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Dundee United

Challenging the big boys
Started on 20 March 2020 by royman22
Latest Reply on 2 April 2020 by ScottT
Neat update ! im late to the party also a Rangers man my self. But love reading the Scottish stories.
Great first season ! looking forward to the rest. How is Mochrie Getting on for you ? try and bring Finlay Robertson to your side of the street ! seen some one do it on another forum! he managed both Dundee teams and it was so neat to see. Players switch sides !

keep up the good work about to catch up on all your posts !
How's it going, Royman? Any more posts coming for this story?
Thank you all for commenting, unfortunately I have blasted a bit too far ahead to do a traditional update, but I want to give a run-through of how I've been doing so far.

One of the reasons for this is because there was no consistency and I realised that I might need to change things up a bit, but I didn't know how. Thankfully I realised in the end and it was due to what some alluded to on here- too many players like to go into the same kind of space. I'll explain what I am doing now at the end.

As you can see, we survived our first season in the Premier League in a reasonably comfortable manner, but we didn't set the world alight. None of our forwards were consistent, even Shankland, who although finishes quite well from time to time, does not contribute well enough to the team as a whole and does not finish consistently enough to be considered an integral first team player. Unfortunately I did not have any options to replace him...until this current season. More on that later.

Now onto our second season.

I realised we needed to bolster our defence with some quality players so I signed Jake Clarke Salter who has been excellent. Unfortunately he is currently pushing for a move. I aim to keep him as long as possible and will include him in the heart of our defence still.

Our second season was still plagued by inconsistency, which was perhaps due to my poor tactics, I was just trying to go on a match to match basis, rather than putting in my own style of play which hindered both myself and the players. We managed to finish 5th and get a European place, but we still had 17 defeats and I felt were in there through the skin of our teeth, not due to any quality or anything like that.


Unfortunately we could not replicate our form in the Betfred Cup, and were knocked out to Rangers in the Quarter-final. There is no shame in that I must say.

What I must say about my time with Dundee United, is that we have become somewhat of a cup team, which is typical I guess of a team who does not find form in the league, and we found ourselves having another good run in the Scottish Cup where we built Celtic at home and got a last minute equalizer against Kilmarnock in our next match. We then managed to beat them away from home. It was a bit odd to be honest, they played 4-4-2 away against us and to be honest obliterated us, at our place then played 5-3-2 at home and were flat. It was a very odd decision but we made the most of it.

We found ourselves in the final against Hamilton who were somewhat of a surprise package but who had beaten both Hearts and Hibs en route to the final, two teams who I find to be a pain in the backside, so I knew we had to be wary, so let's see how we got on.

An hard fought 3-2 victory. I feared the worst at first, Hamilton were a tough team to break down, and with them getting an early lead, I was worrying as to how we were going to get back into the match, but we did it, and in all honesty, we probably should have avoided extra time, but it made things a bit more thrilling and I was so pleased that we managed to find the winner as it meant we were into the Europa League proper rather than the Euro ll Cup - what is that anyway, I actually don't understand it.

Alright, this is my new set of tactics, I realised that Scotland, as a whole have a much better standard of players and passers that they are given credit for. I mean look at John McGinn, Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, Andy Robertson just to name a few. Some genuinely brilliant players there and even within my own squad, you've got Declan Glass (who I will upload on another post), Manu Molina ( I know, I know, not Scottish but he's a gem), Lewis Neilson and Chris Mochrie, I had a core here which we could build on.

Thank you for reading, and I'm going to post how we did in the current season and some of those players profiles in the next post...
Congratulations on cup success! You're establishing Dundee United back into the Scottish Premiership rather well. The first season back may not have been ideal but the most recent season shows encouraging signs for the future. Looking forward to how you faired in your third season back.
Due to finally reaching the Europa League, we entered the Betfred Cup at a later stage. Unfortunately, we got knocked out by Rangers....again. No shame but I hope we get further next season.

I hoped to retain the Scottish Cup to maintain our form of winning one cup a season. Unfortunately we slipped up at the Quarter-final stage. I am not one to make excuses, but our squad were very tired at this stage, as you will see in a moment.

One of the highlights of our season has been the Europa League, our form was incredible. Beating Qarabag home and away, beating Dinamo, drawing at home to AC Milan, and beating Napoli. We were unfortunate against Sevilla, losing in the latter stages of extra-time was a blow, but we played exceptionally, and it's no shame going out to the (unsurprising) winners of the tournament.

A little bit off picture is that we lost 3-2 to Brondby in the first leg...however we won 4-0 in our 2nd leg, so, it doesn't matter too much.

Our league form was much, much better this season and featured a lot of fantastic victories, including a 1-0 win at Parkhead which put Celtic winning the title back a week. On the whole though, we need to be doing better against teams like Hearts, Hibs and Kilmarnock who we didn't beat once in the league.

As you can Manu Molina was by far our best player, and was even voted the Scottish writers player of the year which is something, I will show you more of him in our next post.

Due to our Europa League run, and our position in the league, we are finally out of the red, and I may be allowed to buy quite a few players in the transfer window, something I've been dying to do for quite a while. We've had to cope with loanees and free transfers too much and it as stretched our squad too much sometimes. I believe we have a good core there, we just need some more strength in depth.

I have already got some en route to the club from Motherwell, and I will be making some more signings. I'm tempted to also get rid of Shankland, he's pushing 30, and he's never really impressed me too much, but I will wait and see on that one.

Thank you for reading again.
Ray Wallace is the first really consistent forward I've had in the top division and it's his first year as a professional, I mainly play him as a target man support, and he usually has high ratings, contributes to our style of play, and bags quite a few goals. He has 15 goals in 32 matches in fact which is exceptional for a first year professional.

This is also Mike Sinclair's first season as a professional, he has 13 clean sheets in 30 games and looks to have a very bright future in the game.

Lewis Neilson plays in the Busquets role and is very accomplished there, playing 45 games, scoring 1 goal and getting an overall rating of 7.29. I will need to buy someone else there, as he is the only one at the club who can play in the role.

I weren't too sure how to fit Chris Mochrie in at first, but I realised I had an exceptional player on my hands so I had to work him in somehow, which is another reason why I developed my new tactic. He had a very good break out season, scoring 3 goals in 42 matches and getting an overall rating of 7.14. With Manu Molina on the wrong side of 30, Chris Mochrie will be his long-term replacement.

Declan Glass is very versatile, and very very good in every role he plays in. He's fitted right in at the top and has already made his Scotland debut. It'll be very good if I can hold onto him for the long-term.

Manu Molina, what can I say about him. He cost absolutely nothing, (got him on a free from Linense, now worth £5.5 million), and he has given the club everything. He was brilliant before, but this new tactic has brought another level out of him. He has 6 goals and 12 assists in 42 matches.

I will go back to doing monthly updates now. Thank you all again for reading.
2020-03-24 13:28#267929 Buvver : Neat update ! im late to the party also a Rangers man my self. But love reading the Scottish stories.
Great first season ! looking forward to the rest. How is Mochrie Getting on for you ? try and bring Finlay Robertson to your side of the street ! seen some one do it on another forum! he managed both Dundee teams and it was so neat to see. Players switch sides !

keep up the good work about to catch up on all your posts !

Thank you, I'll have a look at that Robertson, and see how he's getting on. Thank you again for reading, I hope you've enjoyed them.
These updates are great, Royman! Glad you are continuing the save and having success. Good luck in the next season and I look forward to the tactics and match updates. :)
Unfortunately Jake Clarke Salter left us, he departed for Getafe for a fee that could rise to £16.75 million. However, we made a number of good signings, and I have faith academy product, Nathan Cooney can fill in for the time being.

I know, I know, he's mainly a full back, but he's played centre-back for me a number of times and is quite comfortable in the role and has played well there.

Okay, onto the signings. I have shown you Josh Gray in a previous post. Balogun and Harwood-Bellis have also signed on loan for another season as well. Unfortunately Celtic recalled Dembele and have sold him to City for £15 million

Dean was a £800,000 signing from St Mirren and can fill in pretty much anywhere, he will be a superb addition to the side.

Nkosi was a £2.3 million signing from Ross County, and his youth and versatlity will be a great tool for years to come.

I also made 2 additional loan signings to help bolster the squad. They join from City and Utd respectively.

I still have £8 million to spend from the Clarke-Salter deal, I will be on the lookout for more deals. I tried for Finlay Robertson but he turned us down unfortunately.
We were drawn to play away at Hibernians in the quarter-final of the Betfred Cup.

We had only beaten them one time in eleven matches. The record now stands at one win in 12 matches. We just couldn't finish any of our early chances, then we got a sucker punch which we didn't recover from. Not good enough.

Middling form in the league once more, we've had a lot of games to contend with in the first month again, including some Europa 2 qualifying matches which you will see in a minute. 2 wins and 2 draws sees us in 6th place. I'm hoping for some more consistency going forward, but it's a reasonable start all things considering.

We overcame Tobol quite comfortably in our first qualifying games for the Europa League 2, but Grasshoppers we struggled a bit against. We dominated home and away, but we just could not finish our chances again, and I hope this does not become a recurring theme of the season. We did manage to take the lead in extra time thankfully and we ended up going into the group stages where we will play Vitesse, Rostov and AGF.

Player of the month has to go to Florentin Balogun who has started on fire, getting 6 goals in 9 matches.

A manageable group I think. Good luck.
Now, I have played a little bit far on than I am supposed, we're at the stage of the season where there is a split, and although we had some middling form at the start of the season, a spark has well and truly been lit in this side, where games like this are quickly becoming the norm.


As you can see, we're bagging goals, having lots of possession and the side is developing a formidable style of play, which is taking Europe by storm, which you will see in a future update.

However for this one, let's see how we are in the league.

4th in the league, but we're closer to the top at this stage than we've ever been . 7 points in probably too much ground to make up this season, but it bodes well for the future, and shows that the coming seasons will be bright.

Josh Gray was a snip for £2.9 million, and is currently and probably will be our player of the season. He's made his Scotland debut this season, and has already got 2 goals and 3 caps, and is now worth £7 million. He is also our first striker who has got more than 20 goals in a season, which shows I was right in getting rid of Shankland who had now moved to Malaga for £6 million.

Our finances are also very healthy, no doubt aided by a healthy Europa League 2 run, which you will see in a future updates. Chris Mochrie as also left for Chelsea after having his £9.25 million release clause activiated.

The next update will focus on our two incredible cup runs. That should be up before the end of the day. Thank you for reading.
Looking forward to the Cup updates, Royman!
Okay, let's start with the Europa League 2, we were drawn in a easy group with Vitesse, Rostov and AGF.

It was quite an easy group and as to be expected, we eased through it and finished top, thanks to a 3-1 victory away at Rostov.

We were drawn with OB, who we also got past comfortably, beating them 7-3 on aggregate, but let's see how we did after that.

SO SO CLOSE to our first European final, the second leg against Ajax was easily one of the best matches I've been in charge of on Football manager. The first leg, we were a bit tired - this summer, I will be buying a few quality squad players and lost 1-0 late on due to a late goal by David Neres. Danny Van De Beek got an early goal in the 2nd leg and I thought that would be that, but we weathered the storm. I went 4-2-4 and we got two late goals to put us through to the semi-final where we faced Hertha Berlin.

Once again, the damage was done in the first leg, we were the better team, they scored 2 goals from only 3 on target and we couldn't put away the rest of our chances. We scored in the first half of the 2nd leg, but we just couldn't get that crucial 2nd. Hertha Berlin went through, and lost to Arsenal on penalties in the final.

Okay time for the Scottish Cup

A brilliant run, including even beating Hearts which was one of the key things I wanted to do this season. We were drawn to play Rangers in the final, a little bit harder than our last final against Hamilton, but fingers crossed we can do just as good against them...

Completely and utterly dominant, absolutely everything came together perfectly, and shows that we are finally developing the right blend at the club. This means that it is our 4th cup that we've won since my time at the club. In the coming years we need to add a league title, or you never know even a European title, but we are fast becoming one of the best teams in Scotland.

I am not going to do an update on our league form after the split, because to put it bluntly, there's no point, we lost to Celtic in the first game of the split, meaning we had no chance of a league title or finishing second, we had fourth wrapped up and you get the same thing for finishing 3rd as 4th so I rested my players for our final Europa Cup games and for the final of the Cup final.

So long story short, we lost 4 of our last 5 games, and drew 1 of them, against Ross County and we stayed 4th, but we won a cup, got to the semi-finals of the Europa League, and we finished with 2 more points than we did last season. So a really good season all in all.
The gap is closing in terms of the difference in quality between the likes of Celtic and Rangers and yourselves. An incredible victory against the 'Gers in the Scottish Cup and a terrific effort in the European Conference. Ajax are a well-established side and to beat them is very encouraging.

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