Good hello to you. Slightly later than usual it’s our annual roundup of where the current Premier League managers can be found in CM9798. It gets less vintage every year but there are some new names in the frame…
Arsenal – Mikel Arteta
There were times in the last few years where it seemed like an inevitability that Mikel Arteta would lose his job and now here we are with him top of the league. Obviously, Arteta still isn’t in the game but the good news is he has appointed Steve Round since last year. He doesn’t have a club as his average playing career was about to end but nevertheless, here he is.
Aston Villa – Unai Emery
Making a return to the list from his Arsenal days is Unai Emery, now in the dugout at Villa Park. In 1997 he was playing for Toledo, and other than being a little slow, his attributes are more than respectable.
He’ll be hoping that adaptability of 18 helps him more at Villa than it did at Arsenal.
Bournemouth – Gary O’Neil
Bournemouth finally appointed Gary O’Neil as their permanent manager during the World Cup break which did us little favours. O’Neil wasn’t even a professional in 97 so there’s no chance of him being in the game, luckily he has Bournemouth legend Steve Fletcher as an assistant. So take him in:
Brentford – Thomas Frank
Oh look it’s another one not in the game. Thomas Frank had next to no playing career at a senior level so you’ll have to enjoy Brentford’s “Head of Individual Development” Steven Pressley. That seems like quite a big title for Steven Pressley.
Brighton – Roberto De Zerbi
Brighton couldn’t have appointed somebody obvious could they? De Zerbi, nor any of his staff, are in 97/98 which is a real blow for us.
De Zerbi replaced Graham Potter who can be found elsewhere now…
Chelsea – Graham Potter
Well look who got themselves a big job! He’s been a regular in this list with Brighton but now he’s had his big move he’s going to rely heavily on that determination stat. Stamina of 15 might not be required given how long Chelsea seem to stick with managers.
He doesn’t really amount to much in game with very average stats but most importantly, he shares my birthday! In recent times he has taken on the nickname Hairy Potter after growing a beard. Good work.
Crystal Palace – Patrick Vieira
Paddy V! Vieira has the football world at his feet as a young man who will soon go and win the double and the World Cup in a pretty remarkable 12 months. He’s done pretty well since replacing Roy Hodgson, keeping Palace out of trouble whilst lowering the average age by about 10 years.
Everton – Frank Lampard
Last year I wrote that Rafa Benitez was the current Everton manager but he might not be for long. Well, he wasn’t but his replacement is now under pressure again. Frank Lampard is a promising youngster in 1997, just a young man dreaming of one day managing Tom Davies.
If he’s still in the Everton job for this roundup next year then he’ll be doing well.
Fulham – Marco Silva
Another returnee to the list is former Everton and Watford manager Marco Silva. Now at Fulham, Silva has got the Cottagers playing some lovely stuff as they look well placed to comfortably avoid the relegation scrap if not better. In CM9798 he’s a young right back still in his homeland.
Flair of 2 is not befitting of his side’s current style!
Leeds United – Jesse Marsch
Although Jesse Marsch was an active player in the USA in 1997/98, he didn’t make the database. So instead, here’s first team coach Mark Jackson who is remarkably at Leeds. Continuity, baby!
Leicester City – Brendan Rodgers
There’s no Brendan Rodgers in game so…here is his goalkeeping coach, Mike Stowell.
Sorry Leicester fans, it is as good as I can do.
Liverpool – Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp is doing great things at Liverpool but as a defender in CM9798 he is average at best. That aggression of 10 is kind, we’ve all seen mad Klopp. Also stamina of 8 is ironic given his gegenpressing ways. Klopp did go on to manage Mainz which lead him to Dortmund where he really came to flourish as a coach.
Manchester City – Pep Guardiola
Guardiola was excellent as a player and somehow even better as a manager. He is quite possibly the best player we have in the list today. As you’d expect, creativity, passing and technique are all very high. What else can you say really?
Manchester United – Erik Ten Hag
Another new name in the list as Erik Ten Hag arrives in the Premier League. He was seemingly rapid and accurate judging by these stats. I looked him up in the editor and he’s a pretty solid centre half, worth taking a punt on if you’re not a top, top side.
At least he is here, unlike predecessor Ralf.
Newcastle United – Eddie Howe
Eddie is our King! Although he isn’t much in 97/98 he’s doing a fine job in management right now, steering Newcastle from relegation certainties to European place contenders. And all it took was about £150m.
Nottingham Forest – Steve Cooper
Steve Cooper has had a great run as Nottingham Forest manager and has great coaching credentials already. Importantly, he also played Ned Schneebly in School of Rock. His playing career is non-existent at 97/98 level so here’s “Director of Football Development” Gary Brazil.
Southampton – Nathan Jones
Another new manager is Nathan Jones, who Southampton have appointed to replace Mr Hasenhuttl. He’s a useful Welsh winger but he isn’t Ryan Giggs, which will hinder hi International career.
Tottenham Hotspur – Antonio Conte
Conte really polarises opinion. He wins a lot but his teams can be quite dull. Then sometimes he doesn’t win and as a Tottenham manager, that’s a common occurence. Conte though is an Italian international midfielder at Juventus so a very fine player approaching his peak.
West Ham – David Moyes
Everybody’s favourite in-game error
Glaswegian David Moyes is a 34 year old Englishman here. He can head a ball though. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him become a manager in the game though. He’s doing a great job at West Ham.
Wolverhampton Wanderers – Julen Lopetegui
Wolves finally got their man, after months of leaving love notes about the place Julen Lopetegui agreed to be the new Wolves manager. He’s a very decent goalkeeper in 97/98 though Spain have a lot of choice between the sticks so he is unlikely to add to his 1 cap.
That’s the managers done but is anybody still playing from CM9798?
The most obvious one is Gianluigi Buffon, who is just making his way at Parma in game. He is actually back at Parma now to presumably finish his career, so that’s nice. He’s signed a contract until 2024, when he’ll be 46.
Another favourite, albeit a little less conventional is Kazuyoshi Miura in Japan. He’s 30 in the game but 55 in real life but is still contracted to Yokohama FC. He’s on loan in the Japanese 4th tier and still scoring goals but sadly did not make the 2022 World Cup squad. There’s always 2026.
That’s it for the professionals though, previous stalwarts of this list such as Bywater, Hughes and Keane have all called it a day. I imagine there are a lot more at non-league level, such as Jamie Cureton who is player-manager at Enfield
Roy Carroll was registered as a player for Dungannon Swifts but has since taken up a job with the Northern Irish FA, so the jury is out on that one.
Do you know any more? Get in touch!