The Manchester United, Real Life EPL Champions Challenge – Part 4

The first leg was drawn 3-3 in dramatic fashion. With the tie left in the balance and the return leg at Old Trafford, we had to be favourites.

Butt came in for Poborsky in the centre. This meant we had our most defensive, our strongest CM with both Keane and Butt doing DM roles. It paid off.

Ajax 2nd leg

We were into the Semi’s as we expected. It’s a shame our league form continued to meander. In all honesty the league had been written off at this point. There remained only one real chance of silverware and we were putting everything in it, to win it.

We travelled to the Olympic Stadion to face a Bayern Munich side we all know too well. That squad was littered with world class players; as the result showed.

Bayern 1st legHad Schmeichel forgotten his gloves that evening our participation in the competition at this point would definitely have been over. Klinsmann played such a big part in this game, Man-of-the-Match doesn’t do him justice. Every commentary flash seemed to display “Klinsmann” something or other. That night, when I closed my eyes, his name would appear on the back of my eyelids.

Thankfully for us, Schmeichel had brought his gloves. He gave us a glimmer of hope by keeping the score from being 5 or even 6. We were less confident than the Ajax return leg but in that same regard, it was at home, at Old Trafford and we had nothing to lose.

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The Manchester United, Real Life EPL Champions Challenge – Part 3

Pundits like to assume that if a team is doing well in one competition and not so well in another, then the two must be correlated. Well, they would have a field day with our form in the League and European Cup then. Simply put, they couldn’t be any more different.

12 days on from where Part 2 concluded, we had qualified for the knockout rounds of the European Cup. No mean feat when your group included the likes of Real Madrid.

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Into the new year and our league form had still not improved. Our defenders were still not defending and our strikers seemed to be on strike every other week.

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Thankfully March came around and we could focus on something we were doing well in, Europe. First up, Ajax of Amsterdam.

The first leg – had it been in the modern Champions League format – would have been a very good result for us but as away goals did not count. The three that we had, sadly, gave us no advantage.

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Going back to Old Trafford, we had it all to play.

The Manchester United, Real Life EPL Champions Challenge – Part 2

It’s fair to say that the season started poorly.

Despite a very impressive 4-0 demolition of Newcastle United in the Charity Shield  (Cantona scored all 4) we were conceding too many goals. Schmeichel’s performance rating was mediocre at best and the obvious back four were the obvious subs bench a few games in. We weren’t doing enough up top either so our frailties at the back were even more of a problem.

Formations ranged from 4-4-2 to 4-2-2-2 to 4-3-1-2 to 4-1-3-2 with directional run arrows placed “strategically” each time. Tactics were then tweaked throughout each bad performance with seemingly very little or no effect. I found it incredibly difficult to settle on something that suited the inherited default squad.  After 14 games we had won 4 times. Unsurprisingly, we sat in 14th place. How on earth were we going to go on to win the league like this?

Table after 14

Table after 14

 

 

The Manchester United, Real Life EPL Champions Challenge – Part 1.

I’ve recently returned to playing Championship Manager 2 having had some time away.

On my return I needed a challenge so I set myself the goal to try and emulate the great Sir Alex Ferguson and his League Title Champions of 1996/97. The One rule needed to make this legitimate was that I must only use the same players – No transfers allowed.

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The Manchester United squad of 1996/97. 

 

 

I am back.

I’ve been away for a little while doing other stuff but now I’m back playing CM2 again.

If you’ve been following my Twitter feed you’d have seen my latest challenge, Man Utd 96/97 Champions.

CM2 starts in this year and the eventual winners were Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United. I’ve played as them many times but never have I attempted to emulate Sir Alex’s’ League winning campaign, with the same players.

Each time previously, I’d create a save and immediately head into the squad page and make room for some new players. Not this time. The challenge was to win the league like Sir Alex, with the same squad of players so no transfers were allowed.

I’ll be back later to let you know how I got on.

J_CM2

Nobody Remembers Hereford Finishing Second – Division 3 Challenge Failed

The Divison 3 title alludes me once more. That’s my second attempt at it and it’s proving a difficult title to achieve in your first season.

My first attempt at it came in my return to the game a month or so ago with Carlisle. That season we promoted via the playoffs. I’ve now returned in the hope of adding it to my other league titles.

I realise now that I took the challenge of winning Div3 for granted. I chose one of the worst teams to play attempt it with, Hereford. You begin with £200,000 and a 16 man squad. Both balance and squad size are the lowest resources you can begin with. I must think I’m better than I am.

Table pld 10

I started well.

After that I hit one of those patches of form where nothing works, players perform irregular and formations fail like lottery numbers. We dropped to 8th at one point. I almost wrote the season off.

I can’t remember when it was exactly but we finally hit the jackpot. I had been ploughing through games in an attempt to find ‘the‘ formation.  I employed a 3-5-2 variant and it ignited a revival, could we do this?

Table Pld39

We were in superb form. Hunting down Brighton like it was our next meal we’d come back from the brink. 4 points between us with 7 to play, we had the momentum……then lost it, again, what!? Just like my club Tottenham, we didn’t capitalise and the chance went begging.

Table Complete

Brighton gave us every opportunity too. They only accumulated 12 points from their last 7 games, dropping 9points – we accumulated 13pts.

This Division will be the end of me.

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