Godfather Of Champions - BestLightNovel.com
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Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The final game of the sixth round of the 2008-2009 English Premier League season kicked off at 3 P.M. local time.
By lunchtime, the fans from all over the country consecutively flocked to the City Ground stadium on the banks of the Trent River.
The people who came early did not need to worry there would be nothing to do when they came. On the day of the match outside the stadium was simply like a huge football theme park. There were all kinds of people eating, drinking, playing soccer together by the river, peddling small merchandise, sightseeing… There was no worry about keeping entertained here.
The City Ground stadium on the day of a home game was as bustling as the "Cattle Market" more than a hundred years ago. Although the "Cattle Market" was still around, only the kind of bustling created by people flocking from all over the country here more than a hundred years ago was comparable to the football fans feverishly following the team.
Manchester City's fans were among the first to arrive and were mostly in groups, wearing light blue jerseys and carrying light blue Manchester City flags. They waved pale blue scarves and looked impressive gathered together.
But compared to these visitors, the hosts appeared slightly less consolidated. Because the true hardcore fan base had not appeared yet. They were the main force which created clamor in the stadium stands.
Although the two teams had been somewhat hostile to each other in recent times, that did not stop most fans from chatting together. Of course, they each supported their own teams. The Manchester City fans excitedly declared that Manchester City would win the game by two goals, while the Nottingham Forest fans shook their heads to deny the claim and that Nottingham Forest would win by two goals.
Then the two groups got together for drinks and continued to chat about their own teams.
After two o'clock, there were more and more media on the pitch, and the fans who had gathered there became the focus of their attention before the teams showed up. The reporters who had not started work watched the lively scene, while the others were busy interviewing the fans and preparing the first-hand source material. ( B oxnovel.c om )
At 2.15 P.M., Fat John, Skinny Bill and the others carried a bundled white banner and appeared outside the stadium, suddenly attracting the attention of many people. Everyone was a Forest fan, and the teams of fans in this city knew each other well. Moreover, when John and Bill previously followed Michael to mix in a football hooligan firm, they had a reputation. At this time, there would naturally be a lot of old qualified fans who came forward to say h.e.l.lo and those who sat a little farther also raised their gla.s.ses in greeting.
The roll of white cloth they carried caught everyone's attention.
"Hey, fat man. What's this that you're struggling to carry?" A middle-aged man came up to say h.e.l.lo.
"Good stuff." John grinned with his neck askew from carrying the thing.
The banner was very long. He and Bill had dangled it in a s.p.a.ce on the ground when they showed it in the bar last night. Now that it was completely pulled open, rolled up, and then folded in the middle before it was tied up with a rope, it was even a little hard for four strong men to carry on their shoulders.
"Don't be so secretive. Just say it, what's in there?"
"You'll know it during the game. It gives the fun away if I say it now. And….." John pointed to the reporters and television press that lingered around nearby. "We're going to give Manchester City a big surprise!"
The men stopped following and just watched John's party enter the stadium from the admission gate. Carrying such a big item, they were asked to open it for inspection. John stepped forward to ask the other side to come over, and then opened a corner, mysteriously letting the other side have a look.
The man was seen laughing happily and waving his hand to let them through.
So, it looked like there would be scene to watch at the stands in a while…
At half past two, right on time, the buses of the two teams drove into the dedicated parking area outside the City Ground stadium. They were warmly welcomed as they pa.s.sed the fans.
Ashley Young had a year's experience and had no special feelings about returning to Nottingham Forest's home round for games. Bendtner was different. At first, he took those fans outside in red jerseys as his supporters. As soon as he raised his hand and wanted to wave his h.e.l.low, he saw a few fans putting their lips together to hiss at him. Then he realized that blue was now his color.
What would the fans, who once cheered excitedly for his goals, use to greet him now?
Bendtner was not frustrated by the att.i.tude of those fans. Instead, he looked forward to the upcoming game. Even if the entire stadium booed him continuously, he was going to prove with real actions what a serious mistake Tony Twain had made when he did not value him!
In the words of Julius Caesar, that was—-
I came, I saw, I conquered, I left, and you regretted!
Well… Did Caesar say the last phrase? It did not matter. The important thing is that I conquer you.
Ashley Young saw Bendtner deep in his contemplation and nudged him to say, "Penny for your thoughts? Are you worried about what they're going to do to you?" He pointed to the window outside. "Don't be afraid, it's just booing. It was the same when I first came here. When I thought about it later, it was the same everywhere… When we played for the Forest team, were we booed less by the fans of the other teams?"
Bendtner shook his head and said, "No, I'm not worried about them booing me."
"Then you are.."
"I'm envisaging my performance in the game later."
"You're such a weirdo!"
"The boss… didn't Twain always have a phrase hanging on his lips? The enemy's hisses and abuse are the best compliment and recognition for you. I think I understand the meaning of his words now." Bendtner pointed to the people clad in red jerseys outside and said, "They're all my enemies."
Ashley Young gaped. When he first came to the City Ground stadium as part of a visiting team, he was so alarmed by the hissing that he basically could not play at his usual level and was brought off early. He really could not adapt to the sudden s.h.i.+ft in the role. He did not expect Bendtner to have completed this role swap long ago, and behaved as if he had played for Manchester City for twenty years as a loyal veteran… He wanted to click his tongue in wonder.
Ah, there are truly all kinds of people in this big old world…
The Manchester City bus arrived first. When they had all entered the locker room, Nottingham Forest's bus came speedily as if it had been planned.
In the parking lot, Twain was the first to jump out of the bus. With a stern expression, he faced the crowds of cheers and the microphones held by the reporters who thronged around.
"I don't have anything to say. It's just a regular league game."
Someone among the reporters booed him in a low voice. Only a fool would believe the man's words. ( B oxnovel.c om )
The players who then got off the bus did not plan to be interviewed by the reporters. They dashed into the dedicated pa.s.sageway with their heads down.
The surrounding Forest fans gathered around to loudly chant slogans such as "Nottingham Forest will win." The atmosphere was so explosive that it did not seem like a "normal league" at all.
After all the players had gone, Twain waved to the waiting reporters and said, "See you after the game, everyone. If I'm in a good mood, I can answer any questions you may have."
Fat John and the others already stood in their own stands and were getting ready for the game which was about to start. The bundled-up banner was thrown at their feet and left unattended for the time being.
The players on both sides were warming up on the pitch. Sporadic boos could already be heard, and the target was certainly Bendtner, who wore a vest with the Manchester City emblem.
He behaved as if he did not care and just did his own warm-up.
After four years of being under Twain and his rich experience of competing against other teams had told him that in the face of those people who hiss at him, he would lose if he really fly into a rage.
Consequently, he was calm at heart at this moment.
When could he break out and fully vent the anger? When he scored in person during the game, he would have taught the people who booed him a lesson.
You're all going to… pay the price!
"Just look at that kid, it irks me to see him!" Bill pointed to Bendtner in the stands.
John glanced at him and guffawed, "When he was still in our team, you cheered the happiest when he scored a goal. You even said, 'the future of Nottingham Forest depends on him.'"
Bill looked ill at ease and retorted, "That's because I once had high hopes for him, so I cannot tolerate his betrayal!"
John stretched his back lazily and said, "I don't feel much for his departure from the Forest team. Anyway, there are always people coming and going every summer. I'm tired of seeing it these past decades. So, what if they were talented players? No one can guarantee that they will be chained here for life. If they leave, they leave. Anyway, I think as long as that b.a.s.t.a.r.d, Tony Twain is around, Nottingham Forest will survive no matter how many people leave." Then he pressed his hands on the railing and looked down at the pitch below. "All I'm upset about is that he shouldn't have said 'at least two goals against the Forest'. Who does he think he is? What does he make of Nottingham Forest's defense?"
"Actually, I think Tony's must have blown his top now."
"I think so too. How can he tolerate another person who considers everyone else beneath him?"
"No, it's more like considering 'him' beneath."
The two men looked at each other and smiled.
"There's a good show waiting for us in this game."
In the locker room, Dunn repeated yesterday's tactics before Twain came on.
"Pepe." He called the main center back's name.
Pepe stood up, not knowing the reason.
"I forgot to say one more thing yesterday." Twain put up his left index finger. He was referring to his explanation over his response on the matter of Bendtner to Pepe and the other defenders.
"I really, really believe in my team's defensive ability. You are the best defensive line in Europe. But…" He pointed to the team captain and said, "George."
Wood stood up too.
"If you all let Manchester City score two goals in this game, all the players in charge of the defense will run back to Wilford from here!"
Someone's face paled, but Wood calmly nodded and replied, "Okay."
Pepe shrugged with a grin, "What if we do not let them score even one goal?"
"You'll have an extra half-day holiday tomorrow."
Pepe looked at the other defenders and snapped his fingers, "No problem!"
"If there's no problem, then get out there and show them what you're made of!"
"Welcome to the last game of the sixth round of the 2008 to 2009 English Premier League! The competing teams are the home team, Nottingham Forest and the visiting team, Manchester City. Before the game, the most closely watched person is naturally Tony Twain. For almost the entire month of August, Twain was entangled with Manchester City. Because of this, he lost the much-regarded young center forward, Bendtner in the final moments before the transfer window closed. As for this game, it is also Bendtner's first time as an opponent back in the City Ground Stadium. What will be waiting for him? I hope it will not be pig's heads and lighters… Perhaps Hughes can take advantage of the opportunity to take a good look at Bendtner's psychological quality."
"The Dane vowed to score at least two goals before the game and made the game even more highly antic.i.p.ated. As we all know, Nottingham Forest's defense is famous in the Premier League. For the past two seasons, Tony Twain's team relied on an impregnable defense to win two UEFA Champions League t.i.tles and last season's Premier League t.i.tle. They rarely had a game in which their opponent would score two goals against them, let alone two consecutive goals from one player. Although Tony Twain said he believes Bendtner can do it, I'm sure of one thing and that's Twain must be angry."
"The game can also be considered as the revenge by two young men who was respectively driven out of Wilford by Tony Twain. Ashley Young and Bendtner are both in the starting lineup for the game. Hughes clearly also wants to the ex-Forest players who are familiar with Tony Twain's tactical ideas to become the sharp edges to wipe out Twain. But we can't say how the effect will be. I remember last season Ashley Young's poor performance when Manchester City played at the City Ground stadium. I wonder if he has made any progress after a year?"
"Mark Hughes had lashed out at Tony Twain, his junior for being a clown and an insatiable disgusting person during the transfer incidents of van Nistelrooy and Bendtner. Tony Twain will also be keen to use the victory of this game to refute Hughes."
"Will Manchester City, who lost a lot of face during the blank check-gate affair, use the game to win back what they had lost?"
"It's hard to say… No matter who wins or loses in this game, there will always be people who feel angry and disappointed. So, our dear media have a lot to do. Martin, based on before the game, this match has all the makings of a cla.s.sic campaign. As for the game itself, we'll find out right away."
Sky TV's old partners appeared live on the commentators' box again at the City Ground stadium.
They were Martin Taylor and Andy Gray.
One was wise and steady and the other was pa.s.sionate and humorous. These two men were Sky TV's headlining sports commentary partners.
Martin Taylor was seen as a voice that represented Britain. It could be seen how much importance Sky TV placed on the game for the two of them to come broadcast the game.
As the two men said, with so many exciting stories and highlights to watch, how could this game not be entertaining?
The players on both sides had made their appearances and observed all the pre-match formalities. Nottingham Forest was given the right to pick the side and the ball was given to Manchester City to kick off.
Bendtner stood in the center circle in the middle of the field, next to Robinho. He stepped on the football, waiting for the referee to whistle.
The game had not started yet, but the loud hissing had already started, all directed at Bendtner alone. Just because… he touched the ball.
Robinho was a little puzzled by the sudden booing, and he glanced at Bendtner.
Not caring if Robinho could understand him, Bendtner laughed and said, "The fans here… make a clear difference between what they like and hate."
After hearing the hissing, even Martin Taylor, who was in charge of the game commentary, laughed, "Bendtner has received the warmest greetings from the Nottingham Forest fans. I hope he's used to it."
"He'll get used to it. If he wants to score at least two goals alone."
Bendtner also did not take his foot off the football amid the boos. He raised his head and looked toward the goal, where his former teammate van der Sar stood. From here to where van der Sar was, there were plenty of former teammates in red jerseys who were now the enemies he must bring down.
Just like what his former boss said, he must step on their bodies to accomplish himself.
At the thought of it, he set his sights on the Forest team's technical area on the sidelines.
With his arms across his chest, Tony Twain crossed his legs as he sat in his seat in the technical area while he seemed to be looking at himself too.
—Then you use your style to win the champions.h.i.+p!
As you wish, we'll start with this game.
The referee put his hand in front of his body and blew the opening whistle of the match amid the loud boos.