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Darren – FM 2011 Newcastles two finals in three days 12/13

Hey guys, welcome back to my Football Manager 2011 Newcastle story. Lets set the scene. We’re in the year 2013 and the end of my third season at Saint James Park

Hey guys, welcome back to my Football Manager 2011 Newcastle story. Lets set the scene. We’re in the year 2013 and the end of my third season at Saint James Park. I have already enjoyed great success including a second season Premier League, Europa League and League Cup treble. This season has already seen my boys retain both the League Cup and Premiership title. We now have the opportunity of a lifetime, something most managers can only dream of…a clean sweep and the quadruple! Today’s post will reveal what happened in Newcastle’s FA Cup final versus Liverpool and Champions League final versus Barcelona. Two very tough games only three days apart, tactics and squad rotation will be vital, but I am going for broke! I’ll probably never get the chance to win a quadruple again so I may as well try rather than picking just one final to field my best squad. Lets see what happened.

FA Cup final – Newcastle vs Liverpool

The FA Cup hasn’t provided me with many happy memories so far. The last two seasons have seen my side lose to Chelsea on penalties and thrashed by Man Utd, both in the final. We even threw away two goal leads in both these seasons, so you can understand why I might be a little pessimistic. On the up side my team have been brilliant this season and come on leaps and bounds. Hopefully we will carry the seasons momentum into this crucial game.

Newcastle lineup: GK-Enyeama, DR-Richards, DL-Kadar, DC-Musacchio, DC-Caceres, MC-Nolan, MC-Inler, MC-Afellay, RW-Wilshere, LW-Gaitan, ST-Paloschi

Liverpool lineup: GK-Reina, DR-Johnson, DL-Monreal, DC-Agger, DC-Wilson, MC-Lucas, MC-Meireles, RW-Young, LW-Marin, AMC-Gerrard, ST-Kuyt

As you can see Liverpool were without the injured Fernando Torres, this provided a huge boost to my chances. I decided to use a 4-5-1 with counter strategy, slightly high defensive line, slightly narrow width and slightly slow tempo. This served me well against Liverpool during last seasons Europa League semi-final. You may have noticed Enrique, Simpson, Taylor, Guthrie and Dudu were all rested for this game. That is because the Barcelona game would prove to be far more tasking on my defence. Therefore I decided to rest mainly defenders in this match and go stronger upfront. Guthrie and Dudu would probably be better used in Europe as well. That is enough of the build, lets watch the highlights. Fingers crossed and hoping for third time lucky!

The opening goal was well crafted by Wilshere and finished with deadly poaching from Paloschi. I was starting to worry a little after Liverpools equalizer as they were dominating possession. This led to a change in strategy from counter to control. It was plain sailing from here as Musacchio scored twice from set pieces and proved he is a world class defender. After going 3-1 up I decided the game was over and rested Inler, Gaitan and Afellay for the Champions League final. This was with more than 30 minutes to go, so they should be ready for the biggest game of their careers. I was delighted to finally win the FA Cup after two years of disappointment and its worth noting we won the domestic treble. :)

The fans were delighted with our first FA Cup since 1955 and I was happy to finally have rid of the runner-up status that has followed us around for two seasons. The board were not as overjoyed, but I think they always expected us to come close anyway. Now onto a famous Champions League final and my chance of winning the quadruple. ;)

I mentioned in my previous post that Barcelona struggle against a 4-4-2. Well I do not know this for fact, I just assume so looking at their previous results and most current tactics. Most of the time a 4-5-1 using one defensive midfielder would be best countered by a 4-5-1 with three flat central midfielders and two attacking wingers (my favourite tactic.) However, Barcelona will always dominate possession so having two strikers available on the counter means going for one goal and then hanging back like Inter did in real life. This may be putting all my eggs in one basket, but I feel like this is the only way to beat them, soak up the pressure and hit them on the break.

Newcastle lineup: GK-Enyeama, DR-Simpson, DL-Enrique, DC-Musacchio, DC-Taylor, MC-Afellay, MC-Inler, MR-Wilshere, ML-Gaitan, ST-Araujo, ST-Sanogo

Barcelona lineup: GK-Valdes, DR-Adriano, DL-Chiellini, DC-Kjaer, DC-Pique, DMC-Mascherano, MC-Busquets, MC-Iniesta, RW-Pedro, LW-Bastos, ST-Bojan

Yep you read the team sheet right, no Messi, Xavi or Villa. They were all on the bench and seemed a little fatigued. Although this really boosted my chances I knew a poor performance would see all three come off the bench. Sometimes using players of such quality from the bench in a big game can bring out the best in a team. Just look at the effect Araujo and Dudu had from the bench in my semi-final clash against Arsenal. Either way I couldn’t worry about what may happen, I needed to focus on the team at hand and deal with any changes as and when they happen. So I used a 4-4-2 with counter strategy, slightly high defensive line, slightly slow tempo and slightly narrow width. I was hoping to draw the opponents in before striking hard on the counter. I think you’ve seen enough build up, its now time to watch the game and see who became kings of Europe.

A brilliantly worked goal saw Wilshere and Araujo combine to set up Afellay for a lovely strike. The Dutch midfielder had set up a few great goals against Liverpool and now he had made the difference again. This goal came on the 15th minute and sure as day Barca made three changes when they went in 1-0 down at half-time. Xavi, Messi and Villa came on, these guys made a big difference as the Spanish giants dominated possession and every area of the pitch. 20 shots later and it was full time, yet Barcelona by some miracle had not scored. Enyeama was simply brilliant and earned a rating of 8.5 while the back for were all awarded 7.2 and 7.5. I couldn’t believe it, we had beaten Barcelona and won the Champions League. It was scrappy but so are all my finals when my side are the underdogs. The quadruple was mine and it capped off a wonderful season, I never imagined coming so far in such a short amount of time.

After this fantastic achievement and a victory over what is seen as the best club in the world a few of my players became very popular. Araujo became an icon to the fans, while myself, Paloschi, Taylor and Musacchio became favoured personnel. No legends as yet but there is plenty of time to gain such an illustrious status with my favourite club. The fans seem to love Araujo for his late goals and match winning performances. Below is the only way I can convey how I felt after the final whistle sounded in the Champions League. I just couldn’t stop smiling. :)

Some of my players will have had the same expression when the awards came out. Paloschi won players player of the year while Gaitan came a close second. I was awarded manager of the year for the third year running and a few of my players made team of the year. Musacchio, Afellay, Gaitan and Paloschi were all selected within the XI to honour their fantastic performances.

Below are my players of the year in order. After a great season it was tough to select a top three and some amazing performers have been left out. I still think that these three players have been the best though…lets see the seasons top three players.

Well that is it for today’s post and my third season. I have probably enjoyed my most successful season on FM and winning the quadruple really was great. I hope you are all back for pre-season and to see what my budget is. ;) Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments as always.

 

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Sayam KhanPlobdorkAtlant NilaLaxeymanwarren Recent comment authors
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junior
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junior

an amazing end to the season..congratz!!

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Junior, I was expecting some trophies but not the quadruple :)

Sears
Guest

Hahaha, priceless. That picture of the dog really made me laugh!! But well done on a quadruple, you deserved it. I think you should be given a very wealthy transfer budget because you must have gained a lot of money due to your success. Well done mate!

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Sears, I was looking for something funny so glad you liked the dog. It was an incredible season and one I’ll probably struggle to repeat. Just gone through pre-season now…and I have found the best regen like ever!!! Can’t wait to show you all his attributes.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Hi Darren
Congratualtions on winning the quadruple. That is simply brilliant. Nice for TheToon to get revenge over Liverpool after that 3-0 defeat in 1974 FA Cup Final. Fantastic season and I hope you stay on at Newcastle to continue this story.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Kevin, it was an amazing season. I do have a track record of dropping games once we become very successful but Im carrying on this story…there is nothing like seeing your favourite team dominate and thats what I want to do.

Ana Garcia
Guest
Ana Garcia

Congratulations!

No offence but I was hoping for a Barca win! (joking! :)) Paloschi looks as if he could be one of the best strikers on the game and you seem to be getting the very best out of him.

It seems like a spell of dominace for your team is ahead as you seem to be able to win every competition you enter, so good luck on the new season!

P.S. The dog is adorable! :)

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Ana, I had a feeling you may favour Barcelona lol :) Paloschi is a top draw player and hopefully he will help us maintain the domination. Glad you like the dog :)

Johnny Karp
Guest

Congratulations mate, you led the team to a spectacular season! Beating Barcelona isn’t easy at all, just ask Mourinho :)

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Johnny, the quadruple is a real surprise this season…but Ill take while I can. Mourinho would certainly turn his nose up at that comment mate :)

garo69
Guest
garo69

wonderful results

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Garo69, I was certainly my best season on FM.

FM Freak :)
Guest
FM Freak :)

Wonderfull season, four trophies and stuff, Palocshi seems to be your superstar :) but I noticed that Affelay got some assist and a nice goal !!

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks FM Freak, I cant see us repeating that trophy hall…everything just slotted into place perfectly and the squad harmony was brilliant. Paloschi is definitely turning into a superstar, but Afellay is my leader and captain…his assists were vital.

Birdy
Guest
Birdy

Hey Darren

That is just awesome great work

BIrdy

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Birdy, it was a really good season.

Lye Kuek Hin
Guest

Hi Darren,

Absolutely fantastic finish. Congratulations on the quadruple. Seems like you are not yet finish with Newcastle. So when are you stopping after winning everything with them?

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Lye, I just love managing Newcastle so will stop when I feel the game has run its course…I still have some really good youngsters and want to see how they do.

Atlant
Guest
Atlant

No chance wining with this team champions league.I have doubts that you are repeatingg the same game until you win it

Darren Smith
Guest

Atlant, I do not have to prove myself to anyone. I play the game properly and there is no point in playing it if you’re cheating. I played that game one time and one time only…the tactics were right and so was the team selection that is why I won as well as Barca not using messi, Xavi and Villa until second half. Just because you cant win the Champions League with a team like that doesn’t mean no one else can. I do not like negative comments on my site and any further ones will not be appreciated. If you think I cheat then thats your opinion, just dont bother bringing other people down. I was really proud of the achievement and now Im deflated. I honestly thought our readers were above this sort of thing as you see it on other sites…obviously I was wrong.

Darren Smith
Guest

ps you have obviously forgotten my last two seasons…we lost in the FA Cup final twice and missed out on Champions League first season by one game. I could have played the Chelsea game until I won and finished third, or I could have played the FA Cup final over and over again until I won those two seasons. I didn’t and the proof is in the stories I write. Like I said the game would get very boring very fast if I cheated all the time.

warren
Guest

Hi Darren

A amazing way to end on an amazing season. The squad you have developed is looking really good and I hope that the sucess continues.

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Warren, it really was a great season. I just wish people wouldnt put a downer on it by coming out with ridiculous claims. Thankfully its just the one and everyone else is supportive as always including yourself. Hopefully the success will continue as my squad will be stronger again next year.

Laxeyman
Guest
Laxeyman

Brilliant Darren, what a season you’ve had! I reckon you’ve turned Newcastle into the best team in Europe, and that’s a great achievement. I don’t know how you can better it next season, but I’m sure you’ll do well :)

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Laxeyman, it was a once in a lifetime season and I cant see myself even matching it. Everything just fell into place perfectly and its not often that happens. Ill be happy with the league title and an other trophy to back it up next season as I don’t expect to repeat such success again too soon.

Atlant Nila
Guest
Atlant Nila

I ve lost in final against Real Madrid with my PERFECT Aston Villa Team with 0 looses on all season
dont know if my tactics were right but i know that my team is a lot better than your Newcastle but wish ya all the best ! Hope next season you make the TREBLE

Darren Smith
Guest

I think this may be why you’re struggling to win the Champions League then. You cannot say your side is better than mine because a squad is only as good as the tactics. If you don’t use the right tactics to suit your players you won’t get anywhere. All my players are hand picked to suit my tactics, style, team mentality…its not about bringing in the best attributes but the right type of player as well. On FM 2010 I had an awsome team with QPR but could never win the Champions League. Since then I have started building squads around my tactics and players who can compliment each other. Like I said if you cant win the Champions League with your PERFECT Aston Villa side then you’re doing something wrong, it doesn’t mean the Champions League is impossible to win. I know a lot of bloggers who have won the Champions League with players similar to mine and they would be very interested by your opinion. It all sounds like sour grapes because you haven’t won the Champions League yet. You will get there eventually…but please don’t try suggesting anyone with different players to yourself is cheating because all… Read more »

Plobdork
Guest
Plobdork

congrats

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Plobdork, like I said, I’ll probably never repeat such a season so Im soaking it up for now. :)

Sayam Khan
Guest
Sayam Khan

Hi Darren,

i know i’m very late to comment but please forgive me.

Anyway, big congratulations on winning the two trophies, you deserve it, you have been an outstanding manager for Newcastle and probably one of the best on FM, up there with the others.

Darren Smith
Guest

Don’t worry about it Sayam. Winning so many trophies was really special and even more so seen as I didn’t expect it! Thanks for the kind words. :)

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