An Egyptian in Argentina: A Story of Fate and Luck PT 3

This is the third instalment from guest author @SegundoVolante1 Be sure to give him a follow if you enjoy his story.

The big day had come. The day I would start managing a real football team, yes even I couldn’t believe it. I had done some research the night before seeing as I couldn’t sleep, 3 players in the squad were older than me. How was I supposed to control them, how would they respect someone who had done absolutely nothing in football except of acting like an expert for a few sites. I felt the butterflies in my stomach as I was readying myself. I needed to look smart otherwise they would consider me a joke from the first day.

On my way I was recapping the tactics on a useful app I had on my phone. I had spent 5 hours the day before working out the perfect formula from the advice my favourite bald assistant had gave me. I had learned that the team were not the best in terms of technical quality but they were very physical. The defence was also very slow so it suited a deep defensive block. This would be direct route one stuff, even though I preferred the short passing style it simply didn’t suit the squad I had.

I aimed to turn my side into a structured counter attacking unit. Using the pace and strength in my team to harm the opposition on the break. I was going for the old school big man little man approach up top and a traditional winger paired with an inside forward. The right full back was on full back attack while the left full back was on wing back attack to provide the width outside of the inside forward. The idea was that the formation would turn into a 4 3 1 2 when we had the ball with the Inside Forward cutting inside and occupying the spaces traditionally occupied by attacking midfielders and the Mezzala drifting wide to take up his position on the left. This was why I was going to ask the players to keep their shape and the defensive line to drop deeper to minimize the threat of counter attacks due to our attacking formation. Hopefully the formation wasn’t an absolute disaster.

We still hadn’t got there so I started thinking about my goals for the season. Seeing as the betting sites had predicted us to finish 7th I thought getting into the top 4 would be a good achievement. That would allow us to hopefully increase finances an area which was looking bleak and push on for promotion the season after. Considering only the team that finished 1st got promoted it would be near impossible to get promoted in the first season. Miracles happen though.

I finally got to the shabby dilapidated training complex. I was in for the challenge of my life. Pablo was waiting for me at the door looking nervous and anxious as always.

“The players are waiting for you, don’t mess this up. Remember first impressions always last.”

Like I needed someone to make me even more nervous. I walked into the meeting room trying my best not too look to scared. These lower league players were like animals, they could smell the scent of fear from a mile away. I didn’t want them thinking that I was a pussy from day one.

“Quiet down” said Pablo his voice sounding higher because he raised it

“ Hello lads my name is Youssef Amin and I’m your new manager “

There were a few murmurs welcoming me but the reception was bleak.

“Lets just set the rules now so no one has an excuse, I may be young and I may be inexperienced but I am still your boss. I won’t tolerate any disrespect from anyone and the punishments will be severe if anyone does disrespect me in any way. I may train you hard but in the end, it will all be worth it. You may not be millionaires but I am pretty certain you are all very good at football and I believe we can achieve a lot together. My door is always open for anyone, players or staff. Thank you”

I heard a voice from the back row, and the face was instantly recognizable. It was Guillermo Vernetti the team’s star player.

“May I ask a question”

“Go on”

“Who the fuck are you”

What followed was an outbreak of laughing. Not even 5 minutes had gone by and they were already questioning me. This was unacceptable. I had to take a stand.

“That is out of fucking order. Guillermo I will deal with you later. AS for the rest of you, 100 laps around the pitch and Pablo will be timing you. If you do them in more than an hour, you will be doing them again. I already warned you. Guillermo go home. No training for you today.”

The players looked shocked, they obviously were not used to this type of discipline. Coming from a nobody like me it was an insult to their egos. They trudged off and I walked to the chairman’s office to have a chat. I desperately needed some support and he was the only person I knew around here.

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