Well it’s been a while but after suffering a long term injury I have found myself with a lot of time on my hands so I decided to have a play around on FM which resulted in me starting a few saves and just blasting through a season and then moving on to another club and trying different tactics ect,ect. One save however steadily sucked me in and I found myself going back to it to a point that I was now playing FM with a notebook and pen at my side.
Welcome to Founding Fathers a football manager save with Rangers FC.
“Four young men shared a dream – to start a football club. They had no money, no kit – not even a ball Yet from such humble beginnings emerged the most famous of all Scottish football clubs – Rangers FC. None of those four men could have foreseen what was to happen when they met in 1872.’
Taken from the official website of Rangers FC. Rangers.co.uk
146 years later, 54 top tier titles, 33 Scottish Cup wins, 27 Scottish League Cup wins and a European Cup Winners Cup win. Moses McNeil, Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell and William McBeath would be very proud men.
During the club’s 146 year history only 17 men have managed the club including Steven Gerrard right up to present day.
In recent times the club have been through a difficult time to the delight of their city neighbours Celtic who have dominated the Scottish game for a number of years winning the title year after year whilst Rangers were recovering from insolvency and relegation to the lower echelons of the Scottish professional game. If the founding fathers were here today I want them to stand proud of what the future could bring to this great club.
The board expect us to win the title this season which in the realm of things is not impossible but if you look at it in reality it would be a big ask to topple our arch rivals in season 1 of my reign. They also expect us to reach the group stage of the Europa League meaning that our pre season schedule will be busy playing the qualifying rounds starting in July with us having to play 4 rounds 8 games to reach the group stage.
Silk And Steel
My approach to the job at Ibrox is to put Rangers FC back on top of the domestic game in Scotland and I want to do it in style by playing a style of football that gets the fans off their seats. It’s important to me that we build a club D.N.A that is built on 4 simple elements:
- Tactical Philosophy
- Recruitment Policy
- Youth Development
- Financial Strategy
Now it’s no good just me believing in the club D.N.A, the whole club must be pulling in the same direction meaning my first job at the club is to identify what I want to achieve in each one of the above elements and then build my backroom staff to have any chance of creating the D.N.A.
You may or may not have guessed but I have already chosen what the club’s D.N.A path that I would like to implement and it is shall be called Silk and Steel.
Silk defines the silky skills of the offensive players I want to develop at the club with an emphasis on inelegant technically gifted players like the Laudrup’s and Gascoigne’s of Rangers yesteryear, backed up by the Steel of our defensive unit like the Gough’s and Butcher’s of Rangers past. I want us to be able to mix it up against the best side’s in Europe but have the quality to open teams up that will bring back the glory days to the Blue half of Glasgow.
- Tactical Philosophy with a mixture of Silk and Steel we will strive to develop a tactical system based on an attacking Dutch 4-3-3 that attacks using a frontman flanked by wingers and 3 central midfielders that can drop in to a counter attacking 4-1-4-1 that makes us hard to break down but dangerous in transition. I will develop 2 separate tactics that allows us switch between attacking and counter with ease. I will also develop a counter attacking 4-4-2 system because I hear on the grapevine that the Gers like to see a front two which could become useful and give us a bit of variation when breaking teams down. Myself and the coaching staff will be working hard on the training ground to provide specialist coaching to give the players the tools to shine within the system.
- Recruitment Policy that will allow us to compete both domestically and in Europe in finding the right players at the right price to fit in to our tactical philosophy. We know we can’t compete with the big boys in the transfer market to buy the superstars of World football but what we can do is identify a player at the right price with certain attributes that we can develop. This process is vital in the Silk and Steel jigsaw because I know that whilst we develop our own players clubs down South and Europe will come knocking and we will have to sell our star players and reinvest the profits we hope to make back in to the recruitment and development system. I will be targeting Britain, Scandinavia, South America and the Balkans heavily initially whilst we grow our scouting network. I will also be looking at some of the big clubs around Europe for players who find themselves sat in their reserve side’s that may be available to come in on loan were I can then build a relationship with them and maybe set them up for a future move to Glasgow. I am keen to build a backbone of Scottish talent but that does not mean we will ignore talent from overseas.
- Youth Development will be a priority for the club and vital for the club’s future. Like I have said above we can’t go toe to toe in the market with the English and European money in the game but we can build a development system that will not only produce players who we can mould in to our system but produce players who the money men will be after thus making the club’s finances healthier and healthier. The youth facilities and youth academy are a priority in upgrading until we have the best we can get likewise the youth coaches will be upgraded at every opportunity to create the best players that we can. The under 20’s side will play the same system that the first team will play. We will develop a policy of promoting a minimum of 3 youth team players in to the first team squad over a two year period mirroring the great Ajax youth development policy.
- Financial Strategy we will endeavour to run a tight ship by implementing a financial strategy that will protect the future of the club. We will be prudent in the transfer market and keep a tight reign on the wage budget. When contract negotiations begin I will be prudent and aware of the dangers of contract add ons because this is an area that you can easily fall down on if you are not careful. Add ons can make a big impact on your clubs finances.
I decided that I would add a few faces to the first team squad the first being Italian full back Claud Adjapong from Sassuolo on a season long loan. The 19 year old will provide back up to James Tavernier in the right full back slot.
Whilst I was looking to strengthen the central defence area with a no nonsense centre back I noticed that Bristol City had transfer listed Aden Flint who definitely fits the Steel label so I knew we could not afford to purchase the towering defender so I put a loan bid in which City accepted so the big man will wear the shirt of Rangers for the duration of the season giving me good options at the back.
If Flint offers us Steel then the third and final addition to the squad personifies Silk and came in on a free transfer for a wage of £975 per week for 10 months Andrea Pirlo comes in to the squad at 38 years old but I feel the veteran World Cup winner can offer us his guile and experience from the bench during this campaign. Pirlo also comes in has a professional tutor which will help us out in the development area.
First Team Squad
I was pleasantly surprised with the potential of the first team squad after I had transfer listed and added to the squad with the 3 players coming in.
Silk and Steel Tactics
We will start the season with these two systems which fit nicely around the players that I have at my disposal. Like always I will be tweaking during the season. I will also be switching mentality to deal with what our opponents throw at us. I feel the confident that the Silk and Steel 433 will produce good results domestically this season along with the Silk and Steel 4141 that will be used against tougher opposition. The players on the tactic screens below are how I visualise our first choice line up. Alfredo Morelos, Ross McCrorie, Jordan Rossiter and Greg Docherty all look like being top drawer footballers with Fabio Cardoso, Graham Dorrans, Jason Holt and Jamie Murphy (who joins us permanently at the end of the season) all looking like having the tools to big players for us during the season.
Well that completes my first post of what I hope to be a successful time in Scotland with the blue half of Glasgow. I hope that I have not gone on too long with this post but I just wanted to set out my plan for the save ahead.
Thank you for taking a few moments to visit my blog and hope you will return for the next post which will take a look at our Europa League Campaign.