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Darren: FM 2011 Brighton finish first season in the top flight 2012/13

Hey guys and welcome back to another update from Brighton & Hove Albion. My last post finished in December after Brighton had racked up 30 EPL points and lye in 8th position. The season was going well and I even reintroduced the Manchelona, the great start left me craving a mid-table finish but there was still a long way to go. Today I will reveal how the 2012/13 season finished, did Brighton finish around mid-table or did we crumble into a relegation battle?

FA Cup results

Before I reveal the EPL results, let’s talk about my secondary focus, the FA Cup. This competition was used to rest key players and remained in the back of my mind. Despite my negativity, the third round went extremely well as a weak Manchester United lost 3-2 at Old Trafford. Brighton then beat Swansea 4-0 in the fourth round and walked past West Ham in the fifth round. Our journey came to an end as Newcastle forced a replay in the sixth round and my second string XI just couldn’t cope.

Premier League results – January to February

Just four months remaining and 18 games to secure a respectable finish in the Premier League. January was almost perfection as Brighton beat Everton 3-1, Newcastle 1-0, Aston Villa 3-1, West Ham 3-2 and eventually drew to Blackburn 1-1. During this amazing run Bakambu was on fire scoring 5 goals from 5 games. February wasn’t as good though, Manchester United beat us 2-1 before Tottenham thrashed my boys 3-0. We then finished the month with a 3-2 victory over Wolves but the wheels were already in motion and the squads morale had taken a turn for the worse.

Premier League results – March to May

After two top teams taught my boys a lesson, I hoped and prayed for a positive reaction. What I received was far from that as Brighton were lacklustre when drawing 1-1 at home to Fulham. Then a thrilling match at Anfield ended in a 3-2 defeat before we thrashed Stoke 3-0. We did then beat Nottm Forest 2-1, but the performance was far from convincing and Brighton then struggled to draw 0-0 at home to Burnley. This led me to make some changes and I decided to adjust my starting strategy based on the opponent and squad morale. The first test came against Blackpool as I swayed away from the usual attacking strategy and selected ‘control’, due to the players backing off a little we found more space and won the match 3-0. I then chose a counter strategy against Man City but that backfired and Brighton were thrashed 4-1. I chose a standard strategy against Bolton as we won 3-0, but the old counter didn’t work well against Arsenal as the London club eased past us 2-0. Brighton then finished the season with a standard strategy against West Brom and were rewarded with a 2-0 victory.

Premier League table

After a shaky start we managed some solid form before failing to impress at the seasons end…but how did this relay in the league table. Brighton were predicted to fight against relegation, but I was hoping for a mid-table finish. Well we actually performed above everyone’s expectations and finished the season in 7th. A great position and one I hope to build on next season, we were just 4 points away from European football :(

With the seasons conclusion comes my final squad stats. We have Galeano to thank not only for clean sheets but also 10 goals. Bakambu was my top striker, finishing the season with 16 goals and 6 assists while Erick Torres came off the boil and finished with just 10 goals. McDermott was my shock of the season, the winger joined Brighton when we were at League One level and has scored 10 goals and added 8 assists in the EPL. Charlie Adam also played a key role from set pieces with 5 goals and 11 assist.

Player of the season: Cedric Bakambu

After such a great season my board were obviously filled with ambition and announced a stadium expansion of 4500 seats. This will increase the capacity to around 27000.

After December I showed you a rather shocking bank balance. Brighton were more than £14 million in red and this stadium expansion had set us back a further £5.5 million. So how did this leave us come the seasons end, well not as bad as you might think. My bank balance now reads £2.5 million, not too much but we are finally out of the red.

Well that concludes the update guys, thanks for reading and I hope you’ll return for my second pre-season in the EPL. Until then please feel free to ask any questions below and I look forward to reading your comments. Please also show your support and vote below for who I should manage in FM 2012.

Darren Smith: "Which team should I be managing in FM 2012?"

  • Norwich (EPL) (27%, 80 Votes)
  • QPR (EPL) (23%, 68 Votes)
  • Leicester (CH) (16%, 46 Votes)
  • Stoke (EPL) (15%, 44 Votes)
  • Derby (CH) (14%, 42 Votes)
  • Bolton (EPL) (5%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 295

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Johnny Karp
9 years ago

Great season Darren, finishing 7th is a superb achievement. However, I’m not so sure that you will not be playing in the Europa League next season… There should be at least 3 teams in there and Brighton should be the third one after Spurs and Chelsea (depending on who wins the FA Cup).

rolando
rolando
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

there might an unlucky FA Cup winner from the lower league/relegated EPL team. It happened once to me, when I won the FA Cup in Championship and played in Europa League the following year.

Johnny Karp
9 years ago
Reply to  rolando

Yeah, could be. Darren will surely clarify that for us eager Brighton fans :)

Johnny Karp
9 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

Who played in the FA Cup final? If it’s one of the top five then you should get a place in the Europa League, if not I think it’s the FA Cup finalist that goes.

Lye Kuek Hin
9 years ago

Hi Darren,

You just missed 6th position by few points. 7th is a great result. Next season will definitely see you improve by big leap. With a couple of additions in, i foresee you can break into the top four next season. Good luck.

Dan
Dan
9 years ago

Hey Darren,
Unlucky about Europe but at least it gives you something to aim for next season. Everything is looking good and with a couple of additions Brighton will become a real power house next season.

Excessive
9 years ago

Well done Darren, that was an immense achievement for Brighton. Although Europe was in reach, you can be very proud of the foundations you have laid in the Premier League.

Roll on next season!

George Dobson
George Dobson
9 years ago

well done Darren still doing very well I voted for norwich as your fm 12 team

Sears
9 years ago

Superb season mate, finishing 7th was wonderful and helped the financial situation loads. Looking forward to seeing your transfers, you always seem to pull a few bargains ;)

Ross Davies
Ross Davies
9 years ago

Hi darren, really enjoying the brighton file at the moment. Hopefully you may bring in some up and coming regens in during the transfer window. Hopefully you will be doing a Norwich city file on fm12. Being a mad canaries fan it would be good to see someone else playing as them, also i will be starting with them so it will be cool to see how we both do!

Jay
Jay
9 years ago

great stuff man, 7th for a new team, lets see if you can build on it :D

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
9 years ago

Fantastic season Darren, well done! Brilliant achievement mate, and I’m sure it won’t be long before Brighton are a major European force :) Looking forward to your pre season.

riggsy
riggsy
9 years ago

Well done Darren that was a fantastic season and to finish 7th is a great achievement. Its a shame you didn’t manage to qualify for Europe this season, but you never know, next season you could be battling for a top 4 finish! Well done mate and I’m looking forward to next season :)

Nicholas Phipps
Nicholas Phipps
9 years ago

Ann incredible start for your first season and you came so close to Europe :). It will be interesting to see you push for the Europa or dare I say it, the Champions League next season, so good luck with that :)

Birdy
Birdy
9 years ago

Very nice Darren. It was so close to Europe but I don’t think the squad would be ready for it so soon. I think with some big transfers you will easily make it to Europe, Good luck

Kevin
9 years ago

How ironic to go out against Newcastle in the cup! Anyway that’s a marvellous first season and so unlucky to miss out on Europe by such a small margain. Well done though!!

Martin - F.M.J.S
9 years ago

Well done Darren. I agree with what Johnny says in the comments above so fingers crossed on Europe. With some new players, I am sure you will push Brighton further.

CsAtlantis
9 years ago

You should know whether you qualified for Europa League soon enough, in the meantime a 7th place finish after returning to the Premier League is a very good achievement, and you can build on that next season with your improved finances and stadium :D

Calin
9 years ago

Nice season, Darren, it was an achievement even though I think that you are upset that you didn’t manage to make it to the Europa League. But you have some great players (especially Bakambu) and I am sure that you’ll manage to do a lot better next season, probably qualify for Champions League!

Martin
9 years ago

Fantastic first season in the Premiership! 7th is an awesome achievement…the Brighton fans will be happy! European football could definitely be on the cards next season. Cant wait to see who your Ins and Outs are. Good Luck bud.

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
9 years ago

Hey Darren
Very close to getting Europa League football. It could be yours though, but we just have wait and see. Bakumbu scores a lot and Galeano was just superb this season. Are you implementing your Y2G with Brighton as well?

Sibo373
Sibo373
9 years ago

Well done Darren, what a season and it would be heartbreaking not to get Europa League footie with that kind of form, but like Johnny said, you should get it, especially as Arsenal and Chelsea were in both finals! :D

Anyway, good luck with next season and I really hope the ‘Guls break into the top four, although it would be even better if you finish this story by winning the Premier League or, if you play like a man possessed, the CL! :D

Malhar Bhadbhade
Malhar Bhadbhade
9 years ago

hey darren,
it’s quite incredible that you finished 7th in the premier league in your first season. congrats about that!! can’t wait to see you pre-season dealings..and how your next season goes…i just wanted to ask you, when you have two finals in the space of 4 days…Spanish Cup and Champions League for instance, is there anything special you do to try and make your players recover faster? I did manage to win both last season, but my players were exhausted in the champions league final and tbh, i was very lucky to scrape through….any pointers? also, can i pre-order fm2012 from here even though i’m living in sydney, australia?

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