Greetings and salutations my friends!!
Welcome to Loki Doki's Journeyman 2019. (Introduction / Explanation Post)
The graphics in this post are (partial) screenshots from Loki Doki's streams, covering his career in the Sports Interactive game Football Manager 2019 unless stated differently.
This is Episode #2
In the first episode, we went through the options of teams that became available to Loki Doki. After the Loki Doki Ultras told him that they would love to see him manage Armenian club Gandzasar Kapan, he signed a contract with that club.
What does a manager who has just joined a club do? Get to know the team full with hard to pronounce names? Look for other unknown players that could join the team? Look for players you already know from previous teams? All options are valid and will come by, in reality, most of the times too. When it comes to the last category it is always depending on the quality of these players in comparison with the team you are representing.
The names of the Armenian players are pretty tough for Loki to pronounce. It is expected that certain players are given nicknames throughout the episodes. Loki Doki did check out a few of his former Journeyman legends, to see if and how they improved, but also to see if some of them would be available and willing to join Gandzasar Kapan.
Two players from the previous games done by Loki Doki were interested and ready to sign. Both of the players were active in The Journeyman 2018 when Loki Doki was managing Indian club Churchill Brothers.
Mustapha Babadidi was the striker of that team. In reality, he plays for Gombe United in his home country. Loki Doki offered him a contract and Babadidi showed interest. It was just a matter of time before he would sign the contract, but then out of nothing Georgian club Dila Gori took action and contracted him instead.
The other option was Singh the Ping, a nickname set by Loki Doki for Indian player Satish Singh during his period at Churchill Brothers. In game Singh is not a very good player, but became famous in the save, just by pinging the ball forward to Babadidi, producing assists for the goals that Babadidi would score. The idea was to repeat this at Gandzasar, but only Singh signed for the club. Of course, Singh was given shirt number 69.
Shortly after signing Singh, a message came in that striker Gor Yepremyan sustained a broken lower leg, meaning he would be out for six to nine months. Loki who didn't know his team yet was scared for a moment, but then started cheering when he figured out Yepremyan was part of the second team, rather than a first team member.
Without much confidence, Loki Doki sent his team on the pitch for the first qualification match against Zalgiris Vilnius in a 4-1-4-1 DM wide formation. However, half an hour into the match it was Mihran Manasyan who headed the first goal of The Journeyman into the goal. Just a few minutes later he doubled the score and confidence grew.
The home tie against Zalgiris finished in 2-0. The return match in Vilnius started the exact opposite. After about 30 minutes Vilnius took the lead and even though it took until the 57th minute, they did expand their lead to 2-0 and tie the score.
It was time to bring on Singh the Ping onto the pitch. This could go either perfectly well, or terribly wrong. At this stage of the clash, it was a guess. Five minutes before the end of the 90 minutes, the score was still equal when Singh got the ball. He launches one forward, as that is what he does, and pings it towards Manasyan who is then tackled by a Zalgiris player who got sent off for the challenge. Gandzasar took advantage immediately and set up Manasyan, who scored his third goal of the Europa League campaign.
In the next round, Gandzasar faced Buducnost Podgorica playing at home in the first leg. Three minutes into the match Buducnost scored an important away goal. It was the task for Gandzasar to show what they could do if they wanted to go through.
After about 15 minutes Bacar Baldé became the second player to score for Gandzasar this season. Shortly after he scored another goal and even before halftime the lead was expanded to 3-1 when Manasyan scored. Balde's goals were remarkable, as before this match started he had only scored two goals in his entire career. In the second half, Manasyan added another goal to his tally, it was a beautiful long-range shot. Gandzasar started to play the ball around like Barcelona. Narek Aslan was the other outstanding player this match with three assists. A downside was the second away goal scored by Buducnost at the end of the match, as well as the red card for Alex Jr. who came on as a substitute and managed to get himself two yellow cards.
The second leg promised to be an exciting game. The two away goals scored by Buducnost would mean that they were going full into the attack to score at least two goals and aiming to concede less than Gandzasar did at home.
The match was everything but exciting. Just one player seemed to be into the mood, but then it was already too late. It was in the 89th minute when Baldé crosses the ball forward. Buducnost defender Lopicic could simply control the ball, but instead, the ball landed on his nipple and bounced off into his own net, securing a 1-0 win for Gandzasar.
During the draw for the next round, Gandzasar got themselves a better quality opponent in FC Copenhagen. The moment FC Copenhagen came out Loki Doki started screaming "Oh no, oh no!!!", indicating he wasn't very happy with the draw. During the press conference afterward, he was asked how he would take on the Danish team. Loki wasn't sure yet and was looking for an answer when something hilarious happened. Curly Doobie, Loki's girlfriend was present at the press conference and grabbed the microphone. She said, "We should park the bears and release the Singh".
The matches against FC Copenhagen will be presented in the next episode. We will then also look into the Armenian Super Cup final, in which cup winner Gandzasar will face current Armenian champions FC Alashkert. Who does not want to win that beautiful trophy?
Previous Episodes: