I started out with nothing and I still got most of it left


May 2037

That’s a lot of games to play this month.

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Nava hasn’t scored many this season but he pops up here in the last couple of minutes to prevent what could have been a damaging defeat. Not as good as 3 points at a critical time in the season, but it will have to do.

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I cocked this up a bit, changing the starting formation to try and counter Marseille’s relative strength through the middle, although they scored after a very fine through ball. With the game wearing on, I went back to the 4-1-2-1-2 that we usually play with, brought on Baptista and his introduction paid dividends. A bit fortunate to escape with a draw and away goal after what was a tactical blunder on my part.

In the other Semi-Final, Spurs and Benfica play out a goal-less draw in Portugal.

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That was painful viewing as we struggled to put two passes together for the whole game and it’s astonishing we managed to get the 2 goals that we did - even though Tomkovic’s header, his first for the club and a great time to score it, was a thing of beauty. That result seals Champions Cup football next season, but with 3 games left and 5 points clear, I’m optimistic we can go better than this.

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Right….it’s the strongest possible team and back to what we know best. The centre-backs do the damage as they grab a goal a piece and Conti caps off the win with what was, in the end, a fairly comfortable victory.

We’ll be meeting Spurs in the final as the secured their place courtesy of a late goal surge against Benfica.

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For once, the calender has been kind and given us plenty of time between European and league matches so a strong team can be selected to try and get Serie A won as soon as possible. They were so lucky to get a point out of that, we should have won convincingly but weren’t as clinical as we might have been - it’s getting a bit squeaky *** time as Roma continue to be relentless and close the gap at the top to just three points.

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Spezia have already been relegated so this should be straightforward although our run of 4 consecutive draws doesn’t exactly inspire confidence…particularly at the business end of the season. It took El Allouchi to come off then bench to secure the victory, but we got there in the end - that was tense.

Having taken the lead twice, it’s gutting to lose that - especially conceding in injury time at the end of the second half. Our penalty taking ability left a lot to be desired as well…

View attachment 57077 - despite only playing 12 games, the young on loan CB has clearly impressed and looks like a bright prospect. He could be the natural successor for either the 35 year old Saidi, or 34 year old Santos in the next couple of seasons...if I'm still here.

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We only need a point away to Genoa as Roma in second have a much better goal difference and are likely to win their game aginst Pescara. Genoa themselves need points as they are currently sitting in the relegation zone and will be relegated unless they can get a result of some sort. It’s an edgy affair, but a solitary Marinov goal gives us the victory which we see out in a manner in the last 10 minutes which we should have employed in the European Cup Final.

View attachment 57073 - can't complain about that!

In the end, Juventus were some way off the pace and it was left to Roma, who won their final 7 games in a row to hunt us down, which they very nearly did as our results were not great this month.


June 2037

A number of good things happen at the end of the season:

El Allouchi wins the Serie A player of the season and, unsurprisingly, is named in the team of the year and I win the manager of the season award.

GK Ozturk and RB Pinna place 3rd and 2nd respectively in their categories.

Pinna’s 9 assists give him his most creative season and a good number of MoM awards. Al Allouchi’s quality is there for everyone to see and is the perfect player to have behind the two strikers - I just wish he was 23, not 33. Marinov named as signing of the season is a slight surprise as he was an expensive purchase, but hopefully that just goes to show that I got it right.

5 players in double figures for goals and 15 different goalscorers in the squad shows the quality in depth. Pavan has his joint best goalcoring season and adds assists to the mix as well. Neither Fattori or Pires contribute as many assists as I would have expected given their quality.

At the other end, Ozturk keeps 14 clean sheets and concedes the fewest of any keeper in the league. On the whole Lozano did a job when he came in as well.
Of the youngsters, Bedoya is still getting used to his position and Bucchi, despite being mostly used a substitute, scored a good number of goals. Nava had plenty of opportunities, but I could do with him being more of an influence in that AMC role.

22 year old Mauri will become a first choice CB next season as he has made stark improvements. An Argentinian CB is usually a good commodity to have.

Cortesi, Ramirez, Pinna and Lozano have their contracts extended. Further thought is being given to Conti, on £150k a week at the age of 33 with a year left and automatic extension when he plays 10 games in his final year…which he surely will do.

Hopefully, it’s a quiet summer. I have no desire to sell any of the first team and there is not enough in the transfer budget at the moment to splash out on players that would improve it. A few players for the youth/reserve teams might be purchased.

View attachment 57047 - for the 7th year in a row, the Champions League is won by an English team.

And then, the summer break takes something of an unexpected turn...

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July 2037

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Mission accomplished - I have now managed in all of the groups which was the target at the start of this story. From tiny Grindavik in Iceland, to the huge outfit, that is Barcelona.

View attachment 56696 - which seems fair enough.

View attachment 56695 - obviously, Barcelona have some star players. However, they have no youth prospects of any quality and there is potential for improvement in a lot of areas of the team….particularly the keepers.

View attachment 56694 - Real and Barca have alternated the league title for the last few years.In the Champions League, the club haven’t tasted success for 8 years and have been knocked out by PSG in the first round in both of the last two seasons.

The finances are eye-watering:
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That’s £1bn in debt and approx £850m pounds last season and this, spent on ground maintenance…however, it is worth noting that the club will be moving to the Guardiola Stadium - 128,500 capacity - in 3 years time, so perhaps that figure is due to that.

We’re a bit short of youth in the striker area, so 21 year old Gonzalez is signed from Benfica for a record, for me, £40m.
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Along with an additional CB, as the intention is to play with 3 centre-backs so experienced defender Rincon is signed on a short-term contract.
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As the month continues, four players leave for a combined fee of £123m which leaves something in the budget for, probably wing backs, given how the friendlies are going.

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The friendles, whilst clearly not against the best opposition, have allowed for some experimentation and the team looks like it’s finding its feet.

August 2037

Another good back up signing for the team, who offers some very positive things going forward and will be pretty good for the attacking intent of the wingback role we employ.
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A final striker is signed in the shape of world class Brazilian striker Altair Flores. £4m is an absolute steal and helps to maintain, partly, the transfer budget. And that means we have a full roster of players and no more players are needed.
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View attachment 56581 - not the same standard of opposition we’ll face in the season, but good performances and lots of goals means we can head into it in high spirits.

Real San Sebastian
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View attachment 56578 - well they will make for some interesting fixtures.

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New signing Flores gets his Barcelona career off to a promising start with 2 goals from substitute appearances and Perlingeiro’s crossing ability, along with the way we play, should provide plenty of opportunities for him to get a good number of assists. Obviously early days and not the most challenging of opponents, but 2 wins bodes well.

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September 2037

Athletic Bilbao
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Manchester United
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Given we were under some serious pressure for the last half an hour, Sanchez’s towering header from the corner in injury time was something of a considerable relief. A very good result in probably the toughest group game we’ll play this year.
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Athletico Madrid
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It’s telling that their keeper was given the MoM award as he seemed to single-handedly keep us at bay, although our finishing left a bit to be desired at times with Ferreira the main culprit. It was a sloppy goal to concede as well.

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Flores leads the way as the strikers all seem to be misfiring somewhat at the moment although Benali grabs his first of the season. A win that was more comfortable than the stats suggest.

Real Hispalis
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Drake finally gets his season up and running after a change of role and getting the ball to him a bit quicker. Makengo in goal keeps a clean sheet in his first start of the season as well.

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Barbosa’s brace of free-kicks is the perfect base for this convincing win, but it’s Pereyra’s 25 yard volleyed finish which steals the show - not bad for a centre-back.
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It doesn’t appear that any one player wants to be prolific in the goalscoring stakes, so it’s a good job that they’re all contributing a bit. All 3 striker positions can be rotated, and that is going to happen.
Benali’s started the season strongly contributing both goals and assists.

In the league, it already looks like we're opening a bit of a gap with Real Madrid to the rest of the league although they're scoring many more than us.

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October 2037

Mas provides the bright spark in a rather dull, low quality affair. The benefit of playing left footed Mas in the left-hand slot of the three strikers pays off as he slots home nicely on his stronger foot.

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An excellent result against a team currently sitting in fourth place. Most of the credit goes to Flores with 2 goals and an assist, who seems to be able to play the central striker role more effectively than Drake, despite being the inferior player.

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Once again, the opposition keeper gets the MoM award but we were poor and unable to make the breakthrough handing PSV their first point of the competition.
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Las Palmas
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Hardly the most convincing of displays and it’s an unlikely goalscorer as WBR Peric pops up in the box to guide a header into the bottom corner and another very valuable three points.

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A move to 2 attacking strikers with one supporting, rather than 1 attacking and 2 supporting is employed, although it’s not quite clear whether this is the impetus for Drake’s two goals. Another fine win, Makengo’s fifth clean sheet in a row and Ferreira’s first goal of the season.

All of my strikers only be able to score in bursts, apart from Gonzalez who I’m still waiting to make his mark. Benali seems to the player who is pulling the strings in the middle of the front three, so long may this continue.
9 wins in 10 is unheard of so far in my career and this has been some performance so far. My only concern is that the loss was to the only team we’ve faced with some real quality which isn’t a good sign.
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November 2037

Atletico Pamplona
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A penalty and an own goal is the very definition of lucky…and that was lucky.

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Another comfortable win with Drake coming to the fore again with another couple of goals. With still 2 games remaining, that win guarantees progression to the knockout stages which is nice.
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Real Madrid
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First vs second and Real seem to the main competition for the league title this season. A very cagey affair which we just couldn’t get a foothold. Despite being reduced to 10 men early in the game, we couldn’t take advantage and succumbed to a sucker punch late on - a really poor performance and result.

Celta Vigo
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Another result in which we pushed our luck, but a very fine headed Bos goal secures the 3 points. The game is costly however, as both Mas and Bos find themselves injured for a month.

Manchester United
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Somewhat disappointing not to build on the early goal, but given that both teams had already qualified, there was little riding on that. We will need to improve if we want to go much further in the knockout stages though.
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Despite their goal, that was a pretty comfortable win led by Drake. £40m signing Gonzalez seems to be struggling as I don’t seem to be able to get the best out of him, no matter where he plays.

The stats show good contributions from the strikers, but given I play with 3 of them, it should be that they get their fair share of them with Drake leading the way. As well as scoring plenty, Benali playing in the DLF support role means he is getting plenty of assists as well. Behind Benali, it’s not a surprise to see the wing-backs; Perlingeiro, Sanchez and Rodriguez feature as well, despite them not being the most naturally attacking fullbacks.
There’s a bit of a cushion in the league thanks to Real failing to win their last game and there's a few more points even further back to Valencia.
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just caught up, what a journey! be good to see you become the best in the world at barca
just caught up, what a journey! be good to see you become the best in the world at barca


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As you can see, I'm a long way from being the best...think it would take me forever to overhaul Pep at the top so I may just have to satisfy myself with a Champions League title before retirement!!

December 2037

A bit of a punt to the board to request additional transfer funds actually pays off as they increase the budget to £47m. There are a few players on the radar, with a goalkeeper and younger centre-backs probably somewhere near the top of the shopping list.

Monaco’s 22 year old Argentinian keeper Hernandez appears to fit the bill perfectly…but they’re in no mood to sell.
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Similarly, Bolado at Levante and Marques at Sporting also look as though they could come in to do a job although both clubs are asking for ridiculous amounts of money.
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Guadalajara (Spanish Cup - 4th Round, 1st Leg)
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Guadalajara sit in the third tier of Spanish football, so a comfortable win was expected, but even so that was emphatic. Gonzalez finally makes an impact in a Barca shirt.

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Mas is still injured and, despite his fine cup performance, Gonzalez is dropped for Flores who has proved himself in league games. It’s fair to say that didn’t go to plan at all - they capitalised on a defensive error, scored a wonderstrike and caught us on the counter to get their three goals but we were a long way from being good enough to get anything out of that.

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Ferreira & Gonzales both get their chance as Drake needs a rest. Jovic also comes in for Flores in the midde of the park. We probably just about deserved that win, but we didn’t half make hard work of it.
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Flores and Benali add to their season’s totals in a comfortable win that takes us back to the top of the table.

View attachment 55453 - we’ve avoided the biggest names, but there are some very big names that will be eliminated at the first round.

Guadalajara (Spanish Cup - 4th Round, 2nd Leg)
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A comfortable first leg victory means progress is all but guaranteed, but this is a good opportunity to record another convincing win…although we fail miserably in this respect.

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Benali is usually the creative force of the front 3, but he takes his goals with aplomb. Gonzalez FINALLY gets his league goal and Perlingeiro gets two assists courtesy of his fine crossing ability.

Gonzalez adds his name to the list of goalscorers and some strong performances from Drake are reflected with his goals scored. Benali contributes both assists and goals from the central supporting role of the three and looks like the perfect fit for that position.
In the league, it’s not that much of a surprise to see us and Real stretch the league and break free - it looks as thought it could be a fight between the two of us…as it has been for the last 12 seasons.
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January 2038

Hardly the most comprehensive result, but it will do. Another Benali assist and he should really have had a goal as well but fluffed his lines from 12 yards.

View attachment 55354 - so, it took £28.5m to get him, but he has the potential to be an outstanding keeper and with first team keeper Makengo at the age of 35, his replacement may as well be a good one. Back-up keeper Calderon is placed on the transfer list.

Celta Vigo (Spanish Cup 5th Round, 1st leg)
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A completely changed front 3 and a couple of others, including a debut for GK Hernandez, although I can’t believe that contributed to that pretty shocking performance. We have some work to do.

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More or less back to full strength, and it makes a significant difference. Drake is the stand-out player but it’s when Flores isn’t in the side that we don’t seem to be anywhere near as effective. That was a positive reaction to the Vigo game.

Celta Vigo (Spanish Cup 5th Round, 2nd leg)
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A disastrous first leg is compounded by an even worse second leg and it’s not like that was even a weakened team…not impressed with that.

San Sebastien
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Despite conceding first, the team came back strongly with Benali again showing his worth with another fine performance from Flores in the centre of the park.

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Nothing seemed to work in this game as progressive changes to force the breakthrough didn’t pay dividends until the very latter stages of the game - Barbosa’s card put the results at risk, but Mas somewhat dug me out of a hole there.

Athletic Bilbao
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Thank the footballing gods for Benali as he makes the difference in a game that, whilst not exactly a classic, we pretty much controlled.

Typically, Man City wait until the last day of the transfer window to bid for Drake - ordinarily, the £75m bid for a 30 year old would be accepted, but since I haven’t got the time to bring in a replacement, the bid is turned down…they can come back in the summer.

Gonzalez is struggling to convince me he’s worth the £40m I paid for him. We’re not scoring as many as I have done at previous clubs, but we’re playing pretty cautiously at the back and not conceding or losing too many either.
19 wins in 22 pretty much says it all - very happy with that record so far.
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February 2038

Bos’s 15 year spell at the club comes to an end as he announces his retirement at the end of the season. I had been expecting him to hold on for another season, but the search for his replacement starts in earnest.

Athletico Madrid
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No matter what we tried, we simply couldn’t take advantage of the extra man - that was not pretty viewing as getting through the two banks of 4 proved impossible.

Real Hispalis
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Having lost the midfield battle in recent games, a defender is sacrificed to provide for an extra CM. It didn’t provide more possession, but the possession we did have was higher up the pitch which gave the strikers more time to get into goalscoring positions, which was evidenced by the fact that all 3 scored and Mas, on as a sub, should have done.

Porto (Champions League, 1st Round, 1st leg)
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I kept the 4-3-3 but Porto are in a different class to Hispalis and, aside from giving us a bit of a gift for the lead, they absolutely dominated us in what was probably our least effective game this season…although there was the bonus of an away goal.

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The first of two eminently winnable home games comes up, but a lack of fit midfielders rather forces my hand back to a 5-2-3.However, it makes little difference as Perlingeiro picks up assists to all 3 goals in a comfortable win.

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Perlingeiro stops providing goals for others and finally gets one for himself - sparing Benali’s blushes in the process. Not the greatest performance, but it will do.

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March 2038

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A gamble to play my second string strike force, which should have been good enough to do something, rather backfires as we were second best to a far more clinical Malaga side who deserved the win.

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Sevilla were dreadful, but had we managed to keep the ball down when shooting, we could have had double this, or even higher. Mas and Barbosa the main culprits when the opportunities arose.

Porto (Champions League, 1st Round, 2nd Leg)
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This is a big one… and we fell well short. The lack of a coherent Plan C really didn’t help us there, along with the home leg. That’s frustrating with the board and the fans not happy…can’t blame them in this case though.

Las Palmas
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That was a seriously low quality game with the only difference, this time round, being the ability of Drake to put away the only chance he had. That result was made even better due to Real losing their last two games giving us an 8 point advantage as it stands.

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We had a chance to really fill our boots against the team sitting in 19th position, but ony got going after a slow start. A routine win in the end.

Drake’s 14 league goals are still only enough to give him 5th place in the league goalscoring list, but they have proved invaluable this season. There are still a number of teams sniffing around him, but for BIG money, he could go. Perlingeiro leads the assists for the league, with Benali just behind. Perlingeiro just goes to show that although he’s not naturally suited to the WBR role, he has the skills to be effective with most of his assists coming from crosses.
The table shows we have comfortably the best defensive record which is what the league position has been pretty much built on.
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April 2038

Real Madrid
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The 8 points we’re ahead are seemingly necessary as, again, we just can’t match up to the bigger boys in the league - I got that horribly wrong.

Quaification for next season’s Champions League brings with it a transfer kitty of nearly £70m, which is a pretty good total although I’m not quite sure at the moment what it’s going to be spent on.

Celta Vigo
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A slight change of formation to try and get that link between the midfielders and forwards brings about a comfortable win with Benali, the creator, goalscorer and generally all-round consistent performer. The extra midfielder needed, meant that Luis had to be brought in from the B squad and he performed well enough on his debut.

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That was a game for the debut goals as both Rincon and Luis got their firsts for the club. The red card gave us a bit of a boost but even after Luis’s 30 yard free-kick (I didn’t know he had it in his locker), the result was never certain as they didn’t give up. Mas returns to goalscoring ways after a drought of 11 hours.

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Flores singlehandedly puts Valencia to the sword as the playing Jovic as the extra man in midfield pays off and gives him a lot of extra room and time to pull the strings. A thorougly comprehensive result.

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That was an outstanding win which I did not see coming. Drake was on top of his game and the combination of the 5-2-1-2 formation and a couple of tactical tweaks means that the team seems to be hitting its straps at the right end of the season.

I wasn’t sure about Benali’s worth to the team when I arrived, but he’s been invaluable this season with a ridiculous number of goals and assists. Ferreira’s been disappointing, but he’s barely played as Benali has been in such good form, but not as disappointing as AMC Jovic. I have no idea how CB Pereyra has picked up 6 assists, but he’s the joint third for doing so.
The end of the season is in sight and it's looking quite positive with 3, what should be straightforward games against Cordoba, Getafe and Almeria remaining.

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May 2038

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The two main men at the top do the business as we record a pretty comfortable win that guarantees the La Liga title with games to spare and, as the last few games show, with plenty of confidence and panache. Good football, good results, happy board, happy fans (if we ignore the Champions League debarcle) means a happy manager.

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Given that I’m a midfielder short, I have a look round the market. I need a DLP and the best of the best are Perez at PSG, and Landeta at West Ham. Both are Spanish internationals, both are interested, both are aged 26 and both would be very good signings for the club.

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Perez is an ex Real Madrid player and PSG only signed him this season for £42m. His estimated value is £58m - £77m so is a costly acquisition, but is clearly one of the best midfielders in the game and would come with a massive reputation.

Landeta is still a world class player, but doesn’t quite have the reputation of Perez. He does, however, have a minimum release fee of £58m for a team in the Champions League. West Ham signed him for £7m from us several seasons ago and has a sell on clause meaning, I think, that Barca get 30% of the profit back (£15m)…making the transfer effectively £43m…and much more economical.

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An entirely different way to go is 19 year old Serbian wonderkid Skopljak currently at Arsenal. His value is estimated between £25m - £45m. With Barbosa and Slezak both 30 and still a few years under their belt, bringing in a youngster who wouldn’t expect to play every game would help with keeping the squad happy.

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The media predicted a cricket score ahead of this game, but we couldn’t turn the overwhelming possession into goals.

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The final game of the season and it’s a very comfortable win.

In summary, that was a rather pleasing season. Perlingeiro, signed for just £13m, is wanted by a host of clubs and the £38m release fee suddenly doesn’t look enough. Benali didn’t start off as first choice but there is no other way to consider him after his outstanding season and with now 6 strikers competing for 2 starting spots, offers will be considered for Drake - particularly ridiculous ones. Either, or both, of Mas & Ferreira can also leave if the right bids are received. A replacement is needed for CB Bos, who retires, and a natural WBR would be a very useful addition if one can be sourced. A new MC is definitely needed so all in all, this could be a very busy transfer window but I’m not keen on disrupting the team too much. Luis promoted from the B squad definitely looks at home so has saved me a signing. Drake’s 18 goals are only good enough to place him third in the top goalscorer awards but Benali (16) and Perlingeiro (12) sit first and third for assists.
The league makes for very good reading, particularly the defensive record and the (lack of) goals conceded. We lost to Real Madrid, Athletico Madrid, Valencia and Malaga over the course of the season but it’s the drawn column which explains the 7 point difference to Real.
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View attachment 54472 - another accolade to add to the growing list, but it’s made rather easy managing this team. The 84% win rate is ridiculous and comfortably the best of my career so far.


June - August 2038

The transfer window opens:

View attachment 54329- both Landeta and Perez were beyond what I could afford, but Garrancha was signed as a replacement. Erding was signed on a free some months ago to replace Sanchez, who was at the time outgoing, but has since rejected several moves away.

Bos’s retirement leaves a gap with a CB needed.

View attachment 54328 - in 46 appearances with Barca, playing as an AMC, Jovic managed just 3 goals & 3 assists. £30m was a no-brainer and he’ll do a job somewhere…just not here.

View attachment 54327 - surplus to requirements, so a sale to Bordeaux is a good deal for all parties.

View attachment 54326 - I return to Inter to sign El Allouchi, who will be a useful back-up and, given his professional nature, a potential tutor if we have anyone coming through.

View attachment 54325- not the toughest set of games, but good for the fitness and confidence with plenty of goals scored ahead of the start of the proper season.


Villareal a (Spanish SuperCup, 1st Leg)
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It was disappointing not to hold on to the lead and let the win go, especially with the possession we had, but that’s only the first leg and I’m confident of getting the job done at home.

Villareal h (Spanish SuperCup, 2nd Leg)
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I wasn’t quite expecting that resut, but we were utterly dominant from start to finish. Rodriguez was the unlikeliest of scorers as he scores as many in this game as he has in the last 6 seasons. Drake has probably scored his last goal for the club as Man City come in with a too-good-to-refuse bid of £40m.
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Suprisingly, Drake rejects the contract offer from Man City.

Athletico Bilbao
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Not a bad way to start the title defence with a convincing win. Benali carries on from where he left off last season and Gonzalez makes his contribution leading the line.

Considering I’m already a centre-back short, the news that both Peyreyra and Rincon aren’t happy and request to be put on the transfer list isn’t welcomed. There is very little quality in the market for the sort of budget that I’ve been given so some creative thought is needed.

View attachment 54320 - a reunion with Anderlecht is on the cards in what should be a relatively straightforward group.

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Flores suffers an injury that looks likely to keep him out for a couple of months, meaning that El Allouchi - signed as a back-up - is going to get some gametime. It took a while but we eventually managed to win an end to end battle with Gonzalez on form again with a goal and two assists.

Ahhh…transfer deadline day.

View attachment 54318 - After several months of hassling, I eventually get wonderkid Martinez from Middlesbrough of all places.

View attachment 54317 - Slezack’s contract expires next year and he won’t negotiate down from £450k a week, which we can’t afford so PSG’s bid is timely and accepted…although a replacement may be tricky.

View attachment 54316 - okay, so this kid was a bit of a panic punt right at the end of the day…but he didn’t cost much, his contract isn’t excessive so if it doesn’t work out - it won’t be the worst piece of business in the world.

I did not enjoy that.

Both Benali and Gonzalez have started the season on fire, as they contribute heavily in both the goals and assists department. I don’t think Drake is going to like it, but Gonzalez looks like he will be the main man this season.
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It’s obviously early days, but two wins from two bodes well, particularly the Malaga game which we came back into after conceding first.
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September 2038

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Benali has to miss out as he fails a late fitness test, but Aitor Flores is not a bad replacement and justifies his inclusion. We were a bit lucky with the missed penalty, but otherwise, another good result and another MoM award and a couple of goals for Gonzalez.

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Drake utterly dominated a pretty poor Olympiakos defence and we should have scored more than we did. Baez makes his debut, and whilst not the toughest opposition, looked at home in the middle of the park.

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Oh dear…less said about that, the better.

Athletico Madrid
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All things considered, a draw was probably the right result but it was frsutrating that we threw the lead away twice. Perlingeiro bags his first assist of the season. Two consecutive games without a win and the media are already questioning my position this season.

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We needed that after the last couple of games - Gonzalez puts Vallecano to the sword and we should have kept a clean sheet but a ridiculously flukey goal saw them get one back.

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We had to resist a serious barrage at the end of that game, but managed to hold on to record the win which takes us to the top of the group - El Allouchi has his best game in a Barca shirt so far.

Gonzalez has been in inspired form at the beginning of the season, and both he and Benali have been excellent at the top of the team. Both Drake and Flores have been more than able deputies when needed. Other than the strikers, the main supply for the goals comes from the WBL position although provided by Rodriguez so far, rather than Perlingeiro. Having rejected Man City's contract offer in the summer, Drake has been unhappy ever since because he hasn't been sold. Being unhappy, he’s refusing to sign a new contract and could well leave on a free at the end of this season.
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The Sevilla result was a horrible one and we were pegged back in the Athletico game, but it’s still early days in the season.
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October 2038

Celta Vigo
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Conceding the opener seemd to jolt the team into action and Benali takes full advantage of some poor marking at a set piece to score his first. Hernandez probably won us the points with two one-on-one saves.

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Somewhat unhelpfully, Gonzalez injures himself before this game so Drake starts and gets on the scoresheet in a bit of a ding-dong battle which we eventually win. Benali’s two assists cap off a great individual performance from him.

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Rincon seals a fine win with a textbook centre-back’s header from a corner to add to Drake’s early first half effort.

Sporting Gijon
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Having defended resolutely after going going down to 10 men, Gijon absolutely gift us the win, with Drake being taken out somewhat recklessly towards the end of the game.

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I have no idea how we didn’t get at least one goal there - I think we can just file that in the drawer of games titled ‘huh’.

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The most routine of routine wins that takes us back to second place in the league. Unsurprisingly, it looks like it’s a straight shootout between us and Real again this season.

What a player Benali is, leading both the goals scored and the assists. He and Gonzalez make a pretty formidable partnership and they jointly lead the league’s top scoring charts with 9.
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November 2038

Rincon announces his retirement at the end of the season as he’s been a valuable stop gap for the last couple of seasons but at the age of 36 and 601 games (and counting…) he probably deserves it. Another replacement to try and find.

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An opportunity for some fringe, but still quality, players to come in and do a job…which they do, despite Baez’s best attempt to hamstring the effort. Luis gets a fantastic first goal for the club, curling the ball in from 30 yards and El Allouchi makes his mark on the game as well. That win makes it 4 out of 4 and guarantees progression to the knockout stages.

Las Palmas
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A Gonzalez assist and Benali goal after just 16 seconds rather set the tempo for a comfortable win, but we should have scored more.

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Another Barca game, more Benali goals.

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I’m hoping some gametime from Drake will convince him that he is wanted which will lead to him signing a new contract and he’s performing when he does play, but…

Real Madrid
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Gonzalez’s misses our best chance of the game blazing over from 6 yards in the opening minutes and we just didn’t make any better chances than that. Real seem to be our kryptonite at the moment and we fall further behind them.

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December 2038

Hospitalet (Spanish Cup, 4th Round, 1st leg)
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Most of the squad is rotated for the cup but it makes little difference as Flores dominates the lower league defence, ably supported by Baez & Drake who pick up the assists.

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A reasonably routine win with the onlu surprise being that neither Benali or Gonzalez added to their season’s totals.

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We drop our first points of the champions league campaign in a disappointing goal-less draw in which they did very well restricting us to long shots only which we couldn’t convert.

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Relegation threatened Cordoba at home should be a comfortable win and it proved that way, although the source of the hat-trick was something of a surprise as Rodriguez picks up 3 from the WBL position. Real Madrid suffer a surprise defeat away to Granada.

View attachment 53121- having gone out at the first knockout round last year, an improvement is needed…Monaco are not the toughest draw, but they won’t be a walkover either.

Hospitalet (Spanish Cup, 4th Round, 2nd leg)
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Another chance for the fringe players and having scored as early as the fifth minute, I thought we’d go and really spank Hospitalet but it wasn’t to be…although the important thing is progression to the next round.

San Sebastian
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El Allouchi’s sending off puts the result at risk but even with 10 men we dominated possession, although it took some time to turn the possession into a victory. Benali shows his class with a clinical finish from 18 yards.

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