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Neal Sociedad: The Real Deal

At last, someone to break the stranglehold on Spanish football.
Started on 6 April 2014 by Neal
Latest Reply on 4 July 2014 by pokarioboy
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Neal's avatar Group Neal
10 yearsEdited

UNTESTED AMERICAN NEAL HASAN GIVEN REAL SOCIEDAD JOB


In a surprising turn of events, Real Sociedad de Futbol has appointed untested Neal Hasan as their new manager to replace the departed Philippe Montanier. The American coach was revealed yesterday at a press conference, and has been given a one year contract.

Many people are surprised that the club did not appoint Roberto Di Matteo or Marcelo Bielsa. Both are lauded international managers with plenty of experience. However, apparently Mr. Hasan has managed to capture the attention of the Sociedad board, and will now take charge of his first professional club.

Hasan had gotten a degree in medicine at Northwestern University, also starring for the school's football team as a striker, setting a new record for most goals scored in a single season with 33 goals his senior year. He was set to be drafted by his hometown team, the Chicago Fire, but a double leg break in a friendly match prematurely ended his career. He went on to coach the Chicago Fire U15 side for three years before coming to Spain.

"I am very happy to have gotten this dream job," said Hasan in choppy Spanish at his unveiling. "I have always wanted to test myself as a coach on the biggest stage, and now I have that chance, and I mean to take it."

Sociedad fans do not seem quite as ecstatic about the man now at the helm at their club, however. Many people believed that the team needed an experienced manager to help they stay in the top 4, but with this surprise appointment, some pundits believe the club might not even finish in the top half.

Hasan certainly has a lot of work to do, now that he's in charge. Los Txuri-Urdin's friendly schedule begins in two weeks, and with players having returned from summer vacation not too long ago, the American will need to start getting his players back to match fitness quickly.

Whatever he does next, critics will be waiting to pounce on Hasan; the new manager certainly has a lot to prove.

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What a quality story man! This is going to be long and GREAT :)

I'm going to start one in Liga BBVA, will be following this with interest!
I don't think I can make it five comments on five updates Neal ... :/

only Jokin.
Well written story Neal! Will be following this one!
CarlosV96: Thanks man, hopefully this will be long and successful as you predict!

Walter: -_-

dykie567: Cheers bud, hope you enjoy!
Comment 50 :P

Excellent update Neal, good luck with Sociedad and with Nicole ;)

Coley and Nealy <3
This will top your other stories. I bet! ;)

And Walter, that's class! ;)

Only jokin.
Nathaniel: Thank you for helping me reach the first landmark, 50 replies! Here's to 50 more :P

AaronHJFT96: It's got a lot to compete with but it might be just as good ;)
Nice stuff there with the introduction...were you using your last match as inspiration for the u15's doing so poor :P 3 stories though I mean that's a bit greedy!
Nice updates Neal! will be following this for sure
k1rups: I'll have you know we won our last game 2-0 from two corner kick goals :P

BaggiesJames: Cheers bud, hope you like it! :D
Hope this turns out as successful as your other two, good luck!
Neal's avatar Group Neal
10 yearsEdited

SOCIEDAD SIGNS ONE, SELLS TWO


Just a week into his new job, Real Sociedad manager Neal Hasan has already been busy in the transfer window. He's managed to move on two bit-part players and bring in one of his own, stamping his own personnel preferences on the squad while preseason is yet to get underway.

The first player to sold is defender Dani Estrada. The 26 year old fullback was deemed surplus to requirements with Carlos Martinez and youngster Joseba Zaldua already filling the right back position, and has promptly been moved on to Greek Superleague side PAOK Salonika for a fee of €1.2M. Estrada has signed a contract with PAOK until 2016.


Dani Estrada (left) has been shipped out to PAOK.

Most fans have supported this transfer, understanding that Estrada was nowhere near a first team spot and that the money brought in would go back into the squad and be reinvested in perhaps bringing in new players.

The second player to be let go is 18 year old goalkeeper Ander Bardaji. The youngster broke into the Real Sociedad B team last season and was expected to become the eventual replacement for Claudio Bravo. However, fellow La Liga BBVA side Valencia has snatched up the teenager for €1M. Bardaji signed a contract until 2017 with Valencia, expected to play second string to Guaita for the time being.


Ander Bardaji: One for the future that got away?

Some people are questioning Hasan's judgement on this sale, saying that the young shot stopper was touted as a future star for the club. However, the money will be well received for an untested player at any top division.

Los Txuri-Urdin have not just been selling fringe players, however. Neal Hasan made his first signing as a professional manager by bringing in Ghanian international defensive midfielder Anthony Annan from Schalke for €925k. He will be on a €35k per week contract until 2016 and provide steel and tackling menace in midfield.


Anthony Annan: Talented, but why another midfielder?

Annan never quite made the cut at Schalke, making only 9 appearances before being shipped out to Vitesse and, last season, Osasuna, in La Liga. Hasan believes the 65 cap midfielder can rejuvenate his career at the Anoeta, however, despite already having Javi Ros, Markel, and Gorka Elustondo who can play as defensive midfielders. Whether or not Annan will be able to find game time is a question, but the player himself is certainly a talented footballer.

"I'm really happy to have made my first signing in Anthony [Annan]," said Hasan at his new man's unveiling press conference. "He is a very good destructive player, and I think he can really help us grow as a team."

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Very nice update as per usual!
Annan :P? How good is Bardaji for you to get 1M on an 18 year-old? Btw, I think 35k is a little too much for the Ghanian.

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