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The Alfa Romeo Metaphor

  1. Brilliant, by far one of the best stories I've read on here. Like Ze Carlos, this has inspired me to look into writing a story going into similar depth you have. Hats off to you mate, simply fantastic stuff. Hope this continues for a long time.
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  2. Quote Originally Posted by Streaky25 View Post
    Brilliant, by far one of the best stories I've read on here. Like Ze Carlos, this has inspired me to look into writing a story going into similar depth you have. Hats off to you mate, simply fantastic stuff. Hope this continues for a long time.
    Quote Originally Posted by spitfire View Post
    Woah! Great stuff
    Oh, gosh. Now I'm blushing again. Much thanks!
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  3. Called on the carpet

    I gave my coaching staff and players the day off to recover from the "food poisoning." Except for Michel Roman, the physio. Anyone with an ache or an injury could come into the Ramon de Carranza for some treatment.

    I, on the other hand, got a call from Alessandro informing me that Florentino was unhappy with my performance as manager and wanted to talk.

    I walked into the offices under the stadium and Margarita ushered me into the boardroom where the entire board was gathered.

    Uh Oh.

    Margarita offered me a chair. I didn't take it.

    "We are not happy with your current performance," Florentino began. "We're considering your position at the club. We would like an explanation as to why the team has performed so badly lately. Three losses in our last six matches is unacceptable."

    "Because the club is penniless because of this," I said motioning to the stadium surrounding us. "I was unable to sign the few players I needed this summer. As a result, I have a very thin squad. Furthermore, because I have a thin squad I must lean too heavily on a few key players. We've been very unlucky with injuries since the New Year."

    "We will take your injury problems into account," Florentino replied. "But we still want to know how you plan to improve the team's performance?"

    "I mapped out the fixture list after the Atletico Sevilla loss," I said. "I calculated the rate at which Linense, our main competitor for the final playoff spot, were gaining points. I then calculated how many points we'd need. If you visit the changing room here or at the training ground you'll see that large sheet I have posted as motivation to the players. We're on track. We need 24 points in the remaining 11 games. We also play Linense in the beginning of May."

    "You are here right now and we are having this meeting today, because we as a board don't see the positive side as you do," Florentino replied. "We can't afford to wait until the end of the season. We can't adopt a wait and see attitude. We need to see positive changes immediately."

    "Really?" I asked. "You all have some ten million in debt, yet you are making everything as difficult as possible to achieve the goals you set. We cannot stay overnight on long away matches. Driving 6 hours on game days is a serious disadvantage. Why? Just to save a couple of euros? How is thirty thousand euros of savings making a difference except to kick team morale in the shins. You do realize I've been motivating my players around how cheap and foolish this board is don't you?"

    "We are not here to discuss the board's decisions," Florentino said. He was starting to get angry. "We are here to discuss you and the team's performance. Answer the question."

    "What question? Can I improve results in the next month?," I asked. Florentino nodded. "Yes, I can. We play La Roda next. They are relegation candidates. We'll thrash them. After them we play Cartagena. Any points out of that match is a bonus, I'm not calculating needing any points from that match. Almeria B and El Palo are the next two. I guarantee nine points out of the next 12 possible points."

    "We'll hold you to your promise," Florentino replied. "If you can't deliver what you've just promised, we'll have no choice but to sack you."

    I stomped out.

    Walking out of the stadium I ran into Bogdan Laba. How the **** did he know about this meeting.

    "Enrico, have you been sacked?" he asked.

    "Get out of my way, Bogdan."

    "Have you been given a vote of confidence?"

    "Have a good day, Bogdan," I said as I gently as possible pushed him out of my way.

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-07-03.31.23-pm.png

  4. God it is getting very tense, this would make an excellent tv football show. The side stories especially the weekly visit to the barber's is a great touch and now the camorra along with boardroom pressure!! What will happen next.....
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  5. Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Baggio View Post
    God it is getting very tense, this would make an excellent tv football show. The side stories especially the weekly visit to the barber's is a great touch and now the camorra along with boardroom pressure!! What will happen next.....
    Thanks! My people will get in touch with your people and we'll have a meeting about a potential TV deal.
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  6. diariodecsdiz.es 25 February 2014
    Cadiz manager Pucci on brink of sack?
    Bogdan Laba

    Cadiz CF Chairman Florentino Manzano called Manager Enrico Pucci on Monday. Manzano issued an ultimatum to Pucci demanding results now. Cadiz have lost three of the last six El Segundo B4 matches.

    The embarrassing loss on Sunday to Bay of Cadiz rivals San Fernando CD may have had an impact. Pucci blamed food poisoning for the loss, but Manzano may have had enough excuses from Pucci.

    "The board is confident Pucci can deliver the promotion play-offs we demand," Manzano said. He went on to explain that the positive atmosphere in the changing room is probably his saving grace.

    Pucci refused to comment on his status.

    But with a growing injury list, is this merely the dreaded vote of confidence all Chairmen give their managers just before firing them? Mehdi Nafti is lost for the season and Los Submarino Amarillos is short on left-sided midfielders with Perico, Kike Marques and Andres. They are down to out-of-favor Tomas or playing Jose Villar out of position on the left if oft-hurt Jorge Luque passes a late physical and can play.

    Fan favorite Moises thinks Pucci deserves the support of the board, players and fans.

    "The players are completely behind him," Moises said. "The club need to be patient. We will make the play-offs. I think a rash decision to fire him would endanger our chances."
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  7. "Well, where we at?" I asked once everyone had sat down with their own copy of Diaro de Cadiz for our Tuesday morning coaches meeting. I waved my copy.

    "They have your balls in a vice," Paco said.

    "The noose is tightening," Javi Garcia added.

    "The scaffolding is being built for the hanging," Llorente said.

    "The pitchforks are out," Zo quipped.

    "The firing squad are cleaning their guns," JVP added.

    "The executioner is sharpening his axe," Jose Manuel Barla joked.

    "You have anything to add to the hilarity, Alejo?" I asked when there was a pause.

    "I got nothing, boss," Alejo replied. Everyone busted out laughing.

    "Alright then," I said. "Obviously, I'm angry. About the timing. About the continued tone deaf references to cutting salary and expenses when they decided to rebuild the stadium which is the one and only reason when in the mess we're in."

    "Where do we stand, Michel?" I asked.

    "Perico and Kike Marques are out 2-3 weeks," Michel answered. "Tomas did his ankle. Once the swelling comes down, I'll have a better idea of how long. Jorge Luque has responded and should be able to play 30-45 minutes this coming Sunday. Please do tell him be careful. I want to avoid the pattern of one or two games then out several weeks to a month."

    "Thanks, Michel," I said. "The focus this week is offense, especially off-the-ball runs to get behind a defense when they've parked the bus."

    Llorente and Javi Garcia both nodded.

    "What do you have on La Roda, Jose?" I asked.

    "La Roda suck," he replied. "Their in a bad patch and that's saying something. They're going to be relegated, I have no doubt. Their only threat is their right winger Jordi Pablo. Moises is going to have a rough time, Pablo could start for most Liga Adelante side. I have no idea why he signed for La Roda."
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  8. We practiced at the Ramon de Carranza all week. I didn't feel like showing our heads over at San Fernando's stadium, i.e., our training ground. The players saw the Cadiz Manager Pucci on brink of sack article all week.

    I updated the fixture list I'd posted on the message board.

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-cadiz-progress.png

    This loss and Florentino's demand means that the Guadalajara match just became a must win.
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  9. things are getting intense now hopefully the board doesnt realize you threw the match against san fernando

  10. Round 28: La Roda CF v. Cadiz CF

    La Roda is a small town about 25 km northwest of Albacete. If you recall, that's a pretty long bus ride. Six hours and over 600km.

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-12-09.18.29-pm.png

    At least the players are getting used to the rides. We're not asleep on our feet to start matches anymore.

    The stadium is small and not in very good condition. Though the toilets and showers worked, more or less.

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-estadio%25u00252bla%252broda.jpg

    I wasn't about to risk Luque finally getting over his ailments today, so he started on the bench. Tomas played left mid since I didn't really have anyone else left.

    GK: Alejandro
    D: Albert Dalmau, Mikel Martins (C), Wellington Carvalho, Moises
    M: Kike Lopez, Bruninho, Jose Villar, Tomas
    F: Airam, Aymen Souda

    Subs: Jose Maria Belforti (D), Juan Ceballos (RB), Josete (D/M), Jorge Luque (M), Abdoullai Fall (M)

    We got off to a solid start. Kept the ball well and created plenty of chances. As per usual, their only chances came on the fast break and through the middle.

    In the 12th minute, their only decent player, Jordi Pablo, streaked past Moises after a ball over Moises' head. Instead of driving the net, he tried to chip the advancing Alejandro from about 20 meters. Thankfully, it was a little high and a little wide.

    Then in the 22nd minute, they broke straight up the middle. Although Bruninho is correctly positioned, as he was in this counter, he never or maybe I should say rarely interferes. The fast break ended with Jose Romero smashing a shot into the underside of the crossbar. Martins cleared it.

    If you're thinking we'd played poorly, that wasn't the case. It was the typical stuff from us. Plenty of missed chances.

    Airam finally bagged the goal that allowed me to breathe easier. Bruninho played a ball up to Airam. Airam one-touched it to Villar who one-touched it to Souda. He who took a couple of touches and then shot. Their goalkeeper must not have seen it because he made a reaction foot save. The ball trickled out to the right along the line.

    Tomas ran over and chipped it back into the danger area. Airam rose and smashed it home.

    0-1

    We kept the pressure up and were rewarded in the 37th minute. Dalmau threw the ball in from the right corner flag to Airam. He headed it down to Kike Lopez at the edge of the box. Kike headed toward the penalty spot dribbling across the box.

    Nobody challenged him.

    He smashed it home to double our lead.

    0-2

    In the 44th minute, landed funny after getting tackled. Michel, our Physio, ran out and quickly signaled that his day was done.

    I yelled at Souda to play left mid until the break. I would move Villar out to the wing and insert Luque. This was more time than I wanted Luque to play so I told him to be careful out there.

    The second half started more like a basketball or hockey than footie. La Roda did the only thing they could to threaten us: give it to Pablo. Pablo beat Moises and whipped in a cross. Martins read the play well and headed clear.

    Luque nabbed the clearance and lasered a pass out to Kike. Kike beat 3 players while storming nearly 60 meters. He kept looking up as he progressed and saw Luque charging all the way upfield and delivered a cross into Luque's path. Unfortunately, their central defender beat Luque to it and headed clear.

    Kike ran back upfield and collected the clearance. The La Roda left back Ezequiel took out Kike's legs and the ref pointed to the ball as if it was a clean tackle and not a clear red card tackle. Up until this point, the game had been clean.

    La Roda brought it down the left and Nacho Del Moral whipped in a cross. Once again, Martins clears.

    Bruninho won the race to the clearance and played a ball up the line to Villar. Villar played a give-n-go with Luque. The return pass was behind the ball-watching right back. Villar shot near post and the keeper got down to force it wide for the corner.

    The game calmed down for a bit after that. I think the players needed to catch their breathes.

    We iced the match in the 55th minute. A Luque corner from the right was cleared. The ball came out to Villar at the top right corner. His first touch was horrible. It bounced half way between him and the nearest defender. The two raced for it and Villar won smashing a shot in from 14 or so meters.

    0-3

    They grabbed a comical goal in the 68th. Comical in terms of the defending. I ask you, who was guarding against a near post cross. Alejo, my defensive coach, has been telling all season that we need someone tall or at least tallish who is a decent header of the ball positioned to intercept any near post corner.

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-12-10.53.33-pm.png

    Alejo had leapt off the bench and was screaming himself purple to get someone to guard against a near post corner. The Cadistas behind the goal were screaming at the players to guard against a short corner.

    Del Moral made the near post run and Luque followed. I don't have Luque in the side for his defensive qualities. Del Moral controlled the ball, spun to his left and zipped a pass under Alejandro.

    The entire bench face palmed.

    Villar finished the scoring in the 73rd minute in a typical Los Submarino Amarillos move in which nearly everyone touched the ball before the keeper fished it out of the back of the net. In the end Luque fed a pass behind the ball-watching right back into the path of Villar and he smashed in his 2nd of the game.

    I gave Dalmau and Bruninho rests with Ceballos and Josete getting some playing time.

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-10-11.41.00-pm.png The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-10-11.38.43-pm.png The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-10-11.38.20-pm.png

    We stayed 5th, but we stayed close to Guadalajara and Linense who both won.
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  11. Quote Originally Posted by bigwill1xx View Post
    things are getting intense now hopefully the board doesnt realize you threw the match against san fernando
    Those who monitor for match fixing first look for large bets placed in the various places across the world. When they match large sums with an odd result, they investigate further.

    In all of the Italian cheating scandals, they've examined bank records, emails and phone records. They've then been able to deduce that cheating occurred for money.

    Gianluca was smart about it and we talked in person. If I'm ever busted, I have the recording of our conversation which I think pretty clearly shows an implicit threat. I wasn't paid, but was relieved of EU120,000 of off-the-books debt I owed my ex-wife's family who are one of the families that make up the Camorra.

    Now, I probably only have to worry about my poisonous conscience.
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  12. Quote Originally Posted by Enrico Pucci View Post
    Those who monitor for match fixing first look for large bets placed in the various places across the world. When they match large sums with an odd result, they investigate further.

    In all of the Italian cheating scandals, they've examined bank records, emails and phone records. They've then been able to deduce that cheating occurred for money.

    Gianluca was smart about it and we talked in person. If I'm ever busted, I have the recording of our conversation which I think pretty clearly shows an implicit threat. I wasn't paid, but was relieved of EU120,000 of off-the-books debt I owed my ex-wife's family who are one of the families that make up the Camorra.

    Now, I probably only have to worry about my poisonous conscience.
    well played lol keep up the story mate its great

  13. Quote Originally Posted by bigwill1xx View Post
    well played lol keep up the story mate its great
    Thanks much!

  14. diarodecadiz.es 3 March 2014
    Cadiz totally dominate La Roda
    Bogdan Laba


    Cadiz CF enjoyed near total domination with a 4-1 victory over a distinctly average La Roda CF at Estadio Municipal before 1,300 spectators. A brace from Juan Villar eased Los Submarino Amarillos to victory.

    After 30 minutes of near constant pressure, Airam broke the deadlock with a close range finish. Kike Lopez doubled the lead in the 37th minute with a fierce shot. Villar eased any worries for under pressure manager Enrico Pucci with a pile-driver in the 55th minute.

    La Roda had a penalty claim turned down by referee Jose Figueroa Vasquez but scored soon after as a result of some comically incompetent defending from a corner. With the coaching staff and the traveling Cadistas behind the goal yelling for someone to guard the front post and against a low corner, Nacho Del Moral punished Cadiz. Nearly all of the Cadiz defenders were defending La Roda players massed at the back post. Midfielder Jorge Luque noticed Del Moral's run too late to prevent the easy goal.

    Man-of-the-match Villar reestablished Cadiz's three goal lead on 73 minutes.

    Cadiz Chairman Florentino Manzano must be pleased with this victory, but must still have questions about his manager with the top-of-the-table Guadalajar match looming.
    Last edited by Enrico Pucci; 14/01/2014 at 04:25 AM.
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  15. We got back from La Roda about the same time as the Diaro de Cadiz hit the news stands. 7pm game, finished about 9pm. Iced and showered by 10pm. Had some dinner by 11:30pm. Hit the road soon after.

    "Hey Michel," I said as we got off the bus. "How's Tomas ankle."

    "Not good, not good," he replied then yawned. We turned and watched as Tomas hobbled off the bus on crutches.

    "No no no no no no ..." I moaned. "****! Who am i going to play on the left?"

    "Me, boss," Villar said strolling past me to his car.

    I turned and looked around for Luque. He was walking normally back toward his car.

    "Michel, please tell that Luque is okay?" I asked.

    "He's fine, quit worrying," Michel replied while getting into his car. "Go home and get some sleep."
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  16. I'd told the players as we got on the bus in La Roda to take Monday off. Our fitness was high, but we were tired. Monday wasn't a day off for Michel, though. Our physio had the wounded and walking wounded to care for.

    "How'd it go yesterday," I asked him as he walked into our Tuesday morning coaches meeting.

    "It was more like a triage unit after a natural disaster," he complained as he sat down. "I should demand hazard pay."

    "And Tomas?" I asked.

    "Out a month," he replied. "Perico and Kike Marquez are both inside two weeks away from returning. Andres is closer to three weeks away."

    "Anyone know the American movie 'This is Spinal Tap'?" I asked. "One of the running jokes throughout the movie is their drummers keep exploding. Left midfield is our exploding drummer."

    Everyone looked at me blankly.

    "Awright then," I said. "Let's get the report on Cartagena."

    "They give up more goals from the right," Jose Barla began. "So if you play Villar out there on the left, we need a big game from him. But it's not like they are generous or anything. They are as stingy defensively as we are."

    "Their top striker Jorge Galan has been out a bit but is scoring every other game," he continued. "He's strong, quick and skilled. He's the ideal lone striker. They play a 4231."

    "Alvaro Gonzalez, Mariano and Alex Cruz are their attacking threesome," he said. "They're all basically wingers and they swap constantly."

    "Carlos De Luma is the steel of the midfield," Jose went on. "And Marcos Rodriguez pulls the strings."

    "Their defense, as I mentioned earlier is solid though they tend to give up more goals in the first half at least statistically speaking," he concluded.

    "Here's what we do," I said. "We all work to get the boys pumped up for the big match. I'm generally pretty calm pre-match, but I'll get them pumped up. We need to grab a lead in the first half and defend it in the second. Sometime between 60 and 70 minutes, I'll pull off a striker and put Josete in to shore up through the middle."

    "Sound like a plan?" I asked. Everyone nodded.

  17. "I'm worried about you, my friend," Esteban said as I walked into his barbershop for my Tuesday shave.

    "Yeah, no kidding," I replied. "I don't think Sunday's victory reduced the pressure. Florentino has no patience. It's not like we're underperforming."

    "It's just those big matches," Esteban said as he wrapped me up.

    "I've been looking at that, thinking about that," I replied. "Atletico Sevilla ruined our home opener but then we go and disembowel Guadalajara away ... "

    "Yeah, that was a fun one," Esteban interjected.

    "Then we tied Cartagena away and Albacete at home," I continued. "And Lucena had just been in like 3rd place when we faced them, but we helped their slide down the table continue."

    "But in December we were horrid at home. Lose to Melilla. Lose to Linense. And that draw against Sanluqueno, coming back from two down? The bottom line is 4 of our 7 losses have been at home. 5 of our 7 draws have been at home."

    "Are we really that awesome on the road?" Esteban asked.

    "Yes," I replied. "10 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses. Best away record. 43 scored, 14 conceded. Compared to 4 wins, 5 draws and 5 defeats. 23 scored, 19 conceded."

    "That's awful," Esteban exclaimed. "So we can't score at home? Why?"

    "Sweet Mother Mary I wish I knew. You remember those two home draws against La Hoya and La Roda? No? Well, the La's suck. Hoya aren't far from the relegation zone and Roda are going down. A late penalty salvaged the draw against La Roda and we came from behind twice to draw against La Hoya."

    "Here's the killer number," I continued. "We've been shut out in 6 of our 7 losses. 4 of them were 1-nil losses."

    "And your job is on the line against Cartagena," Esteban said rather quietly. "And Cadiz are at home."

    "You clearly understand the situation," I replied.
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  18. diarodecadiz.es 6 March 2014
    Pressure grows on Cadiz boss Pucci
    Bogdan Laba

    The Cadiz CF S.A.D. hierarchy appear to be losing patience with manager Enrico Pucci. Victory against relegation candidates La Roda last Sunday failed to reduce the pressure.

    "Cartagena are fellow promotion chasers," Chairman Florentino Manzano said. "We need a victory against them to show our promotion credentials."

    The Ramon de Carranza has not been a happy place for Cadiz. Their away record is far better than at home.

    "I was hired to get Los Submarino Amarillos back in Liga Adelante," Pucci said. "We're in the hunt for promotion."

    Pucci was more coy about the importance of the fixture against Cartagena but admitted all victories at this point in the season are precious.
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  19. diarodecadiz.es 7 March 2014
    Esparrago concerned about Cartagena match
    Bogdan Laba


    Cadiz and Uruguay legend Victor Esparrago joined the growing list of concerned former stars. The three-time Cadiz manager knows something about promotion having led Los Submarino Amarillos to promotion to La Liga in 2005.

    "It is hard to watch the home matches as Pucci hasn't made the Ramon de Carranza a fortress," Esparrago said. "The fans deserve a team that entertains and wins when at home."

    Esparrago still maintains hope that Pucci will right the submarine and lead the club to promotion.

    "We need results now rather than later," Esparrago said. "Cartagena are playing really well and they will be a stern test to see what this manager and his team are made of."

    Esparrago was capped 67 times by Uruguay and was part of the side that finished 4th in the 1970 World Cup. The midfielder's playing career spanned nearly 20 years and he has managed Huelva, Valencia, Sevilla, Albacete, Vallodolid and Zaragoza in addition to Cadiz in 25 years of management.

    Cadiz face Cartagena tomorrow in a rare Saturday match.

    Last edited by Enrico Pucci; 15/01/2014 at 03:43 AM.
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  20. Round 29: Cadiz CF v. FC Cartagena

    Ten games left in the El Segundo B4 season. Nearly every game would be critical. The toughest three would be this one, Albacete who are are running away with the league and Linense who are 2 points ahead of us and in the 4th spot.
    1. Albacete 63
    2. Atletico Sevilla 58
    3. Cartagena 55
    4. Linense 51 (host Melilla, 7th)
    5. Cadiz 49
    Linense's 51 points in 28 matches is a rate of 1.821 per match. Ten matches left means they'll get another 19 or so points. That would put them at 70.

    Cadiz would need 22 points from the remaining 10 matches. We can only afford 2 losses and a tie and win the rest.

    Furthermore, my head is on the chopping block if we lose. On the positive side, Melilla is a tough opponent and we could potentially gain on both Linense and Cartagena with a win.

    "Can I have your attention," I said to kick off my pre-match talk. "First of all, this game is on TV so no grabbing yourselves, got it?"

    That got a few laughs.

    "This is a critical match," I continued. "We haven't shown that we can beat the top sides in this division. The fans out there are used to us playing in Liga Adelante and La Liga. They expect us to make the promotion playoffs."

    "Let's show them what we're about!" I exclaimed. "We pass the ball around nicely. We can play solid defense when we concentrate. We can make them proud."

    "Watch for the runs into the channels, defense," I continued. "We've been talking about it all year. Let's just concentrate and shut them down. I know you guys can do it."

    "Midfielders, track back and help your defense," I said. "Work hard for each other off the ball. Make sure there's always a passing option. You guys know what to do and I have faith you'll do it."

    "Airam and Aymen, you two are in the top ten for scoring. You know what you have to do. I have faith you'll come up big for us today."

    "C'mon boys!" interjected Mikel Martins, the team captain. "There's no way this is going to be Enrico's last match. Give everything. Leave everything on the pitch. It's that extra commitment that matters. Today is the day we put it all together and beat Carta. C'MON!"

    And with that we walked out of the changing room down the tunnel.

    GK: Alejandro
    D: Albert Dalmau, Mikel Martins (C), Wellington Carvalho, Moises
    M: Kike Lopez, Bruninho, Jorge Luque, Jose Villar
    F: Airam, Aymen Souda

    Subs: Angel Bernabe (GK), Jose Maria Belforti (D), Juan Ceballos (RB), Josete (D/M), Abdoullai Fall (M)

    Their striker Jorge Galan was in the mood and exploited the gap between Martins and Wellington in the 6th minute. Fortunately, he zipped his shot just wide of the post.

    Cartagena's strategy was to kick the crap out of us and hope to exploit our weakness down the middle. In the 9th minute, Marco Rodriguez who is supposed to be their creative player in the midfield chopped down Luque for the second time. The ref gave him a yellow.

    From the restart, we moved the ball around the midfield in and around the center circle. On about the tenth pass, Luque fired a pass up to Souda. Souda had their central defender Carlos on him immediately. Once he felt the player breathing down his neck, he spun off him and took off towards their goal.

    The Carta right back Angel Ortega came over to sheperd him toward their other central defender Jose Izquierdo so the two of them could shut him down. Souda dropped his shoulder to feint that he would head toward Izquierdo and when Ortega bit, nipped around the other side of him.

    Souda is pretty fast. Neither Carlos, Ortega nor Izzy could catch him. He walloped a shot into the far side netting to give us the lead.

    1-0

    The nearly 7,000 Cadistas on hand went nuts. Everyone on the bench was hugging and jumping up and down.

    The match see-sawed back and forth. Back and forth from end to end more like basketball than futbol.

    Souda was racing towards the defense in the 17th minute. Because of his speed, they were giving him a little more room now. Instead of continuing to run at them, he decided to feed the ball out to Villar on the left. Unfortunately, their right midfielder was tracking back and intercepted the pass.

    He turned and thumped a Route One Special towards our goal. It was immediately clear that this 60m hoof was brilliantly or luckily aimed and that Galan was going to outrun Martins and Wellington for it. The ball hopped once about 25 meters from goal. As the ball was coming back down, Galan thumped a volley for the top corner.

    Alejandro had no chance.

    1-1

    The basketball game continued. Back and forth. Forth and back. If I had any hair, I'd have started to pull it out. Both teams creating chances. Carta fouling us regularly to try and break up our rhythm.

    Then inside a magical two minutes, everything turned golden.

    First Dalmau played a ball infield to Luque in the 31st minute. Luque saw that their right back Ortega was cheating in to help cover Souda. He also saw Villar's run into the gap and played a slide rule pass into Villar path.

    Villar beat both Ortega and Oscar on the dribble before hammering the ball into the far side netting.

    2-1

    Before Carta could get their **** together, we'd gotten our third.

    From the restart, they played a long ball up to Galan. Wellington intercepted and played a 30 meter pass to Airam in the center circle. Izquierdo came with him to cover him leaving Ortega and Oscar to mark Souda. Airam created enough space for himself to get a pass up to Souda.

    Souda controlled the pass, turned and took off running at the space between Ortega and Oscar. As the three converged, Souda simply changed direction and went around the outside of Ortega. Neither were as quick as Souda so he had the same angle he'd had earlier and did the same thing he'd done earlier.

    3-1

    More hugging. More jubilation. Kissing even. This is a Latin country, you know!

    As the players were coming back to the center of the park, I got their attention and told them to settle down and shut Carta down. I wanted them to control the tempo and keep the ball.

    Carta responded the only way they could, they tried to kick the **** out of us.

    The inevitable eventually happened in the 39th minute. Injury. Izquierdo stood on Airam's planting foot in a dirty, cynical tackle. Airam lay on the turf writhing in pain. Michel sprinted out and soon after signaled for a switch.

    I pointed at Josete to warm up before I commenced my typical screaming at the ref and berating the fourth official. I wanted to know how that wasn't a red card let alone why no foul was called.

    This was too early, but what choice did I have? I sent on Josete. Josete would play right in front of the defense and Souda would be up front on his own.

    Not much happened for the rest of the half. The middle was all gummed up with 5 Cadista midfielders and 5 Carta midfielders. Oh, except for Carta continue to try and kick the **** out of us.

    I gave a rousing halftime speech in which I praised them for the commitment to the cause and told them to keep it up.

    They did.

    The second half was never going to be an exciting match for the neutrals. Luque, Bruninho, Josete, Kike and Villar passed the ball around in the middle of the park and every once in a while someone would try and exploit a gap and create a chance. Barca fans might have appreciated our possession at times.

    But Carta were intent on applying special sauce to our feet, ankles and knees. When the ref didn't call the fall, they'd take the ball upfield toward our goal.

    By the 60th minute, Luque was tiring. I got Abdoullai Fall up to warm up. I wanted to keep Luque on as long as possible as his passing today was immaculate.

    In the 67th minute, Oscar won yet another questionable tackle on Souda and fed the ball up the Alex Cruz on the right about at midfield. He turned and played a long ball behind Wellington. Galan exploited Wellington's slow reaction, ran onto the ball and advanced in alone on Alejandro.

    He tried to sneak a shot under the advancing Alejandro but failed. Luckily for him and unfortunately for us, the ball bounced off Alejandro and right back to Galan. He poked the rebound in to make the last 20 some minutes far too exciting for my taste.

    3-2

    My defenders and midfielders passed the ball around nicely and defending resolutely.

    Carta crossed from the left, crossed from the right, but Martins or Wellington headed clear. They couldn't generate anything down the middle as we just sat back and absorbed the pressure.

    The fourth official added 5 minutes to the game. Probably for all the fouls and cards Carta received in the second half.

    Finally, the ref blew his whistle three times and my managerial career was extended for another week.

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-14-01.29.51-pm.png

    We'd have to wait for the rest of the results tomorrow. I gave the players Sunday off to relax. Only poor Michel would be forced to heal the wounded and walking wounded.

  21. "What's the plan for tomorrow?" I asked Ana Maria as we waited for our dinner to arrive. I had a rare day off and was looking forward to seeing her.

    "The weather forecast is nice I thought I would take you to see Ronda," she replied.

    "Ronda, eh?" I said.

    We left early enough to have breakfast in Ronda.

    Ronda is perched ontop of cliffs. It was the last holdout of the Moors in the 1400s as they were swept from the Iberian peninsula. Ernest Hemingway, Rainer Maria Rilke, Orson Welles and Georg Eliot had all fallen in love with the city. The views looking up at the old city are spectacular as are the views looking out from above.

    Even a guy like me can take decent pictures.

    Attachment 468525 Attachment 468536 Attachment 468542 Attachment 468545

    What a lovely day. Around 2pm, I checked the results and gave a little squeal of joy. Melilla had come from 3-1 down to draw Linense.

    Later that evening as we had a late, light snack, I saw that Guadalajara had huge trouble with El Palo and needed an injury time strike to win.

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-11-11.33.51-pm.png The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-11-11.34.21-pm.png

    What a wonderful weekend. Victory against a rival above us in the table. My job saved, at least for another week. A whole day spent with Ana Maria.
    Last edited by Enrico Pucci; 15/01/2014 at 05:56 AM.

  22. i truly cant say enough how fantastic this story is really getting intense now to Keep it up mate

  23. Quote Originally Posted by bigwill1xx View Post
    i truly cant say enough how fantastic this story is really getting intense now to Keep it up mate
    Thanks so much.

  24. I didn't want to hear about it. I knew it was going to be bad. I'd seen him on crutches after the match. I didn't want my Sunday ruined by bad news. I'd had a wonderful Sunday and didn't want my Monday ruined by the first thing I heard. We were all gathered in the cafeteria at our training ground.

    "Tell he's okay?" I asked Michel. "Lie to me, I don't care. Just don't tell me he's out for two months."

    "I don't even have to lie to you, Enrico," Michel replied. "He's not going to be out two months."

    I sat there silently. Waiting.

    "Five or six weeks," he said.

    "That's pretty bad," I sad. I paused while visualize our fixture calendar. "That means late April, early May. He'll have two maybe three games to get himself back into form providing we're playoff bound."

    "On the good news front," Michel added. "Perico, Kike Marquez and Andres will be healthy by the time El Palo visit in two weeks, but probably ready to play when we visit Albacete."

    "Ahhh, good," I replied. "That is some good news. Then let's move on. Jose, what about the Almerio Bs?"

    "They stink," Jose Barla, my Chief Scout began.
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  25. "What is this?" Esteban said slapping yesterday's copy of Diaro de Cadiz. "Why doesn't beating a rival above you relieve the pressure? Why?"

    "I don't know," I said sitting down in the barber's chair. "I just work there."

    "Is it because Linense beat you? Must be. What's the first tie breaker?"

    "Mano e mano" I replied. "Then goal difference."

    "And we have the best goal difference in El Segundo B4, no?"

    "Actually Albacete does."

    "Oh," he said. "Who has the tougher run in? You or Linense?"

    "Maybe them," I replied. I pulled up our fixture list. "We play Almeria B, El Palo, Granada B and Cordoba B. That's 12 points for certain. If we can get a point at Albacete, I'll be happy. Arroyo, Lucena and Melilla are out of the running for the playoffs. I just hope they're already on vacation when we play them."

    "But, as you and I both know," I continued. "The Linense match is a promotion playoff six pointer."

    I pulled up Linense's fixture list.

    "Their tough matches are Sevilla Atletico, Guadalajara and us," I said. "Here. See for yourself. I think they have it pretty easy, too."

    "Cacarenos on the final day might be a banana peel," Esteban said. "Cacarenos might need points to avoid relegation."

    "Mmm, good point."

    "Good," Esteban said. "I feel better about all this. Now I will shave you."

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-cadiz-progress.png The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-15-09.57.22-pm.png
    Last edited by Enrico Pucci; 16/01/2014 at 05:19 AM.
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  26. My phone jangled. It was after 8pm on Wednesday night. The number was from Napoli but wasn't in my Contacts.

    "Ciao," I answered.

    "Hey, Enrico," said Gianluca.

    "Uh ... um ... hello, why ... uh ... what' new," I stammered.

    "I just wanted to call and let you know my cousin, your ex-wife, is going to be getting married," he said.

    "Oh?" I replied. What the ****. So he wasn't calling about his criminal enterprises in which he'd forced me to participate? My ex is getting married?

    "Yeah," he continued. "To a boy she's known since she was a kid."

    "What ... uh ... what about her problems?" I asked.

    "Heh," he chuckled. "That's not your problem now is it?"

    "Um ... wow," I continued to stammer. "Tell her I wish her all the best. I really do want her to be happy."

    "I will, Enrico, I will," Gianluca replied. "I've been following Cadiz. Sorry to hear about that loss to your neighbors. You've won a couple since then. You'll make the promotion places, won't you?"

    I was too befuddled to get my brain to try and interpret if he was insinuating something.

    "I think so," I replied. "They're a pretty tight group, my players."

    "Good to hear," he said. "You'll always be family, Enrico. Don't forget. Thanks for playing your part in it, for what it's worth. My Father and her parents still think highly of you. Make us proud in Cadiz, eh?"

    "Thank you," I replied. "Ciao."

    "Ciao."

    Click.

    Ok. Breathe. Breathe. Ok. What just happened. I'm not out of the family, but they are happy I threw the match. They must have made a tidy profit. Ok. Then I'm good. Then nobody is going to come and kill me. Good.

  27. Quote Originally Posted by Enrico Pucci View Post
    My phone jangled. It was after 8pm on Wednesday night. The number was from Napoli but wasn't in my Contacts.

    "Ciao," I answered.

    "Hey, Enrico," said Gianluca.

    "Uh ... um ... hello, why ... uh ... what' new," I stammered.

    "I just wanted to call and let you know my cousin, your ex-wife, is going to be getting married," he said.

    "Oh?" I replied. What the ****. So he wasn't calling about his criminal enterprises in which he'd forced me to participate? My ex is getting married?

    "Yeah," he continued. "To a boy she's known since she was a kid."

    "What ... uh ... what about her problems?" I asked.

    "Heh," he chuckled. "That's not your problem now is it?"

    "Um ... wow," I continued to stammer. "Tell her I wish her all the best. I really do want her to be happy."

    "I will, Enrico, I will," Gianluca replied. "I've been following Cadiz. Sorry to hear about that loss to your neighbors. You've won a couple since then. You'll make the promotion places, won't you?"

    I was too befuddled to get my brain to try and interpret if he was insinuating something.

    "I think so," I replied. "They're a pretty tight group, my players."

    "Good to hear," he said. "You'll always be family, Enrico. Don't forget. Thanks for playing your part in it, for what it's worth. My Father and her parents still think highly of you. Make us proud in Cadiz, eh?"

    "Thank you," I replied. "Ciao."

    "Ciao."

    Click.

    Ok. Breathe. Breathe. Ok. What just happened. I'm not out of the family, but they are happy I threw the match. They must have made a tidy profit. Ok. Then I'm good. Then nobody is going to come and kill me. Good.
    i dont know whats the greater threat the sack or getting killed i suppose the sack now lol

  28. I officially love this story 23 pages in and we still haven't completed the first season. Top work!

    +1

  29. Quote Originally Posted by brooksey84 View Post
    I officially love this story 23 pages in and we still haven't completed the first season. Top work!

    +1
    Thank you very much!

  30. Round 30: Almeria "B" v. Cadiz CF

    Another Sunday, another excruciatingly long drive. This time we hump it all the way across the Costa Del Sol to Almeria to play the Almeria "B"s. Around 450 km and 5 plus hours on the bus.

    Attachment 471644

    The Estadio de los Juegos Mediterr?neos is a real stadium with actual working showers and functioning toilets. A rather pleasant surprise. It was built to host the 2005 Mediterranean Games ... whatever those were. And the stadium was empty. With how badly the Bs are playing, I can understand why nobody from Almeria would want to watch them. Yet another healthy Cadista away contingency made this another home-away-from-home match.

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-n_almeria_estadio_mediterraneo-237153.jpg

    The injury list is pretty long now. Mehdi Nafti out for season. Airam out for a while, yet. Perico out for couple weeks, yet. Kike Marquez out for a couple of weeks, yet. Andres out for a couple of weeks more. Out of desperation, I called up Diego Gonzalez from the Cadiz Bs to play left midfield. The teenager, Javier Valdes sits on the bench.

    GK: Alejandro
    D: Albert Dalmau, Mikel Martins (C), Wellington, Moises
    M: Kike Lopez, Bruninho, Jorge Luque, Diego Gonzalez
    F: Aymen Souda, Juan Villar

    Subs: Jose Maria Belforti (D), Josete (D/M), Juan Ceballos (RB), Abdoullai Fall (M), Javier Valdes (F)

    Almeria aren't just technically bad, their badly organized and morale is in the toilet. We knew they were going to try for a while, but knew from Jose Barla's scouting that they'd collapse once we'd scored a few.

    It didn't take long to get the first goal. In the 8th minute, Kike Lopez stormed down the right flank and whipped in a cross. They cleared it back out, but right to Dalmau. Dalmau controlled the ball and dribbled into the penalty area. Once two defenders charged out to meet him, he slipped a pass toward the end line for Kike.

    Kike hit a hard pass along the ground for Villar who beat their poorly positioned goalkeeper at the near post.

    0-1

    Maybe the players didn't play with the intensity I'd like, maybe the Almeria Bs played better. However, you look at it, we couldn't connect that final pass or that final touch let us down.

    Villar shot high and wide in the 14th minute. Souda hit the side netting in the 19th after beating his defender. Bruninho smashed a header off the crossbar in the 21st minute.

    We scored in the 22nd minute. New boy Gonzalez whips in a nice cross. Villar meets it with a header which hits the keeper. Souda has the easiest of tap ins.

    0-2

    Except the linesman had his flag up.

    0-1

    Luque shot right at the keeper in the 27th minute. He should have done better. And he blew another chance in the 45th minute when Souda saw his run from deep and put a pass into his path.

    They had some possession and a few chances, but we created 3 for every 1 they created.

    At halftime, I told them they'd played well, but could do better. So what happens immediately after the break? We gift them a great chance.

    Parola break down our left flank, beats Moises but Moises recovers and his desperation tackle pokes the ball away. The ball ran to the fullback who'd raced forward. Thankfully, Sergio Iglesias shoots like most fullbacks shoot in El Segundo, high and wide.

    Souda shoots wide soon after and minutes later Luque blasts a 30 meter free kick right at the keeper for an easy save.

    In the 55th minute, Dalmau won a corner down the right. Luque whips in a beautifully dangerous cross. Villar times his run and leap perfectly and smashed his header into the net to give us some breathing space.

    0-2

    I replaced Luque with Fall to give Luque a rest. We then sat back a bit and let the Almeria Bs pass the ball around. It never looked particularly dangerous.

    In the 79th minute, Bruninho was brutally chopped down in the middle of the park. They immediately played a long ball behind Moises for Parela to run onto. He cuts inside and from a bad angle tries to beat Alejandro. Alejandro blocks the shot out for a corner.

    Moises didn't cover Parela very well and Parela met the near post corner with a volley to give the Almeria Bs hope.

    1-2

    I replaced Bruninho with Josete as Bruninho was looking tired.

    After that, we did a great job of keeping the ball. The one time Dalmau got caught with the ball, Josete blocked the ensuing shot and we cleared the danger.

    I gave Javier Valdes his debut in the closing minutes.

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-12-08.51.34-pm.png The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-12-08.51.02-pm.png The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-12-08.50.28-pm.png

    Cartagena lost! They, Linense and us were all tied with 55 points, but we're up into 4th based upon head-to-head results.
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  31. Since we drove all night, no training on Monday. Only Michel had to work dealing with the wounded, walking wounded and any bruises and sore muscles. I told the coaches to take the day off, too.
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  32. Quote Originally Posted by Enrico Pucci View Post
    Since we drove all night, no training on Monday. Only Michel had to work dealing with the wounded, walking wounded and any bruises and sore muscles. I told the coaches to take the day off, too.
    michel has a tough job works alot lol

  33. diarodecadiz.es 17 March 2014
    Cadiz wins but pressure mounts on manager
    Bogdan Laba


    Cadiz moved up to fourth and into a promotion playoff spot with yesterday's 2-1 at the Almeria B's. Juan Villar led the way with a brace and goalkeeper Alejandro made several crucial saves to preserve the victory.

    Almeria B had plenty of possession, but were unable to convert any of their few chances until Peralo volleyed in from a corner with eleven minutes left to play.

    What could have been a nervy ending wasn't. Cadiz remained solid defensively and delivered a crucial victory.

    "I have the utmost confidence that Enrico Pucci will deliver a playoff spot," said Chairman Florentino Manzano. Manzano gave Pucci another dreaded vote of confidence after yesterday's victory.

    While Los Submarino Amarillos face an easy home match against bottom side El Palo, their visit to league leaders Albacete could be crucial to promotion place hopes and Pucci's job.
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  34. Quote Originally Posted by bigwill1xx View Post
    michel has a tough job works alot lol
    Yes, he works every morning. Yes, he works 7 days a week. But his hours are 9am to 1pm or so. Although game days are longer for everyone. He probably works 40 hours per week.

    Though I will grant that it's harder late in the season when nearly every player needs more treatment and we happen to have a HUGE injury list.

    Once again ... thanks for reading.
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  35. "What I don't understand is why Florentino is undercutting you," Esteban began as I sat down in his barber's chair. "The team is doing well and you are challenging to make the promotion playoffs. Why is this even being discussed?"

    "I was hired to get us into the promotion playoff," I replied.

    "So why is he panicking?"

    "I have no idea."

    "Does he realize that he's hurting the team's chances with all this?" Esteban asked.

    I shrugged.

    "I'm resigned to the fact that he's going to do what he's going to do," I said. "My job is to prepare the team. Or whatever team I have available. He doesn't seem to be able to get it through his head that we face our main challenger in the second to last game. I've told him repeatedly what the plan is and which of the remaining games I need points from."

    "So he knows that the Albacete game is going to be tough?" Esteban asked.

    "If he's been paying attention, he'll know they're top of the table and that I'd be happy with a point from that match."

    "So will he fire you if you don't win away to Albacete?"

    "I have no idea," I replied.
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  36. Round 31: Cadiz CF v. CD El Palo

    El Palo are second from the bottom. I probably wouldn't be in my current predicament if we would have beaten them in Malaga. Then again, if I hadn't married a drug addict, invested better and not blown my knee out when I did ...

    Kike Marquez is fit enough to sit on the bench. Perico and Andres are back in training, but not fit enough.

    Mikel Martins, Wellington Carvalho, Bruninho and Juan Villar are all one card away from a suspension. I decided not to risk Bruninho as we have Albacete next week.

    GK: Alejandro
    D: Albert Dalmau, Martins (C), Wellington, Moises
    M: Kike Lopez, Josete, Jorge Luque, Diego Gonzalez
    F: Aymen Souda, Villar

    Subs: Jose Maria Belforti (D), Bruninho (M), Abdoullai Fall (M), Kike Marquez (M/F), Javier Valdes (F)

    We kept the ball except for a mere minute until in the 11th minute, Kike Lopez tried to cross. Their left back blocked it and the ball careened to Dalmau. Dalmau beat the back to the line and whipped in a cross. Souda volleyed the ball and their keeper made a great point blank save. And then another from Villar. He couldn't keep the ball out a third time as Souda bulged the netting.

    1-0

    El Palo tried their best to respond. They kept the ball from the restart and passed it around in the midfield for a while. Eventually, Juan Jesus tried a shot from about 30 meters. It was right at Alejandro. Easy save.

    This was this one and only shot on goal.

    We kept plugging away, but weren't working all that hard to break them down, but then we didn't really need to. The crossbar saved them in the 17th minute.

    Just as the clock rolled past 45 minutes, Dalmau won a tackle on the right side at the halfway line. He played it infield to Josete who one-timed it to Luque. Luque fed the ball forward to Souda. Souda spun his defender, raced goalwards and unleashed a shot from the top of the box.

    The shot was just to the keeper's left. Yes, it was a hard, one-hop shot, but Mikel Pagoda should have had it.

    2-0

    Goals like these are like stakes to the heart for a struggling team. The second half was played at a more relaxed pace.

    There were only three remarkable events.
    1. Kike Lopez scored a well-deserved goal.
    2. Villar was looking bored and so since he was carrying a yellow, I replaced him with teenager Javier Valdes. Valdes scored his first professional goal!
    3. Dalmau turned his ankle in the 76th minute. I still had a substitution left to use so Belforti got a few minutes.
    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-19-03.56.28-pm.png The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-19-03.59.59-pm.png The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-_r31.png

    Sevilla Atletico won on Saturday though Albacete lost today. Alba remained top, though. Cartagena and Linense both won as well. The three of us were still all tied on 58 points and Linense was 3rd, we were 4th and Carta remained 5th.
    Last edited by Enrico Pucci; 20/01/2014 at 02:39 PM.
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  37. Only 12 points to go!

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-cadiz-progress.png

  38. "Do you have a minute?" I asked as I strode into Alessandro Gaucci's office. He's the Director of Football at Cadiz.

    "Of course," he replied.

    "I just want to be sure that Florentino knows that by my estimation we only need 12 points to make the promotion playoffs," I said. "And that everything comes down to the second to last match when we visit Linense."

    "I'm sure he's seen your chart," Alessandro replied.

    "Because judging by what Bogdan Laba is writing in Diaro de Cadiz," I continued indicating the Monday morning copy I held in my hand. "You'd think Florentino believes that the visit to Albacete is a must win. It's not. If I can come home with a point, I'll be happy. They're the league leaders and have made their stadium a fortress."

    Alessandro shrugged as if to say 'yeah, so.'

    "Would you check with him and see?"

    "I will," he replied.
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  39. Paco Leal, my Assistant Manager, was the last to arrive on Monday morning for our coaches meeting.

    "Good morning, Paco," I said. "Let's get started. Michel, how's Albert?"

    "He'll be fine," Michel replied. "It looked far worse than it turned out to be. He should be fine."

    "Perico and Kike Marquez will be able to play against Albacete," he added. "I don't think either could last 90 minutes, but 45 to 60 probably."

    "Wow, good injuries news for once," Javi Garcia said.

    Everyone nodded in agreement.

    "The focus this week is defense," I said. "As always, we'll work on attacking set pieces on Saturday. So Alejo, you, Javi Garcia and I will be working together all week. We've got to be solid. We've got to be able to make the correct read when Albacete play a ball into the channels."

    They both nodded.

    "Jose, let's hear it," I said.

    "Right," Jose Barla, my Chief Scout began. "They haven't been playing all that well lately. We can take heart from that. In the last six matches, they have won twice, drawn twice and lost twice. 14 scored, 11 conceded."

    "Their problems stem from two missing players," he continued. "The center back Pol Bueso and their ball-winning midfielder Mario Ortiz. Their back four doesn't have any protection with Ortiz out. We should be able to exploit this."

    "Any crosses into the box won't trouble them. Their center backs are tall and good in the air. Plus their keeper is decent enough at handling crosses. We must hit them through the middle."

    "Late runs and runs from deep are their weakness," he concluded.

    "We'll start with Perico out left, Luque and Josete in the middle and Kike Lopez out right," I said. "Josete has played very well the last few games and I think he's better defensively than Bruninho. We'll start in an attacking 442. I want Souda coming deep, as usual, to get the ball."

    "As soon as we get a lead or if our midfield looks porous, we switch to a 451," I continued. "I want Villar to drop into the midfield and for Josete to drop into the defensive midfield. Luque and Villar making runs from deep should cause them a lot of trouble."

    "Otherwise, that's it," I concluded.
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  40. dariodecadiz.es 29 March 2014
    Cadiz promotion playoff drama heats up
    Bogdan Laba

    Cadiz travel to Albacete tomorrow with a whole lot on the line. El Queso Mecanico top the El Segundo B4 and manager Enrico Pucci's job may hang in the balance. Chairman Florentino Manzano may axe Pucci if Los Submarino Amarillos lose.

    Fellow promotion hopefuls Cartagena travel to Lorca to play La Hoya and Linense host Atletico Sanluqueno. Watch the scrolling scoreboard tomorrow evening to keep up with the latest results.

    "We are positioned well, but Pucci needs to deliver the results," said Cadiz great Magico Gonzalez. Jorge Alberto Gonz?lez Barillas played for Cadiz from 1982 to 1991, although he spent the 1985/86 season with Valladolid before Cadiz bought him back. Magico scored 58 goals in 192 appearances.

    "This is the crunch time of the season that Los Submarino Amarillos need to find their top form," Magico said.

    Chairman Manzano reiterated that he and the board had full confidence in Pucci.
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  41. "Ciao, Enrico," Alessandro said. I'd called after reading the Saturday morning edition of Diaro de Cadiz.

    "Well, did you talk to him?" I asked.

    "Yes, I talked to Florentino yesterday," Alessandro replied.

    "And...?"

    "He's aware of your chart," he continued. "He listened to me explain your plan for yet another time. I got the impression he understood that you feel we are on track for the promotion playoffs."

    "The impression?" I asked. "It doesn't sound like he's terribly confident in me."

    "Just win tomorrow, Enrico."

    "Ciao, Alessandro. Thanks for trying to stand up for me. I truly appreciate it."

    "Best of luck tomorrow."
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  42. "What if he fires you tomorrow?" Ana Maria asked breaking the silence after our dinner plates had been cleared.

    "I don't know," I replied. "I'll figure that out if it happens. I don't know."

    "Would you like dessert?" she asked.

    "Not really," I replied. "Let's get out of here."

    "To answer your question," I said as we strolled out of the restaurant and into the beautiful Cadiz evening. "I would call my agent from my playing days and ask him to find me a job."

    We walked in silence for a while. She was deep in thought.

    "At some point, you'll have to make a decision," I said finally. She nodded. She knew what I was talking about. We hadn't talked about it, but it had been the elephant in the room for a while. Maybe tomorrow, probably for the new season or even if somehow Florentino decided to sign me for another year and was able to convince me to stay, at some point I was going to leave Cadiz for another position.

    She was crying. I stopped. I put my arms around her.

    "I know you're the responsible type," I said. "And you have to support your family. I get that."

    "I'm just not sure that if I ran off with you, I could live with myself," she said then sniffled. "If you got a job in Spain, maybe I could find one in whatever town you're in. Or nearby. But ..."

    We walked in silence.

    "What if it's Italy or England?" I asked.

  43. this is possibly one of the best, most detailed stories that i have ever read on this site keep it up!
    btw if you do get sacked will you keep going with the save?
    Nurquidi98 likes this.

  44. Quote Originally Posted by hu View Post
    this is possibly one of the best, most detailed stories that i have ever read on this site keep it up!
    btw if you do get sacked will you keep going with the save?
    I've pretty much decided that even if Florentino DID offer me a contract for next season, I'd refuse. I'm either done tomorrow, next week or next month regardless.
    SwiftNG, alokated, dainis and 1 others like this.

  45. Round 32 Albacete Balompie v. Cadiz CF

    The drive was exhausting. 644km, nearly 7 hours on the road. Or maybe it was just me worrying for 7 hours.

    Attachment 474787

    The stadium isn't in good shape, but the showers and toilets work. That's always a bonus.

    Attachment 474790

    The stadium was half full which is a considerable number compared to what we're used to in El Segundo. This crowd seemed to make a decent amount of noise. A decent number of Cadistas had made the long trip.

    GK: Alejandro
    D: Albert Dalmau, Mikel Martins, Wellington Carvalho, Moises
    M: Kike Lopez, Josete, Jorge Luque, Perico
    F: Aymen Souda, Jose Villar

    Subs: Andres (D/M), Bruninho (M), Abdoullai Fall, Kike Marquez (M/F), Javier Valdes (F)

    We got lucky with the ref. Jose Figueroa Vasquez is the most lenient in all of Spain. He hasn't red carded anyone this season and only shows a single yellow per match. This give us the opportunity to spread the special sauce especially thick and generously.

    I told them to target their two forwards: Rizvan Umarov and Sergio Molina; as well as right winger Israel. Israel is their top assist man and second top scorer. I told Moises to play defensively and tightly mark him.

    I reminded them of our plan to drop into a 451 if we scored first or if they were overrunning us in the midfield.

    "We are on a really good run, let's continue it tonight," I said. "We're on this run because we're moving the ball around really well and concentrating when we get chances in their half. I believe in you guys. You defenders have the skills to shut down Albacete. You midfielders know how to control the tempo and get the ball to Aymen and Juan up top. And I have faith that you as a group will continue scoring plenty of goals."

    "So let's get out there and kick those cheap b*st*rds in the nuts and make our Cadistas proud of us!"

    Despite my positive, assertive pre-match comments, the game started out cautiously. Eventually, we started asserting ourselves. Albacete didn't seem like the team that had won 10 straight.

    In the 21st minute, Luque passed the ball upfield to Souda. Souda controlled it and held off the defender on his back. He saw Luque charging forward and once he was past him, tried to feed a pass into his path. The right back sprinted over and thumped the ball out across the far half line.

    Dalmau threw the ball into Luque who sent a pass up to Villar. Villar spun past his defender took a few steps and thumped a dipping shot for the near post. The Alba keeper managed to parry the ball out for a corner.

    Luque whipped a ball right into the mixer. 4 players went up for it and the ball pinballed between them eventually landing at Villar's feet. The game then devolved into a U10 kickfest. There were a flurry of swinging legs. I'm pretty sure I saw Villar take 3 kicks at the ball. I'm not sure if he connected every time, but the ball was certainly pinballing around the 5m box as everyone desperately tried to thump the ball somewhere.

    Eventually the ball soared high and wide, clear of the danger. Moises got underneath it, controlled it and passed it across the top of the box to Josete. Josete fed the ball to Villar.

    Villar hit a thunderous shot right at the keeper. Pressure relieved.

    Israel realized that Moises was going to stick to him like stink on ****. So in the 32nd minute he dropped deep to get the ball and quickly passed the ball up to Molina. Moises didn't track Israel's run from well in his own half, but Perico did. Molina fed the ball into the space Moises had created but Perico was sprinting right next to Israel.

    Israel won the race to the ball but Perico was right at his side. The pressure from Perico helped and Alejandro blocked the shot and it trickled out for a corner.

    This fast break began an onslaught from Alba.

    We cleared the corner, but the ref called a foul on us in the center circle after some back and forth in the middle of the park.

    Alba played a long-ball down the left channel. Their left midfielder out-jumped Dalmau and the ball bounced into the path of Molina. Alejandro parried his shot out for a corner.

    We cleared that corner, too.

    But in the 39th minute. They worked the ball down the left again. As the ball came into the middle from the left, Martins decided to step forward and abandon Umarov. He immediately realized his mistake but he was too late.

    Umarov was in alone and slid a shot under Alejandro.

    1-0

    The players then got organized and we kept the ball until halftime. We created several good chances, but a couple of great stops by their keeper preserved their lead.

    Then Luque played a ball up to Souda just like earlier. Souda tried to feed the ball into his path and this time succeeded. Alba didn't pick up his run from deep and he was in alone.

    1-1

    He bulged the side netting.

    At halftime, I gave them another pep talk. They were doing great and just needed to keep doing what they were doing. I decided to drop Villar into the midfield as he hadn't done much as a forward in the first half.

    I also told everyone to get Kike Lopez the ball and for Kike to run with it. He hadn't really seen the ball in the first half.

    We completely dominated the first 15 minutes of the second half. We created chance after chance. Their goalkeeper stood tall and we just couldn't put a header on net. The runs from deep by Villar and Luque were terrorizing the Alba defense.

    Then in the 62nd minute, Moises lost Israel. Either their midfielder was planning on trying a ball into the right channel or he saw that Moises wasn't paying attention. Regardless, Israel was all by himself and running onto a through ball. Fortunately for us, his first touch was atrocious. It bounced off his knee and was running nicely to Alejandro.

    Danger averted.

    We continued to create chances, but so did they. This was mainly because Luque was tiring. His passes were starting to get intercepted and he just wasn't as sharp. So in the 67th minute, I replaced him with Bruninho. Bruninho was a good passer and while he wasn't going to score, he'd be solid defensively and help keep the ball.

    Then disaster struck.

    Alejandro tipped a long range shot over the bar for a corner. Israel took the corner and we cleared it, but right back to him. In the meantime, Wellington forgot about Molina. Israel spotted our mistake and sent a near post header right to a wide open Molina. His redirection went over Alejandro and nestled into the far side netting.

    2-1

    We had 17 minutes to go plus stoppage time. We answered by camping in their half. Alba parked the bus and dared us to try and break them down. They threw themselves in front of shots, several of them from in close and their keeper made a miraculous point blank save on Villar in the 78th minute.

    I replaced Perico with Kike Marquez as Perico was tiring in the 83rd minute.

    We kept crossing the ball in, lumping it in, working in it, but nothing bore fruit.

    As the 4th official raised his board signaling a mere 2 minutes of extra time, I had the sinking feeling that we were going to lose.

    Suddenly, the players had trouble connecting passes. Their desperation crosses were woefully inaccurate.

    Then 1:50 into extra time, Jose Figueroa Vasquez looked at his watch and blew three depressing blasts on his whistle.

    I saw nearly every player's head droop as the final whistle sounded. So close, yet so far.

    The locker room was silent.

    "I apologize for letting you down, boss," Martins said.

    "Relax guys," I replied. "You played great. Their keeper made some fabulous saves. If he's not man-of-the-match, well, I wouldn't know what to tell you. He was great. We were unlucky and it just wasn't our night."

    "We're still on track for a promotion spot," I continued. "The match against Linense is what will decide our fate."

    The players all nodded and I could tell the blue mood from losing had lifted slightly. This wasn't the end, regardless of what Florentino might do tomorrow.

    The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-21-08.24.29-pm.png The Alfa Romeo Metaphor-2014-01-21-08.25.16-pm.png

    I checked my iPhone. Linense were trailing at home to an early strike from Jose Pina of Atletico SanLuqueno. If they lost we'd be fifth but still tied on points. Cartagena was up to third with a victory over La Hoya.

    As the players were finishing showering, I saw that Linense had equalized. By the time we were loading the bus, their draw was final.

    We were fifth but I would plead my case to Florentino in the morning once we were back home.

    It was going to be an agonizingly long bus ride home.

  46. Even over the rattling of the old bus and the drone of the tires and the wind, I noticed that the conversations on the bus had stopped. We were a mere half hour into our 7 hour bus ride back to Linense after having stopped for dinner.

    "Boss, you should see this," said Mikel Martins walking forward to front of the bus where the coaches always sat.

    "What's up?" I asked.

    He handed me his iPad.
    diarodecadiz.es 30 March 2014
    Cadiz sack Pucci
    Bogdan Laba


    Cadiz CF Chairman Florentino Manzano has sacked manager Enrico Pucci after tonight's 2-1 away loss to league leaders Albacete Balompie.

    "Pucci was not getting the results and had lost the players," Manzano said. "Assistant Manager Paco Leal will assume caretaker duties until a permanent replacement can be found."

    Pucci gets fired despite winning 17 of 32 matches and keeping Los Submarino Amarillos in the promotion playoff hunt. Cadiz are in fifth and trail fourth place Linense by a mere point. Cadiz and Linense square up against each other for what appears to be the playoff deciding match in the 37th round.

    Jose Aurelio Gay, Victor Esparrago, former player Jose Gonzalez as well as Leal are rumored to be in the running for the open post.

    The new manager will have a mere six matches to right the sinking Yellow Submarine, find some consistency and win promotion for Manzano.

  47. Have you ever been dumped by a girlfriend via text message?

    An empty pit opened up in the base of my stomach.

    That feeling of impending doom, like the other shoe was going to drop, like my Alfa Romeo would stop running hit me.

    And hit me hard.

    No job. Girlfriend is probably going to dump me because I have to leave town to find a job. Soon I'll have no money to fix the Alfa.

    I'm ****ed.

  48. "Enrico!" Paco said. "Snap out of it. You'll be alright. We all love you and think you're the best."

    "Bus driver," Paco ordered. "Find the nearest bar. We need to purchase a vast amount of alcohol."

    A few minutes later we pulled into restaurant in La Roda. Javi Garcia, Llorente, Mikel Martins and Luque piled off the bus.

    Paco sat back down next to me.

    "That's wrong, my friend, what he's just done to you," he said. The players were all crowding up at the front of the bus. I started feeling claustrophobic.

    "Let's all get of the bus for a minute," I said. "I think I need some air."

    Soon the foursome emerged carrying boxes on wine. Javi Garcia had a box of assorted hard liquor. The owner followed with a box of styrofoam cups.

    "We are ready for the party to end all parties!" Javi Garcia shouted. "Let's get drunk!"

    The rest of the bus ride was a blur of singing, shouting and carrying on. Towards the end there were several bathroom stops, I think.

    I vaguely recall trying to convince the bus driver to drop everyone off at their residences. I think I offered him quite a lot of money, too, but he wouldn't do it.

    I'm pretty sure that at some point Ana Maria called. I think. I'm not entirely sure.

    At some point I lost my iPhone and one shoe.

  49. thats bull you were on pace to meet you goal idk why you would be sacked best of luck hope to see the story continue
    Nurquidi98 likes this.

  50. Quote Originally Posted by bigwill1xx View Post
    thats bull you were on pace to meet you goal idk why you would be sacked best of luck hope to see the story continue

    Thanks but please don't type so loud. I've got a horrific hangover. Plus I think a small, furry rodent crawled into my mouth and died. Oh, wait. That's my tongue. I'm going to go back to bed now. Though maybe I'll take some tablets for the headache.
    SwiftNG and Nurquidi98 like this.

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