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Oreki's Gunners: From Fourth to First

Started on 31 August 2014 by Glenn T
Latest Reply on 7 October 2014 by Mr.O
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Glenn T's avatar Group Glenn T
9 yearsEdited

Oreki Houtarou

Hey, I'm Oreki Houtarou. That's Houtarou to you. Not that you're supposed to know me, or anything like that. I'm still only 26, and I'm not famous, nor do I intend to be.

I'm just a random Japanese guy living in London - have been ever since I completed my studies here. I have been lazing around for awhile since I graduated... I think jobs are a pain in the ass. But the funds have been running low, so I was kind of forced to apply for something.

I'm a "lazy genius", not self-proclaimed really, it was just how my friends back in university used to refer to me as. Maybe not the lazy part, but the 'genius' in me should be really helpful in securing a decent paying job at least.

But somehow, I ended up as the football manager of some team called Arsenal.

Apparently, my friend recommended my name to the club's board with what he planned as a prank call. But the board was extremely convinced at "how I was a former successful football manager in Japan". Those were the qualifications my friend pasted onto my name anyway - in reality I know nothing about football, or soccer, whatever. Haven't watched a single game because I think it's a pain in the ass as well.

The pay is good though. Yeah, really good.

I haven't watched, nor do I know anything about this sport called football that I could care less about. But hey, I am a so-called 'genius', so maybe we'll work something out.


Season One: 2013/14

Chapter 1: 2013/14 Season Review
Chapter 2: 2013/14 Season: The Key Players

Season Two: 2014/15

Chapter 1: Summer 2014/15
Chapter 2: Arsenal Squad 2014/15
Chapter 3: Pre-Season 2014
Chapter 4: August: Flying Start
Chapter 5: New Leaders
Chapter 6: September: Draws Galore

2013/14 Season Review

It was a rather rocky start to life for me at Arsenal. We lost 1-0 to a random Brazilian team I haven't ever heard of. We also barely made it to the Champions League group stages, having to scrape past PSV Eindhoven via penalty shootouts in the Playoffs.

Transfers In

Kwadwo Asamoah - Juventus, £25 million

Nigel de Jong - Milan, Loan

Ademilson - Sao Paulo, £5 million

Doria - Botafogo, £8.75 million

Gael Clichy - Man City, £7.5 million

Transfers Out

Nicklas Bendtner - Gladbach, £2 million

Lukas Podolski - Lokomotiv Moscow, £5 million

Theo Walcott - Man United, £10 million

My first ever piece of transfer business would be to get Kwadwo Asamoah in from Juventus for a rather hefty price of £25 million. Worth it though, as according to my observations we really needed some manpower in left midfield. The signing of the African man provided even more talent to our already-stocked midfield prowess of players like Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mesut Ozil.

This added on to a powerful back four of Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen, as well as a decent goalscorer up front in Olivier Giroud.

My first sale would be the one of Nicklas Bendtner leaving to join Gladbach. Don't think he'll be missed.

As expected, we managed to soar to the top of the Premier League, and I made my managerial debut in the league with a classic 2-0 win over our rivals Tottenham Hotspur, something which I suppose managed to win the fans over. We also trashed Manchester City 5-1, something I'm pretty made up about.

We started to stutter halfway through the season, but I'd like to think it was my tactical tinkering that allowed us to make a comeback from 3rd back to the top, changing my earlier defensive formation into a fiercer attacking style that allowed the players more freedom.

In January, I made the rather bold move of re-signing Gael Clichy from Manchester City for £7.5 million to add on to our defensive capabilities. Nigel de Jong was also recruited temporarily on loan from Milan where he was unwanted. Youngsters were also signed as the talented Brazilian duo of Doria and Ademilson joined my fast-growing Arsenal setup.

Players like Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott, who didn't exactly fit into my formations and style of play, were cast away to other teams.

In the tournaments, we were hit with a double whammy by our rivals Chelsea, something I'm not very happy about. They knocked us out of the Capital One Cup in the Semi Finals, before proceeding to make a dramatic comeback against us in the FA Cup Final months later. Was this even possible?

In the Champions League, we had a few silly draws in the group stages yet managed to make it out of there top, and fought our way to the Semi Finals, where we were beaten by Bayer Leverkusen.

Yes, it was a very unfortunate season of what-ifs. We could have very easily won a treble of trophies, something that would have been nice to mark my first season as a professional football manager. But hey, at least we had the last laugh over Chelsea and the rest, because we won the bloody Premier League title.

It was a good first season, and in my opinion I'd definitely overachieved as a guy who knew next to nothing about football before taking this job. It almost felt too good to be true, like it was unrealistic.

But this story isn't real anyway, so who cares?

On to the next season!
Glenn T is back

cant wait
Woah, Glenn T :O
Good luck! :D

Good luck with the woeful Gunners! :D
Omg Glenn :D

2013/14 Season: The Key Players

When you talk about a club, you obviously have to talk about the team. The 2013/14 season was a really memorable one for us, and there were many guys who made it possible for us to win the Premier League, while also getting so far into the Capital One Cup, Champions League, and of course the Final of the FA Cup.

Oreki's First Eleven: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Clichy; de Jong, Cazorla, Wilshere, Asamoah, Ozil; Giroud

It was a great goal-scoring season all around for Arsenal, with Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kwadwo Asamoah, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla bagging a total of 57 goals in all competitions. Up front, Olivier Giroud managed to grab an impressive total of 31 goals himself.

Here is a list of the key men for Arsenal in the 2013/14 season - the ones that have made the Gunners a force to be reckoned with, and will probably continue doing the same next season.

Kwadwo Asamoah

My first buy at a rather extreme fee of £25 million, Kwadwo Asamoah has moved quickly to justify his price tag with a return of 11 league goals and 14 assists in 37 Premier League appearances. The versatile 25-year-old was played in a variety of bizarre positions like defensive midfield and left-back, but where he truly shone was on the left wing. Arguably Arsenal's best player this season, and if he can replicate his performances in the next few seasons, will probably go down in history as one of the club's best buys.

Olivier Giroud

After an average first season at Arsenal, Olivier Giroud was looking to build on his Gunners career, and the trust I placed in him allowed him to do just that. He featured in every single Premier League game for Arsenal this season and managed to score 31 goals in all competitions as well as 18 in the league, just about 5 goals shy of beating eventual Golden Boot winner Wilfried Bony, who scored 23 for Swansea. Nevertheless, his reliable presence up front assured a successful season and he will be looking to add on to his goal number.

Santi Cazorla

Probably the next best midfielder of the campaign after Asamoah, Santi Cazorla managed a record of 15 goals and 10 assists in all competitions. His best performance of the season was by far against Benfica in the Champions League, where he accomplished a hat trick in a 6-0 rout of the Portuguese giants. First-choice on the right wing for Arsenal, his link-up plays with the midfield and attack have been nothing short of amazing and he'll be harassing opponents again next season.

Bacary Sagna

One of the most consistent players throughout the season, Bacary Sagna was definitely Arsenal's best defender in the whole year and was duly rewarded with a contract extension until 2017. The Frenchman, signed by Arsene Wenger in 2007, has played very well since arriving at the Emirates and he has only seemed to get better under my management. Despite already being 31, his experience and ability is keeping him stuck firmly in the first team.

Fans' Player of the Year
Kwadwo Asamoah

Fans' Best Eleven
Szczesny; Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Clichy; Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey, Asamoah, Ozil; Giroud

Arsenal's Premier League Awards
Oreki Houtarou - Manager of the Year

Kwadwo Asamoah - Players' Player of the Year
Thank you for all the comments so far. I really appreciate them.

Yes, I am back. Kind of. It's good to be back.
amazing start! good to see you back man!
Welcome back Glenn. :)
Glenn, huh, you seem familiar, I just cant place it :P

Wb, and good luck with Arsenal, congrats on getting the Prem title in the first season!

Summer 2014/15

My second summer as Arsenal manager called for more changes at the club. No more than five players were recruited into the team as I continued to shape my vision for the Gunners.

Meanwhile, on the departures side, ten players were showed the exit, including our captain and vice-captain Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta.

I started out with a transfer budget of about £40 million from the board - a total of £36 million were made via sales while £42 million were spent on new blood, so to be honest, I still had plenty in the bank if there was something urgent I would need to change in the January window.

However at the moment, I am very happy with my current squad.

Transfers In

Gareth Barry - Free Transfer

After spending a successful season on loan at Everton, Gareth Barry was released by Manchester City before signing for us on a free. A veteran midfielder with a respectable amount of 53 England caps to his name, Barry will provide quality backup for us in the midfield area.

Sven Bender - Dortmund, £20 million

One of my transfer targets last season that failed to materialize as an Arsenal player, Sven Bender has now made the move over to London to join my playing squad for a fee of £20 million, and he'll be the new first-choice in defensive midfield. Just 25 years old this year, he has the potential to be a great Arsenal player for years to come.

Jung Sung-Ryong - Suwon, £2 million

A backup player, but a signing I'm very pleased about. Jung Sung-Ryong will be our new second-choice between the sticks after the end of Emiliano Viviano's loan spell and the release of Lukasz Fabianski. At only £2 million and on low wages of £15k per week, I feel that getting Jung was a really good bargain.

Park Ji-Sung - Free Transfer

Another South-Korean to join the Arsenal ranks is the aging Park Ji-Sung on a free transfer. Formerly of Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers, Park's valuable experience will definitely add on to our squad and it helps that he can play in a wide variety of roles ranging from right midfield, left midfield, and through the center.

Eder Alvarez Balanta - River, £20 million

Promising Brazilian wonderkid Eder Alvarez Balanta is my last signing on a fee of £20 million, a transfer I admittedly splashed too much cash on. However, the central defender looks like he will definitely be worth the money in the future. Replacing our captain Vermaelen, Balanta will look to fight it out for a first-team spot with Mertesacker, Koscielny and Doria.

Transfers Out

Tomas Rosicky - Free Transfer

Tomas Rosicky was a brilliant player for Arsenal but he's past in my peak in my honest opinion, and he never featured in a single game for me last season, instead being relegated to play with the Reserves to keep his fitness up. I've naturally decided not to waste his time with a contract renewal and he's now returned to his home country to play for Viktoria Plzen.

Lukas Fabianski - Free Transfer

I was keen on giving Lukas Fabianski a renewal of his contract, but Fabianski decided to leave in order to explore other options where he could play in the first-team. Of course, I respected his decision and allowed him to leave the club when his contract ended.

Damian Martinez - Free Transfer

A great goalkeeping prodigy that could have turned out great, but Damian Martinez decided not to renew his contract with us. Understandably so, as he would have probably been playing second fiddle to Szczesny for many years even if he slotted into the first team.

Mathieu Flamini - Fiorentina, £1 million

Mathieu Flamini just didn't cut it for me at Arsenal, making only 7 appearances in the Premier League, only 2 of which were starts. He's also already at the age of 30 and with his contract with us expiring the following year, I decided to cash in quickly by selling him to Fiorentina and overseeing his return to the Serie A.

Park Chu-Young - Real Betis, £1 million

An Arsenal flop through and through, Park Chu-Young didn't enjoy a lot of great moments nor success as an Arsenal man. Although he did have a very impressive season for Watford on loan in the Championship last season, scoring 23 goals, I still cannot find a place for him in my team, and Real Betis will take him off our hands for a meagre sum.

Natxo Monreal - Athletic Bilbao, £5 million

Decent at his left-back position, Natxo Monreal wasn't too bad of a player. But our signing of Gael Clichy killed his first-team chances and he will be returning to his native Spain to join Basque side Athletic Bilbao.

Johan Djourou - Marseille, £1.7 million

Having had various loan spells over the years, Johan Djourou has finally made a permanent switch away from Arsenal to join Marseille. A good move for both him and the club as, despite being another decent player, is simply not good enough to break the great first-choice duo of Mertesacker and Koscielny.

Mikel Arteta - Real Sociedad, £1 million

It was a tough decision to sanction the sale of Mikel Arteta as our vice-captain did well for us last season and played a part in helping us win the title. Although an inspirational figure in the dressing room and a talent in his central midfield position, I found it hard to say no when Real Sociedad came calling for the 32-year-old.

Yaya Sanogo - Fulham, £1.5 million

He's been labeled as an exciting prospect but I just couldn't see how Yaya Sanogo could develop, especially with so much competition for the lone striker role in our team. I made the decision to sell him to Fulham where he will definitely be getting more game time, something I'm sure he'll be pleased about.

Thomas Vermaelen - Paris Saint-Germain, £20 million

Another hard deal for me to agree to was the sale of Thomas Vermaelen. Another important man in our dressing room, the captain was a great leader and player. But with Clichy, Mertesacker and Koscielny present in the squad and the new addition of Alvarez Balanta, I couldn't see Vermaelen getting much first-team opportunities. Paris Saint-Germain's enquiry came at a perfect time and we managed to get £20 million for him from the cash-splashing club.

Joel Campbell - Wolfsburg, £5 million

Joel Campbell wasn't really someone I wanted to let go of, but unfortunately his style of play couldn't exactly fit into my formation. Wolfsburg came with a timely £5 million deal on transfer deadline day, and so Campbell will continue to ply his trade in Germany.

Arsenal Squad 2014/15

Arsenal have submitted their playing squad for the 2014/15 Premier League. With over £40 million spent in new arrivals and recruiting veterans like Gareth Barry and Park Ji-Sung, the Gunners will be under pressure to defend their title and perhaps make it further in the Champions League this term.

Star Players

Mesut Ozil -
Jack Wilshere -
Sven Bender -
Olivier Giroud -
Kwadwo Asamoah -
Laurent Koscielny -
Santi Cazorla -

Wojciech Szczesny (24) -
Jung Sung-Ryong (29) -

Bacary Sagna (31) -
Carl Jenkinson (22) -
Laurent Koscielny (28) -
Per Mertesacker (29) -
Eder Alvarez Balanta (21) -
Doria (19) -
Gael Clichy (29) -
Kieran Gibbs (24) -

Sven Bender (25) -
Gareth Barry (33) -
Francis Coquelin (23) -
Santi Cazorla (29) -
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (21) -
Park Ji-Sung (33) -
Jack Wilshere (22) -
Aaron Ramsey (23) -
Kwadwo Asamoah (25) -
Mesut Ozil (25) -
Serge Gnabry (19) -

Olivier Giroud (27) -
Ademilson (20) -
Ahhhh, Park Ji Sung??

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