Hello friends, we are having a wonderful season so far with Leandro and Crosso putting in some great performances of late. So far, we have won the European Super Cup and the Club World Championship. It’s time to focus on the rest of the competitions ahead of us. We are still in contention in all the cups including League Cup, FA Cup, Champions League not forgetting we are leading the Premiership at the moment.
It’s the January transfer window and we still have 200m to spend. No new players added and the only departure we had was young Swiss winger Ivan Orru who went to Middle East for 2.5m. Back to the results, we will start with the League Cup.
We were facing Wolves in the semi-finals and brushed them off easily with a 4-0 aggregate win. Anthony Crosso scored the only goal in the first leg and we put three past them in front of our own fans in the return leg. Our opponent in the final is our old foes, Man City.
Man City was lively from the start in this League Cup final match and they capitalized a poor clearance from left back Vadym Medvedev to take the lead in 10 minutes. The goal encouraged them to keep going forward and Leandro had a chance to pull a goal back in 32 minutes but he fired wide. The equalizer did arrived six minutes later after a penetrating run by Diego Garcia saw their goalkeeper parried the shot away but it fell nicely to Leandro who turned in the rebound.
10 minutes after the break, Man City was ahead again and Luis Guilherme could do nothing to save a thunderous free kick from Tim Meyer. We went in search for the equalizer as time ticked by but finding the Man City goalkeeper hard to beat. Luis Guilherme himself had to produce two superb stop to prevent Man City from widening the gap. I was fearing the worst but the brillance of Leandro two minutes from time saved us the game. Great vision from Medvedev to spot Leandro in the penalty area and he left footed a low drive past the goalkeeper to make it 2-2. Just as the game proceeded to injury time, influential defender Anthony Crosso received a straight red for a professional foul. We were down to 10 men in extra time.
First half was a stalemate as the legs from both team started to show tiredness. Three minutes into the second half, substitute Simon Marsh found space down the left flank and tried a shot in a very tight angle. The goalkeeper was there to stop the shot but again the saved was a poor one as Leandro waiting in front of the goal to tap the ball in, 3-2. I immediately instructed to play time wasting and we hung on to win this League Cup final with 10 men. This is our fifth League Cup title under my management.
We have won four FA Cup out of the last six seasons and this is a competition the fans always expected us to win. We started the competition against lower league team Newport and demolished them 6-0. We didn’t face too much problems after that except we were made to work hard in Emirates Stadium against Arsenal in 5th round. Our semi-final opponent was Aston Villa whom we totally dominated the game and won 3-0. The Aston Villa game is a milestone for me as it was my 700th game in charge of West Ham
Man Utd will be the team standing our way for a record fifth FA Cup triumph. It was a repeat of 2018 final which we won. It was an open game in the first half as both teams went for the offensive. A couple of missed chances and saves from both goalkeepers rounded up the first 45 minutes.
We pulled the first trigger 10 minutes after the break. A couple of passes exchanged between the three midfielders saw Leandro received the ball from Ibarra in good position to stroke the ball home. Our equalizer lasted eleven minutes as a misjudged decision by Luis Guilherme saw him missing the ball completely from a corner. Man Utd took advantage to head the ball in. We had lots of chances to bury the game but David De Gea was in excellent form. His heroics kept Man Utd in the game. Another 30 minutes of empty firing from both sides saw the match headed to penalties.
The first four penalty saw Man Utd scored three while one was saved by Luis Guilherme. He definitely redeemed his mistakes earlier on. We converted all our spot kicks and there you go. The FA Cup is ours.
So far we are not able to retain the CL after winning it in the previous season. We’ll see whether we can win it consecutively this year. First knockout round saw us drawn against PSG whom we beat earlier in the European Super Cup. We were too strong for them as we ran off 5-0 winner in two legs. AC Milan posed a bigger challenge in the quarter final but we are their bogey team. They couldn’t find a way to beat us. The tie was won in Italy as we scored three in Milan. I rested a number of first team regulars at home and resulted in a goalless draw. Semi-final was an interesting fixture for us we faced Man City again. First leg was played in West Ham stadium and our passing and finishing were too much for them and their defence crumbled conceding four goals when the match ended. We were the better team in Manchester but Man City took their chances well and we lost 1-2 there. The goals scored at home was enough to see us through to the final where we will face At Madrid who beat their neighbors Real Madrid in the other semi-final.
The final was played in Stade De France. We completely dominated the match mastering 36 shots in total. Lots of chances were created but we simply couldn’t find the net. At Madrid goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo had a great deal to do with their clean sheet based on the 9.3 rating he had. We had a chance to wrap up the game in injury time but Leandro who is always reliable missed the 12 yards kick. To add to our woes, At Madrid scored in second half of extra time. I thought we have lost it but football can never be known before the whistle ends. In what proved to be the last kick of the game, a corner saw Anthony Crosso knocked down the ball and seemed to be on the way out but it fell nicely to Leandro who scored in close range. 1-1. Once again, we had to go through the penalty to decide the winner.
Luis Guilherme seems to be a penalty specialist nowadays or maybe luck always seem to favor us these days. One of At Madrid’s spot kick was saved while the composure of our team saw us converted all the penalties. The CL trophy will stay in Upton Park.
I would say the West Ham team is simply awesome. 20 games left, 18 wins and two draws. Another unbeaten season for us. The players are enjoying their football and playing the best football of their lives. This bunch of players have a strong mentality as they managed to mount a comeback even when we are falling behind. As a result, we managed to secure the title with three games remaining.
This is our best season so far. Not only we remain unbeaten but we achieved a record tally of 108 points and accumulated most consecutive wins, 18 in total. A clean sweep for us as we won all the trophies coming our way. The players have to be given the most credit and lets take a look the players who created another history in West Ham books.
Leandro and Anthony Cross are having a magnificent season. Leandro is a goal scoring machine who score 41 league goals to break Javier Hernandez’s 40 league goals in a season set in 2013/14 season. Crosso plays like a striker and look at how many goals he score as a defender, 23 this season. These two players definitely carry us all the way this season.
We swept almost all the awards due to the successful season we are enjoying. I am currently rank in 2nd position behind Sir Alex in the Hall of Fame. If i can accumulate two hundred points next season, there should no problem in me taking over the first position.
I guess i won’t be playing FM12 for long as Miles Jacobson released the news of Football Manager 2013 in a press conference today.
Football Manager 2013 News
There are a number of new features added to the already popular game notably on the match engines, scouting and training. Based on the video, i summarized some of the new features that will be added in FM13.
- Two new games modes will be added – FM classic and challenge mode
- Improve 3D match engines
- Revamped camera system for televisual experience
- Manager’s backroom staff enhanced – Added the role of Director of Football and number of coaches increased
- Full integration of Steam network system
- Loan system revamped
- Manager have more control on training
- Improved user interface
- And more….
Ok, the biggest question is when will we get our hands on FM13? Well, no release date is announced yet but definitely before Christmas. Guess we have to be patient for another few months. For more details, have a look on Mile’s press conference.
This is a pretty long post and i will just stop here. Thanks a lot for reading and see you in my next post.