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FC Bayern München: The Future of Football

Started on 25 October 2013 by Jamesg237
Latest Reply on 19 August 2014 by Jamesg237
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December: Christmas Draws To An End

I joined Notts County with them facing this current season in Sky Bet League 2 after having had a dismal season under the previous regime and struggling with relegation. I was brought into the club, which was ranked higher than my previous two, and managed to steer the club away from the dreaded relegation zone. How I did it I still do not know to this day. Furthermore, I still don’t know to this day how we had such a poor December month after what had been an impressive start to the season. We should definitely be seen as the over-achievers, a team that has out-shone opponents who had expected to walk all over us. Unfortunately for us our luck ran out rapidly game after game this month.

Our strikers stopped scoring. Our midfielders stopped creating chances for our strikers. Our defenders stopped opponents attacking. Our goalkeeper simply let goals in. Everything from front to back just seem to fall apart and I couldn’t stop it. This is a strange predicament and one that I haven’t experienced since my time with Grimsby Town which saw me resign from my position as their manager. It is going to take a lot of effort to pull the players out of this slump and back to winning ways. However, should I be seeing this as a slump? If you compare it to our early season form then yes. On the other hand, we have over-achieved more than any other club in the league so surely these results are ones that we should be expecting? My expectations of myself and my players is always high so despite these being results we are expected to get I can’t help but be disappointed.

How I am going to get the club back to winning ways I am not too sure at the moment. I don’t think it will take drastic changes in terms of our tactic and formations; what it might take is a change in playing personnel. There are a lot of players who underperformed this month that don’t deserve to be given their starting place back without proving to me they deserve it. We owe the fans a lot and I am heading into this next month expecting the players to pay back their faith and the faith I have shown in them so far.

Player of the Month – James Rowe

Good update here James, Unlucky about the loss to Sheffield United, you're doing great in the league as well!
2013-12-23 11:19#150774 EdenHazard17 : Good update here James, Unlucky about the loss to Sheffield United, you're doing great in the league as well!

Thank you very much. We didn't deserve much from the Sheffield United game so it was a fair result. We are going well in the league; I am hoping that this last month isn't a sign of a decline in our fortunes!
Going strong in the upper reaches of the table, you've certainly turned Notts County around
2013-12-23 16:58#150844 Walter : Going strong in the upper reaches of the table, you've certainly turned Notts County around

It is amazing how far we have come since our relegation battle last season. It is a lot nicer to be nearer the heftier heights of the league table.
Rowe looks really good, and his value doesn't represent his skills. Automatic promotion :D
2013-12-23 21:04#150930 Pauker : Rowe looks really good, and his value doesn't represent his skills. Automatic promotion :D

He is a pretty good player but I am finding it hard to decide on my central midfield pairing so he doesn't tend to get a decent run in the team.

January: Unbeaten Turn of the Year

Last month was a very disappointing one and one that seemed to be suggesting that our good fortunes thus far were about to take a dramatic change in direction. I think I have managed to, after reflecting back, put my finger on why things took a change for the worse. I had allowed the players to slack off in training and reduced their workload. This resulted in players heading into each game lacking match fitness and they simply were not ready. I noticed this when I looked at the players’ familiarisation of our tactics...their knowledge of the systems had reduced greatly. The players had taken the slight reduction in training for granted and become lazy sods! This was very quickly correct with my backroom staff making the players work their arses off with a big focus back on tactics and their knowledge and understanding of how I want them to play.

After increasing the familiarisation of the tactics and what their role in the setup was, the players started to produce more positive performances, which in the end resulted in an unbeaten month as we turned into the New Year. Despite fantastic performances in the FA Cup as the underdogs in both the third and fourth round, I can’t help but think it is starting to become a hindrance us still being in the competition. I am in a way desperate for us to exit the competition in the replay against Norwich, which I am confident will happen. I think I have made my opinion clear on the domestic cup competitions as this stage of my managerial career. The league has to take president over any other competition and this is no truer in the fact we are one point behind the leaders in the league and have a game in hand. I will be putting out a weaker side against Norwich and if we take a drumming then so be it; as long as the players pick themselves up for the remaining league games as for the first time I am sensing that we could go all the way and win the thing!

It is going to take continued high performances from youngsters like Thierry Ambrose who helped himself to our last 5 goals of the month with the two against Peterborough being the most important. Other players, such as Damien Duff, James Rowe and Stefan Scougall are continuing to put in performances which means others are simply not getting a look in. The only concern I have at the moment is the change in fortunes for both Karim Rossi and Gozie Ugwu. The two of them have gone from having a great understanding and firing on all cylinders to going through an awful goal drought. I am desperate for this to change as I don’t think Ambrose is ready to lead a club to league glory, which is firmly within our grasp.

Player of the Month – Thierry Ambrose

February: Title Contenders?

In an earlier update, one nearer the beginning of this current season, I was singing the praises of Gozie Ugwu. He was a player that I had managed to sign on a permanent basis and had intended to use him as backup during this season. Paul Heffernan seemed past it so Ugwu was given his chance...and boy did he make the most of it. Ugwu sailed to the top of the goal scoring charts in the league and was breaking club records; he struck fear into defenders and once paired up with Karim Rossi, they were an unstoppable pairing. They seemed to gel together very quickly and form a clever understanding, similar to that of Liverpool’s current SAS (Sturridge and Suarez). All had looked good for these two with Ugwu destined to claim the golden boot award come the end of the season. However, I am sat here typing away trying my best to recall when either of them actually scored their last goal.

Nope, can’t think of it.

The pair have become close to useless and no matter how much encouragement I give them before, during and after a game, they just don’t seem to want to score goals. I had said in my last update that I had wanted to avoid us relying on Thierry Ambrose but it is looking more likely that we will have to just that. I have tried changing their roles (target man, poacher, etc) in order to suit their style of play but they just don’t seem happy. I have even criticised them in 1:1 meetings in the hope it might spark some life into them...but alas, still no goals and the drought goes on. We are heading to the crucial part of the season, and with us sat in second place, if these two players don’t get their act together I can see us slipping away from the automatic promotion spot. Thankfully we have managed to get ourselves a decent sized point gap between fourth place Southend. However, Stevenage have been on great form recently and I can genuinely see them pulling away from us, leaving us to fight it out with Brentford for the coveted automatic promotion spot.

It has not helped them we have suffered numerous injuries and they all seem to have come at once. We currently have Jak Alnwick out, which means Fabian Spiess is deputising for him and has put in a decent month. Neil Austin and Ryan Taylor, my preferred full backs are both injured for the foreseeable future, which has meant I have resorted to bringing in Joe Skarz on loan just so I can fill the spot with someone other than a lad from the Under 18 side. Our midfield maestro Stefan Scougall is out for a number of weeks, possibly to the end of the season, along with David Bentley who will be seeing more of the treatment room than the pitch. It is a desperate situation at the moment and one that could be the undoing of our season. We will have to rally round as a team and start to perform like we did at the beginning of the season...Rossi and Ugwu have to start scoring!

Player of the Month – Hugo Fernandez

March: Touching Distance

The past two months have been ok, with us making some progress in the league but also dropping points against teams that really, if you compare our league standings, we should have been walking over. Consistency really is the key if you are involved in a race to the top spot or battling against relegation peril. However, it is a lot easier said than done, especially in the world of Football Manager as random results appear to come out of nowhere. You head into a game, slightly cocky thinking that you’re going to destroy the team, and the suddenly you are put on the back foot and spend the rest of the game adding up the goals scored against you on a calculator. Heading into this month it was vital that we found some consistency and got the necessary points to help cement first place as our own.

The month went very well by all accounts as I hadn’t expected us to get anything from Chesterfield or Shrewsbury as they were even more desperate for points in order to ensure a play-off spot. The rest of the month went very well; despite the low score lines we dominated a lot of the possession and restricted the opponents to very few chances. In my last update I had suggested that Ugwu and Rossi needed to pull their finger out and start performing. Ugwu did this getting a couple of goals but Rossi decided to be injured and was pretty much ruled out for the remainder of the season.

Despite a couple of injuries along the way it was a comfortable month and I was happy with the results. I was glad we found some sort of consistency which let the likes of Brentford and Stevenage, that in spite of a couple of poor results in previous months, we were still fighting for the title and I would love it if we beat them, love it (ahh good ol’ Keegan). Consistency seemed to be the theme for the month with the chairman for the third time offering me the chance to renew my contract. They provided me with the opportunity to change my expectations for the season but not much else. I decided to decline the chance to extend my current one year contract (that finishes at the end of the current season) on the off chance I am head hunted. I have however, kept my feet on the ground and realised that I may have to accept the opportunity of a new contract if they come back to me a fourth time.

Player of the Month – Callum McFadzean

despite how sad i am that Preston are heading for relegation, great story and some great young players looking strong heading into the championship. Great read and good luck.
Just finished reading and I must say this is a epic story and long may it continue.
BPL in two seasons?
2013-12-27 13:49#151429 Hortensius : despite how sad i am that Preston are heading for relegation, great story and some great young players looking strong heading into the championship. Great read and good luck.

To add to your misery I think I have managed to do quite well against Preston this season. The youngsters really will form the foundation of the team next year whether we get promoted or not. Thank you.

2013-12-27 15:03#151454 captainbrickarms : Just finished reading and I must say this is a epic story and long may it continue.
BPL in two seasons?

Thank you taking the time out to read it all...must have taken a little while! I think getting to the Premier League is a bit of stretch at two seasons but it can be an aim for the future.


We have only gone and bloody done it! We have only gone and won ourselves the league and on a personal level, my second piece of silverware in my time in management. Last season we look destined to be playing out trade in League 2 looking to bounce straight back up after one season. We were a club with shattered morale and players who just weren’t bothered about the club and had showed no pride in wearing the Notts County badge. After a fresh start this season, with a few additions and departures to and from the squad, new backroom staff brought in and faith put in the players, the result is a piece of silverware in the Notts County trophy cabinet.

I am extremely proud of this achievement, especially after the disappointing time I endured at Grimsby and Stockport County. The chairman showed faith in me and went along with my plans and style of play and it dually paid off. The players were loving their football and the fans were enjoying it more. Even though there were a couple of hiccups along the way, a few injuries to key players, poor performances, we still managed to come out on top and get our hands on the League One trophy.

This is a journey. It is a personal journey that focuses on my own achievements as a manager who started off in the wilderness of unemployment with the aim to reach managerial greatness. It may just be the League One trophy but I really do feel that this is the “proper” start of the journey now I feel that I have truly achieved something with a club. Yes the FA Trophy final was great with Grimsby Town but this is a league title that is ours and it will be our title for a whole season. I explained in my last update I had been offered the chance to extend my contract but had declined. I am determined to jump up from league one management to the dizzy heights of the Premier League or a top European league without having achieved a great deal. I have however seen the light and accepted the offer of a new contract with Notts County. I have signed on for one more year on the lowest salary possible with the aim to retain our position now in the Sky Bet Championship.

Player of the Season – Mathias Bossaerts

Great work winning the title James and congrats on being nominated for story of the month. I can definitely see why you have been nominated. Also Bossaerts looks really good for League 1. Is that so or am I just being ignorant?

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