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Number 1 commented on: 2017/18 Barclays Premier League Thread

Time for another crack at this.

Discussion
http://i.imgur.com/ELXnp5W.jpg?1


Yes, pipe down children. I'm back for another go at journeying throughout Europe to achieve more glory. Let's get roooiiiight into it!

But first...a bit of an interview....if you didn't know what happened the last time I took this on, you can read it here:
https://sortitoutsi.net/careers/view/25891/climbing-jacobs-ladder-formerly-magnifying-glacis

http://i.imgur.com/nVxT3x5.png

12 months ago you would completely overlook the name David Nealon in terms of management, coaching or anything related to the beautiful game. Aspiring to carve his name into the marble tablets of football at the age of only 22, you’d think he’d want to play for a club instead of managing a club. Breaking into the monopolistic market of management is tough, especially if you don’t have a foundation to build up from, no sign of publicity, not even in a local newspaper for the young lad. However, when a small Gibraltarian side put faith in the young Irish tactician to lead them forward, a spark went off in the avid footballing community; the beginning of a managerial prospect. Clocking over 50,000 air miles, coach rides and the rare convoy of five seater Ford Fiestas, this young Irish manager grew to fame from Estonia to Gibraltar, Faroe Islands to Lithuania and beyond. Quite a glittering CV to his name too: claiming 18 trophies in 15 seasons, three trebles and… the signing of Premier League winner Jamie Vardy!
Now the shades come off for a one to one chat with the man himself, telling the story of his incredibly colourful career, his tactical knowledge, what he wants to leave behind and how he aims to replicate it yet again.



What were the pinnacles of your previous career?

“I like to value each of my achievements equally; each title is a confidence booster and helps with momentum. The break seasons where I accomplished miniscule progress were probably the most helpful, as it ordered myself to self-reflect. I could take a step back, reinvent my methods and bounce back stronger. Of course winning trebles in San Marino, Faroe Islands and Estonia were probably the highlights if you’re asking for a straightforward answer.”

You’ve travelled to ten different nations previously, where is your favourite destination out of all of them?

“Faroe Islands, always love to manage there. I like to think of it as a second home to me; I love the culture, the views, embracing the fresh chill in the air and most importantly the football. I’ve never felt a rush of excitement as intense as experiencing the Effodeilden first hand. Every season I manage there, you take nothing for granted, you never coast to a title, but instead you need to exert strength, concentration and confidence every ninety minutes to even stand a chance of sniffing a title, not to mention building a flawless system. This is the reason why I wanted to stay for longer. I had a great rapport with the squad; they looked up to me as a quintessential role model that could get the best out of them. In terms of atmosphere I enjoyed Estonia more than any other nation; the fans are incredibly vocal and passionate. The Tallinn derby against Levadia was pulsating, especially at home, anything less than a win was considered a defeat to them. Deafening noise from the bass drums, clouds of smoke from the pyrotechnics hazing around the stands; it was more a rave than a game of football.”

On the flipside to the question, your least favourite?

“Probably Malta, not an avid fan of their league. The overall approach is slow, cautious and uninspiring football for aging individuals – kind of ironic since my highest scoring match was played in this league, losing 7-4 to Floriana! The league rules are pointless, unfairly weighted nonsense. [in relation to the second phase where points are halved and rounded] It’s like the days of group projects where there’s one member doing half-assed, sloppy work for the first six months, turns up two days before the deadline and gets full credit and high marks. That’s just my opinion of course! Luxembourg too, not so much for their football but instead the ethics of what their nation is based on: money. The amount of money being churned into these clubs is staggering, I’ve always heard about the wealth in Luxembourg, but a £2m transfer budget for a semi-professional club? Outrageous!”

Who were your toughest opponents?

“Tricky one, always one side will be your ‘bogey’ side no matter the league. Jeunesse Esch in Luxembourg were gargantuan but not unbeatable, wish my players could understand that! Our team were strong, but Jeunesse Esch were on another level. Personally, I’d go with Europa from Gibraltar. Even managing the largest stature side in Lincoln Red Imps, Europa were so difficult to break down. Tireless, ruthless and always found ways to fill those air pockets we gave away. Only beat them once in my career, though it was not easy by any stretch. Sometimes having decisions going your way helps, riding the luck before it runs out!”

Perhaps one of the real talking points was the incident at Portadown, you were sacked after only 60 days in charge and took charge of no competitive matches. How did that feel?

“It was a humiliating time for me; I couldn’t show my face without getting mocked or jeered, it was difficult to get out of bed most mornings, had no motivation to go anywhere, eat anything and slumped for days on end. I replayed that precise moment in my head non-stop like a broken record, but it became significantly more depressing each time. I needed to escape, clear my head because suddenly I started losing my love for the game and became genuinely unhappy and depressed. I needed to retreat, take a step back, reflect and perhaps revive this dark patch. I consulted with a sport psychologist twice a week to put my fears to bed that it may happen to me again. Portadown were a club I had looked forward to working with and for that opportunity to get snatched from me was disheartening. But that’s in the past and I can’t keep harping on about it, the future is where I look towards.”

What inspired your tactical mindset and what made them successful?

“I like to think of tactics or systems as being a blank canvas to create art. You need to have the right mixture of colours and brush strokes that you can appreciate from a distance as well as being on the touchline. I’m a big fan of counter attacking football, achieving solidity by building from the defensive line and to spring on the offensive. Midfield is also important to exploit, not only for creative freedom but to open up the mid regions. Of course formation is only the bare bones for the operations. You as a manager need a visionary approach with strong mental character. Adaptability is a key attribute to have and styles vary from nation to nation, there is a dominant force wherever you travel to and it’s up to you to figure out how to exploit it. Take for instance in Andorra: derived a lot from the ‘Italian’ way so it’s quite defensive. It was baffling to see teams in Andorra still using 4-4-2 direct and old school ‘catenaccio’ style reborn from the 1960s. Felt like I was frozen in time. At the same time I completely respected it, because it works. The libero is a rarity in modern football and it was brilliant to see it in action again, even if it were to a lesser quality.”

Bit of a strange one, but what made you sign Jamie Vardy for Estonian club, Flora?!

“Flora were crying out for a marquee signing at the club, Vardy was available on a free and his wage demands were reasonable. I thought why the hell wouldn’t I sign him?! He may have been 37 when he signed but with Premier League experience under his belt, not to mention a winners medal. We also required a fit striker for the Eesti Superkarikas against Infonet to achieve another treble. The end justifies the means as they say!”

So, what now for Dave?

“I’m ready to grease my palms again, rub out my tactical whiteboard, put on the shades and start again from year zero. The publicity doesn’t put pressure on me; it only shows that I must be doing a bang on job. I strive to make a difference, no matter the nation. I want to experience it all: the climates, the culture, the food, the art, the music, languages & dialects and most importantly: the football. I mean, if I had a pound for every mile I’ve travelled in my career, I could retire right now! But where is the fun in that? This game needs me, the community needs me, the younger generation of managers need me and it’s up to me to make that difference from the hoi polloi of managers already out there. Reject any notions of finding mainstream clubs early in your career because it’ll end in failure unless you’re thoroughly prepared. Stick to your grassroots and start small, train your team rather than signing twenty odd players, learn your best formation and study for qualifications along the way. Most importantly, never give into feeling that you’re inferior as there is always a path to success.”


_________________________________________________________________________

WHAT IS THIS CHALLENGE?

http://i.imgur.com/JsuAaCn.png
http://i.imgur.com/ZHLTnsP.png

Basically, load up the three lowest ranked leagues in Europe (San Marino, Andorra, Gibraltar) based on UEFA coefficients. Win the top division in at least two of the three nations selected and then load up the next three. Continue this process until you're up to the God tier leagues (top five leagues). Unemployed, no badges and qualifications are essential if you want to get the best out of this save, but up to you.

Kosovo league is loaded but with the exception of Champions League or Europa League football it seems a little redundant. I may try this league later on down the line.

THE JOURNEY SO FAR:

http://i.imgur.com/QQpYF2D.png
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/p2NaUPZ.png
http://i.imgur.com/BscF4Zx.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/FqJbWf5.png?1

So, Ordino are my team of choice. Located in the heart of the small nation of Andorra, the team play at the Camp de Futbol d'Ordino on a 3G synthetic pitch (most clubs do in Andorra, I believe). Despite having post-Christmas funds and struggling bank balance, the standard of quality within the squad were good enough to convince me. The odds may be stacked against me, but if coached in the right way, I can see ourselves surviving.

http://i.imgur.com/UEZa0i0.png?1

Not many honours to their name. Of course the club was only founded in 2010, but one trophy in six years isn't a bad ratio.

SQUAD

http://i.imgur.com/du1aLaL.png?1

Emphasis lies on our strike force, of course Javier Saviola is the pick of the bunch. Decent depth, lacking in central midfielders mind. Quality needs improvement in some areas, particularly at the back.

EXPECTATIONS

http://i.imgur.com/0hetJoc.png?1

Expectations not setting the bar very high, gives a bit of room to wriggle in case of mid season slumps. The aim for the first season is to consolidate above the drop.

NEXT UPDATE: Transfer Roundup / Preseason 2016

http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/sdOeknT.png?1


TRANSFERS

http://i.imgur.com/9fA958O.png?1

Hit the ground running with four incoming, exciting raw talent who I think will improve our quality within the squad. No outs in this window.

http://i.imgur.com/k2uXRPG.png

Victor Santos - GK - free transfer from Engordany

Finally we have a keeper with a gold star as opposed to silver. Needs some work in areas such as communication, command of area and perhaps kicking but solid reflexes for a 17 year old. More game time will surely improve his ability.

http://i.imgur.com/NQgsiDk.png

Grégory Lopez - AM(C) / M(C) - free transfer from FS Massana

Probably the standout signing this window, completely discovering him by accident...well my scout did. Proper team player, great stats for this division. Also a young lad at 17 and may get some tutoring from a mister Saviola at some stage. Bit early to say a coup but exciting nonetheless.

http://i.imgur.com/CTSrzDk.png

Manuel Rocha - D(L) - free transfer from Lusitans

Plucky left back from Lusitans in Manuel Rocha. Although not the most technical, he's pacy, naturally fit and nearing his prime at 24. Shouldn't take him long to adapt into the team.

http://i.imgur.com/d0La185.png

Damián Álvarez - D(R) - free transfer from Inter d'Escaldes

Last but not least, got heavily criticised from the fans on social media regarding this signing but I see something in Damian. Competent, brave and unselfish and by his form is gradually improving from game to game. Might prove some of them wrong.

FRIENDLIES

http://i.imgur.com/YMp6KEP.png?1

Mixed fortunes in the pre-season friendlies. Credible draw again the Bordeaux Reserves in a sell out. Guida and Saviola getting a bit of target practice throughout.

NEXT UPDATE: September 2016
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/8IBABC7.png


http://i.imgur.com/TylByZp.png?1

Ah, that stings. Opener against the team I led to the title in FM16. Looked feeble in this game, even with eleven men. Having ten did not make the task any easier.

http://i.imgur.com/lex0kzo.png?1

Followed up by a totally unexpected away victory against the league favourites FC Santa Coloma. Saviola opening his account before we truly shut up shop. Huge result which we could be thankful for come the end of the season.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/SMT2vS0.png?1

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/WoLl7Q5.png?1

Early doors, but a win on the board is important for us at the beginning of the season. Surprise leaders in Jenlai.

NEXT UPDATE: October 2016
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/miUY0bJ.png


http://i.imgur.com/P6zJuaa.png?1

Moving temporarily top following a 2-1 victory over nine men Engordany. Saviola rolling back the years with two magnificent key pass assists. Bit concerned about the 'keeper's positioning for their goal back but the second red thwarted any chance of an unlikely comeback.

http://i.imgur.com/emaoIuf.png?1

Meanwhile in Jenlai....ouch.

http://i.imgur.com/0sqd730.png?1

A game of two halves this one. Looked in control first half, although falling behind on the half hour but speedily cancelled it out. Happy to survive in the second but a draw was a fair reflection on an even contest.

http://i.imgur.com/h2Ncn9g.png?1

A truly awful game of football, but for a scrappy winner where Lopez struck a vicious low effort from a corner in the 88th minute. About as much excitement as watching Hull City.

http://i.imgur.com/psDoQsa.png?1

Rounding off the month in style, cruising to a 4-0 thumping over the bottom club Encamp. Braces from Manzano and Saviola plus Juan Jesús Ortega providing two assists were a joy to watch.

http://i.imgur.com/tRDsw8r.png?1

Things looking good already.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/FsvzBMp.png?1

Three wins in four this month, four wins in five overall. The press need to start baking that humble pie it seems.

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/KMOpqpI.png?1

Not to get ahead of ourselves...but I think we may stay up this year.

NEXT UPDATE: November 2016
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



Very intrigued to see how many Saviola scores
@Dan - Thanks bro, steady stuff so far!

@Sean_ - Saviola has been lethal so far, not just with goals.

___________________________________________________________

http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/WztlBYL.png


http://i.imgur.com/hwZnSsO.png?1

I have no words, Sant Julià were ruthless goalscoring machines that showed no mercy. 3 down after only five minutes with Gallego scoring five. Tried to salvage something in the second half but pushing forward too much had its consequences. Unacceptable.

http://i.imgur.com/o6nlSL7.png?1

Back to back defeats for the first time this season. Their left wing back who scored the only goal of the game was frightening. We were denied a blatant penalty but it wouldn't have changed the balance of the game. Lusitans are a damn good side.

http://i.imgur.com/0q7S4bj.png?1

Although F.C. Santa Coloma had more shots on goal, only one threatened our 'keeper. In truth, Ordino looked more like scoring and Saviola could and probably should have snatched it at the death but Eloy Casals denied him. A point is a result for me.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/koje97R.png?1

One point from three may not be great, but in theory this could have ended in three defeats.

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/GTn5PDF.png?1

Took a slight tumble but one win could lift us right back into contention.

NEXT UPDATE: December 2016
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/x1SoauR.png


http://i.imgur.com/fguJtsQ.png?1

Much more like it. Saviola was instrumental in this victory, two goal, one assist and too hot to handle for Engordany.

http://i.imgur.com/rDnsnvF.png?1

Probably our most important win this season thus far. A tale of two own goals and a 'rub of the green' penalty some might say. Sat back after that and absorbed their pressure for three cherished points.

http://i.imgur.com/VTXjBzy.png?1

Infuriated with this, not with my players but with my own judgement. Savi just before the interval deservedly putting us in front at half time but the scales tipped in Jenlai's favour in the second half. Their equaliser was a belter from 25 yards and once they got their tails up caught us flatfooted to concede again minutes later. Sickener.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/jKwYisz.png?1

Would have been a top month if it weren't for the Jenlai score and with the winter break coming up, might take a bite out of our confidence afterwards.

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/JYkMlES.png?1

Two games left before the Championship / Relegation league split takes effect. Games against Encamp and Sant Julià left. Need to win one of them just to secure a top four.

NEXT UPDATE: January 2017
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



Good Luck for the whole challenge
@Matthew C - Cheers bud, it'll be a long process.

_________________________________________________________

http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/KNkEcsy.png


http://i.imgur.com/1dkiOzQ.png?1

Refreshed from our five week break, Guida found his scoring boots at last to help us sink Encamp who themselves looked pretty dangerous. Saviola on fire as usual with a hat-trick of assists.

http://i.imgur.com/5v8E0tk.png?1

Sant Julià had a taste of their own medicine, getting torn apart 3-1. We were absolutely relentless and it could have so easily have been a cricket scoreline, Guida with a second consecutive brace. Gallego came away with a consolation but was tamed throughout.

http://i.imgur.com/hDvsgy9.png?1

Bit of news was the draw for the first round of the Copa Constitució at home to Engordany. Winnable tie.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/kcsPRe2.png?1

100% win ratio in January. Leaves us in a good spot in the league.

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/z7RrapY.png?1

So apparently there's a third set of fixtures before the league split occurs so we're not home and hosed yet, but with a seven point cushion in third it should be sealed soon. Packed round of fixtures next month, including a home game against Lusitans and away to F.C. Santa Coloma - I wouldn't imagine they'll take us for pushovers.

NEXT UPDATE: February 2017
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/Jm81hlJ.png


http://i.imgur.com/p7d8P7I.png?1

Starting the month of February on positive terms as we fought back to draw with Lusitans. Saviola leaping like a salmon to head home the equaliser, cancelling out Riera's opener.

http://i.imgur.com/At1F5M8.png?1

A wobbly second half performance meant a collapse against F.C. Santa Coloma, having led 1-0 at the break from Savi. Tiki taka, Arsenal-esque style goals were the downfall and fell 3-1 down at the end.

http://i.imgur.com/0ZADR54.png?1

Things didn't get a whole lot better as Engordany put our league aspirations into a bit of disarray by stealing a draw. Once again Saviola on the scoresheet in the first minute.

http://i.imgur.com/zcgrJ2c.png?1

Four days later, we sunk them - this time in the Copa Constitució. Complete control throughout in what was not the most entertaining of games.

http://i.imgur.com/i5sDCIF.png?1

Setting us up with an away tie in the quarter finals against second division side Ranger's.

http://i.imgur.com/jrlbVAf.png?1

If you could read my blood pressure after this match, it would be through the roof. HOW DID WE NOT WIN THIS?! No Saviola in the side through a pigging cold! Not the best of fortunes with penalties as Martinez struck the post from 12 yards just before the interval. Fell behind on the break, though quickly capitalised. We hit the post two times more in normal time. Peppering the goal. They have two players sent off in extra time....AND WE LOSE ON PENALTIES. Good grief.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/n5FxS8i.png?1

Not our brightest month, month of draws, collapses and madness.

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/oiB2jz4.png?1

European football may be just too much to ask for this season. Now the focus is to remain in the top four this campaign.

NEXT UPDATE: March 2017
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/W8LTics.png


http://i.imgur.com/UPNTbAR.png?1

A top four position looks all but secure following a ding dong battle with U.E. Santa Coloma. Saviola putting us ahead, a deflected free kick producing an own goal doubling the lead and a composed right footed curler in the top corner sealed the game. UESC gave us late scares but our defensive wall held firm to protect the win.

http://i.imgur.com/NHI467P.png?1

Haywire start to the away day versus Jenlai. 25 yard belter of a free kick put us behind, but Guida and a rare goal from right back Damián Álvarez put us ahead before half time. Guida eventually putting the result beyond doubt, breaking into double figures for goals this season.

http://i.imgur.com/8Fb3LlB.png?1
http://i.imgur.com/CsPTBMx.png?1

#RecordBreakers

http://i.imgur.com/CBPd89P.png?1

Youth intake came in, not thoroughly impressive apart from two:

http://i.imgur.com/60LUGHS.png
http://i.imgur.com/W3VOJnf.png

http://i.imgur.com/y1FWMGl.png?1

Similar to the Jenlai game, conceding way too early (15 seconds to be exact)! Didn't take us long to wipe out their advantage completely to overturn the game by the break. Slowly, Encamp found some rhythm and pulled one back and it could have been 3-3, conceding a penalty just three minutes before the end. Vitor Santos stayed down the middle to deny an equaliser and keep the unbeaten streak going.

http://i.imgur.com/CSeZKWR.png?1

Bloody hell, the chemistry and symmetry between Saviola and Guida is absolutely breathtaking. Saviola with three assists and Guida taking the match ball. No response for a stunned Sant Julià side.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/M0v04Q8.png?1

A perfect month. The front two were remarkable for us during these four games.

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/Fu3SuXQ.png?1

http://i.imgur.com/imZEZIR.png?1

We may not be top nor in the European places, but I'm over the moon. Reaching the top half split with flying colours and driving a 14 point wedge between us and Sant Julià in third. Lots of six pointers coming up and if we play well against Lusitans and FCSC who knows?

NEXT UPDATE: April 2017
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/ynxWjWQ.png


http://i.imgur.com/6k3Zxpb.png?1

First things first, big news in holding down Rodrigo Guida for another year. With Saviola exiting come the end of the season, this is a major plus and his demands were reasonable enough to sign.

http://i.imgur.com/29Xah1w.png?1

Bad day at the office. Looked weary with no supply to the front line, and when it did make it to the front line there was no execution.

http://i.imgur.com/wKpxIm1.png?1

Oh, so unlucky here. Went one down through a penalty conceded by 16 year old debutant Emmanuel Paulino, after that we folded to a second from Xavier Andorrà. Switched to a more attacking mindset and finally found cadence; Manzano pulled one back, smacked the crossbar and post before they caught us on the counter for 3-1. Saviola bundled in a second back but we were condemned to a harsh defeat.

http://i.imgur.com/qxtYUly.png?1

Unfortunate here as well, though the conditions were soggy and meant for a sloppy game. Nogueira is definitely an enemy to us, popping in the winning header from a free kick. Title talk can be certainly ceased as we can now finish no higher than third.

http://i.imgur.com/xx2rA2C.png?1

Time for the reverse fixtures. Not alert at all against Sant Julià again; Callego keeping up his good goalscoring form against us. Only then did we switch on and fought our way back to 2-1, switched off again straight after and then fighting back to 3-3. Should have won.

http://i.imgur.com/cDWJW9J.png?1

Greasy surface meant we sat back to frustrate F.C. Santa Coloma on their quest for the league title. Not a great game of football, but I'll take a stalemate following our recent bad form.

http://i.imgur.com/40GrMHE.png?1

http://i.imgur.com/WdEOwHx.png?1

The season closer ended with a first win against Lusitans this season who eventually won the league after F.C. Santa Coloma slipped up against Sant Julià. Lusitans were fit to choke and didn't play well at all, and our dominance prevailed with an 86th minute winner from Guida.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/Q73TeCH.png?1

Might have been a torrid run in until the end of the season but they were tough opposition to break down.

FINAL LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/lqtCgxF.png?1

http://i.imgur.com/TZO8lLa.png?1

God bless Lusitans, following their Copa Constitució final win over Ranger's FC (the side we lost against in the quarter finals) we qualify for the Europa League on account of finishing third! We were never going to catch the top two in truth but I'm glad one of my former sides were able to get the job done.

NEXT UPDATE: Postseason 2017

http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



@Dan - Cheers lad, bit of a finance boost for us no doubt.

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http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/ElEZZDW.png


http://i.imgur.com/Eq1hvcu.png?1

Manzano picked up the player of the season award, little bit surprising but in truth he's an important cog wheel to our well oiled machine. Goalkeeper Vítor Santos was an inspired buy according to our fans, already a bright future ahead of him. Simón Fernández took young player of the season with some solid midfield work.

http://i.imgur.com/85hrjL9.png?1

I'll tell you, the chemistry between Guida and Saviola this season was spectacular. Savi having a hand in 15 goals, Guida netting 17 times. Manzano proved to be the most consistent with 7.34 average rating. Surprising that Damián Álvarez picked up four man of the match awards, one more than Saviola.

http://i.imgur.com/cBdMqEE.png?1

Paperwork signed. Time for another year at Ordino.

http://i.imgur.com/AHaa3p8.png?1

Brushing up on the essentials too.

NEXT UPDATE: Preseason 2017
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/eOLp7Nb.png


http://i.imgur.com/eELIItp.png?1

Just a recap on last season; Lusitans took the title and overachievers of the season, bit harsh considering us finishing 3rd but I digress. We did however have the top assists, top average rating and apparently the match of the season vs. Encamp.

TRANSFERS:

http://i.imgur.com/7YCcuij.png?2

Delved into the wonderful world of the Andorran transfer market. Lot of notable outs including Álvarez who was moved on to Atlètic Escaldes (the fans had a major disliking to him so I'd be in the pits if I were to hang on to him) and Javier Perez (central defender) also departed to Engordany due to wanting obscene wage demands to tie him down.

http://i.imgur.com/J9tmC2H.png?1

But the most notable is Javier Saviola, very sad to see him go but we would simply go bankrupt if we were to offer him £7k p/w wages. He'll truly be a legend to the club of Ordino.

http://i.imgur.com/Pgb7I93.png?1

I tried my best to replenish the quality in the squad with a few ins.


http://i.imgur.com/TP640Sv.png

Roberto dos Santos - ST(C) - free transfer from Encamp

This was probably the closest we could get to Saviola for a striker, but the lad certainly has potential. Quick, good finishing, a standard poacher who could fill the void with Rodrigo Guida.

http://i.imgur.com/oZlt8Vt.png

Duarte Azvedo - D(C) - unattached free agent

Formerly of Lusitans, strengthening of our defense is key this season and Duarte looks pretty solid. Not the most technically gifted but had all the basics in a CD who might bind our back line a lot better than before.

http://i.imgur.com/BLFTw8i.png

Victor Atanasio - D(C)/D(R) - free transfer from Inter d'Escaldes

Another option for our defense, especially on the right hand side. Victor again has the minimum requisites to defend, but a bit slower than I would have liked. Working on his physique might be useful before the start of the season.

http://i.imgur.com/2a4z92k.png

Miguel Baía - D(C) - free transfer from Ranger's FC

Looking more to the future with Miguel, but has great potential to blossom. 18, raw, decent mentally and physically, set him up with the right tutor and we may have a talent within the next few years.

http://i.imgur.com/nJRelDP.png?1

Squad depth has improved a good bit, going from three 5* potential players to four. Could've tackled midfield improvements but with a good few options who impressed me last season I left it as is.

http://i.imgur.com/4ltXLbF.png?1

...but this came to my attention. Apparently I did promise Guida to improve a certain area in the next transfer window upon renewal of his current deal. It did not please him one bit. I'm hoping I can turn this around, because we desperately need him.

http://i.imgur.com/zLiRvlJ.png?1

Anyways, the date with destiny in the Europa League was confirmed against Vaduz from Liechtenstein (though they're established in the Swiss league). Sadly, this was the most favourable of the teams we could have drawn including Aberdeen, Brondby and IFK Göteborg.

http://i.imgur.com/w6wRVEg.png?1

Sadly, the first leg was the nail in the coffin as we capitulated in the second half to questionable defending from set pieces. Four of their six goals were set piece plays. Hard to think it was only 1-0 at half time. It also marked Saviola's final game for the club...though he'd rather want to forget it quickly.

http://i.imgur.com/hvRUFpg.png?1

Second leg went a little bit better and we almost held on but for Avdijaj to give Vaduz an equaliser. Mind you, they were probably already thinking about how to prepare for the next phase.

http://i.imgur.com/ywXdNG2.png?1
http://i.imgur.com/7YDQ11F.png?1

http://i.imgur.com/nhNExVI.png?1

To be perfectly honest, I'm not complaining. What a steal. Looks like the drinks are on us.

http://i.imgur.com/JSoU75E.png?1

Much needed renovations.

FRIENDLIES:

http://i.imgur.com/NPqLmhv.png?1

Pre-season went well. Top notch defending and only conceding one goal.

http://i.imgur.com/crXT3uv.png?1

Does look like the bookies have lost the faith already by placing us to finish 5th this year...but without a player like Saviola, I'm not expecting fireworks as last year.

NEXT UPDATE: September 2016



http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



It's a shame to see you release Saviola but completely understand why and unlucky in the Europa League @DNZY.
@Shedender - I know man, I'd have given my right arm for him but we couldn't even fulfill 10% of the weekly wages he asked for.

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I'll be the first to admit, we were fortunate to win and from a pretty bizarre situation. Ortega's cross seemed to have deflected off their defender, 'keeper forced into a save and leaving Manzano free to shunt it into an empty net. The team were resilient though, once again frustrating them into taking long range shots and keeping a clean sheet. Solid start to the season.

http://i.imgur.com/2MCopmq.png?1

Came at a price though, losing Jonathan Fernandez in the process for a lengthy spell.

http://i.imgur.com/ghNlrGw.png?1

Talk about a comeback! Manzano was electrifying down the left channel, two goals and two assists though overshadowed by Guida's two goals and two assists too. Sloppy first half letting in some soft goals but some hairdryer treatment in the dressing room seemed to have influenced the entire squad.

http://i.imgur.com/DlKjZW7.png?1

Point proven.

http://i.imgur.com/L4QCCuz.png?1

If there's one match we may look back on and regret, it'll probably be this one. Couldn't even break them down at 9 men let alone 10. Equalising goal too was very soft. Glad to see Anatasio on the scoresheet on his debut start.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/3wAL9cU.png?1

Positive approach to the beginning of the season, though a 100% start would have been more favourable.

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/hd00CQq.png?1

Can we end the season now, please?

NEXT UPDATE: October 2016
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/zoU5jZ9.png

http://i.imgur.com/roNum6L.png?1

A poor game with no inspiration to it. Solid draw though.

http://i.imgur.com/qWpfAeO.png?1

Similar to the previous, but one or two decent chances. Dos Santos still searching for his first goal and hit the outside of the post. Lusitans came forward but our defense were equal to them.

http://i.imgur.com/VNhzlUg.png?1

It was the matter of who wanted it more in the last ten minutes, stupidly went attacking and no surprise we got caught at the back. Poor defeat, the first of the season plus the third consecutive game without scoring.

http://i.imgur.com/o029UIU.png?1

No idea where this came from, we were terrible. Sant Julià had an abundance of free kicks and Santos remained calm in denying them. Switched from a two striker formation to two attacking midfielders acting as shadow strikers to one poacher and suddenly out of nowhere Grégory Lopez is set up by dos Santos to tuck it into the bottom right corner. We'll take that!

RESULTS OVERVIEW:


http://i.imgur.com/5P0GQ6j.png?1

From a great month to a not so great month. Only one win, one goal scored and three clean sheets. The Engordany defeat was a big farce.

LEAGUE TABLE:


http://i.imgur.com/8ewEYX9.png?1

U.E. Santa Coloma have started strongly, pulling ahead with a five point gap. Sandwiched between Lusitans and F.C. Santa Coloma who we play next in the reverse set of fixtures.

NEXT UPDATE: November 2017
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/Vygyw0m.png


http://i.imgur.com/HU6ydHW.png?1

Picking up from where we left off last with a brilliant win over F.C. Santa Coloma. Once again, Manzano proved lethal and scored a brace. Their front two were very quiet and Vitor Santos didn't have much to do in truth.

http://i.imgur.com/wKodZgT.png?1

Commanding second half performance definitely outweighed a lethargic first half, as this time the right winger Ortega showed his lethal touch to provide two clinical low crosses to set up Guida. Left Guida on the bench for the game against Inter d'Escaldes due to lack of goalscoring form, proved to be a smart move.

http://i.imgur.com/ZyRDl4P.png?1

FS Massana are really doing my nut in, but the circumstances were inverted on this occasion. Our ten men stayed strong to deny a win for the bottom club following yet another red card for Símon Fernandez. Peixoto broke our resistance with an equaliser after Guida's opener after only 25 seconds.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/V8501S7.png?1

Fallen short again of a perfect month thanks to those pr*cks FS Massana.

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/RymIF4H.png?1

Luckily for us, Lusitans slipped up meaning we're up to second. Two off the top, but now looking a shade tighter again. This should make for an interesting season.

NEXT UPDATE: December 2017
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/V1dJvvC.png


http://i.imgur.com/DY8Wtgq.png?1

This really hurt us, the battle between first and second, coming out second best. One corner was the difference as Alexandre Martínez gives our title chances a big body blow in a pretty even encounter. Hit the bar late on to add insult to injury.

http://i.imgur.com/b0krENg.png?1

Definitely our worst performance this season. 2-0 flattered us and it could have been five or six, Lusitans showed no mercy. Little or no creativity, little or no fight, little or no hope we'll take the title this season.

http://i.imgur.com/pICIS0j.png?1

Luckily we improved before the winter break, though it was a while before we broke through against Engordany. A freak cross cum shot from Manzano broke the deadlock before Guida came on to burst the door wide open. Ortega returned from injury for this game after missing the previous two, it proved vital.

http://i.imgur.com/iOXfwdo.png?1

This is very worrying. 11 starts and 2 sub appearances and yet to find the net. Only 2 assists.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/K6qUN1k.png?1

Glad we stopped the slippery slope with a win before the winter break.

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/5l19XyQ.png?1

No surprise, we've taken a small tumble in the league. The gap now stretched to six points, but a bit of room to keep us in the top four, eight games before the league split.

http://i.imgur.com/j5dAhSy.png?1

One other piece of news, working up the ladder rungs of coaching.

NEXT UPDATE: January 2018
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@Dan - Sure is, but that's the beauty of this league. Anyone can beat anyone pretty much.
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http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/EF43ptE.png


http://i.imgur.com/kz4DlAv.png?1

Not sure what to make of this news, the fact that he'll be out of the team and bounce back stronger or we've now only one striking option in Guida.

http://i.imgur.com/hyY85AM.png?1

Awful game of football, hard to distinguish who was the home side. Too much turkey and mince pies still in their systems.

http://i.imgur.com/p5X7qN8.png?1

F.C. Santa Coloma must hate playing against us, that's the THIRD time we've beaten them from three this season, keeping a clean sheet in all. Looked a bit sharper following a shaky opening ten minutes, but they found their rhythm and Jonathan Fernandez tucked away what proved to be the winning goal. Vitor Santos brought off an incredible save from point blank range as FCSC threw the kitchen sink at us late on but to no avail. Crucial win.

http://i.imgur.com/P3h2T1F.png?1

The cliché 'banana skin' draw in the first round of the Copa Constitució at home to Extremenya. Let's not have another Ranger's FC moment like last season.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/G40K42R.png?1

Not much excitement other than a win against FCSC. Played two friendlies beforehand to shake off any cobwebs.

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/JprLw7P.png?1

Lusitans are absolutely cruising, winning 7-1 and 6-1 this month. Think our best hope is to finish one better than last season. Be very surprised if we fall out of the top four.

NEXT UPDATE: February 2018
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/Nhv6pSb.png


http://i.imgur.com/7G32Xcx.png?1

Starting off February in the worst possible fashion. Very winnable game and our heads were just not in the game. They were bottom of the league!

http://i.imgur.com/SPSo7KX.png?1

Three games against FS Massana this season, three 1-1 draws. I'll forgive this one a little as we rotated to prepare for a midweek encounter with U.E. Santa Coloma. Still not good enough.

http://i.imgur.com/mCIfs5F.png?1

This game was set up for us to win as we had U.E. Santa Coloma by the balls for 90 minutes, only for Miguel Sánchez del Amo to deny us on every occasion. Nearly two thirds of the possession too. Gutted.

http://i.imgur.com/PdM181p.png?1

http://i.imgur.com/hAXbzxV.png?1

Of course...déjà vu....only this time it's in the FIRST round to lower league opposition. Needed to look outside my window for flying pigs and that hell has frozen over because Dos Santos FINALLY found the net...but in typical fashion he misses a clear cut one on one in the last five minutes. Crumbled in extra time. At least it means all our focus is shifted towards the league.

http://i.imgur.com/hvwI0Y1.png?1

The closer to a truly miserable month of football was a typical park the bus display against Lusitans. Fun fact, we've had 11 clean sheets in 19 games this season, 5 of them being nil nils. Not sure many people will be renewing their season tickets.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/RG1zWWp.png?1

Swiftly putting this month behind us. Now I know how it feels to be a Hull City fan.

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/27KgttJ.png?1

With two games before the league splits, our focus is not drawn to the top two but instead looking over our shoulders to keeping a place in the top four. Sant Julià hot on our heels along with F.C. Santa Coloma.

NEXT UPDATE: March 2018
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



@Dan - Yeah, definitely one month I can forget about. Think I need to be realistic and say the title has gone, just need to finish top half. Maybe third will gain us Europa League!

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A fresh start for us this month, even with ten men we obliterated and took apart Engordany who've not surprisingly lost six on the bounce. Nice to see Emmanuel Paulino get his first goal for the club from the penalty spot. A top four finish is surely secured.

http://i.imgur.com/I8vXVDG.png?1

Well, what do you expect when you lose to a team with 10 men by three unanswered goals to nil?

http://i.imgur.com/vHNqoht.png?1

Safe! All we had to do here was avoid defeat but we went one better and killed the game in the last fifteen minutes. Lovely traversing play from the wingers for both goals, Ortega on the right setting up two goals for Manzano on the left. Who needs strikers?

http://i.imgur.com/hjDrRDS.png?1

I'm a terrible person, I've cost two people their jobs in two games.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/cHhKwKY.png?1

Only two games this month following our early cup exit, but this was leaps and bounds better than February. Two more clean sheets and we'll set a new league record.

LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/gdF10Sv.png?1

Nice and cushy in third, six point gaps from second and fourth spot. Can't see us catching Lusitans unless a serious swing of games go our way. Second is realistic, but only if we win home and away against U.E. Santa Coloma.

NEXT UPDATE: April/May 2018 (End of Season)

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http://i.imgur.com/Nka33cS.png
http://i.imgur.com/bsYiivE.png


http://i.imgur.com/ICAptuj.png?1

With a three week break, I could see why we were completely inept from creating chances. Dismal game of football.

http://i.imgur.com/X9OPBpA.png?1

Things went from bad to worse as Lusitans tore us a new one. You could see they wanted to wrap the league up ASAP. Ortega brought the game back to 2-1 but Gallego (yes, that same Gallego) just loves to score against us.

http://i.imgur.com/H5yhWZw.png?1

http://i.imgur.com/9rOitlj.png?1

This was huge. Even though the title is gone, second place is still up for grabs. Late sub Filipe Almeida unleashed an absolute cannon into the top corner to win us the game. Ortega once again playing a blinder on the right. Now only two points separate us.

http://i.imgur.com/QEBpCR8.png?1

Where did this come from?! Ortega, Manzano and Guida all on hand in the last half hour to produce a magnificent win over F.C. Santa Coloma. U.E. Santa Coloma scraped a point at home to Lusitans, meaning the clubs are now level on points but UESC have a slightly better goal difference.

http://i.imgur.com/lUV4egn.png?1

Lusitans just couldn't let us have this one. Was more like watching war on the field as three players were injured here. Thankfully two of them were Lusitans'.

What did this mean for the final game?

http://i.imgur.com/HhuB9oN.png?1

A must win over U.E. Santa Coloma who also lost. Sadly they've one goal in favour of us.


http://i.imgur.com/0maO1Lw.png?1

Bitter blow to our final day shenanigans. Manzano missing on the left wing and our backup has only played twice for the first team.

http://i.imgur.com/JsNoIOX.png?1

So. So. SO CLOSE. Battered them for 80 odd minutes before they started going for it themselves. Could have been so much worse as we conceded a penalty in injury time. Vítor Santos to the rescue. A cruel way to end the season.

RESULTS OVERVIEW:

http://i.imgur.com/HrlR4dz.png?1

Even though I have a soft spot for Lusitans, I'd love to see them spiral into administration sometime soon.

FINAL LEAGUE TABLE:

http://i.imgur.com/mldgWhg.png?1

http://i.imgur.com/SSulc6u.png?1

Then again, I should thank them as they helped us to another Europa League adventure meaning more cash in the coffers. What could have been sweeter is finishing second, pipped by one goal. ONE GOAL.

NEXT UPDATE: Postseason 2017/18
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



a few too many 0-0 draws and it cost you in the end, hopefully you can put it right next season...
@BananaRama2000 - Totally agree, my philosophy is a bit defensive minded with Ordino, especially with playing bigger teams but some games we controlled and couldn't break the deadlock!

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Hardly a surprise to see Manzano retaining the most popular fan vote, but Ortega came a close second. Would have thought Vítor Santos would have got a mention but meh. Miguel Baía somehow took signing of the season even though he didn't feature much in the first team, perhaps it was his performances for the Ordino B team in the Second Division. Jonathan Fernandez took the young player of the season.

http://i.imgur.com/XGsXn8b.png?1

Not a masterclass from Guida this season unfortunately with goals, only nine this time around level with Manzano. Ortega was an integral part of the operation this season with 9 assists from the right hand side. But yeah it's easy to see why Manzano was popular, five MotM awards.

http://i.imgur.com/p26X2wY.png?1

Ortega had the most assists this season. No surprise Gallego as top goalscorer, this time with his new club Lusitans. Our 5-3 win over Inter d'Escaldes was the most entertaining match of the season, probably down to our second half comeback in that one. UESC were the overachievers while FCSC the underachievers.

http://i.imgur.com/xkgMCiN.png?1

http://i.imgur.com/sX9BmxD.png?2

Meanwhile, a dramatic U-turn from Guida having tried forcing his way out of the club has now put the speculation to bed in signing a new deal.

http://i.imgur.com/VUkuvd2.png?1

Turning attention to the Europa League....looking forward to a speedy exit. This is definitely the toughest team we could have been paired with.

JOB OFFER:

http://i.imgur.com/yFGVaiP.png
http://i.imgur.com/tsz4EiM.png?1

Some more breaking news...F.C. Santa Coloma are interested in taking me on. Is there a twist for next season???

NEXT UPDATE: Preseason 2018/19
http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



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