The Rise of Blackpool

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    ^Thanks, mate. I'll use that for summary screenshots of long lists of results (otherwise known as proof I'm not making all this up).

    For the moment, results from the long month of October.


    Results, Championship, 1/10/11

    Brighton and Hove Albion 0 – 0 Blackpool Depressing, especially as we had a goal chalked off in the 90th minute.

    Results, Championship, 15/10/11

    Reading 1 – 4 Blackpool (Hunt; Soukouna (2), Taylor-Fletcher, Cathcart) A lovely match, thrilling to watch.

    Results, Championship, 18/10/11

    Blackpool 3 – 0 Ipswich Town (Sanogo, Bowyer (o.g.), Morrison) We should have put it to bed long before Bowyer's 70th-minute own goal, but I was very happy to see both Sanogo and Morrison score. They've both found it difficult to get into the squad recently, as it's a very strong, quite large one.

    Results, Championship, 22/10/11

    Middlesbrough 1 – 3 Blackpool (Taylor-Fletcher (o.g.); Soukouma, Ferguson, Molina) This result was particularly helped by a Middlesbrough player receiving a red card on 33 minutes.


    Results, League Cup Fourth Round, 26/10/11

    West Bromwich Albion 1 – Blackpool 3 (Sanogo (3)) (1-1 after 90 mins) Well, this one was a surprise. I certainly didn't expect to do as well as I did, but my team played their hearts out, especially Alex John-Baptiste whose condition was down to 43% by the end. Sanogo was a marvel, and we hit the post twice. Albion only scored because of a horrendous dropped catch by Gilks, who is now firmly second choice after Amos.


    Results, Championship, 29/10/11

    Birmingham City 1 – 1 Blackpool (Soukouna; Zigic) A very frustrating match, as having all the possession and all the chances didn't stop us from being 1-0 down until the 91st minute, when Soukouna (a late substitution), finally made our hard work count.

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    A rather successful November, if I do say so myself.


    Results, Championship, 1/11/11

    Bristol City 1 – 2 Blackpool (Stewart; Phillips, Evatt) We should have floored them: 26 shots, 10 on target. In the end we won thanks to a set-piece. I really have to question Miyaichi's decision-making sometimes.

    Results, Championship, 5/11/11

    Coventry City 2 – 5 Blackpool (Wood, Clingan; Murphy (o.g.), Phillips, Evatt, Cathcart, Angel) Closer and tenser than the scoreline would suggest, as we led by three before it was pulled back to 3-2. My attacking players had a joint off-day. Still, I like it when all the goals are scored by different players.

    In other news, I'm being linked to the now-vacant West Ham managerial post after Sam Allardyce was unceremoniously booted. Hmm. It's tempting, except that would mean leaving a club which I strengthened considerably over the summer, including some excellent loan deals, a club which has taken the championship by the scruff of the neck, and moving to a club with a wage bill three times higher than Blackpool's and half as many top players.

    I thank you, but no. I'll stay where I am. Maybe when Everton or West Brom or Swansea come calling I'll be tempted, but for now, I'm more than happy.

    Results, Championship, 19/11/11

    Blackpool 1 – 1 Crystal Palace (Evett; Zaha) Not happy about drawing at home to a team 19th in the league, and even less happy about being torn apart for much of the game. Matt Gilks had a storming game, and Palace hit the crossbar three times. However, as they tired, I came back strong, having several set-pieces cleared off the line and hitting the woodwork too. Overall, the most exciting 1-1 this season.

    In other news, Alan Pardew has been fired from Newcastle. I wonder if they'll ask me to take over? I'd say no, but it'd be flattering to be considered.

    Results, Championship, 23/11/11

    Nottingham Forest 2 – 3 Blackpool (Miller, Findley; Grandin, Sanogo, Phillips) Oof, this was a tough match. 2nd vs 1st, and we were away. We went down, but Grandin's equaliser came from a beautiful piece of play from our box to theirs. Ludovic Sylvestre managed to get himself red carded just before the break – idiot, one week fine – so the second half was tough, but the wingers Molina and Phillips rose to the occasion. Molina is well worth the wages, and though the wolves are sniffing, I'm not selling Phillips for anything less than £6million. He'll lessen the pain of losing Miyaichi at the end of the year.

    I'm now being linked to the Birmingham job, Sigh. Go away.


    Results, League Cup Quarter-Final, 28/11/11

    Stoke City 0 – 2 Blackpool (Loovens, Soukouna) A 2-0 victory over a mid-level PL club? Nobody saw that coming, but the formation I use against tough teams (drop deep, counter using my pacy wingers) worked a treat, to the point where it was almost a comfortable win. Soukouna's goal was a beaut. I dread to think what kind of bids I'm going to be receiving for him.


    Can I get some feedback? I'd love to hear people's thoughts.

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    The busy, messy month of December.


    Results, Championship, 3/12/11

    Blackpool 2 – 1 Leeds (Hurst, Soukouna; Beccio) A very open, free-flowing game, in which Leeds hit the crossbar with some early pressure and we squandered more than one golden chance. Still, the result is what's important.

    I've decided (after some negotiation) to make a final £1.9 million bid for Torino Left/Centre-back Angelo Ogbonna. He's better than my existing left-back Stephen Crainey, who's wanted by a bunch of clubs anyway, he's the equal of Craig Cathcart at centre-back, and he's only 23. An idea player if I'm pushing for promotion. Hopefully I'll get Kevin Phillips off my wage bill which will cover Ogbonna's wages.

    I've also been drawn against Wigan in the FA Cup Third Round and Everton in the League Cup semi-final. I'm likely to get creamed, but I thought that about Stoke and West Brom, and look what happened there.

    Results, Championship, 7/12/11

    Blackpool 3 – 1 Burnley (Eardley, Taylor-Fletcher, Evatt; Gray) I don't like it when my team concede in the first minute, but Eardley scored a peach of a free-kick, and from then it was simple.

    Results, Championship, 10/12/11

    Watford 0 – 0 Blackpool I wish my first clean sheet in a while didn't insist on being Watford's at the same time. A couple of disallowed goals for offside, where my players should have had more positional sense, and Morrison hit the post.

    In injury news, Miyaichi will be out for 5 weeks, Morrison will be out for 6 weeks, and Matt Phillips will be out for three weeks. Injuries are like buses, three coming at once. That said, I've generally steered clear of injuries, and my squads are fitter than my opposition, so I guess I've got good fitness and conditioning staff.

    Results, Championship, 17/12/11

    Blackpool 2 – 1 Peterborough (Taylor-Fletcher, Kevin Phillips; Boyd) Peterborough are a good side, fifth in the league, and they showed it. We played sluggishly and their keeper ended the game with a rating of 8.4. Peterborough went ahead from a corner, but we came back with excellent goals in the 81st and 88th minutes, so I didn't have to rant at my players.

    In transfer news, I'm receiving major transfer interest from Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid. An asking price of roughly £9-12 million, and I'll enter into negotiations. Beyond that, just about everyone in my squad is desired by either a rival or a lower PL club. Well, I'll wheel-deal, and there's certainly some dead wood which needs cleaning out, but I'm keeping Elliot Grandin and Matt Phillips whatever the price. So there.

    Results, Championship, 26/12/11

    Portsmouth 0 – 0 Blackpool Zzzzzzzzz...

    Results, Championship, 31/12/11

    Cardiff 0 – 3 Blackpool (Evatt, Molina (pen.), Grandin) A very dull first half was met by a brilliant second half. Molina was a star, planting a peach of a free kick onto Evatt's head for the first and a very calm penalty for the second, and Gary Taylor-Fletcher showed just how a forward should hold the ball up when he allowed Grandin to race past him and clear for the third. Very happy indeed.

    In other news, Bristol City manager Keith Millen won Manager of the Month, making it the only month thus far, aside from October, I haven't got it (August, September, November, thank you). He deserves it, though. He's won all five league games in December, placing Bristol third. I may have to thrash them next time we meet, remind them where they stand.

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    A very difficult January. Sigh.



    Results, Championship, 2/1/12

    West Ham 2 – 1 Blackpool (Fry, Bentley; Grandin) You know, I really thought we'd scrape this. We were thoroughly outplayed, but Matt Gilks was pulling off wonders in goal, and when we eventually lost, it was to a 92nd minute shot. Gutted to finally lose, but we're still several points ahead at the top of the table.

    In transfer news, I've accepted a bid worth £2.2million for Alex John-Baptiste (this bid being post-negotiation), as it was too good to turn down and I've got James Hearst on loan as cover at right-back. I've also bought, for £2million, Angelo Ogbonna. He's better than my best central defender (Cathcart is out for three months anyway, so good timing), he's better than my best left-back, and he's only 23 so he'll just get better. I'm very happy with this piece of business


    Results, FA Cup Third Round, 7/1/12

    Blackpool 1 – 1 Wigan (Grandin; Ogbonna (o.g.) For God's sake. Wigan did everything they could to let us win: played a weakened team, made mistakes, even got a guy sent off. But they were still 1-0 up thanks to an own goal until Grandin pulled it back in the 88th minute. We hit the crossbar three times. I'm furious.


    Results, League Cup Semi-Final, 10/1/12

    Blackpool 1 – 2 Everton (Sanogo; Anichebe, Coleman) Gut-wrenching. We equalled them in every department, and had it not been for our fondness for hitting the woodwork and a quite stunning goal for Seamus Coleman, we'd have taken them. Maybe we'll pull of something incredible at Goodison Park. We'll see.


    Results, Championship, 14/1/12

    Blackpool 2 – 1 Burnley (Soukouna, Ferguson; Rodriguez) If Soukouna breaks free only to send his shot directly at the keeper one more time, I'll pull his arms off. Other than that, deserved to win after going behind.

    Elsewhere, I'm still wondering whether to dip my toe into the January transfer market, but I don't think I ought to without clearing out unneeded squad players. And Geremi Ndjitap has gone to the African Cup of Nations until mid-Feb, so it wouldn't make sense to sell any midfielders.


    Results, FA Cup Third Round Replay, 18/1/12

    Wigan 1 – 0 Blackpool (di Santo) Depressing, utterly depressing. We deserved to go through. We should have gone through.


    Results, Championship, 21/1/12

    Blackpool 1 – 1 Millwall (Ormerod; Bouazza (pen.)) My recent form has not been great (last six games: three losses, two draws and a win). I won't be winning Manager of the Month. Gave away a stupid penalty here and compounded that with being extraordinarily wasteful in the box. I was not happy in the slightest. Now it's Everton at home (another loss), and then hopefully some rebuilding work.

    West Brom want me to replace Roy Hodgson. Go away.


    Results, League Cup Semi-Final, Second Leg, 25/1/12

    Everton 2 – 1 Blackpool (4 – 2 aggregate) (Bilyaletdinov, Angel (o.g.); Phillips) Gut-wrenching. Once again we matched them blow for blow, and but for an own goal, a wonderful solo run by Bilyaletdinov which was a carbon copy of the Coleman goal from the first match and a truly laughable lack of composure by us once we reached their penalty area, we'd have gone through to the final. My strikers really do have pinpoint accuracy. That whole massive goal, and they manage to hit the tiny goalie.


    Results, Championship, 31/1/12

    Leicester 0 – 4 Blackpool (Soukouna (3), Eardley) Finally, a good match. Soukouna still hit the goalkeeper about twice but managed some sweet finishing, Eardley scored an absolute beauty from 25 yards out, and we finally bolstered our goal difference (Miyaichi hit the post twice, which shows we're not entirely out of the woods finishing-wise yet). It didn't hurt that Leicester had a player send off around the 50th minute.

    In transfer news, I've terminated the contracts of several players, including Kevin Phillips, who were cluttering up the place; I've sent Brett Ormond out on loan with the option to buy; and I've sold Billy Clarke for a fraction of what Cardiff offered me in the summer. Stupid, stupid me. Cheeky bids for Mbaye Niang and Ravel Morrison (ungrateful swine didn't want to extend his loan) started heading north of £7million, which is where I get uncomfortable. Never mind.

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    Too bad about the FA. Seemed to go downhill from there but you managed to pull trough. The African Cup of Nations always tend to make it hard for some teams.

    Great summaries. Keep that up! Perhaps too much text so far. With pics or some colours would make it perfect :)

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    #44128 Shameless : Too bad about the FA. Seemed to go downhill from there but you managed to pull trough. The African Cup of Nations always tend to make it hard for some teams.

    Great summaries. Keep that up! Perhaps too much text so far. With pics or some colours would make it perfect :)

    Yeah, we went on a poor run. Thanks for the feedback. I'll get round to posting some pictures at the end of the season, and next season will be more colourful. But I'm a writer by day job, so long walls of texts are second nature. ;)

    Anyway, February has come around:


    Results, Championship, 4/2/12

    Blackpool 3 – 2 Southampton (Ogbonna, Taylor-Fletcher, Evatt; Lambert, Connolly) This was the kind of match which decides titles. We pulled two ahead, they came back, and then Evatt (a central defender, might I remind you) pops up in the 92nd minute to swing it our way. Joy. Absolute joy.

    Results, Championship, 11/2/12

    Hull City 0 – 1 Blackpool (Taylor-Fletcher) A second match which needed a late goal, but considering Hull are propping up the table, it was far too close for comfort. I leathered the players at half-time and they picked up the pace sharpish, and thank goodness we got the goal at the end, or I'd have lost my voice from shouting so loudly.

    Results, Championship, 14/2/12

    Blackpool 3 – 0 Doncaster Rovers (Miyaichi, Sanogo, Phillips) This was a destruction. From the moment Miyaichi popped in from close range in the 8th minute, there was only one way it could go. I don't care what I'm offered for Matt Phillips in the summer, I'm not selling him. No way. He will be in this team for the next decade.

    Results, Championship, 18/2/12

    Brighton and Hove Albion 2 – 3 Blackpool (Noone, Buckley; Taylor-Fletcher, Soukouna, Molina) A tense, rough scoreline, but my team battled it out. To be honest, we had more shots on target, and Buckley's goal was one of those freak cross-cum-shots which wrong-foot the goalie without any intention on the part of the player providing the ball.

    I also secure Ndjitap on another year, our first PL year, because he seemed to come back from the African Cup of Nations a significantly better player than he left. Sounds good. But he's 33 now, so it'll just be for one more year.

    Results, Reserve game, 20/2/12

    Blackpool Reserves 2 – 2 Stoke City Reserves (Phillips (2); Ogbonna (o.g.), Jerome) I decided to increase the match-fitness of my reserve team by playing a match. I wasn't particularly fussed by the result.

    Results, Championship, 25/2/12

    Blackpool 2 – 1 Derby County (Sanogo (2); Davies) Was 2-0 up at half time and disappointed to see them come back with a goal, but Molina hit the post (again) with a free-kick so if luck had been on our side we'd have been much further away.

    Now, after 33 games, I'm ten points clear of Bristol City in second, with a goal difference of +43. I must say I'm rather proud of my team.

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    Marching on.

    Results, Championship, 3/3/12

    Blackpool 2 – 2 Reading (Khumalo (o.g.), Molina; Velikonja, Ogbonna (o.g.)) Do own goals often cancel each other out? Never mind. Another late goal was needed to secure a point. Molina is becoming rather good at scoring those kinds of important goals, when he's not being caught offside.

    Results, Championship, 6/3/12

    Ipswich 0 – 2 Blackpool (Taylor-Fletcher, Evatt) Finally, a comfortable match. It required another late goal to make it comfortable, but we'd had a goal wrongly disallowed earlier in the game. Never mind. I'm still not sure what Gary Taylor-Fletcher's best position is, to be honest.

    Results, Championship, 10/3/12

    Blackpool 2 – 0 Middlesbrough (Soukouna (2)) A good match: Soukouna brought his finishing boots, and Middlesbrough obliged by having one of theirs sent off in the 50th minute.

    Craig Cathcart's agent rang me up afterwards and demanded a better deal for Cathcart; I was about to yell at him before I realised a few things. Cathcart is the joint-best central defender in the squad, paid £2,500 a week, and is only 23 and therefore likely to get a lot better. I'm also spending only half of my allotted wage bill, to the point where the board is starting to get worried that potentially excellent players are being turned off by the generally low wages (they aren't, but the concern is a fair on). All in all, therefore, this is a player I want to tie down to a long-term, appreciative contract, so that he won't be tempted to scout around. So I knocked his wages up to £10,000p/w and everyone's happy.

    Results, Championship, 17/3/12

    Birmingham City 0 – 2 Blackpool (Molina, Taylor-Fletcher) Eeegh, another late goal to make it comfortable, and another first-half performance where we absolutely creamed them and had nothing to show for it. But Molina was his usual reliable self, provided I don't let him near a DFK.

    Results, Championship, 20/3/12

    Blackpool 2 – 1 Bristol City (Taylor-Fletcher, Cathcart; Stewart) The last chance Bristol had of catching me. After a very strong performance and Taylor-Fletcher's composure, we can win this, I know we can. I didn't expect to win, I expected to battle for a play-off place, but we performed beautifully this season.

    Results, Championship, 24/3/12

    Crystal Palace 3 – 0 Blackpool (Marrow, Gardner, Rose) Yeah, I'm not entirely sure what happened here. We simply didn't show up, and were taken apart with every attack. I suppose that's what happens when you spend the entire season working on attacking movement and expect the defence to take care of itself. I'll sort that out next season.

    Results, Championship, 31/3/12

    Blackpool 2 – 0 Coventry City (Taylor-Fletcher, Phillips) I had to check after this match to see whether Gary Taylor-Fletcher is my top scorer (turns out he isn't, but he's certainly my most important scorer). Anyway, a good, calm, comfortable win, the kind we need plenty of to cement ourselves in the Premier League.

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    Fin de siecle.


    Results, Championship, 31/3/12

    Blackpool 2 – 0 Coventry City (Taylor-Fletcher, Phillips) I had to check after this match to see whether Gary Taylor-Fletcher is my top scorer (turns out he isn't, but he's certainly my most important scorer). Anyway, a good, calm, comfortable win, the kind we need plenty of to cement ourselves in the Premier League.

    Results, Championship, 7/4/12

    Barnsley 4 – 1 Blackpool (Doyle (2), Ingelsten; Miyaichi) Ow. Ouch. Apart from anything else, I'm very angry at what this does to my goal difference – but not half as angry as I am at my defence. I'm not sure what's happened to Neal Eardley in the past few games, but the opposition certainly don't seem to notice him, so maybe he's a hallucination visible only to me and I've not been playing anyone at right-back. Hm. That would explain a lot.

    In other news, I've signed (on a free!) Donovan Léon from AJ Auxerre, a 19-year-old goalkeeper who's clearly up there with Gilks and Amos already but has the potential to be twice the player either of them is. I need a goalkeeper for the future (two, in fact; I'm thinking of making Gilks third-choice) and I was very pleased when my scouts found this little marvel.

    Results, Championship, 9/4/12

    Blackpool 2 – 0 Nottingham Forest (Taylor-Fletcher, Soukouna) Well, whatever I said to my defence clearly worked, and my strikers did what was expected of them.

    Which is good, because nothing should detract from this day. Today, we were crowned nPower Championship Champions: we took this league by the scruff of it's neck and were first from the first. Apart from Barnsley six months ago or Bristol City when taking advantage of our poor January has anyone even come close to challenging us. My team has played out of their skins this season and, while we've been vulnerable at the back on occasion, our attacking, flowing football forward has been glorious. Soukouna and Sanogo will both be even better next season, scoring more and making better decisions; my signings have proven to be inspired, even if I do say so myself; I'll firm up my defence; find new homes for some of the older players and bring in fresh blood. I will be in the Champion's league in four seasons. Well, either that or managing Bayern Munich. Haven't yet decided.

    As expected, the fans are delighted, the board are masking their surprise extremely well, and we're on course to break the league record of 106 points. I am already a very successful manager, and things will get better. I'll make certain of it.

    Results, Championship, 14/4/12

    Leeds United 1 – 2 Blackpool (Pugh; Larsen (o.g.), Cathcart) I don't like relying on own goals for wins, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. A vanilla win, a vanilla performance (and not the nice vanilla you get in pannacotta. Dull vanilla).

    Results, Championship, 17/4/12

    Blackpool 4 – 1 Watford (Mariappa (o.g.), Doyley (o.g.), Soukouna, Grandin; Iwelumo) Well, I take it back about the own goals: I'm perfectly happy when my opponents score two comic ones in the first 15 minutes. It was, of course, pleasant to have two of my best players score goals of wonderful quality. After Molina hit the post (quota: ticked), Soukouna did as well, except his went in off the crossbar, bounced, and finally went in. It was traumatic. Then Grandin tucked away the kind of finish I dream about after around five passes from my area to theirs, and everything was good.

    Results, Championship, 21/4/12

    Peterborough United 0 – 2 Blackpool (Sanogo (2)) Two scrappy goals, one from a scrum after a corner, the other after the goalkeeper saved a long shot. I have to say, Sanogo's bulk is extremely useful for muscling defenders off the ball. He's another Drogba (or, potentially, another Lukaku).

    Results, Championship, 29/4/12

    Blackpool 4 – 0 Portsmouth (Molina, Soukouna, Taylor-Fletcher (2)) An excellent end. We rode it out, comfortably the better team, and three of my most important players were the ones who got the goals. I'm an extremely happy man.


    In end-of-season news, I only came second in the Manager of the Year (Bristol City's Keith Miller won, fair enough; I should have put together a better FA Cup run), but Matt Phillips won young player of the year. I'm extremely happy for him. The team as a whole broke Reading's record of 106 Championship points - we got 111. Excellent.

    Andre Villas-Boas was fired as manager of Chelsea as they only came fifth in the Premier League (Manchester United won, then Liverpool, Spurs and Man City (on 76,76 and 74 points respectively, a very close-run table). Arsenal only finished sixth, so maybe I could poach Francois Coquelan. I'm being linked to the Chelsea job, of course, but... meh. I prefer to stay where I am. I said the same, more vehemently, about the Gladbach job I was linked to: I told everyone, Munich or nothing. That's the deal.

    I've also put in my application for manager of GB Under-23s during the Olympics. Should be fun to get a gold medal.

    West Ham won promotion to the PL through the play-offs, which I considered grossly unfair. Reading came third, one point behind Bristol and 16 ahead of West Ham, but it's the team in sixth, the loser of the four, who goes through. If I were in Reading's position I'd be livid.

    Hmph. Didn't get the GB manager job. Oh well. Never mind. I did, however, buy James Hurst for £3.2million. He'll make an excellent back-up full-back. More transfers will come.

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    A genuine writer ... who am I to give pointers then ;) It really shows mate! I loved the yelling of to the agent with the better deal demand. Fun stuff! Give us more of that too.

    As it goes for the matches. You´re on a good run and getting your name on the next Chelsea manager shows you´ve done great. But reading the papers this morning I didnt notice your name at all ... hey !! You´re bloody Mourinho arent you?! haha

    Keep up the updates

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    Hehe. Thank you.

    What I've decided to do is re-write my entire first year as a proper story, with character, intrigue and an absorbing narrative. I'll pop a few new season updates on here from time to time, though, to show the file is still being played. ;)

    I'm having too much fun with Spurs 2014, though: I referenced the game in the introductory post where I took Man Utd to consecutive CL wins, but midway through the 2013-14 season I retired because the place was depressing me (everyone kept getting worse! All the time!). I then joined Spurs in the summer of 2014 when Redknapp retired, and marked the occasion by getting Tevez on a free. I'll go back to Blackpool soon, promise. ;)

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    Haha :D, You got Sanogo!
    He's a complete truck of a youngster isn't he?
    Scores more then torres :D

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    He's monstrously talented, but keeps whacking his shots into the keeper's stomach. >.>

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    Tell your trainers to tell him to lob it over the keeper or shoot it into the corner then maybe? :p, I don't know, but that might help.


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