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I seem to recognize your face - Newport County

Started on 18 October 2012 by joannes3000
Latest Reply on 14 April 2013 by swag
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November 2016

vs Aston Villa



Man, we needed this one! It felt super good getting this month off on a winning note after last month’s troubles. Ian Lewis came through with a goal in injury time that snapped our four game winless streak. Hopefully this helps propel us into a successful month!

vs Chelsea



For a while it looked like we had what it took to upset Chelsea in front of our home fans. We did a good job of tightening up on defense and we went into halftime tied at zero. Unfortunately it only took a matter of minutes after the restart for Chelsea to take the lead. We came out of our shell to try and find an answer but struggled to do so. Then just before injury time Chelsea struck again for the final margin.

vs Swansea



This game got started off on the right foot with Tom Boyle mailing one in from long distance to give us the lead only 4 minutes into the game. We held that lead at halftime thanks to a strong defense that limited Swansea to only a handful of decent chances at goal. Our hard work to that point threatened to unravel, however, as we gave up a goal only 8 minutes after the restart. Credit where credit is due – Swansea cut through the heart of our defense to head home the goal. We reacted quickly to restore order. Maybe the defense took that last goal personally because Alex Coleman was the one to give us back the lead with a strong header of his own. Then with about 20 minutes left in the game, newcomer Patrick Onana scored a security goal to give us a two goal lead.

vs Norwich



You won’t hear me complaining about this final score. Norwich came out and took control of this game early and we had to play defensively almost all game long. We tried to mount offensives at times but Norwich was too strong for us to cope with. We were lucky to go into halftime with a goalless draw because we were giving up shots on goal quite often. Our defense finally caved in about an hour into the match and allowed the first goal of the game. About 10 minutes later David Moli was a surprise scorer as the fill-in poacher got free and headed home the game-tying goal. Afterwards we were content to waste away the final 20 minutes or so and bag a needed point.

Capital One Cup – Quarterfinals



After our solid win over Crystal Palace last month and our nice run of form in league play, this result was upsetting. We came out flat, something that we can’t afford to do against top competition. Gareth Bale took full advantage and we found ourselves behind after only seven minutes had gone by. After that, we played right into Tottenham’s hands by being unable to mount an offensive. This is definitely something we will need to work on in the future. As time faded away we pressed harder but couldn’t find a goal to extend our run. Instead we opened things up and Son Heung-Min (I remember him from my last story!) slotted home a late goal to rub salt in our wounds.

League Table

After last month’s humbling experience I was thrilled to get us back on the winning path. We went 2-1-1 in league play, which is a point better than the six points I was hoping for at the start of the month. We also didn’t play our game against Wolves due to international call-ups. Our plan to avenge our early loss to Tottenham came up short in the Capital One Cup. The 2 goal loss looks a lot worse than the game really was; thanks to a late goal scored by Tottenham. That knocks us out of one cup competition but we have the FA Cup to look forward to now.

We gave ourselves some much-needed breathing room from the drop zone after this month’s results. We’re back to the middle of the pack now with 18 points. We’re sitting in 11th place; four points away from 7th place West Brom and the final Europa League spot. We’re also four points clear of 18th place Everton and the relegation zone. We’ve got seven games on tap for December - Arsenal (3), Wolves (15), Burnley (8), Everton (18), Man City (4), West Brom (9), and Fulham (10). Once again, I’m hoping to secure at least six points this month and anything beyond 9 would be fantastic.




Transfers


No new faces this month.
Total money spent this season– 4.2m
Impressive stuff Joannes. As always your story is awesome, keep it up and good luck for the rest of the season :)
2013-01-28 03:48#79173 Sonalexwild : Impressive stuff Joannes. As always your story is awesome, keep it up and good luck for the rest of the season :)

Thanks for reading!

December 2016

vs Norwich



You won’t hear me complaining about this final score. Norwich came out and took control of this game early and we had to play defensively almost all game long. We tried to mount offensives at times but Norwich was too strong for us to cope with. We were lucky to go into halftime with a goalless draw because we were giving up shots on goal quite often. Our defense finally caved in about an hour into the match and allowed the first goal of the game. About 10 minutes later David Moli was a surprise scorer as the fill-in poacher got free and headed home the game-tying goal. Afterwards we were content to waste away the final 20 minutes or so and bag a needed point.

vs Arsenal



These games aren’t getting any easier to bear. Once again Arsenal showcases the gap in talent they have over our squad. This game was decent at halftime, despite us conceding two goals in three minutes early on. As our stars got tired, Arsenal’s just kept pressing and the demolition was on. 28 shots, 11 on target, 5 past the keeper.

vs Wolves



We breathed a collective sigh of relief after the final whistle blew on this game. After getting our asses kicked by Arsenal last game, we needed this bounceback win in a big way. A first half struggle was a preview for what would turn out to be an equally tough and tense second half. Our defense looked solid and we did a good job maintaining possession but it felt like we were just waiting for that back-breaking goal to be scored against us. Then in the 70th minute, we took a corner kick that fell horribly short. It was aimed for Ian Lewis but it landed at his feet instead of floating in so he could get a header off. But Wolves looked just as surprised at the poor kick and the man marking Lewis scrambled out to try and cut off the ball, missed, and Lewis slammed home a close range shot before anyone else could clear the ball.

vs Burnley



This win marks our second in a row but it was a very costly one. :( This game got started off on the right foot for us, with the opposing keeper scoring an own-goal only four minutes in. Turns out that we were lucky to get that goal because we didn’t pose much of a threat for the rest of the half. Less than five minutes after the restart we lost Patrick Onana to injury, then about 10 minutes after the restart Burnley equalized after some poor midfield defending. Fearing the worst, I moved Stephen Ireland to AMC and subbed in Battocchio at center mid to help strengthen us defensively. Then just as we looked content with a draw, Steven Hewitt spotted an opening and cut loose with a shot from nearly 20 yards out that stunned the keeper as it whistled in for the winner.

That injury to Patrick Onana was about as bad as we feared – broken leg. He’s off to a specialist and will be out 6-7 months. His season is now over and I only hope that this doesn’t stunt his growth potential. Stephen Ireland will become the starting AMC and we will recall Lee Evans from the reserves to play center mid.

vs Everton



Talk about one for the neutrals! With a halftime score of 0-2 I would’ve been content with a decent showing in the second half after we couldn’t get a shot off, let alone score any goals. I wouldn’t have guessed that there would be a second half scoring bonanza in the cards. We found ourselves down three goals with around 40 minutes to go and I was pissed. The boys looked decent enough with the ball but we were having no luck unlocking the back line. Josh Morris finally got us on the board with a screamer from 18 yards out. At least we weren’t giving them a clean sheet. Then late sub Krisztian Adorjan slotted one home about 5 minutes after coming on. At least we put a scare in them. Then somehow, Ian Lewis snuck in on a quickly taken corner kick and headed home the tying goal in injury time. The Everton crowd was just as stunned as I was! Three goals in twenty minutes - http://youtu.be/fpjXxpEzAAM

vs Man City



I’ll be honest, I was happy with this loss. For the first time all season we kept things close against a top flight team. And even though we lost by two goals there are some clear positives that we can draw from. First, we didn’t crumble early. Not only did we allow a goal only ten minutes in, but we also allowed Stevan Jovetic to score a brace within the half hour. We didn’t allow any more goals from that point until much later in the game. Second, our defense looked decent. We were completely dominated on and off the ball but our defense managed to hang in there. We allowed 31 shots, 16 on target, and only three goals despite getting tested often. And lastly, we somehow found a way through an impressive City defense, although it was so late in the game the opposing players were likely more concerned with where to enjoy their post-game meal instead of the action on the pitch.

vs West Brom



This rollercoaster month continues with another win after suffering a loss in our previous game. We came out strong in the first half, notching two goals before the halftime whistle. Cristian Battocchio opened the scoring with a nice shot from distance, then Alex Coleman headed home the second goal. That ended up being the only scoring for the rest of the game as our defense did a good job of forcing West Brom to be largely wasteful with their shooting opportunities.

vs Fulham



Damn it we should’ve won this game. In a reversal of fortunes, we get ‘upset’ by a Fulham squad that was sitting near the relegation zone before this match. It looked like we were stunned at how much fight Fulham brought with them and they deservedly won. Things looked decent going into halftime, but one poor bit of play saw us give up a free kick just outside the box and that kick ended up getting converted. The second half threatened to get ugly but we managed to keep them out of the goal. Unfortunately we weren’t able to find a tying goal and what would’ve been a fantastic end to our month instead ended in disappointment.

League Table

We have now put together two solid months of play and everyone looks confident that we will avoid the drop in our first year! We went 3-1-3 in league play which is better than I had originally hoped for. We had expected losses to Arsenal (a heavy loss, at that) and City, as well as an expected win against Wolves. I was surprised that we lost to Fulham, but was pleasantly surprised that we beat West Brom quite handily. The Everton match was a tossup and we were fortunate to storm back to draw that game.

The 10 points we picked up this month nearly doubles the 18 points we had going in. Our 28 points thus far sits us just above the halfway point on the league table and I couldn’t be happier with things to this point. We’re sitting in 8th place; two points away from 7th place Blackburn and the final Europa League spot. We’re now seven points clear of 18th place Swansea and the relegation zone. The goal will definitely be to avoid relegation at this point. I don’t think we have the depth to compete for a continental spot just yet, but who knows! We’ve got six games on tap for January - Reading (10), Sheff Utd (FA Cup), Huddersfield (20), Newcastle (13), Stoke (19), and Tottenham (4). I want to see us get 12 points this month.




Transfers

I made a big decision before the transfer window shut. That decision was to move to a 4231 formation instead of the 442 we’ve used to get us this far. I think we finally have the funds and prestige to go after the type of players needed for this more exotic style, and I think we need to be proactive in order to avoid relegation. The decision was to move to a more offensive formation in order to avoid these games where we lose the possession battle and put so much pressure on our defense because I think the level of competition is to the point now where we will lose a lot more games than we ever have.


Rocco Sbravati joins us on a free. The central defender is a fine 4.5 star prospect that was originally brought in because Chris Devaney was demanding silly amounts of money to be the rotational player he currently is. With Sbravati in the mix, we have cover in case Devaney leaves or a fantastic group of central defenders to select from.

With the January transfer window open I don’t anticipate signing any new faces. The only area that I’m even considering would be at keeper. We’ve already decided to go with youth and potential so Max Oberschmidt has been starting ahead of Alan Julian. There are some foreign prospects I’ve been eyeing in the 10m transfer range but I don’t know if I’m willing to shake things up further. We won’t be resigning Alan Julian, so it makes sense to either land a veteran stopper or someone with even more potential than Oberschmidt currently has. We’ll see what happens.

Total money spent this month – zero
Total money spent this season– 4.2m
Impressive results,keep it up !
2013-01-30 11:59#79373 Donatt : Impressive results,keep it up !

Thanks, mate!
2013-01-30 11:59#79373 Donatt : Impressive results,keep it up !

Thanks, mate! Thanks for reading.
1

January 2017

vs Reading



Once again, we really should have won this game! This turned out to be quite a contest between two teams sitting in the middle of the table. The first half was an indicator of how the rest of the game would go – a hard-fought but pretty boring game in terms of offense and scoring. It wasn’t until the final 10 minutes that the fireworks began to fly. Reading threatened to snatch the win away with an 81st minute strike that left our home crowd stunned. Before the crowd could come to their senses, we leveled the game! Tom Boyle was a late substitute and his fresh legs were just what the doctor ordered. Boyle was able to burst past the defense and set up a fantastic shot from about 15 yards out.

vs Huddersfield



This trend is starting to worry me a bit. Either we’re playing down to our level of competition or I’m seriously overestimating the strength of our squad. Huddersfield is dead last in the league with 8 points. We’re supposed to be mid-table or even continental competitors. Instead the roles were reversed and we looked horrible all game long. Five shots total and two on goal? 40% possession? New keeper Grigoris Stamatiou was made to work in his first start for his new team and he deservedly earned MoM after we failed to provide him with a proper defense. Thankfully we walked out of this game with a win after Fran O’Connor slotted home his 5th league goal just after the hour mark for the only score of the game.

vs Newcastle



I’m a little pissed that the post-game headline said we got DOMINATED in this game. I mean, sure, Newcastle put in a ton more shots but that’s the norm for us. We’re also starting a mismatched back line due to injury and international duty. Alex Coleman is barely comfortable at playing right fullback and he’s horribly slow out there. Maybe I’m taking it too personally but like I said, “dominated” isn’t the term I’d use, lol. This was a scoreless draw at halftime and we had some decent chances to go into halftime with the lead. And even after Newcastle scored just past the hour mark, we had a few good looks toward the end of the game. If we replayed this game a few more times I think we would win our fair share.

vs Stoke



This was another classic defensive grinder for our team. Typically when we only attempt a handful of shots you can assume that we got crushed in terms of possession. Possession was nearly even for this match, however, so we did a good job of holding the ball and remaining patient. We only too three shots, but put two on target and one past the keeper. It was Tom Boyle who stroked a nice shot from 25 yards out. His 20th minute strike was the only goal scored and it was a great showing for the defense. Grigoris Stamatiou is starting to look comfortable as keeper even though he can’t even speak basic English yet (we’ve brought on a Greek/English player to help). And with Blair Adams back from injury we have our full complement of back line players available again.

FA Cup - Round 4



For the second straight round we barely get past a lower league opponent. Brighton are sitting in the middle of the Championship table and really shouldn’t have been this much of a threat to upset us. Plus I think I did everything I could to properly motivate the boys during talks leading up to the game. Maybe it was because we were playing in front of a hostile away crowd? Whatever it was, Brighton were clearly the more confident team on the pitch. The first half was relatively calm for us, mainly because Brighton settled on trying to snipe shots from distance. A scoreless draw at halftime gave way to an early score after the restart. We made the one shot we got on target count, with Josh Morris timing a great run from the wing. He cut in behind his defender and slotted home an easy goal. That was enough to see us into the next round, where hopefully we won’t look so disinterested.

League Table

Blah, just blah. This month I learned that we are close but there is work to be done. I can’t believe I felt strongly about winning 12 out of 15 possible points this month! We ended up playing only 4 games with our match against Tottenham being rescheduled due to international duty, dropping our total possible points to 12. We took home 7 points out of 12 and they were well-earned. Our opening game against Reading ended up being a precursor to what we would face all month long, which were difficult games that would be decided by one goal. I guess we could look at the flipside and say that we were close in the two games that we didn’t win and that it was a successful month in that regard. But I don’t take too much stock in wins we almost had. We don’t get extra points for close draws or losses. More concerning was that we followed this trend of close games into the FA Cup and were nearly ousted again by a lower league team. We’re onto the 5th round where we will face a fellow Premier League team in Stoke so maybe we’ll be motivated to play them.

Pessimism aside, we still broke ahead of the curve, earning more than half of the possible points on the month. Our 35 keeps us in 8th place; still two points away from 7th place Blackburn and the final Europa League spot. We’re now ten points clear of 18th place Swansea and the relegation zone. We’ve got five total games on tap for February - Blackburn (7), Stoke (FA Cup), Tottenham (5), Liverpool (6), and Man U (3). This will be our toughest month so far, I think, and I’ll be happy to find a way to secure at least 3 points this month. I’d also like us to advance in the FA Cup against a Stoke team that is currently in the relegation zone.




Transfers

Another big decision was made before this transfer window shut. This time it was to bring in a new starting keeper. Why make a move like this mid-season? Well it’s a move both for the present and the future, although there will likely be a settling in period early on.


Newgen Grigoris Stamatiou was too good to overlook, especially at only 4m. He’s already a 4 star talent with 5 star potential so I was willing to risk unsettling the team a bit. Stamatiou doesn’t speak English so we immediately looked for someone that can speak both Greek and English to ease this transition. And what we may lose in the early going with players getting used to a new critical member of the team, I think it will make us much stronger in the long run.


Tom Williams will be the man to help our new keeper get settled in. Forget his attributes as the 36 year old is not going to see the pitch. He was brought on as a backup and his most important attribute is that he can speak both Greek and English. I’m basically paying him 775 p/w to be a translator and a friend to Stamatiou.

Total money spent this month – 4m

Total money spent this season– 8.2m
Haha interesting! So Alan Julian is going to be dropped?
What a story!
Great work, this year you still doing very well in premier league.
keep going, and good luck ;)

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