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Holtenders in the Sky (Aston Villa Story)

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This is my story of managing my beloved Aston Villa in FM 2008, this is “Holt Enders in the Sky.

I decided to start the season with the squad I inherited, I knew the areas that I needed strengthen and decided to do some in depth scouting to make sure I could make the right purchases in January



Pre Season 07/08

Pre-season started well with a 2-0 win at Walsall, Carew and Barry got the goals. A 4 game tour to Italy bought 2 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat so all in all it was a good preparation for the new season.

Results

Walsall A 2-0 Barry, Carew
Fermana A 2-2 Carew, Osbourne
Ternana A 3-0 Barry, Petrov 2
Genoa A 1-2 Osbourne
Ascoli A 2-1 Petrov, Agbonlahor

AUGUST 2007

Middlesboro A

So ready for the big kick off first match was away at Middlesboro. I opted for a 4-1-4-1 formation with Carew the lone striker and play on the break using Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor on the wings. At halftime it was 0-0 and my tactics were working well, despite having most of the possession Middlesboro could only create a couple of half chances.

The second half started well when on 47 mins John Carew turned in Barry’s cross to make it 1-0. That’s how it stayed until 10 mins from time when Lee Dong-Gook equalized, still 1-1 was a decent result and I would have been happy with a point away from home in the 1st game of the season but in injury time Dong- Gook the winner and we were defeated.



Portsmouth H

First home game was against Portsmouth, I left the team unchanged but altered the formation to 4-4-2. Pompey set up to defend and space was very difficult to find in an un eventful match ended goalless and there were no chances of note.



Manchester United A

Next up a televised trip to the Champions, Man Utd. Utd dominated from start to finish and were 2-0 up by the break with goals from Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney. The second half went much the same as the first and had Scott Carson not produced a string of world class saves then the result would have been far worse.



So not a good start just 1 point from 3 games, next up was Bolton Wanderers at Villa Park.

Bolton Wanderers H


Finally the first win of the season was in sight, after a tense start a fantastic free kick from Ashley Young bit Villa 1-0. The goal settled us down and we were in total control but could not get the vital second goal. On 39 mins we were punished when Anelka headed in the equalizer. H/T 1-1.

I could sense the confidence was draining out of the team so I gave an explosive team talk and sent the players out after a win. Both sides created a couple of chances and it was clear that the next goal would decide this match, thankfully Agbonlahor raced on to a Gareth Barry through ball and rammed in his first of the season to gives the much need points.



Barnsley A (Carling Cup 2nd Round)

Next up was a potential tricky tie at Barnsley in the Carling Cup. I made several changes, Taylor started in goal and Luke Moore and Marlon Harewood in attack. I also rested Laursen and bought in Gary Cahill.

My concerns were headed when Barnsley took the lead after 2 mins through Ferenczi.This gave them confidence and were well in control until Marlon Harewood scored his first Villa goal on 16 mins. 1-1 at the break and we were quite fortunate to be on terms.

Barnsley took the game to us in the second half but we defended quite superbly, On 73 we were awarded a penalty after Harewood was tripped, clear penalty no debate. Gareth Barry confidently stepped up and scored from the spot. We held on to the 2-1 victory and were very relieved to do so.



SUMMARY


So a very difficult August came to an end, we had stuttered in the league with just 1 win from four and lay in 12th place, although we were through to Round 3 of the Carling Cup.



Scout Reports

I have decided that my top two priorities for new signings will be a right back and a striker and have charged my team of scouts to draw me up a short list over the coming months.

Early targets include Nelson from Benfica, Jose Bosingwa from FC Porto and Justin Hoyte from Arsenal. I am also keeping track of Jermain Defoe has he has not yet started a game at Spurs this season.

END PART ONE
 

ajw

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Good luck, with the right tactics you can do well with Villa cos they've got some good players
 
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Yeh good luck. Terrible start. Hope it picks up.
 
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i loved it when i was Villa. Barry,Young,Maloney and Garner were awsome.

good luck
 
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Thanks guys,

Don't know wheter its my managerial style but over the last few additions of FM when I am managing Villa I seem to have a dodgy first season and then pick up. Think its down that I always keep faith with the squad, this time the challenge is harder not only are expectations higher for Villa in the real world but they are also higher in the game.
 
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Hope your form keeps up till after the blues game but after that good luck
 
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Hope your form keeps up till after the blues game but after that good luck
ALERT, ALERT, BLUES FAN ALERT,

LOL

In FM I will keep the saving and replaying the games till Villa win.

In the real world we even let Sunderland beat us to keep Blues in the ****.
 
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Got the Villa job in my Drogheda game, but ended up relegated. :w00t:



Start of new season, avec my own tactic.:





Good luck with this, I'll keep an eye on it.
 
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Holtenders in the Sky (part two)

September 2007

News:

Aston Villa strongly linked to Tottenham misfit Jermain Defoe; Villa boss R P Ashley comments “Its pure speculation”.

England are back on course in their quest to qualify for EURO 2008 with wins of Israel and Russia.

Manchester Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea all start their Champions League campaigns with Victorys but Liverpool were held to a draw.

Sunderland H 4-2

Sunderland were the visitors to Villa Park and what a classic encounter this turned out to be. Villa took the lead on 4 mins when John Carew collected Petrov’s neat pass and fired past Craig Gordon. Sunderland however were level on 17 when Kenwyne Jones was allowed to turn and shoot in the box and beat Carson from 12 yards. Ashley young harshly has a goal disallowed for offside before Carew headed in his second from Young’s free kick. H/T 2-1

The 2nd half was all about John Carew as he grabbed his hat trick and then a 4th to put Villa home and dry, Andrew Cole did net a consolation for Sunderland late on but this was John Carew`s day as Villa headed into the International break with a resounding win.

TEAM LINE UPS
http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/9761/astonvillavsunderlandstfs7.png



Premier Lge News :

Manchester United beat Chelsea 1-0 at Old Trafford in the big top of the table clash, Cristiano Ronaldo got the winner.

Tottenham A 1-2

Villa are dealt a triple injury blow before the trip to White Hart Lane with Young, Gardner and Maloney all ruled out. Luke Moore is given a rare start and Moustapha Salifou on the bench for the first time.

Darren Bent scores in injury time to deny injury hit Villa a battling point. Robbie Keane had put Spurs ahead on 19 but John Carew’s left wing cross come shot sailed over Paul Robinson for the equaliser.

TEAM LINE UPS
http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/3706/tottenhamvastonvillastaro0.png



Premier Lge News :

Man Utd contiuned their 100% start with a 1-0 win at Everton

Chelsea H 0-2

One change to the side beaten at Spurs saw Shaun Maloney return in pace of Luke Moore but Ashley Young was still missing. Chelsea were 1 up inside 6 mins when John Terry headed in unmarked from a Lampard corner. Andriy Shevchenko and FL both had chances to increase the lead. H/T 0-1. Villa had a lot of possession early in the second half but could not create any clear chances, then on 60 mins Chelsea were awarded a penalty and Shevchenko scored from the spot.

TEAM LINE UPS
http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/4530/astonvillavchelseastatscu1.png

[IMG=http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/7824/astonvillavchelseaovervwb9.th.png]

Premier Lge News :


Arsenal beat Fulham 3-0 at the Cottage in the lunch time kick off, Man Utd left it late to beat Derby, Darren Fletcher getting the goal with just 2 mins left. Newcastle moved up to second after Joey Barton scored the only goal against Wigan.

Sheffield Wed A (Carling Cup 3rd Round) 0-1

After beating in Barnsley in round 2 Villa were drawn against another Championship team from Yorkshire, Sheff Wed. And it turned out to be another disappointing display from The Villains. A Nigel Reo-coker own goal on settled the game as Villa’s premiership stars struggled in the wet conditions.

TEAM LINE UPS
http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/5049/sheffwedvastonvillastatgh5.png

[img=http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/2259/sheffwedvastonvillaoverlc6.th.png]

Carling Cup news:


Elsewhere Everton got an impressive 2-0 win at Man City, Pompey won an epic match 5-4 at Preston aet. All the big four went safely through to the last 16.

Everton A 3-0

Tough trip to mersyside ended with a fantastic 3-0 win the Villans. Martin Laursen, Stilian Petrov and Wilfred Bouma all got their first goals of the season, more pleasing for the Villa boss was the first clean sheet of the season on the road.

TEAM LINE UPS
http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/2926/evertonvastonvillastatsxl8.png



Premier Lge News :

Chelsea thrashed Spurs 3-0 at the Bridge, Newcastle recovered from 2 down at St Andrews to win 3-2 and Manchester United lost their 100% start after Blackburn held them to a 0-0 draw at Eawood Park.

Premier League Table



Coca Cola League News:

Hull City finish September as the suprise leaders of The Championship with favourites WBA down in 6th. Jeff Stellings team Hartlepool lead League one with Peterborough top of lead 2.
 
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September Awards

Manager - Arsene Wenger (Arsenal)
Player - Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea)
Young Player – Vedran Corluka (Man City)
Goal – Cesc Fabregas vrs Liverpool

October 2007

News:

Tottenham fullback Paul Stalteri has parted company with the club by mutual consent.

Gossip Coloum :Inter Milan have been put on alert after an article in Portuguese newspaper claimed Cristiano Ronaldo had revealed a feud with Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo denied the story claiming he was miss quoted.

Euro 2008 - England have somehow managed to qualify from group E. The followed up a 3-0 home win against Estonia with a fantastic 2-1 win in Russia.

Champions League – At the half way mark on the group stages Arsenal and Man Utd have 3 wins out of 3, Chelsea 7 pts and Liverpool 5 pts, all are on course to qualify for the first knockout round.

UEFA Cup – Everton, Blackburn, Bolton and Spurs are through to the group stages.

Carling Cup News – Newcastle United were beaten 2-1 by Manchetser United at St James Park in the tie of the round.

Other 4th Rnd Results
http://gallery.filefront.com/thevillan/

Derby County H 2-0

A rain sodden Villa Park hosted a midlands derby. Just one change to starting line up for the Villans saw Olof Mellberg return and the unlucky Gary Cahill omitted. Villa got off to a flyer when Curtis Davies headed in from an Ashley Young cross after just 2 mins. Derby had a strong penalty appeal turned down and Villa lost both Olof Mellberg and Ashley young to injury. H/T 1-0.

Derby started the second half brightly but Villa’s back four were on top form and despite pressure kept the lead intact, Derby’s best moment came on 68 mins when Carson had to make a fine save from a David Jones volley. Four minutes from Gabby Agbonlahor broke away went round the keeper and Giles Barnes handled his shot, only referee Phil Joslin knows why it was not a red card offence. Skipper Gareth Barry fired home from the spot to give Villa a second straight win and a second straight clean sheet.

Team Line ups
http://gallery.filefront.com/thevillan//933057/



Premier League Highlights

Manchester United’s unbeaten record is left in tatters as Reading produce a surprising 2-1 win at Old Trafford. Fernando Torres breaks his premiership duck scoring twice in a 3-2 home win over Fulham.

Blackburn Rovers A 1-1

Villa travelled to Eawood Park looking for a 3rd straight win which would lift them up to 8th in the Table. Ashley Young passed a fitness test so the team was unchanged. Villa started well and Carew could have had two inside the first five mins. Gareth Barry making his 300th league appearance for Villa was controlling the midfield. Former Birmingham midfielder Robbie Savage tested Carson from 25 yards in Blackburn’s best moment of the half. H/T 0-0

Blackburn improved in the second half and McCarthy shot straight at Carson after the Villa keeper could only parry a Steven Reid drive. Reid then headed Gareth Barry’s shot off the line. The Villa boss seemed to happy to take a point when he withdrew Petrov from his AMC position for the more defensive Gardner, however the substitution had a positive affect when he raced on to Agbonlahor’s flick to put Villa 1-0 on 87. Villa defended deep for the last 3 mins and Villa boss Ashley was furious when 4 mins added time was announced, and 3 mins into injury time Maceo Rigters fired home after David Dunn’s free kick had deflected into his path.

Team Line ups
http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/7586/blackburnvastonvillastavy6 .png



Premier League Highlights

The Manchester derby ended in stalemate at Eastlands. Derby County moved out of the bottom 3 for the first time this season with a 3-0 home win over Spurs. Theo Walcot scored the goal which gave Arsenal a 6th straight win

Reading H 1-0


Villa named an unchanged side as they looked to make it 4 games without defeat. A scrappy first half remained goalless with Carew heading against the bar the only moment if note. H/T 0-0

In the second half Reading looked to frustrate Villa and try to catch them on the break. Curtis Davies was sent off on 64 mins and the game was heading for a scrappy draw until Shaun Maloney finished off Villa’s best move of the match with 6 mins to go. With Villa having a habit of conceding late, the final moments were nervy and both Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt went close to equalising but it finished 1-0 to Villa.

Team line ups
http://gallery.filefront.com/thevillan//933052/



Premier League Highlights

Manchester United returns to winning ways with a 3-1 win over Wigan who remains the only side in the premiership without a win. Newcastle beat Liverpool 2-1 with Michael Owen on target against his former club.

Premier League Table



Coca Cola League News

Hull City continued to defy the critics and remained top of the Championship leading Sheffield United by 2 points. The first Black Country derby of the season end in an exciting 2-2 draw at the Molineux. Hartlepool and Peterborough United were still leading League one and two respectively.

Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting
 
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your doing pretty well. keep up the good work
 
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October Awards

Manager - Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) 3 wins out of 3
Player - Andrew Johnson (Everton)
Young Player – Micah Richards (Manchester City)
Goal – Ryan Taylor (Wigan vrs Middlesborough)


November 2007

Gossip Colum:

Wilfred Bouma's Aston Villa future is in doubt after negations on a new contract stalled, Villa boss R P Ashley is confident a new deal can be struck.

Carlton Cole could be heading for the exit door at West Ham, he is frustrated at the lack of first team opportunities at Upton Park.

AS Roma are lining up a bid for Manchester United and England Defender Rio Ferdinand.

Villa boss R P Ashley was spotted in the crowd at Ibrox for the Champions League match between Rangers and Manchester Utd, rumors have it that he is keep tabs on Scottish international fullback Alan Hutton.


Euro 2008 - Qualifiers
http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/8594/uefaeuropeanfootballchazc5.png

Champions League:

Arsenal beat Celtic 2-1 at Celtic Park to book their place in the last 16. Rangers and Man Utd drew 2-2 each at Ibrox a result good enough to see both teams progress, Chelsea are also through but Liverpool need a draw in their final game in Stuggart to guarantee a place in the last 16.

Carling Cup News – Quarter Final Draw
http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/3960/carlingcupstageswp5.png

Manchester City A 2-1 (Premiership Sat 03.11.2007)

This was arguably Villa's best performance of the season and proof of the increased confidence in the squad. With Curtis Davies suspended Zat Knight got the nod in defence ahead of Gary Cahill. The early exchanges were just about even with City trying to get the ball forward to Bianchi at every opportunity but Knight and Laursen looked comfortable. Villa took the lead on 24 mins, Ashley Young's showed skill and pace to burst past Richard Dunne and cut the ball back from the left and John Carew slotted home. Villa then took control of the game and looked like they were heading in to a deserved half time lead until Geovanni scored. H/.T 1-1

Carew and Corluka tussle for possession.

By Test Page for the SSL/TLS-aware Apache Installation on Web Site at 2008-04-03

Did not take Villa long to regain the lead in the 2nd half when City keeper Isaksson diverted Gareth Barry's cross into his own net. As city turned to the long ball tactic but Zat Knight and Martin Laursen remained resolute and Villa held on for a fantastic victory.


Team Line ups
http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/3804/mancityvastonvillastatsmq5.png



Premier League Highlights

Newcastle thrash Sunderland 4-1 at the stadium of light with Michael Owen among the scorers. Wigan can still not find their first win of the season even after Bolton recovered from 2 down to force a draw at the JJB. Fulham beat Middleborough 4-1 at the Cottage scoring 3 time in the last 3 minutes.

Wigan Athletic H 2-0 (Premiership Sun 11.11.2007)

With Wilfred Bouma suspended after picking up a 5th yellow card at Man City, Craig Gardner came in for his first league start of the season and Gareth Barry dropped back to left back. Wigan arrived at Villa Park with just 3 points from their first 12 games with former Birmingham City Boss Steve Bruce already under pressure. The visitors started well and were awarded a penalty on 12 mins after Heskey and been fouled by Knight. Villa keeper Scott Carson continued his fine form by diving to his right to keep out Michael Brown's the spot kick. 4 minutes later Villa were ahead when Carew headed in Reo-coker's cross. H/T 1-0

Under fire Wigan Manager Steve Bruce.


Villa were in control of the game without playing particularly well and a fine move on the hour led to Villa going 2 up, Petrov found space and laid on a lovely pass inside the full pack for Agonbonlahor who sent in a low cross for Carew to net his 2nd of the game and his 9th of the season from 6 yards. Carew is not everybody’s cup of tea but you cannot argue with 9 league goals in 13 league games. 2-0 is how it finished and Villa are now up to 6th.


Team Line ups
http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/498/astonvillavwiganstatsplzi0.png


By Test Page for the SSL/TLS-aware Apache Installation on Web Site at 2008-04-03


Premier League Highlights

The big game of the weekend came at Old Trafford where the Champions hosted Arsenal, a Ronaldo double game Utd the points and ended The Gunners run of 8 successive wins. Newcastle moved back up to 2nd after a 2-0 win at Upton Park. Bolton beat Birmingham 1-0 thanks to an early Kevin Davies goal in the early season relegation battle.

Birmingham City A 1-0 (Premiership Sat 24.11.2007)

They do not come bigger than this as far as Villa and Blues fans are concerned the second city derby. Villa welcomed back Bouma who replaced Craig Gardner. Villa boss R P Ashley's team talk was simple "do to for the supporters"
Un surprisingly the game started off at 100 miles an hour but it was the home side who settled first both Gary O’Conner and Johan Djourou having shot blocks. The game had to wait 44 mins for the first clear opportunity when Muamba slipped a pass into McSheffrey who forced Carson into a diving save. H/T 0-0

Action from the second city derby.
[[/

Villa had the first chance of the second half when Maik Taylor turned Gareth Barr’s 20 yard shot round the post. Then the game got niggly with referee handing out 4 yellow cards in the matter of minutes. Gary O’Conner shot over from just inside the box and Johnson was denied by Carson. Villa were forced into a change on 72 mins when top scorer John Carew limped off and was replaced by Marlon Harewood. It was Harewood who got the only goal of this game when he headed in Barry’s corner on 78, Djourou headed wide when unmarked 2 minutes later. So victory for Villa, their straight league win and with 3 wins out of 3 this month R P Ashley must have a chance of winning the manger of the month accolade.


Team Line ups
http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/5598/birminghamvastonvillasttq4.png

[URL=http://img231.imageshack.us/my.php?image=birminghamvastonvillaovel0.png]


Premier League Highlights

Manchester United came from behind to win 2-1 at in form Fulham, Newcastle put in another superb display as they beat Middleborough 4-1, Blackburn beat Derby 2-0 to put an end to their recent run of bad results.

Premier League Table

By Test Page for the SSL/TLS-aware Apache Installation on Web Site at 2008-04-03

Coca Cola League News :

Eary Championship pace setters Hull City’s form as dipped picking up just 5 points from 5 games during the month of November but still sit in a respectibale 4th place. The table is now starting to take a more predictable shape with Watofrd, West Brom and Sheff Utd making up the top 3.

In League 1, Doncaster Rovers are the new leaders with striker James Hayter also leading the scoring charts with 10 league goals.

Peterborough United remains 3 points clear of Bury in League 2. Hereford United are bottom of the football league with just 10 points from 19 games.


Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting
 
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loved the images this time very nice idea. doing well so far but usually about 25 games in is when my form dips
 
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