Belmondo October 2017

Join guest author Matt Langdon with the latest chapter of his adventures.

SUNDAY October 1st, 2017
 
Harry Wilson has won the Player of the Month Award in his first month of playing for me! Coincidence, I’m sure. Five goals in six appearances and he dedicated the award to me. In fact, he said I was the key factor in his performances. I imagine a number of Premier League teams will have taken notice of that. Particularly Liverpool. Wilson also won the Young Player Award coming ahead of Garth who was in second place.
 
Ched Evans chose this time to complain to me about match time. He ignored Sharp’s attempts to placate him and came to my office. I told him that I was glad he wasn’t just happy to sit around earning a king’s ransom each week, but that he would need to show me he deserved a place – particularly with Brooks and Wilson winning awards in his position. He said that wasn’t good enough. I said, no problem, I’ll send you to another team ASAP. He apologised and said he’s happy to wait for his turn. Hilarious.
 
MONDAY October 9th, 2017
 
We’re in the middle of a mini-vacation because of international matches happening around the world. A few of my players are involved, but most of us are sitting around. I asked the waiter at dinner the other night what he suggested as far as things to do for a tourist in Sheffield. He suggested the tour of Bramall Lane. I didn’t leave a tip.
 
I also used this time to bring in a few more trialists. What I’m discovering is that players without a contract don’t tend to be any good.
 
FRIDAY October 13th, 2017
 
Unlucky day for some, but we’ve received some strong praise from Cardiff’s manager, Neil Warnock. Apparently he used to play for the club. Or managed it. Or something. Interesting that an opponent’s manager would be lavishing praise on us – I’d certainly never do that as manager. He even said he was looking forward to watching Garth play tomorrow. Considering we’re playing at the same time as Cardiff, I imagine his board will be a little concerned.
 
There was a question at the press conference today about Garry Monk’s future with Middlesbrough. I can’t imagine them ever firing him. He’s going to be the next Wenger leading an obscure club to long-term Premier League mediocrity.
 
The press also asked me about the media pressure on Brooks. I told them I expect to him play up to it. He took that well. I think I might be the only man to bring out his potential.
 
SATURDAY October 14th, 2017
 
Game Day.
Sheffield United v Ipswich Town. Championship.
 
Our beloved opponents played with two defensive midfielders today in an effort to stop our free-flowing attack. It worked for four minutes. Captain Fantastic, Billy Sharp, turned down a chance to shoot on target and played the ball sideways to Garth, who shot it home without giving the keeper a chance.
 
Sharp and Brooks tried that move twice more in the half, but neither came off. As it stood, we went in one up. Ipswich hadn’t had a shot on target.
 
In the 67th minute, Enda Stevens gave away a penalty. It was converted. Thank god Lafferty is fit again. I subbed him straight away. The game ended on that one-one score. Not what it should have been, but this might be the enda Enda.
 
Speaking of ends. Middlesbrough did the unthinkable and fired Garry Monk. Colour me flabbergasted. And that’s not how you spell colour, but who can argue with a spellcheck that automatically changes things?
 
SATURDAY October 21st, 2017
 
Game Day.
Sheffield United v Reading. Championship.
 
No-one gave us a chance in the lead up to this game. Reading were sitting in first position and on a roll. No-one except me, of course. I told the boys I expected them to win. None of this, “just go out and give it your best because no-one thinks we can challenge in this one”.
 
Well, Reading knew about our plans to attack from the wingbacks and spread themselves wide to put pressure on those runs. It worked for a while. But Baldock put a ball past their defender and skipped over his sliding tackle. His ball into the box found a surging Diamanti and that wonderful Italian tapped it in. That was just before the half. Just after the half, the diamond man sent a corner right onto the head of Carter-Vickers who sounds like a diamond seller and we were two ahead.
 
No need to go to seven defenders because our play was clearly confounding them. A few efforts late in the game that made me chew my fingernails, but in the end a clean sheet against the top of the division! And a win. We’re up into fifth and only three points from the top. With two games against bottom half teams coming up before the end of the month, we could be on top on Halloween!
 
SATURDAY October 28th, 2017
 
Game Day.
Leeds v Sheffield United. Championship.
 
Leeds have conceded the most goals in the division, so I was pretty confident ahead of this trip. It’s another local derby. I’m not sure how so many cities ended up in the same area. It’s certainly not like this at home. Though we have more people and more aircraft carriers than this kingdom. On the plus side, teams around here get to drive to a lot of matches instead of flying.
 
And wow, Leeds could have conceded ten in this one. We got four on the back of an amazing counterattacking game. The first was hilarious because Përdedaj found himself on a break and suddenly realised his top speed is not what he hoped. Luckily he had runners to his right and we scored. The others played out similarly. Balls that got our attackers behind their defenders. I can’t tell you how many times Harry had a shot one-on-one with the keeper. Actually, I can because we keep records of such things. Six shots, one on target.
 
TUESDAY October 31st, 2017
 
Game Day.
Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield United. Championship.
 
I got to spend Halloween in London, so that was good. Lots of good options for themed celebrations in pubs and restaurants. I need it because my team were dead on arrival against QPR. One goal apiece, both scored in the first half. It was a boring game. I banned the players from leaving the hotel while I went out and got wasted. Serves them right.

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