My Coventry team turned on me. The team that I built and invested time on stopped scoring, gave up, blamed me for it. The board were on my back, we were meant to be going for promotion to the Championship! We had bought our stadium off the council, we had improved our facilities. This was our year.
There was not a win in 10. Familiar with this feeling of humiliation, I jumped. I resigned after 20 hours of Coventry. Good riddance!
My 35% reputation got me the glittering interviews at the likes of MK Dons, Blackpool. Blackpool offered me an interview and were 11 points, right at the bottom of the Championship table. Millwall weren't doing much better, sitting around 16.
Nevermind! This could be interesting. The squad isn't that bad and the financials are terrible. But maybe I could fight the good fight and save the team relegation like I did at my first season for Coventry.
It was November 2022, and the next league game wasn't until December. Leeds. Away. We hadnt won a game in 15 games.
I got myself familiar with the team and set them up how I wanted. They played around 5 friendlies to increase tactical familiarity. They did okay. I could feel the squad gelling slowly.
Leeds beckons. My team are literally pooing their pants. I put on a brave face in the changing room before the game but only create confusion. Nevermind! Onwards.
They play great. I'm very impressed. 0-0 with 10 to go - could we snatch a draw?
Then comes the tackle in the 80th minute.. in the box. Penality! The gleeful words flashed on the screen and inevitably the keeper goes the wrong way.
Nevermind. I was impressed with their performance and told them so afterwards. Millwall also had lost so it wasn't so bad.
Next match was a let off - a Carabao cup game at home Vs Wigan. This could be the chance to turn it all around. We played largely the same and missed some key chances.. before conceding a goal from 30 yards out from a guy called "Cannon". Funny. Nevermind! The team rallied to my call and we snatched a headed goal in the 80th minute.
Then came the next 25 yard Salah-esque goal from Wigan's finest. 2-1.
We shrug our shoulders and try to put the game behind us. Theres always the next game!! A home league game Vs a mid table team (can't even remember their name they were so forgettable).
The fortress was prepared. My players ready. Confused by my pre match team talk as usual, but ready. We stumble onto the pitch and into a beautiful northern English January day. I like to think they breathed in that air and felt it was time to prove themselves.
The rejuvenation of prime Neuer was complete. Their goalkeeper had descended from the heavens and defended his net like Moses had defended his animals against the storm.
No bother! I shout "Demand more". Suitably confused the players continue on laying the pressure. The time was close. We could feel it.
The manifestation soon appeared before our eyes. A ball comes flying into our box. The defender, confused, thinks he is in the opposition box. Full of determination to prove himself to the gaffer, he beautifully turns, and hits it on the volley. Hard. Right at our unsuspecting keeper. Naturally, shocked at this (as were the whole crowd of 3 people), woefully unprepared for this biblical volley. It smashes into our own net.
The game then ends 1-0. With one hand still on my head, I check to see if Coventry were still sinking to try and get some schadenfreude.
They hadn't lost since I left.
I love you too football manager.