It is official. I’ve left as manager of Auckland City and moved to Asia. I’ve moved to Al-Jazira(UAE). It is with a very heavy heart that I’ve left Auckland as I was starting to really care about the club. The chairman was looking to retire and this was a man who put faith in me and his money. However I was apllying for a few jobs in Asia and having had a couple of interviews, I was offered the club at Al-Jazira(UAE). They had finished 5th in the previous season and won the President’s Cup. Winning the President’s Cup meant that Al-Jazira have qualified for the Asian Champions League automatically. That is a little disappointing, but you take what you’ve got. I was looking at jobs in Qatar, South Korea or Japan, but none where readily available.
So I’ve moved to the UAE. However, I’m already regretting it. The UAE league is of a poor standard and I’m struggling to bring in staff, players or even youth propects to strengthen this side. At the moment, I’m hoping that playing for a season will enable more players to be loaded into the database and find some gems. However we’ll see.
I was going to do an in-depth analysis of the squad to show what I have at my disposal. However, I soon found that the Al-Jazira players weren’t as good as I was hoping. I signed quite a few playersand took charge of quite a few matches. I managed to take them to 5th in the league and top of their group in the Emirates Cup. However, playing the 10th place team on a square pitch. I got absolutely spanked 4-0. Nothing I did seemed to make any difference. So I finally lost patience with the club and resigned on the spot. After a few months, I applied to the Guangzhou Evergrande job and got the job. My main attraction to the job was having Jackson Martinez in attack, a player I have never managed on FM. So that is the update and I will let you know how I get on further down the line.