Following In Their Footsteps - Ex Pro Turned Manager!


May 10, 2018
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Following in their footsteps - an ex pro turned manager!

Over the past year, we've seen a number of well-known English players go on to get relatively high profile managerial jobs. Steven Gerrard at Rangers, Frank Lampard at Derby and very recently, John Terry took up the number 2 role at Aston Villa! We'll even throw in Joey Barton taking on the Fleetwood job for good measure!


So the aim of this story is to follow in their footsteps, with a fictional character! This fictional character goes by the name of Casey Watts and his profile shows that he is an ex England international who has hung up his boots and moved into coaching. So that Casey starts on par with the above mentioned managers, he's starting with a Continental B License.

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As you can see below, Barton and Gerrard start with a Continental A, whilst Lampard only has a Continental B License. John Terry is the only one that already has his Continental Pro License, but is also the only one starting in only an assistant manager role, although I think he will become a manager within the game pretty quickly!

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Now as these guys are doing, Casey Watts will be looking to achieve as much as he possibly can in the managerial side of the game and for the purpose of this story, we will be comparing his success to the above. So not only will I play save here and achieve as much as I can with Casey Watts, but we'll also follow and be trying to out-do Gerrard, Lamps, Terry and Barton as well! Who will do the best? That's the question!


But first I need a job and when checking the current vacancies, there is only one that gets me on a level playing field and that's the Brentford job! I'd loaded the English, Italian, French, Spanish and Scottish leagues to kick start the game and was slightly disappointed at the lack of opportunities available! However, I send over my application and publicly declare my interest in the Bees job to stir things up a bit!

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My credentials speak for themselves and Matthew Benham is keen to speak to me about his manager's job! I attend an interview and it all seems to go well, Benham says he'll be in touch and I hope I won't have to wait too long to get a decision!

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******, I didn't get it! Barcelona B manager, Guillermo Amor, pips me to the post and for now I'll have to wait anxiously for my opportunity to come! It seems we'll have a couple of months of simming until some jobs come up, so I will return once there's some interview action going on!

But for now, this is how I shape up against the others...

Frank LampardDerby CountyManager£25,000 p/wNone
John TerryAston VillaAssistant Manager£25,000 p/wNone
Steven GerrardRangersManager£15,000 p/wNone
Joey BartonFleetwood TownManager£5,000 p/wNone
Casey WattsNoneNone£0 p/wNone

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Unemployed - Waiting It Out!

Unemployed - Waiting It Out!

It's not until the start of October that jobs start to come up and the first was for AS Nancy in the French second tier. I sent over my CV and am quickly invited to attend an interview. I don't expect to bag the job though after telling them I'd require a much bigger wage budget to do the job effectively. Their wage budget was £190k, but with the club currently spending £210k per week, I'd have to go straight in and look to sell players which isn't ideal!

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However, to my surprise, they do come back and offer me the job! I decide to stick it on hold for a minute, as the Hull, Swansea, Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and West Brom jobs are all insecure and any of these would be a more attractive proposition for me!

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After 3 weeks of requesting to delay my decision, talks with Nancy break down. But then the Sheffield Wednesday job immediately becomes available and I'm one of the favourites for the position!

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I fire over my application for the Wednesday job, whilst West Brom also receive my CV after they sacked Darren Moore. Both clubs invite me in for a chat...

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Whilst waiting to hear back from Sheffield Wednesday and West Brom, I am named as the favourite for the vacant Middlesbrough job after Pulis is sacked!

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Both Sheffield Wednesday and West Brom offer me their manager's jobs with very similar proposals....who to go for?!

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New Club/First Job

New Club/First Job

It's now the 30th November and before we get on to my first job, let's have a look at how the other manager's have started their careers. In the Championship, Frank Lampard's Derby County are sitting mid table and only a couple of points off the playoffs. They had made a slow start and early doors were sitting down as low as 18th, but Frank seems to be getting some rythym going down there now and they have strung some good results together to climb into contention. Not sure how much influence he has had in his role as assistant manager, but John Terry and Aston Villa currently top the table!

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In League One, Joey Barton's Fleetwood are under-performing and sit 16th despite a pre season predicted finish of 6th! He'll need to turn things around quickly if he's to stave off pressure from the fans and board!

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Up in Scotland, Rangers fans won't be too happy with the fact that Steven Gerrard doesn't have his team keeping pace with the top 3, let alone Celtic! He's had a tough start to life as a manager and if his team don't improve quickly I fear he could be the first to lose his job!

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As for me, I took the West Brom job. After weighing up both options, West Brom were the club with bigger budgets and better players...yes their expectations are higher than Wednesday's but I feel I'm up to the job!

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After my welcome meeting with the board, Mark Jenkins sends over a background on the club! There's a number of trophies in the cabinet and I've joined a club with some very good facilities....basically, this is a Premier League club that deserves to be back in the top division and I'm the man that has been entrusted to get them there!

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As seen above, the club are well below expectations this year so far. After being predicted a 2nd place and automatic promotion finish, they currently sit only 1 point above the relegation zone! Much work needed by the looks of it! The defence seems to be where the problems lie, with only Swansea and Bolton conceding more goals than us this season!

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West Brom have only managed to win 1 of their last 11 league games, and that was against Rotherham, probably one of the weakest teams in the division!

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Financially, things are pretty **** hot to be honest! Over £60 million in the bank and I'll have nearly £5 million to spend in the January transfer window. The wage bill is a little high so I might need to move a couple of players on, or balance it out using some of the transfer budget.

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Looking over the squad, it's clear this is a team that really shouldn't be down the bottom end of the table! There's some very good players in this team and my job will be to get the best out of them!

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One of my best players, possibly my best, is centre back Craig Dawson! He's a big, tall, strong centre back with very good defensive attributes for the first wonder is how we have such a **** defensive record with him at the back?! Watford have been showing an interest in him and I wouldn't be surprised if I struggle to keep him here all season!

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Next up is Jay Rodriguez...this is a striker that has scored a fair few in the Premier League for Southampton and he should be able to bag an absolute hat full in the Championship!

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The third player I have picked out for my top 3 is Dwight Gayle. He managed 23 goals in the Championship in the season when Newcastle went up and we should definitely be looking for a similar return ourselves! However, he is currently out of form, with only 2 goals in 14 league games so far this year...I'm not sure why he has such a poor record this season, but I'll be looking for better out of him!

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Looking ahead, I have a game on my very first day in charge against Ipswich to manage. Then we will roll into December where we have some massive games coming up...I certainly haven't been handed an easy opening run! I will include the Ipswich game in next month's update.

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Was going to say add Harry Kewell to the list but coming into the West Brom job i think you have already surpassed him lol. good start

I don't know what's wrong with me on this year's game but I just can't seem to get to grips with it at all! I made it to start of February with West Brom and was sacked again and again, I've lost all enthusiasm for this save....I worked out that across 3 saves already, I've played roughly 60-70 games and won less than 10! Nothing seems to be working for me and I'll be honest, my fist nearly went through the laptop screen today! I'm going to have a few hours off and will return with a new save and another ****** story and hopefully one I can get into and have some success with! I'm pretty ****** right now if I'm honest, but I know I'll be back as I can't seem to stay away from this game!

Just a quick question anyone else struggling in particular with FM19??...I've always done pretty OK with previous games but this year's seems to have me beat so far and literally everything I try isn't working! Does anyone have any tips or advice?!

As much as I love the new tactics overhaul, I wonder if it has overcomplicated things for me too much and I'm thinking about things much more than I used to?

Also, what does everyone else leave down to their assistant manager and what do you manage yourselves? Team talks/pre match preperation/training/opposition instructions? I'd be interested to know what you guys are doing and what is working please! Normally, I leave training to my assistant and manage everything else myself, but don't know if its best to just let the assistant handle all that and for me to just keep on top of the team and tactics? HELP ME!!!
I've started a save with Burton Albion which i'll be putting up in due time and seems to be going well, though that could be that it's a Championship side dropping down to League 1. I didn't go too fancy with the tactics, think for lower level clubs, the simpler the better. I've stuck to the kind of formation i would have played on FM18, with the only change that my full backs play as wing backs.

In regards to Assistant Manager, i do the team talks, but leave the training, pre match prep and opposition instructions to him.

I actually think transfers will be the big thing this year, making sure that players are able to play the role you want them to. No more trying to put square pegs into round holes and hoping for the best.

Hopefully your next save goes better!
I think you need to download a better tactic like I did with taking Truro up to Championship in 4 seasons.
Try finding out if you can use Liam's Solid Goals Galore in the 2019 version.
Even try doing a Sir Alex Ferguson challenge save like ILoveLamp did.
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I think you need to download a better tactic like I did with taking Truro up to Championship in 4 seasons.
Try finding out if you can use Liam's Solid Goals Galore in the 2019 version.
Even try doing a Sir Alex Ferguson challenge save like ILoveLamp did.

I won't download tactics mate....feel like I'm not achieving anything if I just use someone else's tactic which has "broken" the game.
I'm doing my obligatory save with Birmingham and it has taken me to set up effective tactics but I have stumbled on something that works for me.

I've found that the tactical style (Gegenpress, Route One etc) has a much bigger effect than the actual tactic. I've played the exact same tactic and roles but with different styles and it has changed things massively. I think getting the tactic and the style to work together will be the biggest thing for the game.

It's also worth to remember that this is still the Beta so when the official game is released with loads of updates, there could be a lot of changes to how tactics work.
Should you try making a tactic and even put attacking up or if you have the editor (which comes out soon) you should make your own player that will play for the club