Monthly Archives: February 2016

Follow the Ball – Game 12: Lyon v Paris Saint-Germain

 
For anyone joining the Follow the Ball project two months in, throughout 2016 I have the simple aim of watching more football. To achieve that I am going to watch a series of matches in a Winner Stays On style. After starting with Arsenal thanks to the Twitter poll, they were dethroned by Chelsea in the Premier League, who remained in charge of the story before PSG showed up 12 days ago and took this adventure onto the continent.

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Follow the Ball – Game 11: Paris Saint-Germain vs Stade de Reims

 
When I first decided that I wanted to take on this Follow the Ball “challenge” it was because I wanted to watch football I wouldn’t normally enjoy. I watch a fair amount of football as it is; but the majority is either English domestic competitions, a sprinkling of the Champions League and Europa League, and a few games featuring players from the In Bed With Maradona 100 (with a focus on watching the specific players from The 100 rather than necessarily the overall match).

That’s a decent haul all told and yet I want to push myself just a little further, for shits and giggles more than anything. And so – here we are with Paris Saint-Germain hosting Stade de Reims in Ligue 1, a game I certainly wouldn’t have bothered with if it wasn’t for this project.

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Follow the Ball – Game 10: Paris Saint-Germain vs Chelsea

 
Here we are. The 47th day of 2016 and a chance for Follow the Ball to go international with the return of European football and the UEFA Champions League. When I first decided to watch games in a Winner Stays On fashion, I expected that this week would be my first chance to leave the English domestic game behind – and so far, we’re on track.

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Follow the Ball – Game 9: Chelsea vs Newcastle United

 
Nine games in and we are so close to some European football that I can almost taste the Gazprom. The plan for the Follow the Ball series, where I intend on enjoying an “unbeaten” year by following football in a Winner Stays On fashion, was always to enjoy some football on the continent and Chelsea’s Champions League tie against PSG should help me with that – assuming they don’t slip up against Newcastle United.

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Follow the Ball – Game 8: Chelsea vs Manchester United

 
All the way through 2016 I want to spend some time watching football that I wouldn’t normally watch. The plan I have to achieve that is by following football matches in a Winner Stays On style, and basically spend 12 months “going unbeaten”. Game 8 is a match I’d have watch anywhere, regardless of this Follow the Ball series; but it is an important.

Chelsea and Manchester United are due to play knock-out matches in European competition in the next couple of weeks. Assuming the victor in this match can make it through their clash with Newcastle United or Sunderland next weekend, then the chances of this football watching adventure heading into European leagues increases massively.

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Football Manager

#IBWM100 on Football Manager – Season Four with Ajax

F.C. København and Denmark full-back Ludwig Augustinsson

 
The first three instalments of this story have been well received; and I’m always keen to do everything I can to continue the happiness of others. We’re back for a fourth season and ideally one that will see Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax being competitive in Europe, rather than finishing bottom of their Champions League group.

If you have not read the first three parts of this story, then I would suggest you head in that direction first. It’ll make it easier for you to understand how I have ended up with such a changed squad in the space of three years. They can be found here – 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18.

We have now reached season four – 2018/19 – and my #IBWM100 heavy squad has just won their second Eredivisie title. Unfortunately the poor performances of Dutch sides across the continental competitions in the last couple of seasons means that we will need to navigate two qualifying rounds to reach the group stages. That’ll make pre-season more important and more intense than I would prefer; but not much I can do about it now.

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Football

Follow the Ball – Game 7: Watford vs Chelsea

 
February is the shortest month of the year and yet I could end up watching Chelsea six times in the next 29 days if they are able to hold on to their crown as Follow the Ball champions for the next four weeks and one day. That’s as many games as I watched during the 31 day long January. I’ve picked the wrong time of the year to start this.

MK Dons put up as much resistance as I expected them to do and Chelsea were able to sweep them aside with minimal fuss. As such, they retained their title as the Champions of my unbeaten year of football. Throughout 2016 I have resolved to enjoy an unbeaten year of football, and will spend my time watching football in a winner stays on style. Things kicked off with Arsenal and after they were beaten 0-1 at home by Diego Costa, I’ve hitched myself to the Chelsea wagon.

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