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Dan last won the day on April 26 2020

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  1. Nah we never won the CL with them but in all honesty they were never going to be capable. It was hard enough winning it with Gangwon. I did win their equivalent of the Europa League though - although the caveat is that they don't allow the top 10 leagues of Asia to enter it so that does make it simpler. I think the one I'm slightly miffed to miss out on is the African Super Cup. Lost a final to a side we're better than. I also find it quite backwards how I've never managed to have a crack at the World Club Cup. Just pure luck of the timing. Gangwon, Kaizer Chiefs and Monterrey will all be in the 2037 edition but I can't be arsed sticking here for another year just for that.
  2. There's no unfinished business. I won it all over there. I've not really got any unfinished business at any of them now. My eyes are looking to Argentina. I hadn't thought of the possibility that my reputation was too high to go back anywhere (like for example could Terengganu actually have me back?) but then again I'm still only 3.5 star - that's not unattainable for a big Asian club. Asia was the hardest of the lot so far but I did start there.
  3. CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL 2036 - CHIVAS v MONTERREY Number three is on the table. It's yet another one where we got here fairly quickly, but once again I did get myself in charge of one of the big hitters so it was half expected, but even still, we got our act together really quickly and I'm happy with that. This is a tough final though. Especially given it's an away game and it's not like they even distribute 50/50 allocations - this is as good as a standard away game, and it's entirely done on luck of the draw as well by the looks of things. Chivas have come through solely MLS opposition in the knockouts, beating Austin, New England and Toronto onto making the final after only winning 1 of their 4 group games. They've finished 3rd in the Clausura, 4 points behind us, and were quarter finalists in the Apertura. It's not going to be easy but weighing it all up I do think even despite being away, we are favourites. And in all honesty, it all goes swimmingly. We're missing Alvarez and Franzoia through suspension so Becerra and Galvan step in. We never look phased or flustered, it's a confident, organised performance throughout and in all honesty, we take the trophy with relative comfort. It's comfortable. We outclass them and I have number three. We are over half way there. I now have the Clausura play-offs to play, and then we probably call Mexico a day. I've just signed a new contract though so I feel bad I fancy us to take the Clausura too. I seem to have one season at each team where we just scoop the lot and this has very much that feel. This is easily my best side of the save so far. I did an XI of the best side I've had and I think Monterrey probably take 7 or 8 of the spots.
  4. It was absolutely ridiculous. We've kept clean sheets in nearly three quarters of our games too despite playing quite an attacking style ourselves. Will be playing the final soon.
  5. SCOTIABANK CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - 2035/36 While the second half of the season is largely dominated by the Clausura, we have made our intentions clear and the priority is the Champions League, which given the Apertura performance and general dominance from Mexican sides you would have to say we stand a pretty good chance in. We're looking good for a top 4 finish in the Clausura after a couple of doubts. A fairly slow start but we really picked up again and I think we probably are the best team in this league now. --- The Champions League then. Our knockout run kicked off with a home game against MLS side Columbus. An advantage that goes our way is that their season hasn't actually kicked off and they're playing this off the back of friendlies, which I think can only really suit us to be honest. But we are thwarted and we're held to an infuriating 0-0 draw at home. Columbus goalkeeper Jorge Castillo has a blinder and we have to do the job in USA. The good news though is that there are away goals and a 0-0 at home means if we avoid defeat away, providing it isn't 0-0, we're through. No errors are made. We win 0-3 and the dominance of the first leg continues here, and I've no doubts about us once we get in front meaning Columbus would need to win the game on the night. We face Pachuca in the quarter finals -- a team flying high in the Clausura with us. The other quarter finals are Chivas v New England, Cruz Azul v Toronto, and Alajuense v America. --- The quarters for us turn into the most extrardoinary, basketball like games of football you'll see in a knockout like this. You associate these games with generally being quite cagey, teams scared to lose, but clearly these rules don't apply with Pachuca, and consequently, Monterrey. We get a penalty within a minute which is scored, but we're 3-1 down by the 36th minute and I'm having real doubts here. We've been built on hardly conceding goals so seeing a team scoring at will is really worrying. We get one back just before half time but Pachuca go 4-2 up and I'm really a bit concerned now. I make some subs and what follows, I dub the miracle of Pachuca. Pachuca's approach admirable but we just outclass them in the end, and their high risk style backfires as they gift us an easy winner at the end. So we have a win and 5 away goals - so the remit is simply avoid a two goal loss at home and we're through. But it becomes apparent early on that this game was no freak. It's 1-1 very early on and Pachuca you really do wonder might actually somehow win this on away goals. But the way this team responds now is just superb, it's like whatever challenge they're met with they find something else to overawe the opposition. We are rampant and we hit three fairly quick goals to go 4-1 up after half an hour, and amazingly, after just 120 minutes of the tie, we lead it 9-5 on aggregate Pachuca don't lie down but I think even for the nature of this silly game there's no way they can do it. They cannot score 4 goals without reply can they? They give it a good go to their credit. They manage 2 by the hour and with 15 left, youngster Urbina gets a red card. I'm actually a bit concerned given the rate of goals - but I drop everyone back a little and bore my way through the end of the most ridiculous tie I think I've ever seen. News filters in from Mexico City and it's what we all expected, but my god it was close - America really pushed all the way by the Costa Ricans. But the semi final I expected is the one we get. The other semi sees Chivas meet Toronto. --- We draw 2-2 in the league game at America before our first leg - I go strong as it's off the back of an international break and it's a quite big game in its own right in the Clausura. We pick up another red card but hold on for a point despite blowing a 2 goal lead initially. Onto the first leg. It's far more boring but it's what I wanted. We win 2-0 at home and the odds really do favour us now. I think we've really got America's number for the most part now. 2-0 at home when away goals count is a great win and not one that is often blown. Chivas beat Toronto 4-0 at home, so it's almost certainly Chivas in the final. The away game is a horrible, cagey affair - far more like normality in these ties as far as I'm concerned, but it doesn't make it any less pulsating. America don't really play the most open game themselves and the unavailability of key man Adrianinho for us is quite telling. The first incident of real note comes in the 80th minute when we pick up our sixth booking of the night, and unfortunately the second for Ulises Franzoia. I use my first planned timewasting sub to bring on another midfielder. I think we'll be OK but we really, really cannot afford to lose this 2-0. We get to the 90th minute and the next incident of note occurs. It's the same again. This time winger Javier Alvarez is victim and we're reduced to 9 men. The sickening thing is they wipe all suspensions for the final but not red cards, so both of them will miss the final if we see it through, and Franzoia is particularly a big miss. From the ensuing free kick, America score. I'm absolutely shitting it now. 1-0 down with 9 men. If they score again, they're almost certainly going to turn this around. But we take the timewasting to another level. I'm amazed they don't book players for it on this. We cling on and the 9 warriors drop to their knees as the final whistle arrives. We are going to Chivas. We play exactly the kind of aggressive football I like. We're very attacking but we're ultimately masters of spoiling the game. I'm willing to take the suspensions. I genuinely hold the belief that the pros in this style outweigh the cons. So we're one game away. It's going to be very, very tough. This has been a really fun campaign - genuine battles on the pitch. I'll be sad to leave Monterrey, I've really enjoyed this leg of the journey, and holidaying through it has just meant I've accidentally signed a new three year deal so we'll see what happens - I might, we might not win it. One final unrelated (ish) note - Becerra joined Man City in January for £6.25mil rising to £10mil, though we did get him back on loan for the rest of this campaign.
  6. If you're meant to be Rick it'll eventually happen. As cringey and cliche as it sounds.
  7. It was never serious. It always hinged on us selling players and we really don't hold the cards. I'm relatively patient in windows compared to many but this is the quietest I've ever seen. It's mental.
  8. Our head of recruitment left this summer for Atalanta (though he wasn't at all rated anyway really and I think the club's lack of fight to keep him is quite telling). His replacement is Martyn Glover at Southampton, however he's still there and they're not letting him come until the end of the window. The rebuild talk from us was a deflection tactic as I suspected. I don't expect us to make more than 3 permanent signings this summer. There's barely even a link. Colwill from Chelsea is the first serious one and guess who else are in for him, Southampton
  9. This is getting increasingly grating seeing Southampton buy decent youngsters, largely fuelled by a head of recruitment who is meant to be here. I can't believe we've accepted him staying there all summer.
  10. He's meant to be very good. He's one of our top targets by all accounts but I think if AC Milan's interest is real then they'll get him.
  11. The difference in Asia's competition as well by the way is that the bigger leagues are banned from entering their secondary cup (AFC Cup I think it's called). When I was in Korea you had 4 Champions League spots and nothing else. I'm just looking at it now actually - the top 10 leagues in Asia don't qualify for it. How the fuck did I run into Melbourne City? Were Australia seriously below 10th?!?! Yikes.
  12. I've not really had a bad job all save and no team has worked out badly. There's been the odd scare - particularly at Kaizer Chiefs and Monterrey who are both big clubs in their own right with expectations, but I've had decent money to spend in most of these jobs too. Even Gangwon had a bit of money behind them and it was never hard to buy steady players at the level they were at. You'd get a budget of £2.5mil in the knowledge you could go to a midtable side and take one of their better players for under a million. It made constructing the squad fairly easy. Use Bali to CV build, hopefully win some trophies in Indonesia and get coaching badges. At Terengganu I used to take virtually every free agent on trial as I had attribute masking on and just signed maybe 3/4 of them a season. There was usually a couple who were handy. You need some kind of resource to build for the future. I think it's so wired into me to do it to some extent that I just can't really resist it, but over time I think buying players aged 21-25 is probably the best balance for both short and long term success. At Gangwon I've left a legacy - they're the best team in Asia now, their manager has actually really smashed it with them, won the league every season since I've left and they've just won a second Champions League. Kaizer Chiefs won the Champions League for a third year running the year after I left too. Terengganu however there was just no money, you're in a league of sides working off scraps and you can't really build anything at all unless you're in charge of Johor DT who actually have money. I think the same will happen at Monterrey. Their squad when I took over had an appalling age profile. Can't remember if I posted it in the thread or not but it was like something out of the Turkish league. Loads of high earning players in their 30s. Luckily at Monterrey their academy is great and I was able to pad the squad out with a few youngsters, sign a few more as well, and then this season just buy more established players. They'll be far healthier for it though. They've got money and one of the best age profiled squads in the league now. It's a great save to do. It's very long and there are times when I do just yearn to go and take over a side in say Holland or Belgium and build my usual wonderkid factory, but it's great when you remember where it started from. It's the one save I feel you progress through it thinking you really earned the role.
  13. For me it's not even that it's hard to buy good ones, for example in Korea, I bought objectively the league's best goalkeeper, he had topped the advanced goalkeeping stats in a Jeonbuk side that won the league, but had fallen out with them so I managed to bring him to Gangwon. He comes here and ends up with the worst save ratio in the division. I also had a goalkeeper come through at Gangwon who is objectively top class and even he was guilty. His average rating was something like 6.60. He's now playing for Bayer Leverkusen and wanted by PSG. This was in the fucking K-League. At Monterrey, last season, my keeper was probably ability wise about the 4th best in the division. His performance? 18th out of all 18 regular starters. This season, same system for the most part - best goalkeeper in the division for performance. It seems to be really random and goalkeepers are just too prone to having shit games even when there's nothing to suggest they should do.
  14. DEMOLITION The Apertura is ours. We were sensational. We have followed through with our league form this time. Trophy number 26 of my career. The Clausura would be nice but the priority now is the Champions League for sure. I feel like this is a chance we cannot pass up. We are the best side in it. We just have to be. I've got to get through January without losing anyone substantial and then go again. We are historically poorer in the Clausura but this time it's kind of by design. For example I'll rest players in league games ahead of crunch CL knockout games. That's the aim now. Career major trophies: 20 Career minor trophies: 6 Champions Leagues: 2 / 5 -------------------------------------------- Honours list: TERENGGANU FC (8) Liga Super Malaysia (2) - 2023, 2025 Piala Malaysia (2) - 2023, 2024 Piala FA (1) - 2025 AFC Cup (1) - 2025 Piala Sultan Haji Ahmed Shah / Malaysian Super Cup (2) - 2025, 2026 GANGWON FC (5) K-League (3) - 2028, 2029, 2031 Korean FA Cup (1) - 2031 AFC Champions League (1) - 2031 KAIZER CHIEFS (10) DsTV Premiership (1) - 2033/34 MTN8 (2) - 2032/33, 2033/34 Telkom Cup (2) - 2032/33, 2033/34 Nedbank Cup (1) - 2033/34 Carling Black Label Cup (2) - 2032/33, 2033/34 CAF Champions League (2) - 2032/33, 2033/34 CF MONTERREY (3) Liga MX Apertura (1) - 2035/36 Campeon de Campeones (1) - 2035/36 Campeones Cup (1) - 2035/36
  15. It's a slog but you hit a point where you think you can do it. I'm genuinely quite confident I'm gonna take the lot. Bali United is a class first job. That's better than Terengganu and I thought Terengganu was a scalp, they were predicted 3rd in Malaysia but were just having a bit of a car crash of a season. You won't win the CL with Bali though bar a miracle. You're right in that realistically to have any chance you'll have to go to China, South Korea or Australia. Obviously I did South Korea. You never know mind - when I won the Asian CL I came up against Persija in the semis, which was frankly ridiculous.
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