The final whistle’s gone…

23 November 2019. Southern Ukraine's equivalent of Final Score. ANCHOR: at Mykolaiv. REPORTER: Yes - and the home team has recorded its first win in twelve games, 2-1 vs. Girnyk Sport. A second goal, after 53 minutes, by Mykolaiv's poacher, Kravchenko, was the only goal in the second half -- like his first, a first-time … Continue reading The final whistle’s gone…

The final kick of the half at Central Stadium

23 November 2019. Southern Ukraine's equivalent of Final Score. ANCHOR: The half-time whistle's gone at Mykolaiv. REPORTER: Yes - and it's real drama here. Right on the stroke of half-time, with Mykolaiv one-nil down to visitors Girnyk-Sport, Mykolaiv's target man, Bugay, played a dinky little through-ball into the penalty area for poacher Kravchenko to convert … Continue reading The final kick of the half at Central Stadium

We need to make sure we don’t get complacent

Scene: Breakfast room, home of Girnyk-Sport manager, in Horishni Plavni, central Ukraine. Dramatic personae: Manager; his daughter; his son. DAUGHTER: You know, Dad, I'm looking forward to your winter break. MANAGER: Pleased to hear it. Any particular reason? DAUGHTER: Well, often I don't look forward to it. I mean, if the team you're managing isn't … Continue reading We need to make sure we don’t get complacent

We can turn this round. The fightback begins HERE!

SCENE I: First thing, 26 September 2019 -- the day after Mykolaiv have been dumped out of the Ukranian Cup. The manager's office. Dramatis personae: Grigor Pasha (manager); Anatoliy Didenko (assistant manager); Roman Chumak (goalkeeper coach). PASHA: I thought we'd get together and talk about how to approach the next few days. [Nods of agreement.] … Continue reading We can turn this round. The fightback begins HERE!

What on earth is going on at MFC Mykolaiv?

Date and time: lunchtime 27 May 2019. Scene: Restaurant La Terrazza & Roppongi, Mykolaiv Cast: two directors of MFC Mykolaiv DIRECTOR 1: An uneventful morning then. All that's happened is that our new manager has arrived, has been fired, and his replacement has arrived. Am I right? DIRECTOR 2: Yes. And of course as mere … Continue reading What on earth is going on at MFC Mykolaiv?

Blink and you miss it: a manager’s career

Time and date: mid-morning, 27 May 2019. Scene: The MFC Mykolaiv car park. A football manager is on his mobile, speaking to his spouse. SPOUSE: Hello, dear. How is your first morning in charge going? MANAGER: Well, that's what I'm phoning about. It's isn't going. It's gone. SPOUSE: Whatever do you mean? MANAGER: I've been … Continue reading Blink and you miss it: a manager’s career

When to stop? An FM quandary

Du Malone writes: The word is that, after five years at FC Farul Constanta, our manager Grigor Pasha's motivation is waning. They've been five good years. After three years in Liga 2, the club was promoted to Liga 1, where it's consolidated its position without difficulty. Pasha's match record reads as follows: P202; W87; D49; … Continue reading When to stop? An FM quandary

Survival in the Romanian top tier — no sweat

Mariya writes: Early June: the inter-season. As usual I've come up the coast from Burgas to spend a few days with my half-brother, Grigor -- aka manager of FC Farul Constanta. And we've come to our usual restaurant. We like the fish and the pleasantly dry Fetească Neagră. 'Well, Grigor,' I say, once we are … Continue reading Survival in the Romanian top tier — no sweat

The unasked question: which vegetables would Jose Mourinho grow?

Mariya writes: I always spend some time with my half-brother, Grigor, in the inter-season. I can't see how football management is a taxing job, but somehow during the season he's always pre-occupied. This summer, Grigor doesn't have much down-time. By the time the play-offs had finished, the window for the next season (his fourth i/c … Continue reading The unasked question: which vegetables would Jose Mourinho grow?

I’ve never been in this situation before and I don’t know what to do about it

Du Malone writes: In his second season (2020-21) at Farul Constanta our manager, Grigor Pasha, was tasked with a top-half season. The season got off to an uncertain start. Mid-October saw Constanta hovering, unconvincingly, just above the relegation zone. Try as he might. Pasha couldn't get his 3-2 (wing backs)-2-1 (trequartista)- 2 system working. After … Continue reading I’ve never been in this situation before and I don’t know what to do about it