Like Tree83Likes

Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12



  1. DECEMBER

    v
    Valencia 2 (Barco 45, Mina 61)
    Athletic Bilbao 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat (Raul Garcia), Susaeta (Hervias), Williams, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    And so our fantastic run comes to an end and I don't have any complaints as we were very poor.

    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League Group G
    Ludogorets 0
    Athletic Bilbao 4 (Aketxe 3, Hervias 21, 46, Millan 73)

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue, Etxeita, Yeray, Goni, Iturraspe (Galdeano), Raul Garcia (Nolaskoain), Aranburu, Aketxe, Hervias*, Ruiz (Millan)

    We needed to win and hope that Arsenal lost and I trusted my backups to do our spart of the deal and they did fantastically well with Pablo Hervias finally beginning to show why I spent £11.25m on him. Unfortunately Arsenal won 1-0 so its Europa League football for us.

    --

    v
    Almeria 1 (Dani Olmo 71)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Villalibre 1, Susaeta 57)

    Lineup
    - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat, Susaeta, Williams*, Muniain, Villalibre

    --

    v
    Copa del Rey 4th Round 1st Leg
    Albacete 1 (Gil 34)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Hervias 83, Ruiz 86)

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue, Etxeita, Yeray, Goni, Iturraspe (Galdeano), Raul Garcia, Aranburu, Aketxe (Lopez), Hervias*, Ruiz (Millan)

    While a win is always nice I expected a bigger margin of victory here tbh.

    --

    v
    Sevilla 1 (Balotelli 52)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Merino 54, Villalibre 90)

    Lineup
    - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat, Susaeta (Lekue), Williams (Raul Garcia), Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre*

    Remember when Asier Villalibre couldn't score and always got injured? Well his last minute winner was his 17th league goal this campaign in 16 appearances!!!! Williams had an early goal disallowed.

    --

    v
    Copa del Rey 4th Round 2nd Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Galdeano 2)
    Albacete 0
    (Agg: 3-1)

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue, Etxeita*, Yeray, Goni, Iturraspe (Francisco), Galdeano, Aranburu, Raul Garcia (Nolaskoain), Hervias (Seguin), Ruiz

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Hervias 81)
    Real Betis 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat, Susaeta (Aranburu), Williams*, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre (Ruiz)

    This game was a bore with not much happening apart from Hervias scoring a fine goal late on. Betis are the surprise side of the season so this was a good win.

    --

    SUMMARY

    We weren't at our scintillating best this month but we still did a good job as after losing to Valencia we won every match - even when I played my young guns. Pablo Hervias finally has found his game and scored some goals and put in some MOM performances.

    Unfortunately we are out in the Champions League even though we did get 10pts which usually is enough and in the Europa League we will play Spartak Moscow.

    One thing I have noticed and what I cant figure out is Kepa's value. He is valued at a ridiculous £850k - even less than my backup keeper yet he has been capped for Spain and has been my first choice since the start, got a long term contract and has great attributes!!

    Finally a note from the national team - in the Euro qualifiers we will face Belarus, Kosovo, Czech Republic, Slovenia and the Faroe Islands.

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    PABLO HERVIAS

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-pablo-hervias_-overview-profile.png

    --

    LEAGUE TABLE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages-4.png


  2. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend
    Quote Originally Posted by bcfc1 View Post
    Really enjoy your Bilbao stories. I've got a problem I hope you can help with. I've recently started my own game with Bilbao and playing a similar tactic but struggling to score goals which you don't seem to. What kind of football do you try to play with Bilbao? I've gone for a slow possession based game but I'm not sure it suits the attacking players.
    Here is my tactics..

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-athletic-bilbao_-overview.pngSuccess Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-athletic-bilbao_-overview-2.png

  3. Quote Originally Posted by KLIPPYBO View Post
    Thanks. We don't play too differently except I play with a high line to try and press the opposition more. It works against the weaker teams but I had a big loss (6-2) to Barca with Suarez catching me out from long balls. Hopefully the team just need to become more familiar with my tactic and then things will click.

    I have one more question for you. How has Yeray developed for you? He looks a really good prospect on the update and I'm trying to give him some game time before his medical break.

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-yeray_-overview-profile.png

  4. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    JANUARY

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 6 (Williams 7, Muniain 32, Villalibre 33, 40, 71, San Jose 90pen)
    Las Palmas 0

    Lineup
    - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Iturraspe), Benat, Aranburu, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre*

    A stunning victory as we blew Las Palmas apart and Villalibre individually wrecked them with 3 goals and 2 assists - a great way to start the calendar year. Susaeta is out for a few weeks and despite Hervias hitting a bit of form I will give Aranburu a run in the side as the fixture list is pretty kind methinks.

    --

    v
    Copa del Rey 5th Round 1st Leg
    Alaves 0
    Athletic Bilbao 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga*, Merino, Benat (Raul Garcia), Aranburu, Williams (Francisco), Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    I went into the game hoping for a comfortable win to allow my youngsters to take the stage in the 2nd leg but instead I got a drab no score draw. Grrr.

    --

    v
    Rayo Vallecano 1 (Vinicius Araujo 51)
    Athletic Bilbao 5 (Williams 21, Villalibre 32, 55, Laporte 42, Francisco 88)

    Lineup
    - Kepa, De Marcos (Lekue), San Jose, Laporte*, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat (Francisco), Aranburu (Hervias), Williams, Muniain, Villalibre

    That's 11 goals in our last 2 league games as we put Rayo to the sword. Francisco scored his 1st goal for the club here with a fine free-kick.

    --

    v
    Copa del Rey 5th Round 2nd Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Williams 47, Muniain 80)
    Alaves 0
    (Agg: 2-0)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Francisco, Aranburu, Williams (Raul Garcia), Muniain*, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    It wasn't pretty and we weren't at our best but we did enough to get through.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Muniain 17, Aranburu 52)
    Celta Vigo 2 (Bongonda 34, Aspas 51)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, Etxeita, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Raul Garcia (Susaeta), Aranburu, Francisco, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    I was without a few players and lost Villalibre to injury early on so I can understand why we failed to win. Aranburu got off the mark for us and Muniain scored on his 300th appearance.

    --

    v
    Copa del Rey Quarter Final 1st Leg
    Real Madrid 2 (Bale 9, Rodriguez 20)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Ruiz 33)


    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Benat (Raul Garcia), Aranburu (Susaeta), Williams, Muniain, Ruiz

    I am happy with this as Real should have scored a few more than we did and Alfonso Ruiz's great finish gave us an away goal which could be crucial.

    --

    v
    Alaves 0
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Muniain 45)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte*, Balenziaga, Merino (Raul Garcia), Benat (Susaeta), Aranburu, Williams, Muniain, Ruiz (Francisco)

    That's 3 matches against Alaves this month and all 3 have been tight but we haven't conceded in any of the fixtures against them.

    --

    v
    Copa del Rey Quarter Final 2nd Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Ruiz 22)
    Real Madrid 2 (Rodriguez 75, Tielemans 90)
    (Agg: 2-4)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, Etxeita, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Raul Garcia), Benat (Francisco), Susaeta, Williams (Hervias), Muniain, Ruiz

    Oh what could have been!!! We took the lead and then Ruiz missed a sitter, Benat hit the bar and Susaeta also hit the post and missed a sitter and then they scored twice to kill us off. Raul Garcia got injured and will be out for 2 months.

    --

    SUMMARY

    This was a busy month as we played a shed load of games, made a few forays into the transfer market, signed a key player on a new contract, sold a stalwart and got knocked out of the cup!!!

    Regarding matters on the pitch - we did well enough in the league and are just in the fringes of the title race but I fear a 4pt gap between us and the big 2 may be too much. In the cup we defeated Alaves before Real Madrid turned us over both home and away.

    Regarding transfers I signed 3 regens. I signed Javier Vazquez from Sporting Gijon for £1.1m. He has great mental attributes and is quick too - hopefully he will develop into a decent player.
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-javier-vazquez_-overview-profile.png

    My director of football went in for the full back Adrian Manero for £325,000 and I went along with it. I aslo brought in Claudio Salazar for £400,000.
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-adrian-manero_-overview-profile.pngSuccess Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-claudio-salazar_-overview-profile.png

    My most important signing however was the extension of a contract for Aymeric Laporte. It cost an arm and a leg and a hip and a whole lot else to sign him. His wages weren't too bad but because of me insisting on a stupidly high release clause I paid about £12m in agent and signing on fees.

    Finally its a fond farewell to Ander Iturraspe. He has been wanting to leave for a wee while and when I paid all that money on Laporte's extension I couldn't really turn down the £6.75m that Stoke were offering me.

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    IKER MUNIAIN
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-iker-muniain_-overview-profile-2.png

    --

    LEAGUE TABLE

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages-5.png
    Last edited by KLIPPYBO; 18/04/2017 at 08:36 PM.
    Death Ball likes this.

  5. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend
    Quote Originally Posted by bcfc1 View Post
    Thanks. We don't play too differently except I play with a high line to try and press the opposition more. It works against the weaker teams but I had a big loss (6-2) to Barca with Suarez catching me out from long balls. Hopefully the team just need to become more familiar with my tactic and then things will click.

    I have one more question for you. How has Yeray developed for you? He looks a really good prospect on the update and I'm trying to give him some game time before his medical break.

    Attachment 1112631
    He is ok for backup but yours looks better than mine. He only gets a dozen games a season but if Laporte or San Jose get long term injuries he will be straight in

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-yeray_-overview-profile.png

  6. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    FEBRUARY

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Aketxe 79)
    Levante 0

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue, San Jose, Etxeita (Yeray), Goni, Galdeano, Francisco, Aranburu, Jose Maria, Hervias (Aketxe*), Ruiz (Millan)

    Most of my players were shattered so with Barcelona away coming up next I decided to take a risk and rest the first team basically against the team rock bottom. It fortunately worked but it took a great free kick from Aketxe to win it.

    --

    v
    Barcelona 3 (Messi 21, Suarez 34, 46)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Williams 42)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Benat, Susaeta, Williams, Muniain (Hervias), Ruiz (Francisco)

    Resting my players didn't work!!! Hey ho.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 5 (Ruiz 1, 64, Benat 30, 71, Muniain 37)
    Granada 1 (Saponjic 90)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Benat*, Susaeta (Villalibre), Williams, Muniain, Ruiz

    We got back on track here with a great win and Benat was amazing as he scored 2 fantastic free-kicks. Ruiz chipped in with a double too, his first league goals for us, as Villalibre returned from injury.

    --

    v
    UEFA Europa League 1st Round 1st Leg
    Spartak Moscow 0
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Ruiz 8)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos (Lekue), San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Benat, Susaeta, Williams*, Muniain, Ruiz (Villalibre)

    --

    v
    Elche 1 (Oyarzun 6)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Galdeano 20)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Galdeano*, Benat (Francisco), Susaeta, Williams (Aketxe), Muniain, Ruiz (Villalibre)

    Disappointed to draw but I was playing with 10 men after Galdeano got sent-off just after he scored our equaliser so its an acceptable disappointment lol. How Galdeano got man of the match when he only played 34min I don't know!!!

    --

    v
    UEFA Europa League 1st Round 2nd Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Muniain 53, Villalibre 59)
    Spartak Moscow 1 (Ze Luis 71)
    (Agg: 3-1)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte*, Balenziaga (Goni), Galdeano, Benat (Hervias), Susaeta, Francisco, Muniain, Villalibre

    Through we go! We were always in control tbh and it was a good game to give Galdeano and Francisco more experience and improve Villalibre's match fitness.

    --

    SUMMARY

    Not a bad month but it wasn't spectacular either. In the league we thrashed Granada but laboured in our other fixtures including a 3-1 defeat against Barcelona which all but ended our slim title hopes. The month ends us safely in 3rd place as we are 11pts clear of Betis so I will probably play my youngsters towards the end of the season.

    In Europe we defeated Spartak Moscow home and away easy enough.

    Mikel San Jose followed his defensive partners lead by signing a new long term contract with the club while youngsters Goni and Francisco also signed on.

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    AYMERIC LAPORTE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-aymeric-laporte_-overview-profile.png

    --

    LEAGUE TABLE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages.png
    Death Ball likes this.

  7. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    MARCH

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (San Jose 12pen, Merino 27, Williams 68)
    Getafe 0

    Lineup
    - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose (Goni), Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino*, Benat, Susaeta, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    A decent way to start the month against lowly Getafe. San Jose has been in double figures for goals in recent seasons but not this season it seems as we haven't had too many penalties.

    --

    v
    Osasuna
    Athletic Bilbao (Villalibre 3, 28, Muniain 46)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Benat, Susaeta (Hervias), Williams, Muniain, Villalibre*

    Derby day victory as we defeated Osasuna here and Villalibre found his scoring touch in the league again.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Villalibre 33)
    Real Madrid 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose*, Laporte, Goni, Merino, Benat, Susaeta, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre

    What a win this is!!! Villalibre struck and what followed was constant pressure from ourselves and we battered them without scoring the 2nd but we kept them at bay. For some reason I couldn't make a sub - thankfully that didn't cost us!!!

    --

    v
    UEFA Europa League 2nd Round 1st Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 4 (Villalibre 26, 61, 78pen, Laporte 76)
    Borussia Monchengladbach 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Benat, Susaeta (Hervias), Williams (Aketxe), Muniain, Villalibre*

    Fantastic!!! This result means I should be able to play the kids in the 2nd leg without worrying about getting knocked out.

    --

    v
    Real Sociedad 1 (Gutierrez 12)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (San Jose 27)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Francisco, Susaeta (Hervias), Williams, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    I am not happy here as their goal was a blatant foul on my CB and we had a goal disallowed that looked perfectly ok. FFS!

    --

    v
    UEFA Europa League 2nd Round 2nd Leg
    Borussia Monchengladbach 0
    Athletic Bilbao 0
    (Agg: 0-4)

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue, Etxeita*, Yeray, Goni (Bunuel), Galdeano, Francisco, Aranburu, Aketxe (Nolaskoain), Hervias, Ruiz (Millan)

    I am very proud of this result as my backups, which had 5 teenagers in the starting lineup - managed to hold a decent Bundesliga side.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Villalibre 22, 52)
    Malaga 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat (Francisco), Susaeta, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre*

    I considered calling up Villalibre to the Spain squad but decided against it - yet he keeps on scoring!!! That's 8 for the month.

    --

    SUMMARY

    What a month this was!!! We were on form in the league as we won every game apart from a draw against our bitter rivals Real Sociedad and the highlight was the very impressive victory against Real Madrid which all but ends their title hilt and puts us in a challenge with them for 2nd place.

    In Europe we defeated Borussia MGB and in the next round we will play Valencia in a tie that we better win.

    Finally the youth intake - we had a lot of dross but also 3 very good looking prospects....
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-fernando-arrese_-overview-profile.pngSuccess Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-jesus-uriarte_-overview-profile-3.pngSuccess Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-mario-landeta_-overview-profile.png

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    ASIER VILLALIBRE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-asier-villalibre_-overview-profile.png

    --

    LEAGUE TABLE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages-2.png

    --



    SPAIN

    UEFA European Championship Qualifiers Group A

    v
    Czech. Republic 0
    Spain 4 (Mata 26, Morata 38, 41, Ramos 75)

    Lineup
    - De Gea, Bellerin*, Martinez, Ramos, Grimaldo, Busquets (Saul), Thiago (Koke), Williams, Mata (Ayoze Perez), Asensio, Morata

    I had in mind that this would be our hardest game in the group but obviously not!! I gave Ayoze Perez his debut here as he is ripping it up with Newcastle. He got the nod ahead of Villalibre - just!!

    --

    v
    Spain 2 (Azpilicueta 71, Koke 83)
    Slovenia 0

    Lineup - De Gea, Bellerin, Martinez, San Jose, Grimaldo (Azpilicueta), Busquets (Koke), Thiago, Williams, Isco (Ayoze Perez), Asensio*, Morata

    Last edited by KLIPPYBO; 22/04/2017 at 10:08 AM.

  8. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    APRIL

    v
    Villarreal 2 (Mina 52, Dos Santos 81)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Villalibre 18, 25)

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue, Etxeita, Laporte (Yeray), Balenziaga, Merino, Benat, Susaeta, Williams (Aketxe), Muniain, Villalibre*

    We should have won this in the first half as we were 2up and hit the woodwork a couple of times - that said a 2 goal lead should have been enough!

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Ruiz 86)
    Valencia 0

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Benat, Aranburu, Williams, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre (Ruiz)

    Hopefully we can chalk up another 2 victories against them this month!!! San Jose missed a 2nd minute penalty here. Susaeta has been in poor form recently so I have decided to give Aranburu a run in the side.

    --

    v
    UEFA Europa League Quarter Final 1st Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Williams 4, 29, Villalibre 40)
    Valencia 0

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat (Raul Garcia), Aranburu, Williams*, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre

    This result should be good enough to see us into the semis. Williams was immense and his first was a great goal.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Ruiz 10, Susaeta 90)
    Almeria 0

    Lineup - Remiro, Etxeberria, Etxeita, Gil, Lekue, Galdeano (Vazquez), Raul Garcia (Nolaskoain), Susaeta*, Francisco (Jose Maria), Hervias, Ruiz

    I decided to rest my entire XI here although Kepa got injured beforehand hence why Remiro got a debut in goal and the risk payed off. We took an early lead and then they battered us to be fair but then they had a man sent-off with 15min left and we saw it out easily.

    --

    v
    UEFA Europa League Quarter Final 2nd Leg
    Valencia 3 (Zaza 56, Caprari 76, 83)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Francisco 21)
    (Agg: 3-4)

    Lineup - Remiro, Etxeberria, San Jose, Etxeita, Lekue, Galdeano, Raul Garcia (Goni), Susaeta (Aketxe), Francisco, Hervias, Ruiz (Aranburu)

    Threw but phew!!! We took the lead with an excellent Francisco goal and my backups were doing fine until San Jose got sent-off - just as I was about to sub him. Then the wheels came off and we just managed to hold on.

    --

    v
    Atletico Madrid 0
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Muniain 18)

    Lineup
    - Remiro, Lekue, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Benat, Aranburu (Susaeta), Williams, Muniain*, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    Atletico are down in 7th place and are having an awful season and we added more misery here as we scored with our only real attack of note. Remiro in goal was immense and almost got the MOM award.

    --

    SUMMARY

    A decent month. In the league we did ok as we dropped 2pts as we threw away a 2 goal lead against Villarreal but on the other hand we defeted Atletico away from home and gave some youngsters a run out.

    In Europe we managed to knock out Valencia as a 4-0 first leg victory was enough to see us through and in the semis we will play Southampton which is not too bad a draw considering we could have got Juventus or AC Milan.

    We have 6 games next month and possibly a 7th if we qualify for the Europa League final so we have a hectic end to the season!

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    MIKEL BALENZIAGA
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-mikel-balenziaga_-overview-profile.png
    Nobody really stood out but he was solid and had a high AVR and got an assist.

    --

    LEAGUE TABLE

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages.png
    Death Ball likes this.

  9. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    MAY

    v
    Real Betis 2 (Pacheco 41, Sanabria 87)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Eraso 83, Arrese 90)

    Lineup - Remiro, Lekue, Etxeita, Jose Juan (Vazquez), Goni, Galdeano, Raul Garcia, Hervias (Arrese), Francisco, Cano, Ruiz (Eraso)

    We had a 22pt lead over 4th place Betis so I decided to play my backups and gave debuts to Jose Juan and Cano from the start and Eraso and Arrese from the bench and it was the latter 2 who combined to score our goals.

    --

    v
    UEFA Europa League Semi-Final 1st Leg
    Southampton 1 (Gabbiadini 12)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Aranburu 90)

    Lineup
    - Kepa, Lekue (Goni), Etxeita, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat, Aranburu, Williams, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre (Ruiz)

    Southampton are managed by Roberto Mancini who didn't like me much when he was manager of Sevilla so I was delighted to score a last minute equaliser and a crucial away goal against his side.

    --

    v
    Las Palmas 1 (Viera 57)
    Athletic Bilbao 4 (Jose Maria 27, Susaeta 41, Eraso 76, 85)

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue, Etxeita, Galdeano, Goni, Vazquez, Francisco, Susaeta*, Jose Maria (Arrese), Hervias (Cano), Ruiz (Eraso)

    Wow!!! My youngsters did a fine job here as we thumped Las Palmas although the key moment was when Kepa saved a penalty at 2-1. Daniel Eraso looks a player as he scored on his debut and here he scored twice on his 2nd appearance and one was a beauty from outside the box.

    --

    v
    UEFA Europa League Semi-Final 2nd Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Ruiz 29, Laporte 80)
    Southampton 1 (Hojbjerg 38)
    (Agg: 3-2)

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga (Goni), Merino (Galdeano), Benat, Aranburu, Williams, Muniain (Hervias), Ruiz*

    Into the final we go!!! We took the lead thanks to a stunning strike from Ruiz but they quickly levelled and extra-time looked to be on the cards when Laporte struck into an empty net after San Jose's header bounced off the bar.

    Juventus in the final!!!


    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 0
    Sevilla 2 (Vazquez 50, Balotelli 59)

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue, Etxeita, Galdeano, Goni, Vazquez, Francisco (Uriarte), Susaeta (Arrese), Jose Maria, Hervias (Aketxe), Eraso

    I decided to drop Ruiz and reward Eraso with his first start here but along with every other player in the side he was disappointing.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Francisco 28, Eraso 90)
    Rayo Vallecano 0

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue (De Marcos), Etxeita, Galdeano, Goni, Vazquez, Francisco*, Susaeta (Arrese), Jose Maria (Eraso), Hervias, Ruiz

    The league campaign was rounded off nicely by my backups here. Supersub Eraso struck another great effort from 20 yards while I gave De Marcos 45min to build up his match fitness.

    --

    v
    UEFA Europa League Final
    Juventus 3 (Cuadrado 89, Higuaín 90pen, Hoedt 96)
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Williams 6, Villalibre 69, Susaeta 120)
    (AET Athletic Bilbao won 4-3 on penalties)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose (Galdeano), Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat, Aranburu (Susaeta), Williams, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    WE WIN THE EUROPA LEAGUE AGAIN!!!! What a crazy final that had me buzzing, suicidal, delighted, frustrated and in the end on top of the world!!!!

    We started the game on fire as Williams put us ahead and we were cruising all through the game and when Villalibre netted it was game over. Cuadrado pulled one back and it was still all over but Galdeano pushed Higuaín in the box and it was extra-time as we conceded 2 in as many minutes.

    They struck first in extra time and then I went all out for it and right at the death Susaeta stole in at the back post to take the game to penalties.

    Our first penalty was missed by Benat after they scored first but then Lirola missed (which will help his cause for a Spain call up!) and then Williams, Laporte and Susaeta all scored before Khedira missed for them and that left it to young Alfonso Ruiz to strike home the winning penalty.


    --

    SUMMARY

    A fantastic end to the season!!! We saw out the league campaign by playing my backups and youngsters and they did well - only losing to Sevilla - and there were impressive performances from the likes of Eraso, Vazquez and Arrese.

    It was in Europe where the real action was to be found however as we managed to defeat Southampton in the semis of the Europa League before the crazy final against Juventus where we had it won before we threw it away just to grab it on penalties.

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    DANIEL ERASO
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-daniel-eraso_-overview-profile.png

    END OF SEASON POST TO FOLLOW
    Last edited by KLIPPYBO; 22/04/2017 at 03:18 PM.
    Death Ball likes this.

  10. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    SEASON REVIEW


    Season 3 is done and it was a highly successful one on the whole. Sure we dropped a position in the league and failed to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League but on the other hand we won the Europa League and introduced several youngsters into the first team fold.

    In the league we defeated Real Madrid at home and also Atletico Madrid home and away and that was the highlights. We were never really in the title mix as our so-so start came back to haunt us although we ended the season well even though I played my youngsters during the last few games.

    In the domestic cup we got to the quarter-finals before Real Madrid knocked us out. In Europe we had big adventures. In the Champions League we failed to navigate the group stage despite gaining 10pts but we fell into the Europa League where we emerged victorious as Spartak Moscow, Borussia Monchengladbach, Valencia and Southampton were defeated before we came out on top against Juventus in a crazy final.

    Hopes for next season? Keep on winning a trophy every season and if we can get back into a title challenge then that's even better!!!

    --

    FINAL LEAGUE TABLE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages-2.png

    --

    FIRST TEAM SQUAD
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-athletic-bilbao_-players-players.png

    Some standouts for sure - Asier Villalibre finally came of age and scored 35 goals, Laporte was immense while several youngsters came in and established themselves - Aranburu, Ruiz, Goni, Francisco and Galdeano played many times while several others got introduced.

    --

    MY PLAYER OF THE YEAR
    ASIER VILLALIBRE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-asier-villalibre_-overview-profile-2.png

    --

    MY YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR
    FRANCISCO
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-francisco_-overview-profile.png

    --

    B TEAM

    Their season hasn't finished but a top half finish is what they will settle for. Iker Hernandez, Inigo Cordoba and Peru Nolaskoain have been the 3 stars. I may actually sell a few B team stars to give some younger players more experience at the 2nd level of Spain.

    --

    U19s

    They won the league by getting 100pts and they came runners-up in the UEFA Youth League and got to the semis of the domestic cup but they lost 2 league games which were their first league defeats since I came here. Daniel Eraso, Jose Maria, Ernesto Cano and Cesar Ruiz starred.


    Death Ball, stonecold and Dokara like this.

  11. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    What a nice season. Keep the good work.
    KLIPPYBO likes this.

  12. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    SPAIN


    UEFA European Championship Qualifiers Group A

    v
    Spain 4 (Morata 9, 11, 41, Koke 50)
    Kosovo 0

    Lineup - De Gea, Bellerin, Martinez, Ramos, Grimaldo, Koke, Thiago, Williams, Isco, Asensio, Morata* (Villalibre)

    Comfortable enough this with Morata getting a hat-trick and Villalibre getting his debut
    .

    --

    v
    Faroe Islands 0
    Spain 5 (Mata 11pen, 85pen, Williams 18, 21, 62pen)

    Lineup - De Gea, Azpilicueta, Martinez (Bartra), San Jose, Grimaldo (Bernat), Busquets, Saul, Williams*, Mata, Asensio, Villalibre

    Nice and easy - getting 3 penalties helps!!! Williams struck a hat-trick but I was disappointed that Villalibre couldn't score.


    Death Ball likes this.

  13. Well done on that season. Seems this year in FM certainly seems harder to dislodge the big two in Spain. I'm 5 seasons deep with Atletico and have won the league twice and lost the CL final 3 times!!
    KLIPPYBO likes this.

  14. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    PRE-SEASON
    &
    AUGUST

    Quite a quiet pre-season tbh although one or two first team players were let go and I did break the transfer record for the club so maybe it wasn't quite so quiet!!!

    My aims for the season is quite simple - win a trophy again!!! Sure I would like to win the league but I think I might have to wait until some of my youngsters develop a bit more until that is going to happen although we aren't that far away!!!

    --

    PLAYERS IN

    I signed 3 regens but only one I think in hindsight will make the grade as I paid Sevilla £1.5m for Fidel Hernandez. He will play for the U19s and we shall see where he goes from there.

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-fidel-hernandez_-overview-profile.png

    As for the player that I broke the club transfer record for? Well its a big welcome back for Ander Herrera as I paid Manchester United £14.5m to bring him back to the San Mames and he turned down Chelsea to sign for us - the fact I gave him his Spain cap probably helped!!

    With Benat now 32 I felt it was vital to keep someone at the top of their game rather than on a gradual decline although Benat is still quality!

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-ander-herrera_-overview-profile.png

    --

    PLAYERS OUT

    Two members of the first team are gone. Xabi Etxeita was sold to my beloved Newcastle for £1.9m. He was 32y/o and was on a decent wage and I am in mind to play Galdeano and maybe even call up Gil or Bilbao from the B team to cover.

    Also leaving was Raul Garcia. Again at the age of 32 he was blocking the route to the first team for my youngsters and at £90k a week he wasn't cheap!! Las Palmas paid £1.2m to take him and I wish him well. He made 112 appearances for me and scored 21 goals.

    --

    SQUAD SUMMARY

    Cant envisage to much other changes as we have no money to spend!!! Aranburu will start the season as my RW and I will look to give Galdeano, Goni, Ruiz and Francisco plenty of opportunities like last season as well as some of the U19s.

    --

    AUGUST

    v
    UEFA European Super Cup
    Arsenal 1 (Ozil 30)
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Villalibre 3, 90, Muniain 38)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera (Benat), Aranburu (Hervias), Williams (Lekue), Muniain, Villalibre*

    Season over - we have won a trophy!!! Lol. Its nice to have a trophy in our pockets already and we really put Arsenal to the sword here. Now lets try and get one of the big trophies!!

    --

    v
    Alaves 0
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Villalibre 31, 71, Williams 64)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Herrera, Aranburu*, Williams, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre

    A decent start to the league campaign although Alaves had plenty of chances when the game was close but we managed to put the game to bed in the 2nd half.

    --

    SUMMARY

    Only 2 games but they should have provided us with a good kick-start to the season as we claimed the European Super Cup by trouncing Arsenal and then following that up by comfortably beating Alaves.

    In the Champions League we will face moneybags Paris Saint-Germain, Wolfsburg and Maccabi Tel-Aviv.


    Death Ball likes this.

  15. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    SEPTEMBER


    v
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Ruiz 79)
    Real Betis 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera (Benat), Aranburu (Susaeta), Williams, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz*)

    We were labouring to a bore draw here until I brought on Alfonso Ruiz and he immediately scored a screamer from the edge of the area.

    --

    v
    Almeria 0
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Benat 82)

    Lineup
    - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera, Aranburu, Williams (Benat*), Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre (Ruiz)

    This was much like our last match as we flattered to deceive and was very reckless as we had 6 players booked. They missed a penalty in the 2nd half but fortunately Benat scored from long range to give us all 3 points.

    That's 2 games in a row where on e of my subs comes off the bench, scores the winner and gets the MOM award!


    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League Group C
    VfL Wolfsburg 1 (Osimhen 17)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Villalibre 29)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte*, Balenziaga, Merino (Benat), Herrera, Aranburu (Susaeta), Williams, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre

    I am happy enough with a point here as I think its between the 2 of us for 2nd spot in the group. We aren't exactly playing well but we aren't losing so that's the main thing.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Williams 7, Villalibre 39, 41)
    Barcelona 4 (Busquets 38, Neymar 44, Suarez 60, 71)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos (Lekue), San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Benat), Herrera, Aranburu, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre

    AAGGHH!!!! We were on fire in the first half and were 3-1 up going into the break when Neymar struck and that was a massive blow. In the 2nd half we missed some chances and they were ruthless. A missed opportunity for sure and hugely disappointing.

    Having said that this was the 1st game in the stadium since the expansion work was finished and the 64,644 saw an absolute belter of a game.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Williams 74, Muniain 90)
    Atletico Madrid 0


    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera (Benat), Aranburu, Williams*, Muniain, Villalibre (Francisco)

    Atletico are struggling again and after a turgid first 70min we got the lead when Williams struck. I was about to sub Merino when he got sent-off but we even managed to double our lead with 10 men which was pleasing.

    --

    v
    Valencia 2 (Gameiro 23, Robben 61)
    Athletic Bilbao 6 (Villalibre 35, 79, Aranburu 43, Williams 45, Benat 47, San Jose 86)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos (Lekue), San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Benat, Herrera (Vazquez), Aranburu, Williams, Muniain (Francisco), Villalibre*

    WOW!!! We were amazing here. Williams had an early goal chalked off and then when they took the lead I was thinking it was going to be one of those games but then we stepped up a few gears and blew them away.

    --

    SUMMARY

    This month was quite interesting. We struggled to find our top form for the first few games and relied on late goals to get 2 victories before drawing at Wolfsburg. Next up was the unveiling of our new stand at the San Mames and we were edged out in a 7 goal thriller against Barcelona and we followed that up with 2 great victories against Atletico Madrid (2-0) and Valencia (6-2).

    So far so good!!

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    ASIER VILLALIBRE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-asier-villalibre_-overview-profile.png

    --

    LEAGUE TABLE
    Click image for larger version

Name:	Asier Villalibre_ Overview Profile.png
Views:	117
Size:	286.4 KB
ID:	1113791


    --


    (Only 12 of those 25 are involved in my squads lol)

    SPAIN

    Friendly

    v
    Spain 6 (Mata 12, San Jose 29, Koke 45, Roberto 76, 84, Villalibre 80)
    U.S.A. 0

    Lineup - Kepa, Azpilicueta, San Jose, Bartra, Bernat, Saul (Roberto), Koke*, Sandro, Mata, Asensio, Villalibre

    I didn't realise that when my assistant arranged this friendly I had 2 qualifiers straight up! With that in mind I played my backups here and they did great and Villalibre netted his first goal for Spain.

    --

    UEFA European Championship Qualifiers Group A

    v
    Spain 2 (Williams 33, Morata 45)
    Czech. Republic 0


    Lineup - De Gea, Bellerin*, Martinez, Ramos, Grimaldo, Busquets (Roberto), Thiago, Williams, Isco, Asensio (Sandro), Morata (Villalibre)

    --

    v
    Spain 2 (Mata 20pen, Sandro 52)
    Belarus 0


    Lineup - De Gea, Bellerin (Azpilicueta), Martinez, San Jose, Bernat*, Busquets, Koke, Sandro, Mata, Asensio (Saul), Morata (Villalibre)

    6 wins out of 6 in the group now and we are all but qualified!



  16. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    OCTOBER

    v
    UEFA Champions League Group C
    Athletic Bilbao 0
    Paris Saint-Germain 3 (Cavani 5, Gabriel Barbosa 10, Di Maria 36)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Goni, Merino, Herrera, Aranburu (Susaeta), Williams, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre (Francisco)

    Koke, Coutinho, Lirola, De Gea and Gabriel Barbosa are just some of the players that PSG have bought and they taught us a lesson here. We did have chances and they had Koke sent-off near the end but they are on a different level to us.

    --

    v
    Granada 1 (Deulofeu 76)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Villalibre 3, Williams 13)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga*, Merino (Galdeano), Herrera (Benat), Aranburu, Williams (Francisco), Muniain, Villalibre

    We started off on fire here and then took our foot off the pedal but we got the win and that's the main thing.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Aranburu 64)
    Real Sociedad 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera, Aranburu*, Williams (Francisco), Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre (Ruiz)

    Derby day victory!!! It was a nervy affair and when San Jose missed a penalty early in the 2nd half I thought we were going to struggle but Aranburu scored a screamer from long range to grab us the points.

    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League Group C
    Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1 (Traore 48)
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Francisco 18, Susaeta 45, 61)

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue (Etxeberria), Gil, Yeray, Goni, Galdeano, Francisco, Susaeta*, Aketxe (Nolaskoain), Hervias, Ruiz (Millan)

    My backups did a great job here and I am pleased that we got our 1st win of the group.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Villalibre 34)
    Malaga 1 (Camacho 21)

    Lineup
    - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Herrera, Aranburu (Susaeta), Williams (Francisco), Muniain, Villalibre

    Not good enough!! Not happy either as we could have went clear at the top had we won as both Barcelona and Real Madrid drew.

    --

    v
    Las Palmas 1 (Roque Mesa 52)
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Williams 62, Ruiz 74, 78)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga (Lekue), Merino, Herrera (Francisco), Aranburu, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz*)

    Las Palmas are doing great and they made life difficult for us here but for the 2nd time this season Ruiz has came off the bench and scored the winning goals and claimed the man of the match award.

    --

    SUMMARY


    This was a tricky month as we got handed a hiding by PSG and dropped points to Malaga but otherwise we did quite well as we picked up a tricky victory against Las Palmas most notably.

    Next month will be just as tough as we have Real Madrid and Villarreal away as well as a huge game against Wolfsburg.

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    MIKEL BALENZIAGA

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-mikel-balenziaga_-overview-profile.png

    --

    LEAGUE TABLE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages-2.png

    --



    SPAIN

    UEFA European Championship Qualifiers Group A

    v
    Slovenia 1 (Sporar 42)
    Spain 1 (Mata 62)

    Lineup - De Gea, Bellerin (Lirola), Martinez, Ramos, Grimaldo*, Koke, Thiago, Williams, Mata, Asensio (Muniain), Morata (Villalibre)

    If we won we qualified but we dropped our 1st points of the group here. Pol Lirola was handed his international debut here and Muniain made a long awaited return.

    --

    v
    Kosovo 1 (Rahmani 1)
    Spain 4 (Mata 51, Asensio 56, 58, Saul 84)

    Lineup - De Gea, Bellerin, Martinez, Ramos (San Jose), Grimaldo, Koke (Saul), Thiago (Merino), Williams, Mata*, Asensio, Morata

    My players were tired and in the first half they were awful but after I gave them a rollocking at half time they came out for the 2nd half and blitzed Kosovo with 3 goals in a 7min spell.

    That's us qualified for the Euros!!



    Death Ball likes this.

  17. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    NOVEMBER

    v
    Real Madrid 1 (Aranburu og52)
    Athletic Bilbao 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Herrera (Francisco), Aranburu, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    We didn't create much here but still probably deserved a draw but alas Real got a lucky goal and claimed the points.

    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League Group C
    Athletic Bilbao 4 (Hervias 8, Ruiz 41, Susaeta 48, Galdeano 50)
    Maccabi Tel-Aviv 0

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue (Etxeberria), Gil, Yeray, Goni, Galdeano, Francisco, Susaeta*, Aketxe (Millan), Hervias (Uriarte), Ruiz

    My backups were great here and this victory means we only need a draw against Wolfsburg to qualify.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Villalibre 6)
    Celta Vigo 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose (Yeray), Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Francisco, Aranburu*, Williams, Muniain (Aketxe), Villalibre

    --

    v
    Villarreal 0
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Muniain 80)

    Lineup - Kepa*, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte (Yeray), Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera (Francisco), Aranburu, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    This was a very hard fought victory and once again Ruiz came off the bench to make a difference as he set up Muniain's winner.

    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League Group C
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Williams 48)
    VfL Wolfsburg 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, Galdeano, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera (Benat), Aranburu (Susaeta), Williams (Hervias), Muniain, Villalibre

    Not a classic but the victory ensures that we have qualified for the next stage which is the main thing.

    --

    SUMMARY

    This was a tough month with us being involved in 4 very close matches. We undeservedly lost to Real Madrid before edging out Celta, Villarreal and Wolfsburg with 1-0 victories although there was a convincing victory against Maccabi Tel-Aviv thrown in there too.

    We end the month in 2nd place which is good considering we haven't quite clicked yet and aren't playing at our best. Hopefully we can build on our decent start!

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    KEPA
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-kepa_-overview-profile.png

    --

    LEAGUE TABLE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages-3.png
    --



    SPAIN

    UEFA European Championship Qualifiers Group A

    v
    Belarus 1 (Kornilenko 90)
    Spain 2 (Morata 10, San Jose 13)

    Lineup
    - De Gea, Bellerin (Lirola), Martinez*, San Jose, Grimaldo, Koke (Saul), Thiago, Williams, Mata (Isco), Asensio, Morata

    --

    v
    Spain 7 (Isco 3, Mohr og6, Saul 26, Ayoze Perez 27, Lirola 45, Villalibre 70, Ramos 90)
    Faroe Islands 0

    Lineup - De Gea, Lirola*, Martinez (Bartra), Ramos, Bernat, Busquets, Saul, Sandro, Ayoze Perez, Isco (Roberto), Morata (Villalibre)

    A decent win to end the group stage. They had a man sent-off in the last minute.

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-euro-qualifiers_-overview-stages.png


    Last edited by KLIPPYBO; 30/04/2017 at 12:18 PM.

  18. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    DECEMBER

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Benat 26, Jony og75, Aranburu 83)
    Espanyol 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, Galdeano, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat (Francisco), Aranburu*, Williams (Hervias), Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    Benat missed a penalty in the 4th minute but managed to score from a 25 yard free-kick instead!

    --

    v
    Copa del Rey 4th Round 1st Leg
    Logrones 0
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Ruiz 51)

    Lineup
    - Kepa, Lekue, Galdeano, Yeray, Goni, Vazquez (Uriarte), Francisco, Susaeta (Arrese), Jose Maria (Eraso), Hervias, Ruiz*

    Not as convincing a victory as I had hoped for but my backups got a win and that's the main thing.

    --

    v
    Sevilla 1 (Vazquez 10)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Villalibre 4)

    Lineup
    - Kepa, De Marcos, Galdeano (Yeray), Laporte, Balenziaga, Benat, Francisco (Uriarte), Aranburu, Williams, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre

    Sevilla usually give us a tough game and this was no different despite them being in a relegation battle and having changed their manager.

    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League Group C
    Paris Saint-Germain 5 (Lucas Moura 55, 65, Acerbi 69, Dembele 86, Lirola 87)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Laporte 80)

    Lineup - Kepa (Remiro), De Marcos, Galdeano, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Francisco, Aranburu, Williams (Yeray), Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    Everything went wrong for us in the 1st half here as Kepa got injured and Galdeano got sent-off. After that we were doomed. They even had a goal disallowed.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Aranburu 53, Villalibre 61, Francisco 89)
    Deportivo La Coruna 1 (Jair 19)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino*, Benat, Aranburu (Susaeta), Williams (Francisco), Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre

    We were poor in the 1st half but after I bollocked them at half time we put on a better display and swiped them aside.

    --

    v
    Copa del Rey 4th Round 2nd Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Jose Maria 61, Arrese 81)
    Logrones 0
    (Agg: 3-0)

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue, Galdeano*, Yeray, Goni, Vazquez, Francisco, Susaeta (Arrese), Jose Maria, Hervias (Aketxe), Ruiz (Eraso)

    Easy enough. Arrese got his 1st goal for us here. Cadiz somehow managed to knock out Atletico Madrid elsewhere!

    --

    v
    Real Valladolid 1 (Santos 43)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Villalibre 10, 47)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat, Susaeta (Francisco), Williams, Muniain, Villalibre*

    Victory is nice but what makes it nicer is that we are now top of the league!!!

    --

    SUMMARY

    December was a month with plenty of highs a few lows and a few things going on in around my world of management.

    On the pitch we did well in some matches - most notably against Espanyol - and our league form enabled us to end the calendar year in first place. In the domestic cup we beat Logrones and will play Real Madrid in the next round - EEK!!!

    In the Champions League we got thrashed once again by PSG and we will play Juventus in the knock out round.

    Off the pitch there was plenty going on. I completed another coaching course, got offered the Scotland job, I got offered Javi Martinez for £12m and regarding Spain in the World Cup qualifiers we got drawn in a group of death alongside Holland, Denmark, Turkey, Luxembourg and Kazakhstan.

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    ASIER VILLALIBRE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-asier-villalibre_-overview-profile-2.png

    --

    LEAGUE TABLE

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages-4.png




  19. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    JANUARY

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Muniain 59, Susaeta 73, Benat 83)
    Osasuna 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Herrera (Benat), Susaeta*, Francisco, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    The derby match against Osasuna usually is no problem for us and so it proved here. Nice to see the 2 veterans Susaeta and Benat get a goal.

    --

    v
    Copa del Rey 5th Round 1st Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Ruiz 85)
    Real Madrid 2 (Ronaldo 23, Kovacic 89)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera (Benat), Susaeta (Aranburu), Francisco, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    Meh. I think we are jinxed in the Copa del Rey as we always seem to get Real or Barcelona early on. We gave it a go here but with 2 away goals against us it is a long shot.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Aranburu 23, Villalibre 39)
    Elche 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Galdeano), Herrera (Benat), Aranburu, Francisco (Ruiz), Muniain*, Villalibre

    The win is good but what is not was the fact that Herrera and Merino were taken off injured and will be out for 2 and 1 months respectively.

    --

    v
    Copa del Rey 5th Round 2nd Leg
    Real Madrid 5 (Ronaldo 5, 8, 31, Odegaard 12, Bale 47)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Ruiz 89)
    (Agg: 7-2)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Goni, Benat, Francisco, Aranburu (Susaeta), Williams (Aketxe), Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    Humiliated!!!!!

    --

    v
    Real Betis 1 (Sanabria 70)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Villalibre 47, Williams 49)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Goni, Benat (Aketxe), Francisco (Galdeano), Aranburu, Williams*, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre

    A standard win but a special mention goes to Aranburu - he has been immense this season and his run and cross to set up the 1st goal was amazing - a superstar in the making perhaps?

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 4 (San Jose 8pen, Williams 15, Benat 43, Villalibre 46)
    Alaves 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Lekue, Iturraspe (Uriarte), Benat, Susaeta, Williams*, Muniain (Aketxe), Villalibre (Eraso)

    Going into this game I was riddled with injuries as you can see here.
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-kris-stuart_-inbox.png

    My players were fantastic and if anyone actually reads the team selections you will notice a new but old name in there.......


    --

    SUMMARY

    January is always hectic and this month was no different. In the league we were excellent and won every game without any trouble and if we keep ending each month top of the table I will be delighted. In the cup we just need to forget about it as Real Madrid humped us.

    There was lots of activity transfer wise. I considered signing Javi Martinez but over £10m for a player about to turn 32 was too much. Then I had the afore mentioned spate of injuries and so I had a quick look to see who was available and there was Ander Iturraspe transfer listed!!! I brought him back for £1.8m (£5m profit) and he will feature heavily in the run in.
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-ander-iturraspe_-overview-profile.png

    I also brought in this regen with amazing sideburns for £350,000.
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-jose-manuel-navarro_-overview-profile.png

    Going out was Aker Aketxe on loan as he wasn't really featuring and I have a host of youngsters who are almost ready to come in to take his place. I also loaned out a few yooungsters but I also took a hit as one of my regens departed as Benfica met the £3.4m release clause to sign Inaki Herrera and they immediately loaned him out.
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-inaki-herrera_-overview-profile.png

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    INAKI WILLIAMS
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-inaki-williams_-overview-profile.png

    --

    LEAGUE TABLE

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages-5.png
    Last edited by KLIPPYBO; 30/04/2017 at 06:46 PM.

  20. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    FEBRUARY

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 4 (Muniain 15, 28, Villalibre 16, 50)
    Almeria 1 (Fernandez 13)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte (Yeray), Lekue, Iturraspe, Benat, Susaeta, Williams (Francisco), Muniain*, Villalibre

    We got a scare early on here but rallied to thump Almeria here. They had a man sent-off when the game was already over and the only worry was that Inaki Williams picked up a knock early on.

    --

    v
    Barcelona 3 (Suarez 19, Messi 54, Neymar 70)
    Athletic Bilbao 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga (Goni), Merino (Iturraspe), Benat, Susaeta, Francisco, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    We weren't at the races here and Barcelona easily beat us. This season we have just not performed against better sides.

    --

    v
    Atletico Madrid 2 (Vietto 29, Griezmann 56)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Williams 11)

    Lineup
    - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat, Susaeta (Francisco), Williams, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre

    This doesn't bode well. Sure we have just had 2 massive away games but to not pick up a point makes me doubt our title chances. At least Real Madrid drew!

    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League 1st Round 1st Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 0
    Juventus 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte*, Balenziaga, Merino (Iturraspe), Benat (Francisco), Susaeta, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    I am content with this result as we are in with a decent chance of progressing. We almost won it late on but it was not to be.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 6 (Villalibre 4, 90, Susaeta 32, Williams 34, Muniain 45, 58)
    Valencia 2 (Balenziaga og17, Gameiro 56)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos (Lekue), San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat, Susaeta (Hervias), Williams, Muniain*, Villalibre

    That's much better!!! We thumped Valencia 6-2 away earlier in the season and we repeated that feat here to get our tilt at the title back on track.

    --

    SUMMARY

    This month was incredibly difficult and was very testing as inbetween thrashing Almeria and Valencia was defeats to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid as well as a draw against Juventus.

    Next month will be just as tough as we have the derby match against Real Sociedad, our 2nd leg against Juventus and also the big match against Real Madrid!!!

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    IKER MUNIAIN
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-iker-muniain_-overview-profile.png

    --

    LEAGUE TABLE

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages-6.png
    Death Ball and TheBattman like this.

  21. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    MARCH

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Villalibre 19, 87)
    Granada 0

    Lineup - Kepa, Lekue (Goni), San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat (Francisco), Hervias, Williams (Cano), Muniain, Villalibre*

    Back to the top of the league we go!!! Real Madrid were beaten 4-3 by Villarreal so we leapfrog them to go top!

    --

    v
    Real Sociedad 1 (Ortuno 78)
    Athletic Bilbao 4 (Villalibre 3, 54, 57, 86)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino (Iturraspe), Benat, Aranburu (Hervias), Williams, Muniain, Villalibre*

    What a show from Villalibre on derby day!!! Sociedad were put to the sword here and Villalibre was deadly as he struck all 4 goals and we could have had more!

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Williams 44, Villalibre 45, 85)
    Las Palmas 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte*, Balenziaga, Merino (Iturraspe), Benat (Francisco), Aranburu, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre

    That's 10 goals in 4 games for Villalibre!!!

    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League 1st Round 2nd Leg
    Juventus 2 (Higuaín 20, 35)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Villalibre 31, 48)
    (Agg: 2-2 - Athletic Bilbao win on away goals)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Benat (Iturraspe), Aranburu, Williams (Lekue), Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre

    Through we go!!! Higuaín (who has Basque parents I think) and Villalibre were in the business of swapping goals and we were doing fine until Balenziaga got sent-off with 20min left. After that it was all hands on deck and we managed to hold on.

    --

    v
    Malaga 1 (Falque 14pen)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Muniain 8, Williams 13)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Galdeano, Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera(Benat), Aranburu*, Williams (Hervias), Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    This win keeps our run going but also probably ends our title challenge as we had 4 players taken off injured. Villalibre and Herrera are only out for a few days but Muniain and Williams are out for a month or so - just in time for our crunch game with Real Madrid.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Villalibre 20, Navas og56)
    Real Madrid 4 (Ronaldo 3, Ramos 22, Rodriguez 69, Morata 89)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte (Goni), Balenziaga, Merino (Iturraspe), Herrera, Aranburu, Francisco, Hervias (Ruiz), Villalibre

    AAAGGGHHH!! We were doing so well here but my injury jinx struck again as both Merino and Hervias picked up knocks and had to be taken off. They are now 1pt ahead of us now.

    --

    SUMMARY

    I love March. It is always where the season gets juicy and of course there is the small matter of the youth intake!!!!

    In the league everything was absolutely fantastic - that is until we played Real Madrid. We easily won every game, including a great 4-1 away win in the derby against Real Sociedad where Asier Villalibre scored all 4 goals.

    Then came Real Madrid who beat us 4-2 at the San Mames to go top by 1pt. They now have a better head to head record over us so if we are to win the title we will have to overtake them.

    In the Champions League we just managed to overcome Juventus on away goals and in the quarter finals we will play - REAL MADRID!!!

    Now for the youth intake and I am pretty pleased. We got a decent looking striker and a centre half who I am sure will be a star called Alain Martinez.
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-eneko-aramendia_-overview-profile.pngSuccess Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-alain-martinez_-overview-profile.png

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    ASIER VILLALIBRE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-asier-villalibre_-overview-profile.png
    --

    LEAGUE TABLE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages.png

    --



    SPAIN

    Friendlies

    v
    Finland 0
    Spain 2 (Saul 6, Suso 56)

    Lineup - De Gea, Lirola (Bellerin), San Jose, Bartra, Bernat (Gaya), Koke (Roberto), Saul* (Busquets), Aranburu, Isco (Mata), Suso, Morata (Moreno)

    I gave my own player - Alejandro Aranburu - a debut here as well as Jose Gaya and Gerard Moreno. I had a few call offs for these friendlies so it was nice to give a few other lads a go.

    --

    v
    Spain 1 (Morata 67)
    Ivory Coast 0

    Lineup
    - De Gea, Bellerin (Lirola), Martinez, Ramos (San Jose), Bernat, Busquets (Saul), Thiago (Koke), Aranburu, Isco (Mata), Suso, Morata (Villalibre)


    Last edited by KLIPPYBO; 03/05/2017 at 08:58 PM.

  22. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    APRIL

    v
    Celta Vigo 1 (Nunnely 22)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Susaeta 77)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte*, Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera, Aranburu (Lekue), Francisco (Williams), Hervias (Susaeta), Villalibre

    Celta Vigo are 4th in the league and are doing well so a point here is not bad - especially since Real Madrid also drew!

    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 1st Leg
    Real Madrid 2 (Ronaldo 4pen, Odegaard 51)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Williams 49)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos (Lekue), San Jose, Laporte, Goni, Merino, Herrera (Benat), Aranburu, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    All I could ask for was to still be in with a realistic chance going into the home leg and we have that as Williams' away goal could be crucial.

    --

    v
    Espanyol 2 (Boakye 20, Ferreira 38)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Ruiz 57, 71)

    Lineup - Kepa, Goni, Galdeano, Yeray (Martinez), Lekue, Iturraspe, Benat (Uriarte), Susaeta (Cano), Francisco, Hervias, Ruiz*

    I may have blown it here. I decided to rest my first team for the Champions League game but my backups couldn't win and Real Madrid could so they go 3pts clear. That said I am happy that we rescued a point although its 4 games without a win now.

    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 2nd Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 4 (Villalibre 29, Merino 47, Williams 50, Laporte 75)
    Real Madrid 1 (Ronaldo 13)
    (Agg: 5-3)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga (Lekue), Merino*, Herrera (Benat), Aranburu (Hervias), Williams, Muniain, Villalibre

    AMAZING!!!! At the 6th attempt we have beaten Real Madrid this season and in some style. They took the lead and I thought we were out but Villalibre scored a screamer to draw us level. Then in the 2nd half Merino nodded in his 1st of the season, Williams tapped in shortly after and Laporte wrapped it up - San Jose even had a penalty saved late on. A truly stunning victory.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Muniain 4, Williams 46, Villalibre 64)
    Villarreal 1 (Mina 77)

    Lineup - Kepa (Remiro), De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera, Aranburu, Williams*, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre

    A good solid win with the only negative being that Kepa picked up a knock although he isn't out for long.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Williams 70, Ruiz 85)
    Sevilla 0

    Lineup - Remiro, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte (Galdeano), Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera, Aranburu, Williams*, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre (Ruiz)

    A good win but it comes at a cost as Laporte got injured and will miss the next month.

    --

    v
    Deportivo La Coruna 2 (Jordan 42, Baena 45)
    Athletic Bilbao 5 (Merino 1, Villalibre 29, 86, Williams 58, 66)

    Lineup
    - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Galdeano (Yeray), Balenziaga, Merino (Iturraspe), Herrera, Aranburu, Williams*, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre

    This could have been 15-2 in truth as we missed so many chances including a penalty. I was given hope when I saw that Almeria were beating Real Madrid but they rallied late to win.

    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League Semi Final 1st Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 4 (Marquinhos og22, Muniain 59, Williams 79, Ruiz 87)
    Paris Saint-Germain 1 (Dembele 61)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Galdeano, Balenziaga, Merino (Iturraspe), Herrera (Benat), Aranburu, Williams*, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    WOOOOOO!!!! PSG beat us 5-1 and 3-0 in the group stage so I wasn't holding out much hope here but we were magnificent - especially on the break - as we thrashed the French side here. A truly great result and we have one foot in the Champions League final.

    --

    SUMMARY

    What a month this was! In the league we scraped 2 draws in 2 tricky away games against Celta and Espanyol before we won our next 3 which leaves us 3pts behind Real Madrid who have the better head to head record with 3 games left. However looking at the run in we still have a good chance......

    Athletic - Osasuna (a), Valladolid (h), Elche (a)
    Real Madrid - Barcelona (a), Valencia (h), Atletico Madrid (a)

    As for the Champions League we were immense and have almost made the final. We lost narrowly at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid but in the 2nd leg we destroyed Real 4-1 to sail through and in the 1st leg of the semis we won 4-1 again to defeat PSG.

    Now a bit about Inaki Williams. He has been on fire and has been awarded the MOM award in each of his last 4 games and he has scored plenty and got an assist or 2 also. I haven't known a player to hit this kind of form since I have came here so it realy is quite something special.

    Finally regarding the national side, my Spain team have been drawn against Wales, Slovenia and Austria in the European Championships. I have arranged 2 friendlies against my native Scotland to see how they are and a confidence boost attempt to get a big win going into the tournament against Gibraltar.

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    INAKI WILLIAMS
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-inaki-williams_-overview-profile.png

    --

    LEAGUE TABLE

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages-2.png
    Death Ball likes this.

  23. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    MAY


    v
    Osasuna 2 (Carrillo 2, Leon 36)
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Aranburu 28, Williams 31, Oier og67)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Galdeano, Balenziaga (Goni), Merino, Benat, Aranburu*, Williams (Francisco), Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre

    A hard fought derby victory with Alejandro Aranburu being the star of the show. Elsewhere Real Madrid got thumped 3-0 by Barcelona so we are level top with 2 games to go......

    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg
    Paris Saint-Germain 4 (Diogo 13, 22, Verratti 21, 26)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Ruiz 3, 90pen)
    (Agg: 5-6)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, Martinez, Yeray, Goni, Iturraspe (Uriarte), Benat (Jose Maria), Susaeta, Francisco, Hervias, Ruiz

    Into the final we go!!! I took a major risk and decided to rest my big players hoping that a 4-1 1st leg lead would be enough and it worked a trick - for 3 minutes or so as we took an early lead but then conceded 4 goals in 13 minutes to be on the brink of exiting.

    In the 2nd half they missed chance after chance and then in stoppage time Ruiz was brought down in the box, Grimaldo got sent-off and Ruiz tucked away the penalty.

    We will play Bayern Munich in the final at the Amsterdam Arena. Oh and Alain Martinez at 15y/o became the Champions League's youngest ever player.


    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 4 (Aranburu 12, Muniain 27, Villalibre 29, Francisco 89)
    Real Valladolid 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Galdeano, Balenziaga, Merino, Herrera (Francisco), Aranburu, Williams*, Muniain, Villalibre

    TOP OF THE LEAGUE WE GO!!!! A nice easy win for us here but over at the Bernabeu Real Madrid drew 1-1 with Valencia so if we beat Elche away we will win the league.

    --

    v
    Elche 1 (Matos 73)
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Herrera 44, Villalibre 55)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos (Lekue), San Jose, Galdeano, Goni, Merino, Herrera* (Benat), Aranburu (Susaeta), Williams, Muniain, Villalibre

    CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!! We weren't at our best here but took the lead just before half-time when Herrera finally got his 1st goal of the season. Villalibre doubled our lead to almost seal the title but then they pulled a goal back and missed a few chances but we managed to hold on.

    Real Madrid won 2-0 by the way.

    --

    v
    UEFA Champions League Final
    Athletic Bilbao 3 (Villalibre 7, Williams 41, Herrera 60)
    Bayern Munich 2 (Dybala 42, 73)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos (Lekue), San Jose, Laporte, Goni, Merino (Galdeano), Herrera (Benat), Aranburu, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre

    WE WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE!!!!!!

    What a final this was. We took an early lead through Villalibre and then soaked up some pressure before a great move allowed Williams to slot in and we were on easy street however Dybala immediately pulled one back before half-time.

    In the 2nd half it was again a case of soaking up the Bayern pressure and hitting them on the break and it worked a treat as Herrera scored his 2nd goal of the season (in the last 2 games too) to put us in control. Dybala struck again but we managed to hold on.


    --

    SUMMARY


    What an end to the season!!! We managed to claw back Real Madrid to win the title in fantastic fashion as we ended the season on a 6 game winning streak. That was fantastic but better was to come as we just managed to keep PSG at bay and then in the final of the Champions League we defeated Bayern Munich 3-2 in a thrilling final.

    I cant believe we won the league and Champions League this season!!!!

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    ANDER HERRERA

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-ander-herrera_-overview-profile.png


    END OF SEASON POST TO FOLLOW

  24. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    END OF SEASON POST

    What a season that was!! Truly incredible. At the start of the season I just wanted a trophy. I thought we could muster a decent tilt at the title but I really wanted a decent run in the cup and whater happened in Europe was a bonus. In the end we won the league, Champions League and European Super Cup but failed miserably in the domestic cup. Dammit lol

    In the league we started off well with only 2 defeats in our opening 22 games but then we lost 2 in a row and then came back but also had a 3 game winless run which gave Real Madrid the edge in the title race but fortunately we had a decent run in and won all of our final 6 games while Real Madrid had a horrible run in and they slipped up a few times and we grabbed the title.

    Real Madrid knocked us out of the domestic cup and we beat Arsenal in the European Super Cup and as for the Champions League we somehow emerged victorious. We were in a group with Maccabi Tel-Aviv, PSG and Wolfsburg and finished 2nd as PSG thrashed us in both of our matches. We then knocked Juventus out on away goals to qualify for the quarter-finals.

    What followed showed that to win a cup competition over 2 legs is that if you have one terrific performance you can get away with it. After a narrow away defeat to Real Madrid we destroyed them 4-1 in the 2nd leg to go through and that was at the same time where Williams was on fire and the team was looking great and winning with ease. PSG were then beaten 4-1 in another amazing performance before my backups saw out the tie and then in the final we managed to edge out Bayern Munich 3-2 in a tense but entertaining final.

    Cant wait for next season!!!

    --

    FINAL LEAGUE TABLE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-liga-santander_-overview-stages-3.png

    --

    SQUAD
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-athletic-bilbao_-players-players.png

    Villalibre will get the plaudits for his 41 goals, Muniain was great and Laporte was solid as usual, Aranburu starred on the RW but Inaki Williams was truly outstanding and his form at the end of the season was truly incredible. I was however disappointed with the lack of goals from Merino and Herrera although Herrera did pick great moments for his 2 goals!

    --

    MY PLAYER OF THE SEASON
    INAKI WILLIAMS
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-inaki-williams_-overview-profile-2.png

    --

    MY YOUNG PLAYER OF THE SEASON
    ALEJANDRO ARANBURU
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-alejandro-aranburu_-overview-profile.png

    --

    B TEAM

    Mid table for them. I think I am going to cash in on some of my older B team players and promote some members of my U19 squad as I now feel that my U19s are good enough to hold their own in the 2nd tier. It will also be good to see how much more they would develop. I intend to put a lot of work assessing the balance of the squad for the start of next season.

    --

    U19S

    Unbeaten in the league but couldn't win either of the 2 cups as they were knocked out at the semis in both. Daniel Eraso scored over 50 goals and starred while Jose Maria, Cesar Ruiz, Javier Vazquez and Fernando Arrese also impressed.

    Death Ball and stonecold like this.

  25. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    SPAIN


    Friendlies

    v
    Spain 5 (Saul 7, Asensio 36pen, 43pen, 56, 65)
    Scotland 1 (Griffiths 50)

    Lineup
    - De Gea, Bellerin, Martinez (San Jose), Ramos (Bartra), Grimaldo (Bernat), Koke (Busquets), Saul, Williams (Aranburu), Isco, Asensio*, Villalibre (Sandro)

    The game against Gibraltar was meant to be the big win game to boost confidence going into the Euros but we demolished Scotland here. Disappointed that Villalibre didn't score as he is in a battle with Morata to start the Euros. Asensio was immense.

    --

    v
    Spain 6 (Mata 45, 77, 89pen, Williams 46, Ramos 53, Bernat 81)
    Gibraltar 0


    Lineup - De Gea, Bellerin, Martinez, Ramos, Grimaldo (Bernat), Koke, Thiago (Busquets), Aranburu, Williams, Mata*, Villalibre (Sandro)

    Routine victory but it came at a price as Thiago got a serious injury and will miss the Euros. Sergio Ramos broke the record for caps won here and celebrated it with a goal.

    --

    2020 UEFA European Championship Squad Announcement

    Goalkeepers
    NAME
    CLUB
    AGE
    VALUE
    CAPS
    GLS
    David DE GEA Paris Saint-Germain 29 £50m 55
    0
    KEPA Athletic Bilbao 25 £1.9m 2
    0
    Sergio RICO Sevilla 26 £3.4m 2
    0


    Defenders

    NAME
    CLUB
    AGE
    VALUE
    POS
    CAPS
    GLS
    Marc BARTRA Borussia Dortmund 29 £14.5m DRC 19
    0
    Hector BELLERIN Arsenal 25 £32m DR 22
    0
    Juan BERNAT Bayern Munich 27 £33m DL 18
    3
    Alex GRIMALDO Paris Saint-Germain 24 £44m DL 23
    0
    Pol LIROLA Paris Saint-Germain 22 £42.5m DR 5
    1
    Javi MARTINEZ Bayern Munich 31 £8.25m D/MC 51
    1
    Sergio RAMOS Real Madrid 34 £3.5m DC 168
    14
    Mikel SAN JOSE Athletic Bilbao 31 £10.25m D/MC 13
    3

    Midfielders
    NAME CLUB AGE VALUE POS CAPS GLS
    Alejandro ARANBURU Athletic Bilbao 19 £10.25m AMR/ST 4
    0
    Marco ASENSIO Chelsea 24 £53m M/AMRLC 18
    10
    Sergio BUSQUETS Barcelona 31 £9m D/MC 119
    2
    ISCO AS Monaco 28 £38m M/AMRLC 37
    3
    KOKE Paris Saint-Germain 28 £60m MC 54
    8
    Juan MATA Manchester United 32 £8.75m M/AMRLC 73
    26
    Mikel MERINO Athletic Bilbao 23 £33.5m MC 2
    0
    SAUL
    Atletico Madrid
    25
    £27m
    D/M/AMC
    20
    5
    Inaki WILLIAMS Athletic Bilbao 25
    £49m
    AMRLC/ST
    18
    7


    Forwards
    NAME
    CLUB
    AGE
    VALUE
    POS
    CAPS
    GLS
    Alvaro MORATA
    Real Madrid
    27
    £29m
    ST
    46
    27
    SANDRO
    Bayern Munich
    24
    £27.5m
    AMRL/ST
    14
    1
    Asier VILLALIBRE
    Athletic Bilbao
    22
    £41m
    ST
    10
    2

    Missing Out
    Ayoze Perez (Newcastle United), Jose Gaya (Manchester United), Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago (Bayern Munich), Hugo Mallo (Tottenham Hotspur), Suso (AC Milan), Gerard Moreno (Inter Milan)

    Last edited by KLIPPYBO; 07/05/2017 at 09:46 PM.

  26. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    2020 UEFA European Championships

    Group B
    v
    Wales 0
    Spain 3 (Williams 10, Villalibre 36, Asensio 53pen)

    Lineup - De Gea, Bellerin (Lirola), Martinez, Ramos, Grimaldo, Koke, Saul (Merino), Williams, Isco (Aranburu), Asensio*, Villalibre

    A great start to the competition. Wales are the hardest team in the group in my eyes and we easily swatted them aside here and we already have one foot in the next round.

    --

    v
    Spain (Isco 39, 85, Villalibre 52, Busquets 73, Aranburu 80)
    Slovenia

    Lineup
    - De Gea, Bellerin, Martinez, Ramos, Grimaldo (Bernat), Koke (Busquets), Saul, Williams (Aranburu), Isco*, Asensio, Villalibre

    Erm this was weird. We went a goal up, then they had a man sent-off, then we went 2up and then they had another man sent-off and then had their keeper, Oblak, go off injured but they had already made their 3 subs so they were down to 8 men for the final 20min!

    --

    v
    Spain 1 (Morata 2)
    Austria 0


    Lineup - De Gea, Lirola, San Jose, Bartra*, Bernat, Busquets, Merino, Aranburu, Mata, Sandro, Morata

    3 wins out of 3 and it was very easy. Mata missed a last minute penalty.

    --

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-uefa-european-football-championship_-overview-stages-2.png

    --

    2nd Round

    v
    Hungary 0
    Spain 3 (Villalibre 43, 45, 64)


    Lineup - De Gea, Bellerin, Martinez, Ramos, Grimaldo (Bernat), Koke, Saul (Merino), Williams, Isco (Mata), Asensio, Villalibre*

    Easy. Asier Villalibre has been immense in the tournament and his hat-trick here makes it 5 goals in 3 games for the Euros.

    Poland 1-2 Switzerland
    Sweden 0-2 Austria (aet)
    Russia 2-3 Belgium
    Croatia 1-0 Wales
    Germany 0-1 England
    Northern Ireland 0-1 France
    Ukraine 0-1 Denmark

    --

    Quarter Finals

    v
    Spain 1 (Villalibre 64)
    France 0

    Lineup - De Gea, Bellerin, Martinez, Ramos (San Jose), Bernat, Koke (Merino), Saul, Williams (Aranburu), Isco, Asensio, Villalibre*

    Villalibre strikes again!! This was a very tight game and it was settled by a fantastic finish from Villalibre. On we go!!!

    Croatia 1-2 Denmark
    England 1-3 Austria (aet)
    Switzerland 1-4 Belgium

    --

    Semi Finals

    v
    Belgium 0
    Spain 2 (Villalibre 41, Asensio 58)

    Lineup - De Gea, Bellerin (Lirola), Martinez, Ramos (San Jose), Bernat, Koke, Busquets, Williams, Mata, Asensio*, Villalibre (Morata)

    I am delighted with this win. I thought that after beating France, Belgium may have been a step too far but we managed to win in fine style. Villalibre again struck in the 1st half and then Williams crossed for Asensio to kill them off. Belgium rarely threatened tbh.


    Denmark (P) 0-0 Austria

    --

    Final


    v
    Spain 1 (Williams 25)
    Denmark 0


    Lineup - De Gea, Bellerin, Martinez, Ramos, Bernat*, Koke (Busquets), Merino, Williams (Aranburu), Isco, Asensio (Sandro), Villalibre

    EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS!!!! To be fair the Belgium game was realistically the final as the Danish side should never be able to match my Spanish team. We got the only goal when Isco crossed for Williams to head in at the back post and that was that!


    --

    European Championship Best Player
    - Marco Asensio (Spain)
    European Championship Golden Boot - Asier Villalibre (Spain)
    European Championship Best Young Player - Asier Villalibre (Spain)

    Dream Team

    De Gea (Spain)
    Meunier (Belgium)
    Martinez (Spain)
    Busquets (Spain)
    Alaba (Austria)
    Asensio (Spain)
    Schopf (Austria)
    Tielemans (Belgium)
    Hazard (Belgium)
    Wertelaers (Belgium)
    Villalibre (Spain)

    (Busquets made 2 starts and 1 sub appearance - all at CM - and he gets a place as a CB!!



    Death Ball and TheBattman like this.

  27. Congrats on winning the Euros! Well deserved
    KLIPPYBO likes this.

  28. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Neat! Great euro there.
    KLIPPYBO likes this.

  29. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend
    Just realised I won it without conceding a goal lol

  30. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    PRE-SEASON


    For the first time I get to do a pre-season report without any first team games as we have 4 or 5 games in August with all the Super Cup fixtures to be played.

    There were a few changes during the summer. I had to let one player go that I didn't want to, I promoted 3 players into the 1st team squad and I seriously changed the look of both my B team and my U19s.

    So without further ado.........

    --

    PLAYERS IN


    I have signed 2 regens so far. I paid £1.7m to Villarreal to bring in Saul Montegud. He is highly rated although he is too small to be a serious contender at CB and also he needs to improve his passing to be a CM for me I fear. I also paid £800k to Rayo Vallecano for speedy winger Abel Reguillon.
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-saul-montegud_-overview-profile.pngSuccess Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-abel-reguilon_-overview-profile.png

    --

    PLAYERS OUT

    The big one and the one I don't think I could afford to lose was Inigo Lekue. I had to sell him to Marseille for £9.75m as he was out of contract at the end of the season and he didn't want to sign a new deal. Lekue made 93 apps for me and was a decent player.

    I also sold Markel Susaeta to Sassuolo for £300,000. He had been at the club all his career but wanted regular first team football and considering his age and his wage I felt it was right to let him go.

    I also raked in nearly £10m by selling Ager Aketxe and several B team players. Iker Hernandez could be a big miss for the B team as he has scored 94 goals in 4 seasons for the B team. The other players leaving are Mikel Vesga, Inigo Cordoba, Jorge Oteo, Mikel Olavide and Unai Bilbao.

    --

    FIRST TEAM SQUAD


    Regarding my first team XI there is one new player and that is Ekaitz Goni. Goni has had 2 years in the first team playing backup and even at the tender age of 18 I feel he is ready to be the number one left back.
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-ekaitz-goni_-overview-profile.png

    Into the first team squad comes Fidel Hernandez, Jose Maria and Fernando Arrese. Herandez and Arrese will be back up RB and RW respectively and Jose Maria will get the odd game or five.
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-fidel-hernandez_-overview-profile.pngSuccess Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-jose-maria_-overview-profile.pngSuccess Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-fernando-arrese_-overview-profile.png

    --

    AIMS FOR THE SEASON


    As ever I want to win a trophy but that should be a given. Retaining the league is the ultimate goal and to finally win the Copa del Rey would be nice!




    Last edited by KLIPPYBO; 12/05/2017 at 08:45 PM.
    stonecold likes this.

  31. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend


    AUGUST

    v
    UEFA European Super Cup
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Villalibre 9)
    Manchester United 3 (Rashford 6, 117, Carrasco 98)
    AET

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos (Fernandez), San Jose, Laporte, Goni, Merino (Benat), Herrera, Aranburu, Williams, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre

    My first defeat in a final!!! To be fair we got what we deserved and they even missed a penalty. Hey ho.

    --

    v
    Supercopa Final 1st Leg
    Real Madrid 1 (Ronaldo 31)
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Goni 45)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos (Hernandez), San Jose, Laporte, Goni*, Merino (Iturraspe), Herrera, Aranburu (Arrese), Williams, Hervias, Villalibre

    A good result but it could have been even better as San Jose missed a penalty and it hasn't been his 1st miss so I will now choose a different taker. Goni scored though!!!

    --

    v
    Supercopa Final 2nd Leg
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (San Jose 66)
    Real Madrid 0
    (Agg: 2-1)

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose*, Laporte, Goni, Merino, Herrera, Aranburu, Williams, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    Another trophy is on the board here as we edge out Real Madrid in a tight affair. Hopefully our 2 tight matches against Real shows that we will be able to compete with them again in the league.

    --

    v
    Athletic Bilbao 2 (Williams 27, 81)
    Las Palmas 0

    Lineup - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte, Goni, Merino (Iturraspe), Herrera (Benat), Aranburu, Williams*, Muniain, Villalibre (Ruiz)

    Easy enough - Villalibre had a goal disallowed too.

    --

    v
    Malaga 0
    Athletic Bilbao 1 (Williams 8)

    Lineup
    - Kepa, De Marcos, San Jose, Laporte*, Goni, Merino, Herrera, Aranburu, Williams, Muniain (Hervias), Villalibre (Ruiz)

    --

    SUMMARY

    A decent start to the season as we won 1 of the 2 super cups and kicked off the league campaign with 2 victories which is very important as we have a nightmare run of fixtures coming up!!

    Regarding the transfer window I didn't have much to go for in bringing anyone in and I didn't really want to sell anyone but 2 of my top prospects have been unsettled as Barcelona bid £1.8m for Fernando Arrese and PSG bid several times up to £7m for Jose Maria. They aren't going anywhere!!

    In the Champions League we will be up against Bayer Leverkusen, Benfica and Austria Vienna.

    --

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH
    AYMERIC LAPORTE
    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-aymeric-laporte_-overview-profile.png


  32. Been off this for quite a while was very happy to comeback and read this klippy great work and as ever great read bud

  33. Great story Klippy, I've been flirting with the Bilbao challenge for many years, but ultimately giving up. Congrats on your progress and brilliant work to bring the team along.

    Some very interesting comparisons and differences in our styles though, I sold the likes of Aduriz (2.5m PSG), Susaeta (8.75m WBA) and Oscar De Marcos (13.5m Valencia) while employing a youth first policy in a wing back 5-2-3 system. After the first season I got 17m for Lekue from PSG (benefit of the system), and sadly couldn't refuse 13m for Benat. But those sales meant I could be super aggressive in the regen market, and also buy Merino - had to pay 15m. Have so far kept Iturraspe - rejecting a 33m bid in the late summer. I had almost exactly the same first season finishing 4th (on H2H vs Real Sociedad) and winning the Europa league, but got ejected from the Copa Del Rey very early on.

    Beyond Merino and hoovering up as many regens as possible, my only serious acquisition to date has been this guy from Barcelona:

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-rogerzamora8.17.png

    He cost 5m up front with 30m (yes, thirty million) over 48 months. It's certainly more than I wanted to pay, but ultimately if/when Williams/Munian/Villalibre leave, who knows if we can buy replace them. Here he is again four months on with a much better hair cut:

    Success Comes From Within - An Athletic Bilbao Story-rogerzamora12.17.png

    He hasn't being playing very well as part of an attacking trio of SS, but I'm trying to give him as much game time as possible, which has sadly been helped by Iniaki Williams tearing his ACL at the end of last season :-(

    I think one of the best parts of the Bilbao experience, is you really have to concentrate and (arguably) manipulate the squad all the time. Keeping your stars is paramount. Munian and Williams signed new contracts reasonably early with much higher min fee releases, but Laporte and Iturraspe haven't/won't. My biggest advice to anyone wanting to take on the challenge, be patient, concentrate on your team and plan well ahead. Don't get down and give up if you're not right up there every year.

    I'll keep an eye on this thread, very keen to see how your squad develops and the different things we do to keep the team near the top!!

    Good luck mate!! :-)

+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO