Olympique Marsielle End Season In 3rd Place #FM16


Season 2018-2019 

My first season in France finished with a 1-0 defeat to Paris St Germain in the French Cup Final,on my birthday it was my 3rd cup final defeat in my managerial career so far.

We had a very good season in Ligue 1 finishing 3rd 6 points behind PSG in 2nd and 10 points behind Champions AS Monaco. Lucas Pratto and Moussa Dembele hit the goals that gave us the 3rd place finish but it was left back Benjamin Mendy who was the player of the season with a season average of 7.71 in 50 odd games. We topped the possession table with an average of 64% which I am pleased because it shows we managed to instil the Juego de Posicion philosophy. An injury to Anthony Martial kept him out for 4 months of the season so I had to rethink my 4-3-3 formation and went with a 2-4-1-2-1 with both Kondogbia and Sydorchuk performing well in a double pivot. In the Europa League we reached the 2nd knockout round going out to Mainz on goal difference.

The board have offered me a 3 year contract extension which I have signed and look forward to the coming season has we have a lot of players leaving the club which gives me a chance to further mould my squad to match my long term goal of being contenders at home in France and in Europe. I have an idea about how I am going to tweak our formation.

Ligue 1 Final Table 2018-2019

18-19 final table

French Cup Final

cup final

Results 2018-2019

results 1





My Manager Profile To Date

profile 18-19

New Contract Extension

new contract


Olympique De Marsielle Pre Season 2018-2019 Round Up #FM16


My first look at the club, I have decided to strengthen the coaching staff with additions that will take us to the next level on the training ground, my first addition is that of Zinedine Zidane as my assistant manager replacing Frank Passi who has left the club. Zidane comes to the club with some very good coaching stats and of course it’s a return to his birthplace. Another coach and former Marsielle player Frank Ribery is another addition with links to the club, he also brings with him good attacking stats. The Spaniard Aitor Karanka is my 3rd addition to the training ground along with Peter Crouch the former England International.
With these additions we have very good cover across the board in training at the club.
I am looking to bring in more scouts in the near future to enable the club to set up a successful scouting network. I have decide to retain the current Director of Football, Head of Youth Development and Chief Scout for the time being but will be looking to improve in all 3 areas.




I believe with a couple of additions to the playing staff we can be competitive in all competitions this season, which brings me nicely on to incoming and outgoings at the club.
I will start by saying in weird twist this is my 3rd club and 3rd time I have joined a club with Andy Carroll is at, he will no doubt be thinking here we go again has I have transfer listed and sold him both at West Ham and Newcastle Utd, I had a look at him in pre season and decided to let him go again as he didn’t fit in to my system, so he has signed for Levante.  I have strengthened our attacking options with the signings of Moussa Dembele who I signed last season at Newcastle and Munir from Barcelona for a combined sum of £35m, I feel both these players will be pivotal to Olympique Marseille during my reign. Another player incoming is Uruguayan defender Martin Caceres signed by the previous manager on a free transfer, Caceres will give us a number of options across our defence. Belgian forward Michy Batshuayi has left the club on a free transfer and has joined Besiktas again this deal was done by the previous management.
I have promoted 3 youth team players in to the first team squad they are Brazilian forward Oliveira who looks a red hot prospect, 18 year old Uruguayan full back Sergio De Los Santos and Norwegian defender Elrik Haugan.


We have received a massive £46m bid with the potential to rise to £60m for Lucas Ocampos, I was pondering over the deal so delayed the decision then Ocampos requested I let him speak to City, so I did and the transfer was completed. Another player to move on was Brazilian midfielder Denilson who has moved to Santos for 950k.
I have re invested the Ocampos transfer back in to the squad with 3 players coming in, they are French players Anthony Martial from Manchester United and Geoffrey Kondogbia from Arsenal. I have also purchased Eric Pereira from River Plate for £3m, Pereira has gone straight out on loan to Spartak Moscow.


ocampos signs

anthony martial

We started pre season with a 2-1 defeat in Russia against Dnipro with Oliveira netting for us. Next up was a trip to Denmark and a 7-1 win v FC Kobenhavn in a game which we had 76% possession playing a 4-2-3-1 formation. We then went on to have wins against Ajaccio,Angers and Club Brugge before losing 1-2 against Borussia Dortmund.
Next up was the 2 legged Europa League 3rd qualifying round games against Croatian club RNK Split. The first leg was away in Croatia were we laboured to a 2-1 win with goals from Giovani Dos Santos and Moussa Dembele in the first half. We looked poor on the night and lucky to have come away with the goals. The 2nd leg was much better has we scored 3 2nd half goals via Munir 2 and Oliveira in a 3-1 win to set up a playoff tie against Spartak Moscow with the 1st leg in Russia with the prize being a place in the group stage.


Expectations 2018-2019































2016-01-21 18.18.31

So thats the squad with a few days left until the transfer window shuts, we have a blend of experience and youth has we embark on the season ahead. I am looking forward to trying to instil the Juego De Posicion philosophy here in France…………




Newcastle United Win The Championship At The First Attempt #FM16


I am pleased to say that we ended the season has Champions of the Championship along with runners up in the FA Cup were we came up short in the final losing 6-1 to a rampant Chelsea side on the big day.


With a lot of personnel coming and going at the start of the season it was important to get the side as fluid and cohesive has possible which happened to go well with our 2 variations of playing a 2-3-5 formation juego de posicion  (positional play) based on the philosophy of Josep Guardiola ‘ s Bayern Munich side. In the 2nd half of the season we kept the same principles of the Juego De Posicion but used a 4-3-3 formation (more Barca style) to make use of our firepower up front after they had settled in to the club, our forwards had returns of :Dembele 39 appearances 17 goals, Thalles 36-14, Wilson 29-10, Armstrong 20-12 all good returns which shot us to the top. Over the season we averaged 64% possession, which would have more than likely have been more but for tweaking the tactic early season.

The club was taken over and his now French owned by a Paris based business man.

Has mentioned above we had a good cup run and reached the FA Cup Final, my second in the last 2 seasons however my record is 2 FA Cup finals 2 defeats after a crushing 6-1 defeat to Chelsea. A particular highlight for me was beating my old club West Ham Utd 3-0 in the Semi Final.

Overall we had a very good season and achieved our target of Promotion at the first time of asking by winning the League by 6 points from Wolves in 2nd place and with a goal difference of +48. The Juego De Posicion philosophy worked well and gave me pleasure in the fact that it was the first time I had created it with such effect.

One player who deserves a special mention is Ravel Morrison who played in several roles for me including left wing, centre midfield, and even shadow striker he was outstanding through out the season. I had built the tactic around 3 technical players in our midfield in Samper and Gumbau from Barcelona and Gaudino from Bayern all 3 stepped in to our side and made us tick during vital moments in the season.

On a personal level I have been offered interviews at my old club West Ham and Arsenal which I declined, however Olympique Marsielle also offered an interview and finally the offer to to manage the French club which I have accepted.

So a short stay here at St.James Park ends a three year stay in England, but now a move to France and an opportunity for me to test myself in France at the club were Marcelo Bielsa lay down the foundation for the Juego De Posicion which I myself will be keen to continue. I have had 3 year contracts at each of West Ham and Newcastle Utd and have not seen the end of either but with 3 years signed again at Marsielle my intension is to see out all 3 years if they don’t sack me….

Managerial Career To Date:

15-16 West Ham United Premier League 7th

16-17 West Ham United Premier League 4th- FA Cup Runners Up

17-18 Newcastle United Championship 1st Champions- FA Cup Runners Up

18-19 Olympique Marsielle


final table


results 2

FA Cup 





Juego De Posicion Arrives At St James Park #FM16


Season 2017-2018

When I took over the club I found the club in a very good financial position, however the club had just been relegated to the Championship after a woeful season in the Premier League with the club losing their last 6 games. The boards expectations on giving me a 3 year contract are promotion has Champions at the first attempt plus a good showing and reaching the later rounds of both the FA Cup and Capital One Cup.
I was greeted with most of the first team squad asking for moves out of the club due to relegation “which is about right after all it was their poor performance that got the toon relegated” anyway I accepted and to cut a long story short we have seen over 30 players leave the club with a transfer income of £72m of which thankfully the board made available for me to rebuild the squad.

So my starting point was how are we going to play….well my philosophy is inspired by a number of coaches with similar views on how the game should be played. The coaches in question are Rinus Michels,Arrigo Sacchi,Josep Guardiola,Marcelo Bielsa,Valeriy Lobanovskyi,Johan Cruyff,Gusztáv Sebes,Brian Clough,Carlos Bianchi,Jurgen Kopp,Jorge Sampaoli,Julen Lopetegui,Andre Villas Boas,Thomas Tuchel  plus many more I could go on forever.
So with all these influences how will my Newcastle play? At West Ham I played a 4-1-4-1 based on Marcelo Bielsa ‘s Athletic Club era. Back to Newcastle and I am looking to bring the Juego De Posicion of Pep Guardiola / Bielsa to the club. I have built 3 tactics with this in mind all variations of  a 2-3-5, yes a 2-3-5 in the Championship in England.
I had players in mind to fit into the system soI sent my scouts out on assignments to build up a shortlist of players who were interested in playing in the 2nd tier of the English system. I also wanted a number of squad players who had experience of the 2nd tier and who could mentor the younger player’s.


Player recruitment went well apart from the unfortunate Rudy Gestede who had been recruited by the last manager and didn’t fit in to my plans so I released him so he could get on with his career instead of rotting  in our reserves.
I managed to recruit some really good players from Barcelona ‘s B side which fit in to my philosophy Sergi Samper and Gerard Gumbau for a combined fee of £27.5m along with Bayern Munich transfer listed Gianluca Gaudino for £15.5m. These 3 players are pivotal to our system so I am pleased we could recruit them. Another player Ravel Morrison again transfer listed for £3.3m has come in and been outstanding and looks a bargain. We brought 3 forwards in for a further £26.5m Moussa Dembele,James Wilson and Brazilian Thalles. We signed Marko Anautovic and Jose Canas on free transfers. In total we spent £89m a net transfer spend of £17m. on 16 players.

Sergi Samper 


Gerard Gumbau


Gianluca Gaudino

249x400 3_Gaudino
I have set the training up to mould players in to the roles of the system.
Pre season was a learning curve and a little testing which has had me thinking for hours and even over thinking things even in to the start of the season which had me close to reverting to a different system. Luckily I don’t give up easy and with more research and analysis things started to fall in to place and has a result our performance has been a joy to watch and believe me I have watched a lot. I have watched games in both 3D and 2D on various camera’s pausing,rewinding pausing again the works and I am enjoying it.

results aug17-oct17

Our last month of results has put us on top of the table with big wins against our rivals Middlesbrough and Sunderland plus all 3 points in games against Hull,Bournemouth and Norwich. It’s early days yet but our performance over the last month has given us a solid platform to build on.




The Club also has a new owner, I am unsure what this will mean in terms of finance in the future.

completed takeover

new owner
Juego De Posicion has arrived in England, as I write this Josep ‘Pep Guardiola’ has said he will be testing himself in England soon, sorry Pep the toon are not available in my world just yet.
I would just like to mention and thank all the FM community for making FM a joy to behold, I like nothing more than reading and watching the community as they all go about their saves and experience in an array of different ways and styles keep it up chaps…..special mention to my fellow philosopher @Rovazzz who keeps me inspired to succeed with the  Juego De Posicion….

Newcastle Utd Have Appointed Skidmore On A 3Year Contract #FM16


Newcastle United have appointed former West Ham United manager Michael Skidmore on a contract until 2020. 

Newcastle were relegated to the Championship and will look to their new manager to get them back in to the Premier League.

I am looking forward to this new challenge the squad has been depleted after the relegation but finance is very good so a busy transfer window looks on the cards.

Season 2017-2018 Expectations