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*Official FMS Challenge 2010 #4* The Longevity Challenge


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Longevity Challenge by BenArsenal

Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are two of the longest serving managers in English football. In the increasingly fickle world that is modern football, these stalwarts are a testament to the fast-fading trait that is managerial stability.

Your challenge is to build your way from the bottom to the top like them, and then cement your place in folklore by proving your ability to provide consistent success, and thus longevity.

Alex Ferguson Path

Stage 1

Ferguson's first managerial role was at East Stirlingshire, a job in which he lasted less than a year, but provided a starting point for his future success.

Challenge: Start your career at a Scottish Third Division club. Stay for at least a season.

Stage 2

Ferguson was then poached by St Mirren, who were struggling in the Second Division at the time. Fergie then led them to promotion back to the top flight, but was sacked (unfairly he claims) due to contractual disputes.

Challenge: Move on to a struggling team in the Scottish second flight (struggling defined as a bottom half finish the previous season). Lead them to promotion.

Stage 3

Ferguson then moved on to Aberdeen, and instantly broke the Old Firm's stranglehold of Scottish football, at least temporarily. During his reign, the Dons managed three league titles, four Scottish cups, one Scottish League Cup, one European Cup Winners' Cup, and one UEFA Super Cup, in what was arguably Aberdeen's golden age.

Challenge: Move on to an non-Old Firm Scottish club, and win at least three league titles, three Scottish cups (some leeway), and one European trophy. Any other additonal trophies are a bonus.

Stage 4

Following his phenomenal success, Ferguson was appointed by Manchester United in order to revive the ailing club. The rest, as they say, is history. 11 league titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, 8 Community Shields, 2 Champions League, 1 Cup Winners' Cup, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 1 FIFA Club World Cup, cements Fergie's position as Manchester United's most successful manager in history

Challenge: Move to an English club that has not had success for a while (no league titles for at least two decades), and achieve world domination, building your team for at least two decades and beyond.

Additional (optional)

Ferguson was briefly Scotland manager during his stint at Aberdeen, taking over after Jock Stein sadly passed away. Fergie took Scotland to the 1986 World Cup, before returning to club management

Challenge: At any point during your career, take charge of the Scottish national team, and lead them to at least one World Cup.

Arsene Wenger Path

Stage 1

Arsene Wenger's first managerial job was at Nancy, where unfortunately they got relegated at the end of his three year tenure.

Challenge: Take a middling French top flight club, one that has never won the title, and stay for at least three seasons to build up your reputation. Better Wenger's achievements by not getting relegated.

Stage 2

Wenger then moved to Monaco, where his career started to take off. He won Ligue 1 in his first season, and followed up with the Coupe de France three years later. Three more second places in the league as well as a run to the final in the Cup Winners' Cup in his fourth season marked his progression as an up-and-coming coach.

Challenge: Move on to a big-ish French club, and win at least one league title and one Coupe de France. At least one good European run will be a bonus. (Big-ish French clubs are Monaco, Marseille, PSG, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lens, Lyon, Auxerre or St Etienne)

Stage 3

Following his success in France, Wenger took the unorthodox route of going to the Far East, taking charge of Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan. He immediately transformed Nagoya from relegation strugglers into title challengers, bringing them to within a whisker of the league and winning the Emperor's Cup (the national cup competition). This further enhanced his reputation on the world stage.

Challenge: Move to the Far East like Wenger, taking charge of a struggling Asian club, and bring them to success. Win at least one trophy, but more importantly make yourself known to the world by enhancing your reputation. This usually involves either one league win, or a good run in continental competitions, thereby going one ahead of Wenger.

(Struggling is defined as a bottom half finish the previous season. Asian leagues eligible are South Korea [recommended], Australia, China, Singapore. These are the leagues with Asian Champions League places)

Stage 4

Wenger's endeavours finally received recognition, as he was approached to replace Bruce Rioch at Arsenal. He instantly made himself at home, winning the double in the first season and continuing to build on that success. Two more league titles and three more FA Cups followed, but more importantly he brought about consistent success, with eight consecutive seasons of never finishing outside the top 2 of the league. European success continue to elude him however, with a UEFA Cup final and a Champions League final the closest he got.

His legacy however, is his youth policy, as well as his desire for fluid, attacking football. His transfer policy has been one of prudence, and that has made Arsenal one of the best run clubs financially in the country.

Challenge: Get a job at a mid-ish size giant in English football, one that has experienced some success in the past but are now mid-tablers. Make them great again by winning as many trophies as possible. At the same time cultivate an attacking football mentality at the club, as well as putting a strong emphasis on youth, and exercise financial prudence by not spending silly money unnecessarily on big name players.

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Challenge Log

Stage 1

chesterfan2 is the first to enter the challenge fray, the first story in a long while from a forum veteran. Talk to Frank is his story and I wish him the best of luck.

Rowardennan has joined in and is doing his time at East Stirling in The Hairdryer Roars Again. Hopefully things go well enough to earn him a move up to the Scottish 2nd Division.

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