The Prodigal Daughter Returns #8

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

She was getting a late work dinner with Jon and the rest of the coaching staff.  All afternoon, the team had been playing scenarios on two phases of play, defence and offence.  I think we should ask the men to regroup a bit more before going into pressing said, Andy.

I concur said Penny while buttering some bread.  I think we should also ask the forwards to press even more right from the start.

A fast and quick transition will be difficult to do if they’re out of position said Tim.

Naw answered Jon.  With the pace and acceleration our forwards have, I don’t think it’s an issue.  At worst, we’ll instruct to lump over the d-line in those situations, and that would be it.

But the transition will be uncertain, wouldn’t it? asked Penny.  She knew Jon was better at this and wasn’t afraid to ask the question.

I’d say we may lose some opportunities because of bad balls here and there but Leon, Moreno and Abdelaziz have the pace….  Besides, when push comes to shove, when this scenario will happen, there’ll only be one out of the play so, the other will put himself into position anyway.

I think Jon is right, added Tim. At worst, can we tell them not to press at the same time?

That could be done said Penny.  The only thing I want is to have a press coming from behind the opponent.  We let them come deep and when they are working to set themselves up for a shot, they need to constantly watch their back.

If we focus on working on them only two third inside our territory, the lines would be so compressed anyway… Andy chimed in.  This was where Penny was sitting on the fence.  Yes, this is what she wanted but it was the transition forward, once the ball was back to the Gunners, this was what was bothering her; where were the starting blocks?  Just at that moment, Jon came back into the conversations.

Look, Moreno is a lefty, Leon and Abdelaziz are righties.  If our main pair in front is Moreno and Leon, then let’s put Moreno on the right side of the pair and Leon on the left since Diego would be used on the right midfield position.  Moreno is a great advanced forward but is not as good at pressing. As for Leon, we all know that he can do pretty much anything; he’s strong, agile, can press, got great balance, decent tackling abilities and can jump.  All of them have the pace. So, we ask Leon to do everything in front. He will do the pressing and harassing from behind for, let’s say, the vertical two third of the pitch.

We then asked Moreno to press only in the last vertical third.  While Leon will show his great work rate, for a striker, we’ll ask Moreno to probe the d-line and to keep both his feet in the starting block just like for Abdelaziz. Whatever the outcome, all can outpace pretty much every single defender in the league.  As for the transition itself, we have two great guys in midfield that can pretty much play every option with a good degree of success. If the ball is lumped over the d-line, Moreno and Abdelaziz will run. If we can build from the back, Endri and Diego can do that…

When Penny kicked them out of the office at 20h00, she was satisfied.  The talks have been very productive; all the players’ instructions for the defence phase have been laid down and some basic ones for the offence as well.  There still was some talking to do for the offence itself, and its transition, but it would need a bit more time. As she sat at her desk, she saw that there was a voicemail on her personal cell.  Good evening Mrs Stiles, this Betty Olson. I just wanted to tell you that the clean-up of your flat is done and that I’ll supervise the moving of your things tomorrow. If there are modifications as to where things must go, please call me.  As we agreed, I’ll be waiting for you at 18h00 to give you your keys and finish the paperwork and billing. Have a nice day. Penny smiled. She was happy to think she would be sleeping in her own bed tomorrow night; she was tired of the hotel.  Both Jon and Max already were in their new home since yesterday. Unlike her, they still were married and, in the case of Max, still has kids at home. Their wives supervised everything, but it wasn’t possible for Penny. At least, she has enough money now without having to bother with a lot of stuff.  Betty was a professional home organizer and she did pretty much everything for her; even finding her a house cleaner!

Before she left, she texted Britanny, her daughter.  “Should be able to sleep in my own bed tomorrow. How about you come to visit my new place soon?”  She sighed when she pushed the “Sent” button. It was over a month since she got news from her daughter.  It’s true that she went abroad for the World Cup but still… She started to get her things and went back to the hotel.  When she passed her room door, her phone beeped. “Will call tomorrow.” As usual, the response from the daughter was… short; very short…

When all the lights were out, Penny slowly drifted toward sleep, thinking of how good it would be to be in her own bed tomorrow night.  That was even without thinking about the opportunity to see Britanny again…

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