Welcome back to the Football Manager 2020 story Taking on the World. This FM20 story is a classic journeyman save as we attempt to travel around the world and ticking off as many countries as we can.
The aim of this FM20 story is not to stay at the same club for more than one full season. I am not allowed to accept a job offer from another club in the same country if I am already managing a club in that country. There are no limits on how many times I can manage in one country – but I cannot return until at least two seasons later. The only exception is I am allowed to return to one country once straight away if I get sacked – this rule can be used once only.
From the States to Germany – we’re globe trotting until we reach the top!
We’re staying in… Djion
Last time I moved across the channel as I became the manager of newly-promoted Ligue 1 club, Djion FC. It was going to be a huge challenge to keep them up in the league but the prospect of managing in the top flight of the French pyramid persuaded me to leave Luton to move to France.
I made a number of signings in the summer transfer window, including reuniting with Josh Ginnelly (425k), Kazenga LuaLua (275k) and Donveron Daniels (loan). In total I spent 1.5 million Euros. There were no real outgoings of worthwhile, bringing in 400k.
Following my late move to the French side, I didn’t have the budget or time to make wide-scale changes so I decided to alter my tactics to suit the players already at the club.
I decided to play a 4-4-1-1 on Cautious. I chose this style for a number of reasons. Firstly, as favourties to go down, I didn’t think it was a good idea to be too attacking, and to follow up with, I also didn’t have a large number of decent strikers available. This was a change from my usual positive 4-3-2-1 tactic I have played at a number of clubs.
Instructions wise, I kept it pretty simple. I decided to regroup when we lose the ball and to counter when in possession. Instead of playing out from the back like my previous tactic the ball is distributed to the TM. I play a Narrow attacking width, with a extremely high direct style, along with high tempo and frequent time wasting. Set pieces are a vital part of the tactics along with hitting early crosses into the box.
The end has arrived…
After just eleven games, and only one win, I decided to call it a day in France. There were a lot of problems at the club, including huge financial losses and not enough player quality. I wanted to get out before it affected future jobs I was offered.
At the time of my departure, we sat 19th in the league with a record of 1-2-8. We scored just 5 goals, but conceded 16 giving us a negative goal difference of 11. The point tally before I left was 5. Moving to France was a huge mistake.
Part of the issue at Dijon was the massive financial trouble the club were facing, they were almost 8.5 million euros in debt, and had lost over 15 million last season playing in Ligue 2. They must have one hell of a promotion party! The wage bill was rocket high and some players were earning far too much.
Back to England…again
Almost four months after leaving France, I once again moved back to England to take up the manager job at Burnley, who were fighting a relegation battle. I was also offered a job as head coach of Melbourne Victory but I decided to try and prove myself in the top flight of English pyramid.
A large number of Burnley staff left the club following my arrival inclduing Ian Woan and Steve Stone, to allow me to bring my own staff, including staff from my previous club.
Burnley, surprisingly for a team in their position, spent £56 million on players in the summer. These included Luis Suarez (not that one!) for £17 million, Ruben Vargas for £5.75m and Victor Luis or £8.75m. They recouped £28.5m through the sales of numerous players including Chris Wood, Ryan Woods and Jack Cork.
I know what you’re thinking, if they spent that much money, how are they fighting for their lives? Well, they may have spent £56m but they didn’t spend it wisely, they spent it on players who weren’t really good enough to take Burnley to next level. Luis Suarez is the perfect example, they spent £17 million on a player who has never scored more than 12 Premier League goals in a season.
Therefore, my plan is to have a massive overhaul of the squad in the summer for two reasons. Firstly, to bring the playing quality up to scratch to where it needs to be to compete for the top 10 which is where I believe we should be challenging, and to more suit my style of play.
I took charge of the final ten games of the season with a record of 2-5-3. Altogether, we finished 16th in the league. Our record as 9-7-22. We were able to score a total 49 goals, conceding 78 in the process, leaving us with a goal difference of minus 29. The final point tally was 34.
Next time as we continue our journey with Taking on the World, we will undergo a huge rebuilding of my Burnley side as we try and take them in the top 10. My long term aim is to move to Spain so I want to spend a few seasons with Burnley to beef up my CV.
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