I’m the kind of Football Manager player that usually starts with a club and sticks with it in an attempt to build it into the world’s greatest. But after six seasons in Portugal and five in Spain, I was reeling from being given the sack by Valencia and down the job centre.
This is despite finishing sixth in La Liga and being knocked out of the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals by Real Madrid. For context, Valencia had won nothing for 24 years since we came along and won them the Europa League, 2 La Liga titles and 2 Spanish Cups. Not that I’m bitter…
Oh, and this is a manager who has 8 league titles, won 9 cup tournaments and has a win ratio of 68% in 561 matches. Nope, not bitter at all!
Upon being given the boot by Valencia, we turned our attentions to the World Cup with the United States of America. To find out how we got on there, read on here.
Hunting for a job
I began my life of unemployment eating Pot Noodles while looking into potential next destinations, and at the end of the season the Real Madrid, Fiorentina, LAFC and Cardiff City jobs were available. While vaguely interesting insecure jobs were Napoli and Crystal Palace, who were now down in the Championship.
Just to clarify on my job hunting options, the core aim of this Journeyman save is to manage teams that haven’t won their national title in the last 10 to 20 years. I’m also aiming to win as many different league titles in different countries as possible. Which rules out Madrid on both counts.
However, just as the World Cup kicked off Real Madrid, who’d sacked Rafa Benitez after finishing 2nd in La Liga, got in touch to offer an interview. Why they’d hired Benitez in the first baffled me but, despite it being Real Madrid, I politely turned them down as the role clearly didn’t match my job hunt requirements. With their number one target gone, they re-hired Zinedine Zidane for about the 3,000th time.
A week or so later I was also offered an interview by Tottenham, whose manager Renato Gaucho retired at the end of last season. For some bizarre reason, they went back to Mauricio Pochettino – who has 1 cup win and 0 league titles in his career (see above re number of titles I’ve won).
Then another week later, Wolverhampton Wanderers – whose previous manager was Zidane!! – offered an interview, although they are apparently not convinced about my reluctance to sign high-profile players. I mean… you’re Wolves, and do I need to mention 8 league titles? They eventually went with some Portuguese guy called José Gomes.
After the World Cup – read the Soccerball post for more info – the Danish FA also came forward with an offer to be their manager. Which I accepted. That kept me going for a while, and you can read the first episode of Great Dane here, but I was hankering for a return to domestic football.
A long wait for a club job
By October 2030, there were still no jobs available but, hilariously, Wolves were down in 19th in the Premier League with their crappy Portuguese manager.
And moving into January 2031, Unai Emery was very insecure at AC Milan so I stoked up some talk in the media by declaring interest and the Milan fans immediately considered me a “leading candidate.” While Pochettino was already insecure at Spurs, languishing down in 7th place.
The Milan and Spurs opportunities never came up but, in March, another interesting Italian option appeared with Cagliari, who’d just sacked a manager that had been in the role since 2018 (13 years!). They offered me an interview, I attended, it went very well and days later the offer came.
I mulled it over for a while and eventually decided that, with Spain and Portugal ticked off our list and no real opportunities in England, this was a decent chance to get into Serie A. So, I accepted the offer from Cagliari!
Join us at 12pm UK time on Saturday to discover the situation in Cagliari and what our third club in this Journeyman save is expecting of us.