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[FM13] Scotland - We'll Be Coming Down The Road

Join me, as I try to finally take Scotland beyond them dreaded group stages.
Started on 29 December 2013 by Rablador
Latest Reply on 12 January 2014 by Jer
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10 yearsEdited

Argentina Win The FIFA World Cup

Doha, QA
Last Updated 23:49, Sunday 10 July 2022

There was a strong sense of agony in the Spain camp tonight, as the heavy favourites suffered a painful penalty defeat to the much-lower ranked Argentina in a largely-billed but rather disappointing end to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, reports Juan Román Riquelme. Long before the end of the 120 minutes, during which neither team was able to take control of the final, it was clear to most inside the stadium that we were unlikely to witness the deadlock be broken. And, to no surprise, a penalty shootout was required - perhaps the worst way to pick the winner of the world's premier international football competition. Nevertheless, tension was building around the stadium (Doha's 50,000 capacity Khalifa International Stadium) as Argentina's greatest ever player, and subsequent captain, of all time, Leo Messi, stepped up to take the first penalty. Messi calmly dispatched his kick, as did the next 3 spot-kick takers. In all truth, the first major talking point of the entire match was when Argentina full-back Federico Ramírez, a player ironically brought to Europe as a teenager by Spain manager Robert McLaren, missed his PK. Spanish supporters were promptly sent into ruptures...well, for all of 60 seconds, as Juan Luis Ferriol stepped up to give Spain the advantage - and missed. Fiorentina central midfielder Luis Tersic coolly picked his spot, and we were back to advantage: Argentina. And when Spanish defender Javier's penalty was brilliantly saved by Argentinean goalkeeper Toloza, substitute Hector Canteros was provided with the chance to send the World Cup back to Argentina for the first time in 36 years. Despite Canteros showing visible signs of nervousness as he placed the ball down on the spot, Spain 'keeper San Miguel was sent the wrong way, and the famous trophy returned to South America - a proud moment in the former Villarreal man's long career.

Having beaten them in the lead-up to the final, Spain are likely to overtake Brazil and move up to the number 1 spot in the world rankings, despite losing the final. Although they began the tournament as World #10, Argentina are likely to move considerably further up the rankings following their success. Argentina manager Mauricio Pochettino was full of praise for his newly-crowned champions after the match, declaring himself proud of his underdogs who had been largely written off as potential winners before the tournament had even began. "At times I must admit even I thought we didn't stand a chance tonight, but my boys have proved me wrong and I am truly proud of each and every one of them," exclaimed a beaming Pochettino in his post-match press conference.

The mood was all too different for Spain manager McLaren, and in an exclusive interview with Marca, the former Italy and Sweden boss revealed that he would be offering his resignation to the Spanish FA in the morning.

"Firstly, I would like to offer my congratulations to Mauricio, Argentina and their loyal fans on some spectacular achievements during these World Cup Finals, not just in the climax itself but in the last three weeks as a whole," explains McLaren. "I'm being perfectly honest when I say that the best team won today, and I wish them all the best in future pastures. However, for us it has not been an easy day, and having put much thought into it I would like to reveal that I will be offering the wonderful people at the Spanish FA my resignation first thing come tomorrow. It's been a great couple of years and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it, but I myself feel like I have let a nation down today and feel as if someone else should be given the chance to take this group of players forward."

"I can only insist that I am not giving up on Spain. Why would I? - It's a job any football fan with sense would crave," laughs McLaren. "I am merely looking to continue my career elsewhere and would like to thank all of the board and of course the fans for their support over the twenty-something months I've been at the reigns here."

Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova is currently odds-on favourite to take over from the Scot as national team coach.

Meanwhile, Paul Lambert, the first manager to take Scotland to a major tournament since Craig Brown in 1998, has also resigned from his position after an abysmal performance by his team in the group stages, during which they failed to score a single goal. While Lambert was unavailable for interviewing, Scotland fans, collectively known as the Tartan Army, reflected on the team's games:

"Pish. Utter pish," declares one fan. "Don't get me wrong, we're thankful and a' that for what Paul's done for us since he took charge, but tae think some of us have waited all are lives to see us play in a World Cup and then for us to come here and watch us play so shambolically like we did is just...gutting." He sighs, "Qatar, eh? Not even letting us drink away our pain!"

Another disappointed fan said "Thank f*ck he's gone. Losing 3-0 to Australia, of all teams. AUSTRALIA!"

Lambert brought an end to his four and a half year spell as Scotland manager on Saturday

Despite the fact he is yet to resign from his current job, bookies and fans alike are already speculating that McLaren is on his way to becoming Lambert's successor, with some even suggesting that the Scotland job being available was a major factor in McLaren's decision to resign from Spain. Darren Ferguson, son of Sir Alex, is amongst the other favourites for the job, on a list that also includes current Scotland U19's gaffer Kirk Broadfoot.


Perhaps it's a little too late to be starting an FM13 story now, especially in a save already 10 seasons in, but I've been playing this save for a while and have been wanting to do some kind of story around it for a long time now. So, when I took the Scotland job in-game, I thought it might be a nice way to finally start writing. This will only be a short story, so don't expect it to go on forever, but hopefully we'll see some kind of ending. Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed the start.

Good luck Rab, will be following :)
Scotland, huh? What's their squad looking like these days?

Good luck with Scotland, but there is no shame in losing to Australia ;)
Good luck mate

The Offer Cometh

It had been a while since McLaren had last been able to sleep easy. In fact, since the beginning of the World Cup he'd almost forgotten how to catch more than a few winks entirely. So, at least until the inevitable happened, he savoured his little break from football; the chance to be an ordinary spectator at a football match without being forced to furiously note-take as he gazed a tired eye accross one of his players, or two, or eleven. But if there was one thing he'd learned from the so-called beautiful game over the past few years, it was that football is everywhere you go, and even as he soaked up the hot Spanish summer for one last time from the balcony of his apartment, he couldn't help but think about that darn Scotland job. He knew it was his for the taking, hell, he knew that Lambert would have gone long before had he previously revealed his dream to manage them. Yet still, even after his resignation from Spain had passed through and he had taken the chance to say his final goodbyes, he couldn't help but have his doubts about the whole Scotland thing. Let's be honest here, they weren't great as it is, let alone whilst recovering from a morale-damaging World Cup horror show. Greater still, as arrogant as he knew it sounded, the moment any job became available, it could be his in a flash, so why would anyone want to return to damp, chavvy old Scotland?

But return is what he did, purely as a summer holiday, he assured himself. Having not set foot in his homeland in quite some time, and with his reputation built-up almost entirely in sunnier pastures, McLaren had somehow managed to convince himself that nobody would know him here, that he could simply blend in - something he considered himself an expert at when he was still living here. To think anyone could merely blend in having stood in the technical area of a World Cup final just a couple of days before was a very stupid thought.

As he struggled to cope with driving on the "correct" side of the road again and while forced to a standstill at some traffic lights, he felt a loud thump on the passenger window and, bringing out his inner Harry Redknapp, he decided to roll down the windows. That was another stupid decision.

"OI, RABBIE, WILL YOU STOP SITTING ON YOUR ARSE ALL DAY AND COME SAVE US ALREADY?!?" Immediately regretting his decision and feeling very much like an MI5 agent whose cover had just been blown, McLaren attempted in vain to talk himself out of the winless conversation, foot hovering over the gas pedal, ready to pull off his own great escape if necessary. However, to the disgust of many of the drivers behind him, a small crowd was already beginning to gather around his bonnet. "ATLÉTI SCUM!" yelled one, clearly gloryhunting, Real Madrid shirt-donned teenager. They weren't all that agressive, though, many looked simply confused to be there and others were trying to shush the yellers. Just as he finally managed to force himself away, the back page of The Observer was thrust onto his window: Darren Ferguson closes in on Scots' job as SFA lose patience with Mclaren decision it read. Unable to get the headline out of his head, he rushed to the nearest off-licence to purchase a copy of the paper, along with one of those tabloids-who-must-not-be-named. It's not something you'd typically think potential managers would do; wasting time gazing over back-pages in the hope to find the scoops on their fellow-candidates, but if anything this was convincing him more than ever that he really wanted this job over that living-in-his-father's-shadow of a man. "These journalists are evolving," he thought to himself as he picked up the tabloid....and promptly slammed it onto the passenger seat.

"McCLANGER" it said. Typical. A cheesy pun of a headline, accompanied by a poorly-photoshopped image of Ferguson in the Scotland dugout. There's another thing he'd learned from his experience with football, never listen to the tabloids, ever. Today he did quite the contrary.

He picked up his mobile, called his agent and asked to arrange a meeting with the SFA. A mere three and a half hours later, and the inevitable had become a reality.

He laughed to himself, as he watched the retweet count soar up. For all the years it had been around, slowly taking over the working world, Robert had never been a fan of it himself. Yet he lived in a world so hopeless, even a huge announcement that a nation was listening out for could only be done via Twitter.
Good luck with Scotland.
who is your first match against?
:) :) :) :) :) :)
Very nice update, I want more :P
@captainbrickarms: Thank you! You'll find out very soon ;)
@Walter, k1rups, AlexSonwild: Thanks for the support guys :)
@Arvind: Ahhh, you'll see, you'll see :P
@Pauker: Yes. You know, that place where I live, and that ;)

New Team, New Office

McLaren wasn't afraid to admit that it had been a long time since he'd watched a Scotland match. He'd managed against them, once...he thought, but even if that was correct it had happened several years ago. As such, he knew incredibly little about the current squad, other than the stalwarts of course. So, as he began to settle in to his new, much smaller office, it terrified him to think he was just a few days away from his first big squad announcement. Despite knowing nothing about the squad himself, he did know one man who surely knew a thing or two more.

Eric Black was a close friend of McLaren's; a fellow Scot who had been with him as an assistant manager for most of his career, someone he had relied upon far too many times to count in the past. The appointment of Eric as his new assistant was a no-brainer, especially as almost all of Lambert's backroom staff had followed him out of the job. As unprofessional as it seemed, one single phone call to Eric was more than enough to convince him to take the job, before he had even been offered it. All of a sudden, things were starting to feel a little bit easier for McLaren. He kicked back in his chair, put his feet up on the desk, and took a sip of his coffee. "Horrible," he said, as he left the office in pursuit of some good old Irn Bru.

The following day, to the delight of Robert and the surprise of his players, Eric Black flew in especially to see what he was letting himself in for. For one thing, neither McLaren nor his assistant knew just how far down the rankings Scotland actually were. They had simultaneously left a nation soon to become the best in the world, only to move to another remaining in the top 40 by the skin of its teeth. Eric Black didn't seem too concerned by this, "it's only numbers, Robert," he insisted, but McLaren was having none of it, and whilst this discussion was going on he began to think up a plan in his head. Although in all his cockiness he was confident that he would never get the sack, he also knew it was unlikely he would remain in the job for more than 3 or 4 years, for whatever reason it came down to. In the time that he would be there, McLaren was keen to get Scotland back into the Top 20, where they belong, however stupendous it may sound for such a small country. Eric Black didn't know of McLaren's plan, yet, but he had some ideas of his own.

"So, as you'll be aware, the FA want qualification without a doubt," assured Black. McLaren nodded. "However," he continued, "you may also know that in all our years in the international game, bearing in mind we're one of football's founding nations, our boys have somehow never managed to get beyond them group stages at a major tournament, be that at the Euro's or the World Cup, never."

He was right, McLaren did already know this, and it baffled him as well. Through all the great managers there had been at the helm - Jock Stein, Craig Brown, Berti V...actually, we don't like to talk about Berti - none of them had ever managed to get this group of players beyond them dreaded group stages. This, McLaren pondered, was something that needed to change.

"Let's go make history then," he jokingly said back to Eric, but both men knew what they were out to do.

Key Players

Graham Adamson, GK
Experienced Olympiacos goalkeeper Adamson is, by a million miles, our best goalkeeper. Boasting that he is one of the best at commanding his area and communicating with his defenders and other teammates, the Celtic youth product joined the Greek club from West Brom in early 2022, for a measly £1.8M, and is sure to be key to our team should we look to attain clean sheets.

Lee Gibson, RB
Newly-chosen vice captain and one of our most crucial players, Lee Gibson is a full back capable of playing on both sides with ease. Signing from Celtic for Tottenham as a teenager, the defender, who is not only the highest valued player in the team but also is the highest club-earner, has worked his way up through the ranks at the Tottenham Stadium and is now an undisputed starter for both club and country.

Neil Oliver, CB
Probably the only Scottish footballer in Portugal currently, Neil Oliver is a strong centre half who is also an exceptionally good tackler. Despite still only being aged just 24, the fellow Celtic youth academy graduate has racked up more than £20M in transfer fees and is close to winning his 50th cap for his country. Since joining Benfica from Sunderland, Neil has rarely lost his place in the Scotland defence and is unlikely to during McLaren's tenure either.

Liam Bridcutt, CDM
Brighton legend and Scotland veteran Liam Bridcutt, currently a captain for both his club and his country, may be nearing retirement but remains a key player in our potential success. The former Chelsea youth player has racked up over 50 caps for his country since winning his first in 2013, and is the kind of player needed to keep the younger cap recipients and debutants on track. His passing isn't bad, either!

Tom Cairney, CM
First choice-central midfielder Tom Cairney, currently at Celtic and formerly of Hull and Norwich in the Premier League, is entering his prime still as one of his country's best players and is likely to be a recurring force in the national side until his retirement. As one of the best passers Scotland fans have ever witnessed with their own eyes, Cairney is also something of a free kick specialist and as an all-round midfielder can be deployed into almost any midfield role.

Tony Watt, ST/Winger
Although his time at the Emirates was something of a disaster, Tony Watt holds the honour of being the most expensive Scottish player ever. After establishing himself in the Celtic first team, the former Airdrie boy sealed a £16M to Arsenal in 2016. However, he failed to start a single Premier League game in his 3 seasons with the Gunners and it wasn't until a move to Norwich a few seasons ago that Watt could finally solidifying himself as one of the Premier League's top strikers. Although often deployed on the wing for the Scots in order to make way for his teammates, Watt continues to boast an exceptional finish and can cause problems for any team.

Jordan Rhodes, ST
A crucial attacker for Blackburn Rovers for what feels like a century, Scotland's record goalscorer Rhodes is still a big part of how his country play, even into his later years. Despite the fact he is beginning to lose his physical prowess with age, Jordan Rhodes has managed to net more than 100 times in the Premier League during his career and will leave an irreplaceable hole when he finally decides to hang up his boots.

McLaren was far happier now, he knew he could count on Eric to teach him the ropes at picking your home country's football team, and now he couldn't wait till the team's first match - a friendly against South Africa at Hampden Park, Glasgow.
WOW Rab loving this!
Nice updates.. ^^^^^^^^^^^
Well written last update Rab, enjoying this so far:P Also those FUT cards look really good!

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