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DandyDon

FM2012: Newcastle United thread - Triumphing by brave defending.....well maybe!

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NEWCASTLE SEASON 3 REVIEW.

Incredible season, commiserations on that final day defeat. Any transfer targets you have in mind at the moment?

Forgive me for going over old ground but haven't been able to find your report on the 2012/13 season, by the looks of the competitions you were in you must have won the League and CL then? How and when did you pick up Bale as well?! He was impossible to get in FM11.

After having to replay some fixtures I've just smashed Fulham 5-0 where I drew previously, but have been drawn against Real Madrid in the CL Quarters. Think they may be out for revenge.

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I'm already beginning to regret selling Moussa Sow...Paloschi who hasn't been injured once since he arrived pretty much is now out for at least 4 weeks with a back injury. :( And Liverpool have nipped in and done a deal for the back up poacher I had my eye on, Ideye at Dynamo Kyiv. :mad:

Time to start scrambling looks like.

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Incredible season, commiserations on that final day defeat. Any transfer targets you have in mind at the moment?

Forgive me for going over old ground but haven't been able to find your report on the 2012/13 season, by the looks of the competitions you were in you must have won the League and CL then? How and when did you pick up Bale as well?! He was impossible to get in FM11.

After having to replay some fixtures I've just smashed Fulham 5-0 where I drew previously, but have been drawn against Real Madrid in the CL Quarters. Think they may be out for revenge.

Cheers Tommo, I haven't had a look yet at any transfer targets but I think a top quality left back will be my priority.

Last season we won both the league and the Champions League. As for Bale he was transfer listed and in the reserves in the second season but it was after the January transfer window so he came at the start of this season.

A super win against Fulham and good luck against Madrid.

Edit: my season 2 review is on page 7, page 678.

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I'm already beginning to regret selling Moussa Sow...Paloschi who hasn't been injured once since he arrived pretty much is now out for at least 4 weeks with a back injury. :( And Liverpool have nipped in and done a deal for the back up poacher I had my eye on, Ideye at Dynamo Kyiv. :mad:

Time to start scrambling looks like.

Check the free transfers and transfer list even if it means taking in an experienced striker for a season or even half a season until you develop a youngster :thup:

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I'm already beginning to regret selling Moussa Sow...Paloschi who hasn't been injured once since he arrived pretty much is now out for at least 4 weeks with a back injury. :( And Liverpool have nipped in and done a deal for the back up poacher I had my eye on, Ideye at Dynamo Kyiv. :mad:

Time to start scrambling looks like.

Did you not sign that awesome Argentinian regen Dandy ?

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Check the free transfers and transfer list even if it means taking in an experienced striker for a season or even half a season until you develop a youngster :thup:

Yeah, have offered contracts to a couple surprise possibilities I found still available. Although there's some competitions for their signatures, so we'll wait and see.

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Did you not sign that awesome Argentinian regen Dandy ?

Still waiting on his work permit Col.

EDIT: I did a search filter using that regens attributes and the only players it threw up were David Villa, and Robin Van Persie...and another Argentinian regen with almost identical stats.

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Bloody hell Xavi and David Villa contracts expire at the end of the season :eek:, I hope Barcelona release them as theres no way I could afford the wages there on at the moment.

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Still waiting on his work permit Col.

EDIT: I did a search filter using that regens attributes and the only players it threw up were David Villa, and Robin Van Persie...and another Argentinian regen with almost identical stats.

Has David Villa signed a new contract with Barca on your save ? He'd be a incredible free transfer

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Has David Villa signed a new contract with Barca on your save ? He'd be a incredible free transfer

Unfortunately he has 2 more years on his contract on my save so no chance there. He's still a regular for them as well.

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Unfortunately he has 2 more years on his contract on my save so no chance there. He's still a regular for them as well.

He has just signed a new one year contract with Barcelona on my game :( but Xavi has rejected Barca's contract offer :)

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Now Tim Krul wants to leave as he wants a new challenge, he is my number two keeper but he is a homegrown club player :(.

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I forgot to mention earlier, he decided on Southampton as his new challenge on my save. They paid £7.5 million for him in the end.

Massive sigh of relief as Leandro Sequeira gets his work permit :p Ended up paying £21 million upfront for him in the end, with a couple of other clauses dependant on his goals scored and international appearances.

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Champions League 2012/13 - Quarter Final Leg.1

Can we play you, can we play you, can we play you everyweek?

Adebayor suspended, with Cabeye out for 3 months and a half fit Shaqiri this wasn't the best of times to be playing Real Madrid. I seemed to pull a tactical master-stroke fielding Papadopoulos in midfield and tried to set him tactically to act as a center back just higher up the pitch - and it worked. He was immovable from the center, working wonders in tandem with Capoue. Here we are..

NewcastlevRMadridInformation_Overview.png

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NewcastlevRMadridInformation_Formations.png

Sets up for another tasty encounter at the Bernabeu.. If I make it through I will meet either Bayern Munich or Valencia

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That's a great result against pretty much Real's best squad :applause:...though not convinced by Maureenio playing Benzema as a winger, what's the story there Jose?

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That's a great result against pretty much Real's best squad :applause:...though not convinced by Maureenio playing Benzema as a winger, what's the story there Jose?

He must be losing it. After Cardozo scored to put us up, everything but the kitchen sink was thrown at us, Marcelo and Ramos were so high up and thier keeper came up for three corners! Was prime picking for a counter attack, just a shame I didn't have Adebayor.

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He must be losing it. After Cardozo scored to put us up, everything but the kitchen sink was thrown at us, Marcelo and Ramos were so high up and thier keeper came up for three corners! Was prime picking for a counter attack, just a shame I didn't have Adebayor.

Stress of being out-cooled by Pep might be starting to wear on him :p

Fingers crossed for the return leg

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To quote John Motson's famous line in the England 5 - Germany 1 game - This is getting better and better and better.

2012/13 Champions League - Quarter Final Leg.2

I love it when a plan comes together..

The plan was to counter, and counter I did. From the off Real Madrid went for it, Marcelo and Ramos venturing forward and abandoning all defensive duties. Ben Arfa's first goal was well taken, Eriksen picked up the ball on the edge of the area with a wall of White shirts in front of him before cleverly playing it through for the Frenchman to peel off Albiol and tuck it away - 1-0. Just after half time the Madrid onslaught was too much to take, so I made a bold move. Papadoloulos moved back to Cb to make a flat back 5, this left Etienne Capoue as a single man in midfield! Ben Arfa and Gutierrez were pushed up level with Adebayor to pray on the space left by the venturing Madrid full backs, and Eriksen was put behind Adebayor to look for the penetrative final ball to be made beyond the Madrid back line. I was now playing with a 5-1-1-3. My thinking behind this was that I was never going to dominate possession and therefore my midfield would be largely redundant finding themselves playing so deep they may as well become part of the back line anyway - I conceded the midfield area. Although Madrid were free to attack at will, they found it hard to break down a well constructed narrow 5 man defence with Capoue in front. Once the ball was retrieved my two wide men were in positions to take advantage of the non-existent full backs.

The second goal saw Ben Arfa lead a charge down the left, with a over hit cross aimed for Gutierrez he eventually collected near the touchline before picking out a return cross for Ben Arfa march in from the back post to double the lead. The third was very similar, which saw Adebayor from deep pick out the run of Ben Arfa beyond the Madrid back line into the space vacated by Sergio Ramos. Gutierrez ran in parralell with the pacy Frenchman which allowed for Ben Arfa to play the ball across goal for Gutierrez to tap in to make it 3-1.

RMadridvNewcastleInformation_Overview.png

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Where have we heard this before? Same old Jose.. I think his picture his highly applicable, looks thoroughly pissed off - only a face a mother could love.

TomRichardsNews_Inbox-4-1.png

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My goal of 3 home wins and 3 draws in the CL group phase just became a bit harder, but what a game!

whatagame.jpg

Tim Krul had his worst game for us by far. Still, we managed to put 5 past AC Milan, which is an achievement in itself :D

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Half Season Update

I have the day off work, i've just reached the end of 2011 in my Newcastle save so i thought i'd do a "half season report"...

Transfers

newcastletransfershisto.th.jpg

I struggled to find the players i wanted in the summer transfer window, I was really pleased with capturing Alderweireld and Wilfried, but i kept missing out on full back and midfield cover, hence why i ended up with the load signings of Labyad and Lucas Digne. However, when needed both of them have performed pretty well. I've just brought in Ka Ju-Cheol and he's had a pretty average first couple of games, but apparently he'll be great for overseas merchandising and i'm confident his performances will improve.

There haven't been too many departures so far, i tried everything to get rid of Alan Smith but to no avail. There's no regrets at all with those i let go and there's interest in a few more in my squad in the January transfer window and i can see me letting go of Williamson and Lovenkrands (although he'll likely go for free at the end of the season). I'd like to move on Marveaux as well, he's been absolutely dire for me. He hasn't had many games, but that's because everytime he plays he has a shocker.

I'll be looking for more quality at full back and on the wings in this transfer window.

Squad

newcastleunitedsquadpla.th.jpg

I've been playing a pretty standard 4-4-2 in most games, switching to a 4-1-4-1 with an anchor man, and occasionally pushing the wingers on in trick away games and against the top teams. My back four is pretty settled with Coloccini and Alderweireld at centre back performing brilliantly. Centre midfield has been strong too, with Tiote and Cabaye doing great things, but i've really been lacking any kind of backup there, Guthrie doesn't cut it and Gosling gets injured all the time. Labyad has done ok there, but i'm hoping Ja-Cheol will 'step up'.

On the wings i've mainly used Obertan/Labyad and Gutierrez, but i could do with some more quality here. Up front, Ba and Wilfried have done great, not exactly been goal machines, my squad has shared the goals around nicely, but usually one of them plays well even if the other doesn't. And Ba does brilliantly as a lone target man in those tricky away games.

The main disappointment has been Ben Arfa, he returned from his injury, played a couple of games and picked up another injury and was out for 6 weeks. Came back from that for a few games and got another injury for 3-4 months. I may just sell him once he's fit again, cut my losses.

Results

newcastleunitedfixtures.th.jpg

I can't quite believe the results i've had to be honest. I haven't strengthened my squad particularly, and i'm not using any kind of "wonder" tactic, just a 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1. And yet, i lost only 1 game, disappointingly at West Brom. My results against the big sides have been exceptional:

1-0 away win at Arsenal

3-2 away win at Arsenal (in League Cup)

1-0 home win vs Liverpool

1-1 home draw vs Man Utd

3-1 home win vs Tottenham

1-1 draw away at Chelsea

2-0 home win vs Man City

Admittedly i still have Spurs, City, Utd and Liverpool to play away which will be tricky, but still i'm well pleased!

These results have left me second in the table on 44 points, 2 behind Chelsea and 5 ahead of Arsenal. I'm hopeful for a Europa League place at the very least.

I'm in the Semis of the League Cup against Chelsea which i'm pessimistic about i have to say, and i've just beaten Millwall in the 3rd round of the League Cup. I have also just lost my second game of the season away to Villa, with a shocker of a performance.

Future

I'm looking to bring in quality on wings but i'm struggling with wage demands. Urby Emanuelson became available and was just what i was looking for, but i couldn't afford him - i may have a stab at Shaqiri instead. I keep checking to see if my board wants to negotiate a cheeky transfer for Tevez, but they don't seem to have the ambition!

And lastly, amusingly, Andy Carroll is unsettled at Liverpool and transfer listed. Liverpool offered him to me for........ £60m. Er....... how about no? :)

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@tommonufc

Looks like the defensive smash and grab is working for you :thup: Usually when I go defensive I get walloped. Love the gurny face Mourinho has in the pic :D

@Geordie_Gaz

Great game, but not great for the heart rate.

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3rd season in and I finished runners up in the BPL missing out by 4 points. Bottled it when I played United at the end of the season :(

Although Shawcross was the 2nd top scorer in the league with 19 goals! (90% of which were headers haha) and Charlie Adam with top assists (22).

4th season squad is gonna roughly look like -

GK - Ter Stegen

LB - Atila Turan/Santon

CB - Cahill/Saylor

CB - Shawcross

RB - K. Walker/Romario

LW - Adam Johnson/Shaqiri

CM/DM - Cabaye/Charlie Adam/Leroy Fer/Tiote/Vuckic

RW - Shaqiri/Salvio

ST - Sturridge/Kadlec/Welbeck

Hoping for a win this time around!

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@dozzie

Good solid start there, must have been galling to lose your only league match so far to West Brom considering your results against the big boys. I had pretty much the same luck as you with Ben Arfa in the first season, though he did show some form toward the end of the season playing as a trequartista. I think those who've gotten the best form out of him have been a little luckier with his injuries. Tevez's price dropped quite markedly in the second and third seasons on my save and he was permanently on the transfer list, but even when City were accepting 2-3 million for him his wage demands were ludicrous.

@Jack The Thrasher

Hope the 4th season ends in triumph for you. How's Kadlec look so far? He could be an absolute goal machine on FM11 at times.

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OBSvT.png

Pre season done.

Vy0fp.png

Transfers done for the season ;)

Formation - I've decided to use 4-2-3-1/4-4-2 depends on opposition. Tempted to use 4-4-2 away from home.

EDIT

TcQT4.png

Brought him in for left back as we don't have "natural" left back. Now that will be the last transfer until the transfer window, if I can pick up some good players whose contracts expiring in 6 months time.

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Just started a new save, quite impressed with the boards backing, both with transfers and hiring coaches. Brought in Vrs.... from Dinamo, you know who i mean. Pieters, Tshabalala, Sturridge. A little concerned at the moment with lack of central midfield cover. If Cabaye and Tiote get injured then there is little else. Also same with Collocini and Taylor, hardly any cover. Apart from that, happy with the squad. With the formation i am playing, it only has one striker, he seems to be isolated a lot. I am working on getting support up to him a little quicker. I am using the tactic from the shared area called 'PARK THE TANK'. As the name suggests, emphasis based on defending. Played three games so far in the League, one in carling cup. First up was Blackburn away, got beat 3-0, not the ideal start. Did create a lot of chances so some positives to come from it. Next up was Man Utd at home, not expecting to get anything from the match, i was right, got beat 4-0. So much for parking the tank. A glimmer of hope came in the cup with a penalty shootout win against huddersfield with me having 35 shots but only 12 on target. I then faced my first derby, it all seemed to click into place and i won 3-0. Next up is swansea at home, looking to kick start the season.

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2012/13 Champions League - Semi Finals Leg.1

So far I've seen off an array of European's top talents - Real Madrid, Marseille and Zenit in the group stages, with Dortmund and Real Madrid in the knockouts. Going through all of these games I've always seen my team as the under-dogs; probably because it's still a new side with lots of fresh faces and their first season in Europe's elite - but now I think more credit needs to be given. Throughout the tournament I've played largely a defensive counter attacking formation, but in this game I went to Valencia and decided to try and play football. Yohan Cabeye returned, but was fielded as part of a 3 man defensive midfield unit with Papadopoulos and Capoue, this aided my ability to try and dictate the play due to the Frenchman being so comfortable in possesion.

TomRichardsNews_Inbox-1.png

Being defensively rigid was still top priority, but I dominated the game in terms of possession and chances for large spells of the game - and was rewarded once the game was over. Two away goals to take back to St. James' in the second leg sees me in a prominent position to progress to the final, where I will play either Tottenham or Man United; of which sees Tottenham take a 3-2 lead for the second leg at Old Trafford.

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2012/13 Champions League - Semi Finals Leg.2

Following an assured 2-1 win at the Mestella, the storyline was set for me to progress to the finals in front of a sell out St. James' Park - and that I did. Easily the most convincing performance of the season, defended superbly whilst showing an attacking threat throughout. Valencia couldn't handle the attacking intentions of my two fullbacks - Santon and Walker throughout, with them playing so high up the field meant that Valencia's wingers were having two defend before they could attack, and this really allowed us to pin Valencia down in their own half for long spells at a time. Combining this with a team that featured Cabeye, Eriksen and Martin in the midfield I was able to maintain possession with ease, along with this trio was Papadopoulos in his European DM role, he worked in harmony in the midfield showing an aggressive industry to win the ball back before it got anywhere near the Newcastle goal.

An all England final held at Wembley awaits me, following Manchester United prevailing over Tottenham in their semi-final.

TomRichardsNews_Inbox-5.png

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Great win over Valencia :thup: Just lost my first game of the season, Spurs beat me 2-1 away. :( Hoping to get my revenge on them next in Carling Cup

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2014/15 - Season Update - Money, Money, Money

Well my plans for the summer transfer window basically went out the ....errrrrr, window. I'd planned to concentrate on signing youngsters for the under 18s to develop over the next few seasons, and add long term target Sequeira to provide an alternative upfront.

As it happened, at least I managed to sign him as planned, but failed abysmally to sign any of the youth targets I'd scouted, some of them unwilling to leave their clubs, a couple choosing other clubs over us. I mentioned above deciding to sell Sime Vrsaljko to Chelsea after persuading them to part with £23.5 million and then got tempted into selling Moussa Sow to raise an extra £16.25 million. Came to regret that deal after Alberto Paloschi was injured in training and Sow scored 5 goals in his first 2 friendly appearance for the Gunners. Also detailed earlier Ben Arfa, Santon and Krul left the club as well, which meant we'd brought in a total of £60million in fees this summer.

Early on in the window I moved to sign Rafael from Man Utd to replace Vrsaljko and then took advantage of Wilshere's falling out with Laudrup to snap him up for a bargain £8.25 million. When Paloschi was injured I had to start scrambling to sign another striker, and was left scrambling even more when ter Stegen got crocked as well. So going against my original plans I snapped up a couple of veterans who'd been released during the summer. The ex-Genoa keeper Eduardo was brought in, and then breaking my own artificial wage cap I signed Carlos 'Mr Reliable' Tevez who'd finally been released by City in July. His wage demands were slightly more reasonable since he was turfed by City, but he's still on £68,000 a week, but I've only offered him a 1 year deal.

The other free signing I made was done purely because I couldn't resist the chance to manage this particular player and I'll most likely never get a chance on FM12 otherwise.

Our new playmaker

xavioverviewprofile.png

He might not be running around much when we play, but got to love those technical and mental attributes :D

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Our new playmaker

xavioverviewprofile.png

He might not be running around much when we play, but got to love those technical and mental attributes :D

I'll add my two pence worth here, all be it regarding last years FM. In my last foray with FM11 I had a most enjoyable 7/8 seasons at Barca; had this guy playing until he was a remarkable 38. In his late 30s he was a player/coach, his physical stats resembled an out of breath Sunday league player, but he a made a few apperances each season in the Spanish cup. His longevity was helped by the team being so good with the ball, coupled with my eagerness to have him around for tutoring. So you should have a great player on your hands there for a few more seasons yet, and a good coach as well if your able to retain his services.

Tevez was also part of this Barcelona side. I couldn't give a toss about his real-life controversies when in fact he is a world class striker on the game. All he needed was to feature week in week out; played as a poacher if I recall he scored 40+ goals for two seasons running.

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@tommonufc

Fantastic run you're having in Europe there :thup: Your defence must be quite a unit.

Well it's received heavy investment and gone are the days of Titus Bramble, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Celestine Babayaro.

I've got strength in depth throughout with names such as Davide Santon, Erik Pieters, Kyle Walker and Martin Kelly vying for full back positions, as well as Diarra who has featured at right-back. First choice center backs in the League are Taylor and Papadopoulos, but in Europe I play either Subotic or Coloccini with Taylor due to Papadopoulos being fielded in anchor roles. In front of the back four also seems to be very important in my side, with defensive midfields of Diarra, Capoue, Papadopoulos, Tiote and even Cabeye.

So yeah, to put it in such unglowing terms.. quite a unit :D

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I'll add my two pence worth here, all be it regarding last years FM. In my last foray with FM11 I had a most enjoyable 7/8 seasons at Barca; had this guy playing until he was a remarkable 38. In his late 30s he was a player/coach, his physical stats resembled an out of breath Sunday league player, but he a made a few apperances each season in the Spanish cup. His longevity was helped by the team being so good with the ball, coupled with my eagerness to have him around for tutoring. So you should have a great player on your hands there for a few more seasons yet, and a good coach as well if your able to retain his services.

Tevez was also part of this Barcelona side. I couldn't give a toss about his real-life controversies when in fact he is a world class striker on the game. All he needed was to feature week in week out; played as a poacher if I recall he scored 40+ goals for two seasons running.

To be fair, I might not be asking him to run much, but his stamina and natural fitness are still very good. I'm hoping to snap a couple young midfielders before the window closes to have them learn at the feet of the master too.

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So yeah, to put it in such unglowing terms.. quite a unit :D

Heh...well hopefully that unit will well and truely put the brakes on Man Utd in the final. :thup:

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To be fair, I might not be asking him to run much, but his stamina and natural fitness are still very good. I'm hoping to snap a couple young midfielders before the window closes to have them learn at the feet of the master too.

Still will be one of the most assured midfielders in the league. What was the news on David Villa, was he released? think I seem to recall his name being mentioned further up the posts..

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Still will be one of the most assured midfielders in the league. What was the news on David Villa, was he released? think I seem to recall his name being mentioned further up the posts..

He was in last year of his contract on someone else's save, but he had another 2 years to go on mine and was still their main striker, apart from Messi that is.

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@tommonufc

Did you have any luck on your search for some hard working right sided midfielder by the way? Saw your post on the 'Looking For' thread.

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@tommonufc

Did you have any luck on your search for some hard working right sided midfielder by the way? Saw your post on the 'Looking For' thread.

Not as of yet, the search still continues. Someone mentioned Marc Alrighton, looks to be a solid player but I am my reservations. He's on loan at Everton this season, but despite having some solid stats he isn't setting the world alight. Hamit Altintop is transfer listed by Real Madrid at the moment, so he could be an option come the summer. I would be open to looking for a left sided player with the same pre-requisites, would just mean I change the balance from the left side to the right side of my team.

Leighton Baines looks to be a viable option if I were to go for a left sided player. Gareth Bale would also be top of the list, but don't think I'll be able to get him from Spurs. Although they won't be in CL next season, so who knows.

Any suggestions yourself?

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Xabi Prieto, Antonio Valencia and Chris Brunt are three I suggested on the other thread. They are all pretty good crossers and with a decent work rate. Also I think they can all play at either MR or AMR depending where your right sided player was deployed.

Here's Albrighton in the 4th season on my save. He's just coming back from injury so his stats are a little down on what they were, but he's been a very useful player for me the previous two seasons. 9 goals and 11 assists in the first season, and 6 goals and 12 assists last season. I rotate him with Adam Johnson and Nicolas Gaitan.

Albrighton

marcalbrightonoverviewp.png

EDIT: Should point out I think all his assists for me come from open play as he doesn't take any of the set pieces. Cabaye, Johnson, Gaitan and a couple others ahead of him on the list there.

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Started the season with 3 straight 2-0 wins so far. Beating Swansea in the Community Shield, then Villa at home and Wigan away. The newly signed strikers yet to get off the mark, but then they didn't really get much time in pre-season to blend in. However Cabaye is in scintillating form so far, including a Van Basten-esque volley from an acute angle against Swansea. :cool:

Happy with the clean sheets as well, considering our 1st choice keeper is out, hopefully we can keep it tight throughout the season.

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@DandyDon

Ahh, I didn't notice your recommendations in the other thread. Antonio Valencia is a great shout, but he wouldn't be interested in a move. Still not entirely convinced on Alrighton will keep him in mind though, have drawn up a shortlist and put him on there. Focused my attentions to looking for a left sided player, and it seems there is a greater wealth of viable talent. As mentioned Leighton Baines is on there, along with Bale, now is Jordi Alba and a russian called Georgy Schennikov from CSKA who I'm awaiting a scout report on.

I think if I were to a wing back I would be able to train them to become a natural right or left sided midfielder with relative ease; and by doing this it would see a defensive box ticked.

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So on the day of the Champions League final, the biggest game in Newcastle's history and my career so far I receive this..

TomRichardsNews_Inbox-4-2.png

So let's way this up.. Chelsea have just finished 6th, Newcastle 3rd. Chelsea aren't in CL next season, Newcastle are. I'm going to win the league next season, Chelsea aren't :D The list could go on..

Anyway, that's a big fat no Roman. Now on with my CL Final..

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2012/13 - End of Season Review.

After achieving success last season by finishing in the top four, I had a tough ask to improve upon. The summer transfer window saw me strengthen the side throughout in preparation for a long hard season, star signings were Greek man mountain defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Tottenham's full back Kyle Walker, French pair Marvin Martin and Lassana Diarra and the Togolese striking sensation/enigma that is Emmanuel Adebayor.

Overview

  • Premier League -
    3rd

  • Champions League -
    Runner Up -
    Lost; Manchester United 3 - 1

  • F.A Cup -
    3rd Round -
    Lost; Leeds United 4-1

  • League Cup -
    3rd Round -
    Lost; Scunthorpe United 1-0

Squad Performance

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On the whole very happy with the players performances. If I were to single out a specific area, I would have to highlight my defense as being a stand out area. Strong defensive displays and an ability to shut out stronger opposition has been a staple to the teams success this season. The new signings in Papadopoulos and Walker fitted straight in and performed from the off, with Steven Taylor showing to be at the top of his career. Midfield was hit and miss, Eriksen picked up from where he left off last season; but I failed to get from the best out of players like Cabeye, De Bryune and Ben Arfa. Marvin Martin had a good season on the whole, and at 25 I expect him to build upon that; Shaqiri was hit and miss depending on what player would turn up on the day. Up front, the stand out performer was Adebayor who was on loan finishing with a respectable 22 goals. Cardozo tailed off to the end of the season, seeing himself a bit part player mainly due to a lone forward system being played in the big games. Wilfried started the season with injury, and was nothing short of dredful once he returned, he failed to earn himself a new contract and is leaving to Nantes. Demba Ba too suffered with injury only playing 9(9) games, but finishing with 2 goals is not good enough.

Notable mentions to Giga Meskhi. He was the first Russian regen to step foot on the Tyneside shores, and if he's anything to go by it should be a very productive revolution. Had a very good season on loan at a struggling Preston side who narrowly avoided the drop from the Championship. He has seemed to improve remarkably with regular first team football, and may return back out on loan next year. Forgot about this guy completly until I looked for the aforementioned Giga Meskhi - Shane Ferguson He seems to be a better player than from what I remember, and may even get a chance to prove himself next season.

Premier League

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First of all, if you haven't noticed already... that's right, Sunderland have been relegated. Steve Bruce - Newcastle Legend. Although I'm pleased to have improved upon last years position, and finish 3rd - I'm disappointing that the gap to Man City is so big. Next year I will theoretically have to make up 14 points, which will mean results like losing to West Brom, Fulham and Ipswich away will have to be improved on. Home form was good, only losing once - to Arsenal in second game of the year.

Champions League

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My season kicked off early and finished late - late August to early June, and this was down to this marvelous creation of the Champions League. After progressing to the group stages against a strong side in Benfica I saw my managerial skills tested. A disappointing away defeat in France gave me a taste of reality, and taught me not to play so attacking in Europe. Therefore I switched up the system, to become a defensive team they broke on the counter - it worked, narrowly missing out in what would be the first of four games against Real Madrid. A fixture win away at Real Madrid would see me again get one of on Jose, and in doing so see me jump above Madrid to finish top of the group. Dortmund up next, one of the easier of draws I could have hoped for; but it wasn't plain sailing. A disappointing defeat in Germany left me needing to win in the second leg, of which I did and did convincingly. Through to the Quarters, and this is where I thought I'd come up - Real Madrid again; but two more fine defensive displays saw me knocked off Jose's Christmas card list. Into the Semi's, an excellent win in the Mestella gave me one foot in the final. The second leg against Valencia saw the first game since the opening game against Marseille were I opened up and played attacking expansive football - this game I would credit to be my performance of the season. An all England final proved to be a hurdle too high, Man United putting me to the sword in a 3-1 defeat that hurt. So far, yet so close.

F.A and League Cups

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As you can see these were an unmitigated disaster. Scunthorpe took my kids to extra time, and eventually prevailed with, from what I can remember an offside goal. A similarly youthful side was brushed aside against Leeds at the first hurdle. Might take this a bit more seriously next season, but the fewer fixtures as a result of my uselessness probably did my squad some good.

What does 2013/14 bring...

  • A new striker or two, maybe even three. Adebayor's loan will end, although it may be renewed depending on how much of a title contender Man City see me as. Wilfiried, or should I say 'Woefull-fred', is of to Nantes after two unimpressive years, Demba Ba had an awful season and may be shipped out if I can find suitors, and Cardozo isn't getting any younger.

  • A wide player - preferably Gareth Bale, if not Leighton Baines. Preferably somebody who will sort out my 'Home Grown' mess out. Not enough Englishmen. That could also see the arrival of Ross Barkley from Everton, he wants out and I quite like the look of his boyish youthfulness.

  • Any player from the following list I can lay my hands on. Players I like and want to manage sooner than later - Eden Hazard, Neymar, Ganso, Damiao, Wilshere, Ramsey, Barkley and Bale. Possibly even C.Ronaldo and Messi,
    who knows?

  • Champions League and Premier League contention. I want to win both, simple as that. Nothing wrong with being ambitious, just don't really like the taste of egg when it's been splattered all over my face.

  • A Russian-Regen-Revolution. Tons of them are arriving, F'ing tons of them! Most of which will be shipped back out to each and every corner of Europe so they can raise their stock before being sold. Think raising cattle, some may make it at Newcastle but most won't; I'm treating this operation as a money making exercise. But after reading more and more on the General Discussion boards about an inability to sell Ice to Eskimo's on this game, this venture may go completely Pete Tong and I end up funding the Russian economy through my wage budget.

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Great updates from everyone in here! Col, Dandy and Tommo, great work, looks like you all have really good saves going on.

Onto season 3 now for me and my transfers look like this:

trans3.png

I have also jumped on the russian youth bandwagon with quite a few coming in January or the end of the season.

James Rodriguez should provide quality as on of 3 attacking midfielders. Really expecting Vuckic, Sanogo and Lucas Anderson to step up this season for regular 1st team spots aswell. Sturridge should provide decent cover for the strikers and wide players.

The brazilian regen Tete looks like he should be great in a season or two and can slot straight into the 1st team set-up. Need his concentration to rise though!

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Tsonev and Selnaev are basically an exercise to see how much tutoring can improve mental stats as they both have quite good technical quality so they are being tutored by Tiote annd Cabaye respectively.

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We'll see how it goes. Really raring to go for season 3 and i'm aiming for at least top 4

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Great update tommonufc, shame you couldn't quite get over the final hurdle against Man Utd. I'd add Jack Rodwell to your list of possible English recruits, he's looking for a way out of Everton on my save and even if he wasn't he's pretty affordable due to Everton's finances. He's got good energy and workrate, would be useful alongside the Beast Papadopoulos ahead of your back four.

I've completely failed to get any kind of Russian revolution uderway, every regen I've liked the look of in that league has already signed a provisional contract and would have cost serious money to buy.

nufc1, good move buying in James Rodriguez, he makes for a brilliant left winger as well as an AMC. I tried to snap him up when he was transfer listed for a bargain £6.5 million but he plumped for Liverpool instead of us.....crazy man that he is.

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Great update tommonufc, shame you couldn't quite get over the final hurdle against Man Utd. I'd add Jack Rodwell to your list of possible English recruits, he's looking for a way out of Everton on my save and even if he wasn't he's pretty affordable due to Everton's finances. He's got good energy and workrate, would be useful alongside the Beast Papadopoulos ahead of your back four..

I'd second adding in Rodwell, got him in for 10million January of the third season.

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