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Thread: Man Utd ODB

  1. #1

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    Man Utd ODB

    So, I started a new save since I, at least for the time being, donít have sufficient motivation to continue my Sunderland save as mentioned in the thread regarding that save: https://champman0102.co.uk/showthread.php?t=12423

    Instead I have started a Man Utd save.

    I use the same restrictions as in the the Sunderland save which I wonít elaborate on here. If youíre interested in the restriction details, you can read about them in the mentioned Sunderland-thread, primarily in some of the first posts I think.

    Key elements of my restrictions:
    - I donít find players manually or through the player search function. So no Tsigalko or Taribo West kind of semi-cheat players.
    - I only consider signing a player if my scouts find him and recommend him highly. A possible signing would also need to be highly recommended in a mandatory individual follow up scouting report.
    - I donít use cheat tactics. No wib-wib, no stacking the midfield and playing without wingers/full backs.
    - I use a 4-5-1 formation that looks like this: GK - DL, 2 DCís, DR Ė DMC Ė ML, MC, MR Ė AMC, SC. The fullbacks and wingers may or may not have an arrow one step forward depending on the individual player, whether he seems to be at his best in a defensive fullback/wing back/wide midfielder/winger role.

    For this save I have added an extra restriction that I didnít use in the Sunderland save: I will never fire any staff if I can avoid it (assistant manager, coaches, scouts, physios). I attempt to extend all staff contracts if at all possible. In other words I hire new people in any vacant slots at the start of the save (Man Utd didnít have any vacant slots by the way, so I didnít have to hire anyone), but apart from that I donít change staff unless someone retires or I cannot prevent him from joining another club.

    I like this new staff restriction. It makes the game faster and simpler when I no longer scout for staff upgrades on a regular basis. And having worse scouts probably also makes a save just a little more challenging and interesting. Perhaps not so much with Man Utd, but definitely in future saves with worse teams who have some terrible scouts amongst their staff.

    I intend to stick with all the mentioned restrictions as well as the newest one in all future saves. I just feel like it works well for me. I makes the game a bit more challenging. Easier and quicker to play. And it is a lot of fun when the transfer market is a bit of a lottery, unpredictable whom I will sign in any given save, since it totally depends on what the scouts come up with.

    So why did I pick a boring team like Man Utd who are probably the 2nd best team in the world already at the start (after Roma)? No good explanation really. I just like the CM 01/02 Man Utd team. I was a semi-Man Utd supporter from around the mid 90ís and perhaps until the early 2000ís, so that might make me further appreciate Man Utd sides at the time.

    On to the current save. Current date is August 22nd 2001. I have played two matches so far:
    - Charity Shield vs. Liverpool. 3-0 win. I absolutely battered them, great performance against what looks like on of the top 10 teams in the world on paper (I would think that the strongest teams in the world are Roma in 1st place, Man Utd in 2nd place, Arsenal in 3rd place, and after that there is a handful of world class team on almost the same level as the top three: Leeds, Liverpool, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Lazio).
    - Premier League at home vs. Everton. 1-0 win. They parked the bus. they only had one shot all game. I dominated the game and should have won by two or three goals, but their goalkeeper Paul Gerrard performed well. But who cares, a win is a win.

    Signings so far: None! I donít think I have ever tried that in a save before, not signing any players during the first weeks of a save. I certainly feel the consequences of the restrictions. My scouts obviously struggle to find good transfer targets, and I am obviously not allowed to find good bargains myself via the player search etc.

    Possible signings within the next couple of months (very uncertain):
    - Vladimir Ivic, 24 y/o AM/F RLC from Partizan Belgrade. I think I will most likely end up agreeing a fee with Partizan sooner or later (have had one or two bids knocked back so far, am willing to go much higher than my current £3m bid, probably willing to go up to at least £5-6m I think). I think that Ivic would be unlikely to get a work permit though. He has only played 7 caps for Yugoslavia and is not in their current squad. I just thought I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot, there might be a 10% chance or something that he would get a work permit, who knows.
    - Bouma, 23 y/o, soon to be 24 y/o, D/DM/F L from PSV Eindhoven. I am still awaiting the follow up individual scout report on him. But he looks a prospect, great in both the DL and ML position. At the moment I would think there is only a 20% chance that I actually end up signing him. It is probably very uncertain whether PSV will let him go for a reasonable fee. I donít know yet how much I am willing to pay for him, but probably no more than around £11-14m. I think that PSV will most likely not accept bids in that region, but we will see. It would be nice to get Bouma, he seems a great player and I have never managed him before.

    Players out: No less than eight players in total:
    - Raimond van der Gouw (38 y/o GK) to Dutch side RBC for 150k
    - Ronnie Wallwork (23 y/o D/DMC) to Hibs for 1.2m
    - Michael Clegg (24 y/o D/DM R) to Portsmouth for 1.2m
    - Andy Cole (29 y/o SC) to Schalke 04 for 5.25m (not the best price, his valuation was 7.25m, but noone else was even interested in him for the three weeks or so that he was on the transfer list).
    - Jimmy Davis (rubbish young FC or SC) to Darlington for 500k. Darlingtonís head of recruitment really should be given the sack, Jimmy Davis is not worth a penny.
    - Danny Pugh (rubbish MR or something like that) to Blyth Spartans for 200k (same as Davis, terrible overspending on their part)
    - Quinton Fortune (24 y/o AM LC) to Charlton for 2.9m in 6 month installments. Seems like a nice fee for a mediocre player at best, his valuation was 2.6m.
    - Denis Irwin (34 y/o D RL) to Walsall for 160k. I actually got burned on two 240k bids for him earlier on by Walsall and Portsmouth respectively. There was huge interest in him to begin with, 5-6 clubs interested including Arsenal. I got greedy, thought I could get 650k for him which was my counter suggestion. It backfired, both clubs bailed. What the heck, entertaining process selling him, and who cares about such pennies anyway.

    The sale of Andy Cole seems the most controversial one. It was almost a toss up between Cole and Yorke who of them to transfer list, but Yorke just seems like the marginally better player. I didít feel like keeping both around since I only play with one striker and van Nistelrooy is obviously first choice. Also players like Scholes and Solskjśr are fine as backup SCís if needed, Scholes is as good as Yorke and Cole in that position actually.

    The sale of Quinton Fortune is also debatable. I was a bit unsure of whether to transfer list him or not, but ended up doing it. He was around 16-17th in my outfield player pecking order for the D/M positions (9 positions; all positions except GK and SC). It was almost a toss up whether to transfer list him or not. I made a compromise, transfer listed him but didnít gradually lower the asking price as I usually do. Which in the case resulted in a nice fee for him, 2.9m paid by Charlton.

    Finances: I currently have £35.7m in the bank due to all the player sales. The bank balance will only increase in the coming months bar signings I assume, given all the income that Man Utd generate and since the £1.8m Champions League 1st group stage money has not been paid out yet.

    Current pecking order tactically (playing 4-5-1: GK - DL, 2 DC's, DR - DMC - ML, MC, MR - AMC - SC):
    GK: Barthez, Roy Carroll, Rachubka
    DL: Silvestre, Phil Neville, Tierney
    DC's: Ronny Johnsen, Gary Neville, Silvestre, Wes Brown, Laurent Blanc, David May, Lee Roche
    DR: Wes Brown, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Roche
    DMC: Johnsen, Nicky Butt, Roy Keane, Michael Stewart
    ML: Ryan Giggs, Ole Gunnar Solskjśr, Luke Chadwick, Bojan Djordjic, Phil Neville
    MC: Veron, Keane, Scholes, David Beckham, Butt, Stewart, Johnsen, Darren Fletcher
    MR: Beckham, Chadwick, Ben Muirhead, Fletcher, Phil Neville
    AMC: Veron, Scholes, Solskjśr, Fletcher, Djordjic
    SC: van Nistelrooy, Scholes, Dwight Yorke, Solskjśr, Djordjic

    Current first choice starting XI:
    GK: Barthez
    DL: Silvestre
    DCís: Ronny Johnsen, Gary Neville
    DR: Wes Brown
    DMC: Nicky Butt
    ML: Ryan Giggs
    MC: Roy Keane
    MR: David Beckham
    AMC: Veron
    SC: van Nistelrooy

    Bench (the most important rotational options):
    Blanc (DC)
    Phil Neville (D RL)
    Chadwick (AM RL)
    Scholes (AM/F C)
    Solskjśr (F LC)
    Carrol (GK)
    Yorke (S C)

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  3. #2

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    Bojan Djordjic will become a beast of a player given time. Probably first team ready at the start.
    I think you also have a Danish kid (can't remember his name) who becomes a top striker, and a guy with a weird name (Moonlucky comes to mind, but I don't think that is right) who I also always tried to get hold of.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    Bojan Djordjic will become a beast of a player given time. Probably first team ready at the start.
    I think you also have a Danish kid (can't remember his name) who becomes a top striker, and a guy with a weird name (Moonlucky comes to mind, but I don't think that is right) who I also always tried to get hold of.
    Kalam Mooniaruck!

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    Bojan Djordjic will become a beast of a player given time. Probably first team ready at the start.
    I think you also have a Danish kid (can't remember his name) who becomes a top striker, and a guy with a weird name (Moonlucky comes to mind, but I don't think that is right) who I also always tried to get hold of.
    I will most likely keep Djordjic, he seems good on paper. I haven't even loan listed him, I regard him as a backup player for the first team already. I expect him to get at least 5-10 appearences this season (including sub appearences).

    I think you are right regarding Timm and Mooniaruck. However, according to my restrictions I will also not keep original Squad players just because I know from 'outside current save knowledge' that they might be good prospects'. I consider that cheating. Not that I mind other managers doing such stuff, I just prefer such restrictions myself.

    So Timm and Mooniaruck are transfer listed and will probably leave the club within the next few months on a permanent basis.

    Regarding Timm and Mooniaruck, I think they are players whose potential variers wildly from save to save. In this save they seem very poor. In another Man Utd save they might have seemed like great prospects (better attributes, better potential ability etc.) and I would have kept them at the club, probably loaned them out in the beginning. That was not to be in this save though, since they both seem rubbish in my current save unfortunately.

  7. #6

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    August 25th 2001. Played two matches since the last update:

    - Premier League, away vs. Tottenham. 5-0 win. Totally dominant. Donít know if I have ever trashed a decent opponent to such an extent in an away game in any CM save.
    - Premier League, at home vs. Middlesbrough. 2-0 win. Comfortable win. Think it was 0-0 the first hour or so, but we were the clearly better side from start to finish except for an uneventful opening 15-20 minutes. So it never felt like a big risk of dropping points in this match.

    So, four wins in the first four matches, goal difference 11-0. That includes that 3-0 win vs. Liverpool in the Charity Shield.

    No new transfers in/out on the cards. Still no interest in any of our remaining transfer listed players, who include Mads Timm, Kalam Mooniaruck, Danny Webber, Neil Wood, Craig Coates, Nick Culkin, James Jowsey.

    Very understandable that there is no interest, all my transfer listed players are rubbish and I will be lucky if just someone takes them on a free.

    The Champions League 1st group stage draw was made, I got a group with Barcelona and two pretty weak teams I donít remember right now. Seems like a good draw, am happy I avoided a real top class team. I donít rate Barcelona as a world class team in CM 01/02, think they are clearly on a lower level than the best English and Italian teams.

    Finances: Now have £38m in the bank, the CL group stage payout just happened.

    Too bad I donít have any potential transfer targets to spend the money on. Guess that is only a matter of time though, and as mentioned Bouma from PSV might end up being a target. The money is itching in my pocket. Hope I can soon spend at least £8-10m on new players. Would also be much needed with squad upgrades. First and foremost perhaps one or two better DCís. Also need better rotational options at DL, MR and ML I think, only have Silvestre, Giggs and Beckham as world class players in those positions I think, their backups being not much better than mid table Premier League quality I guess (Phil Neville, Luke Chadwick, Bojan Djordjic, Ole Gunnar Solskjśr), although Chadwick and Djordjic could become world class players as the mature.

    Several players have great or outright amazing avg. ratings so far, after four games played. Any player on the list below has played at least two matches, three of four in most cases:
    Ronny Johnsen 9.00 (DMC)
    Wes Brown 8.75 (DR)
    van Nistelrooy 8.75 (SC)
    Scholes 8.25 (AMC)
    Nicky Butt 8.00 (DMC)
    Barthez 7.75 (GK)
    Beckham 7.75 (MR)
    Silvestre 7.75 (DL)
    Veron 7.50 (mainly MC)
    Giggs 7.50 (ML)

    The only two Premier League players who have scored more than two goals in the first three league matches are van Nistelrooy and Veron. They top the goal scoring chart with three goals each. Nice. Van Nistelrooy could look like a very likely Premier League top goalscorer this season, not surprisingly.

    As it seems to often be the case with top teams, my DCís seem to struggle far more than anyone else to get good ratings, Gary Neville and Laurent Blanc are around 7.00 at the moment. Guess the DCís arenít being challenged enough during the matches. Although I really donít think my DCís are very good either, apart from Ronny Johnsen who has only played as DMC so far because he is even better there, and besides he has been out injured for the last two matches. So my DCís really being half rubbish (compared to the rest of the team at least) could be part of the explanation. My best DC options apart from Johnsen are Gary Neville, Laurent Blanc, David May and Lee Roche. That doesnít excactly scream world class.

    I guess this save so far is a little like Barcelona in the golden years. It doesnít matter if I have crap DCís, I just attack the hell out of the opposition and blow them away, having elite first choice players in pretty much every position apart from DC.

    Let us just hope that key players like van Nistelrooy, Ronny Johnsen, Scholes, Veron, Nicky Butt, Giggs, Beckham, Wes Brown, Silvestre and Barthez donít get injured or suspended before big matches, especially potential Champions League knockout matches later in the season. Such events would severely weaken the side and make losses much more likely. Roy Keane might also be such a key player, I donít know, he looks great on paper, perhaps his avg. rating will pick up in upcoming matches.

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  9. #7

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    October 24th 2001.

    The League: Leading the league with 27 points after 10 matches, 9 wins and 1 loss. I played a full reserve side for three of the league matches due to congested fixtures. Got lucky the most recent one, 1-0 win away vs. 4th placed Newcastle in an even match where a draw would have been a fair result. Anyway, the loss came in another of those reserve side fixtures. 3-0 loss away vs. mid table Ipswich. Actually a draw would have been the most fair result in that match as well. Barthez played his only weak match this season so far and got a 5, where as their keeper got a 9 and was man of the match.

    The Champions League: Not disastrous, but a bit disappointing, surprising and concerning so far. I have 8 points from the first five matches, 2 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss. The loss was 2-0 away vs. Barcelona. The draws where both matches vs. Lokomotiv Moscow... Jesus. I was very unlucky in both matches actually, their great keeper Nigmatulling got an 8 og 9 in both matches... I won at 3-1 at home vs. Barcelona and also away vs. Sparta Prague.

    At least 2nd place should be more than likely since I face rock bottom side Sparta Prague in the last match, they only have 1 point so far. Lokomotiv Moscow are only one point behind me and have a better goal difference, so if they get more points than me in the last match then I will finish 3rd and be out of the Champions League. So will be a very exciting last matchday in this group stage, a finish anywhere between 1st-3rd is a real possibility, although 3rd spot looks less likely then the other scenarios.

    I am 2nd in the group before the last match. Two points behind Barcelona. To overtake them they need to lose vs. Lokomotiv Moscow (at Nou Camp), or I would need to catch their +4 goal advantage, so I could need a huge win vs. Sparta Prague.

    Signings: Still noone incoming. I will more likely than not sign 33 y/o D/DM C Marcel Desailly from Chelsea for around £4m, but not decided yet. He would be a nice short term strenthening of the team, very strong in spite of his age. Bouma (D/DM/F L) is no short term target, PSV want more than 15m for him (don't know how much), I'm not willing to pay that just now.

    Outgoings:
    - I will most likely soon sell Laurent Blanc for around 250-500k. He has been consistently terrible so I just transfer listed him. Interest in him is immense, six elite clubs, and Dortmund and Arsenal have alreay made 250k bids, he was transfer listed yesterday.
    - I will most likely 'sell' crap reserve keeper 23 y/o Nick Culking to Division Two side Huddersfield on a free.
    - I 'sold' these crap youth players to Conference sides on frees: Matthew Williams, Colin Heath, Craig Coates and Neil Wood
    - Mads Timm was sold to Conference side Margate for 120k. As you can tell from the level of the purchasing club, Mads Timm was very very poor in this specific save, not the future Premier league potential that he has in quite a few saves I think.

    Finances: Have £40m in the bank. If just my scouts would find me some decent players who cost less than £15-20m...
    Last edited by dane; 03-10-19 at 09:04 PM.

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  11. #8

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    February 9th 2002.

    Transfers in since the last update in August 2001:
    - Marcel Desailly, 33 y/o French D/DM C from Chelsea for £4m. Worth every penny. He has been brilliant, by far my best DC, avg. rating of around 7.40 in a position where ratings above 7.1 seem rare for top 5 teams, at least in my experience.
    - Carl Cort, 24 y/o SC from Newcastle for £2m. At the physio evaluation I give every new player, it turned out he had torn ligaments. I sent him for operation, and he was ruled out for 3 months. Quite lucky actually, pre-operation prognosis was up to 6 months out. Anyway, he is still one month away from being fit so he hasn't played. In any case he will only be 2nd/3rd-ish choice SC behind van Nistelrooy and possibly Dwight Yorke. But he was cheap (transfer listed a Newcastle, his valuation now is £4.5m) and only on 5k per week wages. This summer at the latest I will sell Dwight Yorke who is on par with Cort, and Yorke is on 55k per week wages and 30 y/o, so that switch is a no brainer. I will probably keep Yorke untill the summer because Cort played a continental match for Newcastle this season and thus is ineligible for my Champions League campaign.
    - Steve Finnan, 25 y/o Irish DM RL bought from Fulham for £2m. I just bought him January 25th, he had an injury when arriving, will be ready in a weeks time.
    - Yves Eigenrauch, 30 y/o German D/DM RC arriving this summer on a free from Schalke 04. Will be a good rotational/back up option at both DR, DC and DMC so likely to get a fair bit of game time
    - Abel Xavier, 29 y/o Portuguese D/DM RC arriving this summer on a free from Everton. Will be a good rotational/back up option at both DR and DC, so also likely to get a decent amount of game time
    - Muzzy Izzet, 27 y/o Turkish/English (dual nationality, 4 caps for Turkey) arriving this summer on a free from Leicester. I signed him to be 2nd-ish AMC behind Scholes (Veron seems better at MC). But Solskjśr has been surprisingly brilliant in the AMC position in recent months, so now Izzet might be pretty much surplus to requirements before he has even arrived. Oh what the hell, I should be able to sell him for around 4-5m +/-, his valuation should land in the region. As I usually do, I will probably wait at least 3-4 months before I sell him so I don't piss him off, don't want to damage squad morale just to turn a profit a few months early.

    Likely arrivals within the next couple of weeks:
    - Vladislav Vaschuk, 27 y/o D RC From Dynamo Kiev for £2.1m, awaiting work permit which should be a formality. Good rotational option at DR and DC, should get plenty of game time at least this season. He seems better than David May and Phil Neville at the very least, so he should be among my 4-5 best defenders.
    - Fredrik Risp, deal agreed for £2.8m, contract negotations ongoing. 20 y/o youth prospect DC. FC KÝbenhavn (Copenhagen) have also offered him a contract, but I think he will pick me even though they might have offered him first team football. We shall see. Not a big deal if he choses them.

    Players out since the last update:
    - Laurent Blanc, 35-36 y/o SW/D C to Dortmund for 250k. As mentioned I gave him plenty of game time but he was consistently shit. Nice to get rid of his 50k per week wages of which he deserved around 1%.
    - Plus a lot of crap youth players leaving for less than 200k a piece, mostly on frees except for a couple of them. The departed players were (club to take them): Mads Timm (Margate, Conference), Matthew Williams (Leigh RMI, Conference), Craig Coates (Hayes, Conference), Neil Wood (Nuneaton Borough, Conference), Colin Heath (Northwich Vics, Conference), Nick Culkin (Huddersfield, Division Two), Kalam Mooniaruck (Hayes, Conference), Mark Lynch (Leyton Orient, Division Three).

    For a while I actually had the thing where half my players were unhappy because of a lack of squad depth. Apparently because I had less than 33 or so players in my squad in total (first team squad + reserve squad). Nice bug; the players don't care if almost all of those players are first team ready.

    The league after 27 rounds played, 11 rounds remaining (position/team/points/comment)
    1. Man Utd 67
    2. Liverpool 62
    3. Arsenal 53 (one game in hand)
    4. Newcastle 47
    5. Leeds 45 (two games in hand)
    6. Middlesbrough 44
    7. Tottenham 38

    So looking good for a league title, not surprisingly. I have a remaining fixture vs. Liverpool which is luckily at home. Noone else seem to have a remote chance of catching me.

    I was on a 19 league matches unbeaten streak untill recently when I lost 1-0 to rock bottom side Southampton. Yes, their GK got a 9...

    Ruud van Nistelrooy has an avg. rating in the league of 8.45 and is by far the best player in the league. Number two Thierry Henry has avg. rating 8.04...

    van Nistelrooy also dominantly tops the goal scoring charts, 24 league goals so far, 10 goals ahead of Alan Shearer in 2nd place.

    He has been injured for a month by the way, is back in a weeks time. Same with Veron. Scholes was recently ruled out 4 months with a hip injury, will be back in May sometime. So not the best strength in depth at the moment.

    The Champions League:
    Disappointingly I finished 2nd in the 1st round group stage, 11 points, 2 points behind Barcelona. I was actually very close to not progressing at all. In gameweek 5 I played 2-2 away vs. 3rd placed Lokomotiv Moscow. Had I lost that match I would have been out. So a bit of luck to make it through, although I was unlucky with results in several matches, the typical opponent gk playing the match of his career syndrome, typical CM style.

    My 2nd round group consists of Juventus, PSV and Schalke. I won my first two matches, 4-0 at home vs. Juventus and 1-0 away vs. Schalke. PSV are 2nd in the group with 4 points, Juventus 3 points, Schalke 1 points. Double header with PSV coming up.

    FA Cup: Still in it, won away vs. Tottenham in the 4th round. Upcoming 5th round is away vs. Newcastle. Not the best of draws so far.

    League Cup: One leg in the final. Won the semifinal 1st leg 2-0 at home vs. Division One side West Bromwich, with a fully rotated side by the way because of congested fixtures. Likely final to be vs. Leeds who won 2-0 away vs. Charlton in the other semifinal 1st leg.
    Last edited by dane; 26-10-19 at 06:14 PM.

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  13. #9

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    May 19th 2002. Since that last update:

    Transfers out:
    - David Jones (young crap winger) to Division Two side Reading for 80k.
    - Danny Webber (20 y/o F RC) to Conference side Stevenage for 120k, the transfer will go through on June 4th. Stevenage won the Conference and got promoted to Division Three.
    - Jemal Johnson (young crap winger) to Division Two side Northampton on a free, the transfer will go through on June 4th. Northampton got relegated and will be in Division Three next season.

    Transfer in:
    - The earlier mentioned Fredrik Risp deal went through, he arrived at the club February 10th.
    - Same with Vladislav Vaschuk who arrived February 13th.

    Future transfers in arriving between June 4th and July 2nd:
    - Carles Puyol, 24 y/o DR From Barcelona, fee £2.6m. He rejected offers from Paris SG, Zaragoza and Bordeaux to join me.
    - Cristiano Doni, 29 y/o AM LC from Atalanta and current Italian international, fee £10.75. He rejected an offer from Juventus to join me.
    - Plus the mentioned deals that were already wrapped up in the last update, deals for Eigenrauch, Izzet and Xavier.

    So next season we will have incredible strength in depth it seems, much better than this season. Furthermore, Doni should push hard for being a regular starter. Will probably be 1st or second choice at both the ML, AMC and MC positions.

    I currently have £47m in the bank. So that will be arround £34m after the signings of Doni and Puyol are completed (the rest are free transfers), plus all the money I will get from season card sales and TV revenue. So I will probably spend at least another £20m on additional signings in the summer.

    The League Cup:
    I beat WBA in the semifinal. Won 2-1 vs. Leeds in the final. Winners

    The FA Cup:
    - Newcastle away in the 5th round, tough draw, they are 4th in the league before the final matchday today at May 19th. Anyway, I won 4-1, brilliant performance.
    - Derby at home in the quarterfinal. 4-0 win.
    - Liverpool on neutral ground in the semifinal. 1-0 win, tough match.
    - Chelsea in the final, Chelsea are down at 14th in the league by the way. 3-0 win. 3rd trophy of the season Community Shield, League Cup, FA Cup. So far I had won everything possible for the season.

    The league: I cruised it. Won it with two games to go, even after needlessly dropping 3-5 points in recent rounds because I started fielding weak reserve sides. I have 91 points after 37 matches, would probably have had around 95 points if I hadn't fielded weak sides for the last 4-5 league matches or so. Liverpool are actually only 4-5 points behind me, they have had an amazing season.

    Ruud van Nistelrooy tops the goalscoring charts with 26 goals in just 24 league apperances. Alan Shearer is 2nd with 24 goals, unfortunately he got a hattrick in matchday 37. So he could overtake van Nistelrooy here in the final round, Newcastle play at home vs. Bolton in the final match... So van Nistelrooy will start the match for me, even though I would prefer to rest him for the Champions League final. I will definitely substitute van Nistelrooy after 60-75 minutes in order to have him fully fit for the Champions League final.

    The Champions League:
    - 2nd round group stage: I won two matches vs. PSV, matchday 3+4. That meant top spot was guaranteed before matchday 5+6. So I fielded weak reserve sides for the last two matches, won one and lost one, didn't matter.
    - Quarter Final vs. Real Madrid. Won 5-0 at home in the 1st leg 0-0 in the return leg.
    - Semi Final vs. Celtic, incredibly lucky draw. Roma vs. Liverpool in the other Semi Final... The 1st leg was shaky, I was 1-0 down away untill the 90th minute when Ruud van Nistelrooy equalized. Won 3-0 in the return leg.
    - I will face my most feared opponent Roma in the final, they beat Liverpool 2-1 on aggregate. I have never won against Roma in my entire CM 01/02 career actually. Not that I have played that many season actually, a few short saves basically. I assume I have lost to them around four times out of four all in all. Will this time be any different? It could be. Untill recently I always played a flat 4-4-2, my current 4-5-1 with a DM is of course a much stronger tactics, so that could even out Roma's superior players. Their squad is by far the strongest in CM 01/02 IMO. Man Utd are probably the second best team in the world in this game, but not as good as Roma.

    Ruud van Nistelrooy has 13 Champions League, 2nd on the goal scoring charts for that competition behind Kluivert with 14. So van Nistelrooy could become the Champions League top scorer if the final goes very well. Which it probably won't.

    I might do sort of a detailed live update here, am really excited about the Champions League final. It is on May 22nd, three days after todays final league match.

    Updated pecking order tactically (playing 4-5-1: GK - DL, 2 DC's, DR - DMC - ML, MC, MR - AMC - SC):
    GK: Barthez, Roy Carroll, Rachubka
    DL: Silvestre, Phil Neville (3rd choice DL, youth prospect Tierney, is so bad that I don't play him, prefer to play without a left back if Silvestre and P. Neville are injured, field another DMC or something instead)
    DC's: Desailly, Ronny Johnsen, Vaschuk, Brown, Silvestre, Gary Neville, Lee Roche, David May, (Vaschuk and Desailly are ineligible for the Champions League)
    DR: Vaschuk, Wes Brown, Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Roche
    DMC: Roy Keane, Nicky Butt, Johnsen, Desailly, Michael Stewart
    ML: Ryan Giggs, Steve Finnan, Luke Chadwick, Ole Gunnar Solskjśr, Bojan Djordjic
    MC: Veron, Keane, Scholes, David Beckham, Butt, Desailly, Stewart, Johnsen
    MR: Beckham, Finnan, Chadwick, Ben Muirhead
    AMC: Djordjic, Solskjśr, Scholes, Veron
    SC: van Nistelrooy, Scholes, Solskjśr, Dwight Yorke, Carl Cort

    Current first choice starting XI:
    GK: Barthez
    DL: Silvestre
    DCís: Desailly, Ronny Johnsen (Gary Neville or Silvestre - P.Neville at left back - for Champions League matches since Desailly is ineligible)
    DR: Vaschuk (Wes Brown for Champions League matches since Vaschuk in ineligible)
    DMC: Roy Kean
    ML: Ryan Giggs
    MC: Veron
    MR: David Beckham
    AMC: Djordjic (Veron has been surprisingly bad at AMC and Djordjic and Solskjśr have been surprisingly good there)
    SC: van Nistelrooy

    Bench (the most important rotational options):
    Wes Brown (D RC)
    Phil Neville (D RL)
    Gary Neville (D RC)
    Nicky Butt (DM C)
    Steve Finnan (DM RL)
    Luke Chadwick (AM RL)
    Scholes (AM/F C)
    Solskjśr (F LC)
    Carrol (GK)

    I think I will most likely end this save after the current season, for now at least, could easily pick up the save again later. No matter how the Champions League final goes, this season has been pretty much perfect. Not much development left to do. Within the next 1-2 season I would probably become completely dominant in the league, and only the cup lottery of the Champions League, and tough showdowns with Roma, would be interesting.

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  15. #10

    Join Date
    01-01-19
    Posts
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    vCash
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    May 23rd 2002. No extensive update regarding the Champions League update after all, but here is a short recap.

    I won the match 3-2 Amazing. As mentioned my first win ever vs. Roma. In any CM 01/02 save.

    It was an amazing match. I was 1-0 up, Solskjśr the goal scorer. Then Batistuta scored twice, the 1-2 goal in around the 73rd minute, so things looked rather bleak. Then van Nistelrooy equalized in around the 83rd minute. And van Nistelrooy scored the winner in extra time, in the 102nd minute. A so-called golden goal, so the match ended there and then. I wasn't aware that CM 01/02 had a golden goal rule, but a nice way to find out.

    So van Nistelrooy also ended up at top scorer in the Champions League, as well as in the Premier League, what a season for him. A fun stat: van Nistelrooy wasn't in the Premier League team of the year, not even on the bench, even though he is by far the best player in the league according to avg. stats (around 8.45, the second best player has around 8.05), and as mentioned earlier he became Premier League top scorer as well. Crazy.

    Anyway, as mentioned I think I will most likely end the save here. It will be hard to match this quintuple or whatever it called. Winning all five possible titles: Community Shield, League Cup, FA Cup, Premier League, Champions League.

    I could easily pick up this save at some point in the future, but not any time soon.

    I will probably start a new save right away. Either with the team from my current home town, IK Start Kristiansand in the Norwegian second tier (they have a brilliant Premier League quality DMC called Ousmane Nyan by the way). Or the worst Conference team I can find, probably Northwich Victoria or Leigh RMI. I think I will most likely go for the Conference save. Using my usual restrictions, only sign players found by my scouts with a top recommendation etc.

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