Hey guys and welcome to a new season of Thursday Blog’s. As the more intelligent of you will realise, my volume’s go by season in the Top100 and thus Season 3 brings Volume 3. For those who are less intelligent, I have just explained it and apart from drawing a picture with lots of pretty arrows, there is not much else I can do. We can work on it.
For Volume 3 it is going to be mainly the same kind of format but where as before I would mention a thing or two about soccer manager outwith my club in the Top 100, I will now devote a section to it. So we will have my real life stuff, a SM section mainly about the Top100 as a whole and then the goings on at my club Liverpool.
So, what has been happening at home since my last blog? Well, to be honest, I only have one word that can describe it but I have to it say three times. Stress, stress, stress and then some. I have mentioned before how my wife, Alison and my eldest daughter, Elise get on like cat and dog but usually their fall out lasts maybe a day at most with yours truly stuck in the middle and always being pressured to take sides. Another fall out happened and all, as always, over something trivial that became a molehill into mountain scenario. It started with Elise leaving her phone at the stables. I am telling you, take all the phones out of this house and production will be at a standstill. It would just be five people standing, going round in small circles not knowing what to do. I have to include myself in this as I would be lost without my phone. If I said that we all have an IPhone 6s plus it shows how important they are. No older versions of phones allowed in this house. Back to the story, and Elise has left her phone at the stables. Now, classic Elise is asking someone else to do things for her and especially her younger sister Janene. Janene always says yes though so she only has herself to blame. Anyway, sitting having our dinner and Janene says she has agreed to go to the stables and get Elise’s phone. Ok, and Elise is obviously going with her. No? that’s right. Elise says she is too tired. Wtf? Janene then confesses to us that she is really just wanting a shower and bed. On pulling up Elise on this, she says she doesn’t have much fuel and Janene is going but backs down a bit and says she is going with her. To cut a long story short, Alison says no chance and Elise was expecting someone to go for us while she sat on her fat ass. This started the argument. Cue Gordon heading for bed. I refuse to listen to them but I could hear most of it from upstairs. Don’t know everything that was said but I did hear Elise call Alison a psychopath!! Oops, that is the fall out. I have to head back downstairs to try and keep the peace but this is too far gone.
Elise pleads her case and that she would have went if she had fuel in the car. I offer her a tenner to go get some fuel but she refuses and just goes anyway. Well, that was it. This fall out lasted 4 days and I was once again in the middle, stressing. I am 53yo and I want just two things in life now. Quietness and SM. One out of two ain’t bad as Meat Loaf once nearly sang. Anyway, I thought I had made the breakthrough on the Friday when they both apologised to each other for things they said but they still were not talking. Then on the Saturday when Alison came to bed, she started moaning about Elise. I got caught making a ‘not again’ face and she asked what the face was for. I just said I was fed up hearing about it and that was her in a mood with me now. It must have worked though coz the next night they were all nice again. Thank fuck for that, well until the next time.
After being so stressed, and with today being my day off, I am having a lazy day and staying in bed until I have to get up. That time will be half one for a quick tidy up before a SKY engineer comes out to fix our SKY. We are not getting a signal for any channel at all apart from the council TV ones. It is quite obviously the dish that is fucked. It is an old dish now so probably something to do with that. I hope it is just age. I know that we swapped the kids house duties around and Janene now has the kitchen to do but when I said you put ALL the dishes in the dishwasher………..
Alison is back at work after her time off with her stomach troubles that seen her spending some days in hospital. She is doing a phased return, so they call it, and last week was in until 1pm and this week it is 2pm and so on until she is back in for the full day. I am just glad she is back as she was off for quite a while. It is so hard to tell how sore she is as she is queen of the drama queens. To make it worse she is even a drama queen when someone else is ill. I have seen her phone NHS24 when Janene has only had a sore throat. Of course when she phones NHS24, by the end of the call the sore throat has all the implications of the Bubonic plague. So when Alison tells me something I have to strip away the exaggerations and finally end up with the real happening.
No TV has meant no football for me but I haven’t missed it. I didn’t even know Scotland had played Italy until 2 days after the game. The European Championships are coming up though and I will watch as much as my shifts at work allows. Every British team are there except good old Scotland, who enjoyed one of their glorious failures once again. There is always one stupid result that lets them down and this time it was the 1-0 defeat in Georgia. If they had won that then they would be in France instead of the Poles I think but we wouldn’t want to deny the Euros Lewandowski so we decided not to qualify. We will be there next time as long as we avoid Georgia, California and North Dakota in the qualifiers.
As I said, I have decided to expand the Soccer Manager, the game, section to talk more about the Top 100 as a game world. As many have said before, this game world has everything. Even the recognition it gets from the guys that run the game is something to be proud of. I don’t think Frank could have imagined how amazing this world has turned out to be. If I am right, he only decided to start this one up because he believed there was a bit of cheating going on in Gold Championship 274, where we had managed to fill the English leagues, although he will correct me if that’s wrong. The game world has already been through a couple of scares. The introduction of the new UI seen a few, including myself, quit the game in protest but a quick option of using the od interface seen most return. There was also the scare of an argument involving Frank and possibly James McKenzie, don’t shoot me if that’s wrong, which seen Frank threaten to close the world down. Thankfully it blew over and the world has gone from strength to strength.
I have never seen a newsfeed so busy with discussions about just about anything going on. The banter is superb and there are so many characters in the game that the laughs are never ending. Of course, you still get an argument or two about things like daft transfer offers or people going in a huff because someone else got a player they wanted but it’s all part of what makes the world so good.
The blog is another awesome part of the world. I love that so many managers are trying to get involved in the blog. There are managers who, before, would not even have tried to do an article but have done something. Every single article on here is appreciated and is of interest to everyone. The response to my Division 1 preview was amazing. I can’t thank everyone enough for their kind comments and I also have to thank all the other Division 1 managers for responding to my PM’s asking for their input. I plan to do the preview every season as I think it builds up a bit of excitement for it starting. Season 3 starts on Sunday and it just can’t come quick enough. The Youth Cup and the World Club Championship is just another feature that makes this world so good and then there is TOP100TV. Anyone that says they are in a better gameworld have either never played in this one or is a liar. As for the season coming up, I think its going to be fiercely contested in all 5 divisions. Everyone expects to do well but it is, of course, not possible for that to happen. t was like when I was doing my preview and working out where I think everyone would finish. Every manager fancies their chances of a top ten finish but I am afraid only 50% of them will be correct and 50% will be disappointed. I know I will be happy if I can finish higher up than last season, even by just one place but I do wonder if I have given some managers an incentive by predicting relegation for them and that it comes back to bite me in the bum. Time will tell I suppose but I am sure everyone is ready and raring to go.
At Anfield, I thought we were all ready to go. The new players El Shaarawy and Moutinho have done well in training and are looking keen to get started. We have had 2 pre season friendlies so far, both at Anfield, and have suffered two defeats without scoring a goal. My policy in pre season friendlies is always to start with what should be my cup side and then bring in a couple of first team guys each game. The 3-0 defeat to Galatasaray was not a good performance at all by the reserves but more worringly was the fact that Szczesny still looks lacking in confidence. Last night I brought Rafael and Gameiro into the side and although the performance improved we still lost 0-1 to Hoffenheim. The good part though was that Szczesny saved a penalty and hopefully that will give him a boost. Tonight we are playing host to West Ham United and I have decided that, due to the lack of goals, Lacazette will play up front with Gameiro and also El Shaarawy will play on the left on the left hand side. Surely this will get us a goal or two although we will probably end up losing 8-7.
On the transfer front, nothing is happening of interest. A couple of youngsters have arrived for the Youth Cup and that’s about it. We are attempting to bring in Drogba from Aston Villa as I think he could boost our cup team but we will certainly not pay more than a 38yo is worth.
We open against Fenerbahce at Anfield and since they are tipped for relegation then I have to expect that we will get 3 points but my teams are generally slow starters so if we don’t get 3 points then its not a disaster. We then have a trip to face Real Madrid and although we won 2-0 there last season, any point is a bonus for us and a bitter blow for Roy and his boys. Overall we are looking forward to a season where we can show that we are a better team than 16th place and I know we can do it. If Lacazette can find his best form and form a good partnership with Gameiro then we are on the right road. At the back we have had problems and I think it all stems from Szczesny’s low morale.
I tried to sell him during the close season but there were no real suitable offers. I would have done a straight swap for another 90 rated keeper as long as the guy wasn’t 110yo but there was nothing doing. Anyway we are going with Szczesny for the season now and hopefully he can improve. He has Mascherano and Bender as the centre backs so they should be able to protect him. Right back is probably a position I would like to upgrade but, again, no one was really prepared to let anyone go. Luis will hold the left back place so, really, we aren’t that bad off. Midfield is looking reasonably strong with Isco, Khedira, Moutinho, Feghouli and El Shaarawy able to fill the places and up front Lacazette and Gameiro will be the first choice strikers with El Shaarawy able to convert to striker if required. There are better teams than us and there are worse teams than us but if we can play to our strengths then I am confident we will do ok. I have a SIMS in place but it is not too difficult to achieve. Although the bottom two get sacked, I have stipulated that if I get relegated then I will resign or if I manage to stay up but don’t beat last seasons total of 38 points, I will also resign. If I survive those stipulations then I will set higher ones the following season depending on my final league placing and points total for this season. I think this is a good idea and adds a bit more realism into the world which, lets face it, is what we are trying to do here. My next decision would be if we finished in the top 10 and qualified for a European place. Do I buy Gold to be able to compete in Europe or do I not? From other game worlds I have learned that if you do not have gold then you have no chance in Euro competitions. Although it shouldn’t be a factor, I don’t want to have 4-0 and 5-1 defeats on the schedule from games that you have no control over. I think it will all come down to how I have adapted to the new UI when it finally is forced upon us.
Anyway I think I have babbled on enough for today. The SKY engineer is here and is moving the dish and rewiring all the boxes so I have no idea how long that is going to take. More importantly, the countdown to the new season continues and I just want to wish everyone good luck for the season and may the best team come out on top which I think will be Bayern Munich.
It’s time to go so thanks for reading today and in 7-10 days time, Fannie Licker will be back with another interview. Who will it be this time? Well I know coz I had my ear right up at Fannie when she whispered it. The manager doesn’t know yet but I will send him a PM tonight and we can get the ball rolling.
So thanks once again and I will be back with the next Thursday blog in a fortnight.