Season 17 – VFL Bochum, 2.Bundesliga, Germany
Media Prediction: 1st
Board Expectations: Not Judging
Players In: 7 for £7.4M
Players Out: 2 for £3M
End of November Season 17
I join Bochum as they are sat in 4th place in 2.Bundesliga, the previous manager having been sacked seemingly just for not being top of the league.
In what I assume to be some quirk/bug in the game at least 5 of my better players are not registered to play and won’t be eligible until the next transfer window. Luckily there are a few friendly games in January to get them up to match fitness, but if they have managed 4th without these guys out then it looks like I should stand a good chance.
The team are predicted to finish first, but I won’t be judged this season on my performance although the team looks like it has the quality to take the league.
There was only one game to go until the winter break and it was away against Duisburg who were top and we won comfortably. I took this as a great sign and proceeded to get in reinforcements anyway because you can never have too many!
My most notable signings are:
Le Blond CM – £2.5 mil from Hoffenheim
The Frenchman will go straight into the side, instantly one of my best players and duly grabs 2.Bundesliga player of the month for February
Quiff LB – £2.9 Mil from Bordeaux
A rapid wing back and another who will slot straight in
Spikey Serb – £170k from Hertha BSC
Total bargain up front but out of favour at Hertha and with his contract running down they decide to cash in.
Thankfully at Bochum I have no financial worries, that’s not to say I won’t be prudent, but I have arranged four future summer transfers all under the age of 17 after a decent scouting mission. My youth team already has plenty of talent but with these additions the future looks rosy.
Le Blond proves to be a revelation in the middle of the park carrying the ball through the middle and expertly picking out passes. Sadly as is sods law Spikey Serb plays awful, I can see why Hertha were letting his contract run down. Nothing I try with him seems to work at all
In the league we bounce around between 2nd and 4th but in truth there is little separating the top 6 and with 11 games remaining we hit top spot and don’t look back.
Going into the final game we were top by a point from Aue who had steadily risen to challenge me. And of course, they were to be my opponents in the final game.
A narrow 2-1 win brings the title to Bochum and the board announce they had always expected to win the competition and that celebrations should be kept to a minimum in order to focus on future challenges.
Bloody ungrateful if you ask me, they won’t dampen my spirits. It’s back to top flight football for me!
One of my signings had really come off but the bulk of the achievement was from the players signed by the previous manager but I was glad that I could bring the team together and get some consistency.
Still think his sacking was grossly unfair and with us about to hit the big time I really hope they aren’t as trigger happy with me if I go on a bad run.
One thing I have noticed is that I keep getting linked with every job around this level and slightly higher, not bragging, just confused as I wasn’t linked with any jobs for the months I was unemployed, quite frustrating really.
With youth on the way and plenty to release in the summer my hopes for the Bundesliga are high and hopefully we’ll do ourselves justice, as after just over half a season I’m feeling right at home.
Onwards and upwards.
My record with Bochum
Season 18 – VFL Bochum, Bundesliga, Germany
Board Expectations: Avoid Relegation
Players In – 7 for £13m
Players Out – 10 for 0
A few free squad players came in but the bulk of my spending went on a prolific Norwegian international striker “Ginge” from Roma. He’d been transfer listed by them and every man and his dog were after him but I threw the kitchen sink at it and finally managed to get him. He’s a beast and just what we need to push on.
All of the players out were old or high earners or both so no loss in quality thankfully.
Preseason was fantastic and Ginge was on fire with Le Blond pitching in with goals and assists too I was super optimistic going into the first game against Werder Bremen. Of course we got spanked 4-0 and Ginge had an absolute stinker.
To be honest I’m not going to draw this out and sufficed to say I was sacked after 6 games. I’ve no excuses either. No suspensions, no injuries, just completely outplayed.
Were the board a bit quick to pull the trigger? Maybe, but I was already aware that they had a hair trigger based on the treatment of the previous incumbent so no. No excuses.
It’s fair to say I’m actually really upset about this one, I’d worked so hard over the summer to get things just right and I was so confident. I even thought deep down that we could make mid table. It’s funny how some sackings get to you.
Not sure where I go from here, need to take stock really and maybe have another look around xmas or even wait until the summer
At this point I decided to end this save, I did do half a season with Oldham in League One in the hope that a return to the North West of England might reignite the passion but truth be told I was still smarting from the sacking and I really felt like I needed to end it here.
Plenty to be proud of from this save though, a few promotions and a couple of titles. I managed to get to the top flight of two major leagues so I’m more than happy. It’s a shame to leave it on a downer but that’s the way these things go sometimes.
Oh and dreadlock ST is still banging them in at a ripe old age of 36 in League One, and I should know, I signed him for Oldham.