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Stoke City and Pursuit Of The World Cup

After the departure of Mark Hughes. The chairman has appointed an unproven rookie manager.
Started on 30 July 2014 by basham97
Latest Reply on 1 September 2014 by basham97
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A very disappointing season in the league however you made up for it with taking the Champions League trophy home which also awards you a ticket for CL, else you would've been sacked. :)

2017/18 Award Ceremony
A shocking turn of events has occurred this season. Newcastle are the new Premier League champions, last winning the title in 1927. This is a memory that will be forever remembered in this generation of football fans.

Golden Boot

Jordan Rhodes from Norwich has bested the league with a startling 21 goals this season, making him the most lethal striker in the Premier League this season. Jordan Rhodes signed fro Norwich after a spell at Blackburn for a bargain of £5.5 million. His current value is now only £7.25 million at 27 years-old.

Golden Glove
David De Gea has done it once more and topped the Golden Glove this year compiling 20 clean sheets! The spanish international is only 27 years old and is worth £33 million, he hasn't even reached his prime yet. Expect this player to top the Golden Glove once more in the upcoming years.

Player Of The Year

Ben Arfa has been key to Newcastle's success this season, he has been truly phenomenal with his performances. He has the most assists in the league and the 2nd highest average rating at 7.31 under Gino Peruzzi. He has scored crucial goals against the bigger clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City.

Young Player Of The Year

Bernard the Brazilian has made an immediate impact on the Manchester United after being purchased for £19 million last season. He has assisted 16 goals and netted 10 of his own. He claimed 6 man-of-the-matches and averaged a 7.16 rating.

Manager Of The Year

Alen Pardew specialises in Man Management and he has proven it this season with getting the best out of his players this season especially Ben Arfa who claimed Player Of The Year this season. Alen Pardew made a new tactical system which specialises in defending and attacking play with an unbeatable +38 goal difference.

Team Of The Year

August Report
A fantastic start to the season, we take on the new Premier League champions - Newcastle in the Community Shield. We also had Premier League clashes against Liverpool, Norwich and a home match against Queens Park Rangers.

Completed Fixtures

We completely obliterated the champions of the Premier League with a 5-0 victory in the Community Shield. We drew to Liverpool in the Premier Division 1-1. We defeated Norwich 4-1 in the Premier Division. Finally we drew to Queens Park Rangers 1-1 in the league as well.

Key Player

Michy Batshuayi has scored a lot of goals in every game in the Premier Division so far and this shows me that he's turned into a very consistent player. I can't wait to see him perform in the Premier Division this season along side creative players like Fabio Borini, Marco Reus and Will Hughes.

Season Stats
Appearances - 4
Goals - 5
Assists - 3
Player Of The Match - 0
Average Rating - 7.70


As expected the big super-powers known as Manchester United and Manchester City at the top. Everything else is just scrambled.
basham97's avatar Group basham97
9 yearsEdited

An undefeated and flawless pre-season defeating teams in convincing fashion and touring Belgium, defeating a few teams in the region. We looked pretty strong in the pre-season and our new signings have showed the worth greatly.

Tim Grew (Loan)
Rouven Pander (Loan)
Kolja Reichert (5.75M)
Mamadou Sakho (20M + Davide Santon)

Davide Santon (Transfer)
Robin Grobkreutz (Free)
Andrija Curic (2.2M)
Tin Jadvaj (10M)
Lucas Romero (40M)

September-November Report
A great start to the season with us not losing points anyway in the Premier League. We got drew an easy group in the Champions League, thankfully. The players have played well these past months especially defensively, especially after the departure of Sakho. New transfers such as Davide Santon and Tin Jadvaj have performed excellently.

Completed Fixtures

We defeated Europa League winners Arsenal to win our 2nd European Super Cup. We advanced in the Capital One cup by defeating Crystal Palace at penalties and Fulham in a comfortable 2-0 bout. A nice win we accomplished was a 4-0 Champions League win against SLB. What I noticed especially is, that we haven't conceded more than 1 goal in any of the matches.

Key Player

Marc Muniesa is the central defender in the team and has adjusted to new tactics very well with not conceding as much as the season before. He has the highest pass completion rate of 86%. He hasn't won any man-of-the-match awards unfortunately however averaged the highest rating in the league thus far.

Season Stats
Appearances - 16
Goals - 2
Assists - 2
Player Of The Match - 0
Average Rating - 7.32


The top 3 has remained the exact same (thankfully). Huddersfield is really showing there worth in a cautious 5th place. The 5th-13th place is only a difference of 4 points, making it a very close start to the season. A horrendous Swansea City at only 5 points, haven't won a game in 12.

December-February Report
The Potters have done it again, we have gone undefeated in crucial matches against teams like Barcelona, Manchester City and Manchester United. We were entered into the Club World Championship, which made for a few very interesting bouts against teams around the globe.

Completed Fixtures

We defeated America (MEX) 3-0 to capture our first Club World Championship with Michy Batshuayai and Aleksander Mitrovic picking up the goals between them. We defeated Barcelona at Camp Nou 3-2 with Marco Reus proving to be a key player alongside Fabio Borini having exceptional performances. We qualified for the Capital One Cup final against Manchester United again, this is the third time in which we would have faced Manchester United in a domestic cup finals match.

Key Player

Marco Reus has proved to be a key player in the last couple months, taking over the attacking-midfielder role of Fabio Borini. He has assisted many times and scored on multiple occasions. He is now currently rotating each game with Fabio Borini in order to balance game-time, however on the occasion he has played in the striker role when Mitrovic or Batshuayi needed a rest.

Season Stats
Appearances - 25
Goals - 8
Assists - 15
Player Of The Match - 4
Average Rating - 7.32


The top 3 has remained competitive with us, Manchester United and Manchester City. The fourth place is now being contested by teams such as Aston Villa, Southampton, Arsenal and Tottenham. Huddersfield has dropped to eighth place unfortunately. Swansea has crawled out of the red relegation zone into a vunerable 17th place, picking up 7 wins since last report.
It's not over yet mate! Keep on pushing United, they are underdogs after all ;)
Woah you got Reus nice signing can't wait for the next update

March-May Report
Can our undefeated run continue and could we become Premier League champions for the first-time ever? Could we retain our Champions League title? Could we retain our FA Cup title? Can we take back the Capital One from rivals Manchester United?

Completed Fixtures

We were defeated by Tottenham in the final game of the season to a shocking 3-0 loss. It was a horrible performance and wasn't how we performed earlier in the season with a 37 undefeated streak. Regarding the Champions League we were just destroyed by Barcelona. We were defeated by Tottenham, again, in the FA Cup in the 105' minute.

Key Player

Aleksander Mitrovic has provided key goals and key assists when they were needed. He soared us into the driving seat in the Capital One final against Manchester United. He got a neat and clean hatrick against Aston Villa. He has been a key attacker this season and the team would not be where they are without him.

Season Stats
Appearances - 43
Goals - 34
Assists - 14
Player Of The Match - 7
Average Rating - 7.33


We did it, Stoke City has claimed the Premier League title after surpassing 2nd place Manchester City of only 2 points. Diego Simone is the leading man for Manager Of The Year from making a 14th place Arsenal (last season) into a 5th place, getting them European qualification. Last years winners Newcastle, have sunk drastically not qualifying for Champions League or even the Europa League.

Basham resigns from Stoke

Stoke City manager Louis Basham has decided to end his reign at Hillsborough by resigning from his managerial role.

During his time with The Potters, Basham's team lifted the Capital One in 2014 and 2018, won the English FA Cup in 2014 and 2017, won the English Community Shield in 2014 and 2017, won the English Premier Division in 2018, won the EURO Cup in 2016, won the European Super Cup in 2016 and 2017, won the Champions League in 2017 and won the Club World Championship. Basham remains manager for Holland. Stoke topped the league and lifted the English Premier Division title this season.

Stoke will now be looking for a new manager.

As Stoke City now begin to search for a new manager, there is likely to be the usual number of big-name managers linked with the job, including Roberto Martinez, Ruud Gullit and Alen Pardew.

The bookies' favourite however remains Gerardo Marino whom they believe would be keen to take reigns and return to management.

Basham explains all

Bob Schepers scored his first goal this afternoon against the United States.

In the second game of the World Cup, a crucial game in Group A between United States and Netherlands in which both teams had to win to get a boost in confidence and to hopefully advance into the Knockout Stage. Another important aspect is seeing Louis Basham's Netherlands squad televised for the first-time ever.

United States 0 - 1 Netherlands
Bob Schepers (24)
Adam Maher

U.S.A XI: Brad Guzan, Timothy Chandler, Omar Gonzalez, John Brooks, George Smith, Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Brown, Michael Bradley (c), Brek Shea, Emerson Hyndman, Aron Johannsson

Netherlands XI: Tim Krul, Daryl Janmaat, John Heitinga, Giliano Wijnaldum, Daley Blind, Jordy Clasie, Adam Maher, Bob Schepers, Memphis Depay, Robin van Persie (c)

Netherlands faced an experienced United States today at Central Volgograd, Volgograd and after a very exciting attacking game, Netherlands came out with a victory. Netherlands would want to continue this form, this style of play in future group against Russia and Uzbekistan. On the other hand, United States would much rather let this defeat go as soon as possible if they want any chance in getting to the knockout stages.

4' - Michael Bradley moved the ball out left for Brek Shea, the ball was curved in to the far post however Giliano Wijnaldum heads the ball clear. Alejandro Bedoya hits the ball on the volley!! Tim Krul saved and deflected the ball clear.

11' - Matt Brown played a great ball to Brek Shea. Brek Shea is free of any defenders and hits it with his left. Tim Krul got across to tip it wide but Brek Shea is going for a follow up. Brek Shea looked odds-on to score! A wasted opportunity for U.S.A.

24' - Matt Brown is clattered by Memphis Depay. Memphis Depay plays the ball forward to Adam Maher. Adam Maher whips it into the six-yard-box. Bob Schepers beats Omar Gonzalez in the air, head meeting the ball. GOAAALL! BOB SCHEPERS SCORED FOR HOLLAND!

73' - Timothy Chandler passed down the line for Emerson Hyndman. Emerson Hyndman moved the ball first time to his left for Alejandro Bedoya. Alejandro Bedoya passes it left to Aron Johannsson, beautiful ball. Aron Johannsson hit a speculative effort and it grazes the bar.

90' - Emerson Hyndman delivered the ball in from wide, slightly going over the line unfortunately. Goal kick to Holland. Full time here at Central Volgograd with Brek Shea probably feeling he could have contributed a bit more.

Although Netherlands played fantastically, they did suffer in some areas defensively. Leaving for players like Timothy Chandler and Matt Brown to break down the defence with a single pass having Tim Krul to deal with the danger himself. This should be fixed before they face the more lethal teams like Germany or Argentina. U.S.A had 14 shots, meanwhile Netherlands had 10 shots.

Possession is key in the great game of football. It has spawned tactical systems like the Tiki-Taka for Barcelona. If you have possession of the ball, the opponent cannot score. Possession didn't play a big part in this game however, the stats read - Netherlands 60% and United States is a low 40%.

Finally, passing is also key in football. This game was quite even on passing with both teams being technically gifted, this lead to more attacking prospects especially from the United States. The statistics for this bout was Netherlands had a solid 83% and the United States had a 77% which is only a 5% difference.

basham97's avatar Group basham97
9 yearsEdited

Luuk de Jong scored his 19th goal for his national team against Russia today.

The confident Netherlands side took on the home team - Russia at Metallurg Samara, Samara in a competitive match with both teams having nearly equal chances at goal. Russia need to win this game in order to remain in the competition in further rounds. If Netherlands claim victory, they will be through into the Knockout Stages.

Russia 0 - 1 Netherlands
Luuk de Jong (88)
Jorrit Hendrix

Russia XI: Igor Akinfeev (c), Sergey Parshivlyuk, Taras Burlak, Ali Gadjibekov, Konstantin Rausch, Sergey Petrov, Pavel Mamaev, Mauricio, Alexander Popov, Alan Dzagoev and Alexandr Kokorin

Netherlands XI: Tim Krul, Daryl Janmaat, Jorrit Hendrix, Giliano Wijnaldum, Daley Blind, John Hetinga (c), Adam Maher, Kevin Strootman, Bob Schepers, Memphis Depay, Luuk de Jong

Netherlands faced a weaker Russia side which is interesting. After a 1-0 defeat from Uzbekistan, Russia will have low morale levels and lack in confidence. What is believed to be done, is selecting a team which wasn't in the first starting eleven against Uzebekistan against Netherlands today.

14' - Daley Blind moves the ball forward towards Adam Maher. Adam Maher puts a heavy ball towards Memphis Depay who is through on goal! He attempts to lob the keeper but alert Igor Akinfeev catches the ball, safely in his grasp.

56' - Free Kick to Russia after Daryl Jaanmatt tugging the shirt of Alekander Povpov. Alan Dzagoev whips in the ball to the near post, Mauricio makes connection! Mauricio heads it wide.

88' - GOAL! Luuk de Jong has gained a late for Netherlands when he skipped past Taras Burlak leaving the Russian goalkeeper and captain - Igor Akinfeev left for dead. De Jong buries it into the bottom left corner.

The match was generally very defensive due to the tense atmosphere, teams having little chances at goal, this could be that Russia could have been quite nervous because them not wanting to concede goals because it could lead them out of the competition. The reason Netherlands could have been defensive is because they still aren't familiar to the tactics that Louis Basham wants them to play. The victors had 8 shots while Russia had 6 shots.

The possession was the answer to the defensive play by both teams. Russia had limited possession of 42% meanwhile Netherlands had 58%. Netherlands played very possessive and tried to build attacks when they felt the need to. Russia, mostly, just kept it in there own half and only went forward on counter-attacks.

The passing, like possession was very slim in difference. The difference between the two teams was what they did with it. Russia had a couple of chances however, they weren't clinical enough to put the ball in the back of the net. Netherlands were defensive but they eventually broke through and got a late winner. Overall Russia had 71% passing completion and Netherlands have a solid 81%.

Uzbekistan have been on a fairy-tale run this World Cup defeating Russia and drawing to the United States. They now arrive at Kazan Arena, Kazan to face there toughest opponents in the competition thus far. Uzbekistan need a minimum of a draw to proceed into the Knockout Round.

Uzbekistan 1 - 3 Netherlands
Jorrit Hendrix (34, 41)
Memphis Depay (55)
Jorrit Hendrix

Uzbekistan XI: Doniyer Nuritdinov, Anvar Almatov, Anzur Ismoloiv, Jalil Kotelnikov, Arthur Agzamov, Odil Admedov, Abbos Ergashev, Uyg'on Tojiboev, Anatoly Mamajonov, Shoxjaxon Yusupov and Bahodir Nasimov

Netherlands XI: Tim Krul, Ricardo van Rhijin, Jorrit Hendrix, Giliano Wijnaldum, Daley Blind, John Hetinga (c), Jordy Clasie, Kevin Strootman, Bob Schepers, Memphis Depay, Robin van Perise (c)

Netherlands have already qualified for the Knockout Stage so the result doesn't matter as much unlike opponents Uzbekistan. Elsewhere, U.S.A plays Russia in a match which is similar to the one like today. U.S.A needs to win for a chance to qualify for the Knockout Stages, but they need Netherlands to pick up a win against Uzbekistan.

8' - Anatoly Mamajonov floats a cross in from the left corner after a mistake from Tim Krul. Odil Admedov nods the ball towards goal. Uyg'on Tojiboev forces the ball goalwards with a powerful header, it beats the keeper. GOOALLLL! TOJIBOEV HAS SCORED FOR UZBEKISTAN!!

34' - Robin van Persie is on the ball but is pressured into going wider than he is used to. Robin Van Perise passes shortly to Kevin Strootman, who crosses to the far post towards defender Jorrit Hendrix, he takes a touch and blasts it towards goal. GOAL! Jorrit Hendrix has equalised.

41' - Corner for Netherlands. It's coming close to ending the half, but Adam Maher whips it in, Jorrit Hendrix loses defender Anzur Ismoloiv and heads it towards goal. The keeper has been beat. JORRIT HENDRIX HAS TAKEN THE LEAD FOR NETHERLANDS!

55' - Jordy Clasie passes it towards Adam Maher, Adam Maher quickly passes towards Memphis Depay. Memphis Depay looks up, he's quite far out, flicks it on. He has magnificent effort! GOAL! WHAT A STRIKE!

The match was very one sided with Netherlands picking up a total of 24. One of these shots was a fabulous strike from Memphis Depay from 28 yards rocketing into the top corner. Azbekistan unfortunately only having 6 shots.

The possession was dominated by Netherlands, Uzbekistan had very little time on the ball which meant they had little time to actually proceed and make attacking movements. Netherlands used the possession well and that is the key of this match in my eyes. Netherlands had 67% of the ball while Uzbekistan only had 33%.

The passing is a big element to a match. If a team has a low pass completion rate, the less chances they will ultimately have because they won't be able to navigate the pitch as effectively as desired. Netherlands had a solid 85% pass completion, while Uzbekistan only had a 54% pass completion.

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