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[FM 18] If You're Not First, You're Last (Re-Redux) - Redemption for the "Nearly Men" of Europe

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Having lost the first leg 4-1 in Germany, Antonio Conte's Manchester United needed a big performance at Old Trafford...

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You should try not to talk so much, friend. You'll sound far less stupid that way.

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UC Sampdoria / Portugal -- March 2037

An amazing night in London, followed by a workman-like performance at home in the 2nd leg.  It wasn't pretty.  It didn't have to be.  This is not the first time we've beaten Pep's men on the counter. 

And it won't be the last, either, you bald, fraudulent ****.  Look at me when I'm talking to you, Pep.  I said look at me, you ****.  That's right.

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We're going to Germany, lads.  To face the Smurfs.

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1 minute ago, wynter said:

Torino in 20th... :(

I'm still bitter about getting sacked by them in my other save...

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Zlatan is all fired up for our return to Germany to face the Smurfs. He has an entire motivational speech planned, and promises that it will be epic. He's promised no nudity this time, too... I'll believe it when I see it.

Drake had a plan for motivating the lads. But apparently pigs' blood is like, 25€ per litre...  Given the quantities involved, we just couldn't afford it.

Edited by ManUtd1

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The straw that broke the camels back?  Whatever you want to call it, there's no doubt we had a hand in Pep the Bald's fall from grace.

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Edited by ManUtd1

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Quite the start to qualification.  6 points...sure, it was against Liechtenstein and Estonia... 

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Whatever.  It still feels good.

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You know, someone once told me time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.

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UC Sampdoria / Portugal -- April 2037

Honestly, Didier should have known better.  We were always going to counterattack his blue-clad ****s in Germany and then, having seized the advantage, force them to attack with reckless abandon in the 2nd leg.  But, as Zlatan would say, "pencils down, time's up, beotch."  You lose, Didier.  We're through to the semifinals.

Between ourselves and Nantes, the pundits cannot decide which "Cinderella" is preferred.  As the other 2 remaining sides...Diego Simeone's Barcelona is boring, no one can get excited about them.  And in recent public opinion polling, Eddie Howe's West Ham was slightly less popular than syphilis.  So we've got that going for us.

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Edited by ManUtd1

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We go to London.  

Bring your penicillin, lads. We cannot afford to lose anyone at this critical juncture, not with a clear path to the Serie A title.

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My 2nd XI had a fun day at the Artemio Franchi.  FFS, lads, get it together.  The title is on the line!

More kickboxing sessions with Zlatan are clearly in order.

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27 minutes ago, Joe. said:

C’mon Nantes! 

There's a part of me that wishes Nantes' tycoon was not Serbian, but Indian.  The commercial possibilities are endless.

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You know, someone once told me time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.

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UC Sampdoria / Portugal -- May 2037

Zlatan's motivational tactics are getting more and more outlandish...and more effective.  For the last one, Drake had to be excused to avoid triggering him...who would have thought that "the cage" could be used so effectively?!

We've booked ourselves a trip to the Ernst-Happel-Stadion at the end of the month.  The bandwagon fans have well and truly jumped on board...although a few are waiting for the outcome of tomorrow's Nantes-Barcelona match.

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Cue hordes of hipsters converging on Vienna for the final.

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The final will be played later today, probably in a few hours as I'm here on a third screen.

Also...this is a year ahead of what I expected for Sampdoria.  Lose, and we're going to be immense next year.  Win...and we've got a newly-eligible team and the possibility of a new job, that just opened up and is really enticing. 

Either way, I'm happy.

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Image result for champions league trophy

Champions League Final, May 2037; Ernst-Happel-Stadion

"Good evening and welcome to Vienna!  The playground of the footballing elite and hipsters in flannel pants!  It's the Champions League final!"

"Thank you, Jamie!  It is the final of finals, the biiiig banana!!!  We'll see the hip, young swashbuckling studs of Sampdoria, squaring off against the hard-working, hard-partying nuuu-vho reeeche of Nantes!"

"If you were a betting man, Gary, who would you put your money on?  Jacques Gillet, or Jean Bleu?"

"Jamie, lad.  Don't overthink this.   To paraphrase Wesley Snipes--"

"--the greatest actor of his generation!"

"--Indeed, Jamie.  If there's one thing we can agree on, it's that.  As Wesley would say, 'always bet on Bleu.'"

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"Nearly 20 minutes gone, Jamie, and there's nowt to discuss.  Sampdoria are in control, but need better penetration in the final 3rd.  Nantes have only had one look at goal, and it was poor, all around."  

"No question about it, Gar.  Someone needs a breakthrough."

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"Gary, you're off your head.  Passenger 57 is clearly the more underrated movie.  White Men Can't Jump?!  Get out of here with that weak sauce."

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"And that's another chance wasted by Roberto.  Over the top, played in, but straight at Adukor, who didn't even have to try, really.  Just like Wesley in Blade II.  A natural.  Nothing to it."

"It's the role he was born to play, Jamie.  The role he was born to play."

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"You have to think that, at 0-0, it's anyone's game.  Isn't it?"  

"Technically, yes, Jamie.  Technically.  I think that Bleu has got a few tricks up his sleeve, though.  This is exactly where he wanted Nantes to be."

"Wouldn't he want to be up a goal or two at the half, Gar?"  

"Not at all.  This is all part of his Jedi mind trick, to lull Nantes into a false sense of security."  

"Gary.  It's a dull, scoreless draw.  How is anyone lulled into a false sense of anything?"

"Why don't you ask your sister, yeah?"

"For the last time, Gary, that's out of order and you know it."

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"Sampdoria look to be more positioning themselves more aggressively thus far, looking to assert themselves on the game a bit more."  "That they do, Gary, but they're not making any headway."

"After 25-odd minutes of aggressive from Bleu's men, they've backed off again.  20 to play."

"Can't we just go to penalties now, and save ourselves the boredom?"

"Just keep drinking, Gary.  It'll ease your pain."

"Yao, with the best chance of the game for Sampdoria, a speculative effort that goes just over the bar.  Maybe some signs of life, yeah?"

"I wasn't watching.  Getting another bevvy...got one for you, too."

"Make it two, would you?"

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"10 and change to play, Gary.  Abbate will come on for Yao, with Banfi making way for Mane."

"That's another shot off target, Jamie.  Drink!"

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"Fernandez wide left…another poor ball into the area, it's cleared and…WAIT A MINUTE…IT…YES!!!  A SHOVE FROM COULIBALY, THAT'S HIS SECOND YELLOW, HE'S OFF!!!  AND SAMPDORIA WILL HAVE A MAN ADVANTAGE GOING INTO EXTRA TIME, UNLESS THEY CAN FIND A GOAL HERE OFF THIS LAST-MINUTE FREE KICK!!!"  

"THE SCENES, JAMIE, THE SCENES HERE IN VIENNA!!!"

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"Mane smashes wide.  Drink, Gary. Tjat's two hours ov my liefe we'll never get back"

"I dunno if mee livver can take thiree mnore minute of htis, Jamie-lad."

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"Extra time...and Sampingdoritos arr lookin to push forward and take advantage of numbers."

"Predictable, innit?!"

"Another goal kick, Gar-Bear.  Drink."

"**** that, Christos…should've ****ing bicycled that one.  That's what I'd have done, Jamie-lad...lemme show yuu..."

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"Final sub from Sampingdoorrs.  Cascalvo on for that Greeek lad what should've bicycklled it."

"I don't think I can take anuthur 15 minootts..."

"Just drink, Gar-bear.  Good lad..."

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"Look er Johnny Blue, waving his wee arms around...crazy lil' ****er...like anee one is gonna score...attacking, is nothing..."

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"Wee Filatov, theenk he bee big man, fouling...hahahaha...already yellow...now red, the ****ing ****."

"Yes...Naan are down to 9 men, Gar-bear...I guess the wheat did not RISE, yeah?!  Needs more yeast, meybee..."

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[Sobbing sounds echo in the studio.  The distant roar of the crowd can hardly be heard.]

[Gary and Jamie seem oblivous to the fact that the penalties have started.  Gary can be heard commenting quietly in the background, frustrated that in an 11 v 10 (and later 9) situation, no one could score. "Iz liik the wurst orgee ever!"  Jamie agrees, sullenly.]

"Oh...uh...so, is 1-1 after 2 rounds of penos, looks like, yeah?"

"2 misses?  Drink."

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[Fernandez steps up to take his penalty for Sampdoria, their 3rd.]

"It's that Spanish guy…Fernandezinho…ooh…that'll do the trick…yeah, Daddy like." "Wait wait wait wait wait, Jamie…if Wesley...IF WESLEY WERE IN GOAL FOR NANTES, AND -- AND!!! -- SHOOTING FOR SAMPDORITOS, WHO WOULD WIN?!"

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[Jamie sends a Production Assistant to fetch some Doritos, as Nantes draw level.]

"Trick question!  It wood go on furevers... because he couldn't NOT score, and couldn't NOT save evree shot!"

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[Sampdoria vice-captain, Davide Asare, steps forward, burying his penalty.]

"Now...that Ass-guy...whatever his name is...scores.  So...uhhh...3-2 to the Doritos." 

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[While Jamie berates the Production Assistant for her failure to locate Doritos on demand, Brcic draws Nantes level.  Neither Gary nor Jamie notice.  Mane steps up for Sampdoria.]

"Hold on...this no faiir...why do Doritos get to take two kick in a--...oh, nevermind."

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"Paool, to try to draw Nantes level...if he miss, Sampingdoritos are thee championes..."

[Paul buries his kick.]

"**** me with a chainsaw, Jamie...just put it out of my misery..."

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[While Jamie berates the Production Assistant for trying to pass off a bag of Tortilla chips as Doritos, young midfielder Miranda misses his penalty, putting Nantes on the edge of victory...much to Gary's delight.]

"Miranda?  Is gurl's name...yeah?!  He kick like a gurl, too."

"Looking like, yes, Gar-bear...Matooosek with a chance to win it for Nantes...and...ADUKOR SAYS HE SHALL NOT PASS,  we go another round."

"Drink." 

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[Okechuckwu steps forward, looking to give his side the edge.]

"Okechebee...what a dreadful peno that was."

"That's what she said."

"Drink." 

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[Flores steps forward for Nantes, with a chance to win it all.]

[Sobbing sounds ensue in the studio, notwithstanding the roar of approval from the crowd.]

"Flores...OH FOR THE LUV OF JEEBUS...WILL SUMONE END THIS M*****F***ING MATCH?!?

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[Gary and Jamie are silent as Norwegian defender Antonsen steps forward for Sampdoria...a terrible penalty.  Saved.]

[Incoherent screams of joy ensue, but are cut short and replaced with weeping sounds, as Leveque is denied by the immense Adukor.]

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[The weeping continues as Al-Basha buries one for Sampdoria.  They're on the verge, while Gary and Jamie are broken, drunken men.]

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[Adukor saves.  Sampdoria have won it all.  Jamie and Gary let loose muffled, incoherent screams of joy, as the sounds of the crowd overtake them.]

"Jamie-lad...want to go build a carding-board submarine??!"

"Get out of my head, Gar-Bear!"

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Was it just me sat furiously refreshing the page rather than watching the end of the England game, with occasionanal sharp intakes of breath as Rooney failed to score?

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59 minutes ago, Joe. said:

An absolute classic...! 

Through 120 minutes it was bloody awful...just utter dross.  As ugly a CL final as I've played in this or the prior version of the save.  

And, believe me, I wanted to join in the Gary/Jamie drinking game.

55 minutes ago, OJ403 said:

Was it just me sat furiously refreshing the page rather than watching the end of the England game, with occasionanal sharp intakes of breath as Rooney failed to score?

Rooney shot wide?  Drink!

50 minutes ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

Nice one :cool::brock:

45 minutes ago, Rikulec said:

:applause:

Thanks, guys!  It came a year earlier than expected.  And it is time to move on...

...Malmo was available in mid-May.  I put in for it, hoping that the starts would align so that I could move there (I already had the narrative reason sorted out...), but then I got the dreaded message saying my application for the job was unsuccessful, because they couldn't negotiate a fee with Sampdoria...before I'd even interviewed.  It makes sense on a number of levels, I was just loving the narrative that would have seen Jean, Drake and Zlatan head to Malmo.  We still might get there, just not yet.

Ok, I'm tied up in other stuff for a few hours, but will get the full season review posted tonight, then resign from Sampdoritos (yes, I wish that had occurred to me sooner...) and push on to the Nations League/World Cup qualifying.

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Jesus Christ, this absolutely ruined me as a person. My absolute favourite live-com of this thread so far.

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32 minutes ago, King Cactus said:

Jesus Christ, this absolutely ruined me as a person. My absolute favourite live-com of this thread so far.

Thanks, man! They're always...a bit strange... They crack me up, but I don't always know how others will respond :lol:

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Edited by ManUtd1

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You know, someone once told me time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.

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UC Sampdoria / Portugal -- 2036/37 Season Review

We've been here before.  Giddy.  Elated.  The top of the world.  And, just like the last time...and the time before that...it is time to move on.

This Sampdoria squad has done more in my short time here than I could have ever expected.  We leave them with a hefty bank balance to rival anyone in Italy, a growing reputation, and a squad full of talented, hungry young players.

A job well done.

Goals for 2037/38: Wait for the right club opportunity to open up.  Finish World Cup qualifying in style.

Squad|League Overview|Finances Overview|Income Detail|Expenditures Detail|Transfers

Serie A Fixtures (1)|Serie A Fixtures (2)|TIM Cup Fixtures|Champions League Fixtures

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Champions League Review

This is well-documented above.  One team down, and a new team added on.  As previously noted, Nantes are the first AI-controlled team to really emerge in the save, and I'm really excited about the prospect of managing them at some point...ideally, after their tycoon has withdrawn his investment.

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Challenge Overview

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3 hours ago, HawkAussie said:

The trophy fish is yours and not Nantes. So hooray for that.

Definitely cause for celebration -- thanks, man!

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