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Paul King - Becoming Royalty

Started on 10 June 2019 by TheLFCFan / First Post
Latest Reply on 2 October 2019 by ScottT / Last Post
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December-March 2020


Another four months worth of fixtures completed, and bar an inconsistent March, I think we can be pleased with what we have done this year. We have seen a progression in the Europa League, a semi-final spot in the Copa Del Rey and we currently sit 5th in the league.

Results


We started December with a 5-2 win over Marbella in our second leg of the Copa del Rey having won leg one 6-0. After the comfortable aggregate victory, we triumphed over Alavés with Éver Banega bagging a brace in the 2-0 win. Another 2-0 win away from home against Sparta Praha saw us into the Europa League First Knockout Round, ending the group in second behind AS Saint-Étienne.

Our good start to the month then came to an end as we dropped points against Leganés before a shocking performance against Valencia, losing 3-0. We bounced back from that poor defeat as we beat Cádiz in the Copa del Rey before possibly my biggest victory in my career so far.

Two goals in the final ten minutes saw us victorious over quite possibly the biggest team in world football. Beating a team with the quality of Real Madrid was massive for us and it gives us a true indication of what we can achieve when we perform at our highest level.

That result kicked off a really strong month for us, losing just once in eight games as Real Madrid got their revenge in the Copa del Rey with a 91st minute Isco winner. Munir grabbed us a last second equaliser against Cádiz in our second leg of the Copa del Rey.

Alejandro Pozo grabbed a brace in our win over Girona before Luka Jović helped us to a 1-0 win over Betis and then scored again in the 2-2 draw that saw us into the Copa del Rey semi-final. Pozo continued to impress having forced his way into the starting XI scoring in a 4-1 win over Las Palmas, before our only loss of the month to Madrid.

Pozo scored again in our 3-0 victory over Osasuna to see out the month as Patxi Gómez scored the opener and his first league goal for the club as he came on early on for an injured Franco Vázquez.

Real Madrid once again opened our next months fixtures as we welcomed them to Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg. Unfortunately this time we couldn’t get the victory as we saw our chances of a Copa del Rey final dashed. Madrid will now play Levante in the final on 22nd May.

We returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano with Pozo again getting himself a brace. The Spanish winger won January and February’s player of the month awards, showing his talent throughout both months.

We took that form into Europe as we beat Stade Rennais 3-1 in leg one before a 2-2 draw away from home put us into the Europa League Round of 16. The 3-1 win also saw the first start of our new signing, talented left winger Álvaro Coelho, with the Portuguese prospect scoring twice.

Following the second leg we beat Espanyol 3-0 away from home before a 1-0 home victory over Getafe saw us claim 4th place in the table. We then played Barcelona, as the current league leaders once again beat us by a single goal margin. Disappointingly Gabriel Mercado was red carded for the second time in two games and the third time in two months. The Argentine is now 33 and he may be dropping off slightly and is making rash decisions. He is someone we need to focus on replacing next season as the only over option we have at Right-back is 35 year old Jesús Navas. Navas has already indicated he will be retiring at the end of the season and we have agreed that he will become an under 19s coach once his contract runs out.

Having had a really strong three months that had seen us move into the Champions League places, March was a true disappointment that saw us undo a lot of hard work. It started off well with a 3-1 win over Beşiktaş in the Europa League. However, we relied on a 96th minute equaliser from Álvaro Coelho who came off the bench to score a brace against Real Betis. Coelho scored again in the 2nd leg of our tie with Beşiktaş despite losing 2-1 our first leg win saw us progress to the Quarter-Finals where we will face Leicester. A 0-0 draw against Real Sociedad and then a 1-0 loss to Bilbao capped off a disappointing month.

League Table


The really disappointing results in March has seen us give up a major opportunity in finishing in the top four as we fall behind Real Madrid who still have two games in hand over us. With ten games to go we seemingly have 5th place secured with a five point gap separating us and Sociedad. Unfortunately fourth now seems unlikely with a two point gap separating us and Madrid but with their two games in hand it is likely they will extend the gap.

April sees us with a chance to go into the final four of the Europa League with our tie against Leicester. The English club currently sit 9th in the Premier League with manager Brendan Rodgers into his second year at the club. A win over Leicester would have a touch of personal pleasure as well, with them holding a fierce rivalry with Dad’s first love, Nottingham Forest.

We end April with a game against Valencia who currently sit 3rd but the month of May is going to be the most important of our season. We play Vilarreal who, with three wins in their three games in hand will be just five points behind us. Before our final two games against the powerhouses of Madrid. Atlético Madrid, who finally look like they will give up their control of Spain having dropped off in recent months but still sit in 2nd place, will travel to us before we play Real Madrid in the final game of the season. Playing Real on the final day could determine who gets that final Champions League spot and therefore we need to be at our best from here on in.

Injuries

Once again Alejandro Pozo is the man who has suffered the most from injuries in the past few months, spending over 4 weeks on the sidelines. The 22 year old is starting to look like an injury prone player, which is a massive shame as he has shown his class whenever he has been fit. Also struggling with injuries this month was Toni Lato, who had pulled knee ligament, keeping him out for two weeks, whilst Cristóbal Iglesias was out for three weeks with a twisted ankle.

Iglesias is starting to develop into a very good player as he looks to be pushing for a spot in our midfield. The 18 year old has featured 17 times for me so far this season, starting in seven games scoring once and assisting on two occasions.

Finances



We still look comfortable in our finances with our January spending seeing it drop off into the €20,000,000 region. However, we should end the season in the positives and with prize money, TV money and increases in Sponsorship expected to be coming in soon, we are looking healthy financially.

Other News

In the biggest piece of personal news this month, I have signed an improved contract at the club, keeping me at Sevilla until 2024. With my deal running out in June, the club felt I had done enough to earn a new contract and I am delighted to have signed it to stay at the side.

Cincinnati have kicked off their MLS season in tremendous form losing just one of their opening seven games winning five. The impressive start sees them sat top of the Eastern Conference, with the best record of any MLS side. One of my final signings at the club, Gabriel Mendes has been in fine form so far this season, scoring three goals in just two starts as he is playing second fiddle to Aron Jóhannsson. It’s good to see them doing so well and hopefully I will be able to head back and see a game once we have finished our season here.

We also had our annual youth intake with the only player to really shout about being Juan Ramón Polo. The 15 year old striker is the only player of the batch to get any real mention however, he is unlikely to develop into a good enough player for our first team, which is disappointing.


Replies


Justice:They are unfortunately just too good a team at the moment!
Plenty of good patches, plenty of not-so-good patches. The league position is probably a fair reflection, with you still being in the chance for a top 4 finish. The final ten games will certainly make or break your season, although we know just how good Sevilla are in the Europa League! I fancy a 4th place finish and a Europa League title to celebrate!

Sevilla Get Semi


Alejandro Pozo’s second minute goal set Sevilla on their way to defeating Leicester 2-0, sealing themselves a spot in the Europa League Semi-Finals.

After a disappointingly dull first leg, a 2-0 away victory in favour of Sevilla has seen them qualify for the Europa League Semi-Finals. With goals coming through Alejandro Pozo and Luka Jović, they Spanish side took the aggregate victory at the King Power Stadium.

In a first leg which Sevilla manager, Paul King called “Frustrating” the Spanish side dominated proceedings, with 18 shots to Leicester’s four. However, with now 34 year old Kasper Schmeichel in incredible form, the game was deadlocked. Going into the second leg, Sevilla made just the single change to their side, seeing Alejandro Pozo replace Álvaro Coelho on the left wing.

The change paid off almost immediately as Pozo struck the opening goal of the tie inside just two minutes. Dutch winger, Quincy Promes, who scored in Sevillas 3-3 thriller with Alavés just four days before, played a ball across the face of the goal, allowing Pozo the easiest tap in of his career.

With the first goal of the tie coming after 92 minutes of football, the fans didn’t have to wait long for a second. Éver Banega whipped in a dangerous looking corner, however it passed everyone. Yet the whistle was blown with referee Deniz Aytekin awarding Sevilla a penalty for a push from Hamza Choudhury on Luka Jović. Jović was tasked with the chance to score Sevilla’s first penalty in five attempts and the Serbian duly converted.

Sevilla had to remain sturdy as the English side piled on the pressure, however, a combined effort from the Spanish sides back four as well as some incredible saves from Toma Vaclik in goal, saw Paul Kings side hold on to the win.

“It’s progress once again, and that’s all I can really ask for from this side, continued progression. The last month or so has been tough, we hadn’t won a game in six before this one and it was a frustrating few weeks. But the boys spirits remained high and they continued to battle on. I am hopeful that this result will see us into a patch of real good form going into the last two months of our season.” said Paul King following the game.

Sevilla who had suffered a run of just one win in seven before their second leg, including three losses, will now head into a run of LaLiga games against Levante, Leganés and Valencia, before the first leg of their semi-final matchup.

They have been drawn against German Bundesliga contenders, Bayer Leverkusen, who overcame Roma in a clinical 8-3 aggregate victory. The German side started the season in the Champions League, but drawn in the so called ‘Group of Death’ they finished third behind Manchester United and Real Madrid with FC Kobenhaven finishing bottom of the group. Despite a 3-0 win against the Danish champions in the final group game, Leverkusen were consigned to the Europa League and faced a tough trip to Ukraine, facing FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the Round of 32.

A 2-0 home win was enough to beat the Ukranian champions with a 3-1 aggregate win, seeing Leverkusen into the Round of 16, pitted against Benfica. Peter Bosz side had no problems in progressing once again, defeating their opponents 5-2 on aggregate. Having defeated Roma, Bosz side will now have another stern test as Paul Kings side will host the German giants at the end of the month.

With a potential Europa League final spot on the line, you can expect to see a battle between the two sides, with the first leg taking place 29th April 2021.

Replies


Justice:Thats certainly the goal, but there are some good teams still in the Europa League. The top four will be tough as well but hopefully we can see that good form stick now and go into next season with a Champions League spot!
KING'S GOT A SEMI ON AND WE'RE ALL EXCITED TO SEE IT

Coelho Classic Takes Sevilla Fourth

Coelho (Right) was the star, scoring a second half hattrick to guide his side to victory.

A second half hattrick from January signing Álvaro Coelho has guided Sevilla into a Champions League spot after a 3-1 win over Villarreal.

Victory for Sevilla over Juan Carlos Unzué’s Villarreal side has taken them into a Champions League spot overtaking Real Madrid for the first time since January. The win comes just two days after their 1-0 victory over Girona, courtesy of an 18th minute header.

The lack of rest with the quick turnaround was evident in the opening half for Sevilla as Villarreal had the better of the first 45. With strong words, reportedly, coming from Paul King to his side at the break, Álvaro Coelho opened the games scoring, just 18 seconds into the second half. The winger collected the ball from Patxi Gómez on the left flank. The Portuguese 18 year old went on a mazing run, taking the Villarreal defense by surprise before lashing a powerful shot past Sergio Asenjo.

The goal seemingly bought the game to life, as just ten minutes later, Coelho had his second of the game. Luka Jović saw a darting run behind the defense from Coelho and played a perfectly weighted pass. The ball was inch perfect for the winger and he didn’t need a touch before placing the ball into the Villarreal net.

The third of the game was almost a carbon copy of the second, with Coelho once again getting in behind the Villarreal defense, breaking their offside trap. With Spanish international Mario Gasper struggling to keep a hold of the Portuguese winger, Patxi Gómez once again found him in open space, and once again Coelho delivered. The goal marked his 8th goal in just 14 games (7 starts) for Sevilla and his performances have pleased manager Paul King so far.

“I said it after his first start against against Stade Rennais, the boy is talented. He has been phenomenal since he has joined us and is proving himself to everyone. He is still 18 years old, yet he is performing against experienced internationals at a consistent rate, it is incredible to see. That hattrick was exceptional today, his runs in behind were just magnificent. I feel sorry for Mario (Gasper) in all honesty, he had no chance against Álvaro (Coelho) in that sort of form. But I have said it a number of times this year, we can't get complacent. There are still four more games this year and they are coming thick and fast, we need to perform at the highest level to ensure we get that Champions League spot” stated Paul King.

Following their impressive victory, Paul King will see his team face yet another two day turnaround as they travel to Germany for the Europa League Semi-Final second leg against Bayer Leverkusen.

The first leg saw a 1-1 draw as Wissam Ben Yedder once again came from the bench to equalise in the 71st minute following Jonathan Tah’s first half goal. Sevilla could consider themselves lucky to still be in the tie, as Leverkusen were the much better side on the day, dominating the Spanish side throughout the game. With Leverkusen holding an away goal, Sevilla need to score to have a chance of qualifying for the final and will have to do it without their second top scorer, Wissam Ben Yedder.

The Frenchman who has scored four goals in the Europa League so far this season, will miss the second leg following a pulled hamstring sustained in the LaLiga match against Girona. It will be a big loss for Paul King but he will be expected to keep faith in Raúl Vía who came off the bench against Villarreal.

Vía, who at just 16 has already played in two first team games this season, following his arrival from Atlético Madrid in the winter. The striker is expected to once again play backup to Serbian star Luka Jović.

Sevilla will need to take all the momentum from their victory over Villarreal to stand a chance in the second leg of the Europa League and will be hoping to secure themselves a place in the competitions Final once again.

Replies


Justice: Hopefully it goes all the way, nothing worse than only managing a semi!
Not sure what's bigger; the erection I got after seeing you updated or Coelho's forehead.

VAR Ends Europa Dream For Sevilla


Julian Brandt starred in a 2-0 victory over Sevilla at BayArena sending the German side to their third ever European final.

In a game that saw Sevilla travel their 5,000km in just six days, their efforts weren’t enough to make the Europa League Final. A 16th minute goal from Julian Brandt before Aymen Barkok’s 93rd minute effort, was enough for Leverkusen to win the tie 3-1 on aggregate.

In a tie that Sevilla can have no complaints about losing, having been outclassed throughout both games, they could be considered lucky that an early goal was ruled out for the hosts. Lautaro Martínez strike, deflected off strike partner Kasper Dolberg’s knee falling to Jérôme Onguéné who put the ball past Tomas Vaclik. However, the flag was up as Dolberg was clearly offside when the ball came off of him.

An early warning for the Spanish side, however, they didn’t take it and Leverkusen opened the scoring just two minutes later. Dolberg, once again involved in the action, played a cross field pass to Brandt. The German winger cut inside and had no problem in beating Vaclik at the far post.

With the game heading to a close, Sevilla boss Paul King made some tactical changes, that had seemingly paid off when Alejandro Pozo had the ball in the back of the net. However, VAR ruled that Pozo was offside when the ball was played towards him and therefore the goal was chalked off. Had the goal been allowed, Sevilla would of taken the game into extra-time, yet “it wasn’t to be” in the words of King.

Sevilla’s fate was sealed when Barkok struck from close range in the final moments of the game, gifting Leverkusen the 2-0 home victory. Lars Bender, the Bayer Leverkusen captain was clearly delighted post game stating “It is a great achievement to reach the final and now we have a job to do in that match. I am proud of this team but it is only the start of what we can achieve.”

Leverkusen will now play French team Lyon in the Europa League final who overcame a tough test against Ajax. The Dutch champions falling to a 4-2 aggregate defeat to send them out of the competition they finished as runners up in, in 2017.

Despite missing out on the final, Sevilla manager Paul King wasn't disheartened with the result.

“It’s obviously not the result we wanted, there is no denying that. Everyone wants to win trophies and we are no different. But we lost to the better side over the tie and we have to wish Leverkusen luck for the final. They are in a position where they can spend a large sum of money (€218,000,000 over the past two seasons) where as we aren’t able to spend the same amounts (€69,000,000 in the same period). But this isn’t an excuse and we can still be pleased with our accomplishments in this tournament this season” said Paul King “I said it after the last game in the league, it is progression, last season we lost in the 2nd Knockout Round (2-1 aggregate loss to Ajax) but this year we have made it to the semi-final. I can’t knock the boy’s efforts and we can be happy with this start to where we want to end up” continued the Sevilla manager.

Where Sevilla will want to end up, as King stated, is the Champions League and despite the path through winning the Europa League now being cut off, they are still in pole position to qualify. Currently sat in 4th in LaLiga, King’s side will have a busy end to the month playing Granada, Las Palmas, Atlético Madrid and closest challengers Real Madrid. Despite some very tough tests in their final two league games, King remains confident his side can see it out.

“We have tough tests coming up for sure, but we play the same sides twice just like everyone else in the league. We have to match Real’s results, that’s all. However, we won’t be focusing on them, it is about what we can do. That is what our focus has been all season and I don’t see the point in changing our approach now. I am confident in this group and I believe we can achieve our goals come May 19th.” commented King.

It will be an important game on May 19th with Real Madrid expected to come away from their next three games with maximum points, the final game of the season will be of utmost importance in deciding that final Champions League spot.

Replies


Justice: I hope this update gave you similar pleasure.

Draw Not Enough For Sevilla


A 0-0 draw wasn’t enough for Paul King and his side to gain a 4th place finish in LaLiga as the American’s side end the season in 5th just a point off a Champions League spot.

Despite closing the gap on a top four finish from eleven to just one point in his first season in charge, Paul King is said to be “disappointed” his side couldn’t quite see it out. With a lead going into the final three games of the season, King saw his side lose to both Las Palmas and Atlético Madrid before a 0-0 draw against Real Madrid wasn’t enough to seal them a 4th place finish.

“It is gutting in all honesty. We have worked so hard this year with the ambition and aim to finish in that Champions League spot but we have fallen so painfully close. Inconsistent periods throughout the season in particular October, November and March has seen us miss out, however, I am still immensely proud of this team.” stated King “We have made a number of changes this year and managed to close the gap between us and the top four by ten points. That’s a massive jump for us and something we can focus on and build on” finished the American.

Real Madrid who had seemingly thrown away a top four place winning just two games in their final eight, profited from a tough end of season run for Sevilla. The Los Hispalensis played a staggering five games in just eight days, leading to their first league loss in eight games as Las Palmas took home a 3-1 win. The loss caused instability to a side who had finally overtaken the ‘los blancos’ in the league but a draw to Atlético Madrid saw Real retake pole position in the race for fourth.

It will now be an interesting summer for Paul King, who recently extended his stay at the club, with the American not hiding away from potential changes to his squad.

“I’m not afraid to make the tough decisions, I think I have already shown that in my time here with the sales I made last year. A lot of people were unhappy with some of the moves in the summer window but I think it’s fair to say it has worked out for the best. I will be looking at anyway of improving this team. We already have Julian Draxler joining us in the summer and that is a signal of intent for us. We want to claim our spot in the Champions League next year, that has to be the number one aim after this season.” claimed King.

With the managers ambitions clear changes are expected to be coming with the likes of Sergio Escuerdo and Gabriel Mercado’s contracts both expiring in just over a months time. Whilst Julian Draxler isn’t the only arrival already set for the team as center-back Wilson Passos will also join King’s team in the summer.

It is expected that King’s number one focus will be on a right-back in the summer with just Gabriel Mercado a natural in the role. With himself and Jesús Navas, who is set to retire, sharing the fullback duty, King will surely need to find a replacement as both seem set to leave the club.

Whatever does happen in the summer, King can look back with pride on the season past as in his first season in Europe he has guided his team to a top 5 finish in the league and a Europa League Semi-Final.

Writers Note

So, the final installment in Paul King's story is upon us.

The story started as my second attempt at writing following Bryne and I have enjoyed every moment of writing it. I hope everyone who has read it has enjoyed the story just as much as I have writing and I want to thank those of you who have followed along King's journey from Cincinnati to Sevilla. Since the end of the story, King finished 5th once again at Sevilla the following season before taking over at Juventus who had finished 4th the year before. Now top of the league with a 7 point gap, King seems set to win himself a Serie A title.

Once again, Thank you for reading and see you all in FM20.
It was a fun read! Can't wait to read you in FM20! :D
Probably not the way King would have wanted to finish the season in Spain or in Europe, but you've set the tone for FM20! Onwards and upwards!
Your writing has improved tremendously over the course of this story and I have absolutely loved witnessing that improvement alongside an excellent story. The ending to the story isn't perhaps how you may have envisioned it, but FM20 should be a great year for all of us if our plans come to fruition. I'm really looking forward to what you have in store!

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