24 Hours In FM: Part 9 – Country Calls

When I said that the next post in this 24 hours of Football Manager challenge would reveal where we’ve ended up after holidaying while on a Zoom call, I most definitely did not expect this to be the end result.

Let me briefly set the scene…

After five years on holiday, sunning himself on various beaches around the world, RobííSebastian Jesus di Lathamé sauntered back into football and landed himself a job with Athletic Bilbao.

His reign in Spain got off to a decent start with lots of goals, but several defeats against La Liga’s big boys… and Leganes. He swanned off on holiday again and, while he was doing so, promptly got sacked. He then took over at Atalanta, decided they were too shit and quit after three matches to go on holiday again.

Now, he’s returned to have another dabble at managing a football team, and which muggins decided to snap him up?

England. I kid you not… we have wangled our way into becoming the manager of England with a 37% win-rate in 16 matches as a manager. Absolutely bonkers!

But, here we are as England manager. That’s because England had another poor showing at an international tournament, going out in the second round of the 2026 World Cup – albeit against Brazil and in extra-time. That was after thumping Iraq 8-0 in the group stage as well as drawing 0-0 with Colombia.

Making a mark

I’ve already made my mark on the England squad by talking Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling – who both retired after Euro 2024 – into returning into national duty. And I’ve booted Jordan Pickford out of the squad. Laters Jordan.

The likes of Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Max Aarons, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Marcus Rashford are all in the squad and at peak age. So we should have plenty to work with.

Plus, there’s plenty of exciting young talent alongside them. For example, two Fulham products goalkeeper Renato Redjepi – that’s why we don’t need Pickford – and midfielder Curtis Morton, West Ham defender Takudzwa Marufu, and Newcastle holding midfielder Neil Stephenson, who looks very good indeed.

Basically, this team is loaded with great talent and should give us plenty of chance for success. The good news is, we have plenty of time to get it right. That’s because we have no game for 43 days and even then it’s the Nations League against Italy and the FA don’t care how we perform it.

So I’m basically back on holiday again!

Next time, we’ll crack on as England manager and get into first group of international matches. I still can’t believe I managed to saunter into this job!

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