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A Yank Abroad: Keeping the Saints Marching (Southampton FC)

Started on 8 August 2014 by newjetplanes
Latest Reply on 24 August 2014 by macario_fierro
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newjetplanes's avatar Group newjetplanes
7 yearsEdited


QUICK LINKS:


- 2014/15 SEASON PREVIEW
- AUGUST 2014


Cheers all,

This is my first story after roughly 8 years of playing Football Manager religiously. I decided to do something a little different, and I hope it will prove an interesting story to follow. I'll try and do some creative graphics for the story, including the banner above. Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions along the way. This should be a good one.

This story is starting after simulating the 2013/2014 season to bring the game world into the current 2014/15 season. The story will start off as a hyper-dramatization of what is currently happening at Southampton. It will start with the sale of the majority of their star players, the loss of Pochettino, and the major rebuild under a results crazed owner that has to follow it (hence, 'Keeping the Saints Marching'). From there, who knows where it will go!

Background:

The 2013/14 Premiere League season has just concluded. Manchester United and newly appointed manager David Moyes have raised the Premiere League trophy for the second consecutive season. Chelsea, Arsenal, and a surprising Newcastle United outfit - who pipped Liverpool on the final match day - round out the top 4.

On the opposite end of the table, Cardiff City, Sunderland, and Fulham all suffered the agony of relegation and will be plying their trade in the Championship this coming season.

The Premiere League welcomes promotion winners Leicester City, Reading, and Ipswich Town for the new campaign. All three are favorites for the immediate drop.

And, in the middle of the pack, finishing 12th, was an underwhelming Southampton outfit, managed by Mauricio Pochettino...
Good luck!
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7 yearsEdited


Pochettino Furious following Liebherr's £100m Fire Sale

15 Players Depart in Shocking Post-Season Clean Out




Southampton Manager Mauricio Pochettino’s time at Southampton looks to be coming to an end following a series of high profile departures sanctioned without his sign off.

Following a disappointing 12th place finish last season, club owner Katharina Liebherr has wasted no time clearing out several high earners from the first team. The moves, made without Pochettino’s approval, almost certainly spell the end for the Argentine's reign at St. Mary’s. Sources close to the manager suggest his resignation could be handed in as soon as tomorrow.

Liebherr is said to be outraged at Pochettino’s use of significant transfer funds over the last two seasons and the lack of progress made in the league over that time period. Liebherr went as far to call his signings of under performing players such as Gaston Ramirez, Victor Wanyama and Italian misfit Dani Osvaldo, “criminally irresponsible.”

In the two weeks since the transfer window has opened, a staggering total of 15 first team players have been sold for a sum north of £100m.

Among those leaving St. Mary’s include the aforementioned Ramirez (Chelsea), Wanyama (PSG), and Osvaldo (Juventus), along with Morgan Schneiderlin (Schalke), Jay Rodriguez (Norwich), Jack Cork (Swansea) and several other regular contributors.

The futures of club captain Adam Lallana, star striker Rickie Lambert, talented young fullback Luke Shaw, and centerback Dejan Lovren also remain very much in the air.

No official word has been given on Pochettino’s future, but speculation is mounting that his resignation is forthcoming shortly.

Transfers out:

Victor Wanyama – £27m to Paris St. Germain
Gaston Ramirez – £17.75m to Chelsea
Morgan Schneiderlin – £16.25m to Schalke
Dani Osvaldo – £16m to Juventus
Jay Rodriguez – £6.25m to Norwich City
Sam Gallagher – £6m to Arsenal
Henri Saivet (signed in 2013/14) – £6m to Hull City
Jack Cork – £3.4m to Swansea City
Steven Davis – £2.6m to Crystal Palace
Danny Fox – £750k to Nottingham Forest
Jos Hooiveld – £500k to Birmingham City

Released/Free Transfers:

Jose Fonte
Guly do Prado
Billy Sharp
Emmanuel Mayuka


Pochettino Resigns as Southampton Manager

Argentine Departs Following Shock Fire Sale


http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/04/05/video-undefined-1CDBEE0A00000578-66_636x358.jpg

After days of speculation, Mauricio Pochettino has officially resigned as manager of Southampton FC, effective immediately.

In a prepared statement the former manager stated that continuing his time at St. Mary’s was “no longer a possibility,” and thanked the fans and his players for “two tremendous years of support.”

When questioned as to the reasoning behind his resignation, he shrugged and replied "I think that's fairly obvious, no?"

Pochettino’s departure coincides with an excess of 15 first team players - including many of his own signings - leaving the club in the past two weeks. The unexpected sales, along with several negative statements directed towards the manager in the press from club owner Katharina Liebherr made his exit this summer seem inevitable.

There has been no word on a replacement at this time, but whoever follows Pochettino at the club will encounter intense scrutiny from fans and even stronger pressure to succeed from the board of directors.

More on this story as it develops.
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7 yearsEdited


BREAKING: Southampton Hire Caleb Porter as Next Manager

Former Timbers Coach Becomes First American to Manage in Premiere League




In a surprise move, Southampton FC have announced the hiring of Caleb Porter, formerly of the Portland Timbers, as their next manager. Porter – who signed a 3-year deal with undisclosed terms - will become the first American to manage in the Premiere League.

“Caleb is a young, forwarding thinking coach with a track record of developing young players abroad,” said club chairmen Gareth Rogers. “We believe in the vision he has laid out for the club and are thrilled he has accepted our offer.”

“Fans should expect to see attractive, exciting football on display for years to come.”

Rogers went on to state that Porter had the board's “full financial backing” and that “a significant portion” of the clubs’ recent sales would be available for incoming transfers this summer.

While a relative unknown in England, Porter has enjoyed great success in America at the professional, youth international, and collegiate levels. He was named the MLS Manager of the Year following the 2013/14 season.

His teams have historically lined up in a 4-3-3 formation that favors retaining possession, quick passing, and inverted wingers.

The initial fan opinion coming out of St. Mary’s is a mixture of shock and intrigue. The Saints’ official supporters club told BBC that they are waiting until after Porter’s unveiling to make an official statement relating to the hire. They did however note their collective surprise following the appointment.

A press conference has been scheduled for tomorrow afternoon to officially unveil the new Saints boss.


Porter Unveiled as New Saints Boss

American boss calls for “at least 10 signings” before window closes


http://www.empireofsoccer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Caleb-Porter-Portland-Timbers.jpg

Q: Caleb, welcome to Southampton and the Premiere League. How does it feel?

CP: It’s a dream come true, really. Every manager wants to test themselves at the highest level possible, and there is no better league in the world than the Premiere League. I’m excited to meet with the players and start reshaping the club. I’d like to thank the club for the opportunity and I intend to make the most of it.

Q: Mauricio Pochettino was a very popular figure with the fans. How do you think you will be received following his unceremonious exit?

CP: I’m expecting a bit of skepticism, but that comes with any new position. The fans at this club are tremendous and are an intelligent bunch. When they see the type of football I play and the type of players I intend on bringing in, I think they will be behind the squad and my vision 100%.

Q: What do you make of the recent “fire sale” at the club? It seems like a very difficult situation to be walking into.

CP: I think it’s a great opportunity. There has been a clear out, for sure, but I have already started identifying transfer targets that fit the profile of player I’m looking for. I think the players we have left can be part of a strong nucleus moving forward. I have a rare chance to shape the squad from top to bottom and that’s an exciting proposition for me.

Q: After 15 sales, are you worried there will be more departures in the coming weeks?

CP: No, no. There will be no departures unless I sanction them, I have been assured of that from the Chairman and Ownership. I’ve spoken on the phone with Adam, Dejan, Rickie, and Luke and they all know they will play a big role for me in the coming season. They fit in with they style I’m looking to introduce to the team. Besides, we’d have trouble fielding a five-a-side squad if we do any more selling! {chuckles}

Q: Since the majority of fans are unfamiliar with your background, what type of football do you plan on playing?

CP: I play a possession-heavy style, with attacking fullbacks overlapping inverted wingers. It’s technical, fast, and exciting football. I hope the fans will enjoy themselves when they come to St Mary’s and I suspect we will win over some of the neutrals as well.

Q: You mentioned having transfer targets identified. What type of player are you looking to sign?

CP: I want hungry, young players that have pace and technical ability on the ball. I also want my players to know that if they train hard and play well, they will get game time regardless of age.

Q: How much recruiting do you think you will have to do before the season? The squad is pretty thin as it currently stands.

CP: I’d say we need close to 10 new signings before the window closes since the squad is a bit threadbare at the moment. The sooner they can arrive and I can get the first team gelling in the style I want to play, the better.

Q: Any transfer targets you can mention?

CP: I have targets identified but cannot comment on any at this time.
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7 yearsEdited


Mexican Starlet Carlos Fierro Joins Southampton

19 yo striker joins from C.D. Guadalajara in £2.4m switch




New Saints boss Caleb Porter wasted no time in his recruitment drive by snagging exciting Mexican striker Carlos Fierro from C.D. Guadalajara for £2.4m.

With only one recognized striker currently in the senior team (32 year old Rickie Lambert), Fierro should have plenty of opportunities to impress his new boss.

“Carlos is arguably the most exciting prospect in all of North America,” said Porter of his new signing.

“His pace, trickery, and finishing ability will all be a huge asset to us this coming season and for years to come. He’s exactly the type of player I’m looking to sign, and we are delighted he’s accepted our offer.”

The 19 yo starlet joins Southampton on a 4 year deal rumored to be in the region of £17k a week.

When asked if more signings were forthcoming, Porter smiled and told reporters, “Absolutely. Stay tuned.”
great start man, really detailed, and i love that banner! keep it up!
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7 yearsEdited


Saints Swoop for Romanian Pair

Young attackers Iancu, Rotariu join for a combined £10.25m




Quickly following the announcement of the signing of Mexican striker Carlos Fierro, new Southampton boss Caleb Porter wasted no time announcing a double swoop for a pair of highly touted Romanian youth internationals.

Gabriel Iancu, a 20 year old attacking midfielder, joins the Saints for a reported fee of £4m. Iancu scored 3 goals and chipped in 2 assists in 21 appearances for Steau in 2013. He has made 6 senior appearances for Romania after serving as the captain of the U21s for the past two years.

“Gabriel is a tremendous talent. We’re thrilled to add him to the squad,” said Porter of his second summer signing.

“His flexibility to play anywhere across the front line of attack is certainly a big bonus. He has played the majority of his career as an attacking midfielder, but we see his future as a striker, so we will be developing him with that in mind,”

Dorin Rotariu, an 18 year old winger, joins from Dinamo Bucharest for a reported £6.25m. Rotariu scored 3 goals in 23 appearances as a 17 year old for Dinamo in 2013.

“Dorin is a speedy, tricky, and technically sound player who can operate on both wings,” said Porter.

“He has a superb left foot and we’ll look to take advantage of that by letting him play wide right whenever possible. He’s very young but I feel he’s ready to contribute right away for the club.”
Great signings mate! I would also recomend Nicusor Stanciu if you don't know him already...
@TodayAtTommorow - Thanks, I'm enjoying this save already and I'm not even playing games yet!

@AAN - Thanks mate! I love Stanciu, but they quoted me at £25m! Two Romanians will have to do for now.
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7 yearsEdited


Saints Sign Guido Pizarro from Tigres

Argentine midfielder is second Liga MX player to join Southampton this window




Southampton have announced the signing of Argentinian defensive midfielder Guido Pizarro from Liga MX side Tigres UANL for a reported £4.3m. The move is the fourth signing in the last 3 days from the club.

Pizarro becomes the second player from Mexico’s top flight to join the Saints this window, following Carlos Fierro move from C.D. Guadalajara. Manager Caleb Porter’s familiarity with North American soccer has almost surely been a contributing factor to his transfer dealings so far.

In 2013 Pizarro appeared 25 times for Tigres, scoring 4 goals and tallying 6 assists. The 24 year old joined Tigres in 2013 from Boyhood club Lanus in a £2.6m switch.

“Guido was one of the standout performers in Mexico last season and a player I’ve followed for quite some time,” said manager Caleb Porter about his latest signing.

“He may not be a household name today, but I believe he will be a big hit for us next season. In my mind he is a future international, and when you call Argentina home, that is saying something.”

“He is a strong, composed deep lying playmaker and should slot into my system perfectly. The fans are going to love him.”

The player is rumored to have signed a 5 year deal with Southampton with wages in the neighborhood of £27k a week.

Porter has claimed to desire at least 10 signings this window to round out his first team. He reiterated this at the conclusion of Pizarro’s announcement.

“We’ll be adding several more pieces in the coming day as our roster begins to take shape,” said Porter.
Alot of detail + regular updates. Good job man, keep it going.
1
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7 yearsEdited


RUMOR MILL: Saints Eyeing Barkley

Proposed fee would smash club record


http://images.dailystar-uk.co.uk/dynamic/167/photos/87000/620x/5395814d498af_ross.jpg

Murmurs coming out of St. Mary’s indicate that Southampton are preparing to launch an audacious bid to sign English midfielder Ross Barkley from Everton. Sources inside the club indicate that Barkley is new manager Caleb Porter’s top target this transfer window.

The 20 year old appeared 19 times for the Toffees in 2013, scoring 2 goals and contributing 4 assists.

Barkley - who has 11 senior caps to his name - will not come cheap, however, with rumored fees ranging from £20-30m.

When asked for comment, Everton manager Roberto Martinez was adamant that Barkley would not be leaving the club during the current window.

More on this rumor as it develops.


Bertolacci Joins Southampton

Italian midfielder finalizes 5 year deal while Barkley rumors persist




Southampton have announced their fifth signing of the summer, closing a deal with Genoa and Roma for midfielder Andrea Bertolacci. The fee is rumored to be in the range of £8m for the 23 year old.

Bertolacci was a key member of Genoa’s squad last season, making 34 appearances while scoring 4 goals and contributing 2 assists.

“I'm very excited to welcome Andrea to the club,” said Saints manager Caleb Porter.

“He’s a true box-to-box midfielder. He can play both ways and has bundles of energy. He adds a dynamic aspect in the middle of the pitch we were sorely lacking.”

Rumors continue to circulate over the future of Ross Barkley. Southampton has reportedly lodged a second bid for the midfielder. Their initial offer of £19m was rejected by the Toffees.

During Bertolacci’s announcement, Porter made no secret of his desire to continue recruiting new players.

“I’m still looking to bring in a several more players. We need more numbers and options in midfield. I would also love to bring in another center back, preferably a left footed player, to pair with Dejan (Lovren).”

“Adding another goalkeeper would be a good bit of business also.”

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