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Thread: [STORY] The Emperors of Japan

  1. #1
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    [STORY] The Emperors of Japan

    The Emperors of Japan - Chapter 1

    So there I was, watching them hack lumps out of tuna with a chainsaw.


    I should probably go back a bit. Before actually leaving my previous job as the most successful manager in Manchester United's history, I had taken a crash course from the club's head physio, Colin Brown. Colin had introduced me to his brother “Doc” who had been adapting an old De Lorean DMC-12. Naturally I had asked for a test drive, but something had gone wrong and I found myself back in 2014 as a thirty-something.

    It had been impossible to get a job back in football management. My CV may have looked incredible, but for someone of my age to have achieved so much was, quite frankly, unbelievable and so I was left unemployed. Desparate to do something, I called on my new found physiotherapy skills and after a few knock backs, landed the job as masseur for the popular girl beat combo, The Saturdays.


    The girls were embarking on a World Tour and were in need of my services to de-stress and relax on the gruelling schedule. The girls had done North and South America, conquered Australia, including a memorable night at the “Allphones Arena” in Sydney where the head of sales treated us like royalty, and we were now touring Japan. It was the 4th night and we were in the city of Matsuyama in the south of the country. The girls had gone off for some shopping (quite why I don't know as they had plenty of clothes already and wore very little of them when they did) and this left me with a free afternoon.

    Now I am a big fan of fish, the eating kind, not the gold things that swim around in tanks, but after just a few days in Japan I was already board of constant raw fish and was desperate for proper fish and chips. Crispy batter on the fish, soft fluffy center to the chip. It had to be available somewhere in Japan, they put batter on the bloody vegetables, so why not the fish ? Someone had directed me to the docks as a possibility, which is where we started the story, watching a tuna being hacked apart with a chainsaw.

    Knowing this wasn't the right place, I was about to leave when there was a shove in my back. I turned to face a shady stranger


    Stranger: 私はパンク従う
    Me: Do you speak English ?
    Stranger: イギリス人私のために一生懸命これをしない
    Me: DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH ?
    Stranger: 最終警告
    Me: DO ….. YOU ….. SPEAK ….. ENGLISH

    Quicker than I could blink, he pulled something from his pocket

    Me: Ah ! Knife I do understand. You want me to follow you ?


    With a shove in the back, he confirmed my understanding and I was led to a large black Lexus where I was blindfolded. It might have been ten minutes, or it might have been an hour, but eventually the car stopped and I was dragged from the car into a building. There were endless corridors and lifts and finally, I was shoved into a leather seat where the blindfold was removed.


    Stranger 2: Eejit San. We have been expecting you.
    Last edited by Kingsley; 02-12-14 at 01:47 PM.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  3. #2
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    Beezer is United's club physio?

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  5. #3
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    Just reject the offer and stay with the girls please

    Hey I know that dude from Allphonsos Arena!

    Classic start. Lets see what the twist is...

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Eejit View Post
    landed the lob as masseur for the popular girl beat combo, The Saturdays.
    I think I'd have got the lob too!

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    Fixed that. Thanks
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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    A new story already! Has anyone done one in the Japan league before?
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  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    A new story already! Has anyone done one in the Japan league before?
    I tried a couple of things last week, but they just didn't stick, so I've taken a leaf out of your book. Stay tuned and you'll understand.
    I can't remember a story based in Japan, but I'm sure it has ben visited in some globetrotting story in the past
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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    The Emperors of Japan - Chapter 2

    Stranger 2: How rude of me. Let me introduce myself. My name is Tomoyuki Ishibashi and I am the Director of Football for our local football team here in Matsuyama. Would you like some tea ?

    He clicked his fingers and a geisha arrived and pored some insipid liquid from an ornate pot into a bowl. The first sip of it reminded me of having sex in a canoe …... fucking close to water. Ishibashi continued.


    Ishibashi: I do apologise for the rather course method of getting you here, but your arrival in our town had given our owners some cause for concern, and it was either this, or we send send these photo's of you with your employers to your wife.

    He passed me a deck of very graphic photographs featuring myself and each of The Saturdays

    Spoiler!


    Ishibashi: I think you will agree that Kato San's methods are probably preferable to mine, but you always have the option to change your mind
    Me: That won't be necessary. What is it that you want ? I have nothing of value and I am just an employee of a girl band.
    Ishibashi: You are too modest Eejit San. I think it is time to admit who you really are ? The Eejit who has managed 100 clubs in the UK. The Eejit who topped all records achieved by Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Ian Holloway. The Eejit who is going to help our modest little football club here in Matsuyama.
    Me: And why would I want to do that ?

    Ishibashi clicked his fingers again and another (it may be the same one) geisha wafted into the room.

    Ishibashi: Get me the e-mail address for Mrs Eejit. I would like to send her some photographs.
    Me: OK. I'll do it. What is it that you want ?
    Ishibashi: We have been left with something of a problem. Our previous manager Mochizuki San has built us a team, but it has some ….. lets call them flaws. We don't think that he is the right man to take us forward.
    Me: What sort of flaws ?
    Ishibashi: You will find out soon enough.
    Me But you think that I can achieve something for you ?
    Ishibashi: Our owners can think of nobody else. It was fate that brought you to our town and therefore we had to act swiftly. All we ask of you is one season to get the club back on it's feet. One season, and then you can leave with our blessing, however there is a but.
    Me: Isn't there always a but. What is it this time ?
    Ishibashi: After the indiscretions of Mochizuki San, the owners have forbiden any further transfers into or out of the club. You mast play with Mochizuki San's players and them alone. And ….
    Me: A “but” and an “and” !
    Ishibashi: ….. And ….. We will be assessing your performance based on League performance, Cup performance, goals scored and clean sheets. If the photos of you and the Saturdays are anything to go by, there won't be many clean sheets. You can find the rules here.
    Me: One final question. Matsuyama ? I'm not great on Japanese football, but I've never heard of them before.
    Ishibashi: The club is called Ehime FC.
    Me: Never heard of them
    Ishibashi: We play in J-League 2.

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  15. #9
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    A one season challenge! Sounds familiar...!

    Bet the squad is absolute garbage!
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  17. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    A one season challenge! Sounds familiar...!

    Bet the squad is absolute garbage!
    I'll be seriously disappointed if it isn't
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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    How old are you not to get a job?!

    Saturdays.........................Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm - I have a LOT of time for Blonde Mollie

    Good to hear Bevva was accommodating in Sydney!

    You fooled me with the spoiler as well

    "If the photos of you and the Saturdays are anything to go by, there won't be many clean sheets"

    Good to see this story linked to one of the challenges!

    IIRC - squad has a wedge of strikers and no defenders (or other way around) - I really struggled with it! - Good Luck!

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    The Emperors of Japan - Chapter 3
    Ishibashi showed me to my office in a dingy corner of the Ningineer Stadium. It was a very strange stadium, very open with no cover and an athletics track making the action apear very remote from the supporters. It would be a very strange atmosphere, even when filled to a 20,000 capacity.


    Me: Can you ask my assistant to come in please. I'd like to go over the squad with him
    Ishibashi: You don't have an assistant.
    Me: What do you mean “You don't have an assistant” ?
    Ishibashi: I mean “You don't have an assistant.” He left with Mochizuki San.
    Me: What about the coaches. Could you ask the head coach to come here.
    Ishibashi: They return from holiday with the players tomorrow.
    Me: Holiday ! It's the 7th of bloody February !
    Ishibashi: Ours is a summer season. Our opening league game is with Verdy in Tokyo in 36 days time. You can meet the staff and players when they return tomorrow.
    Me: I was rather hoping to make a start with a full assessment of the squad. Without players or staff, there is not much I can do.
    Ishibashi:Mochizuki San may not have been upto your exhaulted standard as a manager, but he was very efficient and organised. Everything is documented. I will have the dossier sent down for you to review.

    10 minutes later and a geisha arrived with a very weighty, bound folder. It looked as if I had plenty of information to be getting on with. First of all I sorted the names by their preferred positions.


    Small flaw ! It's a bit more than that. Other than left backs, there is bugger all width, and what's with the 9 strikers and 11 central midfielders ? Looking on the bright side, we do have every position covered, but there is a huge problem with depth down the right hand side, so they had better be good and stay fit. I think that we need to stay positive and say that there is genuine competition for some positions !

    It was time to look at each player in a bit more detail.

    KEEPERS

    Spoiler!


    Overall it is not looking good. If I have any problem with Tada then I am in big trouble. Tough choice between Shimazu and Kawakita for the backup, but Kawakita gets the nod and is placed with Tada in the 1st team. The others are placed in the reserves


    DEFENDERS

    Spoiler!


    Overall, as the crew of Apollo 13 said when they heard Whitney had released another hit (with a capital S) single ….. Huston we have a problem !
    Not much choice here. Obara, Ogata for full backs and Arakawa, Hoshino, Kanamori and Oshini to fight for central defence. Goto and Kawai make up the reserves.
    I prefer to play with 4 at the back, so if Obara picks up a knock, I'll need to decide on playing someone out of position, or switching to a 3.

    MIDFIELD

    Spoiler!


    Overall I have a lot of very similar players and there are no realiostic options to provide any width. Kodama and Miyahara are the only ones who offer anything different and so they are definitely in the first team squad. Diasuki Aono, Chishima, Hamaoka, Hyoda, Kamimaru and Uchino will join them and I think I'm forced to be looking at a narrow midfield system. They are no spring chickens, but atleast there are not the same problems with age that I have in defence.

    FORWARDS

    Spoiler!


    Overall, We have our star in the Brazilian Josimar. Head and shoulders above anyone else in this team. Terauchi, Tanaka and Yokoyama also look to be decent players and with nothing much from midfield, I think I'd like to play 3 up front. Yoshida and Kudo can join them in the 1st team.

    Finding any width is going to be the problem. There is nothing obvious in defence or midfield so do I play someone out of position, or do I go for a centralised formation. I'd like to accommodate both Kodama and Miyahara, so maybe a diamond midfield in a 3-4-3 ? It would certainly be attacking !

    Spoiler!


    I hope my one scout and physio don't die before they get here. The coaches are about as good as the players.

    I picked up the phone and called Ishibashi, who was the only person I knew.

    Ishibashi: こんにちは
    Me: It's The Eejit here
    Ishibashi: Ah Eejit San. What can we do you for. Ha ha. My little joke.
    Me: I wonder if I could have a word with the owner or chairman ?
    Ishibashi: That won't be possible
    Me: Why ?
    Ishibashi: We don't have one, or rather we do, but they want to keep their anonymity. You deal with me and me alone


    Me: Normally when I start a new job or season, I get sent the expectations of the board. Will you be doing that ?
    Ishibashi: Certainly. I would like you to improve the squad
    Me: Improve the squad ! How the **** do I do that if I'm not allowed to buy and sell ? Can't I battle bravely against relegation ?
    Ishibashi: You will find that Japan is a land of conundrums.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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    Thank god for Josimar!

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    One of your forwards looks like he has a massive 'Ego' problem!!

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  25. #15
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    Josimar is a beast in this league IIRC from this challenge

    Coupel of other decent players there as well

    Plenty of midfield options

    Defence looks weak but a couple of sturdy CB's

    Keeper's not great!

    Think you'll have play the old Keegan Newcastle way!

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  27. #16
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    This is so far outside my comfort zone. I like to play with a solid defence as a priority. Not a clue about a tactic other than 3 up front and I'm wondering how you set the team instructions for "boot it in the general direction of Josimar"
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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    Set him as playmaker so most of the play goes through him maybe?

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  30. #18
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    "Positive: Physically he is fine
    Negative: Technically he is poor
    Verdict: One for the backup pool"

    Thinking of a career in Haiku after?

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    343 magic square looking a likely formation

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  33. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    Set him as playmaker so most of the play goes through him maybe?
    Not a bad shout

    Quote Originally Posted by merkezekrem View Post
    "Positive: Physically he is fine
    Negative: Technically he is poor
    Verdict: One for the backup pool"

    Thinking of a career in Haiku after?
    Yeh ! Long time since I've played the Finnish Leagues. What's the Haiku squad like in the latest update ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dermotron View Post
    343 magic square looking a likely formation
    Hold that thought !
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  35. #21
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    Think this may be a story that Dermo will enjoy!

    Hilarious to see 11 MC and so many strikers though. It's like me in my early days of the Stoke story!

    Shame you can't do some wheeling and dealing just to get some width in. Looks like you've got to go with a narrow midfield. At least you have two DMCs so you can potentially play one behind three in the middle and still have an AMC too if you wish to use him.

    Good luck, buddy!
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    The Emperors of Japan - Chapter 4

    Next day and the players and staff all arrived promptly at 09:00. I had a plan for general fitness work while taking each of the players one by one for a physio assessment. Keeping on top of fitness and controlling any injuries or niggles was going to be key, so I needed to know what basic level we were starting from. But first a team meeting.

    Overnight I had made 1 sneaky signing. I figured that I probably needed a translator, so I called up David Sylvian who agreed to help. I Couldn't think of anyone else who had spent a long time in Japan,


    Me: Gather round lads !
    General babble: 誰性交ということです
    Me: That means now !
    General babble: 性交は彼はあると思うん誰
    Me: NOW !

    The team assembled in a typically informal Japanese way.


    I did want to ask them if they all had their hair cut by the same guy, but I thought I aught to introduce myself first.

    Me: I am The Eejit and I am your new manager. To make it easy, you can call me “Boss” or “Gaffer”.
    General babble: ファッカー聞いたことがない
    Me: And you can cut out all that Japanese crap. From here on we talk in English. Understand ?
    General babble: ファッカーはビジネスを意味
    Me: You ! (I pointed at Hyodo) What is my name ?
    Hyodo: Gaffer, Boss.
    Me: You ! (I pointed at Isoyama) What is my name ?
    Isoyama: Boss, Gaffer.

    Howl of laughter !

    Me: Settle down ! Right, we are going to start off with some fitness drills. I'll be watching from the stands, so no slacking. I want to see what you are capable of. Start off with a lap of the track and the last one back is first in for physio assessment. I hope that is simple enough. Any questions, you know where to find me.

    With a number of “OK Boss” and “OK Gaffer” they set off and there was no surprise that Tomochika, the 34 year striker, was last back. However he didn't get his Physio assessment. Instead he came straight over to me.

    Tomochika: Gaffer. I think I'm too old to play professional football any more.
    Me: So do I. Now fuck off !

    Slow as he was, he still beat a weird old guy with a zimmer frame.


    Yamada: Takeshi Yamada, Physiotherapist, Boss.
    Me: Good. I was wanting to speak to you about the physio assessments. Do you have a treatment room in the stadium, or do you have your own castle Takeshi ?
    Yamada: Actually boss, I've decided it is time for me to retire. I'm 69 and the club needs a new physio.
    Me: But what about the assessments ? What about the season ? I'm not allowed to recruit any one.
    Yamada: Tough luck. Now fuck off !

    Great. I was now without a physio and worse was to follow. Next to approach me was Takashi Ohnishi, my 38 year old central defender who had also decided to hang up his boots. Mitsushiro Obara, my only right back and just 33 followed him along with Daisuki Arakawa, another central defender and also just 33. From a pool of 8 defenders, 3 had retired and of the 5 remaining, 2 were left backs. How the hell do you make a defence with that ? Immediately, all defenders were included in the 1st team squad.

    The final retirement was that of my only scout, Shingo Kato. I didn't need him to find me any players, but I had considered him for assessing the next opponents, or maybe to provide stats on our own players performances. It was now a very thin back room of myself, a Director of Football and 3 coaches. I would need to survive with that until the end of the season. I did have one question for Kato before he left

    Me: Kato San. Can you tell me what these 3 Pokemon are doing over there ?


    Kato: They are the club mascots Gaffer.
    Me: You have got to be fucking kidding me. 3 mascots and no fucking rightback !

    With no players to buy or sell and no scouts to send out to find talent it was a relatively quiet run upto the opening game. The only incident of significant note was that Yuji Miyahara, my one and only AMC, broke down in training with a torn groin muscle. He will be out for 5 months. I suspect this points to some sort of lingering injury, but without a physio there is no way to confirm that. With him being unavailable and the lack of any sort of defence, it forced my hand into the formation. With no recognised right back, I had to go 3 at the back and without any AMC I was forced to play 3 up front. I needed a DMC to cover for the defence and that left me with few options. The 3-1-4-1-1 formation that had some success with Aberdeen (or was it Man Utd) was adapted to look like this.


    Aono on the left of the midfield 3 was the only one being played out of position. Once Miyahara returns from his injury, I may swap him round and/or rework into a 3-1-2-1-3 with a diamond in midfield. That would be for review later. On the advice of my tactical mentor, Josimar would be assigned as the playmaker and due to the gap between the midfield and the attack. Passing would be direct.

    There would be goals guaranteed, probably at both ends, and it would just depend on who scored the most. We would get the chance to test it out with 3 league games in March. Verdy and Avispa away, followed by Vegalta at home. The Japanese cup draw had given us 2 additional games with Vegalta to look forward to in April.

    There was a strange combination of confidence and trepidation as we boarded the club coach for the long trip to Tokyo. As Murray Walker once said, “Anything could happen, and probably will”.

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  39. #23
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    Blimey, as if it wasn't tough enough! Did you take over a football club or a retirement home?!

    "Boss, Gaffer!" hahaha!

    Tactic looks about right, kind of what I thought you'd have to do other than the 3 at the back although that was before the retirements.

    Good luck, let's get goals!
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  41. #24
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    Ah yes - I remember now there is always about 5+ retirements from the team right at the start!

    Love the physio telling you to fuck off after you said the same to a former player

    I'll wish you luck as you may need it

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  43. #25
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    That bus is nuts

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