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Darren – FM 2011 Newcastle signings settle in 12/13

Hey guys and welcome back to my FM 2011 Newcastle story. After finishing the 2011/12 season with a lot of silverware, I strengthened the squad in some vital areas. Today we will be looking at the first three months of my third season. Wilshere and Inler should be set to play a big role this year, but lets see how quickly they can settle. Before I move onto the Premier League results there’s an important piece of information and the Euro Super Cup final. The information first though, Newcastle United have been taken over after months of speculation. Mike Myer’s bid was accepted and you may remember me panicking about my job should this go through. Myers had previously said he wants me out should he take charge. While this has not been mentioned since, the new owner has neither said he does or doesn’t want me. Ill just have to keep producing the results and hopefully the chairman will warm to me. Myers had promised to wipe the clubs debt out should he takeover, however this has not been done and Myers has even said he will not be investing yet. Sounds like another Mike Ashley tight arse to me. Ow well, as long as I stay in charge all will be fine.

Newcastle vs Napoli (European Super Cup final) Last season saw the toon army celebrate a famous Europa League victory. This automatically gave us an early final to participate in, Napoli won the Champions League in one of the shocks of the season, so they are my opponents. While the Italians use an attacking and flairful formation, I decided to use my cautious 4-5-1. Jack Wilshere was to play a big part in this final and I strongly suggest watching the highlights. The last goal is probably the most outrageous long range effort I have seen on FM!!! My boys were by far the better team and showed Napoli how to play football. Especially Jack Wilshere who was the one player to make a difference when it was needed most.

My first Premier League fixture was a against my boggy side Tottenham. We were away from home and history was pointing towards a narrow loss. However, my side fought back three times to gain a 3-3 draw. With a lot of players on international duty, I was delighted by Gaitan’s performance. The next match went just as well and I selected a stronger squad at home to beat West Brom 2-0. Then the away day against Wolves could have ended in defeat but another spirited performance from Inler saw us win 3-2. I welcomed Araujo and Paloschi back into my 4-4-2 for the home game against Fulham as we won 4-1, Araujo was simply brilliant. With some momentum behind us we went on to beat both Chelsea and Bolton before slipping up at Blackburn and losing 1-0. October finished on a high with Afellays double guaranteeing a 2-1 victory over Everton. All my players chipped in and I couldn’t ask for much more from the first three months.

Top notch performance – Chelsea 0-2 Newcastle, Premier League My trusty 4-5-1 did the trick here. I was expecting a draw, but to win so convincingly took me by surprise. My Brazilian winger Dudu was named man of the match and settled some nerves with regards to his consistency. Chelsea may have been poor and offered me a big hand in the second goal, but a win at Stamford Bridge is always impressive no matter how it comes. Chelsea’s frustration or bad tactics really shone through by their shocking 7 yellow cards.

After enjoying 6 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss from my first eight league games, Second position seemed a fair return. Arsenal were enjoying their unbeaten run, which left me needing a victory from my game in hand to cut the gap to just one point. This season could prove a real battle, but it will all depend on how quickly my new signings hit the ground running.

When the Champions League draw came, I was placed in pot 3. Not very good, but with some luck I could still draw a reasonable group. First on the board was Bayern of Germany, a side that are very talented but one I have experience against from last years Europa League. Then Juventus of Italy joined the group, I have no experience against the Italian giants and don’t fancy my chances against them. The fourth seeded side was Tel Aviv, I would expect victories home and away aginst these guys. All in all a tough group, but it could have been worse. My first Champions League fixture was away from home to Juventus. We struggled in Italy but managed an equalizer and finished the match 1-1. Then a five goal thriller saw my side prevail 3-2 at home to Bayern before we beat Tel Aviv away from home 3-0. Paloschi was proving vital upfront and my chances of qualification were looking good.

Top notch performance – Newcastle 3-2 Bayern, Champions League group stage After last years brilliant 5-0 drumming of Bayern, I knew exactly which formation would work. The 4-4-2 helped us gain a three goal lead, but then backfired as Bayern switched tactics and almost provided a memorable come back. My two man strike force both got on the scoresheet, but Paloschi took all the plaudits. His dribbling and determination helped set up Araujo and then his instincts saw us score a second. A goal mouth scramble led to the third, but a half time team talk almost spoiled the party. Thankfully Bayern’s tactical tinker didn’t lead to three goals, just two.

After enjoying a far better start than predicted, I found myself in top spot with 7 points. The two point gap from Juventus was much appreciated and our last three games should see us qualify. A draw at home to Juventus and win at home to Tel Aviv should all but see the job done. However beating Juventus would guarantee the first knockout stages. It would be great to finish top and avoid the tough draw.

A good ride in the draw has given my youngsters a much needed opportunity. The third round saw us comfortably beat Walsall 2-0, the likes of Guthrie, Vuckic and Verratti were fielded. The same trio were used against Hull in the fourth round, however this time we really struggled. I had to make three half time substitutes for fear of elimination. Thankfully one of the subs, Paloschi, played the hero and guided us to another 2-0 win. The fifth round is next, but I haven’t seen the draw. Hopefully another Championship side will be available.

Squad stats and November-January fixtures It has been a weird but good start to the season. Even when performing under par my side have pulled the result out of the bag. This is very important if we’re to gain any success. Gaitan, Afellay and Paloschi have carried the team so far. A combined 17 goals and 7 assists have seen some very good ratings. I am also impressed with new boy Musacchio, the centre back has been a rock and really impressed so far. Jack Wilshere’s 3 goals and 5 assists have masked some very inconsistent performances, while Inler hasn’t made a huge impact yet. On the whole I have some real stars shining through, but also some potential stars waiting to break through.

The winter months will certainly be tough, but I have to take it one game at a time. January will definitely be make or break. With so many tough matches crammed into so few days, a bad run or injury problems could see the season fall apart.

Well that is it for today’s post, I hope you enjoyed the read and will be back for the winter results. Please feel free to ask any questions below and I look forward to reading your comments as always.

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Will S
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Will S

January to March will definitely be the make-or-break time for your season. In my fourth season with my upstart Sheff United squad I just managed to lose four games in January, then lose the Carling Cup Final, Europa League Final and the FA Cup Semi, then go on to come second in the Premier Division by 3 points (superior goal difference increases the frustration).

Still in the hunt for silverware here, but glad to see you have got somewhere. Try to drop out of a Cup, you really will need to the player fitness. The Carling Cup is a bit pointless, let it slide. ;)

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Will S, those latter months really are a killer…I managed to survive the clustered fixture list last season, but this year I may not leave it to chance. A weakened side may be used in the FA Cup and League Cup depending on how far we go. Im sure you’ll get some silverware soon! You definitely came close recently.

Sears
Guest

That’s a promising start Darren. Your new players have adapted well and I’m sure you can challenge for every trophy. I’m having a bit of trouble with my Liverpool game cuz at the beginning of the season I used a tactic I downloaded which didn’t go down to well. I finally started listing to my assistants advice and I now play according to the oppositions weaknesses. Injuries to have been a disaster, but I’m enjoying the challenge in trying to change our fortunes :-D I mostly use a 4–1 formation now. Good luck anyhow!

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Sears, Im quite hopeful of another successful season. Sounds like you are having an FM journey like myself. I used to get stuck on one formation per game, but soon realised not every game can possibly suit the best formation for my team. I am currently working on a Premier League weakness’ guide and it is based on my formations. Hopefully this will help you, but it won’t be done and tested for a bit yet.

Laxeyman
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Laxeyman

Pretty decent start in all competitions Darren, and the winter months will define your season. Hopefully you won’t get many injuries, and your young stars can continue to shine. Good luck!

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Laxeyman, injuries will be my main problem, but I think the young stars could make a difference.

Ana Garcia
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Ana Garcia

Very good start Darren,

Gaitan seems to be a real star in your side seems you have found the perfect position for him.

Hopefully you can continue your good form and win as many trophies as you can this season!

Good luck!

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Ana, Gaitan has been my best signing so far. He can play both left wing and upfront which comes in handy.

Kevin
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Kevin

Hi Darren
Very nice start to the season and Wilshire’s goal was something special for sure. Too bad about the Blacckburn game but your team is a strong contender for some major silverware again!

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Kevin, I was shocked by Wilsheres goal and he has really impressed so far. Hopefully some silverware will be waiting for me.

Lye Kuek Hin
Guest

Hi Darren,

It’s a good start. The pressure will be there as you already secured the title last season. The season is far too early and i believe your players have not show the real potential yet. There are still improvements to be expected. Arsenal are having some good run there. But i think you will soon topple them. Good luck.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Lye, I was definitely feeling the heat while scouting for signings but I think we are stronger than last year. Hopefully Arsenal will let their foot off the gas soon. Wilshere should be a top talent but his inconsistency is annoying, I’m putting it down to a new club. Hopefully Jack will settle soon and show his true potential.

Kieran
Guest

Great start Darren,

Good result in the Euro super cup, your in a strong position in the premier league, shame about the Blackburn result, but, you cant win ’em all, your team are getting the results in the champions league.

Good luck for the rest of the season.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Kieran, the Blackburn result was a little downer but all the others were as good as I could have hoped for. I think the one thing to stop us this year will be injuries and fatigue, although I have quite a big squad so hopefully we’re covered.

warren
Guest

Hi Darren

A good start to the season but there is room for improvement. Its a shame that some of your singings haven’t been able to really come out of the blocks and show what good players they are but I guess in the likes of Inler they are just getting used to the style of football you play.

Hoping for another successful season for the toon.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Warren, you summed it up really. We have done well, but there is a lot of improvement yet to come. The new signings will settle soon and I think they could have an impact similar to last seasons new boys.

Johnny Karp
Guest

What a goal from Wilshere, right from the top drawer! It will surely be an enjoyable season for you Darren, the team seems to be playing great football and I really can’t see how anybody could stop you from bringing in another bag of silverware at the end of the season.

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Johnny, Wilsheres goal left me speechless…you never expect them to shoot from sooo far out, but to beat a well positioned Goalie as well was just magic. The team are playing well, but there is still some improvement to come. I don’t think they’ve hit top gear yet. Hopefully you’re right about the silverware :)

Sayam Khan
Guest
Sayam Khan

Arsenal at the top of the table? :/ We don’t see that too often do we? Anyway can you post a screenshot of their team? As an Arsenal fan i’m curious to see it.

I hope the new owners keep you and not do the same as what the new owners did to big sam at Blackburn. Congratulations on your 2-1 win and your good CL start.

PS: im starting to get very addicted to this story now ;-)

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Sayam, I was also a little surprised to see Arsenal at the top. Their attractive attacking football seems to be working this season. Ill put a screenshot at the bottom of my next post. Its always interesting to see other squads from other games. I don’t think the board will want rid of me anymore, they should have done that by now, I just hope they are a little more generous in the market than Mike Ashley. Glad to hear your enjoying the story, must admit I have to stop myself from overplaying the game :)

junior
Guest
junior

hey darren i just started a game with astonvilla..
can u suggest any players??ive played in other leagues and i knw that the premier league is much haard right(i got almeria to the europa league and was offered a job by sampdoria to k them to the champions league a few times)

what position d u think i can attain with villa??bcuz in real life they are kinda struggling right??
get back at me…tnx

Darren Smith
Guest

Hi Junior, you should enjoy playing with Villa, they’re a great side. I think the top four is a good goal for the first 2 or 3 seasons, if not by then you should be looking towards the title by the fourth season…you should definitely do better than they are in real life anyway. I would recommend Kadlec, Lukaku or Paloschi as great reasonably priced wonderkids upfront and Hlousek looks very handy for the wing. He is extremely cheap but Im not sure if he’ll get a work permit. Bags of potential though. Goodluck with your game mate.

junior
Guest
junior

thank you very much..any doubts ill ask ok..

Darren Smith
Guest

No problem Junior, I’m always happy to help. :)

Herman
Guest
Herman

I just got sacked after the board told me they would renew my contract. Is that right?

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Herman, that certainly doesn’t sound right but how long after the board said they’d renew your contract did they sack you? Also had you endured a bad run of form just before.

Herman
Guest
Herman

Just a few game days. I had finished the season unbeaten in 4 games, in 3rd.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thats unlucky mate….sorry.

Oli
Guest
Oli

Good stuff. Your new players seem to have blended into your squad with minimal fuss which is important to get results from the start.

Wilshere’s goal was one to remember….ever thought of doing a goal of the month competition? :-)

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Oli, my main aim at the start of a season is to gain a nice dressing room harmony. That always goes far and my new signings seem to have settled well with even more still to come. Im not sure if your joking about the goal of the month thing but its actually a great idea…cant believe I didn’t think of it. Will have to sort a few things out first but I might actually do that mate. Thanks buddy.

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