So this it it, I think as I sit on my tiny bed in my studio flat. My last 14 matches in Portugal (Or 15/16 if we do well). So far in my Angrense career, we’ve mainly gone up against lesser sides, but not anymore. I reckon, despite the media’s predictions, that Barreirense are the weakest club in this group. Well, they’re there or there abouts, admittedly I don’t know enough about most of the other teams. But look at last season: Caldas and Camacha topped their relegation groups, União da Madeira were a Liga Pro side, Casa Pia lost in the Promotion play off, and Mafra and Leiria finished mid table in their Promotion Group. We finished 2nd in our relegation stage group and Barreirense were 3rd in theirs, so we’d probably be considered 2 of the weakest sides here. And our matches against Barreirense this season have been no walk in the park: They went ahead twice in Hero Creek and probably should have beaten us in Barreiro.
My point is that I’m worried. We’ll face tougher opposition in the next few months than we have at any point during my Angrense reign and we need to be prepared for that. We start with a home match against Camacha. They’re no doubt formidable opposition but I have to admit I’ve already got one eye on the following match – Away at Caldas. I feel like we’ll need to go off-book for that match, and for a few other matches in this league, what with us being against some of the best Championship clubs and all.
I look around my flat to see that Meatloaf and Burnie are scrapping again. They’re always scrapping. I’ve mentioned before what an arse hole Meatloaf is, in fact in a weird way I’ve built a career on what an arse hole he is. But every now and then, passive, patient Burnie has his day. Every now and then, while Meatloaf has the poor lad pinned down and dominated with his aggression, Burnie strikes back, catching his brother off guard.
Can you see where I’m going with this?
It’s time for Project: Burnie.
With Project: Burnie we will play on the counter, luring our opposition into a false sense of security and dominance, and then striking quickly on the break with our claws out.
Our back 4 will be a wall in front of Azevedo’s goal, as it has been for much of my time in Hero Creek. Their job will be simple in that I will not be asking them to do anything other than defend. To win the ball and hoof it clear. Miranda, Touré, Olivier and Aires will start as the most solid defenders I have at my disposal.
Our midfield will consist of a second bank of 4, because nothing says solidity like 2 banks of 4. The central midfielders, it won’t shock you to know, will be Hurley and Benjamim. Hurley has proven in the past that he can play as more of a deep lying playmaker than an attacking midfielder, staying back to help out the defence, so that’s what he’ll be doing. Benjamim next to him will be doing what Benjamim does – Running his heart out between our box and theirs, being a nuisance and an option in equal measure.
Either side of our dynamic duo will be Amonike on right wing, taking on defenders and swinging crosses in like he does, and Kevin on the left, building up play less agressively. I want him to look to switch the play to Amonike, or play killer passes to one of our two strikers.
That’s correct. Two strikers. I’ve rarely utilised a striking partnership in my career so far, but I feel like giving it a try. I have 3 good centre forwards at my disposal and it’s about time I pair them up. Plus it’s no good being solid at the back if we aren’t equipped to threaten at the other end.
I pick Magina and Arruda. They’re both able to do any job required of a centre forward: They can both link up play, run channels, get behind defences, hold the ball up and bring team mates into play. But I want their jobs to be clear in their mind, so Magina will lead the line and Arruda will be the deeper lying second striker, carving out chances and linking up play.
So there it is: Project: Burnie in all its glory. A more direct, higher tempo 4-4-2. We’re going to need to hit some of these teams on the break, and this should do the job purrr-fectly.
OK fine, but if Meatloaf and Burnie were here they’d be laughing their little feline faces off.
Find me on: