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Author’s notes:

Hey guys! Welcome to my first ever attempt at writing a FM Story. I have been following the forum all the way from Singapore for many years and I enjoy reading all the awesome stories written by all the aspiring writers in here. You guys truly inspire me and today, I finally pluck up enough courage to start a story of my own.

Here are a few important pieces of game info:
FM 2013 version - 13.0.0
Game Start Date – 12.1.2013
Database Size – Large
Selected Leagues – Singapore (Singaporean League Only), England (npower Championship And Above), Germany (German First Division Only), Italy (Serie A Only), Spain (LIGA BBVA Only)

The story will be presented in the form of a manager’s diary and all characters in the story are currently existent in the footballing world. However, developments of the characters are purely fictional and not representative of the actual people. Like some of the great stories on the forum, personalities and attitudes of the characters will be developed based the game engine.

I know I will enjoy writing for you readers out there and I hope you guys would feel the same reading it. Presenting to you my first ever FM Story, “Teddy’s Diary”.

FM_Singapore
18.7.2013
 
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The Big Day

12 Jan 2013, Sat

7.00


I couldn’t sleep well last night. Having spent a long day at Carrington preparing the team for today’s game against Swansea, I was supposed to be tired enough for bed. But no, I couldn’t help tossing and turning in bed.


At the end of training on Thursday, David Gill dropped by Carrington with Malcolm Glazer to break the news to the players and the coaching staff. The club had decided to appoint me as the caretaker manager till the end of the season after the unfortunate demise of Sir Alex (Ferguson). The gaffer had collapsed miraculously the previous day in office and was diagnosed to have died suddenly from a suspected heart attack. It was a sad day for everyone associated with the club but the upper management team had to make a decision fast.

The replacement had to be short-term. The guys up there had no time to pull in a long-term successor with the next game in two days. The natural choice would be someone from the coaching staff and I wasn’t expecting the call with the likes of Mike (Phelan) and Rene (Meulensteen) above me. David explained that he saw something in me that am right for the job and he wanted to keep the structure of the coaching team intact while making the appointment.

I had no right to refuse the offer. Having taken a long break from the game, I was back in coaching when the gaffer offered me a chance to work with the strikers. I had done up my badges a couple of years ago and like every aspiring manager, I want the United job in the near future and I see it as the pinnacle of any managing career. Even though it was made absolutely clear to me that the appointment was a short term one, I was determined to give it a real go. If I could do a decent job, who knows, I could be offered the job long term.

Finally but slowly, I pulled myself out of bed and got ready for the big day.
 
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The Starting Eleven

9.00

Sir Alex did not exactly leave the club in its best position. We are now fifth behind surprise table toppers Newcastle, improving Tottenham, noisy neighbours Man City and the ever present Chelsea. However, the gaffer was relentless as usual in the cups and we are now ninety minutes away from the Capital One Cup Final after a 3-1 home win in the first leg. Chelsea and Man City battled it out in the other semi-final, with Man City holding the advantage after a brilliant 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge. Champions League advancement was achieved in swashbuckling style after five wins and a solitary draw sealed top spot.


Being seven points behind the leaders and with the club still in a state of shock after the surprise death of our most successful manager ever, the board was less expectant of me. We both agreed that achieving Champions League qualification would be a fair target for a transitional season and with the transfer window opened, I was given a healthy transfer budget of 28.75M pounds to strengthen the squad.

There was no time to waste as I ponder on my first ever starting eleven.

The gaffer had always favored a system with a strong central defensive partnership, two marauding full-backs, two central holding playmakers for possession recycling and a fluid attack with four attacking players interchanging.

I am different.

With the evolution of football tactics, many teams typically make use of technical and clever players to exploit the space between the defense and midfield. I have always favored a midfield anchor and this time round, it will be no different. Darren Fletcher and Phil Jones will challenge for the spot and with Darren currently out injured, Phil will protect the defense today. The back five takes care of itself really with Rafael, Rio, Vida and Pat positioned in front of the ever improving David De Gea.

Two additional central midfield players will play in front of Phil in a strong midfield triangle. I have lots of options with Carrick, Clev, Scholesy, Giggsy, Ando and young Nick Powell all available for selection. For the Swansea game, I have decided to go with Carrick and Scholesy to provide the ammunition for the front three.

Nani, Young, Antonio and Shinji will battle it out for the two starting berths down the wings and having watched their performances in training closely, Antonio and Shinji will get the nod down the right and left wing respectively. The hardest choice I had to make today was dropping either Wayne or Van Persie for the lone striker role and I have gone with the power and strength of Wayne, leaving the technical excellence of last season’s player of the year on the bench.


This eleven will be my first ever starting lineup of my managerial career, with Lindegaard, Smalling, Buttner, Anderson, Nani, Young and van Persie waiting to come on from the bench. And with that, we set off on a four hour bus ride from Manchester to the Liberty Stadium.
 
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Beating The Swans

15.00

The Liberty Stadium is neatly situated in the Landore area of Swansea, Wales. With a capacity of 20,750, it is shared by both Swansea City Football Club and the Ospreys. Being the proud first Premier League ground in Wales, it has the lowest capacity of the stadia in the world’s most competitive league.

Swansea City, notoriously known as the football club which was sold for one pound, returned to the top flight via the Championship Play-Off’s under the current Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. They now sit prettily on ninth place under the guidance of the football legend Michael Landrup and he will be looking for an upset after a crazy few days at the club.

In the away dressing room, I gave my first ever pep talk to the boys and made it absolutely clear that we had to win the game given our poor position in the league. I saw fire in some of the boys’ eyes and Rafael in particular looked motivated.

When the team left for the tunnel, I pulled Scholesy and Carrick aside and told them I had faith in their capabilities to take care of the ball against a team which base their game on possession. They looked happy and went off to join the rest in the tunnel.

The English midfield pair repaid my faith by keeping the ball well in the opening ten minutes, helping the team to sixty-five percent of the possession. And who says the nation has no players who can take good care of the ball?


Despite having majority of the possession, Swansea was looking threatening whenever they had the ball and right after the 13[SUP]th[/SUP] minute mark, Kagawa lost out to Tiendalli in the air and the ball broke for the tricky Pablo Hernandez on the right flank. He collected the ball and cut inside Evra comfortably before clipping the ball cheekily towards the top right hand corner of the goal. De Gea was beaten all ends up and thankfully, the ball cannoned off the frame of the goal before Rio cleared the ball to safety. I was livid as I waved frantically for the players to get closer to Hernandez before he hurt us.

On the 15[SUP]th[/SUP] minute, Patrice collected the ball down the left wing before laying it off to Carrick, who in turn delivered a decent ball into the area towards Antonio. The powerful winger rose above Chico and crashed a header past Tremmel onto the bar as we missed a terrific chance to go in front.


We continued dominating the proceedings and on the 20[SUP]th[/SUP] minute, from a cleared corner, Rafael volleyed the ball back down the field and found Shinji at the corner of the penalty area. He twisted sharply past two Swansea players and carried the ball menacingly into the area before hitting the ball towards the far corner with his weaker left. To my delight, the ball found its way past Tremmel into the net and the Japanese wizard had given me a great start to my managerial career.

Seven minutes later, we won a free-kick right outside the penalty box and wearing the number seven jersey, Antonio took control of the ball and thundered the ball off the crossbar. With the ball now free in the air, Vida rose high above Williams and nodded the ball into the net, only to be ruled out by the assistant referee for a push on the Swansea captain. The joy we had was short lived.

For the rest of the half, both keepers had nothing much to do before the referee blew for half-time. Back in the dressing room, majority of the boys seemed composed and I warned them against complacency. Rafael, Patrice and Scholesy responded positively while goal scorer Shinji was looking to switch off after looking the best player in the first half. I sent the team back out early as there was no need to make changes to a game plan which worked to near perfection in the first period.

We started the half on fire and continued to create the more dangerous openings and on the 53[SUP]rd[/SUP] minute, we won a free-kick inside Swansea’s half. Scholesy waved the players forward before sending a delicious ball right in between the Swansea’s defense and their keeper. Carrick broke free of his marker and rose to knock the ball past the hapless Tremmel to put us two goals up.

The two central midfielders had combined superbly to get us the all-important second goal and the away fans broke into a familiar chorus of ‘Hard to believe it’s not Scholes, it’s Carrick, you know…’ Both Carrick and Scholesy saluted the fans as the team jogged back in delight towards the center circle.

On the hour mark, I made my first substitutions, bringing on Ando and van Persie for the tiring Scholesy and Wayne respectively. Wayne had a nervy game upfront on his own and did nothing to justify his selection ahead of the Dutch striker. Ando looked happy after I gave him a pat of faith to his back.


Fifteen minutes from the end, the pair of substitutes made use of their extra energy and combined superbly to put the team three goals up. Shinji cuts inside skillfully before sliding a well weighted pass into Ando’s path. The Brazilian midfielder sent the ball through for the mobile Dutch superstar with one touch and the man they call RVP put the ball comfortably past the Swansea keeper with great composure. The points were in the bag.

Ten minutes from time, I withdrew the exhausted Carrick for Nani, with the Portugese enigma taking Shinji’s place down the left wing and the Japanese attacker tucking in behind van Persie in a new 4-2-3-1 formation. The boys closed the game out comfortably and I was off to a great start.


Three goals. Three points. Bring on Southampton.

Swansea 0 – 3 Man United (Goals: Shinji Kagawa 21, Michael Carrick 53, Robin van Persie 75)
 
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Post Swans

16.45


After a solid win, the team took one tiny step forward from the unfortunate happenings in the past few days. The boys looked a whole lot happier and it was amazing to see what a win could do to the spirits around the camp.


However, things aren’t looking rosier in the league table. We are still seven points behind Newcastle after their 2-1 victory against an overachieving Q.P.R team. Demba Ba and Jonas Gutierrez gave the Magpies a two goal lead before Armand Traore threatened a late comeback with a late strike.


Tottenham kept pace with the league leaders after a 3-1 victory at Villa Park and the win was made easier with a quick fire double from Gareth Bale. It was no great surprise to see the media linking the club to the Welsh superstar after yet another superb showing from him.


Back in Manchester, the defending champions eased to a 3-0 home victory against struggling Norwich with goals from Edin Dzeko (2) and Samir Nasri to cling onto third spot.


The only positive result of the day took place at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea battled back from two goals down to secure a point through strikes from Oscar and Frank Lampard. Chris Brunt and Shane Long gave West Brom a shocking two goal lead before the European Champions stormed back to equalize.


Elsewhere, Arsenal, Liverpool, Stoke and Wigan secured home wins against Everton, Reading, West Ham and Fulham respectively while relegation threatened Southampton and Sunderland drew two all at the St. Mary’s Stadium.




At the postmatch press conference, everything was rosy and positive. TEAMtalk.com pointed out that we hit the frame of the goal an amazing three times during the course of the match and that was the story of the game really. I was thankful that it only denied us of a more commanding scoreline as we were so comfortable that we could have won the game by five or six goals.


Despite looking distracted during the half-time team talk, Shinji kept up his great showing in the second period to pick up the man of the match award and I took the chance to laud the Japanese for his outstanding contribution in the game.


With the transfer window opened and a new manager at the helm, the press conference wouldn’t be complete without queries about possible transfer dealings. The Manchester Evening News questioned me about the ongoing rumors regarding the possible transfer of Gareth Bale. I was very happy with my options out wide despite the obvious desire to strengthen other positions and I answered truthfully that the club wasn’t looking to sign him.




On the team bus back home, I pondered about the squad and the possible ins and outs during the transfer window.


The goalkeeping department is looking healthy with De Gea and Anders Lindegaard battling it out for the starting spot. The central defense is well covered with Smalling and Evans covering for the elegant Rio and club captain Vida.


The full-back positions are a concern for me. Rafael remains the only specialist right-back in the squad and I wasn’t sure of Buttner covering for Patrice on the other flank. I will certainly be looking to strengthen both positions in the next two weeks.


We have both quality and numbers in the midfield and I am not keen to disrupt the stability in that area. Due to the fact that I prefer playing one upfront, we have a few extra strikers in the squad and I will be looking to move on a few in the current transfer window reluctantly.




With Southampton game a mere three days away, there was no time to spare as I look forward to a hectic few days ahead. Time to catch a wink.


Signing off,
Teddy.
 
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Naughty Nani

15 Jan 2013, Tue


10.45



Prematch press conference once again revolved around transfer dealings and this time round it was on something that’s more likely to happen. I was questioned about the interest in young English left-back Luke Shaw and I did not hesitate to express my interest in him with both Spurs and Arsenal having bided for the player.




Luke is more for the future as he is still under developed. He’s not going to provide better cover for Pat than Buttner and I am liking the look of Leighton Baines at Everton. Nevertheless, David Moyes will not be looking to sell his prized asset and if he’s forced to do it, the offer has to be enormous and I will have some thinking to do about this.




19.00


With the Chelsea game just two days away from our home clash against Southampton, I have no choice but to rotate the squad and eight changes were made to the eleven who started against Swansea. Smalling, Evans, Buttner, Clev, Ando, Nani, Young and RVP start today and despite so many changes, I was convinced that this side was good enough to score more goals than the newly promoted side.




I made my expectations very clear in the prematch pep talk that I fully expect a win to keep the run going and the central defensive partnership of Evans and Vida were looking determined.


Southampton started brightly and won a corner right on the fifth minute of the game. Adam Lallana sent the corner towards the near post and Evans anticipated well to head the ball clear. Clev picked the ball up on the edge of the area and carried the ball down the left flank before finding Young just inside Southampton’s half. Almost Beckham-like, the English winger sent a brilliant cross field ball right onto Nani’s chest.




Without hesitation, the Portuguese magician cut into the area sharply and found himself face to face with Artur Boruc. To the crowd’s delight, Nani slammed the ball past the keeper with lots of conviction before celebrating wildly with the players right in the goal.


We continued dominating the proceedings and Nani was looking lively down the right flank. Van Persie really should have put the side two goals clear after a mazy run and cross from the Portuguese winger but the Dutch striker could only shoot straight at his marker.


Five minutes from half-time, Nani picked the ball up from Evans’ headed clearance after another Southampton corner. With only one thing on his mind, he drove at the defense with poise and having just reached the penalty area, he spotted the keeper off his line and chipped the ball towards goal with his left. The ball struck the underside of the cross bar before bouncing into the side netting and once again, the winger from Cape Verde Islands brought the Old Trafford crowd to their feet.




Despite dominating the half in terms of chances created, Southampton had more of the ball than us and I told the players to take better care of the ball in the second period. The midfield pairing of Ando and Clev responded positively and I knew they will do better in the second period.


With one eye on the Chelsea game, the team took their foot off the pedal and both keepers saw very little action in the second half. On the 70th minute, two goal hero Nani picked up a knock and I had no choice but to bring him off for Shinji, who went straight to the left flank while Young swapped to the right.




The Japanese wasted little time to stake his claim for the Chelsea game. Buttner and Ando combined well to pick out Shinji down the left and with just three touches, the ball ended up at the back of the net. He left the Polish keeper with no chance with a screamer from the edge of the area.


With the points in the bag, I withdrew Jones and Vida in hopes of keeping them fresh for the crucial Chelsea game. Carrick and Rio took their places for the last ten minutes.




Unfortunately, the changes destabilized the team and Southampton scored through Jason Puncheon after some good work down the left by Lallana. Buttner was overpowered at the far post and that reaffirmed the fact that he isn’t good enough for the club. Thankfully, the goal came too late and we managed to close the game out.




Man United (Nani 5 41, Shinji Kagawa 77) 3 – 1 Southampton (Jason Puncheon 85)
 
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Excellent work! Really enjoyed reading this a lot and I appreciate the hard work you put into writing this. Deserve a lot more likes and views imo.
 
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Wanted to add that this is a real FM Story. It's so much better than threads which are basically boasting through updates. Those threads turn me off!
 
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Wanted to add that this is a real FM Story. It's so much better than threads which are basically boasting through updates. Those threads turn me off!
Thanks for your flattering words Becksmania. Every writer has his/her own style I guess, I do enjoy most of the threads here :D
 
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Mixed Feelings

21.30

When things go your way, everything goes your way. Results elsewhere have gone our way.


Everton did us a terrific favor by beating Chelsea before we face them. Marouane Fellaini scored the solitary goal in a fiery game where seven yellows and two reds were issued to the players.

After cowardly allowing Man City to beat them on the last day of last season, Q.P.R staged a late comeback to rescue a point in a goal fest. Alejandro Faurlin grabbed a late double to cancel out City’s two goal lead to secure a 3-3 draw at Loftus Road.

In the most shocking result of the day, I had Jason Roberts to thank for spurring Reading on to a surprise 2-0 victory against the league leaders Newcastle. He caught the Magpies by surprise and helped himself to two goals in the opening thirteen minutes of the game.


It was a disastrous day for Tottenham as they lost the game and their star player against Liverpool. Gareth Bale tore his hamstring in a match where Steven Gerrard turned out to be the match winner with a well-struck penalty.

West Brom and West Ham secured one goal home victories against Wigan and Swansea respectively while there were three other away victors in Aston Villa, Stoke and Arsenal against Fulham, Norwich and Sunderland respectively.


18 Jan 2013, Fri

10.15


The past few days have been mad busy as I worked hard on transfer dealings of both the staff and the players. Brian McClair, Garry Armer, Neil Hough, Rob Swire, Peter Braund, Tony Coulter, Torben Aakjaer, Richard Hawkins, Mike Phelan and Alan Fettis have decided to leave the club after the forced resignation of Sir Alex. Dave Galley, Paul Winsper, Dave Parnaby, Francisco Ayestaran, Mauro Tassotti, Andy Renshaw, Sergio Zanetti and Tony Coton were brought in to fill the empty spaces.

Eleven reserve team players were moved on as I looked to trim the squad. Bringing in reinforcements was proving to be a tough task as I continued to draw a blank with less than two weeks left in the transfer window. I took a risk by moving Buttner on to Wolves despite no players coming the other way.



On a brighter note, we are now four points behind leaders Newcastle on joint second with Man City and Spurs. The lads are buzzing and it’s always a good sign ahead of big matches. For me, it’s vital to get my tenure to a good start against the big teams and stake my claim for the job long term.

There’s great pressure on me succeeding the greatest manager in the club’s history but I am unafraid of it.

I want to strive under it.

When time was ticking and when the pressure to complete the treble was the greatest, I was the player who swiveled to send the ball past Kahn for the equalizer in that dramatic champions league final at Nou Camp.

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

Signing off,
Teddy
 
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Rooney's Perfect Treble

19 Jan 2013, Sat

15.00


Seven changes were made to the team which started against Southampton.

De Gea
Rafael
Rio
Vida
Pat
Jones
Scholesy
Carrick
Nani
Shinji
Wazza


Nani keeps his place after a brilliant individual display on Wednesday. If the Portuguese enigma can work more on his team play and be less selfish in his game, he will go on to be a big player for the rest of the season. Rafael, Rio, Pat, Scholesy, Carrick, Shinji and Wazza come back into the starting eleven to inject some much needed freshness ahead of the big game.

Many of Chelsea’s starting eleven played in the midweek game against Everton and having rotated the team, the lads will certainly be fresher than their opponents. During the pre-match pep talk, I challenged the boys to display that extra bit of energy and put Chelsea out of the title race. Jones looked fired up.

The boys responded brilliantly.

Five minutes into the game, Pat made a crunching tackle on his fellow Frenchman Ben Arfa and the ball broke for Shinji down the left. He laid the ball back for our vice captain and the French wing back hits the ball first time through for the on rushing Carrick. The English playmaker drove towards the byline before sending the ball towards the near post.


Wazza anticipated brilliantly to slide the ball home ahead of Gary Cahill past their second choice keeper Ross Turnbull. The English talisman showed tremendous desire to get to Carrick’s cross and he was rewarded with the tenth league goal of the season.

The boys kept up the energy level and on the 25th minute, Rafael went on a powerful run down the right before driving the ball low into the box. This time, Cahill managed to thwart Rooney with a well-timed challenge and the ball broke free right outside the six yard box.

Like the player of old, Scholesy arrived in the box with brilliant timing to side foot home past Turnbull to give us a precious two goal lead. The home fans rose to salute the Old Trafford legend.

We continued to put pressure on Chelsea’s defense and our opponents had no answer to our high tempo game. Right before half-time, Carrick found Shinji down the left flank from Turnbull’s miscued clearance and the Japanese schemer attempted to cut inside Cesar Azpilicueta without hesitation.


The Spanish right-back tackled the ball cleanly but the ball fell kindly for midfield anchor Jones, who laid the ball back to the brilliantly positioned Carrick. The English technician controlled the ball with one touch and passed the ball into the bottom corner with composure. Just like that, we went into half-time three goals up.

I praised the players and encouraged them to keep up the good work before sending them out early without making changes to our original game plan.

To my delight, the lads started the second half like how they ended the first and on the 47th minute, Shinji picked the ball up on the counter and drove towards the byline down the left. He found Rooney unmarked inside the six yard box and the English superstar headed the ball past Turnbull with ease. We were cruising.

Substitutions can give you the edge in games but they can also have the opposite effect on some days. On the hour mark, I withdrew the tiring pair of Rafael and Scholesy for Smalling and Giggsy respectively and to my dismay, Chelsea pulled a goal back shortly.

From a cleared corner, Mata sent Torres through after substitute Smalling failed to track the Spanish striker. He pulled the ball back from the byline and found Brazilian prodigy Oscar, who beat Carrick with ease before slamming the ball past De Gea at his near post. We were caught on the counter.

Thankfully, the lads responded well and we did what they did to us fifteen minutes from the end. From a Mata free-kick, Vida towered above the crowd of players to head clear and the clearance found Nani, who in turn found Shinji on the break and the inside forward went on yet another mazy run.

As he approached the area, he spotted Nani free in the box and picked him out with ease. The Portuguese winger headed the ball back from where it came from and Wazza side footed home to complete the perfect hat trick of right-footed, left-footed and headed goals. This time round, he has justified his selection ahead of van Persie.
With ten minutes remaining, Evans was brought on for the ageing Rio and the veteran left the field to a standing ovation.

Having made all three changes, we had to play out the final few minutes with ten men as Jones picked up an injury towards the end. This did not dampen the spirits as Nani bagged the team’s sixth of the afternoon. He collected Giggsy’s pass and cut inside from the right with speed before finding the bottom corner superbly from twenty-five yards. The team was on fire.

That was not the last piece of action in the entertaining game. Right before the final whistle, the tricky Nani had time left to draw a challenge from Ashley Cole, who had already been booked earlier. The day went from bad to worse for the Blues as the referee sent the English left-back off after two bookable offences.


Man United (Wayne Rooney 4 47 77, Paul Scholes 25, Michael Carrick 44, Nani 88) 6 – 1 Chelsea (Oscar 64)
 
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Great update and what a great result, mind posting up the tactics that you use?
 
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Transfers

20 Jan 2013, Sun

16.45


We are now closer to the top of the table.

The established defensive pair of Aaron Hughes and Brede Hangeland both scored to pile misery on league leaders Newcastle as they suffer yet another defeat.

Defending champions Man City secured a great away win against Bale-less Spurs to go second in the table. The noisy neighbors have a game in hand on their nearest rivals and now sit prettily on second place. Spurs are three points behind us on fourth and Chelsea fell further behind on fifth after two successive defeats.


21 Jan 2013, Mon

19.00


Today, I make my first ever signings in the transfer market.


Leighton Baines finally joined for 19.5 million pounds and despite having to overpay in the January transfer window, I was delighted to add to the English contingent at the club. Pat’s form dipped a little in the past two seasons and the signing will add some much needed competition in the left-back position.

Another English left-back signed for 2.1 million pounds and Luke Shaw will be developed as the long term successor to both Pat and Baines.

Another promising youngster from Southampton followed Luke to Old Trafford and James Ward-Prowse made the move for 4.5 million pounds. Labeled as the next Paul Gascoigne, James is a technically proficient English central midfield player and he will be carefully molded to hopefully add to the pool of technical English midfield players.


23 Jan 2013, Wed

13.30


Two changes were made to the team which demolished Chelsea during the weekend. Jones is unavailable for selection after twisting his wrist in training and Carrick moves back into the midfield anchor role. The ageing Scholesy is unable to play two games in four days and as a result, Ando and Clev come in to complete the new looked midfield against Newcastle in the league cup semi final.

De Gea
Rafael
Rio
Vida
Pat
Carrick
Ando
Clev
Nani
Shinji
Wazza


I was desperate to get to my first ever final of my short managerial tenure and the starting eleven was announced to the team before we set off for Newcastle.

Signing off,
Teddy
 
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