol City: 11-5 Draw: 11-5 Dover: Evens (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 1W 0D 0L

We face Championship relegation candidates Bristol City in our first FA Cup match of the year, with us getting a bye into the 3rd round.

Bristol City have moved between the Championship and League One throughout this dynasty and they just promoted up this past year. They are obviously struggling to stay afloat and morale seems very low there at the moment and their form is appropriately poor, with a current winless streak of eight matches. Striker Clive McNally has 9 goals in 17 games and their highest valued player is midfielder Scott Cassidy at £700,000.

I'm basically throwing my preferred starters into this one with the notable exception of 18 year old newcomer Claudio Contreras, who will play alongside countryman Cristian Rodriguez in the centre of our defence right away. Arsene Bamba still isn't fit after his return to full training so Cameron Murray will go back in for him. Bamba will be on the bench though. Andrea Rocca takes his normal position in midfield as well, otherwise everyone else from the Norwich game is back for this affair. Same tactics and philosophy. Will this be the final Dover appearance for Neil Cairney?

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

Bristol City start with a 4-4-1-1 and their leading scorer is on the bench despite being fit. Obviously saving him for their league relegation battle. I want to pummel these guys early but just tell the team "they can win today" while giving personal talks to Giorgos Gesios (I have faith) and young Contreras {no pressure!).

2' - Gesios uses his speed right away to avoid a tackle and blast through the defence. His blast from the edge of the area screams just wide.

9' - Their top player Scott Cassidy goes studs up on Gesios at midfield and gets the straight RED CARD. Bristol City is down to 10 men early! Gesios is pissed according to my assistant.

11' - We win a corner and Rocca's cross meets the head of young Contreras but the Bristol keeper just makes the save before it crosses the line.

13' - We pour on the pressure and it's Neil Cairney sending a gorgeous killer ball through to Bolis who is stopped from point blank range!

22' - We gain the ball in midfield and it's sent up to Gesios. He finds Zoltan Bardi sprinting ahead and sends it through. Bardi's initial blast is stopped but the rebound comes right back to Bardi and he makes no mistake the second time. We finally strike against ten men! DOVER GOAL 1-0

26' - Gesios is stopped at point blank range again after a brilliant through ball from Bardi then embellishes a trip when the ball comes back to his foot. Yellow card for Gesios for diving.

31' - We continue to hold possession and the ball comes loose down the right side to Bolis. He beats his man and crosses to the far post to Cameron Murray. The ball squirts off him and comes directly to the left foot of Bardi, who calmly sends a first touch right into the net for this second of the game! DOVER GOAL 2-0

38' - They get their first real chance on a wicked shot from outside the penalty area but Wilke blocks the ball away.

44' - Bolis gets a yellow card for a tackle that the announcer calls a Bristol City dive.

HALFTIME - A good half. We're holding the ball 60% of the time and have a 13-5 (7-1 on target) shot advantage. I tell the team I'm pleased but give a shout to press more.

50' - We're playing sloppy to start the second half. They've walked in to our area a couple of times with ease and now their lone striker Thorne gets off a shot from in tight that is just pushed behind by Wilke.

55' - We hit them on a counter attack and the ball comes up to Gesios. He sees Cameron Murray cutting in from the left and feeds a gorgeous through ball into the area that Murray latches onto and right foots it into the net. That's incredibly Murray's first senior goal for Dover (he joined the club last year)! DOVER GOAL 3-0

58' - Great. Rocca gets injured on a tackle but looks like he can shake it off.

63' - At three goals up, no sense keeping Rocca in there. I pull him off in favour of captain Darren Pratley.

69' - Contreras goes back for the ball in our area and gets stripped by Nicholas Costello. He has a wide open shot and misses wide. Rookie mistake by Contreras and we're fortunate to stay ahead by three.

70' - I take off both of our yellow carded players. Petr Simek comes in at striker for the excellent Gesios while Petr Kostal replaces winger Gianluca Bolis.

76' - Cameron Murray gets a yellow card.

Bristol is maintaining a lot of possession right now so I send in a shout to try to keep the ball as much as possible.

84' - They get a good chance of a corner but Wilke is there to save it just before it crosses the line.

Bardi gets one more shot from an awkward angle and misses but we easily close it out from there.

Bristol City 0 - 3 Dover
Goals - Zoltan Bardi 2 (8.9), Cameron Murray (7.9)
Assists - Giorgos Gesios (7.9)
Man of the Match - Zoltan Bardi
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.7), Cristian Rodriguez (7.6), Claudio Contreras (7.5), Jozef Varga (7.2), Neil Cairney (7.3), Gianluca Bolis (7.0)
Attendance - 18,858

Bristol City did well in holding the ball in the second half but we edge them overall, with 52% of the possession and a 17-12 (8-1 on target) shot advantage. A very "professional" performance by our club. Young Contreras did well in his debut.

-- We get £69,000 for the victory.



-- WOW. I'm ready to dance a jig as stalwart MC Neil Cairney REJECTS LIVERPOOL'S CONTRACT OFFER! Holy crap! He's unhappy with the salary offered, some bonuses and his agent also wanted more than what was offered. What a beautiful development. I see that Chelsea is also interested in him so I have to worry about one more club but Liverpool looks to be out of the running for Cairney. FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC!

-- Speaking of Chelsea, I see that they have offered over £21 million pounds for Argentinian midfielder Eduardo Caro, who plays for AS Monaco. Again, a good development if they get him, as it will take Chelsea out of the "Neil Cairney" sweepstakes! They are battling against Inter though, who also have a transfer bid accepted.



-- I decide to loan out central defender Thomas Andersen for the rest of the season. With the arrival of Contreras, Andersen is a surplus to requirements - he's currently rated 2.0/4.0 so I'd like him to get a bunch of first-team action and I accept a number of offers that filter in immediately. We'll see what happens.



FA Cup - 4th Round Draw

-- We will play Bolton (coincidently our next opponent in Premier League play) or Nottingham Forest in the next round. The teams battled to a scoreless draw yesterday in Bolton and will play again next weekend.



-- Chelsea play on Tuesday and win, vaulting back into third three points ahead of us. A win tomorrow against cellar dwellers Bolton will propel us back ahead.



Next Up

-- We visit the last placed Bolton Wanderers away in Premier League action
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 12:46 PM   #108
SirFozzie
General Manager
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: The State of Insanity
quick, offer him a new contract without the minimum release clause.

(yeah, I know, if he rejected Liverpool for not enough dosh, no way he'll accept what you can pay him)
__________________
Check out Foz's New Video Game Site, An 8-bit Mind in an 8GB world! http://an8bitmind.com
SirFozzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 03:37 PM   #109
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirFozzie View Post
quick, offer him a new contract without the minimum release clause.

(yeah, I know, if he rejected Liverpool for not enough dosh, no way he'll accept what you can pay him)

Haha - no doubt!

I tried it right afterwards and you're right - I can't afford what he's looking for right now. Even then, he still wanted the min release clause but he was open to moving it up to 35 million pounds.

Hopefully Chelsea stays away from him. I still have Cairney under contract for another three years.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 03:37 PM   #110
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed January 6, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Bolton (3-3-15, 12 points, 20th) vs. Dover (13-2-6, 41 points, 4th)
Reebok Stadium, Bolton, UK

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

We head to Bolton to face the Wanderers, who are likely destined for the drop barring a monumental second half of the season. They are currently 8 points from 17th spot.

Bolton are on an eight game winless stretch in all competitions and have lost six consecutive Premier League games, with their last win coming in late November against Sheffield Wednesday. Their top goalscorers are midfielder Alan O'Leary and striker Ciro Immobile (not a great name for a striker!) but both only have four goals. Their big signing in the offseason, DC Saber Nasri, has three goals. They also have an interesting looking Slovak AMC named Juraj Kovac, who missed three months after tearing a hamstring but he's come back to score 2 goals in his first five games with the club.

Arsene Bamba is fully fit after his hernia injury and will retake his starting position at AML today. Paulus Tjiuoro will also return to DC alongside Cristian Rodriguez, with newcomer Claudio Contreras taking a spot on the bench. No other changes - we'll stick with the same tactics and philosophy as last game. We do have a game coming up in three days against Sheffield Wednesday so I'll be mindful of that when considering substitutions.

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

Bolton comes out in the same formation as us - I like our chances if we're going head to head on formations! Despite being heavy favourites, I decide to just tell the team "they can win today" as opposed to telling them it's expected. Personal talks with Gesios, Bardi and Bamba ("pick up where you left off").

8' - Neil Cairney gets a lecture from the referee after a tackle but no card. We head away the Bolton free kick and Gesios takes the ball from halfway in our end and dribbles all the way downfield. He gets to the right side of the box and sends a low cross to the far side and it's the returning Arsene Bamba who left foots it low into the net! What a run from Gesios and a clinical finish from Bamba on his return! DOVER GOAL 1-0

11' - I may be seeing things but the replay tells me I'm not! It's Gesios again taking the ball midway through Bolton territory and he dribbles past some defenders towards the right edge of the area. He is quickly running out of room and sends a desperation cross into the middle once he reaches the byline. Somehow, someway, it gets through the defenders and Bolton keeper and it's Bamba AGAIN! Wow!!! DOVER GOAL 2-0

12' - Salim Loucif is careless in our end as he tries to pass the ball back to the left and it's intercepted by their striker Ciro Immobile but he gets a relatively weak shot away that's right at Ingo Wilke for the easy save.

17' - Cairney makes another challenge and gets a yellow this time for it.

18' - We clear the resulting free kick and the ball is sent down the left side to a charging Jozef Varga. His first crossing attempt it stopped but he gets a second one in and there is a wild scene where their keeper first makes a diving save off a header then Gesios rifles a rebound off the goal post. Crazy!

22' - They win a free kick at midfield and send a high, arching ball toward the top of our box. Cristian Rodriguez misjudges the flight and the ball is over his head and on the foot of Immobile. He has a clear path to goal but his shot to the far post is just wide. We're lucky there.

25' - We force a turnover at midfield and the ball is sent to the right flank to Gianluca Bolis. He dribbles down the sideline then works his way inside toward the right edge of the box and sends a ball in to a charging Gesios. He tries the one touch left foot shot but the Bolton keeper dives to make the save! However, the rebound comes right back to Gesios and he sends another shot toward goal and this time there's no one there to stop it. What a half from Gesios and the rout it on! DOVER GOAL 3-0

30' - Varga is given a yellow for getting stuck in. We'll likely have to dial down the aggression with this ref in the second half.

37' - Or maybe I should have dialled it down right away. Cairney takes down another player and he's given a second yellow card and he's gone. We're down to ten men for the rest of the game. Damnit. I drop Zoltan Bardi back into Cairney's spot.

45'+1 - Another yellow, this time to Gianluca Bolis.

45'+2 - They get a great look off a corner but the header is sent over the bar.

HALFTIME - Well, we're definitely making the most of our chances but Bolton had a LOT of possession in that half, dominating that statistic 59% to 41%. We are outshooting them 10-6 (4-1 on target). I'll move to a flat 4-4-1 to start the second half and go to a counter attack philosophy.

52' - Now the ref doesn't call anything? Gesios takes a long pass and controls it in their area but gets taken out by a vicious tackle. He's hurt and needs to come off but there's no foul call whatsoever. Brutal. I hope it's not serious but he's had a tendency to be injury prone. I move Bardi up to striker and bring in Darren Pratley to play midfield.

54' - We seem to be a bit shaken up and they are sent though into our area but Wilke is there to make a lovely diving save.

62' - We win a corner and Rocca's cross is headed back to him. He sends another lower cross in with his weaker right foot and Cristian Rodriguez backs up and hits it on the half volley. It ends up hitting Bardi and going into the net. Bardi gets credit for the goal! DOVER GOAL 4-0

65' - Bolton work the ball into the box again, this time it's Lee Erwin, their right midfielder screaming in past Varga but Wilke is there for the diving save.

70' - Rocca shows his incredible vision by sending a killer through ball to a streaking Bardi. He's in all alone but the Bolton keeper comes out to challenge and Bardi's point blank shot is stopped. A Bolton defender has the ball and tries to clear but he puts it right on the foot of Arsene Bamba and he has a WIDE OPEN net and makes no mistake! HAT TRICK FOR BAMBA!!! DOVER GOAL 5-0

73' - Knowing Neil Cairney will be missing at least one game for that red card, I take out Andrea Rocca, as I'll definitely need him to play in three days. Mancini comes in for Rocca and I also sub out Zoltan Bardi and replace him with Petr Simek.

ZERO highlights for the rest of the game. Sensational game as we wait for word on Gesios' condition with fingers crossed.

Bolton 0 - 5 Dover
Goals - Arsene Bamba 3 (9.6), Giorgos Gesios (8.2), Zoltan Bardi (8.2)
Assists - Giorgos Gesios 2, Cristian Rodriguez (8.3)
Man of the Match - Arsene Bamba
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.9), Salim Loucif (8.2), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.9), Jozef Varga (7.9), Andrea Rocca (7.8), Gianluca Bolis (7.3)
Attendance - 12,991

With only ten men for the majority of the match, we got smoked in possession, with Bolton holding the ball for 63% of the game. We outshot them 16-10 (8-4 on target). The only player who didn't score over a 7.0 was the red-carded Neil Cairney (6.9).

-- We move back into third place on the table with the win, level on points with fourth placed Chelsea and 7 points up on fifth place Everton.

-- Thankfully, the injury to Giorgos Gesios isn't serious. He twisted his knee and will miss about two weeks.

-- MC Neil Cairney is suspended for one game for being sent off against Bolton.



-- Speaking of Cairney, Chelsea start talking about him to the press about their interest and I squash the rumours right away, issuing a hands off warning.



-- Zoltan Bardi once again makes complaints about his contract, which admittedly is not lucrative for the worth he's providing. I hear he's talking to teammates about it so I bring in him to the office and tell him he's being very unprofessional. He apologizes and all seems to be well.



Loan OUT

-- DC Thomas Andersen decides to move to Burnley in the Championship on loan until the end of the season. Hopefully he gets playing time there.



Next Up

-- A home match against Sheffield Wednesday

Last edited by NoSkillz : 12-29-2013 at 03:38 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 08:40 PM   #111
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. January 9, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (14-2-6, 44 points, 3rd) vs. Sheffield Wednesday (5-5-12, 20 points, 17th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 1-3 (Favourites) Draw: 3-1 Sheffield Wednesday: 7-1
Past Meetings: 3W 1D 3L

Sheffield Wednesday are barely staying afloat right now in the Premier League and have lost six straight in all competitions. This is a common position for them, as they've finished in 17th in two of the last three seasons. James Agbo is their leading scorer with 9 goals in 14 appearances and he's fit for this matchup. That said, their best player is fellow striker Steve Pates, a very dynamic forward who has battled injuries this year and poor form, with only 1 goal in eight appearances. They also spent 7 million pounds on French midfielder Paul Pogba, bringing him over from Wolverhampton, but with one goal in 19 games, he hasn't exactly been worth the outlay.

This is our last game in a crazy stretch and we'll have an eight day rest before our next game against Chelsea on Monday the 18th. Giorgos Gesios (injury) and Neil Cairney (suspension) will miss this affair. I'll play Gerardo Escobar up front and Mancini will play in midfield.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - J. Varga, P. Tjiuoro, C. Rodriguez, S. Loucif
M - Mancini, A. Rocca
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Escobar
Bench - J. Kuciak, C. Contreras, L. Craig, Mancini, C. Murray, P. Kostal, P. Simek

They are in a flat 4-4-2 with Pates up front and their leading scorer Agbo is not even on the bench. I tell the team I expect a win and pull aside Varga and Bardi ("pick up where you left off") and Escobar ("I have faith in your abilities") for personal chats. Escobar has really struggled lately and it would be great to see him pot one today.

5' - We win a corner and the ball eventually comes out to Mancini at the top of the area and his shot is just curled wide.

13' - We clear a corner but the ball comes to their striker Pates and his shot is just over the bar.

15' - Pates again gets away and dribbles all the way into our area but his low shot is just turned aside by Wilke.

22' - We seem to have most of the possession but all of the highlights are going their way. They win a corner and it's Pates again but his header is right at Wilke and he holds on.

30' - We continue to generate nothing and now Cristian Rodriguez gets a yellow for taking down Pates, who seems to be very motivated today.

37' - We move the ball up to Bardi and he streaks down the left side, his off wing. He makes it to the corner of the area and tries the left footed shot to the far post and it hits the woodwork and bounces out. Terrible angle but great effort from Bardi to make something out of nothing. Still scoreless though.

38' - Off an ensuing throw in, we send a cross into the area but no one is there. Jozef Varga comes up from his fullback position and sends the ball back to the top of the area to Mancini but his low blast is JUST wide. Great chance.

43' - Rocca and Mancini play some one-twos and Mancini gets another chance from just outside the area but their keeper makes the nice diving save and holds on. Mancini has been very active today.

HALFTIME - We're holding a 58% to 42% possession edge and have outshot them 11-6 (3-2 on target) but most of our shots are from distance. My assistant thinks I should tell them to go out there and win it for the supporters and I go along with it - I don't think that usually works for this team but we'll see. I pull Escobar (6.1 at half) and Bardi (6.5 at half) and tell them they can make the difference. I also switch to a flat 4-4-2 control to get some more penetration hopefully in their box.

46' - We kick off and move up field with Escobar. He sends it wide to Bamba near the byline and with little room, he sends a low ball back into the box. Mancini runs into it and sends a shot that deflects off Paul Herd, their central midfielder and goes into the net. Rapid response out of the dressing room and Mancini finally cashes in after many first half chances! DOVER GOAL 1-0

51' - Escobar shows speed and skill to knife through midfield and gain a step on the defenders. His hard shot is pushed aside by the Sheffield keeper.

57' - Pates has been very effective this game and again, he is able to get behind our defence and walk in alone down the left side. Thankfully Pates is forced to use his weaker foot and Wilke is able to make the fine save.

63' - Escobar makes a nice run down the left, gets to the byline and cuts back to his right foot before sending in a little lob that is headed over by the Sheffield defender. On the corner that follows, Andrea Rocca sends it to the near post and Paulus Tjiuoro is able to head it home through traffic for the much needed two-goal cushion! DOVER GOAL 2-0

71' - Petr Simek comes on for Zoltan Bardi up front.

73' - I bring in young Claudio Contreras for Cristian Rodriguez, who was yellow carded earlier in the game.

82' - Petr Simek has had at least three decent chances since coming on but continues to hog the ball and take shots from distance, nullifying the opportunities. Once again, he takes a lovely feed from Arsene Bamba and gets into the area. This time his shot is on goal and the Sheffield keeper can only deflect it away but it goes right to Gerardo Escobar and he makes no mistake putting it into the empty net. Long awaited marker from Escobar, just as I hoped in the pre-game! DOVER GOAL 3-0

89' - Tjiuoro gets hurt making a tackle and needs to come off. I move Mancini back into defence and bring on Darren Pratley for the remaining few minutes.

And that's it!

Dover 3 - 0 Sheffield Wednesday
Goals - Mancini (7.8), Paulus Tjiuoro (8.2), Gerardo Escobar (7.8)
Assists - Andrea Rocca (8.2), Arsene Bamba (7.4), Petr Simek (6.8)
Man of the Match - Paulus Tjiuoro
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.1), Salim Loucif (7.6), Cristian Rodriguez (7.1), Jozef Varga (7.3)
Attendance - 15,750 (sell-out)

Another patient, professional performance from our group, who didn't panic when we couldn't score in the first half - a little tactic change in the second half seemed to work and we were off. He held the ball for 57% of the time and outshot them by a whopping 25-8 (10-3 on target). Excellent stuff and I'm happy we're not showing complacency when playing these bottom level teams.

-- Everyone around us continues to win, including Man United, Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool below us. We hold onto third place but have a tougher slate of games coming up.

-- The injury to Paulus Tjiuoro isn't bad: he'll miss about a week after straining his neck.



Dover U18 Update

-- Our youth team has been out of action for ages but just defeated Southampton's youth club 3-2. Carlo Cerbone continues to score at will and Steve Sinnot and Gregoire Lambert also added singles in the victory.



-- DR Salim Loucif is called up by Algeria for the Africa Cup of Nations event. He ends up coming on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw versus Zambia and plays well. He will miss the Chelsea game and perhaps more as the tournament proceeds.



-- Renato Gaucho has returned to full training after missing four weeks due to fractured ribs. Thankfully, Jozef Varga has played beautifully in his place but it's great to get the talented youngster back with the club.



-- We have three players named to the Barclays Premier League Team of the Week: GK Ingo Wilke, DC Paulus Tjiuoro and ML Arsene Bamba are all honoured.



-- Ingo Wilke gets injured during a challenge in training and will miss about a week. He could be back by Monday, when we play Chelsea.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- We defeated Arsenal away 3-1 on the strength of two goals from Roberto. On loan winger Martin Prochazka scored the other goal. Hilariously, after the game, I get a call from Roberto's agent saying that "because of his emergence as a FIRST TEAM PLAYER and more pointedly, in the wake of his impressive display in the reserves game victory", he deserves a new contract. Wait a second…I almost spit my drink out in laughter! Roberto has made ONE start all year with our senior team and he was horrible. I actually contemplate it for a second because he'll be really cheap but in the end, I reject the request. Simply put, he's not good enough to play for our club and I plan on letting him go once the season ends.



-- Liverpool come calling again, this time for Arsene Bamba, offering me £12,500,000, a pretty crazy sum of money to be honest. Bamba has been sensational for us since coming over for £7 million from Metalurg, with 6 goals and 4 assists in 13 league games. I reject the deal but if Liverpool really want him, he's there for the taking, as he has a minimum release clause that is triggered for any bids just south of £15 million.

-- I have a bid that is accepted for Valencia striker David Serrano, a very technically gifted player who spent a number of years with Real Madrid's "B" team Castilla. Serrano is a 3.0/3.0 rated player but has VERY impressive attributes in a number of key categories. The bid was very modest (£1.8 million) but he's asking for a salary that would make him our highest paid player and I can't disrupt the chemistry of our team for a guy who may not even start for us. In the end, if I go for another striker, it will have to be someone that is world class.



Dover U18 Update

-- Another youth game, another youth win! Gregoire Lambert scores a hat trick and strike partner Carlo Cerbone scores the other one in a 4-0 victory over Brighton's U18s.



Transfer IN

-- I bring in ANOTHER DC and yet another Argentine. Welcome 31 year old Emir Faccioli to Dover on a £1.1 million deal with West Bromwich. Again, my hope is that the veteran (and English speaking) Faccioli will help our young star Cristian Rodriguez properly settle in Dover. Faccioli is signed through the end of next season and has decent talent (currently 3.0/3.0) but won't be a first team player with our club despite starting with West Brom.





Next Up

-- A big 3 vs. 4 tilt at home versus Chelsea, a team we've never beaten
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 11:18 PM   #112
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Mon. January 18, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (15-2-6, 47 points, 3rd) vs. Chelsea (15-2-6, 47 points, 4th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

A huge 3 vs. 4 matchup against Chelsea, a team we are without a point against in six career matches. We are ahead on goal differential by a substantial amount but that's meaningless today, as whomever comes out on top will vault ahead by three points. They are actually on a relatively poor run of form, having lost 3 of their last five games in all competitions, most recently a 2-1 loss on Wednesday in the first leg of the League Cup semis to Manchester City. They have a dynamic striker in Romelu Lukaku, who has 14 goals in 22 games thus far and they are loaded with top talent all over the park.

We have a couple of injuries and one international absence so we need to make changes. GK Ingo Wilke and ST Giorgos Gesios are both not ready to return so Lukasz Fabianski will man our net and Gerardo Escobar will play a second consecutive game up front. DC Paulus Tjiuoro is also still too banged up to play so young Claudio Contreras will play and new signing Emir Faccioli will be on the bench. DR Salim Loucif is with the Algerian National team so the very capable Jozef Kuciak is the next man up. MC Neil Cairney is back from his one game suspension and will move back into the middle of the park. Against my better judgement, I'm going to start with my aggressive 4-2-3-1 tactic that's won me a number of recent games. Chelsea play a pretty aggressive formation too so it's power against power. I can always adjust to a flat 4-4-2 if necessary mid-game. Renato Gaucho is fully fit after returning from broken ribs but I've made enough changes already by necessity. Gaucho will be on the bench and I'll stick with the in-form Jozef Varga for tonight.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - L. Fabianski
D - J. Varga, C. Contreras, C. Rodriguez, J. Kuciak
M - A. Rocca, N. Cairney
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Escobar
Bench - E. Faccioli, R. Gaucho, D. Pratley, Mancini, C. Murray, P. Kostal, P. Simek

They are in a 4-2-3-1 as well but their attacking mids are all in the centre. They could be tough to defend without a defensive midfielder but we can adjust later if necessary with Mancini on the bench. I tell the team that they can win today and pull aside Escobar, Contreras and Bardi for personal talks.

5' - They work some one-twos down the left sideline in our territory and eventually work the ball into the box but the shot is deflected wide. We safely clear the ensuing corner.

15' - Chelsea are tackling aggressively and have been given two yellows already. We get some control in their area but Zoltan Bardi's shot is well wide.

18' - They win a free kick from about 35 yards away and Graham Dorrans lines up to take the boot. He curls one at goal and it's right at Fabianski but for some reason, he tries to punch it out. It's raining out and perhaps his hands were wet but the ball squirts to his right, hits the post and deflects in. Horrible gaffe from Fabianski and we're down already. CHELSEA GOAL 0-1

25' - We start a counter attack and the ball is sent down the left sideline to Arsene Bamba. He crosses it in for Escobar but a Chelsea defender heads it back out. It goes right to Neil Cairney and he starts the most beautiful play I've seen in some time, with a first touch pass in to Bardi, who then one touches it over to the right to Gianluca Bolis and he immediately strikes the ball into the left corner of the net, off the goalpost, for the tick-tack-toe stunner!!! GREAT GOAL!!! DOVER GOAL 1-1

33' - Chelsea have some great movement from their fullbacks and I may need to move to a counter attacking philosophy. They are very aggressive and maybe I can take advantage of it. We'll see. As for the play, Bamba is taken down and needs to come off for some medical attention but he looks like he can shake it off.

42' - Chelsea's movement continues to impress and they get a great chance from distance that just screams wide from midfielder Salamon.

HALFTIME - We're only holding the ball for 45% of the time and are getting outshot handily 8-2 (2-1 on target). I decide to switch to a flat 4-4-2 control in order to ensure that my wide midfielders come back with the pinching Chelsea fullbacks and hope our two strikers can possibly take advantage of any situation with only two men back. I tell them to go out there and do it for the supporters but pull aside a struggling Rodriguez ("prove a point") and the two strikers ("I have faith") for individual words.

46' - Right off the kickoff, we move up field and it's Bardi cutting across the field and shooting just wide with a big blast. Great chance right off the bat!

48' - Jozef Kuciak takes a man down and earns a yellow card.

51' - Cristian Rodriguez earns one three minutes later for a takedown at midfield.

56' - We're controlling play much better by the looks of it through the first ten minutes of this half. Cairney sends a lovely ball up the right centre of the park to Escobar and he dribbles in before delivering a heavy shot that the Chelsea keeper Romo saves and holds on to.

58' - It's Dorrans again, this time sending a through ball to Lukaku. He is able to stay a half step in front of Rodriguez and he beats Fabianski with a shot into the right corner. Sigh. CHELSEA GOAL 1-2

69' - They have dominated the last ten minutes of highlights and almost score again off a corner, with the ball just barely going over the net.

70' - I change back to a 4-2-3-1 but move to an attacking philosophy. Petr Simek is on for Escobar.

79' - Not much happening - I bring in Darren Pratley and take out Bardi. I move Rocca up to AMC.

84' - We overload.

88' - We work a counter attack and head the ball down the left flank to Bamba. We have numbers by the looks of it as Bamba crosses into the box. Chelsea captain Mamadou Sakho is there to clear but it deflects off another Chelsea player coming back to help and comes back toward goal. That little bit of confusion is enough for Andrea Rocca to get to the ball first and fire it past the stunned Chelsea keeper for the shocking late equalizer! Wow! DOVER GOAL 2-2

We move back to a counter attacking philosophy and bring in new signing Emir Faccioli for Cristian Rodriguez.

90'+2 - We get a GLORIOUS chance on a long ball sent up field. Simek has fresh legs and is able to get behind the Chelsea defence by a half step but his shot ends up getting blocked. The rebound comes out to Bamba and he just fires wide from the outer edge of the area. Sooo close!

Good game!

Dover 2 - 2 Chelsea
Goals - Gianluca Bolis (7.4), Andrea Rocca (7.2)
Assists - Zoltan Bardi (6.8)
Man of the Match - Graham Dorrans, Chelsea AMC (7.9)
Other Dover Notables - None
Attendance - 15,750 (sell-out)

That is our first point EVER against Chelsea and we'll take it! We only held the ball for 45% of the game but ended up outshooting them 13-12 (5-4 on target) so we definitely edged the second half.

-- Arsenal did us a favour by knocking off Liverpool on Saturday so that gives us additional breathing room for the Champions League spot we're hoping to earn. We maintain our hold on third place, tied with Chelsea on points but ahead on GD, ten points back of both City and United. Dover and Chelsea are eight points up on fifth place so we're holding steady!



Injury Update

-- We currently have a clean bill of health and everyone is training in full. Great news!


-- So just before my reserve team game, a receive an enquiry from Blackpool in the Championship about our striker Roberto. His contract is expiring at the end of this season and as indicated previously, he's not really in my plans. My scouts feel his game isn't good enough for the Premier League. He's valued at £500,000 so I ask for that, thinking it's likely extravagant for a player with an expiring contract and add a few clauses. Then, lets move onto the reserves game...



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- We host Chelsea's reserves in a nice coincidence, considering we just played their senior team. Well I'll be damned if we don't DESTROY them 6-1 and not only that, but Roberto scores three goals and adds three assists too. SIX POINTS in one game and a never-seen-before 9.9 game rating. Seriously…you can't give the kid the full monty for a six point performance? Craziness! His agent once again comes calling after the game with the same demands from last week. Wow. Do I need to reconsider my stance on this kid? The next day, Blackpool say they won't be following up on the enquiry. Well, okay then!



-- DR Salim Loucif continues to play well for Algeria in the African Cup of Nations, helping them beat Ghana 1-0. Algeria currently lead their group in the competition.



-- Manchester City have offered me £3,500,000 for young DC prospect Abdallaye Kokaina, who I picked up in the summer transfer window from FC Bayern for £2,500,000. He's only 18 and I'd like to keep him around for a bit longer despite being absolutely stacked at that position right now.



Next Up

-- We face Stoke City away in Premier League action

Last edited by NoSkillz : 12-29-2013 at 11:20 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2014, 10:44 PM   #113
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. January 23, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Stoke City (5-8-11, 23 points, 16th) vs. Dover (15-3-6, 48 points, 3rd)
Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, UK

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

We head to Stoke to face the struggling Potters, who sit just above the drop zone. Their leading scorer is dynamic winger Billy Ketkeo, with 7 goals in 27 appearances and striker Zavon Hines has 6 goals. They are pretty much a two man offense, as third leading scorer, striker Filip Pivkovski has only 3 goals. It looks like they just picked up a striker on loan from Man City in 18 year old Marco Clementi. He looks to be a pretty interesting player and I won't be surprised if he starts or comes in at some point in this contest.

We're pretty much completely healthy now and we'll see the return of GK Ingo Wilke, DC Paulus Tjiuoro, DL Renato Gaucho and ST Giorgos Gesios for this match. Essentially, our eleven best players will be on the pitch for this contest with the only exception being DR Salim Loucif, who is still representing Algeria in the African Cup of Nations event. We beat Stoke in a 1-0 snoozefest at home earlier in the year, as Stoke play a very defensive style. We'll stick with our 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) control system and try to be patient.

Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, P. Tjiuoro, C. Rodriguez, J. Kuciak
M - A. Rocca, N. Cairney
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios
Bench - O. Nicholas, J. Varga, D. Pratley, Mancini, C. Murray, P. Kostal, P. Simek

Stoke start in their customary flat 3-5-2, an attempt to load the midfield. Young on-loan striker Marco Clementi isn't even on their bench and they go with Ketkeo and Hines up front together. I take a relatively conservative team talk approach considering our status as huge favourites, just telling them they can win today. I tell the returning Tjiuoro and Gesios to pick up where they left off and tell Bardi I have faith in his abilities.

6' - We have a throw in down the left side of the pitch in their zone and get it in to Bardi. It's worked in to Rocca, who lays it off to Neil Cairney but his weak shot is easily saved by Asmir Begovic, the Stoke keeper.

8' - A couple minutes later we strike - Gaucho gets a throw in and sends a low pass into the box and a sliding Gianluca Bolis kicks it home! However, the assistant has the flag up. Offside?? I check the replay and simply put, it's a terrible call. Even the announcers, upon looking at the replay, say it looked like a valid goal. We're robbed of an early lead and half our team is "wound up" too.

22' - We move the ball quickly upon another throw in around midfield, with Gesios delivering an exquisite back heel pass to Bardi to send him in. Bardi's hard shot is turned aside by Begovic and cleared away.

26' - Stoke get their first good chance off a corner, as midfielder Alejandro Cabral sends a great header toward the top corner but Wilke dives and sends it over the bar. We safely clear the follow up chance.

28' - Stoke work possession in our end near the top of the box, playing keep away for about 30 seconds on the right side and the ball comes to the middle, where Cabral sends a vicious, curling strike that a diving Wilke turns aside in spectacular fashion! Great save!

31' - A scary chance for Stoke, as Zavon Hines is sent in on a through ball. Jozef Kuciak is right on his tail and makes the decision to try to tackle him and sends the ball right at Wilke, who thankfully is there to turn the ball aside. That would have been embarrassing for Kuciak.

33' - Off a goal kick, the ball is worked up eventually to Bardi and he sends a killer ball through to Gesios, who is onside. He is on his weak foot, however, and just sends a curling shot into the side netting. So close.

38' - We have a throw in down the right side and Bolis throws it to Cairney. No one is challenging him, for some reason, so he walks to the outer corner of the box and sends in a high cross. I don't believe my eyes but it's RENATO GAUCHO, our left back, who comes forward and sends a vicious strike that Begovic can't handle and it's in the net! Gaucho's first ever goal for Dover! Fantastic! DOVER GOAL 1-0

41' - A wild play. Wilke kicks the ball over to Gaucho and he has some trouble with it. He tries to send it up the left flank to Bamba but it hits Stoke midfielder Brett Lucas and ricochets into the area. Zavon Hines is there for the sitter and somehow MISSES the open net. Unreal! His head is in his hands as he retreats from the area.

44' - On what the announcers call a Stoke dive, Cairney gets yellow carded.

HALFTIME - Stoke changed to a 5-3-2 after our goal so I'll have to keep that in mind for any tactical decisions moving forward. Their fullbacks should start pinching and hopefully we can hit them on the break. For now, we'll stay status quo. We held the ball 55% of the time and outshot them 9-5 (3-2 on target). I tell the team I'm pleased thus far.

51' - They get a good chance off a free kick, sending a cross into the area but their header is deflected on the way to the net and Wilke has time to get across and hold for the save.

52' - Off a Stoke goal kick, Cristian Rodriguez wins a header and sends it up field. Guillermo Piras, one of Stoke's central defenders, leaps but the ball is over his head and Gesios smells blood! He bolts through the middle, latches onto the ball and left foots the ball into the short side for the important second goal! DOVER GOAL 2-0

65' - I take out the yellow carded Neil Cairney and bring in defensive minded midfielder Mancini. I also switch to a flat 4-4-2 and go to a counter attack style.

79' - We look to be giving up a lot of possession but thankfully few chances. Gesios looks tired so I bring in Petr Simek.

82' - We have an extended period of possession and Simek is weaving in and out around midfield. He sends a lovely though ball into the box to Bolis, who rifles it home but AGAIN, it's called offside. Two goals by Bolis called back today. It looks like Bolis stepped forward for a brief second before retreating while Simek was weaving, simply mistiming the pass.

88' - Some brutal defending on our part sees Tjiuoro missing a tackle and it's Lucas moving in all alone. He has Wilke at his mercy but shoots high over the bar. Terrible finishing tonight from Stoke.

I send a shout to retain possession and we hold them off the rest of the way.

Stoke 0 - 2 Dover
Goals - Renato Gaucho (8.3), Giorgos Gesios (7.4)
Assists - Cristian Rodriguez (7.3), Neil Cairney (7.8)
Man of the Match - Ingo Wilke (8.3)
Other Dover Notables - Jozef Kuciak (7.2), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.4), Andrea Rocca (7.1)
Attendance - 18,418

Nice win - Stoke play a pretty stifling style and they held the ball very well in the second half, enough to edge us on possession 51% to 49%. We outshot them 12-10 but they had a 5-4 shots on target edge. Wilke was excellent and deservedly gets man of the match honours.

-- Wilke's agent comes to me after the game looking for a new deal for his client. Wilke is making only 3900/week right now but I have him signed for another year. It's not my normal M.O. to renegotiate during the season when challenged and I reject this request as well. I wait for the inevitable "Ingo Wilke is unhappy and wants to talk to you" message from my assistant but it doesn't come. Wilke has complained a few times already this year about his deal so either he's getting the message or he's ready to dig his heels in. I'm guessing the latter, as I look into his contract demands and the agent tells me they aren't prepared to talk to me anymore. Oh well…like I said, I have him for another year and a half so I'm not concerned.

-- City, United and Chelsea all win so the top four (including ourselves) continue to separate from the rest of the pack. Middlesbrough upset Everton and Liverpool lose to United so we now find ourselves nine points clear of fifth place Arsenal as we continue to strive for a Champions League position.

-- With our win, we move to 16 on the year, already one ahead of the 15 we had all of last season. We match our point total from last year as well with the win and have 13 more games left! We'll keep pushing!



-- We get a note that the transfer deadline is in one week. I have some feelers out for a couple of players but there is a good chance I'll just be content with our current squad and keep the money for after the season.



NO FUCKING WAY (PART TWO)

-- Manchester United bid £15,750,000 plus clauses for DC Cristian Rodriguez. Rodriguez was my KEY off-season signing, a now 21-year old stud that was going to lead us from the back for a decade and was my personal choice as future captain. He's a guy who's the reason why I've brought two other Argentina residents into our squad to help him settle. He's been sensational in his first season, scoring two goals from the back in 23 games with a 7.25 average rating. The money is too enticing for our new chairman to turn down and he accepts the deal. I think i'm going to be sick.

-- And just like that, he's gone. The next day Rodriguez accepts a contract offer and one more day later, a conditional work permit is given and the deal is complete. Rodriguez signs a contract for £52,000 per week and my prize offseason signing is gone after six months. How in the hell are we supposed to win if my chairman, who is loaded and loves the club, lets my best player go without consulting me? This is simply brutal news and a HUGE blow to our Champions League chances, even with young Claudio Contreras ready to step in immediately.

-- Interestingly enough, in my pre-game press conference before my FA Cup tie, the media bring up the fact that our chairman sold Rodriguez without consulting me - they ask for my thoughts and I know this is a test…I take the diplomatic approach and just say "I'm not going to dwell on it, what's done is done". Then, they ask about my relationship with the chairman and again, I bite my tongue until it bleeds before saying "we have a great working relationship where communication is a constant".

I think I need to throw up again. As an aside, I have almost £22 million pounds available in the transfer kitty. Whether I spend now or later is the question…I still think we're good enough to hold onto this current position even without Rodriguez...



Next Up

-- We welcome Championship side Nottingham Forest to Crabble for a 4th round FA Cup match
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2014, 11:09 PM   #114
Grover
Pro Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Lisboa, ME
I've had it work to my advantage where saying that the owner is undermining my position has gained me a very large transfer kitty.

Of course, there's every opportunity it could backfire. It hurts to lose a player like that.
__________________
Come On You Irons!
West Ham United | Philadelphia Flyers | Cincinnati Bengals | Kansas City Royals

FOFC Greatest Band Draft Runner Up
FOFC Movie Remake Draft Winner
FOFC Movie Comedy Draft Winner
Grover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2014, 01:19 AM   #115
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grover View Post
I've had it work to my advantage where saying that the owner is undermining my position has gained me a very large transfer kitty.

Of course, there's every opportunity it could backfire. It hurts to lose a player like that.

I seriously contemplated it but I decided against it only because the chairman really wasn't keen on me staying with the club when he first bought the team.

I figured he might over-react and sack me
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2014, 01:27 AM   #116
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. January 30, 2021

FA Cup - 4th Round
Dover vs. Nottingham Forest
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Nottingham Forest are currently in 10th in the Championship and earned the right to be here thanks to a replay win over Premier League side Bolton in the 3rd round. Their danger man is 32 year old striker Lee Novak, who has 15 goals in 28 games across all competitions thus far. That said, their top performer is veteran midfielder Radoslaw Majewski (the magic man?), who has 5 goals and 11 assists in 22 games, good for a scintillating 7.66 average rating. Pretty incredible.

I'm still completely numb over the sale of our stalwart centre halfback. Claudio Contreras, at 18 years young, will be put into the lineup as Rodriguez's replacement - at 3.0/5.0, Contreras is arguably a better prospect but there's no question he's a bit green. I make one change to our lineup, as Fabianski will be in goal for Wilke (sending him a message after his agent's call for a new deal). I also change the composition of our bench, bringing a few youngsters like McLaughlin and Prochazka in just in case we take a solid lead.

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

Forest come out in a 4-4-2 diamond formation with two central mids. I tell the lads I expect a win and pull aside Cairney (pick up where you left off), Bardi and Gesios (I have faith in your abilities).

11' - No highlights for the first 8 minutes then there is an extended sequence that goes back and forth but ends with Gesios dribbling down the middle of the pitch, gaining some space and firing a low shot that their keeper barely gets to but holds without a rebound.

20' - Forest's tight diamond formation is giving us some fits early and they have an extended period of possession where they win three consecutive corners. On the third one, we head the ball clear and Paulus Tjiuoro leaves his defending duties behind and chases the ball. He clears it up to Gesios, who is at centre field and the Greek international takes over, dribbling down field in spectacular fashion, bursting by three defenders and then shooting confidently into the lower far corner of the net. Magnificent effort from Gesios! DOVER GOAL 1-0

31' - The relatively quiet Arsene Bamba, whose name I haven't called in awhile, gets the ball up to Gesios and Forest's defence continues to be no match for him. He gains a step and shoots but the Forest keeper stops it. The rebound comes right back to Gesios and his shot is just deflected wide by a sliding defender! Great chances! Rocca's corner is grabbed and held by Pontdeme, their keeper.

34' - Gesios again! This time it's Bardi grabbing the ball while defending a corner and knocking it up to Gesios. He easily beats their man and has a step on him before shooting JUST wide into the side netting.

40' - We get a corner and Rocca's cross is to the near post. Contreras is there but flops down looking for a foul. One is forthcoming but it's to him for the dive. Yellow card for Contreras.

41' - Contreras makes a poor pinch and a killer ball is sent through to striker Lee Novak. He has room to move right in on Fabianski, who challenges him and forces Novak's shot just wide. Good chance for their top goal scorer there but we still lead by one.

HALFTIME - Gesios seems to be the only guy who has shown up for us. We held the ball 53% of the time and are outshooting them 6-4 (4-1 on target). I want more and decide to encourage the team. I also switch to a flat 4-4-2 control in hopes of getting more control in the middle of the park.

47' - We win a corner and in a rare occurrence, Rocca sends the ball to Cairney, who is lurking outside the area. He sends in a curling rocket that Pontdeme dives and sends out of play to the sidelines. Great shot by Cairney, as it was tracking to the top corner.

50' - We're taking the play to them now. Rocca shows incredible vision with a wonderful pass across the pitch to Gianluca Bolis, who is streaking down the right side. He cuts toward goal and his hard blast is turned behind the net by Pontdeme. On the ensuing corner, Rocca's in-swinging cross is headed into the net by Zoltan Bardi. Forest defenders claim Bardi handled it but the referee denies their claims. Good sequence! DOVER GOAL 2-0

62' - Over twelve minutes without highlights before Rocca gets a free kick just outside the box. It's headed away and comes to young Contreras, who sends a wonderful little through ball to Bamba but his hard shot is saved by Pontdeme and cleared out of the zone.

71' - We make a double substitution, with yellow carded Contreras coming off for Oliver Nicholas and loanee Martin Prochazka coming on for Gianluca Bolis. Hopefully it's not a silly move bringing on two rarely used players in this situation but we seem to have great control this half.

75' - Gaucho sends a ball up to Bamba and then he makes a sensational pass upfield to Gesios. Our striker walks in from the left side with a defender closing in and JUST shoots wide of the far post. Gesios could have a hat trick easily in this game.

79' - I bring in another rarely used player in Ross McLaughlin, as he replaces Jozef Kuciak.

92'+3 - There have been a few highlights but no real chances in the last ten minutes but in extra time, Gesios and Bardi work a one-two off a throw in and cross over, with Bardi charging down the left side. He dribbles into the left side of the area and sends in a low, left footed pass to Gesios charging up the middle. He slides for it and sends it past the surprised Forest keeper! Gesios bags his brace…deservedly so in a wonderful performance. DOVER GOAL 3-0

The ref blows the whistle right after Forest kick off.

Dover 3 - 0 Nottingham Forest
Goals - Giorgos Gesios 2 (9.2), Zoltan Bardi (8.2)
Assists - Paulus Tjiuoro (7.5), Andrea Rocca (7.7), Zoltan Bardi
Man of the Match - Giorgos Gesios
Other Dover Notables - Jozef Kuciak (7.4), Claudio Contreras (7.0), Renato Gaucho (7.6), Neil Cairney (7.4), Arsene Bamba (7.1)
Attendance - 12,741

The move to the flat 4-4-2 worked well, as we ended up holding a significant possession edge 58% to 42% for the game and outshot them 17-6 (10-1 on target). We were great in that second half. What a game from Gesios...

-- We are given £92,000 for the victory.



Transfer Window Closing

-- I make a number of bids and have two significant bids accepted, one for a world class Brazilian striker and another for a midfielder. Both get thwarted by greedy agents looking for ludicrous fees I can't meet for their services. At the end of the day, it's likely for the best, as I don't want to disrupt the chemistry we have right now. I can use that money in June to get a big name player.

-- Man City make a subpar £1,800,000 offer for young DC Abdallaye Kokaina and I reject it immediately.

-- A media report suggests Bolton (??) is prepared to offer us £17,250,000 for Gianluca Bolis - where in the hell would BOLTON get that kind of money? I'll believe it when I see it!



February Update

-- We have only four Premier League games this month: Sunderland (AWAY), Liverpool (HOME), Manchester United (AWAY) and Arsenal (HOME). Tough sledding for us. We'll also have our fifth round FA Cup match later this month.

-- My assistant delivers his training report for January and Salim Loucif, Arsene Bamba and reserve striker Dennis Kunz all train well, as do youth players Garry Doyle, Johnny Mardenborough and Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz. Guys failing to impress in training are aging goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, veteran midfielder Liam Craig and youth pull Steve Sinnott. I have a chat with the three guys who didn't train well.

-- DC Thomas Andersen, currently on loan at Burnley in the Championship, wins the league's Young Player of the Month award. Cool!

-- WOW! Arsene Bamba, on the strength of his hat trick earlier in January, wins the Barclays Premier League Player of the Month award! Andrea Rocca comes in third! Good showing guys!

-- Former centre halfback Cristian Rodriguez, just stolen from us by Man United, wins the Premier League Young Player of the Month. All four games he played were for our club so the newspaper shows him as being "from Dover". Gianluca Bolis finished in second place for the award.

-- I finish runner up to Manchester City's Carlo Ancelotti for Manager of the Month honours. City won all five of their games in January while we had a draw amongst our games versus Chelsea, with the rest all wins.



Future Transfer IN

-- I scoop up Ivory Coast international goalkeeper Youssouf Sylla on a Bosman transfer signing and he's scheduled to join our club on July 1st. The 26 year old has 51 caps for his country and is currently rated as a 3.5/3.5 player by my chief scout. It's a low-risk move for our club, as he can challenge incumbent Ingo Wilke next season for the starting job.



February Board Confidence Update

-- The board are delighted with the leadership qualities I'm demonstrating. Stature increase continues to be the major reason while the loan signing of MR Martin Prochazka is the slight disappointment. Well, as least they finally stopped thinking about mediocre striker Simon Rideout! Prochazka has barely played so I can understand the frustration but Gianluca Bolis is the starter and has been healthy pretty much all year.

-- We made a profit of £10.75 million last month…that's of course the money from the sale of Cristian Rodriguez. I'm still sore…



International Update

-- Right fullback Salim Loucif played well but Algeria lost 1-0 to Mali in the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations and are eliminated from the competition. I assume he'll be returning to Dover in short order.


-- And the transfer window closes with me trying without success to bring in a marquee player. It's kind of cool but you can tell that you have to SERIOUSLY overpay at this time of year and with that said, I'm hoping I can utilize the 22 million I currently have when the season ends.



Updated Standings

-- Here's how things look in the Premier League as of February 1, 2021, with all teams currently at 25 games played:

1. Man City - 64 points
2. Man United - 61 points
3. Dover - 51 points
4. Chelsea - 51 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 42 points
6. Liverpool - 40 points
7. Everton - 38 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Reading - 36 points
9. Huddersfield - 33 points
10. Middlesbrough - 33 points
11. Aston Villa - 32 points
12. Tottenham - 31 points
13. Newcastle - 31 points
14. Sunderland - 29 points
15. Derby - 26 points
16. Stoke - 23 points
17. Norwich - 22 points
------------------------------------------------------
18. Sheffield Wednesday - 21 points
19. Bolton - 19 points
20. Fulham - 15 points



Next Up

-- We head to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland in a mid-week matchup

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-04-2014 at 01:33 AM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2014, 03:36 AM   #117
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. February 3, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Sunderland (8-5-12, 29 points, 14th) vs. Dover (16-3-6, 51 points, 3rd)
The Stadium of Light, Sunderland, UK

Betting Odds: Sunderland: 11-5 Draw: 11-5 Dover: Evens (Favourite)
Past Meetings: 1W 0D 4L

Sunderland were last on the table when we met them early in the season and they stormed back from a 2-0 deficit to beat us 3-2 at Crabble Athletic Ground, an embarrassing result. They've recovered somewhat and are back into a relatively safe, mid-table position. They're a team to be respected, with a number of fine players: leading scorer Ben Sahar, their veteran striker, has 12 goals while strike partner Craig Flett has 7. Their best player is midfielder Matt Barber, like our own Neil Cairney, a former wonderkid. He was clinical in our last game as he almost singlehandedly willed his team to a win.

I'm going to play a flat 4-4-2 control in this game, going away from the single striker formation that has done so well for us over the past couple of months. I think we can match up well against Sunderland on a man to man basis and they usually play a flat 4-4-2 as well. I'll be careful in this game, as we have another contest in only three days against Liverpool but I will start our best eleven for this one, with Ingo Wilke back in goal. DR Salim Loucif is tired after just returning from International duty so he'll be on the bench tonight.

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

As expected, Sunderland are in a flat 4-4-2 as well. Sahar and Danny Welbeck are both on the bench and Craig Flett isn't even dressed. Former Dover player George MacKenzie, who played for us on loan from Chelsea a few years ago, will line up alongside Matt Barber in the midfield for Sunderland. I tell the players they can win this game and pull aside Gesios and Rocca ("pick up where you left off") and Bardi ("I have faith") for individual chats.

3' - Neil Cairney gets the ball at midfield and sends a nice through ball to Zoltan Bardi. Bardi is late getting to it and it's tackled away but right on the foot of Cairney. He dribbles back in, through the defence and gets a low, hard shot on net but it's saved by Sam Cowler, the Sunderland keeper and cleared away.

8' - They have a throw in down our right flank and it's sent in to the excellent Matt Barber. He quickly turns and feeds a ball in that deflects off one of our defenders and reaches their striker, Russell Mitchell and he puts the ball into the back of the net. However, the assistant's flag is up! Offsides! Whew!

18' - Sunderland seems to be dominating possession right now but we catch a little break as we move up the field. Zoltan Bardi cuts in from the right sideline and feeds Giorgos Gesios but his quick shot is way wide.

26' - It's Barber again, this time with a cross into the area and Wilke has to make a fine diving save on a header from Mitchell.

44' - There's a long period between highlights and it's Mitchell again, sent through all alone and Wilke makes another sprawling save.

HALFTIME - Sunderland again has shown up to play against us. They are playing much faster than us, owning 57% of the ball and outshooting us 7-5 (3-3 on target). I decide to change to a 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) formation with the control philosophy and reinforce that the team can win this game. Ben Sahar is on at half for Sunderland in place of Mitchell, a surprising move since Mitchell was pretty effective in the first half.

46' - In a goal VERY reminiscent of the one we scored in injury time last game, Zoltan Bardi takes a pass from Bamba and streaks into the left side of the Sunderland box. He reaches the byline and sends a low ball into the centre and who is there but Giorgos Gesios, this time staying on his feet to strike it home. Fantastic response from the dressing room and a goal right off the opening kick off! DOVER GOAL 1-0

50' - We start a quick counter attack and it's Bolis running down the right side, eluding a tackle and we have numbers heading to the net. Bolis sends a high cross over the head of Gesios but it meets the head of Bamba. Unfortunately he directs it just wide. GREAT chance there and we should have done better with that one.

I give a "retain possession" shout around the 57' mark.

70' - Salim Loucif is brought on for Jozef Kuciak and I change to a flat 4-4-2 Counter attacking formation.

72' - We win a free kick just outside the area and Andrea Rocca sends one of his trademark, curling blasts towards the far corner but it screams just wide.

75' - We gain possession and start moving the ball around nicely. A ball is sent to the middle of the field to Rocca and former Dover player George MacKenzie screams towards him and delivers a horror tackle right in front of the referee. Rocca goes down like a ton of bricks and MacKenzie is given the straight RED CARD! Sunderland is down to ten men.

76' - Gerardo Escobar is on for Zoltan Bardi.

79' - We send a long ball up field and Escobar wins a tackle with their last man and has a partial break. He has to shoot with his weaker left foot and it just goes wide!

82' - Bamba has the ball after a pass from Renato Gaucho and he dribbles halfway into Sunderland's end of the field. He spots Rocca streaking down the middle of the field and delivers a pinpoint pass to him in the box. Rocca latches onto it without breaking stride and delivers a low ROCKET into the net that the keeper can't even think about stopping. Glorious! DOVER GOAL 2-0

84' - I take off Rocca and bring in our captain Darren Pratley. Sunderland are in a 4-1-4 formation (!!)

85' - Sunderland work the ball up field on a counter attack and Ben Sahar, their leading scorer, has a half step on Tjiuoro. He gets a quick shot off but Wilke turns it aside before Renato Gaucho kicks it behind the net. We clear the corner with ease.

We have a couple corners on both sides but otherwise we close things out with efficiency.

Sunderland 0 - 2 Dover
Goals - Giorgos Gesios (7.6), Andrea Rocca (7.7)
Assists - Arsene Bamba (7.1), Zoltan Bardi (7.3)
Man of the Match - Jamie Holt (Sunderland DC - 7.8)
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.3), Jozef Kuciak (7.0), Claudio Contreras (7.1), Renato Gaucho (7.2), Neil Cairney (7.3)
Attendance - 31,411

We had a much better second half but their red card certainly didn't hurt our chances. They won the possession battle 54% to 46% but we outshot them on the game 13-9 (7-4 on target). Their centre halfback Jamie Holt was the homers choice as man of the match in a 2-0 loss? Can't say I've seen that before. We extend our unbeaten streak to seven games with this win.

-- After the game, star midfielder Andrea Rocca expresses displeasure with his contract. Boy, everyone is piling on at the same time. I tell him he's being unprofessional and he apologizes. I'll need to start looking at these contracts soon...

-- There are a couple of good results for us on Wednesday in other action: Liverpool loses at home to Reading and United knocks off Arsenal 4-1 so we now are 12 points up on 5th place and have a firm grasp on a Champions League slot. Chelsea beat up on Villa so they continue to stay level on points with us.



-- A young midfielder that I picked up in June from PSG named Jonathan Gauthier sees his loan contract run out with Brighton and they return him to us. He notched one assist in 11 games with Brighton. I offer him around to other clubs in hopes of extending his loan and I get no takers. Damn - to the reserves he goes. Gauthier isn't in my plans - hopefully I can move him for a few bucks at some point.



-- Seven of our players are getting called up for international duty: Carlo Cerbone to Italy's U19s, Thomas Andersen to Denmark's U21s, Emmanuel Agbo to England's U21s, Paulus Tjiuoro to Namibia, Oliver Nicholas to Eritrea, Zoltan Bardi to Hungary and Lukasz Fabianski to Poland. I instruct the managers of Namibia and Hungary to only play Tjiuoro and Bardi for a half at most, as we have a match against Man United only three days after their friendlies.



Next Up

-- A big home match against Liverpool on Saturday

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-04-2014 at 03:37 AM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2014, 08:24 PM   #118
Tellistto
College Prospect
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whitman, MA
Makes me wonder if having such depth at CD made your owner feel that you could survive the sale of one of them.

Is your owner considered greedy, by chance? I've not played in depth FM since like the 05 version, so I don't recall what characteristics owners can have.

Tell
__________________
FOOL - Ann Arbor Winged Lingerines
FOOLX - Portland Axemen

Hattrick - Fizzle United (222968)
Tellistto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 12:50 PM   #119
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellistto View Post
Makes me wonder if having such depth at CD made your owner feel that you could survive the sale of one of them.

Is your owner considered greedy, by chance? I've not played in depth FM since like the 05 version, so I don't recall what characteristics owners can have.

Tell

I suppose my DC depth could have given him the confidence to make that move, knowing I have guys that can step in right away.

In this version of the game, chairmen are "unclickable" so I can't see if he has any personality traits. All I know is that he "loves the club" according to the team info screen and under Chairman Status, it shows him as "unlikely to ever leave the club on his own volition".
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 07:20 PM   #120
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. February 6, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (17-3-6, 54 points, 3rd) vs. Liverpool (12-4-10, 40 points, 6th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 5-4 (Favourites) Draw: 11-5 Liverpool: 7-4
Past Meetings: 1W 1D 6L

We are starting to earn the respect of not only opponents but the odds makers, as we are favourites against powerful Liverpool. We have a bleak overall record against them but we shocked the world with a 4-2 away win earlier this season, perhaps our finest ever performance against a big club.

Liverpool started poorly then had a very solid run during the tail portion of the season's first half. Now that the schedule has turned, they are once again on a poor run of form with four winless games in succession against Arsenal, United, Sunderland and Reading. They are still comfortably in a Continental qualifying position and are still alive in this year's Champions League, having qualified first in their group as they prepare to face OM (Olympique de Marseille) in the two leg 1st knockout round.

Their leading scorer, with 9 goals, is new striker signing Piotr Parzyszek and fellow forward Rafael Flores is second with 9 goals. Veteran striker Edinson Cavani, now 33 years old, is third with 8. I'll also have to watch cultured midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, a constant thorn in our side, with 6 goals this season in 34 appearances.

In our last game, I had success using a flat 4-4-2 counter attack but I'll use a control philosophy today at home, at least to start. We managed the players well this week and despite playing Wednesday, I feel comfortable going with the same lineup as three nights ago, with the only addition being regular right back Salim Loucif taking over from second choice fullback Jozef Kuciak. Loucif was tired on Wednesday due to competing for Algeria in the African Cup of Nations.

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

Liverpool will start with a flat 4-4-2 as well, a bit different from the 4-4-2 diamond formation they used in our last contest. Parzyszek and Flores are up front and Shelvey is in the middle but he's tired and I will tell our group to tackle him hard to try to take him out of the game early. I tell the lads that we can win this game and pull aside Gesios (pick up where you left off), Bardi and Cairney (I have faith in your abilities) for personal chats.

7' - They get a great chance off a corner, as the ball squirts loose after Wilke makes a save on a header but we are able to clear from danger.

14' - There is about a four minute period of highlights, with a couple of LIverpool corners followed by a counter back up the field by us. Liverpool get the ball back and throw in to Rafael Flores down the right side. He doesn't have much pace but our players are laying off him. He cuts to the middle then makes a great move back to his right foot at the top of the box to gain a step on our defenders and seemingly surprises Wilke with a shot that goes into the right side of the net. Loose defending and Liverpool leads in a game they are controlling so far. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-1

15 - Off the kick off, we work the ball from Bamba to Gesios and he cuts in nicely, working from his left foot to his right but his shot is saved by Chris Dunn, the Liverpool keeper.

19' - Neil Cairney and Giorgos Gesios work a lovely give and go, with Cairney's pass sending Gesios into the box. He has half a step but their defender Zargo Toure slides and takes Gesios down! PENALTY! Toure is given a yellow card and it's Cairney stepping up to take the kick. He slots the ball perfectly into the right side of the net for the equalizer! DOVER GOAL 1-1

22' - Cairney is really starting to show his great skill, as he sends a gorgeous killer ball through the middle of the pitch to Bardi. Our striker moves in toward the outer edge of the area but his low blast is saved well by Dunn. Good chance and great pass!

28' - It's Cairney again with a perfect touch pass through the middle but Dunn charges out and holds the ball JUST before Gesios got there. Great vision again!

40' - We continue to control play in the second portion of this half and Bamba gets the ball to Gesios around midfield. Gesios goes on an inspired run through the Liverpool defence, cuts in and sends a low, hard shot to the left corner of goal but a diving Dunn makes a spectacular effort to push the ball wide. Fantastic effort by both striker and goaltender.

43' - GREAT chance again, as we win a free kick and Rocca's cross into the box meets the head of 6' 4" left back Renato Gaucho but Dunn AGAIN dives to make the save. He's been sensational in the first half.

45'+1 - We win a corner and Rocca sends it to the far post. Bamba gets a great kick on the volley but it's blocked out by the Liverpool defence. We work the ball back into the middle to Cairney and he sends a curling blast from outside the area that rockets off the crossbar! Oh my! So close again! The whistle blows right after.

HALFTIME - Liverpool looked to have a significant possession advantage through the first 20 minutes but we must have dominated the second portion of the half. Still, Liverpool held the ball 53% of the time but we outshot them by a large margin, 12-6 (7-3 on target). Dunn has been outstanding for them in goal. I tell the players I'm pleased thus far and pull aside Claudio Contreras (6.1 - I have faith), Gesios (6.9 - I have faith) and the quiet Gianluca Bolis (6.2 - Prove a point) for individual talks.

62' - There were absolutely no highlights for the first 12 minutes or so but the first one shows Contreras getting banged up on a tackle attempt. He's going to be okay but he's dinged up enough that I bring in Mancini to play centre back in his place. This isn't a familiar position for Mancini, as I immediately regret not having a true DC on my bench today.

71' - Not a lot happening in this half, as Liverpool look to have gone into more of a defensive shell. We work the ball into Bolis around the outer right edge of the box and he makes a nice move to cut into the area but his low, far corner attempt is just wide.

77' - We work some give and go stuff around midfield and Cairney ends up laying the ball off for Rocca. From about 10 yards outside the box, he unleashes a howitzer that JUST curls wide. I make a substitution in an attempt to find a goal, bringing on Petr Simek for Zoltan Bardi.

89' - There is nothing happening. Gesios gets a yellow card on a harmless looking tackle. I change to a Counter Attack philosophy and take out the ineffective Bolis for Petr Kostal.

3 minutes of extra time but there are no more highlights. Boring second half after lots of excitement in the first.

Dover 1 - 1 Liverpool
Goals - Neil Cairney (7.4)
Assists - Giorgos Gesios (6.9)
Man of the Match - Neil Cairney
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.0), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.0)
Attendance - 15,750 (Sell-out)

Liverpool decided to sit back in the second half and possession would end up all even, with us outshooting them 19-9 (7-3 on target). We've come a LONG way if we're drawing teams like Liverpool and coming away slightly disappointed. Their goaltender Chris Dunn was given a 7.3 but that should have been higher in my opinion.

-- Chelsea lost in a shocker to lowly Derby so we are now in third place all alone. City won and United, our next opponent, lost so City now leads the league by 6 points with eleven games left in the season.

-- Here's a look at the abbreviated standings. All teams have played 27 games:

1. Man City - 70 points
2. Man United - 64 points
3. Dover - 55 points
4. Chelsea - 54 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 45 points
6. Everton - 42 points
7. Reading - 42 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Liverpool - 41 points
9. Huddersfield - 37 points
10. Newcastle - 34 points

-- As an aside, 63 points was good enough for the Europa League last year and 72 points was good enough for the Champions League. Good targets for us to shoot for.



Dover U18 Update

-- Once again, it's young Italian striker Carlo Cerbone leading the way, scoring a goal in our 3-0 win over Kingstonian. Chris Patterson and Matt Hewitt also notched singles.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- I start a very weak side due to having a number of players away on international duty and we draw versus Aston Villa 1-1. Reserve striker Dennis Kunz scores our only goal and on-loan winger Martin Prochazka gets the assist and man of the match honours.



Next Up

-- We head to Old Trafford to take on 2nd placed Manchester United
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 08:40 PM   #121
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. February 13, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Manchester United (21-1-5, 64 points, 2nd) vs. Dover (17-4-6, 55 points, 3rd)
Old Trafford, Manchester, UK

Betting Odds: Manchester United: 1-2 (Favourites) Draw: 11-5 Dover: 9-2
Past Meetings: 0W 0D 6L

Despite being on a ten game unbeaten streak in all competitions, we are pretty heavy underdogs against a Manchester United club that we've never gotten a positive result against.

United have fallen six points back of City in their attempt to win the Premier League. They have the most explosive scorer in English football, with 28 year old French striker Yaya Sanogo sitting with 29 goals already this year across all competitions and 25 Premier League goals in 26 games. He is unquestionably their most dangerous player - Javier Hernandez has 10 goals but he's injured for this contest, leaving reserve striker Tom Bull as their next leading scorer…with only FIVE GOALS. Simply put - stop Sanogo and we have a chance. The other big news is that we will be facing Cristian Rodriguez for the first time since United stole him from us last month.

United are coming off a shock 3-1 away loss to Reading, who used a flat 4-4-2 so I'll do the same and utilize a counter attacking tactic. There is only one change from last week's Liverpool draw and that will be to insert former United prospect Gerardo Escobar in at striker in place of Zoltan Bardi, who will be on the bench for this contest.

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, P. Tjiuoro, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, A. Rocca, N. Cairney, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, G. Escobar
Bench - L. Koscielny, J. Kuciak, D. Pratley, Mancini, C. Murray, P. Kostal, Z. Bardi

United start in a flat 4-4-2 as well and they usually use a counter attacking tactic so we are essentially matching them. Sanogo is up front with Tom Bull and Rodriguez is starting at centre half, as expected. I tell the team that they can win today.

7' - Gesios is hurt after a tackle from DC Kostas Manolas but he looks like he will shake it off and stay in the game.

12' - Omar Hernandez exchanges passes with midfielder Anderson then sends a lovely pass into Tom Bull in our area. Wilke makes a spectacular diving save to keep the game scoreless.

15' - Andrea Rocca brings the ball through midfield and sends it forward to Escobar, who runs into the area and sends a hard shot toward goal that United keeper Emiliano Viviano deflects away.

16' - The dangerous Yaya Sanogo dribbles down the middle and sends a rocket off the cross bar.

19' - United continue to dominate. They win a corner and Bull's cross is met by the head of Felipe Mattioni but once again, it's off the woodwork and we barely clear just in time.

25' - United continue to key on Gesios and it's Manolas again challenging him and bringing him down. Gesios leaves the pitch for the second time today but just needs brief treatment. A couple minutes later, upon Gesios' return, Manolas brings him down again and gets yellow carded. Hopefully that gets him off his back.

30' - United win a free kick and Jonny Evans plays the ball into the box. Tjiuoro is right on top of Sanogo as the ball goes over their heads into the box but Sanogo beats both him and Wilke to the ball and easily deposits into the net, a typical Sanogo clinical finish and we're down. MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL 0-1

34' - Sanogo gets another great chance moments later after dribbling by Claudio Contreras, his rocket just goes over the bar. Contreras can't handle Sanogo's pace - this is where a guy like Cristian Rodriguez would come in handy, as he had uncommon speed for a centre half back.

37' - Sanogo is unstoppable, as Eden Hazard makes an excellent pass upfield and Wilke is again forced to make a stellar save.

HALFTIME - Not a pretty half, as we're generating nothing and holding on for dear life. United hold a 54% to 46% possession advantage and a 13-4 (4-1 on target) shot advantage. I tell the team that the pressure is off and they have nothing to lose.

47' - United control from the opening kick and win a corner. It's Bull again taking it and Anderson's header is blocked but it's Sanogo again picking up the loose change and knocking it into the net through a crowd. His second of the game and we're in big trouble. MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL 0-2

52' - Gesios heads the ball over to Neil Cairney and he moves it up to Arsene Bamba. He cuts toward the middle and reverses the play over to Gianluca Bolis. Bolis cuts in but is forced to use his left foot after gaining half a step and Viviano makes the easy save.

61' - Nothing happening. I take out Escobar and bring in Zoltan Bardi. I also move to a control philosophy in hopes of pushing the play a bit. We need a goal.

65' - A bit of momentum for us as Cairney feeds the ball wide left to Bamba, who is unmarked cutting toward the corner of the area. He takes a shot to the far side and Vivivano does well to make the save.

69' - Cristian Rodriguez gets hurt for them and is substituted out. I feel no remorse

77' - We have no answer for Sanogo, as he walks in all alone after taking a through ball and Wilke makes a brilliant stop. Hernandez is there to follow up and he misses a sitter, firing it over. Lucky.

83' - Jonny Evans is hurt and needs to come off. United had used up their three substitutions and are down to ten men.

90' - We have an extended period of possession and it's Salim Loucif down the right flank trying to get into the play. He finds Rocca near the middle and he sends a hard cross into the area toward Bamba but his header is weak and easily saved by Viviano.

90'+3 - With time winding down, Sanogo heads the ball upfield and Tom Bull is behind our defence. He walks in all alone and fires it into the lower portion of the goal for the final, unneeded dagger. MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL 0-3

We're just not ready for them, I guess.

Manchester United 3 - 0 Dover
Goals - None
Assists - None
Man of the Match - Yaya Sanogo (Manchester United ST - 9.3)
Other Dover Notables - Paulus Tjiuoro (5.4), Claudio Contreras (5.7)
Attendance - 72,971

A pretty poor game where we generated very little. United were simply too strong - they held 54% of the possession overall and throttled us in shots 25-9 (10-3 on target). The middle of our defence, such a strong point this year, really let us down but what can you really say? Sanogo is world-class and he showed why in today's contest.

-- Everyone else around us wins, including City, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool and Arsenal so we find ourselves falling a spot into fourth place, two points back of Chelsea and now only 7 points up on Arsenal. We just have to win as much as possible - it's a tough league.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 10 GAMES REMAINING)

1. Man City - 73 points
2. Man United - 67 points
3. Chelsea - 57 points
4. Dover - 55 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 48 points
6. Everton - 45 points
7. Liverpool - 44 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Reading - 42 points
9. Huddersfield - 37 points
10. Newcastle - 37 points


-- Liverpool defeat Sunderland 1-0 in extra time in an FA Cup replay so we will welcome them to Crabble in our fifth round match in three more days. Tough turnaround time for Liverpool but I'm sure they'll be ready. We played them just a week and a half ago and will hope to improve on our 1-1 draw.



Next Up

-- Once again, we face Liverpool in a home match at Crabble Athletic Ground, this time in FA Cup competition

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-05-2014 at 08:42 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2014, 11:10 PM   #122
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. February 20, 2021

FA Cup - 5th Round
Dover vs. Liverpool
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

There's not much more to say about Liverpool - I just played them two weeks ago. Fixture congestion could be a serious concern for them, having just defeated Sunderland three days ago in the 4th round reply to get here and more importantly, they have a huge Champions League game coming up on Tuesday. I won't be surprised if a couple of their top players are rested today.

I'm going to roll the dice and change things up, moving to our successful 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) control tactic. I usually only bring this out against weaker sides but I want to throw a different look at Liverpool today and can always move to a flat formation if things aren't going well. Zoltan Bardi will come back into the side and sit directly behind Giorgos Gesios in his preferred AMC position.

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

Liverpool are in a flat 4-4-2 again and definitely are rotating the squad and their top scorer Parzyszek isn't even on the bench for this one. Rafael Flores is starting up front with 21 year old striker Antonello Urbinati, who has only played two games so far this year. Veteran striker Edinson Cavani is playing right midfield but stalwart keeper Chris Dunn is playing. I tell the team they can win this and pull aside Gesios and Bardi to tell them I have faith while also pulling aside Paulus Tjiuoro to say I expect better from him today. He will be marking Flores today.

15' - There have been a number of weak chances in the first 15 minutes from both sides but Liverpool gets the first crack on net, as it's young striker Urbinati getting a half step in the area and unleashing a low blast that Wilke does well to turn aside.

16' - Almost right afterward, Liverpool gain a free kick around midfield and send it to Cavani down the right side. He cuts to the outer edge of the area and is tackled by a sliding Renato Gaucho but the ball goes right to dangerous striker Rafael Flores and he sends a one-touch rocket that Wilke dives, gets a piece of but not enough. It's in the goal. Unlucky. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-1

21' - We work a counter attack up field and show nice distribution, getting the ball from Gesios, to Cairney and finally up to Bardi. He dribbles up the middle and shoots from the top of the area but it's turned aside nicely by Chris Dunn.

23' - We force a turnover and Bardi gets the ball again, sending a long, hard shot from well outside the area right at Dunn and he bumps it away.

24' - We're starting to impose ourselves. Off a free kick, Gesios gets a pass then makes a lovely cross box feed to Bolis, who cuts in and inexplicably shoots way wide of the far post. Poor effort from Bolis, who is struggling in recent games and was singled out by my assistant before the game as a guy who possibly should have been dropped from the side today. This doesn't help his case...

31' - Liverpool play a long ball up field and Flores beats Tjiuoro to the ball but his shot is turned aside by Wilke.

34' - WOW. Liverpool midfielder Lucas, who has been given a chat by the referee earlier but no card, takes down Bardi at midfield on a challenge that definitely deserved a yellow but is given the STRAIGHT RED CARD! Liverpool is down to ten men. We'll stick with the current tactic for now.

36' - Right after the sending off, we move the ball up the right flank to Salim Loucif and he sends a lovely back heel pass into the box to Bolis. As he turns he's taken down by Liverpool defender Marcano. PENALTY!!! Neil Cairney steps up to take it but the phenomenal Chris Dunn guesses right on the kick and makes the brilliant diving save! DAMNIT!

41' - Off an innocent looking throw, they play a one-two and Cavani sends a high cross into the box and midfielder Poundje heads it forcefully by Wilke into the net. DISASTER! We give up a goal to ten men and we're in big trouble. LIVERPOOL GOAL 0-2

I move to an attack philosophy.

44' - We work a counter and Cairney dribbles up field. One of the centre defenders makes a move for him and that allows Cairney to spring Gesios on the partial break. He walks in and delivers a glorious, low blow to the bottom right corner to give us life! DOVER GOAL 1-2

45'+1 - Cairney must be taking the missed penalty personally, as he dribbles down half the field, breaks through the defence and into the area but shoots just over.

HALFTIME - Well, our late goal saved the lads from having their ears burned off. Still, I tell them I want to see much more from them in the second half. Liverpool have a possession edge despite being 10 men, holding it 54% of the first half. We are outshooting them 12-11 (4-5 on target). I switch to a flat 4-4-2 control system for the start of the half - Liverpool ended the first half in a 4-3-2 so hopefully having a midfield man advantage will help us get the equalizer.

47' - Look out! We work upfield after the kickoff and win a corner. Rocca takes it, as usual and his out-turning cross is headed violently by Paulus Tjiuoro right into the back of the net! Superb comeback from two down to pull level! DOVER GOAL 2-2

49' - We work a counter attack and the ball is sent up to Gesios. He's being challenged from behind and notices that Dunn is way out from the goal line so he tries the long shot that curls over Dunn's head and forcefully hits the cross bar! Incredibly close Gesios!! The ball is picked up by Bolis and he sends it back to the top of the box to Andrea Rocca and his right footed shot just goes wide. We're pouring it on!

Liverpool move to a 3-4-2..interesting.

54' - We continue to push - Bamba sends a glorious through ball to Bardi and he shoots from just outside the area to the low post but Dunn is there brilliantly for the diving stop, pushing it behind the net. Liverpool now move to a 5-2-2 as they make substitutions.

65' - We gain possession around midfield and Cairney sends a quick pass to the left to Bamba. He flicks it past the right back and runs after it. He beats his man and from the left edge of the area, feeds a low cross that meets the sliding foot of Giorgos Gesios and he sends the ball into the net for his second of the game. We pull back three unanswered and lead! DOVER GOAL 3-2

68' - Cairney sends a rocket just over the net as Liverpool now move back to a 4-3-2 in an attempt to find a tying goal.

69' - It's Cairney again, taking a feed from Rocca onto his right foot and from outside the area he sends a curling rocket to the top corner that a diving Dunn just gets his hands on. This keeper is sensational!

78' - We are absolutely dominating possession and there is about a five minute sequence of highlights where we win a number of corners, culminating in a Renato Gaucho shot that is held right near the goal line by Dunn.

80' - I take out Bardi and bring in the speed of Petr Simek in hopes of an insurance marker.

82' - Now it's Cameron Murray on for Arsene Bamba.

86' - I take out Andrea Rocca and bring in Mancini, while switching to a counter attack mode for the remaining minutes.

90'+3 - More Dover possession sees Gaucho send a nice ball into Cameron Murray at the left edge of the area. He's completely unmarked and runs to the byline, makes a move back to the middle and shoots, with the ball deflecting off a defender right to Mancini, who one-times it into the net. GLORIOUS second half! DOVER GOAL 4-2

Cavani gets one last crack off the kick off but his weak shot is easily saved by Wilke and the ref immediately blows the whistle. FANTASTIC!

Dover 4 - 2 Liverpool
Goals - Giorgos Gesios 2 (8.8), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.6), Mancini (7.4)
Assists - Renato Gaucho (7.2), Neil Cairney (6.9), Andrea Rocca (6.9), Arsene Bamba (7.0)
Man of the Match - Giorgos Gesios
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.8), Salim Loucif (7.4)
Attendance - 13,690

We seemingly controlled the ball the entire second half against a team that eventually went down late to nine men due to injury. We held 53% of overall possession and outshot them 25-12 (10-6 on target). A sensational second half response from our men.

-- We are given £184,000 for the win. This is the furthest we've ever gotten in this competition.

-- My assistant manager talks to the press and says it was my half-time words that turned the tide for our club. Nice that he has my back after all these years! Maybe I'll extend him again! Giorgos Gesios also says the same thing in his words to the press - super duper. Gesios, by the way, is up to a phenomenal 18 goals in all competitions for the season. He's starting to pay off that significant transfer fee, that's for sure!



-- David Moyes is sacked at Middlesbrough and I'm linked as a possible successor, with Tony Mowbray being the favourite. Good luck Tony - you won't have to contend with me for the job but if you get it, I look forward to facing you! A few days later, Mowbray is announced as the new manager so it turns out the press was right.



Dover U18 Update

-- Striker Gregoire Lambert, who has battled injury this year, notched a hat trick in our 6-0 throttling of Ebbsfleet. Carlo Cerbone, Chris Patterson and Steve Sinnott scored singles in the convincing win.



FA Cup Quarterfinals Draw

-- There are only four remaining Premier League teams in the competition and we draw one of them. Our name is first out of the hat and we will host Huddersfield. There are still two League One teams left, incredibly enough, although one (Brentford) will be playing a Championship side in a 5th round replay. With no "big" clubs left, we have a very good chance of winning this thing if we can knock off a tough Huddersfield side.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- I sent a couple of guys to the reserves in order to regain some confidence. Gerardo Escobar was sent down for the game as was young DC Claudio Contreras, who has struggled in recent games. We end up destroying Wolves to the tune of 8-0, with Escobar scoring a hat trick, on loan winger Martin Prochazka bagging a brace while Liam Craig, Roberto and Jonathan Adam score singles. Contreras was given a 9.0 match rating so it must have worked. I'll sit him out for our next senior game against Arsenal and give one of our veterans a shot at playing for the first time in a while.

-- Prochazka got hurt in the game and will miss about two weeks with a gashed leg. That's unfortunate timing, as with Gianluca Bolis' struggles lately, Prochazka may have been getting a look to start this coming weekend.

-- Roberto's agent continues to press for a new deal and I reject the request for the third time.


-- GK Ingo Wilke approaches me for about the third time this year, asking for a new deal. Finally, I relent and come to an agreement with his agent. He'll triple his salary if he ends up accepting. Wilke has been a rock for years for us and deserves more money, without question.



Next Up

-- We are home to fifth placed Arsenal in a key Premier League matchup.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-05-2014 at 11:16 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2014, 11:07 PM   #123
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. February 27, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (17-4-7, 55 points, 4th) vs. Arsenal (14-6-8, 48 points, 5th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

Arsenal are starting to make noise in the Premier League after a bit of a mid-season swoon but their attention is divided due to Champions League play, as they just lost the first leg in a first round knockout versus powerful Read Madrid 2-1 at home. They have a balanced lineup, with leading scorer Adam Hlousek having 10 goals, Tiago Alves scoring 9 and seven players with 5 or more. Despite being behind us in the standings, they have incredible talent everywhere.

My scouts say they struggle against a 4-4-1-1 but that's not a formation I usually roll with so I'll go with the flat 4-4-2 and stick with a slightly aggressive Control philosophy. My only lineup change is a bit of a shocker, bringing in veteran DC Oliver Nicholas for only his second start of the season in the place of young Claudio Contreras, who has struggled in recent games but will be on the bench.

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

Arsenal are pretty healthy and will start Alves and Boakye up front, with top scorer Hlousek playing left midfield and dangerous Jack Wilshere playing MR. With a capacity crowd on hand, my assistant thinks that the fans will play a role so I tell the lads to go out there and perform for their supporters.

3' - We get a great early chance, as Andrea Rocca feeds Neil Cairney in the middle of the field and from at least 10 yards outside the box, his rocket goes off the hands of a diving Paul Randall, the Arsenal keeper, off the goal post and out!

4' - Off an ensuing goal kick, Rocca heads the ball back upfield and Bardi latches onto it. He rounds the keeper and with the net at his mercy, shoots WIDE with his left foot! Oh my…that needed to go in!

16' - Through a quarter hour, it's all Dover, as Bardi cuts to the middle, feeds an unmarked Arsene Bamba at the top of the area but his shot is high and wide.

25' - We have a corner and Rocca gets the ball back after feeding Cairney lurking outside the area. His cross is cleared and Arsenal work a counter attack with numbers. They feed into the area and Paulus Tjiuoro is stripped of the ball in our box, allowing Boakye to get a quick shot off. Wilke is there brilliantly to make the save.

29' - Another Dover corner and it's Tjiuoro running into the ball and heading it at goal but Randall makes a great effort to push it over the net. We get another corner and this time Rocca goes to the near post and Oliver Nicholas but again, Randall is there to make the save and hold on.

32' - Arsenal work the ball into our area and Boakye, with his back to the goal, turns on Nicholas and hits a sharp shot that Wilke turns aside.

33' - Salim Loucif, who must have gotten a yellow card in a non-highlighted play, sends the ball up the right flank to out-of-form Gianluca Bolis. He makes a nice move to cut into goal and forces Randall to make a pretty good stop from close range.

36' - So many chances but no finish. Bolis again makes a nice dribble down the right side and crosses into the middle. Bardi is shielding off the defender and turns toward goal but Randall again is sensational in making a diving save.

39' - In a similar looking play, Salim Loucif and Neil Cairney play some one-twos down the right side and Cairney sends the ball into the box. The ball deflects to the foot of Bardi in the same position he was in last time but on this occasion, he's able to turn and fire a low shot past Randall as we get a MUCH deserved goal. Beauty! DOVER GOAL 1-0

40' - Poor defending off the ensuing kick off, as Arsenal clinically move up the field and it's Alves getting a half step on Tjiuoro as he enters the area. His shot eludes Wilke but not the goal post and Tjiuoro gets there just in time to clear the garbage away from danger. Lucky! We immediately move up field and Gesios sends a great left footed cross from the byline that Rocca heads violently toward goal but Randall is there to make the great save again. What action!

45' - Gesios gets hurt at midfield but play goes on with Arsenal having possession. Boakye sends a lovely through ball to Alves and he has a step on Tjiuoro. He cuts to the right side of the box then switches to his left foot before unleashing a ROCKET into the top corner. Great goal but a killer as we enter half - we deserve a lead in this game. Gesios hopefully can shake it off. ARSENAL GOAL 1-1

45'+2 - We get another GLORIOUS chance, as Bolis moves up field down the right. With Gesios being attended to off the field, I notice Bardi is also down on the ground behind the play but Bolis' cross meets the foot of Bamba and his hard shot is once again saved in brilliant fashion by Randall. This guy has been incredible in the first half! Now both of my strikers are banged up.

HALFTIME - What a RIDICULOUS half of football! We are somehow losing possession (48% to 52%) but hold an UNBELIEVABLE 16-6 (9-4 on target) shot advantage. NINE SHOTS ON GOAL in the first half - this goaltender is something else. Bardi looks really banged up and Gesios isn't much better - I'll have to sub out Bardi soon for sure. I tell the players I'm pleased and pull aside a couple of guys for individual talks. We need to get another past this guy!

48' - Ouch - Oliver Nicholas flubs on a tackle at midfield and it's their leading scorer Adam Hlousek walking in all alone on a breakaway from midfield. Tjiuoro catches up and forces him to shoot a second earlier than he likely wanted and he JUST fires wide. Arsenal inexplicably took out their goal scorer Alves, moved Hlousek up to striker and brought in midfielder Bebe at half.

54' - It's all Arsenal to start this half and it's Jack Wilshere making his presence known, as a loose ball comes to him in the area but his blast just curls wide.

55' - Bebe tackles Bolis hard and now he's hurt. Gesios is doing fine while Bardi will likely have to be taken off soon.

58' - Wild play with Bolis on the sidelines being attended to, as Arsenal work a counter attack down the left flank. Bebe makes a great cross into Boakye and he gets by Wilke but somehow, Renato Gaucho steals the ball as he's about to put it in the yawning cage and sends it out of play. I don't know how he did it but I like it!

63' - Bardi comes out and I bring in Petr Simek up front.

71' - Petr Kostal comes on for Gianluca Bolis.

72' - Gesios takes the ball at midfield, goes on a little run and sends a great through ball to Simek. He cuts into the area from the left side and his hard shot is saved again by Randall. Our first real good chance of this half as SImek throws his arms up in the air!

79' - Arsenal get a corner and go short to Boakye. He turns and sends a harmless looking cross that is headed out but it bounces off one of their players and right onto the foot of defender Martin Watt. His shot deflects off one of our guys and into the net. This is a travesty. ARSENAL GOAL 1-2

I bring on Cameron Murray on for Arsene Bamba and switch to an attacking mode.

81' - HOLY CRAP! Off the ensuing kickoff, we work the ball around the field and eventually up to Gesios. He's running down the right centre of the pitch, cuts back to the left and then sends a ball through to Simek. His fresh legs give him a step on the defender and he walks in and quickly shoots into the top corner for the immediate reply! We pull level! DOVER GOAL 2-2

We move to a Counter Attack mode.

90' - We work a counter attack and Cairney sends it up to Simek. He is running out of room and shoots just wide from the top of the area.

There are a couple of dangerous looking counter attacks for both sides and we have the ball deep in their territory as the ref blows for full time about 4 minutes into extras. What a sensational match!

Dover 2 - 2 Arsenal
Goals - Zoltan Bardi (7.3), Petr Simek (7.3)
Assists - Neil Cairney (8.0), Giorgos Gesios (7.5)
Man of the Match - Boakye (Arsenal ST - 8.4)
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.3), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.1), Renato Gaucho (7.4), Andrea Rocca (7.3)
Attendance - 15,750 (Sell-out)

Just a fantastic game and we again prove we can hang with most of the big boys, with only United and City proving to be unbeatable. We end up with 52% of possession and outshoot them 22-13 (11-6 on target). Their keeper inexplicably gets only a 6.8 rating…what does the poor guy have to do? Striker Boakye had two assists and was named man of the match. Despite four of our players suffering knocks during the game, none of them are reporting ill-effects post game so we're fortunate there!

-- Relegation candidates Fulham draw Chelsea 0-0, a great result for us. We stay two points back of the Blues and maintain our edge on fifth place Arsenal. A few teams have mid-week games, like City and Liverpool.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(TEAMS HAVE 9 GAMES REMAINING UNLESS NOTED)

1. Man City - 73 points (10 games left)
2. Man United - 70 points
3. Chelsea - 58 points
4. Dover - 56 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 49 points
6. Everton - 48 points
7. Liverpool - 44 points (10 games left)
----------------------------------------------------
8. Reading - 42 points
9. Huddersfield - 40 points
10. Newcastle - 40 points



Dover U18 Update

-- We beat AFC Wimbledon 4-2 and it's striker Gregoire Lambert again, this time bagging a brace, as he's molten hot since returning from injury. Chris Paterson and Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz score singles.



-- We officially announce a new deal with starting goalkeeper Ingo Wilke, who signs a three-year deal valued at £3,500,000, which amounts to £13,750 per week, quite the raise from his old salary of £3,900/wk! He's been sensational this year - he's had a good run but at 27 years old, it's safe to say he's never been better for us. I truly think he's outperforming his ratings and I like the idea of keeping him around.



March Update

-- A pretty quiet month in Premier League play, with only three matches: away at Reading, home versus Middlesbrough and home versus Aston Villa. We also face Huddersfield at home in the FA Cup quarterfinals.

-- We get positive training reports from Jozef Kuciak, Gianluca Bolis and reserve team member Jonathan Adam with negative reports coming from veterans Darren Pratley and Liam Craig. Pratley, our seldom-used captain and Craig won't be re-signed. We also get positive reports from U18 players Gregoire Lambert, Steve Sinnott and Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz. Good stuff.

-- DC Thomas Andersen, loaned out to Burnley in the Championship, wins his second consecutive Young Player of the Month Award from that league. He's played six matches for Burnley with a 7.30 rating. He obviously moved up a notch on my depth chart with the forced sale of Cristian Rodriguez to Manchester United.

-- Speaking of United, Yaya Sanogo used his great game against us last month to propel himself to Premier League Player of the Month honours. Everton fullback Milan Mojsky wins the Premier League Young Player of the Month while our own Neil Cairney finished in second place in February. City's Carlo Ancelotti once again wins the Manager of the Month award.


-- I have a few reports come in regarding tutoring, with positive experiences expressed from Jonathan Adam (Liam Craig tutored), Emmanuel Agbo (Oliver Nicholas tutored) and Jamie Matthews (Darren Pratley tutored) while reserve striker Dennis Kunz didn't learn much from fellow forward Petr Simek.



March Board Confidence Update

-- The board continues to be delighted with the leadership qualities I'm demonstrating. Stature increase the main plus and the signing of Martin Prochazka is the slight disappointment. We made a profit of £1.02 million last month.



-- Neil Cairney was selected in the Barclays Premier League Team of the Week for his performance against Arsenal.



Next Up

-- We head to the road to visit Reading in Premier League play.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-09-2014 at 11:18 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2014, 01:04 AM   #124
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. March 6, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Reading (13-3-13, 42 points, 8th) vs. Dover (17-5-7, 56 points, 4th)
The Madejski Stadium, Reading, UK

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

We face 8th placed Reading, always a tough opponent due to their strong defensive tactics. That said, we have historical success against them, picking up points in four of six lifetime meetings. Like us, they are still alive in the FA Cup and have a juicy quarterfinals matchup against Portsmouth next weekend. They've got three great strikers, with Cees Duarte leading the club in scoring with 10 goals but the more dangerous players are James Hunter (with 7) and explosive Hani Megahed, who has been out of form thus far and sits with only 5 goals. Megahed is supremely talented and we kept him off the scoresheeet in our 2-0 win at home earlier this season.

I decide to stick with my flat 4-4-2 Control here but may move to a counter attacking mode if things are slow, as they usually are against Reading. They are very tough to break down. Claudio Contreras will be inserted back into the lineup after one game from Oliver Nicholas and I'm benching out of form winger Gianluca Bolis in favour of Petr Kostal. On loan right midfielder Martin Prochazka is unavailable this game due to being owned by Reading.

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

Reading are in the same formation and have both Hunter and Megahed up front. Their speed will be VERY difficult to handle. I may have to have my defensive line pulled back a bit. I tell the team they can win today and pull aside Gesios, Bardi and the out-of-form Arsene Bamba for individual chats.

1' - Right away, Reading get a chance, as their talented strikers exchange passes and Hunter eventually gets a chance from just inside the area, shooting wide. I worry that Tjiuoro and Contreras will have trouble with their speed today.

4' - We have a goal kick and the ball eventually makes its way to Gesios. He dribbles up field and from way out, sends a rocket that is turned aside by a diving Adam Federici, their Australian keeper. They easily clear the ensuing corner.

6' - Reading work it up field and it's sent to Megahed. He turns and EASILY outruns Contreras, sending a low, hard blast to the far corner. WIlke makes the fine diving save but the rebound comes right to their midfielder Alexandre Coeff. He has a wide open net and somehow, Wilke recovers just in time to get his shot and keep it out. Oh boy. I need to make some tactics changes soon.

13' - We get a couple of marginal chances. Gesios sends a lovely ball up the right centre of the pitch to Bardi and from outside the area, his piledriver is blocked over the goal by Federici. On the corner, Rocca's cross is headed out but right to Neil Cairney and he curls a long shot JUST wide.

16' - We have close to three minutes of straight possession, first with Gesios dribbling through their defence before seeing a shot turned aside and later, we keep possession in midfield. Eventually, we move the ball to the right flank and Petr Kostal, who is in for out-of-form Gianluca Bolis. Kostal pushes the ball past his man to gain a step and from the right sideline sends a high, arching cross into the box. Gesios is there and powers a header into the net! Fantastic! DOVER GOAL 1-0

I tried to change to a counter attack at the 13' mark but just now, due to us having such a prolonged period of possession, it finally changes to that philosophy.

22' - Kostal, a rarely used player, is making his presence felt. He sends a gorgeous through ball at midfield to Gesios and he runs into the Reading area and fires a shot that is just turned behind the net by the keeper. We get a corner and Contreras just heads the ball over the net.

32' - Gesios is everywhere and he has a give and go with Cairney, sending him alone into the area but his shot clanks off the goal post and deflects to safety. Great move by Gesios and Cairney as we pile on pressure.

38' - Megahed shows his great speed and burns past Tjiuoro into our area. It's one-on-one and Wilke just gets a piece of their striker's shot to send it behind the goal. We clear the corner.

HALFTIME - Reading are having to open up a bit more than desired due to being down in the game. They have a distinct possession edge (54% to 46%) but we're outshooting them 12-10 (5-6 on target). Wilke has been great. Paulus Tjiuoro is playing "nervously" according to my assistant manager, likely due to the speed of those two forwards. I move Tjiuoro over to the left side of centre to handle Megahed, as he has slightly better pace and acceleration than Claudio Contreras. I tell the team I'm pleased and pull aside Tjiuoro and Contreras to tell them I have faith in their abilities. I tell Cairney to prove a point, as he only has a 6.2 rating - he's played well but has missed a number of chances.

Reading come out in a 5-2-1-2 formation. Hopefully we can spring a counter attack with their fullbacks likely pinching.

48' - James Hunter sprints up field with Renato Gaucho in hot pursuit and sends a rocket to the far corner that is pushed aside by Wilke.

51' - A wild play, as Federici makes a poor pass to his defender that goes astray and Gesios is all over it but his shot is saved by a recovering Federici.

54' - Reading are pouring on pressure with this formation and Wilke has to make a save in traffic.

57' - Hunter again gets free in the middle and his shot from the outer edge of the box curls wide.

62' - We work a counter attack and the ball is sent up to Cairney. Federici is challenging and Cairney tries to lob him, just putting the ball over the net.

66' - Paulus Tjiuoro steals the ball near midfield and sends a long ball over the Reading midfield. Zoltan Bardi bolts down the middle in between the central defenders, sets the ball down with his chest and delivers a ball that goes over Federici and into the top of the net. We get an insurance marker! DOVER GOAL 2-0

Reading are back into a 4-4-2.

72' - I bring in veteran Oliver Nicholas for Claudio Contreras.

77' - I bring in Mancini for Petr Kostal. I change to a seldom used 4-1-3-2, with Mancini playing DMC and Arsene Bamba currently at MC.

85' - After a good five minutes of sustained pressure by Reading but no clear cut chances, we finally gain possession and hold the ball for a good minute in their end. We eventually send a lovely through ball to Bardi in the area but his left footed shot just goes wide.

86' - Cameron Murray is on for Arsene Bamba and I switch tactics again, moving to a 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Counter

90'+1 - Bardi sends Cameron Murray in down the left side of the box but his quick shot is blocked to safety by Federici.

That's it!

Reading 0 - 2 Dover
Goals - Giorgos Gesios (7.8), Zoltan Bardi (7.7)
Assists - Paulus Tjiuoro (7.1), Petr Kostal (7.6)
Man of the Match - Ingo Wilke (9.1)
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.1), Claudio Contreras (7.0), Renato Gaucho (7.2), Arsene Bamba (7.0), Neil Cairney (5.8)
Attendance - 18.996

We did a good job controlling possession in the second half and edged them overall with 52% of possession. We were outshot 20-19 (9-8 on target). Neil Cairney had a rough game, getting a 5.8 rating but that was simply for his missed shots, as he hit the net on ZERO of his seven attempts. That's a professional win against a solid opponent. Hell of a match for Ingo Wilke only days after signing a contract extension and Petr Kostal looked good in place of out-of-form Gianluca Bolis.

-- Chelsea are shocked by mid-table Newcastle 2-0 at home and that allows us to pull ahead of the Blues by one point in the Premier League standings. Derby also do well to draw Manchester United 1-1 at Old Trafford. Manchester City have locked up a continental spot for next year already.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 8 GAMES REMAINING)

1. Man City - 79 points
2. Man United - 71 points
3. Dover - 59 points
4. Chelsea - 58 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 52 points
6. Everton - 49 points
7. Liverpool - 48 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Newcastle - 43 points
9. Reading - 42 points
10. Middlesbrough - 42 points



-- Ingo Wilke is named to the Premier League Team of the Week, no surprise after that performance!



Next Up

-- After a pretty quiet week, we host Hudderfield in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2014, 10:00 PM   #125
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. March 13, 2021

FA Cup - 6th Round (Quarterfinals)
Dover vs. Huddersfield
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 5-4 (Favourites) Draw: 11-5 Huddersfield: 7-4
Past Meetings: 3W 0D 2L

We start a four game home stretch with a FA Cup quarterfinals matchup against Huddersfield, who are comfortably in the mid-table in the Premier League. They are coming off a 1-0 loss at Liverpool but are on a decent run of form, with only two losses in their last 12 matches across all competitions. We defeated them earlier this season 2-1 away and will play them again in Premier League action in the next few weeks. They have three players already in double digits in scoring: striker Paul Lumsden, AM/ST Lorenzo Sion (on loan from Man City) and striker Nelson Oliveira. Lumsden has 13 goals while Sion and Oliveira have 12 apiece. Another striker, David Caldwell, has eight goals - I assume they'll utilize a two striker formation to take advantage of their talent up front but we'll see.

I've had success against Huddersfield using a one striker formation and being at home, I'll utilize my Control 4-4-2DM (4-2-3-1), usually a pretty effective attacking tactic. Despite a solid game from reserve right midfielder Petr Kostal, I will insert Gianluca Bolis back into the lineup. I'll be putting out-of-form left midfielder Arsene Bamba on the bench in favour of Scottish international Cameron Murray

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

Huddersfield start in a defensive 4-1-3-2 formation, with Caldwell and Oliveira up front and Dennis Lotters at DMC. My assistant thinks I should use the fans as motivation so I tell the lads to go out there and put on a show for the supporters, pulling aside Gesios, Bardi and Murray for personal chats ("Pick up where you left off").

20' - What a dull opening half, with a few long range chances but very few real chances. Paulus Tjiuoro makes a tackle and gets a weak yellow card. My assistant says he's looking "Ill-disciplined" so I instruct him to dial down his tackling.

23' - We get our first great chance off a failed corner. The ball is headed out to Cairney and he passes back into the area to Claudio Contreras. He turns and sends a hard shot to the far corner but goalkeeper Smithies is there for the fine diving stop.

41' - Nelson Oliveira makes a run through the middle and gets a hard low shot off that is saved and held by a diving Ingo Wilke.

HALFTIME - Among the duller halves of football I've seen us play in years. We hold 51% of possession and are being outshot 7-6 (1-2 on target). I change tactics, moving to a flat 4-4-2 Control in hopes of generating more pressure and I tell the team we only need one goal…now go out and get it! I pull aside struggling Gesios, Tjiuoro and Rocca and tell them I have faith in their abilities.

47' - A great start to the half sees Bolis running down the right and sending a high cross into the box. The Huddersfield defender outjumps Gesios to send it to safety but Andrea Rocca gets the ball and sends a curling blast that ricochets off the post! The keeper is way out of position as the ball deflects right to the foot of Zoltan Bardi, who calmly puts it into the net! But wait…OFFSIDES!?! Crap! The replays confirm he was way behind the defensive line on the initial Rocca shot.

51' - Gesios and Bardi head up field on a two-on-two counter attack. Gesios moves to the left and strikes a hard shot that the keeper dives and turns away. The ball comes back to Cairney but his shot toward the open goal is blocked behind the net by Huddersfield's defence. The corner is cleared with ease. My assistant notes that both Renato Gaucho and Claudio Contreras are looking "disinterested". Not good.

53' - Rocca has a free kick way outside the area and he goes short to Cairney. His blast is sent over by the diving Smithies. Nothing much comes of the corner.

57' - Oliveira beats a charging Contreras down the field to get a great chance but Wilke turns aside his low shot.

66' - Off an extended period of possession, Cameron Murray sends a low cross into the box and Bolis latches onto it but his shot just goes wide.

67' - I bring in Arsene Bamba for Cameron Murray.

75' - Caldwell runs down the left side, makes a nice move on Salim Loucif to cut into the middle and passes to Dennis Lotters. He shoots for the far corner and it's past Wilke but JUST over the bar. Close.

I make a change in back, taking out the ineffective Tjiuoro and bringing in Jozef Kuciak. Kuciak moves to right fullback and I move Salim Loucif inside. We also change to an attacking mode - I want a goal here and would strongly prefer to avoid a replay if I can.

85' - Wow - Rocca and Cairney lose the ball at midfield and they send a lovely through ball past Contreras to Oliveira - he's in alone but Wilke makes the brilliant save!

86' - We almost immediately start working the ball upfield and Bolis makes a great play to get away from the right fullback. He storms down the right side and we have numbers heading into the box. Bolis' cross is gorgeous, right to the foot of substitute Arsene Bamba and with the net at his mercy, he shoots but Smithies makes an INCREDIBLE diving save. However, there is a rebound and Bamba backs up and one-times it past the superlative keeper to give us the lead! Big goal! DOVER GOAL 1-0

We immediately switch to a counter attack.

88' - Off the ensuing kick off, we steal possession and Cairney sends the ball up to Zoltan Bardi. He runs through the defence and gets a nice low shot that Smithies dives and turns aside. There is another huge rebound though and it's Giorgos Gesios who is there and unmarked and as usual, he clinically finishes for his 20th goal overall this season. Dagger! DOVER GOAL 2-0

We close it out.

Dover 2 - 0 Huddersfield
Goals - Arsene Bamba (7.5), Giorgos Gesios (7.4)
Assists - Zoltan Bardi (7.0)
Man of the Match - Arsene Bamba
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.1), Salim Loucif (7.2), Renato Gaucho (7.0), Andrea Rocca (7.0), Paulus Tjiuoro (5.9)
Attendance - 15.075

We were definitely much better after the break but still could have lost the game on a couple of their chances but overall, we were the better team and deservedly move onto the semi-finals. We held 52% of possession and outshot them 19-11 (8-3 on target). Tough game from Tjiuoro if you're looking at his rating - I didn't really notice any poor plays but obviously there were some miscues at some point.

-- We are given £367,000 for the win

-- We also get a notice that we've set a gate receipts record in this game, earning £375,000 which breaks our old record of 325K set earlier this year in a Premier League game against Fulham, which happened to be the game where we re-opened our newly expanded stadium.

-- Another note comes in, saying that Italy's boss was at our match in order to assess Andrea Rocca and Gianluca Bolis for potential international call-ups. Cool.



Dover U18 Update

-- The kids win 5-0 over Wycombe, with Carlo Cerbone scoring twice and Gregoire Lambert and Johnny Mardenborough notching singles in addition to a Wycombe own-goal. Cerbone got hurt in the game but will only miss a week of action. GK Gary Cook also sustained an injury and will miss a couple weeks.



-- With at least one Championship side left in the draw and possibly two, as Reading and Portsmouth are heading for a replay match, I draw Premier League side Tottenham in the FA Cup Semi-Finals, with the match taking place at Wembley Stadium on April 17th.


-- I re-sign my assistant manager, Stuart Coburn, to a three-year contract extension. He's been with me since my first year at Dover and has proven to be a loyal guy and solid evaluator.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- This year, more than any other, I'm riding my best players almost exclusively in league and cup play and with very few reserve league games lately, many of my second choice players are struggling with their fitness. Therefore, I field a much stronger than normal reserve league team in a 3-1 win over Reading. Petr Simek scores twice and substitute Roberto scores the other goal.

-- The reserve team win is enough to win us the Reserve League title for a third consecutive year. Fans celebrate in the street (really?) and the board is pleased with my efforts.



International Call-ups

-- I have twelve players called up for international duty: Thomas Andersen (Denmark U21), Emmanuel Agbo & Jonathan Adam (England U21), Claudio Contreras (Argentina U20), Renato Gaucho (Brazil U20), Neil Cairney & Cameron Murray (Scotland), Salim Loucif (Algeria), Oliver Nicholas (Eritrea), Arsene Bamba (Ivory Coast}, Giorgos Gesios (Greece) and Zoltan Bardi (Hungary). There are a couple of notable things about these call-ups. First of all, this is the first time young Jonathan Adam has been called up by England so he could get his first international youth cap if he plays. The other notable call up is Bamba - he has 23 youth caps for France but has never been called up for senior team action. He holds Ivory Coast secondary nationality and with this call up, he is obviously going to tie himself permanently to Ivory Coast. Great development for Bamba! Unfortunately, Italy wasn't impressed enough with Gianluca Bolis or Andrea Rocca to call them up at this time.



Champions League Update

-- The Champions League has reached the quarterfinals and teams remaining from England are Man United and Man City. United face Dortmund and City, the defending champs, face Benfica. Hopefully, we hold our position in this year's Premier League race and if so, we'll be taking part in continental play for the first time in 2022!



Next Up

-- We face 10th placed Middlesbrough at Crabble Athletic Ground in Premier League play.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-12-2014 at 10:03 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2014, 11:30 PM   #126
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. March 20, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (18-5-7, 59 points, 3rd) vs. Middlesbrough (13-3-14, 42 points, 10th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 6-4 (Favourites) Draw: 2-1 Middlesbrough: 13-8
Past Meetings: 3W 0D 3L

We are the slightest of favourites against mid-table Middlesbrough…how appropriate! They have won four of their last five in all competitions, with the only loss being a 3-1 loss to Wolves in the 5th round of the FA Cup. Middlesbrough play a defensive style usually and their leading scorer is AM Thorgan Hazard with 9 goals. Luuk de Jong is their most dangerous striker, with 7 goals.

We defeated them 4-1 away earlier this season but we scored three times in the last 30 minutes of that contest to pull away. I'm going with my 4-2-3-1 Control system - my coaches feel I should pull DC Paulus Tjiuoro for lack of form but I will give him another chance - I had a chat with him after his last game, telling him he needs to pull up his socks and play better so I'll give him a chance to respond today. We're fielding a full-strength side today.

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

Middlesbrough start with a 4-2-3-1 formation that includes three attacking central midfielders. They are starting Chris Gadi up front (only three goals on the year) but I'm a bit worried about that tight formation. We'll see how we start. I tell the team they can win today and pull aside Tjiuoro (I expect a performance!), Bamba (Pick up where you left off) and Bardi (I have faith in your abilities).

4' - Bamba takes a knock early and is getting treatment on the sidelines. Bolis runs down the right but gives up the ball and Middlesbrough start their counter. They work it up field and Abdullah Demir gets off a piledriver of a blast that Wilke stretches out for and pushes aside.

7' - Middlesbrough are giving us problems with this formation and it's Harry Reinders getting into the box and sending a left foot blast that Wilke is there to stop.

11' - Their forward Gadi is down in our area but we work the ball up field to Cairney. He sends Gesios through and he beats his man into the box before shooting JUST wide. Good chance there and actually surprised our guys didn't kick the ball out of play so Gadi could get medical attention.

16' - We force a turnover and work the ball up to Bamba over midfield. He sends the ball into the middle to Gesios and he sees Gianluca Bolis cutting into the middle. Gesios feeds a delicious ball into Bolis and he rounds the keeper and calmly deposits the ball into the back of the neck. Superlative play from Gesios and Bolis and we take the early lead! DOVER GOAL 1-0

27' - Gadi is sent away down the middle of the field and with defenders all around him, he sends a low blast that Wilke is fortunate enough to turn aside. Wilke is called upon again on the ensuing corner to make another routine save.

HALFTIME - We hold 51% of possession but Middlesbrough are putting us to sleep. We only have four shots on goal and only 2 on target while they have 9 shots and 5 on target. We move to a counter attack with the same formation and I encourage the team in the room.

55' - Not much has changed and Middlesbrough still look the more dangerous team. Thorgan Hazard cuts into our box and sends a nice little touch pass to Gadi. He gets a point blank shot off that Wilke saves and Renato Gaucho is forced to clear behind the net.

63' - We're generating nothing - I change to a flat 4-4-2 counter attacking system.

72' - We work a counter attack and we have a two-on-one with Bolis dribbling down the right and Gesios storming down the middle. Bolis elects to shoot and misses wide in ugly fashion. Our offence today is completely non-existent. Disappointing effort.

I take out Neil Cairney and Zoltan Bardi and bring in Mancini and Petr Simek.

75' - Paulus Tjiuoro gets a yellow card on a challenge.

Other than a few corners, there's not much to talk about - boring, BORING game.

Dover 1 - 0 Middlesbrough
Goals - Gianluca Bolis (7.5)
Assists - Giorgos Gesios (6.9)
Man of the Match - Gianluca Bolis
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.2), Claudio Contreras (7.4), Renato Gaucho (7.3)
Attendance - 15.321

Well, a win is a win. We held the ball for 51% of the game and shots were 12-12 (Dover 4 on target, Middlesbrough 6 on target). They are a tough team to play against.

-- Everyone seemed to win all around us. Chelsea beat Everton, Arsenal beat Derby, Liverpool beat Fulham so among the teams chasing us, nothing much changes.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 7 GAMES REMAINING)

1. Man City - 82 points
2. Man United - 74 points
3. Dover - 62 points
4. Chelsea - 61 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 55 points
6. Liverpool - 51 points
7. Everton - 49 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Reading - 45 points
9. Newcastle - 43 points
10. Middlesbrough - 42 points

-- United joins City as having locked away continental qualification for next year.



Dover U18 Update

-- Our U18 side defeats Havant and Waterlooville 2-0 behind goals from Carlo Cerbone and defender Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz. Cerbone's goal is his 30th (!) of the season in 25 non-competitive matches.



International Call-ups

-- Ten of the twelve players called up for International duty earned caps this week, with only Renato Gaucho and Arsene Bamba not getting into games for Brazil and Ivory Coast respectfully. Jonathan Adam earned his first youth cap for England.



-- The free transfer deadline passes without us making any more deals.



-- Youth team members Gary Cook and Carlo Cerbone both get hurt for a second consecutive week - this time, Cook has food poisoning while Cerbone sprained his wrist. Both should be back within a week or so.



-- We play on Sunday this weekend so we see some decent results come in from the Saturday games: 5th placed Arsenal can only manage a draw at home against Huddersfield and 7th placed Everton are upset 2-1 by Sunderland.



Next Up

-- A Sunday matinee against "in crisis" Aston Villa.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-12-2014 at 11:46 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2014, 01:23 AM   #127
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sun. March 28, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (19-5-7, 62 points, 3rd) vs. Aston Villa (8-8-15, 32 points, 15th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 4-7 (Favourites) Draw: 5-2 Aston Villa: 4-1
Past Meetings: 3W 0D 4L

We are heavy favourites in a match against out-of-form Villa, who have dropped SEVEN games in a row across all competitions and haven't won in the league since a 4-0 defeat of Norwich on January 5th. Manager Andre Villas-Boas is under fire - Will Keane is their top goal scorer up front with 8 goals and fellow striker Joshua King has 7. Morale is in the gutter at the club and this is a team we should be able to humble in our home stadium.

We defeated Villa 2-0 at their place earlier this year - I'm going to keep things simple today and just go with our flat 4-4-2 control system. I expect them to play defensively and likely utilize a defensive midfielder. No lineup changes - a full strength side will once again be on the field.

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

As expected, they are in a 4-5-1 formation with Will Keane up front. These guys are struggling - I tell our team I expect a win.

1' - Right away, Gesios takes away a ball at midfield and storms toward goal. He unleashes a shot to the far post but it's just wide. Great early chance as the rain is falling in Dover.

3' - Gesios is getting involved early. We work the ball upfield and Bamba sends a nice ball into Gesios down the left side of the area. From an awkward angle, he uses his weaker foot and beats the diving Villa goalkeeper but not the post, as it deflects out to safety. Close!

4' - We're all over them early and this time, it's Neil Cairney delivering a rocket from way outside the area that hits sharply off the goalpost and bounces out. What a blast from Cairney!

13' - They have a throw-in deep down the left side and young Italian midfielder Anderson gets the ball back and crosses it into our area. Salim Loucif's Algerian teammate Ryad Boudebouz takes it and with his back to Claudio Contreras, turns and sends a rocket from in tight that Wilke gets a big piece of but not enough, as it hits off the far post and deflects into the net. Ouch. ASTON VILLA GOAL 0-1

28' - Villa get another great chance, as veteran midfielder Marouane Fellaini delivers a hard blast from the outer edge of the area that Wilke has to be sharp with.

We have lots of possession but most of our shots aren't hitting the target.

29' - It's Fellaini again, this time with a nice touch pass to Bartolomej Rehak and he rips a rocket off the post! What the hell is going on guys?

32' - They send a long ball up over the head of Contreras and WIll Keane has a partial break. His blast is pushed aside by Wilke. What a horrible stretch this is…

35' - I switch to a 4-4-2 DM Control, with only one striker up front. Something needs to be done to wake us up.

HALFTIME - Ohh boy, what a horrific performance. We hold 56% of possession and outshot them 8-6 (1-3 on target) - we aren't getting anything on goal. I peel paint in the dressing room, saying they are letting each other down and explain that our pride is at stake here. Back to a flat 4-4-2 control for now.

50' - Once again, our shooting is horrific, as Arsene Bamba gets two decent chances and goes over with both shots.

I send in shouts to hassle the opponents and get stuck in. I want to see some passion here. My assistant is indicating that most of the team is playing with motivation right now...

54' - We have a free kick deep in their end but Rocca's attempted shot hits into the wall. Renato Gaucho gets the ball and sends a low blast in that is nicely turned aside by Guzan, their keeper.

60' - Time to attack.

69' - Nothing happening - I take out Zoltan Bardi, who is having a terrible game and bring on Petr Simek as we look for an equalizer.

75' - Simek almost comes through right away, taking a Cairney pass, cutting into the box and sending a weak shot that somehow eludes Guzan but hits off the post. Our third piece of woodwork today and we're still behind.

We bring in Darren Pratley for the ineffective Cairney and also take out Renato Gaucho for Jozef Varga. We move to a OVERLOAD system.

81' - We work a counter and send the ball to Bolis at midfield. He beats his man and dribbles up the touchline before sending a cross into the box. Petr Simek battles with two defenders and the ball squirts over to Gesios. He has his back to the net and sends a little pass back to Arsene Bamba, who is unmarked at the top of the area and he sends a SCORCHER into the top corner for the tying marker! Wow! DOVER GOAL 1-1

We change back to a flat 4-4-2 control but I ask the team to press more.

87' - Varga causes issues with his ability to use the bullet throw, as he gets a throw in to the box where Gesios takes it, turns and fires. Guzan does well to make a diving save.

88' - Boy…we have a defensive breakdown and Boudebouz gets a nice ball into substitute Kevin Strootman, who gets into the area and forces Wilke into making a fine save.

89' - We work back up field and Rocca sends a perfect through ball into Simek. He just beats the charging goalkeeper to the ball and sends it into the net! But the assistant's flag is up…OFFSIDES! Oh my God, you have to be KIDDING ME! The replay isn't conclusive either way.

We move to an attacking system for the remaining few minutes but there are no further highlights.

Dover 1 - 1 Aston Villa
Goals - Arsene Bamba (7.6)
Assists - Giorgos Gesios (6.8)
Man of the Match - Ryan Boudebouz (Aston Villa AMR - 7.8)
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.0), Zoltan Bardi (5.9)
Attendance - 15.750 (Sell-out)

Well, we played much better after half and ended up with 54% of overall possession and a wide 22-9 shot edge (6-4 on target). I tell the players that the effort wasn't good enough.

-- Despite the draw, Andre Villas-Boas is sacked after the match. Chelsea lost today to Manchester City so we gain an extra point on them in the standings. Newcastle also did us a favour by knocking off Liverpool 2-1.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE 6 GAMES REMAINING)

1. Man City - 85 points
2. Man United - 77 points
3. Dover - 63 points
4. Chelsea - 61 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 56 points
6. Liverpool - 51 points
7. Everton - 49 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Reading - 48 points
9. Newcastle - 46 points
10. Middlesbrough - 45 points



Contracts Expiring

-- Nine players have expiring contracts, something which I've indicated in the past in depth. No need to do it again - there are a couple of guys I may offer contracts to. More importantly, I have 14 staff members that I need to think about extensions for. Most of them will be offered new deals.



-- I get notes about two players being unhappy: Zoltan Bardi, one of our top players is at it again, perhaps for the third or fourth time already this year and now young DC Gareth Mace, who is out on loan right now at Rushden. Mace isn't in my long-term plans at all but I simply tell both they are being unprofessional and they both apologize.



April Update

-- We only have three Premier League games in April: Huddersfield at home, Derby away and Fulham away - we should win at least two of those three and if we do, we should be in great shape to maintain our top four position in the league. We also have our FA Cup semifinal matchup versus Tottenham at Wembley Stadium coming up.

-- We get positive training reports for Zoltan Bardi, Giorgos Gesios and Renato Gaucho. Negative reports come in for Emir Faccioli and Liam Craig. I have a quick chat with newcomer Faccioli to tell him I'm unhappy.

-- The Barclays Premier League player of the month is City's midfielder Gylfi Sigurosson. The Young Player of the Month is Arsenal's DC Martin Watt, with our very own Claudio Contreras coming in second place. Giorgos Gesios was given second place in the Premier League goal of the month award for his header versus Reading. Lastly, Carlo Ancelloti once again wins Manager of the Month and I'm given third place honours for March.



April Board Confidence Update

-- The board is delighted with the leadership qualities I'm demonstrating. Our stature increase is the major contributing factor and for the first time in ages, there are no negatives from the board!

-- We made a profit of £1,380,000 in March as we continue to roll in the cash - we've made almost £10,000,000 in profit so far this year, with most of it coming from the forced sale of Cristian Rodriguez to Manchester United.



Next Up

-- Another Premier League home game as we once again welcome Huddersfield to Crabble Athletic Ground

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-13-2014 at 01:25 AM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2014, 10:53 PM   #128
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. April 3, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (19-6-7, 63 points, 3rd) vs. Huddersfield (10-11-11, 41 points, 12th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: Evens (Favourites) Draw: 11-5 Aston Villa: 11-5
Past Meetings: 4W 0D 2L

We are pretty comfortable favourites against mid-table Huddersfield, a team we just knocked off in the FA Cup quarterfinals only three weeks ago. Not much has changed since then but they will be without stalwart midfielder Dennis Lotters, who is out for a few weeks with an ankle injury.

We beat them 2-0 in our last game but needed two late goals to finally break them down. We didn't fare well in that game with our one striker formation but I'm going to go with that at least to start the game. In that last contest, we moved to a flat 4-4-2 after half time with good results so if we need to do that again, we'll be prepared to do so. Full lineup today.

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

Huddersfield start in the same 4-1-3-2 formation (1 DMC and 3 MCs) that they used a few weeks ago. David Caldwell and Nelson Oliveira are up front. I tell the team this is a winnable game and pull aside two struggling players in Cairney and Tjiuoro along with in-form striker Giorgos Gesios just to tell them I have faith.

6' - The first good chance goes to Huddersfield, as they play a one-two at the right edge of the area before sending a hard, low shot toward Wilke. He dives and makes the save but the rebound comes to striker David Caldwell. He has the net at his mercy but Salim Loucif blocks his shot and Wilke is able to recover just in time to gather up the ball before it enters the net.

12' - Huddersfield get a corner and we head it away to Caldwell, who is outside the area. He dribbles in and makes a great cut move back to the inside to get away from Contreras but his weak shot is handled by Wilke. Great move by Caldwell and very poor defence from us so far.

14' - We have possession in their end and Cairney makes a nice dribble into their area but shoots just wide of the net.

15' - Off a throw in, Bolis takes the ball down the right side and crosses into the box. It's headed out to Rocca and he immediately feeds a pass over to Arsene Bamba. He has room to shoot but Smithies makes a great point-blank save.

22' - We win a corner and Rocca's cross is headed out to Neil Cairney. Cairney dribbles toward the flag and sends it back to Rocca down the right. He is challenged by midfielder Sergei Gusev so Rocca turns to his stronger left foot and slings a ball as he's turning back to Cairney and he one times a ROCKET into the net! Great goal Cairney and incredible craft from Rocca! DOVER GOAL 1-0

36' - We let Nelson Oliveira get open in the area and his hard shot is turned aside by the very sharp Ingo Wilke.

They get a couple more chances from distance but nothing really dangerous.

HALFTIME - Well, we lead and we're holding 55% of possession but once again, we're generating VERY few chances. We are outshot by a wide margin, 10-4 (3-2 on target) and I don't even think Zoltan Bardi touched the ball in a highlight. This formation doesn't work well versus Huddersfield so I'll change to a flat 4-4-2 for the second half. I encourage the players in the team talk.

48' - Huddersfield control the ball well and pass it around beautifully just outside our area. Midfielder Henri Lansbury gets the ball from Oliveira and they work the give and go to perfection. Oliveira is in all alone but his shot hits the goalpost and bounces away! Great chance for Huddersfield.

52' - They have a goal kick and Smithies sends it upfield. Rocca wins the header and sends it over the Huddersfield defensive line. It's a race and Zoltan Bardi wins it. Smithies comes out to challenge him so Bardi rounds the keeper and thrashes the ball into the empty net! Big goal for Bardi! DOVER GOAL 2-0

71' - Neil Cairney gets a yellow card after a foul. I send a shout to him to go easy on the tackling.

72' - Now a yellow card for Gianluca Bolis.

74' - Not an awful lot happening. I take out Bolis and bring in Petr Kostal.

81' - I bring in Mancini for the excellent Neil Cairney. I also move to a counter attacking system.

82' - Right after that substitution, Huddersfield get a free kick and send it into the area. Mancini is there and is just about to clear but is stripped of the ball by their defender Mathias Jorgensen, a substitute who was in the area only because of the set piece. Jorgensen turns and rifles the ball toward goal and it's off the goal post and IN. Uh oh. We have a game here. HUDDERSFIELD GOAL 2-1

84' - Geez. Now they work the ball up field and send a through ball to another substitute, this time striker Lorenzo Sion. He bursts past Tjiuoro and gets a shot off that is barely turned aside by Wilke. Come on guys! Off the ensuing corner, we head it away and Gesios takes the ball. There is only one man back and he doesn't have the speed to keep up, as Gesios goes in on a full field breakaway. Smithies makes a fantastic save, holding his ground nicely and the ball is cleared to safety. Gesios usually is money on those. He hasn't been a factor at all today, which is rare.

87' - Bardi takes a knock. He can continue for now but we'll see how serious it is after the game.

90'+1 - I bring in Petr Simek for the three minutes of injury time, as he replaces Bardi.

That's it. Not a great performance but it's another win.

Dover 2 - 1 Huddersfield
Goals - Neil Cairney (7.7), Zoltan Bardi (7.1)
Assists - Andrea Rocca 2 (8.5)
Man of the Match - Andrea Rocca
Other Dover Notables - Ingo WIlke (7.8), Salim Loucif (7.3), Renato Gaucho (7.1)
Attendance - 15.140

Again, a better second half, as we end up holding 56% of possession and substantially bit into their shot advantage. In the end, they outshot us narrowly, 16-15 (7-6 on target). Ingo Wilke was terrific, as usual, and Rocca deservedly wins man of the match honours.

-- Thankfully, Zoltan Bardi is suffering no ill-effects from the knock he took late in the game.

-- Chelsea, our nearest pursuers, destroy Norwich 6-3 and stay two points back of us. Arsenal also win over Newcastle to stay in fifth, six points back of us. It's going to be a race right to the end.

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

1. Man City - 86 points
2. Man United - 80 points
3. Dover - 66 points
4. Chelsea - 64 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 59 points
6. Liverpool - 52 points
7. Everton - 49 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Reading - 48 points
9. Middlesbrough - 48 points
10. Newcastle - 46 points



CONTINENTAL PLAY

-- With our victory, we have guaranteed that we will be PLAYING CONTINENTAL FOOTBALL IN 2022!!! Woooo! We have locked up a Europa League spot at worst but with five games to go and sitting comfortably in the top four, we will be looking for Champions League qualification. Still, this is a great day in Dover Athletic FC history!



Dover U18 Update

-- The kids win 5-3 over Aldershot, with afterthought striker Chris Paterson scoring FOUR goals, including a penalty shot. Gregoire Lambert scored a single. All four of Paterson's goals were scored in the first half - incredible performance!

-- Ingo Wilke and Andrea Rocca both made the Barclays Premier League Team of the Week.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- We pull out a 2-2 draw versus Derby, with strikers Petr Simek and Gerardo Escobar both scoring. Simek especially was dangerous all game - he deserves a start for the first team at some point. Reserve defender Laurent Koscielny suffered a twisted knee and will miss two weeks. No one will notice...



Next Up

-- After four games in a row at home, we head away to face 14th placed Derby County

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-15-2014 at 10:55 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2014, 12:59 AM   #129
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. April 10, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Derby (10-8-15, 38 points, 14th) vs. Dover (20-6-7, 66 points, 3rd)
Pride Park, Derby, UK

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

Derby is playing quite well, having one of their finest Premier League seasons in 20 years. With only five games remaining, they are 12 points above the relegation zone so it's looking like they will comfortably retain their status in the league. They are led up front by Hallam Hope, a speedy 27 year old Trinidad & Tobagon who has 10 goals in 27 overall appearances. Their most expensive player is striker Joao Henriques Almeida, who they purchased for £10,250,000 - he has been a first-year bust, scoring only 3 times in 27 games. He's got great mental skills and at 6' 2", he's a strong presence up front. I imagine he's just having issues settling into English football but will likely get better with time. We won't take his presence lightly despite his struggles.

We will once again try our one striker formation - we won 2-0 earlier this season at home with one man up front and dominated all aspects of that contest. I contemplate changes but decide to go with our preferred starting eleven again. My assistant thinks we should bench Paulus Tjiuoro but he's my best centre half and I'd prefer to let him work out of his slump.

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

Derby start in their preferred flat 3-5-2, with Hope up front alongside Niels Hendriks while Almeida is on the bench. I tell the team they can win today, tell Cairney to pick up where he left off and tell Gesios and Bolis I have faith in their abilities.

2' - We have possession in their area and a Rocca shot is deflected into the box to Gesios, who turns and RIPS a shot into the net for the dream start. But wait…the flag is up! Offsides? The replay shows Gesios was just off the shoulder of the last defender so it's a good call.

It's raining hard by the way.

3' - On the ensuing free kick, we regain possession and work a counter attack with Bolis down the right side. With only three defenders, Bolis is able to streak down the right, cut into the box and deliver a fatal blow right into the back of the net! Magnificent individual effort from Bolis, as he dribbled down the entire length of the field! DOVER GOAL 1-0

Derby react by moving to a 5-3-2 formation.

9' - Cairney gets the ball at midfield and sends it up to Gesios. He knocks it past his man and he has a partial break. His shot is turned aside by old friend Fraser Forster, our former keeper.

32' - Derby seem to have the majority of possession since their formation switch and they get two glorious chances off scrambles in our area but both times we clear to safety. I can't understand why I'm having problems offensively with this tactic, which was enormously successful earlier in the year.

36' - Gesios gets a yellow card and my assistant says he's looking ill-disciplined.

40' - Now it's Andrea Rocca with the foul and a yellow card. We need to make it to half time and make some adjustments.

44' - Arsene Bamba knocks it past his marker down the left flank and makes a low cross into Gesios in the area. Gesios turns and fires from a poor angle but Forster makes the save and holds on.

HALFTIME - Boring! Derby hold a possession edge of 53% to 47% and we outshot them 5-3 (3-0 on target). I decide to tell the team I'm pleased and give little positive pep talks to Gesios and Bardi. We also make the move to a flat 4-4-2 Counter Attack system.

50' - Hendriks gets free and speeds past both Tjiuoro and Contreras and gets a good shot off that Wilke is able to just turn aside. My lack of speed in the middle may hurt me eventually. Again, it hurts to lose Cristian Rodriguez...

Seriously…nothing going on. Some corners on both side, some shots over the net but no chances.

70' - I take out the ineffective Giorgos Gesios and bring in Petr Simek in hopes of delivering a second goal.

78' - Gianluca Bolis, who has easily been our best player, goal aside, gets a nice through ball up to Simek. He's got fresh legs and has a step on the defenders but Forster is there for the lovely stop.

82' - I take out Andrea Rocca and bring in our captain, Darren Pratley.

Wow - one of the more boring games we've played. No more real chances.

Derby 0 - 1 Dover
Goals - Gianluca Bolis (8.3)
Assists - Andrea Rocca (6.9)
Man of the Match - Gianluca Bolis
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (7.3), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.1), Renato Gaucho (7.2)
Attendance - 21.118

We ended up edging them on possession, holding it 51% of the game and outshooting them 12-7 (4-1 on target) overall. A bland game but we did what we had to - they really gave us no choice but to play a counter attacking game with that formation.

-- Our nearest pursuers continue to win: Chelsea wins away at Tottenham while Arsenal win away at Fulham. Everton knock off Liverpool to pull level on points with them. Chelsea has the easiest schedule of the three of us: Bolton, Sheffield Wednesday, Stoke and Middlesbrough. We have the second easiest, with Fulham, Newcastle, Everton and Man City while Arsenal faces Everton, Man City, Tottenham and Norwich. We're still in tough - I want to finish third but failing that, I think 3 more points *should* be good enough to finish in fourth.

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

1. Man City - 89 points
2. Man United - 83 points
3. Dover - 69 points
4. Chelsea - 67 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 62 points
6. Everton - 52 points
7. Liverpool - 52 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Middlesbrough - 51 points
9. Reading - 49 points
10. Newcastle - 46 points



Dover U18 Update

-- We defeat West Ham 5-0, with Carlo Cerbone bagging a brace. Gary Cook, Gregoire Lambert and Chris Paterson notched singles.



Future Transfer IN

-- A young English midfielder requested a transfer from Peterborough in the Championship and they offered him to me for £500,000. I had three scouts take a look at him and I think he can help as a backup next year so I made an offer that was accepted shortly thereafter. The young man considered offers from four other Premier League teams but elected to move to Dover next year because of our stature in the football world! We will welcome MC Shaun Spall to the club when the transfer window re-opens in mid-June. Spall has 4 goals and 16 assists in 41 appearances thus far and has great work ethic and determination, two skills I admire.



Dover Injury Update

-- Zoltan Bardi goes down in training with a damaged heel and will miss about a week. Unfortunately, he'll miss our FA Cup Semi-Final game coming up against Tottenham on the weekend. He expresses his disappointment in the press about the injury.

-- Later in the week, we also lose backup left fullback Jozef Varga to the same injury. He will miss a week as well. With Laurent Koscielny still hurt, we don't have any additional cover at that position behind Renato Gaucho but thankfully, all of the injuries are short-term.



Next Up

-- Reports are that Wembley Stadium will be sold out, with over 90,000 fans on hand as we face Tottenham in the FA Cup Semi-Finals!

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-16-2014 at 01:03 AM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2014, 01:54 PM   #130
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. April 17, 2021

FA Cup - Semi-Finals
Tottenham vs. Dover
Wembley Stadium, London, UK

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

We face Tottenham in the FA Cup semis, a team we've had success against lately, with three consecutive wins and only one loss in six career matchups. The Spurs have lost two games in a row in Premier League play, dropping 2-1 decisions against both Sunderland (away) and Chelsea (home). Their top scorer is a defensive midfielder (James McCarthy) with 10, joint leader with midfielder Gabriel Obertan, who always plays well against us. Their best striker, 7 goal man Mahmoud Ashoubi is suspended for this game. Gareth Bale is also still dangerous.

Tottenham play an open, free-wheeling style and I expect some goals in this game. We've had success against them using our one striker formation and I'll go with that despite missing key cog Zoltan Bardi, who is still nursing a heel injury. I'll move Andrea Rocca up to AMC and captain Darren Pratley will get a rare start at midfield.

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

Tottenham are also in a 4-2-3-1 but with 2 DMCs. I tell the team they can win this game.

3' - Tottenham have a free kick from near the left byline and the kick is sent into the area. They head the ball toward goal but Wilke is there to make the save and we clear the ball to safety.

4' - Almost a carbon copy sees them kick from the same area, only this time, the header is off the woodwork. Settle down guys!

7' - Off a throw in deep in our end, Gareth Bale gets the ball and sends in a high cross. Renato Gaucho is called for a foul after their striker goes down. PENALTY! Gareth Bale steps up and makes no mistake. Nightmare start for us. TOTTENHAM GOAL 0-1

21' - We finally get some possession and it's Gesios taking the ball down the left side. He cuts back to the middle, dribbles along the top of the box and sends a nice little touch pass through to Gianluca Bolis. He strikes it on the first touch but goalkeeper Dreyer makes a nice diving stop and holds on.

26' - They have a corner and we clear back out to the taker, Gareth Bale. His unopposed and walks in and sends a low cross into the box. Striker Seydou Doumbia slides and gets his foot to the ball ahead of Paulus Tjiuoro and into the net it goes. What a mess this is. TOTTENHAM GOAL 0-2

28' - We have possession off the ensuing kick off and Neil Cairney plays it up to Gesios. He makes a little space for himself and from well outside the area, he unleashes a drive that blasts off the goal post and out. Close!

44' - Gabriel Obertan has the ball down the right side and sends in a pass to the dangerous Daniel Pacheco. For some reason, there is no defender on him so Darren Pratley tracks back and attempts to tackle him but completely whiffs. Pacheco takes a couple steps into the box and DRILLS a ball into the low right corner of the net. This is our worst game of the year, without any question. I don't understand what is going on with these guys. TOTTENHAM GOAL 0-3

45' - We send the ball out wide to Arsene Bamba off the kickoff and he streaks down the wing. He sends in a low cross and Giorgos Gesios is there and boots it into the net!!! But wait…FOUL?!?! Gianluca Bolis is called for a foul and the goal is waved off. What a joke this game is.

HALFTIME - I consider peeling paint but just tell the team I'm very disappointed. Spurs hold 52% of possession and a 13-6 (5-2 on target) shot advantage. Everyone is suffering in this game, with tons of half time ratings in the 5's. I take out Darren Pratley and put in Gerardo Escobar, moving to an attacking 4-4-2 formation. Hopefully we can get one back in short order to make a game of this but I'll be careful not to let this game get too far out of hand.

51' - Off a throw in down the right side, Escobar kicks it over to Neil Cairney and he dribbles down the right edge of the area. He sends a low cross in and Arsene Bamba slides for it and sends it off the post and into the net. No flags, no fouls…a good goal! DOVER GOAL 1-3

72' - We're holding much more possession but not getting any great chances. We win a corner and Rocca's cross meets the unmarked Tjiuoro but his header is cleared away.

79' - Tottenham work a very dangerous looking counter attack, with Doumbia getting behind our defence. He sends a ball back into the slot to Pacheco and he incredibly shoots high from a prime position.

We go to an Overload system to try to make a game of this. I also take out Gesios, who had a poor game "rating wise" but had a goal called back because of Bolis' foul. In comes Petr Simek.

We get a few chances from distance but nothing of note. Tough loss.

Tottenham 3 - 1 Dover
Goals - Arsene Bamba (7.5)
Assists - Neil Cairney (6.9)
Man of the Match - Gareth Bale (Tottenham AML - 8.4)
Other Dover Notables - Ingo WIlke (5.9), Paulus Tjiuoro (5.9), Darren Pratley (5.9), Giorgos Gesios (5.6)
Attendance - 90,000 (Sell-Out)

We were much more respectable in winning the second half - overall, we held 48% of possession and Spurs outshot us 18-16 (6-5 on target). I reinforce my disappointment with the performance in the room after the game. Tough score for Gesios - he deserved better.

-- Reading knock off Wolves 2-1 to advance to the FA Cup finals along with Tottenham.



Dover Injury Update

-- Zoltan Bardi and Laurent Koscielny are back from injury so we're back to a full roster.



Next Up

-- A must-win game against relegation candidates Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-18-2014 at 01:55 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2014, 03:50 PM   #131
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. April 24, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Fulham (6-8-20, 26 points, 19th) vs. Dover (21-6-7, 69 points, 3rd)
Craven Cottage, Fulham, UK

Betting Odds: Fulham: 3-1 Draw: 2-1 Dover: 4-5
Past Meetings: 4W 1D 2L

Fulham will be in tough to stay in the Premier League but they are within shouting distance of safety, only two points back of 17th. They beat Reading 1-0 away two weeks ago to give them some life but this is a team we should be defeating. Striker Milan Djuric has 14 goals to lead the team and legend of the game Wayne Rooney has 11 of his own. Beyond that, there's not much to them.

We will make a few changes, with two players sitting out due to being out of form. I've been getting messages from my assistant for three weeks about benching Paulus Tjiuoro and after another dud against Spurs, he will sit on the bench. Also riding the pine will be leading scorer Giorgos Gesios - this is a tough move for me in a must-win game but Gesios was also named by my opposite number as the big threat in this match - usually, this unnerves the player so it reinforces my decision to keep him out of the starting lineup. Petr Simek has been spectacular on the reserve team and deserves a start. I'll also give Argentine defender Emir Faccioli his first ever Dover start alongside countryman Claudio Contreras. Flat 4-4-2 control philosophy for this one, as we've struggled of late in our one striker formation. Zoltan Bardi is healthy and back in the lineup up front.

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

Interestingly enough, Fulham come out in our 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) formation. Hmmm. I may revert to that formation at some point, as I like our chances matching them man for man. I tell the team I expect a win today against the relegation candidates.

4' - We work the ball around and Simek gets a one touch chance from the top of the area but it's safely held by Lewis, the Fulham keeper.

8' - Gianluca Bolis steals the ball at midfield and dribbles up the right flank. He makes a low cross into the box and Arsene Bamba is there completely alone and easily puts it into the empty net. Beautiful speed and vision from Bolis! Great start guys! DOVER GOAL 1-0

12' - Their midfielder Jake Livermore takes the ball at midfield and does well to dribble through a couple of our defenders before shooting right at Wilke. Nice moves but poor effort on the shot.

13' - We work up field and Neil Cairney and Arsene Bamba work a RIDICULOUS one-two that sees Cairney springing Bamba into the box. He streaks in and RIPS IT into the far corner for his second goal in five minutes! Wonderful move! DOVER GOAL 2-0

15' - Wayne Rooney pulls the ball down near midfield and passes back to Cole Skuse. Skuse delivers a wonderful through ball into right midfielder Marcus Astvald and he walks in on Wilke and shoots underneath him for the quick reply. Ugh. FULHAM GOAL 2-1

32' - Rooney sends a ball up to striker Djuric and it seems like a relatively harmless one-on-two, with Contreras and Faccioli back. However, Djuric gains some space, runs into the area and UNLEASHES a blast into the net past Wilke. Fulham pull two back and are level. So so bad. FULHAM GOAL 2-2

37' - Bardi chips it over to the right to Bolis and he cuts in with a shot that is blocked behind by Lewis. The corner is headed out to Cairney and he is able to get a shot off that just goes over the net.

39' - Fulham's keeper boots a goal kick up field but Contreras heads it back the other way and Simek is there. He beats his man but shoots harmlessly wide. Poor effort.

HALFTIME - Well, that was not great - we hold 55% of possession and outshot them 11-7 (5-4 on target) but give up a two goal advantage. Emir Faccioli is struggling (5.9 rating). I decide to switch to a 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) to match Fulham. Lets see if we can do anything here. I tell the team they can win this game.

57' - My goodness nothing is happening. Rooney was substituted out at half, by the way. They get the ball up to Djuric and once again he uses his speed to evade Faccioli and Wilke is forced to make a lovely save.

70' - We're not generating anything. I bring in the cavalry: Giorgos Gesios is on for Simek and Paulus Tjiuoro is on for Faccioli - we also move back to a flat 4-4-2 control system.

80' - Fulham continue to hold most of possession this half. I move to attack.

90'+2 - What a dud. Nothing happening. Cairney pulls down a man and gets a yellow. That's all.

Fulham 2 - 2 Dover
Goals - Arsene Bamba 2 (8.8)
Assists - Neil Cairney (6.9), Gianluca Bolis (7.1)
Man of the Match - Arsene Bamba
Other Dover Notables -
Attendance - 15,914

Andrea Rocca only got a 6.0 rating, one of the worst I've ever seen from him. We're starting to struggle at the worst possible time. We can't draw versus the 19th placed team in the league.

-- Chelsea win away at Bolton to pull level on points with us but sit a slot below due to goal differential. In positive news, Arsenal lost 4-2 away against Everton so we now have an 8 point advantage on them with only 9 points available. One more point will essentially get us into Champions League play. The other big fixture sees Manchester City knock off United 2-0, essentially locking up their second consecutive Premier League title and their fourth in six years!

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

1. Man City - 92 points
2. Man United - 83 points
3. Dover - 70 points
4. Chelsea - 70 points
----------------------------------------------------
5. Arsenal - 62 points
6. Everton - 55 points
7. Liverpool - 52 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Reading - 52 points
9. Middlesbrough - 52 points
10. Tottenham - 47 points


Dover U18 Update

-- Gregoire Lambert kept up his hot play, scoring twice in a 3-0 win over MK Dons U18. DC Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz scored our other goal.



-- Arsene Bamba was named to the Premier League Team of the Week for his two goal performance against Fulham.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- Reserve striker Roberto scores both of our goals in a 2-1 win over Fulham. Once again, his agent pesters me after the game and I finally relent, offering a new contract extension. It's a modest deal - Roberto likely isn't good enough to feature for us at any point but he's cheap insurance and he's certainly proved capable of scoring against lesser competition. He has 22 reserve team goals this year in 14 starts (25 overall appearances).



May Update

-- We close out the season with games against mid-table Newcastle (home), Everton (away) and Manchester City (home). We are very close to securing Champions League qualification but finishing in third place is obviously more ideal than fourth.

-- I get positive training reports for Zoltan Bardi, Gianluca Bolis and Paulus Tjiuoro on the senior team and for Gregoire Lambert and Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz on the U18s. Once again, GK Lukasz Fabianski and veteran midfielder Liam Craig train poorly. Both are on the wrong side of 30 and have expiring contracts that won't be renewed.

-- Chelsea midfielder Bartosz Salamon wins the Barclays Premier League Player of the Month award.

-- Dover's own Gianluca Bolis wins the Premier League Young Player of the Month award! Neil Cairney finishes in second. Bolis also finishes in third for the Premier League goal of the month, with his great end-to-end goal versus Derby earlier in April.

-- City's Carlo Ancelotti wins Manager of the Month for the upteenth time and I finish in second place for April.



Next Up

-- We are big favourites at home against Newcastle.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2014, 08:03 PM   #132
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. May 1, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (21-7-7, 70 points, 3rd) vs. Newcastle (13-7-15, 46 points, 11th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 2-5 (Favourites) Draw: 11-4 Newcastle: 13-2
Past Meetings: 0W 1D 2L

We've struggled historically against Newcastle but we're HUGE favourites today, one of our biggest lines in our time in the Premier League I'm sure. Newcastle just promoted last year and are doing well to be in mid-table at this late stage of the season. We've never beaten them before and could only get a scoreless draw against them earlier this year. They've got a very dangerous French striker named Stanislas Vigneau, who has 15 goals across all competitions.

No fooling around today. A full strength lineup will be put on the pitch and we'll utilize a flat 4-4-2 control system. The only change I make is to move Andrea Rocca into an attacking "advanced playmaker" role and put Neil Cairney into a supporting role as a deep-lying playmaker…essentially, just switching spots.

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

Newcastle are in the same formation that Fulham were in: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1). Vigneau is up front all alone. I tell the team to go out there and give a great performance for their supporters!

3' - We have a free kick from well out and Andrea Rocca curls one around the wall that hits the post and deflects right to the Newcastle keeper Jak Alnwick. Great shot!

15' - Neil Cairney sends a great through ball down the left middle portion of the field to Gesios. He's on his wrong foot but cuts back to his stronger right foot and is tackled off the ball in the area. The ref lets play go on as we appeal for a penalty. No call!

16' - We work a counter attack and Zoltan Bardi gets the ball at midfield. He dribbles down the right and two men are in pursuit, with Gesios running down the middle with another defender, essentially making it a 2 on 3 play. Bardi stops and attempts a cross into the area that looks like it deflects on the way. Gesios runs into it and hits the ball on the half volley right into the back of the net! Beautiful counter and Gesios ends his mini-slump! DOVER GOAL 1-0

The team is looking fired up today and very motivated according to our assistant.

27' - We win a corner and Rocca's ball comes out to Gianluca Bolis. He sees Paulus Tjiuoro retreating from the area and sends it to his unmarked teammate - Tjiuoro blasts it toward goal and it hits Newcastle defender Ibon on the leg and ricochets into the top corner of the net. Wow! Both of our "out-of-form" players are on the board today! DOVER GOAL 2-0

34' - Bardi gets the ball off a throw in deep in their end and he makes a ridiculous back heel pass into the box to Rocca but his shot is weak and easily saved by Alnwick. Great pass!

38' - Off a Newcastle goal kick, Cairney heads the ball upfield and Bardi attempts to latch onto it. He's taken down hard and is hurt but play continues on with Gesios chasing it down. He's got a break and rifles it JUST WIDE. Holy smokes. What a glorious chance for Gesios. Hopefully Bardi isn't too badly hurt but he needs to come off for some treatment.

39' - Off the ensuing goal kick, Newcastle work up field and it's midfielder David Maclennan who is sent in on a lovely ball but his shot is easily saved and held by Wilke.

45'+1 - Vigneau gets past Tjiuoro and has a partial break but shoots high and wide.

HALFTIME - That's much more like it! We hold 54% of possession and outshot them 9-4 (4-1 on target). Bardi is banged up but I'm going to keep him in there for now. I tell the team I'm pleased thus far.

51' - Crazy play off a free kick from Rocca - the ball is cleared and eventually comes to Gianluca Bolis. He cuts into goal and rips a blast that goes off the crossbar, then hits the goalkeeper's back before bouncing back over the net. So we get a corner out of it and Rocca delivers to the near post and to Bardi and he heads the ball into the net! That's our first goal off a corner in a long time but we'll take it! DOVER GOAL 3-0

Newcastle move to a 4-4-2 diamond formation.

60' - Cairney loses the ball and then fouls the guy who took it away. Yellow card for Cairney.

68' - Cairney sends the ball up to Gesios and he feeds a quick one-touch pass to Bardi, who is breaking behind the defence. Bardi left foots it toward goal but it's turned aside by Alnwick and cleared to safety.

With Cairney sitting with a yellow, I take him out in favour of defensive-minded midfielder Mancini.

70' - Bolis continues to play well, getting off a wicked blast off a cleared corner that is pushed over the goal by Alnwick.

73' - I take out the excellent Andrea Rocca and put in Darren Pratley.

76' - Giorgos Gesios shows his immense skill, running down the left, juking a defender and delivering a left footed arching cross that meets the head of Bardi but he just puts it over. Great skill there!

77' - Paulus Tjiuoro gets absolutely skinned by Vigneau then the Newcastle striker dekes around Claudio Contreras as well before delivering a low blast that Wilke turns aside. The rebound is available but Renato Gaucho clears just in time.

81' - Tjiuoro AGAIN is left in Vigneau's dust and the striker has a clear break. He gets into the area and a hard-charging Tjiuoro gets tangled up with him. Vigneau falls but there is no foul called and we clear the ball away. Man…lucky there. Again, I have lots of great talent at DC even after the forced sale of Cristian Rodriguez but our distinct lack of pace in the centre hurts us.

90' - Mancini gets a great ball delivered to him by Gesios and from the outer edge of the box rips a shot that Alnwick can only push over the bar. Nothing comes of that corner.

90'+2 - It's Mancini again, delivering another blast that Alnwick barely pushes aside.

And it's over. GREAT game!

Dover 3 - 0 Newcastle
Goals - Giorgos Gesios (7.7), Paulus Tjiuoro (8.2), Zoltan Bardi (8.3)
Assists - Zoltan Bardi, Gianluca Bolis (7.5), Andrea Rocca (7.6)
Man of the Match - Zoltan Bardi
Other Dover Notables - Salim Loucif (8.1), Claudio Contreras (7.5), Renato Gaucho (7.3)
Attendance - 15,750 (Sell-Out)

Absolute domination! We hold 57% of overall possession and outshoot them 23-9 (10-3 on target). A convincing performance when we needed it most!

-- With that win, DOVER HAVE GUARANTEED A PLACE IN THE 2021/22 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE!!! That was my major goal coming into this season…well, I was just simply hoping for Continental qualification but I don't know if I could have ever expected our first foray into European play to be in the Champions League…just a stunning achievement!

-- In other BPL play, Arsenal absolutely STUN league leading Man City 2-0 at Emirates Stadium, only City's second loss of the year! Man United beat Tottenham 2-0 to stay mathematically alive in the race but City sits with a ridiculous goal differential of +73 and United is at +55 so there's no realistic way United can overtake City for the championship. Chelsea destroy Sheffield Wednesday on Monday to keep pace with us as we both battle it out for third place. The four Champions League teams have been decided and Arsenal have locked up a Europa League spot. The last remaining spot will be decided between Everton and Liverpool, most likely. With Tottenham and Reading facing off in the FA Cup, the winner of that title will get the last Europa League position from what I understand.

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

CL 1. Man City - 92 points
CL 2. Man United - 86 points
CL 3. Dover - 73 points
CL 4. Chelsea - 73 points
----------------------------------------------------
EL 5. Arsenal - 65 points
6. Everton - 58 points
7. Liverpool - 55 points
----------------------------------------------------
8. Middlesbrough - 53 points
9. Reading - 52 points
10. Tottenham - 47 points


Dover U18 Update

-- We battle to a scoreless draw against Eastleigh. Striker Carlo Cerbone is the pick of our players in the game according to our youth team manager.



-- Reserve striker Roberto agrees to a four year contract extension, seeing his salary bumped modestly to £2,100 per week from £1,800. There's a pretty solid chance I'll sell him at some point in the future but he's played well on the reserves this year and may deserve a look in one of our last two games, which aren't particularly meaningful.



May Board Confidence Update

-- The board are absolutely delighted with the way I'm leading the team. Our stature increase is the main factor but they are slightly disappointed with the signing of Emir Faccioli - the Argentinian defender was brought on to help tutor Cristian Rodriguez but then he got stolen away by United. Faccioli may not be around long but he can still help with our other Argentinian defender, Claudio Contreras.

-- We made a profit of £1.91 million last month.



-- Paulus Tjiuoro was named to the Barclays Premier League Team of the Week.



Dover Reserve Team Update

-- Our reserve team close out their season with an emphatic 7-2 win over Burnley. Gerardo Escobar scores a hat trick while newly resigned Roberto and veteran midfielder Liam Craig bag braces. Our reserve team finishes the season with 16 wins, 2 draws and NO losses!



Dover Staff Additions

-- I think this is the first time I've ever gone after staff members who are currently employed with other teams but our increased stature certainly is making it easier to get better people. I pay Sheffield Wednesday £170K for Scottish coach Brian McLaughlin and owe Wolves £100K for Spanish scout Angel. McLaughlin's signing makes one of my other coaches expendable so that's a plus.



Dover U18 Team Update

-- With two weeks in-between league games, our U18s play a second time and they destroy Oxford 7-1. Gregoire Lambert, Carlo Cerbone and Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz all score two goals in the contest. That wraps up the season for our U18s, as they win their league by ten points over Reading, finishing with a 22-4-2 record.


--- I guess it's that time of year: many of our players look to be targets when the transfer window opens and I notice one of the targets, my DR Salim Loucif has a release clause at only £3,100,000! His current value is higher than that! So I immediately offer him a contract extension and it's accepted by his agent. Should be a formality but I changed the release clause to around £15,000,000. I also have to field questions about Neil Cairney and Chelsea's interest in our wonderkid. Cairney, of course, is intrigued but I issue a hands off warning. That said, Chelsea is one of the few teams with the cash to take him off our hands.



Next Up

-- We head out for our last away game of the year in Everton.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2014, 11:24 PM   #133
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sat. May 15, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Everton (16-10-10, 58 points, 6th) vs. Dover (22-7-7, 73 points, 3rd)
Goodison Park, Liverpool, UK

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

Everton continue to play great football and sit in 6th place - they are in the driver's seat as they look to take Continental play away from Liverpool for the first time in ages. A win against us would do the trick for Everton but obviously, we have our own needs to look after and we won't be conceding anything today. Everton have won three in a row against some pretty impressive competition in Liverpool, Arsenal and Reading and they also defeated us 2-1 earlier this year at Crabble so we will need to bring our "A" game. Striker Ekow Mumuni has 16 goals to lead them this year and fellow forward Chris Wood sits with 12. They are solid in midfield as well, led by Jack Rodwell.

No changes to our lineup or tactics from the Newcastle game. We'll go flat 4-4-2 control even though my scouts say Everton plays well against that formation - we've enjoyed most of our recent success with two up front so I'll stick with what is working.

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

Everton are in their customary flat 4-4-2 as well but start veteran striker Daniel Sturridge up front with Chris Wood, as Mumuni is on the bench today. I tell the team that they can win this game, now go out and do it!

2' - They send a long ball up field that looks like it's way offside but the flag is down. Right midfielder Paul Anderson takes the ball and hits a ferocious ball that Wilke dives to save. The rebound comes straight to Chris Wood but with the net at his mercy, he shoots wide!

12' - Everton are in complete command and hold possession well - Sturridge sends a great pass up to his strike partner and Wood has another glorious chance that he shoots wide. We need to be better here.

14' - Oh boy - we lose the ball in midfield and Claudio Contreras takes down Wood on an ugly foul about five yards outside our area. STRAIGHT RED CARD! We are quickly down to ten men.

I go to three at the back for now but will likely need to bring another defender in.

19' - It's Everton again with possession and the ball comes to midfielder Nenad Krsticic. He turns and sends a through ball to Sturridge. He's onside and in on goal and he blasts it into the back of the net. We're in trouble. EVERTON GOAL 0-1

30' - We have a throw in and Cairney sends the ball into the middle to Andrea Rocca. He sends a great pass into Gesios at the top of the area and our lethal striker turns to his left to gain a step and left foots the ball into the far corner of the net! WOW! DOVER GOAL 1-1

I drop Neil Cairney into the centre of the defence and move Zoltan Bardi to midfield, giving us a 4-4-1 look.

38' - Everton with a GORGEOUS tic-tac-toe passing play to spring Sturridge and Wilke makes an equally brilliant save to keep the game tied.

45'+1 - Gesios with a fantastic through ball to a charging Andrea Rocca. He has room to move in further but shoots from just outside the area and it's high. Good chance there!

HALFTIME - Well, Contreras getting sent off seemed to stir us up a bit and we were better in the second part of that half. Still, Everton are dominating possession, holding it an obscene 66% of the game but shots are even 7-7 (3-2 on target for Everton). I make two half-time switches, taking out Gianluca Bolis and bringing in Mancini to play DC and Liam Craig is on for Arsene Bamba. I switch to a 4-3-2 formation, with Liam Craig playing MC.

48' - Everton's Anderson scores off a header but he's way offside on the play. Whew!

51' - I move to a counter attacking system.

56' - Everton get another great chance on a cross into the box. Our defence look confused and Sturridge is right on top of Wilke. The ball squirts loose and Gaucho kicks it to safety just in time.

59' - We work a counter attack and it's Neil Cairney heading up the right wing. He can't get by his man so he slows down and plays it back to Salim Loucif. He sends a pass into the middle to Rocca, as play slows down enough to make me think nothing is coming of this. He sends a pass to Gesios, who has his back to the goal and is about 10 yards outside the area. He turns to his right and unleashes a curling bullet that the Everton keeper Di Capua dives to punch away but instead, he only gets a piece and the ball goes into the corner of the net! STUNNING strike from Gesios, his second of the game and with only 10 men, we're up a goal!! DOVER GOAL 2-1

63' - Holy crap! We have a free kick and kind of mess it up but regain possession outside the area. Cairney sends a pass to Tjiuoro, who is leaving the area to get back to his defensive position and he surprises the whole stadium with a through ball into the box to a storming Gesios. I'm thinking hat trick but Di Capua makes a SPECTACULAR diving save on the bullet and keeps Everton within one. What a dagger that would have been!

There's just WILD action on the field in both directions, as players are going down and there are chances for both teams. Just a wild scene but no shots on goal.

77' - Incredibly, the best chances continue to be ours, as Liam Craig sends a nice little touch pass to Gesios and his left footed shot is saved nicely by Di Capua. Everton don't seem to have an answer for this three tight midfielder formation.

81' - They get their best chance of the half off a corner but Ryan Shawcross heads the ball just over.

86' - Zoltan Bardi, who hasn't been great today, gets a yellow card.

90'+2 - We continue to hold them off! I take out the incredible Andrea Rocca and bring in Darren Pratley as a time wasting maneuver.

WOW! WHAT A WIN!

Everton 1 - 2 Dover
Goals - Giorgos Gesios 2 (9.1)
Assists - Andrea Rocca 2 (8.8)
Man of the Match - Giorgos Gesios
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.0), Renato Gaucho (7.1), Neil Cairney (7.1)
Attendance - 38, 921

With only ten men, we seemed to confound Everton and they had absolutely no success in breaking us down. They held the ball for 59% of the game but we ended up outshooting them 21-12 (6-5 on target), just crazy numbers! Gianluca Bolis (6.2) and Zoltan Bardi (6.1) struggled but who cares! What a sensational win!

-- Claudio Contreras will miss our last game against City due to his straight red card. A disciplinary committee will meet to determine whether the suspension will be longer and I file an appeal - I doubt it will help, as the foul was pretty nasty.

-- Man City defeat Reading 1-0 to lock up the Barclays Premier League title. So that gives them a treble of sorts for this year: the European Super Cup, Carling Cup (League Cup) and now the Premier League. They go for a quadruple in the Champions League finals against Real Madrid. Chelsea beat Stoke away 1-0 to stay level on points with us but seeing as we play City next weekend and they play Middlesbrough at home, I'd say it's not looking good for us to finish in 3rd. We'll see I guess! I may not field a full-strength side that night, as I'd like to give some playing time to some of our lesser lights if possible. At least I'm saying that now…we'll see what I say next week! Everton, despite the loss to us, still are in control of their Continental destiny, as they are two points ahead of Liverpool and face Villa next week. Liverpool face Sheffield Wednesday. And crazy enough, there is still an incredible race to stay alive at the bottom of the table, as NO TEAM is officially relegated with only one game left! Norwich is in last with 26 points, Stoke is two ahead and are tied on points with Fulham. Bolton is one further point ahead and Sheffield Wednesday at 31 points aren't safe either! What a race to the finish!

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

1. Man City - 95 points
2. Man United - 89 points
3. Dover - 76 points (+39 GD)
CL 4. Chelsea - 76 points (+27 GD)
----------------------------------------------------
EL 5. Arsenal - 66 points
6. Everton - 58 points (+17 GD)
7. Liverpool - 56 points (+15 GD)
----------------------------------------------------
8. Middlesbrough - 53 points
9. Reading - 52 points
10. Newcastle - 49 points
11. Sunderland - 49 points
12. Tottenham - 48 points
13. Huddersfield - 46 points
14. Derby - 41 points
15. Aston Villa - 40 points
16. Sheffield Wednesday - 31 points (-37 GD)
17. Bolton - 29 points (-47 GD)
----------------------------------------------------
18. Fulham - 28 points (-36 GD)
19. Stoke - 28 points (-38 GD)
20. Norwich - 26 points (-47 GD)



-- We are happy to announce that fine DR Salim Loucif has signed a contract extension that will see him remain at Dover for four years. This was necessary to eliminate his meagre minimum release clause - Loucif gets an extra few thousand pounds a week, a nice signing bonus and I get the knowledge that no one can take him off my hands for less than £15 million! Everyone is happy!

-- A couple of my players are unhappy: backup fullback Jozef Varga wants more playing time but I tell him I'll be the one making the decisions about who stays and who goes and he quickly apologizes. More of a concern is Andrea Rocca being unhappy with his contract. He's due to expire in one year's time so I'll likely look to give him a nice raise in the offseason.



-- Andrea Rocca and Giorgos Gesios both make the Barclays Premier League team of the week.



-- The FA rule against my appeal of Claudio Contreras's one game ban. I just hope they don't give him more games. A couple days later, I find out that he's given a further two-game ban so he will be suspended for our final game this year and our first two contests next season.



-- I offer a number of my scouts contract extensions and they all accept. I'm going to be changing the way I scout for the upcoming season, as I'll need more exposure due to my upcoming Continental experience. More importantly, I think I need a better system of finding good players in the other great leagues of the world.



-- I have a significant offer accepted for a great young German midfielder (£10 million) but the 18 year old isn't interested in even talking about a contract at this point. I'm not sure if this is something I can revisit when the game recognizes that I will be playing Champions League football next season.



Next Up

-- We face Premier League champions Manchester City at Crabble in our last game of the season.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2014, 01:18 AM   #134
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sun. May 23, 2021

Barclays Premier League
Dover (23-7-7, 76 points, 3rd) vs. Manchester City (30-5-2, 95 points, 1st)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

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

We host the two-time defending Premier League champions on the last day of the season. The draw you see above was in a preseason friendly years ago so we've, in reality, never had a positive result against them. This might be our best opportunity - they've clinched the league and have the Champions League Finals coming up in six days in Portugal against Real Madrid. The odds are quite close for the first time ever AND their leading scorer, stellar young Dutch striker Jelle Hoegee, is nursing a torn hamstring. They still have boatloads of talent everywhere, including the incomparable Enrique, who has mostly played midfield this year and his numbers are down as a result.

I hem and haw about my lineup, thinking about giving veterans like Darren Pratley and Liam Craig one more start for old times sake. But screw nostalgia! This is a winnable game and we'll give it our best effort. Oliver Nicholas will get a last hurrah start in place of suspended Claudio Contreras and I'll go with Lukasz Fabianski in goal. Otherwise, I'll go with the same lineup and formation.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - L. Fabianski
D - R. Gaucho, O. Nicholas, P. Tjiuoro, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, Z. Bardi
Bench - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, Mancini, D. Pratley, L. Craig, P. Kostal, G. Escobar

City almost exclusively play a 4-5-1 with a DMC and two wide attacking midfielders. Yahia Traore is the lone striker and Enrique is in midfield, as expected. I tell the team to go out and win for their loyal supporters!

3' - We have the early possession edge and Gesios takes a nice pass from Renato Gaucho and hits a curling shot toward the corner that's turned aside by City backup goalkeeper Juan Nsue. We do nothing with the corner.

10' - We lose the ball at midfield and it's the dangerous right midfielder Bruno dribbling down the entire half and getting a hard blast off that's turned aside by Fabianski. They earn a corner and the cross is headed just over.

14' - We have a throw in down the left side and Gaucho tosses it to Cairney. He sends it back to Gaucho on the touchline and the big Brazilian sends a one touch cross to Rocca, who is at the edge of the area. Rocca, showing incredible skill, hits it on the half volley and curls it past the defenders and Nsue for the shocking goal. WOW!!! SENSATIONAL STRIKE!!! DOVER GOAL 1-0

16' - City are angry and try to fight back off the ensuing kick off. Again, it's Bruno doing the damage down the right side, as he flies past Gaucho and sends in a cross to their stellar left midfielder Gylfi Sigurosson. He leaps above Oliver Nicholas and heads it toward goal but Fabianski is right there for the save!

17' - We earn another throw in and Bamba sends a pass to the middle to Neil Cairney. He delivers a curling shot to the near corner but Nsue makes a great diving effort to push it out of play. There is a huge scramble in the area on the ensuing corner but we can't get a shot through!

19' - Gesios gets another chance off a nice little feed from Bamba but his weak shot is saved by Nsue. We're doing VERY well right now and controlling play. Enrique hasn't made his presence known…yet! And just as I write that, Enrique sends a great through ball to Sigurosson. He storms past the defence and they have numbers. Traore is steaming up the middle unmarked and Sigurosson finds him for the easy one-timer goal. Poor defending and I'll have to start biting my tongue in the future. MANCHESTER CITY GOAL 1-1

Looking at the replay, it was a very poor decision by seldom used Dover legend Oliver Nicholas, as he elected to pursue the ball carrier when he needed to stay in his zone.

21' - We compose a brilliant reply off the kickoff, with great passing all the way culminating in a brilliant Rocca feed up to Zoltan Bardi. Bardi is on the keeper but Nsue makes a spectacular diving save! What a chance!! We win the corner and Rocca feeds it to the near post. Who is there?! How about OLIVER FUCKING NICHOLAS! He heads it through traffic and it deflects into the net. WOWOWOWOWOW!!! How's THAT for a response! Nicholas' first of the year!!! DOVER GOAL 2-1

25' - This game is all sorts of AWESOME. We win a free kick just outside the area and Rocca's curling effort hits the wall but bounces up and to the right. Gianluca Bolis is there and one times a shot that JUST screams wide. This is FUN!

32' - City have a throw in down the right side and Bruno gets it into Enrique. I curse myself for even mentioning his lack of touches earlier, as he dribbles through two defenders and drives an incredible, low rocket past Fabianski and into the goal. Classy strike from the best player in football right now and they pull level again! MANCHESTER CITY GOAL 2-2

34' - This game is nuts but I love it. Bruno marches up the field again and fires a shot to the near top corner that Fabianski somehow dives, saves and holds on to.

36' - Off a throw in, we work the ball from Gesios, to Cairney and over to Bolis just right of goal but his blast is shockingly wide. Great chance again.

45'+1 - Bruno uses his incredible speed to get past Gaucho again and hits a low blast from the edge of the area that Fabianski does well to turn aside. They have a corner and Bruno's cross is headed toward goal by striker Traore. Fabianski makes the save but Sigurosson is there for the rebound and tucks it away. Damn. We don't deserve to be down. MANCHESTER CITY GOAL 2-3

HALFTIME - EPIC MATCH. Simply a sensational football match and we're incredibly unlucky to be losing. We hold a huge 59% of possession thus far and are outshooting them 14-12 (5-8 on target). Simply put, the neutrals are LOVING THIS GAME! I sympathize with the players and tell them I want Enrique shadowed constantly.

60' - Well, the pace was bound to slow up a bit and there's not much action in the first third of the half. They get their first break when Sigurosson gets away from Loucif and plants a piledriver to the far corner that Fabianski nicely deflects to safety.

69' - Gesios takes a throw in and dances in from the left sideline. He crosses it into the box and Cairney hits it high on the half volley but it's just high.

72' - Bruno is everywhere this game. He sends a curling rocket from distance that's right at Fabianski but it's so hard, all our keeper can do is punch it to the sidelines. Still, we're safe but still need a goal.

I check the out of town scoreboard and Chelsea are DESTROYING Middlesbrough 4-0. We're looking at fourth place unless we find two goals here.

75' - Bardi takes down a man and gets the yellow card.

76' - Double substitution as I bring in Gerardo Escobar for Zoltan Bardi and veteran Liam Craig comes in for Arsene Bamba.

83' - City show their class with a superb buildup that culminates with Traore getting a shot off from in close but Fabianski makes a lovely stop.

84' - Escobar gets a yellow for taking down their defender in their area on a free kick.

86' - We work a counter up field and Escobar is running down the right sideline unmarked. Gesios is there waiting for the cross but Escobar can't get it to him as it's headed out. We work back into the area with the quiet-up-to-now Gianluca Bolis but his hard blast is just wide.

I bring on another great Dover player in his last game for the club, captain Darren Pratley. He replaces the excellent Andrea Rocca. We move to an Overload system.

90' - Of course, City hit us on a counter attack and they have men streaming up field. Once again it's Bruno as the architect and his cross meets the golden foot of Traore for his second of the game. MANCHESTER CITY GOAL 2-4

Fantastic game regardless of result. That was a lot of fun.

Dover 2 - 4 Manchester City
Goals - Andrea Rocca (8.3), Oliver Nicholas (7.2)
Assists - Renato Gaucho (6.6), Andrea Rocca
Man of the Match - Yahia Traore (Manchester City ST - 9.1)
Other Dover Notables - Lukasz Fabianski (8.3), Paulus Tjiuoro (4.9), Neil Cairney (5.9)
Attendance - 15,750

Well, we deserved better. We held the ball for 55% of the match but were outshot 20-20 (12-6 on target). Paulus Tjiuoro was essentially blamed for at least two of the goals and had a dreadful 4.9 rating. Ouch! Nevertheless, I tell the players it was a good effort.

-- Chelsea closed out Middlesbrough with ease and their 4-0 win was enough to vault them past us in the standings into third place. Everton lost again, this time to Villa but Liverpool could only manage a draw against Sheffield Wednesday so Everton wins Europa League qualification by a single point. Liverpool will not be playing European football next year! At the bottom of the standings, Norwich and Stoke both lost and were relegated. Bolton started the day in the clear but knew they were in trouble with one of the worst goal differentials in the league. Add that to the fact they had to face Man United and they knew it was going to be tough to stay up. Bolton would lose 3-0 and Fulham would pull out a sensational draw away at Huddersfield to pull level on points with Bolton and stay afloat in the Premier League for another season on goal differential.




-- We earn £13,600,000 for our fourth place finish in the Premier League and pay out a higher than normal bonus to the players amounting to just less than a million pounds.

-- With our finish, we are scheduled to enter the 2021 Champions League at the Best Placed Playoff stage, which will likely take place in mid-August. This is my first foray into Continental play but I'm guessing that if we don't move on in that stage, we get placed into the Europa League. Correct me if I'm wrong please!

-- The season is over and the players leave for holiday. Time to start working on building next year's roster! I have a ridiculous amount of money to work with right now, with over 20 million pounds in last year's transfer kitty still available! I should be able to buy a couple of key players before July and then I'll get a whole new budget to work with.



Next Up

-- Stats…recaps….awards….etc.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2014, 05:03 AM   #135
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Damned impressive season.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2014, 09:06 AM   #136
Tellistto
College Prospect
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whitman, MA
Nicely done, indeed!
__________________
FOOL - Ann Arbor Winged Lingerines
FOOLX - Portland Axemen

Hattrick - Fizzle United (222968)
Tellistto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2014, 04:35 PM   #137
Alf
Pro Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Rennes, France
Good one !
__________________
FOFL - GML - IHOF - FranceStats
Alf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2014, 04:48 PM   #138
DukeRulesMAB
College Prospect
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Alexandria, VA
Just want to add my voice to say I'm really enjoying this.

If I'm you, once whatever happens to officially declare yourself a Champions League squad happens, the first thing I do is get Cairney taken care of. He seems like your centerpiece, and this is going to be your first opportunity to actually tie him up, because this will be the first time the game recognizes just how good your squad is.
__________________
FOBL: Where anyone not in IAP

FOFL: I may be the commish, but it's still pretty good.
DukeRulesMAB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2014, 10:10 PM   #139
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada




The stats shown above take into account all competitions with our senior team and include everyone who played at least one game for the big club this past season.

I departed from my usual strategy of spreading playing time around to as many players as possible and instead fielded my strongest team whenever I could - that meant that the preferred "starting eleven" got more appearances than normal while the bench players rarely played. Quality depth is still a concern outside of central defence and something that I'll look to address as we move into next year. With continental play on the horizon, I'm looking at potentially another 10+ games or so and will definitely need to have some sort of squad rotation in place.

GK

-- Ingo Wilke was sensational this year, with an incredible 16 clean sheets and he solidified his starting position with the club. Lukasz Fabianski is in the twilight of his career and played very well when called upon as well - we were very strong in goal this year. Wilke will be the de facto starter going into next season. Fabianski's contract is expiring and won't be renewed and we have a new keeper coming in to push Wilke in Ivory Coast international Youssouf Sylla.

D

-- Generally speaking, our defence was much improved over the previous year. At fullback, we got solid seasons out of 19 year old Brazilian Renato Gaucho and 22 year old Salim Loucif. Our depth was solid as well, as Jozef Kuciak was called upon to play 15 games when Loucif was either hurt or away on international duty and performed at a very high level, as seen by his team high rating at the position. Jozef Varga also played well when Gaucho was hurt. Ross McLaughlin has some tough moments but is more than capable as a third stringer.

-- In the middle, we felt strongly about our big Argentinian signing Cristian Rodriguez and he performed brilliantly in his first half season with the club. We envisioned him as a future leader but the bright lights and big money of Manchester United proved impossible for him and for our chairman to resist, as the club sold him without consulting with me for over £15 million. It was a bitter pill to swallow. Thankfully, I loaded up on DCs in the preseason and fellow newcomers Paulus Tjiuoro and to a lesser extent, 18 year old Claudio Contreras were more than adequate at the back. Contreras is loaded with potential but still needs to fill out his impressive 6' 6" frame and gain strength and pace. Without Rodriguez's speed, we were skinned a bit too often for my liking and may still need to find a pacy centre half to round out our rotation. Thomas Andersen was another offseason signing and I loaned him out to the Championship to further his development when I knew he wouldn't get enough playing time here. Veterans Laurent Koscielny and Emir Faccioli were added as depth but neither impressed in brief appearances. Dover stalwart Oliver Nicholas, a loyal servant to the club ever since I signed him in my first year of management in 2010/11, is on an expiring contract and likely won't be renewed.

M

-- Out wide, one of our more unheralded signings was former Dover loan player Arsene Bamba, who starred for us during our League 1 years and was brought back for good this past July. Bamba was sensational in scoring 11 goals and generally playing at a very high level all year. Gianluca Bolis has incredible skill but is still a bit inconsistent for my liking but he's only 22 and his game is improving. Depth wise, we were fine here, as Cameron Murray, the Scottish international, fared better in his second year with our club. Petr Kostal is on an expiring contract but played well in the rare case he was called upon. Reading loaned us Martin Prochazka but I could only get him into two games all year with the senior team. He won't be back, nor will veteran Liam Craig, one of the main reasons for our promotion to the Premier League from the Championship three years ago.

-- Our two starters at central midfield were the glue that held the team together. Andrea Rocca continued to produce at an extremely high level despite playing in more of a supporting role for the majority of the season. 24 points in 42 games is great production and he's simply a wonderful player. The big splash signing in the offseason was to grab "WonderKid" Neil Cairney from Manchester City and while he wasn't hugely productive, he settled in nicely and was ever present in midfield. He's got incredible talent oozing out of every pore and I'm sure we'll always be watching out for the big clubs that are circling in on him. He resisted Liverpool's efforts at the January window but I expect some fireworks in July. Hopefully he can continue his growth with Dover for a few more years. Young defensive midfielder Mancini was much improved in his second year with the club and it seems like the Brazilian has settled into life in England. Captain Darren Pratley was mostly bench fodder and the 36 year old will not be re-signed when his contract expires in June. We have one depth signing in Shaun Spall already announced for when the transfer window reopens but I'll need to find one more central midfielder at least in order to have proper cover for next season.

S

-- We paid an enormous amount of money for Greek international Giorgos Gesios two years ago and after an injury-riddled first year where he struggled to settle into the club, he simply was sensational in year two. The year started with him dominating at the Euro Cup competition and his form carried into the season. His 23 goals across all competitions is easily the highest total in our Premier League years and he was joined up front by strike partner Zoltan Bardi, who scored 18 of his own. Bardi, who is equally adept at dropping into an attacking midfield position, is a dual threat player and a key cog for our offence. Our main man off the bench is super speedy Petr Simek - he's a poacher and nothing more and is a great player to have come off the bench to take advantage of a tiring opposition defence. Gerardo Escobar was okay in a supporting role but I will likely look to improve my depth here and if I find a world-class striker to join Gesios and Bardi, Escobar will definitely be moved. Roberto was a constant on our reserve team and he's very cheap insurance if we have a run of injuries. I may move him as well if I find better options but like Bardi, his ability to drop back behind the striker gives me some flexibility.

RESERVE TEAM PLAYERS

-- Essentially, any players that are strictly on my reserve team are there solely for the purpose of developing "Home-Grown" status. I'm under the impression this is important for Continental play so I have kept a few mediocre prospects around as opposed to sending them on loan in order for them to qualify. There is nothing really to write home about here - DM Jamie Matthews, DC Andrew Stanley, DC Emmanuel Agbo, ST Dennis Kunz and DC Gareth Mace won't be making much of an impact at the senior level for our club.

LOAN PLAYERS

-- I have a few players out on loan but none are likely to be considered top prospects other than perhaps Thomas Andersen, who was mentioned earlier. Matthew Thompson has been with us for a number of years and is a Championship level DC with home-grown status, making him valuable. Striker Ryan Bodin, an offseason signing, was loaned out to Rushden and led them in scoring with 17 goals in 44 appearances. AMC Aitor Zubizarreta is a flashy Spainiard that I grabbed from Manchester United a few years ago but hasn't been able to make his mark here. He's valued at £1.6 million and I may try to move him. He had a poor year for Gimnastic in La Liga, with 1 goal and 1 assist in 18 games after scoring eight goals for them the year before while on loan. Other loan players include ML Steve Ingram, DM Jonathan Gauthier and DC Andy Brown. None are impact players.

U18 PLAYERS

-- Now, I do have a few interesting U18 prospects, with the most notable being DC Abdallaye Kokaina, who I signed in the preseason. This 18 year old German is a 4.5 star prospect and I considered playing him with the senior team but with all the depth I added last year, I decided it was best he play as much as possible and kept him with the U18s all year. Fellow DC Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz is another solid prospect. Striker Carlo Cerbone came out of nowhere after I signed him for about £30K and scored 32 goals for the juniors - he's now valued at well over a million pounds. Fellow striker Gregoire Lambert suffered a long-term injury early in the year but came back with renewed vigour and he's another prospect to watch. All four of those players were signings from outside the organization - homegrown talent like Johnny Mardenborough, Matt Hewitt, Gary Cook, Chris Paterson, Steve Sinnott and Garry Doyle are marginal prospects at best and will likely find themselves playing in lesser leagues in the future. I'm hopeful that with the improvements made to our youth facilities, the development of an academy AND the work being done on our youth recruitment network, that we'll be developing our own world-class players in the future. Or even ONE world-class player!

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-19-2014 at 10:20 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2014, 10:27 PM   #140
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Izulde View Post
Damned impressive season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellistto View Post
Nicely done, indeed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alf View Post
Good one !

Thanks guys! Glad to have you aboard!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeRulesMAB View Post
Just want to add my voice to say I'm really enjoying this.

If I'm you, once whatever happens to officially declare yourself a Champions League squad happens, the first thing I do is get Cairney taken care of. He seems like your centerpiece, and this is going to be your first opportunity to actually tie him up, because this will be the first time the game recognizes just how good your squad is.

Thanks Duke - I appreciate it!

I agree about Neil Cairney. I'm really excited to see what he does in year two, having fully settled with the club by that point presumably. He's a fascinating player and I'm still trying to figure out how to use him - he's got great stamina and work ethic and is equally adept at offence or defence - I'm thinking he might make a great "box-to-box" player but whenever I gave him that role, he seemed to suffer a bit. I played him mostly in an attacking role as an advanced playmaker but Andrea Rocca is likely a better choice for that role. I moved Cairney into the support slot and a deep-lying playmaker role for our last few games and he did fine for the most part. Something to chew on for next season…if anyone has suggestions on the role I should put him in, I'm all ears!

I looked at his contract demands immediately after he shunned Liverpool and I couldn't afford to extend him based on limitations given by my chairman. I'm hopeful that with Continental play on the horizon that much more money will continue to be added to my wage allowance and if so, Cairney will definitely be the first guy I look to extend. As it stands now, at least I have him for a couple more years, barring someone meeting his £25 million dollar release clause…which definitely is a possibility!
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2014, 11:07 PM   #141
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
2020-21 Barclays Premier League - Team Stats

-- We were ranked third in goal scoring (78) and third in least goals conceded (41) behind the two Manchester teams. Both are HUGE improvements on last year - in fact, we almost added one extra goal scored per game this year, quite a feat.

-- Our average league attendance, at 13,255, was the smallest in the league BUT our average attendance by CAPACITY was 99% and we LED the league in that category! We effectively sold out every game at Crabble in Premier League play, with 19 stadium sellouts in our 19 home games. Keep in mind we had one of our stands shutdown for the first couple of months due to our stadium expansion.

-- Other key team stats: we were T-4th in goals scored from corners (11), T-8th in goals scored from IFK's (7) but didn't score on any direct free kicks.



2020-21 Barclays Premier League - Player Stats

-- 16 players participated in all 38 games across the league. We had three players take part in 36 of the 38 games: Zoltan Bardi, Andrea Rocca and Neil Cairney were our iron-men.

GOALS
1. Yaya Sanogo, Manchester United, 33
2. Jelle Hoegee, Manchester City, 27
3. Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea, 24
4. Enrique, Manchester City, 21
5. Giorgos Gesios, Dover, 18

T7. Zoltan Bardi, Dover, 15
T24. Arsene Bamba, Dover, 9


ASSISTS
1. Bruno, Manchester City, 22
2. David Maclennan, Newcastle, 17
3. Andrea Rocca, Dover, 16
4. Enrique, Manchester City, 13
5. Jonjo Shelvey, Liverpool, 12

T11. Neil Cairney, Dover, 9
T15. Giorgos Gesios, Dover, 8


MAN OF MATCH AWARDS
1. Yaya Sanogo, Manchester United, 11
2. Enrique, Manchester City, 9
T3. Jelle Hoegee, Manchester City, 6
T3. Craig Flett, Sunderland, 6
T3. Brian Reekers, Liverpool, 6

T12. Giorgos Gesios, Dover, 4
T20. Arsene Bamba, Dover, 3
T20. Zoltan Bardi, Dover, 3
T20. Andrea Rocca, Dover, 3


AVERAGE RATING
1. Jelle Hoegee, Manchester City, 8.02
2. Yaya Sanogo, Manchester United, 7.69
3. Enrique, Manchester City, 7.65
4. Bruno, Manchester City, 7.60
5. Danny Wilson, Manchester City, 7.47

13. Andrea Rocca, Dover, 7.29
18. Giorgos Gesios, Dover, 7.24
22. Arsene Bamba, Dover, 7.21

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-19-2014 at 11:08 PM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2014, 12:13 AM   #142
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Barclays Premier League Awards

-- Enrique once again wins the English Footballer of the Year award, with fellow City teammate Bruno coming in second and United's Yaya Sanogo finishing in third.

-- City midfielder Gylfi Sigurosson is named at the Players' Player of the Year winner. United's Omar Hernandez comes in second and Romelu Lukaku comes in third.

-- And a wonderful honour comes for our club, as we SWEEP the Players' Young Player of the Year voting! Andrea Rocca is the winner for the second consecutive year. Just to put that into perspective, this award has been presented since the 1973 season and Rocca is only the fifth player in history to win it in consecutive years. The other four, you ask? Ryan Giggs, Robbie Fowler, Wayne Rooney and Andrea Poli. Incredible company for Rocca! Giorgos Gesios finishes in second place and strike partner Zoltan Bardi finishes in third.

-- We continue to add to our trophy case and this time, it's yours truly with the honour, as I'm named as the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Year! Carlo Ancelotti from City is the runner up and United's Jurgen Klinsmann finishes third. Awesome!

-- Barclays Premier League Players' Team of the Year
GK - Joe Hart, Manchester City
DL - Danny Wilson, Manchester City
DC - Brian Reekers, Liverpool
DC - Nchimunya Munyao, Arsenal
DR - Luiz Carlos, Manchester United
ML - Gylfi Sigurosson, Manchester City
MC - Omar Hernandez, Manchester United
MC - Enrique, Manchester City
ST - Yaya Sanogo, Manchester United
ST - Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea

We have FOUR players named to the team as substitutes! Zoltan Bardi, Arsene Bamba, Giorgos Gesios and Andrea Rocca get that honour! Fantastic!


Yearly Dover Training Summary

-- I get positive reports on Zoltan Bardi, Giorgos Gesios and Renato Gaucho. My assistant also gives special mention to Gianluca Bolis and Claudio Contreras, who he says both improved "significantly".

-- Negative reports come in for veterans Darren Pratley, Emir Faccioli, Lukasz Fabianski, Liam Craig and Laurent Koscielny. No surprises there - the only one of those five that is currently scheduled to return is Faccioli, as the rest are on expiring deals.

-- On the youth side, Carlo Cerbone, Abdallaye Kokaina and Johnny Mardenborough get positive reports and GK Garry Doyle gets the extra mention for his significant improvements made in training.



Stadium Expansion

-- For a second consecutive season, without any prompting, our board announce yet another stadium expansion! We will be enlarging Crabble Athletic Ground by 7,250 seats, which will bring us up to 23,000! Keep in mind, we had only 1000 (!!!) seats three years ago upon entering the Premier League and a maximum capacity of 6,500. Another positive development at Dover and this should help increase our ticket sales by close to 50% based on the additional seats alone. The expansion will cost us approximately £8.75 million.

-- In the same press conference, the board confirm that plans to improve our Youth Recruitment Network are a go and that we should have the new system in place within a month. Brilliant!



-- Two of our players are named to the final Barclays Premier League Team of the Week. GK Lukasz Fabianski and MC Andrea Rocca get the honour.



International Duty

-- Neil Cairney suits up for Scotland and plays well in a scoreless draw against Wales in the Four Associations Tournament.



FA Cup Final

-- Reading defeat Tottenham 2-0 off goals from Hani Megahed and Adam Lallana. Reading qualifies for the Europa League as a result.

-- We pay out £98,000 in bonuses to our squad for our semi-final FA Cup run.

-- As an aside, I keep getting notes about qualifying for the EUROPA LEAGUE - now, as the fourth placed team in the Premier League, I was under the impression that I enter the qualifying stages for the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE…am I wrong here? Also, on the EPL table, I now have a "UEL" designation instead of "CL". I don't get it…can anyone shed light on this for a Continental play rookie?



Champions League Final

-- Man City does it again, defeating Real Madrid 3-0 behind two Enrique goals. That's two Champions League titles in a row for City and completes a QUADRUPLE this year (Premier League, Champions League, Club World Championship and the Euro Super Cup.

-- Enrique is named the competitions Best Player. OM's Vasily Tkachenko wins the Golden Boot competition for the event.

-- Next year's Champions League finals will be played at the Artemio Franchi in Italy.



-- Zoltan Bardi is once again expressing his dissatisfaction with his contract and I finally relent, telling him that I'll address his concerns. He is making a ridiculously low salary but he's looking for money equivalent to Cairney and Gesios and there's no way he's getting that. I'll look into this next week.


-- Our board announce that our shareholders are being paid dividends approaching £700,000. Good for them.



International Call-Ups

-- Eight players get called up by their respective countries: Gregoire Lambert (France U19), Carlo Cerbone (Italy U19), Renato Gaucho (Brazil U20), Claudio Contreras (Argentina U20), Paulus Tjiuoro (Namibia), Giorgos Gesios (Greece), Salim Loucif (Algeria) and Zoltan Bardi (Hungary).



Dover Contracts Expiring

-- Seven senior team players are on expiring contracts: GK Lukasz Fabianski, DC Laurent Koscielny, MR Petr Kostal, DC Oliver Nicholas, DC Gareth Mace, ML Steve Ingram and DC Andy Brown. I may look into Kostal as a spare part and MAYBE Nicholas due to his significant tenure here at Dover. The other players aren't likely to see extensions. Johnny Mardenborough from the U18 squad is also on an expiring deal and I'll likely give him a token extension.

-- I still have nine staff members with expiring contracts and I'll have to get to those in short order.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2014, 04:11 AM   #143
Alf
Pro Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Rennes, France
In real life, Champions league qualification can change over time as each country gets a number of automatic spots given the past performances of clubs from that country the previous season (the UEFA coefficient). Looke like England gets 3 automatic spot + 1 qualifier

UEFA Champions League play-off round for non-champions Club finishing 4th in the Premier League. If the title holder has not already qualified for the Champions League, they will take the spot and the club finishing 4th in the table will enter the UEFA Europa League group stage. Seedings will be adjusted, as the title holder enters at the group stage.

English football clubs in international competition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
__________________
FOFL - GML - IHOF - FranceStats
Alf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2014, 08:52 AM   #144
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alf View Post
In real life, Champions league qualification can change over time as each country gets a number of automatic spots given the past performances of clubs from that country the previous season (the UEFA coefficient). Looke like England gets 3 automatic spot + 1 qualifier

UEFA Champions League play-off round for non-championsClub finishing 4th in the Premier League.If the title holder has not already qualified for the Champions League, they will take the spot and the club finishing 4th in the table will enter the UEFA Europa League group stage. Seedings will be adjusted, as the title holder enters at the group stage.

English football clubs in international competition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hmm - I guess we'll see what happens - Man City won the Champions League AND finished first on the table again so you'd think that the 4th placed team would get that Champions League slot.

Oh well...at the end of the day, I'll likely not be good enough to move that far in the CL anyway.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2014, 09:15 AM   #145
Alf
Pro Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Rennes, France
Given the results, City winning Champions League + England league, I would have expected Dover to get the automatic Champions League slot. Let's see.
__________________
FOFL - GML - IHOF - FranceStats
Alf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2014, 09:48 PM   #146
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
June Update

-- We'll see some of our players taking part in international matches but otherwise it will be a month of scouting and planning. The transfer window reopens on June 9th and we have a whole bunch of money available in our transfer kitty to spend from last year. That said, I will use a bunch of it to increase our relatively low wage budget, as we have very little room available right now. We'll need to look at contract extensions for guys like Zoltan Bardi and Andrea Rocca for sure.


June Board Confidence Update

-- No change here: the board is absolutely delighted with the way I'm leading the team. Stature increase is the highlight and Emir Faccioli is the lowlight.

-- We made a profit of £2.81 million last month and that is essentially the difference between the ~£13 million in Premier League prize money accrued versus the ~£9+ million allocated to our stadium expansion currently underway.




-- The money continues to pour in for us, as we increase our turnover by well over 20% this year, mostly due to our larger stadium and the resulting ticket sales. Spending was way up too, with wages almost doubling but the huge £16+ million cash injection from our rich new chairman put us way over the top from a profitability perspective. With another stadium expansion underway and Continental play on the horizon, I'm guessing our turnover and expenditures will continue to rise. Fun times!



-- Dover captain Darren Pratley announced that he will retire at the end of this month. He's been a good player for us but the writing was on the wall - he plans on getting into coaching.

-- Another long-time Dover contributor also announces his retirement in midfielder Liam Craig


Barclays Premier League - Monthly Awards

-- Chelsea winger Diogo wins the Barclays Premier League Player of the Month award for May. Andrea Rocca came in second place.

-- Rini Verhagen, a Fulham DC, wins the Young Player of the Month award. Renato Gaucho finishes in third place.

-- Jurgen Klinsmann from Manchester United wins the Manager of the Month award and I get third place honours.



-- Rumours are swirling that Roma will offer us north of £17 million for MR Gianluca Bolis - if they do, I'd be hard pressed to turn it down.

Contract Extensions

-- We finally get an agent off our backs as we come to an agreement with Zoltan Bardi on a four year deal that sees his salary skyrocket to £22,500 per week from £6,250. He's been great for us this year and his versatility is a huge asset.

-- U18 midfielder Johnny Mardenborough signs a three year contract extension - he's only 17 and barring a sale, he'll spend the next two years developing on our U18 club. He's making a paltry £85 per week. He's flashy but ultimately not Premier League material.



International Duty

-- The 2022 World Cup will be held in Australia and European qualification is underway. In a cool striker vs. striker match, Giorgos Gesios scored a goal to lead Greece to a 3-1 win over Zoltan Bardi and Hungary. Neil Cairney also represented Scotland in their win over Sweden and Salim Loucif contributed to Algeria's 3-1 win over Ivory Coast.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2014, 10:16 AM   #147
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Possible KEY Contract Extensions

I decided to test the waters on a possible contract extension with our best player, Wonderkid Neil Cairney.

His agent was open to talks and when I saw their initial wage demands, while higher than allowed by my board, I knew I could talk them down to a level that would work for our club.

So I left the room and started negotiating with our stalwart striker Giorgos Gesios instead.

Why, you ask?

Well, Gesios had a "match highest earner" clause in his contract and when I signed Cairney last year for 39,000 pounds per week, Gesios has his salary bumped to that number as well. I don't want that clause coming back to haunt me so I went to work with his agent on a new deal.

It took some doing but I finally got his agent to agree to a new deal in principle WITHOUT that clause and from there, I went into a room with Cairney's agent and worked on them.

I was able to get the wages squared away quickly and I had no problem with Cairney having the "match highest earner" clause but the sticking point for me is the "minimum release clause" - it was at 25.5 million pounds and Cairney's agent wanted it kept at the same level.

Remember, last season Liverpool bid close to 26 million for him but we were fortunate that Cairney rejected their contract offer.

So, trying to protect our asset, I decided to hold out for a minimum release clause set at 40 MILLION POUNDS. It took some back and forth but in the end, the agent AGREED to my terms - Cairney is set to get a nice raise, I'd get an extra year on the deal (it would be a four year contract) AND I get some additional peace of mind that someone will need to bid 40 million pounds if they want a chance to buy him, of course, barring our board accepting a smaller deal without my approval.

So, with that all said, we wait to see if the players accept their deals.

Very, VERY exciting!
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2014, 09:55 PM   #148
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Transfer Window Opens

-- The Premier League transfer window reopens and for the first time in my career at Dover, I have a boatload of money to spend in JUNE, before I'm even given my budget for the upcoming season. After some adjustments made in order to increase my wage budget to £450,000, I still have over £16 million available to spend before July hits. I may make one more adjustment to my wage budget if I can't spend that whole amount just to set myself up better for next year and to accommodate some contract extensions that are hopefully forthcoming.

-- Here's my conundrum and it's a good one to have I guess - I have an extremely young and talented team and my preferred starting eleven from last year all return. The question is: do I look for BETTER first team talent or do I continue to ride the wave with a young team that was already good enough to finish 4th last year and just add depth and maybe some young talent for the future? If I stay the course, I'm sure there is a cohesion benefit to having the same group going out together for another year. But with so much money to spend right now, plus the added transfer budget that is assuredly coming in July, it's awfully tempting to go out and make a big splash or two.

If you're me…where do you look to make improvements? I still think a STUD, pacy centre half back may be in order after I was forced to sell Cristian Rodriguez last year. Claudio Contreras is a stud in the making but he's still 18 and a bit raw while Paulus Tjiuoro is capable but not exactly star material. I've got a great amount of young talent at the position too but it would be nice to have a core player near his prime.

As it stands right now, we have one player that comes in right as the window opens, something I announced in an earlier post…

Transfer IN

-- We welcome midfielder Shaun Spall to Dover, a former England U21 International, who we pick up from Peterborough in the Championship for £500,000.



Spall has solid intangibles and a very nice skill-set and I envision him to be a great backup option at the centre of the park. He's been VERY productive throughout his career and last year scored 4 goals with 16 assists in 38 appearances in the Championship.


International Update

-- Giorgos Gesios is at it again, scoring a hat trick in a 3-0 Greece win over Denmark in World Cup qualifying. Neil Cairney also played well representing Scotland as they defeated Malta 3-1. Both Greece and Scotland are looking good right now in their respective groups to move on.


Scouting Update

-- I've made re-working my scouting system a priority in the offseason and in the process, I let two of my long-term scouts out of their contracts a few weeks before they expired. In their place are scouts that I hired from top European clubs to take their place, as I look to scour the top leagues in the world with scouts that are born and reside in those particular areas. I'll have two scouts permanently entrenched in England, two in Spain, one in Germany, two in Italy and two in France. Their sole responsibility will be to unearth prospects and other talent in their countries. I also have two scouts randomly patrolling "Tier 2" leagues (Turkey, Russia, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil and Holland) and I'll have three scouts roaming the rest of the world. I'm hopeful that by having more structure in my scouting program that it will help deliver more information from all of the best leagues in the world. I also have an "advanced scout" checking out my next opposition (his sole job) and a chief scout who will act as a cross-checker for any information that comes in and will also head to any key tournaments across the globe.


-- I have a few teams that have made Bosman contract offers to DC Gareth Mace - I picked up this youngster on a free back in 2017 after he was dropped by Man United and he patrolled the backline for our U18 team for awhile. He's essentially useless, with "decent" potential (1.5 stars) but here's the kicker: he's a home-grown talent and I just received word that I *may* be in a bit of trouble fielding a proper team for Continental play this year, as I'll need FOUR home-grown players and EIGHT players trained in England. I've gone very much in an "International" direction with my first team, with only two of my starters having trained in England, those being Arsene Bamba and Zoltan Bardi. I may have to concentrate on bringing in one or two top English-trained players before the start of the year. Thankfully, newcomer Shaun Spall qualifies.


-- Man CIty makes a £1,500,000 offer for young DC Abdallaye Kokaina and I immediately reject it and that's followed by a £2,300,000 bid from Arsenal, also declined. The 19 year old will graduate from our U18 team and likely play a backup role for us this year. He's a four star rated prospect by pretty much all of my coaching staff.


European Club Rankings

-- Manchester United moves to #1 on the newest European Club rankings list, with Real Madrid 2nd and Man City 3rd. We aren't on the list but I assume we'll finally be on it at this time next year, as we'll gain our first coefficient points due to our Continental play. Speaking of which…

-- England retains its allocation of Champions League places and it looks like we're officially in the competition, entering in the Best Placed Playoff stage! EXCITING!
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2014, 12:23 AM   #149
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Contract Extension

-- Well, there is GREAT news and not so great news. The GREAT news is that stud midfielder Neil Cairney has agreed to a contract extension that will see him stay in a Dover kit until 2025. The key part to this new deal is that his minimum release clause has been raised to £40,000,000 - now, we still may see a bid that high but at least it gives me some peace of mind knowing that only the biggest clubs in the world can come calling now.

-- The bad news? Well, Cairney signed his contract BEFORE Giorgos Gesios so Gesios immediately gets a pay hike to Cairney's new wage number of £49,000 per week. So Gesios, with that info in hand, REJECTS my contract offer that was approved by his agent last week as it's at a smaller wage than he has now. Damnit - I have to go back to the drawing board with Gesios, as I don't want him having that "match highest earner" clause.

-- In a minor deal, I extend the contract of reserve left midfielder Steve Ingram for two years. Ingram is a home-grown player and will help me meet the Champions League requirements but hopefully will never have to play, as he's simply not good enough for our senior team.


Preseason Friendlies

- I accept offers from Sheffield United and West Brom in the Championship, along with Stade Malherbe Caen from France's Ligue 1 for friendly matches. I'll start working on the rest of my preseason schedule soon.


-- Another spare part centre half, Andy Brown gets two Bosman contract offers. His contract will expire at the end of the month and we'll let him go without compensation. He was a free pickup from Sheffield United back in 2016 and is not good enough for our squad according to our scouts.


Transfer IN

-- I've had my eye on this kid since he sprouted out of Bolton's youth academy last year. He had no interest in Dover at that time but with Bolton going back to the Championship, my chief scout told me he might be open to a move and we were able to pull it off. Welcome DM/MC Emmerson Harvey to Dover, as we make a successful £4,500,000 bid to secure his services!



Harvey is a MAJOR prospect, with 4.5 star potential according to my scouts and coaches and he's already rated currently at 2.5 stars at only 17 years of age. I'm making a conscious effort to bring in some better youth prospects in order to have quality "home-grown" players and Harvey will definitely qualify in a few years. He's a spirited player with solid skills across the board and at 6' 4", he'll be a commanding presence in midfield for us down the road. A very exciting signing but one for the future, as I'll place him with our U18s for at least this season and maybe even next year too. He's part of England's U21 setup so he's a future senior team international.


-- In what may be interesting news, I go ahead and transfer list two players: Argentine defender Emir Faccioli was brought on specifically to help countryman Cristian Rodriguez settle into our club but now that Rodriguez is gone, I have little use for this aging player. I put him on the market for a million pounds but doubt I can get that. The other player is a bit more useful to teams: striker Gerardo Escobar - Escobar has been a key player during his time here but he was decidedly a third choice forward for us behind Giorgos Gesios and Zoltan Bardi. In fact, Escobar was even behind Petr Simek as far as getting bench time, as Simek is better suited to coming on late in games versus Escobar. My thoughts are to upgrade this slot in the offseason - Escobar is a 3 star player so I put him on the market for £7,500,000.

-- Livorno in Serie A come calling for Faccioli, offering me £750,000 plus clauses for the veteran defender. I was looking for a million but he's only valued at half that so Livorno essentially split the difference with their offer. I decide to accept and we'll see if they can come to terms on a deal.

-- TEN teams bid on Escobar, with most of the bids in the £5,500,000 range plus incentives. He's only worth about £2,600,000 right now and I paid £2.2 million for him from Man United back in 2018. I'm going to sit on these bids for a week before deciding, just in case someone comes back at me with something more attractive.


Coaching Changes

-- Similar to my work done on my scouting department, I'm looking at improving my coaching where needed. I will be letting four of my coaches leave when their contracts expire at the end of the month and will look for better options. We have a few areas where we only have 3.5 star coaching and I want to get up to a minimum of 4 stars everywhere, if possible.


Preseason Foreign Tour

-- Every year, I pick a new country to visit during the preseason for a two-game tour. Last year we visited Italy and the year before we went to Greece. This year we will head to Germany and we'll face HSV and Dortmund in friendlies.


Contract Extension

-- I'm VERY pleased to lock up star striker Giorgos Gesios for a four year term. I was able to get him to drop his "match highest earner" clause, which was the most important thing for me. He's making the same amount right now as Neil Cairney but now only Cairney has that particular clause in his contract.


-- We get a note about the fact that Manchester United had sponsorship deals in excess of £64 million last year. Crazy! Norwich was at the bottom of the Premier League list at £240,000 and we were only £10k higher then they were.


-- We are given the opportunity to buy out an outstanding sell-on clause that we included in our transfer of young midfielder Frantisek Kroulik last year. 20% of the profit from a future deal would have gone to us - we sold him for £7,500,000 and we are offered £927,000 to scrap the clause. I accept the free money - they'd have to sell him for over £12,000,000 for me to get a higher payout - he's a good enough player possibly but I'll take the money now.


-- Emir Faccioli comes to terms with Livorno and that will conclude our £650,000 plus clauses bid. Faccioli will leave on July 1st.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2014, 01:01 AM   #150
NoSkillz
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Youth Recruitment Improvements

-- The board announce that our planned expansion of our youth recruitment system has been completed. Now we're up to "average" in that department.


England Season Summary

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

Barclays Premier League 2020/21
Winners - Man City
Relegated - Bolton, Stoke, Norwich
Top Goalscorer - Yaya Sanogo, Manchester United - 33
Most Assists - Bruno - 22
Highest Average Rating - Jelle Hoegee, Manchester City - 8.02 (23 apps)
Overachievers - Dover
Underperformers - Tottenham
Signing of the Season - Everton's Ekow Mumuni (£0)
Worst Signing of the Season - Middlesbrough's Geraldo (£6.5m)

npower Championship
Winners - Wolves
Promoted - Wolves, Southampton, Blackburn
Relegated - Barnsley, West Ham, Wigan

npower League 1
Winners - Portsmouth
Promoted - Portsmouth, Leeds, Hull
Relegated - Morecambe, Brentford, Crewe, Luton

npower League 2
Winners - Millwall
Promoted - Millwall, Shrewsbury, Barrow, Crawley
Relegated - Rotherham, Aldershot

Blue Square Bet Premier
Winners - Gateshead
Promoted - Gateshead, AFC Wimbledon
Relegated - Ebbsfleet, Dag & Red, Newport County, Eastleigh

Blue Square Bet North
Winners - Gainsborough
Promoted - Gainsborough, Histon
Relegated - Lowestoft, Blyth, Bradford PA

Blue Square Bet South
Winners - Woking
Promoted - Woking, Dartford
Relegated - Hastings United, St. Albans, Dorchester

Other Winners
FA Cup - Reading
League Cup - Manchester City
Community Shield - Arsenal
Johnstone's Paint Trophy - Brighton
FA Trophy - York

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

Last edited by NoSkillz : 01-23-2014 at 01:01 AM.
NoSkillz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:26 PM.



Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.