A BSP-??? adventure with Luís Figo and the Diamonds


Most Valuable Pirate
Jul 10, 2009
A BSP-Premier League adventure with Luís Figo and the Diamonds!

Hello there. Nice of you to drop by.
Hello there FM-Base. This summer, I picked up Championship Manager 03-04 for the first time and quickly upgraded to FM09 after a few championships with Porto. In FM09 I continued managing teams in quite excellent standing such as Porto (hey, if it ain't broke...) and Ajax. After yet more glory I decided to give myself a challenge and start a new career. This time, I vowed to not choose a big-bank big-name club. Now I should stress I am by no means a seasoned champ at this game, so please excuse if I'm overly giddy over average accomplishments etc. ;)

And theen?
Well, I (Luís Figo - lol yes) started unemployed and quickly signed a deal with Blue Square Premier side Rushden & Diamonds, partly because of their quite frankly awesome name (I mean come on, Diamonds!) and partly because they were the only ones who were willing to give ol' OG Judas here a go.

Past seasons
2008-09: Blue Square Premier, 5th. Playoffs WON. Semi-final vs. Oxford 1-1 home, 4-1 away. Final vs. Kettering 2-1.
View attachment 9187
2009–10: Football League 2, 1st, FA Cup 2nd Rnd (QPR, 3-3 home, 0-2 away). League Cup 2nd Rnd (Reading, 1-5 away, ouch). Johnstone's Paint S 1st Rnd (Bristol Rovers, 0-2 away)

2010–11: Football League 1, 7th. Missed the playoffs by one goal. FA Cup 4th Rnd (@ Portsmouth). League Cup 1st Rnd (v. Q.P.R.). Johnstone's Paint Trophy 2nd Rnd South (@ Walsall).

2011–12: Football League 1, 3rd. Playoffs WON. FA Cup 4th Rnd. League Cup 2nd Rnd. Johnstone's Paint Trophy WON.

2012–13: Championship, 3rd. Playoffs WON. FA Cup Semi Final (v. Arsenal). League Cup 2nd Rnd (@ Ipswich).

2013–14: Premier League, 8th. FA Cup 5th Rnd (@ Middlesbrough). League Cup 3rd Rnd (@ Ipswich).

2014–15: Premier League, 2nd. FA Cup 3rd Rnd (@ Tottenham). League Cup Quarter Final (v. Manchester City).

Current season
2015–16: Premier League, coming up!
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Most Valuable Pirate
Jul 10, 2009
I'll start doing more actual updates as I go along instead of just keeping a status post, that seems rather boring...

So we join the action in February 2010, my second season, as the Diamonds are currently in promotion contention as we are currently placed 2nd, and with just fourteen games to go in the season we have a very good chance of being promoted to the prestigious Football League One!

Let's go:

Rushden 4–0 (1–0) Morecambe
A curious game this was, as I only scored from corners and 3 players from my back four headed home all of them with Fabio Ferreira expertly delivering the balls in towards the six-yard box. One was appealed by Morecambe as it appeared that Baptiste Schmisser had Maradona'd it in from close range, but to no avail for the poor Morecambians. 2 players walked off injured: goalscorer Aynsley McDonald (45') is out of contention for 4 weeks and forward Adam McGurk will be out for at least 2 weeks. And he was on such a good run of form.. ******. Fortunately I've got some other forwards coming back from injury, so hopefully we'll be alright in the goalscoring department.

Rushden 1 – 0 Hereford

A tight encounter, as evidenced by the scoreline, but a win nonetheless! Not much else to say about this game, really. We created a host of chances and should definitely have scored on at least two of them. But it's really hard to complain when you get the three points.

Notts County 2 – 0 Rushden

We're back on the road for this one, as the Diamonds travel to Meadow Lane for a crucial match. Notts County are placed 3rd before the match, eight points behind me.

Turned out to be a ridiculous loss, as we squandered every single chance we had in the match, an absolute miserable outing from the forwards, Daniel Pacheco in particular. They scored off two idiotic mistakes. Unacceptable marking found one of their midfielders completely free and through on goal in a 1 v 4 situation. The other goal came with assist from my goalie as he decided to make the worst clearing I've ever seen in FM09 directly to an opposing striker. Rubbish.

March 2010

Rushden 2 – 1 Crewe

Rushden bounce back straight away after the miserable outing away at Notts Co. Swede Tobias Mikaelson was back in the starting eleven after the aforementioned failure in the previous match by the forward pairing. Mikaelson responded straight away with scoring twice. What a trooper! And, oh, he's injured for four weeks (insert random swearing).On a cheerier note, the Diamonds maintain their impeccable unbeaten home record, now at 16 victories and 1 draw. Nene Park is really looking like a fortress as the Diamond defense has only let in six goals in those 17 home games.

Chesterfield 0 – 0 Rushden

Ahhh, Chesterfield. Fond memories of that lot, I have. The home game earlier in the season finished a massive 6-0 for the Diamonds as they trucked over the poor Spireites. Let's hope for more of the same.
Ah, guess not. They had a man sent off in the first half, so things looked good as I was keeping possession and creating some, but not many, chances. As it turned out, it was too few and I only managed a draw, but bearing in mind my not so great away record at the moment, I probably shouldn't worry too much. I should say that I played with a sort of "B"-squad, as there is some fixture congestion at the moment and many players were simply hammered. Also, when I finally made my third substition, one of my center backs had to come off injured. All in all an ok result.

Rushden 1 – 3 Exeter
Exeter will be looking for revenge as I clinched an overtime (90+3') winner away against them earlier in the season.
..and they got it. I'm almost so disappointed I can't even type, right now. After a fantastic start with a goal after 25 minutes, they clawed their way back in and delivered me my first home defeat of the season. In any competition. Chances created after their equalising goal were hopelessly taken advantage of. Terrible forward and winger play today.

Macclesfield 1 – 2 Rushden

Last meeting: 4-1 thrashing at home. More of that, please. Still seething after my home defeat to Exeter I sent the strongest possible team to Macclesfield in an attempt to send a message. Rather conveniently, Macclesfield is the worst placed team in the League Two and have not won in 21 straight games. Making it 22.

Yep, barely. Ridiculous penalty miss and subsequent squandering of the rebound by Kalala, so he's pretty much out of the first team for the next million years. Finally won in late in the second half on another penalty. Goalscorer José Morato even got sent off in the 61st minute, so I suppose the win is enough. For now.

Rushden 2 – 0 Wycombe

Last meeting: 2-1 at their house in the pouring rain.

The scoreline belies the game. Luckily it's in my favour this time as I just edge them and rather miraculously earn a clean sheet (and ipso facto Martin Hansen is back in my good graces after his own goal nightmare against Exeter. McGurk finally scored after having previously gone a staggering 750 minutes without a goal. Hoping he goes on a rampage now in the last handful of games.

Dag & Red 0 – 2 Rushden

I don't like this fixture all that much. I only drew with them at home (the only "spot" on my otherwise pristine home record. Well, before Exeter ruined it completely) in the league earlier and suffered a bitter 4-0 defeat at their ground in the FA Cup 2008–09 while I was still mellowing in the Blue Square Premier. Revenge (mine, this time) is sorely needed.
All right! Really pleased with this win. First of all, it's an away win for the side that hasn't won one of those since... well, the last away game, actually, but I'll admit that was very fluky. Second of all, we absolutely dominated this one. Thirdly, I really feel responsible for the win. Was getting really tired of our inconsistency away so I crafted a 4-3-3 tactic that was much more defensive than my regular tactic, and it worked fantastically. Also very pleased with the re-introduction of the prodigal son, Dani Pacheco, who I decided to include as a substitute on matchday as he had (finally, he had gone 10 hours of football without scoring before this game) impressed for the reserves where he scored a hat-trick. Thank f--- that I did because he scored one of the most spectacular solo goals I've seen in FM09, just excellent. Right, let's hope this tactic can turn around my away fortunes for good!

In other news: finishing in the playoff places is now a certainty. I am also only two points after league leaders Shrewsbury, so I just have to do my part and win the rest and we can settle the battle for the #1 spot on the final match day!

April 2010

Rushden 1 – 1 Accrington
Last meeting: 2-0 victory.
****. Controlled the entire game, but I think complacency leading players to just shoot instead of searching out the perfect pass caused this to end in a draw. 2 points lost here, no doubt.

Rushden 4 – 0 Cheltenham
Last meeting: 1-2 loss.
Back on excellent home form again as Cheltenham are mercilessly ripped asunder. The Diamonds had two more goals called back because of a flagrant offside error, robbing the Mikaelsson of his so deserved hat-trick and another one due to a push inside the area. Mikaelsson is now on 11 goals in 18 appearances. If only he'd stay fit more of the time.

Chester 0 – 1 Rushden
Last meeting: 1-0 victory.
Grinding out the victory. In control. 3 points. Promotion secured! Now it's all about who gets to be numero uno.

Rushden 1 – 0 Lincoln
Last meeting: 1-2 loss.

Rochdale 2 – 1 Rushden
Last meeting: 1-0 victory.
Was up 1-0 but Rochdale were always gonna win this one. Terrible midfield play today.

May 2010

Rushden 1 – 0 Shrewsbury
Last meeting: 1-2 loss. Final match of the season.
The battle for first place really all comes down to this! Prior to the game: Rushden - 92 points. Shrewsbury - 94 points. Would be a fantastic end to a good season if we could go up as League Two champions.
This is, by far, the most bizarre game I've played.
First half: at 11' and 17', two of my players had taken knocks. I thought it best, with it being quite an important game (not really, but in my mind), to substitute them both. At 35', a player was forced to go off altogether. Alright, so all three subs used within 35 minutes. I still control the game completely, Shrewsbury never really threatening my goalie.
Second half: I make a thundering start to the 2nd half as we score at 49' and all seems well. At 57', goalscorer Kelly has to go off injured as well. Ah. So we're down to 10 men. At 69', one of theirs gets sent off, so we're 10 vs 10. I should point out I only had one defender on my bench, and two of my injured players were defenders, so I'm played with a back three plus a very defensive midfielder in front of them. I'm able to ride off the storm and finish the game 1-0 as #1 in the league by one point.

Screenshots from this very strange game including the formation I employed towards the end:
View attachment 9211View attachment 9212

End of season screenshots
Transfers for 2009–10 season:
View attachment 9183

Overall and home record:
View attachment 9209 View attachment 9210
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Most Valuable Pirate
Jul 10, 2009


Signed a few players on frees, as again I've received a transfer budget of pretty much nothing (£1.52k). My significantly higher wage budget did allow me sign a few Barcelona youngsters and some players that weren't retained by their clubs.

Arranged a cup and a league. Won the league comfortably (v. Dunfermline, Rhyl and Barnet) and crashed out in my own cup against much better opposition (v. Norwich, CFR Cluj).
v. Dunfermline: 1-0
v. Rhyl: 7-0
v. Barnet: 2-0
v. Norwich: 0-1
v. CFR Cluj: 1-3
v. Nottm Forest: 2-0
v. Tranmere: 4-1
v. Doncaster: 3-1
v. Portsmouth Reserves: 1-1
Drew QPR (again Championship opposition, I'm so unlucky in draws) in the League Cup. Opening up the league home to Nottm Forest and then travelling to newly relegated Watford. Should be fun.

** All matches are League 1 unless otherwise stated **

August 2010
v. Nottm Forest, 3-1 (O'Donnell 3', Mikaelsson 18', Albrighton 63') – A very successful outing for the lads and thoroughly deserved victory. They had one real chance throughout and took it, so fair play to them, but I really dominated this one.
LC 1ST RND v. QPR 2-3 (Mikaelsson 40', Schmisser 53') – Quite painstaking as we came from behind twice, then saw a late winner clinch it for those bastards. Terrible center back play, so they received a few choice words afterwards.
@ Watford 3-3 (Mikaelsson 1', McPhee 50', Trotter 67') – An alright result given Watford were 1.50 favourites beforehand, but really annoying that I can't seem to lock a game down when I'm ahead.
v. Hartlepool 1-1 (Castiglia 30') – Played for 85 minutes with just ten men (Albrighton haphazardly elbowed someone in the face, the twit). Still disappointed we didn't keep a clean sheet.
JPT S 1ST RND @ Luton 3-3 (McPhee 33', Mikaelsson 69', Basey 90') – Phew!! They quickfired a double within 25 minutes but pulled one back on 33', but still went to half-time down 3-1. Had a penalty shout turned down. Goalie's rating: 5.1. Changed tactics around at half time and got one finally at 69' but had to change to a 4-2-4 with two wingbacks on all-out before I was able to get the 3rd goal just before stoppage time. Such a relief when Basey headed home, I can tell you. McPhee, Tomlin, Mikaelsson, Schmisser all converted penalties to win it 3-4 on penalties.

September 2010
@ Stockport 4-1 (Bødker 2', Glennon OG 36', McPhee pen 52', Mikaelsson 64') – No other words for it: pure domination.
v. Rochdale 1-0 (Mikaelsson 37') – 10 shots, 5 on target. Should have scored a few more, but happy with the clean sheet, they never got close to threatening the goal.
v. Shrewbury 3-1 (Palau 13', Clarke 33', Castiglia 64') – Victory due to clinical finishing from our side and the opposite from Shrewsbury. Could have been a high-scoring draw, this.
v. Peterborough 0-0 – Infuriating draw against a rather dreadful side, who managed just one shot on target, whilst I managed 5 (of 14, mind you) and not one passed the sticks. 2 points lost, here.

Bonus: Fabio Ferreira took home the Young Player of the Month award.

October 2010
@ Colchester 0-1 – Absolutely deserved a loss here, we were just terrible. We had a few chances but managed only 7 shots on goal. They managed 21 and we were lucky not to be utterly embarrassed.
JPT S 2ND RND @ Walsall 1-1 p (Palau 84') – We had our chances here, but we were lucky to even push it into penalties. Getting annoyed over our inability to score goals right about now.
FRIENDLY v. Kingsbury London Tigers 8-0 (Albrighton 4' 8' 60', Schmisser 37' 40', Castiglia 48', Tomlin 65', McPhee 68') – Motivation match after several bad performances. Romp.
@ Plymouth 0-0 – Alright result. Clean sheets away from home are rare for me, so I can forgive my strike force not scoring today on account of that.
v. Milton Keynes Dons 2-1 (Ferreira 58', McPhee 78', O'Donnell SO 83') – Not too shabby, although we should've scored more. But then again, so should they, so I'm satisfied with this one. Oh, and Ferreira scored my first goal from a free kick EVER with Rushden. Unbelievably happy moment there.
@ Bradford 1-2 (Schmisser 26', Mitchell SO 81') – Annoying loss as we crafted our chances and didn't take them. They lucked to their chances and scored on both of them. Gwan.
v. Walsall 3-0 (McGurk 4' 25', Benítez 69') – Our best performance so far this season. We created loads of chances and controlled the opposition and gifted them very few chances to threaten our goal. Not a single rating under 7.0 today and a terrific performance from McGurk who rated at 8.4/8.5 with his two goals from the second striker position.
@ Gillingham 0-3 – Our worst performance so far this season. Terrible.

November 2010
FA CUP 1ST RND v. Port Vale 3-0 (McPhee 8', Albrighton 10', Trotter 87') – I could just not understand why I was tipped to lose this beforehand. I expected a win, which I made the players understand, and they complied and performed quite excellently. Very nice performance, although inconsistency and huge difference between home/away form is a worry at this point. FA CUP 2ND RND DRAW received Exeter (home)
@ Millwall 3-3 (McClenahan OG 18', McPhee 32', 90+4') – Fair scoreline although the goals came from rather fortunate circumstances. At least I'm beginning to score again.
@ Blackpool 1-0 (McGurk 35') – Prior to this match I was very very pessimistic, as Blackpool are just recently relegated and look almost certain to be promoted straight away, so I tinkered with some away tactics, considering my general poor away form, specifically I wanted a much more defensive and controlled outlook. I decided upon a 5-4-1 diamond formation with a sweeper hanging behind the back four. I controlled the match quite well, limiting them to long shots, which rarely troubled Martin Hansen in goal or his trusty crossbar. I had 53 % possession, which I regard as fantastic considering the strength of the opposition as well as being away. Lovely crafted goal! Below you can see the tactic employed for this one (and possibly future away matches?).
View attachment 9390
@ Oldham 0-1 – I had a terrible feeling before this game against the worst placed team in the league, and it turned out to be well founded as we struggled to create half a chance. I was furious when they got a penalty in the 94th minute though. Useless defenders.
FA CUP 2ND RND v. Exeter 3-1 (McPhee 48', Palau 53', Castiglia 90+4') – Thoroughly deserved win (that ******* Osano even completely botched a penalty). Struggled with my initial 5-3-2 setup, so switched around to a 4-4-2 diamond with quite excellent results. Oh, and their goal was a goalie mistake, don't even have words for the ineptitude displayed by Martin Hansen at their goal. FA CUP 3RD RND DRAW received York or Watford (away), could be worse!

Extra info: Fabio Ferreira claimed Young Player of the Month for the second time this year.

December 2010
v. Port Vale 1-1 (McGurk 26') – Felt I deserved a win here as I completely dominated possession. Unfortunately McPhee decided to blast every chance he had either directly at the keeper or 5 ft above goal, the twit. Draws are killing me..
v. Brighton 4-1 (McPhee 10', Albrighton 25' 59', Gytkjær 82') – Complete domination with a freak goal for them. Hate not keeping clean sheets when I should, but really good performance.
@ Yeovil 0-1 – Loser's performance. Not a single 7.0+ rating from the sorry sons of *******.
v. Tranmere 2-0 (McPhee pen 17', McGurk 44') – Easy as. Could've scored many more if my forwards had actually bothered to turn up today.
@ Nottm Forest 4-0 (McPhee 22' pen 59', Bødker 55', Trotter 70') – Ah, if only all my away games were this smooth. We finished with five shots on target, a very handsome total away from home, I feel, and naturally shows how clinical our finishing was today. 56 % possession is also a nice end total.

End of month: We end 2010 placed 7th in League 1. Bearing in mind the media prediction was 24th, that's not too shabby. Our away form is still a problem and is a real worry leading up to the FA Cup game against league leaders Watford, but hopefully we can at least force a replay. It doesn't look good though as Watford have scored a staggering 53 goals in 23 games. Have mercy. On the bright side, Basey, Palau and Mikaelsson should be back in action very soon, so hopefully our form will pick up a bit.
View attachment 9466

January 2011
FA CUP 3RD RND @ Watford 1-0 (Gytkjær 90') – An amazing result! For this fixture, I did something I almost never do which is play pretty much anti-football. I packed myself deep with a back four and two dedicated defensive midfieldersjust in front of them. I actually expected to be able to fend them off and force a home replay, but Gytkjær was offered the chance close to stoppage time to end it all right there and he scored from a tight angle, just under the goalie. Fantastic! FA CUP 4TH RND DRAW received Portsmouth (away), god ****...
@ Swindon 1-2 (McPhee pen 7') – Back to losing ways on the road as we are toyed with completely throughout this game. No defence. No offence. No chance.
@ Hartlepool 1-0 (McPhee pen 54') – Lucky as I don't know what that we came home from Hartlepool with 3 points, but no complaints.
v. Watford 0-2 – Unable to create even half a chance as of late and with no glaring defensive errors on their end that makes the scoreline absolutely fair. Beginning to grow frustrated at lack of goals.
v. Huddersfield 1-0 (Taiwo 11') – Woo, we scored again! Actually quite a good goal as Taiwo came darting into the area just as Bødker made a fantastic run from the middle of the park to the byline and swung in a terrific cross. Yay!
FA CUP 4TH RND @ Portsmouth 0-1 – Oh yeah, 0-1. And it was a cunty lucky goal too. My goalkeeper basically just decided to come out of his area, ignored the ball at his feet and let their ****** of a striker score to deny me sensational progress to the 5th round or at the very least a home replay. Ah well, probably would've gone out in the 5th round anyway (Portsmouth drew Man Utd, tee hee, die.)
@ Rochdale 0-2 – Ridiculous offensive effort and defense in semi-shambles as crappy ol' Rochdale beat the Diamonds 2-0 and could've (should've) scored more. Bleargh.
v. Stockport 0-2 – The following statistics illustrate best just how terrible we are at the moment: 2 shots. 1 on target, 1 clear cut chance. 45 % possession. 15 % crosses completed. Kill me now.

February 2011
@ Shrewsbury
2-4 (Benítez 77', Clarke 84') – 2-4? Seriously? How bad is my defense, letting in four goals against Shrewsbury. Goals were lucky too as we struggled to create even a half decent chance. Gotta go back to a two-striker setup, I clearly don't have talented enough players to play with a lone striker.
v. Colchester 1-2 (McGurk 8') – I actually sighed when I went ahead so early in the game, because I knew my defense would **** it up. They duly delivered.
v. Millwall 1-0 – What, you're serious? I actually won? Blimey. Made a few changes, notably going back to the 4-4-2 setup and it resulted in me bossing pretty much the entire game, even when one of the strikers got injured minutes after I made my third substitution, so this was thoroughly deserved and thankfully the nasty losing sequence I was building up.
@ Peterborough 1-2 (Moimbé 31') – Back on the road and back to narrowly losing due to glaring defensive mistakes. I might just fire them all and start over defensively, at this point..
v. Plymouth 2-0 (Benítez 76, 84') – When McGurk was sent off after 19 minutes of play I was quite frankly just disheartened and thought I was heading for another ridiculous home loss, but thankfully we were strong defensively (along with their players being just absolute rubbish) and we were able to go in at half-time with the scores level. Also thankfully, Benítez was able to rise above the others twice in quick succession to claim two headed goals from corners. Not a convincing victory, but at this point, I'm just happy with the 3 points.

@ MK Dons 1-3 Mikaelsson 34' – Really disappointed that I didn't walk away from this game with at least a draw, as we did quite well overall and should definitely have scored 2-3 more goals and, as is the case nowadays, done a lot better defensively. At least Mikaelsson ended his dreadful streak of terrible games without goals (11 hours).
v. Bradford 3-1 Benítez 52' Schmisser 58' Sharpe 89' Excellent control of the match against fellow midtablers Bradford as they're swept aside quite comfortably. Goals from two centre backs and a loaned player. Oh, just listen to that confidence in the striking force. Defensively we did better. Their goal came from a 30-yard screamer where they failed to close him down quickly enough, so all in all a decent performance today.
@ Walsall 3-1 Moimbé 30' Lescott OG 63' Albrighton 81' – An AWAY win? That's unprecedented! Actually that sentiment was true before this match as we had not won in the last five away games (granted, 1 was at Portsmouth, but should've won that too). Anyway, the match! Bossed them around quite comfortably, and although I was thoroughly relieved when Albrighton finally upped our goal margin to two, they were never getting any points here.
v. Gillingham 0-1 – We had some chances, but certainly not a plethora of chances. Neither did they, which makes the scoreline even more grating. Att: strikers: START SCORING AGAIN YOU WORTHLESS BASTARDS!
v. Oldham 4-0 Mikaelsson 14' 42' Schmisser 45+1' Sharpe 72' – Easy home win as Oldham are handily brushed aside. And goals from an actual striker again! Big Swede Mikaelsson pops up with two good goals that may suggest he's back to the lethal goalscoring form we saw him in during the beginning of the season. Hopefully it carries on through the rest of the season.

@ Port Vale
1-1 Benítez 21' – Always annoying when you concede late in a game (76'). It's even more annoying when they've had little to no chances all match and then score off a corner. I had a few really big chances, too. If only I had better finishers :(


@ Leyton Orient 1-0 Clarke 60' – A very even match that easily could have ended in a draw, but luckily for me it didn't! Had 52 % possession but only created 3 shots on target, so I feel fairly lucky to have won this one.
v. Blackpool 3-0 Schmisser 16' Benítez 35 Sharp 45+3' – Yet more goals from the back and midfield positions, but I don't really care at this point, I just need to keep racking up the points as playoff places are still a mathematical, but unfortunately quite unlikely, possibility.
@ Brighton 1-0 Clarke 2' – Should've scored more and could've won by a tennis score here. If. only. my. strikers. would. ever. bother. to. turn. up.
v. Yeovil 3-1 Moimbé 18' McPhee 25', pen 28' – Alright then. Striker McPhee back in the side (was beginning to complain) and with an assist, two goals (granted, one of which was a successfully converted penalty) it's looking better. Currently 7th, which means just short of the playoffs. 6th place are 5 points ahead with 2 home games against much weaker sides, so promotion chances look extremely slim. ****.
@ Tranmere 4-0 Higginbotham OG 1' Moimbé 45' McPhee 52' Albrighton 90+1' – I have a shot! Not only did I dominate these sad old *****, but Leyton Orient lost, meaning they have to win their last game (admittedly against one of the worst sides in the league, and it's at home) to clinch a playoff spot. *crosses fingers*
v. Swindon 1-0 Moimbé 36' – Well, I missed out on the playoffs, sadly. Equal on points and goal difference with Leyton Orient. Please explain how the **** I weren't in the playoffs. I drew them and beat them in our meetings, so can't be there, either. So a very narrow and bitter miss, and this from a team, remember, that was tipped to go straight back down as the worst placed team at season's beginning. The Diamonds are here to stay! Well, for one more season, then we're going up. Final league table and season transfers can be seen below! Again, please explain how Leyton got the promotion spot instead of me.

In other news, Luís Figo won the April Manager of the Month award as Rushden completed a clean sweep with 6 straight victories in April.

End of season screenshots and honours
Transfers 2010–11:
View attachment 9739

League table:
View attachment 9738

  • Goals leader: Stephen McPhee – 16
  • Assists leader: Fabio Ferreira – 12
  • Man of Match: Marc Albrighton – 5
  • Highest avg. rating: Iván Benítez – 7.17
  • Player of the season: Ivan Benítez – Benítez has been a rock and the only non-interchangeable piece in all of my tactics, unless hampered by injury. Always consistent (minimum rating 6.70), not very error prone and a model professional. Ended up with 5 goals, 1 assists, 5.90 tackles/game and an improved contract.
  • Young player of the season (U-21): Fabio Ferreira – A decent return from the young lad. I don't think there's much more improvement in him though. As I didn't gain promotion, I'll keep him on for one more season, but after that I think we've reached the end of the road here.
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Jan 24, 2009
I prefer reading this than some kid talking about going Manchester United or Real Madrid two teams that take zero skill to win titles with these teams take time to analyse the players necessary to take your team forward.

Quick question, Do you imploy squad rotation or keep a solid team until someone is injured?


Jun 3, 2008
Martin Hansen is great in my game, In league 2 now and he's being sought by Barnsley and Crystal Palace.


Most Valuable Pirate
Jul 10, 2009
I prefer reading this than some kid talking about going Manchester United or Real Madrid two teams that take zero skill to win titles with these teams take time to analyse the players necessary to take your team forward.
Quick question, Do you imploy squad rotation or keep a solid team until someone is injured?
I do shift around, but I tend to do it with the same 17-18 players if I can, based on form and such. And injuries *sigh*.

Martin Hansen is great in my game, In league 2 now and he's being sought by Barnsley and Crystal Palace.
Yeah he's alright, but League 1 is kinda pushing it for him, I think. Making some really costly errors from time to time.


Most Valuable Pirate
Jul 10, 2009


Again no transfer budget so into the free player market we delve once again. I think I did alright. Signed a tall, French striker who looks quite good and may be able to play the target man in a 4-3-3. Was able to pick a few other young players who look quite good as well as an MR to give a few more options out there as Albrighton is no longer an option.

Summer window transfers
View attachment 9893

v. Kingsbury London Tigers 9-0
v. Hearts 2-1
v. Rushden Under 18s 4-1
v. Preston 2-1
v. Almondsbury 8-0
v. Ash 10-0

Admittedly terrible opposition (apart form Hearts and Preston and my fantastic youths! ahem.) but couldn't really be arsed to arrange all kinds of competitions this year. Just want fit players.

August 2011
v. Peterborough 0-0 – I don't what the **** is up with Peterborough, they just seem to be able to cut me right down. I've lost one and drawn two against these bastards, but I guess you always have one or two fluky results in a season. We need to be a lot more clinical in our finishing.
LEAGUE CUP 1ST RND v. Yeovil 2-0 FERREIRA 37' AKOUFOU 41' – A solid but scarily even game against League 2 opposition. We really should have created a lot more chances than we did, but progress is progress and hopefully we'll do better next time. We have to, because we drew Premier League side Coventry. Away. As usual. Hooray :).
@ Stockport 0-0 – Bleh. Pleased that we didn't concede. Annoyed at the complete lack of chances created once again.
v. MK Dons 3-2 McPHEE 35' (pen.) FERREIRA 65' FARIA 71' – A fantastic comeback from the lads as we went down 0-2 inside 30 minutes due to a stupid defensive mistake and a penalty, but we struck right back and kept the pressure on in the second half to tie it and eventually go ahead. Great play the last 20 minutes to seal the victory.
LEAGUE CUP 2ND RND @ Coventry 1-2 MOIMBÉ 45'+1 – I suppose the first loss of the season could have been worse, both by scoreline, effort and the opposition we "fell" to. Coventry are currently placed 7th in the Premier League. What bugs me, like the Portsmouth game last season is the fact that we actually could have won it. If only I could get drawn against these sides at home, then I might actually go through for once.
@ Plymouth 0-1 – Had draw written all over it but we didn't take our (few) chances, they did.
JOHNSTONE'S PAINT TROPHY S 1ST RND v. Brentford 1-0 OSANO 47' – Confident performance as Brentford are given a lesson in class by the Diamonds who hold them to 0 shots on target. We should have notched a few more goals but ultimately, we progress and that's really enough.

September 2011
@ Crystal Palace 1-1 OSANO 42' – A bit gutted we didn't get the three points here, even though a draw is acceptable against newly relegated Crystal Palace, who look to be favourites to go straight back up. A positive from this match is that we held firm against their barrage of chances, and they only threatened our goal significantly on set pieces. Indeed they only scored on an unfortunate penalty.
v. Leyton Orient 2-0 McPHEE 21' MOIMBÉ 90+1– A definite grudge match, as we dominate Leyton Orient, who, as you may remember, received the final playoff spot last season. We'll definitely beat them to promotion this year.
v. Brentford 1-0 FARIA 75' – Faria grabs second goal of the season from the bench and continues his more pleasing form opposed to last season's wobbly performances. We dominated every aspect of this game and could have won by four or five goals but were denied it by more or less freak occurances such as their quite average goalkeeper being Casillas for a day, along with sucky pitch conditions which somewhat hampered our play.
@ Blackpool 1-3 BENÍTEZ 18' – We started strong and went ahead but after that struggled to create chances and, more devastatingly, stop theirs, which resulted in a 1-3 scoreline and heavy loss.

October 2011
v. Colchester 2-1 HOOPER 32', WHITE OG 79' – That we didn't score five or six today is incredible. We bossed the game after they scored 16 seconds after kickoff (*heartfelt sigh*) and created a plethora of chances and kept theirs firmly under control. I think they cleared 3 shots off the line as well! Could've been a hockey score here.
JPT S 2ND RND v. Kidderminster 1-0 BENÍTEZ 54' – Again, they must have cleared the ball off the line or had it blocked there at least 4 or 5 times. That, along with another apparent wannabe-Casillas in goal for the League 2 minnows led to a low-scoring game, but not progressing was never an option.
@ Doncaster 2-0 HOOPER 1' 31' – Hooper finally showing the class I knew he had as opened up strong by weaving gracefully through their defensive line to finish beautifully from inside the box and later popping up with a beautifully struck powerful shot from the edge of the area. Generally speaking, we again showed our class as we controlled the entire match, gifting them no chances, evidenced by their total shots of 7, of which 0 were on target. 67 % possession is also a very handsome amount considering we were away from home. Hopefully we can keep this terrific away form up.
@ Bradford 0-1 – What happened to all the chances!? Was completely lost in this game and we didn't look like promotion contenders at all based on this performance. Was unbelievably lucky not to concede more goals, but also unbelievable unlucky not to get at least one.
@ Swindon 1-2 BENÍTEZ 26' – I can't believe we actually scored in this match. We had 57 % possession but only managed an embarrasing 3 shots, of which just one – ONE!!! – was on target. From a corner. Defensively our fullbacks were overrun today, and I'm considering a switch here.
v. Bristol Rovers 2-0 HOOPER 38' BENÍTEZ 53' – We're back home and back to comfortable wins as we comfortably down one of the lesser teams in the league. Hooper scores an easy poacher's effort and Benítez powers in a header from a corner, but we don't craft enough chances for our forwards, which could be a problem in the long run.
v. Carlisle 5-0 HOOPER 6' CHARBONNIER 19', 56' (pen.), 80' (pen.), BENÍTEZ 90+3 – New signing Charbonnier finally struck today, after having previously gone eight hours of football, I wondered if he'd ever be as good as I thought he would be. Hooper grabs another fantastic goal and Benítez keeps towering over other defenses on corners. Carlisle were *****: 2 shots, 0 on target. New youngster-signing Aitor looks a terrific prospect for the future and was unlucky not to get an assist or two today.

November 2011
JPT S QT FINAL v. Colchester 4-1 OSANO 2' BENÍTEZ 27' HOOPER 49' MOIMBÉ 82' – Pure dominance as we beat Colchester, so close to being promoted last season, easily. They only threatened us a couple of times and we would have kept a clean sheet had we not gifted away a penalty. Fabio Ferreira hobbled off during the game so it looks like Aitor will grab his first Rushden start in the important FA Cup match against Swindon unless new record transfer signing Nick Johnson does not recuperate in time.
FA CUP 1ST RND @ Swindon 2-2 HOOPER 30' AITOR 79' – My decision to play 19-year-old Aitor on the right AM spot paid off as he levelled the score with barely 10 minutes left in this very even match, which I should have won. And I would, if only that ******* Hooper would have the bare minimum of a skillset required to score from the penalty spot. Should be a home win, but we still need to be on top of our game. Shockingly poor game from the strikers.
FA CUP 1ST RND REPLAY v. Swindon 3-1 McPHEE 31' FARIA 38' BENÍTEZ 90+4' – We infuriatingly conceded and went behind first but showed that our determination to progress in this tournament. Aitor, the little hothead, got sent off. Naughty lad. Mostly good performances all around, though.
v. Millwall 1-1 MOIMBÉ 76' – Decent showing but we needed to be a lot more clinical in our finishing as well as better in the tackling department, we're gifting too many chances away currently. They did score on a rebound off a saved penalty (the AI never fails to score, the *****).
FA CUP 2ND RND v. Forest Green 3-0 VALENTA 20', 70' BENÍTEZ 76' – Finally got a bit lucky in a draw as I drew BSP side Forest Green. I bossed these fellas around when I was in the BSP, so I sent out a second-string side and still won comfortably. Valenta looking a good prospect along with Aitor, who unfortunately had to hobble off injured.
@ Nottm Forest 1-1 SCHMISSER 41' – A decent result but a really annoying draw as it was a late goal following a complete collapse in my defense (why defend when you can chill out in the center circle?) and we missed a couple of really big chances and were denied a penalty.

December 2011
@ Port Vale 2-0 McPHEE 26' HOOPER 76' – A fairly even match in terms of chances but we were in a class of our own in execution and it was an entirely fair result.
@ Walsall 0-1 – Again, a very even match and I thought we were unlucky not to get a point from this match.
v. Chesterfield 5-1 PALAU 17' HOOPER 24', 89' JOHNSON 59' FARIA 78' – How's that for a reply? A confident attacking performance in which not a single centre back scored, woo! Let's hope that trend continues.
JPT S SEMI FINAL v. Yeovil 2-0 BENÍTEZ 16' MANTSUR 19' – After two early goals in the first half, I thought we would be in another hockey score match and we would coast past Yeovil, but they tightened up in the second half. Add that to the fact that my players were a bit tired since the Chesterfield romp was only 3 days previous, we just sort of fizzed out. Nevertheless we held firm at the back and kudos to the lads for reaching the JPT South Final where we'll face Peterborough.
@ Shrewsbury 1-2 CHARBONNIER 64' (pen.) – One of those bullshit matches. They score on a ridiculous ******* own goal and a 30-yard screamer. Now tell me, who has players that can curl a 30 yard missile in League 1, seriously.. In the other end we were extremely unlucky not to score but should created loads more chances.
v. Brighton 6-0 HOOPER 4' 45+3' 75' CHARBONNIER 25' 41' 90+3' – Wow! Fantastic performances from a handful of players, but mainly the two strikers, Hooper and Charbonnier, were on a completely different level today and thoroughly deserved both their hattricks. Sadly both Ivan Benítez and Niels Kristensen had to walk off injured as I finished the game with 10 players on the field. Played the majority of the game in a 3-2-1-2-2 formation due to having no defenders on the bench. Bitchinnnnn'.
v. Scunthorpe 2-1 WILLIAMS OG 36' CHARBONNIER 41' (pen.) – Somewhat fortunate to get the 3 points here, although not completely undeserved. 3 points in the bag, I'm happy.
@ Peterborough 2-1 HOOPER 60' AFOUGOU 83' – I don't think I've ever seen such a deserved win despite them going in front and me not clinching it until right at the death.

Halfway status

  • Currently placed 4th in the Coca-Cola League 1 behind Shrewsbury, Bradford and Crystal Palace and I'm currently enjoying an unbeaten home record, with 9 of 11 home games so far ending in a Rushden victory.
  • Gary Hooper and Nick Johnson, just came 1st and 2nd respectively in the December Player of the Month running whilst Nick Johnson scooped the December Young Player of the Month award, where he beat my goalie Martin Hansen to the top spot. Cap that off with yours truly winning the December Manager of the Month for our five out of seven possible wins in December and we're looking to really come into our stride this season after a shaky start.
  • The chairman overruled me and accepted an incoming transfer bid of £600k for my fantastic Israeli ex-Real Madrid left back Nir Mantsur. Not a bad return for a player who arrived on a free transfer, but I feel like I could've gotten a bit more for him. I did manage to work in that he would not complete the switch before the summer window, so I don't desperately need to sign a new one right away, although it could be nice to have a replacement groomed to replace him.
View attachment 10013

January 2012

@ Hartlepool 1-2 SCHMISSER 3' – A miserable start to 2012 as we truly terrible in this game, struggling to create anything offensively and giving away the ball constantly. Furthermore, my starting AML Moimbé, so far leading assists with 14, was injured. O misery.
FA CUP 3RD RND @ Tamworth 2-0 HOOPER 13' PAPADOPOULOS 90+4' – Comfortable but almost embarassingly slim win. They were never in the game, but we still played far below even our mediocre level. We'll need to do a lot better against strong Championship side West Brom we're facing in the next round (away, as usual)
@ MK Dons 0-0 – Even match, should still have created a bit more chances and taken the ones I did have better. Pssch.
v. Stockport 3-0 CHARBONNIER 1' PAPADOPOULOS 50' VALENTA 85' – Easy as 1-2-3. Held the utterly terrible Stockport to 3 shots all game with 0 on target. Had 7, should definitely have scored on 2 more of them, but I can't complain, really.
v. Plymouth 2-1 AFOUGOU 49' GREEN OG 62' – An own goal and a goal from a centre back doesn't seem convincing, but it was actually quite a confident performance against midtablers Plymouth. We did struggle towards the end of the match and conceded a late goal, which did worry me a bit, but we came out unscathed.
FA CUP 4TH RND @ West Brom 0-1 – Very unlucky that we didn't ****** a goal here, but deserved victory for West Brom in the end, who, despite dominating in shots, were quite lucky to even get the single goal.
JPT S FINAL 1ST LEG @ Peterborough 1-0 CHARBONNIER 3' – Easy, controlled. Deserved victory. Sets us up well for the 2nd leg at home.
v. Crystal Palace 3-0 HOOPER 29', 51' FARIA 41' – A very controlled match and we took our chances well. Good performance against a stronger side on paper.

@ Brentford 0-1 – Managed a decent amount of shots and we dominated possession, but we were so poor in taking them and with just a single on target, the scoreline is no surprise.
@ Leyton Orient 2-1 MOIMBÉ 9' KRISTENSEN 89' – I still have a feud with these guys and I loved spanking them at their own ground. A late winner? Even sweeter.
@ Brighton 1-1 VALENTA 72' – Yes, such is our complete and utter cunty direness away that we can only manage a single goal against terrible Brighton. Ridiculous.
JPT S FINAL 2ND LEG v. Peterborough 3-3 (agg. 4-3) JOHNSON 30' GUAYO 79', 90' – What a complete and utter ridiculous game and maybe an indication that our pristine home record may be in some jeopardy. Because Peterborough are thoroughly terrible, and then this happens. We really need to shape up after the very untimely forced sale of Ivan Benítez (great **** of a chairman I have).
v. Blackpool 3-1 CHARBONNIER 26' (pen.), 29', FARIA 44' – We really dominated this game when it came to chances and Blackpool were lucky to even get near our goal, let alone bag one on their sole shot on target.
@ Colchester 0-1 – We are undoubtedly the worst team in the world when it comes to taking our chances. We had 11 shots in this game and in there were a few misses so unfathomably terrible that they, in themselves, are enough to kill every happy thought you may nourish at that time.
v. Bradford 2-0 RAE 15', 42' – New youngster signing Rae looking stronger and stronger and has now scored for the Diamonds as well. Just 17 years of age, he is looking a very good prospect indeed.

v. Swindon 0-0 – A terrible ******* game and we were lucky to escape with a point, even. 5 shots, 1 on target? Psssch.
@ Bristol Rovers 2-0 HOOPER 62' (pen.), 90+3' – We dominated this game against undoubtedly the worst side in the league and yet we only scored on a penalty in the second half. Really getting annoyed at my players resistance to aiming their shots anywhere but where the goalie stands. Amateurs.
v. Walsall 3-2 TOMLIN 60', 82' HOOPER 74' – A rollercoaster ride of a match! I come back from a 0-1 deficit to tie it, then they score to 2-1, after which we get two late goals to clinch it in glorious fashion.
v. Doncaster 0-0 – The very opposite of a rollercoaster ride of a match, but probably the single most frustrating game I have played to this date on FM09. Read the following stats and then be struck senseless with awe as to how such a thing might be possible: 20 shots, 8 on target, 5 clear cut chances, 6 blocked shots (of which some were clearances off the line), 56 % possession, 12 corners. It's just unrealistic at this point.
@ Carlisle 1-4 HOOPER 77' (pen.) – A right spanking. They were annoyingly clinical, though, which does not bode well for the upcoming JPT final against this very team at Wembley.
v. Nottm Forest 0-2 – There goes the perfect home record. Had several chances, took none. They had a lot of chances, they took them. Nothing else to say, really, except we'll need a lot of improvement in the JPT final if we want to even get close to that trophy.

This month will be extremely crucial to our chances this season. Obviously, the final for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy is a real chance to get some silverware in the trophy cabinet finally. Besides that, we really need to get some points on the board if we are to have any hope of promotion this season after a few shaky months and an abysmal end to March. Automatic promotion seems extremely unlikely, as we are currently 11 points behind league leaders Nottm Forest and Shrewsbury at 80 points. We do have 6 matches left to play, so we need to get the job done!
View attachment 10135

v. Carlisle 3-1 AFOUGOU 5', 79' MOIMBÉ 29' – Rushden finally lifted silverware as we triumphed convincingly over Carlisle in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley. After the miserable recent outings from the team, I switched the tactics around drastically, which may have been a dangerous time, but it was obviously sorely needed, as we were blown right off the pitch in the previous two matches. We responded with quite a show and we were clinical in our finishing today and even though possession was even, we were clearly the better team today and hopefully this form will continue in the league.
@ Chesterfield 2-0 HOLGERSSON 9' KRISTENSEN 39' – Our good form mercifully continues as we trump Chesterfield in a confident away win. Even though the game was even, we were just that bit more clinical and thankfully we came away with three points in the bag.
@ Millwall 1-1 RAE 58' – 17-year old Rae pops up again to tie the game in the second half but after that we were unable to find the final touch to close this one up, but one point is alright from this very even game. If we can get 9 points from our 3 remaining home games, we should be a lock for the playoff places.
v. Port Vale 6-0 SCHMISSER 2', 65' CHARBONNIER 8' 10' 35' JOHNSON 67' – Wow! How's that for Championship material? Three goals in the first ten minutes is impressive, no matter what, even against Port Vale. Very impressive defensive effort as well, even though they had 10 shots. A great collective effort that sees us hanging on at 4th for the time being, however it is very close at the top and we need to stay on our toes to keep this spot.
v. Shrewsbury 4-0 CHARBONNIER 47', 83' SCHMISSER 59' ZAMMIT 72' – A hugely important and crucial win over previous league leaders Shrewsbury who were flattened today. No, seriously, they were. My brave and awesome soldiers (all of a sudden, all it took was a trophy) held these ******* to 1 shot all day. 1. Not on target, either. Suck on that, auto-promoted ******* who will go straight back down.
@ Scunthorpe 3-0 JOHNSON 8' MOIMBÉ 24' CHARBONNIER 48' – A fantastic performance as we are thankfully peaking in form right towards the end of the season, and hopefully this rejuvenation in spirits will carry on into the playoffs, for which we are a certainty now.
v. Hartlepool 3-0 FIORELLA 16', 46' AÏSSANI 57' – Basically just put out my reserves to avoid injuries to key players but still managed to easily trounce the Monkey Hangers. Debut goals and an exceptional performance for young striker Fiorella. With this victory we end the season in 3rd place which means playoffs. In the end we came together and I have to say I'll be very disappointed if we are not promoted through the playoffs.

End of month: Baptiste Schmisser 2nd in Player of the Month award. Martin Hansen 1st, Nir Mantsur 2nd and Peter Holgersson 3rd in Young Player of the Month. Gaëtan Charbonnier 2nd in Goal of the Month award. Yours truly 1st in Manager of the Month award.

End of season (nearly) stuff

  • Coca-Cola League 1: 3rd. (Record: 25-10-11. 18-4-1 @home)
  • FA Cup: 4th Round. (@ Swindon 3-1, v. Forest Green 3-0, @ Tamworth 2-0, @ West Brom 0-1)
  • League Cup: 2nd Round. (v. Yeovil 2-0, @ Coventry 1-2)
  • Johnstone's Paint Trophy: Winner. (v. Brentford 1-0, v. Kidderminster 1-0, v. Colchester 4-1, v. Yeovil 2-0, @/v. Peterborough 4-3 agg., Carlisle 3-1 at Wembley)
  • Top goalscorer: Gary Hooper – 21
  • Assists leader: Wilfried Moimbé – 25
  • Man of match: Wilfried Moimbé – 6 (7 gls, 25 asts, 7.18 avg. rat.)
  • Highest avg. rating: Nick Johnson – 7.23 (4 gls, 15 asts, 2 MoM)
  • Player of the season: Wilfried Moimbé (52 apps, 7.18 avg. rat, 7 gls, 25 asts, 6 MoM) – 25 assists speaks for itself and so does his application almost every match. Even though there have been times when he has underperformed significantly (lowest rating 5.90), I have to say he has been quite excellent and for that he has been rewarded with a shiny new 2-year contract.
  • Young player of the season (U-21): Nir Mantsur (53 apps, 7.15 avg. rat., 1 goal, 6 asts, 2 MoM, 6.86 tackles/game)
  • Best signing of the season: Gary Hooper (41 apps, 21 gls, 9 asts, 5 MoM, 7.04 avg. rat) for £0.
  • Worst signing of the season: Abdelkader Aïssani (7 apps, 1 goal, 4.53 tackles/game, 6.49 avg. rat) for £20k. Bit harsh, really, but statistically he is the worst performing player I've signed this season. I do expect him to be somewhat of a regular fixture in central defence next season.
Screenshots – league table (overall), league table (home record), final transfer history for 2011–12 season.
View attachment 10137 View attachment 10139 View attachment 10138

PLAYOFF SEMI FINAL 1ST LEG @ Crystal Palace 2-3 SCHMISSER 45+3' CHARBONNIER 72' – The ******* luck on those bastards, it's just unbelievable. Oh, and they also scored on a freekick. From 35 yards out. In League 1. 2 away goals though and we should have enough quality to finish these ***** off at home even though we're missing a few quality players due to ridiculously irrelevant internationals.
PLAYOFF SEMI FINAL 2ND LEG v. Crystal Palace 4-0 CHARBONNIER 20', 40' SCHMISSER 25' JOHNSON 45+4' – Told you. That didn't stop those slimy ingrates from direly injuring THREE of my players. What a pack of rotten ***** they are. Anyway, nice to see that we are back to being the incredible force we once were at home which will hopefully grow into a permanent thing.
Rushden through on aggregate, 6-3.

PLAYOFF FINAL @ WEMBLEY v. Bradford 3-1 JOHNSON 6' AFOUGOU 13' CHARBONNIER 26' – Aahhh. Promotion at last. A fairly even match between the two most scoring sides in the Coca-Cola League 1 this season (Bradford 85, Rushden 82), however our vastly superior defense and a terrific goalkeeping performance from Martin Hansen ended the promotion hopes for Bradford. We dominated possession and generally looked much more dangerous, so I feel a very deserved winner.

On a final note:

  • Diamonds in the Team of the Year: Nir Mantsur (LB), Gaëtan Charbonnier (ST)
  • Luís Figo 2nd, Manager of the Year.
  • League 1 top goalscorer: Gaëtan Charbonnier (ST) – 32 apps, 21 goals.
  • Stats, all competitions: 63 matches played, 119 goals scored (1.9), 51 goals conceded (0.8), 74 yellow cards (1.2), 4 red cards (0.1), 4586 average attendance (6441 max capacity).
Championship here we come!
Last edited:


Most Valuable Pirate
Jul 10, 2009

Summer window transfers
View attachment 10224


v. Bayern Munich 0-1
v. HSV 0-3
v. Rushden Under 18s 10-0

v. Manchester United 0-1
v. Inter 1-1
v. Rushden Under 18s 2-0

v. Ipswich Reserves 1-1


v. Barcelona 0-1
v. Rushden Under 18s 5-0
v. Juventus 2-0 VALENTA 39' RAE 82' – Holy ****, Juventus? **** yeah, Juventus. I don't gives a **** whether it was a preseason friendly at home, we just beat Juve, yeah! We ****** dominated them as well (see screenshot). In other news Barcelona just decimated my Under 18s 12-0, but I struggle to find words for how little I care.
View attachment 10203

**all matches are coca-cola championship matches unless otherwise noted**

August 2012
@ Reading 2-2 PALAU 36' BUIJS OG 72' – Pleased with the point and the performance to some degree, even though we had a few opportunities we really should have taken, we got lucky with their shots a few times, so a draw's fair.
LEAGUE CUP 1ST RND v. Wycombe 5-1 HOOPER 22' MOIMBÉ 23', 61' RAE 35' 42' – Alright then, first competitive win of the season, and it was a quite comprehensive and fully deserved win. Some of the kids got a run out as well, good performances all around.
@ Bristol City 2-0 RAE 20' VALENTA 72' – And the first win the Championship, away as well! We were quite dominant in chances and we could have bagged a few more, and a clean sheet away from home is very pleasing. So is 58 % possession, by the way. Rae looks like my new centre back king, which I sorely needed after the untimely departure of Ivan Benítez last winter. Still just 17, great young lad.
v. Cardiff 1-0 CHARBONNIER 6' – Somewhat fortunate here as they had a few big chances they could just have easily buried, but then again so did we, so a fair result regardless. Central midfield a bit of a problem currently as we're giving away possession far too easily at the moment.
LEAGUE CUP 2ND RND @ Ipswich 1-2 – Unbelievably lucky Premier League side Ipswich edge us in this game. We match them quite well and dominate possession but they were just that bit better to turn that possession into real danger, even though we had several huge chances during the match. An exceptional Man of the Match performance by overperforming goalkeeper Martin Hansen was a highlight in this game for us, though. Life without Nir Mantsur is tough, though, and we might need to bring in another left back to fill that void.

Round up: Championship 4th (2-1-0 overall, this month 2-1-0). Nick Johnson 2nd and Jamie Rae 3rd in Young Player of the Month. Yours truly 3rd in Manager of the Month.

September 2012
v. Charlton 1-0 VALENTA 83' – That we came away from this one with 3 points is downright mindboggling, bordering on the incredulous, but it happened. 4 shots all game with Charlton piling on the pressure throughout, dominating possession. My two centre backs, Rae and Schmisser put on Premiership-worthy performances as they managed 10/10 tackles won each, with both winning key headers and making crucial interceptions. Oh and an assist for Schmisser.
@ Nottm Forest 1-0 CAREY OG 6' – Wow, we're getting great at grinding out those narrow wins. Again we dominated possession but to be honest we were quite terrible when it came to putting the ball in the box and threatening their goal and we pretty much scored (well, one of their defenders rudely got in the way) on our first and, sadly, only opportunity. Blabla 3 points!
v. Southampton 2-2 RAE 15' 81' – We were on the back foot for the most of this match, but a draw is still a fair and good result for us. Rae again showing up at the right times to really stick it to Southampton. Lovely.
@ Birmingham 1-3 GONZÁLEZ 90+3' – Frustrating result considering how even this match was. An excellent goal from young transfer record smashing signing González should not have been our only goal, but sometimes you're just unlucky I guess.
v. Huddersfield 4-1 RAE 7' CHARBONNIER 28' AMARA 86' VALENTA 90+1' – An excellent performance and even though we should have kept a clean sheet I'm not one to complain we put away 4 at the other end.
@ Leicester 1-3 VALENTA 26' – I thought we were incredibly unlucky in this match and 2 strikers had to go off, with Valenta being ruled out for the next 2 months. Mercy. On the match I thought they were quite lucky with their chances and we... weren't. Oh, and if I had a single player who could actually hit the goal on free kicks I'd be top of the league. Unbelievable.
@ Sheffield Utd 4-1 MOIMBÉ 11' CHARBONNIER 25' JOHNSON 30' AMARA 53' – 4 shots on goal, 4 goals - brilliant. If we could keep up this fantastic goal-to-shot-on-target ratio we'll be top of the league by January. If only..
v. Wolves 1-1 LENNERTZ 15' – An even match which me might have won if we had bothered to actually aim for something other than their players today... sigh. A debut goal for new Belgian striker Lennertz was a highlight, though.
@ Norwich 2-4 LENNERTZ 87' SCHMISSER 89' – Ouch. Now this scoreline really does belie the game as we were right there with them throughout and had most of the possession and equal chances. We seriously need to cut down on our fouls as we are gifting the opposition way too many free kicks in dangerous areas.

Round up: Championship 8th (7-3-4 overall, this month 4-2-3). No awards.

November 2012
v. Southend 1-0 LENNERTZ 77' – Lennertz keeps scoring and we finally win again an even match, very nice to see Lady Luck smiling at us every now and again.
v. Hull 0-1 – The most unfathomable loss I have EVER recorded, I think. They scored in the 91st minute. Actually, no they didn't, one of my defenders decided to relieve them of that duty. They had 0 – I repeat: 0 – shots on target and just 37 % possession. In other words: they were ****. This game is ridiculous at times...
@ Fulham 0-1 – More understandable. We were absolutely dreadful even though we had 50 % possession, managing no shots on target. What the ****?
v. Burnley 3-0 JOHNSON 40' LENNERTZ 47' RAE 59' – So how's that for bouncing back? An extremely confident performance both defensively – as we hold a pitiful Burnley side to just 2 shots all game, none on target – and offensively. We dominate possession but more importantly we turn that possession into actual chances and we could've gotten five or six today.
v. QPR 1-0 LENNERTZ 60' – I'm fairly certain this was our first televised regular season match, so hooray for that, and even more hooray with regards to the 3 points and a decent performance. Somewhat fortunate that QPR didn't squeeze in a single goal, but in the other end we had some huge chances go begging as well, so 3 points well deserved today. Lennertz keeps bombing away and with 5 goals in his first 7 matches he's looking an excellent acquisition already!
v. Derby 3-1 JOHNSON 15' (pen.) ZAMMIT 36' TURNER 62' – First free kick and penalty goals this season and young Maltese midfielder Zammit's first league goal, excellent. Oh, and they scored too at some point but I'm really not bothered when we score three at the other end.

Round up: Championship 6th (10-3-5 overall, this month 4-0-2). PotM: Steve Lennertz 1st and Nick Johnson 2nd. YPotM: Nick Johnson 1st, Jamie Rae 2nd. GotM: Nick Johnson 1st. Tied up a new contract for young hotshot defender Jamie Rae, 17, who has been thoroughly impressive so far this season.

December 2012
@ Swansea 2-1 LENNERTZ 5' MOIMBÉ 76' – Can't believe we've won this one but 3 points in the bag and that's what it's all about (duh). I did think I was overdue a game to really go my way even though I was subdued most of the game after that ridiculous Hull game earlier.
@ Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 LENNERTZ 53' – A fairly even match but we didn't create enough chances to warrant points today. Some truly horrid performances in central midfield, also. Luckily I've already agreed terms with two players coming in in January, so hopefully we'll see improvement there.
v. West Brom 1-1 LENNERTZ 10' – A lucky and sneaky point here as we hold West Brom to a draw quite unfathomably and with a big thanks to Rashed Khan, who managed to miss from the penalty spot.
@ Coventry 1-2 RAE 45+1' – Good possession, terrible usage of that possession as we struggle to create chances, perhaps due to Nick Johnson walking off injured in the 4th minute, although I have to say young Germán González did a good job creating a few chances.
v. Bristol City 4-1 LENNERTZ 10' RAE 13' JOHNSON 57' VALENTA 85' – Ahhh, that's more like it! After three games without a win we bounce back somewhat vaguely as we don't dominate but with finishing as clinical as we showed here I really can't complain.
@ Cardiff 4-4 AMARA 32' LENNERTZ 55' VALENTA 76' AFOUGOU 83' – Talk about a game of two halves. After being down 1-3 at half time and Cardiff going to 1-4 just after half time, the lads showed fantastic determination to turn it around and nick three second half goals to tie this one up. I actually felt a bit gutted we didn't get a 5th but I suppose four goals is nothing to cry about. However our defensive issues (especially the LB position) is somewhat of a concern come the end of the season.
v. Shrewsbury 1-0 PALAU 76' – Boring and unbelivably low-scoring (from our end) game as we dominate possession and create a plethora of chances but they pretty much all go begging.

End of year / half season round up: Championship 6th (13-5-7 overall, this month 3-2-2). No awards. FA Cup 3rd Rnd, next v. Millwall.

January 2013
v. Reading 2-0 LENNERTZ 66' 78' – A confident start to 2013 as we are the sharper, yet not throughly dominant, team today and throughly deserve the 3 points.
FA CUP 3RD RND v. Millwall 6-2 AMARA 13' PAPADOPOLOUS 21' LENNERTZ 31' AÏSSANI 69' AFOUGOU 72', 75' – As evidenced by the scoreline we bossed around hugely underperforming Millwall. A bit of a worry for complacency with the two goals scored against us at home but I'll happily concede two if we score six at the other end any day :).
@ Charlton 1-2 AFOUGOU 50' – No, we didn't score six today and we can count ourselves lucky that Charlton didn't, as they certainly had the chances despite us dominating possession. New Bulgarian central midfielder Nikos Georgiev already looks like a fantastic bargain (£5k), though.
v. Nottm Forest 2-1 LENNERTZ 16' AÏSSANI 77' (pen.) – A worry that we only scored on 1 of our 7 shots on target but 3 points and I'm happy.
FA CUP 4TH RND v. Sheffield United 4-1 JOHNSON 15' LENNERTZ 38' AÏSSANI 42' RAE 88' – Domination in its most pure and unadulterated form as we deservedly bag four goals against arguably one of the worst teams in the Championship. Fun fact: Sheffield Utd have not won a single away match in the Championship this season.
@ Southampton 3-0 ANDREWS OG 7' MOIMBÉ 19' RAE 67' – Somewhat fortunate here yet I couldn't care less. Away clean sheet and all that, wonderful.

Round up: Championship 5th (16-5-8 overall, this month 3-0-1). YPotM: Said Amara 1st, Nick Johnson 3rd. MotM: Yours truly 3rd. FA Cup 5th Rnd, next v. Swansea/Southend.

February 2013
v. Birmingham 2-2 LENNERTZ 11' AMARA 35' – An even match and a fair result, although a few performances were a bit sloppier than expected.
@ Wolves 3-1 RAE 44' VALENTA 67', 74' – A hugely dominant away performance and thoroughly deserved 3 points as we exhibit a higher class than Wolves.
FA CUP 5TH RND v. Swansea 3-0 RAE 12' GUIDILEYE 52' GEORGIEV 72' – A comfortable victory in a match that was almost over before it started. Two fantastic second half goals from the two January signings in central midfield. Dialo Guidileye popped up just after half time with an amazing half volley from just outside the area and Georgiev blasted it in from 25 yards out to seal the game. One love.
v. Sheffield United 1-0 LENNERTZ 83' – We left it late in this surprisingly and annoyingly low-scoring (again, just on our end) game. Confident performance even though we didn't get the goals we deserved.
v. Leicester 1-3 GONZÁLEZ 23' – A somewhat tired and abject performance as our squad is suffering a bit from the fixture congestion at the moment. Hate to lose at home, though.
@ Huddersfield 2-0 AFOUGOU 79' CHARBONNIER 90' – Hugely dominated possession but we struggled somewhat to turn that possession into goal scoring opportunities. However, we still showed persistence and deserved the points here today.

Round up: Championship 3rd (19-6-9 overall, this month 3-1-1). YPotM: Said Amara 2nd. MotM: Yours truly 2nd. FA Cup 6th Rnd, next v. Newcastle.

March 2013
@ Hull 3-5 RAE 26' LENNERTZ 49' DI GIOSA 57' – No, seriously, 3-5. I seriously ******* hate Hull more and more. They're utter ***** in real life, in no small part due to their self-tan used-car-salesman looking lowlife Phil Brown, but now I hate their FM counterpart as well. 4 lucky goals and one fantastic which we really couldn't do jack **** about. Thorougly undeserved win AGAIN to Hull. If you'll remember, they also dealt us our first home loss of the season after a ridiculous own goal gifted them a goal after they had created 0 chances all match. Rivalry in force!
v. Norwich 4-0 AMARA 10', 40 LENNERTZ 20', 49' – An even game but a fantastically lopsided result against good opposition. Performance-wise, we can, and need, to do a lot better against Newcastle. With regards to this game, 3 points in the bag and that's just excellent. Couple that with excellent finishing and we should be able to at least give Newcastle a game.
FA CUP 6TH RND v. Newcastle 2-0 AFOUGOU 46' DI GIOSA 57' – Absolutely deserved victory, and although Newcastle had their chances, we were just the better team on the day. Centre backs both in very good performances, especially Afougou who ended up with 13/19 headers won (3 key), 6/6 tackles won, 7 interceptions, a goal and a Man of the Match award. YEAH BABY, YEAH!
@ Southend 3-2 RAE 18', 75' PEDRO 53' – Very even match but we thankfully showed a bit more tenacity in front of goal. Just.
v. Fulham 1-2 RAE 86' – Very uneven match and we weren't even close to giving Fulham a run for their money today. Decidedly awful performance.
@ Derby 2-2 JOHNSON 19' RAE 23' – Lucky Derby escape with a point from this game that we should have really sealed with a few more goals, alas.

Round up: Championship 4th (21-7-11 overall, this month 2-1-2). FA Cup Semi Final next @ Arsenal. YPotM: Said Amara 3rd.

April 2013
@ Burnley 6-0 BOOTH 5', 63' AMARA 8', 35 CHARBONNIER 14' RAE 30' – Quite a ridiculous scoreline but thoroughly deserved. They even blocked two goalbound headers off the line! A crucial away win as we hold on in the top of the league table. An away clean sheet is also very pleasing and hopefully we can keep our next few opponents at bay as morale needs to be sky high for the clash versus the almighty Gunners.
@ QPR 0-0 – A decent and fair result in the end, but we really struggled offensively today. However, the real problem is the 3-match suspension hotshot central defender Jamie Rae now faces, which really could not have come at a worse time.
v. Swansea 2-1 MOIMBÉ 74' PEDRO 88' – A great comeback which showed our determination for promotion. Also somewhat fortuitous, but I think I've saved up a bit of luck.
v. Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 WILSON OG 50' LENNERTZ 69' – At long last an all-round good team performances even though a few players seemed a bit out of it, particularly in midfield. We need to sort those complacency issues out against Arsenal but thankfully our defense looks quite tight at the moment even with the absense of Rae. Also finally a return to goalscoring from top scorer Lennertz, which is just so crucial as Charbonnier and Valenta, the only two other strikers who can actually hit the goal with some consistency, are sidelined.
FA CUP SEMI FINAL @ Wembley v. Arsenal 2-3 AFOUGOU 73' MOIMBÉ 86' – An unfortunate loss although a semifinal win against Arsenal never realistically looked on the cards. If we played them 10 times, 9 times it would end in an emphatic Arsenal win, but this one was one of the latter sort and that we didn't at least manage extra time or even penalties is unfortunate. However, we did have a decent showing, dominating possession against a quality side and defending very well. Their first goal came off a short-range free kick (if only I had one of those free kick takers I promise we would top the league table) and the other two late goals simply due to the gulf in class and maybe their better condition, as we were looking quite tired towards the end, particularly the fullbacks.
@ West Brom 1-1 LENNERTZ 39' – Meh. We were quite dreadful offensively in this very even match against league leaders West Brom, who, despite being on a 12-game unbeaten run looked like a manageable win. I must admit our performance wasn't nearly as good as I'd have hoped and 3 points would have done us a world of good. That said, we are now secured a place in the playoffs, which isn't too shabby, I'll admit, considering we were predicted to go down as the worst team in the league.
v. Coventry 2-0 LENNERTZ 34' PEDRO 50' – A confident performance at last along with a clean sheet - perfect! Pedro even fired in a free kick which only strengthens my hope that I'll be able to snap him up permanently after his loan deal finishes.

Round up: Championship 4th (25-9-11 overall, this month 4-2-0). FA Cup Semi Final lost v. Arsenal. YPotM: Said Amara 1st, Simon Booth 2nd, Rob Emonts 3rd. MotM: Yours truly 1st.

May 2013
@ Shrewsbury 2-0 RAE 33' AFOUGOU 44' – A vastly superior performances that probably deserved a few more goals from our part, but hopefully we're saving up for the playoffs. On the final day we did have a shot at automatic promotion, but annoyingly Cardiff couldn't beat Fulham at home. Still I think we stand an excellent chance in the playoffs. The other teams are Reading, Southend and ever-craptacular Hull.

PLAYOFF SEMIFINAL 1ST LEG @ Hull 2-2 PALAU 88' AMARA 90+3' (pen.) – Excellent defensive and goalkeeping performances despite Hull scoring twice. That we didn't score until we were virtually in stoppage time was a nailbiter though and the strikers need to step it the **** up for the 2nd leg.
PLAYOFF SEMIFINAL 2ND LEG v. Hull 1-0 AMARA 45'+3' (pen.) – Really digging that the penalty decisions are finally starting to go my way, as we've had some seriously ridiculous penalty decisions against us throughout our campaign. Not a particularly pleasing performance though as we're dominated quite badly and we desperately need to pull ourselves together for the final.

PLAYOFF FINAL v. Reading 4-2 LENNERTZ 23', 54' AFOUGOU 27' RAE 90+3' – Rushden are in the Premier League! And what a fantastic performance as the crowning moment. After going down 2-0 inside 20 minutes, the tactics were switched around somewhat as we went to a quicker style with quick rewards as we fire a quick double in the ensuing 10 minutes and begin to dominate the game. Moimbé and Johnson were both fantastic today and finished with two assists each. Rae relished the role of super sub today as he entered the game late on to seal the game with a towering header. His 21st goal this season. Just staggering.

End of season round up
Championship 3rd (26-9-11 overall, this month 1-0-0), playoffs won (v. Hull 3-2 agg., v.Reading 4-2). League Cup 2nd Rnd lost @ Ipswich 1-2. FA Cup Semi Final lost v. Arsenal 2-3.

Screens League table, transfers, Jamie Rae, Steve Lennertz, Nick Johnson:

View attachment 11238 View attachment 11239 View attachment 11240 View attachment 11241 View attachment 11242

  • Coca-Cola Championship: 3rd. (Record: (26-9-11. 16-4-3 @home)
  • FA Cup: Semi Final. (v. Millwall 6-2, v. Sheffield United 4-1, v Swansea 3-0, v. Newcastle 2-0, v. Arsenal 2-3)
  • League Cup: 2nd Round. (v. Wycombe 5-1, @ Ipswich 1-2)
  • Top goalscorer: Steve Lennertz (25)
  • Assists leader: Nick Johnson (27)
  • Man of match: Jamie Rae (8)
  • Highest avg. rating: Jamie Rae (7.40)
  • Player of the season: Jamie Rae (CB): 46 apps, 21 goals, 1 assist, 8 MoM, 6.90 tackles/game.
  • Young player of the season (U-21): Nick Johnson (AMR): 48 apps, 6 goals, 27 assists, 6 MoM, 7.96 dribbles/game, 7.27 av. rating)
  • Best signing of the season: Steve Lennertz (free).
  • Worst signing of the season: Adam Pepper (free).
  • Manager of the Season: Yours truly 2nd.
  • Top goalscorer: Steve Lennertz 2nd (23 gls, 38 apps).
  • Diamonds in the Players' Team of the Year: Jamie Rae (CB).
  • Stats, all competitions: 65 matches played, 139 goals scored (2.1), 73 goals conceded (1.1), 63 yellow cards (1.0), 2 red cards (0.0), 5860 average attendance (6441 max capacity).
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Most Valuable Pirate
Jul 10, 2009
2013-14 - Premier League

Summer window transfers
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New player screenshots

GK Guido Velder (free) & AM L Jordi Alba (club record signing, £6.25m)
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AM C Mads Albæk (free) & S C João Artur (£275k)
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**all matches are premier league matches unless otherwise noted**

August 2013

@ Bolton 5-2 ARTUR 27', 31' RAE 48' MOIMBÉ 63' GIOVINCO 86' – Our Premier League debut did not start well as we concede a penalty inside the first 10 minutes and two goals within the first 20. However, what happened afterwards was quite simply magical as we begin taking back possession from Bolton and begin turning that into goalscoring chances. A host of them. Thankfully we were also fantastically clinical with those opportunities today.
v. Liverpool 1-2 GIOVINCO 7' – Our home debut started better as we went in front on a Giovinco screamer from some 25 yards out, but after that we struggled to pass it properly and break down a tough Liverpool side. However, a narrow defeat to a vastly superior side and we didn't exactly look like headless chickens - which is a start.
LEAGUE CUP 2ND RND @ Derby 3-1 ARTUR 2', 72', 83' – 3 shots on target, 3 goals and 20-year old Dutch striker João Artur is looking like an absolute steal for £275k. Besides that, this was well and truly a routine performance and when Derby finally got on the scoresheet, it was through an own goal.
@ Everton 1-1 ARTUR 53' – A draw at Goodison Park is a thoroughly good result and I have to thank my new goalie Guido Velder for much of it as he denied Everton again and again with a string of fantastic saves. He even got an assist. :D

Round upEPL: 10th, 4 points, 1W 1D 1L. LC: Next 3rd Rnd @ Ipswich.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: João Artur 1st, Nick Johnson 2nd, Marcus Campbell 3rd.

September 2013
v. Manchester City 1-2 GIOVINCO 70' – A pleasingly even match, however the utter superiority of Vagner Love left our defence destroyed. The main thing we need to work is getting more shots on target though, which could really be our Achilles heel this season, I fear.
@ Manchester United 3-3 SOUMARE 45+1' GIOVINCO 50', 75' – Going to Old Trafford and grabbing points is a rare feat for newly promoted sides. Going to Old Trafford and and dominating possession is probably even less likely, but that's exactly what we did. When that possession turns into a plethora of chances you basically can't ask for more and we looked very good out there today. Giovinco came on at half-time to turn in a Man of the Match performance with one great goal and one that deservedly evened the scores. I don't think he can be kept out of the first team anymore.
LEAGUE CUP 3RD RND @ Ipswich 1-3 SOUMARE 81' – I hate the f'ing Carling Cup, I always seem to draw marginally better opposition, which could be manageable at home but somehow just beyond our capabilities away. And away I draw in spades, but maybe I had it coming after my draws in the FA Cup last year, where I don't think I played a single away game all through to the semi final. Not a bad performance today considering 57 % possession, however with just 2 shots out of 14 hitting the target there's obviously a lot of room for improvement in that department.
v. Tottenham 2-0 GIOVINCO 85' FREEMAN 90+2' – Nothing bring me more joy as an Arsenal supporter than to beat the Sp*rs even though I'm neither playing as Arsenal or against the actual Tottenham Hotspurs. What brings a huge smile to my face is the performance today. We thoroughly matched what Tottenham brought to the pitch today, and whilst that may hint towards a draw, at home I don't think a win was out of order. Another Man of the Match performance by an absolutely electrifying Sebastian Giovinco.

Round upEPL: 10th, 8 points, 2W 2D 2L. LC: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Ipswich.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Jamie Rae 3rd.

October 2013
@ Arsenal 3-2 MOIMBÉ 63' ALBA 66' LENNERTZ 68' – Going down 0-2 in this matchup I thought to myself that I'd be happy if we kept the well-oiled machine that is Arsenal to somewhere around 3 goals. That held true until about the 60th minute, which is when something magical happened: for the next 10 minutes or so, Rushden played like FC Barcelona, passing the ball with such finesse and accuracy that it really was plausible that Marcus Campbell (regen CM) was really channeling the force of Xavi. Terrific performances all around (barring a couple that were substituted at half time) and although we didn't dominate any statistical areas, we deserved the points today.
v. West Bromwich 2-0 SOUMARE 20', 61' – A confident showing that really underlines that we will definitely contend this year. 8 shots on target shows that we could and should have won by a larger margin. However, the 3 points quell this disappointment.
@ Aston Villa 2-0 MOIMBÉ 28' JOHNSON 86' – The wingers come up with the goods today after we had our qualms with breaking down a very good Aston Villa side managed by my hero Michael Laudrup. In the end, we deserved the two goals and the three points, although we were fortunate to not concede as Ashley Young kept pounding away incessantly, making my left back look fairly terrible.
v. Fulham 2-0 JOHNSON 1' SALAMI 37' – A messy but controlled affair. A host of fouls and cards and my new right back stupidly got himself sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession late on. God **** that's annoying. Need that instructions feature from FM10.

Round upEPL: 5th, 20 points, 6W 2D 2L. LC: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Ipswich.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Marcus Campbell 1st, João Artur 2nd, Nikos Georgiev 3rd. PotM: Bakary Soumare 3rd. MotM: Yours truly 1st.

November 2013
@ Chelsea 4-3 RAE 65' ALBÆK 84', 87' LENNERTZ 89' – When your keeper concedes 3 goals and still gets a rating of 8.0, you know you've had your luck not conceding a whole lot more, and as you can no doubt tell from the times of the goals, we really rallied late on to cap a majestic evening at the Bridge. Super subs Albæk and Lennertz replaced an injured Sebastian Giovinco and a tame João Artur respectively and more than made their mark. I thought we deserved at least a draw, despite Chelsea dominating shots and possession and so on and so forth, however very little gives me more joy than highlighting Chelsea and colouring them green. Oh, and three points, which brings itty bitty Rushden to 2nd place in the Premier League on par with an unbeaten Liverpool side and just behind Newcastle.
v. Sunderland 5-2 ARTUR 2', 30' (pen.), 51', 77' JOHNSON 39' – A truly emphatic win, despite the two Sunderland goals, which I have to say were due to two HUGE lapses in concentration for the defense. One came when we were up 5-1, so I guess it's fairly normal to be a little complacent, then. One who wasn't complacent was João Artur who I almost dropped to the bench after 5-6 or so games without scoring and without really looking to. 4 goals (one of them a penalty, but still) and an assist - a truly majestic performance from the 21-year-old.
@ Newcastle 1-1 JOHNSON 72' – I really thought we could sneak a win as we entered the last 10 minutes but then up pops Peter Robo-Crouch in the 87th minute and draws it up. Although they had looked like scoring throughout the match, I'm still gutted, as we could have gone to the top of the Premier League on goals scored had we clinched a 1-0 win, which would have been awesome, even for a little while.
v. Middlesbrough 3-3 ARTUR 28', 74' (pen.), ALBA 81' – 2 points from 2 games. The first we deserved the draw, in this we didn't, however it all adds up to points, which are vital as we look to be staying up.

Round upEPL: 3rd, 28 points, 8W 4D 2L. LC: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Ipswich.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Simon Booth 2nd, João Artur 3rd. PotM: João Artur 3rd. MotM: Yours truly 3rd.

December 2013
@ Leeds 2-0 ARTUR 25' MOIMBÉ 45+1' – A fairly even match although they rattled our crossbar and keeper more than I liked. 3 points and that's really all that matters. Booya.
@ Portsmouth 0-3 – WHAT. THE. ****. Pompey don't even have a ****** manager at the moment and they just waltz the ball into our goal three ******* times with no reply? I call bullshit. This game is rigged.
v. Wigan 2-3 ANDRÉ 5' CAMPBELL 43' Read above. Adjust for ****** lucky goals.
v. Ipswich 3-1 ALBA 38' GIOVINCO GIOVINCO 76' ARTUR 90+1' – Finally I get to change that hideous red back to green. Finally a good performance from the lads again as we show our superiority over Ipswich. I can't believe those ***** knocked us out of the Carling Cup - pssch. We bombarded their goal and although our finishing lacked quite a bit we produced enough to break them down.
v. Blackburn 2-1 PAREJO 13' ARTUR 66' – Thankfully we end the year 2013 on a high note as we are solid again, even though we're still conceding pretty much every game. My kingdom for a clean sheet.

Round upEPL: 3rd, 28 points, 11W 4D 4L. LC: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Ipswich.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: André 2nd, Simon Booth 3rd.

January 2014
v. Bolton 3-1 JOHNSON 31' RAE 51' GIOVINCO 90+1' – Aaaand we begin 2014 on a high note as well. And with a new player in our ranks - why, it's Robin van Persie, who didn't like the amount of playing time he got at the Emirates so he skipped up to Nene Park to play some more first team 'ball. His influence was immediate as he came on as a late sub and edged past 3 defenders and squared it to Giovinco who couldn't miss. Excellent!
FA CUP 4TH RND v. Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 FREEMAN 31' 67' ALBA 60' – Oh wow, the FA Cup. I'd almost forgotten it even existed, entering it this late. We overcame a very meek Sheffield Wednesday side who never contended for a goal, bar one shot which came sort of close.
@ Liverpool 0-2 – A harsh result and scoreline as we were right there with Liverpool. However, I doubt we got one call our way today and I wasn't at all surprised when their first goal came from a dubious penalty. ****.
v. Everton 1-1 ARTUR 75' – Funny how those colours link up - red for Liverpool and blue for Everton. Meh, anyway. I think we would have taken this one had a few players performed just a bit better. Alas.
FA CUP 5TH RND @ Stevenage 4-1 VAN PERSIE 10' 78' 90+3' (pen.) MOIMBÉ 49' – How Stevenage managed to get to the 5th round is a mystery. How they managed to score is just sad. Van Persie checks in with three goals to mark his first start as an out-and-out striker, whereas the other matches he's been played as an attacking midfielder/winger.
@ Manchester City 0-3 – God **** I hate Manchester €ity. Seriously just a bunch of ********, the bunch. Bought referee, undue amounts of luck and a team full of vomit-inducing players. **** this game and its ridiculous scoreline.

Round upEPL: 8th, 41 points, 12W 5D 6L. LC: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Ipswich. FA: Next 6th Rnd @ Middlesbrough.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Jamie Rae 2nd, André 3rd.

February 2014
v. Manchester United 1-2 GEORGIEV 70' – I'm getting real sick of losing and not even competing. ****. With the schedule ahead we have to be real ******* fortunate to claim any points. February is officially ****.
v. Arsenal 0-0 – Well that's a bit better. We battled determinedly for the draw, and although 0-0 is a throughly uninspiring scoreline, a point is very welcome at the moment as we look to hold on to top half finish.
@ Tottenham 1-2 VAN PERSIE 45+2' – Bitter finish as the Sp*rs - scratch that, the unstoppable force of Royston Drenthe from 30 ******* yards in the 94th minute - down us in the dying seconds. We held them pretty well despite them bombarding our goal and when van Persie slotted home I nurtured a small hope for a point and I think we were a bit unlucky again.
FA CUP 5TH RND @ Middlesbrough 1-2 VAN PERSIE 24' – A sickening loss and exit from the FA Cup. Although we had most of the ball, we mostly ran around like headless chickens and passing it with all such vision, too.
@ West Bromwich 2-0 ALBÆK 21' ARTUR 45+1' – Despite not creating a host of goalscoring opportunities, we managed, and deserved, to get 3 points at the Hawthorns. Our defending was a particular highlight which I hope will last us into March. In other news, I was offered the managerial job at Napoli, where I'd apparently be given a transfer budget of £30m. Tempting, but no.

Round upEPL: 8th, 45 points, 13W 6D 8L. LC: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Ipswich. FA: Lost 5th Rnd @ Middlesbrough.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Jérémy Hélan 1st, André 2nd, Jamie Rae 3rd.

March 2014
v. Aston Villa 2-0 BOOTH 11' ALBÆK 78' – A well-rounded effort and although the scoreline and although Villa battled away valliantly, we did very well in denying them a goal, as well as in taking our own chances when we had them. In other news, the 20th place which was our media prediction before the season began is now a mathematical impossibility, so that's nice.
@ Fulham 2-4 ARTUR 45' 73' – In a perfect world, this game would have ended a draw, as the two teams looked very much on par with eachother throughout the game, however Lady Luck was not to smile upon us today, but annoyingly she did at Fulham. Our defensive frailties are yet again exposed.
v. Newcastle 0-1 – Again, a very even match but no luck in store for us today either as we annoyingly drop points at home to a team we should have equalised or even beat.

Round upEPL: 8th, 48 points, 14W 6D 10L. LC: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Ipswich. FA: Lost 5th Rnd @ Middlesbrough.
Monthly Awards – None :(

April 2014
@ Sunderland 3-2 ALBÆK 61' 76' VAN PERSIE 80' – An even match finally goes our way, as we beat a good Sunderland side that we nevertheless dominated throughout large portions of the game. Defensive lapses of concentration let them back in the match twice but thankfully we prevailed in the end.
@ Wigan 0-2 – Aaaand we're back to losing games we should have drawn. Not really much to say other than we were unbelievably poor when we had the ball in their area.
@ Middlesbrough 0-2 – Revenge was in order for this matchup as Boro sent us crashing out of the FA Cup, but apparently that revenge was not to hit Boro today as we look lumpish in defeat.
v. Leeds 0-0 – A game we really should have sealed with a few (!) goals, but we were annoyingly denied, Artur really struggling to score, having not done so since the beginning of March. Have mercy...
v. Chelsea 0-0 – High quality defense today as we hold Chelsea to 0 shots on target. Now if my attacking players would just somehow locate the goal... Nope.
v. Portsmouth 3-1 VAN PERSIE 8' 20' 59' – Three crucial points due to three excellent goals by Robin van Persie. We keep our distance to closest followers Aston Villa and Leeds, both five points behind us. The spot above us, occupied by Liverpool, who were docked points for going into administration, is only three points away. Fingers crossed we can maintain winning ways and that Liverpool can't.

Round upEPL: 8th, 56 points, 16W 8D 12L. LC: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Ipswich. FA: Lost 5th Rnd @ Middlesbrough.
Monthly AwardsPotM: Robin van Persie 1st. YPotM: Simon Booth 1st, Jérémy Hélan 2nd, João Artur 3rd.

May 2014
@ Ipswich 1-2 ARTUR 59' BOOTH 65' – A thoroughly deserved and important away win at Ipswich. Their goalkeeper got the Man of the Match accolade which just goes to show how dominant an attacking force we were today. Hat-trick hero van Persie nowhere near replicated his form from the last match (not that I'm downright expecting bags of goals every game from him) and had to be subbed off after he missed a penalty (utterly unrealistic, have you ever seen van Persie miss a pen?). Leeds were deeply unfortunate not to claim a win against Liverpool, which would have put us on par with Liverpool. There's still a chance though as we travel to Blackburn and Liverpool have to overcome Portsmouth at home on the back of a Europa League exit against Porto 3 days earlier.
@ Blackburn 1-2 MOIMBÉ 11' – It started so very rosy, with Moimbé scoring from a brilliant header and us looking sharp both offensively and defensively. Then, Jérémy Hélan decided to tackle Abou Diaby by flinging two feet out at his midriff, which naturally got him sent off. Our defensive stability was shot which let Blackburn into a match they should have never had a chance of scoring in. Offensively, it's staggering that we didn't produce 4 or 5 goals today as we looked sharp all through our build-up play, but as we got into the box we hit the posts or directly at the keeper, fired just wide or otherwise mucked it up. Lucky lucky Blackburn. Some comfort can be found in the fact that Liverpool didn't mess up against Portsmouth, although they only inched it 1-0 from a Tim Cahill (no, seriously) goal, which means we finish just behind Liverpool in our first Premier League season. Not too shabby!

End of season
Round upEPL: 8th, 59 points, 17W 8D 13L. LC: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Ipswich. FA: Lost 5th Rnd @ Middlesbrough.
Yearly AwardsPlayers Young Player of the Year: João Artur 1st.

  • Top goalscorer: João Artur (20, 38 apps)
  • Assists leader: Nick Johnson (13)
  • Man of match: João Artur (6)
  • Highest avg. rating: João Artur (7.21)
  • Player of the season: João Artur (ST): 38 apps, 20 goals, 4 assists, 6 MoM, 95 fouls against, 7.21 avg. rating
  • Young player of the season (U-21): João Artur.
  • Best signing of the season: João Artur (£275k).
  • Worst signing of the season: Miguel Lopes (£400k).
  • Stats, all competitions: 49 matches played, 92 goals scored (1.9), 72 goals conceded (1.5), 76 yellow cards (1.6), 5 red cards (0.1), 6655 average attendance (8102 max capacity).
That's the first Premier League season for Rushden over and done with. Now, a nice vacation, the 2014 FIFA World Cup to which 3 Diamonds have been called up to (Robin van Persie & Guido Velder for the Netherlands and Bakary Soumare for the US of A) and a **** of a lot of scouting to be done!
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morton fc

Jun 26, 2009
that is brilliant i bone something like that but with wycombe wanderers the board will give you loads for spending this time and see about more barca youngsters cos they do brilliant even if you have got to put them into the under 18s


Apr 14, 2009
Well done, class achievement, I've got to the Championship with my AFC Wimbledon team after 4 successive promotions and hopefully I can get to the premier league before FM2010 :)


Most Valuable Pirate
Jul 10, 2009
Yeah, it'll be going strong until probably the release of FM10. Hopefully we can mount a challenge for Europe this next season :)


Most Valuable Pirate
Jul 10, 2009
2014-15 - Premier League

Preseason stuff
The board announced their plans to build a new stadium for the club, finally! Rushden Stadium will be a significant improvement on our current ground, Nene Park, which held just 8102 (after expansion). The new ground will have a capacity of 28961. Furthermore, the board announced that our facilities would also be upgraded.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup concluded with Holland (with Rushden's Guido Velder in the starting eleven and Robin van Persie coming on late as a substitute) inexplicably losing 0-1 to Croatia, even though Holland throughout had been the better team. Velder knocked Tim Krul out of the starting line-up and conceded only one goal throughout the entire tournament, which just so happened to be in the final, which earned him the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award and a spot in the Dream Team starting line-up.

So, a cheery summer for most involved, and although the transfer market was somewhat of a pain, I feel we've come out on the other side quite nicely, adding a few promising regens, Diego and getting rid of some of the less awesome of my players. Mostly with profit, too! Full final history, Diego, Fadeev and a much beefed-up (compare with last season's screenshot!) João Artur below:
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August 2014
@ Leeds 0-0 – We pick up the action at Elland Road, where we fight to a 0-0, which wasn't a particularly unfair result. We might have sent the ball in the back of the net a few times, but then again so could they.
v. Newcastle 0-0 – Uhhh. So yet another good defensive performance, but again we struggled when the final touch had to be put on our otherwise quite nicely flowing attacking moves. Hopefully we'll pick up a bit soon, or we could be in real trouble, as our high-octane offense was our bread and butter last season. In other news, I picked up a new RB as my current one is constantly being unsettled by speculation from clubs like PSG, Man Utd and so on. £10m the new young lad cost me, but he does look frighteningly good.
LEAGUE CUP 2ND RND @ Sheffield United 2-1 FADEEV 18' ALBÆK 115' – An atrocious performance considering we had 22 shots and 11 of those on target. The remaining 11 that weren't on target were often such big chances Ali Dia should have put them away comfortably. Our finishing today really was unbearably terrible, which is a problem that's been lurking under the surface for quite some time and really came out into the open today. That we needed extra time against these chumps was a disgrace as it should have been something more along the lines of 6-1 today. Fadeev's great free kick wasn't a disgrace, though. Fingers crossed that he can be the free kick specialist I've been yearning for all these years.
@ Sunderland 1-0 WINTER 54' – A masterpiece of a goal from my new swiss RB was enough to down Sunderland, who I have to say ran the game for most of its duration. When we finally got a goal, they died down offensively for 20-25 minutes and we even looked like scoring one or two more, but I have to say I felt very relieved and somewhat fortunate when the whistle blew for full time.

On deadline day, we also managed to close a £20m record deal for attacking midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum from Palermo.

Round upEPL: 7th, 5 points, 1W 2D 0L.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Jamie Rae 1st, Marcus Campbell 3rd.

September 2014
v. West Ham 4-1 RAE 5' DIEGO 26' ARTUR 32' MOIMBÉ 93' – Our attacking play today was of the highest order, which is exactly what we were lacking in the previous matches this season. In the beginning of the match it looked like our newfound defensive stability had been sacrificed to make room for it, but as the game progressed we looked very sure on the ball. So sure, in fact, that Onyewu even found time to head into their half, an accomplishment in itself as his "pace" attribute is a lumpish 8. Our unbeaten start goes on.
@ Tottenham 1-0 WIJNALDUM 15' – Wijnaldum begins repaying a tiny bit of his outrageous transfer sum and judging by this goal, he was worth if not every penny then at least very close to it as it was right in the top corner. About the match, we played quite well but undoubtedly were somewhat fortunate to escape a single goal. Then again, we should have scored maybe 2 or 3, I remember one chance where they cleared it off the line twice within 2 seconds, one where the ball was just lying on the line and someone JUST managed to clear it before we could pounce. In other words: suck it, Sp*rs.
LEAGUE CUP 3RD RND @ Hull 3-2 RAE 18' ARTUR 39' 69' – YES! We finally prevail over a team who have quickly become one of my fiercest enemies, to such an extent that I hate the actual team even more, even though most of it was due to the massive cuntiness of one Phil Brown. That said, this Hull team is pretty ****. I know, I've seen some of their other matches. However, when they meet us, they're reading for everything, it just doesn't make ANY sense whatsoever that they can just turn into Man United overnight when Rushden roll into town. However, we beat them, we should have gotten a clean sheet, but there you go. Onwards to the next round!
v. Everton 3-0 RAE 19' VAN PERSIE 21' ARTUR 84' – A confident and convincing home win over an Everton side that year after year slips more into midtable obscurity. Still, we did our part today and created a million gazillion chances, but 3 goals to 0 is not a scoreline you can complain about.

Round upEPL: 2nd, 14 points, 4W 2D 0L. LC: Next 4th Rnd v Bolton.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Jamie Rae 1st, João Artur 2nd. MotM: Yours truly 3rd.

October 2014

@ Man City 1-2 YUSSUF OG 25' – I don't think we were under any illusions that when travelling to Eastlands, it would be a monumental challenge to come home with even just a point, however we were horridly dominated in this game, which really we can't have if we are to mount any sort of a challenge for Europe this season. However, no shame in losing to a team of such superiority and that it's our first loss of the season tells it own story.
v. Chelsea 2-0 ARTUR 3' 19' (pen.) – A good performance, especially defensively as we hold a still highly potent Chelsea attack to just 2 shots on goal. Artur comes up with the goods again!
v. Aston Villa 2-0 GIOVINCO 18' BROSCO 56' – Aston Villa actually put up a **** of a performance and were quite threatening to our thus far pristine home record. However, another great performance from my ever overperforming goalie Velder held a very good Aston Villa team firmly out of the match at all times.
@ Southend 4-3 ARTUR 9' WIJNALDUM 17' ALBA 35' WHITTAKER OG 55' – Whew! We went to half time 3-0 up and looking to maybe close this one out for good in the second half by passing them to death. However, a combination of me not bothering to substitute fresh legs in and a dodgy penalty decision going their way they suddenly ran away with some quite incredible momentum and for 10-20 minutes looked very potent indeed. Deservedly, though, we walked away winners.

Round upEPL: 4th, 23 points, 7W 2D 1L. LC: Next 4th Rnd v Bolton.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Marcus Campbell 3rd.

November 2014

v. Ipswich 4-0 DIEGO 1' 4' VAN PERSIE 17' (pen.) JOHNSON 76' – Diego finally shows the class we all knew he still had. Clinical finishing today lead to a convincing scoreline that may be a bit flattering to us. Still a thoroughly deserved win and a confident performance on the back of a shaky one.
@ Hull 1-1 VAN PERSIE 87' (pen.) – The hatred towards Hull builds as they once again inexplicably turn into Man United as we play them. On the back foot for the most of the match, we nevertheless deserved a goal. I'm not really too fussed about that it came from a penalty as it was on the cards throughout as they tackled hard and dangerously throughout and sent 3 of my players out for the count. *****.
LEAGUE CUP 4TH RND v. Bolton 3-1 ARTUR 8' 87' WIJNALDUM 76' – Control. Swift passing. Deft finishing touch. Lucky Bolton in stoppage time. Easy.
v. Wigan 2-2 ARTUR 11' WIJNALDUM 45+2' – A scoreline most flattering to Wigan who somewhat fortuitously came away with a point today, having been dominated throughout most of the game. A sending off and two injured players towards the end didn't really help us, either. We should have scored at least 4 goals though with the chances we had and this is the type of match we have to win, not draw, if a challenge for Europe is going to be realistic.
@ Arsenal 0-3 – Ow. A particularly bad defeat as we concede two bonehead goals and one from Rubén de la Red (who I fervently attempted to sign in the summer) that even Lev Yashin could not have saved. What was so disappointing was how we just gave up after the first stupid goal we gave away. Before it, we were passing it quite well, retaining possession and creating chances but after that we just deflated into... ****. If such a thing is possible, it's what we did.
v. Liverpool 2-3 – Such a **** shame, this match. The first half was utter ***** from pretty everyone involved bar one or maybe two. After half-time, and after a few select choice words, we came out a transformed team. Had the game been level at halftime instead of 0-3, I am confident that we would have won, showing the determination and confidence that we did in the second half. We now go to 4 matches in a row without victory, which is somewhat of a worry.

Round upEPL: 6th, 28 points, 8W 4D 3L. LC: Next Quarter Final v Manchester City. FA: Next 3rd Rnd @ Tottenham.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Marcus Campbell 3rd.

December 2014
LEAGUE CUP QUARTER FINAL v. Manchester City 0-1 – Lucky Man City win this thanks to Sulley Muntari somehow being able to blast a ball in the back of the net from 35 yards out. I mean come on, that's just unrealistic. We were better than City today and we should have ******* downed 'em. Our passing needs to be a whole lot more accurate, though. Ah, screw the Carling Cup.
@ Manchester United 2-1 WIJNALDUM 58' 90+3' – HAH! We ******* dominated United even more than we did City and Liverpool (even though that was only in one half) at it was at their place. In the end they only scored on a monstrous free kick from Tevez, that rug-wearing mutant. And we did so with 4, count 4, important first team players out, so a 18-year-old right back came in to take over from my beastly swiss RB Winter. LATE.
v. Portsmouth 3-2 ARTUR 11' 82' ALBÆK 67' – We should have had this done and dusted half way through the first half, such was the worthlessness of Portsmouth. However we gifted them a goal and they were right back in it and annoyingly some ******* from Portsmouth had the technical prowess to power in a 35-yard screamer. Who knew? Still, a frighteningly good attacking performance on our part but I wish we would just take those 100% chances, it's so painful to watch.
@ Middlesbrough 0-0 – I don't ******* believe it. How can professional footballers be so ******* useless in front of goal? 18 chances against a rubbish Middlesbrough side and we come away empty handed? Our back four was like the god **** Steel Curtain, never letting them even close to a chance and we should have won by 7 goals or something like that. Utterly. Ridiculous!
v. Blackburn 2-0 WIJNALDUM 26' – Same story as against Middlesbrough, yet this time we managed to score twice. And before you go all "well, actually, you only scored onecablabablabbla", take into account that FM somehow thinks deflections are own goals. Wijnaldum should have had a double and we should have had 5 or 6 against em today. Defensively, I don't think we've ever looked sharper as we're just stopping teams dead in their tracks right from the off at the moment. Fantastic! On another note, one Real Madrid legend (ahem) actually beat an ever bigger one today, as Blackburn are apparently managed by none other than Raúl.

Round upEPL: 4th, 38 points, 11W 5D 3L. LC: Lost Quarter Final v Manchester City. FA: Next 3rd Rnd @ Tottenham.
Monthly AwardsPotM: João Artur 1st, YPotM: Jamie Rae 1st, Marcus Campbell 2nd.

January 2015
FA CUP 3RD RND @ Tottenham 0-2– Of course I draw the Lily-White ***** away as soon as we enter the FA Cup. Not a terrible performance but two huge lapses in concentration at the back that looked so god damned solid through the last few matches undid us against a Tottenham side we should be able to match. /"!)#&)!"/#.
v. Leeds 2-0 WIJNALDUM 5' JOHNSON 8' – A fairly decent performance for 80 minutes and a mindblowingly awesome one in the first 10. I seriously thought we would have been up by 4 by half-time, and this Leeds side are no pushovers, mind you. Defensively we're not as solid as I'd like us to be, but you can't argue with a clean sheet.
@ Newcastle 1-3 ARTUR 58' – A ******* embarrassing performance as we're just awful throughout. Wijnaldum, Diego, Fadeev and Jordi Alba in particular just kept giving the ball away and it's no mystery why we conceded 3 goals today. How hard can it be to keep the **** ball?
v. Sunderland 2-1 ARTUR 20' GOOSENS 89' – A better performance as we manage to just equal out a Sunderland side we really should dominate at home. However, 3 points in the bag and a goal on the debut of new signing John Goosens, which will no doubt be a huge help in making him feel a part of the team already.
@ West Ham 3-1 WIJNALDUM 4' VAN PERSIE 11' ALBÆK 90+1' – A match that deserved more goals, unfortunately in both ends as a scoreline of 3-1 is somewhat flattering to us but certainly not entirely undeserved as my ever-overperforming goalie Velder comes up with the goods again. Big time.
@ Everton 1-1 VAN PERSIE 68' – Not a terrific performance as we only gift one goal away due to a penalty, but this is an Everton team that is just so far beneath our capabilities at this point, so I'm fairly gutted that we didn't get the 3 today.

Round upEPL: 4th, 48 points, 14W 6D 4L. LC: Lost Quarter Final v Manchester City. FA: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Tottenham.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Nicky Veldmate 1st

February 2015
v. Tottenham 2-2 JOHNSON 4' BALE OG 54' – There were periods in the match where we looked amazing and others where we looked very ordinary indeed, so I guess a draw is fair.
v. Manchester City 1-1 ARTUR 40' – An even matchup so again, a draw is fair. Still, had we been a bit more clinical today with some of our better chances we might have finally recorded a win against €ity.
@ Chelsea 4-1 ALBÆK 11' ARTUR 30' 55' (pen.) RAE 68' – Our clinical edge returned in a match where we actually could have embarassed Chelsea worse than we did. Artur missed a penalty to seal a hat-trick at the Bridge but more importantly, our performance was that of f-ing champions. I doubt whether any team can boast a better game vs. Chelsea away. A few boring numbers: 63 % possession, 18 shots, just 2 off target, 96 % tackles won, Chelsea held to: 37 % possession (duh), 6 shots, 1 on target (goal). Really, for a quality team, we embarassed them.
View attachment 13630

Round upEPL: 4th, 53 points, 15W 8D 4L. LC: Lost Quarter Final v Manchester City. FA: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Tottenham.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Jamie Rae 1st

March 2015
@ Aston Villa 1-2 ARTUR 72' – I present the most inconsistent performers in football history. Going down this hard to a Villa team we should at least match, even away, just shakes me to my core, because these are the matches we need to really compete in if we are to have any chance at silverware, ever. To make matters worse, star striker João Artur was ruled out for 4 weeks, which essentially is the rest of the season.
v. Southend 2-0 GOOSENS 6' DESTRO 21'– Not a great performance against the worst team in the Premiership. We did take our chances well though, and hats off to new signings John Goosens and Mattia Destro for really powering them in.
@ Ipswich 3-2 JOHNSON 51' 54' DIEGO 78' – Two down inside the first half hour and you think it's going to be one of those days again. During the half time team talk, I let the players know that nothing less than a win was going to cut it here. 10 minutes later, and substitute Nick Johnson has scored twice. We look truly frightening an offense when we are in "All-Out Offensive" mode and when I dialed it down, we dialed down, so we just went all-out through the match. Missing a penalty and having 90 % of all shots hitting the target I would have been absolutely furious had we not won this one, which could have ended 7-2 or more without flattering us in the least.

Round upEPL: 6th, 58 points, 17W 8D 5L. LC: Lost Quarter Final v Manchester City. FA: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Tottenham.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Nicky Veldmate 2nd, GotM: Mattia Destro 1st (v. Southend 2-0)

April 2015
v. Hull 2-0 DESTRO 45+3' JOHNSON 81' (pen.) – I really wanted to embarrass Hull as they are pretty much my nemesis as far as just plain hatred goes. As such, 2-0 isn't what I was looking for, but as Hull always seem to just oversoul and play with the force of an actual quality side. With none of the pizzazz or excellence of Barcelona, but oh just as hard to beat for some reason.
@ Wigan 2-0 RAE 14' 62' – A dominant performance and although we didn't close out the match as soon as I'd have hoped, we were never going to drop points here.
@ Liverpool 1-0 VELDMATE 15' – We grind out a close win over Liverpool, who we are neck and neck with in the table. Next up, a somewhat depleted Man Utd side at home, hopefully we can keep up our steely determination.
v. Manchester United 1-0 ARTUR 45+1' – Not a good match from either team but thankfully it is we who get the 3 points today, and not entirely undeserved as United were just horrible in the final third. And with this, Rushden are certain of European football next season, as we can now place only as low as 6th. Break out the bubbly, 'cause I'm celebratin'!
v. Arsenal 1-1 GOOSENS 71' – Despite Arsenal having a lot of shots on target, those shots were all essentially long shots which my supergoalie Velder had no difficulties dealing with, however I can't fault the result as we again just lacked that finishing touch that could have put this game out of reach for Arsenal.

Round upEPL: 3rd, 72 points, 21W 9D 5L. LC: Lost Quarter Final v Manchester City. FA: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Tottenham.
Monthly AwardsYPotM: Jamie Rae 3rd, MotM: Yours truly 2nd.

May 2015

@ Portsmouth 1-0 ALBÆK 2' – We travelled to Portsmouth with high hopes for complete annihilation of them and that Arsenal and Manchester City in front of us and Tottenham and Manchester United behind us would slip up. The second part came true as United were held to 1-1 by already relegated Southend at home, Arsenal were beat by Hull at home 2-0 (they had to be good for something) and Tottenham were beaten by Newcastle 3-1. Also, 1-0 means 3 points too - onwards!
v. Middlesbrough 5-1 GOOSENS 31' ALBÆK 57' 62' WIJNALDUM 74' SOUMARE 82' – An easy, easy match as we dominate every department and their only goal came when Hélan played it back ever so slowly to Velder who let it go between his legs and crawl past the line. Jesus... Wigan were not able to ****** a draw at home vs. Arsenal who are 3 points behind us still but with a much better goal difference, which means we have to get at least a point at Blackburn to be safe in our spot. On the back of this terrific performance, five Rushden players were included in the Team of the Week, a new high for us in that regard. Furthermore, this was the final match played at Nene Park, as we move to the new Rushden Stadium for next season, and what a high note to end on.
@ Blackburn 0-0 – This was truly a terrible performance on our end but I don't care as we grab our 1 point and as such we stay ahead of Arsenal and end just 8 points behind a truly beastly Manchester City side.

End of season round upEPL: 2nd, 79 points, 23W 10D 5L. LC: Lost Quarter Final v Manchester City. FA: Lost 3rd Rnd @ Tottenham.
Yearly AwardsPlayers' Young Player of the Year: Jamie Rae 1st, Nicky Veldmate 2nd

  • Top goalscorer: João Artur (19, 37 apps)
  • Assists leader: Giorginio Wijnaldum (9)
  • Man of match: Jamie Rae (5)
  • Highest avg. rating: João Artur (7.25)
  • Player of the season: Jamie Rae (CB): 34 apps, 5 goals, 5 MoM, 7.35 tackles/game, 7.21 avg. rating
  • Young player of the season (U-21): Nicky Veldmate (CM): 30 apps, 1 goal, 4 assists, 2 MoM, 4.52 tackles/game, 82 % pass completion, 7.03 avg. rating
  • Best signing of the season: Nicky Veldmate (£275k).
  • Worst signing of the season: Tom Dowson (£4.5m), I missed where it said that he couldn't play for me until next season because his club activity so he didn't really contribute at all. He has a 7.75 avg. rating playing in the Reserves, though :D
  • Stats, all competitions: 46 matches played, 86 goals scored (1.9), 44 goals conceded (1.0), 60 yellow cards (1.3), 1 red card (0.0), 7993 average attendance (8102 max capacity).
Und jetzt, ze screenshots of all my glory and my two sort of "joint" players of the year, Jamie Rae (CB) and João Artur (ST):
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