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Darren: FM 2011 Brighton’s amazing end of season report 2014

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Hey guys and welcome to Brighton’s season finale. During the last post you witnessed the Seagulls start an incredible run of form and top the Premier League table. With a one point lead in the EPL, we were also through to the Europa League knockout rounds and yet to start the FA Cup. Today will see the end of this crazy season, taking us from January to May, can Brighton secure Champions League qualification, or could we even be aiming for some silverware? Carry on reading to find out…we will start with the Europa League.

Europa League results

After waltzing through my group that included Sevilla and PSG I was drawn against Turkish side Trabzonspor. The 1st Knockout round was a breeze as Brighton cruised through 5-0 on aggregate. The 2nd Knockout round was almost as easy, seeing my side beat Spartak Moscow 9-3 on aggregate. The easy opponents soon stopped though as we were drawn against Liverpool for the quarter-final. The Merseyside club proved too strong over two legs and beat my Brighton 2-1 on aggregate.

Premier League results – January to February

Lying top of the EPL table I started to ponder what was really possible with half a season to go. The title was there, but I couldn’t raise me eyes beyond the top four with such a long way to go. West Brom soon brought me back to reality at the Hawthorns, after losing the lead twice we had to settle for a 3-3 draw.  Birmingham were beaten with ease, but Blackburn proved my boggy team yet again holding us at Ewood Park 1-1.  Brighton then shocked me, I looked at the next four fixtures and expected just two points. However, we beat Liverpool 4-3, Chelsea 3-2 away before losing to Manchester United and beating Arsenal 2-1. We played the so called top four and gained 9 points from a possible 12. Now that’s how you react under pressure. :) As if those victories weren’t enough my boys made doubly sure by thrashing Blackpool 7-1.

Premier League results – March to April

OK so now I found myself still top of the table and with some breathing space to fifth. The Champions League was almost secure, but there was nothing between myself and Manchester United at the top. We needed a good run of form to keep our shocking title challenge alive. We started March beating Wolves 3-0, Aston Villa 3-2, Burnley 2-1 and Newcastle 2-1. Fifth placed Everton then taught us a lesson in complacency at Goodison Park, my boys were awful and paid the price losing 2-0. With morale a little damaged Brighton pulled through a tough match at home to beat Fulham 3-2 thanks to Bakambu’s injury time winner.

We then started to struggle against great opposition drawing 1-1 away to Spurs, 1-1 with Man City and 3-3 away to West Ham. This bad run of form almost ruined what was a brilliant title attempt. However, my boys showed some fighting spirit to thrash Chelsea 4-1 and put our form back on track.

With only two games remaining the Premier League title race couldn’t be closer. Brighton were top with 82 points and Manchester United trailed on goal difference. My free scoring style had paid off as the Seagull’s held an 8 goal advantage with two games to go. Win them both and Brighton would lift the Premier League title unless United managed a miracle.

The first of these historic games came at home to Wigan and I couldn’t have wished for more. Kakuta and Bakambu were incredible and helped Brighton to win 6-1. I also had one eye in the north as United won their fixture and kept the title race alive. One game to go and most certainly the most important game any of these players would ever be involved in. My opponents were Sunderland and we had the home advantage. The game may have started a little slow, but it didn’t finish that way. My players were outstanding and won the match 4-0!!

That’s right, Brighton won the Premier League after two straight promotions and a 7th placed finish last season. I was expecting to challenge the top four but this achievement goes beyond what I was hoping for.

Let’s take one final, fruitful look at the Premier League table. 88 points may seem like a small amount compared to what my Newcastle side notched up season in season out. But that tally would be enough to win the title most seasons, so I feel like this was a well deserved victory. My proudest part has to be goals for, we managed to net 103 goals this season which is testament to Brighton’s attacking mentality.

FA Cup results

You know Brighton won the Premier League, but lost out in the League Cup and Europa League. That now leaves us with the FA Cup, we started with the 5-1 thumping of Rochdale, before beating Fulham 3-0 to reach the fifth round. I was still dead set on using my weaker XI, but this didn’t stop us coming from 2-0 down to beat Newcastle 3-2. Then a boring 1-0 victory away to Everton secured our semi-final spot. This was against Chelsea and I still opted to mix youth and key players in order to rest up for the Premier League. However, Chelsea seemed to have the same idea which left both sides evenly matched, my boys seemed to want it more and came back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 in the dying seconds.

We are through to the FA Cup final against Tottenham. If you want to find out the result and read my end of season summary, go to the next page.

Go to the next page to read the rest of the story.

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junior
junior
9 years ago

wow absolutely amazing…2 seasons is all the time it takes you tow in the league…lol!nice man!!

Jay
Jay
9 years ago

niceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee one mate, any chance of them live chat sessions things again? i enjoyed it last time and found out what caused me to leave so early on last time ? :)

Rob
Rob
9 years ago

great run of form mate, i followed youre newcastle story avidly but even after reading that i didnt think it was possible to win the PL in that time, sensational, congrats.

Kevin
9 years ago

Flipping brilliant!!!
Unlucky in Europe but I can see you being more successful next season. Really great job in winning the domestic double so quickly. You gave some opponents a good hammering along the way…this tactic is just awesome!
Well done Darren!
By the way I signed Bakambu on a season long loan for Southampton.

Dan
Dan
9 years ago

One word, amazing!
I’m personally enjoying reading this story because I’m reporting to my cousin (who’s also Brighton) about how well you’re doing and he gets worked up because, well let’s just say he’s not doing so well with the Seagulls.

Well done, next season Champions League, can’t wait to see your team play in that competition!

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
9 years ago

Just incredible Darren, to win the double in your 2nd EPL season is amazing, well done! Torres and Bakambu are amazing, hopefully they’ll help you in the CL next year :)

Jakefog
Jakefog
9 years ago

My jaw just hit the floor! What a fantastic season, you couldn’t have wished for any better! (Apart from maybe winning the Europa league but who needs to win that if you qualify for the champions league ey? ;)
Congrats!

Marcko
Marcko
9 years ago

congratz! brilliant season:D

junior
junior
9 years ago

hey darren i hope u dnt mind me sharing this…

today was a funny day…i was playing fm and things were going so baaad (when i loose alot i dnt change tactics aaand i jst start pressing space bar (going to the nxt day) more often..lol)..in december some contract expiry alert message came on but i was so pissed i jst ignored them…

nooow suddenly things are going well…havent lost in like 7 games and thats 5 wins 2 draws..i got the message again and i renewed all of the contracts…lol fm is a funny game can change ur day and ur mood…

looooolz!!FM HURRAY

NOTE:”deep inside i knw the poor form will come..its inevitable “

Godders
Godders
9 years ago

Well done Darren, excellent season.

Let’s hope you can finish it off with a win at Wembley in the FA Cup.

Sears
Sears
9 years ago

Bravo! Superb season mate, thrilled you pipped United to the title!! Shame you couldn’t add the Europa League to the impressive domestic double, though I can see you winning the CL in less than 2 yrs or so ;) Good luck bud!

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

Well Darran that is amazing, i thought you would do well this season but i did not expect a double brilliant. Unlucky with Europe but maybe you can win the Champions League next season :) A trophy i am finding hard to win lol. Look forward to the next installment. Good Luck.

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
9 years ago

Hey Darren
Amazing mate, to win the league and FA Cup in your fourth season. Charlie Adam played really well, getting 20 assists, and Galeano was a really good defender for you this season. He must have improved so much.

Godders
Godders
9 years ago

Hi Darren

I see you’ve beaten my favourite team in the final, well done anyway lol

Would like to see If you could, set up a 3-4-3 formation like Barca are you using at the moment.

Good Luck for next season.

PS Can’t wait for the new game FM2012, In a few weeks time.

George Dobson
George Dobson
9 years ago

Amazing Darren how do you do it good luck in the champions league:D

George Dobson
George Dobson
9 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

thanks for telling me Darren I will try and do what you have told me

riggsy
riggsy
9 years ago

WOW! That truly was a fantastic season Darren! I was looking back over my Southampton story and there was a comment from you which said “I can’t see my Brighton team progressing this quick”… well you have certainly proven yourself wrong :) Good luck for next season mate and I’m sure more success will follow!

Johnny Karp
9 years ago

Wow, a double! Superb season mate, wonderful job! Too bad you didn’t win the Europa League because you might not have another shot at it since you will probably be in the Champions League in all the following seasons ;)

Lye
Lye
9 years ago

Hey Darren,

I knew you will win the league title this season and you did it. Man Utd really pushed you all the way. Congratulations on the double. 103 goals is an awesome stats. Keep on bringing in attacking talents and aim for a higher goal tally next time.

Malhar Bhadbhade
Malhar Bhadbhade
9 years ago

that is just an incredible achievement. im not saying this to flatter you or anything, but you might just be the best football manager player in the world. if there’s any better, they’re certainly not on the internet…i’ve seen incredible achievements from other people on other stories, but this is just unbelievable. i personally want to c u manage Malaga for fm2012 and take on the likes of Barca and Real Madrid every season. anyway, good luck with your next season at Brighton!

Malhar Bhadbhade
Malhar Bhadbhade
9 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

hey darren, perhaps you’re right…maybe both you and Johnny are the best players in the world :) but winning the double with brighton in the fourth season is just ridiculous.

CsAtlantis
9 years ago

Darren I wonder what did Liverpool feel when Torres scored against them in the Europa League, I had a double take when I saw Torres on the results screen :P

You have assembled a strong squad, and they make up for the goals they concede by banging in a lot more past the opposition, no second season syndrome for your team then!

Looking forward towards next season when the young Brighton squad enters the Champions League, you should have a really good budget next season

Torres and Bertolucci have insane PA, care to post their attributes screenshots?

onecapwonder
onecapwonder
9 years ago

Thats an incredible season congrats and lets hope for more to come, reckon you can win the CL before FM 12 is out?

Also you mentioned the weird rivalry Brighton and Crystal Palace have in one of the earlier posts, well I just popped on to the Guardian website to get their latest podcast and saw this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/football-league-blog/2011/sep/27/brighton-crystal-palace-rivalry

MDTM
MDTM
9 years ago

Great end to the season! Congrats on winning the double in your second season in the Premier League! Hopefully the CL comes next!

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