On this page, you will be able to read my log related to the story. Here you can read some of the soccer/football news in real life and how those affect the writing of the story.
Finally!!! David Moyes has been fired by Manchester United today, Tuesday 22nd of April 2014. Depending of where Moyes will end up, I can already confirm that there will be a chapter describing a flashback of the (fictional) antagonism between Moyes and the Kakeru+Nana duo. The chapter will serve to reflect on how Moyes' tenure deteriorated before today's events.Toukairin2012 (talk) 09:54, April 22, 2014 (UTC)
Until today, I never put much thought about writing another story to complete a trilogy of stories. However, many events have been pushing me to consider writing one. Among those events, there's the upcoming World Cup, Yoichi Takahashi's writing of Captain Tsubasa: Rising Sun in which the Olympics will be closest to what we have of a World Cup in a manga for a long time, and more. Stay tuned for updates as the idea of writing a World Cup could well be become more solid.Toukairin2012 (talk) 23:25, May 11, 2014 (UTC)
Earlier today, Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal (known to all as Louis van Gaal) was officially named as the new manager of Manchester United. If you read the full name, you now know why I chose Paulus as the name of the character inspired by him. At the same time today, another page of history has been turned as Ryan Giggs announced his retirement to become Van Gaal's assistant manager. With 963 first team appearances over 24 seasons at the club, 168 goals and countless assists, and 34 trophies, there will never be anyone achieving more than Ryan Giggs. Good luck, Welsh Wizard.Toukairin2012 (talk) 21:03, May 19, 2014 (UTC)
Today is a very bad day as Japan finished dead last in Group D and are out of the World Cup. Of all the teams having expectations, it was the worst of the lot. Coming into the tournament, Japan looked strong with 3 wins in a row, but the players and the coach suddenly lost their edge from Day 1. They paid the price for not having a top class thoroughbred striker and poor defenders. Players passed the ball around, but never tried hitting shots more often. Still, the worst was seeing the coach not changing his tactics at all while lacking motivation skills; it was like seeing David Moyes coaching Japan. As a part because of this, I'm no so sure about whether or not I will eventually write a story about Japan's run in the World Cup after this.Toukairin2012 (talk) 22:50, June 24, 2014 (UTC)
As of today (July 11, 2015), Manchester United has got quite a strong team and this apparently ain't over yet. To be honest, I slowed down my writing in order to see what kind of team United would have in the second summer under the current manager (a.k.a. Summer 2015). Now that the picture is clearer with the new signings (Matteo Darmian, Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin), expect a few changes in the existing chapters and then the writing to pick up from now on. Those changes only mean our 3 protagonists will have a much better team around them. About the fictional character of Matthias Köhler is, he is just a spinoff of a 2 German I would have loved to see in a red shirt: Mats Hummels.Toukairin2012 (talk) 23:34, July 11, 2015 (UTC)
For people who watch Manchester United on a regular basis, you probably feel that Wayne Rooney has not done much good for a long time for the salary he earns. To be honest with you, I also think that Wayne Rooney's time as a Manchester United player could come to an end sooner than later if he keeps playing as poorly as he currently does. Should that happen in a very near future, I promise that I will immediately remove Rooney from the story and name a new captain accordingly to real-life events if possible. But for now, Wayne Rooney still features in my story. Toukairin2012 (talk) 10:51, October 25, 2015 (UTC)
I know I chose to write a fictionalized version of the real Manchester United coach at the beginning, but the string of bad results we just had is making me strongly consider changing the name and the nationality of the coach depending of what happens next in real life. The current Dutchman leading the club is giving everyone nightmares as of now, and it would be very surprising that we see him keeping his job next year. First it was Wayne Rooney, now it is Louis van Gaal in the hotseat... the world of football is spinning like crazy this season. Toukairin2012 (talk) 23:36, December 12, 2015 (UTC)
You probably noticed a number of change since yesterday. It's because Manchester United won the FA Cup and saw the arrival of several youngsters who already made a nice impression. Based on news of the impending arrival of José Mourinho and his staff, you can also expect new names (coaches and players alike) to appear in the story and replace the players who already appear in existing chapters. In real life, Mats Hummels signed for Bayern Munich. Nevertheless, Matthias (who's loosely based on Hummels) will remain in the story; Toru Asuka will play for the story's sake that role Hummels will get in real life for Bayern.
Some of you may have already seen a youngster named Marcus Rashford arrive in February and score 8 goals for United while providing a genuine and consistent threat against any defence in front of him. Neither Rashford or a character loosely based on him will feature in the story because the timing of his arrival in real life coincides more or less with Kakeru's arrival at senior level in the timeline. Furthermore, some parts about Rashford's overall attitude so far remind me of how Kakeru is (keeping his feet on the ground, not falling for distractions after early success, keeping his own personal academics with high regard despite being now known as a hot prospect, etc.). Toukairin2012 (talk) 03:28, May 22, 2016 (UTC)
Loads and loads signings very recently, and we are not finished yet in the summer transfer window! Call it the José Mourinho effect if you want, but he is a magnet for new players. So as of now, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have been added in the roster. When I started writing the story, Markus Reise (loosely based on Marco Reus) was the ex-Borussia Dortmund winger who'd join United in my book. You can imagine my biggest surprise when "Micki" was signed as he shares many similarities already with Markus' style as a player. As a result, he will fully replace Markus in future updates. In the end, the 2016-17 squad should be the definitive one in the story although the story takes place beyond next season.Toukairin2012 (talk) 15:42, July 2, 2016 (UTC)
Since my last post in this log, the biggest transfer for one single player was made official as French midfielder Paul Pogba was signed by back by Manchester United for a record fee of 105 million euros (£89.3 million). Pogba was once a youth product of the Manchester United academy until 2012 when he was not able to renew his contract and thus left for Juventus Turin. In Italy, he kept on developing himself into one of the best midfielders in the world with still a lot of potential. That explains why the transfer fee was so high. For the story, the signing of Pogba means that another powerful ally for the likes of Yusuke and Nana in midfield. In other news, there are rumors about a seasoned veteran of a central defender possibly joining the club. Even if that was the case, I don't think I would include him. In my book, my fictional character of Matthias Köhler is already assuming that big brother role among defenders and will continue to do so. Toukairin2012 (talk) 01:41, August 13, 2016 (UTC)
So far this season, it was not always easy for United to earn Ws. Nevertheless, we have seen encouraging signs with the number of good scoring chances the Red Devils have in every match. It's just a matter of poor finishing, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks to lead the line as of now. With the many changes in the last few years, there have been revelations and disappointments. Among the biggest disappointments, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay are about to be transferred away soon. As a result, expect both of them to be axed out of the story soon. On the other end of the spectrum, the good old Michael Carrick looks rejuvenated under José Mourinho, and it is likely that he will earn another 1-year deal after this season. When I look at the bigger picture, having Carrick as someone for Yusuke to look up to as a mentor is a lot better than Schneiderlin. Toukairin2012 (talk) 02:02, December 24, 2016 (UTC)
Morgan Schneiderlin has been transferred to Everton last week, and Memphis Depay has been transferred to Lyon (France) today. Now that Memphis has left, the number 7 is vacant at Manchester United. Since the transfer talks have been going on, I started asking myself about what to do with the iconic number which has brought more bad luck than good luck to the last 4 players who wore it. Finally, I chose to give Nana her number 7 back on the team. In the world of transfer rumours, the biggest one is that Antoine Griezmann will come to United in the summer and WILL wear the number 7 as a tribute to his favourite player from his youth days, David Beckham. Even if the transfer will take place in the summer, Griezmann will not feature in the story because I saw loads of similarities between him and Kakeru. in terms of body type, I expect a fully grown Kakeru to look as skinny as Griezmann is. As for the playing style, Griezmann can be a threat from anywhere in a front 4, just as Kakeru would be. In short, Kakeru is for the story what Griezmann would be on the pitch in real life. If you want to see how Griezmann scores his goals, please take a look here. Toukairin2012 (talk) 22:10, January 18, 2017 (UTC)
The last time I wrote in this log was in January. Nearly 5 months later, a few things happened. United won the Europa League against AFC Ajax, and Arsenal won the 2017 FA Cup just like my story implied (it's a strange coincidence!). David Moyes has been fired by Sunderland AFC, and has not yet found a new job, which makes it harder to stick to my original promise of having Kakeru and Nana punishing Moyes' current club as a personal retribution to some things in a fictional past. When I started writing the story, the plan was always to portray the course of events in a fictional 2017-18 season even though the year is not explicitly specified. As such, I'm awaiting to see what Manchester United and the other clubs/teams will look like by September 1st. Transfers and departures will have implications on how the teams in the story will definitely look like.
In the news, Antoine Griezmann has declined a move to Manchester for the main reason that his current club Atletico Madrid is serving a transfer ban. Griezmann was never in the plans to be portrayed in the story, so the number 7 will still belong to Nana regardless of what happens next. Zlatan Ibrahimović has been left without contract by Manchester United, but will continue his rehab at Carrington following his season-ending knee injury. There is still hope that Zlatan will sign a contract in January, and I would like that to happen more than anything. For my story, I'm considering to re-adjust Zlatan's appearances so he would feature on the pitch from January and onwards, especially if a prototypical Mourinho striker (big, technical, and good at holding the ball) like the younger Romelu Lukaku signs soon. As for other players potentially arriving as reinforcements, I'll be waiting for confirmations. Toukairin2012 (talk) 8:23, June 11, 2017 (UTC)
So many things happened in the season so far, but the storyline is not expected to be very affected by the real-life context. However, Liverpool has made a big splash on the transfer market by signing Virgil van Dijk for a record fee for a defender, and this could be the sign of further madness to come on the transfer market. It is very likely that squads will be modified accordingly from the moment we hit January and beyond in the story's timeline. As for Manchester United, there are positions that could be filled by the time January ends. And yet, they could still be good complements to positions that Kakeru, Nana, and Yusuke alredy fill in a fictional United squad. Stay tuned Toukairin2012 (talk) 21:15, December 27, 2017 (UTC)
Back in June of last year, I wrote that the story was to be based on a fictional 2017-18 season. However in the last 2 months, I felt that the story would be better if moved into a fictional 2018-19 season. I started making the changes for various reasons. First, I felt that the context of having missed the 2018 FIFA World Cup because of injury would provide Kakeru extra motivation to come strong in the new season. Second, the context of a 6-year MD program that includes a preliminary year is more appropriate for Noriko considering that she finished Japanese high school in the spring of 2013 before she returned to her country of birth. Last but not least, several big names have changed clubs since last May, hence adding several new twists that were too good to pass by.Toukairin2012 (talk) 18:37, September 3, 2018 (UTC)
Today, I decided once and for all that the Manchester United manager (or head coach) in my story would be a fictional character who has nothing to do with the real-life Manchester United manager. His name is Andrew Butler. Some of the readers may remember that name from the last 3 FIFA games; he is the fictional no-nonsense coach who acts as the de facto manager in the story mode known as "The Journey". The character in my story will be very inspired by the one in FIFA 17 all the way to FIFA 19. Why did I make that change? Well, I felt that it would be a lot easier to write about since 1) I like Butler's character, and 2) I wouldn't need to think too much about the rumours and other stuff about the real-life manager anymore. Big kudos to Robert Lawrenson for bringing such passion into the character.Toukairin2012 (talk) 03:19, September 23, 2018 (UTC)
As of today, Japan is set to play the final of the AFC Asian Cup against Qatar in a few days (Friday February 1st, 2019). I'm following the competition very closely before I write up the updated chapters. The result of that final will be shown in the chapter preceding the confrontation against Arsenal at Old Trafford, which will be moved a little ahead in an updated stretch of 3 chapters that will begin with an updated version of "The Flowers of Manchester". For the updated match between Manchester United and Arsenal, the prematch buildup may not be as cold as I originally wrote depending of the outcome of the AFC Asian Cup final. However, the chain of events within the match will be enough for everything to take a sour turn between the Japanese friends at the end of that battle. Just on the other day in real life, both sides got involved into an incident that popped out of nothing when Arsenal already lost the match by 2 goals.Toukairin2012 (talk) 18:16, January 29, 2019 (UTC)