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The Gaffer Series: Just Like Fergie

Follow French manager named the Gaffer as he attempts football manager challenges and vibes on FM21
Started on 27 February 2021 by LeGaffer
Latest Reply on 11 April 2021 by LeGaffer
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Some exciting arrivals there and even more excited to see Hyuk come through in the first team!

Episode 22: From 20th to 2nd Place!


After these early transfers, the 2024-2025 season began after a good pre-season in China. Some of the results of the preseason gave the Gaffer confidence for a successful season. However, the first game against Tottenham did not go as planned. A dismal loss away from home gave the Gaffer an indication that this season might be tougher than he expected. The Gaffer is deploying a new 4-3-3 system as he wants to utilize Rice, Maia, Gomes, and Bakayoko in the same lineup. This system might change after the terrible performance at the Tottenham Stadium.

After a second loss and draw in the PL, Newcastle United found themselves sitting in 20th position. Not the start the Gaffer was looking to begin the season. The month of August ended with the team in the relegation zone. Going into September, the atmosphere in the dressing room was beginning to dip but, the Gaffer had faith in his team.

Newcastle United suffered their third defeat in the league to Leicester and from that game on will go on a 12-game unbeaten run going into the new year. There was one injury to the squad which could be identified as a reason for the bad start. For starters, first-team goalkeeper Fariñez suffered an abdominal injury and was out for 2 months. Backup Yann Sommer was placed in goal who did his best but let in far too many goals. There were also small and minor injuries forcing some important players to miss one or two matches.

Within that unbeaten run, Newcastle United won convincingly against Liverpool and some close games against Man United and Chelsea. The Gaffer was awarded PL Manager of the Month in November after winning all his games during that month. In the Europa League, the side managed to qualify for the next rounds by finishing in 1st place in Group D. The teams Newcastle played gave the Gaffer some trouble during the matches, but his team managed to come away with some win’s solid wins.



The Gaffer was more concerned with the results as opposed to the performances in the Europa League. This team will be a force to be reckoned with in the latter stages of the European competition. Newcastle sadly did miss an opportunity to go further and win the Carabao Cup. A dreadful penalty shootout against Wolves forced the Toonside out of the cup competition.

The impressive run by the team up the PL table put a smile on the Gaffer’s face. He is finally witnessing how good his team can be and that they can make a push for the Premier League. Something must have clicked for the Newcastle players; they have been performing day in and day out. Forwards and midfielders have been on a tear especially star striker Patson Daka. In 16 games played, he has scored 16 goals in all competitions so far. Bowen, McNeil. Gomes, Allan Saint-Maximin, and other attackers are in some fine form chipping in with assists and goals.

Defensively, the team is still quite shaky but, with the forwards playing exceptionally, it is not the biggest of worries. One thing noteworthy was the Gaffer’s switch to a 4-4-1-1 shape which provided more cover for the defense. To keep other teams on their toes, the Gaffer makes slight adjustments to his tactics. It has proved to be successful so far as seen in the last two months' results.


Information has been circulating in the media that some players are unhappy with their playing time at the club. The Gaffer was asked what his thoughts were on the subject. He stated “All the lads are happy to play when called upon and sad when not, but I cannot play everyone. Some of them like Zaha and Bakayoko will have to be patient. I have spoken to them and they will need to be ready when injuries occur or player performances drop but at the moment, I can give them the minutes they want. This is well said by the Gaffer. There are still more matches to be played and squad rotation will be key for the second half of the season. The winter transfer window is now open, lets see who the Gaffer and his recruitment team bring into the club if any.

FIXTURES AND RESULTS

Episode 23: Worse End to the Season!


The Newcastle board decided to accept a bid for the first team GK Fariñez from Valencia on the last day of the winter transfer window. Before the Gaffer could have a say in the bid, Martinez was on a plane to Spain. Frankly, it was difficult to keep hold of Fariñez for long as many clubs were after him. Furious with what transpired, it prompted the Gaffer to call the Director of Football immediately to bring in a new GK. Having recently played against Leicester, the Gaffer suggested to DOF to sign Altay Bayindir them or Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United.

The transfer for Ramsdale was difficult to complete in a short amount of time, so the Gaffer had to settle for the Turkish shot-stopper Altay. Altay is such an exceptional keeper who saves the team numerous times in the matches. Other transfers the occurred included Bakayoko going to Real Sociedad on a loan who later paid $37 million to sign him permanently. Zaha was loaned out to La Galaxy and Callum Wilson was loaned out to RB Salzburg. The DOF then loaned in center midfielder Manuel Ugarte from Liverpool and signed Raphael Guerreiro on a pre-contract as a backup LB as he is 32 years old. Apart from Altay, no big money signing came in, and to be frank, the transfer budget was depleted.


Another season for Newcastle United is done and dusted. Disappointingly, the Toonside club ended with no silverware. In the Premier League, the team did an excellent job of catching up to Liverpool who were miles ahead in the title race back in March. The disappointing thing was that they bottled the chance to win the title after such a great effort to catch up.

The PL season came down to the game against Bournemouth one week before the end of the season. That draw cost Newcastle United the chance to go level on points with Liverpool heading into the last match of the season. They sat 3 points behind the league leaders and a win was their only chance to win the title, however, the lads let down the Gaffer and fans. With no chance of winning the league now, the Gaffer decide to play some of the youngsters against Man City which they were battered 4-0. The team finished in second place on 85 points, just 5 points behind Liverpool and with a much better goal difference.


In the Europa League, the team did not fare well in the latter stages. After a wonder display at home against Atletico Madrid in the semifinals, all they needed was one goal in the away fixture to secure a place in the Final. It is not easy to go to the Wanda Metropolitan and secure a win in that environment. Nonetheless, the Gaffer was confident in his team and wanted nothing short of 3 points. Well, the Gaffer got the opposite of what he hoped for. Atletico was on a mission to secure their place in the Final and pummeled Newcastle in a 5-1 extra-time match.

Truth be told, Newcastle did not deserve to be in the Europa League final after such a horrible first-half display. Not to mention, they were let down by their skipper Declan Rice who received two yellow cards in the first half. The only bright spot from the match was how resilient the lads were in the second half. All they needed was a second away goal to secure the win. Playing with 10 men, Newcastle was bound to concede and towards the end of extra time, Atletico put the game to bed.

In the FA Cup, the team was knocked out in the fifth round by Tottenham. The draws were unfavorable to Newcastle United. The team managed to beat Man City in the fourth round only to turn around and get drawn against Tottenham. A more favorable draw in the FA Cup and I am sure, this team would have made it to the Finals.


The performances of the players were very great baring the early season woes and terrible finish to the season. The lads seem to pick up for each other if one player is not in great form. Three of the midfielders ended with double-digit goals and Patson Daka finished top scorer for the team. In terms of the league, four players made it into the PL team of the year with Myloka Matvienko winning the PL Player and Players’ Player of the Season. The Gaffer can fault any of the lads for their performances, to be honest.




The lads bought into the Gaffer's new system, tactics, and training methods which was instrumental in their rise up the table into second and a Europa League Semifinalist. While the board has been great in support of transfers, they have also done tremendously in improving the facilities around the club. Newcastle United has State of Art Youth facilities along with superb training facilities. The season did not end the way the club wanted but it is something to build upon as there is only three-season left for the Gaffer to win the PL title. Therefore, the next two summer windows are crucial, and the Gaffer wishes his recruitment team and DOF will make the right signings and player sales.


A strange up and down season there. A real push to get over the bump next year I think!
1
That hair is monstrous!
1
2021-04-09 17:37#283113 TheLFCFan : A strange up and down season there. A real push to get over the bump next year I think!
Yeah, wished the team had a better start to the season we could have been ahead in the title race
2021-04-09 20:07#283123 Justice : That hair is monstrous!
Hahaha, the more hair, the better
LeGaffer's avatar Group LeGaffer
2 daysEdited

Episode 24: Can Newcastle United be PL Champions?


With the disappointing end to the last season, the Gaffer sent his team away on vacation knowing that winning silverware this season is a priority. He asked the lads to ponder upon this “Imagine the feeling of lifting a PL or Champions League trophy and come back next season ready to win one or both. The goal for the club is to only qualify for the Europa League but, the Gaffer is ambitious in achieving his goals and wants his team to have the same mindset.

Newcastle United lads arrived back to St. James Park in early July to commence their annual pre-season tour to China. No summer tournament meant that the full squad will be available to the Gaffer during the preseason. Therefore, after a month of preseason games and training, Newcastle United was raring to begin the 2025-2026 season. The preseason was not much of a test as quite frankly, the side battered the teams they faced except Monaco (1-1 draw). The Monaco match was a good preseason practice for the PL and Champions League.

The first match of the season was in the Community Shield against PL and Fa Cup winners Liverpool. Newcastle who finished 2nd in the PL was handed an opportunity to win some silverware early in the season. Newcastle United came away with a 2-0 win against the might Liverpool and the Community Shield. No matter the silverware the Gaffer wants to add it to his trophy cabinet and so he led his lads into victory. There is not much to say from the match as Newcastle United won convincingly. Angel Gomes put the team into the lead with an early first-half goal and Allan St. Maximin, sealed the win in the 90th minute. Excellent display and this win was a confidence booster going into the season.

Before playing against Liverpool, the DOF and recruitment team made some transfer business which the Gaffer approved of. The Gaffer wanted to build depth with quality players to have cover for injuries and rotation during the busy months of the season. Thus, the DOF signed two players from Tottenham. Sergio Reguillon and Panagiotis Retsos – both defenders will most likely be first-team starters during the season. Needing depth at GK, the DOF found a wonderkid from Argentina who goes by the name of Laureano Rojas. Having signed Altay Bayindir in January, the competition of first-team GK just got more interesting. The Gaffer says both men will play but he is leaning towards Rojas as he is 20 yrs old and has more potential to develop. The team also needed depth in front of the goal and so, when Talles Magno became available, Newcastle snatched him up.


Weirdly, the DOF decided to make a loan bid for Gio Reyna from Arsenal. This caused some confusion with the Gaffer because the club did not need another attacking midfielder. Not sure why Arsenal let him go either. In terms of player sales, Real Madrid snapped up Jamal Lewis after several low bids for the left-back. The board made this decision to recoup some money. Wilfred Zaha was shipped out to a country no one has heard of in an $11 million deal.

The Gaffer made some player promotions from the youth team. 18-year old striker Phil Proctor who is another wonderkid was promoted to the first team, he was then immediately loaned out to get more first-team play. The second player to be promoted was 17yr old goalkeeper, Ashley Daly to add more depth in that position. Two players with great potential who are not far from the first team.


The start of the season was what the Gaffer was looking for except for the minor setback against Leeds in the PL. The Newcastle side beat Chelsea, holding them to one shot during the entire game. Then losing to Leeds which was unacceptable by the increased standards of the club. Finally, Newcastle United finished with two solid wins against Westham and Aston Villa. The defense has kept 3 clean sheets so far and if they keep getting clean sheets and wins, this might be the season for the Gaffer and Newcastle to win the PL title. The champions league draw was tough with Inter and Porto in the same group as Newcastle United. The lads have a great chance of advancing to the next stages with the quality they have.

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