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Old 06-02-2005, 11:28 AM   #1
Butter
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
FM: P'boro Utd. - Year 8 ('11-'12) - Hunter turns Hunted

So, what's left for little old Peterborough United, the team I have taken in 7 years from lower league obscurity to England and UEFA Cup Champions?

How about Champions League success? That is our main goal this year, as we become the team with the mark on us... the one everyone looks to take down. We clung on to win the Premiership last year, with the fewest points to win the title since 06/07's Chelsea won with 78 also.

Re-visit last year's glory here, or stay with us now as I aim to see if sustainable success is possible at Peterborough United.
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Old 06-02-2005, 11:54 AM   #2
Butter
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Team History
League finishes
2004/05: L1 - 11-19-16, 17th pl., 52 pts.
05/06: L1 - 27-10-9, 1st pl., 91 pts.
06/07: Championship - 17-15-14, 11th pl., 66 pts.
07/08: Championship - 24-14-8, 1st pl., 86 pts.
08/09: EPL - 11-7-20, 14th pl., 40 pts.
09/10: EPL - 19-13-6, 5th pl., 70 pts.
10/11: EPL - 24-6-8, 1st pl., 78 pts.

FA Cup
04/05: Sixth Round
05/06: Third Round
06/07: Fourth Round
07/08, 08/09, 09/10, 10/11: Third Round

Carling Cup
04/05, 05/06: First Round
06/07, 07/08: Second Round
08/09: Third Round
09/10: Second Round
10/11: Fourth Round

UEFA Cup
10/11: Champions

Average attendance
04/05: 6,829
05/06: 7,447
06/07: 12,315
07/08: 13,531
08/09: 14,601
09/10: 15,798
10/11: 16,003

Transfer spending
04/05: Paid - $90k
(L1) Rec'd - $280k
05/06: Paid - $240k
(L1) Rec'd - $150k
06/07: Paid - $14k
(CH) Rec'd - $6k
07/08: Paid - $400k
(CH) Rec'd - $1.7 million
08/09: Paid - $10M
(EPL) Rec'd - $3M
09/10: Paid - $2.6M
(EPL) Rec'd - $1.4M
10/11: Paid - $6.4M
(EPL) Rec'd - $2.5M
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Old 06-02-2005, 01:00 PM   #3
Butter
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Roster
Goalkeepers
Depth chart (Age, salary - signed through, value):
1. Libis Andres Arenas (24, $600k - 2014, $13.5M)
2. Lee Grant (28, $650k - 2012, $1.7M)
3. Michel Boumann (22, $56k - 2014, $1.8M)
4. Sindri Tor Hilmarsson (19, $36k - 2015, $3M)
5. Jon Masalin (23, $28k - 2013, $1.25M)
6. Marcus Eskilsson (23, $20k - 2013, $340k)

Arenas will continue to be our #1 keeper... he is currently showing up as being wanted by Sheffield Wednesday, but there's no way I'm selling him, especially not at this salary, and with the performance he's given us. Lee Grant is a more than serviceable #2, actually starting for us some of last year, and allowing 12 goals in 13 starts. The others are all reserves, with Boumann being a bit more senior ready than Hilmarsson... but both are very interesting prospects. Masalin and Eskilsson are just dead weight.

Defense
Depth chart:
Left side:
1. Carlos Bocanegra (32, $1.5M - 2012, $1.95M)
2. Emil Jensen (31, $200k - 2012, $1.25M)
3. Ibrahim Kargbo (29, $650k - 2013, $4M)

Center:
1. Alex (28, $2M - 2014, $13M)
2. John Heitinga (27, $2.2M - 2014, $8.6M)
3. Marcos (23, $1.2M - 2014, $4.6M)
4. Karl Svensson (27, $600k - 2014, $3.4M)
5. Sarr (27, $500k - 2014, $3.4M)
6. Ibrahim Kargbo

Right side:
1. Cristian Zaccardo (29, $1.5M - 2014, $5.4M)
2. Sarr
3. Emil Jensen
4. Diego Gavilan (31, $1.35M - 2013, $4.6M)

Our weakest side is on the left. We have no real help available to us on the reserve level, so that is our top need entering the summer signing period... signing a successor to Carlos Bocanegra at left back. Heitinga was not a great performer last season, we'll be looking to him for additional help this year. Marcos and Alex grew into their own, both playing very well last year. Zaccardo has been very steady at right back, and will continue to be the starter there for the foreseeable future. Jensen, Sarr, Svensson, and Kargbo are all more than capable backups, even though Kargbo is not a natural left back.

Midfield
Depth chart:
Defensive midfielder:
1. Javier Mascherano (26, $3.2M - 2013, $46M)
2. Ibrahim Kargbo

That's pretty much it at defensive midfield, with the departure of Fabio Rochemback, who never did very well with us. Mascherano is currently valued at $46 million, which would be very hard to turn down if we were approached. I would have to say that signing another quality defensive middie is right at the top of our shopping list along with left back.

Left wing:
1. Thando Mngomeni (28, $260k - 2012, $9.4M)
2. Wesley Sneijder (26, $3.2M - 2014, $29M)
3. Kenny Lunt (31, $800k - 2012, $3.6M)
4. Tobias Eriksson (25, $700k - 2013, $4.2M)
5. Carlos Eduardo (20, $32k - 2015, $4.6M)

None of these players, except the reserve Eduardo, are what you'd call true left wingers. All can play in the middle of attack, and Mngomeni and Eriksson can even play forward. Eriksson will likely move up to the big squad with the departure of Viana and Fernandes to provide depth, but Eduardo is a reserve. Mngomeni is very dangerous on the left wing, but is not a crossing machine like Fabrice Fernandes was. Mngomeni's game is more to get in the box and either shoot himself or try to create on the run... Sneijder is dangerous all over the park, with blazing pace and strong power on both feet. Kenny Lunt is just a trusty old veteran.

Right wing:
1. Bosko Balaban (32, $2.6M - 2012, $2.2M)
2. Wesley Sneijder
3. Diego Gavilan
4. Kenny Lunt
5. Milciades Omar Bellomo (21, $700k - 2014, $8.6M)
6. Nicolai Graesdal (22, $60k - 2015, $2.8M)

Balaban is more a striker than a winger, much like Mngomeni. But with all of these potential scorers coming at them, defenses don't know who to cover. We were very effective in mid-season last year playing Balaban and Mngomeni on the wings, and sending them into the box to support Cole and Wallner. Balaban is very similar to Mngomeni, as he often looks to score first and pass later. Diego Gavilan scored 5 goals last year, including scoring the winning UEFA Cup PK. He seems to be as at home crossing the ball as he is shooting it. A top notch player. Bellomo was a reserve last year, who'll be promoted this year in the interest of depth. He appears to have the skill to compete at the top level, but we shall see. He is unhappy being at the reserves anyway, and has the potential to be a top notch player with a bit of work on his passing and aggression. Graesdal is a reserve.

Attacking midfielder:
1. Gerard (32, $1.6M - 2012, $2.8M)
2. Wesley Sneijder
3. Lebohang Mokoena (24, $1.55M - 2014, $7M)
4. Bosko Balaban
5. Milciades Omar Bellomo
6. Tobias Eriksson

Gerard proved himself more than capable as the point man in our attack last year... he is a superb connector between our backline, wings, and strike force. He didn't have flashy stats last year, but his average rating near 7.4 speaks for itself. His age is a concern, as is his speed. He also tends to miss open chances more than is desirable. Mokoena is more of a striker, but can play here as well. It probably would be a good idea to sign another dedicated AM-C just for depth purposes... as we have a lot of people committed to multiple positions, and losing one or more of them to injury could prove disasterous.

Striker
1. Carlton Cole (27, $2.4M - 2013, $19.5M)
2. Roman Wallner (29, $2.6M - 2013, $17M)
3. Lebohang Mokoena
4. Bosko Balaban
5. Thando Mngomeni

Cole's running mate has still not been determined... both Wallner and Mokoena are unhappy right now... Wallner because he thinks he's been demoted to a sub role mostly, Mokoena because he wants a new contract. Mokoena proved more than adept at scoring, but Wallner possesses a power and finishing skill that Mokoena does not.... he is dangerous from 30 yards on in, whereas Mokoena's skill is finishing with time and space. Both are effective, but Wallner complements Cole, whose skills are best suited to running past the back line. Plus, Mokoena is one of the fastest men on the team, and is more effective as a striker off the bench, running past the tired defense. Balaban is ol' dependable when he gets time up front... and Mngomeni is just on here in case of injury. He won't be playing up front much if we can help it. Our reserve striker corps is being depleted, but Elvis Hammond and Jim Johansen are still on the roster, over 3 years after they helped us win the Championship.
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Old 06-03-2005, 12:45 PM   #4
Butter
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
West Bromwich Albion win the final promotion spot to the Premiership, and will join Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff as Premiership newcomers this season. WBA beat Everton in the playoff final, 1-0 in extra time to earn their way to the big payday.

As June hits, we bring in our only signing of the Bosman period... 19 year old Polish striker Michal Jablonski joins us from Wisla Plock. Jablonski signs for $70k per year through 2015. He is a very good looking prospect, and just needs a bit of technical polishing to become a quality player. He will be with the reserves this year.

Most of our coaching staff gets a raise.

On June 15th, the European club rankings are announced. It is noted that Peterborough move up 88 places to 62nd, moving faster than any other club. The top 10 are:
1. Chelsea
2. Barcelona
3. Liverpool
4. Man U.
5. Arsenal
6. Juventus
7. Roma
8. Newcastle
9. Tottenham
10. Atletico Madrid

Atletico move into the top 10 on the strength of their semifinal appearance in the Champions League. Their rivals, Real Madrid, sink to 33rd... they are struggling.

Elvis Hammond announces his impending retirement, which will occur on June 29th, 2012. We'll have to fit him into a senior match this year. Ruud van Nistelrooy, Didier Drogba, and Shay Given also announce their retirements at season's end.

Carlton Cole is named Fans Player of the Year for the 3rd straight season.

It is announced that we will play Manchester United in the Community Shield on August 7th.

The board are thrilled with my management of the club, but now are complaining about our "enormous" wage budget. The board expects us to qualify for Europe, while the supporters expect us to win the League this year. Finally, big expectations are catching up to me.

Harry Redknapp is hired as head man at Tottenham Hotspur, replacing Richard Money.

------------------------

Financial summary
The board announce plans to expand the stadium by 1,650 seats... it should be ready in time for the new season. That will give us a capacity of 19,464.

We are awarded our $24.5 million in TV revenue, and are given a transfer budget of $25 million, about what we started last season with. I am afraid to spend too much of it... but I guess I shouldn't be considering our standing.

Well, it looked for a while like we were going to be in bad financial shape come the fall, as our surplus dropped from $46 million to start last season, to $21 million late in the year. But, when you win the title and the UEFA Cup, that tends to help cure what ails ya. We start this season at a surplus of $65 million. Our wage budget should be going up from the $35 million it currently sits at.

Our wage budget is adjusted after a while, and we are allowed to spend $60 million on our wage budget... Currently, we have about $41 million tied up in payroll.
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Old 06-03-2005, 12:45 PM   #5
Butter
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Arrivals

We make our first signing of the summer, penning 26 year old AM-C Niko Krancjar from Dinamo (Croatia) on a free transfer. Krancjar is a Croatian international, and possesses some very good (but not great) skill. He should fit in well as a backup to Gerard. Krancjar signs for $500k per season through 2015... and he also nets a $100k signing bonus.

The $1 million transfer of Rafael Santos to Portuguese club Gil Vicente is cancelled, as the club cannot afford the fee. DAMN!

We make a signing for December, as 28 year old Swedish left back Fredrik Stenman signs with the Posh. He will join us on Dec. 1st, and help provide some left sided depth. He signs for very cheap, but I can't disclose the contract details right now.

We offer AM-RL Fabrice Fernandes a bare bones contract worth $600k for 2 more years... he had his finest season with us last year, and I wouldn't mind a little more of the same... despite his age, he is still a solid looking player. He agrees to the deal, and Fernandes will hang around on the cheap for 2 more seasons.

We make another minor signing, bringing in 19 year old DM-RC Jesus (yes, it's just Jesus... pronounced the Spanish way) on a free transfer. Jesus signs for $160k per season through 2015... he will be a reserve for the first year or two, but certainly looks to have the ability to move up to the big club fairly quickly. We also sign 4 U-18 players, a DM, 2 AM's, and a forward who will be assigned to our U-18 squad.


Departures

GK Graham Stack is out of contract and leaves the club. Stack spent 3 years with the Posh, starting 19 games and yielding 39 goals.

Striker Elvis Hammond decides not to retire with us, leaving the club. Elvis Hammond was signed to bolster the squad in an attempt to move out of League One in 2005. And did he ever lead us to the promised land. Elvis is 31 now, but was in his prime during our Championship League days. Hammond scored 58 goals in 136 starts for the Posh, and netted 30 assists and 6 man of the match awards in his 6 year stay with us. His average rating with us was just over 7.25.

We release DM-C Fabio Rochemback from his contract... he played in 46 games over 2 seasons for us, with 3 assists, and an average rating around 7.15. He also managed 19 yellow cards and 3 reds during that span.

D-LC Luke Pritchard leaves the club. Pritchard was one of our first ever purchases, joining us in our first year for $6k from Rotherham. Pritchard was very young then, and is only 24 just now. He appeared in 142 games over the last 7 years, averaging a 7.19... his best year was 2005/06, averaging a 7.30 during our League One title year.

28 year old center back Sashi Chalwe leaves the Posh. He played in essentially only one season, disappointing with a 6.85 in 20 appearances in our first season in the top flight... he spent the last 2 seasons in the reserves, marking time on his contract.

GK Zlatan Azinovic leaves the club... he signed on a free transfer in my very first year, but never developed. He appeared in 5 games in his first season with us, allowing 6 goals in those appearances.... he was a reserve the last 6 seasons.

Striker Franco Cataldo is also out of contract, and walks. He came over from AC Milan in 2007, and played well the first year, netting 11 goals in 36 appearances during our Championship title season. He scored 1 goal in 14 Premiership appearances the following year, and was relegated to the reserves the last 2 seasons.
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Old 06-03-2005, 12:46 PM   #6
Butter
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Bad news for us, as our lone solid defensive midfielder goes down for a month with a groin injury. Javier Mascherano may well miss our season opener.

Here is our pre-season schedule... not a one of them at London Road:
@ Dundee (Scottish Premier League)
@ TOP (Dutch 2nd division)
@ Fortuna Sittard (Dutch 2nd division)
@ NEC Nijmegen (Dutch Eredivisie)
@ 1.FC Koln (German 2nd division)
v. Manchester United (Community Shield)

We have a ton of people on the senior roster right now, and the fans at Dundee will be disappointed that not a one of them is a planned starter for next season.

July 10, Friendly #1
@ Dundee


Lineup:
GK: Michel Boumann (reserve)
Def: Jensen, Sarr, Svensson, Mads Reginuissen (res.)
Mid: Jesus (status undetermined - competing for backup DM), David Black (U-18), Nicolai Graesdal (res.), Bellomo
Str: Danny Wilkinson (U-18), Michal Jablonski (res.)

Boumann rates an 8 in the scoreless first half before yielding to Hilmarsson... the rest of the lineup gets a 7 for the first 45... Jablonski and Wilkinson each had an open chance that they missed. The game ends a riveting scoreless draw, as we manage 1 shot on target the entire match. Nee-ha. This game told me dick.

Draw, 0-0
A: 11,824


July 13, Friendly #2
@ TOP


Lineup:
GK: Grant
Def: Kargbo, Marcos, Alex, Zaccardo
Mid: Jesus, Fernandes, Sneijder, Kranjcar
Str: Wallner, Cole

Carlton Cole scores a patented stormer of a goal in the 31st, by running straight through 2 defenders and slotting it home. A TOP midfielder gets sent off just before halftime for elbowing Zaccardo in the face. Fernandes and Cole with 8's in the first half... we pull the starters around the 55th minute. In the 57th, Mngomeni with a good pass to the middle for Bellomo... Bellomo with a nice move around the keeper, and he powers it home. Bellomo might well be a good one for us. Bellomo nearly scores again 2 minutes later off a pass from Balaban, but just misses the far post. Youngster Steve Miller with a good pass to Balaban in the 72nd, and he finishes far post to make it 3-0. Gerard and Balaban pick up 8's in the 2nd half.

Win, 0-3
A: 4,616


We get Lebohang Mokoena to sign a new 3 year contract worth $2.6 million per season... up from the previous $1.55M he was making. He is thrilled to sign it, as well. He will hopefully happily stay with us through 2014.

July 15, Friendly #3
@ Fortuna Sittard


Lineup:
GK: Marcus Eskilsson (reserve)
Def: Jensen, Marcos, Svensson, Kargbo
Mid: Arzo, Craig Murphy (U-18), Graesdal, Bellomo
Str: Jablonski, Vagner

Fortuna Sittard largely dominate the first half of play. Bellomo looks dangerous early on in attack, but he gets a yellow and seems more subdued the rest of the half. Jablonski and Vagner are largely non-factors up front in the first 45. Then, in the 2nd half, Jablonski with a fine individual move around a defender, then he strikes it into the top right corner for our first goal. The subs come on shortly thereafter, and in the 83rd, Kranjcar slides a ball to Mokoena, and he finishes from 8 yards. Mokoena strikes again off a pass from Kranjcar in the 85th to finish the scoring. And in the 87th, our 2nd straight opponent has a man sent off... in a friendly! He got a card for the foul, then an immediate yellow for dissention. Michal Jablonski wins MoM, and there are several 8's to go around.

Win, 0-3
A: 12,447


Thando Mngomeni gets a huge pay increase... from $260k per year to $1.8 million per year through 2013 as we continue to whittle away at those disgruntled by their pay rate.

July 18, Friendly #4 - Televised
@ NEC Nijmegen


Arenas is still away playing for Colombia in the Copa America.
Lineup:
GK: Grant
Def: Jensen, Alex, Marcos, Sarr
Mid: Jesus, Fernandes, Sneijder, Kranjcar
Str: Wallner, Cole

We dominate the ball and the chances in the first half, but can't get one past the NEC keeper, who is playing very well. The 2nd half is pretty boring, as we get far fewer chances, but Wallner to Cole on a long ball, and Cole scores ahead of the defense again in the 87th minute to give us the victory. We let nearly everyone play the full 90 in this one. They'll now get the next game off, and their next action will be in the Community Shield. Alex and Wallner pick up 9's, while Cole and Grant get 8's.

Win, 0-1
A: 12,379


That marks a clean sweep on our tour of Holland.

I ask the physios about Javier Mascherano, and they all suggest surgery for his groin injury.... I am reluctant to do that, because he could be out up to 6 months, and we have no defensive midfield backups anywhere near the same quality.

Former Posh keeper Graham Stack signs with Blackburn Rovers.

We take in 30 year old AM/F-LC Diomansy Kamara, formerly of Portsmouth, on a 2 week trial.

We will play Roma in the European Super Cup on August 26th... the match will be at Stade Louis II in Monaco.

Our stadium expansion is completed... and I check on the confidence screen and see that the board is down to "very pleased" with me, as are the fans... and the fans are upset at my sale of Hugo Viana.

I also note that my reputation, as well as the club's, has become "continental".

At the risk of pissing off the board, I ask for another stadium expansion. They tell me that plans are "afoot" to expand the stadium... which would hopefully put us over the 20,000 capacity mark.

Carlos Bocanegra finally returns from treatment for his late season injury from the last campaign... and we'll be putting him straight back into the lineup. Heitinga also rebounds from his nagging injury, and Zaccardo comes back quickly from a sprained wrist to give us our full 1st team defense back on healthy terms.

July 29, Friendly #5 - Televised
@ 1.FC Koln


The aim is to start and play the 2nd string the entire match. And we'll throw Kamara out there to see how he does in attack. I don't think I want to blow $3 million on him, though.
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Jensen, Svensson, Marcos, Sarr
Mid: Kargbo, Fernandes, Bellomo, Kamara
Str: Jablonski, Vagner

There is a lot of end-to-end action in this one, but it stays scoreless at the break, mostly thanks to Arenas... sadly, he can't get to a loose ball fast enough in the 56th, and we yield our first goal of the preseason on a strike by Sven Wolf. We fail to put much pressure on Koln in the final half hour, and we lose 1-0. Fernandes with a 6, and everyone else gets a 7. Kamara was less than impressive.

Loss, 1-0
A: 17,816


The board gives me another $10M in transfer funds, setting our transfer budget at a whopping $37.5 million now. I go out looking for defensive midfielders immediately.

English Premier League Title Odds
Manchester United - 2:1
Chelsea, Arsenal - 3:1
Peterborough United - 6:1
Liverpool - 12:1
Newcastle - 20:1

As far as your team is concerned, the bookmakers believe that you definitely have the quality to mount a serious title challenge and that no matter what happens you will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.


Arsenal approach us about Wesley Sneijder. I tell them they can give us $20 million and the rights to their top defensive midfielder, Vincent Kompany.

Next up, the traditional season opener: The Community Shield.
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Old 06-03-2005, 04:30 PM   #7
Butter
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
We decide to try out Diego Gavilan at defensive midfield... but he's a natural right winger, not a central player, so we'll see what happens. Wallner is still recovering from a minor injury, and Vagner and Mascherano are both unavailable with injuries.

Aug. 7, FA Community Shield - Televised
v. Manchester United at Wembley Stadium
Series: Red Devils lead 4-2-2
Fav: Man U, Evens


Luckily, this game is just a glorified pre-season match. Because Man U is one of the few teams we can't consistently play with.
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Heitinga, Alex, Zaccardo
Mid: Gavilan, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Gerard
Str: Mokoena, Cole

5'- Wayne Rooney's 30 yard free kick deflects off the wall and sneaks past Arenas. 1-0, Man U.

11'- Cole breaks free in the area, but John O'Shea recovers and makes a clean tackle away.

34'- Ronaldo and Fletcher both have shots charged down by the Posh defense, and Schweinsteiger's attempt is well wide.

38'- Mokoena is played onside by Mngomeni, but his shot is charged down by Stekelenburg.

45+'- Ivica Olic with a great individual effort around some loose marking, and he slots it home past Arenas, 2-0 Red Devils at the halftime whistle.

60'- 5 subs are allowed in this game, so we use 4: Balaban for Mokoena, Bellomo for Cole, Kargbo for Zaccardo, and Jesus (whose full name is Jesus Castro) for Gavilan.

73'- Jensen on for Bocanegra.

75'- Jesus's entry into the game is not without it's humorous moments... such as "the referee wants a word with Jesus" and "Jesus is furious with the referee".

79'- Bastian Schweinsteiger is booked a second time for holding back Jesus.

We boringly stick with defensive tactics, and end up with a 2-0 loss. I'd be lying if I said the apparent slowness of my defense didn't worry me... as well as Arenas's lackluster performance. We'll see if it has any bearing on us in the regular season... we are traditionally slow starters anyway. Arenas and Zaccardo pick up 5's on the day.

Loss, 2-0 - Manchester United wins Community Shield
Shots/on target: Man U 16/8, Posh 7/3
Poss: 53-47, Red Devils
A: 89,972
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Old 06-03-2005, 04:31 PM   #8
Butter
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Arsenal decide not to follow up their enquiry about Wesley Sneijder.

Real Madrid supporters protest yet again, after their club loses in the first leg of the Third Qualifying Phase of the Champions League to Red Star (Belgrade)... I say, hey, you've still got a home leg coming.

Manchester United sign Diomansy Kamara.

Birmingham City sign 36 year old David Beckham, after he was released by Real Madrid over the summer.

Aug. 13, Match 1
@ Norwich City
Series: Canaries lead 3-1-2
Fav: Posh, Evens


Norwich have gotten off to absolutely torrid starts the last couple of years, so Carrow Road is not a good starting place for us... we'll see how we hold up.

Unavailable: Kranjcar, Gavilan, Mascherano
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Heitinga, Alex, Zaccardo
Mid: Jesus, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Mokoena
Str: Wallner, Cole

6'- Cole has the ball tackled away on a drive into the box, but Sneijder collects and shoots long and low... parried by Canary keeper Morgan De Sanctis... and hoofed away.

12'- Sneijder with a great switch of play to the left... Mngomeni is unmarked on the left edge of the box, and sends in a lofty cross... Cole heads it over the bar.

22'- Sneijder with a great long ball to Cole... he is 5 yards clear of the last defender... but he shoots right into the keeper, and it bounces away.

33'- Mngomeni with a nice cross to around 8 yards... both Cole and Sneijder converge, Sneijder gets the head to it, but De Sanctis tips it over.

Possession was pretty even in the first half, but we had the better chances... but Cole looks a step slow right now.

53'- Mokoena sends a ball right to Sneijder... he crosses back to Mokoena, who has time and space from 10 yards... De Sanctis with another nice save.

68'- Cole with a steal in the Norwich defensive third... he plays it square to Mokoena, but he mishits the volley, and De Sanctis gathers it up.

73'- Balaban in for Cole... Bellomo enters for the 6-rated Mngomeni... Sneijder switches to the left wing, Bellomo will play on the right.

75'- Wallner's 35 yard free kick falls to Mokoena... it's poked away, right to Jesus, who turns and shoots... it deflects off a defender, then off the woodwork and away!

78'- Sneijder plays a long ball back to Arenas... who hits it back to Wallner at midfield... Wallner nods down to Sneijder, who holds play up... then plays long and right to Bellomo... Bellomo beats his man and is free on De Sanctis... he goes high after De Sanctis commits low, and scores from 12 yards!! Milciades Omar Bellomo, the young Ethiopian, the unlikeliest of heroes, as we take a 1-0 lead!

90'- A long ball towards our end gets through to 22 year old striker Jamie Chapman... he advances on Arenas, and Libis stones him! Great one on one play by Arenas to preserve the shutout!

Norwich throw some more long balls forward, but we're up to the task and take an important opening win! Good performances abound today... Arenas, Zaccardo, Jesus, and Mokoena pick up 8's. Morgan De Sanctis wins MoM for Norwich. Jesus with a surprisingly good debut... the 19 year old Spaniard may well get some more playing time if he continues to put forth similar efforts in Mascherano's absence.

Win, 0-1, begin in 7th place
Shots/on target: Canaries 6/3, Posh 15/8
Poss: 50-50
A: 21,887


EPL Round 1 results
Birmingham 0:0 Liverpool
Arsenal 5:0 Cardiff
Blackburn 3:1 Villa
Sheff Wed 0:3 Portsmouth
WBA 0:3 Man City
West Ham 0:0 So'ton
Man U 0:1 Spurs
Chelsea 5:1 Newcastle
Boro 2:1 Palace


Arsenal and Chelsea make statements on the first weekend... 5 goals in victories... Chelsea's win being particularly impressive.
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Old 06-03-2005, 04:31 PM   #9
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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Mokoena strains a groin in training, and will miss about 2 weeks of action.

Aug. 20, Match 2
1-0-0, 7th pl., 3 pts.
v. Sheffield Wednesday (lost 3-0 to Portsmouth in opener, in 17th pl.)
Series: Owls lead 2-3-1
Fav: Posh, Evens


Former WBA striker Robert Earnshaw is a recent signing designed to bolster this newly promoted Owls side. Sheffield Wednesday is back in the Premiership for the first time since the 1999/2000 season.

Unavailable: Kranjcar, Mokoena, Mascherano
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Jensen, Svensson, Marcos, Sarr
Mid: Kargbo, Fernandes, Bellomo, Balaban
Str: Vagner, Cole

1'- Midfielder Glenn Whalen with a shot 20 seconds in, but it just curls over the bar.

10'- Cole with a 70 yard run with the ball, but in the end his 12 yard shot bounces off the keeper and is cleared into touch.

12'- Marcos wins a header in midfield to Vagner... he passes short to Cole, who nutmegs his man and is off to the races... this time he doesn't miss, slotting it inside the right post... 1-0, Posh!

24'- Bellomo heads a long ball from Arenas down to Cole... Cole again zips right past a man from 40 yards and is in on the keeper... he shoots far post this time, and scores! The Owls just have no idea what to do with Cole, and we lead 2-0!

32'- SW captain Robert Davidson with a good turn on Marcos, but his shot is scooped over.

34'- Kargbo with a long ball to Cole... he is onside again, and finishes again! A 35 minute hat trick for Carlton Cole, and we lead it 3-0!

45'- Defender Stephen Crainey with a 25 yard free kick for Wednesday, and it hits the wall and goes in behind a wrongfooted Arenas. 3-1 at the half.

All this damage was done pretty much without a couple of key players... Balaban and Fernandes both with 6's at the break.

49'- Those 2 try to rectify their poor play, Fernandes with a well struck outswinging corner, Balaban with a strong header from 8 yards, but it strikes the foot of the post and goes out for a goal kick.

54'- Fernandes with another outswinger... Cole dives onto it at the edge of the 6, and it's in! That's 4! A new Posh record for Cole, 4 goals in a single game! 4-1, Peterborough.

61'- Marcos with a header away to Balaban... he goes long for Cole, who is away again... could it be 5? It could!!! Inside the far post, Cole strikes his 5th of the match home!

65'- Robert Earnshaw with a nicely struck ball from 18 yards, but Arenas holds it.

76'- Gavilan on for Balaban, as Bellomo moves to AM... and Wallner enters for Carlton Cole, who gets a standing ovation! What a game!

89'- Fernandes's 40 yard free kick comes to Bellomo in the arc... he shoots from 15 yards with space... it powers past the keeper! Bellomo's 2nd already of the season, 6-1!

Cole is the obvious man of the match, with 5 goals and a 10 rating, but Bellomo also picks up a 10! The youngster is playing very well. Svensson with a 9 in defense, and many 8's to go around.

Win, 6-1, up to 2nd place
Shots/on target: Posh 15/10, Owls 11/5
Poss: 53-47, Owls
A: 19,449


We set a new attendance record, obviously here, but Cole also with a team record 5 goals in a single match.

EPL round 2 results
Liverpool 2:1 Chelsea
Cardiff 0:2 Man U
Palace 3:0 West Ham
Man City 0:2 Arsenal
Portsmouth 0:3 Blackburn
So'ton 3:1 Norwich
Spurs 3:1 Birmingham
Newcastle 1:0 Boro
Villa 2:1 WBA
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:03 AM   #10
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Kargbo, Svensson, Bellomo, and Cole are named to the Team of the Week.

As the August transfer window comes to a close, it looks like we're staying put with who we have. I would've liked to have sign another left back, but it looks like that ain't gonna happen... I just can't find one I'm in love with.

Attacking midfielder Diego signs with Liverpool... who pay Porto $36 million for the rights to the 26 year old Brazilian's services. I tried to sign Diego in the offseason, but I wasn't willing to pay $6 million a season to him. The Reds will pay $5.8 million a year for his talent.

Our Wednesday game was advanced to Tuesday because of our visit to the mainland for the Super Cup on Friday. In case you're wondering, all the Super Cup is, is a meeting between the winners of the previous year's Champions League and UEFA Cup.

Mokoena is nursing a groin strain, so we send him to rehab to try and improve the injury, which will keep him out another 2 weeks.

Aug. 23, Match 3
2-0-0, 2nd pl., 6 pts.
@ Blackburn Rovers (2-0-0, 3rd pl., 6 pts.)
Series: Rovers lead 4-1-3
Fav: Posh, Evens


We go ahead and use the first team here, and will probably use mostly the second team against Roma in 3 days. Our former keeper, Graham Stack, is having a hot start for Rovers and starts in goal today.

Unavailable: Mokoena, Mascherano
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Heitinga, Alex, Zaccardo
Mid: Jesus, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Gerard
Str: Wallner, Vagner

2'- Sneijder receives a Heitinga header, and passes to Jesus... Jesus with a long ball to Wallner, who takes it in and slots it home! But he was way offsides! I just kept waiting for the flag to go up, and it finally did.

22'- Blackburn are doing a good job keeping us out of the box... Sneijder's 25 yard curling shot is blocked away by Stack.

33'- Midfielder Daryl Smylie with a long range shot wide for Blackburn.

42'- Smylie with a header from 8 yards, it skims off the bar and over.

58'- Mngomeni with a nice run down the left, he cuts it back for Wallner at the top corner of the area... Wallner tries his luck... and good ol' Graham Stack barely moves as he watches it hit the back of the net! 1-0, Posh!

73'- Gavilan in for Sneijder, who is not playing well.

81'- Sub striker, American Will Johnson with a nice play, as he draws the defense, then slips a ball through to Neil Danns... Danns with a 10 yard shot, tipped out by Arenas! The ensuing corner is passed to 5 different Rovers, before midfielder Christopher Eagles takes a shot that Arenas can't hold, and Welsh midfielder David Vaughan is there to apply the finish... 1-1.

Cole in for Vagner, Lunt in for Zaccardo as we switch to a 3-5-2 to try and snatch another goal. Lunt will play in the center circle, an area we normally have vacant.

85'- Eagles nearly scores from 20 yards, but Arenas clutches it.

87'- Mngomeni is off to the races down the left, but he decides to try a low 25 yard shot that Stack handles easily.

90+'- Kenny Lunt with a 25 yard free kick to the right of goal... he strikes it over the wall, and past a helpless Stack into the top right corner! What a strike by Lunt to give us the points!

Jesus continues his terrific start to the season, the 19 year old Spaniard rating a 9 and winning MoM from defensive midfield. Jesus won 10/13 tackles in this match, and assisted on an early goal that was called back. Arenas, Zaccardo, Heitinga, Alex, Wallner, Gerard, and Lunt pick up 8's, as we get a big win against an early challenger to the throne.

Win, 1-2, up to 1st place
Shots/on target: Rovers 9/5, Posh 17/9
Poss: 51-49, Posh
A: 27,480


We jump into 1st past Arsenal, but maybe not for long, as the 2nd wave of mid-week games hits the following day.

EPL Round 3 results
Chelsea 2:0 Spurs
Man City 0:0 Cardiff
Boro 0:3 Liverpool
Norwich 0:1 Palace
Sheff Wed 0:2 So'ton
WBA 0:2 Portsmouth
West Ham 1:1 Newcastle


Arsenal did not play today, so they couldn't pass us. We remain in 1st going into the weekend.
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:04 AM   #11
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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We are given $4.8 million for being "bye"'d into the Champions League Group Stages.... and the stages are drawn.

Our group will be Group C. We will be joined by Swiss club Young Boys, who beat Sportklub Tirana of Albania and Partizan Belgrade to reach the Group Stages.... also by Deportivo La Coruna of Spain, who beat Wisla Krakow in the Third Qualifying Round... and by AC Milan, who also have come through on a bye.

I think we can finish top 2 in this group... but we did not get an easy group as Deportivo is traditional very good, and AC Milan is always a Champions League title contender. Our fixture list:
Sept. 13 - @ Young Boys
Sept. 28 - v. AC Milan
Oct. 19 - @ Deportivo
Nov. 1 - v. Deportivo
Nov. 23 - v. Young Boys
Dec. 6 - @ AC Milan

I sure hope it doesn't come down to that last matchup.

Aug. 26, European Super Cup - from Stade Louis II, Monaco
Televised
v. AS Roma (Champions of last year's Champions League)
Fav: Posh, 6:4


Unavailable: Mascherano (suspended), Gerard (suspended), Mokoena (injury)
Lineup:
GK: Grant
Def: Jensen, Marcos, Svensson, Sarr
Mid: Kargbo, Fernandes, Gavilan, Bellomo
Str: Cole, Balaban

15'- First attacking action of the game, Sarr heads long to Cole... Cole beats one man, then dribbles far ahead... Balaban picks up the errant dribble, and is in on the keeper... his shot is stopped by Ivan Pelizzoli, and cleared by Philippe Mexes.

19'- Fernandes feigns the 12 yard shot, instead squaring it for Cole... but Pelizzoli with a tremendous save to keep it from sneaking inside the post.

23'- Midfielder Mario Alberto Santana with a 25 yard shot, bending hard to the left corner, but Grant is able to tip it away.

33'- Fernandes with a 40 yard free kick... he hits it to the edge of the area, where Bellomo nods down for Cole, who strikes from 15 yards... Pelizzoli with another nice save.

40'- Cole breaks on the counter attack... he drags 2 defenders with him, then passes to the gaping hole, where Bellomo runs onto it... Bellomo with time and space, but he is stoned by Pelizzoli, and Mexes clears into touch.

50'- Santana with a nice early ball in... Striker Daniele Corvia with the header... off the post! But Corvia called for a push anyway.

53'- Fernandes' free kick is met by Cole's head... but put over.

66'- Fernandes' 30 yard free kick bends a bit too much, out for a goal kick.

69'- Mngomeni on for Fernandes, Vagner for Balaban.

85'- Good midfield possession, and buildup... then Cole swings a ball to the top corner of the area, where Mngomeni is alone... Thando attacks goal, shoots low... and it goes in between the keeper and the post and into the net! 1-0, Posh! Mngomeni with the late goal... could it be the winner?

90+'- After several long balls each way come to nothing, Marcos with a steal in midfield... he knocks it ahead to Vagner, who takes on his man, cuts inside, then shoots from 25 yards... he crushes it, and it bends toward the far post, strikes it and goes in! What a strike by Vagner! 2-0, Posh as Vagner sews it up!

As the kickoff is taken, the referee blows for full time and we win the Super Cup! Vagner with a 9 and MoM honors in relief of Balaban. The 21 year old Brazilian impressing in his 20 minutes on the field. Grant, Sarr, and Marcos pick up 8's in a fine defensive effort, as Roma barely sniffed our goal all match.

Win, 2-0, Peterborough wins Super Cup
Shots/on target: Posh 13/7, Roma 9/3
Poss: 52-48, Posh
A: 8,553


Apparently, the masses were not moved to come view this glorified exhibition match. This match is fixed at the Stade Louis II, and this is the first time it has failed to draw at least 18,000. Apparently, Peterborough is still not a big enough name to draw a crowd.
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:05 AM   #12
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Heitinga, Jesus, Gerard, and Wallner are named to the Team of the Week.

EPL Round 4 results
Cardiff 1:2 Birmingham
Villa 1:1 Man City
Palace 4:0 Sheff Wed
Liverpool 0:0 West Ham
Newcastle 3:1 Norwich
Spurs 2:1 Boro
Portsmouth 2:2 Arsenal
Man U 2:2 Chelsea
So'ton 2:1 Blackburn


Neither Arsenal nor Man U pass us... but Crystal Palace and Southampton both do, pushing us into 3rd place, but we do hold a game in hand.

We make a small reserve signing, penning 21 year old Brazilian defender Fabio to a 4 year contract worth $32k per season. We also pay Cruzeiro $90k to bring him over. He has some impressive skill, but needs to work on his mental game a bit.

Our match against Arsenal on Sept. 10 is moved to the 21st, giving us 2 weeks off after this next match.

Sadly, Javier Mascherano goes down with a hip injury that is scheduled to sideline him 2 months... I decide to send him off for surgery, which I should've done a while back, and he'll probably be out until around Christmas.

With the emergence of Jesus, and Kargbo's steadiness, we decide to just bring up Cesar Arzo from the reserves and hold off on buying a replacement... though I really, really want to blow $20 million on Vincent Kompany, the 25 year old Belgian DMC from Arsenal.

Aug. 31, Match 4
3-0-0, 3rd pl., 9 pts.
v. West Bromwich Albion (0-0-3, 19th pl., 0 pts.)
Last meeting: WBA 1:0 Posh (Friendly, 7/24/08)
Fav: Posh, 1:2


With a 2 week layoff coming up before our first Champions League match, no reason not to run most of the first team out there.
Unavailable: Mascherano, Mokoena, Arzo (all out w/injury)
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Heitinga, Alex, Zaccardo
Mid: Jesus, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Kranjcar
Str: Wallner, Cole

6'- Wallner with a nice ball forward to Mngomeni... he's got 2 men draped all over him, but still manages to put a hard 15 yard shot just wide.

7'- Jesus heads a WBA long ball well forward... Cole gets it just before the keeper, gets around the keeper... but has his shot blocked. Great defensive recovery.

12'- 18 year old midfielder Jamie Ford with an open 20 yard shot, but it meanders out for a goal kick.

18'- The deadly Posh counter-attack strikes again... Alex with a terrific tackle away after WBA had some good possession in the box... he chases the loose ball down, then hits it long to Wallner, who is onside... Wallner attacks the goal, and slots it home inside the far post! 1-0, Posh.

WBA is actually playing pretty well, but they just lack quality at the end to finish plays.

37'- Cole hits it left to Mngomeni, who lofts a ball over the back line to Wallner... Wallner with a little bit of space, he stops at the edge of the area and hits it toward the far post... and in! Wallner's 2nd of the game puts us 2-0 ahead.

46'- Mngomeni crosses in to Cole off the 2nd half restart, but Cole's header is just off target.

53'- Wallner on the left passes to the middle to Kranjcar... Niko plays Mngomeni through... he's barged over, and a penalty is given! Alex lines it up... and scores! 3-0.

67'- Kargbo enters for Wallner... Vagner on for Cole as we switch to a 4-5-1.

75'- Lunt enters for a slightly injured Kranjcar.

82'- Kargbo steals a throw in... then we knock the ball around a bit, and Kargbo ends up with it, passing into the box for Vagner... Vagner turns, dribbles, and shoots from 15 yards... into the top left corner! Great goal by Vagner, who is showing us some skill now. 4-0.

Roman Wallner gets a 9, a brace, and MoM. The entire back 4, Jesus, and Mngomeni pick up 8's as well. The Baggies were just no match for our first teamers.

Win, 4-0, up to 1st place
Shots/on target: Posh 17/7, Baggies 5/1
Poss: 53-47, Posh
A: 19,437


EPL mid-week results
Arsenal 6:0 Villa
Birmingham 1:1 Man U


We leap back into 1st with the big win, and Arsenal jump into 2nd. Manchester United are struggling in 11th place right now... but that'll surely change.
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:06 AM   #13
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Jesus is 2nd in the Player of the Month of August voting... he started 3 matches, rating 2 8's and a 9... very impressive for this Spaniard who just turned 20 on August 25th.

Impressive enough to earn him Young Player of the Month. Vagner finishes 3rd in this voting as well, with his 1 goal and assist in the league this month, and his finishing goal in the Super Cup.

Naturally, I win the Manager of the Month for our dominating early form. To be fair, though, our early schedule has been pretty soft, including 2 recent promotees.

Arsenal's defender William Gallas breaks a leg, and will likely be out until the New Year. Manchester United were dominating the league last year until they hit a rash of injuries, and we were eventually able to drop them to 3rd.

John Heitinga, captaining the Dutch national team, scores a surprise goal in Holland's 2-1 win over Georgia in EURO 2012 Qualifying.

Bocanegra, Heitinga, and Wallner are selected to the Team of the Week.

Vagner breaks a cheekbone in practice, and he'll miss nearly a month of action.

Bad team selection news for me again... as Arenas is going to be away with Colombia for our first Champions League match. And I only picked 2 keepers for our 25 man roster. Again, I'll have to hope Grant can hold up. He's played well in limited action of late, so we'll see what shakes out against NAMBLA's favorite European team, Young Boys of Switzerland.

Champions League Title Odds
AC Milan - 5:1
Man U, Juventus, Barcelona - 8:1
Valencia - 10:1
Deportivo - 11:1
.
.
.
Peterborough United - 18:1

With your team being rated as something of a long shot at 18:1, the bookies seem to assume that the most you can hope for is reaching the latter stages in this competition.


EPL Round 5 results
Villa 2:0 Cardiff
Blackburn 0:1 Palace
Chelsea 2:0 Birmingham
Man City 2:0 Portsmouth
Boro 0:2 Man U
WBA 0:1 So'ton
Norwich 0:1 Liverpool
West Ham 0:2 Spurs
Sheff Wed 2:2 Newcastle


Southampton pass us into 1st place following their Saturday afternoon win over the Baggies. They are 4-1-0 after 5 games, one of 4 undefeated Premiership squads.

Mokoena returns from physiotherapy, and should be fit to play for us in about a week.

Sept. 13, Champions League Match Day 1, Group C - Televised
@ Young Boys (Bern, Switzerland)
Fav: Posh, Evens


All 3 of my defensive midfielders are injured, so we default to Diego Gavilan. He has played there a time or two in emergencies.
Unavailable:
Away on international play: Arenas, Alex
Unavailable due to injury: Kargbo, Mascherano, Jesus, Mokoena, Vagner
Ineligible for competition: Arzo

Lineup:
GK: Grant
Def: Bocanegra, Heitinga, Marcos, Zaccardo
Mid: Gavilan, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Gerard
Str: Wallner, Cole

11'- 1st chance of the game, as defender Daniel Haller swings in a corner kick for midfielder Pat (yes, just Pat), and his header is tipped over nicely by Lee Grant.

19'- A low centering pass is sent across the six, a quick shot is taken, but Bocanegra does well to block it out for a corner.

22'- Another great pass comes in by the Swiss midfielders... then forward Thomas Remy with a 12 yard shot that takes a deflection... Grant with a great recovery to tip it to Heitinga, who clears.

We're getting killed out there. Nerves, maybe?

24'- Finally, an opening... Sneijder passes to Cole at 25 yards, he does some nice work, getting to within 10 yards, but he pulls a left-footed shot wide.

Not much else happens for the remainder of the first half, as the Swiss side dominates the ball in the first half. Marcos with a 6, Grant with an 8, and everyone else with a 7 in the first 45.

52'- Pat charges up the left side end line... he sends in a low ball to the top of the six, where Remy volleys it, but Grant with great reaction to move across and save it! Heitinga slides in and clears the rebound away! Outstanding defensive awareness to stop a sure goal.

60'- Bocanegra with a 40 yard ball into the box... Cole and the keeper converge, and the keeper wins it.

67'- Wallner's pass across the six yard box is deflected... back to Wallner, who tries to head it on target, but it's over the bar.

72'- Balaban in for Wallner, and Bellomo enters for an ineffective Sneijder... Sneijder has been struggling lately.

84'- Pat is sent through onside... he gets to within about 10 yards of goal and shoots... right at Grant, thankfully. We dodge a huge bullet there.

88'- Great ball movement from the Swiss, as a cross is sent to the back post, then a pass back across the six finds Pat with an easy finish. 1-0, Young Boys. Pat is everywhere!

Kranjcar in for Zaccardo, and we go with a 3-4-3, with lots of guys thrown forward.

90+'- Kranjcar with a good ball left to Mngomeni... he's just outside the area, and crosses to the back post... a Young Boys defender misses a header at 3 yards... and Carlton Cole is there... to head it in!!!! A dramatic equalizer, as the rock, Carlton Cole gives us a road point!

Pat is the well-deserved MoM for Young Boys, but Cole's late header gives us the point! Grant, Bocanegra, Mngomeni, and Gerard with 8's... Wallner with a 6. I have to say, I thought we'd have an easier time with them than this. This doesn't give me great hope of moving on, considering that 2 of the top 6 favorites for winning the whole thing are in this group.

Draw, 1-1
Shots/on target: Young Boys 13/8, Posh 12/4
Poss: 55-45, Young Boys
A: 10,462


AC Milan do us a great favor, scoring twice at home to defeat Deportivo, so we start mid-table in the group of 4.

We get $200k for the draw... any group stage win will net us $400k.
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:09 AM   #14
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
We hit kind of a rough series of games here, as we host Manchester City... then we'll be at Arsenal, at Aston Villa, then home to AC Milan.

Sept. 17, Match 5
4-0-0, 2nd pl., 12 pts.
v. Manchester City (2-2-1, 10th pl., 8 pts.)
Series: Even, 3-1-3
Fav: Posh, 5:4


Unavailable: Mascherano, Vagner, Mokoena (injuries)
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Jensen, Marcos, Svensson, Sarr
Mid: Arzo, Fernandes, Bellomo, Kranjcar
Str: Wallner, Balaban

8'- Arenas saves Adrian Mutu's 30 yard free kick.

A lackluster first half flies by, as the 2 teams manage only 4 shots anywhere in the vicinity of goal.

Still more nothing in the second half... we have a couple of 15-20 yard shots blocked by defenders... but at least we took a couple of shots.

75'- Cole in for Balaban, Gavilan in for Bellomo, and Sneijder on for Kranjcar.

88'- Gavilan with a nice switch of play to the left... Fernandes advances, and all I can think is "don't take a long shot, don't take a long shot". He takes a long shot. It hits the out of bounds signage. Game over.

7's all around. This is the problem with our defensive tactics... it allows teams visiting London Road to pack it in themselves and play for the road point, which is probably all they're hoping for anyway.

Draw, 0-0, down to 2nd place
Shots/on target: Posh 9/4, Citizens 3/1
Poss: 53-47, Posh
A: 19,287


EPL Round 6 results
Portsmouth 1:3 Villa
Birmingham 2:1 Boro
Cardiff 0:2 Chelsea
Man U 3:1 West Ham
Spurs 1:0 Norwich


Spurs advance to 1st place with their win.
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Old 06-08-2005, 12:56 PM   #15
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Sept. 21, Match 6

4-1-0, 2nd pl., 13 pts.

@ Arsenal (3-1-0, 8th pl., 10 pts.)

Series: Gunners lead 4-1-1

Fav: Gunners, Evens


Unavailable: Mascherano, Vagner

Lineup:

GK: Arenas

Def: Bocanegra, Heitinga, Alex, Zaccardo

Mid: Jesus, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Gerard

Str: Wallner, Cole

7'- Jose Antonio Reyes with a corner kick to the back post... DM Vincent Kompany heads it on, but Arenas with a nice save.

8'- Marco Donadel with a fierce 25 yarder, but Arenas grabs that one too.

11'- Anthony Le Tallec with a great 15 yard shot, but again Arenas with the tip save.

Arsenal just beat us to every loose ball early, but Arenas keeps us in it.

28'- Finally we get some open space, but Cole's 20 yarder is high.

31'- Cavenaghi with a nice play down the right, he crosses near post for Donadel, who heads it home. 1-0, Gunners.

34'- Cole decides we need a goal, and starts a run from our half... beats Kompany like he's not even there, then gets around the keeper and powers it home! 1-1.

Gerard out with a slight injury at the half, Bellomo in for him.

48'- Mngomeni with a great long ball to Cole... Cole takes it in stride, and slots it home inside the left post! 2-1, Posh!

55'- Bellomo's 20 yarder is saved.

66'- Sneijder's bending 25 yard shot just misses the far post.

77'- Cavenaghi is played onside... but Arenas with a nice charge at him to cut the angle and ultimately make the save.

82'- Mngomeni pulls down Fredrik Ljungberg in the box, it's a penalty. Cavenaghi scores it, it's 2-2.

88'- Wallner picks up a minor knock, Mokoena on for him.

Hey, I'll take a road point at Emirates Stadium any time I can get it. We should've had 3, but you can't win 'em all. It's our second straight draw, and it keeps Tottenham in front of us. Carlton Cole wins MoM with a 10, scoring both Posh goals. Arenas, Zaccardo, Heitinga, Jesus, and Wallner pick up 8's.

Draw, 2-2, remain in 2nd place

Shots/on target: Gunners 15/12, Posh 17/10

Poss: 55-45, Gunners

A: 53,379


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Old 06-08-2005, 12:57 PM   #16
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
I decide to poke around the squad a bit, and notice some interesting things.

Jesus Castro is annoyed that his injury is hampering his settling into his new club. He has had a couple of minor injuries already, so we send him to a specialist for about 4 weeks to try and get it straightened out.

Vagner (full name: Vagner Dias) is considered a "temperamental" striker. I'll have to keep my eye on that one. He does have a tendency to get carded. That could be a problem in big matches in the future.

Arenas has improved his reputation to "continental" after his UEFA Cup performance last year.

Ibrahim Kargbo is upset because "he feels he isn't being played in his strongest position". I play him nearly everywhere, so I don't know what that position might be. In his profile, he's listed as a center-back... where he played several games last year. Maybe he's just a whiner.

Carlos Bocanegra has DaMarcus Beasley listed among his favored personnel.

Diego Gavilan is listed as a "tireless midfielder", which I would agree with.

Javier Mascherano is listed as a "tenacious midfielder" who has a "driven" personality.

Both Fabrice Fernandes and Kenny Lunt are "experienced midfielders", which is just a polite way of saying "old".

Wesley Sneijder is a "cultured attacking midfielder". Whatever that cultured means. Does he run around the field with a tea cup and his pinky out?

Niko Kranjcar "wants to impress his new manager"... which he has definitely done so far.

I take a look at the reserves a bit, and note that newly acquired striker Michal Jablonski is a "realist". He is also developing like gangbusters down there... only 20 years old, and he has a bright future with the big club.

With Jesus and Mascherano both out for at least a month, that leaves us with just Ibrahim Kargbo and Cesar Arzo as defensive midfielders with experience on the big club.

Roman Wallner states in the media that since complaining about wanting more playing time, he has noticed a greater willingness of me to play him, and that he was once again happy with his role at the club.

John Heitinga picks up a calf strain in training. He will miss about 2 weeks.

The League Cup Third Round Draw is made, and we get a pretty good one... drawing a road game at one of four remaining League One sides, we'll play Kidderminster Harriers on October 26th.

Sept. 24, Match 7
4-2-0, 3rd pl., 14 pts.
@ Aston Villa (3-1-2, 9th pl., 10 pts.)
Series: Even, 2-2-2
Fav: Posh, 6:4


Out with injury: Heitinga, Jesus, Mascherano, Vagner
With the first AC Milan match coming in 4 days, we play for the road draw here with the 2nd string.
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Jensen, Svensson, Marcos, Sarr
Mid: Kargbo, Lunt, Gavilan, Kranjcar
Str: Mokoena, Balaban

11'- Some slack marking in the back, as a ball is played wide to Petter Andersson, and he crosses low to an unmarked Eidur Gudjohnsen, who finishes inside the far post from 10 yards. No defensive pressure at all on that play. 1-0, Villa, as ageless wonder Gudjohnsen scores his 50th goal for Villa.

13'- John Arne Riise with a fierce 20 yarder that Arenas knocks down... the rebound is put over by Cana.

23'- Darius Vassell misses a glorious 8 yard chance, putting it wide.

24'- Finally, a break, as Lunt's 40 yard free kick drops to Svensson... he plays it to Mokoena on the left of the box... Mokoena plays it right to Gavilan... Gavilan with a short cross to Balaban, who turns and shoots high... he roofs it! Powerful strike past the Villa keeper, and it's 1-1!

32'-Lunt's corner kick passes up Kargbo at the near post... keeper Thomas Sorensen seems surprised to see the ball, and he can't hold it... Balaban is there to make him pay! 2-1, Posh!

39'- Riise with a cross to Phil Jagielka, open on the right side of the box... he shoots low, and without much pace... but Arenas barely moves, and it goes in. 2-2.

45+'- In the first added minute, Gavilan wins a header on a long ball from Arenas. Gavilan then slides a wonderful through ball ahead to Balaban... but Bosko tries to be a bit too cute, and wastes the opportunity allowing the defense to recover.

50'- Gudjohnsen with a 30 yard effort... Arenas does well to parry it, but Petter Andersson is there... Arenas comes out to him, but he lays it back to Vassell, who finishes into the open net. 3-2, Villa.

54'- Sarr with a steal, ahead to Kranjcar... he passes short to Balaban, who has some open space on the right wing... Balaban gets around a defender, then cuts inside another... he tries a crazy shot from the edge of the area... it looks like a screwball, and it goes in off the far post! Balaban with a hat trick, and we're back even yet again at 3-3!

66'- Lunt puts a cross into Balaban, but the defense closes him down and forces a corner.

75'- Aston Villa with a nice corner kick... but apparently no one occupied the center of the box as it sails out the other side untouched for a throw.

76'- Balaban is exhausted, he comes out for Bellomo... Mngomeni in for Lunt.

87'- Gudjohnsen with a nice cross to the top of the six for Luke Moore... his header just sails wide.

89'- Mokoena with a good long ball to Bellomo... but the keeper gets to it... Bellomo sticks a toe in, pokes it away, but the defense slides the ball left... Mngomeni tries a long range shot, but the Villa defense with a nice clearance in cover of Sorensen. After two runs up and down the field, Villa back with it in our half... Vassell with a short cross to Cana, and Arenas with a great save to tip the short header out for a corner.

Bellomo needs some work on his off the ball movement... Gavilan had the ball in midfield, holding it for at least 5 seconds waiting for Bellomo to get back onside... but he just lingered well past the last defender, standing there like an idiot.

And that's how this one ends. Bosko Balaban with a 10 and MoM honors for his hat trick. Arenas actually did well to keep it to 3... we were dominated in this one. He gets an 8, as do Kargbo and Kranjcar.

Draw, 3-3, up to 2nd place
Shots/on target: Villans 19/9, Posh 7/4
Poss: 55-45, Villans
A: 37,689


EPL Round 7 results
Boro 0:1 Chelsea
Arsenal 4:1 Palace
Norwich 0:3 Man U
Portsmouth 4:0 Cardiff
WBA 0:1 Newcastle
West Ham 0:2 Birmingham
Sheff Wed 2:1 Spurs
Man City 2:4 So'ton
Blackburn 0:3 Liverpool


Norwich with their 7th straight loss to open the season... yet, they still sit above pointless West Brom on goal difference. Southampton pass us with their Sunday win, as they continue their unbeaten start to the season.
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Old 06-08-2005, 12:59 PM   #17
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Kargbo, Cole, and Balaban are picked in the Team of the Week.

Milciades Omar Bellomo reveals to the media that he is now content to wait on his first team opportunity, as his manager has convinced him that if he works hard, the opportunities will come. We continue to whittle away at the unhappiness on the senior squad. That pretty much leaves Kargbo and Cesar Arzo as unhappy... and Arzo's going back to the reserves when Mascherano returns healthy.

Sept. 28, Champions League Match Day 2 - Group C
Televised
v. AC Milan (1-0-0, 1st place in group)
Fav: Rossoneri, Evens


We haven't lost since the start of the regular season, but with 4 straight draws, we're not exactly hot either.
Out with injury: Heitinga, Mascherano, Jesus, Vagner
Ineligible: Arzo
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Alex, Marcos, Zaccardo
Mid: Kargbo, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Gerard
Str: Wallner, Cole

8'- Nicolas Anelka's 30 yard free kick deflects off the wall, and nearly goes out for a corner, but Arenas hustles over to smother it.

14'- Gerard with a 25 yard shot that is well over.

16'- Forward Roque Santa Cruz's corner kick comes right to center back Alessandro Birindelli, but Arenas gets a glove on it to send it out for a corner.

25'- Bocanegra with a long ball to Mngomeni... he squares to Wallner... Wallner with a 25 yard shot that 37 year old keeper Marcos saves easily.

28'- Sneijder tries to send in a deep cross, but it takes a deflection and nearly goes in behind Marcos... saved.

31'- Cole runs down the right... then switches play to the left to Mngomeni... Thando with a hard 20 yarder that Marcos can't gather cleanly, the rebound is tackled away from Wallner and cleared.

36'- Wallner's 25 yard free kick hits the wall... Alex tries his luck with a volley, but it's not close.

Milan are playing for a draw, and we are dominating possession, holding 60% at halftime, including about 30% in the Milan half.

47'- Fullback Kakha Kaladze hacks down Cole with two feet, and is sent off with his second caution of the match.

We start piling on the pressure as Milan are packing their half with men.

62'- Gerard with a 15 yard effort that's way too high.

Mokoena enters for Zaccardo, as we switch to a 3-4-3 to try and put some more pressure on.

70'- Bocanegra with a long throw into the box... Kargbo with a flick on to Mokoena, who is open from 10 yards... and he slots it home!!! The London Road faithful go crazy, as Mokoena has put us up 1-0!

73'- Sarr enters for Gerard, and we move Wallner to attacking midfield, going back to our standard 4-4-2 diamond.

76'- A good series of possession, as Mokoena moves it forward to Cole... Cole lays it off for Mngomeni, who passes forward to Mokoena, who has got in behind his man... Mokoena with a hard right footed shot... past Marcos and in!! 2-0, Posh!

80'- Kargbo with a swerving 20 yard shot that Marcos can't handle... but it's out for a corner.

85'- Marcos sends Mokoena clear with a great 70 yard ball... Mokoena runs onto it 10 yards behind the defense... he takes it around the other Marcos, and completes his 20 minute hat trick!!! 3-0, Posh!

88'- Sneijder's corner kick in to Carlton Cole... Cole heads it just over the bar.

90'- Mngomeni curves a ball to Mokoena, who is played onside by an opposite side defender... Mokoena attacks Marcos again... and finishes inside the near post! An unbelievable performance by super-sub Lebohang Mokoena! 4 goals, and we lead 4-0!

Lebohang Mokoena with 4 goals in 30 minutes of action wins the MoM award, clearly, earning a 10 rating as well. Mngomeni also with a 10, and Kargbo with a 9. Arenas, Bocanegra, Alex, and Marcos with 8's, in a surprising demolition of one of last year's Champions League finalists. Mokoena proving again his worth as a substitute, with his blazing speed. This was a pretty even game until Kaladze got the red card, and we put in Mokoena.

Win, 4-0, up to 1st place in Group C
Shots/on target: Posh 28/17, Rossoneri 4/2
Poss: 62-38, Posh
A: 19,445


In the other Group C match, Deportivo squeak past Young Boys, on a Xabi Alonso injury time goal, winning 2-1 to move into 3rd place in the group, level with Milan on 3 points.

We win $400k for our victory, and our gate receipts of $1.2 million for this match is a new team record.
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Old 06-08-2005, 12:59 PM   #18
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Oct. 1, Match 8
4-3-0, 3rd pl., 15 pts.
v. Portsmouth (3-1-3, 12th pl., 10 pts.)
Series: Posh lead 4-1-1
Fav: Posh, Evens


Out w/injury: Heitinga, Jesus, Mascherano, Vagner
We decide to give Grant the start today, just to be nice to the guy, who has been pretty patient.
Lineup:
GK: Grant
Def: Jensen, Svensson, Marcos, Sarr
Mid: Arzo, Fernandes, Gavilan, Kranjcar
Str: Balaban, Bellomo

1'- Portsmouth score off the opening kickoff, as the defense swings wide open for Yakubu down the middle, and he slots it home after just 25 seconds.

20'- Nice ball by Balaban to Fernandes, who is running alone on the left... he attacks the keeper, but shoots it right into his chest.

29'- Gavilan chases down an errant pass near the end line, and tries the crazy shot from there, but it's saved.

38'- Fernandes' 30 yard free kick deflects out for a corner kick.

Cole in for Balaban at the half... and Lunt on for an ineffective Fernandes.

64'- Cole with a great ball ahead to Bellomo... he gets behind the defense, but his shot is scooped over the bar.

68'- Lunt runs down the left, and gets a good cross in to Cole... but the header is off target.

Mokoena in for Jensen, and we switch to an aggressive attacking 3-4-3.

79'- Bellomo with a terrific 20 yard strike, that just misses the top right corner.

82'- Cole with a nice ball to the arc for Bellomo... he slides it ahead to Lunt, who shoots from 10 yards, but it's blocked away.

88'- Gavilan with a pass into space for Cole, who latches onto it, then attacks the keeper... he tries his patented slotted shot to the near post, but the keeper with a nice save again.

And we take an embarrassing loss at home. We dominate play throughout, but that early goal doomed us. I guess playing all the scrubs doesn't help either. I also think that Arzo's level of play at DM has something to do with it, as he just isn't up to snuff there. Gavilan gets our only 8. Grant, Fernandes, and Bellomo pick up 6's in this poor effort.

Loss, 0-1, drop to 5th place
Shots/on target: Posh 18/6, Pompey 2/2
Poss: 56-44, Posh
A: 18,639


EPL Round 8 results
Man U 1:0 Sheff Wed
Birmingham 0:0 Norwich
Cardiff 0:4 Boro
So'ton 2:2 Villa
Spurs 3:1 Blackburn
Newcastle 0:2 Arsenal
Palace 2:2 Man City
Chelsea 2:2 West Ham
Liverpool 3:1 WBA


We finish the weekend 7th on 15 points, but are just 3 points behind first place Tottenham. 2nd through 6th place are all on 17 points.
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Old 06-08-2005, 01:00 PM   #19
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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Oct. 5, Match 9
4-3-1, 7th pl., 15 pts.
v. Cardiff (0-1-7, 19th pl., 1 pt.)
Series: Posh lead 3-2-1
Fav: Posh, 4:5


Injured: Jesus, Mascherano, Vagner, Fernandes
Recovering: Heitinga
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Alex, Svensson, Zaccardo
Mid: Kargbo, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Gerard
Str: Wallner, Cole

1'- Sneijder with a good back post cross to Mngomeni, who collects the ball and fires at the keeper... blocked out for a corner.

5'- Sneijder again to Mngomeni, and it's the same play... only this time, Bluebird keeper David Yelldell doesn't come at Thando, but he still manages to block the shot away.

13'- Wallner crosses to the middle, Sneijder heads it but a defender blocks it out for another corner.

19'- Midfielder Filip Trojan with a 12 yard volley for Cardiff, but he hits it over the bar.

23'- Sneijder with a corner kick... it's headed right back to him... he shoots from the edge of the box on the left... and it goes in! It looks to have gone off a defender... but the replay shows that he just bent it very sharply around the keeper and in off the back post! Great goal, we lead 1-0.

35'- Trojan passes short to Matthew Oakley... Oakley with a 20 yard shot... Svensson deflects it, and it trickles thankfully past the post for a corner.

38'- Cole gets a nice through ball from Mngomeni, but Yelldell with a good save.

42'- Mngomeni with a great wide ball for Sneijder... he attacks the goal, and shoots from 12 yards... Yelldell tips it wide, but Wallner and Cole both there on the rebound, and Wallner gets the tap-in finish. 2-0, Posh.

53'- Sneijder with a 70 yard long ball to Wallner... Yelldell doesn't move, even though he could easily have beaten Wallner to the ball... but he ends up making the save anyway.

62'- Bellomo on for a tiring Gerard, Mokoena in for a slightly injured Wallner.

66'- Mngomeni playing wide on the left... he draws the defense to that side a bit, then crosses to a completely unmarked Sneijder, who hits a sweet volley into the back of the net. Sneijder's 2nd of the game, and season... 3-0, Posh!

85'- Mngomeni just misses on a half volley, set up by Sneijder's long pass.

87'- Sneijder sets Bellomo up perfectly near the penalty spot, but his shot is tipped over the bar by a flying Yelldell.

The final whistle goes, and we take a pretty easy win over the relegation favorites. Thando Mngomeni with a 10, as he wins MoM with his omnipresent performance. Thando's wing-mate, Sneijder picks up a 9. Zaccardo, Bocanegra, Alex, and Cole pick up 8's, as we coast to a shutout win.

Win, 3-0, up to 6th place
Shots/on target: Posh 22/15, Bluebirds 8/1
Poss: 54-46, Posh
A: 19,108


EPL Round 9 results
Arsenal 2:3 Liverpool
Villa 1:2 Palace
Blackburn 0:3 Man U
Man City 2:0 Newcastle
Norwich 0:2 Chelsea
Portsmouth 0:1 So'ton
Sheff Wed 2:0 Birmingham
WBA 0:1 Spurs
West Ham 1:1 Boro


Nearly every team ahead of us win, so we only creep up 1 notch. We're still 3 behind Spurs for the lead, and 2 points behind 2nd through 5th places.
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Old 06-08-2005, 01:00 PM   #20
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We get 10 days off before visiting a hot Southampton club.

In Sweden's 3-1 win over Croatia in EURO 2012 qualifying, Karl Svensson picks up an impressive 8 in central defense, while Niko Kranjcar scores Croatia's lone goal.

Holland draws 2-2 with Wales, Wales scoring twice in injury time to get the point. Wesley Sneijder with a pedestrian 7 in midfield.

Mngomeni and Sneijder are picked in the Team of the Week.

Carlton Cole, in just his 2nd match ever for England, comes off the bench late in a scoreless game with Scotland at Wembley, and scores 2 goals in 10 minutes to give England a 2-0 win. These are Cole's first 2 national team goals.

Wesley Sneijder scored twice and rated a 10 in Holland's 4-0 crushing of Moldova. John Heitinga also rated a 9 as captain of the Dutch side.

Oct. 15, Match 10
5-3-1, 6th pl., 18 pts.
@ Southampton (6-2-0, 5th pl., 20 pts. - Leading scorer: Dexter Blackstock, 8 goals)
Series: Posh lead 3-3-0
Fav: Posh, 5:4
Milestone: Zaccardo's 50th league appearance for the Posh


Injured: Jesus, Mascherano, Vagner
Stamina below 90%: Mngomeni
Away on int'l duty: Kargbo, Bellomo
Gavilan gets the start at DM today, as Arzo just ain't got it.
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Alex, Marcos, Zaccardo
Mid: Gavilan, Fernandes, Sneijder, Gerard
Str: Wallner, Cole

4'- Fernandes with a diagonal long ball for Cole... it skips past him, but Higginbotham can't control it, and Cole gets possession... he shoots quickly, but it's saved... the rebound comes right back to him, and he shoots... it hits square on the post and bounces clear! Midfielder Darren Ambrose wiggles free on the counter-attack, but Arenas nicely holds his 15 yarder.

10'- The corner kick comes in... Blackstock with the quick header... Arenas with a great reflex save!

12'- Midfielder Alexei Eremenko with a 15 yard shot, Arenas with another nice save.

16'- Wallner with a good pass to Cole at the penalty spot, he wheels and shoots, but another good save keeps it out.

19'- Cole with a pass to Fernandes at 30 yards out, then he turns on the jets, gets the return pass, gets around the keeper, and scores! 1-0, Posh in this crucial early season match!

29'- Gerard wins a header, knocks it down for himself, then plays Cole onside! Cole attacks the goal... and scores! 2-0, Posh! Cole's 10th of the season, and 9th league goal!

31'- Off the ensuing kickoff, Eremenko is totally unmarked in the middle of the box, but he shoots a 12 yarder right at Arenas.

37'- Blackstock tries to slot one in from 15 yards, but he pulls it wide.

Not much happens for a while, as we knock the ball around in midfield...

70'- Robin van Persie with a 25 yard shot, that Arenas has to make a last second save on.

75'- Lunt on for a tiring Fernandes, Mokoena enters for Cole.

85'- Lunt and Mokoena hook up on a cross and header, but it sails just over. 25 seconds later, the same 2 hook up with the same result.

87'- Lunt passes into the middle for Mokoena this time, who dribbles around a defender 20 yards out, then slots it home inside the left post. Mokoena strikes late again! 3-0, Posh.

88'- Crouch breaks free on a header off the ensuing restart, but Arenas with a great save to tip it away diving to his right.

The final whistle goes, and we turn in a Champions' performance today. Alex was an absolute rock in central defense, winning MoM, with a 10 rating, winning all 9 attempted tackles, and all 10 attempted headers. Cole and Arenas get 9's, and every other starter but Bocanegra, Fernandes, and Gavilan pick up 8's.

Win, 0-3, up to 5th place
Shots/on target: Saints 12/9, Posh 13/7
Poss: 56-44, Saints
A: 28,391


EPL Round 10 results
Spurs 2:0 Arsenal
Cardiff 1:2 West Ham
Chelsea 4:1 Sheff Wed
Liverpool 2:0 Man City
Man U 2:0 WBA
Newcastle 0:1 Villa
Boro 1:1 Norwich
Palace 0:2 Portsmouth
Birmingham 0:0 Blackburn


We continue to inch our way back up the table, but the 4 teams ahead of us (Spurs, Chelsea, Man U, and Liverpool) just won't lose.
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:52 PM   #21
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Alex and Cole are picked in the Team of the Week.

Vagner finally returns to full training after his broken cheekbone. Jesus also returns from his course of therapy, and the specialist is optimistic that he is ready to return to action.

Oct. 19, Champions League Match Day 3 - Posh are 1st in Group C
Televised
@ Deportivo La Coruna (1-0-1, 3rd pl., 3 pts. - Key player: DMC Xabi Alonso)
Fav: Los Turcos, 5:4


Injured: Mascherano
Recovering: Jesus, Vagner
Away on int'l duty: Kargbo, Bellomo
Ineligible: Arzo
I'm stuck with a fill-in at defensive midfielder today, as Kargbo plays in World Cup qualifying for Sierra Leone.
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Heitinga, Alex, Sarr
Mid: Zaccardo, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Kranjcar
Str: Wallner, Cole

3'- Bocanegra forward to Mngomeni... he squares for Kranjcar, who sends a great ball into the box for Cole... Cole brings it down and shoots quickly... good save by 33 year old Gustavo Munua, the Depor keeper.

5'- After another nice build up, Mngomeni with a sharp angled 12 yard shot that doesn't quite curl inside the back post.

7'- Cole with a crack from 15 yards, but his shot is into the side netting.

21'- The pressure pays off... Bocanegra long to Mngomeni... he beats his man, the chips to the center for Wallner, who volleys it inside the far post for a goal! 1-0, Posh, on Wallner's 5th of the year!

23'- After Depor knock the ball around in midfield, Sneijder heads a long ball away to Cole... Cole ahead to Wallner, who plays it to Mngomeni... Thando beats his man again, and is free... he takes an early shot at the far post... and scores! 2-0, Posh! 2 goals in 2 minutes gives us a big road lead!

Left winger Momo is just killing Sarr on the right side of our defense... but luckily Momo's last touches are failing him, as 2 dangerous crosses are headed away, and a 3rd pass goes right to Heitinga.

41'- First real chance for Depor, as Xabi Alonso floats a long ball onto the run of Vagner Love (former CSKA Moscow striker)... Love strikes it first time, but it's not on target.

50'- Zaccardo steals a throw in and passes ahead to Mngomeni... the cross comes into the back post for Cole, but his header is well over.

56'- Momo again runs past Sarr... he cuts it back from the end line... a shot is blocked... it falls to Xabi Alonso... his shot clatters off Bocanegra and out for a corner.

Depor just can't penetrate our defense... we get a couple of good counter-attack chances, but Munua is playing decently in between the posts.

76'- Mokoena in for Wallner... Gavilan on for Cole, as we back off to a 4-5-1 with 2 DM's.

We pretty much pack it in and run down the final time, and take a huge road win! This puts us in prime position to advance from this group, with home games left against Depor and Young Boys. Thando Mngomeni wins MoM with an 8. Arenas, Sarr, Bocanegra, Wallner, and Zaccardo also pick up 8's. Zaccardo acquits himself well at defensive midfielder, winning 4 tackles, 4 headers, and making 2 interceptions.

Win, 0-2, remain in 1st place in Group
Shots/on target: Depor 11/4, Posh 21/10
Poss: 52-48, Posh
A: 30,593


In other Group C action, AC Milan with an easy home win over Young Boys, 2-0. We remain 1 point ahead of Milan who have 6, while Depor stay in 3rd on 3 points, and Young Boys sit in last with their single point.

We win another $400k for our victory.
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:53 PM   #22
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Ibrahim Kargbo rates an 8 and gets an assist in Sierra Leone's 2nd match of a 1st round, 2-legged win over Niger in African World Cup Qualifying. SLE beat NIG, 4-3.

Mokoena suffers injury agony

The sad news that attacking midfielder Lebohang Mokoena has suffered a broken leg during a routine training session at the team's training ground has shocked and upset many Peterborough fans.

Mokoena will be out for around 7 months and the fans at London Road are fervently hoping that when he returns to the team he will still be the same influential player for them.


Well, crap.

Our former center back Sashi Chalwe agrees to terms with Barnsley, who are currently leading the Championship.

21 year old reserve defender Fabio admits that he's having trouble adjusting to the English lifestyle, and wouldn't mind moving clubs before too long. I allow him a leave of absence for a month to try and gather himself a bit.

EPL round 11 results - Saturday
So'ton 2:0 Cardiff
Blackburn 1:2 Chelsea
Man City 1:1 Spurs
Norwich 0:1 West Ham
Sheff Wed 3:3 Boro


Zaccardo twists his ankle in training on Saturday, and will likely miss 2 weeks of action.

Oct. 23, Match 11
6-3-1, 6th pl., 21 pts.
v. Crystal Palace (5-1-3, 8th pl., 16 pts. - Leading scorer: AMC Kevin Nolan, 3)
Series: Posh lead 3-4-1
Fav: Posh, Evens
Milestone: Jensen set to make his 50th league appearance for Posh.


Out w/injury: Zaccardo, Mokoena, Mascherano
Recovering: Jesus, Vagner
Stamina under 90%: Heitinga
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Alex, Marcos, Jensen
Mid: Kargbo, Fernandes, Lunt, Gerard
Str: Wallner, Cole

1'- Wallner passes into the area for Cole... Cole gets around a defender, and hits it hard... deflected wide, but Kenny Lunt is there from 8 yards and strikes it home! 1-0, Posh after 50 seconds!

Palace set up 3 separate chances, but don't come close to finishing any of them in the next 15 minutes.

19'- Wallner with a long ball to Cole... he looked offside, but play continues... Cole attacks Gabor Kiraly, Kiraly comes way out to challenge him, and that would be a mistake. Cole around Kiraly easily, and buries it. 2-0, Posh.

35'- Sandor Torghelle gets up to hit a 10 yard header, and Arenas tips it wide... Alex clears for the corner kick. Fitz Hall nearly heads in a Sun Jihai corner kick, but it's into the side netting.

Palace have gone with a more attacking style... that's just asking for trouble against our counter attack.

38'- Fernandes plays a 30 yard free kick square... to Marcos. He passes to Kargbo at the edge of the area, who fires a dipping volley at the far post with his left foot... and it goes in! Kargbo's first ever Posh goal gives us a 3-0 lead.

72'- Gavilan on for Cole, and Balaban in for Lunt. We switch to a 4-5-1.

89'- Wallner has to leave with an injury, Mngomeni enters for him.

We take the easy 3-0 win. Palace never really threatened us much. Arenas is named MoM with an 8, despite only making a couple of token saves. Bocanegra, Kargbo, and Wallner also pick up 8's.

Win, 3-0, up to 3rd place
Shots/on target: Posh 10/6, Eagles 12/4
Poss: 52-48, Palace
A: 19,430


Wallner simply suffered a deep cut in his leg that should require him missing only about a week of action.

EPL Round 11 results - Sunday
WBA 2:2 Birmingham
Portsmouth 1:1 Newcastle
Arsenal 3:1 Man U
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:53 PM   #23
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Bocanegra and Kargbo are picked in the Team of the Week.

Balaban suffers a damaged shoulder in training that will keep him out about 2 weeks.

Oct. 26, League Cup Third Round
@ Kidderminster Harriers (20th in League One)
Previous meeting: Kidderminster 1:4 Posh (12/3/05, FA Cup Second Round)
Fav: Posh, 1:8


Unavailable: Lunt, Balaban, Heitinga, Zaccardo, Wallner, Mokoena, Mascherano
Lineup:
GK: Boumann (reserve)
Def: Kargbo, Svensson, Sarr, Gavilan
Mid: Jesus, Mngomeni, Bellomo, Kranjcar
Str: Jablonski (reserve), Vagner

A slow, plodding match early with little to recommend it to spectators.

39'- Vagner with a great pass to Jablonski, who is all alone with the keeper from 12 yards, but he pulls the shot wide.

47'- Jablonski catches a very hard foul that takes him down, and the Harriers defender is shown a straight red card, that puts us a man up.

51'- Gavilan with a free kick from the right, it comes to Bellomo, who crosses into the middle, Jablonski heads it... in! Goal! 1-0, Posh on Jablonski's first senior goal!

60'- Mngomeni's cross is headed by Bellomo at 5 yards, but right at the keeper.

66'- Jablonski out, Jensen in as we switch to a 5-4-1. Mngomeni out, Fernandes in.

Kidderminster increase their attack, but to no avail. Diego Gavilan has to leave with an injury in stoppage time, but we take the win anyway. Not a pretty outing, but a good debut for Jablonski, who had a few chances with his favored left foot, but finished the game with his head.

Win, 0-1, advance to Fourth Round
Shots/on target: Harriers 4/1, Posh 20/6
Poss: 55-45, Posh
A: 5,555


We win $52k for our victory. Diego Gavilan picked up a sprained wrist, but he should only miss about a week.
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:53 PM   #24
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Karl Svensson picks up a groin strain in training, and he'll miss 2 weeks as injuries are really starting to hit us pretty hard.

We get a favorable draw in the Fourth Round of the Carling Cup, as we'll host West Bromwich Albion on November 9th.

Our team is just totally gassed right now... and it doesn't get any better, as we're battling injuries and fatigue to visit Tyneside.... then in 3 days time, we'll host Deportivo in Match Day 4 of the Champions League.

I notice prior to the game that Arenas is finally getting unsettled about his contract. I should probably give the guy a raise. We'll see how he goes about telling me.

Oct. 29, Match 12
7-3-1, 4th pl., 24 pts.
@ Newcastle United (3-3-4, 13th pl., 12 pts.)
Series: Even, 3-0-3
Fav: Magpies, 6:4
Milestone: Alex plays in his 50th league match for the Posh.


Injured: Balaban, Svensson, Mascherano, Mokoena, Gavilan, Zaccardo, Marcos
Tired: Vagner, Heitinga, Wallner
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Jensen, Alex, Bocanegra, Sarr
Mid: Kargbo, Fernandes, Bellomo, Gerard
Str: Mngomeni, Cole

9'- Harry Kewell's cross is deflected by Sarr... it falls to Edu, who is dispossessed... but Robert Vittek is there and hits it hard and high... way too high, in fact.

10'- Fernandes with a near post cross, Cole heads it past the post.

13'- Bellomo with a great low ball forward to Gerard, who is ahead of the defense... a bad first touch allows him to be dispossessed, but the loose ball dribbles to Sarr, who shoots from 22 yards... parried away! Good shot by Sarr.

16'- Mngomeni with a great ball ahead to Cole... he can't beat the last defender, so he shoots from distance... tipped out for a corner. Fernandes plays a ball in to Mngomeni on the corner, then it comes back to Fabrice... he cuts it back to Alex at the top of the box... Alex gathers, and shoots unmarked from 15 yards... Magpie defender Lucio tries to head it away, but ends up heading it in his own net! 1-0!

28'- Fernandes with a great long ball that bends right to Cole ahead of the pack... he shoots quickly, but just misses the left post.

33'- Martin Rongen tries to chip the keeper from 20 yards, but it luckily sails over the bar.

38'- Kewell with a great cross to 4 yards for Edu, but Arenas with a point blank save, stops it with his hip, then it's cleared away.

41'- Edu with another great chance, he shoots far post from 10 yards, but Arenas with a flying save to tip it up the end line, and Jensen clears.

62'- Rongen crosses short for Akin Serhat, the midfielder's volley is well off target.

Jesus in for an ineffective Cole, and Lunt enters for Gerard, as we try to preserve legs, and the 1-0 scoreline by switching to a 4-5-1 with a very slow tempo.

70'- DaMarcus Beasley enters for Robert Vittek on the right wing.

77'- Beasley gets a return pass from Jermaine Jenas behind the defense... he shoots from a tight angle... wide.

They find Beasley wherever he is, he seems to be playing a free role, he's in the middle, he's on the left, he's on the right... Beasley is beating us pretty badly, but luckily our 2 center backs are doing a great job of stopping passes into the center... Bocanegra with a couple of key headers for corner kicks that stopped overwhelming Newcastle rushes upfield.

90'- Bellomo steals a long pass wide... then gets it to Mngomeni at the midfield line... Thando runs at his man, who backs off him... then beats him in the box... then shoots far post, and scores! Great individual effort by Mngomeni to ice this one. 2-0!

Sarr with a great game at right back, earns a 9 and MoM. Arenas also with a 9, and Alex, Bocanegra, Bellomo, Kargbo, and Mngomeni pick up 8's. A gutsy win with a banged up and tired squad.

Win, 0-2, up to 2nd place
Shots/on target: Magpies 21/8, Posh 10/6
Poss: 56-44, Magpies
A: 45,346


EPL Round 12 results
Man U 1:0 Man C
Birmingham 1:3 Arsenal
Cardiff 5:2 Norwich
Chelsea 3:0 WBA
Palace 1:2 So'ton
Boro 1:1 Blackburn
Liverpool 1:0 Portsmouth
Spurs 1:1 Villa
West Ham 3:2 Sheff Wed


Chelsea now sit atop the table on 29 points... we're next on 27, and Liverpool, the league's only remaining unbeaten side, sit 3rd on 26 points, but have 2 games in hand on both us and Chelsea.

Arenas complains about being denied "a respectable wage". He currently receives $600k per year through 2014... he wants $2.2 million through 2015 with a $900k signing bonus. I'll wait a bit, and see what happens.
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:54 PM   #25
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Sarr and Kargbo are named to the Team of the Week.

Mngomeni's goal against Newcastle in the last match is named as the third best goal of the month. Number one is Wesley Sneijder's crazy shot from near the end line against Cardiff on October 5th. That WAS a top class goal.

The team continues to be dead tired as we limp into our 2nd match against Deportivo.

Nov. 1, Champions League Match Day 4 - Televised
Posh are 1st in Group C by 1 point over AC Milan
v. Deportivo La Coruna (1-0-2, 3rd pl. in Group C)
Fav: Depor, 5:4


A win today would clinch advancement to the next round, provided Young Boys did not beat AC Milan.

Injured: Marcos, Balaban, Heitinga, Gavilan, Svensson, Zaccardo, Mokoena, Mascherano
We barely have enough healthy bodies to fill out all 7 substitutes.
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Kargbo, Alex, Sarr
Mid: Jesus, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Kranjcar
Str: Wallner, Cole

4'- Wallner's 25 yard free kick off to the left of goal nearly curls in... Munua deflects it, and it's hacked off the line.

8'- Kranjcar's half volley after some pinballing in the box is well over.

11'- Wallner with a great nod on to Mngomeni... he gets to the end line, then around his man and inside the area... he cuts it back for Jesus, whose shot is blocked by Xabi Alonso... the ball falls right to Cole with a glorious chance, and he finishes it! 1-0, Posh!

15'- Bocanegra's long throw in looks like Munua has it... but Cole nips in and heads it back to the center of the box, where Kranjcar has an easy finish! 2-0, Posh!

17'- A free kick in the Depor half strikes Sneijder, and bounces right into the path of Wallner... he is through on goal, but Munua makes a save. On the counter the other way, Vagner Love is onside, but his shot from the right of goal whistles past the far post and out of play.

27'- Wallner is forced to leave with an injury... Vagner on for him.

42'- Kranjcar with a short pass to Cole in the arc... he wheels and shoots before the defense can close him down, and it goes into the top left corner! Unstoppable shot by Cole, we lead 3-0!

59'- Mngomeni crosses short to Vagner, he puts a 10 yarder into the side netting.

62'- Cole is chopped down just outside the box... Alex lines up a 22 yard free kick... and curls it over the wall and into the back of the net! What a gorgeous free kick by Alex, and we lead it by 4!

72'- Bellomo in for Cole, Lunt on for Sneijder.

75'- A free kick from our half by Alex falls right to Bellomo at the edge of the area, he turns and slots it home... but was offside.

86'- Lunt nearly scores a free kick from the very edge of the area... but Munua with a good play to finger it wide.

The final whistle goes, and we take a convincing home win against one of the competition's favorites... beating Deportivo 6-0 in back to back meetings. Niko Kranjcar takes down MoM honors, rating a 9 for his great attacking play. Arenas, Alex, Cole, Mngomeni, and Jesus pick up 8's as well in the easy win.

Win, 4-0, remain in 1st place
Shots/on target: Posh 17/8, Depor 9/3
Poss: 53-47, Depor
A: 19,379


Somehow, Young Boys get a 2-0 home win over Milan, which will draw out our agony a bit longer. We can put an exclamation mark on a possible group win by beating Young Boys in Peterborough in a couple of weeks.

We net another $400k for the win.

Roman Wallner should miss only about a week with a slightly twisted knee.
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:55 PM   #26
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EPL Round 13 results - Saturday
Blackburn 4:0 West Ham
Man C 0:0 Birmingham
Portsmouth 0:3 Spurs
Sheff Wed 2:0 Norwich
WBA 1:2 Boro


Norwich and WBA continue without wins. Both have played 12 games now, and have not won. They have 2 and 1 point respectively.

Spurs pass us for the moment into 2nd place.

We have now gone 7 games without allowing a goal. That streak is bound to end today, surely.

Nov. 6, Match 13
8-3-1, 3rd pl., 27 pts.
v. Liverpool (8-2-0, 4th pl., 26 pts. - Leading scorer: Djibril Cisse, 9)
Series: Reds lead 3-1-2
Fav: Reds, 5:4


I notice that Hugo Viana is out for this game for Liverpool... he's played in just 4 matches for the Reds this year, averaging a 7.25 in those appearances, and scoring 1 goal.

Injured: Mokoena, Mascherano, Wallner, Svensson
Unfit: Gavilan, Balaban, Zaccardo
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Jensen, Bocanegra, Alex, Heitinga
Mid: Jesus, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Gerard
Str: Vagner, Cole

2'- Jonathan Woodgate's header on a corner kick is over the bar, but he clashed heads with Gerard, who has to leave for a minute or two for treatment.

16'- In the course of two trips down the pitch, both Vagner and Cole ruin glorious chances with bad first touches, after great passes from Gerard and Mngomeni respectively... very frustrating sequence.

24'- Heitinga is dispossessed by Luis Garcia... he passes short to Rafael van der Vaart, who passes right to Gerrard... Steven Gerrard's long range shot is not close, however.

32'- Alan Smith with a great early cross to recent big signing Diego... the Brazilian midfielder with a wide open 10 yard shot, and he skies it. On the goal kick, Alex passes to Cole.... Cole advances... and advances... neither Yobo or Woodgate close him down, and he splits them, and shoots from the edge of the area... GOAL!!! Terrific run by Cole to expose the lackluster marking by Liverpool, and we take a 1-0 lead!

53'- Mngomeni has to leave with an injury... and Gerard is down to 50% stamina after colliding with Diego, so we pull them both. Lunt and Kranjcar come on.

62'- Vagner with a great individual effort of his own... his right footed strike from 15 yards narrowly misses the top corner.

75'- Arenas grabs a throw in without much problem... he dribbles a bit... then sends it long... Substitute Ashley Cole and Joseph Yobo fall asleep, as the ball drops in to Carlton Cole with ease... Cole has 2 yards on his men, and slots it home from 15 yards!!!! What a goal to clinch it! 2-0 on Cole's 15th of the season in all competitions.

79'- Cole out, Sarr on as we shrink back to a 5-4-1.

81'- Sinama-Pongolle, the substitute striker, runs past the defense, and Arenas with a nice save on a pacey 8 yard strike.

83'- Again it's Sinama-Pongolle off a corner this time, but Jensen hacks the header off the line.

Vagner and Sneijder both pick up minor knocks late in the game... but have to stay on to finish the game off.

We take our 7th consecutive shutout win! Libis Andres Arenas with another great game, rating a 9 and winning MoM for his several quality saves. Bocanegra, Sneijder, Alex, and Jesus pick up 8's as well, as we knock the Scousers down the table.

Win, 2-0, up to 1st place
Shots/on target: Posh 13/8, Reds 16/8
Poss: 52-48, Posh
A: 19,441


We have now gone 539 league minutes without allowing a goal, and 809 total minutes since Portsmouth's Yakubu scored in the opening minute of our only loss of the season back on October 1st.

EPL Round 13 results - Sunday
Villa 0:2 Man U
Palace 2:1 Cardiff
So'ton 0:0 Newcastle
Arsenal 3:3 Chelsea


We move ahead of Chelsea on goal difference, both of us on 30 points, but us holding a +4 GD edge. Man U and Spurs are 1 point back, on 3rd and 4th place. Southampton are just 3 back in 5th, and Liverpool are 4 points back, but are in 6th place now. Arsenal round out the top 7 on 24 points.
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:56 PM   #27
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Aston Villa sack Mick McCarthy, who had been at Villa Park since prior to the 2008/09 season. Aston Villa are languishing mid-table, currently in 10th place.

Thando Mngomeni will miss 2 weeks after suffering a groin injury vs. Liverpool.

Alex and Sneijder are picked to the Team of the Week.

Nov. 9, League Cup Fourth Round
v. West Bromwich Albion (20th in Premiership)
Series: Even, 1-0-1
Fav: Posh, 1:2


Injured: Mngomeni, Wallner, Svensson, Mokoena, Mascherano
Unfit: Gerard, Sneijder
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Jensen, Marcos, Sarr, Gavilan
Mid: Kargbo, Fernandes, Bellomo, Kranjcar
Str: Jablonski, Vagner

7'- Forward James McFadden with a swift free kick, but it hits the post and goes out for a goal kick.

20'- Jablonski with a free header from point blank range, but he sends it wide.

We start applying increasingly more pressure on the Baggies as the half wears on.

30'- Brilliant ball by Vagner onto the run of Jablonski... he tries to cut left, but a defender sticks a toe in and ends the threat.

42'- We slowly advance the ball upfield, with passing between Kargbo and Fernandes... the Baggie defense sags a bit, trying to collapse on the two strikers... all of a sudden, Kargbo decides to unleash a 35 yard bending ball... and it goes in just inside the right post! Maybe the goal of the year, as Kargbo strikes from very long range, and we lead 1-0!

66'- Jablonski gets into the clear, but tries to be a bit too fancy and puts his shot over the bar.

72'- We almost blow the scoreless streak on a bonehead play, as Arenas clearance off a Marcos backpass strikes an onrushing WBA attacker, but the ball falls harmlessly over the end line.

The second half looked a lot like this... Gavilan makes a steal... passes to Bellomo, who would get it to Kranjcar in the middle... Niko would wait for one of the strikers to make a move, and they'd just stand there... or be WAY offsides.

87'- The WBA keeper pushes into the box on a corner kick... we clear it, and Gavilan tries an 80 yard strike, but it dies in the wind, and the keeper gets back to fall on the ball.

Vagner and Jablonski both miss easy chances in stoppage time that would've ended things... so it's a good thing we aren't going to turn the striker reins over just yet.

Sarr and Kargbo get 8's, and Vagner picks up a well-deserved 5. WBA's keeper with a 9 and MoM honors.

Win, 1-0, advance to Quarterfinals
Shots/on target: Posh 31/10, Baggies 10/1
Poss: 56-44, Posh
A: 7,786


EPL mid-week fixture
Newcastle 3:0 Blackburn

We pick up $130k for our League Cup win.

We finally get 10 days off, as more international qualifying kicks back into gear.
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Old 06-13-2005, 04:54 PM   #28
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We draw a perfectly winnable Quarterfinal game in the League Cup... as we'll travel to Wales to take on Cardiff on November 30th.

The Arsenal board are reportedly putting pressure on Arsene Wenger... Arsenal are currently in 7th, thanks to a blazing start for several other clubs... hard to believe they might fire him, but it had to happen sometime.

Qualified for EURO 2012
Hosts: Serbia & Montenegro
Group winners: France, Germany, Romania, Czech Republic, Portugal, Italy, England, Holland, Croatia, Turkey
Playoff winners: Denmark, Greece, Wales, Russia, Norway

Surprisingly Sweden, the 9th ranked team in the world by FIFA, finished 3rd in their qualifying group behind Croatia and Latvia, and will be sitting this continental championship out.

Annoying-assed Harry Redknapp, who used to trash talk us fairly frequently when at West Ham, has told the media that he didn't think we can win the title in the run-up to our November 19th meeting. I use the media to tell 'Arry that we can actually win the league, and some other unprintable choice words for the 64 year old Spurs head man.

Carlton Cole picks up a twisted knee in training, and will miss our next match.

Jesus created a goal for Spain's U-21 squad, as they fought to a 2-0 win over Poland's U-21's in EURO 2012 U-21 qualifying.

Nov. 19, Match 14
9-3-1, 1st pl., 30 pts.
@ Tottenham Hotspur (9-2-2, 4th pl., 29 pts.)
Series: Even, 2-3-2
Fav: Posh, 6:4


We start Heitinga at right back, and Zaccardo at defensive midfield to try to take full advantage of both defenders' offensive skill. We also start reserve keeper Michel Boumann instead of Lee Grant, who has dropped to "poor" morale.
Injured: Mascherano, Mokoena, Mngomeni, Cole
Away on int'l duty: Alex, Arenas, Jesus
Lineup:
GK: Boumann
Def: Bocanegra, Marcos, Kargbo, Heitinga
Mid: Zaccardo, Sneijder, Gavilan, Gerard
Str: Wallner, Balaban

5'- Danny Price with a volley from a Robbie Keane cross... Boumann with a good save, but he can't hold it, and Scott Parker with the easy follow up. 1-0, Spurs.

14'- Heitinga with a good ball down the right for Balaban... he cuts it back for Gavilan, who cuts it back still farther for Gerard, whose 20 yard shot is saved well by Tim Howard.

Spurs thoroughly and utterly dominate this half, but lucky for us poor finishing dooms them on at least 2 occasions, while Boumann nearly gifts them a goal in the 38th, but is saved by a late Heitinga challenge after Keane had picked up a horrible sideways pass from Boumann to Kargbo. We are outshot 12-2 in the first half, but still can pull this game back with a single goal in the second half.

69'- Balaban out for Vagner, Bellomo enters for Gerard... both are subs for fatigue. The old guys are getting tired quicker as the season wears on.

76'- We push Heitinga and Kargbo up to the edge of the defensive area, and play with 2 center backs and 3 defensive midfielders, trying to push the game forward more.

78'- Wallner with a good ball through to Bellomo... he is chased down at the arc, and the ball is poked away... but Sneijder gets it with an open 25 yard look, and he puts too much zip on it and misses the open net!! Shocking miss by the Dutchman.

82'- We play a great quick attack off a long ball by Howard... working the ball downfield with short, crisp passing... until we end up with a 4-on-2, and Sneijder draws Howard then passes short to Vagner, who simply touches it into the back of the net! But hold on! The flag is up! Vagner is called for a shady offsides call, as the ball was actually cut backwards... not a good call at all.

85'- We get completely hosed on another offside call, as Spurs have a 3-on-1 counter attack as Bocanegra gets caught pushing forward. The ball is played ahead to a man who looks a good 2 yards offsides, but the flag stays down and he scores past Boumann to seal it, 2-0.

We actually did better late in the game, nearly pulling the goal back, but lose this one. Boumann gets an unfair 5 in goal, he actually didn't perform that poorly, making at least 3 good saves. Kargbo, Sneijder, and Zaccardo pick up 8's for us in the loss.

Loss, 2-0, drop to 4th place
Shots/on target: Spurs 19/9, Posh 11/6
Poss: 55-45, Spurs
A: 32,621


Not one for the highlight reel as far as I'm concerned, and it's compounded by the fact that the 3 teams immediately behind us also win and pass us.

EPL Round 14 results
Cardiff 3:2 Sheff Wed
Chelsea 4:0 Man City
Liverpool 2:2 So'ton
Man U 3:2 Portsmouth
Boro 1:3 Arsenal
West Ham 3:1 WBA
Newcastle 2:2 Palace
Birmingham 1:1 Villa
Norwich 2:1 Blackburn


Chelsea pass us into 1st place.

We drop to 4th quickly, with the potential to drop quickly again, as the 3 teams immediately behind us sit just 3 points back or less.
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Old 06-13-2005, 04:55 PM   #29
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For the first time, an agent of a young player sends us "video" of his client... this is John Carter, a 21 year old central midfielder currently playing for Hull. The video shows Carter scoring a brace and assisting on another goal in a 4-1 win for the English U-21 team over the Norway U-21's. Actually, he is valued at $6.4 million playing for Hull, and is making $1.4 million a year... no thanks. He doesn't have anywhere near the skill to demand such a salary, let alone for us to blow probably $8 million bidding on him. His midfield running mate, however, is a 20 year old DMC named Ryan Adams, who was named Man of the Match in this game, and has some splendid numbers. He has a minimum fee release clause of $8.8 million playing for Wolves. I'll keep my eye on Adams, and politely turn down Carter's agent.

Aston Villa tap former Canadian national team and Coventry City head man Frank Yallop to take the reins at the London club.

Nov. 23, Champions League Match Day 5 - Televised
Posh are 1st in Group C
v. Young Boys (1-1-2, 3rd place in Group C)
Fav: Posh, 4:5


Away on int'l duty: Alex, Arenas
Injured: Cole, Mascherano, Mokoena
Grant will have to be our sole keeper on the squad today, and considering his recent morale, it doesn't inspire hope in me. Also, this team nearly beat us in Switzerland in our first encounter, so I'm a bit nervous about this one despite being made the large odds-on favorite. A point or an AC Milan loss clinches our place in the next round.
Lineup:
GK: Grant
Def: Jensen, Marcos, Svensson, Sarr
Mid: Jesus, Fernandes, Bellomo, Kranjcar
Str: Mngomeni, Vagner

Not much action early, as Young Boys are holding people back, preparing for an offensive onslaught. They must not do much scouting.

25'- Marcos with a great ball down the left for Fernandes, he crosses to Mngomeni, who shoots from 12 yards.... off the crossbar!

27'- Fernandes with a free kick from near the sideline, 20 yards off the end line... he crosses to the back post... the Swiss keeper is off his line and trying to corral it, but Mngomeni heads it in behind him! Great goal by the South African giving us a 1-0 lead!

31'- A Young Boys defender gets a yellow card for a tackle on Mngomeni... then about 45 seconds later, he gets his second yellow for arguing an offsides call! We go a man up for the final hour.

33'- Fernandes with a 25 yard free kick... just tipped wide!

36'- Fernandes' 45 yard free kick comes to Marcos in the arc... he turns and bends one toward the right post, tipped aside! 2 great saves in 4 minutes by the Young Boys keeper.

Lunt on for a tired Fernandes at halftime.

59'- Young Boys with their first good chance, as forward Thomas Remy hits a 25 yarder toward the far corner, but it's too high.

66'- Mngomeni's 25 yard shot is deflected away, then kicked long out of the back... Marcos misreads the flight of the ball, and nearly allows a walk-in on Grant... luckily Grant comes 10 yards outside of the box and clears it into touch.

73'- The Young Boys just can't stop yelling at the referee... this time, it's substitute Pat (yes, just Pat) who gets his 2nd yellow for dissent inside 7 minutes, and we go 2 men up against the Swiss.

As time runs down, the crowd starts applauding the Posh, as we've punched our ticket for the First Knockout Round! Mngomeni and Marcos pick up 8's, as the Young Boys keeper gets man of the match for keeping us to just a single goal.

Win, 1-0, clinch Group C
Shots/on target: Posh 10/5, Young Boys 4/1
Poss: 50-50
A: 13,588


Deportivo and Milan play to a scoreless draw, giving us a runaway group win. Luckily for us, our fate will NOT depend on our trip to the San Siro.

We pick up another $400k for the win.
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Old 06-13-2005, 04:56 PM   #30
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EPL mid-week fixture
Liverpool 0:0 Sheff Wed

Another big league match for us, as we host Manchester United in our fight to stay on top.

Nov. 26, Match 15
9-3-2, 4th pl., 30 pts.
v. Manchester United (10-2-2, 2nd pl., 32 pts. - Leading scorer: Wayne Rooney, 8)
Series: Red Devils lead 5-2-2
Fav: Red Devils, 5:4
Milestone: Balaban's 50th league appearance for the Posh.


Injured: Mokoena, Mascherano, Vagner, Cole
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Alex, Marcos, Heitinga
Mid: Zaccardo, Sneijder, Gavilan, Gerard
Str: Wallner, Balaban

1'- Wallner nearly scores after Heitinga keys a counter-attack, but his 15 yarder is blocked away by Stekelenburg.

7'- Cristiano Ronaldo nearly heads in a Schweinsteiger corner kick, but it's high.

We get 3 yellow cards in the first 25 minutes for fouls and dissent... but neither team seems able to crack the other's back lines.

33'- Sneijder with a good long diagonal ball for Gavilan, who tries a 20 yarder before the defense can close him down... just misses the far post.

Man U miss all 7 of their first half chances, not even forcing a save, while we fare a bit better, but still haven't dented the scoresheet.

54'- Zaccardo ahead to Gerard, who plays it short to Balaban... Balaban with the one touch pass to Wallner, who has acres of space! Wallner is in on Stekelenburg.... and he powers it home!! Big goal there, as we take a 1-0 lead!

55'- Gavilan with a steal shortly after the restart, and he hits a long ball into Wallner's run... Wallner again is 1-v-1, but Stekelenburg wins this round, tipping it wide.

57'- Lots of action here, as Downing gets his 2nd yellow of the match for a foul against Zaccardo, and we go a man up!

64'- Jesus in for a dinged-up Wallner, and Mngomeni in for a tiring Balaban. We switch to a 4-5-1.

70'- Mngomeni steals a Rio Ferdinand pass, and then beats him on the defensive side to earn a good scoring chance... his shot is deflected wide, but right to Wesley Sneijder who finishes from a tight angle under pressure! 2-0, Posh on a nice play by Mngomeni!

Man U create a couple of chances toward the end, but still can't put anything on target. Arenas with an easy game in goal. Roman Wallner with an 8 and the well-deserved winner of MoM. Gerard also picks up an 8 in this rough and tumble match which featured 5 injuries, 11 yellow cards, 1 red, and 24 total fouls.

Win, 2-0, up to 1st place
Shots/on target: Posh 15/8, Red Devils 12/1
Poss: 53-47, Red Devils
A: 19,421


We dart back ahead of Chelsea and Man U, all 3 of us having played 15 games... but Spurs sit now in 4th again, just 1 point back....

EPL Round 15 results
Man City 1:0 Boro
Villa 2:0 Chelsea
Blackburn 4:1 Sheff Wed
Portsmouth 1:0 Birmingham
WBA 0:2 Norwich
Arsenal 1:1 West Ham
Palace 2:2 Liverpool
Newcastle 4:1 Cardiff
So'ton 0:1 Spurs


Spurs leap back over us with a Sunday win over the Saints... we end the weekend in 2nd.

Next up, a visit to Cardiff in the Quarterfinals of the Carling Cup.
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:41 PM   #31
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Marcos picks up a minor injury that will likely keep him out about a week.

Gerard is picked to the Team of the Week.

I decide to offer around Javier Mascherano for $35 million, a $7 million sale from his current listed value of $42 million. We currently have $70 million in cash on hand, and could easily buy a much cheaper DMC (like that youngster I saw a few days ago on the English U-21 squad), along with giving a couple of guys contract extensions with that much money... and I wouldn't feel like I'm losing much, because frankly, Jesus and Kargbo have outperformed what Mascherano did last season from the DMC spot.

Nov. 30, Carling Cup Quarterfinal - Televised
@ Cardiff (19th in EPL)
Series: Posh lead 4-2-1
Fav: Posh, 4:5


Injured: Mascherano, Mokoena, Marcos
Tired: Vagner
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Jensen, Svensson, Kargbo, Sarr
Mid: Jesus, Fernandes, Bellomo, Kranjcar
Str: Mngomeni, Wallner

1'- We immediately attack the Cardiff 3-man back line... Bellomo swings a cross in that's headed away... but Sarr steals it back to Kranjcar, who slides a wonderful ball in to Mngomeni... he jinks around the keeper, but touched it a bit too far away from himself... and by the time he recovers to shot at the open goal, the keeper has recovered and makes a great diving tip save.

7'- Fernandes' 20 yard free kick is a smidge too high.

14'- Bellomo with a great diagonal ball to an open Fernandes on the left side of the box... he tries to cut the ball into the middle, but 3 Bluebird defenders are there to clear it away.

18'- Cardiff with their first shot of the game, a 30 yarder that Arenas can't handle, but Sarr is there to gain possession.

22'- Mngomeni with a pacey shot from the left, but he sends it into the stands.

27'- Bellomo with a nice run with the ball for 60 yards... then he lays it into the middle for Kranjcar, who takes a 25 yard bending shot that the Bluebird keeper handles with ease.

We go in at halftime having dominated the match, but we need to improve our scoring chances to win this one.... it just feels like one of those where Cardiff is going to sneak in and nick a goal and win it 1-0.

49'- Kranjcar with a great pass down the middle for Mngomeni... but Thando puts the great 12 yard chance wide.

50'- And the prophecy is fulfilled... the cross comes into the far post for Filip Trojan, and he powers it past Arenas for a 1-0 Cardiff lead.

52'- Off the restart, Mngomeni down the left, cuts it back to Fernandes on the run... he shoots from 15 yards, but again a nice save by the keeper to tip it aside at the last possible moment.

63'- Cole on for Jensen, and Gavilan in for Bellomo as we push up to a 3-4-3.

77'- Fernandes comes off injured, Wesley Sneijder in for him.

81'- Sarr and Arenas make a hash of a play at the back, Sarr with a good tackle away, but right into the path of another Cardiff player, while Arenas stands 4 yards away and watches instead of charging the ball and hoisting it away... the next touch is an easy finish for a Cardiff striker vs. an out of place Arenas. 2-0, Cardiff.

The game ends harmlessly, as we can't penetrate the packed-in Bluebird defense. A poor showing against a highly inferior, but highly motivated opponent. Fernandes picks up our only 8, before coming off injured.

Loss 2-0, out of Carling Cup
Shots/on target: Bluebirds 11/3, Posh 15/7
Poss: 53-47, Bluebirds
A: 25,850


Arenas has been very mediocre lately, so it may well be time to sign him to that new contract...

Carling Cup Quarterfinal results
Chelsea 0:0 Man U (Man U advance 3-1 on PK's)
Southampton 2:0 Charlton


Fernandes just needs some stitches in his leg for a deep cut, but shouldn't miss much time.
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:52 PM   #32
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
We get a bit of a surprise, as we will travel to Japan to face FC Tokunyawa, the Asian Champions League Champions in the Asian/Euro Cup on December 10th. I assume this stems from our winning the European Super Cup over Roma a few months back.

We make 2 signings on the 1st of December:

28 year old Swedish left fullback Fredrik Stenman signs for $500k/yr. for 2 seasons.... Stenman has toiled away in the Swedish first division for 11 years, and has developed some good skill... he will be a good backup on the left, 3rd string behind Bocanegra and Jensen.

25 year old Norwegian attacking midfielder Jan-Helge Hansen signs for a dirt cheap $180k per season through 2015. Hansen has top notch passing skill, a superb work ethic, and is extremely fit. He will probably start on the reserve team, but be a top reserve with the ability to play for the senior squad as needed as well.

Out of the offering around of Javier Mascherano, we get a good bid from AC Milan... they offer us $32.93 million, along with a good looking young 20 year old winger who can play either side, named Fabio Piroli, who is currently valued at around $9 million. It is a highly structured deal, for which they'll give us $7.6 million up front, then $16.5 million over 12 months, then $300k per league appearance, the rights to Fabio Piroli, AND 30% of the next sale, which could be quite lucrative if he were to go for a similar price as what we're paying. We have to accept.

Sadly for us, Piroli doesn't look interested in signing with us... but even so, we would probably do the offer WITHOUT Piroli involved.

We have a big game at Birmingham coming up, then 2 kinda meaningless tussles with AC Milan in the Champions League (we've already qualified for the next round there), then in Japan in the Asian/Euro Cup. Likely, we'll be using the first team sparingly in both of those matches.

Dec. 3, Match 16 - Televised
10-3-2, 2nd pl., 33 pts.
@ Birmingham City (3-7-5, 14th pl., 16 pts. - Leading scorer: Conal Platt, 4)
Series: Posh lead 3-1-2
Fav: Posh, Evens
Milestone: Carlton Cole needs 2 goals for 100 career league goals


Injured: Fernandes, Mokoena, Marcos
Unfit: Mascherano
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Heitinga, Alex, Zaccardo
Mid: Kargbo, Sneijder, Lunt, Gerard
Str: Balaban, Cole

Not much action early on...

24'- Sneijder with a great bending ball into the box for Cole... Cole is onside, but gets the pass too close to the keeper, and fires it right into his chest... the rebound comes back to Balaban... off the crossbar! And cleared.

39'- Sneijder on the left after a nice pass from Lunt... he comes up the end line, then passes back into the middle, but too many bodies spoil the chance.

43'- Same play, as Sneijder again is up the end line after getting a nice pass by Lunt... this time his pass is to the other side, back to Lunt, who centers for Cole... the volley is blocked, to Balaban... his shot is saved! What a sequence... should have been a goal.

Birmingham dominate the early stages of the second half, forcing several fouls around our box... but they are unable to put anything on target.

66'- Gavilan enters for a tiring Lunt... Fredrik Stenman makes his Posh debut, entering for a cautioned Kargbo... Zaccardo moves to DMC, Heitinga to right back, Bocanegra to center back.

75'- Gavilan passes to Cole about 35 yards out... he passes short to Balaban, who gives Cole the return pass behind the defense... but his shot is saved! Balaban charges the rebound... cleared away! Frustrating series there.

81'- A cross into the box is pinballed around by the Blues... but ultimately the strike ends up well over the bar.

84'- Mngomeni on for Balaban.

87'- Mngomeni's fresh legs show immediately... as he, Cole, and Gerard toy with the defense all the way down the field... Cole gets a pass at 20 yards out, then gets inside the box and shoots far post... this time he's on target! GOAL!!! 1-0, Posh in the final minutes!

90'- Stenman with a good long ball to Mngomeni down the left... Thando crosses to 2 unmarked men in the middle... it falls to Gavilan, who settles and shoots from 15 yards, but he scoops it over.

The final minutes tick away, and we play keep away from the Blues and take 3 big points. Carlton Cole picks up MoM with a 9 rating, he came on late in the match to have a nice game. Zaccardo, Bocanegra, Alex, and Gerard with ratings of 8 for the match.

Win, 0-1, up to 1st place
Shots/on target: Blues 11/1, Posh 11/7
Poss: 51-49, Blues
A: 26,641


EPL Round 16 results
Cardiff 1:2 Blackburn
Chelsea 2:2 Portsmouth
Man U 2:2 So'ton
Boro 0:1 Villa
Norwich 1:2 Arsenal
West Ham 2:1 Man City
Sheff Wed 2:1 WBA
Spurs 6:2 Palace
Liverpool 1:2 Newcastle
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:53 PM   #33
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Newcastle United fire their head man, Steve Bruce... as Newcastle are listed as my favored team, I am asked by the press of my level of interest in the job. I quash the rumors by saying I am not interested in moving. The board release a statement confirming their happiness in keeping me on, and talking about how glad they are that I'm not going anywhere.

The Mascherano to Milan deal falls through, as we can't get a deal with Fabio Piroli... I try again, offering him to Milan for $34 million flat. Intending to remove Piroli from the list of requests if they try the same deal as before.

We sign GK 19 year old Ricardo Galo to a contract, as he has entered his Bosman period... 6 months prior to the expiration of his contract. He will join us on June 2nd, 2012. He will be a reserve joining us from Porto's reserve team.

Carlton Cole is picked in the Team of the Week.

Arenas signs a new 4 year deal, worth a total of $7.3 million. He'll get a nice signing bonus, and $1.65 million per season through 2015. Arenas has kept 14 clean sheets in 20 starts in all competitions this year, and hopefully this will calm his nerves.

The draw for the FA Cup Third Round (which is the opening round for the Premiership clubs) is made... and as the teams dwindle down, I notice that only a few Premiership teams remain with 20 still to draw... I make the determination that we will end up playing one of them on the road... and lo and behold, we draw a road trip to Tottenham Hotspur on the first Saturday of the new year.

Dec. 6, Champions League Match Day 6 - Televised
Posh have clinched Group C
@ AC Milan (2-1-2, 2nd place in Group C)
Fav: Rossoneri, Evens


We start a group of players that is essentially our second string, so injuries don't matter much to us here, as this game is purely cosmetic. We would play even more 2nd/3rd stringers than this, but we're limited to picking from our declared 25 man European roster. Milan need a win badly in this game to ensure their safety, so I'm sure they'll be pleased with our squad selection.
Lineup:
GK: Grant
Def: Jensen, Svensson, Kargbo, Sarr
Mid: Jesus, Mngomeni, Bellomo, Kranjcar
Str: Vagner, Wallner

6'- Kaka with a 15 yard shot that screams past the right post.

7'- Forward Daniele Bezzo with a shot off a Fabio Piroli cross... Bezzo's shot is tipped by Grant, then ricochets off the post, and Sarr clears.

10'- Again, a short cross comes in, Grant tries to fist it away, but it deflects out to DMC Christian Daniel Ledesma, who heads it back at goal, and past Grant into the net. 1-0, Milan.

19'- Striker Marco Borriello beats Sarr badly on the left side, then charges at Grant, and hits a ferocious 8 yard strike into the back of the net. 2-0, Milan.

Milan is content to pull back after that, and we stay defensive as well...

60'- Wallner comes off, rating a 4 after an hour... very poor. Bosko Balaban on for him.

71'- Nicolas Anelka with a 35 yard chip attempt, and it lands on top of the net.

73'- Finally, we get a good attack going, Mngomeni down the right side, plays it into the middle for Bellomo, who one touches it left to a wide open Sarr, who is forward in attack for some reason... his shot forces a tip out for a corner kick.

Not much else gets going, and we take the 2-0 loss. Milan clinches advancement with the win... but held the tiebreakers against Deportivo anyway, so likely would have advanced even with a Depor win over Young Boys. Grant with a 5, Wallner with a 4, and Svensson with a 6... lots of poor performances today.

Loss, 2-0
Shots/on target: ACM 12/5, Posh 8/6
Poss: 55-45, Rossoneri
A: 73,925


Champions League Group Stage - Final Standings
Group A: Roma 13, Bayern Munich 13, M. Haifa 6, Austria Vienna 3
Group B: Olympiakos 12, Sporting Lisbon 10, Red Star 5, Barcelona 4
Group C: Peterborough United 13, AC Milan 10, Deportivo 7, Young Boys 4
Group D: Man U 14, Porto 13, Paris SG 5, Anderlecht 1
Group E: Ajax 12, Grazer AK 10, Leverkusen 5, Panathinaikos 5
Group F: Inter Milan 13, Chelsea 10, Dinamo Bucharest 6, Dinamo Kiev 6
Group G: Basel 12, Lyon 9, Benfica 7, PAOK 2
Group H: Werder Bremen 12, Valencia 8, M. Tel-Aviv 7, Juventus 5

We sign an impressive looking youngster from Slavia Prague who'll join us in the January transfer window... 19 year old AM/F-RLC Jan Karsnak will join us for an $800k transfer fee... and signs for a fairly low wage, considering that I'm figuring to keep him up with the big club. Karsnak's only concern is that he has an "unsporting" reputation. Karsnak has wonderful physical attributes (rating a 15 or above (out of 20) in the following attributes: Acceleration, Jumping, Fitness, Pace, Stamina, and Strength)... he also is already a gifted passer, and a very determined midfielder, which is a key attribute I look for... Andy Monkhouse dominated the Championship from midfield for us 5 years ago on nearly his iron will alone. As he improves, he should grow into a dominant player in a few years.

EPL mid-week fixture
So'ton 1:3 Arsenal
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:54 PM   #34
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The Mascherano to Milan deal dies, as I recommend a different player to take Piroli's place in the deal, but they want no part of it... the next time I offer him in attempt #3, Milan turns us down flat, saying they are not looking to strengthen that area of the team.

Dec. 10, Asian/Euro Cup - Televised from Yokohama, Japan
v. FC Tokunyawa (Hometown: Shimizu, Japan)
Fav: Posh, 1:2


Again, it's a glorified friendly, so we line up accordingly.
Lineup:
GK: Hilmarsson (reserve)
Def: Stenman, Fabio (res.), Sarr, Heitinga
Mid: Kargbo, Eriksson (res.), Bellomo, Gerard
Str: Balaban, Vagner

9'- Vagner with a 25 yard shot that isn't too far off, but still a bit ambitious from the young Brazilian.

13'- Heitinga's a little frisky early on, giving a ball away that leads to a cross... that ends with nothing, then minutes later getting a yellow card for a shirt pull.

15'- Heitinga with a cross into the six... it's punched away, but Kargbo collects and shoots from 22 yards... tipped aside by the Tokunyawa keeper.

35'- After a lull, we get another chance as Balaban has the ball fall to him at 8 yards, but he gets a bit happy and fires it into the crowd.

36'- Kargbo chases down a loose ball in midfield, then plays a pass to Eriksson on the left wing, who one touches it into space... Balaban runs onto it and shoots first time from 12 yards... GOAL! Nice strike by Balaban, and we take a 1-0 lead.

Gerard out with a minor injury at halftime, Kranjcar enters... and Mngomeni replaces a tired Balaban.

47'- Tokunyawa with some awful defensive play... a harmless pass back to a central defender is played back and nearly out of play for a corner... the keeper tries to save it, but chunks the clearance right to Mngomeni on the edge of the box... Thando with a free try against the keeper, and he scores low inside the near post. 2-0, Posh.

68'- Great play by Tokunyawa, as an early cross comes in from 30 yards, and finds a striker at the corner of the six... he heads it in past Hilmarsson. 2-1.

76'- Kranjcar with a bending 25 yard shot that the Japanese keeper can only parry away.

79'- A nifty series of passes ends with a 15 yard chance square in front of goal... the shot is right at Hilmarsson, but he can't handle it... 2-2.

86'- Bellomo with a good long ball to Kranjcar... he shoots from 15 yards, tipped away.

Mercifully, there is no extra time, just penalty kicks after an even 90 minutes.

Round 1:
Posh - Score (Mngomeni)
Tokunyawa - Score

Round 2:
Posh - Saved (Kranjcar)
Tokunyawa - Score

Round 3:
Posh - Saved (Bellomo)
Tokunyawa - Score

Round 4:
Posh - Score (Kargbo)
Tokunyawa - Saved

Round 5:
Posh - Miss (Vagner - shot wide)

FC Tokunyawa with the win, 3-2 on penalty kicks. Heitinga, Bellomo, and Eriksson with 8's in the match, but the man of the match is the Tokunyawa keeper.

Loss, 2-2 (3-2 on PK's), Tokunyawa win Asian/Euro Cup
Shots/on target: Tokunyawa 10/5, Posh 11/9
Poss: 52-48, Tok
A: 72,361


We take home $900k for our participation in the Cup.

EPL Round 17 results
WBA 1:2 Blackburn
Villa 1:3 West Ham
Palace 0:3 Man U
Liverpool 2:0 Cardiff
Newcastle 1:0 Spurs
So'ton 2:2 Birmingham
Man City 0:0 Norwich
Arsenal 4:1 Sheff Wed
Portsmouth 3:2 Boro


We slip to 3rd place with the weekend's results, but a win in our game in hand would vault us over Spurs into 1st place.
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:54 PM   #35
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Heitinga breaks his jaw in a training session (what are we doing in training, running into brick walls?), and he'll miss a month of action.

Dec. 14, Match 17
11-3-2, 3rd pl., 36 pts.
v. Chelsea (10-4-2, 5th pl., 34 pts. - Leading scorer: Landon Donovan, 7)
Series: Blues lead 4-1-3
Fav: Posh, 6:4


We have a big chance here in mid-week to make Spurs pay for their weekend loss at Newcastle. Chelsea with a big chance to pass us in the table.
Injured: Mascherano, Mokoena, Heitinga
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
Def: Bocanegra, Marcos, Alex, Zaccardo
Mid: Jesus, Sneijder, Gavilan, Gerard
Str: Mngomeni, Cole

8'- Alex with a free kick about 22 yards from the end line, and to the right of the penalty area... he whips it in, and Gerard heads it on... GOAL! Cech had no chance, great header by Gerard to put us up 1-0!

10'- Aliaksandr Hleb with a nice cut back pass off the end line for Landon Donovan... Donovan with the first time shot, blocked by Arenas! The rebound is headed to the middle, where Andres D'Alessandro tries a volley, but Arenas scrambles across and tips that one away as well!

16'- Damien Duff with a 15 yard shot from the left... blocked by Arenas, but right to Donovan, who taps in the rebound. 1-1.

27'- Some horrible defense in front of goal, as a throw in comes long to Wayne Bridge... he has time to wheel and pass to Duff, who is only 5 yards from goal, and nigh unmarked... he easily scores from that range against a disgusted Arenas. 2-1, Blues.

30'- Bocanegra with a long pass from our third to Cole at midfield, who heads it straight onto Mngomeni... we get a 2 on 1... Mngomeni gets into the box, then cuts back to Cole who has an easy finish! 2-2! Cole's 100th career league goal.

42'- A ball is stolen in front of our box, and played back to Arenas... he goes long to Cole, who has beaten his man! Two more defenders converge from the sides, but he gets around both of them, then powers it past Petr Cech! What a goal! 3-2, Posh!

49'- Donovan wiggles free and gets an open 10 yard shot, but Arenas blocks it wide.

62'- Mngomeni with a steal of a pass in the Chelsea area... and he takes a couple of dribbles and scores inside the near post! 4-2, Posh!

63'- Bocanegra with a long ball to Mngomeni down the left... Mngomeni runs down the left... then crosses back to the spot for Carlton Cole, who half-volleys it past Cech! 5-2, Posh as Cole gets another hat-trick!

Kargbo in for Cole, Wallner on for Mngomeni as we switch to a 4-5-1.

80'- Lunt in for Sneijder.

The time ticks away as we kick the ball around, and we take a convincing home win over the London side. Carlton Cole earns a 10 and MoM honors... Arenas with a 9, and nearly every other starter picks up an 8. We also vault into first place with this mid-week make up game.

Win, 5-2, up to 1st place
Shots/on target: Posh 16/9, Blues 11/5
Poss: 52-48, Posh
A: 19,426


EPL mid-week result
Palace 0:2 WBA
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:55 PM   #36
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Thando Mngomeni picks up a one match ban for accumulating 5 yellow cards during the EPL season.

The Draw for the First Knockout Round in the Champions League is held on December 16th... quite the number of bells and whistles surround the announcement, including a full hour long television program. Here are the matchups for the round of 16, which will be played over 2 legs starting in late February:

Roma v. Sporting Lisbon
FC Porto v. Peterborough
Man U v. AC Milan
Bayern Munich v. Olympiakos
Ajax v. Chelsea
Basel v. Valencia
Werder Bremen v. Lyon
Grazer AK v. Inter Milan


Our road in the Premiership doesn't get any easier, as Christmas time always spells a slew of mid-week fixtures.

Dec. 17, Match 18
12-3-2, 1st pl., 39 pts.
@ Middlesbrough (3-4-10, 17th pl., 13 pts. - Leading scorer: Paul Gallagher, 4 - Recent form: WLLLLL)
Series: Boro lead 4-2-2
Fav: Posh, Evens


Injured: Heitinga, Mokoena, Mascherano
Suspended: Mngomeni
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
D: Stenman, Marcos, Sarr, Jensen
M: Kargbo, Fernandes, Balaban, Kranjcar
S: Wallner, Vagner

1'- Niko Kranjcar gets booked 10 seconds in... no joke. And Rob Styles is not even the match official.

10'- Striker Aruna crosses for Paul Gallagher... his 8 yard header is on target, but right into Arenas' midsection.

15'- Arenas' attempted clearance hits Joe Cole at the edge of the area... he collects the ball, but Arenas charges at him and deflects his rushed shot well wide.

25'- Our first chance of the game... Stenman heads a pass away to Niko Kranjcar... Kranjcar with a 60 yard ball that drops perfectly to Vagner, who is 3 yards clear... Vagner takes his shot early, and slots it inside the left post! 1-0, Posh on Vagner's 2nd league tally of the year.

35'- Benedict Vilakazi with a dangerous cross, but Marcos with an even more dangerous tactic, heading the ball away from a yard in front of the goal line.

49'- Joe Cole crosses right in front of goal from the left... Arenas tries to punch it clear, but instead knocks it straight down for Matteo Brighi, who makes it 1-1.

65'- Bellomo in for Balaban... Lunt on for Fernandes.

80'- One of Boro's 3 substitutes gets injured and cannot continue... so we go a man up.

83'- Cole enters for Fredrik Stenman, as we push up to a 3-4-3 to try and take advantage of the 11-v-10 situation.

Arenas picks up a minor injury.

87'- Kargbo with a long ball for Cole, and he races past the back line to pick it up... he gets to 18 yards, then shoots for the near post... GOALLL!!!!!! Great play by Cole, his 20th goal in all competitions this season, and we lead it 2-1 in the final stages!

89'- Bellomo with a fierce shot from 12 yards, but the keeper, Espen Johnson makes a nice reaction save.

The remaining time ticks away, and we mostly are able to keep it in the Boro half until Graham Poll blows for full time. Arenas picks up a 9 and MoM honors... that new contract is working wonders for his performance. Kargbo, Kranjcar, and Cole get 8's in the crucial win at The Riverside.

Win, 1-2, remain in 1st
Shots/on target: Boro 12/6, Posh 9/4
Poss: 54-46, Boro
A: 29,229


Arenas picks up slightly strained knee ligaments, and he'll miss 2 weeks of action... all league games, but Grant has been down lately. I'm not confident about our replacement at keeper right now.

EPL Round 18 results
Cardiff 2:0 WBA
Blackburn 0:3 Arsenal
Chelsea 0:1 So'ton
Norwich 1:1 Villa
Sheff Wed 0:3 Man C
West Ham 2:0 Portsmouth
Birmingham 0:2 Palace
Spurs 1:1 Liverpool
Man U 2:0 Newcastle


We're now 2 points clear of Arsenal, and 3 ahead of Man U and Spurs in 3rd and 4th places.
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Old 06-17-2005, 04:10 PM   #37
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Alex twists a knee, and he'll be out for about a week.

Bocanegra and Gerard are selected to the Team of the Week.

It comes out that Javier Mascherano had a meeting with me where he demanded to be on the first team... which is fine by me. Not sure what the dramatics are all about. Mascherano has not played a minute in league this year, but is about ready to return from his long absence.

Dec. 21, Match 19
13-3-2, 1st pl., 42 pts.
v. West Ham United (7-6-5, 8th pl., 27 pts.)
Series: Posh lead 7-4-1
Fav: Posh, 5:4


Injured: Alex, Heitinga, Arenas, Mokoena
Lineup:
GK: Grant
D: Bocanegra, Marcos, Svensson, Zaccardo
M: Jesus, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Gerard
S: Wallner, Cole

3'- A 30 yard free kick from Wallner off to the left of the box... the keeper and Gerard converge, and the ball goes rolling free... but it's hoofed away.... we retain possession in midfield, and Sneijder ends up with it on the right... he swings a cross in for Wallner at the top of the six, but his header goes past the post.

25'- Sneijder with a long distance shot... it deflects wide to Mngomeni, but he can't keep it on target.

41'- Disarray at the back, as a long ball by the West Ham keeper is misjudged by Svensson... then passed left to an attacker... he jinks around Zaccardo, and shoots from 15 yards... just missing the far post.

43'- Wallner's 35 yard free kick nearly goes straight in... a very nice save pushes it aside.

We outshoot West Ham 16-1 in the first half, but only put a few shots on target. We push Zaccardo up to def. midfield, and play an attacking 3-5-2 to try and net the winner.

61'- Lunt on for a slightly injured Cole, and Vagner in for Mngomeni. Lunt moves to the left wing, and Mngomeni will play at striker.

84'- Bellomo in for Zaccardo, as we try desperately to get a goal... we switch to a 3-4-3.

89'- Our last chance, Lunt's corner swings out to Mngomeni at 8 yards, but he can't keep his header down.

90+'- Svensson misjudges a long ball again, allowing Gerald Asamoah to sneak in behind him... but luckily, Asamoah doesn't have the speed to beat the rest of the defense, and Grant saves the 15 yard shot.

The final whistle goes, and again we take a draw at home, despite dominating play mostly. Luckily for us, Grant was able to keep it scoreless on their end as well. Grant and Jesus pick up 8's for their defensive effort. Wallner with a disappointing 6.

Draw, 0-0, drop to 2nd place
Shots/on target: Posh 25/9, Hammers 5/2
Poss: 58-42, Posh
A: 19,442


Everyone plays on Wednesday this week:
EPL Round 19 results
Arsenal 7:1 WBA
Villa 2:2 Sheff Wed
Cardiff 0:0 Spurs
Palace 2:2 Chelsea
Liverpool 0:2 Man U
Man C 1:1 Blackburn
Newcastle 1:1 Birmingham
Portsmouth 4:1 Norwich
So'ton 0:0 Boro


Arsenal pass us on goal difference with that giant win over West Brom... we're now -8 behind Arsenal on goal difference. But level on 43 points. Man U sit 3rd on 42 pts., while Spurs are 4th with 40 pts. I would have to say that West Brom are going down... with 4 points out of 19 games, including 17 losses.
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Old 06-28-2005, 04:39 PM   #38
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Dec. 26, Match 20
13-4-2, 2nd pl., 43 pts.
v. Norwich City (2-4-13, 19th pl., 10 pts.)
Series: Even, 3-1-3
Fav: Posh, 4:5


Injured: Alex, Heitinga, Arenas, Vagner, Mokoena
Lineup:
GK: Grant
D: Stenman, Svensson, Marcos, Gavilan
M: Mascherano, Fernandes, Bellomo, Kranjcar
S: Wallner, Balaban

13'- Striker Andriy Voronin with a 20 yard shot that Grant has to tip over.

We fail to get a shot on target for the entire half. We switch to attacking tactics to try and spice things up. Balaban is rating a 5 at halftime, but he'll stay on for a bit... probably until about the 60th to bring Cole on, unless we can break through before then.

51'- Fernandes with a corner kick... Marcos gets to it at 12 yards, and heads it straight down... a Canary defender tries to hoof it clear, but it glances off the side of his boot, and goes backwards right past the keeper and in! An own goal puts us ahead 1-0!

Norwich start getting a bit frustrated at their luck, and pick up 3 yellow cards in the next quarter hour.

73'- Kargbo in for Balaban... we switch to a negative 4-5-1 to try and keep the lead.

87'- Wallner gets to 8 yards on the right of goal, but his shot is deflected out.

90'- Fernandes with a good looking 15 yard shot that narrowly misses the upper right corner.

We get 3 great chances in the 3 minutes of stoppage time, pelting Norwich with our counter-attack... Fernandes fails to score on 2 breakaway chances, and Wallner scores a goal off a Kranjcar header on to his run, but he is flagged for offsides.

We finish 1-0, but it could've been much worse for the Canaries. Defender Dusan Basta wins MoM for Norwich, but Wallner and Kranjcar pick up 8 ratings for us. And we keep a lot of key players fresh for our upcoming road game 2 days from now.

Win, 1-0, remain in 2nd
Shots/on target: Posh 8/4, Canaries 3/1
Poss: 54-46, Posh
A: 18,444


EPL Round 20 results
Villa 2:2 Blackburn
Cardiff 0:2 Arsenal
Palace 3:0 Boro
Liverpool 0:3 Birmingham
Man City 1:1 WBA
Newcastle 1:2 Chelsea
Portsmouth 3:0 Sheff Wed
So'ton 3:0 West Ham
Spurs 2:0 Man U
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Old 06-28-2005, 04:42 PM   #39
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
2 days later, we're on the road at Sheffield.

Dec. 28, Match 21
14-4-2, 2nd pl., 46 pts.
@ Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-12, 16th pl., 16 pts. - Leading scorer: Chris Brunt, 5)
Series: Even, 2-3-2
Fav: Posh, 4:5


Carlton Cole terrorized the Owls with 5 goals in our first meeting this year. We'll see if he can break through again.

Injured: Alex, Heitinga, Arenas, Mokoena, Vagner
Lineup:
GK: Grant
D: Jensen, Kargbo, Sarr, Zaccardo
M: Jesus, Lunt, Sneijder, Gerard
S: Mngomeni, Cole

1'- Cole has it tackled away at the top of the box, but the ball comes to Mngomeni, who narrowly misses a 20 yard scorcher.

5'- An Owl corner kick falls inside the 6 to an attacking head, but it misses the target.

7'- An 8 yard shot is charged down in front by Kargbo... the deflection slips onto the post, and Sarr clears it away.

9'- Lunt's corner kick comes to Mngomeni about 10 yards out, just to the right of goal... his shot is blocked by the keeper... Jesus corrals the rebound, and feeds back to Mngomeni, who pokes it past the keeper and scores! 1-0, Posh!

The game settles down a bit, and we control the midfield for a period.

34'- A cross to the back post finds an open SWFC attacker... he shoots near post, but Grant hugs the post and deflects the shot out. Sneijder clears.

37'- Gerard with a great long ball to Carlton Cole, and he finishes with ease... his 18th league goal makes it 2-0.... 6 goals against the Owls this year.

43'- Mngomeni with a bending 25 yard shot, but the Owl keeper is able to lay a glove on it and push it wide.

44'- Gerard with a wonderful strike from the edge of the box, but the Owl keeper is up to the task again.

45+'- Midfielder Magne Hoseth gets his 2nd yellow of the match, this one for dissent about an offside call that wasn't even against him. We will be a man up for the second half.

71'- Cole leaves the game after picking up a yellow card... Bellomo in for him.

Wednesday fail to mount a serious attack in the second half, and we're content to hold the ball and take the 2 goal win. Mngomeni with a great game at striker, rating a 10 and earning MoM honors. Lunt, Kargbo, and Sarr are the only starters who fail to rate an 8.

Win, 0-2, remain in 2nd
Shots/on target: Owls 8/2, Posh 16/13
Poss: 54-46, Owls
A: 28,356


EPL Round 21 results
Arsenal 3:1 Man C
Birmingham 1:0 Spurs
Blackburn 2:1 Portsmouth
Chelsea 3:1 Liverpool
Man U 2:0 Cardiff
Boro 2:1 Newcastle
Norwich 1:1 So'ton
WBA 3:3 Villa
West Ham 1:3 Palace


As we take a look at the mid-season standings, right now we're using all our resources just to keep pace with Arsenal, who have won 7 straight. The Gunners are sizzling hot, on a pace to score over 100 goals this year. We have yielded the fewest goals on the season, allowing just 13 in 21 fixtures, but Arsenal have scored 62 in 21 fixtures, and lead on goal difference by 9... +40 to our +31. Norwich, Cardiff, and WBA are fading fast in the relegation battle, and West Brom have been particularly bad.... but have drawn their last 2.

1. Arsenal - 49, +40
2. Peterborough United - 49, +31
3. Manchester United - 45, +21
4. Tottenham Hotspur - 43, +19
----------------
5. Chelsea - 41, +20
6. Southampton - 38, +10
7. Liverpool - 33, +6
----------------
8. Crystal Palace - 31, -1
9. Portsmouth - 30, +4
10. West Ham - 28, -8
11. Newcastle - 27, -3
12. Aston Villa - 27, -4
13. Blackburn - 25, -4
14. Manchester City - 24, -3
15. Birmingham - 24, -4
16. Middlesbrough - 17, -11
17. Sheffield Wednesday - 16, -28
-----------------
18. Norwich - 11, -21
19. Cardiff - 11, -31
20. West Bromwich Albion - 6, -33

Norwich City begin the holiday purge, firing their manager Mark Bowen.

Following the game, Sheff Wed manager Mark McGhee tells the press that he thinks we can be champions. I respond by saying I agree... we can be champions. What else can I say?

Cristiano Ronaldo wins the World Footballer of the Year award... Arjen Robben wins World Player of the Year.

Ronaldo also wins the European Footballer of the Year award... but Peterborough's own Thando Mngomeni gets 2nd place in the voting... he has 4 goals and 5 assists in 8 appearances in continental competition this season.

Cole comes in 2nd in the Player of the Month of December voting... while Jesus wins Young Player of the Month. I finish second in Manager of the Month voting to Arsene Wenger.

Jan Karsnak joins the squad from Slavia Prague for $800k on January 1st. Karsnak is a 19 year old AM/F-RLC, who is very talented, and will get some chances with the big club to prove himself right away. He is a terrific looking young player, with absolutely blistering speed.
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:27 PM   #40
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
The board increases our transfer budget to $40 million, from $35.8 million. Since the new year is here, I start pouring over the available players, and trying to figure out who will fit in, and who we need to replace.

The imminent departures from the first team are (age, salary):
F-RC Bosko Balaban (33, $2.6m)
AM-C Gerard (32, $1.6m)
D-LC Carlos Bocanegra (32, $1.5m)
AM-RLC Kenny Lunt (32, $800k)
GK Lee Grant (28, $650k)
D-RL Emil Jensen (32, $200k)

Expendable players all. I make an offer to Bocanegra, who's having a great season, to stay an extra year for $1.25 million and a $100k bonus. The others will not be re-signed.

We only have 4 reserves whose contracts are up, the most notable of them being D/DM-C Cesar Arzo, who is 25, but makes $480k per year. He looked good coming in, but has been all over the place with his performances... earning him a regular spot on the reserves.

Jan. 1, 2012, Match 22
15-4-2, 2nd pl., 49 pts.
v. Blackburn Rovers (7-4-10, 13th pl., 25 pts. - Leading scorer: Michael Chopra, 5)
Series: Even, 4-1-4
Fav: Posh, 4:5
Milestone: Jan Karsnak makes his Posh debut.


Libis Andres Arenas returns to goal following his injury. He continues to be the most productive keeper in the league, with 10 clean sheets in 16 starts this year. Our former backup Graham Stack starts for Blackburn... he has allowed 23 goals in 14 starts, with just 3 clean sheets.
Injured: Heitinga, Mokoena, Vagner
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
D: Bocanegra, Kargbo, Marcos, Zaccardo
M: Jesus, Mngomeni, Gavilan, Karsnak
S: Wallner, Cole

12'- Both Kargbo and Gavilan pick up early yellow cards.

15'- Mngomeni's cross from the left finds Cole, but he heads it wide.

25'- We have a prolonged series of pressure, forcing 2 corner kicks, then getting a good shot off a steal and pass to Cole inside the box... but the final shot of the sequence is a Gavilan 15 yarder into the side netting.

31'- Blackburn's first shot of the day is a hopeful 35 yarder that nearly gets into the street.

35'- Wallner's free kick from near the corner of the area is headed by Karsnak... onto the post! Karsnak with the rebound, but his shot is charged down, and the ball is finally cleared.

41'- Mngomeni's cross into the middle is headed by Cole from 8 yards, but Stack with a fine save to keep it out.

44'- Mngomeni with a great long ball onto Cole... Cole gets 1-v-1 with Stack, but Stack is able to tip it aside.

52'- Wallner nearly scores off an incredibly placed 40 yard free kick... but he grazes the upper corner.

61'- Gavilan with an early cross for Wallner... it's headed away, but right to Karsnak who tries a 25 yard volley... but he can't keep it down.

74'- Balaban in for Wallner, and Sneijder enters for Gavilan, as we continue to apply pressure only to fail to finish.

77'- Jesus gets a 2nd caution for tripping a man in the clear, and he gets sent to the showers. Looks like we're destined for a point here.

84'- Sneijder pops free from 12 yards, but there's Stack again to tip it over.

Graham Stack the well deserved man of the match in this scoreless draw. Marcos picks up our only 8, while Karsnak had a decent, if not stellar, debut in the attack producing probably our best chance of the game.

Draw, 0-0, remain in 2nd
Shots/on target: Posh 24/8, Rovers 3/0
Poss: 61-39, Posh
A: 19,436


Jesus gets the automatic match ban for his sending off here. Fortunately for us, Arsenal see their winning streak come to an end, but come from behind late to earn a point at Villa Park.

EPL Round 22 results
Villa 2:2 Arsenal
Cardiff 0:0 Man C
Palace 3:0 Norwich
Liverpool 2:4 Boro
Man U 2:0 Birmingham
Newcastle 5:0 West Ham
Portsmouth 0:1 WBA
So'ton 1:1 Sheff Wed
Spurs 3:1 Chelsea
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:28 PM   #41
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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Gerard is picked in the Team of the Week.

Bocanegra agrees to another year at the Posh, with another salary cut.

EPL mid-week fixture
Villa 1:3 Liverpool

We decide to throw the first team out there in our first FA Cup tie of the year.

Jan. 7, FA Cup Third Round
@ Tottenham Hotspur (4th in Premiership)
Series: Spurs lead 3-3-2
Fav: Posh, 5:4


Injured: Mokoena, Heitinga
Unfit: Vagner
Suspended: Jesus
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
D: Bocanegra, Alex, Marcos, Zaccardo
M: Mascherano, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Gerard
S: Wallner, Cole

2'- Early on, we work a counter attack and get Cole, Wallner, and Mngomeni free on the final 3 defenders... Wallner with a great job to find an open Mngomeni on the left... he draws Tim Howard out, then squares to Cole who is left with an easy tap-in finish! 1-0, Posh!

9'- Mngomeni with a hard 20 yard shot that just goes over.

11'- Robbie Keane's 15 yard shot screams into the stands.

20'- Wallner with a near miraculous shot from near the end line 15 yards out, but Howard is alert enough to tip it away.

23'- Cole nearly scores, as a loose ball falls right to his right foot from 8 yards out, but Howard reacts well to keep it out.

29'- Again the counter attack gets loose, this time it's Cole who is free on Tim Howard... Howard tips it aside... Sneijder is there for the rebound, tries to one touch it into the net from 12 yards, but ends up sending it inches wide!

Kargbo enters for a slightly injured Mascherano.

51'- Zaccardo has to leave with an injury... Diego Gavilan enters for him.

62'- Robbie Keane with a short cross to Scott Parker, who unleashes a charging header... but can't direct it.

74'- Ledley King with a long ball out of the back for El-Hadji Diouf... Arenas is 30 yards out of goal, and hoofs it far downfield... to Mngomeni on the left. Mngomeni with a one touch pass to Cole in the middle, who slips it to Wallner... Wallner draws all the attention as he gets inside the box, but instead squares for Cole, who beats Howard to the far post with his shot! 2-0, Posh on a great quick series of passing to slice up the Spurs defense.

Karsnak enters for a tiring Gerard.

We hunker down and take the 2-0 win, a big road win on our way to Wembley (I hope). Roman Wallner was in fine form, shooting from everywhere and making Tim Howard work all game long. He earns a 9 and MoM honors. Gavilan, Mngomeni, Cole, Zaccardo, Arenas, and Marcos also pick up 8's in the nice win.

Win, 0-2, advance to FA Cup Fourth Round
Shots/on target: Spurs 13/4, Posh 16/10
Poss: 55-45, Spurs
A: 32,592


The biggest surprise of the Third Round was York City, who are struggling to avoid relegation from League Two to the Conference, beating Cardiff 2-0 at home.

We pick up $90,000, but the price is high: Zaccardo has torn a groin muscle, and will likely miss a month of action.

A reporter asks me if losing Zaccardo will be a concern... and I respond that yes, losing him is a major blow.
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:28 PM   #42
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Sarr, Thando Mngomeni, and Milciades Omar Bellomo are all called up to their respective squads for African Nations Cup play... which means we'll be even more short-handed in the weeks ahead.

The FA Cup Fourth Round Draw is made... the third match drawn is the Manchester derby, with United playing host. We get a pretty favorable draw, getting to host Championship side Charlton Athletic in 2 weeks.

West Brom's manager, Leroy Rosenior, mentions that our title hopes are slim, and he doesn't care about anything other than handing us a loss this weekend. I respond by saying that the Baggies are destined to go down with Rosenior in charge. Arenas and Cole respond by saying they are determined to prove Rosenior wrong and help us win the title, while Mngomeni says he is now "unsure" that we can win the title.

Jan. 14, Match 23
15-5-2, 2nd pl., 50 pts.
@ West Bromwich Albion (2-3-17, 20th pl., 9 pts. - Leading scorer: Rob Elvins, 5)
Series: Posh lead 2-0-1
Fav: Posh, 4:7


This is our first competitive visit to The Hawthorns in my tenure with the club. We won here in a pre-season friendly prior to the 2008-09 season.
Injured: Mokoena, Heitinga, Zaccardo
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
D: Stenman, Alex, Bocanegra, Sarr
M: Jesus, Mngomeni, Bellomo, Kranjcar
S: Vagner, Cole

14'- A giveaway by Vagner leads to a nice 18 yard shot by James McFadden that Arenas doesn't see until late... but he is able to tip it aside.

21'- Simpson with an open volley from 8 yards off a corner kick, but he totally misses the target.

23'- Jesus with a nice long ball to Cole... Cole uncharacteristically screws around a bit too long, and gets dispossessed trying to go around the keeper.

30'- We continue to dominate the attack, as Cole draws 3 defenders and has the ball poked away... Vagner re-gains possession and shoots from 20 yards... just missing the post.

West Brom dominate the ball the rest of the half, and we go in scoreless.

55'- WBA work the counter very well, as McFadden crosses to a totally unmarked Rob Elvins at the back post, and he volleys it in from 8 yards. 1-0, Baggies.

Sneijder in for Bellomo, and Wallner enters for Stenman as we go to an attacking 3-4-3.

WBA continue to hold the ball and keep us at bay.

74'- Wallner is taken down just outside the box... he lines up the 20 yarder... the Baggies' keeper tips it away, but it falls right to Cole who taps it into the open net! 1-1!

77'- The accidental goal seems to spark the club, as Cole crosses to 2 wide open players in the middle... Vagner gets there first and has his volley blocked wide, but Wallner is in perfect position to pick up the pieces, and he makes it 2-1!

80'- Kranjcar tries a pass ahead to Cole on the right... but a defender knocks the ball left instead, completely wrong-footing the keeper, and leaving a wide open goal for Roman Wallner again! 3-1!

90+'- Rob Elvins breaks free for West Brom, but puts his 12 yard shot wide of the target.

A great comeback win here, as I thought we might well lose our composure and fall to the last place team here... but Roman Wallner pretty much carries us to the win. Cole gets MoM, rating a 10 with 1 goal and 1 assist. Nearly everyone else picks up at least an 8, with Arenas and Alex getting 9's.

Win, 1-3, remain in 2nd
Shots/on target: Baggies 10/6, Posh 21/11
Poss: 53-47, Baggies
A: 27,057


Wesley Sneijder picks up his 5th yellow card of the campaign in this match, so he'll be forced to sit out our next match.

Arsenal continue to keep first place just out of reach.

EPL Round 23 results
Sheff Wed 0:2 Palace
Arsenal 3:1 Portsmouth
Birmingham 3:0 Cardiff
Man City 0:1 Villa
Boro 3:0 Spurs
West Ham 2:3 Liverpool
Blackburn 1:0 So'ton
Chelsea 2:0 Man U
Norwich 1:4 Newcastle


Alex and Cole are selected to the Team of the Week.

Sarr strains a leg muscle, which will keep him out of commission for a couple of weeks.

We make our first major Bosman signing. We sign 24 year old Belgian D/DM-RC Anthony Vanden Borre to a 3 year deal worth nearly $12 million in total. Vanden Borre is currently playing for Paris SG in the top French league, but has seen his playing time steadily decrease over the past couple of seasons. Vanden Borre will slot in at defensive midfield, and allow us to play Ibrahim Kargbo exclusively on the back 4, where he has been excelling this year. This deal also necessitates the departure of Javier Mascherano during the offseason.... I will probably sell him as soon as I can find a taker for a fair price. Big money defensive midfielders have not paid off for me in the past... so we'll see if this one follows a similar pattern. Vanden Borre has big time skill on the ball, and is very quick. His weakness is defending, but his heading skill should be passable enough for him to be productive from this spot.

A big time goalkeeper is about to hit the wire... Englishman David Knight, who is snagging balls for Valencia, is turning down their contract offers about a week before he's due to hit the Bosman wire. Knight is currently valued at $60 million, and has a $4 million per year deal with the Spanish club. I am considering chasing him down if he hits the open market. But I doubt Arenas would take a demotion to second string very well.
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:24 PM   #43
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Next up, it's our Fourth Round FA Cup matchup. Lots of players missing for this one, but we should hopefully have a fairly easy time of it against our Championship League opponents.

Jan. 21, FA Cup Fourth Round
v. Charlton Athletic (13th in Championship)
Series: Posh lead 2-1-1
Fav: Posh, 1:2


We will come out in an attacking formation today to try and put the Addicks away early.
Injured: Sarr, Zaccardo, Mokoena, Gerard, Wallner, Heitinga
Suspended: Sneijder
Int'l duty: Mngomeni, Bellomo
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
D: Stenman, Kargbo, Svensson, Jensen
M: Mascherano, Fernandes, Lunt, Karsnak
S: Vagner, Balaban

5'- Fabrice Fernandes has to leave with an injury 5 minutes in. Diego Gavilan enters, and will play the right wing, Lunt switches to the left wing.

9'- Charlton beat the offside trap, but fortunately 33 year old Jamaican striker Kevin Lisbie is off the mark.

14'- Lunt's corner kick is headed onto net by Balaban, but cleared off the line by a defender.

29'- Vagner with a good square pass to Karsnak, who shoots from 18 yards... but hits the post! The keeper falls gratefully on the rebound.

33'- Karsnak with a rare yellow for diving.

37'- Lunt with a steal near the center circle... he passes long to Balaban, who shoots... off the post again! Karsnak charges at the rebound... and a defender does as well, but he panics and slides it into his own net! 1-0, Posh on the own goal. Time to back into defensive counter-attacking tactics.

Not much happens for a while, as Charlton can't penetrate our defensive shell.

73'- Jesus enters for Lunt... Karsnak moves to the left wing, and Jesus drops to midfield as we move even more into a shell.

86'- We get a 5 on 3, and Mascherano with a great pass to Balaban... Bosko completely unmarked finishes inside the right post to give us a 2-0 lead.

Javier Mascherano with a quality game, earns an 8 and MoM honors. Jensen and Balaban with 8's as well, as we cakewalk past Charlton into the Fifth Round.

Win, 2-0, advance to FA Cup Fifth Round
Shots/on target: Posh 11/5, Addicks 5/0
Poss: 51-49, Posh
A: 14,133


Fabrice Fernandes breaks his ribs, and will miss 4 weeks of action.

We pick up $130k in prize money for our Fourth Round victory.
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:24 PM   #44
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
John Heitinga resumes full training following his head injury, but Niko Kranjcar immediately hurts his ankle, and is slated to miss about 2 weeks.

We get another half-decent draw for the Fifth Round, as we're the next to last team drawn, giving us a home game... and the last team to go is Aston Villa. A good team to be sure, but a home game for us is always winnable regardless of the opposition.

Manchester United will face Southampton in the Carling Cup final next month, as both teams easily win their 2-legged semifinals over Cardiff and Tottenham respectively.

In a bid to help solidify our goalkeeping position, we sign a dirt-cheap old backup. 32 year old Scot Paul Gallacher will join us in July for a dirt cheap $400k per year, and a $200k signing bonus. Gallacher started his career at Dundee United, and was the regular keeper at Derby County for a couple of years before coming to Tottenham 2 seasons ago. He's been warming the bench ever since, and will do the same for us. He is a very smart keeper with top notch reflexes that should keep us out of trouble with quality decision making and above average skill.

Next up, the biggest match of the season, bar none. We host Arsenal, with whom we are locked in a mortal struggle for first place.

Jan. 28, Match 24 - Televised
16-5-2, 2nd pl., 53 pts.
v. Arsenal (16-5-2, 1st pl., 53 pts. - Leading scorer: Fernando Cavenaghi, 15)
Series: Gunners lead 4-2-1
Fav: Gunners, Evens
Milestones: Arsenal are on an 18 game unbeaten streak... Peterborough are on a 10 game unbeaten streak.


We welcome a 90% John Heitinga back into the starting lineup. Hopefully, he can spark our counter-attack out of the right back spot. And we try Mascherano at the right wing, as Mngomeni and Fernandes are out, and Balaban and Lunt are tired for this match.
Injured: Kranjcar, Fernandes, Mokoena, Zaccardo
Int'l duty: Sarr, Mngomeni, Bellomo
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
D: Bocanegra, Marcos, Alex, Heitinga
M: Jesus, Sneijder, Mascherano, Gerard
S: Wallner, Cole

4'- Sneijder with a curling 30 yard shot that Arsenal keeper Tim Wiese can only parry... Cole with the follow-up, but right into Wiese's midsection.

7'- Arsenal's free kick is headed away by Jesus... Cole ends up with it, and plays it long... Wallner has it and is onside! Roman Wallner bears down, cuts right... and slots it home! 1-0, Posh!

16'- Wallner with a 25 yard shot that is deflected... but Wiese adjusts and is able to tip it away.

21'- Bocanegra plays it to Sneijder with room down the left... Wesley crosses to the middle... Cole is there and heads it in! But the flag is up! Horrible decision there! Cole looked even, at worst, to my eye.

23'- Roman Wallner gets free on the keeper after a nice flick on by Sneijder... he gets around the keeper, but his touch is too heavy and the ball is stolen away... our defense is in a shambles, and Ben Arfa goes long to Cavenaghi who has 10 yards on the nearest defender... Cavenaghi attacks Arenas and scores inside the left post. 1-1.

33'- A nice build up finds Sneijder crossing short to Wallner, who settles and fires from inside 10 yards... but Wiese with a good reflex save to block it wide.

49'- Cole manages to get free down the right side... he attacks the goal, then cuts back to a wide open Mascherano, who shoots from 12 yards... Wiese with a great diving save to tip it out of play.

63'- Cole has a bit of space down the middle, but has it tackled away by Marco Donadel... Jesus collects the loose ball and passes to Sneijder... Sneijder finds Cole again in the middle... Cole shoots from long range this time, and powers it past Wiese from 25 yards! Cole's 100th goal of his Posh career, and we take a 2-1 lead!

73'- Hatem Ben Arfa gets free against a tired looking defense, but luckily sends his shot wide.

75'- Thierry Henry enters for Ben Arfa for Arsenal... Gavilan and Karsnak come on for Heitinga and Gerard, who are tiring fast.

78'- Reyes crosses to Henry, squatting at the back post... but Arenas tips it over the crossbar.

81'- Gavilan with a great long ball to Cole down the right... he breaks free and gets inside... but Wiese is able to stop the shot.

89'- Cavenaghi narrowly misses a 30 yard free kick.

90+'- Wallner with a 50 yard free kick... he flights it in, right to Cole... Cole chests it down, then turns on Vieira and shoots far post from 15 yards... GOAL! The Posh faithful nearly bring the stands down, as Cole scores the clincher in the Premiership match of the season so far! 3-1, Posh!

Carlton Cole comes through in the clutch again, netting his 100th and 101st goals in Posh blue while earning man of the match honors, and a perfect 10 rating. Sneijder picks up a 9, while Jesus, Wallner, Bocanegra, Heitinga, and Marcos pick up 8's. Without question our biggest domestic win of the season.

Win, 3-1, up to 1st place
Shots/on target: Posh 18/14, Gunners 12/7
Poss: 53-47, Posh
A: 19,435


We take a big 3 point lead on the Gunners, and end their mammoth 18 game unbeaten streak.

EPL Round 24 results
Birmingham 3:1 Chelsea
Cardiff 0:1 Villa
Palace 2:4 Blackburn
Liverpool 0:0 Norwich
Man U 2:0 Boro
Newcastle 2:0 Sheff Wed
So'ton 1:1 WBA
Portsmouth 1:3 Man C
Spurs 4:0 West Ham
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:25 PM   #45
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Sneijder and Cole are picked to the Team of the Week.

Goalkeeper David Knight hits the open market. He wants about $5 million per season and a $3 million signing bonus over 3 years. Knight has allowed 3 goals in 16 starts for Valencia. 13 clean sheets. I try not to drool too much, but decide to spend my money elsewhere.

Cole finishes second in the Player of the Month of January voting, as Middlesbrough's Joe Cole finishes first. Jesus finishes third in the Young Player of the Month voting. I finish second in the Manager of the Month voting.

EPL mid-week fixtures
Chelsea 2:1 Cardiff
Boro 0:3 Birmingham
Norwich 1:1 Spurs
Sheff Wed 0:3 Liverpool


Man U beat Man City in the replay of their scoreless first FA Cup meeting... winning 2-0.

Feb. 4, Match 25 - Televised
17-5-2, 1st pl., 56 pts.
v. Aston Villa (8-10-6, 10th pl., 34 pts. - Leading scorer: Eidur Gudjohnsen, 7)
Series: Even, 2-3-2
Fav: Posh, 5:4


Injured: Fernandes, Mokoena, Zaccardo, Jesus, Kranjcar
Int'l duty: Mngomeni
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
D: Bocanegra, Marcos, Alex, Kargbo
M: Mascherano, Sneijder, Gavilan, Gerard
S: Wallner, Cole

5'- Sneijder passes short to Wallner... Wallner with a 25 yard effort that curls... into the post. Cole with the follow-up, but keeper Jan Lastuvka with the quick feet to make the save.

19'- This time it's Wallner passing to Sneijder... Wesley uncorks a 30 yarder that curls... but this one gets inside the post and in! 1-0, Posh! Fabulous strike by Sneijder, his 4th goal of the year.

Villa are thoroughly unable to penetrate our defense, and go into the locker room being outshot 13-1. We are keeping up the pressure, but Jan Lastuvka is playing well to keep Villa within striking distance.

70'- Balaban in for Cole, Karsnak on for Gerard.

A boring 2nd half, as we throw shot after shot at goal, but cannot beat Lastuvka... meanwhile, Aston Villa's every pass through our back 4 is intercepted or headed away. We hunker down and take the 1-0 win against a punchless Villa attack.

Wesley Sneijder picks up a 9 and MoM for his fantastic long range strike. Alex and Gavilan pick up 8's.

Win, 1-0, remain in 1st
Shots/on target: Posh 22/16, Villa 1/0
Poss: 51-49, Posh
A: 19,430


We extend our lead to 6 points over Arsenal prior to their match at Selhurst Park.

EPL Round 25 results
Birmingham 0:1 West Ham
Cardiff 2:1 Portsmouth
Palace 2:1 Arsenal
Man U 4:0 Norwich
So'ton 0:0 Man C
Spurs 3:0 Sheff Wed
Liverpool 1:1 Blackburn
Newcastle 2:0 WBA


Arsenal's Arsene Wenger threw a barb at us prior to our matchup last week, during which I noted that his description said that "he can't see a future for himself at the club". Now, after this loss, the board sees fit to give Wenger a vote of confidence. This, as Manchester United pass Arsenal into 2nd place. Hard to believe the bar has been set so high that the fans and board want Wenger gone after 2 tough road defeats.
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:26 PM   #46
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton, OH
Sneijder is picked to the Team of the Week.

Reserve striker Michal Jablonski blasts me in the papers for not playing him, saying he might have to leave if he's not designated a starter. He's a good young player, but no starter. I ignore it. I also note, ironically, that his personality is that of a "realist".

As if to drive home his point, 2 days later Jablonski scores the game winner as Poland defeat Croatia in a friendly, 2-1.

We have an interesting series of games coming up... 2 road games in a week against lower table opponents, then our Fifth Round FA Cup match, then finally the Champions League picks back up as we visit Porto. I decide to use the main XI in the 2nd road league match, and then save them for Porto. So that means the backups will be playing today as we visit Fratton Park.

Feb. 11, Match 26
18-5-2, 1st pl., 59 pts.
@ Portsmouth (9-3-13, 14th pl., 30 pts. - Leading scorer: Yakubu, 11)
Series: Posh lead 4-1-2
Fav: Posh, 4:5


Injured: Svensson, Fernandes, Mokoena
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
D: Stenman, Kargbo, Sarr, Jensen
M: Jesus, Lunt, Bellomo, Kranjcar
S: Vagner, Balaban

Portsmouth just blitz us the entire first half. They get their first on a nice corner kick headed in in the 21st minute, then score again on a tight angle shot in the 40th minute. Our attack looks atrocious, and the defense isn't any better.

Wallner enters for Balaban, and Gavilan in for Jensen at halftime. We switch to an attacking 3-5-2.

53'- The switch pays off quickly, as Stenman finds an open Vagner near the arc... Vagner is dispossessed, but the ball bobbles free to Wallner, and he quickly slots it home from 15 yards to make it 2-1. Wallner's 10th goal in all competitions this season.

70'- After a couple of promising corner kicks come up empty, Portsmouth breaks our offside trap, and Yakubu slides it to Dirk Kuijt, who has an easy tap-in to finish this one off. It's 3-1 to Pompey.

Karsnak enters for Niko Kranjcar.

76'- Ibrahim Kargbo hits a free kick from our half of the field... he flights it long and into the box... Vagner has broken past the back line! He gets the pass at the penalty spot, then finishes past a shocked keeper! What a set piece that was! 3-2.

77'- Stenman steals the kickoff and passes to Karsnak... he zooms past the defense, then centers to Bellomo, who has a great look from 10 yards... his hard shot caroms back off the crossbar!

82'- Gary O'Neil crosses short to Yakubu off a set piece, and Yakubu with a well-directed header finds the target. 4-2, Pompey.

89'- Lunt beats his man down the left... the old man crosses into the middle, where another oldster, Diego Gavilan meets it and scores! 4-3 now.

We are unable to mount an attack during the 3 added minutes, and take a tough road loss. We came back 3 times, but Portsmouth's offense just beat our defense like a tired mule. Vagner picks up our only 8, as Arenas, Sarr, and Stenman pick up 6's in a horrible defensive display.

Loss, 4-3, lead shrinks to 3 pts.
Shots/on target: Pompey 23/7, Posh 7/3
Poss: 57-43, Pompey
A: 22,513


EPL Round 26 results
Boro 3:0 Cardiff
Arsenal 5:1 Newcastle
Villa 3:0 So'ton
Blackburn 0:2 Spurs
Man C 0:1 Palace
WBA 0:3 Liverpool
Norwich 1:2 Birmingham
West Ham 0:1 Chelsea
Sheff Wed 1:3 Man U


Sure enough, despite a 5-1 win over the Magpies, Arsenal sack Arsene Wenger immediately following the big win, and the press immediately ask me if I'm interested. I declare that no, I'm not interested in the Arsenal job. This pleases the board, who already love me like a son.
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:26 PM   #47
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Niko Kranjcar will miss 4 weeks with a badly twisted ankle he picked up during training.

I resist the temptation to scold Arenas for that 4 goal showing against Portsmouth, and just resolve to keep running him out there. I'm sure it was a fluke.

Meanwhile, Man U, Arsenal, and Tottenham are all within 3 points of us now in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively.

Feb. 15, Match 27
18-5-3, 1st pl., 59 pts.
@ Manchester City (6-11-9, 15th pl., 29 pts. - Leading scorer: Jermain Defoe, 10)
Series: Even, 3-2-3
Fav: Posh, 5:4


Injured: Svensson, Kranjcar, Fernandes, Mokoena
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
D: Bocanegra, Heitinga, Alex, Zaccardo
M: Mascherano, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Gerard
S: Karsnak, Cole

We do a good job of keeping pressure on the Citizen defense, but neither team can break through during a fairly pedestrian first half. Jan Karsnak had our 2 best chances but couldn't finish either shot inside the box.

58'- Karsnak beats his man on the left, then crosses for Cole... but the keeper blocks his header wide... Karsnak attacks the rebound and goes down.... and promptly gets a yellow for diving.

Karsnak out, Wallner in.

70'- Zaccardo goes down with a slight injury... we remove him as a precaution in favor of Kargbo, and switch Heitinga out to right back.

We get a couple more chances, but are unable to seriously challenge Robert Green. It finishes scoreless. Arenas, Bocanegra, Mngomeni, and Mascherano pick up 8's in the decent effort.

Draw, 0-0, remain in 1st
Shots/on target: City 6/2, Posh 19/7
Poss: 50-50
A: 41,733


EPL mid-week fixtures
Villa 3:0 Portsmouth
Chelsea 1:1 Boro
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:27 PM   #48
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Feb. 18, FA Cup Fifth Round
v. Aston Villa (9th in Premiership)
Series: Posh lead 3-3-2
Fav: Posh, 5:4


Injured: Svensson, Kranjcar, Mokoena, Fernandes
Lineup:
GK: Grant
D: Jensen, Marcos, Kargbo, Sarr
M: Jesus, Lunt, Gavilan, Bellomo
S: Balaban, Vagner

5'- Marcos leaves with an injury... Mascherano enters, and will play right back. Sarr moves to center back.

20'- Balaban with a good angle on a shot... he fires... it deflects right to Vagner, but his shot is saved at point blank range! The ball rolls to Diego Gavilan, but he can't get to it before it goes out for a corner kick.

22'- Lunt with a pacey inswinger from a corner kick... Jesus is at the edge of the six at the near post, and he heads it in! Jesus' first goal for the Posh, and we take a 1-0 lead!

41'- Mascherano steals a low corner kick from Villa... he outlets to Bellomo, who passes over the top to Gavilan... Gavilan with one man to beat, tries a 20 yard shot... it's deflected wide to Balaban, but he is able to finish past the out of position keeper! 2-0, Posh!

45'- To finish the half, Bellomo passes forward to Lunt... they back off of him, and he charges forward... Lunt passes ahead to Balaban, who turns and chips the keeper from 20 yards... Lastuvka flails at it, but he can't keep it out! Balaban's 2nd of the match, and we take a 3-0 cushion into the locker room!

60'- Steed Malbranque crosses to Luke Moore, who beats Mascherano to the ball and heads it in. 3-1.

67'- Malbranque and Moore hook up again... this time, it was a very early cross, but Moore beats Mascherano again and heads it past Grant.

Arenas on for Grant. Karsnak in for a tiring Lunt. We switch Jesus to right back, and Mascherano moves to defensive midfield.

81'- Balaban gets free on the keeper, but Lastuvka stops it... Karsnak gathers the rebound, but his ensuing cross is gathered in by Lastuvka.

86'- Balaban is played in by Bellomo, but this time he misses a 15 yarder wide.

90'- Darius Vassell with an early cross into the box for Jlloyd Samuel... Samuel breaks free! Arenas charges out and pokes it away! That looked like the equalizer there.

We're able to hang on for the win! Bosko Balaban with a superb game up front, he scores twice and earns a 10 and MoM honors. Kargbo, Jesus, Vagner, and Arenas pick up 8's as well, as Arenas saves us from a replay.

Win, 3-2, advance to Quarterfinals
Shots/on target: Posh 21/10, Villa 14/4
Poss: 51-49, Villa
A: 16,432


We pick up $260k for the win. Marcos shouldn't miss much time with a slightly separated shoulder.

FA Cup Fifth Round results
Bolton (Ch.) 1:1 WBA
Bristol C. (Ch.) 1:0 West Ham
Derby (Ch.) 0:0 So'ton
Middlesbrough 2:2 Man U
Preston (Ch.) 2:2 Chelsea
Reading (L1) 0:3 Portsmouth


EPL fixture
Blackburn 1:1 Newcastle
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:28 PM   #49
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Bocanegra and Mascherano are picked to the Team of the Week.

The Sixth Round FA Cup draw is held, and a lot of replays are still pending. And again, we draw very well. We will play a road game, but it will be at Bristol City, who are currently struggling against relegation from the Championship. The game will be on March 10.

And the day has finally come at last.

Feb. 22, Champions League - First Knockout Stage, Leg 1
@ FC Porto (finished 2nd in Group D with 13 pts., behind Manchester United by 1)
Fav: Porto, 6:4


Former Posh defensive midfielder Fabio Rochemback is on the field for Porto today, playing pushed up in attack. He has 2 goals and 3 assists for Porto in 14 games this year.

Injured: Kranjcar, Mokoena
Ineligible: Svensson, Stenman, Karsnak
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
D: Bocanegra, Alex, Heitinga, Zaccardo
M: Jesus, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Gerard
S: Wallner, Cole

9'- Cole has all sorts of green space down the right... he cuts the ball inside to Gerard, who tries his luck from 25 yards, but sends it well over.

17'- Cole passes to Gerard again... Gerard uncorks a similar shot, but this time he places it nicely into the upper right corner and beats the keeper! Great goal by Gerard, and we lead 1-0!

24'- Fabio Rochemback hobbles off for treatment, thanks to a studs up tackle by Sneijder. Luckily, the referee's view was blocked and he gets no card.

37'- Sneijder passes to Gerard... Gerard forward to Cole near the arc. Cole draws 2 defenders, and beats them both to the pass... he one touches it to Wallner, who is wide open, and finishes it inside the left post!! 2-0, Posh!

The tiny buy vocal Peterborough contingent grows even louder at halftime, as we take a 2-0 lead into the locker room at the Estadio do Dragao. Rochemback is subbed out at halftime due to the injury. If we can avoid a Porto goal in the 2nd half, we'll have set ourselves up beautifully for the second leg at London Road.

The match turns physical in the second half, as each team picks up a couple of yellow cards.

70'- Fernandes subs in for Mngomeni, who is carded, and Zaccardo leaves tired as Gavilan replaces him.

90'- Bocanegra's long throw is headed down by Heitinga to Sneijder... Wesley's hard 15 yard volley just blazes over the crossbar.

The final whistle goes, and we take a huge road win! Jesus wins MoM with an 8... he won 6/10 tackles, and 6/6 headers. Most of the starting lineup picks up 8's as well. All we have to do is not completely blow it at London Road, and we'll advance to the round of 8!

Win, 0-2
Shots/on target: Porto 5/2, Posh 20/8
Poss: 53-47, Porto
A: 45,879


Champions League - First Knockout Stage, First Leg results
Ajax 2:2 Chelsea
Basel 3:0 Valencia
Bayern Munich 1:1 Olympiakos
Grazer AK 0:0 Inter
Man U 0:1 AC Milan
Roma 2:0 Sporting L.
Werder Bremen 3:1 Lyon


Newcastle and Liverpool are knocked out during the First Knockout Round of the UEFA Cup... but Arsenal and Crystal Palace survive.

Vagner picks up a twisted ankle, but shouldn't miss much time with it.

English League Cup Final
Man U 3:0 Southampton
This game was never close, as the Saints couldn't even force a save out of the Red Devil keeper.

FA Cup Fifth Round result
Arsenal 0:0 Liverpool

FA Cup Fifth Round Replay results
Chelsea 0:1 Preston North End (Ch.)
Manchester United 1:1 Middlesbrough (Boro adv. 3-2 on PK's)
Southampton 2:0 Derby County (Ch.)
West Brom 0:1 Bolton (Ch.)


An amazing set of results, with Southampton being the only favorite to pull out their FA Cup match.

Preston, Bristol City, and Bolton are the 3 Championship teams remaining... and Arsenal or Liverpool will be the only 1 of the big 4 remaining after their replay.
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Old 07-07-2005, 04:51 PM   #50
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March 3, Match 28
18-6-3, 1st pl., 60 pts.
@ Cardiff (4-3-20, 18th pl., 15 pts.)
Series: Posh lead 4-2-2
Fav: Posh, 4:5


Cole starts today, but if we can grab a lead he'll be out by halftime to save him up for our Champions League match in 4 days.
Injured: Kranjcar, Mokoena, Vagner
Unfit (under 90% stamina): Sarr, Wallner, Bellomo
Lineup:
GK: Arenas
D: Jensen, Kargbo, Svensson, Sarr
M: Mascherano, Fernandes, Lunt, Karsnak
S: Balaban, Cole

Sadly, our dream of a halftime lead slowly but painfully evaporates during a boring first half. Our one good chance was off a Mascherano 15 yard attempt, but it was tipped away by the Bluebird keeper.

49'- Lunt with a throw-in near our own end line... he finds Cole, who is able to dribble unmolested for 60 yards, before passing to Karsnak... Jan beats one man, then passes up a 12 yard shot... he cuts across goal for Fabrice Fernandes, who finishes inside the left post past a diving keeper! Great pass by Karsnak, good finish by Fernandes, who nets his first of the year. 1-0.

63'- Cole out for Jesus, as we back into a 4-5-1.

67'- Lunt steals the ball off a Bluebird foot in midfield... he passes ahead to Balaban, who decides to shoot from 25 yards... a defender is just sort of standing around in front of the goal, and the shot deflects off of him and past the keeper into the goal! 2-0, Posh on a fluke!

77'- Kargbo mistimes a header, and allows a breakaway... our fullbacks are able to close the attacker down, and force a 20 yard shot that Arenas deflects wide... Jensen hoofs it into touch.

90'- A throw in deep in our end leads to a low pass into the box... and Jensen barges over a man just outside the six trying to receive that pass... the penalty is awarded. Sub. striker Stuart Fleetwood takes the penalty, and converts. 2-1.

Poor consolation goal allowed there, but we get max. points to keep our lead intact. Fabrice Fernandes with a very good game today, earning an 8 and MoM. Mascherano, Karsnak, and Kargbo pick up 8's as well, as we win in Wales.

Win, 1-2, lead increases to 4 pts.
Shots/on target: Bluebirds 10/4, Posh 16/5
Poss: 56-44, Bluebirds
A: 26,114


EPL Round 28 results
Newcastle 1:1 Man C
Birmingham 2:0 Sheff Wed
Chelsea 2:0 Norwich
Palace 0:2 Villa
Boro 2:0 West Ham
Spurs 1:0 WBA
Man U 1:1 Blackburn
So'ton 2:1 Portsmouth


Our lead is now 4 pts. over Spurs, and 5 pts. over Man U, who have a game in hand. Arsenal sit 7 pts. back in 4th place, but have 2 games in hand.

FA Cup Fifth Round Replay result
Liverpool 2:0 Arsenal
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