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Darren: FM 2011, Newcastle’s pre-season preparation 2019/20

Hey guys and welcome back to my FM 2011 story with Newcastle. Last season was my best yet and I can’t ever see us topping it, Newcastle won the quadruple and slaughtered almost everyone in sight. This season is all about maintaining that and trying to build on my trophy cabinet as well as bank balance. Before we start the post, lets fulfil Matt’s request and recap my trophy cabinet so far.

Premier League: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 = 8 titles to date. (most time won is 19 by Man Utd.)

FA Cup: 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 = 6 trophies to date. (most times won is 12 by Man Utd.)

League Cup: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 = 8 trophies to date. (most times won is 8 by Newcastle.)

Europa League: 2012.

Champions League: 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 = 5 trophies to date. (most times won is 9 by Real Madrid.)

The season starts with expectations, so it seems fitting to begin my post there. The board offered no alternative and demanded the title this year while offering a transfer budget of £150 million and an extra £1 million a week for wages. I won’t be using any of this of course and plan on making money within the transfer window. Our media odds are reasonable but Man City are the pre-season favourites despite never winning the EPL title since I took charge at Newcastle.

After taking a glance at the richest clubs list, Newcastle seem to be progressing well in third. The club is valued at £595 million meaning an increase of £33 million from last year. First placed Barcelona and second placed Real have decreased in value offering the perfect chance to get nearer my goal. Newcastle gained £78 million on Barcelona and £108 million on Real Madrid from last season. Not bad going!

I am also very happy with our facilities. The training is now at maximum and youth facilities will be maximum after the latest upgrade. I also think my latest upgrade to youth recruitment will max that area out too. Talking of youth recruitment, do you remember me moaning every single year about the lack of talent coming from my academy? Well I have no reason to complain this time, most of the intake were useless bar one gem! His name is Fairclough, he can play anywhere in midfield and is just 16 years old. When my assistant announced the youth intake, he described this kid as the best of his generation…how excited am I!!!!

Now lets move onto your favourite, transfers. We’ll begin with my departures and there were a lot. Don’t panic, all my key stars are still in tact, but I did loan out an awful lot of 20 and 21 year olds that aren’t quite ready to fight for first team football. Those loan fees raked in £4 million and should help my players develop through an awkward stage.

Now the main chunk of profit came from one strikers departure to Manchester City, I think you all know who left…Jordan Tierney. For those of you who thought of Sanogo, shame on you! :) Tierney signed on last year and while he has incredible talent, he’s not the right striker for my new tactic. I need technically capable players and he isn’t one of them. Besides, after signing another English forward last January I was over staffed and City’s £24.5 million offer was too much to reject. I included a clause that gets me 30% of his next sale and still made £12 million profit anyway. The other big departure was Henri Coezy, the Frenchman joined Juventus for £10.5 million. While he is good, I have signed far too many CM’s and had the tough decision on who to cut. We made almost double on this players original fee, so it seemed like good business sense with the incredible talent coming through. My last sale is Mackie, a striker from the academy that’s not even worth a screenshot, I can’t believe Bristol City paid £2.2 million for him.

Now we move onto my transfers in and it was a fairly busy summer in that respect. After recouping £41 million on players sold, I decided to buy any and every bit of talent I felt would be amazing or make me a hefty profit when sold. This led to the capture of six new players and a total spending spree of £17 million.

Matej Delac- goalkeeper

Brought in for free, this kid has serious talent between the sticks and I decided he was too good to ignore. Even if he falls back in the pecking order I can sell him for a  minimum of £10 million.

Lorenzo Crisetig — central midfielder

Believe it or not I’ve been trying to sign this guy since 2012. Every time another club got there first or I wasn’t happy with the transfer fee requested. I didn’t actually need more cm’s, but knew this kid was yet to reach his full potential. I decided to bring him in for free and sell Coezy who is a similar player for profit. I’ll raise Crisetig to his full potential and then sell him off for at least £10 million.

Alan Dzagoev — central midfielder

The riskiest signing by far, Dzagoev was bought purely to make profit. I have cleared some space in the first team to rotate him with Hernandez as the teams playmaker. Then next year I’ll offer him out for around £10-12 million, I just hope age doesn’t get the better of this 29 year old. But he was signed on a free transfer anyway.

Franco Giampa — central midfielder

Brought in for pure talent, this kid is rated with the potential to reach Padin’s standard who is my main defensive midfielder. A rather hefty fee of £11.5 million was requested by AC Milan, but I believe this 18 year old will be sold in his late 20’s for more than double that amount. He’s got a lot of talent and I’ve tracked his progress for the last two seasons. Giampa won’t see much game time, but will be developed in the reserves for the first 6 months.

Louis-Jean Goncalves — central midifelder/defender

At the age of 18, this versatile wonderkid has a bright future. Due to the fact he played for Chateauroux in France, I managed to sign him for next to nothing. £1.4 million is a ludicrous fee for such talent and I could train Louis to play in midfield or defence. He will gain a little match experience this season before maybe going out on loan next year.

Da Silva — left winger or defender

I saved the best until last, Real Madrid have one too many quality wingers and Da Silva found himself transfer listed for £4 million. I was surprised but even more shocked by his small wage demands of £10K per week. The 20 year old is an all rounder, but specialises in technique and his athleticism. As soon as the transfer was confirmed, I loaned my other Brazilian winger out to make room for Da Silva to rotate with Goetz on the left. This wonderkid has plenty of room to grow and should be a real force in English football.

Well you’ve seen all my transfer action. Seems like a lot of signings I know, but after seeing so much talent I couldn’t let them move to other clubs. The key to signing all these players and keeping the squad size down has been loans. I have sent so many youngsters out for experience and I just hope the additions settle in well. You can see my squad list below with the addition of my assistants current ability rating.

We should also check in on finances, after last seasons Champions League final the bank balance read £257 million. So after making a profit of £24 million on transfers, what would the sheet read? Well before my first EPL fixture Newcastle held £280 million in the bank. Not bad at all and hopefully we won’t lose too much of that as the season progresses.

Community Shield — Manchester City vs Newcastle

We’ll finish today’s post off with the season curtain raiser and community shield. My opponents are Manchester City, despite them failing to win a trophy they were runners up in the league. I used a full strength squad and didn’t risk team chemistry by involving any new signings other than as substitutes. Below are the match highlights, no commentary or full match today I’m afraid.

The performance was good, but we did have to survive a little pressure from City. In fact Mainetti, my keeper, was voted man of the match. Having said that the scoreline doesn’t lie and we did hold the best possession as well as shots on goal.

Well that is all for today guys, I hope you got caught up and like my new prospects whether they were bought for on the pitch reasons or purely business. The next post will take us into winter and I’ll show you how the toon army progressed, but until then please feel free to comment below and I look forward to reading your thoughts as always. Thanks for reading.

P.S now its time to fulfil one or two requests. The first is from Aaron who wanted to see my best starting XI with each players current value and the amount I originally paid for them. The screenshot below contains this info mate. The overall value of my best XI equals £198.5 million and the original price I paid for these players combined was £73.4 million. When I sell a top player I expect to make at least 80% more than their valuation, meaning if I sold all these players I should rake in a minimum of £358 million provided I sell at the right time as I have done with all my other star players who have departed in the past. Please note that ‘last trans. fee’ is what I originally payed for each player.

Now for Paul’s request, the screenshot below is my hall of fame. You’ll notice two ‘Darren Smiths’, the one highlighted in red is from this save. The other is from my UEC save.

63 комментария


  1. Birdy

    23 июля, 2011 at 11:28

    Very Nice Darren
    I liked your big signings and how you are just using playing as profit gainers. It’s kinda like you are using some of them as pawns which brings out like a devious side in us
    Great work

    • Darren Smith

      23 июля, 2011 at 11:33

      Thanks Birdy, I did ultimately get those guys to act as cover until the younger generation are ready. But reality is that won’t be for more then one or two seasons so in effect they will just be moved on for a nice fat profit (I hope.)

  2. Aaron

    23 июля, 2011 at 12:53

    Some good signings there Darren :) and closing in on Barca and Real! I think you got a blinding deal with Santos. Bought for £2.3 and would be sold for between £60 and £70 million…that would be a huge profit!

    • Aaron

      23 июля, 2011 at 14:41

      Also would I be right in saying that Newcastle should be level with united in FA Cup wins with 12 apiece?

      • Darren Smith

        23 июля, 2011 at 16:33

        You are right mate, I never really considered trophies we’d won in the past for our overall total….win the FA Cup this year and we’ll surpass United’s record ;) I still have 8 league titles to win in a row for the EPL record though :)

        • Aaron

          24 июля, 2011 at 04:02

          That would be two cups that you’d have the highest wins in. What is the current highest CL wins for an English club? Still 5 ?

          • Darren Smith

            24 июля, 2011 at 10:07

            You’re right Aaron and that would be one hell of a record in my opinion, by far the best I’ve ever achieved anyway. The English record for CL titles is held joint on 5 by me and Liverpool but I’m hoping to change that. My biggest aim though is to top Real’s 9 titles and make it a nice round 10 :) Although I may never get around to that time wise.

    • Darren Smith

      23 июля, 2011 at 16:05

      Thanks Aaron, we do seem to be gaining good ground on Real and Barca….hopefully three more good years is all it will take. Santos is my best ever signing on FM, he’s pure gold and I want to get £70 mill for him but not for at least three seasons yet. :)

  3. CsAtlantis

    23 июля, 2011 at 13:28

    Some very nice signings, some good bargains in there, and Matty Fairclough could be one of the best players in the world, you finally got a gem from the academy (a diamond?)

    • Darren Smith

      23 июля, 2011 at 16:08

      Thanks mate, the signings went well I think and the new youngster is incredible…’the best of his generation’…Can’t wait to see him aged 21. :)

  4. Sears

    23 июля, 2011 at 14:50

    Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwww!!!!!!!! That kid from your academy is going to be unbelievably so talented. I mean, he could be a sub on loads of PL teams already. I can’t wait to see if he fulfills all his potential, scary. Good signings as well, and a major profit as usual. Good luck :-)

    • Darren Smith

      23 июля, 2011 at 16:34

      Thanks Sears, Fairclough should be the best player around at his prime, but we’ll see how he develops. :)

  5. lol

    23 июля, 2011 at 17:24

    It’s so obvious you cheat…

    • Sears

      23 июля, 2011 at 17:31

      Prove it.

    • Desmo Wenning

      23 июля, 2011 at 17:35

      Why is it obvious? Show me facts?

      • Darren Smith

        23 июля, 2011 at 18:12

        Thanks for the backup guys, usually its gamers that can’t win and get frustrated that cause trouble, so I feel sorry for him/her in a way. Anyway ‘lol’ if you need help just ask. You don’t need to go around making wild acquisitions to make other people feel bad. All I will say is keep this up and you’ll be band. I don’t just mean from commenting, I mean you won’t even be able to see the site…my suggestion is to just keep your thoughts to yourself unless you have proof, which you never will because I don’t cheat.

    • Sibo

      23 июля, 2011 at 19:04

      Hiding behind a fake website and fake name…


  6. Jay

    23 июля, 2011 at 18:23

    Nice one Darren, sorry if this ruins things but i think its helpful, Delac and Dzagoev are going to be amazing players becuase of what ive seen of them in my save, Dzagoev maybe not as much since hes 29 but you never know, could have a stormer of a season and Delac was the man who replaced Cech at Chelsea and thats not a easy feat

    btw ‘lol’ if hes a cheat please feel free to say how becuase your probably just jelous of whats hes achieved compared to you, i didnt no there were cheats to this game, and why would you? its a single player game (unless u get hamatchi,even then your with friends), ur just proving nothing to nobody? your most likely the one who cheats

    • Darren Smith

      23 июля, 2011 at 18:35

      Interesting take on the new signings Jay. I certainly agree with Delac and have a big decision to make as I have three world class keepers so next season will be taken to decide which one goes, age may come into it as well. As for Dzagoev I have seen how amazing he can be too, in my UEC save I had him at At. Madrid as my top assister every year. My only issue is his age and I don’t want players that are thirty on my side, so he’ll probably go for a profit despite his quality.

      Thanks for the backup mate, as you say there’s no way of telling when a gamer is cheating. Its impossible unless they take over other clubs to make transfers and you get their save to check that. So I don’t understand why a handful decide to belittle individuals for their achievements. Just shows their maturity I guess. But thanks for the comment.

      • Jay

        23 июля, 2011 at 19:24

        no worries mate, i just dont understand whyd you do that? it defeats the purpose of the THIS game, i can see why some people cheat in say GTA but in FM its just pointless

        anyway ignore the childish guy, apart from richest club and european champions 4 more times, anything else to aim for this season?

        • Darren Smith

          23 июля, 2011 at 19:28

          I agree Jay, cheating is just a waste of time and then writing about it would ridiculous. There really isn’t any point, we play this game to feel good about our management in game, you wouldn’t feel good after cheating and therefore wouldn’t continue the game for long…I’ve done 9 seasons so if I’ve been cheating then I guess I must be a really sad person.

          Anyway, I don’t have specific aims for next season other than developing the younger players I guess.

          • Jay

            23 июля, 2011 at 19:41

            Mate how could i show you a word document?, its 1 page of writing and 1 page of honours of my career, becuase id loved to of done a story on my save but its wayyy to late and certain things are lost to the news that i would need, and my stuf on the notepad wouldnt be good enough to screenshot, but this doc is just a summary of everything ive gone thorugh, if there aint a way dont worry ill ask about

          • Darren Smith

            23 июля, 2011 at 19:48

            You could either attach it an email and send it to me darrensmith360[at]googlemail[dot]com

            Or you could go into the sites forum and start a topic then copy and paste your writing into it. You can upload images to imageshack and then leave the link within your story also.

          • Jay

            24 июля, 2011 at 12:43

            Just read through it and i changed some stuff and wacked in a some screenshots :)

          • Darren Smith

            24 июля, 2011 at 15:29

            Just taking a look now. :)

  7. lol

    23 июля, 2011 at 20:40


  8. Darren Smith

    23 июля, 2011 at 21:22

    OK well I gave you enough chances. One last question while you can still see the site. Why would you accuse someone of cheating without any proof what so ever. I don’t cheat full stop!! You have no proof because I don’t cheat, so what is the point! Is it really worth been banned from a site just to make someone feel crap on the weekend?

    • Sibo

      23 июля, 2011 at 23:24

      Completely agree, this guy is just ridiculous, probably deserves a ban, they can go and annoy someone else before getting banned from their site.

    • Lye

      24 июля, 2011 at 02:22

      Darren, no point wasting your time for this guy. Responding will just give him the attention he wants. Anyway he knows he is not welcome here.

      • Darren Smith

        24 июля, 2011 at 10:02

        Guess you’re right Lye, he’s banned now anyway as this wasn’t his first set of insults on a post.

  9. stewart

    23 июля, 2011 at 23:01

    Hi Darren, I’m new to posting on here but I have been following your story for a while and it’s brilliant. I have got a similar season with Nottm Forest were I dominate the country but I don’t get as much money as you and I was wondering if you have any tips on finding the cheap wonderkids that you seem to find. Thanks in advance.

    • Darren Smith

      24 июля, 2011 at 09:56

      Hi Stewart, to be honest I think its just my curious nature that helps to find so many wonderkids because I search until I’ve found someone no matter how long it takes and the fact that I can spot them from a mile away. For example, when a new regen enters a teams academy, my eye will be drawn if their valued at more than £2 million. I also check the U21 and U19 national sides twice a year, usually Spain, Italy, England, Holland, Brazil and Argentina. I search every single club in Brazil and Argentina on the day their regens are generated. Generally ordering their players by age and looking at any under 18’s with a value of £500K or higher…sometimes even the ones without a value. There’s so much more, but the basics are in this post.

      • stewart

        27 июля, 2011 at 23:06

        Thanks for the help Darren, I managed to find a couple of good youngsters and mexico seems to be a very good nation for talent on my game I don’t know if your game would be the same but there could be some world beaters in there.

  10. liam101

    24 июля, 2011 at 01:07

    Some more great signings darren. you have already surpasssed alex ferguson in the hall of fame and im sure your only a year away from the top. good luc kfor the season

    • Darren Smith

      24 июля, 2011 at 10:02

      Thanks Liam, it seem as though I am one year away from topping the table. Hopefully that’s the case.

  11. Lye

    24 июля, 2011 at 02:28

    Hi Darren,

    Your pre-season went really well. Even though the first few players were signed on a free but they were useful players when you need them. The other three are youngsters with good potential. You have not lose any of your key players so i foresee it’s going to another dominating season for you. Good luck.

    • Darren Smith

      24 июля, 2011 at 10:01

      Thanks Lye, I am going to see how the free signings perform then if their mediocre I’ll offload them in the winter to make room for those youngsters to get first team football. It could be a great year, I guess the amount of signings I made could be the only issue.

  12. Wolfman

    24 июля, 2011 at 10:52

    I think your youngster Fairclough is going to become a world class player with his high determination and work rate. Would be really cool to see him spend his entire career at the club and become a legend!

    • Darren Smith

      24 июля, 2011 at 11:34

      That’s actually what I want Wolfman, I want him to spend every year in the first team from about 17 until 30 if I play that long. He is top class and the only player I’ve been more sure of was Marcelo Santos and we all know how he turned out :)

  13. Johnny Karp

    24 июля, 2011 at 10:53

    It’s great to see a good youngster finally popping up in the yearly youth intake, it’s a big step forward in my view and hopefully there will be more future stars coming up next summer. Great signings too, Crisetig is a world class midfielder.

    • Darren Smith

      24 июля, 2011 at 11:38

      Thanks Johnny, I was ecstatic to see Fairclough’s description and then attributes. Its about time too, I’ve only waited nine years!!

      As for Crisetig, I am a fan but my only worry is that the two new youngsters play a similar role to him and if they perform better when offered the chance Crisetig may drop down the pecking order. If this happens I’ll sell him in January I think.

  14. Matt Clark

    24 июля, 2011 at 14:18

    great signings darren, yet another pre-season profit looks like you may have found in your academy the best deep lying playmaker since xabi alonso best of luck and thanks for showing the trophy wins

    • Darren Smith

      24 июля, 2011 at 15:47

      Thanks Matt, Fairclough does remind me of Alonso and he will be moulded into that deep lying playmaker role.

  15. vaibhavc

    25 июля, 2011 at 08:03

    Hey Darren
    Good signings there. Fairclough will be an absolute gem, and what makes it better is that he came up in your youth academy.

    • Darren Smith

      25 июля, 2011 at 11:51

      Thanks Vaibhav, I was delighted to see Fairclough in the academy….the fans will love him.

  16. vikingmarius

    25 июля, 2011 at 10:46

    Wow, what a player Fairclough is, I would start playing him as a sub straight away or send him on loan where he will play a lot. Anyway fantastic signings as well, very smart to get in free players to sell them on cheaply as well as some great prospects, I am just wondering are most of your teams hown-grown at the club or do you still have many ‘foreign’ players

    • Darren Smith

      25 июля, 2011 at 11:50

      Hey Viking, Fairclough is incredible and I’ll be involving him later on in the year when those profit buys are sold. As for home grown, well all my players are classed as that because I buy them younger than 18, but most are foreign as the English youth just don’t cut it. I’ve only found three or four great players of English nationality so far in 10 years.

  17. Nicholas Phipps

    25 июля, 2011 at 11:59

    Some great signings there, and some very good youth players coming from the academy, Fairclough looks incredible! :-) Don’t bother with ‘Lol’ it’s pretty obvious you don’t cheat ;-).

    • Darren Smith

      25 июля, 2011 at 19:19

      Thanks Nick, Fairclough is awesome and I can’t wait to see him in action. As for ‘lol’ he won’t be around any more. We’ve banned him and every computer he tries to access through will be banned too.

  18. Iain

    25 июля, 2011 at 14:10

    Well done Darren, great story. I was just wondering, what are your views on the decision between loaning out your youngsters versus giving them reserve team football? From your experience, which helps your players develop better?

    • Darren Smith

      25 июля, 2011 at 19:02

      Thanks Iain, I think loaning a player out should only be done when he’ll fail to play a minimum of 10 first team games a season. Also you should only ever loan a player out when he’s considered as a first team player for the interested club. Its also best to loan players out to clubs in the top two tiers of any major country. Anything else and he should be kept at the club to improve there, its also beneficial for clubs with great training facilities to loan your players, that way they won’t lose out in training either.

  19. FM Blogger

    25 июля, 2011 at 19:59

    Hi Darren,

    I have been a long time fan of your story ever since you started it at the «allthatisfootballmanager blog you used to own but this is the first time I actually write you. You made some pretty good signings there, especially Delac who is one of the best keepers of the game. I believe that you should not loan out your academy boy, he seems very promising and I would definetely keep him at my team until he retired. It is always nice to be able to make a young player a star of tomorrow. This has always been my FM-dream, to get a player from the academy and make him a legend. I’ve only made this once.

    I have created my own blog so if you have time check it out. My URL is:

    Looking foward to your next season and hope that you will dominate once again in EPL as well as in Europe. Good Luck!

    • Darren Smith

      25 июля, 2011 at 20:31

      Thanks mate, it’s always nice to hear from a long term follower. This has been by far the best game I’ve ever played and I’ve finally found a rhythm in the transfer market…I just hope there are more players like Fairclough coming through the ranks next year. He’ll get some game time this year for sure. :) I’ll check your blog out now mate.

  20. Dave Triggs

    25 июля, 2011 at 22:34

    Hi Darren, Great work, Any chance you could show us a screen shot of that wonderkid Matty Fairclough’s report from your scout or whoever ?
    Keep it up!
    Cheers, Triggs.

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