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The Luke Henderson Story

Finding a way in Scottish football
Started on 22 December 2019 by Luke Henderson
Latest Reply on 23 June 2020 by TheLFCFan
Not a great start unfortunately but I know you'll turn it around when you can properly invest in the squad.
Mid-table is okay, give it time and build them up, might just be a longer project than you were expecting
A huge project to begin with, it was never going to be easy. Hopefully the investment in youth can pay dividence.
This is going to be a much larger challenge than any of your previous ones I believe. A tough tough rebuild on its way and I can't imagine the board will be overly patient either.

#107 - I think I made the right decision

22/02/2038 -- Okay. As already said last time I don’t make use of the old guys anymore, only in a case of emergency or as a substitute. It was the right decision I guess. Since then we only lost twice, from which one of them was a very bad result in the Copa del Rey against Segunda Division side Espanyol… For the fourth year in a row we are eliminated in the third round, which is a huge shame for sure. Especially if you take in count that the bigger clubs (which we are apparently) are seeded in the first couple of rounds… The board wasn’t satisfied at all and me neither. But sometimes all this youngster are just playing terrible. And if there are too many of them at the exact same moment we are having troubles. We just have to take this kind of things into account, it will happen again for sure.

But beside our early elimination in the Copa del Rey we recovered ourselves pretty well in the league. Our defensive line looks far more solid now, not in the last place because I switched the goalkeeper, which was a brilliant move for sure. The guy we bought last summer for a small amount of money from Osasuna is way better! We are seventh currently, most likely that position will be enough for playing European football next season given the fact that Sevilla and Barcelona are playing the Copa del Rey final. I really hope we do so, it gives me the opportunity to make use of the youngsters far more often than I currently can. But we need to be curious, it’s still pretty close and we have a couple of tough matches ahead of us near the end of the season. But, I’m pretty pleased how things are going currently, although even the youth intake at Bilbao is just as shit as it always was before whilst at Spartans, Hearts and Tottenham… We need to buy our kids again I guess.

Winter transfers
As pronounced last time I want to get rid of a couple of veterans again after they performed just terrible the first half of the season. We succeed, more or less. The first one who left us is a guy who joined Athletic when he was a kid. So with a little bit of pain in the ass I sold him, but he is just not good enough anymore. Although his figures aren’t that bad, but it doesn’t sort out on the pitch in either way. He was on a big wage and his contract is ending at the end of the season as well, but luckily we have something called China! Those crazy yellow friends seemed to want just every European player apparently… I’ll take my 4,5 million and Iker Bengoetxea his absolute insane wage money for the next two years. Good for me, good for him.

Get rid of the goalkeeper was a bit tougher. His contract was also ending at the end of this season and he is earning a huge wage as well (everything above £100,000 per week is huge in my opinion). But no other club wanted him. Although, not without paying his full wage. But I don’t want to pay a single penny of it. Even when I offered him for free they asked me to pay roughly the half of his wage. No way. Then I will keep him over here until the end of the season, this club has already way to many negative future clauses. I tried another playing card. Offering him the opportunity to hand in his contract. Surprisingly he accepted it for asking only a one week salary. Deal! Apparently he has an amazing agent. This agent brought him to the Premier League were he joined Southampton for a decent amount of wage money, but especially the length of his contract is amazingly! Although he didn’t looked very secure the first five games he played… Apparently their scouts didn’t looked how he performed with us over the last few months… We wish them all the best with Aitor Mateo in the Championship next year!

Anyway, I’ve lost some dead wood, which I’m happy with. The leaving of those two guys made some room in my squad to promote one of the players from Bilbao Athletic. I don’t have many wingers, so I decide to pick a left-winger, also because he is not playing very often with the B-team. Strange, because his figures are probably better then anyone else in that squad. Maybe the manager of the B-squad doesn’t believe in him. Well, I see something in him and will give him a proper chance to prove himself. Iker Estrada is a very pacy left-winger with decent figures for his key attributes. He did all right so far, with even scoring a hattrick! I also bought two other youngster this period. Both are looking promising, but as always it is some kind of a guess how they will develop themselves throughout the years. If they reach into the first squad someday I will show them to you for sure.

The end of the season is near with twelve more games to play. There is not much to play for anymore. Finishing seventh would be really great for sure, but I’m not that disappointed if we fail. This first year is mainly a build-up year for me to learn the players qualities and sweeping the squad. I think the board agrees with me, they are still content with my performances so far. I’m going straight ahead to the end of the season now and come back to you with an overall view of the current squad, our strengths and weaknesses and our possibilities on the transfer market.

Note: Thanks guys for the support again! It's definitely going better now, maybe I had to make use of the youngster from the start already. Possibly we were a little bit higher up the ladder nowadays if we did so. All those oldies are really letting me down... I think they don't like me at all from the very first days on when I joined Athletic. Anyway, hopefully we can qualify ourselves for European football next season, it will be great for the further development of the youngsters for sure.
Mixed form but everything could change in a few months. If you can hit the 70 point mark, I reckon you have CL football in the bag.
At least things look to be improving.
Absolutely massive turnaround, well done

#108 - Decent enough...?

28/05/2038 -- As already expected we faced another bad period. In a streak of five matches we only scored 1 point (and one goal as well!). Although we played against a couple of tough clubs it was a little bit too much for competing for European football any longer. After the Eibar match, ending eight in the league was pretty much secured. We were 8 points behind already for position seven and we are 10 points above the ninth place. So the last five matches didn’t care that much anymore, although we handled to win three of them and played a draw in the Vasco Derby against Real Sociedad who are struggling this season as well.

So we ended eight in the league. Only one spot after European football and two behind the main goal for the club; qualifying ourselves for the Europa League. We didn’t make it, which is not that brilliant of course, but given the circumstances I think we are on the way back for sure. Last year the club finished only eleventh with 50 points, now we are eight with 62 points. An amount of points that was enough for finishing sixth last year but as already said before the top of the league is quite equal to each other this year which is not helping us. And also two clubs who achieved a brilliant year who don’t belong above us under normal circumstances (Levante and Real Betis). But overall I’m still quite pleased. We got rid of a whole bunch of old players and now we are going to say goodbye to another few of them who’s contract are expiring and just played awful last season. But wait...

You’re kidding right?
“No we aren’t.” The words the club president just spoke to me, cold as ice. I. Am. Sacked. What the fuck? I don’t know what just happened, I’m still flabbergasted. I have done everything I possible could to bring this club back on track. I managed to sign a lot of good staff members to improve the overall quality of the staff, I am really busy and involved with the development of the youngsters in the B- and C-teams and it was my task to get rid of a lot of old guys who even didn’t want to stay here after the awful performances of the club in the year before. It was an dishonorable task but I managed it without messing up the whole atmosphere between the first team players that left behind. Okay, we didn’t reached the main goals this year, but it was a very thin line we balanced on whether we could make it or not. Apparently not, but that’s the risk if you have to deal with a lot of youngsters who are not there yet and barely having some good attacking players left. And now this moron is telling me that he will end my contract? It’s the biggest disgrace at this club in history for sure. I am furious. Actually they are punishing me now thanks to the terrible performances the managers before me achieved…

But I can’t turn it around anymore. What’s done is done. The Bilbao adventure is ending before it was even began properly. And I love this club so much...! I just can’t believe it. Maybe I didn’t gave the right answers when the board had a word me after the last match was played. Maybe I had to ask what I could do for staying here, with them possibly answering that I need to score 10 points out of the first five matches next season, just like Hearts a long while ago. But I didn’t and said that I deserved more time to build the squad further on. Apparently they were shocked what I just said and the next rule that enters my screen was my sacking… For the first time this career. I’m one of the big guys now huh! You need to be sacked in your career at least once! But I would have liked to see it differently. Maybe I relied to much on my emotions instead of thinking about the games algorithms, which apparently doesn’t take in account what you have done for the club as a whole instead of only realizing the two main goals (finishing sixth in the league and reaching into the fifth round of the Cup, which wasn't even that realistic in my opinion seen the performances the season before). And of which we weren’t even that far off. But yeah, sometimes this game is taking you into depth more than you like and it’s punishing you before you even realized it…

I think I just have to accept it I guess. I really hope they are turning into deep shite next season again. Despite I’m a huge fan of this club. I really don’t care. I deserved more than this I think. It cost me even half a star of my world reputation! The only nice think is that I was on a ridiculous wage money for a club like Athletic. I was earning £175,000 per week, lower then my wage at Spurs but just as much as the highest paid player at the club. My contract was lasting for another two years, so if I don’t manage a new club within those two years my contract tells me I’m receiving another £18,000,000. And be sure I will do it like this until the very last day. Let them bleed! Underneath I have shown the squad overview from last season (for what it’s worth like), the awful board assessment about me and my own profile. It was taken just a day before my resignation...

Unfortunately if the objectives are not met, the board will review things and ultimately may opt to sack you. It's a shame but it's an opportunity to find a new adventure that may enable you to win the Champions League sooner rather than later?
An absolute joke! I really hope they get relegated next season now.
How do they expect to achieve anything with no longevity? :(

#109 - My future

30/02/2039 -- It lasted only five updates! Oh dear, that’s bad, isn’t it? I still can’t life with it to be honest. It took me a few months to find myself back and that I realized it wasn’t my fault at all. That proves the new appointed manager once more for sure. A little demon in my head was hoping for it already but it actually became reality soon. Only a week ago the new appointed manager (Simon Kjær) was also sacked... Ha-ha, I laughed my ass off for sure! Those stupid fools who are taking place in that board, what are they thinking! Are they thinking about me? Asking themselves now whether it was the best decision to sack me or not? They should be. I know for sure I had done better than Kjær did over the last few months. Athletic is twelfth in the league currently and also eliminated in the Copa del Rey early on (fourth round this time).

I couldn’t resist it. I just had to apply for the job once again. I don’t expect much of it, but who knows? I have seen lots of managers turning back to the club they managed earlier before. I’m talking about you Pep! And it will also be a great victory for me personally. The best righteousness ever possible, contracting a former manager again, just half-a-year later. But a couple of days later or so they let me know that they don’t want me back. I didn’t develop myself in the meantime as a manager because I had no job. That’s a very political answer isn’t it? They even don’t have the balls for telling me the truth… Thomas Tuchel is now in charge, of course I hope he is the next one who is ruining everything! Finishing higher at the ladder or with more points then I did seemed already impossible, or Tuchel and his magic hands have to create an absolute miracle in the last couple of months of the season.

The possibilities
I was thinking about ending this career, but this doesn’t felt great at all. Getting sacked and then getting retired immediately afterwards? No way. I’m not done yet. I’m sixty years old and I want to end my career with one last job. A job which can bring me something. That should have been the Bilbao Job, but that story has been told now. After I was sacked I was preparing myself for the World Championship. Although managing a country isn’t much enjoyable in my opinion, but I was not completely negative about it either at this point. So I settled myself down and watched the whole tournament on television and sometimes as an analyst for a Scottish broadcasting company. Which was quite fun by the way! At the end of a major international tournament a lot of managers are getting sacked, which is my chance for sure. A week after the final it was already there. Around ten managers were sacked and six of this countries asked me for being their new manager! But none of them didn’t looked very interesting to me. Spain and France were amongst them, but I’m done with Spain since the Bilbao thing and a lot of the France players seemed over the hill already. The other four countries were smaller countries which didn’t attract me either.

No, I want to manage Scotland in the very first place! But they weren’t qualified for the World Championship at all and the current manager isn’t in doubt. That’s a no-go for sure. Secondly I want to join Germany. Something totally strange for me. I barely managed a German side in Football Manager as long as I am playing this game. But they have an amazing squad with a lot of players in a range of 25 till 28 years old. The perfect moment to achieve something for the next two major international tournaments. But sadly they chose Torsten Frings… I think because he is a German. It must be. Look at him! He is a terrible manager. Sacked everywhere, even getting relegated four(!) times and didn’t won a single major trophy. Why for god sake is he the man to bring you success? I really don’t know…

My last bet. England! Not really the best players over there currently, especially not a good goalkeeper given the fact that 35- year old Purton is still first choice. And we know already he wasn’t really great at all when I managed Tottenham Hotspur, were he currently still is. But also England ignored me… They didn’t want to go for a very experienced manager apparently, they are gambling with 40-year old talented manager Erik Sviatchenko from Denmark. He started his career at Lyngby followed by Midtjylland, where he realized to win the league title. Thereafter he joined Premier League side Burnley. He was still there before he applied for the England job. He ended twelfth with them in the league last year, nothing remarkable, but not so bad either. Well, it’s their choice obvious. I wish him all the best, I’m going back to home now. Walking around with my dog or something I guess…

It’s almost march now and I don’t think I will join a new club before the end of the season. In the meanwhile the Hearts manager was sacked as well, but I don’t feel the connection with this club anymore (although they didn’t asked me neither). Both Arsenal and Chelsea invited me for a job interview, but the Premier League isn’t that high on my list as well. I have won everything already in England, the challenge is not as big anymore, so I thanked them and said no. There was also some interest from French and Italian sides, but it didn’t attract me at all. I was doubting a little bit for joining AS Roma (I had a great career over there with FM13 or such), but at the end I didn’t felt motivated enough to do so. Actually there is only one more job left on my list which I want to carry out before I will end this career. Just one more job. But I think I have to be patient when it will come available. Although I can add myself for the job via the Editor, but I don’t want it do to like that. I didn’t make use of the in-game editor in my whole career until now and I prefer to keep it that way. Well, we shall see how things are sorting out, at least I’m not done yet… Stay tuned!
A shame to see the sacking after you seemed to be turning it around but with options open to you I hope this final job is a great one!
Shame to see you get sacked, but options are available and England could be an incredible opportunity, ecited to see what it'll be!

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