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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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12 yearsEdited

Fantastic First (Part I)


I have completed the first season of my Amazing Norwich story and I will be breaking this down to two posts.

March


The month kicked off with a Home defeat to Tottenham (1-0). Even though they were down to ten men after about 75 minutes we could not equalize since they were too strong on that day. Next match was a comeback draw against Aston Villa (2-2) which we came back strongly after being 2 goals down. A home win against Fulham (2-0) was followed by an impressive 4-0 victory over Blackpool in the FA Cup. Then we were defeated by Sunderland (3-2) who was facing their own relegation battle, and the last match of the month was a win over Blackburn (3-2) at home.

Match of the month was the Blackburn game where we ended up winning the game even with 10 men.



April


April was a month where we had to get our results right. The month didn’t kick off very well after a home draw to Wigan (2-2). It was a match that we should have won, but our performance was not that good on the day. Then we faced Manchester United away and it ended as a 2-1 defeat which was expected. But we turned it out on style against Chelsea in the FA Cup. A surprising 3-1 win saw us through to the Final!! Q.P.R who was on the brink of relegation was our next opponents. I honestly expected a win, but it ended as a disappointing 1-1 draw, which was dominated by them surprisingly. We had to get our good result against Stoke at the Brittania which we did, a nervy 3-2 win. The month ended with another home draw, this time against Carling Cup winners Everton (1-1).

The Chelsea game was a Cup tie by all means. Extra time was needed to sort the tie out. We scored a goal around 89 minutes which I thought as the winner, but Ivanovic scored by a strong header by a corner. With Holt out injured and Vaughan too tired there was no option other than playing Hoolahan as a forward. It worked out as a charm since he banged in both the goals which resulted the victory.



May


The first match of the month was away to Arsenal in the league. Even though I expected a draw in maximum we won that match 3-1. Most of the game was dominated by them, but two unexpected goals by Morison, who was poor throughout the season, gave us the win. Next up was the FA Cup Final against Liverpool. To be honest, I was pretty nervous since I knew even though we have a chance of winning it, one small mistake in the beginning would ruin the whole game. But we were solid throughout the game and won it 2-0. The last game of the 11-12 season was against West Brom, which ended 1-1 after another disappointing home draw .

The Arsenal win was somewhat crucial for us since a Draw or a Defeat would have sent Manchester City above us where it would have been doubtful for Europa League qualification.



Await for Part II… ;)

Norwich – Fantastic First (Part II)


Results (March – May 2012)


During the period there were excellent results like the wins over Arsenal and Chelsea. And then again there were disappointing Home draws against the bottom half opponents like Q.P.R, Wigan and West Brom. The other notable thing is that we haven’t failed to score since the Defeat to Tottenham, which makes 14 consecutive scored matches. To be honest we would have done better towards the end, but this is what you call Football :)



League table (May 2012)


After being predicted by the media to become Relegation favorites (20th), against all odds we achieved an amazing Fifth position and qualified for the Europa league. This was mostly down to what we achieved during the first half of the season, with a below average Premiership squad. By the way Manchester United were the champions, who looked like the favorites from the beginning and there was a surprising relegation for Newcastle United.



FA Cup Final vs Liverpool


Video highlights of my first Trophy win in the amazing Norwich story.
Congratulations on an amazing first season! Let's hope you can get a similar or better result next season, though it will be tough with the extra Europa League matches. You'll definitely need to make sure the squad has enough depth to it. Looking forward to seeing how you perform in Europe and if you can keep up the great standard :)
#35356 WDM : Congratulations on an amazing first season! Let's hope you can get a similar or better result next season, though it will be tough with the extra Europa League matches. You'll definitely need to make sure the squad has enough depth to it. Looking forward to seeing how you perform in Europe and if you can keep up the great standard :)
Thank you for the comment. I am pleased how things had gone for us this season and I hope at least we could achieve the same feat next season as well. Squad depth and rotation would be crucial next season and I hope the lads would perform well whenever brought in :D

Squad Statistics – (2011-2012)


Iliev did play 5 Cup games and 2 League games after his arrival in January. He was very impressive by only conceding 2 goals in 7 games played. James Vaughan was the Player of the season for me when considering of his number of Goals and Assists. We scored 9 goals from Corners (5th in league) and 8 goals from Indirect Free kicks (joint 5th in the league) with the help of good headers by Moras and De laet. Holt was the top scorer with 19 goals (15 in the league, 4 in cups) who did score many important goals throughout the season. As you could see there was no real Star Man in the team, it was a team effort and I am happy with that.



Board Confidence




Player of the Season (2011-2012)




When you look back it has been a Wonderful season for us. We never expected to get into Europe, but I had a feeling that we may get into the Top 10 after mid-season results. The current squad looks strong enough for a Top 10 position next season. So I will have to go for player hunting to search for the ideal players who would strengthen the current squad. It would be an interesting to see how we would cope both the League and Europe. Exciting times ahead!!!! :D :D

Finances, Summer Transfers and Pre-season (2012-2013)


This season my main objectives are to:

  • Retain a Europa League place / Get into Champions League
  • Progress into Knockout stages of Europa League and Win Carling Cup / FA Cup
  • Upgrade Training and Youth Facilities

  • The media predicts us to achieve 8th position in the League, but I do have the confidence that we could at least achieve 5th position which was last season’s achievement.

    Finances


    The performances last season resulted in a Healthy profit of £32m which was 41% of the turnover, and it helped on clearing debts as well. Due to Club’s good financial health the club offered me £19.5m of Transfer budget and £325k of Wage budget for a Top half finish. Since it was a good enough budget for me I went with that option, because in my opinion it’s good to select the lowest expectation since better achievements will result in good Board confidence.

    The club planned to enlarge the stadium by 2967 seats which would result the Carrow Road to become a 30000 capacity stadium. Also the club granted my request on Upgrading the training facilities which would result us having Top training facilities.

    Player Transfers


    I do prefer to have a good team of young prospects and achieve something rather than going out and spend big and achieve the same feat. And I will be giving the priority for the Home grown players whenever possible because it’s a style of management that I do prefer.



    Major Transfers


    One of my priorities of the transfer window was to sign De Laet and Naughton permanently since they did very well on their loan stints last season. They did only cost £825k and £1.8m respectively which were bargain prices.





    Central Midfield was a position that needed strengthening and I was looking for a Versatile Central midfielder who would suit different mentalities as needed. I was able to sign Andrea Bertolacci from Roma on a Free which was my best signing so far!! He could simply play on different midfield roles and he seems to be having great potential and will become one of my key players in seasons to come.



    Left back was also a position I thought needed strengthening and there were several good options as well. After a good bit of scouting, I decided to sign Lee Wallace from Rangers for £5m. He is a versatile left back who could play as a Wing back as well as a Wide midfielder. I expect him to play a key part since he is my most expensive signing as well.



    Fleck is a versatile attacking midfielder who was bought from Rangers for £3m. He could play in the Wing as well as Up front and his Set-piece ability would be very useful as well.



    I did search for a Striker who is young with great potential and also with the idea of being tutored and mixed into the First team. There were many options while I was scouting but eventually I ended up with the 18 year-old Vitinho who was bought from Botafogo for a fee of £2.8m. From the looks he could be turned into a Great forward with the right Training and Tutoring. I have high hopes for this kid :)



    There were other signings like Scott Allan, George Terziev and Rose Duff who were signed as future prospects.

    Staff Transfers




    Pre-Season Results


    Pre-season was all about player blending and tested out few changes on player roles and defensive tweaks which worked out pretty well.

    Second in the bag !!


    August


    The first match of the 2012-2013 season was the traditional Season opener, the Community Shield against League winners Manchester United. I really wanted to win the shield so I fielded the strongest eleven possible. From the start we were the better team, we took our chances well and eventually won the game with a comfortable 3-0 margin.



    Video of the Community Shield win over Manchester United

    The League started off with a Home game to Bristol City which we won 1-0. Next up was the Europa League qualification match first leg against Austria Wien. We won the home leg comfortably with 3-0. Bolton away was the next match, it turned out to be one of the enthralling matches of my story so far. Being 3-0 down after 59 minutes, we somehow stormed back to draw the game 3-3. On the away leg of the tie against Austria Wien, we won 3-2.

    The Disappointing fact was that during majority of the game, we were looking better but defensive errors did cause us going 3-0 down. But a comeback draw did justice at the end of the day.



    September


    We won the first game of September against Wolves (2-1) , but lost to Manchester City (3-2) away in the league. Despite having majority of the possession (56%) we could not capitalize and turn them into goals. We kicked off our European campaign against the French team Socahux and won it by 2-1. The Carling cup tie against Swansea at home was won comfortably by a 5-1 margin. Next match, Everton away in the League was much as a bumpier ride as it was against Bolton, a 2 goal comeback draw which ended 2-2.

    Compared to the match against Bolton, we were pretty poor during the Everton game, but we were clinical enough to grab a draw.



    Results (August – October 2012)


    Win in the Community Shield meant that we have 2 titles in the bag. Only one defeat was recorded during the period which was against the mega-rich Manchester City. The Europa League qualification was easier and when you look at the group which we are in (Valencia, HJK, Sochaux) it’s safe to say that we would qualify to the Knockout round. The concerning fact is that after the goal fest against Bolton, we have been leaky in defence. We have conceded seven matches in a row and we look hesitant on set pieces as well. Have to get right soon as possible :)



    League table (October 2012)


    The start has been ok for us, but Manchester United looks like champions already !!

    Progressing well


    October


    We started the month well with a solid win against HJK (3-0) in Europa League. Next up was Fulham at home which ended up on another draw (2-2). We won against Blackburn 1-0 at home and next up was Valencia in Europa League. We dominated the game in all departments but lapses in defence caused us to loose the game on a disappointing 2-1 result. However we managed to end the month with a win over Cardiff (2-0) in the Carling Cup 4th round.

    Despite having good possession and shots on goal, Valencia were clinical enough to grab a win against us which was disappointing.



    November


    Bitter rivals Ipsiwch were beaten comfortably with a 4-1 margin in the league. On the return leg against Valencia in the Europa League we got the payback with a 2-1 win. A 1-0 victory against West Brom in the league was followed by a 1-1 home draw against reigning champions Manchester United. In the last game of the month, we beat Stoke (1-0) in the Carling Cup Quarter finals.

    A fantastic performance from John Ruddy (9.1) saw us beat arch rivals Ipswich away in the League. The scoreline is a bit flattering since the match was on the balance for the majority of the game.



    Results (October – November 2012)


    The results were pretty good during the period, with the only disappointing results being the Fulham draw and Valencia defeat. Victory against Ipswich is something for the fans to cheer and the plus point is that we haven’t failed to score so far this season.



    League table (December 2012)


    Most of the teams have played more games than us, because of us being on Europe. I am confident that we could climb up once the matches take place. The only fear I do have is that we might end up playing matches at the rate of every 3 days, which will lead to injuries.

    Nice post and great story. What tactics were you using? Would be helpful to post.

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