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Ulysses

Career Ulysses goes for the Grand Slam - Complete

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· Posted (edited)

Taking up the challenge laid down by @EvzeyWales I thought I'd try and complete the Domestic Twist Grand Slam challenge.

I started with Real Madrid, for two reasons: they are already qualified for the Euro Super Cup and Club World Cup, and they have a recent history of appointing managers with no real qualifications for the job.

So, here goes:

Transfers Out:

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Screenshot_20190531-165724.thumb.jpg.3e22a8453efabf2d8577faab211b5c27.jpg

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Transfers In:

Screenshot_20190531-165736.thumb.jpg.f8dbdf13db06ecc872bece8cea03f623.jpg

Screenshot_20190531-165741.thumb.jpg.034e6198547d1b99936d487ad6d1ed26.jpg

Sorted out the team and made a tidy £10m profit too.

Results:

Screenshot_20190601-180626.thumb.jpg.9b3e88f6634b57285ddc3dd642321af8.jpg

Facing off against Atletico Madrid in cup finals was going to become a familiar feeling.

Screenshot_20190601-180635.thumb.jpg.447b13674cd361c50715cfb446578679.jpg

The Club World Championship was easily won. Not sure what happened with the scoring but one of Odriozola's was an O.G. obviously.

Screenshot_20190601-180606.thumb.jpg.9fb52b6cb1c782674dce2886806e75da.jpg

Atletico Madrid again. Another win, another trophy in the cabinet and this time it's the Coppa Del Ray.

Screenshot_20190601-180819.thumb.jpg.6c9c53d2a0f1d9037a1d6bda928f0b4e.jpg

The league was actually a lot tighter than it looks, Barca fell away in the last couple of weeks with a few poor results but it was touch a go for most of the season.

And the the big one. Can Real Madrid make it a treble? Can they win 4 Champions Leagues in a row? Can they beat Ronaldo's Juventus?

Screenshot_20190601-181533.thumb.jpg.4e5f86958ec8d94c278832ae7305fcbb.jpg

Just! Thanks to the luck of penalties and despite Ronaldo's best efforts to scupper his old team!

That's 5 trophies in one season! But the Spanish Super Cup is still up for grabs next season so our work here is not done just yet.

Individual Awards:

Screenshot_20190601-175958.thumb.jpg.ed3fb5d0f40675a73ed5af4210edd13b.jpg

Screenshot_20190601-175916.thumb.jpg.9e05dd0066b87c2ae17a732f60ba5124.jpg

Screenshot_20190601-181706.thumb.jpg.85665361551810adf45dbed3d216d828.jpg

How Isco could win the Ballon d'Or but not get in the top 3 for La Liga player of the year is a bit weird, right?

But Oyarzabal and Asensio were undoubtedly the two standout performers, with special mentions going to Pedraza as a retrained left back signed for £19.75 million and the unsung hero Marcos Llorente. 

Thanks for reading. On to next season soon...

Edited by Ulysses

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Thanks both. It helps that Real have a great team to begin with!

So, on to Season 2...

Transfers:

I didn't bring anyone in, and the only outgoings were minor reserve players and loans. I forgot to screenshot, sorry.

Results:

Screenshot_20190601-183625.thumb.jpg.af3a9691db932b03e7e9f62dc42d073d.jpg

Screenshot_20190601-184122.thumb.jpg.eba8e7425fd55d7586dfa2fa632d80f2.jpg

Atleti again, but it was far too close for comfort! After 10 minutes I was genuinely concerned at the prospect of having to play on with Real another season simply for another shot at the Spanish Super Cup next season!

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Breaking News! Real Madrid manager Ulysses has resigned from his position as manager just days before the start of the La Liga season saying he feels he has nothing left to accomplish with the club and needs a fresh challenge. 

Ulysses has recommended to the board that his assistant manager Xabi Alonso be promoted to manager, but instead the board have offered the job to Mauricio Pochettino.

Rumours abound that Tottenham are interested in hiring Ulysses as Pochettino's replacement. However, in a recent interview, Ulysses revealed that he is eager to continue building his managerial experience abroad before returning to the UK.

So, will a job offer come about during season 2? And where will it be?

It's a club with a grand history but a poor recent record, yet a lot of good young nationals to build a future upon.

Thanks for reading.

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· Posted (edited)

Season 2 (cont)

1200px-Logo_of_AC_Milan_svg.thumb.png.6ffd2c9c8e2979db1e5e5cb268015dd9.png

News Alert: A.C. Milan have taken advantage of the Serie A winter break to replace manager Gennero Gattuso with out of work Champions League winner Ulysses.

A.C. Milan, who currently lie in 6th place in the league, have said that there is little money available to spend, and players must be sold before any can be brought in.

However, long term club servant, and newly appointed Assistant Manager Ignazio Abate, has spoken of the wealth of young Italian talent available to the new manager, including the likes of first team stars Donnarumma, Romagnoli, Caldara, Calabria and Cutrone, as well as U21 prospects like Felicioli, Llamas, Pobega, Tsadjout, and Vigolo.

Transfers Out:

Screenshot_20190601-200010.thumb.jpg.a86902fc0aa60e445af0b66d9a520a50.jpg

Screenshot_20190601-200031.thumb.jpg.96ed82ebf7d6877aca999e238109736a.jpg

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Transfers In:

Screenshot_20190601-200154.thumb.jpg.a5d5e6f3dfd85a691f9263a77d710cfb.jpg

Having the winter break to sort the squad out was a blessing. Managed to please the board by spending only £1m. Bernardeschi was unhappy at Juve due to lack of game time, which was their loss.

Results:

After taking over during the Winter Break my first game was the Italian Super Cup (with Milan having won the Coppa Italia last season).

It went surprisingly well!

Screenshot_20190601-200542.thumb.jpg.d985e39a405d119df7fc19327c5b8f5c.jpg

Screenshot_20190601-200554.thumb.jpg.4e4b0359a65337ae1f30f82492de3e73.jpg

A sign of things to come? Or juat a luck win again a past-it Juve?

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Well, we came close to defending our Coppa Italia crown, but Napoli we're just too good. Not for the last time...

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But we did win the Europa League, thanks to star striker Cutrone and Tonali, who surely is a must sign from Brescia at the start of every career, right?

Screenshot_20190603-084212.thumb.jpg.fa2c52675234d871c38bb663990c58f9.jpg

Pipped by Napoli again! But wasn't expecting to make it up to second place when I took over, so happy with that. 

Individual Awards:

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None for my players this year, sadly, but I did manage to pick up this beauty, which is a first.

So, next season Milan will be in the hunt for everything except the World Club Championship, how many can we tick off the list?

Is our team good enough? Our coaches seem to think so!

Screenshot_20190603-085550.thumb.jpg.0d25b8036fecb4973fa7d0ca57b7c888.jpg

P.S. My old Real Madrid team managed to win the Champions League even without my help, which sets up a tasty looking Euro Super Cup clash next season.

Screenshot_20190603-084549.thumb.jpg.266f7c288081477ba2738c972f472b6c.jpg

Thanks for reading!

Edited by Ulysses

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Season 3

Transfers Out:

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Sold off the remaining foreign players who were on loan last season, as well as a few un-needed older players.

Transfers In:

Screenshot_20190603-090202.thumb.jpg.f28f145fcecfe0dbda6266625b9cfe4c.jpg

Not a lot needed, but some depth added to the middle of the park. Pleased that I've now made a profit during my time in charge of the club.

Results:

Our first game was against my old team, Real Madrid, who have now won the Champions League 5 times in a row for the first time since Di Stefano, Puskas and Gento.

So, can we beat them?

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In a word, no. But we got very close! And we've got a young team who are only going to get better.

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We did some small revenge against Napoli in the Italian Super Cup though.

A sign of things to come throughout the season maybe?

Screenshot_20190605-141423.thumb.jpg.736be4b732f94f7484d5c350260e9e0f.jpg

For the second year in a row we faced off against Napoli in the Coppa Italia final, this year we managed a positive result.

Screenshot_20190605-172810.thumb.jpg.16ac109984ae7f3b3b4a7e85ad738305.jpg

Napoli fell away in the league, and Juve (thanks to an ageing squad and poor transfer dealings) didn't prove too much of a challenge as we strolled to the title.

But what about the big one? Well, the might of Real Madrid stood in our way once more trying to make it 6 in a row!

Screenshot_20190605-171326.thumb.jpg.686ce6beca36e13e0d260225a52fe252.jpg

Player of the Season, and new Pippo Inzaghi, Patrick Cutrone, was the big difference between the two sides.

Awards:

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Bastoni was only a reserve player, so how he made it into the Serie A team of the season I don't know, but Chiesa and Cutrone fully deserved it.

My Best Team So Far:

For a bit of fun here's my best team, with the combined players from my two Champions League Winning teams...

IMG_20190609_081741.thumb.jpg.c4a34cbcfd9ee2bfe2e0090f4712cb1f.jpg

Post Script:

During the season I was offered the Denmark job alongside managing Milan, and had some fun games, especially this one:

Screenshot_20190604-172942.thumb.jpg.7f64d93e8cc781fc0466e02a4ac98265.jpg

Denmark have a really promising young team, especially in the attacking positions. We made it to the Nations League Finals, but France were just too good for us.

Screenshot_20190605-172119.thumb.jpg.324988a24bbf47b16619de572ff15411.jpg

Thanks for reading.

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Season 4

Transfers:

Having sorted out my team last year there were no transfers in, and the only outgoings were the loans of young reserve team players, so no screenshots, sorry.

Results:

1583500524_EuroSuperCupSeason4.thumb.jpg.03cf8a1f84c19b1ebaabc5539417ed6f.jpg

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The last two remaining trophies needed in Italy were ticked off.

1786853007_BreakingNewsLogo.jpg.32bad3e7d12e46142652571e98581d77.jpg

News Alert: A.C. Milan manager Ulysses has resigned from his post just days after leading the club to victory in the Club World Championship and accepted the vacant managerial position at Bayer Leverkusen. He steps down with Milan currently in 9th place in Serie A.

Leverkusen won the Bundesliga in the 2019/20 season but who are currently in 6th place and in danger of missing out on a Champions League place for the first time since the 2017/18 season.

Germany and Leverkusen legend Christian Worns has been appointed as Assistant Manager.

Transfers:

Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten to take screenshots of all the transfers during my time at Bayer, which is a real pain.

But here's a quick rundown from the Jan transfer window during Season 4:

  • Johannes Eggestein, £60m from SV Werder
  • Thilo Kehrer, £35m from PSG
  • Hany Mukhtar, £26.5m from Everton
  • Gian-Luca Itter, £25m from FC Porto
  • Nadiem Amiri, £25m from LA Galaxy
  • Timo Horn, £20m from FC Porto
  • Jordan Torunarigha, £17.5m from FC Bayern

I can't remember who I sold in total (obviously everyone who wasn't German!) but I remember they'd signed Romelu Lukaku, who gave me quite a bit of cash. Other significant profits came from Leon Bailey, Paulinho and Wendell.

In total I made a small profit during the Jan transfer window and praised the Lord that Bayer had managed to hold on to Havertz, Brandt, Tah, Volland, Weiser, et al, in the previous years meaning I already had a great German core to work with.

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And that core led me to a shock German Cup win in my first season. When I took over Leverkusen had already beaten Oberhausen 4-0 in Round One of the Cup, so, unfortunately, this can't really count as one off the list.

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We made it to the Quarters of the Europa League, but Timo Werner was just too good. I'd tried to sign him in Jan but didn't have the funds - gutted!

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But we did win the Bundesliga - in dramatic fashion too, thanks to an FC Bayern slip up on the last day of the season! Really wasn't expecting that one. Very nice, but again, it doesn't count for the challenge.

Individual Awards:

Eggestein (or the new Miroslav Klose as I like to call him) just missed out on being the top scorer in the league.

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But Julian Brandt did win Bundesliga Player of the Year and make it in the World TOTY...

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BTW, Wolves and Villa players in the World Team of the Year? No big-club bias on FMM19!

So, can we start ticking some of those trophies off the list with Leverkusen once we have a full pre-season behind us as a team? Wait and see...

Thanks for reading!

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Season 5

Transfers:

Again, apologies for forgetting to screenshot my transfers during my time at Bayer Leverkusen.

A few long-serving older players were sold on, including the Bedner brothers and Karim Bellarabi. A good offer of £22m was received for Mitchell Weiser who was sold despite doing well as first-choice RB last season.

Several decent younger fringe players were sold on for sums in the region of £10m-£30m to help fund new signings, meaning my "Youth Policy" stat took a hit.

The incoming transfers this season were fourfold:

  • Leon Goretzka, £60m from PSG after a less than successful move from FC Bayern.
  • Julian Weigl, £35m from Juve after he had failed to break into their first team following a transfer from Dortmund.
  • Benjamin Henrichs, £35 from AS Monaco, to replace Weiser
  • Timo Werner, £115m from RB Leipzig, so that he couldn't score against me again!

Results:

First up, the Supercup. It was a close one, but we just about came out on top against the classic enemy.

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The Champions League draw was not kind - drawing us against my old club A.C. Milan and old rivals Atletico Madrid, but we squeaked through thanks to Feyenoord taking points of Milan and Madrid.

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And then... we went all the way! Bayern were too easy in the final in the end.

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We also won the league, at a bit of a canter thanks to the fall and fall of FC Bayern, whose really have failed to replace players like Robben, Ribery, et al.

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Awards:

So, that makes it three trebles with three different clubs! Wasn't expecting that when offered the Leverkusen job, but Brandt, Havertz, Werner and Eggestein have been an amazing front four, which you can see from all the awards they have scooped up:

956985094_POTY1Season5.thumb.jpg.4965443b32d7e72f70c41c584cb02a94.jpg

769370151_POTY2Season5.thumb.jpg.912b6e128ea66ca819f0a9603ab55091.jpg

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Nice to see my old players at Real Madrid still doing the business!

Also picked up another of these to add to the collection:

1394093317_CoachoftheYearSeason5.thumb.jpg.f5dfaa1dd2f5fd14aad7f8b343c4870a.jpg

So, do any Bayer players get into my personal Team of the Career (so far)?

Yes, two in fact. With special mentions to Werner, Eggestein and Goretzka who just missed out.

504511724_TeamSoFarSeason5.thumb.jpg.efdc7b5790a762e5329b0db9a038c63f.jpg

Post Script:

There's a reason two Spanish players were nominated for the Ballon d'Or even though Real Madrid didn't make it to the Champions League final - it's because of their performances for their national side, who won the World Cup, defeating the summer's surprise outfit, the USA.

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The poor performance of the England team, who fell at the Quarter Final stage (sounds familiar!) led to this happening...

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That helps to set things up nicely for Part Four of the challenge. Just have to tick off the Euro Super Cup and the Club World Championship with Bayer, and then it's the small matter of finding a job with a club in England, who for the past 3/4 years have been uncharacteristically reluctant to sack their managers!

Who will go first - Antonio Conte at Man Utd? Marcello Gallardo at Man City? Zinedine Zidane at Chelsea maybe? Massimilliano Allegri at Liverpool perhaps? Or Spurs' Didier Deschamps?

Thanks for reading!

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Season 6

Transfers:

Nothing at all significant needed, but Maximilliam Mittelstadt was brought in on a free transfer from SV Werder to provide cover at left-back.

The only outgoings were the loans of young reserve players.

Results:

1366391728_GermanSuperCupSeason6.thumb.jpg.29bf5df3f131c52084ea997b9c9e11d1.jpg

An unlucky result, but we already won the Germany Supercup last season, so no big deal.253084611_EuroSuperCupSeason6.thumb.jpg.b4b6ee66100f2de84f203e2adfcba856.jpg

How PAOK managed to win the Europa League I don't know, but they were easily dispatched as we added another trophy to the list.

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Bayer have faced off against "FC Hollywood" plenty of times, but now they had a chance to play the real LA. It was closer than expected but we got the job done.

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Halfway through the season we were sitting pretty at the top of the Bundesliga once again. And you can probably guess what came next...

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News flash: Bayer Leverkusen manager Ulysses has resigned from his post with immediate effect having led the team to victory at the Club World Championship. Bayer won the treble last season and are on course to potentially repeat the feat this season but Ulysses has said he finally feels ready to return home to manage in the UK.

Post Script:

Unfortunately, no jobs became available in England this season. Unai Emery's position at Arsenal was "very insecure" for a long time, but despite him losing his last 15 (yes, fifteen) games of the season in row (including defeats to at home to Brentford, Fulham, and Spurs) the board did not sack him!

Which meant I had time to concentrate on the England national team job heading into the European Championships.

We managed to get through the group stage, which I forgot to screenshot. Here's how the knockout stages progressed:

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So, France in the Quarter's was a close one, but England's new-found ability to actually win penalty shootouts served us well. Germany were shockingly bad in the semi, maybe because they didn't have any real players to help them out?

So, onto the final...

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Inter Milan's Harvey Barnes secures the win for England, beating World Cup holders Spain!

So, having led England to a major trophy for the first time since 1966 can I find a club job next season and move on to the last leg of the Grand Slam challenge? Let's hope so!

Thanks for reading!

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Here's the tactics I've used throughout most of the career, although with Milan I mostly used Tonali at DM instead of an AM.

Screenshot_20190613-075112.thumb.jpg.fba21de4d1d8d1421a1fcd3d5e5cd1ce.jpg

Screenshot_20190613-075119.thumb.jpg.128b30ab2c73251e83612d4b46c0c099.jpg

Screenshot_20190613-075124.thumb.jpg.206455ac723c6bb32c0e7ff84828bd81.jpg

Screenshot_20190613-075129.thumb.jpg.d1e5db7f90bdd9ac2d963314acd3bc7e.jpg

The tactic works well for getting results, but doesn't score a huge amount. Although it should also be mentioned I've had easily the best team in the league for 2 out of 4 of the club's I've managed (Milan and Leverkusen), and I got lucky with England winning on penalties, so it's certainly not been the hardest challenge ever.

I'll try and post the last leg of the journey either today or tomorrow if I get the chance, although these screenshots kind of give the game away a bit.

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· Posted (edited)

Season 7

614166764_BreakingNewsLogo.jpg.c4a931617a255c52d8ae94904561f994.jpg

Just days before the start of the 2024/25 Premier League season is due to kick off Arsenal have sacked their manager Unai Emery. The team's results toward the end of last season were described as "unacceptable" by the board, but it had been widely accepted that he would be given more time to improve the performances.

Three-times Champions League winning coach Ulysses has been appointed as his replacement. Assistant Manager Steve Bould will be retained on the coaching staff and is joined by ex-Arsenal players Theo Walcott, Francis Coquelin and Jack Wilshere. Arsenal academy graduates, now Gold-rated scouts, Keiran Gibbs and Richard Hughes have joined the scouting team, whilst Carl Jenkinson will be the club's new Rehabilitation Physio.

Journalists expect the new manager to seek to sell many of the under-performing foreign players at the club and attempt to bring in some of the successful English stars with whom he recently won the European Championships.

Transfers:

Screenshot_20190609-175503.thumb.jpg.611c4b5537564aa38f67693f65f881fb.jpg

Screenshot_20190609-175525.thumb.jpg.32e8e28fd27fbd41fc33a4f829081a50.jpg

Screenshot_20190609-175527.thumb.jpg.c829bd7207a31e38ebad4272d348861e.jpg

That's the second time I've sold Romelu Lukaku (who returned to Bayer) and Thibaut Courtois. The club had already sold Joe Willock before my arrival, I probably would have kept him if I had the choice.

Screenshot_20190609-175530.thumb.jpg.cf5be871067f21f8ee2425b8fdca26a6.jpg

Screenshot_20190609-175537.thumb.jpg.4555f8e4943d338d5494461106d728ac.jpg

For only the second season in this career I failed to make a profit, but that's wasn't a shock given the price of English players - and I had a huge transfer budget anyway so wasn't worried. Leicester had signed Foden a couple of weeks earlier for £6.5m after he'd failed to make a single appearance for Man City in 2 years, so they made a tidy profit out of us.

Results:

Due to Arsenal's 7th place finish last season, and being knocked out of the Champions League by Napoli at the Quarter Final stage, we didn't get a chance to compete in the Community Shield or the Euro Super Cup.

We got knocked out the League Cup by Chelsea in an early round, and went out of the Europa League in the Semi-Finals to FC Bayern, but I forgot to screenshot - apologies.

So, onto the FA Cup, where we had an easy draw in the final against Premier League relegation strugglers Nottm Forest.

Screenshot_20190610-134102.thumb.jpg.36aec3e6bd71b7636a0ab947fa81d549.jpg

And we managed to win the league too and even go the whole season undefeated! Although 9 draws meant it was actually a pretty close race until the last few weeks of the season.

Screenshot_20190610-134409.thumb.jpg.4aa8cae8ecb64f41e3d507cc427154f5.jpg

So bringing back the old days with an Arsenal invincible season and a double to boot, but only two out of seven competitions ticked off so far.

Individual Awards:

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Picked this up half-way through the season, presumably more for my work with Bayer and England than with Arsenal. I think that makes 3?

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Foden, Nelson and Brewster scooping up all the awards there, so it's no surprise to see them all represented in the TOTY. Courtois also making it in the season after I sold him - the second time that's happened!

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Thanks for reading!

Edited by Ulysses

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Season 8

I forgot last season to mention the Confederations Cup. We made it to the final but Spain, current World Cup holders, got some small revenge for the Euro's and won with a last min penalty:

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Onto the domestic season then:

Transers:

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Jarrod Bowen was sold on and replaced with Hudson-Odoi, who was unhappy at Chelsea. Which also allows me to retrain him as a natural right winger, which will be a positive for my England squad as we have too many right footed left wingers but too few natural left-footed right wingers!

Results:

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Two of my stars from last season picking up where they left off. Brewster has a habit of scoring against Liverpool.

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We had a tough Champions League group but managed to scrape through with a few draws.

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Usually I play my reserves in the Carabao Cup, but seeing as I won the FA Cup last year I really went for it in the Carabao. However it was a substitute who scored the winning goal - thanks Smith Rowe.

So instead I played my reserve team in the FA Cup, but still surprisingly made it all the way to the final. I had to play a strong team against Liverpool, and we again came out on top:

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We also claimed back to back League wins, although by a much closer margin this time, reflecting the greater emphasis placed on the Carabao Cup and the pressure of Champions League football.

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So, what about that Champions League? How did we do? I was hoping for a Quarter final run, maybe even a semi, something to build upon next season...Screenshot_20190612-160805.thumb.jpg.bda0937c2fd2cc548b21f11a99cae569.jpg

I bet Poch and Kane didn't enjoy that very much. Foden commenting his place as one of the best in the world. Maddison a true set-piece specialist.

Awards:Screenshot_20190612-154037.thumb.jpg.847e2199d6b6c2b6ccb80eff72ddc033.jpg

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Post Script:

After the season came the world cup, with a brand new format of three teams per group and an extra knock out stage. I'm not convinced by it, to be honest.

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The group stage was easy, despite Winks' red card. His replacement Rice did well so he never regained his place in the side.

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A fairly easy win against Argentina. 

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An exciting game against Portugal in the "third round" meant we progressed to the Quarter finals.

Where it just wasn't meant to be. My old mate Oyarzabal scoring the only goal of the game as we lost to our recent rivals Spain:

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Spain, by the way, went on to defend their World Cup crown, so at least we lost to the best, right?

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So, onto next season with Arsenal. Can these English players get over the World Cup disappointment and claim the Euro Super Cup and Club World Cup and help me finish off this challenge?

Thanks for reading!

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Season 9

Welcome to season 9. Last season we won a shock quadruple, so now we're aiming to tie up the challenge with the loose ends of the Euro Super Cup and the Club World Championship. But first, the transfers:

Sad to see Holding leave the club after he captained the team last year, but he wanted to go and was getting on in age, so I couldn't say no.

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In came Alese from West Ham after his breakthrough season to replace him.

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Results:

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It should have been easy, with 20 shots and my old mate Ceballos getting Stef card, but we could only score the once. But still, that was enough as Bayern posed no attacking threat at all.

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And neither did San Lorenzo in the Club World Championship as two of the standout performers combine again to complete the journey!

It's been fun jumping around from club to club and using lots of different players. There's been some great bargains and surprises along the way. Thanks @EvzeyWales for the idea.

Team of the Challenge:

Choosing between Foden, Asensio and Isco to play alongside Havertz was difficult, and picking between Nelson, Brandt, Werner and Oyarzabal for the wings was near impossible, but here you go:

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Thanks for reading and following the journey!

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