We've finally came to the end of pre-season. I must say, I'm delighted with our performances. We won four and drew two out of six, and we were missing both of our fullbacks, Santon and Debuchy for three of those games due to injury. Throughout pre-season I made some huge signings, and took quite a few big risks.
I wasn't sure how the game against Genoa would pan out, we had to play a three-back due to injuries, which left us quite vulnerable. But Coloccini, Mbiwa and Taylor stayed firm at the back, only conceding one goal. Marveaux claimed man of the match, scoring a goal, and assisting Coloccini from a corner.
Next up to face us were Espanyol, who were in great form. Debuchy was back in the starting line-up, and taylor was played at left back. I decided to play a defensive tactic, as with Simao and Sergio Garcia on top form, we couldn't play our usual attacking game. The game was dead. Four shots between the two teams, we managed to grab a goal and take home a 1-0 victory. Tiote claimed man of the match, bossing the midfield.
Our final friendly was against Montreal Impact. I played a very weak team, with three of our U18's starting. It proved to be a bad decision; Montreal took a 2-0 lead within 15 minutes, so I brought on Cisse, Sissoko and Coloccini who turned the game around. We managed to pull two goals back and get a draw. Pretty disappointing.
Bringing In The Big Guns
I have been extremely active in the transfer window, so prepare yourself for some big changes. The board allocated me with £26Million to spend, due to the sale of Cabaye and other contributing factors. I made a large number of cheap signings, investments you could say and couple big signings. I sold a few major players, and signed players in their place.
The first of my biggest signings was Yassine Benzia, a striker from Lyon. He is going to develop brilliantly and hopefully become one of the worlds best strikers. He fits in very well with the team, being French, and his pace suits our counter attacking style of football.
My second big signing was Eder Alvarez Balanta, an outstanding centre-back who I have very high hopes for. He recently made his first appearance for Columbia, so he has joined the club with morale at an all time high, hopefully this reflects on his performances.
The third signing was Luciano Vietto from Racing Club. The Argentine is one for the future, I loaned him back to his former club as he won't get much playing time this season, and it will benefit his development.
I also signed Kyle Naughton from Swansea. The youngster is currently a back up for Debuchy as the French right-back seems to be injury prone. But he will be taking his place in seasons to come.
Jorge Fucile was my last (so far) of my big signings. Although he won't be starting every game, he will be getting quite a lot of game time. He is a great all round defender and can play in any defensive position.
Sadly, in order to bring all these players in, a few of our key men had to be let go. Obertan and Gouffran were first to leave, both leaving the club for a sum of £3.9Million. Gouffran to Marseille and Obertan to Rubin. I loaned out 13 players, and sold 6. Seeing Cisse, Ameobi and Santon leave the club was very emotional, but there time at Newcastle was up. Arsenal signed Santon for a hefty fee of £13.25Million, I brought in Henrique, a Brazilian youngster to take his place.
Overall, I think my transfer activity has left the club stronger. However, I may regret selling Cisse and Santon if Benzia, Vietto and Henrique don't turn out as planned.
Great signings and some really nice graphics too. Shame that you had to lose Santon, he's a v. good LB and how an earth you managed to sign Naughton when the likes of Barca, Madrid, United etc are after such an amazing RB is just... astonishing
Big overhaul of the playing squad, seems like you're buying all the hot prospects in one shot Fucile has incredible stats and experience and if you can pair Doria up with Balanta then you have yourself a world beating central defence