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12th Nov 2018

Football Manager 2019 – Evil José Part 2: Shithousing Rivals

Kyle Picknell

Is it art imitating life or life imitating art?

It was difficult to tell after Manchester United’s victory against Juventus during the week, which saw Normal José Mourinho throw on Marouane Fellaini late and to great effect to shithouse his way to very, very fortunate 2-1 victory.

If that wasn’t enough, he then proceeded to goad the entire Juventus support into a rage by cupping his ear and making a weird face. It was pure, unadulterated Evil José.

Are fiction and reality starting to blur? Only time will tell. For us, however, the journey continues. If you don’t know what’s going on you can read Part 1 here, but it should be obvious anyway.

I haven’t actually played the game since the defining victory against Shithouse (Cardiff) City and was reasonably pleased to find that the next few fixtures all seemed winnable. And then I spotted a run of games after that, including Chelsea, Liverpool and the derby against Manchester City. It seems unlikely that Evil José will still be in the job by then, but we must plough forward in hope more than anything.

Wolverhampton (a)

For the away trip to Wolves Evil José notices that Ashley Young is fully fit so decides to drop his star player, Eden “Right Wing-Back” Hazard. Wolves, meanwhile, opt for one of the most disgusting formations I have ever seen in the game, playing a 5-4-1 with two defensive midfielders.

Evil José makes a mental note to try it.

Luke Shaw injures himself ‘trying to sprint’ within 5 minutes, so Evil José is forced to consult his bench. Hazard comes on to take his place whilst Ashley Young shifts across to play down the left. The first-half comes and goes with absolutely nothing of note happening other than the Adama Traore continuing to sprint with the ball down the right to either: a) smash a cross out of play or, b) just dribble it out of play by himself.

Fellaini hits the post with a header because that’s what he always does.

In the second half United take the lead after perpetual heel-snapper Ander Herrera arriving to head home a Hazard cross. Rinse and repeat for the second, with Salomon Kalou proving himself an instant United hero (despite what the fans think) with his second goal in two games. Again, it all came through Hazard down the right.

To see out the game Evil Jose copies the Wolverhampton 5-4-1, pulls a strange face and cups his ear to the thick yam-yam sound of the Molineux.

That is, of course, before Eden Hazard pulls up in the 89thminute with a calf problem and Evil José feels fear for perhaps the very first time.

After the game, United briefly move into a lofty second place.

There is little reaction to Hazard’s injury, with the virtual Twitter users trapped inside Football Manager’s dystopian universe seemingly more concerned by Luke Shaw’s coming absence from the team. Both he and Hazard are out for few weeks.

Only the fantastically named Klevis Bytyqi and Antonio Joseph offer any real levelheadedness by stating, respectively: “Ah no, that’s not good.” And “Well, what can you do?” respectively.

Scarlett Larmond, meanwhile, professes to clairvoyance, claiming that she saw the injury coming a mile off, whilst Zack Nelson, the game’s most realistic interpretation of reactionary football Twitter, says: “What an absolute shambles this club is.”

Because Luke Shaw got injured.


Elsewhere, rivals Man City secure their first win of the season thanks to a hattrick from Vincent Kompany.


Bournemouth (H)

Without Hazard in the team, United slump to a 3-1 defeat at home to Bournemouth. Salomon Kalou scores again, which is pleasing for Evil José, but it isn’t enough thanks to Charlie Daniels cutting in on a right foot he doesn’t actually possess and smashing one into the top corner, before Bournemouth get the softest of deflected goals after a stray shot flies in by way of Chris Smalling’s arse.

Despite Juan Mata actually making slide tackles and Lee Cattermole even occasionally passing to his own team, the Red Devils fail to score, mostly due to Ashley Young’s crossing resembling that of a very dizzy blind man.

After the game assistant manager Ricardo Carvalho suggests Cattermole should be dropped for Paul Pogba.

 Lokomotiv Moscow (a)

Keen to keep things fresh for United’s first Champions League fixture against Lokomotiv Moscow, Evil José partners Marcus Rashford with Peter Crouch up front.

The match ends in a 1-1 draw due to the eternal Jefferson Farfan blazing a penalty over. Lee C(l)attermole is sent off for persistent fouling.

Such is life.

 Southampton (a)

It is Southampton away up next, and due to Evil Jose’s concern for the dual threat of the non-goalscoring striker extraordinaire Shane Long and other, non-goalscoring striker extraordinaire, Manolo Gabbiadini, he opts for the ultra-defensive, more parking the bus depot than a singular bus, 5-4-1 formation he noticed that Wolves used.

United lose 2-0.

Within 120 seconds, this piece of commentary appears:

Mike Dean wants a word with Cattermole. Mike Dean is looking for a card here… It’s yellow.

Lee ‘Second Yellow’ Cattermole is sent off after a second yellow. Particularly irksome for Evil José is Southampton’s first goal after six minutes, which comes about through Mario Lemina picking up the ball near the halfway line and jogging lightly, uncontested, into a sea of red-shirted cloggers, only to get all the way into the box without so much as a “How’d you do?” to smash one in the top corner.

At half-time, this piece of commentary appears:

Mike Dean brings the first half to a close. He has done everyone a favour. Hopefully the second half will be an improvement.

This is the passage of play throughout most games now, like a slow, dead sea crashing against the rocks.

Lee Cattermole on a yellow and halftime disappointment.

After the match, the squad assemble en masse outside of Evil Jose’s office and tell him in no uncertain terms they have had enough of his management.

Evil Jose, face like one of the hidden ghosts in The Haunting of Hill House you didn’t spot the first time around, simply looks at them, stares right through them, screams a piercing scream and evaporates into thin air.