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ManUtd1

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About ManUtd1

  • Rank
    Youth Team

About Me

  • About Me
    Lawyer. Former collegiate 'keeper. Father.

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    Manchester United

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    Zulte Waregem / The Netherlands

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  1. Mine is a sordid tale, documented over in FMCU (link). It all began when the scouts recommended a Danish youngster by the name of Tommy Bjelland to my manager, one Hakan Telleus. Now, Telleus was a humble Swedish lad, who at first thought that his scouts were ****ing with him. His immediate reaction was to draw up papers to fire Chief Scout Vito Stavljanin in retribution. But better judgment kicked in, and Telleus asked for more information. When it became clear that Tommy had no intention of joining Malmo, Telleus did the only reasonable thing he could. Send that cheeky **** Vito on a scouting trip. To Yemen. Where Vito was left for some time. In the end, Bjelland turned into quite the player and cropped up occasionally throughout the save -- earning 56 caps for Denmark and managing the Danish national team for more than a decade.
  2. An extra-time win over Real Madrid in the Super Cup? Yes, please. Having to see Ronaldo ripping off his shirt after taking a throw in? No, thank you. No matter how impressive the technique. 202 caps?!?! Wow.
  3. Maertens plays well in matches, which boggles my mind at times. He's in the 2nd XI now, though. As long as he doesn't get too mad about that (we have more than enough matches in Belgium...), he should be with the squad for a long, long time. As for the caps, it's all about buying them young. The big French and German clubs are circling, but no one has thrown their toys out of the pray just yet...
  4. June 2023 Squad Review Having just won the Champions League, this is the perfect time to check in on the squad. The last time we looked at the entire squad, in any real depth, was December 2019. Some of the promising players have come good -- others, not so much. And, of course, we've had some key 1st XI signings since then. We're still playing @Guimy's 3 Carat Diamond tactic, with 3 variations: (1) the base tactic, with fullbacks and "stay on your feet" ticked; (2) a counter version (using wingbacks instead of fullbacks); and (3) the addition of a playmaker/quarterback in the defensive line. I've considered shifting to the formation that I'm using with the Dutch (a 343 with wingbacks in the DM strata), but have decided to keep things as they are for now. Goalkeepers Vinther is the undisputed No. 1 for now. I signed Domaradzki last year as a potential long-term replacement, but he's a beast-in-the-making, in his own right. The beauty of Belgium being that I can get both of them a substantial number of matches. Tiboni is a dutiful, home-grown backup. Vinter could be immense and is already pushing for the starting role. This is one area, though, where we could see change sooner rather than later. Vinther is one of three players being heavily chased by elite clubs on the continent. He has yet to throw a massive fit, but who knows. Regardless, even if he were to leave we're in great shape here. Defenders Let's start at right back, shall we? We've got Kalala in the 1st XI, with Verbrugghe in the 2nd XI. However, we also have young Dutchman Bakker who needs minutes...as well as homegrown prospects Bachmayer and Bosch. 3 players will likely go out on loan this year. The only question is whether Verbrugghe or Bakker stays to feature in the 2nd XI. I doubt that Bachmayer and Bosch have the ability to progress to the 1st XI, despite my earlier hopes. At left back, we've got Ahne and converted winger Mazingu-Tshimanga. Ahne hasn't developed the way I'd like, and seems like he has little room left to grow. Mazingu-Tshimanga is brilliant, but I began converting him to fullback given that we needed depth, he had some natural tackling ability, and couldn't get minutes ahead of Valencia. But...is he our long-term solution? Frankly, the long-term solution may just be De Backer, marked by my coaching staff as the best of this year's crop of youngsters (coupled with a "best of his generation" tag, which can be misleading). I think he needs some additional time, though, so he will likely spend another year with our youth teams (or on loan). At centerback, over the last year I ran with Prevost and Bordes in the 1st XI, with Severin and De Cock in the 2nd. Bordes and De Cock feature in the defensive playmaker/quarterback role. I'm pretty happy with these 4, although I'd like to add a more Vidic-esque player. Vermeire spent the last year on loan and will either be sold or sent back out elsewhere. Vierwind may replace Severin, after spending the Spring on loan after his signing in January. Dehbi and Andreani are youth prospects who might be decent squad players. Central Midfielders All year, we've been running with a midfield trio of Vera (volante), Tsougoutzidis (mezzala) and Forthmann (ball-winning midfielder) in the 1st XI. This trio is massive and I can't see how to improve them at this juncture. The 2nd XI has been Livingstone-Renard-Sylla, but neither Renard nor Sylla have developed the way I'd hoped. They've hit the wall and I'm looking to replace them sooner rather than later. Right now, I'm planning to slot Diaz into the 2nd XI ball-winning midfielder role, having signed him on a free after his Vallejo contract expired (he refused with me earlier and simply ran his contract down, which may be an ominous sign for the future). Ozturk will take over the 2nd XI mezzala role; signed for a club-record $7.25M fee in January from Ajax, I have high hopes for him at Zulte and with the Dutch national team. Attacking Midfielders When we last did a full squad review, I thought that this was the strata where we were struggling most. With the passage of time... Our two best players feature here -- Valencia and Christensen. Both are being heavily scouted by elite clubs. Neither has thrown a fit at this point, but it would not be unreasonable for one of them to completely lose it if they aren't allowed to move on. Suffice to say, I'm keeping them as long as I possibly can. Maertens is the current starter on our right wing, but neither he nor his understudy (Mijailovic) are good enough. Their progression has stalled. Meaning I've dipped into the transfer market. As noted above, we signed Ozturk in January for what was a club record $7.25M. Well...we've set a new record. $15M, meeting the release fee for Maric, a brilliant 19 year-old I've been tracking at Basel. I couldn't justify the cost before, but that CL prize money made it very doable. Maric will step directly into the 1st XI, with either Maertens or Mijailovic in the 2nd XI (the other out on loan). He's brilliant. The 2nd XI has featured Altenbuchinger on the left, Gulerce or Afkir in the middle, with Mijailovic on the right. Altenbuchinger has stalled out, as have Gulerce and Afkir. All 3 are likely heading out on loan (or for a full transfer). In their stead, we'll likely see Dutch youngster Matondo, with Peterson (an incoming $2M signing from Norkopping) and Dheur battling for minutes in the middle. We've also got young Colombian winger Serrano coming in next January ($750k from Deportivo Cali), to provide additional depth on the right. Final Thoughts I can't help but be extremely excited about this squad. Champions of Belgium. Champions of Europe. And we're not resting on our laurels. Maric is a game-changing winger and massive upgrade from Maertens. There's no denying that we have depth in spades, with youth on our side. As the summer progresses, I'll get the squad down to 23-25 players. My goal is nothing less than an improvement on this last year, which was epic in its own right -- especially domestically, where we dropped a mere 7 points all year. We just need to keep them together. And build a new stadium, for urCristiano's sake...
  5. 2022-23 European Review Heiko Herrlich's Chelsea claim the PL title on matchday 38, through a Robert Lewandowski goal -- ensuring that neither City nor United bring the title back to Manchester. Simeone's Atletico fade miserably, losing 2 of their final 3 matches to cede the La Liga title to Barcelona. Monaco and PSG claimed a combined 197 points in Ligue 1. Mandorlini's Lazio claimed the Serie A title on the final matchday, with Juventus losing at home to Milan. Otherwise, we're seeing the predictable -- both in terms of results and the active leagues climbing the reputation charts. Interestingly enough, La Liga is falling like a stone right now -- just like it did in my Nearly Men save. Only time will tell if this continues. Other interesting results...after years of English dominance in European competitions, the sole English finalist this year was Bournemouth, who ran Madrid close in the Europa League.
  6. With only a few weeks' break before pre-season begins with Zulte, I'm off to national team duty with the Dutch. No rest for the wicked. A frustrating match against Spain saw us drop into the 3rd place match, with an abysmal start against the Italians. Fortunately, we found our sea legs and pulled it back -- twice coming from behind to drag the match into extra time, where Will Roox found the winner. A more straightforward tie against Cameroon followed, leaving me with a week before the Zulte squad reports for our training camp. Time enough to binge the new season of Peaky Blinders...
  7. Wenger has retired from Liverpool, having won a coveted League title in 2021/22 and the 2021 Europa League.
  8. Life is about momentum. Pick a direction and don't let anything—man or storm— turn you aside. 2022-23 Season Review The euphoria has yet to wear off. It feels as if the entire populations of Zulte and Waregem are here with us on the Cote d'Azur. Certainly, the bandwagon fans are all here, as the media darlings have won it all. Hipsters as far as the eye can see, at least for now -- before long I'm sure that we'll go the way of ironic lumberjack beards, and become objects of hipster hate. As if any of that matters. We're champsions -- of Belgium and Europe, and there's nothing anyone can do to take away from this feeling. The pundits are wagging over where my seemingly-inevitable departure for greener pastures, certain in their arrogance that the confines of the Regenboog are too small to contain me. On one level, they're right -- I want a new stadium, to firmly establish this club at the pinnacle of Belgian football. On another, they're wrong -- the Regenboog fits me like a glove. No resting on our laurels here, though. We need to ensure that this was not a one-off miracle season. The very night of our triumph, I instructed Luca to trigger what contract extensions we were legally allowed to. The next step is to assess what changes must be made -- who is out, who will remain. Hard decisions are in front of us, as several key members of the squad simply are not good enough for my long-term goals -- a European title won not on the counter, but where we're the aggressors from the first kick. Ahne and Maertens are likely the first to go, but others are on the chopping block, too. Goals for 2023-24: Defend our league and continental titles. Win the World Club Cup. Squad|League Overview|Finances Overview|Income Detail|Expenditures Detail|Transfers JPL Fixtures|JPL Championship Group Fixtures|Champions League Fixtures|Croky Cup Fixtures
  9. Thanks, guys! It was a ridiculously straightforward final and tremendous run-in. This side is ready to take on anyone! Yeah, it's been quite the turnaround and I'm thrilled (obviously!). It's been a roller-coaster! Hah! I signed a new contract in November 2022 that won't expire until June 2026. I'm here for at least 2-3 more years. At that point, I'll likely move on. We'll just have to see what makes sense in terms of the narrative
  10. That's the final whistle, Jamie! A well-deserved triumph for Stalin and his men!!! Can they build on this success?! Can they keep this side together, or will the temptation of higher wages abroad be too much to resist?!
  11. Valencia exits the pitch in the 82nd, the manager giving him his just due -- a standing ovation, even from the French support. The big question being...has he played his final match in a Zulte shirt? The suitors have been lined up around the block for this Ecuadorian Enigma, for months...surely his stock has risen today! Risen like a well-yeasted bread, he has, Jamie. A well-yeasted bread!!!
  12. An hour gone, and this match is long-since over, Gary. Time to break out the champagne, eh?
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