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Time for another crack at this.

Manager Nation Latvia
Man that was an awful time at Gibraltar, damn.

I hope you do better in Georgia, but this looks like a hell of an ask too.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
@Eric Portapotty - Starting to think I should avoid Gibraltar altogether, just doesn't fit my playing style. Hopefully Batumi are a shred better than Lincoln.






Thrown into the deep end against the defending champs. Never threatened, only looked like playing possum while Tbilisi had their own way. Panchenko coolly finishing at Khoklov's near post and that was only a taster. Corners continue to be the bane of my existence, two unmarked headers in either half killed off any ounce of determination left to muster an even playing field.



Bit of a hyperbolic headline to say we were lucky against a wasteful Sioni side. The plaudits belonged to Khutsishivilli with two fine curling strikes, one of which from a free kick as Sioni's front three looked very low on confidence. The fantastically named Arquimedes was anything but mathematical for the home side, falling to pieces every time he got into the box. That said, a 25 yard free kick by Gogoberishvili had us sweating heading into the final yards. Well earned three points in the end.



A magnificent comeback with two Puskas quality hits turned into a one way ticket to the reserves for central defender Viktor Ilyin. At fault for one of the two clangers we let in in the first twenty minutes and then completely defensively AWOL from a route one ball to let Kutaisi immediately strike back after vigorously bringing the game back to 2-2. Tanchyk and Krashenko's goals were things of beauty, worthy of rewards. The moment it went 3-2, deflation wasn't even the word. Devastated.


Some context to describe my feelings.



The pain of the last defeat washed away by a stunning victory away to leaders Samtredia. Going behind is standard for us nowadays but the bombarding response was serendipitous; Lezhava thankful to latch onto a fumbled free kick followed by Süleymanov instantly flipping the scoreline. This had all the signs of becoming a golden vault game, especially when Samtredia squandered a penalty one minute, then a fortunate own goal in the next highlight drew the game level. Poised at 2-2 and breaking into thirty shots on goal, we absolutely deserved the winner from tight angle specialist Sandro Khutsishvilli and leaving the home faithful in stunned silence. Some game.




Sod it, didn't really want to win this cup anyways...3-2 seems to be our favourite scoreline of late, especially when we choke hard. Twice ahead, twice shoddily pegged back, the game ebbed and flowed every which way against the runaway leaders of the Pirveli Liga. Magomed Rogachev was an odious mosquito looking to bite and bit hard at the worst possible time, beating the offside trap to tuck it under Khokhlov as extra time loomed. I'm miffed, but at least the concentration swings firmly back on the league.



Momentum is all over the place, sinusoidally jumping from win to defeat with nothing in between. While I like the fact we can hit the back of the net, our defence cannot hold concentration for ninety minutes. Khutsishvilli in hot form as well as Tanchyk who is starting to get the creative juices flowing. But yeah, critical our defence buck up their ideas sooner rather than later.



We'd be out of the bottom three if it weren't for that scarring loss to Torpedo Kutaisi, alas we remain bottom but only a point adrift. Realistically can't see us reaching higher than sixth despite my quixotic promises to the board about potentially finishing top half.

How many games do you play in Georgia? 27 or 36? If it's the latter I could be reasonably confident of you staying up.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
@Eric Portapotty - It's a 36 game season.





Been a while since I've looked through a youth intake, sadly Batumi's wasn't really something to write home about. Couple of average defenders, a versatile attacking midfielder and a goalkeeper at the top of the potential list. Overall, nothing special.


In other news, our loanee Erol Gedik wanted to emulate the lavish Neymar lifestyle for a day. Shame he's a nobody doing f*ck all on the pitch when called upon.




All went horribly wrong against league chasing Chikhura. Fourth choice Brazilian striker Toni used his target man specialties to head in a whipped cross in a first half he looked to take charge of. That was until a penalty before the break turned the overall tide. Gocha Tevzadze clinically took us apart in the second half to leave an uphill task for us, while we went on to miss four more clear cut chances. This is why we're stuck in a relegation fight.



I reiterate - THIS IS WHY WE ARE IN THE DROPZONE. As far as striking performances go, this was just insulting. 14 shots, 1 on target...that came in the 84th minute when they fell down to ten men. Saburtalo bided their time and showed quality is better than quantity, 100% on target ratio and their liquid football going forward earned them a tap in on the stroke of half time. Felt like I due a stroke myself after watching this.




Two words; BULL. SHIT. I can turn a blind eye to one stonewall penalty appeal, but TWO is inept refereeing or a brown envelope situation. To their credit, Dila's opening goal was unstoppable from Klontsak, looping the ball into the top left corner to take a supposedly deserved lead. Didn't take long before a bit of 'Dila-dallying' allowed Khutsishvilli to plant a sumptuous cross to Süleymanov who headed in nicely. Ironically enough our concentration lapsed after the kickoff as substitute Äliyev tipped the scales back in Dila's favour. Khutsishvilli turned provider again, this time for Pavel Mitin to tapped in for a





Is that right now? I deserve to be sacked? Look closer to home buddy (Sioni have lost four of their last five). Mind you we were clenching towards the end, blowing our 3-0 advantage with a penalty from Mitin, a first for improving central defender Yury Skvortsov and Süleymanov dusting them off. Instead of taking them to the cleaners with half a dozen clear cut chances, instead we became cocky - Guy Ngah punishing us again and assisted Iakovenko to test our metal. Three points will do, no matter how or where they come from.


And there goes our only competent left back for the guts of the EOS run in.



Still not good enough in my opinion. Bottling the Samtredia and Saburtalo games to being robbed in broad daylight to Dila doesn't fill me with joy, I'll be honest. The very least was to get that important win over Tshkinvali, and even then we made that into a chore. A dry month for Khutsishvilli but did get a number of assists which I'm content with, but frankly our squad definitely has the quality to stay afloat yet I'm just not seeing it.



Somehow we're still rooted to the foot of the league, now a three point margin to escape. Thankfully that sh*t-talking cockwobble's Sioni side have been sucked into the maelstrom. Lots of points to play for with our last ten games, it's do or die from here on in.

AHAHAHAHA that's some good karma shit right there

But man... At least you're only 5 points from mid-table? Every cloud etc. I guess.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
This is going to be a good fight to save yourself from the drop!
New save coming for FM20...:- Heartbreak, misery, but hope on the horizon... https://i.imgur.com/vyxFXJL.png?1
It's going to be tight from here on in! Squeak bum time!
FM19 Careers:

There are still ten games left, we can do it! C'mon Batumi!
Fino alla fine
@Eric Portapotty - Silver linings don't come easy in Georgia, this has been a total circus for Batumi.

@Dan - I'm hoping I won't choke this. Knowing me, I've already probably cursed us.

@tongey - This is more like nuclear diarrhea time let me tell you.

@bcsaulJ - Ten cup finals indeed, shame we suck at cup finals these days.






Felt the Tskhinvali win would have given us a platform to build upon. Instead our efforts came up short in a narrow defeat to Zugdidi, a cracking strike by Zolotarenko outside the area being the difference. This after Pavel Mitin was presented with a glorious chance to nudge us ahead only two minutes earlier, the post got the better of him.



Gargantuan win here, quite possibly our best performance this season. Dinamo's four game winning run didn't exactly show, despite a crack at the woodwork and a one on one saved by Khokhlov, they looked pretty pedestrian, you wouldn't think they're top of the league. Mitin in Mitin fashion had a handful of key efforts muffled by the Tbilisi goalkeeper. Took a late free kick from Kraschenko to stamp authority on the game and my word it was beautifully struck. Would have been happy with a point, very few complaints about taking the biscuit.



I quote "Nealon should be sacked". Shame his diddy team Sioni barely threatened us with their shoot on sight mentality, not a single clear cut chance created. Davit Lomidze easily could have marked the day with a hat-trick, but was the difference maker nonetheless with a fierce strike to almost take the net off it's hinges. Poetic justice if I've ever seen it.




Torpedo may have got lucky last game, this on the other hand was no fluke. Couldn't even register a half chance all game, let alone anything clear cut. Two carelessly conceded penalties and a strong counter attack pestled us into the ground and could've ended with half a dozen. Really discouraging with only a handful of games left to play. To make matters worse, our creative beacon of late Tanchyk is unlikely to feature in the final run in.



Well, ain't that just a kick in the nads to end off this month? So wasteful as per when at most times we were restricting the opposition to long range efforts. Funnily enough that was the source of their opener, Ushakov's belter ensuring a half time lead for the travellers. Hope was not all lost, Lomidze is a ray of light in these murky days and grabbed the equaliser that we thought earned us a point. Wrong. Sweaty, sweaty goal from Grigol Abesadze latching onto Ushakov's low cross to sweep home in injury time. Will that be a goal to condemn us to the drop?



Was looking oh so fine before the two defeats towards the end of October. Lomidze compensating for our striking woes of late, just seems so hopeless at times to motivate these boys. Tanchyk's injury won't help matters as we enter the final five games to seal our fate.



Total chaos down at the bottom. It'll take just one win to sneak out of the relegation zone but how many times have we said that now? We've been rock bottom for the longest time and with confidence running low, I fear a second relegation in the journey looming. Praying RNG dishes out some good luck.






So many things going wrong at present. Erol Gedik has been a liability since his arrival and has the temerity to skip hop and jump out on the lash. To make matters worse we collapsed in a winnable game, leading early through a Glazkov own goal. We've had belters scored against us in the past, but Mahmutovic's strike from 25 yards might have been the best of the lot as it flew over the flatfooted Khoklov into the top corner. Lack of concentration and concise positioning allowed Chikhura to overturn the deficit and hold out. Games are running out to turn this ship around.




Red hot Saburtalo giving us some red hot action. The cheek of the media to call me old too, then again watching this Batumi side fail perpetually has probably reduced my life expectancy by ten years. Evgeny Khokhlov was a shambles in net, absolutely garbage at coming out for set pieces that led to two of three goals and the other one sourced by a sloppy goal kick to the opposition. Fluffed an easy chance in the eighth minute also which could have made this an entirely different ball game. We are absolutely F'd.



Speaks for itself.


I mean I'd give more of a shit if Süleymanov stuck the ball in the back of a net lately. We're absolutely goosed either way.



Defeat here and it sends us down...


NOT OVER YET! Both sides fought well, end to end thriller throughout but draw was probably a fair result. Dropped Khokhlov in favour of 20 year old backup Gela Jishkariani and the young lad did well...apart from letting in a soft goal to nudge Dila in front. Other than that he kept us in it with crucial saves. What a time for Tanchyk to return from injury, heading in Gromov's cross from the right, just when we were already planning for life in the second tier next year. Dila nearly killed our little moment late on but commendably held on for one last, unlikely roll of the dice.



Confidence dragging across the floor at present, we're not in the right frame of mind to pluck wins out of the blue, highlighted by this month alone. I'll admit Chikhura are title challengers and Saburtalo were on a hot winning streak but we were predicted to finish top three. The Dila result a slight improvement but we're clutching to our final straw.



Mathematically safe heading into our must win game which lies on a Sunday on the first of December and, er...wait...hang on a minute...



Well....SHIT. By virtue of Sioni's win and other permutations going against us, we are down without kicking a ball. Relegation 2: Electric Boogaloo

What a kick in the baws that is.

Time to head for pastures new again methinks bud.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

Commiserations mate, but your career moves onwards regardless doesn't it, a new club it is
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
Ooops, thats not ideal, get out of there and find a new venture
New save coming for FM20...:- Heartbreak, misery, but hope on the horizon... https://i.imgur.com/vyxFXJL.png?1
Time to move on and find a new place to ply your trade!
FM19 Careers:

@HockeyBhoy - What hurts is that we definitely had a quality team to stay up but they persistently let me down.

@Eric Portapotty - Probably best to move on, either that or springboard back next season.

@Dan - Only the second relegation I've had in this save, but yeah definitely not ideal!

@tongey - Not many jobs going at the minute but we'll wait and see!






With nothing to play for we aimed to go out in a blaze of glory, in reality that's wishful thinking. Guy Ngah continued his run of scoring against us and really should have had their lead extended but Jishkariani pulled off a top save from a Tskhinvali penalty. With all his striking woes of late, Khutsishvilli turned in a really nice finish to level it up but can barely count as a compliment given how we've sunk into the quicksand. Barely deserved the point to be honest.



Dead rubber, dead atmosphere, dead season, gruesome defeat. Bye bye Batumi.



Thus ends our torrential season, going the last 7 without a win. Boy was I oblivious to the dumpster fire fumes burning from the start of my tenure.



At least the final day had drama as eight times league winners Dila were the other casualty to go down with us. Chikhura choked on the final day to allow Dinamo Tblisi to retain their crown.


Not sacked yet, but lets try manipulate them anyways to try beg me to stay.


...well that was unexpected...am I going to stay on?


Not sure who was trolling who, Batumi let my contract run out and had no intention of renewing. Probably a win-win at the end of the day. Onto the next one.

Ahh shit, gutted for you on the relegation mate. Head up and move on.



Nation: Latvia
Media Prediction (Odds): 2nd/8 (7-2)
Expectations: Challenge for league
Pros: Strong team in the division. Recent winners for the Virsliga. Already in Europe for next season. Good quality in attackers and wingers.
Cons: Average transfer/wage budgets. Already reached foreign player quota. Lack of goalkeeping quality. Having to face those regal pricks Spartaks again.



Do I dip back to Latvia and cheat on my good friends Gulbene?

Yes get it off the list. Unlucky in Georgia.
Keep on Hooping!!


After digesting the bitter pill of relegation for the second time in my career (I’m now officially par with Harry Redknapp), attention turns back to Latvia for another shot at the prize. A club who no longer function but still alive in game, FC Skonto Riga become my next challenge. Brought to life in 1991 as Forums-Skonto during Latvia’s breakaway from the Soviet Union, the club’s short quarter century existence told quite the story – from a golden legacy left smeared and scrutinized by ongoing financial difficulties. Skonto are still to the day the most successful Latvian club with fifteen leagues, eight cups and the last club to win the Baltic Cup before the competition folded. Speaking of folding, Skonto were left like an origami swan by the end of 2016; dished out point deductions, league licensing issues and even unpaid staff before eventually dissolving in December 2016 due to bankruptcy. Despite leaving behind some remnants with another Latvian club RTU FC, the club effectively died out after failing to apply for the 2019 1. Līga potentially due to financial reasons as well. The club played in red, quite the poetic symbolism for their bloodshed death.


Being the largest of the capital cities from the three Baltic states with 633,000 inhabitants, Riga is a cultural and historical domain lying on the mouth of the Daugava river that flows into parts of Russia and Belarus. Renowned for it’s ‘Art Nouveau’ architecture and cobblestone pathways, Riga has been the Latvian historical centre since the 13th century and was recognised as European Capital of Culture for 2014. The old town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 with the stunning landmarks of Rātslaukums (town hall square) and Melngalvju nams (House of the Blackheads) dominating the eyescape. Melngalvju nams required rebuilding towards the end of the eighties and nineties after total destruction from Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia during WWII.


It’s very ironic how a stadium which beared your very name is now being used by a completely different team. That is the case for Skonto Stadium (Skonto stadions) which had opened in 2000 during the height of Skonto’s ever growing success. It has now become the second largest stadium in the city after the Daugava Stadium upgraded to a UEFA Cat 4 in 2018, but it still boasts a capacity of 9,500 and had been a home for the national team up to the afformentioned year. Many music concerts were also held here including Aerosmith and Metallica to exceed the capacity almost four fold. The grass surface is now the home stadium for Riga FC after Skonto’s bankruptcy in late 2016.


Life was vast and glorious for Skonto between 1992 and 2004, going as far as breaking a UEFA record for the most consecutive domestic leagues with a whopping thirteen Virslīga titles to their name. We all know the cliché superstition about the number 13, the beginning of the end for the club’s success and they’d only last another 13 years in existence. Another defunct club FK Liepājas Metalurgs broke the chain in 2005, claiming the league 13 points ahead of Skonto…coincidence or fate? The brick red outfit would only go on to win the league once more in 2010 just ahead of Ventspils but would reach no higher than second thereafter. Not only are they still the most successful league club to grace Latvia they’ve also accumulated the most Latvijas kauss’ with eight, the last of those in 2012 with a penalty shootout victory over Liepājas Metalurgs. Plagued in financial turmoil, Skonto were demoted to the 1.liga in 2015 with an eight point deduction and despite a midtable finish, they weren’t able to recover and their crown had well and truly fallen. Skonto faced some big names when in Europe; beaten by Inter Milan and Barcelona in second qualifying rounds of the Champions League, but went furthest in 1999-2000 reaching the 3QR against an Abramovich-less Chelsea. Despite a 0-0 draw in Riga, they fell to a 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.






Skonto lately have dabbled towards the top spots in the Latvian top flight, securing their first taste of Virslīga success in 47 years after a rare Spartaks collapse in 2057. Top three finishes five years running further persuaded me to take the job (not that there were any others worth my valuable time). Beaten Latvian cup finalists last yeah to (surprise surprise) those C-words over in Jurmala, though they did claim it twice in a row in 2049 and 2050. They also finished runners up in the Virslīga Winter Cup in 2050 somehow being pipped by RTU in 2057. Let's hope I can add a little more success to this once golden team.



Ooft, Ghanaians and the Latvian leagues go together like strawberries and cream. Two exceptional strikers, one classy winger and a solid left back all from the 'Black Star' nation practically put the domestic talent to shame. Sadly foreigner rules in Latvia are incredibly stingy, allowing only five in the 18 man selection so it'll be the case of dropping a striker as the others are streets ahead in their natural positions. Little concerned about the below average quality in the goalkeeper department but every chance to delve into the transfer market for that. Encouraging that the majority of the squad are into their prime years already.

KEY PLAYER: Kwaku Boakye - M(R)/AM(R)


Despite his name sounding like someone talking with their mouth full of food, this speedy right winger could be our ticket to the top. Don't be fooled by his lack of goals and his stats at face value, this boy assisted 14 times last season in the league alone. I know Latvian football isn't the pinnacle of quality, but utilising his pace on the right will be a left back's nightmare. Hoping to get his stats up with the better level of coaching at my disposal.



Won't be easily to topple Spartaks and the board acknowledge the fact which is probably why they only want us to pose somewhat of a threat to the top of the league this season, fair enough. Final of the Latvian cup is doable as I'm already in the quarter finals against some non-league side. Winter Cup isn't a domestic cup so won't count for anything, but might use it as good prep to roadtest some systems. Also did the board take a scissors to my original budgets? They ringfenced £65k for transfers? What gives?

@bigmattb28 - Forgot to acknowledge your comment! Yeah Batumi's relegation wasn't ideal, but I think when I got relegated with Zeta everything turned around. Hope this'll be a similar case!

@davysrfc - I would like to complete the three Baltic nations for sure, Skonto may be my best hope!






First time being in the 'A' group of teams. I feel it'll come down to the Spartaks game to see who'll make it to the final. Quite confident of taking down RTU while Ventspils can always throw a curveball or two.



Did I really say they'd throw us a curveball? We were over Ventspils like a rash for the entire game. Boakye kicked things off with a confident finish at the keepers near post, also providing centre back Ostrovskis a header from his whipped corner to double the lead. A little careless towards the end of the half allowed Ventspils a brief moment of hope, however James Frimpong had other ideas with a quick brace to mark my opening game with a big win.



Similar situation here, outclassing RTU all ends up. Dmitrijs Otankis is a natural striker who will struggle to land that position in this team, the solution was to retrain him as a left inside forward and it's already showing promising signs after bagging one in either half. I wouldn't get ahead of myself here though, RTU's concentration levels at times would given a dead rodent a run for its money.



Spartaks' long pitch is extremely awkward, probably why they've built so much success of late. Their 4-3-3 hoofball gimmick wasn't going to outsmart our solid backline. Our attacks weren't much better and this game faded into a drole stalemate. Was it enough to win the group?



Indeed it was! Spartaks somehow failed to struggled to draw with RTU while we were kicking lumps out of Ventspils. Three Winter Cup finals in three attempts, yet still haven't lifted the trophy. Will it be third time lucky?



FK Liepāja are never easy to judge, probably the team I would have liked to avoid. Nevertheless, should be an interesting showdown.




GET IN! As expected Liepāja didn't give an inch, their keeper played a blinder and were really well structured throughout. Unfortunately for them they didn't spot the run of the advancing Pavels Nosiks who met Boakye's low cross for a tap in. Should have ended with more but our opponents showed great heart to stay in it. The Batumi nightmare long since forgotten. Third time lucky in the Winter Cup!



It may not be enough to unlock a new nation, but hopefully it'll be one of many to come and finally cross the three Baltic states off the list.

Looks like you've landed on you feet here fella, even more so ticking off a cup competetion already!
New save coming for FM20...:- Heartbreak, misery, but hope on the horizon... https://i.imgur.com/vyxFXJL.png?1
Excellent choice, you immediately started very well with a trophy! Keep it up!
Fino alla fine
Been long time since I was in here reading. And there has happend a lot. To bad with the old time, but it does not matter now, where you are doing great in the new club
@Dan - It's not a domestic cup so no new nation unlocked, but still glad to lift a trophy for a change!

@bcsaulJ - Certainly beats the relegation with Batumi!

@b0nb0n - Glad you're still here enjoying it mate, I've had trouble posting updates recently due to personal life but will aim to bring them more regularly this week!






Nothing major, just a couple of youngsters being daycared by RFS and of course I owe Gulbene a favour of loaning one 2* CA player after leaving them without warning.



Kept it simple this window, landing a truly stunning player who I scouted while at Batumi. Reminiscent of a certain someone.


Irakli Kharaishvili - D(C) - £6.5k from Rustavi

Feast your eyes on this guy. The mentals at only 20 are more than adequate for this standard of football. Yeah sure his heading isn't the best, but can use that 15 strength to outmuscle for those aerial duels. Definitely shades of a certain Northern Irish legend in this save. A Conor McParland 2.0, I'm calling it.


The odds have slightly tweaked for the better, now putting us 13-4 behind Spartaks who are the obvious favourites. Those six point affairs may be crucial throughout the season.




Not a bad way to kick things off against Bab(sh)ite. Boakye getting us off the mark with a slick free kick, followed up by an own goal and Roman Tukris bringing a half volley to the first half goalfest. The game however belonged to James Frimpong; four goals in ten and a half minutes completely broke their spirits and settle with a fine 7-0 thrashing to start the season off with a bang.



Our first encounter with one of "the big two" so to say went quite smoothly. Dmitrijs Otankis doesn't do the whole shooting with the side of the foot malarkey, he likes to cut in from the left and put his laces behind it which sourced our opening goal. Pavels Nosiks is also a breath of fresh air with his intricate through balls but this time used his noggin to power us further in front. Got a little cocky towards the end, with help from the assistant's flag to rule out a potential Ventspils comeback. Solid start.



Bittersweet result against my former employers. Although the big win, it didn't reflect how Gulbene made us work for it. Otankis cut in from the tightest of angles before a sublime solo effort from Frimpong doubled our half time advantage. Gulbene proceeded to collapse like a deck of cards on a windy day with Nosiks and substitute Straume to continue our impressive start.



Liepāja are a tough nut to crack and by virtue of a defensive error, we just about found a hairline crack in their watertight system. Liepāja commanded the first half like they were the home side, forcing Halvitovs into two fine saves to end the half blank. Credit to Vladimirs Straume for a sensational direct pass from our own box, looping over their centre back's head onto the chasing Boateng who finished like his veins were ice cold. Job became that bit easier and the big Ghanaian made sure of victory with a quickfire second. Four from four.



Two subs made the difference in a frustrating affair with a rubbish RTU. Speaking of rubbish, our attacks were like cake without sponge and with an early injury to Frimpong it was not going well. On came Savinovs and our ace in the hole at the moment, Vladimirs Straume. Straume broke skin being on the field for two minutes to prevent me blowing a blood vessel on the sidelines. One became two with a delicious cross from Nosiks to the unmarked Savinovs to preserve our 100% start to the campaign.


Our next match is against Spartaks, timed to absolute perfection...but nothing a little pain-killing injection can't cure.


Wait, what? Seems like Frimpong isn't going to take one for the team. What a pussy.



Turns out we didn't need him, recording a huge 'schadenfreude' win over Spartaks. This was a very weird paced game with both sides making very unusual mistakes, twists, turns and everything in between so I'll try to give a (somewhat) brief synopsis accompanied by the highlights:

- Spartaks counter with three on one, Nosiks intercepts with a backwards header but Halvitovs is in la-la land and failed to notice Dick (a former signing of mine at Renova) pouncing onto it to make it 1-0.
- We concede a penalty, however Halvitovs redeems himself with an important save.
- Otankis wrestles with three defenders and somehow sticks one in the top corner to equalise.
- One of the most bizarre own goals I've encountered puts us 2-1 ahead (Straume somehow gets credit)
- Pavels Nosiks brings us sweet, sweet revenge for my Gulbene frustrations with a wonderful solo goal

The End.



Red hot.




Our largely rotated side nearly humbled by a non-league side. Owusu and Straume digging deep to overturn their early opener.



Best case scenario, RTU should be easy pickings over two legs.



Easy pickings indeed with a luxurious advantage to take away to Keizarmezhs. Frederick Mensah finally delivered some goals, partnering superbly with Boakye to seal an impressive hat-trick while Savinovs grabbed the other. A cheap goal given away to RTU but thankfully away goals rule doesn't apply in this competition. Another cup final imminent.



Yep, those Batumi blues are long gone from memory and replaced with a long line of green. What a stunning start to life back in Latvia with eight successive wins (nine if you count the Winter Cup final). Frimpong, Boakye and Nosiks are some golden assets but our defence deserve a lot of credit too, only conceded three in those eight games. Kharaishvilli worth every penny so far.


* I explained this before during my Gulbene days, I've forgotten that the Latvian diacritics in-game are affecting my screenshots, whenever I screenshot the league table month by month it just overwrites the file. Anyways we're top on 18 points, Ventspils second and Spartaks third with 10 points each. Eight point gap already.






Classic Football Manager. Strike down the best team in the land, then lose our winning run to the winless bottom club (yes, they even lost to Babite for Christ's sake). This was even after Jelgava missed an early penalty that ended up in the car park. Didn't learn our lesson and Jelgava punished us in either half with some awfully slack defending that would even make Arsenal cringe at times. Home side deserved the win, we severely underestimated them.



Good, but not good enough against the league whipping boys. Sure Frimpong has now scored four in both affairs with Babite and already broken into double figures, but I think we really lacked interest in the second half, embarrassingly conceding twice to their trash strikers. Sixteen shots on target, five half chances, six clear cut...still left the ground dissatisfied. On to the next one.



The bare minimum rewards three massive points. Pavels Nosiks really is the golden boy in central midfield these days, not only for his assists but isn't afraid to take risks and was demonstrated by dribbling past two and finishing well at Mazalovic's near post. It's no wonder clubs from Greece and Ukraine are scouting him. Game as a whole didn't make for much action in the wet, breezy conditions, and Ventspils made life difficult for them with a straight red to cap off their afternoon.



Not ideal. Skurjats is still at Gulbene and had a busy time blocking us out. With numerous chances not taken, Gulbene smashed and grabbed a fortunate own goal Ostrovskis could do nothing about. The response was swift as Janis Savinovs cut into some space on the left to beat the advancing Skurjats. The visitors nearly snatched it at the death if not for Ostrovskis' vital redeeming interception to happily concede a corner instead. Another case of underestimation.



I'd rather have sat at home watching Love Island. Good grief what an awful game.




No complacency here, RTU tried their best but didn't leave a single dent. The likely suspects of Savinovs and Frimpong carefully grew our aggregate lead and topped off with a welcome maiden goal by our VVD figure at centre back, Kharaishvili. 7-1 over the two legs, we're ready to contest the second piece of silverware up for grabs.



Repeat of the Winter Cup final, no doubt Liepāja are eager to plot revenge.



Two from two?


Argh, not quite. Two was the magic number but not for us. Serves us right for being irresponsibly wasteful in a game we dominated. Nikolajs Verdins on hand with a fine double save from Frimpong and Boakye respectively, but couldn't prevent a moment of brilliance from Boakye to dribble into the six yard box before smashing home. Liepāja strategised and read the flow of the game, turning the tide with a cracking half volley which we failed to deal with. The 'magic of the cup' moment came in extra time, Grigorovs left Halvitovs rooted to the spot to pretty much paralyze us for the remainder. Bottled it.



Our fast pacesetting caught up with us, only winning two of our five league games this month. Can't even blame it on the cup final defeat either. Frimpong was hot and cold, Boakye also inconsistent, Otankis brutal this month but Pavels Nosiks really been the stand out grabbing 7.0+ ratings continuously. A far cry compared to the last two months.


Same issue as before (see previous post). We still lead with 26 points, Gulbene surprising many in second place (20 pts) and Ventspils third (20 pts). Spartaks having a shocker.






I really struggle to grasp how RTU made it into the top division with the amount of schoolboy errors they produce. Janis Savinovs probably scored the easiest goal of his career to tap into an empty net on the counter and James Frimpong also recaptured his best form with two well taken strikes. The perfect motivation for our next match, facing Spartaks but that'll have to be put on hold as we venture into a two week international break. Note the 75% win ratio since taking charge.



Excellent news of two of our defenders breaking into the international scene. 17 year old Sergejs Brils impressing at right back got the Latvia call up, while unsurprisingly Kharaishvili represented Georgia. Like a proud father right now.



WHO ARE YA?! WHO ARE YA?! Chucked Spartaks straight in the bin and increase our lead at the top. Alvars Rozkovs was lucky not to snap Savinovs' leg in two and earned a deserved red to soften the scum to wash it away. I swear their pitch is as long as a cricket field, meaning we were left to utilize some 'direct foreplay' until we finally put it in. Otankis came off the bench to silence my criticism of him last month, connecting beautifully with a lofted pass by Nosiks and finished like a true professional. Au revoir, le merde rouge.



Fancy that, both our right backs ruled out for the Jelgava game.



Avenged our 2-0 loss to Jelgava and anted up. They still looked rather cumbersome and forced Halvitovs into a double save in a first half we struggled in. Came out like a brand new team on the flipside, who knew dead ball plays were the key to victory? Frimpong belted in another brace in between a rare goal from a rare starter in Dmitrijs Nerugals who complained about first team football, keep it up lad and you might sneak into the full XI.


Eyes on the prize.



Three games, three wins, seven goals, zero conceded. I'd go out on a limb to say that's a strong month. Frimpong pumping in the goals again, defenders keeping opposition strikers in a vacuum, but one man has been the instrumental heartbeat of the side - Pavels Nosiks. Three or four clubs scouting with serious interest.


Ah yes, the distress signal I was waiting on...


* Last time with this I promise. Still lead the way, moving onto 35 points. Ventspils move second on 29, Gulbene still hanging in there ahead of Spartaks for third spot (26).

Looks like you're in some good form and flying! keep it coming man
New save coming for FM20...:- Heartbreak, misery, but hope on the horizon... https://i.imgur.com/vyxFXJL.png?1





The man who has woven golden threads for us this season departs to Romania at the end of the campaign as Chindia swooped in for the kill. Tried to offer a new contract but was adamant to leave. Can't fault him really, still have utmost respect for his contributions.




Babite continue to be Babshite. James Frimpong continued his rampant goalscoring record with another brace in between a close range header from Ostrovskis and Savinovs dealing the final blow. Despite the visitors going down to ten men, their only shot on target conveniently slipped in from former Gulbene flop Janis Dobrecovs. It was always a guaranteed three points.




A win here would send us 10 points clear, instead it gets slashed to 4 with a costly defeat to chasing Ventspils. After a frenetic start from us, the side in yellow caught us off-guard with Deniss Turkovs 1-2ing with Gladilins before placing in the top corner. Gladilins almost put a nail in the affair only to be denied by the upright but our wasteful antics and a response that lacked conviction, we fade to our second defeat of the campaign.



With Europa League games and cup ties lying betwixt a league fixture, I feared Liepāja would look fresher on the day to give us trouble. Far from it. James Frimpong was a man on a mission again, timing his run perfectly to tap in a Savinovs cross and a quickfire second from the spot before a quarter of an hour elapsed and could and should have netted a hat-trick. Took a more conservative second half approach to settle the score.




Straight back into the Latvian Cup cycle with the weirdly spread out schedule in the Baltic nations. Non league fodder to get thing rolling again.



Nothing major with a rotated selection. Always looked in control, despite a penalty being the deciding factor with Abdul Owusu calmly stepping up. The red card for Miku further confirmed their exit from the competition.



We do battle with FK Ventspils in the quarter finals...in nine months time. Ridiculous system, sort it out Latvia.




Blessed with the draw. Lowest seeded out of our group and not far to travel with neighbouring Estonian club Maardu.



Smooth as you like, Maardu simply weren't up for the challenge as we comfortably advanced to the next round. First leg left a little to be desired frankly, for all our dominance Otankis grabbed the only goal before getting injured later on. Risked playing a second string as the Ventspils league game was on the horizon and worked to my advantage. Vladimirs Tukris and Frederick Mensah totting up our away goals and the rest was plain sailing.


Fresh injury concerns leaves us with only two natural strikers now. All up to Frimpong now.



Fehérvár FC aka MOL Vidi aka Videoton certainly will be a tougher test in the next phase.



No matter what name this club go by these days, we'll be named as their giantkillers. A late, late flourish in the first leg; Frimpong and Mensah both hitting the Hungarians on the break and finished divinely to bring two away goals back to our fortress. Second leg understandably proved a tough test, Halvitovs having much more to do and pulled off a superb save onto the post to keep the tie in our favour. A second yellow saw László Szabó sent off for Vidi, setting the stage for a three goal aggregate lead; Pavels Nosiks with the help of a wicked deflection ensured a famous European victory for the Latvians.



Welp, it was fun while it lasted. We'll need more than thoughts and prayers to overthrow the 1998 finalists.



Almost a 100% month if not for the taxing defeat to Ventspils. Couldn't really single anyone out a star performer, everyone has contributed like a well oiled machine. Do feel we're a little wasteful and desperate at times but thats a minor criticism on a wider scale of things.



Firmly top of the pops. Huge shoutout to Gulbene on beating Ventspils straight after our defeat to them for sweet vindication. Seven points clear, nine clear of Spartaks who seem to be having an indifferent season for the better. Eleven games to go, looking like ours to lose.

Keep it going my man, there's more glory in them hills.

Hope I can have a career as good as this.....
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

@HockeyBhoy - High praise, thanks for the support! Think we'll have what it takes but stranger things have happened..






Gambled with a 3-4-3 to blow RTU away early but wasn't as straightforward as the scoreline suggests. RTU's piss poor finishing contributed to us running away with it on the counter attack. Tukris and Straume had us coasting before Grigorovs gave us a bit of a wobble as the end game loomed. Frederick Mensah came on for a disappointing Frimpong to add some shine to the victory, scoring and contributing to Straume's second. Really good prep for Spartaks next.



Spartaks may have had the last laugh here but 10 points ahead of them in the league? I think we know who's laughing at who. Controlled the lion's share of possession throughout the first half and rewarded with Savinovs bundling in Frimpong's cross to scab the lead before half time. The visitors were so tame and got fortunate with their late equaliser, failing to clear their free kick properly before sub Sonmanis scored with their only shot on target. Inconvenient, but not a disaster.



SUPER SUB STRAUME TO THE RESCUE! Can't say we deserved it, we played like absolute dogpiss on the wet sewage fields of Gulbene. Home side exerted a lot more of the confident plays, especially Ruslan Gutkovskis who made our defence look like damp sponges to convert a shock brace, leaving us all out of ideas...or were we? Straume and Savinovs on, immediate impact from the pair who linked in for a glimmer of hope. With Gutkovskis missing a sitter and a hat-trick, Fergie time loomed and with a scrappy free kick in a sea of bodies in the box, Straume only goes and drive it low into the corner. Atonement for a shoddy display.



Not at our best, but I'm happy to get these banana skin fixtures out of the way. James Frimpong entered the 50 goal club for Skonto with a composed finish in what was frankly the only worthwhile highlight of a mediocre game of football. The sending off for Agayev made the second half a lot easier to hold the ball.


The defence is built solidly around him to be fair, but credit to the lad.



The routine win over Babite came around again. Took us a frustrating amount of time to get the juices flowing, Frimpong finally breaking their futile resistance. A sharp Dmitijs Otankis doubled affairs and assisting triple trouble with Frimpong now close to reaching 30 goals for the season. Up next, a massive six pointer to make or break our season.


Boakye is a massive loss for the Ventspils game.



Lads, stay calm but it might be coming home! Boakye out, teenager Zigajevs in, onto the scoresheet within 9 minutes to get the adrenaline pumping, humiliated the keeper at his near post too. Game bubbled into almost a classic end to end, Halvitovs making a vital save to deny Deniss Turkovs who you may remember scoring the winner in our last meeting. Wasted no time after the restart with Pavels Nosiks lining up a traditional long ranger to deceive Ventspils' keeper and roll in. Cool as cucumbers for the remainder with the satisfaction of seeing Haciyev slouch down the tunnel at the end. Title is definitely ours to lose now!





European run ended, however not with a bludgeoning as previously feared. Looked toothless in Italy, very little creative influence as Lazio happily made us chase the game. They hit the bar twice before Nosiks got dispossessed in the middle to which a counter ensued - Franco Rodriguez with the only goal. Even the sending off of Vespasiani didn't help matters. Back at our place, we had the 'nothing to lose' attitude and started really brightly with Savinovs rattling the white beam just two minutes in. Once Lazio calibrated, normal service resumed; grabbing the dreaded away goal as the half hour approached. Amazingly we were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half time, however Abdul Osman should never have been on spot kick duty - terrible execution and an easy save. It was certainly fun while it lasted.



Despite the backpain of European games in the middle of the season, we held it together marvelously with four wins from six. Vladimirs Straume's late double against Gulbene looked to have sparked inspiration and collect a triad of wins and valuable points to cash in. The 2-0 result over Ventspils, worth its weight in gold.



Ventspils look to have given up the ghost and handed the Virsliga trophy on a platter, tripping up twice to leave an imposing 11 point gap at the top with only five to play. Still have to travel to Spartaks one final time, but unless we have a nuclear meltdown, its a fair assessment to be extremely confident of our chances.

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