It’s fair to say I haven’t been an immediate success as a manager on FM13 and during my longest save I enjoyed time at AC Milan but after frustrating and largely unfortunate spells with Fiorentina, Aston Villa, Inter and Sunderland there were few vacancies at top clubs and the ones I applied for rejected me with disdain.
As usual though, in 2020, there were plenty of international jobs available and in my desperacy I applied for the Nigeria manager’s job.
I thought it was better than just waiting all day for a realistic position to become available and it would possibly look good on my managerial CV.
Nigeria have plenty of attacking options and promising youngsters but my defenders have struggled to perform despite several having impressive stats.
I took the reigns of the Super Eagles just before the African Cup of Nations started and we struggled in the initial group stage but we just managed to qualify for the quarters eventually going out at the semi-finals stage and won the third-place play-off.
Our improvement encouraged me and after spending more time with the squad I had come to know who my better players were.
After the AFCON I had more freedom to give caps to lesser known Nigerians and this greatly enhanced my knowledge of the country’s development system.
It was also at this time I applied for the vacant Genoa job while they were floundering in the relegation spots in Serie A.
The best thing that has come from managing Nigeria and I think would be the case for any national team, is that I find talented players before anyone else does.
It’s better than that though as I can also see at first hand if these youngsters with promising stats can perform in the pressure of an important match without buying them first. Yes I could look at their career stats but they’re not always reliable.
Check this guy out:
Okay, he plays for a top club and he’s established but I wasn’t aware of him until I managed Nigeria.
Below is a player who any mid-table English Premier League club could land. Great value for a quality player.
I decided to sign Abraham Adefemi for Genoa after I spotted him when searching for new players for my Nigeria squad:
Managing an international team gives you an invaluable insight in to players you might otherwise never see and I recommend it to all of you. There are always jobs going and you can of course manage a club as well as a nation.