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FM 2012 Scarborough AFC season 16 report: A sale too far?

Hey guys and welcome to my FM 2012 Scarborough AFC season 16 report. Let me start by apologizing for the amount of time I’ve left between posts. From funneling a tonne of time into the Scouting Network to sorting out my new house, life has been a little hectic and prevented me from playing this save at its usual pace. But that aside let me remind you of last seasons progress. Scarborough spent season 15 retaining the Premier League title, Champions League and FA Cup…all great achievements but this campaign will see the quality of player drop again as I attempt to decrease the wage bill further by offloading yet more stars. So enough intro, lets get dug into the season itself.

We’ll begin today’s post with an update on Scarborough’s finance and reputation standings. Financially the club looks sound coming in at a valuation of £475 million. This leaves us in 5th place behind Arsenal, Marseille, Barcelona and Real Madrid. I would like to break the top three next season.

As for the clubs reputation, we have come a long way and now sit 3rd just behind Man City in second and Barcelona who are first. My overall aim is to top this table, but to already be above the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal is a huge achievement for such a tiny club.

Before the official pre-season began, I had an interesting job offer enter my inbox. Due to Spain’s dreadful World Cup which saw them leave the competition after a 1st knockout round loss to Cameroon, they parted company with Gerardo Lopez. Truth be told this was a long time coming as the previous manager had made a real hash of the last few major tournaments. After researching their national pool and considering the crop of youth coming through I just had to take the job.

However, one day after signing on the dotted line I received a whole host of other International job offers including the Argentina, Italy, England and Mexico posts. While I was tempted to drop everything for England, I just felt that would make the game unrealistic so decided to stick by my original decision…I guess you’d never see a manager take charge of a nation then leave for another within days of receiving the job ;)

So we’ll look at my results with the Spanish national side later, but for now lets go back to sunny Scarborough and check the seasons expectations. My board are expecting another title challenge this year and prepared to part with £258 million in transfers, that is an obscene amount and I want to be making money not spending it so that budget is nothing more than decorative for now. As for the media, they pit Man City as favorites for the title again, all despite my 5 consecutive victories and Chelsea’s four consecutive runners up medals…I’m sure they don’t have a history book!

Now we move onto what could be the most decisive part of my season, transfers. I’ll start with my summer signings, very few players joined the club all of which will be in the reserves to develop for a few seasons. I signed a young keeper called Comminges for £1.6 million, he is worth the small fee but I am not sure he can develop enough. However, the next signing has great potential and I have no doubts over his ability, Barry Parson’s joined for £3 million from Arsenal and should be one of the best English midfielders around in years to come. Last but not least we have 15 year old Geiger who cost £5 million, a lot for his age but this kid is destined to be world class playing center back or as a ball winning midfielder. A total of £9.5 million was spent investing in youth this season.

Now we move onto the departures and some huge names left Scarborough this summer. Mokoena who has been by far my best midfielder joined Marseille for £43 million, my best defender, Pedro, also left for OM in a deal worth £40 million. Josh Ross who has been my most successful player since joining at the age of 15 left for Liverpool, the midfielder demanded a move away and I could only get £18 million despite the Englishmen been valued at £24 million :( But I won’t moan, Ross played 476 games for Scarborough scoring 90 goals and was a first team player since we were in the Blue Square Premier. Those were the biggest sales and all left so I could develop their replacements with first team football and also offload the hefty wages. A total of £109 million was raised in the summer equaling a total profit of almost £100 million.

Super Cup final and CWC results

We’ll start my competitive season with the Euro Super Cup, our opponents were Betis and if I’m honest I had this one down as an easy win. But boy was I wrong! Betis took an early lead before Pierre equalized, we were then pegged back again as the Spanish side scored with thanks to some shocking defending. Every chance they had seemed golden whereas all of mine were falling by the wayside. Thankfully two super subs turned the tie around with goals on the 75th and 92nd minute. Scarborough did lift the trophy but only just…I was hoping this wouldn’t be a sign of things to come.

As for the Club World Championships, Scarborough breezed though the semi-final thrashing Al-Ittihad 6-2. The final wasn’t so easy though, we were to play the only side that had ever beaten me in this competition, Sao Paulo. And the buggers did it again during a very frustrating 1-0 loss…Sao Paulo and Arsenal are two sides I hate playing!!

Premier League results – First half of season

As ever I wanted the perfect start to my league campaign, while it wasn’t perfection I couldn’t have asked for much more with 13 wins, a loss to Chelsea and draw to Spurs.

This spectacular start still wasn’t enough to take top spot, leaving Scarborough third just one point behind both Man City and Chelsea but with a game in hand.

After a great start and with confidence through the roof I took the opportunity to sell a few more star players. Recently signed left winger, Gil, joined AC Milan for £20.5 million…not a bad deal as I signed him for £9 million a few seasons ago. But that sale was masked by what the fans have called an aberration!!! That’s right I sold Southern to Arsenal for £44 million, the strikers contract was ending in a few years and he would not settle for less than £130K per week, he was already on more than £95K and I couldn’t stomach the wages anymore.

Premier League results – Second half of season

With some big name departures angering the fans, I had to act quickly and prove I made the right move. Thankfully the team pulled together winning the next five games 4-0. We carried this good form forward winning 14, drawing 3 and losing just one of  our remaining matches. This run included the record breaking 9-1 victory over Everton and saw Southern’s replacement, Diez, score 9 goals.

Some amazing scorelines helped Scarborough lift the Premier League title for a sixth consecutive season, leading the way by 8 points after scoring 108 goals.

League Cup results

Not the most prestigious competition English Football has to offer, but certainly one I don’t take lightly. After fielding a full strength squad against Man City at home, we won the tie on penalties…just to be drawn away from home to Chelsea of all teams. I used another strong XI but had to stand a 4-1 thrashing, this was a real low point in the season.

FA Cup results

After our League Cup disappointment there seemed to be more pressure on this competition. I enjoyed an easy early run beating Graham St Prims in the third round before beating Peterborough in the fourth round. We then gained revenge over Chelsea by beating them away from home 3-1, before knocking Sheffield United out to reach the semi-final. Manchester United put up a fight but lost 2-1 leaving just Arsenal in our way…Arsenal in the FA Cup final, AGAIN! Great!!

FA Cup final vs Arsenal

Venue: Wembley

Attendance: 90,000

Starting formations:

Arsenal set up with a very attacking looking formation but it was not tactics that caught my eye. The name Southern showing on an Arsenal team sheet is something I still haven’t adjusted to and I just hoped he wouldn’t be our downfall in this match. I’ll leave you with the match highlights, Scarborough are in red and Arsenal are playing in navy blue.

Match highlights: Click here to see the FA Cup final match highlights

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Match stats:

When Southern scored the opening goal after 21 minutes I feared the worst, if this wasn’t a sign of bad management I didn’t know what was. However, Scarborough were the better side and it showed on 59 minutes as we equalized and again in injury as Southern’s replacement, Diez scored the winner.

Champions League results

Onto the most important competition of the season, the Champions League. An easy group draw saw my boys beat Benfica, Austria Wien and Shakhtar both home and away.

We managed the perfect points total and even scored more than three goals a game on average. This gave me a really good feeling about the competition and our chances.

But this game has a nasty habit of shocking you when you least expect it. I drew AC Milan in the 1st knockout round and while the Italians are strong, I expected to win comfortably. But my boys were outplayed in both legs, we lost away 3-1 and could only win 1-0 at home. Both performances were lackluster and seemed to miss commitment. So for the first time in FM 2012 I exit the Champions League before the quarter-finals, this left me in shock to be honest.

Squad stats and finances

After a mixed season I was left to ponder my big name sales, had I taken it a little too far? The big issues at hand were Mokoena and Southern, Mokoena being my best BMW and one that seemed to be dearly missed in the League Cup and Champions League. Southern’s clinical finishing resulted in him been the top EPL scorer after moving to Arsenal, so would those goals have changed my European fate had I not sold the fans favorite?? The honest answer is I don’t know.

What I do know is that three players have developed wonderfully and played incredibly well this season. Luis Diez scored 22 goals and assisted 6 times upfront after replacing Southern this season. The Spaniard has been with us since the age of 17 and is now starting to blossom aged 22. Right winger Nene has developed well since joining the club 6 seasons ago for £1.6 million. This season the Brazilian scored 13 goals and assisted 16 times. I have also been impressed with central defender, Herrera who got a 7.23 average rating. The Mexican has become key since joining three seasons ago for a tiny £325K.

Towards the end of the season I checked my upgrade options in the board room, I was only aloud to invest in the junior coaching which is now seen as excellent.

Financially we reaped the benefits of a mass squad clear out. Last season saw my balance reach £135 million, and we finished this season with £200 million. Considering our whopper transfer profit of £163 million its clear the club is leaking cash somewhere down the line…it could be the small stadium, taxes or just a very greedy chairmen but as long as I can keep the club growing then this story will continue. Once that is no longer possible I may have to consider a different challenge.

Results with Spain

I decided to use the same tactic for Spain as I have with Scarborough, it allows artistic license upfront but is built around a solid defense. With great prospects such as Jose Maria and Fernandez (click names to see profiles,) I felt indestructible. But the International scene can be a tough nut to crack and this save was no exception. I lost my first game in charge during a Friendly to England. The team then seemed to get to grips with my tactic beating Belgium, Malta and Cyprus in the Euro Championship qualifiers. But we then took two more steps backward as Italy beat us 2-1 and Australia 2-0 both in Friendly matches again. It was all victories from there on out, but those Friendly slip ups were worrying. Because I don’t know what the issue is I will just plug on for now and only consider a tactical change if poor performances raise their head again.

A perfect ECQ campaign has left Spain top of group C with maximum points leaving us 6 above Belgium. We still have a few more games to go but qualification looks certain now.

Well that is it for today’s post, I hope you enjoyed the read and will be back next time as I try to win back my Champions League crown. Until then please feel free to comment below and apologies again for the late post.

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saltwater
saltwater
9 years ago

Risky waters with more big sales, but congratulations nevertheless on that amazing F.A Cup win as it definetly was deserved. This club is now for sure running on its own accord and although the A.C Milan defeat was an exepected loss you will only come back stronger.

Graham St Prims? Never heard of them before :D
Good luck with season 17!

Ronan Donovan
9 years ago

Hi Darren.Interesting season.Pity about the Champions league but you had a good run of winning it and it was bound to end some time.It was still a very good season with 2 major trophies in domestic football to celebrate so I would still be happy.

I don’t know if the sales were a little overkill.I think you were just unlucky against Milan.You got good money in from those sales and had good young players to replace them so it wasn’t bad really.But I probably wouldn’t have been as bold as to sell so many top players around the same time.Winning the league showed though that it didn’t have that much of an effect in my opinion.

Your financial policy seems a very good one and it’s possibly wise that you don’t spend much on players.But I would still be inclined to maybe get one big name signing a season.You can definitely afford it.I understand your reluctance to splash out though.

But wd on another good season.Hope you get the Champions league back.Good luck next season.Hope to see another blog soon

Ahmed Shah
9 years ago

Hi man, great season, I actually think you’re doing great, every club has to go through a transitional period and the loss to Milan was merely a bump in the road.
One request, can you please post the progress and the stats of Josh Moss? I had totally forgotten that he’s been with you since the Blue Square Premier, imagine playing there and then winning Premier League after Premier League year after year! :D please post his stats.

TheZiggy
9 years ago

Seems really strange to see you dumped out of the Champions League so early, but the form in the Premier League was very impressive. It seems to had a dip in form in the February, because it seems at around the same time you had a draw and a loss in the league. It’s always hard to be sure when you sell so many players, how much difference any one of them would have made to the European campaign. I’m sure you’ll do much better again next season, and this was just a blip.

Martin 'Pellow' Pickard

Hey Darren!

Great post as always and congrat on winning another Premier League title! I love how you implement your Y2G system into all your stories…definitely help keeps you interested in your stories…shame I could do the save in my Anzhi save :/. Unlucky in your Champions League campaign…the extra cash would have definitely helped. Keep you the good work and i’m looking forward to your next post :)

Ana Garcia
9 years ago

Yay Spain!!! :)

Am so glad you have chosen to mange them but even thinking about leaving them for England it just madness! ;)

But I’ll forgive you! Am so glad also to see a Spaniard leading the way for your team and once again congrats for winning the FA cup and the league!

Champions league was an odd one, but I too have found myself on the wrong side of strange results but I guess losing away at AC Milan isnt too bad then getting beat 9-0 by Arsenal de Sarandi!

As always good luck Darren!

Conor Donovan
9 years ago

Obviously after winning the Champions League 3 or 4 times it’s of course going to be disappointing to only reach the second round this time. But you still had excellent success in the couple of domestic competitions you won, and in particular the league must be very satisfying with the massive points and goals scored totals you got. It was really impressive.

Ultimately you’ll unfortunately be judged on how you did in the Champions League and that wasn’t great. I do think those signings did cost you. You may have won it otherwise. But it’s something you probably had to do. You have committed to slashing the wage bill and you can’t do it in half measures. You have to do whatever is necessary and if that means sacrificing good results in the short term, so be it.

I don’t think I would have the courage to do it to be honest. But I think you will be rewarded in the long term for it. All you need now is that new stadium! :/

Heresy
Heresy
9 years ago

Congrats on winning the EPL 6th time in a row! If anything, this shows your boys are world class players despite losing some of the key members of your squad. The Y2G system has only one fault – you cannot get attached to players because you will be selling them at some point or other. However, seeing Southern in an Arsenal shirt must have been heartbreaking! That was some ballsy decision from you.

As for your leakage, I highly doubt your chairman has anything to do with it, having previously put in millions of pounds in the kitty himself. Taxes are a bish though, so are bonuses in players’ contracts! You also need to nag the board about a new stadium. I’m astonished they haven’t built a new facility having all that money to spend and all that club status increased! It’s just crazy! As if they expect a serious decline in your form in the next few years which would make building a big capacity stadium a waste of money…. that’s the only explanation I can think of.

Let’s hope all the real life fuss is behind you and you can concenrate on the game and bring us updates more frequently :) Cheers!

Heresy
Heresy
9 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

I see, didn’t know about the 15 year restriction. Have you expanded the stadium to its limits then? And what’s your attendance?

Well, the Y2G system relies on an extensive scouting network, nothing can be done about decreasing expenses there.

Keeping my fingers crossed for the next season. Let’s hope your replacements to the key members prove worthy of your trust :)

Kevin
9 years ago

Hey Darren!!

Welcome back :)

I was quite shocked to see the amountof players you sold off compared to the ones brought in but you still mananged to win the EPL so congrats!
Do you think all those players being sold off created a Bridge to Far for the Champions League?
Anyway, you did the double and great job with Spain too!

Curly
Curly
9 years ago

Hey, gratz on the domestic double (I know I’d be over the moon hahaha)… Of course Europe is the ultimate stage but hey you can’t succeed every year.

After toppling the mighty Scarborough in Europe for the first time since… a very long time…could my beloved Milan go on to win the trophy..?

Lye
Lye
9 years ago

Even though the fan favorite Southern was sold but you have capable backup to take his place. I agree with most of the comments here. This is just a transition period. But then you are still the best team in the Premiership and in the cup competition, only the in-form team will win. I am sure next season we will see a better team and results.

Johnny Karp
9 years ago

An excellent season overall, you made a truckload of money and also managed to grab some important silverware in the process. It wasn’t a clean sweep, no doubt about that, but this was a transition season in my view. Congrats on the Spain job as well ;)

Tegar Triemanudigdo
9 years ago

Well, I suppose it wasn’t great journey there for the seadogs, but hey, at least you get yourself a BPL title nonetheless. I just want to see whether the young boys can develop into ‘monster’ after you sell those big players to help the finance.

In any case, I’ll be looking on the next chapter, and keep your heads up there!

John
John
9 years ago

Great season considering those transfers out! No idea how you manage to find such talented replacements!! What tactic is it that you are using? Is there a download for it? I just wanna understand how you get your players to play. I struggle with a tactics as I feel after 1 loss that I haven’t made good decisions in designing it..

Diogo Rodrigues
9 years ago

Hi Darren. I’ve read lately your amazing story, congratulations for your achievments. Although this season wasn’t “european perfect” (like your used to :p) I believe that you can bring back the Champions to your club. Look, one question. Are you already in top of Hall of Fame? ;)

Diogo Rodrigues
9 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

Yeah, Sir Alex Ferguson is, definitely, the number one trainer of all times with United, in real life and FM too. I have the same problem with my saves!

Mohammad Sadek
9 years ago

Hi Darren , I think it ‘s very good season & although it is disappointing to lose the Champions league this season i think it ‘ll be more joyful when you ‘ll win it next season “hopefully you ‘ll do”

Malhar Bhadbhade
9 years ago

hi darren,
wow, i was shocked to see you lose in the round of 16 too. i think the players leaving certainly would have affected the team, since they still need time to get used to it. But i am sure you will bounce back next season. so good luck :)

Alex
Alex
9 years ago

Long time no see, Darren.

It’s good that you are selling stars after the takeover making it way too easy. Good challenge, hopefully it pays off with finances while maintaining success.

Dan
Dan
9 years ago

Hey Darren,
I actually thought I had commented on this post but apparently not, I must have just imagined it! Must be the sudden heat or something! ;)

Anyway, it’s still a good season and I’m sure many FM players would love a season that productive (me included) despite the frustrations in Europe. It’s all the more impressive considering the talent you offloaded.

MRDNRA
MRDNRA
9 years ago

Another excellent League and FA Cup win. As for friendly losses with Spain, that could just be down maybe to complacency, I had a similar issue managing England in my main FM2011 save, it always seemed that we won every competitive game and lost most of the friendlies!

CsAtlantis
9 years ago

Oooooh, wondered when this was going to happen Darren, finally Southern has been sold! Nice to see that Fabricio and Diez have stepped up, at least you retained the league title despite selling off around half of your first team

I wonder how Australia beat you 0-2, when you only lose to England and Italy by 1 goal! A bit like the real life Spain team, at least you’re doing really well in competitive fixtures ;)

Alec
Alec
9 years ago

Hie Darren

Great work here.
Just wondering, what logo pack do you use? I cant seem to find one with enough clubs in. Would be great if you could help me out.

Cheers

Alec
Alec
9 years ago
Reply to  Alec

Oops, meant ‘Hi’.
Als, I’m managing Oxford Utd (League 2), what attributes do I look for when buying young players that could grow into world class players, suc as Southern?
Thanks.

silva
silva
9 years ago

How did Real Betis get in the UEFA Super Cup?, I was surprised you sold Southern but well done on with winning the F.A Cup and Premier League I am going to start using your Y2G system

Primož
Primož
9 years ago

Hey Darren! I like your story. I would be honored if you could play a few seasons with your database. If you do not adapt to this beautifully ask me if you can send to gmail. Thank you Darren.

Primož
Primož
9 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

aha Leghinf_v1.259_FAC.dbc is database? season 16?

Primož
Primož
9 years ago

My email address is hozjan89@gmail.com

Charlie
Charlie
9 years ago

Hi Darren,

your success is truly remarkable. Great job on that. Could you provide us with some details regarding your 4-3-3 tactics?

Thanks in advance,

Charlie

Charlie
Charlie
9 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

Thanks. you. I started a new story with Nimes Olympique in the 3rd division in France and have adopted your system. So far, up to February of the first season, I am top of the table with the least goals against. My finances are maxed out, but I am hoping to bring in a young poacher, a play maker, and a goaltender.

Perhaps I’ll start a story on your site.

Alfie
Alfie
9 years ago

wow Darren, you are completely amazing at this. To do the double after a clear out like that is simply awesome!! I’m completely new to this site so pardon my asking, what is the Y2G system and where can i read more on it??

Jack
Jack
9 years ago

Great story and great patience. I need to get better at staying with one club! I was wondering if you could give me a few tips on how to create the perfect youth system in terms of the coaches, scouts, recruitment etc. If there is already a post sorry but i couldn’t find it.
Thanks!

Jack
Jack
9 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

Thanks for the advice!

Zaidan
Zaidan
9 years ago

Dude, in my first game in charge, I beat Italy 4-0 with a hat-trick from Fernando Torres(HAHA) and a goal from Silva if I’m not wrong. David De Gea was unstoppable. He saved a close-range absolute missile header from Giuseppe Rossi.

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