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  1. Armstrong shooting for 1000 goals

    Yeah, I almost left him out of the first match against France, but ended up putting him in (damn media questioned me calling him up!). He scored! But I think in general that I'm going to leave him out against good opposition and play him against weak opposition, for both club and country. If I overplay him it's not going to end well, but hoping there will be more easy goals...
  2. Armstrong shooting for 1000 goals

    Thanks mate! One thing's for sure, this hasn't been a boring and predictable journey. Just hoping I can keep him fit and then see how close we can get...
  3. Armstrong shooting for 1000 goals

    Thanks! I'm hoping that next season can't be worse! Nice start to it, but I know it won't be like that all season.
  4. Armstrong shooting for 1000 goals

    Season 12 Update Season 11 was solid, with almost 70 goals, but can Armstrong sustain that now that he's into his thirties? Let's see. Transfers There were only a few major changes this year. Alberto Bravo came in from Althetico Madrid for £47M, as a replacement for 32 year old Simon Tibbling. Bravo's attributes are very similar to Tibbling who has been great for us. Tibbling will be staying on with us until he retires, as he should trigger the manager's son feature. Anthony Boardman moved from Swansea for £37M, after Kinglsey Coman's attributes dropped several points across the board once he turned 31. Coman didn't appreciate this at all. He wanted to leave, but no-one wanted to buy him, even on a free. It would have cost too much to release him, so he hung around until the remaining value of his contract was low enough to let him go in the second part of the season. A sad way for a great player to exit the club. Injuries This is going to be a long section.... Armstrong was reported to have an injury early in the season, but fortunately this was one of those phantom injuries and he didn't even miss a match (phew!). Unfortunately this one in January was real: He missed 4 games and it took a couple more before he scored (and that was a penalty). I also noticed his attributes had dropped, which is normal when a player gets injured, but he'd also had his 31st birthday while he was out. I was worried this may be one of those more permanent changes. He got 7 goals in 3 games and I started to relax. But then he went 4 games without scoring, followed by this: He missed 3 games this time, followed by another 3 or 4 games where he couldn't maintain his stamina (and forget about him scoring any goals). His stats had deteriorated further: He finally scored another goal in the Scottish Cup Final, but then this happened in the Champions League Final: At least he has the off-season to recover (if he can), but this was a truly dismal end to a promising season as you see in the next section. Two of the injuries happened late in the game, so I guess I need to be stricter about bringing him off (even though both times he was still over 75%). We had a lot of injuries throughout the squad this year, so much so that the media wondered how I'd cope with it, which was a nice touch that I hadn't seen before: Goals The first half of the season looks pretty good: But... the second half: He ended up with 48 goals in 51 games, the lowest total for many years. Anyway, that takes him to 677 goals for Celtic in 12 seasons: On it's own, I could have written this season off and looked to get back on track next year. However, there have to be serious question marks about a) whether he can stay fit enough to keep playing long enough to make it to 1000; and b) whether he can even get back to his previous level of ability. I'm not in a positive frame of mind at the moment I'm afraid. Results A decent season, but for a change we didn't win everything, faltering at the last stage of the Champions League: We won the league again, easily, going 34-2-2 with 110 goals for and 11 against. We won the Scottish Cup Final 3-0 over Hearts and the Betfred Cup Final 6-0 over St Johnstone. We won the Euro Super Cup on penalties over Athletico Bilbao, although we somehow managed to have 30 shots to 1 without actually scoring in normal time. We also won the Club World Championship with a 3-0 win over Sporting Lisbon. In the Champions League, we beat Chelsea 2-0 over two legs, then Juventus 2-2 on away goals, then Tottenham 5-1. But in the game that mattered, Armstrong got injured and the team fell apart, surrendering to Barcelona 3-1. Awards Last year I wrote "those days are done it seems" about Armstrong winning the World Player of the Year award. It seems I was wrong! I guess that hat-trick in last year's Champions League Final was noticed. The runner up was also a Celtic player (Jay Tanner), which was a nice bonus. He of course won the Scottish Premiership Player of the Year award again, despite his injury woes, and I was Manager of the year again: The Future Things are looking difficult for Armstrong. 323 goals remaining and his 31 year old body already struggling. He's going to go down in the history books as Celtic's finest ever player, but reaching 1000 goals looks a step too far. Or is it? We'll be back next season to continue the journey. And I don't normally do this, but given the circumstances, I'll give you a couple of small spoilers from the first few weeks of next season: See you in a year's time.
  5. 95 Yard Wonder Goal

    Thanks everyone! @veerus good to see that it's a thing that happens every so often. Pretty amazing when it happens! @Ashez yeah, he's a DC, I don't let him get out of the half and he's definitely not allowed to take shots. I wondered why he was staying behind after training, must have been practising that.
  6. This just happened: I've never seen anything quite like it before. I've seen long passes accidentally go in, but this one was on purpose - "Dellal goes for glory!". 95 yards according to the message, although it doesn't seem that long to me. Right into the corner of the net. What about you guys - have you seen any wonder goals? What's the longest goal you've seen?
  7. Armstrong shooting for 1000 goals

    I'll admit this worried me when I found Messi as a free Agent back in season 8: I'll need Armstrong to go at least until that age and if that's what happened to Messi, goodness only knows what Armstrong will look like! I guess I just need to keep going.
  8. Armstrong shooting for 1000 goals

    That's good to hear. I guess I don't have much choice but to plough on anyway, but at this point I'd normally have replaced him, so this is new territory for me!
  9. Armstrong shooting for 1000 goals

    Thanks mate! Although as I said above, I've seen a lot of players fall apart once they reach 30/31, so interesting that you've found the opposite. Do you think playing time has a bearing on their deterioration?
  10. Armstrong shooting for 1000 goals

    Thanks. I have a theory (not tested) that playing time is important once a player reaches 30ish, ie if they are not playing regularly then they will fall apart quicker. I was pretty confident in that, until Coman lost a couple of points across the board while he was a regular (although that was over the offseason when he wasn't playing). Anyway, my hope is that if Armstrong is playing regularly he won't fall apart too bad, but it could be just wishful thinking!
  11. Just read this and loved it. Thanks for taking the time to write this!
  12. I used to think that pressing was mainly good for a last desperate push, but it seems more and more teams are using pressing as their standard style of play (both in real life and in the game). Now, I think I'd press for the whole game if I could, but as you point out the stamina issue is a problem. Personally I tend to press at the start of games to get an early breakthrough and then turn it off at around 30 minutes, which lets most of the team get through without going below 75% - but that's in general rather than specific to playing big teams (I am the big team in most cases).
  13. The Race Back To The Top

    Man Utd in season 11...
  14. Armstrong shooting for 1000 goals

    Thanks. Yes, I've called him into the office and told him retirement's not an option. I gave him a 4 year contract to keep him thinking long term and I'll do that each year from now on... But my main worry is having him fall apart. Coman just turned 31 and has started to disintegrate. I've seen so many players do that, so I'm really concerned it will happen to Armstrong too. I'm sure he can carry on scoring as his attributes disappear, but I'd like to be closer to the target at this point...
  15. Armstrong shooting for 1000 goals

    Thanks! It's been a much longer and more difficult journey than I envisaged when I set out, but it's added so much to playing the game. Wouldn't change it for the world, even if he doesn't make it in the end.