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[FM22] The Fourth Glass, Vol. III: Straight Outta Sagarejo


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Posted (edited)

September 2036 - Youth Intake.

As the old Georgian saying goes, "the promise of June gives way to the reality of September."

Or maybe that's a Dave Matthews song.

I get confused easily between the two.

Regardless, the youth intake looks less promising than what was promised. Ironically. Tornike Meladze, Lasha Rekhviashvili and Omar Makhatadze are the only three players who look to have the quality and potential to one done join the senior squad.  Mat thinks I'm being too harsh on the other lads, but his judgment has been in question since the day he convinced the kitchen staff at Fabrika to serve sriracha oatmeal raisin hummus at dinner.

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October 2036 - Champions League, Group Stage (Matchday 2).

I realize upon arriving in Austria -- which is not, contrary to Mat's loudly-voiced theory, "Australia's baby daddy" -- that of the 4 teams in our Group, only Barcelona is able to host Champions League matches at their home stadium.  The rest of us are forced to play elsewhere to keep the suits at UEFA happy.

Interesting?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  

After seeing some of the Austrian women in attendance, though, I am interested to learn more about Mat's theory.  No, no.  Don't make that face.  I've always had a keen interest in...err...science.

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Mat is all excited. 

The Brothel down the street has decided to name a popular menu item after me.

No, no. It's not what you think. It isn't that kind of establishment. It's a local all-you-can-eat soup restaurant. Very high class. All fancy, like.

Only... A potato soup? That's terrible. 

"The Rezo" should be majestic. Mysterious. Not... Whatever this is. Bland, overly large chunks of potato and something that resembles boiled broccoli.

It tastes like the inside of my shoe.

The restaurant owner claims it is to honor "a glorious night at the Aviva" but I think he's secretly mocking me. The ****.

I'm about to post a lengthy negative review on Yelp when my phone buzzes. It's a text from my father... As I read through, I realize that, for the first time in my life, he seems to be proud of me. I've "made it," in his eyes. He's never understood me, and doesn't understand football. But being able to order up a "Rezo" at The Brothel, with all his friends? This... This he understands.

Maybe it isn't too late, after all. Maybe there is a chance to finally connect after all these years.

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Posted (edited)

As if answering my prayers, my name featuring prominently at The Brothel is doing what years of therapy could not -- bring my father and I closer.

Slowly but surely he is opening up to me. I'm seeing a side to him I never knew existed. He's also hinted that there are things about my past that I need to know. To understand. About who I am. Where I come from.

Though for the life of me I can't figure out what he could possibly know about Mat. 

As far as I know they've never met. I've certainly never introduced them.

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Posted (edited)

Nothing could prepare me for this moment.

I got the call last night.

My father was taken to the hospital by ambulance, having choked on a particularly large piece of potato. 

They tried everything. But they couldn't bring him back.

He's gone.

Over and over in my mind, I can only think one thing.

My soup. My soup has killed my father.

It's only after a long conversation with Mat that I realize I'm wrong.

The soup is not to blame.

I am.

I... I have killed my father.

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Posted (edited)

October 2036 - World Cup Qualifying.

A somber mood hangs in the air as we kick off the Group Stage qualifiers for South Africa 2038.  I can hardly focus as we stumble to a draw away to Guinea and narrowly defeat Zimbabwe back in Yaounde.

Mat tries to lighten the mood, but at times I don't even notice his presence.  

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3 hours ago, ManUtd1 said:

Nothing could prepare me for this moment.

I got the call last night.

My father was taken to the hospital by ambulance, having choked on a particularly large piece of potato. 

They tried everything. But they couldn't bring him back.

He's gone.

Over and over in my mind, I can only think one thing.

My soup. My soup has killed my father.

It's only after a long conversation with Mat that I realize I'm wrong.

The soup is not to blame.

I am.

I... I have killed my father.

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Posted (edited)

October/November 2036 - Champions League, Group Stage (Matchdays 3-4).

I don't really know what I expected at my father's funeral.  It isn't like I knew him all that well, these last few years. 

I mean, I know he was in a strange, futuristic cult, but I didn't expect a funeral with so much beeping.

At the end of it all, his lawyer beckons me closer.  The only item in my father's estate that wasn't left to some self-styled prophet living in a cave in the Turkish hinterlands is a painting he apparently made of a solitary house, in a non-descript countryside somewhere.  A lone tree dominating a nearby hill.  Thunderclouds looming above the distant mountains.  I can't tell if it is sad or poetic.  Perhaps both.  

Something about it speaks to me, though I can't say exactly it what it is.  It reminds me of my childhood for some reason.  A childhood I don't really remember.

Against the Catalans at the Camp Nou, Mat is in rare form.  No, not shouting or aggressive.  Oddly passive.  Watching me from the shadows of the tunnel instead of joining me in the technical area.  Is he waiting for me to do...something?

Back at the hotel, I return to our shared suite to find him brandishing a knife.  Silent.  Staring out into the night.  When I wake, he is gone.  But the knife is beneath my pillow. And he isn't on the flight home.

Returning to our shared, dilapidated house on Paper Street, I find him in a manic state.  Insisting that we move.  "Fine," I tell him.  We could use a change of scenery.

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7 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Slowly making my way through this thread, have reached your first league title and African signing so far :brock:

That first league title took a while! 

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A record-breaking crowd was on hand for the Barcelona match, generating record gate receipts.  Wish we'd performed to a higher standard, mind...

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November 2036 - Cup of Nations Qualifying.

The last matches with Cameroon ahead of the Cup of Nations.  The last time we will see Awoa before his official unveiling in Sagarejo in 2 months' time.  

We've already qualified, so this is little more than a chance to get out of town -- to get away from the constant reminders of my father's passing.  I drive by The Brothel every day.  And I can't see a potato without wondering, is today the day I die?

I tell myself the results don't matter.  Only, they do.  Recognizing that realization is like kindling in my soul -- a rejuvenation.  A new sense of purpose, perhaps.  

I can no longer dwell on the past.  It is time to look to the future.  With only a few weeks left in the campaign, we are at a critical juncture in Europe -- away to Olympiakos, and then the final match of the year in Tbilisi against the Austrians.  All to play for.

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As an aside, Awoa picked up a new PPM at Canon Yaounde -- likes to beat offside trap.

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Perfect for a forward with his ability to read the game...  And, for a libero in my systems, given that I look for every possible reason to get them higher up the pitch.

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January can't come soon enough.

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Torpedo Kutaisi's reserves are looking to upstage ours, as they not only reach the Davit Kipiani Cup final, they beat Torpedo's first team in the semis.

Not bad for a team in the 3rd tier, looking to promote...

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November 2036 - Champions League, Group Stage (Matchday 5).

Olympiakos prove no match for our aggression.  We're so close to the knockout rounds, we can taste it.  Barcelona hammer Hartburg, meaning that we are three points clear with a 6-1 advantage on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

We don't let this slip, lads...

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Ooh...quite the tidbit I wasn't expecting, at least not at this stage of the save.  Fabrika is producing the goods.

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December 2046 - Champions League, Group Stage (Matchday 6).

We greet the Austrians the only way we know  how -- with a goal in the 1st minute.  A metaphorical fist to the jaw.

Having already scored a record number of goals for the Erovnuli Liga, we claim the same feat in the Champions League.

But, more importantly, passage has been secured to the Champions League knockout rounds for the 1st time in club history.  The first Georgian club to do so.

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Posted (edited)

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You'll Have To Speak Up, I'm Wearing A Towel

December 2036 - Season Review

Though we have undoubtedly turned a corner in reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time, there are warning signs.

We were eliminated from the Davit Kipiani Cup at the first asking -- the Second Round.  Our reserves fell in the Third Round, and then collapsed at the end of the Erovnuli Liga 2 campaign, ceding the title to Aragvi on Matchday 36.

Our 27-man senior squad is as strong as it has ever been.  But we lack the depth we once had.  Something we shall have to remedy.

One possible problem?  We are losing 6 senior members of the squad, including 4 starters.  Kamau threw a fit, demanding a transfer to Ipswich Town (of all places).  Our 2 year-loans for Noah, Talla and Azong are expiring; I sought to extend them, but their parents clubs would not even consider it.  From the 2nd XI, Dieu's loan is also expiring, with Zura "Cheech" Chighladze declining to sign a new deal after 8 years at the Arsen in favor of a move to Sevilla.

4 arrivals are due to arrive in January, including Achille Awoa, who will step directly into the 1st XI to replace Kamau.  (An additional 3 players are slotted to join in the summer transfer window.)

But I digress.  "Tomorrow is another day," wise words once conveyed to me by my father.  We'll assess the squad ahead of the Cup of Nations in a few weeks' time.

For now, let's simply bask in what we did accomplish.  A campaign unlike any other for Gareji, and for any Georgian club in the modern era.  A European final in Dublin.  35 wins from 36 in the Erovnuli Liga.  All while playing attractive, attacking football and setting goalscoring records domestically and on the continent.  

Not bad for a bunch of kids from rural Georgia.  Now, it's off to The Brother for a large Rezo, to honor my father's memory.  It's what he would have wanted.

Goals for 2037:  Win the lot, domestically. Not embarrass ourselves in the 2036/37 Champions League knockout rounds.  Make a run at the 2037 Cup of Nations.  Qualify for the Champions League knockout rounds in 2037/38.

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The draw in Nyon is a fart.  

No, I ddn't mis-speak.  I meant every word.

We are first out of the hopper and will face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United.

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Meanwhile, in Cairo, the suits are laughing as their pair us with Senegal in the Group Stage.

****s. 

(The suits.  Not Senegal.)

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Achille Awoa, Danny Roberts Challenge - 2036 Overview

At long last, we're a matter of weeks before Achille Awoa arrives in Georgia...only to head straight to Nigeria for the Cup of Nations.

21 caps and 8 goals at the age of 18...with many more to come.  The road to 1,000 Appearances and 1,000 Goals can finally begin in earnest. 

For a bit of fun, I've also decided to track two other Cameroonian players, though neither will ever have a spot in my heart like Achille.  Rather, this is simply a recognition that they've become key players for both Gareji and Cameroon, who should continue to play a role for years to come: Franck Ngongang who has emerged (at age 20) as the Number 1 for both sides; and Thierry Kameni, an utter demon on the wings in our tactic, who plays from the bench with our 1st and has annihilated the league with our 2nd XI, while barnstorming his way onto the international stage, demanding more minutes.  The focus will remain on Achille -- and rightfully so -- these are simply 2 viable candidates for the challenge, for various reasons.  (Note: given the calendar year campaign in Georgia, stats often show a little funky n the "season" section of their profile because the European campaign resets in the summer.  They show correctly in the history tab, however.)

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Posted (edited)

January 2037 - Odds & Ends.

The good news continues to roll in here in Sagarejo.

Television rights are up -- rising to rising to $469k and $233k per team in the top tiers, up modestly from $446k and $216k in 2036.

And, more importantly, our new stadium is finished -- new digs, for a new era in Georgian football.  Stylish.  Saucy.  Ready for what comes next.  There are rumors of a new kit sponsor, but that has yet to materialize.  

In the meantime, while I prepare for the Cup of Nations and the Champions League tie against Solskjaer's United, Mat has taken charge of the move to our new house -- a beautiful place, out north of town in a lush valley.  Remote.  Quiet.  Just what we need.

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Posted (edited)

The new kits have leaked online.

Reviews are...a mixed bag.  

Ranging from "bad***" to "very complicated, must be expensive" to "my crack-head granddad loves it" to "I'll fight you for that shirt," it's all over the map.

Regardless, we're trending.  So we've got that going for us.

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January 2037 - Transfer Updates.

The day is finally here.  Years of waiting.

We will wait no longer.

Achille Awoa takes the pitch at our new stadium on a windy January day.  Several dozen hardcore supporters applaud enthusiastically as a windblown Achille joins Mat and I on a stage, fireworks shooting off as Sophie B. Hawkins' Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover plays over the PA system.

"Don't make it weird, Boss," Mat whispers in my ear as a wary Achille approaches for a handshake.

"It only got weird when you started aggressively mouthing the words at him, Mat."

Whatever.  He isn't listening.  He's too busy pumping his fists in the air, punctuating the emotional yearning of Ms. Hawkins' lyrics with a hypnotic gyration of his hips like some latter-day John Travolta.

Achille's fellow signings -- 3 additional Cameroonian youth -- are confused and concerned in equal measure.  

Got to keep them on edge, after all.

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Posted (edited)

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African Cup of Nations, 2037 - Cameroon Squad Review

Ahead of the Cup of Nations, it seems like the right time to take a close look at the Cameroonian squad.  Where are we, where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

Tactically, we’re playing the same strikerless setup that I’ve used since the beta – PM Draugrson, which is designed to: (1) feature a rampaging libero; and (2) generate a swirling vortex of movement in possession, with attacks coming from different angles, widths and depths.  

It is deliriously good fun, even if it can be chaotic at the back…especially since I adjusted the inverted wingback to be on an attack duty.  We lose a little balance, but it is effective and (anecdotally) means that the IWB and libero aren’t stepping on each other’s toes quite as much.

As noted below, our 23-man squad is the youngest squad at AFCON 2037.  We have 3 players over the age of 30, only 1 of whom is a meaningful contributor (Loic Mbe Soh).  Putting Soh aside, the oldest players in our 1st XI are only 24 (Julien Akono and Alain Fokou).  Meaning we have tremendous potential over the coming years.

So, before we launch headfirst into tournament, let’s take a look at the squad.

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Goalkeepers.  

This has been a two-man race since we were appointed as manager of the Indomitable Lions – Herve Ngongang and Franck Ngongang.  Herve had the edge until very recently, when Franck has (finally) overtaken him.  Barring the emergence of someone new, it is Franck’s job for the foreseeable future.

Simon Ngapandouetnbu?  A sieve in the French 2nd tier, Simon won’t be anything more than a spectator in Nigeria.  He just isn’t good enough.  It’s as simple as that.

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Defenders.  

Anchoring the back line is the man, the myth the legend in the making, Achille Awoa.  He took over as the libero in our 1st XI for Lucien Agoume, whose tenure in the national side has all but ended – he has a role to play, and is value for the depth he provides.

Flanking Awoa in the 1st XI will be Loic Mbe Soh and Julien Akono.  So isn’t quite showing his age, but this is almost certainly his last major tournament with the squad.  Parfait Akono and Richard Talla are the capable backups.

At right wingback, William Mvondo is the starter, with Benjamin Manga as his ostensible backup.  Frankly, both can deputize on the left if need be (which is where Manga plays for Gareji).  Solid enough, even if they aren’t the wingers-who-can-tackle that I prefer for this position.

Inverted over on the left, we have Emmanuel Noah and Wilfried Eto’o.  Eto’o also strikes me as a player who hasn’t met his potential, whereas Eto’o is not good enough going forward.  I’m probably being too picky.  (I wish I’d had another year with Noah at Gareji, where he was training primarily as a mezzala and playing as a central midfielder, in light of Jakimovski’s emergence.)

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Central Midfielders.  

We have a wealth of talent in the middle of the park.  In the 1st XI, Alain Fokou (a former Gareji standout) takes up the mantle as our ball-winning midfielder, with Steve Abega at mezzala.  It’s a strong pairing – power and creativity, in the engine room.

Serge Mbock and Francis Mbarga are the backups here – again, solid.  And my coaches at Gareji believe they each have room to grow – if so, they could be with the national side for the next decade-plus.  

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Attacking Midfielders.

Up top, Serge Ndjitap will start as our advanced playmaker, with Thierry Kameni and Alex Azong attacking from the flanks.  Lionel De Dieu Kamga will push for playing time, with Yannick Meyong and Francis Essomba providing additional depth.  Taken together, this group has what we need –  speed.  And a penchant for finding the back of the net.

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Final Thoughts.

If we can put together a run of form, we will be dangerous and more than capable of going all the way at the Cup of Nations.  With such a young squad, though, inconsistency at the international level is a practical certainty.  Case in point?  Our only pre-tournament friendly against Burkina Faso, in which we dominated but had to come from 2 goals down to win it late.

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This is a squad that should only go from strength to strength in the foreseeable future.

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African Cup of Nations, 2037 - Group Stage Review

Libya are a soft opening match.  Provided we don't step on our ****s. It takes us a while to get our act together, but ultimately a 4-1 win is the result we need.

Senegal, however, are a much bigger ask.  No changes to the XI.  We need to find our rhythm.  Our swagger. An early goal from Abega gives us cause for confidence.  Awoa smashes home a penalty after Noah is taken down in the box, a short while later...our confidence building.  Only, we cannot see it through to the half and concede a soft goal in transition.  We are the better side.  But we are not putting the Senegalese away.  We bend.  And, thanks to Abega's 2nd on the night, we do not break.  3-2.  Enough to secure passage to the knockout rounds.

With 2 wins under our belt, we can rotate the XI against Angola.  The 2nd XI do us proud -- Essomba hitting a goal before a brace from substiute Kameni bury them.  3-nil.  

We will face ho finished 2nd in Group E.

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African Cup of Nations, 2037 - Second Round

Ghana are no easy meat.  Stubborn.  Resilient.  We stake an early lead through -- who else -- Kameni, who doesn't blink when our first chance of the match falls his way in the 24th.  Only, our concentration lapses and we concede an equalizer mere minutes later, as Akono is caught in possession.  

Though we are the better team we have nothing to show for it until the 68th, when a casual flick from Meyong restores the advantage -- an advantage we hold to, despite numerous chances falling to the Black Stars.

2-1 at the final whistle, we are through to the quarterfinals to face Tunisia.

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African Cup of Nations, 2037 - Quarterfinals

Heavy legs.  Despite the rotation against Angola, we need to give a few players a break.  We are reaching a point where -- if we don't give a few players that break, we will break down.  Tactically and physically.

The match is a dire affair in the first half -- only sparking to life when Ndjitap smashes the post in the 42nd minute.  Early in the 2nd half, we bring on Mbock, Manga and Meyong -- fresh legs to theoretically push us over the line.

And just when extra time seems to be a certainty, Ndjitap finds Meyong on a free kick, the latter drifting away from his marker at a key moment to create space to fire home, first-time, from an oblique angle.  It isn't pretty.  But it is enough.

We will face Doctor Congo in the semifinals, after they dispatch Tanzania, 2-1.

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African Cup of Nations, 2037 - Semifinals

The 1st XI return for the match against Doctor Congo.  We have had 48 hours of additional rest, which sounds like a tremendous talking point.  I wish it were that simple.

The Congolese strike the post in the 14th minute...an early warning sign.  Only, we up our game.  Up the tempo.  Increase the intensity of our high press.  And it pays dividends.  Ndjitap forces a turnover on the touchline, and a series of quick passes finds Azong at the top of the box.  He's had a quiet tournament thus far, but seizes this moment, smashing one into the side netting from 20 yards.  1-nil.  Noah heads off the crossbar a few minutes later...close...Bonet denies Kameni a few moments later.  On the stroke of halftime, Kameni curls one off the post.  We need to find another.  If we do not take these chances, we will pay...

...and just like that, in the 2nd minute of first-half time-added on, Masoud strikes to draw level.  A simple lapse in concentration from Awoa.  Unacceptable.

We let the lads know it at halftime.  And achieve the desired result -- we come out on fire.  Slick, aggressive passing unlocks the Congolese defense, allowing Ndjitap to smash the post, collect his own rebound and fire home.  Moments later, Ndjitap is taken down from behind in the box.  A stone cold penalty.  Awoa makes amends, finding the side netting.

We don't take our foot off the gas, as Kameni breaks ankles in the 66th, getting to the byline and finding Azong at the back post, our 4th on the night.  A goal conceived on the training grounds in rural Georgia.  Simply gorgeous.

Only...at this point, we do take our foot off the gas.  Or, the Congolese find their footing.  At 4-2, I am nervous.  So, we adjust our tactics.  At 4-3, I am ****ing myself...are our tweaks the problem?  Or, did we not tweak enough...?

Ndjitap nearly extends our lead again in the 86th, only for Bonet to deny him.  In the end, we hang on.  4-3 winners on a night of swings and roundabouts.  An epic clash.

We will face Angola in the final, after they defeated hosts Nigeria, 3-2.  A side we've beaten 3 times in the last year -- once in the Group Stage, and twice in qualifying.  

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African Cup of Nations, 2037 - Final

This is the match we've been building towards, ever since our defeat in the final two years ago.  Arguably, at that time, we were playing above ourselves -- even if expectations were high.  Today, the expectations haven't changed.  Only the question as to how we're meeting them.  

Mat is wary.  Beating the same time repeatedly is never an easy task.  Familiarity breeds complacency on the part of the serial winner, while encouraging the development of a massive chip on the shoulder of the vanquished.  No changes to the XI tonight, as a Toto cover band plays us onto the field.

We control the early stages of the match.  Yet have nothing to show for it.  By halftime it is clear -- we need to increase our aggression in the final third.  Be more incisive.

We adjust.  And within 5 minutes, the payoff arrives -- Abega firing home from close range in the 50th, after an early cross from Mvondo unlocks the defense.  With 20 minutes to play, however, the patterns have not changed, the match is still set at 1-nil. 

Yet, Angola's high press intensifies, eventually forcing a turnover by Ngongang.  They make us pay.  1-1 in the 80th minute.  Further adjustments must be made.

The match opens up -- Manga nearly winning it for us, before Ngongang stuffs a 1v1 in the dying moments of time added-on.

Extra time will be necessary to break the deadlock.  Both sides are exhausted.  It is a dire state of affairs. 

In the 117th minute, we launch forward from a corner, Dieu finding Azong at the back post, only he has strayed offsides.  No goal.  It's the only look we will get.

Penalties will decide the tie.  Awoa, Dieu, Fokou, Mbe Soh and Mvondo all smash their penalties home, but the Angolans match them penalty-for-penalty.  It will be sudden death.  Meyong and Manga bury their penalties, but Julien Akono is denied with our 8th kick...a brilliant save, if we're being honest.  Leaving it to Guerra, who beats an outstretched Ngongang with a fierce shot into the bottom corner.  Angola prevail in the 8th round of penalties. 

A brutal loss.  An upset of epic proportions.  A fairy tale run for the Angolans.

One that shall have to be avenged.

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https://gyazo.com/05483a2588a2962ba0f71a9bfb90a004

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On 16/06/2022 at 18:57, ManUtd1 said:

Oh my goodness, yes! He will be a libero.

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The tactic is basically the same one I've been playing all year, PM Draugrson, which is detailed over on FtCS even if the save is no longer being documented there. 

I've got one tweak I'm using more and more, but otherwise this is what I'm playing with:

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Full details here: https://www.fmcheapseats.com/index.php/2021/10/27/the-night-is-dark/

36 minutes ago, ManUtd1 said:

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African Cup of Nations, 2037 - Final

This is the match we've been building towards, ever since our defeat in the final two years ago.  Arguably, at that time, we were playing above ourselves -- even if expectations were high.  Today, the expectations haven't changed.  Only the question as to how we're meeting them.  

Mat is wary.  Beating the same time repeatedly is never an easy task.  Familiarity breeds complacency on the part of the serial winner, while encouraging the development of a massive chip on the shoulder of the vanquished.  No changes to the XI tonight, as a Toto cover band plays us onto the field.

We control the early stages of the match.  Yet have nothing to show for it.  By halftime it is clear -- we need to increase our aggression in the final third.  Be more incisive.

We adjust.  And within 5 minutes, the payoff arrives -- Abega firing home from close range in the 50th, after an early cross from Mvondo unlocks the defense.  With 20 minutes to play, however, the patterns have not changed, the match is still set at 1-nil. 

Yet, Angola's high press intensifies, eventually forcing a turnover by Ngongang.  They make us pay.  1-1 in the 80th minute.  Further adjustments must be made.

The match opens up -- Manga nearly winning it for us, before Ngongang stuffs a 1v1 in the dying moments of time added-on.

Extra time will be necessary to break the deadlock.  Both sides are exhausted.  It is a dire state of affairs. 

In the 117th minute, we launch forward from a corner, Dieu finding Azong at the back post, only he has strayed offsides.  No goal.  It's the only look we will get.

Penalties will decide the tie.  Awoa, Dieu, Fokou, Mbe Soh and Mvondo all smash their penalties home, but the Angolans match them penalty-for-penalty.  It will be sudden death.  Meyong and Manga bury their penalties, but Julien Akono is denied with our 8th kick...a brilliant save, if we're being honest.  Leaving it to Guerra, who beats an outstretched Ngongang with a fierce shot into the bottom corner.  Angola prevail in the 8th round of penalties. 

A brutal loss.  An upset of epic proportions.  A fairy tale run for the Angolans.

One that shall have to be avenged.

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https://gyazo.com/05483a2588a2962ba0f71a9bfb90a004

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Ouch. That's a tough one to take

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Just now, karanhsingh said:

Ouch. That's a tough one to take

Yeah.  After our 2nd XI battered them in the Group Stage, I wasn't expecting to fall so flat.  But it is the nature of both international football and a young squad, isn't it?

Runners-up for the 2nd time in a row.  Frustrating, but there is so much to look forward to with this squad!

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February 2037.

Though a large portion of the squad has been away at the Cup of Nations, we have had a solid pre-season -- annihilating all-comers ahead of the big match against Solskjaer's United in Tbilisi, scoring 81 goals in 6 matches, conceding 1.  Though none of these sides have the might of the English league leaders.

Few give us any chance.  On a pitch that will be a skating rink, though, anything can happen.  Except, United score early -- clearly not impressed by our new stadium or our new kits.  We manage to keep it close -- a 2-1 loss, but a closer tie than we had anticipated.

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March 2037.

The return trip to Old Trafford goes about as expected -- the wrong side of a 2-nil scoreline.  We have no reason to be frustrated.  We did not embarrass ourselves.  

We simply need to do better.  Next time.

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Posted (edited)

March 2037 - International Friendlies.

Whomever scheduled a friendly in Wales needs to have a talking to.  The entire country still smells of sulfur from the Moyes reign.

That must have been what drove the result -- a dire, scoreless draw that never seemed to end.  Thrashing Liberia at home 5-1 was a welcome change of pace.  

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Edited by ManUtd1
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12 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Man Utd still a step too far I guess. Can't believe Ole is still managing them!

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May 2037.

Domestic dominance has been re-asserted after last year's "hiccups" in the Super Cup and Davit Kipiani Cup.  With the less hectic European calendar, we've been able to deploy the 1st XI domestically and to great effect.  The side needs to continue to mature and grow, though, to sustain a campaign on two fronts -- especially in the Champions League since we cannot count on such a favorable draw this year.

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Posted (edited)

May 2037 - European Review.

After several years where English sides enjoyed near-total domination on the continent, some parity had been restored.  

Note the use of the past tense.

This year, it was again an English paradise.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool won the Champions League, defeating Vincent Kompany's Manchester City, 2-1 (aet)

In the Europa League, Marcel Rapp's Aston Villa defeated Zinedine Zidane's Chelsea, 3-2.

Fortunately, the Europa Conference League saw Thomas Tuchel say it in his bedroom voice as (Susanna) Hoff(s)enheim made some noise with a 2-nil win over Mikel Oyarzabal's Fiorentina.

In the active leagues: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United won their 2nd straight Premier League title; Massimiliano Allegri's RB Leipzig secured the Bundesliga title (the first time since 2011/12 that the title hasn't gone to Bayern); Diego Simeone's Inter won their 3rd straight Serie A title; Gerardo Seoane's Atletico won their 2nd La Liga title in 3 years; and PS-****ing-G did PS-****ing-G things yet again in Ligue 1.

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Edited by ManUtd1
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June 2037 - European Coefficients Update.

It's another frustrating year on the statistics front.  Gareji drop 1 spot in the club coefficients, while the Erovnuli Liga climbs 1 spot.  

Georgia regain a 2nd Champions League spot.  Actually holding onto it for more than a year?  Don't hold your breath.

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Posted (edited)

June 2037.

The annual summer break is an excellent excuse to actually get out and see the new house.  The new property.  We've been so busy, we leave before dawn and return home at night.  It's a beautiful property, even if the house itself is rustic.   No mind, though, as Mat is overseeing a complete renovation -- we move out at the end of the month, back into the house on Paper Street, to allow for the builders to strip the house down to the studs and start adding on.  

Back at Fabrika, 3 new signings join the first team squad: Marcelo "Barack" Obama, a playmaking midfielder; Yvan Ayong, who will train as a libero and made his Cameroonian debut in one of our June friendlies; and Patrick "Swayze" Aboubakar, who was the leading goalscorer at the U20 World Cup (and claimed the tournament's Best Goal)...as the U20s' inverted left wingback.

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Edited by ManUtd1
Forgot to add fixtures/competitions overview
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July 2037.

Ze Germans are back at it again.  Stealing our players.  This time, it's Mbock and Rostiashvili.  ****ing Germans.  Always the thieves.

We take out our frustrations on the Irish.  As one does.

And we go sign two players that look quite promising -- Uruguayan U23 Anibal "Der Koch" Rauhofer and Peruvian U23 Bruno Bernales.  They will be the first South American players to join the club, and look like they could will take us to another level.  

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August 2037.

Maccabi Tel Aviv and St. Gallen prove to be no obstacle to our return to the Champions League Group Stage...a return which may be short lived after we are drawn with Roberto Martinez's PS-****ing-G, Vincent Kompany's Manchester City, and Dynamo Kyiv.

We've gone from the easiest possible draw (last year) to...this.

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Edited by ManUtd1
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