The Welsh Gull

Torquay United, the Football League and other stuff

FM13 Career: Leaving So Soon

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I’ve resigned as manager of Dundee with one match to go. 22 matches in charge is enough for me to realise this was going absolutely nowhere fast.

The trick with picking the right job on Football Manager is to pick a club that’s underachieving, or at least not pick a club that’s already overachieving. That’s the mistake I mad. The Dundee squad was probably the weakest in the SPL, or at least in the top bottom 3. Barry Smith had done a great job to keep them mid-table for two seasons in a row before he left for Cardiff. After my arrival, the team first stuttered, and then fell away dramatically. We managed to remain in touch with the midfield teams somehow, but we couldn’t match them on the pitch at the time. We also got battered by Celtic in the Scottish Cup quarter-final.

Even so, with two games to go before the league is split into two sections, we were just 4 points away from sneaking into the top half, with the next game against the team just above us, St Johnstone. We led 2-0 at half time, conceded early in the second half, and then conceded a penalty that even the Scottish FA seemed to admit shouldn’t have been given. So we drew 2-2, pretty much ending our season there and then. We ended the season well, consolidating 7th and allowing me to pick up my first Manager of the Month Award. But even so, I still felt flat.

The problem is the board gave me very little breathing room financially. The wage budget is next-to-nothing – I had to go way over to bring in Jose Bosingwa, and he’s getting a surprisingly little £1,300 a week (combined with a director of football role too). With most of the players signed up for next season, it’s going to be very difficult to sign up some decent players. There’s very little I can do here in the short term – mid-table’s the maximum, and the only way I’m getting into Europe is via a cup, which means beating a Celtic side that has crushed everyone this year. Added to that, Rangers have been promoted back into the SPL after 3 promotions in 3 seasons, so that’s another team that will finish ahead of Dundee next season.

It’s a dead end job, so I chanced my arm on applying for the newly-vacant West Brom job, who had just sacked Tony Mowbray for failing to get promoted to the Premier League. The board didn’t like it and gave me an ultimatum. Ordinarily I’d have apologised as I did at Mladost, but actually there was no point in me doing this this time given that I was going to resign after the last game anyway. So I resigned.

Onwards towards team three then. I probably won’t get the West Brom job. I have no idea where I’m going to end up – if my post-Mladost applications are anything to go by, Championship teams probably won’t be interested, so I may apply for a job abroad again. I want to win things now, and I want a shot at Europe. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long for that.

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Written by James Bennett

June 28, 2013 at 15:54

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