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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!
11 yearsEdited

Season 2 - The Business End

So our exploits in the first half of the season were pretty solid, but we ended on a real sour note, losing 6-0 to megabucks City, before being dumped out of the FA Cup by Burnley and the League Cup by Spurs. With confidence low, we would have to rebound in January.

Transfer Window

Well, we don't really have money to spend, and what there is out there isn't great value for money. I shall wait until next offseason to spend any cash we may still have, but to be honest, the club is struggling somewhat from last season's big deals which were paid for mainly by installments.

Wed, 9.1.2013 19:45 Blackburn A 4 - 0 Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, Carlos Fierro, Olivier Giroud, Jan Vertonghen.
Sun, 13.1.2013 13:30 West Brom H 2 - 0 Olivier Giroud, Xherdan Shaqiri.
Sun, 20.1.2013 13:30 Sunderland A 2 - 2 Christian Eriksen, Kolbeinn Sigþórsson.
Sat, 26.1.2013 15:00 Tottenham H 2 - 2 Xherdan Shaqiri, Phil Jagielka o.g.

A bounce back from our poor form was an absolute must, and January went just about as well as it could have. One change of formation later, and we recorded a massive 4-0 win over Blackburn which really restored confidence, as did a routine win over West Brom. I was particularly pleased with the contribution of young Carlos Fierro getting his first taste of league action, and scoring on his debit. I would have liked to have won over the Mackems, who wouldn't, but a draw at their place is decent enough. A draw against Spurs, whose free-scoring Edinson Cavani is dominating the goal scoring charts, was a good result.

Tue, 5.2.2013 19:45 Norwich A 3 - 1 Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, Jan Vertonghen, Yohan Cabaye.
Sun, 10.2.2013 16:00 Chelsea H 1 - 1 Kolbeinn Sigþórsson.
Sat, 16.2.2013 15:00 Everton A 0 - 1 None
Mon, 25.2.2013 19:45 Birmingham H 4 - 1 Xherdan Shaqiri, Christian Eriksen, Daniel Sturridge(2).

Another decent enough month, with two good wins against "lesser" teams. There was a hard-fought draw with Chelsea at home, but it was disappointing not to get a draw at Everton. You can't win 'em all though I suppose. That said, you can still enjoy crackers like this one, a swerving, dipping strike from our Vice-Captain Cabaye:

Mon, 4.3.2013 20:00 Man Utd A 1 - 3 Carlos Fierro.
Sat, 9.3.2013 15:00 Bolton H 1 - 0 Jan Vertonghen.
Sun, 31.3.2013 15:00 Burnley H 1 - 0 Tore Reginiussen o.g.

No shame in losing to the Red United, they are a very good team. However, more worryingly, we just scraped through our other two fixtures, and Burnley appear to be becoming somewhat of a bogey team for us, as we failed to find the net until the 89th minute, and even then, only through a massively unlucky own-goal by Tore Reginiussen.

Sat, 6.4.2013 17:30 Arsenal H 3 - 1 Yohan Cabaye, Daniel Sturridge, Olivier Giroud.
Sun, 14.4.2013 13:30 Reading A 3 - 0 Cheick Tioté, Olivier Giroud, Rafael Tolói.
Sun, 21.4.2013 15:00 Stoke H 1 - 0 James Tomkins.
Wed, 24.4.2013 19:45 Wolves A 2 - 3 Olivier Giroud(2).
Sat, 27.4.2013 15:00 Fulham A 2 - 2 Kolbeinn Sigþórsson(2).

Great results to start this month, building on our wins in late March, the win over Arsenal was a real highlight, and marks Olivier Giroud's return to form. However, I was absolutely furious following the loss to Wolves, in which we surrendered a two goal lead to eventually lose the game. At Fulham we showed more fight, coming back twice, but really we shouldn't have let ourselves get into that position in the first place. Some players are really going to have to start looking at themselves if this continues.

Sun, 5.5.2013 16:00 Liverpool H 2 - 0 Daniel Sturridge, José Manuel Reina o.g.
Wed, 15.5.2013 19:45 Aston Villa A 3 - 2 Olivier Giroud, Matt Phillips, Hatem Ben Arfa.
Sun, 26.5.2013 15:00 Man City H 3 - 0 Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, Daniel Sturridge, James Tomkins.

The lure of Champions League football was there. We needed a few positive results in this month if we were to make it. We'd ended April rather poorly, but turned in a first class performance against Liverpool, and should have won by more. Daniel Sturridge was easily man of the match, scoring one and forcing an own goal by Reina for the second from his right-wing inside-forward position. He could have had a hat-trick in this game, but Reina, despite his own goal, actually put in a good performance, making several key saves. A gritty, hard-fought win against Aston Villa cemented our place in Europe, and we celebrated this achievement with a 3-0 win over City. I won't lie, revenge was sweet, and we thoroughly outclassed them to win this game with ease.

End of Season Table

how much of a transfer budget did you get at the start of your first season?
I had £8m to start with, but sold a few players to raise cash, and did some deals on installments. I try not to use installments too much, but the team needed a major revamp at the time so it was necessary.
DEMBA!'s avatar Group DEMBA!
11 yearsEdited

Season Review 2012/13

A fantastic season of over-achievement for the Toon this year. We reached far further in the Europa League than I would have considered possible, and also surpassed our target for a 4th place finish in the league. We really pushed Manchester United for 2nd place also, ending just one point behind, which is crazy considering our end to the previous season. I have to say, I'm pretty confident in this team now, although there are still areas of weakness which need attention. I honestly think we can at least make it through the group stage of the Champions League, and we should be aiming for qualifying again next season. I still don't believe that the Premier League title is realistically achievable, given that City have spent so much cash on so many good players, but I think we can at least make things tough for Manchester United and perhaps reach 2nd. However, my main aim for next season will be to maintain our position.

Positives from 2012/13
The team performed really well, despite injuries to key personnel. Xherdan Shaqiri suffered a season ending injury in March, but Daniel Sturridge stepped up and really gave me food for thought regarding the right wing position. Shaqiri was phenomenal early in the season, scoring 12 goals this season from his winger position, but with Sturridge playing as an inside forward, the team continued to perform well. The rest of the midfield also stepped up in times of need. Yohan Cabaye has had an excellent year, while Miguel Veloso has also played impressively, with Tiote missing a large part of the season on CAN duty. Christian Eriksen continued his development, adding more goals to his repertoire, in addition to his ability to pick a pass.
Kolbeinn Sigthorsson was a pleasant surprise also, with a penchant for scoring spectacular individual efforts, notching up 18 goals for the season. Olivier Giroud started very slowly, but recovered to score 10 himself. James Tomkins also emerged as a very good centre back this season, and has really displaced Steven Taylor. Jan Vertonghen has also stepped up massively, and is the unquestioned leader of the defence now. I was also really pleased with the progress of both Sime Vrsaljko and Kyle Walker, who have both really impressed this season, which has helped the defence to improve vastly.

The biggest disappointment by far is Royston Drenthe. He continually underperformed when on the pitch, and moans all the time when not playing. I'm going to be looking to get rid of him, he's trouble I can tell. Also disappointing was young Massadio Haidara. He had an ideal chance to cement a place when Davide Santon also suffered a season-ending injury, but he performed very poorly, and eventually I decided I would rather play Sime Vrsaljko out of position at left back, with Kyle Walker on the right. A positive gained out of this is that Vrsaljko has now become an 'accomplished' left back, giving me more options. My biggest regret is not giving Rafael Toloi more game time. He played just 10 league games this season, with Vertonghen playing alongside Tomkins for a large part of the season.



As a Newcastle fan i am loving reading this story. Keep it up mate, Good luck.
DEMBA!'s avatar Group DEMBA!
11 yearsEdited
Cheers Kris, I'm enjoying playing and writing about it too. Almost as good as seeing the Toon do so well in real life :)

Offseason News

Transfer Budget
Not a fantastic amount to spend - £18m. I wasn't expecting much as by the end of the season, finances were in the red, largely due to the number of installment transfers made at the start of last season. I'm not sure I want to spend any of the £18m anyway, as it may be better to preserve our cash. I think I will be able to raise some cash through player sales anyway, there are several who could go.

Players Out
We say goodbye (and good riddance?) to Demba Ba - he will join Bolton. Everton declined to take up their option of signing him for £4.7m or whatever it was, so I had to shop him about. He only has a year left on his contract, he doesn't want to stay, so its in our interest to get rid of him. Eventually, Birmingham snapped him up for just £2.1m, less than I wanted, but I'm glad to get him and his £40k p/w salary out!

Massadio Haidara also leaves for Fulham, for a fee of £2.1m, he has been deeply disappointing. He has potential, but when he's had the chance, he's been really poor. With Santon and Vrsaljko as left-backs we have more than adequate cover, though both prefer the RB role, and are both right footed. I think a new LB is probably on the cards here.

Royston Drenthe is also leaving for newly-promoted Leeds. He will be much happier in an environment where he gets to play every week. He simply wasn't good enough when he had his chances here, and I won't miss his moaning about not playing.

Tamas Kadar will join Huddersfield after spending last season on loan with Wigan. Wigan declined to take up their option to sign him, but a lot of other teams were interested, and I wish him all the best.

David Stockdale, who went out on loan to Liverpool in January, will also join the Merseyside outfit, who will pay £1.1m, the sum matching the option clause in his loan deal. This means the club realises a healthy profit of £500k altogether since bringing him in last offseason.

Surprisingly, Burnley came in with an £11m offer for Olivier Giroud. It was a bit out of the blue, but I was willing to accept it, on the basis that Kolbeinn Sigthorsson had been excellent this season, while young Carlos Fierro had also developed a lot. However, Olivier rejected the offer, and I'm more than happy to keep him around. Lyon also came in with a £7.5m offer for Hatem Ben Arfa, which I rejected, as I feel HBA has a lot to offer and the money wasn't as good as it needed to be to temp me into accepting. Chelsea also made an "enquiry" regarding Kyle Walker. I proposed a deal worth £15m, but Chelsea were unwilling to meet my valuation, and I'm not going to sell young players for anything less than what they are worth.

Xisco was released on a free. He was on about £30k p/w so its good that he's gone. Literally just a drain on resources, and was awful. I'm also looking to dispose of Sylvain Marveaux who is on £40k p/w, but unfortunately, with his injuries, he's declined massively with his physical skills, to the point where I really can't see him playing top level football any more. I'm quite sad about it, he was pretty good for me in season one, on the occasions he wasn't injured.

Other notables to leave were Gabriel Obertan to Birmingham for £2.2m, Shane Ferguson to Huddersfield for £2.2m, Rob Elliot to Sheff Wed for £900k, Marius Alexe to Everton for £2.7m, Fode Koita to West Ham for £2.7m.
Great story mate, just re-read it through as I've not been on for a couple of weeks as you know. Keep it up dude
thanks Mike. I've been ill since last week and haven't played a whole lot, just the odd game here and there. I will try to get an update in tonight if I've got a bit of time to spare.
DEMBA!'s avatar Group DEMBA!
11 yearsEdited

Transfers In

With the departure of several players, I've got a bit more cash to play with. I'm looking to replace that problem left wing again now that Royston Drenthe is gone, and a left-back will also be needed, with Massadio Haidara going.

To address those needs, I bid for Manchester United's Fabio, AZ's Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Gladbach's Marco Reus.

Gudmundsson was my first signing of the season, for just £750k, an absolute bargain. He is a left winger, though I think he is also capable of playing on the right and cutting in.

Unfortunately, I hadn't accounted for Fabio being an absolute greedy wotsit and refusing to be paid any less than £90k p/w. I can afford to pay that, but I simply don't want to break the bank for an unproven left-back. Fabio decided that Bayern Munich was more to his expensive tastes.
In addition to this, Gladbach were playing hardball regarding Reus's transfer fee. I don't blame them, I wouldn't want to lose a talented youngster for anything less than he was worth. Fortunately for me, I was able to use his release clause to my advantage, and agreed a £15.25m deal over 48 months, meaning I didn't spend all my budget at once. So say hello to Newcastle United's new left winger, Marco Reus

I must say, I'm super excited about Reus, he's got bags of pace and good skill to match. I plan to play him on the left as an inside forward, complementing Xherdan Shaqiri, my left-footed right winger, with both players cutting inside to cause damage (Reus being right-footed), or taking it to the byline before putting the ball across the penalty area.

More to follow!
DEMBA!'s avatar Group DEMBA!
11 yearsEdited

Transfers In Part 2

Our central midfield has been an area of real strength in the last couple of years. Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote have been the mainstay, but Miguel Veloso has been a fantastic player to have to fill in for either of these guys, and I think of him as Cabaye #2, if a bit less dynamic. Markus Henriksen is also coming on very well as a developmental player, who no doubt will lead the midfield for years to come.
However, this summer sees us adding to this area of strength, after having a £3.8m offer for young English midfielder Jonjo Shelvey accepted by Liverpool. Shelvey will be a player who can add creativity and skill to the centre of the park (perhaps not immediately) and I am excited to have him on board.

We also added another couple of promising youths, signing AMC/ST Rick Wagenaar from Ajax for £1.3m, and DC Kyllian Fontaine (released by Lyon) on a free.

As a Newcastle fan I was also following the fortunes of a departed and, by now, somewhat fallen hero. This particular player had done tremendously well in my first season in charge, but in my second season, he was out of the team and didn't get much of a chance at all. Being a former Newcastle player and a Geordie, I was keen to bring him back home, eventually paying a fee of £11m for his services, though a clause in the previous deal which took him away from St James' Park entitled Newcastle to 25% of any transfer fee received, meaning in the end, the player cost us just £8.25m. If you haven't guessed by now who this player is, then you're probably not a Newcastle fan! The man of which I speak:
I'm ecstatic about bringing him back to St James Park!

Final part of the puzzle now is a left back. I bid for Cheick M'Bengue of Toulouse and Martin Olsson of newly-relegated Aston Villa (!!!) but both teams wanted in excess of £10m. No deal I'm afraid. Perhaps M'Bengue might be available at a later date, but Olsson eventually went to Arsenal for £10.5m. In the end, with a lack of quality left-backs being available, I decided to bring in Aleksandar Kolarov on loan from Manchester City. Kolarov is a talented player, and I wouldn't mind signing him on a permanent basis, though his massive wages at Manchester City are a real stumbling block, at £70k p/w.

I also decided that it would be worth bringing in a couple of the experienced players which were available on free transfers, to add experience to my young team, and to help tutor my players. I brought in players of proven character and class, starting with Christoph Metzelder, formerly of Dortmund, Real Madrid and Schalke. A German international with bags of experience, I think he could he invaluable for big games and helping youngsters like Rafael Toloi and James Tomkins to learn. I also signed David Albelda, formerly of Valencia. The man is a natural leader, and I'm really positive he will have a good impact around the club as a whole, not just on his fellow midfielders. Finally, I signed the Croatian player Niko Kranjcar, largely as someone to help youngsters, though he is also talented enough to compete for a space in the first team.
Are you starting a new season on this?
Sorry guys, have not posted for ages, chiefly because I can't post at work any more, which is where most of the magic was happening :(

Since my last post I have played on for several seasons, i can either go through in as much detail as i can remember or i can just do a few summaries and update you all from my current position, what do you guys think?
#51289 DEMBA! : Sorry guys, have not posted for ages, chiefly because I can't post at work any more, which is where most of the magic was happening :(

Since my last post I have played on for several seasons, i can either go through in as much detail as i can remember or i can just do a few summaries and update you all from my current position, what do you guys think?

Its up to you. Whatever you feel easiest with. Its your story :)

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