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Discussion Starter #1
Antti Muurinen was no longer the manager of Finnish National Team, the news shocked the footballing world (well in Finland anyways, and it wasn't a shock really since he died, so I guess the death was a shock, even though
he'd had been given 3 months to live by the doctor's anyways, so I guess that wasn't a big shock). There I sat reading this revelation. I decided that enough was enough, so I yelled at my dog who was barking uncontrolably. Then I thought I'd write a letter. I chose 'l' since I liked the loop. After that I decided "What the heck..." and wrote a letter to the Finnish FA, outlining exactly why I, a fresh faced 15 year old Pole living in Canada was fresh faced -- I was 15 and shaved alot. I knew for sure that this letter would get me the job. There I sat, wanting the job so badly, nothing else mattered, until I felt tired so I went to sleep. I woke up and immediately turned on my computer to play Junior Senior's 'Move Your Feet'. What a video. After that I checked a Finnish footballing site. The headline read "Somekid Appointed Manager". "YES!" I thought, bacon for breakfast. I read the rest of the article and it turned out Cornelius Somekid was appointed manager. I was so angry, so I decided to turn on CM 03/04 and become manager of the Finnish squad. And on my journey went...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oddly enough I was appointed on March 27th, the day of a match. Luckily it's just a friendly, but a tough one against the Belgians. I didn't have time to pick a 26 man squad, let alone assess it, so I did my best with a 1 hour practice before the match kicked off. Now you're probably thinking to yourself, "Hey Dominik, how come you're writing in a style where you actually are manager, doesn't your opening post contradict that?". Are you right? You're worse than right, you're wrong. So anyway, on I went with the assessment.

Goalkeepers

ENCKELMAN, Peter GK, 6 caps, aged 27, Aston Villa
The legendary 'Wunder Blunder' (he loves that nickname, really) had himself a starting spot at Villa until old man Sorensen came in. As a result, Petey's chances at getting another Finland cap have fizzled down to about zero. Although he's not a bad keeper, we have better and he should learn to relish the role of 'emergency keeper'. Maybe he shouldn't actually since I'm never picking him again...

JAASKELAINEN, Jussi GK, 14 caps, aged 28, Bolton Wanderers
Jussi has become a fan favourite at Bolton. Or maybe not, I don't really know I just like saying that. Either way he's extremely talented and one of the biggest reasons Bolton will (probably) stay up this year. This man has some great reflexes and is a natural shot stopper. Looks to be my number one.

NIEMI, Antti GK, 56 caps, aged 31, Southampton
Antti has had a great season so far with Southampton. Unluckily for him, the team has been awful. Somewhat surprisingly, the Saints are in the relegation zone after 31 matches and look destined for the drop. If this hapens, it'll be a huge dent to Niemi's career. Whilst Antti has bundles of talent, I think I'm going to unfairly hand of the reins to slightly younger gloves.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Defenders

HEIKKINEN, Markus D/DM C, 4 caps, aged 25, Aberdeen
Markus is a good player, I like him. The one thing he hasn't got going for him, is his position. We've got alot of central defenders, alot of good ones at that. He's quite capable in the air though, which comes in handy playing central defence. Despite his talent, he looks to be fourth or fifth ni the pecking order.

HEINOLA, Antti D/DM RC, 11 caps, aged 27, HJK Helsinki
I really don't see why this guy is in the squad, he's nothing special. There are about five better Finnish right-backs than him and God knows how many centre-backs He gave Finland. He'll make the subs bench versus Belgium, but that's as far as he'll go during my reign.

HYYPIA, Sami D C, 55 caps/4 goals, aged 30, Liverpool
One of the more famous faces in Finnish football, Hyypia is have a stellar season for the Reds. The big, strong, centre-back is probably one of the best in the air in Europe, and we'll be relying on his head not only for clearances, but for leadership aswell. Although he's not as quick as he used to be, Sami is still a definite starter.

KARJALAINEN, Lasse D/DM C, 15 caps, aged 29, FC Haka
Lasse is probably the worst centre-back in the squad, but that doesn't make him crap. In fact, he's very capable, it's just that he's got nothing to set him apart from the rest of the pack. The influential FC Haka man might get some time against Belgium, if not just to see how good he is.

NUORELA, Jussi D C, 18 caps/1 goal, aged 29, Malmo FF
Nuorela is very solid. Good in the air, strong, gritty, he's a stereotypical central defender. He's had some good form in his first few game's in the season, and will most likely be the first substitution at the back, manily because Tihinen is struggling to find a starting spot down in Anderlecht.

PASANEN, Petri D C, 11 caps, aged 23, AFC Ajax
This young defender is already a starter in Ajax and in the national team. He's possibly the only one who can rival Hyypia in the air, but sadly he's even slower than him. Still, the 23 year old is a great tackler and is the future of the Finnish defence.

SAARINEN, Janne D/DM L, 24 caps, aged 27, TSV 1860 Munchen
Saarinen is easily Finland's best left-back, and I don't see what's stopping him from being one of Europe's best. He's got great crossing and can make the forward run, but a bit nonchalant when it comes to defending. Still, no one's complaining about Roberto Carlos are they? Well maybe they are, but Janne is definetly a talent, a starting talent!

TIHINEN, Hannu D C, 36 caps/3 goals, aged 27, RSC Anderlecht
Hannu is a great defender, don't get me wrong. But due to the fact the Anderlecht coach is an idiot and won't start him, plus the plethora of centre-backs we have, Tihinen will be our fourth in the pecking order of central defenders. If Tihinen can become a regular for Anderlecht, he'll definetly have a greater chance of playing in my eyes, possibly even starting.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Almost forgot one defender...

REINI, Juha D/DM R, 19 caps/1 goal, aged 29, AZ Alkmaar
Solid, if unspectacular, Reini is good in all the right spots. Good passing, crossing, strength makes hima good full-back. I'm not sure if anyone can really challenge his spot due to lack of depth, so I better hope he preforms.

Midfielders

ILOLA, Jari DM C, 13 caps/1 goal, aged 25, Elfsborg
The former HJK Helsinki man faces alot of stiff competition for the holding midfield role, but I think he's got what it takes to become a great player. He's relatively young, a hard worker, and can even score from a distance. Unluckily for him, Tainio is all this and more.

KOLKKA, Joonas [/i]AM RL, 49 caps/11 goals, aged 29, Borussia Monchengladbach[/i]
Joonas is f*cking fast. He can deliver crosses, run very fast, dribble by people, sprint quickly, score quite a bit, and he can even move his legs more rapidly than the average man. I'll be looking for him to be a constant threat down that left flank for us and whip in those crosses.

LITMANEN, Jari AM C, 81 caps/21 goals, aged 33, AFC Ajax
What can be said about this Finnish footballing legend. Not much needs to, except the fact that his glorious career is coming to an end (hopefully continued by the young Eremenko jr). The World Cup Qualifiers (and World Cup 2006, depending how we do) will probably be his last action for the national team, so we're all going to try our hardest to make Germany Jari's great Finnish. (Pun #1, keep track.)

NORDBACK, Fredrick M RC, debutant, aged 25, Orebro
Freddy will most likely make his debut against Belgium tonight, but exactly where remains to be seen. The versatile midfielder can play on the wing, in the middle, he can even play the holding role. I'm hoping the relatively young Orebro man can become a regular call up for the national squad.

NURMELA, Mika AM/F R, 40 caps, aged 32, Kaiserslauten
He's old, but he's still fast. This brilliant winger has got some kick left in him, and that kick provides a great cross and takes a nice penalty. This World Cup will probably be his last chance at glory with Finland, so I'll definetly be looking for some replacements on the right-wing.

POHJA, Antti AM/F RC, 10 caps/1 goal, aged 27, Hammarby
Antti is another versatile player who can preform on the wing or up front, even in the middle if needed. Antti though will see most of his time on the bench. He's a well-rounded footballer, but I really can't see him starting. He'll be used a spark plug off the bench for me at the beginning, and after that, who knows?

TAINIO, Teemu DM RC, 20 caps/1 goal, aged 24, Auxerre
Teemu is an exciting player. He's alreasy at the age of 24 a starter for Finland and a star for Auxerre. He's a definite starter for me, and since he's still pretty young, he'll be a starter for years to come. Tainio has alot of expectations put upon him, and I hope he can carry them through to the Finnish. (#2)

VALAKARI, Simo DM C, 30 caps, aged 30, Derby County
Before you make any assumptions about a player from Derby, I'll have you know that they're looking great for a play-off spot. Having said that, Simo has been an integral part of their success. Nine goals and eleven assists are great nmbers from defensive midfield, but we have to realize this isn't against the best competition. It'll be interesting to see how he fits into my plans, especially if Derby get promoted.

WISS, Jarkko DM RLC, 34 caps/2 goals, aged 32, Hibernian
The only possible reason I can see this man getting called up for is for a farewell cap. If that isn't it, I'm making that it since he's crap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Strikers (finally)

FORSSELL, Mikael S C, 24 caps/9 goals, aged 23, Chelsea
This young striker has oodles of talent. Too bad he plays at Chelsea. In my mind he has to move so he can cement his place in Finland's staring eleven (though he will start against Belgium). He's quick and hard working, two things I look for in a player. Brilliant potential this kid.

JOHANSSON, Jonatan F LC, 51 caps/10 goals, aged 28, Charlton
Jonatan can't get a starting spot in Charlton, so there's no way I'm giving him a starting spot for Finland. He still has some talent in him, and I want him to play but without regualar football he can't. If it means going abroad to resurrect his career I think he should as I;m not a big fan of dropping divisions.

NIEMI, Jari AM/F RLC, 17 caps/3 goals, aged 27, Tampere Utd
Jari can play in midfield or upfront, but I believe he's more comfortable in a striking role so that's where I'll play him, though not all the time. He's got the skills of a winger but think like a striker. It'll be weird fitting this man in, but how can you not with the talent he possesses?

ROIHA, Paulus S C, 5 caps, aged 23, FC Utrecht
Paulus (great name btw) has had a good start in Utrecht this season, which will net him a start versus Belgium. That means a young strike-force will start, and I'm really hoping Paulus can open his account for Finland. He's a smart player, not that great a dribbler, but he knows what he's doing. Plus he's a fast mother f*cker (no Kolkka though).

SUMIALA, Antti S C, 33 caps/9 goals, aged 30, Akcaabat Sebatspor[/i]
Antti is not getting any younger, and it's starting to show a bit. Still, he's got undeniable talent and will be my first choice of the bench for strikers. Whilst not the greatest in the air, he posseses the best Finnish (#3) out of all our strikers.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Friendly vs. Belgium
March 27th, 2003
Stade Roi Badouin
4,919


Belgium: De Vliger; Van Buyten, Valgaren, Clement; Vermant, Simons, Blondel, Baseggio, Goor; Mpenza, Sonck

Finland: Jaaskelainen, Reini, Pasanen, Hyypia, Saarinen; Nurmela, Tainio, Litmanen, Kolkka; Forssell, Roiha


So the match kicked off on a dry, chilly day in Belgium and both squads started off like they didn't want to be there. The first real chance of the match occured at the half hour mark. Vermant whipped in a corner and Sonck went to meet it. The ball seemed destined for the back of the net until the cross bar intervened and we were still scoreless. Belgium had another great chance just six minutes later, and this time they converted. Goor sent a delicious ball to Mpenza who had no trouble in finishing. Just five minutes later the lead could've widened. Forssell played a suicidal back pass to Hyypia which was easily intercepted by Sonck. The young forward had a brilliant opportunity, but the veteran Hyypia pulled offa brilliant tackle to keep the scores level at half time.

I was pretty ****ed off at the team. We had managed two shots the entire 45, and neither of them were on net. Changes were needed, and they came. Off came Pasanen, Nurmela, Kolkka, Litmanen, and Forssell. Replacing them were Nuorela, Nordback, Niemi, Pohja, and Sumiala. I hoped at least one of them could make an impact.

Well we continued to play crap in the second half and were punisehed in the 67th minute. Substitute Cavens was sent in by an Mpenza through ball and he cooly slotted home their second. Just 5 minutes later we'd conceded a third. A long free-kick was headed across the face of the goal by Cavens. Mpenza's volley was well stopped, but Cavens was first to the loose ball and finished off a terrible preformance (f*ck the puns).

Belgium 3 (Mpenza 37, Cavens 66, 73)
Finland 0


Post-Match Ratings

7: Jaaskelainen, Reini, Saarinen, Hyppia, Tainio, Roiha, Nordback, Niemi, Pohja, Sumiala

6: Nuorela

5: Pasanen, Nurmela, Litmanen, Forssell

4: Kolkka
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well since I don't play for seven months in the World Cup qualifiers, I though I'd preview my qualifying group.

Armenia

These relative minnows are in tough once again, but won't be the whipping boys with Malta around. If we want to get a play-off spot it's imperative that we beat them both games. Armenia do have some capable players though, Sarkisyan a good winger who plays his trade in Moscow, striker Arman Kamaryan can pop in a couple of goals, and 29 year old keeper Berezovskiy has the ability to keep a game scoreless.

Prediction: 5th

Denmark

A proud footballing nation, Denmark are a very strong team. They have great players in every position and will be tough to get points off of. A win at home would be amazing, but I think Finland would settle for a draw after the abysmal belgian preformance. Milan forward Jon Dahl Tomasson will be a constant threat. Althoguh he's not a regular club side, he's been on fine form for Denmark. In midfield, Udinese winger Martin Jorgensen will be the one supplying the balls, and he doesn't have a bad shot himself. Finally, at the back, Albrechsten is looking like he's having a breakout season, on brilliant form for club and country.

Prediction: 2nd

FYR of Macedonia

No longer a minnow, Macedonia showed in the Euro qualifiers that they can play. A win home and away would be needed for any hopes of Finnish success, and maybe some surprise results from the former Yugoslavs are on the cards -- they certainly are capable. Trying to pull of these upses will be thier attack, let by influential West Brom midfielder Artim Sakiri who's been having a brilliant year in Division One, leading WBA to a play-off place. He'll be supplying the balls to Pandev and Hristov, two very able striekrs who can put the ball away when given a chance.

Prediction: 4th

Finland

Yes, us. If we learned anything from the Belgium match, it's that we're not as good as we thought we were (or Belgium is damn good). Whilst not expected to gain a play-off place, I don't think it's an entirely impossible task. We'll have to rely on Jaaskelainen to steal us some points, just te way he's been doing in the Premiership. We also need Tainio to transfer his club form to the world stage and show us some of his match winning preformances. And up front Forssell is our man, if he doesn't score we won't have any chance of success.

Prediction: 3rd

Malta

Still the minnows, still not expected to get a point (well, maybe at home against Armenia). Malta don't seem like any real threat, and unless Finland beat them during both encounters, well, the team doesn't deserve a play-off place. I'll be hoping for Malta to pull off a surprise result, but I'm not putting any money on it. Hopefully the strike pairing of Mifsud and Galea can knock in a few goals like I know they can, and Giglio puts in a briliant preformance in the middle of the pitch. They probably won't though.

Prediction: 6th

Sweden

I guess you do save the best for last, because that's where Sweden is. A very favourable draw as a point at home is gettable, but not really expected. Unless there's a huge meltdown, Sweden should at least make the play-offs. Lead by the brilliant Ajax striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden is great attacking squad. Freddi Ljungberg is a constant threat from midfield and Anders Svensson isn't too bad himself.

Prediction: 1st
 

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Discussion Starter #8
With our next match 6 months away (I hope we get another friendly after that last debacle) I need some sort of filler. What better way than to introduce you to the players that weren't in the Belgium suqad, but will (might) figure in our World Cup 2006 run.

Goalkeepers

BAHNE, Magnus GK, 2 caps, aged 25, Inter Turku
Magnus is a very talented keeper and relatively young. He already has a couple caps to his name and hopes to add some to that list. Even though he has good reflexes and great command of his area, he is very weak mentally and this is one part of his game he'll have to work on. He'll be competing for the third keeper position along with Korhonen.

KORHONEN, Janne GK, debutant, aged 24, MyPa
Janne is a more well-rounded keeper than Magnus, but doesn't really stick out. He's marginally younger, but once again his youth affects his mental abilities, a category where he needs to improve. Right now I believe Korhonen is a better keeper, but this may change once the Finnish league starts.

Defenders

HIETANEN, Janne D L, 2 caps, aged 25, Denizlispor
Janne is a good player, but he's not good enough to be a one position man for our national team. He's probably our second best left-back (behind Saarinen), but his rival Timoska can cover the middle -- a valuable asset on the bench. If Saarinen is out, Hietanen is in. But if Saarinen is healthy, don't expect Janne on the bench.

KOSKINEN, Sampo D/DM RL, debutant, aged 25, IFK Goteborg
Sampo can play left or right back, that's good. Sampo is not that good, that's not good. Koskinen is a solid if not unspectacular player who will look good in our squad. Don't expect him to start unless injuries occur, but he'll be a regular man on the squad.

KUIVASTO, Toni D C, 33 caps, aged 28, Djurgarden
I'm sorry for another central defender, but Toni is just too good. He's had a great start to the Swedish season, and that translates into a definite call-up contender. He'll probably be challenging for the third central defender spot, and if Pasanen keeps up his inconsistency, who knows?

TIMOSKA, Sampsa D/DM LC, debutant, aged 25, MyPa
Sampsa is a good player and can play on the left or in the middle which gives him the edge over Hietanen to make the bench, but as I said before, he will not start if Saarinen is injured, though I wouldn't be too nervous if he did.

Midfielders

EREMENKO jr AM C, debutant, aged 21, HJK Helsinki
What a great young player, considered by many to be Finland's best young midfielder. I don't know if he's ready for a starting position, but he will be the one to replace Litmanen. Great passing, technique, crossing, determination, flair, speed, this kid's got it all.

OKKONEN, Antti M LC, 2 caps, aged 21, MyPa
Okkonen is pretty much a left-sided Nordback, except he's younger. Can play wing, attacking, mid, or defensive mid if needed. He might make the subs becnh but like most other versatile players, they don't really excel in a particular position. Still, he should be a regular call-up.

ORAVAINEN, Petri AM RL, debutant, aged 21, HJK Helsinki
I'm really high on this young winger. Though he claims to be able to play both sides, I think he's better suited for the left. He finishes like a striker which may see some goals from midfield, but he's quick like a winger. Hopefuly him and Eremenko can be the two midfield stalwarts in the future. This is is how high on this kid I am -- look at my Eremenko profile. See where I say "considered by many to be Finland's best young midfielder...", I'm not one of them.

VAYRYNEN, Mika AM RLC, 1 cap, aged 22, Heerenveen
How this guy has only one cap is beyond me. He's the best winger we have and will take over Nurmela's spot on the right. Although I consider Oravainen our best prospect, I think Vayrynen is better than him. It's just that in my eyes Mika is established in the national team (contrary to what the one cap will tell you). Our future in the middle of the park looks good with the likes of Oravainen, Eremenko jr, Tainio, and Vayrynen.

Strikers

MAKELA, Juha S C, debutant, aged 20, HJK Helsinki
Juha is our most talented young striker (along with Sjolund). He's not yet the Finnished (#4) article, but scores and wins balls in the air. Our future target man may the the our target man of the present. He's extremely physical, but needs to work on his technique a bit.

SJOLUND, Daniel F C, debutant, aged 20, Liverpool (soon most likely not)
Danny never got a chance at Liverpool, and even though he's only 20 he's most likely going back home to find first-team football. With bids from four squads (all Finnish), he will hopefuly become a terror in Finland with his amazing aerial assault (better than Hyypia) and get regular call-ups to the national team. He certainly has the ability.

Well, there's the future which will be expected to find form for Finland now. (Sorry, couldn't Finnish [#5] the alliteration).
 

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sounds fun mate :)

Tough group but I seriously think you can get that play-off spot. Sweden sounds too tough but I reckon you can knock off Denmark. Anyways keep us updated. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
World Cup Qualifier vs. Denmark
September 11th, 2004
Parken, Copenhagen
38, 270


Denmark: Sorensen; Kroldrup, Albrechsten, Laursen, Bogelund; Jorgensen, Poulsen, Jensen, Gronkjaer; Sand, Tomasson

Finland: Jaaskelainen; Saarinen, Hyypia, Pasanen, Reini; Kolkka, Litmanen, Tainio, Vayrynen; Roiha, Forssell


All the players wore black armbands for this sad day, and there was a minute of silence to commemorate those lost a few years ago. It was a sad opening kick-off, but we tried to keep our minds on football. Surprisingly enough we had the first chance just 10 minutes in. Hyypia headed the ball down for Roiha who chipped it into the path of an on-rushing Forssell. The now Man City man fought off Albrechsten but his shot was turned away by Sorensen. Three minutes later Denmark had their opening chance but they did one better than us. Sand put in a cross to the far post for an open Gronkjaer who scored the easiest of goals. Denmark extended their lead on 28. Gronkjaer turned provider as he sent through Tomasson who left Jaaskelainen with no chance. 12 minutes later another goal. Sand exchanged passes with Tomasson who bagged a first half brace. I was ready to kill myself.

At half-time I said three words to the squad. "Pasanen, you're out.". He had been absolutely horrific at the back and he was replaced by Nuorela. I also spoke to Litmanen and Eremenko jr in private, telling them that they'd be switched for the second half.

I guess those substitutions did the trick as we took the initiative in the second frame. On 74 Saarinen sent in a long ball to Vayrynen who headed for Eremenko jr. His strike, though, was right at Sorensen. We did solve the Villa keeper though just three minutes later. Vayrynen's free-kick was well saved, but Forssell pounced on the rebound to convert his 10th international goal. Things were restored back to normal four minutes later. A Sand pass to Gronkjaer was slammed home to effectively end any comeback. Jaaskelainen did make a good stop in injury time though, which may have saved his Finnish career.

Denmark 4 (Gronkjaer 12, 82, Tomasson 28, 40)
Finland 1 (Forssell 78)


Post-Match Ratings

7: Vayrynen, Kolkka, Tainio, Forssell, Roiha, Eremenko jr

6: Reini, Saarinen, Hyypia, Litmanen, Nuorela

5: Jaaskelainen

4: Pasanen
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Elswhere in Group 1, Macedonia and Armenia played to a shock 2-2 draw. Movsesjan and Berezovskiy scored early for the surprising Armenians, but Stojkov and Guzelov fought back for the shell-shocked Macedonians.

The other group match went to script as Sweden thrashed Malta 4-0. Prica and Svensson each had singles while Wilhelmsson added a double for the favourites.

There were three other shocks in the other qualifying groups. Ukraine drew Kazakhstan 1-1, and the score-line was the same for Norway and Cyprus. The third shock was N. Ireland scoring a goal. They did succumb to a 3-1 loss however at the hands of Greece. (It was a penalty by the way...)
 

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Dj Domino said:
Antti Muurinen was no longer the manager of Finnish National Team, the news shocked the footballing world (well in Finland anyways, and it wasn't a shock really since he died, so I guess the death was a shock, even though
he'd had been given 3 months to live by the doctor's anyways, so I guess that wasn't a big shock). There I sat reading this revelation. I decided that enough was enough, so I yelled at my dog who was barking uncontrolably. Then I thought I'd write a letter. I chose 'l' since I liked the loop. After that I decided "What the heck..." and wrote a letter to the Finnish FA, outlining exactly why I, a fresh faced 15 year old Pole living in Canada was fresh faced -- I was 15 and shaved alot. I knew for sure that this letter would get me the job. There I sat, wanting the job so badly, nothing else mattered, until I felt tired so I went to sleep. I woke up and immediately turned on my computer to play Junior Senior's 'Move Your Feet'. What a video. After that I checked a Finnish footballing site. The headline read "Somekid Appointed Manager". "YES!" I thought, bacon for breakfast. I read the rest of the article and it turned out Cornelius Somekid was appointed manager. I was so angry, so I decided to turn on CM 03/04 and become manager of the Finnish squad. And on my journey went...
:howler: hilarious...one of the funniest things I've read on here...top stuff Domino
 
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