I turn up at Elland Road for my interview with my boyhood club Leeds United. Gone are the days of insane Italian chairmen replaced by sensible English businessmen and new chairman Steve Morgan. He sets out my task, the previous few years have been very up and down for the yorkshire side. Relegation back to league 1 whilst I was struggling to keep Real Oviedo in La Liga. they made it back to the Championship but things have been a struggle.
I’m tasked with keeping them in the division my task isn’t made easier by the previous incumbent of the managers chair Jason Blunt had spent the entire transfer budget on an aging Johnny Russell from Derby County. I set about trimming the squad of aging past their best players with large wages and also secure some vital funds to make some incoming moves.
First to be shown the Elland Road exit door are long time servants of the club Giuseppe Bellusci and Jordan Botaka who bring in a combined £1.1m in fees after they both join Real Sporting FC. The squad is very light in attacking options so i bring in Ipswich town veteran Freddie Sears for 600k.
Over the next few weeks 8 players depart the most noticeable of these being club captain Liam Cooper who Celtic sign for £2.3m along with around £2m from the other deals i now have some wiggle room. I set about replacing the hole left by Coopers departure, Derby County’s Patrick Banggaard is signed for £375 and at 4* he’s already improved on Cooper at that position (thats money ball kids). Other noteworthy incomings are Ruben Loftus-Cheek for £1.2m who never quite fulfilled his potential at Chelsea but will fit nicely into central midfield for me and Connor Wickham to further boost my attacking options.
The season starts fairly inconsistently but we soon find some good form and go on a 4 match winning run until I for the first time come up against a former club, Bolton! who soundly thrash me 4-1 with Alan Halilovic clearly furious at me for signing him to a relegated club scoring a hat-trick in a superb display of attacking football.
As we approach the January transfer window we are playing well above expectations and are fighting for a playoff position but keep throwing away games late on so some incomings in Jan are a necessity. The board kindly make an extra £2m available for transfer so with that I begin scouting a few guys I’m interested in doing a deal for. Lets see what January brings next time