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Thread: [STORY] Samsami Sungo: The Making of a Football Manager

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    [STORY] Samsami Sungo: The Making of a Football Manager



    Born in Rotterdam

    Yes, I was in born in Rotterdam. And fate could hardly have dealt me a more cruel hand.



    My entire life I have been told by my parents and my teachers that in Rotterdam we have the biggest port in the world, and of course that was true. From 1962 until 2004 the Port of Rotterdam was the world's busiest port based on cargo tonnage. And if it hadn't been we would have based it on the number of ships passing through, or the size in square miles, or on our sailors' average height in centimetres, or something...



    In Rotterdam we value the hard work of blue-collar labourers and we despise white-collar workers, especially those who think they know everything. We despise them with a passion, because white-collar workers and white-collar jobs suck! One should work with one's hands. Get them dirty! Don't sit at a desk and be lazy all day!



    That's what our parents and our teachers used to say. And they were right of course, as the Greek myth of Sisyphus shows. Sisyphus is the white-collar worker in both character and consequences. He was avaricious and deceitful. He loved power and wanted to rule over others. In fact, he would betray people for the sake of his power. He had no principles except the Machiavellian principle that the end justifies the means. So Sisyphus was condemned to roll a rock up a hill for eternity as punishment for his deceitfulness. When the rock got to the top of the hill, it would roll down again and Sisyphus would have to repeat his labour. And for the Greeks, the greatest punishment was labour with futility.



    White-collar workers know this futility all too well. Everything they do amounts to ceaseless and senseless labour. This is seen in the way they despise meetings, e-mails, and endless fruitless discussions with co-workers, bosses, customers, and subordinates.

    But in Rotterdam nobody has heard of Sisyphus. After all, how could we? We don't waste our time reading books and literature. All we know is, we have to work hard. We have to sweat. And then we shall get our wages so that we can buy our beer and watch our football match on the weekend.



    And again, we are right as the myth shows. The opposite of Sisyphus is Prometheus. Like Sisyphus, Prometheus was crafty and deceitful but he used his craftiness to steal fire from the gods and give it to humanity.



    Prometheus is considered a hero in Greek mythology because he used his knowledge to better humanity. He is the patron god of humanism and technology. He is the epitome of blue-collar workers who produce things that are actually useful to others. So unlike Sisyphus, Prometheus used his skills to better the world.

    Now Zeus hated Prometheus and he condemned him to be chained to a rock where an eagle would eat his liver daily only to have it grow back again the next day to be devoured once more. Hercules eventually rescued Prometheus because you can’t let a good guy suffer for eternity. The relationship of Zeus to Prometheus is identical to that of management to labour.



    So anyway, it would seem I got distracted. Where was I? Oh yes, like I said, I was born in Rotterdam. I was told to work hard and not to waste time daydreaming. I was told to roll up my sleeves and get to work!
    Last edited by samsami; 02-09-16 at 03:02 PM.

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    I'm so glad you didn't start day dreaming. Who knows where this chapter would have ended.

    These dudes Sisyphus and Prometheus. Who do they play for ? I can't find them in my latest update DB.
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    I love this start. Love the tie in with workers and greek mythology as well, Have you studied it at all as you made some really good points?

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    Quote Originally Posted by drkshadow1 View Post
    I love this start. Love the tie in with workers and greek mythology as well, Have you studied it at all as you made some really good points?
    Thanks. I just wanted to make a good point. That will become clearer soon. I will try and write a new chapter several times a week.
    Last edited by samsami; 04-08-16 at 04:09 PM.

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    Football in Rotterdam

    My dad wanted me to join a football club to see if I would be any good. After all, who knows; I might just become a professional football player!

    Now football is as important in Rotterdam as our daily bread. In addition to the Port of Rotterdam we have The Stadium, affectionately known as De Kuip ("The Tub") which is where our best team, Feyenoord, play their games. And De Kuip is always filled to capacity when Feyenoord play their games.



    We have two other League clubs in Rotterdam as well - Sparta and Excelsior - plus numerous non-league clubs. In fact, Rotterdam is the only Dutch city with three professional football clubs.

    Sparta is actually one of the oldest Dutch football clubs, established as early as 1888. In the 1922–1923 season the first official Rotterdam derby between Feyenoord and Sparta was played. Sparta defeated Feyenoord twice that year.

    The Sparta Stadium is known as The Castle.



    However, Feyenoord is Rotterdam's most renown club. They have won the European Cup back in 1970 and the World Cup also in 1970 as well as the UEFA Cup in 1974 and again in 2002. There was a time when lots of silverware made its way to Feyenoords bulging trophy cabinet and with every new season the fans still hope for success in the League, but it has now been almost two decades since Feyenoord have last won the League title. Having said that, in 2016 they did win the Dutch Cup!

    Interestingly, the Feyenoord fans do not expect to be dazzled by shining performances. They only expect one thing and that is that 'their' players work for their money! And if they don't the fans will let them know in no uncertain terms!

    The simple truth is, in Rotterdam we have not been spoiled with players the likes of Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp who actually did use to dazzle the fans in Amsterdam with their brilliance.



    Of course we are secretly a little jealous, but we will never admit that, not even to ourselves!

    No, in Rotterdam we have players who may be quite a bit less talented, but who are willing to work hard for their money and achieve results! That is what we like to see in Rotterdam.

    And that is what my dad hoped for me to achieve one day, too. So he made me join a football club. In fact, I joined Xerxes, once a famous club, founded in 1904 and obviously dad's favourite football club. Xerxes once was a more than decent professional Dutch League club, but since 1968 they have only been playing non-League football because it turned out that four professional football clubs in Rotterdam was simply too much.

    So as a kid I attended weekly training led by a grassroots youth coach who taught us new skills using football drills and small-sided games.



    But mostly we had to do a lot of running, even when it rained. And I mean proper rain. And somehow it always rained on Thursday nights when we had our football training! How I hated that!



    But my dad made me go, no matter how much I moaned and groaned. He had this dream that I would be the star player of our team. I would become the team's topscorer and we would win the title.

    I'm sure it was a happy dream. At least, he always went on about it.



    Dad's dream lasted for a couple of years. And I really did my best. Honestly I did. And I faithfully attended training every Thursday evening.

    At least, that's what dad thought...

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    Will keep an eye on this

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    Quote Originally Posted by samsami View Post
    The simple truth is, in Rotterdam we have not been spoiled with players the likes of Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp who actually did use to dazzle the fans in Amsterdam with their brilliance.


    Spoiler!

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    Ok, ok, so you got the point

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    Sorry about that...

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    My dream

    I did not like football training, especially not running until I would get exhausted. It's so tiring and so boring. But my dad wanted me to do this. He kept telling me, week after week, that I should work hard so that I might become a good football player!

    So I always did go out on Thursday after dinner, but not to football training. I had finally discovered something so much more fascinating than running behind a ball! I finally knew what I wanted to become when I grew up! But I did not dare to let dad know.

    Of course, eventually dad did find out what I was doing every Thursday evening when a helpful neighbour had informed him.



    When I came home dad was furious and he yelled at me: Who do you think you are!?! You think you are a freaking intellectual or something!?!

    His words actually left me flabbergasted. Why did he use the f-word? I mean, I was never allowed to say that. If I would ever say at the dinner table that I hate freaking Brussels sprouts I would be in so much trouble! He would spank me and send me to bed! And besides, what is an intellectual, I wondered?

    But at least now I had my dream! Only it was so unlike dad's dream.

    Last edited by samsami; 29-07-16 at 09:33 PM.

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    Chess arhh what a game Samsami

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    Now what?

    The next day I tried to convince dad that yes, football is fun but all that training was boring, that you get all wet and dirty, that I did not like running, so why do I have do go to football training?

    All very sound arguments one would think, but obviously as usual dad had the final word when he pulled out his trump card.



    So I went back to football. No more secret chess games for me on Thursday evenings. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought that perhaps dad was right. After all, why could I not become a good football player if I trained hard enough. After all..

    And so I feel asleep. And that night I had the strangest dream.


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    Football fever

    So I stayed at the club and then the first of two major events that were about to change my life took place, just before my 11th birthday. The first team of Xerxes managed to win the title in the National League West!



    For the very first time in my life I actually caught football fever, especially when our men went on to beat the winners of the other two National Leagues and became the Dutch non-league champions of 1980!

    Like everyone else at the club we kids talked about nothing else for days, if not weeks, at home and even at school. At least, I did until I was told in no uncertain terms to shut up.

    But important as that title might have been to me, nothing had prepared us in Rotterdam for what would happen just a few years later. Something that would shake Rotterdam to its core and would become a topic of heated discussion for many decades to follow...
    Last edited by samsami; 30-07-16 at 11:27 AM.

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    I bet it wasn't your dad that told you to shut up
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I bet it wasn't your dad that told you to shut up
    My teacher, actually.

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    Kids at Xerxes are balding fast...

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    Johan Cruyff

    At the end of a career spanning almost twenty years, 36-year old Johan Cruyff was booted out of Ajax under a cloud to join Feyenoord! Nobody talked about anything else in the summer of 1983 when the news was announced.

    There was sheer unbelief, horror and animosity and the media were stunned. How could Feyenoord do this? It was an act akin to footballing treason, much like swapping Barcelona for Real Madrid, or Celtic for Rangers. Even our teachers at school talked about little else for an entire year! We held debates in our Dutch class about whether Feyenoord had done well to sign Cruyff or not and we had to hold speeches on the topic.

    Feyenoord fans were sceptical, questioning why their club had signed a player from their most bitter rival - and one who was at the very tail-end of his career. And sure enough, in his first meeting with Ajax since being dumped, Feyenoord suffered one of their heaviest ever defeats in Amsterdam: 8-2. And the fans suffered far more than either Sisyphus or Prometheus had ever suffered.

    But with Cruyff as their leader, Feyenoord didn’t lose again for five months, going fifteen games unbeaten. Cruyff himself scored 11 goals - including one in the return match against Ajax at De Kuip, as Feyenoord gained revenge over their rivals with a 4-1 win. And three days after clinching the League title, Feyenoord won the Dutch Cup as well!



    Cruyff was eventually named player of the year by the country’s football pundits. But even though Cruyff disappeared from Rotterdam after that one year, he had a tremendous effect on us as kids.

    This was football fever at its very peak! In fact, some of us still have not recovered from the shock even after three decades.
    Last edited by samsami; 29-07-16 at 09:40 AM.

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    Wow - that sure is a memory you can never forget!
    Singing your rival player (and being annoyed) to then a double with him
    Sounds like this was the point when a few more Feyenoord mini Cruyffs took an interest in the game!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Wow - that sure is a memory you can never forget!
    Singing your rival player (and being annoyed) to then a double with him
    Sounds like this was the point when a few more Feyenoord mini Cruyffs took an interest in the game!
    They eliminated Ajax from the Cup as well.

    https://www.theguardian.com/football...and-eredivisie

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/footba...-final-7622537

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    Surely it should have been seen as a coup to sign someone of his quality, regardless of the fact he came via your rivals
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    After Johan Cruyff

    Even today there are Feyenoord supporters who say that Feyenoord have only won the Dutch League thirteen times, not fourteen. They claim that the trophy which they won in 1984 was a 'stolen' trophy, with the help of 'a player from Amsterdam'. Some fans actually attended just one match that season, the one and only League match that Cruyff was unavailable for (and which Feyenoord lost away to Groningen!)

    In fact, there are even fans who tore their season ticket into small pieces and sent it back to the club after they heard that Cruyff was going to join Feyenoord! And during the 1983-1984 season my aunt used to close her eyes whenever Cruyff was in possession of the ball. She made my uncle pinch her in the arm after Cruyff had passed the ball to another player so that she knew she could safely open her eyes again!

    But most football fans think differently. And it was certainly the season which changed our lives. As fourteen-year olds we had a new purpose in life and we trained harder than ever before, even though the declining years began for Xerxes (after 1980 our first team never won a title again) as well as for Feyenoord (in 1984 Cruyff ended his active career as a football player while 21-year old Ruud Gullit left Feyenoord to join PSV Eindhoven).

    The Feyenoord fans had to wait almost another ten years for the next trophy!

    But many of us youth players at Xerxes became more committed and better football players. I certainly improved every year. And a few months after my 17th birthday I was selected to play in the first team!

    Like every year, our best players had left the club that summer and our new trainer wanted to give us youth players a chance.

    Spoiler!

    I was one of the youngest of the lot, but he actually said he believed in me!

    And although he only knew me from the training sessions, I was to play in two pre-season friendlies and if I did well, I might get to play in one or more of our three group matches in the preliminary round of the Dutch Cup, possibly even against a semi-professional team!!



    These were exciting days!
    Last edited by samsami; 01-08-16 at 03:04 PM.

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    I really like this story.
    produces nice memories of football

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    Quote Originally Posted by drkshadow1 View Post
    I really like this story.
    produces nice memories of football
    Thanks! You inspired me to update the post above with some interesting tidbits about the 1983-1984 season

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    I have thrilled to have Johan in our team. Visited every match that season and had a blast!

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