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Still here, just (27/07/2006 10:41)

The rot continues.

After another draw where Banditos threw away a lead when they should have been able to wrap things up comfortably. Too many chances not converted. Oh this is killing me. It's like being Newcastle United, how awful is that?

The big news from Patalonia is that, due to stress brought on by the ongoing trial of Jimmy Letterford, i will be taking a restful break for the next two and a half weeks. I need to get out of Patalonia, away from the glare of the media spotlight that has risen up since Letterford's tangle with the law. I won't be fully back until the season ends, so i'm selling the malcontent to the highest bidder by the end of the week. I don't need his type of disruption spoiling team morale. I think he's the reason we're doing so poorly, and i really could do with a scapegoat, so he's out. Good riddance i say. Muppet.

I think the break will be good for me. Although i'll be checking in occasionally to see what's happening, no more blogging until mid August as the beaches and cities of the far east are calling. And if you read my last one, don't worry, i assure you this doesn't mean i've been done in for what i said before (which i won't repeat in case i get done in!). My investigation continues into the somewhat errant info we've been given as gospel. My report is as follows.

It was suggested that 3-6-1 is a useless formation, and would not ever work with longball. I quote:

                 'I can't see any other then continental work in this one. Maybe mixed can work a little bit, but what is a lonely striker gonna do with a longball?' Gizmo

So, to test my admittedly tin-pot theory (see yesterday), i decided to challenge Gizmo to a friendly where, unbeknownst to him, i would use 3-6-1, play my worst players (and two of them out of position no less) and play Longball. I fully expected to lose, assuming the info Gizmo gives is correct.

I can tell you are holding your breath for the result...

Well, the match didn't take place. The Gremlins weren't fit enough to make the trip (or were they scared of what might happen? had they heard of the murderous tackles of Cristiano Justino?). In itself, this would not be suspicious. Well, i had credits burning a hole in my (electronic) pocket and i had spent all that time altering the formation and events etc, so i thought i may as well mess around a little.

Three friendlies later (again bearing in mind i had picked a shitty team) i had the evidence i was looking for. 

Game 1 - against a team leading their department (4- so equivalent to mine) and playing a strong side. Came back from 1-0 down to win 2-1, 10 chances, both goals from the "lonely" striker. Hmm i thought. Hmm indeed.

Game 2 - against a team in Division 2. Expecting a mullering. Went 2-0 down quickly, but then miraculously pulled it back to 2-0. Then bad tacking and a sending off forced 3 more goals past Hawksworth and we end up losing 5-2. But to come back to 2-2 shows there is still something to this 3-6-1 longball business...

Game 3 - against a div 5 team. straight 2-0, 9 chances. Nuff said says i. Nuff (?)


1. "the lonely striker", ray morgan, my third best, scores 5 of the 6 goals.

2. 25 chances created in three games - average of 8.3 recurring per match!


1. There is something to this 3-6-1 longball.

2. There is something about this game that means even the info we're given can't account for the random elements that will allow 3-6-1 longball to work, given the right motivation!

3. There is something odd going on that needs investigating...

I suddenly found my office becoming tinted with sepia. On my head a fedora, my body a nice smart lounge suit, shoes scuffed but whole. The dame across from me had the kind of lips that would kiss you, but only if you asked nicely.

"What ya here for, lady" - i asked her, surprised.

"got some info for you hun, real juicy" - she replied. The smoke from her cigarette twisted upwards towards my ceiling fan. The ceiling fan had blades that would also kiss you if you asked nicely, but that would be a real different kind of kiss.

"Quit busting me, lady, i don't need it. Spit it out or take your hourglass elsewhere. Me and the worm got some talking to do" - I tried to work out  why a beautiful woman was suddenly sitting across from me in the Patalonian dusk of my office, why there was no colour in the world now, and why i was talking like Humphrey Bogart.

"It's a hallucination baby, the tequila's talking to you now. I'm gonna say it quick before you pass out or attempt to make a move on me" she put out her cigarette on the palm of her hand and i winced at the sound. She opened her bag and pulled out a revolver which she placed on the table. Next she pulled out a brown envelope and flicked it towards me. I let it hit my chest and fall to the floor.

"What's that supposed to be?" I asked.

"It's information." she responded in her deep husky voice "You need it, i got it." She stood up and started to leave. As she reached the door she stopped, silhouetted by the light from the hallway.

"Dig a little deeper hun. This rabbit hole is long and murky. You'll have to get dirty before you can get clean" She turned to go.

"What's your name?" I asked.

"Does it matter" she said. and with that, she left.

Too much Chandler this week...My head hurts. I'm going on honeymoon now, so bye bye to Patalonia, to Stadio el Banditos, and to Letterford. I'll leave that envelope to be opened when i get back.  

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Gizmo wrote:
15:56 27/07 2006
pictureI will still point out you played friendlies. This is not evidence cause neither of the sides play their fully strength 100% fit team ;)
Spinner wrote:
15:59 27/07 2006
pictureSplendid entry, once again. You are quite the writer.
As for the 3-6-1...Well, I can give you a hint that the size and quality of the opponents midfield will have something to say here :)

I have only seen one team serisouly trying to play 3-6-1, and that was Kjelsås some years back. They had a quite creative coach at the time, and were known for their 3-6-1 style.  But, in all honesty, 3-6-1 is just a fraction away from 3-5-1-1 (3-5-2), and 3-4-3. The players do not line up in 3 straight rows and stick to those positions for 90 minutes, they must both chase the ball and opponents too :)

When combining the longball and 3-6-1, you are most likely using your striker to actually meet the ball and pass it "backwards" to your midfielders, and most likely he tries to find a good position in case he gets the ball back. And I have a hunch that happens often, since he is the only striker, and I'm guessing you dont use "Shoot at will"....So 3-6-1 is a valid formation to use with longball, it just works a bit different..Your defenders do not simply hoof the ball to the 1 striker and the team chills out while he runs for the goal :)
Wojteker wrote:
17:04 27/07 2006

I'm afraid i did use "shoot at will" - could the key be playing one defender in midfield and a striker in midfield too?

And I checked which players my opponents played, and fitness, and they played their best, i my worst.

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