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Vauxhall Motors Story 2017-2018: Make Or Break Time!

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Hello folks and welcome to the decisive part of our season as the Motormen are chasing eternal glory in Football Manager 2011! As you might remember our situation at the end of February was very good: we were going to play the Carling Cup final, the FA Cup 5th round and also the Champions League first knockout round while in the league we were still proud to be top of the table. However, Manchester City and Tottenham were chasing us fiercely with the Citizens just two points behind us and the Spurs six points adrift but both of the two rivals had a game in hand. Some of you might have been expecting this post yesterday but unfortunately I just couldn’t find the energy to finish it. I hope that you will forgive me but I have to warn you: this post is quite long so grab a cup of coffee, some tea or at least some still water and make sure that you sit comfortably. :) Alright, let’s get it started!

The first match of March was a huge one, the Carling Cup final! We were going to meet Manchester United, a very strong team by any standards but you might remember that we had beaten them 4-1 in the Premier League last February. I wasn’t hoping for a similar scoreline but I was quietly confident…

Manchester United vs Vauxhall (Carling Cup Final)

Venue: Wembley

Attendance: 79,791

Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Javier Godoy, Louis Laing, Mervin Simon, Pierre Touya – Abdallah Yaisien, Graham Howson, Tinga, Tiago – Zé Carlos, Ibrahima MBow

Team Talk: For the fans!

We had a few squad problems before this important game: as you well know Parana was out for the season with a broken leg but I also had Julian Marino and Radek Vecera injured and Leandro Velasco unable to play due to fatigue after traveling to join his national team. Manchester United fielded a strong eleven although they chose to leave out Rooney and Chicharito and send in another great duo in attack: Marilungo and Suarez.

1st minute – Left winger Tiago makes a good run, cuts inside and unleashes a shot from 25 yards… Easily held.

8th minute – Still pushing down the left flank, fullback Pierre Touya tries his luck from the edge of the area but the keeper saves.

12th minute – First chance for United, Luis Suarez nutmegs Louis Laing at the edge of the area, he skips past him, enters the penalty area and shoots… It’s a goal, perfect finish…

22nd minuteMervin Simon dallies on the ball and is robbed by Suarez, the forward gets into the box again but his shot is diverted wide by Luis Guilherme!

25th minuteMarilungo tries his luck from just inside the area, over the crossbar!

45th minute – We finally find our way forward again, Abdallah Yaisien makes a good run and shoots from the corner of the area… Into the side netting…

Half time score: 1-0

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Hans Larsson for Godoy, Wellington Paulista for Tiago

51st minuteManchester United try a shot from way out, it goes sailing over the bar.

56th minuteTinga plays a fine through pass for Zé Carlos, he’s behind the defense, he enters the penalty area, shoots… wide…

59th minuteTinga tries his luck from the edge of the area, just over…

65th minuteManchester United free kick from 35 yards, the shot is deflected by the wall but Luis Guilherme reacts well and holds the ball. Denís enters the game replacing Tinga.

67th minuteGraham Howson gives the ball away in midfield, the Red Devils launch a quick counter attack but Luis Guilherme denies Suarez with a splendid save.

72nd minuteWellington Paulista works his way into the penalty area, he has all the time in the world to pick the shot… but he sends it way wide…

77th minute – Good move from my lads, the ball gets to Denís who plays it through for MBow inside the area… Ibrahima MBow is unmarked, shoots… it’s in! But no, the linesman is flagging! Offside! The replay proved that the linesman was right, MBow (first player from the bottom of the screen) did look offside.

85th minuteDenís is playing well, he bends a good looking shot from the edge of the area but it goes just wide.

87th minute – Great run from Zé Carlos, he skips past a defender, enters the penalty area, shoots… Brilliant save…

91st minuteWellington Paulista exchanges passes with Yaisien, Abdallah Yaisien is unmarked inside the penalty area, shoots with power… Stunning save…

All over, it’s always frustrating to lose a final but I guess we didn’t do enough to deserve winning this one.

Full time team talk: Sympathise.

Man of the match: Luis Guilherme

Flop of the match: Zé Carlos

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

We had to regroup after the Carling Cup disappointment and thankfully the lads pulled that off in the next game, the FA Cup 5th round replay against Birmingham. The visitors took the lead totally against the run of play as their first shot on target went in but we fought back and clinched a deserved victory. The sixth round draw was not very kind to us though, we were going to meet Arsenal.

Our next game was another very important cup clash, the second league of the Champions League tie against German side Hamburg. As you know we had a disappointing result in the first leg, a 1-1 draw at home in February, so we had to win away if we wanted to advance to the quarter finals.

HSV vs Vauxhall (Champions League 1st Rnd Leg 2)

Venue: Imtech Arena

Attendance: 44,437

Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Hans Larsson, Javier Godoy, Mervin Simon, Sylvester Ogbonna – Leandro Velasco, Graham Howson, Tinga, Tiago – Wellington Paulista, Zé Carlos

Team Talk: You can win today!

My lads started the game with the exact type of attitude that I wanted to see from them, we started pressing forward right away but unfortunately Wellington Paulista squandered a great chance early on. That good start was just a flame though, we were unable to continue in the same way and it was Hamburg who had the next chance on 25 minutes but Luis Guilherme did wonders again to save a certain goal. That chance was a wake up call for my lads, we resumed the attacks and our efforts were rewarded in the 34th minute when a cross from Tiago found Zé Carlos inside the penalty area and the striker banged it in with a fine first time finish. The same move could have produced another goal three minutes later but this time Tiago‘s cross met Leandro Velasco‘s head and the keeper saved it. That second goal did come before the break and we totally deserved it: an excellent move saw the ball traveling from Zé Carlos to Tinga and then to Velasco who found the back of the net.

Half time score: 0-2

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Abdallah Yaisien for Velasco, Denís for Tinga, Javier Garcia for Tiago

Hamburg had their backs against the wall so they started pushing forward after the break but my defense was looking solid, the home side was unable to create any clear chances before the hour mark. It was time to inflict them the fatal blow and it was substitute Javier Garcia who did it on 62 minutes, he skipped past a defender and then placed the ball into the bottom corner of the net with a good shot from the middle of the area. Confidence was really high at that point and the lads pressed on to score another two goals, first Abdallah Yaisien fired into the roof of the net after receiving a good pass from Denís and then Zé Carlos bagged his 50th goal for the club on a counter attack. Sergio Araujo scored a late consolation goal for the hosts but I didn’t care, we thrashed a great team away from home and we were through to the quarter finals!

Full time team talk: Well done!

Man of the match: Zé Carlos

Flop of the match: Wellington Paulista

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

There was no room for a lucky draw at this stage, all the teams were very good, but I would have preferred to meet a foreign club. Anyway, we were drawn against league rivals Manchester City, I was looking forward to meet my “friend” José Mourinho again ;)

But we had a lot more battles to fight before that one, the first in line was the FA Cup quarter final clash with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium. I guess it’s quite obvious that after losing in the Carling Cup final I was keen on getting to Wembley again and maybe doing better in the other domestic cup.

Arsenal vs Vauxhall (FA Cup 6th Rnd)

Venue: Emirates Stadium

Attendance: 57,681

Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Javier Godoy, Louis Laing, Mervin Simon, Hans Larsson – Leandro Velasco, Radek Vecera, Tinga, Tiago – Zé Carlos, Ibrahima MBow

Team Talk: You can win today!

Arsenal had a very good start to the game and they came close twice before the half hour mark: first they hit the crossbar in the 10th minute and then they were denied by a fantastic Luis Guilherme on a close range shot. The did score a well-deserved goal eventually, it came on a free kick and one of their players headed home by taking advantage of some particularly poor marking from Mervin Simon. Fortunately we bounced back right away and made it all square two minutes before the break when Tinga played a brilliant through ball for Leandro Velasco and the Argentine ace slotted home. Arsenal were relentless though and they restored the lead on the stroke of half time, we showed some poor defending again and they punished us.

Half time score: 2-1

Half time team talk: You can win today!

Half time substitutions: Mark Brown for Vecera, Javier Garcia for Tiago

The second half started much better for us and we were able to level the score again after just six minutes, Ibrahima MBow crossed into the box and Tinga made a great movement off the ball to receive the pass and smash home. But it just wasn’t Mervin Simon‘s good day, he made another mistake 10 minutes later as he got robbed inside the box by Bendtner and Arsenal took the lead yet again. I was proud of the team’s reaction though, the boys were showing great determination out there and they were rewarded 20 minutes from time when Hans Larsson was tripped inside the box and Zé Carlos coolly converted the resulting spot kick. We still had time to win the game but unfortunately MBow wasted our best chance on a quick counter attack so the game was going to be replayed at Rivacre Park.

Full time team talk: Good result!

Man of the match: Tinga

Flop of the match: Mark Brown

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

Our first two league games of the month went well in terms of results, we beat both Birmingham and Fulham, but the two games were quite different if we look at my team’s performance. The Birmingham game was a pleasure to watch, especially since Leandro Velasco kicked it off with a spectacular goal. (click here to open the video) The away game at Fulham was different, I had to rest a few key players and the team struggled to create chances. However, we did win the game thanks to an Abdallah Yaisien goal on the hour mark.

Brazilian striker Zé Carlos had two reasons to celebrate: first he broke a club record after scoring against Birmingham but the most important thing was that he was given his first cap for the mighty Brazil national team, now that’s a huge achievement for any player at the age of 22!

We had no time to celebrate though, Arsenal were coming to Rivacre Park and I was hoping to beat them this time and advance to the FA Cup semi finals.

Vauxhall vs Arsenal (FA Cup 6th Rnd Replay)

Venue: Rivacre Park

Attendance: 10,266 (sold out)

Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Hans Larsson, Javier Godoy, Louis Laing, Pierre Touya – Leandro Velasco, Radek Vecera, Tinga, Tiago – Wellington Paulista, Zé Carlos

Team Talk: You can win today!

The first half was an one-sided affair: we dominated the game from the first minute to the last. Unfortunately the Arsenal defense was rock-solid, there was no way through there, and they also managed to create a good chance on a counter attack while we had no clear cut chances at all.

Half time score: 0-0

Half time team talk: You can do it!

Half time substitutions: Abdallah Yaisien form Tiago, Ibrahima MBow for W. Paulista

The second half appeared to be going into a similar direction, we continued to press forward but the Gunners were holding firm. We needed something special to break the deadlock but that special moment came at the wrong end of the pitch, Arsenal took the lead on 68 minutes courtesy of a fabulous shot from 30 yards out. Our attacks remained fruitless until the final whistle so we crashed out of the FA Cup before having the chance to see Wembley again…

Full time team talk: Disappointing!

Man of the match: Luis Guilherme

Flop of the match: Zé Carlos

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

The last league game of the month was equally frustrating: Sunderland took the lead early on and then we missed a penalty kick and countless other chances before Abdallah Yaisien came to the rescue again to give us a share of the spoils.

So we got only 7 points out of three league games in March but our rivals didn’t seem to do better either. As you can see from the screen shot below Tottenham grabbed seven points as well but from four games!

Manchester City didn’t do much better either, they won just one game and got six points out of four games!

Their slip-ups made our position a lot more comfortable, we were three points clear of Man City and six points ahead of the Spurs while they didn’t have any games in hand anymore!

The title battle was far from over though, there were four league matches to play in April and we had a pretty tricky one with Arsenal.

We were also looking forward to the Champions League clash with Manchester City, we had a huge opportunity to make Vauxhall Motors FC a big name in European football. Did we beat the Citizens? Go to the next page to find out!

Go to the next page to read the rest of the story.

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Well, I’ve just been working all night filling drinks for thirsty customers… Thanks Johnny, reading one of your updates is exactly what I needed! I was dying to read this update as well :-p And it was well wrote it! What a wonderful season you had, and god damn you José! Soooo close to the semi finals of the Champions League… Ah well, there’s always next season! Congratulations on winning the Premier League, that a lone is a marvelous achievement. The finances are looking superb so hopefully you can bring in more quality players during the summer and win the Champions League next season :-)

Good luck :-)


That was immense. Congratulations on taking the club so far already, I can’t wait to see what you can do next.


Congratulations On Your Success, I Look Forward To Seeing Vauxhall Next Season
Great Post



That was way too much tension for me but I’m being an insomniac so I checked out the site, this is a great update Johnny, full of good news (at the end)!

Well done on winning the Premier League and to all your players for winning the awards, it is a shame you were denied some of the other trophies, but I am sure next year we will see Vauxhall’s name on much more than the Premier League!

Well done and good luck with pre-season! :D


Wow 3 pages worth of juicy updates, just what I need before the Champions League final :D That was some tough luck in the League Cup, you had more shots and same number of shots on target but nothing went in That Velasco long shot against Birmingham was good, straight into the bottom corner, even better was the fact that he won the ball by himself in the opposition half Again your team couldn’t let their shots count againstt Arsenal in the FA Cup and Man City in the Champions League, theres always next year (hopefully with less injured players) Mourinho should be moving on soon (he should want to win the Champions League with another team :P), but that was a sweet 4-1 thrashing of his Man City team to get revenge for the loss in Champions League and secure the league title (nothing better than beating your closest challengers), congratulations on winning the league How did your team only get 2 players inside the Team of the Season, Mervin probably deserved a spot in defense Glad to hear that your board has, after some gentle prodding, agreed to all your demands, moving to your new stadium should boost… Read more »


Well done, an amazing accomplishment to win the Premier in your second season, hope the board give you more money so you can win the Champions next year!


Fantastic post johnny really had me intrigued I was actually feeling like I was part of your game :P You did great to get a fantastic premier league win and with some more luck next year you can take the FA Cup and Champions League, you were also hopelessly unlucky in the carling cup final, and up and down season, but at least you have the league to show for it :) Look forward thouroghly to your next post


Hey Johnny
That was amazing from you, to win the Premier League! I was certainly not expecting that to happen. Maybe next year, you can win the Champions League. I hope you do. Ze Carlos is a fantastic player, and hopefully he scores as many goals as next season.


Hi Johnny,

Well done on winning the Premier League title, at least laying your hands on the title after exiting from the cup competition. I was as frustrated as you when i saw Man City scored in deep injury time. You should be progressing, Jose Mourinho should finish empty handed instead. It is still a successful season as the motormen made history in winning the title. There will be more to come so i am looking out for that. Cheers Motormen.


Amazing post Johnny, even by your standards :) And what a great season you had, the title race was close but to beat Man City like that was fantastic, maybe you are the “special one” now after beating Mourinho :) Hopefully next season will see you get an extra cup, as well of course as retaining the league. Looking forward to your pre season :)


Hi Johnny
After working my way to page three I’d forgotten what was on page 1…LOL! So all I will say is what a fantastic effort this season and you truely deserved to win the Premier League and what a monumental job you have done in bringing Vauxhall to the pinnacle of English Football. I’m sure next season you will add some European silverware to the boardroom trophy cabinet. You sir are a steely eyed missle man!!


After that very long post will save your eyes :P The post was quantity and quality and i think one of your best.Throughly enjoyed reading it. Good luck for next season put Jose in his place :D

Darren Smith

Top to bottom, page by page and word by word…my eyes have fallen out of their sockets lol :) Great post Johnny and I reckon an unlucky season. That’s the difference between 1,2,3 or four trophies in my opinion a little luck and the players turning up at the right time. Still an incredible achievement to win the title, simply brilliant. As always you prove the godfather of lower league FM.

Looking forward to pre-season now, I think you could take Vauxhall to the next level.

Sayam Khan

First of all, I like the title of the post Johnny ;-) Excellent achievement in winning the PL, unlucky in the LC final and your CL campaign, even though I think the latter was good enough for your club at this current time. Just wondering, will you be selling Parana as he does get injured quiet a lot.


Can’t seem to sum this up!
Truly amazing what you have done for vauxhall!


MBow is such a legend slamming those goals in against City! As everyone has said before, fantastic post Johnny, and a fantastic achievement lifting the premier league trophy in your second season! Unlucky in the FA and League cup you deserved more. I can also feel your frustration at loosing to Man City, probably in the most cruel way as well i.e. a set piece in injury time. The club looks in good shape as well, all you need now is some outstanding Vauxhall academy regens to make a truly awesome side! Like I said at the start of the season though your team really needs a quality centre back, and I think that’s what cost you in the big games, i.e. the inability to keep a clean sheet. Anyway, a fantastic season, long may Vauxhall’s reign continue! Keep the posts coming!

Ana Garcia

Great post Johnny, I am glad you had the last laugh on Mourinho! It seems he has it in for you!!

Ze Carlos has been amazing for you, so am hoping you can keep a hold of him and Velasco was equally as good with a few new additions you should be able to push your team to the next level and compete for the champions league.

It seems a great rivalry has started with you and Mourinho one I hope you can win, and bring as many trophies as you can!

Good luck!

P.S. Am nervous for tonight! Lets have our fingers crossed for a Barcelona win! :)

Jake Lenahan

Excellent post mate you did get your own back on Jose after all, and in all honesty im glad you did as i’d hate to see him at city. Hopefully we can do what the red side of manchester failed to do last night and win that Champions league against Barca like they did in your save ;)

Was very nervous opening up that last page, but you really did a number on city! Hopefully with that, you can go onto challenge for that Champions League crown. You’ve already pipped the holders ;)

Good luck.


Hi Johnny, i haven’t commented for a while but i have still been reading your story, first of all i’d like to say that you’ve done amazing with Vauxhall, i think a Champions League final could be on the cards for next season :D, second, Dont let Ze Carlos leave he is an amazing player.

Martin Pickard

Hey Johnny!

Unlucky in the League Cup final against Manchester United and also in the FA Cup against Arsenal. You were definately unlucky against Manchester City, but you did well to get to the Quarters. But in the end amazing result to win the Premiership title and claiming the title for the first time, sure the first of many :). WOW I cant believe the board granted you all them facility upgrades…great to see you bullying them into submission :)

Looking forward to the next season mate :)


Hi Johnny, I congratulate you for winning the Premier league!

But for me is getting quite frustrating……..

I just finished my 5th season managing Havant & Waterlouville in the Premier league, I´m doing very good, but there is always a team that make more points than me……

1st season 72pts 4th
2nd 82pts 3rd
3rd 89pts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2nd
4th 87pts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3rd
5th 85pts 2nd……………………. Man City made 98 points!

I can´t believe it, i already won the Champions league but not the Premier!

What to do?

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