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I am a Special One.

From humiliation to honour - The diary of a disgraced footballer.
Started on 18 June 2012 by The Blue Basterd / First Post
Latest Reply on 19 June 2012 by The Blue Basterd / Last Post
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Once, several silent nights ago, I had the world at my feet. In those glorious years, I was the epicenter of World Football. My every kick, word and breath was scrutinized, yet worshipped. Children across the planet idolized me, for I was their one true God, a harbinger of dreams and fantasies. Fans adored me, and wore my name on their lips. And as I stood there, on the biggest stage of this beautiful sport, within touching distance of the greatest of prizes that football can offer, as I soaked in the adulation of millions, a singular thought coursed through my mind: that it was all too good to be true.

And so it was, for one error of judgment, one lapse in concentration later, the world that I had so carefully pieced together, came crashing down, splintering into a million little bits. The man, who had been revered by so many, was now reviled, mocked and forever castigated. I had cost the nation that I so loved, the glory that it so yearned, depriving it of unbridled joy. In one miscalculated step, I had turned from hero to villain, a silhouette of a man whom people would never forgive. Everywhere I turned, only faces of grief and anger met me. I was a figure of contempt. I was a disgrace. Within seconds, football had shown me the two sides of the coin of life. It had turned its back on me. It was time for me to leave, never look back, and disappear into the shadows…

****************************************************************************************

25th June 2011

5 years have passed since those traumatic weeks. For 5 years, I have wallowed in my own shame and hurt. Not a moment has passed without retrospection, on how different things could have been had I not been so infinitely foolish. I am a nervous wreck, refusing to step outside the confines of my walls, with nothing and no-one for company but my own tears and rage. For several days now, offers have begun to flood my mailbox, with clubs wanting me as a part of their projects, but none of them interest me. I have gone too far down the walk of shame. I cannot relive those moments again…

27th June 2011

As I continue to struggle to pick up myself from my torturous memories, interesting offers continue to come in, with clubs offering me lucrative roles in management. The stories of many of these clubs mirror my life, each experiencing an era of domination before a hard fall from grace. While I have no intention of announcing my return to the footballing universe at the present, I realize that these offers are clearly opportunities for my redemption. Leading any of these clubs to glory would go some way in erasing my hellish past from my mind and raising the opinion of me in the public’s eye. But if I fail, I will fall even further, and from there, I am not sure if I can ever come back…

30th June 2011

I have made my decision. It has been a difficult one to make, and even now, as I stand on the cusp of my return, I do not know if it is the right choice. Throughout the days of my solitary, self-imposed, exile, I have ached to retrieve that winning feeling from the chasms of my heart, and though I know that I run the heavy risk of hurting myself and the hopes of millions, it is a gamble that I feel I must take. The time has come for me to exorcise those ghosts of injustice and blighted hope. For in my heart of hearts, I know, that I too, am a Special One...
Did J K Rowling write this?? lol

who are you gonna be or whats happening?
5th July 2011

The day of reckoning has arrived. After several lengthy rounds of talks about my place at the club, and days of speculation in the media, I have agreed to become the next manager at Nottingham Forest, a club with a past of many triumphs, but with a tumultuous present and an uncertain future. In recent years, the club has seen several managerial changes, with none bringing it the victories its storied halls deserve. The chairman and I have decided on a 2-year-deal, and the flexibility of this agreement will allow me to leave should I find the job too overwhelming.

My appointment as the manager of the club has been met with surprise in the press, given the acrimonious circumstances with which I departed from the footballing world. But at Forest, I have only been greeted with warmth and an eager sense of anticipation. I feel, that everyone at this club, from the chairman, to my assistant manager, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, to the coaches, to the fans, everyone is willing to put my past behind in search of a brighter future for Nottingham Forest and myself.

At the board meeting, I made it clear that, while I would do everything in my capacity to improve the financial and league position of the club, they should not expect wonders in the very first season, given my lack of managerial experience. Still, I stated clearly that the minimum expectations at a club of Forest’s stature should be to play in the Premiership, and that I would concentrate on the league and do my very best to help it achieve promotion this year. After much consideration, the board agreed to give me a transfer budget £300,000 and a wage budget of £150,000 pounds, amounts indicative of the club being extensively mired in debt and being financially unstable, compared to the other clubs of the Championship.

After being unveiled by the board to the media in a rather low-key press conference, I worked my way around the club. Jimmy introduced me to the staff. The coaches, Bill Beswick, Steve Sutton, Paul Barron and Alessandro Schoenmaker, all greeted me with a friendly face and a firm handshake, aware of how I intended to shape the club and restore it to its former glory. As I spoke with them, it became clear that each has his own strong opinions on the tactics to employ with the team. In the near future, the time will come for me to exercise my control over how the team plays, but right then, as I stood before those men, I merely nodded and smiled. I will need these men to rebuild the club.

I was introduced formally to the players, who had begun trickling in after their vacations, many of whom I knew from my playing days. It was pleasing to note that none of them exhibited any sign of distaste towards me, even if they had been withholding their emotions. Seeing them, all raring to go for the season ahead, brought back fond memories of the times I had had with my own club all those years ago. It was then that I truly realized, that what I was about to do, could just be harder and higher than anything I had scaled before in my life.

Finally, it was time for an introductory meeting with the scouts of the club, who gave me a briefing on the players who they felt would add value to the squad. As I still haven’t done any research yet on the players who would add some value to the squad, I was unable to give a proper reply to any of the scouts’ suggestions. There is much work to be done.

A thoroughly eventful day, ended with my first media message. As I exited the Forest building, a journalist from the BBC, obviously having slipped through the security detail, quizzed me with a transfer rumour regarding Lewis McGugan, a highly rated midfielder in the club’s ranks, and that he was a target for Cardiff City. As I stammered, with a clear loss for words, my trusty assistant manager, Jimmy, came to my aid once more, urging me to issue a hands-off warning for the player. As I had no better answer at that time, I took Jimmy’s advice, and reiterated the club’s stand that we had no intention to sell the player.

Now, as I sit in the comfort of my house, I reflect on the events of the day and the people I have met. One thing is clear: football is a mysterious thing. At the same time, it can nourish you, yet destroy you. 5 years ago, football crushed my world. Today, it opens up opportunities for me to rebuild myself and restore a faltering club to its former pride. I can only hope that this time round, I do not let myself down again.
five stars for the effort man. loved the expression "an harbinger of dreams and fantasies"
Fantastic effort! cant wait to read more :)
@Lethal_Touch101: I intend to write a proper manager story. Instead of mere details about the matches played and the transfers done, I actually want to tell a story from the viewpoint of a disgraced footballer who comes back to try and make a successful career in managing a football club.

@Sporting_23 and blue_is_the_colour: Thank you! I am playing more (and writing more) as we speak!
6th July 2011

Waking up on the second day of my new job, the events of yesterday still linger in my mind. While a nagging cynicism still persists in a dark corner of my mind, a vast sense of optimism pervades most of me. I am determined to be the best at this. Almost at once, I begin to think up of the formations and the plays that I used during my ill-fated playing days. I plan to go to The City Ground today and begin implementing the tactics I wish to see during pre-season. Nothing can go wrong, I say to myself.

As I arrive at the stadium, the first thing I notice is a large crowd right in front of the entrance. Stepping out of my car, I realize, with utmost horror that the media have come today for the official press meeting, where I was supposed to speak about my feelings and my intentions about the Forest job. I had completely forgotten about this. As I make my way towards the entrance, the press notices me and goes berserk. Reporters spit questions on my face. Microphones block my view. Camera flashes blind me. Ever since the day I disgraced the nation, I had never liked the press for the role they played in my downfall. It is going to be a long day, I grimly note.

As the meeting progresses, I am bombarded by questions about how I feel about the job, the facilities at Forest, and the like. Each question seems like a trap, as if the reporter who asked the question purposely wants me to answer controversially or incorrectly. Thankfully, with Jimmy and my other aides at the side, I manage to answer almost every question as neutrally as possible, trying to stay away from definitive answers that could potentially be used by the media as a rumour about the future of my management of the club. Questions were also aimed at the future of Luke Chambers, my captain, who was rumoured to be unsettled at the club. Again, having no definitive answer about the future of my players, I refuse to comment. Somehow, I negotiate the first press conference of my Forest career.

Having overcome that seemingly insurmountable hurdle, I now set my sights on what I had planned to begin today: putting in motion the tactics that I had in mind. While still in the first week of July, I feel that setting the tone early with a style of play that I envisioned will put the team in good stead as we approach the new season. Assembling the players for a training session, I talk to the players as a group for the very first time. I begin with my experiences as a player, and I tell them of how I felt when my career as a footballer came to an abrupt end (which they were only too well aware of), and how I ended up never achieving the dreams that I had always had ever since I was a child. Then, I begin telling them of how I intend to shape the way Forest plays, to bring joy to its parched fans, and to light up the Championship. Being a fan of the more attacking and pass-oriented style of play, famously implemented by Guardiola’s Barcelona, the Spanish National Team, and to a lesser extent, Arsenal and Swansea, I tell them of my intentions to mold a team that will frighten the opposition, which would dominate the way football was thought of for years to come, and restore Nottingham Forest to where it belonged in the hierarchy of English and European football. I also go on to tell them that, in this process, there would inevitably be people who would not fit in with the style of play that I desired. Evidently, several did not take too well to this rather frank announcement. But despite this apparent gaffe, there is a palpable sense of optimism, and a willingness to work hard. And sometimes, that is all football is about.

In accordance to my bold proclamation about changing the team’s style of play, I sit down with Jimmy and the other coaches, instructing them to put in place my desired tactics and a temporary formation which looks like this:

http://i45.tinypic.com/dbt7b7.jpg

(Note: Thanks to krunccrni from FM-BASE for the formation.
Link: http://www.fm-base.co.uk/forum/football-manager-2012-tactics-training/84462-barcelona-style-football-manager-2012-a.html)

As I finish my discourse on how I intended Forest to play football that season, Jimmy and the coaches express their excitement about implementing my vision, but also notify me that the team might not have the exact players to replicate the style I had in mind. More specifically, they advise me to look into signing a playmaker and a trequartista, or a false 9 as it is more commonly known, as they feel that the current set of midfielders are not suited to the high pass tempo that I envisioned. I promise them that would be my immediate priority, and set about scouting the playmakers who will shape the future of Nottingham Forest.
Very well written story - I will be following...
Looks quality, very Indepth and a great edge too. Did you base this manager on anyone in particular? Maradonna esc to me in a way lol.
Forest deserve to be at the top again.
This is gonna be Anton Ferdinand in 6 years
7th July 2011

Today is an eventful day in my Nottingham Forest career. For, even though it is against the Reserve team, I will manage my team for the first time in a match. A giddy mixture of excitement and fear engulfs me this morning, as I make my way to The City Ground. Meanwhile, with a quick review of the finances available to me, I have realized the paramount importance of money during this transfer season. With Forest’s huge debt and a lack of a proper transfer budget, I am aiming to sign free agents to boost my team.

With that in mind, Jimmy and I have begun contacting the various players who are out-of-contract this summer. As we make each call, the growing realization of the problem at hand is difficult to digest. Several players, accustomed to playing in the top leagues of Europe, refuse to even talk with me, turned away by our place in the Championship and the meager wages we offer. Despite the difficulties, we manage to convince two aging Italian defenders, Matteo Ferrari, a centre-back, and Max Tonetto, a left-back, to discuss a contract with us. After several rounds of negotiating that consumes nearly the entire morning, we come to an agreement with both players, both of whom I hope will plug some gaping holes and line up in defence alongside Luke Chambers and Chris Gunter, and I daresay, add some much needed international quality to the team. We are, however, aware that these deals are by no means done. Both players seem to be in discussion with top clubs around Europe offering top-flight football as well, clubs like Lille, Bologna, Ajax, Braga, to name a few. If we manage to land these deals, which looks unlikely at this point, I’d be a very happy man indeed.

The search for a playmaker, however, seems to be far more difficult and unrelenting. My parameters for the ideal playmaker are quite restrictive. I am looking for, so as to speak, a poor man’s Xavi, a player capable of linking up play between the defense and my front-line. A player who can get me 75+ passes a match. All these conditions are limited by an extremely shoestring budget. My first option, naturally, are free agents. Unfortunately, every player whom I feel had the right set of characteristics refuses to talk to me. An extraordinarily frustrating situation indeed and one which is forcing me to look at players who are contracted to other clubs.

Meanwhile, I have received offers from other clubs for two of my players, Paul Smith and Marcus Tudgay. Smith is an aging veteran goalkeeper who is second-choice behind Lee Camp at Forest. Blackpool and Wigan have both offered 475k for him, and seeing as I already have a decent option between the sticks in Camp, I have decided to let him go. Tudgay, is a striker capable of playing on the right wing. With Ishmael Miller a pretty good poacher, and Findley and Blackstock offering good cover up front, Tudgay seems to serve no purpose in my new-look Forest team either, and with Peterborough offering 250k, he will leave the club this summer as well. Both their departures will bring in a decent sum of money I will be able to reinvest in reinforcing the team. I am also notified that a cheeky bid for Victor Vazquez, Club Brugge’s playmaker, has been accepted. However, like most of my other attempts, Vazquez refuses to talk to me, most likely because of my inability to offer him top-flight football. There goes another one.

And finally, as the evening approaches, the match against the reserve team beckons. I hastily assemble my line-up.

http://i48.tinypic.com/o5zszp.png

After a quick pep-talk, in which I emphasize the importance of winning this match, being clear favourites and all, my career as Nottingham Forest’s manager begins.

The first 23 minutes of the match are disappointing. While we manage to dominate possession for long periods of time, and create several chances, the finish seems to be lacking in the final third. Ishmael Miller, however, impresses me, and he has two good chances in which he completely toys with the Reserves’ defence, and runs through on goal, only to blast wide. But I like his movement, and he seems to be one of my most important players this season.

Then, out of nowhere, Lewis McGugan, one of my own highly-rated, young playmakers, taps in a corner after the Reserves’ defence completely botches up. From then on, an upward trend begins. Chris Cohen, my playmaker, gets in a brilliant volley just minutes later. Paul Anderson, my wide attacker, also manages to add one just before the break, to send me into half-time with a 3-0 lead. Understandably, I, and Jimmy, are very pleased, and I convey the same to my players, who are extremely happy with my reaction.

5 minutes into the second half, disaster strikes. The reserves break quickly from one of our corners, and after several long balls and a mistake from Wes Morgan, who tamely gives away possession, their striker blasts past Lee Camp to pull one back for them. While 3-1 is still hardly a bad scoreline by any means, conceding a goal to a vastly inferior team is still exasperating, and it causes me to make my first changes of the match, with Joel Lynch coming on for Morgan, and David McGoldrick coming on for Lee McGugan.

10 minutes later, Miller finally rounds the opposition keeper to blast one in to make it 4-1. With several more of my players tiring, I bring in more changes: with Jonathan Greening for Radoslaw, Garath McCleary for Anderson and the excellent Miller off for Robbie Findley. George Boateng also comes on for Guy Moussi, who’s had a very good match.

David McGoldrick then justifies his entrance with a goal, tapping in after a freekick rebounds off the post, making it 5-1. He then goes on to test the keeper several times. Greening, a new signing at The City Ground, then makes it 6-1, with a beautiful long shot from the edge of the box. Finally, McCleary nods in a cross by Moloney, who’s been great down the right flank all evening, ending the mauling at 7-1. A thoroughly deserved result in an inconsequential match which we dominated.

Statistics after the match show how damning the victory was. We had 24 shots to the Reserves’ 2, and had 65% of the possession. Clearly, the tactics we had practiced was working, albeit against an extremely weak team.

http://i47.tinypic.com/34eu4vt.png

Further analysis of the match also show me that Chris Cohen, Moloney and Chris Gunter, all achieved more than 40 passes, with Cohen getting an extraordinary 95% pass completion ratio. He also assisted on two goals, which has led me to think than Cohen might be the Xavi-impersonator I have been looking for all along… I will need another match to judge him entirely, but on current evidence, he seems to be an excellent fit for the position.
would prefer to see you perhaps use your own tactic . considering the special one doesnt use the tiki taka system which you look to be using
Great story!
#55222 shaneo insaneo : would prefer to see you perhaps use your own tactic . considering the special one doesnt use the tiki taka system which you look to be using

i dont think hes trying to copy/emulate "the special one", i think he is trying to be a seperate "special one", one of his own kind
Mate class please keep doing it and dont get broad in a few days of it would be good to see how this wroks out best of luck with it

You are reading "I am a Special One.".

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