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Despite one time domination in Russia Spartak moskow have not won a trophy for 11 years.Im going to try to put them back on top.

Zenit really beginning to dig their heels in now! shame about your first defeat but it was going to come sooner or later
Shame you didn't manage to hold onto the lead against Zenit.

Hope you can hold onto top spot.
Yeah I knew it was going come.Just a shame when it does come.And then manner of the defeat really knocked the stuffing out of my team.And cheers dan I was gutted I couldn't hold it.Still have top spot so not out of it by any means.The leagues still in my hands as long as the lads don't bottle it.
Now for my end of season.Last report I was 4 points ahead as zenit had halved the gap from the previous month to 4 points and I had been destroyed away at Kuban.Had I sealed the championship and won spartak a trophy for the first time in 11 years or had the results carried on and my team bottled it?


Well heres the results and as you can see I did drop the necessary points for zenit to catch me.

Started off with a great win against terek.Jurado got himself a double and vladimir obukhov tapped in his first senior goal for us.A good win on the back of the poor Kuban performance.

Next up came relegation threatened Ufa.Should of won and dominated possession and shots but they dispatched the one and only real chance that went they're way and I lost.Not good and now I am worried.

Another trip and another relegation threatened team in Rostov.Again I dominated and jose manuel jurado scored with 20 mins to go to secure the win.Was planning on getting rid of him but not too sure now.If there is one person who has performed well this month its him.

Last game of the season and a home game against yet another team running the risk of the drop.0-0 against them was poor and the match was boring.Looking back over the last 3 matches all against some of the poorest teams of the season and only one goal.Not great.

So did I do it?Or did them dropped points cost us?


Well there it is.1 point from the last 3 games for zenit and I had won the league.All that worrying about my team bottling it and if zenit and won they're remaining games then they would of won it.After that first half of the season it probably should of been wrapped up a lot sooner but we got there eventually.I have won the league and no cl playoff for me.In the group stage for sure though I can be sure of a tough group.Ufa who got the win against me lost they're playoff game and were down.Bit strange but that's football.

Things are looking up on the financial front too.That little sponsorship money has come through and its another big one.


A one year sponsorship of 68m and all those worries of clauses in the contracts of romero are gone.2 more sponsorships gone a little higher too.Surely I will get a nice transfer budget right?Wrong.They gave me 5m but I got a big boost on the wage budget so when I changed it a bit I now have 32m.I can do a fair bit with that and while chasing a European trophy is too soon I can make ready a bit and look at that in a few years perhaps.

PSG came offering 25m for balanta but im not in the business of profit.Im after trophies and domestic dominance and eventually having a squad up there with the best in Europe so I had to offer him a new contract.Here is his new one.


So again as with romero a shed load of clauses and high wage but he is going to be one of the best cbs about.Again he was insistent on a release clause and wanted one of 25m but I got it up to 45 and im not 100% sure anyone will bid that.

Ruud gullit of 8th placed rubin Kazan got manager of the year.How im not too sure seen as I should of won it but hey that's life.I got what I wanted overall but I thought a few other managers should of got it ahead of him.


Team of the year and where is romero?I thought he would be a shoe in but hes not there whereas tino costa is.Also no balanta which Im a bit gutted about for him.Bocchetti is in there.That partnership has been amazing.Also happy for aranzubia getting in there and the goalkeeper of the season.35 years old and put the younger lads to shame.


Very surprised of this.Dzyuba did well yeah but I thought various others did better.Think it may of been a Russian thing but I am happy for him.I knew romero would be up there too and maybe balanta.


So heres the team of the year.I probably agree with that,Makeev threw a fit about getting a fine for getting sent off last game of the season so he may not be here next season.Tino costa probably wont either given his age though he did get in the division team of the year too.

So there's the update.A great year overall and much work to be done to retain the league and push on well in Europe.I have a lot of plans incoming and outgoing and the youth recruitment budget has been raised too.Time for next phase of spartaks history to start.Phase one complete.
Cheers dan much appreciated.Been going for a couple of big name youngster (zouma and sule) but when I get to contract they want too much.
So the new season is upon us.After last season I told the minimum would be the league title and the Russian cup final.Not expected to get out of the cl group so no pressure there and to be honest I wouldn't feel too bad with 3rd place.Its progress at the end of the day.

So pre season I decided to set my own friendlies up and go on a tour of japan then have 3 home games against atletico,rapid Vienna and sv salzbug.I figured to have a tough cl team and average cl/Europa teams to get my team a bit more used to European teams again.Then I finished off against a local team called khimiki.Heres how that went...


The tour didn't go well at all.Not really about the reults though mind.More for fitness and commercial benefits but im still not too happy about it.Only 1 win out of 4 and 2 defeats.

Upon arriving back in Russia a home game against atletico was going to be tough especially considering with the last 4 matches.A 1-0 win thanks to a late Salvatore bocchetti goal was very good though I didn't really deserve it.

2 more home games and disappointing results against the Austrians.My morale took a battering after that.Just lucky I have an easy game to round off pre season.

A big win was always likely and I was happy with it.Happy for tielemens to score and dzyuba to get a hat trick.Just what the doctor ordered going into the Russian super cup vs lokomotiv moskow.


This was as straight forward as you can get to be honest.Dominated the match and could of won by more.Another piece of silverware and glad for boye and giovinco both getting on the score sheet.

So obviously you know I have got boye but who else did I get?I was always going to be getting a fair few players given I had a decent budget and cl football.I wanted to improve on quality aswell as getting more strength in depth.These are the lads I brought in this summer...


A very solid window I think.Sure I have bought nothing but foreigners but ill be playing them in each competition and making sure I have Russians in league and domestic cup teams.I have always been good at roation so this seems like a good plan.Im very excited to about the midfield 3 of romero,gil romero and tielemans in a few years time if I can keep them all.Amartey is a very good young player who can play in 3 different positions and all 3 are used by me.

So now for the months fixtures


A very hit and miss month in the league.Started off well with a routine win against torpedo Moscow.Lucas romero was in his same role of roaming playmaker but pushed to cm as opposed to cdm as gil romero was there as an anchor man.It worked well and romero got on the score sheet along with fellow cm denis glushakov,

Next match wasn't great and brought my first loss of the season.Took 26 matches last season to suffer defeat but only 2 this time around and the match was a poor one.They had the better of the chances and scored late on.Fair play to anji.

Lokomotiv Moscow again and a 3-0 win again.Gil romero scored a nice finish sandwiched between a promes tap in and a giovinco header.Not too bad at all and tails are back up again.

A trip to the rivals and come away with a point.Im happy enough with that one.The match was a bore but I never mind draws away against certain teams and CSKA are one of them.

Another 3-0 win this time against Krasnodar.glushakov again on the score sheet along with promes and a great lucas boye header.1 goal conceded in 5 and 3 wins and im happy with that month.Could of been better but I cant complain too much.


So with me dropping 5 points its not an ideal start but there are no 100% records now and its as close a league as your likely to see.Onwards and upwards from here now and im looking forward to this campaign.


I knew I was going to get a tricky at best group and that proved to be right.Liverpool are going to be favourites to top the group followed by schalke 04 then me and basel will be close.If I can pick up a couple of points away from home and make our own ground a fortress I think I can sneak through but it will be tough.Honestly wouldn't mind 3rd but this group could of been much harder.
Congrats on the league title win, quick return for the investment on young players for the first season and it paid off. Don't underestimate your chances in the Champions League. I felt similar in a way with my Shakhtar career but with similar signings and no doubt a similar big home presence / advantage over opposition if you can pick up away draws I'm sure home form will take you through the group. Good luck for the new season.
Nice one DP.I am building for the future (Hope I can keep all main players) and if I do keep them all and add to them then I think I can compete for clin around 5-8 years realistically.
Tough group you're in
September update

Going into September I was wary of my cl group but confident in the league.As johno has said I was handed a tough group.Schalke do well in the cl usually,Liverpool are a sleeping giant and have a lot of top players and basel are a very capable team.Would like nothing more than to qualify for the first knockout stage but I know ill have to be on my game

So first the domestic fixtures...


Steady as she goes in the league.A good win away to terek to start the month off can only be a good thing.Giovinco and lucas romero scored 2 quickfire goals just after the half hour mark and we was on our way to a good win.Terek got a goal back but couldn't score the equaliser.

Next up a home game to mordovia.Giovinco was superb and scored a hat trick.His second was a beauty.A good cross from quincy promes and a stunning flick on into the corner from giovinco.He is becoming a very good signing for us especially on a free.

Then I had a trip to metallurg Lipetsk in the cup.Rested a lot of players for this and jano ananidze got himself a double to take his chance.

Then a trip to ural in the league.I went behind through a Damien le tallec header just before half time.After a bit of gentle encouragement pavel savitskiy scored then up popped lb Dmitry kombarov to put us 2-1 with 20 mins to go before Damien le tallec scored another header late on to level the scores.Cant help but think this was 2 points dropped.


The league isn't looking too bad at all.Them 2 dropped points against ural made me go into October 2nd.The big shock of the season so far is how bad CSKA are doing.They lost last seasons top league goalscorer seydou doumbia for 4 months in a loss to zenit.Personally think it will be a 2 horse race like last season for sure.

Now for Europe.


First off was a home game to Liverpool.A 0-0 draw was a good result against the top team in the group.They probably should of won it but the match was more notable for the referee going a little card crazy.A lot of fouls in the match yeah but still think the referee was a bit over the top.


After the Liverpool game I was thinking might be able to go to basel and get a positive result.Another draw would not of been bad in the slightest as I think my home form would determine more how I would do but a 2-0 defeat was what I got.I dominated possession and had the best chances though less shots but japan international(japan really?) Sergio escudero got himself a double to mark a bad result for us.


So there it is.First 2 matches in the cl and not a goal scored.Good point against Liverpool but that's ruined after the loss to basel.Double header against schalke next.They're form has been worse than mine so I might just be able to get a couple of positive results to at least give me a chance to get a bit of momentum to qualify or finish 3rd.
A point better than nothing Good results in the league.
Yeah that is true mate. Just out at moment and want get home and get cracking again lol. Need the fm fix. At the end of october on it so latest update won't be too far away
Going into October I was confidant about my domestic progress.2 wins and a draw in the league and through to the next round in the cup had me thinking I could win the league again and with my saquad being bigger and better I could also do well in the cup.Champions league hadn't necessarily gone off to a great side though I wasn't out of it yet or lost both my games like my next opponents schalke.


So October started off with a home game against newly promoted krylja sovetov.Should be an easy win for last years champions right?Wrong?Went behind fairly early on and as the game progressed I was thinking "am I going to lose this?Im going to be a laughing stock!!!" right up until the last minute.Then up popped new signing and 76th minute substitute leandro paredes to spare my blushes.His first was a beauty.Picking the ball up 35 yards out he arrowed an unstoppable shot right in the top corner.His 2nd wasn't much worse turning just outside the area to again smash the ball into the top corner after good work by gaston gil romero.Not the start to the month I had in mind but 3 points all the same.

Then after the international break I faced a trip to rubin Kazan.Dont like going here and it was to be a bad trip again.Last season they delivered me my first loss as spartak manager to dump me out the Russian cup and this time round they beat me again.3-1 doesn't do me justice I don't think but I still went down.Leandro paredes scored another at least and hes on very decent form.

Here we go again.Zenit away.Last time out you may remember they equalised in the 93rd minute through rondon and this is certainly a case of deja vu....


Lucas boye scored after 14 seconds.What a great start.Then they dominated the chances throughout the match but I was dangerous on the counter and things were looking like I might just hold on.But igor smoinikov had other ideas with another late equaliser for zenit.Will that goal cost us come the end of the season?Hope not

Then I had a home game in the cup against torpedo Moscow.Was winning 5-0 until gaston gil romero got himself sent off in the 76th minute and we conceded 2 late goals.One problem I am having with gil romero is his discipline.picking up way too many bookings.

Finished off the month with a home game against dynamo Moscow.A very good 3-0 win and an impressive performance by us.Cant complain in the slightest with this.Balanta,giovinco and gil romero with the goals.Giovinco is looking very good as my striker.Even if he only got one this month he has assisted a few and has scored 6 in 10 in the league.

So taking all that into account heres how the table looks


That defeat to rubin and late show at zenit has cost us top spot.Got 2 hard away games out the way and only 2 points off top spot.CSKA had a good month and are slowly climbing back up the table.

Now for the champions league.


Lucas romero got us a goal just before the half hour mark but klaas jan huntelaar scored from the penalty spot after 70 minutes to level the tie.I do think its a good point and I saw enough from my lads to think I can do them over a bit at home.Apologies for not being able to see everything (ie the time of the equaliser).I took the screenshot out of the match.Ill be taking them in the match from now on.
Looks like Zenit are going to push you this season! Going well to date though mate
Cheers dan.I think the championship will be a lot closer this year.This months league fixtures force us and zenit to play a number of away games in a row.I need to be in a good position during the winter break to have the best chance.Then our home fixture against zenit could prove to be vital to both our seasons.
A good performance and point away at Schalke SBR just need to capitalise with 3 points in those home games now! Zenit still unbeaten and flying as mentioned, should be a good challenge for the title this season but a good point away against them on the basis of all their stats in that game.
Agree with you there DP but I cant help feel we should of won.2 seasons in a row they equalise in the closing stages but it was a good point And yeah good point at schalke too.At the end of the month now so next update will be up pretty soon.
The winter has come to Russia.The pitches are white with frost and/or snow and the days are going shorter and darker.But how about the prospects of spartak Moscow.Are we still close to the top of the table?Have we still got a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the champions league?Lets find out.


Home game against Tom was a tricky one.Should not of been but it was and we had to come back from a goal down through Sebastian giovinco and jano ananidze.Late late show for us and it was a scare but we got through it and im happy with the 3 points.

Then a very tricky game away to Kuban.Or at least it is on paper.Lucas romero scored to goals in 3 minutes and giovinco added a 3rd to put us 3 up.We were flying.Then I took romero and gil romero off and Kuban scored 3 minutes after and peppered our goal with shots but couldn't find a way to score again and the game was won.Very happy with this one.

Away to amkar and only a point.A lucky point at that as the impressive jano scored again late on to give us a share of the spoils.On the balance of the match it was probably the right result.

Another away game and another game without defeat.Giovinco scored again followed bt a gaston gil romero strike and we were smashing them and could of scored more.Im happy with the clean sheet though as we are conceding in a lot of league matches.

Heres how the table looks after the November games


On the same round of fixtures I won at Kuban and drew at amkar zenit lost and drew they're matches and now with just one more match this year im top of the pile.Only one point in it but still there.That great position I wanted is very close with just a trip to lokomotiv Moscow coming up.Lets hope I can get a positive result there and finish the year on a high.

Now for the champions league.


This was a massive win no doubt about that.After going behind to a joel matip header I feared the worst but Sebastian giovinco saved our skins and we live on to fight another day.Was a great result as we built a bit of breathing space between us and schalke.Next up though is Liverpool away.


We got battered.But we held on.I decided just to go super defensive with 2 cdms and a deep lying playmaker in cm.People might think me weak for doing that but I can tell you now I feel better about this point and clean sheet at anfield than the 3 points against schalke.

So how does all that look for the group?


So with our 2 goalless draws against Liverpool we still have a chance of going through but are we really going to see a 9 goal swing?Highly doubt that but we have secured European for the new year which I am very happy about.I do want revenge against basel though.
Good to see you jump zenit. in truth two brilliant goalless draws with Liverpool and maybe heady to the Europa League may be the better choice!
Hope Schalke does you a favor against Liverpool
A short and sweet December with just 2 fixture.First came the league game at lokomotiv Moscow.


A game of 2 halves here as ibrahima balde put lokomotiv 1 up and at half time I changed a couple of things and we came from behind to win.Jose manuel jurado with a double and a Sebastian giovinco strike won it for us.Giovinco missed from the spot but we got the 3 points we needed.So how does the table look going into the winter break?


Well going into the winter break top was all I wanted even if it is by just 1 point.Think it will be a 2 horse race with us and zenit for the title.Think it will be a lot closer too as we haven't looked as strong as this time last year and zenit has looked better.Hopefully I can keep them at bay to retain the title.

Then came the solitary champions league fixture at home to basel.I needed a big win and for Liverpool to lose big.The odds were well and truly against me.So how did I do?


Well another game of 2 halves but this time the 2nd half went against me.Raced into a 2 goal lead through bocchetti and tielemans only to collapse in the 2nd half.Safe to say the team talk at half time was very different to the one at full time.Obviously I now finished in 3rd place.I was happy enough with that though.


We may not of been anywhere near qualifying but we did have a massive impact on the top of the group.Our 2 defeats against basel and 2 draws against Liverpool ensured basel finished top.And to think I was thinking it was basel I was going to be competing with more than the other two.

So with us dropping out at the group stage of the champions league we were going into the Europa.A competition I was more likely to do well in.But theres some hard teams in it this year.Arsenal,spurs,napoli,sevilla and Valencia to name a few were all aiming to do well in and were teams I wanted to avoid.But I got these...


A trip to Cyprus to face APOEL Nicosia in the first leg.The draw was kind to me so im very happy with that and my chances of going through.And waiting for me should o go through are one of...


Both teams could be tough but its not as hard as I could of had.I actually think on our day we could beat either but first we have to get through against APOEL.

So that's about it for the competitons.I do want to share 2 more pictures.First is the award that I can vote in.The managers select where all the managers in the Russian premier league get to vote for the best player.


Nearly half the candidates for the award came from spartak Moscow.Gil romero a new signing in the summer was 2nd in a very impressive first season with Sebastian giovinco 3rd.Seydou doumbia did end up winning it but im happy my guys did so well to have such a strong numbers in the final reckoning.

And finally I was asked a while ago about people coming in for my players.In particular lucas romero.I got an offer of 32m from man utd for him which I rejected.He then started kicking up a fuss saying he wanted to go but I talked him out of it and offered him a new contract.


There is no contract extension unfortunately and I did have to raise his wages considerably but I honestly don't care.I managed to raise the minimum fee release to 60m and kept him happy.

So that's it for the December update.I have secured a number of signings for January already having done a fair bit of business in October and when they come in ill share the lads with you all.
Easy draw against APOEL. Good to see you manage to get Lucas Romero to sign new contract.
Easy draw against APOEL. Good to see you manage to get Lucas Romero to sign new contract.

This sums up what I was going to say well enough
bit gutted I couldn't wait till end of season and at least extend his contact by a year but I needed to keep him happy and got the minimum fee release up a bit more. everyone's a winner
Finally after another 4 long months im back in action.I did have 3 friendlies though for some reason they aren't showing up on my fixture list so cant post that specific pic.I can tell you though that we played 3 away games against widzew lodz botev (Plovdiv)and vogla nn and drew them all.Not great results but I had bigger games this month.

First though the transfers.I made 3 permanent moves and brought in 2 on loan in this window.Out of the 3 permanent transfers 2 came from argentina and 1 from south Africa.So here they are.


A player with 4.5 potential according to my chief scout and 4 according to my assistant manager but no matter which is right hes going to be a good little player.Already loaned him out to NAC for game time as he wouldn't get in my team right now.Looking forward to seeing him progress and with any luck ill have 3 top quality argentine cdms on my books.


Next we have gaston palacio.Again the scout and the assistant manager were divided between 4 and 4.5 potential.I was tempted to keep him and play him in the cup as he does have some good stats there.Again I loaned him out right away though and again it was to NAC.


Another young gun.Im hoping to build a formidable team for the future and I believe I have brought in some of the top young real players in romero,gil romero,savitskiy,tielemans,balanta boye and Tariq but sooner or later regens start coming into the game and I try to sign them as early as possible.I know hes another striker and I wont be able to play them all but I think sell on value with a couple will be good.Menzi blose came in for 500k and I can get 10x that in 5 years im sure.If he does develop well he will be kept and someone else be sold but again he has 4.5 star potential.

Now for the loans.


Zakaria bakkali.Everyone knows him and most would know he is a free agent at the end of the first season.I did try to get him but he chose arsenal instead.He wasn't used much at the emirates and when I saw him on my loan list I thought id give it a go of loaning.He accepted and now I have another top youngster though just till the end of the season.I don't think im very strong on the wings or up top so i got him for the wings primarily so giovinco can play more permanently up top and i wont have to rely on the disappointing so far lucas boye as much.If i get the opportunity to get him come the end of the season ill be all over it like a tramp on chips.


Again a well known player who plays on the wings and as a striker.He wouldn't be someone id be looking at permanently as he doesn't fit in my criteria as hes too old.I mostly buy 24 or younger.Hes a top player for my league and the Europa so hes someone i think can contribute a lot.

Now for those Europa games.


First came the away game.After going in front very early on through Daniel amartey i was looking good to score a few more.Then came the killer blow when i don't take my chances.A stunning long range strike from Renato augusto.Still got to play them at home and if i lose the tie now i deserve to go out.


After the disappointment of that late goal in Cyprus i went all out attack practically.A 4-1 win got us through with relative ease.dzyuba got the first and quicy promes got himself a double before Daniel armatey helped himself to another goal against APOEL Nicosia to complete and finish off the tie.They pulled another back but it was way too late.

So who did i get next?Shakhtar or villareal?


So here we go.A local derby as far as European football goes.Not against spartaks historic rivals dynamo kiev but with the new biggest club in Ukraine shakhtar Donetsk.Going to be a tough ask to get through i know that but a challenge i fancy.Again it could of been a much harder draw.
Lavezzi a superb scoop of a signing mate! Great work in APOEL whilst Shakhtar will produce a tricky tie as we've seen by the other people who have managed them
As soon as the draw came out i thought of DP and his all conquering team.Its not that same team and same manager luckily so im not as worried as i would of been.
League football is back in Russia and i have missed it.Those 4 month breaks they take are boring to say the least.


To start the month came anji.They beat me at their place earlier in the season so i was anxious to get a win here and i did through artem dzyuba and a freak Nicola murru goal.A clean sheet too which is always welcome.

Then came CSKA who were on a pretty good run which they continued here.I started off well and scored 2 goals the 2nd beaing a nice effort from jano but my defence looked awful as first serdar tasci gave the ball away stupidly to ahmed musa and the forward slotted it home.Then balanta missed his header and again musa went through on goal one on one and scored.I was furious.

Then a trip to Krasnodar came up and i wasn't confidant especially with bocchetti out injured for a number of weeks.Lucas boye got the goal late on and we got the win we deserved and my defence held up.Krasnodar are tough opposition so im pleased with this win after the poor CSKA result.

Ural away in the cup and again i just didn't feel confidant with my defence but again we got a clean sheet and won 2-0 to set up this match in the semi final


Another dreaded trip to zenit.On the plus side they have a number of important players out for a long spell on the sidelines so maybe i can score and not concede in the last minute.


So after leading the way during the winter break that CSKA match has cost us top spot as zenit despite the injury problems were relentless.I also have dynamo Moscow and CSKA not too far behind and i cant help but look down as well as up.

In Europe after getting through against APOEL Nicosia i was handed a tie against shakhtar Donetsk.Tough opposition and heres how the first leg went.


After going ahead twice and being pegged back both times i was thinking this might not be my day.Then when luiz Adriano scored i feared the worst.But then again a narrow defeat and 2 goals away wouldn't of been the worst thing to happen but it went better.Paredes scored one of his trademark long range strikes to equalise late on and i had a very good draw and something to bring home to Moscow.


After the first leg and the late goal i was pretty sure i could get a goal,keep it tight and sneak through but a goal never come.Luckily enough a goal didn't come for shakhtar either and i was through to the quarter finals of the Europa league.I rode my luck a few times and they hit the woodwork twice but we stood firm.Great result in my opinion.

So whos coming up next?


To be honest i wasn't nervous about playing everton.I believe shakhtar was a harder prospect and i was looking forward to playing an English side.But should i get through against them i have a much tougher game to reach the final.


Arsenal or Monaco.Both would be heavy favourites against either of us or everton i think.But when you get to this stage you have to play the bigger clubs and while success in Europe wasn't high on my agenda at the start of the season im now at this stage and cant help but think about maybe getting to the final.

I did manage to play the everton game just before the month ended so i could put it on this update.


A very annoying result for me.I demolished them from start to finish hitting the bar twice and the post once but i couldn't find a way through.And when i did get it on target tim howard was there to keep me out.And just before half time leighton baines lined up a free kick 25 yards out and hit the bar and james McCarthy was one of 4 players to react to slot it home.If one of those 4 players had been one of mine maybe i wouldn't of conceded but unfortunately for me my men were standing and watching it all happen.They went down to 10 men in the closing stages but it was too late.The only plus sides is romelu lukaku and seamus coleman will both be out injured for the match at goodison and sylvain distan will be suspended so all i can do is set my team to attack and rest my big hitters this weekend ready for the return next week.
Unlucky to lose to Everton Hopefully you can overturn it in 2nd leg.
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