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Darren: Newcastle fight on through December-February 2015/16

Hey guys, thanks for joining me in another Newcastle United update. During the last post, you watched on as the toon army produced some stunning results from August to November. We were top of the league by two points, but this didn’t justify our form. The Champions League was looking like a breeze and so too the League Cup. With winter approaching could I continue this form and our trophy haul from last year? Well read on and find out as the Champions League, Premiership, League Cup and Club World Championships reach the make or break months.

I want to start today’s post with some transfer action, not much but one player left Saint James Park while another is due to join in 2017. Firstly the player leaving, Sergio Araujo has served me well since joining for £1.7 million back in 2010. However, the club has two better strikers in Paloschi and Sanogo along with three potentially better options waiting for first team experience. It only made sense to sell the player that has fallen behind in a fast moving club. I was hoping for around £10-15 mill, but due to Araujo’s lack of football, no one would offer this. Instead I accepted £7.25 mill from CSKA Moscow, still a £5.5 mill profit so I’m fairly happy.

After the Brazilian clubs added their new youth, I had a scout around and found one very talented young man. Melo is just 16 years old and looks like a future star for my defence. I will pay Flamengo £1.3 million for his services, but Mello’s well worth it. Bring on 2017 :)

Club World Championships

I don’t want to spend long on this competition, always great to get another trophy but the European sides always dominate. My semi-final clash against Melbourne Victory was a one sided affair finishing 4-0. Marcelo Santos has shown his skill once more and by clicking on the strikers name you can see his updated profile.

The final pitted Newcastle against Argentine opposition in Estudiantes. Another easy game saw my lads dominate possession but fail to score in the first half. After a dressing down we started hitting the target during the second half. Jack Wilshere scored a stunning goal either side of Paloschi’s opener and Hernandez’s scorcher. A fantastic 3-0 victory and another trophy to enter my cabinet.

Premier League results – December

A lot of foreign players get baffled by the lack of a winter break in England. Well not my foreign players, they seemed to relish the freezing conditions and snow ridden pitches. We started December with a Sanogo brace and 3-1 victory over Stoke before beating West Ham at Upton Park 2-0. Next up a trip to Old Trafford and a match we expected to draw, however, Sanogo scored yet another brace to secure the 3-1 victory. Hernandez played brilliantly yet again with a stunning finish (seriously, click on the Spaniards name, you’ll love his profile.)

December ended with two more victories against Blackburn and Fulham, but saw Birmingham ruin our new year holding my side to a 1-1 draw. Yaya Sanogo has been simply stunning this month bagging himself 7 goals.

Premier League results – January to February

We put that disappointing draw at Saint Andrews behind us for the new year beating Everton 5-1. Sanogo scored four before Wilson headed home from Anconetani’s corner. I then decided to start using Paloschi more often as I wanted big bucks for the Italian come next season. What followed was amazing as Alberto Paloschi and Sanogo battled it out to be the clubs top goalscorer.

Paloschi scored a hat trick as we beat Wolves 3-0, then Sanogo replied with one of his own as we beat Middlesborough 5-0. Bristol City next and a rest for both strikers, yet we still won 3-0 thanks to my younger stars. Paloschi continued where he left off with another hat trick against Wigan, then Sanogo replied with a goal in our 2-0 win over Spurs. My Italian striker didn’t take this lying down though, he had the last laugh in a 1-1 draw at the Emirates. Then my side were fortunate to finish with a 1-0 win at Saint James Park against Manchester City.

With Sanogo and Paloschi playing out of this world, the league table is quite predictable. Newcastle lye top on 72 points, eleven clear of second with two games in hand. The title is all but over and just as all seems perfect, cue the bad news. My summer signing, Dardouri, has struggled to settle in the area and expressed a desire to leave. I granted the midfielder a 1 month leave of absence to rectify the problem but no such luck. Dardouri has requested to be put on the transfer list and I accepted…hopefully he will change his mind before interest is shown, but I’m not optimistic. Such a shame as he’s so talented. :(

FA Cup results

After winning this competition last year, I had high hopes for a repeat performance. The third round saw us thrash Wolves 3-1 away from home before we drew Championship Watford in the fourth round. This tie saw a very young squad including a few 17 year old’s progress 2-0. My good fortune ended with an away draw to Manchester City in the fifth round. That tie will be decided in a replay at Saint James Park. My centre back Kalu was mainly to thank for not conceding more goals against City, but I could do without the extra game.

Champions League results

After blitzing the early group games, my side qualified with a few matches to go. This led to a weaker than usual starting eleven for the final group game. We still beat Shakhtar 3-1 as Marcelo Santos continued to impress. We finished the group stages on 16 points dropping just two.

The First Knockout round pitted me against Juventus. Ex-Newcastle stars Khedira and Dudu made the starting XI for our away tie, and it was nice to see them doing well. Thankfully not too well though as both players made no impact, the game finished 3-1 and effectively won us the tie.

League Cup results

Back to my lucky charm, the League Cup as we were searching for a fifth consecutive trophy. After beating Chelsea in the third round we’ve enjoyed easy opponents so far. The quarter-final brought about a sticky and dramatic tie though. West Ham fought hard, but went down 3-2 at Upton Park. Anconetani and Santos were the heroes, this didn’t change for the semi-final first leg against Leicester either. We won 5-1 at Saint James Park and then 3-0 away from home, setting us up for a sixth consecutive League Cup final.

League Cup final – Newcastle vs Man United

Manchester United are a weird team to face in my game, sometimes they turn up and are impossible to break down then other days I’ll walk straight through them. With this in mind, I decided to take any advice offered from my back room staff. During the pre-match advice a 4-4-2  formation was suggested, something I haven’t used all season. With the team growing stronger I’ve found this formation recommended less and less, but decided to accept the advise. This could make or break my final, and was accompanied by a counter strategy. With Sanogo and Paloschi starting upfront, we had the two most in form strikers available. Did they make the difference? Rather than write about the match, I’ll let you decide by watching the highlights.

What a wonderful game, I may not be saying this if we’d lost 4-0 :) But seriously my more attacking players were simply sensational and Paloschi just pipped Sanogo to best striker. However, man of the match goes to Jack Wilshere with a goal and two assists. The League Cup may not have been ours without his display. By the way, I was confirmed as an icon at the club after this match. Getting closer to legend status. :)

That is all competition wise, but we still have the squad stats to look over and finances so please stay with me a little longer. Sanogo has become the beast of the North East! Scoring 28 goals from 18 starts, I have never found a striker who ghosts past defenders with such ease. Alberto Paloschi makes up the number two spot with 20 goals from 14 starts, I am hoping to offload the striker for a huge profit soon. Danny Wilson has also impressed me with 11 goals and an average rating of 7.61 while Anconetani has scored 10 goals and assisted 15 times despite a month out with injury. Jack Wilshere has stepped up to the plate this year also with 8 goals and 14 assists. But my favourite as always is Hernandez, Afellay’s replacement has improved massively and assisted 19 times so far.

Financially I’m still doing OK, could be better but with £46.6 million things are looking good. We’re running the club well and will enjoy a huge jackpot come the seasons end. I think £100 million in the bank is a realistic target for the end of next season.

Almost there guys so I won’t talk too much about fixtures. Just that our last EPL matches look quite tough even though I have to rest some stars and offer a chance to fringe players. I just hope the Man United and Arsenal fixtures don’t damage the good form.

Well that is it for today’s update, thank you all for reading. I feel much closer to everyone since the whole Alex fiasco as a lot of feelings were voiced and as Johnny said, this should make our community stronger not weaker. Please feel free to ask any questions and I look forward to your comments as always. Thanks again for reading guys and adios for now! :)

50 Comments

50 Comments

  1. Sears

    May 26, 2011 at 12:42

    Hi Darren,

    Another wonderful few months for the Toon Army. Congratulations on securing the League Cup and Club World Championship. The finances are looking extremely promising and Melo will become an immense center back. So far so good :-p

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 18:23

      Thanks Sears, this season is going great and we’ll hopefully add a few more trophies. Just hope the finances continue to improve and Melo is the gem I think.

  2. Tom

    May 26, 2011 at 13:07

    Nice goodluck :D

  3. Excessive

    May 26, 2011 at 13:10

    Blimey, Sanogo is on fire!!

    Pretty much domination from a Newcastle perspective though, brilliant result against Yoonited.. Always nice to win against them ;).

    Melo looks immense for such a young centerback, his mental attributes especially. Will be a world class defender in a few years time I’m sure.

    Good luck mate, hope you can continue that FA cup run with a win over the mighty City!

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 18:19

      Yes he is Jake, I’ve never had a striker this good. Hopefully the two upfront can continue to carry the squad forward, must admit its been a team effort though. Melo is a fantastic talent and his work rate/determination bode well for the future. :)

  4. Martin

    May 26, 2011 at 13:33

    Hey Darren!

    Wow you guys certainly hit top gear over the xmas period, you’ve blown the rest of the premiership teams away. Great performances in the Champions League and i’m sure you’ll over come Man City in the replay. As for the second demolition of Man Utd in a final…You just plain mean lol, only joking great win. The finances are looking brilliant as well.

    Keep it up!

    Regards
    Martin

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 18:16

      Thanks Martin, I feel like Newcastle have been in top gear for two seasons now…great to maintain such form. :) Sorry to thrash United mate, despite that I still hate playing them as you never know what will happen.

  5. Sibo

    May 26, 2011 at 13:35

    Well done Darren!

    I am sure you don’t need me to say this, but you are building an epic legacy with the toon army and I predict many more trophies on the horizon, as far as this period goes, epic! It was brilliant to see Sanogo score all those goals and this has, overall, been an incredible period bar one or two things:

    1. Drawing to Man. City :O But the next tie is home so I am sure you will win it!

    2. Dardouri wants to go?!?! Noooo! I really liked him when you bought him but I suppose if he can’t settle there is no point forcing him to stay somewhere where he won’t make an impact.

    Apart from that this has been a fantastic period, more trophies please!

    P.S. Why have you gone back to the original skin?

    • Sears

      May 26, 2011 at 13:37

      I think the original skin is much nicer than the previous skin he had :-p

      • Darren Smith

        May 26, 2011 at 18:11

        I agree Sears, the original is much nicer it just took me an age to see that. :)

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 18:14

      Thanks Sibo, glad you like the story. My main aim is to build a legacy in every area…on the pitch, finances, with the fans and in the way Newcastle are seen, everything. That is why I’m continuing this save after dominating already.

      The draw to Man City came after fixture congestion but I was a little disappointed with the way we played, though the replay should go better. As for Dardouri we’ll see what a pre-season break does.

      I am using the original skin because I prefer it, its cleaner and crisp. Plus I can cut and paste around my images easier to make them a better size for the site and therefore clearer.

  6. Vinners

    May 26, 2011 at 13:51

    Newcastle are simply sensational under your management! I have done similar things with Vauxhall but not quite as good as Newcastle. But I do find it funny how I always have to double take when reading Coezy and Anconetani’s name as I have 2 players of the same names. Although Henri Coezy is also French he’s a midfielder whereas my player Ralph Coezy is my star poacher :) But Anconetani is baffling how similar they are, both from Argentina and both play as a right midfielder not the same first name but still very closely similar :P Anyway, well done and good luck for the rest of the season! But you will have £100 million in the bank by the end of the season ;)

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 18:10

      Thanks Vinners, I have really enjoyed this Newcastle save and its the best I’ve ever done on FM in the top flight. Very weird to see you have similar regens to myself…though having said that I’ve seen similarities from my Newcastle save to UEC save. I guess FM can only create so many different players. :) £100 mill in the bank by the end of THIS season will be tough but certainly expect it by the end of next.

      • Vinners

        May 26, 2011 at 18:20

        You have 46.6 million at the moment and you get 40 mill at the end winning the league and champions league which puts you to 85 million plus a big player sell then you’ll be there :)

  7. Johnny Karp

    May 26, 2011 at 13:53

    Paloschi is sensational, I enjoyed his runs in the League Cup final! :) He is on my shortlist too but might be too expensive for Vauxhall at the moment. Anyway, you did well to bring home another two shiny trophies. And you also have one hand on the league title already, I guess you’ll be at least 99% sure of it at the end of March.

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 18:08

      I agree Johnny, Paloschi has been sensational since signing for £5 million…I’m due a huge profit there. :) The league should be wrapped up soon and we’ll see what luck bring me in the CL and FA Cup.

  8. Laxeyman

    May 26, 2011 at 16:08

    Brilliant yet again Darren, your whole side is just unbelievable and you must surely be favourites for every competition going. I reckon you’ll win the Champions League, and of course the league as well, good luck!

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 18:05

      Thanks Laxeyman, must admit as hard as it is to win everything I’d be disappointed in leaving any competition this year. The strikers are just at their prime.

  9. Billy

    May 26, 2011 at 16:12

    Great String Of Results There, Your Strikers Are In Sensational Form And The League Is Definitely Yours.
    Great Post

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 18:04

      Thanks Billy, gotta love those strikers. :) I hope you’re right and we dominate again this year.

  10. vikingmarius

    May 26, 2011 at 16:31

    Fantastic work Darren your team is incredible especially your 3 strikers, The league is close to yours and you should do fantastically in the champions league :D

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 18:03

      Thanks mate, those three strikers simply the best around. It will be sad to see Paloschi leave, but I must sell soon to get the biggest profit. :(

  11. Kevin

    May 26, 2011 at 18:14

    Hi Darren
    Your strikers are simply amazing and congratulations on winning the League Cup again and in such fine style too. You have a very much rock solid defence based on those results. Melo looks very good for his age and should break into the first team without any trouble. Good job!

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 18:24

      Thanks Kevin, the League Cup was a little surprising to be honest. If the defence continues well and my striker remain in form we’re set for further success.

  12. ravenie

    May 26, 2011 at 18:17

    I agree with Laxeyman, this is quite a team you’ve built up at the Toon and I certainly could not have matched the achievements that you have accomplished.

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 18:25

      Thanks Ravenie, we’ve built a great side.

  13. vaibhavc

    May 26, 2011 at 19:45

    Hey Darren
    You are doing amazing with Newcastle, trophies seem to be won a lot. No surprise as you are first. You seem to be doing a lot better with your finances. Can you show these player’s profiles next post: Ciaran Clark, Wayne Rooney, David De Gea, and what Van Der Sar and Beckham are doing (coach, manager etc.)?
    P.S. Did you change your skin?

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 20:41

      Thanks mate, all is great in the North East. :) I will offer those profiles in my next post, no problem. As for the skin yes I did change it, I find the original much better for taking screenshots and hence I changed back.

  14. MRDNRA

    May 26, 2011 at 21:13

    Hopefully you’ll have the league wrapped up by the time you play Arsenal and Man U, so as nice as it would be to not lose any more games, as long as the league is secure I wouldn’t worry too much about the results of those too matches.

    Good luck for the rest of the season, nice to see your finances are in such good shape.

    • MRDNRA

      May 26, 2011 at 21:15

      Oh and would you mind showing James Forrest’s profile, he starts at Celtic and he’s an excellent prospect, already improved on my game, but I just want something to compare to to see how good he can get (assuming, of course, he’s even improved on yours!)

      • Darren Smith

        May 26, 2011 at 21:34

        Thanks MRDNRA, I’d like to finish the season well but winning the league is most important then I’ll rest players if it helps progress in other competitions.

        Unfortunately James Forrest isn’t visible on my game, not sure why though. Sorry but I won’t be able to provide his profile. :(

        • CsAtlantis

          May 27, 2011 at 04:56

          I do have James Forrest in my Birm save, want his profile? He joined me on a free, rated at the same level as Sebastian Larsson

  15. George Dobson

    May 26, 2011 at 21:32

    brilliant save love sanogo he class

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 21:40

      Thanks George, must admit I’m enjoying this save more than any other, probably because I’m a toon fanatic. :)

  16. Ana Garcia

    May 26, 2011 at 21:57

    Wow, Marcelo Santos potential is 4 and a half stars, am looking forward to seeing if he develops into a world class player.

    Have you ever seen a player with 5* potential, sorry for the random question! Just thought of it as I was writing. :)

    Well done on winning the cup final (again!) Sanogo looks amazing he has a fantastic strike rate.

    Good luck Darren! :)

    • Darren Smith

      May 26, 2011 at 22:14

      Santos is amazing Ana, the second I spotted him in Brazil my eyes lit up with excitement. I don’t think I’ve ever seen 5 star potential tbh…not in my teams anyway.

      • Ana Garcia

        May 27, 2011 at 22:59

        Same here, was just curious. I am guessing the highest is four and half stars which makes me wonder why have a 5* rating if no player can ever reach 5*?

        Anyways, ignore my complaining! :)

  17. Stromson

    May 26, 2011 at 23:17

    Oi, I can never remember which stories I’ve commented on! Another great run of results Darren, and I enjoyed that 4-0 drubbing on Man U quite a bit. ;-) Do you have any idea who you’ll match up with once you clear through Juventus?

    • Darren Smith

      May 27, 2011 at 11:50

      lol, thats why I always comment every night or gets very confusing :) Glad you liked the United win, but probably not as much as myself :) I do know who my next CL opponent might be, lets just say I’ve played them before and their Spanish. :)

  18. Lye

    May 27, 2011 at 02:03

    Hi Darren,

    So far so good, two trophies confirmed. The league title is almost yours, just a few games more. Even though Sanogo and Paloschi are firing the goals but overall it is a great team effort. Just look at Wilson, Hernandez, Anconetani and Wilshere, they all contributed heavily.Your team is too good for the rest of the teams. Finances are good too so i have nothing to add simply brilliant.

    • Darren Smith

      May 27, 2011 at 11:48

      Hey Lye, I too think this is a team effort while the two strikers take most of the credit. My squad has panned out as planned which is pleasing. A little bad luck could see us drop out of competitions so I can’t be complacent though.

  19. CsAtlantis

    May 27, 2011 at 05:03

    Hello Darren,
    Quite amazing watching Sanogo and Paloschi’s scoring form, they even seemed to work together quite well in the League Cup Final, Matias, Santos, Hernandez and Wilshere are in good form too

    Salvatore Pepe looks quite good, getting good ratings without any attacking stats, is he getting the easy games?

    Looking good in all your competitions as usual, and the bank balance is swelling up

    Will be interesting to see Melo in 2 years time, good mental and technical stats already at 16 :D

    • Darren Smith

      May 27, 2011 at 11:46

      Hey CsAtlantis, if I used a 4-4-2 those two would be a deadly partnership as shown against Man United. :) Pepe has good attributes in key areas, but not amazing elsewhere…he has featured in both tough and easy matches so that average rating should reflect his ability I think. If I can get Melo sorted on his physical attributes we’ll have a real world beater…very similar to Kalu my other wonderkid.

  20. Seb S

    May 27, 2011 at 15:57

    Are most of the young regens classed as wonderkids? So impressed that you contiunue year on year to get even better players from the youth team. Think the next challenge to become England manager and win the world cup. Also do you not get bored with constant winning?

    Ive just started a new game as newcastle and your the prime example of what to follow
    ps. as a fellow Newcastle fan wouldnt it be nice if Pardew could replicate your success?

    • Darren Smith

      May 27, 2011 at 21:18

      Hey Seb, I must say most of my regens are classed as wonderkids…at least four I’d say. I have been very lucky with talent joining the game in the right position at the right time, but I feel like this may end come this season. I have to find young wingers to replace Gaitan and Wilshere in a few years time, but the market looks bleak. :(

      I would usually move on from a game after winning so much, but I just love this save. I want to see how far these wonderkids can go and if I can make Newcastle the best team ever in terms of finances and football on the pitch. Newcastle are great to manage, a little sticky in the beginning but great moving forward.

      I can’t express how much I like to see Pardew replicate my virtual success, it would just be amazing. He’s done a good job so far though.

      • Seb s

        May 27, 2011 at 22:22

        Is there any chance you could tell me if nile ranger becomes good. Seems interesting you need to replace whilshere eventual your team average age will be lower than 20. how are the likes of meessi and ronaldo doing? Surely sanago will win golden boot this year if he carries the same form

        I would agree starting with Newcastle is quite tough first 2 season then I will stamp my mark on the team

        • Darren Smith

          May 27, 2011 at 22:40

          Unfortunately Nile Ranger never progresses in FM 2011, maybe a good Championship player but no more. I’d offload him early as some clubs think he has more talent than he can grow into. As for Wilshere and my squads average age, well Wilshere is 24ish and will need replacing in 3 or 4 years time as per my youth to gold system (if you fancy an interesting read its explained here http://www.footballmanagerstory.com/2011/04/football-manager-financial-guide-part-2-youth-to-gold-system/) So basically I need a really young replacement for Wilshere three or so years before he needs to take his place…this gives me enough time to develop the new player and therefore buy the new player at a very cheap price…this is how I turn youth into gold if you’ll pardon the pun ;)

          Messi and Ronaldo are still incredible but only three years left at their best in my opinion. As for Sanogo, he would get the golden boot hands down if I played him in as many games as most gamers would…but I find spreading the games over many strikers helps the club better as everyone remains in form and keeps their valuation high as opposed to one amazing striker and two or three good back ups.

  21. Sayam Khan

    May 27, 2011 at 17:06

    Dissapointed you sold Araujo! Haha just joking, you did the right thing ;-) Melo should turn into a great player, and hopefully your first choice CB in about 3/4 years. Excellent League Cup win and i’m looking forward to hopefullly reading another quadruple post!

    • Darren Smith

      May 27, 2011 at 21:12

      Thanks Sayam, I hope you’re right about the quadruple, but reality is the draw must help me. I was a little sad to see Araujo go, but had no choice as he wasn’t playing, still a must buy though!!

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