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.






Lewis Cook – Season long loan


Bailey Wright – 800k


Patrik Schick – 750k


Ionut Radu – 250k


Trent Alexander-Arnold – Season long loan

alexander arnold

Tosin Adarabioyo – Season long loan


Jeff Hendrick – Free transfer


Shota Sasaki – Season long loan


Mason Holgate – 350k


Ross McCormack – Free transfer


Kyle Walker-Peters – Season long loan

walker peters

Vajebah Sakor – 600k


Martin Olsson – Free transfer


Leighton Baines – Free transfer


Tammy Abraham – Free Transfer


Olufela Olomola – 600k


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


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.



Welcome back to the final run of games before the seasons ends and there is a strong possibility that we could be relegated. We have looked good but we haven’t picked up the points that we have needed to be safe of relegation. We have some games coming up that we should hopefully be able to pick up points from. I have faith in the boys to keep us up and we can go again next season after a summer of making the squad our own. We did manage to bring in a player on the free transfer deadline day which I am very pleased with as he is far to good for us.


Younes Belhanda:




Derby – Home – League – 21st V 12th

A bore draw against our old side. A game we dominated from start to finish but we just couldn’t get the breakthrough and come away with the 3 points. We had the best chance of the game to win it when Skuse missed an open goal mid way in the second half.

derby table


Huddersfield – Away – League – 5th V 21st

Huddersfield take the lead in the first minute after a free kick in to the area gets knocked down and Williams volleys in in to the back of the net. We go down to 10 men when Skuse gets sent off for a two footed tackle from behind. Ayling gets a second yellow for shirt pulling meaning we ended the game with 9 men.

huddersfield table


Nottingham Forest – Away – League – 11th V 21st

A tight game with Forest breaking the deadlock in the second half when put a ball is put  in to the area and Assombolonga runs in at the near post and taps it in. He gets a second when they break and hes one v one with the keeper and slides it under him. We have a man sent off again when Paredes gets a second yellow for a silly tackle in their half.

forest table


Cardiff – Home – League – 21st V 14th

We get the opening goal when Wood squares to Antonsson in the area to tap in past the keeper. We get a second of the game late on when Ayling swings the ball in to the area and Belhanda is there to side foot it in.

cardiff table


Coventry – Away – League – 20th V 21st

We take the lead inside 10 minutes when Belhanda runs down the right beating two defenders before he crosses in to the area for Wood to volley in. We double our lead when Phillips plays a one two with Wood before running in to the area and slotting in to the bottom corner. Belhanda makes it three with a curling effort from the edge of the area. Wood gets his second of the game when he robs the ball from their defender in the area and fires it past the keeper at his near post. We get a fifth when Roofe gets on the end of an Ayling cross to head past the Pantilimon.

cov table.png


Blackburn – Home – League – 18th V 7th

We open the scoring when a cross from Wood falls to Antonsson who is open in the area to tap in at the near post. We get a second early in the second half when a deep ball in from a Belhanda corner gets headed back across the 6 yard box for Stephens to nod in. Ayling gets our third after he stayed up for a corner and the ball gets put back in to the area and hes there to power it home.

blackburn table


Swansea – Away – League – 2nd V 18th

Swansea get the opening goal in a pretty even game when Tabanou beats his man and crosses to Dack who runs in front of his defender and diverts the ball in to the back of the net. We get the equaliser when we play a corner short to Brattan who is on the edge of the 6 yard box to curl it through a group of players and in to the top corner.

swansea table


Ipswich – Home – League – 19th V 12th

We get the breakthrough when Phillips fires a rocket in to the top corner from 30 yards. Anotonsson makes it two when he rounds the keeper and rolls it home. We get a third when Ponce receives the ball from Wood in the area and fires in to the bottom corner. Ipswich pull one back after a long throw beats our keeper and leaves Marrone open to tap in.

ipswich table


Wigan – Away – League – 24th V 18th

Wigan take advantage of our poor performance when they get the only goal of the game when a free kick is deflected and falls to Byrne to tuck past the keeper at his near post. We had no reply to Wigan who defended brilliantly and looked better than where the league says they were.

wigan table


Hull – home – League – 18th V 4th

We concede a penalty late in the first half when Kemen pushes a player at a corner. Hernandez steps up and fires in the only goal of the game in to the bottom corner with our keeper getting a hand to it on the way in. We go down to 10 men when Phillips gets a second yellow for a late tackle in the centre circle. We had a chance to equalise late on but Wood skies the best chance of the game for us.






final table


End Of Season

end of season




We survived and quite comfortably after we picked up a little bit of form towards the end which proves that we are a good team and after a few tweaks we are scoring more freely now and look a solid team and hopefully we can build on our squad over the summer with some fringe players already leaving we should hopefully be able to challenge for a top 6 spot. I am quietly confident we will have a good season next season and as I say with the right additions we will have strong side to compete for the top 6. It took us a while to turn the season around but we did manage to win 4 of our last 10 and get draws along with them which isn’t that bad considering we was losing every week when we first took over. I can’t see us being sacked despite not finishing as high as we would of liked so we will look to build without the fear of being sacked as the Leeds manager which we all know managers at Leeds don’t last long! Part of me regrets leaving Tranmere but that is in the past and we have to keep on looking forward and improving to be where we want which is the Premier League. Thanks for reading and let’s hope we have a better season with us in charge for all of next season!

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.










Youth Intake



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.










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




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




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.



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


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.



Keith Stacey


Zinedine Machach


Jack Stephens


Ben Gibson


James Maddison


Ezequiel Ponce



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.





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.









Dan 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.






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.





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

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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.