Operation Suffoco | Season 1 | Part 1 | Transfer Target

Wednesday 1st July 1998

Dear Diary, 

The club have been generous – maybe too generous – in their transfer budget that they’ve given me.

As an unknown manager from a country in South America that’s famous for beef exports and Ruben Sosa, the fact that they’ve given me such a large transfer budget puts more pressure on my shoulders, if not a larger ceiling with which to hit on the way to getting better.

Eighteen million pounds. I know they were financially ambitious in this country, but even to me and a club like Leicester this is a lot.

But this is good. I already had some ideas about the kind of players I wanted; this will allow me to build the team quicker, come una vergine Maria che vola sulla luna su una nave spaziale nucleare (like a virgin mary flying to the moon on a nuclear rocket-ship)

Our transfer window was very busy. We’ve already spent all of our money, although I hope it doesn’t put the club in a perilous situation. Still, if it does, then they can blame it on my 

That means that I’m already under a lot of pressure to deliver results, coupled with the fact that I have to win over a dressing room who are unconvinced of my tactics and managerial ability.

Still; I believe with who we’ve bought in, we can do great things. But I’m hoping this season is more about grandi salti instead of stupidi bambini che camminano.

Craig Bellamy

A skillful yet rapid forward who can also operate behind the striker and even in midfield, albeit in a more attacking sense. 

Still only 18 but with bags of potential, Bellamy feels like a perfect fit for Leicester, an up and coming premier league team with a project that could suit him for the long term.

Able to operate as a False 9 – or an Anti-9 depending on how my tinkering and tactics unfold – Bellamy’s aggression and flexibility make him a great candidate for the team, especially as a ‘Suffoco’


John Carew

A strong and powerful forward with pace to burn, Carew is a raw talent who looks like he has everything to reach the top.

Quick, tall and with a lethal [insert foot], Carew’s lack of maturity and on field intelligence is offset by his physical attributes, and should stand him in good stead in what I understand to be the most fisico league in the world.

Another leading candidate for the role of a ‘Suffoco’, Carew’s ability to play up front or just behind the striker will also come in useful, especially as we try and come up with a system to nullify the opponents Regista. 


William Gallas

A real talent in French football, Gallas is an intelligent (if somewhat slow) centreback that could really make an immediate impact.

Determined, physical yet composed in the ball, Gallas has only played a couple of games for Olympique Marseille after his move the previous year from SM Caen. 

Nevertheless, Gallas has the potential to be at the heart of the Leicester defense for the next decade. 


Tim Cahill

An aggressive and relentless midfield runner currently playing for Millwall, Tim Cahill embodies what I look for in a footballer, and something we have seen in Italian football throughout the years; hungry, driven, and unafraid of playing in the meno desiderabile (less desirable) leagues of football in exchange for game time.

A player with incredible potential but who has a long way to go, Cahill is definitely on for the future, but with a future that ties in with Leicesters DNA of what I call Calcio con catenaccio a pressione pesante (Heavy Pressing Deadbolt Football).


Kieron Dyer

A skillful and technical player who’s able to operate all along the right side (and a few other more central positions for good measure), Dyer has the potential to be one of the most technically gifted players in a generation.

Whilst not the kind of player I’m looking for, what he lacks in certain areas he makes up for in ball carrying and passing, both of which will be important for a team that will play from back to front when playing against stronger opponents 


Didier Drogba

Whilst I’ve always admired my own countrymen – both Italian and those from Uruguay – there’s no denying the talent that footballers from Africa have, and their desire to succeed at the top level.

Didier Drogba, a 20 year old Ivorian currently playing for [insert club], looks like a player who can reach the very top and, alongside Carew and even Heskey, represents one of the most physically impressive forwards under 21 currently playing professionally.

Like Carew, Drogba is physically impressive, although I believe Drogba is further ahead in terms of mental (and even technical) development.

A player who may be able to challenge for game time, I think it remains a safe bet that we loan him back out to a French club if possible so he can continue his development and become another option for us in the Suffoco avanzato department.

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