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WEDNESDAY January 2nd, 2019
In a move that surprises absolutely no-one in the world, I’ve already got three players coming in today, the first day of the transfer window, despite saying I was going to be patient two days ago. One is this Australian guy, Goran Sekulovski. He’s a left winger, 19 years old, and free. Just my kind of guy. The other is a Serbian central defender who can also moonlight as a fullback. Slobodan Rajkovic came recommended by some guy on Twitter and you know how reliable Twitter is. Naturally, he’s injured for the next three weeks, so we’ll see him in action towards the end of the month. One possible problem is that he played a season for Vitesse – but it was only a loan spell. I hope the fans will be forgiving.
Another defender comes from Denmark. Kian Hansen is not injured and he can play at the back or in that position shielding the defence. However, he can’t join us until July. I didn’t know that when I bought him. Whoops. I’m not quite expert level at this whole transfer thing yet.
Also to no-one’s surprise, vultures are circling my stars. Ajax has turned Breno’s head. Genoa are after him too. I was just notified this morning that he had a release clause of $5 million for foreign clubs. I called his agent straight away and offered a new contract. He’s getting a bump in salary but that clause has disappeared.
Perhaps a little bit surprising is the news that Christiano Ronaldo has won the Golden Ball and World Player of the Year awards. He’s 33 years old and scoring goals for fun.
Game day. FC Twente v N.E.C.
We sent an early warning to the men of Twente courtesy of a close-range shot from Mark Uth. It was parried and cleared, but it was only six minutes before he had another shot. This time no keeper in the world could have stopped the one-time shot. He scored a second after a counter attack left him one on one with the keeper. Poor guy came up against Marky Mark on a good day. Twente had a few chances before the end of the half, but Jimmy Smits came up trumps.
We got a third soon after the restart. It should have been Uth’s hat trick, but it was given as an own goal. Three goals up and we could relax. And relax we did. Until Van der Heijden flew into a tackle with both feet at the half way line. Sometimes these players are all too human. He was sent off and we defended for half an hour. Final score, 3-0. It was another game in which we kept more than 60% of the possession.
FRIDAY January 4th, 2019
Having learned from last year that this winter gap causes the players to lose match sharpness I’ve arranged a friendly match half way through the break. It’s against some team called Racing Club. Seems like a team of car enthusiasts or something. They’re coming from South America, so I don’t know what kind of cars they have there. Probably straight from Michigan – Ford or GM or Chrysler. We’ll see if they can play soccer.
TUESDAY January 8th, 2019
Danny Graham has moved onto greener pastures. Well, they’re not greener, because he wasn’t good enough for us any more. So, he’s playing in the Italian Serie B. Not content with disrupting Breno, Genoa is coming after Schlupp now. They’re intent on stealing a fullback from me. I priced him at $5 million. Genoa walked away. I also sent Aaron Meijers to Scotland to play for a team called Rangers. Just on loan, but it’s the beginning of the end for him, really.
MONDAY January 14th, 2019
Captain Ayoub is out for 6 weeks! A torn groin while training. Words fail me.
Also, Souleymane Diarra didn’t turn up to training today. I told my assistant to fine him, but he informed me that Diarra was playing for Mali in the African Cup of Nations. What kind of a time of the year do you call this? I’ve got games to win and my best midfielder is taking a month off!
WEDNESDAY January 16th, 2019
Southampton just offered $6 million for Schlupp. And I had to sell him. Because I can’t resist big dollars. I am a mere mortal. Of course this happened right after I sent my reserve left back out on loan. I am my own worst enemy.
We played our friendly against the racing team. They were actually pretty good at soccer for professional drivers. Still, we beat them 4-1 with Jonathan Parr winning man of the match at left back. I let my assistant take control of the game – the friendly game that I set up to get all the players game time to keep them fresh. The friendly that would allow unlimited subs. He made one substitution. One. And it was a central defender for a winger. He will not be taking charge of any more games. He may not be employed much longer. He’s got six months left on his contract. I hope he enjoys them.
SATURDAY January 26th, 2019
Game day. SC Cambuur v N.E.C.
Clearly a bit of rust on both sides after the winter break. I can’t even think of anything in the first half worth writing about. Apart from the absent Diarra, we were at full strength. We should have scored, but we didn’t even look like coming close. I had a few choice words at half time that I shared vigorously.
The words didn’t work. Cambuur scored in the 58th with a counter attack of quick, short passes, that resulted in an easy shot from close range. Jimmy had no chance of saving it. Thankfully, Breno came to rescue, yet again. After a quick pass off from Vela, he ran to the byline and crossed to the far post where Zorba the Greek was waiting for a tap in. That was in the 64th minute and then the game fell back into unadulterated boredom. Breno won man of the match because he is Breno.
WEDNESDAY January 30th, 2019
Game day. N.E.C. v Ajax.
A drizzle welcomed Ajax to the Goffert today. And so did 19,378 fans – a record for us. Our expanded stands are starting to pay dividends.
I started big-game Goicoechea and set the boys up to defend with numbers. It worked well for the first half. A couple of saves and lots of shots from distance, but Ajax couldn’t get through. We had one clear shot fall to Jackson, but it was handled well by their keeper.
The second half began the same way. Unfortunately, a driven long shot undid us ten minutes in. Tibbling put power and curve on it, meaning Goicoechea had no chance.
At the end of the 63rd minute, Fetfatzidis sent in a free kick that went over the top of everyone. Everyone except for Golla who was hovering near the far post. The foul in the scrum was ignored because the Bean Pole headed it home, putting us level. Ajax had a shot ricochet off the post in the 88th minute. We had a great shot saved in the 93rd. And then the game ended.
A second draw against Ajax this season. If only some of these other teams could do the same. This is their third draw of the season and they’ve only lost one game in the league. In the Champions League they’ve been humiliated – won one and lost five.
THURSDAY January 31, 2019
Today is known as Crazy Day around the Goffert headquarters. It’s the day of getting crazy bids for players that are simply not for sale at “standard” prices. It’s also the day I act crazy by saying yes to those very same crazy bids despite seeing good players leaving the club. As well as trying to win games, I am trying to make this club rich.
Another $7.5 million has come in for Vanderson Luan. He’s off to Napoli in Italy. I am insane. But I can’t say no. Am I making this club rich at the expense of my trophy total? Maybe it will make me more attractive to the Liverpool owners. Or Valencia.
I brought in a loan from Manchester City – Chidiebere Nwakali can cover numerous defensive positions. I also made a loan deal for left back, Sasa Jevpalov from Southampton. Little did I know that he’s already played for two teams this season and can’t play for us. Surely Southampton should have mentioned that little detail. I’ve put them in the little black book of hate in order to deal vengeance at a later date.
Finally, I signed a young attacking player from Colon in Argentina. His name is Alexis Trujillo and he can play at striker or just sitting off the striker. I am pleased. He’s seventeen and already in good condition to be starting a few games this season.
I do transfer windows like a juggling seal. Pure stress. No thought.
Good news, Benik Afobe, my nemesis from Feyenoord has been sold to Everton.
N.E.C. records have been set for individual incoming transfer and for team outgoing transfers. Trujillo is the highest transfer we’ve ever paid. And we’ve made $17 million in outgoing transfers. Good deal, I think.