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The return of Alex Taylor

Bloke that used to kick a ball about now in charge of people who kick ball about
Started on 26 October 2017 by ninjaskill / First Post
Latest Reply on 2 November 2017 by mgriffin2012 / Last Post
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Summer 2016

Alex was on top of the world having just been given a job that most managers dream of getting. The one problem with being on top of the world is there is only one way to go and even a small slip means that you will be going down fast. After a very successful spell at Bayer Leverkusen he had been invited to take over at Barcelona and would be able to work with some of the best players in world football most notably the attacking trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar. How could anything go wrong when he had such talented players at his disposal?

November 2016



A disaster in Paris means Barcelona may struggle to get out of their Champions League group was the last thing Alex needed. It compounded an awful start in the league, an early exit in the Copa del Rey to second division Cordoba and some very strong and correct rumours of a massive split in the squad with almost every member of the squad very annoyed with someone else. It had culminated in Neymar saying that he would leave for Paris in the summer as he stormed out of what was thankfully a closed training session.



By Erick Gutierrez, FC Barcelona reporter

Very strong rumours are swirling that the hammering delivered by PSG in Paris was the last straw and that they board are set to cut their losses with English manager by sacking him before the next league game against Celta Vigo. The last few Barcelona games have seen widespread booing of the manager and the team especially during and following the 3-0 home loss to Real Madrid. Despite successes at Club Brugge and Bayer Leverkusen Barcelona with all the expectations, fans and player’s ego seems to have been a step to far for Taylor.

He can at least to point to some terrible luck with injuries as a lack of any fit first team centre back’s is never ideal and some awful misses for Barca and lucky goals from other teams have seen them drop points however, someone has to foot the blame for all of this and unfortunately for Taylor it would appear to be him as his spell in Catalonia seems set to end before the day is out.

Whoever is chosen to replace Taylor will have an almighty challenge on their hands as they will face an uphill struggle to get out of their Champions League group requiring a comprehensive win away to Shaktar Donetsk and PSG to draw with Basel to sneak into second place in a very tight group following the hammering in Paris. Looking to the league will not provide much solace as Barca sit in 8th place although do have a game in hand that could see them move up to 7th.

Rumours on the replacement vary wildly as it is guessed that Barca will clear house of anyone appointed by Taylor and look to totally change the staff. Ernesto Valverde is favourite but, would have to drop down three places to take over with his Bilbao side having a very good season.

Update at 17:38 Barcelona have confirmed the sacking of Alex Taylor just under six months after he took the job saying in a statement “They regret his time with the club was so short and everyone at Barcelona wishes him well for the future.”

Speculation on a replacement is rife with the common theory being the Barca board see the season as a bust so will appoint a temporary boss for the rest of the season before they attempt to find a reputable manager to lead them into the next season. The impact of the damage done by Taylor could still be felt by that point though with a number of sources saying that Neymar, Messi and Suarez fell out to such an extent Neymar has planned a move to PSG or Man City and Messi will strongly consider running his contract down to the end at Barcelona and leaving elsewhere on a free.

Taylor goes down as one of the most disastrous managers in the history of Barcelona and his awful spell may make it hard for him to gain meaningful employment in the football world.
A great start to this man, good to see you back writing again! :D
Imagine doing badly with Barcelona... I wouldn't dare employ you now. ;)
Mgriffin2012 Cheers man, good to be back on here

ScottT Yeah that chunk of months will not be included in the career highlight reel. And anyone is employable in football, just look at Roy Hodgson
May 2017



Taylor is gone from Inter as they release a statement saying “It is with regret that we announce that we have parted ways with Taylor following a spell of results that are no where near the standard that the fans and board expect. Everyone at the club wishes Taylor and his staff all the best for the future.


Following a dismal run of 7 games without a win Alex Taylor has been sacked sources who told us of his appointment had told us and the club officially confirmed it a few minutes ago in a short statement. A very good start quickly fizzled out and some hammerings by AC Milan, Juventus and Roma had the fans turning on the team and manager. The poor form then continued against all teams and it seemed clear that Taylor’s time in charge was running out fast and although many had guessed he would see the season out Suning are apparently set to hand the last few games of the season over to someone else, reportedly Luciano Spalletti is their target and they will use a caretaker for the final four games of the season,



Taylor took a side that was 5th on his arrival down to 9th place with just four games left. It compounds a season of hell for the young English manager after failing with Barcelona and now Inter Milan it would appear that he will struggle to find a new job as clubs that just a year ago Taylor wouldn’t have even responded to if they had asked him to take the job now wouldn’t respond to him if he offered to do it for free. Just a year after being the hottest property on the block after his contract with Leverkusen expired a month after he lead them to a League and Europa League title. With two failures at large clubs in a row now it is thought that owners will not be looking to the manager to help their teams with the failures a stark warning to other managers that the grass isn’t always greener at the bigger clubs.
I hope he's learnt his lesson and decides to take on a smaller club... else this trend could continue :P
ScottT Don't think it will be his decision to go to a smaller club don't think any big ones would touch him with a bargepole after those two efforts



What next for Alex Taylor?


What a difference a year makes in sport, one year ago Alex Taylor was the young upstart that every fan hoped their team would get when it became clear he wouldn’t be signing a new deal at Bayer Leverkusen. After reportedly turning down a couple of jobs in England for Barcelona every fan hopes that their club steers clear of him like the plague after two disastrous jobs in charge of Barcelona and Internazionale. His chances of finding a job in a top league in Europe seems slim to say the least and he may have to drop down the divisions or go to a smaller league to find a job.

Some reports are linking him to a move back to Belgium where he started his career but, as all the top clubs there seem settled with their manager he would likely have to take a step down from what was his first job in management. Rumours from his camp is that while he wants to get back into the game as soon as possible he is willing to wait for the right job to come along and that may be some time as a manager who has failed twice in a row will likely not be at the top of the list for any big job in Europe.

One option that seems possible given where he ended his career would be a move to the Middle East, however with the current diplomatic issues there the move to tax free money may not be as bright as it was when he was a player. Meanwhile for the rest of the Gulf States his spell in Qatar may well make him less desirable to them and limit his chances of a move there. That leaves China as the most likely destination and with the season at the halfway point there are likely to be sackings and despite his failures there and ex-Barca and Inter manager would always be an interesting option for someone looking to make a splash and get a big name manager.

Their have been rumours as well as his agent was in China over the past couple of days however, when asked about it he said that he was on holiday and that his arrival in China just a day after the sacking of Sven-Goran Eriksson by Shenzen FC was totally coincidental. Whether that is true or not (read not true) it does seem likely that China is the next destination for Taylor where he can join Andre Vilas-Boas as managers who seemed set to be key figures in world football for decades to come ending up in China after failing a couple times in Europe. There is a slim chance that a Korean or Japanese team could try and get Taylor but, none would be able to offer close to what a Chinese club could afford.

The only other option outside of Europe that would seem possible is a move to the MLS where there isn’t a great history of top managers going to but “Tata” Martino, also an ex-Barca manager, is the current Atlanta United manager so Taylor could find himself some similar company in a well paid English speaking job. The biggest bonus of the USA to Taylor may well be that he could probably go quite unrecognised and not get mobbed by people keen to remind him about his time at Barca and Inter.

It seems clear that as far as European clubs go Taylor is Persona Non Grata if he has any hope of working again then he will likely have to head far away unless he feels a calling for the Faroese football leagues, where even they might turn their noses up at him.
It'll be an interesting career route change either way!
Dont sell out and go to the money bag leagues of asia!
ScottT The career route has been going on a rather downwards progression so far, have to try and halt it

Mgriffin Their is limited job options after two dismal failures but, you know what Conte says about press rumours accuracy
Alex had packed all his bags from the apartment he had lived alone in in Milan and kicked most things that were kickable, not overly worried about the bill he would receive for it as he had managed to get paid 5 years worth of salary in just one year. Maybe there were advantages to his abject failure of a year. He just wished that he had listen to the advice he was given after he left Barca, to take a break from football. It came from people who’s advice had helped him in playing and to get to Barca as a manager but, he ignored it and took over at a team with poor morale, mid-season and not speaking the language. It was a recipe for disaster when he thought about it logically and he had hated being without his family who had stayed in Barcelona as he didn’t want to move the kids after only 6 months. It would be a short hop back to Barcelona to meet up with his family again and then a long flight to China where he would be signing a deal which would actually be paying him the most he had earned so far in his career. He had wanted to take a decent length break this time but, everyone who told him to do that last time now said he had to jump into a job so that he didn’t want to become known as the guy to mess up two of the biggest clubs in the world but, the manager of a team no matter where that team was and how irrelevant they may be. Alex liked how his friends and advisors sugar coated things for him.

The taxi to take him to the airport rang to say it had arrived and Alex hauled everything out of his apartment and headed down praying that the driver didn’t recognise him. Fortunately, the driver was distracted by a phone call and didn’t really look at Alex as they loaded up the van. Alex got into the backseat and opened up a book that he had picked as it was the biggest one he had in his apartment and hoped it covered enough of his face so that he wouldn’t be recognised. He got to the airport fine and able to get onto the flight unrecognised.

Anyone who had looked closely at the person in seat 2A would have noticed that although he held a book up the entire flight at an angle the covered most of his face he didn’t actually ever turn the pages of the book. No one did though and Alex spent the whole flight wondering how his year could have gone so horribly wrong.

He was happy to see Rachael at the airport and began to relax a bit on the ride back to the house that he had been hoping to spend more time in than he had. He was happy to see his kids again for the first time and not long after seeing them went to bed after a long day and hoped that he would have a good long spell in China before a big triumphant return to Europe.

Alex arrived at the airport and was told that the private jet he was scheduled to take had been sent elsewhere as the club though they had a chance of signing a big name player. It rankled with Alex that he was behind a player whose name he wasn’t told in importance to the board, he was also annoyed that he was not being consulted on what would be a big signing for the club.

Alex took a seat in the VIP area of the airport with what looked to be a lot of business people and someone he thought might be a singer he had seen on the news in some controversy.

After half an hour in the room just as he was about to get up and grab some food as he didn’t know how long his wait would be as the club looked to charter another jet his phone rang. Alex answered and a voice in Spanish accent English said “It seems your flight has been delayed, that gives us a good chance to talk.”
Ooo I wonder what the mysterious man wants to speak about... I can 100% assure you it won't be Barcelona asking for you to return!
Only the CIA are that undercover, what else has Alex been getting up to?
ScottT That is sadly true

Mgriffin Clearly you have never met anyone with a real flair for the dramatic

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