Hello folks and welcome to my ninth season in charge of the Motormen, the Football Manager 2011 story continues! After winning the Premier League title and strengthening the squad with a few very talented players the whole town was looking forward to watching the Motormen play at the brand new Vauxhall Stadium. Alright then, let’s see how things went in the first two months of the new season!
Winning the league gave us the right to a nice bonus match, the Community Shield. We were going to meet FA Cup winners Arsenal, the team that knocked us out of that cup last season and also handed us a critical league defeat. I wanted revenge!
Vauxhall vs Arsenal (Community Shield)
Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Julian Marino, Mervin Simon, Marat Bykov, Pierre Touya – Leandro Velasco, Marcos Fernandez, Robert Ackermann, Tiago – Zé Carlos, Parana
Team Talk: For the fans!
The opening minutes of the match saw an even game, none of the two teams was looking particularly good. Luckily our best player made the difference in the 16th minute, Zé Carlos made an awesome counter attack run and then squared it for Tiago who had nothing left to do than to apply the finish and we were 1-0 up! Arsenal tried to reply but they were denied by the post four minutes later and we made them pay two minutes after the half hour mark when Leandro Velasco muscled the ball off the left back and drilled a low cross into the box that was slid home by Parana. We appeared to be in control of the match at that point but Arsenal did manage to pull one back through their best new signing, striker Vaclav Kadlec. We could have restored the two-goal lead before the break though but Zé Carlos was in a wasteful mood as he squandered a pair of good chances.
Half time score: 1-2
Half time team talk: Pleased.
Half time substitutions: Hans Larsson for Touya, Radek Vecera for Fernandez
Our wasteful display continued after the break and we nearly got punished on 50 minutes when Luis Guilherme pulled off a great save to deny Kadlec. We were saved by the woodwork seven minutes later when a shot from distance bounced off the crossbar so I decided to make a change on the left flank, new signing Walid Mechergui for Tiago. We regained control of the match and the substitution paid dividends six minutes from time when Mechergui headed home a good Leandro Velasco cross. Payback time!
Full time team talk: Congratulations!
Man of the match: Leandro Velasco
Flop of the match: Radek Vecera
Vauxhall vs Liverpool (Premier League)
Venue: Vauxhall Stadium
Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Emanuele Santoni, Mervin Simon, Marat Bykov, Pierre Touya – Leandro Velasco, Indio, Marcos Fernandez, Tiago – Zé Carlos, Parana
Team Talk: For the fans!
The league debut was not the easiest one, we were welcoming Liverpool to our brand new stadium. We had a record attendance so I was particularly keen on giving the fans something to cheer about. We didn’t manage to do that in the first half though, the Reds defended very well and we came close only on a set piece: new signing Indio hit the crossbar with a fantastic free kick shot from 30 yards out.
Half time score: 0-0
Half time team talk: For the fans!
Half time substitutions: Radek Vecera for Indio
We resumed our attacks after the interval and finally broke through after 10 minutes when Zé Carlos scored his first goal of the season from the penalty spot after substitute Vecera was pushed inside the box. I made another two substitutions around the hour mark, Abdallah Yaisien for Velasco and Graham Howson for Fernandez, and both substitutes made an impact. First Yaysien missed a glorious chance and then Graham Howson helped to put the result beyond doubt as his free kick cross was headed home by centre back Marat Bykov.
Full time team talk: Well done!
Man of the match: Marat Bykov
Flop of the match: Mervin Simon
The game against Liverpool broke two records for the club, and quite convincingly too! It’s nice to get almost the entire weekly wage budget after just one game :)
This time we were seeded second for the Champions League groups draw and that went pretty well as we were going to meet FC Bayern, Dinamo Moscow and Czech side Banik Ostrava. We should finish second quite easily but we’ll surely try to knock Bayern off their pedestal ;)
The bookies seem to have a better opinion of us too…
Back to the pitch, we had a bunch of easier matches coming up. Burnley were handled easily, Zé Carlos took care of things by netting a hat-trick but we got a bit complacent at 3-0 and allowed the home side to score a consolation goal. Then we dispatched West Ham in just 45 minutes, Leandro Velasco provided two assists and Robert Ackermann scored his first goal for the club. The away match at Wolves was a pretty tough one, we were down to 10 men from the 36th minute as Parana got sent off, but the team showed great spirit after the break and we managed to clinch the three points. Our first Champions League match of the season was all easy, Banik Ostrava were not good enough even for my backup eleven and we won comfortably after enjoying 75% ball possession. Last but not least, a spectacular game against Bristol City: we were awesome in attack but terrible in defense, absolutely terrible. Anyway, we grabbed the three points and scored six goals but letting in three goals in a game against Bristol City was not a good sign at all…
The last two games of September were another pair of tricky ones, both away from home and both against top notch opponents: Tottenham in the League Cup and Arsenal in the Premiership.
I wasn’t too optimistic after conceding those three goals against Bristol City, head over to the next page to find out if my worries were justified.
Go to the next page to read the rest of the story.
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