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The Sir Alex Ferguson Challenge FM20

Started on 26 May 2020 by Emprex
Latest Reply on 10 July 2020 by Emprex
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2 yearsEdited

The Sir Alex Ferguson Challenge

So as the name suggests, this will be a challenge that looks to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson's career at Man Utd.

This is a challenge that has been done through a few iterations of the Football Manager franchise.

Well I am going to start with an unemployed manager with International footballer (continental level) / Continental pro licence and take over whichever club is 2nd from bottom in the Premiership on November 6th, exactly where Man Utd were when Sir Alex came in. From there i need to try and at least match what Sir Alex did with Man Utd and there will be a few milestones

  • Win the FA Cup within 4 seasons Ferguson won his first cup, the FA Cup vs Crystal Palace in 89/90
  • Win the Premier League within 7 seasons
  • Ferguson won his first Premier League in 92/93
  • Win a Premier League/FA Cup double within 8 seasons
  • Ferguson won his first Double with United in 93-94
  • Win Three Premier League/FA Cup Doubles within 13 seasons
  • Ferguson's Treble Included His Third League/FA Cup Double
  • Win the Premier League/FA Cup/Champions League Treble within 13 seasons
  • Ferguson Won the Infamous Treble in 98/99

  • In total his achievements read as

  • Premier League (13)
  • FA Cup (5)
  • League Cup (4)
  • Community Shield (10)
  • UEFA Champions League (2)
  • UEFA Europa League (1) (Replaces the Cup Winners Cup) **
  • UEFA Super Cup (1)
  • FIFA Club World Cup (2) (One Replaces Intercontinental Cup)

  • So there is quite a feat there and to help make it a bit more interesting I am going to attempt to stick to some rules that again mirror Sir Alex. These are

  • No more than 11 signings per season, of which only 8 can play in the first team that season
  • No buying/selling of players with your biggest rival
  • A player that came through the youth academy must be in every match squad

  • My Achievements
    Season #          PL Finish           FA Cup           League Cup            Europa League          Champions League
    1                 12th                3rd              Quarter               N/A                    N/A   
    2                 5th                 5th              2nd                   N/A                    N/A   

    Ferguson Acheivements
    Season #          PL Finish           FA Cup           League Cup            Europa League          Champions League
    1                 11th                4th              3rd                       N/A                    N/A
    2                 2th                 5th              5th                       N/A                    N/A

    Newcastle have only won 2 games this season a 2-0 win vs Sheffield United & a 2-1 victory over Spurs. 3 draws against Crystal Palace, Watford & Southampton.A brighter note Newcastle are still in the Carabao Cup quarter finals against … Chelsea.

    November Fixtures

    Only 3 games remaining this month are Norwich (A), Brighton (H) and Man City (A). That means we have 2 games to hopefully get out of trouble straight away. At least that's what I am hoping for.

    Current Premier League Table

    So there we have it a 4 way tie at the bottom of the league only 2 points separate 13th from 20th.

    Current Squad

    I have moved some players around as the squad is quite large, DeAndre Yedlin, Javi Manquillo, Jack Colback, Henri Saivet were all unregistered for the current season so it would be wise to let them go. I am a little disappointed with Manquillo not being in the squad as this means I only have Krath as an out and out RB however I do have Valentino Lazaro as a backup if injury/suspension occurs.

    I have also removed Rob Elliot, Ciaran Clark, Yoshinori Muto, Christian Atsu & Andy Carroll as they have no future at the club I am hoping with I can clear all of these player at least some of them to reduce the wage bill and bring in some much needed cash for the January transfer market.

    I have also promoted Freddie Woodman (Currently on loan at Swansea), Victor Fernandez, Elias Sorensen & Yannick Toure. Hopefully these youth players can have somewhat of an impact in the near future.

    Club Vision

    Let's see if we can hit the ground running and win 2 of the next 3 games.

    I will return in December..

    December 1st

    So I made it but did I manage to hit my target of 6 points from 9. First of all I have managed to get rid of most of the players on the transfer market and have done quite well in getting some spendables and also reducing the wage bill for players that I no longer need.

    Transfers Out (Pending for January)

    Rob Elliott			Seattle				2.1M			21.5k
    Andy Carroll			LOSC				5.5M 	(9.5M)	 	30.5k
    Christian Atsu			Espanyol		        4.4M	(5.5M)		30.0k
    Yoshinori Muto		        Espanyol			4.7M    (5.75M)		54.0k
    Henri Saivet			Zenit				2.2M	(2.7M)		35.0k
    DeAndre Yedlin		        Gremio			        5.5M	(6.25M)	        30.0k
    Ciaran Clark			Jeonbuk			        6.25M	(8.5M)		35.0k

    Norwich (A) - Expected 3 points

    So 3 days into the job we travel to Carrow Road to take on Norwich who have had a very difficult last 3 games facing Everton, Man U & Arsenal conceding a total of 5 goals and scoring 2. ASM (Allan Saint-Maximin) will be out of the squad due to a twisted ankle, he won't realistically play until the Man City game.

    On paper it was a really good result 3 points to the good however the match itself was really poor. For large parts of the match we were playing with 10 men behind the ball. I was glad that we managed to get to half time at 0 - 0 if we went down before the half there was no way we could have gotten a draw never mind the win. Totally against the run of play we managed to break on the counter Richie Down the left won a free kick in which he took and whipped it in into Alimiro who got under it and headed it into the near corner to make it 1 nil.
    Almiron was later taken off as he was starting to struggle for fitness. Shelvey also came off as he was really struggling in the middle of the park however Sean Longstaff came on and made the difference needed in helping protect the lead. Danny Rose was also superb in protecting the lead by nullifying almost everything on the left side in the last 20 mins or so.

    Brighton (H) Expected 3 Points

    First game of my career at St. James’ Park I am really hopeful that we can improve here and get the result that we need. 3 points could mathematically shoot us up the table into 8th!. However this is far from wishful thinking considering our poor goal difference. More realistically we could move into 10th.

    We do have some injury problems of note ASM is still out along with Miguel Almiron damaged heel however hopefully will be back for the City game. Finally Matty Longstaff is out with a pulled hamstring which is really disappointing as he was going to be in the first team replacing Shelvey.

    The squad is really lacking depth in the midfield at the moment looks like Victor Fernandez is getting his first full debut.

    The first half was a better performance to the Norwich game. We were breaking well on the counter and the goal looked certain until the last 15 minutes when Victor Fernandez was forced off. With no midfield presence on the bench I had to put my faith in youngster Yannick Toure Richie was switched to the left hand. Before being allowed to make the switch and while Victor was receiving treatment Brighton went 0 - 1 up from a Shane Duffy header not the start I had in mind for the first home game.

    The second half was pretty uneventful with neither team really able to hold the ball until the 60 minute with a glancing ball from Danny Rose which Jolinton was able to stretch and make contact to tie the match 1 - 1.

    With 10 minutes to go Lazaro was taken off as a precaution. The bad news was there was no that could play on the right side so a formation shuffle was needed. We ended up finishing the match using 5-1-2-2 with Richie playing in the RWB position. Toure playing up top with Joelinton.

    The last 10 minutes really fizzled out and to be honest I was kinda worried that playing in an unknown formation and Richie out of position would be our downfall. All things considered I'm happy with the 1 - 1 draw.

    Potential Takeover

    Very curious about this potential takeover. The consortium seems to want to replace me as manager immediately. Hopefully it's similar to old takeover attempts at Newcastle and is nothing but a PR stunt.

    Man C (A) Expected 0 Points

    Definitely the toughests game so far. The team is still clear of relegation however it's by 2 points now. However the gap to 8th is 2 points also. I'm really not optimistic with my chances here. Man City are currently unbeaten in the Premier League since September in a bizzare loss to Norwich.

    On Top of that the injury list is piling up ASM is still not fit for the match and is only recommended for 45 minutes so he will be on the bench and will only be used if absolutely necessary. Miguel Alimiron is still injured as well but will be back in action against Bournemouth. Lazaro will also be out of action in this match as he is still nursing a bruised thigh but again will be back for the Bournemouth game. Matty Longstaff and Victor Fernandez are the only long term injuries currently. Longstaff is currently looking at a return for Leicester in 14 days time. Fernandez however is more realistically going to be back for the Chelsea game in the Carabao Cup Quarter Finals. On a brighter note Sean Longstaff is back in contention for a place in the team but will be on the bench for this one.

    As expected we were under the cosh for most of the first half and within 15 minutes we were down 1 - 0 thanks to Aguero. However in their next attack we were able to break and caught them napping to equalise the game 1 - 1 (Jolinton). 30 minutes on the clock Aguero got his second of the game 2 - 1. The remainder of the game was a game of attack vs defence where our attacking midfielders of Richie and Toure were often winning possession back in our own box.

    Hairdryer treatment given it was onto the 2nd half. With the usual backs against the wall in the 2nd half I decided to take a risk and go back to the 5-1-2-2 formation we were forced to use against Brighton on 55 minutes. Sean Longstaff came on in the 65th minute as again Shelvey was poor again. Dwight Gale came on in the 75th minute in hopes of grabbing a late equaliser however I was never confident that was going to be the case. The formation change didn't really help us. In the end we really had a lack of width in the team however somehow we managed to win a penalty in the 89th minute when Bentaleb stepped up!! (No idea why) but no matter, he pulled us back into it 2 - 2!

    Table As Of December 1st.

    So here we are December 1st and for the most part it has been somewhat of a success. Unbeaten in my first 3 games in charge admittedly only 1 win. But here is the table as of December 1st.

    2 Points clear of the bottom I was hoping for a little more breathing space however the good news is there are only 2 points separating us 15th and 9th!

    December Schedule

    The usual packed December schedule so i will provide an update on December 16th the day before the Chelsea Cabaro Cup Quarter Finals.

    Bournemouth are sitting in 19th currently their last win in the league came in September which was a 2 - 0 win against Burnley I have to expect 3 points here, However I am a little nervous as they have scored in 4 of their last 5 games.

    Burnley have lost their last 2 games both 2 - 1 losses to Everton and Southampton. In Fact their last win of the season also came in September with a 2 - 1 victory over Crystal Palace. Although I would like to say a win here I am going to be a little cautious and say Draw.

    Leicester is another difficult game for us; they have however lost their last 3 games against Man City, Liverpool and Brighton failing to score in all of those games. There are 2 games for them before we play them against Norwich & Tottenham so hopefully they will not regain any form before them. With their current form I would like to get a draw out of this one however its going to rely on them still being poor in the next 2 games . Draw

    So the prediction for the next 3 games is 5 / 9 points.

    December 16th

    FA Cup 3rd Round Draw

    I was hoping for a decent FA cup run but that's totally out of the window with an away draw to Tottenham. Scheduled for the 4th January

    Bournemouth (H) predicted 3 points

    With West Ham having played their game in hand and winning against Arsenal this has moved Bournemouth to the bottom of the pile. This is turning into a must win game for both teams.

    The injury list has improved a lot Miguel Almiron is available but unfit and will start from the bench. Lazaro is back and is much needed at the moment with the problems in RB. Matty Longstaff and Toure are on course for a return against Leicester. Fernandez is possibly going to be back for Leicester too but realistically for the Chelsea game. ASM is also available but unfit however I have no choice but to start him in this game as there are no other options I may have to bring him off at half time and replace with Almiron.

    I am also dropping Shelvey from the lineup today and is going to be replaced with Sean Longstaff as he improved the team when coming on against Man City.

    First Half - For the first 30 minutes the game was pretty even however Bournemouth seemed pretty dangerous on the counter and that was the case. Harry Wilson Broke and slotted the ball to Callum Wilson to put Bournemouth in the lead 0 - 1. 10 minutes later Newcastle seemed to enjoy a spell of possession in the opposition's half where the ball broke out wide to Rose who lofted the ball into the 6 yard box where Jolinton was able to make contact with the ball and direct it into the back of the net. 1 - 1.

    Second Half - I knew that I had to bring ASM off before the 2nd half began so it was a straight switch for Almiron. Lazaro was also struggling for fitness however I decided to give him another 15 minutes as he was playing well. 60 minutes in and Bournemouth were awarded a penalty up stepped Harry Wilson to make it 1 - 2. After the resume of play I switched the players focus too very attacking in hopes of finding an equalizer and switched Lazaro for Richie. The rest of the game really fizzled out and neither team really created any more chances. We did have a number of shots but all were off target and never really challenged the keeper.

    The game was a disaster from start to finish and making matters worse we have now dropped back into 19th. I think this is going to have a premature end to the Fergie Challenge.

    Burnley (A) - Predicted Draw

    I did predict a draw in this game however we must win we need to get back out of the bottom 3. A win against Burnley and they will be in trouble themselves. They are only 1 point away from the relegation places and in 14th. This is a very close bottom of the table. Still 3 points separate Wolves in 9th from Aston Villa in 20 (ignoring goal difference of 11).

    ASM is still not fully fit, Victor Fernandez & Matty Longstaff are both in light training and will be available for selection for the Leicester game.

    Almiron & ASM will both start the game alongside Shelvey. I am allowing the team to take more risks and positive mentality for this game, we need a result.

    A really boring game with 10 men behind the ball, I did try and let the players play with a more positive mentality in this one however after 15 minutes it was clear that we just cannot play that way. Dubravka was the saving grace of the game saving 10 shots on target. Result 0 - 0. Despite the draw we are now out of the bottom 3 and into 16th.

    Leicester (H) - Predicted 0 Points

    So no injury problems Matty Longstaff & Victor Fernandez are back available for selection however they are only recommended to have 45 minutes of play, they however will be no be back into the match day squad.

    Despite the poor form I have consistently played the same team mostly down to a lack of depth in the squad.

    First Half - we managed to break most of their attacking chances down in the first half and looked dangerous on the counter however that all changed in the 40th minute when a powerful header from James Vardy put Leciester up 0 - 1. The first half quickly came to an end after this without any other chances for either team

    Second Half - In the 50th minute ASM equalised however this was quickly erased with the decision to rule the goal offside. 55 minutes on the clock and Jolinton was brought off for gale as we seem to be breaking well and the wingers have been cutting inside well also. The 85th minute brough the game to 0 - 2 with a shot from outside the area by Ben Chilwell.

    The 0 - 2 defeat puts us back into the bottom 3. There is still hope considering that 3 points could still get us as high as 12th (Goal difference of 4).


    Having only got 1 point from a possible 9 and predicted to get 4 this challenge is not going to last long unless we start getting results on the pitch. The next half of the month is going to be crucial.

    Current League Table

    Still very tight at the bottom of the table West Ham now occupy bottom but are only 6 points away from 9th. I have a feeling that goal difference is going to be very important this season.

    December schedule part 2

    The Chelsea game is a real chance for me to experiment with the squad as putting 10 men behind the ball and hoping for a goal on the break is clearly not working.

    The Wolves & Southampton games are more important when looking at the league table as if they beat means it not only puts me into deep trouble but also gives them some daylight between the teams lower down the table. I need to be optimistic with my next set of predictions.

    Chelsea - Going to be a loss however this will give me some time to experiment with the tactics before and during the game.

    Wolves - This is a must win not only for points on the board but to bring wolves back into the relegation scrap. Wolves have drawn 3 / 4 of their December fixtures losing the other one. Prediction 3 points

    Everton - This is going to be a similar game to Leicester, but hopefully we can get some positive tactics going before then. Predicted 1 point.

    Southampton - They have been able to find some form winning 2 / 3 of there games in December hopefully the games they have before we play them will unsettle that. But this is another must win game against relegation rivals.

    Predicted 7 / 9 points this is extremely optimistic but if i am to survive this season and also keep my job this is the very least we need to achieve these goals.

    I will return on January 1st Before the game Against Tottenham in the League.

    January 1st

    Contract Renewals

    Freddy Woodman 			        13k				2022
    Victor Fernandez			 2.5k				2021

    Chelsea (H) - Cabaro Cup Qtr Finals

    Unchanged squad from Leicester game, a few tactical tweaks made, more positive focus, shorter passing focus, slow distribution from GK and preference to roll it out. Hopefully by bringing the ball down onto the floor this will encourage more players to play the ball on the ground and stop the long balls into the flanks where we are either cutting inside and losing the ball or crossing to an empty box.

    Danny Rose conceded a penalty on the 12 minute so we went down 0 - 1 to a willian penalty, Tabby Abrams soon later made it 0 - 2 with header from a freekick.

    ASM overhit a cross into the area which was gathered by Almiron who slotted it to Jolinton to bring it back to 1 - 2.

    After 25 minutes I made some more tweaks to the team instead of looking for wide play I switched the approach to more central with underlappings on both flanks. I am hoping this will allow ASM & Almiron more opportunities to cut inside.

    Willan got onto the end of a cross from out wide to put Chelsea up 1 - 3 on 35 minutes. The first half came to an end with a few opportunities for us. Both wingers cutting inside quite well it just seems to always come down to not being clinical enough in front of goal.

    Before the second half I reduced the attacking width to fairly narrow in hopes of increasing the bodies in the middle of the park. The changes made in the 2nd half seemed to cancel out Chelsea's attack as they never really have and clear cut chances in this half. We did have at least 3 chances falling to ASM, Almiron and Jolinton all inside the area which were either blocked or saved. Despite the result 1 - 3 I am feeling more confident with the tactical changes here and am looking forward to taking on Wolves.

    Wolves (A) prediction 3 points

    Only 1 change to the squad which is Sean Longstaff replaces Issac Hayden in the DM role. There is no real reason for this as Hayden has played consistently enough.

    The game started as a really drab affair the first half was coming to a close with only 1 half chance for each team, no one was really hitting the target, until the 46th minute the worst happened. A brilliant team effort from Wolves which started with the GK and ended up in the back of the net by Matt Docherty. 1 - 0

    The second half began as the first started, no real clear cut chances until the 78th minute when Shelvey had acres of space in the center of the pitch passed a long ball at Richie who lofted it into the back post for ASM to get onto the end of it to make it 1 - 1.

    The game really took a turn for the worse where tackling was really stopping the game from getting going again, in total Wolves conceded 13 found while Newcastle conceded 4. The game never looked like another goal was coming until the 94th minute when ASM was brought down inside the box, VAR clarified that it was indeed a penalty. Up stepped Matt Richie to bring the game 1 - 2. Very Defensive Focus was then issued to the team to try and keep hold of the lead moments later the full time whistle brought an end to the occasion. I think that is the first time I have praised the players since joining.

    The win lifted us into 13th place 2 points free from the bottom 3. This is the highest we have been since the 1st game of the season.

    Everton (A) - Prediction 1 Point

    Unchanged squad from the win at Wolves just a change in mentality to cautious , Karl Darlow has picked up a pulled muscle however he will remain on the bench. This is going to be a nervy affair looking at other results as this could keep us 14th or drop us at the bottom of the league.

    ASM had 2 really good chances in the first 10 minutes of play but just snatching at his chances. He also gave Jolinton a 1 vs 1 vs the GK however it was not converted. I have a feeling we are going to rue those missed chances. 13th minute Jolinton caught Mina napping and managed to take the ball and struck it low into the corner to make the game 0 - 1.

    Everton responded well from going down and were causing us a lot of problems at the back as a result on the 25th minute i changed the emphasis to very defensive to try and protect the lead into the 2nd half.

    Despite the changes in the 33rd minute Moise Keane was able to level the game 1 - 1. For the remainder of the half we reverted back to our cautious approach. The first half soon ended 1 -1.

    The second half passed by quickly with neither team able to get the game going Bernard had beat his man on several occasions only to be let down by his finishing. On the 76th minute Almiron went down injured and had to be replaced with Richie. Newcastle had a handful of chances thanks to substitute Jetro Willamas and Isaac Hayden they really brought some much needed energy into the side but Jolinton was not able to capitalise of the 2 changes that was given to him instead the shots were blocked. Full time whistle 1 - 1.

    Almiron has been confirmed injured and will be out for 5 - 6 weeks. Not good for the relegation showdown.

    Newcastle currently hold onto 14th spot with only 1 point separating 13th Watford and 18th West Ham.

    Southampton (H) - predicted 3 points

    A straight swap with Richie and Almiron due to injuries. Victor Fernandez moves into the match squad on the bench. Another big game here, another must win. Southampton have been unable to extend their points tally much in December with a loss to Watford and a draw with Norwich.

    The first half was really impressive from both sides, almost like we were both playing for the draw, both had 2 shots each, none of which were on target. When Newcastle had possession they moved the ball around well and moved up the pitch well until we were in the final 3rd there really seemed to be a lack of movement then and no one really tried to have a go at goal, so before the 2nd half the instructions were given to take more shots. They are difficult to break down so hopefully we may get a lucky opportunity from outside of the area and nick the game 1 - 0.

    The second half was no improvement even though we managed to have 9 shots on target none of them really threatened the Southampton goal. Southampton had the only clear chance of the game despite it being their only shot on target, which was parried away by Dubravka showing his aerial ability. Despite the draw we stay in 14th place with 2 points above the drop zone. 3 points away from 10th place (3 goal difference).

    Takeover Update

    Takeover has problems.

    Transfers 1st Jan 2020

    To add to the list of outgoings for January 1st Owen Bailey will be leaving to join Burton Albion For 14.5k

    League Table 1st January 2020

    As you can see the bottom half of the table could still be pulled into the relegation battle with only 1 bad result.If Wolves win their game in hand they would move up to 13th, the same goes for Burnley.

    January Schedule

    t's going to be a real tough month for us here; the only game I can see us getting a result is against Aston Villa. I need to grab another point from Everton to make this a successful month. I have already written off the 2 games against Tottenham and Man Utd. So I am predicting 4 points for the whole of January which is abysmal. It may be enough to see us through with our heads above water.

    Next Update 1st February 2020

    Feburary 1st 2020

    Transfer Market

    Realistically a budget of 22 Million is not going to stretch for what I need which is:

    First Team RB
    First Team Forward
    First Team Central Midfielder

    I will see if I can wheel and deal at least 2 of the above over the line.


    Found a suitable Forward target that would be a considerable improvement of Jolinton for only 12.5M and what do you know. (Michy Batshuayi FYI)

    Crystal Palace & Man Utd are after him also so I guess my number 1 target is gone already.

    Tottenham (H) - 0 Points Predicted

    Danny Rose is ineligible for selection for this game meaning that Jetro Williams will start with Paul Dummet on the bench. Isaac Hayden also starts instead of Bentaleb.

    As expected Tottenham started the game really well putting us under considerable pressure and in the 20th minute they turned the domination into a 0 - 1 lead thanks to Son. The pressure was soaked up until the half time break.

    Newcastle started the second half better but were vulnerable to the break and thanks to 2 brilliant saves from Dubravka kept us in the game for the time being at least as you could tell the goal was coming. 60 minutes in and the fatigue was setting in with the number of games we have played without any rotation. I had to make 3 changes in which Paul Dummet had to come on out of position playing in RB. Richie came off for youngster Yannick Toure and Jolinton was replaced with Dwight Gale. The substitutions really turned the tide of the game for us, we were passing well and breaking on the counter well.

    Shelvey hit a long ball across to Toure he managed to cut inside with a little bit of luck and struck it high into the top right hand corner 1 - 1 after being on the pitch for less than 2 minutes. The game from this moment was end to end, Newcastle never really looked that threatening after the equaliser.

    We are still in 14th place in the League with a 2 point gap to the bottom of the league. 3 points against Aston Villa could put it as high as 11th. 10th would require a 3 goal swing against Sheffield United.

    Tottenham (A) - FA Cup 3rd Round

    Danny Rose is still ineligible for selection so Jetro Willams keeps his place in LB, Larao is in need of a rest so Javi Manquillo can start in RB as the squad registration has allowed me to include him in the team again. Sean Longstaff will replace Shelvey in the middle of the park

    The first half was very similar to the last game. We were under the cosh for large parts of it but did not show any of the same intent when breaking as with the last game. Lo Celso put Tottenham into the lead in the 23rd minute 1 - 0.

    53 minutes in Dele Alli put Tottenham 2 - 0 up. Change was needed so i decided to try and replicate the same changes from the last game. Bentelab, Jolinton & ASM came off for Shelvey, Gayle and Toure. Hopefully another super sub moment on the cards but it's very unlikely. Toure had a header saved in the 75th minute. Tottenham seemed to hold back more and more during the 2nd half as such I really thought we might have snatched a late goal but wasn't to be. The game ended 2 - 0.

    Takeover update

    This really needs to get resolved one way or the other I am going to miss out on a very important transfer market for the club if not.

    Takeover Update # 2

    So the takeover is complete and I am worried about my job currently they will want to bring in their own manager surly. I will be informed of their decision shortly.

    Transfer Market # 2

    Still cannot place offers for players.

    Aston Villa (A) - 3 Points Predicted

    ASM pulled his abdominal muscle as such will be out for the next 2 weeks, this will allow the chance in the first team. I want to take a chance on the youngster as he has performed well coming off the bench in the last 2 games. Almiron is still out with a sprained knee ligament and is looking at another 2 weeks until he is back in light training. Danny Rose returns to the first team after being ineligible for the last 2 games.

    I have a feeling that if I fail to win this game I will be out of a job so for the 4th time this season this is a must win game made even more important.

    In a very drab affair Aston Villa were the only team that looked like scoring,

    We remain in 14th still with 2 points above the relegation places. Still 3 points off 10th place. We just need to find a win from somewhere.

    Message from the board

    Somehow I have managed to keep hold of my job.

    Transfer Market #3

    I have placed an offer for:

    Michy Batshuayi - 13.25M Accepted

    Man Utd (A) - 0 Points Predicted

    Lejeune starts in place of Lascelles in the only change to the draw against Aston Villa.

    We really had our backs to wall in this one, 13 shots (3 on target). I'm really surprised we managed to bring it to half time 0 - 0. We barely hung on in the second half 30 shots in total against us (10) on target. Dubravka the only reason that we managed to hold onto a draw with 10 shots saved 8 of which were held onto.

    We have now slipped down into 15th position but still have a 2 point safety net. The Gap to 10th is still only 3 points.

    Everton (H) - 1 Point Predicted

    I decided to make a tactical change for this one considering that both ASM and Almiron are both out injured and I don't want to rely on Toure out wide. 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 (4-3-3) . I ended up with Matty & Jolinton taking the AM positions just behind the striker Gayle. Krath went into RB and Lazaro in RM.

    A real scrappy affair in the first half which only saw 3 shots on target for both sides. The deadlock was broken in the 22nd minute with a close range effort from Fabian Delph.

    The second half picked up a little with end to end action with very little in the way of a final product. On the 78th minute Gayle was taken down which resulted in a penalty which Richie took and converted the chance into a goal. 1 - 1. Djibril Sidide was given his second yellow card of the game in the 85th minute and was sent off. Even with the extra man advantage we really struggled to capitalise on this even when given the orders to go very attacking.

    Newcastle have moved down to 15th place but still have a 2 point gap to 19th. 10th place is now 3 points
    away. We also have a better goal difference than 10th place also by 2 goals.

    New Signing

    Michy Batshuayi signs on a 4 year deal I am hoping that he will improve the team with the lack of cutting edge in the final 3rd of the pitch. I cannot really find anyone else that would go straight into the first team with the loan signings of Danny Rose, Valentino Lazaro & Nabil Bentaleb and it’s very unlikely that we have the funds to purchase any of these as there is only 8M left in the budget.

    Max Kilman signs on a 3 year deal from Wolves. He is a CB that can fill into the LB slot if needed. I paid 1.2 million for the player and for an English player is extremely cheap and can be used as a suitable backup option with the view to improving the 22 year old.

    Kiril Despodov signes on a 4 year deal from Cagliari. He is an attacking Midfielder that can play either wing and will be a good backup option for either Almiron or ASM. I paid 4.8M for him at the age of 23. He is currently on loan at the moment and will not sign until the end of the season.

    League Table 1st February 2020

    Still very tight at the bottom of the table. West Ham are still bottom but are only 3 points away from us in 15th. The gap is closing towards the top with 3 points taking us up to 12 instead of 10th. We do however have a game in hand over some teams but that is against Chelsea so it’s not like it really going to make a difference.

    We did manage to get to the target of 4 points from 12. Although we failed to win a game at all, in fact we have not won a game since 21th December against Wolves. Strangely enough I have not won a home game all season even before I started with the team in November.

    February Schedule

    4 games in February Chelsea is going to be tough to even get a draw out of it. Crystal Palace are currently 9th but have won 3 and lost 3 in the last 6 so their form is up and down. Wolves game has got to be the game where we record our first win at home, they have lost the last 4 games. Leicester is going to be another difficult game to get anything from. Prediction 4 points from 12. I think the game at Wolves is winnable and we may be able to snatch a win at Crystal Palace but more likely a draw.

    I will see you next in the 1st March
    Emprex's avatar Group Emprex
    2 yearsEdited

    March 1st 2020

    Chelsea (A) Predicted 0 Points

    No selection problems for the first time in a while, Batshuyi will start up top for his debut against his old club.

    The first half seemed to be over as soon as it began with 0 clear chances for either side, of the chances that came Newcastle had more however these were half chances at best. Chealsea were struggling in front of goal to my delight the half ended 0 - 0. If we can get a decent break and snatch this win that would be my first win at home. Moments after starting the half Chealsea breezed past the midfield and could only win a corner. The resulting corner was connected by Pedro who could only watch as it glanced over the crossbar. Corner at the other end of the pitch was dealt with initially but it dropped to Sean Longstaff whose glancing shot was just wide of the post. The match at that point saw no other chances to speak off and Newcastle managed to battle to a 0 - 0 draw.

    We hold onto 15th place with the draw and move 3 points clear of the drop zone, somehow with all the draws we are creating space to the bottom of the table slowly. We desperately need a win sooner rather than later.

    Crystal Palace (A) Predicted Points 1

    Tactical tweaks for the game. Focus is positive for this one going back to the narrower style of play. Formation changed to 4 - 2 - 2 - 2 (Wide). The up top pairing of Joelinton and Batshuayi I am hoping will give us the win.

    12 minutes in and Sean Longstaff is having problems as a precaution I have taken him off and replaced him with Shelvey. From the resulting freekick Dubravka played it short to Shelvey who drove forward and placed it neatly for ASM. ASM whipped a fast ball into the 6 yard box, the ball struck Almiron and went into the back of the net 0 - 1. 18 minutes Shelvey picked out a nice pass towards Batshuayi who brought it down and aimed low into the corner. Crystal Palace GK got a hand to it and punched it out for a corner. 22 minutes Shelvey again picks out a decent pass but this time to Jolinton who turns and strikes it into the back of the net. 0 - 2. In the 2nd half there were decent chances for Jolinton one went wide another just over the bar. Ayew also has a very good chance with the shot going wide of the post. 64th minute Luka Milivojetic intercepted the pass from ASM to Shelvey and caught us on the counter, slotted it low into the box for Ayew to make it 1 - 2. We managed to see out the remainder of the game to see it home for our first win of the year.

    We now move up to 12th with a 5 point gap to the bottom of the league. 6 points from Crystal Palace in 10th.

    Wolves (H) Predicted 3 Points

    We have our first win of the season can we get our first win at home and also first back to back win. 1 change to the side which is forced however would have been made anyway as Shelvey was in top form and will start instead of Sean Longstaff.

    In the first half we had at least 4 decent chances to break the deadlock one of which was from almiron connecting with Jolinton who was unable to beat the GK. Shelvey again passed brillant. ASM also broke down the wing and was fouled inside of the box. Up stepped Shelvey to take the penalty but he hit the post.

    56 minutes in Shelvey had a freekick out wide which was sent back post where Schar headed it downward toward goal to make it 1 - 0. 62 minutes a lapse in concentration from the defence sees the ball lost to Neves who passes to Jota who pegged the goal back however the goal was ruled offside and the score remains 1 - 0. 90th minutes Jolinton wins the ball at the half way line and hoofs it up field to Batshuayi who knocks it forward before hitting the ball within Rui Patricio’s reach and is parried out for a throw in.

    Finally 2 wins in a row, 1st win at home, maybe just maybe we are starting to string some results together. Looking back we are unbeaten in the League for 10 games admittedly 8 draws and 2 wins.

    Leicester (A) Predicted 0 points

    Unchanged squad and tactics for the game.

    17 minutes into the game Vardy beats the defence to the clearance Maddison takes over and slots the ball into a dangerous area for Vardy who drives it in to make the score 1 - 0. Not the start I had in mind. Newcastle struggled to get the ball out of their own area, they won the 2nd ball twice, Hayden drove forward strikes it high and wide for a goal kick. 2nd half 72 minutes ASM drags the ball back towards the edge of the area finds Shelvey who strikes it but it's easily caught by Schmeichel. 2 changes made Richie on for ASM, Jolinton off for Gayle.

    78 minutes Gray finds Praet who beats his man and drives a strike into the top corner, it shakes the top of the post and clears out for a throw.

    Typical as soon as I mention 2 in a row and 10 unbeaten we simply roll over to a 1 - 0 defeat which in all honesty could have been much worse.

    13th place still 5 points clear of the relegation places and 3 points behind Sheffield United in 9th. (-3 goal difference)

    League Table March 1st

    7 points from 12 is good considering we played 3 in the top 10.

    March Schedule

    Only 3 games in March all seem to be winnable, The Burnley and Bournemouth game have to be won unless we will get dragged back into the mix. Brighton is difficult to predict. They have drawn 3, lost 1 and won 2 in their last 5. Considering I have already gone for 2 wins in 3 I will say draw.

    Predicted 7 / 9 points.

    I will provide the next update April 1st
    Pleased to see you're managing to steer Newcastle away from danger. Tremendous work. I have had to make a few adjustments to your OP (mainly) because the coding was incorrect and was causing for the page to have a meltdown whenever somebody tried to access it. :)
    Good job in practically keeping Newcastle up! Always find this challenge difficult, but you seem to have turned the Magpies around pretty quickly!
    On course for a very respectable position in the table. March will be a nice way to take the foot off the gas a little with the return of the international breaks!
    Newcastle looking like the drop is in their rear-view mirror but still very possible that poor form could see you back there, keep working to make sure that doesn't happen

    April 1st 2020

    Burnley (A) Predicted 3 points

    Only one change made for the game, Lejeune in for the injured Schar.

    Boring first half with next to no chances for either side, I have increased the mentality of the players to be more attacking in the 2nd half as Burnley rarely seemed threatening but neither did we.

    Best chance so far falls to Burnley Gudmundsson beats Rose and slides it across the 6 yard box but Wood can only slide in to try and make contact with the ball. Lejeune beats him and makes the clearance.

    Bentaleb with a great chance running towards goal into the edge of the area, not good enough as the ball was easily diverted away from goal for a corner 84 minutes. 93 minutes into the last attack of the match and Jolinton breaks free but is unable to make the chance count, the ball goes out for a corner. Corner comes to nothing end of the match 0 - 0.

    Very poor performance considering our recent form. Good news is we are still in 13th with 4 points clear of the bottom. 10th place is still realistic at this point with a gap of only 2.

    Bournemouth (A) Predicted 3 points

    Unchanged squad and tactics from the Burnley Game

    How the game is still level at 20 minutes is beyond me Newcastle have had a handful of decent chances going high, wide and off the post. As soon as I wrote this ASM plays the ball along the ground towards Batshuayi who slots it low and wide beyond the reach of Aaron Ramsdale to make it 0 - 1 22 minutes. His first goal for Newcastle United. Corner on 28 minutes comes into Lascelles who loses his man and taps it into the back of the net 0 - 2. 1st chance of the game for Bournemouth Callum Wilson catches Lejune napping but was not able to beat the keeper.

    2nd half and Bournemouth are looking more dangerous on the counter still no goal though. ASM with a freekick on the edge of the area places into space at the back post and Lascelles with the volley is saved by the GK. 75 minutes Bantaleb slots it through the middle to Jolinton who turns and strikes it first time into the back of the net 0 - 3. That Jolintons 10th of the season.

    Easily our best performance all season. We move into 11th place 7 points clear of relegation and 2 points below 9th.

    8 games to go and we are in 11th the same place where Fergie guided Man Utd to in his first season in charge. Can I match it or better still beat it?

    Youth Candidates

    Not a very good intake this year however the likes of Mickey Fitzpatrick looks like the only one that has potential. But I am unsure he will fulfil it.

    Brighton (A) Predicted Points 1

    It would be harsh of me to make any changes to the squad at this point after the last game however if Schar was fully fit he would be back in the team instead of Lejeune.

    Early chance for ASM 6 minutes who hits the ball against Matthew Ryan, the ball lands at Almirons feet who could not get the goal as it goes out for a corner. 17 minutes the ball is cleared to Jolinton who knocks the ball past Webster, the move is missing the final ball though as Ryan dives on top of the ball. First real chance of the game for Brighton Bernardo on the edge of the area heads the ball into a dangerous area, Stephen Alzate takes the gamble and just slots the ball goal bound to make it 1 - 0. 61 minutes ASM with the freekick out wide some 30 yards. The ball is whipped into the area Batshuayi gets a head to it early and just guides the ball into the back of the net. 1 - 1. 67th minutes the ball is won and lost repeatedly by Newcastle in the Brighton final 3rd, the ball finally drops to Jolinton who strikes it towards goal. Matthew Ryan blocks the shot and sends it wide, Almiron tries at an awkward angle and it's on target, 1 - 2. ASM with a solo effort out wide, cuts inside on the edge of area, aims for the top far corner and scores. 1 - 3.

    Were in the top 10 (10th) with a clear 10 point gap to 18th place. 2 points adrift of Crystal Palace in 9th.

    League Table April 1st

    At last some breathing space from the bottom of the league. It has been a tough campaign and look at the remaining schedule it's only going to get harder. Those 10 points are going to be crucial in surviving relegation.

    I was on target with the number of points I was going to get 7 bit. I drew with Burnley instead of winning and won at Brighton instead of the draw.

    April Schedule

    Man City & Liverpool are in their own league atm trading top spot with every game as long as I can keep the goals conceded down then that will be pleasing.
    Norwich is a game I would like to come out of 2 losses with a win that will be important to get back to winning ways faster. West Ham has to be a win for us, we seem to play better away than at home.

    Prediction 6 / 12

    Next update May 1st

    May 1st 2020

    Man City (H) Predicted Points 0

    I Am sticking with the same squad again, I feel that we are starting to play well with the 4-2-2-2 (4-3-3) formation.

    Sterling as a goal ruled out for offside in the first 5 minutes of the game.Silva on 15 gets Man City’s first goal of the game 0 - 1. 31 minutes on the clock and Aguero poaches a goal to make it 0 - 2. 64 minutes and Ajer taps the ball into the empty net from a corner to Man City 0 - 3. On paper this was an awful result however Aguero could have easily got a hatrick at the very least, on top of that another 2 shots marginally wide either side of the post.

    3 goals in not going to help the already poor goal difference. We still hold onto 10th place but the gap to the bottom has been reduced to 7 points. Crystal Palace are still only 2 points away but considering we have Liverpool next in the league I do not expect to catch them anytime soon. Defeat to Liverpool could see us fall to 13th.

    Liverpool (A) Predicted Points 0

    Schar returns to the first team in a straight switch with Lejeune. No other changes to report.

    Well the goal came a lot later than I suspected 18 minutes, but it was Chamberlain from outside of the area 1 - 0. Completely against the run of play Batshuayi finds himself 1 v 1 with Alisson the shot is blocked but would have bounced over the line if not for Fabinho making a late clearance off the line. I was wondering when his name would crop up. It took him 23 minutes to even know he was on the pitch but Mo Salah has put Liverpool 2 - 0 up. ASM with a cheeky effort from close range is gathered by Allyson 24 minutes. ASM keeps finding himself inside the area with no one marking surly if anyone is going to score it will be him. Shot too high this time 30 minutes. He has done it again, seems to turn a half chance into goals Mo Salah 3 - 0. Finally the half time whistle, can we just not play the 2nd hand and call it a game there. Mane 14 seconds into the 2nd half scores 4 - 0. Salty now Joelinton Off for Fernandez, And Batshuayi off for Hayden, 5 at the back with DM. No more goals conceded please. Having no one playing up top seems to have worked ASM 2 clear chances wide inside of the box having free shots neither really threatening. Sean Longstaff receives the ball on the edge of the field from Almiron and just lets swing into the top near corner. 4 -1. Shelvey comes on for Bentelab and straight away wins a free kick in the middle of the park. Whipped it into the box and Schar gets onto the end of it 4 - 2.

    Unsurprisingly we have dropped into 11th, 6 points clear of 18th. 3 from 9th (-3 goal difference)

    Norwich (H) Predicted Points 3

    I was really considering using the same tactic that I used towards the end of the game against Liverpool, 5 - 1 - 4. But having thought better of it I have decided to keep the team as it was with just 1 change that is Matty Longstaff staying ahead of Bentaleb.

    Slow start to the game but at 30 minutes Sean Longstaff hits the ball on the edge of the area low and into the far corner. 1 - 0. Corner for Norwich Duda puts the ball towards the back post McLean with a free header. 1 - 1. ASM gets into a good area on the edge of the box unsupported he takes a long show but it’s way wide of the mark. Almiron intercepts the ball in the middle of the park and gets into a goal scoring position but it's blocked and goes out for a corner. ASM gets into a wide area in the box, looks like he takes a shot and it just goes through the gap to the other side and is picked up by Almiron to slot it home 2 - 1. ASM again winning the 2nd ball this time it’s crossed into Jolinton who heads it over. ASM wins the ball back in a dangerous area but could not hit it accurately wide for a goal kick. The number of chances we have had we really should have breathing space here but totally against the run of play Lewis floats a cross in from very wide into Duda who rises highest to win the ball 2 - 2.

    This is definitely one of those results I will look back on and think what could have been. Throwing the lead away twice had far to many chances not converted into goals.

    Still in 11th place with 7 clear of relegation and 2 from 9th. (-5 goal difference). Potentially with a win against West Ham we could be mathematically safe from relegation.

    West Ham (A) Predicted Points 3

    Nowhere near the number of points I was expecting this month however 2 difficult games to start were always going to cause issues for the last 2. Both longstaff brothers out for this one Shelvey and Hayden replace.

    Early doors Jolinton slots it to Batshuayi who was able to convert the early chance 0 - 1. 3 minutes. West Ham with the counter from Seferovic shoots but it is blocked by Dubravka, the loose ball is quickly picked up by Rose and cleared. Haller picks up the cleared ball on the edge of the area but the shot is saved by GK the follow up is hit into the roof of the back of the net 1 - 1 36 minutes. Start of the 2nd half and a few more half chances from West Ham Yarmolenko wins a Corner. Haller hits another wide of the mark. It was coming West Ham started the second half much better than Newcastle. Somewhat of a scramble into the box and Haller finds it at his feet, the shot goes into the back of the net 2 - 1. Salty time, Both Jolinton & Batshuayi off for Matty & Sean Longstaff. No comeback this time game ends 2 - 1.

    Very disappointed in the form this month only 1 point from 12 (realistically 6). We have dropped down into 12th with 3 games to go. 4 clear of the drop. Still a slight chance in 9th as only 3 behind (-1 goal difference)

    League Table May 1st

    3 games to go 4 clear and 3 from 9th. It’s going to be tough to get 9th with the games remaining. Aston Villa are all but confirmed relegated. It has to be between Burley, Norwich, Southampton and West Ham for the final 2 spots. Wolves depending on their 2 games in hand will determine it for them.

    May Schedule

    So here it is the last 3 games, I have to admit if we can get 2 points from the last 3 I will be happy. Ideally with better form in the last 2 games I would be wanting a win against Watford & Sheffield United but we struggled against West Ham and Norwich.

    Predicted points 2 / 9

    I will see you June 1st for the final update of the season

    June 1st 2020

    Arsenal (H) Predicted Points 0

    A change in lineup is needed so Jetro Williams is in a LB, Kilman is making his debut in CB, Hayden starts alongside Sean Longstaff.

    What a start, great team effort from Dubravka, Hayden, Longstaff to Batshuayi slots it home 1 - 0. 19 minutes Lazaro plays the ball low into the area towards ASM who shoots at a tight angle. Leno gets his hands to it but the ball drops to Batshayi who was unable to double his tally for the game. Ball over the top is brought down by Lacazette clear 1 v 1 situation with Dubravka. 1 - 1. 24 minutes. ASM with a freekick out wide drops perfectly to Hayden but he could not bring the shot goal bound, it’s wide. Martinelli connects to the ball whipped in from a corner 1 - 2 42 minutes. 45 minutes Batshuayi works his way into a dangerous position but Leno blocks the shot. The resulting corner lands perfect for Almiron but the header is hit straight towards Leno.

    A quick move from Newcastle sees Batshuayi free out wide, he plays a 1-2 with Jolinton and scores his 2nd of the game 2 - 2. Williams with the corner finds Jolinton who heads it goal bound Almiron get intbetween of the goal and the shot and heads it into the back of the net 3 - 2. Almiron intercepts the ball in the middle of the park just before hitting the cross is taken down by Xhaka, ASM to come.

    11th and 6 points clear of the drop. Safety not confirmed as Wolves have a game in hand. 1 point off 9th.

    Watford (A) - Predicted Points - 1

    Unchanged squad to win at Arsenal.

    16th minute first attack of the game and Almiron and Jolinton link up to put Newcastle ahead 0 - 1. Danny Welbeck equalises for Watford on 32 minutes 1 - 1. 41 minutes a second is added by Welbeck 2 - 1. Very poor first half made it worse as on 51 minutes ASM came off injured and replaced by Toure. Toure with a weak effort on goal with 54 minutes on the clock all the hard work was done getting the ball into a dangerous area. Lascelles is caught out of position and Deulofeu takes advantage 3 - 1.

    Despite the result we are still in 11th place and 6 points from the bottom. We are now mathematically safe as Southampton in 17 are unable to catch us even though Wolves still have 2 games in hand.

    We can move up to 10th with a win in the last game of the season but the loss to Watford has given them a 4 point lead over us in 9th.

    Aston Villa have been confirmed Relegated from division.

    Sheffield United (H) Predicted Points - 1

    There is a possibility of 5 teams being relegated from the division going into the last game of the season (West Ham, Norwich, Wolves, Southampton and Burnley)

    Slight rotated squad for the last game of the season

    Early into the 1st half and Besic has been sent off. 14 minutes. Almiron from the resulting free kick finds space outside of the box and scores 1 - 0. Nothing else really to report from the 1st half. Toure finds his way inside of the box and puts it on a plate for Gayle, the last ditch tackle stops the attack. From the GK McBurnie has acres of space no one closing him down, a screamer into the top far corner, 1 - 1. 3 changes at 70 minutes, Matt Longstaff, Almiron and Sorensen off for Shelvey, Richie and Batshuayi. Gayle has another similar chance from close range thanks to Lazaro 2 - 1.

    Final Premier League Table 2020

    Final position 12th 1 lower than Fergie in his first season as Man Utd manager, considering the competition for places in the premier league I think it's a great success considering the poor form through the entire season. Liverpool managed to win the title quite convincingly in the end. Through November - January there were trading places with Man City on a weekly basis.

    Records Broken

    Despite the poor season somehow a few records have been broken

    Jolinton 11 Goals in a season is a new record
    ASM’s 5 assists is a new record for the season
    Shelvey’s 2 man of the match games is a record
    And Dubravka kept 12 clean sheets which is also a new record.

    Transfer & Wage budget for the coming season

    76M transfer budget and 1.4M Wage budget we are currently spending 1.3M in wages but with the number of contracts expiring soon that should reduce to around 1M.

    Next update will be before the 1st game of the season
    A decent finish all things considered. A lot of money to spend in the summer which will significantly improve your chances of climbing further up the table next season.

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