It might be Easter Monday but that won’t stop @SupernovaDragon bringing you the latest from the Man Utd B team. They narrowly missed out on promotion in season one, how is season two shaping up? Catch up with part 7 here
Hello and welcome back to the B Team of Man United where the youngsters come together to form a team. In case you have missed it, we have yet to get out of division 2 and are now on a patchy run of results. Even the elder statesman of Eric Cantona can’t keep us going.
Anyway, our first game of this update is at home to Oldham Athletic. I tell everyone in the dressing room that, with Oldham in 20th, I expect nothing less than a win!
At half-time we are 1-0 up thanks to Nevland pouncing on a ball dropped by the keeper from a Cooke cross.
At full-time it’s our best 45 minutes for a long time:
Cantona finally netted his first goals for us and Tomlinson also scored. My nemesis from Oldham, Jepson, netted twice also.
By the next match, which comes after an U21 Norway game, Nevland gets injured on duty and both McGibbon and Duncan are suspended. The B’s have now also brought in some schoolboys to play slowly devlop and try and keep the Man United youth team building:
All of these may end up featuring at some point just not straight away. Maybe in the Windowless Shield.
Our next match is away to Oxford, with Duncan suspended and McGibbon I have to make a couple of changes. The timing of McGibbon’s suspension actually works out as he would have been missing anyway due to being on international duty.
This match was a little dull with not a lot of action, however the 1 goal that won it came from a scramble in the box after Tomlinson set up Macken who hit the bar, Tomlinson’s shot was blocked by the keeper and Macken finished it off.
Next up is a home game V Wigan. I decide to make the odd change, Trees gets dropped and Duncan comes back in with Appleton back in midfield.
At half-time we are 2-0 up thanks to Tomlinson getting both of them. First was in 8 minutes when Macken played him through and the 2nd was after Appleton passed it from deep into Wigan’s half, Macken shot and the keeper parried it and Tomlinson finished it easily.
At full-time it ended 2-0 as Wigan had a few chances but we held out to win. It feels like we are playing like a team again.
As the games start to come thick and fast now, we’re away to Portsmouth. I do make the 1 change as Appleton is getting a little tired, Trees comes back in for him.
At half-time we are 3-1 down, we was 2-0 down after 10 minutes as our defence has been awful. Miskicks and fouls all over the place. We were lucky to net 1 just before half-time.
Second half just petered out to nothing and the end of the day it just wasn’t our day. This match was just depressing after the way we seemed to turn things around recently.
Some good news after the last match:
It was only the last match it felt like we really missed Nev. Be nice to have him back though.
Really, a strained wrist?
1 last schoolboy joins our B team and he has a name I enjoy:
He’s not brilliant at the moment admittedly but his tackling could be useful and we’ve been needing someone else who could play wing back for if we go back to 5-3-2 attack again.
Going out of the club on loan is Wellens as he was not getting near my starting line-up anytime soon.
Next up is the League Cup 1st leg against Wrexham at home. I change things around a little, rest some players as I’d rather concentrate on the league.
At half-time we’re 1-0 down and surprisingly De Bont has been our most creative player. Maybe he could prove to be a good signing.
At full-time it ended 1-1 thanks to my 16 year old sub Derek Langley coming off the bench for Macken, latch on to a pass from De Bont and finished with ease. He definitely has a bright future.
Well, Dundee United have pulled off a managerial coup:
My main defensive midfielder, I could have done with him.
We have not been performing well in the league and it appears even the board are starting to lose faith in me:
We finally arrive at our next match, at home to Carlisle. I go back to full strength and I tell the team to go out there and perform, not just for me, but for the fans.
At half-time it’s 3-0 to us after we took the lead thanks to Nevland’s cross and Tomlinson heading home, within a minute we went 2-0 up after Tomlinson’s shot was parried and my lovely Tree finished it off and later in the half Tomlinson set up Nevland to finish. I tell the lads in the dressing room that I am very happy.
Not much else happened in the second half except for Tomlinson being put through by Cantona and he finished it nicely, only for it to be ruled out for offside.
Great signing by Barcelona:
Meanwhile our parent club also made a new signing:
It looks like my only right sided midfielder is getting promoted to our parent club. This is now the only club I will be accepting bids from:
Bye bye Cookie.
At home to Fulham next and what will most likely be Terry Cooke’s last game. We leave the starting line-up as it is and I tell them to play as they did last match and give Terry a great send off to our parent club.
Within 3 minutes, Nevland plays Tomlinson through to put us 1-0 up and by the half hour mark we have made it 2-0, thanks to Tomlinson repaying the favour and setting Nevland up. I have also noticed that currently Cooke is on an average 6, his mind is on other things and I go over and quietly say to him that he should say goodbye in style.
At full-time Cooke had turned on the style by setting up Tomlinson for his 2nd and he ended up with an 8. Nevland took the MOTM prize though and he fully deserved it. I will miss the Cookie as we seem to, most of the time, play this good.
As the month ends, the board are very much at the pre-meh meh point with me:
Next up is our 2nd leg against Wrexham. After the 1-1 draw from the first leg at home, I decide to, once again, change the team to concentrate on the league. I keep Cooke starting, for what I just know will be his last game.
At half-time we have been extremely poor. I mean, almost us v Portsmouth poor. 2-0 and barely creating a thing, which is hardly surprising considering the line-up.
At full-time we lost 3-2 and despite what it may looks like, we were never in this game. We got what felt like a consolation in the 89th minute and then we went straight back up and got a 2nd and then the whistle went. We didn’t deserve anything from this match and, to be honest, I’m glad to be out of this cup anyway.
Even if the board wanted to be in it:
They’ll change their minds if we got promoted at the end of the season.
Officially promoted to our parent club now Cooke:
We end up with McClair who I never really wanted but they relegated him to our B team and, to be honest, I cannot see him playing many games for us.
We get the FA Cup 1st round draw:
If we play what we are capable of this should be a bit of a breeze.
We have had to replace Cooke and bring in, for free:
He’s not a patch on Cooke of course but he looks useful. He’ll be starting the next match as I don’t really have many options down the right.
Talking of which, we are at home to Blackpool. I tell the team to prove how Cooke didn’t make the team and we can win without him. At half-time the half barely had much in the way of chances from either team until 43 minutes when Nevland put Tomlinson through who slotted the ball beyond the reach of the keeper.
At full-time we won 4-0 thanks to Nevland jumping on a loose ball after Tomlinson hit the woodwork, Brebner headed in a Cantona corner and sub Twiss got put through by Tomlinson and he rounded the keeper to score. All in all, a very good team performance.
Next up is, again, Wrexham away. This time in the league. Considering where Wrexham are in the league, they are bottom, I tell team to go out and do what they did last match. However, I have had to drop 3 players due to them being with the under-21’s. So out goes Clegg, Duncan and Nevland. I decide to give McClair a run out for his debut.
At half-time the only thing of note to happen is Greening picking up a knock but it’s not too serious currently. At full-time it was disappointing 0-0 with nothing happening at all. So far, if there was an award for most boring match of the season, this would be up there.
Our next match is at home to Bristol City. We make several changes to our line-up. At half-time we are 1-0 up after Cantona’s header down to Tomlinson who rounded the keeper and put us ahead, the rest of the half petered out.
By full-time we have been dominant and run out 3-0 winners. We hit the woodwork several times, one of them leading to Tomlinson’s second. Cantona finished the scoring.
A bit of managerial foreshadowing going on here:
Next up we are away to Lincoln in the Windowless Shield. I make several changes as I really do not care about this thing. At half-time we are 1-0 down after a cross into the box and Thornley headed the ball back to the debutant keeper and it ended up in the back of the net. By full-time we have lost 2-1, at least Langley come off the bench to net one.
Let’s just get back to the league, we have Exeter away. I bring back my main line-up of course. At half-time we are 1-0 down and Clegg has picked up an injury just as Greening come back from his, I don’t need this.
Full-time and we lost 3-0 and this was a very poor showing from us, though I don’t blame the defence for the off day, the injury helped with that.
6 weeks is too long, we will miss him.
Next up in the league is away to Crewe. A couple of changes and back on the pitch we go.
At half-time we are losing 2-0 and not 1 player is playing that well. I blast them in the dressing room, telling them to get a grip of themselves. By full-time it’s ended 2-2 after McGibbon scored with a bullet header from a corner and Cantona put Twiss through and his shot got parried and Nevland finished. The comeback was great and I was just glad not to get beat.
Up next is a home match with Leyton Orient. I sit the team down and tell them they have to win to get us back into the battle to get promoted. At half-time we are 1-0 up thanks to Nevland slotting the ball home from close range. At full-time we won 2-1. I am very concerned at the rate we concede goals but at least it’s another win.
Up next is away to table topping Luton Town. Considering the rate we concede these goals, I am a little fearful. I don’t let onto the lads, I tell them this is their chance to ruin Luton’s run and spearhead ours. At half-time it is 1-1. For the first goal, Tomlinson got put through by Nevland and he brought down, penalty. Tomlinson took it and smashed it into the corner, only for the referee to order a retake and Tomlinson did it again. After that, it was all Luton and then Luton drew level after a mix-up in the box. I tell the team that they can still win this and send them back out.
By full-time we have won 3-1 after Tomlinson rounded the keeper to score his second and Nevland put Cantona through to net the third.
As we head into the final match of the month and this part, the board are just satisfied.
Our final match of the month and this part, is away to a table topping team (sound familiar?) We take on Swansea this time. At half-time it is 0-0 and quite a few chances have been wasted by both teams. I talk to my front 3 and tell them to get their shooting boots back on and send the team out with my words of encouragement echoing in their ears.
57 minutes in and Tomlinson plays Nevland in who put us ahead. For the next half hour we end up backs to the wall job and just about keep them out. With 3 minutes left they finally break through after a corner and it ends 1-1. We could and should have won this.
This is the table at the end of this part:
As you can see, we are 5th but still only 3 points behind top and we now have a 3rd different leader of the division in 3 games. Worth nothing David Brown has just gone on loan to Portsmouth so I am interested in seeing how he performs for them.
As a new feature, I’ve decided to do a WHAT HAPPENED TO feature where I go via Wikipeadia and find out just what did happen to the players in real life that I started off with. To begin, the goalkeepers.
He was at Manchester United until the summer of 1998 where he left and signed for Port Vale on a free transfer. Fun fact, Kevin Pilkington was in goal for Man Utd when I went to my first ever football match with my dad and uncle where they beat Sunderland in the FA Cup. Anyway, he barely played for them for 2 seasons and left for Aberystwyh Town, played 1 game then went to Wigan, played no games and ended up at Mansfield Town. After 5 years, he signed for Notts County and went to Luton on loan, signed for them, went on loan to Mansfield Town and in 2018 ended up at Cambridge United and is their goalkeeping coach.
He was at Man United until 2002 and made 1 sub appearance where he came off the bench and played about 10 seconds against Arsenal after Van Der Gouw got injured at the end of the match. During this time he spent time on loan of course and eventually signed for QPR where he played 22 times. However, in 2005 he retired due to a knee injury but did come out of retirement after 5 years in non-league and eventually played for FC United.
Anyway, that’s it for this part and until next time…goodbye from the B’s