Wading through the murky depths of pre-season.By: Dave | November 23rd, 2010
Preseason transfer wheelings, feeling our way through the friendlies and dealing with incompetent staff.
Ok, I know I said that my main focus in the transfer window would be on defence, but… it didn’t turn out exactly like that. In (and for) my defence I did bring in Ariel Garce for £ 1.3M, who will start at centre back, and Ibrahima Faye on a free, who I thought would be a first teamer but looks more likely to play second fiddle to the younger and slightly better Bastian Oczipka.
The two headline signings of the window were a bit further up the pitch. The wonderfully named Iraqi playmaker Nashat Akram Abid Ali arrived on a free transfer and the club’s largest contract to sit in the middle of the park spraying passes left and right (I hope), and up front, as suggested by Shane, I bought Katlego Mphela, a South African striker with an absolutely brutal long shot, for £ 250k.
Out went a couple of squad players to pay for these, and I’m hoping to get rid of a few more before the end of the transfer window as my reserves is full of players who will never get a game and are sucking up my meagre wage budget like a vampiric sponge.
The friendlies were a mixed bag, but overall went well enough that I was confident for the season ahead. We played Meuselwitz before I’d had a chance to buy anyone and were 4-0 up at half time before their near comeback. Against Marseille and Man U I instituted a counter attacking system that worker reasonably well and I’ve kept ever since. And against Kickers all of the goals came from set plays, which was nice seeing as how I hadn’t even bothered to set any routines.
Lastly, a word of praise must go out to my staff. Never in the game have I met a gang of such incompetent malcontents, from the scouts who refuse to recommend anyone above “average 2nd Division” level to the coaches who seem to have a negative knowledge of the game and the Assistant Manager who wants my job and will stoop to any level, including hunting me through the stadium with a crossbow, to get it.
Naturally I had to sack most of them, which might have lost me some money but certainly gained me a certain measure of security. To replace them I brought in World Cup winner Herbert Winner, ex-Singapore manager Barry Whitbread and Thomas Schumacher, who share the nationality and surname of both a man who used to be good at driving cars and a psychopathic goalie. With these trustworthy sidekicks, how can I fail? Don’t answer that.
And as a gift from me to you, here’s Katlego Mphela scoring against United.
Join me next time where we play our first competitive games, and I try to deal with the fact that my four best players all want the same position.