Season 19, Championship, Middlesbrough.


Media Prediction: 4th
Board Expectations: Win the league

I foolishly told the board I would win the league, as I felt that we were good enough to win automatic promotion. My confidence was proven right when we got off to a flyer, only losing 3 games in the first 3 months, sending me rocketing to the top of the pile. November was a bad month however, I won my first match, but then I only won 1 of my next 10. This pretty much put paid to my title challenge; however I was still in the playoff positions.

The season then picked up again, but it wasn’t enough and I had to settle for 6th place and the playoffs.

Grimsby would await and the first leg was at home. I got off to a flyer, being 4-0 up within the hour. They pulled a goal back on 71 minutes and then scored 2 in the last 10 to finish 4-3, I was not very happy to say the least. The away leg went badly, and I lost 2-0, meaning I would remain in the championship for another year.

At the end of the season Sheff Wed sacked their manager after finishing 18th in the premiership. I had to apply for the job. While I was waiting, Atletico Madrid offered me the manager’s job. I had to delay the decision until SWFC had gotten back to me. Sheffield Wednesday turned me down, so I’m off to Madrid! I agree to take control at the end of the season (or in about 2 weeks’ time!)

Cups pretty much suck arse, got beat in the 3rd round of both.

Final Position:
6th P46 w24 D15 L7 F63 A35 Pts87

League Cup:
3rd Round v Crystal Palace L2-0

FA Cup:
3rd Round v Spuds L3-2

Players In:
6 for £1.7m

Players Out:
7 for £6.75m
2 on loan

Staff Out:
1 Physio for £0

Season 20, La Liga, Athletico Madrid.

Media Prediction: 4th
Board Expectations: Qualify for Europa League

I found myself with a very juicy transfer budget, only to find that to strengthen the squad I had nowhere near enough money! I inherited a decent enough squad, but I felt there were a few positions missing, so I tried my best to fill the gaps. I was never happy with what was on offer, it would seem at this level everyone is literally costing an arm and a leg. I managed to earn more than I spent in transfer fees, so not too bad.

A steady league campaign saw me finish 5th, 6 points outside the champions league spots and behind city rivals Real. Considering I felt the squad wasn’t great I felt it was a good season.

Managed to qualify out of my Champions League group to face Spuds in the first qualifying round. A good first leg at home saw me leading 4-2, only to lose 3-1 away and lose on away goals.

The board weren’t concerned about the Spanish cup, just as well as I went out in round 5 against Osasuna on away goals.

Final Position:
5th P38 W20 D8 L10 F52 A30 Pts68

Spanish Cup:
5th Round v Osasuna L1 H 2-2, L2 A 1-1, lost on away goals

Champions League:
1st Knockout Round v Spuds L1 H 4-2, L2 A 1-3, lost on away goals

Players In:
4 for £30.4m
1 on loan for £1.9m

Players Out:
25 for £43.5m

Staff In:
18 for £6.25m
(9 scouts, 9 coaches)

Staff Out:
5 for £0

Season 21, La Liga, Athletico Madrid.

Media Prediction: 4th
Board Expectations: Qualify for Europe

After 5th place last season I was hopeful of more of the same, my aim was to finish top 4 and qualify for the champions league. I would need to strengthen the team though. I signed 2 strikers and a ‘keeper, although I felt I needed a few more players if I was to challenge at the top, mainly to cover for injuries and tiredness.

Overall the season was a great success, a couple of extra additions in January helping me to stay in the top 4. 4th place was guaranteed in the penultimate game of the season with a draw against 5th place Zaragoza. The last game of the season was a sweet 2-1 victory at home to Barcelona to finish the season on a high.

Cups suck arse, in the Copa del Rey we succumbed to lower league Granada, 2-2 on aggregate with them winning on away goals. The silver lining was that I wasn’t the only top league team to lose to them, they also beat Athletic Bilbao and Salamanca before losing to Zaragoza in the semi-final.

Qualified for the Europa League group stage but failed dismally. I was top seed and the only team to worry about was Porto. Although they beat me and we drew, it went to the last group game to qualify. I had to beat Siroki Brijeg in the last game (who had lost all 5 previous games). If I didn’t, I had to hope that already qualified Porto beat Krylja Sovetov. I could only manage a draw while Porto got stuffed 5-2. I was out.

Final Position:
4th P38 W24 D8 L6 F64 A30 Pts80

Spanish Cup:
4th Round v Granada C.F. L2-2 agg Away goals rule

Euro Cup:
Group B:
3rd P6 W2 D3 L1 F13 A7 Pts9

 

At the end of the previous season, I signed a long-term contract with Atletico Madrid, which was to be very short lived. After England finished 3rd in their world cup group, they decided to part company with their manager. I was offered the job and I couldn’t say no. As I wanted to dedicate all my time to the England job I decided to resign from At Madrid immediately.


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