It’s been a little while but welcome back to ‘The Tangerine Dream’ as it is time to close the curtains on season 2. Last time out in the winter period, we started to get some form back after a very tough start. If you missed it, check it out right here!
Now it is a race to finish to see where we land in the league come the end of the season. Ideally a fourth or fifth place finish would be acceptable considering how my side were performing earlier in the season but regardless, some sort of European football is a must to allow me to work towards the goals set out for the club.
A reminder for the rules of the save, which are key to progression which is why there will be three self set objectives to achieve each season. This will help my progression and the club’s progression in becoming that go to team in Scotland. The season two objectives are;
- Promote two youngsters to the first team, making 10 appearances each
- Qualify for the Europa Conference League (4th/5th place league finish)
- Reach the Final of Either Domestic Cup (COMPLETED)
If all three objectives are passed, the next coaching licence can be obtained. In addition, if a trophy is won this acts as a bonus token for a coaching course also on top of the objectives. (If a trophy forms part of the objectives in a season, then this does not act as a bonus). I will continue to set objectives after all coaching badges are complete and any failed targets will be added on to the following season to put the pressure on!
Youth Intake 2022
Despite the earlier projection saying it wouldn’t be a great intake, I’m quite happy with the nine players pictured above. A couple of players already at two start ability but the man to watch is Vernand Basquiat. Actually born in Haiti but declared for Scotland, he has very good early attributes for a winger and could easily be trained in one or two other positions.
Now you’ve seen the youth intake, the potential for the future does not stop there as there is some real talent within the Reserves and also players filled with high potential. You’ll be sure to see some of these players make the step to the first team next season!
The future is certainly bright with Dundee United with all this talent in the ranks.
Well to kick off March, despite the dodgy start the club were happy to offer me a new contract meaning I’ve got three more years at least to work on the project!
Into March with there being five league games to be played as the race for the league split is fully on.
Kilmarnock were welcomed to Tannadice and came away with a point in a bore 0-0 draw. A very frustrating performance as any time we got near the box, the ball was lost or the shot was wayward.
Another home match and this time it was against Hearts which brought a very good 2-0 win. The goals came from midfield in Diogo Nascimento and Dean Campbell in a controlled performance keeping Hearts quiet all game.
St. Mirren were up next who were having a very good season but my side were able to get the better of them winning 1-0. It was Declan Gallagher who scored the goal after rising highest at a corner, with the team showing great concentration in the latter stages to hold on to the win.
A game up against Hamilton next and it was a third win in a row with a 2-0 victory. The attackers got back amongst it which saw Nicky Clark and Lawrence Shankland but I’m more impressed with our defending seeing a fourth clean sheet in a row!
Last game of the month sees Livingston pay us a visit but the points were shared in this one, in a 1-1 draw. Livi took the lead early in the second however, Hakeeb Adelakun grabbed an equaliser 11 minutes later to leave honours even.
A very good month in my eyes with some really good performances, showing shades of last season’s form.
It was a great month for Lewis Neilson who’s fine performances got him the Scottish Premiership Young Player of the Month award.
It was a centenary moment for myself also after reaching 100 games in charge at the club, many more to come as well…hopefully.
For April, I will showcase the final games before the league split and do that part of the season in a separate section to close out the season. One league match and a Scottish Cup Semi-Final and they are both derbies!
A Tayside derby with St. Johnstone to start and it was our final league game before the split. Well, it was well overdue but my side came away with a massive 5-1 victory! Goals came from Nicky Clark (2), Lawrence Shankland, Diogo Nasicmento & Declan Glass but it was the quick start that allowed us to really press on and dominate by being 2-0 up after 28 minutes, class performance.
A Scottish Cup semi final in a New Firm derby against Aberdeen but unfortunately we were on the wrong end of a penalty shootout. The game was 0-0 after extra time, a match of few chances with some clear cut misses from both sides but when it came down to the nitty gritty, penalty misses from the usally reliable Adrian Sporle & Ryan Tunnicliffe sent us packing. Final Score Dundee United 0-0 Aberdeen (Dundee United lose 4-3 on penalties).
From an impressive league victory to cup heartbreak when it mattered most, football is an unpredictable sport at times.
The League Split – Championship Group
After a long battle, my side made it into the Championship group at the split in what looks to be a tough group of teams. This will take us into the final five matches of the season.
It was a trip to the blue side of Glasgow to play Rangers to start off the group but it wasn’t the start I was hoping for in a 2-0 loss. We’ve really struggled against the Old Firm this season and that continued in this one in an unconvincing performance.
Time for some redemption against Hibernian and it was a belter of match in a 4-3 win. We were 2-0 down then came goals from Adrian Bajrami, Jamie Robson, Declan Gallagher & Dean Campbell before Hibs scored again for a tense finish…we got the three points though so I’m happy!
New Firm derby now with Aberdeen but much like the Scottish Cup semi final, they get the better of us again in a 2-1 loss. After going a goal down, Diogo Nascimento equalised but after a mistake at the back, we found ourselves on the losing end of the game.
Another team who has had a good run against us this season is Celtic and it carried on here as well, as we lost 1-0. My side actually played quite well but it all came down to the difference in quality going forward, Celtic taking a goal from a free flowing move.
Last game of the season was against St. Mirren and the spoils were shared in a 1-1 draw. Our opponents looked like they were going to take the win but Juanma Hernandez gave the fans a leaving present before his loan ends by bagging a 94th minute equaliser!
Really poor from us in these five games, ideally I was hoping for 9-10 points but to only take 4 is simply not good enough.
Despite the poor form, another objective was achieved in the form of Europa Conference qualification.
However, there was some bad news as Diogo Nascimento refused to spend another season on loan after a productive spell of 2 goals and 7 assists in the playmaker role.
Final League Table
Somehow we finished 3rd again. Despite our poor form after the split, the good form prior to it gave my team a bit of cushion plus some other results went our way thanks to the top two. However, we have to be secure within our position to progress so it will require some new thinking from myself to take a step towards the Old Firm.
After the Scottish Cup had finished there was some further good news for the team…
We’ll have another crack at the Europa League after this season’s poor showing, hopefully we can show what we’re about next season and make some progress.
Last bit of news for the season saw young defender Nathan Cooney who is out on loan at St. Mirren pick up the Scottish Players’ Young Player of the Year award after a great first season in professional football. First team promotion next season? Watch this space!
End of Season Review 2021/2022
Not any trophies or any individual awards to talk about after this up and down season so I’ll switch the focus to the club finances.
Things are looking very healthy in this department with European football being a big catalyst of this. As you will see, this really boosts our transfer budget and giving us some room in the wage budget as well. Although, if the wage budget can tip over the £100k mark in the coming seasons then this will really drive us to where I want the team to be.
More improvements commercially as well with earnings in all areas in the green which again is key to building this club up. Realistically, the more money the better as in a country where only two teams have big money we need to be getting to the same level financially to reach the same bracket as them.
Time to review our objectives and see if I secured all three personal goals set out for the season.
Promote two youngsters to the first team, making 10 appearances each – Unfortunately I have failed this objective as only one player reached the appearance target. Lewis Neilson made 25 starts and 13 sub appearances but youngster Jon Davis only 2 starts and 4 sub appearances before I sent him back to the Reserves as he wasn’t quite ready. This will be added to next season’s targets.
Qualify for the Europa Conference League (4th/5th place league finish) – This objective was passed and exceeded as we’ll get another crack at the Europa League following our third place finish.
Reach the Final of Either Domestic Cup – This was completed earlier in the season with reaching the Betfred Cup Final which didn’t end to well in a 2-0 loss to Celtic.
The only thing to do next is get stuck into season three however, there will be a change in format of the blogs for save. From now, each season will be covered in a full season review in order to allow me to get through the save quicker and see how much I can do before FM22. This save will be blogged up until the release date of the new game before I start on my projects planned for the next edition.
Whilst you are exploring the DP-FM site, go check out guest blogger @emperor_fm and his new project named ‘Udinese Underdogs’. The aim is to lead Udinese from the lower parts of Serie A to the better side of the table to compete with the best!
To go from the start – https://dpfmblog.com/2021/08/30/udinese-underdogs-s1-e1/
Apologies for the wait on this one guys, you know what life can be like at times! Hope you all enjoyed and the season three review shouldn’t be too far away.