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Borussia Dortmund - Keeping Jadon Sancho


Jun 16, 2019
August 2021

Today marks the start of my final season in the Bundesliga, not made easier with the board's (and my own) lofty ambitions. Because of this, I have banned myself from going on lavish holidays this year to fully focus on football... is what I said to the board.

I might fancy sneaking out for a week or two.

Anyway, here's how September went.

terrible pun.PNG

We put eight past a fifth division team only to be treated to this terrible pun. Well done, game.

august results.PNG

We absolutely crushed this month with an aggregate score 22-2 in five games, which is just mental. Haaland picked up where he left off last season smashing in four against Frankfurt while Fabian scored on his debut in the Supercup - out of the three new signings, he so far is the best of the bunch. And to think he was my second choice target!

The two goals we conceded were great team goals by Dusseldorf that were vey hard for any keeper to save so I'll let Donnarumma off the hook. He's had barely anything to do since our tactical shift to a 4-3-3 - it's been hard for any team to muster up decent efforts on goal, but he still contributed to the four clean sheets in a row, making smart saves late in several matches.

half time torrid day.PNG

And anyways Donnarumma is having a much better time than the Dusseldorf keeper wass struggling against Haaland and friends.

Shoutout to both Fischer and Reus, who each scored a hat trick in the 8 - 0 demolition of Wiedenbruck in the Pokal. The second round isn't failing us this time.

If you're wondering, Julian Brandt is not doing so well at City, with 1 goal in 10 appearances. To be fair, his replacement, Zaniolo, has been solid, If unspectacular.

Here is our squad depth (featuring my handwriting!) for the year.

squad depth bvb 2021.jpeg

I forgot to switch the two midfield roles around (MEZ on the left and RPM on the right) since the players I have prefer it that way

I've decided to move Camavinga to the DLP position while Fabian moves up to the RPM, on the basis that Fabian is better going forwards, but that's about it. I can't help but smile when looking at this sheet - we've come a long way in two short seasons!

august table.PNG

A familiar name in familiar sight. We are top and, just like the first season, it looks like Leverkusen are struggling.

We have a perfect win record while Bayern have already drawn two. They were goalless draws as well; Zidane might be regretting not dipping into the transfer market this early into the season.
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Aug 10, 2020
North Carolina
Excited to see how this final season goes. Big drop in form for Koln as well (I had a nice run with them in FM20). I assume they sold off anyone that kept them in playoff positions by now.


Jun 16, 2019
Excited to see how this final season goes. Big drop in form for Koln as well (I had a nice run with them in FM20). I assume they sold off anyone that kept them in playoff positions by now.
Thanks for all the support man. This last season is the biggest one yet and then I'd quite like to simulate it for 10 years or so and write a long piece on what's happened since I've never done that before. I think Koln massively overachieved in the first season thanks to the performances of left back Noah Katterbach (who is with me now) and a Tunisian holding midfielder (Ellyes Skhiri) who Tottenham bought. They've tried to plug in the gaps with some big money signings (including Thomas Delaney) but it doesn't seem to be working.

They did get out of this horrible UCL group last year, though:

koln group 2020.PNG

Don't really know how.

September 2021

We've largely managed to avoid any serious injuries so far, which is what threatened to derail our season last year, where we had four wingers out! Thankfully, nothing has happened... yet.

Before we delve into September, we have the Champions League group stage draw. It's usually a formality for us. Unless we draw Fenerbahce. I do not want to draw Fenerbahce.

Group F.PNG

And we've drawn Fenerbahce. ffs. If you remember, the Turkish club sent Reus and Bailey on three month injuries. Bubble wrap will be ordered in advance.

Anyway, September came and went.

september results.PNG

We continued our relentless domination, with new boys Zaniolo and Tah scoring their first for the clubs. Everything was going swimmingly well until the last game of the month in the UCL against Sevilla. We should have won until we suffered a calamitous mixup in a set piece which led to us conceding while Haaland missed his first ever penalty for us in the two years we've had him. It would have probably won us the game, too.

Why did he choose to miss now, out of all times?

I'm not complaining too much, but if he misses again I will start worrying.

september leafue table.PNG

Still top, still perfect.

Fenerbache are up in the next month. Zetsmann, please take care of the players.



Jun 16, 2019
October 2021

The most important month for us is October. Not because of a big game against Leipzig and not because of a UCL tie against Fenerbahce. No.

It is because the very being that haunts the men of Dortmund is no longer avoidable. The nightmare and potential heartbreak must be faced head on.

The Pokal second round awaits.

october results.PNG

Haaland atoned for his penalty woes in the UCL by smashing in a perfect hat-trick in the demolition against Leipzig. A goal with his left, right and head to cap off a stunning team display. His performances are (again) attracting interest from the likes of Manchester United and big clubs such as Real Madrid and Liverpool, but thankfully he is not interested... yet.

Mercifully, Fenerbahce did not injure anybody so my bubble wrap-scheme was clearly working. We were disappointing in the goalless draw against Schalke but it was an otherwise perfect month, with no goals conceded.

Most importantly though, we managed to banish the demons of the Pokal 2nd Round with a convincing victory. I am happy.

Our reward for getting through? I'm hoping for another lower league minnow to build up confidence.

pokal 3rd round.PNG

Nope. All we get is a nice, easy tie against Bayern (SARCASM!!!). Hooray.

october league table.PNG

Two eternal rivals are still unbeaten.

leading stats.PNG

Encouragingly, my players are leading most of the important league stats, which is nice.
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Jun 16, 2019
November 2021

There are several things that are inevitable.

What is it, I hear you ask?

Perhaps it's that someone always get a nasty injury, though that hasn't really happened yet.

Maybe it's that we get knocked out of the Pokal 2nd round all the time, but that hasn't happened this time.

Or maybe it's that Jiri Pavlenka always turns into prime Buffon whenever he comes up against us.


I don't know how he keeps doing this sort of thing.

The Czech goalkeeper moved from Bremen to Stuttgart in the summer and was the mastermind of a smash and grab at the Mercedes-Benz arena.

He concedes everywhere and anywhere else against every and any other club. But not us. Always, not us.

And that's why, despite a pretty good month, I am upset.

nov results.PNG

Because it's always Jiri Pavlenka. He even contributed to the goals we conceded with quick counter-attacking throws. That's our sixteen game unbeaten run over.

In other news, Haaland has only scored once in his last four games. I've cursed him, haven't I? No, it can't be my fault. Yeah, I'm blaming Real Madrid and Man United - they've announced their interest and have finally turned the poor boy's head.

Go away Perez. Go away Woodward. We don't like you.

In any case, I've had a chat with him so we'll see how he responds.

Rant over. We are still top and while Bayern could have cut the gap down to just one point, Zidane's men failed to capitalise and drew 2 - 2 with Gladbach, so they're still three points behind us.

We are approaching the January transfer window, though I'm not expecting any major deals (unless Haaland goes which I will do my best to prevent). There's a transfer listed Liverpool player I like the look of but we'll see when we come to it.

nov league table.PNG

Bayern are giving us a proper run for our money.


Jun 16, 2019
December 2021

dortmund festive city.jpg

The festivities are well underway.

The sweet winter month of December is upon us and the streets of the beautiful city of Dortmund is bustling. Everybody is preparing themselves for a festive Christmas after tidying themselves of their post-Oktoberfest jollities.

... is what I think the people of Dortmund are like. I don't know, I've never been.

december results.PNG

Back to things I do know of, however, and football matters have become pressing. First up, Augsburg came up to visit us, which is important because they had Roman Burki in goal. They nearly kept a clean sheet, such was his competence and perhaps our shakes in front of goal - this was proven so as the only thing separating the two teams was an incredibly nervy Haaland penalty.

It's a really good thing he did not miss.

I'm not the type of guy to throw shade, but that was Burki's best performance at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK. Ha.

Speaking of goalkeepers, I hate to say this, but Donnarumma has been pretty average this season. A few factors are at play: I'm pretty sure he's faced fewer shots due to our tactical shift, but maybe they've been of higher quality?

His average rating too, has been disappointing, but we all know how misguided those actual ratings are. In any case, I hope he improves although he does have the most clean sheets and the least goals conceded, so maybe I'm being a bit too harsh. Here are his stats after a bit of digging:

donnarumma stats.PNG

Yeah, I think I'm too harsh on him. An 87% save percentage is very healthy. It's just a strange feeling.

donnarumma stats 2.PNG

In any case, the glaring result of the month was the 1 - 0 defeat away from home to Gladbach (the same story of us dominating while they scored a clean, clinical goal) - Haaland has been struggling slightly, although neither Arp and Fischer are good enough to fill in when he's off.

Leon Bailey ended the month in style, securing a sumptuous hat trick to temporarily alleviate my concerns.

We've also been handed our next UCL tie.

ucl draw.PNG

2021 UCL Round of 16. Ronaldo returning to the Bernabeu is the big media story of the week.

Porto are a good side (they beat Benfica to the title last year) but we should have enough in our locker to beat them comfortably.

Elsewhere, all the German teams made it through while there were some real upsets in the group stages - Barcelona are out (beaten by Atalanta and our next opponents, Porto), Man City crash into the Europa League (beaten by Gladbach and Atletico) while Chelsea and Tottenham too, fail to qualify.

Props to the other German teams for all topping their groups. Except for Leipzig, of course, who now pay the price with a threatening clash againt Man U.

dec league table.PNG

Still top, although our next Bundesliga match is against Bayern Munich. It could be a season definer.

See you guys next year - 2022 will be ours, I can just feel it.


Jun 16, 2019
January 2022

I was on my sofa watching football award shows when a couple interesting things popped up. I'm in Germany, of course, since the board have made it very clear I wasn't to go out on holidays. Turns out they were pretty serious on that note.

Well, well, well, was my initial reaction, what do we have here? Another Dortmund player is the newest FIFA Ballon d'Or recipient.


haaland ballon dor.PNG

Massive congratulations to Mr Erling Haaland, although it's a bit weird not to see Bailey in the top three after he picked up the award last year. Haaland, like the previous years, has hoovered up some more awards and individual accolades.

He's also won:

  • FIFA Best Men's Player
  • FIFA FIFPro Player of the Year
  • FIFA Best U21 Men's Player of the Year (for the third year running!)
  • Named in FIFA FIFPro Team of the Year (for the third year running, although last year he was on the bench)

My sincere congratulations to him and his wonderful contributions to the team. Here's hoping that he isn't further swayed by Madrid or United.

The only other player who joined him on stage was our world-record signing and goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma, who won:

  • FIFA Best Men's Goalkeeper Winner
  • Named in FIFA FIFPro Team of the Year

donnarumma winner.PNG

He wins, despite having a lower average rating than his competitors, which goes to show how broken that metric of the game is in this year's version.

I'm not complaining. Clean sheets are clean sheets and awards are awards.

Before we delve into the juicy Bayern encounter, I've conducted some business.

Winter Transfer Window



Viktor Fischer rejected a €40M offer from China which was disappointing, but alright. Suit yourself, Viktor.

Honestly, it would have been fantastic piece of business too, since we bought him for only €5.5M. It could have been a bit of Dortmund transfer genius, but alas.

We've bought a new striker, regardless.


Tammy Abraham
from Chelsea €24.5M

tammy abraham irl.jpg

We are turning into an English club tbh.

I wanted another striker, so I've bought one. I didn't have much so faith in either Arp nor Fischer as impact subs and while Moukoko was an option, I felt he wasn't first team ready yet.

I had plenty of choices, including the likes of Diogo Jota (who's brace won Liverpool the Champions League, let us not forget) and Tammy Abraham. Honestly, I struggled to differentiate between the two but settled for Tammy, who is a lot more physical than Jota is.

Diogo eventually went to Juve as a regular starter, a status which I could not have possibly given him. Tammy, meanwhile, simply wanted a fringe player status, which was very acceptable. He was also cheaper, too.

Tammy abraham ig.PNG

Welcome, Tammy Abraham!

We did a pre-season friendly against Hannover and drew 0 - 0. Very disappointing, but if we get a result against Bayern we won't bother dwelling on it.

We'll be following the match live.

bayern lineup.PNG

dortmund lineup.PNG

We match Bayern's 4-3-3 system. Former Dortmund players Schulz and Akanji are on the bench. Remember, they are still unbeaten this campaign. We, of course, will look to end their little hot streak.

Oh, and Leroy Sane left for Chelsea for €97M or a ridiculous sum like that and have not replaced him. This should bode well for us.


Kick off.

30 minutes of nothing follows before Bayern break after a counter-attack, but Kingsley Coman fails to do anything meaningful and the ball is safely in Donnarumma's gloves.

Some more nothing happens until the 39th minute...

goal 1.PNG

EMRE CAN OPENS THE SCORING! The former Bayern man (oh so many clubs ago) scores after Bellingham picked him out unmarked after a Leon Bailey long throw. We lead!

It was an excellent finish into the bottom corner in the far post. Prime Neuer or not, he had no chance of saving that.


goal 2.PNG

Our lead does not last long. Josh Kim cuts the celebrations by scoring a very similar finish to Emre Can before him. Two right backs, two excellently finished goals. I suppose that's fair.


It's half time now and a good bit of encouragement is all it takes to fire everyone up. I tell the lads to defend wider since Gnabry and Coman are getting too much space out wide.

We go again.


goal 3.PNG

JONATHAN TAH MAKES IT TWO! I completely missed this goal as I was contemplating making a sub when the game suddenly informs me we've scored! Bailey swings in a corner and Jonathan easily beats Rodri to power home a header. We're ahead again!


Thomas Muller replaces Robert Lewandowski after only 54 minutes. Talk about a controversial sub.

On the 68th minute, I make my own subs. Tammy Abraham comes on to make his debut, replacing Jadon Sancho to bring physicality against the short Joshua Kimmich on the left hand side while Zaniolo replaces Fabian.

goal 4.PNG

Oh, this is embarassing. I'm talking about using a Wide Target Man and being fancy on FM and we get done by a quick free kick over my defence for Muller to slot home. Wake up, lads.


The final subs are made. Akanji and Embolo come on for Sule and Coman while Arp comes on for Bailey.

The 89th minute waltzes by. Fiete Arp gets a great chance in the box and aims at the near post... where Manuel Neuer is waiting. Come on, Fiete!

goal 5.PNG

For ****'s sake. AAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!


bayern away.PNG

With that, I log off. What a bunch of bottlers. How are we supposed to do anything when we give away silly goals like this?

So, so, so frustrating.


Jun 16, 2019
January 2022

I am back, and I am back with a vengeance.

No silly Serge Gnabry 93rd minute goals will bother me ever, ever again.

Here's a pretty short post on how the rest of the month went.

january results.PNG

An incredibly mixed month in terms of results. A very weird one.

First off, I must talk about the Leverkusen result. I'm dedicating a whole paragraph to it because, well, what a response to the Bayern game. I was treated to a Tammy Abraham hat-trick inside the first thirty minutes, who started ahead of fellow Englishman Jadon Sancho. He scored another in the second half while Erling Haaland finally broke his duck to score a tremendous free kick. I did not know he could do that. Substitute Gio Reyna completed the rout after a tremendous show of work rate and pace from left back Noah Katterbach, running to the byline to get the ball, stopping it, before sending in a pinpoint cross to Reyna's head.


Anyway, the next two games were quite average. I dunno how we've drawn against Frankfurt to drop some more points but we have. A long ball over the top screwed us over while they had 10 men for 40 minutes. Haaland played a 6.10 in that match! How can anyone be this hot and cold? In the final game, Arp, who came in for the dropped Haaland, grabbed a goal against Dusseldorf which was nice.

januray league table.PNG

Three points behind Bayern. This might not be good. If we keep up our meh form then there is every possibility that they will just run away with this, breaking my league win streak.

By the way, the gap between 6th place and 10th is separated by just two points. This league is competetive.
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Jun 16, 2019
February 2022

February. The cold, bitter month of February has arrived. I'm expecting some improvement from January where we dropped important points; the most important being the 3 - 2 defeat at the hands of Bayern. February is also cup month, where we face Bayern (again) in the Pokal and Porto in the first leg of the Champions League.

Here's how things went down.

feb results.PNG

Oh yes. Green circles all around for a perfect six games. We had to grind for a couple of results but hey, wins are wins. The one that felt the best was the win over Bayern in the Pokal, where former Bayern man Fiete Arp missed a penalty against Nubel. It wasn't even Manuel Neuer he missed against. Maybe he got cold feet and didn't want to score against his old club. I was fearing the worst but a moment of inspiration from Jude Bellingham got us through to the next round.

More importantly, Haaland is back! He scored a stellar hat trick against Bremen and is on great form, scoring his 100th goal for us in the process. I don't know why he chose February to finally wake up. Perhaps he needed a bit of cooling. Some say he's a machine, after all. However, his performances are attracting the rich oil clubs once more...

haaland interest.PNG

Go away, PSG.

There's something I've picked up on Bayern... they have an annoying tendency to pick up their wins late in the day. As in, really, really late.

Exhibit A

bayern another one.PNG

91st minute winner.

Exhibit B

robbery 2.PNG

A double in the 84th and 87th minute.

Exhibit C

exhibit c.PNG

89th minute winner by that man Serge Gnabry.

Daylight. Robbery.

The big story of the month is a strange one. Roy Keane, who I haven't mentioned in a good while, has caused a bit of a kerfuffle amongst the Dortmund squad. I couldn't be bothered to take any more press conferences so he usually takes charge of these now and does alright.

But this time, he's actually gone and enraged the players. That's right. Team leaders Marco Reus and Mats Hummels were furious of his comments in the media.

When the journalist asked who he wanted to draw for the next round, he said Schalke, who of course, are our eternal derby rivals, like it was no big deal.

What a catastrophic misjudgement by Keano.


I've never ever seen that reaction before.

In any case, we've drawn Hertha Berlin instead.

In the other cup (i.e. UCL 1st round), we scraped through with a nervy victory, bagging a precious away goal. It wasn't as convincing as I would have liked but the second leg is at home so I'm optimistic. Substitute Giovanni Reyna bagged the winner there.

My sympathies for the Porto manager, however. Corona has struck and has struck hard.

camavinga injury.PNG

camavinga injury 2.PNG

I was pretty scared when the announcer said Camavinga pulled his ligaments so you can imagine my relief when my physio says he'll only be out for a week. The same thing cannot be said by the poor Porto player, Jesus Corona.

corono broken leg.PNG

He's only gone and broken his leg. Poor lad.

To avoid ending on a sour note, in the 5 - 0 demolition of Bielefeld, Reece White (remember him?) was in goal since Big Don picked up a leg injury. As you can see, he did just fine!

feb lt.PNG

Ahead because Bayern drew with somebody. How are they still unbeaten?
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Jun 16, 2019
March 2022

March, March, March. We March on.

march results.PNG

A tense penalty shootout victory means we go through to the semis of the Pokal. Dizzying heights, this. It follows with a lacklustre draw against Leipzig.

Moving on to our UCL exploits, we convincingly smashed Porto at home (4 - 0 on agg), which was a relief. There will be no swansong for the enigma that is Adel Taarabt, who plays for Porto.

ucl interesting match.PNG

This was an interesting tie, to say the least.

One thing that happened was our youth intake! I keep forgetting this thing exists because I'm so preoccupied with matches but unfortunately for our third and final year we haven't produced any players worth mentioning, unlike the other two where we had a couple of players that seem like they could really make it.

The Schalke game afterwards was a really interesting affair. We had to win to go above Bayern (they were two points ahead but we had a game to play) and things were not looking good in the first half. In comes Zaniolo for the hapless Jadon Sancho and he duly assists two and scores two himself, bagging the man of the match award and my immense satisfaction.

In other news, we get our draw for the ultimate prize, the UEFA Champions League.

extremely juicy tie against man u.PNG

We're up against Manchester United, the most free-spending club on this save. Seriously, they've spent exactly €1 Billion in three years, which is actually mad. They haven't won much, though.

I've saved the absolute best news for last.

surprise bayern ucl.PNG

best news.PNG

Two Bayern defeats in quick succession in the league and in the UCL.

Zidane's Bayern have suffered their first defeat of the season. A 3 - 0 thumping at the hands of the tricky Hertha Berlin, after losing to Atleti in the UCL Round of 16 this match could have potentially lost them the Bundesliga as well. I'm not gloating at their expense, but... Ha.

march lt.PNG

We could run away with it now.
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Jun 16, 2019
April 2022

Right, I'll be covering more or less the full month of April, as we have both legs against Manchester United here and potentially more if we make it through. It's going to be a long month this one. The most important, too.

It doesn't start off very well, either. In the first match against Wolfsburg, the worst of the worst news had befallen us.

Perhaps my gloating of Bayern's hardship has already come back to haunt me.

haaland injury.PNG

Haaland is out for three weeks, meaning he will miss both legs of the UEFA Champions League tie against Man U and will be in a race to regain fitness beyond that match.

If this is what causes us to lose I will be hugely disappointed.

Manchester United are currently second in the Premier League and have one scary, scary squad. Have a look:

man u squad.PNG

Some big names and big signings... to sit on the bench.

75M signing Allan Saint-Maximin is unregistered (they've done this multiple times, buying players for big money and yet not registering them for the UCL) while midfield stalwart Ruben Neves is suspended.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Tah and Erling Haaland miss this clash due to injury, as does Sancho although he will be back for the second leg.

Here goes nothing.

man united result.PNG

I did not expect that. Somehow we've gone and won five goals to one! The only problem with the result is the man who ran the show, Leon Bailey, picked up a month-long injury. Two Ballon d'Or winners out is never a good sign but we managed to beat Manchester United by five goals without Haaland, so we'll see what things bring.

Right, now it's time for Manchester at Old Trafford. We should get through comfortably, especially with a four goal cushion.

man united second leg.PNG

Fiete Arp scrambles two goals in to secure us the win. Anthony Martial smashed in a screamer from outside the box and ran to get the ball from the goal, as if trying to inspire a comeback. Bless him.

That result means we go through to the dizzying heights of the semi finals.

next round.PNG

We face Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool. The media will lap this one up.

In the meantime, the media are doing their best to drum up interest in another trophy. "The title race heads to the wire", they claim.

title race.PNG

With a 7 point gap and double the goal difference... I don't think so.

After the Manchester United game, we had Stuttgart in the league and Koln in the Semi-finals of the Pokal.

two games.PNG

...Which we manage to scrape past. Not the most convincing of wins, but good enough given our injuries. Our prize for reaching the final is a tie against Borussia Monchengladbach. Winnable, but you have to remember they beat us 1 - 0 last time we faced each other, so we must be careful.

pokal final nex tround.PNG

Our first time in the final, after the embarrassments of the second round.

We wrap up with a final league game against Augsburg (who have five players injured, so my sympathies to them) before the first leg against Liverpool at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK.

april results.PNG

Lovely, lovely month.

I forgot to mention that Augsburg have two of our loan players, Veron and Burki. Emre Can is injured, most likely until the end of the season. Shoot.

Liverpool are next, and I'll cover them and the month in the next post. It's a race for fitness for Jonathan Tah, Leon Bailey and Erling Haaland to be fit for the first and second legs. If not, we have to make do with what we've got.

race to find fitness.PNG

This is really, really nervewracking.

Something not nervewracking, however, is Bayern.

bayern loss again!.PNG

Because they lost again.

april league table.PNG

Pretty sure we can wrap the title up pretty soon.


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Jun 16, 2019
May 2022

Liverpool, oh Liverpool. Ol' Kloppo and I finally meet on the pitch.

Before the match, he comes over to find me.

jurgen pitch.jpg

"F! Just the man I wanted at the moment," he says, revealing his dazzling smile. I suspect his teeth have been whitened, but I don't comment on this.

"Jurgen!" I exclaim in surprise. I had just been talking to Keane and Zetsmann, who are giving me the medical information of Haaland, Tah and Bailey. Haaland is just fit enough to start while Tah makes the bench. Unfortunately, Bailey will watch this one at home.

"Good to see you."

Klopp beckons me away from my staff.

"I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for bringing the league back to Dortmund. It's looking rosy isn't it? Three in a row?"

"Almost there for this year. Seven points ahead," I reply. Coincidentally, seven points is also the gap between third placed Liverpool and league leaders Manchester City, with four games to go.

"Hey, look. Congratulations. What you've done is spectacular. Bayern are not easy opponents and you've outfoxed them three times already. Are you going to stay?"

I decide to tell him the truth.

"Actually, no. I'm looking to leave football after this year. I've got... other commitments. I'm sure you understand what I mean."

Jurgen cannot hide his surprise, but nods. "I do get what you mean. Good luck then. For tonight and for the future. Also, I won't tell the media what happened that day last year when you-"

"Alright, enough!" I cut him off. Roy Keane would put my face down the toilet if he knew what I got up to last year,

"All the best."

He laughs, and turns away.

klopp laugh.jpg

The first leg against Liverpool awaits. As mentioned, they are third in the Premier League. They've spent 178M on players this year, most notably on Florentino Luis, who we targetted.

The only injury they have is to midfielder Thiago, out for the rest of the season.

We are all that's standing in the way of Liverpool and their second successive Champions League Final appearance. Which, by the way, is held in the Allianz Arena. Bayern Munich's back door. How nice would it be to win something on their pitch?

liverpool 1st leg.PNG

Whew. This was a close one. I lined up in a more direct and reserved formation to try and counter their gegenpressing style and it needed an Eduardo Camavinga wonderstrike to rescue a draw.

It means that they have two away goals heading into the reverse in Anfield. The goals have, however, given me reason for optimism.

In the middle of it all is a clash against Borussia Monchengladbach, who we'll be facing in the Pokal Final. A win would secure the title. The boys know what's expected of them.

title showdown.PNG

title winning match.PNG



title win.PNG
crowned champions.PNG

A rotated side does the business against a well-organised Gladbach defence. Thomas Meunier with a very rare goal (I think his first ever for us) clinches us the title.

Spririts high, we make our way to the second leg at Anfield. We'll be following the match live.

Here's how we lineup:

second leg formation.PNG

The two young French CBs start while Davies and Meunier will be more conservative. Zaniolo starts ahead of Jadon Sancho.

Here we go.

Kick off.


Not long into the match, Robertson on the left wing dribbles past Thomas Meunier, who looks utterly confused up against Sadio Mane and Andy. He calmly looks up and is allowed to pick a pass to Salah at the far post.

goal 1.PNG

Not looking good. How I miss Emre Can.


Sadio Mane has another great chance, but its missed. It's only been five minutes!

We give away a free kick from a long way out and I expect the boys to deal with it.

We don't.

goal 2.PNG

Our dreams are slipping away.


Some more bad news as Alphonso Davies picks up an injury and is unable to continue. He is replaced by Noah Katterbach.

30 minutes have gone by before we muster a single shot on target.

On the 45th minute, Zaniolo makes a challenge on Trent Alexander Arnold inside the box. There was only one outcome.

[goal 3] (pretend Mo Salah scored I was so bummed I forgot to take a screenshot)


Half time arrives and a bollocking and a change in shape later (to a 4-4-1-1, with Fabian as the AM), the lads head out.

In the 52nd minute Nicolo Zaniolo blazes a great chance over the bar. The tactical change seems to be working, all down to the players to deliver now.

My last cards are drawn as Sancho and Bellingham make way for Fabian and Camavinga. Can the English make the difference?

goal 4.PNG


YES THEY CAN! It's Jadon Sancho who pulls one back on 70 minutes. Zaniolo (now playing as the number 10) plays in Leon Bailey, who's shot is parried by Alisson into the path of Sancho. We are back in the game.

How I wish we played like this from the get go!

Come on lads.

Sadio Mane misses two more great chances in the 75th minute. It's really nervy from Liverpool now.

They manage to hang on.


Heartbreak for the Black and Yellows.

liverpool 2nd leg.PNG

No Champions League glory for us this save. I did all I could but the first half screwed us.

We can hold our heads high. The boys gave it everything they've got.

Liverpool face Madrid in the final, who manage to avoid a Lazio comeback.

madrid in the final.PNG

In the other semi-final.

Meanwhile, we gear up for the possibility of a domestic double (or treble if you count the Supercup) with the Pokal final against Gladbach.


Champions... but it feels a bit hollow.




Jun 16, 2019
May 2022

We play Paderborn and Bayern before the Pokal Final.

pad away.PNG

When things go our way, I just love this team. All five goals stemmed from set pieces - a free kick here, a long throw there a corner here and there ends in a five goal demolition of Bayern Munich.

bay home.PNG

What a way to end the domestic campaign.

end league table.PNG

It's our highest points total in the Bundesliga, improving by one point each year (it was 85, 86 and now 87).

The week leading up to the final was a very feel-good week. The board wished me well ahead of it and the lads were very much looking forward to it.

nice board message.PNG

What a nice message!

I sympathised with Zidane and he returned the gesture. I usually trash talk opposing managers ahead of games (e.g. Andres Villas Boas) but I thought I'd be nice for once to say something positive, especially as I had just thrashed his team 5 to nothing.


Poor Zidane.

Right, my final game with this club. Not the UCL final we wanted, but close enough. Wish us luck!

pokal final.PNG



An Erling Haaland penalty and a Sergio Gomez (making his first team debut) corner onto Haaland's head secures us the silverware.

And now it is time to reflect on a wonderful journey.

F steps down.PNG

As I leave the club, you could say that I was a failure. A failure for missing out on the UEFA Champions League. But you have to remember, that was not the main goal. The main goal was not to win that or win anything in particular.

Read the title. We've kept Jadon Sancho.

Farawell, Die Borussen. I've had a wonderful time.

yellow wall.jpg

This is a really good picture.

One week later

wow liverpool win.PNG

A press conference is being held at the Allianz Arena following Liverpool's dramatic win over Real Madrid in the final of the UEFA Champions League. Jurgen Klopp is being interviewed.

After all the formalities, the press come up to the final item on the note. It's about Dortmund coach Froug F's departure from the club.

F has recently announced his shock resignation from Borussia Dortmund after three very successful years. As someone who has worked with Dortmund and tasted success, what are your thoughts on this?

Jurgen Klopp pauses for a moment, taking in the information, before breaking into a knowing smile.

One year later

Simone Inzaghi looks at his watch. When he had joined Dortmund 300 or so days ago Thomas Meunier had suggested that he buy one. He liked it. It told the time well enough.

It was the 70th minute of the UEFA Champions League Final. His Dortmund side was locked in a tight encounter with Real Madrid; the scores level at 1 - 1.

But he felt no pressure. It was strange, really.

He should have felt nervous. Honestly? His team should have been behind.

donnarumma saves a lukaku pen in the UCL final.PNG

Gianluigi Donnarumma's heroics in the UCL Final - saving a Romelu Lukaku penalty.

But he watched, and waited, without making a sub. He watched as the hero of the night, Gianluigi Donnarumma, punted the ball up the pitch. He watched as Erling Haaland, the man widely rumoured to move to Manchester City next season, controlled it with his chest and turned. He watched as Erling smashed the ball into the net from 30 yards.

donnarumma assist.PNG

GD's assist - sorry for the weird screenshot I was too excited to pause.

He watched as his team won the trophy that had eluded the previous manager before him. And he watched his wristwatch tick over to the 71st minute.

dortmund 2022 ucl win.PNG

ik this is fillipo lol.jpg

Totally not Fillipo.


Jun 16, 2019
Thank you for those who followed the save! I really appreciated the support. I did sim a couple of seasons after the one where Inzaghi won the Champions League (I said I wanted to go to ten years after) but honestly there wasn't much to write about.

We sold a ton of players (Haaland and Fabian for 115M each, and so on) and we were allergic to spending any money.

So I decided to just write about the year after I left, where nobody important was sold and Inzaghi managed to bring the UCL to Dortmund.

Fair play to the lad.

Anyways, that's it for me for FM20. Thank you again for following!