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Vauxhall Motors Story: Preparing for a title challenge

Hello folks and thank you for coming back to read another episode of the Vauxhall Motors Football Manager 2011 story! After the historic Europa League success the team had to aim even higher: we finished third in the Premier League and the mighty Motormen were going to play Champions League football for the first time in the club’s history. I see the Champions League only as a bonus for now though, my target is to mount a serious Premier League title challenge and maybe even win it in the end. Winning the title isn’t easy though so I had to be very careful on the transfer market, the team definitely needed some reinforcements.

The board was not aiming as high as I was, they would have been happy with a respectable position. I think that we’re quite respected in the Premier League already so I told them that I want to challenge for the title and they gave me 41.5 million pounds to spend on the transfer market. The wage budget could have been a bit higher since most of the top clubs spend at least three time the amount I was offered but I guess it’s OK for now.

The bookmakers seem to have a better opinion of us now, I advised the chairman to bet some of his wealth on the Motormen :) The media prediction is better as well, the journalists predict that we will finish 8th! I remember that we finished 9th when the prediction said 20th, then 3rd when the prediction said 17th, now I guess we should finish somewhere… above 1st! :)

Alright, enough joking, now let’s get to the real business: the transfers! As you might remember from the last update I was looking to bring in three new players: a left back, a left midfielder and a central midfielder. As you can imagine I brought in much more than three players… :) Let’s see who they are, role by role.

First, our new goalkeeper: Luis Guilherme. He joined us on a free transfer from Ukrainian club Dnipro and because of his arrival Dean Bouzanis was sold for 4.8 million pounds to Southampton. The Brazilian seems to be better than Bouzanis and I hope that he will do a good job between the sticks.

Our new left back might become a future star, he is only 18 years old but I paid no less than 10 million pounds for his transfer from Swiss club Neuchatel Xamax. This youngster has great mental skills for his age, good technical attributes as well but he might need a bit more speed to become world class. However, he is the best left back that I could find (when I say the best I mean that he represents the best balance between price, wage, current ability and potential ability).

I sold former left back Nikao for 4.5 million pounds and when I received an offer of 4.1 million for Grant Baddeley I decided to take it because I had a better option available: Finnish versatile fullback Hans Larsson, a player that I have followed for a few seasons and that was available for only 3.5 million pounds from Everton.

That’s about all about the defense, now let’s move on to midfield. I already had a first choice right midfielder, Leandro Velasco, but I felt that I needed better backups. Fortunately I found two very good players that were transfer listed: Ravel Morrison and Abdallah Yaisien. I decided to buy them both and I paid 1.5 million for Morisson to West Ham and 2.5 million for Yaisien to Manchester United. I think that these two are better than my former backups and I also managed to get good money for them: 5 million for Stephan El Shaarawy and 250K for a season-long loan for Marcelo.

And now, the most expensive signing of the summer. I desperately wanted to bring in an influential and talented central midfielder but I have to admit that I had quite a few problems here. It’s quite a paradox: there were good players available for low prices but I couldn’t afford their wages or they were not interested in signing a contract with us. Anyway, I broke the bank and paid no less than 17.5 million pounds to Brazilian club Internacional for Tinga, a former youth international. His qualities are exactly what I need in my style of play, he is both creative and hard working, but I admit that I paid more than I should have for this guy.

Fortunately I managed to recover some of that loss on the other central midfielder I bought, he was transfer listed for some reason and Inter Milan let him go for just 2.5 million. If you add that I sold fringe central midfielder Elias Kost for 3.9 million then I guess we can say that we came out pretty well in the central midfielders area.

I’m quite proud of my new first choice left midfielder, another Brazilian. I paid 7 million pounds for him to Ukrainian club Dnipro but I believe that he’s well worth that much considering his great skills. I hope that his quickness will improve as well through training and maybe this 18-year old will become a world class player.

I didn’t really want another left midfielder but I couldn’t resist when I saw Real Madrid offering Javier Garcia (Ana’s younger cousin maybe :) ) for just 1.8 million, I snapped him up and sold Andrew Driver for 5.25 million!

If you add up the sums I paid 46.3 million for these new first team players, nine of them in total. However, I didn’t stop spending until I reached the 60 million mark and I brought in a wealth of youngsters that will be developing in the reserves team for now. There will also be six more players that will be joining the club after six months or a year, talented South Americans that you will see at the right time.

I am quite happy that I managed to make no less than 35 million pounds from selling fringe players and youngsters that had no future at the club anymore.

As you can see I have a pretty large squad now, 27 players, but I guess that’s because I still have last season’s injury crisis in mind. Let me give you a quick report for each role, you can see the player profiles by clicking their names:

Goalkeepers: Luis Guilherme, Jack Butland

Right backs: Julian Marino, Kwabena Quartey

Left backs: Pierre Touya, Hans Larsson

Centre backs: Javier Godoy, Julian Bazzi, Louis Laing, Mervin Simon

Right midfielders: Leandro Velasco, Ravel Morrison, Abdallah Yaisien

Left midfielders: Tiago, Javier Garcia, Andrew Surman

Central midfielders: Tinga, Radek Vecera, Graham Howson, Denís, Mark Brown, Shyamdew Weibolt

Strikers: Zé Carlos, Parana, Wellington Paulista, Ibrahima MBow, Pavol Vesely

Now I also have a pretty strong reserves team, most of these lads will be sent out on loan as some of them really have great potential.

I thought that we were the biggest spenders in the Premier League this summer but that was not the case, Manchester United beat us with a staggering 39 million pounds fee for Real Madrid‘s Mesut Ozil and a total of 77 million.

I arranged eight friendly games this summer and I’m pleased to report that we have won all of them. The first two produced a couple of nice goals (click here to watch Parana‘s goal against Partizan, click here to watch Leandro Velasco‘s goal against Metalac) and the last three saw us beating strong teams like Boca Juniors, Villarreal and Corinthians.

Our season will begin with a tough match at Villa Park and then we will have another historic event for the club, the UEFA Super Cup against Champions League winners Atletico Madrid. Then we’ll have a tough away double against Chelsea and Tottenham, I guess we’ll know pretty soon if we have what it takes to win the title or not.

Before wrapping up the post I have to deliver a few screen shots that were requested by some of you on the last post.

For Sibo: the current club icons and legends. If you don’t know who Terry Fearns is, have a look here.

Jack requested a screen shot of Bojan‘s current profile (in the year 2017). I guess he’d be a good signing but he’s not interested for now.

And now a bonus: a picture of my famous notebook! :) (I use it to take notes during the game, this page is he latest one!)

That’s about it folks, I hope that you enjoyed this shorter than usual post. I’m looking forward to your comments and predictions and feel free to submit any screen shot requests.

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9 years ago

Hi Johnny
The famous notebook at last….love it :) I’m sure previous volumes are full of a wealth of information :) Did you stay up all night doing transfers? I never seen such activity before:)
Your pre-season results were just brilliant and I don’t even know where to begin with all the fabulous signings you’ve made. I’ll go for Ana’s cousin and Tiago as my favorites :)

9 years ago

Hey Johnny!

You got me and Jack mixed up with the screenshots mate, I was the one wondering about Bojan ;-) He is looking really good, nice finishing and some good pace, probably the best I’ve ever seen him develop!

That was a good pre-season, you have made some great signing and you seem to have gotten all the right results. Finger’s crossed the team blend and grab you the Super Cup, as well as a bagload of points in your first few games,despite the opposition! :D

Well done and good luck mate!

P.S. I predict you will beat Athletico 2-1 (aet) ;-)

9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

I thought so :P

Darren Smith
9 years ago

Hey Johnny, we’ve said it before but I think we’re long lost brothers. The way you have invested in youth and the volume is very similar to my visage of Newcastle. I don’t want to spend as much, but certainly like your idea…at least half of those kids will be incredible players or sold at a big profit I’m sure. Great work as always and thanks for revealing the holy bible of Football Manager!!! Funny, I expected a glistening glow to shine from the edges lol ;)

9 years ago

Loving the notebook Johnny, I usually write some stuff down when doing transfers, but that’s all really. Anyway, you’ve made some good signings again, although you paid a bit too much for Tinga. You’ve got some fabulous youngsters though, and judging by your reserve team, the futures bright :) I reckon you can win the league, good luck!

Sayam Khan
9 years ago

Hi Johnny, really like your pre-season!
Firstly, I can 99% garantee you that Luis Guilherme will be an excellent signing for you! I like you new left back, very similar to mine. I also had Abdallah Yaisien in the championship when he was 18 but he didn’t perform much for me. And lastly, the 17.5m paid for Tinga seems to be ‘over the top’. However if he was the only one out there then what can you do! I have a similar problem with the left wing position and I may be forced to do what you did :( It does seem a huge risk paying that sum, but hopefully it pays off

Ana Garcia
9 years ago

Wow, very busy transfer window!!

But you managed to sign some very good players, Tinga looks amazing you did pay a big price but his stats are very good. Denis looks a bargain and £2.5 million and Garcia will obviously be amazing! :)

LoL! But your squad looks very good and full of depth so you should be in for a good season, fingers crossed!

P.S. Am glad I am not the only one who writes everything down! Your notes are a little more organised than mine though! Oh, and yay for Barca!! :D

9 years ago

Hey Johnny,

Lots of transfer activity, a few great players joined you and surely you are going to win the league :). I didn’t know people took notes! I never do, maybe I should ;). Anyway, good luck for the season.

9 years ago

Hey Johnny,

I can tell some serious effort went into that transfer window and it looks like it will pay off! :) The notebook is awesome, I have one too, and by that I mean odd bit of paper littering my desk. So all the signings look great, although I do think you are in need of an outstanding centre half but I may be wrong. I remember Tinga from your Notts County post and I’m pretty sure you did very well, I don’t think he’s too overpriced, he is still young, and as you said fits the bill perfectly :) I don’t know if you do this deliberately but all of your players have high stats in determination, work rate, teamwork and good physical attributes, do you consider these the most important attributes? Your thoughts would be appreciated :) So good luck for the rest of the season, really enjoying this story, although I can’t wait until the Romanian adventure begins! Also thanks for posting that screenshot M’Bow is the star for me!

9 years ago

Am I the only one wondering why your notes are in English? ;)
Personally, I never write things down.. I should do, but unfortuatley I don’t really have the tactical knowledge of the game. Just a gut instinct and some desire!

Tiago is my pick of the bunch. Great find mate, filled that position very nicely and I’m sure the 18 year old will be with you for years to come!

Good luck for the start of the season though mate, hopefully you can do as you have stated and push for that premier league title. Would be some achievement :)

Jonathan C
Jonathan C
9 years ago

Hi Johnny! Great transfers! I was wondering, could you make this save game available for download? That would be awesome!

9 years ago

Wow, you even calculate your transfer spending Johnny? I trust my board to regulate my spending :P, it was good to see the notebook though :D

That’s quite a lot of transfers in, but there are some good bargains there, should help your team to challenge for the title and build a team for the future

Tinga might just prove to be worth the fee, great overall attributes, good passer, ball winning and a decent threat from long range plus good mental attributes, shame he can’t head a ball to save his life

Wonder why Tiago has an aggression of 20………….:P

Good luck in the Champions League and Premier League!

9 years ago

Hi Johnny,

I bet most of us reading will be preparing a notebook because of you :) Tinga is quite costly but he should be able to do the job for you. 50k for wages is quite a lot but you mentioned a number of players not willing to join you. Is Tinga getting the highest wage? I noticed Abdallah Yaisien is taking home 40k/week and for a backup player is probably too much. Guess you will sell him for a profit in future?

In overall great signings, strengthening the position that you need. I like Touya and Tiago. Looking good for the title challenge and i love to see you lifting the super cup. Good luck.

joe lance
joe lance
9 years ago

Great signings. Finishing third after your second season, it will be a surprise if you don’t win the title. Good luck in your Champion league campaign. With this squad and favourable draws you might go really far.

9 years ago

Yo. Good luck with your season. Reading this at school when I am meant to be working :D
What does it mean if u put the save game up. Will we actually be able to play as the might vauxhall :D Good luck any :D

9 years ago

Hey Johnny
Good transfer window for you, even if you sold Bouzanis. He was not going to get first team football and I think it would be good for him to get first-team football. Tiago seems to be a good player, hopefully he develops well.

9 years ago

Hi Johnny,great signings there!!!!!!!!! I hope you do well!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck!!!!!!!

9 years ago

After being inspired by this story Ive decided to undertake the challenge of getting a blue square club to the top of the game. I’m not as dedicated as some players so it will take longer, but I too would would like to share my progression. How would I create a page like this so I can keep you guys updated on how I go?

Ive just finished by best ever run on the game taking Crewe from Championship 2 to the Premier League, leaving them with a talented side and excellent financial state before taking the more prestigious Sunderland job in 2017. I got to 2021, built the team I wanted with the financial backing of Niall Quinn and was challenging well as I had for the previous 2 seasons and then got the dreaded crash dump, I was gutted.

As you can tell I’m feeling confident in my abilities as a manager at the moment and I’m looking forward to embarking on this journey.

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