Unemployed to Prem Challenge: Job One, Arsenal Kyiv

If you missed the introduction to this challenge it’s over here, so check that out first before we get down to business at our first club. Our hero Sylvan will begin his journey out of the football wilderness in the Ukrainian Persha Liha (second tier) at Arsenal Kyiv.

The History Lesson

Getting your head around Arsenal Kyiv’s history is not the easiest task, but to simplify things we’ll just pinpoint Arsenal Kyiv’s birth as 2001, when the former government run CSCA Kyiv was sold and renamed Arsenal Kyiv. The new club remained steadily in the Ukrainian Premier League, as well as making two appearances in the UEFA Cup/Europa League in 2001/02 & 2012/13, before filing for bankruptcy and losing its professional status in 2013/14 after not being able to land the necessary sponsorship deals to stay afloat. The club spent a year in the amateur leagues before applying for reinstatement to the Durha Liha (third tier) for the 2015/16 season and gained automatic promotion to the second tier for the 2016/17 season, which is now. Phew. Also side note, Wikipedia reliably informs me that the Arsenal Kiev fans are ‘strongly tied’ with the anti-fascist movement and hold strong left wing views, as apposed to right wing city rivals Dynamo, so that’s nice.

The Board’s/Our expectations 

Now that’s out the way we can place ourselves firmly in the present. Sylvan is tasked with helping Arsenal avoid relegation from the Durha Liha. The league structure itself is nothing too out of the ordinary, 18 teams play each other twice, top two go up, bottom three go down and the 15th placed side plays a two legged playoff game with 4th place in the third tier to keep their place in the league. So our sights are set on 14th & up.

As far as personal expectations go we’ve earmarked this as a two year plan, firstly keeping Arsenal’s heads above water in season one before hopefully guiding the team to a respectable top half finish in season two. Hopefully meaning we can leave the club in a position to push for promotion in the future while we go onto bigger and better things elsewhere.

 

Key Players

A quick glace at the squad gives us 3 key talents we’ll look to build the system around in year one.

Navid Nasimi – Left winger. Nasimi is only 21 so room to improve still, good physicals for this level and a strong dribbling attribute, will hopefully letting him loose on the left wing could cause problems at this level.

Igor Skoba  – Defensive Midfielder. Skoba is a solid anchor man for the side and should hopefully shore things up at the back if this season is to be as tough as expected. Slight issue that he’s 34 so we may have to adapt how we play if he drops off hard but for now he’s a key player.

Sergiy Sitalo – Goalkeeper. 4.5 star ability, great stats all round, if nobody tempts him away from us him he could be crucial to our survival hopes this year.

Our System

Screenshot 2017-02-06 13.45.48.png

This is subject to change/tweaks as the season goes on and we get a better idea of how the squad compares to the rest of the league. But for now we’ll try to keep it as simple as possible, basic, boring, fundamentals.

Player Recuitment

It’s pretty difficult to do any sort of in depth recruitment at the beginning of a save such a this, we have zero real life knowledge of suitable players, Sylvan has a 1 in both player & youngster knowledge stats and our scout reports leave a little to be desired. Luckily the squad we have looks pretty decent with some good younger players available to play roles. But if we could pick up a left back and a right winger willing to play for a few hryvnia a week (don’t say football manager isn’t educational, also don’t ask me to pronounce that) then we’ll be off to the races.

Sylvan may be ready to begin his managerial career again (not that FM16 happened) so here we go! Catch Sylvan’s first forays into management next time and cross your fingers that this save is going to go further than last years pathetic season and a half before fizzling out.

 

It’s Groundhog Day. Sylvan’s Dream Revisited in FM17

Guess who’s back?

Hopefully a few of you are still around from last years unemployed save hijinks, which lasted all of a season and a half before dying out faster than the whole PokemonGO thing. But it was fun while it lasted right? But if you weren’t around for last seasons shenanigans, you probably didn’t miss much, and you’re here now and that’s all that matters.

The FM17 edition of Sylvan’s adventures are going to take place on Earth-Two, where Sylvan’s time in Boom, Belgium, and later Kozarmisleny, Hungary (how on earth did I remember how to spell that 6 months later?) didn’t take place, yep we’ve got ourselves a football manager multiverse on our hands. Everything else is the same, so Sylvan begins this journey with no substantial previous coaching/playing experience.

Screenshot 2017-02-02 00.14.17.png

Much like on Earth-One, British clubs have turned their nose up at Sylvan and instead continued to hire coaches with things like ‘experience’ and ‘ability’, we’ll these football elites and their alternative facts won’t stop Sylvan from becoming the president of the United States of America  greatest manager of all time! Crestfallen, Sylvan decides to take his talents to Eastern Europe in the hope that a club out there, away from the big money and 24/7 news cycle of the English game will take a chance on him and his 100% not fabricated CV.

The Goals/Rules:

  1. The ultimate goals is to be offered a job at either a top English club or the England national team (bonus points if they approach us first).
  2. Experience as much of Europe as possible on the way to Goal #1.
  3. Leave the clubs we manage in a better position than when we joined, both on and off the pitch if possible.
  4. Never stay at the same club for more than 3 seasons (this way we can’t totally rely on having better recruitment strategies than the AI, which should make the challenge a little harder, and make sure we stick to Goal #2).
  5. The save starts with Russia/Ukraine/Romania/Bulgaria/Belarus loaded, we will manage in at least two of these countries before considering the next block of countries to the west (Serbia/Hungary/Slovakia/Poland etc), rinse and repeat getting slowly closer to good old blighty!

 

So away we go!

After considering the list of available jobs, a few Ukrainian clubs offer Sylvan an interview. With a quick trip to easyjet.com (other airline providers are available, if you happen to be an airline exec reading this, slide in my DMs and we’ll sort out sponsorship for Sylvan’s travels) Sylvan is in Ukraine and ready to get going. The three interviews go swimmingly, nobody questions the ‘fluent french’ and ‘qualified first aider’ parts of his resume and shortly afterwards Arsenal-Kyiv call and offer him the job on a one year deal. Sylvan manages to talk them up from £225 per week to £250 then signs on the dotted line to become the new boss of Arsenal-Kyiv of the second tier of Ukrainian football.

As far as blog updates go, the plan is to have a club overview post at every new team we join, learning a bit of club history, any relevant league structure info (I’ve not forgotten the sh*t show that was the Belgian third tier on FM16), our plans for the club, etc. Then I’ll do updates season by season while we’re at the lowest level, possibly making updates more frequent as we move up the levels (there really aren’t that many interesting decisions match by match when you have a squad of 18 players, no money, no youth team and 0 scouting knowledge). Hopefully weekly, every Thursday, why not? (Don’t hold me to this).

But there we’re go, Sylvan is back in business. I hope you enjoyed the return.

Feel free to follow me on twitter if you have any questions or just want to know when the updates are coming @SPaulssonFM. I’m also hanging around on the FM Slack page most of the time if that’s your FM consumption tool of choice! Thanks for getting this far, see you next time!

2.04 – The Winter Break of Doom

I think I have to get this out of the way right at the beginning, if you’d prefer not to listen to me moan about scheduling/injuries then skip ahead to the post-rant section of the post. Okay lets go… The scheduling in Hungarian football is pretty bad. There are 38 league games to play in a season, 15 of which we played in the first 4 months of the year. We then take a 3 month break, which is more than a month longer than the break between seasons, before returning to play the final 23 games in a 4 month spell. You might immediately notice that’s a lot more in the second half, but what is particularly worrying is that immediately following the winter break we play 11 league games in 36 games (we had so far played 15 league games in about 120 days before the break). If you’re someone looking for an argument against bringing winter breaks to the Premier League, look no further. So it’s likely not 100% a coincidence that this occurs once we get rolling again:

Screenshot 2016-07-29 12.57.29

This not only managed to take out 3 of our first team regulars, two of whom being amongst our best performers (Kiss and Toth), but also knocked us down to our 5th choice right midfielder. Also the game after I took this screenshot Granicz, our top goal scorer, also picked up an injury, so things are just looking swell and we have one remaining striker on the books. So not only is this fixture congestion likely to cause more injuries, but these players will now miss more games than they would have in a less crowded schedule.

POST-RANT. REGULAR ORDER NOW RESUMED.

 

Having to play a pseudo pre-season was pretty dumb, but we were lacking in match fitness and the teams approached us so we assumed it was the conventional approach so went with it. Teams did apparently want to come from all over the place to take on Sylvan’s team, Macva are a Serbian First League Team,  Dob and Krsko are both Slovenian PrvaLiga teams and Soimii Pancota are a Romanian Second Division team. Match fitness was pretty much our only goal for these but it was nice to see the squad handle themselves pretty well versus top tier teams from different countries. Here’s how things have gone since:

 

Screenshot 2016-08-13 16.12.23

It’s been two weeks since we last played this save so we don’t really know whats going on anymore but we will turn this all around! Keep the faith!

 

2.03 – Expect the Unexpected

The winter break is upon us in Hungary, but before Sylvan starts planning any holidays let’s review how things have gone so far.

Screenshot 2016-07-28 12.33.06Screenshot 2016-07-28 12.37.30

How on earth did this happen? Things started pretty poorly after our last update and Kozarmisleny hit bottom of the Nemzeti Bajnoksag II. However, a few tactical tweaks and a bit of good fortune have turned things around quite nicely for us. Since the opening day loss to Cigand (now 17th) Misleny have only been beaten by 1st, 2nd and 4th in the league and somehow find themselves in the promotion picture. A pretty decent turn around for Sylvan after being sacked by Rupel Boom just 7 months ago.

The Hungarian Cup was a mixed bag of excitement and disappointment. The second round saw Misleny see off Gyirmot (at the time 4th in the 1st division) quite comfortably 3-1, only to lose to a 3rd division team in the 3rd round.

The Tactics

So here are the tweaks we’ve made to our tactic so far:

Screenshot 2016-07-28 12.51.53.png

We’re still tinkering with the centre backs, having moved from two central defenders to two limited defenders now to one limited one ball playing in an attempt to try to persuade them to retain possession a bit more whilst also not forcing them to do something they’re not comfortable with (Tar is not a great passer but Lantos is a natural defensive midfielder so at least somewhat capable with the ball). We also have a couple of player instructions, both centre backs are asked to close down less and the goalkeeper tries to throw the ball out the flanks to bypass having to bring our less offensively gifted defenders into tricky situations. Finally we have generic opposition instructions to close down teams full backs and show them onto their inside foot, hopefully forcing them to either hoof long or give it to their centre backs who are likely as terrified of the ball as ours.

The Team

Screenshot 2016-07-28 13.04.40

While things have admittedly gone a lot better than expected, there is still room to improve. Particular concerns have been Daniel Fejos (RB) and Gabor Papp (CB) who both have really under performed, despite being two of the top five earners at the club. They’ve also been very vocal in complaining about their lack of playing time so we will be looking to move them on if possible during the winter break. Centre back Attila Csaszar has also struggled and at 32 appears to be deteriorating pretty rapidly attribute wise so we’ll also look to move him on if there are any takers.  Add to this current starting centre back Levente Lantos announcing his plans to retire at the end of the year, so we’ll likely find ourselves in the market for a young centre back who can contribute right now and then hopefully take over from Lantos in the ball playing defender role at the end of the year.

Moving Forward

The familiar ’40 points’ has been thrown around a lot in press conferences this year and with Misleny sitting at 27 points after 15 of 38 games it’s time to look beyond that. So considering the league structure, there are no playoffs and no prize money to make finishing 3rd better than finishing 17th and given the position we’re currently in it would be foolish for us not to set our sights on promotion to the top tier. With that in mind, not to mention our sizeable overlay in current wage budget, we could look to make a few high profile (at least in terms of the Hungarian Second Tier) signings to push us forward in pursuit of those top two spots.

After gearing up for the season prepared for a relegation dogfight things have changed pretty drastically. Can Sylvan do something special in Kozarmisleny? Next post we’ll return a few games after the winter break to check out how any additions are settling in and whether the team still remember how to play football!

2.02 – Just Hungarian Things

So here we are, in Hungary. I’ve tried and tried to come up with amusing Hungary based quips but there’s really nothing. Apparently it’s where the Rubix cube was created, so there’s that? But on a serious footballing note, what once was something of a football powerhouse, the home of Puskas, is now most notably known as the home of Zoltan Gera. If that doesn’t make you feel bad for them nothing will. Hungary recently made their return on the national stage with a pretty encouraging performance at the Euros after not qualifying for a major tournament since 1984. Maybe Sylvan can lend a hand in their resurgence on the world stage! But short term, we need to keep Kozarmisleny in the second tier. So let’s get to work.

Screenshot 2016-07-26 00.00.51

Preseason friendlies went well, ignoring our absolute sausage stuffing by Dinamo Moscow on our 3rd day on the job.  It was slightly less than ideal that the rest of the games were against weaker teams so we couldn’t really gauge how well we were truly doing, but I guess it’s just another challenge of getting the job so late on. The two big performers from preseason to take a look at were striker Krisztián Kirchner (9 goals in 5 games) and right midfielder Márton Kiss (6 assists in 5 games).

Krisztián Kirchner

Screenshot 2016-07-26 00.05.35

Pretty decently rounded stats for a striker. Interestingly 13 heading for a 5’9 striker with unexceptional jumping and poor strength, so we’re going to claim he’s basically the Hungarian Griezmann (no pressure there then). His stamina is our only concern but we should be able to rotate enough to avoid this being too much of an issue.

Márton Kiss

Screenshot 2016-07-26 00.10.43

Slightly less impressive mental attributes compared to Kirchner but very solid physically and good in all the areas you’d like your wingers to be while also having good marking/tackling which may become important if we look towards an uber trendy high pressing style where in the future. Kiss was subject to a transfer bid from a league rival shortly before the season started, but much like when the same thing happened last season at Rupel Boom we chose to turn it down. If we were blessed with the knowledge we could stay up without him, or had the scouting set up ready to earmark a younger/cheaper replacement for him we’d have likely cashed in, but for now, safety first.

The Season Begins

First up for Kozarmisleny is a home tie versus fellow promoted team Cigand. Misleny play pretty poorly and end up losing 3-1 despite initially taking the lead on 12 minutes after a Krisztián Kirchner header from a Márton Kiss cross. Well at least those two lived up to our estimations of them, but elsewhere things didn’t look great and we worry we could have a long season ahead of us. Next up is a 1-1 draw vs Dunaujvaros (if I eventually commit these team names to memory then this whole blog series has been worth it), this time taking the lead after an 8th minute cross from Márton Kiss is headed in by Krisztián Kirchner, jumping and strength are obviously overrated. Dunaujvaros’ equaliser comes from a pretty poor defensive error, so we’re at least given a little confidence that the team we’ve put together isn’t going to get hammered every week, which is nice.

Our star duo is rested in the first round of the cup vs 3rd tier Bolcske and the team perform pretty poorly but take the win 1-0 after a pretty tasty lofted through ball from centre mid Iflinger is headed into the top corner from the edge of the box by Granicz (taking on the Kirchner advanced forward role for the day). Following that we play title favourites Vasas and somehow come away with our first league win of the year 2-1! Two more assists for Kiss, a goal from Kirchner and they even involve Granicz for his first league goal of the campaign. Then comes a pretty uninteresting 1-1 draw with Csakvar, and a 2-2 draw with fellow newcomers ESMTK after leading 2-0 from a nice Norbert Iflinger brace.

Where We Stand

So after 5 league games Kozarmisleny sit in 14th, with a 1-3-1 record and have shown enough to give Sylvan confidence he might be able to hold onto a job for more than 12 months this time. Kiss, Kirchner, Granicz and Iflinger have looked a different class to the rest of the team so far which is equal parts promising and worrying. The defence in particular has struggled to perform so far, regardless of who it is starting there so we might have to contemplate tinkering with the system to try patch up their weaknesses if things don’t pick up soon. But the start has been promising considering we’ve had to patch together 50% of the squad in the space of 3 weeks with next to no player or league knowledge. The league has a two month break at the end of November (15 games in) so that’s when we’ll return for an update, hopefully with our heads above water in the league. We’ll also outline any transfer plans and any changes to our expectations if we’re taking the world by storm, but lets not hold our breath.

2.01 – New Beginnings

“I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down” – Chumbawumba, 1997.

 

The end of last season tried to crush our spirit, but we say nay! While Sylvan’s first season in management wasn’t perfect, he outperformed the board’s expectations (regardless of what they decided at the end of the year) and was about 10 seconds away from getting a playoff spot. But it’s time to put that behind us. Sylvan is obviously sad to leave Rupel Boom, but we’ve been offered a great opportunity at Kozármisleny SE. So all things considered these are the key positives Sylvan has to look forward to at our new home:

  • It’s a fully professional club in a more reputable division. This obviously means the players should stay fitter, improve more and all those good things.
  • The club are newly promoted and only spending £2k of a £14k weekly wage budget so there’s a lot of room for Sylvan to create the club in his vision with nobody to blame but himself if it goes wrong.
  • The league structure isn’t ridiculous! A simple 20 team league, bottom 3 go down, top 2 go up, lovely.

What lies ahead.

Long term this club looks very promising. Short term however, Sylvan arrives in Hungary shortly after their first preseason friendly to find the club currently has 12 senior players on the books and 0 staff members. That’s going to be an issue. Oh and our first game in charge is against Dinamo Moscow in two days, so that’ll be a nice little welcome. The board are only looking for us to survive this season, but what are our personal objectives?

Very short term (End of preseason):

  • Put together the key coaching staff and bring in some scouts ASAP.
  • Use those scouts to put together a squad of 18-20 players capable of keeping Kozármisleny SE up.
  • Decide on a formation and playing style to take into the season.

Medium term (End of the season):

  • Steer the team comfortably safe of relegation.
  • Look for key additions to both the squad and backroom staff where possible.
  • Have Sylvan continue his personal development by completing his next coaching badge.

Long term (End of 3rd season at Kozármisleny SE)

  • Guide them to promotion to the top tier of Hungarian football.
  • Have the club turning a profit by the end of the 3rd year.  
  • Be in the process of making improvements to the clubs facilities.

So that’s the plan. We’re in this for the long haul, Sylvan has put down a lease on a lovely little apartment and is ready for at least 3 seasons in Hungary (although I’m not saying we couldn’t be tempted away if the right offer appeared). But let’s get going!

Staff

Before we can start making additions to the playing staff we need to put together a backroom staff. It’s a pretty hectic first few days but eventually put together something resembling a backroom team. We still have a couple of spots to fill, primarily those involved with the under 19s and a Head of Youth Development but our under 19’s are beyond limited at the minute so they’re not an immediate priority.Screenshot 2016-07-24 13.36.25

It becomes clear now we have something resembling a coaching team put together that Sylvan isn’t quite up to scratch after the jump up in quality from Boom to Misleny, but for the good of his development he elects to continue coaching tactics and defending (his two specialities at this stage of his career). He also heads to the boardroom to request permission to undertake his National B licence, which the board understand the need for and happily accept. So we’ve ticked off one of our short term goals for the year and have put the wheels in motion on one of our season long goals, sorted!

Tactics:

Tactically we’re going to keep it simple again while we get an idea of the team’s strengths/weaknesses in comparison to our league opponents. As threadbare as the squad currently is they are blessed with 3 pretty solid strikers so we we won’t be bringing our strikerless experiment with us to Hungary. We elect to set up in a good old fashioned British flat 4-4-2 for now. We also plan to start with the mentality on counter as we’re likely one of the weaker teams in the league so will be hoping to create a reasonably solid defence and hope that our strikers can make the most of their opportunities at the other end.

Signings:

So now we have a scouting team in place and an idea of how we want to play we can look to start padding out the squad. Much like last season we often have to go on the scouts initial opinion on a player as we’re primarily looking at out of contract players, plus we’re in a little bit of a rush. We also ask the board to arrange a trial day (for possibly the first time in my FM career) and the results are actually pretty good and a few of them end up being brought in as part of our preseason haul. So far we’ve made 9 additions taking us up to a squad of 21 which seems pretty reasonable on such short notice.

Goalkeepers – Tamas Tovishati.

Despite having two keepers already we do pick up a third from the trialist squad. This is possibly a little unnecessary but Sylvan in the zone and throwing out contracts left right and centre so who are we to stop him?

Defenders – Daniel Fejos (Right back), Akos Marcsek (Left back), Gabor Gallik (Centre back/Defensive mid), Gabor Papp (Centre back).

The club started without anyone truly comfortable at the full back positions and we’re also thin on the ground at centre back so we make a number of additions here. We’ll also be keeping an eye out for further full back additions but for now we’ve bought ourselves time on that front.

Midfielders – Peter Beke (Right Mid), Levente Acs (can play pretty much anywhere across the midfield), Gerjen Ablonczy (Centre Mid), Norbert Iflinger (Centre/Left Mid).

Here we really needed to add some depth in general which I think we’ve achieved pretty well. The team also lacked any true left midfielder so we made a few additions there to the best of our ability with the little information we had. We’re still not entirely happy with what we have at the position (Having a true left footer would be preferable) but much like the full backs we’ve bought a little time to search for potential candidates to fill in at that role long term.

Strikers – None.

As we said earlier, the club already has 3 very good options here so we were in no rush to add people here.

The Squad

So this is what we’ve put together to try to beat the drop year one in Misleny:

While we’ve not been able to really bite into that wage budget (we’re now spending 4k of our 14k budget) we have managed to put together a squad that gives us a good shot at avoiding the drop. This is obviously only the start and we’ll also be continuing to look for ways to strengthen as the season gets under way.

As this post is getting a little longer than usual due to all the new club craziness we’ll cut it off here. We should return tomorrow with an update on how things went on the pitch during preseason and also play the first 5 or 6 league games to get a better idea of what the rest of the season is going to look like for Kozarmisleny (it’s taken til the end of the post but I’ve finally learned to spell the team name without having to check back). I guess we need a new outro? My Hungarian isn’t quite up to scratch unfortunately, but we’ll work on something. For now, Viszontlátásra!

 

1.07 – The Times They Are A Changing

So we left things off last time with 10 games left and Rupel in contention for the top six places. The first 4 games go pretty well: Screenshot 2016-07-22 14.17.04

Then comes a visit to playoff rivals Ciney, it’s a nervous affair with few real chances and ends 0-0. Leaving the table with 5 games left looking like this. Mental. Screenshot 2016-07-21 23.59.18

Next comes top of the table Liege. 10 minutes in and Rupel Boom are playing their best football this season, unfortunately they’re still unable to finish and two golden opportunities go begging. However on 39 minutes there’s a mix up between Liege’s right back and keeper and a Koen Gommers cross ends up in the back of the net, 1-0 Boom! Rupel remain in control and central midfielder Bjorn Cornelissens scores the second goal, his first of the season, to make it 2-0 and send the fans home happy. The Liege manager proceeds to blame our pitch, Sylvan’s makes no attempt to build bridges with his fellow managers and accuses Wegria of sour grapes, although in fairness the pitch is awful.

A goalless draw with mid table Walhain and a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of preseason favourites Beerschot-Wilrijk leaves Rupel Boom in 7th, level with Oosterzonen in 6th, who also happen to be our next opponents. So this is a pretty bloody huge game, a win here would mean Rupel Boom only require a point on the final day to make the playoffs. Boom make a strong start and at 30 minutes lead after Seppe Kil heads home from close range. Approaching half time Boom seem to be in control, until Oosterzonen are given a penalty after some clumsiness from Mertens following a free kick. Wim Mennes steps up for the visitors… SAVED! Jasper Otte goes the right way and parries it wide, half time 1-0 Boom. The game continues nervously until the 57th minute when centre back Yannick Lodders nods home from a free kick to make it 2-0 Boom. Oosterzonen claw one back on 82 minutes to add a bit of tension but substitute Nick Van Der Westlaken adds a third for Rupel Boom just 3 minutes later to tie up all 3 points.

To final day vs Kapellen. Rupel need a point, Oosterzonen need to beat Walhain to stand a chance. 21 minutes in and Oosterzonen are already 1-0 down and Rupel are awarded a penalty. Duly converted by Jeroen Mertens and things are looking good! However before half time both Kapellen and Oosterzonen equalise setting up a tense second half. Oosterzonen go behind again immediately following the break but almost simultaneously on 62 minutes Kappen take the lead and Oosterzonen equalise. Things are looking bleak until Nathan Stranart pulls Boom level on 82 minutes. As it stands, Oosterzonen are still drawing (and need a win) and Rupel Boom are getting a point, which would be enough to see them into the playoffs. Then the bad things happen. Kapellen score 3 goals in 5 minutes (!?!) and Rupel Boom are relying solely on Walhain’s ability to hold on. Then as the final whistle blows in the Boom game news spreads that Oosterzonen have won it in the 93rd minute. Heart break. Boom down to 7th, relegated.

Sylvan is sacked immediately following the game for not meeting expectations, despite 7th definitely being in the top half of 19, which were the expectations. Dejected, Sylvan returns to England to wallow in self pity. He holds a couple of Skype interviews with Johannes Persson and Robert Kiely (could you really have not sent someone else?), both from Eurosport, who must be really into the Sylvan Paulsson story. During both interviews he is quick to thank the fans and players for their ongoing support whilst also throwing a little shade towards his former employers.

But whats done is done, where to now boys?

After a number of unsuccessful applications to manage Olympic squads and failing to get a response from a number of club level applications rumours start swirling that Sylvan is starting to fear his career in management could be over. But then a bastion of light appears on the horizon, Kozarmisleny SE of the Hungarian second tier offer Sylvan an interview and subsequently the job. £825 per week! SCREW BELGIUM, I’m sure cost of living in Hungary will be cheaper too, Sylvan is bloody rich!

So bags are packed and he arrives in Hungary after missing the first game of preseason, to find the club has zero staff members and a senior squad of 12 players (two of whom are goalkeepers). On the plus side though, the club currently is only spending £2,000 of a £14,000 wage budget so we’ve got some room to bring people in. So it’s time to get down to business, a new start for Sylvan. We’ll review the squad he manages to put together in the next post.

Goodbye sweet Boom. Hello, Kozarmisleny (I really hope they have a nickname).