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Dong21

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About Dong21

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    Manchester United

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    Bolton Wanderers

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  1. Bolton Wanderers - Season 1 - Part 2 A second update in quick succession, but I haven't had many chances to play or pen write ups recently, so I thought I'd take advantage whilst I can! Season Update: Tactical Challenges Going into the season, my intention was to play a 4-2-3-1 formation. These plans were thrown into disarray during pre-season, however, as we picked up long-term injuries to many of my first choice wingers and attacking midfielders. Along with Brewster and Emmanuel-Thomas (who I mentioned in my last update), Crawford, Verlinden and Politic were both ruled out for lengthy periods of time. I therefore switched things up and moved to a 4-1-3-2, taking advantage of the number of CMs I had at the club. The starting eleven on the first game of the season was as follows: The formation was designed to allow my attack-minded wing-backs to get forward, with the cover provided by the two defensive midfielders. Levitt and Garner were given license to push forward and the hope was that Dodoo's pace would gel well with Murphy's target man capability. The start of the season was a struggle. We lacked creativity without wingers or attacking midfielders. The formation provided stability and therefore we conceded few, but I'm sure it wasn't particularly entertaining for the fans! We picked up 11 points in the first 2 months, meaning we only one point away from 'breaking even' and reaching zero points. The aim, of course, was to get there as soon as possible and see what we could achieve from there. The injuries weren't all bad news, it has allowed me to give some of the clubs promising youngsters match time, such as Ronan Darcy and Callum King-Harmes. Positive Momentum By the start of October players started to return from injury and I was able to revert back to the 4-2-3-1 formation that I had wanted to utilise from the start of the season. Centre-forward Murphy has been the main benefactor of the move to 4-2-3-1, as he has received good service from winger Verlinden and attacking midfielder Levitt. Brewster provides a great attacking threat as an inside forward on the left-wing. I do wonder if I am wasting his potential to score goals by not playing up top, but Murphy's uptake in form means I can't bring myself to drop him. October went great, as we won 3 out of 4 league games, only drawing to Bristol Rovers after they equalised in the 95th minute. I won October Manager of the Month and Murphy won Player of the Month. The most exciting thing is that October's form took us into positive points for the first time this season and we are now only three points off escaping the relegation zone. The expectation from the board is to try and avoid relegation, but I'd like to think that if we keep up our current form we can push onwards towards mid-table. My best performer so far has been James Garner, but a nice surprise has been centre-back Harry Brockbank, who at only 21 years old has performed admirably thus far.
  2. Bolton Wanderers - Season 1 - Part 1 Transfer Update: Balancing the Books Wheeling and dealing in the transfer market is probably my favourite part of playing Football Manager, so the challenge of sorting out Bolton's threadbare and thrown together squad was one of the things that most appealed to me about taking the job. The drawback was that most players currently at the club had signed recently (deadline day to be precise!) and so couldn't be moved on easily, and the club already had four loanees (although one of them, Josh Earl, was ruled out injured for 6 months). These loans could not be terminated, but do expire in January which gives me the flexibility to shape the squad more in my image soon. With club finances precarious to say the least, I turned to the loan market to reinforce the squad. I was keenly aware that only five loan players could be included in a match day squad but took the call that if there were no wage contributions then there was not harm in adding them to the squad and that I would rotate where necessary. In: My first forays into the transfer market saw me reach out to my North-West neighbours Man Utd and Liverpool for reinforcements. As a Man Utd fan I was delighted to acquire the talented trio of Brandon Williams, James Garner and Dylan Levitt, all with no wage contributions. I was shocked that I was able to bring in Rhian Brewster (paying just 30% of his wage) from Liverpool, expecting more prestigious teams to trump me to his signing. The intention is for these players to form the spine of my team for the season. Brewster picked up an injury early in pre-season that saw him ruled out for 2 months, but he has recently come back and has been inserted straight into my starting eleven. The other signing that you can see in the screenshot, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, also picked up an injury in pre-season, this one ruling him out for 3 months. Out: Even after the loan signings, there were still areas of the squad where I wanted to improve and I also wanted to revamp the coaching staff. I decided, therefore, to review my squad and see if there was anyone I could sacrifice to raise funds and balance the books. The only player who had any significant interest, and value, was 'keeper Alnwick. Despite his quality I decided I was comfortable with the ability of his understudy Remi Matthews and therefore cashed in, selling him to New York FC for a large fee. In: The Alnwick sale gave me the financial flexibility to continue to add to the squad. There were areas where we had no depth and so players were signed on inexpensive free transfers to bulk out the squad; Stuart Taylor (GK back-up), Dwight Tiendalli (RB back-up), Remi Streete (CB back-up) and Manucho (ST back-up). When looking at the list of signings it may look like an excessive amount, however I should note that 8 of the signings were teenagers for the youth squad. I gave my Head of Youth Development the remit to look for signings, retaining my right for final sign-off on deals, and he unearthed some gems. As mentioned earlier, I had come to terms with having Matthews as my first choice 'keeper, and had signed Taylor as his back-up. However on deadline day I unearthed that experienced French goalkeeper Johann Carrasso was interested in signing. This was too good an opportunity to turn down and so I brought him in immediately. Coaching team rebuild: Something I like to do at all clubs I join is review the coaching staff and see if there are more skilled alternatives available to bring in. The Alnwick money meant I could do this and so I revamped my staff comprehensively. Pre-season: Pre-season couldn't have started much worse as we were thumped 4-0 by our own under-23s team (although the positive spin is at least these are my players! ). Morale was low after relegation the previous season and this enhanced my awareness of the challenge on our hands. I scheduled a full calendar of friendlies to give me time to get to know the squad, experiment with tactics, evaluate trailists and youth players and build morale with a run of victories. Luckily form picked up and I felt that pre-season was a success.
  3. Sounds like your season's going really well @warlock! Have you had a chance to give Jude Bellingham any minutes yet? Intrigued to see how he develops. Just looked to see how he's getting on in my save (which I will be updating on shortly) and he's just made his Championship debut and got given MOTM for his contributions. @Rollin93 Hopefully just media speculation as it sounds like you are currently overachieving!
  4. @Chevie Good to see you back on track after the slip up against Zwickau! Now you are almost 15 games into the season, who have been your key performers so far?
  5. Catching up on recent posts and great to see the usual suspects back and getting started with EFL teams. Will be particularly interesting to see the differences between @warlock and @Jogo Bonito‘s approaches to managing Ipswich! I’m going away for the next few days and won’t be able to play till I’m back... so just thought I’d mention that I have settled upon a club. I fancied a challenge and with their 12 point deduction and thrown-together squad, Bolton Wanderers was the one for me! Starting from scratch, rebuilding the squad and trying to restore them to their former glories, over a long period of time, appealed. My aim is just to avoid relegation in the first season, but then I hope to try and move them up the divisions over the coming years, whilst keeping an eye on the finances! I’m pleased with my transfer dealings so far, but I’ll leave that for a proper update once I’ve played some more games.
  6. Just to tie up loose ends in my BETA save, I am happy to report that, after beating Middlesbrough 3-2 on aggregate in the Play-off Semi-Finals, I went on to defeat Leeds in the Final to secure promotion to the Premier League! As mentioned, I will now be stepping away from this save to make a start on my next challenge. Watch this space...
  7. Congrats on a great season with Bristol Rovers @Jogo Bonito. Looking forward to seeing where you end up next and how you get on with wing backs.
  8. Great work putting this together @warlock, enjoyed reading it and certainly plenty of food for thought when I consider which team to select for my first 'proper' save on FM20. I made the mistake of selecting Oldham as my first team on the demo... Completely going against my usual preference of picking a team that isn't too much of a challenge so I can experiment and enjoy! Oldham is currently the definition of a challenge. Only one CB of any quality (David Wheater who is out injured for three months), wingers completely devoid of any pace, very poor quality forwards and dire finances to remediate the issues. I struggled along for a while but was duly sacked in November 2019! I learnt my lesson for my second demo save and picked a team I knew I would enjoy, Fulham. The Cottagers are a team I have a soft spot for after a long FM18 managerial career with them and many of the key players from that season remain, along with the addition of quality loan reinforcements that are mentioned in the opening post. It was a fairly enjoyable season in which we finished 4th in the Championship (Play-offs still to play - will do this before departing to start my new save) however there were certainly a few frustrations which may be related to the match engine issues I have seen many others bemoan elsewhere in this forum. All season my wingers would constantly shoot from poor angles, even if they could easily square to a forward, and when my forwards did get a one-on-one they would invariably miss it. I understand that it may be my tactics, but I did experiment with a variety of different approaches and I am someone who has played a lot of FM and not experienced anything like this before. I also noticed that whatever instructions I gave them, my full backs would always cut back and never cross themselves, even when it would be so easy to do so. We had the best average possession in the league (60%), the average best pass completion (85%), we conceded the least amount of goals (37) and kept the most clean sheets (25) but due to our ineffectiveness at the front, we drew 16 games, 10 of them 0-0! The most important stat that reinforces this issue is that we created the most chances in the league, across the course of the season, and these chances were for quality players such as Mitrovic, Greenwood (who I had on loan from United since January), Caveleiro and Knockeart, so they surely should have been able to convert more of the chances if the ME was functioning correctly. Mitrovic is our top goalscorer with just 11 goals. Hopefully when I start my first non-BETA save the ME will be improved. The game is still very enjoyable overall but I wanted to share what I observed as it didn't seem normal to me. Anyway, I need to put some thought into which team I go for next and I'd be interested to hear which teams other people are going for!
  9. @warlock Looking forward to it. Hope you‘re feeling better soon!
  10. Season 2 - Part 1 Going into Season 2 my number one transfer priority was a top class right winger and my number one target was Jadon Sancho. I've managed Sancho on another save this year as England manager and he was absolutely terrific for me, so I was full of confidence that he could deliver for me. I was therefore delighted to seal the deal and get him into the club before pre-season had even began. Besides the big outlay on Sancho the transfer window was much quieter than I had expected. This was for a number of reasons; I had expected my transfer budget to be bigger after our Champions League success and I had hoped I'd have been able to sell some players to generate the funds to buy replacements. Sanchez had a half decent season and was showing as being valued at £50m - I was determined to get him off my wage bill and so offered him out. Despite numerous clubs being interested no team would bid for him. I started by offering him out at £50m and went all the way down to £0 and still no takers! In the end I loaned him to Benfica on deadline day. They are only covering 30% of his wages but by that point I was sick of the sight of him. Another thorn in my side was Jones who rejected contracts at Wolves (£21m deal), Atletico and Ajax (both £16m deals). Finally, I tried offering out Matic but he also could not garner any interest. After unsuccessfully trying to sell him in January, Juan Mata was allowed to leave on a free transfer and subsequently joined Atletico Madrid. Lee Grant retired a year early and James Wilson was the most noteworthy of a group of thirteen youngsters who were released. I loaned a large number of young players out to develop, including new signings Arvin Appiah and Nedim Bajrami. Both are 'ones for the future' who hopefully will get sufficient game time during their loan spells. The only sales were both left backs. Neither Borthwick-Jackson or Mitchell appeared to have a great deal of potential so I felt comfortable letting them go. Juan Bernat was brought in on loan for cover at left back and I decided that we would get by with the likes of Lindelof and Jones to cover for Dalot at right back where needed, rather than sign a player with Hakimi coming in after his two year loan spell at Dortmund (rather than one year like I initially had thought when I signed him!). I also should note that Tuanzabe, Tonali, Gomes and Chong have all been moved into the first team squad and I am hoping to give them match experience this season. Pre-season was plain sailing with nothing particularly interesting to note. My attackers all linked up well and got on the scoresheets. I could not have asked for a better start to the season. The opening day 4-3 win against Chelsea was far more exciting than the 0-0 when we played them at the same time last season! We then thumped Hoffenheim to lift the European Super Cup. The goal we conceded was frustrating as De Gea kicked the ball against an onrushing striker and saw the ball roll into his open goal - but I guess I'm being a perfectionist as we did score five. I was particularly pleased to see Sancho get off the mark and score hopefully his first of many. We won all of the remaining games in the month, with the 7-2 win over Reading being particularly memorable. We fell to our first defeat of the season in September and it was a shock that it was Gent that inflicted it. We had 28 shots to their 10 and 56% of the possession, but that shouldn't be an excuse - I am to blame as I played too many youth. I started O'Connor, Tuanzabe, Tonali, Chong and Gomes. A bit more experience in the side and I'm sure this would not have happened. This has put us in a tricky position as we already have ground to make up in our group and the other sides in my group are Bayer Leverkusen and Real Madrid. League and Domestic Cup form continued to be strong. We bounced back from the Champions League result with a big win against Leicester in which my man Sancho bagged a hat-trick. We have a 100% league record thus far, but I am aware there has only been seven games with many big tests to go, so although I am delighted I am not getting carried away yet!
  11. Thanks @Chapman7! Yeah I played Periera as a right winger in the second half of the season. I have similar concerns to the ones you have raised for his second season - he had a great first season and performed admirably but I am planning to try and sign a top quality right winger so that will limit his playing time. I also want to try and give Chong and Gomes more minutes if possible. Whenever I played Rashford or Lukaku it was always as an advanced forward (attack), so their sole responsibility was to score goals. The inside forward (Martial), right winger (Lingard/Periera) and advanced playmaker (Pogba) had the primary focus of supplying them chances. Rashford had a good season, getting 13 goals in Europe, however he only returned 6 league goals so there is still a lot of work to do there. I do intend to persevere with him though as I think he has the potential. I do not intend to sign a new first team forward.
  12. Season 1 - Part 3 March could not have gone any better as we steamrolled all opposition we took on in all competitions. The most noteworthy match of the month was the first one, against West Ham, in which we were losing at half time but after an aggressive half time team talk we came out a different team and thumped them 5-1. Lukaku scored four, including a hat-trick in three minutes straight after the break. Our good form continued into April, where a late goal from Tony Martial saw us win in the FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley. Our undefeated run finally came to an end away at Atletico Madrid (the run concluded as 31 games without defeat), where we were simply outclassed by our opponents. We then lost 3-0 to Man City where, although we weren't as bad as the scoreline suggested, the better team won. I wasn't too disappointed by these results as I see season one as a transition period and do not expect miracles at this stage - there is still much work to be done to improve this squad. What followed next was our performance of the season - our leader on the pitch Ander Herrera set the tone perfectly with a goal in the first minute and we carried this momentum forward till the full time whistle. We beat Atletico 5-1 to win the tie 5-3 on aggregate and progress to the Semi Finals of the Champions League. A special mention should go to Andreas Periera - I noticed that my usual right winger Lingard had not been providing much all season so played Periera who was magnificent in the game, getting two assists. From that moment onwards for the rest of the season Periera was my first choice right winger. League form continued well and wins over Watford and Newcastle saw us rise up the table to 2nd, our highest place all season. Finally, we ended the month with a first leg win over European giants Juventus, with Herrera once again shining. Juve had been in our Champions League group so they were a team we knew well. The end of the season was a period of mixed emotions. We finished the league campaign with wins against Everton and Spurs to come 2nd in the league. I was absolutely delighted with our league position as my target at this early stage was just to come top four. It should also be noted that up until Christmas Day our highest position in the league had been 6th, so it had been a pleasingly consistent run of form in the second half of the season that had delivered this. The big disappointment was that we fell to defeat against hated rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup Final. It had been an extremely close game that looked destined to go to extra time and penalties, until they scored from a corner in the 90th minute. The season did end on a huge high though, as we lifted the Champions League trophy, this time overcoming our rivals Liverpool. A drew in Turin saw us win our Semi Final against Juventus and set up this historic clash. We led 2-0 at half time, before Liverpool scored twice in the second half to take the game into extra time. A shot from Martial deflected in off Alisson and Rashford added another, to make it a hat-trick for the local boy and win the game 4-2. I did not expect European success to come so soon, but I am certainly not complaining! Rashford shined in the Champions League, scoring 13 goals in 11 appearances, but our success was as much down to our defensive organisation as it was our attacking capability. This can be seen by the fact De Ligt, Bailly and Dalot were voted the three best defenders in the competition, and De Gea was voted the best 'keeper. Interestingly Lukaku was voted Fans Player of the Season, despite me not considering him to be my first choice striker. The big man stepped up and delivered whenever called upon, particularly when Rashford was out injured for a spell. Lukaku was the club's top goalscorer, netting 24 goals in 49 games, although only 26 of those were actually starts. Rashford, by comparison, scored 20 goals in 39 games but I still consider him my main man and he has the potential to improve further - it could be argued that his hat-trick against Liverpool in the CL Final should be enough to keep in the team for life! Martial had a strong season in the inside forward position on the left wing, returning 21 goals and 10 assists. If I was able to award a Manager's Player of the Season, like Jose Mourinho famously did with Scott McTominay, I would definitely be giving this to Andreas Periera. The young Brazilian started the season as player who would come off the bench and fill in any of the three CM positions, and ended it as my first choice right winger. He provided an incredible 17 assists, the most of any player at the club by some distance. His versatility makes him a fantastic squad player to have. The player he took the place of at the end of the season, Lingard, still had a decent campaign and his 9 assists and 5 goals were enough for me to reward him with a new contract. My first choice back four of Shaw, Bailly, De Ligt and Dalot all had a great season. In midfield I played many different combinations of CMs and they all contributed. Pogba had a good season (11 goals, 7 assists), but I hope I can get even more from him in the coming years. Overall I am very pleased with our performance - 2nd place in the League, FA Cup finalists, Carabao Cup and Champions League winners. Usually after success in a United career I consider calling it a day as I like more of a challenge, however as we finished 20 points behind Man City in the League there is still work to be done. Therefore I plan to carry on and hope to try and close the gap to our rivals.
  13. Season 1 - Part 2 The first few months as United manager were blighted with inconsistency, but form was picking up over time and I could see things going well if I was given time. December began with a draw at St Marys and a somewhat understandable defeat to Man City, so I was slightly worried our form was about to regress. I held a team meeting after the City defeat and told the squad in no uncertain terms that they needed to step up their performance levels, and they certainly responded well with a resounding 4-1 thrashing of Watford. Martial could have even got a hat-trick in that game, had he not missed a penalty. That victory began a run of seven wins in a row and included victories over Chelsea, Tottenham and a 6-0 demolition of Newcastle. The 4-1-2-2-1 (wide) formation I switched to in late November seems to be working well - in particular the freedom and space it provides Martial as an inside forward and Pogba as an advanced playmaker with space in front of him to roam. Limited options in the forward positions, and an injury to Sanchez, meant that Lukaku got more game time than I was expecting and that has certainly been a positive with the big man delivering several important goals. We concluded the Group Stage of the Champions League, qualifying comfortably but finishing second to Juventus. This was mainly due to the two unexpected draws against CSKA. That said, I was just happy to progress and we were drawn against Young Boys in the 1st Knockout Round. This seemed like a relatively easy draw on paper, however Young Boys had just finished top in a group that included Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Monaco (group of death!), so I knew we would have to be at our best against them. We needed penalties to defeat Birmingham in the Carabao Cup Quarter Final against Birmingham. My team, made up of youth and fringe players dominated our opposition, however two wonder-strikes from Craig Gardner made the game level. January had more draws than I would have liked - but overall I was pleased to keep our undefeated run going. The draws against Palace and Cardiff were disappointing, however the draw against Arsenal I did not mind so much as they sat above us in the table. Unlike in real life, Lukaku proved he could shine in the big games when he scored a magnificent hat-trick to beat our hated rivals Liverpool. In the cups we overcame Leicester (flying high in the top four of the league table at the time) over two legs in the Carabao Cup Semi Finals and beat Walsall in the FA Cup, albeit needing a replay to seal the deal. Transfers My main priority in the transfer window was to shift some of the deadwood that, so frustratingly in real life, still remain at the club after many years of under-performance. I was delighted to find suitors for Rojo, Smalling and Young. Unfortunately nobody would make an offer for Mata, so he will leave when his contract expires in the summer. I also want to shift Jones but I will wait till I find a suitable home grown replacement. Funds were limited so I looked to make small improvements, with the hope that I get a much bigger budget in the summer to make the changes I desire. Thomas Partey was transfer listed by Atletico at what I thought was a bargain price - so I tied up a deal for him even before the window opened. I felt I had really limited options on the wings, particularly with Sanchez injured, to the degree that Chong and Gomes were featuring consistently on the bench. After a lot of scouting I settled upon Serge Gnabry, a player I like, at a good price and who is also home grown in the UK. Near the end of January both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial came off in games with injuries that would see them out for over a month. This left Lukaku as the only first team forward, so I looked to the loan market and brought in Vincent Janssen to make up the numbers. Looking to the future I signed 18 year old American forward Josh Sargent and then loaned him back to Werder Bremen to allow him to continue to develop. I also activated the £45m release fee of Real Madrid right back Achraf Hakimi and he will join the club when his loan spell in Dortmund concludes. February had two frustrating draws but otherwise things continue to be positive, with our unbeaten run now stretching to 23 games. We progressed to the FA Cup Quarter Finals and started well in the first leg of our Champions League tie with Young Boys. Undoubtedly the highlight of the season so far was winning our first piece of silverware, beating Bournemouth to lift the Carabao Cup. The unlikely hero was left back Durmisi, the loanee only featuring due to an injury to Shaw, who curled in a great strike. Our form over the last three months means that we are now within touching distance of the top four. Europa League football is already secured for next season but I am hoping our momentum can take us into the Champions League places.
  14. Season 1 - Part 1 So after my light-hearted post about righting wrongs at Old Trafford, I thought I would post a more complete update on the first half of the season. In previous years I have almost found United saves too easy due to our quality players and vast resources and therefore have got bored quickly. This time around, in a reflection of the predicament currently facing the club, I have found it more of a challenge which is making it enjoyable. Pre-season As you will all know pre-season is an extremely unusual experience as the majority of the squad are absent, returning late from the 2018 World Cup. I actually really enjoyed the opportunity to manage the clubs' hot prospects in these friendlies. Players like Nishan Bukart, Tahith Chong and Callum Gribbin all impressed during this period. I also took the somewhat unusual step of bringing in Dimitar Berbatov, Patrice Evra and Giuseppe Rossi on four week trials. I had no intention of signing them but my thought process was that these former players could help make up the numbers and pass on some of their experience to the young players. The success of our pre-season schedule suggests to me that this worked. Staff Whenever I join a club the first thing I do is review the coaching team to see where I can make enhancements. I filled the essential positions of Director of Football (Cordón) and Assistant Manager (Holland), brought up the level of my coaching team with four new arrivals and brought in a number of physios and sport scientists. As previously mentioned I got my number one transfer target Matthijs de Ligt and business other than that was rather minimal. I moved on right backs Valencia and Darmian as I knew I wanted to go with Dalot this season and they both had a better resale value than Young. Dalot starts the season injured so in the end I opted to play Lindelof at right back for the first month, with Bailly and De Ligt at centre-back. I also signed young prospects Benoit Badiashile and Sandro Tonali, with Tonali returning to Brescia on loan as part of the deal. The final signing came on deadline day when I brought in left back Riza Durmisi to provide cover for Shaw. I will address the full back positions with a more long-term approach in a future transfer window when I have a suitable budget. Usually I loan more players out but I am starting this season with a relatively small squad (for my standards) so I decided to keep the youth around as further options. Rocky Start The league campaign started with the visit of Chelsea and presented an unusual scenario where some of the players selected hadn't played a moment of pre-season football. We had more shots and possession so, considering the lack of opportunity to build team cohesion, I was feeling confident for the season to come. My optimism diminished though after we were unable to beat Cardiff and fell to defeat against Arsenal. Then came the visit of Liverpool. Lindelof got sent off on the 63rd minute and I feared for the worst, however it turned out to be a great result as a long range Pogba shot hit the post and bounced back off Alisson and into the net, followed by Bailly adding another to seal the win. What happened the next day I believe has been the thing that has shaped by season so far - De Gea dislocated his shoulder in training and was ruled out for two and a half months. Mata also got ruled out, on the same day, for a similar length of time. Sergio Romero came into the team and we started hemorrhaging goals galore. In a match against Burnley (see below) he even dribbled the ball out, took a heavy touch and the opposing striker took the ball off him to tap into an open net... I have been left desperately wishing that Dean Henderson could be recalled from his loan. Despite our poor run of form, I should note that I was pleased with the attacking element of the team with all my forwards stepping up. Improvement (feat. blips) Our form has certainly picked up as the season has rumbled on. In the last two months we have achieved high scoring results against Arsenal, Juventus, Wolves, West Ham, Burnley and Dinamo. That said, there have been some disappointing blips along the way. We lost to a poor Fulham side, were thrashed by Brighton and have been unable to defeat CSKA Moscow in two attempts. As the season continues I will be hoping to iron out these slip ups. The Wolves game was notable for two reasons; it saw us switch formation from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-1-2-2-1 (wide), which has proven effective, and it also finally saw the return of De Gea to the side, which has led to the return of clean sheets. Both of these elements give me great positivity for the months ahead. From a personnel perspective, it is worth noting that Andreas Periera is having a great season, racking up six assists already. Shaw and Dalot are excelling in the full back positions and Sanchez has surprised me with his contributions so far. Table So at the end of November we sit in 7th place in the League, not at all where I want to be, after some inconsistent form, but close enough to give me hope that finishing in the top four is still achievable. I am hoping the board have patience and give me time to turn this club around - another transfer window or two would certainly be helpful. We have an extremely busy December ahead, with nine games that include Man City, Chelsea and Tottenham. This is followed by January in which we play Arsenal and Liverpool once again.
  15. Decided to finally start my annual Man Utd save, with the main objective being to right many of the wrongs that are frustrating me so much as a fan of the club in the real world. I'm only a couple of weeks in and I've already made progress with running the club the way it should be: 1. Hired a Director of Football Something United should have done years ago - hiring a qualified and competent Director of Football who can provide a long term vision to recruitment. I elected to go for former Monaco and Villareal Director of Football Antonio Cordón who has great stats for judging players ability and potential. 2. Renewed the contract of Ander Herrera Rather than letting the contract of one of our few passionate, natural, leaders run down, which results in them leaving on a free transfer, I have moved quickly to instantly renew the contract of Herrera. 3. Signing wonderkid Matthijs de Ligt Rather than ignoring the recommendations of the scouting department, I have chosen to snap up the talented de Ligt before his price increases exponentially. United's defence has been a real weakness over several seasons, having never really replaced Ferdinand and Vidic, and this move looks to begin rectifying this. 4. Renewed the contract of David De Gea Pay him what he's worth. I had no qualms in handing an improved contract to the player I consider to be the best goalkeeper in the world. I'm looking forward to righting more wrongs as this save continues!
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