On FM Scout you can chat about Football Manager in real time since 2011. Here are 10 reasons to join!

Ralf Landgraf - Legend to Legacy

Austria's greatest ever player has hung up the boots. But can he leave a legacy on the touchline the same way he did on the field?
Started on 29 December 2016 by Pie 4 Life
Latest Reply on 3 January 2017 by Pie 4 Life
  • POSTS34
  • VIEWS10782
May 6, 2038

The season was barely over for us and I was already working on next season. While other teams were assessing their squads and seeing what moves they might be potentially abkle to make, I was revelling in having a transfer budget of £925,000 which I'd been able to convince 'Hodgey' to give me. Our first signing was a 25 year-old keeper by the name of Sonny Bradbury. He was a highly recommended keeper by the scouring team who was considered a "good" signing for League 1. Being two rungs lower in the English pyramid and considered better than both Jason Morris and Jimmy Redmond, it seemed a safe bet. I still was keen to see Redmond develop as he had a lot of potential.But for the time being, Bradbury would be the number one keeper.

I'd also got ahead of the curve ball and organised friendlies with Cardiff City, Birmingham Ciry and Brighton and Hove Albion, all of which would rake in £10,000 in profit. I would still be shrewd with my finances as I knew I could not afford to go nuts. There would be quite a few changes at the end of the season and no doubt we'd lose some good players as well as letting go of those not up to National League standard. Jose Ricardo was being courted by American clubs but due to their designated player rules, he was yet to be able to be signed, but they were offering £625,000 for him, which is crazy money for a 36 year-old who had been playing in the sixth tier of English football, but I would not complain even though he had been a star for me.

While the official presentation ceremony was yet to take place given the playoffs were occuring, Elliot Dawson was the leading goal scorer in the division with 35 goals in 34 appearances, while Steven Bitchell finished second iwth 32 from the same amount of games. Bitchell would be favourite heading into the top player awards, having amassed the highest average rating, most key players and most assists. I could not vote for him and while I would have liked to have voted of the lowest player to ensure his nearest competitior did not amass an extra vote, I did vote for Canvey Island's Carl Bryan who finished third in the goals and had the most Player of the Match awards with nine.
June 28, 2038

There was a buzz at Maurice Rebank Stadium when the players began filing through the doors for the opening training session. We'd lost a key player in Jose Ricardo to the Seattle Sounders, but with £625,000 extra in the coffers, it woudl enable us to replace him. Joining the players on the first day were Sonny Bradbury, and central midfielders, 18 year-old Englishman George Forster and 29 year-old Italian Luca Lupi who both joined on free transfers. Lupi would be on a high pay packet, but he replaced Ricardo in the central midfield slot.

I had to risk a lot because Hodgey had thrown his weight behind the club now he could see there was potential there. He set the minimum expectation as promotion via winning the league. I thought that was a little absurd considering we had only just got promoted but that was the weight on our shoulders heading into the National League season. With guys like Elliot Dawson and Steven Bitchell reutning, they noted of how they were impressed with the increased quality of the squad.

The defence still worried me however. Andy Elliott was a gun right back who agreed to sign on for another season and was arguably a League 1 standard. But the rest were just average National League players filling out central and left defence. Goal keepers, tick, midfield, tick, attack huge tick, but defence, cross.

Three players were brought back as loanees from Premier League clubs with central midfielders Paulo Parreira and Tom Hohn and attacking winger Guychei Ngoyi all rejoining the team after having spent only a couple of weeks at the back-end of last season with the Blues. There were a few retirements as well, but no-one of serious note which I was pleased about.

I gathered in a room with chief scout Demeaco Duhaney and his two scouts Rob Hunt and Jon Bull. Jon had been with the team since the start of last season, whilst Rob had joined recently. Duhaney was actually the newest face of the lot, signing on to replace Chris Winnett who I had to terminate his contract. Duhaney would be the key to fixing my defence.

"Alright lads, it's urgent we find some quality defenders," I said. "Put it as your number one priority no matter what you have to do. "I back you fellas in to fill those holes for us because I'm fairly confident in the rest of the squad. "If you do find quality players in other roles, do not neccesarily turn them away, but just give me a heads up and I'll work through if we have the finances to do it. Thanks,"
July 20, 2038

We'd welcomed two more to the team in the last couple of weeks. Belgium central midfielder Thibo Van Den Bergh joined on a free transfer like so many others, while Ellis Stevens was our first official paid transfer, with us forking out £200,000 for the Charlton Athletic left defender. He was far from a star, but my assistant manager Mick Griffiths told me he was a leading player for most National Sides. It was not ideal as I wanted players above the level, but he was ambitious and always looking to win. It was a quality that I looked for with my players.

Stevens would be first choice left back ahead of Kieran MacAskill so at least our defensive wings were decent. The central defenders were still nothing more than average National League players at best and we needed to improve. At least on the plus side I convinced Hodgey to at least investigate a senior affiliate so we could bring in some extra dough. He'd been reluctant last season but maybe because he actually knows what I'm capable of he trusts me more now. Either way it was pleasing.

Also I received my Continental C Licence which is the first of many that I hope to achieve. I asked about a Continental B Licence but was quickly told that financially it was not going to be viable. Bloody hell, I got them out of a hole before I'll do it again. But with still plenty left in the wage budget and transfer budget I had to find a couple of willing central defenders. I was still eyeing off left back Micky Pigden, an 18 year-old Arsenal reject. He had all the talent in the world - apparently a potential Championship left-back, but he was considered immature and not defensively minded which is something I could not afford at this level. Thought I was tempted to take the punt...

You are reading "Ralf Landgraf - Legend to Legacy".

FMS Chat

hey, just wanted to let you know that we have a fb style chat for our members. login or sign up to start chatting.