“And now, the end is near, And so we face the final curtain…” – Frank Sinatra or ROSS BELL? Our intrepid Football Manager hero comes to the conclusion of the tasks we set him. Can he go the well once more with his Leeds team and bring the glory days back to Elland Road?
When I left you last, we had just won the League Cup and still had three competitions within reach. Let’s focus on the League first as, of course, it’s the best way of getting into the Champions League.
With 19 games to go we are sitting comfortably in the top 4 and going well; what happens next I can neither explain nor counteract. We pick up a frankly pathetic 17 points in 19 games to end the league season a very poor 8th overall. With my easiest chance to complete this challenge now behind me, I have to focus on the remaining Europa League and FA Cup games.
We progress nicely in both, especially the FA Cup where – en route the final – we knock out Manchester United and Arsenal to set up a date with West Ham United in the final. As for the Europa League, Zenit, Leverkusen, Benfica and Ajax all fall prey to this season’s best cup team. The Europa League final sees us taking on Monaco who still have a lot of the stars of the current team, so I’m not expecting an easy time there.
With both games being within three days of each other, I decide to rest key players for the final few league games which oddly – and rather annoyingly – leads to us beating Manchester City 4-1 before reverting to type and losing the final league game before losing by the same score to Stoke City to really make me nervous before two big cup finals.
First up is the Europa League final being held at Wembley. We get off to a flying start with two goals from Angvik before the break, followed up with two more goals in the second half coming from Pulisic and Van Ginkel. The Europa League is ours!! What’s also ours is a place in next season’s Champions League playoffs! Mission Complete.
With just the FA Cup left on the schedule I’m on a high having completed the 5 season mission. We didn’t bother checking out of our London hotel as we take to the Wembley field again with West Ham the opposition this time. Yet again we get off to a flying start through that man Angvik. With 9 minutes on the clock he has opened his account. Ings makes it 2-0 after 20 minutes and I’m riding high, relaxing in my chair when Keko pulls one back to make it a much closer game at the interval. Angvik gets another right after half-time before Alex Iwobi immediately pulls another one back. It stays that way until the 89th minute when Glenn Shaw and an Angvik penalty makes the score much more one sided to give us another trophy for the Elland Road cabinet.
To cap things off nicely, a combination of player sales and prize money has more than negated our initial huge outlay on transfers at the start of the season, meaning we have managed to rake in a profit of £9million.
So with that, the challenge is complete. I’m actually quite sad to leave this team behind so if you’re interested in me carrying on this save to see how far I can take this team before I ultimately crash and burn in financial disaster, then let the good editor of the site know. MOT
ROSS BELL – @RossBell1984