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Building a Dynasty - A Sir Alex Ferguson Challenge

A Sir Alex Ferguson tribute
Started on 2 November 2019 by JT
Latest Reply on 31 December 2019 by Justice
Out of the drop zone is a positive, hopefully you can build from here
That's a tough break landing Burnley but at least it presents more of a challenge to you. Love a SAF challenge so look forward to seeing how you get on with them. There are some talents in the team but a few needing moved on for sure, like Aaron Lennon, Phil Bardsley and possibly Joe Hart.

Season 1: January Window

Transfer Window

So in fact the sales started happening before the window opened as i moved on four youth players to the lower leagues and also loaned out six more youth players. The sales continued as 5 more U23 players were sold on raising a little bit money and one more moved out on loan. There were two bigger sales though as Phil Bardsley moved on to Sunderland in a £200k deal whilst Matej Vydra was the big sale in a deal that should get to £11.25m with West Brom taking him on.

I ended up renewing Joe Hart's contract on cheaper terms and Aaron Lennon rejected numerous contracts meaning he is going to be here for the rest of the season until his contract expires. Either way it was enough as the board raised the funds themselves meaning i had around £38m to spend in January However, i was left a little shocked when Danny Drinkwater's loan ended without any notice leaving a big hole in the midfield. It meant we were now on the hunt for two central midfielders.

It seems a lot but one thing i have noticed this year is the transfer fees seem a lot higher than last year.The likes of Kalvin Phillips, Domingos Quina, Yan Valery and Jayden Bogle were all scouted but with fees being touted close to £20m for each of them, i ended up baulking and deciding to wait to the summer. A deal with Luis Phellype from Sporting was agreed at £4.4m but in the end i decided a striker wasn't a top priority so i didnt conclude the deal.

However, i did manage to bring in two new faces. The first was Ainsley Maitland-Niles who joins on a loan deal for £300k per month and all of his wages (£45k per week). I think he provides a versatile option also able to cover Lowton at right back following Bardsley's sale but he will mainly play in the centre of the midfield. To go alongside him i went to Scotland and signed Ryan Jack for £10m. He has decent passing ability and good stamina meaning he could be a valuable engine who can also possibly unlock the opposition's defence.

On the field

We have now clicked into gear and bar a shocking 4-1 defeat in the 3rd round of the FA Cup to Nottingham Forest where a reserve side got ripped apart, it has been a decent unbeaten showing in the league. In fact, saying unbeaten probably doesn't do it justice as we have been very strong. Newcastle were put away in a 3-1 victory with Chris Wood scoring and assisting before Norwich were beaten 2-0 in another comfortable display.

A battling 2-2 draw against West Ham showed our grit before we beat a high flying Sheffield United 1-0 to record a 3rd victory in January. A bore draw against struggling Southampton was disappointing but with our league position we suddenly look safer from relegation

In fact safer from relegation is another downplay. We are 10 points clear with 14 games to go. In fact we are just 10 points away from the Europa League! A top half finsih isnt out of the question but in reality if i can stay in the Top 14 i would think that the season has been an outstanding success. The returning Chris Wood has been exceptional and his 10 goals in 12 starts shows his quality as a target man.

Up the Clarets!
Nice run of results there! As a Rangers fan I believe you have massively overpaid for Ryan Jack and I'm not sure he'll make it in the Prem but I hope I'm wrong and look forward to seeing how he turns out for you.
Some very important games over the course of the month, especially those against Newcastle and Southampton. An unbeaten run of form and plenty of wins are always welcome. Another ten points on the board and you should see yourselves survive for another year, but I suspect you can aim for more than that. Chris Wood's goals could be important in doing just that. Two excellent signings... interested to see how Ryan Jack fairs in England and the Premier League.
Really liking this story so far, great progress up the table as well, keep up the good work!
An incredible turnaround since you have taken charge with a massive 10 point gap opening up between you and the relegation zone. The signings look to of improved the squad and who knows, Europa League isn't out of the question yet!
JT's avatar Group JT
10 monthsEdited

Season 1: February and March

On the field

So you know when i stupidly said the Europa League could be on the cards. Well forget that as i clearly hadn't seen our fixture list. In February we had Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City whilst March also saw Arsenal in what was a tough run of fixtures.

A run that saw us lose our first three games in February against Chelsea (2-1), Everton (3-2) and Manchester United (2-0). It was a horrible run of games that could have pulled us back into the relegation places but luckily the teams below us also went on a woeful run of form to keep our cushion intact. To be fair we were unlucky in defeat againt Chelsea as we largely outplayed them and we fought valiantly against Everton coming back from 2-0 down to level it before Moise Kean scored a hat trick goal whilst Utd was the only poor game where we were weirdly beaten at set pieces on both occasions.

Finishing the month against Man City was not what i would have hoped for but we raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to Chris Wood again before we conceded not one but two goals in the 85th minute to annoyingly get pegged back to 2-2 and pick up just a point.

Still the run of defeats was over but we had now gone 5 games without victory and i was conscious that i didn't want to slip. Then along came Brighton who were struggling and it showed as we pushed them aside with ease in a 3-1 victory before the shock result of the save so far. High flying Arsenal (that in itself is a shock) were on a long undefeated run at the top of the table but they couldnt deal with us as we came back from 1-0 behind to score a late late goal to win the tie 2-1 and give us the most unlikely of victories. A 1-1 draw with Bournemouth ended the month as March proved to be the complete opposite to February

So there you have it. Premiership safety all but guaranteed as our gap has now increased to 14 points with just 21 to play for. In fact we shouldn't finish below 15th based on the current table. In reality i think the best we can hope for is around 11th and 12th, with 11th perfectly matching Alex Ferguson's achievements with United so that will be the goal for the season.

So how are we doing this? Well the answer is Chris Wood, Dwight McNeil and James Rodriguez as a front three with all three performing well and getting on the scoresheet on a regular basis. Without these three we can be quite toothless at times. Maitland Niles has looked pretty good in midfield showing real hustle and drive and Jack has been ok without setting the world alight. So not a complete disaster there from him and he will likely stay in the squad next season and get shifted on after his first full season for hopefully similar money to what i paid for him.

Youth Intake

Is the man to replace him going to come from this first batch of youth players? In all honesty. No

No Superstars there for the time being. Once the season is over i will do a full staff revamp which is going to be needed as bloody Sean Dyche has stolen 3 staff members and taken them to Aston Villa. Anyway... See you for the end of the season
That is a HORRENDOUS youth intake
Certainly not a great youth intake, but an excellent set of results in March have you all but set up for safety. An excellent result against Manchester City cannot be overlooked either. It's evident the improvement you have got from your players and that bodes excellently for next season if you can recruit well.
Well objective number one seems to of been achieved with being 14 points clear, which is great to see. However, that Youth Intake is horrible and you will need much better to match the Class of 92!

Season 1: The Review

On the field

Season 1 is in the bag and with Premiership survival secured the team worryingly took their foot off the pedal and the end of the season was a bit of damp squib as you can see below.

The warning signs were there as early as the Aston Villa and Leicester games where we were lucky to get the 4 points to get us to the magical 40 point barrier and what ended up an overall 15th place finish.

OSo what next?

Well now the fun really starts as i can look to make the squad my own. We need to get the average age down drastically as we have the 2nd oldest squad in the league and it is now time to try and shape it to my vision. Talking of Vision, the club vision has amended a little with the main aim to stay in the division before starting to establish ourselves which i am taking as mid table. My goal for next season is to get ourselves to the 50 point barrier which will probably get us around 12th, potentially higher.

So how do we meet the vision? Well the first part is to invest in the youth facilities which the board have agreed to as we need to start finding our own talent as Burnley isnt going to be go to destination in England for a few years yet. However, in the short term we need some new faces and our budgets have been set

I can live with the transfer budget. £50m should be good wedge but the wage budget has gone up by just £50k per week meaning i have a slight challenge in the level of talent we can attract without shifting on wages. The first name to go will be Joe Hart whose £43k per week makes him one of the highest paid players despite making just 1 appearance all season. Aaron Lennon will also get moved on as well as Kevin Long. That will allow us a bit more to work with but where do we go?

Bailey Peacock-Farrell will step up as the No.2 meaning we are are fine in goal. In Defence we need work as we at times didnt look great. Erik Pieters did an Ok job but his crossing just isn't up to scratch for our wing play tactics so i could move him on, plus he is over 30 so is an area of improvement. A new right back to rival Lowton is essential and potentially a new centre half as Mee and Gibson are not cutting the mustard and we need a decent partner for Tarkowski.

Moving on to the midfield, we still need that MC/AMC who can unlock the team from the centre and we probably need an out and out winger to go on the right hand and a good young back up to Chris Wood. I am sure we will move on the odd player to help move but i sense we could see 7/8 new faces which is right at the maximum the rules allow.

Anyway onto the Summer
It's always difficult to motivate the players once survival is secured. The budget should allow for key improvements to be made.
A pretty horrific end to the season there but you played some tough sides and already had safety secured so it didn't really matter. A good budget to work with next year and a great bit of news with the facilities being upgraded. Hart certainly needs to go on those wages and I trust you will be able to recruit well in the summer.
Love a good squad clean out!

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