After leaving Villa, I was looking for another interesting team to manage. I had already decided that I didn’t want it to be in Europe though. Top of my list was Brazil, but Argentina would suffice.
This has turned out to be an unintentional Journeyman save. Oops.
I’ve had a mixed career. With Villarreal, things didn’t go to plan, we played rubbish and the team never clicked. At Villa there were the two phases. The revival phase where we played with a target man and played to keep ourselves safe in the top half of the table. Then there was the revolution phase where we played good football, had good players and managed to qualify for the Champions League two years in a row. I still haven’t won a trophy, but I’m ok with that.
Offers weren’t exactly flooding in while I was unemployed, Japan, Watford, Leicester and Southampton all wanted me, but they all had the disadvantage of not being South American.
I kept an eye on the Brazilian league, watching what teams were doing poorly in the hope that one of the managers would get the sack.
Then the Estudiantes job came up in Argentina. Do I apply?
Then Kaka got the sack from Palmeiras and I wanted that job.
The board obviously doubted my credentials for the job, “you’ve never managed in Brazil before” etc. Thankfully, I have a charm attribute rating of 20, so I put it to good use and managed to get myself the job.
Kaka had had a torrid time before he got the sack, only winning three games in sixteen. There’s some obvious talent in the squad though and the club just needed a change of direction away from Kaka. The caretaker came in and won two games before I was appointed. Palmeiras were in 12th place when I was appointed and I was tasked with leading them to a top half finish.
I thought that was achievable. The transfer window was still open and I had been given £10m to strengthen the squad should I feel the need to bulk it up. I decided I’d see things out and assess what areas needed improving.
I’ll address the obvious question, why not use a Half Back in the DM role? I would, but I really don’t like how it affects my central defenders when I’ve used it in the past. They split far too wide and it leaves big gaps for the opposition to exploit. The DLP/D doesn’t have the same effect on the centre backs, but he still drops into the defensive line when we’re working the ball out. He’s also creative and if you’ve got the right guy in the role, he can pick out nice passes.
The intention is to play a pressing game and to try and dominate the midfield. The four midfielders should help. I’ll maybe go into it in more detail in future, depending how it works out. We’re playing a fluid/attacking mentality system.
So there we have it, another new team to try and revive. Top half is certainly achievable if I can get the system to work. It’ll take a bit of getting used to for the players and I’ll need to learn who everyone is, but I’m quite excited about managing in Brazil.
Thanks for reading.