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Vauxhall Motors Story: November and December 2017

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Hello folks, after a rough week at work that ended only today around noon and hardly any time for Football Manager I am happy to welcome you back to the Vauxhall Motors story! Let’s remember first where we left off: we were 4th in the Premier League at the end of October, three points off the top but with a game in hand while in the Champions League group we grabbed two wins (against Partizan and Lyon) and we got beaten by mighty Inter Milan. Now let’s see how we did in November and December 2017.

The first game of November was not too easy, Everton always are tough to beat, but we managed to bang in two goals mostly thanks to right winger Leandro Velasco who provided the assist on both occasions.

The first crucial game was coming up, away at Lyon in the Champions League group. We beat them 2-1 at home and we had to leave France unbeaten in order to maintain our chances of pulling through to the first knockout round. Let’s see how it went…

Lyon vs Vauxhall (Champions League Grp G)

Venue: Stade des Lumieres

Attendance: 57,055

Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Julian Marino, Javier Godoy, Mervin Simon, Pierre Touya – Leandro Velasco, Denís, Tinga, Tiago – Parana, Zé Carlos

Team Talk: You can win today!

The game started with some brilliant plays right away and the home side was the one who came closest to scoring early on. The entertainment continued until midway though the first half but it was us who broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when Tinga played a lovely through ball for Zé Carlos inside the penalty area and the defender’s desperate tackle pushed the ball past his own keeper! Our joy was short-lived though, Lyon pulled level after just four minutes as Gourcuff fired in a good shot from the edge of the area. We could have bounced back immediately but Zé Carlos and Parana missed a double opportunity a couple of minutes after the equalizer. We also had an injury to worry about before the break, midfielder Denís was taken off the pitch and was replaced by Graham Howson.

Half time score: 1-1

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Abdallah Yaisien for Tiago

Our second half was definitely not as good as the first, it started with an injury to Leandro Velasco (replaced by Javier Garcia) and it continued with Lyon dictating the tempo and trying hard to bag the winning goal. Our defense stood firm for a while but it was our goalie who saved us, Luis Guilherme was exceptional on a pair of occasions and we entered the final 10 minutes on level terms. I was expecting a hot finale in our penalty area but my lads regrouped and played a lot better, we kept possession very well and could even have scored the winning goal through Zé Carlos but the Brazilian striker wasted another great opportunity. The result was good though, we only needed to beat Partizan at home to qualify at that point. Things were not looking too good for Denís though, the midfielder was going to be out for three months.

Full time team talk: Good result!

Man of the match: Luis Guilherme

Flop of the match: Zé Carlos

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

Back to the league for a quick run-down of the last three matches of the month. First we had a pretty rough match against Birmingham. We found ourselves 1-0 down after just three minutes, then we came back and made it 2-1 at half time but Birmingham made it 2-2 with some help from our sloppy defense. Then we laid siege on their penalty area, wasted countless chances and hit the woodwork three times before legendary Mervin Simon stepped up and bagged the winning goal during stoppage time. The next game was a bit easier as we fired three goals against Blackburn with Tiago and Abdallah Yaisien bagging their first goals for the club. The last Premier League match of the month was a rather scrappy affair at Fulham but we clinched the three points thanks to a moment of inspiration from Leandro Velasco.

The 100% record in November pushed us… to the top of the table! The race was still incredibly tight though and we had nothing to celebrate yet since we were going to face some tough matches in December.

You’ll know more about those later, the last match of the month was a prestigious visit to San Siro to meet Inter Milan. Although we didn’t need to get any points there I was still looking forward to it as a win could have booked our place in the knockout stage with a game to spare.

Inter vs Vauxhall (Champions League Grp G)

Venue: Giuseppe Meazza

Attendance: 63,285

Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Julian Marino, Javier Godoy, Mervin Simon, Pierre Touya – Leandro Velasco, Radek Vecera, Tinga, Javier Garcia – Parana, Zé Carlos

Team Talk: Pressure is off.

The first half was not bad at all as far as we were concerned, it was an even game and we even showed a few good moments in attack. We had no clear chances though while Inter had only one but they were stopped by a brilliant save from Luis Guilherme. The effort was quite substantial though and several Vauxhall players were having fitness problems at half time.

Half time score: 0-0

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Kwabena Quartey for Marino, Abdallah Yaisien for Velasco, Graham Howson for Vecera

Inter started to play a lot better after the break and they were denied again on two clear chances by our goalkeeper. We survived the first 20 minutes with some luck and thanks to our goalie but then we started to play better and could have taken the lead through Mervin Simon on a corner kick but his header was cleared off the line. However, just when we were starting to show some good football we got punished by Inter and that was a big blow for my lads. We were unable to regroup and Inter created quite a few more chances during the final minutes but we could still have walked away with a point as Javier Garcia had a great chance on 90 minutes, he had the ball at six yards and all the time in the work to pick the finish but he shot straight at the keeper. The result didn’t affect our qualification chances, we were tied on 7 points with Lyon but we had the advantage in the direct results against them so we only needed to get the three points in the last group game against Partizan at home.

Full time team talk: Good effort!

Man of the match: Mervin Simon

Flop of the match: Graham Howson

Match Stats

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

After the game I received my second offer from a big club, this time Manchester City came by to tempt me with a luxurious transfer budget and an over the top wage budget. I said no, they should have expected that, but guess who they picked after I had refused them! That’s right, Jose Mourinho! They even paid a few million pounds to Real Madrid in compensation!

As I mentioned earlier December had a few cracking matches in store for us: away at Arsenal and at Mourinho‘s Man City and then at home with Liverpool.

You can also notice that we got lucky in the Carling Cup as we were going to meet Championship side Wolves in the Quarter Final, we had a very good chance of making the last four. But more about that in the next page…

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

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Sibo
Sibo
9 years ago

Well done Johnny!

Some fine form these last two months and it is great to see you fighting for honours as January approaches, I am sure you will be fighting for the title until the bitter end and I also think you will win some trophies (League & FA Cup) this season, as well as having a good crack at the Champion’s League!

Well done and good luck! :D

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
9 years ago

Great form Johnny, you’re in a great position in the league, and I reckon you will beat Hamburg. The title race will be close, but I think you’ve got what it takes. Good luck!

Erick Wolf
Erick Wolf
9 years ago

It’s nice to see that the Motormen are storming the EPL with their football. 1st place, in front of the likes of Arsenal, United and City is a respectable achievement.

I won’t be able to write the Oxford story anymore though.
No Internet = no uploading goals = no highlights = no fun.

Maybe when the next FIFa come out, or when I get FM12

Kevin
9 years ago

Hi Johnny
Delightful win over Man City and congrats in moving forward in the Champions League which given your opponents in the next round you stand a chance at least. The EPL is very tight though I feel if Parana finds the net again on a consistent basis you could pull away. Your January schedule is nuts with back to back games to start with and I see there’s an all important game with Spurs coming up. Well done and good luck!

Darren Smith
Admin
9 years ago

Another great update Johnny. Stunning victories over Arsenal and City bode well for the future. If your lads can perform like that for the rest of the season you’ll win the league. I do think the League Cup offers some silverware too, great to see Vauxhall challenging on all fronts. I think your team could surprise you in the Champions League. ;)

CsAtlantis
9 years ago

Very good away wins against Man City and Arsenal, good to see that you rejected the temptation of money :P, sitting very nicely at the top, though Tottenham have a game in hand so you need to watch out for the chasing pack

Compared to some of the other teams you could have drawn, i’ll say Hamburg is a good draw, good luck in the league and Champions League

Velasco’s doing well, lots of dribbles and good overall performances with 4 MoMs

Excessive
9 years ago

Excellent mate, that is really something! Getting the lads into the knockout stages is your biggest achievement to date with them and you must be chuffed that you find yourself this far after only 6-7 seasons?! Magic mate, you have done a brilliant job :)

Good luck with the results next update, you’ll keep that top spot no problem, even against Man City and Jose ;)

Ana Garcia
9 years ago

Wow! Man City offered you £50k a week, imagine if that was in real life…..

That said money doesn’t make you happy so you did well to reject that offer! Well done it getting through the group stages the extra money from the champions league will really help in the long run.

HSV (Hamburg I think?) Isnt the worst tie for you and over two legs you might be able to beat them.The league looks very tight but you have been a good run of results so am hoping you can continue.

Good luck Johnny! :)

Sayam Khan
9 years ago

Hi Johnny, excellent results so far… I think you will be able to win the League Cup and knock Hamburger out of the CL. I’m experiencing a similar thing with Parana with a striker in my story as well ;-) Excellent wins over City and Arsenal? Are Arsenal easier to beat in your save?

Sears
9 years ago

Terrific stuff Johnny, great to see you leading the Premier League and also exceeding expectations in the Premier League. Good luck!

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
9 years ago

Hey Johnny
Great form puts you in a great position in the league. You are exceeding expectations a lot in the Prem, but no one is complaining! You have a lot of game in the next two months, hopefully your team maintains their winning streak there.

vikingmarius
9 years ago

Great games here Johnny, some very good wins against both City and Arsenal and you have done well in a difficult champions league group, but do not underestimate Hamburg, are they better than before or like the same level as the beginning of the game?

Mariano
Mariano
9 years ago

Hi Johnny,

I had to return to Argentina and been very busy during the last month, It seems I missed a season from the Motormen as I recall you were qualified for Europa League….

You are doing amazing with the resources you´ve got, and also bit lucky to have Hamburg after finishing 2nd in your group:)

I did 4 seasons already in premier with Havant and though I always qualified for Champions I haven´t won the Premiership.

When you games with one or two days in between, do you rest your players?

Do you make them play if they are under 90%?

Have a nice week and let´s hope BNC and Man U play a great game next week!

Lye
Lye
9 years ago

Hi Johnny,

That’s a great run of results, beating most of your closest rivals. If you can maintain the good record, i don’t see why you can’t win the title this season.

You stand a high chance of brushing off Hamburg and i hope the draw will continue to be kind for you. Good luck.

Stromson
9 years ago

Great results, as always my friend. I’m looking forward to how the league title race pans out, and you should be able to get through Hamburg for the next round of the CL. Good luck!

Reasoner
Reasoner
9 years ago

I really like your stories John (Getting up to the part at mid Dorchester in the begineeing.)

Good results and good read, I am sorry my black cats team didn’t play aggressive :( One look at your team and they probably thought screw it :X

I only play fm2009, but is Vaclav Kadlec still a prospect in the future games ?

Liam
Liam
9 years ago

I know its random to just pop up but i think you might want to get some experience in your squad, sorry to be picky! i managed luton to the prem league and won the league with them for 5 seasons on the trot plus the champ league. good luck

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