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The Renaissance of Bayer Leverkusen
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  1. The Renaissance of Bayer Leverkusen



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    Football doesn't remember the nearly men.

    Sure, an avid football fan can name every member of the starting XI's for the Barcelona treble winning teams of 2011 and 2015, too quite possibly for the Bayern Munich treble winning team of 2013, but can you remember 3, even 2 players of the infamous Bayer Neverkusen side?

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    In this save, I plan on reinvigorating Bayer Leverkusen into winning their first Bundesliga title, their first Champions League and their first German Cup since 1993, and eventually, winning the treble that eluded the 2002 side.

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    The challenges for the save are:
    • Win the Bundesliga
    • Win the domestic double
    • Establish Leverkusen as the dominant team in Germany (Win back to back Bundesligas)
    • Win the Champions League
    • Win the treble
    • Develop the best youth system in Germany (most players playing in top divisions from our Youth academy)
    • Have Julian Brandt win the Ballon D'Or
    Last edited by GR14B; 19/10/2016 at 02:03 PM.
    naterr likes this.

  2. Squad Overview

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    The current squad that I inherited has real potential to go on and become a force in Europe. IRL, Roger Schmidt deploys a "hyper-press" style of play in an aggressive, narrow 4-4-2 and as a result, I am full of players with outstanding teamwork and work rate stats - an important feature for how I like to play.

    Goalkeepers & Defence

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    In Leno, Tah and Dragovic, I have a potentially elite defensive core that can develop together over the next few years, but to add I have Toprak whom is a very stellar defender and excellent third choice centre back. Jedvaj will be given an opportunity, as will Papadopoulos when he returns from RB Leipzig at the end of the season. In terms of full backs, Wendell and Henrichs also have the potential to be elite wing backs. Da Costa is decent homegrown backup, but Hilbert is surplus to requirements and will be sold as soon as possible (I disabled the first transfer window budgets).

    Central Midfielders


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    In any team I manage on FM, I find it essential to have a player who can build from deep - a regista. This midfielder (for now) will be Charles Aranguiz. I'm very fortunate in this Leverkusen team that both my centre backs (Tah and Dragovic) are outstanding on the ball, which means that there is the potential for me not to have to sacrifice one of my midfielder in the first phase to distribute the first pass. Bender and Baumgartlinger offer me two midfielders I don't normally use but am interested to experiment with - ball winners, but perhaps my key man though, could be the Leverkusen man, Kevin Kampl...

    Attacking Midfielders


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    Confession time. I really don't like Hakan Calhanoglu on FM or players of his ilk. However, I am going to try fit him in to my tactical plans because he has attributes (not just his free-kicks, but his corners and long shots) that if used correctly could be deadly. Volland has the potential to be my Thomas Muller, Brandt is special, Bellarabi is an outstanding 1 vs 1 player, Mehmedi provides good cover in a number of positions, Yurchenko deserves a chance, Robbie Kruse will be offloaded by the end of the season at the latest.

    Strikers

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    Further confession. I also don't like Javier Hernandez. I'm aware that IRL he is tearing it up and I will give him a fair opportunity, but I am not a fan of poacher style forwards, I much prefer Target Men (Kiessling), deep lying types (Mehmedi) or complete types (Pohjanpalo), but the other three simply are not as good as Chicharito. Volland too could prove to be my 9.

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    Key Men


    Bernd Leno

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    I can already say very early on that unless he receives a very long injury or something drastic happens, Bernd Leno will be my goalkeeper for 10 years of this save. An outstanding goalkeeper who is also good with his feet (a stat I very much like), he is one of 3 players whom I consider absolutely unsellable.

    Kevin Kampl

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    My Central Winger. His versatility allows me to do so much tactically and is a player whom is the embroidery of what I want Leverkusen to be about. His main job will be driving forward from central midfield and giving us a different alleyway of unlocking a defence.

    Julian Brandt

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    There's a reason GoalImpact have him down as a special player. I truly believe he can take the club to glory, a vital cog in any tactical system I deploy, I'm hoping he can be hitting at least double figures for goals each season in the league, maybe pushing towards 20. He, along with Leno and Jonathan Tah are unsellable to me, and I plan on making all 3 club icons.

    Last edited by GR14B; 19/10/2016 at 02:05 PM.



  3. Tactics 2016/2017

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    Aah, tactics, the crux of some players, the joy of others. My Leverkusen team will be deploying a hybrid between a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1, the reason being is that it incorporates my two "problem" players - Chicharito and Calhanoglu.
    In game, the way I have it playing out, is that my two centre midfielders (Kampl and Calhanoglu) pin the opposition back in high positions, allowing for my regista (Aranguiz) to dictate the flow of the game. Henrichs and Wendell will be sitting narrower to try help tackle the infamous German counter-attack but are still encouraged to burst forward at the right time. On the left hand side, Brandt will give us width with Wendell overlapping or underlapping him, this side will be told to be exploited. Volland will be drifting into the zone of the striker and hopefully play a role similar to that of Thomas Muller.
    A key role in the side, is that of Kevin Kampl's (CM-A). As I said previously, he will be my central winger, a la Di Maria of the Ancelotti Real Madrid team. One clear fault in my system, is the lack of width on the right, with both Henrichs and Volland coming inside from their player instructions. I want Kampl to dribble into the channels vacated by Volland and deliver crosses from the touchline. In pre-season, this worked extremely well.

    We'll press high and aggressively and hopefully win the possession battle but I don't necessarily want to dominate possession - 53-55% would be fine. The system is flexible enough that for big games or difficult away trips, I'll likely drop Calhanoglu for Baumgartlinger or Bender and play a conventional 4-3-3 with a BWM-S.



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    Alternatively, I have an asymmetric 4-3-1-2 set up too, which I won't write much about since the tactics is stolen entirely from @JLAspey.

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    Pre-Season

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    Well...that couldn't have went much better. Very good pre season which included a 4-2 win against Barcelona (their first team too!). Early signs show that the squad is reacting well to the tactics and are gelling together nicely. One cause for concern however, is that we conceded a lot of goals against not very good opposition. Not to dwell however, I'm pleased with the squad depth I've seen and some of the youth prospects I have (see later) coming through are truly special...



  4. but can you remember 3, even 2 players of the infamous Bayer Neverkusen side?
    Hans Jörg Butt, Bernd Schneider, Michael Ballack.
    Can I get my cookie now? ^^

    Interesting challenge, the aspirin team has a young yet incredibly talented team... yet they lack that "oomph" that can make the difference between a contender and a winner (like Borussia Dortmund has and Werder Bremen had a few years ago).
    Good luck with the challenge, hopefully you'll get Leverkusen to lift trophies rather than leberkäse (sorry for the bad pun by the way ^^U).
    josh_brady, Dokara and GR14B like this.



  5. August/September 2016

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    "Football is simple, but it is difficult to play simple"
    Johan Cruyff

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    Our first game, our first win, can't complain. I played a reasonably strong team as 1860 Munich are a very hard draw for the first round, but despite a few shakey moments, the sending off ultimately killed them. Aranguiz scored an absolute screamer from 30 yards but then went off injured and is out for 3 months, a huge blow.


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    Who did I say were my "problem" players again? Calhanoglu and Hernandez justified my decision to find a means of including them in my XI with very impressive performances. We were outstanding in this game, we created 6(!) clear cut chances before half time to their 0. A big boost in our quest for Champions League football which is ultimately the target for this season.


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    "No history!!" etc etc. RB Leipzig proved to be the first stumbling block of my managerial era. A poor mistake from Wendell allowed the first goal against us conceded from the penalty spot, but they sat back and let us into the game, eventually Baumgartlinger breaking from midfield to score a good goal. We pushed for the winner and missed some chances we really should have put away, but ultimately, a draw isn't too big a disaster, although they are predicted to finish 15th according to my save, I expect them to be at least top half.


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    This is the most pleased I'll probably ever be with a 3-0 defeat. We were drawn in a Champions League group with Real Madrid, PSV and Dinamo Zagreb, a fair group that I think we can progress from. Although the scoreline and maybe even the stats don't show it - we were excellent. Kampl, Hernandez and Volland all missed good opportunites early on and we certainly paid for it, but I see a real positive that we went to one of the 3 biggest clubs in Europe and went toe-to-toe with them in their own back garden.


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    This on the other hand, was absolutely abysmal. Hamburg absolutely deserved the win, we were dreadful and in all honesty, if the score was 5-1 I wouldn't have said it was unjust. The only positive was that Kevin Volland opened his account for us.


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    30 shots, 6 on target. An important win to get us out of our mini slump, delighted that the two players I'm relying for in goals in my system scored 3 between them. Not sure if the shot count worries me at our conversion rate, or delights me with the chances we're creating...


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    This might just be my favourite win of the lot. We weren't exhilarating to watch, but we won the game and showed a lot of fight in doing so. Pleased to see us get a goal from a set piece too.


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    Kevin Kampl man. 1 goal and 2 assists for the man I quickly identified as my midfield powerhouse. A win that was expected of us, but we needed to get none the less. Once again, look at how many shots we're getting!

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    Summary

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    5 wins 1 draw 2 losses 14 goals for 8 goals against


    A very decent start to life at the BayArena and next month starts with the ultimate domestic test - Bayern Munich. We also have a big away game against PSV, a win there and I feel like we have one foot in the last 16 (they lost 3-0 at home to Real Madrid in round 2 of fixtures). Already at this early stage I've had a bit of an injury crisis, with Calhanoglu, Aranguiz, Bender and Bellarabi amongst others all picking up injuries. This has given certain players an opportunity to shine and none have left a bigger impression than young Atakan Akkaynak whom has filled in at regista for the injured Aranguiz.

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    Last edited by GR14B; 19/10/2016 at 04:53 PM.
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  6. October 2016

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    Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich

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    It's the big one. Bayern. I decided to accept that we're not quite on the technical level of Bayern and play on the counter and play with two defensive minded midfielders in Baumgartlinger and Bender. We come out of the blocks absolutely flying, we should be 1 or 2 up in the first 20 minutes...

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    The game begins to approach half time, Leno collects a free kick and kicks long, Alonso heads clear before Kampl plays a first time ball over the defence to ChichariTOOOOOOOO, WHAT A GOAL. Chicharito scores all but certainly our goal of the season as he lobs Neuer from 30 yards!

    IT'S TWO!

    Kevin Volland tucks home from close range after Baumgartlinger whips in an unbelievable ball from the left, we're in dreamland.

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    The second half played out similar to the first, with us asserting our dominance on the match and Bayern struggling to react. The match finishes as was at half time as we stun the Champions and Germany.

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    That win puts us top of the table - ahead of Bayern. We're in dreamland, but have to keep focused. There's no way Bayern will be that bad for the rest of the season, by no means am I thinking we should leapfrog them this season. Still though, what a win.

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    Oh piss off reality. We started excellently and Volland capitalised on a poor backpass from their centre back, but we failed to push on and take control of the match, eventually being lucky to hold onto a point thanks to Bernd Leno making an outstanding penalty save.


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    Disappointing result, though not disastrous. We were woeful defensively, the worst Tah and Dragovic have looked so far, though 2 away goals could prove to be vital as head-to-head separates teams rather than goal difference. The home tie is an absolute must win for us to have any chance.


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    Back to winning ways. A win but nothing scintillating, two more goals from set pieces was pleasing and Kevin Volland is proving to be a real handful from the right.


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    FINALLY. Julian Brandt finally breaks his duck this season and opens his account. He was playing as our left interior as an Advanced Playmaker and gave his best performance of the season, perhaps food for thought...


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    Now we're talking. We blitzed them. This is the manner I want my teams to manage matches, our intensity was too much for them to handle, and two of the goals came from our counterpress and a defensive mistake leading to a goal and Javier Hernandez is quietly putting together a very decent season.

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    Summary

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    4 wins 1 draw 1 loss 12 goals for 4 goals against

    Top of the league. A good month for the club, but our next game against PSV is massive for us, we have to win or we can kiss our hopes of the knockout rounds of the Champions League goodbye. A few negatives again are injuries. Mehmedi is out for 6 months with a broken leg, Brandt is out for 5 weeks and Akkaynak is out for a few weeks too.

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    What a month ahead! PSV, Dortmund, Real Madrid, Wolfsburg and not to mention, the small matter of the Rheinisches derby in the space of 5 games is very tough, we can't afford anymore Hamburg or Freiburg performances against these teams or they'll tear us apart.


    Last edited by GR14B; 19/10/2016 at 09:00 PM.
    kolas79, Nurquidi98 and Kobe631 like this.

  7. After enjoying a ten season save with Stuttgart in FM 2016 I became a fan of the Bundesliga ! I will be following my friend ! Great start and luck fro the upcoming games !
    GR14B likes this.


  8. November 2017

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    Massive, massive result. It wasn't too pretty, but Chicharito turns up in a clutch moment for us and scored a tap in to put us in the driving seat to qualify from the last 16 based on head-to-head. 3 points from our last 2 games should be enough for us to qualify, as PSV have to go to Madrid on match day 6.


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    Is it too early to start dreaming? Calhanoglu with a potentially season defining moment when a point was looking likely. Hendrichs played in central midfield and is showing me that he is a core player to build around in the future. The result was made all the more sweet when this appeared after the game...


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    2 points dropped or 1 point gained? Not the worst result, we all know the difficulties of derbies as usual tendencies are thrown out the window and 31(!) fouls end up happening. With such a hectic schedule and injuries left, right and centre, I'd consider this a point gained.

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    Leverkusen vs. Real Madrid


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    We come out the blocks blazing (again). Bellarabi dribbles past 3 defenders and sets up a tap in at the back post for Kevin Volland, absolute delight, but is this a case of scoring too early? We missed a few clear cut chances (especially Chicharito) but just before half time Sergio Ramos picks up a second booking and is sent off. This is a real opportunity.

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    Game, set and match. Last 16 is calling us out, especially the fact PSV drew with Dinamo, we now need just a point away to Dinamo in match day 6 to guarantee progression to the last 16. The BayArena is becoming a fortress, that is now Schalke, Bayern, Dortmund and Real Madrid that we have defeated at home in the first few months of my reign. Our defence is really starting to show that it can be trusted.


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    Another big win against a struggling Wolfsburg side. Our attack is coming together nicely, we're scoring consistently and through multiple alleyways of our attack, the team is really asking to be taken notice of now.


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    Our (near) perfect month climaxes in a difficult away victory. Huzsti scored an unbelievably free kick to give them the lead from no where but again, Chicharito and Calhanoglu showing me why I trusted them enough to work my system around them.


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    Summary

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    5 wins 1 draw 0 losses 10 goals for 4 against


    I couldn't have asked for more of the boys, they're really becoming a force and not just showing up for the big games, but putting away difficult away fixtures like Frankfurt to match. Dreamland.


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    One more push before the winter break when we can regroup and assess the squad for January. A relatively fair month for us, hopefully we can enter the winter break on the summit of the Bundesliga!




  9. Wicked Start

    Amazing start to the season, taking the scalps of Real, Bayern, and Dortmund. Nice, to see someone other than Bayern winning the Bundesliga! I'll keep an eye on this story as been really enjoying it, looks like you've got them playing some good football too.
    josh_brady and GR14B like this.

  10. Excellent start, great read already
    I will be following!
    Can you put up a screenshot of your youth team - star rating etc?
    HomerPimpson likes this.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by josh_brady View Post
    Excellent start, great read already
    I will be following!
    Can you put up a screenshot of your youth team - star rating etc?

    Under 19 Squad



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    Here's the current Under 19 squad minus Kai Havertz and Atakan Akkaynak whom I've deemed to be ready for the jump into the first team and are potential superstars. Here's screenshots of them plus the best youth prospects I think I have.

    Sam Schreck

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    Marian Prinz

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    Joel Abu Hanna

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    Attakan Akkaynak

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    Kai Havertz


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    Any more questions or requests for screenshots or whatever, just let me know and thanks for the compliments so far!


    josh_brady likes this.


  12. December 2016


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    “There is no pressure at the top. The pressure’s being second or third.”
    Jose Mourinho


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    What a resounding start to the month. Believe it or not, we created 0 clear cut chances and 5-0 shows the class of our finishing in this match. 5 different scorers showing we have goals from all over the pitch and young Atakan Akkaynak scored a screamer to become our youngest ever goalscorer being a month shy of his 18th birthday.


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    We actually secured qualification a day before this match as for some reason Real Madrid and PSV played each other the day before and Madrid won 1-0. A couple of youngsters played and impressed, delighted with our showing in the Champions League.

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    A very difficult tie against a Premier League leading Arsenal side, but this show has already shown me that we can go toe-to-toe with the big boys, so we welcome the challenge.



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    I must say, away to sides at the wrong end of the table, we struggle. We were disappointing throughout and their goal was just about deserved, no complaints though, a draw is psychologically a lot better than a defeat for us being on such a good unbeaten run.


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    A very good win that was made even more impressive at the fact they beat Schalke 6-0 just a few days previously. Kampl and in particular Brandt (playing from the right hand side) tore them apart and we won the game inside the first half. Another comfortable home win for us, a place that no team can seem to match us on.


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    Javier Hernandez, my saviour. Man oh man were we lucky, but you need a bit of luck to win titles...


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    Month Summary


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    4 wins 1 draw 0 losses 14 goals for 4 against

    On paper this looks like we had a spectacular month, but our performances dipped slightly, although the outcome is still excellent. Nobody wins the title in the first half of the season, but you can certainly lose a title in the first half of the season.


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    Next update will come mid-to-late February when we host Arsenal in the Champions League. We have a couple of testing fixtures in that time, namely Schalke away straight after the winter break, so we will need to be at our best to maintain our unbeaten run.


    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Mid-Season Summary


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    Well we've played every team now and the only team to beat us is Hamburg, a game in which we didn't show up. Obviously, I am delighted with how things have went, I really couldn't have wished for a better start, things have clicked well for us tactically and we've been dominant in a lot of matches. I do feel our performances have dropped slightly since the first month or so, but with the intensity of pressing I ask from my players, it's to be expected - they've earned their break.


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    If I had to pick out two players for praise, I'd have to say it would be Kampl and Tah, both have been outstanding and Kampl has done exactly what I imagined he would do from central midfield. I hope to see better performances from Brandt (who has recently started improving) who had an average start to the season.
    Kiessling has been sold to the Middle East so that relieves us of his wages and hopefully Hilbert and Kruse will follow. I don't think I'll be bringing in any new faces, I'm content with the squad and I try avoid bringing in signings in January unless I feel a change is needed. However, this could all change providing the right player is available or I get an offer I can't refuse for a player!


    Is it still too early to start talking about Bayer Leverkusen as serious title contenders?



    kolas79 likes this.


  13. January/February

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    ************************************************** *****************************************


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    Our 14 match unbeaten streak in the league is over. We perhaps deserved a draw but I can have no complaints, we never took our chances and were duly punished, their goals were total liquid football and they tore us apart. No complaints, onwards and upwards.


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    RB Leipzig are proving to be our bogey team. Ralph Hasenhütti gave me a tactical masterclass, constantly one step ahead of what I would be doing and I was constantly reacting to his tactical changes. For the last 30 minutes they switched to an attacking 4-4-2 with advanced wingers and we were lucky to hold on for a point. Looks like some of us are still feeling the effects of the winter break.


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    A scrappy win, but a good win nonetheless. Kevin Volland coming up big for us after a bit of a bad patch, Leno dropped a howler to give Bobby Wood a tap in and force a nervy few minutes where they had their 3 best chances of the game. Managing to cling on for 3 points was vital and we look to build from there.


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    This was nothing short of embarrassing. We were simply outclassed. They played a deep 5-2-1-2 and left 3 players up the field who simply toyed with our defence. By far the worst performance thus far, our first home defeat of my era and we are out of the German cup. I gave a few appearances to some lesser players (Ozcan and Jedvaj) and they really didn't take their chance.


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    The big boys were brought back in. Chicharito bagging the first hat trick of my reign in a fairly even match. I was taking no chances with the team selected and we got our season back on track after the blip of late.


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    Aargh. Frustrating. Darmstadt defended well and we simply couldn't break them down. Not a huge worry, this is our first no score of the season, but didn't set us up well for the last 16 match against Arsenal...


    ************************************************** *****************************************
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    Bayer Leverkusen vs. Arsenal


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    What. A. Match. We let go of the lead three times, but it was a case of fourth time lucky, as Chicharito completed his second hat trick in a month and inspired us to victory against the Premier League leaders. We were woeful defensively and in all honesty, I struggle to see how we'll keep them out at the Emirates, but for now we can basque in the glory of our first leg efforts. That's now Bayern, Dortmund, Real Madrid and Arsenal that we have conquered at the BayArena this season!


    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Summary


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    3 wins 2 draws 2 losses 14 goals for 10 goals against


    This was a really testing period for the team. Teams are starting to sit deeper and try his us on the break as RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim did so well against us. Taking the positives though, we're still top of the league and Bayern are in total free fall, 12 points off the lead in 6th position, though they did go big in January...

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    We did make our first signing of the save, a young player called Mohammed Mallahi will be joining at the end of the season from FC Utrecht. I think he has huge potential but has a gaping weakness in his speed, but his dribbling, technique and decisions are outstanding for someone of his age. There was no movement in or out during the January transfer window and I didn't even receive any offers for first team players.


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    Next up, we travel to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern, whom although are struggling, are always going to be difficult to play, especially away from home. The big game though, is Arsenal away. We've given ourselves a good chance of qualification and it's as simple as if we avoid defeat, we qualify. Pressure on.


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    kolas79 and bdearaujo like this.


  14. February/March 2017

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    ************************************************** *****************************************


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    Disappointing start to the month. We defended well and countered with pace but the Muller goal was a big blow early on and we spent the rest of the game chasing them. That win likely bought Carlo Ancelotti some extra time as Bayern boss.


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    A new Leverkusen? An expected comfortable win against the team at the foot of the table, but note the possession stats, we played on the counter attack, going more direct. I felt comfortable that we would win so wanted to try sacrifice possession and look to get the ball forward to Bellarabi, Hernandez and Volland as quick as possible. It worked and now I feel we have another trick up our sleeve.


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    As I said previously, we really struggle away to weaker teams. That's now 4 draws away to the bottom 5 teams and if we lose out on the league title, we know what the problem is.


    ************************************************** *****************************************

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    Arsenal (3) vs. Bayer Leverkusen (4)


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    Utter heartbreak. We came with a plan and for an hour executed it to perfection. My midfield 3 that I would have selected (Baumgartlinger, Kampl and Bender) were all suspended, so Aranguiz, Henrichs and Akkaynak - whom was outstanding and improving game by game - were my midfield 3. Omer Toprak filled in at center back but spoiled a MOTM performance with a missed header for Lucas Perez to score the decisive goal. We'll come back bigger and better next season.


    ************************************************** *****************************************


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    No distractions anymore, lets make the league ours. Finally, after 27 games, Calhanoglu finally scored a free kick. Again, Chicharito is so so crucial to the team. Hopefully this provides the momentum to really make us push on.


    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Summary

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    2 wins 1 draw 2 losses 7 goals for 6 goals against


    8 games to go, 8 wins and we win the league - as simple as that. Maybe the Arsenal result will prove to be a blessing in disguise, now I can play my ideal 11 in each game knowing that we are purely focussed on the task ahead.

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    Huge month for us. Dortmund away, the derby against Koln and Wolfsburg away could define our season, we can afford no slip ups since Schalke, Leibzig and Dortmund themselves have their eyes on us. We need to leave this month still in with a fight, we simply cannot lose momentum.

    kolas79 likes this.


  15. April 2017

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    ************************************************** *****************************************


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    Nerves? Weight of expectation? Injuries? No. Borussia Dortmund were leagues ahead of us. Andre Schurrle came back to haunt his old club with a hat trick, we were played off the park, a major blow to our title credentials. Devastated.


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    Just how big a goal could this be in the grand scheme of thing? Koln came to the BayArena looking to put at end to our title chances and sat back with absolutely zero interest in going for the game. We tried everything to break them down, but they parked the bus and defended outstandingly well. All was looking lost until a corner quite literally in the last seconds of the game was whipped in by Calhanoglu and with every single person other than Wendell and Leno in the box, Henrichs drills home a header as our whole team chase him away into celebration. What a moment.


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    Not a bad result if taken at the start of the season, but Wolfsburg were struggling in 14th and at 2-0 up with 20 minutes to go we self capitulated. 174cm Angel Correa beating 192cm Jonathan Tah to a header for their equaliser. All our hard work in the previous game could potentially be blown away.


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    The early goal was absolutely vital for us, as Frankfurt sat back playing a 5-4-1, I was getting flashbacks of the Koln game. A good win and a good confidence booster for some of our attackers going into crunch time in the league.


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    This might just be the win that mattered the most. Having one only 1 of our previous 6 away games, it was absolutely essential to win this game. Schalke had slipped up away to Mainz and we needed to capitalise on it. It was ugly, my god was it ugly, but we held on even after Weiser hit the bar with the last kick of the ball.


    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Summary


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    3 wins 1 draw 1 loss 9 goals for 6 goals against


    3 wins. We are 3 wins from winning the club's first Bundesliga in their history. We received next seasons budget as we have officially qualified for the Champions League, we were initially given £15 million transfer budget and a tonne of wages, but I adjusted it to as is below.

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    The title race


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    4 teams will be battling it out for the title - who would have thought! We play 2 of the same teams in our final 3 games as Schalke, big difference being that we have the harrowing task of going away to Borussia Monchengladbach. Although we're at least 2 seasons ahead of schedule with this title run, I can't help but wonder how big a chance this is for us - there is surely no way Bayern Munich or Dortmund will be this off the pace for the next few seasons.


    We're 270 minutes away from eternity.





    Last edited by GR14B; 21/10/2016 at 10:01 PM.
    naterr and kolas79 like this.

  16. Really enjoying this story. Clever tactic. Hope you win the league mate
    josh_brady and GR14B like this.

  17. Going very well, good luck for the end of season!

    Marian Prinz looks like he will be a star! Thank you for the screenshot.


  18. May 2017

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    "There are no good or bad coaches but brave and coward coaches"
    Pep Guardiola

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    We’re a team on a mission. The easiest out of 3 remaining games, we had to do the business and we delivered. We're so close to victory we can taste it.


    And then.

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    Schalke drop points to Monchengladbach. Surely this is our time, surely we will finally be Champions? Can we hold our nerve and get a result against a blistering Monchengladbach team?


    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Bayer Leverkusen



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    Tactically, this was a huge risk. We trained on it for a couple of days, but I felt it was necessary. When we lost 3-1 to Hoffenheim earlier on in the season, they played the same system as Gladbach and tore us apart, we simply couldn't make the same mistake twice. The plan for this game was to sit and soak up pressure and play on the counter, hoping Calhanoglu playing more advanced can feed Chicharito.


    Gladbach 1-0 Leverkusen

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    Nightmare start. Andre Hahn scores a header from point blank range. Have we bottled it? Konoplyanka gives Schalke the lead and the pendulum swings towards Gelsenkirchen...




    Gladbach 1-1 Leverkusen


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    The Renaissance of Bayer Leverkusen-1-1.pngThe Renaissance of Bayer Leverkusen-2-1-schalke.pngThe Renaissance of Bayer Leverkusen-3-1-schalke.png


    The pendulum swings back to Leverkusen, Chicharito gets us a deserved equaliser, but perhaps more importantly, Schalke have had a 4 minute collapse against Hoffenheim and conceded 3 in 4 minutes!



    Gladbach 1-2 Leverkusen


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    KEVIN KAMPL WITH A BULLET HEADER! 2-1 Leverkusen, the midfield maestro gives Leverkusen the initiative and Leverkusen surely can't be caught!




    Gladbach 1-3 Leverkusen

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    The Mexican sensation hits 30 for the season as the fans go wild!




    Gladbach 2-3 Leverkusen

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    Andre Hahn pulls a goal back for Gladbach, but we've done what we needed to go by now, surely?




    Gladbach 2-4 Leverkusen

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    Javier Hernandez - Leverkusen legend. Hat trick for the little pea, what a performance on the counter form my boys.




    Gladbach 2-5 Leverkusen


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    Kevin Volland with the final nail in the coffin, we are finally Bundesliga champions!!


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    ************************************************** *****************************************


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    A win to end a special campaign would have been nice, but overall no complains. Chicharito secures top goalscorer, he was unbelievable in our end of season run in, what a player he's been for us.


    ************************************************** *****************************************


    End of Season Summary



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    Well, what can I say? We outperformed my wildest expectations and truly deserve to be Champions, our goal difference was 13 greater than the nearest side - a strong indication of our strength. RB Leipzig were absolutely sensational in their first season in the top division, but there's no world Bayern will be so far off the pace next season, also notice a horrendous season from Wolfsburg, now managed by Roger Schmidt.


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    Both team of the seasons contain 5 of our players, whom all deserve to be in there. Leno was a wall and came up with some huge saves for us, he ended up being captain in a lot of games too and lead by example. Jonathan Tah achieved the second highest average rating in the whole division (0.01 off of Lukas Klostermann) and was just sensational. Kampl gave us everything in each game and really shaped the team together - we were a much worse team without him - and Calhanoglu and Hernandez proved to me why I was right to build my tactic around them. Brilliant from all my team though, we had no stand out, just a real team.


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    A season to remember for Leverkusen. We lost to eventual finalists in the Champions League in Arsenal and eventual winners in the DFB Pokal in Hoffenheim. Carlo Ancelotti was finally sacked after the German Cup final as Roberto Mancini took over at the Allianz Arena. A big summer coming up for the club, we need to push on and strengthen and now must be targeting being the force side in German football.


    2016/2017 was special, now to make 2017/2018 even better.

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    kolas79 likes this.



  19. Summer 2017

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    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Well, there have been changes at Bayer Leverkusen. The board handed me a fair transfer budget and I went into the market looking for 2 types of players. The first was a regista - Charles Aranguiz wasn't overly impressive last season and I'm not sure if I see Akkaynak as a holding midfielder, long term I think he could be more of a box-to-box midfielder. I made a shortlist consisting of Granit Xhaka (estimated cost between £32-44 million), Julian Weigl (£38 million release cause), Pierre-Emile Hojberg (part of a relegated Southampton side) and Leandro Paredes (estimated cost between £16-22 million).

    After some thought and negotiating, Hojberg was the player I elected to pursue and sign. Southampton accepted an offer of £12 million, which is under his market value and in my opinion, much below his true potential. I didn't think it made sense to sign Xhaka or Weigl for that price, as it could stunt Akkaynak and Havertz's growth. I believe Hojberg can play in any of the midfield positions and can fill in at right back if needed too. A great signing for the club.


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    A few young players were brought into the club, none more exciting than Moise Kean. The teenage sensation was poached from Juventus for £1.2 million and could prove to be an absolute steal long term. He'll play as back up this year as we look to develop him and will likely be loaned to a Bundesliga club as a starter next season.


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    Now for the sad news. Javier Hernandez has left the club.
    Inter Milan came in with an offer that I simply deemed too good to refuse for a 29 year old with 10 months remaining on his contract. We now have the task of replacing a man whom bagged 31 goals for us. Good luck Chicharito, you're welcome back any time.


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    This transfer occurred with 2 days left of the window and now I had the task of replacing him. My shortlist consisted of Romelu Lukaku (was available for £16.5-33.5 million earlier on in the season, but now seemed happy at Everton), Michy Batshuayi (transfer listed for £15.5 million), Arkadiusz Milik (available for £12-21 million) and my main target since the start of the save - Roberto Firmino, who was part of a Liverpool side that finished 8th.


    I tried and tried for Firmino all summer. I declared interest in him for a transfer, then as my top target before he was unsettled at Liverpool, but Liverpool even rejected a £40 million plus £22 million in bonuses(!) offer for him! I accepted defeat at the beginning of deadline day - it just wasn't going to happen this summer.


    So my interests shift to Arkadiusz Milik.

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    The former Leverkusen man represented excellent value for money and has already been at Leverkusen previously. I had a bid of £12.75 million potentially rising to £18.5 million accepted for him but a condition that Napoli insisted on was that they sign a replacement first.
    Well perhaps I was duked by them, as they made no effort to find a replacement and the deadline passed with the Milik transfer not being able to go through. You've got to be kidding me. The fans are (perhaps understandably) furious that I sold Chicharito and now I don't even have a replacement for him? Disaster.


    But then...


    "Roberto Firmino has been transfer listed by Liverpool"


    I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. 1 hour after the German deadline closed, Firmino is transfer listed by request by Liverpool and they are asking for £38 million, a far cry from the £62 million I offered a few days previously. I decided to swoop fast and take no chances on losing out on the man I had been pursing since Day 1. As annoyed as I am that he won't be able to be signed until January, at least I finally have got my man.


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    Transfer Summary


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    A decent summer overall, hopefully Volland can fill the void left by Hernandez as he'll be playing through the middle until Firmino arrives in January. A few decent youth players were signed too, namely Arapi and Koç.


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    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Beginning of 2017/2018 season


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    Not a lot to say about pre-season, we won games we should have won and increased our presence in South Korea as the players returned to match sharpness. We'll be using the same tactics, so I didn't feel a heavy pre season was really needed.


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    A nice way to start the season. A very late win against a Hoffenheim who are really a difficult side to play against in this save. Moise Kean came on on the left and changed the game for us, setting up the own goal to draw us leve before Kevin Kampl came up big for us once again as we got our hands on some early season silverware.


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    Moise Kean. Even though this was against very poor opposition, a hat-trick for the Italian sensation is very encouraging to see. Hojberg opened his account for the team too.


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    What a way to start the season. We utterly dominated the match and even when Mayoral converted the penalty and gave Wolfsburg the lead I wasn't worried - we were that in control. Then Dolberg scored and I almost accepted it was just one of those games. Kevin Volland had other ideas, scoring two goals to drag us back into the game before Calhanoglu held his nerve and earned us 3 points with the last kick of the ball.


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    A great performance and solid point. We went with the 5 at the back that we exploited against Gladbach last season and got our rewards for a great performance with Hernandez setting up Akkaynak to equalise at the death.


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    Not a great result or performance, but we'll take it. Kevin Kampl is in fine early season goal scoring form.


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    Summary


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    4 wins 1 draw 0 losses 14 goals for 4 against


    7 points from a possible 9 is not a bad start to our efforts to retain the title. We could struggle for goals until January unless Volland and Kean can deliver for us.

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    With Toprak leaving I had to appoint a new captain, step forward Benji Hendrichs. He was superb last season and at just 20, I think he can push forward and become a real world class player. A big responsibility, but one I think he will take in his stride.


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    Our Champions League draw could have been worse. Stromgodset should be 6 points, Madrid and Monaco will be a tough fight, but one I think we will be up for. Last 16 has to be the minimum aim again.


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    Other than Real Madrid, a fairly generous month ahead for us. Hopefully we can push on and maintain our early season form and don't regret selling Chicharito...


    kolas79 likes this.

  20. Winning the league in the first year !! What an achievement my friend !! I also like your transfers and generally your transfer policy ! Wish you to continue last season success !!
    GR14B likes this.


  21. September 2017


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    ************************************************** *****************************************

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    We got away with this one. A late winner from Julian Brandt gets us the 3 points after Stuttgart took the lead in the second half. A downside though was Bernd Leno got an injury and will miss the Real Madrid game, meaning young Marian Prinz will be in goal.

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    Julian Brandt. The man I identified as our main man from the start but failed to deliver last season comes big for us. We outplayed the Spanish giants and Prinz was very good in goal until a mistake for their goal. Excellent performance and that is now two wins in two seasons at home to Real Madrid.


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    Julian Brandt...again! Good win, we dominated, solid performance.


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    Hmmm, Hoffenheim are definitely becoming a bogey team. Volland steals us a point, our defence has been woeful so far this season.


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    A tactical ploy of mine that failed. We went 3 vs 3 at the back, all man marking (Bender, Dragovic and Tah marking Stindl, Raffael and Belotti) and it ended up failing as we couldn't find a way through them. A rare home defeat for us.


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    We should have won by more but the shot count sums up our dominance. 6 from 6 so far in the Champions League, solid start.


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    Summary


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    4 wins 1 draw 1 loss 11 goals for 7 goals against


    A solid if not underwhelming start to the campaign. Julian Brandt had a sensational month scoring 5 and is really showing me the player I knew he could be. We're definitely missing in something however and the quicker Firmino arrives the better.


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    Very difficult month ahead with away trips to Bayern, Dortmund and Monaco as well as the local derby against Koln and a game against high flying Mainz. We'll have to be on our toes and better defensively or we'll be punished.



    Last edited by GR14B; 24/10/2016 at 07:18 PM.


  22. October 2017

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    Unlucky from our boys. Pierre-Emile Hojberg scored a cracker against his former side but the team top of the league showed their class and Muller scored a great goal to give the Bavarians all 3 points.



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    A completely dominant performance in the Rhein derby. Julian Brandt is in a class of his own at the moment, we were by far the better team, giving us local bragging rights.



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    A brilliant performance that surely puts us in the last 16 of the Champions League. Moise Kean scoring his first Champions League goal at just 17, what a future this kid has.


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    Frustrating. Julian Brandt scored an absolute pearler to give us the lead as we looked to play on the counter, but Marco Reus scored an unbelievable free kick, Shinji Kagawa scored from a defensive error and Gonzalo Castro scored a screamer against his former side. On another day we could have got a point or even 3, but luck just doesn't seem to be going our way this season so far.



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    We got away with this one. Heidenham were the better team and I had to substitute the big boys on in the second half to try redeem the match. Moise Kean again chipping in with a goal.



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    A win here could have really kick started our season, but we falter again. Our defence just doesn't seem up to scratch and I think I might have to change our system as it simply isn't working as well this season, teams are countering the life out of us. The positive is that Moise Kean is in brilliant form.



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    Really good away point, which secured our qualification. We could have got all 3 points, but 1 point away to a good Monaco side isn't a disaster.


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    Summary

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    3 wins 2 draws 2 losses 15 goals for 10 goals against

    As you can see, we're slumping in the league, 8 points off high flying Mainz. The clear issue is our defence, but a run off decent results and we'll start asserting our dominance on the Champions League places.


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    An important run for us with the lead up to the winter break. There's a few teams (Mainz and Ingolstadt) that I expect to drop off and won't be able to maintain their early season momentum and we need to be there to capitalise if they do. Anyway, the positives are that we are scoring from all over the place.




    Telstar likes this.

  23. I absolutely love the quotes you sometimes put in your post.

    Great job with Leverkusen.
    GR14B likes this.


  24. November/December 2017

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    "Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that"
    Bill Shankly



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    A win in the capital! Julian Brandt is having an elite season, his production has been scintillating thus far. Jonathan Tah gave us some breathing space which we needed as they mounted a late push for a point. Calhanoglu scored an absolute worldie that only he - in the current squad - could have scored.


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    Now this, this was frustrating. I won't go about saying I was "FM'd" but 99% of the time we win this game. Aranguiz redeemed himself after his penalty miss. 2 points dropped.



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    A CLEAN SHEET. Our first in six games. We played for the draw and dully got one. Not a great performance, but a few players were missing and a better result than we achieved last season where we were beaten 3-0.



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    This was shambolic. Ingolstadt completely outplayed us an deserved to win. I bloody hope that this is the low point of our season. The less said about this game the better.



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    Kevin Volland bags us 2 goals after going FIFTEEN HOURS without scoring. Our striker going fifteen full hours without scoring is a bit of a summary of our first half of the season. Anyway, hopefully Volland will find some form now.



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    Our youngsters got a run out and really showed up for us. Emre Koç and Atakan Akkaynak each bagging two was pleasing to see. Big shock in the group, as Monaco beat Real Madrid and as a result, knocked out the Spanish giants!



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    Very good win. We were holding on at the end, but a very pleasing win and a good one on a personal level for me since RB Leipzig dominated us last season and I was outclassed tactically. Happy.


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    German Cup advancement was key for us as already I'm starting to think Bayern will run away with the league, the DFB Pokal looks like our best opportunity for a trophy. On to the fourth round.


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    A good win against highflying Hamburg, Volland again with two was very pleasing. A very good month for the club.


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    Summary


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    6 wins 2 draws 1 loss 21 goals for 10 goals against



    A slow start, but we were perfect in December. 5 points off Bayern may already prove to be too much, but we will continue to fight to try and retain our Bundesliga. Seeing the performance of Schalke definitely makes me feel much better about our dodgy start to the season!


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    As I eluded to earlier, Real Madrid are knocked out! Winning the group afforded us a fair draw against Porto in the last 16, a really good opportunity for us to progress into the last 8.

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    Tuchel was sacked and replaced by Antonio Conte, interesting appointment! My main man Roberto Firmino will have joined by next game, which is delightful. Our second game against Bremen will be in the DFB Pokal. Lets hope the squad keep their good run of forming going into the New Year.




    Telstar likes this.



  25. January/February 2018

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    "Possession means nothing when the opponent takes their chances"
    Franz Beckenbauer


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    Transfer Rumours...

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    It's the beginning of the transfer window and rumours are spreading that Julian Brandt could be suspect to a massive bid from Barcelona. He has a £66 million release clause in his contract, will Barca take the risk...


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    This defence!!! We should have closed the game out at 2-0 and in hindsight I should have switched to a more defensive mindset, but it wasn't to be for us. Roberto Firmino made his debut for the club.



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    Back to winning ways for the boys. Calhanoglu and Henrichs hitting back for us after wonderkid Breel Embolo gave struggling Schalke the lead. All in all, a poor first two games for Roberto Firmino.



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    A disappointing result in the league fixture against Bremen. Kevin Volland bagging two and is quietly putting together a solid season, but how can we win matches when were conceding 2 or 3 goals a game? A change is needed.



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    This time in the DFB Pokal we're on the right side of a 3-2 result. Atakan Akkaynak holding his nerve for us and bagging the winner from the spot. What a talent he is, I never thought he'd be thriving so much in just season two.



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    ROBERTOOOOO FIRMINOOOOOO!


    Finally, he proves his worth for us! A magnificent hat trick from our record signing after we reinvented out tactics to try get the best out of him (see later). A game we should have won and we did, even if we didn't play excellently.


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    Champions League 1st Knockout Round

    FC Porto vs. Bayer Leverkusen



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    Aaaargh. Not a disaster, but by no means an ideal result. We missed numerous decent chances as Porto ran out eventual winners. Work to do at the BayArena indeed.


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    Summary

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    3 wins 1 draw 2 losses 13 goals for 10 goals against


    A spell like most of our others so far - solid if not spectacular. I've found a new system that we've employed for the Stuttgart and the Porto game, and so far I like the chances we're creating.


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    As you can see, there's a clear fall guy in this formation - Julian Brandt. I see him fitting in to either of the front three positions, but we'll see how it all plays out. It's lacking defensively, but we've been so dreadful defensively this season we may as well take the approach of trying to outscore everyone. It's not a fix all, but will offer an alternative at least till the end of the season.


    Transfers


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    Two players have departed us for huge money. Charles Aranguiz has left to Bundesliga rivals for a massive fee that could rise to £36.5 million. I had no intentions of selling him, but that fee for a non first XI whom is 28 was too good to turn down.
    Julian Baumgartlinger has also left the club. Again, I didn't pan on selling him - especially since it was in February and I couldn't replace him - but £22 million potentially rising to £24 million was again, too good to turn down. Both players will be missed and I would be open to the idea of both of them coming back in the future, but getting potentially £60 million for two substitute midfielders is excellent business in my book.
    There was no bid for Julian Brandt and even if there was, providing it didn't match his release clause, it would have been rejected.


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    A tricky spell ahead for us. Hopefully we can cement a top 3 position in this time and advance in the Champions League. Lets see if our defence can hold up...



    Last edited by GR14B; 28/10/2016 at 12:24 PM.
    Average Joe likes this.


  26. February/March/April 2018


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    ""We must not think that we've already achieved something great. We are in a good situation, no more and no less."
    Rudi Völler - Bayer Leverkusen Director of Football

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    Bloody hell. 3-0 up and dropping 2 points to 10 man Hannover, absolutely horrendous. Not much else to say, we really need to have a look at our defence.



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    Good to get back to winning ways, Brandt adding another to his season total, but Akkaynak missed another penalty...



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    Much better. They had a man sent off early so perhaps we should have done better, but a win away to a rival competing for a Champions League place is a good result none the less. Calhanoglu bagging a great free kick.


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    Champions League 1st Knockout Round

    Bayer Leverkusen (0) vs. FC Porto (1)



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    Absolute heartache. Porto came on a mission - to not concede. They played with 10 men behind the ball and defended outstandingly well against our trident of Firmino - Calhanoglu - Volland and it looked like there was no way past them. Then, when all hope looked gone, Jonathan Tah scored a looping header with virtually the last kick of the ball in normal time. The momentum was completely with us, but we couldn't break down Porto's sturdy defence in extra time so the match went to penalties. They missed their second kick and third kick and whilst Mehmedi missed for us, Pierre-Emile Hojberg stepped up as the 5th taker to win it for us but couldn't hold his nerve and hit the post. Porto converted their 6th kick and Henrichs missed as Porto came out with the win. Simply devastated.


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    Bayern were the unlucky team to feel our wrath in the game after being knocked out of the Champions League. We were devastating and tore them apart, Volland hit yet another brace and Firmino picked them apart as we cruised to a win that perhaps through a spanner into the works of the Bundesliga title race...



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    Just look at those stats. Timo Horn won the local derby for Koln, he was outstanding and even saved a penalty. A stumbling block in our recent great form. Koln with local bragging rights.


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    Lively Leverkusen! Brilliant performance, Atakan Akkaynak is showing a real good goal scoring touch as a box-to-box midfielder and our main man of the second part of this season, Kevin Volland, scored his first hat trick for the club. Devastating attacking performance from us.



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    This is the advantage of our system playing without a clear striker. We're much more clinical as our chances are much better opportunities, so as our numbers for shots is decreasing, the likelihood of scoring from these chances is increasing, which is very pleasing. Mainz's early season form is certainly dithering.



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    We should have won by more but can't really complain. Bellarabi is playing well as our Complete Wing Back at right back. Possible title push incoming?

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    Summary


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    7 wins 1 draw 1 loss 24 goals for 11 goals against


    Blistering form from us, excellent form from us, but we really didn't deliver when it mattered in the Champions League. We're safe money for Champions League qualification and a second place finish is all but secured.



    A huge signing was made...


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    A genuine world superstar was signed in Kevin De Bruyne. This deal could prove to be the bargain of the century, we've signed a world class talent in his prime years for £15.5 million potentially rising to £19 million, he was unhappy at an underperforming Manchester City side, even though he was averaging around a 7.50 for them over the past two seasons.


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    The big game for us is against Wolfsburg in the DFB Pokal semi-final, if we could win that competition then it would be considered a very good season overall. Let's go.



    Average Joe, naterr and Telstar like this.

  27. De Bruyne is a great signing. Good luck in the cup, if you win that it will still have been a good season. You still have a chance in the league as well!
    GR14B likes this.


  28. April/May 2018

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    "I'm not saying my way is better. It's just my way"
    Pep Guardiola

    ************************************************** *****************************************


    DFB Pokal Semi Final


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    Roberto Firmino!! What a signing the Brazilian has proven to be, two goals when we needed him most. We needed a player that would take the bull by the horns and Firmino is that man, he's been in scintillating form for us. Our somewhat forgotten man in Julian Brandt chipped in with a goal too, on to the final we go!!


    ************************************************** *****************************************


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    A good win against Champions League contending Ingolstadt, but truth be told, we're just focussing on the final of the DFB Pokal now, I don't see any situation where we either drop below 2nd or overtake Bayern. Firmino and Calhanoglu bagging a goal each.



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    Oh man. We lose away to already relegated and bottom of the table Darmstadt. If there was any chance of a title push, this discredited it and put it to bed. Poor performance all round.


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    Akkaynak hitting double figures for us is brilliant to see and Lars Bender with his first goal of my reign as manager. Frankfurt too were already relegated so a bit of a dead rubber match.


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    A cracker of a game, but our defence continues to worry me. I just don't know if we'll be able to keep out Dortmund in the DFB Pokal final. Calhanoglu won us the game late on as we ended RB Leipzig's Champions League hopes.


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    Not much to say about this game. It was 3rd vs 2nd, but I played a totally rotated squad for the game, with only Henrichs and Hojberg likely to play in the final. Prinz saved a penalty from Hunt and showed a good solid game. My second choice defence managed a clean sheet!


    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Summary


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    Well, a very good season all things considered. If you had offered me second I would have probably taken it. Bayern are back and were stunningly good all season. Hamburg qualify for the Champions League in a great season for them, but look at Schalke, BMG and Wolfsburg!


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    Tah, Akkaynak, Kampl and Volland all made the team of the season. All 4 were outstanding and I'm especially delighted that Atakan Akkaynak has made it, he's a player I really feel like I have shaped and has really taken control this season and asserted himself as a key player for us. Volland had an excellent season overall, hitting 20 goals and 10 assists in the league. Kampl and Tah make the TOTS for the second time in two season under our management.


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    A very good budget to improve the team next season. The main target will be a centre back that can compete with Dragovic and Tah and also a striker that gives us a different option, i.e a target man.


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    Exciting news to get, some very exciting young players coming through the team, but everything wasn't all so positive...


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    Jonathan Tah will miss the DFB Pokal final against Dortmund. Jedvaj will have to replace him, a huge drop in quality for our defence. Let's just hope he can deliver.


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    One game left of the season and it's the big one - Borussia Dortmund...


    Average Joe and Telstar like this.

  29. Great story so far mate keep it going!

    Absolute bargain for De Bruyne there, got very lively AMC options!
    GR14B likes this.

  30. Incredible price for De Bruyne, no matter how many AMC's you have, you can't pass up on that price

    Two fantastic seasons as well, best of luck in the final against BVB
    GR14B likes this.

  31. great story man!
    GR14B likes this.


  32. May/June/July 2018

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    "I think finals are there to be won, you know the feeling of losing a final is really bad. I prefer to lose a semi-final, quarter-final because I know I will forget... But the feeling of losing a final stays here forever. Even if you win two, three, four, five it stays. You know, I’m too scared to lose, so I give everything to win."
    Didier Drogba


    ************************************************** *****************************************



    DFB Pokal Final

    Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Dortmund


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    It's here - it's the big one. We line up with Bender sitting in front of the defence rather than Hojberg. This was to respect the potential attack threat of Dortmund. Brandt starts ahead of Calhanoglu in the only real tough decision I had to make.





    GOAL LEVERKUSEN







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    Firmino latches on to a loose ball in the penalty area and puts it in the back of the net, what a start!! Our main man comes up big once more.


    Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Borussia Dortmund






    GOAL DORTMUND








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    Marco Reus pokes the rebound home after a brilliant initial save from Bernd Leno. Game on, we need to react well.


    Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Borussia Dortmund






    GOAL LEVERKUSEN









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    Kevin Volland restores our lead with a magnificent finish, what a start to the match.




    Half Time: Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Borussia Dortmund


    A good performance so far. We've been on top and have one hand on the trophy. We've got to concentrate, we simply have to. Huge 45 minutes incoming.











    THE REFEREE BLOWS THE FINAL WHISTLE, DORTMUND ARE GERMAN CUP CHAMPIONS













    We've done it, we hold on! A brilliant defensive performance from our boys as they piled the pressure on, Leverkusen's first German Cup win in 15 years!


    Full Time: Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Borussia Dortmund


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    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Season Summary


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    2nd in Bundesliga, German Cup winners, last 16 of the Champions League and German Super Cup winners. All in all a very good season, but we hope to really be competing with Bayern Munich in the league and hope to advance to the latter stages of the Champions League.



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    Kampl deservedly won POTS for us as although Volland was excellent and Brandt's early season form was scintillating, Kampl was our most consistent player. We had 6 players that got 9 or more goals, which is delightful to see.


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    Spurs have went on to become a real force in Europe and have reached the final in both seasons, this time missing out to a PSG side whom have spending power beyond belief...


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    Wouldn't mind either of them.


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    Hmmm. This could prove to be problematic. No slips up from us the next few seasons, or we'll pay.


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    This was pleasing to see. My players making a big impression on the world stage. Germany beat England 4-2 after extra time in the final, Volland bagging two and Tah scoring the 4th in the final. Volland, Tah, Henrichs and Akkaynak all returning as World Cup winners.


    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Transfer Activity

    In


    What you've all been waiting for, transfers! My first port of call was to look for a new substitute goalkeeper. I plan on loaning out Prinz as his potential is huge and he's too good to sit on the bench. Ideally I wanted a goalkeeper who would give Leno a push to maintain a high standard, but was available at a low fee. Instantly, W
    ojciech Szczesny stood out. He was available on a bosman and we swooped for him in mid May as his wage demands reached a reasonable level having previously been looking for £80k+

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    Next up, as I eluded to previously, I wanted a target man striker. I was looking for someone whom would probably not play every game, but would deliver when called upon. The man that immediately came to mind, Mario Mandzukic. I negotiated with Juventus and after he initially rejected my contract offer, we came back a few weeks later (having to pay Juventus an extra £2 million) and put pen to paper. I'm delighted with securing Super Mario, even if we only get 2 good seasons out of him.


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    My next target was a centre back that could compete with Dragovic who was shaky last season. I looked high and low and eventually had a shortlist of Niklas Süle (unhappy at Hoffenheim and available for between £13.5-18.5 million), Mauricio Lemos (available for between £18.5-26 million), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea were unwilling to sell) and Emre Can (available for £29-42 million).
    Initially, I pursued Emre Can. I saw him as an ideal candidate to play in a back 3 and eventually had an offer of £28 million potentially rising to £34 million with add ons accepted, but talks fell apart at the contract negotiation stage. I gave up and turned my attentions to Andreas Christensen. I declared him as my top target and after he came out as unhappy, Chelsea transfer listed him for £16 million. Immediately, we bid, along with Arsenal and Southampton. All bids were accepted but luckily, he decided to take the chance and come fight for his place here. A brilliant signing in my opinion and I'm delighted to have him on board.
    I needed back up as well as Jedvaj failed to impress me every time he came in for Tah or Dragovic, so Antonio Rudiger will join on loan for a year with an option to buy at any point for £5 million.


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    Out

    Admir Mehmedi was nothing short of shambolic during my reign, not scoring in 2 seasons at the club (seriously) and somehow Bournemouth decided to pay £10.25 million for the flop.
    A few players went out on loan, namely Moise Kean, Emre Koç and Kai Havertz.
    A player we have lost that I didn't plan on losing is Karim Bellarabi. Dortmund came in with a huge £36.5 million bid potentially rising to £45.5 million for the 28 year old, planning to utilise him as a replacement for Marco Reus who jumped ship to Bayern. Now, with a few days left of the transfer window, I need to look for a replacement for him...


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    ************************************************** *****************************************


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    Next up for us after a brilliant pre season is the German Cup and then the Super Cup against Bayern before beginning our league campaign. Lets hope our attack can come together.




    Last edited by GR14B; 29/10/2016 at 10:25 AM.

  33. Loving this save mate! Aranguiz and Bellerabi now at Dortmund, going to be some interesting games between you and them! Interested to see how Bayern spend the Griezmann money too.
    GR14B likes this.


  34. August/September 2018

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    "Germany is my second home. I would love to stay here as long as possible. Well, to end my career, why not."
    Mario Mandzukic


    ************************************************** *****************************************

    Transfer Deadline Day

    Well, I said that I needed an attacking winger...

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    Leroy Sane has returned home to Bayer Leverkusen in a big swoop from Manchester City for £24 million. A perfect replacement for Karim Bellarabi and hopefully he can deliver some equally effective performances.


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    Dortmund and Bayern strengthened their squads with some stellar additions. Particularly impressed with Dortmund's signing of Moussa Dembélé.


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    ************************************************** *****************************************

    DFB Pokal 1st Round


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    Starting the season off in style. Calhanoglu and Brandt doing some serious stat-padding, but good to see them shore that clinical touch. As much a pre season game as anything, it was good for some of the players confidence.



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    Disappointing. Bayern came out the blocks flying and took advantage of our sluggish start, Max Arnold scoring a screamer. Calhanoglu scored a sensational free kick but Bayern held off our onslaught in the last half hour and won the Super Cup. Bayern win the first battle against us this season, but we're determined to win the war.


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    Flying start to our Bundesliga campaign, Volland and Brandt continuing their good form from last season and Tah continuing to show his threat from set pieces. Satisfying win.


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    Excellent win. Schalke's centre backs didn't know whether to come or go against our strikerless set up and Volland and Firmino ripped them apart. Sensational fluidity form our front three and De Bruyne can't find a way into the side yet.



    Champions League Group A Round 1



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    Yep, you're reading that right. EIGHT-one win in our European debut of the season! Mario Mandzukic opens his account in style for us as he scores four, three of which were headers. We were clinical and dominated in all areas - it could and perhaps should have bene double figures seeing as they went down to ten men with over half an hour to go and we were already 7-1 up!


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    Man this is coming together nicely. Julian Brandt's form has been absolutely devastating and Mandzukic has added in a totally new dimension to our game that has transformed us. Could not be happier.



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    After a frighteningly good start where we were demolishing teams, this was a much harder graft for the team. Mandzukic raced us to a two goal lead and cruising, but defensive lapses in concentration let them get back into the game and they levelled at 2-2. Akkaynak then got his second yellow and we looked to hold onto a draw, but Julian Brandt chased a lost cause of a long ball but Neto in their goal committed an absolute howler and let the ball roll by him for Brandt to tuck in from an open goal. Lucky Leverkusen.


    The Renaissance of Bayer Leverkusen-screen-shot-2016-10-29-12.37.28.png



    Back to total domination. Brandt again was unbelievable. Mandzukic and Firmino are already looking like they will be a formidable partnership.


    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Summary

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    7 wins 0 draws 1 loss 38 goals for 6 goals against


    Just look at the number of goals we've scored! Utterly sensational start to the season, couldn't have asked for more. The team has gelled together and a lot of it I think is due to a new tactical shape we've been deploying. We're switching between the strikerless formation and a 4-2-3-1, a formation that I've not used since FM14.


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    I've tried to incorporate Firmino, Brandt and De Bruyne -whom I believe to be my three best players into a position where I believe they can be most effective. The idea of this tactic is to press better than we had previously, where it was disjointed due to the asymmetrical approach to the team. De Bruyne (or Calhanoglu who can also fill this role) will be drifting inside from the left hand side opening up a gap for Wendell to run into and deliver the ball from wide. The defensive forward till be there to press and harry the opposition - a role I think is severely underrated in FM. Firmino will be deployed as Trequartista and will basically play as a second striker. In game it plays out as a 4-4-2 when attacking and the improvement has been excellent thus far.


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    Just look at those season stats so far from Julian Brandt. Those are Messi numbers. Sensational from the German sensation.


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    A tough run of fixtures for us next month, playing only 2 home games. Hopefully we can continue our sensational start and take a strong lead in our Champions League group with Atletico to contend with.



    Last edited by GR14B; 29/10/2016 at 06:28 PM.

  35. You've really done a fantastic job so far, really turned Leverkusen into a real powerhouse! I've also begun a save with Leverkusen as my "getting to know the game" safe and you've set the bar really high for what is possible with this team. Also since you are struggling with using Jedvaj as a CB I suggest trying him as a fullback/wingback, he is superb for me in that role.
    GR14B likes this.

  36. Quote Originally Posted by TheOtherSpecialOne View Post
    You've really done a fantastic job so far, really turned Leverkusen into a real powerhouse! I've also begun a save with Leverkusen as my "getting to know the game" safe and you've set the bar really high for what is possible with this team. Also since you are struggling with using Jedvaj as a CB I suggest trying him as a fullback/wingback, he is superb for me in that role.
    Thanks mate, I've got Jedvaj as my utility defender - I try have one in each squad I have. Wendell picked up a 4-5 month injury last season and he did indeed play decently well at wing back. Best of luck with your save, great team to start out with!

  37. As a Bundesliga fan, it's really great to see a manager story from Germany man!

    I think Christensen's stats should have been much better(especially tackling). And Emre Koç? He's already a beast! He will be a world class striker in couple years for sure. Sane transfer is insanely good I like your transfers and going. I'll follow this topic regularly. Good luck man! Give Schalke a chance to win the league at least for once
    GR14B likes this.

  38. Quote Originally Posted by Equal View Post
    As a Bundesliga fan, it's really great to see a manager story from Germany man!

    I think Christensen's stats should have been much better(especially tackling). And Emre Koç? He's already a beast! He will be a world class striker in couple years for sure. Sane transfer is insanely good I like your transfers and going. I'll follow this topic regularly. Good luck man! Give Schalke a chance to win the league at least for once

    Thanks mate, I agree on Christensen, from what I've seen on him he seems a bit underrated on the game, but his 17 anticipation and 16 decisions for a 22 year old is unbelievably good.

    I should be more excited by Emre Koç, he's even made his Germany debut at just 18, but I have so many exciting young strikers at the club, competition for places will be fierce! (sorry to brag about my depth of quality young strikers)

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  39. October 2018


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    “A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.”
    Ara Perseghein

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    Champions League Group A Round 2


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    Mario Mandzukic is a man possessed. Blistering start from us in the Champions League, I'd love to reach the semi final stages this year and early signs show that we might just have made the step up to that level...



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    We threatened to run riot early on but credit to Augsburg, they held true and had a fair go at the game on the break. Really pleased with this win for two reasons - away to lower end clubs has been out major stumbling point in this save and also, we are keeping clean sheets!



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    We left it late, but Julian Brandt comes up clutch for us again, feel like I've said that a lot the past season and a half. A tight game, as it always is against RB Leipzig, but delighted to come out on top.


    Champions League Group A Round 3


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    Another year, another trip to Madrid for us. The Spanish Champions of last season have changed manager with Marcelo Gallardo taking over from Diego Simeone whom moved to Inter. They play a very offensive 4-3-1-2 and I decided to counter with our deep, defensive 4-1-2-3 with Sane and Brandt on the wings looking to exploit their vulnerabilities out wide. That's exactly what happened as Christensen released a long ball wide to Brandt who beat his man and whipped in a great ball for Super Mario to score against his former club. We held out excellently up until the 87th minute where Nabil Fekir scored a rebound. A good point for us, pleasing result.



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    Kevin De Bruyne opens his account for the club and Mario Mandzukic continues his frightening early season form. Stuttgart gave us a nervy last few minutes, but they didn't really trouble us up until the last 5 minutes. Solid performance.


    DFB Pokal 2nd round


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    *See previous report on match vs RB Leipzig*
    I'm beginning to run out of superlatives for Julian Brandt. Shows up when we need him most.


    ************************************************** ******************************************


    Summary


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    5 wins 1 draw 0 losses 10 goals for 2 goals against


    Our early season form has bene little short of perfect, perhaps the only thing more impressive was Mario Mandzukics average rating over the previous 5 games after we played Fenerbahce...


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    Up next we've got the derby against Koln, the home time with Atletico, a tricky away journey to Dortmund, perhaps our first real tests as a team wanting to compete on all three fronts.


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  40. November 2018

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    "Good is not good when better is expected"
    Vin Scully


    ************************************************** *****************************************


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    Mario Mandzukic has already became a favoured personal at the club, after less than 6 months at the club, this is why. He bags two as we remind Köln who the team to beat is.


    Champions League Group A Round 4


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    We continue our winning run, just. Kampl took a late pop and it took a huge deflection off of Sime Vrsalijko and past the goalkeeper. That win confirmed our qualification from the group and all but secured top spot. Mission complete as far as the group stage is concerned.


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    What a win for us. We paid them a lot of respect and they had the better of the chances and probably deserved at least a point, but the way our season is playing out, we're winning these games now when previously we'd have drawn. Our defence is delighting me, that's now just 2 goals in 9 games conceded and 7 clean sheets in that time.


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    This was pretty woeful. We got complacent and being 1-0 up with them having 10 men on 30 minutes, there is no world we should have done anything less than win by 3 or 4 goals. Maybe all things considered our worst result of the save. Lets just make sure it's a blip and not a sign of the players thinking the job is done.


    Champions League Group A Round 5


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    Well...it's an improvement for Sparta Prague. Top of the group secured. Calhanoglu bagging two and continuing his excellent early season form and Kevin De Bruyne getting on the score sheet was pleasing too.


    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Summary


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    4 wins 1 draw 0 losses 9 goals for 1 goal against


    A great month in a difficult run of games, I'm very pleased - even if the easiest game we bottled. We're already 9 points clear of the chasing pack and perhaps some would think we have already wrapped up the league.


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    One more push until the mid-season break where we can rest and regroup. Lets hope for more the same.


    Telstar likes this.

  41. Great read so far, really turning Brandt into an amazing player, utilizing him well!
    GR14B likes this.

  42. Just caught up with this, superb work winning the title first season! Hopefully you can regain it this year! Some great transfers, not hanging around getting through the seasons either.
    GR14B likes this.


  43. December/January 2018/2019

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    "Sports is very important for a large portion of our population at home. Football brings happiness to them. Therefore we are absolutely delighted for having contributed something."
    Marcelo Bielsa

    ************************************************** *****************************************


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    It had to end sooner or later. Mainz end our sensational unbeaten start to the season with a win that they deserved. Now we need to see how we respond in the next game against Bayern Munich.



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    That's how you respond to a defeat. Bayern couldn't handle our strikerless fluidity and we ran away with the game. Is this the win that puts us above Bayern in the pecking order of Germany?



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    Hmmm. Strange form from us, losing the 2 games we'd expect to win, but newly promoted Freiburg beat us fair and square, poor performance all round from us.



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    We rested most of our first team in a dead rubber match, but a pleasing win nonetheless, we showcased our squad depth. Good to see Kevin Volland get back to scoring ways.



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    Is this the most eventful start to a game ever? FOUR GOALS IN 4 MINUTES. Super Mario bagged a hat trick in 199 seconds, surely the quickest hat trick ever at least in the Bundesliga?!



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    Good convincing win away to Hannover who were flying in 5th. We showed character to come back from a goal down and then missing a penalty when the scores were even. KDB starting to show why he's so highly rated.



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    Perfect way to go into the Christmas break. Convincing win against local rivals, Gladbach. We blitzed them early and that was pleasing to see, great performance from us.


    ************************************************** *****************************************


    Summary


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    5 wins 0 draws 2 losses 19 goals for 7 goals against


    What a start to the season. Dortmund have too been very impressive, but we have to be considered overwhelming favourites going into the second half of the season. Check out Bayern Munich!


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    Another trip to Portugal for us in the last 16 of the Champions league, this time against Benfica. Lets hope for an improvement this year...


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    Our season may have just been rocked. Roberto Firmino has asked to leave the club. In the summer, we rejected a bid that totalled into £60 million with add ons for him from Real Madrid, even though he had a £59 million release clause, they never matched it. I rejected his transfer request and hope to keep him at the club.










    "Real Madrid have activated Bayer Leverkusen superstar Roberto Firmino's £59 million release clause"





    I am powerless. Madrid activated his release clause and Firmino whom was unhappy at a big being rejected in summer from Madrid, then went to contract negotiations with them. On the 13th January - just over a year since he joined us, Roberto Firmino moves to Real Madrid.


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    This now leaves us with a problem, we need to replace our main man. I've drawn up a list of targets, but with a few days left in the transfer window, we'll need to see how it plays out. A huge blow to our domestic and European hopes.



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    A reasonably fair run of fixtures upcoming for us, Benfica is the big one and the 1st game against RB Leipzig will be in the DFB-Pokal. A big time ahead for the club, will we stagnate with the loss of our star, replace him with a better talent, or will a young player grow into a first team regular?



    Last edited by GR14B; 31/10/2016 at 01:33 PM.
    TheBattman and Telstar like this.


  44. Shame about Firmino. Although it is more realistic, I hate that the agent has the power to cap the release clauses now. I am sure you will find a suitable replacement soon enough and continue to challenge for the title and Europe!
    GR14B likes this.

  45. love this story! iyt has inspired me to do a leverkusen save on fm 17. they were my bogey team on fm 16 in the champs league(i was arsenal). how have, havertz,attakan? and heinrichs developed?
    GR14B likes this.



  46. January/February 2019

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    ************************************************** *****************************************

    Transfer Deadline Day

    Well, after the loss of Roberto Firmino we had to find a replacement. I was searching for a like-for-like replacement and limited my shortlist down to: PSG's Antoine Griezmann (available for £120+ million), Christian Pulisic (unhappy at Dortmund, but not willing to sell), Gonçalo Guedes (available for £52-88 million) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (available for £28-35 million).
    Quickly, it became clear that Griezmann was no going to be possible, so I turned my attentions primarily to Gonçalo Guedes of Benfica. He burst onto the scene in the 2015/2016 season 13 goals and 8 assists in 27 games with an average rating of 7.48, but his level had dipped in the past season and a half. We negotiated with Benfica, but for now anyway, I deemed their demand of £52 million with £20 million of potential add ons simply too much.
    I decided to go with the team I had and maybe look to loan someone in, or recall Kai Hravertz from Sevilla, but then Christian Pulisic was transfer listed by Dortmund and available for just £7 million. I swooped in and we bought him from our championship rivals. He's stagnated in my save, but hopefully he can produce the goods for us. If nothing else, having the best American player will really help us commercially over in the states.


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    ************************************************** *****************************************



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    A good start post break, always a risk that some players will still be on holiday. Kevin Kampl -perhaps our forgotten man- with a screamer of a goal, he's adapted very well to his new role as a roaming playmaker. Andreas Christensen putting down a strong case to be Tah's partner in defence.



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    We've torn apart Schalke this season. One of our best performances this season, we were utterly dominant and Mario Mandzukic bags yet another hat trick for us. He's quickly becoming a club legend.



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    Lacklustre performance from us. After annihilating Bremen in the previous game, we struggled to create any real chances as their defence held firm. 2 points dropped.



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    This was far more worrying than the Bremen game. Even though a number of first team players were rested, we lacked intensity in this game and Hamburg can have every right to feel hard done by by not getting the 3 points. We need to pick ourselves up with a vital Champions League last 16 clash up next.


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    Champions League 1st Knockout Round


    Benfica vs Bayer Leverkusen


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    A dominant performance by us, we really should have won the game. Andre Horta dribbled through the heart of our defence and scored a brilliant goal to open the scoring, but they decided to sit back and try soak up the pressure from us. We played well, moving the ball at our will but couldn't find a breakthrough until the 66th minute when Kevin Volland wrapped his foot round the ball and placed it in the far corner from 25 yards. A good result away to a very strong side, that leaves us in a strong position to advance. Overall, I'm very pleased.


    ************************************************** *****************************************


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    Well if it wasn't a slump before, it is now. Awful result against a Wolfsburg side sitting second bottom of the league. We just didn't show up, perhaps it was a European hangover, but we can't let Europe affect our domestic form with Dortmund hot on our tails.



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    Back to winning ways for us, and back to goalscoring ways for Mario Mandzukic. Augsburg are sitting rock bottom and I decided to play Kevin De Bruyne as our deepest midfielder, more as an experiment than anything else - he was excellent and perhaps a role I will utilise him in when he reachers the latter stages of his career. Andreas Christensen is in excellent goalscoring form!



    DFB-Pokal 3rd Round


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    A really good win against Leipzig, Brandt and Mandzukic put us in the driving seat early on before they made is nervy at the end. We now play the quarter final just a few days later.




    DFB-Pokal Quarter Final


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    Fixture congestion meant that our league game against Leipzig was swapped for the quarter final here. We ran out dominant winners and it was a comfortable win for us. We managed to rest a good few players before the second leg against Benfica.


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    Summary

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    5 wins 3 draws 1 loss 19 goals for 7 against


    We reacted well to our blip, closing the month out with some good wins. Our whole season could change mood if we get knocked out by Benfica. We've done most of the hard work, we just need to close out the game now. The league is without doubt a two horse race now.



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    We'll be travelling to Hamburg for our semi final, Hamburg are a real quality team and have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League, so it will be a hard game for us. Hertha and Bayern contest the other semi.


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    Something I forgot to post last time, Jonathan Tah and Kevin Volland made it into the World Team of the Year for 2018!


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    The big one is next, Benfica at home. We'll also have a crucial league match against Borussia Dortmund where a win can really put a dent into their title hopes.


    Average Joe likes this.

  47. Quote Originally Posted by ozey View Post
    love this story! iyt has inspired me to do a leverkusen save on fm 17. they were my bogey team on fm 16 in the champs league(i was arsenal). how have, havertz,attakan? and heinrichs developed?

    Best of luck mate!

    Atakan Akkaynak and Benji Hendrichs are nailed on starters when fit, Hendrichs has even progressed to become vice-captain and I see Akkaynak being promoted to vice captain when Bender eventually decides to retire. Kai Havertz has not been so lucky. He broke his leg and was out for 9 months last January just as I was about to look for an 18 month loan for him to a team like Wolfsburg or Gladbach or someone of that level.



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    kolas79, Telstar and TimmsSports like this.


  48. March/April 2019

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    Champions League 1st Knockout Round


    Bayer Leverkusen (1) vs Benfica (1)




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    YES. Third time lucky for us. An iconic European night at the BayArena, as Leverkusen qualify for the last 8 of the Champions League for the first time since they were finalists in 2002. Mitroglou put Benfica a goal up and winning in the tie and Bernd Leno made one of the best saves I've ever seen in FM from a free kick from the same man to keep the score at 1-0. At half time I was furious with the players but they responded emphatically with Calhanoglu, Brandt and Mandzukic all scoring in a 5 minute blitz which was the difference over the two ties. We deserved to go through and we do, delighted with our boys.


    Championbs League quarter final draw


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    There are no poor teams left. We draw Pep Guardiola's reigning English champions Manchester United. A huge ask for us to progress, but I feel like if we turn up, then we can maybe, just maybe, make the semi finals.


    ************************************************** *****************************************


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    At first glance this is just another routine win against low end opposition, but there was a lot more to this match. Kevin Kampl was sent off in the 18th minute with the score at 0-0 and Stuttgart pressed us hard to go for the game. In the end, we come out with what could be a vital 3 points in the race for the title.



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    Scoring 6 at your rivals ground is the stuff of dreams. Kevin Volland returns to form with a brilliant hat trick against Koln as we run riot. Julian Brandt was absolutely sensational, scoring 1 and assisting 3, but that's just the standard he's set himself at now.



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    Huge win. That might be the final nail in the coffin for Dortmund's title hopes. They took the lead through Andre Schurrle, but we thought back and our trident of Mandzukic, Volland and Brandt all bagged a goal to break Dortmund hearts. We have one hand on the Bundesliga trophy again.



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    Did I speak too soon? Poor performance, poor result. Not much to be said really, we just didn't turn up. Good to see Kevin Volland continue his rich vein of form of late though.



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    Man. Hertha Berlin are causing me some aggrievance. 2-0 up and cruising and then 2 points dropped. No excuses here. We rested players for the next game against Manchester United, but still, the result should have been in the bag.



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    Champions League Quarter Final First Leg


    Manchester United vs Bayer Leverkusen




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    Disciplined performance. I am absolutely delighted with this. We played a deep 4-1-4-1 on (cover your eyes) defensive and the plan was to leave Old Trafford still with a decent chance of qualification. Luke Shaw's red card gave me a good dilemma - stick or twist? I decided to push a bit more for an away goal and switched to standard, but the goal never came. A 0-0 draw away to United is a very good result though and we leave ourselves with chance at the BayArena. I just worry the occasion might be too big for my young team?


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    Summary


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    4 wins 2 draw 1 loss 19 goals for 8 goals against



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    Roberto Mancini was sacked from Bayern after they crashed out the Champions League with a 5-0 loss at PSG. Joachim Low quit as Germany boss to take over at the Allianz Arena, a shrewd appointment and I am sure we'll have many a tactical battle in the near future.


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    The future is so so bright here.


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    Up next we've got Mainz before the big return leg against Manchester United. Getting to the Champions League semi finals would be the stuff of dreams and I pray we can do it. We have a tricky run in by going to Bayern Munich and then our German Cup semi against Hamburg.


    Don't dare even think about the word treble.








  49. On a good run in all competitions so far, keep it going, see it through to the end now.
    GR14B likes this.

  50. nice story, i've read it through there and its clear the jobs a good'in!

    Just a couple of points though which i've noticed that are running parrallel to my game...it does seem quite easy?

    Never, ever would Bayern have 40 points right now & in your first season finish so far behind you? this has happened relatively similar to myLFC save with the "premiership elite".
    GR14B likes this.

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