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The Sleeping Giant
So, if you’re reading this it means you are a) a long-term follower, b) a nosy bastard just here to sample the goods or c) lost. No matter what your circumstance, sit back, relax (especially if you are reading this on the toilet) and enjoy (again, especially if you are reading this on the toilet).
I’m currently 1/3 of the way through the season, now entering the 2/3, managing in my 7th season. Jesus. My 7th season. I can’t believe that. Would you like an omission? This is the furthest I’ve gotten in a save. Ever. I’m deep in the Football Manager rabbit hole now and it’s dark and slightly scary down here. Anyway. My first season at Liverpool was pure shock and awe. We had the type of success the fans could only have dreamed of. Unfortunately, I now have the arduous task of trying to replicate, or even, dare I say it, improve upon it. How? Win the league as a minimum and win the Champions League. Easy, right? *Sigh* If I manage both of them things then surely it’s a better season than last? But can I do it? Can I manage to win both of those prestigious titles? Can I win either of them in fact? Let’s find out:
Remember last time when I was all, ‘Oh I don’t believe in signing players, I like bringing youth players through, gobble, gobble, gobble.’ Well, fuck that shit. My goalkeeper, Grabara was doing my fucking head in. He is a capable keeper, don’t get me wrong. He was the main man last season, our title-winning season. Butttt he is also easy to improve upon too. So improve upon him I did. Can you tell I’m excited about this one? It’s a biggie. By far and largest the most, I’ve ever spent on a single player…
Alban Lafont, GK – £70m. That’s right. Seventy-fucking-million. With the potential of rising up to £91million. Boom. Old tight arse here has finally opened up the purse-strings. To be honest I consider myself a pretty good negotiator but could I fuck get Monaco’s valuation demands down. I put my first offer for Lafont in at the beginning of October in the hope of giving myself time to manoeuvre in a more reasonable direction. I walked away when they countered me with some obscene numbers. I’m talking £130 million here for a fucking goalkeeper. Then I did something I’ve never done before. I used the press. I leaked my interest like an old battered pipe, the leaks pissing everywhere, constantly, lining Lafont up for a massive fallout with his manager should they persist being inconsiderate dicks. Even still the bastards held firm on me. By this point, time was slipping quickly away and in the meantime, Grabara was close to being throttled. It took constant bartering, bickering, scrapping and eventually I conceded. In my defence, Monaco’s initial demands began at around £130 million so it was never going to be a bargain deal, was I? At 24 y/o, Lafont is my man for the long-term. He’s locking that position down now.
Carlos Montano, ST – £10.25m. Now I know what you’re thinking, “You said you were giving game time to Swales”. I am. This deal is definitely one for the future. Montano is 23 and with huge potential. The plan was, scout, track, linger in the background while biding my time. Annoyingly other top clubs started to circle so I had little choice but to jump in. Unfortunately, it means his game time will be limited this season but it gives him time to bed in and learn the language and system. Firmino is now 32 and Salah is 31. Montano and Swales are the future. Maybe.
Look at that pace. Jesus, if he wasn’t a footballer maybe he would be an Olympic sprinter.
Kamil Grabara, GK – £30m. It was basically a straight swap. Monaco needed a new keeper and I needed to balance the books and more importantly my stress levels.
Those totals mean my overall spending for the season is in the positives. Unusual for me. We have spent £87million overall and brought in £64million in sales. That’s an overall net spend of £23million for those whose maths skills aren’t the best.
‘How do you feel about your former player, Ruben Caballero moving to PSG for £92million this summer?’
‘I feel happy. I’m happy for Ruben. I found him playing for some shithole team out in Paraguay when he was just a 17y/o. I could see he had a lot of potential. I knew he’d be a top player.’
‘It must make you proud knowing you helped develop him to become one of the worlds most expensive players.’
‘Of course, I’m more happy about the fact me and his agent own his image-rights. I’m rich, baby, rich beyond my wildest dreams!’
I was really chuffed when I read the news about Caballero’s move to PSG. He was a little superstar for me. 77 starts and 43 goals and 21 assists during my time at Braunschweig. Not bad when you consider I only bought him for £700k. I must confess I was eyeing up another move for him again myself but I just couldn’t justify that sort of money for a position that yielded roughly 120 goals last season already. Good luck to you though my son. Anyway…
Champs League Group E – Napoli, 5-2
Champs League Group E – AEK, 8-0
Carabao Cup 4th Round – Arsenal, 2-1
I’m happy with our month’s work. We had two convincing wins in the Champions League, another important win against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup and an unbeaten run in the league. My only real complaint is the goals we’ve conceded. A problem I’ve shown above which was rectified later.
‘Grab a seat. No, no, no. Next to me Phil.’ I shoved Javi aside and made space for him. Coutinho winced and took a seat next to me. ‘You’ll love this, Phil. Honestly. This’ll be the best night of your life, I promise.’
Spotlights shot up and began streaming around the arena. Smoke poured up and over the stage. The crowd cheered in anticipation.
I eagerly gripped Phil’s arm. ‘Oh my goodness, it’s about to start. I think I’m going to cry.’
‘Everybody now… Rock your body now… Backstreets back, alright!’
Champs League Group E – AEK, 9-0
Man United, 1-0
Champs League Group E – Bayern, 4-1
Look at some of those names. Bayern received what is now becoming an annual beating by one of my teams. An interesting tidbit for you all here. Bayern are currently topping the Bundesliga, the first time in five years. After my domination, RBL took over as the top team, winning back-to-back titles themselves. Funny that hey for a supposed one-horse race.
United was a big one. After they beat us in the Community Shield the players were well up for it. And you know what made the win even better? It came from a United O.G. Oh how Mourinho fumed. The Everton game was massive too. Somehow they found themselves level on points with us. So for us to then go out and whack them around the head with our massive dicks, it sent a statement of intent to the rest of the league. Roll over boys and let us tickle your bellies.
‘What is it about your teams and twatting Napoli?’
‘It’s a good question,’ I said to the journalist. ‘We always seem to beat them don’t we?’
‘Would you like to comment on the Napoli President’s recent statement? He said he’s considering getting the Mafia involved?’
‘Did he say that? Wow. Tell him if they are as bad at shooting as his team I’ll take my chances.’
Champs League Group E – Napoli, 2-0
Carabao Cup Quarter-Final – Man United, 0-3 LOSS
Crystal Palace, 6-1
So this is what it feels like to lose. Me and Javi were sat slumped deep in our seats. Mourinho had somehow managed to find himself in front of our dugout and was windmilling his little maggot.
‘You bunch of twats. Your first loss in fuck knows how long and it was to that little tit! You better all buck up your ideas or I’ll lash the lot of you out the door and replace you.’
My motivational speech seemed to work we scored 15 goals in the next three games.
To be honest, besides from the Carabao Cup exit it was a very good month. We scored so many goals and managed not to concede many either. The league is really starting to become a certainty for us now. We’ve left 2nd place Everton well in our wake and look likely to only increase the gap. Here’s to hoping the lads stay off the mince pies.
‘Grabara, can I have a word mate?’ I took Kamil aside so we were out of earshot of the other players. ‘I just wanted to say…’ I placed my hand tenderly on his arm and frowned slightly. ‘Go pack your stuff and fuck off. I’ve sold you to Monaco.’
‘But, but why boss? I’ve been here since I was 17, Liverpool is all I’ve ever known as a player.’
‘Because you’re shit, Kamil. You’re shit. You’ve got hands made from Pringles. And, frankly, you stink as well. Get your smelly arse off my training pitch and fuck off. Ta-rah.’ As I left him there, shellshocked, I began practising my pronunciation of ‘Bonjour Lafont.’
F.A. Cup 3rd Round – Portsmouth, 2-0
West Ham, 5-1
Sheffield Wednesday, 4-2
Man City, 4-2
Aston Villa, 2-1
So, after another month of us winning every game, we find ourselves on 64 points after 24 games. As you can see it’s been a sensational time to be a Liverpool fan. In the league from October, we’ve managed 18 wins scoring 58 goals, that’s an average of three goals per game. We are playing scintillating stuff at times. At other times we aren’t. In fact, we’ve had plenty of games when we’ve been poor yet still managed to scrape a win. That’s the difference between this team and some of my former squads. There is so much individual talent here that even when the system and tactics aren’t winning the game, they still manage to dig out a moment of magic themselves. Salah and Firmino, in particular, have just been world beaters. Salah was actually crowned World Player of the Year beating the likes of Mbappe, he’s been that impressive. So far Salah has played 30 times, scored 30 and assisted 24 times. Look at those numbers. It’s only February. Firmino, not to be outdone has managed 34 games, with 31 goals and 12 assists. He’s 32. He should be looking to retire, not rip a hole in the world’s best defenders’ arses. Honestly.
We sit comfortably in 1st, as you can well imagine. And when I say comfortably, I mean, we are 17 points ahead of 2nd placed Everton. I know, I was shocked to see who was 2nd too. Man United, after coming within fingertips of winning the league last season has dropped off a cliff this time around. They are currently fighting it out for 4th and trailing us by 21 points. Without being arrogant, it’s safe to assume the league is near enough sown up now. Unless something drastic happens to literally my entire team. We’ve also drawn Galatasaray in the next round of the Champs League. Not the hardest draw in the world. Hopefully, we’ll progress there as well. Fingers crossed guys.
All in all, things are looking rosy. I’m really enjoying my time here. The team is slowly shaping into the mould of what I want, the results are wonderful and we are winning. And oh how I do enjoy winning. Hopefully, all will end just as well as it’s begun.
So that’s all, for now, folks, until next time.