Season 6 – Wisla Krakow, Polish Ekstraklasa
Well, as I said, the way we finished last year was very encouraging. Shame I had to sell my new captain, six months after selling the last one, because he thought he’d outgrown us. Out went another three members of the first team squad who decided they could do better, so I was back to kids and the odd veteran. Talented kids, but not entirely ready.
That said, we got off to a decent enough start. Despite being dumped out in the third round of qualifying for EL2, we only lost two in the league up until mid-November. That’s when I broke one of my golden rules. NFMIRA. Never F*cking Manage In Russia Again.
Season 6 – Akmhat Grozny, Russian Premier League
Akhmat Grozny had just given their manager the bullet, and I thought it was a good opportunity to grow my experience of the game and improve my reputation. They only wanted a midtable finish this season, easy enough I thought.
Jesus wept, what an absolute sh*t show.
One of the things discussed in the club vision was repairing the financial health of the club from near year onwards. I had no idea how bad it was until I got in the door. They were absolutely haemorrhaging money to the tune of £1.2m a month and the squad was God-awful. The move was a disaster and I only won three games in the league, one being a shock against Zenit. We did almost beat Lokomotiv Moscow who equalised late on, but otherwise all defeats bar two. We also beat Zenit in the cup, but lost in the next round.
In the end, we finished a couple of points above the relegation playoff. I’d actually announced I was leaving at the end of the season with five games to go, after realising the club was in major trouble and I was absolutely not hanging about for the fire sale. Set of w*nkers that played for the club suddenly found some fight in them after I did that.
Wisla were in the hunt right until the death, so the squad obviously was good enough to compete, but I’d got so fucked off with them all for constantly wanting out I couldn’t keep doing it anymore.
Currently unemployed and looking for a non-disastrous job to walk into. Though there is one in particular that I have my eye on…
Season 6.5/7 – Dinamo Minsk, Belarusian Premier League
So the job I wanted was Lech Poznan. They wouldn’t even interview me, despite almost leading Wisla to the title twice.
I decided to take a different route to some potential trophies (by which I mean I went to the biggest team that would have me) and ended up at struggling Dinamo for the last five games of their season, lifting them from 11th up to 7th and getting to the quarter final of the Cup, which would take place next season.
I only actually signed a contract to take me up to the end of the season, and I decided to let it run on a rolling monthly basis after my initial deal expired. I didn’t really want to stay but it was a job and one of the big boys of old, so why not.
I managed to bring in on loan one of my young guns from Wisla who wasn’t getting a look in as well as this ridiculously good Iranian/Russian striker on loan from Ural. We got off to a brilliant start and it looked as though we’d piss it. Then came the mid-season wobble. While we didn’t exactly fall away, we stumbled enough to allow Dinamo Brest and Torpedo Zhodino into the frame.
Looking at the fixtures, we’d play Torpedo and Brest in the 3rd and 2nd last games of the season, setting up the title run in nicely. Only we stumbled again, time after time, never retaking top spot permanently and allowing Dinamo Brest to open up a 7 point lead at one point.
They actually won the league with three games to spare, rendering the penultimate game a dead rubber. In the end, Torpedo collapsed and we finished ahead of them by 8 points, but frustratingly only 2 behind Brest. They beat us in the first match earlier in the season, which is what cost us – a 4-0 arseholing on our patch was scant consolation.
We got to the semi final of the Cup, spanking BATE Borisov 4-0 and 2-1 in the quarters before succumbing to Shakhter Soligorsk 4-2 on aggregate. We’d go on to dump them out in the 2nd round (which is the opening round for the top tier clubs) in the next edition, which we’re into the quarters for again next year. Christ alone knows why they do this.
Dunno if I’m hanging about, but I signed my Wisla player permanently mid-season for a snip and renewed the loan of the Iranian/Russian. I still haven’t signed a new deal despite several offers through the season. I will eventually win a f*cking league title.