Past and Present #8

In the last chapter of Dave Black (@CM9798) adventures, he had one hell of a poor month. Can he turn it around this month, or is a relegation battle on the cards?

Hello! Welcome back to the class of how not to manage on FM19. It didn’t start out that way but after a disastrous January, my Newcastle side have lost 7 in a row. To make matters worse we probably didn’t handle the January transfer window that well. That said, having Denis Suarez instead of Jonjo Shelvey might work out and you look me in the eyes and tell me you wouldn’t take £11m for Ciaran Clark. I didn’t think so.

Our latest day out is to Goodison Park. Marco Silva seems to be under a bit of pressure himself and things take an early upturn when Kenedy gives us the lead. It lasts 10 minutes before Sigurdsson equalises with – you guessed it – a free kick. He adds a regular goal to make sure we’re trailing at the break. Boo. Things take a turn for the better just after half time when Diame, playing as a mezzala, strikes from the edge of the box. Game on. That goal was good but the winner from the right boto of Denis Suarez is even better. A cross is headed out and he smashes it on the volley beyond Pickford. A WIN!

Where do we go from here? Tottenham, actually. After a weekend off due to being out of the FA Cup it’s a thankless task heading to one of the league’s high fliers. On the plus side, Ki is back! On the negative side we’re behind after 2 minutes and it's downhill from there. It’s 3-0 shortly after half time and even though Ritchie reduces the arrears, Lucas Vazquez wraps it up in the last minute. Let’s go home.

Our season won’t be decided by Tottenham away. The board are inexplicably pleased with how things are going which I think says more about Mike Ashley than me.

Fulham are 19th, which should mean we can win. Having said that we lost at home to bottom club Burnley, so what can you say?

We’re at Fulham from the whistle but a goal is not forthcoming. Then Ritchie cuts inside and lets fly. Woo and yay. An uneventful second half suits me down to the ground. A home win. Our second win in three. Signs of life!

A 0-0 draw at Leicester signs rubbish but it was quite an open game. We are separated by just a point in the table so a draw is probably not surprising. 33 shots between us and only 7 on target. Last on Match of the Day.

Still though, it doesn’t kill the momentum and that’s basically as good as we can hope for. A home game with Arsenal will be a test of our new found competency. It’s a tight game but a garbage penalty on the stroke of half time gives Arsenal the lead. It’s a cross into the box which Lascelles heads away and it’s apparently a penalty. Rubbish. Anyway we go straight up the other end and Suarez’s shot from the edge of the box deflects in. It’s given as an OG, which is a bit harsh.

The second half is like two heavyweight boxers slugging it on, but Denis Suarez hits another great effort from well outside the box to give us all three points. Wow!

I’m confident we can take Watford on and it’s quite tight for 20 minutes. Then Dubravka has the ball outside the box. He’s just standing still. Clear it. Pass it. Do anything. He…just leaves the ball where it is and retreats. Penaranda scores. What…why? I can’t explain that. To make matters worse a header from a corner goes in off his back after hitting the post. A disaster of a half is completed when Cathcart heads in a free kick. Garbage.

If that was a bad day, things suddenly take a turn.

So many questions. Why is former Leicester midfielder Theo Zagorakis heading up a consortium? Those famously rich Greeks will sort us out.

He thinks he might get rid of me. I don’t blame him.

With the wind of good news blowing in our sails, we go behind after 2 minutes against Wolves when a deep corner hits Ki and goes in. Then follows 90 minutes of poor finishing as shot after shot rains down on the Wolves goal. On the rare occasions we do hit the target, Rui Patricio is there. Finally, in the 92nd minute, Diame hits one of his famous thunder bastards and it’s a point. Well, it’s better than nothing.

All of that leaves us 12th with 6 games to play. Finishing in the top half would be a real achievement for me. Hilariously, Southampton won the Carabao Cup, beating Arsenal in the final. That would mean Bournemouth finishing 7th is for nothing.

Will Zagorakis keep me on until the end of the season? I guess we’ll find out in the next update. It’s been a brutal experience but we’re close to at least staying up. I’d be quite happy with that. See you next time.

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