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Dan: London 2012 – One Chance At Gold…

Hi there!

As promised I’ve decided to bring you a special London Olympics post which I can guarantee will be more exciting than the actual thing! It’s not that I’m not a fan of the Olympics, I just think it’s really boring and the way it has been done seems to me like it’s not for anyone who lives outside of South-East England…

So I bet you’re wondering who I got in my group? Well I got Iran, Fiji, and Brazil so a group that I think Team GB have a realistic chance of winning but before we move onto the games I suppose I should show you my chosen squad.

Joe Hart – English – Goalkeeper – Over 23yrs Allocation 1

Wayne Hennessey – Welsh – Goalkeeper – Over 23yrs allocation 2

Adam Matthews – Welsh – Full Back

Kieran Gibbs – English – Full Back

Craig Cathcart – Northern Irish – Centre Back

Phil Jones – English – Centre Back

Chris Smalling – English – Centre Back

Danny Wilson – Scottish – Centre Back

Joe Allen – Welsh – Central Midfield

Tom Cairney – Scottish – Central Midfield

Jamie Ness – Scottish – Central Midfield

Aaron Ramsey – Welsh – Central Midfield

James Forrest – Scottish – Winger

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – English – Winger

Gareth Bale – Welsh – Winger

Daniel Sturridge – English – Striker

Danny Welbeck – English – Striker

Wayne Rooney – English – Striker – Over 23yrs allocation 3

I left out Rodwell and Wilshere purely by accident in case anyone noticed. It wasn’t until after the tournament that I actually realised but I guess in leaving them out I’ve just created a more diverse squad which is a good thing! All in all my squad contains 8 English players, 4 Scotsmen, 5 Welshmen, and a Northern Irishman. To any Northern Ireland fans reading I did try to find more it’s just there wasn’t a great amount of quality in your squad, sorry…

The Olympics – Group Stage – Iran vs. Great Britain

So the group stage of the worlds oldest sporting event got under way and the first opponents we invited to Coventry were Iran. We somehow managed to be the away team in this fixture despite it being on home soil but hopefully it wouldn’t count against us.

It didn’t matter at all as we brushed a vastly inferior side away. They only had 1 shot on target and that really summed up their performance as we put 4 past their keeper. At this point I thought we would be top of the group until I remembered that Brazil were playing Fiji, they won 10-0 which put them top on goal difference.

The Olympics – Group Stage – Great Britain vs. Fiji

This was a game I was looking forward to! Brazil put 10 past Fiji 3 days earlier and I was hoping to do the same!

Demolition doesn’t quite do this result justice. 35 shots, 17 on target, 67% possession, 11-0 by half time! It probably should have been more than just 12-0 really! Fiji’s keeper must have wanted to cry, he didn’t touch the ball until the second half other than picking it out of the back of the net.

Here’s the list of goal scorers that didn’t fit into the screen shot above! A great game for Oxlade-Chamberlain as he bagged a hat-trick, but he was overshadowed by 5 goal Danny Welbeck who left this match with a 10.0. As you can see however we suffered 2 injuries to both Kieran Gibbs and Jamie Ness, both of which had been playing well so far so this was a bit of a blow.

In their place I gave calls ups to these 2:

Martin Kelly – English – Centre Back

Corry Evans – Northern Irish – Central Midfield

Looking for Gibbs’ replacement made me realise something too, there’s a serious lack of left full backs in Great Britain! Anyway, I believed these 2 could do the job and they were likely to be thrown in at the deep end as our next opponents were ready for us.

The Olympics – Group Stage – Brazil vs. Great Britain

Along with Spain I believe that Brazil have the best U23 squad in the tournament and we were lucky enough to be playing them in the group stage. It was a winner takes all match, our 4-0 and 12-0 wins gave us 6 points and a goal difference of +16. Brazil had beaten Fiji 10-0 and Iran 2-0 giving them 6 points and a goal difference of +12. All we had to do was not lose!

And we didn’t! In fact we won impressively leading the Brazilians 4-1 by half time. In a very even match it was our much superior finishing and Wayne Rooney’s attacking instinct in both passing and shooting was key. After half time Ganso scored a screamer but we finished them off with another Danny Welbeck goal. This kid is now firmly on my radar with Newcastle, even more so when I realised he was in Man Utd’s reserves!

So we made a clean sweep of our group and managed to finish top after that great result against the South Americans.

As you can see we finished convincingly top of the group with Brazil quite a way behind if you take goal difference into account. As for Fiji, they lost 5-0 to Iran and I think may just give up on this sport after this.

The Olympics – Quarter Finals – South Korea vs. Great Britain

For a home tournament we seem to be playing away a lot but never mind that. The draw was very kind to us since we drew 2nd place in Group D after finishing top of Group C and that team was South Korea. This draw also meant that I could get Brazil in the semi finals should I progress.

Who would have guessed that South Korea would be such a hard game? We lost the possession battle and our shooting wasn’t great. There were times when I feared we would lose this match but a brace from Wayne Rooney settled my nerves and we ran out 2-1 winners although South Korea had nothing to be ashamed of.

The Olympics – Semi Finals – Great Britain vs. Brazil

As I had expected we welcomed Brazil, this time to Wembley, for our semi final match and this time I expected a much tighter match. The semi finals are where you can finally start to dream of that big day out in the final.

This wasn’t what I expected at all! We beat them even more convincingly than we did in the group stages preventing them from even having a shot on target. Possession was very even but in Tom Cairney Great Britain (and Swansea who have signed him for just £3.4million) have a great playmaker and his passing was deadly. So far the only teams to put the ball past Joe Hart had been Brazil (group stages) and South Korea, and for the final I intended to keep it that way.

But then I saw who our final opponents were…

The Olympics – The Final – Great Britain vs. Spain

The powerhouse of European football had reached the final of the Olympics too! If they could beat me here then I’m pretty sure that they would be the only team for a long, long time to be champions of the world, their own continent, and Olympic gold medallists all at the same time.

The battle lines were drawn, their over-23 players were Casillas, Pique, and Fabregas, as well as possessing the Bojan up front and a host of other quality talent…

I did not expect this at all! We crushed them! Annihilated them! We won! Yipee! It had to be really, the one and only time Team GB will appear on the Olympic football fields, our one shot at glory and we didn’t pass it up! Danny Welbeck grabbed another hat-trick after Wayne Rooney scored a great poachers effort inside the first 5 minutes.

There was a distinct lack of celebration and to be honest I can understand it. The domestic season kicks off literally the day after the Olympics final where my Newcastle team face Manchester United in the Community Shield. Even my mind was firmly on that game rather than the Olympics final but it’s nice to place myself in history. :)

Other than our results I thought you guys might be interested in seeing how the other teams who qualified for the knockout stage did…

After seeing their results, beating Switzerland and Japan 3-0 it is really something to beat Spain 4-0 in the final. In case you were wondering Japan beat the Ivory Coast 2-0 in the Bronze medal play-off and the Ivorian U23 manager lost his job as a result.

As you can see we were by far the best team in the tournament winning all of our games, scoring by far the most goals, and only conceding 3 goals and since we got further in the tournament than Mexico and Belarus that’s a good achievement too.

I’m not sure why the average ratings show England while the rest show Great Britain but anyway, Danny Welbeck scored the most goals by far but Rooney and Sturridge make that list too. Cairney was amazing with the amount of assists, averaging 1 a game and Bale, Sturridge, and Oxlade-Chamberlain also did their fair share. No surprise to see Welbeck crowned the tournaments best player quite a way ahead of 2nd place Sturridge. Tom Cairney and Rooney also deservedly make that list which rienforces just how good we were.

The tactics I used for this tournament also allowed me to test my new Newcastle tactic on the big stage and hopefully it works that well domestically! I’ll go into detail on my pre-season post but as you just saw, it creates plenty of chances and seems to force the opponent into numerous long shots.

With all that out of the way there was only one thing left for me to do…

On the same day we were crowed Olympic Gold Medal winners I handed in my resignation. I was given a task and I completed that task and now look forward to what will hopefully be a big season with my beloved Newcastle United.

Thanks for reading!

46 Comments
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Sam Birch
9 years ago

Impressive scorelines!! When I had a go I lost in the final to Spain :(.

Mohamad Ridhwan
9 years ago

Nice story. By the way, your scorelines i really impress which is can win 12-0 over Fiji :)

celticman
9 years ago

Well done on winning. The Brazilian and Spannish Under-23s are generally quite strong so to beat both on them en-route (Brazil twice) is quite something.

I’m glad it also helped inform you about your Newcastle tactic.

Now I have two political points!

Scotland (nor any nation other than England) should NOT have players in this tournament. It threatens our existence as an independent footballing nation!

You said
“the way it has been done seems to me like it’s not for anyone who lives outside of South-East England…”
if you feel this way, living in the North of England imagine how we feel in Scotland, a completely different nation, when governed from South-East England!

celticman
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

When I was being “political” I was refering to the politics of football as well as those of government. The independence of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as FOOTBALLING nations is threatened by a Great Britain team.

I agree there will be players of all the home nations who want to win Olympic gold, but the price could be that we never have a Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish national team again. After all – the rest of the nations of the world will wonder why we all get a vote in UEFA/FIFA when we compete together in some competitions. It is less to do with political governments and more to do with football associations.

Ana Garcia
9 years ago
Reply to  celticman

Ok, I dont want to start a political fight or anything!

But am just curious on how this will affect your footballing nation? I dont know much about the Great Britain team but England, Wales, Scotland etc are part of Great Britain so how will this have any bearing on your individual nations?

As I understand it, say a Scottish erm runner wins a gold medal they win for it for Great Britain right?

But the runner is still Scottish, so nationality really has no bearing unless he runs for just Scotland?

So if a Scottish or Welsh player etc win the Olympics they win for Great Britain but they are still Scottish, Welsh etc and your nationality wont change so how can this affect anything?

Sorry, I tend to find this confusing! But the Olympics is every four years? I think (or five not sure!) so surely you can put aside any differences for a one of tournament or is their a constant Great Britain team but how would that work?

Spain was/is to a degree the same, ask people from Catalonia or the Basque regions what nationality they are they wont say Spanish they will say Catalonian or Basque but they are not independent nations and have always been divided until 2008 when ‘footballing politics’ were discarded then Spain went on to win the tournament and the World cup two years later.

I dont see how uniting for one competition every (well how long it is 4 or 5 years) can affect your standing or your national team in the long term, as an outsider I quite like the idea of them bringing together the best of British football players in one team I don’t see any harm in it.

Provided its just for this competition (Olympics) not to enter world cups etc But I have almost zero knowledge on how it works am just very curious! :)

celticman
9 years ago
Reply to  Ana Garcia

I think the problem lies in that we play as Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland for the World Cups and Euros.

However when it came to the Olympics the English FA wanted a GB team.

It threatens our independence as individual nations because how will the other nations of the world feel when it seems we can pick or choose to be “Great Britain” or “Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland”. Remember that means 4 different votes on all matters FIFA/UEFA – other countries don’t like that.

There’s also the fact that Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland each get a separate vote on the International FA Board (IFAB – http://www.fifa.com/classicfootball/history/law/ifab.html). It puts us collectively in a powerful position within World football. Again, the rest of the FIFA nations could argue now that we’re competing as GB for one tournament, we should be given just one vote at FIFA and IFAB.

I suppose is comes down to consistency. We can be four nations or one. We cannot pick and choose which to do.

Rich Wiltshire
Rich Wiltshire
9 years ago
Reply to  Ana Garcia

Oooh I like this topic! I’ve not been on FM Stories for a while so this was a nice intro back. I tried this challenge too and lost to Spain in the final so well done for winning it bud.

On the politics side I can see where the argument about independace comes from, but I think football as a whole needs to relax about the nations thing.

Every four years Rugby players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (not even part of the UK) come together to play for the British and Irish Lions. The Lions have toured regularly since 1888 and this has had no impact on the independance of the individual nations.

Also I do live in London and I have to say the Olympics means very little to me too so I can see how little it really impacts on anyone outside of the capital.

Anywho back to Football Manager where the only politics involved is keeping my squad happy haha

Charlie
Charlie
9 years ago
Reply to  Ana Garcia

Ana the Olympics are every four years. I know this is quite a while after when all this was said, but (please correct me if I’m wrong) football has just been introduced as an Olympic sport so it is a good thing to have. Moreover in every single Modern Olympics Wales Scotland England and Northern Ireland have competed under the GB flag. Do surely as everyone else competes as part of team GB why should it not be the same for Olympics, and just the Olympics. On the other hand nationalists would argue that in doing this we are threatening the country’s sovereignty yet what happens in the Olympics? Furthermore of they are so desperate to be independent, why don’t they vote to become independent?
Celticman if as you say the teams should compete independently, how would you expect th rest of team GB to react? Would the next Olympics then be done separately?

Johnny Karp
9 years ago

Sensational campaign Dan and a deserved gold medal!

Tegar Triemanudigdo
9 years ago

Yeah, congratulation mate! You have done yourself a wonderful achievement there! And feel sorry for Fiji there, being thrashed by Brazil and your team as well.

Anyway, let’s just hope this will be continue with your Newcastle team success.

saltwater
saltwater
9 years ago

Very impressive how you turned over most of your opponents with comfortable ease, and it will be very interesting to see that formation as I am currently looking for one that makes many chances. Hopefully the internationals didn’t interupt your pre-season activities too much!

CsAtlantis
9 years ago

Dan, what happened to Jonny Evans? He’s a Northern Ireland player who fits into the U-23 age category

I think calling up Joe Hart and Hennessey was a bit excessive but still everything worked out really well, Welbeck was on fire

As for left backs, this is probably a bit late but what about Jack Robinson/Ryan Bertrand/Matthew Briggs? :P (thought actually you could play bale at left back……)

Anyway congratulations on the Olympics gold medal, a great performance against Spain in the finals!

Darren Smith
Admin
9 years ago

Well done Dan, that was a fantastic performance and I just hope the real GB team can perform somewhere close this Olympics.

Nick
Nick
9 years ago

Well done, did you not consider Jonny Evans from Northern Ireland?

Kevin
9 years ago

Hi Dan

Great job in capturing the Gold Medal for Britain. It looks like you had a far superior team to the rest of the competitors but noetheless you guided them perfectly to glory!!

Mohammad Sadek
9 years ago

Wonderful results Dan although i noticed that you chose many Scottish & Welsh players that i am sure there were better players from England than them this is good thing from you, I also won the Olympics with GB beating Spain in the final while i was managing Blackpool, By the way even if you didn’t resign from the job you would be removed as there ‘s no any occasions for GB in the future :D

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
9 years ago

Congrats Dan! Total demolition of Spain (and of course Fiji), well done mate :) Hopefully similar things are to come with Newcastle!

Ana Garcia
9 years ago

My poor Spain! :(

But congratulations on winning the gold medal! I must admit the idea of a Great Britain team (now I know how it works) it quite interesting to see.

Pooling the very best players from across the UK into one team is a really nice idea, interesting too see Rochina and Rodrigo with five goals each how many (if any) did Bojan score?

Hmmm, sorry! Am too obsessed with Spain! :)

Any was well done for winning the competition and good luck on your new season!

Benjy
Benjy
9 years ago

Hey Dan,
Well done on winning the Olympics at a canter. Your new tactic seems very clinical. I am really enjoying the posts and they inspired me to start my own Newcastle save. It’s going quite well at the moment ( 5th after 11 games) but our strikers’ fortunes are completely different. Cisse has scored 10 already, including a hattrick against Sunderland. Ba on the other hand got a straight red after 9 minutes of the opening game, showed his quality by scoring 4 in 5 but then got injured for 3-4 months

Benjy
Benjy
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Hopefully Cisse will deliver for you this season. I have only had the pair of them available for about 6 matches (including Ba getting sent off). Playing them up front together worked well but in a couple of matches I switched it to Cisse (Inside Forward Attack) playing behind Ba (poacher) and they scored 5 goals between them and looked very dangerous. I will try that out again to see if it is the way forward (no pun intended) or just a fluke

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
9 years ago

Great job Dan, you deserved the Olympics!

Fergus
Fergus
9 years ago

Why are Northern Irish players allowed n the Great Britain squad?

Fergus
Fergus
9 years ago
Reply to  Fergus

Really should be called team UK but who cares. Has the actual squad for this been picked yet?

Fergus
Fergus
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Cheers Dan. No I have no real interest in it either. It looks like it’s going to be an all England team and Gareth Bale anyway, so where is the fun in that?

Marc Robbie Keane Porterfield
Reply to  Fergus

cause N. Ireland is part of Britain, its Republic of Ireland who have f**k all to do with us

Martin Pickard
9 years ago

Congrats on what turned out to be a very easy competition!

Marc Robbie Keane Porterfield

Noticed you’ve got Jamie Ness, but where’s Kyle Hutton, ok his statistics aren’t that good but when he plays with Ness, man he’s good

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