Connect with us

archived posts

Vauxhall Motors Story: End Of Season Number 7

Prev1 of 2
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Hello folks and a warm welcome to the last episode of my seventh season in charge of The Motormen in Football Manager 2011! The team was playing better and better, some of the injured players returned to full fitness and they pushed us into 4th place in the Premier League at the end of March 2017 and also into the quarter finals of the Europa League! So there was very much to look forward to in the last couple of months of the season as we had a chance to grab a Champions League spot and also make a great impact in our first ever Europa League participation.

The month of April started with a fairly easy game at mid-table Blackburn, my Brazilian duo did some damage again and we won the game quite comfortably although Blackburn did score a consolation goal.

That was just a warm-up for a much more important game, the first leg of the Europa League quarter final against Spanish side Zaragoza, let’s see how that went.

Zaragoza vs Vauxhall (Europa League Qtr Final Leg 1)

Venue: La Romareda

Attendance: 28,731

Starting line up: Dean Bouzanis – Julian Marino, Louis Laing, Mervin Simon, Javier Godoy – Leandro Velasco, Radek Vecera, Mark Brown, Ibrahima MBow – Parana, Wellington Paulista

Team Talk: You can win today!

Zaragoza were not an easy team to play against, they had knocked out AS Roma earlier in the competition and they had a leader in midfield: Colombian international Freddy Guarin. As you know Zé Carlos and Julian Bazzi were ineligible for the Europa League, it wasn’t a big problem to replace Bazzi but Ze Carlos surely appeared to be a big loss. Anyway, we got off to a bright start and we could have taken the lead after just four minutes when Ibrahima MBow rattled the crossbar. Ten minutes later it was Zaragoza who took the lead, they beat the offside trap through clever play and their lone striker didn’t miss. The game was quite entertaining, both sides were attacking and the two goalkeepers did well to preserve the score in the following minutes. I was quite pleased with my team though, the lads were pushing forward and the reward did come on 38 minutes when a deflected cross from Wellington Paulista fell to Mark Brown in the middle of the penalty area and our midfielder made no mistake from there. The goal gave us some momentum and fortunately we managed to capitalize on that on the stroke of half time when a free kick cross from Brown was headed home by Leandro Velasco!

Half time score: 1-2

Half time team talk: Pleased

Half time substitutions: Stephan El Shaarawy for Velasco

I had to replace Velasco at half time since he was quite tired but El Shaarawy didn’t live up to my expectations, he lost possession a few times right away as Zaragoza were looking quite determined and the home side managed to level the game on 57 minutes following a fine attacking move. I made two substitutions right after the goal, Grant Baddeley for Godoy and Shyamdew Weibolt for Vecera, and things started to improve immediately. We regained control in midfield and we didn’t have to wait too much for a result: on 67 minutes parried a shot from Wellington Paulista, Mark Brown pounced on the rebound and scored his second goal of the evening! That goal boosted our confidence, we continued to push forward and added further insurance five minutes from time when Parana slid home a good low cross from MBow. We won 4-2 away from home and that pretty much secured our place into the final, I was sure that Zaragoza were not going to be able to beat us 3-0 at Rivacre Park!

Full time team talk: Well done!

Man of the match: Mark Brown

Flop of the match: Stephan El Shaarawy

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

I chose to field a weakened squad against Zaragoza in the second leg and that proved to be a wise choice, the game was all over after just 17 minutes as we scored no less than five goals during that interval! Wellington Paulista netted his first hat-trick for the club while left back Nikao managed to score his first ever goal for The Motormen, it was a great evening for our fans. Then we took on relegation candidates Blackpool in the Premier League, it wasn’t an easy game but left winger Andrew Surman led us to victory with a fine brace. Our winning streak continued against already relegated Millwall, we only managed a narrow win but it was easier than it looks since we led 3-1 until injury time. And there were quite a few minutes of injury time since two of my players had to leave the pitch because of knocks: Shyamdew Weibolt was going to be out for 6 weeks and Andrew Driver for 3 months, the season was over for both of them. A confident display against Ipswich extended our winning streak in the Premier League to seven games but that was the last of the “easy” matches we had. I guess you are wondering where we were in the league table at that point, aren’t you? :) Be patient, that information will be coming to you later on…

First we have to find out about the Europa League semi final, a major event for the club. As I expected Juventus demolished Olympiakos so we were going to meet the Italian giants in the last four while the other semi final saw German favorites Dortmund taking on Ukrainian side Dnipro.

Our schedule fr the last few weeks of the season became a very difficult one, we had the two legs against Juventus and the Premier League battles against Champions League rivals Aston Villa and Arsenal

First things first, let’s see what happened during our trip to the Italian peninsula…

Juventus vs Vauxhall (Europa League Semi Final Leg 1)

Venue: Delle Alpi

Attendance: 43,243

Starting line up: Jack Butland – Julian Marino, Javier Godoy, Louis Laing, Nikao – Leandro Velasco, Radek Vecera, Mark Brown, Ibrahima MBow – Wellington Paulista, Parana

Team Talk: You can win today!

Juventus seemed to be a much tougher opponent than any of the teams that we had met up to that point in the competition, their squad was filled with world class players from the likes of Darijo Srna in defense to Sebastian Giovinco or Yaya Sanogo upfront. Before moving on to the actual game, I have a mention to make about our goalkeeper. You all know that Dean Bouzanis was my first choice between the sticks throughout the season but now you notice that I chose to send in Butland in such an important game! Why? As I told you I sent in some backups in the second leg against Zaragoza, including Butland, and the goalie pulled off an amazing display to keep a clean sheet. Then I decided to give him another chance against Blackpool and he did very well again so he played in the next two league games as well and did a very good job.

On to the game now… We started very well, Juventus were surely not expecting that, and Louis Laing hit the crossbar on a corner kick after just two minutes! Eight minutes later it was Juventus‘ turn to come close but they were denied by a good save from Jack Butland. We were dominating the game though and the reward came on 23 minutes when Wellington Paulista made a lovely move and finished it off with a perfect shot into the bottom corner of the net! I was expecting a fierce reply from Juventus but that didn’t happen, we kept things fairly quiet until half time.

Half time score: 0-1

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Elias Kost for Brown

That reaction from Juventus did come after the break, we found ourselves under pressure right away and Butland pulled off another great save on 52 minutes before being saved by the post a minute later. We managed to break the siege on 55 minutes though, right back Julian Marino made a good interception in midfield and quickly passed the ball forward, Wellington Paulista picked it up, skipped past a defender and powered it into the roof of the net from the edge of the area! I made the remaining two substitutions after the goal, Stephan El Shaarawy for Velasco and Andrew Surman for Parana with MBow moved up as a striker. Juventus were in control, they were dominating but there were no clear chances until 15 minutes from time when they pulled one back on a corner kick with the help of some particularly poor defending from our part. The goal gave Juventus some confidence and they started pouring forward, we were under loads of pressure. We managed to hang in there though, Jack Butland made another great save 10 minutes from time and we won the game 2-1. Unfortunately Ibrahima MBow picked up a second yellow card five minutes from time for a needless foul in midfield. The result was good but we were not sure of the qualification yet, Juventus proved that they are a great team and I felt that they were more than capable of beating us 2-0 anytime, anywhere.

Full time team talk: Well done!

Man of the match: Wellington Paulista

Flop of the match: Mark Brown

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

Now let’s get back to the Premier League, as promised. You already know that we were on a nice seven-game winning streak, now let’s find out where we were in the table. Well, I can tell you that we were in third place with three games to play, not a big surprise there, but the shocking fact is that we were in with a chance for… the title! Chelsea and Manchester City had dropped a few points so we were just two points off the top with three games remaining!

However, our advantage over fifth placed Manchester United was still at three points, we still were not sure of qualifying for the Champions League. Aston Villa were out of the top four race, I was hoping to capitalize on their poor form of late and grab another three points.

Vauxhall vs Aston Villa (Premier League)

Venue: Rivacre Park

Attendance: 10,266 (sold out)

Starting line up: Jack Butland – Julian Marino, Julian Bazzi, Mervin Simon, Grant Baddeley – Leandro Velasco, Mark Brown, Kwabena Quartey, Andrew Surman – Parana, Zé Carlos

Team Talk: You can win today!

Unfortunately we got off to a nightmare start, Aston Villa took the lead after just three minutes with a surprising shot. Then my team did what it was supposed to do, we dominated the game until half time but we were not very productive as we only managed two shots on target despite having 70% ball possession.

Half time score: 0-1

Half time team talk: Sympathise.

Half time substitutions: Stephan El Shaarawy for Velasco, Elias Kost for Brown, Kai Kramer for Surman

Our Champions League qualification dream was in danger so the lads came out with even more determination from the dressing room, we were pushing forward but the equalizer was still eluding us. Somebody had to do something and that man was Zé Carlos, he pulled us level with a fantastic strike from the edge of the area and we had 23 more minutes to find the winning goal. Parana missed a glorious chance 10 minutes from time as he fired wide from seven yards and Aston Villa seemed to be able to hold out for a draw as the game entered injury time. We had one last chance two minutes into stoppage time, Grant Baddeley sent in a cross, it was deflected but it went to Zé Carlos who cushioned it with a nice touch and then fired home! The game was not over yet though, Aston Villa managed to create a last-gasp chance but they were denied by a stunning save from Jack Butland!

Full time team talk: Well done!

Man of the match: Zé Carlos

Flop of the match: Andrew Surman

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

No changes in the league table, we were still two points off the top and three points clear of Manchester United

We had to forget all about the league at least for a few days though, mighty Juventus were coming at Rivacre Park and their intentions were clear: punish us for the first leg!

Vauxhall vs Juventus (Europa League Semi Final Leg 2)

Venue: Rivacre Park

Attendance: 10,266 (sold out)

Starting line up: Jack Butland – Kwabena Quartey, Javier Godoy, Louis Laing, Nikao – Leandro Velasco, Radek Vecera, Mark Brown, Andrew Surman – Wellington Paulista, Pavol Vesely

Team Talk: Encourage.

I fielded the best and fittest 11 players that I had available except one: striker Parana. He was in danger of being suspended if he would have picked up another yellow card and since he had the bad habit of diving quite often (and getting caught quite often too) I chose to leave him on the bench and send in Vesely instead. Juventus wasted no time in showing that they meant business, they put us under pressure from the very first second of the game and they only needed six minutes to take the lead. The visitors needed just one more goal to qualify at that point but my lads woke up just in time, took control of the game but didn’t create any chances in the following minutes. Juventus came close to bagging that second goal on 20 minutes when a cracking shot from distance hit the crossbar and then they had another good chance on a counter attack but Jack Butland did a great job to save us there. We needed to score a goal and ease some of the pressure but the strikers were unable to link up like they usually do. But when the strikers can’t do it the centre backs can: Louis Laing headed on a a corner kick cross into the six yard box and Javier Godoy beat the keeper with a diving header! The goal gave the lads more confidence and we could have scored a second just before the break but Juventus goalkeeper Steve Mandanda made an awesome double save on Pavol Vesely.

Half time score: 1-1

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Mervin Simon for Godoy, Elias Kost for Vecera

I had to make two substitutions at half time because of fatigue but Juventus‘ players didn’t look much fresher either, the game was pretty much under our control until the last 20 minutes. Juventus didn’t seem capable of doing the damage but we still had to be careful. Our fears were long gone 17 minutes from time though, midfielder Mark Brown curled in a superb free kick shot from 25 yards out and we were comfortably leading 2-1! I changed the strategy to counter immediately after the goal and the last minutes of the game were pleasantly quiet, Juventus didn’t even see much of the ball before the final whistle. Jack Butland was the man of the match, he had a tremendous first half and things could have gone a lot differently without his saves before the break.

Full time team talk: Congratulations!

Man of the match: Jack Butland

Flop of the match: Pavol Vesely

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

We were through to the final and we were going to meet Dortmund, as expected. The Germans brushed aside Dnipro and they were the favorites to lift the trophy.

We had a very important league game before the big final though, we had to get three points at Arsenal if we wanted to keep the title hopes alive!

Arsenal vs Vauxhall (Premier League)

Venue: Emirates Stadium

Attendance: 57,802

Starting line up: Jack Butland – Julian Marino, Julian Bazzi, Louis Laing, Javier Godoy – Leandro Velasco, Mark Brown, Kwabena Quartey, Andrew Surman – Zé Carlos, Parana

Team Talk: You can win today!

Unfortunately midfielder Radek Vecera had picked up a slight injury in training before the game so I had to send in Quartey as a midfielder but the good news was that Graham Howson was back in training and I was able to give him a seat on the bench. The first half was fairly even but rather boring to be honest, the two teams canceled each other out and the crowd had little to cheer about. Things could have gone our way a minute before the break though, Parana unleashed a fierce shot from the edge of the area but it rattled the crossbar before being cleared out of danger.

Half time score: 0-0

Half time team talk: You can win today!

Half time substitutions: Nikao for Godoy, Graham Howson for Velasco, Ibrahima MBow for Surman

We looked a bit better after the break but there still weren’t any clear chances, the game was heading toward a goalless ending. We received some help 22 minutes from time when Menez picked up a second yellow card and left Arsenal with only 10 men but we were worse off after that, the Gunners parked the bus and secured the draw.

Full time team talk: Sympathise.

Man of the match: Julian Bazzi

Flop of the match: Parana

Match Stats

Our title dream was over, Chelsea were four points ahead of us before the last game of the season. That last game was totally unimportant at that point as both Manchester United and Tottenham were three points behind us but with a considerably worse goal difference, we were 99% sure of finishing the season in third place.

So we had nothing else to worry about than the big Europa League final against Dortmund! I will try to re-create what I felt during the game, I took some notes of the important events in the game and my reactions to them, I hope you will enjoy the next page! ;)

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

Prev1 of 2
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

45 Comments
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
45 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kevin
9 years ago

Hello Johnny
Congratulations on winning the Europa League and I really enjoyed the way you set out the final for us to read. That notebook of yours must be really something by now :)
A great effort in the Premier League too and you came so close to winning it as well. The introduction of Butland was inspired even though he let you down a bit in the final. You have Vauxhall developing into a real force to be reckoned with and hopefully you can keep those two Brazilian strikers to fulfill your title ambitions. Well done!!

Sayam Khan
9 years ago

Hi Johnny,

what a season! and to do it in yourr second season in the top flight, that’s even better! Good to know about all them improvements your board is doing, your club is going in the correct direction. Excellent stuff!

Sayam Khan
9 years ago
Reply to  Sayam Khan

And yeah, you definately need a LB, Nikao is injury prone and has poor Marking & Positioning attributes. Maybe you need a new RB as well?

Sibo373
Sibo373
9 years ago

Well done Johnny!

That was a fantastic achievement winning the Europa League and a very interesting way of putting it, which I really enjoyed reading!

I am sure next year could be Vauxhall’s with regards to the Premier League and that should surely make you a club legend if you did that!

Could you post Butland’s stats in your next post, and will he become your 1st choice now?

Apart from all that this has been an incredible season for Vauxhall on every fron and long may it continue Mr. Karp! :D

Sibo373
Sibo373
9 years ago
Reply to  Sibo373

Sorry, I don’t need Butland’s stats, I forgot you can click on the squad names!

Could you possibly post Bojan’s stats at this point, I would like to see him at 25/26, in his fully developed years! :D

vikingmarius
9 years ago

Wow you have done a fantastic job here, you have taken Vauxhall to new heights with the Europa League and 3rdin the league isn’t to shabby cant wait to see how you do in the transfer market and in the champions league :D

Erick Wolf
Erick Wolf
9 years ago

What a post. I think the way you formatted the final was a nice way to make it a thriller!
Good season overall, and I’m very proud of the Motormen.
I can’t wait for pre-season now…

Jonathan Downer
9 years ago

A brilliant Europa championship, congratulations Johnny! I can’t wait for the preseason moves, and I’m probably not the only one who suspects you may challenge for some Champion’s League glory next year. :)

Alex
9 years ago

Hey Johnny,

WOW! I thought you were going to win the title after seeing your great form! Brilliant Europa League win, very nervy final and thankfully you were te team that scored a late winner :).

Next season: The Treble!

Excessive
9 years ago

Excellent Johnny that was really special!
How you managed to beat a Dortmund side that had thrashed opposition along the way I don’t know, but you did it in style.

League went great too! Hopefully you can push for a top two spot next season and maybe sneak a league title if you lads stay fit!

Cant wait to see who you bring in :)

Lye
Lye
9 years ago

Hi Johnny,

What a comeback in the final! There is no doubt you are the only winner even trailing with a goal as your team played a lot better.

This season is unlucky with those injuries. Your squad looks good to land the title. Next season will be your year. I dare to say with a couple of additions, you will win the title next year.

A lot of talented youngsters in the team and they can only get better. Can’t imagine how far they will progress next season if your training facilities is better. Looking forward to your transfers. Good luck.

Jack
Jack
9 years ago

Phenomenal season Johnny! To win the europa league was a great achievement, shame you won’t ever be in that competition again ;) Whats great is that, judging by the screenshot, your squad still has a lot of potential! Hopefully you will be able to keep hold of your starlets and really create a legacy in Vauxhaull. Its a shame your facilities are so rubbish your players would develop even quicker then. Good luck next season! Can’t wait for the transfers post. Also could you please post a screen shot of the club legends and icons? Cheers :)

JeanPaul Borg
JeanPaul Borg
9 years ago

Excellent stuff as always Johnny. Great blog.

Darren Smith
Admin
9 years ago

The legend does it again, probably the most enjoyable post of FM 2011, well done Johnny. That was a roller coaster ride! Congrats on winning the Europa League, that is a ridiculous achievement and also to get 3rd is outstanding. Automatic qualification to the CL and lots of money to go with :)

CsAtlantis
9 years ago

Poor Dortmund, 4th defeat in the final? Good win there Johnny, looks like your club has the money to invest in facilities, a youth academy should hopefully help improve the regens your club produces, looks like your other facilities will need some work done too

And theres the new stadium to look forward to

So, Johnny are you the only icon? Quite funny that you’re compared to yourself :P

Sears
9 years ago

Great season Johnny, success from here on will be inevitable :-p Really looking forward to your pre season post, good luck!

jameswd
jameswd
9 years ago

hey johnny

what a exellent season for vauxhall it was really somthing :D Your brazillians are surely a force not to be reckond with :) i cant wait to see who you bring in for the first team, might i recoment brazillian dodo for left back, i also managed to sign di maria so he might be worth a look? im in my 8th season with middlesbrough and he’s my first choice left back and weve won the premiership coming up 6 times :D just a suggestion though mate

keep up the good work

joe lance
joe lance
9 years ago

Very great season and the post itself was wow! The Europa league trophy and champions league qualification in your second (?) season in the EPL, that’s legend stuff. Congrats man!

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
9 years ago

Hey Johnny
What a win! The Europa League cup was something I was not expecting! I was not even expected for you to get a Champions League place. That was a great comeback as well, from 2-1 to 3-2. You are one legend!

hils
hils
9 years ago

Hi Johnny,great end of season there!!!!!!!! Congrats on winning the europa league!!!!!!!!!! Good luck!!!!!!!

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
9 years ago

Fantastic Johnny, what a great season! You did fantastically well in the league, and the Europa League win was fantastic, just capping off a marvellous season. Congratulations, and I reckon you can win the league next year, and hopefully you can repeat your success, only this time in the Champions League! Looking forward to seeing what you do in pre season :)

Ana Garcia
9 years ago

A bit late but well done!!

I cant really add anything that has not already been said, your Brazilian duo are amazing hopefully you can keep a hold of them for the future.

Good luck Johnny!!! :)

Mariano
Mariano
9 years ago

Amazing winning the Europa league defeating Juventus and Dortmund, also very nice the way you told the Final game against Dortmund!

FM 2021 Latest

Recent Posts

Subscribe to our Newsletter

FM 2021 Player Lists

More in archived posts