The B’s of Manchester – Part 11

It’s the end of season two for the Manchester United B team and SupernovaDragon. A late run of form would surely secure a promotion spot as they seek to avoid the dreaded playoffs. Catch up with part 10 here.

Welcome back to the B Team of Manchester United and we pick up where we left off which is 2nd place and looking forward to momentum carrying us onwards to promotion to Division 1 at last.

Our first game of the update is at home to Luton. I tell the lads before they go out that we need to win to get a stranglehold of 2nd. Did that team talk work?

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I think it’s fair to say that is THE best first half we have ever played. I decided to throw De Bont to start and I am so glad I did. From the 4th minute onwards, we absolutely dominated this half. I tell them to go out and enjoy the second half.

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I’m very disappointed to have conceded the 3 goals but then I take the blame for that as I took Duncan off because of his booking, maybe I shouldn’t have done that. De Bont was worth his MOTM award.

By the time our next match comes, away to Fulham, Cundy is back from suspension but more importantly, so is Nevland. I was always planning on putting him straight back into the starting line-up but after how well De Bont played, he has to make do with a place on the bench.

At half-time, De Bont has not proven to me he deserves his place. He has wasted numerious chances as we are 1-0 down. I decide to keep faith with him and my lovely Tree equalised and then we go 2-1 down, on comes Nevland and we instantly play better and Nevland almost scored. We then go 3-1 down, Nevland pulls 1 back and in the 90th minute Nevland equalised. Or so I thought, the linesman ruled it out for offside (it wasn’t) and we lost again. I can’t believe how patchy our form is to say we are 2nd.

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Meanwhile, our parent club are in yet another FA Cup Semi-final. This time playing Chelsea.

Next up, it’s home to Wrexham. Nevland starts again in the only change. Problem was, the defence didn’t play that bad. 2 minutes in and we are 1-0 down, Nevland equalised 5 minutes later but neither team really trouble the goals for the rest of the half. I tell the team to get out there and win this match as nothing else will do.

Second half and we run riot as Nevland got a second, Notman scored 2 and Tomlinson also got in on the act as we won 5-1.

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Meanwhile, Newcastle are the sole remaining English team left in the Champions League. In the semi-finals against Barcelona. Good luck to the Toon.

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We then visit Blackpool, not for the Pleasure beach but to play our next match. I leave the entire team as it was and send them on the way. 5 Minutes in and Nevland scored, a minute later and it’s 1-1. Notman then goes off injured and I bring De Bont on, Nevland takes the free-kick and it’s parried and De Bont scored the rebound. On the stroke of half-time it’s 2-2. I tell them to get their act together and get out there and win.

Second half and not a lot really happened until I brought Ferdinand on for Greening, shifting Clegg to the left and within 5 minutes, Tomlinson got given the ball, rounded the keeper and won the match for us.

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I treat the lads to staying over and letting them go to the pleasure beach the next day.

Bye bye Jonny Macken, you scored a few vital goals for me but I wasn’t standing in your way as I just wasn’t giving you the game time:

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Not surprised he chose Burnley though, seeing how they got promoted last season and are actually in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Meanwhile our parent club? Well they got a bargain:

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I forgot to screenshot but Sheringham left our parent club to sign for Celtic.

Another player that barely ever played, yet did feature in my first ever starting line-up of this experiment has now left us on deadline day:

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The day after deadline day and we get an injury:

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Not the ideal player to lose as we still only have Appleton as our defensive midfielder. We also lose Duncan for a few days.

Our next match is at home to Crewe. With the two injures above, I have had to make a couple of changes. At half-time we are leading 2-0 thanks to McGibbon (header from corner) and Nevland (putting it beyond the reach of the keeper.) I tell the lads to keep it together and to get a third. We do end up winning the match 3-2 thanks to Tomlinson netting the 3rd and we then came very close to throwing it away as they pulled it back and then missed a golden chance in the 90th minute.

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Our parent club win the League Cup. Again.

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As another month ends, we are closer to the end of the season and the board are very pleased. This is very nice:

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Not one of ours but this is a very bad injury:

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Up next for us is a trip to Bristol to play against City. I remind the lads that the win is the most important thing. They appear to not be listening to me as we are 1-0 down at half-time. I tell them to get their heads in the game and start to play. This was a very disappointing result. Why is it we can play so well for matches on a run and then we can lose in this manner:

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What makes it more disappointing is that, according to the ratings, we played well?

4 days later, on the Wednesday, we are away to Leyton Orient. I talk to the team and I tell them, in no uncertain terms, to get out there and win no matter what. 2 minutes in and we go 1-0 down. On the half hour mark however, we turn it around with a quickfire double, first Mulyrne and then Greening getting us in front at half-time. At the end we won, 5-3, even if it did look like we could have thrown away the win at the end.

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Our parent club are through to yet another final:

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Now we are finally in a home match again, this time against Exeter. We’ve got to win this one. In 2 minutes we are 1-0 down, 5th minute we equalise through Mulryne, Notman then lobs the keeper to put us in front on 21 minutes and Mulyrne gets a second on 41 minutes and 2 minutes later we conceded another meaning it is 3-2 to us at half-time. By full-time only 1 more goal is scored, Tomlinson pouncing on a loose ball.

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A very good all round team performance.

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That’s that at least, but where we are now, we NEED to be securing 2nd also.

Some more good news, after missing the whole season, the friendly ghost has returned:

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As long as we get the 2nd place sorted, he will get a game or 2 before the end of the season.

Our parent club get the shock result graphic:

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Blackburn are in the UEFA Cup final:

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However, Newcastle cannot find their way past Barcelona:

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Arsenal have got to their final though:

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Our parent club win yet another Premier League:

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Up for us next is Swansea who are top of the table and already promoted. Currently it looks like this:

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Somehow, if we were to win this, we’d be 1 point behind but played a game more. Can we really beat Swansea though?

At half-time we are 2-0 up thanks to goals from Nevland and Notman, we have played so well so far so I tell the lads to keep it tight and keep going as they are. Within 10 minutes of the second half starting, we concede 1. They then stayed on top of us and attacked but we stood firm:

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That now brings us 1 point behind with 3 games to go. We can win this league, as long as Swansea suffer defeat in their game in hand.

They win their game in hand, beating Wigan 2-0 away.

We then get to the weekend and we’re away to Gillingham. However we are missing 2 players due to international duty, McGibbon and Mulyrne. We’re definitely going to miss Mulryne. A dour poor game was 0-0 until we opened the scoring thanks to Tomlinson, only for an equaliser to come 10 minutes later. It then stays like that until the 83rd minute when Thornley scored a rebound, only for the referee to disallow the goal. We could, and quite possibly should, have won this match.

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However, this is the news I have been waiting to hear:

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It’s been a long hard season. I will give a couple of fringe players a game or 2 at the end of the season.

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I should think so too.

Let’s get this season wrapped up then shall we, our penultimate game is at home to Watford. After being 1-0 down at half time, we play poorly until I do a sub and then after that we play a lot better.

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The draw was a fair result.

Final game of the season and this update is away to York. I make quite a lot of changes again, give Ridings a game to finish the season off. The final game is one to see us off in style as we win:

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Great way to see off the season:

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In the end we drew too many games but our goals for tally is the best I’ve personally had on this game.

Excluding Ridings ratings as he played the one game:

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The biggest disappointment was Cantona to be honest. McClair has seen the last of our squad also.

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As you see, Tom and Nev easily got the majority of the goals and I take back what I said about King Eric. He has brought his share of goals and Mulryne has really shone recently. Langley and De Bont also got in on the act and I am so glad they did, they restored the faith I had in them.

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As for assists, Tomlinson and Nevland easily lead the way, Eric having got 10 assists

We didn’t really get many Man of the Match awards which is a shame.

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Blackburn won the UEFA Cup:

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But their joy then changed to sadness:

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Arsenal won the Cup Winners’ Cup

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Nottingham Forest pulled off a bit of a shock in the FA Cup:

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Barcelona won the Champions League:

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Oh I am so happy for you 3:

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You all deserve it.

Meanwhile joining us in the 1st Division:

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Had a feeling it would be Bristol Rovers.

I should think you are very pleased:

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Let’s have a take a look back at the two key players who have left, first up Johnny boy Curtis:

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As you can see, Curtis has played well for Leeds so far, still no England caps though.

What about our other key player, Terry Cooke?

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He’s only played 9 games for our parent club but saying that, he does have some competition in that team.

It is now that I let you know the board were somewhat surprised I released McClair after we held a clear the air talks after I confirmed to him that he would not be starting any games next season and, to be honest, probably won’t get on the bench either.

I’ve also transfer listed John O’Kane as I feel I won’t be playing him much now either.

We started to start looking at new players for the upcoming season but I failed in my first transfer:

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He had been released from Real Madrid and would have fitted into our wing back formation but it wasn’t to be.

We will finish this part with the end of season awards:

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It was a surprise to be to see the Leyton Orient manager get manager of the year for Division 2 as I thought it would be me (somehow) or the Swansea manager but it was also good to see Tomlinson be top scorer.

As we end this part, let’s do another BACK TO REALITY:

Today we look at the career of John Curtis:

Johnny boy Curtis started his his career at Manchester United obviously and was there until 2000 after playing 14 games for the first team. He spent 99/00 on loan to Barnsley. He signed for Blackburn and was there for 3 years until 2003 and spent time on loan to Sheffield United in 2003 before he left.

2003/04 he signed for Leicester City and played 15 times and then signed for Portsmouth for the 04/05 season, played 7 times and went out on loan to Preston North End and played 12 times and signed for Nottingham Forest from 2005 until 2007, played 79 times then started to bounce around signing for QPR (4 games until John Gregory was sacked and got released), John then signed for Worcester CIty just to gain fitness and signed for Wrexham (13 games), Northampton Town for the 09/10 season (19 games) and his final club Gold Coast United, played 19 games and even scored his first goal since he was on loan to Barnsley back in the 99/00 season.

He played 4 times for the England U21’s and 1 game for England B team.

Johnny boy Curtis didn’t live up to anywhere near his potential but at least he played a full career.

Until next part and next season, bye from the Manchester B’s.

SupernovaDragon will be back after the summer break with season 3!

The B’s of Manchester – Part 10

It might be a bank holiday but Monday is always @SupernovaDragon day. His Manchester United B team is well into the second season but are they approaching promotion? Catch up with part 9 here.

Hey and welcome back to the Man United B Team story. Where we left off we were somehow still 3rd after a patchy start to the season and finally got to a bit of a run over December and with us being out of all the cups, there is just the league to concentrate on, this is our chance to stay fit and get the promotion we need.

Our parent club are continuing on their quest to win everything in sight.

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Not Michael, he’s vital to our team:

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We will definitely miss him.

Our first game of the update is at home to Bristol Rovers, I tell the lads that the win is the most important thing, I have to make a change, taking out the injured Clegg. At half-time we are 1-0 up thanks to Mulyrne playing Tomlinson through and his shot being parried and Nevland slotting into the empty net with ease. By full-time we won 3-1. A Cantona corner was headed in by Duncan, Bristol Rovers netted one back but was never really in the game, Twiss come off the bench and in the last minute, his low cross from the right and Tomlinson finished to win the match completely.

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It was a deserved win.

Good Grief, I am out of centre backs:

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2 matches? We were just getting somewhere, this is going to be tough for them 2 matches.

Up next is away to Millwall, I send the team out telling them that they know what to do. In 3 minutes Nevland put Cantona through to put us 1-0 up, then Millwall come back at us and equalise 10 minutes later and then, on the stroke of half-time, Duncan pushed Newman in the box, got booked and the penalty was converted. I tell them they can still win this match.

Within 5 minutes of the restart we go 3-1 down. I feel like this small unbeaten run is slipping away. We manage to get a second after Cantona fed Nevland who slotted nicely under the keeper. We then bring Twiss on for the last 10 minutes and he had a shot saved and in the last minute he found Nevland in the box, who equalised beautifully. We were lucky to get the point but I’ll definitely take it.

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Just as Clegg returned from his injury, we get another to a vital player:

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I swear this game is trying to ruin my promotion chances.

Up next is an away trip again, however this is our shortest trip as we visit Oldham who are 24th. I tell them they are have to win this one, show everyone we deserve to get promoted. In the first 5 minutes Oldham squander a number of chances, including the moment the ball bouncing around the box and Ritchie putting over from 5 yards. We broke away in the 17th minute and Tomlinson’s through ball found Nevland who smashed it into the corner. We then dominated as we had our chances to squander and hit the woodwork a lot. Second half and it was nervy as Oldham was all over us for most of it, we waste a few more chances and then with 9 minutes to go, they pull 1 back to really make me nervous. We hang on though and come through with a win.

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As well as Nevland played, I thought Kelly deserved man of the match as he almost saved everything thrown at him.

It’s been far too long since I last saw this message and I am savouring every second it is on the screen:

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Nice little pre-birthday present as for the first time this season we are in the top 2.

We have a 15 day gap until I next play so I look to the youth academy for a new centre back. Meanwhile our parent club continue to win everything:

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We do bring in a new youth centre back:

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Tackling high, aggression high and heading high. He could actually end up being useful. He will be starting straight away as Duncan is suspended for 2 matches.

Our next match, Cundy’s debut, is away to 19th placed Wigan. I bring Clegg onto the bench for O’Kane and tell the lads to go out and try and take the lead early and then have fun. This isn’t what happened, in fact it was just flying by until McGibbon gets himself sent off due to being the last man so I had to bring Clegg on to shore up the defence. A minute later and Cantona set up Nevland to put us ahead. We keep it at 1-0 at half time and I tell them to keep it tight and go for the win. Second half and Johnson is sent off for 2 bookings for Wigan and a while later, Tomlinson pulls the ball back to my lovely Trees who nets a screamer. We won 2-0 but now I will be missing McGibbon.

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Cundy had a good debut to be fair.

It has been too long since they were very pleased.

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It’s nice to see.

Our next match is at home to bottom of the table Oxford. We should win this as I name the same team again. When we go in at the break it is 1-0 to us, thanks to Cantona putting Nevland through who slotted beautifully. By the final whistle we won 4-2, Mulyrne put us 2-0 up but we then proceeded to throw it away as we got drew back level, only for Tomlinson to net another goal and then Ferdinand to get his first ever goal for us after Nevland put him through.

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Nevland’s booking in the last match meant he was suspended from the 17th for 2 matches, we will probably miss him as our form is going well right now.

Meanwhile, Ronnie Wallwork is now definitely out of reach for us as he’s signed for Everton so that’s that over with. Good luck to Ronnie.

Our next match is at home to 4th placed Portsmouth. This is vital and our current run should set us up for another win but this is the first time we have met anyone this high up in the league for a while. At half-time it’s 2-2, Tomlinson put us ahead with a beauty of a goal only for Portsmouth to equalise straight away thanks to Aloisi and then they went 2-1 up. We managed to draw level thanks to Nevland putting Tomlinson through again who burred it.

Second half and Portsmouth took the lead late on and I could feel the defeat coming, only for supersub Twiss to come off the bench and net the last minute equaliser. To top it all, he almost scored again in the 90th minute but the keeper just about saved it. All in all, the draw was a fair result and at least we’re still unbeaten.

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Our next match is away again, this time to 4th placed Brentford, I tell the lads to keep this run going and to go for the win. Level at 1-1 at half time thanks to Cantona getting the equaliser, second half and Brentford won the match after McGhee got his 2nd. To top a bad day, Cundy got sent off for deliberate handball.

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Guess who’s in yet another final:

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There is no stopping the domination.

Our next match is away to Carlisle. Nevland is suspended and Twiss is injured for a few days so a couple of changes are done. At half-time we are 1-0 down after Pilkington brought down their forward and got booked for the trouble and the penalty got converted. We picked up far too many bookings in that half and feel another red card coming and we created nothing in that half.

In the end we deserved to be beat, we created nothing, we playing awful and the worrying fact is, we have now lost 2 games on the trot now and I am getting worried what happened last season, is happening again.

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How can missing Nevland make us play this bad?

End of the month and the end of this part and the board are still very happy:

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As for the table?

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As you can see, we are 2nd currently due to the 3 teams below us keep drawing or losing their last couple of matches. How we are still there I don’t know to be honest. Swansea are running away with this league and I wish it were us.

Join us next time to see if we can get back to winning ways and see if we can get automatic promotion.

BACK TO REALITY:

This week, John O’Kane:

John was at Man United until 1998 after failing to get into the first team, despite being a part of the 1992 Youth team that spawned Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, the Neville’s etc. He made just 10 appearances until leaving for Everton, where he starts CM9798. He played 14 times for them between 1998 and 1999 and still found himself being loaned out. After failing to really make headway until their starting line-up, he signed for Bolton. After Bolton got promoted in his first season he went on to make 36 appearances, scoring twice.

He left in 2001 and signed for Blackpool. However, this is another player who retired a little earlier due to injury. He did come back and play in the non-league for Hyde United and was even their captain but that was as far as he got.

The B’s of Manchester – Part 9

Monday is B day here, though maybe I should reconsider that name. Anyway, @SupernovaDragon is here with the latest from the Man Utd B team. Their second attempt to get out of Division 2 is looking not too dissimilar to the first…Catch up with part 8 here.

Hello and welcome back to the Man United B Team. Can we get a winning run together and get into the top 2? I hope so.

First up in Scotland, Dumbarton have retained the League Cup which is quite a feat I’m sure you’ll agree:

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Our first game of this part is at home to Crewe in the Windowless Shield. Time to change things up for this match. At half-time it’s 0-0 and an extremely dull match so far. At full-time we lost 2-1 and De Bont scored, which was nice for him. I really am not bothered about this shield.

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And with that we are out of the thing.

This is good for my lovely Tree. A bit of recognition for him:

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Now we are at the next match, at home to Lincoln in the FA Cup first round. Back to the full strength team. I am determined for a decent cup run.

At half-time it is 1-1 after Lincoln took the lead and Tomlinson’s shot hit the post and Nevland put in the rebound. By full-time we have won 2-1 thanks to Nevland rounding the keeper after being put through by Cantona. We dominated the the entire match and we should have scored more than the 2 we did.

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QPR have got a new player manager:

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We find out who we have in the second round of the FA Cup:

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I fancy our chances against either.

Meanwhile our parent club finally sell Jordi, we could have gone in for him but we have enough left sided midfielders.

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Our next match is at home to Brentford. Let’s keep this winning run going. I have had to make 1 change, Nevland is with Norway U21’s so De Bont is in for him. Half-time and an Aspinall double have put us 2-0 down. We have been useless. I have no idea why we are playing so bad, are we missing Nev that much?

Full-time and even though we pull 1 back, it was an own goal by Dearden. We pretty much created nothing all match and deserved to be beat:

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I’d say we missed Nev.

Another correct prediction by this game:

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Oh you have the be kidding me!

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A month is a long time to wait for him to return.

We’re at home again next match, this time to Gillingham. I change things around a little bit, line-up wise. I want us to win again!

At half-time we have been woeful, 3-1 down and the only bright spark is the goal from Macken. We are not creating anything and I change the formation around a little.

At full-time this little change around I did seems to have done the trick as we come back and draw 3-3 though not until the substitutions. In the end, I think we deserved the draw.

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Onwards to the next match.

Before we do go to the next match, I don’t think I could have taken this match:

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Up next is away to Watford who are above me currently in the league. I change my line-up a little bit again. We really need to get winning again. The first half sees chances for either side pass by until, on the stroke of half-time, Cantona played Brown through of all people who hit the post and Tomlinson finished.

Second half we dominated the match and Tomlinson played in sub Macken and completed the win for us.

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That was Noel-Williams last game for Watford as he had a selection of clubs to chose from when he left:

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He’s now plying his trade in Scotland.

Next up is the 2nd round of the FA Cup against Wigan. I tell the lads to get out there and show just how good we are and get to the 3rd round. At half-time the only thing that happened of note is Duncan getting injured meaning Appleton moving to centre back. By the end of the match we’re out the FA Cup and I blast the team in the dressing room, this was such a dour performance and how anybody got anywhere near an 8 rating I will never know.

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So am I.

I am very much enjoying the board’s reaction to my very meh performance at the moment:

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Meanwhile, our parent club continue to win everything:

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Our next match is at home to York, I remind the team how imperative it is that we get back to winning ways and that we MUST get the win. At half-time it’s 0-0 after Notman had a goal disallowed. Other than that this game is starting to peter out.

At full-time we have been awful and barely create a thing and go down losing 2-0 and I am all at a loss as to what to do.

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Our net match is at home to 3rd place Hartlepool. I change things around again as Nevland has come back from injury and straight into the starting line-up. At half-time it is 2-0 to us thanks to Mulryne playing Clegg through, who’s shot hit the post and Cantona finished into the empty net. Then as the half went on, we started to dominate and then Tomlinson played Mulyrne in who slotted the ball under the keeper. This is the best first half we have played for quite a while.

At full-time we score another 2 thanks to Cantona getting his second and Tomlinson rounding the keeper to win us the match comfortably, this was more like it.

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Maybe I shouldn’t get too excited:

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Why? Just WHY?

Next up is away to 20th placed Preston and Nevland returned but isn’t fully fit so has to make way. Twiss will start in his place. At half-time we are 2-0 up thanks to Cantona pouncing on a loose ball after Twiss’ shot hit the bar and the second came after Tomlinson played a lovely ball through to Mulyrne who put it beyond the reach of the keeper.

The second half and Preston pull it back straight after the break to 2-1 and then equalise thanks to non-stop domination. Then a mix-up at the back in the last 10 minutes by Preston led to an own goal and winner for us after O’Hanlon put beyond his own keeper.

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We won this but really, defensively we were shocking.

Why is it, when things seem to be going well I get an injury?

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At some point this will come back and haunt me I just know it.

Boxing day and what is the last match of this very short update is at home to Grimsby. I am just hoping for no post Christmas hangover. After a pretty successful first first half, Tomlinson scored after 4 minutes after Mulryne played a low cross into the box and Tomlinson finished nicely. Then in the 9th minute Nevland got brought down in the box and Tomlinson converted the penalty. Second half and Tomlinson played Twiss into the box and his shot was parried and Tomlinson got his hat-trick. Then we had a nervy end as Grimsby come back and netted twice in 5 minutes towards the end of match but we hung on.

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The second successive 3-2 win. I like the wins but the closeness is not doing much for my nerves.

Nice to know they have become pleased:

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Despite our patchy form we end this part in 3rd place, somehow went behind the top 2:

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We will come back in the next part to see if this sudden upturn in fortunes continues and if we can build up steam in the new year to get into the automatic promotion places.
Until then, I will leave you with the next part of what I am going to call BACK TO REALITY:

Michael Clegg:

Begin his career, obviously, at Man United in the youth team. He played 9 games in total for the first team and spent time on loan at Ipswich (3 games) and Wigan (6 games.) He just never lived up to any sort of potential CM9798 said he had. He then moved on in 2002 for free. He played 46 times for them in 2 years and looked like he might just have a decent career in the lower leagues, only for Oldham to hit financial difficulties and enter administration. He helped them steer clear of relegation before retiring at the young age of 27. He played twice for the England U21’s but all in all, it’s a shame he retired so soon.
He did become a coach in 2006 after retiring, he joined former team mate Roy Keane at Sunderland.

The B’s of Manchester – Part 8

It might be Easter Monday but that won’t stop @SupernovaDragon bringing you the latest from the Man Utd B team. They narrowly missed out on promotion in season one, how is season two shaping up? Catch up with part 7 here

Hello and welcome back to the B Team of Man United where the youngsters come together to form a team. In case you have missed it, we have yet to get out of division 2 and are now on a patchy run of results. Even the elder statesman of Eric Cantona can’t keep us going.

Anyway, our first game of this update is at home to Oldham Athletic. I tell everyone in the dressing room that, with Oldham in 20th, I expect nothing less than a win!
At half-time we are 1-0 up thanks to Nevland pouncing on a ball dropped by the keeper from a Cooke cross.

At full-time it’s our best 45 minutes for a long time:

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Cantona finally netted his first goals for us and Tomlinson also scored. My nemesis from Oldham, Jepson, netted twice also.

By the next match, which comes after an U21 Norway game, Nevland gets injured on duty and both McGibbon and Duncan are suspended. The B’s have now also brought in some schoolboys to play slowly devlop and try and keep the Man United youth team building:

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All of these may end up featuring at some point just not straight away. Maybe in the Windowless Shield.

Our next match is away to Oxford, with Duncan suspended and McGibbon I have to make a couple of changes. The timing of McGibbon’s suspension actually works out as he would have been missing anyway due to being on international duty.

This match was a little dull with not a lot of action, however the 1 goal that won it came from a scramble in the box after Tomlinson set up Macken who hit the bar, Tomlinson’s shot was blocked by the keeper and Macken finished it off.

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Next up is a home game V Wigan. I decide to make the odd change, Trees gets dropped and Duncan comes back in with Appleton back in midfield.

At half-time we are 2-0 up thanks to Tomlinson getting both of them. First was in 8 minutes when Macken played him through and the 2nd was after Appleton passed it from deep into Wigan’s half, Macken shot and the keeper parried it and Tomlinson finished it easily.

At full-time it ended 2-0 as Wigan had a few chances but we held out to win. It feels like we are playing like a team again.

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As the games start to come thick and fast now, we’re away to Portsmouth. I do make the 1 change as Appleton is getting a little tired, Trees comes back in for him.

At half-time we are 3-1 down, we was 2-0 down after 10 minutes as our defence has been awful. Miskicks and fouls all over the place. We were lucky to net 1 just before half-time.

Second half just petered out to nothing and the end of the day it just wasn’t our day. This match was just depressing after the way we seemed to turn things around recently.

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Some good news after the last match:

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It was only the last match it felt like we really missed Nev. Be nice to have him back though.

Really, a strained wrist?

10

1 last schoolboy joins our B team and he has a name I enjoy:

11

He’s not brilliant at the moment admittedly but his tackling could be useful and we’ve been needing someone else who could play wing back for if we go back to 5-3-2 attack again.

Going out of the club on loan is Wellens as he was not getting near my starting line-up anytime soon.

Next up is the League Cup 1st leg against Wrexham at home. I change things around a little, rest some players as I’d rather concentrate on the league.

At half-time we’re 1-0 down and surprisingly De Bont has been our most creative player. Maybe he could prove to be a good signing.

At full-time it ended 1-1 thanks to my 16 year old sub Derek Langley coming off the bench for Macken, latch on to a pass from De Bont and finished with ease. He definitely has a bright future.

12

Well, Dundee United have pulled off a managerial coup:

13

Not Michael:

14

My main defensive midfielder, I could have done with him.

We have not been performing well in the league and it appears even the board are starting to lose faith in me:

15

We finally arrive at our next match, at home to Carlisle. I go back to full strength and I tell the team to go out there and perform, not just for me, but for the fans.

At half-time it’s 3-0 to us after we took the lead thanks to Nevland’s cross and Tomlinson heading home, within a minute we went 2-0 up after Tomlinson’s shot was parried and my lovely Tree finished it off and later in the half Tomlinson set up Nevland to finish. I tell the lads in the dressing room that I am very happy.

Not much else happened in the second half except for Tomlinson being put through by Cantona and he finished it nicely, only for it to be ruled out for offside.

16

Great signing by Barcelona:

17

Meanwhile our parent club also made a new signing:

18

It looks like my only right sided midfielder is getting promoted to our parent club. This is now the only club I will be accepting bids from:

19

Bye bye Cookie.

At home to Fulham next and what will most likely be Terry Cooke’s last game. We leave the starting line-up as it is and I tell them to play as they did last match and give Terry a great send off to our parent club.

Within 3 minutes, Nevland plays Tomlinson through to put us 1-0 up and by the half hour mark we have made it 2-0, thanks to Tomlinson repaying the favour and setting Nevland up. I have also noticed that currently Cooke is on an average 6, his mind is on other things and I go over and quietly say to him that he should say goodbye in style.

At full-time Cooke had turned on the style by setting up Tomlinson for his 2nd and he ended up with an 8. Nevland took the MOTM prize though and he fully deserved it. I will miss the Cookie as we seem to, most of the time, play this good.

20

As the month ends, the board are very much at the pre-meh meh point with me:

21

Next up is our 2nd leg against Wrexham. After the 1-1 draw from the first leg at home, I decide to, once again, change the team to concentrate on the league. I keep Cooke starting, for what I just know will be his last game.

At half-time we have been extremely poor. I mean, almost us v Portsmouth poor. 2-0 and barely creating a thing, which is hardly surprising considering the line-up.

At full-time we lost 3-2 and despite what it may looks like, we were never in this game. We got what felt like a consolation in the 89th minute and then we went straight back up and got a 2nd and then the whistle went. We didn’t deserve anything from this match and, to be honest, I’m glad to be out of this cup anyway.

22

Even if the board wanted to be in it:

23

They’ll change their minds if we got promoted at the end of the season.

Officially promoted to our parent club now Cooke:

24

We end up with McClair who I never really wanted but they relegated him to our B team and, to be honest, I cannot see him playing many games for us.

We get the FA Cup 1st round draw:

25

If we play what we are capable of this should be a bit of a breeze.

We have had to replace Cooke and bring in, for free:

26

He’s not a patch on Cooke of course but he looks useful. He’ll be starting the next match as I don’t really have many options down the right.

Talking of which, we are at home to Blackpool. I tell the team to prove how Cooke didn’t make the team and we can win without him. At half-time the half barely had much in the way of chances from either team until 43 minutes when Nevland put Tomlinson through who slotted the ball beyond the reach of the keeper.

At full-time we won 4-0 thanks to Nevland jumping on a loose ball after Tomlinson hit the woodwork, Brebner headed in a Cantona corner and sub Twiss got put through by Tomlinson and he rounded the keeper to score. All in all, a very good team performance.

27

Next up is, again, Wrexham away. This time in the league. Considering where Wrexham are in the league, they are bottom, I tell team to go out and do what they did last match. However, I have had to drop 3 players due to them being with the under-21’s. So out goes Clegg, Duncan and Nevland. I decide to give McClair a run out for his debut.

At half-time the only thing of note to happen is Greening picking up a knock but it’s not too serious currently. At full-time it was disappointing 0-0 with nothing happening at all. So far, if there was an award for most boring match of the season, this would be up there.

28

Our next match is at home to Bristol City. We make several changes to our line-up. At half-time we are 1-0 up after Cantona’s header down to Tomlinson who rounded the keeper and put us ahead, the rest of the half petered out.

By full-time we have been dominant and run out 3-0 winners. We hit the woodwork several times, one of them leading to Tomlinson’s second. Cantona finished the scoring.

29

A bit of managerial foreshadowing going on here:

30

Next up we are away to Lincoln in the Windowless Shield. I make several changes as I really do not care about this thing. At half-time we are 1-0 down after a cross into the box and Thornley headed the ball back to the debutant keeper and it ended up in the back of the net. By full-time we have lost 2-1, at least Langley come off the bench to net one.

31

Let’s just get back to the league, we have Exeter away. I bring back my main line-up of course. At half-time we are 1-0 down and Clegg has picked up an injury just as Greening come back from his, I don’t need this.

Full-time and we lost 3-0 and this was a very poor showing from us, though I don’t blame the defence for the off day, the injury helped with that.

32

6 weeks is too long, we will miss him.

Next up in the league is away to Crewe. A couple of changes and back on the pitch we go.

At half-time we are losing 2-0 and not 1 player is playing that well. I blast them in the dressing room, telling them to get a grip of themselves. By full-time it’s ended 2-2 after McGibbon scored with a bullet header from a corner and Cantona put Twiss through and his shot got parried and Nevland finished. The comeback was great and I was just glad not to get beat.

33

Up next is a home match with Leyton Orient. I sit the team down and tell them they have to win to get us back into the battle to get promoted. At half-time we are 1-0 up thanks to Nevland slotting the ball home from close range. At full-time we won 2-1. I am very concerned at the rate we concede goals but at least it’s another win.

34

Up next is away to table topping Luton Town. Considering the rate we concede these goals, I am a little fearful. I don’t let onto the lads, I tell them this is their chance to ruin Luton’s run and spearhead ours. At half-time it is 1-1. For the first goal, Tomlinson got put through by Nevland and he brought down, penalty. Tomlinson took it and smashed it into the corner, only for the referee to order a retake and Tomlinson did it again. After that, it was all Luton and then Luton drew level after a mix-up in the box. I tell the team that they can still win this and send them back out.

By full-time we have won 3-1 after Tomlinson rounded the keeper to score his second and Nevland put Cantona through to net the third.

35

As we head into the final match of the month and this part, the board are just satisfied.

36

Our final match of the month and this part, is away to a table topping team (sound familiar?) We take on Swansea this time. At half-time it is 0-0 and quite a few chances have been wasted by both teams. I talk to my front 3 and tell them to get their shooting boots back on and send the team out with my words of encouragement echoing in their ears.

57 minutes in and Tomlinson plays Nevland in who put us ahead. For the next half hour we end up backs to the wall job and just about keep them out. With 3 minutes left they finally break through after a corner and it ends 1-1. We could and should have won this.

37

This is the table at the end of this part:

38

As you can see, we are 5th but still only 3 points behind top and we now have a 3rd different leader of the division in 3 games. Worth nothing David Brown has just gone on loan to Portsmouth so I am interested in seeing how he performs for them.

As a new feature, I’ve decided to do a WHAT HAPPENED TO feature where I go via Wikipeadia and find out just what did happen to the players in real life that I started off with. To begin, the goalkeepers.

Kevin Pilkington:

He was at Manchester United until the summer of 1998 where he left and signed for Port Vale on a free transfer. Fun fact, Kevin Pilkington was in goal for Man Utd when I went to my first ever football match with my dad and uncle where they beat Sunderland in the FA Cup. Anyway, he barely played for them for 2 seasons and left for Aberystwyh Town, played 1 game then went to Wigan, played no games and ended up at Mansfield Town. After 5 years, he signed for Notts County and went to Luton on loan, signed for them, went on loan to Mansfield Town and in 2018 ended up at Cambridge United and is their goalkeeping coach.

Nick Culkin:

He was at Man United until 2002 and made 1 sub appearance where he came off the bench and played about 10 seconds against Arsenal after Van Der Gouw got injured at the end of the match. During this time he spent time on loan of course and eventually signed for QPR where he played 22 times. However, in 2005 he retired due to a knee injury but did come out of retirement after 5 years in non-league and eventually played for FC United.

Anyway, that’s it for this part and until next time…goodbye from the B’s

The B’s of Manchester – Part 7

SupernovaDragon is back with the Man Utd B experiment. In this episode you’ll see the playoffs and the planning for next season. But which division will they be in? Catch up with part 6 here.

Hello and welcome back to my Man United B team experiment. I am at the end of the season now, in the play-offs and losing the 1st leg 1-0. Sunday until the game day on Wednesday, I train the team and let the know this is important.

WE need to get promoted this season.

We haven’t:

1

As you can see, our shots to shots on target ratio is very poor. We never got going in this match.

All we can do now, is prepare for the following season. I’ve already set up the targets, Wallwork and Greening are definitely 2 people that are coming in if I can help it.

In other news:

Chelsea won the Cup Winners Cup and Man United won the FA Cup to round off the English league season. Then something familiar happened:

2

2-1 Man United win in the Champions League final with Sheringham scoring right at the end of the match at the Nou Camp? Definitely something familiar.

So Man United won the League, FA Cup and Champions League. Treble anyone?

3

Northampton completed the season winning the play-offs. Good luck to them, I will have to contend with Bristol Rovers again next season.

I need to find a formation and stick with it through thick and thin.

End of the season and these are the ratings:

4

The Brebner ratings are a little false as he barely played but I am not surprised to see Tomlinson and Nevland up there. Very surprised about Thornley, I really should have played him more.

5

The goals tally does sum it up for us, Only 4 players reaching double figures and Tomlinson just about outscoring Nevland.

6

The assists column still doesn’t fill me with confidence. However, I think it’s fair to say, Nevland and Tomlinson are my front 2 next season.

Currently Wallwork is unavailable. I am very much tempted to bring in Van Der Gouw on a free transfer as his contract is almost him. Would he be prepared to drop down the leagues? I am not too sure of Culkin.

I did consider going and bringing Cantona out of retirement as he is still on a free transfer. Should I though? He may well slot into the hole very nicely.

Our parent club didn’t take too long:

7

Neither did we:

8

He was a future Man United youngster, that’s the only reason I have signed him and I am not giving up on Wallwork.

Nice to know the board are still happy:

9

Yes, I had to. He was free and an ex United player and, I can imagine Eric being happy to help the kids:

10

No, the kids are not available at all:

11

I am going to just keep rejecting all summer. NONE of them are leaving, I am adamant of that.

Andy has now officially left Manchester United behind:

12

We was not going to really use him next season, best to just let him leave. Nor was we going to use May Day:

13

Well, as if winning the lot last season wasn’t enough:

14

I think it’s fair to say our parent club are going to be pretty much unbeatable.

France won the World Cup on home soil, beating Argentina in the final 2-0.

For those who are curious, here are the end of the season awards:

15

Before we can arrange any friendlies, we are told of who we are to play in the League Cup:

16

I may go for the cup this year, even without an award at the end of it.

In the Windowless Shield:

17

This one I definitely don’t care about.

I played 3 friendlies during pre-season, lost away to Utrecth 5-0, lost at home to Darlington 3-2 and beat Inter Cardiff 7-2. The Inter Cardiff match was more to get the team scoring. We had suffered injuries before the Inter Cardiff game, both goalkeepers were injured so had to play a greyed out one.

Terrible injury news:

18

This is quite the disaster, looks like Jonny Greening will be playing.

What are we doing in training really?

19

Looks like our parent club are on the sell again:

20

We finally get to the first game of the season, away to Hartlepool. This is the team and formation I decide to go with:

21

It was a very dull opening game of the season. I have never seen such a dull boring match:

22

We created nothing of note, despite what the stats say:

23

Meanwhile, our parent club continue to win things, they beat Newcastle in the Charity Shield 2-1.

Next up is away to Barnet in the League Cup. I make some changes to see if fresh players will turn things around after that dour showing last match.

At half-time it’s another dour showing, 0-0.

Second half, we take the lead through Macken after Notman put him through. A minute later and Barnet equalise and by the end of the match, we still have played poor and get beat 2-1.

24

I have always struggled in my 2nd season and this is systematic of the way I play this game.

We will win the next match.

First home game of the season next and it’s against Preston. At half-time we are 1-0 up thanks to a goal just before half-time from Tomlinson after Cantona’s header on to him.
Final whistle blows and we won 2-0 thanks to a goal from Mulyrne after Tomlinson played him through.

It’s nice to actually win a game again.

25

I don’t know what our team do during training but we keep injuring our defenders:

27

I am sorry Terry, last season I let Johnny boy Curtis leave, you’re my only right sided midfielder and you are not going:

28

Back to the League cup and home to Barnet in leg 2. I make some changes again, though we could do with keeping the winning ways going.

At half-time it’s 0-0 but we are down to 10 men after McGibbon was deemed to be the last man and was sent off for troubles.

Come the final whistle we won 2-0 after Twiss came off the bench and changed the game. First he set up Macken to put us ahead, then he broke free from the offside trap and buried it beautifully to win the game.

29

Our next round game is:

30

That will be in the next part.

Back to the league and we are away to Grimbsy. Back to my usual line-up.

At half-time it is 1-0 to us, Cantona playing through Mulryne to put us ahead. Second half and it all fell apart:

31

Duncan got booked for a high boot not long into the second half. 12th man Woods, equalised and then Duncan got sent off for his second booking after handballing in the box, Grimsby missed the penalty and Blades won the match towards the end of the match.

We threw this match away completely.

Next match is on Tuesday at home to Millwall. I tell the team in the dressing room how imperative it is they bounce back with a win. I make a couple of changes.

At half-time we are 3-0 up. We took the lead through Brebner who pounced on the ball after the shot from Nevland was parried. Then Nevland netted twice in 2 minutes to put us in at half-time winning.

At full-time we won 4-0 after Cook went two footed in on Cooke and got sent off and in the last 10 minutes Nevland got his hat-trick with a lob over the keeper. This was more like the performance we are capable of and always have been.

32

I am very surprised this has taken to season 2 to happen to be honest:

33

That will cause some pile up, I can feel it already.

What a Champions League group:

34

Group of death I think. I feel bad for Sofia.

I completely missed out on Wallwork. Everytime I tried to bid it was rejected as he was unavailable. Then in 1 go 5 clubs bid, I couldn’t and now he’s signed for Layton Orient:

35

I’d have paid more.

Last match of the update is away to Bristol Rovers, hopefully we will continue winning with this one. Especially as Bristol Rovers were one of the teams up there with us in the play-offs.

At half-time we are 2-1 down, Cooke put us ahead after pouncing on a loose ball after the keeper could only parry Nevland’s shot. We then continued to dominate until the last ten minutes of the half when Bristol Rovers started to take over and scored twice in 5 minutes.

At full-time we lost. However, we did go down fighting:

36

Nevland equalised within 5 minutes of the restart, only for Baroni to net his 2nd. We then started to dominate again and Tomlinson rounded the keeper to put us in level again. Only for Pritchard to blast one from 25 yards to win it for Bristol Rovers. We just cannot beat them.

We finish this part in a lowly 11th:

37

This is not good enough, I admit that and I may have to go back to another formation if we can’t get a winning run together. We are so average this season.

Nice to see players being recognised for their hard work, though selfishly I am thinking, they will both be missing for a match:

38

Bit of good news on the injury front to end the month with:

39

To end the part, this is the first time I have dipped to just ‘satisfied’ by the board:

40

Join us in the next part where I try and get the B’s back to where they belong, the top of the table. We need to start turning this around.

Until next time, goodbye for now.

The B’s of Manchester – Part 6

The B Team experiment from SupernovaDragon has seen the youth lads reach the upper echelons of Division 2. Can they make the final push to secure promotion? Catch up with part 5 here.

Welcome back to part 6 of the Man United B Team with the youngsters and now the slow feed through of players from our parent club. Let’s just get into this shall we, as we have a league run in to get into.

Our parent club have won the first trophy of the season:

1

I’ll give you this, our discipline needs sorting:

2

The FA Cup Semi-Final draw sees our parent club playing Tottenham:

3

Back to our league run in, up next is away to Gillingham and I make sure they know we HAVE to win this one. Nothing else will do.

At half-time we are 1-0. We are a shadow of how we have been playing before. I may have to convert to our old formation. Gillingham have even threw on two players and took nobody off.

At full-time we deserved to get beat. We offered nothing up top and to make matters worse, we lost McGibbon due to being sent off.

4

It’s good to know things are going well for our parent club:

5

Our next match is home to Northampton. It is very imperative we win this match.

Within the first 10 minutes we are losing again. I don’t know what has happened to us recently but the morale seems to be through the floor, we haven’t been the same for a while now.

2nd half and we are still struggling for the first 10 minutes, I then bring Nevland on, convert back to the 3-5-2 attacking formation I had before and suddenly we become better, Nevland seems to make the difference, his shot is parried and Mulryne jumps onto the loose ball to equalise and 10 minutes later, Tomlinson and Nevland combine to put us in front. The rest of the game then peters out, thankfully.

6

I was very unimpressed by Notman’s return.

Burnley won the Windowless Shield:

7

Our next match is away to Blackpool and we make a lot of changes as we convert back to the 5-3-2 attack formation.

At half-time we are 2-0 down, we got dominated from the very first minute and they scored in the 2nd. I am struggling to get our morale back up.

I feel like the team need a pick-me-up, we have been woeful again today:

8

I am already preparing for us to drop into the play-offs. We need to get our morale back up and I don’t know how to do it.

Our parent club is on for 4 trophies:

9

As the run-in begins, we are at home to Walsall. The way we have been playing, I am expecting us to get beat and to drop down to 3rd and I feel like I don’t know how to fix it. I go with a 4-4-2 formation and at half-time we are 1-0 down which is what I expected. I try to cheer the team up before sending them back out.

In the end, we lose 1-0 and I am struggling to see a way to fix this slump.

10

In midweek, Burnley win their game in hand and Bristol Rovers draw theirs to send us from 2nd to 4th and there must be a way to fix this.

Our next match is away to York, I’ve gone back to the 3-5-2 attack formation as, for the first time in a long time, I have a full team to choose from.

That’s the best first half we have had in a while, within a minute a Twiss put Tomlinson through to put us ahead. Later in the half, a Tomlinson shot was parried only for Appleton to net a 2nd and then a low cross from Twiss led to Tomlinson’s shot being parried, Nevland hitting the post and Casper burred the lose ball. We did still concede a goal before half-time. That’s how it finished, the only blot on the book for us was Macken coming off the bench, only to get injured a few minutes later.

11

It was a nice feeling to win a game comfortably again.

We have at least secured a play-off place. At least our parent club have succeeded:

12

I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s no surprise.

Our penultimate league game of the season is at home to MIlwall and as Clegg has, once again, got injured, in comes O’Kane as Notman is now on the bench.

10 minutes in and the worst thing that could have happened has happened. We are 3-0 down and I will admit to being all out of ideas.

At half-time I lambasted the team, told them they weren’t good enough and brought Thornley on for O’Kane who has failed to impress me all season. We then scored twice in 3 minutes at the start of the second half but still loose in the end. Play-offs it is then.

13

Our discipline is shocking.

Our last league game of the season is away to 23rd placed Wycombe 2 days later.

I’ve had to make a few changes to the starting line-up due to tiredness.

At half-time this very dull dour match is 0-0 which is what I was expecting to be honest.

At full-time we won 2-0 thanks to two goals from sub Andy Cole. It was a nothing match this really. We just have to prepare ourselves for the play-offs now.

14

Table ended like this:

1516

Our season seemed to go downhill once Johnny boy Curtis left but you can’t blame poor form on one sale.

17

As you can see, he has carried his form into Leeds. How I wish I kept him.

Our play-offs game is:

18

I fancy our chances, we WILL win the play-offs.

Meanwhile in other news, Sporting Lisbon won the UEFA Cup.

Back to the play-offs and I name the strongest team I can, making a few changes and the team out knowing a place at Wembley is at stake.

The first half we weren’t playing as a team for the first 20 minutes, then we got our act together and got a few shots away but it was still 0-0.

We didn’t perform anywhere near to what we were capable of and lose 1-0. None of the team played well.

19

On to the next leg where I am determined for us to overturn this result and get us to Wembley.

Join us next time for the end of the play-offs and see if we can turn it all around and go up and see if this team can start playing like a team again.

The B’s of Manchester – Part 5

Happy Monday. SupernovaDragon is back with the B team and this week he has to contend with an injury crisis. Can he tempt some players to drop down from the illustrious A squad? Catch up with part 4 here.

Welcome back to this Man Utd B Team, where we’re taking a team of Man Utd youngsters and anybody the first team, our parent club, deems surplus to requirements and seeing just how far we can go.

Our first match of this update sees us at home to 22nd placed Chesterfield. This is how we line-up:

1

As you can see, there is no place for our new signing David May as I keep faith with the youngsters.

At half-time we are 3-0 up thanks to Mulryne pouncing on a loose ball after Nevland’s shot hit the post. Notman got the second after Mulryne’s corner and Nevland’s header was parried by the keeper and Cooke played Nevland through to score the 1-on-1. All in all, a good first half.

At full-time we win 6-1 after, of all players, McGibbon scored a 1-on-1 after being through from a long ball from Appleton. Chesterfield pulled 1 back but Nevland lobbed the keeper to get his hat-trick.

2

Looks like Alan Sugar has had enough and sacked the manager:

3

Right on cue for our next match:

4

I’ve not really got much in the way of a replacement. Davis will be starting.

Our next match is away to London to play Fulham. At half-time we are 2-0 down thanks to 2 goals within a minute, both of which come from passes in the middle of the park. We are missing Appleton in there I think.

At full-time we managed to get 1 back in the last 5 minutes but we just wasn’t with it today and I can only imagine it’s missing Appleton:

5

Yes, David May did get his debut but he didn’t really have time to do much, good or bad.

Our parent club have had the “shock defeat” graphic:

6

Strange bit of prediction here from CM:

7

I know he wasn’t a starter currently but this is a big blow to me:

8

Our next game is home to Plymouth. I am so hoping we can we get back to winning ways as now Bristol Rovers are above us.

At half-time we are 1-0 up thanks to a goal after 10 minutes thanks to Nevland. It’s been a very dull first half with not a lot of happening.

Second half and the first thing that happened was Cooke getting injured, more on that pretty soon. Nevland got a 2nd thanks to a through ball from Mulyrne and within a minute, Plymouth got 1 back but we hung on to put us back into 2nd in the table.

9

Cooke’s injury is going to cause me problems I think.

10

Looks like the parent club made up for that shock defeat:

11

Off to Wigan we go, of course with Cooke being injured I have had to bring Tomlinson in for him. It was a little eventful this first half I’m sure you’ll agree:

12

Notman got put through by Nevland to put us ahead only for Rogers to equalise. We then dominated the rest of the half until Appleton put Notman through with a long range pass to put us back in front and then Nevland had 2 1-on-1’s and both were saved, only to have a 3rd 1-on-1 after being put through by Mulryne and finally scored. 2 minutes later and O’Connell went in 2 footed on Casper and the referee had no hesitation in handing out the red card.

By full-time we only score 1 more goal thanks to Mulryne after being through by Nevland. Then we picked up an injury to McGibbon.

13

I hope the injury isn’t too bad.

14

It is bad enough. As if 1 injury isn’t bad enough:

15

At least it’s just 1 week and he isn’t a starter.

Leeds have turned to Brian Little to be their new manager. The plus news for me:

16

Do I bring him back into the team straight away though?

I’m very suspicious of this injury, I have no proof of this but I think Cookie had something to do with this:

17

Davis and Tomlinson then both return before the next match and the board are still very happy with my work and I am still making a loss. What have I got to do to get a manager of the month.

Our next match is at home to Burnley. Now, I don’t know if you remember but all the way back in September Burnley absolutely hammered us 5-0. So I WILL be going out for revenge. I decide the name the same line-up.

At half-time and the revenge is not happening, we have been woeful and we are losing 2-0. It appears that Burnley are my bogey team then.

Yep, they are my bogey team and this was our chance to go back top. We just didn’t create much.

18

I blast the team in the dressing room afterwards. We had our chance. I am not very happy.

Leave my team alone:

1920

It’s only now that I realised I have not offered anyone a new contract and I have offered nearly everyone a contract.

He has just literally signed a new and straight away:

21

Nope, definitely not.

He has still not played but still:

22

Our next match is the trip to Wales to play Wrexham. Hopefully we will get back to winning ways.

At half-time we are 2-1 up, a Nevland penalty and Cooke pouncing on a loose ball after Notman’s shot was parried by the keeper putting us ahead at half-time.

At full-time we won 4-2 thanks to Nevland getting his hat-trick.

23

Meanwhile the FA Cup Sem-Final draw has been made:

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We get to our next match knowing that Walsall lost again. We know, if we win we go top. We have our chance to gain the initiative. We are at home against 3rd placed Bristol Rovers, who are just 2 points behind us and know a win can put them into 2nd. This match is important.

The match doesn’t start to well, with one of our few fit centre-backs Duncan getting stretchered off after 1 minute forcing me to bring Davis on and Appleton moving to centre-back. From then on it has been all Bristol Rovers. We have barely created anything as you can see from the stats below:

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At full-time it was petering out to a dull 0-0 draw until the final minute when Cureton raced clear of our defence and slotted the ball home to send us down the 3rd and possibly into the play-offs.

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Again this calls for another dressing room blasting by me. Problem is, we are running short of defenders. Luckily I know McGibbon is coming back and god knows we need him back in our defence.

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Oh Alex, why are you such a dirty player?

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Just to say, I went to our parent club and was surprised to see Man United randomly have signed someone I was not expecting as it never popped up:

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I wasn’t expecting to see him there, especially as Andy Cole is being sold and even Paul Scholes isn’t given a new contract.

It looks like we could possibly see an all English Champions League final:

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Our next match was away to Brentford. After the defeat in the last match it is imperative we get back to winning ways in this match. I make a couple of changes and send the team out with my voice ringing in their ears about the importance of the win.

Well, maybe I deafened them a little, as within a minute we are 1-0 down. 5 minutes and Cooke has drew us back level. We then proceed to have a good half hour of domination before they next come back at us. Casper gets injured and stretchered off meaning Appleton moving into defence again. Yet another defender is out. Then Trees picks up a knock but stays on the pitch, then Nevland finally makes our pressure pay by putting us in front after Cooke’s header put him through. I remind the team of the importance of the win and send them back on their way.

Just the one more goal in the second half as Mulyrne scored an absolute screamer of a free-kick which left their goalkeeper just standing there and applauding the goal himself.

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This win and Bristol Rovers draw meant we went back to 2nd. The downside of the win:

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This is an annoyance. We are losing defenders left, right and centre. I mean we literally are.

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Hopefully, we will make it back before our next match.

Teams are still trying to nick our kids, I’m still saying no. Meanwhile, look who has dropped down to the B Team:

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To be honest, I don’t know where he will fit into this team and an attacker is the last position we needed cover for but as they were selling them we had to see if we could sign him and we have brought in Andy Andy Cole. We still need a midfielder and a full back really.

Our parent club, not a good time for an injury. Let alone for this long:

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It was on an international duty so I don’t think Alex will be happy.
Meanwhile the transfer merry-go-round has caused a little bit of interest for me. Burnley sold Cooke, their main scorer, to Dundee. Now Burnley have signed Cureton from promotion rivals Bristol Rovers:

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Which can only be good news for me and hopefully keep us 2nd.

The biggest transfers on transfer deadline day was:

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As you can see, Newcastle spent big, bringing in Rui Costa and Benarrivo (who rejected Man United) and Liverpool brought in Bierhoff. Burnley sold Glen Little which could well be good news for us also.

Our last game of the month and the update is at home to Preston who are struggling in 22nd place. At half-time it is 1-1 after Mulryne put us ahead after placing the ball under the keeper for an easy finish, only for us to be drew back level 10 minutes later. I tell the team that I am disappointed with their performance so far and we go out and concede another goal to go 2-1 down by the hour mark. In the last 6 minutes, Andy Cole comes off the bench to draw us back level and it ends 2-2.

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I am very very disappointed with how we played and I can’t help but feel that the fact we had someone out of position at right back. I just cannot help but feel we should have won this match and that we needed to.

At the end of this update:

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We lie in 2nd 5 points behind Walsall in 1st. Bristol Rovers are still right behind us by 1 point and Burnley are still sniffing around. We need to get a good run together as the end of the season is nigh.

As for our parent club?

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I don’t think anyone will be surprised by the lead they have at the top of the table.

Until next time, cheerio and here’s to a good end of the season.