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Thursday, 14 December 2017 11:37

A Rivalry Renewed Featured

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An old rivalry was renewed yesterday when manager Jakey Fantastic brought his Independent Medellin team to Spain to face-off against Crash151 and his Real Madrid club.  It has been over 7 years since they last faced each other in a competitive match and the fans were given a great back and forth affair.  Throughout the year the two have remained good friends off the field but had many great friendlies and both were looking forward to their 2 matchups this season.  


The Rivals first met in 2009 in a different league setup and started playing regularly in league games and friendlies.  The last time they met in a competitive match was in a Manual Controls league in 2010.  Not sure who won that game but it was probably a 0-0 draw with 0 shots on goal.  Neither were ever very good with manual controls.  Since the duo joined the ranks at FLM they have been on very different paths.  Jakey got relegated pretty quickly down into Xbox Div 2 and spent several seasons trying to improve his FIFA skillset while also being crafty in the transfer market, striving to create a team that could change his fortunes.  Finally, in season 12, his turnaround had begun and the Make Jakey Great Again Campaign was rolling.  Manager Fantastic dominated the competition in Xbox Division 2 that season and not only won the Divisional Cup but completed the double to claim the league Championship too!!!  This gained his team promotion to Division 1 for the first time in several years and the manager was oozing confidence.  Season 13 was much more challenging for the Colombian outfit, seeing them make the playoff final but come up just short of back to back promotions. This season Jakey has once again set his sights on getting promoted to finally reach the Top Division here at FLM.  

Crash has been quite the opposite since becoming a manager at FLM.  The American started out in Xbox Div 1 and gained promotion to the Xbox Prem.  Choosing to ignore the more appealing of players, he spent all of his time and resources getting as many Americans on his team as possible.  Most managers would have looked at his roster and laughed about how bad it was but Crash was able to get the most out of the Yanks and finished top 3 in the Prem for 3 consecutive seasons whilst maintaining Premiership status in 6 out of 7 Campaigns. Finally, in Season 12, Crash looked set to finally get his first ever Championship with just 6 games remaining in the Xbox Prem.  Then his team went completely off the rails after a really bad decision to sign Tom Heaton and send away a young GK named Cragno that had been the starter all season.  To this day, he still blames Riverman for ruining his best shot at the Prem title!!  After that the team went on an epic run of poor performances, seeing them lose 21 of their next 35 games to finish 4th for season 12 and then last place in season 13 which had them relegated down to Xbox Division 1 for Season 14. 

Coming into this game the managers have both had a reversal of fortunes to start this season.  Crash has seen a resurgence with his team, being Division 1’s leading scorers and currently sit top of the table after the first set of fixtures. Leading the line for Madrid is the trio of John Guidetti, Bobby Wood and Lee Nguyen who are all on course to hit double digits in goals and assists. Ironically, his early season form can actually be attributed to getting advice from Jakey when changing formation going into the new season.  Even with great momentum Crash has once again decided to tempt fate and try to improve his team and recently added Big John Brooks, the 6’4” American CB and LB Arthur Masuaku in place of Jonathan Spector and Jeff Schlupp. Manager Fantastic has not had a great start to the season, losing 4 of his first 6 games.  He too tried a new formation to start the campaign, but to detrimental effect.  Whilst the offence has been good, it's not been able to make up for the Swiss cheese like defense and Bravo has had to fish quite a few balls out of his net so far this season. Manager Fantastic has also been busy trying to improve his team and went big on last weeks auctions bringing in Foden and Italian Superstar Mario Balloteli!!!  He was also able to pick up a new RM that rounded out his starting 11 and ready to try and climb back up the table to a playoff spot!!

The Colombians travelled to Madrid and came out to the roars of 81 thousand screaming Madrid fans ready for an intense battle. The matchup started pretty tame and both teams were trying to break down the other's defense without leaving themselves vulnerable to the counter. The game finally came to life in the 38th minute when Lee Nguyen found a little bit of space in the middle and played a really nice pass into Big John Guidetti who turned and fired a low shot past Bravo to give the Blancos a 1-0 lead. The visitors wasted no time in replying and marched right down the field with Ambrose playing a delightful ball past the Madrid defence to give Mendy a tap in to level the game.  Just before half time, Nguyen set up Cancelo for the lead once again to give the American his 2nd assist of the match. Coming out from the break, Medellin were immediately on the attack and were rewarded for their efforts with Garcia scoring in the 48th minute to make it 2-2.  Just 2 minutes later Balotelli had a 1 v 1 vs Tim Howard and the superstar Striker pushed the shot wide, missing a glorious chance to take the lead.  8 minutes later Big John put Rojas through on goal and the New Zealand native was able to get the shot past Bravo for Madrid to retake the lead.   Undeterred, the Colombians fought right back and Mendy continued his dominance over RB Acosta to head in a cross to tie the game for the 3rd time. Sensing a time for a change, Madrid brought on Abranches for the exhausted Rojas and the Brazilian was able to set up the winning goal in the 70th minute.  He got the ball down the left side of the field and just about got the cross beyond the lunging defender for Bobby Wood to somehow get a foot on it and put the shot in the bottom right corner for a 4-3 lead and all 3 points. Lee Nguyen took Man of the Match honours with a 9.5 rating and Manager Crash151 now takes bragging rights into the back half of the season!!!

 


Post Game Press Conferences

Real Madrid
How does it feel to get a win in a big matchup against Manager Fantastic?
It’s been a long time since we have had such an important game.  Jakey’s team had a great game and we were lucky to come out on top.  The team was resilient and didn’t get frustrated after being unable hold the lead and got just enough to give us the 3 points.  

What caused your defence to struggle today?
Medellin are a really good team and passed the ball really well today.  We had some trouble containing Mendy on the left side and he made us pay.  Once Schlup came on in the 2nd half, he seemed to be able to handle him a little better than Acosta did.  

Thoughts on Brooks and Masuaku’s debuts today?  Did this cause any issues after taking out Spector and Schlup?  
I think they both had some really good moments.  Books had several clearances but could have been better position on Garcia’s goal.  Masuaku played well but made a poor choice that led to Mendy’s 2nd goal.  Spector and Schlup have both been really solid for us so far this season but the Club spent a lot of money to bring in John and Arthur to help us try and win the clubs first championship.  

Guidetti, Wood and Nguyen continue to shine, can they keep this up all season?
They have been fantastic up front, it will be difficult to keep up this amount of offensive production for an entire season.   Our defence must be better going forward for when the goals are coming so easily.  


Independiente Medellin
Comments about the Rivalry game today?   
Given the current form of our opponents, I can only praise the team for their efforts. It was a game of such fine margins with the smallest of errors proving costly. But we can take much confidence from the performance if not the 3 points. 

How did Foden and Balotelli play in their debut?  What happened on Balo’s 1v1 miss?
Overall I thought they were excellent, more Foden given the occasion. When you sign someone like Balotelli you hope it’s for them to be the difference in the big game moments. On another day he scores and we go on to win. Sadly that wasn’t the case today but I’ve no doubt he’ll prove to be an excellent acquisition over the course of the season. 

Thoughts on Mendy’s performance today?
He was relentless, wasn’t he? Brilliant for the big man, hopefully, he’s now set a standard he’ll aim to replicate over many games. 

What will your team need to do in order to get a win when Real travels to Colombia?
Addressing the space afforded to Nguyen will be key, likewise the recent signing of Ayala at CB will hopefully remove some inexperience displayed in today's performance. But we can take many positives from today, with a little more knowledge on what makes Madrid tick, I’m confident of victory in the return. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 10:24

Xbox Div 1 Title Run In

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After a gruelling start to the season which saw Jordan get smashed to pieces after lapping it up and taking all kindsa compliments of being too good for Division 2, we saw him settle for life in Division 1.

Monday, 24 July 2017 09:51

Xbox Divison 2 Mid Season Review

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With 105 matches played out of  198 in season 13, it seems like a good time to have a look at the state of play and compare the current league table with the pre-season predictions. Since the preview was written we lost Jordan & Vondia making reducing the division to just 12 teams. Groans followed cheers as Division 2 members were informed that we would all play each other 3 times. Then after a tremendous start to the season by Berty, his results were expunged and he was replaced by Jordan. So, let’s have a look at where we are today and see if I have changed my predictions. I have put the teams in the order where I believe they will finish.

Monday, 24 July 2017 09:31

The Story So Far..

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It didn’t start well - 2 away draws plus a defeat at relegation favourites Bruk-bet. We were sitting in the bottom two after the first batch of fixtures with a measly two points to our name, what was going on?  We were tipped for glory. At Ewood Park we were going into a season with a fairly disappointing campaign behind us. We had a team with players at a fairly decent standard and capable of winning games. Now include myself a manager with two division one trophies to back myself up, we should be doing Okay.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 14:15

Insights: Ninja vs Joe

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Game of the Week - Xbox Edition

This week featuring Ninjabean & Joe

Monday, 10 July 2017 10:30

The Triumphant Return of Berty

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He left a boy, now returns an OAP - In his own words and the occasional  Rich Tea crumbs. Are we sitting comfortably?..then I'll begin. I’m back, after an absence of over 5 years I have returned to the FIFA Leagues and I’m loving it!

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