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Darren: FM 2011 Brighton bring me back to reality 2010/11

Hey guys and welcome to my new FM 2011 story. You have been voting over the last five days and I found myself overwhelmed by the amount of people that wanted to have a say in who I manage. There was one outright winner of which you already know, but lets go through the clubs available and how many votes they gained in reverse order. Reading and Leicester were tied in 4th/3rd gaining 42 votes, then Stoke finished second with 52 votes…but top spot goes to Brighton of League One who notched up more than double its competitors with 112 votes. You obviously want more of a struggle for me this time around and I couldn’t agree with you more. Thanks to everyone who voted, which totalled 248, a very nice number in such a small space of time. But enough playing around, let me introduce you to the incredible, the unstoppable…Brighton & Hove Albion???? :)

Introduction and pre-season

So after dominating World Football for 8 years, turning a debt ridden club into the richest and topping the managers hall of fame I land back in League One. Don’t you just love Football Manager!! Brighton have only won one major trophy, the 1983 FA Cup and have to go back to 2002 for their last decent success when they won League One. I want to start a new history book and put ‘The Seagulls’ on the Football map. Nothing but promotion will do this year, then I want to at least establish myself in the Championship before reaching the Premier League a season later. After that we will see but transfer funds and luck may play a part. The long term goal is to win this clubs first EPL title and get them challenging for major honours.

Before I reveal the transfer budget and expectations, let me give you a glimpse of what I have to work with. The stadium is grim at just 8820 capacity, but we are due to move into the ‘American Express Community Stadium’ next year which holds 22500. While the stadium plans are good, my facilities are dyer. I will spend the next few years trying to get these upgraded but in reality, these terrible facilities could hold my players pack for many years.

Now let’s check what my board expect of us. A top half finish was on their wish list but I felt promotion should be my goal and took the extra funds. £500K will be available for transfers and an extra £9K a week in wages. I will probably adjust my budget to gain more money for wages.

When starting a fresh game, I always assess my backroom staff first. I actually offloaded every single member and brought in my own staff to leave the club in better hands. After many hours of searching I was finally ready to assess the squad and no less than 14 players left Brighton. None of these players had a future and I wanted to get rid of the crap before building my own vision.

Brighton already have some decent players, but I only saw five or six players that could make an impact this season. After searching for free transfers and any loan deals, I brought 9 new stars into the club. Just one loan signing of my own in Spence and the rest all came in for free.

New signings – defenders

I felt a little short staffed at right back and brought in Moutaouakil who will be used as backup. The 24 year old lacks technical ability but has the pace to bomb up and down that right flank. I also felt a little vulnerable in the centre back position and loaned Jordan Spence from West Ham. The youngster will play alongside Greer this season.

New signings – central midfield

As many of you know, my ‘Manchelona’ tactic requires a strong midfield. That isn’t something we already had in place at Brighton so I invested heavily in this area. Baradji and Van Der Leegte will be rotated as my deep lying playmaker, they may not hold brilliant technical skills but I believe their experience will outweigh this negative. Both Sergio and Posavec will be rotated as my advanced playmaker, they have enough between them to cause any L1 side problems. Now we move onto my best signing, Modubi has bags of experience and is still just 25 years of age. He will be used as my ball winning midfielder and will play a big part in taking pressure off my defence.

New signings – wingers and strikers

We are already well staffed on both wings with Noone and Bennett but I spotted a real talent within a filtered search. Soukouna has joined the club for free and will be rotated on the right wing. He has wonderful physical attributes and they demonstrate the best part of his game. Sure those technical skills are a little worrying but I think his metal attributes make up for it. Either way, this kid is just 20 years of age and has room to improve.

Brighton are fairly well manned upfront including Chris Wood who is on loan from WBA. However the Seagulls lack someone with lightening pace so I brought in Febian Brandy. The ex-United player should be dangerous, he is notoriously slow at settling in but I think the 21 year can make an impact.

I actually missed out on four incredible players, two that failed a work permit and were rated as being good for any EPL club!! Then the other two chose Championship teams over Brighton. If I had finalised those four I’d be ready for the Championship this year :) But we just need to get promotion from L1 so I’m fairly happy with what I’ve got. Below is my full squad with coach CA and PA ratings.

Not amazing but should see us through the season so I can rebuild for the next level in a years time. I will finish this post with a little taster of what Brighton are capable of. Below are our pre-season friendlies, all of which were played using my ‘Manchelona’ tactic. You can click on the name to see all about it and download the tactic itself.

Well that is my pre-season over, I am starting to adjust and hope to make this save as popular as my last. Thanks for reading and until my season opener please feel free to ask any questions and I look forward to hearing from you as always.

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Birdy
Birdy
9 years ago

Good to see you struggling. Kidding! That would of been the longest and most time taking pre season I have ever seen, Good Luck Darren by the seaside :D

cobham
cobham
9 years ago

Think you will do wonders at Brighton! Good luck mate :)

Daniel
Daniel
9 years ago

Great signings darren and I had a sneaking suspicious feeling you would sign jordan spence to brighton and if you can ever get him permanantly he will be amazing for you. This will definitley be an interesting story and just in case you want a better center back then your others you should sign elliot omozusi on my old leyton orient save a few months ago i had omozusi and spence in center back together and between them they scored 21 goals and kept 28 clean sheets also frank nouble from west ham is usually a good signing. Lets hope you can make brighton the worlds richest club just like you did to newcastle

Johnny Karp
9 years ago

The squad is strong, especially upfront with Wood and Brandy! You did very well to bring in Spence, he should make a difference at the back. I think that promotion is achievable by looking at your squad, best of luck mate!

Excessive
9 years ago

Its always hard starting a new save, I mean I spend at least 2-3 hours sorting everything out so its all to my liking.. All worth it in the end though, you’ll be up in the Championship in no time mate, especially with the loan signing of Jordan Spence!

Good luck :D

George Dobson
9 years ago

well done Darren in pre season your team looks very good and promotion looks very much achivable

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
9 years ago

Hey Darren
Well done in pre-season, your team looks like you can win the league or at least get promotion. The Manchelona is still in use, that is pretty good to see. Good luck!

Vineeth
9 years ago

Hey Darren,

Your team looks quite good for L1…wud be interesting to see “Manchelona” in action in L1…(maybe you can give those Premiere League big boys a run for their money in FA Cup ;) )

If u can hold up against Bolton for 2-1, I am sure L1is going to be too easy for your team…

All the best Darren!!! :D

Ian T Evans
Ian T Evans
9 years ago

Will be good tho see how the Mancelona works Darren……good luck!

Soukuna & Brandy will fire you up – I have got previous with those two!

FM Blogger
9 years ago

Hi Darren,

Brandy is a beast and the best thing about him is that although he has low finishing, in fact he is a goal machine. I got him to a Chesterfield save and he played 28 games (missed a lot due to an injury) and scored 27, being the second league scorer, without even scoring once from the penalty spot. Sergio looks very skilled too, he will help a lot. This should be an interesting story and I’m looking forward to your next post. Good Luck!

Nicholas Phipps
9 years ago

Good luck and this story is going to be interesting :). I’m just wondering whether you can beat Brighton’s points total in League 1 this season!

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
9 years ago

Brighton looks like a very interesting challenge, Darren, very different from your Newcastle story for sure. You’ve brought in some good players, who can all make a difference at League 1 level. Brandy has ability, as does Spence, so hopefully they’ll settle quickly along with the others. Good luck for the season!

Dan
Dan
9 years ago

I’ve been looking forward to the start of this story. You’ve brought in some good players who will add some quality to your squad. I had Brandy on a Crewe game when I was on FMCrowd, he scored 52 goals from 43 starts in League 2 and pretty much single handedly won the league for us! Soukouna and Modubi look good too. Good luck!

Jay
Jay
9 years ago

hey darren,

nice to see you back at football managing :)

Omer
Omer
9 years ago

Great signings Darren. I remember my best ever save when I was Dartford and took them to world domination and for most of that Jordan Spence was part of it. If you are able to get him on a permenant you should. ;)

Great stuff looking forward to reading on

Lye
Lye
9 years ago

Hi Darren,

A couple of great signing company by the existing squad. Chris Wood and Jordan Spence should be performing up front and the back. Fingers cross for promotion mate. Good luck.

tom
tom
9 years ago

Welcome back!

Argh the stadium and facilties, what a nightmare!!!! Thank god for the move at the end of season!

I think establishing Brighton in the Prem with good finances will be your masterpiece should you achieve it. (I’m fairly new so I’ve only read your newc save and euro challenge so apologies if you have already done something better ;) )

Looking forward to seeing if your manchelona tactic works with less technically gifted players.
Jordan Spence a fantastic loan and Chris Wood good up front.

rolando
rolando
9 years ago

Wow, Brighton is gonna be some tough place to play, for sure. Very nice transfers but doesn’t really suprise me considering what a great transfer guru you are :) Installing Manchelona can be a bit tricky at L1 level, I guess, will be truly interesting to see your journey, just look out for the set pieces! And don’t be so angry about facilities, your new stadium will generate lots of cash and I’m sure Premiership is just a whisker away :) Good luck :)

Mikey
Mikey
9 years ago

Just today I wanted to start new save with them. So will see how we will be doing :) Good luck.

Mikey
Mikey
9 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

OMG..the team is really crap :) Started yesterday and it was all about offloading..

Edward Wylie
Edward Wylie
9 years ago

Hi Darren, I remember doing a save with Brighton. Ankergren made more mistakes than Roy Carroll facing long range shots from Pedro Mendes. I think you are strong favourites for the title, it’s very hard finding creative players for lower league teams. A good player I shall reccomend is Izzy Iriekpen. Good luck mate, look forward to reading the rest. :D

Jayzinho
Jayzinho
9 years ago

Hi Darren,

Let’s hope this game is as good as your last. I don’t think L1 will be much of an issue for you, maybe a couple of years in the champ then the prem! I’ve found it fairly easy getting to the prem but making an impact there is the real challenge!

Good luck mate

Jayzinho
Jayzinho
9 years ago
Reply to  Jayzinho

Oh yeah and Adam Le Fondre is dynamite in the lower leagues and still did a job for my Colchester side in the championship so i would thoroughly recommend him even if you do have to shell out 300k.

Sears
9 years ago

Brighton are enduring a good start in the Championship in RL so hopefully you’ll take L1 by storm. You made some astute signings and I don’t see any reason to why you shouldn’t get promoted. Good luck ;)

matt
matt
9 years ago

good stuff!

just started a newcastle save and looking to end second season in first.

any chance cud get hands on your tactic?

cheers bud

Kevin
9 years ago

Hi Darren
Welcome back to the lower leagues! Jordan Spence is a very good acquisition for you and I think you have a strong enough team to mount a serious challenge. Looking forward to this new era on FM Stories.

Sayam Khan
9 years ago

Hi Darren,

Good Luck with Darren, like you said welcome back to reality! Good pre-season and you should get promoted

Sibo
9 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zuKklBRlzY

Good luck Darren, the transfers look solid and I have seen a couple in the SPL in my games so they should be good in L1. I hope yo get promoted! :D

joelance
joelance
9 years ago

By the number of comments there are already, i’m almost sure this story will be as popular as your newcastle story. All the best. Will definitely be following this.

CsAtlantis
9 years ago

Looks like a strong squad, but you might have far too many strikers for a lone forward tactic, goalkeeper position looks a bit weak too, but other than that you’re ready to go, playoff spot at least definitely :D

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