A bird in the bush is worth three on the blog, or something. It’s slim pickings from G through to K in RTFM world, so we’re combining G, H, and I in today’s update. The latest focus will be on the silverware available in Germany and Italy, as well as the managerial hirings and firings since we last checked-in on the world…
If you weren’t aware that we managed Borussia Dortmund for two seasons, then hello! and welcome to RTFM. Both seasons brought title wins, with our last look at 1.Bundesliga in May 2015 as Energie Cottbus took Hertha berlin’s top-flight spot. But what happened since?
Dortmund retained the title in 2016 (a fifth in six season) under new manager Antonio Conte, becoming the first side since Bayern Munich in 2001 to win three consecutive titles. After a torrid 2015 where they finished 5th, Bayern bounced back to finish 2nd behind BVB, as Hoffenheim finished 3rd for their best-ever league finish, just two years after promotion. BVB went on to complete the domestic double with DFB-Pokal victory over Mainz, before beating them again in the DFL-Supercup at the start of the 16/17 season.
Bayern then won back-to-back titles in 2017 and ’18 for their 24th and 25th Bundesliga titles, with BVB playing second-fiddle on both occasions. Leverkusen and Wolfsburg finished 3rd in those two seasons respectively. Wolfsburg lifted the Pokal in 2017 with a win over Gladbach before lifting the Supercup, with Bayern completing the double with a final win over Dortmund in May 2018. SC Freiburg and Dinamo Dresden will be back in the top-flight next season after promotion from the second tier.
The German national squad lost in the Euro 2016 Semi-Finals on penalties to eventual champions Italy following a 0-0 draw in Paris. The route to the final four saw them top a group containing Croatia, Scotland, and Denmark, before knockout wins against Austria and then Switzerland. Joachim Löw resigned following the defeat, with Jürgen Klopp his replacement.
Their FIFA World Cup 2018 campaign will begin against Morocco, ahead of further group matches against Australia and the Republic of Ireland. Germany are ranked 5th in the world behind Argentina, Italy, Brazil, and Cameroon in that order.
It’s highly likely that our return for the 2018-19 season will take place in the Premier League, so it’s time we took a look at the managerial comings and goings over the past three years at next year’s top flight English clubs.
Among the eyebrow-raising appointments are Liverpool giving Rafa Benítez a third spell in charge with his December hiring to replace the sacked Luis Enrique.
Tony Pulis is about to start his thirteenth season at Stoke City, making him the league’s longest-serving manager, José Mourinho is second, four years after he replaced Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Meanwhile, Man City are on their sixth manager in five seasons.
Premier League 2018-19, Managerial History since June 2015:
David Moyes Mar 17 -
Rafa Benítez Dec 15 - Feb 17 (sacked)
Laurent Blanc Jul 15 - Nov 15 (sacked)
Arsene Wenger Sep 96 - Jun 15 (retired)
Pasquale Marino Dec 16 -
Steve McClaren Nov 15 - Dec 16 (sacked)
Gus Poyet Dec 14 - Nov 15 (sacked)
Dougie Freedman Dec 15 -
Nigel Adkins Dec 14 - Dec 15 (sacked)
Paulo Sérgio Apr 17 -
Gareth Southgate Jan 16 - Mar 17 (left, Wolves)
Alan Shearer Jan 14 - Dec 15 (left, WBA)
Roy Keane Feb 18 -
Michael Appleton Nov 15 - Feb 18 (left, Wigan)
Sam Allardyce May 15 - Oct 15 (sacked)
Fatih Terim Nov 16 -
Luciano Spalletti Jan 13 - Nov 16 (sacked)
Pat Fenlon Feb 16 -
Steve Bruce Dec 13 - Feb 16 (sacked)
Neil Lennon Nov 16 -
Lee Clark Jan 16 - Nov 16 (sacked)
Ståle Solbakken May 15 - Dec 15 (sacked)
Rafa Benítez Dec 17 -
Luis Enrique Nov 16 - Nov 17 (sacked)
Eddie Howe Dec 14 - Nov 16 (sacked)
Luciano Spalletti Dec 17 -
Oleg Luzhnyi Nov 16 - Dec 17 (sacked)
Laurent Blanc Jan 16 - Nov 16 (sacked)
Javier Aguirre Dec 14 - Dec 15 (sacked)
José Mourinho Jun 14 -
Lee Clark Jun 17 -
Pasquale Marino Nov 15 - Dec 16 (left, Villa)
Stuart Pearce Nov 12 - Nov 15 (sacked)
Alan Curbishley Feb 16 -
Pat Fenlon Jan 14 - Feb 16 (left, Everton)
Paul Ince May 16 -
Chris Powell May 15 - May 16 (sacked)
Tony Pulis Jun 06 -
Alan Pardew Mar 16 -
Paolo Di Canio Aug 14 - Feb 16 (sacked)
Slaven Bilic Nov 15 -
André Villas-Boas Jul 12 - Nov (left, Bayern)
WEST BROMWICH ALBION
Alan Shearer Dec 15 -
Alan Curbishley Dec 14 - Dec 15 (sacked)
WEST HAM UNITED
John Sheridan Oct 15 -
Gordon Strachan Dec 14 - Oct 15 (sacked)
Steve McClaren Dec 17 -
Gareth Southgate Mar 17 - Nov 17 (sacked)
Mark Hughes Aug 16 - Mar 17 (sacked)
Martin Jol Jun 15 - Jul 16 (resigned)
Italy are the reigning European Champions after their 2-0 win over Bosnia at Euro 2016 in France two years ago, and go into this summer’s FIFA World Cup ranked 2nd in the world (behind Argentina). Wales, Ghana and Saudi Arabia await in Russia next month. Roberto Mancini manages the national squad, following Cesare Prandelli’s resignation after the Euros.
After two years of winning the Italian top-flight, Juventus were beaten into second place by Inter in 2016 as the Milanese club won their seventh Serie A title in eleven seasons. AC Milan then won back-to-back titles in ’17 and ’18 ahead of Juvé and Inter respectively. Impressively, Fiorentina finished 3rd in two of the past three seasons.
AC Milan lifted the TIM Cup in 2016, denying Inter the domestic double in the final. Juventus then won in ’17 and ’18 with victories over Inter then Milan.
RTFM is returning after a hiatus since we resigned as manager of Borussia Dortmund at the end of June 2015. The three seasons since then have been fully simulated in the original FM13 save, right up to the eve of the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Our daily news will return on 15 June 2018, with regular blog posts between now and then to highlight what’s happened in our absence.
NB: The entirety of RTFM is being played on Football Manager 2013. Regen players will have ® after their names to indicate this. Be aware that changes to competition rules since the summer of 2012 will not have been implemented in our save (e.g. UEL winners do not automatically qualify for the UCL), and this includes any new clubs or franchises, though we will endeavour to report on correct/current competition titles.
We will return to club management after our save generates the domestic leagues we’ve selected for the 2018-19 season on, or shortly after, 20th June. Feel free to ask questions in the comments or @realtimefm.