Season 4 – Wisla Krakow, Polish Ekstraklasa
Another year, another clearout of wankers who turned on me for no reason. £3m raised in player sales, I went all in this year and brought in a few expensive but good quality players to flesh out the squad (more on this later) including one or two from my old club, and a couple of talented kids the board signed for me outside the budget.
We got off to an unbeaten start, winning 6/6 and not losing in the league until the end of October. We were flying and it felt as though we could be on the verge of something special. We did, unfortunately, get a fucking in the Europa League II last qualifying round thanks to Montpelier, so that was fun.
Domestically, we were excellent, though the way I set the team up meant we were constantly pushing the limits physically and from time to time things were a bit touch and go. Especially hard on the team was when I had to sell a few players who no longer fit my style of play, but were easily good enough for the bench – that depth I talked about? shat itself in a hissy fit and forced its way out mid-season.
We only lost 4 games all season – twice to Lechia, once to Legia, and once to Odra Opole. This one cost me dearly. See, that defeat opened the door to Legia Warsaw and Lech Poznan to haul themselves back into the frame, and with the run in approaching fast, two points separated the top three.
Of course, the fixture computer saw us take on Legia Warsaw in what would effectively be a title decider on the penultimate game. We took the lead in that game, only to be pegged back and then fall behind in the second half. Deep into added time, my star striker twatted a shot against the Legia centre half and it thundered past his goalkeeper handing us a point, but Poznan the initiative – our draw allowed them to leapfrog us and, despite a 5-1 win on the last day against a relegated side, claim the title.
F*cking Legia Warsaw. Europa League II it is again.
We also won the Cup with relative ease, the only scare being the quarter-final. I decided to rotate and play a few random kids to freshen the team up (as it happened, we draw and lost the next two) and we scraped through on penalties.
We have the makings of champions, and we were painfully close. Though the big boys in Russia have been eyeing me up, so we’ll see what happens.
Season 5 – Wisla Krakow, Polish Ekstraklasa
I had it in my head that this was going to be a special season, and I made the mistake of sharing this with the team. I did only say I thought the top 3 was realistic, but apparently they disagreed, despite having achieved this against the odds two years running. Good start, then.
A couple of my first team were snapped up by bigger clubs around the continent, and I brought in a few younger projects to replace them. Tied down the rest of my stars, and away we went.
A 4-0 win on opening day followed by winning 2-0 against Sparta Prague in the Europa League II qualifier first leg confirmed what I thought preseason – or so I thought. A 3-0 reversal in Czechia and only 5 wins in 16 and we were really struggling, at one stage just 5 points from the relegation places.
Understandably, I was under a little pressure, so I called a team meeting and told them to get their shit together. A decent number of the supporting cast turned on me at this point, so I basically decided to go for a full rebuild midseason. It would either be a f*cking sh*tshow or save my job and set us up for years to come.
Four wins on the bounce before the winter break gave us some hope of making something of the season, and though my captain and best defender went to Russia for millions, we ended up going on a club record-equalling 10 match winning run. We’d stormed up the table and somehow clawed our way back into contention for the title.
The team only dropped points in 4 of the remaining 9 games, but the damage had already been done and we fell short by only 4 points despite the absolute disaster at the beginning of the season. Probably didn’t help that my striker who won the golden boot two years running decided he wasn’t arsed about getting another – mantelpiece must be getting a bit cluttered.
Pogon Szczecin were champions for the first time in their history, winning the league on head-to-head from Lech Poznan, who finished above fucking Legia Warsaw. Wisla made up the top 4, taking the final Europa League II spot.
It was encouraging to see that we could still even think about the title with two games to go after the start we had, even though I had to rip the heart out of the side and at one point totally rethink the playing style before going all current Newcastle manager with two first names and telling them we’d do it my way after all.
Very frustrating though. W*nkers. Oh, and we gave Cracovia a f*cking home and away!
Cups sucked arse again.