The year is 2014, too much was drank and my statement of "Scottish players are not too bad" sounded crazy in the morning when the lads played back the video footage of them taking the piss out of me.
But I would show them, I would get a job within one of our 5 home nation countries and lead them to glory by buying/loaning Scottish only players.
Taking the "pish!" I will teach them for taking the "pish".
Editor note - England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland leagues loaded. Large data base, manager background as low as you can get it and starting unemployed.
No player would be signed apart from Scottish players, players currently at the club and youth players can and will be used.
Formation will only ever be the 4-3-1-2 created by Jamie and no changes to tactics will be made ever during the game.
Sounds like an interesting challenge, will be keeping tabs on this one. Good luck!
1st November 2014
In a strange way I have enjoyed my first 13 days at the club, joining on match day a few hours before kick off I told the lads to do what they wanted, I didn't care, we would be playing a certain way and to just go out and do what they do, thhey did that in a cracking 3-2 defeat at home to Bishop's Stortford.
The rest of the time was spent falling out with players that were put up for sale as they would never be used in my formation and bringing in some much needed back-room staff.
In all 3 people came in to help me run the club, the first 2 were brought in by my director of football and 1 by me who was a 30 year old Scottish coach named Graeme Law who up to last year was playing Vanarama Conference football for Tamworth.
Michael Boulding was brought in as my assistant manager, Michael had a cracking career playing over 300 games and scoring 92 goals for a number of league clubs and has played in all divisions outside the Prem.
47 year old Danny Howe joins the club as head of youth development and this will be his first job in football.
2 players left on 1 month loans, and with no money to spend no players would be coming in until that changed.
A 0-0 draw away at Concord Rangers was the final bit of October action, one in which I was really left pissed off with the officials. The 'first' tackle of the game so to speak in the 30th minute resulted in my centre half and captain being shown a straight red. We then have 2 goals disallowed for offside 'slow motion replays show both these decisions to be incorrect' and a clear cut penalty turned down.
November would be busy with 5 league games and a FA Trophy game to come, sat in 20th place on 11 points, I was 3 points from dragging the team out of a drop zone place and 16 points off a play off place.
Being out of the drop zone was Novembers target, and I didn't care about the cup.
First game of the month and it was a game of 2 halves, the first I acted like a right dick. We went 1 up inside 20 minutes or at least I thought we had. A great 'onside' goal was chalked off, and with me ranting it upset the concentration of the players and we let 2 quick goals in as I was kicking off on the side lines.
The second half was completely different, I apologised to them and asked them to try and get something out of the game, which they did with 2 second half goals to grab a point. I do however feel our soft penalty was given to even things up as I was right about the goal we had chalked off....football eh, a simple decision can have a massive impact on things!
Proud was an understatement for the team as they came back against Staines, they were all hugged and told of a cracking job done. Another point towards saftey, attacking football and character to come back from 2 down, we would be ok, I am sure of it.
Farnborough were next up and with them only 3 points behind me, I really needed not to lose. A win would get me out of the drop zone and leap frog Chelmsford.
Inside 3 minutes and we got caught with a long ball over the top, 1 down to this toss, not to worry we would fight back I was sure of it. And we should have been within a couple of minutes with DJ Campbell missing 2 sitters, I thought he wasn't really switched on during the pre match chat as he was too busy with his Dr Dre's on listening to some type of gangster shite, the ref however was great handing out 3 yellow cards inside 10 minutes to their players. This did however change as 2 yellows were quickly shown to my lads, apart from DJ Campbell constantly being offside the game drifted by...that is until DJ went down injured and it gave me an excuse to change him for Dave Tarpey, with a gentle tap of the arse his only instructions were 'stay on fecking side'.
Torpey did and on 55 minutes he struck with a fine header from inside the box 1-1 and 3-3 on yellow cards, this game had a red just simmering away.
With 65 minutes gone we went 4-3 up on yellow's and also 2-1 up! I was getting giddy, could this be our first win? What a substitution, Torpey had set the goal up - was he on for man of the match?
The rest of the match I was left with a 20p, 50p ringpiece as Farnborough missed clear cut chance after chance. But we had come back again, we had our first win, morale was on the up and we were out of the drop zone.
Campbell was out for 4 weeks with a thigh strain, not only would that mean I would see a little less flagging for offside in matches but we would not have to put up with the shite music and 'dancing' in the changing rooms.
Football, it changes in a blink of an eye, on 44 minutes we should have gone 1 up and we didn't - down the other end of the field and with my keeper dreaming of half time a normal 'punt' into the box means he catches it, then drops it for their striker and 1-0. He was in for one hell of a bollocking, apart from that we held our own against a club that could go top if results went their way today.
Huffing and puffing was the name of the 2nd half, but the shite goalkeeping just before half time cost us dear with a 1-0 defeat. But no.......90th minute and we snatch a dramatic draw and proof that there is more than 1 shit keeper in the world. Lucky or unlucky, it was another point and we were on a 4 match unbeaten run. Bath next away, they were 8 points in front of me and mid-table...another point maybe?
Bath away was a game where I always felt nervous after going in front early on and in injury time of the 1st half my feelings on the game came true with us gifting the home team a goal to level things.
Pissing about on the edge of their box they broke quick, I say broke, they hoofed it long and my back 4 were asleep, or down the tunnel wanting a cuppa.
I will give them some at half time and tell them they can still win, I wanted the unbeaten run to continue and I wanted the 3 points now I had seen Bath play.
Half an hour to go and my left back decides to pick his 2nd yellow up and he is off, all momentum is ground to a halt as I decide to leave 3 at the back, playing a full back either side of 1 centre half. Would my risky formation pay off? A point would be great now wouldn't it?
In the 71st minute the chance to go 1 up with a penalty, I couldn't watch, I turned my back and booooom 2-1 get in. 15 minutes of back to the walls and 3 points maybe, just maybe my risk had paid off. With the midfield tireing I decided to make a change, barking orders to my players and demanding the ref let me change a player a quick throw was taken, and 3-1 whoooooo get in!..
A good win, with the woodwork coming to our rescue in the final few minutes, we were on a roll.
Next up a home game against Weston-super-Mare who were 1 place and 2 points above me..could we make it 6 games without a loss against these?
Going into our 1st game as favorites I was pretty nervous, but within 15 minutes and a brace by Green up front I was a happy bunny. Imagine how happy I was at 3-0 after 2 goals in a minute.
3-0 at half time, I was happy, keep things going was the message.
After just 3 minutes of the 2nd half and Green had a chance from the spot with a pen, up he ran and this time I could watch as he hit his 9th goal of the season.
And that was it 4-0 a good win, and I now wanted us to win the cup game - I wonder if there was a chance of getting the manager of the month award.
Reading the papers the following day after the 4-0 win I was surprised to know that these last 6 unbeaten games was a new club record.
Something I have noticed is the long ball over the top catches us out a lot, and it was the case after just 4 minutes as we went 1 down, soon to be 2 after just 6 minutes - the players just didn't seem up for it, or were complacent after a great run of games.
Whatever it was we should have been 3 down after 20 minutes but the keeper saved our blushes from the penalty spot. We needed to go in at half time just 1 behind. And on 35 minutes we got a lifeline with the defense showing the strikers how to score.
With 4 minutes of the half remaining it was our turn to go long, loooooooooooong over the top and 2-2 bloody hell my heart was pounding, I now wanted a 3rd before half time in this rip-roaring cup tie.
The 2nd half was pants, real pants and a real come down, extra time it was...could our legs hold out? They did and we got a 2nd chance to progress with a replay at home....
News from the treatment room was 'DJ' was ready for football...oh dear god no.
1st December 2014
Cracking first full month in charge in which I picked the runners up award in the manager of the month - had I won the cup game, I am sure it would have been me in 1st place.
But it wasn't and December would start as last month ended with a cup game against Dulwich Hamlet, we had to make home advantage count. Just 3 league games to be played if the weather held out, and we would start the month off in a better position than of last.
Sat in 17th place I was not out of the drop zone and 3 points away from it, first job done, I was also now 12 points off a play off place. So November had been kind to me, without getting carried away I would like to end December at least 5 points away from the drop zone and if I could get within 10 points of the play offs I would be a very happy gaffer indeed.
Before the cup game the lads were told a win and we would face Boreham Wood away from home who were sat in 4th place in our very own league. Boreham Wood also had the 2 best goalscorers in the league with 21 goals between them and they had scored 21 of the teams 27 league goals. Would it matter if we didn't win? Looking at the reward, I didn't give a shit again.
I decided to throw DJ Campbell back into the mix, it would make or break him....2 mins into the first half and what a dive and a pen, up he got, in it went, cheeky wink to the camera man, you had to love him right!....
Dulwich really should have leveled things on 20 minutes but luckily their striker was total pants on 1 v 1's blazing over the top when it was easier to miss.
27 minutes in and it was Green with his 10th goal of the season to put us 2-0 up, and what was seeming like the next round. Then on 44 minutes, the DJ was spinning his tune again with his 2nd, his 2nd pen and our 3rd - this was becoming enjoyable and easy.
With 3 minutes of the 2nd half, DJ headed in his 3rd for his hat-trick and that was enough for me, he had played 50 minutes in his come back game and it was time for a rest and a standing ovation from the home supporters.
5-0 soon came with sub Brown picking up where the DJ had left off, the fans were loving this 5 star display, could we hit 6? The whistle blew and the answer was no, but 5 was a great effort from the lads. And gave us a real boost before the visit of 7th placed St.Albans to our quickly becoming fortress.
A fluke of a goal on 17 minutes by Green's replacement due to injury and the pouring rain was not stopping the dancing in the stands. A worldy of a goal on 34 minutes was scored from almost 30 yards to send the lads in at half time 2 up.
Not a mega match, but we were doing enough, I was very happy and if we could close the match out, our unbeaten run should continue.
The second half sort of fizzled out with a spattering of yellow cards, still another game unbeaten with a good win and another place climbed up the league to 16th - bring on Boreham Wood away in our cup tie (Don't care if we lose....honest).
I said to the lads before the match to watch their front 2, half a sniff and they would score - just 2 minutes in and we were 1 down. But my boys have shown time and time again, they will fight back and on 17 minutes were level with a clumsy header that found the net. 24 seconds later a defensive mistake and we were behind again.
The heavens opened up and the goals continued to go in, with an equaliser on 35 minutes. A goalkeeper error (again) made it 3-2 to Boreham Wood and had me wishing my number 1 would heal faster from his broken leg...another 4 months at least on the sidelines for him.
Just as I thought I was going to go in at half time glum, it was a hat-trick for my young striker Lanre Azeez. 6 goals in the first half, the footballing gods would make sure the 2nd half would be shite - that's the rule of football right?
With 20 minutes to go, it was our turn to go in front with a fine team effort from the edge of the box, could we hold on to the lead?
The answer was no, and with 10 minutes to go it was 4-4, who were going to finish strong? Who would win the tie? With 7 minutes to go I swapped 2 midfield players, fresh legs for the last 10 and maybe for extra time. Then in the 4th minute of injury time Brown our decent striker goes down and signels to the bench...last sub made....extra time...bring it on.
Whatever happens now, the fans have seen a cracking game, with the match heading to half time of extra time my team are blowing out their arses, 2 players should be in the treatment room but I have no subs left...not looking good for the 2nd half, I doubt we would make it with all 11 on the pitch.
Not only would I be missing players through injury for my next game, but Pritchard got himself sent off with 3 minutes to go with a very tired lunge and a 2nd yellow - very harsh by the ref.
And that was that! What a game, but at what cost, tired players, injured players and only 3 days before an away league game at 18th placed Gosport, a team we could not afford to lose to.
So the footballing gods were smiling, the upcoming league game was replaced by the cup replay. Time to rest some players, we were never going to win the cup so it was a case of going through the motions.
Wow was the only word on my lips after 28 minutes, a throw into the area dropped nicely for midfield player Nicholls to smash home, then on 35 minutes a wonderful 30 yard ball sent Green clear and he made it 2-0 and nice comfy half time team talk.
Boreham Wood cam storming out of the blocks hitting the wood work twice within the first 10 minutes of the second half, how we were still in-front I will knew know. But we were and the clock was counting down in our favor, would soon be substitution time and run the clock down more.
62 minutes and it was 3-0, Green with a cracking header and a place in the 2nd round draw...you beauty! Sub time....
With a minute to go and nothing more than a distraction the away fans celebrated a goal to make it 3-1 and that was the end of it all.
Hemel Hempstead brought in the new year, a cold a wet day started really well with a goal from the corner on 3 minutes. Midfield player Harry Pritchard swept home to put us in front. On 15 minutes an own goal put us well and truly in the driving seat and 2-0 up.
37 minutes were on the clock when Pritchard hit his 2nd of the game with a fine strike from the edge of the box which left us going in at the break 3-0 up.
What a goal on 52 minutes and a first of the season from another midfield player, Upward who had been out on loan made it 4-0. Our keeper had to mess things up, and on 67 Hemel Hempstead were gifted a goal and too little too late sprang to mind, but 4-1 was the scoreline. I needed a new keeper that was for sure, a Scottish keeper I giggled to myself! The keeper was at it again, dropping the ball and 4-2 with 12 minutes to go...I was fuming.
Sub Brown settled me down though with 10 minutes to go, his first touch a header and 5-2.....that was better. This result would set us up for the arrival of the league leaders, could we make it 10 league games unbeaten at the end of the upcoming 90 minutes?
A tame first half with what seems to be both teams not wanting to win the match in fear of losing it. A 3rd minute chance for Brown was the only highlight and maybe with more games under his belt he would have scored.
Into the 2nd half and we went 1 up with a fine headed goal following a free-kick drifted in and onto the nogging of Nicholls, we were closing in on that 10 match un-beaten run.
Ooooooooooooooo what a way to go 2 up, a belter from 20 yards from Green, 14 goals now this season for the lad, top football! 20 minutes left to keep the run going, we could do this.
And that we did, but at 3-0 with Danny Green netting direct from a free kick, forget staying up - I wanted the club to kick on now and go up.....bring it on...A hat-trick after another free-kick from Green this was dreamland stuff, 4 nil against a team from the top.
Cup was up next and Gateshead top of the Vanarama Prem, looks like we will get tested then!
What is now becoming the norm, it was raining for this cup match...and the mood soon followed the weather with our right back over-hitting a back pass to their striker and bosh 1 nil down with 15 minutes on the clock.
A wonder save from my shite keeper on 28 minutes kept the score as it was, and then a shitty tackle and no action taken resulted on my top scorer Green getting injured. And with a couple of minutes to go on the clock a much fitter,stronger Gateshead side went 2 up.
Half time and I needed to stir the inner of a few of my players that seemed a little overwhelmed with it all.
A glimmer of hope on 60 minutes with a penalty smashed home by Matty Parsons, but it was all over and out of the cup we went. It was time to brush ourselves down and get ready for 5 league games this month, 15 points on offer and I wanted them all.
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