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Romanian FM 2012 Story, Season 11: Yes, we can!

Hello folks and welcome to a new episode of my Football Manager 2012 story featuring Romanian club Viitorul Constanta. My 11th season started with a few good signings and the last episode ended just before the Champions League group stage. As you remember, we were seeded second for the group draw but we still didn’t have much luck as we were drawn against Man United, Roma and Dinamo Zagreb. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the group matches.

Viitorul vs Man United (Champions League Group C)

Starting Line Up: Tomas Held – Tomislav Djurdjek, Xavier Dumont, Georgica Dicu, Sebastien Verdier – Hector Fernandez, Maximiliano Ceballos, Markus Winkler – Rastislav Benko, Manoel, Dramane Sow

With just Yasen Zlatinski missing through injury, I fielded my strongest eleven, featuring new signings Djurdjek and Ceballos. And we had an excellent start to the game as we broke the deadlock after just six minutes when Winkler blasted one into the roof of the net to wrap up a good team move. Then we enjoyed a good spell of domination but Rooney nearly got us with our feet back on the ground on 24 minutes when he was denied by a good save from Held. I got a bit scared at that point and switched to the counter version of my Barcelona tactic. The game cooled down after that move and the strategy paid off five minutes before the break when Fernandez broke through on a counter attack before crossing inside the box where Sow met the ball with a powerful header. 2-0 at half time!

The second half started even better but Manoel squandered a good chance on 54 minutes. The following corner kick was a lot more pleasing though as Dumont scored his first goal of the season with a spectacular back heel shot! There was no reply from the Red Devils, the game was fully under our control and we could have made the score line even heavier on 87 minutes when Manoel was denied by the woodwork. 3-0 against Man United, I admit that was beyond my wildest dreams! In the other game Roma defeated Dinamo 2-0.

Match Highlights (goals and chances)click here to watch

The next game was at Dinamo Zagreb and I will not go into too many details about that one, because it was too easy. We controlled the match from start to finish, Manoel bagged a brace and we won 3-0. Roma clinched a good result in the other match, 0-0 at Old Trafford, and that made our next match even more important.

Roma vs Viitorul (Champions League Group C)

Starting Line Up: Tomas Held – Tomislav Djurdjek, Juan Belencoso, Georgica Dicu, Sebastien Verdier – Yasen Zlatinski, Hector Fernandez, Alin Dicher – Rastislav Benko, Manoel, Dramane Sow

We had two injuries in midfield before that important match, Markus Winkler and Maximiliano Ceballos were both out for quite a few weeks. On the other hand, Roma had Federico Macheda and Daniel Sturridge upfront, strength and speed, so I was not very optimistic at the start of the game. The opening 20 minutes were a confirmation of my expectations, with Roma being quite active upfront. They were denied by the crossbar on a free kick in the 22nd minute and then kept us under pressure until half time but my defence survived with no major worries.

Things changed after the break, we took control of the match and the reward came on 66 minutes when Sow powered one in at the end of a fine team move, with Manoel providing the assist. There was no reaction from Roma after the goal, we were still dominating and Manoel wrapped things up seven minutes from time with a fancy solo effort. 3 wins out of 3, I really wasn’t expecting that! The other match didn’t bring any surprises, Dinamo vs Man United ended 1-4.

Match Highlights (goals and chances)click here to watch

The group table after 3 matches was just unbelievable: 9 points, 8 goals scored and none conceded! At that point we only needed a win against Roma to secure qualification with two games to spare!

Roma vs Viitorul (Champions League Group C)

Starting Line Up: Tomas Held – Tomislav Djurdjek, Juan Belencoso, Georgica Dicu, Sebastien Verdier – Yasen Zlatinski, Hector Fernandez, Alin Dicher – Rastislav Benko, Manoel, Dramane Sow

I chose to field the exact same 11, not out of superstition, but because these were my most in-form players at that moment. The choice seemed to pay off as we created a good chance after just 7 minutes, midfielder Dicher weaved his way into the penalty area but his effort was diverted behind by the goalie. The following corner kick brought another chance as Dicu‘s header clipped the crossbar. Then it was Sow’s turn to have a good opportunity on 22 minutes but the goalie was on that too. The goal finally came on 31 minutes when a good cross from Djurdjek was headed home by Sow. But our joy didn’t last more than 10 minutes, Roma struck against the run of play and on their first real chance of the match.

Our domination continued after the break, we were pushing forward relentlessly and we finally scored again on 78 minutes when Djurdjek found another good cross but this time it was Manoel who volleyed home. Roma could have made it all square again six minutes from time when they squandered a huge chance but the three points were wrapped up by Benko with a rather strange injury time goal. We were through to the next round with two games to spare!

Match Highlights (goals and chances):click here to watch

With qualification secured, there is no need to describe the last two games in detail. But I have to say that we beat Manchester United at Old Trafford thanks to a Manoel brace! We were brilliant in defence in that game, rock-solid, while Manoel and company kept harassing them on counter attacks. The last game was also the easiest, we thrashed Dinamo 6-1.

Six wins out of six, can you believe that?

But our perfect record didn’t boost our luck, we were quite unfortunate in the draw again as we’ll meet Lyon in the next round instead of Zenit or Panathinaikos. Then again, we could have gotten Real Madrid or AC Milan, so I guess it’s not that bad. However, we haven’t met Lyon before so I don’t really know how strong they are.

As for the domestic part of the campaign, it was as easy as ever.

We cruised through to the semi finals of the Romanian Cup

… and grabbed quite a few landslide wins in the league. We did get four draws though but those were solely due to complacency, no Romanian team can dominate a game against us at the moment.

The league table shows an eight-point gap at the top, not too many but I am not worried, not at all.

The finances are looking good as well, we’re on the good side of 26 million pounds and counting.

The good financial situation triggered an unexpected gift from the board, I did not request any extra transfer money but they decided to give it to me: 18 million! I just hope I can find one or two good players to spend it on during the winter break.

That’s about it for now my friends, thanks for reading this episode that describes an unbelievable campaign so far. I doubt that we can win the Champions League this season but it really does seem that we’re getting closer to that goal.  What do you think?

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Mark
Mark
8 years ago

Wow good start Johnny, you are will win the Champions League within the next 3 years I think ;)

Jonathan Carver
Jonathan Carver
8 years ago

One word mate!! Amazing :D to win 6 outta 6 and only concede 2 goals in incredible :D good luck against Lyon, I’m sure you can pull off another upset!!

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
8 years ago

Brilliant stuff Johnny! Nice to the the Scum beaten twice, congrats :) If you can do as well as that in the group stages then I don’t see why you can’t beat Lyon, and who knows how far you can go after that?! Good luck!

Kevin
8 years ago

Hi Johnny
Your persistency and determination in Europe is paying off with a fabulous campaign so far. With things so easy on the domestic front your team have managed to switch gears this season and get great results both at home and away. I think the 11th season could be finally the one where you triumph!

I’ve got a Canadian beer reserved on ice to celebrate when Viitorul become champions :)

Great job!

Darren Smith
Admin
8 years ago

I will try and watch my language here but wow!! That was sensational Johnny, I honestly expected you scrape through that CL group at best, but to beat everyone in convincing fashion and finish with maximum points is extraordinary!! The league and Cup form is to be expected but that run in Europe must leave you speechless, it has me.

And as for the board, they have shown their commitment this season. Every time you have cash to splash you make a huge difference to the squad so this season could be special, very special! Great update.

TheZiggy
8 years ago

A superb Champions League campaign so far. :) Great to see you put Man United in their proper place this time around. The domestic form is as usual superb, with the odd spot of complacency which leaps up now and again.

While Lyon tend to be strong, I believe you have a great chance of pulling off a good result against them. Good luck.

You need to also change the state of the youtube videos as they all come up as private, so they can’t be viewed.

saltwater
saltwater
8 years ago

Un-be-liev-able! Speechless! Year after year, you either missed out by a point or qualified by the skin of your teeth, but now you have just wiped everybody away (including Manchester Utd!). Sow definetly was one of the headline players, and hopefully he and the troops can see you through the tie against Lyon. You’ve got the away leg first so maybe a slight advantage there.

Not even kidding, when you finished descriping the 6 Champo Lge games I expected the end of the post; completely forgotten about the league and cup!
Good Luck!!

Malhar Bhadbhade
8 years ago

WOW, i’m speechless after reading that. the title sort of suggested that things had gone well, but i didn’t think they had gone this well! that was really an amazing group stage! the double over ManUtd and Roma and winning all the games so convincingly and deservedly. i cannot wait to see how far you go in the knock-out rounds. i was kind of devastated because i thought you were going to continue past the group stage and the tie against Lyon :D but oh well, hopefully its coming soon. that 3rd goal against Roma at home was hilarious btw :D

Malhar Bhadbhade
8 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

that will be awesome! good luck!

Tegar Triemanudigdo
8 years ago

OH YEAH! The group stage just simply outstanding! You managed to beat MU twice! Now that’s what I called football here. Every team can be defeated.

Well, I won’t say about your domestic since I can see your team will triumph once again. Let’s just hope your road of CL still continue here. Looking forward on the next chapter.

Lye
Lye
8 years ago

Wow, fantastic stuff there Johnny. I never have expected you to sweep all your opponents aside in the CL but that really tells a lot in the quality of your team. With your exceptional form, i believe you can get past Lyon as i don’t think they are any better than Man Utd.

I don’t have to comment on your domestic competition as you are simply unbeatable.

budi
budi
8 years ago

rooney is still playing? omg..how old is he in your save johnny? 36 or 37 i think..

CsAtlantis
8 years ago

Manoel has been brilliant in the group stages, Johnny your team has been sensational in the group stages with a 100% record! Still unbeaten in the league and still in the cup and with money to spend this could shape up to be the best season until now :D

Lyon are pretty good but if you beat Man Utd twice home and away……..then again I could be wrong about them….

joe lance
joe lance
8 years ago

Incredible Johnny. You are getting closer. If you avoid injuries and ill luck (that happens a lot in FM and real life) you should go past Lyon, they wont be stronger than United, i hope. And YES, YOU CAN!

Martin - F.M.J.S
8 years ago

This is brilliant form in the Champions League mate and I have a feeling you are going to go a long way in the competition this year. As for the league and cup I think you have already won both with your form at the moment. I look forward to your next post

Mohammad Sadek
8 years ago

Great Champions League Group stage Johnny , Now let’s hope the boys can replicate this form in knockout stage & let’s hope for a quick post also :)

Acss
Acss
8 years ago

Perfect run so far mate, that CL Group performance was amazing! :D I hope for a long road in the knockout stages, with a little luck I believe you can go very far in the competition ;)

MRDNRA
MRDNRA
8 years ago

Excellent start to the season, I reckon you can at least make the quarter finals.

Interesting looking league table as well, especially seeing Steaua in 4th still undefeated but drawing over half their games! Hopefully the growth in reputation of the Romanian league you have singlehandedly brought about will lead to an increase in overall quality of the league for more Romanian teams to challenge in Europe!

Ana Garcia
8 years ago

Congrats!!

Six wins from six is an amazing run especially as it looked like a very tough champions league group draw.

Lyon always caused me problems in the knockout stage but provided Manoel can keep up his terrific run you definitely stand a chance.

Have my fingers crossed for you so the best of luck!! :)

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
8 years ago

Great work Johnny, hopefully you can continue that type of form versus Lyon! That group was tough, and to come first in that group was really special.

Bhargav
Bhargav
8 years ago

Oh my god! This is incredible! The 18mil could get you a legitimate superstar!

Peter Rhyu
8 years ago

With a bit of luck I’d say you could win it this season….happened to me on FM 2011 on my Blackburn save on my second season! Barcelona lost to Ajax, Real Madrid knocked themselves out as well so I got Lyon, then Dinamo and then Roma. I’m not sure what kind of players Lyon will have in their 11th season though :P They were a pretty strong team, and Lloris was amazing in 11, but I’m guessing they’ll be similar, if not lacking, in overall quality to Man U. No worries!

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