1st January 2017
A positive start of the new year for some of our players as Thomas Lemar, Almamy Touré and Vágner Love won awards. Vágner Love is obviously a former player but he impressed so much in his last 6 months with the club that he won the award for Foreign Player of the year in the Ligue 1 with 20 goals in 19 appearances. Thomas Lemar won a big award as he was chosen French Player of the Year ahead of Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann. Well deserved in my opinion. Almamy Touré was chosen in the African XI of the Year as right back.
7th January 2017
Big transfer news today from London as Arsenal announce the arrival of a new centre back. Arsenal manager Rafa Benítez is proud to announce the signing of Jemerson from AS Monaco for a £30m fee. It is not a sale I wanted to make, but Jemerson expressed his desire to leave after Arsenal bid for him. He did not want to listen to me when I tried to change his mind so in order to keep the squad happy I decided to sell him.
Jemerson is a great player, a leading player for our competition, but for £30m I was happy to sell him as he also counts towards the non-EU rule. I will be looking for a replacement so there will probably be more transfer news in the coming days.
8th January 2017
Well, it did not take me long to find and sign a replacement. To be honest, I already had the replacement lined up. Niklas Süle is the replacement and he will be joining us for £20m from Hoffenheim. The 21-year old has the same qualities as Jemerson and is three years younger, so he is a perfect replacement and he will hopefully turn out as a great defender.
21th January 2017
It is time for the first Ligue 1 game of 2017, a home game against Montpellier. We have already played three games this season, two in the French Cup and 1 in the Coupe de la Ligue. We lost the Coupe de la Ligue game against Saint-Etienne 3-1, but won both French Cup games. I played a completely rotated squad in all three games as I do not think the cups are as important as the Champions League and the league.
The game started negatively for us as Montpellier scored a bit of a scrappy goal from a corner to go 0-1 up and we started the game bad on all aspects. However, we responded very well to that as Gabriel Barbosa scored his 10th goal of the season with a nice volley from a Thomas Lemar cross. Barbosa found the net again three minutes later as Congré made a mess of a backpass and Barbosa outpaced the goalkeeper and slotted it past him. 2-1!
Saint-Maximin put himself on the scoresheet on the 34th minute as he scored a rebound from his own effort which the goalkeeper initially saved. Saint-Maximin is probably looking to show himself as Cavaleiro picked up a very long injury and it is his time to impress me now.
I was right about that last statement as Saint-Maximin scored again in the 49th minute and assisted Gabriel Barbosa to score his first hattrick for AS Monaco in the 74th minute. A great game for both players as they played out of their skins today. Overall a great day for us with a 5-1 win, and a debutant in the first team. Left back Jacques Dubreuil earned his first appearance for AS Monaco after coming on as a sub in the second half.
15th February 2017
We have played five games since the last little update and we’ve won 4 and drew 1. Great results and some impressive performances. However, we have important matters to attend to as the Champions League is back for us today. We travel to Italy to face Juventus at the Juventus Stadium in the first leg of the First Knockout round. Juventus are favourites but I feel like the underdog position might suit us.
There’s not much to say about the first half. The only real chance in the game was for us, Gabriel Barbosa missed a big chance which was a shame. The second half started much better and was more exciting than the entire first half. Buffon pulled out an amazing save from a Gabriel Barbosa effort and Dybala went one on one with Horn but put the ball wide. Still 0-0 but chances for both sides!
Barbosa went close again with his shot cannoning off Bonucci and Nani missed a big chance to make it 1-0 to Juventus, but they could not find the net and we could not either. The match finished 0-0 and that is a very good result for us as we can finish the job at home in front of our supporters. A very boring game but we’ll take it. However, Almamy Touré and Niklas Süle both picked up a yellow card and will be suspended for the return. We will miss them a lot as they’re my centre back partnership.
28th February 2017
100 games in management. It seems like a big amount but at the same time I feel like I started the save only a few days ago. When we face Angers SCO in the French Cup Quarter Final today, I will reach that amount. Hopefully we can celebrate that amount with a win. My backup side will be playing so it will be a tight game! Ivan Cavaleiro also makes his return to the team after his torn hamstring.
It was a game in which we could celebrate. Cavaleiro did very well on his return to the team and the game in itself was an open match, both teams had chances but neither really finished. The only chance that went in was for our 16-year old left back Jacques Dubreuil as he scored his first goal for AS Monaco.
7th March 2017
The big day has arrived! AS Monaco – Juventus at the Stade Louis II after a 0-0 draw at the Juventus Stadium. We are crippled, Almamy Touré and Niklas Süle are suspended and will be replaced by Yadel Racon and Raphael Diarra. A 16-year old and a player with 6 first team appearances. Good luck boys!
A bad start for us in this game, Douglas Costa played a through ball to Dybala who stayed ahead of Racon and calmly finished after 9 minutes. Racon continued his poor game by giving away a penalty after 18 minutes, which Dybala fortunately missed as he hit the post. Racon was, once again, the lesser of the two when Dybala dribbled past him after 23 minutes and hit the post but the goal went in off the back of Horn. 0-2 and at this point I am just hoping for us to stay in the game.
We got ourselves back in the game in the 30th minute though, Cavaleiro whipped in a deep cross and Gabriel Barbosa was on the end of it to tap it in. 1-2 with 60 minutes left, we can do this! And we continued this good momentum with another goal! A very fortunate one as Lemar fired a shot straight at Buffon and it bounced back against Lichtsteiner and it went in! 2-2 and we are back in the game, but still not going through.
BOOM! Straight after half time we take the game to Juventus and Bernardo Silva, who I accidentaly benched the first half, heads home from a Lemar corner to put us 3-2 up! 67th minute and we have probably wrapped up this game! Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Barbosa combine with Barbosa finishing this chance and putting us 4-2 up!
To add insult to injury, Cavaleiro scored 10 seconds before the final whistle to make it 5-2 and an amazing comeback, 0-2 down to 5-2 winners! An outstanding game and so much better than the first leg. We are into the Quarter Final of the Champions League.
The draw for the Quarter Final was made a few days after the game and we were drawn to face Atlético, the team we were knocked out by last season in the First Knockout round. Revanche will definitely be on the cards in this game.
8th April 2017
Today is the big day. We can win the league with a win today. Chamois Niortais are visiting us today at the Stade Louis II. We are currently on 85 points with 7 games left and PSG are on 65 points. We are basically guaranteed the title, but this is still a special moment.
We will be playing the following 11 players: Horn; Fabinho, Sule, Touré, Jorge; Moutinho, Traoré, Cavaleiro, Boschilia, Lemar; Barbosa. Bernardo Silva is being rested because we have a big game against Atlético midweek.
It seems like our opponents wanted us to win the league too as they gave away a penalty in the 6th minute when Barbosa was tripped up by Brégerie. Cavaleiro stepped up… MISSED! Cavaleiro goes through the middle and the goalkeeper doesn’t move. Unlucky!
But, 5 minutes later we constructed a great counter attack and after a bit of a scrimmage in the box, Boschilia found the net with a simple tap-in to put us 1-0 up! We’ve now arrived at the 65th minute and nothing has really happened, Lemar and Barbosa have missed big chances and our opponents have not really done anything.
In the 84th minute, we finally decided to start finishing our chances as Lemar went one-on-one with their goalkeeper and calmly slotted past him. A good goal and surely this means we have wrapped up the title! The final whistle goes off a few minutes later and we have won the league! It is something the supporters have dreamed about since our last title win in the 99/00 season and it is a proud day for the fans!
12th April 2017
No time to celebrate for us as we are back in the Champions League today. Atlético are visiting us today and a place in the Semi-Final of the Champions League is at stake.
27 minutes in and it is Gabriel Barbosa with the finish to put us 1-0 up! A great pass by Adama Traoré put him one-on-one with Oblak and he did not fail. His 26th goal of the season. Three minutes later we find the net again! Cavaleiro taps in from a Fabinho cross and makes it 2-0 for us. A big moment for us!
In the 39th minute, we have a chance again as Juanfran misses his interception and puts Lemar one-on-one with Oblak and he does not miss. It’s 3-0 on the night now and a fantastic performance for us. We started the second half as good as we played the first half. A mistake in Atléticos defence by Giménez allowed Cavaleiro to score his second goal of the game and make it 4-0.
Atlético were obviously frustrated by their terrible performance and our brilliant performance as Griezmann got himself sent off for a bad tackle in the 80th minute. Last year’s hero against us turned into the villain in this game.
An astonishing 4-0 win over Atlético and basically, a place in the Semi-Final guaranteed. What a game and what a week!
18th April 2017
6 days later and we are at the Vicente Calderón today, we are defending a 4-0 lead over Atlético, which should not be tough job. I am not expecting a lot of trouble and hopefully we can do the double over them.
The first half was very boring, we had two highlights but both were efforts from almost impossible angles so not really serious chances.
The game comes to life a bit in the second half and Atlético even manage to score in the 63rd minute as Babacar sends Vietto away and he finishes calmly. 1-4 on aggregate. This was basically the last interesting to happen this game. It stayed this way and we lost 1-0 to Atlético, but our impressive first leg against them was enough to easily get into the Semi Final of the Champions League. This was only the second (!) competitive game we had lost this season.
It’s time for the draw for the Champions League Semi-Final, the teams remaining in the competition are: AS Monaco, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. Three massive clubs in European history and one outsider. Interesting to see two French clubs reach this stage of the Champions League.
The first club to be drawn is Manchester United! They will play the first leg at home, but who will they play against? They will play against Real Madrid, which means that we will face Paris Saint-Germain, a French Semi Final, but who will play the first leg at home? I personally prefer playing the first leg away from home, but we are drawn first and will play at home in the first leg. Unlucky!
2nd May 2017
Paris Saint-Germain are visiting us in the Champions League today and we have not had a good repetition. We lost our last game 2-0 at the Parc des Princes with us missing a lot of chances and PSG being very clinical. We need to forget that result and focus on this game.
The teams are announced and there are no surprises:
AS Monaco: Horn; Fabinho, Sule, Touré, Jorge; Moutinho, Traoré, Cavaleiro, Silva, Lemar; Barbosa.
PSG: Sirigu; Widmer, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Kurzawa; Kondogbia, Matuidi, Di María, Lucas Moura, Cavani; Ibrahimovic.
I tell my team that revanche is on the cards after our loss a few days ago to motivate them and it seems to have worked as I get a lot of positive responses.
I get a positive response on the pitch too as Gabriel Barbosa gets a big chance but it gets blocked and Sirigu is forced to make a great save by Lemar. A positive start! It has been quiet since that little storm but we get a corner in the 19th minute. Bernardo Silva takes it and crosses it to Adama Traoré who is on the edge of the box, he lays it off to Cavaleiro who can apply the finish and he SCORES! A neat finish by our winger and we lead this game 1-0! Great corner routine!
Not much later we get another chance, Jorge picks up a deflected cross on the edge of the box and plays a brilliant through-ball to Cavaleiro who is now one-on-one with Sirigu and he does not miss! 2-0 in the 21st minute and a double for Cavaleiro! Great goal again and a really bright start for us.
24th minute now and Jorge has the ball on the left side very deep inside their half. He crosses it in and finds Gabriel Barbosa who fires a volley at goal and FINDS THE NEAR POST! A great volley by Gabriel Barbosa and we are absolutely smashing PSG today, 3-0 within 30 minutes. Their poor performance is shown in their stats as they have not even had a shot yet.
We go into the break 3-0 up having dominated the first half and I tell the players they are doing great and have to keep doing the same thing to kill off this tie.
49 minutes in and Cavaleiro picks up a knock, a potential foot injury and I decide to not take any risks and take him off. A bit of a let-down.
Four minutes later and PSG give away a penalty! Widmer has apparently fouled someone in the box and has been shown a yellow card. Bernardo Silva steps up to take it, and he SCORES! He places the ball to his right, like he always does!
The game was basically played and it ended 4-0 with us going close a few times and Jorge picking up a knock as well but that is not important right now. A brilliant game from us and a copy of the game against Atlético, which we won 4-0 too.
Gabriel Barbosa is also closing in on the Champions League top scorer award, currently being tied with a Kobenhavn player who is also on 9 goals.
10th May 2017
Back in Champions League action again and we are in a familair situation. We are defending a 4-0 advantage away from home in the Champions League. This time we face PSG with a couple of changes, Cavaleiro and Jorge are injured and will not play. We did not have any players who will get suspended with another yellow card so I did not have to take any precautions.
The game started pretty bad for us, Almamy Touré picked up a possible head injury in the 9th minute and Cavani scored 10 minutes later to put PSG 1-0 up.
In the 21st minute Matuidi scored the 2-0 and I started worrying a little bit. They were dominating us and we did not really do anything.
We went into half time 2-0 down and I was very angry at the team and told them to not get complacent. We started the second half very well and got a corner, which got taken by Moutinho and promptly volleyed in by 18-year old Quentin Cavallier who scores his first goal for the club. What a moment for the youngster!
The game was bleeding to death a bit, and we got into injury time when David Luiz scored. He made it 3-1 to PSG but it was too late for them. The final whistle went not too long after and we beat PSG 3-5 on aggregate and reach the Final of the Champions League! We will be playing Manchester United in the Final!
20th May 2017
Today we are closing the Ligue 1 season, we play SC Bastia away from home. They are already relegated and we have already won the league so the game is not important for both teams. I’ve rested all players one yellow card away from a suspension and I am hoping for a nice game to end our season.
Bernardo Silva got us off to a good start by scoring his 23rd goal of the season in the 14th minute. A good goal from a Fabinho cross. Fabinho had another succesfull cross 5 minutes later when he found Gabriel Barbosa’s head and he made it 2-0.
Gil Dias made it 0-3 in the 57th minute with a good finish and he scored again in the 90th minute to make it 0-4.
A great end to our season. A 0-4 win to end of our season on 103 points. An outstanding amount.
21st May 2017
It’s award day and we have won a load of awards! Let’s do a quick summary of the awards we have won.
Thomas Lemar won the Star of the Season award with an average rating of 8.02 over 33 games. He scored 13 times and assisted 21 goals. A brilliant season for him. Bernardo Silva finished 2nd for this award and Jorge finished 3rd.
Gabriel Barbosa won the Ligue 1 Players’ Most Promising Player Award. The Brazilian really impressed with 21 goals and 7 assists in 36 games and an average rating of 7.47. A great return for a player only aged 20.
Timo Horn won the Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Competition. The German only conceded 21 goals in 38 matches and an average rating of 7.01. He kept 22 clean sheets this season. An impressive amount. Steve Mandanda, the Olympique Marseille goalkeeper, finished 2nd and Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper Anthony Lopes finished 3rd.
There were also multiple players of mine picked in the Stars of the Season team. Timo Horn, Adama Traoré, Jorge, Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar and Gabriel Barbosa were picked in it.
Thomas Lemar was also named Ligue 1 Best Player. Great season for the young Frenchman.
Thomas Lemar also won the Ligue 1 Most Assist of the Competition award. 21 assist earned him that award, staying ahead of Ricardo Pereiro with 17 assists and Romain Danzé with 14 assists.
Gabriel Barbosa finished 2nd in the Ligue 1 Top Goalscorer award with 21 goals, just behind Gianni Bruno who scored 22 goals and ahead of Edison Cavani who scored 20 goals. A tight top three in this award.
There was also a Ligue 1 XI of the season for some reason, Timo Horn, Fabinho, Jorge, Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar and Gabriel Barbosa were named in it.
27th May 2017
French Cup Final
Paris Saint-Germain v AS Monaco
Stade De France
The first of the two finals we will play the next week. I want to win this competition as we won the French Cup last year and I do not want to give away this title and we play PSG, our main rival and I do not want to see them win anything.
A sold out Stade de France will see these two teams face off:
Paris Saint-Germain: Sirigu; van der Wiel, Bailly, Thiago Silva, Digne; Danilo Pereira, Pastore, Kondogbia, Kampl, Bernard; Cavani.
AS Monaco: Horn; Fabinho, Sule, Touré, Jorge; Moutinho, Traoré, Cavallier, Bernardo Silva, Lemar; Barbosa.
Four minutes in and we start the game on fire! Bernardo Silva fires home from close range from a Fabinho cross! A great goal and we lead 1-0. But, Fabinho went from hero to zero in one minute as he gave away a penalty by tripping up Bernard. Thiago Silva stepped up and he scored. 1-1 after 6 minutes and we are back on level terms.
There were quite a few chances for the rest of the first half, PSG had two chances but we had the biggest. Lemar and Silva missed some big chances which should have been goals, but it stayed 1-1 until half time. Gabriel Barbosa was playing a bad game so I decided to take him off after 58 minutes and sub on Marwen Baud. My 16-year old striker prospect.
Bernardo Silva also picked up a knock so I decided to take him off immediately to not take any chances for the Champions League Final.
Not a lot happened in the game and it finished 1-1, which meant extra time. 111th minute, Digne plays it back to Sirigu, but Sirigu makes an absolute mess of his first touch and Marwen Baud profits! The 16-year old scores and makes himself a hero for the AS Monaco supporters!
The Final Whistle goes and we are are French Cup winners! Baud makes himself the hero at the young age of 16. A moment he will never forget!
3rd June 2017
Champions League Final today, but more on that game in the next update as that update will cover that game.
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