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Russian To The Top?

An average footballers attempt to be an above average manager.
Started on 25 April 2016 by C.J.Lippo
Latest Reply on 30 June 2016 by mgriffin2012
Hmmmmm i'm gonna guess....Shakhtar Donetsk? Worth a shot, no?

As I proceeded to pack my things & make my way to the airport, Viktor, true to his word, sent me through the details of my possible new employers.

It seems I was on my way to China to interview for the vacant Tianjin TEDA position. No wonder he had been so secretive, I specifically remember asking for top flight EUROPEAN football! Never mind, as he said, it was a fantastic opportunity & a chance to work with a much higher calibre of player then it seemed Europe would offer me.

As I boarded the plane, I hatched what I thought would be a fantastic plan that would give me the edge over any other foreign managers that may apply. I would spend the lengthy journey learning a phrase in Chinese. That would show the board I was serious.

I scrambled around on my tablet to find a Russian to Chinese translator & finally settled on the phrase: It’s a pleasure to be here, believing that their first words would be to welcome me to the club. No doubt I annoyed the hell out of the couple sitting next to me, but by the time we touched down in Tianjin, I felt I had the phrase down pat & made my way to the interview via the car the club had sent for me.

As I entered the boardroom I was confronted by 3 very well dressed Chinese businessmen & a translator named Yun Ming, who was quick to introduce himself. I shook hands with the 3 businessmen & took a seat as they gestured for me to do so.

“Welcome to Tianjin” The first man started & Yun began to translate. “Thank you for agreeing to meet with us.”

Yun ming waited for my response but with all the confidence I could muster, I gave a small signal for Yun not to bother & unleashed my secret weapon.

“你的骡子给我带来了许多快乐”I blurted & waited for the inevitable looks of astonishment..

Instead, the room fell silent & the 3 men looked confused. I glanced sideways at Yun, who was trying his best to hide a rye smile.

“What did I just say?” I asked Yun, leaning in, in an attempt to keep the conversation private.

“You told them that their mule brings you great pleasure.” He chuckled.

I laughed, quite loudly in fact, & to their credit, the 3 men joined in.

“OK, that didn’t go so well. I think I’ll stick with the translator from now on” I giggled & gestured for Yun to translate. “It’s a pleasure to be here” I continued, sure my face was as red as a tomato.

“I think that is for the best” The first man continued. “though we appreciate the thought.”

The rest of the interview continued in familiar fashion with the board members explaining to me that their previous manager had been relieved of his duties after a poor run of form& that there were still a handful of games left in the season, so an appointment would have to be made promptly in order to salvage any chance of continental football.

Concerns were also raised over my obvious lack of fluency with the native tongue, though my early attempts to learn the dialect had at least shown them I was serious about improving myself in that regard.

Finally, the men explained that no decisions would be made concerning budgets until the season had concluded & they knew where they stood. An understandable stance.

In all, I thought I recovered well after my early gaff & once again shook hands with the 3 men before thanking Yun for his help & heading towards the door.

“How soon can you start?” A voice spoke & was swiftly translated by Yun.

“Just point me to my office” I countered & with that, the deal was done. I was now manager of Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA.

That relegation was so unlucky! Great too see you have a new job so you can keep that scab of an agent happy! Good luck :)
Unlucky with how things turned out in Russia, but good luck with your new and latest adventure,
Might need to change the title of this story now!
Pat - Yeah it was devastating to go down like that, thanks mate! :)

Justice - 我敢肯定它会,谢谢我的朋友

Griffo - I think it will be fine. Kristoph is still Russian & still trying to get to the top. :P
Will be really cool to see how you fare in China mate! Going to China soon so hopefully your story can give me an insight to the football over there ;)
China will be fun
I have yet to see a good quality Chinese story, so you are obliged to deliver me that with the new job you have there ;)
Mgriff - I'll be as educational as possible for you :P

MJK - I hope so, definitely something different for me

Jack - I'll do my best mate ;)
C.J.Lippo's avatar Group C.J.Lippo
7 yearsEdited

Welcome to Tianjin

So, as you can see, Tianjin TEDA are a relatively new club having been formed in 1998. There are a couple of throphies in the cabinet, although nothing since 2011. Here's hoping I can change all that.

The clubs main rivals are north China neighbours, Beijing Guon, against whom the north China derby is contested. We play our home games at the Tianjin Olympic center, which has a capacity approaching 55K.

The clubs facilities, whist miles ahead of Baikal, are of good to average standard & quite frankly, pale into insignificance when compared to some of the countries bigger teams.

League Overview

I guess the main thing to look at here is the foreign player limits, which restricts clubs from fielding any more then 4 foreigners at any one time, with one of those players needing to be Asian. Also note, teams are not allowed to sign foreign goalkeepers.


Quite a large squad here, although many of these players are youngsters who will soon be moved back into the youth squads almost immediately. We also have 6 foreign players, of which only 5 can be registered, obviously something will have to give there.

At the top of the pile, we do seem to have some talented guys on board so lets have a closer look at 4 of the best.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that 31 year old forward, Freddy Montero, is the star attraction here at Tianjin. Excellent finisher, flawless technique & the vision & flair to create something out of nothing. Any success we have could well hinge on the performances of this crafty Colombian!

Decent looking playmaker with time on his side to improve even more. I do like playing my more creative players out wide, so Elmir is likely to feature heavily in our remaining games of the season.

Big, powerful forward with plenty of versatility. Could play up front as a foil for Montero or drift out wide to give opposition fullbacks nightmares with his pace & physicality. Not 100% how best to use him, but I'll fit him in somewhere.

25 year old Liao Lisheng could well be the heartbeat of our midfield with his determination, workrate & international experience. A hard nosed ball winner whose performances could go a long way in allowing us to play our game.

So there you have it, 4 of our best. Honourable mentions should be given to some of our other Chinese internationals as well. Central defender, Zhang Linpeng, & fullback Zheng Zheng, will also be key players for us but unfortunately, I don't have all day here! :P


So, with 4 games remaining we find ourselves in 6th position, 5 points from the Champions league, however, depending on the Chinese Cup result, 4th place may qualify as well.


So, 4 games left in the year & to be honest, I've no idea what to expect. My second game in charge will be my first experience with the North China Derby. The one thing I do know, is that will be intense! Both sides will be desperate to win & I could endear myself to the fans early with a victory. As always, wish me luck. I'm clueless in China!

Some decent facilities for a relatively new club, also the fact they have Fredy Montero is very interesting!
So will you be looking to move back to Russia ASAP?
Montero is a tremendous talent to have at the club, hopefully he'll fire you to glory!
Never seen a Chinese club save on FM so will be even more intrigued than I was before! Pretty good club and facilities for a new side here :)

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