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Friday, 10 February 2017 21:21

Goal Of the Month - December

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Ah... December usually synonymous with Christmas and the Queen's speech - well this month's winning goal is certainly a cracker and we might be able to squeeze a Royal something, something of our own in. It's goal of the month time and this month's winner is Spragga for Christian Pulisic's wonderful effort against Seanachais' Napoli! I caught up with Spragga who seems to be enjoying life in Germany, so where better to start than with his move:

From West Ham to West Germany, more appropriately the Wesfalenstadion;

How are you settling in as Dortmund manager? On the eve of Season 10, you had looked destined for Old Trafford - what swayed you to leave England for Germany, and how have the Dortmund fans taken to your appointment?

Well the decision to end my fourth stint as West Ham manager was a thought out process. I had become rather bored of managing them and it didn't help that the fans had turned on me following 9 straight league defeats at the time. I have no regrets though as I have left them in great hands, the hands of another West Ham supporter in fact, in MickyJustice. Man Utd was never an option. I assumed that I could either trade the brand in for a player or at least get my cash back on them, but the Utd fans on here are, to put it bluntly, "sewer rats" so I was resigned to begging a Man Utd fan to buy them - that too for 10M less than I paid for them at auction! Scum!!

Things are going pretty well in Dortmund right now, I will elaborate further in to the interview - it's safe to say many families are already calling their sprogs "Spragga", akin to the rise in the popularity of the name 'Kevin' when Keegan played in Germany.

You're making a habit of this! I last caught up with you for July's GOTM to celebrate Moussa Sissoko's wonder-strike, how does it feel to win the competition so soon after?

Feels very good to win another one Sunzi. Sissoko's goal was truly special - this one was altogether different in many aspects.

To the goal then, talk us through it if you will:

This was at the start of my new found form and remember it being my first home game at the Dortmund helm. Leading 4-2 against Napoli, who under Seanachais are always a tough opponent, Rolando nicked the ball off the striker and laid on to Bakayoko, who in turn played the ball in to Fredy Friday's feet - Fred had the vision to release Pulisic who was flying down the wing; as Pulisic prepared to receive it, I had the foresight to anticipate Sean - who was trying to prevent Pulisic making the cross - so Pulisic obliged by intentionally sending the right back for a hot dog with a simple yet effective first touch - the touch took him straight back in to traffic and in to the path of two oncoming players whom Christian glided past before jinking in to the box, skipping past another and creaming the ball past the keeper.

Pulisic's raw talent is obvious, but he is still developing - the technique was sublime, but many have highlighted his temperament to perform under pressure given that he scored against Premiership high-flyers Napoli - did you know he was capable of such a goal? 

I knew Christian was capable of something like this, sure, but as a manager I tend not to ask players to skip and dribble past 4 players. We, or should I say, I am not dexterous enough at the best of times; Pulisic's obvious ability allowed for a gem of a goal to be scored - even Angel Di Maria or Dries Mertens struggled to equal anything like Christian produced against Sean.

On the topic of the Premiership, we are midway through Season 10 - how has the season been so far, and what are you expectations for the second half of the season?

As I said earlier, the season has been up and down - we started in terrible form - losing my first 10 games, many by the odd goal or 2. Something had to change, I feel the move to Dortmund has helped change my fortunes and rejuvenated my appetite for a challenge which has shown; since having gone 10 without a win, we have only lost once in the last 7, with 5 wins, 1 draw and a PEFA Cup win, 2-1 away to Goggzy. The expectation is relegation but with 18 games left, if I can keep this vein of form going - who knows? It's a very tough division - each game is harder than the last - so I would be very surprised if I'm in the Prem again next season but we're not giving up yet.

I must digress for a moment - with arguably the greatest name in the Leagues, can we steal in on Pulisic's thunder to discuss Fred Friday - how is he getting on?

Fredy Friday has been immense - think he has 6 goals and a man of the match award which rather ironically came in the match which Pulisic's goal takes the gong for; Friday grabbed 2 himself that day. Fredy has become a figure of fun - all Fridays should be fun! He also wears the number 13, which is pure banter in its self. The fans love him, I love him - he is just a great lad. funky Fredy Friday is a cult hero.

The Wage-Day challenge has caused pandemonium in the market - can we get the Dortmund perspective on it? Your spectacular deal with the Board of Directors was a major talking point! Talk to us about it please!

The wage challenge has had me going round in circles and honestly, even now as we speak, I'm still undecided on many fronts; do I pay wages? Get cash but hope there is no Tax? buy bums for extortionate prices? We all know that prices will soon return to normal post-challenge - it's tough (to second guess what will actually happen) but it's a situation all of PEN has enjoyed.
The BOD deal was weird really... I had the highest wages in the Network at the time; 160M with 4 premium players on the books - Julio Cesar, Toni Kroos, Angel Di Maria and Dries Mertens. I sold Di Maria to Qvart a day before the bod opened, however my wages were still a lofty 58M and I was sat on a transfer kitty of almost 105M, so was pretty well placed to make an enticing proposal. I proposed 70M in addtion to Kroos and Mertens for Kondogbia, Balotelli and the living legend that is David Luiz - I was squeezed by the BOD for another 10M, taking the added cash amount to 80M. The deal was successful and the cash really helped to sweeten the process, although I cocked up the calculations when acquiring N'Golo Kante a few days later; thinking I would still be under the 25M wage-challenge cap, N'Golo's wages actually took me to 27M, which has prompted the sale of recently signed Mario Balotelli to Rambo for 60M. The sale now presents the conundrum of having to spend that cash (for the purposes of the challenge). Who knows what will happen over the next week though - a week's a long time on PEN, history has shown that in my 10 season here.

We shall draw to a close now but before we do, can we get a prediction for tonight's Royal Rumble? 

LOL wrestling! I haven't watced that since about '93 when 'Brutus the Barber Beefcake' cut 'Jake The Snake Roberts' hair off in an Intercontinental Title fight ha ha ha. Nah, in all honestly, I just hope to win some cash via the Royal Rumble sweepstake - might watch it, but don't really know s**t about it anymore. I know i'm number 17 in the draw, might be a decent spot, who knows?

Thanks very much Spragga - always a pleasure. Congratulations once again on winning December's GOTM and good luck with the remainder of your season and the Royal Rumble Sweepstake. You have a knack for scoring a wonder-goal so I'm  pretty sure we'll be speaking again soon.
There you have it, Christian Pulisic is your winner for December - I'll be back with another interview for January's GOTM. Until then may every day be a Fred Friday!

Read 670 times Last modified on Friday, 10 February 2017 21:37