Connect with us

archived posts

Darren – Ultimate European Challenge, national pride or guilty pleasure? 14/15

Hey guys and welcome back to my FM 2011 European Challenge. Its been a roller coaster ride so far, but the fun has only just begun. After winning the treble with AC Milan, I felt like my time in Italy was up. After handing in my resignation I spent a few months getting burnt in Barbados and watched the World Cup. Some shocking performances led to Ghana of all nations winning the competition. England finished bottom of their group and Argentina could only manage 3rd position in theirs. Obviously both managers were given the boot and guess who was on the end of my mobile a day later…you guessed it, England and Argentina required my services.

Career History

– Hamburg SV, Germany (January 2010-April 2012)

– AC Milan, Italy (November 2012-May 2014)

Honours

Bundesliga title – 2012

German Cup – 2012

Serie A title – 2013 & 2014

Italian Cup – 2013 & 2014

Champions League – 2014

The big decision – Argentina or England??

OK enough introduction, here is my analysis of both countries and which one I picked. Lets start with Argentina. This proud nation has been held back by bad management and dodgy squad selections. The vast wealth of regens at their disposal is incredible and each manager hasn’t tapped in to this yet. This challenge means getting about and managing clubs and countries you haven’t touched before. Argentina are one of these and could potentially be the best team of all time.

Now for England. Well, they are my home nation and taking them to glory would bring unfounded pride. They still have the likes of Rooney and co but lack replacements for Lampard, Gerrard, Terry etc. England haven’t produced one great regen yet…a few could do well in the Premier League but have no such potential for the international stage. Therefore I feel like this could be the impossible job, there just isn’t enough decent talent coming through. Add to this the fact that I will definitely go back to my Newcastle game one day and want to manage England there. It would seem the obvious choice is Argentina. If it weren’t for my desire to manage England in my Newcastle save, this would have been a no brainer. However, my guilty pleasure has kicked in and ARGENTINA are the nation that have won my signature.

I know this decision will get a mixed reaction and I can relate to both sides of the argument. However, I want to save England for my Newcastle game and take control of the best side I’ve ever seen on FM. Below is one of my 23 man squad selections. You may not recognise a lot of names, but the ones you don’t know are probably better players than the ones you do. I know, crazy isn’t it, I just love regens!

I also want to share some of the better regens with you, SOME been the operative word. There are plenty more and my U20’s squad is full of at least 5 more that will be brilliant in 3 years time.

My first regen is Becerra who plays on the left wing. He has some great stats but believe me they do not do him justice. I have used the 21 year old in friendlies and he is Messi like. :)

Claudio Gonzalez can be used on the left wing or as an advanced playmaker. He has great stats and plenty of potential to improve even more. The 20 year old is used in a rotation system.

Millemaggi plays for Inter Milan and I found out how good the 20 year old is first hand. He ran my Milan defence riot last season. This kid will be as good as Pastore if not better in my opinion.

Last but not least we have Vella. My personal favourite and one regen I have developed while managing AC Milan. He plays on the right wing and is simply brilliant. There’s a lot of competition on the wings and this keeps Di Maria off the bench. :)

You can see the attacking talent my side posses by our friendly results. Its going to be a fun ride and I have the Copa America coming up in 2015. Lots of friendlies have been arranged and I can’t wait to play our first international competition.

I bet you thought that was post over, well stay seated as I have another big announcement. While managing Argentina I found the time to scout clubs and wait for the right job to come along. During November I applied for three great clubs, all in the same country…Spain. The first was Barcelona who turned me down, no surprise really. Then I showed an interest in Real Madrid to put some heat on Jose Mourinho. However, this just led to a vote of confidence from their board and consequently the two fingers to me. Then I noticed Athletico Madrid had sacked their manager. One day after I applied they gave me a contract offer.

I was very excited and made my move straight away. The initial transfer budget is £16.5 million but they then upped it to way more and I spent a lot of money. Though this will be covered in my next post, so lets see my team and situation within La Liga.

After my move to Spain I realised Ath Madrid aren’t half the team they used to be. Still very good but a mile off the title which shows by their start to the season. 13 points off top spot and currently in 9th place.

My aim for the season is to bring them back up to the top three and build towards a bright future. I want to build a squad worthy of the title and taking Barcelona off their perch. With a big transfer kitty this is possible and I already have two AC Milan players lined up!

Ath Madrid squad left for me to work with

As you can see, I still have the incredible Aguero to rely on. :) However, Reyes is ageing and both the right and left wing need strengthening. I can think of two wingers from my old club, Milan, that would fit the bill. I also want a central midfielder that can pass and tackle…preferably someone who is young too. Guess I’ll be busy in January. :)

First results from the Smith reign in La Liga

A very good start I think bar the Barcelona result…they really thrashed us! I was however delighted with my sides 8-0 demolition of Osasuna. Aguero seems to be holding us up so far, this worries me slightly and I can’t wait for the transfer window to open.

La Liga table after my first five games

A good start to my reign in Spain, we gained 3 points on Barcelona and moved up to 5th. Over the next four months I want to carry on the great form and challenge for a top three finish. We are still in the Spanish Cup but so are Real, Sevilla and Barcelona so I’m not confident there. Then there’s the Champions League which we may not be ready to challenge for yet.

My next post will feature some winter transfers and a lot of games. These three months will shape my season and could lead to unexpected glory or just plain failure. We’ll see next time, but one things for sure, you don’t want to miss my new signings. ;) Thanks for reading guys and please feel free to comment. See you soon.

If you want to join us all in the Ultimate European Challenge, please follow the link and read the rules. Its very simple and should get us all into different cultures and styles of Football.

30 Comments
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
30 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sears
10 years ago

Argentine have some unreal regens Darren. I’m gonna be the first to bet on u winning the world Cup :-) Good luck with Athletico, they’ve a decent team and you’ve got off to a superb start despite that 4-1 hammering away to Barce. I can already predict ur two signings, Valla obviously because it says it on his profile pic :-p Maybe u should try sign some of those Argentinian regens :-) Good luck mate!

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Sears

That right Sears, Argentina’s regens are incredible and I havent shown them all!! Can’t believe I gave away my first signing so easily. Ow well there are too more fantastic buys and Ive spent a lot on just three world class players.

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
10 years ago

Hi Darren, I can understand why you took the Argentina job, their side looks unbelievably good, the regens on their own are fantastic, and add to that the likes of Messi, Aguero, Pastore and Tevez etc. and you’ve got an unreal team. The Atletico job looks interesting, I’m sure you’ll do well and it’ll be a good story. Good luck!

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Laxeyman

Thanks Laxeyman, I was really torn by the Argentina England decision. The deciding factors were my aim to become England boss in my Newcastle game and the fact I’ll never see a better national side than my Argentina one. I had to try it. :)

Sayam Khan
Sayam Khan
10 years ago

Hey Darren,

Argentina have some magnificent players! How they didn’t win the previous world cup is unbelievable. I’m looking forward to you managing them! :-)

Good start to the Atletico Madrid career and let me guess… You signed Mariano Vella ;-)

PS: Good to know your site is back!

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Sayam Khan

Thanks Sayam, I can’t believe how badly Argentina did in the World Cup either. I mean the didn’t even get past the group stages. Hopefully that will all change under my management. :) Vella is one of my signing :) I couldnt resist.

ps I’m glad the sites back too.

plobdork
plobdork
10 years ago

wow wat a team a bit dissapointed about you piking argentina but alwell wat can i do

p.s who did ghana beat in the final and where was it hosted :) :)

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  plobdork

Hey Plobdork. To be honest I almost took the England job because its my nation and a great challenge. But I want to save that for my Newcastle save hen its continued. Plus I dont see how we will ever see a better side than the Argentina one. So felt it would be good for you all to see them. :)

ps Ghana beat Germany 2-0 in the final and the hosts were Russia.

plobdork
plobdork
10 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

have you finished your newcastle slot or are you carring on afterwards dont call me a cheat or olt but id like to carry on wiv the story mainy because i want to get a new jobin a country :) :)

p.s- ghana beat germany bet they have a gud manager :) :) :)

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  plobdork

We don’t use the word cheat on this site Plobdork…we can’t prove beyond doubt that anyone cheats so we don’t accuse. :) I am still carrying on the Newcastle game after my Ultimate European challenge, there is still a lot to do like manage England, :) However, it will be available for download when the game is complete. I’ve looked at the Ghana side and they have no regens just a good side…not great. Can’t believe they beat Germany. Get this right, Brazil, Argentina, England and SPAIN were knocked out in the group stages…ridiculous.

kevin
kevin
10 years ago

Hi Darren
It seems you can’t go wrong with Argentina, those regens are amazing. Very nice appointment with A. Madrid and you’ve already started to work the Smith magic in La liga. Good luck!

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  kevin

Hi Kevin, the Argentina squad is incredible and I can’t wait for the Copa America at the end of the season. Though Messi and one of my best regens are out for 3 to 4 months so they’ll be hard pushed to make it. We will see how the season develops but I am happy with my Ath Madrid team…after the new signings that is. :)

Birdy
10 years ago

Good choice on both clubs mate i can see you winning the spanish league in a season or two. Good luck mate. A way of winning is beating every other team and loose four games to barca and real twice :D

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Birdy

Thanks Birdy, Argentina are great and Ath Madrid are my best chance of winning La Liga. I also agree with you win em’ all except Barca and Real theory…that League is really tough because they just don’t stop winning. :)

ryanlynch
ryanlynch
10 years ago

weldone darren, argentina seem like a quality team,, hey its funny i left juventus for atletico madrid aswell :P

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  ryanlynch

Thanks Ryan, Argentina are the best I’ve seen…you’ll have Ath Madrid while Forlan and co are still around I assume. I still have Reyes and Aguero who are holding the hinges together :)

Wazz
Wazz
10 years ago

You’re making some good decisions here Darren and Argentina with a lot of great players, you can win a lot of things with them. Aguero, Dzagoev and Zhirkov will definitely help you to achieve succes with At. Madrid. Ghana winning the world cup? Crazy.
Good luck Darren!!

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Wazz

Thanks Wazz, I think Argentina can go a long way but in International football you lose if the tactics aren’t right. I still have a lot of work to do in finding their best tactics and starting XI. I’m not sure if I can get any trophies in my first year at Ath Madrid but the new signings revealed soon will certainly help. :)

ps Ghana and the World Cup…crazy I know.

Lye
Lye
10 years ago

Hi Darren,

Looking at the regens, you can’t be too wrong managing Argentina. Good wealth of attacking talents at your disposal. The only problem i can is your selection which can cause you headaches.

At Madrid is a good club and some good players. You have made a good choice or rather their board made a smart move in appointing you as their manager. Hope you enjoy your career managing club and nation. Good luck.

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Lye

Hey Lye, the regens are simply brilliant. I’ll struggle to find a better side and am looking forward to managing them.

Ath Madrid are also very good. Spain is tough with Real and Barca but I’ll give it my best :)

Timmy
Timmy
10 years ago

Hi Darren,you make a great desicions choose Argentina,they got a lot of great regen,and great desicion to choose At Madrid.They have good finance and big transfer budget.Hope you won World Cup :)

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Timmy

Hey Timmy, I can’t wait for the Copa America to see my Argentina side in a competition. They really are great and Ath Madrid should be good enough to challenge Barca and Real. The careers getting exciting now. :)

Timmy
Timmy
10 years ago

Urgh,im forgot to ask some question
can i see Ansaldi,Otamendi,and Nicolas Burdisso stats?
and who is the oldest player in your Argentine squad?

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Timmy

No problem Timmy, I have in fact added a requests area to my forum and if you follow the below link, you’ll find these screenshots.

http://allthatisfootballmanager.com/forum1/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=68.0#postid-665

Johnny Karp
10 years ago

After having a look at those regens I fully understand your choice Darren, those are sensational players! You have made a great choice with Atletico, you still have Aguero and a good transfer budget to spend. I guess you won’t be able to stop Barcelona this season but a top three finish is quite likely. Good luck!

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

Thanks Johnny, the regens are incredible and I’m looking forward to the Copa America at the end of this season. :) Barca have a huge advantage and I can’t see them dropping that many points all season. All I can do is try and win every game though :) You never know on FM

Sibo
Sibo
10 years ago

I am a long time reader and I just want to say congrats on everything you have achieved and I hope you can destroy the European Challenge! I think I may start my own after I get the January update, once again, congratulations.

Thanks.

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Sibo

Thanks Sibo, I always find it surprising to hear people have been following my blog for a long time. :) Its really nice to know you enjoy the posts and stories. I look forward to hearing from you again and let me know when your ready to join the challenge. :)

Ana Garcia
Ana Garcia
10 years ago

Hi Darren,

Nice to see you finally manage in the best league! ;)

Should be interesting to see how you get on and also how well you can compete against both Barca and Real Madrid as money may be your biggest worry. You did get a good transfer budget though what are you finances like?

At least you still have Aguero! Good luck! :)

Darren Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Ana Garcia

Hi Ana, Spain is definitely the toughest league to win.

To be honest I haven’t been too bad money wise. There’s £20 million in the bank and the board have offered a further £25 million for transfers. I have managed to sign players that will help me challenge straight away.

FM 2021 Latest

Recent Posts

Subscribe to our Newsletter

FM 2021 Player Lists

More in archived posts