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My FM12 Story - Road to the Top

Started on 10 June 2012 by Glenn T
Latest Reply on 2 July 2015 by Glenn T
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I think I forgot to mention we are drawn with Ajax, OM and Dortmund in the Champions' League group stages.
Champions' League Group C
Borussia Dortmund 0 - 2 Man Utd (Hoilett, Hernandez)
Line-up: De Gea, Walker, Jones, Ferdinand, Evra, Roberto, Fletcher, Valencia, Hoilett, Hazard, Hernandez

Good game as Hoilett and Chicharito bagged the goals for us to get the three points.

Man Utd 5 - 0 Norwich (Hernandez, Giggs, Valencia, Roberto(2))
Line-up: De Gea, Rafael, Jones, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Giggs, Valencia, Hoilett, Hazard, Hernandez

Good performance especially from Sergi Roberto as he got two goals for himself after coming on as a substitute, I may actually have to use him as a sub more often since he seems to do more work when he is subbed on than when I hand him a start.

Liverpool 1 - 2 Man Utd (Kuyt/Hernandez, Lucas OG)
Line-up: De Gea, Walker, Jones, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Giggs, Nani, Hoilett, Valencia, Hernandez

Crazy match as each side got tons of yellow cards, Phil Jones got the red, and both Kuyt and Carroll got injured. Jones was sent off in as early as the 10th minute, so our defence became leaky with only Vidic in the center. Nevertheless, Chicharito's 48th-minute screamer and Lucas Leiva's mistake in the 71st minute cancelled out Kuyt's 55-minute equalizer and we clung on for a 1-2 win and the points.

Champions' League Group C
OM 4 - 0 Man Utd (Obraniak, Diarra, Remy, Ayew)
Line-up: De Gea, Walker, Jones, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Roberto, Nani, Hoilett, Hazard, Hernandez

We played poorly and Marseille ended up putting four into the back of our net. A sub-standard performance from the team and some rotation will be in order for the next match.

Man Utd 0 - 2 Arsenal (Montillo, Park Chu-Young)
Line-up: Adler, Walker, Vidic, Smalling, Fabio, Carrick, Fletcher, Valencia, Nani, Cleverley, Hernandez

And of course my apparent rotations does absolutely nothing as Arsenal hammered us 2-0 at Old Trafford with goals coming from Walter Montillo and Park Chu-Young. We need to buck up!

League Cup Fourth Round
Hull City 0 - 1 Man Utd (Rooney)
Line-up: Adler, Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Roberto, Fletcher, Valencia, Nani, Hazard, Rooney

We traveled to Hull for the fourth round of the Carling Cup and we won by only a one-goal margin courtesy of Rooney. Hazard looked to perform better when supporting Rooney rather than Hernandez... hmm..

West Ham 1 - 3 Man Utd (Barrera/Rooney(2), Jones)
Line-up: De Gea, Rafael, Jones, Ferdinand, Fabio, Carrick, Fletcher, Hoilett, Young, Hazard, Rooney

We easily triumphed over newly-promoted West Ham. Rooney scored twice with Hazard assisting one and Jones scored only his second goal for the club in two seasons. Jones has officially usurped Ferdinand's place of being one of my first-choice defenders alongside Vidic with his quality and consistent performances.

Champions' League Group C
Man Utd 4 - 0 OM (Vidic, Rooney(2), Fletcher)
Line-up: De Gea, Walker, Jones, Vidic, Evra, Giggs, Fletcher, Hoilett, Young, Hazard, Rooney

Rooney and Hazard continued their impressive partnership up front as Rooney scored twice again, along with goals from Vidic and Fletcher, to sink OM at Old Trafford. Sweet revenge for what they did to us last time as we also hammered them 4-0.

Man Utd 3 - 1 Stoke (Rooney, Hazard, Nani/De Gea OG)
Line-up: De Gea, Walker, Jones, Vidic, Fabio, Giggs, Fletcher, Nani, Young, Hazard, Rooney

We could have claimed another clean sheet but De Gea made a stupid mistake. Facing an opposition attacker, he brilliantly blocked the shot from going into the net, but as he did he fell and the ball rolled slowly into the net.
I have been offered a job as the head coach of Ivory Coast's national team in the middle of World Cup qualifying. The Football Association of Ivory Coast's expectations is that I qualify easily from the World Cup Quals and the Second Round of the African Nations Quals, whatever that might be. Anyway, I don't follow the African nations so I don't know much about their tournaments and the only World Cup that I have watched is the 2010 World Cup, so I don't know much about qualifying rules and whatsoever. I'll just be playing my matches and try to win all of them so the Ivorian FA won't sack me because I plan to hold this post for quite awhile. Of course, I will still remain head coach of Man Utd. My next Ivory Coast match will be against a different African nation, Seychelles, in a friendly match.
So far...

Glenn Tham
Man Utd, 2011-
Great Britain U23s, 2012
Ivory Coast, 2012-

I have fired all of the Ivory Coast national team staff and brought in my own (there was only an assistant manager, a U23 team manager and a goalkeeping coach). Ivorian Mory Guessan, who left the post of U23 Team Manager in August 2011, will return for a second spell as I hired, or re-hired him, as the U23 Team Manager. Frenchman Arnuad Maire will be my U20 Team Manager, Canadian Justin Palmer is my new assistant manager, and along with them I have brought in three coaches. Jean-Pierre Delaunay and Jean-Marc G'Bizie, both French and Ivorian respectively, and last but not least I handed former French footballing legend Lilian Thuram the last coaching position. This is Thuram's first coaching job and he is also the only person among my staff that have international experience, having won 142 caps for France while the rest of my staff have either not played football professionally before or not won any caps for his country.
I have tried to offer my youngsters to other clubs on loan many times but Trinade de Vilhena, Moises, and Fierro never have any takers. Why is this so? I especially need to send Fierro on loan because he doesn't have a work permit so he can't play in any of the Man Utd matches at all. Moises and Trinade de Vilhena are not getting any playing time because there is Hazard and Cleverley in the attacking midfielder position. I feel loaning them to lower league clubs and getting league experience would be more beneficial to them than dropping them to the Reserves.
Millwall 0 - 0 Man Utd
Line-up: De Gea, Walker, Smalling, Vidic, Fabio, Fletcher, Pogba, Valencia, Young, Hazard, Rooney

We couldn't get a win over 20th-placed Millwall even though they got a man sent off in the 30th minute or so. Unfortunate.

CIV Friendly
Ivory Coast 5 - 1 Seychelles (Yaya Toure(3), Bony Wilfried(2)/Jude Nanoo)
Line-up: Laboue, Eboue, Angoua, Bamba, Boka, Zokora, Romaric, Yaya Toure, Kalou, Wilfried, Traore

The Ivory Coast players showed their class as newly-appointed captain Yaya Toure netted a fabulous hat-trick. Playing in a 4-1-2-1-2 formation, the Ivorians didn't disappoint me in my first match in charge of them. Looking forward to bringing further glory to them in the upcoming tournaments.

Man Utd 3 - 0 QPR (Smalling, Cleverley(2))
Line-up: Adler, Walker, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Giggs, Valencia, Hoilett, Cleverley, Hernandez

Handed Adler his league debut and he didn't disappoint at all. Cleverley scored two and Smalling netted a header. Hazard might be our first choice attacking midfielder now but Cleverley still gives good performances for the team whenever he plays. Quality.

Champions' League Group C
Ajax 2 - 2 Man Utd (Cvitanich(2), Valencia, Hernandez)
Line-up: De Gea, Smalling, Jones, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Giggs, Valencia, Young, Cleverley, Hernandez

Poor draw as we let Ajax equalize twice, with us first going 1-0 up, then 2-1. On the positive side, we have qualified for the knockout stages with this solitary point, and I think we have a very good chance of going all the way to the final again. Hopefully we won't face another Barcelona.

West Brom 1 - 2 Man Utd (Dorrans/Rooney, Nani)
Line-up: De Gea, Walker, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Moises, Pogba, Valencia, Nani, Hazard, Rooney

Handed Moises his first league appearance for Man Utd but he didn't shine at all playing in the central midfield role. I have to send him out on loan fast because he's starved of match experience, along with my other promising youth players. Good three points as Nani created one and scored one goal, but overall we should have won by a bigger margin definitely.

League Cup Quarter Final
Newcastle 2 - 3 Man Utd (Utaka, Cabaye/Trindade de Vilhena, Nani, Rooney)
Line-up: Adler, Rafael, Ferdinand, Jones, Fabio, Roberto, Giggs, Valencia, Nani, Trindade de Vilhena, Welbeck

Trindade de Vilhena gave us a 1-0 lead with his effort in the 2nd minute, racing forward to meet Nani's pass and then easily sending it into the net. Peter Utaka of Newcastle then equalized, and we dominated Newcastle for a long period, and finally in the 90th minute Nani was on the receiving end of a Valencia cross and scored. We looked to be in the semis already but of course Yohan Cabaye had to score in the 94th minute. We continued to dominate Newcastle but just when it looked like it was going to penalties, sub Wayne Rooney scored the decisive goal in the 114th minute. A fascinating match, yet a fiery one as both Cheick Tiote and Michael Dingsdag of Newcastle got sent off. By the 120th minute Newcastle were reduced to eight men and us ten men.

Man Utd 2 - 0 Wigan (Rooney, Nani)
Line-up: Adler, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Hazard, Nani, Young, Trindade de Vilhena, Rooney

Rooney and Nani both scored with the former justifying my decision to start him instead of Hernandez.

Champions' League Group C
Man Utd 3 - 1 Dortmund (Cleverley(2), Nani)
Line-up: Adler, Rafael, Jones, Vidic, Evra, Giggs, Pogba, Nani, Young, Cleverley, Rooney

A 3-1 win for us in the last Champions' League qualifier as we triumphed over 4th-placed Dortmund. 3rd-placed Marseille joins Dortmund in the Europa League as Ajax advances with my squad to the knockout rounds.
I had a few injury problems but they were all short-term and everybody in my first team, with the exclusion of Omar, are healthy. Omar's is a long-term injury that he acquired in a reserve match some time ago, and he'll return in about 1 to 2 weeks after a long while out of football.
Premier League
I've not updated for a long time but have been playing this Man Utd save regularly, and as I am now at the end of February and have played a lot of matches since the last update, I'll just talk about the matches I have played altogether instead of one-by-one. Anyway, we have been going quite steady in the league, with the only blemish being a 5-1 trashing by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. In the league table, we are currently third, yes, third with 59 points. Man City are 1st, followed by 2nd-placed Chelsea. The top three clubs are both level on points, 59, but Man City have a far superior goal difference with a GD of 41, Chelsea is next with 35 while my Man Utd squad have 31. Trailing in our wake is 4th-placed Tottenham who we are nine points clear of, as they only have 50 points. Fulham occupies the Europa League spot in 5th place with 49 points, while Arsenal and Liverpool are 6th and 7th respectively. As a result, Arsene Wenger and Kenny Dalglish are under major pressure and there are rumors flying about in the media that we'll see a managerial change with the two clubs in the near future.

The Cups
We are so far going good in the FA Cup, as we are now in the sixth round after only just beating Portsmouth 1-0 in th fifth round. We have also advanced to the final of the League Cup where we will face Spurs to defend our trophy. Unfortunately, I think we have virtually crashed out of the Champions' League as in the first leg of the first knockout round, we were beaten away by Malaga 5-2. We need at least three more goals in the second leg to advance further. The Malaga thrashing had taken the morale out of my entire squad and a team meeting after that did not help at all, and we struggled in the next match, which was against Portsmouth in the FA Cup fifth round which we won 1-0. Our next match will be against Spurs in the League Cup final so my players better pick themselves up fast.

Transfer news
I wasn't exactly very active in the January transfer window. I brought in no players at all, but I did offload some. Zeki Fryers have moved to West Ham for $800k, Tom Thorpe to Norwich for $400k and lastly Ben Amos to Swansea for $1M. I have managed to get Adnan Januzaj and Robbie Cotton out on loan to Walsall and Portsmouth respectively, as they returned from Preston and Coventry after their six-month loan spells. Trindade de Vilhena also went to Cardiff on loan and I have released academy player Larnell Cole on a free transfer. I have unfortunately been unable to send Carlos Fierro, Moises and Omar out on loan. Two Serie B clubs in Italy were interested in loaning Omar but he refused to go. Moises and Fierro received no offers. Fierro's work permit issues will prevent him for playing any competitive football at all this season, and I'm fearing that such a lack of match experience could stall his progress. Moises also can't play much in his preferred attacking midfielder role as it's occupied by Cleverley and Hazard.

The squad
I have offered Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes contracts and they are both now First Team Coaches and will officially retire from the game at the end of the season. Rio Ferdinand is also going to retire as his first team spot has been taken up by Phil Jones and I'll be looking to get a young full-of-potential center-back who won't mind being backup next season to replace him. Either that, or I could use Robbie Cotton as a center-back anytime one of the normal center-backs aren't fit as he can also play in that position. About my youth players, Sergi Roberto, Omar and Pogba now have more time to play with Giggs and Scholes gone, but they have not impressed much especially Sergi Roberto who isn't consistent at all. Fletcher and Carrick are also playing really badly these days so I might look to ship them out and bring in a quality, proven central midfielder this time who isn't a youth player or anything to replace them because I think I've been spending way too much on youth.
Anders Lindegaard is being an idiot as he has whined about wanting to get some playing time since the start of the season and I have promised to find him a new club as soon as possible and placed him on the transfer list. No one made a move for him in the summer nor the January transfer window and he started talking about it every two weeks, wanting to get transferred from the club, and things like that. After the January transfer window, Lindegaard requested for me to remove him from the club's transfer list as he was willing to stay and be a back-up to De Gea and Adler, but of course in late February he had concerns and mentioned to me that he should get some playing time at least, I said he wouldn't be getting any and as a result he requested to be on the transfer list for a second time in one season.

So far, a host of lower-table Premier League clubs have registered some interest in Lindegaard, but none of them are willing to make a move as they either feel Lindegaard isn't interested in joining them or they feel that his wages are too high. There are also a few MLS clubs in the fray but Lindegaard doesn't look like he wants to move to America. Wigan, QPR, and Newcastle are all a tad bit interested, while America's Rochester Rhinos and Real Salt Lake are also very interested in Lindegaard. Real Salt Lake's head coach has already talked to the media and confirmed his interest in my third-choice keeper.
We narrowly missed the title as Man City claimed it. We were 2nd, points on par with Chelsea who has had a very very good season with Louis van Gaal. Rene Adler have also confirmed that he wants to leave the club after only a season of being De Gea's back-up, so I'll definitely have to be looking for a new goalkeeper in the summer. On the positive side, we won the double of the League Cup and the FA Cup. Wayne Rooney also wanted to leave as he felt that he needed a fresh challenge but I persuaded him to remain with Man Utd for the time being.
I apologize, we're actually third with 83 points. Chelsea is 2nd with 85 points while Man City is 1st with 88 points. Over-acheiving Fulham takes the last Champions' League spot at 4th with 76 points.
You join me on the 1st of September, the end of the 13/14 summer transfer window. I told the board I could do a title challenge and in return the board gave me $174M to spend. So I spent it, City-style.

Transfers In
Arturo Vidal (Juventus, $20M)
Marko Fercek (Frankfurt, $1.8M)
Scott Carson (Bursapor, $15M)
Marvin Martin (FC Sochaux-Montbe, $45M)
Kyriakos Papadopoulos (Schalke, $30M)

Transfers Out
Michael Keane (Brighton, $350k)
Marnick Vermijil (Free)
Charni Ekangamene (Free)
Sam Johnstone (Free)
Alberto Massacci (Free)
Rene Adler (FC Bayern, $25M)
Darren Fletcher (FC Porto, Loan Fee $5M)
Moises (Valladolid, Loan)
Anders Lindegaard (West Brom, $3.8M)
Robbie Cotton (Swindon, Loan)
Kerim Frei (QPR, $3.2M)
Tony Trindade de Vilhena (Cardiff, Loan)
Omar (Zaragoza, Loan)
Sergi Roberto (Malaga, Loan Fee $550k)
Luke McCullough (Free)
Charlie Wade (Free)
Adnan Januzaj (Preston, Loan)

I needed much, much quality in my central midfield so Arturo Vidal and Marvin Martin were brought in. Their clubs demanded astronomical sums so I paid them because I had the cash. The Greek guy with the long name was brought in to replace Rio Ferdinand, who had retired and continued staying at the club in the capacity of coach. Marko Fercek is a 14-year-old German keeper for the future, while Scott Carson was brought in as back-up to De Gea after Adler and Lindegaard's departure. The fans were unhappy with me spending $15M on Carson, and rightfully so, but I couldn't find any other keeper that would be willing to be a back-up and Carson's club demanded $15M. I tried to purchase Felipe Anderson from Real Madrid, but it seems the lad was settled there as he refused to discuss a contract with me.

Michael Keane was never really in my future plans so when Brighton offered me money for him, I accepted - even if Brighton wanted him on a free I would have let him go, really. The rest of the players I released on frees are all youth players that didn't make the cut. Adler, after one season at the club, was tired of being back-up to De Gea and moved on to Bayern Munich who is ironically also using him as a back-up keeper. Lindegaard's predicted departure finally happened as Mark Hughes of West Brom offered $3.8M for him. Kerim Frei also moved on to Queens Park Rangers for $3M as I saw no space for him in my formations even four or five seasons down the road as I had a quality attacking midfielder prospect in Trindade de Vilhena. Omar, Adnan Januzaj, Robbie Cotton, Moises, and Trindade all moved on loan to different clubs to gain first team experience, while Sergi Roberto and Fletcher have been loaned to Malaga and FC Porto respectively with views to permanent deals.

We are so far doing very well in the World Cup 2014 Qualifyers.

World Cup Qualifyers (AFR) Second Round Group 1
Mozambique 0 - 2 Ivory Coast (Wilfried, Romaric)
Line-up: Copa, Eboue, Angoua, Bamba, Tiene, Zokora, Romaric, Yaya Toure, Gervinho, Wilfried, Traore

We triumphed over Mozambique quite easily as goals from Bony Wilfried and Spain-based Romaric earned us three points. Yaya Toure's last international game as he retires from international football after only around two months of being Ivory Coast captain and re-hands the captaincy to Didier Zokora, who was captain before Toure.

World Cup Qualifyers (AFR) Second Round Group 1
Ivory Coast 2 - 1 Malawi (Ya Konan, Doumbia/Msuku)
Line-up: Copa, Eboue, Angoua, Bamba, Tiene, Zokora, Tiote, Razak, Ya Konan, Wilfried, Doumbia

Gave Man City youngster Abdul Razak his first Ivory Coast cap and he did pretty well. Ya Konan and Doumbia's goals gave us three further points as we remain unbeaten in the Qualifyers, with 12 points from 4 games.

The Confederations Cup

Because we had won the last African Cup of Nations(before I was in charge), we were eligible to participate in the Confederations Cup. We were drawn with Samoa, Brazil and Germany in Group B, and as expected we never made it out of there.

Confederations Cup Group B
Ivory Coast 1 - 3 Germany (Angoua, Muller, Gerstung, Hinz)
Line-up: Loboue, Eboue, Angoua, Bamba, Boka, Tiote, Zokora, Romaric, Ya Konan, Wilfried, Doumbia

We were out-classed by Germany completely. Our side got five yellows and one red, and also Ya Konan got injured and was ruled out for the entire tournament.

Confederations Cup Group B
Brazil 5 - 1 Ivory Coast (Neymar(3), Hulk, Lucas Moura/Lucas Leiva OG)
Line-up: Copa, Eboue, Angoua, Bamba, Tiene, Tie-Bi, Zokora, Romaric, Kone, Wilfried, Doumbia

We were out-classed again as a 5-1 thrashing by Brazil sealed our exit from the Confederations Cup. A Neymar hat-trick followed by goals from Hulk and Lucas Moura completely demolished our side, and our only consolation was a Lucas Leiva own goal in the dying minutes.

Confederations Cup Group B
Samoa 0 - 4 Ivory Coast (Traore(4))
Line-up: Yeboah, Dja Djedje, Angoua, Bamba, Boka, Tie-Bi, Zokora, Razak, Tiote, Traore, Doumbia

We at least went home with three points as Samoa suffered an expected three straight defeats at the hands of Brazil, Germany and Ivory Coast. It was Lacina Traore's night as he bagged four for his country, repaying my faith for starting him ahead of regular starter Bony Wilfried.
Manchester United have been drawn in the Champions' League Group H with Zenit, Napoli and SK Rapid Wien.

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