Manchester United - Once Again

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    Chapters - Index

    Tactics And Signings - I & II
    Meetings - First Team, Owners & Legends
    Signing A Player - I, II, III, IV, V, VI
    Friendlies - I

    Before you realize what story this is and leave, I would suggest you read this. Yes, I am writing a story about Manchester United, but there are a ton of differences between this and the other stories in the forum. First off, I am using the 2012 Transfer Update, so there are changes in the squads and United aren't as strong as City and Chelsea. Second, I don't want to get bored with this save, so I am posing a challenge to myself. From the very beginning, players who are younger than twenty-two will only be signed. Also, I won't be signing the likes of Vrsajiko, Kadlec, Sanogo and Fierro. I will be looking for signings that I have never made and hopefully, some of them you wouldn't expect me to make. Lastly, but definitely the most important thing you should know is that I will be using this as writing practice for my assignments and projects that are in the pipeline. Expect my posts to be detailed, fiction mixed with reality and a lot of stuff you don't expect to read. Sometime soon, I also hope to experiment with photoshop, so that'll add a new dimension to the story.

    What They Know

    Sir Alex Ferguson - Leaving Before He Is Sacked?

    The day after his team was beaten to the bell by an injury time winner by Sergio Aguero, Sir Alex Ferguson vowed to return with a vengeance and get the Premier League trophy back to the red half of Manchester. There were a lot of issues behind the scenes at Old Trafford, however, with the approval rating of the owners falling by the day, especially with their idea to put the club into the NYSE. The fans have never questioned the manager's decisions, even though he is responsible for the signings like Eric Djemba-Djemba and Kleberson, but the owners aren't as forgiving as the fans.
    An insider from Manchester United has revealed that the Glazers spent the last week in Spain, possibly in contractual talks with Rafa Benitez and Pep Guardiola, who are both without a club. When approached for comment, both parties were unavailable for comment. We will keep you updated as the story progresses.

    What Really Happened

    Sir Alex Ferguson, the man that has been synonymous with Manchester United for the last twenty-five years, suddenly calls his first-team and youth staff into the boardroom, where David Gill is already waiting.

    "Hello, Gentlemen, let's get this started, shall we?", said Gill, while he moved a chair to a place next to Sir Alex, who was already seated at the head of the table.
    "What's this about though?", said coach Brian McClair in a very calm and curious voice. "I'll let Sir Alex inform you himself" was the reply he got.

    "You have been a great team and working with you has been a delight, but unfortunately, this career cannot last forever, and I have decided to call it a day because of my deteriorating health".
    Everyone in that boardroom knew this day coming. In fact, Sir Alex had been grooming a replacement since the last two years. What most of the tabloids reported as two big names in the footballing world growing close as friends was actually a passing off the torch, with the experienced Ferguson mentoring his inexperienced student.

    After a ten-second gap, where most processing the idea of the club with the figure of Sir Alex standing tall, and others simply unaware of how to react, all eyes shifted to one corner of the room where the tall figure of Akash Vidyasagar stood. Akash, a former English international, born to Belgian parents had been learning his trade from the best in the business and was ready to take over. He had a ever-growing reputation in the world of football - for his football achievements and his grassroot work in Belgian, and no one in the staff showed any disapproval or discontent about his presence in the club.

    Sir Alex called Akash over and patted his back, saying, "I trust this man to continue the legacy of this club. I hope all of you do too. I want you to give him time, I want you to give him respect and most importantly, I want you to make him feel part of our United family". By now, a couple of the staff members, especially Rene Meulensteen, had become teary-eyed. This was really the end of an era, and Sir Alex Ferguson would no longer walk the halls of Old Trafford as Manchester United manager.

    This post was edited by akash.vidyasagar (2012-08-17 17:26, 3 years ago)

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    Tactics And Signings

    Being close to Manchester United all his life, it wasn't too difficult for Akash to get into the swing of things. He was going to be surrounded by 30 professionals and knew their roles very well. Before he could get into the locker-room and talk to his players, however, he needed to go meet up with his new staff and speak to them about new tactics.

    As Akash enters, he is greeted by a good atmosphere in the room - and of course, papers and whiteboards everywhere. Mike Phelan, the assistant manager, comes up to him and says, "Before he left, Sir Alex was in contract negotiations with Shinji Kagawa from Dortmund. I'm sure he's already told you about us signing Nick Powell from Crewe as well". The new manager wondered why Phelan thought he lived under a rock. This was Manchester United they were talking about. Every player they even remote consider for the team becomes front-page news and he thought Akash wouldn't know about the signings made by the club?

    He requested some scouting statistics of Powell and Kagawa scribbled down right after they were signed and here's what it read:

    Shinji Kagawa

    Nick Powell

    These were terrific signs for the club, as both players add something different in the final third. Powell still might have a couple of good seasons away from being a first-team regular, but Kagawa will certainly play an important role for us in the league immediately.

    Danny Davis, the coach who helped out the old manager with tactical advise suddenly pulled out a drawing board. "With Kagawa's addition, we might need to change our tactics around a little bit. Also, if you want to deploy a formation you are comfortable with, we will need the boys to start using it during practice".

    Here are the three formations that the coaches and the manager came up with for the senior team to use during matches:

    Also, before he left the room, he is asked by Paul McGuinness to keep an eye on a youth prospect that could feature in the first team this season.

    Angelo Henriquez

    The scouts were to come back to the club tomorrow with their assignment reports, and to decide potential signings.

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    #61397 mdlp1991 : Very Nice writing mate :)

    Thank you. Being a United fan, I hope you keep reading.

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    I'm disappointed, because I was enjoying your Asian adventure, and you seem to have a knack with the lower level teams, but I'll be following!!

    Think you'll be there twenty five years??

    Best of luck.

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    very interesting read so far . and i must say im intrigued by your 3rd tactic uve got going :) . nether the less good luck .

    with powell using him the right way im sure he can become a top talent

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    #61403 Kiwi : I'm disappointed, because I was enjoying your Asian adventure, and you seem to have a knack with the lower level teams, but I'll be following!!
    Think you'll be there twenty five years??
    Best of luck.

    Woah, look who commented! :D
    Don't make me feel bad, Kiwi. I haven't left the Asian save yet. It is just on the back-burner for now.
    I will be there till I get fired - could be twenty five weeks or twenty five years.

    #61456 its me : very interesting read so far . and i must say im intrigued by your 3rd tactic uve got going :) . nether the less good luck .

    with powell using him the right way im sure he can become a top talent

    Thank you so much for reading, and hopefully, you will keep following the story. The third tactic is basically me trying out the weird world of Football Manager tactics. Not sure whether it will be work. I'm unsure how to use Powell. He is too talented to be going on loan to an affiliate or a lower team, but simply cannot get any first-team game time this season.

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    Good writing. It will be interesting to see who you sign and how you fare compared to me.

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    Angelo looks good, could play as a sub/poacher role now with those stats, looks better than Powell at the moment.

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    Out of Character:
    I'm moving to first-person, because it is easier.

    Next morning, Jim Lawlor and Tom Vernon come in a bag full of files, colour-coded according to nation, region and quality of prospect. To my surprise, Sir Alex had already instructed them to scout according to my preference, before he left, and so all the youth players were put into the highest priority file - bright red. On opening the file, I saw the very first player that would add something to the squad:

    John Obi-Mikel

    This obviously would never happened. Mikel had snubbed the club once four years ago, and there was no way he would wear United colours after that. This could've simply been a test by the scouting team to check if I knew enough about our club.

    Lucas Digne

    Lille had just lost Hazard to Chelsea, who was arguably their best player, which was followed by the departures of Mathieu Debuchy and Rio Mavuba to Real Madrid and Tottenham respectively. They wouldn't be too keen on selling yet another promising youngster. This signing was a long shot, but Digne would provide the club with some security at lef-back after the retirement of vice-captain Patrice Evra, which is inevitably coming soon.

    Jack Rodwell and Ross Barkley

    These two Everton midfielders are very heavily priced and will not be available for less than £20 Million individually. On seeing the possible price tag, I questioned the head scouts about our budget, saying, "How much have we got to spend though?"
    Jim Lawlor replied cautiously, "Well, that is one thing the owners of the club and David Gill decide. The representatives of the Glazers are due to come to Manchester any day now..". Lawlor's statement was completely by his fellow scout, Tom Vernon. "..but there should be around £40 Million to spend, at least, that's what Sir Alex was promised before he left."

    Just as Vernon finished off his sentence, a series of knocks are heard on the door. Erratic, loud and still very much Spanish, 41-year old Antonio Lopez comes into the room with his suitcase and camera still in his hands, directly from Brazil.

    "We have to move in on a player from Brazil. Young, fast and most importantly, his team wants to offload him as he is destroying their finances because of his goal scoring bonus.", said Lopez, to which I replied, "I'm sorry, Antonio, but we need to see some tapes of him and make a collective decision on whether or not he is consistent over a period of time, and also how much he can improve in the future."
    Lopez, in his Spanish accent, continued, "But sir, you must know that this player comes as a direct recommendation of Sir Alex Ferguson. He is the one who sent me to Brazil to monitor this player's training and performances. I have got all the tapes you would want of him, but I suggest you act quickly."

    I motioned for him to put one of the tapes on and the four of us spent the next two hours scribbling down pros and cons, what he needs to improve upon, but we all knew we were going to make a transfer offer for the Brazilian youngster, Cidinho.

    This post was edited by akash.vidyasagar (2012-08-05 15:43, 3 years ago)

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    Meeting The First Team

    With new signing, Shinji Kagawa, being the only player in the team unable to speak or understand basic english, I considered giving him the day off, but this being his very first training session with the club, I asked him to be present - keeping in mind the morale of the team.

    After the warm-ups and stretching was taken care of, the boys were ready to start practice. "Direct Set Pieces", shouted Mike Phelan, and within the next five minutes, the defenders were in the wall, and the attackers stand a good few meters away from the box. One of the coaches placed a number of balls in a variety of positions to the left and the right, just about close enough to take a direct freekick. The likes of Wayne Rooney, Nani, Ryan Giggs, Ashley Young and the others took turns, trying to direct the ball towards the goal. Lindegaard and De Gea kept interchanging positions every five shots. These guys didn't need a coach or a manager, they were true footballing professionals and maintained a standard I have never seen before.

    1. Ryan Giggs - 34/50 - I wasn't surprised to see the Welsh icon do so well. After all, he has been in the business for the past two decades, and if it weren't for the talents of Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, he would probably have been the #1 freekick taker for the club. Time after time, he used to get both the keepers to go the other way.

    2. Ashley Young - 29/50 - Another no-brainer. Young was known as a freekick specialist in the Aston Villa squad, even with the presence of Agbonlahor, and will be crucial for our squad with his indirect freekicks - feeding Vidic and Ferdinand in the box.

    3. Davide Petrucci - 24/50 - The biggest surprise here. He won't feature in the first-team this season at least, but it is good to know we have a youngster who can shoulder such an important responsibility in the future.

    As soon as this exercise was done, the boys lined up right on the edge of the box, with the youngsters standing behind the goal. Joining De Gea and Lindegaard in this exercise was young keeper Sam Johnstone. It was time to practice the boys' skills from the penalty spot.

    1. Wayne Rooney - 47/50 - Rooney will be responsible for goals that come from the penalty spot and, even during practice, he showed people why. Missing only three and that to due to goalkeeping luck/brilliance, he used the right combination of power and accuracy.

    2. Davide Petrucci - 44/50 - Yet again, the youngster shows us that he is lethal from a deadball situation, comfortably placing the ball in the back of the net. Even the 6'4" Johnstone couldn't reach the ball in time to stop Petrucci from scoring time and time again.

    3. Ryan Giggs - 42/50 - Very easy for the grey-haired midfielder. I wasn't expecting any less from him either.

    While practice continued, Mike Phelan and Paul McGuinness stood next to me, observing the work that was being put in. I am advised by my assistant manager to meet up with the captain and vice-captain of the team, when the Glazer representative arrives. "He would most likely want to meet us in his special box, Akash.", said Phelan.

    This post was edited by akash.vidyasagar (2012-08-12 15:50, 3 years ago)

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    Interesting story. How did you arrive at the stats for the set pieces? Randomly or did you use some logic based on the attributes?

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    #61587 Gurdit : Interesting story. How did you arrive at the stats for the set pieces? Randomly or did you use some logic based on the attributes?

    It was based on their attributes, but pretty random.

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    Wow some fantastic effort and brilliant writing has been put into this keep it up :)

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    Ryan Giggs proves he still has it.....great writing Akash, although "I wasn't expecting any less from him you either."

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