Belmondo July 2017

This is the second chapter of a story by Matt Langdon who has taken over the reigns at Sheffield United. Last year Matt’s story was one of the best around for Football Manager 17. His writing style was charming, witty and incredibly funny at times. He has three books which can be purchased from here LINK that tell his story from FM17. They are well worth checking out if you are new to Matt’s style of writing.

 
TUESDAY July 4th, 2017
 
My Independence Day has been ruined by selfish, stupid players. Flamini has chosen to go to some French team and Ovie Ejaria from Liverpool, in an even more insulting move, decided to go on loan to Leeds. Leeds! We’re going to finish above them and he chose them over us.
 
On the plus side, Signore Diamanti has signed on. I imagine he will be pulling all the strings sitting behind a pair of strikers during games. Outside of the games, hopefully he can have a positive influence on David Garth Brooks.
 
Diamanti was responsible for the goal in our practice game against Celtic on the weekend, so he’s immediately proven me something of a genius recruiter. We lost the game 1-3, but they’re Scottish champions, so I’m okay with that. Tomorrow it’s Premier League team, West Ham. Can’t lose two games in a row, right? That’s never happened in my life.
 
WEDNESDAY July 5th, 2017
 
We drew at London Stadium with a goal each. That certainly makes me feel confident about the coming season. West Ham is obviously better than anyone we’ll be facing and we drew them at their own stadium. Samir Carruthers scored our goal, putting his hand up for the regular season. It was pretty amazing playing in front of 35,000 fans, I must say.
 
SATURDAY July 8th, 2017
 
Brooks has been injured. He’s out for up to two months which certainly puts a dent into my plans. It came during our 3-0 win over Billericay just before I was going to sub him off. Timing is a wonderful thing. On the plus side, John Fleck scored two goals with Sharp chipping in with one too.
 
WEDNESDAY July 12th, 2017
 
Woke up in the wilds of France today to play Sainte-Geneviève Sports in France. My first girlfriend’s name was Genevieve. Fate? Destiny? I wonder where she is these days. We won the game 3-1 and I still don’t know how we’re going to play when the season starts. I used three strikers bunched together today. I used zero strikers in the game against West Ham. Which is better?
 
I also have five players on trial at the moment. Four are young prospects and one is thirty-five years old. The old guy, Alou Diarra, has played a few seasons in England, so he knows how rough it can be. Two of the young guys might get a contract from me. They’re both young European central defenders. The other two are useless.
 
Add to that, I’ve been made aware of a young central midfielder on our books who might get some game time this season. Regan Slater is only seventeen, but I like his determination to get game time. I wish I’d had him on my high school team last year.
 
Seriously, I wonder what Genevieve is up to. Wonder if she’s single.
 
SUNDAY July 16th, 2017
 
We played another French team yesterday. I’ve been eating lots of big breadsticks and squishy cheese. At least the bread is good. Clark and Diamanti scored goals for us and we walked away with yet another win.
 
TUESDAY July 18th, 2017
 
I finally got some time to check back in with the cafeteria lady. She said she’d been able to order in the various items I’d suggested. Good. She complained that she hadn’t been able to get the batter to stay on the kale. Bad. She told me she wasn’t ready to give up yet.
 
SATURDAY July 22nd, 2017
 
Another win this afternoon. Two goals for Billy Sharp and one for central midfielder, Paul Coutts. Lots of guys are putting their hand up, for sure. There will be a few disappointed people when the season starts.
 
I’ve been trying to offload strikers, but no-one wants them. That confirms my feelings about most of them too. I paid a visit to the board to see if someone there could help me offload the unwanted. I also asked them to sell the deep fryer. They said that would be sacrilege. Jesus Christ!
 
FRIDAY July 28th, 2017
 
We’ve just managed to secure a late draw against a lower division team named after Fleetwood Mac and I’m less than thrilled. With only one more practice match before the season starts, I was hoping we’d be scoring for fun against a lesser team.
 
I’ve signed Fanol Përdedaj who was a free agent. He told me he’s from Kosovo. I told him that was nice and committed to looking it up on Google Maps. He brings some aggressive tackling to the team, which I think was lacking. Hopefully, he doesn’t injure any of our guys in practice. I also signed Hugo Mesbah, a French defender with bags of potential. He’ll be in the second team for now, but I expect him to challenge for a start soon enough.
 
MONDAY July 31st, 2017
 
We played a team from Manchester today. They put nine men behind the ball, which shocked me, I tell you. Can you imagine that? My two signings scored – Përdedaj and Diamanti. Good start for us. And finally, I have to pick a team for this weekend’s opening match of the Championship season.
 
Blackman is keeper, obviously. I’ve decided to put Carter-Vickers on the bench, despite his obvious advantage of being American. That means Stearman and O’Connell start. Baldock is right back, but Enda Stevens has worked hard enough to steal the left back position from Lafferty.
 
I’ve got Fleck sitting in front of the defenders in a playmaker position. That allows Përdedaj to break up play in the central midfield with John Lundstram next to him as an attacking mezzala. In front of them, I have Diamanti running the show as an engache. To his right, Carruthers is playing as a shadow striker and Billy Sharp is leading the line on the left.
 
There are numerous words in that previous paragraph that I don’t understand, but they’re on the lineup builder app on my phone, so they must mean something. It has lots of little arrows and circles on it, so it’s for real.

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