30 years in Football Manager: Year 0, part 2



2nd half of the season

The Ballon D’or winner is announced – with Neymar breaking Messi and Ronaldo’s hold on the trophy to claim the prize.

Golden ball
No room for Ronaldo, as Barcelona dominate the nominations.

The Premier League see’s a flurry of winter signings, the biggest of which Iñaki Williams – who joins Spurs for a whopping £43m. Other notable transfers include; Cancelo’s £22m move to Manchester City, Nainggolan’s £35m transfer to Manchester United, Chelsea’s acquisition of Carlos Bacca for £21.5m and Fekir’s move to the Emirates for just £9m.

For £9m it was going to be hard for the Frenchman not to live up to that pricetag – but that didn’t stop Fekir trying. 8 weeks out injured and 1 substitute appearance is all he could muster in his first half season in North London.

In a hotly contested bout for strangest January signing it’s Danny Ings who fells Dimitar Berbatov, as the former completes a £6m move to Juventus – whilst Berbatov joins Hull City’s relegation fight.

No shocks in the FA cup third round but an emotional affair as non-league Chorley concede 3 late goals against Mansfield denying them a replay.


With all the transfer dealing in the air, Mark Hughes’ sacking nearly goes unnoticed at Stoke – however, it soon becomes apparent when Stoke turn up to their next game with former Wigan manger Warren Joyce sitting in the dugout.

Late-January/ early-Febuary showcases just how fragile a manager’s job is – Steve Bruce (Aston Villa) , Claude Puel (Southampton), Aitor Karanka (Middlesbrough) and Eddie Howe (Bournemouth) are all sacked following poor results. Mark Hughes takes the Bournemouth job after taking a well deserved 3 week break in the Bahamas. Champions League winner, Roberto Di Matteo takes charge of Boro.

At this point, we are approached by Boston but decide that £325 a week is an offer we ‘can’ refuse.

Life continues with the EFL cup, hotly contested by Manchester City and Liverpool – with the Citizens coming out 1-0 winners thanks to a tap-in from Kelechi Iheanacho.

efl cup

The Champion’s League returns with some stellar games – the highlight of the round of 16 being Atletico’s victory over PSG. Leicester progress to the Quarter-finals with a 3-2 victory over Lyon and Arsenal complete a small miracle by winning their round of 16 tie. 

Chelsea overtake Liverpool at the summit of the Premier League as both Manchester clubs fight it out for 5th and 6th – with Mourinho winning the battle for now.

Walter Mazzarri becomes the last Premier League manager to lose his job following 6 straight defeats – Watford now sinking further down the Premier League table.

In the Championship, Huddersfield drop well off the pace as Newcastle occupy 1st position. Ryan Giggs’ begins making big strides at Nottingham Forrest as his side climb up the table into the playoff spots.

Leicester City lose 2-1 to Real Madrid and are dumped out of the CL. Somewhat hilariously, Arsenal bow out at the same stage to none other than Bayern Munich. The semi-final draw see’s Madrid face Bayern whilst Dortmund face Juventus (with a bang inform Danny Ings).

The FA cup 6th round provides the biggest shocks of the tournament thus far. Hull,Swansea and Burnley knock out Spurs,Man City and Liverpool respectively. The semi-final draw see’s Burnley edge out Hull AET and Swansea sneak a 1-0 victory over Stoke.

fa cup 6th
The magic of the cup

Manchester City make light work of the Europa League avoiding any big ties en route to the final. The same couldn’t be said for Manchester United, who fall at the Quarter Final stage to PSV. Mourinho is clearly angry here. 

As the season draws to a close Chelsea win the Premier League with a game to spare – incredibly using Kante just 11 times over the season.  Swansea,Watford and Bournemouth relegated from the Premier league – with Boro and Sunderland surviving by a single point on the last day of the season.

prem 2016

Real Madrid overcome Bayern in the Semi’s and then Dortmund in the final to win the Champions League. Alvaro Morata with the decisive goal in the final, bagging him the golden boot.

Manchester City stroll past Schalke to win the Europa League and qualify for the Champions League – despite finishing 6th in the league and behind United. 



Burnley lift the FA cup final with a penalty shootout victory over Swansea.

fa cup final
Ashley Barnes nets the winning penalty

Willy Caballero decides its time to hang up his gloves. Manchester City instantly panic at the thought that Bravo and Hart will fight it out for No.1 and beg Caballero to reconsider – he politely declines.

Newcastle win automatic promotion from the Championship alongside Nottingham Forrest – whose monumental rise up the table from 11th can only  be put down to Giggs’ managerial ability. Norwich come up through the playoffs to complete the trio of promoted sides – with Brighton bottling yet another chance at promotion, finishing 3rd and losing in the playoffs.


Awards-Premier League

Manager of the year: Antonio Conte

Top goalscorer: Sergio Aguero

Player’s Player of the season: Juan Mata

Young player’s player of the season: Philippe Coutinho

Awards – Championship

Manager of the year: Ryan Giggs

Top goalscorer: Jordan Rhodes

Player of the year: Anthony Knockaert

Young player of the year: John Swift