Belmondo Diary – These are Champions?


TUESDAY September 1st, 2020

We’re sitting on top of the league courtesy of the alphabet. Tottenham are also on nine points with a plus nine goal difference. Chelsea are also on nine points, but they’re not scoring as well. Coincidentally, we are heading to Tottenham in a couple of weeks after this international break. I’m sure there’s a good reason to have a break after only three games into the season. No, I’m not.

Also, I’ve just been awarded the Manager of the Month award. Makes sense, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t think they’d warm to me so quickly.

THURSDAY September 3rd, 2020

Gethin won his first cap for Wales today. Has anyone ever had a better month than this kid?

THURSDAY September 10th, 2020

Morata scored five goals while he was away. No big deal – just probably the best striker in the world right now. He scored seventeen goals in 56 appearances before I arrived. Midas. That’s me.

Gethin scored a goal in his second Wales match. Craziness. He was in the midfield with Gareth Bale! It turns out that Gareth Bale is the Welsh Gareth Bale. Gethin will have just be Gethin.

SATURDAY September 12th, 2020

Game Day. Tottenham v Liverpool.

Tottenham’s manager is new this season too. Paulo Fonseca was at Shakhtar last season. Lucky for him he only gets to lose to me in the Premier League instead of the Champions League.

I’ve got some history with Tottenham. In Nijmegen, they came across as giants swatting aside our boys. Now, I have some giants of my own. We’ll see how Kane likes playing against Tan.

The first half at New White Hart Lane was eventless. Seriously without any event worth typing. Luckily we went back out and started attacking with a bit of verve. Ceballos put us ahead with a firmly struck shot at the end of a pinball corner routine.

In the 61st minute, we got the kind of fast break that I only ever dreamed about (and had to frequently watch) in Holland. Six of my guys swept down the pitch only to see Clyne smash it into the crossbar. I considered subbing him right then but decided to let it slide.

Imagine my surprise when Nathaniel walked over in my direction two minutes later. His second yellow card! I love a red card when you’re one up on the road to the team right behind you on the table.

Jonathan Tah slipped into the wingback position and I swapped Morata out for Matip. It was pretty evenly matched for a while until Niang (maybe) knocked a cross into Sony Eriksen and Fofana wasn’t able to stretch far enough.

Ceballos made a few valiant efforts at the end of the game, but we came out with a draw. Not bad, considering we were down a man for a third of the game.


TUESDAY September 15th, 2020

Game Day. Liverpool v Celtic. Champions League Group D.

The bookies said they couldn’t split us before the game. They conceded that we might have the edge with the home field advantage. Celtic must be very good. I heard they had a legendary Liverpool manager when I started in Nijmegen.

There were two key words to describe this game. Ten and woodwork. Shots from my players came off the woodwork on five separate occasions. It was absolutely insane. Also insane were the ten goals that we scored. Should have been fifteen!

Celtic managed one shot on target that Fofana handled easily.

I’ve never scored ten goals in a game before. It feels good. It feels like something to aim for again. Perhaps against an actual professional team next time, though.


WEDNESDAY September 3rd, 2020

The run continues. On the weekend we beat Wolves three-nil with Gethin scoring and generally being a stud. Today we beat Swansea in Wales four-nil. Gethin showed me where he grew up. I wasn’t impressed. Mane scored two in the game itself. Clyne was the man of the match. All too easy.



We have scored thirty-six goals and conceded two since I took over.

SATURDAY September 26th, 2020

There’s a guy on Twitter who’s a coworker of Virgil van Dijk’s dentist’s friend and he says the big Dutchman definitely wants to come to Liverpool. The deal is basically done – I just need to find out how much Manchester City wants for him. Add to that the fact that City lost to Brighton Hove and Albion today and we seem to be getting a nice present for Christmas. And Brighton Hove and Albion? How much do I have to pay for a name as whacky as that?

Game Day. Leicester v Liverpool.

There are not as many syllables as I’d expected in Leicester. Rafa Benitez was in the crowd, probably checking out what a good Liverpool manager looks like. Or he was here for Ceballos. Señor Ceballos is a famous hater of all things separatist. That’s why Iñaki Williams hasn’t played a minute of football for Liverpool this season. He’s languishing in the reserves because no-one would buy the Basque man. Oh well, surely Athletic Bilbao will need someone next year.

Vilhena scored a fluke goal for Leicester in the 25th minute. It was nonsense. It was a golf chip shot over three defenders standing right in front of him and over the top of Fofana.

It was a Spanish effort to bring the score back to four one before the half. Moreno to Ceballos for the first and the Basque Baiter set up Morata for the second. Rafa would have been rapt.

Fofana kept us ahead in the second half with two and half world-class saves. As luck would have it, we scored a third late on and walked in heads held high.


WEDNESDAY September 30th, 2020

Game day. Dortmund v Liverpool. Champions League Group D.

One of Dortmund’s key players is called Weigl. I had a high school teacher named Miss Weigl. She wore tight leather pants and was an enormous distraction. Julian Weigl provided no such distraction. In fact, very few of the Germans did anything to stand in the way of my guys. Three-nil with goals for the Spaniards again.


Am I living in a dream?


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