The Pentagon Part 1: Jobless
So, this year on FM I decided to do one of the hardest challenges in Football Manager. The Pentagon. What is the Pentagon I hear you ask? Well, you have to win all five major continental trophies.
UEFA Champions League. Copa Libertadores. Asian Champions League. African Champions League. CONCACAF Champions League.
Shouldn’t be so hard, right? Just start at Man City and knock off the Champions League and mop up from there. WRONG! You must start unemployed with no badges. Here’s me then. Unemployed and badgeless.
Possible options: PSPS Pekanbaru. Indonesia has a bunch of vacancies. Not sure I want a manage a team with piss in their name, twice. Persis Solo. Another Indonesian outfit. They play in red, so I probably won’t go there anyway. Maritzburg United in South Africa. They’re in the top division in S Africa so I’ve got no chance. Persatuan Sepak Bola Lamongan. Once again, Indonesia. 14,000 capacity ground though. Resources Capital. This is in Hong Kong. Gresik United. Again, Indonesia. Chippa United is the one I’m hoping for, which we probably won’t get. They’re one of South Africa’s biggest clubs and have a 47k capacity stadium. I could probably win the African Champion’s League with them. CITY ROVERS have the best name of any of the teams I’ve applied to. They’re technically called Platinum City Rovers FC, which makes them sound fantastic. They play in red though. Another South African team is Uthongathi. I’ve also applied for Swallows FC from South Africa. Persekat Tegal in Indonesia, who play in red so are probably ruled out. And finally Sekhukhune United in South Africa. Lots of South Africa and Indonesia.
I’ve also been cheeky and applied for St Albans City just in case all these foreigners are confused as to who I am and why I want to work for them. From the screen grab you can see which clubs I’m likely to get. Indonesia might be a goer or St Albans. All the African jobs are too highly rated. Persekat and Piss Piss come up with the immediate job interviews. City Rovers, Uthongathi, Sekhukhune, Chippa United and Swallows knock me back without much consideration. Gresik come in with an interview, as do Terengganu from Malaysia and Resources Capital. Being knocked back by St Albans hurts the most. That was my back up plan. Your back up plan shouldn’t reject you!
Persekat came in with a job offer but they play in red, and I would hate it there, so I reject it. Piss Piss opt for Bima Sakti. I can’t blame them. He is a legend of Indonesian football. So, my choices are Terengganu from Malaysia aka “The Turtles”. Their stadium holds 50,000 people. They are in the top division and if they win the league or the cup, they qualify for the Asian Champions League. Next is Resources Capital. A small Hong Kong team with no money at all. They were rebranded in 2016 after being purchased by Henry Tang. Their star player is called Albert Canal. Finally, Gresik United in Indonesia. They’re the only option that would need a promotion before even considering qualification for the Asian Champion’s League so would require at least an extra year on top of the other two.
Resources Capital are nicknamed the Pink Squad due to their pink shirts. I like them and I’m leaning that way but they’re probably not the best choice of the three. Gresik need to be promoted. That’s a black mark against them so logically I should go with Terengganu.
And here are the boys. I was very tempted to just go to Resources Capital so the team could play in pink but here we are in boring black and white.
The season has already started, hence the vacancy, as the previous manager had steered the boys into P10 when expected to finish third. The board’s expectations are to finish in the top three. I am in trouble already. My first problem is that we’re only allowed 3 foreign players (4 if one of them is Asian). We have NINE foreign players on the books. We lose our first game (totally xG’d ffs) and it is already deadline day. I have to assess every player on one bad day at the office. I offload a few foreign players to try and get the numbers under control and draft in some domestic talent to bolster the squad.
Three games in and this league is bloody mad. They play games all the time on weird days. We lost our opened to Sabah even though they only had three fucking shots. Then my striker scored five goals in a 5-2 away win. Next up is the team top of the league and we lose 4-0 with the right back getting sent off for a professional foul and my good centre back getting injured. I ended up with two midfielders in my back four.
This league is mad. Shitembi scored from here. All the Malaysian players are dreadful so it’s down to who has the best imported players. Shitembi is a decent player so he looks like fucking Pele.
The game still frustrates me a great deal and our early form is patchy but once the team get used to my style of play, we start to put a run together. We stay up comfortably and then start smashing teams in the League Cup, which takes place at the end of the season. I’m particularly thrilled to rinse local rivals Kelantan 6-1 away from home. Kedah were second in the league, and I stopped them winning the title and then thumped them in the cup. The board are…not thrilled about this.
There are a few issues. 1. I didn’t qualify for Asian continental competition, which was borderline impossible when I took over because they were just above the relegation zone. The supporters just wanted to stay up, the board had unreasonable expectations. That was required and I failed but hey, so what? It was never about this season. 2. Wage controls are fine, but I am spending more than I should and I need to offload some dead wood. 3. I was supposed to sign players U23, and I forgot and didn’t even bother attempting to. That’s probably the least of my concerns. 4. The players don’t support me because I’ve got no experience. That’s the big one. It seems to get worse with time and I’ve not been in this situation before so I’m not sure what to do.
I literally had to google it and SI say you can’t improve your reputation unless you win stuff. We have won 6 of our last 8 games here. What more can I do? The solution seemed simple. I got my National C licence and the support saw a nice little bump.
And all those relationships suddenly go green. I immediately ask to do National B but get shot down because it costs too much. Baby steps but we have levelled up in season one. We finish P8 and lose in the semi-final of the cup, on penalties in a game when another TWO of my dipshit defenders get sent off.
END OF SEASON ONE!
Some issues going forward. We have too many players on big contracts. The board has decided to reduce our wage bill so not only can I not sign anyone, I have to sell at least four top first team players or I’ll get fired for overspending.
NEXT…Season 2 in Malaysia. Do I get fired? Can I clear the wage problem? Can we push for Continental competition?