The Prodigal Daughter Returns #5

Guest author Ben a.k.a. Rien102 continues his story in the latest part of The Prodigal Daughter Returns.

Penny was with Jon in her office.  During the afternoon, he had supervised the work of the team while Penny went to meetings and PR stuff like taking official photos and, most of all, give multiple interviews.  She was in a predictably foul mood. The sun still was relatively high and both of them were reviewing player cards and reports to try and figure out the type of system she could put on the pitch.  It was obvious that the previous managers were playing a 4-1-2-3 but she didn’t understand why the DMs they had at the club, in her opinion, was so weak.

What do we know now?  First, we have a team designed to play a 4-1-2-3 that is counter-attacking but the midfield is mainly composed of technical guys who are pretty physically imposing.  Apart from Diego, none of them is defensively strong or good tacklers too; they’re average at best. Two, we have wingers that are all the same, except one. None can play anything but their strong foot.  The only one that has two pegs is so slow, he can’t explode behind the defence so, he’s forced to cross the ball early. At least, he’s good at doing that. Most of all, none of them can play well defensively because they all are awful markers and tacklers, this means that the midfielders must do all the work to get the ball back…  Sigh…

Penny, we must accept the fact that we have technical players in the midfield, except Diego, period.  Endri Muça can do the job but he is a bit of coin toss on challenges to get the ball back. Once he has it, he is awesome for sure though… said Jon.

Ok; technical only except Diego.  Third, we have one of the best pair of forwards in the League with Moreno Brambilla and Leon.  The problem is, we have three forwards with First team contracts or better so, we can’t play a lone striker in front without having one of them complaining about play time.  Besides, our third best, Abdelaziz Kebbabi, well, I like him! At 6’5”, 200 lbs? He’s built like a bull… and you know I love those built like that! she said with a sardonic smile.  

At the other end of the pitch, finally, we have central defenders who can do the job extremely well with Reuben and Jack Goodbye plus, we have a third one, Tim Moore, that is powerful and aggressive but don’t jump as high as them...  To that, we have to add Cenyr, our captain. He came in from the Arsenal academy almost twenty years ago and is playing is very last season since he’s 35 now; he should tell me he’ll retire at the end of the season. He’s very intelligent on the pitch but he’s just too slow now.  On the sides, we have the same fullback duplicated three times: defensive guys who can’t go forward because they are either too slow, lack decision-making skills or can’t cross or pass the ball correctly. That is when those three flaws aren’t combined into a single guy... In short, we have a rather physical crew, which I like, but except for Diego in the midf … she was interrupted by a knock on her office door.  Come in! Penny said loudly. A middle-aged woman opened the door and passed her head inside.

I’m sorry to disturb you ma’am, but we thought you would both be hungry since it’s seven o’clock now…  Penny watched the clock on the wall; it indeed was 19h00.

Great idea! she said while smiling.  Could you call me Penny, please?  The woman, who was part of the kitchen staff, smiled and started to walk toward the meeting table with a little cart in front of her.

Of course Penny.  As you wish. We still don’t know your tastes yet and, since you ordered the beans salad at lunch, we didn’t take any chance and made you a vegan plate.  As for the man, we brought lemon chicken with some pasta salad since he took white meat. We also added some pieces of bread, you can see what’s in them on the little card under each of them, cheese and a plate of fruits and nuts for dessert.  We got your hot water with various teas for you to choose from plus a thermos of coffee.  Penny looked at the cart that was being rolled in; there clearly was effort put into the dish.  She smiled at the woman again while Jon was looking at his plate with gusto.

Thank you very much.  You are making the bread?  The woman nodded to Penny.  She was impressed by that… For myself, I eat pretty much anything… The only things I don’t like are liquorice flavours or anything similar to it…  As for the beans salad, to be honest, I felt like meat… but those three weeks in the United States for the World Cup, where they deep fry everything…  I saw that my trousers were a bit… tight, this morning!  Penny saw that Jon refrained from making a joke; she would get him for that.  As for the man, I want him to only get calorie wise stuff since he’s getting love handles lately!  The woman became beet red while Penny, and Jon, started to laugh!

Just leave the cart in when you’ll leave; we’ll take care of it tomorrow morning ma… Sorry… Penny.  Without another word, she turned heels and headed for the door.

Jon rolled the cart to the meeting table and started putting the plates on it.  He quickly realized how hungry he was; his mouth was watering just by looking at the food.  He took some of the pieces of bread’ cards and saw that there was some with lots of grains, some with nuts, and some with some spices…  Penny joined him and both started to eat. There wasn’t much talk. It was a rule she put right at the start; during meals, no shop talk was allowed when she wasn’t alone.  When Penny was out of beans, she asked Jon about Max. Jon smiled and said: The bastard is probably at the hotel right now!

Do you plan to watch tomorrow’s World Cup Final?

Wouldn’t miss it for the world…  If only I could have thought it possible to root for Germany!  Penny laughed, but it was a bit hollow; Spain has won the semi against the Three Lions; it was because of them they were here now instead of next week.  Not to mention that Domingo, the former Villa goalkeeper, was with the Spanish National Team. After a few more bites of food and more moments of silence, she smiled devilishly before forgetting her own rule.  Not permitting shop talk didn’t mean she wasn’t thinking about it…

How about we all give ourselves a semi-permanent heart attack?  

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