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Rebuilding Newcastle

Started on 18 September 2021 by matty32
Latest Reply on 16 October 2021 by matty32
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So i've randomised who to manage and come up with Newcastle United, which happens to be my Grandad's team when he was alive, so a nice project to try and turn them around and give their loyal fanbase something to cheer about. Going to be trying to ship out some of the older players and bringing in youth, while sticking with some good players they have like Jamal Lewis, Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson, Joe Willock and Allan Saint-Maximin. I've found it hard to get into a game in FM21 but have decided this will be my last game before FM22, so really knuckling down and enjoying it, currently in December and been surprised with how well its gone so far, so this story will start after my last game against Leicester (which didnt go so well) and onto a tough Xmas period, facing Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool within 6 days, and then on from there.

I'm a big fan of full squad overhauls and play like that when managing in FM, so don't be surprised with lots of signings each season, as its how ive always been lol.

Transfers 20/21

So my mass movements started with a busy day on 31/7/2020 with a personal favourite, Thiago Almada, coming in for an initial £5million, rising to under £10million with clauses. On the same day, Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie were sold for nearly £15.5million combined, which isn't a bad deal for two players who I don't consider good enough or that I would use much, so a nice little boost to the transfer budget, which started at £17million.

Then i looked at the free transfer market, and brought in Jack Roles, who I think has potential and at worse, can be sold for a bit of profit, being a Cambridge United follower, I also like him due to his loan move a few seasons back. I also picked up Irishman, Robbie Brady, who will be good cover down the whole left side, and a player i've never heard of in Argentinian, Fede Cartabia, who has impressed off the bench in the almost half season i've had him. Again he could be sold for a nice profit at the end of the season if I find an alternative, but these two have added depth to my wing options, behind my first choice in Ryan Fraser and Allan Saint-Maximin.

I added Dalot as felt Manquillo is not that level and with Dalot available, I thought why not. The signing of Papetti was a weird one as I tried to take advantage of that contract issue he has at the start of the game, but couldnt compete with Arsenal, but still managed to get him for the season anyway, on loan.

4 other signings were a mixture of scout recommendations and personal favourites, with Livakovic (GK) and Badiashile (DC) players I enjoyed signing throughout games on FM21, and Menino (MC) and Rogic (AMC) both highly recommended by scouts. Rogic will come in to compete with Almiron for the AMC role, while Menino and Badiashile were brought in to break into the team over the season, but have already done that from early in the season and am hoping they progress more and more for the rest of the season, hopefully injury free. The signing of Livakovic came about because I offered out Darlow and Gillespie and only managed to get a loan deal for Gillespie, so offered out Dubravka and was shocked when Real Madrid came in with a £17.75million offer for a 31 year old who i'd be replacing with a 25 year old for almost half that. 31 is not old for a keeper, but Livakovic is great and has 6 years on Dubravka.

The rest of the sales were of players I didn't want or felt I had enough cover in those positions, like Federico Fernandez (DC), Emil Krafth (RB) and Jeff Hendrick (MC). Jacob Murphy was also sold for the same reason, and because I felt Burnley's offer of £8million was too good to turn down for a player I wouldn't use and could invest that elsewhere.

Squad 20-21

My first XI is pretty set, playing a 4-2-3-1 with Livakovic my undoubted no.1 but Darlow being a fairly good backup.

Right back is Diego Dalot, but I do like Javier Manquillo and with fixtures building up, he'll be getting alot more gametime. Menino can cover here too.

Left back is Jamal Lewis' position comfortably, but I do have plenty of cover, with Robbie Brady, Dalot and Manquillo all able to play there.

Centre back I believe i'm very strong, with Lascelles and Badiashile being my first choice centre backs, with Papetti, Ciaran Clark and Fabian Schar as backup.

In central midfield, I like to play a BBM alongside either a DLP or BWM, with Joe Willock being my first choice for BBM and Menino being first choice alongside him, battling with Shelvey, Hayden and also Sean Longstaff. Longstaff is a weird one as I wanted to develop him, being relatively young and a hometown boy, but he wasnt great in pre-season and the others outperformed him, so hes at the bottom of the ladder at the moment.

My Inside Forwards/Wingers alternate with my main guys being Fraser on the right and Saint-Maximin on the left. Cartabia has come in off the bench with some important goals and has been a pleasant surprise to me. Almada can play these roles as well as giving competition to Almiron for the AMC role, aswell as Rogic, who hasn't had many chances. Robbie Brady and Joelinton can also be deployed here if im desperate.

My striker role is easy and picks itself, with Callum Wilson always seeming to be OP'd on FM, much to my advantage currently. He'd bagged 11 goals in 16 games and is currently 3rd top scorer in the league, behind Diego Jota, whos scored more goals than hes played games (13 in 11) for Liverpool, and Adam Armstrong, Romelu Lukaku, Raul Jimenez and Rodrigo of Leeds, who all have 11 goals so far and are all joint second.

One stat a Newcastle player is currently topping, is unfortunately the booking chart, where Lascelles is smashing it with 8 bookings :/

Fixtures 20-21

Pre-season was a mixed bag, but I never read into it much anyway, as we all know its about match fitness over results.

The season started with a solid victory over West Ham, with a late winner from substitute and debutant, Fede Cartabia. That same man then got a start in the EFL Cup against Morecambe and proved his worth, and my fluky transfer dealing, by scoring both goals in a comfortable 2-0 win.

What followed was a late equaliser by Ryan Fraser against Southampton to keep our undefeated start rolling, and then a Jamal Lewis goal put us thru to the third round of the EFL cup, edging out Preston.

Another relatively late goal gave us another victory in the league, this time new boy, Thiago Almada opening his account against Brighton.

A solid 4-2 victory over Burnley put us into the EFL Cup Quarter Finals, with Callum Wilson getting a brace, in a match where we were 3-0 up in 25 minutes.

October followed and we won every game and I managed to get manager of the month. As great as it was to win every game, we also conceded in every game, but a 3-1 win over Man City was both surprising and a massive boost to the squad. Wilson got 5 in 4 and Saint-Maximin got 3 in 4 in a very impressive month for the club.

Unfortunately November didn't start off as well, losing to Burnley, with another classic OP'd player in FM, Chris Wood, bagging a double in a 2-1 loss.

The next game against Aston Villa was a whirlwind - we went ahead after 11 mins and held on until the 57th minute before Leon Bailey equalised, only for Cartabia to put us ahead, before we were pegged back again with a Ross Barkley worldie. Luckily Joe Willock popped up with his first goal since signing permanently to give us a hard-fought 3-2 victory.

Next up was Norwich to round off November, and it kickstarted a nice little run of high scoring victories, beating them 5-1 with goals from Wilson (x2), Menino, Joelinton and an Almada penalty.

Onto December and another victory, this time over rock bottom Crystal Palace, who at this point didnt have a point to their name. A 4-0 win with familiar goalscorers was the result, as Wilson, Saint-Maximin and Almada put us 3-0 up at half time, before Cartabia added a 4th in the 87th minute.

Wolves followed and so did more goals, this time a brace for Saint-Maximin and two fairly unfamiliar scorers in Ryan Fraser and Joelinton sealed the 4-1 victory.

Chelsea followed after the Wolves win, a we managed to sneak a 1-0 win, which came as a very nice surprise, with Ryan Fraser notching on the counter and our defence stood firm against the big guns.

We were brought back to earth quickly tho, being battered 4-1 by Leicester, only nabbing a consolation after being 4 goals down already, which is not the best result when we have Chelsea, Man Utd then Liverpool to round off the Xmas period and the end of the year.

We were handed a very favourable tie in the third round, heading to King's Lynn in Norfolk for our first FA Cup tie of the season, so hoping to rest the first XI for that and still advance. The rest of January looks favourable so am hoping for a fair few points there, we've almost hit the magical 40 points mark already to ensure our safety in the league XD

Current League Table

Surprisingly to me and everyone else, we've gone from what was predicted as a lower mid table finish to being up there with the big guns, fortunately for us, some of the ‘big guns’ in Spurs and Arsenal have struggled, with Spurs sacking Nuno already. One thing about being up there is we've had favourable fixtures so far and have yet to face Man Utd or Liverpool, aswell as still having to play Chelsea and Man City again, so ideally i was aiming for a top half finish, but am now optimistically aiming for a potential euro place and that financial boost european football brings.


Our current balance stands at £66 million, with net debt sitting at £76.5 million.

We are well within our wage budget currently and have £19 million to play with in the transfer budget.

Moving forward, i'd love to make Dalot's move permanent, but that depends on stupid demands from the AI. I've also bid for Thilo Kehrer from PSG, for a snip at £5 million and could allow me to move on someone like Ciaran Clark for hopefully the same sort of fee.

Matias Arezo is another im looking to bring in for under £2 million but will likely be loaned out for a season, or potentially be used as third choice behind Wilson and Joelinton, or if good enough, be second choice behind Wilson.

I'm also keeping an eye on a few players like Ceballos at Real Madrid and Lingard at Man Utd, hoping to maybe snap them up for a bargain, depending on how things pan out, given theyre rotting away without game time.

Add this as the most bizarre transfer link ive seen so far this save

Maybe resting almost my first XI for this game wasn't the best idea, but with a top 2 clash against Man Utd coming up, I feel the league is my priority this season. The only player coming out out the game was Joelinton, who managed to sneak a goal, albeit a lucky strike lol! Lukaku is a beast and i'll be glad to not have to face him again until April. Back to the league and a big match against Utd….

After the disappointing setback in the EFL Cup, the team bounced back with a surprising victory over league leaders Man Utd. Ryan Fraser stepped up in the game with 2 goals, one of which in the first minute of the game.

Following on from the Man Utd victory, came a loss to another top contender in Liverpool. Despite having more shots than them and being the better team, they were much more clinical and proved why they're a top club. Van Dijk sealed the victory towards the end as I was pushing for a winner, putting them one point clear at the top.

Following another humble loss, we continued our bipolar form with a solid victory over struggling Spurs, now under the management of Zinedine Zidane. Again Ryan Fraser netted himself a brace, with Spurs consolation goal coming in the 92nd minute, which was disappointing as a clean sheet looked on the cards, something the side have struggled for over the season.
January Signings

It was a no-brainer to sign Moriba on loan, likely ready to walk straight into the team and at worst, will be great competition for my current centre midfielders. He has struggled for game time at RB Leipzig, making just 2 sub appearances since joining from Barcelona. I'm hoping I can sign him in the long term.

Not much needs to be said about spending £1.6 million on legendary FM wonderkid, Matias Arezo. If he fails, he will be sold for decent profit, and if he does well, then its an amazing deal. He'll come in as backup to Callum Wilson and Joelinton.

Sergio Gomez i've signed before in another save and not been impressed with him, but I thought i'd give him another chance after my scouts recommended him and for just £7 million, he's gonna be a decent player. He replaces Tom Rogic, who i've managed to sell for £9.5 million, a £3.5 million profit, to Cagliari.

Thilo Kehrer came in from PSG for just £5 million and i'm hoping the French connection between him and Badiashile shines in the centre of defence. Kehrer at 24 is a nice addition to the squad, which sees 31 year old Ciaran Clark head to Feyenoord for £4.2 million.

I've also wrapped up a few youth players to join on free transfers in the summer window, which i'll post at that time.
Champions League Update

A great time for English clubs in the Champions League, with 3 of the 4 clubs qualifying for the knockout rounds as league winners and Liverpool qualifying in second place behind Inter Milan.

After the victory over Spurs, we headed to Norfolk to face Vanarama North side, King's Lynn Town, a game which sold an impressive 8.2k tickets. This fixture allowed me to play a fully changed side, and still walk away with a comfortable win.

Disappointingly, a fresh first XI for the Brentford game only brought us a 1-1 draw, despite expectations of the full 3 points. We picked up 6 yellow cards in a very heated battle here, and we have a few guys running the tightrope of a 1 game ban.

Following that result was a couple of comfortable wins, over Leeds and Derby, the latter advancing us into the FA Cup fifth round.

We then moved onto being on the right and wrong side of 2-0 results, losing to West Ham before beating Southampton. The Southampton game was a real struggle until a late Sergio Gomez goal confirmed the 3 points.

Wins over Brighton and Watford earned us another 6 points, made even nicer by scoring 5 goals through 5 different scorers over the 2 games.

What followed was an eye opener, an absolute hammering at Old Trafford against Man Utd. We went ahead through Miguel Almiron in the 26th minute before Mason Greenwood equalised almost immediately. It was 1-1 at half time, but the second half wasn't as promising, losing the second half 4-0. The introduction of Jadon Sancho at half time turned the game around, scoring and assisting within 15 minutes, before Greenwood completed his hat trick. Greenwood then went on to add his 4th of the game to pile on the misery.

We sort of bounced back, but took nothing away with us, showing that we can compete with the top teams, by being competitive against Man City, we went behind to a Ruben Dias header in the 6th minute, but more than held our own for the rest of the game, we just couldn't net an equaliser to earn anything from the game.

Onto a struggling Arsenal next at St. James Park….

Current League Standings

Somehow we're still flying in the league, I had expected us to fall off by now, but we're still up there with the big teams actually competing for the title. I'm looking downwards and seeing a 12 point gap between us and Arsenal in 7th, so with just 8 games left, European football is looking certain for next season! I'm fully expecting Europa League football for next season, which I would've happily took if offered at the start of the save.
Not only that but Callum Wilson is joint top scorer in the league on 20 goals so far.
Southampton have been another surprise package this season, another team that look like certainties for European football next season.

Little update on the EFL Cup, a 90th minute Bakayo Saka goal clinched the cup for Arsenal. The less mentioned about our 7-1 loss to Chelsea in the quarter finals, the better.

In other news, I've managed to extend the loan for Dalot for another season. He's been a solid performer and someone I hope to sign permanently, but for £22.5k a week for another season, it's saved alot of money looking for another Right Back.

In strange transfer news, Jose Mourinho has come out in a press conference confirming his intent to sign well-known world class wonderkid ***cough*** Jake Turner, who i've never heard of but apparently we signed him on a free from Bolton a couple of seasons back.

After the close loss to Man City, we then also suffered the same result against a struggling Arsenal. This was disappointing, but the squad bounced back to go undefeated in 8 league matches, picking up 18 points from those games and keeping us somehow in the title run.

The Everton win came thru late goals from Ilaix Moriba (89th min) and Callum Wilson (94th min) to earn the victory and 3 points, which was a nice win to secure, but looking at Everton's league position, alternating 18th place with Brighton weekly, we should've been easy victors there.

The Villa game was massively frustrating as we were 3-0 up within 18 minutes through Ryan Fraser, Joe Willock and Callum Wilson before throwing it all away, with Danny Ings hitting a hat-trick.

After going 1-0 down to Chelsea via a Romelu Lukaku strike, I feared the worst but my side fought hard to take a point.

The Wolves game next was a rollercoaster, going 1-0 up after just a minute but then giving away 2 goals, both coming from strikes from Raul Jimenez. We then bagged 3 goals in 15 minutes before a late Daniel Podence goal proved only a consolation, but brought late worry.

A comfortable 3-0 win followed over Leicester, including a wonder strike from Jamal Lewis, before a humbling 2-0 loss to top of the table, Man Utd.

We're now down to our final 4 games, we're 12 points ahead of 7th place Arsenal, so 1 point will guarantee at least Europa League football, which I'm more than happy with.

Also, we had a takeover, so were no longer in the grubby hands of Mike Ashley, but now owned by current Swindon owner, Lee Power, who has made no changes to the finances, so it's basically a nothing deal when it comes to influencing my role.

As we head towards the end of the footballing season, here is how the other big leagues are going.

Atletico Madrid and their city rivals, Real Madrid are battling it out for the La Liga title, with Real being 3 points behind, but with a game in hand. Luis Suarez is the top scorer in the league, altho it's the Colombian playing for Granada, rather than the Atletico ace. Granada also have the top assistant in the league too, with another Luis, in Luis Milla, with a fairly low count of 10 assists.

PSG are leading the Ligue 1 table, as expected, but have managed to lose 5 games so far, the same amount as second placed Nice, who have a familiar central midfield partnership to Southampton fans, with Mario Lemina partnering Morgan Schneiderlin. Nice hitman Kasper Dolberg leads the top scorers with 19 goals, closely followed by Lionel Messi on 18. Messi tops the Average rating (7.99), assists (12) and most MOTM (8), unsurprisingly.

Bayern Munich have run away with the Bundesliga, as usual, losing only 3 games, all by just the one goal. It's nice to see Jude Bellingham leading the assist charts for Dortmund.

Lazio and Inter are fighting it out for the Serie A title, with just a point difference between them. Ciro Immobile has been in his usual clinical form, leading the goalscorers list with 20, aswell as topping the average rating table, just ahead of teammate, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Juventus have struggled, despite Wojciech Szczesny keeping 19 clean sheets in 34 games.

Porto, Ajax and Rangers have run away with the respective titles. Ajax led by Dusan Tadic who has 13 goals, 22 assists and is the leader for average ratings with an 8.04 score.

Interesting appointment...

With just 3 games left, its everything to play for in the title race, race for europe plus the relegation fight.

Realistically but not mathematically, Liverpool and Man Utd are fighting it out for the title, with Man City 6 points off but stranger things have happened.

3rd and 4th place and the Champions League spots are still up for grabs between 4 clubs, with City, ourselves, Chelsea and Southampton all separated by just 2 points.

Burnley are doomed, joining them looks like Crystal Palace, in Patrick Vieira's first season in charge, altho they are only 3 points behind 17th placed Everton, who are joint with 18th placed Brighton in the battle to avoid relegation.

Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng currently leads the goalscoring charts with 23 goals, closely followed by Callum Wilson on 22 goals. In joint 3rd is Che Adams and Romelu Lukaku on 21 goals, with Raul Jimenez and Cristiano Ronaldo both only 3 goals off the top, with 20 goals. Diego Jota led the tables for a good while, but seems to have gone off-form despite his clubs form, sitting on only 17 goals. He scored in their win over Leeds, but his last goal prior was early February.

A great result in what should've been a far tougher game, puts us one step closer to the unlikeliest of qualifications for the Champions League

With Liverpool next just 3 days after this fixture, then a very winnable game against Brentford, I now have the dilemma of do I put out a second string against the League leaders and rest my players for the Brentford game, or do I risk them going for a result I have no business getting against Liverpool and either fielding knackered players against Brentford, or hoping the second string can get a win over them.

Forgot to post about my late signing of Nico Serrano in the January transfer window, costing £4.4million from Athletic Bilbao. He was immediately sent on loan to Swansea for the second half of the season, where he's made 13 starts, with 2 goals and 2 assists and an average rating of 6.91.

I've also managed to extend Moriba's loan by another season. Like Dalot, he's started to really make a place in the first XI his own, so another season of just paying his wages (£53k) and no extra fees is something I'm more than happy to do. Again, it also saves money on buying someone for that position, so a win/win for the club. Moriba could become one of the best centre midfielders on the game, so 2 seasons of him at a young age could hopefully, but unlikely, persuade him to join me full time at the end of his loan.

Classic FM logic strikes again, as Zidane is apparently overachieving with Spurs in 11th and 1 win in their last 6 games

Final League Table

Even with a disappointing final day 0-0 draw away at Leeds, we managed to secure Champions League football and an impressive 3rd place finish. Liverpool nabbed the title by a point, despite Man Utd hammering Man City 4-0 on the final day.
Man Utd won the FA Cup but that probably also cost them the title, given the stacked up fixture list and a disappointing 1-0 loss to Watford off the back of the FA Cup Final win.
Mohammed Salah had the most assists, joint highest Player of the Matches plus runner up in the average rating.
David De Gea managed to keep 21 clean sheets in 34 games, conceding in just 13 games he played in.
Callum Wilson pipped Aubamayeng and Ronaldo to win the Premier League Top Goalscorer with 25 goals.

End of Season Squad Review

- Callum Wilson was top scorer with 28 goals, followed by Saint-Maximin with 14 goals and Fraser with 13 goals. Almada was 4th in the table, with an impressive 8 goals in just 17 starts.
- Livakovic started in 44 games, the most for the club, followed by Saint-Maximin with 41 starts.
- Saint-Maximin leads the assist charts with 13, followed by Almiron with 11. Almada then followed that with 8 and Fraser and Willock both had 7 assists each.

Looking at the squad, i've already extended Dalot and Moriba's loans for next season, while wanting to shift Shelvey and Joelinton out of the club, with their £70k and £80k wages being excessive for the roles they play in my squad. I think a few other bit-part players will follow them, with Brady, Hayden and Cartabia likely candidates for the door. I also have Karl Darlow on £25k a week and Freddie Woodman returning from loan on £9k, so will probably look to ship out the older man in Darlow.


Shelvey (MC)
Joelinton (ST)
Darlow (GK)
Brady (D/AML)
Hayden (MC)
Cartabia (AMR)


Sandry (MC from Santos) (Confirmed)
Renyer (AMR from Santos) (Confirmed)

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