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Hamburglar: Ex-MacDonald's star announces shock foray into football

The Hamburglar, a former MacDonald's advertising frontman, announced that he will be making his debut in football management.

In what was an inevitably bizarre press conference, the man known better for his criminal attires made clear his reasons for the sudden decision and rubbished any suggestions of inexperience.

Having been initially questioned for his motivations, the Hamburglar replied with a question of his own to the journalists present: "Look, off the top of your head, how many of us MacDonald's characters can you name?" After much discussion and an admission that they could only recall "Ronald MacDonald, you and that purple thing", the Hamburglar said: "See, that's my point, the organisation has been shafting most of us for so long that we're now effectively out of a job. So I don't think it's wrong that we start loooking out for ourselves am I?"

MacDonald's did have an extended advertising campaign in the the Eighties leading up to the turn of the century, with the main characters alongside the Hamburglar including Ronald MacDonald, Birdie and Grimace. However, the fast-food chain has gradually phased out most of them, with only the iconic clown remaining a mainstay of advertising.


The Hamburglar in happier times, with Ronald MacDonald and Grimace

When asked about his qualifications in coaching, the Hamburglar presented what seemed to be certificates from FIFA, CONCACAF and UEFA which he claimed were obtained after graduating from courses for the respective associations. However, Sky Sports has clarified that it was unable to confirm the authenticity of his claims.

Finally, with journalists highlighting his lack of experience in either coaching or playing football, Geoff Shreeves in particular suggesting that he "would be more suited to be a restaurant manager", the Hamburglar snapped back: "Well Mourinho was a translator, then there was that other Portuguese dude [Andre Villas-Boas] who was a racecar driver! How come they get a pass? And anyway I did play some football back in America, ball's not the same but it's still football." While Villas-Boas did drive in the Dakar Rally, it was only during a sabbatical from football.

At press time none of the other MacDonaldland characters have expressed interest in football management.
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(Obviously I thought of the club before the character)

Yes, Hamburger SV, a German powerhouse (historically anyway), and the only mainstay in the Bundesliga - and don't they know it:


Yes their own Bundesliga clock, which would be taking the piss at the best of times, but a grim reminder of its inevitable end at the worst.
Unfortunately for them it's been the latter for the past half-decade or so, them and Stuttgart being the two big clubs that were deemed to big to go down - that is until Stuttgart actually got relegated.
But Hamburg are still there, and every season brings hope, a new manager, only to see themselves sucked into a relegation dogfight - like many a struggling club that somehow manages to survive year after year, they're now widely derided as the shit that just won't flush.
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Great name, great idea. Looking forward to it!

This has to be your anthem when you win a trophy.

Great name, great idea. Looking forward to it!

This has to be your anthem when you win a trophy.

That's... Intriguing.

Educational too, I guess.



True to my (his) word, coaching badges on lock, but only the most minimal of (American) football experience.


As we've already known, they're very much a storied club but recent years have not been good for them at all.

Notable/key players so far:


Highest-rated player in the squad, Kostic combines great speed with more than decent ball control and crossing.
Mentals can be much better, but here's hoping his pace can bail him (and us) out in games.


(Still) a very good defender, but his career has been ravaged by injuries unfortunately. He's already got the odd knock in our time so far so I will definitely have to manage his fitness properly.
It's also bad news that he's also one of only 4 senior centrebacks, one of whom is already out with torn knee ligaments.


Ex-Hoffenheim hero Salihovic, who's returned to Germany from a windfall run in China (with a detour at Switzerland).
Looking at his physicals he doesn't look like he can last 90 minutes, but here's hoping that he can contribute with a last-gasp freekick or two.


BIG DICK BOBBY as the Americans like to call him, he'd scored in his Hamburg debut, and his physical abilities and work ethic were promising signs for his career at that point. Thing is hard work means shit when you can't score to save your life, and by jove could he be shit in front of goal.
Still he's a wiling runner, and with Andre Hahn, Nicolai Muller etc. we've got a seriously hard-working bunch of forwards, so a pressing and counterattacking system could work in our favour.

Finally, I should point out that as I've opted to not have my transfer budget for this window, things are pretty awful so far. GKs are pretty damn mediocre, the squad doesn't respect me, I don't have a proper set of CBs and the attack dooesn't seem to be working. Happy days eh.
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EXCLUSIVE: Hamburg's (Fast) Food Revolution

The recent arrival of American "The Hamburglar" at Hamburger SV has stunned the German footballing community, and while his ability as a manager remains to be seen, one thing that has changed is the players' diets - Deutsche Welle goes to the Hamburg training facilities to find out more

Hamburgers for Hamburg, a change from lunches of previous years

It is midday, the reporter is outside the front office, and she can already smell the deep fryer at work. The trainer comes out to greet her; he is a hardworking man, carrying a tray of food to the staff mess. He invites her to come with him, and after setting the tray down he sits down for an interview.

She begins with, "So, Mister Hamburglar-" but he interjects: "No please, call me Hamish, just call me by my first name." Clearly the trainer does not mind a casual approach, even if he is unfortunate to have Mr. Burglar as an alias. "Oh you know, marketing..." Hamish explains with an awkward chuckle.

But it is the contents on the tray that was of most interest to our reporter - an assortment of McDonald's' items, from nuggets to the Singapore-exclusive "McSpicy". Hamish is passionate about the subject: "I mean, look at the past few years at Hamburg, it's been Oh we're gonna go down, Oh we're awful, what I want to bring to the club is some cheer, and there isn't a better way than fast food, I can tell you that." But what of the balanced diet and healthy meals? "Oh come on don't be such a downer, that stuff's boring - all these 'nutritionists' telling you what you should and shouldn't eat, I can tell you that Usain Bolt swears by out nuggets okay?"

The new trainer of Hamburger SV, with his new dietary ideas

What do the players think of their new meals? Club captain Gotoku Sakai is optimistic: "I've had a lot of different food in my time in Japan and Germany, and of course us Japanese like MacDonald's as well. People say that footballers shouldn't have fast food, but I think the trainer knows what he is doing."

But not everyone is impressed by the change.- former trainer Mirko Slomka - "To blame the team's troubles the past few seasons on the food is hilarious, does he really think that he can improve the players with deep fried chicken everyday?" The current trainer's response: "First, he needs to brush up on his knowledge of our food, it's definitely not 'deep fried chicken everyday'; and second, who the f**k is he to speak? Yeah he's right that it's not the food's fault they were so poor under him, because it's his own f**king fault!"

But of course, at the end of the day only the results matter:


Hamish is realistic on his start with the team - "Obviously it's not ideal to only win one game in preseason, but effects of the changes I've made around here take time to show results, but once the guys start buying into my game everyone else start feeding their teams Big Macs."


Couple of things:

-Schipplock was sent out on loan pretty soon after his last minute leveller, there's really no point in having a less clinical Bobby Wood around.
-Replacing him as backup/competition to Wood would be Fiete Arp, who's one of the hotter forward prospects in Germany - here's hoping he turns out better than the last young German targetman Hamburg had (Leeds fans know what I'm on about)
-Yes it was that Mirko Vucinic, who I really wanted to sign for some much needed finishing chops up top. Alas we didn't have any transfer money so we couldn't afford his or his agent's signing fee.
-I don't know how long I can keep up with the articles, I'd very much like to use this to train my writing skills but this one alone has me pretty spent already.
-And the McSpicy is the GOAT burger, end of.
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August 2017


Was expecting 0 points in August with this start, granted none of them are Bayern or Dortmund but we're so shit and disorganised I wouldn't have been surprised.
The 1st 2 games kind of showed that side of us, with a disjointed attack unable to alleviate a panicky defence, and we duly lost those games.
The poor attacking performances seemed to have been due to playing Bobby Wood as a Defensive Forward on his own, and a throw of the dice by redeploying him as a complete forward somehow paid off, with a shock win away at Hoffenheim.


We've got 2 cups apparently, and this is the more prestigious one by some distance, the DFB Pokal.
Easy win at... fourth tier Bonn, though star of the show wasn't among the scorers, but provided all 3 assists instead - Japanese winger and debutant Tatsuya Ito.
Unfortunately he then broke his leg in the Hoffenheim game and will be out till January at least.
(Also, anyone got mods for the match overview screen? Not getting used to this long summary widget, and it looks weird as a screenshot doesn't it)


Sandhausen are in 2.Bundesliga so they aren't scrubs by any means,so we'll be careful - well I hope the players will anyway.


And the other cup competition, which until the announcement of the draw I didn't know existed (any Germans care to fill me in on this?)
But yeah, 2nd tier Dresden put up a good fight and didn't get bombed.
And Fiete Arp was on the double! Another debutant impressing, great stuff.


Whelp, certainly wasn't already expecting Bundesliga opposition for a cup I'd literally just heard of.
But this cup doesn't look like it's high on any club's lists, so I'd be banking on then playing a weakened squad for us to have a chance.
We'll also be playing a B-ish team as well of course, no way am I putting this over Bundesliga survival.

Finally, what was our transfer window like?


Ex-Saints and Celtic defender Jos Hooiveld joins on loan - yes I know he's awful, yes I know he's way past it (even for the B-Team apparently), but our centreback corps isn't the fittest so if he just comes off the bench for one game and heads some crosses away I'm calling a win on this one.
We've also signed a young CB whose sole purpose is to be flipped on for a profit, but first signs indicate that he could be better than Hooiveld - not good.
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Who knew that a fast food restaurant's advertising character with no experience in football would fail to be respected by his players?
(I'm so fucked)
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September 2017


September started well enough, as sitting back against Leverkusen somehow worked out (only negative was Papadopolous breaking his collarbone), after which we had our easiest run so far.
Yeah no.


Just look at this.
Yeah granted I had a couple of choice words for the defence after they conceded 2 before the break, but that's absolutely no reason to capitulate they way they did right? They're professional players for crying out loud.
Oh and to top it off Andre Hahn (Forward, bit call, very physical, can't score for shit) two-footed a guy and got himself sent off against Mainz, while Douglas Santos (LB, gets forward, Brazilian) earned 2 yellows against Bayern. 3 players sent off in 3 games, fucking brilliant.


So it should come as no surprise that we're now deep in the shitter. Just like the real life Hamburg then, if that's any consolation.
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October 2017


4 points from 9, 2 clean sheets, only coal conceded was from a wonderstrike from Andriy Yarmolenko (it really was, powered through into the attacking third on the break before firing in a howitzer).
That's the good news - the bad is well, our attack, Mein Gott is it bad.
Bobby Wood is the American Shane Long, Andre Hahn is the German Shane long, while Filip Kostic is well, not good at all. The former duo have tons of graft and brute force in their weaponry, but without any sort of finesse (or just keeping onside) there's no point to that effort.
Kostic was supposed to bring that X-factor, but he's just not doing it at the moment, basically.


Still knee deep in trouble, but you know, at least there are more points on board. Papadopoulous is about to return, so maybe that'll give us a boost.

That said, I think I know why we were better in the league this month:


Well simply because we've completely cocked it up in the cups. Shocking stuff from all involved (me included) - poor game management, Hahn continuing to be unable to read the game at all, the attacking not working out at all, even Arp's goal had to come from a botched clearance by the opposing keeper.
I'd kill for some clinical ability right now.
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Newcastle set to swoop for Japanese defender as Hamburger crises worsen
Gotoku Sakai said to be 'suffering' from new controversial diet


Newcastle are monitoring the contract situation of Hamburg's club captain Gotoku Sakai after it emerged that he rejected an offer of a new deal from the German side.

A source close to the club has revealed that the 26 year old full back has become disillusioned after struggling to adapt to the new dietary regime implemented by new manager The Hamurglar, and with under a year left on his deal is looking to part ways with the club sooner than later.

Sakai is said to be 'suffering' from the amount of fast food and deep-fried items served daily at the club, and as a result has seen his form dip drastically, something that has led to him being dropped from the first XI earlier in September.

Sakai, who is equally adept with both feet and at both sides of full back, eventually regained playing time, but the consensus at the club is that things have come to a head, and he will not extend his time at Hamburg unless drastic changes are made.


Bah, Hamburg: Sakai has had a frustrating time under his new manager

The contract standoff can only mean worse news for his beleaguered manager, who lead the club to yet another sorry defeat at Cologne, and faces an uphill struggle to lift his team off the foot off the table.
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November/December 2017

Now before I go ahead with the fixtures for both months:


Yeah it's that crisis meeting time of my tenure already.
They actually wanted 6 points from 5, but I somehow managed to negotiate down to the 4 in 5 games, which in itself is basically relegation form already, but it turns out that it's enough for the board, so shrugs.


(Granted the meeting was held after being dicked by Hertha, but ehhh we met the targets anyway)
The 2 months could be described as 'could be worse' really, fighting wins against Augsburg and Wolfsburg were contrasted by collapses against Hertha and Gladbach.
The man on form is clearly Waldschmidt, who poached 5(FIVE) goals from the right wing and up top.
The same can most assuredly not be said for BIG DICK BOBBY Wood, who lengthed his goal drought to over 14 hours, and coupled with his indifferent contribution was dropped for the rest of the month.
Unfortunately because of his sway with the other players I'll have to give him to his demands and give him another chance at the turn of the year.


At least, at least we aren't bottom.
And with the January transfer window we could get our shit in order and start the hard climb up the table - with or without Bobby Wood, the useless twat.
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January 2018

Right, after the players came back from their winter holidays, we played a few friendlies:


Opening game showed lots of promise, a 3-0 win against Zenit, with even Bobby Wood scoring! He'd been asking for game time and scoring against the Russian side could only help his case.
Turns out I needen't wait long to realise that there're still cracks being papered over, like struggling to put more than one past Lechia Gdansk before Kostic came off the bench to add some gloss to the final score.
And the Craiova loss ensured a sour end to our mid-season prep, just in time for Schalke:


It wouldn't have been as bad as 3-0 had both our fullbacks decided to get themselves 2 yellows each. Can't really fault the rest of the team, any team would suffer without both FBs. Even Wood put in an acceptable shift, leading the line on the break even if his finishing was again awful.
Another false dawn as it turned out, as he put out another disinterested showing up top and was hauled off before the hour in out loss to Leipzig.
Hoffenheim was a must-win, and we showed intent - clinical finishing was again found wanting, but we controlled proceedings and looked even more in the driver's seat when Hoffenheim went a man down.
It did look like we were going to leave with only a point though, but for supersub Sejad Salihovic - a fantastic freekick against his former club, before sending in the corner for Papadopoulos' icing on the cake.


At least, at least we're not bottom, or in the automatic relegation spots any more.
I mean there's still a shit ton of work to be done, but knowing that we've got some other teams under us is a bit of consolation.

With that done let's get into the most important activity of January - the transfer window:


Yeah you're damn right that I got BIG DICK BOBBY the fuck out of the club the moment I saw that I could - man's one of our top earners but has no goals in 15 league appearances, so he seriously had to go, if only to give us a lot more breathing room for wages.
Janjicic is a youth midfielder who didn't start a league game all season, so I wanted to let him leave for some first-team football. Unfortunately only Hertha bit, so I figured that he'd get minutes with them and okayed the deal. Hasn't seen a minute though, so I could well be mistaken.
Ito also needed the regular game time after recovering from his broken leg, so off he went to Kalsruhe. First game, an assist and a goal, the MotM gong, and.... a broken foot. So he's back at Hamburg again.
Lastly, Douglas had been pushing for a move to RB Leipzig at around November, but an injury meant that that interest cooled. He didn't play for the entirety of January either, so when Dortmund came on DEADLINE DAY (having sold Schmelzer to Liverpool just hours earlier) I wasn't too fussed on selling a player who wanted to eave anyway.

His replacement (for now):


Gotoku Sakai has been filing in well enough for Douglas at LB when he was out, so I won't be too quick to replace him - there'll be rotation now and then, and with our injury issues he'll inevitably get minutes.

Our other (significant) transfers:


1st signing of the window, a versatile defender with solid mentals - 5 minutes into his debut against Leipzig, the prick Emil Forsberg gives him a concussion and rules him out of the month - great start to his time here eh.


Backup GK broke his leg and would be out for the season, so loanee legend Delac comes in to fill his role on the bench.
He's not awful, but probably won't be starting, which is just about what I need in a backup GK.


Cartabia is a unique one in the squad - he's not one of them brainless bruisers who only know how to run for 90 minutes (e.g. Hahn, Wood, Nicolai Muller), but an actual tricky winger who knows a pass or two.
Fab with the setpeices too, which is more than I can say for the rest of the squad bar Salihovic.
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February 2018

Just to give you a teaser of the month we were about to have:


Ohhhh yeah. And we're suddenly back to 2 natural CBs and a couple other midfielders playing out of position as backup.


The month started well enough with a draw against a very wasteful Leverkusen side in which we defended almost well enough. Almost, because we conceded a penalty in the 80th minute to end up sharing the spoils.
Could've done with a goal against Frankfurt though, who despite having the worst goalscoring record in the league (yes, worse than ours) managed to put one over us to add to their two earlier in the season.
I didn't think it was that bad, but apparently the board deemed it necessary to give me an ultimatum - improve against Stuttgart, or get the sack.


Fuck Bobby Wood, fuck Filip Kostic, fuck the injuries, fuck the Bundesliga Clock, I'm going to need a break.
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The hate for Bobby Wood is incredible
Unlucky there, a tough ask with that squad. You going to stick with the save or start again elsewhere? Be good to see you take on St Pauli or another rival and finish Hamburger off completely!
The hate for Bobby Wood is incredible
Unlucky there, a tough ask with that squad. You going to stick with the save or start again elsewhere? Be good to see you take on St Pauli or another rival and finish Hamburger off completely!

Mate this Bobby Wood... He's not clinical, can't keep himself onside and can run a lot but only when he feels like it - I'll put my hands up and admit that I might've used him wrongly, but damn the cheek of him to ask for game time when in a scoring drought.

I reckon I'll start again, I think with the rep that's been set for Mr. Burglar and the leagues I've loaded he'll just get hounded out of town by players who don't trust or respect him.
Not sure what I'll do next, but it's definitely not managing in top flights with no reputation.
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I'll see you
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