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Representing A Continent

Started on 15 November 2019 by TheLFCFan
Latest Reply on 13 August 2020 by OneMoreGame
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Learning The Past



January 28th 2010

They say time heals all wounds. That didn’t seem true to Jacob, not in his case. Not when he heard his dad’s voice for the first time in years. The first thing Jacob did when he heard his dad, George’s, voice for the first time in twenty-eight years, was punch him across the face. He wasn’t sure if it was because he hated his dad. He wasn’t sure if it was the fact it was the first chance he could get a release of anger after hearing X, a man he saw as a father figure, had died. Or maybe even a combination of every little thing that had pissed him off in the past twenty years since his life was turned upside down.

Jacob had struck many a man since getting into his new trade, not for a few years mind, since he now had people to do that for him but he still hit his dad pretty hard. Having hit George, Jacob regretted it, he sat his dad up who had understood the release of emotion from his son and laughed off the punch. As much as he was laughing, perhaps impressed with the force of the strike, it had hurt the now sixty year old. With alcohol still in both mens systems they had decided the best idea was to meet for a meal the next day to talk over what exactly had happened over twenty years ago.

That led to today, both men sat across from each other at a table in one of Jacob's personal favourite Italian restaurants. It was a place he frequented often with the owner Luigi saving him a private table in the backroom, with a selection of his finest wines on offer.

“Well, you are clearly a powerful man now Jacob, I can’t imagine this comes cheap?” questioned George, as he tried to gauge what his son did for a living.

“I have friends in good places, and what better place to have friends than at one of the best Italian restaurants in the country let alone the city.” responded Jacob.

Both men knew this was merely small talk and they had much deeper and perniant issues to get to, but with an uncertainty of how to exactly approach it. The alcohol induced states the pair had found themselves in yesterday had taken away some of the shock of seeing each other for the first time in almost three decades. It was 1982 when the pair had their home torn through by the police like a tornado ripping apart their worlds but now they sat face to face with each other once again.

“Quite the shiner there,” Jacob noted as he pointed to his dad's eye.

“Yeah, you caught me well.” his dad laughed.

“Why did you guys never come and find me dad? You said you would, but you didn’t. Why?” Jacob blurted out, as he choked back tears.

It had been a question weighing on Jacob’s shoulders ever since he first made his way to Johannesburg. He knew he had gone a fair way from Cape Town, but he had been certain his parents would always come and find him somehow. His mum had promised she would find him after all.

“Jacob, we didn’t stop looking. We searched and searched for months, months on end. It was a non-stop search. It drove us both crazy. We didn't sleep, we didn’t eat it was the only thing we cared about. Then we found your shirt. On the highway, bloodied and ripped, it broke both of us. I turned to drink for a few weeks, imagining the worse. But then I got back to looking for you. I knew you couldn’t have passed. It was impossible, I knew you were alive somehow some way. I made it my life mission to find you and I never gave up.” George told his son, not quite telling the full truth with his drinking going on much longer than he said, and his search ending much sooner.

“And mum? Where is she? Why isn’t she with you?” asked Luke.

“Your mum. Jacob I hate to tell you but you are old enough to know. She gave up. She gave up on you and when I had a blip and turned to drink, she began a relationship with another man who lived next to us. She left me and she gave up on you son.” George once again exaggerated the truth.

“She gave up? She couldn’t have, she promised me.” Luke begged, hopeful his dad would tell him something different.

“I am sorry Jacob, she didn’t. She met another man, got married to him and had another son.” replied George.

“She replaced me? Do you know who the kid is?” asked a despondent Jacob.

“You’d have heard of him. Her son was Luke Hendricks, the Bafana Bafana player.” answered his dad.

“Luke Hendricks.” Jacob repeated, with disdain in his voice clear.

Replies


James:Firmino is a tough one and he may well still go but he gives the squad a great level of experience and has been a great member of the squad for many years. He struggled to adapt to his new role last year but we can let him off for that for one season I think.

I hope this update has answered some of those questions for you ;)
Okay, well... Luke is screwed then :( No way will Jacob let this go lightly, though I'm now wondering if his father has an ulterior motive for "coming clean." He presented himself in a good light, whilst making the mother look bad for moving on with her life. I vote Jacob just kills them all, and then leads a coup to overthrow the government ;)

Also, there's no room for sentimentality regarding Bobby. He either needs to score more goals, or gtfo ;)
I can't help but think that George's tone when speaking to Jacob is quite manipulative, especially given the events of the day before. Of course he as a husband would have bitterness towards his ex-wife but to pass it onto his son is a dumb move when talking about the boys mother. The past two updates has explained a lot of present-day circumstances.

Two in Two Out at Liverpool


Following the sales of Ben Chilwell and Florian Thauvin, Liverpool have acted fast in making a pair of additions. Both Sergio Pulido and Marcênio join the Premier League Champions.

With the transfer window open for a matter of days, Liverpool have acted fast in the market, moving on two fringe players, whilst adding two young stars of the future. Ben Chilwell left for Tottenham Hotspur in a deal worth £60,000,000 whilst Florian Thauvin has been moved onto Zenit St. Petersburg for £33,000,000. Arriving to the league champions, Sergio Pulido, from Benfica in an initial fee of £44,000,000 and Marcênio for £17,500,000.

The sales of Ben Chilwell and Florian Thauvin were expected by many since January, with neither player featuring in twenty games in all competitions last season. Chilwell played a total of sixteen games in all competitions under new manager Luke Hendricks, with Andrew Robertson the clear number one. That left the player who only arrived a season earlier for £40,000,000 barely featuring and with the European Championships taking place next year, a move was always on the cards.

Tottenham had a poor season by their lofty standards, falling to their lowest league position in fifteen years, ending the year in eleventh. A large part of that blame was placed on Ryan Sessegnon who struggled at left-back for the North London side. He has since been moved on to Norwich, with Chilwell being made number one target. A deal of £60,000,000, all paid upfront, was agreed and the twenty-six year old will be looking to revitalise his career.

Also on his way out of Liverpool is Florian Thauvin, who endured a torrid year under Luke Hendricks. Having signed for Liverpool, then under Jurgen Klopp, just a year earlier, in a deal worth £41,500,000 Thauvin was clearly not in Luke’s plans this season. The French winger played just six games in all competitions, scoring one goal and a single assist. Thauvin, who turned thirty in January was sold for £33,000,000 once again all paid upfront. He joins Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg, a club who Luke has a shaded history with himself. However, following the murder of Boyra Uys last year, it was stated the two parties got along well in negotiations with the new Zenit chairman. Zenit are looking to claim their first league title since 2018/19 with CSKA continuing their domination of recent times, winning their third title in the last three seasons.

Zenit were also reportedly personal terms away from signing Loris Karius, in a deal worth £25,000,000. However, the German keeper couldn’t reach agreeable terms with the Russian club. With the uncertainty around Karius’ situation and a lack of youth goalkeepers coming through the club, Liverpool have added Marcênio from boyhood club São Paulo.

The Brazilian twenty year old is a highly rated prospect in his home country, with many expecting him to take Alisson’s spot as the Brazilian number one at some point in the future. Marcênio joins for an initial fee of £17,500,000 with that potentially rising to £20,500,000. The fee is pricey, especially for a manager in Luke Henderson who has been seen to favour bargains in the past, but with Marcênio potential, it is expected to work out for both parties.

Reports coming out of Anfield suggests that Marcênio could be loaned straight back out from the club this summer with Liverpool preferring him to play at a high level of competition on a regular basis. That would not currently be possible for him at Liverpool with Alisson seen as the best goalkeeper in the world. It’s believed Marcênio could well attract Premier League sides attention but a more realistic level for now would be the Championship.


Also arriving at Liverpool, and someone who won’t be going on loan, is that of Sergio Pulido, who signs for Luke Hendricks largest fee paid. With a £44,000,000 rising to £49,000,000 that fee beats out the previous high of £25,000,000 paid for Leonidas. Pulido joins as a likely backup to Mohamed Salah, with the Mexican breaking out in Europe last season whilst at Benfica.

Having only signed at the Portuguese side for £15,750,000 last season, the now nineteen year old started twenty league games, scoring nine goals with six assists. In total, from forty-three games, thirteen off the bench, the Mexican winger scored seventeen goals from the right hand side. Similar in many aspects to the current star right sided winger at Liverpool, Mohamed Salah, Pulido has high expectations on his shoulders following his arrival.

Backing up Salah, who last season played forty-four games, with an injury cutting his season short, Pulido is expected to bring much excitement to the Premier League champions. He was heavily relied on and the need for a clear backup was evident.


Liverpool have reportedly missed out on a target though, with Fábio Silva signing for Arsenal in a deal worth £62,000,000. Liverpool are said to have refused to pay the asking price for the talented youngster, with a stringent transfer policy clearly in place.

Despite missing out on Silva, Liverpool have confirmed three new signings already this season, with Cain Hicks joining earlier in the window. The first chance of Liverpool fans seeing their new stars in action will come on July 8th with a home match against Shamrock Rovers kicking off pre-season for the club.

Replies


James:Might be slightly extreme that :O I think it's clear from his past few years, Jacob didn't take the information very well.
Jack:Indeed, it seems as though he is out for his revenge...
It's not extreme... ;)

You've done some good business in the transfer window so far, but I'd hope there's a few more arrivals and departures as you look to perfect your squad. Marcênio is quite undersized for a goalkeeper, so it's going to be interesting to see how he does dealing with the physicality of the strikers in the Premier League.

Vinícius Júnior Makes Liverpool Move


Liverpool have confirmed the arrival of latest signing Vinícius Júnior from Spanish giants Real Madrid. The fifth Brazilian in the Liverpool squad, signs for a fee of £22,500,000.

Luke Hendricks’ search for bargains has been seen once again, with the signing of Brazilian starlet Vinícius Júnior. The twenty-two year old, was once seen as the next big thing by Real Madrid when they paid £40,000,000 for the then eighteen year old. However, a lack of opportunity and the arrival of Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea earlier in the window, saw Vinícius look for a move away from the Spanish capital.

Having broken into the Flamengo side aged sixteen, many saw Vinícius as the ‘next Neymar’ with expectations exceptionally high for the left-winger. His potential was clear to see, with the youngster scoring seven goals in his thirty-seven appearances in Brazil. His performances led to links to some of Europe’s biggest clubs, with Real Madrid winning the race to sign the Brazilian.

Early on, signs suggested Madrid saw Vinícius as a player who could feature straight away, with eighteen appearances in his debut season. Yet a year later, with the arrival of Eden Hazard, he played just twice in the league. Unlikely to see much game time, the winger was sent on loan to German side FC Schalke 04 for the second half of the 2020/21 season.

The loan was a massive success, with Vinícius scoring four in his fourteen games at his new club. The loan was extended for a further two years, with the winger scoring ten and six in his thirty-one and twenty-seven games in the last two seasons respectively. However, despite impressing, Real Madrid opted to sign Callum Hudson-Odoi in a £44,500,000 move leaving Vinícius looking for a move in the opposite direction.

Liverpool became clear favourites for the winger straight away, with the belief that Memphis Depay is being offered away from the club, with a £13,500,000 clause being triggered if the Dutch winger plays another game for Liverpool. Vinícius will be expected to play backup to Alphonso Davies who was a star for the League winners last season. However, it is expected that some good performances, could force him a place in the starting line up, with Luke keen to have multiple options at the club.


On his way out of Liverpool is another South American, with José Giménez making a £63,000,000 move to Chinese champions, Guangzhou Evergrande. Liverpool cut their losses on a player they paid the same price for two seasons ago, with Luke Hendricks clearly not favouring the center-back. Making just three league appearances last season, Giménez leaves Liverpool with many surprised they received such a high fee.

The two latest deals at Liverpool means a total profit of £64,000,000 has been made so far this transfer window, with £95,000,000 being spent across the first team and youth sides. Further moves are still expected though. Becir Omeragic is expected to be moved on loan from Liverpool with Stade Rennais the favourites. Georginio Wijnaldum has also had a bid rejected, with Benfica still twelve million away from Liverpool's reported £40,000,000 asking price.

Following Liverpool’s opening friendly win against Shamrock Rovers, a 5-1 victory, they now travel to China for a pre-season tour. There they will play Shandong Luneng and Beijing Renhe before a stop over in South Korea to play affiliate side Suwon Bluewings. Two more away trips will see Liverpool play Northern Irish side Cliftonville and fellow Merseyside club Tranmere Rovers.

Luke will then take his side to Wembley to play the curtain raiser Community Shield fixture against league runners up, Arsenal.

Replies


James:Another two moves there and the squad is really coming together I think. He may be undersized, but he still looks a very good young keeper.
I wonder if Pulido is as big-headed in his mind as his actual head :)) Some great additions, good to see building on success.
That's more like it! VJ is a good signing for you, and the battle between him and Julius Davies will be brilliant for Luke to watch. The departures that you're allowing are seeing a lot of money reenter the clubs coffers, which will allow you a lot of room to maneuver the further you get into the window.

Wonderkid Arrives at Anfield


Simone Staub has completed his £26,000,000 move from SC Braga to English Premier League Champions Liverpool. The Portuguese under 21s captain is the fourth, first team player who is under twenty-two to join Liverpool this summer.

Luke Hendricks has once again added to his Liverpool side, with the arrival of center-back Simone Stuab who joins from SC Braga in Portugal. The twenty-one year old joins following his release clause of £26,000,000 being activated by Luke Hendricks' side, following interest from Real Madrid, Juventus and Chelsea.

Staub, who captains the Portuguese under 21s national team, made his way through his boyhood club's youth system making his Braga B debut in the 2019/20 season. The then eighteen year old spent the start of the following season asserting himself as the number one defensive prospect at the club. His dominant performances at that level saw Ricardo Sá Pinto call him into the first team for the second half of the season.

Following the start of the new year, Staub started all but one of the clubs final sixteen league games as he helped his side to nine clear sheets from those games. His impressive performances in the second half of that season, saw Staub start twenty-three games in the 2021/22 season, establishing himself as a promising talent in the country.

Those starts only increased further last season, as the defender started twenty-nine games at just twenty-one years of age. He also scored the first goal of his career, against FK Vojvodina, before going on to add a further two in the season.

His impressive performances across three seasons, had seen a number of Europe’s largest sides taking an interest in his services. Real Madrid, Juventus and Chelsea, were all linked with the center-back, however, Liverpool were the only ones to act on his £26,000,000 release clause. Staub signs a £45,000 a week contract that is said to last until 2027, with Liverpool manager Luke Hendricks ‘excited’ about his new arrival.

Luke Hendricks:
“We have managed to get one of the brightest young defenders in the world in this deal and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Simone (Staub) is a natural leader who has shown his ability at a top class league already. He is still very young but here we feel he can play a big role this season.” Hendricks stated.

Staub, who isn’t the tallest of defenders, standing just six feet tall, has been considered undersized and not tall enough to be an elite defender by many. However, Portuguese football expert, Felipe Dias has no doubt that the twenty-one year old will ‘thrive’ under Luke Hendricks at Liverpool.

Felipe Dias:
“A lot has been said about Simone’s (Stuab) height. He isn’t the tallest of defenders but he won a similar percentage of headers as Virgil van Dijk did last season and more than what Joe Gomez did. He won’t be the one to clear every ball in the air but as long as Liverpool partners him with someone a bit more dominant in the air, Simone can thrive in Luke Hendricks system at Liverpool.”
“He’s excellent on the ball, which is something Luke has implemented well at Liverpool this season, and what he did at CSKA Moscow too, building from the back. He’s also an incredibly smart footballer, especially for someone so young and he will be a leader in any dressing room, even at one with established players like they have at Liverpool. Simone (Staub) is someone to be excited about and I am sure any worries about him will fade very quickly.” said Felipe Dias on the Sky Sports News Transfer Podcast.


Liverpool's move for Staub comes following the sale of José Giménez earlier this month with the center-back moving to Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande in a £63,000,000 move.

Staub could make his Liverpool debut as early as tomorrow when Liverpool play Cliftonville in their first friendly back in the United Kingdom following a successful tour of Asia. There they beat Beijing Renhe and affiliate side Suwon Bluewings as well as a 1-1 draw against Shandong Luneng.

Replies


Jack:They do seem to have some big heads! I think it is necessary to build from a strong position and as long as it's done right it can only help.
James:Luke has made it almost a principle that money is spent when money comes in, how long that lasts is to be seen but it's certainly something he has followed to this point in his managerial career.
Excellent business as always when conducted by Luke. I've spoken highly enough about his shrewdness in the past though.

To rewind back to a few updates ago, :O I could never have connected the dots to this at all. Jacob is surely the main operator behind the stalking of Luke then! What a twist.
You've gotten Simone for a good price, and he should be a good back-up for you next season while he continues to develop. He actually looks like he would be a better DM than CB to me, so it'll be an interesting one to follow.

More signings pls, still waiting for you to throw some cash at a megastar!
He’ll be a good Stauber in your defence

Nketiah Gifts Arsenal Community Shield


An Eddie Nketiah second half goal was all that separated Liverpool and Arsenal at Wembley in the season’s curtain raiser. The goal gave Arsenal the win over ten man Liverpool ahead of next weekend's Premier League start.

The 2023 Community Shield final once again played the role as the new season's curtain raiser. Liverpool came into the game as favourites, having last season won the Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup but it was Arsenal, whose second place finish in the Premier League got them the spot in the Community Shield, came out victors.

Both teams came into the game with relatively changed squads following the transfer window. Liverpool began with a very similar starting eleven to what was seen last season, with Mohamed Salah starting his first game back since hip surgery. But on the bench a number of new arrivals. Marcênio, Simone Staub, Sergio Pulido and Vinícius Júnior were all in line for a debut off the bench. For Arsenal, first starts were handed to summer signings Fábio Silva and Pedro Porro whilst James Maddison made his debut from the bench.

Both sides started out brightly, with either side having three shots each in the opening half an hour, with Liverpool controlling possession. However, in the thirty-second minute, last year's breakout star, Leonidas, was shown a straight red card. The Brazilian central-midfielder mistimed his challenge on Arsenal debutant Fábio Silva who was making his way down the right wing. The challenge saw Silva’s legs taken out from him and despite a number of covering defenders, the referee saw the tackle fit for a straight red card.

Despite the red card, Arsenal couldn’t take control of the game with neither side breaking the deadlock before half-time. Arsenal did however, emerge from the halftime break on top, taking control of possession and challenging Alisson in the Liverpool goal. Yet, new summer signing, Fábio Silva, who arrived for £62,000,000, failed to find the net. Unai Emery, seemingly frustrated with his side's lack of clinical edge, bought on Eddie Nketiah on the fifty-seventh minute, with the academy graduate making an almost immediate impact.

Having run down the wing, Nketiah found right back William Saliba on the overlap, the Frenchman swung in his cross finding Silva. Silva very calmly headed it down for the English attacker and Nketiah made no mistake in finding the far left corner.

Following the goal, Liverpool shot into life. With Arsenal clearly happy to take a one goal victory, Liverpool attacked the opponents goal. Having six shots on goal compared to Arsenal's one, as well as hitting the post twice in the final half an hour, Liverpool couldn’t find a way past Arsenal goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka. The game stayed at one goal to nil with Arsenal happy to lift the first trophy of the season.

The result is the polar opposite of what happened last year when these two kicked off the new Premier League season, when Liverpool claimed a 5-1 victory. But despite the loss Liverpool manager Luke Hendricks wasn’t disheartened.

Luke Hendricks:
“We have to say congratulations to Arsenal today, they played well and got their goal and managed to shut us out. That is down to them being the better team today, and for that we say well done.”
"But we also notice we played incredibly well ourselves. To be down to ten men with over an hour of football to be played against the side who were the second best in the country last year shows just how good a team we are. We came incredibly close twice when we hit the post. They defended well and we just couldn’t find the net, on another day we would have scored a number of times today. It’s a game we can learn from and now we will focus on the league opener against Burnley, just as we would have done if we had won.” commented Luke Hendricks

Liverpool now head into the new Premier League season as defending champions, starting the season at home to Burnley before an away trip to Norwich. In between those two games, a trip to Spain where they will play Champions League winners Barcelona in the UEFA Super Cup.

Replies


Scott:Luke seems to be enjoying it even more at finding bargains even with the money at his disposal. Also, glad to keep you on your toes ;)
James:He certainly looks like he could play a role there indeed, it could be something Luke looks at in the future. Can't promise any more signings I'm afraid, although the money is still there, £187,000,000 worth to be exact ;)
Justice:Thank you for your monthly contribution.
It's never ideal to lose a game with silverware on the line. Arsenal having a man advantage for over an hour certainly put Liverpool at a disadvantage. Oh well, Luke will move on and pick his side up ready to retain their title.
Superb signings as all of them will fight for a spot in the starting squad. The loss from Arsenal can be a wake up call before the start of the season.

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