Mar 202012
 


Hello friends and welcome to an overdue update! I know that some of you have been waiting for this one but an unfortunate event prevented me from writing it sooner. Anyway, let’s leave sad things behind and focus on the game. Many of you saw the Champions League exit as an opportunity to defend the Europa League trophy that we had won last season but the odds were pretty much against us as far as the bookmakers were concerned. By the way, I’ve noticed at www.betvictor.com that they see Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao as favourites for this year’s real Europa League but I’d bet on Schalke to be honest :)

But let’s get back to our game… You might remember me saying that I was looking to buy a new centre back to boost the quality of my defence. Well, that plan was abandoned for now. Let’s see why.

Firstly, I had a productive meeting with the board in which they agreed to no less than three of my demands:

- upgraded training facilities

- increased Junior Coaching budged

- and a small stadium expansion, around 1,000 seats!

That spending combined with a string of very good friendly results, including wins against Dortmund, Arsenal (away!) and Anderlecht, made me change my mind and I decided to stick with the current squad for the remainder of the season.

Now let’s get to the real deal, the competitive games! The first knockout round of the Europa League saw us taking on Shakhtar Donetsk and I have to say that we were very unlucky in the first leg… We lost that one 1-0 but we missed a penalty and were denied by the woodwork on another two clear cut chances.

We erased that deficit in the second leg but we failed to settle the tie during regular time and that was mostly due to bad luck again as we squandered another penalty kick and several other chances! However, all is well that ends well, we clinched it at the end of the penalty shoot-out…

And then we got Marseille in the next round, the team that we had thrashed in last season’s semi final. We had lost the first leg 4-0 back then but this time we did a lot better as we recorded a solid 1-1 away draw.

I was quite optimistic before the second leg but we got off to a poor start and Marseille broke the deadlock after 13 minutes. My boys restored parity before half time and could have clinched the win on several occasions but the ball just wouldn’t go in… We dominated the second half quite clearly, we had the game under control in extra time as well but we just couldn’t do more than that and the tie went to the penalty lottery… And this time we lost… We really didn’t deserve to lose this tie but I guess we paid the price in terms of luck for last season’s miracle.

With the Europa League out of the way we had nothing left to do than concentrate on the domestic scene. The Romanian Cup went smoothly, we thrashed UTA in the semi final and then cruised past FC Timisoara in the final, mission accomplished :)

That’s our fifth consecutive Romanian Cup trophy, I admit I had lost count so that’s why I took the screen shot below :)

As for the league, we had by far the best run so far in the second half of the season: won 14, drew two, lost none. Oh, and we conceded just one single goal in the process!

Needless to say that we had secured the title with six games to spare and set a new record for most points and most goals scored.

And that’s our sixth consecutive league title, it’s getting a bit too easy…

Our top three strikers were really impressive this season but I have to say that Daniel Mazzoni was a cut above the rest as he won the Liga 1 top goalscorer award and set a new club record for goals in a season. These lads are too good for the Romanian league and there are many foreign clubs that want them but I’m happy to report that we don’t have any unhappy faces in the dressing room, the boys still believe my promises that Viitorul will become an even bigger club than it currently is.

The season ended with a couple of surprises from the board, I haven’t made any requests this time! They announced plans to further expand the stadium…

… and further improve the training facilities! Not bad!

However, all that spending on infrastructure had an effect on our finances… There are just 6 million pounds in the bank and I guess I will not have a big transfer budget for the summer. I have a few free transfers lined up though and I also have a few youngsters in the Under 19 team that might be more or less ready to make a step towards the bigger stage.

In other news, you might remember that I have sent a few lads on loan to Farul, our feeder club. Well, those lads are so good that they led Farul to an unlikely promotion! That’s good news but it’s also bad because we’ll have to look for another feeder club since Farul will be playing in the same league as us next season…

That’s about it folks, not a very happy update but I hope next season will be better. We probably won’t have enough money to bring in top class players and our dream of getting to the Champions League knockout rounds might be postponed because of that. But one of my very few virtues is patience ;) Thanks for reading, looking forward to your comments/rants/requests.


  38 Responses to “Romanian FM 2012 Story: One Step Forward, One Step Backward”

  1. It was still a great season,Johnny and the improvements of the facilities will certainly be really good for the future of the club and might be just what you need for the push forward.

    I was one of those expecting you to win the Europa League again, or at least reach the final, but Marseilles is a very tough team and it just wasn’t meant to be. At least you have no problems in the league and Romanian cup and you made Viitorul Constanta so good that they’re also promoting other teams now to the top tier. That is a big thing too!

  2. it was a very good season Johnny! your league form was obscene!!! 14 games and conceded just 1 goal!! thats ridiculous!! there is no reason you should be disappointed with this season. even in the europa league, it wasnt like you were outperformed our outmatches. it was just pure bad luck, so nothing to worry about there either. and as long as you keep winning the cup and the league, your players will all be happy as will the management,and european success will follow! good luck for next season! cheers :D

  3. Sad to go out on penalties in the Europa League like that. Impressive how you remained unbeaten in the league. It seems the other teams really fell away in the 2nd half of the season.

    All the upgrades are good news, even though it means your budget for next season won’t be as big as you’d really like. In the long term I’m sure it’ll help, even if you don’t see as much improvement as you’d like for next season.

    • You are right Ziggy, the upgrades will prove useful later on and I already have a pretty strong squad. I just hope I won’t lose too many players, hopefully none if you ask me :)

  4. Ah…too bad that you didn’t won the Europa League this time around, but needless to say, your team is really become dominating Romanian now! Well, let’s just hope next season will have much improve and luck as well.

  5. Arg! Penalties are the absolute worst way to be knocked out of any tournament, much less the Europa league. :( Were you able to actually sit there and watch them? I have to pull a Kevin and walk away whenever a team of mine has to endure that lottery.

    Still, on the upside you continue to dominate domestically, and a bigger stadium should hopefully help offset those investment costs (are you filling your current one?).

  6. I season where you did not improve? I am not particularly worried and you shouldn’t either. For me it justs means a longer and very interesting story.

    Good luck

  7. Great domestc season johnny! Shame to see you out of the Europa so soon but you have that trophy so ne’er mind ;-) good luck next season! Do you have any tips on how to search/find such good young players in a country that hasn’t been particularly blessed with to many? I’m thinking of managing in a country like romania. Thanks in advance.

    • Thanks John. About finding good youngsters, I have to say that a country that doesn’t produce good footballers just doesn’t and there’s nothing you can do about that. I know that I’m having quite a few problems in finding good Romanian youngsters for my team, there aren’t too many of those unfortunately.

  8. It’s impossible to progress every season so this definetly wasn’t “One step back” in my opinion. The squad looks strong enough to progress in the elusive Champions League challenge and with the easier group I see better fortunes next time out.
    Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Also, six titles and 5 cups is an unbelievable achievement that nobody should over look

    • Thanks mate, I still have the patience so no worries there :) It was a small step back though, I was expecting a longer run in the Europa League, especially after getting that 1-1 away at Marseille.

  9. That was unfortunate Johnny but Marseille are a good side and you still did the domestic double which shouldn’t be taken for granted. While I agree you need some more top class players I think a little more luck than the usual in the draw will see you through. Good luck.

  10. Hey Johnny well done on winning the league and cup again!! Unlucky that you couldn’t beat marsielle this time round but next season its all about the champions league!!!!

  11. Despite an early exit from Europe, I think you’d another fantastic, especially the improvement you made in the Champions League. Congrats on the domestic double as well! Also awesome to see that the board are upgrading the facilities, and expanding the stadium … Must be sick of you asking them to do it lol :P If you manage to bring in another 2-3 quality players, I reckon you’ll be able to qualify from you’re Champions League group next season. Best of luck ;)

    • Thanks Sears, I doubt I’ll be able to bring in 2-3 players this summer given the financial situation but I guess I’ll have to figure out how to improve performance with the lads I already have.

  12. Congrats on winning the League six times in a row and the Cup five times in a row. Its a shame you couldn’t retain your Europa title and to go out on penalties is hard but still with the new improvements I can see a good future and hopefully the CL will be in Romania soon :D

  13. Hi Johnny
    Sorry for the delayed update – dealing with news from the UK and so far nothing serious. On to the game. Well domestically I have to agree with you that it’s all to easy though that second half of the season was just brilliant :)
    Too bad about the game with OM and I really do hope that next season will be the one for CL glory. Even possibly without additonal funds for new players Viitorul still have a great squad and I have faith in them as well as the manager!

  14. The second half was fantastic for you. The league and cup seem pretty much won every year, hope that can continue. Hopefully next year, you get that promotion spot in the CL.

  15. Hi Johnny!
    Congratulations for the good season. It seems that you can’t lose the domestic titles:D
    I hope that your next year adventure in the CL will be more successful.Maybe with a little more luck, since your team is good enough for the Champions League.
    Keep up the great work and good luck!

  16. Even though you went out the Europa league early on this was still a good season, conceded 1 goal in the first 14 games which is brilliant and you were also unlucky in the europa league!
    So good season johnny!
    Good Luck!!

  17. So unlucky again!

    I fear that reading my stories has somehow infected you with my terrible luck! :)

    I guess it wasnt too bad as you managed to dominate on the domestic front and your finances are brilliant if you think back to when you first began and were struggling with those massive debts.

    Am sure the upcoming season will be the one you break out of the group stages and into the knockout rounds I have my fingers crossed for you!

    Good luck!!

    • Haha, I hope not! Or better, I hope we’ll both have a bit more luck in the future. I agree that we’ve come a long way if you look back at where it all began but you know how it is, one always wants more :)

  18. Ah well you came really close to knocking out OM Johnny but you lost the penalty lottery this time, I am sure you will do better next year, your facilities are improving by leaps and bounds and your domestic domination continues

    How are the other Romanian clubs doing in Europe?

    • Thanks mate. The other teams are doing quite badly in Europe, there was just one who managed to reach the Europa League group stage, U Cluj from what I remember, but they finished last in their group.

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