No ticket to ride: Anglo-Saxan Chronicle 19


On my first morning as manager of FC Saxan, I’m trying to decide whether to proceed with the loan signing from Sheriff of striker Artiom Puntus.

I have designed a protocol for the acquisition of strikers in general. Time to apply it to the case of Puntus. Here are the notes I made as I did so.

  1. Is the personality satisfactory? I don’t like ‘balanced’ personalities – they bring so little to the table – but they are permissible, especially so early in my time at the club. Proceed to step 2.
  2. Does the player possesses a threshold level of determination? I can see from our database that he has a determination attribute of 3/20. I haven’t yet decided what our threshold will be, and it may well be that I will have to retain some of our players with the same attribute score as Puntus. But that’s no reason to compound the problem.

Decision: terminate the loan.

At this point, a voice in my mind says, ‘But he’s free – Sheriff are covering his wages; and he’s fast, has a good touch, and is a good finisher’. But another voice responds, ‘There’s no point devising these protocols if I’m just going to make exceptions; besides which his career record shows that for all his pace and skill, he rarely finds the net (he made 11 appearances for us on loan last season without scoring); and so he’s ‘free for a reason’.

I use the phone on my desk to call Mr Oleg Turcanu, Sheriff’s Director of Football, to tell him that Puntus won’t be requiring a rail ticket to Ceadir Lunga. Turcanu’s English isn’t great, but I spoke loudly enough for him to get the gist.

Free for a reason