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Dave Smith is Out of his League

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A Prologue

Dave Smith was a simple bloke. He grew up in Ryhope in Sunderland to an unremarkable family and had an unremarkable childhood. Average and a bit lazy he didn't really excel at anything but played a fair bit of sport as he grew up due to his dad Colin being a massive Sunderland fan. Colin had high hopes for Dave and dreamed that one day he might even take to the hallowed turf of the Stadium of Light. Bed time stories were full of legendary names and times: Bob Stokoe, 1973, Kevin Phillips, Niall Quinn's Disco Pants, The Roker Roar... but Dave wasn't much of a footballer and was never going to work at it. The dream died as Dave entered his teens and football took a backseat to... well not much in particular. An average set of GCSEs was followed by a BTEC in Health and Fitness coz he couldn't think of anything else to do. Eventually he did a bit of fitness training with some Sunderland Uni sides while his Dad sorted him a job on the Tyne/Wear Metro and that was Dave. He was likeable enough and had friends and had the odd girlfriend but as he entered his 20s his listlessness and lack of ambition began to annoy Colin.

"That lad is never gonna do ****in anything," he told his wife and he wasn't wrong. He began to put pressure on Dave to do something/anything with his life and one night he snapped. He chucked his son out of the house telling him he had to stand on his own two feet and he wasn't going to get any more freebies. He then had to let Dave back into the house to pack his clothes and give him £100 as he hadn't been paid yet and then he chucked his son out telling him he had to stand on his own two feet and he wasn't going to get any more freebies. Dave was homeless.

He wandered around without any idea of what to do for a while before finally responding to a text from his mate Sam to come to the pub. Oh well, he thought, there isn't much else I can do. So he caught the bus into town and met his friend Sam at the Dun Cow and the two of them drank and drank from the clatty lines of lager and as they drank big they began to talk big...

"I'm tellin' you mate, I could ****en do anythin I wanted... Y'na if I wanted."

"So why divvint ya mate? Yiv been sayin the same thing for a hunrerd year like..." 

Dave bristled at Sam's jab.

"I could... I could dee whatever. I could go to Spain and work for fit birds as like... a pool cleaner or summat"

"Nae ****in way"

"I could go to like... I divvint naa Italy and ****in... I could coach one of them football teams... Not like ****in Juventus or anythin but ya naa like... a really ****in **** one. Division 5 or summat like tha'"

"Not with ****in Brexit comin ye couldn't"

"I'd dee it right now"

"Aye go on then..."

"I ****in will mate. I could get on that Metro to Newcastle Airport now and be livin' it up in ****in Europe in nay time like"

"Dee it then"

"I will..."

Then they both burst out laughing and carried on drinking and drinking and drinking until everything became a haze. Beneath the laughter though Dave had been prickled and those thoughts gnawed away at him as his brain gave way to drunkenness.

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Dave's head was pounding as he regained consciousness. He felt sick, extremely sick and what was worse is that the world seemed to be moving all around him. He didn't dare to open his eyes. Where would he be? Slumped against Park Lane bus station? Down by the Wear on an industrial estate? Going over a speed bump in a car... Wait a minute... What? His whole body juddered again as it had done just seconds previously and there was no doubt in Dave's mind. That was a speed bump which meant he was in a car which meant...

His eyes flew open and immediately nausea swept over him. He was in the passenger seat of a car but something wasn't right about it. He tried to turn his head to his left to look out of the passenger window but instead he saw a portly gentleman sat next to him. Wait, was he driving? A moment of panic set in as he realised he was sat in the driver's seat and he instinctively slammed his foot down to hit a break peddle but there wasn't one there. Just floor... and another speed bump... but mostly floor and there was no steering wheel in front of him. He looked to his left again and realised that the portly gentleman to the side of him was the one who was driving which meant this was a left-hand drive car. Had he been kidnapped by some crazy foreign bloke? He must have. He instantly tried to undo his seat belt and as he began to struggle the portly man turned to him and smiled...

"Ah good you are awake," he said with a thick Italian accent. "Just in time as well as were are here. Welcome to your football club... gaffer..." 

The portly gentleman stopped the car and popped Dave's seat belt for him. Dave scrambled for the door and opened it stumbling into the bright morning sunshine.

And then he vomited. 

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"So... erm... let me get this straight... you want me..."

"I want you to manage this football team. Yes."

Dave watched carefully as Alberto (at least that's what he said his name was) turned from the window that overlooked the stadium and back towards him. He smiled at Dave, the type of big toothy grin a shark would give you before it ate you whole, and gestured to the coffee cup that was on the desk in front of Dave. Dave picked up it up and cradled it gingerly taking a sip of the bitter black blend he had been given. His head was still thumping and he wasn't sure he wasn't going to be sick again. He had already been sick on another two occasions on the short journey from the car to the office and to be honest he wasn't too sure that this was really happening at all but given he had been here for nearly two hours now and things seemed to be getting more vivid rather than less he had to begin to believe it was real. 

"I'm... I'm sorry... I'm just... You flew me out here?"

"Yes. We spoke at Newcastle airport remember? You said you were a football manager looking to broaden your horizons and I said I had a football club here and then you promised me all kinds of success."

"And then you just... paid for my flight and put me in your car and drove me here?"

"Yes. The season starts soon and as I told you the problems are many."

"But... I'm not... I mean... I've got a BTEC in health and fitness like but..."

"This doesn't matter any more David. Let me be clear with you. This club you are in, Castellazzo, had a great season last year. We got promotion and had a great squad and team and everything was fine... And then IT happened. A lot of my squad were arrested. My manager fled and my coaching staff were also taken by the police. I was left with nothing."

"Why did they get arr..."

"That is not your concern. What is your concern is team matters. I have little money and made the mistake of having a bet with my brother-in-law that we would stay up... of course that was before all the unpleasantness with the police. Anyway I cannot lose this bet. My brother-in-law is an... unforgiving man and this bet is a double or quits kind of a thing... no matter. You were in a hole and I was in a hole. Now we are in a hole together and can help each other."

"Listen mate, nae offence like but I cannit help ya. I don't even know Italian for a start like and I've never..."

"EXCUSES!" Alberto shouted slamming his hands on the desk in front of him. Dave flinched as the portly Italian man came storming towards him. "Listen here," he hissed as he lowered his face to Dave's "you told me you could do this and not only that I paid a lot of money to bring you here. A flight to Milan last minute is not cheap. You will do this for me and you will be successful."

He stood up tall again and brushed off Dave's clothes before going behind his desk.

"Besides... I have your passport and I have your phone and you will not be getting either of them back until you have repaid me what you owe. So... David Smith... Will you be the manager of Casetellazzo?"

"I dinnit think I have a choice do I?"

"You do not."

"Aye then?" he said looking around and wishing he would wake up.

He would not wake up...

 

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Okay, so the brass tacks of this career mode are these I will be managing a team in Serie D as Englishman Dave Smith. The team I have picked, Castellazzo, have 9 players and are predicted 18th. The story will start here with Dave trying to use any knowledge he has to try and keep the team in the league but given his football education came mostly from his Dad and Mike Bassett: England Manager his opening season is going to see him play a classic 4-4-2 with big centre-halves, a destroyer in midfield and a big man/little man combo up front. If he survives his tactical knowledge will grow based on how and where he is. The ultimate aim is to get him back home to Sunderland. The journey starts here.

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Ah the legend returns :)

 

But what has happened to the Polyglot challenge?

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10 minutes ago, Pompeyboyz said:

Ah the legend returns :)

 

But what has happened to the Polyglot challenge?

The save is on an old computer. If Dave gets fired I might try and retrieve it.

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Woohoo!  Looking forward to this!

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Looks like quite a challenge there. 

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So Dave had no choice but to accept the fair offer from Alberto Vacca and so...

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And then, for no real reason Alberto insisted on having a generic meeting with him...

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And then he was shown to his own office. Inside was a young lady by the name of Millie who introduced herself as his personal assistant. 

"Oh thank God. Yer English."

"Millie Rowe," she snapped and ignored the hand he offered her. "Let's get this straight. I am not your secretary and I'm not your skivvy. I've only taken this job so I can supplement my studies in Milan and I if you so much as try and touch me or look at me in the wrong way I will cut your ****ing balls off."

"Aye... okay then... nae bother like." Dave stood dumbly for a second as Millie shuffled some papers on his desk. "Can you... can you speak Italian like?"

"Of course I can speak Italian. Why the **** would I be here if I couldn't speak Italian?"

Dave shrugged and Millie turned to face him. She stared hard at him for a second before bursting out laughing and shaking her head. Dave averted his gaze and looked down to his shoes.

"Are you telling me you can't speak Italian?"

"Well, Ah know a few words like..."

"****ing priceless. I am not paid nearly enough for this ****."

"Me neither pet," Dave mumbled. Millie picked up all but one paper from his desk and then moved towards the door.

"Right, seeing as you don't speak Italian I will need to go away and translate all of these now which will take me all afternoon thank you very much."

"What about that?"

"That's in English already. Enjoy reading it. I'll see you later. Don't forget the press conference this afternoon will you and for God's sake don't try and speak any Italian until you've run it past me."

With that Mille swished out of the room and left Dave to his devices. He stood dumbly for a few minutes before approaching his new desk and looked at the one piece of paper on his desk labelled staff responsibilities.

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"Great. Just ****ing super," he muttered to himself before slumping in his chair.

Edited by Wavelberry

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To Dave's first press conference then and the main talking point was as follows...

 

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The full conference and answers are here for your perusal

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So the first order of business for Dave was to get some staff. After begging Millie to help him she found someone who looked like they might be able to hold his hand...

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And as a bonus he loves him a 4-4-2. Millie is quite the matchmaker.

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Once Angelo joined he and Millie got to work securing some decent scouts and a physio. The next order of business then was to look at the squad and Dave watched in awe as Angelo ran the rule over them and gave him a brief overview of how good they were. Given that Millie was not there and Angelo only spoke Italian and French he did it by rating them out of five. Five fingers was awesome. One finger *****.

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Just the 12 players then and the size of Dave's task was starting to unfurl. Big gaps at the back and quite a few old players. 

"Nae problem like," he thought to himself, "these new scouts will help me out and I'll get some proper lads in."

Then he received the text from Millie telling him about the rules for Serie D matchday squads...

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"Are ye sayin that 4 of me players have to be under 20 years old? They're just ****ing bairns man? How are they gonna win a football game?"

Of course Angelo didn't understand a word and just nodded and gave Dave the thumbs up. 

Given that situation Dave had no option when Alberto came a-knocking asking about his season expectations.

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After that it was back to the text messages with Millie. He needed those scout reports translated as soon as possible...

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"Can you polish a turd in three weeks?" Dave asked himself? Well, he'd given it a good old go. With the help of Angelo's patented fingers system of rating players and the long-suffering Millie's translating skills he was able to do some business. 

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Just the 14 players in then. The eagle-eyed among you may notice three loan deals from Alessandria and I must admit it was a great day for Dave when he realised that their big-shot neighbours were an affiliate club.

***

"Millie love, can I ask you a question?"

"You can," she said as she rolled her eyes and gave a lengthy sigh. "But if you call me love again I swear I will kick you in the balls."

"Aye... okay... well it's just. I mean... I wanted to know... where... where in Italy are we exactly? That Stefano boy who's gonna sign wanted to know."

"You don't even know where we are? For fu..." She trailed off and just bought up a map on his computer. "You see. We're here. Milan is here. And this is Alessandria, it's the nearest city."

"Have they got a club then aye?"

"Of course they do you idiot. They're our parent club?"

"Our what?"

"Oh you have got to be kidding me, do you know ANYTHING about football?"

"I know that Micky Gray should never be on pelanties like... or at least that's what me da would say..."

"Enough. Please... I've got a headache. Alessandria are in Seri... The Italian Championship."

"So they're not too shabby like?"

"No. And they are linked to us. They will send us players, usually young ones, on loan for free."

"Young players? On loan? For ****in free? Why didn't ya tell me?"

"I DID. I TOLD YOU LAST WEEK YOU ABSOLUTE CLUELESS TOSS ****** ****-NUGGET **** BUBBLE!"

****

So after that news Dave (well Millie) was on the phone with the scouts to get in some good young backups and so on the first day of pre-season the squad is looking... well... not too bad.

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Enough youngsters to hit the rules and some actual quality if Angelo's fingers are to be believed. Bancora, Bechini, Dosi and Bastianelli look the best of the bunch and have certainly enhanced the spine of the side. In fact the team has been reinforced so much that the older players are not getting much of a look in.

 

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Meanwhile the best player at the club is going to be Dave's midfield enforcer...

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With all the reinforcements Dave was starting to feel quite optimistic until Millie gave him the opening day of training report translated from Angelo...

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Pre-season training has begun then and with Millie due back at Uni three days a week very soon the key tactical briefings needed to take place asap.

Dave is a simple man and he wants to keep it simple.

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Nice and simple. Defence defends. Destroyer and a runner in the centre (bonus if yer runner can pass) with two flyers on the wings knocking in balls to the target man with yer sharp-shooter waiting for the scraps. Ponti and Bancora are gonna be the Quinn and Phillips of Castellazzo.

Limone is gonna be the DM rather than B2B and he is going to be ordered to get stuck in. Early reducers will be his trademark.

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And this is how pre-season looks. Millie arranged it when Dave asked her to "get some proper ***** teams first, some decent teams at home and then some ***** teams again before the proper matches start."

He will have a Coppa Italia Serie D match to deal with in pre-season too but some how we're here. He's survived three weeks and we are ready to go. Bring on the preseason.

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The dressing room in at Loanesi S. Francesco...

"... So I guess what ahm saying is... dee what you can... show me what y' can do... er... put the ball in the net... Limmy mate, let 'em know yer there like. Early doors mate. Get a ****in reducer in okay? So... go team."

Dave waited patiently as Mille translated for him and watched with hope as several of the players nodded before getting up and heading for the dressing room door.

"What did ye say to them like? It was what I said wasn't it?"

"Oh absolutely..." said Millie.

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"You do know that they're **** right? I mean proper ****. And that this was a pre-season friendly?"

"Millie love, what can I say? Just must've been me words in the dressing room and me tactical genius like..."

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Friendly number two sees this excellent goal before half-time...

Suffice to say Dave was livid and absolutely laid into the lad at half-time. Unfortunately he doesn't understand English, let alone incandescent Mackem, so to him it probably sounded like this...

 

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"I mean I think evens is a little harsh like. Also how the **** can Argentina play in this league? Does Uefa know about this like? That's surely got to be illegal or somethin. Bottino couldn't even stop himself from scorin' at the wrong end. How's he supposed to stop Messi or Ageuro like? Millie? Millie? Why ar ya bangin' yer head on the desk pet?"

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SELL OUT!

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The best bit is the 'decent number' of away supporters Torino are bringing.

Edited by Wavelberry

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Pre-Season 2017

 

Okay. **** about time is over. The proof is in the pudding. Dave has managed some football matches. How have the friendlies gone?

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A bit traffic-lighty but given he can't speak Italian and has no clue what he is doing it doesn't look bad. Bancora looks very hit and miss but Ponti looks good for some goals. They had the better of the game against Fezzanese in the cup match but couldn't breakthrough and lost 6-5 on pelanties and to score 2 goals against Torino isn't too shabby. What does Dave think though?

***

"No Dave, he's asking you if there is anything you've seen during the friendlies?" Mille sighed. Again. Angelo, his assistant manager, gave him a weary look of encouragement.

"Oh okay. Well, to be honest like I'm a little bit disappointed that Limmy has anly got 4 yellas in 8 games. He's supposed to be the enforcer like but he's not enforcing anything at the moment."

Millie held her hand up to her head as if massaging a headache out of her temples.

"Anything else?"

"Aye, the other boy in midfield. Tell him to stop taking shots. He's ****ing ***** at that. And maybes tell Banco to score more goals. Be a bit more attacking like."

"So you want me to tell Angelo you want your defensive midfielder to foul more, your box to box midfielder to shoot less and your striker to be a bit more... greedy?"

Dave paused for a moment thinking over what she said before nodding. He listened as Millie quickly reeled off his instructions to his assistant manager and watched with some concern as one of Angelo's heafty eyebrows started to climb his head.

"Più sporco?" Angelo asked surprised.

"Si," Millie said rolling her eyes. "più sporco."

"Cazzo," he muttered under his breath and then walked out.

"Sounds like we're totally on it now eh Millie lass? He's a canny bloke that Angelo. Roll on the first game of the season eh?"

"I swear to God I'm going to.." the rest was lost as Millie walked out of the office leaving Dave on his own. Master of all he surveyed. The gaffer.

****

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So the season is about to get underway and at least Dave's first game is at home. A key clash is at the end of the month with an early clash against fellow promotees Novese. The real work starts now...

I'll leave you this evening with one of the best goals ever. If it had happened the other way Dave would've been all over the GD forum complaining about CHEATING AI. Enjoy.

 

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Thanks for all the kind words so far as well guys. This is turning out to be quite ridiculously fun.

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5 hours ago, Wavelberry said:

I'll leave you this evening with one of the best goals ever. If it had happened the other way Dave would've been all over the GD forum complaining about CHEATING AI. Enjoy.

 

Ahhhh! The swag walk by the scorer too, "totally meant that...."

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"Who ****ing replaced our goalkeeper with Joe Hart like?"

 

 

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This is brilliant, laughed at nearly every post. I can hear every word Dave says in a Geordie accent thanks to your writing, you've captured it superbly.

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September 2017 Update

 

Here we, here we, here we ****ing go. Let's see how Dave's first four games with his simple 4-4-2 have gone...

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Well, even in crazy Alberto Vacca's wildest dreams he would not have foreseen these results from a drunk Englishman he'd kidnapped and forced to work for him. Hey, sometimes a gamble pays off. The crosses seem to cause problems, the front two make things difficult and despite one defender always getting a 6.4 and the goalie having a tendency to be Joe Hart when low down to his left the first two games yielded two very good wins. Kevin Phillips getting a pelanty to win the first home game of the season while Niall Quinn got the away game at Pinerolo off to a great start saw the awesome twosome get off the mark but then... IT happened.

 

*****

"No MIllie I divvint ****in care. I wanna sack the ****in lot of 'em. We were 4 ****in 2 up. FOUR ****IN TWO! I was shoutin, Angelo was shoutin... summat. They're absolute ****in dicks like."

"Once again Dave, you can't fire them because we haven't got anybody else to play there and you can't register any new players until January. Remember? FOR THE FORTIETH TIME!"

"Is that why that African lad cannit play? The new one we bought in?"

"Yes, that's right. He can play for the Under 20s but he can't play for the first team until the registration window opens."

"Shame, he looks canny good like."

"Midfield isn't really the problem though is it?"

"Aye ****ing right. Well suppose we keep them I dinnit fire them. What do we do instead?"

"Have you tried managing... tactics?"

"I dinnit get ya luv."

"Well you just stood there and let them play at you. You didn't change formation or anything."

"Well I divvint naa any other tactics. I'm not a ****in football manager am I?"

"Except you are Dave... Look around you."

"Oh... aye right... But how do you learn aboot these things?"

"You can go on a course or read some books."

"Have ye got any?

"I can find you some."

"And what aboot this course thing."

"You'll have to ask Alberto about that."

"Right, I was ganna go an see him anyways. Angelo says the boys keep complainin coz the trainin is *****. Of course it's *****. There's anly two bastards who know wha they're deein."

"Right, well good luck with that..."

"You not ganna come wi me?"

"No Dave, I'm paid till 5 and I have a date and a life and as funny as it would be to watch Alberto teach you some Italian swear words when you go and see him I have dinner at a five star hotel to get to. Ciao!"

****

As it was Millie didn't give him the book till then end of the month but it didn't matter coz they got another 2-1 win and given it was against fellow promotees Novese this made it a very good month indeed. NB Novese's goal came low down and to the keepers left. As if you needed telling.

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Early days and it seems Dave's teams don't do defensive football. How uncouth and unItalian he is. Still, avoiding relegation is the aim and this is a very good start indeed.

 

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Messi and co visit Castellazzo at the beginning of the month and the two away trips are to sides that have started very well. We'll know by the end of October if Dave has just had beginners luck or whether he is a true idiot savant.

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It took Dave an hour of begging him but in the end...

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More coaches allowed. Preferably a goalkeeping one.

 

He wouldn't let Dave go on a coaching course though. Not sure why. It's not as if Dave can leave as, after all, he has his passport...

Edited by Wavelberry

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"Aye Millie pet so if ya can get him telt that 5 yellas in 7 games isn't good enough for a midfielder in my team. It should be 7 in 7. He needs to stop pissin aboot like and stick the ****ing boot in!"

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October 2017 Update

 

So after some beginners luck would the greatest tactical minds in Serie D take apart our chancer from Sunderland and his team or could he and they continue to defy the odds?

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Holy ****ing moly. Maybe this isn't a fluke after all. A poor 1-0 defeat to Messi and co saw the second home game in a row where the whole team seemed to get really nervous in front of their home crowd. There were no such problems away from home as the team weathered a massive storm in the first half against Bra and instead of getting nervous as they did against Argentina they just got better and in the end got a deserved winner. It was followed up by an extremely nervous 89 minutes at home to Inveruno but the early goal was enough. There were no goals against Borgosesia but they somehow escaped with a point before battering Lavagnese. We are definitely in some twighlight zone ******** here...

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Obviously Alberto Vacca is very pleased. Not pleased enough to give Dave even a sniff of his passport but pleased enough not to strip him naked and leave him for dead in Alessandria.

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A quarter of the season has gone already but look at that. Dave's not getting carried away though as it's all about staying above the relegation zone. Another 19 points and he may get his passport back.

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The big game of the month will be the clash against Savona who are running away with the league at the moment. Can Dave keep it going or will his luck run out?

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For now he will not be changing his system. Mostly because he can't as he doesn't know any others. Yet...

***

"What is this pet?"

"What have I told you about calling me pet?" Millie walked up to him and gave him one swift kick to his balls. Dave instantly doubled over in pain as Millie strode back to the other side of the desk and then threw another book on top of the one she had already given him.

"Sorry... I meant... what is it lu... Millie?" he panted as he stood back up and steadied himself on the desk.

"It's a book. Inverting the Pyramid. You need to read it."

"Why? What's wrong with the tactics we're playin?"

"Nothing. Yet. But at some point you are going to have to change things up beyond your 4-4-2 and this book will help you. Besides I imagine you'll want to get out of this ******** eventually assuming Alberto gives you your passport back."

"Aye, well the thought had crossed me mind like."

"And learning stuff like this will make you more employable."

"What as?"

"As a football manager you idiot."

"What? You think I'm ganna be a football manager after this?"

"Why not? Despite being kidnapped and forced to work in a foreign country you somehow have this basketcase of a club 3rd in the table. To be honest I was expecting to here about you being found in a wood or forest somewhere by now coz Alberto doesn't like failure but here you still are."

"Well... Aye... mebees you're right. Mebees I could be a football manager proper like."

"Well read the book anyway. And maybe try and learn some Italian. And also don't get too big headed. You've had a good start. Nothing else."

"Aye thanks for that. Proper ray of sunshine you are pet."

There was a dark silence as Dave realised what he done. Mille strode around the desk again...

****

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November 2017 Update

 

Uh oh...

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I'm not saying Dave has been worked out and tbf the team conceded late equalisers in both of the home games and Savona are comfortably top and we had them but still... but still... Two beatings away from home and suddenly things seem slightly more precarious.

 

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Bit of a drop for Dave and the boys but still 7 clear of the relegation play-outs.

 

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Only three games for Dave in December and with two away games against sides above them that home game takes on mega importance. Is Dave starting to feel the heat?

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December 2017 Update

 

Christmas in a new country. You don't speak the language, your chairman has your passport and your family think your dead. Surely your team could give you an early Christmas present...

 

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It's all beginning to look a little bit grim for Dave...

***

"You need to change something tactically. They've figured out how you play and are now stopping you."

"Nae ****in chance lass. I read that book ye gave me and I canny make head nor tail of what that Wilson is sayin. I know he's a Mackem like me like but still... Dinnit worry Millie. It'll come good. I jus need to gee them up a bit and when the African lad comes in after New Year we'll climb the league. I got us this far."

"Yeah, but maybe it was luck? Did you think of that?"

"No. It was me. And I can de it again. GET OOT!"

***

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Dropping down the table and only six clear of the releagtion play-offs. Automatic is miles away but if any team can go on a run of endless defeats it's certainly one associated with Sunderland. All hope rests with the African lad adding a spark in midfield. It's 4-4-2 and up and at 'em till the very end.

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A big January with all sides below Dave apart from Legnano. The turn needs to happen here.

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January 2017 Update

 

The Dark Night of the Soul... Google it. Dave knows it intimately now...

 

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One point from twelve. The centre is not holding. Goals have gone and the team lacks any cohesion. The African lad hasn't made any different.

****

"I mean who chose him in the first place like?"

"You did Dave."

"He's not the ****in saviour. He's ****in ***** like. I should never have dumped the other guy. Well he's back in the now like."

"Have you thought about a tactical..."

"Get the **** out Millie!"

***

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Into the relegation play-off zone and the gap to automatic is cut to 9...

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Novese and Iveruno. Lose both of those and automatic relegation becomes a horrible reality. Maybe you can't just hire a random pissed up Englishman from a bar and expect results (see Alan  Pardew)

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February 2018 Update

 

When, when, when, when will this **** run of form end?

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At the end of February. That's when. No win since October but a 1-0 nick away from home is great. It doesn't matter that it's against the bottom team and probably says more about them than us but whateverz...

***

"So youse can all ****in suck it like. It's been coming and the lads are ****ing ganna **** you up mate."

***

 

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Just the 11 games for our Kevin Phillips. Not sure he ever went on a run like that...

 

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The gap is 10 points between automatic relegation. Now it's all about the play-offs. The league is so close that the chance to escape is always gonna be there but it looks like Dave might be going for a full season.

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All teams that are above Dave. If they're gonna survive then two wins will be key...

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At least someone is giving their all for the team but not enough. Only 14/22. Lightweight.

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RATS. RATS THE LOT OF THEM!!!
 

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Any excuse. We dinnit need the **** anyways.

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March 2018 Update

 

Been in Italy for nearly 9 months now. Still don't know what's going on and seem to be worse than when I first turned up...

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***

"Aye, we've had a bad start like but we ended the month in good form like..."

Dave looked away from the mirror. He couldn't lie to himself any longer. This was going further south than a Megabus to Hastings. The team were no longer responding and he had no idea how to deal with it tactically. Limone was still picking up yellow cards with comforting regularity but aside from that the team was a shadow of its former self and no amount of serious eyebrow raising and gesturing was solving it. Dave had to concede for the first time in this journey that maybe he was well and truly ****ed...

***

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Suddenly there is only 5 points between automatic relegation and Dave. Play-offs are now the dream. It's all going Pete.

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6 games left then to try and not get killed by a mad Italian chairman. All good sides. Dave starts writing a will...

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Loving every moment, man. Even if the form isn't there just yet!

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"What's this?" Dave asked as Millie through a folder onto his desk.

"It's a record of our youth intake for this year. The young players who are coming into our academy."

"Holy ****, are any of them any good like?" he demanded as he scrabbled at the folder. Millie looked at him with the common mixture of sympathy and disgust. He hadn't shaved in almost tow months and his face was a patch work of clumps of ginger hair. He was definitely not a beard person.

"There is some potential in there but..."

"Right, well we've gotta fling them right in like. Time is ticking."

"Dave, they're children. You can't just throw them into a relega..."

"I TELT YA WE DINNIT USE THE R WORD IN HERE!"

"... You can't just throw them into the first team. They need time."

"I dinnit have time lass. We dinnit have time. Me Da once telt me about Alan Hansen like. He said you canny win with kids but Alex Ferguson did."

"Alex Ferguson was one of the best managers of all time."

"Exactly. So a plan like his will have to work."

"Dave. Have you thought about a tactical..."

"No time now Millie luv. I've got t' see which one of these bairns is gonna be my Giggs."

Millie turned and bowed her head. There was no saving him. He was doomed.

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"I'm gonna ****ing kill him. We was winning until he got sent off the little twit!"

"Well you did..."

"Yeah, at least ah gave two debuts to some bairns right. Who have we got next anyways?"

"We're away. To top of the table Savona..."

 

Edited by Wavelberry

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"Right Millie. Ah've decided we cannit play 4-4-2 away to the team that's top. We never get the chances anyways and the defense is leakier than a sieve with a ****ing giant hole in it. Ah'm pullin a striker out and playin an extra defender. The striker can be all defensive like n'all."

"Sounds like a plan Dave. Would you like me to shut this empty stable door now the horse is five miles down the road as well?"

"We've got stables here? I nivir seen 'em..."

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Has he seen the table?

 

 

Evidently not...

 

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Edited by Wavelberry

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The tactical switch only went and worked...

***

"That's it. I dinnit care. That's how we're playing for the rest of the season. I dinnit want any more goals scored against us..."

***

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Four points off automatic relegation though and four games to go. Play-offs are pretty much confirmed at this stage...

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We go on. Chieri come to us...

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Dave's sheets. They are the cleanest...

 

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Still a four point gap to 17th but it's Inveruno who are now on the charge. Both those relegation spots are opening up now and it's title chasing Gozzano next.

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I WANT THESE SHEETS CLEAN DAMNIT

 

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Well, it's working but...

 

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With two games to go we need wins. Stick or twist? Well it looks like only one automatic space is there now so stick for now...

Some heartening news for Dave however...

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It's enough to make you proud.

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It couldn't last could it. It just couldn't last. 

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An early goal ruined it and then it was over. There are no goals in this side at the moment. None at all.

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Looking bleak then. Only a win will do...

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Inveruno are at home to Chieri while Pinerolo are away to Unione Sanremo. We have probably the most winnable game except we never win anymore.

Doooooooooooooom

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"That's it Millie. Ah'm not ganning out like this. Ah'm a Mackem born and bred and Ah'm not sitting back and waitin to be beaten anymores. We go all out attack to win. Three up front. The whole ****ing lot. We garn doon fighting"

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Novese aren't even involved but Dave's not gonna hold back.

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twit.

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