Pepito the Bald Fraud | Season 6 | SC Braga | Season end


  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special

    Europa League, quarterfinal. 11.png?lm=1489787850 Arsenal (H)
    We defended well for about an hour. Then Arsenal turned on the crosses and long shots. This is basically all over.
    0-2 (Lewandowski, Icardi)

    MD 28. 26.png?lm=1537889180 Basel (A)
    Blas is finally healthy again, and right away he took part in a crucial victory that puts us back on top of the table.
    1-0 (Ugrinic)

    Europa League, quarterfinal. 11.png?lm=1489787850 Arsenal (A)
    As I said, it's over.
    0-3 (Lewandowski, Zelalem, Elneny)

    MD 29. 452.png?lm=1410776679 Young Boys (H)
    We were angry after EL elimination, so we banged in two in half an hour. Then YB took back the reins and put some pressure on us, but didn't succeed. Meanwhile, 26.png?lm=1537889180Basel has lost again, putting a bit of a gap between us in the table.
    3-1 (Blas, Lenjani, Kasami — Aebischer)

    MD 30. 938.png?lm=1564699606 Thun (A)
    There was a parked bus on the pitch, we struggled to get through it into the box, so resorted to long shots. The shot attempts stat was 11-0 by the end of first half. In the second half we conceded on a counter, then equalized from the penalty spot.
    1-1 (Petre (pen) — Spielmann)

    MD 31. 2790.png?lm=1528219594 Lugano (H)
    Similar performance to the preivous game. We again attempted many shots, but this time it actually led to goals, one of them an overhead scissor kick.
    2-0 (Serra Fonseca-2)

    MD 32. 9084.png?lm=1417099189 Neuchatel Xamax (A)
    We did a proper beating on our opponents. Finishing was amazing, we scored almost every shot. Petre's third goal a proper cheeky little chip, and Djitte's assist was absolutely *chef kiss emoji*
    5-0 (Djitte-2, Petre-3)

    MD 33. 257.png?lm=1535394361 St. Gallen (H)
    We could have used this kind of luck in Europa League. Once again we are destroying the opposition, even without some of our best players, and once again 26.png?lm=1537889180Basel are dropping points. We are one victory away from officially clinching the title,
    4-1 (Kasami, Stenmark (og), Bamert, Philippe — Quintilla)

    MD 34. 434.png?lm=1410776821 Luzern (H)
    Here we go again defeating fools and winning titles. This time we played a counter-attacking game, and it worked like a charm.
    3-1 (Serra Fonseca, Blas, Akolo — Eleke)

    MD 35. 504.png?lm=1410776721 Grashopper (A)
    We are still on a roll, but this time finishing let us down. Grasshopper basically had two attacks in the whole game, and scored in both. The worst thing was that we though we clinched the win at the last minute, but then we immediately give away a goal, and it's a draw.
    2-2 (Djitte-2 — Nakasaka, Tarashaj)

    MD 36. 260.png?lm=1487920381 Zürich (H)
    The alst game of the season, we weren't up to it, neither were our opponents.


    Anthony Maisonnial, who conceded 90% of long shots this season, is the season's best goalkeeper. Wow. Imagine how bad everyone else has gotta be.
    Team of the season includes our CB Angha (who lost his starting spot to Ndoye by the end of the season), winger Akolo (who was far more productive in Europe) and top scorer Djitte. I'd add Blas and Kasami. And Serra Fonseca as best supersub.
    Full stats here:

    13.png?lm=1519120744Atletico won the Champions League, 15.png?lm=1403163785Bayer Leverkusen triumph in Europa League. 148.png?lm=1544345801Tottenham won the PL, and in France we have a 162.png?lm=1463176069Monaco resurgence (ruling it out as a team Pep could go to in the future).

    1053.png?lm=1518117565Aalborg was second after the regular season, despite the genius management that let most of Pep-era leaders leave on free transfer. 1189.png?lm=1522184888St Pats are third, 370.png?lm=1409146897Aberdeen too (after regular season). Not ideal season for ex-Pep-teams.

    Having won the league, but failed in the cup at 321.png?lm=1410776768Sion, Guardiola is relocating again. Now it's time to conquer the Netherlands.
  • DanielA-NUFC
    107 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Loving this! Can I ask how you managed to get these offers from Switzerland and such as I can never seen them to join their teams only ever the big leagues
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Loving this! Can I ask how you managed to get these offers from Switzerland and such as I can never seen them to join their teams only ever the big leagues

    In the first two seasons I just reloaded the save a few times until there was a vacancy I liked. But then I discovered that the Cheat Engine tables have a feature to change the job offers, so now I use that.
  • DanielA-NUFC
    107 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    What’s that? Can you tell me what that is so I can do it?
  • ElMarcos
    322 posts Sunday League Hero
    Good luck in Holland. Please just don’t pick Feyenoord or PSV 😂
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    ElMarcos wrote: »
    Good luck in Holland. Please just don’t pick Feyenoord or PSV 😂

    Thanks, I won't :)
  • DanielA-NUFC
    107 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Would like to see you succeed with Emmen or Sittard plus Sittard have sick kits
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    The next stop on Pep Guardiola's route through Europe is the team that gave us Hans van Breukelen, Erik ten Hag, Dirk Kuyt, Sebastien Haller and Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
    200.png?lm=1406448647FC Utrecht
    The highest achievements in the club’s 50-year history are 3rd place in 1981 and 2021 and three Dutch Cups in 1985, 2003 and 2004. It is the only club, outside of the Big 3, never to have been relegated from Eredivisie. In recent years Utrecht was consistently in the top-5, and before that used to jump up and down all over between 6 and 11 place. Last season the team finished in fourth place.

    Season objectives:
    - “high finish” in the league
    - cup semifinal
    - and absolutely nothing else
    - even for the European campaign — zero expectations, just happy to be here, honestly
    - not even some attendance nonsense
    - wow

    As for the squad,

    Four goalies, none particularly good.
    Nick Marsman is the best one, and he is not on the needed level at all; out. Maarten Paes will stay and keep guard of the bench.
    Thijmen Nijhuis
    and Indy Fischer will also probably leave the team. Seems like the main transfer goal is clear — get us a good keeper.

    Central defence is mostly okay.
    Emil Bergström has got some experience all over Europe and in the national team. Dario Đumic is pretty slow, I don’t like slow players; we’ll consider selling him and signing someone younger and better.
    Christopher Mamengi
    is an Utrecht youth product, can cover both the centre and the left side, might prove quite useful. Edin Kuzmanovic will stay as the backup in case of injuries.

    Fullbacks are a bit insufficient.
    At the right side we have got Giovanny Troupee, youth product, pretty good. No depth here though — the young German Felix Jung is not up to par and will likely leave the team. Will need another right back.

    The left side looks better. Leon Guwara is obviously the starter, and behind him there’s the team veteran and captain Mark van der Maarel (not good enough) and academy graduate Mitchell Wiebe, also not good enough, but young and trainable, so will have to do.

    Defensive midfield situation, as usual, terrifies me. No club since St. Pats has had a well-enough-stocked midfield.
    One of the best players is the German Robin Koch (he is actually a defender, but beggars can’t be choosers). He will partner up with the more attacking-minded Joris van Overeem. Deep on the bench we have an aging big name in Urby Emanuelson, who will likely be of no use whatsoever. And that is it, just these three, nobody else. One or two new players will be needed here.

    We do have attacking midfielders, so it seems like Pep will be returning to the 4-2-3-1 (that has already been tested last season at Sion to resounding success).
    Sander van de Streek will probably start, but there is also a young prospect in Othman Boussaid, so if anyone decides to come and buy VDS off our hands, we won’t be uncooperative. But for now this will do just fine.

    Winger situation is complicated. We do have the numbers, but the quality of those numbers doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
    Chelsea legend Lucas Piazon will likely stay as one of the team leaders. We also have another Footbal League legend Matt Ritchie and a speedy Brazilian Guilherme. Two out of three are aging, so I will be tempted to sell someone and buy someone younger instead. Especially considering how Ritchie is slow, and I don’t like slow players in general, but absolutely cannot abide them in the wings.
    Jefferson Montero, not getting younger either, is the only left winger we have, so this is another position that surely needs some fresh blood.

    And the strikers we have are perfectly fine.
    Nick Venema, an Utrecht youth product, is extremely attractive for his attributes. Good in the air, but also quick and can handle the ball quite well. Reminds me of Cosgrove at Aberdeen. Jean-Christophe Bahebeck is a decent enough relief, will offer some different qualities, maybe I can figure out a way to use them both effectively without benching one or the other.
    Lukas Görtler just seems like a generally bad arrangement for all parties involved. A 28-year-old German could do better that be a third choice striker, and we could do better than have a 28-year-old German for a third choice striker. Michiel Kramer is set to retire at the end of the season, so he will probably warm the bench and come on as an 85-minute sub in the last game.

    So all in all, the transfer objectives have been determined as follows:
    - a starting GK
    - a backup fullback
    - one or two backup defensive midfielders
    - a starting left winger
    - maybe another winger for the bench
    - also maybe a starting centre back, if we sell Đumic
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    This time around this stupid game has prevented me from scooping up free agents before the start of the season, because when Pep arrived at Utrecht, the new season had already started. Every player with expiring contracts had “12 months left” and free signings were impossible. To add insult to the injury, we also weren’t offered any preseason tournament.
    So, normally, my summer transfer window used to look like this: join the team at the end of previous season, spend the rest of that budget, go into the new season and spend the new budget, win some money at preseason and spend that as well. Now there is only one source of income instead of three.
    Pepito is sad, how can he buy titles if he have no money?

    But Pepito has to make do with what he has. He will have to make only the best deals possible. And the secret to best deals? Release clauses.

    Ortwin de Wolf
    has signed on to be our new GK. Lokeren youth product, joins us from 1244.png?lm=1422972468Leganes for €2.85m (market value = €6.5m).

    New backup right back — Frederic Ananou from 4795.png?lm=1482665720Ingolstadt for €1.6m. That’s almost three times cheaper that market value. Fun fact: I was going to get him to Sion as one of the “welcome party” for their next manager, but found someone better.
    Austrian beast centre back Kevin Danso joins from 167.png?lm=1403085893Augsburg with a ~50% discount.

    Defensive midfield reinforcements — Jordi Wehrmann from 234.png?lm=1457643518Feyenoord and Jamie Jacobs from 1090.png?lm=1402669766AZ. The former cost us €1.3m with market value of €3m; the latter — €1.1m/€3.9m. I make the best deals.

    Even in austerity we couldn’t help but get us a big name. Zakaria Bakkali, the youngest ever hat-trick scorer in Eredivisie, will strengthen Utrecht’s attack, arriving from 58.png?lm=1443857722Anderlecht. This cost us just €4 million, at another 50% discount.
    And now the bestest deal we made. €7m-valued winger Noa Lang joins from 610.png?lm=1458894971Ajax for only €1.5m. Deals are my art form.


    As for the players leaving the team, in short, outgoing transfers.

    The team will line up like this:
  • Daviee x
    44 posts Last Pick at the Park
    Lovely bit of business from Pep shopping the discount market. Look forward to see how he does over in Holland
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special

    MD 1. 385.png?lm=1407649718 Fortuna Sittard (A)
    The first half was mostly about getting acquainted with the players and figuring out who and how and where. We happened to concede quite early, but quickly equalised, and after the break ran all over the opposition, but just couldn’t put it in the net.
    1-1 (Venema — Stokkers)

    MD 2. 642.png?lm=1405108518 De Graafschap (H)
    This game was just stupid. Utrecht played football and scored a beautiful goal, the fourth one. The opponents mostly relied on falling down near the box and scoring from set pieces.
    4-2 (Bahebeck-3, van Overeem — Acampora, Knöll)

    EL qualification. 2444.png?lm=1504460767 Wacker Innsbruck (A)
    Was okay. A difficult first half once again, another stupid goal given away. After half time it was a bit better, we outplayed the opposition. Bakkali scored with his first touch after coming on.
    3-1 (Venema-2, Bakkali — Durmus)

    MD 3. 1269.png?lm=1407648465 PEC Zwolle (A)
    Same again: questionable first half, giving away a goal, turning it around and finishing off in the second half. Bahebeck seems set on taking the starting spot for himself.
    4-1 (Guilherme, Bahebeck-2, Bakkali — van Crooij)

    EL qualification. 2444.png?lm=1504460767 Wacker Innsbruck (A)
    A different typical scenario: the opponent picks up all rebounds, scores long shots from behind three defenders, any time my players touch an opponent is a yellow card. Whatever.
    1-1 (Venema — Gabriele)

    As for the ex-Pep-teams, 321.png?lm=1410776768Sion couldn’t cope with 371.png?lm=1403615766Celtic (0-2 home, 0-0 away) in the CL qualification. In Europa League, 370.png?lm=1409146897Aberdeen were just a little unlucky not to go through against 2414.png?lm=1518117744Horsens (0-2, 3-1); 1189.png?lm=1522184888St. Pats took a proper beating from Hertha (1-2, 1-5); and only 1053.png?lm=1518117565Aalborg managed to progress from their tie v 3258.png?lm=1423677184Shamrock (1-1, 4-1).

    MD 4. 1304.png?lm=1488213735 Heracles (H)
    Confidently won. The final score doesn’t really correspond to what happened on the pitch, Heracles didn’t earn that goal.
    2-1 (Bakkali, Piazon — Peterson)

    MD 5. 202.png?lm=1493842721 Groningen (A)
    Same stuff, different day. We run circles around the opponents, they score in the only attack of the whole game. It’s starting to seem like keeping a clean sheet is impossible, they will always find a way to score something silly.
    3-1 (Venema-2, Lang — Mocinic)

    Our Europa League group stage opponents are 1041.png?lm=1489753683Lyon, 2420.png?lm=1432894021Vitoria Guimaraes and 3508.png?lm=1420103130Zulte-Waregem.

    EL group, MD 1. 2420.png?lm=1432894021 Vitoria Guimaraes (H)
    It’s not even funny anymore. Another perfectly good game, but we have to concede a silly goal.
    3-1 (Bakkali, Piazon, Venema — Guedes)

    MD 6. 610.png?lm=1458894971 Ajax (H)
    The first actually strong opponent. Our game didn’t change much though. Once again we dominate and they score a roundhouse long shot in the third added minute. Well, no, something did change. While previously we dominated dominated, now we dominated on counterattacks.
    2-1 (Bakkali, Piazon — Tadic)

    MD 7. 1426.png?lm=1407649000 VVV Venlo (A)
    Just purely to get some closure, we parked the bus and got that gosh-darn clean sheet.
    1-0 (van de Streek)

    EL group, MD 2. 1041.png?lm=1489753683 Lyon (A)
    Typical. Lyon were near-perfect, while we could barely complete half the passes, the ball bounced off of defenders back to attackers, the goalie was basically furniture. We're lucky Venema is so good.
    2-2 (Venema-2 — Brozovic, Chakvetadze)

    MD 8. 403.png?lm=1501603637 Willem II (A)
    Why can’t we concede normal goals? Why is it always some stupid rebound or the ball goes between like 25 defenders on its way into the net?
    1-1 (Lang — George)

    MD 9. 234.png?lm=1457643518 Feyenoord (H)
    Two goals from two shots. Ty-pi-cal.
    2-2 (Piazon, Venema — Kökcü, Vente)

    EL, MD 3. 3508.png?lm=1420103130 Zulte-Waregem (H)
    Wow, we kept a clean sheet. And what a coincidence that it happened in the game when the opponents didn’t even once shoot from outside the box or with their back to the goal or through a crowd of defenders or something else stupid. Huh.
    2-0 (Boussaid, Guilherme)

    Piazon tore his ACL and is out for the whole season. That’s the punishment for my snark. Karma exists.

    MD 10. 1268.png?lm=1420455700 ADO Den Haag (A)
    The first game in a long time when Utrecht just ran aroung the opponent however we wanted. Didn’t even allow a single shot on goal.
    3-0 (Bahebeck-2, Guilherme)

    Nearly a third of the season in, we share the top spot with 1090.png?lm=1402669766AZ. 383.png?lm=1564768024PSV and 610.png?lm=1458894971Ajax are nearby behind us, catching up after a bad start. 234.png?lm=1457643518Feye’s bad start doesn’t seem to be over yet.

    Europa League group is topped by 200.png?lm=1406448647Utrecht, of course.
    Meanwhile, 321.png?lm=1410776768Sion are absolutely failing: only a single point against teams that are not even that strong really. 1053.png?lm=1518117565Aalborg is as expected: won v Dundalk, lost v Lazio and Athletic.
    Utrecht’s Venema is the leading EL goalscorer with 6 in 5 games.

    Manager’s notes:
    Really liking Piazon, Bakkali and Venema. Bahebeck doesn’t impress by his playing style, but he has that goalscoring talent. I don’t know what is happening with our defence. Can hardly last a game without some clownery. Losing Piazon will be a big blow, our game has started to depend on him a fair bit. Hopefully Lang can step up. Starting to get a feel of other players: Boussaid seems prone to losing the ball in simple situations, his first touch is disappointing me; Guilherme is a supersub if I’ve ever seen one.
  • Daviee x
    44 posts Last Pick at the Park
    Damn Piazon out for the season is a tough one. Looked brilliant in the highlight package cutting in from the wing.
    Bahebeck looked very clinical in front of goal, unlucky that you're not a fan of his style of play as he looked pretty efficient in front of goal.

    you thinking about bringing in a Piazon replacement? or sticking with what you've got?
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited September 2019
    Daviee x wrote: »
    Damn Piazon out for the season is a tough one. Looked brilliant in the highlight package cutting in from the wing.
    Bahebeck looked very clinical in front of goal, unlucky that you're not a fan of his style of play as he looked pretty efficient in front of goal.

    you thinking about bringing in a Piazon replacement? or sticking with what you've got?

    Yeah, Bahebeck is a talented goalscorer, but he is not as active in the linkup play as I would like. But he still gets playtime as I rotate the attackers a lot (esp with Piazon out) so maybe he'll adapt to the style better.
    What I've got probably won't be enough, especially if we want to have a successful European campaign, so I already have another winger lined up to join in January.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    To replace the injured Piazon we have signed Mainz’s winger Issa Abass for €2 million. He will join the team in January.
    Paes is not content with the amount of playtime he receives (zero) and wants to go out on loan. Bad backup goalie, bad.

    MD 11. 306.png?lm=1407648326 Heerenveen (H)
    Finishing was a problem. We created a ton of chances, but just couldn’t finish them. Or rather, we built up a ton of chances, but couldn’t convert them into shots. And those we did, we couldn’t finish. It has always been a bit of a problem, but this is the first time that it really crippled our attack.
    0-1 (Thorsby)

    EL group, MD 4. 3508.png?lm=1420103130 Zulte-Waregem (A)
    Absolute impotence. This team can’t pass, can’t make runs, can’t even control the ball when it comes near a player’s feet. I should just resign. Or switch back to 4-3-3.
    1-2 (Bahebeck — Bongonda, Tardieu)

    MD 12. 1090.png?lm=1402669766 AZ (A)
    AZ are in first place, Utrecht in second, one point behind. Pep decided to shut it down and play defence and failed miserably, as AZ had like twice the number of shots as Utrecht by the end of the game. Thankfully, none went in. But ours did: in the closing minutes, after a free kick near our own goal, in three passes we get Venema through on goal and for once he doesn’t disappoint.
    1-0 (Venema)

    MD 13. 132.png?lm=1407648519 NAC Breda (H)
    I seem to have figured out the problem with our game. There was too much running and not enough control. So now we switched to a 4-3-3 and mostly passed around in the midfield, and look — a nice confident victory, where the opponent couldn’t do much of anything. Or maybe it’s just that the opponent is one of the weakest teams in the league. Yeah, probably that.
    2-0 (van de Streek, van Overeem)

    EL group, MD 5. 2420.png?lm=1432894021 Vitoria Guimaraes (A)
    This game was a throwback to our early season template: do something idiotic to concede early on (the opponent’s only shot on goal), then heroically overcome and win. And Utrecht are officially through to knockout stage.
    2-1 (Lang, Bakkali — Toze)

    MD 14. 1283.png?lm=1420457827 Emmen (A)
    Utrecht were *this* close to bottling it again. Played well, led by two goals, but then we just had to concede two counters. Guilherme was particularly bottle-y, missing three chances of at least .6 xG each. But in the end it all worked out well.
    4-2 (Bergström, Guilherme, van Overeem, Lang — Bijl, Marinus)

    Another injury — backup CB/LB Mamengi tore his quad and will miss a couple months. Not that we need him all that much.

    MD 15. 383.png?lm=1564768024 PSV (H)
    An exchange of goals in the first 10 minutes, and after that it was fairly boring: PSV pressed, we countered and scored another one fairly quickly. Then Utrecht basically parked the bus for the whole second half. Well, not the bus really, but we defended in numbers, but then, unlike the classic bus, we didn’t just hoof the ball away, but tried to keep it in our control for as long as possible. It worked well enough.
    2-1 (Venema, van de Streek — Pereiro)

    Van Overeem won player of the month, which, absolutely deserved.

    Europa League group, MD 6. 1041.png?lm=1489753683 Lyon (H)
    Did this game even matter? Neither of the teams seemed to have any inclination do actually try and win here.

    As we already know, 200.png?lm=1406448647Utrecht is through to the knockouts. 321.png?lm=1410776768Sion ended up just one point away from progressing, but in the last place. 1053.png?lm=1518117565Aalborg managed to lose the reverse fixture to Dundalk, what an embarrassment (to be fair, they sold like half their best players in the last two transfer windows).

    MD 16. 798.png?lm=1535619213 Excelsior (A)
    Typical. We run all over the opposition, just destroy their defence, but the goalkeeper is having the best game of his life. Meanwhile Excelsior go on one counter and score. Typical.
    0-1 (Trusty)

    Dutch Cup, round of 16. 306.png?lm=1407648326 Heerenveen (H)
    Utrecht scored quite early on and then just saw the game off calmly without any unnecessary fuss.
    1-0 (Venema)

    MD 17. 499.png?lm=1555574711 Vitesse (H)
    We outplayed the visitors in the wings, which led to two identical goals from the Lang-Bakkali duo. It could have been four, but twice the frame of the goal denied us. In the second half Vitesse got their act together and pushed us a bit back, the ref even gave them a pen, but Niezgoda hit it terribly and de Wolf easily saved it.
    2-0 (Bakkali-2)

    EL draw is done, and 200.png?lm=1406448647Utrecht’s opponent for the round of 16 is… 398.png?lm=1539362329Lazio.


    Manager’s notes:
    While the attacking players were on a run of bad form, the deeper midfielders stepped up: van de Streek and van Overeem are really coming into their own as integral parts of the team. And a shout-out to Koch: our main defensive midfielder doesn’t get noticed a lot, but he’s indispensable both in breaking up the opposition’s attacks and in starting ours.
  • ElMarcos
    322 posts Sunday League Hero
    It’s an absolutely amazing season so far. Let’s see if you can cash on it again!
  • DanielA-NUFC
    107 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Looking good! Lazio is tough next round
  • WestardLord
    1948 posts Play-Off Hero
    edited September 2019
    Surprising to see that more Utrecht players are not on the top scorers list.

    Good luck against Lazio!
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    It's January, which means transfer window is open and we can finally welcome our new winger Abass.
    A youth player named Rodney van den Bosch wants to be promoted. OK, let’s sign him up, and everyone else available as well. Everyone else in this case is only goalkeeper Daan Hoekstra.

    Right fullback Giovanny Troupee has been snapped up by 150.png?lm=1407484550Real Betis for €11 500 000. Pep does't mind, he already has an exciting player in mind to replace him.

    MD 18. 403.png?lm=1501603637 Willem II (H)
    The visitors’ game plan was basically just “Tight at the back”. We managed to break through the tightness in the first half’s stoppage time, and only thanks to a defender’s blunder. At the end of the second half we had to score two more, but Bakkali’s shot hit the crossbar, and then Abass did score, but the referee invented a free kick before that and disallowed the goal.
    1-0 (Bakkali)

    MD 19. 1426.png?lm=1407649000 VVV-Venlo (H)
    Same again: we have the ball, they have the bus. The only difference is that this time we conceded an absolutely idiotic goal. Also, another goalkeeper having the best game of his life.
    1-1 (Lang — Roemer)

    The Troupee replacement we had lined up is just straight up ignoring the contract offer. Three weeks, not a peep from him. So we’ll have to retract the offer and try again.

    MD 20. 1283.png?lm=1420457827 Emmen (H)
    Amazing performance from Utrecht. Scored in our first attack, then controlled the game and methodically dismounted Emmen. Even a red card at the end of the first half couldn’t get in our way. Utrecht arguably played better with 10 men. Three assists today from Nick Venema.
    3-0 (Lang, van de Streek, van Overeem)

    Finally, Utrecht can announce the signing of the new starting RB. Contract negotiations were difficult, but it was worth the wait.
    418.png?lm=1403089383Real Madrid prospect Sergio Lopez joins the team for just €3 200 000 thanks to a low release clause. Otherwise his value would have been over 10 million.

    MD 21. 132.png?lm=1407648519 NAC Breda (A)
    Bad start to this game, but then a switch from 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 changed everything — from then on it was an easy win. Lopez marked his debut with an assist.
    2-0 (Venema, Bakkali)

    Dutch Cup, QF. 234.png?lm=1457643518 Feyenoord (H)
    We used a pragmatic approach and it paid off: we managed to keep Feye’s attack at bay and created enough to secure a win. To be fair, our opponents didn’t put much pressure on us, but that’s their fault.
    1-0 (Abass)

    Pre-contract signings are numerous and amazing. Utrecht will be a new team next season.
    Justin Bijlow, Moussa Niakhate, David Alaba, Teon Koopmeiners, Zakaria Labyad, Thorgan Hazard, Justin Kluivert, and the crown jewel, returning legend, Dries Mertens.
    And all this cost us literally nothing, because this game is bugged and allows signing whoever you want for however much money. I could also sign van de Beek *and* de Jong, but that would have been way too much. It's not as if I'm going to stay on to use them anyway.

    Shortlist for January player of the month includes Lucas Piazon, who has been out injured since late October. *thumbs up emoji*


    Manager’s notes:
    Pep is baffled, no idea what works and why, every game is a different tactic, and we get results, but every time differently. Will probably just have to pick something at random and stick with it regardless.
    Abass is fitting in pretty well, but with Lang and Bakkali on a run of good form, he hasn't gotten a lot of playtime yet.
    Our defence is still confusing. Both Danso and Bergström seem okay, no big individual mistakes, but it just doesn’t click the way it did in some of the previous teams. (I know, that's pretty rich coming at the end of an update where we have one goal conceded in five games, but still, it needed saying.)
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited September 2019

    MD 22. 1268.png?lm=1420455700 ADO Den Haag (H)
    Rather uneventful, we opened the scoring quickly, and controlled the game throughout. ADO didn’t get as much as a shot on goal.
    2-0 (Lang, van de Streek)

    Europa League, Ro16. 398.png?lm=1539362329 Lazio (H)
    We played well, but lacked just a bit of luck in the finishing department to secure the victory. Same goes for Lazio though. So overall, I guess, it is a fair draw. Bakkali picked up an injury and will sit out about three weeks.
    1-1 (Bergström — Andre Anderson)

    200.png?lm=1406448647Utrecht have reached an agreement with Nottingham Forest for the transfer of Guilherme, which will take place in the summer. The transfer fee is €4 750 000.

    MD 23. 234.png?lm=1457643518 Feyenoord (A)
    An amazing defensive performance from a weakened Utrecht side. Most of the starters rested before an important European game, but the backup players stepped up to the challenge and defeated a strong opponent.
    1-0 (Abass)

    Europa League, Ro32. 398.png?lm=1539362329 Lazio (A)
    A quick exchange of goals in the starting minutes, after that constant pressure from Utrecht, but for a long time we just couldn’t score. We desperately needed that second away goal, and about an hour mark, it finally happened. We instantly dropped back, Lazio scored on a counter 8 minutes later (an achievement on its own, to concede a counter while on a defesive possession tactic), then we dropped even backer and managed to successfully run down the clock.
    2-2 (Venema-2 — Marusic, Minala)

    Our round of 16 opponent is again Italian, but not such a big name — 6574.png?lm=1438548058Sassuolo. Basically the weakest team left in the competition. Meanwhile, Liverpool and PSG drew each other.

    MD 24. 798.png?lm=1535619213 Excelsior (H)
    Bergström is an idiot. First he fails to clear the ball that’s going into the open goal right in front of his dumb face, then instead of clearing the ball he just lightly taps it right into the path of an onrunning striker. We managed to equalize both times, but winning was impossible. We hit the post twice, the goalkeeper saved a few good shots. Excelsior’s first goalscorer was Darragh Markey from St. Pats, so I guess we can count it as a Pepito win instead of an Utrecht draw.
    2-2 (Bahebeck, Guilherme — Markey, Omarsson)

    MD 25. 383.png?lm=1564768024 PSV (A)
    Utrecht in first with 56 points, PSV in second with 50. Venema only scores important goals lately, and again he struck in the big game. PSV quickly equalized — the ref gave a penalty when their player decided to lie down to rest near a defender. A draw was an okay result for us, so we were mostly concerned with not conceding. PSV could hardly get a shot, but when they did, of course, they scored. We pushed on, and in the 90th minute Bahebeck managed to steal us a point.
    2-2 (Venema, Bahebeck — Chalov (p), Semedo)

    MD 26. 642.png?lm=1405108518 De Graafschap (A)
    Energy-saving mode before a European midweek match. We controlled the game, had trouble creating actual chances, but in the end all is ok.
    1-0 (Venema)

    Bakkali is healthy and ready to play again. Just in time.
    Lucas Piazon, conversely, is still injured, but that didn't stop him from receiving February player of the month award. *two thumbs-up emojis*

    Europa League, Ro16. 6574.png?lm=1438548058 Sassuolo (A)
    From the start the Italians basically locked us in the box and didn’t let us out much. Most of the first half was spent desperately trying to block their shots. After some tactical tinkering Pep managed to wake the team up, and we started creating chances on counters, successfully converting one of them. After half-time Utrecht took back control, Lang and Bakkali performed their signature combination to score the second goal, and the game was basically done.
    2-0 (van de Streek, Bakkali)

    MD 27. 385.png?lm=1407649718 Fortuna Sittard (H)
    Every tackle the ball is deflected towards an opponent; half the passes are too strong, half too weak, half in the wrong direction; no one comes back to defence, no one makes attacking runs. Nothing you can do when the game doesn’t want you to win.

    Europa League, Ro16. 6574.png?lm=1438548058 Sassuolo (H)
    Sassuolo were pushing and pressing, but by purest luck our defenders blocked their shots. Our counters were dangerous, but all stopped by Ralph Fährmann, god of goalkeeping. Scoring from a corner was our only hope, and that's exactly what we did about an hour into the game. Then Sassuolo went into full-on attacking mode and kinda forgot to defend.
    3-0 (Venema-2, Lang)

    Farewell, Europa League, we hardly knew ye — 200.png?lm=1406448647Utrecht will face 583.png?lm=1522312728PSG in the quarters. I’d rather not show up for such a beating at all. Neymar, Mbappe, Rashford, Firmino, Haller, Di Maria, Gnabry. No thank you.
    (Well, I’d rather not show up, but Pep is obviously much braver.)



    Manager’s notes:
    We have permanently moved back to a 4-2-3-1, abandoning the 4-3-3 experiments. The empty space behind the striker was not a good thing for Utrecht’s game. With Bakkali injured, Boussaid has found himself a new role as a winger and is looking much better than as a CAM.
    Post edited by sviraman on
  • ElMarcos
    322 posts Sunday League Hero
    Great results, both in Holland as in Europe. Maybe PSG will show up arrogant and not play their best team?
  • Daviee x
    44 posts Last Pick at the Park
    Season is going brilliantly for you so far, hopefully finsh the season off strongly and maybe nick a result vs PSG
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited September 2019

    MD 28. 499.png?lm=1555574711 Vitesse (A)

    We were terrible. Passes went astray, the parked bus was impenetrable (and should be constitutionally abolished). No coincidence that this happened when both Venema and van de Streek stayed on the bench for this game.
    0-1 (Niezgoda)

    Dutch Cup, SF. 385.png?lm=1407649718 Fortuna Sittard (H)
    Utrecht started confidently and opened the scoring in the middle of the first half, but then Fortuna upped the pressure and we had to drop back. At 50 minutes van Overeem got a red card for a reckless tackle. The 10-man Utrecht incredibly turned the game around and scored the second goal. Afterwards we mostly controlled the ball and passed around in midfield, the defence put in a great performance, especially Koch, who came on after the dismissal. But of course Fortuna scored in the third out of two added minutes.
    2-1 (Venema-2 — Ramirez)

    MD 29. 1090.png?lm=1402669766 AZ (H)
    Amazing first half from Utrecht — great passing, even better finishing. But we lost the plot a bit after that and had to put in some effort to fight off the visitors in the last minutes.
    2-1 (van de Streek, Wehrmann — van Rhijn)

    MD 30. 306.png?lm=1407648326 Heerenveen (A)
    So I guess we are back to the early-season mode of conceding something idiotic in every game. First 60 minutes — amazing, Heerenveen barely touched the ball. The last 30 — absolute shambles. Still, we’re in first, 5 points clear.
    3-2 (van de Streek, Venema, Bakkali — Piotrowski, Sigurdarson)

    Europa League, QF. 583.png?lm=1522312728 PSG (A)
    I had half a mind to just start the deepest benchwarmers and officially throw in the towel, but decided that it’ll have to wait for the reverse fixture. This time we decided to fight and… opened the scoring in 15 minutes. To be fair, it was basically the first time we were allowed to have the ball for more that a few seconds — PSG’s pressure was insane. Their attacking strategy seemed like: shoot from literally wherever and hope for the best. It got ridiculous at times.
    Closer to half time PSG just stopped both the pressure and the shooting and went on lazily passing around. Utrecht more or less established themselves well on counters and scored the second, and should have scored a third, but Wehrmann and Venema missed absolute sitters. And there wasn’t even a stupid goal in the last minute.
    So, yeah, this happened. I still expect us to get clobbered in the second leg.
    2-0 (van Overeem, Lang)

    MD 31. 306.png?lm=1407648326 Heracles (A)
    The stupid goal from the previous game just got delayed and instead arrived at the start of this one. Comedy stuff. We ran around the opponent, but they scored instead. Utrecht barely secured a draw thanks to the best starters (Venema, van de Streek) coming on as subs.
    2-2 (Bahebeck-2 — Pröpper, Konings)


    Utrecht’s lead has shrunk to three points. The remaining fixtures are:
    200.png?lm=1406448647 Utrecht: PEC Zwolle (6), Ajax (4), Groningen (3) + cup final v Willem II + at least one European game v PSG
    383.png?lm=1564768024 PSV: AZ (5), Emmen (13), Venlo (17)
    If I were a betting man, I’d put money on PSV overtaking us. That’s an incredibly tough schedule for one team and basically a walk in the park for the other. It’ll be a very tough finish.


    Manager’s notes:
    New right fullback Sergio Lopez has been pretty disappointing: I have been starting Ananou instead of him in the big games. Abass, on the contrary, has been quite helpful. Guwara has had a nice little spell. Bergström has a unique ability to give away goals in the most innocuous circumstances. Venema is back on top form, van de Streek is just amazing at playmakering. Van de Streek + Venema = absolute perfection.
  • ElMarcos
    322 posts Sunday League Hero
    So far so good against PSG. Two away goals makes it hard on them. Though it will make clinching both the title and cup hard. All the best with that!
  • Alastair
    10231 posts Moderator
    Moved to the FIFA 20 section.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    I couldn't just leave it on a cliffhanger, could I? Pep's work isn't done yet.


    Europa League, QF. 583.png?lm=1522312728 PSG (H)
    4-5-1 with three proper DMs, none of whom are supposed to join the attack ever. The plan is to be a double-decker bus. Instead we score after 4 minutes of play. Yeah, okay, that works too.
    Then it was “just defend somehow” mode for half an hour, and eventually PSG scored a couple minutes before half time. Just after half time they scored another one, an absolutely typical cross when defenders just don’t bother defending. Our chances of progressing seemed slimmer and slimmer, PSG kept on pressing, we kept on frantically trying to defend. In the 70th minute Abass managed to take the ball away from Verrati, sprinted down the flank, yada-yada, Venema equalizes!
    After that PSG changed something in their game, we managed to go on counters more often and pushed the game a bit away from our goal. Both teams had a chance to score — Venema’s shot was saved, Haller failed to hit the ball properly from a good position.
    Utrecht is through to the semis! All thanks to De Wolf who did some proper goalkeeping, and the defenders who did their absolute best, and the attackers who had like three chances and scored two of them.
    Our opponent in the semifinal is Schalke 04. The other semifinal — Lyon v Chelsea.

    MD 32. 1269.png?lm=1407648465 PEC Zwolle (H)
    Good confident win. Well, not too confident — we scored the second one only in 88 min, but Zwolle only had like one shot in the whole game (but a good one actually, de Wolf had to make a big save). PSV won against AZ, which does not make our job any easier.
    2-0 (Venema, Bakkali)

    Amazing news from the medical staff: Lucas Piazon can rejoin the team after recovering from an ACL tear back in October. This will help us immensely with rotation.

    Dutch Cup, final. 403.png?lm=1501603637 Willem II
    Amazing planning to schedule the cup final three days before the EL semifinal. Guardiola decided to rest the starters, except for van Overeem and Ananou, who are suspended in Europe. The backups did well, won without much fuss. Piazon came on in the second half and immediately scored. Good for him. And for Utrecht.
    3-0 (Bahebeck, Guilherme, Piazon)
    Sander van de Streek is named Player of the Tournament for the cup.

    Europa League, SF. 33.png?lm=1433588238 Schalke 04 (A)
    Once again we somehow manage to open the scoring early on. This time it was Venema’s quick break after Schick hit the post and Guwara hoofed the ball upfield just the right way. After scoring we pretty much outplayed the Germans (well, most of them were Spanish in fact), but couldn’t score any more, and didn’t let them. Away win is good.
    1-0 (Venema)

    MD 33. 610.png?lm=1458894971 Ajax (A)
    In normal circumstances I’d be pretty satisfied with a draw against Ajax, but now we need to win. For the first half hour our prospects looked girm: Ajax was attacking and creating chances and we were very much not. But then a counter attack, another quick break (we’ve been loving those lately) and Utrecht score. The game became more even, in the second half we scored another, at the end the referee invented a penalty and Ajax pulled back a goal, but that was it.
    2-1 (van Overeem, Piazon — Neres (p))

    383.png?lm=1564768024PSV won their game too. Still three points between us, one game left. What is the tie-breaker if we end up equal on points? Head-to-head is in 200.png?lm=1406448647Utrecht’s favour. Goal difference is equal right now, which means that if we end up tied, it will be in PSV’s favour. Oh gods.

    Manager’s notes:
    Piazon’s been amazing since his return. Now that we have speedier players for the wings, I used him at CAM or ST. Bahebeck continues to impress with his ability to invent goals out of nothing. Perez seems to be gradually adapting to the new team: did well against PSG, got a MotM in the Schalke game. The goalie Ortwin de Wolf has been on a really great run of games lately.
  • ElMarcos
    322 posts Sunday League Hero
    Two or three more games with everything on the line! Congratz with the cup final too!
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited September 2019
    Europa League, SF. 33.png?lm=1433588238 Schalke 04 (H)
    Once again we score a quick opener. This time for once it was not Venema, but van de Streek. Fitting for the captain to strike in the most important game of the season. (All of them are most important these days though.) Before half time Bakkali won us a penalty and failed to score it. In the second half Schalke turned up the pressure, accidentally scored, and forced us to spend the last 10 minutes just hoofing it upfield. We held on to the draw, Utrecht is in the final!
    1-1 (van de Streek — Serdar)

    Now the last league game. All we need is not to lose.

    MD 34. 202.png?lm=1493842721 Groningen (H)
    Groningen didn’t put up a fight. A first-half hat-trick by Venema (in classic Guardiola fashion, the first goal was the result of a 14-pass attack) basically sealed the fate of this game and this championship. We felt confident enough to sub on the elderly Emanuelson and Kramer and the young van den Bosch. At the end Grandpa Urby even lifted the trophy.
    3-1 (Venema-3 — Mocinic)
    We are the champions! Guardiola wins again! Not a fraud!

    Team of the Season includes de Wolf, Bergström and van de Streek. Best Player is some Brophy from Willem II. Best player according to Pep — obviously Sander van de Streek. Though Venema and Lang and Guwara could also be in consideration.

    Europa League Final
    So we meet again. Two draws in the group stage between these two teams.
    The game was extremely fun, very lively, a lot of attacks from both sides, not much mucking about in the midfield. We attack, they counter-attack, we counter-counter-attack. They hit the post, our players forgot to shoot from threatening positions, both teams had chances, both teams had fun. We scored, they didn’t.
    1-0 (Bakkali)

    The personal honours of the competition are a total Utrecht sweep
    ends up as the most prolific goalscorer, Lang leads in assists, de Wolf with the most clean sheets.

    13.png?lm=1519120744Atletico Madrid won the Champions League again, that is twice in a row now, defeating 418.png?lm=1403089383Real Madrid 1-0 in the final.


    Full team stats:

    It’s official: Pep Guardiola is the baldest genius and the most genius baldy in the world!
    Treble for 200.png?lm=1406448647Utrecht! Fans are ecstatic, but the hero once again moves on to new challenges.
  • ElMarcos
    322 posts Sunday League Hero
    Great results! Absolute stunners!
  • Danimal5981
    2505 posts Fans' Favourite
    The day that happens in real life, I'll eat my own droppings...
  • Kevin
    1524 posts Play-Off Hero
    The day that happens in real life, I'll eat my own droppings...
    And i’ll be drunk for a week 😉
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