All posts by petruchio1

LAP of Honour in Monaco

While undeniably a season of progress, the 2017/18 will be remembered for two standout matches and a rather welcome farewell to my ramshackle old stadium and cabbage patch pitch.


You’ve heard me whine on before about the state of our playing surface and the rather baffling decision of my board to move us to a new stadium, twice the size of the old one, which we struggled to fill one tenth of so I’ll focus your attention towards the action on the pitch rather than that off it.

I’ll start with the bad (the good will come, while the ugly obviously refers to managerial rival Shrew Naldo).

The bad was so bad, so very, very bad.  So bad, in fact, that I don’t want to put it on the front page of this fair site.  You’ll have to read on, therefore, to explore the full baddy badness of our trip to Calais.

Continue reading LAP of Honour in Monaco


If You’re LAPpy and You Know It LAP Your Hands

First up I would like to apologise for the utterly heinous title to this piece.  It appears our editorial policy has veered into the wall of the pun and I’ve had to fall in line, which is why you’ve recently read titles such as “Basque to Basics” and “Basque to the Big Time”.  It’s been wall-ful.FA Cup Final

What wasn’t so wall-ful, however, was our fourth season in National.  Long-suffering readers of this column will be fully aware of my ineptitude when it comes to Fooball Management and of our on-off love affair with relegation.

This season, however, we mainly stayed away from the league’s bottom and focussed our activities on its lovely mid-section.  How did we improve from the potentially catastrophic to the merely mediocre?

Read on to find out.

Continue reading If You’re LAPpy and You Know It LAP Your Hands

Another year older, another year wearier

Season three was, shall we say, an interesting one in the Pyrenees.  Full of frustration, terror, resignation, rejuvenation and then realisation, it was a year when the full challenges of managing LAP became clear to me.

I’ve mentioned the club’s crippling financial issues before, however, thanks to some tight wage control and the sale of some Wagesplayers we actually turned a tiny profit for the first time in the game.  The French government then recognised this achievement by taxing most of it off us.  Thanks!

Having survived a relegation battle and an emergency board meeting the previous season I vowed never to go through those traumas again.  2015-16 decided otherwise, however, and I experienced the same once more, but this time the spectre of failure haunting me was junked up on steroids and carrying a bazooka.

Read on for the nightmare that nearly was.

Continue reading Another year older, another year wearier

2014/15 – Backwards, not forwards.

luzenac_1A good few months have passed in the south west of France since I last posted, with much happening and not much of it nice.  The 2014/15 season was very much one to forget if you’re a LAP fan but one to savour if you like horror stories.

First up, before I cover that season of terror and pant-wetting, you’ll be interested to hear that we did manage to haul ourselves into the 2013/14 promotion race.  After wins against Vendee Lucon and Ajaccio we had moved to within four points of our rivals and with them facing off against each other we faced strugglers Strasbourg, Dunkerque and Pont Du Gard.

For some reason we simply didn’t turn up, picking up just the point from those three games (although being a gentleman I couldn’t let Shrew lose his league status on my account) and missing out on promotion by six points.

A season of what could have been finished with a feeling of frustration but confidence that with the right recruits we were well-placed to build on our improvement from the second-half of the season.

How wrong I was.

Continue reading 2014/15 – Backwards, not forwards.

And in the beginning…

In the beginning there was a small town in The Pyrenees.  And God saw it and said “there is no way such a tin pot Lego village can support a National league football team.”  But thanks to their all navy strip that sports a white flash across the shirt I found myself manager of Luzenac Ariège Pyrénées, or LAP, as I shall now refer to them.  So I chose my team based on how nice their strip is.  Turns out there are worse ways to do it, eh Shrew?

Lovely stuff!

However, before we get too carried away with the footballing assets at my disposal and my sybaritic facilities, let us turn to Wikipedia for more on the club:

“US Luzenac (French: Union Sportive de Luzenac) is a French football club based in the little town of Luzenac (650 inhabitants) (Ariège). It was founded in 1936. They play at the Stade Paul Fédou, which has a capacity of 1,000. The colours of the club are red and blue.

For the 2009/10 season the club plays in the Championnat National.”

And that, ladies and gentleman, is all it says, other than claiming my journeyman centre forward, Ande Dona Ndoh, is a notable player and that our honours include three victories in the Midi-Pyrénées DH championship, whatever the hell that is.

Still, as I say, it could be worse.

Continue reading And in the beginning…

Making that first day count

fm14So the first FM14 post has taken a little longer to materialise than expected… largely because FM14 has been immeasurably poorer than I expected. However, I have been playing one of the games which I forecast in my FM14 preview – the network game with my good friend and greater rival Petr Uchio.

The first article from FM14, therefore, is from Petr with a look at what many of us will have done or be in the process of doing – what to do on your first day in the job.

At the end of that article, I’ll write a little more on why I’ve been struggling to get into the game and post a series of useful links to all sorts of interesting add-ons you may or may not know about. For now, though, I’ll hand you over to Petr…

Your first day in a new job is often the most daunting as you find out where the photocopier is, check out the company’s talent and hope against hope that someone will go to lunch with you.  In Football Manager it’s a very different prospect, as you’re given very little time to bed in, meaning not only is that first day daunting, it’s often critical.

Thankfully, however, I’ve come to your aid to make those initial few hours less anxious and much more productive by creating this ten point plan so that your new reign starts off on the right foot.

Continue reading Making that first day count