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[FM 17] If You’re Not First, You’re Last Redux – Redemption For The “Nearly Men” Of Europe


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Germany 2078 -- Quarterfinals

The French.  I feel like I should bear them some particular spite or ill will, as a result of the feuds with Dijon and Rennes, but all of my anger feels forced.  We simply need to focus.

I anticipate that France will be aggressive from the start, here at the Signal Iduna, but in the early minutes they're playing a bog-standard 442.  I'm likely being too pragmatic, even with a heavily-rotated squad made necessary by our poor showing during the Group Stage.

30 minutes gone, and everything remains in the balance.  Neither side has slipped up...yet.  I remain shocked that the French aren't being more aggressive, but am not complaining...and as soon as I think that, I notice the French begin to press forward with more aggression, as their manager shouts from the sidelines.  Alright, then.

It doesn't help.  Several minutes of heavy pressure, and they counter (after we had leapt forward in transition) finding Simon in acres of space.  Having just gone up 1, the French drop deep and look content to see out the match if they can.  We'll need to go after them.

Halftime, and we're very much in this match.  The only real chance of the game, taken.  45 minutes, lads.

Nearly an hour gone...time to get the substitutes ready.  We need a creative spark, or we're dead in the water.  But before the subs can be confirmed, the French strike.

We're down 2.  And need an immediate change.  Kilic, Deri and Durmus are coming on.

 The French make it 3 in the 84th.  They've taken their chances.  They get credit for that.  We haven't.  Simple as.

Given the pre-tournament expectations and way we started the tournament, this hurts far more than I expected it to.  Already the media are savaging my squad selection.  As if an exhausted XI could have spent 90 minutes on the pitch with the French.  We did ourselves proud tonight.

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10 minutes ago, HawkAussie said:

What about Bolivia and there run to the second round of the Cup. An excellent performance from them,

Fair play to Bolivia, but Serbia fell on their face and the USA is in a massive rut.  I've just seen too many appealing clubs/nations almost become eligible to get excited about a second round appearance.  :D

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Germany 2078 -- World Cup Review

No.  Just, no.

I can't get excited about a World Cup where the semifinalists are Portugal, Germany, Spain and France.

That's all the analysis you're getting out of me on this one.

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As some of you know, it has long been on my mind to resurrect Rabona Interruptus, for years known as the "final word" on football, celebrities and culture.  

Tonight, It is with great pride, that Rabona does in fact return.  Since it is 2078, though, print media has died out.  So, you'll have to make due with the new video format.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, bringing it back to life.

Rabona Interruptus, Volume 32, Issue 1, featuring:

  • An inside look at Manchester Fashion Week, with Tomas Zajicek
  • Behind the Scenes at Germany 2078, with your host Marouane Fellaini
  • Telleus Therapeutic Teachings Towards Total Tranquillity, a new advice column authored by Božidar Bodrožić
  • And so much more!  
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8 hours ago, ManUtd1 said:

As some of you know, it has long been on my mind to resurrect Rabona Interruptus, for years known as the "final word" on football, celebrities and culture.  

Tonight, It is with great pride, that Rabona does in fact return.  Since it is 2078, though, print media has died out.  So, you'll have to make due with the new video format.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, bringing it back to life.

Rabona Interruptus, Volume 32, Issue 1, featuring:

  • An inside look at Manchester Fashion Week, with Tomas Zajicek
  • Behind the Scenes at Germany 2078, with your host Marouane Fellaini
  • Telleus Therapeutic Teachings Towards Total Tranquillity, a new advice column authored by Božidar Bodrožić
  • And so much more!  

I enjoyed watching that video. It was, indeed, therapeutic.

Must say that a France/Germany/Spain/Portugal World Cup feels a bit comforting for me. Like a confirmation that all is good and in order with the world. Chaos hasn't completely taken over... yet.

As for the Turkish WC campaign, in real life any Turkish run to the WC quarter-finals would be a clear success. Speaks volumes of how high the standards have been raised through this career that it feels a bit disappointing!

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7 hours ago, bigmattb28 said:

100 million for only 16,000 seats? Seems a bit excessive. 

Maybe they're really plush?  They always seem crazy expensive.  In the interim, we're playing down the road in Ghent at a 79k capacity stadium, so I can't complain!

4 hours ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

At least you lost to the eventual champions.

Cold comfort, for sure.  We played them even, with a largely rotated squad!  Grrr...revenge shall be mine.

4 hours ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

Best issue yet. 10/10.

2 hours ago, noikeee said:

I enjoyed watching that video. It was, indeed, therapeutic.

Must say that a France/Germany/Spain/Portugal World Cup feels a bit comforting for me. Like a confirmation that all is good and in order with the world. Chaos hasn't completely taken over... yet.

As for the Turkish WC campaign, in real life any Turkish run to the WC quarter-finals would be a clear success. Speaks volumes of how high the standards have been raised through this career that it feels a bit disappointing!

Thank you both, for telling me how you're feeling (about the new issue of Rabonus Interruptus), trying to make me understand.  

It was a bizarrely pedestrian World Cup, which I'll concede has its merits.  The Turkish campaign was great...I just can't help but think about what could have been.  But I know the game and I'm gonna play it.  Not give the Turks up, or let them down.

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4 minutes ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

You are eventually going to have to run around and desert them once you win the World Cup though.

What can I say... They know the rules, and so do I.

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For the 2nd year in a row, we draw Chelsea in the Group Stage.  Granada is no pushover, either.  Dinamo definitely drew the short straw...Valencia, Rennes and Antwerp.

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A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day.

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KV Oostende / Turkey

September 2078 Mini-Update

We're off and running.  Durmus has fit right into the side, like a glove, with two other Turkish youngsters coming in for long-term development.  The promoted youngsters are also holding their own for the time being, as Reuse, Santos, Scepovic and Balaj are out.

At this point, the heavy transition is over.  The side has been reshaped to match my desires.  Yet, I feel that strange urge.  To buy.  Sell.  Make headlines.

What is wrong with me?  What would my father think?

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This one’s tricky. You have to use imaginary numbers, like eleventeen...

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KV Oostende / Turkey

October 2078 Mini-Update

At moments, we're unstoppable.  Even the 2nd XI is carrying their weight, for a side with a number of extremely young players in the lineup.  Osvaldo is taking the most of his opportunity, with Vargas out for several weeks, hitting Sint-Truiden for 5 with 2 assists.  The only more impressive showing this past month was Kilic putting 5 past Antwerp, in a proper 8-2 Wenger special.

That being said, we aren't firing on all cylinders in each match.  The Standard match was unacceptable, even from the 2nd XI.

The Turks...we've blown a massive opportunity.  Having drawn our first match against Spain, we dominated Serbia but needed a 91st minute goal to get a point.  Beating Spain several days later leaves us 1 point ahead in the Nations League, but we'll need a result in Serbia and for them to get one in Spain.

Regardless, a strong showing even if we can do better.  Big matches on the horizon.  Brugge and a home-and-away with Chelsea, which could see us seize control of the Champions League group.

De Kustboys are on the march.

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3 hours ago, BoxToBox said:

You can trust this man, if anyone know's about quality rainbows, it's the Irish.

He's got the novelty booze market cornered as well. Smart man, that.

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People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don’t realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world.

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KV Oostende / Turkey

December 2078 Mini-Update

This is what I'm talking about.  We're clicking, with both the club and national team.

Domestically, we're top of the table, 5 points clear with 2 matches in hand, and into the semifinals of the Croky Cup.  With the national side, we managed a win in Serbia which meant we claimed our Nations League Group title before a ball was even kicked in Spain.  We then promptly drew the Spaniards in our qualifying group for the Euros, so they'll be counting on some payback.

The biggest problem being that in Oostende's final match of the calendar year, Carlos Andre went down in a heap.  It was gruesome...made Joe Thiesmann look like a mild sprain.  Carlos is out for the year, so the youth will have to step it up.

At the end of the day, though, it's hard to come home to an empty house.  What good is life without friends and family to share it with?  My only living family are the half-brothers who despise me...maybe I'll get a dog.  One of the secretaries bought me some plants, but they all promptly died due to a lack of watering.  Not an encouraging sign for my ability to put in the time, effort and attention necessary to nurture a real relationship with a real person, away from the pitch.

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6 hours ago, Adonalsium said:

Merryyyy Christmaaaaas to the Nearly-Men and to my boi Håkan!

KV Oostende - never even heard of these boys before. Is that a good thing?

Merry Mistborn Llama Christmas, @Adonalsium!

Not having heard of Oostende is not just a good thing, it is the best thing. 

Our kits look like someone used Skittles for a color palate, and we have no business being among the European elite but for a Welsh tycoon with delusions of grandeur, more money than common sense, and a taste for (coincidentally) Skittlebräu.  

What could go wrong?

[Word to the wise, avoid the holiday cookies that Kasbal brought.  At least, wait until he pulls out the jam...]

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It’s psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I’ll get a saw.

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KV Oostende / Turkey

March 2079 Mini-Update

Time for the Champions League knockout rounds.  We'll face Saint-Etienne, a side with several very familiar faces.

A tight 1-0 win at the stadium once claimed by my father sets us up for success, as we know Les Vert will need to attack in Belgium. 

The menacing Homer Simpson tifo claiming "We All Float Down Here" was a sight to behold.  Never did I suspect a match like this, though.

7-4.  Wild swings and roundabouts.  Truly a match for the ages.  I need a beverage, to settle my nerves.  The lads are watching Gladiator in the locker room...because reasons.

Are you not entertained?!?

Onward we march.

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Gustav's Dijon are out, at the hands of Valencia.  Leverkusen with one hell of a comeback in the 2nd leg.

We draw Inter...winners of 7 out of the last 8 Serie A titles, Champions League finalists in 4 of the last 5 years, winning the title in 2074/75.  It's a big ask, but if you want to be the best...

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Our Euros qualifying campaign is off and running, having claimed 6 points from 6 on the back of Kilic's 2 hat tricks.  We made it harder on ourselves in Reykjavik than need be, but 3 points are 3 points.  

If Kilic can carry this form into our Champions League campaign, the Italians will have reason to be concerned...they've aged a bit, but remain a tough nut to crack.

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On 23.12.2017 at 20:26, ManUtd1 said:

Merry Mistborn Llama Christmas, @Adonalsium!

Not having heard of Oostende is not just a good thing, it is the best thing. 

Our kits look like someone used Skittles for a color palate, and we have no business being among the European elite but for a Welsh tycoon with delusions of grandeur, more money than common sense, and a taste for (coincidentally) Skittlebräu.  

What could go wrong?

[Word to the wise, avoid the holiday cookies that Kasbal brought.  At least, wait until he pulls out the jam...]

By the Lord Ruler, my good skaa, take an upvote! 

Would that Welsh tycoon's name happen to be Sebarial, by any chance?

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1 hour ago, Adonalsium said:

By the Lord Ruler, my good skaa, take an upvote! 

Would that Welsh tycoon's name happen to be Sebarial, by any chance?

Hah!  His wife does have the darkest brown eyes...

(I'm 3/4 of the way through a WoK re-read, getting ready for Book 3.  :D)

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It’s psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I’ll get a saw.

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KV Oostende / Turkey

April 2079 Mini-Update

This time it was a tale of 2 legs.  The best of times, the worst of times.  Dickens, yeah, and all that jazz.

Only this time Charlie wouldn't be so ****ing glum.  De Kustboys are on the march.  A massive 3-nil win at our temporary home in Ghent set us up for glory in the 2nd leg at the Guiseppe Meazza.

I've never understood that.  One would think that after all these years AC Milan and Inter would find a way to end this passive-aggressive nonsense of "when we play here, the stadium is X, when you play, it's Y."  It's childish.  You can call a horse a pig all day, but it's still a horse.

From now on, I'm calling the stadium the **** Arena.  Just because I can, and for the sake of clarity.  Try and stop me, eh?

We didn't cover ourselves in glory at the **** Arena, but a valiant rearguard action means we're through.  Westerberg paid back my loyalty with a strong display, as he and the core of the defense were immense with the exception of a few minutes' wobble in the 2nd half.  Durmus and Eksi are a fearsome partnership, and when backstopped by the young Swede we have reason for optimism.

Incredibly, Zulte are through to the semifinals as well after eliminating Partizan ... no reunion with Stana is on the cards, though she has been texting.

An all-Belgian semifinal is not to be, though, as we draw Leverkusen.  There's still hope for an all-Belgian final in Sevilla.

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4 hours ago, ManUtd1 said:

Hah!  His wife does have the darkest brown eyes...

(I'm 3/4 of the way through a WoK re-read, getting ready for Book 3.  :D)

Oh, you're in for a treat. Let me know when you're done - the community and I (mostly the community) have done a literal truck-load of analysis on a certain love triangle.

Oh, and, uh... just pay close attention to how Dalinar is portrayed in WoK and WoR. Don't worry - it's not going to yield anything other than, perhaps, an enhanced reading experience of Oathbringer.

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Just now, Adonalsium said:

Oh, you're in for a treat. Let me know when you're done - the community and I (mostly the community) have done a literal truck-load of analysis on a certain love triangle.

Oh, and, uh... just pay close attention to how Dalinar is portrayed in WoK and WoR. Don't worry - it's not going to yield anything other than, perhaps, an enhanced reading experience of Oathbringer.

Hah!  You're killing me!  I've been avoiding all analysis until I get done with Oathbringer.

I was only going to reread WoR, but decided to go back and start at the beginning...this will be my third read of WoK and I'm already picking up on stuff I didn't the first 2 times (certainly not the 1st time).

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It’s psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I’ll get a saw.

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KV Oostende / Turkey

May 2079 Mini-Update

Leverkusen.  It seems almost a lifetime ago.

In direct contrast to our reception in Brittany, there is nothing but gratitude and respect in the air tonight.  At least until kickoff.

Leverkusen are, undoubtedly, the top side in Germany and have remained so since my departure six years ago.  They're immense, with more familiar faces than I can count.

They control and we escape only 1 goal for the worse, but with a massive job ahead of us in Belgium.  The 2nd XI are carrying the water in the league, and manage to secure the title with a draw over the weekend.  The celebrations are muted, a sign of how high the expectations are.

We are met with a revised version of the Homer Simpson tifo, one even more grim than the last.  And the lads respond with fire.

We set out to attack and Calvo buries two in the first 10 minutes, to claim control of the tie.  Yet, we don't take our foot off the gas.  We smash 4 past Ze Germans before they can regain their footing, through Bamba-Kouassi in the 37th.  But we hit back quickly, taking a 5-1 lead into the half.  The second half is a much more buttoned-down affair as we switch to a more counter-attacking mindset.

Full credit to Leverkusen -- they never give up, and are launching waves of attacks.  Finally, the breakthrough comes in the 81st.  Not for them.  Our 6th.  Quickly followed by a 7th.

The tie is over.  The celebrations have begun, in earnest.  We're off to Sevilla, where we'll face holders West Ham, who eliminated Zulte 3-0 on aggregate and just claimed their 3rd Premier League title in 4 years.

With another domestic treble secured, we're back on the biggest possible stage.  The Champions League final.

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13 minutes ago, ManUtd1 said:

Hah!  You're killing me!  I've been avoiding all analysis until I get done with Oathbringer.

I was only going to reread WoR, but decided to go back and start at the beginning...this will be my third read of WoK and I'm already picking up on stuff I didn't the first 2 times (certainly not the 1st time).

I think I've only read it twice, with some parts read several times, same for WoR. What kind of new stuff are you picking up on? I might have to give all three books a re-read, now that I've read Oathbringer...

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2 minutes ago, Adonalsium said:

I think I've only read it twice, with some parts read several times, same for WoR. What kind of new stuff are you picking up on? I might have to give all three books a re-read, now that I've read Oathbringer...

Mainly the little hints about Dalinar throughout, and how some (e.g., Teft) are wise to what's happening long, long before everyone else.  The chapter headings actually make sense, etc.  

The 2nd time I read through it was right before WoR came out, and at that time I hadn't gone looking/digging into the cosmere stuff to the extent some people had.  Of course, with things like the Mistborn: Secret History coming out, there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle that we can start to put together (or at least catch a glimpse of).

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Speaking of chapter headings - when you get to the end of WoK, read the ketek in the Endnote! Then read the names of the different parts of the book. ;) Just a bit of trivia.

As far as catching details goes in WoK and WoR, though, good luck. I can tell you there are definitely some things to pick up on related to Oathbringer. 

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23 minutes ago, Adonalsium said:

Speaking of chapter headings - when you get to the end of WoK, read the ketek in the Endnote! Then read the names of the different parts of the book. ;) Just a bit of trivia.

As far as catching details goes in WoK and WoR, though, good luck. I can tell you there are definitely some things to pick up on related to Oathbringer. 

Ooh, Stormlight Archive talk :D - just finished rereading WoK and WoR myself, got Oathbringer when it came out but wanted to refresh myself on the first two books! Just rereading Edgedancer now and then it's on to the main event...

@ManUtd1 - been slowly reading through this thread as well, excellent read! I've still got a long way to go, though!

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2 minutes ago, Adelaidean said:

Ooh, Stormlight Archive talk :D - just finished rereading WoK and WoR myself, got Oathbringer when it came out but wanted to refresh myself on the first two books! Just rereading Edgedancer now and then it's on to the main event...

@ManUtd1 - been slowly reading through this thread as well, excellent read! I've still got a long way to go, though!

Nice!  I'm jealous that you're so far ahead of me on the re-read!

Glad you're enjoying the thread, and appreciate the comment :D

What part are you at in the thread, if you don't mind me asking?  It's a little...long...at this juncture...

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Just catching up, lovely stuff - oh.... Stormlight Archive. Why am I even surprised?

Haven't read Oathbringer yet and I had wanted to reread the first two but just lacking the time... a good resolution for 2018 I guess to get to it ASAP. 

 

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May 2078/79 Champions League Final; Estadio Olimpico, Sevilla

3 years are an eternity in football.  3 years ago, my Rennes side brought home glory against Oostende.

Now, I'm hated in Brittany and adored up and down the Belgian coast.  The Oostende side from 2076 has been rebuilt almost in its entirety, and is no longer merely the plaything of a tycoon with more money than common sense.  No, we're the best young side on the Continent, prepared to take on anyone after scalping the likes of Granada, Chelsea, Inter and Leverkusen.

But there's one more scalp on offer.  The giants of England.  My father's old side.

90 minutes proves all.  Let's do this.

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A hectic start, as we get off a shot within the first 30 seconds, fizzing just over the bar, only for West Ham to smack the post in the 3rd minute.  Sadly, the commentary tonight is being provided by Michael Owen and Joey Barton after the Carragher-Neville duo were suspended for gratuitous profanity and spontaneous full-frontal nudity during the 2nd leg of the West Ham - Zulte Waregem match.

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17 year-old left back Mancinelli comes on in the 13th minute to replace the injured Benguit, an ominous sign for Vikander's men.  Meanwhile, Michael is giving a long discourse on the history of the diagnosis of hamstring injuries in Victorian England.  

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36th minute and this could define the match...Diaby goes down in the box under a challenge from Aldir.  Penalty.  And far from clear-cut.  Vikander is furious, and several players swarm the ref.  Lambertz is unfazed...Westerberg guesses correctly, but the German midfielder buries it in the top corner.  No goalkeeper would've touched it.

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Disaster strikes in the 42nd, as Westerberg mishandles a cross at his near post...2-0 to West Ham.  Owen's discourse complete, Barton takes this opportunity to pontificate about the elegance of 17th century Welsh folk music.  The Swede has been a rock at the back of Oostende's defense all year...this is the worst possible time for a mental error.

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BUT WE'RE NOT DONE FOR YET!!! KILIC IN THE 44TH!!! PLAYED CLEAR BY CALVO, THE YOUNG TURK MAKES NO MISTAKE!!!

Joey is not impressed, claiming that Kilic should have performed a rabona to finish off the move.  "He's just not trying, this lad.  A footballer should be enjoying himself on the field.  29 goals on the year?  That's a sympathy vote, that."

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Halftime in Spain.  Barton is now bullying Owen, for his long-ago receded hairline.  Michael looks like he is about to cry.

Vikander knows his side can do this, as they've had the run of play.  Kilic has given De Kustboys reason to hope...if they can take their opportunities.  The next goal will be everything.

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In the 54th minute, Andrea Stivaletta replaces Vargas, the latter coming up limping and clutching his thigh.  Much to his chagrin, his night is over.  The young Belgian with an opportunity to leave his mark on the match.

An hour gone, and Oostende have little to show for their chances on goal.  In the 75th, West Ham go close, a header hitting the post before being cleared.  Can Oostende grab an equalizer?

Joey is more concerned with alleged "anthropomorphic inconsistencies" in the Star Wars saga.  "Are we really to believe that Mr. Binks suddenly became left-handed during the third act, and only for that one scene?!  Really, Mr. Lucas?!  Really?!"  Michael is curled into the fetal position in the corner, mumbling about his racehorse, Lucky.

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