It’s time for my first proper post of a Football Manager save on here, and I thought I would look to do a save that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
For the years since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, pundits have argued whether Manchester United are in an “identity crisis”. The phrase “The United Way” has long been thrown around when discussing the club, and it is used to describe the style of play and the development of young players at the club.
In the Ferguson era, United would take to the field in a swashbuckling, never-say-die attitude. Two full backs overlapping, plenty of crosses in to the box, attacking midfielders coming from deep and keeping possession of the football to wear teams down. An ethos of playing to the final whistle also led to many last minute goals, rescuing draws or stealing wins when many another team would have lost hope. However, with recent managers Moyes and van Gaal trying to stamp their own authority on the team, United fans have had to endure dull, ineffective and inefficient football.
Manchester United also have an identify of developing youth players in their academy, bringing them in to the first team and leading the club to glory. The Class of 92 were the epitome of this ethos, but since then many of the academy products have been sold to other clubs in the Premier League and lower down the pyramid in favour of foreign, established players. Whilst the current squad includes the likes of Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba (a product, despite his years at Juventus), very few academy players have gone on to make it.
So what’s the idea of this save, you might ask? Well, I want to bring back these two identities to Old Trafford. This will be a “You Don’t Win Anything With Kids” style of save – I won’t be allowed to sign anyone, and must therefore develop players using only the youth system in game. New coaches can be signed when necessary, but that’s it. Although this might be easy in the initial couple of seasons, trying to maintain the success will be tricky.
That’s it for now – I will return with a run through of all the younger talent at Manchester United in due course. Until then, take it easy.