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Manchester United: The Sleeping Giant

The task of rebuilding a broken club and leading them back to glory.
Started on 21 June 2018 by don9914 / First Post
Latest Reply on 30 June 2018 by don9914 / Last Post
 
don9914's avatar Group don9914
1 yearEdited
It may seem a bit boring doing a story with such a big club, but I've only just got back into playing FM after hardly touching 17 and 18, so what better way to re start with my local and boyhood club who are in desperate need of returning to the top. The goal of this story is to win the Champions League in 3-5 years and bring in as many other trophies and league titles as possible.

I will be using the FM18 Transfer & Data Update by pr0 + FMTU (15th June 2018).

PRE-SEASON & TRANSFERS

Along with Mourinho's signings of Diogo Dalot and Fred, I have added:
  • Juan Bernat - loan with option to buy, will provide stability in left back while Shaw develops (£2.5m/month)
  • James Tarkowski - a solid new addition to United's shaky defence, probably won't start straight away though (£37m)
  • Arjen Robben - a cheap and experienced option to fill the void at RW (£20m)

Outgoing transfers:
  • Matteo Darmian to Bayer Leverkusen (£15m)
  • Daley Blind to PSG (£15m)
  • Axel Tuanzebe to Burnley (loan)



I will be using a 4-1-2-3 formation as shown here, as well as a variation of a back 3 formation depending on the lineup.



I let my new assistant take control of most of the friendlies and I took control of the last 2:



Choosing a captain was a tough one. The player with the highest leadership stat was Herrera, but I can't guarantee him regular game time. Most of the players who will get regular playing time have low leadership (including De Gea who is supposed to be one of the team leaders in the hierarchy). In the end I gave Valencia the captaincy, even though I want to bring through Dalot into the team, and Matic as vice as he will play most games.

I will be bringing updates at the end of every month in game to this thread, if anyone actually wants to follow this story.

Thanks and hope to see you again at the end of August.
August

Results

An easy start to life as a manager, winning 3 on the bounce in August. In the opening game vs Everton we made it difficult for ourselves. After going 1-0 up thanks to a Paul Pogba penalty, we conceded a sloppy goal to Cenk Tosun, before Arjen Robben retained the lead in the 73rd minute. The next 2 games were more convincing, winning 2-0 against Watford, missing a number of big chances that should have put us out of sight, and smashing Palace 4-1 in the final game of the month.



Player Performances

A surprising star player has emerged in Fred, winning 2 POTM awards against Everton and Watford, as well as scoring against Watford after just 27 seconds. Arjen Robben has shown why he was one of the best wingers in the world in his prime, scoring twice and setting up 3 goals and earning the POTM award against Palace.

No player has performed particularly badly. I'd say the least effective player has been Alexis Sanchez, who has been dropped to the bench in favour of an inform Anthony Martial.

Injuries

Unfortunately in the Palace game both Matic and Robben got injured. Matic's was more serious, injuring his hip and will be out for 2 months, whereas Robben is only out for 3-4 weeks with a concussion. Herrera or Fosu-Mensah will replace Matic and Lingard or Mata will replace Robben.

Cup Draws

2 draws on the same day. First the Carabao Cup, drawing Burnley away in the first tie to be drawn, and secondly the Champions League, with an eerily similar group to our group in last seasons competition, with the only exception being Hoffenheim instead of Basel.



Roundup

To top off a great start to the league campaign, I won manager of the month.



And here are the top 5 scorers, assists and performers (avg. rating) of the season so far:

Top Scorers:
  • Romelu Lukaku - 2
  • Anthony Martial - 2
  • Arjen Robben - 2
  • Paul Pogba - 1
  • Fred - 1

Top Assists (only 4):
  • Arjen Robben - 3
  • Anthony Martial - 1
  • Marcus Rashford - 1
  • Romelu Lukaku - 1

Top Performers:
  • Arjen Robben - 8.10
  • Fred - 8.03
  • Anthony Martial - 7.75
  • Romelu Lukaku - 7.70
  • Paul Pogba - 7.63

Now onto September, facing Bournemouth, CSKA, Fulham, Burnley, Chelsea, Benfica and Burnley again
don9914's avatar Group don9914
1 yearEdited
September

Results

One shock this month with a 2-1 aet defeat to Burnley in the Carabao Cup, which was especially heartbreaking as they equalised in the 87th minute. Apart from that, I am yet to drop a point in the Premier League and Champions League.



The most notable win being Chelsea, winning 3-0 thanks to goals from Martial, Lukaku and Fred.

September Results:
  • Bournemouth 2-3 United - Lingard (3)
  • United 4-0 CSKA - Martial (2), Lukaku (2)
  • United 2-0 Fulham - Sanchez, Lukaku
  • Burnley 2-1 United - McTominay
  • United 3-0 Chelsea - Martial, Lukaku, Fred
  • Benfica 1-3 United - Sanchez, Lukaku (2)
  • Burnley 0-4 United - Lindelof, Lukaku (3)

Injuries to Fosu-Mensah and Lingard mean that the squad is more stretched than before, as well as recurring problems with Arjen Robben.

Lukaku is proving to be a fearsome striker, while strong competition for wide spots has emerged between Martial, Sanchez, Lingard and Robben. Diogo Dalot is starting to prove why United signed him irl, with some very good performances while filling in for Valencia.

To top it off, my second consecutive manager of the month.



Top Scorers:
  • Romelu Lukaku - 11
  • Anthony Martial - 5
  • Jesse Lingard - 3
  • Alexis Sanchez, Fred, Arjen Robben - 2

Top Assists:
  • Arjen Robben - 4
  • Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku - 3
  • Alexis Sanchez, Juan Bernat, Ander Herrera - 2

Top Performers (Games played [sub]):
  • Scott McTominay - 8.80 (1[1])
  • Romelu Lukaku - 8.09 (9)
  • Jesse Lingard - 7.36 (3)
  • Arjen Robben - 7.72 (4[1])
  • Diogo Dalot - 7.60 (3[3])
October

A rather eventful month, starting with some mid-season beef. As I went on holiday during the international break, Juan Mata and Ashley Young tried to approach me about their game time. Neither of them took well to my absence. I come back from holiday to a split changing room over Mata (no one cared about Young). Mata is getting some game time but could go if a bid comes in, whereas Young has been straight up transfer listed.

Results

This has been the month where my almost-perfection has started to falter. 2 wins, 2 draws and a loss has been far from what we've been used to this season. The heartbreaking loss came in the Manchester Derby, after seemingly recused a point after being 2-0 down thanks to 2 link-ups from Pogba and Sanchez, Otamendi poached in an effort in the 95th minute to seal the win for City. It was a rather feisty game, with 3 red cards (Valencia, Bernat, Laporte) and us getting fined for too many bookings.



Lukaku has been continuing to impress, as well as Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.

We are still top of the league by 4 points, as well as topping our Champions League group.



Top scorers:
  • Romelu Lukaku - 16
  • Anthony Martial - 6
  • Alexis Sanchez - 4
  • Jesse Lingard - 3
  • Marcus Rashford, Arjen Robben, Fred - 2

Top Assists:
  • Paul Pogba - 6
  • Arjen Robben - 5
  • Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Valencia - 3

Top performers (Games played [sub]):
  • Romelu Lukaku - 8.12 (12[1])
  • Scott McTominay - 7.60 (2[3])
  • Paul Pogba - 7.51 (15)
  • Arjen Robben - 7.43 (7[3])
  • Victor Lindelof - 7.39 (10)
Good going so far mate. Keep up the updates!
November/December

I feel like monthly updates is a bit excessive, so I'll be doing a couple of months and highlighting key things.

First of all the board offered me a new 2 year deal after a successful start to the season. Top of the league by 6 points, first in the Champions League group. Won 16, Drawn 4, Lost 3.



The last couple of months involved 10 wins, including two 2-0 wins over Liverpool and Arsenal, 2 draws and a single loss, against West Ham of all teams. This was achieved despite an injury crisis, with Bailly, Robben, Pogba, Pereira, Sanchez, Lindelof, Rashford, Bernat, Mata and Lingard all getting injured at some point. For a couple of games I had to call upon Angel Gomes as I was in need of more attacking options for a couple of games. Not the best situation to land yourself in the run up to the Christmas period, but we managed to pull through



I am currently sitting top of the Premier League by 6 points. A couple of surprises in the table, with Southampton doing so well and City doing not so well. Bournemouth also held a top 4 spot for a while, but dropped off after the Christmas congestion.



Lukaku has been absolutely on fire, netting 27 times in 23 games with 8 assists. An average rating of 7.97 earned him two World Player of the Year Awards.





Although they have been getting more game time, Mata and Rojo still want to leave. Young, Smalling and Fellaini have been dropped to the U23s and I will be looking to move them on soon. hopefully De Gea's new deal will be wrapped up before I get rid of Mata so he doesn't decide he wants to follow his best mate out of the door!

Results - November

Liverpool 0-2 United - Lingard, Robben
United 5-0 Wolves - Rashford (3), Lukaku, Coady(og)
CSKA 1-2 United - Mata, Akinfeev(og)
West Ham 2-1 United - Martial
United 2-0 Arsenal - Pogba, Lukaku

December

Leicester 2-2 United - Pogba, Lukaku
United 2-2 Benfica - Lukaku (2)
Brighton 0-4 United - Lukaku (2), Lingard, Martial
United 3-1 Newcastle - Lukaku (2), Rojo
United 1-0 Spurs - Lukaku
Southampton 0-1 United - Lingard
United 4-1 Everton - Martial (3), Lukaku
United 3-0 Palace - Martial (2), Lingard

Finally, I drew Port Vale in the FA Cup 3rd Round and Porto in the Champions League Round of 16.

Top Scorers:
  • Romelu Lukaku - 27
  • Anthony Martial - 13
  • Jesse Lingard - 7
  • Marcus Rashford - 5
  • Alexis Sanchez - 4

Top assists:
  • Romelu Lukaku - 8
  • Paul Pogba, Arjen Robben - 6
  • Alexis Sanchez, Antonio Valencia - 5

Top performers (Games played [sub]):
  • Romelu Lukaku - 7.97 (22[3])
  • Anthony Martial - 7.54 (16[5])
  • Diogo Dalot - 7.49 (8[3])
  • Paul Pogba 7.45 (18[3])
  • Antonio Valencia - 7.42 (20[2])
2018-06-22 17:35#249895 ScottT : Good going so far mate. Keep up the updates!

Thanks for the support mate, glad to know people are actually reading this!
January to March

Transfers

Some activity in the January transfer window from us, selling Marcos Rojo, Maurone Fellaini, Chris Smalling and Sam Johnstone, and loaning out Ashley Young. Calum Chambers and Andre-Pierre Gignac, as well as 17 year old Ludovit Reis, (who isn't too far off first team quality) were brought in as backup players.



There has definitely been some degree of burn out in the second half of the season, failing to win 6 games and getting knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea in the 5th round. Nevertheless, we saw past Porto in the Champions League comfortably.



One notable game has to be the 6-0 defeat of Port Vale in the FA Cup. In fact, all 6 goals came in the first half. It is especially notable as Angel Gomes scored a hattrick and got 2 assists, as well as Tahith Chong getting a goal and assist.



We currently lead Arsenal by 8 points after 30 games. With the best defence and best attack in the league, we also have 14 more goal difference than them. Bournemouth have bounced back as well, they seem a bit op on this game.



The Champions League Quarter Final draw has given me a sense of optimism, drawing Spurs, who we are capable of beating, and only PSG and Real Madrid being the really threatening teams remaining in the competition. I could now realistically achieve my goal of winning it in just my first season. Obviously I want to carry on, so my next goal will be to surpass Liverpool in number of European Cups won.



Just one last push for the league now. Hopefully beat Arsenal to widen the gap and other than Spurs on the final day I have no big games left, so will hopefully be able to concentrate on Europe.

Top Scorers:
  • Romelu Lukaku - 33
  • Anthony Martial - 18
  • Jesse Lingard - 8
  • Arjen Robben - 7
  • Marcus Rashford - 6

Top Assists:
  • Romelu Lukaku - 10
  • Paul Pogba - 9
  • Alexis Sanchez, Arjen Robben - 7
  • Juan Bernat, Fred, Antonio Valencia - 5

Top Performers (Games Played [sub]):
  • Romelu Lukaku - 7.76 (34[3])
  • Scott McTominay - 7.52 (9[8])
  • Anthony Martial - 7.46 (24[6])
  • Antonio Valencia - 7.45 (30[2])
  • Paul Pogba - 7.39 (29[5])

(Calum Chambers should be above Pogba, but he's only played 1 game off the bench so I'm not going to count him yet)
March/April

The past month has been rather forgettable in the league, drawing 3 games in a row to Man City (1-1), West Ham (0-0) and Arsenal (1-1).

As it stands I have 79 points and Arsenal have 70, with a game in hand.



The Champions League Quarter Final kicked off at Old Trafford in the first leg. A convincing 2-0 win, thanks to Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku, gave us the advantage going to Wembley.



The second leg proved to be an exciting tie. After extending the aggregate lead and getting that all important away goal, Harry Kane hit back with two goals in quick succession. I was really on the ropes then until Anthony Martial equalised, then sealed the tie with a penalty.



The draw was rather unfavourable, seeing us face Real Madrid. It's going to be a tough road to the final now, but it is just 2 games away.



And finally, after just spending one year at the club together, Fred and James Tarkowski thought they deserved new contracts, and as I was holding off at the time they seem to want to leave. Bloody great. Luckily not many players have sided with them so it hasn't had an effect on the team morale.
CHAMPIONS!!

After a 4-1 thumping of Brighton and Arsenal's 2-0 loss to Palace, we have won the league with two games to go! Now its onto the Champions League Semi Final second leg, after a 0-0 draw at the Bernabeau.

End of Season

Obviously we won the Premier League, winning 91 points and a 12 point lead over second placed Arsenal. May's results were a 3-0 win over Southampton, which included Angel Gomes' first league goal as well as a debut for Ludovit Reis, and the classic party pooper from Spurs, beating us 3-1 on the final day.



Unfortunately the Champions League campaign ended in heartbreak. It was all to play for in the second leg, and an early goal from Ander Herrera looked like it could edge us through, but Lucas Vazquez equalised and got the away goal, and Madrid scored two ore goals in injury time as we went gung-ho, as well as being down to 10 men.



De Gea won the golden glove with 20 clean sheets, and Lukaku came runner up in the golden boot, scoring 27 goals to Harry Kane's 39.





Valencia, Fred and Lukaku made Team of the Year. For some reason Lloris got in over De Gea.



Unfortunately I didn't win Manager of the Year, that went to Eddie Howe and was well deserved to be fair, finishing in 5th place.

The club awards resulted in Lukaku winning Fans Player of the Season and Martial winning Young Player of the Season.



So that wraps up the 2017/18 season. A brilliant league performance which we can use to build on and achieve my goal of winning the Champions League soon. I wasn't expecting to win it this season, but it is heartbreaking how close it came! I will be back at the end of pre-season with an update on transfers.

Goals:
    36 - Romelu Lukaku
    21 - Anthony Martial
    13 - Jesse Lingard
    9 - Arjen Robben
    6 - Marcus Rashford
    5 - Paul Pogba
    4 - Angel Gomes
    3 - Victor Lindelof, Scott McTominay
    2 - Ander Herrera, Calum Chambers, Andreas Pereira, Fred
    1 - Juan Mata, Tahith Chong, James Tarkowski, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Marcos Rojo

Assists:
    13 - Romelu Lukaku
    10 - Paul Pogba
    8 - Alexis Sanchez
    7 - Jesse Lingard, Arjen Robben
    6 - Ander Herrera, Antonio Valencia
    5 - Juan Bernat, Fred
    4 - Anthony Martial
    3 - Diogo Dalot, Angel Gomes, Marcus Rashford
    2 - Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Luke Shaw, James Tarkowski
    1 - Eric Bailly, Juan Mata, Tahith Chong, Tim Fosu-Mensah, Calum Chambers, Phil Jones, Andre-Pierre Gignac
Congratulations on a brilliant league campaign! Hopefully you can look to retain the title next season. Unlucky in the Champions League however, we all know how strong Madrid are within the competition.
2018-06-25 19:02#249959 ScottT : Congratulations on a brilliant league campaign! Hopefully you can look to retain the title next season. Unlucky in the Champions League however, we all know how strong Madrid are within the competition.

Madrid won it eventually, hopefully be on the road to challenging their dominance soon though!
2018/19

Concluding last season...

There were a couple of awards that were awarded at the end of last season after the last post. Lukaku won Champions League Golden Boot, was the ebst forward and made it in the dream team.







Angel Gomes also won PL Young Player of the Month in May, but I forgot to screenshot it.

Transfer Roundup

The main story of the window is the purchase of Dele Alli for £80m to replace Fred, who was sold as he started to bitch about his contract less than 10 months after signing. Juan Bernat made a permanent move and Juan Mata was sld to AC Milan. Youngsters Erling Haland and Nany Dimata were also signed, Haland as a prospect and Dimata to provide more backup to Lukaku. Sergio Romero went out on loan as he wanted more first team football, and Tuanzebe and Reis went out to Stoke and Watford to develop more in the Premier League.



Gignac, who is down as a backup player, started bitching that I was gonna sign Ronaldo to replace him (yeah I did try but Madrid won't budge) so I tried to flog him with 2 days to go but absolutely no one wants him. I originally signed Dimata to replace him but I can't budge him out of the club. He was only supposed to be here to give us another big option up front and now he's caused all this drama!!


Community Shield

City won the FA Cup so it was derby day in the Community Shield. Yet to beat City I was hoping to get one back on them. In the end I did, beating them 3-1, thanks to a debut screamer from Dele Alli and goals from Pogba and Martial. It could have been even more if Lukaku didn't miss a penalty and keep hitting the post!

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