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So I understand you’ve heard (and read) the news?
I was settled at Lille. I was comfortable. Ready to go again in the UEFA Champions League. Ready to go and retain Lille’s Ligue Un crown.
Ready to permanently dethrone Paris Saint-Germain.
But then everything changed. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge called me, out of the blue.
I think I was still drunk from the league celebrations. I answered, at first convinced it was ‘Gordo’ Young or even Freddy Danielsson (two of our former assistant managers) calling on the wind-up. I expected the thick German accent to drop at any second, and the laughs to begin.
But the laughs didn’t begin.
It really was Rummenigge.
Bayern Munich have found themselves in a bit of a slump recently, and evidently Der FCB needed a Scotsman equipped with a laptop, Microsoft Excel and a smile.
Charismatic Italian coach Roberto Mancini had just been sacked after six years in charge, and well, you can figure the rest out.
In a worldwind couple of days, my apartment was packed, the car handed back, and I was on a plane to Munich. My 5th club had put out a distress signal, and I had responded.
I took a moment to reflect, as I heard the wheels of the plane clunk down sturdily on German soil over the music in my headphones. ‘Hip to be Square’ by Huey Lewis and the News, if you’re wondering.
Toto, we’re not in
Kansas Varberg anymore.
The facilities here at Bayern are mind-blowing. I’ve inherited an incredible squad, and I am reliably informed there is a kitty of £220million ready and waiting for me to use as I see fit. We must turn this team into an invincible unit.
Let’s talk about the expectations for my new role. First on the list is to win back our Bundesliga. After being champions 12 years in a row from 2012 to 2024, Marcelo Gallardo’s Leipzig and Mauricio Pochettino’s Hoffenheim have beaten Bayern to the punch in these last two seasons.
It’s 2026, and also 14 years since we last lifted a UEFA Champions League trophy. This has to change.
I am showed around my new home by none other than Marco Van Basten, my new assistant manager. If the imposter syndrome was high in France, Jesus…
Incredibly, David Alaba, now 34, is still at the club, in his 19th year! Many other familiar faces greet me at training too; Benjamin Pavard, Corentin Tolisso, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Kingsley Coman and Lucas Hernandez, among others.
There’s also a mean-looking strikeforce.
That being said, it was time to work some transfer market magic and bring in some fresh talent, while exiting some players who may not fit in with our tactical approach.
I might have went back for more than a couple of Lille old boys.
JLG9, Robert Marin and Nehuén Pérez had to come with me from France. I’ve got eyes on Enzo Romano too, but new Lille manager Pep Guardiola (seriously!) isn’t too keen on letting go of either him or Uriel Vázquez, who frustratingly never got to play for me.
Tonali and Kana were must-buys to improve our ageing midfield.
I get to work with the boys on the training pitch, as my signature 4-3-3 starts to take shape. Pre-season goes well, as do my first 15 or 20 competitive games in charge.
We are unbeaten, so you’d think everything would be rosy. For some reason though, my Bayern boys are just not lighting up the pitch the way the Lille lads did (writer’s note – alliteration is awful).
A string of frustrating draws recently leaves me a little deflated, so I decide to move things around a little bit, tactically. Could a slightly tweaked system deliver the more entertaining football I’d like to see?
We are fast approaching the middle part of the season (already) so I guess only time will tell.
Last thing. When KHR (yep, I’m allowed to call Rummenigge that) took me out for dinner to the incredible ‘Tantris’ restaurant, I realised it has more Michelin stars than I’ve won titles, two.
He also threw me my new car keys (that’s how it works, right?) and arranged that I could be driven home in it, after way too many drinks.
Welcome to Germany. This should be fun!
Thanks for reading