If you feel old playing this game 18 years after release, imagine how some of these guys feel. Take a stroll down memory lane as we look at some of the current day dugout dwellers still putting their shinpads on at 3pm
I find it disgusting that Garry Monk is 18 when this game starts yet he now manages a Premier League club. That stat of 18 for determination is probably a good reason why he is the Premier League’s youngest manager and doing a very good job all things considered. In the game, he is a very average young centre half who sadly amounts to very little.
Senor MartinezRoberto Martinez is a central midfielder at Wigan in the lower leagues of the English game, but he is loaded with potential ability and inevitably gets a decent move to a La Liga team. Again, at 24 it makes me realise how much time has passed that he has gone on to win the FA Cup as a manager already, but he doesn’t usually make the transition to management in the game.
The Pardy don’t start ’til Al walks in
At 36 and without a club, some would say Pardew shoud have called it a day. In reality he did some player-coach work at Barnet the previous season and got snapped up, if that’s the word, by Reading as a reserve team manager during the 97/98 season, but was still registered as a player without making an appearance. That aggression stat of 17 ended up making an imprint in David Meyler’s face (well, kind of) and coined the phrase “I didn’t headbut him, I pushed him away with my head.” Frankly, most Newcastle fans would love to have given this cretin a free transfer a long time ago, especially with the irony of a set piece stat of 19.
Bruce’s stats, even at age 36, make him a very competent defender, especially in Division 1. With tackling and heading of 20, it’s clear Bruce’s Man Utd stats were never really erased from the database. Bruce usually plays on for a couple of seasons before moving in to management, often as a player manager a couple of seasons in. Hopefully he shows some more loyalty than he does in real life.
Paul Lambert – Champions League Winner
Paul Lambert starts the 97/98 season on the back of Champions League success with Borussia Dortmund. At just 28, Lambert should dominate the SPL but to be honest he always performs a little bit underwhelmingly. He doesn’t go into management either, which I’m sure Villa fans would prefer.
Before Gustavo Poyet got fired live on TV, he turned out in midfield for Chelsea and was a pretty useful goalscoring midfielder. The current Sunderland boss usually lasts a couple of seasons before hitting a decline and not retaining his work permit, but his current Sunderland side could do with some of that creativity stat of 16.
Making plans for NigelWith 20 for influence, Pearson is another one who makes his way seamlessly into management. But look at that morale! Incidentally Pearson went on to manager Carlisle and was in charge for the famous Jimmy Glass game that kept Carlisle in the league. Currently sending Leicester towards relegation, we’ll see if his morale remains “superb”
Dyche Dyche Baby
The smooth voice of Sean Dyche starts the game as a very useful football league midfielder, with a penchant for flair of all things. Maybe he sees a bit of himself in George Boyd. Don’t be fooled by Dyche’s dulcet tones, judging by these stats he was a very silky footballer in his day.
This one is less of a surprise, and Hughes normally finds himself in a managerial position a couple of years into the game. With an influence of 20 though, he is very suited to the managerial positino that inevitably comes his way. A very handy player to have though, Hughes competes with Zola and Vialli for a spot starting up front for Chelsea – though Vialli is the player manager, so good luck with that.
Poch n roll
Managers are definitely getting younger, I cannot believe Pochettino is only 25 when this game starts. A good La Liga defender, Pochettino is on the fringes of the Argentina squad. Rarely do I get far enough to see if he goes in to management, but I’d be happy to have him in my defence. Years later, Pochettino would foul Michael Owen and David Beckham would exercise his demons from 1998, so thanks for that.
Comments/abuse/well wishes as always are welcome @cm9798