‘It’s not good news’ Angel Moretti was talking on the phone ‘I’ve done as much as I can, we’ve got nothing, absolutely nothing until the end of January. I’m sorry’ There was an audible shouting on the phone in Angels hand, and he looked angry.
He was talking to was one of the bosses in Rome. As it had transpired Angel had successfully gained influence in the teams last match, a resounding 5-0 battering of Navalcarnero which meant that heading into January the team had found themselves on 5 points and 8 away from safety
The issue Angel now faced was that he hadn’t managed to make any contact with any regular assets that were already on the books for the family, and in the upcoming games none of the referees had been used previously.
It wasn’t a case of making contact and offering a bung, or as the cool kids call it a bribe and getting favourable decisions. No, the family were very strict about protocol, and they had always insisted that a good working relationship be built up over time and a trust between both sides was mutual.
With this way of working the family had not once had anyone let slip of their arrangements, no one had ever got cold feet about their actions or gone to the authorities. But Angel had the problem that no one was able to influence any of the next 6 games, and this was a problem he’d have to rectify.
The teams confidence was high after that resounding 5-0 win and rightly so. The optimism was soon turned to despair as Melila grabbed a deserved 1-0 victory. Winger Carasco for Las Rozas was sent off for 2 bookable offences and the team never recovered.
Merida were next in line for Las Rozas, and by the end of the game, 4-0 to Merida, Jock was at a loss for words. They’d lost a couple of games here and there during the season but in this one they never looked like winning.
He tried to give some words of encouragement by telling the players he was pleased with where they were at that point (he genuinely was) and that he’s sure they’ve got enough about them to continue picking up points (he wasn’t so sure of this part) but they all needed to stick together and not let their heads drop (great words Jock). Vicente of course translated.
Vicente’s words, sorry Jocks words to the players didn’t do much in terms of turning the results around. Back to back 1-0 losses to Inter Madrid & Baleares preceded a 3-0 away loss to Don Benito which was the cause for another team meeting.
‘Tell the players we’re in real danger unless we pick things up, and pick things up quickly is what we must do!’ Jock told Vicente
He relayed the wrods to the players ‘They’re all in agreement Jock’
‘Thanks, tell them I’m certain we can pick up more points if we keep working hard’ Again Vicente spoke and the players all seemed to agree and nodded.
During the days before the next game, a home match against Extremadura, Angel Moretti and Taribo West, managing director and director of football made their way into Jocks little office at the end of the hall
‘Jock, no time for pleasantries, we’ve got a hell of a game tomorrow. We’ve lost a few games in a row now, and we’ve got a plan to help break this bad spell’ Angel said as Jock sat there looking bewildered, thinking to himself that he’s the manager, surely it’s his job to stop the bad form?
‘What Angel means is, the bosses have successfully completed deals for 2 new players from Italy, right back Ferdinando Vitofrancesco, and winger Alessandro Ficara’ Taribo West added
‘It’s in your best interest to play both players right away Jock’ Angel said
‘Well, yes, okay then, are they any good?’
‘Yes Jock, we wouldn’t have signed them otherwise’
Once the 2 new players had arrived and trained the day before the Extremadura game, Jock felt he had been given a good player in Ficara. He seemed good in training and it felt like he was going to fit in right away.
‘Okay boys gather round please’ Jock said to the group ‘Here’s the starters for tomorrows game, and I think you are all aware, it’s a must win game’ Jock didn’t need Vicente to translate, with the feeling Jock gave off the players knew what he was saying
‘The 2 new lads down the right, other than that it’s the same team from last week. I know we’ve not had much luck, but I’m sure between us we can get out of this bad spell’
Things got off to the worse possible start against Extremadura, as Las Rozas conceded after only 5 minutes. In those 5 minutes it was the away side controlling the game. The first time in the game Las Rozas had the ball was from the kick off after the goal, but from then on they never looked back.
Immediately finding Ficara out on the right, Jock hadn’t actually realised he was left footed, and his constant drives down the wing and cutting into the inside left channel caused all sorts of problems for the defence. Not only that, but Ficara and Vitofrancesco at right back seemed to have great chemistry right from the off.
On one drive down the wing Ficara cut inside and stopped, as he did Vitofranceso carried on his run down the wing, Ficara played the ball into him and darted towards goal. The right back then swung in a cross that was timed to perfection, and as the ball came in Ficara opened his body up and hit the ball on the volley right into the net! The 2 new players linking up expertly well.
The game really opened up from then on as both teams went for the winning goal. It eventually came in the 80th minute, and it was the other on loan winger Augusto Galvan who got it. Ficara was causing issues down the right and cut inside again, except instead of going in to the box he kept going along the edge of the box toward the D. Ficara then dinked the ball over the defence as Galvan broke the offside trap and connected with the ball on his weaker right foot and it flew into the net. 2-1 with 10 minutes to go.
That goal took the wind out of Extremadura and they didn’t muster anything up from then on, and Las Rozas picked up 3 valuable points after losing 5 in a row.
It doesn’t quite get them off the bottom of the table yet, and with 14 left to go, they will need to keep on grinding out results like this if they are to survive.
Unless there’s plans from outside the club that might help?
Next chapter – Quick to believe is quickly deceived
Previous chapter – The season starts now
Chapter 1 – In corruption, the foundations need to be built