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Time for another crack at this.

A cup final would be superb considering the league form.
My Football Manager 2017 career: Journeyman's Journey
@r96Skinner - It would be a miracle to be honest.





Banants put six past us on the last occasion but couldn't penetrate us this time around. In fact, we ended the first half the more likely to score, spearheaded by Hambardzumyan who cracked the inside of the post to leave Banants sweating. The game balance didn't shift too much, neither side conjured up anything clear cut to leave the game with a point apiece. Fourth straight game without scoring.



Bad news as our top goalscorer (with 2 goals...) is ruled out for a few weeks. Incoming 10 game goal drought.




Well..maybe not. Shenghavit seem to be the only side we can dominate in the league and claim only our second win of the season. I say dominate, our backsides were saved thanks to goalkeeper Aram Stepanyan, bringing off three vital saves from one on ones and were lucky to be unscathed by the time we were back in the dressing room. A boost after the break helped us charge forward with a counter attack from a Shenghavit free kick, Israelyan crossed in to pick our Hambardzumyan who powered it home for 1-0. He almost planted a second but for a good save by Shevelev. Shenghavit thought they equalised in the 76th minute but the assistant flagged for offside. The points were to be ours as Hambardzumyan was bundled over for a penalty to allow right back Tigran Elazyan to convert it. Third game unbeaten now, about as close as we'll get to a run.



A poor start to October glazed over by three positive results. Lack of goals is a worry but defending thoroughly improved since the Alashkert defeat.



Sadly, top half/mid table expectations are unlikely to be met but well above the single relegation spot to panic. Pyunik running away with it at the top.

Finally got my save going, currently in Gibraltar. One quick question @DNZY , say I win the league twice whilst I'm there, does that mean I can load 2 more nations. Or is it just one extra nation per different trophy?

Thanks again, look forward to more updates!
@Catley20 - I'm using the method of one league title or one domestic cup for a new nation unlocked. Winning two league titles from the same nation doesn't count, but that's up to you. Glad you're still enjoying it!






Wouldn'yaknowit? Four games unbeaten with four clean sheets! Sure three of them have been 0-0s but it shows our defence are well capable of keeping the opposition out, frustrating Ararat in the process. You'd be sickened if you were Ararat striker Narek Hakobyan who had the one in a million shot of somehow hitting the inside of the post, rolling across the line, hitting the opposite post and then being hacked clear - the closest chance in the first half. Just after the hour mark, the visitors were denied again by a wonderful save tipped over the bar to ensure the game finished scoreless. We may have had lion's share of possession and more shots on goal, but believe me none of them managed to seriously test the Ararat goal. One point is better than no points after all!




SO. DAMN. CLOSE. Hadn't a pup's chance pre-match to escape with anything against the unbeaten league leaders yet we were only 20 minutes from causing a seismic shock. Out of the blue, a corner swung in and met by the left peg of Karapetyan, taking a deflection on the way to stunning the brutes of the division. Pyunik were still in shock but did eventually restore parity through a powerful header by David Andreasyan and to add insult to injury Pyunik snatched all three points via Vahagn Sarkisyan after once again failing to defend a corner. Football is a cruel game.


It would be lovely if our players didn't have matchstick bones and paper skin.




A knock-on effect from the Pyunik game, reduced to rubble by Gandzasar. Patchy marking, positioning and spatial awareness for the three goals were so futile to allow Tigran Stepanyan to power them into the lead and a late brace for Eduard Ghazaryan to inevitably sink us. We were never in the game with our shots going sideward and skyward. Just when I thought we were actually making a sharp U-turn with our recent form.



November showed us the descent in recent games, holding our own to Ararat, falling just short against the strongest team in the league and then come crashing back to Earth with a thumping. Three goals in our last eight games is alarming.



Sixth place is still doable and it doesn't seem like Shenghavit will dig themselves out of a sinking hole. Slightly content, slightly unsure.

Just be delighted that Shenghavit are more shite than you are.

Feels like I haven't commented on this career in ages but it's superb to see it's still up and running and going strong. Are you planning on doing something similar when FM18 comes out and how have Dungannon done since you departed them?
@Shedender - Nice to see you again! Yeah, Shenghavit are terrible but have a pretty good keeper. I'm being bold and am not purchasing FM18 so I'll be sticking with this save for the time being. I removed the NI league but they've fallen off a bit. Think they only won a Mid-Ulster cup and qualified for the Europa League but that's about it. Sean Dempsey is still there though!












Our final game before the winter break panned out as expected, a grizzling defeat to title chasers Shirak. Elazyan brought a cynical foul to allow the visitors a platform to score the first - Tevosyan sending the keeper the wrong way. Tevosyan turned provider for the second, a mesmeric pass and terrific run by South African Lebohang Tihali connecting the dots to condemn us to defeat yet again. 2-0 was very kind.



One game, one defeat. Now a long break until March.


* Forgot to screencap, but basically we haven't moved a muscle.

Terrible injury luck! Hopefully you can push up the table a little after the winter break.
My Football Manager 2017 career: Journeyman's Journey
@r96Skinner - Won't be easy with the quantity of injuries and the gulf of quality, but we'll do our best!



Virtually nothing happened in January, just a few friendlies lined up to keep sharp.



With the likes of Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş and Galatasaray not available, the alternatives were obscure Turkish sides virtually nobody has heard of. Won one and lost the other two. Elucidates exactly where on the spectrum Erebuni lie in world football.



Fairly impressive youth intake for what it's worth. One player stands out thankfully.

Davit Aslanyan - AM(C) - youth intake


Decent little youngster with impressive mental strengths at only 15. Light as a feather but getting those protein shakes into him will surely beef him up over time. Could even make the first team within a year.




I love to wheel deal, especially with obscure youngsters to take a punt on. This new signing is no different.


Alberto Valentim - M(C) - unattached free agent

I talk about strong mental attributes for youngsters, this Brazilian might just be a massive boost to us in the middle. Does have that little bit more aggression in his locker which may become an issue but it shows that he won't be afraid to get stuck in. Will he be able to bring us more possession and perhaps cut down on goals conceded. Risky roll of the dice.





New year, same old dribble. We needed to catch up with Alashkert to stand any chance of removing us from 7th but instead we've dug the hole deeper. You'd think a 4th minute red card for the visitors would make it easy, Sevak Ohanyan had other ideas. A 12 minute hat-trick into the second half thanks to horrendous marking and defending handed Alashkert the easiest of victories. Debutant Valentim dashed salt into the wounds with a powder-keg performance, thus going for an early bath. Disaster.




Managerless Banants had lost four in a row before today and of course we're on the wrong end of the result in an appalling supporter spectacle - seriously, 1 shot every 15 minutes. Anatoly Borisov got onto the end of a cross to prod home the first and the second was our own undoing thanks to a baffling sideward pass from left back to our own six yard area where Dmitry Pavlov pounced like a cheetah to slam us into a brick wall yet again. Dominated possession but clueless how to use it.




Back to the only side we can beat in this bloody league, though not as easily as one would suggest. Levon Elazyan in not so elegant fashion headed in from Andreasyan's cross, Shevelev's positioning in the Shenghavit goal was poor and the ball slowly hit the back of the net. Immediately back from suspension, Valentim crunched in with more tackles and ended up getting sent off again with over a half remaining to leave us in a minor disposition. Good thing we caught them on a bad day and should have further punished them with a chance to convert a penalty before half time, however Shevelev redeemed himself for his error earlier on to save well from Elazyan. Poor effort from the visitors with their man advantage and brought an end to a quite a dramatic encounter.




Nation: Armenia
Media Prediction (Odds): 4th/8 (5-1)
Current Position: 5th
Expectations: Mid-table
Pros: Can actually handle the calibre of this division. Have the second top goalscorer in the league. Expectations can easily be met. Strong finances. Not Erebuni.
Cons: Seven points off a European place with nine games to go. No cup to fall back on.



Surely it's time to move on, right? If you can't beat them, join them.

Right move to join Banants!
My Football Manager 2017 career: Journeyman's Journey
Erebuni seems like one of those dead end jobs @DNZY so I would jump ship as soon as possible.
@r96Skinner @Shedender - Definitely swaying to one side of the fence methinks.



Traversing a short distance of 12km to reach the home of FC Banants (Բանանց), a club also based around Yerevan. Celebrating a quarter century this year, the club were interestingly formed outside of Yerevan to begin with, an hour drive up north to the small village of Kotayk where they were then known as Banants Kotayk until 1995 when a financial crisis meant they had to merge with another body, FC Kotayk. Somewhat controversially, Banants demerged in 2001 and relocated to the Armenian capital where they've now taken a more serious approach to the Armenian footballing pyramid, anchoring themselves in the top division ever since. As their logo depicts, the club are nicknamed the 'Proud Eagles' and play in a white kit with blue trim.


Banants is actually named after an area in neighbouring Azerbaijan where there original owner was from, but the club itself base themselves in the Malatia-Sebastia District (Մալաթիա-Սեբաստիա վարչական շրջան) in the western area of Yerevan. The population of just under 133,000 is spread across 26 square kilometres, most of them migrating from Turkey following the Western Armenian genocide ending in 1923. The regions of Malatia and Sebastia came together four years after to become a settlement within Yerevan, with the 'Victory Bridge' opening in 1945 to connect the two and also to commemorate the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany signalling the end of WWII. One other notable landmark in the area is the Holy Trinity Church built in 2003 and Zvartnots International Airport is also based on the outskirts of the region.


Banants Stadium is where the club's home games are played with one of the most promising training complexes within the nation attached to it. The all-seater stadium was built in 2008, only with a 3,600 capacity originally but in 2011 it had increased to 4,860, playing on grass surface. The stadium was used for three games at the 2017 UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualification, where Armenia played as host of their group with Switzerland, Hungary and Italy.


Unlike Erebuni, Banants have offered a lot more and contributed to a first Armenian title in the 2013-14 campaign; prior to that they finished runners up on four separate occasions in 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2010. Banants also got their hands on the Ankakut'yan Gavat' three times - 1992 (as their original club name Banants Kotayk), 2007 and most recently in 2016, beating Mika 2-0. One supercup (Hayastani SuperGavat' ) also has been won in 2014, taking down Pyunik 3-0. Post-era they've also been moderately successful - taking one more Bardzraguyn Khumb title in 2036-37, winning by four points ahead of Shirak. In Europe they've not had the best of times, only reaching the second qualifying round once in 2006 in the UEFA Cup - losing on aggregate to Dnipro. Training complexes within the club are a huge swaying point - including at youth level with one of the best academies in the country.



Hard to argue with that squad, everything looks shipshape and in order with some fantastic talents upcoming through our second team. Top goalscorer, David Ghazaryan will be ruled out for the season with a damaged achilles tendon which poses a threat, but Anatoly Borisov is a good substitute for him. The left side in both defence and midfield is the only chink in the armour to what looks to be a squad in full bloom. I'd be lying if I were missing Erebuni, even in the slightest.

KEY PLAYER: Evgeny Karasev - AM(R)


Gruesome bowl-cut aside, at only 18 this guy could be Armenia's answer to a right winger post Mhkitaryan era. Mental areas are still a bit raw, apart from excellent flair and possesses a real bolt in his step without fading quickly. Crossing and technique certainly up to scratch and will be practically indispensable to the club.

HOT PROSPECT: Arsen Hakobyan - D(C)


Academy here is certainly churning out some talents, Hakobyan already has the makings of a very decent centre back with his mentals looking magnificent. Missing the physical part to his game but at only 16 years of age has plenty of time to bulk up. Heading could do with improvement, but already acquires a good vertical leap.




Rather disappointing in the eyes of the owners, especially a four game losing streak which inevitably ended in a bullet for the previous manager. The win over Erebuni and a draw to Alashkert shows that the club may be back on the ascendancy coming towards the final stages of the season. Seven points to make up for a European place, starting it off with an easy one to helpless Shenghavit.





Not as comfortable as we would have liked, but there wasn't any glaring danger in losing this one. Despite hitting the post twice in the first half, Sargis Avetisyan scored what proved to be the winner from the edge of the area half an hour in. Second half were nothing but blanks; Borisov missed the target when bearing down on goal, Shevelev denied Shanin and a penalty won was launched into orbit by Eskedijan. Encouraging start, but certainly lots to improve on.


Karasev to sit out the next game with a dodgy lasagna.




Oh boy did we slam the door on our fingers here. A telling tale of two halves. The first we looked confident with Avetisyan screaming one in again from the edge of the area. Eskedijan was subject to a late tackle in the area to win a penalty which this time was struck with venom into the roof of the net to lead by two at the break. Like a house of cards, we collapsed in spectacular fashion - such shoddy defending from an indirect free allowed Karen Poghosyan to tap in from Narek Hakobyan's pinpoint low cross and to make matters worse, a controversial penalty was given away by us with two minutes left. Mickayel Hakobyan sending Yinkibarian the wrong way. A jackhammer blow to our Europa League hopes.




Pyunik's tactic of overloading the midfield paid off once more, silenced at home by the current champions. Game was over by ten minutes, Aslanyan heading in from a corner and a rapid counter attack left us in a lurch while Hayk Koshoian celebrated his tenth goal of the season. There were no signs of rebuilding from there and when Koshoian curled in the third, the chips were well and truly down. The only solace we got was Borisov finally ending a mini goal drought with a well-executed angled finish. Pyunik played like champions who are neck and neck with Shirak for the title, us on the other hand were just not up for the fight.




Huge win in the context of European places, taking Gandzasar down a peg with a sturdy first half performance. Karasev was the difference maker - swinging in the corner to get Narek Barseghyan's (who himself had a brilliant performance overall) header for the first and pounced on the stroke of half time to finish a rebound from Borisov hitting the crossbar. Confidence oozing, long may it continue going into May.



Makes for much more pleasing opening monthly review after Erebuni. Seriously damning that Ararat draw which could prove a real turning point at this late stage. Goals flowing aplenty with a number of different scorers on display including sterling months for Karasev and Avetisyan.



The six pointer at Gandzasar shows exactly how key getting a win leaves us. Six points from third and five from fourth placed Ararat (should have won). Depending on the winner of the Armenian cup between Pyunik & Ararat, fourth may be good enough to sneak into Europe. Still a lot more work to be done.





Brilliant draw with all things considered against title pushers, Shirak. End to end, despite only one shot on target from 13. Mikaelyan went close for us just 2 minutes in, only denied by the post. The task at hand became increasingly difficult once Borisov saw red for a two footed lunge out of complete stupidity, shifting the equilibrium towards the visitors once the second half began. Perhaps the talking point of the game was the penalty awarded to Shirak, but a stellar performance by Yinkibarian kept the pen out to leave the game in the balance. Our third choice striker Mkrtich Panosyan almost became the unlikely hero as the game wound to a close, forcing an important stop by Shirak 'keeper Karen Avagyan. Far from a boring deadlock.




A dramatic homecoming, arriving to my old club in showstopping fashion and snatching the points at the very death....with just 9 men! Erebuni tore up the formbook to take an unconventional lead with ten minutes remaining in the first half and despite Yinkibarian's best efforts he couldn't keep out Armen Stepanyan's effort. Before half time we restored parity via an Eskedijan penalty after Shanin was brought down to give us a blueprint on how to play for the second half. Omnishambles is the only way to describe the following half; red cards for both Avetisyan and Esoyan depleted our attacking shape entirely, our third choice striker missed key opportunities and Erebuni were keeping us on the ropes. If there was one moment to jump out of your technical area and sprint in celebration (especially against your former club), it was certainly for Eskedijan's injury time winner. The effort: completely ambitious from 25 yards but deceived Stepanyan in goal to slip underneath him and to win the game. Never write us off!




Christ, can we have a game with a little less exhilaration? Quite the day for the returning Anatoly Borisov, back from suspension and back with a bang. An 11 minute hat-trick had us coasting in at half time 3-0 ahead, but he wasn't done there. Karasev crossed in Borisov's fourth to slap more punishment on Alashkert's woeful defending but that's when things turned jittery. Two quick goals by Ohanyan roped them back into it, however momentarily we restored a three goal cushion - Mikaelyan brilliantly assisting for the third time to grab Borisov's fifth goal of the game. The game was far from over, defensively unorganised and in blind panic we conceded two penalties in the last quarter of the game - both were easily dispatched by Arsen Petrosyan to leave a very tense last couple of minutes. Thankfully we didn't hang ourselves with our own noose and a 10/10 performance from Borisov helped us to back to back wins for the first time.


News emerging of a possible takeover on the brink of the season finale. Potential windfall for next season?




The race is well and truly on for Europe, climbing into fourth with a comfortable win over relegated Shenghavit. Not quite the same magic from Borisov on this occasion but up stepped Narek Ghazaryan to take the plaudits. Left winger Eskedijan threaded some beautiful passes for the opening two goals for Ghazaryan blasting in his first into the top corner and Karasev tapping in at the back stick within eight minutes. Borisov did make amends for not scoring by squaring for Ghazaryan's second and the rout was completed shortly into the second half with Narek completing a well earned hat-trick from a Karasev cross. Seventeen shots on target, Shenghavit were lucky to escape with four here.




Penultimate match of the season was flat soda, securing fourth place in the making. That's literally the only description I can come up with for this snoozefest.



Overall a good stint to the end of my Banants takeover, losing only once in nine, winning five of those. Eskedijan, Borisov, Ghazaryan, Mikaelyan and Karasev were instrumental in those three victories, overall looking in peak performance. Let's have more of the same next season.




Devastated that our efforts were in vain, edged out of the European places thanks to Pyunik choking the cup final and handing Ararat a Europa League place ahead of us. Pyunik finished out league winners thanks to a serious collapse by Shirak towards the end, Gandzasar were rampant on the home stretch and picked up third well above us. Shenghavit going down while Erebuni survived in the end.

Dam thats so unlucky @DNZY especially after the good form come the end of the year
Football Manager 2018 - From A Failed Footballer To A Traveling Manager - Story coming soon...
Very unfortunate to miss out on Europe!
My Football Manager 2017 career: Journeyman's Journey
@Dan @r96Skinner - Big blow indeed, but there's always next season!




Anatoly Borisov stepped up to the plate in the last quarter of the season to rally home with the player of the season award with over half the vote, the five goals he scored against Alashkert was certainly a highlight. David Ghazaryan's goal wouldn't load and I doubt it was that good anyways so let's relive this monstrous 55 yarder from Borisov when I took a 6-1 hiding with my Erebuni side. Left back Artur Mkrtchyan (that name certainly needs changing...) didn't sign under my reign but took signing of the season in from Gandzasar. Narek Ghazaryan perhaps surprisingly scooped young player of the season from Karasev but his vibrant performances of late, it may be deserved.

Also why the f*ck is Karasev set up as a left back in team of the season?! Garth Crooks in charge of this?



Quite the well-rounded year for the Russian born striker, Anatoly Borisov; most goals (12), most assists (7), highest average rating (7.20) AND joint highest red cards (1). Must be some serious водка he's drinking. Central midfielder Narek Ghazaryan was the best passer at 88%, someone I value in this Banants selection. Also, who is this Panosyan guy? Most man of the match awards and barely saw him during games.





Couple of fringe players get the snip, including third choice striker Shanin who was a dull breadknife in our utensils. Veteran Czech defender Marek Hanus retired at 37 as our then oldest player at the team.



I had a shortlist of players lined up but for a major spanner in the works clamped that idea in place for the time being, meaning only one player came in under the hood of the transfer window before it slammed shut.


Ararat Asoyan - D(C) - unattached free agent

Adding a bit of sheen to an already substantial defence, ironically named Ararat because we can't seem to beat them...must be a positive sign. Formerly of Pyunik, he's at his apex and well established with a naturally fit physique albeit that little bit sluggish. Top tackler, good heading and his marking & positioning isn't bad either. Also a determined individual to perhaps tutor some bright sparks for the future. A move to suit many aspects.

..and if you were wondering why we weren't delving in for the best of the best.


THIS is why. And what happened with this consortium proposal?


Collapsed in a heap, but according to our current chairman it won't be the end of this little rigmarole.


Yeah, too little too late d*ckhead.



A very encouraging set of results, not to mention a Krasnodar side who played the majority of their main starters. Three other victories against lesser opposition, Borisov grabbing a few.


Major setback losing Karasev to a lengthy spell on the sidelines before the season begins.



The board understandably want to see improvements this season, the bare minimum is to make the Europa League without a shadow of a doubt. Semi finals of the cup is doable as long as we avoid the big two (Pyunik/Shirak) at the first hurdle. Nice bit of cash which I barely had access to. Sound.


Bookies predict fourth, so nothing new there. Pyunik and Shirak have nothing between them with outsiders Gandzasar predicted for third. Kotayk are the new kids on the block to scrap it out with Erebuni in the basement. Let's have at it!

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