SAF-Challenge: Episode 3

It’s February 1st and the transfer window is closed. We played 10 match in the Premier League and played 2 matches in the FA Cup. There were 3 players who left the club on a loan, we signed one player and loaned 2 more.

Transfers

First talk about the outs. We loaned out 2 Under-23 players, Sam Beldock went to Nottingham Forest and Jayson Molumby went to Sheffield United. The other player who was loaned out is Ales Mateju. He went to Burnley. I know Burnley is above us in the league, but I wasn’t using Mateju, so I was thinking it is always better to have him out on loan then upsetting the team dynamics.

As I said in my previous post, I want to strengthen the left and right back positions. And that is what I did. The two players which I signed on loan are coming from two of the biggest clubs in Europe, AC Milan and Real Madrid. From AC Milan Davide Calabria comes in. He is a right back with good pace and acceleration. From Real Madrid Theo Hernandez is coming in. He is an allround left back with also the possibilty to play more up front. I also signed a young player named Gregory Valmy. He is a 2 star centerback with a 5 star potential, so let’s hope he can develop over time into a first team player.

Matches

Since the last post we’ve played 12 matches. Of those 12 matches, we won 6, drew 2 and lost 4.

FA Cup

In the third round of the FA Cup we got Millwall, a mid-table team from the Championship. As suspected we won this game with 4-1 with goals from Pascal Gross, Leonardo Ulloa, José Izquierdo and Beram Kayal. In the 4th round we got an away-game against Liverpool. This game was very tricky and unfortunately we lost with 4-0. Liverpool played very good and we couldn’t get any counter in. With only 9 shots against the 35 from Liverpool and you can see that the match was very one way.

Premier League

In my last post I set a goal of 6 points from the next 5 games. These games were against Liverpool, Newcastle United, Leicester, West Ham United and Stoke City. The results were very good. We unfortunately lost against Liverpool with 3-1. But after that we would go undefeated the whole way. The game against Newcastle ended in 3-0 with 2 goals from Tomer Hemed and one from Solly March. Then we took on Leicester and it was a vrey boring game. It ended in 0-0 with Dale Stephans getting sent of in the 91st minute.

Next match was against West Ham United. All goals fell in the first half with goals from Tomer Hemed and Beram Kayal. West Ham’s Arnoutovic did something back before half time. The only noteworthy event was the sending off of Lewis Dunk in the 87th minute. The last game of the planned streak was against Stoke City. We dominated the whole match which resulted in a nice 2-0 win, but it could, an maybe should, have been more goals from our side.

After that I decided to play all games through the transfer window. The results was very incosistent and I will go through them very quickly.

We started with a game against Swansea. We started off very good and Tomer Hemed scored in the 6th minute. The rest of the match was very boring and it ended in 1-0. Next up, Manchester United. I anticipated a loss and with the FA Cup in the next match I rotated the squad a little. Despite that we only lost 2-0. After the win in the FA Cup we played Tottenham Hotspur. We were completely overrun and lost with 3-1 with the only goal on our side coming from an own goal by Toby Aldeweireld.

The last 2 games before the end of the transfer window were against Bournemouth and Burnley. The match against Bournemouth was a nice match. It went back and forth and in the end we won with 2-0 with goals from Jürgen Locadia and a penalty from Tomer Hemed. The final match against Burnley was boring and ended in 0-0.

Rest of the season

The rest of the season will be all about saving a place in the Premier League for next year and avoid relegation. We are standing in 11th place right now and we are 12 points clear from the relegation zone. I will play the rest of the season now and show you the results in the next episode, unless the relegation battle will be on at the end of the season.

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