Jorge Jesus Hands His Real Reins Over to AVB

Real Madrid have stunned the footballing world today with the announcement that Bayern Munich manager André Villas-Boas will become the club’s new head coach following the retirement of Jorge Jesus after two years at the Bernabéu.

63-year old Jesus had held ten club jobs in his native Portugal before spending six years at Benfica from 2009, winning the league three times from an otherwise dominant Porto, and lifting the domestic cup five times in six seasons. He joined Juventus for the ’15-16 season where they finished 2nd behind Inter.

Jesus then joined Real Madrid and his two season there saw them in the FIFA Club World Cup and the Copa Del Rey en route to a 2nd place finish in the league, before winning La Liga this year.

Villas-Boas joined Bayern in November 2015 after three and a half years at Tottenham. At Spurs he guided them to the double in 2013 as well as reaching the Europa League Final, and later to the 2015 Champions League Final. His first season at Bayern saw them finish 2nd to Dortmund in 2016, before lifting the title in 2017 and then the double this year.

Bookmakers have the shortest odds on Schalke manager Marcelino taking the job at Bayern, though former-Dortmund boss Gray Surman has ruled himself of the running with the Canadian widely expected to be named the new Arsenal manager this week.

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David Moyes leaves Arsenal for Dortmund

David Moyes has sensationally been announced as the new manager of Borussia Dortmund with immediate effect, leaving his post at Arsenal after sixteen months at the Emirates.

The 55-year old Scot won back-to-back Europa Leagues with Arsenal in 2017 and 2018, and this season finished 5th in the Premier League and reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup. He joined Arsenal in March 2017 from Athletic Club with the Bilbao-based team on course for a top four finish in La Liga.

The job at Signal Iduna Park will be Moyes’s fifth club after Preston, Everton, Athletic, and Arsenal, and he replaces Antonio Conte who left for Chelsea last month.

A number of names have already been linked with the job in North London including Marcelino (Schalke), Aykut Kocaman (Fenerbahçe) and former-player Oleg Luzhniyi who was sacked by Man City last December. The bookies’ favourite however remains Grayson Surman whom they believe is looking to get back into club management.

The treble-winning manager has been out of frontline club work since he stepped-down from Dortmund in July 2015. The Evening Standard runs a quote from Surman that has him expressing strong interest in the vacancy.

Chelsea Capture Conte: Antonio Arrives Apace

Stamford Bridge sources have confirmed that Antonio Conte has agreed a deal to leave Borussia Dortmund and join Chelsea as their new manager. The 48-year old Italian replaces Fatih Terim who announced his retirement on Thursday.

The Chelsea job will be Conte’s seventh club as manager and comes after three seasons at Dortmund which saw his side complete the double in 2016 and reach the Champions League final, before two seasons finishing runners-up to Bayern Munich. Previously, Juventus won three Serie A titles in four years under his management (double in 2015).

Chelsea, Champions League holders, finished 2nd last season – five points behind Spurs – having beaten their London rivals to the title in 2017 in their first Premier League triumph since 2010.

Conte’s first task will be to find replacements for David Luiz and Nathan Aké, both of whom leave on free transfers next week. Aké has a deal penned with Leicester while, curiously, Luiz – currently at the World Cup with Brazil – is off to Dortmund.

Andrea Pirlo Appointed To First Managerial Role

Newly promoted 1.Bundesliga side Dynamo Dresden have unveiled Italian midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo as their manager ahead of the new season which kicks-off in nine weeks time. The role is Pirlo’s first as manager after he passed his Continental Pro License in November of last year while working as Head of Youth Development at SC Freiburg.

39-year old Pirlo earned 91 caps for Italy, winning the World Cup in 2006. During his club career, most notably ten years at AC Milan before finishing his playing time three seasons at Juventus, he won the Champions League (twice), Serie A (three times), Italian Cup, UEFA Super Cup (twice), and the FIFA Club World Cup.

Pirlo had a spell as Bari U20 coach upon his retirement from Juventus, before the move to the youth setup at Freiburg in June 2016. With several youngsters making the step up into the first team, Freiburg lifted the 2.Liga title this year, finishing a place above Dynamo Dresden who were promoted alongside them.

Fixture Release Day: 1.Bundesliga Kick-Off

The German top flight 1.Bundesliga has released the details for the opening day of the season, scheduled for Saturday 25 August. Back-to-back champions Bayern Munich start their season at home to Hertha Berlin, who finished 13th last season. Runners-up in the last two seasons, Borussia Dortmund, will travel to Hamburg.

Promoted sides Freiburg and Dynamo Dresden both start their campaigns at home, to Eintracht Frankfurt  and Nürnberg respectively. Relegation playoff winners Düsseldorf are also at home, they’ll play Stuttgart.

BUNDESLIGA OPENING FIXTURES:
             Bayer Leverkusen  -  Hannover
                Bayern Munich  -  Hertha Berlin
                   Düsseldorf  -  Stuttgart
               Dynamo Dresden  -  Nürnberg
                     Freiburg  -  Eintracht Frankfurt
                      Hamburg  -  Dortmund
                        Mainz  -  Mönchengladbach
                      Schalke  -  Hoffenheim
                Werder Bremen  -  Wolfsburg

Catch-Up Triple Post: Germany, Hirings, Italy…

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:
 ARSENAL
  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)
 ASTON VILLA
  Pasquale Marino    Dec 16 - 
  Steve McClaren     Nov 15 - Dec 16 (sacked)
  Gus Poyet          Dec 14 - Nov 15 (sacked)
 BLACKBURN
  Dougie Freedman    Dec 15 - 
  Nigel Adkins       Dec 14 - Dec 15 (sacked)
 BOLTON WANDERERS
  Paulo Sérgio       Apr 17 - 
  Gareth Southgate   Jan 16 - Mar 17 (left, Wolves)
  Alan Shearer       Jan 14 - Dec 15 (left, WBA)
 BURNLEY
  Roy Keane          Feb 18 - 
  Michael Appleton   Nov 15 - Feb 18 (left, Wigan)
  Sam Allardyce      May 15 - Oct 15 (sacked)
 CHELSEA
  Fatih Terim        Nov 16 - 
  Luciano Spalletti  Jan 13 - Nov 16 (sacked)
 EVERTON
  Pat Fenlon         Feb 16 - 
  Steve Bruce        Dec 13 - Feb 16 (sacked)
 FULHAM
  Neil Lennon        Nov 16 - 
  Lee Clark          Jan 16 - Nov 16 (sacked)
  Ståle Solbakken    May 15 - Dec 15 (sacked)
 LIVERPOOL
  Rafa Benítez       Dec 17 - 
  Luis Enrique       Nov 16 - Nov 17 (sacked)
  Eddie Howe         Dec 14 - Nov 16 (sacked)
 MANCHESTER CITY
  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)
 MANCHESTER UNITED
  José Mourinho      Jun 14 - 
 NEWCASTLE UNITED
  Lee Clark          Jun 17 - 
  Pasquale Marino    Nov 15 - Dec 16 (left, Villa)
  Stuart Pearce      Nov 12 - Nov 15 (sacked)
 NORWICH CITY
  Alan Curbishley    Feb 16 - 
  Pat Fenlon         Jan 14 - Feb 16 (left, Everton)
 SOUTHAMPTON
  Paul Ince          May 16 - 
  Chris Powell       May 15 - May 16 (sacked)
 STOKE CITY
  Tony Pulis         Jun 06 -
 SWANSEA CITY
  Alan Pardew        Mar 16 - 
  Paolo Di Canio     Aug 14 - Feb 16 (sacked)
 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
  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)
 WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS
  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.