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Wavelberry

Dave Smith is Out of his League

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They lost 3-1

 

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The day after the game Alberto Vacca invites Dave into his office...

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"I should have seen it coming really. How could an Englishman with no tactical awareness, no ability to speak Italian and a sub-standard education ever hope to save this football club. I blame myself really."

"Aye, to be fair. You did kidnap me. So... what happens now?"

"David... I am a fair man. I asked you to save us from relegation but you didn't. I spent a lot of time and money bringing this club together and there is a raw potential in the players you have bought through. To be honest I thought we would be down in February and I would have to dump your body in March but... you have impressed me."

"So you're not gonna fire me?"

"Oh David, of course I am going to fire you but... I am not going to kill you. There is a rough potential in you as well. You may think that you didn't do a lot this year but you have learnt some of the Italian ways and you have learnt to manage a group of people. Not particularly successfully but... we all have to start somewhere right? After all you all turned young Limone into the best and most ill-disciplined tackler in the league. That sort of ability will get you far back in England I think. Here is your passport. The club have booked you a plane back to Newcastle and deducted that from your salary as well as living costs and the costs of Millie. Your final pay comes to £34. Please use it wisely."

"Aye... well... thanks... I guess. Is Millie around I wanted to say goodbye and thanks."

"Millie has asked me to give you this."

"What is it?"

"It is what I think you call a restraining order. You are not allowed to come within 100 metres of her or have any sort of contact with her again. She wishes you well. Anyway David Smith it is time for you to leave. Try and do something with this experience eh, good luck and, well, not that I'm sure you need reminding but if you tell anyone in England of what I did to get you here I will kill you."

"Of course Alberto. Mum's the word like."

"Good man. NOW GO!"

And with that Dave left to return home...

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He also wasn't lying about Limone being the best tackler in the league. His record of 17 yellows and 2 reds also made him the dirtiest player in the league.

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So ends Dave's story in Italy.

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Like the fact that Zico loves him. That was kinda random and he also learnt some basic Italian. But don't worry coz Dave's story isn't over and will indeed be continued in Football Manager 18 when he returns to Sunderland and finds management is an itch that he can't scratch...

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Shame Dave was a one season wonder

But look forwards to his return

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Meanwhile all of Serie D mourns the passing of the enigmatic Englishman

 

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A week had passed since Millie Rowe had agreed to be Dave's PA again and now, on the 1st of July 2018, with the newly re-ordered leagues of Italy sorted and clubs promoted from the Eccellenza it was time to start mailing off CVs.

"Okay Dave, there are quite a few clubs that are recruiting at the moment. All with pretty poor prospects and not many players although there are the odd two that are slightly better but..."

"Ah'll stop you right there Millie pet. Ah dinnit want to go to a team without a first team squad again. It was ****ing madness last year. Ah need at least a full first team squad before ah touch it."

"Fair enough. That rules out a few but I have been putting the feelers around and there are some that could fit the bill. There is Acqui which isn't far from where you were before, there is Kras Repen near the Slovenian border but that's not too far away... give or take. There's Tolentino which is southwest of Florence and then Francavilla but that's really far south... They've all got first team squads though and you might be in with a shout."

"Apply for all of them. Every last one. Ah'll go anywheres and dee anything."

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"Done and done. Now we play the waiting game..."

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"Millie, it's me. Ah'm a bit worried coz it's been nearly two week and..."

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"Holy ****. Okay. Ah'm gonna go and buy a tie like."

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"Well, how did it go?"

"Ah answered the questions all humble like ya said. Seemed to like me."

"Well all we can do is wait now isn't it..."

And wait they did. For another two weeks until...

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"You did it? You actually got another job? In Italy? And one close enough for me not to have to move. How the hell did you do that?"

"Ah dinnit know lass but I do know that this time ah'm staying put!"

 

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Dave swiveled around on his chair in his new office. He had never had a swivel chair at Castellazzo and he wasn't even that far away from where he had been before.

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Just 17 miles aways. Still. It was proving to be a good morning for Dave until Millie knocked on his door.

"There you are. I've been looking everywhere for you and... what are you doing?"

"Just swiveling on the chair like. We never had this at the last place."

"Stop doing that and read this."

"What is it?"

"It's a list of who does what here staffwise."

"But it's a blank piece of paper?"

"Exactly. Didn't you wonder why it was so bloody quiet round here? There is no-one else. Just you and Claudio and now me."

"Ah did wonder why ah never got a meeting with the assistant like."

"We need to hire staff and we need to do it quickly. Here is a list of potential assistants. Ring around and for God's sake don't mention your time at Castellazzo."

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OMG. LOOK WHO IS A FREE AGENT!

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The legendary spoiler. Could a reunion with the manager who inspired him to such clogging heights be on the cards?

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YESSSSSSSSSS

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And then there was a press conference. Obviously.

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What a start. WHAT A START!

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Backroom staff in and looking good, the great Limone back where he belongs at Dave's side and pre-season is about to begin. Just one problem. There are no under 20 players at the club and Serie D rules state that 4 first teamers need to be at any one time and 3 of them need to be under 19. WHERE ARE THE SCOUTS?

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Sunday 5th August 2018

1 Day before the 1st pre-season friendly...

 

"Come on Micky lad. ****ing smash him like ye did last year. He was reet good at that. Did I telt ya he got 17 yellas last season?"

Damiano Tommasi shook his head in disbelief and wandered down the line away from Dave as he continued to watch training. Here was a man with 25 caps and 2 goals for Italy slumming it in Serie D with this... child! There was being a philanthropist and then there was being an idiot but he had promised himself to help the next person in need he came across. He just wished it hadn't have been this bizarre Englishman.

"Top bloke that Dami, top bloke," Dave remarked to Millie who was the other side of him. The two of them watched the five aside training drill for a few moments more before the pressing concern that Millie had raised its head again.

"Dave."

"Yes pet?"

"First of all **** off."

"Aye sorry pe... I mean Millie."

"Secondly... have you had a thought about tactics?"

"Howay man, not this again."

"It's just your first friendly game is tomorrow, you've not really picked your best side and Damiano is... well he's played for one of the biggest clubs in Italy, been capped by his country and counts Zdenek Zemen as one of his closest friends and mentors. You can't just go into this half-arsed. He'll go... or worse take your job."

"Did he play for Jooventus like?"

"Roma."

"Aye okay. Which city are they in like?"

"Oh come on, nobody is this thick."

"Ah'm yanking yer chain Millie. Ah know who Roma are and aye I have thought about tactics actually but there is nae way ah'm dein any of that Zemenlandia nonsense. Tight at the back is a priority this time."

"You've heard of Zemenlandia?"

"Aye, that Wilson lad never shuts up aboot him on podcasts and that. He's nearly as hipster as that other bloke. Bielsabub or whatevers he's called like."

"Well... That's some impressive knowledge there but it doesn't answer my question."

"Aye well, ye know as well as ah do that we dinnit have a first team yet coz we've not got any under 20 players so I cannit make a sound tactical first team plan. Instead ah'm garnin to see what they players can do themselves and give them roles to fit. Ah'm not dein any of that two upfront nonsense as we need to win the midfield battle. Ah reckon maybe 2 DMs. Not sure yet. But this time ah wanna get the best oot of the players. Micky Limone is actually reet good at passin the ball as well as hackin and slashin so..."

"So you're just going to set a base formation and work out roles from there? Sounds like you could end up with a puzzle where none of the pieces fit."

"Nah, ah've still got a whole idea like. Ah want two good wingers, a number 10 type and good passin options in midfield and if me striker could kinda be like Zlatan that'd be a bonus."

"Sounds... legit."

"Aye. It's probablies not what Trapattoni did with him for Italy but this ain't Italy pet. It's Aqcui. In Italy."

"Wise words Dave... Wise words..."

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First competitive game...

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And a win in the Serie D cup by jove. Limone got a 7.3 at DM and the team looked decent. Early days yet though as Dave himself mentioned in the press conference.

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2018 Pre-season

 

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Aside from a battering against Bari (two goals of which came after Dave switched the whole team on the 70th minute) it has been a pretty canny pre-season the highlight of which being the win in the cup against Eureka. The team and squad is now up to date and it obeys the rules but it took some doing.

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16 ins (most of them under 20) and 6 outs with the 6 out being all 2 star CA/PA or less according to Damiano and who is Dave to argue with the man who was cheated out of a goal in South Korea? Niccolo Nardini looks especially tasty as a forward and Dave was welly happy to sign Diego Simoes a Brazilian Number 10. Now he has read up on what one of them is and what they can do he's practically salivating.

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This is how he is starting out at home while being a bit more circumspect away. Limone looks a lot more disciplined playing at DM then he did at CM but we'll see how that pans out. If our tasty Brazilian is gonna get a run out then he'll need to get past club stalwart Piavano who scored the two goals in the cup and is captain. 

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Two games against Cuneo then to start Dave off as they meet in the cup away before welcoming them to Acqui later in the month. A massive away trip all the way to Argentina is also there and Dave will be hoping to get off to a good start although as he mentioned before... it means nowt if you crash and burn. Has he learned the lessons of Castellazzo? Time to find out.

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Rikulec   

I've just read through the entire thread, and I've enjoyed every second of doing it. Keep up the great work. :thup:

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5 minutes ago, Rikulec said:

I've just read through the entire thread, and I've enjoyed every second of doing it. Keep up the great work. :thup:

Thanks. I was just gonna let it go after the sacking but there is something compelling about Dave.

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HemHat   
12 hours ago, Wavelberry said:

Thanks. I was just gonna let it go after the sacking but there is something compelling about Dave.

There is indeed. Looking forward to seeing how is does, like.

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ManUtd1   
On 9/6/2017 at 13:16, Wavelberry said:

Thanks. I was just gonna let it go after the sacking but there is something compelling about Dave.

Glad you didn't just let it go. Brilliant stuff :applause:

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September 2018 Update

 

"Millie lass, it's happinin again like..."

 

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A decent start thanks to our captain but unfortunately he is the only one who can score. NAE ****ER ELSE CAN SCORE!

Dave needs to inspire a striker. Quick.

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One win keeps him out of the zone. The only thing that keeps his head up is that he started last season like a train on fire and then...

 

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Early doors home game against a team with a 100% record. Dave doesn't get any luck...

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October 2018 Update

 

It wasn't the best of starts for Dave. Could October bring succor?

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Yes. To a point. A last minute equaliser at home to Pro Settimo was followed up by a 3-0 thrashing of Varesina shutting up that lot in the media. Verbania were kept at bay but the month ended on a low with a narrow defeat to Gozzano however it is worth pointing out that all of Pro Settimio, Varesina and Gozzano were top of the league on the days they were played which means that it's not been a bad return for the month.

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Getting the feeling Dave has been playing the big teams early doors so far. Steady in 14th though.

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A month of teams in and around. This could be a key one in seeing how much of a survival battle Dave is on for.

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November 2018 Update

 

A big month for Dave with games against rivals for relegation spots.

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And one that went pretty well. Won the home games and drew away at Legnano to take 7 points from the month. Might have had a chance at Verese but Limmy (who has been relatively well behaved on the pitch this season) got himself sent off within 10 minutes and after that the game was gone. Still, not a bad return and no damage done.

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Above both lines at the moment. Oh to be there at the end of the season.

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A home game against high flying Chieri before three big games against the bottom two and Ligorna who are down there as well. Last year Christmas is where it all started to unravel. Has Dave learnt his lesson?

Edited by Wavelberry

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December 2018 Update

 

Last December is where it all went wrong for Dave. How would his Christmas be?

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Decent but a bit disappointing but the team is looking like it as at least a bit more resilient than Castellazzo were. A decent draw at home to high-flying Chieri was followed by an absolute thumping of the bottom side away at Pinerolo. Unfortunately things are never easy as the second-bottom side Imperia came to Acqui and got a draw although Dave's side were the ones to equalise. Ligorna defeated them two days before Christmas with a late goal which means the year ends on a bit of a sour note. 

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Still above the two lines as the Winter break kicks in and nine points clear of Imperia which is the most important thing. As a comparison Castellazzo had two points more than Acqui at this stage last year but they didn't win a game between October and the end of February. Acqui feels a little bit safer. For now.

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Speaking of Castellazzo it appears Dave's reputation is starting to be repaired in Italy.

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Two home games against top sides and an away trip to Folgore Caratese will be a testing return to action in January. Let us hope history is not going to repeat itself.

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January/February 2019 Update

With games being postponed due to snow and then a water-logged pitch I have decided to do a two month in one bonus update. Has Dave fallen into the despair hole again or will Acqui be a different story?

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January was actually terrible. Bra took the team apart quite easily which, while disappointing as it was a home game, was not too bad but the defeat away to Caratese set Dave's alarm bells ringing. The team were well outclassed and suddenly with three defeats in a row Dave was worried. The fear was coming.

***

"I'm tellin' ye. It's happenin' again Millie like. Ah cannit dee anything to stop this. I cannit."

"Get a-hold of yourself you idiot!" Millie slapped him. Hard. "Now think. You're a football manager Dave. An actual football manager. Find a way out of this."

"Aye ah am like but... Have ya seen the fixture list? All top teams."

"If you think you're doomed then what will the players think?"

"Aye, yer right lass. Ok. So here's what we're ganna dee. We'll be compact and play keep ball. We'll sacrifice goal threat for solidity and hope to hit on the break and ah'm gonna telt them in a team meeting that it's time to man up. Whaddya reckon?"

"It's ten times any plan you had last year..."

***

And so it proved as suddenly Acqui's never say die attitude propelled them through an unbeaten February. Cuneo were dispatched with a last minute winner by young winner Sibilia, Argentina were kept out in a game that was played in the same way before tactics were tweaked for the Novese game to give the team their goal threat back. It didn't work but the proof that Acqui are no Castellazzo was shown by the injury time equaliser from Cleur.  Suddenly the team were buoyant and went to the league leaders and did a proper number on them before keeping out second place Varesina back at home with newly signed CB Bellich getting the winner. Maybe Dave can manage after all. A mini-crisis averted.

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Massive results mean the team is 5 points ahead of the play-out line and a massive 12 points clear of automatic relegation. Even Dave's can't **** this up. Can he?

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Two big away games to teams below the play-out line. Don't wanna be dropping points there and the home games look like they might be tough too. Still, confidence is high. After 24 games at the end of February Castellazzo were 15th, 10 points clear of the bottom two and with 28 points so there can be no complacency despite the gap. Those points gaps can soon disappear. 

 

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Anania is the worst type of former pro pundit. After spending most of the first half of the season saying Dave was bringing doom now he says he's the best thing since sliced panettone

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Like Micky Quinn on acid.

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"Millie lass, me ****in strikers cannit score. Ah got one who hasint scored for 10 game, one for 22 and one who has never scored for us like. Ah swear Ah'd be better off just not playin one..."

"That might not actually be a bad idea...

Edited by Wavelberry

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March 2019 Update

 

Five unbeaten and then Anania went to the press saying Dave was mint. Bad decision...

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Three defeats in a row. No goals scored (by Acqui anyway) and suddenly everything was looking doomed. Dipping into the relegation play-outs and with title chasing Varese at home Dave decided to ditch his strikers who have really done him no good. They were lucky to get a point with a 75th minute pelanty against Varese but suddenly the strikerless formation paid dividends as three first half minutes against Sanremo saw two goals and a vital, vital win. Could that be the difference maker compared to last year? By God Dave will be hoping the corner has been turned.

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The defeats have narrowed the gap to the play-outs to just a point but Acqui are the right side of the line for the moment. A gap that was a buttock clenching 8 points to Imperia is now 11 again. Gozzano and Bra could be dragged into it (tbf anyone down from Ligorna could).

For comparison Castellazzo were 15th with 29 points at this stage last season and 17th, like they do now, had 24 points. They were relegated with 32 which suggests that there might be enough in the tank already. The play-out line was 43 points for pure survival.

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If Dave can win the Legnano, Pinerolo and Imperia games I reckon they could stay up outright. All these sides aside from Chieri are in and around but nothing can be taken for granted as the start of the month can attest to.

Oh and it wouldn't be Dave unless he was throwing a child into a relegation battle...

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Needs tutoring which hopefully will happen next season when reinforcements come but he could be pretty decent.

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April/May 2019 Update

 

Here we are then. Judgement day. Six massive fixtures and form starting to turn back towards Dave. Could he slay the demons of last season and get the job done or would it be another slide into relegation trouble?

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Well. Last season April started with three clean sheets in a row before implosion. This time it was six in a row and no implosion at all as the team became some sort of amazing stable of brilliance. Where the **** was this in March?

Wins against Pinerolo, Ligorna and Bra joined with the other points meant 12 out of a final 18. Surely that would be enough to pull Dave and co out of the relegation picture for good...

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8th place. 8TH PLACE! Not sure how he did it but Dave pulled it off. There was a 2 point gap to 13th before the Bra game and they were a point behind so a draw was always going to be enough but Dave saw them off to drop them into the relegation playouts. Pinerolo and Imperia looked doomed all season and this time there was no Dave Smith to bail them out as now he is a different Dave. A wiser Dave. A sexier Dave...

***

"Sexier? You're deluded," Millie screeched above the sounds of 20 players all shouting and cheering in the away dressing room at Bra.

"Well, ah was just wonderin if you thought... y'na like..."

"Dave, you've not only stopped Acqui from being relegated you've got them mid-table and nowhere near the playouts. That's enough miracles for one day eh?"

"Aye, but mebees we can get a drink laters like?"

"I'm off out in Milan tonight Dave. no ****ing chance. Enjoy your win and I'll see you back in the office on Monday assuming you want to keep being a football manager."

"I think I de Millie lass. This... today... it was ****ing exhilarating."

***

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Acqui End of Season Review 2018/19

 

Well, who would have thought we'd have been here? A year after losing on the final day of the season 3-1 and getting relegated with Castellazzo Dave Smith struck back to keep Acqui up and not only that he got a top-half finish. Not bad for a shiftless Mackem. So let's have a review of the season shall we?

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Neither of those games were memorable and tbf any of the defeats in March would probably be a better worst defeat. Probably the 3-1 against Cartese in January was the worst of all. I reckon the 1-0 win away to title winners Cuneo just after that was the best game of the season but what do I know?

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This is the squad. A lot of dead wood in it to be honest. If Dave stays (and no contract has been offered yet) it'll be a big clear out. He'd like to keep the three loanees as all three have been good quality and aside from the defense the entire front line of the team needs a revamp. That backline though turned out to be pretty woof in the end. They'll all stay.

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And this is how the tactics ended up to end the season. The three March defeats saw the change and let's be fair. It worked like a charm.

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Goals were hard to come by as evidenced by Piovano being top scorer and he didn't start nearly a third of the games. The best is obvious though. Look who the King is. Michele Limone. Brave, brilliant Limmy. Highest rating, most MotM and a better disciplinary record than last season (but still enough to top the charts). I love him. Dave loves him...

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And so do all of Acqui. Hilarious that the goal of the season was one in the last match. I reckon it's coz we don't score many goals let alone decent ones so they just picked the last one they saw. Limmy though. Limmy though.

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Here he is and what a storming season he had. Not since Kieran Forbes has there been a DM I've been so taken with. He wasn't the only key player though.

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Pavoni was excellent and has just improved all season. Already looking like he could play up the leagues his signing on was the second thing Dave did the day after the Bra game. The first was signing Limmy obvs...

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De Feo was an ever present and a decent leader. Strong at LB and beat off the competition from the younger players Dave signed to cover him.

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And Nando. For an 18 year old was excellent at RB. Dave will be desperate to get another loan season out of him.

 

There we have it then. What a season. But what happens next? Will Dave get a contract extension? Will someone else swoop in for him? Why wouldn't they? LOOK AT HIM!

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Also note he's become good at Italian. He is truly growing up.

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Addendum.

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So they're gonna fun a course but he might go in a month. Does he get to complete if he leaves? Do Acqui pay the 600 quid up front?

Anyways, Dave's gannin back to school like.

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"... and after a fashion. If you see... David? David?"

"Uh what?" Dave shook out of his reverie. It was ten days since the game at Bra and already he had secured the signings of the back line and lovely Limmy. Limmy... he really could move. Such a great player... and ripped as well... like something out of a male modelling catalogue. It had been Limmy he had been thinking about for the last five minutes while Claudio Costi has been speaking to him and now he was stuck. What had been said?

"Do you agree or not?"

"Errrr..." 

What had he said? Oh God? Had he asked him to leave? If he agreed and just left and had another Summer without a club Millie would kill him... He was smiling though... shark's teeth... ****. 

"Aye... ah reckon so," he ventured and waited with baited breath.

"Excellent, excellent. I shall Email the details to Millie this afternoon," Claudio wheezed and then tottered out of the office...

"Ah hope to God it's not ma P45 like..."

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***

Hi Dave,

Find attached your new contract. Got a £100 payrise. Well done. Enjoy your courses and I'll be back in Italy on July 25th.

PS. You owe me a pay rise.

Millie.

****

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"Millie, it's me. Ah'm ringin ya and leavin ya a voicemail message coz Claudio's gone ****in nutso like. He reckons we're either play-offs or promotion. Play-offs or promotion? We was just newly promoted last season and consolidated nicely and now he wants us up the ****in league like. This is is ending is tears lass ah'm gettin ya telt. Anyways ah hope yer havin a good time on holidays like and give me a call. This is ****ing mental man. Why this pressure? Why now like? Football management eh?"

f529af98552cebcaac410bbb8a1e37f6.png

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Start of Pre-Season 2019

 

Boys is back in town. Let's see what business Dave has done.

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Dave is a man who likes to do his business before pre-season. All the ***** strikers who couldn't hit a cows barn door with a back have gone. No real outs of interest. Just flotsam and jetsam. The keys on the ins were getting Valente and Zampacorta back. Castellani and Calvio are back-ups at RB and DM. The only other signings that mightbe made is a back-up keeper other than that the team is pretty much set. The best two signings are as follows though.

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Renzi is in from Teramo and is good for two reasons. An upgrade on Piovano and counts towards the mad U18 rulez. Will start alongside the Brazilian boy and we'll hope for magic.

 

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And Caccia was a no-brainer for a 16 year old. Again counts towards the U18 rule and looks as good if not better than anyone who played LW last season. Also a fully comfortable IF which means Dave can switch his IF to the left and leave RW as a winger which suits Zanchi.

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Standard pre-season. Hopefully it'll be a sell out home game against Brescia and obviously Dave will be hoping to progress in the cup again. 

Meanwhile...

***

"I cannit stand it. Every time ah have a team meeting he's there like. ****ingsuckin the life oot a the room with his big stupid face."

"What are you talking about Dave?"

"End of last season. Ah was like 'let's all get midtable again next year aye?' coz that's not the stupidest thing to do in the world right. Then he's like 'that's not ambitious enough mate'. So ah was like, alreet maybe ah'll leave it and see what happens and then obviously ****ing Mad Claudio expects promotion like so when they's come back ah'm like 'alreet lads, let's get that top-half' and he's there again like 'that's not good enough' and coz of mad Claudio ah'm thinking aye mebees you're right so then ah say 'youse are reet boys. Let's garn and get them play-offs' and suddenlies he's like 'nak mate, we cannit dee that. Are ye ****ing high or summit?'. Ah mean for ****'s sake Millie. What the **** does he want like?"

"I'm... not sure."

"Ah'm sick of looking at him to be honest. Ah'm sick of his stupid face every time summit garns the wrong way, ah'm sick of his **** eating grin when he's takkin to the other boys and ah'm sick of his useless ****in skills like."

"Well what are you going to do?"

***

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Pre-season is happening apace but here is some awesome Cup news...

 

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A good win with a MotM performance from one YP and a debut for another at RB as Nando is injured. Both goalscorers were 16. This... This is good stuff.

Edited by Wavelberry

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Pre-season 2019 Update

A win in the cup was welcome but how else did the pre-season go?

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Pretty decent as it goes. Ancona and Lyon beat as expected and only Orizzonti suckered 'em. The rest was win though. A decent display.

 

Tactics wise this is how Dave's gonna line up...

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This is the first team. I reckon they're good for top ten but Dave needs them to be top five. Will it work?

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A cup game at home to Valenzana starts off the season before a tough first league game against Verbania. Bra have a new manager so that won't be an easy trip neither will the one to Chieri who were decent last time out. Novese at home becomes a big early statement game. Will Dave have what it takes to drive this team to glory or will it be back to Millie scouring the Yellow Football Pages? 

 

 

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He'd have stuck with one if every striker he tried hadn't been absolutely useless. It got to a stage last season where every match was followed by news of 'this was 13 hours, 22 games, yet to score for the team'.

Can't have strikers wasting chances and becoming precious like that.

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BoxToBox   

Oh aye, that's frankly outrageous, unless they popped up with a bucket load of assists.

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