Chapter 3 – Abrupt awakening

We return to play at home and the next match is with Rochdale which is 50 points, only one point above us, the playoff area is still 8 points away but with 10 games and 30 points available everything is possible. Unfortunately Wilcox got injured in mid-week and therefore a place as a central defensive opens … Akhmedov or Hope? Go for the Armenian.

At 7′ we are already under Roberts is not perfect on the occasion. The ball possession is mainly of the opponents and the attackers are not in the game (vote 4 and 5) so I try to skip the midfield choosing long ball passes. I take the free kick to D’Auria and try to move it to Harsley. At 37′ it is Harsley who blows the ball to Farrell and score but for the referee the attacker has made an irregularity and cancels. At 42′ the Rochedale scores again but also this time the referee cancels for offside. The first relevant action starts from D’Auria feet but Ormondroyd kicks weakly. The first half ends. I move to use the direct passages to see if we can get closer to the door.

Match Table

At 55′ Rochdale hides in 5-3-2 moving to the counterattack. I have to dare more, I move Walker forward in the middle of the field and I move slightly forward the wings. At 68′ Rochdale score the second goal. Ok, at this point I play all the cards I have: I take out Walker and I put in Forrester and I play with a very offensive 4-3-1-2. At 74′ we shorten the distances, just with Forrester: let’s try! Nothing happens anymore! It ends 1-2, deserved defeat. The feeling is that the Rochedale is stronger and we end up at 11 points from playoffs area … Game Over …

The management did not like it. The next game is againt the third in the standings. Prohibitive? At 38% possession I try with the long ball. At the 25′ we go below after a short rejection by Roberts. At the 27′ Walker is sent off for a foul as the last man and practically our game it’s over and thus the ambitions to access the playoffs. It ends 5-0.

Chapter 2 – 3 in a row

After get back the leadership of Scunthorpe, I’m preparing for the second away match against Doncaster and based on the motto “winning team does not change” (not sure if it works in english) I keep the same starting eleven. The first half flows away with a couple of good chances but the problem is that we never hit the goal. In the half hour, Harsley wake up first scoring after a goalkeeper’s short rebound and then with a personal action a minute after having almost doubled. The Doncaster changes both external midfielders but the music does not change and at the end of time Ormondroyd takes advantage of a defender mistake and doubles. The Doncaster, however, immediately reopens the game at the start of the second half. The match still seems to be in control and Harsley has a couple of important conclusions. At 79 ‘Robinson saves on Pemberton and is miraculous at 85’ on a head from a corner kick.


We finally achieved the 3 points but the MVP is the goalkeeper Robinson. D’Auria also did well (vote 8) positioned behind the forwards. Unfortunately we are still 8 points far in the ranking from Colchester 7th which is last team in the PlayOff zone. The next match is against Swansea 19th with 9 points from us.

Standings after 35 matches

Since we have won two games, I look at the roster a bit and decide to try some alternatives: the left defender that I have O’Shea is on loan and Akhmedov an Armenian bought in January to do the central with no luck could be a good alternative. Unfortunately however in training McAurey got injuried and therefore I prefer not to change too much. I keep O’Shea to the left and I put Neal to the right where he had done well before the injury at the beginning of the season.

The game starts well: at 12 ‘Harsley assisted by D’Auria brings us ahead. It’s a really foulness game, at 28 ‘Swansea claims a penalty but the referee didn’t give it. In the second half, practically nothing happens until 60’ when there are a couple of occasions on each side. Corner kicks never lead to anything: I take them away from D’Auria I try to get them to Sertoni first and then Neal but nothing changes, always poor results. At 71 ‘Sertoni do an handball in the box and this time it drives a penalty a yellow card and above all the drawn. I should try to change something, but honestly I don’t have many options. I then take out Ormondroyd and put Forrester and O’Shea in charge of the corner kicks. At 89 ‘the turning point, O’Shea play a strange corner kick on which Staton does an own goal the winning goal.

Match Schedule

Day 19 – Loneliness

The days are all the same in quarantine, thanks God since I’m working from Home in Smart Working as we call it, at least the day is full of meetings and activities that keep me away from the effort of having to fill many hours within the same walls. In the part of Milan where I live outside, everything is very quiet: few cars, few people, nothing more … The temptation to feel dozed off and to be assailed by apathy or worse by the panic of the numbers that continue to report a massacre of deaths (even today more than 900) is really big. We are alone and defenseless. Social networks simply mitigate this situation by mixing nonsense, messages, news in a whirlwind that leads to constant mood swings and enthusiasm. Then I see my mother’s message saying “Look at the Pope’s blessing at 6 pm”. Ah yes … The Pope. Who knows why in these moments faith is no longer just a typo from the past, an old appendix that we all remove but, more than ever, it becomes hope.

Pope Francis in an empty St Peter’s square

At 6 PM I’m in front of the TV, I don’t watch the usual daily bulletin and I simply put myself on hold. The show that presents itself is really full of drama the Pope faces a completely empty churchyard and who has been right there know very well how huge St. Peter’s Square is, especially when it is empty. It is he, but it is we, alone and tiny. There is little hope, and a lot of submission, to testify that yes, we are close to the end. The commentator says that it is the first time that the plenary indulgence is given to all those who simply wish it without any of the usual rules accompanying it. Another sign of the total uniqueness and drama of the days we are experiencing. Something epochal, without any doubts.

Day 13 – The show must to go on

Some thoughts on the 13th day of quarantine. The situation seems to be all but clear. We begin to see a certain nervousness through social media and in general among people. Yesterday evening Premier Conte announced a live intervention on Facebook and just beeing few minutes late generated a widespread sense of panic and chaos. The striking thing is that this crisis “the most important since the end o World War II” has passed like a tank on what for my generation has been a practically unassailable dogma: the show must go on. Whatever happened, the machine never stopped or if it did, it was for a short period of time, and above all, almost never everything and everyone together. Gulf War, 11th September, The death of John Paul II, Earthquakes, various (including nuclear) catastrophes nothing before today had succeeded like this microscopic being in stopping the car thrown at a thousand on which we were travellling. And one of the biggest paradoxes is precisely that: what stopped everything was not some world war, some atomic weapon but something infinitely small and infinitely simple in front of us and the technologies we manage daily.

And what if we took all of this as a success, as a try to realize that the sophisticated but certainly not perfect machine that we designed, could stop. That we are not slaves to our creation, that we can also choose to turn it off if necessary? Maybe for a short time, maybe planning it in advance and marking it on the calendar. A moment for everyone and if it should be for everyone it could mean that nothing can be done that day: no restaurants, buses, trains, planes, work, shopping, mountains, sea, football, basketball, F1 … exactly like these days … Except for one thing. Being together, on that day you could and should be together but being together just for the pleasure of doing it, without a specific end. Because in this forced segregation that we have been living for weeks, perhaps we realized that they are not the things from which we struggle to stay away. They are the people, who we love. This epochal plague some teaching will leave us and certainly this I hold tight, because when everything will return to normal and will say “you cannot just stop everything” there will be the memory of these days to tell us that instead it is all a matter of want it, first of all put a common good which, hopefully in other situations, can be identified in something other than public health. A hope and almost a certainty. Just want it.

CM 97/98 – Chapter 1 -Scuntorpe Restart

With the help of COVid-19 I have some time to recover an old saved game on Championship Manager 97/98. I joined Scuntorpe for the early season and after a good start I ran in a sequence of changes to the roster that drive me to a difficult situation and then I gave up. The yesterday I had the time to get back to game and analyze a little better the situation: last five matches I got 4 defeat in a row and just one draw scoreing 3 goals vs 13. Definitely to much. For this reason I started reviewing the midfield trying to proctect better the defence. Walker looks to be a good midfielder with Position 20 and Tackling 16 to be put in the low angle of the rhombus an keeping an attacking midfielder on the opposite side. Didn’t change too much in the other side.

Initial elevens

The opponent is the Rotherham, not a great team is lower in the table 2 points below us… Fortunately the match starts very well for us and Ormondroyd scored two goals in the first 5 minutes. The first half is not so beatiful actually and no much things happens. In the second half everything changed when the Rotherham starts playing with a 4-3-3. Form now one we take full control of the game and we start a barrage of shooting that didn’t move the score for the ability of them goolkeeper.


Looking wider to the overall performance of the team, probably this is not the match from which have a signal of improvements but definitely it was a good game. The next match, away with the Doncaster (second to last) , may take some further information on the form status of the team.

Final schedule

Beren Blog 3.0

No, this is not an error this is really the Beren blog 3.0. This is not because of a new technology based solution but simply that is the third time a start with the same Blog. Boring? Maybe, but since I lost (my bad) the large part of the previous posts I’m not even sure I’ll recover them someday. Soas for a brand new start let’s manage the expectation start writing only about the present.

3.0 reay, steady …