Started what I think will be a long term save with United a couple of days back, I started with no first window budget to see how I'd get on with the original squad. I'm about halfway through the season and all is going well so far.
I'm leading the PL on goal difference over Chelsea after 19 games, my opening 7 fixtures in the league looked winnable up until Tottenham away however an injury to Carrick for the first 3 months really made it hard with the original squad. I drew 4 of my opening 8 fixtures before going on a 6 game winning run which was ended by West Brom, then came four ridiculously placed fixtures one after the other Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Man City in December. Got through a tricky looking Champions League group as winners over Zenit, Leverkusen and Milan in that order, I've drawn PSG in the 1st knockout round and I've got COC semi's against Fulham. Won the Community Shield as I suspect everyone has and finally I drew Reading away in the FA Cup.
Fixtures and Results Screenshot
Screenshot of PL Overview Page
Starting with the original squad I knew where the strengths and weaknesses of the team where and I knew who I'd be keeping and those that will eventually be let go of. An injury to Carrick right at the start of the season was a huge blow for me, knowing full well there no one else with the quality to replace him. I attribute my slow start to his injury and trying different players in his role, Rooney has had an average start thus far and I'm not sure how to get the best out him an injury to RVP means he'll need to step it up for the next few weeks at least.
Rafael has been a revelation putting in some superb performances playing as CWB he really is outstanding, Evra too has been great playing as either a WB or Full back. De Gea has been top quality keeping 13 clean sheets in 19 games, I try and rotate Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans and Jones just to keep players fresh. Fellaini has been decent as my main partner to Carrick in CM playing as a BBM, I use Cleverly as my first choice of cover after him its Giggs and Anderson the former getting the winning goal in the San Siro. Valencia seems to be my best winger in terms of goals but Nani seems to be better at assisting them, Young has done nothing of note and I'd like him off the books as soon as. Kagawa hasn't nailed anything down yet a bit like in the real world playing him in hole doesn't seem to be doing it, I've gotten more from him out on the left as an AP but that isn't saying much.
Screenshot of Squad including Stats
My intentions were to go with the obvious 4-2-3-1 formation but I found it was not getting the best out of my team so I switched to a 4-4-2 with advanced wingers to play the 'Man Utd way'. My team looked better and seemingly played better too, I have recently pulled to the wingers back to create a flat 4-4-2 for a little more balance in the side. I set the team to play with an attacking mentality with a balanced style of play, I created a custom shout getting the team to play at a higher tempo and to push right up etc... In terms of attacking play my side creates a lot of chances and we usually take possession of around 55 to 60% enough to satisfy the board I hope.
I created a 4-5-1 formation as my secondary tactic using it against some of the better teams away from home. Jones plays the anchorman role with Carrick and Fellaini just in front, the only problem this formation creates for me is whether to play Rooney or RVP up top. Normally I've been going with RVP upfront and Rooney thrown out left as an AP, I set the side to play a balanced style with standard mentality. I created a second custom shout to retain possession and play at a slower tempo. This tactic creates fewer chances but keeps around 60% of the ball.
Screenshot of my main formation with custom shouts.
Screenshot of my second formation with custom shouts.
The board has given me £13.5m to spend but I mostly happy with the squad as it is, I will need to sell off a number of players too up my money. PSG and Monaco have been sniffing about Evra but I'm reluctant to let him go without getting someone in who can be a starter. Alaba has signed a new contract so I'm looking at Shaw or maybe Coentráo as Baines at 29 is overpriced and a little too old. More quality in the midfield is a must but who do I buy? Any suggestions will be more than welcome. Another winger may also be on the cards.
Potential Outgoings: Young, Amos, Anderson and Búttner. I will let Zaha and maybe Januzaj go out on loan.
I've had to use Steam for my screenshots as Imageshack doesn't seem to work for me anymore.