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The United Way

Seabear

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Aug 11, 2011
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Introduction

So it's been a year since Sir Alex Ferguson annouched his retirement. It was the summer of 2011 after winning the 19th league trophy. The great man decided it was time to call an end to his miraculous career. It was a complete shock to the world, not even the chairman or owners expected it. Some suggest he had a health problem which he has been keeping to himself, others suggest the embaressing defeat to Barcelona in Wembly played a massive factor and others simply said it was always in Fergie's plan to retire in 2011.

With names such as Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola and even Mike Phelan was said to have been the favourites to take over the job. The biggest surprise was yet to come from Sir Alex. He himself said he will be the one to determine who his successor was and that no one would be able to predict. After that annoucement, the odds for his son Darren Ferguson were shorthen. No one could have predicted what was coming not even the united players.

It was announced a month after the wembly final when the successor was finally named. To the world's surprise it was a complete unknown. Ian Lim was announced as the next manager of the Manchester United. The media tore him and Sir Alex to shreds, printing headlines such as "Fergie final meltdown" "Already gone crazy". The fans weren't that forgiving either. Internet forum blusts into life criticising the man who brought them their 19th league title, rival fans starting taunting before the season even began, protests were held and even regular season ticekt holders wanted a refund for their money. Was this Sir Alex biggest mistake??

Nemanja Vidic the current United captain was asked by journalist what was his thoughts of the new manager and does the manager has the backing of the squad. He chose to not comment which did not help Lim's case. All of the United players chose not to comment and waited to see what the new manager was like when they come back for preseason.
The pressure on Ian Lim couldn't be any greater, the world would be watching and any mistake be scrutinised by media and fans alike. The world didn't expect what was coming next.

Having arrived at the club with such a cloud of doubt under him and such distaste from the fans, Lim knew he had to make an impression quickly or else he could be the face of the worst possible manager in the fans and media's eyes to ever manage united. From the start he knew there would be some displeasure among the staff espicially from Mike Phelan who was one of the favourites to take over. In his first press conference he annouched that he was going to revamp the club from top to the bottom. He ignores all questions about his inexperience managing a football club and possible transfers in and outs of the squad. He stated he had the board's backing along with Sir Alex advice if he ever needed it. As the press conference ended, fans were still calling for his head, media still doubted his ability and the players were expected back in a week. Ian had a lot to do before they arrive..

First thing he did was to sack the assistant manager, he also decided to sack a number of scouts, fitness coaches, goalkeeping coaches and a youth coach. He wanted things to be his way and the personal leaving was simply not in his plans. He had admire the way Sir Alex had build up the club but he wanted to be remembered for things he has done not gaining the benefits of Sir Alex. A new assistant manager was named Valdir de Moraes, yet another unknown man to the english media but was a good friend of Lim's. With that a few coaches from around the globe was hired, it seem that Lim wanted to have the knowledge of the footballing world.

With new staff in, Lim reportedly tore up the previous training schedulge sets and made new ones the same day. Players reported for training and Lim seem to have already decided which players were not in his plans and his players which were. Berbatov, Diouf, Kuszczak and fan favourite Park were sold in the next few weeks. Pogba and Morrison were sent on loan with their promising future ahead of them.
View attachment 220030
Promising youngsters sent on season long loan

Lim wanted to call back Macheda but QPR had already paid a fee for a season long but he did manage to talk to Scholes out of retirement for at least one more year. The biggest transfer was yet to come, Fellani from Everton was bought for 15 millions pounds and a possible bargain signing was youngster Yaya Sanogo from AJ Auxerre for 3 million pounds who was sent straight to FC Twente for a season loan. Lim reportedly tried to get rid of Owen but no clubs came bidding.


Several clubs that Manchester United had links with were cancel by Mr Lim as there were deem to be unfit or useless. He managed to gain a links with Celtic and Sporting Kansas City the past season. Scouts were sent all over the world to keep reported targets under radar and it was even reported like David Moyes, Ian Lim would be using football manager to search for players.

After the break we'll discuss what happen throughout the season for Ian Lim's first season with Manchester United


To be continued...
 
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Seabear

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Aug 11, 2011
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Please tell me what you guys think. Any suggestions are welcomed!! It took me longer than i thought to write that first bit because I'm writing in the past as i already completed a season before deciding i wanted to write a story. But i will write in the present when im back on level with game time. So it's going to be a detailed description of the past season, bit like a football program analysing the last season on Manchester United. Hope you guys enjoy it. It's my first attempt at writing an FM story so be nice :p
 

nealcanuck

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Jan 29, 2012
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No its good! I had to do the same thing with mine, because I decided to start in the middle of October. Good luck!
 

Seabear

Member
Aug 11, 2011
426
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No its good! I had to do the same thing with mine, because I decided to start in the middle of October. Good luck!
Thanks i'll probably have another post up later on today. Maybe two depending on how much free time i have.

looking forward to it
Hope you enjoy the story :)

19th title, not 20th. This year is gonna be the 20th :p
Sorry got ahead of myself :p Wasn't thinking straight when i posted it. thought it looked a bit weird when i posted but just went straight to sleep. It's been edited :)

Also forgot to mention, i'm using LFCMarshall Jan Update database. So had to bring in scholes for the story and Liverpol youngsters and their squad are ridiculously strong :p Not self editing anything myself. Used my own tactics and training schedules (based off Dunc trainning but editted myself).
 
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Seabear

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Aug 11, 2011
426
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With players coming in and out of the club, the players were still unsure about the future of the club. Reportedly many players in the united squad was having doubts over the manager ability to lead the team. Nermanja Vidic was kept as captain while Ryan Giggs was named vice captain. Ian Lim was quick to cancel the United States of America tour with the promise of going there next year; instead he arranged several friendlies against big oppositions. PSG, Real Madrid, Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Malaga all came to Old Trafford only PSG left with a draw. A comprehensive 4 – 1 victory over a strong Real Madrid team was one of the highlights of preseasons. The media and fans were yet to be convinced. There were still doubts over Mr Lim’s ability to manage such a massive club.
View attachment 220110
Ronaldo was unable to inspire Madrid in his return to Old Trafford


The first real big test according to the media and fans alike was the city game. Rooney was injured beforehand in training and was reported to be out till early December, an early blow to Lim’s career. The game went well, City only having one shot on target in the entire game Hernandez sticking two in the net and Giggs scoring an injury time penalty with Hernandez already being substituted. However there would be one negative taken from the game, Lescott broke Welbeck’s legs with not even a card shown. He would be out till late January. Fans were concerned over the squad depth over the coming season. With Macheda out on loan and Yaya Sanogo unproven in the league and already sent to FC Twente, there would only 3 strikers for the next 4 months. Mr Lim was not fazed and simply said Young could easily fill in behind the striker role. Already two strikers out before the premier league began. Will Keane was taken off the loan list and Owen moved up to the main squad.

View attachment 220113
Winning his first Trophy with the club

Lim’s first premier league game would be Liverpool at Anfield, He opted for a 4-5-1 formation with Fellaini protecting the back four and Hernandez up on his own. It finished 3-1 victory to United. Hernandez, Vidic and Young scoring the goals, things were still looking dire for Manchester United but Ian has managed to guide them through two big victories over two big rivals. From August to September United was drawn with Valencia, Leverkusen and Dinamo in their Champions League group. United managed to keep their winning streak throughout the two months, beating Valencia 4-0 away, Norwich 6-0 at home, Tottenham 4-0 at home and Leverkusen 4-1 at home. In the league cup United was drawn with Burnley and managed to win 2-0 at home with a very young team, Lindegaard was given his debut and performed well. Fans were beginning to turn away, while Ian managed to gain his first two manager of month awards for August and September.

View attachment 220108
Hernandez lead the scoring charts.


His first loss came away at Chelsea where an inspired performance from Torres saw United losing 2-0. It was just a minor setback as United came back with 6 wins on the trot with a potentially difficult away game at Croatia to Dinamo and youngsters beating Newcastle in the 4[SUP]th[/SUP] round of the league cup and qualifying for the knockout stages. Just before an international break United was expected to beat Everton at home however Donovan had other ideas, his man of the match performance led Everton to a 5-2 victory. Lim was furious with his players and blew his top in the changing rooms.


There was a couple of a patchy performance after that game, Leverkusen and Bolton holding United to a draw while an entertaining league cup quarter final where it ended up 5 - 3 to United. With 6 games to go in December, United went on a winning streak against the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City away.
With the January transfer window coming up, rumours were flying round that Mr Lim wanted to get rid of a few players. With Rooney back and firing and Welbeck close to a recovery Owen may be shown towards the door. There was a back page story of Lim not seeing eye to eye with Rio Ferdinand due to his constant twitter updates, he was ready to let Rio go it seemed.

View attachment 220109
Rooney's return from injury couldn't have come any sooner

Several united scouts have been reported to have been keeping an eye on a certain Santos player who performed extremely well in their Club World Cup Final where they beat Barcelona 2-1 and with the help of his scouts Lim had identified a few targets that would be out of their contract in 6 months.


View attachment 220111View attachment 220112
Which Santos youngster was being targetted?

After this break we’ll bring you what happens in January, possible fights, transfers and a carling cup semi-final against Wolves to come.
 
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Seabear

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Aug 11, 2011
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The January transfer window reopened on the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] of January and many teams were looking to reinforce their squad. However Ian Lim had to deal with an upcoming home game against arch rivals Liverpool on the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP]. Liverpool was performing way above expectation under Kenny Dalglish, there were in 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] place in the league with Tottenham just 3 points above them. Having lost to a dominating united performance in the first game of the season there were certainly no lack of motivation for the Liverpool players. Just before the game Dalglish attempted to unsettled Lim saying the lack of experience will cost him and United the title. Manchester United has been on top from several months which has helped Lim win over the majority of fans. His love for attacking football is evident in all of United’s games. Lim chose not to comment on Dalglish’s comments pre game simply stating the game will be won on the field not off.

View attachment 220390
Dalglish begins the mind games


The game started with real pace and it only took a minute before United fans were celebrating, Ashley Young scoring just inside the area ending a slick passing move by united. 4 minutes later from a good sliding tackle from Smalling, Rooney got on to the end of Hernandez through ball and chip Reina from outside the area. 2-0 united with just 5 minutes gone, Liverpool managed to get one back from a corner where united failed to clear the second ball and Suarez was on hand in the six yard box to smash home. Hernandez scored just a real poacher effort. Going into half time, Old Trafford was rocking. Liverpool players were looking out of place. Five minutes into the second half Hernandez picked the ball up just past the half way line and dribbled past the 3 defenders to finish off a glorious solo goal. On the hour mark Valencia storming down the right wing crossed early and Hernandez with a diving header beat Reina at his near post to complete his hattrick. In the final ten minutes Lim decided to give his youngster Ravel Morrison a chance at the big stage replacing Nani, a brilliant pass from Giggs had found Morrison in space in the box. The youngster did not disappoint and stick the ball past Reina. The game finished 6-1! Fans could be heard chanting their manager’s name. The past 5 months have definitely changed the fans view on their relatively inexperienced manager.


View attachment 220398
Hernandez becomes the second United player to score a hattrick against Liverpool within a year


In transfer news United scouts had identified a youngster Zakaria Labyad who had 6 months left on his contract. Initially Lim wanted to sign him at the end of the season on a free to allow the youngster more first team action however Tottenham made a bid for the youngster forcing Lim’s hand. He was bought for £2 million pounds and sent straight to FC Twente for first team experience. He was one for the future. The Santos player who did interest Lim was in fact Felipe Anderson a 19 year old with a real ability to pass. His scouts received information that his contract had a fee release clause. Lim could not hide his delight when signing the youngster for only £5.5 million pounds. One of the key reasons that Ian bought him was his determined personality. He wanted players to work for the team. He was also sent to FC Twente to gain first team experience.

View attachment 220391
Promising youngster Zakaria Labyad


The rest of January went along fine. Wolves were seen off in the Carling Cup semi final with a relatively young team with a few older ones to guide the way. Swansea, Wigan and Norwich were all beaten easily in the premier league maintaining United lead on the top. FA Cup was no real test for United’s second tem beating off the likes of West Ham and Hull. United ended January on a 13 match winning streak the form continued on from December.

View attachment 220392
Seeing off Wolves in the Carling Cup semi-final

When the transfer window slammed shut, there were several major changes for United competitors. Phil Jagielka joining Leighton Baines his former team mate at Tottenham for £12.75 million pounds, Joao Moutinho joined City in a £18.75 million pounds move, Blackburn’s Mauro Formica joining Napoli in a £10.5 million pounds move, Cissokho from Lyon and Rakistkyi from Shakhtar both moving to Arsenal for a combined £20.25 million pounds and probably the biggest news is Cavani to Liverpool for £20.5 million pounds. The biggest shock was yet to come; Luuk De Jong rejected Liverpool advances to go to Sunderland for £7.25 million. If Lim were to help United retain the title he would have to do it the hard way with rivals strengthening.

View attachment 220394View attachment 220393
Rivals strengthen with Joao Moutinho joining City and Edinson Cavani joining Liverpool
 
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ajt09

Nice Guy Gramps
Oct 23, 2009
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Looking good. Keep it up :)

A little tip-maybe consider changing the font to Tahoma as it makes it look neater (was told by StuW about that and he was right). Looking sound though
 

Seabear

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Aug 11, 2011
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Very good story so far, keep it up!:)
Thanks i'm glad you enjoy it :)

This has got me very interested.. Keep the updates coming :D
An update or two should be up by tonight, thanks for reading!

Looking good. Keep it up :)

A little tip-maybe consider changing the font to Tahoma as it makes it look neater (was told by StuW about that and he was right). Looking sound though
Thanks for having a look mate. Did what you said, does look a lot better.

I'm going to attempt to have more in depth writing for each month. Including game assesment, transfers from around the world, other leagues possibly, sackings, staff additions, manager's perspective the whole thing :p It may mean updates are posted less often but thats my plan when i finally get back on check with my game time. hope you guys enjoy it :) any suggestions are welcomed as usual!
 

Seabear

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Aug 11, 2011
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With Blackburn brushed a sign by United 4-0. The game at White Hart Lane was approaching. United has not failed to win in the past 14 games beating the likes of Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal along the way. United were slight favourite against 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] place Tottenham. Tottenham had managed to reinforce their defence with the signing of Jagielka while United signings in the transfer windows have gone straight out on loan. With young Ravel Morrison sent to Molde to gain first team experience as no Championship club seemed interested in the troubled youngster. The game was null affair with the big build up, with Bale effectively put out of the game by Rafael effective performance. No one seemed able to keep the ball. Michael Carrick so often being able to control the game tempo seemed to have lost his touch. Everything he touched seemed to bounce off him. Lim deciding that it was enough took him off to be replaced by young Cleverley at the 50[SUP]th[/SUP] minute. He wasn’t the only poor performers, Rooney and Hernandez didn’t seem able to link up, Young and Valencia wasn’t able to get their crosses in and when they did it ended up miles away from the strikers. Neutrals were expecting a wonderful game of football was disappointed. The game ended with not a lot to excite the fans. The loudest cheer came from the home crowd was when Lim managed to slip when walking back to his dug-out after screaming instructions down the touchline. United had to move on and quickly as they faced a tough Marseille squad in the last 16 of the champions league. Several players were given the chance to start in a European game with Tom Cleverley putting in a good shift in the left wing position. It turned out to be a comfortable 3 - 1 win for United the only negative from the game was conceding that late goal.

View attachment 220699
Rooney in action against Marseille

Next up was an FA Cup 5[SUP]th[/SUP] round against Stoke at the Britannia stadium, Lim again used his youngster in the cup giving him the win at 5 – 2. The biggest shock of the round came from Wales where Swansea had managed to beat Chelsea on penalties. With City and Tottenham out of the cup at the first hurdle, only Liverpool and Arsenal were the big boys left in the round. You could understand united fans delight when they saw Liverpool draw Arsenal and United drawing Leicester City. A reserve game was played midweek where Danny Welbeck suffered a horrific injury only just getting back from his injury. Welbeck suffered a fractured skull which would keep him out for the next 3-4 months.


The Carling Cup final was at the New Wembly where Manchester United strong favourite were playing, West brom for the trophy. This would be Ian's first chance at a domestic cup and to assert himself as a manager. He played with the same team that got him through to the final with Rooney not even in the squad and Hernandez starting on the bench. The game got off to the worst possible start for United as Phil Jones took a kick in the ankle when he slid in to stop the shot, he wasn't able to continue and was taken off. Brunt went on to score a wonderful free kick which Lindegaard had absolutely no chance to save. With a player gone off injured and a goal down, things didn't look great for United going into half time. When the teams were back on the field west brom looked to have a more defensive formation on. It was going to be a tough test for united to break them down. From the restart, United were in West Brom half for most of the game, with even Evans getting forward. Foster managed to save a dipping shop from Cleverley, It was only a matter of time before United were to score. Then it happen, Cleverley found a way past one, two and three defenders and
unselfishly set it up for Owen to score from 2 yards. Hernandez was brought on at this point to ensure the win and minutes later he went on to do that. Latching on from a long ball by Giggs, Hernandez managed to beat the offside trap and slot home. Leaving West Brom no choice but to attack leaving spaces behind them which Hernandez yet again managed to exploit and setting up valencia coming at the back post.

View attachment 220702
Lim's first domestic cup for Manchester United


The next 7 games saw united away from home for 5 matches, Lim called it a crucial time to make sure no points were lost. First up was at the Sports Direct Arena where a relatively weaken United team went down 2-0 by half time but came back roaring in the second half scoring 4 goals. The players were being saved for the Marseille game where United hold an aggregate lead of 3 goals to 1. Hernandez who’s been unstoppable all season got both the goals for United to beat them 2 – 1. Chelsea was also brushed aside to average the 2-0 loss away with a 4 - 0 win.

View attachment 220705
Hernandez doing what he does best, scoring goals.


United scouts were very busy throughout February and March. They helped identified several youngster who would be a great signings for the future. Lim signed 5 youngsters all 16 or under the age of 16. Two Italian attacking midfielders were bought from Atlanta. Lorenzo Anania and Giacomo Sala for a combined fee of £1.2 million pounds. Carlos Jorge center back from Leiria for £875k, Lbrahim Louadj who’s been deemed the next great left back for france despite being only 16 from Rennes bought for £2.2 million and Danil Biryukov a 14 year old from Russia, valued at £1.9 million pounds and bought for £6k. All of the players will be arriving at the end of the season apart from Danil Biryukov who is only allowed to move on the 25 of August 2015.

Lim’s continued policy for buying for the future has led to the media likening
him to Wenger’s transfer policy. When questioned upon this, Lim denied it saying he had his own policy which he will follow. In addition he said he wasn’t afraid of spending big transfer fees when the right player becomes available.


Up next was at Wolves where United scored 5 goals to beat Wolves comprehensively 5 – 2. Mid-week Lim went and attended the Champions League quarter final, semi-final and final draw. Barcelona was the team to avoid in every United fans minds as they felt assured the in form united team could beat any other team. The announcer was Michael Platini himself with Zinedine Zidane and Eric Cantona drawing the teams. The first team draw would be playing the second leg at home. With the balls released, Eric Cantona managed to dra
w Manchester United.

Lim thought to himself “Good start, we got home advantage”

“The first draw of the night would Manchester United and they will be against…”

Zinedine Zidane seemed to take an eternity to unscrew the ball and receive the paper within.

“F.C. Barcelona”


All of the united fans heart sank. They were dreading to face Barcelona after last year’s defeat. They were a few chuckles in the crowd. The rematch of last year’s final will be happening at the quarter final stage. Lim looked calm and gave a reassuring smile as he knew the cameras will be on him

View attachment 220706
A repeat of last year's final


For United to progress to the final they would have to beat Barcelona, face the winners of Lyon – Milan in the semi’s and then face either Chelsea – Porto or Benfica – Inter. Back to the premier league, where Manchester United smashed Aston Villa 5 – 1, a great response to the whispers that United were afraid of playing Barcelona, Lim’s team played with full of confidence and showed how ruthless they can be. In the post match interview, Lim gave his thoughts on the draw.

“So Barcelona, you couldn’t have faced a tougher test. What are your thoughts?”

“Barcelona are of course a wonderful team who play football the way it should be played, to be the best in Europe you have to beat the best. I’m confident that my team will be able to beat them over the 2 legs.”

“Are you suggesting that you’ll go to Spain and defend?”

“No I simply said that I’m confident in beating them over the 2 legs, I’m not going to change my style of football for one team. We’re capable of beating any team with the way we play.”

“How will you handle the threat of Messi?”

“That you will see when we play them, excuse me I have to go now.”

The next game saw United play away to Leicester in the FA Cup 6[SUP]th[/SUP] round, it was a fairly routine victory winning 3-1. They were draw with Arsenal in the semi finals with Swansea against fellow relegation battlers QPR in the other. They now had to go to Goodison Park and after that the Nou Camp. Lim field a relatively strong team against Everton with Rooney and Hernandez starting. With the Barcelona game coming in just 3 days, many media pundits were astounded of his decision. Lim was proven right again where the united team was pushed all the way to the end where a late Johny Evans goal providing them with the win. The game all football fans were waiting for, Barcelona against Manchester United. The Nou Camp was rocking, fans were at the stadium hours before hand. The pre match press conference saw Lim and Guardiola both denying the importance of this one game saying the game will be won or lost at Old Trafford. The team sheet was in; an almost identical squad that played at Everton was playing at Barcelona. The only change was at center back where Rio Ferdinand came in for Johny Evans. In the studios, Alan Hansen raised the point that when playing against Barcelona you have to close them down and by playing the same squad that played just 3 days ago was mere naivety from the inexperience United manager.

View attachment 220703
Rooney playing despite playing 3 days earlier


The game started at a furious pace, with both teams running at each other. Barcelona begins to dictate the play and it wasn’t long before shots were flying at De Gea’s goal. Villa was very wasteful with a shot within the box when he was put through by Xavi. However it wasn’t just one way traffic, Manchester United were set up attacking like Lim said they would and it nearly paid dividends when a slick ball from Carrick set Rooney through, Puyol struggling to keep up with the England man. Rooney saw Valdes come off his line and race towards him he simply chipped the oncoming goalkeeper and watched it roll towards the empty net. Pique however managed to clear off the line and saved a certain goal. Just before the break Barcelona managed to score through Puyol from a corner but it was judged to have been a foul beforehand with a push in the back to Rio. The Barcelona fans were furious with the referee. Going into half time the score still at 0-0, Manchester United looked like they’ll be able to nick a goal or at least a draw.

A quick team talk was all that was needed as Manchester United were on the pitch first. Just 5 minutes into the second half, a great ball from Rooney working hard in his own half saw Hernandez race past Pique and advancing on the goalkeeper. It was one on one his pace left Pique stranded. As the keeper slide in for the ball, Hernandez simply round him and put the ball in the back of the net! What a goal by Manchester United, oh wait. The assistant ref shows a very late flag for offside which has the united manager and players furious. The players are racing towards the accident ref in protest; the ref quickly tells the united players to back off and gives a warning to the manager. United players head drop from that moment on it was all Barcelona; it was only down to a fantastic performance by De Gea to keep United in it. He managed to stop Messi from scoring on not one or two occasion but three. The last one being the most impressive with a diving save which prevented the ball from going into the top corner. The game finished level.
View attachment 220710View attachment 220711
A man of the match performance from the young keeper who kept United in the game.



With the second leg still to come and the post match interview with Ian Lim. Stay tuned for more to come!
 
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Seabear

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Aug 11, 2011
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What are your thoughts? I thought i'll be a bit more descriptive with the big games with a bit of a taster of what will be coming once i'm on level time with my game. Finished the end of the season awhile a go but havent progressed any futher to ensure i can catch the story up to where i'm at. I got an update possibly tonight or tomorrow morning. It'll probably be another big one cause i may want to race towards the end of the season but finding it so hard to not write more for the games that are coming. Hope you're all still interested and reading :D
 

Seabear

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Aug 11, 2011
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This was the post match interview with Ian Lim at the Nou Camp

“What were your thoughts to the game?”

“Well I thought we played really well slightly disappointed to not get an away goal but we didn’t concede, we done our job in the first leg and now we got to look forward to the second leg at home where our fans can make all the difference.”

“Your team seemed tired out there, especially Rooney and Hernandez. Was it a mistake playing them against Everton?”

“No, not at all we were facing a very strong Everton side which could have beaten us. I just felt our player’s heads drop after the disallowed goal and down to David we managed to keep a clean sheet.”

“It was a really strong performance from your keeper. What was your opinion on the both goals that were disallowed?”

“During the game I didn’t really see if Puyol had pushed Rio Ferdinand or not for the goal, it was difficult to see from the touchline. On the goal we were disallowed, I believe Hernandez was onside when the ball was played. Even if he was off, I don’t understand why in the world the assistant referee took the amount of time he did to raise he flag for offside. It seemed like he waited for us to score and then raised his flag.”

"Were you dissapointed with the decision?"

"If he was offside, I don't understand why he wasn't flag earlier. The reaction from the crowd seeme to have brought him to flag him offside."

Lim was clearly not very happy with the referee at the final whistle. Even though TV replays suggest the assistant ref might have been right. It was a very late flag which obviously frustrated the manager.

Moving on United played Stoke at Old Trafford 4 days before the Barcelona game. There was to be yet another setback before the game, Nermanja Vidic was injured during training and was going to miss the next 3-4 weeks. This means missing the Barcelona game and the FA Cup semi final against Arsenal. Lindegaard was given the nod over David De Gea, a second string backline with the likes of Rio, Jones, Evra and Rafael all rested. It was a comfortable victory with goals from Hernandez, Cleverley and Valencia.

Barcelona was coming to Old Trafford with all the drama with the disallowed goals in the first leg. It seemed like there would be fireworks in this game. Ian Lim sent his assistant to take the press conference. It was a very tense pre game press conference, not commentating on possible injuries or line ups. It was the media’s prediction that however were to come out of this draw would be favourites for the Champions League.

With Old Trafford in fine voice, both the teams marched onto the field to the deafening noise of the crowd. It was going to be a good atmosphere where hopefully a great game will be played. Manchester United was lining up with their standard attacking home formation 4-4-2 and Barcelona playing their 4-3-3 formation which has worked so well for them against United.

The line up for united was De Gea in goal. Jones and Ferdinand right in front of him with Rafael and Evra supporting fullback. Carrick and Fellani in the middle of the park with Valencia and Young on the wings. Rooney partnered Hernandez up front as usual.

The game got off to a blistering start with Barcelona attacking straight away. A fine passing move led them to their first shot within 3 minutes. Villa shooting narrowly wide with De Gea scrambling across, a massive sighs of relief from the united fans. If Barca were to get a scoring draw, United would be going out on away goals. Just 4 mins after Villa chance, United scores! A typical united counter attack saw the ball move from one side of the pitch to another in 4 passes! De Gea claiming the corner who found Rooney with a quick throw, Rooney with his precise passing found Valencia storming down the right wing, with Hernandez the only united player who was up with him. Valencia managed the perfect cross for Hernandez to tap home. 1-0 United! Just after 7 minutes United were in front!

View attachment 221202
Hernandez scoring in the 7th minute for United

The celebrations did not last long as Barcelona managed to get a goal within two minutes. Keita for Barcelona from the left hand side with an amazing curling shot which just passed De Gea left hand into the top corner. 1-1! What a goal that was. Lim did not look pleased at all, he did not expect his team to simply let the opposition score just after taking the lead.

View attachment 221201
Keita with a wondergoal against United

With the tie in Barca’s favour, United had
to find a way to score again or they’ll be out of the Champions league. As the game went on, both teams were struggling to hold onto the ball. The final ball for both team were very disappointing. With 5 minutes before half time, united had the ball in barca’s half. United players were passing the ball around the box but not getting a very clear cut chance. All a sudden Carrick pass split the defence into two, with Rooney running into the space without looking at the goal shooting first time. It flew past Valdes into the bottom corner. Carrick spotted Rooney’s wonderful run and managed to find him with his ball. United lead 2-1!

View attachment 221203
Rooney regaining the lead for United

With the game in United favour in half time, the players seemed confident going into the break. The crowd was roaring throughout the break and it got even louder when they players came back on. No chances for either manager. The next 10 minutes was a bit slow compared to the first half. Both teams didn’t want to risk losing a goal. Out of nothing with Carrick on the ball, he launched a 40 yard pass to the left wing to Young. Young cut in and managed to shoot from the edge of the box. It seemed like the ball just hang in the air for ages before curling past the diving Valdes into the back of the neck. Young has probably just scored the most important goal of his career so far. All the players ran towards Young while Lim and his coaching staff were jumping for joy. 3-1 United with just half an hour to go.

View attachment 221204
Scoring the third goal for United

The faces of the opposing managers couldn’t have been any different. The disappointment of Pep Guardiola’s face was as telling as the delight on Lim’s face. The Barcelona team wasn’t able to respond, the usual dominating barca team was nowhere to be seen. With United holding onto the ball for large parts of the remaining minutes, when the final whistle blew it was almost as if they had already won the cup. Manchester United had just beaten Barcelona the holders of the Champions League and was through to the semi-finals! The same united team who got beat 10 months ago has managed to beat Barcelona at Old Trafford! It was no fluke either with 55% - 45% possession in united’s favour. 18 – 8 shots with 10 on target for united and just 3 for Barcelona.



After that great performance at home, United lost for only the second time that season to Fulham at Craven Cottage where a weaken united team having just played Barcelona 3 days ago lost 3-0, with a brace from Dembele and a goal from Zamora. There was a clear European hangover effect which Lim needed to correct. Up next was Bolton who was easily beaten 3 goals to none. With Arsenal in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and then AC Milan in the semi-finals of the Champions League the next two days. Lim’s boy were had to be at their very best to avoid getting knock out of both competitions being so close to the final.


Wenger believed that due to United’s fight on 3 fronts, Arsenal had the advantage. United needed 8 points to clinch the title in the remaining 5 premier league games. United players had hardly had a rest since March averaging 2 games per week. Wenger seemed awfully confident that his players would put through.

View attachment 221205
Wenger believes his team are favourites

Lim accepted that his players had a lot of games but refuse to concede that the squad would not be able to take it. The squad was clearly short on numbers, for the past month it wasn’t unusual to see players from the U18 squad sitting on the bench for United. With training injuries to Fellani, Smalling and Scholes, Vidic still out injured. Lim was clearly lacking enough players to cover. With Swansea playing QPR in the other semi-final, the clear favourite to win the FA Cup would come from the winners of the upcoming game. Lim were slight favourite due to their dominating form all season and Arsenal short comings so far this season who were sitting in 7[SUP]th[/SUP] in the league.


The game began openly with each team having early chances. Robin Van Persie wasted an early chance when one on one with De Gea but shooting wide. While Rio’s header off the corner just over the bar. It wasn’t until the half hour mark till we saw the ball hit the back of the neck with Rooney rounding off a slick passing move. 2 minutes later with Ramsey floating a cross in, Jones header clear which broke into a united counter attack. With Carrick picking up the ball and spotting Valencia’s run he launched the ball to the right wing where Valencia picked it up and raced past Gibbs. Hernandez being the furthest forward with Valencia managed to alter his run to lose his defender, the early cross from Valencia saw Hernandez run to the near post and finishing coolly, past Szczesny. 2 goals in 2 minutes for United! Arsenal had a long way back to get into this game. Even 2 goals behind Arsenal worked hard to get back into the game and certainty could count themselves unlucky when Walcott’s shot that flew past De Gea hit the inside of the post and was eventually cleared by Ferdinand.

View attachment 221206
Rooney and Hernandez scoring two goals in quick succesions

After the break, Arsenal was having more and more possession in the game. It seemed that it’ll only be a matter of time before they scored. A miss pass by Walcott saw the ball move from one end of the pitch to the other within seconds. With Anderson picking up the loose pass picking out Rooney. Rooney managed to dribble past two defenders before setting up Valencia who then drilled the ball home into the bottom corner. 3-0 united with 20 minutes to go! The tie was effectively over. Lim had the chance to let the likes of Owen for a small cameo and Cleverley more game time. The final whistle blew and United were in the FA Cup final where they would face QPR.

View attachment 221208
All three goalscorers after the game


Ian Lim had the chance to win a historical quadruple which no other manager had managed to do. With the Carling Cup already in their trophy cabinet, the league in their own hands, FA Cup final against QPR who was facing relegations and a Champions League semi-final still to come. It was all still very possible.
 

Seabear

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Aug 11, 2011
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The game at the San Siro was the next game and after a dominating win against Arsenal, United fans were hoping for the same. Milan were fighting for 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] place in their league, it was going to be a tough test for the united team. The squad had faced an injury problem at the latest, with influential captain and leader Nermanja Vidic still out injured. Young Phil Jones was in the spot light of the media.


View attachment 221333Chance for young Phil Jones to shine


The atmosphere as usual in the San Siro was brilliant. Both sets of fans were singing their hearts out, knowing one of their teams will be in the final on the 19[SUP]th[/SUP] of May in Germany. In the pre match press conference, both managers were quick to deny any of their teams were favourites to win. United were slight favourites due to them knocking out Barcelona the holders of the cup. However with the first leg away, Lim was confident that the game will be decided at Old Trafford.


View attachment 221336
San Siro would prove a testing atmosphere for all the players



The teams lined up against each other with the noisy crowd all around them. All the players knew they had the chance to make the difference and possibly contribute to their team getting into the Champions League final. Perhaps this was on the players mind as the first half turned out to be a disappointing game of football. Neither teams looked likely to score with both managers constantly on the touchline trying to raise their team’s game.
As the players were walking into the tunnel, Alexander Pato and his manager seemed to be arguing. Both men had to be separated from each other going down the tunnel. One could only guess what it was about; Pato had done nothing the entire first half. One instant in the game summed his whole performance up when he failed to control the ball as it was passed to him letting it slip out for a united throw. It’s been a poor game for both teams.


After the break, both team seemed more motivated to get on with the job which led to the first chance of the game. Pato who was surprisingly still on the pitch managed to get loose of Ferdinand, picking up the ball at the edge of the box turned and managed to shoot past Ferdinand diving body. It was inches away from the goal with De Gea left stranded. A close call for united, Nani who was brought on at half time for the disappointing Young managed to jinx his way past 2 defender down the left wing and was advancing towards the goal. With Hernandez and Rooney in support, Nani should look for the cross. Instead he went for goal trying to beat Abbiati at his near post. It was comfortably saved by the keeper. Rooney was furious with Nani screaming for the pass.




On the 55[SUP]th[/SUP] minute Hernandez managed to win a corner for united. Being the only player forward trying to race pass Thiago Silva, he managed to draw a tackle from the defender gaining a corner for his team. Valencia with the corner floating it near post, Ferdinand managed to lose Nesta and head home in the near post. One nil united! Game on!



View attachment 221334Got the important away goal for United

With that goal, Lim took off Carrick and in his place Tom Cleverley was given the chance to sign. Cleverley was seen to be more of an advanced playmaker than Carrick so a very positive substitution from the united manager. It was clear that he wanted more goals and he nearly got it when Cleverley set up Rooney at the edge of the box who hit the post late on in the game. Milan never looked like scoring after Pato getting injured shortly after the goal. Ambrosini brought on which frustrated the fans, wanting them team to score a goal not limiting united’s chances. The game finished 1-0 to united with plenty left to do.


6 days till both the teams facing each other at Old Trafford. Next game up was at home against QPR. This was no small matter as a win for United could see the title at Old Trafford. However United field a relatively weaken team against QPR, where a young Tyler Blackett left back giving his full debut due to the manager’s decision to rest key players for the Milan game, Rooney and Hernandez the other 2 players surviving from the game at the San Siro. It proved to be a good decision as both players went on to score a goal apiece. Evans started off the goals, scoring from the corner. 2 minutes later Rooney added the second goal. 5 minutes later Anderson scored with a cool finish past Paddy Kenny. Hernandez went on and completed the rout on the 35[SUP]th[/SUP] minute of the goal with a wonderful solo goal. With United leading 4-0 at home, Lim decided to take off both Rooney and Hernandez putting on youngsters in their place. Ricardo Kishna and Tony Trindade de Vilhena were both brought on. Fabio was injured late on with a bad tackle from Anton Ferdinand who was only booked. The game finished 4-0 with little to talk about in the second half, both youngsters looking promising. United had retain the premier league! Lim had managed to ignore all the doubts and trouble he faced at the start of the season and winning the premier league will surely be one of his proudest achievements of his career so far! He had little time to celebrate as the Milan game was in three days’ time. This was one of the reasons why he called all media conferences and any title celebrations until the Milan game was done. It was reported through MUTV that the trophy presentation will only take place in the next home game in the premier league against Manchester City. United’s closest rivals for the trophy this season, the press of course went crazy with it. Some publishers even suggesting Lim wanted to rub it in City’s faces. Lim simply stated that he needed his team to focus on the Milan game.






With the second leg at the Old Trafford, there was a high expectation from the fans to go through to the finals. With only one away goal advantage for united, the game was still be won. United with the same line up, Vidic still unable to compete but looks like to be fit for the Sunderland game if not the City game after. It was Jones who got the nod over Smalling once again. The game got off to a brilliant start for united with just 9 minutes gone Hernandez got a goal. A slick passing move which we have seen so often from this season united team finished off by the poacher Javier Hernandez. It got to an even better for united as Rooney managed to chip Abbiati who came off his line in an attempt to beat the united forward to the ball but he was simply caught stranded. 2-0 united with 33 minutes gone, united seemed on course for a Champions League final.




View attachment 221338
Rooney and Hernandez getting on the scoresheet early on


As the game was restarted, United was leading 2-0 with the final very much in their sights. Just 5 minutes later, a clever free-kick from Wayne Rooney nearly saw him setting up Valencia whose thunderous shot bounce off the upright leaving the goal shaking in its wake. AC Milan was not down yet. On the 63[SUP]rd[/SUP] minute a rare counter attack from Milan after United had pushed their defenders up for a corner, saw Kevin Prince Boateng get a goal back for Milan. 2-1 if Milan were to get the next 2 goals it would see them going through on away goals.



View attachment 221330
Boateng getting a goal back


Lim noticing his team’s potential downfall brought on Scholes and Giggs with the hope that their presence will calm the team down. The two veterans have had played a small role in united’s season success but were still highly regarded by their manager. With both the veterans on, the team was calm with their passing under the heavy pressure of Milan.


View attachment 221332
Veterans been used sparingly this season

The United team winding down the clock as much as they can, with two minutes of extra time Old Trafford was in fine voice. Milan just couldn’t get the ball off United. Robinho forced a rare mistake by Rafael conceding a corner in the last minute of extra time. Rafael was to pay for his mistake as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a looping header from the resulting corner. 2-2! Milan only needed one more goal to go to the Champions League final on away goals. However it was a little too late as United held on to the ball for the remaining seconds.


View attachment 221339
Getting Milan's second but left it too late

At the final whistle the entire united bench went on to the field and celebrated. The chance of a quadruple was there! They would face either Inter or Porto in the final! There was a special moment on the field when all the players lifted their young manager off his feet. It was surely a moment to savour for Ian Lim.


Post match interview with Skysports



“This is the first opportunity we had to congratulate you on retaining the Premier League. After you cancel all interviews and even the title celebration to concentrate on this game, what are your immediate thoughts after this game?”



“I needed the players focus on this game for us to gain a chance to advance towards the final. Not concentrating on what’s already been done but what still needs to be done. I’m so proud of my players effort throughout the season and also giving me an inexperience manager the chance to lead this team to success.”


“Yes, there were many doubts and questions marks at the start of the season. But no one can dispute the fact you have brought the Premier League and Carling Cup to Manchester United and with the FA Cup and Champions League finals still to come your success this season has not ended.”



“I’m very happy for the fans and players but yes we need to concentrate on the two cup finals we still have.”



“Will you be giving youngsters the chance to shine during the remaining league games?”



“Whatever team that gets put off will be a team that will be tough to beat. It’ll be unfair on the rest of the league if we were to allow other teams to beat us, simply because we have two cup finals.”



“Good luck and thank you for your time”



“No worries, it’s a pleasure”


Despite his assurance to the other teams, Lim did field a weaken team away at the Stadium at Light. This turned out to be a great game for the neutrals as goals from Cleverley and Owen saw united take an early 2 goal lead. Mathew Kilgallon got one back for Sunderland before Nani restored united 2 goals lead. Going into half time with the two goal comfort, things were looking rosy for the team. However at the restart Sunderland seemed like a completely different team. Martin O Neal working his usual magic saw Sunderland draw level first a goal from Richardson and the equaliser from Luuk De Jong who’s having a fantastic season with Sunderland 17 league games 7 goals and 3 assist so far from the young striker. With the momentum and crowd on Sunderland’s side it was a surprise when Jonny Evans got his goal from a corner which turned out to be the winner! The game finished Manchester United 4 Sunderland 3.

The upcoming game against City was due to be a hard game. With Tottenham, Liverpool and City yet to take second place this was going to be a game that City needed to win. For United however it was going to be joyous occasion as after the game there will be the title celebrations. The city team had to give the united team the guard of honour as they walked out onto the field. United decided to give a youngster his full debut at right back Alberto Massacci, it was however down to necessity as Evans, Smalling and Vidic were all still out injured. Rooney and Hernandez both starting up front, Young and Valencia on the wings with Carrick and Anderson in the center of the park, Evra on the left of the defence with Ferdinand and Jones in the center and De Gea in goal.



The game was slow at first but certainly lighten up when Anderson scoring from Rooney’s cutback. City begin to grow into the game, with a shot from Silva had De Gea at full stretch to get onto the end of the shot. Going into the halftime break, City were looking most likely to score.



View attachment 221325
Anderson started the party early with a good goal

The second half began with City again looking hungrier for the win. Where a shot from Aguero smashed against the frame, against the run of play Ashley Young managed to smash home a wonderful goal for united and breathing space. The city players head dropped after working so hard to get back into the game, they concede a goal at the other end. Hernandez ensured the result with a cool finish against Joe Hart on the 62[SUP]nd[/SUP] minute. Rafael and Cleverley were then brought on for Massacci and Carrick. Montinho was then injured by a strong challenge from Anderson and had to be brought off with Srna taking his place. Yaya Toure next came closest as his free kick skim the top of the bar. Rooney hit the post late one and perhaps one of the stories of the day is Welbeck coming on for the last few minutes in place of Rooney after suffering a fractured skull initially recovering from a broken leg. 3 nothing the final score and the celebrations took place! United are named Barclays Premier League Champions once again!



View attachment 221329
Title celebrations were held off until Milan game was over

The FA Cup Final was to be played 3 days after united smashed City 3 goals to none. QPR were desperately fighting relegation and their cup run had been a major highlight for their disappointing domestic campaign. QPR’s top scorer Federico Macheda for the whole season was unavailable due to his parent club Manchester United being in the final. It was expected that United will be crowned champions of the FA Cup completing the treble! Ahead of the game media pundits were discussing Lim’s tactic throughout the season and whether the quadruple was possible. Old Trafford favourite Roy Keane and Gary Neville both claimed that the team will claim the quadruple and it was mainly down to the manager. Lim’s open football has allowed the team to shown it’s mean streak and Javier Hernandez has definitely benefited from it with 65 goals in all competitions. United had already won a trophy in Wembley this season and will be hoping to add another in the FA Cup final.


View attachment 221331
Having enjoyed success already this season, Lim looked to continue winning form


With no delays to the game, the game started off as planned. The first notable chance coming for Hernandez which resulted in united’s first goal. Rooney taking the ball out of his own half, playing it to Nani on the left. Nani was given space to run into which he then cut back to Giggs who move it to Fellani onto Valencia. Valencia with a cross into the six yard box and Hernandez was there to finish off a wonderful Manchester united move. With QPR restarting they managed to get a corner which was headed narrowly over by Jay Bothroyd. Nani found a corner for united which led to the next goal, Valencia cross finding Jones who over powered Wright-Phillies who head home! 2 goals for united! The treble was certainly looking on.



QPR looked to have gone to a more conservative style which did little to help them as Hernandez scored 5 minutes later with a beautiful half volley creeping in the near post. 3-0! There was no rest for QPR’s defence as immediate after the kick off they lost the ball to united, who quickly found Rooney in space who shot straight at the bottom corner. Paddy Kenny did well to save the initial shot but failed to hold on and with Hernandez on the rebound completed his hattrick! The first player since Stan Mortensen bagged three for Blackpool when they Bolton 4-3 in 1953. 4-0! United was looking good for the treble. Bothroyd had the chance to make the score a bit respectable but down to a good save for De Gea and poor finishing QPR still yet to score.


QPR made two changes at the start of the second half with Helguson and Hall coming in for DJ Campbell and Gabbidon. Buzsaky had a shot from distance which curled dangerously but went clean over the bar. Buzsaky seem to hurt himself in the challenge he made into Fellani. On the 65[SUP]th[/SUP] minute Evans, Cleverley and Welbeck all came on with Rooney, Rafael and Giggs all taken off. With the game gone and in united favour it was only a matter of time before united scored again. Helguson impeding Cleverley from a freekick resulted in a penalty for united. Nani took on the responsibility of taking the penalty and finishing it coolly. The final whistle blew and united had won the FA Cup, winning it in style with a 5-0 victory over QPR. The last time united won the FA Cup was back in 2004 far too long for a club like united.



View attachment 221323
Completing the treble for United

Up next the champions league where Manchester United will be playing Porto in the Allianz Arena. United treble winners were looking to add to their fourth trophy of the season, no English team had managed to done yet. No team has been so dominant in their domestic season and European campaign. One compared Lim’s success so far to the season Andres Villa Boas had at Porto but this was different. Having succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson the pressure was always on Lim. The growing spending power of City grew to be a massive factor along with the improving Tottenham and Liverpool team. It will be already been marked down as a tremendous season having retained the league and wining both domestic cup. The cherry on the icing will surely be winning the Champions League for united.


The same eleven players which lined up to beat the likes of Barcelona and AC Milan were the same players lining up against Porto. Hulk was Porto’s danger man with 23 goals in all competition, playing on the right wing Evra had to contain him if united were to go on and win. Porto won the toss and was first to kick off. Within 8 minutes Hernandez had a chance, Anderson playing the pass and Hernandez losing his man Rolando he had the whole goal to aim for. Unfortunately unlike himself he shot wide, a chance gone begging.

United were pilling the pressure on and Valencia and Vidic both had chances from the corner. Tackles were flying in at a furious pace as Augusto and Anderson both ordered off the field to recover from their injuries. A quick throw in saw Hernandez lose from his man Pereira looking to cut inside and shot, Hernandez was tripped by Danilo. Looking at his assistant referee, the referee awarded the penalty! Rooney stepping up to all the boos and whistles from the crowd, tying his laces before the kick. He did not want to slip at this vital moment, with nerves of steel he put away his penalty shooting to the right of Helton giving united the lead! One goal to the good! Manchester United led in the final of the Champions league! There were no clear cut chances before half time with Danilo picking up a booking for hacking down Rooney. Into stoppage time of the first half, Rooney did well to make space for himself and passing the ball into the run of Valencia. Getting into the box, Pereira cut across and impeded his run and Danilo clear to touch. The whistle blew another united penalty! It was judged to have been a trip by Pereira on Valencia. Rooney stepping up again to take the second penalty, he scored shooting left the first time will he go the same way? Rooney smashes the ball down the middle with the keeper diving to his right. 2 nil united! Rooney’s second goal of the game! Into the break united led 2 goals to the good and the quadruple becoming more of a reality.

View attachment 221335
Two Rooney penatlies gave united a two goal lead
Back into the second half Augusto for Porto going down the by-line crossing low from the right, Kleber with a diving header! Just wide, very unlucky for the Porto center forward, inches away from getting Porto back into the game.
View attachment 221324

Unable to finish his early chances

From a corner, Helton was unable to hold onto to the initial cross which allowed Vidic on the half volley to have a shot on goal. It bounced off the outside of the post. Nearly a third game for United and would have surely been game over for Porto. Young had a good free kick save by Helton a few minutes later. From the resulting corner Vidic had another chance at goal this time a powerful header which was just hit over the bar. United wanted the third goal to see of the game.
View attachment 221326
Helped kept Porto in the game

At the other end, Kleber had another chance to get Porto back into the game from a corner, with his header just over the bar. He got himself booked 5 minutes later for a silly foul on Carrick as he just about to release the ball. Manchester United substitutions; Anderson and Young both taken off for Cleverley and Nani.

Giovani Dos Santos and James Rodriguez both brought on to liven up play and their combination led to the next chance. Dos Santos winning the corner for Porto, Rodriguez with the corner saw the ball flicked on by Kleber, onto Otamendi whose header goal bound was being contested by De Gea and Rolando. Rolando beat De Gea in the air! 2-1 Porto! They have got a lifeline. Oh wait, the whistle has been blown, it was judged by the referee Rolando unfair contested the ball against De Gea therefore the goal was ruled out! The Porto players were furious with the decision; it seemed like a valid goal as none of the united players seem to have appealed for a decision against them. Controversy in the final, while the Porto players were appealing the decision Hernandez was taking off for Welbeck who continues his return from two horrible injuries this season.
View attachment 221328

Brought on to provide a spark

De Gea made another good save from a free kick taken by Guarin. With three minutes of stoppage time left, united just had to hold on to the ball. They managed to do it! Manchester United had just won the Champions League and completed the quadruple! Porto did it the year before and this year United has done it in the strangest of circumstances. The great manager Sir Alex Ferguson being replaced by a virtually unknown man called Ian Lim has led to Manchester United winning the Champions League and the quadruple, they will savour this for some time!

View attachment 221337

Champions Leagues Winner 2012


To wrap up we have a one on one interview with Ian Lim himself, on his thoughts on the past season, summer transfers and the season to come. So stay tuned.
 

Seabear

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Aug 11, 2011
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“First of all congratulations on your wonderful season, winning the quadruple in your first season in charge of Manchester United, you managed to prove yourself to the fans, media, managers and the players how good of a manager you are.”

“Thank you for those kind words. The team has to take the credit though as they were the ones who worked so hard throughout the year. Not just the players, but the scouts, coaching staff, kit men and even the tea lady. They deserve all the credit for the trophies.”

“What was it like having all the doubts over your ability to lead a massive club at the start of the season?”

“I simply ignore all the doubts but it was hard not to notice it. But I had the backing of the players, staff, board and the great man himself Sir Alex Ferguson.”

“We have to ask, did you know you were going to be the next man in charge when Ferguson finally retired?”

“I had been working behind the scenes with Sir Alex for several years. Watching training session, football games, and the other teams it was a great honour to simply just work with him. I was simply just learning from him and was looking towards a career in management. I had no idea I was going to be the next Manchester united boss.”

“So you didn’t know you would be placed in charge last summer?”


“Honestly I had no idea; it was a great surprise to me that Sir Alex was going to retire in the first place. I honestly expected him to stay in charge for the next 3-5 years. I was going to enter my CV in and maybe work with a lower league team. When I got the call from Alex, I was stunned. I honestly expected a big name manager to take over. I was tempted to say no, I’ll be honest I didn’t want a great club like Manchester United to fall under me. Once I had a few days to think about it, it was a great honour to be offered and to take over. I believed in my abilities as a manager and I like to think I have shown some of my abilities over the past season.”

“You certainly have not many can say they have won four trophies in their first season can they?”

“Well Andres Villa Boas did it, so it’s not unheard of. In all seriousness it was all down to the players themselves, coaching staff, a matter of luck and a bit of me”

“Can you tell us your plans for next season?”

“I certainly don’t hope the fans expect success like this every year. It’ll be hard to compete in the same level consistently like we did. We were quite fortunate that we didn’t have a lot of injuries. We were shorts on strikers but Hernandez was on fire so we didn’t really have a problem. Hopefully Welbeck will stay fit this season after two horrible injuries to the lad. We also have Anderson, Zabyad, Macheda and Sanago coming back which I’m excited to see their progress after a year of first team experience.”

“Any targets you have in mind? Transfers and season targets?”

“Well I’m hoping we can continue our dominance in the league. I’ll like to be the first manager to win the champions league for three years running but it’s all about the luck of the draw. As for transfers, I have several young players coming through the ranks who may get a first team. I’m not looking to re in force in big names unless certain ones become available for the right price of course. I’m here to stabilise the club and continue its tradition of promoting youth through the ranks.”

“Your transfers have been all been on youngsters so far, with Felipe Anderson and Labyad Zakaria both coming in January. Do you see yourself buying more youngsters to develop? Will the youngsters coming in from Manchester get a chance to shine?

“I’ll look to buy potential stars for the future. By signing them I am giving them the best chance to do so. The youngsters from Manchester will obviously be given a chance. We have a few promising stars who came through a trail day in March that we’re looking to send out on loan.”

“How are you looking to change your squad over the summer?”


“We have several players whose contracts runs out which will not be renewing and we of course have Scholes retiring. So we’ll be looking to let several players who didn’t receive as much game time last season play more often”

“Are you going to be renewing the contract of Old Trafford favourite Ryan Giggs? Will Rio Ferdinand be offloaded to other clubs?”


“That is yet to be decided and will be discussed in lengths with the coaching team”

“Will you be watching the Europeans Championship 2012 for potential target?”


“I will be watching for the joy of football but several scouts will be watching over the Euro’s.

“Do you have any comments about the fans concern about the club’s financial situation?”


“The Glazers have given their full financial backing. I will not be paying over the odds.”

“Do you have any updates on Darren Fletcher?”

“He’s due to return next May. So we’re all wishing him well on his recovery”

“That’s all for now. Thank you for your time. Wish you the best for the upcoming season”


“You’re welcome and thank you”

End of May

Hernandez, Nani, Evans and Welbeck all signing 5 year contracts. Lim obviously looking to tie theses players down for the long term, after a dominating season for United it was time for a break for most of the stars. Some of them will be taking part in Euro 2012 however one player will not. Rio Ferdinand has been ruled out with a calf injury which took place in the friendly against Cyprus.

Manager’s Thoughts

Finally that’s over and done with. It’s the 30[SUP]th[/SUP] of May, players were on International duty while some were on holiday and I’m stuck here doing this program. It was nice that Sky Sports wanted to do an in-depth report on our season but I just wanted a break after that incredible season. Of course I couldn’t believe I had taken over the greatest manager of all time, and the fact that we just had won four trophies. No other English clubs had done so themselves. Giggs had shown significant reduction in fitness level the pass season and Rio just got another injury. What am I meant to do? Risk upsetting the fans or sticking to my principles, I had to decide soon. For now it’s time for a break from football. Maybe just a 2 week holiday in Dubai.
 
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