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DandyDon

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

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And how much are people paying for Papadopolous?

In the summer, after finishing my first season i was getting quoted £40+ million!! He's an animal who i need in my team but i'm not prepared to pay that !!

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Hi,

I'm not a toon fan but always get stuck into a game with them at some point on FM. Just finished my first season and am really enjoying it. Manged to finish 7th with about 67 points but still a good 6 points behind the top 6 who were bunched together. I play a fairly defensive 4-1-2-3-1 formation and finished with the third best defence in the league. Not enough goals though. I was a little disappointed with Ba, who finished with 10 goals, and about 3 red cards! In the first season I brought in Erickson, Tomkins, M Diarra and Postiga without selling anyone. Over the closed season I have sold Ameobi, Williamson, R Taylor, Postiga and am thinking about offering Jonas out, he didn't score one goal and only contributed three assists in about 30 games! Brought in Kyle Walker and Agbonolahor to add some pace. Looking forward to trying to get some european footy or a trophy to St James.

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2013-2014 January to March

resultssofar13142.jpg

Still having a fantastic season so far. I'd expected to have tasted defeat at least once by now, but no. Although, Man city aside, I didn't really come up against any real dangerous teams in these three months. Our trip to Villa Park was the closest we've come to defeat so far.

Of my initial January signings (there were 5), only Paloschi was intended for the first team. Within a few days of joining, he sprained his ankle. Once he'd recovered form that, I was finally able to bring him on for his debut against Blackburn. Four days later, he tore his groin muscle. It's a good job I had the idea of taking advantage of Maigas contract running out and made a cheeky loan bid - £500k till the end of the season, and I can sign him for free if he makes a good impression.

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@DandyDon what tactic/instructions are you currently using? Into my second season now (don't get enough time to play :( lol) and i go through patches of scoring freely but constantly letting in sloppy goals, to struggling to score against poor teams.

I don't even change my tactic either so I don't know why it happens :/

To everyone as well, I signed Paloschi on a free in the summer, best instruction to play him?

I usually play Sidney Sam/Ricardo Quaresma/Leandro/Ben Arfa in the AMR/L positions, rotating them.

What roles do you guys play your players in for these positions? I've got them as inside forwards but all they do is consantly take long shots and never score, they're instructed to rarely take them as well!!

Any ideas?

I generally played 4-2-3-1 and 4-5-1 in the first season, as I've improved the squad I've started playing a 4-4-2 at home (or 4-2-2-2 if you like). The instructions have evolved a little season by season as well, as far as the AMR/AML players go, personally I never play with both of them as Inside Forwards as I always worry they'll be getting in each others way at times, I usually played the best crosser as an out and out winger. As I now have several very good crossers I generally play both as wingers, but I give them some licence to roam from the position.

Defensively, if I was struggling I tended to drop either one or both of the MCs into DMC positions to try and screen the back four...not always guaranteed mind you. As I said in an earlier post I'm no tactical genius, our form this season is more down to the squad I've built and now having pretty consistent performers in there, but we're due a blip soon...I can feel it :p

Paloschi is best played as a Poacher I reckon, with his Pace and Off the ball movement. That's the role he plays for me and he's pretty prolific both as part of a front 2 and as a lone striker.

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@Geordie_Gaz

Sounds like you're having some bad luck there with Paloschi, mirroring his current season for me...he was injured in the summer, came back after missing first few games of the season and was firing in goals, but now out injured again, long term this time.

Unfortunately Tevez has also been injured, broken his ribs in a challenge, and with Maiga struggling to recover from a knock as well looks like I'll only have one fit striker going into a busy December/January fixture list. That fit striker only being 18 years old as well....I think our run could be derailed very shortly.

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Just started a new game with Newcastle after reading all 12 pages of this thread lol, Ive decided to concentrate on low wages and young players, here is my tranfers so far

Players In

Adrian Aldrete - 1.9m

Marc Muniesa - Loan

Marco Materazzi - Free

Thomas Drage - 1.3m

Lucas Andersen - 825k

Plamen Illev - 475k

Damien Le Tallac - 2.5m

Marco Veratti - 2.5m

Danny Wilson - Loan

Ronnie Stam - 5m

Grant Hanley - 7.5m

Willfried - 3m

Cieran Clark - 6m

Vegard Forren - 1.5m

Maynor Figueroa - 5m

Mahamadou Diarra - Free

Jamil Adam - Free

Looking into signing some cheap, quality Scandinavian players.

Players Out

Shola Ameobi - 3.6m

Peter Lovenkrands - 1m

Jonas Gutierrez - 10m

Alan Smith - 1m

James Perch - Loaned out with 375k fee

Mike Williamson - 3.6m

Fabio Coloccini - 9m

Tamas Kadar - 1.4m

Also loaned out alot of young players to give them some first team football.

Im looking forward to this career and will keep you guys updated.

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Welcome to this thread, Manutdfan123 :thup: You could have got Wilfried for 2.5M :p Can't believe you sold Jonas Gutierrez. He's on fire for me.

Good luck!

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And how much are people paying for Papadopolous?

In the summer, after finishing my first season i was getting quoted £40+ million!! He's an animal who i need in my team but i'm not prepared to pay that !!

I brought him in July on second season - 2012/13 - for £25million. He's been worth every penny so far. If you can get him for cheaper than the quoted £40million go get him.

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Cheers guys Ill keep you posted, Ive also signed literally all the good Scandinavian young players on that thread on here and loaned out a few etc, I sold Gutierrez cos he was 28 and I know if I didnt sell him and Colicinni now Id end up having to sell them anyway cos they will want to play for bigger clubs.

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glq2U.png

Disappointed with Everton and Chelsea result. Could have beaten Chelsea if Ba's goal stood, massive disappointed as we conceded 2 goals in 4 mins (Torres 22 seconds and Malouda 4 minutes) Happy with draw at Arsenal and Man Utd.

Gave Steve Bruce, his Christmas present and that was getting the sack :D

8gSg9.png

Really disappointed with amount of games we've drawn so far this season :(

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@Geordie_Gaz

Sounds like you're having some bad luck there with Paloschi, mirroring his current season for me...he was injured in the summer, came back after missing first few games of the season and was firing in goals, but now out injured again, long term this time.

Unfortunately Tevez has also been injured, broken his ribs in a challenge, and with Maiga struggling to recover from a knock as well looks like I'll only have one fit striker going into a busy December/January fixture list. That fit striker only being 18 years old as well....I think our run could be derailed very shortly.

I think I'm quite lucky that I only signed Paloschi as cover. With the form Rodriguez has been in (30 goals from 39), I had absolutely no intentions of dropping him.

Oddly enough, just as I was typing that sentence, Rodriguez picks up a knock against CSKA Moscow. Hope your 18 year old slots in nicely for you though!

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Cheers guys Ill keep you posted, Ive also signed literally all the good Scandinavian young players on that thread on here and loaned out a few etc, I sold Gutierrez cos he was 28 and I know if I didnt sell him and Colicinni now Id end up having to sell them anyway cos they will want to play for bigger clubs.

You seem to have had good fortune in selling of the dead wood. Don't think I was able to sell any of the likes of Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Smith for any notable value. Think I ended up offloading Ameobi for £500k in the end. Coloccini for £9m is a very good price, although he was instrumental in my success in my first season. Gave him a one year extension at the end of that season untill 2014. Eventually got rid of him for around a £1million to Wolves at the start of 2013/14 just so that I could see some financial return. Gutierrez is out on loan at the momenent at Stoke. He's having a rorid season stat wise, despite playing above average for me in my first two years. He'll be shipped out at the end of this season though.

As far as your signings I'd have reservations on the value of signings such as Maynor Figueroa and Ronnie Stam for £5m, in so much that I don't believe that they are good enough for a top-4 team. But that shall be highly dependent on how ambitious your are, and where you see your team being during the length of said players contracts.

Any player I brought in for the first season on lengthy contracts had to have enough quality to stick around, and be able to play in a team challenging for the title. Examples of this will be Neven Subotic and Eriksen who are both excelling currently. Same goes for Wilfried, I signed him on a two year deal, as I had reservations on his ability to be a world-class striker and was signed as very much a stop-gap.

Good luck on your save :thup:

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I tried signing Subotic but he wouldnt come to me for some reason, Ive downloaded a data update off fmbase so maybe it was updated so it was easier to sell the deadwood in Newcastles squad, I signed Figueroa and Stam to give me a bit of experience and consistancy cos I have quiete a young squad.

Just had my first game of the season against Arsenal, with a bumper crowd at St James Park of 50823 people come half time I got it back after RVP scored for Arsenal with a debut goal from Willfried, had to take him off in the 60th minute due to getting a knock, conceeded two goals in the space of 10 minutes from Chamakah and another by RVP, then RVP gets sent off with 10 mins to go but I couldnt do anything and then Benayoun came on and scored, not a good first game but its just the first game and my players need time to gel.

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ldBN2.jpg

Just beat Juventus to sign this kid :) Looking to sell Ryan Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini and couples of players.

Looking to bring in a striker in the summer, Any suggestions?

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ldBN2.jpg

Just beat Juventus to sign this kid :) Looking to sell Ryan Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini and couples of players.

Looking to bring in a striker in the summer, Any suggestions?

Singed this guy on loan in the demo, was quite impressive. *Goes off to see where he is on own game..*

Regarding strikers I'd suggest the usual like Paloschi and Fierro; although I've got both of these guys, Paloschi hasn't featured much, and Fierro has gone on loan to Bulgaria in January.

Welbeck has become a great poacher for me. 36 goals in 36(16), has fell off slighly since January since the arrival of Llorente. I'd recommend this guy as well if you can get hold of him. I'm also trailing his Atheltico teammate Iker Munian who has a release fee of £20something million I think.

Edit; Emmanuel Adebayor was a great loan signing for me in second year as well!

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Congrats Si4uk it gives me hope, 2nd game of the season a derby game against Sunderland away that last thing I needed, I lost 3-2 in the end, might have to change the formation as I was useing a bog standard 4-4-2.

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Finally we won the league with and still games in hand

Congrats on the league win there, looks like your strikers were in fine form :thup:

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John1 - Funny you should say that you've signed Zakaria Labyad, so have I, for my Málaga side :D

Anyway, love reading though here. Really interested in Newcastle this season.

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Despite topping my Champions League group this season we've landed a tough knockout tie with Italian giants Inter Milan. Slightly strange look to the draw this time round with several major teams finishing second in their groups including Man City, Chelsea and Bayern.

@Jack The Thrasher

Great aggregate win against Barcelona there :applause: Haven't faced them yet in Europe thankfully.

@Llew

Maybe you'll find time to join us with a Toon save amongst all the others you've got going :p Have you started one with the Gunners yet? I've noticed Wilshere and Ramsey leaving Arsenal on a lot of saves where they're under AI control (snapped him Jack up myself have to admit), surprised how cheap they've been sold in some cases.

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@Jack The ThrasherNice win, what's most impressive from my point of view is that Shaqiri got a 7.5! The guy has never played that well for me!

On other news, firmly in the business end of my season; take a look, things shall be close..

League Table with three games to go..

EnglishPremierDivisionOverview_Stages-3-1.png

Games to go..

ManchesterUnitedFixtures_Fixtures.png

ManchesterCityFixtures_Fixtures.png

NewcastleUnitedFixtures_Fixtures-2-1.png

I'm still in with an outside chance, will need Man City to drop points in one of their three games, and for Man U to drop points in one of thier games against Blackpool or Stoke and for me to beat them. Looks bleak.

Have a good chance of winning something this year though, the F.A Cup - and should be into a second Champions League final in two years after beating Man City in the first leg Semi 3-0.

(Please excuse my Paint skills)

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@tommonufc

Certainly taken advantage of your new chairman's largesse there haven't you :D Very impressed at the signing of Llorente, a player I really like but I've never been able to persuade him to leave Bilbao. Your midfield must be getting a bit crowded now is it? Got to do the Mancini shuffle to try and keep all those egos happy.

@rhchia

I'm not tactical genius, my philosophy is usually 'KISS' but I'd recommend dropping your starting strategy from 'Attacking' to 'Normal' when you're away from home (unless it's a team you're very confident of beating) and maybe dropping the 2 in the formation from MC to DMC positions. As you're only playing a lone striker might be worth cashing in on one of them to help get in a better quality wide man. I'd try and bring in one of there Adam Johnson, Antoine Griezmann, Marc Albrighton or Willian (technically he's an AMC but he does a great job out wide as well).

Hopefully you'll get some more useful tips from the helpful soals on here. Good luck with the 3rd season :thup:

EDIT: and watch out for Milos Krasic as a potential winger, he was looking for a way out of Serie A during the 3rd season on my save.

@rhchia

As DandyDon said drop the strategy and maybe untick counter attack and up the time wasting. This should improve possession and lead to less but better chances as the players won't rush their passing.

hey thanks guys! can't wait for weekend to come to continue my end season shopping!

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Nice thread guys.

Inspired me to start my own "Howay the Lads" game. (off topic, we have had a super start to the league this season, if we grab a couple of pints over the next 2 games, would be much deserved ( & i do mean few frothies ;) ))

Season 2011/2012

First task, interacted with the board to improve the % of transfer revenue made available from 55% to 75% from bad to not great, but better than a kick up the back side. Brought in the following staff -

Staff In

Terry McDermott - Assistant Manager

Mike Rigg - First Team Coach

Phil Cannon - Coach

Paul Winsper - Fitness Coach (welcome Back matey)

Steve Nickson - Scout

Steve Martin - Scout

Paul Johnson - Scout

Neil Hargraves - Scout

Graham Carr - Promoted to Head of Player Recruitment/Development (My Own Title, does a fantastic job IRL)

TRANSFERS OUT

Fabrico Coloccini - Tottenham - $4M

Shola Ameobi - Southampton - $2.5M

Peter Lovenkrands - Ajax - $1M

Steve Harper - Middlesbrough - $500K

James Perch - Cardiff - $500K

TRANSFERS IN

James Tomkins - West Ham - $3M

Markus Henriksen - Rosenborg - $3.5M

Lacina Troare - Kuban - $7.5M over 48 months

Cheik M"Bengue - Toulouse FC - $5M over 48 months

FORMATION

Playing the following 2 formations 4-4-2 & 4-4-1-1

SEASON OPENER

22204198.png

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Good start Dirty Joe, hope it goes well for you and I bought in Terry McDermott as my assistant aswell great minds think alike lol, anyway to update everyone on my career, just played my 3rd game of the season I played Charlton at home in the Carling Cup 2nd Round and actually won 2-0 with goals from Ba and Tshabalala, hopefully it will give my guys the confidence to starting winning in the league aswell.

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@DirtyJoe

Ideal way to start off your Newcastle career there :D

@manutdfan123

What formation are you going to switch to mate? Hope it makes a difference for you at any rate.

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Cheers Dany Don, I switched it to a 4-5-1 and have won the last two games since my last update on here, I beat QPR away 3-0 with 2 goals coming from Willfried and a solo goal from Cabaya, then I beat Villa away 1-0 with a solo goal from Tshabalala, climbed out of 20th place im 10th.

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Just signed Kameni for 5.25M :D Was bidding for Ter Segten but they wouldn't sell him :(

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Yeah you will have to pay 20m for Ter Segten, Kameni is a decent signing, hope he does well for you, just lost 2-1 to West Ham in the Carling Cup 3rd round.

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Wow, Leon Best just asked me to terminate his contract for 375K and I accepted his request. Wasn't getting a lot of game time and better to let him go.

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2013/14 - End of Season Review. Necastle United European Champions

Overview

  • Premier League -
    4th

  • Champions League -
    Winner

  • F.A Cup -
    Winner

  • League Cup -
    Semi Finalist -
    Lost; Liverpool 4-0 agg.

Premier League

EnglishPremierDivisionOverview_Stages-2-2.png

Disappointing Premier League campaign. A very close title race this season saw me firmly in contention until a blip of form which saw me drop valuable points. An accumulation of 79pts is an improvement upon the last two years, which shows how close this year was.

Champions League

NewcastleUnitedFixtures_Fixtures-4-1.png

Highly impressive start in the group stages, saw me almost capitchulate. I progressed second in the group, behind Sporting Lisbon, this therefore handed me a tougher draw in the last 16. But this was apparent as I breezed past Bayern Munich with two highly impressive performances. Shaktar of Ukraine provided a stiffer challenge in the Quarters, seeing to very close encounters home and away. Man City awaited me in the Semi's with me wanting vengeance on my inability to close them down in the title race. An impressive 3-0 win at home put me in the driving seat to reach the final, and I prevailed with a 0-0 draw at the Etihad. Barcelona awaited me in the Final in Amsterdam. A second final in successive years, saw me determined not to fall at the final hurdle again. Messi had another impressive season, and I set up tactically to quash Barcelona's midfield. Greek Mountain, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, marked Messi out of the final; and a hard working midfield out Barca'd Barcelona in the first half - playing them off the park. Second half was much closer, but strong defending was us crowned European Champions.

F.A and League Cups

NewcastleUnitedFixtures_Fixtures-5.png

After ditching a policy of playing kids in the Cups this season, I was use it as a happy distraction from European and Domestic campaigns due to progression into the later stages. Liverpool outplayed me over the two legs, with their manager Marcelo Biesla using a trademark 3-4-3 that I wasn't able to deal with. An easy set of fixtures to progress through saw me reach the finals; here I outplayed Everton for the 90mins, but only managed a 1-0 victory. Newcastle's first silverware for 45 years.

What does 2013/14 bring...

  • At the moment I'm trashing out deals that will see
    Martin Kelly
    and
    Neven Subotic
    leave. Due to the later leaving, this will see a space for a centerback; and Man United's
    Phil Jones
    tops my shopping list

  • Players leaving; Oscar Cardozo hasn't played since the arrival of Llorente and will leave on free contract. Ben Arfa is proving a tough cookie to ship out, with him not playing since Christmas. Tiote and Gutierrez who will return from loans will see the exit door; as may Shaqiri and De Bruyne who too have been out on loan.

  • A big name signing. I've got something I'm trying to work on, and after given another huge transfer budget I shall utilise.
    Watch this space
    :D
  • To finish above the Manchester clubs. If I do this I'll win the League; it's that simple.

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Brilliant season Tommonufc :thup: Looking forward to see your transfer budget :p

I have a feeling I'm going to be intensely jealous of this budget announcement :p

Great result against Barca there Tommo, Eriksen popping up with another vital goal I see. :thup:

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@john1 @DandyDon Well guys, I don't like to disclose too much *cough, cough*..

TomRichardsNews_Inbox-4-3.png

27010680.pngChristian Eriksen

This guy has proved to be a exceptional signing. My first buy in charge of the club, he was instrumental to me gaining a first season 4th place finish. This year, with other top quality players in the likes of Gotze, Martin, Hazard, Silva, Wilshere and Canales all vying for the coveted spot behind my striker, this young chap has again excelled. He's stayed injury free for the last 3 season, which has given him the chance to play week in week out and develop at a supreme rate. 51games, 27 assists and 11 goals shows another great season; with two of these 11 goals coming as winning goals in both the F.A and Champions League finals. Worth his weight in gold this guy. Will be posting an update in his wonderful player thread as well.. Christian Eriksen [shameless plug :D]

ChristianEriksenOverview_Attributes-2.png

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hey tommo... seems like youve had a brilliant career so far with newcastle... any chance you could point me towards your first season update thingy? id like to see how you got on in terms of signings etc if possible .. cheers fella

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Whoaaaa! That's a massive transfer budget! You lucky fool :p I'm tempted to bring in David Trezeguet on free and use him to mentor the youngsters.

We're in Carling Cup Final :D Beat Wigan 5-4 on penalties, drew 1-1 away (first leg) and home. Had 4 CCC against them and took 24 shots at goal, only 14 on target. Will play Fulham in the final.

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awesome .. thanks fella.. gonna start my save now... been really struggling to find a long term save this year.. its starting to annoy me.. hopefully the relatively blank canvass that is the newcastle team should provide me with the save ive been looking for

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ceddj.png

Annoyed I drew against Sheffield Wednesday despite dominating the game. Typical Stoke scores 2 goals from corner :thdn: And we got late equaliser against them from counter attack :D

Whoever wins out of replay in FA Cup will play Liverpool away.

gAU3C.png

Sold Peter Løvenkrands to Brøndby IF for 875K.

EDIT: Dropped to 5th after Arsenal and City won their game.

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awesome .. thanks fella.. gonna start my save now... been really struggling to find a long term save this year.. its starting to annoy me.. hopefully the relatively blank canvass that is the newcastle team should provide me with the save ive been looking for

Good Luck :thup: Contemplating starting a journeyman career sooner than later, but will probably see another week at Newcastle; where I should be able to get another few seasons in.

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I'd been scouting Eden Hazard during the January window 2015 as he was still at Lille, thinking I could perhaps make him my one big deal in the summer...unfortunately Real Madrid decided to stop messing about and went in with a £44 million bid for him just now. :(

We've currently got a fairly unassailable lead (touch wood, cross fingers, slap forehead that I haven't spoken too soon...) of 18 points by January 9th, but I might look to add a backup striker at least on loan as injuries are starting to mount up a bit. Musacchio, Pieters, Johnson, Albrighton and Paloschi all still out long term and Tevez only just returned to training.

@john1

Did you manage to sign anyone in the January window to help turn some of those draws into wins mate? Looking at it you must be in striking distance of a Champs League spot if Arsenal or City slip up a bit. :thup:

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DandyDon - I only signed Kameni in January. I'm annoyed with my lone striker, Ba and Wilfried keeps missing chances. Probably the reason why I've drawn so many games.

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I'm looking at this guy to replace Carver.

agdql.png

Any thoughts?

EDIT: Will go for him.

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Well done Tommo, Im starting to think I shouldn't of signed so many players just lost away to Wolves 1-0, hopefully it will pick up by December, if I do rubbish this season then its ok cos my team will be stronger next season.

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Well done Tommo, Im starting to think I shouldn't of signed so many players just lost away to Wolves 1-0, hopefully it will pick up by December, if I do rubbish this season then its ok cos my team will be stronger next season.

A trick I've always used when struggling for a win/form is to emphasise picking players that have good morale, these guys will show the motivation needed to get you out of a slump; as well as this, have a look at your assistants feedback in game, and note if he is suggesting playing X or Y is struggling to fit in etc.. Going back to basics in so much as tactics would also be a tip; i.e making sure you a solid at the back. If a team cannot score against you, you cannot lose a game; it's that simple. Don't play so many 'flair' players from the start, and utilise players with a good work rate - for example Gutierrez (if you had of kept him) over Ben Arfa.

Good luck :thup:

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Get in. Nearing the end of season 3 now. Just had to play my game in hand, which was a daunting trip to the Etihad. Thankfully I wasn't too worried, cause we'd seen Man City off three times this season already - at home in the League, FA cup 4th round and an emphatic 6-2 win against them in the League cup final.

We went into the game knowing a win would secure the title, and I was unsure whether to carry on my tradition of all out attack, or just to sit back, grind out a result secure that title in the next game. Looking through the scout reports I was reminded of a huge weakness in the City formation - they play a 3-4-3, so there is plenty of space for my wide players to run havoc down the flanks.

The game itself started brightly. In the first 10 minutes, Shaqiri seemed determined to get his name on the scoresheet, but all three of his efforts were either wide or straight at Hart. It wasn't until the 15th minute that City threatened our goal, when Dave Thompson - one of my rejects - beat Smithies from the edge of the area but thankfully didn't beat the woodwork. Almost came back to haunt me.

The 18th minute came, and Hazard finally had the ball at his feet. Instead of heading for the touchline, he decided to head for the right wing, beating three City players on the way before releasing Shaqiri with a perfectly weighted through ball. Shaqiri then managed to beat Kompany, who had attempted to close the gap on him before making it to the byline and attempting to find Rodriguez with a cross. Nicolas Otamendi who was frantically trying to get back to offer support, tried to hoof the ball clear. Unfortunately for him there was too much swerve on the cross, and he ended up deflecting it into his own net past the stranded Joe Hart. 1-0.

Then came the inevitable City fightback. The 3-4-3 formation may lack width, but it is still highly dangerous when you can play Tevez, Aguero and any other striker in the same side. Thankfully Shawcross and Cahill put in a fantastic shift and, backed up by Rodwell too, the three strikers were reduced to taking 25 yard potshots and we managed to hold on until half time.

the second half seemed to produce something of a City fightback. Dzeko replaced the aforementioned Dave Thompson up front, and I got a little bit nervous. Even more so when, in the 48th minute, Aguero and Dzeko finally decided to stop shooting from outside the box and try and play through our defence. They played a one two which left Aguero one on one with Smithies, but thankfully Smithies showed the form that is keeping Krul out of the side by parrying the shot out wide. But we weren't safe. Srna was out wide to offer support, and he beat Lucas Digne to the ball to slot it into the net. 1-1. Game on.

Not wanting to roll over, we had the better goal attempts and a larger share of possession for the next 10 minutes or so. Then Ben Arfa was once again stretchered off at the Etihad, this time after colliding with Arturo Vidal. I was unsure whether to replace him with the hard working Tom Cleverley, or my Turkish youngster Cen Kamdemir. I opted for the latter.

Around ten more minutes had passed, and things had been uneventful. half chance after half chance was squandered by both sides. We had the ball and were working our way forward towards the city Box. Rodwell attempted to pass it to Shaqiri on the right, but his pass was hoofed clear by Boyata. But the ball landed at the feet of Aaron Ramsey, who decided to bring it forward, inviting Vidal onto him. Just as Vidal was getting close he released the ball to the feel of the anonymous Kandemir, who decided his first real contribution to the match was to turn and shoot from 30 yards out.

. 2-1.

From then on, I told the boys to hold onto the ball and pass it around a bit. The game was ours and so was the league. We slowed the tempo right down, passing to feet but still pressuring the City players when they managed to gain possession. And it worked. We held on to a well deserved win at the Etihad. And what a way for Kandemir to introduce himself - a spectacular 30 yarder in his second appearance that was not only his first goal for the club, but also secured the title for his team!

Table:

leaguetable13143.jpg

I cant believe I've come this far undefeated. Still have two tricky games at Old Trafford and White Hart Lane to come though, so glad I've wrapped the title up now - Especially as my next two games are the FA cup semi vs West Ham and the CL semi vs Real Madrid. Not looking forward to the CL at all.

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