Ten solid years as a devoted Football Manager – the games console version – have landed Vugar Guloglan oglu Huseynzade the top coach job for real at Azerbaijani Premier League outfit, Baku FC.
Vugar, who’s “played Football Manager since 2002” has been advising the club for nine months, a period which has seen two other gaffers shown the door.
If you’re a follower of European football, Baku FC will be a commonplace enough name. Thanks to recent successes in their domestic league, Europa League qualification has been a regular experience for club and fans alike.
New Football Manager Vugar third this season for Baku FC
However, with rivals Inter Baku currently sitting on top of the Azerbaijani Premier League and Baku FC outside the relegation places on goal difference only, the pressure is on for Vugar to bring his Xbox experience to the playing field.
The failure of a succession of football managers to repeat the glory days has opened the door for 21-year old Vugar, who’s never even played professional football, let alone had any managerial experience.
Experienced football managers were available
It’s not as if no one else was interested in the job, either. Jean-Pierre Papin, former French and European Player of the Year, with football manager experience under his belt to boot, was just one of the failed applicants beaten off by by Vugar’s appointment.
You have to admire the youngster’s ambition, even if the reality of managing human players rather than pixelated ones is a completely different ball game. From their lowly position, Vugar is eying a return to European football competition in three short seasons.
With the Azerbaijani Cup kicking off this week, it will give Vugar the perfect opportunity to put his managerial ‘experience’ to the test. From a financial point of view, whether the appointment works out or not, this is probably the greatest PR coup in modern football since Birmingham City appointed Karren Brady as director, the first female in the Premier league to hold such a position.
As for me, I’m off to buy Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball…hey, it could happen!