Season 26, Juventus, Serie A
First game of the season saw me take on Feyenoord in the Champions League Best Placed Playoff. I won the home leg 2-0 and lost the away leg 2-0, losing 3-1 on pens. Europa League it is then.
I started off well in the league, not tasting defeat until I met Inter at the start of December. A few more silly defeats and draws effectively put an end to my title challenge. As the season drew to a close I was 8 points adrift of Inter with 5 games to go and they were my next game. I managed to beat them to reduce the gap to 5 points.
I then screwed it up again by only managing a draw against Torino while Inter beat Pescara. Inter drew their next 2 while I won mine, leaving me 3 points behind going into the final game. Inevitably I lost to Palermo while Inter won, giving them the title by 6 points.
In the Europa League group stage I was drawn with Leverkusen, Basel and Randers. I managed to negotiate the group stage easily enough, however I was to meet Real Madrid in the first knockout round. A 2-1 defeat away and a 0-0 draw at home was enough to end my short European journey.
2nd P38 W24 D8 L6 F73 A32 Pts80
Qtr Final v Catania L 2-0
1st Knockout round v Real Madrid L 2-1 agg
9 for £94m
13 for £70m
Season 27, Juventus, Serie A
Was given a nice transfer budget which I supplemented by selling 2 players for £50m while buying 4 for £58m.
I started steady in the league but was having trouble scoring, keeping clean sheets however proved to be quite easy. I started tinkering with tictacs to try and create more chances, however I think it just unsettled the team. The final straw for the board came at the start of November when I lost 1-0 at Lazio, my 3rd defeat of the season. I was promptly sacked before I even managed to make it back to the dressing room.
I spent the rest of the season looking for a job, Man Utd parted ways with their manager, as did Arsenal, Real and Barcelona (their manager took my old job). I was unsuccessful in obtaining any of them (in fairness for the Real and Arsenal jobs by the time I got the news report the vacancy had been filled). I was offered the Brazil job again (rejected) and the vacancy at St Andrews (rejected).
Come the end of May the Aston Villa board decided that finishing 5th was dismal and offered me the job of manager, which I duly accepted. The previous 2 seasons they finished 2nd and 3rd the one before that.
Season 28, Aston Villa, Premier League
Media Prediction: 5th
Board Expectation: Qualify for Europe
Took over at Villa during the close season and noticed they were a bit thin on quality and a bit thin on cash as well. Strengthened what I could by bringing in a GK, DC, MC and DM, plus an AMC on loan. Culled the backroom staff too and brought in my own guys, half of the team I had at Juventus applied so I had some familiar faces around the place.
The league started OK, being in the Europa League Qualifying round left me with a couple of games in hand so the league position lied a little.
As the season progressed I was getting too many draws meaning my top 4 target was just a dream. I sat nicely inside the top 1, but the media it would seem decided that wasn’t good enough and every other game was my last in charge should you read the daily rags. The highlight of that rough patch though was a nice home win against local rivals Brum 4-1.
By mid march I was sat in 11th although not too many points away from the 4 or 5 teams above me. I lost the first leg of the Europa League 2nd Knockout round 2-1 away to some crappy team in France (AS Saint Etienne), that’s ok, I can turn it around in the home leg as I did in the previous round; lost the 1st leg away to HSV 5-3 but then smashed them at home 5-0.
However I never got round to playing the second leg as Brum got their revenge over me at theirs, beating me 3-2 and ultimately costing me my job. When I look at my record I would have sacked me sooner, but I guess doing well in Europe helped slightly.
So back to the job centre then, seemed like an age waiting for someone to sack their manager. I was linked to the Villareal job but they were as good as down so I never applied for that one, the Bayern and Monaco managers were insecure so I made myself available for them but nothing came of it.
Eventually the Salamanca job became insecure and they seemed to have a very rich chairman. I declared my interest and they duly sacked their manager and offered me the job.