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Vauxhall Motors FM 2011 Story: The End

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Here we go… It’s time for the last post, the last update, the last episode of the Vauxhall Motors Football Manager 2011 story! It’s the 89th post in this story, there were quite a few in there :) So, you all know the situation at the halfway point of the season, we were top of the table in the Premier League but just because Man United had a game in hand, we had won the Community Shield and we were still in the three cup competitions: Carling Cup, FA Cup and Champions League. Let’s see how the second part of the season went…

The Carling Cup semi final saw us taking on Manchester City and I was quite pleased to watch the first leg as we thrashed them at Vauxhall Stadium courtesy of braces from Iain McManus and Parana. The second leg didn’t start too well as the Citizens took an early 2-0 lead but thankfully we managed to restore parity and advance to the final once again.

I was quite confident before the final because we were going to face Liverpool, not a very tough opponent to be honest. But I wasn’t expecting an easy game either. Well, it turned out quite easy after all as we thumped the Reds 6-0 in a game that really saw just one team playing football at Wembley: the mighty Motormen! Lucas Cuello started things off with a superb goal and then, four goals later, Parana wrapped it up with an awesome effort. (click here to watch the highlights)

This was our third consecutive Carling Cup and fourth overall, I’m satisfied with what we have done in this competition.

Now let’s move on to the Premier League results, I was expecting a good battle for the title with Manchester United. January went pretty well for us up to a certain point, we snatched four consecutive wins at the beginning but then we were stopped by Liverpool before getting beaten again by Manchester City! That game was quite frustrating even though my lads didn’t play too well but Man City scored twice from two shots on target, that’s never easy to swallow. However, the situation at the top of the table was unchanged as we were level on points with Man United.

February was a lot better, we grabbed all our points while Manchester United dropped no less than six of them! The best game of the month for us was the 3-2 win against Arsenal, a victory that seemed highly unlikely after 40 minutes as one of my players got sent off. The lads showed great spirit in that game and pulled off a massive victory which helped us to build a six-point gap over Man United at the top of the table.

We suffered a setback in March as Ipswich managed to clinch a 2-2 draw against us but Manchester United had it far worse as they dropped four points in March due to a couple of unbelievable high-scoring draws: a 4-4 and a 6-6 against Liverpool! That means that we were enjoying a lead of 8 points at the top of the table , the title was ours to lose at that point.

The first game of April was the title decider as we were travelling to Old Trafford, Manchester United had to win it in order to get back in the title race. That didn’t happen though as my boys turned on the style and eventually won the game 2-0 courtesy of a brace from backup striker Thiago. (click here to watch the highlights) The title was secured two games later and that left us with a relaxed finale to the Premier League season.

We won the title by a considerable margin mostly because Manchester United really crashed in the last part of the season, they even lost the runner-up spot to Arsenal. We scored quite a few goals again this season but it was the defence which impressed me with only 19 goals conceded in 38 games.

This was our seventh consecutive Premier League title out of nine top-flight seasons, I guess I couldn’t have wished for more.

Now on to the Champions League, I was quite keen on winning it again after being knocked out in the semi finals last season. Things went smoothly again until the last four as we went past Sevilla and Juventus without major headaches. But then it happened again… The first leg of the semi final against Chelsea was immensely frustrating as we dominated the game from start to finish but the Blues survived the onslaught and silenced our fans with a late corner kick goal. The second leg was even more annoying as we didn’t play too well. Nevertheless, we managed to push the game into extra time but then it went to the penalty shoot-out and we lost it…

Manchester City won it eventually and that really annoys me as they have won four of these since the start of the game while we managed only three… I know that we are better than them, we have proven that in the Premier League by winning seven titles in a row but somehow they always managed to turn up for the Champions League big matches. As you can see, they have never lost in a Champions League final, that’s what I call efficiency!

The disappointing Champions League exit left us with only one more trophy to aim for, the FA Cup. We cruised to the final even though we met tough teams like Chelsea and Tottenham on the road to the final act. The most difficult test was against the Spurs in the semi final, the game went into extra time as the score was 1-1 after 90 minutes but we really nailed them in those last 30 minutes ;)

In fact, the big final was a lot easier than the semi final. We met Aston Villa in the final battle and really outplayed them throughout the 90 minutes. They had survived the onslaught for quite some time but a fortuitous goal from centre back Gerhard Heinrich finally opened the flood gates and allowed Lucas Cuello to bag a brace and wrap things up in style. (click here to watch the highlights)

This was our third consecutive FA Cup and fourth overall, it’s nice that we have won in all the finals.

My strikers had a really good season, especially Parana who scored no less than 49 goals. Zé Carlos was not up to his standards this time but there is a good excuse as he was injured for a couple of months during the second half of the season.

That wraps up my last season with Vauxhall but this post isn’t over yet, I have a few interesting statistics for you in the next page plus a nice international surprise! ;)

Go to the next page to read the rest of the story.

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  1. David Smith

    October 16, 2011 at 15:12

    My wife and kids think i am a little strange for playing a game like FM and reading the stories posted on here but if only they would embrace it for a second they will see the enjoyment at seeing how someone can take a semi-pro team to the top of Europe. An amazing story mate, I have read many of yours and I think that this one has now taken the No.1 favourite spot.
    Looking forward to a new chapter of reading in the next instalment of what is the best football game since Kevin Toms first gave us Football Manager.

    • Johnny Karp

      October 16, 2011 at 15:19

      Thanks for the kind comment David, many people can’t understand the joy that we feel while playing FM but I guess it’s their loss :)

  2. Freddie

    October 16, 2011 at 15:22

    Well done Johnny!
    An amazing story mate!

  3. Darren Smith

    October 16, 2011 at 15:56

    Superb finish Johnny, just a shame to not win the CL one last time. You took Vauxhall from a club without history to one filled with trophies and a cabinet busting at the seams. Well done mate.

    P.S. You already know what I think on the logo, its great.

    • Johnny Karp

      October 16, 2011 at 16:28

      Thanks Darren, I surely would have liked to win the CL again but it just wasn’t to be…

  4. vaibhavc

    October 16, 2011 at 16:07

    Hey Johnny
    That was a great way to end your Vauxhall save. Unlucky that you didn’t win the Champions League. It would be funny if Vauxhall tried to hire Jose Mourinho. You had a rivalry with him before, didn’t you?

    • Johnny Karp

      October 16, 2011 at 16:29

      Thanks Vaibhav. Mourinho is still under contract with Man City so I guess the Vauxhall board don’t want to pay compensation :)

  5. nielsneutron

    October 16, 2011 at 16:45

    The trible would have a very fitting end to this legendary story but it is still remarkable and impressive how dominating Vauxhall has been in the premier league.

    It would be fun to see which manager would be hired and how well he would do for a season. (Hint: I can’t get enough of your stories)

    • Johnny Karp

      October 16, 2011 at 17:35

      Haha, thanks mate. I’d be surprised if the new manager won’t win the league, the team is just too good. We did do a treble however, Carling Cup plus FA Cup plus Premier League :)

  6. paine

    October 16, 2011 at 17:22

    A great career, of course, with a great finale, M’Bow scored some key goals for your French national team, repaying your choice.
    The new logo looks nice and work well with your layout.

    • Johnny Karp

      October 16, 2011 at 17:36

      Thanks Paine, M’Bow is a Vauxhall legend and I’m happy that I managed to give him a new chance to shine in the French outfit.

  7. George Dobson

    October 16, 2011 at 18:29

    well done Johnny good luck for fm12 the new logo is great !!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

  8. Kevin

    October 16, 2011 at 18:53

    Hi Johnny
    First off thanks for bringing us another incredible story. You’ve entertained me at least for the best part of two years and you always keep every update fresh and exciting.I guess that’s why you are journalist :)
    As for Vauxhall itself the whole journey has been remarkable but the way you ended the EPL with such a massive goal difference is just incredible. Too bad about the Champions League but no such worries when you are playing at Wembley for sure.
    Love the logos and the change to red with the comment and submit button…very slick. Look forward to your new story and I’m sure this one will be equally as good if not better. Thanks again for another superb year with FMS!

    • Johnny Karp

      October 16, 2011 at 19:09

      Thanks for the kind words Kevin, I have enjoyed this story a lot and I guess it rivals my favourite (the Blyth Spartans one). I’m glad that you like the new look, hopefully we’ll be able to provide equally exciting content ;)

      • Kevin

        October 16, 2011 at 20:57

        I was actually thinking about Blyth Spartans when I was writing my comment as I ws looking at that story the other day.

        • Johnny Karp

          October 17, 2011 at 06:06

          I don’t know why but that story will always have a special place in my heart.

  9. Sears

    October 16, 2011 at 19:06

    Absolutely incredible story mate, was wondering where you got the journalist skills from :D :D

    This is the first time on FMS that you won’t be beginning as a lower league team, so I imagine the new story is going to be a lot different. I’m sure you’ll have loads of fun in Romania with the new team. Thanks for bringing us such a great story and at times it was a real roller coaster!

    Thanks bud ;)

    • Johnny Karp

      October 16, 2011 at 19:10

      Thank you Sears! Just to make things a bit clearer, I will be taking over a second-tier Romanian team so it will be a lower league story up to a certain point ;)

  10. Dan

    October 16, 2011 at 19:09

    Hey Johnny,
    Great end to a great story! I had a little giggle to myself when I saw domestic player bias on 1%, I’ve never seen that before :)

    Love the new logo too, it has a stylish aura to it. In fact I may change the skin colours on my FM12 when I get it to be like the FMS colours. Good luck with your Romanian team, if I new any I’d take a guess at who it could be but I’m not too knowledgeable about football from that part of the globe :)

    • Johnny Karp

      October 16, 2011 at 19:12

      Thanks Dan. You are right about the domestic player bias, that was one of the most interesting numbers in there :) Unfortunately there weren’t too many good domestic players available, not my fault :)

  11. TheZiggy

    October 16, 2011 at 19:34

    That’s one hell of a managerial career. Definitely a shame about the Champions League, but I guess sometimes you can’t win everything.

    Will be interesting to see the new story with a Romanian team. I still remember Lung jr, from my old QPR story, one hell of a keeper.

    • Johnny Karp

      October 16, 2011 at 19:38

      Hey Ziggy, I’m happy to “see” you again! Lung jr still is a promising keeper, he has just earned his first cap for Romania this week.

  12. Stromson

    October 16, 2011 at 20:07


    Thank you for bringing us along on such a thrilling ride. I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but your Vauxhall story is the reason I started playing Football Manager in the first place. I was curious about the game, and stumbled across this website. By the time I started reading, you were already in League 2, and you had me completely hooked. I bought the game that day, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    This was absolutely brilliant, and I can’t wait to see what you do in Romania starting next week (!). It’s a shame that you weren’t able to take the CL crown one last time, but that hardly diminishes the value. Thanks again mate, and the new logos are excellent!

    • Johnny Karp

      October 16, 2011 at 20:43

      Thanks a lot for the kind words mate, I am really happy that my story pushed you to buy the game and I’m even happier that you don’t regret the decision :)

  13. Daniel

    October 16, 2011 at 21:43

    Hey Johnny,
    Amazing story and an equally amazing finish! Your story has been an entertaining roller-coaster right from the beginning that has been interesting and fun to read. Good luck in FM2012 and hopefully you can replicate the success that you have achieved with the Motormen!

    • Johnny Karp

      October 17, 2011 at 06:01

      Thanks Daniel, it will be tough to gain so many trophies in FM 2012 but I’ll surely try :)

  14. Nicholas Phipps

    October 16, 2011 at 21:44

    Another incredible story, really enjoyed it from start to finish, and I’m interested to see who you choose to manage in FM 2012 althoughIm guessing the club will be FC Universitatea Craiova. btw, I really like the new design and badge :)

    • Johnny Karp

      October 17, 2011 at 06:02

      Thanks Nicholas. It won’t be Universitatea Craiova because the club doesn’t exist any more, it was banned from all competitions.

      • Nicholas Phipps

        October 17, 2011 at 08:21

        How come?

        • Johnny Karp

          October 17, 2011 at 08:25

          It’s a long story… In brief the Romanian FA says that the club has broken the rules by appealing an FA decision in a regular court instead of a sports court. And that’s why the club is banned from all competitions and all the players left as free agents.

  15. malhar

    October 16, 2011 at 23:02

    hey Johnny,
    It’s been an amazing story and one that i’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading. Taking a semi-professional club to being one of the best in the world is just an incredible achievement. Look forward to reading your Romanian story, i’m sure it’ll be every bit as exciting as this one. And you won everything internationally too. Great stuff. Cheers!

    • Johnny Karp

      October 17, 2011 at 06:02

      Thanks mate. The Romanian story might be a little more difficult than this one, at least in theory.

  16. Lye

    October 17, 2011 at 02:35

    Hi Johnny,

    After following the Motormen for such a long time, it’s now time to say goodbye. Thanks for the wonderful story mate. To enjoy the tour of bringing a lower league club to winning every trophy is a great feeling. At times, we share the joy when you won and the disappointment when you lost. Nonetheless, i am looking forward to the Romanian team in FM12. Managing a club from your own country has special value in it.

    P.S The new logo is great. It brings our the theme and brand of the site perfectly.

    • Johnny Karp

      October 17, 2011 at 06:03

      Thanks Lye, you produced a similar or even better story with Telford so I guess you know how it feels :)

  17. Malhar Bhadbhade

    October 17, 2011 at 03:38

    hey Johnny,
    sorry for asking an irrelevant question, but dunno where else to ask it to get a prompt reply. my fm2012 demo says my computer graphic hardware isnt good enough for 3D. but fm2011 works just fine for me on the same computer? do u have any idea what the problem could be?

    • Johnny Karp

      October 17, 2011 at 06:04

      Did you read the minimum system requirements for FM 2012? If so, is your graphics card supported or not? One of the things that you could do is to update the graphics card drivers, that can solve the problem.

  18. CsAtlantis

    October 17, 2011 at 05:07

    That’s a quite a few packed trophy cabinets right there, nearly won everything in England too, and you also won quite a few international trophies, a glorious career, looks like apart from M’Bow, Griezmann and Sanogo did well for France too

    A brilliant 14 year dynasty, great looking logo too by the way

    • Johnny Karp

      October 17, 2011 at 06:05

      Thanks mate, it was one hell of a journey and quite rewarding to be helped out by MBow on the last challenge of my career.

  19. Mariano

    October 17, 2011 at 14:33

    Well done an amazing carrer Johnny!

    I think it a great idea to manage a Romanian team!

    • Johnny Karp

      October 17, 2011 at 14:50

      Thanks Mariano, I’m sure that you will like the Romanian story because there will be some characters in there that you might know and like ;)

  20. Erbsademon

    October 17, 2011 at 16:59

    Great end to a fantastic story. Just proves the CL title can be so elusive no matter how great your team is! Looking forward to your Romanian story!!

    • Johnny Karp

      October 17, 2011 at 19:36

      Thanks mate, the CL is a tough competition indeed.

  21. Martin - F.M.J.S

    October 17, 2011 at 21:59

    Great end to a great story. Unlucky with the CL but well done with France and a good call on bring in M’Bow. I look forward to your new story.

    On the new badge i like it :)

    • Johnny Karp

      October 18, 2011 at 06:31

      Thanks Martin, I hope that the new story will be at least as good as this one.

  22. Laxeyman

    October 18, 2011 at 16:07

    Hi Johnny, sorry for the late reply, I’ve been away over the last couple of days. Fantastic end to a fantastic story mate, shame you couldn’t grab the CL once more, but well done on winning all the other trophies :) You did a great job with Vauxhall, and I can’t wait for your new story, which I’m sure will be as entertaining as this one! :)

    • Johnny Karp

      October 18, 2011 at 20:39

      Thanks Laxeyman, it has been a great journey for me and I hope I’ll have at least half of the satisfactions I had with Vauxhall in FM 12.

  23. Tom and Gary

    January 19, 2012 at 15:58

    Mate, theres just no kicks in this. Try managing properly, no point in cheating. Haven’t read the full story, because lets be honest theres no real point.

    Can you send me a screenshot of the game status screen so I can see your database changes?

    • Johnny Karp

      January 19, 2012 at 21:15

      The whole story is filled with various screen shots so if you want to accuse me of something, gather some proof and then come out with the accusations. I can’t provide you the screen shots that you demand anyway because I don’t play FM 2011 any more, there’s a new version of the game in case you haven’t heard of it until now. And I’ve got another piece of information for you: I’ve made several tactics in the last few versions of the game, thousands of people have downloaded, used them and won games and titles with them. Try to figure that out.

      • Darren Smith

        January 19, 2012 at 21:31

        This guy actually made me laugh…’Haven’t read the full story’…then how do you know its not real? Some people should spend more time learning how to actually play the game before commenting with slander. Maybe if you read the story and tried to learn something you’d realize this is possible, also you seem to be clued up on cheating and database changes, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have found less success than Johnny while you are cheating yourself and that is why you make such claims, because you don’t fully understand the game.

  24. Mariano

    January 19, 2012 at 16:19

    I started reading this site and never managed a low division team before. In FM 2010 I took Crewe Alexandra to win the CL and in 2011 I made Havant & Waterlouville won the world Club Cup. Part of achiving this is thanks to Johnny´s help teaching me.

    If I achieved that, me that I play FM for less time than Johnny, for sure his story can be true.


  25. Kacper Kowalczyk

    September 30, 2012 at 13:58

    It was pleasure to read your story :)

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