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stevecummins78

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About stevecummins78

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    FM fan since CM01/02

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    Manchester United

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  1. I’d understand that if it was consistent, but every time I start a new save some seem to have changed!
  2. So having won the league and Champions League double in my third season I might start again with the latest database update, but limit my spending to make it more realistic. Are United players much changed with the latest update? Also, I’ve noticed that player’s preferred positions can vary from save to save. For example, Axel Tuanzabe preferred to play on the right of defence in one new test save I loaded up, then I did another and it said he preferred the left!
  3. Season Review - 2021/22 - it does not get much better than this for United fans! Our run to the Champions League final meant that we qualified for FIFA’s expanded Club World Cup, held in China in June 2021. UEFA had 8 of the 24 places, with 4 of them coming from England: ourselves, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. We beat Mexico’s Club America 3-1 and South Korea’s Jeonbuk 5-1 to win our mini-group and set up a quarter-final against Real Madrid. The long season caught up with the players and we lost 0-1 to a Madrid side that would go on to lift the trophy. After our big spending the previous season I did not expect to be very active in the transfer market. Erling Haaland joined for £35m and back-up keeper Josip Posavec came in to replace the departing Sergio Romero. Jude Bellingham had been signed in January and he returned from a Championship winning loan spell at West Bromwich Albion. We were alerted to the availability of Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele but it was clear that he was committed to signing for Chelsea and I was not prepared to pay him the kind of wage he was looking for. With Juan Mata leaving on a free transfer and Fred being sold to West Ham United for £15.5m I eventually decided to bolster our attack, breaking our transfer record to activate the £90m release clause of Jamaican forward Leon Bailey. As a left-footed winger Bailey was the perfect fit for Ryan Giggs’ number 11 shirt that had been vacant since 2019. I also made changes to some other squad numbers; switching James Maddison from the number 25 he initially wore to 17, Mason Greenwood to 19 and Moussa Dembele being rewarded for his Champions League winning goal and Premier League golden boot by getting the number 9 shirt. The previous holder of that shirt, Anthony Martial, was given number 14 but he could no longer be guaranteed a regular starting place so he went to Valencia on loan. We opened our league campaign at Tottenham and two late goals from Maddison and Rashford gave us a 2-0 victory. Rashford then scored twice in a 2-0 victory over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup at Belfast’s Windsor Park. It was only the second time in the club’s history that we had won that competition and I was delighted to have done so. There were further 2-0 victories in the league over Aston Villa and Burnley and the only blemish in August was Rashford’s missed penalty in the last minute of a goalless Manchester derby at Old Trafford. We were absolutely flying in the autumn, keeping pace with an equally relentless Liverpool at the top of the table. We won all six of our Champions League group games and although a rotated side lost 0-1 at home to Tottenham in the League Cup we remained unbeaten in the league going in to the new year. Dembele was scoring goals, including a hat trick in a 5-1 thrashing of Leicester on 1 December, and new signings Haaland and Bailey were also amongst the goals. Jude Bellingham’s opportunities were limited to start with but he announced his arrival with a stoppage time winner from 25 yards in a 3-2 win over Newcastle. The goals dried up a bit in January. Although we best West Brom 4-0 and Southampton 5-0 (with another Dembele hat trick), we drew 0-0 at Chelsea and Aston Villa and could only manage 1-1 draw at Bournemouth. We also needed a replay to progress past Watford in the FA Cup. We returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory at home to Tottenham but that game was marred by Bailey breaking his wrist and being ruled out for eight weeks. Liverpool had a wobble of their own, losing for the first time in the league at Arsenal, but they came back strongly and were only a point behind us by the time of the winter break in February. We were still unbeaten and the league was in our own hands with 12 matches remaining, but the relative drop off in form of Rashford, Sancho, Haaland and Fernandes was a bit of a concern for me. I hoped that a week’s holiday would allow them to recharge their batteries for the business end of the season. So much for the rest. In the first minute of the next match at home to Cardiff City a robust challenge on Marcus Rashford broke his ankle and for the second year running ruled the poor lad out of the title run in. We had something of an injury crisis in the wide positions with Sancho and Greenwood picking up knocks to join Bailey and Rashford on the sidelines. I had to make a tactical change and did so by switching to 4-1-3-2 with Rice playing behind a three man midfield of Maddison, McTominay and Fernandes and Haaland partnering Dembele up front. The results were impressive, we won 1-0 at Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup before beating Arsenal 4-0 and effectively ending their title hopes. We went a goal down at Leicester but a Haaland hat trick meant we came back to win 4-1. Liverpool’s form was relentless but we were a point ahead with eight games left. We faced AC Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League and after a 1-1 draw at the San Siro we narrowly beat them 2-1 at Old Trafford. We had Ben Chilwell to thank for a last minute clearance off the line when a goal would have eliminated us. Barcelona were up next and a tight tie was settled in the first leg when James and Haaland came off the bench to both score in a 2-0 victory. We always looked comfortable in the second leg as we played out a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou. Chelsea were then brushed aside 3-0 on aggregate to set up a dream final against bitter rivals Liverpool. Progress in Europe meant that our Premier League home fixture against Liverpool was moved to the last week of the season. In the FA Cup, a 2-1 sixth round victory at West Ham was followed by a Wembley semi-final against Burnley. I rested Maddison but goals from Bailey, McTominay and Garner put us in to the final, where we would again face Liverpool. So both Manchester Untied and Liverpool had the chance to win the treble at the other’s expense. The first showdown was in the Premier League and our rescheduled match at Old Trafford on Wednesday 11 May. We had 88 points from 36 games, with Arsenal second on 87 but having played a game more. Liverpool had drawn two out of their least three and had 85 from 36 games, so a win for us would clinch the title. It was a tense occasion with so much at stake. We had the best of the first half but Liverpool took the lead after half time when Fabinho took advantage of some poor marking from a free kick to head in at the far post. It looked like being one of those nights as we struggled to break through their experienced defence, but in the 79th minute Maguire connected to a Fernandes corner and equalised. It was a massive point for us and we went in to the last day of the season top on 89 points, with Arsenal and Liverpool on 87 and 86 respectively. A home match against bottom side Sheffield Wednesday, who were already relegated, was as kind a fixture as we could have wished for and we enjoyed an emphatic 6-1 victory to secure the club’s first Premier League title since 2013, as well as emulating Arsenal's 2004 'invincibles' by going a whole league season unbeaten. Marcus Rashford returned from injury and came off the bench to score. The FA Cup Final against Liverpool was a disappointment. We took the lead through a Dembele goal on 28 minutes but they equalised from the penalty spot just before half time and then took the lead on the hour though a Rhian Brewster goal. Dembele had an equalising goal disallowed for offside before Joel Matip sealed Liverpool’s 3-1 victory with five minutes to go. The Champions League Final in Munich on 28 May provided the chance for revenge and to win back-to-back European Cups for the first time in the club’s history. There wasn’t much in the first half, though we struggled against Liverpool’s high pressing intensity. Dembele missed a fine chance on 23 minutes before a 25-metre left footed drive from Maddison on 41 minutes gave us a half time advantage. Liverpool dominated most of the play in the second half and equalised through Firmino after 64 minutes. I was pleased to make it to extra time and was already thinking of penalty takers when Naby Keita was sent off for a second booking just before the end of the first period. This was our chance to win it and straight after the start of the second period Luke Shaw won the ball back and played it quickly up to Dembele, who advanced and fired home the winning goal from just inside the penalty area. We had successfully retained the Champions League, beating our biggest rivals on the biggest stage of all!
  4. Seems to be some really odd choices of squad numbers in the game. For example, Harry Kane signed for Manchester City in my save and took the number 13 shirt! Anyone seen any other weird numbers? Also, is there anything to be gained by giving a player his preferred shirt number? Jadon Sancho seems to prefer 11, yet wears 7 at Dortmund is is a right footed winger. 11 would look odd for him.
  5. Maddison AP(S) and Fernandes MEZ(attack) in a 4123.
  6. That’s good to know, do you know how long it takes him to be fully competent on the right?
  7. I am training Sancho to dribble more down the right though
  8. I play with two - 4231 and a 4123. The 4231 has Maddison (AP) and McTominay (BWM) behind Fernandes (AM) with Rashford (IF) on the left and Sancho as a winger on support on the right. Dembele through the middle as AF. For the 4123 I play Declan Rice as a DM and have Maddison and Fernandes as two number eights.
  9. I have a tight wage structure at United. Other then De Gea, no player is on a weekly wage of more than £180k a week. I believe this is vital for keeping players motivated. However, in June 2021 Ousmane Dembele is attainable from Barcelona. Chelsea have made a huge bid (£116m) and are prepared to pay him £235k a week. I can match the fee but he won’t join us for anything less than £300k a week. He is a player that I could do with as Jadon Sancho is not convincing as a right winger. I’m also worried about Chelsea as a title rival should they get him. Question - is he worth smashing my wage structure for?
  10. 2020/21 Season Review I continued the clear out that had commenced under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while prioritising the strengthening of my forward line. Jadon Sancho was a key signing at £80m, while Moussa Dembele was a bargain at just £26m. The biggest overhaul was in the midfield. As expected PSG came in for Paul Pogba and having got them to go up to £100m I decided to sell. To replace him I signed James Maddison for a fee of £49m plus Jesse Lingard. Maddison was bought to play as a central attacking midfielder or further back as a playmaker, but I still needed to replace Pogba’s physical presence in midfield. Scott McTominay is a good player but I needed another body in there. My dream signing would have been Ruben Neves, but he wanted to go to Real Madrid and would not talk to me even though his move to Spain didn’t happen. I also scouted Florentino Luis extensively, but his wage demands were too high. I eventually settled on Declan Rice for £70m (including instalments) with Andreas Pereira as a makeweight. The initial plan was that he would play on the left of midfield, next to Fernandes and behind Maddison in a 4-2-3-1, but he also gave me the flexibility to play with him at the base of midfield, with Fernandes as Maddison as ‘double eights’. At the back I sold Tim Fosu-Mensah, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling. This raised money to trigger the £52m release clause of Ruben Dias from Benfica. I was also able to sell Alexi Sanchez to Lokomotiv Moscow for £10m, albeit with having to cover some of his wages. After the money spent in the summer, albeit offset by the Pogba sale, I felt United had to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title in 2020/21 and that is what we were able to do. We had difficult opening fixtures but victories over Tottenham (4-2), Chelsea (2-1), Bournemouth (3-0) and Newcastle (2-1) put us in a good position and winning 2-0 at Liverpool in October was a strong signal of our title intentions. We led for much of the season, not losing until Arsenal won at Old Trafford at the start of December, but champions Liverpool went on a good run and their 0-1 victory at Old Trafford in January threw things wide open again. By then left back Ben Chilwell had signed in a £60m deal from Leicester City, a necessary purchase given Luke Shaw’s injury record. We beat Chelsea and Tottenham again, but lost at Brighton, Arsenal and West Ham and it looked like our title challenge was fading. April saw us return to winning ways and we went on a spectacular run, beating Leicester (4-2), Southampton (3-2), Newcastle (2-0) and then hammering Bournemouth 6-0 with hat tricks from both Moussa Dembele and Daniel James. Dembele had a fine debut season, winning the Premier League golden boot with 22 goals. Going in to May we were a point clear of Liverpool but both they and Chelsea had a game in hand. Liverpool won all their remaining games and beat us to the title by four points. We had reached 89 points, representing a terrific campaign, but to lose out to our rivals was hard to take. In the domestic cup competitions we suffered the embarrassment of losing at Burton Albion on penalties in the fourth round of the League Cup after throwing away a two goal lead to draw 2-2. We were also knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea in the fourth round after a replay. Our Champions League campaign exceeded expectations. We were in a group with Juventus and lost both games against the Italian giants, including 0-2 in the first game at Old Trafford. Home and away victories over Ajax and Dinamo Zagreb allowed us to secure second place in the group and progress. We faced Napoli in the last-16 and won the first leg 2-0 at home in a dominant display where we should have scored more goals. It looked like our profligacy would cost us in the away leg as we conceded twice to take the tie to extra time. I always felt we had an away goal in us and sure enough Marcus Rashford cut inside from the left to power home a wonderful shot from distance and we were through. Manchester City were up next, the reigning European champions but a side in transition themselves, and I felt sure we would beat them. Rashford scored again in a 1-1 draw at the Ethiad Stadium and Aaron Wan-Bissaka of all people smashed in the only goal of the second leg. We were in to the semi-finals, where we would again face Juventus. Our first leg performance at Old Trafford was our finest of the season. We dominated from start to finish in an emphatic 4-1 win. Although we lost the second leg 1-2, Manchester United were through to their sixth European Cup final. Our opponents in Saint Petersburg were AC Milan, themselves having surpassed expectations on their run to the final. It wasn’t a memorable final but we created more chances and in the 16th minute Dembele ran on to a long pass by Bruno Fernandes to score the only goal of the game. Manchester United were champions of Europe again!
  11. Anyone had much success with Sancho at Man United? I am playing him on the right as a winger in support duty in a 4123 but he is very inconsistent.
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