Season 4 – We Go Again

 

Welcome back as the boys return from holiday and we look to go again and have a better season compared to last season after we managed to survive in the Championship quite comfortably in the end. In this update it will be a quick run through of the pre season results and the players we have brought as we look to hit the ground running in the opening game against Hull.

 

A quick side note on Tranmere. I kept an eye on them after we had left them to see if they could get promoted or if they would drop off and bottle the league but they did manage to win the league so that’s three promotions in as many years and we will play them next season.

tranmere

 

 

Transfers

 

Lewis Cook – Season long loan

cook

Bailey Wright – 800k

wright

Patrik Schick – 750k

schick

Ionut Radu – 250k

radu

Trent Alexander-Arnold – Season long loan

alexander arnold

Tosin Adarabioyo – Season long loan

tosin

Jeff Hendrick – Free transfer

hendrick

Shota Sasaki – Season long loan

sasaki.png

Mason Holgate – 350k

holgate

Ross McCormack – Free transfer

mccormack.png

Kyle Walker-Peters – Season long loan

walker peters

Vajebah Sakor – 600k

sakor

Martin Olsson – Free transfer

olsson

Leighton Baines – Free transfer

baines

Tammy Abraham – Free Transfer

abraham

Olufela Olomola – 600k

olomola

We have brought in a number of players which was needed as the team last season wasn’t as good as I would of liked along with a few players being sold and the new additions have improved every position on the pitch. We may still lack depth in a couple of positions but I am very happy with the squad we have and feel we can have a good season and be much more competitive. Bringing in players like Hendrick, Baines and Abraham who I rate on frees can only be good business.

 

 

Pre Season

pre season.png

 

We managed to go undefeated in our pre season which is an added bonus as we looked to get the players back to match fit and ready for the long season ahead. We have played some good football in pre season and the ten nil smashing of Evian looks promising despite them having dropped down the leagues in France. We also had positive performances against better sides like Olympiakos and Anderlecht as well as dominating a mixed Arsenal side of first team players and reserves. We have renewed the loan for Ponce and he looks a much better player already than he did last season.

 

 

Season Preview

table

season odds

 

cup game

opening games.png

 

We are one of the strong favourites to be in the play offs as the odds keep changing as we go from anywhere between 5th and 7th in the season odds for winning the league. There are a lot of winnable games this year as there seems to be more smaller teams in the league which should help us do well should we not mess up against the smaller sides. I can guarantee now that we will get battered by Tranmere as that is always the case if you leave a club. We do have a fairly hard start with us playing Hull, Sunderland and QPR in our first 6 games. A cup game away at Oldham should see us progress but I am not taking that as a certain win.

 

 

So there we have it, a look at our new signings along with the results of pre season. We have a much stronger side than last season. We are still in talks with a couple of players to boost the depth of some positions after we missed out on a couple of our main targets which we may go in for again should they become available again. We will continue to play our 4312 formation as we have worked on it over the summer and the boys are more comfortable with it which helped with the performances in pre season. hat are your thoughts on the signings? Good? Bad?

 

 

Thanks for reading.

A Massive Cup Draw

 

Welcome back to the blog as we look to turn our fortunes around at Leeds as they are struggling near the bottom of the league and wins are becoming few and far between. We are slowly looking better and better and like a Championship team but we are still lacking that clinical finishing in most games for us to pick up more points.

 

 

Crystal Palace – Home – FA Cup 5th Round

We make a strong start to the game and we get the opening goal in the 15th minute. The ball deflects to Maddison in the area and he cooly puts it in to the top corner. We double our lead a few minutes later after Wilson plays a ball over the top to Wood who takes a touch and curls it with the outside of his boot past the keeper. Crystal Palace pull one back early in the second half when they counter and cross to Zaha who is open and slots it past the keeper. We bottle the lead when they equalise with a cross in to the area to tap in. We regain our lead just after the hour mark when Phillips slips Wood in to side foot it in. Antonsson wraps up the win with a brace late on with the first coming after he beats two defenders and curling it round the keeper. He gets his second seconds later with Phillips getting the assist again when he squares to Antonsson to fire it home.

 

Cup Draw

cup draw

 

Fulham – Away – League – 10th V 20th

Fulham get the 3 points in what was a very scrappy game with neither team creating serious chances. We concede a penalty when Paredes tackles from behind in the area and Fossati steps up and smashes it in to the bottom corner.

 

Wolves – Home – 20th V 18th

We took advantage of our good first half performance when we win a corner which gets floated in to the area and Gibson jumps highest and powers it in to the bottom corner. Wolves get the equaliser minutes later with a side footed finish from inside the 6 yard box. We go down to 10 men when Kemen gets a second yellow for a silly tackle in the middle of the pitch. Wolves get the winner with 5 minutes to go with a powerful headed finish from a cross.

 

Sunderland – Away – League – 2nd V 21st

We concede early when Sunderland when a cross in to the area beats everyone and falls to their striker to tap in. They make it 2 when a ball gets knocked down to Wilson and he fries past the keeper on the edge of the area. They make it 3 when our keeper doesn’t react quick enough and Ndong slides it under him. We pull one back when Phillips squares to O’Kane on the edge of the area and smashes it past the keeper.

 

Millwall – Home – League – 21st V 22nd

We get the opening goal after we win a penalty which Wilson steps up and converts straight down the middle. Millwall had a chance to pull level just before half time but our keeper made a great save. We get a second when Stacey squares to Machach in the area to tuck in to the bottom corner. He gets a brace when he beats his defender and curls it in to the corner.

 

Man United – Away – FA Cup 6th Round

A very even first half and we did look the better team going in at half time. We held them out from scoring until late in the second half when Januzaj crosses to Martial who is free at the near post to flick it in. They get a second when Martial controls the ball in the area and beats two defenders with skill and curls it in to the corner hitting the post as it goes in. They make it three when Smalling rises highest at the back post and heads in a free kick whipped in by Mata.

 

 

Results

results

Fixtures

remaining

Table

table

 

Youth Intake

intake.png

 

Dan Ball

best intake.png

 

We are still struggling to pick up the wins but we are playing well and deserve better than what some of the results suggest. The game against Manchester United looks very one sided but in reality we was the better team until late on when they brought on the big players and battered us. We had youth intake day which was awful to be honest with only one player that has any decent potential. If the worse does happen and we get relegated and we keep our job I will stay and aim to return at the first chance. We are running out of time to get back to winning ways and we do only have a slight cushion to the relegation zone.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

A Tough Start

 

Welcome back as we continue our new life at Leeds after we had a short stop at Derby which wasn’t working out for either of us. We have had a tough start after we got beaten comfortably by Preston and we have Everton up next in the FA Cup. We have brought in a number of players and it will take them a few weeks to get up and running with our style of play and the language for some as we need to start winning games before we get dragged in to the relegation drop.

 

Everton – Away – FA Cup 4th Round

We make a slow start to the game and Everton capitalize on that as a defensive error from us leads to their goal as they tap in from 6 yards. We get back in to the game late on with the equaliser coming from Skuse as he gets on the end of a lovely whipped ball in from Phillips to shake off his player and head in at the far post to earn the replay.

 

Brighton – Away – League – 8th V 20th

Brighton open the scoring in the 10th minute when Clough fires a rocket in to the top corner from the edge of the area. Clough gets his second when he gets on the end of a cross in the area and heads in after beating the keeper to the ball. We get a goal back from Wood when he takes advantage of a poor pass from them and curls it round the keeper. We then get the equaliser when Antonsson tucks it in to an empty goal after Wood knocks down a route one ball from Smith for Antonsson to finish. Brighton get a third minutes later with Clough getting his hat trick when he heads in at the near post. He then gets his fourth of the game when he beats a defender and slots it past the keeper.

 

Barnsley – Home – League – 20th V 16th

We take an early lead when Skuse has a shot from the edge of the area and it takes a deflection on the way in. We get a second goal when Machach gets his first goal for the club when he fires in from 30 yards. Barnsley pull one back minutes later with a headed finish from a corner. Wood gets our third to wrap up the points as he scores a bullet header from a corner.

 

Everton – Home – FA Cup 4th Round Replay

Everton take an early lead when Sakho has a shot on goal through a group of player and beating the keeper who was unsighted. It’s not long before we get an equaliser when Maddison plays the ball through to Antonsson to tuck in past the keeper at his near post. We take the lead before half time after Maddison plays the ball over the top to Wood who beats the keeper in the air to flick it in the back of the net. We score a third when Maddison again the provider as he squares the ball to Wood to roll it in to the back of the net. Everton get their second late on when McCarthy fires it in from 30 yards. In the final few minutes Ponce gets our fourth of the game with a cool finish past the keeper from inside the area.

 

Norwich – Away – League – 4th V 18th

Norwich score an early goal when a cross falls to Barker unmarked in the area to tuck it in to the bottom corner. They get a second when Oliveira scores a header at the far post from a corner. Norwich then get a third when chaos descends in the area and Canos reacts quickest to poke it in. A fourth late on when a corner gets knocked down for him to tap in.

 

Burnley – Home – League 19th V 18th

Burnley take the lead when Ulloa puts a low cross in to the area for Okaka to tap in from 6 yards. We equalise seconds in to the second half with Kemen playing Ponce through to fire in past the keeper at his near post. The lead doesn’t last long as Burnley retake the the lead when Arfield volleys in from inside the area. Wood gets our second and a share of the points when he gets on the end of a ball in to the box and heads in at the far post.

 

 

Results:

results

Fixtures:

fixtures

Table:

table

 

We are struggling at the minute in the league but we are slowly getting better and are showing glimpses of what we can do in games but it’s not enough currently. I still feel we are good enough to stay up and not get dragged down in to a relegation scrap. We are dominating a majority of the games but we are just struggling defensively at the moment which won’t last forever. How we didn’t beat Burnley I do not know they came to defend and scored two goals and left with a point. We just need to play as well as we can from now till the end of the season and hopefully we can pick up points and much needed wins and once we get to the summer we can evaluate the squad. A slow start but I know we can be better. I am still giving minutes to our young Spanish player who I am slightly excited about as he can be a quality player for us.

 

Julio Perez

perez.png

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Short Stay

 

Welcome back to the blog as we attempt to get Derby firing again and moving up the table. We have had a pretty good start here and are now 6 points adrift from the play offs. We are in the middle of the January transfer window so there maybe some activity. We kick off with an FA Cup game against Huddersfield who are fighting for the title in our league.

 

Huddersfield – Away – FA Cup 3rd Round

Huddersfield take the lead inside 10 minutes with a cross to the near post for Wells to tap in. We concede a penalty shortly before half time when Keogh pushes a player in the area which Wells steps up to take and gets his second by putting it in to the bottom corner. Wells gets his hat trick after Olsson has a poor touch and Wells is there to poach it off him and put it past the keeper.

 

Millwall – Home – League – 13th V 22nd

A much better start from us this game and we open the scoring just after the half hour mark when Fyvie receives the ball on the edge of the area and fires it through a bunch of players and in to the bottom corner. A quiet second half saw us get the win and continue moving upwards.

 

Huddersfield – Away – League – 4th V 11th

Huddersfield open the scoring with a ball in to the box perfectly placed for Van La Parra to head in at the back post. They double the lead seconds later with a ball over the top to Payne who slides it under the keeper. We get a foot back in the game when Lolley sees a lovely curling effort fly in to the top corner. We get the equaliser when Lolley whips a free kick in to the area which gets nodded on and Pearce is open at the back post to head in to an empty goal.

 

A few days after this game we had an offer from another club after we had a meeting last week over a potential move already….

leeds offer

 

So…..

 

new club.png

We have moved once again! Now I know you will all question why I have moved again and say I should never of left Tranmere in the first place but in all honesty Derby was a sinking ship with problems much bigger off the the field than on it and to keep on moving with this blog I couldn’t be on a sinking ship so Leeds came to the rescue and offered me the job with a lot more backing from everyone and the potential to grow as a manager and a club. I will now say I won’t leave Leeds in the next 12/24 months unless a crazy offer comes in for me and I can’t turn it down. Along with being appointed the new manager I have brought in the legend Jaap Stam in as my right hand man.

 

teambest

I will continue to try and use my 4321 formation which should work with these players and the right additions.

table

Our first game is against Preston who are struggling in the league and my bogey side on FM, no matter what team I am or what formation I play I always struggle against them so I am expecting a difficult opening game for us with both teams struggling.

 

Preston – Home – League – 19th V 20th

After a solid opening 45 minutes from us we go behind after they counter and square it across the edge of the area to an unmarked player to curl it round the keeper. We win a penalty in the 65th minute which Wilson strangely steps up to take and smashes it against the bar and they clear it. They get a second to wrap up the win when they score a header from a corner after our defender misses the ball. We concede a penalty in injury to add further misery to the game and they fire it straight down the middle for a third and to give us a defeat in our first game in charge.

 

We have a few days left in the window and a bit of money to spend and along with the team lacking depth we was also awful against Preston and shown where we needed new additions. I am happy with the signings we have made and will continue to improve the squad in the summer after we have had time at the club.

 

Signings

Keith Stacey

stacey

Zinedine Machach

zinedine

Jack Stephens

stephens

Ben Gibson

gibson

James Maddison

maddison.png

Ezequiel Ponce

ponce

transfers

I feel bringing Gibson in for under a million is the bargain of the season. We have brought in mainly centre backs which is what we lacked and a couple of attacking midfielders who can play behind the strikers comfortably and a striker or two although Stacey probably won’t get that much game time this season. A solid starting team now and we can push on and have a good end to the season and build on from next season.

 

Fixtures

fixtures

Table

feb table

 

I know it looks like a bad move right now but things wasn’t going to plan at Derby and I was going to struggle as promises wasn’t being kept from the people above and things broke down and we moved on. We have tough games coming up starting with a cup game against Everton which I am not to bothered about this season. We have more than enough to stay up this season so just need the boys to put in the performances to show that. We also have a young spanish midfielder in the youth team who looks to have potential and I have brought up to the first team for a few weeks which I will show you next time.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Christmas Period

 

Welcome back to our new surroundings at Derby as we look to turn them around from a struggling team to a team that can fight for the title/play offs. I had good first impressions from the boys in the first game under our reign as we beat a solid Brighton team comfortably. This season is all about finishing as high as we can and having more of a charge for the top places next season along with a summer of bringing in our own players. Exciting times ahead here as we are at a bigger team compared to Tranmere and one where we can again we trophies. We are now coming up to the Christmas period which is one of the toughest times in the season with little rest between games.

 

Barnsley – Away – League – 15th V 18th

 

A dominant first half from us but we just couldn’t get the goal to get the breakthrough. Johnson gives a penalty away early in the second half which Bradshaw converts by smashing it in to the top corner. Barnsley get a second in the final few minutes when Hourihane curls a free kick round the wall and in to the top corner to secure the 3 points.

 

Norwich – Home – League – 21st V 3rd

 

We take the lead in the 20 minute when Bryson plays Vydra through on goal to tuck it past the keeper. We double our lead a few minutes later when Thorne’s free kick takes a deflection to beat the keeper. A quiet second half wraps up the 3 points and bounced back from a poor result against Barnsley.

 

Wolves – Home – League – 17th V 9th

 

We take the lead in a bizarre way after a whipped ball in from Shotton beats everyone in the box and flies in to the goal at the far post. We get a second goal shortly before half time with Russell squaring it to Fyvie in the area to roll it home. We get a third thanks to Vydra when he gets on the end of a Olsson cross to poke it past the keeper.

 

Fulham – Home – League – 16th V 9th

 

A dominant performance from us from start to finish and we get the opening goal in the 10 minute when Thorne fires in from the edge of the area. Thorne gets his second of the game just before the half hour mark when a deflected free kick falls to him in the area to curl it past the keeper.

 

Burnley – Away – League – 21st V 13th

 

We get off to a great start when Russell gives us the lead inside 5 minutes after Lolley plays a ball over the top to him to curl it in to the bottom corner. Burnley level minutes later when they square the ball to Ulloa to tap in. We retake the lead when Gaman scores a header from a corner. We get a third just before half time with Vydra firing it in to the bottom corner after some lovely one touch passing leading to the goal. Russell makes it four when Johnson plays him through one v one to slot it under the keeper. Vydra makes it five late on when Olsson whips the ball in for him to head in at the near post. Vydra then gets his hat trick and a sixth goal for us minutes later with a 30 yard rocket.

 

Sunderland – Away – League – 3rd V 11th

 

Sunderland go in front after a shot rebounds off the bar and falls to their striker to tap in. They double their lead when a cross misses everyone and falls to Fraser on the corner of the area who controls it and fires past the keeper at his near post. We get a consolation late on when Weimann heads in from a ball in from Olsson.

 

Results:

results

Fixtures:

fixtures.png

Table:

table.png

 

Dan Guppy:

guppy

I forgot to mention this lad last time but he looks very good and is currently being tutored by Carson and I feel he will become our number one in the next few years as Carson is aging and will look to move him on before long.

 

We have dragged ourselves up from the relegation fight to sit about mid table with being 6 points from the play offs and 10 points from relegation it is still a close league. A slight blip against Barnsley and against Sunderland which is expected as they are a very good side but apart from that we have looked very good. We do have a small squad and a number of players are either wanting to leave or clubs are sniffing around them so I may have to sell but will try and hold on till the summer. Players like Vydra have asked to leave which isn’t a surprise as he has banged goals in and has looked amazing in our time here. We are looking good and could possibly get close to the play offs but ideally we will miss out and go again next season. We have some tough games coming up against teams below us and an FA cup game against Huddersfield to deal with.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

A Man On The Move

 

Welcome back to the blog as we look to maintain our good start to the season and punch above our weight as we look to continue the fight for the automatic places. We continue to play some very nice football and the results have come as a result. We have a top 3 game coming against Birmingham and could be massive come the end of the season.

 

Crewe – Home – Checkatrade Trophy Group B 

We get the breakthrough inside the opening 10 minutes with Ennis getting the goal. Boateng squares it to Ennis in the area to tap home. We get a second minutes later when Boateng has a go from the outside of the area and it takes a deflection to beat the keeper and go in. Crewe have a man sent off which gives us the edge and should mean we get the 3 points. Boateng gets his second after a one two with Enobakhare and fires it in to the back of the net.

 

Birmingham – Away – League – 3rd V 2nd

We get the opener in a tight 40 minutes after Gardner crosses to Ennis who is in the area to head it in. Nugent wraps up the win late on after receiving the ball from Ennis on the edge of the area to tuck it past the keeper.

 

Southend – Away – League – 13th V 2nd 

Enobakhare breaks the deadlock after the ball bounces around the 6 yard area from a corner and he reacts quickest to poke it in. We double our lead when Nyambe smashes the ball up field to Clarke-Harris to nod on to Ennis to fire past the keeper. Ennis gets a second when he gets on the end of a Nyambe cross to head in at the near post.

 

 

As you know we have done some amazing things with Tranmere and have got back to back promotions against the odds and have looked more than good enough in this league and we could and should get promotion to the Championship which is crazy to think where they should be but I won’t be here to find out as we have been offered a job in the Championship which some people probably won’t agree with and will question why I have left at this point of the season. Well as much as I have enjoyed my time at Tranmere I need to keep on moving up and be where I want to be I have to move on and take the next step to progress in my journey.

 

 

 

derby

 

We have joined Derby who are struggling in the Championship but still have a good enough team to be able to do something and in a year or two could get in to the Premier League. Yes I have left a team close to promotion to join a struggling team in the next league up but I feel being at Derby would give me a better chance moving forward than what Tranmere would in the long term. Maybe I will regret this decision and we will move on sooner rather than later or maybe this is the start of something we can be proud of. I have also brought in Brede Hangeland to continue being my assistant.

 

team.png

 

tactic.png

I will try and remain using my 4321 formation which was pretty successful at Tranmere and we have the players to make the tactic work. I am willing to change and will have a backup tactic as we still do have players like Ince at the club who is a very good player at this level and should be playing week in week out. We have some very good players but lack depth in some positions which we will look to sort once we have settled in.

 

Brighton – Home – League – 19th V 8th

We go in front inside 2 minutes after some nice build up play leads to Johnson chipping the ball to Shotton in the area to volley past the keeper. We get a second after Russell has a go from 30 yards which bounces off the bar on to the back of the keeper and Vydra is there to tap in. Vydra gets his second when Ince squares it to him on the edge of the area to smash in to the top corner.

 

Cup Draw

fa cup.png

 

 

Fixtures:

fixtures

Table:

table after game.png

 

 

So there we have it, I have left Tranmere to take up the challenge of Derby. Was it the right move? Should I have stayed? Only time will tell but we have started off well and beat a very strong Brighton team quite comfortably and they boys looked well in the 4321. We could still make the play offs but I would be happy to finish in the top half and we can build on from that next season. We have some very tough games coming up against most of the teams fighting for promotion. On to the next part of the journey….

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

A Mixed Bag

 

Alright lads,

We are back at it in the league as we look to build on our strong start in the league as we come up against some strong teams in the next few games. We also have the chance to progress in a cup or two should we perform well and have luck on our side. We have played some of the best I have seen this team play.

 

Sheffield United – Home – League – 1st V 8th

Sheffield United get the winning goal late on in what was a tight game with neither team being able to create many clear goal scoring chances. They win a corner in the 87th minute which gets whipped in and Packwood is there to rise highest and head home giving them the 3 points.

 

Cup Draw

fa cup.png

 

Rotherham – Away – League – 22nd V 2nd

We go in front early on after a ball in to the box from Enobakhare hits their defender Nugent and the keeper is wrong footed and is unable to stop it from going in the net. Enobakhare turns goalscorer when he gets our second when he scores from the edge of the area after receiving the ball from a corner. We get a third when Kuhl scores just before half time with a rocket in to the top corner.

 

Bolton – Home – League – 2nd V 23rd

We had some good chances in the early stages to go in front but it wasn’t until the 34th minute when a goal came and it was for Bolton. A route one ball which gets knocked down to Agyei who takes a touch and smashes it in to the back of the net from outside the area. Agyei gets a second and wraps up the win for Bolton when he gets on the end of a whipped ball in from Taylor to head in to the back of the net, he looked in an offside position but the goal stands which was frustrating.

 

Weymouth – Home – FA Cup 1st Round

We get the opener courtesy of Clarke-Harris who gets on the end of a ball in from Clarke to head in to the bottom corner with the keeper getting a slight hand to it. He gets a second of the game with a volley from just inside the area clipping the underside of the bar as it goes in. Weymouth get a foot back in the game when they score a free header in to an empty goal after Zabret comes for the free kick and misses it leaving an open goal. Le Fondre makes it three when he pokes the ball in at the near post after Clarke squares it to him on the 6 yard line.

 

Cup Draw

fa cup 2.png

 

Oxford – Away – League – 7th V 3rd

Oxford are gifted the lead midway in the first half when Nyambe heads a cross in to his own net when he had time to control it and clear it. Enobakhare pulls us level minutes later with a nice finish in to the bottom corner after a quick one two with Kuhl. We take the lead when Kuhl fires the ball in from 30 yards. We get a third when Clarke-Harris curls it in to the bottom corner from just inside the area.

 

Luton – Home – League – 2nd V 6th

We take the lead in the first half when Enobakhare scores a volley from the edge of the area taking a deflection on the way in after receiving the ball from a corner. Luton get an equaliser when they get a free kick to the right of the goal. They curl it round the wall and under the goalkeeper. Luton take the lead after our defender slips near the area and Taylor is there to rob the ball and slot it past the keeper. Le Fondre gets us level after we counter from a Luton free kick and Shephard squares to him to tuck home.

 

Results:

results

Fixtures:

fixtures

Table:

table

 

We are still playing well despite a couple of blips against Sheffield United and Bolton which are kind of expected, even if Bolton were managerless at the time! We had an easy cup game against Weymouth and most of the side was rotated and they played well (granted it was against a non league team) which earned Clarke-Harris a run in the side which he has took with both hands after Hugill got injured and is out for the season and our other strikers not banging them in and a player we was after turned us down who could of been our goalscorer. We are still on course to have a good season and are really punching above our weight by sitting second in the league.

 

 

Thanks for reading.