So I won the Skrill South against the odds with Weston-super-Mare but I felt like it was a bridge too far to reach the European Cup with them so I searched for a job at a top division club to push things forward.
I found a place at a newly-promoted club in Israel but when I noticed a couple of Korean clubs had vacancies I couldn’t resist taking a chance. I’d barely left WsM in the Skrill Premier but Gangwon saw something in me (in fairness I’ve managed Jeonbuk in the Korean first division before) and with their £38m value took me on!
At Gangwon I steered the team away from relegation with five wins and a draw after joining six games before the end of the season, and in the early stages of my first full season in 2028/29, led the team to the top of the Korean Classic. We couldn’t keep it up though and went on a horrible run.
Six games in to the following season and we’re top of the table with 15 points, however, heavyweights Suwon are level with a game in hand. Seoul who’ve won the title in nine of the last 10 seasons are three points behind with a game in hand. We proudly beat them 3-1 on the opening day of the season.
In the Champions League we qualified for the second round early with four wins and a draw and have a game remaining.
I’m still reliant on my 4-4-1-1 shape, only because, even at a new club in a different country, it’s been so great for me yet again. However, I created something a bit niche in pre-season because I love a good experiment with tactics. It looks like this:
It goes against my usual considerations to not use wide midfielders but I wanted to test a back three with wing backs creating the width. Furthermore, I wanted to make the most of our wealth of talent in centre/ attacking midfield and this shape allows that. It also makes a change for me to use two strikers however I can take one out for an attacking midfielder if the situation necessitates it.
Once again, I’m loving managing in Korea – the money doesn’t hurt – we have more than we can spend especially with the four foreigners/ three excluding Asians rule. Young Korean players, no matter how good, don’t cost a lot which is great to build a talented squad which will grow and become a national powerhouse.
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