Godfather Of Champions Chapter 270 1
Chapter 270: The New Sponsor An Ambassador Part 1
Chapter 270: The New Sponsor; An Ambassador Part 1
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Perhaps it was because of the joyous Christmas dinner, but George Wood was performing particularly well. The voice of critics from weeks ago had yet to completely disappear, but Wood gave the critics slap after slap to their faces with his consistent performance.
On day two of the match, Forest won 2:1 on their home ground against Southampton. Despite the continual loss of goals, they still managed to win the match in the end.
On December 29, Forest challenged Man City in an away match. In that match, Tang En was resolved to improve their defense. In Maine Road, he arranged for the team's strategy to be defensive counterattacking. Under fierce offense from Man City, Forest did not manage to counterattack. However, their defense underwent a tedious examination. Defensive midfielder George Wood and Gunnarsson were partnered as starters in the match. In the after-match evaluation, Wood received good reviews for his performance. Facing Man City's bombardment and suppression in their half of the field, George Wood performed brilliantly and diffused threats to the goal on several occasions. This helped Darren Ward, whose skills were clearly falling short of his wishes. Wood's efforts allowed Forest to take away a point from the away match.
During the press conference after the match, Kevin Keegan indignantly told the reporters, "It's so unfair, we have 11 people playing in the match, but Nottingham Forest has 12!"
Of course, he was not talking about Forest getting a point due to aid from the referee. In truth, the referee would have been biased towards the home team, Man City. That would be the norm as well; after all, no referee would take the side of the away team, right?
The twelfth man Keegan spoke of was George Wood. The season was at its midpoint with the league matches on their 20th round and UEFA Europa League on its 6th. Including the matches for the EFL Cup, George Wood was present in all of them and for their entire duration. His body was not at all affected by his full attendance. In the match against Man City, his running speed remained the same from the first second to the last; he really knew how to use his body to compensate for his lack of technique and experience.
It was little wonder Keegan felt upset. His words echoed in the same way as a prior comment in the soccer scene referring a Brazilian right back, Cafu, as being a "man of three lungs."
Since George Wood's successful defense against Cristiano Ronaldo in the match with Manchester United and the equalizer he scored at the final minute, he was set on a steady path to becoming one of the hottest rookies of the English Premier League.
The topics regarding Wood had also begun increasing. The difference from before was that it used to be doubt; now it was all praise.
Tang En did not worry that such unrestrained and mushy praise would cause Wood to lose his composure and ruin his future. He knew the kind of person Wood was; he cared nothing for such praise. He did not yet understand how such an inflated reputation could benefit him.
A day after the match, Nottingham Forest Club organized an internal Christmas dinner and gave out several awards in recognition of stellar performances, in various areas, of Forest's personnel throughout the year. The method of selection was through a nomination vote held within the team. After that, an anonymous voting session was conducted. In other words, if a person was awarded as the best, he had surely received the recognition from the majority.
Based on Freddy Eastwood's stable and outstanding performance since his entry into the team, as well as his repeated scoring in crucial moments, he received the honor of being the Best Player of the Year.
The Best Rookie of the Year award was also indisputably won by George Wood.
According to convention, award recipients were required to make an acceptance speech on stage. Eastwood was naturally glib, and making such a spontaneous speech was nothing more than chicken feed to him. He easily humored everyone, making them laugh in delight and bringing the atmosphere to a high point.
George Wood had never stood on the stage like this, speaking to so many people at once. Tang En was not sure which would trouble Wood more; handling such a situation or going head-on with Roy Keane again. When Tang En announced that "The Best Rookie Award of the Year goes to George Wood," the entire place rang with enthusiastic claps. Some even whistled excitedly.
Wood, who sat beside his mother, was shocked at Tang En's announcement. He looked around at the surrounding teammates cheering and whistling for him, as if in disbelief of his level of popularity.
Tang En stood on the stage and waved the translucent trophy at Wood. "George, if you don't come to take the award, I'll be bringing it home!"
Everyone chuckled in amusement.
Amidst the laughter, Sophia straightened the shirt collar inside her son's suit. With tenderness and pride, she said to Wood, "Go ahead, George. It's impolite to make someone else wait."
It was only at that point that Wood stood to walk up to the stage. He received the trophy from Tang En and held it in his hands, the coolness of the trophy calming him down.
"Say something, George." Tang En passed a microphone over to Wood.
Wood held the microphone in his hands, biting his lips as he gazed out at the anticipating looks toward him.
What should he say?
When he had still been working as a porter, the men around him were all football fans. During their leisure time, they would often passionately discuss the matches held the day before. Most of them were supporters of Nottingham Forest. At that time, he did not imagine that he would ever become a Nottingham player and become the new topic of their discussions. He felt that that world was too far beyond himself; until one day, when he had bumped into someone on the street. Everything had changed then.
"I" After an extended pause, Wood finally opened his mouth. "In the past, in the past, I've never I never thou- thought that I would become a professional football player."
Could this really be a long speech? Tang En thought gleefully to himself.
"I don't know what to say"
The large hall was silent. Everyone waited quietly with bated breath. They all knew that George was not good at speaking; they had hardly ever heard him say so much in one breath. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see him standing in front of everyone speaking like this.
"I don't know what to say this is even harder than asking me to score against Manchester United" Wood said with a straight face. Meanwhile, the audience laughed themselves into stitches. Even Tang En, standing behind him, was chuckling to himself.
"So, I can only thank everybody" He bowed to the audience and left the stage.
Even though he said so little, Tang En did not request him to say more. For a boy who hardly interacted with anyone, this was already a tremendous improvement. Growth was a very long journey and one could not ask for more.
Wood, who returned to his seat, received an encouraging kiss from his mother, making him somewhat abashed.
The following award given out was 'Best Player' for the Youth Team. The person receiving the award was Gareth Bale, whom Tang En had brought over from Southampton. Even though he was only 15 years old, he had long ago become the exception and was moved to the Under-18 Youth Team. Now, Tang En was just waiting for him to reach 16 years of age to sign a professional contract with him, firmly tying his future to them.
With the main awards already given out, the atmosphere became relaxed, and of all sorts of other awards were presented. Tang En was an expert at setting the atmosphere. Whether it was in the locker room, on the sidelines of the football field, or here, he could always make everyone laugh.
After half a season of battling, both managers and players could finally put the opponents, points table, and aim of the season behind them and relax.
The dinner commenced after the award ceremony. Tang En became the busiest person in the room, dragging around Shania, who came to join in the fun, and searching all around to get signatures.
Without any mention of Shania's actual age, no one would believe she was just a child.
As everyone smiled and nodded at Shania, giving their signatures to her, they were gossiping. "Oh So, that's the girl that went out for dinner with Boss that day!"
Tang En, of course, knew what the group of boys was thinking, but he pretended not to see anything and continued bringing Shania around, introducing her, greeting others and asking for signatures. From this side to the other, and back again; his head spun.
He unknowingly led Shania to where Evan and Allan were. He had only started saying, "The two of them are" when he felt something odd. He looked up and realized the club's chairman and marketing manager were both grinning at him.
"Tony, do we have to sign too?" They asked with raucous laughter.
"Uh" Tony scratched his head embarrassedly. He had better introduce Shania to them both. "Judy Shania Jordana."
Evan nodded. "I know you, Miss Jordana. The week before last, I saw you at a fashion show."
Both Tang En and Shania looked at him with wide-eyed surprise. While Shania was surprised that the club's chairman before her would know of such a small-scaled launch of an unknown brand, Tang En was taken aback by the fact that she was already modeling at such a young age.
"Hmm." Evan appraised Shania, who was dressed casually. "You are completely different from when you were walking on the runway. I didn't recognize you earlier until Tony introduced you by name."
Shania made a face and raised her head slightly. She glanced at Tang En beside her and said to Evan Doughty, "Is that true?"
Evan smiled. "Yes, I agree."
Shania's resumed her usual expression and stuck her tongue out. "I don't like that, but as a model"
Evan and Allan both nodded in understanding. Beside her, Tang En was momentarily distracted by the cool expression Shania had suddenly put on. He had never seen this side of Shania before. It created a sense of cool aloofness that put miles of distance between them. Was that what the model Shania was like?
It was little wonder why Shania did not like being a model. She was born with a cheerful and bubbly personality. Making someone as young as she put on a face to intimidate people was not ethical.
I don't like that Shania either, Tang En thought in his heart.