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Darren – FM 2011 glory, glory Newcastle United 11/12

Hey guys, welcome back to my FM 2011 Newcastle adventure. After enjoying such a great winter, I was set up nicely for a nail biting second half to the season. I will apologize now for the amount of games I have crammed into this post. I just couldn’t stop playing and decided to write up until a few games short of the seasons end. We have a lot to get through, so let’s get started. January begin with a signing, the fixtures were starting to look congested so I needed an other body. This came in the form of Verratti, a 19 year old Italian who plays central midfield. You may remember his ridiculous potential from FM10, well he looks just as good in FM11 so I snapped him up for £1.3 million.

January-February results

These two months were to prove quite tough because of a clustered fixture list. We managed to win 5 out of our 6 Premier League matches and started with the 6-0 thrashing of Fulham. We also won all three FA Cup ties to book ourselves a place in the sixth round. The Europa League provided a stern test in the form of Sporting Lisbon. However, we scraped through to the second round after a 1-0 aggregate victory. My sides demolition of Birmingham in the League Cup semi final first leg all but guaranteed a place in the final. Beating them away from home 4-1 was a surprise but very welcomed. The second leg finished 1-1 and I was ready for my first final of the season with Newcastle. Unfortunately my opponents were the same side that beat me in the FA Cup final last year, Chelsea. I was just hoping my rich vein of form would help overcome the disappointment of last season.

League Cup final – Newcastle vs Chelsea

Although my side managed quite well in the league against the bigger sides, we seemed to crumble with more pressure. This is what happened last season as we threw away a two goal lead in the FA Cup final. The victors on that day were today’s opponents, Chelsea. I was feeling more confident this time around though. With form on my side and a much better squad this season the signs were all there. I rather bravely set out with the same tactic as in last seasons FA Cup final. The flat 4-4-2 with a counter strategy, backed up by paloschi’s role of poacher and Carroll’s supporting target man seemed the best option. Rather than talk about the match I’ll let you watch it. Just note that my two goals came in the 88th and 92nd minute. Both were scored by 75th minute substitutes as well.

I felt so aggreived after Chelsea’s goal, they were very lucky and that was one of their two chances all match. We dominated the game, but I was fearing lady luck would abandon me again. Then I decided to bring on Dudu, Araujo and play them both as poachers. This did the trick and we finished Chelsea off with two extremely late goals. The last goal could have been called offside on another day but after watching it over and over again I still can’t tell for sure. Either way Chelsea were very lucky with the first goal so that evens the score ;) Besides my boys outclassed them in every department so I felt we really deserved my first trophy as manager of Newcastle United.

The fans seemed elated with our recent triumph. I am a massive toon fan myself and can imagine the atmosphere as the final whistle blew. I really hope I can bring even more success to the stands and bring home a haul of trophies.

March results

After celebrating the League Cup win I was a little concerned about my sides concentration. We still have a long way to go and a lot of competitions to compete in. My side put any doubts to rest straight away with a convincing 1-0 victory over Everton in the League. This was my first of just two BPL games in March. The second was a 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea. My focus was turned back to the Europa League second round and FA Cup sixth round this month. We thrashed Lokomotiv Moscow 8-2 on aggregate thanks to Araujo’s growing maturity. The Argentine is really starting to flourish this year. The other hero of that game popped up in the Europa League quarter final first leg away to Bayern Munich as well. We lost 2-1, but Vuckic scored an early goal that could prove vital if this tie goes down to the away goal rule. Because of a tight fixture list I had to rest some key players at home to Man City in the FA Cup, though we did just enough to earn a replay. With this match been away from home I had little expectations, but was shocked to see my deadly attacking trio triumph 3-0. This set us up for a semi final match against Wolves.

Performance of the month – Manchester City 0-3 Newcastle (FA Cup sixth round replay)

After the original tie ended 1-1, I had little hopes for the replay. I have a good record against Man City but this seemed a bridge too far. Using my favoured 4-5-1 formation with a counter strategy seemed to work best against City, so stuck with the tried and tested. The deadly trio of Paloschi upfront, Gaitan as inside forward from the left wing and Dudu as the right winger was to prove vital.

Joe Hart’s terrible blunder offered the opening goal on a plate. After that it was all Newcastle as my deadly attacking trio dominated the game. My favourite goal was Barton’s floated cross to the far post where Dudu came steaming in to score. My only negative was a bad injury to Kevin Nolan. The clubs captain will be out for 3 months.

After we embarrassed Man City they also approached me for the managers job. The transfer budget on offer was sizable considering their amazing squad. I obviously turned them down as I am already with the only club I could finish my career with.

April and May results, the end is near

Here we are, the last two months have finally arrived. I am not going to give away my league position yet, but you should know its very tight at the top. April started with a minor jitter as my side drew away from home to Bolton. We were back on track at home to Bayern in the Europa League quarter final though. Araujo’s amazing hat trick left me speechless by the 5-0 scoreline, we qualified for the semi final and were to face Liverpool. The FA Cup left no surprises as I watched my side beat Wolves 1-0 in the semi final, this meant we were to prepare for our second consecutive FA Cup final. The league form seemed sound as well, 5 victories on the bounce had left me feeling invincible. Then my boys were suddenly halted by both Manchester Utd and Arsenal, who won 1-0. The season finished with a good victory over West Ham but had we done enough to gain top four or even the title. Could those two slip ups have cost us? We’ll find out in a minute, but I have some good news first. Thanks to an amazing performance from my youngsters we beat Liverpool 3-2 on aggregate, meaning a place in the Europa League final. This was a huge achievement and to think my boys would have three finals this season. An outrageous achievement and one I would never of dreamed of.

Performance of the month – Newcastle 5-0 Bayern Munich (Europa League, quarter final)

After losing the first leg away from home I wasn’t totally disheartened until I saw Bayern’s squad for the return leg. Gomez upfront, Robben and Ribery on the wings, with Kroos sat just behind. These four players could rip me apart and Thomas Muller was waiting on the bench :( I used my 4-4-2 here and used a standard strategy. I was expecting to come close but will let you judge the performance for yourselves. One thing is for sure…Araujo has come of age.

Gaitan’s lob was simply perfection, but I was also impressed by the technique of Vuckic while volleying home the fifth. This display gave my side plenty of confidence going into a crowded and difficult end of season. After destroying Bayern, my wonderkids performed with further class against Liverpool to progress to the Europa League final.

Final Premier League table – where did Newcastle finish?!

Well I have delayed in showing you the league table for five months now, guess it is time to kill the suspense. After enjoying such a great run of form I was well in the frame to be crowned Premier League champions. However, those two losses against Man Utd and Arsenal cost me six points and the team who finished top were six points clear. With Man Utd looking unstoppable all season they were very tough to keep up with and finished the season on 84 points, Newcastle finished the season on………90 points :) :) :) That’s right, we won the Premier League. The whole season was focused on gaining champions league football. I started trying to get in the top four, then wanted to stretch the gap to fifth, then we soon found ourselves scrapping to hold onto top spot. Before I knew it there was four games to go and I only needed two wins to be crowned champions. A very shocking achievement, and one that I am delighted with.

An added bonus came in the form of our fiercest rivals Sunderland and Middelsborough getting relegated. Everyone seemed ecstatic with our recent triumph and this all came in the same season I won the League Cup. Not to mention we reached the Europa League final and FA Cup final that are yet to be played. Newcastle have not won the Premier League since 1927, so this will mean sooo much to the fans.

Squad stats and final opponents

There are a lot of players to thank for my great season. Most notably Paloschi for his 32 goals and Araujo for his 25 goals. However, our clean sheets came from somewhere and Taylor, Simpson, Coloccini, Enrique and Enyeama all shone through the season. We will look at my best performers in the next post.

The Premier League season is now over and I have enjoyed a lot of success. There is still one more post to go though. This will feature the Europa League final against Shakhtar and the FA Cup final against Manchester United. I am not expecting anything from these games, but it would be nice to add to the two trophies already won this season.

Well that is it for today’s post, I hope you enjoyed the read and will be back for a final flury. In the mean time please feel free to ask any questions below and I look forward to reading your comments as always.

 

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warren
Guest

All I can say is what a season! If I had been a Newcastle fan this game i would just be ectatic but I would feel that you have made it an expensive season what with a FA Cup final ticket a Europa League final ticket. I am suprised though at how Williamson has played so well this season. Dont get me wrong I think he is a fantastic player but to get the best player rating out of the whole squad is something special.

Cannot wait till next season.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Warren, I was literally jumping on the ceiling with these trophies and finals. I never thought we’d progress so quickly…but thats football for you. Williamson has only played in the easier cup and Europa League games so that will contribute to his great rating. However, he hasnt put a foot wrong yet. Im looking forward to a cup final bonanza! Lets see if we can make it a treble or even quadruple winning season. :)

Laxeyman
Guest
Laxeyman

Wow, great season Darren, well done! Winning the Double is a great achievement, particularly as you were only targeting a Champions League spot. Hopefully you can carry this on and become the dominant force in English football for years to come. Good luck and looking forward to seeing who you sign in pre season.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Laxeyman, I really was shocked by our achievements…there’s still two more cup finals to think about though. Hopefully we’ll get something from one of them. Becoming the dominant force could depend on the board. If they are reluctant to part with their cash then it may be a struggle.

Ricardo Ribeiro
Guest
Ricardo Ribeiro

Great Job with Newcastle!

But it will be difficult to win both finals, due to very little time between matches, I think that maybe you will to chose one of the finals to go in full strenght or you’ll risk losing both.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Ricardo, I totally agree with you. Those two finals will be very tough and I need to think about which one means more. I’m definitely fielding a full strength squad for one though. Just have to choose.

Arjuna
Guest

Darren!!!!
You’ve done fantastically, and you totally deserve to win the double, and you will win the quadruple at this rate!!! You should have a large transfer budget, and you will sign well – like Verratti. How many seasons do you plan on managing with Newcastle?
Arjuna

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Arjuna, I don’t think we’ll do the quadruple but a treble is on the cards. Like Ricardo said, I should pick one final and concentrate purly on it. I am honestly not sure about the budget, the board seem very tight and I reckon we’ll be looking at below £18 million. Hopefully there will be enough cash to strengthen in at least two places. Im not sure how long the game will go on for, it just depends how I feel. I would have thought at least another 2-3 seasons.

Ana Garcia
Guest
Ana Garcia

Congrats Darren!!!

Made it look easy! Paloschi looks fantastic! Great buy with 32 goals and 12 assists and your defence is brilliant too. I can see you dominating for a while with this team especially if you can bring in some new players.

Really well done, and good luck on nest season! :)

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Ana, Paloschi was the main man this year and the difference from last season. Without his goals those two trophies wouldn’t have been possible. I hope we can go on to dominate now but it is all down to the board and if their prepared to part with more cash. Unfortunately they are the same as in real life, reluctant to spend in the transfer market.

Johnny Karp
Guest

Get in! Congratulations mate, excellent achievement. Just don’t drink the champagne yet, keep it cold until after the FA Cup final :)

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Johnny, the champagne is definitely on hold for now though. We need a clear head going into those three busy days. If I can win one more trophy Ill be extatic!!

Sears
Guest

Great stuff Darren. In just two seasons you’ve brought Newcastle back to the glory days! I think you should go all out for the two remaining finals. I hope you win them both, good luck!

Darren Smith
Guest

Cheers Sears, Newcastle are indeed back in the glory days. I’m not sure if we’ll win both finals due to them been so close together, but I’ll certainly be looking to win one.

paine
Guest

An impressive season, it seems that everything worked the right way, very well played.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Paine, the season did pan out perfectly. Hopefully the two finals will work the same, but I’m affraid I may need to pick one I really want to win due to fixture congestion.

Lye Kuek Hin
Guest

Hi Darren,

Great stuff. To be frank, i never expect you to lift the title just on your 2nd season. But Paloschi and Araujo are having a great season and you are the mastermind behind the achievement. Absolutely brilliant. Two more cups to go, the players should concentrate on that before they start thinking of holiday. Good luck.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Lye, I agree with you, I wasn’t expecting any silverware for at least three seasons myself. That is what made it all so special. Paloschi and Araujo are two of the games real gems. Its not often you can get almost 60 goals in one season from two strikers that cost £6.3 million combined. I am hoping for another trophy but very doubtful of winning two.

Herman
Guest
Herman

Amazing season! I guess awesome just comes with experience xD

As for me, i’m 5 points clear at the top of La Liga with 4 games to go.

I also just overthrown Arsenal 2-0 to reach the Champions League Final, which promises to be the biggest Clasico yet ;)

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Herman, you are right experience does help a lot. Great news about you been so close to the La Liga, that would be a huge achievement considering this is your first FM. The Champions League final will be a real spetacle.

Herman
Guest
Herman

Gutted! Won the League but lost in extra time to Barca. Was reduced to 8 men :(

Darren Smith
Guest

No way, how unlucky is that, down to 8 men, was that injuries or just red cards?? At least you won the league mate, well done.

bri h
Guest
bri h

well played ,but can you tell me when you switch to 442 what do you change from your 451 appart from the formation ie who do you remove to play the second striker and what roles for your players do you change.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Bri H, switching to the 4-4-2 is only done if my opponent plays well against a 4-5-1 or badly against a 4-4-2. Usually my assistant helps me out a bit there, but I have also learned a few formations that really struggle against the 442. I guess it is just judging what your opponent will play and which tactic best counters theres. My 4-4-2 is a flat formation and everything remains the same as my 4-5-1. Except, I have one striker as a poacher and the other a target man support role, I also set the supporting striker as the teams target man to head. One central midfielder is defensive while the other is an advanced playmaker with attack. The two wide men are just set to winger role. I will try and write a post on when to use these formations and when not to use them.

kevin
Guest
kevin

Hi Darren
I knew you would win the title and you did just that. Well done mate!!!
Araujo’s goal in the League Cup final seemed to be a huge turning point in the season and your switching between tactics works really well for you. Good luck in those last two games and again I’ve really enjoyed this season/story.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Kevin, Araujo’s goal not only turned our season into a success but saw him go on an amazing run of form. He has progressed brilliantly, and the whole side seem to respond well to changing tactics. I just used to lose silly games in previous editions of FM and couldn’t work out why. Then I tried thinking like a real manager and realised one tactic can’t work in every scenario. Im glad you have enjoyed the story so far mate, we have a big end to the seaosn coming up.

Herman
Guest
Herman

2 reds and an injury, i had to reshuffle quickly so i used up my subs by the 69th minute.

Herman
Guest
Herman

Oh, and i just resigned to take over Capello. Trying to qualify for Brazil 2014 now!

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Herman, did you resign because doing country and club would be too much, because I think you can manage both. Eitherway, it is a massive achievement to be offered the job. Look forward to seeing if we finally have a worthy manager :)

Herman
Guest
Herman

I wanted an element of realism, i dont think Real would share their manager with England in real life :/

Darren Smith
Guest

Yeh must admit your right there Herman, its nice to make the game as realistic as pos sometimes. Goodluck mate, just realised your going back to the Real game…probably a wise choice as you can still win a lot with them.

Herman
Guest
Herman

Hmm i’ve decided to go back on the save and return to RM. I’ll be going further into international management in my next save, which should be soon.

CsAtlantis
Guest
CsAtlantis

Great job getting araujo, paloschi and gaitan to play so well and to win the BPL, I hear Chris Hughton’s been sacked as Newcastle manager :(

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks CsAtlantis, that forward trio really did outshine everyone else. I heard about Chris Hughton too, Mike Ashley needs a slap!!

Jordan
Guest
Jordan

Hey mate, do you mind posting up what tactics you use for Newcastle? I’m having trouble at the moment with winning games and my tactics are falling dead on the ground at the moment seeing as I’m sitting 15th in the table.

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Jordan, Im always happy to help. Will need a few days before posting the tactics as I want to show them properly. Untill then my tactic is very similar to one on this post. http://allthatisfootballmanager.com/2010/10/football-manager-2011-my-best-tactic-4-5-1/ Hope it helps a little mate.

Jordan
Guest
Jordan

Helpful but as I was waiting for your response, Capello retired, Redknapp became England manager and Spurs were nice enough to offer me a position as manager.

Darren Smith
Guest

Sorry it took a while Jordan, I replied as soon as work finished. You cant have done bad to get the Spurs job so well done mate.

GS Fan
Guest
GS Fan

Darren!

Remember my “Trophies anyone” comment from an earlier post?

Well, there you have it! How sweet was the revenge against Chelski?

I have a funny feeling like you are coming away with two more trophies! :)

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey GS Fan, I remember that comment well and you were spot on. At the risk of you been right again I’m not sure if I can win both trophies remaining but we’ll certainly give it a go. The revenge against Chelsea was simply perfect and done in brilliant style.

Herman
Guest
Herman

Thanks for the encouragement! I’m top but shipping goals left, right, centre – just got rubbished 1-5 by Athletic at home!

Herman
Guest
Herman

Gah! The undecisive me has decided to return to international management with my local team, Singapore.

Herman
Guest
Herman

Also Darren, do you know how to add an international cup competition to FM11?

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Herman, you change your mind like a yoyo lol ;) Sad to hear your conceding a lot, but Im not sure that will improve with Singapore, only kidding mate, sounds like a good challenge. As for adding competitions I know how but its tough to explain. Firstly you need to go into the games editor which is a seperate programme. From here you load up the database and it should be self explanatory from there. Let me know if you get stuck at any specific stage.

Herman
Guest
Herman

I know all that, but somehow my competitions don’t run when i start up the game.

I tried starting up the AFF Suzuki Cup, it’s named something else in the Editor. I edited the names everything, but when i run the game there’s no evidence of it anywhere :/

Herman
Guest
Herman

Also, i want to add me, my friends and past teachers as players, staff, chairmen and directors to a totally new club. Is that possible?

Herman
Guest
Herman

I’ve figured it out, lol.

Now i’ve decided to wholly stay with my local team, Home Utd and try to win the ACL.

Herman
Guest
Herman
Darren Smith
Guest

Nice one Herman, I have read your new thread and am looking forward to the next installment.

Sayam Khan
Guest
Sayam Khan

Time to catch up lol.

Verratti – excellent transfer, looking forward to him, if he will become the player he did for me in FM2010.

I did say you would win the EPL, didn’t I :D

I’m suprise Mike Williamson is at the top of the average ratings list, is he really good in FM11? Is he your first choice defender?

Congrats on the double.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Sayam, hopefully Verratti will turn into a great player and yeh you got the epl prediction spot on :) Mike Williamsons rating is very decieving, he mainly played against easier opposition so I wouldnt go signing him based on those stats.

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