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Realistic. The Hearts owner is a nutter
Better luck with your next venture😂
Callum Lang looks a good player
Don't cry Neil
SEASON 2 NOVEMBER TO JANUARY
As already mentioned Lang was returning to Wigan from his 18 month loan spell with us, I looked all over for a replacement for the rest of the season but my hands were tied due to clubs wanting either loan fees or high wage percentages. I did manage to get someone in though, 20yo Laurens Symons joins for 6 months from KV Mechelen of Belgium. Lang had 22 goals in 23 appearances this season which makes my next bit of news even more brilliant, because Lang will be signing for free in the summer after accepting our pre contract offer \o/
In more transfer news centre back Tony Kerr will also be signing for free in the summer after 7 years at St Johnstone. Contracts were also offered to Trae Coyle and Rodel Richards but their clubs (Arsenal & Tottenham) decided to activate their contract extension clauses.
On the pitch we've been superb and see ourselves still top though Celtic close behind with games in hand. I'm not getting excited as cannot see our form lasting forever, but we've a real chance of making the champions league one way or the other which would be huge financially if we can make the group stage.
SEASON 2 FEBRUARY TO CHAMPOINSHIP GROUP MATCHES
We've now reached the part of the season that I hate, there's 5 games to play and we're away in 3 of them which just makes things harder. Though If we win them all we'll be champions…
EDIT: Forgot to say we're also in to the Scottish Cup final where we meet Rangers!
More transfer news for next season now as Rodel Richards will be staying on for another season on loan from Tottenham (hopefully I can get him for nothing at the end of it). There's also a right sided attacking midfielder in Mark Helm (Man Utd) and a new reserve keeper in Andreas Jungdal (AC Milan). The Summer will also be a very busy one where not just the playing staff but also the coaching staff needs a overhaul.
SEASON 2 CONCLUSION
Sadly is wasn't to be, Celtic were just the better side overall (no surprise) and we finish second. We did though play brilliantly in the cup final to get our hands on the trophy for only the third time in the clubs history.
Just to show the difference in budgets and ours for the coming season, it'll probably have to be more frees and loans for us.
SEASON 3 JULY TO AUGUST (plus 1 September)
Season started fairly well, I'm not expecting to be as good as last season as cannot see Rangers being so bad again but we should be looking at third place for certain. With the champions league qualifiers its been hard playing twice a week with a small squad, I decided to play the slightly stronger first 11 in the Champions League as that's where the money lies, providing we can qualify as once past the first Q-round it gets very hard for a small side like us.
The squad has been improved but not as much as I'd have liked, signing players is still very hard and as already mentioned earlier its loans and frees that I mainly look at. We did have a budget of around £450k but there was no one decent available worth spending the money when I could just loan someone in. Below are the players I've signed, Mauro Bandeira and Steven Kingsley signed at the end of last season so are not on this seasons list.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFYING
I'll just let the pictures tell the story…
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PATH SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PATH THIRD QUALIFYING ROUND
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PATH PLAY-OFFS
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE DRAW
Not expecting to get out the group by any means as its most certainly the toughest one possible but what an achievement getting there by the players.
Amazing run to get to CL group stages, thought you would struggle against Monaco. But what a incredible tough group you are in :eek:
Sadly that run is destroying the rest of the season :D
After 9 games without a win it is for me time to move on, or though I'm in no danger of being sacked I feel the time is now right. My main aim for this save is to improve sides when I'm there and that definitely happened with Motherwell as they saw their first piece of silverware for 30 years.
I leave on a high though, drawing 2-2 with the mighty Bayern Munich in my final game in charge.
My ‘friends’ decided to follow me \o/
SEASON 3 - OCTOBER TO JANUARY
Went for two jobs, Bristol Rovers (league 1) and Middlesbrough (championship), the later were the quickest to come back to me so that is where I went next.
Boro were 22nd in the table when I took over with the board happy to just avoid relegation, I believed we could finish better than that and promised them mid table.
Squad When Taking Over
Results Up Until January
Leading up to the transfer window there was a lot of interest in star centre back Nathan Wood, I decided to sell to Norwich City for £15m as this would allow me to increase our over budget wage structure and also give me a few quid for improvements. Now these improvements were going to be at the end of the season but due to our great run of results up until then I felt improving the squad now was the way to go, whilst also trying to sell on some of the current overpaid deadwood.
I spent absolutely ages scouting players to get in just what I needed for my tactic.
CLICK FOR SCREENSHOTS
SQUAD AFTER JANUARY WINDOW
Now as I expected that many changes made our form dip a lot and January was overall a bad month for us
But things did improve and my decision to restructure the squad was justified as we then went on a 17 game unbeaten for the remainder of the season which put us into 3rd spot and the play offs where we would meet Blackburn Rovers.
Blackburn proved no match for us as we beat them in both legs just days after once again beating them 3-0 in the league.
PLAY OFF FINAL
Reading would be our opponents which I was happy with as felt we would be too strong for them, but I was wrong. Admittedly we was certainly the better team on the day and created the better chances but things were all square at full time and lady luck would decide the winners in a penalty shoot out…
Yep, from 22nd in the Championship to promotion to the Premier League in just over half a season. Amazing performance from the players to defy the odds and out Boro are back in the big time, little Juninho would be impressed.
Forgot to post the final table.
In other news the board have told me they're to build a new stadium… which is smaller than the current one ffs.
Though it is 3 years away so I may not even be here then.
Boro is a tough challenge, time to sign Lang, see if he can cut it?
Already on it.
SEASON 4 SUMMER TRANSFERS & AUGUST RESULTS
Another very busy window for us with plenty of ins and outs. Firstly Sardella, Bohinen and Doe extended their loans for another season and I was also able to bring in Folarin Balogun from Arsenal, been trying to get him since my Hearts days but never had the money to pay his wages.
In terms of full time signings we strengthened all areas of the squad as best we could, giving us good options when injuries/suspensions hit.
(some deals were completed before the new season started)
ON THE PITCH
Friendly results were poor, I did arrange some tough ones but both the performances and results were disappointing. Thankfully once the season proper started we was much better and went unbeaten through August, thats now 24 games without defeat I believe (naturally we'll lose the bext one now I've said that.)
Well done on winning the Tyne-Tees derby @VP. always good. Bet interesting to see how the 'Boro fare back in the top flight under your stewardship.
Some performance to get promoted in the first place, keep going sir.
SEASON 4 SEPTEMBER TO NEW YEAR
Firstly some more transfer news as we managed to secure the signings of three promising youngsters, though Bundgaard couldn't get a work permit I'm hoping that won't be a problem after a loan spell somewhere. These will all be arriving on January 2nd.
Also special mention to chairman Steve Gibson who injected more cash into the transfer budget meaning we now still have £18m left.
Now on to the football and we've quite simply been fantastic so far, performing far better than I ever thought. Yes we've had the odd hammering which is to be expected but overall we've looked brilliant and made sure all our opponents at least know they've been in a tough game.
The Carabao cup game was an exception as I rested players ;)
(I've no idea how to do emotes anymore?)
Whether we can keep this up is another question but I'll be more than happy to stay in the top half seeing as we was favourites for relegation.
Surely Akpom is deserving of an England call up?
SEASON 4 CONCLUSION
Not currently getting much time at the moment so updates will be even shorter than normal.
We finished the season in 6th place just 5 points away from a champions league position which is a superb performance for a team second favourites for relegation. I've £51m in the transfer budget and my main priority signing is a new keeper and maybe some more creativity in our attacking wide playmaker positions.
This coming season could possibly be my last season here before I move on…
2020-2021 - Hearts (Scotland, Championship)
Sacked whilst top of the Championship during the first half of the season
2020-2021 - Motherwell (Scotland, Premier League)
Took over whilst mid table finishing season in 7th place despite having enough points to finish 4th I believe. Sortitout Scotland
2021-2022 - Motherwell (Scotland, Premier League)
Finished season in 2nd place behind Celtic whilst winning the Scottish Cup and also manager of the year
2022-2023 - Motherwell (Scotland, Premier League)
Resigned whilst in 6th place but led club to Champions League group stage
2022-2023 - Middlesbrough (England, Championship)
Took over whilst 22nd and managed to finish in 3rd place and secure promotion through the play-offs. Also won the Championship manager of the year
2023-24 - Middlesbrough (England, Premier League)
Finished in 6th place and qualified for the Europa League, again also won manager of the year for the Premiership this time
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