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Darren – Ultimate European Challenge, world cup draw and a new club 17/18


Hey guys and welcome back to my FM 2011 Ultimate European Challenge. During my last post, you saw Argentina triumph in the Confederations Cup while my search for a new club ended in disappointment. I can confirm that after 18 months, one of the big boys finally offered me a job. I will reveal who soon enough, but first off lets see how my WCQ with Argentina finished.

South American World Cup qualifying results and table

After a very nervous but entertaining 4-3 victory against Paraguay, my side all but guaranteed top spot. This led to some foot loose football and a lot of goals. While Uruguay were brushed aside 2-0 away from home, Colombia buried their heads in the sand after losing 7-0. Argentina then dismantled Peru away from home 3-0 to cap off a brilliant qualifying group.

Talk about qualifying in style, we won all our games bar one draw and managed an incredible 72 goals. That means Argentina scored an average of 4 goals every game. Brazil qualified in second along with Uruguay and Chile. While poor old Colombia will be entered into a play-off. OK its time for the World Cup draw, hold onto your hats!

World Cup 2018 draw

What an anti-climax :( Argentina were drawn alongside Scotland, Ghana and Honduras. Seems like an easy group but Scotland do have four or five amazing regens while the rest of their squad may as well stay at home. Ghana won the World Cup four years ago and still have the majority of those players, while Honduras may as well save on the plane ticket. The two toughest groups are group E and H. England, Croatia, Uruguay and Canada will be tough to call. Then Brazil, Portugal, Cameroon and Saudi Arabia could pull out a shock. Having said that the 2014 World Cup saw Brazil, Argentina, Italy, England and Holland all knocked out in the group stages so you never know what will happen. OK enough of Argentina, we have a lot to cover with my new club and they are………

Darlington of League Two

 

Only kidding…sorry I couldn’t help myself! The club I am really managing is………

That’s right, the 18 month wait was worth it as Chelsea sacked Jones and hired me a day after receiving my application. It would seem the London club have fallen from grace recently. They finished outside the top three for the last four seasons, two of which saw Chelsea fall below 6th place. Below is what I have to contend with in the BPL…ow dear, what was Jones doing?

I certainly have a task on my hands here, Chelsea are 13th and eleven points off 4th position which is my goal for the season. Looking through the squad Chelsea’s last manager left behind, I have little hope for attacking football. Tafer is a good player but the other strikers will struggle. The wingers are average at best while the CM’s are all over 30 :( Even Chelsea’s back four is bad which goes against everything they currently are in real life.

Not the squad I wanted, but that’s not why I joined Chelsea. Their stature, reputation and money drew me in. Abramovich waved a transfer budget of £53 million and £600K a week extra towards wages. I will be down sizing the wage budget and increasing that transfer budget to over £70 million, hopefully. I have another 2 months to wait before I can reform the squad, so until then I’ll have to make do. Let’s see how I coped in the EPL.

Premier League results: November-December

A great set of results, especially with some bad morale and players that don’t suit my tactic. I can waver the fine margins, because getting through the 2 months was all that mattered. The league table is starting to look more favourable for the Chelsea faithful. After 6 straight wins, I find myself in sixth position and just four points away from the Champions League places.

The Europa League also went quite well. After beating easy opposition we are through to the first knockout round. Not much to report here other than finishing first.

We now have the second half of the season to look forward to. A lot of tough opponents await and we will need a lot of good form if the top four is to be breached. However, I have made some massive signings during January and spent in excess of £90 million. I know this is far too much, but the squad really isn’t good enough to challenge and these drastic moves were vital.

Tom Cairney (central midielder)

The Chelsea squad has a lack of attacking midfielders. I also have to sign three players trained in England as we don’t have enough to comply with the regulations. Therefore Cairney was the best option at a reasonable price. Cairney will be rotated with my top regen Blackwell.

Vladimir Weiss (right winger)

Weiss was bought from Barcelona for £15 million. We are currently relying on McGeady alone to fill the right wing, but he can’t play every game and I feel he is under par for my plans with Chelsea.

Kyle Walker (right back)

I know Walker is very much border line on qualifying as a world class player. But I see far beyond his attributes and have seen the Englishmen before extremely well. Kyle can defend as well as attack and will be my key defender. I think £13.5 million is a decent price for such a good player.

Mike Godwin (left wing)

This regen is extremely good and I snatched him away from an awesome Marseille squad. £20 million is a lot of cash but Godwin is well worth it. He’ll be my number one left winger in place of Perotti.

Ivan Petrovic (striker)

I always save the best till last and this regen is probably one of the best strikers around. A huge £31.5 million was paid to Palermo for his services. The Croatian has scored 14 goals in 14 games for Palermo in Serie A this season and look amazing. The perfect poacher and I think he’ll terrorize Premier League defences.

Well that is it for today’s update. Sorry for making it so long, I just wanted to share everything that has happened. The next five months will be important, but the two after that will be career defining. The World Cup is edging closer and I have a special two part post planned for you all. :) Until next time thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments as always.

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Davewig1980
Davewig1980
9 years ago

Excellent stuff with the Argies and weaving the magic once more with Chelsea! I wouldn’t be surprised if you won the league this season!

Darren Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  Davewig1980

Cheers Dave, I think the league title will be a little too far this season though. I am feeling a dodgey run in the making and can’t remember how to avoid it after my amazing Argentina. :)

Sears
9 years ago

Great signings Darren. Hopefully you can secure Champions League qualification with Chelsea as well. £90 mil is a lot to spend and some of those wages look inflated as well compared to the players respective ability. I’m starting to break away from playing just a normal game of FM where you just sign who you want and spend ridiculous amounts of cash. It gets to boring when you win, win and win all around you. There’s only two teams close to my heart now on FM11, and they are Queens Park for their amateur status and Athletic Bilbao or their Basque policy. Good luck anyhow :-p

Darren Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  Sears

I agree Sears, I too am getting bored with the big money signings etc…in fact thats why I’m spending so big, I just want to complete the challenge asap, then move onto a lower league challenge.

Liam101
Liam101
9 years ago

Great results and signings darren. In my UEC also took over chelsea and I just don’t know what all the previousmanagers are doing. They have bought about 15 average players such as donovan, suarez and other 30 year old no hopers. Suarez is a lot better but i just couldn’t remember most of them. Hope you can turn it arounf though and get chelsea back to where we belong.

Darren Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  Liam101

Cheers Liam, it weird how rubbish some CPU managers can be and they all populate around Chelsea it seems. Well I am hopeful of a title within the first two years so hopefully that will happen regardless of the rubbish team left behind. :)

fmcrazy
9 years ago

Those regens are immense! Petrovic is amazing and 31.5M should be worth it. Good luck for the rest of the season, a good run in Europe would be great :)

Darren Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  fmcrazy

They are amazing mate, especially Petrovic. I would like to win the FA Cup and qualify for the Champions League. My new signings are cup tied for Europe so that will be a struggle

Johnny Karp
9 years ago

Great signings Darren, I would bet on a title at this point! You’re only 12 points behind Liverpool but with a game in hand, it’s completely possible! The Europa League should also be a realistic target and a good piece of silverware to be added to your already impressive CV.

Darren Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

Thanks Johnny, wish I was as optimistic as you. Liverpool and Man City have incredible strikers, so it will take some luck for them to drop enough points. Plus I have an awful fixture list coming up with loads of away games. :(

Wazz
Wazz
9 years ago

As always, you’re really really great Darren with both Argentina and Darlington.. Sorry, Chelsea. :D The Chelsea squad looks great. You’re gonna do really well with them.
Good luck!

Darren Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  Wazz

lol :) I thought the Darlington thing was a little funny. Hopefully Chelsea won’t play like a League Two side now I’m in charge :)

Lye
Lye
9 years ago

Hi Darren,

Chelsea is a really good challenge. Look at what you have done to them once you took over. From 13th to 6th, that’s simply brilliant. Great quality signings there in January. I believe you have no problems in climbing up once more. I won’t be surprise if you win the title. There are still a lot of games to play for. Good luck.

Darren Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  Lye

Thanks Lye. Thankfully we started with really easy fixtures and that helped the morale increase again. With momentum on our side its the perfect time to play Arsenal and Man City etc. :)

LTN
LTN
9 years ago

Hi Darren,

I’ve been a long time fan of your website since you were using the Blogger platform. Besides from telling you the things you already know (great job etc) I want to ask you one thing: How can you make your side winning while they have such low morale levels. This is the only thing I cannot handle in FM, thats why when I manage a low morale team, I tend to make 10 at least transfers. How you do this, can you tell me?

P.S Cairney and the Croatian regen are great players

Darren Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  LTN

Hi LTN, always nice to hear someone has followed the site for so long. Not sure if you do, but do you remember when I managed Napoli in FM 2010. During the second season we were top in January and looking amazing. Then a few players started moaning for a move away and the whole team morale dropped…I could never get them back to normal after that. We lost the title and the players didn’t fulfil their potential. So in answer to your question I’m not sure how to get the morale up again. I got lucky with Chelsea as I came in as a new manager which naturally gets the players fired up…add to this our easy fixtures and I just got lucky. However, I would say team talks are the way to help this and praising your players when they perform well. Sorry I couldn’t help anymore mate, it is one area I’m a little naive to.

fmcrazy
9 years ago
Reply to  LTN

LTN, you’re the person who does the vlog (video blog) that Vitaly promotes on his site right? I watched a couple and I enjoyed it, well done mate! Darren is correct with what he says, but when praising players for performances be careful, if they feel it is undeserved and the conversation doesn’t end well then it can decrease morale further (if possible). Morale is hard to master unless your team plays well, but lots of transfers don’t usually help as others feel they have competition and get depressed.

CsAtlantis
CsAtlantis
9 years ago

Darren you’ve got an easy group in the World Cup, might have to watch out for complacency there :P

You didn’t really need to spend the money, right? After all you did win 6 in 6 with you’re so called crap team ;P, that Croatian looks really good though his flair is worrying, might not see anything too special from him :P but being 21 he has room for improvement there, good luck on getting into one of the Champions League positions, who knows you could win the BPL and FA Cup too :D

Darren Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  CsAtlantis

Hi CsAtlantis,

I didn’t need to spend sooo much, but I had to fill those positions as any injuries would leave me in trouble. Plus the fixtures were easy and this team wouldn’t cope with any sort of a challenging club. The money is more of an investment towards next year I think.

I agree with you on Petrovic’s flair, he certainly won’t play like Aguero but he can definitely score and thats what I’m after. We’ll see how the season goes, but a BPL title would mean beating all the best teams I reckon.

Timmy
Timmy
9 years ago

Hi,happy to see you(finally)get job.
Actually i don’t like Chelsea,but it’s okay,well you will don’t believe me but i got a almost same regen like petrovic and he is from Palermo too
Good luck(btw how old is dmytro and bonucci?)

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
9 years ago

Well done with Argentina Darren, I’m predicting that you’ll win the World Cup, and the draw has been kind to you. Interesting new job with Chelsea, it looks like they had really fallen from the elite, but I’m sure you’ll change that with your new signings, who all look really good. I reckon you can get into the top 4 this season and challenge for the title, I don’t think winning it is beyond you either. Good luck!

Darren Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  Laxeyman

Thanks Laxeyman, my Argentina side have a great chance in the World Cup but we’ll also need a little luck as always. I don’t think the Chelsea squad is good enough for the title even with my new additions. However, a top four finish is the main goal. It will all come down to how the other contenders perform really.

fmcrazy
9 years ago

You need more activity on this site! I miss reading some of the stories here, get some FMCrowd people here to liven the place up ;)

Darren Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  fmcrazy

There are a few reasons for the lack of activity recently. The first is one I can’t discuss yet but will all make sense soon. The other is because of problems with my hosts servers. They’ve been on and off lately and causing mayhem which I’ve been trying to fix. I’m about to publish my latest update soon so stay tuned. :)

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