After a series of resets to the laptop my previous games have been wiped... all i have is the internet and FM13 and I think I will keep it that way!
West Brom training ground I wonder who they'll announce as manager I thought, could Alan Curbishley come back into football? Ralph Rangnick? Hughton? Steve Clarke had been mentioned too, whatever it is I need to get the story across well. Maybe one day I'll be unveiled as a football manager... Instead of writing about how a manager has transformed a club maybe I can actually do it? I've got the qualifications from UEFA, I just need a job...
Jeremy Pearce "Hello all, Today I was supposed to reveal who our new manager was... and unfortunately talks have broken down, This is a message to our fans and to you the media that we are still searching, we are aware that this situation cannot go on much longer.
Who did talks break down with Mr Pearce? I could not believe I spoke.
Steve Clarke. I could feel him glaring at me, burning a hole in my head as I stared at the ground.
He is hardly tried and tested Mr Pearce is that a deliberate ploy? Thank God someone else asked a question.
No matter who you are, if you've got the right ideas and can take this club forward, why shouldn't you be considered?
Are there any names in contention now? any back up plans? my colleague asked.
No, not at the moment.
A pause, he looked around for more questions but the media had felt let-down at the news of no manager.
............ You'll do what? Pearce said to me
With everyone in the room staring at me, I was about to change my life forever I'll be the manager of West Brom. I mean uh... If no-one else is in the frame, I have the qualifications, I have the desire to coach, I'm sorry to have been so unprofessional. I walked out, I may have just lost my job as a sportswriter and completely embarrassed myself on national Television.
I waited in the car park where Jeremy Pearce's car was parked, I had to apologise.
He walked out about an hour later, he saw me and could hardly avoid me, I was sat on the ground by his car... What was that about? Who on earth are you and why did you do that!?
I'm sorry sir, I got carried away, in my mind I had envisioned you saying yes and...-
You're a Journalist, you write about football, you don't KNOW it, you think you know it. You have your coaching badges but have you coached a team?! West Brom are a Premiership club you moron.
I know I know, but you have no-one, I am certain that Hughton will join Norwich and your other targets will not come in as second option to Steve Clarke. What about Pre-season? Let me take that?
You're not going to give up are you?
No Mr. Pearce.
Get in the car
Where am I dropping you?
I told him the postcode and he programmed it into his sat-nav.
So... what was your name again?
Tom, West Brom has ambition, we want to compete one day, financially at this moment we can't, we can build though. If I let you take pre-season I want you to keep the staff we have, The assistant manager will take your friendlies, you can set the tactics, You can set up training drills and be partially involved, I don't want the boys thinking you're their new manager and then for me to sack you come the first fixture.
Okay, That's fair... but um-
what? you want to know about wage?
Not exactly... budgets really Mr Pearce
ah... you think you will be signing players?
I write about football, I watch football, I have watched players from all over the world in the last 5 years, I attend youth tournaments and Major tournaments, I know who can be good and who can't.
with the consent of the scouts you can sign players. I'll arrange your meetings with staff, we'll talk wages tomorrow.
From Writing to managing
That's as much as I can remember from the 8th June 2012, The day Steve Clarke was supposed to be taking West Brom into a new era lead to me and my big mouth ending up in the role. I was going to name my book 'The West Brom Chronicles' but I do not know how long I'll stay here!
It's now early November and I'm in the job still, I haven't dare write as It may be bad luck... but I am going to now keep record of my experiences at West Brom.
So an underwhelming pre-season it turned out to be, I still believe it's because I wasn't at the matches... a couple of wins, a few losses and a credible draw vs. a strong Napoli side... I had implemented my tactics, a solid 4-3-3/4-5-1 however you look at it, an axis of 2 DM's with an advanced playmaker in the CM role, my striker and wingers are vital in counter attacks and in the final third in general, their movement and pace is key.
Andre Santos - Loan
I need back up in the left back spot and he's done what I expected of him and more, making the spot his own.
Wellington Nem- 3.5m
Great talent, he'll become a key player and has shown signs of promise, needs to add goals.
Royston Drenthe - Free
Great acquisition, his pace is a threat but often too greedy, and his greed doesn't bring goals, overall I am pleased though.
Vaclav Kadlec 7.75m
It was more like 3.5 plus add ons over a monthly basis and per appearances but still a good piece of business I believe. Provides competition to Lukaku and Long who I see as my main strikers.
Bruno Ecuele Manga 12m.
Again with add ons but the central defender has stiffened up my back line, I maybe should have gone for a right back too but a good central back was more important.
I let Zoltan Gera go (2m) along with Marc-Antoine Fortune (1.5m) Gareth Mcauly (1.4m) and Gabriel Tamas (Loan fee - 245k). These were the big names that went, other loan agreements for many players are in place too.
After all this, all the deliberating and time spent in charge here, two months I've been in charge has felt like a life-time, Mr Pearce has our meeting scheduled to see if I should be kept on tomorrow.
" Sit down Tom, Pre-season results wise was tough... A few results were poor. I know it wasn't you taking it but it was your tactics Tom. Maybe I got it wrong, maybe I should have given the job to someone else.
Jeremy, with all due respect ... I took a swig of whiskey. From the bottle. From His Cabinet. With all due respect, I believe I can do this job, I believe that on my own, in control I can do it. Jeremy... another swig. There has been no-one else that has got in touch with you is there? or I would have been gone by now.
A vein had started pulsing on his forehead, like a worm wriggling to get free, he was angry, angry but shocked, I was spot on and he knew it.
Tom... you've got a screw loose. That's half a bottle of my whiskey you've just drank, in two gulps.
Half a bottle? I looked down, Jesus Christ I thought, Was it nerves? I'm sorry Jeremy.
He took the bottle and put it in his cabinet, he locked it. The vein had shrank by now... Tom, I know pre-season has been difficult, you haven't been able to be fully involved, but something tells me I have to give you a chance. I will get ripped to shreds for this. Don't make me look stupid.
I'll try not to.
I've fucking done it I thought, This is my chance now, I am going to be a Premiership manager! I need to celebrate!
I'm going into a period now where the next 3 Premiership games are very much 'winnable'. I want to go as far in the Capital One Cup as possible though, it offers a way into Europe and that will undoubtedly help us grow as a club.
Thomas?... Thomas? I felt someone slapping my face Wake up boss, you're late for training
Kevin, how did you get into my house?
Boss you're in your office. Who were you here with?
Tom this is a lot of drink you've got through.
You're my assistant not my counsellor Kevin. Get the boys focused on defending today we need to be tight in this cup tie. I'll be out soon. Apart from Drenthe, get him balls, lots of balls and make him shoot. He's retarded I think.
reporterThomas, Swansea tomorrow what can we expect team selection?
I wouldn't like to give selection away but there will be rotation for sure there seemed to be two people asking me the question... Can I have some water?
Water please. As Kevin brought me some water I took a sip, sweet sweet water, maybe I shouldn't have drank yesterday.
reporterAnd with your form this year, you lie in 6th at the moment do you think this can last?
Yeah why not? Sunderland were lucky to beat us so too were Everton, Man United there were areas we should have done better with. Anyone else got any questions as I feel a bit under the weather...
reporter Thomas, I do have a question I hadn't seen this guy here before. Do you think your fairytale will come to an end?
I know I'm new to management but how dare he? If that's all then I'll be going.
I had to walk past the reporters to get out the room, as I got up I felt my head spinning, I felt terrible, I started to burn up, I was stumbling out the room and then it happened, all the alcohol I consumed last night was brought back up on the reporter, the one who tried to unsettle me, that taught him.
Good few games eh Kevin? 2-0 vs Swansea, 5-0 away to Norwich! 1-0 against Southampton and the draw at QPR, we should have won but Cisse is a poacher isn't he? my word he bloody is.
Yeah boss, Manchester United coming up in the Quarter Finals but Chelsea and Tottenham first in the league, we're above them at the moment so have to prove we've got what it takes to stay there
You're words inspire me Kevin,
Why are you such a prick?! this run is going to your head a bit
I'm just enjoying myself you moron! I've gone from a writer who's only experience of managing a team was his fantasy team or Football manager to managing a West Brom side who could potentially get into europe! we are ready for a challenge here!
I was awaiting Kevin to accompany me to the press conference, I couldn't face these predators on my own, hoping I say something that they can twist around, I hate them and I don't think they like me.
I am ten minutes late, Kevin hasn't shown up the idiot...
Hi Everyone, and a happy new year to you all. Let's get this underway shall we? I've got a team to sort out
ReporterMr Jenkins your side sits 8th, 9 points from 5th and Tottenham, can you see Europe as a possibility?
Of course, Tottenham are 5th and 9 points ahead yep, Everton are 7th and 1 point ahead... We're then only 8 away from Newcastle, Everton and Newcastle are teams we should have beat and I am confident in this side. The FA Cup offers a route into europe too and it is a winnable competition I feel.
ReporterA winnable competition? but would you rather try and win that and sacrifice the league position?
No, we'll fight on all fronts.
Next? ReporterWest Ham will be looking to build on their Capital One Cup victory over Man City, can their good result prove to be bad for you?
Maybe, maybe not. We'll see.
ReporterAnd signings Thomas? any signings we can expect from you?
Maybe a couple of loans but we've no real money to spend this month unless people are sold. If that's everything I'll be off.
It's the end of January now, we've had an okay month, still in 8th behind Everton and Newcastle in 7th and 6th, but if we beat Everton next we leapfrog them. A 6th round FA cup tie against Watford or Leicester has been kind to us, with Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal all out this could be a competition we can win...
Wins against Wigan and Wolves (1-0 and 2-0) in the league and FA cup saw a good start to the new year then West Ham inflicted our first defeat of the year, 1-0. Kevin Nolan and his stupid celebration. Fulham went down without a fight against us, 3-1 and then the tables were turned when Arsenal hammered us 4-1 Giroud bagging 4. Our FA cup dream stayed alive after beating Swindon 2-1 then following it up with a 1-0 win over Swansea, we need to go into the International break with wins over Everton and Sunderland too to keep our challenge alive.
No transfers in or out barring a few loans out, nothing of importance it was just to reduce or wage bill ever so slightly and get them to stop moaning that they wouldn't develop by just being in the youths or reserves.
There's extra incentives the finish as high as possible now as the likes of Isco, Erikssen and Walter Montillo find themselves wanting new clubs... if I can get into europe next year players like these may take interest... I'd have to sell the club bloody well as they already play in Europe but I can try. We need a goalscorer in the Summer too as Lukaku leaves us and Kadlec still has lots of learning to do, Shane Long has shown glimpses of quality but not consistently.
didn't expect you to last this long Tom, I've got to be honest, but we're on the brink of europe and you've signed the contract until 2017 right?
Yep, I've proved a lot of people wrong, but it was never about that. It was about me proving to myself I could do it. I can't wait to have a drink after the final game of the season though.
Newcastle game is massive, they've just been torn apart by Sunderland 7-1 and although we've struggled recently (against better teams) If we win this I know we'll be fine.
Newcastle turned up against us, made us work, made us battle. Luckily we did just that, 2-1... sweet, sweet victory. One step closer to Europe, Newcastle faced Manchester United, Swansea face Spurs, we have Stoke.
how longs gone Kevin?
19 minutes, these are the set pieces we could do without, pennant can cross a ball mind.
For F*ck sake?!?!? Steven!!! Steven !!!!!! Why would you give a free kick away there? You stupid MORON!!!!!!!
I'll sell him in the Summer If teams want him.
There's still time to go, it was a fluke, Pennant meant to cross it.
Boys what are Stoke good at?
SO WHY GIVE STUPID FREE KICKS AWAY?! we could have been punished more than that. This is European football on the line, Newcastle and Swansea are both winning so we need to fix up, lose this and it's another year of boring boring Domestic football, you think you've done enough in 37 games?! you've still got 45 minutes to prove to everyone why you're good enough.
Boss you know Tottenham are beating Swansea? ...
I know. You think they need to know that?
We're looking better this half, few chances, Wellington Nem off at HT was a bit harsh though?
He was struggling Kev, they bullied him. How long?
come on... this corner... beat Stoke at their own game....
YEEEEEEEESSSSS JONAS OLSSON !!!!!!!
Give him a pay rise!!!
Europe here we come!
I'll take 1-1, is that enough Kev??
Newcastle lost but they're on 56, we got 57, Swansea lost so claim 7th.