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

FM19 - The Great Glasgow Alternative

Recently retired hard man Roy Scully ventures north of the border for his first job in management. Steve Gerrard, he ain't.
Started on 29 December 2018 by tenthreeleader
Latest Reply on 3 September 2019 by TheLFCFan
An excellent result!
Feel like I'm reading the biography best-seller of a football hardman with this it's fantastic :) Huge battering against Albion which sure proves a great deal of talent in your squad
Brilliantly emphatic result to give your side a good boost. Your new Brazilian wonderman seems to be doing the business and Storey provided the goals. All good so far, long may it continue!
This was an eye-opener. Adrianinho is a good player by the numbers but at age 38 represents a low-cost gamble for a club that doesn't have much money. Anything he gives is a bonus. Thanks for the nice comments, gents!

The change among the players in the dressing room had been marked.

When Roy started just a few short weeks before, the players had looked at him with a mixture of skepticism and silence.

They weren’t used to winning anymore. They weren’t used to doing what needed to be done to secure victory, and they weren’t used to putting themselves in the positions they needed to be in to get what they wanted for themselves.

His philosophy had been simple; back to basics. He had the Jags playing in a standard 4-4-2 with organization and good wing play at the forefront of the entire philosophy.

When they didn’t have the ball, they were to regroup and stay sound, defending as a compact unit, until they could get it back – and then hit the opponent for pace.

He wanted the ball to go into open space so the Jags could take advantage of their team speed – and if it wound up in a wide area, so much the better.

So far, it was working a treat. So, when he gathered the players after the match, he now had a room full of players who weren’t looking at Roy Scully the former West Ham hard man; they were looking at their boss.

“Very well done,” he said, and you could almost hear the players purring. “But then remember, this is what you ought to do to those.” As he spoke, he pointed to the visiting dressing room down the hallway, which was silent.

“We’ve got another match against much the same on Saturday,” he said, referring to the trip to Gayfield Park, Arbroath, which would bring the group stage to a close. A draw would see the Jags through to the second round, but Roy was after more than that.

“You’ve done very well in training and you’re doing the things you need to do to come together as eleven men,” he added. “Saturday we’re going to get a look at some different people in different places, but I’ll be expecting the same result. Then we play matches that mean something.”

He was referring to the start of the Ladbrokes Championship, which would see the Jags away to Ayr in the first round of fixtures.

“There’s plenty of football here for everyone if you will keep doing the things that make you feel like you feel right now, after you’ve won,” he said. “Our work is only beginning – but tonight, go enjoy this because you gave them a real hiding.”

He then headed through a side door into the manager’s office, and sat behind his desk. His chair squealed in protest as he leaned back in it; he hated its noise and wanted it fixed, though no one had yet gotten round to it.

A tea cozy sat to the right of his desk and he was more grateful that someone had remembered to fill it. He liked his cuppa after the match and while he went through the post-match report and analysis, he enjoyed a cup of Earl Grey with cream.

Litmanen knocked on the door frame and Roy waved him in.

“Not bad, Jari,” Roy began, as the Finn sat on the couch opposite the manager’s desk.

“We’ll take six,” he smiled. “But I’m pretty sure you saw some of the same things I did.”

Roy nodded, offering Litmanen a cup of tea, which he accepted.

“Aye,” he responded. “I see a group that has some potential but which needs to believe in itself and needs to start acting like a unit.”

“I wouldn’t have put it in quite those words,” Litmanen said with a smile, as he took his first sip.

“I’ve tried to keep it simple but we’re going to need other tactics.”

“Maybe not for awhile,” Litmanen said, and Roy frowned. He motioned for the deputy to go on, and he did,

“We aren’t fluid enough in anything yet to add to their load,” he said. “You see some of the players whingeing at training already.”

“We aren’t training for their enjoyment,” Roy replied immediately. “We’re training so they can win football matches.”

“I know that,” Litmanen replied. “But if you’ll pardon advice you didn’t ask for, now’s the time to remind a few people of that, if you take my meaning.”

Roy nodded. He understood. He didn’t like it, but he understood.

# # #
It amazes me that the pair of them can find negatives after such a good performance! :P
Always worth taking notes from a former third-placed Ballon d'Or star.
The issue isn't results -- it's about players switching off during matches and it's about training. Roy has a list of complaining players despite being off to a flying start. The team, while it listens to him in team talk and tactics sessions, still doesn't like his training schemes and players switch off far too quickly. As Roy is an inexperienced manager, the game is challenging him to figure out how to motivate his players. This post reflects that.

And yes, Litmanen is a gold mine. :)


“So, Mr. Erskine, is this more to your liking?”

Chris Erskine had let it be known he didn’t like doing the up-and-downs the first team did in training, He was a quick enough lad, he said.

Now he was running. Around the practice pitch. Roy was running alongside him.

“You don’t like the intervals,” Roy said matter-of-factly, already knowing the answer to his question.

“Lots of us don’t,” he said. Roy loved a man who stuck to his guns.

“Well, lots of you do,” Roy said, and it was at that time Erskine noticed that his manager wasn’t breathing especially hard. He was keeping right up, thanks very much.

“Chris, what I need you to understand is that while we like it when you enjoy training, the coaching team has a plan in place and it’s to help you win matches. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“Aye,” he replied.

“Good,” Roy said. “Because this is the kind of thing that doesn’t help a squad. You’re one of the influential players here, yeah?”

“That’s what they say.”

“Well, help us out, then. You want to go through what you went through last season all over again?”

“Not exactly.”

“Then give us a chance,” Roy urged. “Results have been good so far so maybe we know what the f**k we’re on about, know what I mean?”

Erskine smiled. “I still don’t like those bloody intervals,” he said.

“Don’t blame you. I hated them too, when I played,” Roy replied as the two finished their first lap of the training pitch. “Now, how’s about you train and let’s call it good, okay?”

Erskine smiled again and headed off to his work. The intervals were over for the day and the winger noticed that he hadn’t had to take part.

# # #
A good conversation between the two parties, with a little bit of banter shared. It seems Roy is building a good relationship between his players and hopefully the players will learn to accept the training routine soon.
Nice to see a bond being built, can only bode well for the future!
So when will Roy cleave somebody's head off with an axe? :P
tenthreeleader's avatar Group tenthreeleader
5 yearsEdited
Roy might like to bring you on staff, Justice :)

Thanks to all as always for the comments!


The trip to Gayfield Park hadn’t been especially long – none of the trips in Scotland really are.

Roy thought back to the joke from the American comedian Steven Wright – “cross-country skiing is great but only if you live in a small country” -- but the coach ride had still given Roy the chance to think about the team going forward.

There were certain players he liked – Coulibaly was one, even though he wasn’t scoring yet – and Cammy Bell was another. He was a legitimate Premiership goalkeeper even if Rangers hadn’t thought so.

When they were climbing back up the leagues, the Bears had utilized Bell’s services. A former Kilmarnock man who made 115 appearances for the club, Bell did the dirty work when Rangers were walking the lower leagues despite losing almost all of their stars when the club nearly folded.

Then when they finally reached the big time again, Bell was gone, replaced by Wesley Foderingham, who was in turn replaced by Allan McGregor – who had left the club when it tanked.

Somehow, it didn’t seem fair.

But to Roy, Bell was just what the doctor ordered – a highly competent keeper who knew Glasgow and who was itching for an opportunity to get back into the Premier League to show everyone what they had been missing.

Roy had played with some good keepers – many of whom had more talent than Bell. But few of them had Bell’s drive to prove a point, and he admired that in his number one.

After leaving Rangers, Bell had gone to Dundee United and then to Hibs and finally back to Killie – playing exactly twice, both for Hibs, in the season just concluded. He was only too happy to leave.

But to his teammates, Bell was a free-spirited regular guy. He didn’t fit into any of the predetermined molds and team groups and he didn’t seem to mind. Everyone liked him and he could move from group to group with nearly equal ease.

Those were the kinds of players Roy could build around.

Yet, here was Bell, back in his League One roots, facing Arbroath in the last Cup group stage match. He seemed at home, even if his being at Thistle was supposed to get him away from fields like these to as great an extent as possible.

Today, though, it was his teammates who did the hard work – especially Max Melbourne, the loanee from West Brom. The 19-year old had bags of pace and could make things happen either up the park or down in his defensive third, and he seemed to rarely get tired.

Bannigan had served notice of intent after only eight minutes, taking heed of Roy’s wish for a bright start by slotting past Darren Jamieson from about ten yards to get the Jags off to a flyer.

Not long later, there was Melbourne, dropping a perfect cross from deep onto the forehead of Storey, who netted for the fifth time in two games right on the half hour.
Really, there wasn’t much more Roy could ask for. His team had 13 shots at goal in the first half to just one for the home team, so Bell had very little to do.

The second half was every bit as good, as was the Jags’ tackling. They won 25 of 26 challenges on the day and were only whistled for nine fouls. They were efficient in their defensive third and they were effective all over the park.

Blair Spittal scored his first goal fifteen minutes from time as the Jags held off Arbroath with considerable comfort and right as the match ticked over into added time, Melbourne himself capped a great day with a swerving little volley from the edge of the area that was fit to win any football match even though it made this one four-nil.

Thistle was through to the knockout stages without so much as breathing hard. Four wins from four and only one conceded with 14 goals for. Only Edinburgh City had managed to dent them.

If Roy was looking for a better way to get through to his players, he’d have been hard-pressed to find it.

As the team boarded the coach for home, Roy waited for Bell to walk past him just outside the door. As he did, Roy extended his hand.

“Good job, big fellow,” Roy smiled, even though the keeper had made only two saves, neither of them difficult. “Winning is fun, yeah?”

Bell grinned. “Thanks, gaffer,” he said. “And yes, it beats hell out of the alternative.”

Betfred Cup Group Stage Match #4 – Arbroath 0-4 Partick Thistle

# # #
A great victory to book your place into the next round. Cammy Bell, I'm assuming that is? He's a fantastic keeper for that level and should do well for Thistle.
Pwoah, talk about transforming a game into a narrative. It is great to have insight into your players, specifically Bell in this update, as we get to see a number of ideas we would otherwise only see in the game.
A great signing and one that should really help you take Partick up a level!
Bell was the inherited goalkeeper but as Justice notes, the purpose of this post is to bring another aspect of the game into writing, that of social groups. I'm a big believer in writing to what the game gives you and every year the advances in the game make that easier. It's also a good way to provide added story arcs and bridges between matches.

They were starting to believe. The trick would be making the players believe for an entire season.

Having run the table in their Betfred Cup group, the Jags awaited their second round opponent with interest.

It was a bit disappointing to learn that they had been drawn away to Livingston – the same team they had beaten in the group stage – at the same location, the Tony Macaroni Stadium.

“At least we’ll know the way there,” Roy mused to Litmanen when the draw became public.

“Look at this way, Roy, we’ve already stuffed them once.”

Roy nodded. “True,” he said, stroking what would have been his beard hairs if he had had one. “Belief shouldn’t be an issue. Beating a team twice in a row on their own patch will be, though.”

The match wasn’t scheduled for another two weeks, and there were three matches between – Championship fixtures at Ayr and home to Falkirk with a friendly at Accrington Stanley set between them.

At first Roy had thought he might want to cancel the friendly arrangement but then he looked at the fitness reports and thought better of it. There were a lot of players who needed match time and with the reserve league not due to start for a few weeks he planned to take a second eleven south and get them some match fitness.

Yet while looking at the report, it might have been difficult to avoid looking at who was giving it.

Partick Thistle’s new chief physio was 21-year old Alannah MacPherson. Not only was she young enough to be Roy’s child, a wag might have said she had chosen the right profession because she was fit as a fiddle.

In the age of #MeToo, though, Roy had had to issue a quiet reminder to the more boisterous people on the football side that the club would tolerate no harassment of the young lady, who was there to do a job and had been hired because she showed unusual acumen for it for someone her age.

That said, Roy appreciated what she brought to the club – which was a fresh, young eye that was up on all the latest practices in the profession.

Before long she was cranking out reports for Roy on a near-daily basis. Who needed more work in training, who needed less work in training, who ran a higher risk of injury from training too much – all the things Roy needed to make informed decisions, and he hadn’t had to ask for a single one.

That seemed to be a very good hire. Sean Cullinane was in as the new full time fitness coach and the players loved the idea of Roy not running the interval training any more.

The u-18 side had a new boss as well, as Nick Barmby came aboard. The 23-times England-capped native of Hull knew a thing or two about rivalries, having played on both sides of the Merseyside Derby.

He became the first player in 41 years to move from Everton to Liverpool when he was purchased in 2000. He also spent time at Leeds and Middlesbrough, who have a minor rivalry according to some. He had also managed a senior team, so he brought a well-rounded resume to Glasgow.

He was a good person to instruct the youngsters – and as one of only nine players to have scored for six different Premier League teams, he was someone they could look up to.

He had a history, as well – he was believed to have been sacked by Hull because he had made comments out of turn regarding ownership and transfer policy.

So, he was looking for a way back into the game at the professional level and Roy was only too happy to provide it.

He was also invited to the senior team bench on match days when his younglings didn’t play. Roy was comfortable enough in himself to not need help making the final decisions but a set of eyes as experienced as Barmby’s would be just fine in helping him reach his conclusions.

The two had played against each other and came into direct physical contact more than once. Barmby, a pacy attacking midfielder, would often attempt to get the beating of Roy in his holding midfielder position when West Ham would play one of Barmby’s teams.

They respected each other. They hadn’t chested up against each other on the pitch, but Roy had nailed Barmby a few times with hard but thankfully clean tackles to which some players would still have taken exception.

So, they had something to talk about on the bench.

As a result, the coach trip to Ayr was interesting, with the Premier League players talking about old days and everyone else on the coach talking about the match.

That should have been an omen of some sort.

# # #

You are reading "FM19 - The Great Glasgow Alternative".

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.