January 20, 2023

The Pentagon VIII: Herzlich Wilkommen in Deutschland 

The Pentagon VIII: Herzlich Wilkommen in Deutschland 


Hello, when I last updated you on the Pentagon, we’d just won the Asian Champions League with Brisbane Roar. The season ended, and about a week later the board told me they were going to downgrade their training facilities. I got into a fight with Josh Jennings and left. I mean, I was going to leave anyway, this was just the excuse. It means clubs don’t have to pay a release fee as I’m without a club now. My boy Papa Diakite quit when I left, which I respect. I will do my best to keep him along for the ride wherever we go.  


The jobs available are…not good. My best two options are Elche (who just got relegated out of La Liga) and Paderborn (who just got relegated to 3. Liga).  I’m aware I could have waited longer than a week to take another job and ultimately, during the season, when I saw Orlando Pirates was free I nearly screamed but here we are. 

And so it is Paderborn. Two things; 1. There’s a beer from there, which is terrible and made me nickname the club “Pedoboner”. 2. They need to get promoted, TWO TIMES, before even qualifying for the Champions League. However, their transfer budget is £22M. TWENTY-TWO MILLION. I can buy all my faves!  

There are a lot of unhappy players, mainly because we’re in 3. Liga and none of them want to be here. I mean, I could just get rid of everybody, as they did just get relegated so they probably stink. I nailed the introduction meeting and the atmosphere shot up after this. Managerial support is still “poor” but hey, we haven’t played a game yet.  

Oh, hey there! For fans of Omarion Scott, we’re getting another year of him. I’ve also brought in some South American wonderkids I scouted at Brisbane but could never afford. Gaston Perez gives me big “Erik Sergio” (legendary Villa centre back newgen) vibes. Nestor Chiappino comes in on the wing. I got away with him, despite being non-EU, because he has an Italian passport. Pretty sure it’s not fake like all them Juventus players either. I’ve also snagged Brazilian keeper Joao Roberto. All these guys have huge potential. There’s a whole raft of players on the way out. They’re all mad that Paderborn got relegated. I missed out on my other centre back; Dimitris Papapanagis (who used to play for Perth Glory) as Augsburg took an interest. I can’t compete with higher division sides. I paid £3M for Braunschweig left back Mark Santiago. He’s not even a ‘prospect’, he’s just good!  

We are 167-1 ON to get promoted. We should piss this. Which is why I’m gunning for prospects. Next up is Leon-Sky Herzog, the other centre back. He signs for Koln instead. But I wanted him! He’s 6’ 6” and has 16 jumping reach! I try and snag him on loan and what do you know? He refuses. What a little bitch. Well, a big bitch. It’s tough clearing out dead wood, as so many of them are massively overpaid. Gloire Kailu is the next piece in the puzzle. He’s joined us to play central midfield. I have now replaced eight of the starting XI.  Not content with that, in comes Burak Ozdemir to play central defence.  

The only remaining faces are Wieckhoff on the right wing and Aleksa Delic in the DLP role. I’ve replaced everyone else. Delic does want to leave but he’s so good, I’d rather he didn’t. Justvan, the other centre midfielder when I started, has gone to Fortuna Dusseldorf for £5M. To show what a joke division this is; we win our opening game 7-0 despite Gaston Perez getting sent off after 37 minutes at 0-0*.  


*Astonishingly, Munster would go on to finish P3 in the league.


I’m sat here, in the same division as Rot-Weiss Oberhausen, debating whether or not I can win the Champions League with this club. I am absolutely deluded. Winning the Asian Champions League has clearly gone to my head. What’s next, thinking I can play the game in German? (I tried this and it was not that bad but I don’t want to have a conversation with a player in German because I’ll definitely annoy them). 


The pain of FM continues as we draw Fortuna Dusseldorf in the DFB Pokal, outplay them completely and manage to lose on penalties.  


Still bringing players in. This is the latest; “David Sordo”, a 20 year old playmaker from Real Madrid. They only wanted a million for him. Have I stolen a superstar here? Time will tell. Fortuna Dusseldorf, not content with dumping us out of the cup, are constantly underbidding for our players and have even gone in for the same midfielder we’ve bid on. Not only do they sign the guy I wanted to replace Delic, they sign Delic too. WHY DO YOU NEED TWO OF THE SAME PLAYER, YOU SELFISH FUCKS? Fortuna Dusseldorf are now my mortal enemies. Fuck Fortuna Dusseldorf. Evil bastards.  

WHAT? My two former teams drew each other in the Asian Champions League group stage! Here’s what would have happened if they’d ever clashed. Very surreal. The second game was less close with Brisbane Roar winning 5-0. The recency of my presence there keeping them stronger than Malaysia’s elite. The Roar didn’t even get out of the group and Terengganu finished dead last. 

So, just how busy was my first transfer window at Paderborn? Just about the busiest transfer window of all time. I signed 17 players. Some for the future. Some for now. Some a combination of both. Perez has potential GOAT centre back written all over him. Yes, I’ve overpaid. I don’t care. Chiappino is going to be great if he lives up to the potential. The likes of Santiago, Bravo, Ozdemir and Dekic are good now. Zagre might be the biggest steal of the window though. Taken from Bayern for £5M. He’s now my starting right winger. Delic isn’t even a starter for Fortuna, why buy him? Wankers. Anyway, by the end of the transfer window, only Simic starts who was here before my arrival and that’s only because Gaston Perez is injured. Otherwise, it would be an entirely new starting XI. I have gutted this squad.  


It’s a bit weird how this season is going to go. Either 1) I get promoted and have done ok or 2) we don’t get promoted and I’ve failed. It’s entirely black & white and there is no way to overachieve at all. The only major problem is my home sick Brazilian goalkeeper, who’s gone home for a month and might not return.  

I head over to Paderborn’s website to get a better feel for the club and I interrupt a witty room duel. Neither of them are even in a room, how witty can it be?  

I know you want to see their merch and hey, why not get yourself a HUT (H)? Boy, where’s my hut at? It’s 15Euro.  

Or a scarf, so you can also proclaim that your heroes “never give up”. Clearly, the scarf did not witness our 2-1 defeat to Unterhaching. I legitimately considered getting both HUT and scarf, but the shipping charges were as much as the cost of the products.  

What’s this? The board have approved me going on a coaching course? Earlier in the season this was rejected because they weren’t sure how good we were going to be but now we’re all guns a-blazing and I’m allowed it. Continental A! Just one to go after that.  

Here we are at the halfway point of the season. We’ve been mostly good. The new players have mostly gelled together. I’m playing a brand new starting XI so I didn’t expect this kind of fluidity, but it is happening. We’ve been crap in a few games but overall we’re on course to win the league. We’re 8 points ahead of Munster, which is the important team to stay ahead of for automatic promotion as the zwei teams don’t count.  


In a time of extravagant spending, you wouldn’t expect me to get all nostalgic and sign someone who has no chance of playing would you?  

I can’t even register the man. As a Ghanian he’s a non-EU player and all my slots are already used up. I’m sure he’ll bang in a load of goals for Paderborn II though* 


*I only found out after signing him that non-EU players aren’t allowed in II teams. That’s clearly racist. I doubt that would hold up in a court of law.  He’s available for the U19s and drops a staggering 8.8 in his first game. 


I took a look at Brisbane Roar, who have gone to shit, and they’re playing 4-1-2-2-1. None of the strikers are playing. They gave Gasking a free and released Sepulveda, who was a genuine wonderkid who would have slotted ideally into that formation. And instead they’re playing Durakovic in there. How am I not slaughtering every one of these AI punks? Meanwhile Bayer Leverkusen decide they want one of my kids and sign him for £4.7M. He’s never played a game and is 16 years old. Weird AI again. I didn’t even accept the deal, the board did. What frustrates me about FM is that AI teams seem to know how good players are most of the time while, as a player, you’re just guessing. I’m guessing this kid, who had a high potential, will be pretty great or they wouldn’t pay that for him but it’s kinda bullshit.  

Like, does he look amazing to you? He has gold ** potential, rising to ****½ in white. There are promising mentals in there for sure but I don’t think he’s worth £4.7M based on that alone. We also offloaded Jan-Carlo Simic in this window. He was fine but he wasn’t happy so he’s gone. Platte has left on a free. He was vice captain but was clearly finished as a player. That Chinese goalie is gone too. Finally. He was on 8k a week and not even registered.  

With just 12 games left, we’re comfortably in the promotion slots. I’m a bit disappointed we’re behind Magdeburg, even though we’re well clear of everyone else. As we cruise towards the season’s end, the vultures are hovering. Just about every player has WNT next to their name. Bayern and Dortmund fishing for Perez is very worrying. Our worrying financial position is also looming over us. They let me spend too much money! We’re £17M in the hole. You get big prize money for getting promoted right? Right?  

Sad to report Oberhausen have been relegated. With five to go, we’ve secured a play-off spot. Having beaten Munster 7-0 opening day, it’s a shock to see them in that play-off spot. Magdeburg has hit poor form at the perfect time for us. If we win our next game, we are promoted.  

We get our revenge on Unterhaching in the process. Bravo’s strike is his 30TH for the club this season. He’s been a revelation up top. Dekic, signed as a reliable right back, has turned into club captain and leader.  

It’s a low bar, but we’ve cleared it and I only got us massively in debt to do it! In the process I have joined 25% of FM players who’ve got a team promoted. I can only assume the other 75% just started in a top division. This is my first crack at a promotion campaign, and it’s gone swimmingly.  

As you can see we went on to win the title by drawing with both Magdeburg and Hallescher 3-3. The Hallescher result is particularly bad as we were winning 3-1 with 10 minutes to go. We are going to get rutted in 2. Liga.  

This is how we finish the season, with lots of little green lines connecting our players. All these fellas were strangers last summer and now they’re champions.  

Here’s how they all fared, if you were interested. Iker Bravo scored an astonishing 37 goals. Considering he wasn’t a starter and only some guy I signed on a free with a last minute decision, he’s had a cracker there. Croce, on loan from Napoli, scored 20. Zagre, I overpaid for, but he’s contributed to 24 goals. The good players were all good. I have some painstaking decisions to make before next season. Interesting to note Frauendorf, the only survivor to regularly play, was our worst player.  


TO DATE:     

Asian Champions League: Champions (Brisbane Roar, 2028)  

African Champions League: N/A      

UEFA Champions League: N/A     

North American Champions League: N/A     

Copa Libertadores: N/A     


NEXT: A financially crippled Paderborn in a division where all the teams are better than us…what could possibly go wrong?

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