The date was the 3rd of November, Man Utd travel to turkey for the Europa League fixture against Fenerbahce. What follows is one of the worst performances I’ve seen from a United side since Fergie left. Since Mourinho came in there have been quite few poor performances from a team who have the quality to be challenging for the title. Numerous times this season I’ve been critical of Mr Mourinho’s tactics and selection. At one point I even exclaimed “I can do better than him”.
Well, lets find out, using Football Manager 2017.
The second I get into the game I look forward to getting the season underway, the board set my objectives, which is to win everything, but I’ll be happy if can just do better than what real life Mourinho can manage. I’ve been given just over £30 million to spend, which is then spent on one player and that man is…
This signing will make more sense the further into pre season I take you, but for now I’ll just say this. I need more pace up top, someone who’s going to get in behind and play off Ibrahimovic. I also wanted someone who had developed fully, so there’s your answer to the question, why not use Rashford or Martial.
July 2nd 2016 Friendly
A friendly with the under 23 squad kicks things off, the scoreline was closer than I would have liked. Starting with a 4-2-3-1 formation we had more possession and created more chances so I can’t complain too much.
July 9th 2016 Friendly
In the first real friendly against Shanggang (great name btw) I feel like I’ve been FMed. 26 shots to their 4, once again using the 4-2-3-1 but this time not creating enough clear cut opportunities. I may feel like I’ve been FMed but the evidence suggests otherwise.
July 13th 2016 Friendly
Our second game in Shanghai ends in a bore draw, once again the 4-2-3-1 doesn’t create enough chances as we only have 1 shot on target. The defence looks solid but the attack seems fruitless.
July 16th 2016 Friendly
We go from Shanghai to Scotland to play Alloa Athletic and with a new country comes a new formation. We change to a 4-3-3 but again it fails in creating enough meaningful chances. A well worked move is finished off by Jesse Lingard 10 minutes after the restart, the question now is do I stick or twist with the formation.
July 23rd 2016 Friendly
Twist is the answer, we line up with what the game calls a 3-2-3-2 DM formation, but its basically a 3-5-2. A nice Mkhitaryan double sandwiched between a Pogba worldie and an Ibra whatever the opposite of worldie is. We created a lot, which is great but the formation might be a bit too open when we come up against the bigger teams.
July 29th 2016 Friendly
Case in point… although it must be said Lewandowski was on fire in this game. 4 shots 3 goals from him on the day, Lacazette made his first appearance for us and bagged a well taken brace. Looking at the stats we matched Bayern, but were beaten by the ultra clinical Lewandowski.
August 3rd 2016 Rooney's Testimonial
Pre season ends with Wayne Rooney’s testimonial, a game in which we started with the 4-3-3 and found ourselves 1-0 down at half time. After Depay’s early second half equaliser we change back to the 3-5-2 and begin to dominate the game. Ibra rounded off what was a relatively comfortable win overall after stekelenburg’s unfortunate own goal. It was only fitting for his testimonial that Rooney was to be the worst player on the pitch before being hauled off on the 71st minute.
The Lacazette signing was made right after the win over La Berrichonne for the reasons stated earlier. I also needed more depth up top if I was going to be playing 2 strikers, I now have 4/5 players who can play there for me.
A mixed bag is the best way to describe that pre season, but I believe the 3-5-2 is the way to go. With some tough fixtures to start the season however, I may find myself changing it to get the best results. We will see…