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Dan: Pre-Season & Transfers 2011-12

Hi there!

I’m back again, out of the wilderness to bring you another exciting Newcastle United post. This post was actually meant for yesterday but I realised at about 1pm yesterday afternoon that I have college work due for Monday so I’ve been forcing myself to do that.

Anyway we’ll dive head first into the interesting stuff — Transfers! I’m sure you all can’t wait to see who I signed with my enormous transfer kitty of £3million!

Transfers Out

…But first we’ll have a look at who I managed to offload. The answer really is nobody, Shola Ameobi left for Wolves for a very nice price of £2.5million but the rest were just loaned out. Nile Ranger, Sammy Ameobi (or Sameobi as he’s come to be known around where I live), and Mehdi Abeid were loaned out because I have high hopes for them, the rest I want rid of so they went off to various League 1, 2, and Conference clubs.

Transfers In

Ta-dah! 2 Players with great potential, Marco Verratti and Jordan Mutch for £3million each. Pretty good going if you ask me, I spent £6million of a £3million transfer budget, but that is because at the start of the season we were making a profit and I had Mike Ashley eating out of the palm of my hand like an overweight goat:

The board gave me about an extra £40k in wages (which I turned into transfer budget) and improved the junior coaching of our club from adequate to good. So back to transfers. I guess you guys want to see the reports and profiles so here they are…

Marco Verratti — Advanced/ Deep Lying Playmaker

Jordan Mutch — Deep Lying Playmaker

I’ve got to say that Jordan Mutch looks thrilled to be at Newcastle, just look at that smile! But seriously, I wasn’t even planning on signing any central midfielders when I took over. I wanted to sign a backup keeper, a left back, and centre back but you may remember me saying at some point in the last post (as long as I’m not imagining this) that everything would be fine as long as we stayed «relatively injury free», well…

…As you see, Lovenkrands, Vuckic, and Ferguson (and Adjei but I don’t care about him), all joined Ben Arfa, Ryan Taylor, and Guthrie on the injury list, 7 players (including Adjei) that are midfielders or can play midfield injured in pre-season! This kind of forced my hand in the transfer market.

But wait, I’m not done yet, I’ve also arranged a future transfer which I’m very excited about…

Carlos Fierro — Poacher

Yay! I’ve personally never had him but upon reading Celticman’s blog on FMCrowd (I was there by accident Johnny ;) ) I saw how good he becomes in the future and although I’ve heard that it’s usually a nightmare to get a work permit for him, I was lucky enough to get one upon appeal! Double yay! Along with Adam Campbell (whom CsAtlantis was curious to see) I could have my future strike pair sorted already!

Adam Campbell — Poacher

I would love to give this kid the no.9 one day, born in Newcastle and dubbed the ‘new Michael Owen’ so he can’t be too bad when he gets older.

So that’s the transfer stuff out of the way, well for the players anyway. As you probably remember I was revamping my backroom staff too and this is what I came up with:

New Backroom Staff

Senior Coaching

Youth Coaching

Much better than what it was when I first joined. I’ve filled my allocation for coaches and sorted the star ratings out to fit although I wish I’d signed a new goalkeeping coach rather than give my current one a new contract. I also signed 8 new scouts to fill up my allocation there along with Graham Carr who was already at the club:

Not really much to talk about here apart from Juanma Lopez is using his knowledge of South America to scout there for me and Desailly is scouting Western Africa with no success so far but a lot of good players come from there so I’m not giving up.

This has been a marathon post but we’re almost done, just a few more things to go through. Firstly formations…

Basically all the same instructions but with a different shape. This is because I believe in playing one way and one way only…ATTACK! I like to have good wingers who can either cross the ball in or cut inside and a capable forward, who I’ve got in this updated man…

…who can create, score goals, head the ball, and generally put himself about. Look at how many goals he scored in pre-season out of my last 5 games, pretty impressive even if not against the best opposition in the world.

As for the formations, basically the 4-3-3 is my favourite and not dissimilar from what Newcastle play in real life. The 4-5-1 is for when Ben Arfa comes back and my wingers aren’t doing too well, having a creative attacking midfielder will take the pressure off them as well as give the striker some support. The 4-4-2 will be used when playing weaker opponents whom I think I can put a few past with both Ba and Cisse up front.

Finally we can move onto what actually happened in pre-season…

Pretty straight forward but I’ve got to say that during the course of the Barnsley game after they scored a penalty in the 7th minute, and scored again just before half time I did change from this…

to this…

And I now have the Gremlins theme tune stuck in my head! :D But that doesn’t matter because going mental at half time and bringing on Demba Ba for Cisse (who was woeful until my last 3 friendlies) got us the result we wanted.

So that’s that! Pre-season done and dusted and now onto the serious stuff although we have a very winnable start to the season playing Norwich, Swansea, and Blackburn before things get a little harder.

Thanks for reading!

41 комментарий


  1. Darren Smith

    11 апреля, 2012 at 22:01

    Cisse, woeful!!!! I’m personally going to write a letter to SI about how unrealistic this game is lol :) Only kidding of course…I wouldn’t worry about that as any new player can take time, its just how the game works as you’ll know anyway.

    Some good signings there Dan and I must say, Fierro is going to be an absolute legend for the Toon!!

    • Dan

      12 апреля, 2012 at 12:29

      Hopefully Cisse will get better but I think part of the problem is he has all of the attributes to be a target man except he’s not that good at jumping or heading, but his best position is poacher apparently when his dribbling is on 10?

      Fierro should be good though, hopefully he’ll be playing some first team football in Mexico before he joins so he might even improve before joining Newcastle.

      • Peter_G

        12 апреля, 2012 at 15:29

        Cisse is good. Dont be deterred by his 10 for dribbling. He bangs them in on my Wolves save as a poacher

        • Dan

          12 апреля, 2012 at 15:35

          I’ll keep that in mind, it must just be down to him needing a transition period then, I’m sure he’ll come good in the end.

  2. Erick Wolf

    12 апреля, 2012 at 04:16

    I gotta say, this looks to be a very good start to the story.
    I like Newcastle, even though I envy them (Wolves fan).

    • Dan

      12 апреля, 2012 at 12:31

      Thanks Erick glad you liked it.

      I was actually a keen watcher of Wolves before your chairman got rid of McCarthey, I thought he handled that badly. I felt from then on Terry Connor was given an almost impossible task.

  3. vaibhavc

    12 апреля, 2012 at 06:32

    Fierro will turn out to be really good hopefully. I signed him as well in my Swansea save. Ba and Cisse will be a lethal pair up front.

    • Dan

      12 апреля, 2012 at 12:33

      I’m glad I got Fierro for next to nothing, he cost £1.29million in compensation which isn’t too bad. Ba has been deadly so far but I wish I could say the same about Cisse.

  4. Johnny Karp

    12 апреля, 2012 at 07:41

    Excellent signings there Dan, Veratti and Fierro will surely help the club grow in the future based on the reports Darren has published in the Scouting Network. The friendlies went quite OK as well so I’m expecting an exciting season. Good luck!

    • Dan

      12 апреля, 2012 at 12:37

      Thanks Johnny.

      I know all about Verratti, I’ve had him on every game since FM2010 and on every game he’s got better and better. The Corinthians friendly was my favourite, it finished 0-0 but I played my second string team because of internationals, James Perch got a 7.7 and controlled the midfield!

  5. MVB

    12 апреля, 2012 at 09:10

    good start mate, having done my own save I know just what the mighty toon can achieve!

    Verratti is a legend already on my game and having a storming season, Fierro is banging the goal in for fun alongside Niang but i don’t suppose you need the young french men with Ba and Cissé on the books. Looking forward to seeing how you get on

    • Dan

      12 апреля, 2012 at 12:40

      Cheers. So far FM2012 is the only FM game I’ve not had an extended Newcastle game on. I had my Celtic game first which is unusual because I normally start with Newcastle. I think you’re right about Niang though, Ba, Cisse, and in the next few years Adam Campbell will begin to push into the first team so I think I’m sorted in that department! :)

  6. saltwater

    12 апреля, 2012 at 11:45

    Some exciting signings for the future, and I’m sure they’ll eventually play dividens if they get enough game time. This should be a very good story, and my guess is that (when that horrid injury list begins to decrease) you can easily land a place in the Europe league.
    Also really? FM Crowd? Dissapointing :)

    • Dan

      12 апреля, 2012 at 12:42

      I’m definitely going to give Verratti playing time and as for Mutch and Fierro, the way my injuries are going they’ll get plenty of time too. I’d love a Europa League place but I’m aiming for my media prediction of 7th this season, anything more is a bonus!

      FMCrowd is where I started my blogging ‘career’ so I like to pop in now and again. :)

  7. Laxeyman

    12 апреля, 2012 at 12:03

    Verratti and Mutch are very good signings for the future Dan, they both have huge potential, and it looks like Newcastle’s central midfield is sorted for a few years :) You’ve got a strong squad, and I reckon you can finish at least in the top 6. Good luck!

    • Dan

      12 апреля, 2012 at 12:45

      Thanks Laxeyman.

      Top 6 would be nice but I’m still not 100% confident in my defence, they seem to do unexplainable things quite often so I think I’ll concede a few this season. My midfield is always strong for any team since I think it’s the most important part, you could have the worst strikers in the world but if you keep creating chances they’ve got to score eventually, and your defence could be terrible but if you have the right players to shield them it can make all the difference.

  8. Bence Répási

    12 апреля, 2012 at 19:02

    Hi Dan!

    Your team seems to had a very nice preseason with the good signings and friendlies. I think with a little luck Newcastle could be capable of securing a top half finish or even better. Good luck for the rest of your first season with NU!

    • Dan

      12 апреля, 2012 at 21:07

      Hey Bence,

      If I’m honest only a top half finish would be disappointing, I’m aiming for 7th or above, anything below I see as a failure! Maybe a bit optimistic but I like a challenge! :)

  9. Martin - F.M.J.S

    12 апреля, 2012 at 20:41

    A nice Pre Season Dan and some good signings. Good luck with the season I hope you can grab a Europa League spot or better :D

  10. silva

    13 апреля, 2012 at 00:10

    Fierro is a really good player but takes time to develop to the EPL in my Southampton game maybe its just me and u can get the best out of him.

    Good luck with Newcastle

    • Dan

      13 апреля, 2012 at 12:27

      I’m not too bothered about Fierro getting good really quickly, I’ve got Ba and Cisse for the next few years anyway so there’s no rush. As long as he develops and so does Adam Campbell then I’ll have a great future strike partnership.

  11. Bigbaz

    13 апреля, 2012 at 01:39

    Good signings an pre season
    Looking forward to this story!
    Also nice to see a fellow wolves fan erick wolf!
    I just wish one of you guys would do a story about them as i just want to see us win again, maybe someone will do a story soon :D


    • Dan

      13 апреля, 2012 at 12:29

      Thanks Baz and I nearly chose to be Wolves, and I’m not just saying that. I got as far as my first 3 Premiership games but then gave in because the strikers were terrible, 3 games 1 goal, and considering the style of football I play it just wasn’t working. Maybe in the next FM though… :)

  12. CsAtlantis

    13 апреля, 2012 at 03:37

    Great signings in Verratti and Mutch (Mutch looks really happy doesn’t he? :P) plus with Fierro joining later you are looking good in midfield and attack

    Well Adam Campbell is only 16 so it would be interesting to see how much he improves, I must say though, whatever happened to your plans of reinforcing your defence? Unless you want to call upon James Perch every time someone is injured…………:D

    Ba is doing very well and once Cisse settles into the team you should have plenty of goals in your team, good luck for the season Dan

    • Dan

      13 апреля, 2012 at 12:36

      My whole ‘strengthen the defence’ thing went out the window when the injuries started piling up and actually James Perch did more than OK in pre-season, not sure how well he’ll do against the likes of Manchester City rather than Barnsley though…

      As for Adam Campbell my cousin has a game which he is 5 seasons in, he took over Newcastle in the 3rd season and Campbell had been sold to Man City where (even without playing at all) his mental attributes have increased loads and his acceleration and pace are on 20 and 19! Plus 17 agility and 15 balance.

      I hope Cisse settles soon because Ba has made an incredible start to the season and Cisse, well…hasn’t basically.

  13. celticman

    13 апреля, 2012 at 07:00

    Good signings, especially Veratti and Fierro. How on earth did you get that work permit for him. His work permit situation has frustrated me no end and caused me to change how I search for players :)

    But thanks for the mention.

    I think it’s all very well wanting to be attacking all the time, however I fear you may need a more defensive/counter attacking style when you play in Europe or away at the likes of Man Utd.

    Good luck.

    • Dan

      13 апреля, 2012 at 12:41

      Hey Celticman,

      The Fierro thing was just luck I think. I scouted him and it said he would fail to gain a work permit but would probably be accepted on appeal so I approached to sign him and there we go, it happened just like my scout said it would failed first application and accepted on appeal.

      As for the attacking mentality thing that’s how I got to the final of the Europa League with Celtic, bold, attacking, and sometimes just plain crazy tactical choices. I do tend to change my tactics during games to suit just I always start out the same way.

      No worries about the mention though, I give credit where credit is due. :)

  14. TheZiggy

    13 апреля, 2012 at 12:09

    Some good signings there. Fierro and Verratti should develop very well, and excellent prospects for the future. I think you should give Mutch a nickname: «Smiler» or something like that.

    The balance between defensive and attacking is a tricky one. I remember Newcastle years back attempting to just outscore everyone, which was exciting to watch, but ultimately frustrating. Although it’s not quite as exciting I prefer to start off building a very solid defence, and then work on using that as a way to feed the forward minded players. Once it starts to work properly, the team begin to play some really sweet possession football.

    • Dan

      13 апреля, 2012 at 12:46

      I understand where you’re coming from but like I said the injuries I suffered forced my hand in the transfer market and there is no way I could change this Newcastle defence into anything near solid with the £7million I managed to scrape together.

      My team already plays possession football and have gotten quite good at it already, the midfield and defence tend to pass between themselves until there’s some space for a winger or striker and then a through ball goes straight through for them to chase. I managed to out-possession Swansea so I guess I’m doing something right in that department. :)

  15. Ana Garcia

    14 апреля, 2012 at 18:50

    Some good signings, Fierro especially as he seems to become an amazing player.

    Your pre-season went really well so that’s quite promising for the new season, so the best of luck! :)

    • Dan

      14 апреля, 2012 at 19:22

      Thanks Ana,

      Fierro will hopefully become a Toon legend in years to come!

  16. Mohammad Sadek

    15 апреля, 2012 at 00:55

    I really love this Newcastle team especially Cisse & Ben Arfa who were amazing in my fantasy team last couple of gameweeks :D , The best of luck Dan .

    • Dan

      15 апреля, 2012 at 13:05

      Yeah Cisse and Ben Arfa are quickly becoming legends on Tyneside! Hopefully they’ll serve my team as well as they serve your fantasy team! :)

  17. Sears

    17 апреля, 2012 at 15:57

    Sorry for the delay! But everyone else has pretty much said everything so I’ll just say good luck!

  18. Rossmac

    18 апреля, 2012 at 23:21

    I’ve just started a new game also with the toon currently playing a 4-3-3 formation but I want to get Ben arfa into the lineup Ive tried playing him in central forward position as a treq but he started moaning about playing out of position so I’ve tried training him but it’s been ineffectual looks like I’m goin to need to find another winning tactic (played 11 won 9 draw 2) or sell him which I don’t want to do any ideas??

    • Dan

      18 апреля, 2012 at 23:43

      Hey Rossmac,
      The Ben Arfa situation you’ve got there is a difficult one…
      To be brutally honest it sounds like you don’t really need him in your squad, you’re winning games so why change a winning formula? I would just tell him to get on with it next time he complains and if he moans afterwards then sell him.

      Besides my cousin has a NUFC game in season 5 and Ben Arfa retired at the start of his 4th season aged 28!

      Hope this helps :)

  19. Rossmac

    18 апреля, 2012 at 23:56

    Hey thanks for quick response. It’s the Barcelona tactic I’m using which is great by the way counter and attacking versions working great. I think I will sell him in summer then if he jeeps moaning. Also could you recommend a left back (problem position) for my team don’t have alot of money left but could sell players in January thanks

    • Dan

      19 апреля, 2012 at 00:02

      Your question was a good one, I even turned the computer back on just to answer it! ;) :)

      Left backs are a tricky position to find, what about Santon? That’s who I’m training to become a left back, if you play him there often enough he becomes a natural after a couple of seasons.

      Rather than take my word for it I would just advise you to take a look on the Scouting Network. The people on there are a lot more qualified than me to advise on players! :)

      You can find at the top of the screen in case you don’t know where it is, just click the icon or just click this link:

  20. Rossmac

    19 апреля, 2012 at 00:23

    Thanks will do yeah I’ve got santon playing at left back it’s more as a back up tbh as I’ve got vrsaljko at rb

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