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England FC - The way forward?

Can the England international team improve in time for the World Cup 2014?
Started on 11 September 2014 by Ziechael
Latest Reply on 27 October 2014 by Ziechael
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awesome updates and i feel for you that u was not considered for a story of the month nomination keep up the amazing writing
Thanks for the comments guys and i understand not being a nominee... my post count on this is relatively low right now so hopefully this month coming ;)
Lol in a few more matches you'll have the whole post painted well off, huh. Great update, too bad for the off target shots you might want to ask your team not to shoot on sight all the time ;)
Nice update really like the way the updates are done
Icarus - Tell me about it, i'm tempted to fine them for each time they hit the woodwork ;)

Cappy13 - Cheers, I'm trying to make this story stand out in a very high quality market!
Nice update and a good set of results

Keep it up :)

I'll never forget the trip to the hospital after that Millwall win. Kieran had gone off injured not long before half time and the poor kid was in agony. We'd had our fair share of injuries already that season but this one didn't look good at all, there was no obvious signs of a break but his leg had turned a nasty colour below the knee and was already swelling to scary proportions. Having already sent Gibbs and one of the physios off to the nearest hospital I was keen to get there as soon as I could to do what I could to support him, I've been there myself and a nasty injury isn't something a player should go through alone, especially so early in a promising career.

Having secured the three points and fulfilled my obligations to the board and the media I quickly congratulated the lads and left them to be debriefed by Steve, my assistant manager. To a one the players all sent their best along with me as I rushed out of the stadium and onto the waiting bike taxi, the quickest way to get through London to the hospital.

Already the paparazzi where hanging around the hospital doors hoping to get the scoop on Kieran's injury, I'm not afraid to admit that I took a bit of pleasure in shoving my way through the throng to get into the building. Steve, as always, had played a blinder and called ahead so that there was a member of staff waiting to take me to where Gibbs was being assessed. By the time I got there the doctors had checked him over and made their final diagnosis pending further scans for any other damage. Even though I'd been through similar situations to this throughout my career as a player I still always got nervous when first seeing a fellow professional laid up in a hospital bed, and I can confirm that the feeling only gets worse when that person happens to be a young player in your charge, paternal instincts kick in… it's weird but I really felt like I was visiting a relative on their death bed!

Shaking the strange thoughts from my head I knocked on the door to his hospital room and was relieved to hear a relatively coherent call for me to come in. Entering the room I saw Kieran for the first time since the stretcher at the side of the pitch, his face was still drawn tight with pain but some of the colour had come back into his face and the slightly dull look in his eyes showed that the pain killers were kicking in.

"How are you lad?" I asked stupidly.

"I've been better…" he replied, even managing to give me a wry smile. Well at least his sense of humour wasn't broken!

To try and remove some of the awkwardness of the situation I thought I'd try a bit of humour myself but I've been told before that I'm not the funniest of people in the world, oh well…

"So, training is on Monday, we'll see you there at 7?"

By now the pain killers were really kicking in and all he could manage was a vague nod of assent, poor kid was probably going to wake up later and realise he'd effectively just agreed to come into training! I went over and gave him an affectionate pat on the shoulder and told him to get some rest and I'd come check on him tomorrow. Again the only response I got was a murmur before his eyes fully closed and he drifted off to sleep, I stood there a moment more pleased to see the creased forehead of pain smooth out in his dreamless sleep and then went to find a doctor.

Not far down the hall, at a nurses station, a couple of doctors were conferring with each other. When I asked if either were working with Kieran they were happy to show me the scan they were looking at, I was relieved to see that my earlier layman's assessment had been correct, there was no break. However, the doctors confirmed that he had torn his calf muscle quite badly. While he would heal ok and be back up and running eventually it was going to be a long road to recovery and we could expect that he would be absent from any form of training for a number of months. The best case scenario we were looking at would be three months but they were certain that even if he started training again then it would be another month before he should be taking part in any really intense training, let alone playing in a match.

I thanked them for their time and left them to their work. I'd have to put this out of my mind for now, there was nothing I could do other than arrange a visit from the team, which, as it turned out, Steve had already done!

Football management is relentless though, even when something like that happens you have to keep going, there was another match to plan for and already I had to start thinking about my starting eleven.
Nice update, feel sorry for Gibbs though made it feel realistic
Cappy13 - Cheers mate, I wanted to highlight that football doesn't stop and start with the blow of a whistle and that off the pitch can be just as important as on it... that being said, got a BIG match coming up next ;)

Capital One Cup - Third Round

Hi and welcome to the Etihad. You join us here today for the Capital One Cup third round match between Manchester City and England FC. This is considered by most to be the first real challenge for fledgling manager Alan Shearer and could well help many football fans decide if the controversial decision by the FA to create a club side was a good one or not.

City look to be set up with their familiar 433 formation with Negredo up front. Jovetic, Agūero and Nasri sit just behind him with Rodwell and Touré holding the middle of the park. A back four of Townsend, Lescott, Garcia and Milner will be the final line of defence for Pantilimon who has more than capably stepped into the number one slot since Hart's departure in the summer.

England will use their now familiar asymmetric 424 formation. Danny Welbeck and Rickie Lambert, who have both been in fine form so far this season, will lead the pack with Wilshere and Walcott on the wings. Lampard sits in the middle and just off to the right with Carrick in a more defensive midfield position over to the left. Baines, Ferdinand, Jones and a first team start for Clyne will be aiming to prevent the frightening attacking strength of the Blues from getting through to Hart who returns to the City of Manchester Stadium for the first time since taking his central contract offer.

This should be an entertaining match if nothing else.

Only five minutes in to the match, a strong attack by City resulted in a corner, Lambert cleared it to Wilshere near the edge of the box who ran the entire length of the pitch to put Welbeck through, but Danny could only pass it directly to their keeper which resulted in a Milner clearance for a corner.

The corner was cleared to Wilshere who linked up beautifully with Baines and Carrick to threaten the Man City goal but there was no way through and the ball was eventually cleared to Negredo on the half way line who started a dangerous counter attack foiled only by a superb tackle by Baines who had tracked back to the England penalty box. The resulting corner failed to threaten.

A low free-kick to the centre of the penalty box took City by surprise enough for Welbeck to turn and fire off a precise finish that beat Pantilimon giving England an early lead and sending the travelling fans into rapture.

After a quiet spell, a City throw looked dangerous as Townsend linked up with Agūero but an attempted through-ball was beautifully cleared by an outstretched Carrick.

But the clearance couldn't be capitalised on by Lambert and before long the ball was back in the England half, only a great save from Hart prevented the equaliser.

There followed a period of pressure that England struggled to cope with. City were desperate to get that equaliser before the half time whistle went but were unable to take advantage of their dominance.

At the start of the second half a quick counter attack saw Lambert slide the ball through for Walcott.

Welbeck had all the time in the world to curl the ball around an outstretched Pantilimon from the edge of the box. A two goal lead for the fledgling England FC team.

A huge throw by Pantilimon to the half-way line allowed a surprise attack by Man City to penetrate deep into the England half, only a huge leap by Ferdinand to head the ball clear prevents the inevitable goal. The defensive efforts still couldn't stop City from piling on the pressure and only poor finishing kept England's lead intact.

There followed a series of attacks by Man City and each time they came forward the attempted finish came closer to finding the mark. A clear chance by Townsend was only denied by a great save from Hart which pushed the ball onto the post and out for a corner.

Yet another corner for Man City, this time an attempted lob by Touré from the edge of the box forced an acrobatic save from Hart, however the stranded keeper had no time to recover as the ball fell to Dzeko who couldn't miss from three yards out. Was a come back on the cards?

Only five minutes later and a poorly aimed goal-kick allows another attack from Man City. This time with Silva surging down the City left wing to loop in a precise ball to the waiting Dzeko who gets his second of the game from close range. At 2-2 with only 10 minutes left the match was really about to come alive.

Despite some last minutes attempts by both teams the match would go to extra time to decide the winner.

Extra Time

Despite City started the half with the same momentum from earlier it would be England who threatened first. Sturridge sprinted into the Blue's penalty box before unleashing a powerful but ultimately wild shot. However, Shearer had clearly made some changes to his tactics as England began to pile on the pressure themselves. A throw resulted in a great run from Wilshere deep into the City box and only a well timed tackle from Milner prevented a sure attempt on goal. Milner's tackle however only pushed the ball into Lampard's path who didn't waste the chance to fire it into the back of the Man City net. 3-2 England FC!

Things should have gone from bad to worse for City 10 minutes later as another tackle only served to supply an England player with the ball. This time Jack Wilshere from only three yards out couldn't miss but was denied by an amazing save by Pantilimon who managed to reverse direction, cover half of his goal and get down low to the ground in the space of a heartbeat. Simply fantastic goal keeping.

There was some real fire in the City team at the start of the second half of extra time, and combined with some slow and patient build up play in the midfield it was more than England could handle. Within the space of a minute Dzeko had unleashed a shot that the England keeper could only parry into the path of Nasri who, despite a desperate lunge by Clyne, couldn't fail to put into the back of the net past a, yet again, sprawled Hart.

The game became a real tense and nervy affair following the equaliser with neither team wanting to overcommit and face a counter attack. It looked like the plan was to play for penalties and hope for the best. A misplaced pass in midfield however gave England an opportunity to push forward and it was one that Theo Walcott wasn't going to waste. He cut inside the penalty box and drove the ball low and hard. Pantilimon did brilliantly again to get to it but the power of the strike took it past him and he could only watch as it was deflected high and into the goal off the underside of the bar. With only 10 minutes to go England FC had taken the lead once again. Despite cries for offside, the linesman's flag stayed down, 4-3 England.

Manchester City couldn't afford to sit back on their laurels now, they had to get another goal and soon. Tired legs all over the pitch made for ideal conditions for a late surging attack from a goal kick. Quick fire midfield passes and an unseen run by Samir Nasri almost gave them their just rewards but his attempted lob was too low and a grateful Joe Hart easily snatched the ball out of the air.

There was nothing left in the tank for either side and the rest of the match played out without incident. City were beaten despite looking the better side for large portions of the match but it was England who progressed today, and thoroughly deserved the win. Defensively they were dubious at times but magnificent in general and one thing is for sure, it is a match that neither group of fans will forget in a long time, a simply great game of football here today.

MotM - Edin Dzeko (Manchester City)
what a game! good win aswell
oops reported on Glen's MotM performance twice... oh well, he was simply THAT good!

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