Season 2023-2024: January-May Update
Hey guys, so here is the second half of our 2023/2024 season. By the end of December, we were second in the league behind favourites Manchester United, but we had won six of six Champions League group stage games to see us go through top of our group. We were, unfortunately, knocked out of the Capital One Cup. Satisfied with the current squad, I did not purchase any players in January, although fan favourite Gary Gardner departed for Tottenham Hotspur in search of playing more regularly. Having already won the Community Shield, we were looking to add to our trophy talent this season, with three of the biggest club competitions up for grabs.
Barclays Premier League
I don't there is much more to say than wow. We played unbelievably well in the second half of the season, winning eighteen of our nineteen league fixtures, and losing just one. I think the most impressive results were beating Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates, and beating Manchester United 3-0 at home. Our only slip up was against Manchester City away from home, which is no surprise considering the ability of the Manchester City team. We scored forty-three goals since January, and conceded just eight. I am delighted with how we performed, and I can only dream of playing like this in future seasons.
In the end, we won the league by a considerable margin of eleven points! We had broken the Premier League record for points which was 95 (set by Chelsea), by earning a total of 100 points! To go along with this, we scored 86 goals and conceded just 20, setting our Goal Difference at +66, only matched by second place Manchester United. We have improved dramatically since last season, which was seen through our final league standing. Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal completed the Top 4, while Chelsea, Everton and Southampton claimed the Europa League spots. At the other end of the table, West Brom, Norwich and Stoke were all relegated to the Championship.
UEFA Champions League
We dominated the group stages, winning all of our games against PSG, Ajax and Anji. We drew Sevilla in the Last 16. We demolished them 6-0 on aggregate, after a 5-0 win away in the first leg. We drew another Spanish team in the quarter finals, this time in the mighty FC Barcelona. After picking up a shock 2-1 win at the Nou Camp, we dispatched the Catalan giants 4-1 at thome to win the tie 6-2 on aggregate and progress to the semi finals. We faced a familiar foe in Manchester United in the semi finals, with them looking to gain revenge over us after we took their spot as the best team in the Premier League. However, they could not beat us as we won 4-1 on aggregate, seeing us go to the final. A third Spanish team stood in our way, this time Real Madrid. The final was contested in Old Trafford, and Real Madrid might have been accused of playing the better football on the night. However, the UEFA Champions League would be returning to Vauxhall Motors, courtesy of an early Abdelmoumene Medaci goal, which saw us win 1-0. This was our first ever European trophy and to win the greatest club competition on the planet is amazing. I am delighted that we have been crowned Champions of Europe, and hopefully we can win the mighty European Cup again!
Our first opponent was Wigan, whom it took a reply to beat. We then defeated Chelsea before having to need a replay to beat Arsenal. Manchester United were our opponents in the next round, but we had no problem dispatching them. QPR were our semi-final opponents, but we demolished them to put us in the final, where we faced Everton. We deservedly went 2-1 up after Sterling's goal on the 50th minute before Everton began to throw everything they had at us, but a Cervantes-lead defence kept the Toffees out, securing us the FA Cup. I am delighted with winning this competition for the first time, especially considering our tough run of games in the tournament. Hopefully there will be plenty more memorable campaigns in the "Cup of Dreams".
Capital One Cup
We easily demolished Everton and West Brom before losing to Sunderland on penalties in the quarter finals. I am disappointed with our performance in this competition as I felt that we could have challenged to win the trophy. Hopefully we can do better in the future.
McDonalds Community Shield
We beat Arsenal on penalties to win the Community Shield.
Goalkeepers: Edward D'Auria has developed in to the best goalkeeper in the world. His shot stopping is out of this world. He has been such a great player for Vauxhall and I expect him to continue in the same trend in the next few years. Iain Rae has been great back-up, keeping quite a few clean sheets when called upon. A very reliable goalkeeper to have.
Defenders: Our defence has been superb this season. Cervantes, Susnic and Karim have kept their places in my starting eleven, while Massimiliano Manzella moved ahead of Niels Andersen in the pecking order late on in the season. I am delighted with my defence, by far the best in the world. Hopefully it will continue to stay strong.
Midfielders: The midfield trio of Pena, Casey and Garbutt has been as solid as ever. Rocha, Ozdemir and Kaljuste have all come in to play very well at times too, which is very encouraging. On the wings, both Walker and Sterling have been in superb form. They have proved that they are world class players. Tom Ince and Mauricio Gonazalez have been good back ups for them two.
Strikers: Abdelmoumene Medaci has been such a prolific striker this season, scoring goals from all over the place. It is wonderful to have a striker as young as him scoring as many goals as he does. I can see him becoming Vauxhall's record goalscorer in a few seasons. Martin Gibson and Euan Smith haven't been able to get a proper look in to the team sheet as a result.
A wonderful campaign where we won four trophies, including the prestigious European Cup (Champions League). This has been our best season so far and hopefully we can have many more like it! The plan for the summer transfer window is to value the current players in my senior, reserves and youth squads and decide which players to sell and which to keep, as I look to strengthen the finances of the club and remove unnecessary wages.