June 23, 2023

The FM23 Pentagon Challenge #17: Tsamina mina, eh, eh, Waka waka, eh, eh 

The FM23 Pentagon Challenge #17: Tsamina mina, eh, eh, Waka waka, eh, eh 


Hello, reader. You join me as I embark on the final leg of the Pentagon. I have conquered Asia, Europe, North and South America. Now, all that remains is Africa. I have a job offer but before we get to that let’s take a peek at some of the game’s most famous players and see how the next 13 years is going to treat them!  


Lionel Messi. The 49-year-old retired at PSG in 2026 and has been the U-19s manager at Porto since I signed him in 2032.  


Kylian Mbappe. Had a glittering career at PSG. Five Champion’s Leagues, including winning one in his final game. He scored the decisive goal in the last minute. With France he won a Euros and a World Cup, on top of his existing wins.  He won eight Ballon d’Or, seven of them in a row.  


Pedri. Still at Barca, aged 34. 553 games, 159 goals. 174 caps for Spain, 48 goals. Not a bad career. Gavi has had a similar but less spectacular career, all at Barca.  


Youssofa Moukoko. Still at Dortmund. Lots of faithful players in this save! 413 games, 220 goals. 111 caps for Germany, 78 goals. He is about to join Bayern Munich so he can actually win something though. Musiala has also never left Bayern. Haaland never left Man City. Vinicius never left Real Madrid.  


Neymar retired a PSG player. He then cut his teeth as Head of Youth Development at Toulouse. He now does the same job at PSG.  


Romelu Lukaku. Stayed at Chelsea until 2027, scoring a total of 17 goals over four years. He then finished his career with three respectable seasons at Atletico Madrid.  


Bruno Fernandes is assistant manager at Leganes.  


Joshua Kimmich manages Augsburg.  


Ilkay Gundogan moved to West Ham at the end of his career. He then coached at Holsten Kiel for five years before taking over the Belgium national team….U21s.  


Paul Pogba played the last three years of his career at Aston Villa.  



I said there was a job offer and here it is. Kaizer Chiefs. It became available before the season was over in Brazil so I literally played the final game of the Brazilian season, quit my job and two days later got offered this one. It’s a bit sad because I didn’t get any of the ‘end of season’ business with a Vasco da Gama side I’d become extremely attached to.  

My belief about South African teams is there’s no real hierarchy. All the squads are basically the same and the best manager wins. Using this logic, I feel we’ll boss it. As I join the Chiefs are P11 in a 16 team league. Not ideal.  


On arrival the squad has just played and is away on a winter break (AFCON to be exact). A quick assessment shows our central midfield to be exceptionally poor. We also have some squad depth issues elsewhere. We’re allowed five foreign players and the Kaizer Chiefs currently have zero. That’s potentially a bonus. Let’s go to live reaction from Kaizer Chiefs fans on discovering I’m taking charge of the transfer dealings; 

Hey, I feel you guys. Give it a couple of years. We’ll sort this out. We won’t be able to do it with Pape Diakite. For the first time I’m at a club that lacks the fiscal strength to bring him in. It’s really sad, he’s been here every step of the way. He only wants £4k but apparently that’s beyond us. I can sense his disappointment that our journey is at an end. 


Transfers are weird because I’ve never seen any of the players play. I can see there are issues though. The two central midfielders suck and hate playing together. The keeper is bad. The left back is bad. The keeper situation is quickly fixed as I bring in Mamelodi Sundowns stopper Rowan Radebe. He can’t sweeper keep but he’ll do for now. We next add a playmaker in Ryan Kerr, who’s Albanian if you can believe that, and started out at Weston-Super-Mare. Due to scouting issues, I don’t know exactly how good he is but when he arrives…holy shit. First touch 16, decisions 17, vision 17, PENS 17. How have I got him?  


We also net Fabrice Momi, a creative midfielder to either play with Kerr or instead of him if he gets hurt, who’s from the Central African Republic. He has lots of aggression and tackling 4. He’s guaranteed to get sent off. The final piece is left back Kaba Traore, the 18 year old Mali International. He’s got bags of work rate, team work and stamina. He’s the little engine that could and he’s also got crossing 14, so when he gets there he has end product. He’s rated at four stars and is the only player on the squad who is. I check the season preview screen and he’s the third best player in the league.  



This is the team then. Mbambo is quitting at the end of the season but should be replaceable. I take a punt on Gregory Zaca, who has been at Vasco da Gama but out on loan the entire time I was there. He’s decent so he’s on loan with a permanent move at the end of the season. With my key additions the squad looks decent. Let’s see how it copes with the rigours of the DSTV Premiership.  



Hey, big spenders!  


First game in charge is Orlando Pirates away. Six debuts. Four of them have rotten games and we lose 4-2 with two of the goals coming from goalkeeping errors from my new stopper. Not ideal. One game in and I change both central defenders to Mphuthi (my intended right back) and Marabe (the anchorman in midfield) because they can actually defend. Baliso will play anchor and Mbambo comes back in on the wing. Along with the other winger Mokhehle. Embarrassing defender Sergio Hlophe, who can’t head the ball, has been renamed “Sergio Floppsy” so I don’t forget that he sucks.  


After a 2-1 win over Maritzburg, it becomes clear that Floppsy can play the holding role in midfield but sucks as a centre back. Marabe is a GOAT header of the ball. We can win games. The players need time to gel. The team is now; Radebe, Traore, Makhanya, Marabe, Mphuthi, Sergio Floppsy, Kerr, Momi, Zaca, Mokhehle and Mhlambi. Names! 


Champions League is a lot harder to get into in Africa. You have to finish top two or win the Nedbank Cup. Can we cup win our way into Continental football yet again?  


In the league we’re away at Swallows when Kaba Traore scores the most outrageous goal I’ve ever seen in my life. On the wing he volleys a cross, chasing a lost cause, and it bends into the net. Sensational stuff.  

It was so far out the shot had zero xG. Not 0.1 or some bullshit, zero. Nothing. The goal is impossible.  


The league race is wide open. 10 points separate the top ten teams. The lead chops and changes. Orlando Pirates used their win over us to catapult themselves into the title race. My ploy to sneak into the Champions League by winning the Nedbank Cup comes undone when we draw Stellenbosch away from home and lose 3-1. The board give me a big old red FAILED for that too. We were supposed to make the quarters. 

That’s not even the worst result I have that WEEK as we lose at home to Richards Bay. We have a few decent results before being flattened at home by SuperSport United, who are hands down the best team in the league. We have to play them again before the season is out. I legitimately will hope to avoid them at all costs in the future. My theory that all the teams were ‘basically the same’ is undone by SuperSport, and to a lesser extent Baroka. 


The season reaches April and I have a nightmare. Losing back to back games against SuperSport and Baroka before a four-week break and after that is SuperSport United, again. Away this time and we’re definitely going to lose three straight. With us sat in P8, the ‘top half finish’ is hanging on by a thread. I could actually get sacked first season here. 


I get an alert to CF Monterrey’s CONCACAF Champion’s League campaign and they’ve won it again. 3-1 versus Deportivo Guadalajara. Honestly, that season was the easiest I’ve had on the save and one of the easiest, ever, on FM. Monterrey are just too good.   

Anyway, back to the league and our thrashing at SuperSport…WAIT, WHAT THE FUCK? We won 4-0. Away. Against the best team in the league. And didn’t even play well. So, what happened? We scored a free kick early on and then hit them on the break three times. If I was SuperSport United, I would be quite upset. Our incredible inconsistency then strikes twice; in a draw with relegation candidates Cape Town City and a home loss to Marumo Gallants. Let’s just make it out of this season without getting sacked eh?  


Our penultimate game sees us draw 0-0 with Black Leopards, not to be confused with Deff Leppards, which is our second scoreless draw with a team so bad they shouldn’t be in the division. After all this crap we find ourselves in P7. I need top half, so I think we’re ok. Final game is against AmaZulu, the P2 team, not the pop-ska combo with such hits as “Montego Bay” and “Too Good to be Forgotten”. 

Oh, we’re ok! I know it says “next season” in that blurb but the agreement when I signed was top half this season as well.  

As you can see here. The board are satisfied. So, season 2 at Kaizer Chiefs is happening!  

Here’s the entire run of fixtures since I went to South Africa. We were supposed to be defensively resolute and we seem to have landed that. I am strongly concerned about our lack of goals. Three 0-0’s in our last five games is a bit worrying. We don’t even get a lot of highlights. The season has flown by as a result.  


NEXT: Transfers? 


Oh yeah, transfers. I’ve offloaded ‘star player’ Tsepo Davids to Saudi Arabia. He stank every time he played and he’s arguably my third choice on the right wing. I’ve also offloaded Sergio Floppsy (I can’t remember his real name anymore) to a team in UAE. A whole bunch of others are out of contract including Sibiya (a quick but stupid winger), Jeff Baliso (the other central midfielder who sucks), Kagiso Salt, Trumpeter and Martin Mbambo.  


Coming in are Andile Dube, a ball winning midfielder, to replace Floppsy. He’s only 19. He is a grafter. I’ve signed Craig Nkosi, who can play either side full back. There are a bunch of players coming in, I can’t even remember them all. Also….

I also have these two deals lined up, which would make two Uruguayan players the two best players in the entire league. If they get work permits.  


NEXT: Uruguay 2 South Africa 0  


TO DATE:        

Asian Champions League: Champions (Brisbane Roar, 2028)     

African Champions League: N/A         

UEFA Champions League: Champions (Newcastle, 2034)   

North American Champions League: Champions (CF Monterrey, 2035) 

Copa Libertadores: Champions (Vasco de Gama, 2036) 

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