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[FM 18] Audere Est Facere

Started on 18 September 2018 by FoolishFooty
Latest Reply on 18 September 2018 by FoolishFooty
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Chapter One: Dare to Dream

It was a long time coming. Eight years since he had hung his boots, and Dominick Robillard had not been approached for a senior management job yet. Oh sure, he had put his name forward, circulated his CV a bit but nothing. Absolutely nothing. In the meantime, his former teammates and opponents were all making quick headway in their new management careers, all the while Dominick was stuck as an assistant manager at some Ligue 2 youth academy. He was thankful, no doubt, for the opportunity to still be in football and his six years at the academy (as a coach and, now, an assistant to the manager) had been great learning experiences for him. He learned how to spot and deal with young talent in ways he had never imagined before; he learned how to deal with the hormones of youth that can turn a dressing room around quickly; most of all, he learned how to remain focused and determined on his goal. Patience, as they say, is a virtue; and virtues are habits. Habits must be formed and Dominick was forming the habit of patience these last years in northern France's youth academy.

It's not that his name had no recognition: he was a world-class midfielder in his day, playing for the likes of Lyons, and Milan. He finished his career out at Tottenham where, at 34, he finally retired. He took three years off, earned a few coaching badges on his own and traveled around the French Riviera before he finally landed his present (and persistent) gig with the kids. "It's a stepping stone," he told his wife. "I'll work with the kids for a few years, get my coaching badges, and soon enough I will be snapped up by a senior team to manage." That's not exactly how it happened, but the dream was still alive; he wasn't done yet.


Another training session, another routine day at the pitch. The kids were particularly tired today after a hard-fought match against some local rivals yesterday. That didn't stop the manager from running them to death today. The looks on their faces told the story of what was in Dominick's head: "What kind of idiot is this? We played, and won, a massive game yesterday, and we are being run like dogs today." Needless to say, Dominick would do things differently. Just what he would do was his focus for contemplation in the car ride home.

"We need a paradigm shift, new blood in the office and a renewed sense of direction," he thought to himself. "We need to push hard, but more importantly we need to push smart." He turned on the radio to the sports news to hear what was going on. Maybe a new job opportunity would come up.


Nothing as far as he could tell. It was all the same. Every day. As he came up the driveway, Dominick's wife burst out the front door of their spacious suburban home.

"Dominick, Dominick, you need to come quick! There's a message for you!"

"Honey, calm down. Is everything alright?"

"Alright?! Alright?! Bloody hell Dominick, just listen to the message!" Her frantic tone caused a sense of alarm and trepidation in him. He approached the phone slowly, picked it up and pressed it against his ear. He was sweating a little. His wife was grinning ear to ear, which reassured him, but he didn't want to be let down; he didn't dare to dream about what was on the other end.


He should have dreamed, because any dream he could have imagined would have been paltry next to reality. Daniel Levy, the Chairman at Tottenham Hotspur, had called and left a very detailed message. Dominick listened again:

"Good afternoon Dom, it's Daniel Levy at Tottenham. Listen, could you ring us back when you have a chance? Mauricio has had to resign due to some family issues and we're looking for someone to lead us through the season. It's only for one season, in a sort of temporary role, but we can look at extending you should we think that you're working out. Anyway, give us call. We remember your time at White Hart Lane fondly and would love to have you back."

Dreams do come true. Dominick called his club and advised them of the change. They were chuffed to be getting such a good compensation for a youth coach, and from such a big club. The deal worked for everyone; but for Dominick, the work had just begun.
Fantastic start here. I'm looking forward to seeing how Dominick makes the transition from youth football to top-flight football at Spurs. Good luck!
Chapter Two: The Reception

Lindsy Hipgrave: Welcome back to BT Sport Football news. Big happenings out of White Hart Lane today, as it was announced that the club's manager, Mauricio Pochettino, will be leaving citing personal issues which needed prolonged attention due back in Argentina. Pochettino has been with the club since 2014 after a spate of manager changes from Andre Villas Boas to Tim Sherwood. Pochettino was extremely popular with Spur's supporters and has seen Tottenham playing some of their best football in decades.

And if that wasn't enough for Spur's fans to be upset about, club Chairman Daniel Levy's announcement of Pochettino's replacement has certainly provoked the ire of the faithful. Rookie manager Dominick Robillard will take over at White Hart Lane on a temporary one-year contract. Robillard has no previous managerial experience, having spent the last six years at a small youth academy in the French second league, but does come with a high degree of name recognition, having won 78 caps for the French National Team, scoring 31 goals and winning one world cup in 1998. We go now to White Hart Lane for the live press conference.

The show cuts to the announcement press conference at White Hart Lane.

Daniel Levy: Thank you all for coming, I'm sad to announce that Mauricio has requested to leave the club after receiving some tragic family news in Argentina that will require his attention for an indeterminate amount of time. The club wishes Mauricio the best, but that is all we are willing to discuss at the moment. I know you will respect his privacy and that of his family. In better news, I am pleased to announce that we have secured a new manager who will be with the club one a one-year contract with the view to extending the contract should the performance meet the level that has come to be expected by the board and supporters. Dominick Robillard is a former French international with a wealth of experience playing on the pitch; for the last six years, he has been securing his coaching badges and practicing as Assistant Manager at a youth academy. The club believe that this is a good fit, given the number of young prospects who are at the club at the moment, and the club's desire to push on and win some silverware as soon as possible. Without further ado, I'd like to introduce the new manager at Tottenham, Dominick Robillard.

Dominick enters. Cameras shutter and flashes go off.

Dominick Robillard: Thank you all very much, I am so happy to have been offered the opportunity to come back to Tottenham for the first time since I retired six years ago. It has always been a club that I have had a deep admiration for and I look forward to having the opportunity to help it reach its potential. To the fans, I know that you may be worried about my lack of managerial experience, but I want to say that I will be working very closely with my colleagues who have been at the club for some time now and I will rely heavily on their help; I will also be bringing in some experienced members for my backroom staff which I believe will help more than make up for what experience I lack. As I said, I look forward to the opportunity to bring Tottenham back to the peak of English football and, indeed, Europe too.

DL: Thanks, Dom. We will now take some questions.

Reporter: Dominick, you come to Spurs at a time where they seem to be constantly on the cusp of doing great things, but always failing to hit that level. Do you think you will be able to help them achieve all of their ambitions?

DR: Well, first of all, I think that Spurs are an incredibly ambitious club. In my discussions with Mr. Levy and others at the club, it is clear that there is a tremendous desire and hunger for trophies and I share that hunger. However, there is still a good deal of work to be done. There is a tremendous difference between winning and almost winning and if we want to get to the level of winning, we have a lot of work ahead. I'm happy that I am being given the opportunity to take over at the beginning of a pre-season, as this will give me time to really evaluate the squad and determine where we need to strengthen and what we need to do to get to the next level. My contract may be short, but my vision is long-term and I think that there is still some foundational pieces which needs to be set.

Reporter: Dominick, you were obviously a household name during your playing days, but we've seen a lot of managers with that kind of pedigree come and go in recent years. Do you think that your playing career is an asset to you or is it even something worth considering?

DR: Yeah, I think that it is useful because I've been where these players are, and I've faced the pressure that they face in the same way. In some ways, I have even been where these players want to go, since I've won a few trophies in my day. But more importantly, management is a different game to playing and even to coaching and so only time will tell whether I am destined to be a great football manager or if I was only a great player.

Reporter: Tottenham is a club that always looks set to do well, but often fails at the last gasp. How are you going to change that?

DR: Well, as I said before, I need to work closely with the existing staff and even bring in some more people. The more brains we have, the more likely it is we will unlock the code that has been holding us back. Mauricio did a fantastic job of getting us right on the precipice and now it is my job to push us over the edge. That is why I am here and it is what I will venture to do.

DL: That's all the questions we're going to take today; as I'm sure you can appreciate, Dom has a lot to do. I'll turn it over now to the Press Secretary who will go into the finer details with you.

Back to studio.

LH: Interesting stuff going on at White Hart Lane. I'm here with someone who knows all about the pressure of managing at the Lane, Harry Redknapp is former Spurs manager and is here with us to discuss this appointment. Harry, what do you make of this appointment and of his performance in the press conference today?

HR: Well, he certainly knows that he's in for an uphill battle; you can see that in the answers he is giving. He hasn't promised glory, he hasn't promised trophies. The fans will be disappointed by that, but I think it's smart to temper expectations. He only has one year guaranteed at the club and he doesn't want to get himself into hot water too early. A lot of how he is received will be determined by the results in the first few weeks of the regular season.

LH: Do you think this is a good appointment?

HR: I do, yeah. He's got a lot of playing experience at the highest level and he was always an intelligent player. If he can translate that intelligence into the management side of the game, he'll do great. The only big question mark, really, is in his ability to manage players: it's something he's never had to do because he's never been gaffer.

LH: Finally, Harry, do you think that this shakeup in the backroom will translate into unrest at White Hard Lane?

HR: Well, it certainly can. The fans, for sure, are going to be antsy and the players really loved Mauricio so they might have a hard time getting used to someone different, with a different temperament and style, running the show. But they're professionals and --

LH: Do you think that some of them might be angling for a transfer to bigger clubs now?

HR: It's possible. It's possible. Spurs don't have the kind of wage budget that other big clubs like your Barcelonas and PSGs do so this may be the occasion that sends some of the players who could command that kind of wage away. I'm thinking of lads like Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen.

LH: Well there certainly has been a lot of talk about Christian Eriksen leaving the club and while the Spurs' faithful will want to keep their talismanic midfielder, it's down to rookie manager Dominick Robillard to keep him. Harry, thanks for being here with us again today. After the break, we look at whether another North London Club, Arsenal, can finally break through under their new boss, Unai Emery.

Cut to commercial.

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