Katsumi Touko The Smith of Pretty Victories.

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Death Ball

May 17, 2009
October 2021

Two changes for the next Algeria squad: Bentaleb returns in place of Rachid (liga Adelante's Deportivo), the striker I didn't use was dropped, but not to bring Feghouli back as he's not played any match, but to bring Boutobba, a 23 year old winger from Olympique de Marseille. Some didn't like that.

We face one of the teams ahead, so a win guarantees moving up the table. McGahey comes in to the starting line up despite his lack of fitness due to Boto's suspension.
The keep the ball well, but again fail to do anything. Vanucci, wanting to avoid the second yellow, doesn't tackle in the area and they get a goal from their only decent chance. Also, Legrand picked a shin injury and Kaabouni was brought in early. The small tactical change improved things, but not enough.
For the second half I undo the order to pass into space and to play trying to control and playing narrower. Things improve, but no goal. I bring in Amailah and Cardwell in for Gharriche and Sala, who were doing little. Then it pays off, first heading a cross then firing a through ball, Cardwell gives us the win.
A good win that brings us within a single match from promotion places. Lens are still seven points ahead and winning the league will be a tough task.

Legrand is out for a month

With the club finances falling into red, the transfer revenue retained goes down.

Much rotation in the friendly against Romania, with some changing position, others just coming to the start to pick fitness or show what they can do.
Though Romania starts strong, they don't have any good chance, while we get some. None great, but a few decent and they disappear.
The second half opens with a miscomunication between centrebacks, Belkaroul taking the man that Benlamri should have and left a huge hole and Khedaira couldn't do anything. But we keep knocking and Kheche fires a free kick right to the goal.
In the end we get a draw, which is a good result and fair too.

We face the current second placed team. Amiens have won most of the matches. Winning means stepping up to one point from them and possibly two from second place if results go against us. Cardwell is rewarded for his last match and Sawadogo replaces injured Legrand.
We are the better of the first half, but Camara made an embarrassing fool of himself jumping to reach the ball over his head when it was shot to his side.
In the second half we hammer them, but without result. At least this half chances are not squandered by giving the ball to the defender in the last touch before the shooting position or running away from the ball like it had a bomb. Cardwell picked a knee injury when it was almost ended-
First defeat of the season. The annoying thing about it is not losing, Bourg is a strong side; the annoying is all the past draws that mean this defeat means dropping to seventh place, six points from second place instead of just losing a few points advantage. Otherwise it's a defeat despite a quite decent performance.

Cardwell will be out for three weeks.

The African Championship of Nations Qualifying North Zone requires a squad with no players based outside Algeria. There are no goalkeepers I can pick meeting that requirement. So I'm holidaying the day so the AI makes the selection I can't. The choice is all gray players and the positions spread is awful. Because of that, I will be using instant result for them.

McGahey was signed by Williams as first team player and he's been unhappy, so he's getting a chance. Dutournier also wanted first team time, but I talked him to accept coming in from the bench.
We control the first half, though they do get two shots, they're poor ones. Boto scores from a rebound at a free kick.
Once the playing faster had effect and we still dominated possession, I slowed things down for the second half to close the game. I also asked to shoot on sight to try take advantage of Farid's knock. A couple shots by them, poor ones. Dutournier came in, Sala went to the wing and Vanucci replaced a not very good McGahey. Then Sala out for Labidi. Dutournier then make it two goals. Labidi had the third in the last second, but blasted it over the bar.
It's a good win that serves just to climb one position.

Again we play against the second place. Doneil Henry make it finally back from injury into the first team. McGahey has his second chance.
First half is quiet. No team has a clear look on target. We're the closer to score, but that was more with luck than merit. Still, at half time I don't add more tactical changes to exploting the right flank on account of their leftback showing complacency, playing faster or passing into space.
Second half began very well, with Sala masterfully putting a low fross by Sawadogo in. But at the middle of the half, McGahey played Berthelot onside and Camara couldn't save his shot.
In the end we get another draw. Not a bad result considering we played at the second placed team's home and they were the favourites.

We went through in the CHANQ. Great comeback. And qualified for CHAN.

Williams renews Henry's contract, which is good.

Legrand and Cardwell are back to the bench. If we win we come within a point of promotion places.
Once more we are in control of the first half. Sala misses a couple of good chances. Ikone gets into the net a superb through ball by Gharriche.
We keep it up the second half and at the edge of the end Cardwell scores the second.
Up to sixth and one point behind promotion. Good win. Top spot still seven points ahead. Sala will be out for the next match with the yellow card he earned.

Passing is good in general, with a few exceptions like keepers and McGahey. Zahibo does a good job shielding the defence, not so Jebbour, that forces Vanucci to do a lot of tackles. Perhaps I should instruct him not to go up the pitch as much as he does, but I feel our offensive strength would suffer too much. Sala has come off as top assister and scorer of the team, but not enough, we lack some better precission with our shots.


Death Ball

May 17, 2009
November 2021

Algeria squad chosen by the two upcoming friendlies.

Some rotation today to face a mid table team that uses a defensive formation.
We had control of the first half, were ahead, until the team chose to behave like arses when defending set pieces. First Camara tried to chase the ball to where it had been and already wasn't, leaving a huge hole for the strike, then Henry let a player receive the ball and didn't move to cover the goal but move up.
Second half was a chase after the goals, with some nice chances, but only got one in injury time, after I had to take Gharriche out because of a head gash that looked bad.
Two more points thrown away when we might have got into the top three with a win.

Gharriche is out for a little over a week. Fortunately it isn't too bad.

Henry gets a mong injury in international duty.

Meftah replaces the injured Boudabouz, but he's tired as Fares is, so both are in the bench.
We have a terrible start win which Atrous saves not a single shot. One his error, twice someone else's. Ghilas gets two back before Mahrez stands idle defending a freekick.
In the second half we get enough chances to win the match, but the players are too hasty trying to get back and only towards the end Ghilas manages to complete his hat-trick, not enough.
Very disappointing match.
[At Saudi Arabia]

Another friendly. Hopefully this will be easier as predicted by the media.
It is. We absolutely hammer them and get five goals in the first half including from the two debutants, one by Meftha and a hat trick by Bounedjah.
We keep it up the second half, though the relaxation from such result makes it so only one more goal is scored, by Meftah.
I think it's clear both Meftah and Bounedjah has earned to stay at the side, while not so the goalkeepers and maybe some of the defenders.

An almost completely rotated side for the cup match against a much lower league team.
It's a walk in the park. Five goals in 25 minutes, then things slow down and the first half ends with six. Including two crosses by Etienne going in.
Two more goals in the second half, Legrand completes his hat trick. I made three subs to give a chance to Gnavor and to ensure Sawadogo and Cardwell reach the next league game fit.
The players did what was expected of them very well, keeping their head on the match.

That was Amiens' biggest win ever and most goals in a match.

Dutournier asks for more time again. If being sub is still not enough, then I told him I'd sell him, but he doesn't want to leave. Problem is, we have too many strikers, we only play one and he's at least two ahead.

The strongest side against the team that may put us in ninth place, except for Henry's absence.
Train defending set pieces so Boto can give them a clear shot in them. Add a good cross and referee not giving us a goal despite the ball going past the line and we're losing by two a match we shouldn't be losing.
A penalty and an own goal near the end serve to salvage a point.
Two more points dropped, a chance to close on to the top three missed. I'm not happy at all, specially with Boto's mistakes, and with the referee not calling our goal.

CHAN draw is made.

We play the bottom team. Hopefully this time we'll get the win.
First half is disappointing, players aiming with their *****. Cardwell acting as the keeper for the few shots that were going on target.
The second half is the same pile of **** but made worse by Vanucci being half asleep when we lose a ball and letting them a good position in a counter.
Throwing two points seems not enough now, we have to throw all of the three.

Her French is now good.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
December 2021

Eighth Coupe de France round.
Things go as expected and we reach half time four goals ahead. Two more complete the score in the second.
The two annoying things is they got two shots, one good, and fans were complained of a wakened side. We're playing a team several divisions below!

Press make an article praising my offensive play.

Cormier calls wanting me to play Kaboouni in advanced midfield. Williams hadn't informed me. I get him to accept playing him there. Though I've been considering making a 4-2-3-1 to see if we get better offensive results.

Williams offer Legrand a new contract.

A new formation we face. They are a bottom team and will look to defend mostly. A sweeper, let's see how it works.
We control it, though we can't stop them from having a couple of good chances. We're the ones to take one of ours so we reach half time ahead.
Second half it's Camara time to give up the points. They get a counter, shot from an angle, Camara runs until saving the ball is quite easy then manages to stop in the air to let it through. We hammer them from then, but don't find the goal. They get a red too late and we're not given the usual three minutes of injury time.
With this promotion slips too far and seems now like there won't be any real chances to go up. At least I feel this time it's my fault rather than some player disconnecting, as I saw plenty of hints a counter would be dangerous and I didn't make any change to strengthen against it, choosing to place my trust on a second goal.

CHAN will begin. Only domestic players, again. I won't be able to choose the squad, again. So I will use instant result for this competition again.

Another low table side. This time I'm trying a 4-2-3-1. With some rotation. Robin in, who wanted first team time, Monconduit also in just to give him a chance.
We control the first half and we get ahead by two goals. Great games by Monconduit and Cardwell. Maillard doesn't do too well.
No goals in the second half. Several shots by them, but none really dangerous. Still they seemed dangerous on the counter, but I told the fullbacks to keep back and cut that.
Finally a win is kept to the end of the match. We advance just one position to end the first half of the season just seventh, five points from promotion. If we hadn't thrown away so many wins, we'd be top of the table now.

Dotournier was unhappy again, so he's out.

Good spread of assists. Legrand and Cardwell looking like the top scorers, but with Sala as best provider. Might be worth thinking on a 4-4-2.

Finally fluent in French.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Still going well, promotion could be on the cards this season
Yeah, it's a real possibility; but we need to stop dropping wins left and right. The new formation felt a bit stronger attacking and perhaps less weak against counters, but still needs tweaking. Then Mantois is at the bottom of the table, so it's not like they've proven a great strength attacking. If changes come out well, then promotion should be fought for till the end at the very least.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
January 2022

Comier comes again after saying he was understanding of it.

What the ****... No goalkeepers.

Another coupe de France match against a lower league team. Again I rotate heavily, though not completely.
First half is not like previous cup matches, but we still dominate. González picked a knock, though, which looks not as bad as the assistant claims, but I'm not keeping him for the second half (Just a week out).
Only one more goal in the second half. Dutournier making his departure something not worth regretting.

We get Tours for the tenth round of the Coupe de France. It's as far as the board wanted us to reach, however I'm not giving up on going as far as possible to help finances and for rotation purposes.

We get a striker on trial. Looks quite decent.

We visit the league leaders. François in for Jebbour because the latter likes to run to the opposite area and I want a more defensive fullback.
We're unlucky with the first half. McGahey gets the head to a cross, but barely and can't clear it, then the ball gets to their player to score easy. Then some not quite good defending at an indirect free kick gives them the second. Going more offensive gives us some chances, but they are saved. What need some explanation is why does Henry tackle McGahey after he had recovered the ball to give them a corner.
Second half doesn't improve things with the diamond, in fact it goes worse, as we get no more chances. They get a lucky chance and it ends with Camara doing the usual "they cross for the far post, I'm in the near post, I'll parsimoniously walk like I didn't care" thing to let it get in goal.

I end Mata's loan, as he's been poor always and I'm not going to use him, to open a loan place.

Midtable clash. Tempted to have changed back to the 4-5-1 and place the defensive midfielder on Depoitre.
Cardwell picks the rebound from a good shot to put us ahead. They get only one decent chance and one poor shot. It doesn't feel like we're dominating the match, though.
The second half looks better, we create a few good chances, but are unlucky not to convert any. Also good job by Foulon.
We're four points from the team ahead, but just six from promotion.

I rotate a lot for the cup. We'll get fined, but it's more important to keep players fit.
It would've been a not too bad first half if Mele did something to cover the far post when he's seeing a cross delivered to the far post, instead of standing in the near post.
And this is the real bug with crosses, goalkeepers either stand like they were the area ref or wait for the ball to pass to run to catch it in a well past position.
Second half Mele insists on proving why I don't use him in league.
This was a 2-0 defeat at most as only two shots could be argued to be any hard to save.

Sawagodo will be out for two weeks.

We go back to the league against the team right behind us. Another 4-4-2.
First half wasn't bad except for Henry thinking a centreback doesn't need to close down rival strikers.
Second half is an improvement. Cardwell earns the penalty to equalize. Then we pepper them with several good chances but not quite good aim. Then in the last minute Kaabouni loses the ball in midfield and defenders decide all must run like headless chickens to the ball as long they have an attacker to mark and only the defender without anybody to worry keeps position.

Williams sings Vollert for next season. Not a signing I like.

Now Williams sign Lucas Perrin for next season, after failing to get him now at my request.

Season is over.

Out of CHAN thanks to no keepers.

Now time for a low table team. Hopefully this time we'll win or this season is going nowhere.
This time the first half is good, though again without prize. Three shots on target saved and several plays that get intercepted in the last instant before a sure goal would've happened.
Second half is the same but with a goal. And a couple of "how did that not end in a goal?" moments.
Finally we win a match. It serves to little more than not completely lose chances of promotion and stay six points behind if Troyes doesn't win.

Poor month with two defeats when the top teams seem to get every result.

We're just two places above the expected final position.

With growing debt, it seems unlikely Williams will be able to offer a great improvement to the squad for next season.

My work is very secure, for now.


Death Ball

May 17, 2009
February 2022

Williams sells Boto to Arsienal. I'm not happy with this. As things are, he was our third centreback, if not second.

Next he brings young full back Manzi.

Window closes without bringing a keeper on loan, as the limit is five loan transfers, not loanees.

I go back to the 4-5-1 to face the currently second placed team. I give Zahibo a small rest and he'll come from the bench if needed.
We go ahead with a Sala goal and have a good chance to double it, but Legrand doesn't manage to shoot before the defender tackles. Then a good play by Etoundi gets them the equalizer. I think Camara would've saved it, though. Having both centrebacks with yellow cards is uneasy, so I bring in their place Zahibo and Vanucci.
Second half and all goes down the drain, thanks to Mele playing like he was five seconds in the past, chasing the ball to were it has been.
That's the final goodbye to any hope of promotion. With Ikone getting bruised ribs to make things worse.

One match I play Kaabouni in central midfield and Cormier is again annoying.

They're third place. We still are back to the 4-5-1, with Robin as anchor man.
First half is almost perfect. We dominate the game, create several chances that could've been goals any other day if the goalkeeper wasn't having a great day and limit them to a handful of poor long shots. With Mele on goal, though, I feel it's matter of waiting for their first shot on target to go down. Sala's having a bad day, too, so Cardwell comes in his place.
They get three shots on target. But Mele does save them quite well. A little messy play in which Cardwell blocks a shot by Legrand that was on the way to be saved, he keeps it and scores. Assist given to Legrand.
A good win I was not too confident having. It doesn't take us above eighth place, but it puts us in contact with the teams ahead and back to six points from promotion, not that I keep hopes up.

Algeria drops from 40th to 43rd place in rankings.

Etienne comes in to try exploit his more offensive abilities.
We are the better team in the first half, but the chances that would been the best are cut off just before the shot by either offside or last ditch interceptions. McGahey commits a penalty, but Mele saves it. Both centrebacks are with yellow cards.
We get our superiority into the scoreline in the second half though, the three shots on target go in.
A good win thatsends us two places up if Tours lose their match in hand.

Sawadogo is out for ten days after a reserves match.

We have a new youth intake. A few promising players, though none to become key players.

Both starting centrebacks suspended, so Zahibo and Vanucci start there. A match where I'd like to have Boto.
We again are superior in the first half, keeping them to one shot off target, though not a poor chance. This time, though, we get a goal, a bit luckily as it involved a bit of clumsiness by their keeper when trying to block Legrand's shot.
We keep dominating on the second half. Seeing how Zahibo is not doing very well at centreback and he loses concentration often in training, I risk dropping Robin there (he doesn't jump very much) and bring in Amallah in for Zahibo in the previous Robin position. No more goals happen.
This win continues our climb up the table and finally closes on the promotion places. Three points now from the third.

A better month than the past one. Could've been better without the second half collapse against Le Havre, but losing that match was to be expected.

We look again with a chance for promotion, but I'm afraid we'd need to pull a kind of form the team hasn't looked able to sustain.

Before the salaries are paid. At the end it will be at least a €10K loss this month.


Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Only 3 points off third, you're not without a chance! 3 wins in a row bodes well :)
Yeah. The 4-5-1 seems to be firing again after a few tweaks I made: DMC is now an anchor man instead of ball winning midfielder apart from using Robin instead of Zahibo, which means Robin is helping the centrebacks much more and better. I can tell that change has been responsible for cutting off a lot of offensive plays and been key to keep our score at 0 to get those 1-0 wins, specially against Ajaccio (And this is more like the type of comment I should've included in the post above, not here, I'm getting routine-like making them and forgetting to explain things, which should be the top point). There's also I've instructed the keeper to play short kicks and not take risks, along with the team instruction to play from defence, so I feel we're keeping the ball better yet now that the keeper doesn't lose it as often with senseless long balls. It's also been lucky that Mele has finally started to perform well when called to save shots.

I hope it's not too late for this good run to bring us to the top three. Now is when all those draws are really painful, as only half we'd kept the win we'd be comfortably in promotion places without a fear to lose it.

It's also good to see the DoF works better in this version compared to FM13, where I had to step in when a second level Portuguese team was without goalies and no sign of the DoF doing anything to sign even one. In this it seems he's more active, more aware to keep the squad balanced, even if AI teams don't seem to, and doesn't fail as often (though this might not be real but a matter of luck I had then and now) to get deals done. He still seems to have a tendency to wait to the deadline day to make the finishing deals.
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Death Ball

May 17, 2009
March 2022

Lambèse asks for more first team football, which is understandable, but I refuse. He backs when I tell him about selling him.

Cormier is again being an obnoxious idiot asking to play Kaabouni in advanced midfield. I did after the first time and the first time I returned him to middle he was again at it, so he can suck it up. I've refused to talk to him.

Robin is happy with his time in the first eleven. He's earned it. So does McGahey, though he's not been as impressive.

They're right behind us with the same points. Centrebacks return and the rest is unchanged.
Mele makes a superb save from a chaotic play at the start, but from then we control the game. Henry kicks in a throw in from Etienne and, after three woodwork hits, N'Doram scores an own goal.
They start the second half strong, but we hold them and then retake control. Cardwell has one of those chances people say easy, but actually it's such an obvious shot before he gets the ball Schûtzenauer has it easy to dive in time.
A win that sends us to fifth place. One point behind Ajaccio and waiting Bourg-Peronnas match which can mean we're still three points behind promotion or just one.

We face the team in third place. We can get level in points or drop back to six points behind. We need a win, so no rotation. I decide to have Robin man mark their key player, Sané.
Though there's not much happening, we seem the better team. That is confirmed when Kaabouni takes advantage of chaos in their area to open the scoreline and when close to half time Ikone heads a cross from Jebbour into the net after a defelction on the keeper.
Like the previous match, they begin the second half strong, but with no results. Kaabouni then makes a good goal to make it 3-0 and then I do some changes to rotate.
A great win that puts up tied with third place, just one more goal this match from taking over their position.

International duties will make us miss Henry, Ikone, Camara and Lambèse against Sochaux. I have the chance to ask a postponement. Camara is not a big miss given Mele's form, Lambèse is not playing, Ikone and Henry are very important, but I can use it as an excuse to rotate. If I postpone it, then there'll be a point with three matches in a few days forcing to rotate and have tired players. On the other hand, we're at the edge of promotion and I'd like to have everything available. I think I'll decline, accept the forced rotation and not have the squad more tired for more matches in a future. I'm making a friendly as it's a few days ahead and some of the player swho will have to come aren't fit and no reserve fixtures. The friendly will be for the reserves.

YAAaaaaaayyyyy! Who gets injured in training for a month? Yes, the player who was to come in for Ikone.

A friendly before the African Cup of Nations Qualifying phase. I realize when I asked for Mandi they brought Madi instead. Sigh.
We dominate as expected. The midfield pair shows to be too quiet in attack, which may be why we didn't win any match at the CHAN. Making the playmaker a support role didn't seem to change much, so it's Kheche now. Except Kheche will be moved to defensive playmaker and Rachid as supporting midfielder.
All the changes at half time from advanced midfield up are in the play that makes the third goal rigth at the start of the half. Slimani adds a wonderful long shot and Chabli his first goal for Algeria.
Easy win. Definitely the change needed is the defensive midfielder be made supporting.

Ikone is already back, so we only really miss Henry, as Mele has earned to be under the sticks. Zahibo's not done very good, but Vanucci is very slow and has cost already some wins. Bourg-Pèronnas has drawn their game so a win puts us third.
During the first 15', they get a couple shots, but they're from poor positions. We don't get any, but have several plays ending right before a last pass that would provide a quality chance, so I keep things like they are, thinking we're the more likely to score. I'm proven right, Kaabouni puts us ahead and later Gharriche is a bit unlucky his shot hit the post. Still, Sochaux are having some more chances than I feel comfortable with, though they're not good. At half time I tell them not to get complacent, Sala feels stressed so Cardwell comes in his place.
Legrands makes it two advantage. Later they get one back from an indirect free kick, some poor defending. But they don't get anything more, Ikone hits the post and it ends with us in promotion spot.

That's also the sixth win in a row, which is a club record.

I have to watch it in the tablet and mostly leave it to the assistant, as I'm in the Amiens match.
Luckily from what I pick we're controlling the match so I can focus on this Amiens match. Only bad is Ghilas was taken off with a knock at the end.

They're five points behind us, so a win would settle the promotion race to a contest between us and Bourg. They're fielding a very center packed formation. I guess we'll exploit flanks then, but I don't want to play too wide so they remain congested. Ikone is away on international duty.
Legrand takes a good chance in the first half, though I think he was offside, and that's all we do. Seeing how they've been more active in our left flank, I make it more defensive (fullback down to defend, winger to support).
After a few minutes of the second half, seeing we're doing nothing and Tours are getting a few chances, if poor, I decide to stop keeping ball and order my players to play longer balls but slower to seek them switching the ball from side to side and exploit their narrowness. We begin to arrive to their area with dnger again and we take advantage through a lucky cross by Lambèse, which is why his goal doesn't earn him a start, though it does to be considered. It works properly later when Maillard crosses from the right for Labidi to tap in.
Unfortunately, Bourg beat Lens, which places first place potentially within five points; but right now I prefer to open a gap behind than cut off the one ahead.

Ghilas is out for the next matches, so I call up Saadi.

François was unhappy with his lack of first team football. I told him he'd come from the bench, he wanted starts. I'm not compromising results at this stage, so he's leaving, which is a shame, because he was quite promising.

I'm in for this match. A few changes due to tired or jaded players.
We manage to create several good chances despite their five men midfield doing their best to make it hard, we only get one goal.
Second half is simillar and also goalless.
With this win and Gabon's new defeat, we qualify for the next African Cup of Nations.

We keep the great form started past month.

Two points in promotion with seven matches to go, against mid and low table teams, while Bourg has a couple of matches against high table teams.

Great average ratings, with only goalkeepers under 7.00 in last five matches. A good spread and amount of assists, with our maximum scorer at only 12, but with a decent spread of goals as well. Legrand definitely has turned out as our best man with most goals and second most assists.

I have the full trust of the board for once. I'm untouchable, in words of the press. I will take advantage of this at the end of the season by taking control of signings, though I'll still work with Williams.

Qualifying to play the African Cup of Nations hasn't raised her reputation.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
April 2022

Kaabouni gets the player of the month for March.

Ikone and Robin are back, Lambèse makes it to the bench.
We make several good chances, but McGahey has a weird idea of clearing a ball that is tap it very weakly and stand looking.
Second half begins with Mele just touching a free kick letting him in. Henry augments my frustration, scoring the two hardest chances we have after missing a few much easier ones. I hate that!
That draw is us out of promotion if Bourg wins their match by more than one goal.

Bourg lost to Evian! By three goals. We've a three points margin.

Against a mid table team that present a very defensive formation. Bourg-Péronnas and Gungamp, who are three points behind, face each other. The best result would be a draw there and then, if we win we'd get some comfort. The worse result would be a Guingamp win, as they have a better goal average.
Before the match began I was fearing they'd be hard to break down and force me to take risks and open ourselves to counterattacks; but soon it's proven otherwise, and though we hit the post or have them saved, have some shots in the early minutes showing we should have no issues. Cardwell opens the scoreline, though not the best: keeper to his right coming out, defender on top, he shot left and scored, but he had Kaabouni to the left who'd have it even easier. Since they keep everybody in their area after, I change nothing, safe from counterattacks and their normal attack bringing insufficient men up. Kaabouni doubles the score right before half time. Guingamp are winning 1-0.
The dominance continues the second half. They're more aggressive but it amounts to their striker staying up, so still no counterattacking threat. Henry nets the third. A bit of luck in a free kick, which is their only real chance to do something gives them a rebound and later compensate with a penalty for Sala.
A bit disappointed with the goal we conceded, as with only three points from Guingamp, it's the deciding factor if we lose and they win. We only take out (almost) one contender instead of two. Surprising to see they got fourteen shots, but three were the freekick and the rest were extremely low quality shots. I messed my French and instead of praising them I challenged them to keep these performances. Luckily they reacted well.

Guingamp have only one high third table team left to play against, which is Tours. We have none. It will still be tough.

Kaabouni breaks the Amiens record for player of match awards. Ikone does the same with assists.

Algeria is eight places up in wolrd rankings.

We visit the team in 14th place, not yet free from danger. Etienne is in. Camara still lacks match fitness. So does Labidi.
Cardwell misses an easy chance at the start. We seem in control but McGahey decides to keep between his striker and the corner, instead of protecting the ball and makes a penalty needlessly. A great cross and less than ideal defending from him and it's 2-0 down. Guingamp are losing by three goals, so at least the goal difference is improving.
We chase the goals in the second half, but they defend well. We end three down because Etienne must explain why he allows a cross when being on top of the ball and Mele why he stands in the near post and waits for a hopeless jump instead of running before it reaches its target to block from a better position. At least Guingamp conceded two more goals, so the goal difference is a bit better than at half time.
A disappointing defeat, specially because we could have gone two matches ahead with just four to go. Luckily, I add this the next day, Bourg also lost by two goals, so we're still a little better than before.

They're eighteenth. We should win but then again, we lost the previous match. We need to win, we have not a margin to take too cautiously. Camara comes back to the side as Mele was conceding goals too easily lately.
We do little first, changing things (after some not working, just moving to control) begin to give us shots, but the best are shot at the keeper or called offside. They're getting better shots than they should. Guingamp are winning their tougher match, so we have to win or it will be too hard to keep our position.
Henry takes a rebound from what should be a goal and puts us ahead. I close it down going counter, which stops their chances. That is until somehow the whole team decides that when the ball is in our half everyone else but two centrebacks have to go forward and have rightback as the highest placed man. Going to the attack we would have an excellent chance with a pass into space for Legrand but Sala ruins it trying to control the ball instead of letting it past. He may not play again in my team.
The stupidest conceded two points. No promotion anymore.

The run of results had dried it seems. Worrying as we haven't great margin. Just one match plus one point.

We have a game in hand, luckily Guingamp lost their match after Tours. Had we won the previous match, we'd be qualified with just one more win. But we need two out of three now.


Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Not the best month, but still looking good for promotion!
I think it may be a matter of pressure. With the end of the season so close and at the edge or promotion, players are getting nervy more than complacent. Next game I will try to ease it by telling them to play without worrying about the table, just have fun.


May 19, 2016
Loving this story so far. :) I am hoping the players can keep their composure to give you a deserved promotion.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Loving this story so far. :) I am hoping the players can keep their composure to give you a deserved promotion.
Glad to hear. Today the outcome will be revealed. I need to retake a couple of screenshots that are missing. Probably will be up in the evening.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
May 2022, end of season.

McGahey has learned to speak basic French. Now he can say, in French, "I'm a centreback, when the ball is in the area I need to get it". I hope so, at least. I sent him to a new course so he can learn "tripping rivals in our area is pretty bad".

Henry picked the player of the month award for April.

Great moment for our best defender to go out.

Zahibo comes in for Henry, though he's not used to play very well there. Maillard also returns, after disappointing matches by Etienne.
Excellent first half, we dominate the game completely. Critizicing Ikone and Legrand poor performances in training has had effect and they're showing their ability, with Ikone scoring a hat trick and assisting two for a 6-0 win at half time. Gharriche was force out of the pitch with a hard tackle, though.
Second half and complacency seems to set in, Zahibo and McGahey move too ahead and allow a through pass behind them for a good counter. They then go defensive and nothing of note happens. Maillard had to be replaced as he took a knock from another hard tackles.
Four points advantage. We can only be third. One win or one match Guingamp doesn't win and we're up! With that goal difference it's practically impossible for them to draw in points and go ahead.

We also lose Gharriche. Maillard may still finish the season playing.

We beat the bottom team, now the one ahead. Amallah and Etienne make it to the start forced by injuries. Lambèse and François in the bench. I really regret selling François.
Legrand puts us ahead, Cardwell doubles our lead. We're the better team, but don't restrict their shots as much as I'd like. Guingamp are winning 1-0, but if we keep this that is irrelevant. Kaabouni and Robin have a yellow card, which is troublesome. Labidi comes in for Kaabouni. Later Zahibi will mmove up tp Robin's place and Vanucci take his.
Guingamp gets a red card at 54th minute. A few minutes later, Legrand scores the third and Guingamp concede the equalizer with an own goal, though later they get the winner. Legrand misses a penalty near the end and the match ends 3-0.
That's it! We're up!

The new initial budget is announced and it's not very high, understandably considering the balance.

Last match against the fourteenth. Robin is suspended, Monconduit has a chance to impress in his last match with Amiens. Ikone and Kaabouni play to help them get get the best player award and top assists in the league.
Kaabouni opens the score; but that's followed by a series of defence sleeping or playing clowns, some times combined with good play. First Camara starts by jumping the wrong way, then McGahey and Zahibo stand like idiots leaving a striker completely alone to fire a rocket and finally they get an unopposed shot to the corner of the net for which Camara runs until the jump that he does stopping.
Kaabouni has 8.2 rating and a goal, I bring him off. Labidi in his place, François goes right to show what he can do and Jebbour to the left to sit woeful Etienne. Lambèse to the right, Ikone left and Legrand out. We go 4-2-3-1.
Camara begins the second half the same way. "Hey, the striker with the ball is to my right. I know! I'll hugh the left post!" Cardwell picks a nasty knock in the last minutes and I decide to take him off.
What a crappy way to end the season. Bunch of bloodless guys. Only Kaabouni and Amalla concentrated in the game.

Cardwell's knock wasn't as bad as it looked at first.

In a quick glance I can say: I want the four loanees to come permanently. I want one new goalkeeper in place of either Camara or Mele. We'll need two centrebacks and retain only McGahey and Henry. Other changes will be studied later. Probably a fullback to replace Etienne and someone to replace François, who I should've not allowed to leave.

Talking around in the celebration dinner I made for the squad I found out I'm the favoured personnel of some players!

Why it's dropped from untouchable to very secure when in between we reached promotion places and confirmed it is beyond me.

Promotion has increased her reputation by 10%, to 45%.

She speaks good level of Arabian now.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Endseason 2021-2022

Voting for manager of the year I see I'm the one with the most manager points.

Some awards are already announced:

A confidence review is submitted. Only very secure. I was untouchable when still out of promotion.

I also set the preseason duration to seven weeks.

The board let me choose training camp destination. I accept their proposal.

As the season has just finished, I do a few things: tell the board I will deal with contract offers for players and telling the press I want to sign Kaabouni, Cardwell and Maillard permanently.

Kaabouni and Cardwell show themselves eager to come. Maillard, not so much. I'll wait for Gharriche injury to end to go for him.

More records: team position and Kaabouni's average rating.

Ikone has been given the Players' Player of Season award. Kaabouni is given the Star of the Season award. Those two make it to the Stars Team of the season. No others, though. Ikone also gets the most assists award.

Commercial summary is submitted. The total income reported is similar to past season's.

The board injects almost three million euros.

John Williams have begun contract renewal talks. Some back room staff signs, Robin signs a new contract, Ikone rejects it, but he still has one more season, so that's not a big deal. Offers for Cardwell and Kaabouni are accepted. To Kaabouni I offer just one year, as I don't plan to stay longer and would like to bring him to my new club. Uhm... what do you mean he's 26 already? Oh. Uhm. Always thought he was younger.

Whoops, I forgot to tell the board to pass new signing confirmations through me.

AS Monaco asks way too much for Maillard, so he's not staying on a permanent deal.

We have a new sponsorhips deal. A little more money per year.

The last league's month Player of Month award gives three first places to our players.

We receive some money from Dijon for our deal as feeder club. Some goes away to FC Weis as our feeder.

Our balance is now in the positive, though by little.

From qualification group for African Cup of Nations. We're already through, I hope players don't go in holiday mode.
Though Rwanda began with some dangerous plays, they soon faded. Press had critiziced the inclusion of Djamel Mazari and he proved me right by assisting once and scoring another.

After the CHAN mistakes by the staff they were on the verge of sacking me, but they've come around. I'll step down after the African Cup of Nations, as there will be a way till the next competition.


Death Ball

May 17, 2009

Summer 2022

As the transfer window opens, I send my scouts to report on all non relegated Ligue 1 teams so I have a list of loan players available.

The next game to come, for €350K, is centreback Sané. As a rotation option as his balance isn't very good, but otherwise is among the best we can sign cheaply.

Pending are loan extensions for Maillard and Gharriche. Maillard's the first to arrive and Gharriche follows shortly after.

Next signing is Cédric Yambéré on loan. He'll be the second centreback along Henry.

Then John Williams loans Cheikh Badiane for the youth team, I assume, but he looks good enough to have some appeareances with the first team. In fact, he'll probably have some starts.

The TV money for the next season has been announced.

As goal for the season I choose simply to try avoiding relegation.

The scouting range has been increased to full world.

I get another Kaabouni average rating record, this time for Amiens.

Another loan deal by Williams comes in. He looks took class. I must say he's doing a pretty good job.

The pitch has been relaid.

Perrin and Vollert come to the team the 1st of July.

Offers arrive for Fabre... I wanted to give him some starts this season. Most want him as cover, so those will be rejected straight away; but there are two offers to have him as first or valuable team member in Ligue 2, but those come from Gazelec and Orleans, that past season was close to relegation, the later is expected to finish last. So I'm rejecting all.

I wasn't informed, they gave the manager of the season award to Bourg-Peronnas Frapolli. Complete injustice. He dropped from the race when things heated up, we overachieved more than anyone else, I had the most points. Had they given it to winners Lens I could begrudgingly accept it, but to Bourg's?

At this point, the team has all the players it needs, lacking only a left fullback, which I've asked the chief scout to look for within a month. Also a veteran striker was released that the scouts reccoment, I've offered him a trial for four weeks.

I've also completed the friendlies list with adding a first and last to those invitations what were accepted.



Mar 31, 2015
Shame about missing out on Manager of the Year. Some impressive signings though, avoiding relegation is definitely possible!

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Shame about missing out on Manager of the Year. Some impressive signings though, avoiding relegation is definitely possible!
Indeed, I'm fairly optimistic. If I find a left fullback good enough at least to be a replacement for Maillard and a good goalkeeper then I'm sure avoiding relegation will be done comfortably, even.