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Newcastle United - Lifting the Fog on the Tyne

Started on 25 January 2012 by DEMBA!
Latest Reply on 11 May 2012 by patrick1
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DEMBA!'s avatar Group DEMBA!
12 yearsEdited
I'm a big Newcastle fan, and any time I buy a new FM game I can't help but start a game with my favourite team. This time I was especially excited to start with Newcastle, because I feel our team in real life is decent, though I would still like to make a few changes here and there!

Anyway, I will get this story underway over the next few days with regular updates. I am starting this at work so unfortunately won't be able to post any initial results as I played through pre-season at home last night. I get through FM seasons reasonably quickly, so there should be enough material to keep you amused in the next few days (I hope!)
Pre-Season at Newcastle United - Season 1

As I look at the squad, I think there's several things that could be improved. Firstly, we are lacking any real firepower up front, only Demba Ba seems to be of any worth. I will try and sell Shola Ameobi (despite him being a local lad), Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands, as I do not rate any of them.

We also need more depth on the wings, and in defence.

Will update later with a list of players I'm looking at and the pre-season results...

Transfer targets

We only have 3 centre backs currently, club captain Fabricio Coloccini, young star Steven Taylor and "traditional" centre back (i.e. slow lumbering lad but strong and good in the air!) Mike Williamson. We need some cover, and its a good chance to groom a younger player through the cups and undoubtedly during times when there are injuries.

DC Rafael Tolói - Goiàs (Brazil)
DC Jan Vertonghen - Ajax (Holland)
DC James Tomkins - West Ham (England)
DC Siyanda Xulu - Sundowns (South Africa)
DL/R/C Mapou Yanga Mbiwa - Montpellier (France)

I'm also not 100% confident in fullback Danny Simpson, while Ryan Taylor is out injured anyway, and Davide Santon is required to play left back. In any case, with just 3 fullbacks it is probably prudent to invest in another young player to bolster our defence.

DR Šime Vrsaljko - Dinamo (Croatia)
DL Massadio Haïdara - Nancy (France)
Yanga Mbiwa could also fill in at fullback if I decide to go after him.

The midfield looks strong with Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye in the middle, backed up by Danny Guthrie and Dan Gosling, but its a bit sparse behind them. Hatem Ben Arfa is out injured and there is a lack of creativity in my opinion. I will be looking at more attacking midfielders to try and create more chances for the strikers.

DM/AMC Milan Badelj - Dinamo (Croatia)
AMC Christian Eriksen - Ajax (Holland)
MC/AMC Markus Henriksen - Rosenborg (Norway)
DMC Kara - Tromso (Norway)
DMC Gojko Kaçar - Hamburg (Germany)

I mentioned we had a lack of depth out wide. We have 3 wingers currently, Jonas Gutierrez, Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux. The latter is rather injury prone, and I can see the team really requiring depth in this position, as I'm expecting my wingers to have to work hard throughout the season.

AMR/L Xherdan Shaqiri - Basel (Switzerland)
AML/C Eyal Golasa - Maccabi Haifa (Israel)
AMRL Giannis Fetfatzidis - Olympiakos (Greece)

I'm going to need reinforcements up front if I part company with Ameobi, Best and Lovenkrands.

STC Yaya Sanogo - Auxerre (France)
STC Ahmed Khalil - Al Ahli (UAE)
STC Luuk De Jong - Twente (Holland)
STC Modibo Maïga - Sochaux (France)
DEMBA!'s avatar Group DEMBA!
12 yearsEdited

Pre-Season Results

H vs Ajax L 1-0
H vs Heerenveen D 1-1 Ryan Donaldson
A vs Carlisle W 2-0 Mike Williamson, Sylvain Marveaux
A vs Ipswich W 4-1 Markus Henriksen (2), Yohan Cabaye, Yaya Sanogo
A vs Gateshead W 2-0 Jeane Reames (OG), Demba Ba
H vs Racing W 3-1 Demba Ba, Xherdan Shaqiri, Yohan Cabaye
H vs Osasuna D 2-2 Sylvain Marveaux, Demba Ba
H vs Parma L 0-1

Bit of a mixed bag... some decent results in there, coupled with some disappointing draws and losses, particularly the last two results against Osasuna and Parma.


As you can see from the pre-season results, I was able to sign some of my targeted players.
Unfortunately, some of my targets were unable to secure work permits, including Ahmed Khalil, Kara, Siyanda Xulu and Eyal Golasa, meaning that I had to look elsewhere, at pricier targets. A shame really, as they are all talented youngsters who I would love to have in my team.
I was able to offload quite a few players also, but I also sold some players I had not intended to sell originally, namely Jonas and Coloccini, after receiving big offers for them from Juventus and moneybags Man City respectively.
I missed out on a couple of signings also, Milan Badelj moved to Portugal with Benfica, while Icelandic striker Kolbeinn SigÞorsson (or Sigthorsson) was out of my price range, with Ajax quoting £13m. Disappointed in missing out on Badelj, who looks an absolutely cracking player, but I offered him a lot of money and he still turned me down, fair enough.

These are the players that were signed in time for the first proper game of the season at home to Stoke.

DC Rafael Tolói - £2.5m over 48 months from Goias
STC Yaya Sanogo - £3.2m over 48 months from Auxerre
D/DM/WBR/C Šime Vrsaljko - £2.5m over 48 months from Dinamo
M/AMC Markus Henriksen - £3.4m over 48 months from Rosenborg
AM/STC Erick Torres - £3.4m over 48 months from Chivas

AML/R Xherdan Shaqiri - £9.25m over 48 months from Basel
AMC Christian Eriksen - £7m over 48 months from Ajax
DL - Massadio Haïdara - £2.7m over 48 months from Nancy

And these are the players that went out.

STC Shola Ameobi - £3.4m over 48 months to Southampton
STC Leon Best - £3.7m over 48 months to Southampton
AMR/L Jonas Gutierrez - £10m over 48 months to Juventus
MC Alan Smith - £1.2m to QPR
DC Fabricio Coloccini - £9m to Manchester City
AML/STC Peter Lovenkrands - £1.1m to Rangers
DR/C James Perch - £350k loan to Southampton

As you can see, I was able to make a lot of progress prior to the start of the season, signing young players with bags of potential. I'm particularly pleased with the deals for Yaya Sanogo, who is rated very highly by head scout Graham Carr, and the deal for Danish star Christian Eriksen, who looks to be a bargain at £7m.

Unfortunately, we lost club captain Fabricio Coloccini in what has proved to be an unpopular move with the fans. I considered £9m up front to be too good a deal to turn down, coupled with the fact that the money could be used to bring in more players. The same criteria applied to the Juve bid for Jonas. Overall, I'm sad to see them both go, but the club will ultimately benefit in the long run from their sales.

That said, there is still work to be done. We definitely need another striker, and with the sale of Coloccini, we need another centre back also.
DEMBA!'s avatar Group DEMBA!
12 yearsEdited


I'm a firm believer in my teams playing attractive football on FM. I don't want too much lumping of the ball up towards a target man. With the addition of talented players like Eriksen and Shaqiri, as well more of a chance to get the ball on the ground to play it, while Cabaye gives us the option for a deep-lying playmaker. That said, with just one playing up front, there will be occasions where looking for the target man will be important.

Starting Tactic - 4-2-3-1

Fullbacks - Support - I want my fullbacks to be responsible at the back, but have some spirit going forward. I would rather they tried getting crosses in from deep rather than trying to beat their man, but if they want to overlap with the wingers that would be acceptable. However, defence remains the priority for these guys.

Centre backs - Limited centre backs, defensive - I don't want to ask too much of these guys, their main priority will be to win aerial battles and prevent the strikers from having too much of the ball, working with the fullbacks on the offside trap.

Centre Mid - Ball winning midfielder - Tioté's role. Simply win the ball by hook or by crook, then play the simple pass to a team-mate.

Centre Mid - support - Cabaye's role, the secondary creative player in the team, sitting alongside Tioté, with some defensive duties, but with more freedom to go forward and help form an attack.

Wingers - attack - Use pace, skill to beat men, get a cross or a shot in and generally cause a headache for opposition defenders

Attacking midfielder - advanced playmaker - the creative force in the side, freedom to do whatever he wants, from playing through balls to running at the defence and shooting from range.

Striker - Target Man - His job is to get on the end of crosses, hold the ball up and score goals!
im a newcastle supporter myself . so im looking forward to any success u bring . but be careful with all these installments your using to buy players can if your not careful you can run the club debt
Yeah, I know the installments can come back to bite you. I'm hoping that with all these transfers getting done early doors I won't need to spend as much on players in future.
DEMBA!'s avatar Group DEMBA!
12 yearsEdited

August Update

13/8/11 H vs Stoke 1-1
Cheick Tioté
Kenwyne Jones

27/8/11 H v Man City 0-3
Sergio Agüero
Samir Nasri (2)
Carling Cup 2nd Round
24/8/11 A vs Doncaster Rovers 3-1
Christian Eriksen
Sylvain Marveaux
Steven Taylor
Billy Sharp

Not a great start to the league campaign, with a disappointing draw at home to Stoke, who played with 10-men for the majority of the game. The loss against Man City was expected to be honest, but the result was actually quite flattering to City, as we matched them in possession and even had more shots, though their cutting edge really told, with Agüero and Nasri scoring their goals. There was a solid away win over Doncaster in the Carling Cup, though we were absolutely expected to progress there.

Transfer update
I finally succeeded in adding some firepower up front, completing the signing of two players from Montpellier. Fodé Koita, a big strong striker, who looks like he will make a good target man in future, and Olivier Giroud, a solid all-around striker. In addition, I had a bid accepted for Twente's Luuk de Jong, though ultimately, I preferred Giroud. Giroud also proved to be a less expensive option with Ajax refusing to budge on their £13m valuation of Iceland's Kolbeinn SigÞorsson and Sochaux demanding £16m for Modibo Maïga.
In addition, to replace the loss of Coloccini, I signed West Ham's young defender James Tomkins. I also had a bid accepted for Jan Vertonghen, the Belgian defender, though at £11m, I wasn't prepared to complete the deal, particularly when taking into account Vertonghen's 50k per week wage demands.

Transfer round up

STC Fodé Koita - Montepellier (France) £3.4m

STC Olivier Giroud - Montpellier (France) £9.25m over 48 months

DC James Tomkins - West Ham (England) £4.5m over 48 months,,12562~8867739,00.jpg

Player of the Month

CHEICK TIOTÉ Played 3, 1 goal, average rating 7.4
Tough to award after just two games, one of which was a 0-3 loss! However, I have decided that the award ought to go to Cheick Tioté, who has taken part in all three games, including scoring the equaliser against Stoke, a screamer from 30 yards. He also put in a solid shift against both Doncaster and Man City.
DEMBA!'s avatar Group DEMBA!
12 yearsEdited

September Update

September started with an international break, while the Carling Cup 3rd round draw pitted us against arch-rivals Sunderland! There would be a few easier games this month, with the likes of Wigan and QPR on the fixture list, though that was balanced out by a difficult away encounter at Anfield.

10/9/11 A vs Wigan Athletic 2-0
Steven Taylor (2)

14/9/11 A vs Queens Park Rangers 1-1
Steven Taylor
Adel Taarabt

17/9/11 H vs West Bromwich Albion 3-2
Xherdan Shaqiri
Olivier Giroud (2)
Chris Brunt
Shane Long

25/9/11 A vs Liverpool 1-2
Demba Ba
Luis Suarez
Andy Carroll
Carling Cup 3rd Round
21/9/11 A vs Sunderland 2-2 AET 4-3 Penalties
Markus Henriksen
Xherdan Shaqiri
Nicklas Bendtner
Kieran Richardson

Olivier Giroud Nicklas Bendtner
Yaya Sanogo Michael Turner
Markus Henriksen John O'Shea
Rafael Toloi David Vaughan
Cheick Tiote Kieran Richardson

A good month for us, with wins over Wigan and West Brom, as well as a hard-earned point away at QPR and progress in the Carling Cup with a penalty shoot-out win over our biggest rivals, Sunderland. The Sunderland result was particularly pleasing, with us overturning a 2-1 deficit. Tim Krul proved to be our hero, saving Kieran Richardson's penalty, after both Cheick Tiote and David Vaughan had missed the previous penalties. The Liverpool result was disappointing, however, as we got turned over, losing an early lead in the game to end up down 2-1 by the final whistle.

Player of the Month

STEVEN TAYLOR Played 5, scored 3
Captain fantastic stepped up with 3 goals this month, including the winner against Wigan, and the equaliser against QPR. Even though we conceded 7 goals in our five games, Taylor still played well, and played a big part in a strong September.
sorry for the lack of activity lately... i've been updating some of the posts while at work, but i've otherwise not been able to crack on with the game itself. Hopefully i will get some more done over the next few days.
DEMBA!'s avatar Group DEMBA!
12 yearsEdited

October Update

So after a tough ending to September, with an away game against Liverpool, we started October with an equally tough home encounter with Tottenham. The team hadn't been playing brilliantly, though there were flashes of brilliance here and there, with Xherdan Shaqiri looking bright, Olivier Giroud having scored his first goals for the club and Steven Taylor and Rafael Toloi forming an increasing understanding at the back together.

03/10/11 H vs Tottenham Hotspurs 0-1
Emanuel Adebayor

15/10/2011 A vs Fulham 0-2
Clint Dempsey
Andrew Johnson

23.10.2011 A vs Sunderland 3-2
Olivier Giroud
Hatem Ben Arfa
Demba Ba
Craig Gardner
Vegard Forren

29/10/2011 H vs Swansea 3 - 2
Olivier Giroud
Xherdan Shaqiri
Hatem Ben Arfa
Ashley Williams
Nathan Dyer
Carling Cup 4th Round
26/10/2011 H vs Ipswich 6-0
Shane Ferguson(3)
Yaya Sanogo(3).

Disappointing start to the month. The Spurs loss was expected to be honest, but the performance away at Fulham was utterly dire. Perhaps it was just the long trip to London following the international break, perhaps Fulham just outplayed us? Either way, a poor return to Premiership action.
However, the month ended well, with 3 wins out of 3, with Hatem Ben Arfa returning from injury in stunning style, scoring the winner against Swansea, and turning the game against our arch-rivals Sunderland in our favour.
For the cup, I was really impressed with what we were able to do. Rested some first team players, but I never expected the youngsters to play as well as they did, thrashing Ipswich well and truly. Left winger Shane Ferguson impressed, scoring a hat-trick, including a header to open the scoring, a real feat for such a small player! Young Frenchman Yaya Sanogo also announced himself, grabbing himself a hat-trick also! I simply can't decide who deserves the match ball, fight amongst yourselves boys!

Player of the Month

HBA really made a great return from his horrific leg break. Inspiring the team to two wins in the Premiership, scoring in each game. Honourable mention to Olivier Giroud who has been in good form also, though HBA pips him for his sheer impact after coming on twice to inspire us to wins.
DEMBA!'s avatar Group DEMBA!
12 yearsEdited

November Update

So with October ending with some positive results and performances, the players were on a high. Sure, we have to shore up our backline (I would prefer not to win every game 3-2!) but things are looking up on Tyneside. The return of Hatem Ben Arfa to first team football had definitely provided a much needed creative spark. That said, November's fixtures contained two of the league's heavyweights in Chelsea and Manchester United, and since we hadn't played well in our previous games against top clubs, I wasn't too optimistic.

6/11/2011 H vs Chelsea 2-2
Yohan Cabaye
Olivier Giroud
Nicolas Anelka
Fernando Torres

19/11/2011 A vs Man Utd 1-0
Rafael Tolói

26/11/2011 H vs Bolton 3-2
Olivier Giroud(2)
Steven Taylor
El-Hadji Diouf
Kevin Davies
Carling Cup Quarter Final
30/11/2011 H vs Blackpool 2-3 after extra time
Mike Williamson
James Tomkins
Neal Eardley (pen)
Gary Taylor-Fletcher
Markus Henriksen

Mixed feelings... from a league perspective, this month has been an absolute success. Held Chelsea to a draw and got an unbelievable win at Old Trafford, which we built on by beating Bolton too. However, a very disappointing defeat in the Carling Cup quarter final to Blackpool leaves a sour taste, even if it was only a reserve line-up out there.
On that win at Old Trafford, Rafael Toloi put us in the lead very early on, with a near-post header from a corner. In all honesty, Manchester United could and should have won this game, but Wayne Rooney was unbelievably wasteful for them on the day. Tim Krul was again the hero too, making saves from Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez. I should also point out that Manchester United had a goal by Rooney disallowed, although he was offside.
The Blackpool loss, although hard to take, isn't the end of the world. Mike Williamson's opening goal was excellent, a diving header at the far post, but Blackpool just proved too experienced for the kids, and we eventually went down to 10 men, with the injury bug striking after I'd made all my substitutions! The fact that we were able to take it to extra time is testament to the players' spirit and hard work.
Our other two games provided positives too, with us more than matching Chelsea, and deservedly scoring a late equaliser through Olivier Giroud and a dominating performance against Bolton, and despite a misleading 3-2 scoreline, we were always in control, leading 3-1 until the closing minutes.

Player of the Month

After a slow(ish) start to his career on Tyneside, Giroud has started to play well and the goals have come too. 3 in 3 for the month of November, including the equaliser against Chelsea, and a brace against Bolton to put us in the driving seat.
DEMBA!'s avatar Group DEMBA!
12 yearsEdited

December Update

Ah December. The month we all look forward to. Christmas, presents, food, relaxing, what could be better?
Well, forget all that lads, we've got a busy month with no less than 6 Premier League games being crammed in. Continental mid-season break, who needs it?!
Got some of the "easier" teams on the fixture list this month, including Wolves, Norwich and Blackburn, as well as tougher teams like Everton and Aston Villa. However, the toughest game will be Arsenal on the 20th at the Emirates. Would be nice to repeat our Old Trafford win and give the supporters a winning Christmas!

3/12/2011 A vs Aston Villa 1-1
Olivier Giroud
Charles N'Zogbia

10/12/2011 H vs Everton 4-1
Christian Eriksen
Olivier Giroud (2)
Xherdan Shaqiri
Marouane Fellaini

17/12/2011 H vs Wolves 3-1
Rafael Toloi
Steven Taylor
Massadio Haidara
Stephen Ward

20/12/2011 A vs Arsenal 0-1
Andrey Arshavin

26/12/2011 A vs Norwich 1-0
Yaya Sanogo

31/12/2011 H vs Blackburn 1-1
Olivier Giroud
Ruben Rochina

We end 2011 by gaining 11 points from a possible 18, so not too shabby. The only result I am disappointed with was the home draw to Blackburn, which I felt we should have won, but some profligate finishing cost us.
Still we had some a good win against quality opposition in the shape of Everton, probably the best we have played all season, and a spirited performance in losing against Arsenal. In fact, we played so well against Arsenal that Arsene Wenger even complimented us on our play after the game, saying we tried hard to come back. Massadio Haidara, the young French left back brought in to back up Davide Santon, scored a great goal against Wolves also, while another youngster, Yaya Sanogo, made his mark, scoring on his Premier League debut against Norwich to give us the win in a tight game at Carrow Road.

Player of the Month

Eriksen has been instrumental in the last month. He has established himself as the creative force in the team, through which all attacks are built. As well as this, he is a great set piece taker, and his ability to put the ball into dangerous areas from corners resulted in several goals being scored over the last month. He's not too bad in front of goal either, and his opener against Everton really set the tone for our performances this month.
looking good so far. its good to see you have has some positive results this season . try keep it up for the whole season and u could even make continental competition next year.. :)

i think u need an extra centre back or something cause u seem to concede a few goals .

could you also post a screenshot of the premier league ladder :)
thanks mate, i know they seem to ship a few too many goals. Its probably because we play attacking, i ought to dial it down a tad when we score, and definitely need to shore things up when we're away from home.

I will try to get a screen shot of the league for the end of December, but I'm writing this behind time in the actual game, so it may not be possible. will do my best to get one though. (and to get more screenshots of tables etc for posts)
hmmm, don't know if anyone else is seeing this on their browser but for some reason the last few posts have moved over to the right hand side of the screen? bit weird but minor issue.

sorry i didn't get to update last night, i got home very late and was super tired and just went immediately to bed. have a bit more time tonight so will hopefully get in a few updates and a bit of an FM session too.

January Transfer Update

There is no real pressing need for us, short of a left-sided winger, perhaps, as Sylvain Marveaux is hideously injury prone. I'm considering selling him, but to be fair to him, he has played quite well in the time he has been in the team.

Players Out

No players leave the club this January, despite some interest from Liverpool in Rafael Toloi. They offer a paltry £4.5m, I negotiate up to £10m and they said no.

Players In

So we signed 3 players this window in the end...

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