In season 15, my first with United it took a while to find the right players/formations/tactics and after mixed fortunes, we eventually finished 5th with W17-D9-L12 and 60 points. We managed to win the play off final and were therefore promoted to division 2.
On paper, we still had a first 11 average of 89 and therefore should have finished mid table of 8th – 13th.
It is my intention to stay at United and get them back into the first division where they belong. This season I aimed to be mid table and assess what we need for a push for promotion in season 17. It will be interesting to see what rises the players will get and whether we can push for the play offs this season.
With a third of the season completed, we found ourselves in 5th position with W6, D2, L5 and 20 points, and were in the play offs, over performing on our seasons expectations. We had a slow start to the season with a single win in our first four games, but things picked up a bit and we slowly climbed up the league.
At the half way point with 19 games completed, we were in 6th position with W8, D5, L6, and 29 points. It’s nice to remain in a play off spot, but this is a very tight division. We were only 5 points off top spot, 2 points from an automatic promotion place and 8 points off relegation. We had only lost one of our last nine matches and needed to continue this vein of form. We were still over performing on our seasons target with 29 points achieved from an expected 25 and had progressed to the Youth Shield knock out stages.
I was tinkering with the youth team and looking for opportunities, but only considered exchanging first team players if players are offered that are on my gold short list. We had a full squad with some likely risers, and therefore I had time to build for the future
After completing around 75% of our games we stood at W12, D6, L10, and 42 points. We sat in a play off spot in 6th place, and I would have loved to be there at the end of the season. This is a very tight division and there are only ten points between the play offs and relegation. It is also very tough playing against 4231B every week and trying to combat it. We were slightly ahead of my prediction on the best average starting 11, of 8th – 13th, and we had achieved 42 points of the expected 36. I was pleased with our performance to this point and was hopeful of finishing between 6th – 11th. We managed to reach the Youth Shield quarter final. I exchanged Christensen(89) 25yo (Chelsea doing well) with Mingueza(87) 22yo (Barcelona struggling) and hoped I had gambled well. I was still tinkering with the youth, and had received only some minor player rating rises.
How did our season go, well we finished in 12th position and managed to elude relegation with a 3-1 home victory against Newcastle which unfortunately meant that they were relegated themselves. We have found this a tough division with most teams beating each other and the Champions, Bremen even losing 9 games themselves. We achieved W14, D7, L17 and 49 points, which ended up as only being 8 points from the play offs. The teams that were promoted from division 3 with us all found it tough, Villa were champions and finished one place above us in 11th, Galatasary(2nd) were relegated and River Plate(3rd) finished 13th.
We started off the season poorly and then it picked up, but our recent form tailed off otherwise we would have finished in at least the play offs. Looking at the best starting eleven’s for all teams in the division, we should have finished 8th-13th so I was happy enough in 12th.
We will need to improve our team in order to make a push for division 1 so it maybe season 18 before we can seriously challenge for promotion