This is the latest installment from guest Author Matt as his season draws to a close. Where Matt goes from here is down to you, if you’ve enjoyed this brilliantly written story and want to see it continue into a second season, then please do leave a comment below. If it’s something you want to see carry on, then now is your chance to let Matt know via the comments section below.
SUNDAY May 1st, 2016
I have just got my green pants back from the dry cleaners. They’re looking good. I’m looking good. The boys are looking good.
Game day. Golla couldn’t play due to the accumulation of yellow cards. That made me think about the possibility of losing a few players for the last game of the season, so I rested a couple of other people one yellow away from suspension. Mihai was on the bench still lacking match fitness. I think I need to manage that stuff better next season too.
61% of the possession in the first half, but only one shot on target. It just occurred to me how crazy it is for me to be complaining about my players’ ability to shoot on target. We’re second in the league! No more complaining for the rest of the season.
56th minute, I got a score update from my assistant. Vitesse were one goal up on Utrecht. Zwolle, who were still a mathematical chance of going past us were down 3-0 to Excelsior. Ten minutes later Ajax had gone one up over Twente. We were still 0-0 of course.
On 68, that all changed. Thor commandeered a long free-kick shot and rolled it straight out to Marcel Appiah at right back, who passed to Christian Santos, who sent the Hollywood ball half the length of the pitch into the feet of the other Appiah, who cooly lobbed it over the keeper. Oh my god, I love this game!
At 86, I got a score update. Vitesse had conceded and were now drawing. Meanwhile, Twente had scored to tie it up against Ajax! Dreams do come true!
We’ve finished second! We won our game. Ajax drew with Utrecht and Vitesse lost theirs. This is absolutely crazy stuff. I don’t even know what to do. One thing is for sure, I’ll be able to give that whining Lundholm a start because we don’t need to win.
TUESDAY May 3rd, 2016
I have no recollection of yesterday. My head still hurts. But today, I got word that Jay-Roy Grot has been called up to the Dutch under 19s team. I have a good feeling about this kid.
SUNDAY May 8th, 2016
It turns out taking away stakes from a game means the players don’t have much motivation to play. We lost 2-0 to Feyenoord in the final game, but who cares? Ajax lost to de Graafshap. Ajax had everything to play for and de Graafshap had nothing. Speaks a lot to the character of that team, Ajax. Vitesse lost to Twente, which meant our arch rivals finished in 5th after spending so much time this season in 1st or 2nd. That feels so sweet…
MONDAY May 9th, 2016
The end of the season has brought all sorts of information, reports, and commentary. I’ll try to record it all here as it comes in.
Rens van Eijden was injured for 38% of the season. That was after he tried to engineer a move away from us after the transfer window closed. Mihai Roman and Bikel were out for 23%.
I’ve been scouting a winger called Jeffren who plays for a second tier club in Belgium. His manager is Jordi Condom. Yes, that’s his name. Jeffren is a silky winger from Venezuela, so I’m going to see if Christian Santos can tell him about the good life available in Nijmegen.
SUNDAY May 15th, 2016
I got a financial report today. We made nearly $2.5 million over the year, which seems pretty good. Certainly better than losing money! Our biggest selling shirt was for that Adonis, Christian Santos. A pretty face certainly doesn’t hurt your shirt sales. Thor had the second best-selling shirt, which is a pretty big statement about his importance to our club.
The board invited me to a meeting to let me know their idea about the wage and transfer budget. After I picked myself up off the floor, I thanked them for doubling the wage budget and giving me $800,000 to spend on new players. Maybe I should aim to get into Europe every year?
Ajax and Zwolle won the first round of the European places playoffs. I assume they now play each other to see who gets into the Europa League. This league loves its playoffs. There is also a series of games to see who gets to be in the Eredivisie next year between two current teams and four from the Jupiler league.
SATURDAY May 21st, 2016
I’ve been shortlisted for Manager of the Year and was asked to vote for the award. They wouldn’t let me vote for myself. The bookmakers suggested that it was down to my constant visitor, Cocu, and me. So, the moral dilemma is whether to give my votes to Philip or give to someone who’s got no chance in order to help me over the line. In the end, I gave Cocu my full five points because that was the right thing to do.
Plus, how on earth could I not win this award? I got Nijmegen into second place!
The manager of Den Haag is telling people he’s interested in buying Roman from me. What makes him think I’d even consider selling to him? Are they a super rich club or something?
This evening the board set the wage and transfer numbers in stone. They’ve given me $150k to spend on salaries, which is up from $72k. And they’ve decided to let me splash $3million in the transfer market! I don’t even know what to do. I called my scouts in and they don’t know what to do either. Seems we might have to start aiming our sights a little higher.
SATURDAY May 28th, 2016
Third! I came third. Cocu came first with the guy from Cambuur coming second. Cambuur! They came 8th in the league! I came second! With a team predicted to finish 14th! My keyboard doesn’t have enough exclamation marks to express the outrage. Do the other managers hate me? They’re jealous? Must be. I am flabbergasted.
In other news, Chelsea won the Champions League and the Premier League. The fans are worshipping Mourinho.
MONDAY May 30th, 2016
Third? How did they consider me to be the third best manager? This is absurd.
The actual end of year financials came out today. Not sure what that previous sheet was about. We made a profit of $10.5 million, nearly half of our overall revenue!
TUESDAY May 31st, 2016
Goalkeeper of the year came out. Guess who didn’t make it to the top three. That’s right, in a manger-voted award, the Nijmegen guy missed out. We’ll harness this hate.
Transfer window opens tomorrow and basically the news season begins. I need some players. They need me. And I am on a mission to win a damn award.