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About Mandy42

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    I'm 36 living in Leeds, working in Wakefield. I'm an unpublished author who when he can't write plays computer games or goes on long bike rides to clear my head.

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  • About Me
    Very proud to work for the NHS


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    I write, cycle, play computer games, not necessarily in that order

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  1. One Hand Knife Fight* Don't lose the game and we win the league, it's a 1 handed knife fight because we have 1 hand on the trophy. Home against Liverpool is not the easiest fixture especially as we only just scraped a 1-0 win under heavy pressure at Anfield. We had a 7 day gap between the previous game and this one, but only a 4 day gap between this game and our Champions league semi final 1st leg (the opponent to be revealed later!) As I only need a point to win the league, but I could do my over achievement ambitions a massive boost by fielding the stronger team in the Champions league. That is why Arp starts, if we begin to lose or the games matter again next season and he isn't firing he might have to go, but for now I will stand by him. Nathan Baxter comes into the team in goal as Kepa has twisted his ankle, he did something very similar in training this time last season and Robert Green had to see out the remainder of the campaign. No Salah or Mane is a surprise, Zidane doesn't seem to fancy his chances away against us, at least the 4-1-4-1 suggests he is coming here to defend. The backroom team suggested I give a big team talk before we go to the game to get the players up for it. I've never done one of these before so i go for it, telling the players they only have one more game to go in order to fulfil the seasons long ambition. The conditions are horrible, it's pouring it down, we start fast, we have a corner inside 3 minutes, Emerson gives it short to Barkley who puts a cross into the box, Brooks lashes it into the net at the near post, 1st stab to us. On 7 minutes Abraham is bundled over in the box by Gomez and we are awarded a penalty. I haven't changed a penalty taker so quickly in my life. Arp stepped up, he had missed his 1st penalty a couple of games of games ago, hitting the post, he steps up, goes the same way as last time, but this one goes inside the post! His 1st goal in 16 games, my word it's been a slog! 2-0 up with under 10 minutes played. I tell the players at half time to not get complacent, go out and finish the job. On 47 minutes James works the ball down the right, he slides the ball into their half and Brooks drives foward, he gets halfway into the Liverpool half before he gives the ball inside to Arp, he takes a touch and hits it low with a placed shot into the bottom corner from outside the area. 3-0 two for the young German and we are Champions! And takes our current Premier league record to *Dry Kill Logic
  2. I stand by the fact your destined to go up, just not this season sorry if I Jinxed you, outstanding season though!
  3. Bad Maths* Turns out when I have looked back in retrospect that a draw against Tottenham didn't mean I only needed to win 1 more game, I needed to win at least 1 and not lose another, which means the title won't be wrapped up this weekend away at Leicester, unless Spurs failed to win the early game against West Brom, they get a comfortable 2-1 win at home and so the contest rolls on for at least another week. Barella starts again in a frantic attempt to placate his 1st team football demands, Sancho rests on the left due to his groin problem, Arp starts up front as I would like him to score, but to be fair we scored 4 in the last game and the striker didn't score then either, so a win is the main priority. Only thing about the Leicester team is I hope my curse of ex Arsenal strikers scoring against me doesn't continue! and the fact that Maddison has been a handful in previous games. We wanted to win to be 1 step away from taking the title, they wanted to put a dent in our victory parade, what followed was probably the most violent 1st half I've ever seen. Barella made up for not getting carded in the last game by picking up his 11th booking of the season on 7 minutes Michael Lang their right back went in the book on 11 minutes Emerson for us got a yellow card on 36 minutes Moussa Sissoko their right midfield on 38 minutes. I was beginning to wonder if anything other than bookings and free kicks was going to happen in the 1st half. Then Barella collects the ball just inside their half and feeds a lovely looping pass out towards the right corner flag for Azpilicueta to run onto, he beats Chillwell to the ball and crosses 1st time, in a packed box some how Mason Mount rises to steer a header back the way it came into the bottom corner. That's 3 headed goals in a row! The man is 5ft 9 and has a heading of 10! Do I have the next Tim Cahill on my hands, minus the annoying accent and tattoos I hope! Just for completeness James Maddison decides to get a yellow card on 43 minutes. 5 cards and 1 goal in the 1st half, as much as I would like to win, I don't really need to, I just need not to lose. So at half time I bring on Jorginho and James for Barella and Emerson, switching Azpilicueta over to left back thus resetting my on the field card count back to zero. Ding Ding off we go for round 2! Leicester come out for the 2nd half at 100 miles an hour, they press high and hard, Christensen plays the ball to Jorginho halfway inside our half, he hasn't adjusted to the pace of the game and is ambushed by Maddison who executes a risky but perfect slide tackle, the ball rolls to Welbeck who drives forward. Maddison gets the ball back on the edge of our area and neatly slots it past Kepa before he can get himself set. 1-1 On 51 minutes Maddison makes another 2 footed challenge, this time not so well timed and gets a 2nd yellow card, they go down to 10 men. I spread the team out playing fairly wide in attack and telling them to hit early crosses. Reece James is booked on 55 minutes David Brooks is booked on 67 minutes Tammy Abraham gets a yellow on 72 minutes I take Kante off on 73 minutes, bringing Thiago Maia on to give us some more push forward. On 74 minutes Mount delivers a corner from the left, the initial ball is cleared to the edge of the area where Christensen chests it down, he takes a touch to get it out of his feet, Leicester are slow to close him down and he hits it hard and true with a rising drive that ends up in the roof of the net. What has the world come to! my short shadow strikers are scoring headers and my centre backs are banging in ranged shots! From the kick off we steal the ball back and Brooks drives down the right channel, he lays it to James who is out near the touch line in loads of space, James' cross fortunately bounces off the defender and comes to Brooks, his cross hits the back of a defender in the box and comes out to Jorginho. Jorginho fakes to cross and slides a ball into the area to Mount, who, halfway between the edge of the area and the penalty spot shows that anything one of our centre backs can do, he can do better. He gets the ball out of his feet, and threads the needle between 2 on coming defenders to slot home in the bottom corner. 3-1 Mount has 2 goals and an assist he now has the most player of the match awards for us this season. Danny Welbeck gets booked on 89 minutes to take the card count to 5 each by full time, We are now 1 point away from being crowned Champions (I think) *Panacea Dream
  4. Wrap those shooting boots in cotton wool quick!!
  5. a win away from home with a player sent off. I'm calling it, your destined to go up! if getting promoted means they offer you the England job on the spot, will you take it? or try a year in the Premier league?
  6. Lightning Strikes Twice* When your 3-0 down coming into the 2nd leg you want to pick a song from a band you actually want to listen to! That and having been 3-0 down against Roma in the last round and turning the tie around at home I really am hoping the Lightning will strike twice, the players are pretty sick of me playing on repeat in the dressing room though! The return of the screenshot! and Sancho, Batman, de Ligt and Azpilicueta into the starting line up, after all the fuss with Kepa at the end of the last game he is apparently not injured and fit enough to play (no idea this would be an omen for the Carabao cup final when it happened in my save ) unlike the Roma game where I started as positive and wanted to ease my way into the game, I am terrified of Man City and feel if we don't get a foothold and then a stranglehold on the game then they will get that all important away goal, thus for this game we are going attacking from the off, get right in their faces and go at them. My real fear here is Icardi up to, he has never failed to score against us and him getting a goal here would be more or less it in terms of any chance we have of progressing, I don't need my director of football staring at me telling me "I told you to sign him" just before kickoff! I tell the players to go out and get revenge as they have responded to that well in the past, the crowd noise in unreal as Man City kick off, they look to pass the ball around and work it through their team getting everyone a touch but we get after them and press them, the ball goes back to Ederson and he has to loop it out to the left half way inside their half, Azpilicueta wins the header over the top of Sterling, the ball drops to Kante who turns and seeing that the Man City defence is all over the place having not recovered from us pressing them in possession, delivers a far post cross that Sancho run's onto and heads into the top corner. We have our foothold in the game 1-0 on the night 1-3 on aggregate, 33 seconds played. If the crowd noise was loud before it is like a living thing now, every time we have the ball or City make a mistake it grows, City look shell shocked, but dig in and stifle us very well, the crowd noise begins to reduce as they realise this isn't going to be a carbon copy of the Roma game where we were completely back in the tie by 30 minutes gone. However on 31 minutes Sancho has the ball on the left corner of the City box, he has two defenders on him and is forced to turn his back to goal, he digs out a cross to the back post but Mendy gets his head to it, Kante collects the clearance on the edge of the area and runs out towards the right edge of the box before pushing for the byline. Mendy, already on a yellow card doesn't risk the challenge and Kante crosses to the back post, Sancho is looking for another headed goal but Otamendi at right back is alive to the danger and again clears to just outside the box. Azpilicueta runs onto the clearance, the ball bounces once in front of him and he hits it on the half volley it skims off the turf and goes in the bottom right corner and the crows erupt! 2-0 on the night 2-3 on aggregate, 31 minutes played. Half time comes and we have survived a few scares to get in at halftime with a clean sheet, every time Icardi touches the ball I have a kitten! I tell the lads at half time to go out and give the fans a performance to cheer for, go out swinging and keep swinging till we either win or get knocked out fighting. On 55 minutes Sancho pulls up with a groin injury I have Abraham on the bench but he isn't as capable in wide areas and I want to see if Sancho can keep going. On 60 minutes Christensen brings the ball over the halfway line and gives it to Azpilicueta on the right wing, he advances towards the box unopposed, Man City are in full lock down mode, he puts a ball into that sweet spot "corridor of uncertainty" Ederson doesn't come for it and Sancho beats Otamendi to it at the back post to stroke home with his right foot. 3-0 on the night 3-3 on aggregate at the very least we have earned ourselves extra time. Sancho is on a hat trick there is no way I am bringing him off now! I swap Christensen for Ampadu and Barella for Jorginho (Barella has managed to not get booked this game!) On 72 minutes Azpilicueta, Jorginho and Kante work the ball on the right side of the City box, it is Jorginho who this time delivers it to the back post, Sancho again has drifted away from Otamendi and volleys a right footed shot into the ground and beyond Ederson 4-0 on the night 4-3 on aggregate 18 minutes to go and we are going through! I have many many kittens in that last 18 minutes as just a single City goal will see us knocked out after all our hard work, however we dig in and hold on and somehow Lightning has struck twice! *Iron Maiden
  7. School Boy Error* For some unknown reason I've not taken a screenshot of this game's line up! which makes me the school boy in this post With us beating West Ham in our last Premier league game and Tottenham beating Leicester to move 2nd this was my second top 2 clash in 7 days. Sandwiched wonderfully between the two legs of the Champions league against Man City. A win against Tottenham here and I would move within a point of winning the league, and as they played again before I did, I could be crowned champions before we kicked another ball. So those are the reasons to go for it with a strong team, against that is the fact that I'm 3-0 down against Man City and need a strong team for the home leg 3 days after this game, that and the fact that even if I lost here to Tottenham I would have a 7 point cushion with 12 points left to play for. Kepa Arrizabalaga Reece James Declan Rice Andreas Christensen Emerson N'golo Kante Nicolo Barella Willian Mason Mount Callum Hudson-Odoi Fiete Arp James came in to give me the option of playing Azpilicueta in the Man City game, Declan Rice started his 1st game for me at centre back so that Mepham and de Ligt could be rested. Kante and Barella were maintaining fitness in this game to keep them available for City. Willian and Hudson-Odoi don't fit into the 3-2-3-2 formation so rotated in for Brooks and Sancho here, Arp stays in looking for a goal, any kind of goal, so that I could rest Batman and Abraham with City in mind. Kasper Dolberg Son Heung-Min Christian Eriksen Lucas Moura Hakim Ziyech Eric Dier Ben Davies Toby Alderweireld Davinson Sanchez Kieran Trippier Hugo Lloris Another game where Harry Kane doesn't feature against us, though they look more than capable of standing their ground and making this difficult for us. Or at least that's what I thought. All season long our throw in's have been causing major problems, and on 7 minutes we strike again, Christensen to Barella who gets down the left channel and pulls the ball back into the box, Mason Mount has a free header from the penalty spot and cushions it back the way it came to nestle in the bottom corner of the near post. I am even happier when on 17 minutes Willian delivers a beautiful curling free kick past a diving Hugo Lloris into the top right corner of the net! If we had 1 hand on the trophy at the start of the game were almost taking it home with us in the bus by now. On 21 minutes we have another free kick which Willian stands over, further right than the one he curled in, I hope he isn't going to go directly for goal with this one but if he did having scored from the last one I wouldn't blame him. He curls it in to the back post where Mason Mount gets yet another free header (I know he's small but you might want to start marking him) this one he pushes back across goal, it loops up and looks like it's going agonizingly over the bar at the top right of the goal, at best it's going to hit the bar on it's way over, but it dips and just scrapes under the bar and beyond Lloris' glove to make it 3-0 after 21 minutes played. On 28 minutes Spurs have a throw in from the right on the edge of our area, Trippier and Eriksen work the throw in to get Trippier time to cross from the touchline, Dolberg steals a yard at the near post and his bullet header finds the top corner to give Spurs a lifeline. It starts raining, couple of scrappy tackles go flying in and the game breaks down for 10-15 minutes, neither team creates anything, and while we don't have current control on the game we are leading so I am content enough. 3 minutes into injury time in the 1st half Eric Dier puts a hopeful long ball down the right wing for Lucas Moura (who is injured and the reason for the added on time) to chase. Now whether Emerson thinks he can't get to the ball due to the wet pitch or his injury I do not know but he doesn't fully track back so when Moura gets to the ball a yard or so from the byline and drags it back the pressure is on for Rice to get to the ball 1st, he doesn't Dolberg is there and slots home again at the near post this time with a 1st time side footed finish. We go in at half time now only 1 goal to the good, if we were in the habit of letting our grip on games go in this manner every week I would be hair drying the players up one side of the dressing room and down the other, but as it is we are still in pole position when a loss is not the end of the world and draw would be more than acceptable and a win would be fantastic, so I tell the players to keep going they were the better team in the 1st half, and off we go back out into the rain. On 67 minutes Spurs have a free kick in the same general area as Willian's second, Ziyech stands over it, and my heart comes up into my mouth as he's scored a belter of a free kick against us before. Unlike Willian who swung his in with his right foot, Ziyech takes this left footed curling it in at the near post right in the top corner, Kepa didn't really have a chance of saving it and with just over 20 minutes to play it's all level. While a draw is an acceptable outcome, a win would be infinitely better so I demand more from the players and move them up to attacking, on 75 minutes Emerson receives the ball in our half and gives it to Jorginho in the centre circle, he feeds Mount a few yards in front of him, having scored two goals already Spurs put pressure on him before he can move up field and he lays it out to the left wing to Hudson-Odoi who takes the ball just inside the Spurs half. He then surges in field directly through their defence, they stand off him and he is able to get to the edge of the box before dropping his shoulder he rides a challenge before scooping his shot up and in off the inside of the post with Lloris diving below it along the ground. They were level for all of 8 minutes we lead again 4-3. Thiago Maia comes on for Kante and Ampadu for Christensen on 77 minutes, I had already taken Barella off for Jorginho on 55 minutes as Barella had picked up his 10th yellow card of the campaign, he seems to like collecting them. We are seeing out the game, and are in control, then alarmingly Kepa signals he is injured which is not good when I have made all my subs! I have the dilemma of pulling us back to a more and more defensive approach but that might mean he is called upon to make more saves or stick at being positive to maintain possession and keep Spurs out that way. I go for the later option and it works, we get into the stoppage time at the end of the game (8 minutes for my injured goalkeeper) On 96 minutes They work a throw in on the right edge of our box, Dolberg controls it and gives it back to Trippier who delivers a cross to the edge of the box, our defence had dropped deep expecting to have to head clear from closer than that. Ziyech attacks to cross and heads at goal from the edge of the area, it's a tame effort, headed down and likely to bounce just in front of the goal line and end up in the keepers arms, but Kepa simply can't get his injured frame there fast enough and he is able to palm it onto the post but it bounces off the inside and still trickles in. 4-4 A draw is an acceptable result as it means Spurs have to win all 4 of their remaining games, we only have to win 1 to be crowned Champions, although some draws do feel like defeats and this is one of them *Neil Thomas
  8. Belper Town have 4 points! ouch! If you aim to finish top you should guarantee a playoff place
  9. into the playoffs as the in form team! beautiful stuff
  10. Miles Away From Home* Champions league games away from home this season have not been fantastic, lost away to PSV, lost away to Roma, we dragged out a 0-0 draw against Athletico which was really our best result away in Europe. Our opponents in this round are Man City, who we only managed to draw away against with an equaliser in the 89th minute. After the Roma home leg I have belief as long as we stay in the game, I expect we might not win the match but have a chance in the tie. With the talk of staying in the game it might seem strange that I've decided to go for the 3-2-3-2 formation, however the 4-3-3 defensive formation has not been as stable as I would have liked, and this formation has the benefit of being under used by me compared to the other two, as I feel a problem with the 4-3-3 has been figured out by the better managers especially those who have been in the league with me since I started. They have probably their strongest line up available, Icardi up front has never failed to score against us, lets see how well we can keep ourselves in the tie! Turns out not long! Man City recycle a corner back to the half way line, John Stones plays a long cross field ball which drops to an unmarked Jesus just outside our area on the right side, he controls it, moves to the edge of the box and shoots across goal into the bottom left corner of the net. 1-0 down, 4 minutes played! We restrict their chances until on 14 minutes they have a corner from the left, de Bruyne delivers a deep in swinging ball beyond the back post. Kepa goes out for it but is beaten to the ball by Milan Skriniar who heads it back across goal, Icardi taps it home from all of a yard out, he's scored in every game against us, but that was by far the easiest 2-0 down 14 minutes played. I move the mentality back from balanced to cautious and we see out the half only 2-0 down, they don't create much more, we don't create much either. I keep the team the same, keep the players the same and tell them to go out and give the fans something to cheer about. In the main we do, we get stuck in, getting 3 yellow cards in the 2nd half, we create glimpses of quality but only manage 3 shots on target, City have 17 attempts but only 7 on target, I swap like for like, bringing on Jorginho for Barella and Batman for Abraham. Into the last 10 minutes and I am willing to accept 2-0 down to take back to Stamford Bridge, they work the ball down the left and cross it into the box, we clear the ball but only as far as Gundogan on the edge of the box, he takes a touch and hits it perfectly into the bottom left corner. Balls 3-0 down, just like away against Roma, another Champions league mountain to climb *CLC, Micky Bulen
  11. bumping on the ceiling must be annoying when you keep get pushed backwards because the cream of your team gets skimmed off. keep pushing on, really enjoying the read
  12. Torquay want it don't they! but you are there or there about's casuals eh, don't get lulled into a false sense of security!
  13. doubled barrelled defenders are the future!
  14. I hope he's a diamond, because any way you polish it a turd will remain a turd
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