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Dan: Season 2012/13 — Pre-Season & Transfers

Hi there!

Today I bring you pre-season from the 2012/13 season. I’ve spent a lot of my time in college today drawing gladiators with my headphones in so I’ve not done much talking. So if I were you I’d get comfy because I’m in a talking mood! :)

Now there’s always a lot of things to discuss in pre-season but I feel that the best place to start is transfers, it’s interesting and I’m sure the part that you, my readers, look forward too the most! So here we go!

So where to start? Last season we all watched my teams slow and very painful demise from Champions League to Europa League (although the latter is probably the most underrated tournament in the world) and I decided that my squad didn’t need a revamp, it needed a big revamp. So I quickly worked on pushing those out the door who I no longer wanted, or those who I received an offer which I thought was too good to turn town.

This is only the first part of the list of departures so I’ll talk about these players first from top to bottom. Alan Smith put simply was a waste of space, a waste of space that was earning £62k a week! I nearly fainted! So with nobody willing to buy I paid the £250k to cancel his contract. After him followed Gabriel Obertan, Tamas Kadar, Mike Williamson (all of which I received fees over their values), and Rob Elliott (who I just wanted rid of).

Then came the free transfers. I’ll not go into them because, well they were released, so that shows how important they were to me…

But after that long run of contracts ending Blackburn then came in for another of my outcast players and paid £1.7million for Ryan Taylor. Leon Best then left for almost a quarter of his value and Danny Guthrie joined Swansea on loan with a chance at a £2million (I think) extra fee to sign him permanently.

But I’m not finished yet! Ben Sayer has potential which I’m not too confident he’ll fulfil so out he went on loan. Marveaux left on the same terms as Gurthie only to France and promising youngsters Adam Campbell and Sammy Ameobi were farmed out to Crewe and Doncaster for some first team football. Then comes a list of loans followed by the sales of James Perch (finally!) and Fabricio Coloccini who I received £5million for. With only 1 year left on a £70k a week contract and a bid of twice his value at 30 years old that was too good to turn down.

All in all you can see we brought £20million into the club from player sales as well as removing some of our most expensive earners from the paylist. Now let’s see who I chose to replace them!

Those players in the green boxes have all been put in my youth team so I’ll go through them later. First of all I’m sure you want to see who I have signed in order to add some depth to my squad.

I figured Jordan Mutch wasn’t miserable enough so I signed this happy looking man! No doubting his quality as a defender though and he will partner Steven Taylor in defence. I feel £8million is quite cheap for him although his wages are a little in excess of what I wanted.

Quality young right back put simply and at that price you can’t really complain. He also has the added incentive of being English and home grown in the nation as well as being able to play at left back and considering I don’t actually have a natural left back in my squad that’s a bonus too!

To be honest I don’t need to say much do I? The green arrows justify this purchase for only £2million. I felt with my new formation moving Ben Arfa into the centre then I needed another winger and Forrest fit the mould. He’s young, has potential, has pace, can dribble, and he can cross! Plus he’s trained in England despite playing in Scotland for Celtic his whole career…

I’ve already gone through Montoya in my last Newcastle post so all I’ll say is that Simpson’s contract runs out in a year so Montoya gives me the chance to integrate a new defender a season in advance.

Again I’ve explained this, free transfer and had potential. The key word there being ‘had’. Since Polenta signed for us our reputation has increased so much that he has gone from 4 star to 3 star and I fear it may continue to plummet.

No introduction needed really. Fierro is a quality young forward and even bagged a couple of goals in pre-season so looking good. May be a season or 2 before he becomes a regular in the first 11 but I can wait.

Some people may consider this an unusual signing but it has many benefits. No.1 is that his contract runs for a year which means that even if he doesn’t do well, he’s gone at the season end. No.2 is I signed him on £16k a week wages. No.3 is that his contract states he is a rotation player so there’ll be no demand for constant first team football. No.4 is that surely someone like Michael Ballack is going to boost our chances of both domestic and EU success? And finally no.5 is that his attributes are still pretty good even at 35 years old.

With Vertonghen replacing Coloccini in the first team, I then needed someone to replace Colocinni on the bench and Ciaran Clark was the answer. He has good ball playing attributes as well as plenty of potential. His bravery and aggression could be better but other than that…

So with that out of the way lets move on to how the pre-season results went. I always like to get plenty of friendlies but this season the Olympics interfered.

Since we now have feeder teams in both America and Japan I felt it was appropriate for us to travel to both nations for pre-season tours (although I forgot to arrange a friendly with our US feeder team) which could boost both our international reputation and more importantly our finances.

Well our tour the USA was a total disaster other than adding almost £700k to our bank balance. We won 1, drew 1, and lost 1, while only scoring twice against inferior opposition. Adam Campbell scored though which I guess is a plus.

So then we flew across the Pacific to the land of the rising sun where we hoped to play another 3 friendlies only for one to be cancelled due to the Asian Champions League.

And yet again my team failed to impress, this time losing to our feeder team! Disaster! Again though a young striker scored which can only be a good thing.

We did have some friendlies back in the UK too but a few were cancelled when the Olympics kicked off and I couldn’t be in two places at once.

As you can see we did considerably better back in the UK and Ireland as we recorded comfortable wins over all the teams that we came up against. The massive shock that I got was how well Xisco performed as he bagged a bunch of goals. The only reason I played him is because nobody would buy him because of his £50k a week wages!

However these wins were not the pinnacle of our pre-season preparations since as we all know there is a certain competition that rears it’s head in pre-season, the Community Shield!

Many teams see this as another friendly and to be honest I was no different but I also saw it as a chance to add some silverware to my collection and so I can’t deny I wanted to win. However there was one problem, we were playing Man Utd…

We didn’t have a great first half and it looked to be getting away from us until I gave my team a rollicking at half time and then we blitzed the Man Utd goal and ran away 3-1 winners! I was extremely impressed with Papiss Cisse who seems to have sorted his shooting out and buried 2 in the top corner.

So as you can see my players recognised my contribution because put simply if that team talk had not worked then we would have lost 3 or 4-0. But I’ve got to give some of the praise to my new assistant for telling me what to say! John Carver was crap at that sort of stuff but the new guy has so far been spot on with all his advice…

I found this guy by accident but I’m not regretting it at all! He has great attributes for an assistant with high tactical knowledge, determination, judging both ability and potential. Not to mention his motivating, man management, and working with youngsters. Long may I retain his services.

The key thing about a win like that over Man Utd is that we would not have won any game like that last season. I gave my tactics a makeover and it seems to be working so far so here’s a quick look at the tactics I’ve created for this season. I’ll not talk about them I’ll just let you come to your own conclusions.

Main Attacking Tactic — 4-5-1

Backup Counter-Attacking Tactic — 4-3-3

So there you go. I know the first tactic looks a little offensive, well very offensive but that’s the way I play football. The second formation is designed to stop teams with fast strikers and good wingers from utterly destroying us.

These tactics will be handed to Joe Joyce in order for him to prepare the youth team and any potential first teamers to play in my style. As for the youth team you may recall that a significant lack of quality players entered the academy to replace those who were good enough at that level, but not at senior level. So what better time to bring some quality U18 talent from outside!

These are all the players from my screenshot further up, the ones in the green boxes so if you’re interested in seeing how much I paid for them then feel free to scroll back up and take another look.

Signed from Southampton as a future English left back however his potential has gone the same way Polenta’s did and he now has some work to do to ensure that he fulfils the ability that my scouts quoted me on.

Signed from Wolves for just over £1million and I think this is one that they wish they had never let go. With Campbell going out on loan I felt another U18 striker was needed and I think this kid fits the bill perfectly.

This kid is going to be a future England star! He has 4.5 star potential for me so for Port Vale (where I signed him from) he must have been like 8 stars or something! For £70k he’s a steal and I’m very excited to see him develop.

We all know about Adryan from my previous posts so hopefully he can develop and together with Harris they can become an amazing midfield pair.

This guys name is a commentators nightmare but his footballing skills will definitely develop to be every defenders nightmare! Looking at him now I think he could already make a couple of appearances in the Carling Cup but he should develop into a world class central midfielder.

So there you have it. What do you think, will these 5 develop into future stars or do you think I’ve signed a bunch of duds?

As you can see all the players I brought in boosted my youth system significantly but it makes me sad that they’re all so much better than what we could produce, I mean Port Vale produced Harris so surely we should be able to get at least 1 good player from Tyne & Wear!

Since we’re on the subject of star ratings I thought that you might be interested to see how my first team squad looks now in the eyes of my new assistant manager.

As you can see my teams potential vastly outweighs their current abilities. I have a few 2 star and below players but they will all (with the exception of Forster and Xisco) develop into very good players if I manage them correctly.

I don’t really have much to say about my team at this point in the season so I guess we should just move on to the final part of the post. Finances.

So, the boring part of the post and I’m sure the part that most people skip ;) but for those that are interested here’s the current financial situation at NUFC.

In truth it’s a little bit all over the place at the moment but we have made a profit over the last month or two:

So far in fact the club has improved it’s bank balance since the start of the season. This could be down to a number of things which I will go into now.

At first the board seemed intent on destroying any financial security the club had and at the beginning of our pre-season they began throwing money around like there was no tomorrow!

Their first move was to offer me a new contract until 2016, that is not ridiculous, what is ridiculous is the fact they upped my wages from £18,500p/w to £46,000p/w! This seemed a little excessive but there is no option to barter down a contract offer for obvious reasons.

After that I also requested the youth facilities to be upgraded and that was accepted, another £3.5million out the door. Then the board announced they were upgrading St. James’ Park to a 60,000 seater stadium, that is not a bad thing but it did wipe £10.3million from our account leaving me fearful of what I would be given to fix up the squad.

However we did get some good financial news too.

The stadium expansion did not take long at all and so NUFC could now squeeze another 7613 paying Geordies into the stands, kerching £££! :)

We agreed another sponsorship deal too which will add over a quarter of a million pound into our coffers each season and in the end our bank balance sheet read that we had over £18million to play with.

Mike Ashley had been incredibly generous with his cash during the summer and I sat their happily laughing «I thought this game was supposed to be realistic».

Yeah…there’s the realism…

However as you can see I’ve been very shrewd with any transfer business I’ve completed. It’s always nice to see that I £4million of a £2million transfer budget remaining and I have no intention of spending that remaining money. As well as the left over transfer kitty we also have £153k of wages just floating around doing nothing thanks to our wage budge being slashed by a lot this season.

Well that’s everything. A long post I know but if you read all of it without skipping anything then well done! :)

Thanks for reading!

46 комментариев


  1. Daniel

    19 мая, 2012 at 08:34


  2. Kevin

    19 мая, 2012 at 09:36

    Hi Dan

    Terrific work with this post as you’ve provided a lot of information but still made it an enjoyable read to go through. After your not so good road trip you did well to overcome that and capture the Community Shield. Pretty amazing transfer activity, that must have been difficult to keep track of but you’ve obviously done the right thing and look to have a solid team. It will be interesting to see how David Harris progresses at the club.

    • Dan

      19 мая, 2012 at 20:10

      Hey Kevin,
      There were transfer flying around everywhere. Bids coming in, bids going out, it was a bit chaotic at times. Harris is a player that has the potential to become a world beater plus he’s English which is always a plus. Hopefully he can develop well under my guidance.

  3. George Dobson

    19 мая, 2012 at 09:48

    Great post Dan and some great signings :D

  4. Jonathan Carver

    19 мая, 2012 at 11:28

    Glad to see Cisse banging them in now mate :D and I think Forrest will be the signing of the season, great buy :D good luck for the season mate!!

    • Dan

      19 мая, 2012 at 20:14

      Hey Jonathan,
      Hopefully Cisse will continue to find the back of the net. I can’t help but think this is just the game compensating for the loss of Ba though. Forrest is really good, he was one of my best players in that Celtic story which never got going, both domestically and on the continent so hopefully he can replicate the form he had on that save.

  5. TheZiggy

    19 мая, 2012 at 13:27

    That was a huge amount of transfer activity, and certainly a number of good signings in there. Forrest already looks like he can cause problems, so if his development continues he has a good future ahead of him. Some of the players Newcastle had on the books at astonishing wages, was amazing. Alan Smith was a ludicrous one, given he spent 2011-2012 playing for MK Dons in League One. I believe signing Ballack is quite a decent move, given the wage, and hopefully you’re able to get him to tutor some of the other players.

    The two overseas trips were very odd, but I guess the lads were complacent, as also with all those changes, nowhere near to being a cohesive force. At least they picked things up once they got back home, culminating in the Community Shield, with a good comeback against Man United.

    Should be another decent season, and you can hopefully snatch a few more victories over the big boys and climb a bit further up the table this season. Good luck.

    • Dan

      19 мая, 2012 at 20:19

      Hey Ziggy,
      The transfer activity was a little insane, it might actually be the most active market I’ve ever had! Forrest has everything I wanted in a winger, pace, crossing ability, and he can dribble so a great capture for just £2million.

      Some of the wages at NUFC are a little crazy, Alan Smith £62k, Coloccini £70k, and whichever genius gave Xisco £50k a week needs to be fired! I agree that Ballack has something to offer my team this season though.

      The friendlies were frustrating and it’s never a good thing to be beaten by your feeder team but at the end of the day a friendly is a friendly and we got the match fitness we needed to overcome Man Utd in the Community Shield. Who knows, maybe those defeats knocked the complacency out of the squad just in time?

  6. somim

    19 мая, 2012 at 13:49

    finally cisse’s started to bang them in, you should try and get kagawa at the end of the season because he rarely signs a new deal and he’d suit your formation like a glove

    much love from fellow geordie !!

    • Dan

      19 мая, 2012 at 20:21

      Hey somim,
      Seems everyone’s happy that Cisse’s scoring! :) Thanks for the tip off on Kagawa too, I’ll keep a close eye on that.

  7. Darren Smith

    19 мая, 2012 at 14:07

    Some excellent signings there Dan and very en-keeping with what the team is trying to do in real life. Nice to see Cisse scoring again, lets hope that continues.

    • Dan

      19 мая, 2012 at 20:24

      Hey Darren,
      To be honest I had very little choice but to keep with the real life model since the clubs finances would be in the toilet if I had spent £22million without recouping that £20million. We’ve actually made quite a bit of money so far this season too which is great!

  8. Dan Ireland

    19 мая, 2012 at 14:30

    Hey Dan, i agree with most of your signings there and that Harris looks like he’ll progress well. It’s also good to see that Cisse might actually score some goals this season!;) Anyway one last question one skin are you using?

    • Dan

      19 мая, 2012 at 20:44

      Hey Dan,
      If Cisse continues to score when Ba returns to fitness then we could well have the most potent attack in the league!

      As for the skin I was going to post the link but it’s not letting me so I’ll have to give you instructions instead. (Of course if you’re familiar with FMBase you only need to look at the name of the skin).

      Go to FMBase > Addons (top right corner) > Skins > and the skin is called:
      >>> alavanja 12 Pro Skin <3<3<3
      It's the 10th skin down from the top of the list.
      Enjoy! :)

  9. Laxeyman

    19 мая, 2012 at 18:16

    Congrats on the Community Shield win Dan! A great way to start what I’m sure will be a successful season :) Your signings are good, I’m particularly excited by Harris, Abbott and Mbuyi, I reckon they’ll be fantastic in a few years!

    • Dan

      19 мая, 2012 at 20:34

      Thanks Laxeyman,
      Glad you like the signings and the Community Shield win over Utd is almost the perfect way to start the season considering they’re the reigning champions of England.

  10. saltwater

    19 мая, 2012 at 20:53

    Well where do I start?
    Harris is possibly the best piece of buisness I’ve ever seen, the Port Vale manager should be sacked! I really like your method of bringing in young promising players, I usually think about the present rather than the future. And I’d also like to say getting experianced three and a half star Micheal Ballack on such low wages was also brilliant.

    Beating Man Utd, even if it is just the Community Shield, is a stepping stone for the toon, and I expect you to either win or lose the title by a few points.
    Even if it is only pre-season, nice to see Papicss Cisse on the scoresheet so much, in what game did Ba get injured? Also what sort of team will you be playing in the Europe League?
    Sorry for the long comment, panic typing as I think Bayern will score any second now!

    • Dan

      19 мая, 2012 at 21:08

      Hey saltwater,
      Don’t worry about the length of the comment, I’ll reply to every point made no matter the length. :)

      Harris was found by Graham Carr (genius) and for only £70k I didn’t waste any time at all in signing him up! The whole reason I sign youngsters is for my home grown status, in the past I’ve had the issue where I’ve had not enough home grown players so I guess I’ve become paranoid. ;)

      Ballack I signed for more of a coaching role if that makes sense? Plus he was cheap so what could go wrong?

      As for Man Utd I always have a strangely good record against them whenever I’m Newcastle and hopefully you’re right about the title (the winning it by a few points of course, not losing it, that would be terrible)! I fully expect Cisse and Ba, who was injured in August, he’ll be back in October/November.

      As for the Europa League I’ll be trying to win that so a full strength team will be played most of the time, especially when you guys see the group I got. Let’s just say it could have been easier…

      Bayern may not have scored yet but it’s definitely coming! Newcastle need them to win so that we don’t have to qualify for the Europa League!

      • saltwater

        19 мая, 2012 at 22:40

        YEEEESSSSS! European champions! I LIKE IT!
        Sorry mate but it looks like you’re going to have to qualify!!

  11. Johnny Karp

    20 мая, 2012 at 09:18

    Congrats on the Community Shield, that usually is a good sign for the season ;) Secondly, you have brought in some very good players, especially Vertonghen. And last but not least, that 16-year old Spanish CM will surely be a star, I think you can give him some first team football right away.

    • Dan

      20 мая, 2012 at 13:03

      Thanks Johnny,
      It’s always nice to start the season with silverware and Vertonghen can hopefully live up to his attributes with his performances. Sikhakhane is a player I look forward to developing and I think I might give him a couple of appearances in the cups against the lower league teams.

  12. denson

    20 мая, 2012 at 18:40

    Never commented on your updates dan but always followed them!
    Good update and signings, that lad from port vale is an absolute steal!

    One Question:
    How do you tell your youth team what formation to play?
    Good Luck!

    • Dan

      21 мая, 2012 at 17:06

      Hey denson,
      To get your youth team to play your formation you have to go Team Policy > U18s > Play Using Current Tactics

      Not sure if those are the exact works but it’s not far off but yeah Harris is quality, 5 star for the U18s and potentially 4.5 star for the first team. Happy days! :)

  13. Mohammad Sadek

    21 мая, 2012 at 02:37

    Very good signings Dan , Hopefully great season is on the cards , you have a very good squad now , Although i think Tiote is very underrated in Football Manager 12 .

    • Dan

      21 мая, 2012 at 17:14

      Hey Mohammad,
      Tiote is very underrated but hopefully he can have a good season regardless of that. After all he is still 3 stars and if he plays well that could increase.

  14. vaibhavc

    21 мая, 2012 at 04:44

    Great win the Community Shield! You outclassed United. Sikhakane is a very good prospect for the future, he will develop into something big!

    • Dan

      21 мая, 2012 at 17:20

      Thanks vaibhavc,
      Hopefully Sikhakhane will develop well, I’m going to give him that little bit of first team football this season too just to get him going.

  15. CsAtlantis

    21 мая, 2012 at 08:09

    Wow Dan, your squad got a near complete overhaul, Naughton is a good bargain (had him too, will have great resell value which I am sure Ashley would love)

    Ballack will make a really good tutor for Verratti/Mutch, Polenta needs to work on his heading but still has decent potential

    Fierro and Clark will be great for the future, and so will the youngsters Harris, Adryan, and Sikhakhane (he looks more African than Spanish though :P)

    Nice win against Man Utd in the Community Shield, also that new young assistant manager of yours looks really impressive

    • Dan

      21 мая, 2012 at 17:24

      Hey CsAtlantis,
      The squad needed an overhaul, too many free loaders eating away at my wage budget and not repaying me in performance.

      Verratti and Mutch will develop well (Verratti already has) but Polenta has a lot of work to do to make sure he doesn’t become my first ‘mistake signing’ in this save. I always have at least 1.

      I think Sikhakhane has African nationality and to be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a call up from an African nation long before Spain even know he exists!

  16. Tegar Triemanudigdo

    21 мая, 2012 at 14:55

    Hmm…looks like a promising team, and I can’t wait to see the development of those players.

    • Dan

      21 мая, 2012 at 17:25

      Me too Tegar,
      Provided I keep hold of them all of course.

  17. pedro roriz

    21 мая, 2012 at 16:00

    cheers mate! nice moves there at the transfer market and the friendly subject. going to america and japan certainly will prove correct with time.

    so, what is your prediction for this year tournaments? getting into the big 4 is not far from your hands, is it? i guess it will come to the injury ratio of your strikers.

    • Dan

      21 мая, 2012 at 17:29

      Hey Pedro,
      Glad you liked the transfers but as for my media predictions I’m still only predicted 7th in the league so that hasn’t changed from last season.

      The most annoying thing was that I beat Man Utd in the Community Shield and it turns out my board didn’t even care! Oh well, I’ve got an FA Cup to defend anyway. :)

      • Pedro Roriz

        22 мая, 2012 at 02:41

        but say, what does the media know about football, mate? you did superbly winning the match against man city. and hey, your attacking force is on fire!
        hope to read the rest of the story soon!

  18. Ana Garcia

    21 мая, 2012 at 19:59

    Some terrific signings Dan!

    Always nice to see some Spaniards in there! Congrats on the community shield thing! Am guessing that’s like the super cup in Spain! :)

    Finances are ok but I would have expected them to be a little higher with all the money from the premier league being given to you, I hope your chairman isn’t like mine at Velez!

    Good luck!!

    • Dan

      21 мая, 2012 at 20:08

      Hey Ana,
      The Community Shield is basically a Super Cup but with a rubbish name which is probably part of the reason that nobody cares about it.

      The finances thing is strange because although a Premier League team might be given loads of money just for being in the league, they also spend a load of money on wages and other expenses and considering St. James’ Park is a 60,000 seater (in game anyway) that probably takes a bit of upkeep too! Mike Ashley may be a lot of things but as far as I know he’s not crooked…

  19. Martin 'Pellow' Pickard

    21 мая, 2012 at 20:07

    Hey Dan…great post and some very nice signings there…especially Jan Vertonghen…he was a true Legend in my Anzhi save…hopefully he will be for you! I’m absolutely looking the skin your using…where did you get it from? Keep up the good work pal :)

    • Dan

      21 мая, 2012 at 20:12

      Hey Martin,
      Vertonghen had a dodgy first half against Man Utd actually but he pulled himself round in the second half and was great! I’m getting asked this question about the skin a lot, at least someone’s doing a good job there :)

      The skin’s from FMBase and it’s called: «>>> Alavanja 12 Pro Skin <3<3<3"
      Bit of a weird name but a nice skin!

  20. John

    25 мая, 2012 at 10:47

    Hi dan. Hope all is good, really enjoying this story it’s got potential to be really interesting! Small moan, I’m a little fed up of seeing Carlos Fierro everywhere I go. It almost feels as though I know part of your story already and it involves that man scoring an awful lot of goals! Ha ah well I’m sure I’ll get over it! Good luck with the season

    • Dan

      25 мая, 2012 at 16:14

      Hey John,
      Sorry to hear you’re tired of seeing Fierro everywhere, what can I say, he’s cheap and becomes world class! If it’s any consolation you won’t be seeing him in my team regularly for another couple of seasons.

  21. John

    25 мая, 2012 at 16:40

    I don’t blame you for signing him I was just saying that he’s everywhere and I know exactly what he’s gonna be capable of haha. I can’t bring myself to buy him now, last year I signed sanogo without knowing he was a boss an then someone told me about him I was distraught haha

  22. celticman

    24 июня, 2012 at 09:07

    Hi Dan, sorry I’ve not been around to comment. I somehow missed this post altogether!

    Anyway the transfers look very good but I’m not happy with you for taking James Forrest away from Celtic grrr! Only joking, though it is funny to see he’s home grown in nation for you; Adam Matthews is the same for me despite playing with Cardiff his whole career.

    I particularly like your tactics. Did you determine to use those from Guide to Football Manager? I’m especially interested in the counter attacking one and how it will fare against stronger teams.

    Anyway I think you’ve managed to strengthen the team and the tactical approach very well while still leaving you in a decent financial position. Keep up the good work!

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