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The Blue & Whites - Reviving Deportivo La Coruna

  1. The Blue & Whites - Reviving Deportivo La Coruna




    The Blue & Whites - Reviving Deportivo La Coruna

    Deportivo La Coruna are certainly a club that have fallen from grace in recent years! For 20 consecutive seasons, they competed in La Liga between 1990 and 2010, making their mark as a regular top 10 finisher! The highlight of this period was in the 1999/2000 season when the club won it's only La Liga title, following that up with two 2nd place finishes and two 3rd place finishes over the next 4 seasons as they established themselves as a force in Spanish football.

    In the 2010/11 season, the club had a season to forget, finishing 18th in the league and dropping down to the 2nd tier! The next 3 seasons proved to be a yo-yo as Deportivo were immediately promoted back to La Liga, then immediately relegated and then promoted again! Between 2014 and 2017, the club just about kept their head above water in the top tier, with two 16th and a 15th place finish! However, it proved to be too much for them last season as again they were relegated after winning only 6 league games all year! Fair to say that the Deportivo fans have not had too much to cheer about over the past 10 years or so.

    As far as cup success goes, Deportivo have lifted the Copa del Rey on two occasions, but not since 2002, and they have never lifted a European trophy!

    So my plan is to revive the club and bring back the good times of the early 2000's. First, I need to guide them back to the top flight and then gradually build a team that can compete with the powerhouses that are Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico again! No easy task, but I'm relishing the challenge!

    My new home is the Estadio Riazor, a decent ground with a 32,660 capacity that really warrants a higher level of football than what it's currently getting!



    At some point in the save, I'll also be hoping to bag myself an international job! I am not specifically aiming for the Spain role, but will take this side of the save as it comes!

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  2. Monday 9th July 2018


    Roy Makaay played for the club during their glory years between 1999-2003, making over 130 appearances for the club! His goalscoring record was a very good one as he netted 79 times in those games!

    Monday 9th July 2018



    Current Squad Pros

    - I have a squad that should be capable of challenging in this division.
    - I have most positions covered on the pitch with more than 1 player for each position.
    - I have some players in the squad with a relatively high value attached to them.
    - There is a good core of Spanish players in the team.
    - There is nobody with poor morale in the squad.

    Current Squad Cons

    - I don't have any exciting young talent in the first team, with no teenagers and my youngest players being 21!
    - A couple of my best players are out on loan, obviously in a bid to keep hold of them in the hope we will return to the top flight next season.
    - Some of the players morale could be higher.
    - Some of my players are wanted by other clubs and I may face a battle to keep them here following relegation last season!



    Diego Rolan looks like a very good striker and is one of my best, if not the best player in the squad. However, I won't have him available this year as he is on loan at Alaves in La Liga.



    Fede Cartabia is another player who looks pretty sh*t hot! Hopefully I can fend off the interest from La Liga clubs Eibar and Girona who are both sniffing around!



    Dani Gimenez may be 34 years old, but he is a solid keeper for this level and he could prove to be a key player for us this year between the sticks!



    My best prospect in the U19 side is also a goalkeeper! Pablo Brea is only 17 and has some serious potential about him and he could definitely grow into a number 1 keeper for the club further along his career!



    This is the tactic I've created to start us off! The DM will provide extra cover for the wing backs as they bomb on to support the attack! The inside forwards will act as our main goalscoring threat with the Deep Lying Forward dropping in the gap between midfield and attack to link the play! It is a high intensity, high pressing formation that will require the players to work hard to win the ball back when we lose it and quickly counter! Most players do also have individual instructions combined with their roles depending on their strengths! For example, I ensure any player with poor finishing is set to shoot less often, good crossers will be instructed to cross more often, good tacklers will be instructed to go in harder! I also like to set my centre backs to mark tighter and have very little creative freedom...their 1 job is to defend our goal and I want all their focus on that!



    The club is in a very stable financial position with nearly £22 million in the bank! The board have made over £2.5 million available for me to improve the squad in the transfer window.

    Attached Images

  3. Saturday 25th August 2018


    Fede Cartabia

    Saturday 25th August 2018





    Outgoing; Girona came in with an offer of £500k for 33 year old central midfielder, Alex Bergantinos, which I rejected as I wanted to keep him here! However, he had the tantrum of all tantrums about it and made his feelings clear that he wanted to leave the club, so I had to get rid! I managed to bump up Girona to £775,000 though which isn't a bad return on a 33 year old!



    Incoming; My first signing for the club is a season long loan deal for Oscar Melendo and the central midfielder comes in as a straight replacement for the outgoing Bergantinos. Melendo is a much younger, fresher player and I think he is a perfect addition to the squad. He joins from Espanyol and we will cover 50% of his £10k wages for the duration of his loan spell!





    I appointed Joao Mario as my new number 2!



    Pedro Mosquera gets the captain's armband for my first season in charge!





    The bookies certainly fancy us to make an immediate return back to La Liga!



    Carlos Fernandez is fancied to challenge for the golden boot this season. Personally, I don't think he'll be our top goalscorer as the way my formation is set up, he is being asked to link the play more than score goals. I expect him to chip in with a few but it's the inside forwards I'll be looking at to score majority of our goals!



    There was only one blip during the pre season campaign as we lost to Greek side, Aris. However, we did dominate that match and should never have lost it! Defensively we've been pretty solid throughout the friendlies though and have taken our chances well in attack.



    With the competitive fixtures about to kick off, the board remind me of their expectations! Anything short of promotion back to La Liga will be considered failure...pressure's on!



    Taking one last look at the season preview shows that we have two players named in the media dream eleven, right back Eneko Boveda and central midfielder Pedro Mosquera. Malaga make up most of the team with 6 players named!
    Attached Images

  4. Monday 1st October 2018


    Quique

    Monday 1st October 2018



    Over 22,000 season tickets sold and that's great commitment from our fans for a season in the 2nd tier.





    No better way to start the league campaign than by beating the title favourites on their own turf! We turned in a fantastic performance on the opening day here and two goals in quick succession from Michael Krohn-Dehli at the end of the first half were enough to grab us all 3 points!



    Our first home game of the season also ended in victory and again it was central midfielders that I had to thank for our 3 goals! Oscar Melendo came off the bench to bag a goal on his debut for the club!



    We're only 2 games into the season, but that's all it's taken for me to win my first manager of the month award!



    And it's a player of the month for Vicente, the goalscoring hero from the Alcorcon game!



    Osasuna are another side that have spent majority of the last 20 years playing in La Liga, so we expected a tough game here! And they did prove tough to break down as we played out a draw and drop our first points of the season!



    Extremadura helped us on our way to a perfect start with a nice early penalty after a rash challenge in the box. It finally gave one of my attackers a chance to score and Quique stepped up to tuck home the spot kick. It seemed to inspire the inside forward into a great performance and when he added his 2nd of the game on 63 minutes, it was game over and there was no way back for our opponents!



    Numancia had started their season well, winning 2 of their opening 3 games, but they were simply no match for us as we completely dominated this game from start to finish! A comfortable 2-0 scoreline in the end that could have easily been 4 or 5! It was the subs who made the difference in the 2nd half as Nahuel Leiva grabbed a goal and an assist, whilst Oscar Melendo scored 2 in the final minutes to steal the show!



    It was another double for Quique, plus first goals of the season for Carlos Fernandez and Pedro, as we romped to a massive home win against one of the weakest sides in the division!



    A fantastic, unbeaten start to our league campaign sees us right up near the top the table after 6 games and with our game in hand we could shoot to lead the pack! Already, we have set out our stall and shown everyone else in the division that we mean business this year!





    I'm having an issue with one of my best players, Fede Cartabia! He has decided he wants to leave the club and is making sure he can do everything to force a move, formally handing in a transfer request and now skipping training!



    Which apparently is completely acceptable according to him, as he announces to the press that his 2 week wages fine was apparently completely unfair! What a wanker!

    Player Watch



    Michael Krohn-Dehli might be the oldest member of our team at 35 years old, but what a start to the season the old boy has had! 4 goals and 2 assists in our opening 6 fixtures is an amazing return for any player of any age! Our very own Super Dane!

    Attached Images

  5. I used to love watching Depor play in their glory years, will be following for sure!
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  6. Sunday 25th November 2018


    Saul

    Sunday 25th November 2018





    Dani Gimenez made a couple of key saves to keep us in front in this game and the win can go down to his heroics between the sticks! A solid performance all round though and another big victory against one of the other teams in the division that are expected to challenge for promotion!



    Carlos Fernandez scored the only goal of the game with a headed effort from close range, as we scraped a tight home win. Lugo are not one of the strongest sides in the league and we weren't at our best here, but we still managed to take all 3 points, and they say you win titles by winning games even when you don't play well.....don't they?



    Another disappointing performance and this time we don't nick the win, and instead have to settle for a point at Cordoba!



    Quique has been our most impressive player in attack so far this season, so he'll be sorely missed over the next few weeks!



    Real Oviedo came here with one thing in mind...get a draw! They sat ridiculously deep and had 11 men behind the ball for majority of the match and we struggled to find a way through! However, a first half penalty gave us the opening we did need and allowed us to score the 1 goal required to win the game!



    A tight game on the stats and the scoreline maybe flattered us a little bit. We didn't create as many good chances as we have done in other games, but we took the ones we did create well and that was the difference between the two sides today! Christian Santos was handed only his 2nd start of the season and scored his first goal of the campaign.



    We are now 11 games unbeaten in the league and incredibly we have 9 clean sheets to our name already, with our current run being 8 clean sheets in a row!



    Oscar Melendo bagged the winner with 8 minutes remaining to keep yet another clean sheet and record yet another 1-0 win...our 5th in our last 7 games!




    We finally concede a goal, but in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter as we record a big away win at Elche! We were brilliant going forward and took our chances brilliantly in this game, scoring some really good goals!



    A very dominant display but we just couldn't find the goal to win the game!



    Fourteen games into the season and we remain the only unbeaten side in the league and sit top of the table! Despite our amazing form though, we can't seem to shake off the attention of Malaga and Tenerife at the moment as the three of already start to pull away at the top! There is already a 15 point gap between us and 8th placed Sporting Gijon! At the bottom, only 3 teams now remain on single digit points.





    We drew La Liga opposition in the form of Girona in the 4th round of the Copa del Rey! Our opponents had made an impressive start in the top tier as well, sitting 5th after 9 games and only a point off top spot! Every round from here on out in the competition is played over 2 legs (except for the final) and we had the home tie here first, so I was keen for us to get a decent result to give ourselves a chance! And we did exactly that with a solid 1-0 win, the winning goal coming from Pedro who slotted home a nice low powerful effort after cutting in from the left wing! The 2nd leg will be played in December!

    Player Watch




    Domingos Duarte has been immense so far this year and the centre back has been a major factor in our incredible defensive record! It's just a shame he is only here on loan, but there is a good chance I might be looking to make his deal permanent come the end of the season if he keeps up this level of form!


    Attached Images
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  7. Saturday 12th January 2019


    Bebeto was one of, if not the most, prolific scorers in Deportivo La Coruna's history! He scored 86 goals in just 131 appearances for the club between 1992-1996! The former footballer is also the 6th highest goalscorer for the Brazilian national team, with 39 goals in 75 appearances! This guy is certainly one of the best players to ever grace the Deportivo shirt!

    Saturday 12th January 2019





    Cadiz came into this game sitting in 6th place, but we brushed them aside with relative ease! Within 4 minutes, the damage was done as we scored two very early goals and our opponents never recovered!



    This was a top of the table clash as 2nd played 1st, and as predicted by the bookies, it was a very tight game! We played out a 1-1 draw which was probably a fair result for both sides!



    We had to play out the final 20+ minutes with only 10 men when Quique went off injured after I'd made all 3 of my subs. However, we managed to hold on to the win after it was Quique who put us in front with a tidy finish from just inside the box!



    After going off injured against Granada, Quique was set to miss around a month of action!



    My strikers really must do better! We had 26 shots on goal and failed to score which is simply not good enough! Definitely a case of two points dropped here in a game we should have won!



    Majahonda are struggling down in 19th place, so this was a game I expected us to win pretty easily...and we did exactly that! Not only did we have 25 shots at their goal and find the back of the net 3 times, we also limited them to only 2 shots in the entire game!



    Another five games down in the league and as we approach the half way stage of the competition, we sit at the top of the table! However, Malaga are right on our tails as the two of us start to pull away from the chasing pack and already look good for the automatic promotion places! Our defensive record this season is possibly one of the best I've ever achieved on any FM save as we have conceded only 4 goals in 19 games!!





    We picked up a credible draw in the away leg to see us through to the next round of the Copa del Rey! And that means we've met the board's expectations for the competition, so anything more from here is a bonus!



    Real Betis were up next in the cup and they inflict our first defeat of the season on us in the first leg of the 5th round here! We held our own against the La Liga side and matched them across the pitch, but their extra quality in front of goal shone through on the day! We certainly didn't deserve to lose the game 3-1, but that last minute goal from Fernandez gives us a shimmer of hope for the 2nd leg, although it will be extremely tough!



    A valiant effort from my lads in the 2nd leg as we went to Betis and proved to be the better side on the day, but failure to take our chances again cost us as we couldn't find the back of the net, despite coming very close on a couple of occasions...in particular Pedro hitting the post and crossbar with 2 efforts! Late on, we handed them a penalty which saw the tie slip away from us and with our heads dropped they then managed a 2nd and another scoreline that I don't think we deserved! It's hard to take the cup exit this year as over the 2 legs, we were definitely the better side!





    Outgoing; There has been no place in the first team for right back, Sebastian Dubarbier, since the start of the season and he voiced his intent to leave the club! I was happy to move him on and he joins Lanus for a fee of £125,000.





    Without a single loss to my name so far, the Deportivo board offer me a new 3 year contract with a pay rise to £14k per week!

    Player Watch



    Having given centre back, Domingos Duarte a mention in my last update, it would be rude not to have a little look at his defensive partner at centre back, Pablo Mari! Pablo has also been in sensational form so far this season with an average rating of 7.34 in the league! Again, he's only here on loan though (from Manchester City) which is a real shame, but depending on finances at the end of the season, I'd really love to make both his and Duarte's stays here more permanent!

    Attached Images
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  8. Sunday 17th February 2019


    David Simon

    Sunday 17th February 2019



    I was expecting a busy-ish January transfer window, with some of my players seemingly desperate to leave the club, which shocked me as we are top of the league and unbeaten going into January! However, some of these players obviously think they should be playing at a higher level!



    Outgoing; The first player to leave was Fede Cartabia and although on paper he was one of my best players, I'm not at all sorry to see him leave the club! He has caused me no end of problems, complaining publicly to the media about his desire to leave the club, trying to push his transfer fee down as low as possible to get a move, and disrupting the atmosphere in my squad as he tried to rally the players around him in a revolt against me! I managed to pick up £4 million for him as he moves to Stoke, which was nearly double his value playing for me. Although, it does look like a cut price deal as he immediately becomes worth nearly £6 million the day he joins them....however, I have got a 20% sell on profit clause in the deal as well so I might see some more cash in the future off him!



    Outgoing; Edu Exposito was another player who was starting to voice his desire to leave over the past couple of months! Again, I'm happy to let him move as he really hasn't been a regular first teamer for me anyway and has only featured in 4 league games all season! His departure just leaves us a little thin on the ground for central midfielders and he will need to be replaced. Exposito has joined Watford for a fee totalling £4.6 million and again I've been sensible enough to write in a 30% sell on profit clause.



    Incoming; We have created a lot of chances in a lot of games where we have only scored a single goal or failed to even score at all, so I was keen to add another striker to the team this January. Jon Bautista has only made 5 appearances for Real Sociedad in La Liga this year and has scored 2 goals, but it was his record for their reserves that caught my eye as he's scored 10 in 8 for them! So I have brought the striker in on loan for the rest of the season, to see if he can maintain that level of form for us at our level.



    Incoming; Following the departure of Edu Exposito, I needed another central midfielder! After an extensive search, I have brought in 24 year old Luis Milla from one of our title rivals, Tenerife! Milla has been almost ever present in the Tenerife squad this year and has been a key part of their team, so he could prove to be a good addition for us. I forked out £1.6 million to bring him here, which is a bit of a bargain as he is immeidately worth double that upon his arrival.



    Incoming; My final signing of the window is another attacking player in the form of Saul Berjon who comes in from Real Oviedo for a minimal fee of only £175,000! He is 32 years old and his contract was running down at the end of the season, so I guess Oviedo were happy to cash in something now rather than nothing in 6 months time. Berjon will give me another option in attack and has a good season in this division so far, scoring 7 goals from wide positions in his 16 games for Oviedo. Well worth a couple of hundred thousand and can certainly help us towards our goal of automatic promotion!



    Our deals were the 3 biggest in the division during the transfer window, whilst we also spent the most money and were the most active club!





    Our first league defeat of the season came at the hands of our main title rivals and saw them leapfrog us into top spot as well! For the first time this season, we had an incredibly 'off' day defensively and Malaga capitalised on a couple of sloppy passages of play at the back to seize the initiative and all 3 points! No question I will be looking for a response in the next game...



    Our 19 match unbeaten league run finally comes to an end!



    Following the defeat to Malaga, the boys gave me the reaction I was looking for as we turn in a comfortable home win against Sporting Gijon, a side that have been hovering around the playoff places for most of the season so far. Jon Bautista made his debut up front and although he didn't score, he did look lively and had a goal disallowed for offside...an encouraging start for the striker and I don't think it will be too long before he gets himself his first goal for the club!



    A nice away win at Alcorcon followed, with a powerful Vicente strike sealing the win for us late on, following Quique's first half penalty! A great strike from Nono gave them a conselation goal at the end, before Quique added his 2nd of the game and 8th of the season with a well placed header in injury time!



    Luis Milla scored his first goal for the club to get on us on our way, before Pedro added a second before half time, which put the game out of reach of Osasuna! Generally, with our defensive record this year, if we go two goals ahead there seems to be no way back for our opponents!



    That's 4 straight wins since the defeat to Malaga! When David Simon was sent off early on, it looked like we might be up against it here, and the game was pretty even for about half an hour. But when Numancia were also reduced to 10 men, it evened the playing field and again we started to dominate! On the hour mark, top goalscorer Quique bagged the goal that turned out to be the winner!



    We were really poor as we lose away at bottom side, Extremadura (which actually lifts them out of the drop zone to 18th). It seems I was wrong about new striker, Jon Bautista, who is still searching for his first goal for the club...he did come close here fizzing one shot just past the post and hitting the upright with another effort!



    We still sit top of the table, but on the same points as Malaga. A couple of defeats since my last update has allowed an in form Zaragoza to bring themselves into contention and now it's a three horse race for the title! We are clear of Tenerife in 4th, but this looks like it could go right down to the wire!

    Player Watch



    Quique is our top goalscorer so far this season with 9 league goals in 17 appearances, a good return from my right sided inside forward! He has chipped in with his fair share of assists as well and he's certainly been our shining star in attack over the past few months!

    Attached Images
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  9. Saturday 27th April 2019


    Michael Krohn-Dehli

    Saturday 27th April 2019



    There were a couple of 15 year olds in the youth intake who look to have some promise! The first was Brais Freire, a left sided midfielder with some pace about him, solid determination and good technique.



    And then there was striker, Yago Ballester, possibly one of the best regens I've ever had from a youth intake ever!! He looks absolutely awesome already and I won't be leaving it too long before I start introducing this youngster to first team football as he looks like he has the potential to be a world star!





    A poor result in a game we really should have won! Our strikers are struggling for goals at the moment and we need to improve our finishing ASAP if we are going to keep up our title challenge!



    That's 3 games in a row that we have failed to score now and our form has taken a serious dive! Again, we were the much better side but our lack of firepower costs us dear yet again!



    I dropped the 4-1-2-3 formation in favour of a slightly more attacking 4-2-3-1 for this game after our recent inability to score, and it seemed to do the trick as we hammered home 3 goals as we beat Lugo pretty easily on their home turf!



    A dominant display at home to Cordoba as we record back to back wins with the new formation. Oscar Melendo seems to be thriving in his new AMC role, scoring 3 times in the last 2 games!



    For the first time using the new formation, we fail to score and have to settle for a 0-0 draw against Mallorca! It's a dissapointing result considering they are sitting 16th in the table!



    Oviedo made us work hard for this and proved a tough nut to crack, but we got the job done with a satisfactory 2-0 victory! Krohn-Dehli was brought back into the starting lineup and repaid my faith in him with a goal!



    3-0 up at one point and we totally went to sleep for the last 25 minutes and nearly gave it away! A spirited effort from Albacete to try to come back I suppose, but I still needed to have words with my lads after the game.



    No matter what happens now, we'll at least be in the playoffs!



    Luis Milla's stunning free kick was the difference between the two sides here as we snatch another 3 points! 15 year old striker, Yago Ballester came off the bench to make his debut and very nearly scored a free kick of his own, firing over by just inches!



    Yago Ballester becomes the youngest player to ever appear in a Liga 2 competitive match!



    With only 7 games remaining, it will definitely be Malaga, Zaragoza or us that wins the league, and one of us is going to miss out on automatic promotion! We sit 2nd at the moment, but with a game in hand over Malaga and as long as we get at least a draw in that game we will go top...then it will all be in our own hands! We have a couple of difficult games to play against Zaragoza and Tenerife amongst our final fixtures so it's not going to be easy by any means!

    Player Watch



    Jon Bautista has been bitterly disappointing since his arrival on loan in January. He has now played in 11 games for the club (including 9 starts) and failed to score a single goal! I was expecting so much more and it's safe to say there is no way this deal will become a permanent one!


    Attached Images
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  10. Tense finish, good to see you get them back in to La Liga, here they belong!
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  11. Monday 10th June 2019


    Carlos Fernandez

    Monday 10th June 2019





    We were well on top for the entire 90 minutes but failure to find the back of the net costs us again and we have to settle for a point! This was our game in hand over Malaga and a draw is enough to take us to the top of the table though!



    An unbeaten April saw me pick up my 2nd Manager of the Month award of the season.



    We had a massive opportunity to take the initiative in the title race here as Malaga and Real Zaragoza had already lost over the weekend. And we did take it...but only just!! Almeria are fighting for their lives at the bottom end of the table and fair play to them, they gave us a very tough game here! But Carlos Fernandez managed to hammer home a winner from close range on 33 minutes to give us the win and a big step towards the league title!



    With 5 games remaining, we have a look at the final fixtures for all the title hopefuls. There's no doubt about it, we definitely have the toughest run in! Malaga and Zaragoza only have to play one side in the top 10!



    15 year old Yago Ballester makes himself a hero in just his 4th appearance for the club, coming off the bench to net the winner! A cross came in from the left wing and Ballester was rushing in at the back post to hammer home from 3 yards! Well done son!!



    It's another record for Yago Ballester as he becomes the youngest ever player to score for Deportivo and in Liga 2. He now holds the records for youngest player and youngest goalscorer, both before his 16th birthday!



    Tenerife had the potential to be a major banana skin for us in the title race, with them sitting 5th and having just secured their place in the playoffs. However, they provided very little in this game and although we only won 1-0, it was surprisingly comfortable as they put very little pressure on us at all! Jon Bautista continues to go down in my estimations as the goalless striker comes off the bench to get himself sent off with an awful challenge late on. This is likely to be the last time he ever wears the Deportivo shirt!



    Malaga lose again, whilst Zaragoza win! It means that Malaga drop down to 3rd and we now have a 6 point buffer between us and them with just 3 games left! With 5 points seperating us and Zaragoza, if we can beat them in our next game, we will have the league title potentially sewn up!



    Carlos Fernandez put us in front early on with his 10th goal of the season, but it's the assist from Pedro Mosquera that deserves a special mention...it's by far the best pass I've seen all season...he hoofed the ball over the defence with a 60-70 yard pass that perfectly curled round into the path of Fernandez putting him one on one with the keeper...incredible vision! Our first goal might have been pure class, but the 2nd had some fortune about it as Valle's shot cannoned off the post and hit the Zaragoza keeper before trickling into the net for an own goal. Zaragoza added a conselation goal late on, but we held on for victory!



    The Zaragoza result confirms automatic promotion and we will be playing back in the top tier next season! Mission accomplished for season 1!



    Four wins from four games in May wins me another Manager of the Month award!





    The league title is ours with a fantastic 4-0 victory in front of our own fans! Carlos Fernandez shone with 2 goals, but it was 15 year old Bellester who continues to catch the eye as he scored and turned in an excellent showing of his own on his first ever start for the club!



    We finish the season on a high with another 4-0 win and Carlos Fernandez signs off his loan period with the club with a hat trick! Ballester scores again, as my excitement around this kid continues to grow!



    The final league table shows us winning the title by 8 clear points in the end as we finished with a flourish, whilst Malaga and Zaragoza dropped points over their last 6 or 7 games. Zaragoza did leapfrog title favourites Malaga into the automatic places though! As far as our own stats go, that has to be one of the best defensive records I've ever had on an FM season, as we conceded just 14 goals in 40 games...incredible stuff from my back line! We didn't do too bad going forward either, as only Zaragoza scored more goals than us!

    Attached Images
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  12. End of Season 2018/19



    End of Season 2018/19

    Major Competition Winners

    La Liga; Barcelona
    La Liga 2; Deportivo La Coruna
    Copa del Rey; Atletico Madrid
    Champions League; Barcelona
    Europa League; Juventus



    A good first season in charge as we lift the Liga 2 title and return to the top tier of Spanish football at the first time of asking! Now the hard work begins!



    Malaga will spend another season in the 2nd tier after they were beaten by Sporting Gijon in the Playoff Final.



    The Squad

    Goalkeepers; Dani Gimenez played every single game for us this season and I'm sure Adrian Ortola will be disappointed to have got no competitive game time at all, but I wanted to give my 35 year old veteran a full season under his belt as it is likely he won't be number 1 next year! Gimenez gave me a very good season though and will likely remain here as backup to a new keeper next year.

    Defenders; Well what can I say...my defence have been phenomonal this season and every team we have played has struggled to break us down! Mari and Duarte have been brilliant as my main centre back pairing and it will be a massive blow to see both of them return to their clubs at the end of their loan spell. David Simon made the right back role his own, even though he looked like he'd be second best for this position when I came here, whilst Saul had a good season as my main left back, chipping in with 5 assists.

    Midfielders; There have been several central midfield pairings and in all honesty, most of them worked for us! Pedro Mosquera acted as my most defensive midfield player but still managed to get himself 6 assists and 3 goals this year, whilst the likes of Michael Krohn-Dehli and Vicente managed 7 assists and 13 goals between them as they were given free license to get forward. The on loan Oscar Melendo proved to be a brilliant addition to the squad as he bagged 7 goals and 8 assists, absolutely thriving in a more attacking midfield role following my formation change in the 2nd half of the campaign.

    Attackers; I've grouped my wide midfielders in here as well. Quique has been our shining light this season with 13 goals and 10 assists to his name, as well as 9 man of the match awards...he really did have a great season! Carlos Fernandez came on as the season progressed, getting better and better, and finished up as top goalscorer with 15 goals...again, another player I'll be sad to see return to his parent club as he's only here on loan. Pedro did well as and when he came into the side, chipping in with assists and goals, whilst we have a very exciting talent in 15 year old Yago Bellester who came in and scored 3 goals in 7 games at the end of the season!



    With our immense defensive record this season, it was no surprise to see the fans had voted a centre back as their player of the year! Domingos Duarte also lifted the young player of the season award as well, as he caps an excellent season on loan with us!

    My Player of the Season: Quique
    My Young Player of the Season (U23): Oscar Melendo
    Must Do Better: Saul Berjon
    Most Disappointing Player: Jon Bautista



    The commercial summary makes for decent reading with most areas on the up! Bit disappointing that we only sold 12,000 shirts this season though, considering we have 22,000 season ticket holders this seems low!



    The board will give me just shy of £8 million to spend this Summer to ready the squad for La Liga next year!

    Plans For The Summer; Well first on my list will be to either renew the loan deals of some of our players, or I will have to replace them during the transfer window. That will be the first priority before I think about adding new faces and increasing the numbers in the squad. From the loanees I have, I'd be keen to keep both centre backs Duarte and Mari, as well as striker, Carlos Fernandez if possible! As far as outgoings, there will be some for sure as some of our midfield players are unlikely to be able to compete at the top level of Spanish football, so I'm likely to look to offload some of them to bring in the funds to hopefully sign better players. Money is pretty tight though and I don't have huge amounts to play with so I'll have to be pretty shrewd over the Summer with my business. On the other hand, I do have some players returning to the club after being out on loan and a couple of them are likely to be in and around the starting lineup, namely right back Juanfran, centre back Rober and striker Diego Rolan who scored 11 goals in La Liga for Alaves this past season!
    Attached Images

  13. Sunday 25th August 2019



    Sunday 25th August 2019 (Pre Season)





    Outgoing; I have allowed Michael Krohn-Dehli to leave on a free transfer and he joins Dutch side, FC Utrecht! Although he had a good season last year, he is now 36 years old and I think that La Liga will prove too competitive for him! We have also done some good business in the window, bringing in better players in his position so he was unlikely to get much game time anyway!



    Outgoing; Christian Santos is another player that rarely featured for us last season and who's opportunities at the higher level were likely to be even more limited. So when Portland Timbers came in with an offer of £275,000 I was happy to let him move to the US to try to revitalise his career.



    Outgoing; Borja Valle was pretty poor on the odd occasion that he did play last year, so I was keen to offload him! Getafe were willing to stump up £1.3 million for him and I snapped their hand off!



    Outgoing; Francis Uzoho spent last year in the Deportivo B Team and had a good season. I had promoted him to the first team squad and was going to make him my number 1 keeper for the upcoming season...despite being only 20 years old he is already the Nigeria number 1 and that was good enough for me. However, he had other ideas and decided he wanted to leave the club and when Chelsea matched his £9 million minimum fee release clause I had no way to stop it happening. Still, it did give me £9 mil to buy a new keeper!



    Loan Renewal; First order of incoming transfer business for the Summer transfer window was agreeing a new season long loan deal for striker Carlos Fernandez and I'm delighted we'll have him here for another year. He has got better and better during his time here and scored a lot more goals in the second half of the season than the first. However, we are now stepping up a league and he will have to step up again but I have faith in him so have agreed the deal with Sevilla for him to stay for another 12 months. We will cover all of his £6k p/w wages.



    Loan Renewal; Next up was another loan deal renewal as we agree to keep centre back Pablo Mari here for another season from Manchester City. Quite a good move from me as well I think as I have a future buy clause of £3.1 million in the deal, which would be a steal considering he is valued at more than double that! We'll see how he gets on at the higher level this season and make a decision as to whether its worth forking out the transfer fee at the end of the year.



    Incoming; Then came my first permanent signing of the Summer, but again it's not a new player to the club! There was a future transfer fee already set in Domingos Duarte's loan deal and I have gladly paid the £2.4 million to Sporting Lisbon to make his deal permanent! It was a no brainer to go ahead with the transfer fee as Duarte was awesome for us last year and he is valued at nearly £7 million, which makes his transfer fee an absolute steal!



    Incoming; Following Malaga's failure to get promoted, I had a look at their squad to see if there were any decent players I might be able to poach on the cheap! There was one in particular that caught my eye and that was 27 year old Portuguese winger, Renato Santos, who got 11 assists and 4 goals for them in the league last season! I managed to pick him up for a very small fee of just £2.8 million...bargain!!! He'll be in and around the starting lineup for sure and is a step up on a number of players I already have in the wide midfield positions.



    Incoming; Next up was a free transfer as I bring Brazilian midfielder, Guilherme, to the club! He is 28 years old and will bring some of that famous Brazilian flair to the team and he was signed for that ability to pick a brilliant pass out and I'll be looking for him to contribute with a few assists this season! To grab such a quality player on a free is an excellent piece of business if I do say so myself!



    Incoming; Most of my central midfielders are better in attack than they are at defending, so I wanted a solid centre mid who could really stick the boot in and was a good tackler and Oriol Romeu fits that profile perfectly. He was transfer listed by Southampton, but seeing as I couldn't get anywhere near his wage demands, I went in with a season long loan offer and have managed to snap him up and am only paying 30% (£15k) of his wages per week!



    Incoming; Possibly the most important role I had to fill this Summer was that of the goalkeeper and I've done it with my biggest transfer fee, forking out £8.25 million to bring Martin Dubravka in from Newcastle! He is a better keeper than anyone else at the club and is a solid addition between the sticks. He's in his prime at 30 years old and could potentially be our number 1 keeper for the next few years!



    Incoming; My final inbound transfer of the Summer is the season long loan of Chelsea wonderkid, Mason Mount! Some of these Arsenal youngsters in real life have gone out to Germany and absolutely torn it up, so I'm hoping Mount can come to Spain and do the same! He's a good addition who can play in my CM or AMC roles and his versatility will definitely come in handy! Let's hope the kid can kick start his career with us this season!



    No surprise to see both Barcelona and Real Madrid making the biggest impact on the transfer window!





    We've been handed an OK start to the season as the fixtures are released! Alaves away and Levante at home can both be looked at as very winnable games for us to kick off our La Liga campaign!



    Well, the bookies don't think we'll have too bad a season back in the top flight and have predicted us for a 13th placed finish! And based on the odds, there are a load of teams they think are a hell of a lot worse than us!



    Going into the new season, I'm just hoping we can consolodate our position in La Liga and stay in the division this year, but the board would like a little bit more than that and expect a mid table finish...they're not going easy on me!



    Before we kick off the league campaign, let's have a look at our pre season. Although we were undefeated and played some decent opposition along the way, we weren't entirely convincing in any of these games and it's clear that not all the new and returning players have gelled just yet.





    It's a shame that initial £20 million payment hasn't been added to this season's transfer budget!



    Over 4,000 extra season tickets sold this year with the return to the top flight.





    The board have agreed to my requests to improve both the training and youth facilities!



    Pedro Mosquera keeps the armband for another season, whilst Domingos Duarte is my new assistant captain after his loan move became permanent this Summer.





    We'll take on lower league side Extremadura in the second round of the Copa del Rey this season!
    Attached Images

  14. Monday 21st October 2019


    Diego Rolan

    Monday 21st October 2019




    Our first game of the season ends in defeat at the hands of Alaves. It's a bitter pill to swallow as we were the much better side and didn't deserve to lose the game!



    Back to back defeats to kick off the new campaign and this league looks like it'll be considerably tougher! We were really poor in the first half here, but a switch back to my original 4-1-2-3 formation at half time seemed to spark us into life and we played much better during the second 45 minutes, so it's likely I'll start the next game with that lineup!



    Two defeats at the start of the season in a higher league and the players are already getting on my case!! Are you serious??



    Fuck sake! Just as it looked like we might get a massive win against Sevilla, we throw away a 2 goal lead and lose again! Pressure is on me big time after such a shocking start to life back in the top tier!



    Diego Rolan just looked like he might be finding his shooting boots for us with his two goals against Sevilla and then picks up an injury and will miss up to a month!



    Our first point of the season comes at home to Leganes, but it really should have been three based on the balance of play! We did have 2 goals disallowed!



    Get in! Our first La Liga win is chalked up away at Athletic Bilbao as we produce a solid defensive performance to keep that all important clean sheet! Quique's penalty was enough to get us a massive 3 points and let's hope we can kick on from here!



    We kicked on nicely from the Bilbao win and picked up another victory here, coming from behind to beat Espanyol! Yago Ballester scored his first La Liga goal as he continues to shine despite his young age...this lad is going to be in high demand very quickly I think!



    Yago Ballester's goal against Espanyol makes him the youngest ever goalscorer in La Liga history, beating the previous record by just 2 days!



    Incredibly, this game was pretty even on the stats, but we were still completely embarassed by a Real Madrid side that are totally on another level to us! It shows just how far behind the top teams in this division we are! Some of their goals were absolute crackers to be fair and we really didn't deserve to be on the end of such a hiding, and I just hope this doesn't dent the lads confidence too much!



    At least the players stepped up and did the right thing by the supporters after the humiliating defeat to Real!



    Games against teams that were promoted alongside us have to be treated as must wins. And what a reaction my boys gave me following our previous defeat against Real as we absolutely mullered Zaragoza here, with a nice big confidence boosting win! Yago Ballester is finding his feet at the top level and scored his first brace for the club!



    10 points from our opening 8 games leaves us sitting comfortably in our pre season target position of mid table! It's still early days and a run of good form could very easily see us climb into the top half, whilst a bad run could easily see us drawn into the relegation battle! The next 8 games will likely shape what kind of season it's going to be!





    No cup run for us this season as we fall to an awful defeat against lower league opposition! Nearly 30 shots on goal and the only time we hit the back of the net is from the penalty spot...that's shocking! And defensively we were disorganised and all over the place! Shameful performance and I can only apologise to our fans after the game!

    Player Watch



    I sold Edu Exposito to Watford last season and the midfielder would have been hoping to make his mark on the English leagues. However, it hasn't quite gone to plan for him and he now finds himself back in Spain, on loan with Getafe, where he is yet to make a single competitive appearance!
    Attached Images

  15. SACKED

    Another 9 games played and another 9 games lost, meant we sat 19th in the table and sitting 4 points off safety! With the second half of the season gearing up for a relegation dogfight, the board dismissed me from my position after expecting us to be well clear of the battle at the bottom and sitting safely in a mid table spot!

    Gutted to say the least, but after humiliating 7-0, 6-1 and 5-0 losses to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia the board decided enough was enough! The final nail in the coffin was a 4-0 drubbing at home to bottom side Eibar....with my time at the club being called to a halt immediately after! Morale amongst the squad was at an all time low and I'd completely lost the dressing room with the club's most influential players having turned on me a few games ago!

    Where did it go wrong...well, the signings just didn't live up to expectation! Maybe I tinkered with the tactics too much in season 2 where as I should have just stick with what had been so successful in our title winning season in year 1! I don't know, maybe it was a combination of things, but I'm gutted to see it come to an end as I was enjoying this one and really wanted to take Deportivo back to the top of Spanish football. I toyed with the idea of reinstating myself into the game and carrying on, but I feel this would be cheating and defeats the object.

    One things for sure, I'll be back with something new real soon!

  16. That's too bad. I was enjoying this one!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

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