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Thread: The Journey Manager - A side story by ZanSnake

  1. #101

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    Club Two
    Season Three

    - Past to the Present, Present to the Future -




    After the perfect ending of 2004 in football and my personal life, I couldn’t want anything more as the foundation for 2005. But, the note left on my door has haunted my every movement. I watch the corners, the shadows and even the light; whoever it is knows something that could ruin my life.

    After the discovery, I got Maria over and she helped calm me. But the paranoia will be the subject of my life until I can get past this. Though she knew, she doesn’t know everything. No point starting a relationship with the admittance that I am a murderer. But a secret behind our lips for only ourselves have brought us closer together.



    Despite my frail attempts to object against, I was forced to do a press conference at the behest of the Board of Directors. Only wanting to cash in on the form we have found so far this season, the scene only increased my panicking finger pointing.

    Could it be Ham Roll, his once-estranged brother? Or Rollin Roll, his drug-addict scene? Or even Glenn, a man whose shown nothing but discontent at his job with me….

    The man was sat next to me, ready to translate in his typical uncaring demeanour..



    As I look out to the sea of sharks, I see nothing but myself as bait. Nervousness wasn’t what I was feeling, it was fear. One by one is how I have to approach this:

    Glenn: What do you have to say about the club’s turnaround form this season?

    Zan: The best wins, and we win. There’s nothing else to say but to fight where we are, and where we want to be.

    Glenn: Is promotion really a realistic target? Surely, you will fall down the table at some point…

    Zan: We went close last season when people wrote us off. Now, we have strengthened, and fighting to improve this season in all aspects. I have defied the odds in Wales, whose to say I can’t do ti again?

    Glenn: How can you be confident of the club’s future after what you’ve done?

    The wording struck me.

    Zan: What.. What do you mean?

    Glenn: You speak of success, while killing this club! You’re bleeding it dry and leaving it for scraps! Over £1 million debt already!

    I start to shake as my vision grew narrow and blurred. All the faces, all the people crammed within this room, whose to say that the person who left me that note wasn’t here right now. They wait with baited breath, ready to take apart each word I say, to analyse who I really am.

    The vultures to tear off my skin for their own enjoyment! I grab a glass of water to try and calm me, to wet my ever-dry mouth. But nonetheless it remained the same.

    In the silence there stares grew tighter, they could pierce right through me it seemed. So I had to leave, I rushed out of the conference room, my water spilling over the table. Unfortunately, the water dripped into the microphones and short-circuited to start flames to emerge.

    Within a second, the wooden table was engulfed and the vultures started to riot, but within all the chaos of the stampede, an angry Glenn grabbed a member of the crazed journalists, one from AMC television news, and set him flying through the flaming table.



    “¡Oh Dios mío! ¡Mató a AMC!”
    “¡Ese bastardo!”

    I snuck out of the room as the chaos pursued, just wanting to get away from it all.

    * * *** * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * *** * * * ** ** ** * * * * * ***



    Going back to business, as the only way my mind wouldn’t to question every person I see as the possible person responsible for my terrors. The first result of the New Year was the thriving 4-0 result against Rayo. The team that once rejected me, had now faced three defeat against us including the 4-0 away win earlier in the season!

    Though it was Kühne who took the plaudits last time around with a hat-trick, it was a team effort this time! Two goals in each half, with four different scorers – Marky Mark getting his 10th of the season for yet another double-digit season – it was just all too easy!

    And with the three points, we had done the imaginable!



    In our first game of the year we had clinched the top spot after chasing since the start of the season. The turnaround from the three defeats in October has seen us improve on form to include an unbelievable 10 match winning streak!



    Stepping us massive was both the contribution of goals and the defence capabilities. Top scoring team in the league with the best defence clearly shows how we came to be on top, and that’s despite the absence of our top goalscorer and number one striker!



    On the side note of the league, is the Second Round of the Spanish Cup. Against a fellow Second Division side, and one we defeated in a historic 6-1 thrashing once already this season, Éibar is a team I hope to easily pass through to match how far we came last season.

    Though we know higher teams might await us – like last season with Barcelona – it was a chance to face someone with me in charge that I wouldn’t face again.

    For the Cup game I decided to make some small changes, with Henri Timmer between the sticks, João Pedro coming in at left back, Maldonado coming into the central midfeild, Oelkuch replacing Marky Mark and Alberto given his second start of the season.



    The game started with few chances as both teams were vying each other for space and trying different movements. Míchel tried to wander forward a few times, but never really clicked. It wasn’t too bad however as it was just a warm up for the Defensive Midfielder, on the 19th minute he then executed his plan perfectly.

    Collecting the ball up-field, he looked forward and spotted Alberto with space. A perfectly timed and lofted ball forward was perfect for the veteran who headed the ball on point and scored!

    With Alberto on the score sheet, Míchel attempted to do the same for Gustavsson nearly instantly afterwards, but who unfortunately went wide. The miss came back to huant us as Arrieta crafted a chance nothing which was parried away by Timmer to only fall handsomely for César to tap in the equaliser.

    1-1 at half-time was disappointing though, and I left the lads know, expecting more in the second half. And one man took that to heart.



    Within ten minutes into the second half, the score was 3-1, all thanks to two men. One being Míchel who continued his fine passing, and the other being Alberto who finished both chances Míchel crafted to sublime detail and earning a tremendous hat-trick!

    To say I cried a little would be an understatement.

    With an additional goal late on by sub Mark Mark with a nice driven shot, after making Emery look like a fool, and we won 4-1. Four goals scored in back to back games!



    Euphoria running through our veins, all the attention is on us as we make oppositions our bitch! The limelight has been shining onto our mighty warriors, one man in particular was taking the form in his stride: Marky Mark.



    Of course I chimed in to agree with every word as the media sprung the new even further, which got a very positive reaction from the fans which demonstrated the strong connection that the star-man has.



    With a dominant win in both of our games so far this year, the momentum is on our side so far. But, I have learnt to be wary that it can slip at any time. With eyes on us, and on me, we have to continue on for further success. The next day we got the draw for the 3rd Round of the Spanish Cup:




    In the 3rd Round we have Racing Club de Santander, a First Division side who won the Spanish Cup in 2003 themselves. This season they are chasing a European spot and are sitting in 5th position.



    After reaching the Semi-Final last season, they would be looking to progress as far again this season. With Congo ready and raring we would look to set a full strength side as we try and go the level ourselves.

    Feeling motivated, I retire back to my house to try and cool down, but as soon as I open my door another letter on the floor. Panicking, I left the house, charging away unlocked to the only safe space I could think of.



    Charging in, I grabbed a random pint off the bar as the Blonde, chained skinny local kept harking at me in a language that I couldn’t be arsed to try and translate in my hurried state. I look around to see a random sight before me.



    I looked at the typed up midget while down another glass of what tasted like vomit as I awaited my love. Before I know it, Maria came out with a switchblade in hand.



    “Right you small little freak, if you ain’t going to tell me where the Pot of Gold is then-,” she cut off her sentence by noticing me as she came out of the office. “Zanny, darling! What’s up? Won’t drink those glasses, as it’s the Local’s urnine.”

    Splatting the last contents of my mouth all over the floor, I went over and hugged her as tight as possible.

    Zan: I got another one…

    I said as she knew straight away what I meant, helping me calm down after the fire ‘incident’ at the press conference.

    “It’s alright, it’s fine. We will work this out, like how your dad got that role as ‘Sumo Uno’ after he was blacklisted! We can all find our Spanish Sumo wrestling movie, right?,” she said, dropping the switchblade onto the floor. “We’ve got a connection right? Me and you, we will get through this together! Maria and Zan against the world!”

    A few more casual hours of discussing my father’s movies, and torturing a midget, I finally calmed down. At her behest, we went back to mine where I finally read the letter that had been left. Luckily no-one had noticided the unlocked door..

    “YOU MAY WIN FOOTBALL GAMES, BUT YOU’LL LOSE THE LIFE YOU HOLD DEAR.

    BE-FOUR YOU KNOW IT, THE VITAL MOMENTS WILL BECOME TREASURES.

    SO, HOLD CLOSE WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU, BE-FOUR IT’S GONE!

    CUZ ONE DAY, IT MIGHT ALL JUST GO AWAY.”

    Sinister words, with blatant references to our recent 4 goal wins. The tone scared me; whoever this was, isn’t joking around. He speaks with intent, so maybe I should do as he said and hold dear what is closest to me. She luckily was beside me, before she could say anything I spoke the four words that I could think of:

    Zan: Will. You. Marry. Me.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



    Back into the action of football, it was straight into the deep-end with recently promoted side Novelda C.F. Wallowing in the relegation zone and with no real potent threat, it would be the perfect warm up for the home leg of the Racing Santander.

    The result?



    A nice result, with Congo being saved for the Cup games, it was Marky Mark’s chance to become our top goalscorer which he did with an impressive display. A goal in each half and an assist for Gustavsson header from the corner earned him the Man of the Match award. Kühne added a 4th to continued our trend of 4 goals in each game so far this month!

    But to score 4 in 4 consecutive games would be ludacris?

    * * * * * ** * * * * *



    It was dry day for the setting of our First Leg against Racing Santander, a dry day with a tense breeze within the stadium. Just under 2000 fans came to see if we could be triumphant against the team they had narrow lost 2-3 against Sevilla in the build-up.

    But they wouldn’t be disappointed...



    Edwin Congo was back – after a three week absence thanks to injury – the Colombian was raring to go and start impressing everyone once more. A sentiment that was shown straight away from kick-off, as he not only earned a corner with the first minute but nearly set up Evans for a goal.

    No heartache for much longer however, as it Van Damme setting Congo free just seconds later. The former Real Madrid-youth didn’t need a second invite and scored with an excellent volley to welcome his return in an instant.

    Santander was shocked, it took them a while to find their composure within the game. More chances came calling as Marky Mark clipped the top bar and Congo nearly added a second if it wasn’t for last minute heroics from Ceballos.

    Bodipo – their main threat – grew frustrated with the lack of support, even collecting the ball himself and having a 30 yard shot on goal which came close, again touching the crossbar. The more the game went on, the frustration infected more and more of the away side.

    López thought he had gifted a goal for Munitis, but the winger audaciously tempted a lob that was easily dealt with by the ever-present Gennady.

    In the end, by Half-time we held onto the lead.



    Ecstatic with the result so far, I could only see one fault from the first half performance. Iván Campos, playing in the heart of the Midfield Trio, wasn’t having a particular control in the centre as usual so a quick change with Cláudio as a replacement soon made the difference.



    Within 3 minutes of his introduction – enough to have a little run to warm up – Cláudio made no waste to charge onto Ceballos’ mistake and thrash in a second. The Portuguese has been playing second fiddle since he complained after I rejected an offer for him over the holidays and the establishment of Gustavsson in the midfield.

    A second stab through their heart, Santander decided it was best to go defensive for the rest of the game and hold off for the reverse fixture – a wise decision as we continued to flurry. But, to go defensive meant every player being sensible and sticking to the plan.

    This wasn’t the case after Russian veteran Onopko shoved over Cláudio for no reason other than being made a fool of. But unfortunately, the rest of the 10 players was listening with the occasionally counter chance.

    López had a few chances but nothing that really changed the course of the game. Though I thought it was put to bed with a 2-0 lead, come the final ten minutes, it all changed. With 10 men and going slightly forward for a final hurrah, a nice breakdown from their counter meant there was plenty of space. In the 81st minute Kühne exploited this with a deep cross in the box.

    Congo rose like an elegant, pissed off Swan and headed the ball into the back of the net. 3-0 and a brace for the returning hero. But it wasn’t over yet. An injury to defensive option Carreras forced the manager to bring on an attacking replacement, but once more it was an unwise decision.

    In the final minutes, Van Damme connected with Kühne which ended with a lovely Evans ball towards Kühne who headed in a fourth.



    A brilliant performance, but we couldn’t drop any chance to progress further, so when our next game in the league came up against relegation fighter Ourense, it was one eye on the league and the other on the Second Leg.

    João Pedro, Fernando, Fernandez Pérez, Maldonado, Cláudio, Oelkuch and Pablo Zulu coming into the starting eleven changes from the team that started the First Leg. The changes didn’t really change the result, but did mean we ended our streak.



    A 3-1 win was a source of comfort, but not something we could indulge at the low level of the opposition. Pedro scoring his first goal and Zulu getting another brace is a good sign of the back-ups performing when needed too.

    * * * * *** * * * * ** * * ** **



    After a long 3 hour drive to the coastline of Santander, we had arrived to El Sardinero with a game plan. With Gorges injured alongside Arens, it meant it would be Fröchlich and Gustavsson played at the centre-back pairing with Fernando watching from the bench.

    With Van Damme, Evans, Kühne, Marky Mark and Congo rejoining the startling eleven from their weekend break, I would be hoping to a cool, calm, collective performance which we would stride into the Quarter Finals of the cup.

    And it relatively was. A ‘normal’ football game in which both sides had chances, with Marky Mark going over the crossbar and Cláudio forcing the keeper to stretch into the far right corner. It was a routine.

    Which also meant a routine goal for our star striker Congo!

    A flicked ball forward from Marky Mark gave Congo the time and space to float the ball over the end of Ceballos to score his 15th goal of the season on the 36th Minute.

    And into the second half, Marky Mark got one for himself!

    A nice ball forward from Míchel – a play whose been exceptional whenever on the field – found the perfect set-up for a simple header from the Englishman to place it into the goal. 6-0 aggregate, and a confirmation we were into the Quarter Finals.



    A terrific showing from the lads and ultimate domination of another top side. We were one stage further then last season, and with the draw done only a few days later, brought us an ‘easier’ team.



    Oviedo.

    A team in our division who we drew against earlier in the season, though won and drew against least season. The team are a mid-table team as we continue to flourish in the top spot. Surely, just a rest match?



    ** *** ** ** * * * * * * **



    In the triumphant atmosphere as we ready ourselves for the next round of the cup, we were brought back down to the earth with a tight loss against Mallorca. Gaining the lead intially with Marky Mark’s 15th of the season, the away side got one back with a header from defender Ojeda from a routine corner routine.

    We crafted chances, but Mallorca’s captain goalkeeper Leo Franco was on a fine display to keep it all even. That was until the introduction of striker Darío Silva, whose renewed energy got behind the backbone of the defence, headed in the winner on the 79th minute.



    Hoping for an instant bounce back against under-performing Osasuna, we hoped to put misery on the underpressure manager as we hope for a win in both fixtures for this season – after our narrow 1-0 home win. Travelling there, I told the team we needed to maximise each chance created and get back on track as fast as possible as Valloadolid took first place the day before with their 2-3 win over Rayo.



    Instead of a comfortable win to set us back on track, we dissappoited with only a draw. A goal on the 10th minute by Marky Mark was seemingly the only chance to break down the frustrating defences of the home side, who scored an equaliser 8 minutes later but played negative for the rest of the game.

    The drew meant that the manager kept his job, but was, accordingly, given a hard fight to keep his job!



    But the draw meant that instead of leading the pack, like we did at the start of the month, we were now chasing:



    One point behind leader Valladolid, it was a wake up call for us to make sure, if we wanted the title, to make each game count!

    Points to point will be important, but not for next week, as we have the Quarter Finals within the first week of February. With three days with our draw and our first leg, it was going to be touch and go for some players fitness, but hopefully the lower level of team would suffice to make sure we could get the result we should get.

    * * * * * * **



    Spending the last days of the month in the same pub, it has become like a second home for me. With everything going on, coming here makes is feel less choatic…

    Spoiler!

    Last edited by ZanSnake; 07-02-20 at 09:01 PM.

  2. #102

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    Club Two
    Season Three

    - Fighting for Redemption -




    After our impressive run and us dropping into second place, I was getting worried as the Cup game came closer. I was confident that we would get a result against Osasuna but instead we drew, whose to say that a surprise wasn’t on the cards once more?

    * * * * *



    With around six changes in personnel from the last game, just about 3 days ago, the changes didn’t spark the greatest affect on the performance. Going in at half-time a goal down, I made one change as Congo came onto the pitch.

    Anger flew out of me when they added a second only 13 minutes in, though it was the league top goalscorer and a striker I have admired for a long time as the scorer in Roberto Losada, the response from the team was disappointing. Eventually we started to flow into the game, first was Congo stamping his mark five minutes later with a header from Joáo Pedro’s corner.

    A 19 minute break of virtually nothing before Oelkuch got an equaliser from a rebound save with 6 minutes left and it went as a dull draw.



    Another 6 changes, with the second leg only four days away, and it wasn’t another positive performance. An injury to star striker Congo was the only thing we got from the first half – a bruised thigh out for around 10 days – and it wasn’t till top goalscorer Marky Mark smacked a hard and high shot in the 87th minute that we got the three points!



    Just two changes made this time around, with Zulu coming in and Fernández Pérez in for the tired Evans. 3 minutes in and Losada strikes again. A simple header past Gennady and he scores his 20th of the season.

    After a lot of huff and puff, we finally put away a chance as Fernández Pérez put in a driven low cross which was found by the slight touch of Campos, bumbling into the back of the net.

    One change during the break as Kühne comes on for Maldonado, adding more of an attacking threat. 12 minutes into the second half and Zulu got us a second goal to take the lead on aggregate, to which he added another one just 3 minutes later to make 3-5 on aggregate.

    A brace and the Man of the Match reward for a terrific performance from the 34 year-old.



    Zulu added another goal to his collection as he scored the only goal against Elche, which applied more pressure on leader Valladolid. But, that could call come away from the forefront as we once again faced the deadly Roberto Losada!



    Losada was a man in fine form and has already scored twice this season against us, even though his side had failed to take anything away from it. But that didn’t stop him take the limelight once more!



    A hard fought draw as we dropped vital points.

    We got first blood as Marky Mark was clattered on the final minute of the first half, right back Evans nestled the ball comfortably into the back of the net. The second half turned to the Losada show as he scored an equaliser and then the lead for the away side.

    Luckily, Marky Mark was able to frustrate with an equaliser for ourselves, but despite our chances, we couldn't add another one for the winner. But luckily, neither could Losada!

    After the game I gave a warning to about his poor performance, one of two players whose heads have been turned by failed attempts to coerce them away from us. No teams seemed willing to offer the price I wanted, but the warning seemed to be something he disagreed with.

    Twice he requested to be transfer listed, twice I denied him.



    But, adjusting the price to his release clause I put on the list and soon one team gave us the price we wanted.



    £1.5 million for a player who doesn’t want to be here, 33 year-old, and only came in for £275k, Sevilla can have him. But not till the end of the season, where he will now be 3rd choice after Timmer and Kolinko.

    * * * *** * *** * * * * ** ** * * * ** * ***




    Amid all the drama with Gennady, we got our Quarter Final draw in the Spanish Cup and this time it was a team in the First Division: Levante.



    A team who got promoted from the Second Division two seasons ago and has been going steadily in the mid-table since, Levante shows the blueprints to what we hope to do. After finishing 14th last season, they are currently looking at finishing around 10th this season, but haven’t won in the league so far this month!



    Though it won’t happen till April, the lack of form is something we can use as motivation! Something I certainly wasn’t lacking in my personal life, thanks to my new fiancee…

    (Though Levante does have a secret gem player within their ranks….)



    * * * * * * ** * * * * * ** * *



    Like sunhine on a rainy day, Maria gives me hope when I am down. Despite all the notes, all the media attention and all the backstabbing from my our players, Maria makes it all fade away into the ether.

    And as my attention has gone away, she’s been planning our wedding. A nice May wedding to make sure we get married before we travel out of Spain, she’s been making it a secret for all our plans. A nice surprise would be a change for me..



    “Zan! I know it maybe a bit hard, but is there any chance I could meet your father before the wedding? It would nice to meet the family that I will be marrying into,” she says as we sit in a booth in her pub. “To be married under the eye of the mighty Big Daddy, to receive his blessing, would be so lovely!”

    Zan: I guess it wouldn’t be a problem, darling. I just need to speak through a few channels to get to him…

    “Oh my! I’ve dreamed of this for so long! I am going to meet the famous, Mac Snake!” She giggled with excitement, “I now cannot wait to get married!”

    She screamed running off to a room I wasn’t allowed in, smiling that she was so overjoyed at marrying me, I finished off my pint and continued to relax. That was until a seemingly drunken patreon of the bar stumbled into the pub and callopsed onto the floor.



    But as the back of the drunk came into vision, the horrifying image allured to me. Again, it was there, this stabbed into his back.



    Another note…

    “YOU CAN’T HIDE.

    JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED, ‘ZAN SNAKE’, AND TRUTH REVEALED.

    YOUR SWEET SOMETHING HAS A SECRET. ONE THAT I KNOW.

    ‘LOU’ WILL BE AVENGED. ‘MARIA’ WILL BE UNVEILED.

    AND YOU. WILL. BE. PAID. BACK.”

    Reading the note, I knew that he wasn’t hinting at my generiosity to the homeless that was being paidback. Someone was sending a message, but I can’t think who and why. What secret does Maria supposed have?

    A sweet, caring woman whose opened her heart to people. Me and the fellow drinkers would be nobodies without her generiosity.

    I decided that I too will now have a secret, deciding that this note isn’t one that she needs to know of.

    ** * ***** ** * ** * * * ******* * * * *


    I forgot Congo was back so hence not in line-up

    As I had done so many times this season, I decided to divulge my personal agony into the footbal aspect of my life – I still can’t say my ‘professional profession’. In doing so, I decided to drop the two bitching players for Timmer and Oelkuch. It is Timmer’s 3rd start of the season and Oelkuch’s 5th.



    A two minute double salvo got us the three points, though it could’ve been more if not for the terrific saves of Ángel Roa who kept it to two goals. The major event was losing Míchel who has been a brilliant play-maker in the DMC role with 9 assists in 11 games so far this season.

    Out for only two weeks, I can only hope we don’t miss his wizardly balls forward.



    Another end of the month comes with the same sight, us chasing first place. Now three points difference with the same goals conceded, we had to hope that the leaders would make a mistake and us take advantage.

    Let hopes so….
    Last edited by ZanSnake; 07-02-20 at 09:02 PM.

  3. #103

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    The return of the AMC death scenes. I've not seen one of them for a while.
    Not convinced that Maria is the marrying type, or the type to marry
    Would there by a psych team in the delivery room for any resulting offspring ?
    4 goals in each of 4 games. As Kammy would say .... "Unbelievable Zan"
    Thank god Oviedo ended the run
    Run well and truely broken with a defeat and a draw.
    Still in a great position 6 points clear of 4th place
    Disappointing to surrender top spot, but in with a great chance of a quarter final

    1 update to go !
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  4. #104

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    Worry against Oviedo in the first cup game, but won the second leg in style
    1st division opponents, should be a good test
    Good deal for Gennady, especially at his age.
    Back on the winning trail, except for god-dammed Oviedo again !
    Sodding Valladolid have forgotten how to lose.
    Two horse race for the title, but 11 points clear, surely promotion is in the bag.
    I have a hunch that this Maria is perhaps not all sweetness and light.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  5. #105

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    Club Two
    Season Three

    - Crawling Toward the End -




    With each passing day, the closer we get to the finale of the season and the day of mine and Maria’s wedding. Though I thought excitement might be brewing as it comes only a few months till the date, but instead I have lingering questions about what the latest note was adhering too.

    Was Maria doing something? Is she who I hope she is? Or, is the mysterious sender just getting into my head like he wants too?

    It was all so many questions with so much more on my plate to also dabble into…

    * * * * * * **


    The plot was being set-up.

    Around 3 months left to play in the league, and the Semi-Final legs being in April, our one chance to make any legwork would be in March. Would we be Marching in the title dreams or Marching into another season of failed success?



    A rather unchanged side, except Congo returning to the starting eleven, got a familiar result to the one we got when we played against Albacete. Congo’s reintroduction was felt instantly as he latched on a rebound save to score the first goal, but Numancia got one back just 9 minutes later with a sublime solo goal by 18-year-old Sola – his first of the season.

    Cláudio’s exclusion meant that German Oelkuch would be free to take the reins in the midfeild, which he has taken well, with a second goal in as many games he scored a low shot into the corner from Le Bark’s pass. It was a 33-minute game it seemed, as we were super-keepered for any chances for more after that, but it was another 3 vital points.

    After the game we got some news of something that was meant to happen for a long time…



    After numerous of ‘final chances’ and ‘ultimatums’, Osasuna finally pulled the trigger and fired Javier Aguirre after 4 seasons in charge. The Mexican former international had been doing the job with dual interests as he is still currently Mexico’s manager as well.

    Osasuna was a club that was pushing for promotion last season and this season was closer to the relegation places then promotion, so maybe it was a good decision if Aguirre couldn’t commit fully to the job…

    Though I am sure Javier is more interested in World Cup Qualifiers, the Copa America, and the Confederations Cup coming up in the next few months to feel to left out!



    * * * * * * * *



    Out of the blue, our biggest rival for promotion decided to have a bid for our second choice striker, As probably guessed, we rejected them out-right. No need to strengthen a rival while weakening ourselves and for such a laughable low amount, though Zulu is getting older, his talent is a much needed back-up.

    Though, it seems the 34-year old might be thinking otherwise…



    Understandably, Pablo was a little miffed bout being rejected but again, he had to understand if we were to let him go it would’ve been to someone who isn’t a rival for promotion.



    A day before our next game, our rivals Real Valladolid dropped vital points:



    A chance to break the points difference down, and against a team we had already faced and beaten this season we wouldn’t have to worry about Elche. Instead our worries would be against Leganés, a team we have had a bad history against.



    Two defeats and a draw, we never seemed ready to win or really gain anything over them – but to be able to take advantage of the lost points – we need to shake off any doubts and go full force for the win and hope for the best.



    It was the usual suspects starting the game, and it was our best eleven. And within the first half, we slowly controlled the game. Though not making any decisive chances, we were the better team. Congo going wide, Van Damme being beaten to the ball by the defender in a last ditch tackle, and multiple of set piece chances.

    That was until the 20th minute when lobbed the ball forward to the feet of Congo, who volleyed it first time into the back of the net for the lead. However we weren’t done yet, as Marky Mark volleyed one himself from Evans cross on the final stroke before half-time.



    A two goal lead was a good signal that things were going well. And with such a lead, the idea of our infamous favoured score line. But, of course, I wouldn’t jinx it with such thoughts would I?

    Well with two more goals within 9 minutes, the dream became a reality!



    Another goal for the Congo goal machine – who also assisted Evans in the fourth – meant he took a step closer to 20 so far this season!

    And it also meant we were level on points with Valladolid!



    * * * * * * * ** * * * * * *



    Another reflective win and another small gathering down as Maria’s pub. Using my father’s instincts, I smiled my way through wedding talk as my mind deconstructed our relationship with every moment with her. What did that message mean?

    She is so pure. So innocent. Unlike the rest of the poisonous crowd my family became tangled up in, Maria was something more. As I wondered within my mind for an answer, Maria called upon me with a hefty voice.

    With some kind of red dye all over her, I repositioned myself in the real world.



    Flowers. Colours. Tables.

    The endless amount of needless options in front of me that I ‘helped’ sort through. All I want is to marry the woman I had fallen in love with, since when does the colour of a single flower have to match the colours used on the tables?

    My head aches worse then a derby day. My boredom drained to a new level, and my throat dryer then the Sahara desert after repeating “Whatever you want babe!”



    Away from the Wedding day preparing, I put my attention back to the football in my life. With ‘fireworks’ now being stopped until the wedding night at home, it was up for the football to mark that excitement – slightly -back into my life.

    And seeing Marky Mark hit a hat-trick away against Lleida did bring some of that my way!



    Jubilation rings out!

    Another 4-0 win, another chalk towards the top spot – but somehow – we remain second?

    A better goal difference, same points, even same results but somehow Valladolid are still on top. Despite being alphabetically superior – B is before V.



    Though Vallodolid also got the same result, with a little help...



    After trying to keep the future nuptials quiet away from the players, it seems we had a few detectives who had found a way to reveal the information. A quiet night of reflection, in the brooding light behind my large desk while drinking some kind of malt liquor – one I had planned – was instead a scene of a group of eagerly loud, excited men jumping on the chance to go on the lash!



    Despite my objections, I usher down to the local sketchy nightclub, like the Pie- Piper, under the tune of the many Spanish moans. In the infantry for my ‘stag-do’ was the commander Marky Mark, a man who had always seemed to have a certain section of female supporters dedicated towards him. The record-maker spoke a speech about the sanctity of the ‘stag-do’ and the historic nature it has before taken the dive into marriage.

    Though I had missed off a large amount of his inspired mumblings, the other lads seemed to be enticed by his imagery. Physically they grabbed and lifted me to the night-club without a moments hesitation.



    Strobe lights, amplified by late 90’s Eurodance music that had been re-dubbed and remixed by the house DJ, it was a seemingly dull affair. Cheap drinks fuelled the embers as our large platoon waited with baited for their commander to announce their strategical plan for the night. Just sitting, drinking away at the bar I watched the proceeding scenes.

    Marky Mark: (translated) Men! Tonight we honour a tradition. Not only to our Gaffer, but to ourselves as men. Back in ancient Sparta, they celebrated the last night of a single man, and as they did, we shall too!

    We shall do tradition. We shall do celebration. We shall party!

    Marky downed his pint, smashing the glass onto the floor and shouting “Stay back Envy spirit!” to the astonishment of the bar staff- who seemed to be Bembibre fans after they allowed the rest of the squad to follow and then continued to serve us, unfortunately.



    With drink after drink, the night grew weary and the intent of the mission seemed forgotten as even the commander going off course for something of his own. On the dance floor, the striker slithered over with a great paced position, read to take aim. His eye was set firmly on the prize: to score.

    A man who often is known scoring braces, is once again, aiming for another. Getting closer to two particular goals in total. Two women partying away, drinking cocktails and obviously battering their eyes over to him – the chance was too great.

    And with one shot, a song, he got the brace!

    Though I couldn't hear what he had sung over the disco blearing our Darude’s ‘Sandstorm’ on constant repeat, it seemed to have worked as they all duly left in high spirits and the platoon was left alone. In the shady corner however I noticed a familiar sight – my translator Glen.



    In what seemed to be a fitting costume in a shady VIP area, I crept behind the DJ set to see what exactly he was doing. But with him was more unsettling sights, which included a face I had never thought of seeing again.



    Lou!

    Now dressed in some kind of wig-get up, he was very much alive! Instantly, I fight the urge to confront him by the immediate return of what I realised: the threatening letters. Could Lou have been the one to send them in revenge of an ill-attempt to take his life?

    But the prescence of Glen beside him meant that he was still keeping tabs, and maybe it was Lou writing them and Glen secretly placing them?

    Questions started to arise, and I slowly crept back to the bar for another drink to try and steel my new nerves. But as I arrived a drink awaited me.



    When I ask who sent it for me, the barmaid pointed to the corner I had been watching. And as I slowly turned to once face them, Lou stared back intently. Eyes meeting, I could feel a cold steel being pressed into my neck. I close my eyes, count to three and reopen them to be astonished.

    No-one was there. Back to the bar, the drink was emptied. Accordingly I downed it. My memory fades into the strobes. Was it real? Darude thumps into my head. Was I just hallucinating?

    My vision collapses, as the late party-boys of the team comes to me rescue.

    This was my stag do.
    Last edited by ZanSnake; 07-02-20 at 09:02 PM.

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  7. #106

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    Marky Mark. What a man !
    I think we are heading towards a wedding of soap opera proportions.
    Thought Lou was well dead

    Can't be far from promotion being confirmed now.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  8. #107

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    Club Two
    Season Three

    - No April Showers -




    Nothing but embers flitter in my hazy mind bout my uneventful event from night before. Scarce blurry lines illuminate my vision, outlines gather as I try to conjure a single moment, but alas, nothing.

    In training, my stomach knots and churns as the boys follow drill-by-drill. A calm routined session becomes a terrifying torture scene as a valiant bright liquid spews from my mouth onto grass below. Cheers erupt before jeers as they become aware to the horror of what laid onto the floor; a trip to the club doctor is entailed.



    Sitting like a child in the waiting room, impatient and not wanting be there for a second more, I again fail to recall the last night. The doctor comes back quick, with a stern sarcastic look upon his face - curling his face up more then a Jim Carrey after a line of coke.

    Doctor: (translated) You know as manager you're meant to set an example to the players, right? Binge drinking night before mounting training? How irresponsible of you!

    The patronising response wasn't welcomed, and neither was my reminder that I retained the authorisation to terminate any employee contract at a whim. His tone magically changed.

    Doctor: (translated) You've drank something wikid, and seemingly vile. I recommend a few days of bed rest and plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.

    I flip him off and exit the training ground, the club not allowing me to defy 'Doctors' orders despite my objections...



    I lay down in bed, heat blazing and burning me up as I stare into the ceiling. Torture. The one thing I never wanted to do, I was now faced to do: fixate. Letters were scrolled around the bed, coving every inch of fabric just trying to figure what they could be alluding too, but my mind grows blank.

    It was as if something was stopping it deliberately. Then a sudden bolt. An Olympic run to the bathroom to throw up once more, barely making it to the facet in time. Again, the colour could illuminate a single room with its bright nature. But, upon a second look something clicks.

    Lou.

    The horror return of his face haunted my vision. I shudder back into the wall, jumping out of my skin in a second flat. If this madman is really still alive, then surely I won’t be? But somehow I still am. A sense of solace in a tirade of panic.

    If I could ignore this sudden resurgence, or put it on the back-burner but be weary, then I could continue to work around it all. With only a matter of weeks before I leave the country, hopefully, then I could just forget the whole thing!

    Or so I hope….

    *** ******* * * * * ***** * ** ***



    With neither ourselves or Valladolid taking reigning supreme, the long stretch to see who can take the step forward first begins in April. In order to become that team, we had to once again step up against a team that normally get the better of us against Pontevedra.



    The last result was a close 2-2 draw in November, a game for tit-to-tat and neither side took control. Since then we have added a better calibre of players, getting better use of the tactic, and the players firmly playing better together.

    All directions that proved to be the signal we needed to direct the action of the game to our favour.



    A domination in terms of control, brought the game to a complete halt and caused a more tragic play for the home fans. We were determined to get a result, and with both Congo and Marky Mark eager to impress, it was only going to be a slaughter.

    Congo started off the affair with his 20th of the season, grabbing the loose ball after Marky Mark’s failed attempt to do a bicycle kick. The former Real Madrid man has starred all-season and continued so with a low show into the bottom corner 10 minutes in.


    Congo hits double digits for only 3rd time in his career

    Marky Mark got his revenge for his botched bicycle kick ten minutes later with a driven low shot finding the back of the net after latching onto Campos’ 35-yard pass forward. 0-2 after 20 minutes played!

    But Congo couldn't be out-done. Congo slotted in a second from a rebound off a save from Cuesta after Van Damme’s header, just 9 minutes later. The competition between the two wasn’t done however, as Marky Mark got another brace two minutes later.

    Oelkuch played a clever ball forward for the Englishman to pounce after being, remarkably, left unmarked. With four goals to our name with only just over half an hour played, the warning signs of an over-kill were shown.

    A quiet period presumed as Congo couldn’t make himself become the man to score the hat-trick with some misladen shots going wide. But the effort came to Marky Mark who slotted in his 25th for the season in the dying minutes of first half after Evans terrific cross made it a simple tap in!


    Cuesta Poor attributes could be one reason we were able to run riot

    Alberto got a 45-minute cameo after the game was already over, a statement assured after Míchel – played for his deep playmaking talents – set up right-back Van Damme for his 3rd of the season and the 6th on our day. Clinical and deadly.

    On the 67th minute, Marky Mark did a sublime run to add his 4th of the game and the last of the match – despite chances being made for the late 13 minutes – resulting with a massive 7-0 to show our demolition.



    A massive win to ring in our first chance in April went swimming as the radio feed told us that Valladolid was drawing. Marky Mark and Congo showed clinical finishing and starred in a massive game that I hope will reflect our terrific season. Alberto got an assist for passing to Marky Mark before his terrific run for his fourth, so a good play from him.

    As we came into the locker-room we were annoyed somewhat instantly by reports Valladolid had taken the lead late into the second-half.



    Annoyingly, that meant that despite our superiority in goals scored, we were technically still in second place for whatever bullshit reasoning:



    After the news, it did become obvious it was now down to the two teams vying for the title, and I would say we were the bigger favourites to run for it. And they just so happen to be our next opponents.

    * * * **** * ** * * **


    The first time around we faced one another, we were trying to get the balance of the tactic correct in terms of the more attacking full-backs and trying to find a source of consistent goals. A harsh 1-3 away defeat though it was also down to the shocking performance of goalkeeper Kolinko.


    The tactic that lead to defeat first time around

    The attacking intent with the wing-backs didn’t work and left us open for the attacking 4-4-2 that Valladolid had applied. Though they had used a more flat 4-4-2 against Numancia a few days earlier, the best strategy would be more of the same for ourselves.



    The two Argentine strikers, Esnaider and Guede, will be there main threat as together they’ve scored 30 goals and made 14. Though not as deadly as Marky Mark and Congo – 47 goals scored and 10 goals created – Guede was one of three to score against in the previous meeting, right winger Escoda and left winger Jaime scoring the others.


    Esnaider joined during the summer on a bosman

    A terrific player, Esnaider joined the club only recently after scoring 120 goals in 131 games in his native country. A former man of Real Madrid, Zaragoza and even Juventus, in seems he has taken to the Spanish Second Division well. Though, hopefully not too well when it comes across to us.



    It was going to be an intense affair as our usual suspects aligned up for the photo before the game. Again Míchel took the place of Le Bark for his deep playmaking expertise, and it was the same as usual for the top goalscorer Marky Mark and his deadly partner Congo, whose 3rd in the goalscoring charts.

    Early moments, unease as Valladolid came forward dangerously through winger Kutuzov combing with Guede to start a terrifying ordeal for the defence. But, a tandem can only go so far without full commitment and we were lucky as the deadly ball forward was cancelled out by Esnaider narrowly going offside.

    Having to take control back, we crafted our response with a lovely passing movement between the full-backs and midfield ending with a save to Marky Mark’s shot. Again we pressed on, earning a corner from another tame shot. But a beautiful passage of patient play opened up the away side with the midfiled dynamic allowing Marky Mark to pounce and slot the ball over the keeper!



    Only to be told his run was offside and the goal to be dissallowed. Disparagingly the away side celebrated the appeals as fair game after their previous offside. This didn’t discourage us to amount another attack as the defence dealt with the attack of Valladolid, passing the ball from the feet of the centre-backs to the playmaker Míchel.

    His vision was on point as he lobbed the ball forward to Marky Mark who beat his man Bizzari and headed the ball goal bound. 1-0 to us!

    13 minutes played and the lead was ours, but in the moments of celebration our concentration wasn’t set as Valladolid looked for an instant response. Kutuzov once gain was the threat from the wing, guiding by Van Damme with ease and hitting the ball straight to Espeleta to header the equaliser. 1-1 with 16 minutes on the clock.

    Momentum was defintely on the away side as they continued to attack, taking advantage on our still shocked mind and it was the constant prescene of Kutuzov that was the thorn to us. Chances for himself, and ones he created for his teammates such as Esnaider went close to the wire, but in the end we were hanging on a very fine line.

    Unfortunately, not matter what we tried we couldn't deny the inevitable. After a fine flick by Guede, Kutuzov was given too much time on the wing to place a brilliant cross into the box for a low volley for midfeilder Jonathan to bury into the back of the net. 1-2 to Valladolid, and 2 assists for the Belarusian winger.


    Kutuzov joined on a free 3 seasons ago, but has only established himself this season

    With everything seemingly going against us, a chance dwinlded our way. A late run into the box from Campos put the defenders on edge, as he lobbed it forward towards the rushing Congo, Tena went into recklessly with two-feet and caught the Colombian. A straight red for the centre-back gave us a one man advantage with more then a half to play.

    But, César Fernando also knew this and instantly went for a defensive tactic. The change made the entertaining half into a dull affair, culling any chance of a give and take, and meaning we had to be patient for out next opportunity. After more then 15 minutes without anything happen, opportunity knocked.

    Centre-back Fröhlich ventured forward to lobb the ball forward with intent. The area was free for Congo to wind-up his shooting boot and smack an audacious volley goal-ward. The ball unleashed with tremendous power, too much for Bizzari too handle and went straight into the back of the net!
    2-2 and we had done it! An equaliser against the ten-men for the beginning of the second half!



    With only one change to make, Cláudio making his return to the team after a little exile replacing the yellow carded Oelkuch, the German wasn’t having the best of games so it worked out better to try and build a little extra. With his introduction, it meant that the dynamic midfield trio was reunited.

    With the man advantage, Valladolid went with the defensive plan for the second half, and we continued with our all out attack. It was a simple equation of who wanted the result more and within five minutes we got the answer!

    A corner earned was taken by Marky Mark, a lovely lofted drifted ball for his striking partner to jump sky-high and headed towards goal. And into the back of the net for 3-2 us!

    A brace for the Congo, and the 3 vital points for us!

    The defensive away team got even more tighter after the third goal, despite our best chances for a fourth, but in reality the game was already done. A late minute sub in the dying minutes for Arens with Fernando coming on to waste time, and it was sealed!



    It was a full-on display by us, and it was only the terrific display of defending and organisation after going to ten men that denied us from have any more goals!



    And with that also meant we had some head-way in first, and that for the first time this season, it was in our hands to fuck up winning the title.



    11 Points from 3rd and now a cushion between 2nd, it is essential to continue game-by-game and not loose set on where we want to be! Easier said then done with two Cup Legs still to go this month as well. April was the Do-or-Die month for our season credentials!



    * * * *** * * ** * ** * * ** * * **




    A Congo double earned us our third win in as many games in April, though it was more difficult then I would hope! Le Bark came back in an assisted one of the goals, and Cláudio came off the bench for the second. Luckily Valladolid dropped more points with an entertaining 3-3 draw, which meant our gap grew a bit bigger.



    A narrow win, but a win nonetheless as we come closer to the busy period of the month. Within the hectic stress of trying to maintain a competitive football, my constant communications to people near my father was near impossible to get through. With the wedding less then a few weeks Away, and this being the one request the bride wanted, I push more and more until finally out of the blue a man stood upon my doorstep awaiting me.



    Mac: Zanneth! I hear you've been trying to get hold of me? And that pesky Lou's out of your hair!

    Jolly as ever, my father bear-hugged me into his stuffed-stomach.

    Mac: Ah, I'm sorry boy, just an excited father to see his only son be getting married! Had to cancel my tour, but I am here and ready in whatever way I can be useful!

    Zan: Nice to see you too, Dad. It's actually a surprise for Maria, she's a big fan of yours and has always wanted to meet you.

    Mac: Maria? A sweet name, and I am sure a sweet face. Can't wait to meet her!

    Zan: I've been a little busy with work so we've not seen much of each other so I'm sure this would be a perfect chance to sort it.

    With my dad in toe we headed for the pub that Maria owned and runs.



    Luckily we weren’t arriving at a particular busy time as it seemed that no-one was in. Only the usual muffled murmurs for cries of help coming from the basement, but otherwise it was silent as can be. Both my father and I snuck towards the manager’s office, hoping to surprise my future bride with her favourite actor of all time!

    Approaching the door I could hear Maria on the phone someone who seemed to have pissed her off. A low, harsh tone came screaming out of her mouth.

    Maria: You don’t get it! It’s all going right, so why change it? You don’t seem to understand, this is our ‘special’ day!

    It seems something might have gone wrong planning something? Over-hearing how angry she is, me and my father decided to change our approach and wait in a booth with a couple of drinks. After being served by the Freaking Local Barmaid – my dad being scared by her appearance alone – Maria came walking out after ten to fifteen minutes.



    Maria: Oh Zan, my darling. What brings you here? I thought you would be too busy with the football to meet so close to our big day?

    Zan: Don't be so silly. There's always time for you!

    I say as sat behind, a teary large man starts to wail.

    Mac: I'm sorry, it's a bit emotional seeing my little boy so loved up!

    As her eyes met her surprise, her reaction was somewhat... Reserved to what I would've expected. But, with the fact that it was so out of her usual planned life, she would react a little hesitantly.

    Zan: oh yes, I also have a surprise for you! Maria, please allow me to introduce me to my father-

    Mac: Mackenzie Zanascious Snake. It is an honour to meet my future daughter-in-law, especially one who enjoys my films.

    Maria: oh wow. Mr Snake, I'm so delighted to meet you...

    She said, nervous and laughing with a shy smirk upon her first. Shaking with nerves, it was cute to see her so starstruck.

    Mac: I have heard all about you darling, especially how big of a fan of my work you are. Especially of my appearance as 'Commence Cold' in the Action Jackson series?

    Her face retained the cute shocked face as I budged her.

    Maria: oh yes! You really gave the lead a good go at how well you did in that role.

    Mac: Thank you! You know, there was meant to be a little tease of his son's avenge at his father's death! Many years of talks but the boy who was meant to play Manfred Flu decided not to proceed with an acting career like his parents!

    My dad's head turned to me to show off the same grimace look he had always shown when mentioning this story.

    Mac: But in the end, I think he has chosen a career much better for him. And I'll also like to add, a fine young woman too.

    Maria: So Zan was meant to be in Action Jackson?

    Mac: His big break coming from the same film series his father made his big break from. It would've been historic.

    Maria: Interesting… I’ve just got to make a call to the …. Florist! Yeah, they’ve messed up our order of tulips, so i’ve got to go talk to them. Nice to meet you Mr Snake!

    She said waving us off as she re-entered the office, my father was gleaming ear-to-ear. It seemed she left an impressive mark on my father, though I couldn't say the same the other way around…



    * * * * * ** * * * * * * **





    Straight back into the gruff of it, we faced three fixtures as we headed towards the end of the month.

    The results were a mix bag.

    A dissapointing draw in the First leg draw at home against Levante means we had a chance for away goal ruling but not a poisition I like myself to fall upon. A routine 3-0 win over Getafe continued our momentum in the league, with two of the goals coming in the first half with Gustavsson coming off the bench to add the third in the last minute of the game. Kühne assisting two goals earning the man of the match award.

    But it was the away defeat against Éibar that rubbed salt into the wounds, as we had beaten them 3 times in the last 4 meetings and comfortably this season! Not hitting the target enough meant we failed to notch a single goal, as the home side sprung up twice to stab the dagger deeper.

    Knowing that we needed to bounce back for the next game, a win was our only option! Valladolid has won each game since the defeat against us, now making the once-5 point gap become 2 points.



    Hércules made it a hard affair, defending well within their own half and countering every chance. Their resilence was helped by a terrific performance by Man of the Match Jorge Bartual, who denied us on 11 chances, but was only let down once with Oelkuch volleying the ball off the post and into the back of the net after 68 minutes!

    But the result once again had a bitter after-taste with Valladolid once again winning!



    But the side point was that it also meant we were both confirmed for Promotion!



    A terrific bit of news!

    But once looking back at the last six games, a name has been missing from the scoring charts after he bagged a hat-trick at the beginning of the month, that being Marky Mark.



    Playing 40 games already this season, Marky Mark is having his best season ever. Only 3 goals away from scoring 100 goals in his career, the party animal has seemingly been unfocused in the last couple of games. But, I am hoping that within the next 7 games he can find his form again so we can guarantee the title!

    * * * * *** * ** * * ** * * * **




    With success finally mounted in terms of the Promotion, I came to the conclusion that maybe I have been very ignorant to both Maria and our future nuptials. Heading to the bar – after a detour for a flower shop – I decided to surprise my beloved with a romantic meal and a little R and R.

    Walking through the bar, welcoming in the usual drunkards and heading straight to the office, I open the door full of glee.



    Only to be welcomed by a ghost.
    Last edited by ZanSnake; 07-02-20 at 10:10 PM.

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  10. #108

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    You surely like to keep it tense both on and off the field!

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  12. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vèrkûh View Post
    You surely like to keep it tense both on and off the field!
    Always seem too

    Next Update Coming Soon!

    *League Conclusion!
    *Guardiola Update!
    *Spanish Cup Semi-Final Leg 2!
    *Marky Mark's Quest for 100!
    *Job Applieds!
    *And, a dramatic, action conclusion for ZanSnake's wedding??!!

    Find OUT SOOOOONNNN!!

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  14. #110

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    Just caught up with this story...

    Dream first season in management with the double in Wales and then off to a better climate in Spain...

    Can’t say I’ve ever heard of Bembibre and when you stared with only 3 real players it looked like no-one else had either.

    From only having 3 players and no money to going up to La Liga in 3 seasons is an amazing effort, next season will be interesting mixing with the big boys week in, week out.

    Ps. I think Maria might have an affair with your father!!!

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  16. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by James_y View Post
    Just caught up with this story...

    Dream first season in management with the double in Wales and then off to a better climate in Spain...

    Can’t say I’ve ever heard of Bembibre and when you stared with only 3 real players it looked like no-one else had either.

    From only having 3 players and no money to going up to La Liga in 3 seasons is an amazing effort, next season will be interesting mixing with the big boys week in, week out.

    Ps. I think Maria might have an affair with your father!!!
    Been a tremendous journey so far.

    Port Talbot was an excellent squad, showncase by their continued domination in Wales!



    Been lucky to find a good tactic, good players, etc.

    Always been good finding players over tactics, so that's probably been the reason

    Next update is going to be the longest one ever done, but like I said some important games coming to ahead

  17. #112

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    Also just noticed that there managerless!



    Stark's pissed off to Wrexham



    Should I do a second stint?

  18. #113

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    It would be very interesting to see how far you could get a Welsh team in European competitions

  19. #114

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    Club Two
    Season Three

    - Going for Payday -




    Sitting in the office of my supposed fiancée, I am circled by my former agent – who I thought I had killed months earlier and gave his corpse to a cannibalistic chef -with saliva filling his mouth and spraying out onto me. It had been about 2 hours since I had made the discovery of Lou being alive, but for some reason we hadn’t spoken a single word since. The tension was brooding.

    Zan: So, I didn’t kill you?



    A hard slap across my chops was the answer to that question. And right on cue, Maria entered her office, seemingly not shocked by the appearance of Lou with me. Right away, I knew they were together. My heart sunk deep inside me.



    Zan: So, you’ve been working with him to get revenge against me for attempting to murder him?



    Another slap across my face, but this time from my ‘wife-to-be’. And again, another arrival on the scene to add more sense to the betrayal.



    Glenn, the man who always seemed pissed off and elsewhere in his mind. His hourly trips made sense. He was a spy within the system. The one who introduced me to Maria, the one who sent the notes, knowing where I lived, where I worked – everything.

    With hesitation, I made it known I knew now!

    Zan: So, you’ve been the one sending me letters!

    With a second to realise, but too late to react.



    Another slap, another person doing the slapping. Hoping no more bastards would come through the doors, I remained tight-lipped, making silence the over-bearing element of the room. After a few more minutes, Lou sighed heavily.

    Lou: Well, our plan has gone to shit. You’ve somehow broke down the parts and made it out in the open. Maria was to marry you for your money, then we would kill you and then sell your body parts on the black market for pumped prices. A son of a washed up B-star sells surprisingly well!

    I gulp as I hear each minute detail that Lou explained exposition-ly.

    Lou: We can still do it I guess…

    He says eating a banana, bit by bit the small it got. With only the peel left, he flung it out the window, where a man was heard screaming with smashed glass happening soon after.

    Voice Outside: Oh My Gawd! That banana peel killed AMC !
    Another Voice: That potassium bastard !

    With calm back on the scene, a tired and deflated Lou looks at me.

    Lou: To be fair, I can’t be arsed any-more. The chase, the intricate planning, the level of detail that you go through – the wigs and costumes! So fucking much! I just want the football. That should be the main part for your career, Zan. Do it how you want. But, you have to leave Bembibre!

    Zan: I can’t! We are top of the table! We can win the league!



    Another slap across my face, and again another person.



    Schwartzerneggerletzudow: Sie my brozer iz beink nice to you. You looken for trouble vit my brozer?
    Lou: Ham! Calm down. You get till the end of the season. Leave no matter what, and you live.
    Zan: So, no matter if I win or lose, I have to leave Bembibre? Not Spain, just this town? I can agree with that!



    Mother fucker!

    Another slap from Maria.

    Maria: No! He mustn’t! I love him!
    Lou: Sorry, she’s got Fuck’d -’em Syndrome….



    After that joke, they all let me go. As I came out of the room, I was shocked. No more bullshit Lou stuff? No wedding soap opera where a sudden twist would be revealed? None of it!

    The air was clear, and freedom seemed to be restored! Finally I can get on with my football journey, and wherever it was to take me! Heading for the exit, I was suddenly stopped though by the leprechaun still trapped on the chair.



    Leprechaun: You better not eat my Lucky Charms! Or even go near the end of my Rainbow, you here? Bad things will happen to ya!
    Zan: I won’t! I don’t do bullshit no more!

    Whistling away I hear his mutters.

    Leprechaun: Those rehab wankers have really fucked this place’s chill. All I wanted was a quick fuck…

    * * * **** * * * * * **



    The first team we would face, without any bullshit, would be at home against Sporting Gijón. The team were once promoted to the First Division three years ago, but only for a season as they were soon relegated.

    A team just for the numbers, there record against us is abysmal. In 3 outings, we’ve bested them twice and got a dull 0-0 affair in our first season in the league. To say we have improved since we started our progress into this division would be an understatement.

    With Valldolid playing the day before, and winning, meant we had to win to get back on-top and be the leaders for the title.



    And with no BS, we got the win. Marky Mark stepped up to score two vitals goals in either half, with Congo scoring in the last minute of the first half also. That goal seemed to incense Argentine centre-back Díaz who pushed him over as he celebrated and getting a red card in the process.

    The extra man certainly did add a factor to how the game looked by the statisticians.



    With the additional two goals, Marky Mark broke a club record.



    Just shy of one goal for 100 career goals, Marky Mark has been sublime for me as we ventured from Wales to Spain. And has stepped up and more with each challenge we have faced. Second top goalscorer in the league behind Losada only by 2 goals, and Congo 3rd with 6 shy off first himself, this could be the perfect send-off for me by the Englishman.

    And all this cost only £70k. Tremendous!



    In the international news, the job for Inter Milan came about. And despite my mind saying how unlikely I would ever get the job, I decided to apply. Afterall, if this is my last season at the club, I may as well start looking now?



    Amongst the intense battle for the title, we still had a cup run still on-going, with every chance still to make it to the final against either Athletic Bilbao or Real Madrid – who drew 1:1 at the Bernabéu in the first leg and still wouldn’t be playing for another 14 days…



    The home-side come into the match confident that they could easily go into the next round. After making sure that we didn’t utilise our home advantage in the first leg, they would now be looking to do the same here at the Nou Estadi.

    The trip to Valencia was a quiet one, with not one player knowing of my intent of leaving, and all focused for the run-out of the games that still have yet to come.



    On a dry Wednesday evening, we marched out the usual team for another roll of the dice to take the chance to get into the final. Saying that you would hope that both teams would be raring to go, the start was a seriously dull affair.

    Nothing happening for over 23 minutes, the game came alive once we got a free-kick from a handball.



    Booom!

    100 career goals for Marky Mark, with his 30th in the season too! 3 goals in 2 games outshone the lack of a single goal in the last 7.

    Edging closer to the Spanish Cup Final, we weren’t done there!!



    Again!

    Another goal within three minutes of the first and we were in wonderland! Never would I have dreamt we could be in this situation but, we did and have!!

    Another closure of chances to de-escalate the crowd, with Kühne coming closest for a second with a fierce shot that was pushed away by the keeper and Congo making a perfect chance for a second for Marky Mark on the brink of half-time only for him to volley it for a field goal!



    A rather dull-affair without the crazy few minutes in the middle of the half, the players were ecstatic as we readied ourselves for the second half. Not a team to hold out for a result, the final act of the game was going to be a lot more interesting.




    Though we had chances, it wasn’t a clinical display. Evans thought he had found us a third after latching onto Congo’s ball and hitting a savage right footed shot into the net, but the pesky linesman called for offside.

    Cláudio had a chance from a free-kick too, but unfortunately wasn’t able to get over the wall, and with the late introduction of Alberto – trying to give the man a proper send-off – had few good chances, but was constantly denied by the goalkeeper.

    So the two goals from the first half stood as the ones that took us into the Spanish Cup Final!



    A tremendous display from the lads, with every player putting a shift in to make it all possible. Levante in the end managed only one shot on goal, and never really threatened us.



    After returning back in the parking lot of the stadium, I cheered off the players as they headed home after the 7 hour trip their, for another 7 hours back. We all were exhausted and cranky, but only for me to turn around the corner of the stadium and be ambushed as a bag went over my head.


    * **** * * * * * **** * ** * ** * * * * *



    Zan: No more BS! You said no more BS!

    I screamed in muffles knowing only one man would kidnap me like this!



    Zan: Oh, it’s only you…

    My dissappointed response seemed to urge anger in my employers as soon as I said that sentence a sudden twing swung at my face.



    What is it with everyone slapping me??!!

    Board of Directors of Atletico Bembibre Rep.: We will represent that as a reminder that you are talking to your superiors, Mr Snake. Now, you know we only call upon you when we have utter important regards.

    Zan: Yes I understand. If I may be blunt, as we’ve travelled a lot in the last few days, can I ask what this regards too?

    Board of Directors of Atletico Bembibre Rep.: We understand you might be a little exhausted from the travel, and we apologise. We wanted to speak with you as soon as possible in this regard.

    Zan: Again, which is?

    Board of Directors of Atletico Bembibre Rep.: The Board of Directors of Atletico Bembibre are delighted with the excellent result against Levante in the Semi-Fianl of the Spanish Cup.



    Zan: And?

    Board of Directors of Atletico Bembibre Rep.: And we are pleased to see you have grown a strong rapport with the supporters. That is all.

    Zan: You kidnapped me, kept me here against my will, to say that?!

    Board of Directors of Atletico Bembibre Rep.: Yes, we are delighted with the excellent result-

    Zan: I got that! It’s just, instead of all the hassle to get me here, you could’ve just emailed that to me!

    Board of Directors of Atletico Bembibre Rep.: We have!

    Zan: And still kidnapped me?

    Board of Directors of Atletico Bembibre Rep.: We felt it would be more appreciated if we told you in a face encounter.

    Flabbergasted, I nodded in agreement as the bag went back over my head and I was escorted back out. Soon enough I was back in the van and off on my travels around the corner until the van driver, Dave, unblinded me and took me home.

    I’ll miss Dave, not more so the board…

    **** * * * *** * * ** ** * * * *** * * *



    Another travel to Zaragoza to faced the 3rd placed team in the table just four days later, and with my reluctance to change a winning side, a harsh defeat. A one game half, Real Zaragoxa nipped ahead in the 29h minute as striker Bilic out jumped Van Damme to header in.

    A second goal came two minutes later as Dani Pendín unleashed a fierce shot from a rebound from a Timmer parry for his fifth of the season. Cláudio gave us a life-line for the second half with a goal on the stroke of the end of the first half from a Le Bark lobbed pass, but the second-half came to no prevail.

    Zaragoza got when they wanted, and that was a win which sealed promotion for the recently relegated side.



    Luckily we couldn't be too glum as Valladolid shockingly tasted defeat against Éibar to make the two point cushion be retained. With now all three promoted teams confirmed, it was down to who would be the title winners!



    ****** * * * * ** *** *** *** ** *

    After the game I put my name in for another job going in Germany:



    1.FC Núrnberg have just lost their manager Jürgen Röber to First Division side Schalke 04, after winning the German Second Division to see the club in that season. With a few German players already under my tenure here.

    And seeing how well rated I am here in Spain:



    12th Rated currently, I couldn’t complain!

    Hopefully by the end of the season, that could rise and other teams can see my talents for a professional based team?

    Especially seeing who I was rated above:



    Above rivals like Javier Aguirre, Rafa Benítez, surprisingly Juanda Rames and former Real Madrid boss Fernando Castro Santos. But the one I was interested in was the former Barcelona man Josep Guardiola at C.D. Toledo.

    After clinching a play-off spot, he has been the teams star player! And so he should as he still seems way better then the league he was playing in:



    And this was shown as from his DMC role he has scored 15 goals in 33 games, as of the 8th May, and still has a month left on his playing contract. He seems happy to be at the club, and certainly seems to be a fan of his own work:



    Though we have yet to face each other, I am sure it would be a dynamic meeting!

    After being looked over by Inter, I then applied for the job that the new manager left behind.



    Fourth in the Serie A with Inter a point behind, it would be a brilliant coup to land such a perfect job! But, I am realistic in my chances of not being the top managerial choices at such clubs…

    ** * * * ** * **** *** * *



    Valladolid used their advantage of playing one day early by winning comfortably against Getafe to put the pressure back on us to step back up again. But that would be easy as we faced 20th Murcia right?



    Yes and no.

    A single goal by our main man Marky Mark was the difference, but the before and afterwards were frustrating as we missed chance after chance to score. Though the solace was that we nullified the opposition to not having a single shot, it was still nervous to watch the game go by.

    And once again, we yo-yoed back to the top!



    As we trained on the 18th May in the morning, the evening was all eyes on the Real Madrid vs Atletico Bilbao at the Bernabéu in the Second Leg of thir Semi-Final showdown. With the last game ending 1-1, there was still a chance for both sides.

    But watching the game, that wasn’t the case.



    An easier performance for Madrid side, whose pushing for a cup success after finding themselves 6 points in the First Division behind Barcelona. After bouncing back from a goal down in just 3 minutes after Robert Pires – a £13.25 million signing from Arsenal two seasons ago – did a simple tap in from Ronaldo’s hard-work.

    Tote added two in either half to complete the rout, but in turn, it could’ve been a lot worse for Bilbao. 15 Shots on target from Madrid, this was a bad day at the office for the strikers!

    All hope was waining for an upset for us, and with the placement of the match in our fixture list, it was either going to be a momentum killer or determination factor for the push on.



    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * **** * * ** ** * *

    The Last Hurdle




    The Final Run saw us visit to Madrid first against Rayo Vallecano, a team I onced tried to become manager of but was rejected and then we have won everyime we have faced them. This included when Rafa was their manager, before he jumped ship to another team once again.



    With past meetings including twice scoring four against them, I hoped for the same kind of result, but it wasn’t going to be that kind of game. 24 Minutes for Congo to draw first blood, it took till the last minute of the game for Marky Mark to score his 32nd goal of the season. An annoying result as I had originally hoped to be up to 2-0 by half-time to rest some of the players for the Spanish Cup Final.

    And even more annoying was that Valladolid also won despite having a man sent off with a 1-2 away win against Hércules.

    My eyes did glimmer as the chance of a decent First Division side was emerging:



    As we had 6 days to prepare for the Spanish Cup Final in Barcelona, Madrid had the Champions Cup Final three days before against FC Bayern. A chance that there could be a little hang-over from the Final.



    A nightmare for Madrid as after gaining the lead after 21 minutes through Patrick Vieira, they failed to follow up on chance after chance. Ballack got one back to make it 1-1 at the end of the First Half, but in the second half, it was all Bayern. The German machine came in good with Sebastian Deisler breaking the dead-lock on the ‘66th Minute thanks to a Terry lay-off, and then Salihamidzic found himself at the right time at the right place to sscore the dediced 10 minutes later after brilliant work by Zé Roberto to craft the attack and cross.



    A deserved win for Bayern, and for the second time in successive seasons, Real Madrid become runners-up.



    As expected it was a weaker side in comparison to the one that played in Copenhagen just three days ago, but the threats were still there. Tote scored twice in the Semi-Final to get the team here, Combiasso is a midfield general who could dominate the game for any club, never mind for Real Madrid.

    I wasn’t going to let them off for that, they had enough to see us out. But, I had faith from us nullifying the previous games that we could lower their attempts enough to make it a real game.



    It was more of the same for the lads. Congo will be looking for revenge against the side who released him, especially since he will be in the First Division. The constant threat as usual is the legend, Marky Mark whose scored 32 goals this season and has been on the improvement since joining the club.

    We went with the deep-playmaker Míchel whose been averaging around 8.50 all season and has been a assist machine all season. With the attacking full-backs and the solid defence, it was a group unit ready to try their hardest against on the top team in the world!



    Our second venture to the Nou Camp after the narrow 0-1 loss to Barcelona last season, I was hoping for the same kind of result. A hard drawn game where we could nip the lead if a chance is given.


    6th Minute - But from the get go, Bembibre took Madrid off footing, with Kühne heading the ball forward from Míchel’s lobb towards the path of Van Damme. Van Dammes’ been given free space in the penalty area. A first time volley into the stands. follows

    9th Minute – Hoyas takes control of the loose ball from a Bembibre clearance, and shoots with a low drive! Timmer parries away, and Gorges hoofs the ball forward.

    14th Minute – Míchel ventures forward unmarked, a usual run for the defensive midfeilder, but takes on the volley! Juanmi makes a scramble to get the ball away and Hoyas clears. It’s only as far as Gorges who plays it to Evans. The South African passes it along to Míchel whose spotted Congo in the area and lobbed the ball in. The head of Congo meets the ball, but finds the gloves of Juanmi.

    A ball forward now for Real, Valdo hitting a 30-yard ball forward to Combiasso who in turns feeds it in the path of Triguero who seeks out Tote. Tote runs into the penalty area, but decides to hold the ball up. Disspossed by the reorganised defence.

    18th Minute – Congo with beautiful hold-up play to header it down for Kühne, who hits a hopeful looking shot! But it’s deflected off Valdo, the danger isn’t done!!

    Congo collects the loose ball, moves in on goal and looks to take a go. He does! And..

    CONGO GIVES THE LEAD TO SECOND DIVISION SIDE ATLETICO BEMBIBRE!!



    23rd Minute – Real Madrid are desperate for a response here and earns a free-kick as Iván Campos pulls the shirt of Valdo and gets a booking for his efforts.

    Sávio takes the free-kick and Cambiasso is found. Some silky skills from the Argentine to get past from Marky Mark and strikes with determined fury! But Timmer does well to turn away, which Míchel – first to the loose ball – clears forward, but only to Valdo to restart another Real attack.

    Bembibre are withstanding this belated Real pressure. But Gorges disposes Movilla and lofts the ball forward. Congo picks up the ball – the former Real Madrid man is determined to make a point, rifling a dipping shot towards Juanmi’s goal! He lets the ball deflect off the post, back into Congo’s direction. A low hit second time forced Juanmi to parry away, but only back to Congo!!

    THIRD CHANCE, AND CONGO GETS HIS 30TH OF THE SEASON!

    28th Minute – Marky Mark uses his dribbling skils to get past Valdo, and drives a low shot on his left foot but Juanmi beats it away. Real Madrid are shocked by this attacking prowess from the Second Division side.

    35th Minute – Real Madrid is making an attempt to salvage something here; Tena is coming on to replace Salinas as Kühne nods the ball on forward. Míchel finds Congo who can only header over the bar, mostly thanks to some good defensive tracking by Celades.

    40th Minute – Tote controls the ball with his chest, and Real come forward for the first time in a long while. Tote continus forward, but hasn’t got many options. He takes aims and shoots from distance!

    But it well over the bar. Real Madrid don’t seem to have any answers as the end of the First Half seemingly beckons.


    A shocking domination in the first-half, the second team of Real Madrid is far below the level that I was expecting. For the second half, it would be more of the same. With Congo on two and constantly getting chances, I was confident of a hatt-trick!

    After his early yellow, I’ve decided to take a risk. I push Míchel further up-field and get Le Bark as the DMC, Campos being taken off for a pre-caution and not allowing Real any advantage. If this is going to be OUR final, then I will make sure it’ll be OUR final!




    48th Minute – Cláudio’s lining up for a free-kick, carelessly given away by Celades by pushing Congo, and Bembibre have an early chance to add a third! He fires it towards goal and it is a fine finger-tip goal to the ball and conceeds a corner.

    Marky Mark whips the ball in from the corner, and Cláudio’s first to it! He’s headed the ball toward goal but clips the post and goes wide. Goal Kick for Real, and chance for them to breathe!

    50th Minute – Well that breathing space wasn’t long!

    An awful goal kick – quickly taken by Juanmi – goes to no-one and the closest to it is Congo! He collects the loose ball and fires low, hard towards goal!

    HATT-RICK HERO EDWIN CONGO!! SURELY BEMBIBRE HAVE WON IT!!

    Congo easily lost his marker, and made them pay.

    57th Minute – Cláudio’s free to for a header towards goal!

    IT’S ALL TOO SIMPLE AS IT’S NUMBER 4 FOR BEMBIBRE!

    69th Minute – Van Damme is running down the wing with freedom, Real have given up.
    The Belgian moves forward with purpose and a keen eye towards the box. Bembibre are not letting Real off!

    He finds Kühne who heads it to Marky Mark who, himself, heads it with power towards goal.

    FIVE ALIVE! MARKY MARK SEALS IT WITHOUT DOUBT! BEMBIBRE HAVE JUST WON THE SPANISH CUP!!


    Unbelievable.

    Without a single moment I never thought we would beat the second best team in Europe – second team or not – so hevaily! Congo was a man on a mission and reap his rewards with a hat-trick and the Man of the Match.



    Crowds gather in Bembibre to welcome us with the Spanish Cup, they sing my name, Congo and women go topless for Marky Mark! What a way he has with women. Among the crowds I see a familiar face in Maria, who watches with pride in her eyes. I see her for only a moment before she becomes one of the many faces of the crowd.

    For some reason, my heart feels a bit broken. But, I have to remember! No more BS!

    As I arrive back to my office for just some moments of calm, I receive an email from The Board of Directors Of Atletico Bembibre:



    This is what they send an email about, but want to speak face to face about a Semi-Final?

    Among the haste of confusion that is my current employers, I received another email about a record breaking alert in the league.



    Another reminder that the season still has some way to go. As we were demolishing Real Madrid’s amateur side, Valladolid snook by to take the lead by beating Sporting Gijón at home, 3-0. They now have only one game: 3rd place Real Zaragoza.

    We have two games: bottom club Novelda at home, and 18th placed Ourense – who’ve just fought off relegation by 5 points.

    * ** * ** * ** * * * * ** ***** * * *

    The Showdown



    Going against too lowly placed teams in the table, with the exceptional talent and form we’ve had also, I decided that for the last two games I would rotate the squad to allow some of the back-up to play. Not an entire 11 change as it would be too suicidal, but a few changes to give some game-time to players who’ve had to watch from the sidelines because of tremendous performances of other players.



    The first was resting Congo for Alberto to have a proper send-off, a man who fired us into the division but has failed to settle into the new league in the previous two years. A legend, he is only one from the initial 3 players that was here when I arrived still at the club. Both full-backs are rested as Joáo Pedro and Asier – formally known Asier Fernández Pérez – quality players who have fallen only due to the tremendous form of both Van Damme and Evans.

    Fernando slots into the centre of defence after being retrained last season due to shortage of choice at that point, and youth prospect Ricardo Maldonado comes in just ahead of them in the DMC role. Ricardo has been unfortunate with both captain Le Bark and Míchel being competition ahead of him, but should be a good player in future.

    Gustavsson in the architect in the central midfield, a player whose had games in and out of the side, he’s taken well as a back-up and stepped up to try and dismantle the Midfield Trio, certainly has made a mark!



    Aginst the worst team in the league, Asier broke through the away defence with help of Marky Mark in the 13th minute to mark the only goal in a frustrating game. The away side dug their heels into the ground to try and ruin our party mood, with keeper Rafael Pons taking the Man of the Match award, we were able to take the vital points and regain the 2 point lead.

    The only other action worth of note was the injury of Maldonado, who was forced off in the 44th minute after a pulled hamstring, Míchel came on as his replacement, but sad affairs as he misses the last game of the season.

    The next game was equally frustrating away against Ourense, with only two changes – the enforced Le Bark at DMC and Fröchlich partnering Arens in the centre of defence – it was the ever-deadly Marky Mark that sealed us the title!

    A brace at the end of each half saw him take all the plaudits praise – rightly so!




    After a tense battle against runners-up Real Valladolid all season, in the end we took the lead in the battle and got the just rewards! After missing out so narrowly last season, I accomplished what I said I wanted to do this season by confirming the promotion AND the league title. Despite them normally playing before us, we now had the last laugh!



    Finishing 5 points ahead, it was a tremendous showdown by us both and one I am sure the neutrals would love watching.

    But of course, I am not forgetting the double!! The Spanish Cup and the Second Division title! An unbelievable achievement for the club of this stature, but again, it wasn’t the ‘real’ Real Madrid. It was a depleted side of players that are youth or even ‘grey’ that aren’t full-timers.



    * ** * * * ** *** * * * * * * ** * * * **



    With the season in the rear-view mirrors, it was time to look back. Not on only the season passed, but the whole journey together. When I took over, te club had just been promoted into the Second Division B.

    With three players to it’s name and only three staff members, it was a case of builing up something. And after a stressful busy peroid, I did build something. I built a winning machine! Subtly building pace, it wasn’t until December that we broke into top spots of the league – and with the 4-4-2 diamond it was only going to get better.



    Like with Real Valladolid, we had our nemesis with Motril. Both of us earned a chance to go into the Promotion Groups, and we finished top! The lowly club who wanted to only battle bravely against relegation, got promoted!

    Another feat we aimed to achieve last season, but in the end missed with 6 points off the play-offs. Compostela were the champions, and we came so close.



    Instead of leaving in failure, I signed a one year extension to my contract. I identified areas of improvement and took aim for the title!

    And we did it!

    The players to highlight this season are the obvious [B]Marky Mark and Edwin Congo. The pair have been goal-machine this season and made the over-reliance on Marky Mark of last season a lot easier. 66 goals between them scored, and another 14 created, they’ve stepped up and single-handedly won games.

    Spoiler!


    Two major areas of improvement were the full-backs and Alexandre Van Damme and Phillip Evans have definitely helped as width in our narrow 4-5-1. 16 assists between them, Evans with a 1.5 tackling average over the season, and Van Damme with a 73% passing rate – they were outlets that became irreplaceable!

    Spoiler!


    As Arens and Gorges continued their exceptional form from last season, it was essential that I got a decent back-up to make sure that without one of them we would be safe. That man became Stefan Fröhlich who joined relatively late into the season – a December signing – but still became a key member of the squad. With 29 appearances all season, he maintained an 80% passing rate and 5.2 tackles per game. Outstanding for only £10k!

    Spoiler!


    But, no matter what the Player of the Season for me has to be a certain Míchel, who came in as either a second or third choice and made the DMC role his own to most of the season from the man Le Bark. Not discounting Le Bark – who had another brilliant season with an average of 7.76 this season – the new boy has gotten 12 assists this season with a passing rate of 83%! An average of 8.39 in 23 appearances – only two of which was subs – and he has excelled a lot more then I was expecting. Coming in on a bosman and only 24 years-old, his worth is surely only going to get better!

    Spoiler!


    * * ** *** * * * * * ** * * * * ** * ** *



    After a few weeks since the end of the season, I decided to call a press conference to let the media – and everyone else for that matter – what my plans will be for the future. Allowing enough time for the celebrations to die down from our amazing season, it was time to be sensible.

    It was something I hadn’t been doing this season, with so much BS going off around me, but for now, I had to. The price of success had been a tough one for the club, an investment for the right players for the terms of my ambitions.



    Though down to only £1.8 million, the highest was up to £3 million this season. With the club having the lowest attendance in Second Division, the gate for the First Division will be the low too. Awful facilities, no cash, and such low capacity stadium I need to improve my career!

    Therefore I feel like I have no other option.



    With the Spanish press now adjourned within a small room, the attention was solely on me. A time ago, I would be nervous, nauseous at this prospect, but now I am calm with it. Apart of the job, so to speak, but still, this would be short and sweet.

    Zan: Sabemos lo que somos, pero no sabemos lo que podemos ser.

    Walking out, and soon the news was out.



    * ** * * * *** * * * ** * ** ** *** * * * *** * *

    The Day Of...

    Spoiler!

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  21. #115

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    What are you doing asking her to marry you after the conspiracy and everything that’s happened! You’re insane

    5-0 in the cup dial against Madrid wow! Great job winning the cup from the second division, surely a big club will come knocking!

  22. #116

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    Perfect end of the season!

  23. #117

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    Club Three
    - Seeking a New Home -





    After a few weeks holiday, it was time to find a new place to call home.

    My reign in Spain had been successful, and due to this, it felt wrong to go to any other club. Jobs did come up, such as Real Valladolid, Recreativo, and a few minor times in the Second Division and Second Division B.

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....ZL._SX425_.jpg

    After a month since my departure, I finally found a new club. On holiday in Argentina, I received a phone call as I sun-bathe on the beach-side. It was a man named Arnoldo Bondar, a chairman of an Argentine Second Division side.



    Bondar is the chairman of Ferro Carril Oeste, a team based in the countries capital, Buenos Aires. Not only a football team, the club has many other sport activities such as athletics, baseball, basketball, futsal, handball, field hockey, swimming, and lot more.

    Found in 28h July 1904, the club has only recently celebrated their Cenutrion year, but in the way that Bondar wanted too. A flourish of success in the 80’s, the club has been in decline ever-since. They have found themselves in debt in recent times, coming near £4 million when Bondar approached me.



    It was very alarming to see that total, but that was offset with the news that the club had 43 players on their books, it would allow to cut down the amount if transfer can go out. And with knowledge that the season has just finished and enough time will be there for hopefully the board to invest some money to lower the amount it wasn’t an issue I would find hard to deal with.



    Ferro’s stadium is the Estadio Arquitecto Ricardo Etcheverri the oldest stadium in Argentina, opened on January 2nd 1905, six months after the club was formed, it has an attendance of 24,268 around 22,268 more then my previous club held. Though the average attendance was only 6,559 last season, it would be a key element to try and up the attendance for the forthcoming season.



    Meeting Arnoldo Bondar in person was a major factor! A man who seemed to agree that the club could be doing better, and the fact it wasn’t a shady representative helped. The fact I could be dealing with a person for any issues meant that a working relationship could be possible. Though he seemed to be stuck in the 80’s, I couldn’t really say anyhting. I relayed his offer and said my response:



    It was a project, but I do love a project!

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  25. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by James_y View Post
    What are you doing asking her to marry you after the conspiracy and everything that’s happened! You’re insane

    5-0 in the cup dial against Madrid wow! Great job winning the cup from the second division, surely a big club will come knocking!
    Definitely got an improvement in the long run imo, ,though i feel the name of Real Madrid is a cheat, saying it wasn't a strong side we faced.

    Hey, love makes us do stupid things

  26. #119

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    Could be a fun new job. First task will be to sort those finances out

  27. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by James_y View Post
    Could be a fun new job. First task will be to sort those finances out
    Bit apprehensive this season because of it, tbf, but it'll be nice to have a season to sort out the squad. Alot of dead weight and alot of crappy youth players. As you'll see in the next update, there is one or two pluses but definitely a new challenge to face

    Which is good and bad

  28. #121

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    Plenty of attractive women out there haha

  29. #122

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    Club Three
    - Welcome to Argentina -




    My first thoughts of having time to rebuild the team was very premature.

    As I started to settle into the Argentine capital, and finding a flat to call home. It is only a small one-bedroom flat, but with the amount of money I earn at Ferro, with a slight profit I earn from renting out my property from Spain, it would be enough for the next few months.



    I arrived in as Ferro boss on the 28th July, and our first game was the 6th August. It was a complete oversight by me, and so when the transfer window shut, my overhaul wasn’t doable.

    Instead I was able to bring in 4 free transfer, and then over the next month, gather 5 loan signings to build up a squad competent enough for me, for the season ahead.

    One area is the striker position, after letting last season’s top goalscorer Fleita leave after not negotiating a new contract – which I wouldn’t have as he was already a top earner with a wage over £2k which is around £1.5k more then the club would now let me offer. Marcos Bustamante and Luis Basualdo both joined the club as options. Basualdo, the more well rounded one, got the first pick so far this season and has repaid my thoughts with 3 in 3.




    Acciari and Molina came in as options for their roles, DMC and DC, but not first teamers – so far – but with players being lined-up to be sold as the season goes on, there numbers come be called upon.




    Options were short, and the project was going to be harder then I had originally expected. Teams were hesitent to try and purchase our players, all the while, we still had football games and a debt every growing. I had to do something I haven’t done so far in my career, I had to rely on loan players to bridge the gap.



    First ones in were centre-back Gustavo Semino from Central, the 28-year-old has been finding game time hard to come by as of late, and with our limited decent options for the role, will be a key-man for defence! Bedgardo Gamarra comes in from fellow Second Division Quilmes, more as back-up for a key role of the tactics – reusing the same one I had been using at Bembibre – it was clear we had to have options! Gamarra is just that!



    After my only left-back option’s contract ended just shy of one game into the season, I was forced to serach for a new option. In comes Pablo Molina from Nueva Chicago, the young left-back has made few game at his home club in the last few years – and with very few options – would be the only choice we have for left-back. Martínez comes from Newell’s with much expectation, another option in midfield he will compete to be the right side of the mid-fielding three.



    The final loanee – or so far – is Luciano De Bruno, another player from Central who can compete for at least three roles in the squad and offers a large option in attacking outlet. At 27 years-old, he is a senior of the squad but hasn’t seen many games in the last few seasons. Hopefully, he can have a renaisccance here?

    * *** * * * * * *** * * * * * *



    With low expectations for the season – maybe complying to the expectations of the board – we went into each game aiming to be the best us to be!

    At first we started our first game of the season against Talleres, a former Argentine Premier Division, it was a dramatic affair. Germán Real opened the scoring in the 9th minute, thanks to a poor save from our keeper Bonetti. Another from Real in the 20th minute made it 0-2.

    Basualdo scored hist 1st of the season on the 23rd minute with a nice volley from Vega’s nice hold-up play! We completed the come-back with Monrefiore, who capped off a wonderful move, with a nice shot on the 63rd minute.

    All hope was seemed to be gone as Bonetti was sent off in the 85th minute for a foul, giving away a penalty in the process. Corlos Bangert came on to deny Real from a hat-trick and make the result a 2-2 draw.



    Around 6,851 people attended my debut game at Ferro, a much larger attendance then what I had been used to. The empty space in the stadium was alarming, but it was more about getting the numbera up over the season. If we continued bringing such entertainment affairs to the club, then hopefully the fans will come?



    A possible 9 out of the next 9 points, with Los Andes away for 2-1 (Vega ‘6, Basualdo ‘52), another home win with 5,702 attendance as beat 2-0 (Basualdo ‘70, Vega ‘90) against Atlético Tucumán. We finished the month away against Spointing Italiano 0-3 (Vega ‘23, Francia ‘24, Kerr pen 45) which saw one of the positive players at the club, Scottish attacking midfeilder/forward Jim Kerr scored his first goal of the season.



    A decent propsect for the club, the only minus was that he was feeling home sick and couldn’t get into Argentinian life-style, trying to see if first team football could persuade him to possibly settle into the club, I really wanted to avoid loosing him…

    * *** * * * *** * ** * * * * *



    Every now and then, Arnoldo’s fancy sportscar can be found in the training grounds parking lot. A man with seemingly large wealth, Arnoldo is certainly not one to be shy about. Lavish cars, lavish suits, but has so far, kept his hands out of the football club.

    As you enter the entrance and turn towards reception, Arnoldo was there near the water cooler with a group of the players.



    Arnoldo: And so me Hernan partied for, like, most of the night. It was one of my best Thursday nights ever! But unfortunately, my car didn’t like it! Had to get a brand new one because the stratches were so deep! In the end, I sold it to Charity. Now, she was a fine girl!

    Casually chatting away, I came into shot to try and get the players away so they would go start training.

    Arnoldo: Hey Zanneth! How’s it going man?

    With my name mentioned, the players dispersed down the hallway towards the changing room, leaving myself and Arnoldo alone.

    Arnoldo: I have to say, man, we’ve done well so far this season! Been rad seeing the club so far up the table, bit like my profits! This month has been so happy for me, I've bought myself a new boat! Hell yeah, and your going to be invited for the first big party on it!

    I smiled and thanked him as he left the water cooler to rendezvous back outside with the players. Despite the reassurances that the financial mess was due to the owner before, the fact that players at the club had over £1k a week that hasn’t played a game under me so far – or wasn’t good enough in the first place – weren’t wanted even on a free, shows that they were on too much!

    Unfortunately some had to be released to ease the long-term expenditure, but if we continue as we have this season, then we could earn a decent prize money possibly…

    ** * * ***** * ** **** * * * * ***** * * * *



    In September, we took aim to continue the fine start of the season. Wanting our stadium to be a place of entertainment so extending our run at home would be best for the club. A 4-2 win against Aldosini (Basualdo ‘49, Medina ‘71, P.Molina ‘75, Kerr ‘83) started off the month on a good start, with the away team getting 2 back from the 4 shots they had on target. Another win, this time away with a 2-1 agianst Defensores (Kerr ‘45, Basualdo ‘76) in which we made their defence-sore! Get it?

    Once again we dominated at home with a massive 4-0 thrashing against Brown (Arrecifes) (Fantini own goal ‘5, Vega ‘55, Francia ‘58, Cocherari pen 71), a result made easy by nullfying the away side to not have a single shot on goal!



    Over 5,104 people attended to see the game, a decrease in the amount that came for my debut. But I am hoping they will come slowly back as the season continues. However someone else’s season here is over. After trying to make his own move away with a public interview, Jim Kerr is now transfer-listed. I allowed him to have a two week period for leave of abscene as a good-will gesture for his fine form recently, but the ending result was him failing to return.



    A two week fine followed which he accepted without comment, but a little disappointment also came as I had hoped we could get him to settle as he showed a lot of potential to become a key member of the squad!



    With Kerr now away from the squad, loanee De Bruno was now playing as the second-striker in our next away game. But, we tasted our first defeat of the season in a dull 0-1 affair against Chacarita. With only three shots on goal all game from both clubs, it was the first one for the home side that came the glory with Aguirre scoring within 2 minutes of kick-off.

    An instant bounce back at home with an impresive 3-0 win over Def. Justicia (Basualdo ‘11, Medina ‘47, De Bruno ‘56) but the win was somewhat ruined as De Bruno was forced off in the ‘73 minute with an injury. Luckily the injury wasn’t too bad as it was only a strained knee ligaments, which meant he would out for up to 2 weeks.

    Fortunately, I brought in another loanee who could help void his abscene in the meantime.



    24 year-old Guillermo Marino joins on a season-long loan from Newell’s to help sure up our options with Kerr on the chopping block. Only having played 22 games at his home club, this could be a vital season for the man, as he already wants first team football.

    * **** * *** * **** * * **** * * **** ****** * * ** * * ***** ***



    With all good once again, training has becomes more enjoyable since Kerr’s exclusion away from the club. In a particular developing session, we had started to do attacking scenarios only to be interrupted by a large car horn from the parking lot.



    It was like a warning to run and hide as far as you can, as once again the chairman was here!

    All the players sighed as the man started walking across the pitch towards us, waving in his ever white suit, all I could hope was that this was going to be a short visit…



    Arnoldo: And so I said to Andrew Lloyd Webber, ‘Look! The problem with Cats is no onre likes them! You should do a musical called Dogs! They’re the best! No one calls cat’s man’s best friend do they? But dogs!’. And before you know it, he gives me a high-five and starts developing it! There’s so many ideas that I have, like, for TV Shows and films, it outstanding.

    Again Arnoldo tell us an anecdote about his famous friends while’ll I try to urge the players to ignore him, but everytime I do he puts them back in place. Though it is nice to see my boss wanting to have an involvement within the club, the fact he’s down here nearly every training session and conintual talks to the players is getting a bit off-putting. And the money he brags about hasving, it would be nice to see some of that invested in the club.

    But I would never get the confidence to say this to the man…

    Arnoldo: Jordan, Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek.. All of them dude! I’ve done it to them all! I’ve given them a personalised car for each of their birthdays. Gotta keep contacts you know? But I kept distance a little after I ‘porked’ them. Bitches be crazy once they have had a taste of Arnoldo.

    His pager beeping was the sign that he had to be elsewhere, and with it going off like crazy, it was a chance to normality to resume. He announced his intent to leave, and fifteen minutes later, he did. With only 5 minutes left for training we did a quick fitness session and the players went on their way.

    This could be a problem….

    ** ** * **** ** * * **** * * * * * ** * * * * * ***** * *



    Seeing out September, we concluded another successful month with a mammoth 2-5 away win against Quilmes (Beer ‘21, Martínez ‘31, Basualdo ‘59, Francia ‘66, P. Molina ‘90) and with the first win of October being another home win against Godoy Cruz 3-1 (P. Molina ‘8, Basualdo ‘38 ‘88) we had now taken the top spot in the league.



    Not once would I thought we could flow so well, though the reliance on loan players might be a factor with Molina particularly stepping up in previous games! Players had fell into their role amazingly this season, a step I wasn’t sure would happen. Though the disharmony remains as Kerr returned back from his exile, which I gave him another two weeks away to not disrupt the squad atmosphere, it is a happy, hopeful attitude from the players.

    And this was reflected once more in some more amazing results! An away 4-0 throbbing to Inistituto (Vega ‘24 ‘64, Basualdo ‘35 ‘87) gave reign to our continued flourish at the top of the table. With Vega on 6 for the season and now Basulda on his 11th, it was clear they are keep players for the style of play. Though it wasn’t too not highlight other players, as in the following 3-0 win over Belgrano (Décima ‘35, Martínez ‘50 ‘60) Décima continued his fine form which was nearly a carbon copy of Míchel at Bembibre.



    Though one of the high earners at the club with a wage of £1.3k per week, Décima has at least shown his worth so far this season with some particular great performances. Though over shadowed by players like Basualdo, Félix has been consistent as the Defensive midfielder after being blocked out by the former manager for only 6 games last season – to which he has played twice that amount so far this season alone! With his longest stretch in the first team in previous years being a solo season of 25 games, I'll be hoping to eclipse that number as we continue to push on our form!



    The next game we dropped points in a well-earned 0-0 for home side Gimnasia (CDU) with a particularly special performance from their goalkeeper Diego Luque who earned the Man of the Match with his first clean sheet this season. This also meant that it was 27 days till we dropped from our first loss of the season, not a bad difference!



    After what seemed to be a life-time, we finally sold Jim Kerr to Polish side Lech Poznan for £250k with a 10% of the next transfer fee. A player that has caused division in the squad, and annoyance, to reap some money for the lad is good but to know he can develop into something, is what irks me.

    With another transfer out as Diego Velázquez leavs for £6k to Libertad it means so far I was able to salvage around £575k in transfers out, with another £400k also to come between December and July next year. It’s not been easy to rake in money, but I am trying my best while also maintaining a competitive edge.



    But luckily the home attendance grew to 11,314 as we continued winning ways at home with a 2-1 win over All Boys (Francia ‘2, Pablo Molina ‘74). It was the highest attendance this season so far, with 11,800 against Central in the Promotion Quarter Finals last season being the one to aim to beat! We continued our form with another away win against Español 2-0 (Vega ‘27, Décima ‘64), and finished off the 3rd month of the season with a hotly contested 2-2 draw against Alte.Brown (Pablo Molina ‘52, Décima ‘68) at home another amazing crowd with 10,249 people watching from the stands, we hope we can bring consistent crowds in as we continue our consistent form!

    * ** *** * *** * ** * * * ** ** ** * * ** * ** *



    We finished October where we started, on top of the table. With 13 wins, 3 draws and 1 lost so far this season, we’ve shown great composure to sit top. With the amount of loan players we are relying on increasing, it isn’t a team made at home but surely one to hold over as we try to sort our financial crisis.

    I still firmly believe this club should be in the top division, and that with me in charge, we can do that!

    With back-up loanees such as Javier Mascherano, Roberto Cornejo, and Mariano González joining our depth is greater, though again, they are only short-term solutions to a possible long-term problem.





    Maybe it was time for happy times for the Ferro faithful?

    Last edited by ZanSnake; 12-02-20 at 03:17 PM.

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  31. #123

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    With that finishing and movement Bustamente should score you plenty, are you not fancying him though?

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  33. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by James_y View Post
    With that finishing and movement Bustamente should score you plenty, are you not fancying him though?
    Because Basualdo got 11 goals in 13 games, thats why he's not chosen

  34. #125

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZanSnake View Post
    Because Basualdo got 11 goals in 13 games, thats why he's not chosen
    Has he made any impact from the bench or just waiting for his chance?

    I can't argue with the stats!

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