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Twain never thought that as soon as he returned to the Nottingham Forest's coaching bench, the team's achievements would be soon improved and they would keep on winning all the way through the league champion title again even if he did almost nothing. Only a child could imagine such a scenario, but any reasonable person would regard it as nonsense.

What was happening now has proved his wisdom. Although by today's Nottingham Forest have won a few games, there were still many problems to be solved. For example, the restoration of the team's domination has become the most urgent problem for Twain, waiting for him to resolve it.

If a team did not have the confidence to win, there was no way to defeat the strong enemies. When some relatively small and weak teams faced a strong opponent, if they were determined to win, they could create miracles. There were many classic battles in which weaker teams defeated stronger teams, and the key factor was always the belief in victory.

When Nottingham Forest suddenly rose in England's football world, they were depending on that relentless strength of advancing and reluctance of being defeated.

At that time, Nottingham Forest hardly knew what "fear" was. Whether it was in the face of a strong domestic opponent, or when they were facing the European famous teams, there was only one thought in their mind: "To fight and win the battle!"

But now...

"For the last four seasons, you have been complaining about losing the Champion, losing the UEFA Champions League qualification and now even losing the European League qualification. But let me tell you, none of this really matters."

Twain looked at the players who kept their heads down.

"If you don't find one most important thing again, you'll never regain what you have lost. Do you want to know what it is? "

Twain slapped his chest, where the heart was beating. "Put your hands here and feel your heartbeats. Are they accelerating as I speak of a victory over Arsenal?"

Some players really put their hands on their chests, but some players were still confused. They did not know what the coach meant.

Twain wasn't counting on his speech to suddenly show everyone the way of victory, but he had to bury the seeds. Perhaps they would blossom and bear fruit in due course.

"The game against Arsenal is an opportunity to prove that you guys still have a fighting spirit. This time it's not for the media out there. Fight for yourselves!"

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Arsene Wenger was 69 years old. His goal was to retire after fulfilling his contract with the club, which had three years left. That meant he would be retiring at 72. The biggest regret of his coaching life was that he had never won a title of the UEFA Champions League and the European Champions Cup.

There was a season when he was very close to the trophy, but someone shut him outside the finals.

This someone was now in front of him, smiling.


"Long time no see, Professor. "

During the pre-match press conference, Twain and Wenger met each other. While one has just finished his part, the other was getting ready for his.

"It's only been a few months, Tony. "Ever since Twain won the World Cup, he almost disappeared out of the vision of the public social media.

Twain shook his head. That was not what he meant.

"I mean it has been a long time since we met in this situation here."

Twain pointed to the back of the press conference hall where reporters were waiting for Wenger to come in.

Wenger immediately understood. As opponents, they really haven't met for a long time.

"I heard your team is going to beat my team," said Wenger.

Twain said with a smile, "If we don't have the spirit of victory, it is impossible for us to win." He didn't just nod and say yes. It was better not to be so arrogant in front of this old friend and opponent.

He actually did think so. To be honest, he had no idea whether he could win over Arsenal or not. Although tactically prepared for this upcoming battle, the current Nottingham Forest team was not the one from four years ago, and he didn't control it completely.

The reason why he said he wanted to win was the same as Twain told his players: "If you don't have the eagerness to win, how will you play on the field? "

Wenger shrugged and said nothing more. The reporters were waiting for him and it was not a good time to chat.

He reached out his hand, trying to shake Twain's, but Twain patted him directly on the shoulder. "I'm leaving one step ahead, Professor. I'll see you at the game tomorrow night. "

Wenger watched Twain disappear at the end of the aisle before turning into the press conference hall.

Shortly after he sat down, the reporter's question came: "What do you think of what Tony Twain said, about his certainty of winning over Arsenal?"

Wenger smiled. It seemed he couldn't get rid of the topic anywhere.

"I certainly believe he has that ability." Wenger said "he ", not "they". He played a little trick in the choice of words, though he didn't know if anyone could see it. "But this is our home ground."

Exactly. It was Arsenal's home ground and Wenger wouldn't give up the victory easily.

  ※※※

"I have done the big talk, lads."

The news of Arsenal playing against Nottingham Forest at home has become mainstream in the sporting news later in the day. Twain and Wenger had an extensively photographed pre-match press conference. Twain's words, "Yes, I repeat again. We'll beat the home team at the Emirates Stadium," were also constantly mentioned.

Twain told his players, after turning off the TV in that evening's final tactics class:

"If we don't win, you and I will all become a British national joke. That would be too humiliating."

Twain never said something like "Judging by our strength, we deserve to win over Arsenal", so none of the players could offer any objections. Anyone with a little sense knew it would be very, very difficult to win at the Emirates against Arsenal.

Nevertheless, the 'big talk' put the Forest team on the edge of the cliff.

It was like Twain said: they were all pushed towards the edge of the cliff. If they lost the game, all the bad words and comments would come to them.

No one wanted to be a joke, to be discussed in disdain.

Certainly not professional football players.

"Arsenal's style of play is as strong and complex as ever. At home, they're sure to keep playing like that. This is our chance. "

Twain began to elaborate on the tactics they were going to use in tomorrow's game, but the players were able, for the most part, to predict what he would say. This was something the team has been focusing on for more than a week. For more than a week, the most important part of the training was the attack of the set-pieces play. At this point, everybody knew more or less what tactics the team would use in the game.

Between losing the game in a beautiful and spectacular attack or winning the game in a doggedly conservative defense, Twain was sure to choose the latter. However, the risk of the latter was that having held your ground for 89 minutes, you could lose the game at the last minute. That would really mean losing everything, not only the game but also the team's dignity. If it happened, the team would turn into laughing stock. In the face of this situation, many would choose an overpowering attack against their enemy. That way, even if they lost the game, they would lose with honor.

However, that was really not the best idea in this case. The Forest team was not as strong as it used to be and has already made up excuses for losing. How could such a team beat a strong opponent? They did not have the confidence for an aggressive attack.

As the saying goes, "Confront one with death and they will fight to live". How could the team summon the right kind of energy if they weren't determined to win?

"On a solid back-line basis, we need to seize every set-piece opportunity to score. Don't be afraid of less ball control, ugly scenes, and little chance of shooting. As long as we're more patient than they are, grab the set-piece opportunity to score, and the final victory will be ours!"

"We practiced set-pieces for over a week and I hope to see them in the game. "

  ※※※

Twain did see in the game that his team had painstakingly trained for the set-ball attacking tactics for more than a week. His team was ahead in the score for the moment.

As soon as Arsenal came up, they played with a home team's arrogance. They were bombing around Forest's penalty area. They were cooperating cleverly, running flexibly, passing directly. The Nottingham Forest team could only double its defense under the attack by Arsenal. It was a pity they were short of a punching second striker. Although the small squad was flexible enough, it was not enough to face the solid defense wall of the Nottingham Forest team.

Although the Forest were seemingly timid, they never conceded a goal. It wasn't until the 37th minute that the Forest team got a good attacking chance. Chen Jian was tackled to the ground by an Arsenal player after taking the ball in front, and Nottingham Forest, therefore, secured a free-kick on the right side of the front.

Bale left-footed a free-kick to the late penalty and Aaron Mitchell head passed the ball back with a flick-on header from the late penalty. Then George Wood followed in the middle, rushed ahead of the others, and used a beautiful diving header to send the football into the corner of the net in the ensuing chaos.

Nottingham Forest, an away team, has taken the lead with no advantage in possession or number of shots. This surprised many people.

However, more surprises were waiting for them. Nottingham Forest had another free-kick in the same position on the other side before the last minute of the first half. This time it was Bale's cross. This time around, Arsenal's fullbacks focused on the center-field defense, and in the meantime, they never stopped guarding Mitchell. However, Nottingham Forest changed their tactic.

The ball went straight to the late penalty area. Mitchell and Forest center-back Sarko were still pushing back, while the two defenders followed them back. They didn't expect that halfway there, Sarko would abruptly stop and turn out, running towards the football. He rose high with no one defending him!

He shot a rebound. The football bounced off the Arsenal goalkeeper, making him misjudge the direction of the ball. Goal right through the net!

"It's unbelievable! "The narrator cried out, hugging his head. "At the Emirates Stadium, at Arsenal's home ground, Nottingham Forest managed a two-goal lead by the end of the first half! Tony Twain's ferocious drive, defensive counter-attack and tactics of using set-pieces to score totally undermined Arsenal's technical play!"

Wenger was clearly aware that he would only lose more and more if he continued to play like this. Some specific changes had to be made against their opponents. Therefore, at the beginning of the second half, he substituted a more powerful striker in front of the goalmouth.

Nottingham Forest also relented after leading by two goals in the first half. On the other hand, Arsenal pulled one back in the second half.

Then Arsenal's morale was unexpectedly boosted. They kept attacking Forest's goalmouth to the cheers of the home fans. Twain saw the situation he quickly adjusted his team's tactic. He did not strengthen the defense, but rather the counterattack.

Surely, the change was very effective. Arsenal's attack was immediately subdued in fear of a sharp and fierce counterattack from Nottingham Forest. Rebalancing has come back on the field.

Such a score was held until the end, despite the fact that in the last five or six minutes, Arsenal was attacking most ferociously. However, the Forest team's fightback was just as active, making Arsenal powerless. In the face of the solid defense in front, as well as Forest's quick counterattack, Arsenal finally lost hope.

In this way, Nottingham Forest won a key victory.

After the game, everybody agreed that Tony Twain's Nottingham Forest was back to being the Arsenal's arch-enemy.

Wenger also admitted at a post-match press conference that Nottingham Forest's tactics had restrained theirs. This made him very helpless.

Twain, as the winner, didn't take this for granted. He said the team was just lucky enough to win against Arsenal.

It was absolutely impossible to say that there has been no change between the current Twain and the Twain of old. A decade ago, he would definitely proclaim that their victory was a matter of course.

Getting up and shaking hands with Wenger, Twain left the press conference. The team was waiting for him on the bus and, unlike at the press conference, he had another speech to make to his men.

"You have done well, lads! We got three points as an away team and the rankings went up two places. However, more than that, I'm glad to have seen in your performance the desire to win and the heart of the champions! Never give up!" Twain said to the players on the bus, with one hand resting on his chest.

"I hope this game will help you remember that the spirit of a champion who always seeks victory is more important than anything. Now I have finally begun to hope that we can return to Europe," Twain pointed at his players and went on, "Because you all want to win. And I..."

He pointed to himself, "...would like to work with players who want to win. Nottingham Forest are winners and so am I." He looked at everyone and grinned.

In fact, he was very arrogant, but it was precisely this confidence that made him more likely to win and turned him into his opponents' nightmare.

If someone didn't believe this, the game against Arsenal was an excellent demonstration.

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PS. If all goes as planned, Godfather of Champions will officially end in October. Then I will rest for a month and think about the new book. Thank you for more than two years of support, I am very grateful! Without your support, I wouldn't be here, finishing Godfather of Champions.

On the last day of the month, everyone has extra monthly tickets. Vote for me, thank you!

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