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Andriy Shevchenko: From Hero to Hero

Read or be impaled by a flying shuriken
Started on 5 December 2012 by Glenn T
Latest Reply on 21 December 2012 by Glenn T
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The First Training Session

I waited on the training field with Mark Bowen, munching a burger at the same time.

The one who appeared first was Hogan Ephraim. I took a good look at him as he rushed towards me, decked in the club's training kit.

"Good morning, sir," said the young lad.

"Good morning," I nodded. "Thank you for coming early, Hogan. I'm your new manager, Andriy-"

"-Andriy Shevchenko!" Hogan said excitedly.

I laughed. "You're unusually early."

"Yes, I know," Hogan grinned. "But I have to come early."

"Huh? Why?" I asked, genuinely curious. I didn't set any rules for any particular player, every one was supposed to come at noon. Heck, I haven't even met any of the QPR players personally, face-to-face, except maybe two or three of them, whom I knew from my playing days with Chelsea.

"Mark Hughes dropped me from the first team squad," said the young man. "So I made a resolution to come to training early every day, to work and train hard, so the manager and the coaches will eventually notice me and put me back into the first-team. As long as I'm still at the club, I'll fight for a place in the first team," he explained, as he started doing some warm-up.

I listened to his words in amazement. Seldom have I seen a player so dedicated. I could only look on in admiration as Hogan started practicing his dribbling.

I was going to give that boy a chance. No doubt about it. He needed it.

Mark Bowen noticed my look and gestured towards Hogan with a smile. "He's a good lad. Mark didn't think he had what it took to be on his team though."

"Well, he's getting on mine," I said firmly.

Fifteen minutes later, and all the other players had rushed in. I stopped the early ones from their training and warming up, to gather the players as I spoke to every one of them.

"Hello. I am Andriy Shevchenko, and as of today, I am your new manager," I said, hoping I sounded confident. Clearing my throat, I continued.

"All I ask for from my players is hard work, determination and the never-say-die attitude. I want everyone to have a mindset of 'we can beat any one in this league'. I want us to continue fighting even though we are 6-1 down to Manchester United. I want to see every one committed in training. If you want to leave the club, out you go. If you demand a new contract and won't play until you get one, out you go. I don't want players that aren't dedicated."

As I finished the speech, at least 3/4 of the QPR team had admiration in their eyes.

Success, I thought, with a slight smirk.

Then, the whole team applauded, and Park Ji-Sung, appointed captain by Mark Hughes, stepped forward.

"Great speech boss," said the South Korean. "We will all be looking forward to fight for the highest position in the Premier League under you."

I gave the captain a firm handshake.

"I believe that without getting to know my teammates, it will be hard for me to succeed with them. This also applies to me as a manager, so, I want all of you to keep training. I will have an individual fifteen-minute chat with every player here as all of you are training, and after that we will be done for the day."

"Yes, boss!"
15 July 2012

Shevchenko Meets the Press

I glanced nervously at the assembled press as I walked out to greet them. My first ever press conference. I better not mess this up. Taking the seat in the center, I watched as Mark Bowen took the seat right of me, and Tony Fernandes took the seat on the left. Mark told me normally it was Mike that sat on the left, but today Tony would be present because of the special occasion.

"First off, welcome to Queens Park Rangers, Andriy," said one of the journalists. He looked friendly. "Although I reckon you are no stranger to London."

I smiled, as I thought of my days playing in a Chelsea shirt. Actually, no, my time at Chelsea wasn't very successful, so let's not think about that. Instead I thought of the friends I had made during my time in London, the fun I had in the Chelsea dressing rooms, taking a tour around London in my first few days with the Blues. The memories just came flooding back.

I was pulled back to reality with a question from a journalist. This one looked young and relatively inexperienced, and for some reason I had a feeling he was going to ask a weird question, and I was right.

"Can you speak English?"

I didn't look, but I think I could hear Mark giving himself a face-palm.

"Of course I can speak English," I said, making sure my loud voice was directed towards the journalist. Some of the other journalists present had a good laugh, and the young man who had asked the question looked embarrassed.

"First question of the day, Andriy. What brought you to QPR, and what are your thoughts on having landed this job, your first managerial position?"

"Well, as you know, I decided to quit my... short stay in politics," I replied. "I told my agent to look around for a club in England that required a manager, and well... here I am."

"Ah, interesting," said the journalist unconvincingly.

"We have heard that Tony Fernandes has given you full control over the sacking and hiring of backroom staff," said another journalist, gesturing to Tony as he spoke. "We want to know if you will be getting rid of most of the staff, like do a complete backroom transformation, et cetera."

"Oh, no," I quickly shook my head. "Some people might lose their jobs of course, but certainly not all of them. Men like Mark here are very capable and I think I can rely on them very well," I said, gesturing to my assistant manager beside me, who in turn gave me a grateful look.

"What are your plans for the season?"

"Avoid relegation." I said. A simple reply, and that's what we would be doing. Avoid relegation, at all costs.

"Are you looking to get in any players, for example, a winger, a striker?"

"Personally I think we have tons of quality in the squad, enough for us to make a break into the top half of the table, even. But it'll remain to be seen how all this quality will gel together. Regarding the transfer side, as I said this squad has enough quality, but of course I might be looking to get in a two or three players of my own."

"Mark Hughes made a lot of signings this summer, are you planning to utilize them the way he was planning to do so, until he got sacked of course, or 'give them the sack' yourself in January?"

"I will definitely look to try each and every one of them out. Of course, some of Mark's signings I don't exactly agree with, but I will look to give each and every one of them a chance before deciding on who to sell."
No doubt you can do better than Hughes did
16 July 2012

Talking Tactics

It was the day off for the players, but not for me and Mark.

Well, kind of. I met him for lunch at that Japanese restaurant I haven't been to for years. Damn, the food tasted just as good as last time, probably even better.

Next, we returned to the home of the Hoops, Loftus Road, in my office where we began discussions, over the team, tactics and such.

"So Andriy, you've got to know every player, and you've took over training for one session. What do you think of our squad?"

"I think most of them are solid players, good guys. Of course, some of them, I don't really think has the spirit and attitude that I would like."

"Examples?" Mark asked.

"Um... Anton Ferdinand kind of ticks me off. And he isn't exactly the best defender at the club so I'm thinking of selling him."

"I'm thinking the same, but have you got your starting eleven for the season in mind?"

"Of course Mark. We will play a 4-2-3-1, that's my favourite formation. Julio Cesar in goal, Jose Bosingwa at right-back... no wait a minute, let me just sketch it out for you here." I proceeded to get a piece of paper and a pencil, scribbling down names and drawing a formation.

Mark took a look at the paper. I grinned as I looked at it myself. My assistant read it out loud.

"Cesar; Bosingwa, Mbia, Onuoha, Fabio; Granero, Faurlin; Park, Taarabt, Hoilett; Cisse." He continued reading the various team instructions that I had listed down, and nodded. "Not bad for a man who hasn't been in management before. You know your stuff Andriy."

"I certainly do!"

"Fabio over Clint Hill and Armand Traore then, huh?"

"Yeah, I think Fabio is a great left-back. Clint is getting older, he's 33 this year I think, and Traore, I'm actually thinking of putting him on the shop window. I don't think he can do much else here, I don't like having a team with three left-backs."

"Right on that," Mark nodded. "But Fabio is only here on loan. I don't think he's keen on a permanent move."

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," I assured him. "I actually have doubts about our midfield, central midfield that is. Alejandro, Alejandro Faurlin... according to the other coaches, he's our best central midfielder alongside Esteban Granero. But I highly doubt that... he doesn't have much to prove on the training field. I might look to get in a new midfielder, if I have the funds, that is."

"Ah, right. Who else are you thinking of selling, beside Anton?"

"Kieron Dyer... he's injury prone and can't do much for the club. Some of those deadwood in our Reserves team too, like Radek Cerny, Rob Hulse. I also can't really see Brian Murphy getting a game, with Julio and Robert at the club and all."

"Yes, I quite agree with you on that. I'll tell Kieron he needs to look for a new club."
2012-12-05 23:48#71023 manchesterblue97 : No doubt you can do better than Hughes did

Obviously ;)
Great Story.........hope you DO avoid relegation......because, QPR aint doing a good job in real life.
Unlucky with the Redknapp story Glenn. Ten updates in less than 24 HRS?!?!?! Crazy man, good luck!
Thanks guys :)
21 July 2012

The Debut of Andriy Shevchenko

I stepped out onto the turf of Plainmoor, the home of Torquay United. They would be hosting us, Queens Park Rangers, for our first friendly of the pre-season. This should be a relatively easy win, seeing as I had named the first eleven in the match-day squad, just to see what they could do. The only person missing was Alejandro Faurlin, who was injured.

QPR XI: Cesar; Bosingwa, Mbia, Onuoha, Fabio; Granero, Derry; Park, Taarabt, Hoilett; Cisse

Soon, the referee blew his whistle, and it was kickoff.

5' GOAL - Adel Taarabt swings in a corner, and Nedum Onuoha is on the receiving end. Dangerously unmarked, Onuoha fires in a shot that looks to be going wide... until Stephane Mbia dives in and redirects the ball into the net for his first goal in QPR colours.

13' - Granero rifles in a shot, only to be denied by Torquay's goalie, punching the ball away. Hoilett tries to get to it... but the keeper is faster.

25' - Cisse is on the left wing and crosses it for Park Ji-Sung, but Nicholson comes in with a slight tackle... and the ref says it's a penalty! Poor decision, really, but nevermind that now. The Torquay players are protesting to the ref, but it's not doing them any good.

26' GOAL - Adel Taarabt takes the penalty, and.... he puts it in! Great penalty, great shot, 2-0 to QPR.

34' GOAL - Derry makes a pass to Cisse. The Frenchman is just outside the box, but he decides to try his luck..... and of course, it's IN! What a magnificent strike from Djibril Cisse!

45' - HT: Torquay 0-3 Queens Park Rangers

45' - You join us here for the second half at Plainmoor! It seems QPR manager Andriy Shevchenko has made a few changes. Robert Green comes in for Julio Cesar in goal, and the full-backs are also switched over with Jose Bosingwa and Fabio both coming off for Luke Young and Clint Hill. Samba Diakite is on for Shaun Derry, and last but not least, Hogan Ephraim replaces Junior Hoilett.

65' - It hasn't been an exciting second half so far, with QPR and Torquay both failing to get close to the opposite box.

73' - Park Ji-Sung goes down from a challenge. Looks like he's picked up a knock.

74' - The QPR captain is switched out for Shaun Wright-Phillips, and at the same time Bobby Zamora comes in for Djibril Cisse, who is looking a little tired.

75' GOAL - Shaun Wright-Phillips doesn't take long to make an impact! He charges like a bull up to the right wing, and then down into the box, before the ball leaves his foot with a strong blast at goal. It goes in! 4-0 to QPR!

79' - Zamora plays Ephraim through but the winger can't keep it down, and sees the ball flying into the stands. He doesn't look pleased with himself at all!

82' - Ray Spear gets through the QPR defenders after some terrible defending, and is denied after Robert Green pulls off a spectacular save.

83' - And just after he pulls off a great save, he makes a mistake! Ray Spear finds himself on the receiving end of Robert Green's soft goal kick, and tries to fire it past the unsuspecting keeper. However, his shot goes just wide.

90' - FT: Torquay 0-4 QPR
Like this a lot !!! whats your budgets like??
2012-12-06 10:57#71097 lross : Like this a lot !!! whats your budgets like??

Just 5 million unfortunately, in UK Pounds. It was 4 million but I adjusted the wage budget a little ;)
25 July 2012

Party in the USA - Miley Cyrus

Up and Away to North America

I was a bit displeased with the schedule. We got on board the flight to the USA, specifically and namely Dallas City in Texas, at 6 o'clock in the morning, and then we had to play a friendly match just a few hours after we touched down. Still, it was Tony who set it up, so I didn't really have any right to complain.

I took about 20 squad players along with me to Dallas and our first, and only, friendly here would be against the city's football club, FC Dallas.

QPR XI: Green; Bosingwa, Mbia, Nelsen, Hill; Diakite, Derry; Wright-Phillips, Hoilett, Ephraim; Cisse

7' GOAL - Ricardo Villar's free kick flies into the box and Jackson is free in the area, he tries a header, and... it's in the back of the net! FC Dallas suprisingly take the lead!

15' - Dallas are on the move again, the ball flys to Jara who tries to go round Robert Green, but the former West Ham man bravely retrieves the ball before the Dallas striker can get to it.

16' - Jose Bosingwa lobs the ball upwards... it finds Cisse! An amazingly accurate lob. Cisse is through on goal, but is denied after the Dallas keeper Seitz picks the ball up before he can shoot.

17' GOAL - Certainly a lot of action these three minutes! Fabian Castillo flies from his box to the opponent's box faster than a train and crosses it out to Matias Jara, who is in a dangerous position! Jara shoots it....! It's a goal! 2-0 to Dallas!

39' GOAL - Castillo has the ball and he tries to take it round the keeper... Green gets to it, but the Dallas man gets the ball back and hits it past Green! What a torrid time Robert Green is having today. Andriy Shevchenko will not be pleased with his number two.

'45 - HT: FC Dallas 3-0 QPR

'45 - You join us here for the second half at FC Dallas Stadium. QPR manager Andriy Shevchenko is obviously frustrated with his side's showing, and has made no less than seven substitutions. The QPR team for the second half now consists of: Green; Bosingwa, Young, Onuoha, Fabio; Diakite, Faurlin; Park, Granero, Hoilett; Zamora.

46' GOAL - Some superb passing combination by Granero, Hoilett, and Zamora sees Hoilett playing Zamora through from the left, and Zamora takes a shot.... it's in! Well, at least Dallas won't be keeping a clean sheet today. 3-1.

48' - Fabio appears to have picked up a slight injury, but there appears to be no more players on the Rangers bench who can play at left-back. The Brazilian seems to notice this, and has gestured for his manager to let him carry on.

60' - Park comes rushing in from the right and hits it, but Seitz does brilliantly to turn the ball round the post. Corner to QPR.

67' - QPR is dominating the second half now but it doesn't mean Dallas are sitting back. Perez is through on goal and as usual Robert Green cannot get to the ball, but Perez's strike hits the post. Very lucky for the QPR defense, as well as Green who has been horrible today.

77' GOAL - Bosingwa shakes off Dallas players and lobs the ball to Bobby Zamora. It isn't as accurate as last time, but Zamora gets to it anyway, and swiftly rifles it past Chris Seitz. A very nice showing from the striker today, who has played the role of super sub.

90' - FT: Dallas 3-2 QPR

Traore is a Saint

Queens Park Rangers left-back Armand Traore has completed a 2 million move to Southampton.

Traore's departure to St. Mary's is QPR manager Andriy Shevchenko's first bit of transfer business as manager, and there is no doubt the Ukrainian will look to press on.

Southampton was believed to want a loan instead of a permanent move but club chairman Tony Fernandes wrote on the club website that Shevchenko's "strong persuasive skills" led to Saints manager Nigel Adkins agreeing a permanent fee.

Departures Abound

QPR have confirmed the departures of veteran Czech keeper Radek Cerny, as well as experienced English right-back Luke Young.

Cerny completes a free transfer to Blackpool, while Young links up with Welsh side Cardiff City. Cerny has been a part of the QPR side since 2008 after joining from Slavia Prague, while Young only joined the club last summer from Aston Villa.

Both players' time at Loftus Road have been unsuccessful so far, save for Cerny's early years, and have now been allowed to leave.
Liking the style of writing alot! Keep it going! Might want to put a more defensive player in that 4-2-3-1 though. :P

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