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TheMadJoker1872

The Aftermath

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Going back and analysing my career up until the point of my injury I couldn't be upset, I had played for two of my favourite clubs - Rangers and Arsenal - scored on many occasions for both clubs. I had also represented my country on thirty-five occasions and again scored on multiple occasions for them also, so all in all before the injury and at the age of 23, I had had an illustrious career for someone with such a short career.

In my career, the biggest impact I had made was at Arsenal, at the age of 19 they signed me for eighteen million pounds from Rangers who in the three years since my debut I had made one hundred club appearances and scored thirty-five goals. When my injury occurred I had gone under the knife three times to try and sort an issue with my knee and it didn't work and I would be stuck with a walking stick for the rest of my life. At the end of the 2018 season, I made the decision to retire from the professional game and with the manager retiring I wasn't sure what the new manager would have planned in the last few months of the season I had been helping the manager with first-team training and really learning how the manager ticked and felt that this is what I would like to do now.

So when the club indicated they would be accepting any CVs from anyone from within the club as a priority I decided to apply for the job. I had thought to myself that I wouldn't even get an interview never mind the job but when in the house with a few friends after the final game of the season I received a call from the club chairman who was offering a chance for me to go in and pitch my ideas for the club, playstyle and how I would go about transforming this club back to a champions league club.

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In the day leading up to the interview, I contemplated many ways in which I could get ideas across to the interview committee, I could use powerpoint or a good old paper presentation it was just so difficult to choose especially because all I wanted to do was make the right impression. I decided to go with a powerpoint and spent 3 days locked away putting together the perfect presentation for this board. When the day of the interview came I got into my best suit and started to make my way over to the stadium. When I arrived at the stadium I was escorted over the waiting area where I sat by myself wondering who was going to be on the committee, would my lack of experience hamper my ability to actually get me the job no one knows all I could do was go in there an wow the committee with the presentation.

When my name was called I approached the door and opened it and walked in, sitting in front of me was former manager Arsene Wenger, Stan Kroenke the owner and Josh Kroenke. I spent 1 hour detailing the plans I had for the club, where I wanted to take them and what my thought was on the current crop of first-team players at the club and by the end of the presentation I had thought that I had done enough to justify me getting the job and it was all done to the committee now.

It was just over 2 weeks later around the 17th of June that I was sitting down with my family for a Sunday roast when my phone rang and I was greeted by the familiar voice of Arsene Wenger, he explained that the club had come to a decision of who they had chosen to take the club forward and on that they had chosen to go with me, I was lost for words this club that had brought me down to England and treated me so well when I had to end my career due to injury and now they were going to hand me the reins of the club in full and entrust me with returning the club to where it belonged. When we had finished speaking about the logistic he told me that I had to come down to the stadium on the 24th of June to sign the contract in front of the press and he wished me good luck and left me to revel in one of the greatest achievements of my life so far.

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Welcome! Glad to have new writers and it looks like you're off to a solid start. Please continue!

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Posted (edited)

As the days ticked past it felt like the longest 2 weeks of my life I had spent the last 2 weeks analysing the squad, the players, where we would need to strengthing and it became clear to me that some of the players on this team had been getting an easy ride, In the lead up to me taking over, it came out that Aaron Ramsay had agreed to a move to Juventus and this made my job a lot harder because we would have to plan for his replacement but who was the question I asked myself.

The big day arrived and while making my way to the stadium I knew I was in for a long day, meeting the owner, meeting my assistant and meeting the team and much more it was something that looked and sounded daunting but I was looking forward to it and couldn't wait to start. As I walked through the doors on the training ground Stan Kroenke was waiting on me and greeted me with an outstretched hand and escorted me to his office and gestured to me to take a seat. He went over the history of the club and wanted me to meet the media in a couple of days and also wanted to set up a separate meeting with the board to discuss my philosophies for the team and with that, we concluded the meeting and advised that my assistant was waiting on me in my office.

As I walked over to my office I walked past pictures of past players and manager and it was a daunting experience and I felt the pressure on my back but I was ready to thrive under the pressure. When I reached the office I pushed the door open and there sat Steve Bould, he got up and shook my hand and I gestured for him to sit back down and wanted to get straight back to business, he started by offering an intra-squad friendly between the first team and the reserves but I refuted this on the basis that there was no point in comparing first team players with reserves and I would sort out a friendly schedule on the next couple of days. Before Steve left he asked me if I wanted the scouts to send me a team report and I agreed and would have a look over and compare it with what I have scouted myself and with that Steve got up and left.

While looking over the squads in this team I immediately moved central defender Konstantinos Mavropanos, centre midfielder Joe Willock, wide attacking midfielder Bukayo Saka, wide attacking midfielder Xavier Amaechi and striker Eddie Nketiah up to the first team for preseason with a view of earning a first-team slot. In the next few days I met the players and set out my expectations of at a minimum we qualified for the champions league, I met the media and gave a passionate interview explaining that I can't wait to get started and fully immerse myself in this job, I organised multiple friendlies to build and test the confidence in the team and increase the familiarity in my tactic. I also met with the board and set out that I wanted to bring young players using our youth squad and create a domestic crux to the squad.

In our first friendly we visited Russian side FC Orenburg we ran out 6-0 winners with goals coming from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang X2, Hector Bellerin, Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah. During this game I watched from the stands to get a full view and to assess the positioning of the players and how the tactic worked and was very impressed with how the players handled the new tactics and instructions and in the dressing room I let the players know that and especially the young lads who are definitely going to give me some headaches come the start of the season I think. Next up will be a visit from Shakhtar Donetsk before going over to China for our summer training camp where we take on Manchester United before returning to Russia to take on Lokomotiv Moscow and CSKA Moscow and then flying to Italy to take on Perugia in our final friendly.

Edited by TheMadJoker1872

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We plodded on through preseason working relentlessly on our fitness, working on the perfect tactic to deploy this season and after seeing a specific tactic on multiple games and seeing the results we were getting it was settled. In the games, we deployed the tactic that would become our tactic for the season. We would deploy in a 3-2-2-1-2 using 2 central defenders with a Libero who will step into midfield when we have possession of the ball, we deploy with 2 wing backs who will provide the width for our play and using 2 central midfielders to support us in the attack and defence phase of the game and contributing the goals are out attacking midfielder and 2 strikers an advanced forward and a deep-lying forward, we would be playing a high pressing game where we would press the opposition into making mistakes and then looking to attack fast creating overloads all over the pitch.

After the Orenburg result confidence was high we travelled home to face Shakhtar in which we won 2-0 with goals from Aubamyang and Nketiah, before heading over to China for a training camp where we would play Manchester United and we won this game 6-1 against a united team with a lot of youth players the goals came from Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Mathieu Guendouzi got two, Denis Suarez and Eddie Nketiah.  before returning to Russia to play Lokomotiv Moscow in which we won 3-0 with Aubamayang, Lacazette and Nketiah scoring the goals. It was at this time we got brought back to earth a little with two draws against CSKA Moscow and Lazio, at the last minute Perugia had to cancel our friendly due to a fixture clash so we hastily arranged a friendly at home against Wolfsburg with the goals coming from Auba and Lacazette.

In between all these fixtures I was able to get some fresh blood into the side so that I could implement the style of football I wanted to play, at first we signed Stephen Lichtstiener on a free from Juventus to provide cover for Hector Bellerin at right wing back, Secondly we needed a centre back because we were light in this area so I paid £14.25m on Sokratis from dortmund, next while scouting the world cup I noticed the 22-year-old Uruguayan Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria for £26.5m it was his energy, passing vision and ability to win the ball back that persuaded me to sign him, We signed Matteo Guendouzi from FC Lorient he would cost £7m and is one who really could replace Aaron Ramsay when he leaves for Juventus and finally with Petr Cech approaching me during the preseason to let me know he would be retiring in the middle of the season I decided to go out and buy Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkuson for £22.5m, he's still young and fits into the sweeper keeper role and is really good with the ball at his feet so he fitted perfectly into my plans.

In August, we would an away game at Goodison Park before returning home to the Emirates to play Newcastle and Manchester United in these game I was hoping for around 7 points to get a good standing in the league table...

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Posted (edited)

If someone had sat me down when I first applied for this and tell me that on the 1st of September that we would have played 3 league games and won all 3 of these games I would probably have laughed you out of the room but that was the case we went through August undefeated scoring 7 goals and conceding just the 1. We started our season away at Goodison Park, the game itself started tentatively the game was stuck in the middle of the field until the 23rd minute when Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang latched onto a long ball forward from Sokratis, he took the ball onto his right foot and slotted the ball past Pickford, from there we went on to dominate the game with shot after shot and Pickford was equal till them all until new boy Lucas Torreira was released by Ozil, Torreira moved the ball on to his right foot and smashed the ball Pickford to round the game off.

When Newcastle visited the Emirates they were not expecting what happened to happen, Alexander Lacazette decided that this is his game and he was going to drag this Arsenal team by the scruff of the neck to a victory. Before the game I told the guys to pick up where they left off in the game against Everton and they dually did, from the first minute we dominated the ball, the first goal started off with Hector Bellerin crossing the ball to the back post where Aubamayang headed the ball back across goal where Lacazette volleyed home, goal 2 came from a Lucas Torreira cross where Lacazette was left unmarked to smash the ball into the far post, the third goal came from the spot and to complete his hat-trick he coolly slotted the ball into the top right hand corner sending the keeper the wrong way.

Manchester United was the biggest challenge I had experienced as a manager so far and I thought that we had handled it really well, it started really well with us dominating the ball and stretching the Manchester defence, it took until the 20th minute to score the first goal the ball fell to Mkhitaryan in the midfield who turned and played Aubamayang who slipped his marker and fired a first time shot into the top of the left corner. On the 63rd minute Paul Pogba scored a fantastic header from a corner to peg Arsenal back, it was at this point  I switched everything up I told the wingbacks to get forward more and demanded that the team gave me more when going forward, it took until the 92nd minute for Alex Iwobi to play a nothing ball across the goal for Eddie Nketiah to smash home for the winning goal.

Heading into September we would be playing 5 games and have an international break to perfect our tactical awareness and fitness with what players would be remaining with us.

Edited by TheMadJoker1872

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As September rolled around like a tonne of bricks, we were preparing with for a total of 6 games, 4 in the league 1 in the carabao cup and 1 in Europa league but we start with some of the contract news Rob Holding has been an anchor in the middle of our defence in the libero role, he has been awarded a new contract and he dually signed the deal. In the league we start with a game against Huddersfield, in the build-up to this game my analyst came to me with a report on the formation Huddersfield are planning on using and it was very defensive, they were lining up with a 3-3-2-1-1 so would be really hard to break down, in the match it was very tight in the opening stages and it only 1 goal to separate the teams. It was in the 16th minute when Huddersfield had a corner which was delivered to the back post for Steve Mounie picked up and was dispossessed by Hector Bellerin who moved the ball over to Lacazette who played Aubamayang through who fired into the top corner to secure the points for Arsenal.

Next up was West Ham away from home, a long ball from Sokratis for Aubamayang to latch onto and he coolly slotted into the top right-hand corner with ease. The second goal came from a Torreira freekick which was slotted away first time by Mustafi at the back post. Next up was Rio Ave in the Europa League, this was a very frustrating game it finished in a scoreless draw, we missed a penalty, we were limited to a lot of long shots due to the formation Rio Ave deployed. Next up was Wolves, in this game we retaliated in such a good way that we went out and demolished a strong Wolves team 5 goals to 1, I was really happy with the way we played and the goals we scored the next game we followed up the win against Wolves with a 5-2 win vs Preston in the Carabao cup before taking on Cardiff and winning 4-0. 

In the weeks before September, I was awarded the Manager of the Month for August and then won the same award again in September along with Aubamayang winning player of the month award also and finishing the 2nd month of the season undefeated again. So far I was loving being a manager it was like playing again with a lot of extra work.

 

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