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Sheridan

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Sheridan last won the day on September 23

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  1. Hello hello. We're still in the tournament phase of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. But we are on the cusp of introducing a second division as well as us now having a genuine championship for our top fighters to contend for. I'm not going to waste time here we're just going to hope feet first into UFC 11 - UFC 20. Mark Coleman made the first defence of his championship, beating UFC 10 tournament winner Ken Shamrock in what was touted as a great fight. Alongside this big main event we also ran a tournament for the Light Heavyweight division which we introduced in the build-up to this show. The winner of that tournament was none other than Frank Shamrock after he submitted Tito Ortiz in the finals. Frank Shamrock will go on to contend for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Vitor Belfort delivered on his potential at UFC 12, the teenager winning the entire tournament. He picked up a knockout win as well as a submission win en route to the final, where he beat Don Fyre via decision. Vitor Belfort will go on to face Mark Coleman with the UFC Heavyweight Championship on the line. Other debutants included Maurice Smith and Scott Ferrozzo but neither man was able to get one over on Don Fyre, who made his second tournament final in the UFC. Frank Shamrock's opponent was decided at UFC 13, with the Light Heavyweight division having its first individual show since being formed in the promotion. Tito Ortiz, the man who lost to Shamrock at UFC 11, won the tournament dispatching of Enson Inoue and Kevin Jackson before outpointing the dangerous Guy Mezger in the finals. Ortiz will go on to main event UFC 15 with Frank Shamrock, both fighting to be the inaugural UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. UFC 14 saw the impressive debuts of two fighters, Mark Kerr and Kevin Randleman managing to both get to the tournaments finals before Kerr won via decision. Mark Kerr will go on to fight Mark Coleman, who despite being the underdog against Vitor Belfort was able to pull out the upset win. Like UFC 13, this wasn't the most exciting night for action with a lot of fights going to decision. But Coleman makes the second defence of his championship here. Frank Shamrock claimed the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship for himself at UFC 15. The rematch with Tito Ortiz went to a decision, where he was the unanimous victor. The undercard featured a tournament to decide who would get first crack at the first-ever champion, Guy Mezger winning the right after a somewhat one-sided run. Frank Shamrock is the best in the world in this division and validated such when he defeated Tito Ortiz for the second time in his career. UFC 16 was the best show we have ran to date. It featured a stacked heavyweight tournament, featuring big names such as Vitor Belfort, Ken Shamrock and the debuting Randy Couture. Couture would win the UFC 16 tournament, seeing off Shamrock in the semi-finals and Belfort in the finals in a great fight. Mark Kerr and Mark Coleman put on a classic in the main event, with Mark Kerr capturing the UFC Heavyweight Championship to round off a spectacular event for the UFC. Frank Shamrock submitted Guy Mezger to make the first defence of his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Believe it or not but this is our first title fight that hasn't gone to decision. On the undercard, we ran a tournament to seek out Shamrock's next challenger, excluding Ortiz this time around. Two debutants in Jeremy Horn and Chuck Liddell would make it to the finals, Liddell winning via decision and earning himself next crack at Frank Shamrock's crown. Randy Couture knocked out Mark Kerr in the main event of UFC 18, handing Kerr the first loss of his career as well as winning himself the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Another fighter who got knocked out on this card was the former champion in Mark Coleman, who beat debutant Pedro Rizzo and Pete Williams to make it to the tournament finals only to lose to Kevin Randleman. UFC 20 will see a huge main event, Couture defending his title against Randleman. The Iceman Chuck Liddell shocked the world at UFC 19, knocking out Frank Shamrock despite being a huge underdog coming into the event. Alongside Randy Couture, Liddell ushers in a new era in the UFC. Tito Ortiz will be Liddell's first test after the American beat Mark Hall, Reza Nasri and Wanderlei Silva, the world's best outside of Shamrock at the time to win the second tournament of his career. Liddell vs. Ortiz is sure to be an intriguing and close, close contest. UFC 20 saw the debuts of Josh Barnett and Ricco Rodriguez in the promotion. Alongside Pedro Rizzo and Mark Kerr both won their opening match-ups, before Barnett beat Rodriguez and then fell to Mark Kerr in the tournament finals. In the main event we saw a defence of the UFC Heavyweight Championship, Randy Couture beating Kevin Randleman via decision to retain his title. At UFC 22, we'll see Couture vs. Kerr 2, as Couture looks to equal Coleman's defences. Some names left the UFC throughout these shows, Don Fyre and Oleg Taktarov being the big two. Ken Shamrock is still around but won't be thrown into all of our tournaments. I am also considering releasing Vitor Belfort, in real life he came to the UFC for a couple of years before taking his craft elsewhere and coming back later down the road. Mark Coleman might also be on the chopping block, depending on his performances when it comes to UFC 22. When it comes to the first-half of these shows, no big surprises. I was expecting Coleman to defend against Shamrock as well as Belfort, Frank Shamrock becoming our first LHW Champion was a near guarantee also. From UFC 16 to UFC 20 a lot happened that I didn't see coming. Couture and Liddell won their titles very early into their careers. I am also shocked that Mark Kerr and Frank Shamrock lost to them. Tito Ortiz beating Wanderlei Silva is a huge upset too. But in terms of our champions I can't have complaints. Coleman and Couture are legends of the Heavyweight division in real life while for the Light Heavyweight division, Shamrock and Liddell are former champions. Mark Kerr is someone who could have probably been champion in his career, he won two Heavyweight tournaments in real life. In-game he's still in his late 20s so there is a lot of time for him to maybe win a second belt, the fact he won the tournament at UFC 20 tells me he's still great. Thanks for reading, it's appreciated. Next update will be over the weekend.
  2. I am well aware that Sheridan diaries and WMMA do not have the best track record. But we go again! We're starting in 1993 as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC for short. We are going to somewhat follow the events that the UFC have done in real life from their first event to 2020. We will say 2005 to be modest, anything after is an accomplishment given my horrendous track record. The UFC ran a lot of tournaments at the beginning of their foundation. So we are going to attempt to replicate that as well as we can in WMMA. Names like Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn and Royce Gracie are going to be our stars but as we get further into things I hope that names crop up that more people are familiar with. I'm already a little into things, let's get you guys up to speed with what's been going on in the UFC. The UFC's inaugural event, titled UFC 1, was an openweight tournament held near the end of 1993. We were able to get all of the names that competed in the tournament IRL. It would also be an exact replica of that tournament, with each man who won in real life winning here, the final being the same final that took place. Royce Gracie tapped out Ken Shamrock before submitting Gerard Gordeau in the finals to win the first-ever UFC tournament. Five months later, we're back with our second tournament, titled UFC 2. Six of the men that competed in the first tournament made their return, with the additions of Jason Delucia and Orlando Weit. Despite being the smallest man in the tournament Orlando Weit was able to make it to the final but didn't last long against Royce Gracie. Gracie wins his second tournament and extends his record to six wins and zero losses, he also has a ton of bonuses. No Royce Gracie means that this tournament, UFC 3, was an open endeavour. We saw a lot of the names we have seen before alongside the returns of Ken Shamrock and Gerard Gordeau. Remco Pardoel, a Dutch fighter who was new in the promotion was able to make it to the tournament finals. Ken Shamrock however had over plans, knocking him out to claim the tournament for himself, winning the UFC 3 tournament and claiming two post-fight bonuses. UFC 4 took it's sweet time to put together, but it was without a doubt our biggest event so far. Debuts from Oleg Taktarov and Dan Severn were among the points of discussion as well as the return of Royce Gracie. Severn would hand Gracie his first loss of his career at UFC 4, as well as make it to the finals where he met Ken Shamrock. Shamrock had dispatched of Orlando Weit and Oleg Taktarov, but was submitted in the finals, Dan Severn winning his first tournament. Following the huge event that was UFC 4, we changed out some of the roster and brought in some new names heading into our fifth event. All of our debutants lost, but it's the effort that counts. Oleg Taktarov and Royce Gracie would make it to the finals and have our first tournament decided via decision in an average affair. Gracie wins his third tournament under the UFC banner in a show that was dominated by rear naked choke finishes for whatever reason. The final event of 1995 was UFC 6, where we witnessed our first repeat final as well as a continuation of the rear naked choke phenomenon wading through the halls of the UFC. Dave Beneteau and Keith Hackney picked up the first wins of their tenures within the UFC, but were no match for Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock in the semi-finals. Both were on a warpath to meet in the finals again, the same result materialised as Severn choked Shamrock out to win. Bas Rutten and Mark Coleman were two huge debutants that fought at UFC 7. Alongside Oleg Taktarov and Ken Shamrock both were able to win their first-round matches. Alongside UFC 4 this was perhaps our most star-studded bout so far given the semi-final fights. Mark Coleman and Ken Shamrock would meet in the finals, Shamrock losing his third tournament final of his career, Mark Coleman knocking him out inside ninety seconds to win UFC 7. Having built up a respectable heavyweight division at this point, we switched over from the openweight format and introduced our first weight class. This was in time for UFC 8, which alongside UFC 9, would work out which two fighters would compete to be the first-ever champion of the organisation. Don Fyre was a shock winner of UFC 8. He knocked out the undefeated Dan Severn and then handed Royce Gracie the first knockout loss of his career in the finals. Mark Coleman saw his fair share of rematches at UFC 9, facing both Ken Shamrock and Oleg Taktarov as he kept his undefeated streak intact. This means he picks up his second tournament win inside of the UFC and sets up a match with the winner at UFC 8, Don Fyre, in the main event of UFC 10. Shamrock and Taktarov are beginning to take up a bit of a bridesmaid complex in the sport, not being able to see through tournaments. Coleman vs. Fyre is set-up. UFC 10 was our most stacked event so far, with Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Tank Abbott, Oleg Taktarov and Royce Gracie competing on the undercard before a championship bout in the main event. Mark Coleman, who was the inaugural UFC Heavyweight Champion in real life, won here, taking Don Fyre to a decision win. Ken Shamrock defeated Oleg Taktarov in the UFC 10 tournament, setting up a trilogy bout with Coleman with the championship on the line. Following this event, we released Dan Severn and Royce Gracie from the promotion and brought in a fair share of fresh faces to shake up the division. Ken Shamrock and Oleg Taktarov might also see releases depending on results due to them having faced and lost to the champion, Mark Coleman, on more than one occasion. We also are going to be introducing a second division to the promotion soon, the Light Heavyweight division. Thanks for reading, it's appreciated. It's a little difficult to keep up with the IRL schedule of the UFC. We have fallen behind so might need to make some adjustments or run an alternate timeline to keep up. For the most part things went how I expected them to, Shamrock and Taktarov being the gatekeepers, Gracie and Severn being dominant alongside Mark Coleman. The biggest wildcard of the save is Don Fyre, I knew that Fyre was good, but knocking out Dan Severn and Royce Gracie in the same night is just crazy. It would have been wild had he been able to beat Coleman. We are still a small promotion, so can't offer exclusive contracts to fighters which sucks, but thus far we have avoided issues.
  3. With Champions League aspirations still intact following a much-needed win against PSV, it is time for FC Barcelona to turn attentions back to their domestic campaign. The opening of the Spanish Super Cup and the return of the Spanish Cup sees Danielle Violetta's side mount the beginnings of two competition defences. This, alongside the transfer window and scheduled league matches should make for an interesting month, one that will test the depths of Violetta's on-form side. The Christmas break allowed FC Barcelona a chance to refresh. This was evidence in their first match back as their opposition were steamrolled in a one-sided affair. Barcelona dominated the shot count and managed to keep possession in large spells of the game. Rivaldo was the man on form at Camp Nou, two goals and three assists to his name in this match securing him a perfect match rating. Fabio Cannavaro and Juan Pablo would accumulate the assists for Rivaldo's brace while Cannavaro, Javier Saviola and Patrik Andersson would benefit from Rivaldo's passing abilities. Fresh off a silver medal in the Ballon D'or voting, the Brazilian was a man out for blood. We looked great on set-pieces this match but still created a lot of chances without them, I believe this was our biggest win of the season. All good things must come to an end. We have looked near-perfect this campaign, suffering the one loss in domestic matches against Real Madrid. The Spanish Super Cup defence falls at the first hurdle, as Valencia took advantage of the neutral setting for the game and secured a comfortable win. While Barcelona had the better of the shots, none of them looked to trouble the Valencia defence and it's clear from the scoreline that we weren't able to do a lot with the large waves of possession we had throughout. Milen Petkov found himself on the ball through a series of mishaps for their first goal but their second was a world-class effort, Vicente turning the Barcelona defence high up the pitch and running through before slotting his effort home. It's a disappointing result, as we put out a capable team. Club favourite Dani departed Barcelona at the beginning of 2003. He went to HSV in the German league, meaning we were down a striker for the rest of the campaign. The fix to this is Djalminha, a Brazilian winger and striker who comes in on loan from Deportivo. Djalminha isn't an incredible asset, but he doesn't need to be. He will be a back-up to the likes of Marc Overmars and Javier Saviola should fitness issues arise. Djalminha was in fabulous form for Deportivo last season and ended up coming third in the player of the season award, behind Saviola and Rivaldo. He has great technical and mental attributes, but his physical's aren't all there. I'd expect Djalminha to pop up now and again. But we got a good deal on him and he'll reside as good back-up on the wing or up top. Returning to winning form, Barcelona came out on top of a close encounter against Athletic Bilbao who are having a great season for their own ambitions. The shot count was near-even, in spite of Barcelona having the better of possession and finding the lead at the end of the first half through the ever-reliable Javier Saviola. Javi Gonzales equalised in what was a deserved goal for the home side, before Rivaldo bagged the winning goal. Geovanni and the debuting Djalminha would be on hand for the assists, meaning our front four each had a goal contribution within this match. This was a routine match with not a lot to discuss. Everyone had a decent match, Rivaldo was the best player on the pitch. Having let one domestic cup competition slip from their grasp, Barcelona were not going to have a repeat. It was a close game between them and their opponents in the Spanish Cup, the memorable Osasuna who were relegated at the end of last season's campaign. Barcelona asserted their dominance, having more chances and controlling the game. Patrik Kluivert gave the away side the lead, slotting home a Rivaldo pass. The game lost its spark from then on, regaining it in the second half when Marc Overmars was fed through via Gerard, doubling Barcelona's lead. A corner-kick lead to Djalminha misjudging the height of the ball, failing to clear it. Osasuna benefitted from this, pulling a goal back however it was too little too late for the home side. Barcelona are through to the next round of the Spanish Cup. From the Spanish Cup campaign, to last season's final. Numancia, who are in the top-half of the division following a good spell of form, were not able to replicate said form against Barcelona in this match. The home side trounced their opposition in merciless fashion, putting eight past the promoted side. The shot count wasn't spectacular, despite the emphatic scoreline and Barcelona didn't even hold the ball to the lengths we have seen them do in the past. But a first-half hattrick from Javier Saviola, and goals from Sergi Barjuan and Abelardo who were in the side for rotation, set Barcelona up for this great scoreline which was added to in the second half through Gerard, Rivaldo and Patrick Kluivert. Barring the goalkeeper and Xavi everyone on the pitch got some sort of attacking return, be it assist or goal. From defence to attack Barcelona were a machine, slicing through Numancia en route to this memorable victory. Back-to-back victories for the Catalonia side, as well as two hattricks in a row from Javier Saviola. His victim this time was Malaga who are having an indifferent campaign. Barcelona near replicated their statistics against Numancia barring the goals as once more, the shot count and possession percentage were heavily in their favour. Rivaldo gave the home side the lead before Javier Saviola picked up another first-half hattrick. Rivaldo would assist one of Saviola's goals, Marc Overmars the other before he slotted home a penalty kick for his third. The second half didn't amount to much, the home team looking to sit back and conserve their energies rather than push for more. Saviola collected the player of the match award for the second time in two games, as if it were ever in doubt. A Spanish Cup tie against lower opposition brought a chance for rotation, but it wouldn't be until the second half that Barcelona were able to open the game up before placing four past their game opponents. Considering the stature of opponent Barcelona's statistics weren't appealing. Ferrol held up well in the first half, but Marc Overmars lit the game up following the break, with three of the four goals Barcelona would go on to score being assisted through him. Gerard would score the first before Ferrol found a shock equalised, one that woke Barcelona up. From there, Abelardo nodded home a free-kick whipped into the box, Xavi converted a penalty that Djalminha managed to win, before Xavi found the back of the net again late on, scoring a stupendous effort from outside the box. With a wild collection of matches occurring this month, something about the schedule finishing up with a comfortable and relaxing win just felt right. Barcelona emerged with a win against Espanyol, though the score line could have had another goal or two added, had Barcelona taken their chances better. Xavi found the net in the beginning of the game, Rivaldo lacing up the Spanish midfielder with an open net after passing it across the face of goal. Following that, Javier Saviola and Stefan Effenberg each had chances to double the away side's lead, but failed to convert. In the end the game would find itself looking closer than it was, in spite of Barcelona's domination of the shot count and possession. Juan Pablo got the player of the match award for turning up, I suppose, his crosses were a constant threat and a clean sheet alongside that leads to him getting the best rating in a lull of a match-up. Five goals and seven assists across this month leads Rivaldo to win the player of the month accolade. Without a doubt this has been one of his best months with Barcelona. Although the stats against Mallorca boost his totals quite a fair bit he still had the highest average rating of the bunch in the rest of the games. Javier Saviola was close to winning this one but the disappearing act against Espanyol and Valencia hurt his chances a fair bit. Rivaldo already has double-digits for goals and assists in the league, as well as the highest average rating and the most player of the matches accumulated. He is a world class footballer, an icon for Barcelona. I am desperate for this man to win the Champions League. The match against Real Madrid at the beginning of next month will have wide implications on the league. Should we win that match I am unsure how Madrid will find themselves back into the title scene. We have opened up quite a gap between ourselves and second place and some generous results this season mean that our goal difference is beginning to represent the goal difference of an elite club, of champions. Madrid haven't even been bad this season. We have just been near untouchable save for the dropped points against Madrid, Deportivo and Real Betis, all top half sides. Valencia and Deportivo round out the Champions League spots, Sociedad have recovered from their poor start and find themselves in the european picture while Numancia are beginning to drop off. Malaga's atrocious run of form sees them near the relegation zone which is compiled of the usual suspects. Thanks to the regulars who continue to read. Alex, Hans, Karico, Mecko, Damidog, Bashka. It means a lot as I understand this game is a little niche. Champions League and Spanish Cup action will continue next month. I am expecting us to have the league wrapped up towards the end of the season, so we can focus on capturing the title that eluded us last season and securing ourselves as being the best team on the planet. I think that we are, there are still some depth issues but we have better back-up this season than we did the last.
  4. FC Barcelona have maintained a positive beginning to the season, finding themselves at the summit of the Primera División as well as their Champions League group heading into the closing of 2002. Nothing is set in stone for the Catalonia club however, with difficult fixtures against Arsenal and PSV still to contend. Danielle Violetta has stated it's Champions League or nothing for the club this season, with the competition prioritised over domestic fixtures. Arsenal claimed a huge win for their Champions League campaign, an enthralling encounter going in their favour as the London club downed Barcelona. Trading shots and possession made for an exciting affair with big implications which resulted in a high scoreline in favour of the home side. Javier Saviola scored the opening goal, but Arjen Robben continued his hot streak in the competition and equalised Xavi would blast in a shot from outside the box to nudge the tie back in Barcelona's favour before Ronaldinho's shot in the second half deflected off two Barcelona defenders, trickling into the back of the net. Kieron Dyer scored the winner following a well-placed corner kick that fell into his path. This result blows the Champions League wide open, two of Arsenal, Barcelona and PSV can go through, but all three are close on points. Ronaldinho claimed the player of the match accolade, beating out Javier Saviola for the honour. FC Barcelona fell into a one-sided win against title contenders Valencia. Possession was dominated and the game was over before the minutes found double digits. Patrick Kluivert continued his good form, dispatching of the first chance of the game with his partner in crime Javier Saviola repeating the action, seven minutes in this time to put Barcelona two goals to the good. Rivaldo then missed a penalty for the first time in forever, but he made up for it late on in the game scoring our third goal. Rivaldo won the player of the match accolade, as he assisted Saviola's goal as well as scoring his own as well as creating a handful of chances throughout the match. A good victory against one of the strongest teams in the league as well as a clean sheet, which is always a bonus. Possession proved to be an issue for Barcelona as the club struggled to a narrow win against Atletico Madrid in this Primera División match. The performance was a downturn on their recent form, where Barcelona would dominate on the ball and take an aggressive amount of shots. This game was a lull, a different approach. Atletico would do well to retain possession and minimalize what Barcelona could do. Juan Carlos gave the home side the lead however Javier Saviola would equalise on the stroke of half-time. Rivaldo threaded through Juan Pablo, who smashed the winning goal into the back of the net. Barcelona would be the ones to slow down the game for its final minutes. It was an uncomfortable win against a team not expected to pull their punches, but a win nonetheless for the Primera División leaders. Uncomfortable matches was a persisting theme for FC Barcelona, whose Champions League ambitions were tested in Croatia against a game Dinamo Zagreb. While the Spanish outfit were able to have the better statistics of the match it wasn't until the final minutes of the game where the winning goal would be found. Marc Overmars scored in the fifth minute to ease some anxieties for the away side, but Ivica Cmrecnjak equalised off Dinamo's first shot in the game pulling the match level. Gabri, starting on the right-wing for Barcelona, picked up a knock and was substituted. Javier Saviola would be the hero of the match and of Barcelona's Champions League hopes, scoring late on from an Andreas Iniesta cross to give his team a crucial win in their pursuit for european gold. The final game of the month oversaw a frustrating endeavour, as Barcelona needed another late goal to secure a win against a Valladolid side that shouldn't of had a sniff. The home side dominated from start-to-finish, taking on over thirty shots and holding possession for the majority of the match. The first half would be frustrating, Barcelona had a lot of chances created from an on-form midfield, but Overmars and Geovanni had especially difficult times breaking through and sealing a first goal for the match. That honour would come to Javier Saviola, who knocked in a Fabio Cannavaro header from a corner. Valladolid equalised after Andreas Iniesta lost the ball. Rivaldo scored our winner, nodding home a cross from Xavi to put his aside ahead again. This was a month filled with games that got the heart racing. Javier Saviola had a good and consistent month, scoring a couple of important goals and reminding us that he is an elite footballer alongside Rivaldo. The Argentine notched up five goals across five games, as well as two assists. Saviola boasts incredible stats for his age, having the technical attributes of a world-class goal scorer, with the mental and physical attributes to help him perform at such a high level. Saviola is tipped for a whole host of awards come the end of 2002 and is mixing it up with the elite footballers of the world. He was our best player this month, helping to keep our footing in the Champions League alive and scoring on a consistent basis in the Primera División. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid had perfect months, while Valencia dropped off a bit. Deportivo take up the final Champions League spot now, but the difference between them and tenth is a mere three points. Real Sociedad are still having a disappointing season, while Malaga and Valladolid look in serious trouble. Barcelona have a great goal difference but it isn't as padded as it was this time last season. It looks like it'll be another three-horse race for the Primera División however Valencia are quite behind Barcelona at this point, Real Madrid's form keeping them in the title picture. December was a short and sweet month, the Winter break reducing us to a mere four fixtures. Games against Tenerife and Oviedo proved to be foregone conclusions, neither side threatening as Barcelona rode out back-to-back comfortable victories against lower-half opposition. The deciding Champions League game was also a win, Barcelona securing top spot in their group as Arsenal finished behind them. PSV had a good campaign, racking up ten points, but it wasn't enough with Overmars, Saviola and Geovanni putting them out of the competition. Our final fixture against Deportivo was a disappointing one, however injuries to Juan Pablo, Patrick Kluivert and Fabio Cannavaro saw us feature a rotated side which weren't able to get the job done. A good month, we face Ajax in the knockout stages of the Champions League. When in doubt, go Rivaldo. It was a good month for our Brazilian maestro, a goal and two assists in three games. While we haven't scored as much as we were last season, Rivaldo is still maintaining form. He has the highest average rating in the league for a second season in a row and has reached double-digits for goals. Rivaldo came runner-up in the World Golden Ball losing out to Roma's Vicenzo Montella, who was the highest scorer in Europe last season and won the Champions League so I cannot have complaints. If we are going to win the Champions League this season, it's imperative that Rivaldo keeps up his good form and remains fit. Losing someone like Javier Saviola isn't the end of the world, as we have Patrick Kluivert to fill in his shoes. Rivaldo's back-up is Jay-Jay Okocha, who is fine but isn't world class. Real Madrid dropped points in two of their three fixtures, so we open up a seven-point gap. It's not a foregone conclusion but I am beginning to grow confident that we'll be able to retain the Primera División this season. Valencia made up some ground while Mallorca, with Samuel Eto'o leading their line, come into the Champions League places. Deportivo dropped off while Athletic Bilbao and Real Betis are still in the hunt. Numancia continue their great form while Real Sociedad come into the top half of the league. At the other end of the table, a five-point gap has opened up between safety and relegation with Oviedo, Alaves and Valladolid looking like the sides who will go down. Another double month upload here, as I want to get through to the latter-half of the campaign. I think that the Winter break will prove good for us, as we were beginning to tire and while we maintained a great run of form we're not as dominant as we were at the tail-end of last season. But things still look good, we have a good foothold on the league and we have a somewhat favourable knockout tie in the Champions League. The Spanish Super Cup and Copa del Ray will start up next month, so we'll be looking to rotate the squad quite a bit. Thanks for reading as always, going to play through January today so might have another update come the end of the day.
  5. I agree, I think Manchester United have kept like one clean sheet in the eleven Champions League games that Ole has overseen. It's also four defeats in the last five. United are in a fortunate position where due to their transfer window, most managers would leap at the chance of managing them and Cristiano Ronaldo. The club can afford to see how Ole does for the rest of the Champions League campaign but with Ronaldo, Varane and Sancho coming in, realistically the club should be targeting the quarter finals at a minimum.
  6. I think that Ole has a good domestic record overshadowed by a spotty european record. While getting to the Europa League final is an achievement, the truth is that Manchester United should not have been in the Europa League to begin with. Him not winning the Premier League this season would be forgivable, because I still think United have a couple of issues with depth in their team such as a notable problem in midfield. But if he manages to not win a trophy this season after the transfer window United have had, especially with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo that isn't acceptable. I don't think saying #OleOut is fair after one loss this season. But if United fail to make it out of their group again I would want him fired for sure.
  7. Looking to continue their great beginning to the season, FC Barcelona will also initiate their Champions League campaign this month with the aspirations of the club to win the entire competition. The Primera División brings a difficult opening match for Barcelona this month, a clash between their main championship rivals in Real Madrid. Outside of this game the team will be the favourites to win each of their matches, maintaining their good form under Danielle Violetta. Real Madrid ran out as victors in an affair marred with individual errors. FC Barcelona were on the back foot from the beginning of the match and it didn't take long for Real Madrid to put themselves ahead, Raul Tamudo scoring from close range at the expense of Roberto Bonano. Their lead was doubled at the beginning of the second half, this time it would be Patrik Andersson who lost the ball, new signing Alex having a simple finish due to this. Failing to clear a corner allowed Barcelona a route back into the game, with Phillip Cocu picking up the ball near the edge of the box and slamming it home however that hope was snuffed out minutes later, with Barcelona conceding a penalty kick. While having the better of the shot count a lot of Barcelona's efforts were from long range. Each team traded possession a lot, this was an anticipated bout won through defensive calamities rather than individual brilliance. Barcelona turned misfortunes into a win for the beginning of the Champions League, in spite of being down a man for the second half of the match. The team looked focused, never in trouble, having the better of the shot count and managing better spells in possession. Oleguer, on his debut no less, opened his account for the club, nodding home a corner to an emphatic reaction from the attending fans, seeing a club graduate scoring. Cheers would soon fade, worry settling in when Stefan Effenberg received a second yellow card and got himself sent off. But Barcelona didn't seem all too phased and in the second half were able to score again, this time Patrick Kluivert dispatching of a cross. From there the Spanish side became a little more cautious, rounding out the match with a clean sheet. It'd be a good start to the Champions League for Barcelona, as well as a great debut for Oleguer, who was the player of the match. It was two derby matches on the bounce for FC Barcelona in the Primera División, going from Real Madrid to facing Espanyol in the space of a week. This match wasn't as close as the game that preceded it, Barcelona dominating from whistle-to-whistle and knocking five past their neighbours. The club dominated the shot count, surpassing their expected goals as well as keeping hold of the ball well. Rivaldo would give Barcelona the lead, a double from Geovanni then putting the team three goals up before the end of the first half. In the second half they added to their account, through Marc Overmars and then Fabio Cannavaro. Both Carles Puyol and Juan Pablo notched up an assist, as did Xavi. Rivaldo took the free-kick that Fabio Cannavaro dispatched, but Geovanni's great performance earned him the player of the match accolade when all was said and done and Barcelona put in a handsome donation to their goal difference. Another home game, another impressive result. While FC Barcelona took a lot of shots, their possession count was bettered despite winning which is something that is a rare occasion. Patrick Kluivert, whose good form has seen him start more games for the club this season, put the home side ahead, cutting inside from the right wing and firing it home to the elation of the home crowd. Soon after Barcelona would win and convert a penalty kick, the ever-reliable Rivaldo on hand to double Barcelona's lead over Celta Vigo. The rest of the first half, not a whole lot transpired. The team's third goal would be perhaps the best scored so far this season, Javier Saviola whipping it to the edge of the penalty box and Dutch midfielder Phillip Cocu sliding it in with a curved volley from outside the area. Celta Vigo would find their form in the latter stages of the game, taking most of their shots once Barcelona had eased on the peddle. Phillip Cocu earned a player of the match accolade, boasting great passing stats alongside his goal, a good win for FC Barcelona here. The Rivaldo show rolled into Las Palmas, the Brazilian scoring a perfect hat-trick as Barcelona found another win in their Primera División campaign. The side dominated the shot count and held the ball for most of the game, putting the knives to Las Palmas and picking up their fourth win on the bounce. It'd begin with Rivaldo slotting in a free-kick from the edge of the box, adding to his account again six minutes later with a left-footed tap-in from Gabri's cross. Luis Tevenet who was the second-highest goal scorer of last campaign, pulled one back for the home team, but at the beginning of the second half of the match, Rivaldo nodded in a header following a mix-up in the box. It was no surprise who picked up the player of the match accolade at full time, Rivaldo in this campaign has been a consistent source of goals for Barcelona and validated his skillset once again, leading the club to a win on the Gran Canarias islands. Champions League action again, this time however, Barcelona weren't able to win. It'd be an even affair to the surprise of some as PSV showed their talent. Barcelona would take the lead, and then again scoring twice inside eleven minutes but outside of that dominant spell, PSV had the better opportunities. Patrick Kluivert continued his good beginning to the season after scoring a striker's goal. Fabio Cannavaro then poked home from a corner not three minutes later. But then it was the home side's turn to score, with Arnold Bruggink sliding home a Marco van Bommel pass and Mateja Kezman taking the ball off a complacent Geovanni and putting it past Victor Valdes, who started this match. That was all in the first half and in the second outing things calmed down. It'd end up being a draw, PSV and Barcelona sharing the points where both sides could of scored a winner. Mateja Kezman would be the player of the match in a close affair. Our player of the month isn't Rivaldo, which in itself is an achievement. It's Fabio Cannavaro, whose two goals, one assist and three clean sheets helped us to an indifferent month. The Italian has been a great signing for us, he has a good average rating of 7.56 in the Primera División and has been a threat from set-pieces. In defence he has the best passing stats of all the centre-backs, who have rotated to play alongside him. I think that Patrik Andersson and Cannavaro have been our most consistent pairing. Cannavaro's height doesn't seem to have hampered him whatsoever. He hasn't put a foot wrong this campaign and his great mental and physical stats have helped him flourish. Cannavaro isn't really set out to be a Ball-Playing Defender, his passing is mediocre, but he has shown his excellence so far this campaign. After the loss to Real Madrid, I was under the illusion that we would be catching up to them for the rest of the campaign but back-to-back losses to Atletico Madrid and Valencia has turned the tide in our favour. Considering the defensive signings that Madrid have made, conceding four to Valencia is just shocking. They're still second, but we have the advantage early on in the season. Athletic Bilbao and Real Betis round off the Champions League spots, while Valencia have seemed to regain places from their failings at the start of the season. Further down the table, Villarreal and Celta Vigo are mid table while Real Sociedad are still having a mixed campaign. The month of October saw FC Barcelona continue their brilliant form in the Primera División, as well as a close encounter with Arsenal in the Champions League. Javier Saviola was a constant highlight in the month, scoring six goals across five games in the league, as well as getting an assist. The club were also solid at the back, four clean sheets in five games with Fabio Cannavaro and Juan Pablo proving themselves as great signings. A draw with Real Betis brought an indifferent close to a near-perfect month, but Betis have been a surprise package in the league so far. When it came to the game against Arsenal it was an end-to-end encounter. While Barcelona took a two goal lead, Arsenal's attack consisting of Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho and Arjen Robben were a constant source of issues. Barcelona dominated the shot count and possession percentage for most of their games barring that Arsenal match, the rematch bound to be tantalising. Juan Pablo was Barcelona's best player of the month. Two assists, a goal and four clean sheets. He has been an improvement on Francesco Coco, the Argentine and Marc Overmars have formed a partnership down the left flank when operating with a 4-2-3-1 and he was player of the match in the two games where Barcelona lined up with a 3-5-2 and he performed further up the pitch, in games against Arsenal and Real Sociedad. Juan Pablo's crosses and passing range have been a source of trouble, he can pick out whoever on the pitch without issue. He is a perfect wing-back, a danger on the offensive and excellent at the back. Juan Pablo has insane attributes for his role, it's no wonder after three months of action he has one of the highest average ratings at both Barcelona and in the Primera División. Much like the last campaign, it's evident this season will be contended between three teams. Real Madrid have retained their spot but the point difference has dropped to five, while Valencia have surged into the Champions League places and look to be contending with Real Madrid for that second spot. Athletic Bilbao and Deportivo are still lurking around while Real Betis have dropped off. Numancia, fresh in the division, have started well. Real Sociedad have gained some form and now are situated in mid-table. After twelve games, Barcelona are top and don't look like shifting. We're opening up a gap and have formed a cushion when it comes to goal difference. Thanks a lot for reading. Two months for the price of one in this post. I think that the core goal for this season is seeing how we progress in the Champions League, operating under the assumption we'll be near the top in both the Primera División as well as the Copa del Ray when that begins. I want to get to the second-half of the season to see those knockout games in the Champions League and to see if we'll be able to win it. The group stage in itself hasn't wrapped up as we have second-legs against PSV and Arsenal, and an away fixture to Dinamo. I am thinking we'll qualify with another won but it's not possible to assume that. Thank you for the continued support, it is very appreciated.
  8. It's the beginning of the second campaign for FC Barcelona under Danielle Violetta's leadership. Following a successful transfer window and pre-season, what has been established is that the team are looking to contend this season and will be wanting to replicate their riches from last season. FC Barcelona have a favourable beginning to their league campaign and will be expecting to win each of their opening three fixtures, to give them a positive start in the Primera División. FC Barcelona won the Copa del Rey last campaign, beating Numancia in the final. The Spanish Segunda División side would end up getting promoted to the Primera División and a repeat of that final awaited them. Barcelona dominated the shot count and possession percentage, their 4-2-3-1 formation controlling Numancia off the pitch. All four of the reigning champions new signings would feature for the club, Jay-Jay Okocha taking a mere ten minutes to open up his account for FC Barcelona as he scored an impressive volley into the top corner. Javier Saviola would double their lead and then in the second half Xavi scored from a similar distance to Okocha, putting FC Barcelona three goals up. Numancia would score late on to prevent Violetta's side keeping a clean sheet to open their season. Carles Puyol and Rivaldo would notch an assist each in this match, the latter of the two taking home the player of the match accolade. Continuing their bright start to the season, FC Barcelona swept aside Athletic Bilbao without issue in their next game to make it two wins out of two matches. Once more, the shot count and possession percentages were one-sided and it would take six minutes for the first goal to be scored, Javier Saviola tapping in a Marc Overmars cross. Rivaldo doubled their lead from the spot and then added a third goal at the end of the first half, knocking in a Carles Puyol assist giving the Spanish right-back two assists from two matches. Patrick Kluivert, who came on for Geovanni in the game, would capitalise on a mistake from Bilbao's defence to score a fourth. FC Barcelona looked comfortable in defence and clinical on the attack, Rivaldo's two goals helped him take home his second successive player of the match award. Málaga would host FC Barcelona for their final game of August. However the home side wouldn't manage to create a single chance throughout the game, as their opponents ran out with an impressive one-sided win. Barcelona controlled the game and showed their class in keeping a second successive clean sheet. Fabio Cannavaro, who was the side's marquee signing in the transfer window would open his account, nodding home a corner from Stefan Effenberg. The club created more chances in the first half but weren't able to extend their lead. Geovanni scored their second goal, tapping in a cross from another new signing to the team in Juan Pablo Sorín. The game died down after that, FC Barcelona content to let the clock run rather than look for a third. Their defence were impressive throughout, with Juan Pablo Sorín running out of the match with the player of the match accolade due to getting an assist and retaining his clean sheet. A lot has changed for Barcelona over the Summer, one thing that has remained consistent is Rivaldo ending up as their player of the month following a string of great performances. The Brazilian scored two goals, assisted a third and created an abundance of chances throughout the three games, his match average rating of 8.07 the highest in the league. We have been in this position a lot of times now, I'm unsure of what I could state that hasn't been said. Rivaldo is one of the top footballers on the planet, his attributes and statistics are on another level. You have heard it before. Real Madrid sit at the top of the table after the first month of fixtures, though FC Barcelona are equal to them across the board while Celta Vigo and Deportivo round out the teams in the Champions League places. Outside of their fixtures against Barcelona both Numancia and Athletic Bilbao have good records, while Valencia find themselves sitting in the middle of the table following a mixed start. At the other end of the table, Real Sociedad are in a difficult spot after losing all of the beginning games, Atletico Madrid and Oviedo the other two teams in the relegation zone. There is still such a long way to go however, so none of this will be relevant for a while. Thank you for the continued support, next episode will drop either later tonight or tomorrow. We face Real Madrid in the opening game which should be a good one. We have also drawn Arsenal, PSV and Dinamo in the Champions League which will be a difficult time, but I am confident we'll finish in the top two and advance.
  9. Fútbol Club Barcelona, all or nothing. Danielle Violetta has confirmed that this will be her second and final season with the Spanish outfit and the club where she began her managerial career. With a war chest at her disposal, it was a surprise to most that the current Primera División champions weren't more active in the transfer window. But multiple signings have been made and the team has been improved nonetheless. The goal is the Champions League, Violetta believes with the depth she has added to the squad, the biggest prize in club football is achievable. With all of this in mind, let's take a look at FC Barcelona's team, assess it's strengths and weaknesses, as well as the transfers that have been made. Roberto Bonano - The Argentine retains his spot in the team as the starting goalkeeper, following an impressive run at the end of the season that secured him the most clean sheets in the Primera División. While not a world-class talent, Bonano is a good goalkeeper in his prime as well as an international player. Bonano will start in Primera División matches as well as in the latter stages of the Champions League, I am hopeful he will replicate his good showings from last season. Richard Dutruel - Our back-up goalkeeper checks all the boxes of what a back-up goalkeeper should be. Richard Dutruel is content not starting most games, has international experience with France, and is decent for this level. He will feature in Champions League games for us, as well as the Copa del Rey, which we are looking to retain as defending champions. Víctor Valdés - In what is a new face to the squad, Valdés has been promoted from the B team and will be acting as an alternative back-up for the Champions League and Copa del Rey matches. I wouldn't expect to see Víctor much in this season but I am confident in the future he will become a world-class goalkeeper, be that at FC Barcelona or not. Abelardo - Coming onto the defence, we begin with Abelardo, a Spanish international that is a little past his prime and will serve as a rotation option in the middle of the defence. I think that Abelardo is great for this role, due to his age he isn't expecting to start most games, but he has the skill and the experience to be a big hand. I would expect Abelardo to rotate into the team in big months with a lot of fixtures, serving as back-up to more talented centre backs. Patrik Andersson - Speaking of talented centre backs, Patrik Andersson will be one-half of our starting defensive duo as the Swedish national team captain retains his place in the team. Andersson is a great asset to us, he is tall, aggressive and has a bucket full of experience. He edges out a competitive back-line to make it into the team alongside a new signing and I am hopeful that he'll be able to be a threat from set-pieces and a solid hand when defending attacks. Sergi Barjuán - Barjuán is a similar calibre of talent to Abelardo. He is dependable, but a little past their prime and pales in comparison to other footballers in their position. I think last season showed that Sergi Barjuán is injury-prone. But he is still a good player for this league, with international experience. Expect Barjuán to start in the group stage of the Champions League and the early rounds of the Copa del Rey. We haven't beefed up left-back this window, which worries me. Fabio Cannavaro - The first signing to this FC Barcelona team we'll be discussing is the biggest. Fabio Cannavaro is a talent that is world-class, one of the best in their position. He arrives from Parma and will slot into the team alongside Patrik Andersson in what will be a sure-fire improvement to our defence. I'm excited to see how much this improves a back line that was sloppy and unreliable at times. Cannavaro is in his prime, which is why I favoured him over younger players as we're only going to be here for another season. I think he'll star in both the formations we line-up with and I hope come the end of the season he'll of contributed a lot to our hopeful Champions League campaign. Frank de Boer - With the signing of Fabio Cannavaro, someone has to miss out. That man is Frank de Boer, who could still star for most teams in the world, but for us he now becomes a rotation option. It is nothing personal, I think that de Boer will still start a lot of games for us, but he picked up a lot of cards in the latter half of the season, and his performances compared to Patrik Andersson were not the best. It makes me believe that he's going to start declining further soon. Gabri - Coming in next is someone that can perform in a lot of positions, an underrated asset to this team. Gabri didn't start as much as he'd have liked last season, serving as back-up to both Carles Puyol in the defence, as well as Geovanni out on that right flank. Both of those options didn't miss a lot of games, meaning Gabri sat on the bench a lot. He is still a good footballer and will retain his spot as a back-up for Carles Puyol this season, coming in for cup competitions also. Oleguer - Introducing another player that has been promoted from the B team, meet Oleguer. He can serve as back-up to both the centre back and right back positions, which I thought was valuable. He isn't the best in terms of talent but he is a player that is home-grown, decent enough and can start in a lot of positions. He is similar to Víctor Valdés, we won't see a lot of him this season, but he'll wind up being a Spanish international and good talent down the road. Carles Puyol - Puyol is someone who I feel has been misrepresented in this team. I think that he was better in real life than how he is in the game. He is still great, mind, our starting right-back and a solid hand. But he isn't world-class, and doesn't perform to the levels that one would expect Carles Puyol to perform at. But he is still great as I said. He is dependable in defence and doesn't make mistakes, and chips in with the odd assist from crosses and set-pieces on the attack. Juan Pablo Sorín - Alongside Cannavaro, we signed a new starting left-back. Juan Pablo Sorín in short terms, is a great player that has awesome offensive stats. He is Argentina's starting left-back, and perhaps their best defender. He arrives from Cruzeiro for a cheap fee, replacing the outgoing Francesco Coco, whose injuries were a worrying factor for me so we opted to shift him on. Juan Pablo Sorín, who I'll shorten to Pablo, will complete our back-line. He'll start in the league as well as the important cup competitions, rotating with the earlier mentioned Sergi Barjuán. Phillip Cocu - Beginning our assessment of the midfield, is Phillip Cocu. The Dutchman retains his place in the team due to good performances last season. Cocu has immense passing statistics, among the best in the league. He also gained a lot of assists and in general, was our second best midfielder behind Rivaldo. His position is where we have a lot of strength in and considering his age, I couldn't guarantee his spot throughout the season. But he'll begin the season for us, he is a leading midfielder in the division and will start most league games for us, as well as Champions League matches. Stefan Effenberg - Joining us on a free transfer from Bayern Munich is Stefan Effenberg, who apparently is a lot better than what my scouts told me he was. I felt that we needed a little more experience in midfield, because we have a lot of young talents that are still growing into elite footballers. The plan wasn't to start Effenberg, but he actually looks like he is very good despite being the oldest player in the team. Stefan has international experience with Germany, has some amazing set-piece statistics and I suppose will contend with the likes of Phillip Cocu for a spot in midfield. Geovanni - While Geovanni didn't grow as much as I would have wished he did, he equalled Marc Overmars for performances last season, so retains his place in the team. Geovanni saw a lot of interest over the summer from Arsenal and Liverpool, but I rejected their bids and kept the Brazilian maestro. His role is one where we don't have a world-class talent to match the likes of Overmars and Rivaldo, but I am content with that. Geovanni should become an elite footballer barring long-term injuries. He performed well last season, and I hope that he matches his form for us this season. Gerard - Someone that did grow a lot last season, is Gerard. When you have Xavi in the team, expecting the other Spanish midfield prospect to become a world-class midfielder wasn't on the radar. But Gerard had an amazing second half to the season and is now an accomplished and top-class footballer. While he won't start for us off the bat, I am confident that he will still find a lot of game time, and the potential for him to seal a spot in the first-team is there. I am blessed to have a lot of talent in this area of the pitch. It's worth noting that Gerard can also fill in Rivaldo's usual spot, so unlike Xavi and Phillip Cocu we have the option of starting Gerard in multiple positions, which helps his prospects out well. Andrés Iniesta - Assessing another young midfielder who has bags of potential, we promoted Iniesta from the B team late last season and he performed well, getting a handful of goals and assists across that final month. I don't think I need to speak on him for too long, people who like football should know who this is and how good he becomes. With Effenberg and Cocu's ages, he'll have the chance to start a lot of games in the future. This season? He is in a bit of a similar position to the other talents we have promoted, he'll be back-up. But I will be making a conscious effort to get him in games against weaker opposition in the league, so he should still see a decent amount of game time. Jay-Jay Okocha - What a wonderful, blessed signing. Jay-Jay Okocha isn't world-class. But he has a lot of flair and is undoubtedly a superstar in the sport. He arrives from the French league and will provide back-up to Rivaldo. The Nigerian has some insane stats and should offer us something unique and fun when he starts. I don't think this is a signing that was needed to be honest, as Rivaldo, Gerard and others can fill this spot. But he has experience, good mental statistics and I think that he could prove useful in the cup competitions, if Rivaldo needs a rest or cannot start due to suspension. Marc Overmars - Speaking of superstars in the sport, enter Marc Overmars. I thought that Marc had a bit of an underwhelming season for us, perhaps it is the style of football we implement as he didn't quite reach the levels of the more central talents such as Rivaldo and Javier Saviola. He got double digits in goals and assists, which I suppose is all I can ask of someone of his talents. Overmars is still fine, he has a ton of pace for his age, and he'll operate in the same position that he did the season prior, spearheading our wide attacks alongside Geovanni for this campaign. Rivaldo - Without a shadow of a doubt our best talent at the club, Rivaldo was going nowhere and remains in that crucial position he starred in last season for FC Barcelona. His statistics from that season speak for themselves, without him I'm not sure how well we would have done. Rivaldo will operate as our assured penalty-taker, he must have scored at least ten in the previous season, only missing one. I think I talk about Rivaldo far too much, we can use common sense in that he'll start whenever he's fit to and I am sure he'll be able to build upon his incredible performances in this team. Xavi - I will be starting Xavi in the beginning of this campaign, but as we have touched upon, his position in the team is one that has a lot of competition and chances are, he'll see a lot of rotation. Xavi has the potential to be a generational talent for FC Barcelona and, like Geovanni, I am keen to see that he blossoms. While not crucial, in time he will be one of the best midfielders in world football. The fact he's home-grown is all the better. He'll start where he can, I actually thought he matched Gerard well in the second-half of the season despite not scoring nearly as much. Xavi I am hopeful will have a breakout season, but if he doesn't start off firing, there is a big chance he'll get dropped. Dani - Did we all forget about Dani? I cannot blame you. With two genuine top-class finishers to compete with for a position in the squad, Dani is someone who I doubt will start a lot of games for us this season. He fills in a similar role to the likes of Abelardo, in that he's in his prime, Spanish, and doesn't mind not starting. I had no reason to shift him on as when he did manage to find himself in the team, he did good. But yeah, Dani is here for if the worst happens to us, if he is a consistent name in the team it means that our chances of winning the Champions League are up in smoke. Patrick Kluivert - While he was outshined in the last season, Kluivert is still one of the best strikers in the world and would slide into most teams not named FC Barcelona. It's difficult to discuss Kluivert without comparing him to the other striker at the club who boasts similar statistics to him. When we line-up with our alternate formation, I am sure that Patrick Kluivert will start and score a lot. We were fortunate that towards the end of the season, injuries in the team allowed him to get some game-time and calm down his worries about not starting a lot. I was tempted to shift him on, sign someone like a Samuel Eto'o who wouldn't be as frustrated sitting on the bench, but in the end Kluivert is world-class, and when we're going for the Champions League and being the best team in the world, sometimes players of his calibre miss out. Javier Saviola - Rounding off the squad overview with our second-best footballer at the club, Javier Saviola I hope will be able to repeat his outstanding season and lead us to Champions League glory. He is a clinical finisher of the ball and one of the best strikers on the planet right now. Him and Rivaldo are just so good, it's indescribable. He retains his spot in the squad and was never going to leave this team. Him and Kluivert I feel are interchangeable, we're fortunate to have two strikers of this level at the club. Saviola I think should finish as the top goal scorer in the league again. I won't play him in the early stages of the cup competitions, but if we progress he'll likely start important games there also. Pre-season went as well as I could have asked. We won all of our friendlies, scoring consistent goals and looking good enough in defence. We utilised the 3-5-2 formation for the tour of America, where we conceded in each game but never looked like we were going to lose. Rivaldo also scored five penalties across these three games, half of our goals were from penalties and free-kicks in this tour. We switched to the 4-2-3-1 for the home fixtures, where we faced more credible opposition and performed well. We kept three clean sheets across these games, putting five past Ajax is a highlight as all of our goals were from open play. I'd give Fabio Cannavaro the player of pre-season accolade. He scored three goals and kept three clean sheets, notching an assist and two player of the match awards to his name too. FC Barcelona turned a small profit in the transfer window, though once clauses are met in the Fabio Cannavaro deal that will translate to a small loss. I feel like the fees we signed Cannavaro and Pablo for were good. On the opposing side of things we shifted out some young talents, as well as Fabio Rochemback who wasn't going to get into the team with the addition of Stefan Effenberg. We sold some talents from the B team, with the only two sales from our starting team being those of Philippe Christanval and Francesco Coco, to Monaco and Roma. Coco's recurring injuries at his age were a real concern and I felt like Pablo was a better left-back than him, so I moved him on for a good fee. Christanval's release clause was met and I was happy to see him go, as he wouldn't of got into the team following the arrival of Fabio Cannavaro and the promotion of youngster Oleguer. Overall, a very good and smart transfer window for us. Elsewhere in the world, Alessandro Nesta was the highest transfer fee of the summer. He moved to Manchester United while the Brazilian Ronaldinho moved to Arsenal, where he'll link up with Thierry Henry. Gareth Barry moved from Aston Villa to Liverpool for a staggering fee. When it comes to Real Madrid, they moved on Roberto Carlos to Juventus and replaced him well with the arrivals of youngster Lucio from Bayer Leverkusen and the legendary Pablo Maldini from Italian club AC Milan, who they also acquired Rui Costa from. AC Milan used that money to purchase Hernan Crespo, who following certain clauses will become the most expensive player in the world for the second time at this point in time. Thanks to all who are still reading and for the continued support. This game is a lot of fun, seeing the different transfers that are happening, creating an alternate reality of sorts to the things that have happened in real life. The goal this season is to find more success with FC Barcelona before moving to the Premier League. I hope that you guys will continue supporting the diary and liking its content, I am having a good time posting consistently and playing the save file.
  10. Final Primera División games for our first season with FC Barcelona, as well as an end of season summarisation where we will look at individual statistics, club achievements as well as results from the other leagues around the world. The run-in to winning the Primera División was emphatic. We put a statement out for next season, winning all of our remaining games to secure the championship. While Valencia were a problem on paper, the rest of the teams we were expected to beat without issue. Scoring thirty-four goals and conceding zero in seven games, is borderline unheard of in the modern game and is an incredible achievement, regardless of how good our team is. I think that the result against Celta Vigo was the game that secured us the league title. Of course, the highlights were the two dominant victories we took against Rayo Vallecano and Osasuna, the latter of those teams being one that we lost to earlier in the season. We didn't face a lot of injuries or suspensions for these fixtures, excluding our issues at left-back which we discussed at the end of the previous post. Javier Saviola scored double-figure goals across these fixtures, while at the other end of the pitch Roberto Bonano was also in excellent form. We finished twelve points ahead of our closest competitors, Real Madrid. We also broke the records for the most wins and the highest goal difference in a single season, though a third of our goal difference came from those final set of fixtures where we could do no wrong. Valencia and Deportivo La Coruna secured spots in the Champions League for the next season while Celta Vigo managed to secure a european place in spite of a bad run of form. Lower down the table, both Villarreal and Tenerife could have been relegated, but it'd be Rayo Vallecano who would go down alongside Osasuna and Sevilla who both had disappointing seasons. It's worth noting that we won all of our games at home, the sole draw coming against Deportivo La Coruna while Real Madrid, Mallorca, Real Sociedad and Osasuna were our losses. Brazilian maestro Rivaldo secured the player of the season award, scoring nineteen goals, assisting twenty-two goals and maintaining an average rating of 8.07. Javier Saviola was the runner-up while Deportivo's wide-man Djalminha secured the bronze medal after an impressive season. While a large portion of his goals were penalties, most of his assists were from open play and he has had an amazing, amazing season. Rivaldo is one of the best players in the world, alongside the likes of Pavel Nedved, Ronaldinho and David Beckham. His passing range is phenomenal and he completes our team. Javier Saviola scored the most goals in the league and it wasn't even close. He scored thirty-eight goals as well as providing twelve assists, his average rating a 7.87. I think that Saviola benefitted a lot from that last run of games where he was electric and in-form. Luis Tevenet was the runner-up, he scored twenty-five goals for Las Palmas while Samuel Eto'o found the back of the net twenty times for Mallorca. Javier Saviola is the man, no questions asked. I would be surprised if he didn't equal or surpass this record next season as he grows into a world-class footballer. What is shocking about this level of performance, is that he somehow didn't score the most goals within Europe. South American footballers went three-for-three with awards, as Argentine Roberto Bonano won the goalkeeper of the year award after he kept twenty clean sheets in thirty-six appearances. Out of all of our players, Roberto Bonano benefitted the most from that last month of games, he was really in-form when it counted, surpassing Iker Casillas to this award after keeping nine clean sheets in our last ten games. I thought he was having an average season until that point but he was able to bring it home to join Rivaldo and Javier Saviola in winning awards. He didn't keep the most clean sheets throughout Europe but with our style of play, I wasn't expecting him to. Overall I thought that we had an impressive season, winning four out of the five competitions that we competed in while securing the Primera División in dominant fashion. While we shouldn't have been in the Spanish Super Cup or the Club World Championship, I am not going to complain about the extra accolades. I was never targeting the Champions League so losing out in that competition is fine. The goal for this season was to dominate domestic competitions, and I don't think that it can be disputed that we didn't do just that. The goal for next season, of course, is to add a Champions League trophy to the cabinet before taking off elsewhere. I'd also like to repeat the success we found in the Primera División and the Spanish Cup, but the Champions League will be the priority for us in season two. Italian football seems to be the most entertaining. All of our accolades were surpassed in this league. Juventus scored more points than we did, while Vincenzo Montella somehow scored more goals than Javier Saviola. Gianluigi Buffon kept more clean sheets than Roberto Bonano, but I can forgive that. The most iconic four teams in the league finished in Champions League places, Milan almost losing out to Lazio. Fillippo Inzaghi, Pavel Nedved and Christian Vieri all had amazing seasons but it'd be Alvaro Recoba, who admittedly I've never heard of, who would win the player of the season award for Inter Milan. I suppose the least surprising thing here is that Gattuso had the most yellow cards. For what it is worth, Roma won the Champions League in this season, beating Bayern Munich 3-2 in the final thanks to a goal in extra time from the aforementioned Vincenzo Montella. Inter Milan also won the UEFA Cup, Christian Vieri scoring a hattrick as Parma were defeated 4-0 in the final. In the first season, Italian football is dominant. Leeds United won the Premier League, beating out Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool for the title. Chelsea were well off the pack, their manager being sacked at the end of the season, while Leicester and Aston Villa were relegated alongside Derby County. Lee Bowyer seemed to be the one man army for Leeds, netting twenty-one assists and ten player of the match awards. Michael Owen and Alan Shearer were so close to wining the top goal scorer accolade which was taken by Ruud van Nistelrooy. David Beckham had the highest average rating by some distance, he must have had the highest throughout the entire game as he was levels above not only his peers at Manchester United, but also the likes of Rivaldo and the previously mentioned Alvaro Recoba. His performances weren't enough to secure Manchester United the title but the Premier League looks like a hell of a difficult league to compete in. I was going to post the Germany league and their statistics, but outside of a handful of teams and one or two players I didn't recognise what the hell was going on. Bayern Munich won the league with ease, Dortmund finished sixth and Bayer Leverkusen came runners-up. Jans Koller won the highest goal scorer accolade, while Oliver Kahn kept the most clean sheets in the league. Outside of that, I hadn't heard of anyone, for winning the league Munich didn't have a lot of players competing for awards outside of Kahn. The French league actually looks like a lot of fun. Lyon secured the championship, PSG coming in second and Nantes rounding out the top three teams. The top goal scorer award was shared between three players, I assume the Portuguese striker Pauleta won it based off playing less minutes, but I couldn't say for sure. Virtually unknown Brazilian Aloisio and very well known Nicolas Anelka also matched Pauleta's goal record. Ronaldinho and a young Djibril Cisse had amazing seasons but it'd be Eric Carriere, who I haven't heard of, who took home the player of the season award as well as getting the most assists. PSG seemed to have a lot of offensive players, going off these records but the amazing performances of Eric Carriere lifted Lyon up to win the league championship. Thanks for reading, we're going to be sticking with FC Barcelona for the second season, but it'll be an all or nothing situation where we'll leave then, regardless of it we secure the Champions League or not. I think that the Premier League will be the first league that we explore outside of Spain, but it depends if spots open up for us. Because we had an amazing season here it'll make getting other managerial positions easier. The next post will either come tonight or tomorrow as I have already played a bit ahead, made transfers and adjusted our team. I am still in the transfer window so if there's someone you think I should sign, let me know via Discord. Hopefully people enjoyed the first season, outside of Real Madrid and the Champions League, things were very easy. I think going to England or Italy, where there is more than two big teams would make things harder and more exciting.
  11. 𝐀𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐖𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 | 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝟏 | 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡 𝟏 | 𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐤 𝟏 The first-ever episode of Art of Wrestling’s television show began in expected fashion, with Chris Benoit coming out and celebrating the opening of the new promotion! Benoit talks about how the landscape of wrestling has changed and how he was thrilled to be the first draft pick for Art of Wrestling’s roster. Chris Benoit would be interrupted by Eric Bischoff, who has a minority stake in Art of Wrestling as well as a seat on the board of the new promotion. Bischoff talks about Chris Benoit’s stint in the business before Art of Wrestling, how he is expected to be the face of AOW. Bischoff announces three mini-tournaments to determine who will be the inaugural champions of AOW. The final moments of the segment revealed that Benoit’s opponent in the tournament will be none other than one of the most talented wrestlers on the planet, Bryan Danielson, and that they'll be facing in the main event tonight! Brian Kendrick vs. Juventud Guerrera | From one historic moment to another, the first-ever match in Art of Wrestling. This would be a Light Heavyweight match between Brian Kendrick and Juventud Guerrera, the winner going on to face either Ultimo Guerrero or Petey Williams in the finals of the Light Heavyweight Championship tournament. This match was everything one would expect with high-octane action, back-and-forth swings of momentum. Each man had their moments to put the match to bed, but this thrilling encounter would continue on as both competitors showed resilience and a desire to be crowned the first-ever AOW Light Heavyweight Champion. After 14:36 of great wrestling Brian Kendrick hit the Sliced Bread #2 to finish the icon Juventud Guerrera, advancing to the finals. La Résistance came out to the ring ahead of their match tonight, discussing how great it was to be in a Canadian promotion but expressing their disappointment that the promotion was not based in the great land of Quebec. Dupree, Grenier and Conway listed off “facts” as to why French-Canadians were better than “Inferior Canadians” before talking about how they were going to win the AOW Tag Team Championships. By the time their opponents came out, the fans had shifted opinions on their nation's own, instead cheering loudly for America's Most Wanted! One of the hottest tag teams in the world are here in Art of Wrestling, and they’re keen to cut La Résistance off and get right into the thick of the action. Harris and Storm, accompanied by Gail Kim, have the fans on their side tonight. America’s Most Wanted vs La Resistance | Chris Harris, James Storm, Rene Dupree and Rob Conway. Only two out of these four men could advance to the finals of the Tag Team Championships tournament, facing off against either Team Canada or The Dudley Boyz at AOW’s first-ever wrestling pay-per-view. Unlike the first match of the night, this one wasn’t open. From the off it was clear that one team had more experience and more skill than their opponents and that team was America’s Most Wanted! La Résistance hung on for a while, with Grenier being a nuisance at ringside. But Gail Kim showed her worth as she alerted the referee to Sylvain’s actions, resulting in him being thrown out from ringside! Not long after, Storm and Harris would hit the Death Sentence, as America’s Most Wanted put away Rob Conway in 11:04 to an ovation, one-half of the AOW Tag Team Championships bout filled after enthralling action. Ahead of his huge match in tonight’s main event, we were backstage as Bryan Danielson was being interviewed with questions regarding his signing to Art of Wrestling and the opportunity to face Chris Benoit, the highlights of the interview. Speaking candidly, Bryan Danielson explained he came to Art of Wrestling because he believed it’d be the best promotion to show off his skillset. As for Chris Benoit? Bryan Danielson respects him. But respect can only go so far and with an opportunity to write his name in the history books? Bryan Danielson would be pulling out all of the stops. Towards the end of the interview, none other than Lance Storm would interrupt. Lance Storm is scheduled to face Rey Mysterio on next week’s show, and Storm would wish Bryan Danielson luck in his match tonight. Before the main event, a video package aired detailing the arrival of Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch to Art of Wrestling. We would see clips of Lance Cade on his farm in Texas, wrangling cattle and being a man’s man. Alongside highlights of their wrestling matches, we would see things such as Trevor Murdoch eating a sixteen-pound steak, and putting out fires in his hometown! The video package made two things clear, Cade and Murdoch were badass, blue collar workers and they were here to reshape what it means to be a tag team wrestler. The end of the video package stated that Cade and Murdoch would be here next week, to discuss their exclusion from the tag team tournament. Chris Benoit vs. Bryan Danielson | Main event time, as Art of Wrestling fans in attendance tonight were about to see two of the most complete wrestlers throw down. Chris Benoit would start out strong, using experience to get the better of Bryan Danielson. But the match would turn on its head in the middle portion, as Bryan Danielson resorted to some less-than-clean tactics to get the better of Benoit on more than one occasion. Benoit retained a wholesome approach to the bout and it paid its dividends in the final embers of the classic technical encounter. A Bridging Dragon Suplex put Danielson down on the mat, Benoit ascending the turnbuckle and connecting with the Diving Headbutt to put an end to the match. Chris Benoit would beat Bryan Danielson via pinfall in 22:58, winning in the first-ever main event for Art of Wrestling and securing a spot in the finals of the AOW Heavyweight Championship tournament! ________________________________________________________ 𝐀𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐖𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 | 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝟏 | 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡 𝟏 | 𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐤 𝟐 The second episode of Art of Wrestling’s Television show kicks things off with Bryan Danielson making his way to the ring following his loss to Chris Benoit in last week’s main event match-up. Danielson says he’s frustrated and disappointed that he couldn’t beat Chris Benoit to advance to the finals of AOW Heavyweight Championship Tournament. He would call out Chris Benoit to come down to the ring with Benoit as he received a great reception from the fans here at the Max Bell Centre. Danielson would say that despite him not winning last week’s main event, he has great deal of respect for Chris Benoit and what he brings to Art of Wrestling and the entire industry as a whole. Danielson would offer a mutual handshake to Benoit, and after about several seconds of waiting, Benoit shakes the hand of Danielson as the crowd in attendance clap at the respect shown by both of these superstars. We would then be shown in a graphic for the other semi final matchup, as Rey Mysterio battles Lance Storm with the winner of that match facing Chris Benoit at Art of Wrestling first PPV, now titled AOW Heart & Soul! Petey Williams vs. Ultimo Guerrero | Our opening matchup would see the ever so talented Petey Williams go up against one of Mexico's finest light heavyweight performers in Ultimo Guerrero. The winner of this one will face Brain Kendrick in the finals of the Light Heavyweight Championship tournament. The match would be a fast-paced encounter, with reversals and counters being shown as it gets hyped and excited for the action being displayed by these light heavyweights. Nearing the end of the match, it looked like Ultimo Guerrero was going to win this match until Scott D’Amore distracted the referee, allowing Johnny Devine to hit Ultimo Guerrero with a hockey stick! Petey Williams would hit the Canadian Destroyer as he won the match in 12:52 via pinfall. Petey would celebrate with D’Amore and Devine, as Bobby Roode, and Eric Young show up near the stage and celebrate Petey’s win. Petey Williams advances as he’ll take on Brain Kendrick at AOW Heart & Soul. Backstage, we see Father James Mitchell cutting a promo, hyping up the monster known as Abyss. James Mitchell says that while AOW may be the place where you see the best action in not only Canada, but in the entire world Abyss isn’t here to put on 30 minutes classics. Abyss is here to wreck havoc, and destruction upon anyone that’s put in front of him. James Mitchell says that the monster Abyss will be a force of nature, that nobody will be able to withstand the amount of damage the monster Abyss will bring. He issues a warning to the rest of the AOW roster to watch their backs and hope Abyss isn’t lurking, ready to eat them alive. We would see Rey Mysterio as he gets interviewed before he faces Lance Storm momentarily. He’d be asked what made him decide that he wanted to be a part of Art of Wrestling, and have potential shot at being the company’s first ever Heavyweight Champion. Rey Mysterio says that his lack of stature has always made an underdog, and someone that can never been seen as a World Champion of a promotion. This time it changes, because he’s got that shot he’s been waiting for since the beginning of his wrestling journey, he finally has that opportunity and he isn’t going to waste it. Art of Wrestling is his chance to be number one, as he says that while Lance Storm may be a tough opponent for him to face, he’s looking to defeat him and advance to face off against Chris Benoit at AOW Heart & Soul. Rey Mysterio vs. Lance Storm | Big match-up here on AOW as Rey Mysterio battles Lance Storm, with the winner battling Chris Benoit at Heart & Soul for a chance to become the first ever AOW Heavyweight Champion. Both Mysterio & Storm are highly gifted athletes as the crowd in Calgary are ready for these performers to put on a show. The match would be an exciting clash of Lucha Libre style of Mysterio compared to the more gritty, technically sound style of one Lance Storm. During the match we would see Rey Mysterio try to hit a springboard dive to Storm but he’ll get caught with a spinning heel kick, splatting him down the mat but it wouldn’t be enough for him to get the win. The ending of the match would see Storm attempt a super kick but would miss as Mysterio would capitalize hitting the 619, followed by the west coast pop. Rey Mysterio pins Lance Storm in 18:02 via Pinfall. Mysterio advances. Before the main event, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch would make their entrance as they cut a promo on why they shouldn’t have been excluded from the Tag Team Championship tournament. They say they are what tag teams aspire to be, gritty, tough, and hard working. The fact that they aren't involved in this tournament is a disgrace. The Dudley Boyz would interrupt as Bubba Ray tells them to just shut the hell up and let the best tag team in wrestling do what they do best. Team Canada would also interrupt as they insult both They Dudley Boyz and Cade and Murdoch by calling them foreigners to the land that’s theirs. Team Canada would then proceed to insult the crowd by saying they represent the country of Canada but not the garbage people that live in this country which gets them massive boos. This would lead to our main event match-up, where Team Canada take on The Dudley Boyz. The Dudley Boyz vs. Team Canada | Our main event of the evening would see the other semi final match-up for the AOW Tag Team Championships as The Dudley Boyz battle against Bobby Roode and Eric Young of Team Canada. Devine, Williams, and D’Amore would be ring-side as the two teams put on an excellent showcase of tag team wrestling. Team Canada would get the upper-hand early on, resorting to cheap tactics but Dudleyz would come back, with a flurry of tag team maneuvers. The ending of the match would see the same thing we saw earlier in the night with D’Amore distracting, and Devine interfering by using the hockey stick. He’s about to hit Devon with it until Bubba Ray snatches it from his hand and whacks Devine with the stick. Eric Young would come rushing in but would be met with 3D Dudley Death Drop! The Dudley Boyz wins against Team Canada in 16:02 via Pinfall. The show would end with the Dudley Boyz celebrating as they face America’s Most Wanted at AOW Heart & Soul. ________________________________________________________ 𝐀𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐖𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 | 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝟏 | 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡 𝟏 | 𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐤 𝟑 America’s Most Wanted vs. Cade and Murdoch | This week’s edition of Art of Wrestling would kick things off with a tag match as James Storm and Chris Harris of America’s Most Wanted battle against Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch. AMW are set to face The Dudley Boyz at AOW’s Inaugural PPV, Heart & Soul. The match would be a great affair of action, as both AMW and Cade and Murdoch all put on their workers' boots for this match. It looked Cade and Murdoch were going to get the upset win as Murdoch slams Harris with a vicious clothesline, but it wouldn't be enough for them to get the win as Harris kicked out. At the end of the match, Storm and Harris would hit the Death Sentence onto Trevor Murdoch. America’s Most Wanted got the win against Cade and Murdoch in 14:21 via Pinfall. America’s Most Wanted would make their way up the ramp, as they and Gail Kim celebrate with the crowd tonight. Back in the ring though, we would see Cade and Murdoch be attacked by Team Canada post-match, as they attack the team with a four on two advantage. They would beat them down, seemingly nobody there to save them until Brian Kendrick comes running out with a steel chair, to try and even the odds. Kendrick would hit Johnny Devine with the chair as the rest of Team Canada scram outside and onto the stage alongside Scott D’Amore. Kendrick with the chair would raise it up as the crowd in attendance cheered for the man who'll face Petey Williams at Heart & Soul. Hector Garza vs. Sylvain Grenier | Our next match see’s the in-ring debut for Hector Garza, as he battles against La Resistance’s Sylvain Grenier. The match would start off slow, as even though Garza is the more experienced wrestler Dupree and Conway get involved, in order for their comrade to get some shots in. The pace of the match would quickly change as Garza takes out all of La Resistance, with a suicide dive! Hector would hit a combination of moves towards Grenier which would the crowd hyped up. Hector Garza would hit his finisher, a lovely Huracánrana to get the victory over an unresponsive Sylvain Grenier. Hector Garza wins the match in 7:56. Backstage, we would be standing by with Team Canada as they got interviewed regarding their beatdown on Cade and Murdoch and Brian Kendrick running for the save. Petey Williams steps up and says that Kendrick is nothing more than a boy in the wrong country, and when Heart & Soul is said and done, he’ll be walking as the first AOW Light Heavyweight Champion. Scott D’Amore says regarding Cade and Murdoch, they call themselves a hard working tag team, a true blue collar, honest working tag team. D’Amore calls it nothing but lies, and they’ll prove that at AOW Heart & Soul as they challenge Cade and Murdoch in a tag team match. Team Canada would finish their promo off by saying they’re doing this not for the people, but for the country, to control all of Art of Wrestling. Bryan Danielson and Lance Storm vs. Stampede Bulldogs | Our final match for this week would see Danielson and Storm teaming up to go up against TJ Wilson and Harry Smith of the Stampede Bulldogs, who are beloved here in the Calgary area. Both Danielson and Storm are out of the AOW Heavyweight Championship tournament, but have shown a sort of mutual respect between one another since Storm first approached Danielson a couple weeks, wishing him luck against Chris Benoit. They both look to team up here tonight as the match gets under way. Right away, the crowd would favour more towards Stampede Bulldogs, but recognize the abilities of both Danielson & Storm. The two teams would put on a good bout for the crowd and the people watching at home, as Wilson and Smith shine big against Storm who is a ring technician and Danielson and up coming yet highly talented wrestlers. The match would end with Bryan Danielson locking the Heel Hook to make TJ Wilson tap out in 13:01 via Submission. Post-match would see Danielson and Storm celebrating their win against Stampede Bulldogs. It seems like they could actually be a good tag team until all of a sudden… Storm nails Danielson with a Superkick! The crowd would turn on Storm, booing him as loud as he could as he proceeded to beat him down with forearms shots to the head. He would grab the microphone as he tells Danielson that he really thought they were friends, or had a mutual respect towards one another? No! There are no friends in this business, certainly not for Lance Storm as he tells Danielson he is an overhyped prospect, and that he could do what Danielson can do and more. He challenges him to a fight at Heart & Soul as he drops his microphone and leaves the ring. Danielson is hurt, clinching at his head as it seems the challenge has been thrown down at the PPV. Bryan Danielson vs Lance Storm! To end off this week’s edition of AOW’s Television show, Eric Bischoff would be standing in the ring, with a table set up in the middle. He’s got the contract for the AOW Heavyweight Championship finals right on his hand, as he announces Rey Mysterio to make his way down to the ring, followed by Chris Benoit. Bischoff would state how he’s thrilled to see this matchup go down between Mysterio and Benoit, as he believes it will send the wrestling world to headlines of how great this match will be. However he asks both Benoit and Rey questions regarding the match, and twisted those answers to try and stir the post between the respected opponents. Benoit says he’s here to be the best, and only the best and if he has to beat Rey Mysterio, he’ll do just that. Mysterio however says that he’s been fighting his whole life and while Benoit is seen as the best wrestler in the world, nobody has seen what Rey Mysterio can do in the main event and trust that he’ll blow away people’s expectations. The two would stand up having an intense confrontation as AOW ends with these two men wanting nothing more than to be the AOW Heavyweight Champion. ________________________________________________________ 𝐀𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐖𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 | 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝟏 | 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡 𝟏 | 𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐤 𝟒 Brian Kendrick, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch vs. Team Canada (Roode, Young, Williams) | With Art of Wrestling’s inaugural PPV days out, this go-home edition of Art of Wrestling began with six-man tag team action. Brian Kendrick and Petey Williams, who would be competing for the right to be known as the first-ever AOW Light Heavyweight Champion, teamed up with Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch and Bobby Roode and Eric Young respectively. Team Canada had taken issues with their opposition, not only because they’re American but because of the values they’re bringing to Art of Wrestling. While Team Canada controlled in portions, Kendrick, Cade and Murdoch were efficient at breaking up their momentum. The finish to the match saw Trevor Murdoch hit the Ace of Spades onto Bobby Roode to pick up the win for his side. Brian Kendrick, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch pick up the win tonight in 12:34 via Pinfall. Kendrick enters his Heart & Soul match with a ton of momentum behind him. The winning side wouldn’t have long to celebrate their win, as Team Canada regrouped and Scott D’Amore began barking orders. The assault was fast and organised, with Team Canada having the numbers advantage thanks to an appearance from Johnny Devine. Petey Williams and Brian Kendrick brawled as Roode, Young and Devine overpowered Cade and Murdoch. Once the pro-American tag team were hoisted from the ring, a one-sided beatdown came Brian Kendrick’s way with Petey Williams taunting him as Roode, Young and Devine put the boots to him. The beatdown leaves us with a lot of questions heading into Art of Wrestling's first PPV. A graphic later showed that Cade and Murdoch would face Roode and Young at the event, due to the challenge made last week via Scott D'Amore. Eric Bischoff would appear for the second time in two weeks on Art of Wrestling, overseeing another contract signing as two of the hottest tag teams in the business made their must-see match official for Heart & Soul. As with Benoit and Mysterio, he tried stirring up both sides but his efforts were unsuccessful. The Dudley Boyz say that Harris and Storm have a lot of potential and will become one of the greatest tag teams to ever lace up a pair of boots when all is said and done. But The Dudley Boyz didn’t sign with Art of Wrestling to lose, they have the accolades and the experience in high-stakes championship matches, and defined what it means to be a tag team in this era. America’s Most Wanted, escorted by Gail Kim as per usual, expressed they’re fans of The Dudley Boyz, but have no qualms taking them out to become the inaugural AOW Tag Team Champions. The segment ended with both sides signing the contracts, but then The Dudley Boyz put Eric Bischoff through a table! The Dudley Boyz and America’s Most Wanted shared handshakes of respect as Eris Bischoff groaned out in pain. Lance Storm vs. Val Venis | Val Venis made his debut in Art of Wrestling, competing in a short and one-sided affair as he lost to Lance Storm. After attacking Bryan Danielson last week Lance Storm hit out at critics over the weekend, taking it to radio shows that he’s aware of what his decision means but he knows he can be a main event talent for Art of Wrestling, and beating one of the most exciting prospects in the business is a sure-fire way to prove that. He was on form against Val Venis and didn’t let the comedic talent get into the swing of things. Each move he hit was precise and each hold he held looked excruciating. Lance Storm locked in a figure-four leglock on the helpless Val Venis who tapped out in quick succession in 8:39 via Submission to hand Lance Storm an impressive win. Lance Storm didn’t waste much time celebrating his win, calling out Bryan Danielson on the microphone as he ascended up the ramp. Bryan Danielson would be quick to answer as he came out and discussed what Lance Storm did last week. Danielson admits that he didn’t see it coming and expresses that he understands Storm’s reasons for attacking him. But the mistake that Lance made was attacking one of the best wrestlers in the world. Bryan Danielson accepts Lance Storm’s challenge to face him at AOW Heart and Soul, before beating him over the head with a microphone and throwing him off of the Art of Wrestling stage! This feud between Danielson and Storm is heating up and at Heart and Soul we're going to see a clash between two of the most technically gifted athletes in the world. Backstage we’re met with the sight of iconic Mexican wrestler, Juventud Guerrera. Juventud talks us through what it means to be signed with Art of Wrestling, how it’s a promotion where the best of the best come to fight. Juventud Guerrera expresses disappointment at losing to Brian Kendrick on the inaugural episode of Art of Wrestling, but holds no grudges and wishes Kendrick luck at Heart and Soul. But Juventud tells us that he wants to get back into the Light Heavyweight Championship picture, and to do that he needs to get some wins on the board! Juventud Guerrera challenges Billy Kidman to a match for the episode following Heart and Soul before warning whoever walks out as the first-ever AOW Light Heavyweight Champion better watch their backs, as Guerrera is coming for them! Chris Benoit and Rey Mysterio vs. La Resistance (Rob Conway and Rene Dupree) | Our main event of the go-home show for Heart & Soul would see two AOW Heavyweight Champion finalists team up as they go up against La Resistance, with Conway and Dupree teaming up to face the two top stars of AOW. The match would start off some miscommunication from Rey and Benoit, as unexpected tags, and showboating between one another results in La Resistance getting the advantage. At one point during the match Dupree would hit the spine buster on Chris Benoit and it looked like Dupree was going to get the upset win but Benoit would kick out. Eventually, Rey and Benoit worked together as the ending of the match would see Chris Benoit lock in the crippler crossface, whilst Rey Mysterio hits a springboard dive onto the outside of both Greiner and Dupree. Rob Conway has no choice but to tap out as Benoit and Mysterio defeat La Resistance in 14:51 via Submission. Benoit and Mysterio would have their hands raised as they give a quick stare before their match at AOW Heart & Soul as this week’s show fades to black. ________________________________________________________ 𝐀𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐖𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 | 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐥 𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐝 AOW Heavyweight Championship - Chris Benoit vs. Rey Mysterio AOW Tag Team Championships - The Dudley Boyz vs. America's Most Wanted AOW Light Heavyweight Championship - Brian Kendrick vs. Petey Williams Bryan Danielson vs. Lance Storm Bobby Roode and Eric Young vs. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch Light Heavyweight Exhibition - Spike Dudley vs Ultimo Guerrero vs Davey Richards vs Eddie Edwards
  12. Season defining stuff coming up this month. We'll have the final of the Spanish Cup, a difficult two-legged affair against current Champions League holders Bayern Munich as well as continuing league action. We're still without some crucial team members, with their absense leading to a drop of form towards the end of last month. This will be the make or break month as we contend across three competitions, looking to assert FC Barcelona was one of the best teams in the world. We open the month with a firecracker of a match, pitting FC Barcelona against Deportivo La Coruna, who are competing for a place in the Champions League next season. This game was the definition of end-to-end, we controlled the amount of shots taken but possession was even. We lined up with the 4-2-3-1, though with the likes of Geovanni, Marc Overmars and Javier Saviola absent from the squad, the line-up was make shift. Gerald would end up being the player of the match as he scored two goals from midfield. Gabri, Patrick Kluivert and Rivaldo would be our other goal scorers while Carles Puyol and Phillip Cocu provided the assists, two apiece. Frank de Boer received a red card which let Deportivo get back into the game late on, Roy Makaay assisting their second goal and then scoring the third. Bayern Munich would come to the Camp Nou and retreat with a good result, as we weren't able to put a finishing touch on our chances against the German outfit. Had it not been for a bit of individual brilliance from Gerard late on in the game we would have wound up losing, writing off our chances at the Champions League then and there. Claudio Pizarro would give them the lead and between their goal and ours, we must have created a couple of great chances to score. But Bayern Munich have a mean defence, overseen from the back by Oliver Khan who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world at this point in time. On another day, we would have scored more. But none of our chances were clear-cut and we were still operating without the likes of Javier Saviola and Marc Overmars. On the whole we performed alright given the circumstances but a win here would have been nice to take into the second leg. For the Malaga match we fielded a 3-5-2 formation. While Marc Overmars was back, we were still missing Geovanni and don't have the best coverage for that position. I decided to rotate, with the second leg against Bayern Munich in mind and we managed to find a comfortable win, keeping our first clean sheet in what feels like forever. We dominated the shot count and controlled possession in large swings. Gerard once more found himself earning the player of the match accolade as he scored our first goal, Marc Overmars and Patrick Kluivert, who started up top, scoring the other two while Xavi and Rivaldo provided assists. The league is looking comfortable now, I would be shocked if we somehow managed not to see it out from this position. Overall, a comfortable and controlled win against a mid-tier side. Our anticipated second leg match against Bayern Munich didn't go in our favour, we lost without threatening and were rightfully dumped out of the Champions League. Bayern looked in control from beginning to end, most of our chances never looked like going in while theirs were clear cut. Owen Hargreaves, of all man, would give them the lead. We went on the offensive from there and it came back to bite us late on, as Miroslav Klose scored on a counter-attack to give them a second goal and dash our hopes of advancing to the next round of the competition. Given the suspensions and injuries that we have I can't complain with this, though the performance itself was not encouraging. This would be one of few games where Rivaldo would have a disappointing match, having a 6.2 rating following the final whistle. We turned Champions League heartache into Spanish Cup success, drubbing second division side Numancia to lift our third competitive trophy of the campaign. I don't have a clue how Numancia made it to the final, but the fact they were able to score twice past us is telling, their efforts were clear cut. Javier Saviola was semi-fit for this one and we decided to start with him with Patrick Kluivert out with a knock. He had a hat-trick in the first half, Francesco Coco and Marc Overmars putting us five goals up before Numancia would score two late on. We looked great on the ball with Javier Saviola up top and dominated on the possession count, too. Rivaldo, Gerald and teenager Andreas Iniesta, who came off the bench for the second half, would provide the assists. This was a nice performance to cap off the Spanish Cup. I'm unsure where Frank de Boer has gained an obsession with being sent off, but this was his second offence in three league games as we lost to Mallorca. Rivaldo would give us the lead from the spot, and we looked good until the sending off which is where the game would turn. Souza equalised for Mallorca and the future FC Barcelona icon Samuel Eto'o would put them ahead. Francesco Coco and Gerald suffered knocks in the second half and while Andres Iniesta was able to equalise for us it'd be that man again, Samuel Eto'o, who would score the winner for Mallorca. I thought we created the better chances and had much better possession, but there is only so much that can be accomplished with ten men. I don't think this loss matters, but it's an irritating one that could have been avoided nonetheless. Real Sociedad, who beat us earlier on in the season, would suffer a one-sided loss in the return fixture as Javier Saviola kept up his good form since returning from a stint on the side-lines. The Argentine scored two goals in two minutes before Patrik Andersson, another player returning from injury, wrapped up the game with a goal from a corner. Considering the amount of shots we had and the possession we kept, this was a fair and comfortable scoreline. Gerard and Phillip Cocu were in on the assists, the duo having formed a comfortable pairing in midfield to Xavi's displeasure. With just the league to concentrate on from this point forth, I'm hoping that we can retain these kind of results until the season's end. Barcelona wrap up this month with a second 3-0 win on the bounce, this time against Alaves who for whatever reason adored giving set-pieces away against us. We looked so, so good in this game, having one of if not the highest possession count we have seen so far this season tied hand-in-hand with a decent number of chances. Frank de Boer scored from a free-kick in the first half, while in the second half two penalties would wrap up this fixture for us. Rivaldo dispatched of the first while I decided to put Andres Iniesta on the second, he converted without hesitation. A talking point is that Barjuan sustained a pretty serious injury in this game, the same injury that Francesco Coco suffered earlier on in the month meaning we'll be without our two best and only left-backs for the rest of the season. I'd be worried if we were still in multiple competitions and didn't have a sustained lead in the league. But we're not, and we do. The player of the month goes to a new candidate in Gerard, who over the course of the month picked up three player of the match accolades on top of four goals and two assists. Able to play in central midfield and central attacking midfield Gerard has grown a lot this season into one of the best midfielders in the world. He has some immense stats that allow him to compete alongside the likes of Phillip Cocu and Xavi. I think that these three, along with Andres Iniesta will form a good midfield core for the next season, should we still be here. Gerard played well, his individual goal against Bayern Munich a highlight and while I considered giving this award to Javier Saviola, Gerard did really good for a midfielder. With a game in hand over Real Madrid, a superior goal difference and a nine point gap, if we manage to somehow lose the league I'll be shocked and embarrassed. Valencia evened out and while Real Madrid have been on good form our first-half of the season has us set up well to take this league championship home without struggles. The battle for that final Champions League spot looks enticing, while the relegation battle is close too bar Sevilla, who are all but doomed to be relegated to the second division. Updates might come later tonight, we only have league games left and a lot of our suspended or injured players are coming back. Unless our issues at left-back increase further, or my Football Manager game crashes or deletes itself, we should be set here, so I might post a summarisation next of the final league games as I am really confident of going on to win the league title. I am not too fussed about going out in the Champions League as we never had the depth to contend for it. I think if we stay for next season, that will be the ultimate goal.

BrendenPlayz Forums "PPV Events" 2020

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