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Author Topic: Peterborough Utd. - 2012 & beyond - Quad Quest  (Read 8488 times)

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Peterborough Utd. - 2012 & beyond - Quad Quest
« Reply #30 on: September 16, 2005, 04:48:31 PM »

Bellomo is picked to the Team of the Week.  He must be a candidate for player of the month honors at this rate, as he is on fire.  He has scored 4 times in his last 3 appearances, 2 of those games coming outside of league competition.  Bellomo has the highest average rating on the team right now, at 8.11 in 9 games, and has earned man of the match in 5 of his 9 appearances.

We have numerous players away on international duty as our penultimate Champions League Group match comes up in mid-week.  In fact, of our 25 man roster that is eligible to play in the Group Stage, only 16 are available to dress for this game, meaning we have 2 spots for subs that are going totally un-used.  Trabzonspor still holds out a slim hope for advancing, but must have a win today for that to be possible.

Nov. 20, Champions League Match Day 5 (TV)
4-0-0, 1st place, Qualified for Knockout Stage
v. Trabzonspor (1-1-2, 3rd place in Group E, 2 points behind Barcelona)
Last meeting: Trabzonspor 0:3 Posh
Fav: Posh, 4:6

GK: Gallacher
D: Lazzari, Marcos, Bocanegra, Heitinga
M: Kargbo, Karsnak, Sneijder, Kranjcar
S: Mokoena, Wallner
Subs: GK Tor Hilmarsson, Bellomo, Lampard, Cole, Kargbo

We go with the attacking style that worked so well in the second half vs. Brighton, out of our standard 4-4-2.

5'- Sneijder's corner kick is headed on by Mokoena... the Turkish keeper makes the save, but Kargbo is there to clean things up and score his first of the year.  1-0, Posh.

Trabzonspor can't break our offside trap, and we pretty much keep the ball in their half of the field, holding over 50% of possession in the Trabzonspor half of the field.

46'- A Turkish attacker gets his 2nd yellow for chopping down Mokoena, and we go a man up.

70'- We seal things up, as John Heitinga sends a perfect ball ahead to Roman Wallner... Wallner bears down on the keeper and slips it inside the far post for a 2-0 Posh lead.  Wallner's fourth goal in his last 5 appearances for us.

72'- Jan Karsnak with a magnificent shot from the top corner of the box freezes the keeper and he watches it scrape under the bar and in for our 3rd of the match.  Karsnak's 2nd of the season.

83'- Roman Wallner lines up a 30 yard free kick, and strikes it home.  4-0, Posh as we're punching Barca's ticket to the round of 16 as well as emphatically stamping our own.

Mercifully for the Turks, the final whistle goes and we take a 4-0 win.

Win, 4-0, Trabzonspor eliminated from Champions League
Shots/on target: Posh 24/12, Trabzonspor 0/0
Poss: 66-34, Posh
MoM: Lebohang Mokoena - 3 key passes, 1 assist, 7/18 headers won, 5 forward runs
Posh ratings: Heitinga (8), Marcos (8), Wallner (9), Sneijder (8), Karsnak (9), Kargbo (8), Mokoena (9), Kranjcar (6)
Posh subs: Tor Hilmarsson (for Gallacher, 83')
A: 15,119

Barcelona easily dispatch Dinamo Kiev 3-1 in the Ukraine to also advance to the Knockout Stages.

We set a team record with our 11th straight win in all competitions with this victory since our late September drubbing at the hands of Arsenal.


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« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2005, 04:49:03 PM »

Carlton Cole strains a calf in training, meaning that we'll be short our best striker in a week for our key League Cup matchup against Manchester United.  Cole is due to miss about 2 weeks with the injury.

Next up for us Barnsley, who are dead last in the Premiership, and have scored just 7 goals while allowing 30 so far in the campaign.  Considering this, we try to steal an extra match's rest for some key personnel.

Nov. 24, Match 14
9-3-1, 2nd pl., 30 pts.
@ Barnsley (1-3-10, 20th pl., 6 pts. - Leading scorer: Roberto Gandola, 2)
Series: Posh lead 5-1-0, first meeting since 2007/08 season
Fav: Posh, 4:7

GK: Gallacher
D: Lazzari, Svensson, Marcos, Sarr
M: Kargbo, Montolivo, Karsnak, Gerard
S: Jablonski, Wallner

2'- Things don't start well, as Marcos brings down Gandola at the top of the arc, and the 22 yard free kick is promptly struck past a flailing Gallacher for a 1-0 Barnsley lead.

5'- Wallner with a great ball over the top for Jablonski... Michal gets a one on one chance, but it lacks power and is tipped aside.

12'- Things go from bad to worse as Barnsley beat the trap, and Gallacher gets beaten on the one-v-one for a 2-0 Barnsley lead.

21'- We pull one back, Jan Karsnak with a great long cross to Montolivo, unmarked at the back post.  The Italian dives onto it and heads it past the surprised keeper.  2-1.

Our offense sputters a bit, even after we up the pressure, and then switch to a 3-5-2 at halftime, featuring 2 attacking midfielders.

80'- Frank Lampard misses an absolute sitter from 4 yards, and we get desperate.

We throw everything but the kitchen sink at Barnsley in the final 10 minutes.  Sadly, they nip yet another goal in the final 4 minutes, and put it out of reach.

This is one of those games that was hopeless as soon as the first kick was taken.  We got served with 6 yellow cards, including 2 to Kargbo who was sent off in the 92nd minute.  Barnsley just outplayed us, and we looked totally inept all match long.  No chemistry, no attack.  We deserved to lose.

Loss, 3-1, remain in 2nd
Shots/on target: Barnsley 16/9, Posh 15/8
Poss: 51-49, Barnsley
MoM: Barnsley GK John Chambers - 7 saves
Posh ratings: Gallacher (8), Montolivo (8), Kargbo (6), Svensson (6), Wallner (8)
Posh subs: Lampard (for Marcos, 61'), Mokoena (for Jablonski, 61'), Sneijder (for Gerard, 76')
A: 20,741

Kargbo is likely to miss 2 weeks due to a calf strain... so that 1 game suspension for his red card won't really hurt us all that much.

Man U beats Chelsea at home 1-0 to extend their lead to 7 points.  The league might well be getting away from us before too long if Man U doesn't cool off soon.


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« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2005, 04:50:33 PM »

Biggest game of the year so far coming up if we want to achieve our goal of winning all 4 competitions we're entering.

Nov. 28, League Cup Quarterfinals
@ Manchester United (1st in Premiership)
Series: Red Devils lead 5-3-3, @ Old Trafford: Man U lead 2-2-1
Fav: ManU, 5:4

GK: Arenas
D: de la Cuesta, Alex, Bocanegra, Heitinga
M: Jesus, Sneijder, Bellomo, Kranjcar
S: Johansen, Mokoena

9'- Cristiano Ronaldo tees one up from 25 yards, but Arenas is there.

27'- A tight match opens up a bit, as Mokoena passes ahead to Johansen... he holds off his man, then tries a shot from 18 yards... it deflects up and over the keeper and into the net!!!  1-0, Posh, as Jim Johansen scores!

It stays that way as we go into the break... Man U has much more of a fatigue issue than we do, and it seems to be helping us out immensely on the pitch.

51'- Valeri Bojinov pops free for Man U, but Arenas stones him and the rebound is cleared.

68'- Sub. Diomansy Kamara with a great cross into Bojinov, but Arenas makes the stop at point blank range... great reaction save.

75'- Bellomo tries a 30 yard shot... it's charged down, but the ball falls to Mokoena, who first times it past Stekelenburg and into the back of the net!!!  2-0, Posh as Lebohang Mokoena provides a much needed insurance goal!

Man U can't penetrate our back line for the final quarter hour, and we take the win!  A HUGE win at the Theatre of Dreams puts us in the driver's seat in this competition!

Win, 0-2, advance to League Cup Semifinals
Shots/on target: Red Devils 12/6, Posh 12/4
Poss: 52-48, ManU
MoM: L.A. Arenas - 6 saves
Posh ratings: Arenas (9), de la Cuesta (8), Alex (8), Bellomo (8), Jesus (8), Johansen (8), Kranjcar (8)
Posh subs: None
A: 64,734

League Cup Quarterfinal results
Bolton 1:0 Man City
Leicester 0:0 Chelsea (Chelsea adv. 3-2 on PK's)
Yeovil 2:1 Tottenham H.

So, 2 non-Premiership teams remain in the competition... hopefully, we'll draw one of them and NOT Chelsea in the Semi's.

Sadly, Arsenal win a league match to pass us into 2nd in the standings by 1 point... but we do hold a game in hand.

The draw for the League Cup Semifinals is made... the first team out is Chelsea.... the second team out is Bolton!  So, we'll get to play League One Yeovil Town in the 2 legged semifinal, the first leg of which will be at London Road shortly after the New Year!  The stage is all but set for us to make our first ever League Cup Final.


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« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2005, 04:43:27 PM »

Dec. 1, Match 15
9-3-2, 3rd pl., 30 pts.
v. Fulham (2-4-8, 18th pl., 10 pts. - Leading scorer: Arouna Kone, 10)
Series: Cottagers lead 3-3-2, @ London Road: Cottagers lead 2-1-1
Fav: Posh, 4:6

The squad is pretty well tuckered out after the great match at Old Trafford.  We have to play a bunch of 2nd teamers in this one to try and keep everyone's legs fresh.  This is a Saturday, and our next match is on Wednesday again, but luckily it's just our meaningless final Champions League group stage match.

GK: Arenas
D: Bocanegra, Svensson, Marcos, Sarr
M: Mascherano, Lazzari, Gavilan, Lampard
S: Jablonski, Karsnak

We come out in an attacking style, hoping to take it to the relegationally challenged Londoners.

16'- Gavilan takes a shot out front, it's deflected to the head of Karsnak, but his shot hits the side netting.  Moments later, Gavilan with another nice play, heading it onto Jablonski's foot... he first-times a 20 yard shot that hits the crossbar... Karsnak's follow up is saved acrobatically by the Fulham keeper.  The ensuing corner by Diego Gavilan curls swiftly into the six, where Javier Mascherano heads it into the back of the net!  Nice set piece, and we take a 1-0 lead.  That is Mascherano's first ever Posh goal, coming during his 3rd year with the squad.

34'- Lazzari with a great pass to Karsnak with acres of space just 8 yards from goal, but he hits it right into the keeper's breadbasket.

We make a couple of subs for fitness at the half and switch to a defensive 4-4-2, with the AMC spot moving back into central midfield.

57'- Mascherano picks up a game-ending injury, so we're left with no subs for the remainder of the match.

66'- Sure enough, Sarr picks up a game-ending injury, so we're forced to shift Wesley Sneijder to the back line, where he has never played before, and play a 4-4-1.

74'- James Beattie nearly connects on a 35 yard direct free kick.

80'- Andrea Lazzari is played onside by Gavilan, but he strikes the open shot wide of the mark.

86'- After 2 minutes of end to end action, featuring a magnificent stop by Arenas on James Beattie, we finish the game off... Bellomo and Gavilan play the give-and-go, and Bellomo with a wicked 25 yard shot that dips in between the keeper and the crossbar for an insurance goal.  Bellomo continues his sensational form, putting us ahead 2-0.

A very nice win, but potentially costly in terms of men lost.

Win, 2-0, remain in 3rd
Shots/on target: Posh 26/14, FFC 4/2
Poss: 61-39, Posh
MoM: Diego Gavilan - 39/46 passing, 4 key passes, 2 assists, 4/6 headers won
Posh ratings: Arenas (8), Gavilan (9), Lampard (6)
Posh subs: Heitinga (for Bocanegra, 45'), Bellomo (for Lampard, 45'), Sneijder (for Mascherano, 57')
A: 15,867

That attendance figure is not a good sign for us.

Man U continues to win, leaving us 7 points off the lead.  We stand now 1 point behind the Gunners, with a game in hand on them.

Sarr should miss just a few days with a deep shin bruise, but Mascherano is out for a month with a torn groin muscle.


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« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2005, 04:44:27 PM »

Diego Gavilan is picked to the Team of the Week.

The FA Cup Third Round draw is made, and we get a mediocre draw... we draw at home, but we will get Aston Villa coming to London Road, instead of, say, non-league Folkestone.  The final leg to our attempted Quad will begin on January 5, 2013.

I dish out a one week fine to Riccardo Montolivo for missing another training session.

Cristian Zaccardo finally returns from therapy, and should rejoin the lineup within about a week.

The standings decided for Group E, we face up with Barcelona only attempting to complete a perfect 6 win Group Stage.  But I'm not risking my top players to do it.

Dec. 5, Champions League Group E Match Day 6
Posh have qualified first from group, Barcelona second
Fav: FCB, 5:4

GK: Gallacher
D: Lazzari, Marcos, Bocanegra, Gavilan
M: Jesus, Karsnak, Bellomo, Lampard
S: Jablonski, Vagner

5'- Barcelona scores early, as Thiago Motta strikes it into the top left corner from 15 yards.

47'- Motta scores again just after the interval, off a corner kick this time.

72'- Barcelona with a bad giveaway to Frank Lampard, and he knocks it perfectly onto the run of Michal Jablonski... Jablonski beats Victor Valdes low and we make it 2-1.

76'- Bellomo with a long ball to Jablonski... he shoots from a tough angle, but it strikes the post and caroms out.  Shortly thereafter, Motta is sent off for his second yellow of the match, this time fouling Jablonski, and we go a man up for the final 15.

88'- Bocanegra goes off injured, and Mokoena takes his place as we shift to a very aggressive 3-5-2.

Nothing comes of our aggression against the talented Barca defense, and we take the loss like men.  This was not totally unexpected, but I was hoping my youngsters would have a bit better showing than this, especially considering this is Vagner's first game back in several weeks.  But he was a complete non-entity.  Our first visit to the Nou Camp is ultimately unsuccessful.

Loss, 2-1
Shots/on target: Barca 19/9, Posh 7/3
Poss: 56-44, FCB
MoM: FCB right wing Joaquin - 24 forward runs (!), 10/11 passing
Posh ratings: Bellomo (8), Jablonski (8), Lampard (9)
Posh subs: Mokoena (for Bocanegra, 90')
A: 84,116

Champions League Qualifiers to Knockout Stage
Fenerbahce, Chelsea, Inter, Arsenal, Porto, Werder Bremen, Roma, Basel, Peterborough Utd., Barcelona, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Olympiakos, Ajax

And big news from the Premiership, as 18th place Fulham visits Old Trafford and comes out 3-2 victors!  A huge win for us, giving us some hope that all is not lost in the race for the league title.


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« Reply #35 on: September 23, 2005, 04:45:30 PM »

Dec. 9, Match 16 (TV)
10-3-2, 3rd pl., 33 pts.
@ Aston Villa (5-7-3, 10th pl., 22 pts. - Leading scorer: Jeremie Aliadiere, 7)
Series: Posh lead 4-3-2, @ Villa Park: Villans lead 2-2-0
Fav: Posh, 5:4

GK: Arenas
D: de la Cuesta, Marcos, Alex, Heitinga
M: Vanden Borre, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Kranjcar
S: Wallner, Mokoena

12'- After a couple of early nervous moments, the defense collapses and allows Neil Janczyk a wide open 15 yard shot, which he lasers inside the right post past a helpless Arenas.  1-0, Villans.

We look absolutely awful in the first half, and switch gears to a more attacking mindset for the second half against a red hot Villa squad.

51'- Our only sub pays immediate dividends, as Bellomo sends a great outlet pass onto Roman Wallner, who spots the keeper well off his line and successfully scores a cheeky chip goal from 30 yards out to square the game at 1.

63'- de la Cuesta with a throw in into the Villa box... Mokoena flips the ball with his head backwards... Marcos runs onto the great ball, and half volleys it past a stunned Villa defense into the goal!  2-1, Posh!

We switch back to defensive counter-attacking tactics after gaining the lead.

89'- We nearly blow the game... Mokoena appears to score a game clinching goal, but is ruled offside... and while 6 of our players ran over to celebrate, Aston Villa takes the quick restart behind the play and key a 5 on 3 break... But Arenas saves our hide again with an outstanding save on a close Neil Janczyk shot.

We hold on for the big 2-1 road win, moving us back into 2nd place.

Win, 1-2, up to 2nd place
Shots/on target: Villans 17/6, Posh 21/14
Poss: 53-47, Villans
MoM: Jose Julian de la Cuesta - 6/7 tackles won, 17/18 headers won
Posh ratings: Arenas (8), Heitinga (8), de la Cuesta (9), Wallner (8), Kranjcar (8), Bellomo (8)
Posh subs: Bellomo (for Vanden Borre, 45'), Zaccardo (for Wallner, 78')
A: 37,693


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« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2005, 04:46:28 PM »

J.J. de la Cuesta is picked to the Team of the Week.

Good news for us, as Rio Ferdinand tears up his knee and is expected to miss 2-3 months of action for Manchester United.

Dec. 12, Match 17
11-3-2, 2nd pl., 36 pts.
@ Portsmouth (6-7-3, 7th pl., 25 pts. - Leading scorer: Daniel Fredheim Holm, 10)
Series: Posh lead 4-1-3, @ Fratton Park: Pompey leads 2-1-1
Fav: Posh, Evens

GK: Arenas
D: Lazzari, Alex, Bocanegra, Zaccardo
M: Jesus, Montolivo, Bellomo, Lampard
S: Johansen, Cole

We come out in an aggressive attacking style.

5'- Yakubu totally whips Arenas, but Lazzari is in excellent position to clear the ball behind.

14'- Arenas with a totally awful clearance, and Yakubu makes him pay by receiving a nice pass and finishing into an open goal, with Arenas looking clueless on that play.  I can't remember him looking quite so bad so early in any match recently.  1-0, Portsmouth.

23'- Classic Posh football, as Lampard hits a long ball to a streaking Johansen who is just onside... he hits the ball perfectly in stride, and finishes inside the left post to make it 1-1.

25'- We strike again quickly, as Cole lobs a pass just off the penalty spot to Johansen... Johansen with a great side volley that bounces in past the keeper for a 2-1 lead!  Johansen with a marvelous first half.

36'- Michael Carrick spots Thomas Hofmann ahead for Portsmouth... Hofmann beats the trap, and hits a great strike from 12 yards, just inside the far post to make it 2-2.

We control the early part of the second half... but Portsmouth start to get the better of play around the 60th minute.

74'- Hofmann breaks past the trap again, and beats Arenas to the far post for a 3-2 Pompey lead.  This is one of Arenas' worst showings in Posh blue.

80'- We switch to a very aggressive 3-4-3.

90+'- With 3 minutes of time set to be added on, we've already played through 3:30 as Montolivo sets up a free kick to the left of the area... he whips it right into the six, which is clogged with bodies... but Jesus fights through traffic and heads it in!!!!  A dramatic late equalizer on the stroke of full time earns us a miracle point at Fratton Park!  

The final whistle goes, and the squad is thrilled to have pulled back a point, even though we should've made our early lead hold up.

Draw, 3-3, remain in 2nd place
Shots/on target: Pompey 13/7, Posh 14/8
Poss: 51-49, Posh
MoM: Riccardo Montolivo - 3 key passes, 23/28 passing, 1 assist
Posh ratings: Montolivo (9), Jesus (8), Lampard (8), Johansen (8)
Posh subs: Karsnak (for Bellomo, 80'), Mokoena (for Zaccardo, 80')
A: 31,636


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« Reply #37 on: September 23, 2005, 04:47:13 PM »

The First Knockout Round Draw of the Champions League is made... here's how it looks.
First Knockout Round - to be played beginning on Feb. 20th
Fenerbahce v. Arsenal
Basel v. Porto
Werder Bremen v. Roma
Chelsea v. Inter
Bayern Munich v. Peterborough Utd.
Ajax v. Real Madrid
Olympiakos v. Tottenham H.
Barcelona v. AC Milan

Another tough stretch, as we host Tottenham, then have yet another game at Old Trafford against the league leading Red Devils.  I can't really afford to skimp on the lineup for either game, so we'll probably have fatigue problems in both.

Dec. 15, Match 18
11-4-2, 2nd pl., 37 pts.
v. Tottenham Hotspur (7-5-4, 7th pl., 26 pts. - Leading scorer: Robbie Keane, 5)
Series: Even, 3-4-3, @ London Road: Posh lead 1-3-0
Fav: Posh, Evens

GK: Arenas
D: Bocanegra, Heitinga, Marcos, Gavilan
M: Vanden Borre, Mngomeni, Sneijder, Gerard
S: Wallner, Mokoena

We come out in an aggressive attacking stance at home.

15'- Robbie Keane beats the offside trap, but he can't beat Arenas.

26'- Vanden Borre with a great pass down the left for Mngomeni... he beats Emerton to the ball, then whips in a low cross... Mokoena with the volley past the keeper and in!  1-0, Posh!

39'- Salomon Kalou scores off a rebound of a Marcin Marszalek shot, and Spurs even it at 1.

42'- Heitinga with a great ball down the left again, and again Thando Mngomeni is on it.... this time it's a simple centering pass across the box to Mokoena, who settles it, then shoots far post... and scores!  Mokoena's 10th overall goal of the season puts us back ahead 2-1.

Mokoena comes off at halftime, as he's just dog tired already.

51'- Wesley Sneijder is called for fouling Keane just on the edge of the box... a penalty is awarded, and Andy Reid converts it.  2-2.

56'- Vanden Borre passes ahead to Vagner... Vagner with a great ball left to Mngomeni who has beaten his man... Thando attacks the goal, and shoots low on the wet surface... it skips past Tim Howard and in!  3-2!

Mngomeni nearly scores twice more in the final half hour, but Tim Howard with some nice work to keep him out... we survive the nervous injury time period, and take a big home win.  I thought we weren't going to do it briefly there, but Mngomeni had a masterful game to give us the win.

Win, 3-2, remain in 2nd place
Shots/on target: Posh 17/9, Spurs 17/10
Poss: 54-46, Spurs
MoM: Thando Mngomeni - 1 goal, 2 assists, 5 shots on goal, 4 key passes
Posh ratings: Mngomeni (10), Arenas (9), Gavilan (8), Mokoena (8), Wallner (6)
Posh subs: Vagner (for Mokoena, 45'), Karsnak (for Gerard, 61')
A: 21,097

We move into a tie on points with ManU for the time being, but they have 2 games in hand on us.  Luckily, on Sunday, Man U manage only a draw in the Manchester Derby, moving them up to 41 pts.  They still hold a game in hand on us, but we play them next.  A win puts us into first place.


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« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2005, 04:48:13 PM »

Riccardo Montolivo again fails to turn up for training.  I fine him 2 weeks' wages, and transfer list him for $26 million.

Possibly the biggest match of the league season coming up here.

Dec. 19, Match 19
12-4-2, 2nd pl., 40 pts.
@ Manchester United (13-2-2, 1st pl., 41 pts. - Leading scorer: Valeri Bojinov, 5)
Series: Man U lead 5-3-4, @ Old Trafford: Even, 2-2-2
Fav: Red Devils, 5:4

GK: Arenas
D: de la Cuesta, Sarr, Alex, Heitinga
M: Jesus, Sneijder, Bellomo, Kranjcar
S: Johansen, Cole

1'- Djemba Djemba crosses for Bojinov, but Arenas stops the close in header.

6'- Bellomo steals a pass in the defensive end, then passes to Johansen... Johansen with a long ball for Cole, who has his man beat down the right!  Cole attacks from the right... shoots high, hard, and in!  Carlton Cole is back!  1-0, Posh!

10'- Sneijder gets the ball about 40 yards from goal... he takes a couple of dribbles, then unleashes a shot from about 30 yards... it curls away from the keeper, hits the crossbar and goes in!  A shock 2-0 lead in the opening quarter hour!

15'- Cole is set loose by Arenas, and nearly makes it 3-0... then a minute later, Johansen splits the defense, his shot is deflected out to Kranjcar, who shoots at a good angle, but Stekelenburg with a fantastic save to keep it 2-0.

17'- Sarr with a long ball to Sneijder down the left... Sneijder has 10 yards on the defense, stops on the left side of the box, and curls another wonderful shot past Stekelenburg and in!   3-0 POSH!  This is maybe the finest performance this team has ever given!  Sneijder's 5th goal of the year.

33'- Alex with a long ball to Johansen... he attacks Stekelenburg, but his first shot is stopped... the rebound goes behind the keeper... Wes Brown can't clear it, and Johansen taps it in!  4-0, Posh!  That is Johansen's 5th goal of the year.

Man U appear to wake up right around the 40th minute, but we survive a wave of attacks and take a ridiculous 4-0 lead into the locker room!  

51'- The second half starts poorly, as Sarr holds back Fabrizio Miccoli on a free kick and the referee points to the spot.  Bastian Schweinsteiger takes the spot kick... and Arenas saves it!  This is our day!

ManU pull back a consolation goal with 5 minutes to go off the foot of Cristiano Ronaldo, but we take the biggest win of the year, 4-1!  Our 2nd straight win at Old Trafford!  I'll say it again, the first half was the finest half of football any of my Posh teams have ever played!

Win, 1-4, up to 1st place
Shots/on target: ManU 14/8, Posh 15/13
Poss: 56-44, ManU
MoM: Carlton Cole - 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 shots on goal, 30/37 passing
Posh ratings: Arenas (9), Sneijder (9), Cole (9), de la Cuesta (8), Sarr (8), Johansen (8), Jesus (8), Bellomo (8), Kranjcar (8)
Posh subs: None
A: 65,464

Man U trail us now by 2 points in the table, with a game in hand on us.


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Peterborough Utd. - 2012 & beyond - Quad Quest
« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2005, 04:49:37 PM »

During mid-week, we offer some contracts to a couple of our players whose deals are up at season's end, including strikers Carlton Cole, Jim Johansen, and Vagner.

We finish up a stretch of 6 games in 17 days, including 5 on the road, with always difficult Middlesbrough.

Dec. 22, Match 20
13-4-2, 1st pl., 43 pts.
@ Middlesbrough (6-7-6, 11th pl., 25 pts. - Leading scorer: Lee McKenzie, 9)
Series: Even, 4-4-4, @ The Riverside: Posh lead 3-0-2
Fav: Posh, Evens

GK: Arenas
D: Bocanegra, Svensson, Marcos, Zaccardo
M: Kargbo, Montolivo, Karsnak, Lampard
S: Wallner, Mokoena

25'- Matteo Brighi lines up a 20 yard free kick... the shot deflects off the wall and goes in past Arenas for a 1-0 Boro lead.  Uh-oh, letdown time!

Boro dominate the remainder of the half, but we take just a single goal deficit into the half, looking quite sad in attack.

57'- Finally, we break through, as Wallner passes ahead to Mngomeni, who curls a nice 12 yard shot past the keeper for a 1-1 tie.

A pretty boring remainder of the game, as it winds down to a 1-1 draw.  Not a bad result on the road, and not all that surprising of a let down really.

Draw, 1-1, remain in 1st
Shots/on target: Boro 19/5, Posh 11/4
Poss: 52-48, Boro
MoM: L.A. Arenas - 4 saves
Posh ratings: Arenas (9), Zaccardo (9), Bocanegra (8), Lampard (8), Mngomeni (8), Montolivo (6)
Posh subs: Mngomeni (for Montolivo, 45'), Vagner (for Mokoena, 78')
A: 30,760

It's Christmas time, and the Posh and their fans celebrate by enjoying their current European status:
English Premier League: 1st place
Champions League: Dominated Group Play, advanced to Knockout Stages v. Bayern Munich
League Cup: Still alive, in Semifinals, favorite to make the Finals
FA Cup: Third Round to be played in 2 weeks, at home v. Aston Villa

Our Quad Quest is still alive.  The next biggest threat to us will be our tough home FA Cup match against Aston Villa in early January.


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Peterborough Utd. - 2012 & beyond - Quad Quest
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2005, 12:38:41 PM »

Are you worried about that match against Bayern Munchen?  Aren't they really good?

And who was that Motta guy?  He was impressive.


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Peterborough Utd. - 2012 & beyond - Quad Quest
« Reply #41 on: September 26, 2005, 09:17:51 AM »

Quote from: "Dan"
Are you worried about that match against Bayern Munchen?  Aren't they really good?

And who was that Motta guy?  He was impressive.

Motta was playing attacking midfield for Barcelona in their 4-2-3-1, with 3 midfielders feeding the lone striker up front.  But Motta dominated our defense all game long.

As for Munchen, I do not anticipate having any problems with them.  They are supposed to be very good, but traditionally it's been the Spanish, Italian, and English leagues that dominate this competition.  If I can field my full first choice 11 for both games, we should beat Munich to advance to the round of 8.


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« Reply #42 on: September 26, 2005, 04:46:26 PM »

We get a small break from the litany of big matches we've been playing in, as we have a stretch coming up against Newcastle, Southampton, and West Ham, all teams that have not been impressive this season, though we've always had trouble with Newcastle.

Marcos picked up a one match ban after our last match for accumulating 5 yellow cards already this season.

Man U move back ahead of us into first place on goal difference with a home win over Blackburn.  They also still have a game in hand on us... so despite our recent win over them, we still need them to drop a game or two to other competition.

Jim Johansen signs a new contract with the Posh... I was all ready to consign Johansen to the scrap heap of failed strikers that have traipsed through London Road after he had a remarkable beginning to his young career several years ago... but Johansen has resurrected his career this season with 5 goals and 5 assists in just 7 senior starts.  Plus he's still working cheap, signing for just $800k per year through 2015.

We have 7 players picked to the Premiership Team of the Week.  A team record.

29 year old Jose Julian de la Cuesta signs a 3 year extension to his contract that will keep him in Posh blue through 2015 for $1.2 million per year.  De la Cuesta was signed as a stopgap measure on the left side of defense for this season only, but he has dominated there earning an extension, averaging a 7.88 rating in 8 league starts this year.

29 year old striker Carlton Cole essentially agrees to see out his career with the Posh, settling for $10 million total over 3 more years of contract that will take him also through the 2015 season.  Cole has started a bit slower than normal this season, being slowed by injury, but he had a dynamite game against Manchester United, and his consistent play for several years now has earned him this contract.

Chelsea agree to pay us a flat $20 million for the rights to Riccardo Montolivo, our disgruntled left winger who has been up and down this year, and who has been a bit of a head case, missing no fewer than 4 training sessions.  As much as I HATE to see him go to a rival, I can't see keeping him on any longer with the way he has acted this year.  And with the emergence of Bellomo on the right wing, I have a bit more flexibility to play Wesley Sneijder on the left, and can afford to part with Montolivo.  Plus, the transfer window is getting ready to re-open, and I will be searching for left wingers again there.  I agree to let him go for the sake of team chemistry.  Montolivo showed some brilliance this year, but was absent far more than he was present, averaging a 7.20 in 15 appearances, with 2 goals and 5 assists for us this season.

Dec. 26, Match 21
13-5-2, 2nd pl., 44 pts.
v. Newcastle United (6-8-5, 10th pl., 26 pts. - Leading scorer: Martin Rongen, 6)
Series: Posh lead 5-1-3, @ London Road: Posh lead 3-0-1
Fav: Posh, 5:4

GK: Arenas
D: de la Cuesta, Sarr, Alex, Heitinga
M: Vanden Borre, Lazzari, Gavilan, Kranjcar
S: Johansen, Cole

We come out with an aggressive attacking mindset at home.

3'- A great start, as Anthony Vanden Borre gets a great ball through to Cole, who beats his man and the keeper with a low shot inside the right post from 20 yards.... 1-0, Posh early.

6'- Carlton Cole has come out like a man possessed with his new contract freshly inked... he gets another great ball from Kranjcar, and deposits it again inside the right post past the stunned Magpie defense.  2-0, Posh.

12'- Cole with a fierce right footed shot from 18 yards that just goes over the top left corner... moments later he gets another breakaway but is stopped this time by the Newcastle keeper... and Johansen is stoned on the rebound as well.  Almost 3-0.

17'- Arenas with a great diving save on a Robert Vittek 8 yard header.

24'- Arenas is there again on a good Martin Rongen 25 yard free kick.

36'- Cole is dispossessed attacking the middle... the ball bobbles to Johansen, who leaves it for Lazzari... Lazzari waits for Johansen to clear a defender, then sends it into the box for him... the Norwegian with time to settle the ball, and shoot to the far post and in!  3-0, Posh!  Johansen celebrates his new contract with a goal as well!

We pull back to our standard defensive, counter-attacking tactics.

An uneventful second half, as Newcastle's offense generates nothing against our back line.

86'- Cole gets a nice return pass from Kranjcar on a counter-attack, beats his man, and gets it inside the left post this time to complete his hat trick!  4-0, Posh on Cole's 10th of the season.

90+'- Carlton Cole ties his Posh record, scoring his 4th of the game on a nice pass from Gavilan... another great goal, as Cole places it as if by hand past the keeper and inside the far post.

A complete domination over the Magpies, as we win it 5-0 to pad our goal difference a bit.

Win, 5-0, up to 1st place
Shots/on target: Posh 14/8, Magpies 4/3
Poss: 50-50
MoM: Carlton Cole - 4 goals, 4 key passes, 7 shots
Posh ratings: Arenas (8), Heitinga (8), Alex (8), de la Cuesta (8), Cole (10), Gavilan (8), Kranjcar (10), Lazzari (8), Vanden Borre (8), Johansen (8)
Posh subs: None
A: 21,075

Great news, as Man U allow Crystal Palace a late Collins John goal at Selhurst Park to give the Eagles a 1-1 draw.  That gives us a 2 point lead over the Red Devils with a game in hand.  Arsenal drop a game at Emirates Stadium to West Ham 1-0, and they remain on 41 points, 6 points behind us in 3rd place with a game in hand.


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Peterborough Utd. - 2012 & beyond - Quad Quest
« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2005, 04:48:36 PM »

Vagner has rejected 2 contract offers to him now... he wants $1.5 million per season to be a 3rd string striker.  I want to give him about $900k per.  If nothing changes, he'll be moving on this offseason.

Montolivo agrees to a contract with Chelsea, and he'll join the Blues in exchange for $20 million to us on January 1st.  We bring left winger Tobias Eriksson up from the reserves to take Montolivo's place on the senior roster.

A potential let-down game next, as we visit St. Mary's to take on the Saints.

Man U win during the early feature match of the day, beating Liverpool 1-0... so a win is vital for us to remain in 1st place.

Dec. 29, Match 22
14-5-2, 1st pl., 47 pts.
@ Southampton (6-3-12, 15th pl., 21 pts. - Leading scorer: Dexter Blackstock, 5)
Series: Posh lead 7-3-0, @ St. Mary's: Posh lead 3-2-0
Fav: Posh, 4:5

GK: Arenas
D: Kargbo, Marcos, Svensson, Sarr
M: Jesus, Mngomeni, Bellomo, Sneijder
S: Wallner, Mokoena

3'- Mokoena narrowly misses a header from 6 yards at the back post.

13'- Some uncharacteristically shaky moments from defense, as Sarr and Arenas knock the ball back and forth, and eventually give the ball away to Robin van Persie... but luckily van Persie hits his gift shot about 5 yards wide.  Sarr gets the ensuing goal kick, and sends it forward to Bellomo... he plays it square to Sneijder... Sneijder knocks it ahead to Mokoena... the pass is deflected right into the South African's run, and his close in shot hits the right post... it deflects out in front, but Wallner beats the defense there and taps it in!  1-0, Posh!

25'- Mokoena makes an absolute hash of 2 breakaways within 3 minutes of each other... could've easily been 3-0 by this point.

27'- Mngomeni gets a long ball ahead to Wallner... and he makes no mistake with his breakaway chance... 2-0, Posh.

46'- Southampton with a glorious 10 yard chance early in the 2nd half, but Richard Chaplow fires it past the left post.

57'- We put this one beyond doubt, as Mokoena scores his first of the game on a breakaway chance keyed by Bellomo... Mokoena was about a yard offside, but the flag stayed down, and I'll take all I can get.  3-0, Posh.

Southampton can't get any offense going, and we take the fairly easy win... 11 straight without defeat against the Saints all time now, our best such record against any team at this level.

Win, 0-3, remain in 1st
Shots/on target: Saints 14/5, Posh 12/9
Poss: 50-50
MoM: Roman Wallner - 2 goals, 2 key passes, 6/7 headers won
Posh ratings: All starters (8), Wallner (9)
Posh subs: Vagner (for Mokoena, 62'), Eriksson (for Bellomo, 62')
A: 28,434

Kargbo, Kranjcar, Cole, and Wallner are picked to the Team of the Week.

Niko Kranjcar also wins Player of the Month of December in the Premiership.  Carlton Cole finishes second in the voting.  

Jesus wins the Young Player of the Month of December award.  And I win the Manager of the Month award.  

Libis Andres Arenas comes in second in the voting for European Goalkeeper of the Year, while Roman Wallner and Carlton Cole finish two, three in the European Striker of the Year voting, behind Chelsea's Fernando Torres.

Wesley Sneijder picks up second AND third in Goal of the Month voting, both for goals he scored in our huge win over Manchester United.

December was a nice month for us.  :)

We re-sign Thando Mngomeni to a 2 year contract extension through 2015... he'll make $2.2 million in base salary for these 2 seasons, a $300k per year increase.

Riccardo Montolivo is out, on his way to Chelsea, and we're $20 million richer.  It is the largest transfer fee the Posh have ever received.

Diego Gavilan signs a 1 year contract extension, the 32 year old Paraguayan will stay with us through next year for $1 million.

I try to re-sign 34 year old Frank Lampard for one more season, but he says we don't have the resources to meet his demands... basically, a kiss off because we're not playing him enough.  Oh well.

I also offer to Roman Wallner, the only other potential departure that I'm nervous about... he is 30 years old, but he has got some good goals left in those feet.

I look over the left winger list, and settle on two targets to try and bring to the Posh to replace and complement Thando Mngomeni... one is probably out of our reach, even at this level and that would be Freddy Adu.  The 23 year old American is dominating Europe for Inter Milan.  But his list price is $68 million, about $11 million over our allowed transfer budget.  And even at that price, Inter may not be selling.  The other target is very much possible, 27 year old Romanian left winger Nicolae Mitea of Real Betis.  Betis are asking around $23 million for Mitea, but he has a minimum release clause of $27.5 million.  I'm trying to start out low on his asking price, but will probably go up to his minimum fee release price.  The only weak parts of Mitea's game are his strength and defensive ability.  He has 2 goals and 5 assists in 17 starts, along with a 7.5-ish average rating for the Spanish club.


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Peterborough Utd. - 2012 & beyond - Quad Quest
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2005, 04:45:03 PM »

Ahead of our big FA Cup tie with Aston Villa, we try and steal some rest by playing much less than our best against 6th place West Ham at home.

Jan. 1, 2013, Match 23
15-5-2, 1st pl., 50 pts.
v. West Ham United (8-7-6, 6th pl., 31 pts., Leading scorer - Shola Amoebi, 10)
Series: Posh lead 8-5-2, @ London Road: Posh lead 4-3-0
Fav: Posh, Evens

GK: Arenas
D: Lazzari, Bocanegra, Svensson, Zaccardo
M: Mascherano, Eriksson, Gavilan, Gerard
S: Johansen, Vagner

A thoroughly uninteresting match, this.  We manage one good chance, as Johansen nearly scores off a scramble in front of goal, but his shot is deflected and trickles wide.  West Ham really didn't threaten all match... we even played the first 60' in a very aggressive attacking stance, but to no avail.

Draw, 0-0, remain in 1st
Shots/on target: Posh 7/2, Hammers 4/2
Poss: 57-43, Hammers
MoM: WHU midfielder Kristoffer Haestad - 30/32 passing, 8/9 headers won, 1 shot on goal
Posh ratings: Arenas (8), Eriksson (8), Gavilan (6)
Posh subs: Bellomo (for Gavilan, 63'), Lampard (for Gerard, 63'), Mokoena (for Vagner, 84')
A: 21,105

Good news, though, as Man U only manage a late draw at Brighton to remain 2 points behind us with one game in hand.
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