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Time for another crack at this.

Discussion
https://i.imgur.com/5oFhzEd.png


VIRSLĪGA

MATCHDAY 16


https://i.imgur.com/60FyBC1.png?1

Slumped to our fourth defeat in a row in all competitions. Undone by set pieces twice; Osipovs failed to get to Grigorovs' header and the other was a 30 yard worldie by Mohammed Abubakar. Don't let our 17 shots deceive you, Skonto were in full control and should have buried a third but Putnins glanced a free header wide. Finally Gutkovskis came in useful, curling in a wonderful effort from 25 yards and so nearly squeezed a late equaliser but Dobrecovs' injury time free went straight at the keeper. Should I fear the sack?

MATCHDAY 17

https://i.imgur.com/J2kIo34.png?1

Would be very worrying if we couldn't beat relegation fodder Babite. Gutkovskis with rare consecutive goals, straying the offside trap to nudge us ahead before half time. Nalivaiko secured the win with a free kick from the edge of the D to seal his first goal on returning to Gulbene. Much needed W to boost morale.

MATCHDAY 18

https://i.imgur.com/8kJF9PN.png?1

Well earned draw away from home. Liepaja knocked on the door all game and deservedly put their noses in front with a skewed header from Pihockis that caught Osipovs out. Our one shot on target was a deflected free kick by a 36 year old holding midfielder, bet that won't resonate well with the home crowd. We were on the cusp of losing it late doors but for a solid stop by Osipovs and an even better last ditch challenge by Sokolovs for an almost certain rebounded goal. Chuffed.

MATCHDAY 19

https://i.imgur.com/UPN1enC.png?1

A wasteful display in a big six pointer at the bottom. From Fatkulins missing a free header to a wobbly Plukaitis having time, space and zero composure to fluff a one on one. Riga were no great shakes despite Osipovs making six saves.

MATCHDAY 20

https://i.imgur.com/TDZKpBH.png?1

The one time we let our guard down to a rather tame Ventspils, we fall flat on our faces. Took just 55 seconds after a fruitless first half to have the league challengers upend us, getting caught on the break to leave Fjodorovs to sweep up. Neither side dominated yet we come out of it slouching without any points. Wonder if we'll regret that towards the end of the season?

RESULTS OVERVIEW

https://i.imgur.com/FUqnyAs.png?1

A definite improvement to recent months, only losing to sides who definitely pack a punch. I do wonder if we'll have to rely on scrapping draws to maintain our top flight status. Nice to see Gutkovskis contributing in the goals for a change.

LEAGUE TABLE

https://i.imgur.com/vKxyVN0.png?1

To think if we put those chances away against Riga, they'd be in the bottom two, not us. Babite are surely down with eight games to go and it seems the only team we can chase are Riga as Jelgava might be too much of an ask to suck them into the relegation vortex.
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



https://i.imgur.com/JDmTYKb.png

SQUAD SELECTION

https://i.imgur.com/NbrcKxf.png?1

https://i.imgur.com/3nFoTSk.png?1

Far more to choose from with my 23 to face Ukraine and San Marino, especially in the centre back department. Zürich's Lovric and Potocnik from Olimpija being key entrants as well as our strongest striker Miha Turkus from Maribor.

U19 FRIENDLIES

https://i.imgur.com/pInVzUY.png?1

Literally the last kick of the game for the paint to peel on a rather good performance. Cashed in early on a complete blunder from the Ukrainian keeper, swatting a long range effort straight to Miha Turkus who finished with ease. The yellow shirts came forward in numbers in the second half but the base of the post and a couple of safe stops neutralised everything and looked on course to triumph...that was until the final minute. Counter attacking foiled us again, Stepanyuk sneaking in behind the defence to equalise.

https://i.imgur.com/jqg5fMy.png?1

Not sure what's worse, only scoring three against San Marino's youth or the fact they racked up eight shots on goal. Nevertheless it was rather easy pickings with Pirc, Turkus and Djukic dogpiling on an amateur nation.

UEFA U19 CHAMPIONSHIPS

FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND DRAW

https://i.imgur.com/u3sOxr8.png?1

Yikes, we have little to no hope of qualifying from this. Be lucky to grab a point.
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



https://i.imgur.com/AwwAVyA.png


YOUTH INTAKE

https://i.imgur.com/zA2R7Xv.png?1

Every manager's Christmas is youth intake and got a rather generous spawn. Two stood out from the rest.

https://i.imgur.com/FjFdSCa.png

Jurgis Daugavietis - AM(C) - youth intake

Timely when we need more playmakers in the team, especially in the more advanced areas of central midfield. 13 flair and 12 technique at only 16 is impressive for this division and no doubt will fill out to be a first team starter come next season.

https://i.imgur.com/T1tMdJK.png

Dmitrijs Korotkevics - D(R) - youth intake

I sure hope his trajectory is on the up because it's not really a sight for sore eyes with all that red. Garbage physicals overshadow his redeemable mental strength. At least it's an option in a position we're lacking.

https://i.imgur.com/EANJ82L.png?1

OMEGALUL. Tempting fate.

VIRSLĪGA

MATCHDAY 21


https://i.imgur.com/8PBoe1p.png?1

Damn, what a massive win here! Looked really impressive here but credit must go to the half time substitute Gutkovskis who masterminded the victory replacing a woeful Plukaitis. Went for the 'gegenpress' motif again and dominated the midfield space which crafted two key goals from Gutkovskis. So nearly a hat-trick too but his header was denied by the bar. Crucial at this late stage.

MATCHDAY 22

https://i.imgur.com/ki9f2d3.png?1

I mean let's get this straight, Spartaks are simply too good for us to compete with. Their 4-3-3 made us feel outnumbered each time they went forward. Subochev and a Stolcers double put us out of our misery and if it weren't for Osipovs it might have been six or seven. Nearly grabbed a consolatory goal, yet somehow a double save and a shot off the line in the same play didn't deserve to break Spartaks' resistance. Thankfully the last time we play them this season.

MATCHDAY 23

https://i.imgur.com/SaydHZ7.png?1

Short corner practice on the training ground salvaged an important point away at Skonto, scratching our heads how we didn't grab two more. Fatkulins can barely mark a bingo card let alone a defender, getting nowhere near Liholetovs to fall behind so softly. The response was promising but Gutkovskis wasn't firing on all cylinders on this occasion, missing an invaluable chance to level. The short corner routine with twenty minutes left fell to a left back Jurijs Sokolovs who forced home a near post shot to head home happy.

RESULTS OVERVIEW


https://i.imgur.com/EnzOy5n.png?1

A September with a bit of everything. Four points from nine will do nicely. Think I'll stick with this narrow 4-3-1-2 with a control mentality, noticed that we're creating a LOT more - just need strikers who can finish. Nalivaiko definitely a missing piece to the puzzle, delighted we have him back.

LEAGUE TABLE

https://i.imgur.com/eiFvdJz.png?1

Things hotting up and suddenly Jelgava don't seem that far away after beating them 2-0. Riga winning while we dropped points at Skonto paved way to jump out of the relegation playoff zone again. Babite good as gone.
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



Crucial winning against Jelgava, now we have to get ourselves out of that bad position winning as many games as possible!
Fino alla fine
@bcsaulJ - Crucial indeed, but we do have a decent run of games until the end of the season.

___________________________________________

https://i.imgur.com/u22akdg.png


VIRSLĪGA

MATCHDAY 24


https://i.imgur.com/4tk01HA.png?1

Relegated Babite in brutal fashion and not letting them have a sniff of the game. Ruslans Gutkovskis was like a mosquito all game and didn't leave them alone until a knock eventually forced him off. Scored the first and could have helped himself to a shed load but compensated by assisting the second to Knapsis who rifled it home. Well needed win.

MATCHDAY 25

https://i.imgur.com/qFSrJh9.png?1

https://i.imgur.com/canxXkP.png?1

Hitting form at the right time, squeezing through Liepaja to lift us out of the drop zone. Definitely an entertaining end to ender, both sides testing each other's goalkeepers, Gutkovskis failing to deliver on this occasion. Would have fallen one behind but the linesman flagged for offside to rule it out. Goalshy Plukaitis was in the right place at the right time on the counter, acres of space to round the keeper and seal the deal. Next up - a date with destiny at Riga FC.

MATCHDAY 26

https://i.imgur.com/Qkkjozb.png?1

Draw was a fair result, needing to come back twice in a stressful spectacle. Nervy defending led to the two Riga goals, poor marking and hesitance that should have been avoided. Aside from that we created something from nothing, Fatkulins and Gulbis combined in a slick set piece play to make it 1-1. As for Edgars Knapsis' goal - an absolute peach from thirty yards. Puskas worthy?

https://streamable.com/qky6m

MATCHDAY 27

https://i.imgur.com/zPgZsT6.png?1

On the base of things, a good draw....sadly Riga's win elsewhere sends us back into the relegation playoff zone going into the final match. Definitely had our finger on the pulse of this game, Ventspils choked trying to keep up with Spartaks. Losing patience with Gutkovskis lately, spurning a massive chance with four minutes left, Knapsis almost scoring from the corner too.

RESULTS OVERVIEW

https://i.imgur.com/xv5bSCz.png?1

Easily our best month, probably because it's the longest time going without a defeat. This new 4-3-1-2 narrow system really is getting to the heart of Latvian defences and showed a lot more creativity, mainly because of Nalivaiko. Knapsis' strike at Riga is surely scored goal of the season.

LEAGUE TABLE

https://i.imgur.com/fvzb787.png?1

One game to go; we play Russian roulette with Riga and Jelgava for the relegation playoff spot. Who do we play on the final day? JELGAVA. Who do Riga play? SPARTAKS. Avoiding defeat may not be good enough on it's own. Who'll be able to contain the pressure?
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



https://i.imgur.com/JDmTYKb.png

SQUAD SELECTION

https://i.imgur.com/dOC9cAQ.png?1

One thing I absolutely detest about jobs like this, other coaches up the pecking order move our best players up to U21 or senior level. No Turkus, no Potocnik, no Lovric, no hope we'll qualify from this.

UEFA U19 CHAMPIONSHIPS

FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND, GROUP 10


MATCHDAY 1

https://i.imgur.com/Pqb63AU.png?1

Solid start withholding the Ukrainians for the second time in two months. We were the more creative of the two, but Ukraine had the best chance and blazed over from inside twelve yards.

MATCHDAY 2

https://i.imgur.com/To7B7Mu.png?1

Another evenly matched game, however Austria pocket the points to fall one step behind the rest. Poor aerial presence from Vranicar allowed Felix Frankze to hit a ferocious effort which the keeper had no chance of getting to. Be harsh to criticise the team, except our substandard attacking threat. Germany next...

MATCHDAY 3

https://i.imgur.com/6LXGyMQ.png?1

Rottweilers against a pack of pugs. It's a shame too because we kept Germany quiet in the first half despite them going into the dressing room 1-0 ahead. A red card for Fuchs in theory would make things easier right? Wrong. The Germans looked even more powerful with ten men, demonstrated by a quick salvo from Razak and Mesic. Never in the game.

FINAL GROUP TABLE

https://i.imgur.com/JUBLSGk.png?1

https://i.imgur.com/PwVhl5S.png?1

Would have taken a minor miracle to escape from this, somehow Ukraine came away with one of the best third placed sides with only three points. Still, no point crying over spilt milk.

https://i.imgur.com/cq7XgpC.png?1

Thus ends my brief fun in international management for a while.
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



OMG the last match of the championship against Jelgava will be exciting and scary at the same time but it's all in our hands! Go Gulbene!
Fino alla fine
https://i.imgur.com/HyHwRcg.png


VIRSLĪGA

MATCHDAY 28


https://i.imgur.com/41y65CE.png?1

Perhaps a lucky escape and a Godly performance from Vitalijs Osipovs to save a late penalty. Very end to end with neither side breaking skin, Nikolajs Apins came closest for us but denied by the Jelgava keeper. Not ideal, but as long as we bettered Riga's result we avoid the relegation playoff.

https://i.imgur.com/ewaqZJq.png?1

You've got to be f*cking kidding me.

RELEGATION PLAYOFF

DRAW


https://i.imgur.com/siZ2fD5.png?1

The side that knocked us out of the Latvian Cup, a score to settle. Wonder if we'll see any of Klimasevics?

FIRST LEG (AWAY)

https://i.imgur.com/jhyDx9W.png?1

Put them right back in their place, literally at their own place. A first half pummelling with our strikers actually managing to score a few, Plukaitis should have scored four or five in addition to his two. Can't see us losing the second leg unless we have a major meltdown.

SECOND LEG (HOME)

https://i.imgur.com/Ap8VZ35.png?1

These amateurs would get eaten alive in the top flight, best to ensure that it didn't happen. Three players scoring their first goals for the club in young centre back Kokins, improving midfielder Apins and another midfielder off the bench in Hlibovs took the liberty of burying Rezeknes six feet under with a 6-1 aggregate win. Another quiet afternoon for Klimasevics.

FINAL LEAGUE TABLE

https://i.imgur.com/hjzOQBE.png?1

Survival ensured with Babite being the only league casualty. Spartaks safely winning the league in the end over Ventspils with Skonto holding the final European place. Strong finish towards the end of the season, now unbeaten in eight games - can we carry this over into next season I wonder?

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



Yes! Two clear victories and now we are safe! Now let's focus on next season
Fino alla fine
@bcsaulJ - Hoping it's better than this one, far too inconsistent.

___________________________________________

https://i.imgur.com/udJkjoG.png


https://i.imgur.com/QZziKoQ.png?1

A tight vote for player of the season this year, but it's Edgars Knapsis who came out on top of the rest. Probably due to his loyalty at the club, plus that worldie he scored against Riga could have something to do with it? In fact Knapsis swept the lot when it came to awards - including the goal of the season and "young" player of the season at 23. Jurijs Ivanovs was signing of the season and I tend to agree with that, he played out of his skin on a few occasions.

https://i.imgur.com/JBmLvqx.png?1

You know it's tough times when your top striker can't break into double figures in goals, nevertheless Plukaitis delivered very well in his first season at Gulbene - nine goals, seven assists and six man of the math awards. Centre back Ivanovs will only develop better during his early twenties and showed a solid debut season with an average rating of 7.18, few mistakes here and there but covered his own ass in the next game. Dobrecovs might have been inconsistent in front of goal but as the deep lying/defensive forward, his passing game was strong. Varazinskis clocked up the most yellows and shockingly no reds which is a nice change.

https://i.imgur.com/KmBN4wN.png?1

Financially the club is growing with every month it seems, balance now into seven figures with a healthy 19% turnover. May look to improve our facilities for the next coming season.
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



https://i.imgur.com/qRHq7uI.png


https://i.imgur.com/pPmHcJN.png?1

https://i.imgur.com/U5M2y5v.png?1

A dilemma on my hands as a vacancy at Ventspils has become available. Obviously the fans think I'm doing wonders for their club, hoping I stay on.

https://i.imgur.com/ytXJ9Vs.png

Nation: Latvia
Media Prediction (Odds): 2nd/8 (13-4 2F)
Expectations: Challenge for title
Pros: Stronger quality in their team than Gulbene. Far better forecast at winning trophies. Excellent finances.
Cons: Difficult to dethrone Spartaks from the top.

RESULT

https://i.imgur.com/mdGXsxi.png?1

BALLS! This could have been my lilypad back into success, but for whatever reason they've decided against me. Stuck at Gulbene for now.


TRANSFERS

IN


https://i.imgur.com/OlWvJf5.png?1

Not upsetting the team chemistry too much, only decided to bring three players in for now. A goalkeeper, a striker and a defensive midfielder.

https://i.imgur.com/2vjpZJ5.png

Marcel Newton - ST(C) - free transfer from Jurmala

An experienced striker representing Guyana at international level, Marcel will aim to solve our goalscoring issues. Didn't exactly have the best spells at Spartaks and Jurmala, however his acumen is a lot more well built than our other strikers. Solid physicals definitely a bonus. Fingers crossed he'll make some waves.

https://i.imgur.com/38nR1mg.png

Aleksanrs Svalbe - DM/D/M(C) - free transfer from Jelgava

More experience to boost our defensive midfield. Aleksandrs may not be the strongest, but bloody hell he'll get aggressive with a big fat 20 (ironically having 7 bravery to back it up). Definitely a backup option to bring off the bench to preserve a lead and/or see a game out. His versatility is also handy for any injuries we might incur in the centre of the park.

https://i.imgur.com/Oo6u9hv.png

Andrejs Skurjats - GK - free transfer from Jurmala

The second foraged signing from Jurmala and someone to keep Osipovs on his toes. Aside being sluggish and having really poor stamina, his 6'3 build could make him the perfect candidate for number one. Flawless eccentricity which can be a blessing and a curse but very happy to secure him to the Gulbene squad.

VIRSLIGAS WINTER CUP

GROUP DRAW - GROUP B

https://i.imgur.com/1HETsSz.png?1

More or less the same sort of group compared to last year, RTU being the newly promoted side and Jelgava thrown into the mixture. Riga always a thorn in our side.

MATCHDAY 1

https://i.imgur.com/ZMQpnO6.png?1

Off to a fine start, dominating Riga's turf. Took a lot of probing mind, Riga's keeper extremely unlucky not to keep a clean sheet making ten saves in total. The red card for Riga was the prelude to disaster with Gutkovskis coming off the bench to finish off a lovely flowing move to pass it into the net. Newton with the assist on his debut.

MATCHDAY 2

https://i.imgur.com/VeD4oCi.png?1

https://i.imgur.com/20cVMQT.png?1

An absolutely relentless barrage of efforts finally picklocked Jelgava, courtesy of Marcel Newton to end his goal drought. This new 4-3-1-2 narrow formation is working wonders. Two from two.

MATCHDAY 3

https://i.imgur.com/wcF4y3X.png?1

Not quite the finale we were hoping for, but late sub Plukaitis' hit was essential to nab a point and to confirm us as group winners.

FINAL GROUP TABLE

https://i.imgur.com/fyGivml.png?1

Even if we had lost the final, Jelgava slipping up to Riga would have still left us top. Second consecutive Winter Cup final...but who do we face?

FINAL DRAW

https://i.imgur.com/Hmw2Lv4.png?1

The rematch we've been waiting for. 11 games unbeaten, are we finally going to seal some silverware?

https://i.imgur.com/kV3ELpW.png?1

But we're dealt a really bad hand. Newton out for up to six weeks.

FINAL

https://i.imgur.com/Gyhqnww.png?1

A fitting milestone for the final. Will my 1200th game in management merit a first trophy in almost seven years?

https://i.imgur.com/cL2OoC8.png?1

#FuckSpartaks. Their finishes were sensational while for all our possession and number of shots, couldn't find a way through. Osipovs might get the chop after his woeful 4.6 rating, two late mistakes meant getting hit for four in what was up to that point an evenly matched encounter. The wait goes on...


SEASON EXPECTATIONS

https://i.imgur.com/7dVWd8i.png?1

Odds have certainly slimmed since last season, predicting fifth for us at 25-1 (not as if you'd put a cheeky fiver on us to overthrow Spartaks).

https://i.imgur.com/MgeVLvN.png?1

But worrying signs on the brink of our league opener, now down two strikers with Plukaitis joining Newton in the wards.
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



https://i.imgur.com/eALXc7X.png


https://i.imgur.com/98HSwPM.png?1

Perhaps reluctantly, I've secured my short term future with Gulbene.

https://i.imgur.com/t4prcef.png?1

But I tied in some of my own terms in doing so.

TRANSFERS (DEADLINE DAY)

OUT

https://i.imgur.com/QHN3VZg.png?1

https://i.imgur.com/lUiz8Fh.png?1

Sillers got too gobby in wanting first team football which isn't going to happen with Sokolovs in rock solid form. Might have undersold him to BFC Daugavpils in retrospect but being off the wagebooks is good enough for me. Petersons also leaves by mutual consent, just couldn't see a future for him here.

https://i.imgur.com/U66ihfh.png?1

One player staying is Nalivaiko subject to a late offer from Jelgava. Thank God.

IN

https://i.imgur.com/su6TYy8.png?1

One new player coming in on deadline day, certainly worth waiting for.

https://i.imgur.com/RLY8Obe.png

Guntars Rimkus - AM(C)/M(C) - unattached free agent

A coup for a club of our magnitude. Plenty of experience in the league at 21, despite that naive move to Spartaks to warm the bench. A bit patchy in places I'll admit, but first touch, technique, decisions and vision all in green I could hardly say no. His low determination does worry me a little but he'll be nearing his prime soon enough. Exactly the kind of player I need in this new 4-3-1-2 system.

VIRSLĪGA

MATCHDAY 1


https://i.imgur.com/2ioMOBm.png?1

Uhhh. Not sure if Ventspils came to play or throw hands with two red cards in the opening 25 minutes the game was practically ending one way. Nikolajs Apins and an own goal silenced Ventspils at the break, Newton almost making it three from the penalty spot too. Concerned about conceding twice to nine men, both from committing too many men forward but a third from Edgars Knapsis in between that earned us a shock opening win. Karma for rejecting me.

MATCHDAY 2

https://i.imgur.com/bZQhJSU.png?1

The phrase "a game of two halves" springs to mind. Totally dominant in the first, living dangerously in the second. Newton bagged a brace along with another goal from Apins, but Newton missed his second penalty in two matches. A double from Grobenyuk really took the wind out of our sails but defended carefully to avoid a complete bottlejob. Rearguard training a priority for next month.

RESULTS OVERVIEW

https://i.imgur.com/jlbsP8X.png?1

Totally unexpected maximum points this month. This new system has elevated our confidence to new heights and scoring goals to boot. The midfield trio of Knapsis, Gulbis and Apins operating perfectly with Nalivaiko binding it all together. Newton already looks a good buy, but I'm never trusting him to take a penalty ever again.

LEAGUE TABLE

https://i.imgur.com/RzBpqmE.png?1

In amongst the only three sides with 100% records...we'll see how long that lasts.
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



What a fantastic start! We must continue like this!
Fino alla fine
I think the next result might be a 3-2 victory
@bcsaulJ - Indeed, hopefully you won't jinx it!

https://i.imgur.com/Ml9ypTZ.png


VIRSLĪGA

MATCHDAY 3


https://i.imgur.com/4myYz7H.png?1

@HawkAussie (not quite ). Better late than never as Marcel Newton delivered us our third win in a row. Game was a slow burner that failed to get going until the late goal, Janis Dobrecovs deserving praise to come off the bench and whip in the sumptuous cross to the Guyanese striker. Perhaps the red card helped us a little too.

MATCHDAY 4

https://i.imgur.com/NvXocxY.png?1

Still can't beat the Riga pricks in the league. Both keepers were forced into a key save each in an otherwise dull stalemate.

https://i.imgur.com/IkOd8NA.png?1

Get f*cked Riga. Newton out for another long spell.

MATCHDAY 5

https://i.imgur.com/rfwVyKG.png?1

Skonto have started off really strong in the league, so to hold them to a scoreless draw is something to be proud of. Only problem is finding out where the goals are going to come from without Newton in the side, only one half chance created all game. Both sides came close in the second half but both denied by the post. Even the red card for Skonto couldn't merit us a late twist. Five unbeaten though.

https://i.imgur.com/CydyS2Z.png?1

Through the same song and dance again.

MATCHDAY 6

https://i.imgur.com/YAqdjPg.png?1

Make that six, brushing past Liepaja easily. Much better performance up top from Plukaitis who looked dangerous all afternoon and got on the end of a defensive error to lead at half time. A penalty converted by Varazinskis ensured the points. The woodwork got a lot of love too, hit twice by both sides.

https://i.imgur.com/0GIncfI.png?1

More bad news, young centre back Kokins has been getting better and better with every game and now out for a sizeable portion. They love throwin curveballs in this league.

RESULTS OVERVIEW

https://i.imgur.com/7ixBilq.png?1

I think our efforts to improve defending are paying dividends. Four games, four clean sheets, absolutely flying. But of course with Newton's Third Law, we're not scoring as many without Newton in the side. Our strikers really need to back their ideas up.

LEAGUE TABLE

https://i.imgur.com/8NAjceU.png?1

Can we just end the season here? What a transformation compared to this time last year, top of the Latvian table with no defeats so far....although the one side we haven't faced yet are Spartaks. Even with one blemish on their form, I can guarantee a tricky game. Skonto and Ventspils also not far behind.
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



https://i.imgur.com/CBD0Fi1.png


VIRSLĪGA

MATCHDAY 7


https://i.imgur.com/SMR1b0u.png?1

A very unlikely point against the champs, not without a little bit of luck on it's way. Spartaks showed their professional attitude against the semi pros and easily waltzed their way to two goals. Then came the comeback; two set pieces, one of which we didn't even challenge for as a corner was headed in by the unchallenged defender. The second from Plukaitis took a massive deflection but still took the credit. Shellshocked Spartaks.

https://i.imgur.com/7GRLgQn.png?1

Bad news for Rimkus, he's finding life difficult at Gulbene. Especially with Nalivaiko tearing things up in this XI.

MATCHDAY 8

https://i.imgur.com/yJJTJsl.png?1

The first win over Ventspils might have been a fluke, this one was proper annihilation. Two tap ins in quick succession by Plukaitis left the visitors tearing up their plan A. I guess plan B for them was damage limitation, not a peep from them thereafter, leaving Nikolajs Apins to drive the final nail into the coffin. Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

MATCHDAY 9

https://i.imgur.com/aPCuDPk.png?1

https://i.imgur.com/AB9Hqnl.png?1

Can anyone stop us right now? Certainly not Jelgava. Massive relief for Dobrecovs to get the goalscoring monkey off his back with a double on top of a Knapsis penalty and a rare goal from Jurijs Ivanovs from centre back. Two late goals from Jelgava made it somewhat of a game but in truth, we were always going to win this.

MATCHDAY 10

https://i.imgur.com/SKvEiX9.png?1

You wait for a bus for twenty four games, then suddenly Dobrecovs gets five in two. RTU are definitely the whipping boys of this league with only one point to their name, and being two down and then going a man down before the half hour mark, that was certainly not going to change. Complete control from start to finish with Dobrecovs bringing home the match ball.

MATCHDAY 11

https://i.imgur.com/mpN6dEj.png?1

For Christ's sake, STILL can't beat this shower of blankers. Can't say much for us, we barely put a dent in Riga's backline and only creating three half baked ideas.

RESULTS OVERVIEW

https://i.imgur.com/MyqHXss.png?1

Could be our best month to date, didn't lose to Spartaks for starters, hammered Ventspils and controlling nearly every game we're in. Glad to see Janis Dobrecovs back in the goals, but seriously hats off to this midfield of Gulbis, Knapsis, Apins and Nalivaiko - working absolute wonders right now.

LEAGUE TABLE

https://i.imgur.com/eWliqKf.png?1

Let me make this abundantly clear - we are semi-professional...and we're stringing along the only three professional sides in the division below us. No defeats, only one loss in our last twenty five games in all comps. Is the trophy drought going to end this year??

https://i.imgur.com/aMmy84X.png?1

I think it's now time to take the next step. Preparing for a new age at Gulbene with upgrades to both our training facilities and now our youth facilities.

https://i.imgur.com/1bZVUNN.png?1

Oh. Gulbis has retired....mid-season...in the best year of his Gulbene career...and now he's abruptly left....what the frick?!
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



Looking good so far, even if it may be tricky due to the teams around you. Gulbis has had enough of your management.
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b
FM19
Journeyman's Journey II
Trip to: China | South Africa
You are smashing the league man! Keep it up!
Fino alla fine
@r96Skinner - Certainly won't be easy. No comment on Gulbis.

@bcsaulJ - Fingers crossed it'll hold!

___________________________________________

https://i.imgur.com/ffIoaZ9.png


https://i.imgur.com/1omna5j.png?1

My links with Slovenia must have influenced Olimpija becoming our parent club for the foreseeable future.

https://i.imgur.com/dKeBmU1.png?1

A great moment too for the in-form Jurijs Ivanovs who grabbed his first cap for Latvia (not that it's very hard to get in).

VIRSLĪGA

MATCHDAY 12


https://i.imgur.com/D6SNuNy.png?1

https://i.imgur.com/O2b5FlQ.png?1

http://i.imgur.com/ForPOJQ.gif

What a f*cking way to lose our first game of the season. Truly staggering. I guess we have ourselves to blame, two glaring defensive errors from aerial balls equalled two goals for Mikuckis from their only two shots on target. Janis Dobrecovs may have snuck one past the Skonto keeper, nothing, literally nothing else caught him out. Even a 33 shot fusillade and the return of Marcel Newton couldn't undo our mistakes. I feel sick to my stomach.

MATCHDAY 13

https://i.imgur.com/pkbaEa5.png?1

It happened again. All over them like a disease, yet one late sneaky header gets away from Skurjats' grasp and trickles into the net. Jurijs Plukaitis very unlucky not to score for us, only denied by the crossbar but back to back defeats now leaves us in a really delicate state before the Spartaks league game.

MATCHDAY 14

https://i.imgur.com/DND9eLX.png?1

Ah the inevitable FM slump, how I've missed you. Should be illegal for someone of Ricards Stolcers to play in this division, he ran circles around us all game plus comfortably ticking off a fine hat-trick. So much possession, very little end product. Three defeats in a row, a dream now evaporates.

MATCHDAY 15

https://i.imgur.com/ZOealD2.png?1

Imagine a threepeat over Ventspils, sadly not the case. One close range header in either half left things all square, Jurkovs counteracting Ivanovs' opener. I love the fact we're racking up nearly 20 shots a game but failing to convert them to goals. More points dropped, get this poor form away from me.

MATCHDAY 16

https://i.imgur.com/yOXuZzE.png?1

Much better, in fact we scored all four...three of them at our end. Dobrecovs must have struck oil lately, he's banging them in on an almost regular basis now and a welcome return to the scoresheet for Newton shooting with a bit of welly past a helpless Jelgava keeper. Was almost over at half time with a third goal, but ruled out for offside by a bunch of killjoys. Sokolovs endured the unfortunate "wrong place, wrong time" scenario to give a sliver of hope until Dobby got a second. More of this please!

RESULTS OVERVIEW

https://i.imgur.com/qe8OYNj.png?1

Wouldn't be a Halloween post without a bit of blood red, in fact three helpings of it (two were bullsh#t). Can't really pin this dip on anyone in particular but I'm glad things are steadying once again. Dobrecovs looking really impressive alongside Newton up top.

LEAGUE TABLE

https://i.imgur.com/zdHCawG.png?1

Well...it was fun while it lasted. Can't see Spartaks hiccuping from this point. Now we're in a slugfest with Skonto and Ventspils for European places.


https://i.imgur.com/LlGvj80.png?1
https://i.imgur.com/IT9Dswb.png

Well, well, well. What do we have here?

Nation: Montenegro
Media Prediction (Odds): 1st/10 (3-1F)
Expectations: League winners
Pros: Seventeen league titles in eighteen years. Five times consecutive league champs of Montenegro. A squad that can easily walk this league (ten times better than Gulbene's). (Almost) a £2m transfer kitty. European football almost a certainty.
Cons: Loved by the town of Gulbene. Budućnost board abide by a number of key philosophies. (I'm sorry, it's very hard to come up with a reason not to leave...)

RESULT

https://i.imgur.com/KIrns7W.png?1

I mean that wage is an insult with the amount of money they generate. Heart over head or head over heart? All the signs are pointing to head.
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



I'd take the Buducnost job myself, gotta take the step up. However, how would letting down the entire population of Gulbene sit on your conscience?
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b
FM19
Journeyman's Journey II
Trip to: China | South Africa
A difficult choice maybe you have to follow your head, you would definitely play in Europe and you would have a stronger team... I mean, seventeen league titles in eighteen years, you must continue the hegemony
Fino alla fine
As always with your posts what a great read, glad to see you're doing well, obviously not the 3 game losing streak but overall it's been good.

On the job offer surely this songs fits the bill perfectly:

https://youtu.be/BN1WwnEDWAM

Seriously, I'd go. As much as you may want, can Gulbene actually challenge Spartaks, or even Skonto (if they're still good) in the league? If it was me I'd leave on a high and go now. Can't wait to see what you decide to do......
Take the move!
https://i.imgur.com/zgMyvyG.png?2
Yeeees!! Welcome back DNZY! Can't wait!
Fino alla fine
YES!!!! Can't wait for this to come back dude!
https://i.imgur.com/IT9Dswb.png

https://i.imgur.com/mXer7fb.png
https://i.imgur.com/H1jzURI.png?1

I'm a man of my word, landing in on deadline day too. An overdue return to Montenegro, but this time I aim to vindicate my only relegation in this nation with a team dripping with domestic success. FK Budućnost Podgorica (ФК Будућност Подгорица) are more than just a football club, but instead a club for over 30 different team and individual sports including basketball, volleyball, boxing, judo and even chess! The term Budućnost roughly translates into ‘the future is coming’ and the football club was the first formed club under this name back in 1925, during the Yugoslavian era. The club go by two nicknames, ‘Plavo-bijeli’ (blue-whites) for their traditional blue and white striped kits, they are also known as ‘Varvari’ (the barbarians) to the diehard ultras.

https://i.imgur.com/5lMHxbC.jpg

Descendant of its previous name Titograd (Титоград), Montenegro’s capital city Podgorica (Подгорица) takes up almost a good quarter of the nation’s population with an estimated 186,000. The name Podgorica is broken into two parts, ‘Pod’ referring to ‘area below’ and ‘Gorica’ loosely translating into ‘little hill’. A notable landmark in the city is its ‘Millennium Bridge’, a cable-stayed bridge spanning 173 metres above the Morača River.

https://i.imgur.com/JBcB3h0.jpg

The Podgorica City Stadium (Stadion pod Goricom) is the theatre for Montenegro's most prestigious club with a capacity breaching the 15,000 mark with further expansion aiming for 20,000. Built in 1945 shortly after WWII, it has been the home for various Titograd/Podgorica teams and also hosted a handful of international matches involving both Yugoslavia and Montenegro. The highest recorded attendance roughly estimated 20,000 during a Yugoslav league match between Budućnost and Hajduk Split in August 1975, couldn't tell you who won but it certainly wasn't communism. Probably the best kept stadium in the nation, might even be the first I've managed that has four stands.

https://i.imgur.com/6qd5dKA.png?1

FK Budućnost are the most successful team since the formation of the independent Montenegro in 2006, earning three titles (2008, 2012 & 2017), equal with FK Sutjeska. The side also lifted one Montenegrin Cup in 2013, pipping FK Čelik in a 1-0 victory. They were also runners up on two occasions in the prestigious Yugoslavian cup in 1965 and 1977, losing to Dinamo Zagred and Hajduk Split respectively. Did you also know they won a European trophy? Back in 1981 they entered the now defunct Intertoto Cup back when it was a group stage format, topping their group ahead of Danish club Odense, Sweden’s Östers and the Austrians of Wacker Innsbruck (not exactly notable names but the point is they have a European honour next to their name). In the FM era, they’ve absolutely cleaned up with 27 league titles, including five invincible campaigns. The future has definitely come for these heavyweights.



SQUAD

https://i.imgur.com/Yi7eWeD.png?1

Impeccable depth in numbers when it comes to quality, it's no wonder they're dominating all across the board domestically. Many players hitting their prime years already, surprised there aren't as many teens coming through the ranks as of yet. Obviously with big talent come big bills, one lone Georgian Tvaradze in particular on nine grand a week but thankfully our financial game is well on point. If anything, a new striker may be required with only two on our roster currently. We'll see how Tvaradze and Borghetti get on first before jumping to conclusions. Wingers seem to be the nucleus of our key men.

KEY PLAYER(S): Lazar Ilic - M(L)/AM(L)

https://i.imgur.com/Az78pWS.png

Our lefty is the younger of the two and thus hasn't progressed as well mentally, but damn he'll do. Blistering quick for the division, solid crossing ability and technique will no doubt improve over time. Broken through into the national side too so guaranteed he'll be the finished article before he hits his mid twenties.

Dragan Scepanovic - M(R)/AM(R)

https://i.imgur.com/RXd6Acn.png

The righty is practically a clone of Ilic but with a wiser, albeit hot head on him. Equally as quick, equally as pinpoint on crosses and technique, harder worker and a bit more flair. Practically cut from the same cloth which makes an attacking 4-2-3-1 system ideal with these players and can slot deeper as the game winds down.

EXPECTATIONS

https://i.imgur.com/ZYZJV30.png?1

I've been hired for one reason and one reason alone...WIN THE DAMN LEAGUE. Anything less is a definite failure and a one way ticket out of Montenegro. I mean with the budget we have, the players at our disposal, the backroom setup and intelligence, if I don't win it I'll put my managerial career on the line. I'll quit football immediately.

(and that is not a joke).
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



I catch up, have not been reading since august

But always nice to read this!

To bad with your latest clubs, but I am sure yiu will win everything Budućnost! And it will be fun to play i CL again And to move up the tier
Welcome back DZNY!
Keep on Hooping!!
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