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

136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
edited October 2019

Josep Guardiola has won pretty much everything there was to win and revolutionized the way football is played, but for some people it was just not enough. Skeptics kept doubting his undeniable genius, claiming that his titles are bought and paid for and his teams are strong enough to win everything without him anyway.

So here we are at the point when Pep decides he's had it. He wants to prove his critics wrong once and for all. He will set out on a journey to the lowest levels of football, where money is scant and players are bad. He will destroy all opponents, especially haters.

Or maybe he won't. Who knows.
Post edited by sviraman on


  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited June 2019

    Pep sat at his new office and thought, "What the eff have I gotten myself into? [in Catalan]"

    What he has gotten himself into is the League of Ireland Premier Division. There is no sinking lower than that.
    His new team is St. Patrick's Athletic, or St. Pats for short. Why them? Historically they are one of the most successful clubs of the country, but lately have been having a bit of a dry spell, sliding off into midtable. They look like they could do with an intervention.

    The bosses don't seem very optimistic about the new appointment: the board expects only a "high finish" and a cup semifinal. Well, there is also some bull about transfer profits and youth signings, who cares. Pep is not here to do that anyway. He is here to refute skeptics and that requires full annihilation of any opposition.

    As Pep looked over his squad, he felt not unoptimistic. The team is decent. More or less. For this level.

    So we got three GKs. Brendan Clark (ovr 62/32 yo), a living legend with 10 years and over 200 games for the club. Barry Murphy (59/33), a lot of experience, though mostly for the rivals from Shamrock. Brian Maher (55/17), a hopefully talented academy graduate.
    That has got to be enough for the short haul. While the two old dogs age, the youngster will grow to replace them.

    The defence looks a bit worse for wear.
    The two starting fullbacks — Simon Madden (65/30) and Ian Bermingham (62/29) — are okay, but there is absolutely no one else to rotate them with. Paul Cleary (50/19) is clearly not good enough. Some reinforcement will be needed.

    The centre back situation is acceptable.
    The young and talented Aston Villa kid Kevin Toner (63/21) will lead the crew. His partners Lee Desmond (59/23) and David Webster (58/28) — not great, not terrible. Though Webster seems a bit sluggish; we could do with replacing him with someone faster. Young Ciaran Kelly (56/19) will get a chance in the first team, potentially even start at some point.

    Centre midfielders Chris Forrester (65/25) and Rhys McCabe (63/25) inspire a lot of confidence. One more attacking, the other more defensive, they would make a decent double pivot.
    Then we have four lads on the bench: Georgie Poynton (59/20), Cian Coleman (58/21), Jamie Lennon (57/20), Conor Clifford (57/26). Most are young, some are promising. Clifford doesn't look like either to me, and he comes from Chelsea at that, so he'll probably have to go. There's also a Cian Hughes (50/18), who is just utterly superfluous.

    The offence (a term that here refers to the "3" in "4-2-3-1") needs some improvement.
    The best we have here is Darragh Markey (61/21), a homegrown young prospect playmaker. Brandon Miele (60/23) is decent too, but he's a bit of a dilemma: not enough pace for a winger, not good enough tackling for the defensive midfield, just not good enough for starting CAM. Probably will have to benchwarm behind Markey.
    Got two wingers as well, both left-sided, but right-footed: Dean Clarke (59/25) and James Doona (58/20). The latter will make a good player with the right training, the former is likely destined for the bench. Both will surely get some playtime, but we absolutely need at least one more here.

    The two centre forwards are just perfect. Mikey Drennan (62/24) is like a perfect striker for me (adjusted for the level we play at). Gary Shaw (58/26) will come off the bench to act as a beanpole to cross at when the opponent parks the bus. Just in case, Dean Clarke can also play centre, so looks like we are set in this department.

    So, all in all we have a 7/10 squad that lacks a fullback or two, a winger or two and maaybe a centre back. Let's get the scouts to working.
  • Stlducks
    6205 posts Big Money Move
    I like your setup with the photos. Good idea for Pep.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited June 2019
    Summer Transfers

    The scouting department provided Pep with about a dozen potential winger recruits, but just about all of them turned out to be either "Recently joined the club and not going anywhere" or "Too important for his team". The only one we could actually sign was Rhys Browne from Yeovil.
    He's fast is the best I could say about him. On the flipside, the Antiguan agreed to a sizable pay cut.

    Fullback reinforcement has arrived, and his name is Jake Carroll.
    The St. Patrick's youth product returns to the club from Cambridge.


    The pre-season tournament in Sweden was less than successful and left skeptics unrefuted.
    St. Pats confidently won their group and then destroyed 23302.png?lm=1411063565Dalkurd in the semifinal, but in the final were defeated on penalties by 801.png?lm=1414432431Göteborg.
    Of course, Pepito found an excuse for his fraudulence: the main objective was not to win, but to get acquainted with the team, and besides, squad rotation was heavy, blah-blah-blah. Still bald though.

    After receiving the prize money Pep could afford some more new players.
    Another attacker, another returning youth product Jamie McGrath comes back from Dundalk.
    This cost us €410,000 + 10% of the next transfer. His listed value was €500,000, so seems like we have done some good business here. Primarily a central attacking midfielder, McGrath will also play on the wing at St. Pats.

    More reinforcement for the back four:
    Donald Love joins the club from Sunderland to provide more depth at the right side of the team's defence.


    The first outgoing transfer — veteran goalie Barry Murphy leaves for Morecambe.

    Now that the Irish League season is about to start, let's take a look at how the squad has shaped up.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited June 2019

    MD 1. 3930.png?lm=1428048466 Bray Wanderers (A)
    Guardiola's debut in the Irish League didn't bring much excitement. 70 minutes of rather equal contest, then the hosts tried to go on the offensive and conceded a deadly counter.
    1-0 (McGrath)

    MD 2. 4286.png?lm=1423677352 Limerick (H)
    First home game, first proper paddlin. A quick goal was all it took to break Limerick. Our opponent has been throughly degraded. Gotta admit though, St Pats were pretty lucky schedule-wise — two of the weakest teams in two first games, just the right thing for the coach to be able to adapt to the team and the league.
    3-0 (McGrath, Markey, Forrester)

    MD 3. 7609.png?lm=1491000159 Waterford (A)
    Our defence gave us some reasons to worry, but the attack was perfect — St Pats didn't create much, but finishing was extremely on point.
    3-1 (Bermingham, McGrath, Drennan — Akinade)

    MD 4. 27774.png?lm=1474921890 Cork City (H)
    The first game against a serious opponent. As you may know, the Irish League has three of those: Shamrock, Cork and Dundalk. So, the proper test of our mettle was passed with flying colours. We delivered a whole load of shots on their goal, and some of those went in. Cork had but a single good chance, which they did use, of course.
    3-1 (McGrath, Browne, Forrester — Nielsen)

    At the very end of the transfer window Aussies from Brisbane arrived with an offer for our captain Bermingham. Guardiola agreed to a transfer for €270k.
    As a replacement we brought in Damien McCrory from Burton Albion.
    This transfer took all our funds up to the last penny, bc the money for Bermingham's transfer hadn't arrived yet when closing the deal.


    The four candidates for Player of the Month are all St Pats players.

    MD 5. 8780.png?lm=1498249702 Sligo Rovers (A)
    Confidently won. Jamie McGrath is on fire.
    2-0 (McGrath, Browne)

    MD 6. 6066.png?lm=1423677223 Dundalk (H)
    First points lost in the game against our main title rivals. St Pats scored two in the first half and were seemingly in control of the game, but conceded right before the break and afterwards just kind of collapsed. Could've even lost, but managed to hold on to the draw.
    2-2 (Markey-2 — Mountney, Duffy)

    MD 7. 3258.png?lm=1423677184 Shamrock Rovers (A)
    Two games in a row against major rivals — the schedule is getting back at us. Fortunately, Shamrock didn't put up much of a fight.
    2-0 (Desmond, Markey)

    MD 8. 920.png?lm=1535058690 Derry City (H)
    St Pats found it surprisingly hard against the team at the bottom of the table. Chances were being created, but finishing was not up to par. Derry did mount a couple attacks as well, but we held out. At the very end we sort of just besieged their box and managed to score.
    1-0 (Clarke)

    MD 9. 9211.png?lm=1543771632 Bohemians (A)
    This season's underdog is holding on to the fourth, right behind us, Dundalk and Cork. They got a red card quite early on, rolled out the bus and held on for dear life. Once again we piled on and scored at the very end of the game.
    1-0 (Doona)

    The first part of the season is up, and St Pats are in first place, 5 points above the closest opponent. Pep skeptics are one step closer to refutement.

    Post edited by sviraman on
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited June 2019
    BTW, what's the correct English word for the part of the season when a team plays every other team once? Like half a season in the PL, or quarter of a season in the League of Ireland. There should be a particular word for that, no?

    For some reason I assume it is "round", like, first/second round, but I've never actually seen it used that way, and it also seems like it could instead refer to just one matchday. There's also a similar expression "first/second leg", but that's about cup ties, it seems, not a league.

    So, can someone help me out here, please?
  • LAboog4
    1041 posts Professional
    I do not know of a word but I usually hear "first half" of season.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    LAboog4 wrote: »
    I do not know of a word but I usually hear "first half" of season.

    Yeah, that's probably the best way. A half, or a third, or a quarter.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special

    MD 10. 6066.png?lm=1423677223 Dundalk (A)
    Some exceptional finishing from St Pats once again. Dundalk destroyed at their own home, thanks to super effective counters. (Time to up the difficulty level.) (And make Doona a starter.)
    3-0 (Doona-2, Drennan)

    MD 11. 8780.png?lm=1498249702 Sligo Rovers (H)
    Some extremely tough luck here, as if to compensate for the previous game. We were running circles round them, but conceded a silly goal and then had to break up their parked bus. We managed to equalise, but that's it.
    1-1 (Forrester — Fordyce)

    Meanwhile Jamie Lennon agreed the move from deep on St Pats' bench to Cork City for €225k.

    MD 12. 920.png?lm=1535058690 Derry City (A)
    The northerners didn't even put up a fight. Jamie McGrath has switched his specialty from goalscorer to assistant: two assists today.
    3-0 (Drennan, Forrester, Doona)

    MD 13. 3258.png?lm=1423677184 Shamrock Rovers (H)
    Tight schedule made Guardiola play some of the reserves in order to give some rest to the starters. The game was difficult, a draw would have been a fair outcome, but we managed to steal a victory with McCrory's long shot.
    3-2 (Markey, Miele, McCrory — Finn, Dillon)

    Jamie McGrath has been awarded player of the month.

    MD 14. 27774.png?lm=1474921890 Cork City (A)
    Shameful performance. Two counters conceded right at the start of the game, both converted into goals. Then a stupid deflection turned into another goal, and then McCrory decided to be a dumb oaf and fall down for no reason instead of clearing the ball. St Pats got around to scoring two in return, but otherwise it was just terrible. Shots went flying all over, passing didn't connect at all. Congratulations on first loss of the season.
    2-4 (Markey, McCabe — Morrissey, Cummins, Sheppard-2)

    MD 15. 7609.png?lm=1491000159 Waterford (H)
    A quick goal for St Pats, then conceded two and had to chase the game. It took some doing, but we managed to snag the win. The keepers seemed to be having a day off.
    3-2 (McCabe, Drennan, Doona — Akinade, Hery)

    Irish Cup, QF. 9211.png?lm=1543771632 Bohemians (H)
    The teams exchanged goals in the middle of the first half, then the visitors held their own for some time, but collapsed in the second half, when they decided to try and get a win, but instead got swarmed by our counters.
    4-1 (Drennan-2, Clarke, Poynton — Corcoran)

    Right fullback Madden has suffered a muscle injury and is out for about a month.

    MD 16. 9211.png?lm=1543771632 Bohemians (H)
    A confident victory. Both goals headed home — Pep is adapting to British hoofball. McGrath's first goal in three months.
    2-0 (McGrath, Forester)

    MD 17. 4286.png?lm=1423677352 Limerick (A)
    Same as the previous one. Once again, calm and collected, but this time more Guardiola-ey, tiki-taka-ish.
    2-0 (Drennan, Doona)

    Best player of November is Chris Forrester. Once again all four candidates are ours: also Drennan, Doona and McCabe.

    MD 18. 3930.png?lm=1428048466 Bray Wanderers (H)
    For the game against the bottom side Pep thought he could afford to give some playtime to players who don't usually get many minutes: Maher, Kelly, Coleman, Poynton, Shaw, Clarke. He was not wrong, though the game turned out not as easy as could be expected.
    2-1 (Markey, Shaw — Kenna)

    Middle of the season, St Pats in the lead, 9 points clear.
    However, to paraphrase a famous quote, spring is coming, a traditionally difficult time of the year for Pep's teams. So we'll see how that turns out.

    Here's a video of all the team's goals from the fist half of the season.

    For an optimal experience, if at all possible, please sync it to the song Go Mental by Robbie Williams and Big Narstie. (I edited the video to the beat, but youtube copyright-banned the audio.)
  • LAboog4
    1041 posts Professional
    The team is in great form and looking like favorites to win the league. I think the double is very doable for Pep this season.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special

    January transfer window will be all about not selling the best players and also maybe selling a couple benchwarmers. One such sale happened way back in November, when Jamie Lennon agreed a contract with Cork City, as I already mentioned.

    The first signing happened a bit in advance too — in December St. Pats agreed a deal for Eoghan Stokes to join from Derry City in exchange for Gary Shaw and a small sum of money.
    Turns out a beanpole is not needed in Guardiola's St Pats, and Shaw is pretty useless in any other role. Stokes is younger and seems to be better on the ball.

    That transfer absolutely demolished our budget, we barely had enough to feed the staff.
    (that is because the money for Lennons's outgoing transfer won't arrive until the start of the transfer window, but the Stokes money was promptly taken away as soon as the deal went through)

    One of the benchwarmers to be sold was David Webster, and it turned out to be quite a challenge: we had offers coming in, but mostly from China and Japan, which is not realistic at all. In the end we managed to swindle the Swedish outfit Sirius out of €150k for him.

    Backup winger Dean Clarke also attracted some interest from Scandinavia, and was sold to Östersunds for €300 000.
    To replace him St Patricks signed a Cory Galvin from Waterford.
    He wasn't our first choice, but that one turned out too costly (he was going for ~250k, we had only 198753 or something like that), and when we found the money, he turned out to be on an expiring contract and only available for a pre-contract, which is not what we need. So, will have to make do with Galvin.

    All in all, three out, two in. Pretty good window.

    Pep's reputation helped St. Patrick's Athletic attract some pretty big names (for Irish League) on free pre-contract for the next season. The club would prefer not to release the names at the moment, but is more than willing to tease the fans.
    1. Irish centre back, Man United youth product, over 150 PL games, joining us from a problematic lower league team.
    2. Goalie from Man City's academy, hasn't played much in the PL, but used to be a Republic of Ireland starter for some time.
    3. Scottish striker who once famously scored against Barcelona.
    4. Winger, Aston Villa academy product. Capped for English youth national sides, but declared for Ireland last year.
    5. Fullback from Northern Ireland, started out at the team that [4] joined from. Has an older brother, who was at Liverpool academy, but never played for the club.
    6. The biggest name of all, defensive midfielder with an impressive beard, currently out of contract.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    MD 19. 7609.png?lm=1491000159 Waterford (A)
    Bad game. The opponents parked the bus and whaddya gonna do.
    0-1 (Akinade)

    Irish Cup, SF. 3258.png?lm=1423677184 Shamrock Rovers (A)
    Probably the best performance of the season yet, apart from the last 15 minutes, when we got a bit pushed up into our box and had to resort to just repeatedly clearing the ball as far as we could. McCabe picked up an injury, three weeks out. In the second semifinal Dundalk destroyed Limerick 5-0.
    2-0 (McGrath, Markey)

    MD 20. 27774.png?lm=1474921890 Cork City (H)
    Crucial game against our main rival and closest pursuer in the table. St Pats managed to hold themselves together and win confidently.
    1-0 (Browne)

    MD 21. 3258.png?lm=1423677184 Shamrock Rovers (A)
    With Shamrock we always perform well, but finishing leaves some to be desired. In the cup game we scored only two out of a dozen chances, and same again now — only one goal was overturned this time. Last game for Dean Clarke: he came on at the end, barely touched the ball.
    1-0 (McGrath)

    MD 22. 920.png?lm=1535058690 Derry City (H)
    Absolutely cursed game. We played reasonably well, but just couldn't place a good shot on goal. After the halftime break we just crumbled: first we gave away a counter; then the ref invented a pen when the goalie allegedly brought a striker down when the ball was already going out for a corner; at the end we pushed on with everything we had and instead got another counter. Shameful, really.
    0-3 (Ogedi-Uzokwe, Bruna (pen), Moya)

    MD 23. 8780.png?lm=1498249702 Sligo Rovers (A)
    St Patrick's are in crisis mode. This time we were just a shapeless ❤️❤️❤️❤️, though did manage to score once somehow. And the ref compensated us for the pen in the previous game, but McGrath didn't score. And at the end the home team got their first shot on goal, the outcome is obvious.
    1-1 (Forrester — Murray)

    MD 24. 6066.png?lm=1423677223 Dundalk (H)
    St Pats are in first, Dundalk are in second, three points in between. An opportunity to get us a bit of a margin, or to make the title race even closer. In the end we managed to do the former. The performance was top-notch — it is admittedly easier to tiki-taka when the opponents don't park the bus — but finishing let us down again. Markey alone hit the goal frame thrice, but one time he did manage to hit the net, which turned out to be enough.
    1-0 (Markey)

    MD 25. 9211.png?lm=1543771632 Bohemians (A)
    We keep missing great 9/10 chances in most ridiculous fashions. But not all of them; Bohemians allowed so many attacks that even with our horrendous finishing we managed to sneak one past the keeper.
    1-0 (Doona)

    MD 26. 3930.png?lm=1428048466 Bray Wanderers (A)
    Took it out on a bottom-dwelling team for all of the bad luck we had in the previous games. New kid Eoghan Stokes opened his goalscoring account at St Pats and ended up with our first hat-trick of the season.
    5-1 (Stokes-3, McGrath, Drennan — Pender)

    McGrath named player of the month even though he looked subpar in all but the last game.

    MD 27. 4286.png?lm=1423677352 Limerick (H)
    We took our time gearing up for this one, but didn't allow much at the back, and in the end managed to put the opponent away. Quite a compelling victory, good ending for the third quarter of the season.
    2-0 (Drennan-2)

    St Pats in the lead 7 points clear. Impressive, considering our performance issues lately. None of our players in the goalscorer race, because here at St Patrick's we have communism and distribute the goals equally and fairly.

    St Pats TV clip with many goals, some non-goals and one wrestling move

    Comedy time: the bosses aren't happy with señor Pep
    B8n3clR.png, because we are not reaching the financial targets. The plan is supposedly to show 3 million of profit by the end of the season, which is ridiculous, because we would have to sell like half a dozen our best players to do that.
  • Ashy
    15129 posts World Class
    The Bald Fraud looks like he's had a good season with you top of the league and all that but as you say some of the requirements they set out are stupid especially the financial ones for teams like you, I doubt they would sack you but the rating is low as you posted
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special

    MD 28. Dundalk (A)
    Pretty even game. St Pats conceded first, with only themselves to blame for a silly mistake. But we quickly turned the game around (McGrath's first goal against his former team, took him four games) and clinched the win after a no less silly mistake from the opposition's defence.
    2-1 (McGrath, Stokes — McEleney)

    MD 29. Sligo Rovers (H)
    The Rovers were technically on the pitch, but didn't make their presence noticeable at all. Apart from their goalie, who was having one of the best days of his career. Our defence didn't have to put in much effort, the attack only shifted into second for a few minutes, and that was enough.
    2-0 (Forrester, Markey)

    Irish Cup final, Dundalk
    Dundalk pushed on us right from the start, we could only try and ward them off, successfully at first, but then another silly error led to a goal. Fortunately, we equalized rather quickly. At half-time Pep changed the formation to 4-5-1, tinkered tactically a little, and the team turned the game around on counters.
    3-1 (Forrester, Doona-2 — Hoban)

    MD 30. Bohemians (H)
    After an exhausting cup final most of the first 11 received a day off: only Desmond started the game, the rest of the heroes were on the bench. The reserves did quite fine. Meanwhile, both Dundalk and Cork drew their games, and our table lead increases to 9 points.
    2-1 (Stokes, Markey — Ward)

    Darragh Markey is the March player of the month. Other candidates included our McCabe and Forrester.
    St Pats' young fullback deep on the bench, Paul Cleary has agreed to a contract with Limerick. The club will receive €130 000, the player will join his new team in the summer.

    MD 31. Cork City (A)
    Bad game. The opposition's defence is an impenetrable wall, ours is one big hole. The opponents are making runs and finding spaces, our players just out for a leisurely stroll.
    0-1 (Nielsen)

    Pepito is cross with the team after the latest performance
  • LAboog4
    1041 posts Professional
    Good league results. I like your graphics for the interviews. I think the league is won but management not being happy with Pep is a concern.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    First, we announce the pre-contract free agent signings for the summer:

    MD 32. 7609.png?lm=1491000159 Waterford (H)
    The job was done in half an hour, and after that we just enjoyed the weather and passed the ball around. Meanwhile Cork drew their game and our lead increases to 8 points.
    3-0 (Drennan-2, Markey)

    MD 33. 920.png?lm=1535058690 Derry City (A)
    Our previous game ended in a shameful defeat, and we wanted to retaliate, but, alas, it was not meant to be. Both our title rivals drew as well, so the standings remain unchanged.
    1-1 (McDermott (OG) — Bruna)

    MD 34. 3258.png?lm=1423677184 Shamrock Rovers (H)
    The announcer before the game announced that a victory means championship for St Pats. According to my research, if Cork lose their game, we could get the title regardless of our result. And the result was absolute bollocks, because the players refused to play football and instead wanted to stand around and be unable to receive a pass properly. The celebrations have been delayed.
    Cork won, but Dundalk officially left the title race afret losing to the failing Bray Wanderers.
    0-2 (McEneff, Finn)

    MD 35. 4286.png?lm=1423677352 Limerick (A)
    St Pats took the absolute ❤️❤️❤️❤️ out of a weak opposition, but not without some self-clowning either. Because as the rules of football go, you can't score a bunch of goals without also conceding a couple. A fun way to wrap up the title.
    4-2 (McGrath, Forrester, Doona, Browne — Dennehy, Morrissey)

    MD 36. 3930.png?lm=1428048466 Bray Wanderers (H)
    Again we score three in half an hour, but then the opponents remembered to actually try and play and fight back. Whatever. After the game there was some dancing and jumping around with the trophy, thet Guardiola did not take part in. And that is not because stupid Canadian programmers forgot to include the manager in celebrations, but because the winner walked off into the sunset.
    3-1 (McGrath, Markey, Doona — Noone)

    We are the champions! The skeptics have been refuted! Guardiola wins again!
    Player of the season is some loser from Shamrock. Best GK — our Clarke, who lost the starting spot by the end of the season. Team of the season includes St Pats' CB Toner, CDM Forrester, CAM McGrath and ST Drennan.

    Best player of the season, according to me, is Chris Forrester. The guy carried the team for the whole season, consistently and efficiently. As a defensive midfielder, scored a bunch of goals and assisted a bunch more. Also, a legend from one of my previous CMs from a few years ago.

    Last batch of St Pats goals:

    Full team stats for the season:
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Breaking news! Pep Guardiola to leave Ireland

    St. Patrick's Athletic announced that after bringing the team the domestic double Pep Guardiola will not extend his contract. Pep commented: "I am grateful to the club for the opportunity to test myself at this level. I think this season has proved that I am indeed a bald genius and not that other thing they often call me."
    As for what will be his next career move, Guardiola said: "I have heard that there are yet some skeptics in Denmark who still don't accept my genius, so the most logical thing would be to go there and show them."

  • Nion
    42 posts Last Pick at the Park
    Good luck to Denmark! Danish league is a very interesting one.
  • ElMarcos
    322 posts Sunday League Hero
    Good luck with Aalborg! Being a coach in Danmark sounds like a challenge.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    ElMarcos wrote: »
    Good luck with Aalborg! Being a coach in Danmark sounds like a challenge.

    Yeah, it is basically a one horse race there with Copenhagen so much bigger than the rest. Will need to put in a lot of effort to catch up to them.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special

    New season — new challenge.

    Pep Guardiola has refuted all the skeptics in Ireland, but the Danes still have their doubts about him. So he invited himself to Aalborg.

    The club was founded more than 130 years ago, has been Danish champion four times, was the first ever representative of Denmark in CL group stage. In 2014 Aalborg had a domestic double, but other than that hasn't climbed higher than 5th in the league for 10 years. Last season the team finished fifth again.

    Board expectations:
    - high league finish
    - cup quarterfinal
    - sign three youth defenders
    - buy an important player for midfield or attack
    - finish the season with 3 million in the budget

    The board may be satisfied with a "high finish", but we know what Pep has got on his mind. World domination.

    Meet the team:

    Jacob Rinne — starting goalkeeper, one of the best players in the team, has even been to Swedish national team a couple times. As for his backup, we will need to find a new one, because Michael Lansing — is not up to par.

    Right fullback is basically missing as well. Kristofer Pallesen will do as backup, but Patrick Kristensen is not good enough for our level. Shame about that, because he is a proper club legend, youth product, has spent his whole career here and scored the club's 10000th milestone goal 10 years ago.

    Central defence is well-equipped. Jores Okore — an absolute beast with EPL experience. His partner will be either Kasper Pedersen or Jakob Blabjerg or both in rotation. Both are Aalborg youth products, we'll see in preseason who performs better.

    We also have young Mathias Ross and Anders Baertelsen, one of them will probably leave.

    On the left side Jacob Ahlmann will start, and for backup there is only junk — Lukas Klitten, who has a no less hopeless twin brother among the strikers.

    In the central midfield we have a lot of people, but they don't amount to much.

    We will stake pur hopes on two talented youth players: Oliver Abildgaard and Magnus Christensen. The former goes straight to staring 11, the latter will need some training. The German Benedikt Kirsch, bought from Greuther Fürth by my predecessor, might come in handy too. The rest I'd gladly swap for one good player.

    Swede Gustav Sandberg Magnusson can play a defensive bulldog, but I am not sure Pep's Aalborg will need one. The Slovak Filip Lesniak looks neither fish, nor flesh, nor fowl compared to, say, Christensen — never mind that he was formed in Tottenham's academy and assisted Harry Kane.

    Then there are two veterans — captain, club legend, Danish League record holder for most games played Rasmus Würtz; and also a notable figure in Aalborg's history Kasper Risgard. Guardiola will "include them in the coaching team" and never play. Ageism, yes.

    Our wings are just wonderful.

    Two local Aalborg kids Kasper Kusk and Lucas Andersen will start. Both have national team experience, both had unsuccessful spells in the Netherlands and came back.
    Their backup — Rasmus Thellufsen and Frederik Borsting, also local, rather passable. Borsting will also be able to play deeper in the midfield. However if we have any leftover money, might as well buy some reinforcement.

    Strikers are plentiful, but also not good.

    The only decent one is Dutchman Tom van Weert. We also have a promising youngster in Wessam Abou Ali, but he will need some training.

    The rest — Marco Ramkilde, Oliver Kiltten and Mikkel Kaufmann — are bad and unnecessary. Guardiola doesn't need that many strikers anyway.

    To sum up: the team needs a right fullback, a defensive midfielder, a backup goalie and a striker. Possibly also one more central midfielder, a left fullback and maybe one more backup winger. Playmakers are totally nonexistent and we will either have to buy us some or try some formation other than 4-2-3-1.
  • ElMarcos
    322 posts Sunday League Hero
    Tough challenge for Pep. The team looks anything but balanced in terms of quality.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    ElMarcos wrote: »
    Tough challenge for Pep. The team looks anything but balanced in terms of quality.

    Hopefully, some transfers will improve the situation
  • WestardLord
    2240 posts Fans' Favourite
    As has been said, looks like a squad that needs balance more than anything, not necessarily big stars. Midfield and strikers could use a boost.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special

    The first summer transfer was a formality: Lucas Andersen is in fact in Aalborg on loan from 504.png?lm=1410776721Grasshopper with an obligation to buy. FIFA doesn't know about it, obviously, so I had to cancel the loan and sign him back properly as a free agent.

    Another free agent joining Aalborg is Jakob Haugaard from 512.png?lm=1472243727Stoke City.
    We could have signed Anders Lindegaard, who is similarly vegetating on an English bench, but chose to go for someone younger.

    Signed a new right fullback — Henrik Dalsgaard from 1148.png?lm=1494584378Brentford.
    He started his professional career here at Aalborg.

    Another comeback — an Aalborg youth product Jannik Pohl, who had moved to 202.png?lm=1493842721Groningen last summer but failed to make an impression there.

    Our comparatively weak midfield needed some major reinforcement, so Guardiola opted for someone he knows well and trusts — Chris Forrester is moving from 1189.png?lm=1522184888St. Patricks to Denmark along with the gaffer.

    Another defensive midfielder joins from the famously nonexistent German city of 10.png?lm=1457972891Bielefeld. Max Christiansen, welcome to Aalborg.
    Yes, now the team has not only two (Ch/K)ristensens, but also a Christiansen.

    As for outgoing transfers, we successfully got rid of everyone who wasn't needed. All the comings and goings are conveniently illustrated below.
    It turned out that Denmark has no pre-season, so we hit the ground running right into the domestic league. Pep will have to sort out the squad and tactics as he goes.
    Provisionally, the team sets up like this:

    The press predicts a sixth-place finish, which just again proves how incompenent and fake their news are. Pep is going to defeat all opponents and especially haters all over again.
  • ElMarcos
    322 posts Sunday League Hero
    Team seems competitive enough. Good luck!
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited July 2019
    MD 1. 19657.png?lm=1437861900 Vendsyssel (H)
    Off to a rocky start. The team didn't play the way I expected them to, the tactics didn't really work. The defence did well though. However, it was one of the weakest teams in the league, and a local mini-derby, so the supporters would be disappointed not to see a win.

    MD 2 206.png?lm=1518117616 Brondby (A)
    Pep managed to tune the tactics the right way on second try. In the first half hour Kusk had three one-on-one chances: first he cut back to van Weert who incredibly missed the basically open goal; then a defender caught up with him and took the ball away; third time was the charm. The visitors stepped up and pressed us into our own box. We acquiesced to their demands and were content with playing on the counters. Grandpa Würtz came on in the second half and secured the victory with a goal.
    2-0 (Kusk, Würtz)

    MD 3. 5818.png?lm=1518120161 Hobro (H)
    A goal and an assist from Kasper Kusk gave us the win. Forrester has scored his first goal in the new team, and rather a spectacular one one at that. The visitors, of course, scored their only shot on goal in the whole game.
    2-1 (Forrester, Kusk — Kristoffersen)

    Meanwhile, St. Patrick's have passed the CL qualifying round after beating Dinamo Zagreb on penalties. In the playoff round they winn get eliminated by Basel.
    (Judging by the stats, they seem to be playing without a striker: 4 defenders, 3 DMs, CAM and 2 wingers. Very odd.)

    MD 4. 2414.png?lm=1518117744 Horsens (H)
    We were in full control of the game, but could only score once, and at the end gifted an easy goal to the opposition.
    1-1 (Forrester — Junker)

    MD 5. 2778.png?lm=1518117470 Nordsjaelland (A)
    The game was even, both teams strong defensively. Aalborg were lucky, the other team were not. Our biggest star has finally deigned to score.
    1-0 (Andersen)

    Wow, the Pats are through to CL group stage! Beat Basel at home 2-1, held out for a draw 2-2 on the road!!! That's Guardiola's legacy for you, first ever Irish team in the Champions League!

    MD 6. 678.png?lm=1518117578 Aarhus (H)
    Tough first half, a lot of scrambling and tussling, many missed chances (Pohl alone hit both goalposts), and after half time the visitors just crumbled completely. Guardiola's first Jutland clasico worked out just perfect.
    4-0 (Kusk (pen), Andersen-2, Pohl)


    MD 7 865.png?lm=1518117451 Midtjylland (A)
    Our opponents had a terrible start to the season, and this game was no different. Aalborg's attack was lethal, defence impenetrable, Forrester's goal epic.
    3-0 (Andersen, Kusk, Forrester)

    We are in second, but just two points off of the leading Copenhagen. Seems like a two-horse title race is shaping up.


    Manager's notes:
    Kasper Kusk has emerged as a clear team leader. Andersen had a slow start, but really picked up by the end of this stretch. Van Weert has disappointed me, friendhip ended with him, now Jannik Pohl is my best striker and starter. Christiansen (not to be confused with Christensen) has been amazing as a defensive midfielder. The defence in general has been amazing, apart from that one blunder.
    Post edited by sviraman on
  • Nion
    42 posts Last Pick at the Park
    That 0-3 goal against Midtjylland was a beauty.

    Seems like you have had a very well start and Aalborg's attacking play looks very well.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special

    MD 8. 173.png?lm=1518117592 Odense (H)
    Again teams matched pretty evenly, a bit swampy in the midfield, then the visitors opened the scoring and parked the bus. Typical. Fortunantly, our Dutchman decided to make up for his miss agains Brondby and saved us a point.
    1-1 (van Weert — Leeuwin)

    MD 9. 5724.png?lm=1518117482 Randers (A)
    Aalborg spent 20 minutes sizing up the opponents, and then scored three before half time and calmly carried the game to a victory. Kusk missed a penalty. Meanwhile, Copenhagen lost to Horsens, and the gap between us shrinks to the minimum.
    3-0 (Abildgaard, van Weert, Forrester)

    MD 10. 3426.png?lm=1518117756 Esbjerg (H)
    One of the weakest teams in the league tried hard, their goalie was having a great day, but we still managed to squeeze one in. Young striker Ali came on in the second half and made quite an impression: he should have scored two but for the GKs heroic feats.
    1-0 (Pohl)

    Candidates for player of the month are our Andersen, van Weert and Christiansen (not to be confused with Christensen) and some bum from Brondby. Who was the eventual winner — I missed it somehow.
    Kasper Kusk and Jacob Rinne called up to Denmark and Sweden national teams respectively.

    MD 11. 5817.png?lm=1518117723 Sonderjyske (A)
    Another confident display, tight at the back, lethal in attack. Pohl with a goal and an assist, Kirsch with a great debut goal.
    2-0 (Pohl, Kirsch)

    MD 12. 443.png?lm=1437861930 Vejle (H)
    It was a weird game. We conceded two stupidest goals — first a typical solo run where defenders run out of the way of the striker, then a dumb deflection. Both times we managed to equalize and should have clinched a win: did a proper siege on the opponents' box, but couldn't score. Important points dropped stupidly.
    2-2 (Pohl-2 — Sousa, Louati)

    MD 13. 190.png?lm=1518117389 Copenhagen (A)
    Great scheduling to pit the two teams up tom with two points between them against each other on the last matchday of the first half-season. Another pretty even game. First time was an exchange of attacks, some advantage to the hosts, but nothing extraordinary. Suddenly right before halftime our defence just collapsed and gave away a goal. Ok, fine. In the second half we pressed on, did some amazing passing, created many good chances while allowing only a couple of counters. Could have scored three, hit the crossbar once, but eventually the only goal was scored by Christensen, who ran on the keeper and simply hoofed the ball by the near post.
    1-1 (Christensen — Sotiriou)

    Danish Cup, Round 1. 443.png?lm=1437861930 Vejle (A)
    I am sick of Vejle. Above all, because of the two sneaky little hobbitses who are always running away somewhere. This game need a button for "break him a leg", because I'd rather play with nine players than deal with those two sprinters. Though I'd probably lose that way, but at least my nervous system would be intact.
    2-1 (Thellufsen, van Weert — Greve)

    Best player of November is Aalborg's Magnus Christensen (not to be confused with Max Christiansen), who isn't even technically a starter.



    Menwhile in the CL, St. Pats lost to Barca only 0-1, then got trashed by Benfica 1-6, and somehow took a point from Stamford Bridge.
  • ElMarcos
    322 posts Sunday League Hero
    Pats did better than What one might have expected.
  • sviraman
    136 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    ElMarcos wrote: »
    Pats did better than What one might have expected.

    Yeah, putting up such a fight against Barca and Chelsea is pretty big for an Irish team.
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