If you’ve ever wondered what the current crop of Premier League managers were up to on CM97/98, congratulations! You are as stuck in the past as I am. To celebrate, here’s a run through of who you can find on a game from 20 years ago
Rewind 20 years and you’ll find Eddie Howe exactly where you’ll find him now. Some people just like to stay on the south coast, alright? Before Howe was a manager though he was a promising defender, racking up more than 200 appearances for Bournemouth and even featuring for the England Under 21s. Much like his managerial career, he briefly left to try something else, didn’t like it and went back to being a Cherry. It wasn’t that long ago that Howe was being linked with every job that became available, though that now falls on Sean Dyche to deal with.
We all know where Wenger is. Even on 9798 you’ll find Wenger struggling to zip his coat up in the dugout, albeit at Highbury rather than The Emirates. Steve Bould is sat next to him as a substitute rather than an assistant, though.
Sadly, there’s no sign of Hughton on 1997/98. Having retired from playing in 1993 he joined Tottenham’s coaching staff, and there were no place for coaches in the CM2 series.
Current flavour of the month Sean Dyche has Burnley flying high in the Premier League at the moment, but back in 1997/98 Dyche was a versatile player apparently capable of playing on either flank in defence or attack. Sadly there is no stat for how gravelly a voice somebody has, or that would be a certain 20 for old Dychey. He did however get to play with the most suave man in football Paul Tisdale and Shaun Goater during his time at Bristol City, so it’s not all bad.
If you aren’t familiar with the Juventus side of the mid 1990’s, I can heartily recommend you look them up. They were quite good. Conte was an integral figure in the heart of the midfield as Juventus won 5 Serie A titles and the Champions League, among other things. Conte is of course now the Chelsea manager, and he lead the Blues to the Premier League title in his first season in England. A lot of Conte’s traits as a player can be found in his management, he’s arguably as all action in the dugout as he was in midfield, but we’ve also seen the intelligence and tactical versatility to switch Chelsea to a 3-4-3 last season to take them on an 11 game winning run.
Dear old Roy was managing Blackburn 20 years ago, which really shows you just how long the Crystal Palace manager has been in the game for. Managers don’t have profiles on CM9798 so here he is in the editor
Fair to say that ‘passing’ playing style disappeared over the years, but he’s doing an admirable job at Crystal Palace in my view and he may yet keep them up. It was around 1997 that Hodgson’s reputation was at its highest having been Switzerland and then Inter Milan manager, which makes it all the more remarkable that he’d go on to manage his country 15 years later.
When I wrote this, David Unsworth had been caretaker boss for what felt like forever. It was more like 6 weeks, and results had been mixed at best. As the enormous shadow of Sam Allardyce loomed and eventually eclipsed old Unsy, I’d already written this, so bear with me. Back in 1997/98, he had just signed for West Ham ahead of a one season stay. He’s going to need all of that 20 for determination if he’s going to make Everton a decent side again, but I suspect his influence is already well below 15.
A bit like Eddie Howe, Unsworth always returns like a homing pigeon and a move to Aston Villa lasted one month before he returned to Everton. He can expect a similar shift back to Everton’s Under-23s. Anyway, it’s not our problem now and Big Sam is in charge. Back in 97/98, he was at Notts County and basically a blank slate, still to learn the term “get it in the mixer.”
The eagle eyed amongst you will spot some errors with above CM9798 screenshot before we’ve even started. Firstly, the date of birth is wrong. I mean, it’s not even close. Wrong month and three years out. Also, Wagner was representing the USA by this point, as despite being German by birth and representing Germany’s youth sides, Wagner held an American passport and was given his first cap in 1996. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s not him at all, but he was at least at Gutersloh in the 1997/98 season so I’m putting it down to dodgy researching. His stats are extremely average but at least he won’t get injured.
Puel retired from playing in 1996 and took his first management job in 1999, so he’s nowhere to be found in CM97/98 I’m afraid.
Klopp spent 11 years as a Mainz player before getting the management job towards the very end of his playing career. He was actually a striker in his early playing days but reverted to being a defender, like a German Dion Dublin. In reverse. Either way, with strong heading and tackling he’s not a bad centre half. I think that aggression needs upping though. You won’t like him when he’s angry.
Long before Pep was a managerial genius, he was dominating the centre of the park for Barcelona
Pep spent most of his playing career with Barcelona before going on to manage them (after a spell in charge of the B team). Of course now find Pep at Man City, bringing his unique brand of pass and move football to the Premier League. As a player, it’s no surprise to see high marks for creativity, passing and technique, making him one of the best central midfielders on the game. As a manager, you don’t need me to tell you what he’s about!
It’s well documented that Mourinho didn’t play at a particularly high level, and indeed he retired 10 years before CM97/98. By the time of release, Mourinho was assistant manager to Louis Van Gaal at Barcelona following the departure of Bobby Robson. Again, as there are no coaches in the game, Mourinho can not be found in CM97/98.
In 1997, Benitez could be found managing Extremadura as a young manager trying to build a reputation. He would go on to guide them to promotion from the Segunda Division, but they only survived one season in the Primera. Here’s his editor stats for your entertainment
It’s funny to see his reputation being so low compared to Hodgson’s that we saw earlier, but that’s just how their stock was in the football world 20 years ago. Benitez is now at Newcastle hoping to go one better than he did at Extremadura, having gained promotion he is now looking to keep them in the Premier League.
Southampton’s manager Pellegrino was actually a player for Rafael Benitez during their time at Valencia, which is not only a fact but a beautiful link from one manager in this list to another. Back in 1997 though and Pellegrino was still in his native Argentina, playing for Velez Sarsfield.
He played in both Champions League final defeats for Valencia (under Benitez), even missing the decisive penalty in the shootout in 2001. Benitez forgave him and signed him for Liverpool, though his best days were gone by then. Looking at his playing stats, he looks a decent if unspectacular centre half, that low positioning rating would be problematic, especially without great pace to recover.
It’s easy to forget what a wonderful career Mark Hughes had. He’s in the twilight of his career by 1997, but that injury proneness of 1 highlights how he managed to play on for another 5 years after this. I think the fact that he is a very irritating manager clouds the fact that he played for Man Utd, Barcelona and Bayern Munich – obviously no mean feat and he was still very useful in 1997. As manager of Stoke, he’s completed his usual objective of making a team very mid-table, which is fine at Stoke but was less good at Man City.
Clement played non-league football until 1994 and then concentrated on getting his coaching qualifications whilst working as a PE teacher. He was a long way from the CM radar at this point.
Step forward the man who has made Spurs rather good, most of the time anyway. Pochettino can be found in 97/98 at Espanyol, with the seemingly customary high aggression rating for Argentinian defenders. His vital stats for a centre half are actually pretty good, though a 14 for tackling might explain why he fouled Michael Owen for England’s penalty against Argentina in 2002.
It’s probably not unkind to say Marco Silva didn’t really reach any great heights as a player. He played in a total of two top flight Portugese league matches and only really finding a permanent home at Estoril, where he spent the final 6 years of his career before becoming their manager in 2011. Back in 1997 though and Silva is a pretty promising right back, with stamina, strength and pace actually being a pretty good description of the Watford side he currently manages.
Mr Popular is back in the Premier League, with West Brom being the latest to be taken in by the large amounts of hot air coming from his face. Bias aside, Pardew has a knack of getting results when he first arrives at a club and he’ll almost certainly keep West Brom up, so maybe not a bad appointment in the short term. Back in 1997 and Pardew’s playing career was just about to grind to a halt.
Having been player-coach at Barnet in the 1996/97 season, Pardew moved to Reading with Terry Bullivant in 1997. His profile is still on CM97/98 as a player as he was technically still registered as a player. As a special treat for you, here he is at Barnet on CM2 96/97 season:
Personally, I feel 6 for intelligence is a bit high.
He will probably tell you we’re saving the best until last, but it’s just alphabetical by team David I’m afraid. Anyway, remember back in 1997 when Moyes was English?
He’s certainly shown that 20 for adaptability, as he adapts from life at mid-table Everton to high flying Man Utd and then very low flying Sunderland and doing a terrible job at both. Still, with heading of 20 and tackling of 19, it’s only a matter of time before he limbers up alongside Winston Reid at West Ham, with pace of 5 he’s still quicker than James Collins.
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