September 2017

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We got away with this one. A late winner from Julian Brandt gets us the 3 points after Stuttgart took the lead in the second half. A downside though was Bernd Leno got an injury and will miss the Real Madrid game, meaning young Marian Prinz will be in goal.

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Julian Brandt. The man I identified as our main man from the start but failed to deliver last season comes big for us. We outplayed the Spanish giants and Prinz was very good in goal until a mistake for their goal. Excellent performance and that is now two wins in two seasons at home to Real Madrid.

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Julian Brandt...again! Good win, we dominated, solid performance.

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Hmmm, Hoffenheim are definitely becoming a bogey team. Volland steals us a point, our defence has been woeful so far this season.

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A tactical ploy of mine that failed. We went 3 vs 3 at the back, all man marking (Bender, Dragovic and Tah marking Stindl, Raffael and Belotti) and it ended up failing as we couldn't find a way through them. A rare home defeat for us.

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We should have won by more but the shot count sums up our dominance. 6 from 6 so far in the Champions League, solid start.



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4 wins 1 draw 1 loss 11 goals for 7 goals against

A solid if not underwhelming start to the campaign. Julian Brandt had a sensational month scoring 5 and is really showing me the player I knew he could be. We're definitely missing in something however and the quicker Firmino arrives the better.

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Very difficult month ahead with away trips to Bayern, Dortmund and Monaco as well as the local derby against Koln and a game against high flying Mainz. We'll have to be on our toes and better defensively or we'll be punished.

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October 2017

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Unlucky from our boys. Pierre-Emile Hojberg scored a cracker against his former side but the team top of the league showed their class and Muller scored a great goal to give the Bavarians all 3 points.

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A completely dominant performance in the Rhein derby. Julian Brandt is in a class of his own at the moment, we were by far the better team, giving us local bragging rights.

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A brilliant performance that surely puts us in the last 16 of the Champions League. Moise Kean scoring his first Champions League goal at just 17, what a future this kid has.

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Frustrating. Julian Brandt scored an absolute pearler to give us the lead as we looked to play on the counter, but Marco Reus scored an unbelievable free kick, Shinji Kagawa scored from a defensive error and Gonzalo Castro scored a screamer against his former side. On another day we could have got a point or even 3, but luck just doesn't seem to be going our way this season so far.

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We got away with this one. Heidenham were the better team and I had to substitute the big boys on in the second half to try redeem the match. Moise Kean again chipping in with a goal.

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A win here could have really kick started our season, but we falter again. Our defence just doesn't seem up to scratch and I think I might have to change our system as it simply isn't working as well this season, teams are countering the life out of us. The positive is that Moise Kean is in brilliant form.

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Really good away point, which secured our qualification. We could have got all 3 points, but 1 point away to a good Monaco side isn't a disaster.



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3 wins 2 draws 2 losses 15 goals for 10 goals against

As you can see, we're slumping in the league, 8 points off high flying Mainz. The clear issue is our defence, but a run off decent results and we'll start asserting our dominance on the Champions League places.

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An important run for us with the lead up to the winter break. There's a few teams (Mainz and Ingolstadt) that I expect to drop off and won't be able to maintain their early season momentum and we need to be there to capitalise if they do. Anyway, the positives are that we are scoring from all over the place.

I absolutely love the quotes you sometimes put in your post.

Great job with Leverkusen.

November/December 2017

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"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that"
Bill Shankly


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A win in the capital! Julian Brandt is having an elite season, his production has been scintillating thus far. Jonathan Tah gave us some breathing space which we needed as they mounted a late push for a point. Calhanoglu scored an absolute worldie that only he - in the current squad - could have scored.

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Now this, this was frustrating. I won't go about saying I was "FM'd" but 99% of the time we win this game. Aranguiz redeemed himself after his penalty miss. 2 points dropped.

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A CLEAN SHEET. Our first in six games. We played for the draw and dully got one. Not a great performance, but a few players were missing and a better result than we achieved last season where we were beaten 3-0.

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This was shambolic. Ingolstadt completely outplayed us an deserved to win. I ****** hope that this is the low point of our season. The less said about this game the better.

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Kevin Volland bags us 2 goals after going FIFTEEN HOURS without scoring. Our striker going fifteen full hours without scoring is a bit of a summary of our first half of the season. Anyway, hopefully Volland will find some form now.

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Our youngsters got a run out and really showed up for us. Emre Koç and Atakan Akkaynak each bagging two was pleasing to see. Big shock in the group, as Monaco beat Real Madrid and as a result, knocked out the Spanish giants!

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Very good win. We were holding on at the end, but a very pleasing win and a good one on a personal level for me since RB Leipzig dominated us last season and I was outclassed tactically. Happy.

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German Cup advancement was key for us as already I'm starting to think Bayern will run away with the league, the DFB Pokal looks like our best opportunity for a trophy. On to the fourth round.

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A good win against highflying Hamburg, Volland again with two was very pleasing. A very good month for the club.



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6 wins 2 draws 1 loss 21 goals for 10 goals against

A slow start, but we were perfect in December. 5 points off Bayern may already prove to be too much, but we will continue to fight to try and retain our Bundesliga. Seeing the performance of Schalke definitely makes me feel much better about our dodgy start to the season!

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As I eluded to earlier, Real Madrid are knocked out! Winning the group afforded us a fair draw against Porto in the last 16, a really good opportunity for us to progress into the last 8.

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Tuchel was sacked and replaced by Antonio Conte, interesting appointment! My main man Roberto Firmino will have joined by next game, which is delightful. Our second game against Bremen will be in the DFB Pokal. Lets hope the squad keep their good run of forming going into the New Year.


January/February 2018

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"Possession means nothing when the opponent takes their chances"
Franz Beckenbauer


Transfer Rumours...

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It's the beginning of the transfer window and rumours are spreading that Julian Brandt could be suspect to a massive bid from Barcelona. He has a £66 million release clause in his contract, will Barca take the risk...


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This defence!!! We should have closed the game out at 2-0 and in hindsight I should have switched to a more defensive mindset, but it wasn't to be for us. Roberto Firmino made his debut for the club.

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Back to winning ways for the boys. Calhanoglu and Henrichs hitting back for us after wonderkid Breel Embolo gave struggling Schalke the lead. All in all, a poor first two games for Roberto Firmino.

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A disappointing result in the league fixture against Bremen. Kevin Volland bagging two and is quietly putting together a solid season, but how can we win matches when were conceding 2 or 3 goals a game? A change is needed.

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This time in the DFB Pokal we're on the right side of a 3-2 result. Atakan Akkaynak holding his nerve for us and bagging the winner from the spot. What a talent he is, I never thought he'd be thriving so much in just season two.

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Finally, he proves his worth for us! A magnificent hat trick from our record signing after we reinvented out tactics to try get the best out of him (see later). A game we should have won and we did, even if we didn't play excellently.

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Champions League 1st Knockout Round

FC Porto vs. Bayer Leverkusen

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Aaaargh. Not a disaster, but by no means an ideal result. We missed numerous decent chances as Porto ran out eventual winners. Work to do at the BayArena indeed.



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3 wins 1 draw 2 losses 13 goals for 10 goals against

A spell like most of our others so far - solid if not spectacular. I've found a new system that we've employed for the Stuttgart and the Porto game, and so far I like the chances we're creating.

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As you can see, there's a clear fall guy in this formation - Julian Brandt. I see him fitting in to either of the front three positions, but we'll see how it all plays out. It's lacking defensively, but we've been so dreadful defensively this season we may as well take the approach of trying to outscore everyone. It's not a fix all, but will offer an alternative at least till the end of the season.


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Two players have departed us for huge money. Charles Aranguiz has left to Bundesliga rivals for a massive fee that could rise to £36.5 million. I had no intentions of selling him, but that fee for a non first XI whom is 28 was too good to turn down.
Julian Baumgartlinger has also left the club. Again, I didn't pan on selling him - especially since it was in February and I couldn't replace him - but £22 million potentially rising to £24 million was again, too good to turn down. Both players will be missed and I would be open to the idea of both of them coming back in the future, but getting potentially £60 million for two substitute midfielders is excellent business in my book.
There was no bid for Julian Brandt and even if there was, providing it didn't match his release clause, it would have been rejected.

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A tricky spell ahead for us. Hopefully we can cement a top 3 position in this time and advance in the Champions League. Lets see if our defence can hold up...

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February/March/April 2018

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""We must not think that we've already achieved something great. We are in a good situation, no more and no less."
Rudi Völler - Bayer Leverkusen Director of Football


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****** ****. 3-0 up and dropping 2 points to 10 man Hannover, absolutely horrendous. Not much else to say, we really need to have a look at our defence.

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Good to get back to winning ways, Brandt adding another to his season total, but Akkaynak missed another penalty...

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Much better. They had a man sent off early so perhaps we should have done better, but a win away to a rival competing for a Champions League place is a good result none the less. Calhanoglu bagging a great free kick.

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Champions League 1st Knockout Round

Bayer Leverkusen (0) vs. FC Porto (1)

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Absolute heartache. Porto came on a mission - to not concede. They played with 10 men behind the ball and defended outstandingly well against our trident of Firmino - Calhanoglu - Volland and it looked like there was no way past them. Then, when all hope looked gone, Jonathan Tah scored a looping header with virtually the last kick of the ball in normal time. The momentum was completely with us, but we couldn't break down Porto's sturdy defence in extra time so the match went to penalties. They missed their second kick and third kick and whilst Mehmedi missed for us, Pierre-Emile Hojberg stepped up as the 5th taker to win it for us but couldn't hold his nerve and hit the post. Porto converted their 6th kick and Henrichs missed as Porto came out with the win. Simply devastated.


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Bayern were the unlucky team to feel our wrath in the game after being knocked out of the Champions League. We were devastating and tore them apart, Volland hit yet another brace and Firmino picked them apart as we cruised to a win that perhaps through a spanner into the works of the Bundesliga title race...

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Just look at those stats. Timo Horn won the local derby for Koln, he was outstanding and even saved a penalty. A stumbling block in our recent great form. Koln with local bragging rights.

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Lively Leverkusen! Brilliant performance, Atakan Akkaynak is showing a real good goal scoring touch as a box-to-box midfielder and our main man of the second part of this season, Kevin Volland, scored his first hat trick for the club. Devastating attacking performance from us.

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This is the advantage of our system playing without a clear striker. We're much more clinical as our chances are much better opportunities, so as our numbers for shots is decreasing, the likelihood of scoring from these chances is increasing, which is very pleasing. Mainz's early season form is certainly dithering.

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We should have won by more but can't really complain. Bellarabi is playing well as our Complete Wing Back at right back. Possible title push incoming?



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7 wins 1 draw 1 loss 24 goals for 11 goals against

Blistering form from us, excellent form from us, but we really didn't deliver when it mattered in the Champions League. We're safe money for Champions League qualification and a second place finish is all but secured.

A huge signing was made...

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A genuine world superstar was signed in Kevin De Bruyne. This deal could prove to be the bargain of the century, we've signed a world class talent in his prime years for £15.5 million potentially rising to £19 million, he was unhappy at an underperforming Manchester City side, even though he was averaging around a 7.50 for them over the past two seasons.

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The big game for us is against Wolfsburg in the DFB Pokal semi-final, if we could win that competition then it would be considered a very good season overall. Let's go.

De Bruyne is a great signing. Good luck in the cup, if you win that it will still have been a good season. You still have a chance in the league as well!

April/May 2018

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"I'm not saying my way is better. It's just my way"
Pep Guardiola


DFB Pokal Semi Final

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Roberto Firmino!! What a signing the Brazilian has proven to be, two goals when we needed him most. We needed a player that would take the bull by the horns and Firmino is that man, he's been in scintillating form for us. Our somewhat forgotten man in Julian Brandt chipped in with a goal too, on to the final we go!!


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A good win against Champions League contending Ingolstadt, but truth be told, we're just focussing on the final of the DFB Pokal now, I don't see any situation where we either drop below 2nd or overtake Bayern. Firmino and Calhanoglu bagging a goal each.

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Oh man. We lose away to already relegated and bottom of the table Darmstadt. If there was any chance of a title push, this discredited it and put it to bed. Poor performance all round.

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Akkaynak hitting double figures for us is brilliant to see and Lars Bender with his first goal of my reign as manager. Frankfurt too were already relegated so a bit of a dead rubber match.

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A cracker of a game, but our defence continues to worry me. I just don't know if we'll be able to keep out Dortmund in the DFB Pokal final. Calhanoglu won us the game late on as we ended RB Leipzig's Champions League hopes.

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Not much to say about this game. It was 3rd vs 2nd, but I played a totally rotated squad for the game, with only Henrichs and Hojberg likely to play in the final. Prinz saved a penalty from Hunt and showed a good solid game. My second choice defence managed a clean sheet!



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Well, a very good season all things considered. If you had offered me second I would have probably taken it. Bayern are back and were stunningly good all season. Hamburg qualify for the Champions League in a great season for them, but look at Schalke, BMG and Wolfsburg!

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Tah, Akkaynak, Kampl and Volland all made the team of the season. All 4 were outstanding and I'm especially delighted that Atakan Akkaynak has made it, he's a player I really feel like I have shaped and has really taken control this season and asserted himself as a key player for us. Volland had an excellent season overall, hitting 20 goals and 10 assists in the league. Kampl and Tah make the TOTS for the second time in two season under our management.

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A very good budget to improve the team next season. The main target will be a centre back that can compete with Dragovic and Tah and also a striker that gives us a different option, i.e a target man.

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Exciting news to get, some very exciting young players coming through the team, but everything wasn't all so positive...

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Jonathan Tah will miss the DFB Pokal final against Dortmund. Jedvaj will have to replace him, a huge drop in quality for our defence. Let's just hope he can deliver.

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One game left of the season and it's the big one - Borussia Dortmund...

Great story so far mate keep it going!

Absolute bargain for De Bruyne there, got very lively AMC options!
Incredible price for De Bruyne, no matter how many AMC's you have, you can't pass up on that price

Two fantastic seasons as well, best of luck in the final against BVB

May/June/July 2018

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"I think finals are there to be won, you know the feeling of losing a final is really bad. I prefer to lose a semi-final, quarter-final because I know I will forget... But the feeling of losing a final stays here forever. Even if you win two, three, four, five it stays. You know, I’m too scared to lose, so I give everything to win."
Didier Drogba


DFB Pokal Final

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Dortmund

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It's here - it's the big one. We line up with Bender sitting in front of the defence rather than Hojberg. This was to respect the potential attack threat of Dortmund. Brandt starts ahead of Calhanoglu in the only real tough decision I had to make.


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Firmino latches on to a loose ball in the penalty area and puts it in the back of the net, what a start!! Our main man comes up big once more.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Borussia Dortmund


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Marco Reus pokes the rebound home after a brilliant initial save from Bernd Leno. Game on, we need to react well.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Borussia Dortmund


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Kevin Volland restores our lead with a magnificent finish, what a start to the match.

Half Time: Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

A good performance so far. We've been on top and have one hand on the trophy. We've got to concentrate, we simply have to. Huge 45 minutes incoming.


We've done it, we hold on! A brilliant defensive performance from our boys as they piled the pressure on, Leverkusen's first German Cup win in 15 years!

Full Time: Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

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Season Summary

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2nd in Bundesliga, German Cup winners, last 16 of the Champions League and German Super Cup winners. All in all a very good season, but we hope to really be competing with Bayern Munich in the league and hope to advance to the latter stages of the Champions League.

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Kampl deservedly won POTS for us as although Volland was excellent and Brandt's early season form was scintillating, Kampl was our most consistent player. We had 6 players that got 9 or more goals, which is delightful to see.

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Spurs have went on to become a real force in Europe and have reached the final in both seasons, this time missing out to a PSG side whom have spending power beyond belief...

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Wouldn't mind either of them.

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Hmmm. This could prove to be problematic. No slips up from us the next few seasons, or we'll pay.

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This was pleasing to see. My players making a big impression on the world stage. Germany beat England 4-2 after extra time in the final, Volland bagging two and Tah scoring the 4th in the final. Volland, Tah, Henrichs and Akkaynak all returning as World Cup winners.


Transfer Activity


What you've all been waiting for, transfers! My first port of call was to look for a new substitute goalkeeper. I plan on loaning out Prinz as his potential is huge and he's too good to sit on the bench. Ideally I wanted a goalkeeper who would give Leno a push to maintain a high standard, but was available at a low fee. Instantly, W
ojciech Szczesny stood out. He was available on a bosman and we swooped for him in mid May as his wage demands reached a reasonable level having previously been looking for £80k+

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Next up, as I eluded to previously, I wanted a target man striker. I was looking for someone whom would probably not play every game, but would deliver when called upon. The man that immediately came to mind, Mario Mandzukic. I negotiated with Juventus and after he initially rejected my contract offer, we came back a few weeks later (having to pay Juventus an extra £2 million) and put pen to paper. I'm delighted with securing Super Mario, even if we only get 2 good seasons out of him.

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My next target was a centre back that could compete with Dragovic who was shaky last season. I looked high and low and eventually had a shortlist of Niklas Süle (unhappy at Hoffenheim and available for between £13.5-18.5 million), Mauricio Lemos (available for between £18.5-26 million), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea were unwilling to sell) and Emre Can (available for £29-42 million).
Initially, I pursued Emre Can. I saw him as an ideal candidate to play in a back 3 and eventually had an offer of £28 million potentially rising to £34 million with add ons accepted, but talks fell apart at the contract negotiation stage. I gave up and turned my attentions to Andreas Christensen. I declared him as my top target and after he came out as unhappy, Chelsea transfer listed him for £16 million. Immediately, we bid, along with Arsenal and Southampton. All bids were accepted but luckily, he decided to take the chance and come fight for his place here. A brilliant signing in my opinion and I'm delighted to have him on board.
I needed back up as well as Jedvaj failed to impress me every time he came in for Tah or Dragovic, so Antonio Rudiger will join on loan for a year with an option to buy at any point for £5 million.

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Admir Mehmedi was nothing short of shambolic during my reign, not scoring in 2 seasons at the club (seriously) and somehow Bournemouth decided to pay £10.25 million for the flop.
A few players went out on loan, namely Moise Kean, Emre Koç and Kai Havertz.
A player we have lost that I didn't plan on losing is Karim Bellarabi. Dortmund came in with a huge £36.5 million bid potentially rising to £45.5 million for the 28 year old, planning to utilise him as a replacement for Marco Reus who jumped ship to Bayern. Now, with a few days left of the transfer window, I need to look for a replacement for him...

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Next up for us after a brilliant pre season is the German Cup and then the Super Cup against Bayern before beginning our league campaign. Lets hope our attack can come together.

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Loving this save mate! Aranguiz and Bellerabi now at Dortmund, going to be some interesting games between you and them! Interested to see how Bayern spend the Griezmann money too.

August/September 2018

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"Germany is my second home. I would love to stay here as long as possible. Well, to end my career, why not."
Mario Mandzukic


Transfer Deadline Day

Well, I said that I needed an attacking winger...

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Leroy Sane has returned home to Bayer Leverkusen in a big swoop from Manchester City for £24 million. A perfect replacement for Karim Bellarabi and hopefully he can deliver some equally effective performances.

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Dortmund and Bayern strengthened their squads with some stellar additions. Particularly impressed with Dortmund's signing of Moussa Dembélé.

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DFB Pokal 1st Round

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Starting the season off in style. Calhanoglu and Brandt doing some serious stat-padding, but good to see them shore that clinical touch. As much a pre season game as anything, it was good for some of the players confidence.

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Disappointing. Bayern came out the blocks flying and took advantage of our sluggish start, Max Arnold scoring a screamer. Calhanoglu scored a sensational free kick but Bayern held off our onslaught in the last half hour and won the Super Cup. Bayern win the first battle against us this season, but we're determined to win the war.

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Flying start to our Bundesliga campaign, Volland and Brandt continuing their good form from last season and Tah continuing to show his threat from set pieces. Satisfying win.

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Excellent win. Schalke's centre backs didn't know whether to come or go against our strikerless set up and Volland and Firmino ripped them apart. Sensational fluidity form our front three and De Bruyne can't find a way into the side yet.

Champions League Group A Round 1

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Yep, you're reading that right. EIGHT-one win in our European debut of the season! Mario Mandzukic opens his account in style for us as he scores four, three of which were headers. We were clinical and dominated in all areas - it could and perhaps should have bene double figures seeing as they went down to ten men with over half an hour to go and we were already 7-1 up!

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Man this is coming together nicely. Julian Brandt's form has been absolutely devastating and Mandzukic has added in a totally new dimension to our game that has transformed us. Could not be happier.

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After a frighteningly good start where we were demolishing teams, this was a much harder graft for the team. Mandzukic raced us to a two goal lead and cruising, but defensive lapses in concentration let them get back into the game and they levelled at 2-2. Akkaynak then got his second yellow and we looked to hold onto a draw, but Julian Brandt chased a lost cause of a long ball but Neto in their goal committed an absolute howler and let the ball roll by him for Brandt to tuck in from an open goal. Lucky Leverkusen.

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Back to total domination. Brandt again was unbelievable. Mandzukic and Firmino are already looking like they will be a formidable partnership.



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7 wins 0 draws 1 loss 38 goals for 6 goals against

Just look at the number of goals we've scored! Utterly sensational start to the season, couldn't have asked for more. The team has gelled together and a lot of it I think is due to a new tactical shape we've been deploying. We're switching between the strikerless formation and a 4-2-3-1, a formation that I've not used since FM14.

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I've tried to incorporate Firmino, Brandt and De Bruyne -whom I believe to be my three best players into a position where I believe they can be most effective. The idea of this tactic is to press better than we had previously, where it was disjointed due to the asymmetrical approach to the team. De Bruyne (or Calhanoglu who can also fill this role) will be drifting inside from the left hand side opening up a gap for Wendell to run into and deliver the ball from wide. The defensive forward till be there to press and harry the opposition - a role I think is severely underrated in FM. Firmino will be deployed as Trequartista and will basically play as a second striker. In game it plays out as a 4-4-2 when attacking and the improvement has been excellent thus far.

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Just look at those season stats so far from Julian Brandt. Those are Messi numbers. Sensational from the German sensation.

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A tough run of fixtures for us next month, playing only 2 home games. Hopefully we can continue our sensational start and take a strong lead in our Champions League group with Atletico to contend with.

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You've really done a fantastic job so far, really turned Leverkusen into a real powerhouse! I've also begun a save with Leverkusen as my "getting to know the game" safe and you've set the bar really high for what is possible with this team. Also since you are struggling with using Jedvaj as a CB I suggest trying him as a fullback/wingback, he is superb for me in that role.
You've really done a fantastic job so far, really turned Leverkusen into a real powerhouse! I've also begun a save with Leverkusen as my "getting to know the game" safe and you've set the bar really high for what is possible with this team. Also since you are struggling with using Jedvaj as a CB I suggest trying him as a fullback/wingback, he is superb for me in that role.

Thanks mate, I've got Jedvaj as my utility defender - I try have one in each squad I have. Wendell picked up a 4-5 month injury last season and he did indeed play decently well at wing back. Best of luck with your save, great team to start out with!
As a Bundesliga fan, it's really great to see a manager story from Germany man!

I think Christensen's stats should have been much better(especially tackling). And Emre Koç? He's already a beast! He will be a world class striker in couple years for sure. Sane transfer is insanely good :p I like your transfers and going. I'll follow this topic regularly. Good luck man! Give Schalke a chance to win the league at least for once :p
As a Bundesliga fan, it's really great to see a manager story from Germany man!

I think Christensen's stats should have been much better(especially tackling). And Emre Koç? He's already a beast! He will be a world class striker in couple years for sure. Sane transfer is insanely good :p I like your transfers and going. I'll follow this topic regularly. Good luck man! Give Schalke a chance to win the league at least for once :p

Thanks mate, I agree on Christensen, from what I've seen on him he seems a bit underrated on the game, but his 17 anticipation and 16 decisions for a 22 year old is unbelievably good.

I should be more excited by Emre Koç, he's even made his Germany debut at just 18, but I have so many exciting young strikers at the club, competition for places will be fierce! (sorry to brag about my depth of quality young strikers)


October 2018

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“A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.”
Ara Perseghein


Champions League Group A Round 2

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Mario Mandzukic is a man possessed. Blistering start from us in the Champions League, I'd love to reach the semi final stages this year and early signs show that we might just have made the step up to that level...

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We threatened to run riot early on but credit to Augsburg, they held true and had a fair go at the game on the break. Really pleased with this win for two reasons - away to lower end clubs has been out major stumbling point in this save and also, we are keeping clean sheets!

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We left it late, but Julian Brandt comes up clutch for us again, feel like I've said that a lot the past season and a half. A tight game, as it always is against RB Leipzig, but delighted to come out on top.

Champions League Group A Round 3

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Another year, another trip to Madrid for us. The Spanish Champions of last season have changed manager with Marcelo Gallardo taking over from Diego Simeone whom moved to Inter. They play a very offensive 4-3-1-2 and I decided to counter with our deep, defensive 4-1-2-3 with Sane and Brandt on the wings looking to exploit their vulnerabilities out wide. That's exactly what happened as Christensen released a long ball wide to Brandt who beat his man and whipped in a great ball for Super Mario to score against his former club. We held out excellently up until the 87th minute where Nabil Fekir scored a rebound. A good point for us, pleasing result.

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Kevin De Bruyne opens his account for the club and Mario Mandzukic continues his frightening early season form. Stuttgart gave us a nervy last few minutes, but they didn't really trouble us up until the last 5 minutes. Solid performance.

DFB Pokal 2nd round

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*See previous report on match vs RB Leipzig*
I'm beginning to run out of superlatives for Julian Brandt. Shows up when we need him most.



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5 wins 1 draw 0 losses 10 goals for 2 goals against

Our early season form has bene little short of perfect, perhaps the only thing more impressive was Mario Mandzukics average rating over the previous 5 games after we played Fenerbahce...

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Up next we've got the derby against Koln, the home time with Atletico, a tricky away journey to Dortmund, perhaps our first real tests as a team wanting to compete on all three fronts.

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November 2018

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"Good is not good when better is expected"
Vin Scully


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Mario Mandzukic has already became a favoured personal at the club, after less than 6 months at the club, this is why. He bags two as we remind Köln who the team to beat is.

Champions League Group A Round 4

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We continue our winning run, just. Kampl took a late pop and it took a huge deflection off of Sime Vrsalijko and past the goalkeeper. That win confirmed our qualification from the group and all but secured top spot. Mission complete as far as the group stage is concerned.

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What a win for us. We paid them a lot of respect and they had the better of the chances and probably deserved at least a point, but the way our season is playing out, we're winning these games now when previously we'd have drawn. Our defence is delighting me, that's now just 2 goals in 9 games conceded and 7 clean sheets in that time.

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This was pretty woeful. We got complacent and being 1-0 up with them having 10 men on 30 minutes, there is no world we should have done anything less than win by 3 or 4 goals. Maybe all things considered our worst result of the save. Lets just make sure it's a blip and not a sign of the players thinking the job is done.

Champions League Group A Round 5

View attachment 123046's an improvement for Sparta Prague. Top of the group secured. Calhanoglu bagging two and continuing his excellent early season form and Kevin De Bruyne getting on the score sheet was pleasing too.



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4 wins 1 draw 0 losses 9 goals for 1 goal against

A great month in a difficult run of games, I'm very pleased - even if the easiest game we bottled. We're already 9 points clear of the chasing pack and perhaps some would think we have already wrapped up the league.

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One more push until the mid-season break where we can rest and regroup. Lets hope for more the same.