Season 13, Championship, Portsmouth.

Media Prediction: 21st
Board Expectations: Avoid Relegation

All I can say is…What a season! I have had a near perfect miraculous season. After assessing my squad and wanting to give some of the squad a chance to prove their worth, I felt there were still a few gaps needing to be plugged that were filled by loans last season and contracts expiring. Managed to get a few free transfers that were much needed ‘old heads’ coupled with a few promising youngsters.

I also managed to buy a player I had on loan last season, he was sensational last year and proved to be just as good this season albeit he had a hefty price tag.

We came out of the traps flying, starting where we left off from last season. The only real low point of the season was a spell in September and October where we went 6 games without a win, and also the fans didn’t take too kindly to us losing to Southampton twice. But other than that I really couldn’t have asked for more from the team.

As the season drew to a close I was in contention for the title, although I wasn’t getting my hopes up on that one as there was a big enough points deficit to make up, 9 points behind leaders Doncaster with 15 to play for, not impossible by any means, but unlikely. As it turned out in my last 5 games, I drew 2 and won 3 which was enough for me to finish the season in 4th spot.

Ipswich were 3rd right up until the final day where they won and went top, with Doncaster finishing 2 points behind in second. If I had won the 2 games I drew I would have won the league by a point as I ended up only 3 points behind Ipswich.

So the playoffs it was to be then, first up was Middlesbrough, I was slightly concerned as they gave me a tonking 3-0 at their place back in Feb. It turned out to be a 2-2 draw, with both my goals coming in injury time, 92 and 93 minutes. The second leg was at home where I managed a 1-0 win to see me through to the final. 3 Wembley visits in a little over 12 months.

Before the playoff final, Blackburn who had just been relegated from the premier league had sacked their manager and the media touted me as favourite for the job. I won’t apply for it, but if they come calling, I think I would have to consider it. Not sure I would take it though as I have built something special in Portsmouth and want to see it through.

So, the final came, and I was looking forward to it. Fairly optimistic but really wouldn’t have been too disheartened if I lost. As it was, I went 1-0 about 10 minutes before half time and took that lead into the break. I was hopeful of holding out when I got a penalty in the 80th minute and Burnley were reduced to 10 men as a result.

My star striker who was a youngster (well I say youngster, he’s 22 now, 21 when I signed him) released by Chelsea stepped up and put the ball in the back of the net. 2-0! That’s how it stayed, and we were playing premiership football next season.

Cups sucked Arse, managed to get to the 2nd round of the league cup where I was beaten 1-0 by Wolves, and in the FA Cup I was completely annihilated by Spuds 6-1.

Final Position:
4th P46 W26 D8 L12 F73 A54 Pts86

League Cup:
2nd Round v Wolves L1-0

FA Cup:
3rd Round v Spuds L6-1

Players In:
11 for £1.2m
4 on Loan

Players Out:
18 for £575k

Season 14, Premier League, Portsmouth.

Media Prediction: 19th
Board Expectations: Fight bravely against relegation

It’s safe to say this season was a touch of “after the Lord Mayor’s show” to say the least. To say we performed miserably is an understatement.

The season was always going to be an uphill struggle and I was prepared for the fight, strengthening the squad considerably and spending as much money as the chairman allowed. I concentrated on strengthening the defence as the players from last term just wouldn’t cut it at a higher level. Defensively I would say we done fairly well, but the offensive play (or lack of it) severely let us down.

On the plus side having one season in the Premiership has seen us make a profit of over £4m across the season and the bank balance is now in the black.

Final Position:
19th P38 W2 D17 L19 F13 A45 Pts23

League Cup:
2nd Round v Northampton 1-1 L4-1 on Pens

FA Cup:
3rd Round v Wigan L1-0

Players In:
11 for £16.25m
1 on Loan for £35k

Players Out:
10 for £2.8m
3 on Loan for £275k

Staff In:
2 Coaches
3 Scouts
1 AssMan

Staff Out:
1 Coach
1 AssMan

EDIT: Forgot to mention that with about 6 weeks of the season left to play HSV offered me the managers job. They were top of the 2nd division and looking likely for promotion.

I asked to delay the decision until the end of the season as I wanted to see out the season at Pompey and I felt it was a very big decision to make. Once the season had finished I decided it would be nice to learn German and I wanted to test myself on foreign shores, so I’m off to Germany.

Season 15, Bundesliga, Hamburg.

Media Prediction: 10th
Board Expectations: Safe Mid Table

A average season really, I never really troubled the top teams but then I never flirted with relegation either. I was asked to achieve safety and that’s what I done.

I managed to ship out an awful lot of deadwood and bring in quite a few new faces, my only concern was that they wouldn’t gel quickly which would leave me struggling. Fortunately, they were good enough to do what was asked of them, although I was convinced that I would need to strengthen again next season if I wished to progress further.

A very good cup run as well saw me progress to the semi-final, the highlight being a massive 2-0 win over Bayern in the quarters. Couldn’t quite do enough to fend off Karlsruhe in the semi though.

Final Position:
11th P34 W11 D11 L12 F36 A34 Pts44

German Cup:
Semi Final v Karlsruhe L2-1

Players In:
8 for £18m

Players Out:
24 for £12.5m

Staff In:
4 scouts
1 GK Coach
1 AssMan

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