Season Review 2018-19

A quick look back at what was a very successful season for us that sees us get promoted.

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Di Renzo is the only player to move into the all time starting 11 although a number of players move onto the bench.

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Can't really say I have any big issue with the team of the season. Mayoral sweeps the player of the season award with 63% of the vote unsurprisingly given all his goals. He also claimed young player of the season. Antov claimed signing of the season despite only joining near the end of the season he has been immense in our defence since he joined although Di Renzo could feel a bit annoyed to not get the award as he was pretty good all season long.

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A big reason for our success was the lack of injuries to big players. Villanueva had the worst injury of any one with more than a couple starts and half of it was covered by preseason. Fernandez of the youth team however ensured that the physios always had something to be doing.

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Mayoral breaks Guiza's goals in a season record. Hopefully he can back it up better than Guiza who only scored one goal for Mallorca before leaving and never really found any goalscoring form again at a high level.

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Much to the fans and my delight I've re-extended Mayoral's loan to 24 months and his contract will expire in 24 months and Madrid currently feel he is not needed so I'm hopeful that I will be able to sign him on a free in 18 months time.

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We made a small profit last season although we should rake in far more money this season.

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Osasuna easily won both playoff ties to become the third and final team to claim promotion to La Liga.

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Speaking of La Liga this is how the league shaped up last season. The biggest thing to note for me is the team in 18th has had 31 and 30 points in the last two seasons which makes me think survival is definitely possible.

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Celta Vigo offer me a job interview as 8th clearly wasn't good enough for them and I dismiss Sevilla speculation.

View attachment 38300We finish the season last in possession which is a bit of a worry as I feel that La Liga sides will be able to create more chances and be more lethal from them along with being able to keep the ball better so we may have to work well on keeping our shape.

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Mayoral was a dominant scorer leading the league in it from day 1 and ended up 13 goals ahead of second with only 3 players scoring more than half what he managed.

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Mayoral and Sastre both played all but one game for us this season and we're vital in our promotion. Only 15 players making double digit starts shows how little I rotated, especially as a couple of those who did were mid season signings who replaced other players. We also struggled to score outside Mayoral with Lago Junior the only other player to score more than 5 goals which is something I will have to improve. They were also both the only players to record double digit assists and if I lose one of them for a while next season we will be in trouble.​
2019 Summer Transfer Window

With not a lot to offer in wages and not a huge transfer budget when you take into account the improvement that is needed I searched transfer lists, loan lists and free agents while also exploring some of Europe's more obscure leagues hoping to stretch my money as far as I possibly could. On the outgoing end I decided that La Liga would be a step to far for some of the players who have been here since day 1 so sadly moved some of them on.

Outgoing Transfers
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Vujnovic is the only player to leave permanently for a fee as we make a quick profit on him. Jose Angel and Ariday both stay in La Liga 2 on loans for 10k a month. Mills leaves on loan for Rayo Majahonda, I would have kept him but, Brexit made him non-EU and he wasn't good enough to take one of the three non-EU spots. Alex Lopez drops down to the third division while Prats is able to stay in La Liga 2 despite rarely playing for me in two years. Pedraza heads to Toledo who had a poor season after we beat them in the playoffs. Season 1 starting goalkeeper Reina is also released.

Incoming Transfers

All the loans opened up some wage room but not a lot of transfer money was raised with outgoing moves so I had to be careful where I spent my money.

Vladamir Dyadun
View attachment 38295Dyadun joins us on a free after his contract expired to end a poor spell with Rostov. Purely some depth for Mayoral and maybe also useful as a defensive forward if we are holding onto a lead late. Despite being Russian he doesn't count against our non-EU limit.

Nicolo Fazzi
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A jack of all trades master of none style player. He was signed on a free from Atalanta after having been loaned out by them the last couple years. Really just signed to provide depth at a number of positions for not a lot of money.

Alex Munoz
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I agreed to sign Munoz in January when his Sevilla contract expired and I still wasn't sure we'd get promoted. Now that we have he will only provide some depth but, with three centre backs we do need some depth there.

Alfredo Bifulco
View attachment 38292Bifulco joins us on a free from Napoli where he never actually played a game being loaned out the last couple years. He will provide depth for Lago Junior which is something that we have missed and will also be able to compete for a starting spot on the left wing if needed.

Kenneth Omeruo
View attachment 38291Centre back was somewhere that I really felt that we had to improve and signing Omeruo from Chelsea on a free will be a big step towards doing so as he becomes one of our best players. His performances at centre back will go a long way to determining what division we play in next season.

Martin Minchev
View attachment 38290He was signed as a free agent back in April but could only join now. Another good signing for us from Bulgaria, due to competition up front he will head out on loan back in Bulgaria to Slavia Sofia.

Andre Pereira
View attachment 38289Signed on a free for Porto to provide depth all over the attacking positions and should be able to challenge a number of players to start in their positions and his versatility.

View attachment 38288Pepelu joins us from relegated Levante, when Everton also had a bid accepted for him I assumed he would go there but clearly the offer of first team football got him to join us. He will step in at centre mid where I really felt we needed an upgrade and not cost to much with €3.8 million guaranteed with some of it in instalments.

Pape Cheikh
View attachment 38287Pape Cheikh comes in on loan from Lyon for a season to help add more depth to the CM position. A talented player who has not been able to play at his best for Lyon hopefully he can come good for us.

Alvaro Medran
View attachment 38286Our final signing in central midfield Medran joins us from Valencia on loan for the season. As he has one year left on his contract with Valencia if he does well for us then I may look to make his move here permanent.

Dario del Fabro
View attachment 38285Juve signed him for 4 million and he never played for them before I bought him for 400k. A useful player to have he may well start as the middle centre back. He joins us fresh from playing quite a bit for Crotone in Serie A last season.

Ramiro Funes Mori
View attachment 38284The last centre back to join us Funes Mori joins us and takes up the extra non-EU slot we get from promotion. It took €1.4 million to get him from Everton so I expect big things from him as a result and as he is our highest earner so he better prove himself to be worth the money.

Nicola Murru
View attachment 38283I decided to finish up the window by upgrading our full backs and Murru comes in after a poor spell at Lazio to take the left back spot. He will cost €2 million potentially rising to €3 million a bargain for a player of his quality.

Bartosz Bereszynski

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Our final signing of the window was Polish right back Bartosz joins us fresh from competing a domestic double with Legia Warsaw. It cost us €2.5 million rising to 3 million but we will have a great option at right back who can hopefully contribute both attacking and defending.

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Brilliant going with the Back to back Promotions, beyond the top 5 or so i feel as if their are some really poor teams in La Liga hopefully a top half finish could be on the cards!
Brilliant going with the Back to back Promotions, beyond the top 5 or so i feel as if their are some really poor teams in La Liga hopefully a top half finish could be on the cards!

Thanks, yeah looking around the other teams we definitely could do a bit more than just avoid relegation but have to settle into the division first.
Pre-Season and First Game

We look to get underway in La Liga for the first time since 2013 and will face Basque side Athletic Bilbao in our opening fixture and only game in August.

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We certainly don't get an easy start with Real Madrid and Barca both in our first five games and Bilbao and Celta Vigo are also strong sides with Alaves the only team at around our level.

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We are in the money now with this and our own tv deal we will make €60 million this season from TV rights which will put us in a miles better financial situation than we have been in recently.

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The board haven't been too unrealistic and just want us to stay up and advance one round in the cup, something I have never quite managed to do.

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The bookmakers put us as predicted last but seem to think that three of us, Granada, Osasuna, Getafe and Rayo will be relegated only recently moving Alaves out of the conversation.

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The fans have reacted well to our promotion and bought up every season ticket available.

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As a result of the season ticket sales I ask the board to expand the stadium and they agree to do so after the end of the season and will see us have just over 30,000 seats to help boost our income.

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I also got the board to agree to upgrade our youth recruitment in the meeting so hopefully we can make sure we get all the best players possible into our academy.

Mallorca 0-1 Athletic Bilbao
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A unlucky start to the season for us as an Antov own goal and some good goalkeeping by Kepa sees Bilbao leave with all the points. A cut back hit the heel of Antov and slowly rolled in past Uilson who was wrong footed and leaves us starting off the season with a defeat.
September Update

We face Barca and Real Madrid as the schedule makers don't want to let us settle into the league. We will also face Celta Vigo and Real Sociedad as well as starting the month off against Alaves.

Alaves 0-1 Mallorca
View attachment 37877After they won their opening game 5-1 I was worried but then their manager left for Southampton so I was a bit more confident. It looked set to be a 0-0 draw until deep into injury time Uilson hit a goal kick long up the middle and both Alaves centre backs left it for the other to deal with and Mayoral sprinted between them and brought the ball down before firing past the keeper to earn us our first points of the season.

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Medran picked up a concussion in the game that will see him miss most of the rest of the month.

Mallorca 2-2 Celta Vigo
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It would be a good point for us if we hadn't blown a two goal lead. Mayoral got us ahead early on with the keeper unable to keep his powerful strike from inside the box out the back of the net. Morer quickly doubled our lead, Mayoral played him in and his finish clipped the inside of the post on its way in. Guidetti quickly hit back for Vigo tapping in at the near post. With less than five minutes left he popped up again to level the game finishing well when in on goal.

Real Madrid 3-0 Mallorca
View attachment 37874We were not match for Madrid who won pretty easily. Mane put them ahead with a poachers effort after two great goal line blocks and Ronaldo made it 2-0 with a close range header after 20 mins. He then wrapped up the game with an easy tap in from a Mane cross.

Mallorca 1-3 Barcelona
View attachment 37873We had one chance to equalise from 2-0 down against Barca but Raillo's header hit the bar and didn't go in and they made us pay. They took an early lead when a Rakitic shot that was going wide took a massive deflection off of Funes Mori and went in. Parejo soon doubled their lead with a great shot from just inside the box. Mayoral pulled a goal back for us just after half time firing in from a Funes Mori knock down. Mario re-established their two goal lead left unmarked to head in a corner.

Real Sociedad 0-1 Mallorca
View attachment 37872We end the month with a promising win away in San Sebastian. Raillo netted the only goal of the game after 20 minutes a corner fell to Funes Mori and his low strike hit the post and then the back of the keeper and with the ball on the line Raillo got his toe to the ball to claim the goal for himself.

View attachment 37871We sit in 13th and have started much better than our fellow promoted sides Osasuna and Granada. Elsewhere we aren't the only ones to struggle against Real and Barca.

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Granada will be our opponents in the Copa del Rey as I look for me first goals and win in the competition. Unlike our previous ties in the competition this tie will be two legged.

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Antov made his debut for Bulgaria off the back of a good start in La Liga. He has been a good signing for us and still not sure why no Bulgarian club signed him before we did.