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deltablue
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Well, we'll have to be content with a treble.

With no chance to qualify from the group, I  played it straight up in our final ACL match against Shanghai Port with our usual positive 4-2-3-1, no bus parking. And we won! 2-1 to be exact. Even more impressive because we had to go extra time to beat Southern District in the FA Cup semifinal just 3 days earlier (having to fight from behind twice). Lots of heavy legs by the end of the ACL match, but we held firm.

But that was it. We battered TSV Pegasus in the FA Cup final, only to lose 4-1 on penalties after a 0-0 draw. Then we lost the Sapling Cup final to Happy Valley 1-0 to close out the season.

So what next. My contract expires at the end of the month. The board came back with another offer of an extension, for 3 years with no pay rise. I countered with 1 year and no pay rise or 3 years with a pay rise. They did not like either of those options. So it looks like I'll be departing for pastures new after racking up 14 trophies in 4+ seasons in Hong Kong. Which is fine, as the club continues to bleed cash.

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Following @ToMexico!!'s advice I will post my regen in my ASEC Mimosas save on FM19. I've checked and his PA is 186! Got him in season 3. I have him tied down to a long contract, but will renew a lot of times to keep him here. He came through as an 18 year old.

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On 29/03/2022 at 12:40, Jason the Yank said:

So what next. My contract expires at the end of the month. The board came back with another offer of an extension, for 3 years with no pay rise. I countered with 1 year and no pay rise or 3 years with a pay rise. They did not like either of those options. So it looks like I'll be departing for pastures new after racking up 14 trophies in 4+ seasons in Hong Kong. Which is fine, as the club continues to bleed cash.

And time's up. The board kept coming back with contract offers, but they never budged from 3 years with no pay rise. So I let my current contract expire and then resigned. I depart as a "club icon" having won 2 league titles (back to back) plus a runner-up finish, 4 consecutive FA Cup wins (plus a runner-up medal), 2 Senior Challenge Shield wins (plus a runner-up medal), a Sapling Cup win (and a runner-up medal, there seems to be a theme here), 3 Community Cup wins, and an AFC Cup .... runner-up medal. And one -- ONE -- Hong Kong Manager of the Year award.

Daejeon Hanacitizen in K-League 2 offered an interview before my contract expired, but decided I wasn't the right fit. Gyeongnam FC (challenging for promotion from K-League 2) offered one after I left Eastern, but they also decided I wasn't the right fit (probably just as well since they admitted their finances are a mess and the continued cash bleed was one consideration for why I decided to leave Eastern). I also applied for the vacancy at Adelaide United and was offered an interview, but they decided to go with someone else.

So the job hunt continues.

 

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Well I was in punditry a little bit longer than expected.

I chanced my arm at the St. Pauli job, but they rejected me without even an interview.

Then I tried Shanghai Port. Didn't get an interview, but the board said they wanted it on record that they thought I would have been a good fit for their culture. Maybe I shouldn't have reminded them that I took 4 points from 6 off them in the Champions League. :D

Then I tried Chengdu Better City. But they decided to delay a decision and stick with their interim manager for now.

I applied for the Jeonnam Dragons job in K-League 2, but although they gave me an interview they decided I wasn't the right person to lead them forward. Apparently my lack of a record in leading teams to promotion was a mark against me. Sorry, couldn't you over all these trophies in my ears.

But then, an offer came out of the blue. Henan, fighting against relegation from the Chinese Super League, decided to offer me an interview even without me applying for the job. The supporters said they considered me a leading candidate, and soon an offer was made: 1 year (the remaining 6 matches of this season, plus next season) on $11,000/week. An 11-fold increase over what I was making at Eastern.

Henan Songshan Longmen F.C.png

The club is "rich" with a $42MM transfer budget and a wage budget of $1.1MM/week. By rule they can't sign non-Chinese goalkeepers, and they don't want to sign players over the age of 30.

The ongoing 5-year plan is to work within the wage budget, sign players to sell on for profit, and to build a new stadium. That middle part might be a bit tricky, as the club have below average training facilities (plus below average youth training facilities and fairly basic youth recruitment). So we'll have to get those upgraded at some point if we're going to coach up players to sell on.

The objective for this season is simple: Stay in the Super League (we're 13th out of 16 teams, with the bottom 2 going down). Beyond that, the club wants nothing more than to stay in the Super League, so no "top-half finish next season, then qualify for Asia the year after," etc. The talent in the club is a bit lopsided in favor of the foreign players (too many to play on the pitch at once) with the Chinese players .... well, they're not great.

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bc3dfdd3d8828434ad2301cf53e2568a.png

Stadium named after me \o/ Will be biggest stadium in France, currently its Lyon at 59,186.

 

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On 31/03/2022 at 16:15, Jason the Yank said:

The objective for this season is simple: Stay in the Super League (we're 13th out of 16 teams, with the bottom 2 going down). Beyond that, the club wants nothing more than to stay in the Super League, so no "top-half finish next season, then qualify for Asia the year after," etc. The talent in the club is a bit lopsided in favor of the foreign players (too many to play on the pitch at once) with the Chinese players .... well, they're not great.

Well we stayed up ... in 14th place. Shenhua pipped us on goal difference, and we were both 4 points clear of the drop.

 

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We lost to Chongqing on a questionable penalty, and already relegated Heb got an injury time equalizer.

Not great bob gif | Not Great, Bob | Know Your Meme

 

There's clearly a lot of work to be done with the club. Our defenders are not very good, and despite some quality foreigners we managed only 25 goals over the course of the 30-match season. From the looks of things, the previous manager typically went with a 4-4-2 2DM setup, whereas I brought in a 4-2-3-1 for home matches and a 4-1-2-2-1 for away matches. 

There also seems to be a lot of fragile egos, with our "influential" players showing nervousness during games. And they don't have much respect for me given my lack of reputation (rumor has it they call me "Ted Lasso" behind my back).

With the conclusion of the season, I asked the board to upgrade the "below average" training facilities but they rejected that on the grounds that I haven't been here very long. But they did agree to fund a coaching course, so I'm off to get my first Continental badge.

 

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Love player power in FM.

Sold one of our best players to Burnley. Now the remaining players are mad, saying that I shouldn't have let him go and support for me is "abysmal."

Burnley are in the Premier League. So they're mad at me for allowing one of their teammates to leave China to go play in the biggest (arguably) league in the world. :D

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

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****ing get in :D Needed a win against Celtic in last game and Inter not to get a point against Man City,to go through. Gutted with our home lost to City, as their winning goal came from player mistake :( Also another player mistake for Inter's second equaliser goal ffs.

Man City team is ridiculous. here is their team against Inter

1e04ee8ab5a30e11c11eb79e0c01decb.jpg

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