Good day all and welcome back to the latest update in my quest to complete the Pentagon Challenge
So its season 5 with Manchester City and hopefully this will be our the year in which we win the big one! Last seasons shock departure in the 1st Knockout Round was an absolute kick in the teeth but has galvanised me to make sure this year we don’t suffer a similar fate.
I won’t be putting so much emphasis on winning other trophies, the Champions League will be my one and only aim. Obviously I will still be wanting to win the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup but I will rotate more in the smaller games and save my main players for the big matches if and when they come along
The squad itself looks really good, I don’t feel we need to change it that much. I have a good nucleus of quality world class players and also quite a few decent youngsters so I wont be wanting to bring too many players in.
Transfers In – Pre-Season
The board has given me £37m to spend and to be honest I don’t really need it but its there if I have to spend it. I needed to replace Right Winger Sisto who has retired at the end of last season. I also wanted to sign a new RB as back-up to Greg Smith who is now 32. Other than that I may see who is available on pre-contract deals.
In the end I couldn’t find a RB who was cheap enough or better than my current back-up RB Leon White who is one of my decent looking youth players.
I ended up only getting 2 players in and here they are:
Signing – Gustavo Franco was signed to replace Sisto and looks quality. He cost me £15m from Zenit
Signing 2 – This guy was signed on a pre-contract deal and will provide back-up to my current strikers at the club
Transfers In/Out – January
I don’t usually do much business in January but due to injuries I was getting and also a bid I received for back-up Left Back Carl Rowland I had to do some. Rowland was out of contract at the end of the season and was refusing to sign a new deal. Chelsea came in with a bid of £20m and I had to say yes. Also CB Ouattara was getting frustrated with lack of game time and was sold for £4.2m to Napoli. I also wanted to sign a new CM to replace Chris Johansen who was retiring at the end of the season and really not good enough for the squad.
So I needed 3 new signings and I managed to get all 3.
Signing 1 – A £14.75m capture from Real Madrid, he looks better than Johansen and will provide good competition for places in Midfield
Signing 2 – Gomez was signed to replace CB Ouattara, he cost me £10m from River Plate
And finally, Signing 3 – My new back-up LB and at 18 years old he is one for the future he cost me £7.5m from Palmeiras
Capital One Cup
Board Expectations – Not Important
My Expectations – Not Important
I class it as not important but I wanted to give my youngsters some exposure to big games, and my god they performed well. We had an amazing campaign winning the competition beating Cardiff in the final. But by far the best result was 7-0 demolition of Arsenal in the Quarter Final
So a great start but lets hope there’s more to come
Board Expectation – Reach Final
My Expectation – Play Youth/Reserves, see how it goes
I did want to win this but didn’t want to risk injuring my major players. In the end it was our downfall as we were knocked out in the Quarter Finals. It was a disappointment but there were more important things to think about!
Board Expectation – Title Challenge
My Expectation – Title Challenge
We had won the Premier League the previous 2 seasons and I really wanted to make it 3 in a row, but hopefully with a bit less fuss than before. Each time we had lifted the trophy we had been ran incredibly close by firstly Man Utd and secondly Chelsea.
This time it was a lot less difficult, we lead from the front and at the half way stage were 12 points clear. Our first defeat of the season came in game 26. At that point we had gone on a 54 game unbeaten run in the League beating the previous record of 49 held by the invincibles of Arsenal. We did tail off as bigger games came about but when we went to Chelsea with 5 games to go we knew a point would win us the title. We managed a 2-1 win and the title was ours. A fantastic achievement but strangely we didn’t beat our points tally of the season before. 91 points was more than enough this time (we would’ve been 2nd with that last season).
An amazing season in the League, what pleased me the most was the goals conceded, only 22 all season and 21 clean sheets was fantastic.
So a 3rd league title in a row but we still had the big one to win. Could I achieve my aim of winning the Champions League in 5 seasons?!
Board Expectation – Quarter Finals
My Expectation – Win it!
The good news to start with is we were now seeded 2nd in the Group Stage, this meant we would only draw 1 top quality team, this time that team would be Dortmund, probably one of the lower ranked top seeded teams in the draw. The other 2 teams we drew were Ludogorets and Zenit. I was confident we could easily qualify for the Knockout stages and in the end it was an absolute breeze
We dominated the group stage topping the group with 14 points. The 2 draws were a shock but not important.
So another shot at the Knockout stages, lets hope we can progress further than last time!
We were given a tough task in the 1st Round where we drew AC Milan. The 1st leg away was a tight affair and we managed to come out of it with a 1-1 draw, a solid result which put us in good nick for the home leg.
The 2nd leg was amazing and one hell of a way to banish the demons of last season. A 7-1 win! And with that a Quarter Final match-up against Portuguese side Benfica
That was a lot easier draw than I could’ve got and it started fantastically. We played the 1st leg at home and managed to come away with a fantastic 5-1 win. Surely we couldn’t mess this up?
Well we did try! We came away with a 3-2 defeat, a surprise to me but it didn’t matter and we were through to the Semi Finals where it was about to get a lot tougher!
We drew Juventus, one of the best ranked teams in the World. The 1st leg was at home and we needed to come away with a lead and hopefully a clean sheet!
We managed to do both. A 2-0 win was a great result. Lets hope we can keep it tight in the 2nd leg
1 game away from the Final, somewhere we have never been before. We have a 2-0 lead, lets keep this tight!
Erm maybe not then! We VERY nearly threw it away. At half-time we were 2-1 down, Juventus never got into the lead but they came so close so many times. In the end we lost 4-3 but scraped our way through 5-4 on aggregate. And we are into the FINAL!!!!
And we were against old foes Chelsea. They’d had a pretty poor season in my eyes so I could see them being determined to spoil my party. I have never been so nervous before a game in my life. I rested all my best players for the final 2 league games just so no one got an injury. I went into the game with a full strength team.
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! WE ARE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS!!!!
I have no words for how I feel at the moment, This is going to take a long time to sink in. I took over at Manchester City 5 years ago when they were struggling to stay in the Premier League and 5 years later I have made them triple Premier League Champs and now European Champs!
And with that I have completed part 4 of the Pentagon Challenge. Just South America to go!!
End of Season Awards
We won nearly all of the English awards! Here they all are
The most pleasing one for me was my new signing Franco winning PFA Young Player of the Year
We also had 5 players in the Team of the Year
So an amazing season. Words fail me for how good this has been.
I leave Manchester City now in such good condition. The bank balance has gone from £30m when I joined to nearly £130m. We have a squad capable of dominating England for years to come and hopefully Europe as well. This will stay in my memories as one of the best challenges I have done, I have never achieved so much in so little time. When I took over we had such a terrible squad and I managed to turn it around into what they have now!
We now move onto our final leg of the Pentagon Challenge in the form of South America. Where will I go? You will have to wait and see!
Thanks for reading!