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Vauxhall First Half of the 2020-2021 Season: Olympic Spirit

Hello folks, it’s time to start my eleventh season in charge of the Motormen! Eleven seasons, that’s quite a while… Anyway, enough nostalgia, let’s see how our first half of the season went! We had a lot to play for as we were taking part in the Club World Championship for the very first time and we also had the opportunity to win the Community Shield and the UEFA Super Cup again. As always, the opening match of the season was the FA Community Shield, let’s see how that went.

Vauxhall vs Man City (Community Shield)

Venue: Wembley

Attendance: 90,000

Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Gary Warner, Phil Jones, Danny Wilson, Guillermo Pascual – Leandro Velasco, Robert Ackermann, Marcos Fernandez, Tiago – Abdallah Yaisien, Ricardo

Team Talk: For the fans!

It’s no surprise that we were going to meet Man City, we’ve had countless battles with them over the past few seasons… This one was a bit different though because of the Olympic Games, 10 of my first team players were away with their national teams so I had to improvise, especially in attack. We had won the Community Shield twice in a row and I was hoping to make that three despite of the squad problems. We started the game very well but we paid the price for the unusual attacking pair as reserves striker Ricardo and Yaisien squandered a good chance apiece in the opening 10 minutes of the game. Then it was Leandro Velasco who broke through the defence but his finish was not as good as it should have been. Our frustration became even bigger just after the half hour, Man City broke the deadlock on a free kick and we were trailing at half time despite dominating the game.

Half time score: 0-1

Half time team talk: I want to see more from you!

Half time substitutions: none

My half-time team talk had no effect whatsoever, the team had a poor second half and that allow Man City to hold out for the win quite easily. We missed the chance to make it three in a row in the Community Shield but I couldn’t help thinking that we would have won this game with at least one of our four first team strikers…

Full time team talk: Disappointing.

Man of the match: Phil Jones

Flop of the match: Abdallah Yaisien

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

Match Stats

The second big appointment of the season was the UEFA Super Cup, we were going to take on Europa League winners AS Roma. Fortunately the Olympic Games were over by then so I could field my best eleven in an attempt to win the trophy for the second time in the club’s history (we have already won it in 2017).

Roma vs Vauxhall (UEFA Super Cup)

Venue: Stade Louis II, Monaco

Attendance: 18,524

Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Gary Warner, Phil Jones, Danny Wilson, Guillermo Pascual – Leandro Velasco, Indio, Robert Ackermann, Tiago – Zé Carlos, Parana

Team Talk: For the fans!

We got off to a bright start again, a few good chances went begging early on but we managed to break the deadlock on 17 minutes when Robert Ackermann found the back of the net with a great shot from the edge of the area. The game was totally under our control and we made it 2-0 minutes later when Danny Wilson nodded home on a corner kick. Roma reacted after that goal though and they managed to pull one back on their second shot on target.

Half time score: 1-2

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Abdallah Yaisien for Velasco, Walid Mechergui for Tiago

The second half started with an injury, Ackermann had to leave the field and I sent in Da Silva to replace him. We were still dominating but a moment of poor concentration cost us dearly, Roma caught us on a counter attack and made it 2-2! It took us just seven minutes to restore the lead, a free kick cross from Indio was headed home by Zé Carlos and the game was back in our hands. We didn’t let it slip away again this time as Danny Wilson scored his second goal of the match on a corner kick and Walid Mechergui wrapped things up with a counter attack goal 16 minutes from time.

Full time team talk: Congratulations!

Man of the match: Danny Wilson

Flop of the match: Tiago

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

Match Stats

OK, now let’s roll back time a bit and see how the first half of the Premier League season went, month by month.

Premier League Results August 2020

With almost half of the squad away at the Olympics we recorded a catastrophic start to the Premier League season, two consecutive defeats! We lost two games all season last year so losing two straight away was a big blow but there was an explanation: we just couldn’t score without our strikers! Midfielder Robert Ackermann did score a beautiful goal against Tottenham (click here to watch) but that wasn’t enough…

Premier League Results September 2020

September started with another disappointment, 2-2 at home against Sunderland, and we had no excuses for that one! The defending in that game was simply atrocious and we had just one point after the first three games of the season! Something had to change quickly and it did as we beat Man City 2-0 away after a solid defensive performance and, finally, a display of clinical finishing. That result restored some of our confidence and we went on to win the remaining two games of the month with Parana scoring a beautiful goal against Hull (click here to watch).

Premier League Results October 2020

October went a lot better in terms of results, we recorded four straight wins and scored quite a few goals in the process. Lucas Cuello bagged a stunning one against Wolves (click here to watch) while Da Silva netted a beautiful winning goal against Fulham (click here to watch), everything seemed to be back in shape… Well, there were some bad news too unfortunately, captain Parana suffered a broken ankle in the opening match of the month and he was going to be out between two and three months…

Premier League Results November 2020

November was even more pleasing, five straight wins and no injuries! We put on great performances against Arsenal and Manchester United, especially against Arsenal since we managed to win even without Parana (injured) and Zé Carlos (suspended after a red card). After that suspension Ze Carlos returned with a burning desire to score though and he managed to bag four goals in the last three games of the month.

Premier League Results December 2020

Our winning streak came to an end in December as Chelsea beat us 1-0 at Vauxhall Stadium at the end of a very frustrating match, I can safely say that we were quite unlucky to lose that one. However, we won the other five games of the month including the last two tough ones against the teams that had beaten us at the start of the season, Tottenham and Aston Villa. Zé Carlos had another fantastic month as he scored no less than six goals.

Despite losing three games in the first half of the season we are top of the table at the end of 2020 while Man City and Aston Villa seem to be the main contenders for this season’s Premier League title. Yeah, Man City again…

Carling Cup Results 2020

Our League Cup run this season was short and disappointing, we were knocked out by Everton after a thrilling match for the neutral spectators and we will be unable to defend the trophy that we had won last season.

Champions League Group Stage 2020

We were handed a very easy group in the Champions League, we won it with no major problem except a rather strange defeat at Sparta Prague. The first knockout round draw could have gone better though, we will play Fiorentina and I think it will be a very tough task since they have a sensational Brazilian striker along with other good players.

Club World Championship 2020

This competition was my main target of the season since it was the only major trophy that was missing from our cabinet. As always, the semi final featured an easy encounter and we breezed past Melbourne Victory even if we scored just a couple of goals. Unfortunately left winger Tiago picked up a knock during the game and he was going to be out for a month.

I was surprised to see that New York Red Bull had beaten Velez in the other semi final, I expected Velez to win it. However, New York did have some history in the competition as they managed to win it in 2011 when they beat mighty Real Madrid in the final!

New York vs Vauxhall (Club World Championship Final)

Venue: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City

Attendance: 105,000

Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Gary Warner, Phil Jones, Danny Wilson, Pierre Touya – Moustapha Gueye, Indio, Marcos Fernandez, Walid Mechergui – Zé Carlos, Lucas Cuello

Team Talk: For the fans!

I think this was the first time we ever played in front of a crowd of more than 100 thousand people, it must be breathtaking! The game started well enough as we broke the deadlock after 15 minutes when Danny Wilson headed home on an Indio corner kick cross. Then we continued to dominate the game but in a quiet manner, there wasn’t anything special to note until the 37th minute when Zé Carlos played a fine through ball for Lucas Cuello who powered home from inside the penalty area.

Half time score: 0-2

Half time team talk: Encourage.

Half time substitutions: Leandro Velasco for Mechergui, Da Silva for Fernandez, Iain McManus for Cuello

We started to play with a bit more intensity after the break and the result came after just seven minutes when right winger Moustapha Gueye fired one in from an acute angle. The game was totally in our hands at that point and we created a few more chances before Phil Jones headed home on a corner kick to wrap things up. We won the trophy but I guess it would have felt nicer if the opponents would have been a bit more difficult. Anyway, it’s another shiny piece of silverware to be added to our expanding trophy cabinet!

Full time team talk: Well done!

Man of the match: Indio

Flop of the match: Walid Mechergui

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

Match Stats

With Parana absent through injury it was another Brazilian who took his place as our most valuable player at the halfway point of the season: central midfielder Indio. He provided no less than 19 assists so far and if you add his impressive tackling statistics you might understand why he has such a high average rating. Zé Carlos did his job well too, he scored 18 goals so far, while Robert Ackermann and Danny Wilson continue to represent important pieces in our team. A special praise is deserved by youngster Iain McManus, he scored 12 goals in 12 starts and that propelled him into the senior English national team at the age of 18! There was one big disappointment though and that is LeandroVelasco, I was hoping to see much more from him but his performances were so inconsistent that he lost his place in the first eleven to up and coming youngster Moustapha Gueye.

And now, probably the most important news of the season: the club takeover was finally completed! No, there isn’t a tycoon who took over, just a gentleman called Tony Woodley

… who announced that he doesn’t intend to invest a single penny in the club!

Immediately after the takeover I asked the new board to expand the stadium but the request was rejected… However, they did agree to form a link with an American club, I guess they like the idea of more money coming in from merchandising… We have a lot of directors at the club, too many if you ask me, and I resent the idea of them and the shareholders getting hefty dividends at the end of the season without investing a single penny in the club…

I have around 40 to 50 million pounds left in the transfer budget after I had transferred some money to the wage budget to extend some contracts and that leads me to a very important question: what should I do with that money? There are two possible answers:

1. Keep the money and hope that the board will make an investment in the club facilities and stadium.

2. Spend all of it and deny the new chairman and his shareholder buddies the satisfaction of getting undeserved dividends at the end of the season.

Thanks a lot for reading folks, I’m looking forward to reading your opinions.

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Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Great season so far Johnny with some nice goals! If I were you I would spend your transfer budget on loads of young players who have a chance to become good, that way you could discover some talent and your chairman and directors won’t see a penny of it!

Callum
Callum
10 years ago

Spend all but a tiny amount that they can fight over XD Loving the story as always johnny, keep it up :)

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
10 years ago

Going really well again Johnny, despite the injury to Parana, and well done on the Club World Championship win too. The new owner doesn’t look too promising, he looks like a cross between Mike Ashley and Tom Hicks/George Gillet :( … but hopefully not. I’d say spend the money, I doubt the board will invest in a new stadium and/or facilities.

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
10 years ago

Hey Johnny
I would say go for option 2, because the board will not help you at all I think. Good results so far, but unfortunate to see that you couldn’t win the League Cup again.

Frank
Frank
10 years ago

Hi Johnny
I think you should spend the money as your board doesn’t seem like it will invest in the club for a new stadium. And good results so far, hopefully you can build on that and win the league.

Darren Smith
Admin
10 years ago

Hey Johnny, fantastic start to the season despite some unwanted disruptions from the Olympics and the old injury problems. Besides walking through the CL group stages your looking good in the league and have a further two trophies to hang in the cabinet.

My personal opinion is that the money should go where it will make the biggest impact. If there’s an unbelievable talent out there, buy him…if there’s a few youngsters you feel could be world class, buy them. But if you can’t see many prospects or players that are better than what you already have, I’d save the money and wait until you’re able to request for training facility and youth academy upgrades.

Sears
10 years ago

Shame about the losing start , though their wasn’t much you could have done to prevent it , seeing as you had no striker . Other than that , your team is enduring a fantastic run of form , and long may it continue !

Regarding the takeover , some chairman’s say they won’t pump immediate cash into the club , but after a while they do . I read a story where someone’s club was purchased by a tycoon , and at first , he didn’t invest any money into the club . Anyhow , I think you should re-invest it , hopefully on some excellent youngster or your facilities .

Good luck Johnny ;)

Erick Wolf
Erick Wolf
10 years ago

It must be amazing to play in the Azteca!
I’ve been there once, but it wasn’t sold out.
I don’t like these new owners at all, and I think you should spend the money on future prospects!

Sayam Khan
10 years ago

Wow, not like you Johnny to be getting knocked out early in the Carling Cup! I hope you gave your team a rollocking after the game! ;-) I think you’ll win the league this year, however there has been some complacency shown in some game, sparta prague (for one).

Maybe I’m wrong!

Martin
10 years ago

First thing first….SPEND SPEND SPEND…screw the board lol!

Good start to the season…I’d be happy to lose the Community Shield if it meant being top at christmas. Your set up for a very constructive second half of the season and I can see a few trophies heading to the Vauxhall Motors trophy cabinet :)

Kevin
10 years ago

Hi Johnny
Too bad about losing Parana, but Ze Carlos has more than made up for his absence. Great form in all competitions and as for the money I would invest in some top quality youth players to bring on through the ranks. Can’t remeber what your reserve team is like??
Good luck mate!

Daniel
Daniel
10 years ago

Hey mate I assume your stil using your 442 tactic? The magpies one?

Lye
Lye
10 years ago

Hi Johnny,

A difficult start but your team bounced back nicely after that. Congratulations on the Club World Championship win. Regarding the money, if there is good players, you should spend the money. No point giving the benefits to those share holders. Good luck.

FM Blogger
10 years ago

Hi Johnny,

Great results. EPL will once again be owned by the Motormen. I kinda hate this kind of owners who buy a team just for profit. I have had the same issue in one save and because of their attitude I had little to spent. But after the team got rid off their debts and because we became rich, they gave me a lot of money. If you think that you can bring success this season without spending some more money, then I would advise to take the first option. But this is up to you, if you have enough patience (you must have since you took a BSS/N team to the EPL). One day they will recognise your job and they will accept everything you ask them (they accepted my recommendations to upgrade both the youth and the training facilities in the same season).

fmblogging.blogspot.com

rab carr
rab carr
10 years ago

heey johnny , i read ur post at the veryyy start of your vauxhall motors career and then i lost all interest in football manager but to come back and see from wher you started to where you are now with a team like that is just simply amazinggg,,,,,fulfilll my wish of doing soo much glory with glasgow celtic one day lol

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