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Read Godfather Of Champions Chapter 221: Need To Win Part 1

Godfather Of Champions is a web novel completed by Lin Hai Ting Tao, 林海听涛.
This webnovel is presently Ongoing.

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Read WebNovel Godfather Of Champions Chapter 221: Need To Win Part 1

Chapter 221: Need to Win Part 1Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

The players took the team bus back to the hotel to rest. They would be dismissed the next morning for their break. And Twain made an excuse that he needed to take a breather and be alone. He did not curse and swear in the locker room, nor did he rebuke Matthew Upson for his blunder. He was not even disappointed with the team’s performance in the last moments. He just wished everyone a good rest and announced that they were dismissed.

He sat in the locker room and waited for the singing a.r.s.enal fans outside to disperse before he left. There was already not one fan left to be seen in the City Ground stands other than the cleaners. There were still a handful of fans in the square outside, but they did not notice the middle-aged man who slowly walked out the gate.

Walking out of the stadium and standing at the edge of the square, Tang En did not know where to go. He did not want to go drinking, and he didn’t want to find a girl, either. He stood on the side of the road and planned to take a walk to let his mind calm down and seriously think about the mistakes he had made today, the team’s shortcomings, and the future direction of the team.

Three rounds had already been held in the English Premier League and his team had not tasted victory yet, considering Nottingham Forest had been invincible in Football League First Division (now called the EFL Champions.h.i.+p). Tang En did not know if anyone else would have thought doing it this way, winning a low-level league t.i.tle so as to be promoted to the Premier League. He was filled with joy and full of antic.i.p.ation, as if he had been walking on clouds. But half a month later, the team was struck down by their rivals. He was afraid that the drop in his confidence would only get worse.

No matter how many players the team had bought in over the summer, or how much money they had spent, Tang En did not think his team had the ability to cope with battling on multiple fronts. This had nothing to do with the abilities of the team’s subst.i.tutes. The problem was the lack of experience. Whether it was the young Forest team or him, they just did not have the experience of facing multiple fronts at the same time. Just exerting all of their strength to fight on one front was enough to give Tang En a headache.

He had to choose one option and give up a few others.

The answer was almost evident. No matter what, the Premier League was the most important and the results of the Premier League was the basis for everything else. Even if they won all the domestic cup champions.h.i.+ps, but were ultimately relegated to the EFL Champions.h.i.+p, what was the use? It could be said that the cup results only represented the team’s past and present, while the Premier League’s results represented their future.

But when he thought about how difficult it would be for them to enter the UEFA Europa League and play in a European tournament for the first time, he knew that it would be such a pity if they were to give up now.

For Tang En, it was more exciting to compete in Europe than to compete in the domestic league because there would be new opponents and a higher profile.

Another point was that the European tournaments could increase the chances of meeting other European powers. Although the Forest team had not accomplished anything in the English Premier League yet, Tang En was already eager to play against the European giants that he had only been able to previously watch on television.

Therefore, the Premier League was in fact the most important. If their Premier League results were not good, they would not be eligible for the European compet.i.tion. The Forest team could not play in the UEFA Europa League every year. The UEFA Champions League was Tang En’s highest goal.

However, since it was obtained with so much difficulty, he could not just let the UEFA Europa League qualification to go in vain. At the very least, they should break out from the group stage and advance to the top thirty-two to prove their strength.

Although the Forest team was the EFL Cup champion, because it was the second domestic cup in the country, they had to partic.i.p.ate in the UEFA Europa League qualifying round. According to the schedule, on September 16, the Forest team would be playing in a home game against Czech Republic’s FC Baník Ostrava. Then on September 30, the Forest team would the visiting team in the Czech Republic to play in the second leg of the qualifying round. Only by pa.s.sing the qualifying test would the Forest team be able to partic.i.p.ate in the tournament. At that time, they would be put into new groups again and would not know who their opponents would be. But Tang En was confident about going into battle against them.

Nottingham Forest may not be able to win the UEFA Europa League t.i.tle, but they had to make their mark and let the whole of Europe know that they’ve been there before, and they’ll be back again.

※※※

The newspapers published the next day all put a.r.s.enal on the front page. The photographs of the three men—Henry who scored the goal, Fàbregas with his a.s.sist, and Manager Wenger—became the headline photos. As a team that had created a new record, no amount of praise would be an exaggeration.

But the Nottingham media made little mention of a.r.s.enal’s record. More attention was placed on the Forest team. Almost everyone thought that the Forest team’s performance in yesterday’s game gave them hope. Even though they did not manage to keep their unbeaten record of forty-two games, they had a more ambitious goal.

“…Let the record breakers break the record. Instead, we gained an exciting new Forest.” That was Pierce Brosnan’s commentary piece in the Evening Post. He gave voice to many people’s heartfelt wishes.

The team resumed their normal training the following day. The first part of the training was watching the game; Twain showed the video of the match against a.r.s.enal to the players and then, along with David Kerslake, they discussed and a.n.a.lyzed the details of the match with the players. This was not a critique session to point out everyone’s problems, but rather a chance for them to improve in training and to pay attention to themselves during the game.

This was a training method that Tang En had developed for the team this season. Through watching a video of the game, they were able to both find the team’s problems and discover their strengths. But Tang En had one person to thank for this idea: Dunn. He had seen that Dunn would come home and watch the match videos all day, and Tang En would discuss those match videos with him. Soon after, he thought of the team’s situation and an idea struck him: why not gather the players to watch the match video and discuss the successes and failures together?

Many details of the game were known at the time, but they might have been forgotten afterwards. It was better to let everyone review through the video. Moreover, certain sections could be played repeatedly, freeze-framed, and re-evaluated using the remote control for emphasis.

Such teaching methods were common in the coaching a.s.sociation’s curriculum, but Tang En had not received any real training before, so he had overlooked it.

Although they had conceded, the atmosphere was relaxed when they watched the video. Unless Twain was especially angry, he would try to use a conversational tone when he was making a criticism so that it would be easier for the players to accept it, and to build a closer relations.h.i.+p among themselves. As a manager, he might not have other advantages, but he could mingle quite well with the players. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that he used to be a fan.

When he talked to the players about the game, he omitted any mention of the word “record,” instead treating it as an ordinary match. David Kerslake was in charge of the main commentary with Twain only pitching in when it was required. Together, the two men spoke about the players’ biggest mistake.

“Over here… This is it…” Twain pointed to the television screen with the remote control; it was the frame in which Upson had dropped his position and pounced towards Gilberto Silva. “Matthew, do you have the hots for that Brazilian guy?”

Upon hearing the manager say that, everyone in the room burst into laughter. Matthew Upson shook his head, laughing. “No, boss, I’m straight.”

There was another burst of laughter.

“Honestly, when I saw this happen the day before yesterday, I was thinking to myself: “Oh my G.o.d, Matthew must be crazy! What was it about that Brazilian that was so attractive to him? He didn’t even care about his own position…”

The laughter continued.

“All right, Matthew, can you explain to me what you were thinking at that time?”

The laughter subsided, and Upson scratched his head. “Well, I don’t know either… I only thought of not letting him shoot a goal, and then…”

Twain nodded, not wanting to get caught up in the reason. “Well, a center back needs to stay calm. You could learn from Hierro. Watch him at that moment.” Twain pointed to Hierro in the corner of the screen. “Calm and steady! That is experience!”

Hierro raised his hand, “Boss, actually, I was just too tired to run at that point.”

Everyone laughed. That time, even Twain laughed. Of course, he knew that Hierro could not run at that time. He had deliberately made a joke to relieve the pressure on the young team. They had not won a single match in three consecutive rounds of the tournament. He believed that everyone was under great pressure.

———-

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Published inGodfather Of Champions