From an early age I've always had a passion for football, wanting to leave my mark on the beautiful game. At first it was as a goalkeeper, I was the best in my primary school, we won everything. But then I realised in senior school that I wasn't as good as I thought I was. I turned into a defensive midfielder and centre back. I went to every training session, worked as hard as I could. But never got picked, maybe that was because of my weight. I never was stick thin or athletic, and that didn't help when it came to teasing. As a Manchester City fan in Liverpool, I was endlessly taunted about 'being a shit club' having 'no history'.
This was of course back when Liverpool where at the very end of their hayday in the 90s, not that that decade was any better for my club. Not even Georgi Kinkladze's mesmerising ability could keep us up, as we spiralled down the divisions and scraped a play off place in 1999. That was United's infamous treble winning season, but we didn't care. Paul Dickov's equaliser and Nicky Weaver's penalty heroics put us back in the championship and we were promoted to PremierShip the next season. But relegation soon followed, followed by one of my fondest seasons as a City fan. Kevin Keegan arrived and took us back to the PremierShip with the swift attacking football with the creative talents of Eyal Berkovic and Ali Benarbia finished off by Shaun Goater and Paulo Wanchope.
As I got older I developed an interest in coaching, I was mesmerised by the top managers. Like Louis van Gaal, Udo Lattek, Guus Hiddink, Bernd Schuster, Arsene Wenger. And of course Keegan, later I would (like many others) develop a fondness for Jose Mourinho. Then it was Guardiola, then Klopp, Mancini and so many others.
When I was younger my insecurity grew, as I became less and happy with the world and how things turned out for me. I clinged to my knowledge of football, I would read endless amounts of facts and statistics books, biographys on my heros. I would sometimes skip school to go to Melwood or Finch Farm and watch Liverpool or Everton train to see what I could learn.
People called me arrogant, annoying, stupid. I learned to take it, you will always find your critics. No matter what you do. I would claim I could manage better than most of the top coaches, yet my brutal honesty unsurprsingly found little admirers.
When I was 20 I started to work as a player coach with my local sunday league teams. And grew as a person for it. Working at semi professional sides, it was a steep learning curve, what with the tight funds, hard tackles and even harder footballs. It worked out so well that I was offered the chance to become Head Coach of several non league teams, such as FC United, Droylsden and Hayes and Yeading. Or work with the reserve and under 18 teams at Everton as a coach, I took the latter.
After three years in that role I was promoted to Manager of the reserve team, managing Ross Barkley, Jack Rodwell and Jose Baxter as the started to break into the Everton first team. When Moyes left he wanted to take me to United with him, but I would never work for them.
As Roberto Martinez brought in his own staff I was let go and forced to look around for a new job. I decided to go abroad in my search and was hired by one of my favourite teams, Borussia Dortmund. Jurgen Klopp installed me as a first team coach at BVB, working with the talents of Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski and Henrik Mkhitaryan among others.
It was a brilliant, albeit short experience, to work for the Schwatzgelben. After Kloppo's emotional farewell I was left looking for work again after Thomas Tuchel arrival in the hot seat in Dortmund. I found myself confronted with an unfortunate predicament, coach at VFL Bochum? Or take the managers role at 1860 Munchen?
The obsession for perfection will start at the home of one of Dortmund's greatest enemies, but instead of Bayern I am Head Coach of 1860 Munchen. Munchen's other club.