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Darren: FM 2011 Newcastle’s manic pre-season including a sad goodbye 2020/21

Hey guys and welcome back to my Newcastle story, during the last post Newcastle completed a clean sweep winning the FA Cup, Champions League and maintaining their unbeaten record along the way. Now while all seems fine on the surface, there is a storm brewing within my office. This will be a massive year, one of risks, decisive action and planning for the future. I have held the same starting XI for some time and obviously a select few are approaching an awkward age, add to this the failed young signings that haven’t reached their potential and I also have some massively talented youngsters that must have first team football to grow and fulfil their promise. If I don’t clear some room within the first team, I risk losing these youngsters and ruining the Y2G system, so brace yourself for some evasive action.

The boards expectations are for another EPL title, but the media still favour Man City for top spot. The former me would have spent my £150 million transfer budget already, but we all know my aim is to make a profit in the transfer market year on year.

The richest clubs list is looking increasingly good, with every year that passes I feel closer to that top spot. Last year saw Newcastle valued at £595 million, one year has made a difference and we are now valued at £649 million. We are still in third place but have gained ground on Real and Barcelona who dropped in value yet again. I think two more years is all it will take to snatch second place.

Now its time for the big news and transfer action. We’ll start with what was a relatively quiet window in terms of players entering Saint James Park. Just two players joined for a combined fee of £8.5 million and both are prospects as opposed to first team starters.

Matt Powell is 16 years old and I snapped him up shortly after the centre back joined Man Utd’s youth academy. Not only is he English but Powell shows a lot of promise and is rated with the potential to play similar to my top CB’s. £2.8 million is well worth it for such a hot prospect and not much of a risk either.

My second and last signing of the summer was Ekedo, a 20 year old midfielder that has drifted under everyone’s radar bar mine. Ekedo has played for clubs I have never even heard of, so there is little wonder that I was the first to show an interest and snatched him up quickly. This kid popped up within one of my filtered searches for midfielders with specific attributes. He cost £5.75 mill which is a risk, but I think he can still make massive improvements.

Now moving onto the big news and my transfers out. Firstly we’ll look at the under 23’s that didn’t quite make it to the level I require. Pavoni was signed for £1.6 million back in 2017 and looks excellent but his match performances haven’t been exceptional so I offered him out for £15 million and accepted Porto’s £13 million bid meaning a profit of £11.4 million. Danilo plays CM also and showed great promise when signed for £2 million back in 2017, but his physical attributes never developed and I offered him to clubs for £10 million, I ended up accepting £8 million but a profit of £6 million is very acceptable. I also sold Perotti but the transfer didn’t go my way, I ended up accepting £3.1 million (the players value) meaning a minuscule profit.

Now moving onto actual first team players, we start with Simone Costantino. I was desperate to make a profit on my original payment of £16 million, but the left back hasn’t improved at all since then and I had to settle for Real Madrid’s offer of £12.25 million. Losing out was very disappointing but the next sale made up for that in abundance. I have been considering Yaya Sanogo’s departure for years now and my hand was finally forced. The striker had one year on his current contract and wasn’t prepared to offer him more money which he demanded. Therefore I offered the Frenchman to clubs for £80 million and accepted the only respectable offer of £56 million from Inter Milan, these payments will be structured monthly over 48 months meaning £1.2 million a month. A record transfer fee and a great chance to give other strikers a chance to grow.

I made £94 million on transfers this season which is fantastic considering I already have replacements in the reserves and main team for Sanogo. Santos and Adams are more than capable strikers, but I have two other excellent prospects that need first team football to improve. Below are their profiles when signed and current profiles so you can see their growth.

Fernando’s profile when signed aged 17

Fernando’s current profile aged 20

As you can see Fernando has improved well and just needs to progress physically before developing into a world class forward. I want to offer him a minimum of 15 matches this year to try and test his ability as well as improve it. Now lets check out Borges who has already left on loan.

Joao Borges’ profile when signed aged 17

Joao Borges’ current profile aged 20

This kid has mega potential and already improved a lot, I have loaned him out for first team football this year. I still feel like he needs better pace and finishing before getting his first team opportunity. But my coaches reckon Borges isn’t far off the potential to be better than Santos.

With my left back, Costantino also leaving I had to get a replacement. Well Saint-Louis has been raised in the reserves and on loan since the age of 17. I will be offering him a promotion and minimum of 18 games this year. Check out his profile when signed and current profile below.

Yordan Saint-Louis’ profile when signed aged 17

Yordan Saint-Louis’ current profile aged 19

Saint-Louis has made some impressive improvements in two seasons and I can’t wait to see him progress beyond this. Now that you have seen the next stars of Newcastle, its time to see how we performed in the Community Shield.

Community Shield vs Manchester City

OK well this match didn’t exactly go to plan, before kick-off I realised the Olympics were on but never imagined the impact they might have on my young squad. 12 first team players were away and unavailable making my match day squad full of unrecognised names and most the squad out of position. Some how Manchester City were completely unaffected.

Without my two best strikers, all my best CM’s and even some defenders this match was bound to offer up a challenge, watch the match highlights below to see the outcome.

Despite our major disadvantage Anconetani salvaged our unbeaten record in all competitions very late on. While we did go onto lose 5-4 on penalties, this match isn’t seen officially as a loss so I’m content to see my run continue. We may have lost the Community Shield but I didn’t expect to lose with our dignity considering it was City’s full strength squad against our reserves :)

Now seems like a great time to look at Newcastle’s finances, before doing so there are a few factors to consider though. First of all the £56 mill from Sanogo’s transfer will not be received straight away and I also offered 6 first team regulars new contracts amounting to £15 million in sign on and agent fees. This was a must or I’d risk losing my best players next season but it has taken effect within my bank balance that now reads £333 million. Not bad but it could have been a lot more.

We’re almost there guys, but first let me share the opening matches of 2020/21. The first against Chelsea will be very tough as I am missing the same players as in the Community Shield, but after that things should return to normal when the Olympics reach their conclusion. The next EPL matches are all straight forward and I am looking forward to the Super Cup against Barcelona.

Well that is all for today, thank you for reading and please join me next time to see how the Toon Army cope without their legend Sanogo. As always I look forward to your comments and welcome any questions.

P.S. As always I’m happy to fulfil screenshot requests so here you go Malhar, my best starting XI are below and if you click their names, you can view their profiles. While some of these players are in their mid 20’s I signed them from the ages of 15-19 years old.

GK: Mainetti — DR: Pepe, DL: Pereyra, DC: Varrialle, DC: KaluCM: Padin, CM: Dardouri, CM: HernandezRW: Anconetani, LW: Da SilvaST: Santos, and finally my second right winger Ziegler.

Matt also requested Babacar’s profile which is below followed by Lukaku, the Belgian really hasn’t improved due to lack of first team football but Babacar is amazing.

35 комментариев


  1. FM Blogger

    5 августа, 2011 at 20:19

    I’m in shock…you sold Sanogo? I mean ok, really good transfer fee but Sanogo? Wow, that’s a really risky move. May I ask one question, though, who is going to replace him? Fernando looks decent but anywhere near Sanogo and you said that you sent on loan your other young striker. Or are you going to use almost in every match Santos?

    • Darren Smith

      5 августа, 2011 at 20:57

      Hey mate, I was expecting a few shocked comments to be honest and I spent some time considering this move. But Santos is now better than Sanogo and my English striker, Adam’s, has progressed well so he’ll be second choice upfront. While we may miss Sanogo in the big, big matches I don’t think he’ll be Majorly missed in general as Adam’s is a capable player.

  2. Sears

    5 августа, 2011 at 20:20


    Shame such a legend had to depart, though £56 million was an incredible offer…. Can’t get over how well Kalu and Santos developed, they are just phenomenal players. Good luck for the forthcoming season ;)

    • Darren Smith

      5 августа, 2011 at 20:59

      I know Sears, this was a massive move and like the title says it was a busy and stressful pre-season. Its so rewarding to have signed the likes of Santos and Kalu aged 17 and watched them flourish into the best there is. I actually have at least five other stars who have done the same so its all coming together well….lets just hope there isn’t a big backlash from Sanogo’s departure.

  3. Dan

    5 августа, 2011 at 21:12

    Sanogo! Kind of guessed it was him by the title but still… :(

    You do have plenty of capable players to replace him though and £56million was far too much to refuse! Good luck for the rest of season and hopefully you’ll move closer to that 200 games unbeaten.

    • Darren Smith

      5 августа, 2011 at 21:21

      Yeh, losing Sanogo was very tough to do but required if I’m to stick by my strict rules. He is 28 and won’t warrant such a high bid in a few years time, plus the wages he demanded to extend the contract were ridiculous alongside more than £5 million in signing on fees and agent fees combined. I felt like now was the time to offload. Plus, with Sanogo around, Fernando my next big thing hasn’t had any game time and is running out of his ‘prime development years’ which I have to take advantage of. Lets just hope the decision doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass…I’m thinking Inter Milan in the CL final and Sanogo scoring the winner, what a nightmare that would be!!

  4. Nicholas Phipps

    5 августа, 2011 at 23:09

    How could you!! :'( I’m pleased that I got my prediction right last post but I’m still amazed that you sold Sanogo. However Santos seems incredible and it must be satisfying to see him develop as he was one of your first big signings from your Y2G system. The Community Shield was unlucky and thank goodness that didn’t count as a lost game as it would have unfairly destroyed your unbeaten record. You should still won everything next season :). Finally, since Sanogo left, your first team seems to be entirely made out of regens, a scary landmark! Good luck for next season :D

    • Darren Smith

      6 августа, 2011 at 08:39

      lol, I know it was a shocking move and despite been the best thing to do it didn’t feel that way. Santos is the best striker around now anyway and as you say he started the Y2G system at the age of 17. You are right about the all regen side too, not one single real life player is left :)

  5. Birdy

    5 августа, 2011 at 23:33

    Nice work Darren it would have been hard to say goodbye to those players but your youth guys look amazing. Good luck

  6. Malhar Bhadbhade

    6 августа, 2011 at 00:29

    hey thanks a lot Darren. will put up some of those screenshots soon. please tell me what you think of them. glad u didnt lose ur run of unbeaten games :)

    • Darren Smith

      6 августа, 2011 at 11:55

      Seen your screenshots mate and replied to the comment, they are very good and I have offered my opinion on the other comment.

  7. liam101

    6 августа, 2011 at 04:19

    I think you did the right thing selling sanogo. you have amazing other strikers and your goal is to become richest club in the world using a youth to gold system. good move!

    • Darren Smith

      6 августа, 2011 at 08:25

      Thanks Liam, while it was a tough choice I don’t think I could waited another year to let the legend go.

  8. Sibo

    6 августа, 2011 at 05:50

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Not Sanogo! Oh well, £55 million is what I would have gone for, so to get £56 million is alright, and Santos and Adams are both very good now anyway.

    Good luck in the league and unlucky about the Community Shield… :D

    • Darren Smith

      6 августа, 2011 at 08:25

      :) I know Sibo, the fans weren’t too pleased either but I have a plan and if the players do as I expect all will be fine.

  9. Mátthiâslikesnewcastleunited Léh

    6 августа, 2011 at 07:22

    Hey could you upload a save file of your newcastle save?I wanna try your game as it looks fun.Im currently playing a newcastle save and and im trying to apple your Y2G Method:D
    So far after 3/4 seasons my club is now worth 280M…It should be around 300M now as i sold Hulk(the brazillian guy) for 25M:D

    • Darren Smith

      6 августа, 2011 at 08:24

      Hey mate, glad to see your trying the Y2G system with the right application it works wonders. I’m afraid I won’t be offering this game for download until the story is done. That’s always been one of my rules with a story to never give the game away until its conclusion…but on the upside it will be available at some point.

  10. Lye

    6 августа, 2011 at 08:15

    Hi Darren,

    56 million is a lot of money. I guess your main target is to surpass Barcelona and Real Madrid for the richest club in the world. That to say, you have other strikers who can step up to the task. As long you don’t sell Sanogo to a rival club in England, no harm selling him. I just think the fans won’t be happy about that. Even without Sanogo, i believe Newcastle is still the team to beat this season. Good luck.

    • Darren Smith

      6 августа, 2011 at 08:22

      Thanks Lye, selling Sanogo was tough but it was due to happen within the next few seasons. Hopefully we can continue to rise through the richest clubs list and as for the fans, well they are calling the sale of Sanogo ‘an abberation’. Not very good but they’ll get over it soon.

  11. Kevin

    6 августа, 2011 at 09:17

    Hi Darren
    I was shocked at first by you selling Sanogo but after thinking about it how else will your Y2G policy work if you don’t? Your youngsters really have come along in strides, what training shcedule do you use? Good luck for the new season…not that you need it :)

    • Darren Smith

      6 августа, 2011 at 09:38

      Thanks Kevin and I know what you mean, just to utter the words ‘I sold Sanogo’ seems crazy but as you said the Y2G system wouldn’t work otherwise. This year is a vital one as I need to develop Fernando who is now 20 years old, if I don’t give him game time the he may never reach the potential I envisage and then I’ll be left to pay big on a quality striker as he’s the one that is meant to replace in Sanogo in the long run. Anyway, I can no longer find the download to the training schedule I use and it seems to have disappeared, but its very simple really and doesn’t hold anything special…I was too lazy at the start to create my own and downloaded it but the key is the workload…my training schedule has it set at the peak of medium workload which works very well.

  12. George Dobson

    6 августа, 2011 at 10:09

    Im surprised you sold sanogo Darren but 56 million was a brilliant offer and santos and adams look really good so you should still do as well as you have been doing

    • Darren Smith

      6 августа, 2011 at 11:53

      Thanks George, the Sanogo offer was a lot and hopefully the squad and fans won’t rebel against me. The Frenchman was a legend at the club, but no player is indispensable in my eyes.

  13. Johnny Karp

    6 августа, 2011 at 10:35

    Great business again, although I was expecting a bigger transfer fee for Sanogo, somewhere around 70 mil. 56 is good enough though, hopefully the young strikers will make the fans forget all about Sanogo shortly.

    • Darren Smith

      6 августа, 2011 at 11:52

      To be honest Johnny I was hoping for more than £60 million for Sanogo but £56 mill is double his value at the time and I have struggled to get more than double a players valuation when the creep over the £20 million mark. Like you say, Fernando has the potential to fill the void but he will take some nurturing.

  14. Laxeyman

    6 августа, 2011 at 10:51

    Hi Darren, can’t blame you for accepting £56m for Sanogo, yes he’s a good player, but not that good. The squad looks strong as usual, and its also still very young, so has potential to get better. Unlucky in the Community Shield, and good luck for the season :)

    • Darren Smith

      6 августа, 2011 at 11:50

      Thanks Laxeyman, Sanogo was an absolute beast but every player has a price and ideal sell by age…unfortunately Inter hit me at the right time and I had to let him go. While some may see this as losing a brilliant player, I see it as an opportunity to find the next Sanogo who may even already be at the club in Fernando.

  15. vikingmarius

    7 августа, 2011 at 13:04

    Another fantastic pre-season with not a super-exciting influx, but definitely some bignames leaving and you still get to keep an incredibly strong starting-11. I looked at your squad and your keeper is ok, but I could definitely see a better one in tyneside not that you need one based on results :P and also I was expecting the Sanogo sale and think you have done well with 56 m but like johnny I was expecting 70m plus

    • Darren Smith

      7 августа, 2011 at 16:23

      Thanks Viking, I had a quiet pre-season in terms of players entering but don’t need to strengthen this year, just maintain the income of youth. As for that keeper, he’s actually one of the bets around, his technical attributes are deceiving as the mental and physical skills make him unstoppable. He’s been voted best keeper in Europe for two years running.

  16. Ana Garcia

    7 августа, 2011 at 13:41

    I am surprised also you sold Sanogo, but seeing as you are always three steps ahead am sure you want miss him in the long run.

    £56 million seems a good price I was thinking you may have got a little more for him, could you post his history? Just interested to see how many goals he scored for you.

    Your closing the gap every season and if Barca and Madrid continue to drop money then you should be able to catch them a little bit easier.

    Good luck! :)

    • Darren Smith

      7 августа, 2011 at 16:20

      I agree Ana, Sanogo could have gone for more if the market was better but I had to accept that offer or risk selling him for less next year. I do have a plan and a big part of that is Fernando, he’s 20 years old and developing fast.

      Hopefully the gap to Real and Barca will continue to close but we’ll see what happens with time.

  17. Brennan

    7 августа, 2011 at 21:51

    Hi Darren,
    I’ve been reading your articles for some time now and i must say i’m very impressed. you made a monster team using those little resources you had and it’s also very enjoyable to read what you write. :)
    i was wondering if you would mind to write a guide some day about how to develop youth players or how to get the best out of them cause you seem very good at it, and i’ve read many different opinions about this(for example the efficiency of loaning out players). only if you have time of course, it would be great :)
    good luck for the season and going like this, im sure you’ll catch Real and Barca!!

    • Darren Smith

      8 августа, 2011 at 11:58

      Thanks Brennan, always nice to know people are following and the raising youth guide would be good. At the moment there’s a lot going on with changes happening to the scouting network and my plate is rather full. But I will look at this for some time in the near future.

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