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Rise of the Canaries

My Fm 2012 story with Norwich City
Started on 2 November 2011 by sh31k91
Latest Reply on 8 December 2011 by Jazzman
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Hi Everyone,

After getting my copy of FM 2012, I had thought long who would I play as. There were several teams on my mind. There were West Ham or Birmingham who I could guide them back to top flight and stabilize in the EPL. And there were PSG and Malaga who has been taken over by wealthy owners to fight with the Big teams in the league.

But after some weeks of league football played, one team did steal my heart. It was Norwich City. With a half decent squad, they are placed on the top half of the table. Not only they got impressive victories over mid table teams, they played very well with top teams like Manchester United and Liverpool.

So Norwich City would by my team of FM 2012. I hope I will be able to continue an interesting story and share the joy with the fellow FM bloggers. :D
I am made up you're being Norwich, even though I'm a Man Utd fan Norwich are a team close to my heart. I had a couple of friends play in the youth team and one make a premier league appearance.

I live in the area and and go to games when not at United games and believe that they have every opportunity of becoming a stable fixture in the premier league.

I am yet to start a Norwich game as I'm still into my first utd save but the next game I start will definitely be with the Canaries

I look forward to following your story with the Yellows OTBC
Yes, I am Looking foward to Norwich.
Good luck!

Pre Season and Transfers – Season 1

When you look at the squads in the Premier League, Norwich squad is one the weakest if not the weakest. Ruddy, De laet, Hoolahan and Morison are the only ones who looks ok to play in the EPL reguarly. Center of Defense looked the weakest and needed strengthening.

Start of the season expectations were clear enough, that is to Avoid relegation. but the board offered £0 Transfer budget and a Limited Wage Budget of £235k where the current budget was £203k. So I decided to sell few players to get some cash for transfers but surprisingly I was not able to sell even One of them !!

But somehow I was able to capture Greek international Vangelis Moras on a free who will add much needed strength to my Much weaker Central Defence. Other than that there were no player transfers involved. So I will have to be spot on with my tactics on every game to get results in the Premier League with this team.

Having a good backroom staff is a must in my opinion. Since the existing staff were not good enough I had to let them go and buy a good set of Coaches and Scouts.

Staff Transfers

Pre season was all about testing around the Tactics and player roles. So far the Weakness in defence was evident and I have to sort it out sooner before the season kicks off.

Pre season Results

It was a good pre season, bar the two losses, but they were good teams, I'd like to see how you do in the league.

Off to a Good start !!


Our first game of the season was the Chelsea home game. Surprisingly we were good enough to snatch a 1-1 draw . I wouldn't say were lucky, we played good football with 50% possession and almost equal amount of shots on goal as Chelsea. Then we were able to get Wins over Carlisle United (4-1) in the League Cup and Bolton (2-0) in the League.


The first match of the month after the International break was against Manchester City away, where we didn't do any harm for the predictions with a 3-0 defeat. But during the next 4 matches we were able to grab two Home wins against Swansea (2-1) and Q.P.R (3-1) in the League Cup. As well as two Away draws against Newcastle (2-2) and Wolves (1-1).

The draw against Newcastle was impressive since we kept pushing until the end and we didn't get many chances to score but took them when it really mattered.


The impressive Home form continued with great wins over Liverpool (2-1) and Aston Villa (3-0), but the League Cup fourth round penalty shootout defeat to Arsenal (1-1) spoiled the record :( But we were back to winning ways after recording the first away win against Fulham (2-1).

The win against Aston Villa was the pick out of the lot. Even though we were down to 10 men after 52 minutes, the team was good enough to score another goal and grab the win.

Results (August - October 2011)

So far the results have been Extremely good when compared to what I expected. Losing only 2 matches after playing 12 matches is great when considering the squad strength. I won't be too optimistic since 2-3 bad matches would be enough to make life difficult for us. I will keep on finding ways to tune the formation up and continue to get good results. Let's hope for the best :)

League table (October 2011)

Halfway through the season


The month kicked off with a great win over Sunderland with a 3-0 scoreline. Then we lost 3-1 away to a strong Tottenham side. An away victory over Blackburn (1-0) followed by a home draw against the League leaders Manchester United (2-2). The Manchester United game was an entertaining one since we were 2-0 up after 33 minutes. I knew we scored too early, and United could hurt us sooner rather than later. As expected they equalized after 64 minutes and the rest of the match left me nail biting :D But somehow we managed to grab a draw what I see as a great result.


A total of 6 matches were played in this month and we were able to get 5 wins out of them. Two back to back away wins against Q.P.R (3-1) and Everton (2-0) followed by an impressive 4-0 win over Stoke City. Then the first home league defeat of the season did come against a strong Arsenal side which ended (4-2). The last fixture of the year 2011 was against West Brom which ended in a 2-1 win.

Results (November – December 2011)

A total of 10 matches were played during these two months. We just drew one match and lost two during these matches and when the draw and the defeats were against United, Tottenham and Arsenal I can be more than happy of the results.

The most noticeable thing of this team is the goal scoring potential. Out of the 22 matches played so far, there was only one match that we were not able to score which was, against Macnhester City. When you look at the firepower of the team compare to others, this can be considered as a great feat.

League table (December 2011)

Fourth in the table after half of the season is a huge surprise and excitement for myself though. But I would not get overwhelmed by this and try something fancy, just to blow everything over. Squad strengthening is a must and I will be working hard to sell some of the players and obtain a decent transfer budget, as well as hope that the board would offer me some money during the review of Season expectations on January. :D

Good start!
Keep it up.

January Transfers and Top performers

I was eagerly waiting for the transfer window to open because I really needed to strengthen up the team. The results have been great so far though, but I have to say we have been lucky in many matches which has resulted us to be in the Top half of the table. Also I have been lucky with injuries as well. It won’t be taking too long to run out of luck, and prevention is better than cure. :D


One of the issues I faced during the summer transfer window was that I couldn’t sell any of my players. But this time I was able to sell Zak Whitebread and Simeon Jackson both for £1.2m each as well as Elliott Bennett for £2.2m. A total of 7 players were brought in for £4.3m and I would not rush them since blending would be needed for smooth operation.

Major Transfers

Marco Veratti was one of my targets from the beginning since I needed someone who could play in the Middle as well as in the Wing. Even though he is not a winger by trade, if trained can become a good Side midfielder as well. With bags of potential, I can expect him to play an important part in my Norwich story.

Johnny Russell is someone who could play in the wing as well as up front. With Morison underperforming, I had to go for a striker and he will provide cover for both Vaughan and Holt up front.

Ivan Bandalovski is a Right back naturally and could play as a Right sided midfileder as well. He is a steal for £150k when you have a look at his attributes.

Xandao is a Center back and again a steal for £950k. Since Moras and De laet were the only good center backs he could fight for a starting berth with both of them.

Iliev is a young Goalkeeper with great stats for a young lad and is equally good as John Ruddy. His purchase was not expected but this was a sudden purchase resulted by a scout recommendation. He could really push for the first team, but Ruddy has been solid enough for me to retain him as the first choice.

Top Performers

During this good run of results, several players have been outstanding for me.

Actually, Holt was not expected to be my first choice since I had Morison who had better attributes. But Morison was injured for 6-7 weeks which did pave the way in for Holt who did very well. Even though the 9 goals out of 18 League games is not the best outcome, he does have the knack to score important goals.

Moras has simply been a rock for me so far. Arrived during the transfer window for free expecting to play a key role, he haven’t let me down one bit. His partnership with De laet has been vital for us to be in this position. Clubs like Sevilla and Athletic has shown interest in him, but there’s no way that I would let him go.
A fantastic first half of the season for your Norwich team. A great start.

Verratti will be one hell of a signing for you, once you get a couple of more players and can utilise Verratti as a Deep Lying Playmaker he will turn into a monster.
Congrats on your story and your success with Norwich so far! You seem to have found solid tactics as your scorelines are all very much in the balance, even against greater opposition! I hope your transfers don't disrupt your team chemistry and hope to read of you fighting for a European spot down the road! All the best!
# scatman86 : A fantastic first half of the season for your Norwich team. A great start.

Verratti will be one hell of a signing for you, once you get a couple of more players and can utilise Verratti as a Deep Lying Playmaker he will turn into a monster.

First of all, Thanks for your comments. :)

Verratti will be a beast in the future and I would like to try him out as a Right Midfileder as well. He's corner taking ability would be handful too.
# portugalthemig : Congrats on your story and your success with Norwich so far! You seem to have found solid tactics as your scorelines are all very much in the balance, even against greater opposition! I hope your transfers don't disrupt your team chemistry and hope to read of you fighting for a European spot down the road! All the best!

Even I didn't expect for us to do this well. I use a normal 4-4-2 tactic which was my own work, and it makes me even happy that the tactic works out well. Hopefully we could continue our good work with the help of new signings. A European spot is a big ask though, but I would like to take it on as a challenge.

Thank you for your comments, which encourages me to continue this story !! ;)

Hanging around with the Top dogs !!


The first match of the new year was against Chelsea and it was a 2-0 defeat. Then we faced Leeds in the FA Cup 3rd round and it ended with a 3-1 comfortable victory. Newcastle at home was the next match which ended up with a 2-0 win which followed by a 3-2 defeat to Bolton away. Last match of the month was against Southampton in the FA Cup 4th round. It was a comfortable 3-0 victory which resulted us to progress to the 5th round.

Particularly the Newcastle game was one which we simply dominated and could have scored more than just two goals.


The month kicked off with a bang, an impressive 2-1 victory over Manchester City. Then a win over Swansea (2-0) followed by a disappointing defeat to Liverpool (2-0). We could have at least gained a draw at Anfield, but they were better on finishing on the day. We were able to continue progressing in the FA Cup after a win over Birmingham (1-0) and the month ended with win over Wolves (1-0) which we could have at least scored four !!

Throughout the Manchester City match we were better possession wise, and I am happy that we took our chances well. It’s a great result in my opinion, since we lost the away tie 3-0 which was the worst result so far in the season.

Results (January – February 2012)

Out of the 10 matches played, we have won four and lost three in the League. But we have managed to continue our FA Cup run which is promising, being Blackpool our next opponents. I wouldn’t say no to a FA Cup in my first season though :P

League table (February 2012)

After almost three quarters of the season is gone, and to be thereabouts of the Top dogs is simply amazing. After the Winter transfers, I am being optimistic by saying that I could at least achieve seventh place. It would not be easy by any means, but when we compare of what we have achieved with the resources available so far, it is a possibility. So I should make sure to gain maximum results out of the 50-50 games and win the winnable ones. Europa League would be wonderful, but I will keep my feet on the ground :D

You are reading "Rise of the Canaries".

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