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The Journeyman - FM22


BoxToBoxFM
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10 hours ago, gggfunk said:

Absolutely loving this story! I bet you don't regret taking the Aberdeen job now, huh? 😄 Although it's still a bit sad to see Hamilton getting relegated :(

I really believe you can fight Celtic for the title, it will be a massive game against them, fingers crossed for your team!

Thanks a lot, and yeah I’m very glad I took the Aberdeen job now! Hamilton have totally collapsed after they lost me and their two strikers, they’re already on their second manager of the season and at one point didn’t win a league game for 18 games or something. 
 

The Celtic game could be a potential title decider, win that and we’ve got a good chance if we don’t drop any more points, if we lose then surely it’s all but over. 

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17 hours ago, BoxToBoxFM said:

Thanks, glad you’re enjoying it. I agree, the story is writing itself at this point - I feel it’s going at just the right pace and I’m having the right amount of success as well, not like I’m close to winning the Champions League or anything anytime soon which I’m happy with. Just need to play a bit quicker so I can get to that point sometime!

Always been something that's plagued you Adam haha - only joking. Probably some of the only FM I'm following at the moment but really enjoying it, and hope it doesn't end any time soon!

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6 hours ago, FM-AP said:

Always been something that's plagued you Adam haha - only joking. Probably some of the only FM I'm following at the moment but really enjoying it, and hope it doesn't end any time soon!

No plans for it to end anytime soon, we’re only just getting started really!

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32 minutes ago, Brooklyn Jensen said:

Really enjoyed reading this! And good luck for the semis! Fergie reincarnated? ;)

Thank you, and that would be the dream!

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Aberdeen 30/31 - End of season special

Right, here we go. End of season special, split into two parts. First up is the league where there's still a chance we could actually win it, then it's on to the Conference League final. Let's get stuck into it!

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We didn't lose a single game in the league split, although there was a few too many draws for my liking. Drawing to Rangers and Celtic is okay, but we really could have done with a win in at least one of those. The other draw we picked up was against Hibs and this was a game we absolutely had to be winning, so to only pick up a point is really dissapointing. 

It probably wasn't helped that until the final game against Dundee where he scored a hatrick, Sylvester Walker just didn't turn up. So, was this enough to win the league?

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Well the answer is no, but we did manage to qualify for the Champions League which is brilliant. If we had beaten Celtic and Hibs we would have won the league but unfortunately it wasn't to be and to be honest it's probably fair as well, Celtic have been top and we have been second for absolutely ages now. It's a very good first season domestically though as we managed to win the Premier Sports Cup earlier on in the season and personally I won loads of Manager of The Year awards which was nice.

Now for the big one, the biggest game of my career, the Conference League final against Valencia. 

Conference League Final

It's been a fairytale run to get this far, we had to qualify to play in this tournament in the first place and now, in our 19th Conference League game this season, we've reached the pinnacle of it all - the final. We've had an incredible run to get here with some massive upsets along the way most notably against Sporting and Atalanta. We're definitely underdogs, but everyone loves a good underdog story, don't they?

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We went in with pretty much a full strength team, the only notable absentee is Lewis Reid who is carrying a slight knock so can only make the bench. Dillon Phillips wears the gloves for the final time in what will be his final ever match in Professional football and what a game for it to be, just a shame it's at the Etihad!

Let's get into the match, I will be covering all major events in the game to make the experience (hopefully) even better for you!

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There's some early drama as Valencia are reduced to 10 men just 4 minutes into the game, it's a shame it's only their striker but still a man advantage could be massive!

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He just loves this competition! 3 minutes before halftime and Sylvester Walker grabs his 26th (yes, that's twenty six) goal of the season this year - in the Conference League alone! The deadlock has been broken and it's us who have done so!

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And we've got another one just before half time! The right back has a ton of space coming into the Valencia box and smashes one in for his first goal of the season, what a time to get it!

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The halftime stats are in, we could do with a few more shots on target because despite being 2-0 up, we know Valencia could be a massive threat. Although saying that, they are playing Daniel James in centre midfield...

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Ah sh**. 6 minutes to go and Valencia are on the board, it's a great finish into the top corner at the near post. We've just got to hope we hold on now!

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YEEEESSS! WE'VE ACTUALLY DONE IT!!!

I can't believe it. Conference League winners. Wow. This is definitely my biggest achievement as a manager and stepping out of this alternate world for a second, it could well be my biggest achievement in Football Manager. We had to qualify just to earn the right to play in the group stages so to go on and win it is very very special. Against all odds. I have to say I'm very proud of this one!

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We join an elite list of winners, and yes that is actually Burnley on there!

This season has been incredibly long, 64 matches in fact but it's been incredibly fun to play through even though it has taken me quite a while! 2 trophies in my first season at the club, it's hard to get much better than that! 

I'll probably be back with a proper end of season round up post in the near future, but for now I'm going to sit back and enjoy the title celebrations as we tour around the streets of Aberdeen!

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Aberdeen 30/31 - Season review

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What a brilliant season. So many games played, but 2 trophies and a second place finish in the league in my first season is very impressive. 

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Winning the Conference League has actually boosted my reputation up from 3 stars to 4 stars, and I'm currently wanted by Brighton!

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Aberdeen stats so far

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Budget wise we've got £3.3m to spend this season although I have asked for more given our healthy financial state, and we've got 12k in the wage budget but that is before players leave. 

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I think that's everything to cover before I go and start making signings, if there's anything at all you'd like to see about either Aberdeen or the footballing world then let me know and I'd be more than happy to get a screenshot for you. 

Shoutout to Sylvester Walker who once again has scored an absolute ton of goals, 45 to be exact. Although he's been quite frustrating in the league, he definitely made up for that in the Conference League where he scored 26 goals - 12 more than anyone else in the competition!

 

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Great job! Wonder if you'd take the Brighton job if they really make you an offer, Premier League football is really something... On the other hand taking Aberdeen to the group stage of the Champions League would be fantastic too!

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30 minutes ago, gggfunk said:

Great job! Wonder if you'd take the Brighton job if they really make you an offer, Premier League football is really something... On the other hand taking Aberdeen to the group stage of the Champions League would be fantastic too!

Brighton would be interesting. They finished 6 points clear of relegation last season. I don’t think I’ll apply for it, but if I’m offered an interview I’ll go and then it all comes down to money because as you say playing champions league football, even if it’s only qualifying, is a big factor to wanting to stay at Aberdeen. 

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Aberdeen 31/32 - Job interview

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Well well well, the dream job in my career!

I applied for this at the end of the season, had no hopes of even getting an interview but thought it would make for a fun story given Sir Alex Ferguson left Aberdeen for Man Utd, and he was the last manager to win a European trophy with a Scottish team until I did so. It would be a cool narrative, but didn't I think I'd actually be offered an interview!

Now to beg and promise everything to give me the best chance of getting it, I'm not job hunting at all this summer (although couldn't resist applying for this) but if a really good opportunity comes up at a premier league club or something I'd definitely consider it.

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10 minutes ago, gggfunk said:

Wow!!! What an amazing story this would be, fingers crossed!

Looks like they're going to give the job to Thomas Tuchel, which is fair enough I guess! 

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Aberdeen 31/32 - Champions League draw

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The Champions League qualifying draw is in and we've been given a tie against Basel from Switzerland. I think this is quite a difficult draw given the fact it's only qualifying so there's three rounds just to get to the group stage, but there wasn't exactly any easy teams to get so I can't complain too much.

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Just had another interview, this time with Brighton. They finished 16th in the Premier League last season so the main priority would be to avoid a relegation battle. They've offered a transfer budget of £37m which is actually more than Man Utd offered and they seem to still have a few decent players, so it definitely would be an interesting project that I'd have to consider if offered the job. 

It's worth noting I didn't apply for the job, they've been interested in me all summer and now offered me an interview.

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Fantastic read so far and i do love a journeyman save even though i'm terrible at them as i get too frustrated when managing terrible players lol. Never managed in Scotland which i should do at some point, managed in Wales once a few years ago but can't remember who, probably so bad i've banished them from memory :lol:

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Just now, Captain Blackadder said:

Fantastic read so far and i do love a journeyman save even though i'm terrible at them as i get too frustrated when managing terrible players lol. Never managed in Scotland which i should do at some point, managed in Wales once a few years ago but can't remember who, probably so bad i've banished them from memory :lol:

Haha yeah, the quality of football in Wales isn’t the greatest I have to say. Really glad you’re enjoying the save so far, never done a proper unemployed, no badges or experience journeyman but have always played realistically. They’re my favourite saves to read about as well, I’d definitely recommend giving one a proper go next time you’re stuck for a save!

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1 hour ago, Brooklyn Jensen said:

Wow if you get that Man United job! Very similar career path to Fergie’s! If Man United doesn’t offer you the job then definitely take the Brighton one! 

Following Fergie’s career path would be the dream!

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Personally would love to see you stick with Aberdeen, revamp the squad and get it raring for the Champions League/Europa League. Still got a league title to win after all, need to see the rest of Walker's story too! Congrats on winning the UECL by the way!

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Majestic season! I like the idea of following SAF but Brighton is also a nice option! So is staying for another year at Aberdeen. But in real life I don’t think a Aberdeen manager could knock back the EPL. Purely because of the money. 

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10 minutes ago, FM-AP said:

Personally would love to see you stick with Aberdeen, revamp the squad and get it raring for the Champions League/Europa League. Still got a league title to win after all, need to see the rest of Walker's story too! Congrats on winning the UECL by the way!

I’ve been thinking about it and I agree, to me staying and finishing the job at Aberdeen is way more appealing than Brighton. I said earlier on in the save I really want to win the Scottish Premiership and Aberdeen is where I want that to happen!

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Just now, SixPointer said:

Majestic season! I like the idea of following SAF but Brighton is also a nice option! So is staying for another year at Aberdeen. But in real life I don’t think a Aberdeen manager could knock back the EPL. Purely because of the money. 

Very true about the money. Looks like Tuchel is getting the Man United job so it’s down to Brighton or Aberdeen, and honesty I think at Aberdeen there’s way more potential. Brighton is basically sitting around until a better job becomes available really whereas Aberdeen there’s still plenty room to grow. 

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56 minutes ago, Number seven said:

Stay with Aberdeen, win the league and when the manager United hires leaves, then go for that job. Just my advice!

 

Love the story so far.

It’s very sound advice as well! My heart is in Aberdeen at the moment and the board asked me to sign a new contract earlier which I think I’m now going to sign. 

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As expected we didn't get the Manchester United job, hopefully I can get it later on in my career as it's the club I support so definitely the dream job. 

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Brighton did offer me a contract but I think I'm going to turn it down, it looks like they've got a decent squad but I think we'd all have more fun both me playing and you guys reading at Aberdeen where it feels like we're not done here quite yet. 

I know it goes against the realism rule but I feel if I succeed more in Scotland it will lead to a better opportunity in England. Am I making a mistake here?

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9 hours ago, keeper#1 said:

It's a bet on yourself.  If you believe that you can trophies at Aberdeen, then you will get better clubs in England wanting your services.

I think we’ve got a good squad, even if I’ve not really improved it from last season I think we can challenge around the top of the table and hopefully pick up another domestic cup. Think it’s a risk worth taking, it feels way too much of a premature ending at Aberdeen after only one season. 

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18 hours ago, BoxToBoxFM said:

I’ve been thinking about it and I agree, to me staying and finishing the job at Aberdeen is way more appealing than Brighton. I said earlier on in the save I really want to win the Scottish Premiership and Aberdeen is where I want that to happen!

Remember, Swansea almost killed off your save last year too! :lol:

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5 hours ago, FM-AP said:

Remember, Swansea almost killed off your save last year too! :lol:

Oh god not Swansea. Once we got to the prem it was a nightmare, didn’t even last a season before I’d jumped. The premier league is tempting, but I’m sure I’ll have more opportunities later on. It goes against the realism aspect definitely, but I prefer being settled somewhere rather than jumping around every season. 

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17 hours ago, BoxToBoxFM said:

Oh god not Swansea. Once we got to the prem it was a nightmare, didn’t even last a season before I’d jumped. The premier league is tempting, but I’m sure I’ll have more opportunities later on. It goes against the realism aspect definitely, but I prefer being settled somewhere rather than jumping around every season. 

Plus the Scottish ladder job climb is too good of a narrative not to finish. 

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I've decided to reject the Brighton contract offer despite it being a realistic step up, I'm having lots of fun at Aberdeen and I feel there's still more to do here. Let the journey continue!

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17 hours ago, BoxToBoxFM said:

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I've decided to reject the Brighton contract offer despite it being a realistic step up, I'm having lots of fun at Aberdeen and I feel there's still more to do here. Let the journey continue!

Happy with that decision!

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Aberdeen 31/32 - Summer transfers

We've finally got to the start of the new season, the summer has been a bit of a slog as we only had a couple of million to spend so we couldn't really afford to buy the top quality players, but I think we already had a good squad and managed to make a couple of decent additions. The transfer window is not finished yet, there's about a month to go, but I think we're pretty much done with transfers now but of course if anything else comes up then you'll hear about it as soon as they happen. Now as always, let's start with the outs!

Outs

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Nothing major really happened in the way of player departures, the most major transfers would be right backs Milovanov and Daley-Campbell, on a free and for half a million respectively. Goalkeeper Dillon Phillips also decided to hang up the gloves.

Ins

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The board aren't exactly happy that 2/4 of our signings are old and don't meet the criteria, but it's all we could get really that were going to be good enough and Harry Winks is only here for a season while McCrorie will likely be a starter for this season in goals then hopefully move to a backup for the final two years of his contract and probably his career as well. 

We needed a couple of right backs and I'm happy with both players we brought in. Drever comes in on loan and I like the look of both his attacking and defensive attributes, he's already got a couple of assists in the Champions League which you'll find out about in the next post. The permanent signing Boyle is actually pretty similar and I'm confident he's still got room to develop, I just need to decide on who is going to be my starter. 

I love the fact that as they are coming to the twilight of their careers, Robby McCrorie (GK) and Ross McCrorie (CDM/CM) have been reunited just as they were when they were coming through the Rangers academy, it definitely played a small part in the decision to sign Robby. He's definitely not a world beater but anyone actually good we couldn't afford.

Season Preview

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The media predict us to finish third behind Celtic and Rangers respectively, I definitely think we're capable of this and after a promising season last year I see no reason why we can't be in the mix for the title again, but only time will tell if that's a realistic opportunity. 

I forgot to mention actually we renewed the loan of Manchester City centre back Spencer Patino who was first class last season, he is the sole representative of ours in the media dream XI. I'm very happy to have him back for a second season!

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 Tactic 

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We played very well last season so there's no reason to change things tactically, and this will be the starting XI I class as our best XI, although a few are carrying injuries so may miss the first few games of the season.

Pre-season

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Very comfortable pre-season, 4 friendlies played and 4 wins as well including against former side and affiliated club Annan Athletic, it was nice to be back at the Galabank stadium once again.

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Aberdeen 31/32 - July

July consisted of two competitive games, both in the Champions League against FC Basel.

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We actually won the tie pretty comfortably in the end, it was much easier than expected I must admit. The first leg was very exciting as a neutral but we put in a very professional performance in the second leg to secure a 7-3 aggregate win. 

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First leg

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Second leg

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That result secured us a draw against 2x winners of the Champions League Porto, which is another very tough tie. You can see why the Champions League is the best competition in the world, this is just to qualify for it and we're having to play Porto!

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Aberdeen 31/32 - August

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We made two signings on transfer deadline day, a young striker for the future and a left winger to add as another option out there. 

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I doubt we'll see much of the striker this season, to be honest he was signed to try and match the club vision of signing under 23 players but he's actually turned out to look half decent, so maybe if things are going wrong and Walker picks up another injury he'll come into the team. 

Results

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We actually started really poorly in the league, losing to Rangers on match day 1 then only managing a draw against Hearts in the next game. We did end the month with back to back wins and back to back clean sheets which was nice, but we had to grind them out as without Sylvester Walker in the team goals have been quite hard to come by. 

As you can see we did get knocked out the Champions League a round before the board wanted so they're not too pleased, but I don't think any complaints can be had given it was Porto we were playing. We also scraped past St. Mirren in the Premier Sports Cup which is nice given we're actually the holders of this cup after beating Celtic last season. 

If we'd had Lewis Reid and Sylvester Walker for this month maybe things would have gone better, but despite going out of the Champions League we did drop straight into the Europa League group stage and have got a pretty decent draw in that.

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We've been placed in group B along side Monaco (France), Qarabağ (Azerbaijan) and Univer (Romania).

The team I'm most concerned about is obviously Monaco, hopefully the other two teams we do well against especially at home.

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Aberdeen 31/32 - September

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I'm not going to lie, I'm starting to get a little worried...

Honestly, I've no idea where this form has come from but we've been shocking all month. At least Walker started scoring again, getting 3 against St. Johnstone, and that game we actually almost bottled it again. But we've failed another board objective in not making it to the Premier Sports Cup semi final so I'm only on a C+ at the moment, maybe it's time to start saving a little bit more of my wage each month for a while just in case. 

We've got a massive month up next where we need to be picking up wins, so far this season we've taken maximum points on just three occasions which absolutely isn't good enough. It's not even like the team changed that much, it's the same core of players with a couple extra additions to maintain squad depth but maybe we needed a few marquee signings to keep up with the rest of the league?

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After 7 games in the league we sit right in the middle in 6th, we've got to start improving soon as there's already a gap forming above us in the European places. Arbroath have been on a crazy winning run stretching back to last season and they're currently up to 3rd!

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In the Europa League we currently sit bottom but we have got one of our Monaco games out the way on match day 1. We'll play both our other opponents in October.

Here's hoping for a marked improvement next time out!

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Aberdeen 31/32 - October

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So much better!

After a really poor start to the season we've gone the whole of October unbeaten and remembered how to score goals as well, we put 4 past our opposition on 3 different occasions. Arbroath is always a team I struggle with and many teams in real life are the same, we were 2-0 down until the 70th minute when we made 3 changes and went on to score 2 quick goals to turn things around. 

We also picked up a couple more wins in the Europa League against Qarabağ and Univer.

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In the league we're right back where we belong in the European places, we've shot all the way up to 3rd after our recent run of good form.

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Europa League is also looking good, it's clear there's a gulf in quality between us and Monaco and the other two as we're 5 points ahead of third already and we're only at the half way stage. It's looking like our next game against Monaco is going to be the group decider as to who will come first and who will come second.

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Aberdeen 31/32 - November

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Overall it's been a pretty positive month. We won another two games in the Conference League and won 2/3 of the league games, the only defeat fell away at Tynecastle where we really didn't deserve to win at all, it was a very rare for now poor performance that I hope isn't a sign to come. It was even more frustrating given the fact the win for them meant they leapfrog us in the league table. Beating Rangers was a good result and winning against Dundee was also important as they were bottom of the league, those are the games where we have to make sure we don't slip up in. 

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In the league Celtic are running away with it this year while we are in third, two points behind Hearts after 14 games. 

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In the Europa League we've already qualified with a game to spare and although we still play Monaco so there's a chance we could win the group, it's looking pretty unlikely given the goal difference Monaco have so we may well just send the backup brigade out and focus on the league. 

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Aberdeen 31/32 - Youth Intake preview

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The youth intake is here and it looks pretty promising, although I'm not really paying any attention to it because based on what I've seen from others, youth intake previews seem pretty pointless as they never seem to be as good as they look at first. And after last season's intake, I can't expect much either. 

It's nice to see we've got a good goalkeeper coming through considering both of mine at the moment are in their mid 30's although it is frustrating that two of our 'A' rated players are full backs or wing backs, basically the same position so the wing back will have to train to play either on the wing, midfield or left back/right back depending on what side he plays.

We'll see how good this actually is in March because we could do with some high potential youngsters, the two best ones are now old enough to be in the first team - Michael Trouten has already played a big part this season and has contributed with goals and assists while Jock Milton has also had a few appearances and even got a goal in the league. 

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Aberdeen 31/32 - Europa League draw

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The first knockout round draw is in for the Europa League and we've been drawn against Ukrainian side Shaktar Donetsk. It definitely won't be easy especially away from home with their passionate fanbase but it's also not the worst tie we could have got so we have to go into the games knowing we do have a chance if we play to the best of our abilities. 

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Aberdeen 31/32 - Job interview

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Well this is very unexpected, but Leicester City have offered me an interview after Antonio Rudiger has just been sacked...

It's came out of nowhere to be honest, I've got 6 months left on my contract and we're not exactly doing amazing this season so I am a bit surprised they've given me it. I will be attending as it's another interesting job although potentially a difficult one as well considering they currently sit 16th in the Premier League. 

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Aberdeen 31/32 - December

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Mostly wins in December, it's safe to say we've recovered from our terrible start to the season. We started with a 3-3 draw against Kilmarnock that was very frustrating considering we were 3-1 up, but the thing you've probably all noticed by now is the Celtic result. We lost 6-0, my most embarrassing result of my career so far. Celtic are just too good this year, it seems it's going to be impossible to catch them in the next few years as they've only lost 1 game all season. The fact we were so close to piping them to the title last year and now they're beating us 6-0 says it all really. 

We did recover to end the month though as we beat Dundee United 1-0 away from home then beat Arbroath 3-0 at home in what was our best performance of the month by far. But was it my last game in charge of Aberdeen? Only time will tell.

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We're now 3rd in the league after 20 games but if Rangers win their game in hand they will overtake us. Hearts are also having a decent season, sitting 2nd and 4 points ahead of us and they are the only team to have beaten Celtic this season, although it still feels like there's a massive gap in quality even between Celtic in first and Hearts in 2nd.

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As expected in the Europa League we did finish second, Monaco beat us 1-0 in the final game to win the group and as you saw earlier we'll be playing Shaktar Donetsk in the next round.

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Aberdeen 31/32 - Job offer

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Pretty much a week after offering me the interview, Leicester have come in and offered me a massive contract worth £1.6m a year - at Aberdeen I'm on £182,000 a year so it's almost a 10x increase on wage. I think that's all I need to look at really to make my mind up, no chance in real life am I turning that amount of money down!

I know some of you may think I should stay at Aberdeen but really there's no chance of winning the league anytime soon, Celtic are just way too dominant and this is an opportunity to manage in the Premier League which as we all know is quite often regarded the best league in the world. 

It feels like I've been at Aberdeen much longer than I have, it's only been a year and a half but because last season was so long it feels like I've done at least a couple of years here. I think it's best to leave on a high rather than risk being sacked which at points this season has been a possibility, and my contract is up at the end of the season so this is the perfect time to move to a new club if it's going to happen anytime soon I think. 

Last season was incredibly special and one I'll remember for a long time, but I can't see us winning the Europa League this season and although we're giving up European football for now, there's definitely the potential to work towards getting Leicester back into Europe within a couple of seasons. It could be a risk, it could be a mistake but looking at the money involved I think it's a risk worth taking for that amount of money.

There's not a lot of money to work with at the club as we join just before January, but I'm hoping in the summer we're given a decently big budget to make some additions. Who knows, maybe Sylvester Walker and Lewis Reid would fancy a move down south as well?

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My attributes at the time of leaving.

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And finally, here's my stats from my time at Aberdeen. Pretty good if you ask me!

Edited by BoxToBoxFM
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