Got a nice career going so where else to post about it eh?
Started off at Bournemouth after holidaying half a season. After 1.5 seasons stabilising then bringing in young freebies from the Premiership, we gained promotion in 11/12 season (I'm still on FM 11) finishing 2nd behind Crystal Palace. Loans had been the core of the side in League One and upon promotion (with a budget for once!) I was able to make that core permanent signings which would only bode well. Formation changed from an attacking 4-4-2 to a defensive 4-3-3 with the centre-midfield partnership of Michael Tonge, Matt James and captain Conor Clifford providing an excellent mix of youth and experience for our first foray into Championship football.
They took to it like ducks in water - surprisingly we found ourselves knocking around the play-offs positions all season and towards the end, despite Wigan being 9 points ahead with 3 remaining found ourselves with a shot at 2nd place on the final day. We won; Wigan stopped the rot and got a point to just nick the title. Marcus Mokaké, signed on a free during the 11/12 season had become a bit of a cult hero for me - while he was pacey and had great movement, he missed so many chances it was becoming funny...until this season, where after January he finally got going, hit 15 goals from that point on and finished with 20 in 44 games! We ended 3rd and took to the play-offs, really I didn't think we'd do it and with the squad we had, staying down would probably be preferable. But no, the team had other ideas, getting to the final and romping into a 3-0 lead against Sheffield United - they scored twice late on but it could not stop us getting promoted to the Premiership at Wembley at the first time of asking!
2013/14 brought the promised land and a bounty of riches. Before this season the most we had splashed out was £800k on Jordan Spence, now we had over £10m to spend. With much of the squad needing to improve to cope at this level, there could be no one big money signing and £1.8m on regen winger Marcelo Farias was the most spent. My focus at Bournemouth had been English players and it showed in the Best Eleven for this season; 8 of the 11 men English, with a further 4 on the bench. It was a very solid season, we never looked great but procured survival with 4 games to go (then going on to lose those final 4 to end on 39 points in 15th!). Conor Clifford again was the best rated player, solid in a midfield that now boasted Korey Smith rather than Michael Tonge. Marcos Alonso joined in January to shore up the LB position and fared much better against Premier League wingers than Jonathan Grounds had done.
With our Premier League status maintained, now we had to look to build on mere survival. Our strikers from the previous year (Joao Silva, Billy Sharp & Mendes da Graca) had not been good enough; in came Jozy Altidore on a free. We were spending to bring success with 3 signings over £5m (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and regens Nicholas Colman & Claudio Aranda), as well as James Tomkins (£3m) and frees Stephen Ireland and Anders Lindergaard to name but a few. The squad was far improved and we rallied to finish 9th, collecting 15 points more than the previous season. The bulk of the success was down to the goal-scoring talents of Jozy Altidore, who hit 23 in 39 games. Jordan Spence, Conor Clifford and James Tomkins also enjoyed good seasons with averages over 7.
2015/16 saw my time at Bournemouth come to an end, my resignation tendered in December. The main reason was that I couldn't see myself taking the club much further - despite a bevvy of young talent joining in the past two seasons, the club was not growing to match the better players. Was I getting ahead of myself? Perhaps, but I was afforded the opportunity to move clubs and took it; more on that in a bit! Ciaran Clark, Scott Sinclair and James McCarthy were the main summer signings as finally I found the free transfer pile to be relatively empty of talent. We were ticking along well in 10th in December when a job offer came along that I couldn't resist taking...a note on Bournemouth, they would finish 10th that season, with the new manager spending £45m in January (!), which funnily was more than I had spend in 5 seasons there...
My destination? Atlético Madrid. They were way down in 17th and with Pelligrini sacked were happy to chance a young Englishman with leading them back up the table. In all honesty I couldn't believe they were so far down - the squad was far better than their current position. Finally at a team with more than one good striker, I returned to the 4-4-2 formation last seen in Bournemouth's League One promotion season. I made just 3 signings, a young Spanish regen RB from Fiorentina and £19.5m raid on Bournemouth for regen CB Aranda and Spanish regen ST Marcelino. The season proved to be a success considering where Atlético were when I joined - Valencia were the only difficult test on the road to the Copa Del Rey final, where we defeated Malaga 2-1 in extra-time. We also reached the Europa League QFs (my first European experience), losing 3-1 on aggregate to Porto. We stormed up the league fairly quickly and looked to perhaps challenge Villarreal for 5th, but with many wins needed we settled for 6th - still a fine recovery from our position at the start of the year and twinned with the cup win the board were happy.
2016/17 was my first full year in charge and £27.5m was spent. I decided to invest heavily in young Spanish players I could bring through the youth system over time, around £8-9m spent on a variety of players. Main signings were Defour & Maicon on a free, Jose Angel for £6.5m, regen RB Can Altintas from Bournemouth for £4m and Coutinho from Inter for £4.4m. The season began well with a Spanish Super Cup win over Barca and soon we became embroiled in a fight for the Champions League positions. For much of the season it seemed we could finish ahead of Real Madrid, but instead settled for 3rd. Frustratingly, two seasons ago our points total would have won the league! We reached the Copa Del Rey final losing 2-1 (in extra time) to Barca, and went a step further but not far enough in the Europa League, losing 4-1 on aggregate to Juventus in the semi-finals. Serginho, a regen Brazilian ST here when I arrived was the star, he finally stepped up from youth prospect to key player and scored 33 in 45 games.
2017/18 and finally a shot at the Champions League! On a few signings were first teamers, Yohan Mollo the most expensive for £12.5m to replace the now-ageing Arda Turan. We improved in the table, but despite scoring more points than Barca had done to win the title the previous season, they scored 100 points :/ there was no way of catching them sadly, they'd been near unbeatable in my 2.5 seasons here. We reached our third Copa Del Rey final in 3 years but lost again, this time on penalties after dominating Valencia but only drawing, 3-3. We made the Champions League QFs but got a tough draw against Man City, losing 2-1 on aggregate. The final third of the season was fairly deflating - we had looked to challenge for the title and were up for two cups but we came away with nothing more than we had at the start of the season. A job offer came in the day after the Copa Del Rey final, and I took it!
Bayern Munich was my destination from the 2018/19 season; Louis Van Gaal had retired after winning 5 consecutive titles, I was essentially jumping to Germany's version of Barca (Barca's 2016/17 title was their 8th or 9th in a row...). Hopefully here though I would also have a better shot at Champions League success. I was met by an ageing squad, with not too many Germans. This needed to change; I wanted us to be dominant and to be doing it with a squad filled with young domestic players. Mario Gomez & Bastian Schweinsteiger were in their mid-30s and contracts expiring in a month - both were let go although Philipp Lahm remaining on a slashed player/coach contract and sat in the II team alongside fellow oldie Christopher Samba. Of my 12 signings over the season, 10 were German and all under 25. £35.5m was spend bringing in Wittek (RB), Bryk (CB), Schubert who had been at Atlético (GK), as well as young DM Kovacevic. Kovacevic has since become the start of the central midfield for the team. A new team again brought a formation change - with the amount of quality midfielders on arrival (Muller, Kroos, Piatti, Sigurdsson, Torres, Badelj etc) a 4-2-3-1 with two CMs and a AML, AMC and AMR seemed the right choice. Our ethos was to attack and score goals! They came from everywhere, the attacking quartet of Muller, Sigurdsson, Piatti & Torres scored over 10 goals each, with Erick Torres getting 25 in 45 games. Thomas Mueller had the star rating though, with 21 goals and 16 assists in 48 games. A domestic treble was secured, winning the Bundesliga (my first league win), the German Cup and the DFL SuperCup. We were stopped in the Champions League by Manchester United in the semis - we won 2-1 at home but lost 2-0 away; they went on to win the tournament.
2019/20 brought confidence; we had brought in several youngsters last year (continuing my youth policy from Atlético, but now with a German twist) and continued that this year, with two big signings coming in the form of £10m regen DM Ramiro Sperdutti (who I had brought to Bournemouth where he blossomed!) and £18m striker Turgay Nergiz from Real Madrid. Again, an easy domestic treble, DFL & German Cups supplementing another Bundesliga win, with a record points finish and record goals scored. With such a strong squad (and of course, my wish to blood through youngsters) rotation was frequent, but Nergiz still got 26 goals in 31 games. Gylfi Sigurdsson again was fantastic, scoring important wondergoals almost at will! Vladimir Kovacevic, who I had first nurtured at Atlético and brought back to Germany at Bayern, was the defensive stalwart of our midfield but he was not without attacking importance, creating 20 goals in 43 games, getting his first German caps this year as well. The Champions League still eluded us though - we had looked good for the cup beating Monaco, Barca and Man Utd in the knockout stages, but slipped to a 2-1 loss against Juve, who had knocked me out of the Europa League Semis a few years ago at Atlético. The aim was clear in 2020/21.
Just £15m was spend and only one first teamer joined, Dutch LM John Koning for £5.25m from Marseille - I had tracked him since being at Bournemouth and he had finally become a great player; as he had done though he got annoyed at Marseille continually loaning him out so requested a transfer! I was happy to bring him in as a replacement for Piatti. Dortmund took the DFL SuperCup, but could not stop up retaining a League and German Cup double! Admittedly we are expected to win each year but for the first time in 11 seasons teams other than Bayern scored over 70 points (both Leverkusen and Dortmund did) and we had a bit of a challenge, especially considering my fondness to give youth a chance. One man defying youth was Manuel Neuer - he had picked up a knee tendonitis injury during 19/20 and I though Schubert would keep him out the team from this season on, instead Neuer was far better and took goal for most important games, including another Champions League final. We beat Inter, Barca and Man Utd in the knockout rounds to face Arsenal in the final, who we had beaten twice (5-1 and 3-2) in the group stages. We led 3-0, but similar to Bournemouth's play-off win over Sheffield United all those years ago allowed them to get two back, before CB Ferreira nodded home late on to set up a 4-2 victory and bring Bayern Munich their first Champions League since 2015! Finally we had won the big one and my first Continental piece of silverware. Kovacevic, Ferreira and new signing Koning were the stars of the season.
What now? I stay on at Bayern, and look for my young home-grown talents to come through the ranks. At present we have 8 home-grown talents, only 4 are under 23 and of that only 3 actually came through our youth system (Kovacevic was signed and a product of Koln's system initally). Bertram (21, DM/CM but also trained at CB due to his stats), Arberi (19, LB/CB) and Euler (21, GK) are the three current hopes in the squad - Bertram and Euler were promoted in the 2020/21 season while Arberi had just been promoted this season following the sale of 28-year-old LB Schulz. We had two more (Merchan, 22, CM/LM & Serkan Pala, 21, DM/AMC/AML) in the squad last season but they are both out on loan this year to get a bit better before returning to the first team. I'm quite content to stay at Bayern for a few years more, racking up trophies and watching my home grown players come through.
So far, the DFL SuperCup and European Super Cup are already won in 2021/22; could it be a clean sweep? Only time will tell.
Season Club League Position Achievements
2010/11 AFC Bournemouth League One 11th Joined in December
2011/12 AFC Bournemouth League One 2nd Promoted as Runner-Up
2012/13 AFC Bournemouth Championship 3rd Promoted via Play-Offs
2013/14 AFC Bournemouth Premier League 15th Safe after Game 34; finished on 39 points
2014/15 AFC Bournemouth Premier League 9th Solid mid-table finish; 54 points
2015/16 AFC Bournemouth Premier League 10th Resigned in December with team in 10th
2015/16 Atlético Madrid La Liga 6th Joined 17th in December; Copa Del Rey Winners, Europa League QFs
2016/17 Atlético Madrid La Liga 3rd Spanish Super Cup Winners, CDR Runners-Up, EL SFs
2017/18 Atlético Madrid La Liga 2nd SSC Runners-Up, Champions League QFs, CDR Runners-Up
2018/19 Bayern Munich First Division 1st Bundesliga Winners, German Cup Winners, DFL SuperCup Winners, CL SFs
2019/20 Bayern Munich First Division 1st DFL SC Winners, Bundesliga Winners, GC Winners, CL Finalists
2020/21 Bayern Munich First Division 1st DFL SC Runners-Up, Bundesliga Winners, GC Winners, CL Winners
2020/21 Bayern Munich First Division ? DFL SC Winners, Euro Super Cup Winners,