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Milton Keynes Dons: Writing History

No history? Who cares, we'll write our own. Join me as I attempt to take everybody's least favourite Football League club up the football pyramid, one home grown player at a time.
Started on 8 May 2014 by Rablador
Latest Reply on 18 July 2014 by Rablador
  • POSTS78
  • VIEWS62163
lol you lost Blackpool :P
One of the games had Nuno Gomes put the icing on the cake for a 4-2 victory against the Dons, which must have really steamed Rab's buns, considering in our story he signed Nuno Gomes to his Hiberian side, for pretty big wages, and he was awful. Gomes kept skying shots due to his shoots from distance PPM, and late in the season Gomes had a long-term injury (broken foot if I recall correctly), that meant he was pretty much finished as a player, but he still had a year or two to go on his Hibernian contract and the wages were pretty onerous.

In short, for a player who did jack and diddly for Rab to come back and bite him like that, what an awful experience.

Episode 5 - Consistency is the Key

Nobody will notice if I become a plastic, will they?

Name: Daniel Powell
Date of Birth: 12 March 1991
Previous Clubs: Crawley Town, Forest Green Rovers, Darlington (All Loans)
Coach Report:

PROMOTION chasers MK Dons have received a further boost with the return of two players from injury.

Forward Daniel Powell and defender Rob Kiernan have each returned from their respective spells on the sidelines, providing a further boost to Dons boss Karl Robinson ahead of one of the most congested periods of the season, with a series of home and away games coming thick and fast to the Dons fans after several had to be postponed due to international call-ups.

Powell, a quick, attacking minded player who is equally capable on the wings or up front, though is likely to be seeing most of his action in the striker role bar a change in tactics from Robinson, graduated from the MK Dons youth academy and has since established himself as a fans' favourite at stadium:mk. His eye for goal and determination to succeed could prove vital during such a clustered fixture list, and it was the player's attitude during a lengthy time out that drew the most praise from his manager.
"Oh Dan's being fantastic," lauded Robinson, "and we're certainly hoping he can inject some fresh pace and belief into the side. They're a young bunch of lads out there, so it always helps to have someone like Powell in the side, he motivates them. He may still be young in many people's eyes, but he undeniably has a wealth of experience under his belt already."

Meanwhile, centre half Kiernan, a summer signing from Wigan, has finally returned from a combination of injuries which eventually kept him out of the game for more than 3 months. Although expected to be a key factor in the Dons side of the current season, Robinson was quick to point out that the Irishman may have to sit tight a little longer before making his long-awaited debut.
"Don't get me wrong, Rob will be a starter before long, there's no doubt in my mind about that. But right now, Tom [Flanagan] and Jord [Spence] are playing well together in defence, and [Anthony] Kay's done well too, so Rob may have to wait a little longer. How do you bring yourself to change a partnership that are working so well together?"

The pair join fellow returnee Dean Bowditch, whose future has been cast into constant doubt of late, with MK reportedly looking to cut any deadwood in a bid to cut the club's wage bill. And with striker Dean Clarke set to link up with the team in just over a month, fellow forward Izale McLeod could be another one of those who gets the cut. Robinson declined to comment on the matter.

Non-League side Maidenhead United will host the Dons in the first round proper of the FA Cup, with the tie due to be played out on Saturday, 9th November. Season ticket holders will have priority access to the first set of the first allocation, with tickets going on general sale from next Wednesday.

Sky Bet League 1

0 - 1

Dean Bowditch 58
Samir Carruthers

0 - 0

Jordan Spence

2 - 0

Josh Falkingham 75, Daniel Powell 89
Jordan Spence

0 - 1

Danny Handling 84
Samir Carruthers

Johnstone's Paint Trophy, Second Round - South

1 - 1

Colchester United win 6-5 on penalties
Luke Chadwick 34 - Jabo Ibehre 29
Marcus Bean 58
Josh Falkingham

Wasn't too concerned about that particular competition, so I played a weak side with plenty of youths handed first team opportunities. Sadly, it was not to be, despite creating the better chances, and a former player it was who came back to bite us in the arse. Wasn't aware the game went straight to pens, otherwise I'm sure we could have made our man advantage count in extra time.

Player of the Episode

Name: Jordan Spence
Date of Birth: 24 May 1990
Previous Clubs: Leyton Orient, Scunthorpe United, Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday (Loans), West Ham United
Coach Report:

The third and final loan in the MK Dons team makes it a clean sweep of loanees claiming player of the episode. Samir Carruthers was once again pulling all the strings in midfield but it was Spence, on loan from West Ham, who put in a sequence of commendable performances at both his favoured right back and centre back positions. A solid player all season, hopefully we can make the deal a permanent one sometime...
Thanks for reading as always, it may be starting to sound clichéd but I appreciate all the support I get. And thanks for dragging us ever closer to 1k views, will be a great milestone to hit! :D

"Couldn't care less"
- Norway and Manchester United legend, and current Cardiff manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, when asked what he thought about Liverpool's title hopes this season.
Very consistent indeed!
As justice just said very consistent Spence is a great player
Excellent updates and great league results too!
Let's hope you can take the top spot soon now :D
Rablador's avatar Group Rablador
10 yearsEdited

Episode 6 - Records Broken

F*ck me, that was actually quite good!

Name: Tom Flanagan
Date of Birth: 21 October 1991
Previous Clubs: Kettering Town, Gillingham, Barnet (All Loans)
Coach Report:

A STARTING XI with an average age of less than 20 was able to celebrate a club record win.

In front of a bumper crowd at York Road in Maidenhead, the MK Dons recorded a humungous 6-0 win - just edging the previous club record by a single goal - in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup.

If anyone pre-match suspected an extremely youthful Dons side might struggle to overcome their non-league opponents - who currently compete in the Skrill South, the 6th tier of English football and some 3 leagues below the League One leaders - then their predictions were quickly blown away as 16 year old Giorgio Rasulo, the subject of much transfer speculation in the summer, slotted home his first senior goal to give the Dons the lead within two minutes.

The English-born Italian Under-21 international was one of four 16 year olds in the away side's first XI, alongside season regular Gedeon Okito, centre back Luke Tingey and Jacob Daffern, who was making his career debut, but the perhaps daunting prospect of playing in one of the world's oldest cup tournament didn't seem to affect the teenagers, as they each played a major role in helping the Dons cruise to their biggest ever victory, surpassing the previous record win over Accrington Stanley, from back in 2007, by just one goal.

Third choice 'keeper Charlie Burns, 18, and midfielder George Baldock, 20, also made the cut, but striker Danny Handling (19) and Dele Alli (17) were forced to settle for a place on the substitutes' bench. In fact, were in not for Dean Bowditch starting in attack, the average age of the Dons team could have been considerably lower, with Bowditch being some four years more experienced than the next oldest player in the line-up.

Attacking midfielder Ben Reeves scored the team's second goal of the game before Bowditch added a third before half time. In a second half of fewer chances, a fourth MK Dons goal finally arrived on 71 minutes through Baldock before substitute Darren Potter stroked home a penalty two minutes from time to equal the six year record. And with time rapidly running out, fellow sub Handling completed the rout in injury time to take home a sizeable win and a broken record back to Milton Keynes.

Karl Robinson's started with a full house of English-born players as defender Tom Flanagan captained the side for the first time this season. Their reward for the emphatic victory is a trip to Port Vale for the second round of the FA Cup.

Sky Bet League 1

2 - 1

Jordan Bowery 16, Conor McAleny 78 - George Baldock 48
George Baldock

2 - 1

Danny Handling 78, Daniel Powell 80 - Milan Lalkovic 84
Samir Carruthers

0 - 0

Anthony Kay

2 - 0

Dele Alli 38, Darren Potter (pen) 70
Andrew Davies

0 - 1

Anthony Kay 65
Dean Lewington

FA Cup, 1st Round

0 - 6

Giorgio Rasulo 2, Ben Reeves 23, Dean Bowditch 32, George Baldock 71, Darren Potter (pen) 89, Danny Handling 90+1
George Baldock

A great win in a really enjoyable game to play, hopefully we can progress as far as possible in the one cup I care about this year and roll in the prize monies :P

Player of the Episode

Name: George Baldock
Date of Birth: 26 January 1993
Previous Clubs: Northampton Town, Tamworth, IBV (All loans)
Coach Report:

Tough one to choose really, but Baldock's performances, while not exceptional, have been pretty solid for a bit-part player and he helped himself to a couple of good goals too. Finally, a non-loanee wins the PotE accolade! :))
I hope you've enjoyed reading these last updates as much as I've enjoyed writing them, and of course thank you all so much for 1000 views, I really appreciate it! :D

"You can't win anything with kids."
- Former Scotland and Liverpool defender Alan Hansen, soon-to-be retired legendary football pundit.
That's the stuff!
Some great updates, Rab. Nice wins, especially the 6-0 win. Best of luck :)

Episode 7 - Win Streak

All bad things must come to an end

Name: Dean Bowditch
Date of Birth: 15 June 1986
Previous Clubs: Ipswich and Yeovil, Burnley, Wycombe, Brighton, Northampton, Brentford (Loans)
Coach Report:

KARL Robinson has slammed Crawley Town boss John Gregory following his side's 4-2 win.

MK Dons had recorded a somewhat comfortable but certainly vital away win at Crawley's Broadfield Stadium, but it was the home side's on-field antics that really angered Robinson.

After Crawley had dominated the early stages but were unable to work their way past a determined defence, Ben Reeves was brought down in the area for a penalty, which Samir Carruthers converted coolly in the absence of regular spot-kick taker Darren Potter. Carruthers added a second for his fourth goal in two games shortly after, but Reeves was visibly distressed, and after limping around the field for the remainder of the first half, Robinson was forced to take him off at half-time through injury, with Ryan Hall his replacement.

Giorgio Rasulo scored his first goal in the Football League to put the Dons 3 up, before Dele Alli bundled home the fourth, but it was he who was the next victim of Gregory's hard tackling team, and he too had to be substituted due to a recurring knock which he was unable to shake off. As if to put the icing on the cake, Paul Connolly's vicious tackle from behind on sub Dean Bowditch, who had only been on the pitch for a matter of moments, earned the Town defender a straight red card - and also forced Bowditch off by injury, with Robinson unable to replace the attacker as he had already gambled on all his subs.

A horrible error from away 'keeper Ian McLoughlin allowed Mike Jones to score a consolation with five minutes to spare, and two minutes later it was 4-2 as Rory Fallon scrambled home another finish to pull a goal back again. The scoreline was far less convincing in the Dons' favour than it could've been, but it was the numerous injuries that infuriated the away manager.

Although it appears that Alli and Reeves have got off relatively unscathed, Bowditch will miss the entirety of January with a twisted ankle, dealing a blow to any hopes of getting the high-earning Bowditch off the books in the winter transfer window.

"It's utterly ridiculous," asserted a seething Robinson. "They realised that the game was well lost in the first half, so they set about trying to injure as many of my boys as they can. Three of them. Three of my players were forced off injured in that game, and I must say well done to the referee for producing a straight red in response to the last one. But it's utterly baffling that this stuff still goes on in the modern game; Gregory should be ashamed of himself because in that game he's obviously said something to his defenders when they were losing, and before you know it, two of my youngsters have picked up knocks and a more experienced lad's twisted his ankle."

Gregory refused to respond to the criticism.

Sky Bet League 1

2 - 1

Ryan Hall 8, Dean Bowditch 74 - John Fleck 18
Ryan Hall

1 - 3

Leon Clarke 64 - Ben Reeves 56, 70, Daniel Powell 85
Samir Carruthers

2 - 1

Samir Carruthers 37, 54 - Jennison Myrie-Williams 27
Samir Carruthers

2 - 4

Mike Jones 85, Rory Fallon 87 - Samir Carruthers (pen) 12, 45+3, Giorgio Rasulo 53, Dele Alli 67
Samir Carruthers

3 - 1

Jordan Spence (OG) 11, Alan Judge (pen) 70, Adam Forshaw 90+3 - Ben Reeves 10
Alan Judge

FA Cup, 2nd Round

2 - 4

Tom Pope 17, Chris Birchall 62 - Dele Alli 9, Dean Lewington 40, Dean Bowditch 42, Danny Handling 82
Josh Falkingham

Another good win, and yet again we get an away tie in the cups, this time against Birmingham City. Tough, but hopefully we can at least force a replay on home turf.

Player of the Episode

Name: Samir Carruthers
Date of Birth: 4 April 1993
Previous Clubs: Arsenal (Youth), Aston Villa
Coach Report:

Ben Reeves and even Dele Alli came almightily close to winning it for the first time in this episode, but as Carruthers was voted Young Player of the Month (just ahead of Dele Alli, as well as coming 3rd in the Player of the Month award) and increased his goal tally for the season five-fold, I just had to give it to him.

"In the first half, I didn't see the second half coming, that's for sure"
- Former Ireland and Wolves, and current Ipswich, boss Mick McCarthy. You just can't hate him.
Who does that? I mean, okay, you lose, but you can't go out in all anger to try and harm every player that comes your way. A 'flawless' month, like you said, bar the Brentford loss. The Championship awaits you next season :D
League title won, bring on the Championship! :P

P.S. Whenever you feel down after a loss, just remind yourself of who is managing MK Dons in my save:

Guaranteed to cheer you up 10 times out of 10 :))
I'm not sure what to think anymore, Rab, I looked at Giorgio Rasulo's page in FM and that son of a bitch is a Napoli supporter. I love him to death but he has poor taste in Italian soccer clubs.
what formation and team instructions do you do mate, Keep up the hard work, great story and great layout.

Episode 8 - Major Upset

How the...?

LEAGUE One outfit MK Dons' win over Chelsea has been described as "one of the greatest FA Cup upsets ever" by many a footballing pundit.

The third tier table-toppers earned the trip to Stamford Bridge following two inseperable games against Championship side Birmigham City, with the tie eventually being won on penalties thanks to goalkeeper David Martin's heroics.

But, even after an unexpected result in the previous round, a strong XI sent out by José Mourinho were still expected to crush the Dons', and their fans', dreams, with the general acceptance being that they were just there to enjoy the hospitality and see international stars "do their thing".

And, in fairness to the bookmakers, whose pre-match predictions had placed obnoxious odds on the away side to win, Chelsea started off much the stronger team. Lars Bender was first to come close for the home side but his pile-driver from distance crashed against the bar before visiting 'keeper Martin denied Demba Ba a tap-in from point blank range.

Ba came close again shortly after, but his audacious leap to reach an Eden Hazard cross wasn't enough to direct the ball into the goal from a tight angle. But then MK Dons were given a glimmer of hope. Danny Handling's neat play found Giorgio Rasulo, but the Italian U21 international was not yet able to celebrate his first professional contract with a goal, instead stinging the palms of Petr Cech.

However, just as the Dons began to battle themselves back into the tie, the Premier League leaders delivered a sucker punch as Ba glanced home a header from close range, agonisingly close to a spectating David Martin. Then, with just over half an hour on the clock, the attacking-minded Cesar Azpilicueta surged forward against a hapless Dons defence before laying a pass towards Bender, whose clever trickery seemingly allowed in Hazard for number two - only for the assistant referee to narrowly disallow the goal.

If anyone had thought that decision may dishearten Chelsea then they were quickly proved wrong, Ba should have done better when one-on-one with the goalkeeper but Martin did well to turn it round the post. But then, the unexpected happened. The excellent Rasulo broke the Chelsea offside trap thanks to a pin-point through ball from Ben Reeves, and was not to be denied his goal on this occasion, firing the ball ferociously low and true at Cech, whose late touch was not enough to keep the shot out. It was a shocking twist in the game, but still Chelsea - who had only really rested a few big names - were expected to push on and score again.

The Dons held on until half time and were nearly rewarded for their superb defending when a horrible defensive mistake allowed in Handling, but he probably wasn't aware just how much time he had to compose himself, as he turned and quickly fired a shot wide of the goal when clean through.

You would have been forgiven for assuming that the Dons had blown their chance to go in front, but moments later their big moment arrived again. Samir Carruthers was given acres of space out on the left, and though his original attempt to supply a goal to a teammate was felled, his second attempt from a seemingly impossible angle found the net thanks to a combination of Cech and the woodwork. It was scrappy, but none of the few thousand travelling fans cared any less.

The lead had come early in the second half however, and there was still more than a third of the game for the Blues to come roaring back. Young Marco Pugliese soon tested Martin, and from the resulting corner Lee Hodson had to be alert to deny Ba his second of the evening. Milton Keynes were widely expected to borrow the famed Chelsea bus from this moment on, but a quick counter from another Chelsea corner - from which the away side's defending was magnificent all night - saw substitute Daniel Powell denied by a dubious tackle. The players protested but referee Howard Webb could only award a corner for their troubles.

It had been a mad few minutes but it was not about to end yet, as just moments after Chelsea had threatened with the Pugliese chance, MK Dons had already had several clear cut goalscoring opportunities. Kiernan's header from the corner was beaten away from Cech before the Czech international produced a breathtaking save to deny Carruthers another.

Andre Schurrle was next to blow his chance as an onrushing Martin saved spectacularly from his effort. Surprisingly however, that was to be the home side's last chance to spare themselves from one of the most embarassing results in the club's history. The experienced Dean Lewington came on for Gedeon Okito and contributed greatly to an outstanding effort which kept the Europa League champions at bay for the final twenty minutes or so. MK Dons shock the Special One to advance to the next round, where they will play Milwall or Bradford, yet again away from home to the disbelief of Karl Robinson.

Sky Bet League 1

0 - 0

Rob Kiernan

1 - 3

Matt Tootle 55 - Danny Handling 43, Ryan Hall (pen) 49, (pen) 74
Ryan Hall

1 - 0

Rob Kiernan 17
Rob Kiernan

0 - 2

Danny Handling 2, 36
Danny Handling

FA Cup, 3rd Round

1 - 1

Federico Macheda 55 - Josh Falkingham 41
Samir Carruthers

FA Cup, 3rd Round Replay

1 - 1

Danny Handling 42Chris Burke 33
MK Dons win 4-1 on penalties
Neal Eardley

FA Cup, 4th Round

1 - 2

Demba Ba 24 - Giorgio Rasulo 38, Samir Carruthers 54
Samir Carruthers

A truly outstanding run which even I never expected, although I can almost guarantee that we will fall at a lower ranked opposition than Chelsea!

Player of the Episode

Name: Rob Kiernan
Date of Birth: 13 January 1991
Previous Clubs: Watford, Wigan (Permanent), Kilmarnock, Wycombe, Bradford, Yeovil, Accrington Stanley, Burton, Brentford, Southend (All loans, seriously)
Coach Report:

Danny Handling finally got back to goalscoring form once and for all this month and finishes a close second but it is defender Kiernan who has stood out the most for me this episode. He was initially quite shaky after returning from a long-term injury crisis but he's really proven to me this month that he can become a quality Championship defender...oh, and did I mention his performance at the Bridge was world class? :P

As per usual, thank you all so much for reading and commenting. I know it's been a while since my last update but I just haven't felt like playing much FM recently. Whether I'll go back to more regular updates I'm not yet sure.

And as some of you have been enquiring about my tactics, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to show you them too!

"There were two female physios at the club. I was like a dog with two dicks. I spent a lot of time on the treatment table"
- Former Liverpool and England striker Stan Collymore on a spell at Fulham.

You are reading "Milton Keynes Dons: Writing History".

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