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Darren: FM 2011 Newcastle fall at the final hurdle, Jan-May 2020/21

Hey guys and welcome back to my FM 2011 Newcastle story. During the last post I was shocked to see Newcastle win every single game from August until the end of December. This left us top of the league, through to the League Cup semi-final and also through to the Champions League 1st Knockout round. Not to mention our Euro Super Cup and Club World Championship triumphs, the season was certainly shaping up well but could we maintain this outrageous form? Today I will reveal the end of our EPL season and explain what happened to our winning streak.

Premier League results — January to Febuary

OK, so we entered January in awesome form and I was full of confidence. My boys kept going through the winter months starting with four fantastic results. We beat Bristol City 3-1, Wolves 3-0, Portsmouth 7-0 and Birmingham 5-1, all easy fixtures but Santos made these EPL sides look like amateurs. Our goal scoring dried up a little against Wigan and Tottenham despite victory, but was renewed as the Toon travelled to Anfield. Liverpool were thrashed 4-0 followed by the 5-1 demolition of Aston Villa.

Premier League results — March to May

If you thought we finished February well, just wait for March. We started the month off away to Man City and won 3-0, followed by a 4-0 victory over QPR. Next up Stoke and a fortunate 1-0 win before we beat Arsenal 4-1 and Nottm Forest 3-1. Then the last of our great form came against West Ham with a 4-0 thrashing before it all started to slide. This all began with a substandard performance which was embellished by a 2-0 scoreline against Everton. Birmingham almost derailed us but for three late goals to complete a 3-1 victory, then disaster happened…Manchester United outplayed the Toon during our last match and held us to a 0-0 draw. Noooo, I was so close to winning every single EPL match in one season, Man Utd have come back to haunt me yet again!

Premier League table

OK, I am been a drama queen…I mean come on, we finished the season unbeaten and just two points away from a perfect record. Guess you don’t get many chances to complete such a feat and I was gutted to fall during the final match. :( The main positive for me is conceding just 10 goals all season and scoring an average of 3 per game.

FA Cup results

If my league form is anything to go by these results should be rather predictable. We started the third round with a 2-0 victory over Leeds at Elland Road. The fourth round was also played away and featured another second string XI, we went 2-0 down during the first half but pulled four back to beat Carlisle 4-2. It all seemed much simpler away to Stoke in the fifth round, Adams scored a brace as we won 3-0. As the sixth round draw was announced, I felt aggrieved to see my fourth away draw in a row! The bad feeling was soon forgotten though as a strong starting XI won 5-1 at Saint Andrews. Onto the semi-final and my last big scoring match, Nottm Forest were brushed aside 4-0 thanks to another show from Adams. The final will pit Newcastle against West Ham, but you’ll have to wit until next time for that result.

Champions League results

After qualifying from a good group with maximum points, the first knockout round drew me against Benfica. The Portuguese side had no chance and lost 2-1 at home, then 5-1 at Saint James Park. The latter saw a stunning performance from Marcelo Santos who propelled us into a quarter-final draw against Lyon. The first leg was played in France and after checking Lyon’s team I felt an upset was possible, how wrong I was though. Marcelo Santos shined brighter than the sun grabbing a brace as we won 3-1. The second leg was a formality but wasn’t easy after Lyon took the lead early on, thankfully we weren’t shown up at Saint James Park and finished the match 2-1.

Now it was time for the semi-final draw and I wanted to avoid Manchester United who have a habit of screwing me over when it really counts. So guess who I drew…that’s right, Manchester United! :( The sad face turned into the hair-dryer treatment during our first leg. This was at home and a match I desperately needed to win, after taking the lead through Santos the red devils clawed one back and held out for an away draw. I was gutted and almost resigned to an early exit with memories of our last clash during 2018. However, my lads didn’t hold the same attitude and completely embarrassed the Manchester side at Old Trafford. Dardouri, Kalu and Santos scored before Saint-Louis unleashed an amazing strike (click here to watch the goal.) to make it 4-0!! Through to the final where Palermo await, but I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for my next post to see that one. :)

League Cup results

After progressing through the early rounds, I drew fierce rivals Manchester United in the semi-final. Newcastle dominated the first leg at Old Trafford and despite many chances could only convert one for a 1-1 draw. The second leg was a similar story but we squeezed through 2-1 thanks to Anconetani, West Ham are to be my opponents and I will be revealing the final result just below.

League Cup final vs West Ham

Venue: Wembley

Attendance: 90,000

This final has become very repetitive in recent years and I didn’t want to overdo the full match videos. So this years League Cup final will just feature the match highlights, although I Marjory regret that decision as the match was a corker. West Ham are still developing some great youngsters and this was evident in their squad, but I still felt overly confident. Below are the pre-match formations followed by the match highlights.

Pre-match formations:

Match highlights:

Like I said, this match was well worth a full match video and probably my most evenly contested final for years despite coming against one of the easiest opponents. When West Ham took the lead I was shocked, but then expected an easy victory after Anconetani  pulled us level. But it was West Ham who provided the next goal before we pulled level late on. A very scrappy goal gifted us victory and the League Cup, but I was delighted with the sides fighting spirit.

Match stats:

The most pleasing aspect of this final was a very important half-time team talk. I told the lads I was disappointed as they looked lacklustre and unfocussed. According to my right back, Garcia, this team talk did the trick and led to our eventual triumph.

I’m sure you’re wondering if the Toon Army have gone 200 games unbeaten yet. Well I can tell you we have, Newcastle have now gone 203 games without defeat…a record that means I have not been beaten for more than 3 years. :)

Squad stats and finances

After the most brilliant season that isn’t even over, its time to look at the squad stats. Santos seems to have filled the void left by Sanogo’s departure scoring 36 goals and assisting 13. But my best player by far was Anconetani who scored 25 goals and assisted 32, I was also pleased to see Adams helping Santos with 23 goals also.

So we maintained our form bar one or two slips but how did we do financially? At the end of December Newcastle held £329 million, a great sum but what did it look like after winning the EPL title in May? Remember this is before the two final’s that are due and therefore will be missing any European revenue, but Newcastle’s latest bank balance reads £337 million.

Well that about does it for today, I hope you enjoyed the read and will be back for the FA Cup and Champions League finals. Both matches will be recorded and presented as full match videos. Until then please feel free to comment and I look forward to your questions.

P.S Just a quick note to Jay, this post is longer than the next one so I’ll include those past winner screenshots you requested next time, apologies mate.

47 комментариев


  1. Nicholas Phipps

    12 августа, 2011 at 21:36

    You came so damn close… Your teamshould win the remaining finals and look absolutely unstoppable! Santos is incredible and dare I say it, even better then Sanogo! Good luck for next season (not that you’ll need it!) :D

    • Darren Smith

      13 августа, 2011 at 13:25

      I know Nick, was gutted to miss out on the final day…but I guess we had to have some drama before my cup finals :) I think Man Utd are the only club to have held me to a draw this season.

  2. Malhar

    12 августа, 2011 at 22:27

    Wow….three years unbeaten. Unbelievable (but not surprising anymore) achievement. Surely you’re going to win both finals?? Can’t wait to see what happens. Also, I was just wondering, do you have the best players in your team (regens only), or are there better regens in other teams? If there are, do you mind posting a screenshot of a couple of them whenever you have the time?? Just curious….cheers and good luck with the finals!

    • Darren Smith

      13 августа, 2011 at 15:17

      Thanks Malhar, would be nice to finish the year off with two more trophies but circumstance can over rule form.

      As for the regens, I hold the best ones to be honest. But there are three I quite like and think would make great additions to my team if they were younger. This guy plays on the wing for United and causes endless problems. This right back has real quality and I class him as better than Pepe my current right back. This striker started at Barcelona and had 4.5 star potential from the age of 16…he only recently developed reasonable speed though and I refused to bid due to Barca’s excessive transfer demands.

      • Malhar Bhadbhade

        14 августа, 2011 at 02:25

        hey thanks Darren. the United winger does seem to be a problem :) anyway, can’t wait for your end of year blog!

        • Malhar Bhadbhade

          14 августа, 2011 at 02:28

          wow. the striker seems like a must buy! he’s only 23..are you going to consider buying him (not that you need him)? and when did all these amazing regens start popping up in your game? i just finished my 5th season with R.Madrid, and apart from a couple (one of whom i bought and have the other on loan from United), i haven’t seen any good regens whatsoever.

          • Darren Smith

            14 августа, 2011 at 09:06

            Yeah Poirot is a quality player and that striker is also brilliant. I won’t be signing him though as its against my policy…I’d have to pay at least £35 million and therefore would never make a decent profit. Besides I have two very talented 20 year old that I want to develop and having another striker would stop them from getting game time. I noticed a decent level of regens after about 5-6 seasons, remember they will be 21-22 at the most in your game so you need to be looking for the 16-18 year olds in Brazil and Argentina…that’s where they first appear other than in the top countries.

  3. Jay

    12 августа, 2011 at 22:39

    great stuff on the league as always and the league cup aswell :). about the screenshots absoulty fine mate, whenever you can it’ll be fine

    p.s have you relised that for some reason the further in the game you get Arsenal and Palermo get stupidly rich? its just its happening in my save and its anoying them buying all the young players im scouting!!

    • Darren Smith

      13 августа, 2011 at 15:18

      Thanks Jay, the league cup victory was a gripper and the EPL was a breeze like most seasons. As for Arsenal and Palermo, they seem to do OK financially but never spend excessive amounts unlike Inter, Barca, Man City and Man Utd.


    12 августа, 2011 at 22:48

    Oh so close. And of course it would be Man U of all teams. And they managed to get 3 draws against you in all competitions, they should be ashamed of themselves for not letting you beat them!

    Well done anyway, a brilliant season, and dare I say it but I reckon you could go all the way next season and win every game as long as Man U don’t screw you over again.

    • Darren Smith

      13 августа, 2011 at 15:19

      Thanks MRDNRA and well observed with the three draws, in fact I think United were the only team to prevent me winning all season :)

  5. Birdy

    12 августа, 2011 at 23:09

    Very nice work Darren. You were so close to closing out the premier league by winning every single game. Is it nearly Marcelo Santo’s time to go as he is nearing the age of 27


    • Darren Smith

      13 августа, 2011 at 15:21

      Thanks Birdy, don’t worry about Santos he’s 25 and still has three seasons left.

  6. Daniel

    13 августа, 2011 at 03:02

    Great work darren plaudit for your team are well deserved. But cmonnn could you not just let west ham win a cup for once pretty pleaseeeee ;) also do you think you could put screenshots of the 2 best regens west ham have developed that you havent snatched yet hehe in your next post please :)

    • Darren Smith

      13 августа, 2011 at 15:22

      Thanks Daniel and I’m sorry for beating your beloved West Ham. I will provide one or two screenshots from the West Ham team in the next post of course.

      • Daniel

        13 августа, 2011 at 15:53

        Thanks and its alright just would have been nice to west ham win a game and what better game then darren smiths invincible newcastle

  7. plobdork

    13 августа, 2011 at 06:43

    When I read the title i thought you lost ur record and quite honestly i was panicing a little
    it seems to me as if youve got fm fever :) (a common desease for peaple who cant stop playing fm:) :) ) with this many posts in this short amount of time i have had no choice but to read this story but i have fallen in love with it :) :)

    Looking forward to the champions league final KIU :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

    • Darren Smith

      13 августа, 2011 at 15:28

      lol, yeah I intended to mislead you guys a little into thinking we’d lost the unbeaten record or something even worse. But in truth is was just the perfect 38 wins we missed out on. Glad you’re liking the story mate and it won’t be ending too soon either. :)

  8. Kevin

    13 августа, 2011 at 09:07

    Hi Darren
    My sympathies fro not achieving a perfect EPL season but as usual you blew the opposition away again this season. An interesting FA Cup final awaits you against Spurs and I’m sure you will be able to brush aside Palermo in the CL. West Ham gave you a bit of a fight which I didn’t expect. Good luck!!

    • Darren Smith

      13 августа, 2011 at 15:29

      Thanks Kevin, it was a shame to miss out on the perfect season and I’m not sure it’ll ever be achieved but just happy to do as well as we did. The Spurs match will be tough, but I’m more worried about the CL final as its just three days after the FA Cup.

  9. Laxeyman

    13 августа, 2011 at 11:10

    Simply brilliant Darren, shame you couldn’t beat the Scum in the last game of the season, but oh well. Well done on the League Cup win, and I would be very shocked if you don’t win the CL and the FA Cup too. Good luck!

    • Darren Smith

      13 августа, 2011 at 15:35

      Thanks Laxeyman, my main obstacle is a dip in form and both finals been just three days apart. Hopefully that won’t hinder our chances.

  10. George Dobson

    13 августа, 2011 at 12:30

    well done Darren on winning the carling cup brilliant in the league just unlucky against man untied good luck in keping on winning silverware from george and his sister Evie

  11. Lye

    13 августа, 2011 at 12:37

    Hi Darren,

    Excellent stuff, just one game away from a perfect season but i guess you have already surpassed every record, no harm having one less. Anyway there is always next season to look for. Tottenham and Palermo should pose no problems and i am seeing another two trophies shining in the trophy cabinet already. Good luck.

    • Darren Smith

      13 августа, 2011 at 15:39

      Thanks Lye, it was a shame to miss the opportunity but as you say I need something to aim for. Hopefully you’re right about the two finals but we’ll see as I am recording them both.

  12. vikingmarius

    13 августа, 2011 at 12:52

    really unlucky mate, it is a bit funny that u are unlucky not to win every game, but hey thats how good your team is, I am sure oyu have already won the champions league and FA cup, but goods luck anyway

    • Darren Smith

      13 августа, 2011 at 15:42

      Thanks Viking, I think the record sums up my side also…I am blessed with very talented players.

  13. Dan

    13 августа, 2011 at 16:39

    Yay! 200 games unbeaten! Unfortunate about not winning every game though, you’ll just have to make that your goal for next season.

    • Darren Smith

      13 августа, 2011 at 17:45

      Thanks mate, hopefully we can keep going and maybe do even better next year, but we’ll see.

  14. Sibo

    14 августа, 2011 at 04:48

    Phew. I thought when I saw the title: «Oh no, he lost on the 200th game.» But fortunately you didn’t. Well done on making it to the big 200, I guess now you want to get to 250/300?

    Man U, Man U, Man U…can’t believe you drew to them three times this season, they are almost like a bogey team for you (admit it, we all have one!) :D

    Anyway, good luck in the finals, the teams don’t seem excessively difficult this year so I’m sure the toon army will be looking forward to some more trophies come the true end of the season. :D

    Well done!

    • Darren Smith

      14 августа, 2011 at 09:08

      Yeah, the title was misleading Sibo. The unbeaten record is still well in tact and I just lost the perfect EPL record ‘at the final hurdle’ :)

      I’m not too bothered about the unbeaten record anymore, we’ve already passed the obscene and I just want to keep raising my youngsters. Man Utd are definitely my boggy team, every time I get drawn against them in a big competition I start thinking ‘here we go again’ :)

  15. Michael Grantham

    14 августа, 2011 at 12:17

    Hi Darren,

    What a season, that’s the best league season I’ve ever seen on fm, and your squad is definately the strongest I’ve seen. I would wish you luck in the cup finals, but I’m sure you wont need it! A clean sweep of trophies is looking very likely again. Its incredible to see your squads average ratings so high, that really is an amazing achievement but i think I’m more impressed by the apperances you give to all your players. Everyone gets a look in and i think this is one of the reasons you are such a fine manager!


    • Darren Smith

      14 августа, 2011 at 13:09

      Thanks Mike, it does feel like I have the best team around and playing everyone is so important. That is how I raise youth from the age of 17 to be world class, without offering them game time it just wouldn’t work.

  16. vaibhavc

    14 августа, 2011 at 16:52

    Hey Darren
    That must be so frustrating! To go all the way and then draw. At least you have something to aim for next season! But still, 200 games is quite amazing and congratulations.

    • Darren Smith

      14 августа, 2011 at 22:14

      Yeah it was a little frustrating mate, but I have two massive games to follow so the sting was taken away by the fact that I had fielded my weakest XI to rest the stars.

  17. Jakefog

    14 августа, 2011 at 21:08

    When it said ‘Newcastle fall at the final hurdle’ I was thinking:»Did he fail to win the league and miss out on his 200 unbeaten?» but then I saw it and I was delighted for you :D

    Hope you win the The Champions League and the FA Cup!

    Could you possibly do a profile of a german Right back called ‘Danny Da Costa’? I wanna know if it’s worth signing him, cheers!

    • Darren Smith

      14 августа, 2011 at 22:17

      Thanks Jake, I did want to leave some doubts for you guys just to spice things up a little :) Hopefully that won’t bite me in the ass come those two finals. :)

      I’ll take a look at Da Costa tomorrow and see if he is worth a profile mate.

    • Darren Smith

      14 августа, 2011 at 22:55

      Hey Jake, I can’t find a player called Danny Da Costa, is that his actual name and what club does he play for?

      • CsAtlantis

        15 августа, 2011 at 03:55

        Starts at 16 years old at Bayer Leverkusen I think, try searching for danny or da costa and sorting by age?

        • Darren Smith

          15 августа, 2011 at 08:42

          Sorry mate, I’ve looked through the search and in Leverkusen’s squad, Da Costa isn’t on my game nor even the profile searching game I loaded.

  18. CsAtlantis

    15 августа, 2011 at 03:57

    Aww Darren I was wondering whether you could win it all but Man Utd held on (on the final day too!)

    Keep going, can’t be too far away from Barca now……………..

    • Darren Smith

      15 августа, 2011 at 08:34

      Thanks mate, it was frustrating but I reckon one of my biggest goals will be completed very soon. :)

  19. tom

    15 августа, 2011 at 07:19

    Hey Darren,

    Spoke a few times over email. Fanastic story once again. This next transfer window will be interesting as I see some of your consistant star performers (Anconetani, Santos etc) are reaching ‘maximum selling value’…or their peak (26/27 yrs old) which in the past you have sold for huge fees. Interested to see whether you sell or keep as weighing up the quick injection of transfer fees or a a long term goal of yet more trophies and competition prize money.

    Hows Sanogo getting on?

    Keep up the good work.

    • Darren Smith

      15 августа, 2011 at 09:01

      You are right Tom, there is a lot to consider during pre-season. Besides as per my Y2G system I have youth waiting in the wings for more first team football and they can’t wait forever if they are to become world class. I won’t be selling all of those stars but will nit pick one or two that won’t damage the teams quality then do the same again next season.

      Sanogo’s doing OK but only played like 20 matches for Inter and he has lot the old record of a goal per game. So I reckon I made the right decision in selling when I did.

  20. Johnny Karp

    15 августа, 2011 at 13:51

    Yay, 203! Now can you go for 500? :) Just kidding, it was an awesome season and I think you will be adding two more trophies soon.

    • Darren Smith

      15 августа, 2011 at 14:26

      lol ;) Yeah I think 500 would be a little too far. I am just happy to have reached 200 tbh but we’ll see how far this can be stretched.

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