(FM20) Newcastle United – 2045/46 End of Season Review

Welcome back! Well here we go once again, by now I’m hoping you will have read the previous post where I talked you through the first half of the season. It was a brilliant lead up to the New Year. We sat in 5th place in the League and were also in all three cup competitions we entered. We had a semi final in the League Cup against Chelsea to come and we also found ourselves in the Last 16 of the Europa League and the 4th Round of the FA Cup, so how did it go? Let’s find out!

January Transfers

We start by saying goodbye to three players, all three complained about lack of football and were moved on. This does leave us a little short but I’ve recalled youth player RW Perkins who came through last years intake to replace Sanz who moves to Shakhtar for £17.75m, CM McGovern and LB Borja also leave for £4.3m and £5.75m respectively. The only player I need to replace is Borja as we have no back-up Left Back.

I managed to bring a new LB in, I went for the young and English idea again (and may have spent quite a bit!)

Vince Chambers – Left Back – £7m from Wolves

A top quality prospect and one for the future.

As January came to a close we were really struggling with injuries, both Kelmendi and Ferrari were injured and Wagner was suspended, the likes of Maxwell and Gifford just weren’t doing and 3 straight defeats with no goals meant I had to dip my toes in the market!

Charlie Briggs – Striker/Winger – Season long loan from Spurs

I wanted to bring in forward players who could play anywhere along the front line, Briggs fits that bill. Great physicals and good finishing, a good back-up for Ferrari!

Oscar Montaperto – Striker/Winger – £8m from Inter Milan

Another guy who can play on either wing or up front. 19 for dribbling took my eye but all round this guy looks great and for such a low fee.

So transfers complete, let’s see how each competition went…..

Europa League

After winning our group we were given a bye into the Last 16 of the competition where we were handed a tie against Rangers, a game I expected to win and we did exactly that, winning 3-1 in the away leg before drawing the home leg 2-2 to get through to the Quarters.

Where we would face Tottenham! Probably the toughest draw left and so it proved as we lost the 1st leg away 2-0, the 2nd leg came about and we were struggling with suspensions and injuries, we played well and took the lead after 1 minute, we had to search for goals and were picked off twice to lose 2-1 and we were knocked out.

League Cup

We had done amazingly so far to reach the semi finals where we had a what looked like a tricky tie against Chelsea. After the 1st leg it seemed very easy as we hammered them 3-0 courtesy of a Kelmendi brace and a Nannini rocket. It was probably one of our best performances of the season.

In the 2nd leg we didn’t play anywhere near as good, Chelsea had to come at us and they certainly did, they scored twice before half time to drag themselves back into the tie. We somehow managed to hold on to book our trip to Wembley 3-2 on aggregate.

Where we would face Manchester United, the runaway League leaders but we had already beat them this season so I knew we had a chance. It was just a shame we didn’t really show up!

Man U came out of the blocks and were straight on the attack but it took until the 32nd minute for them to break us down, poor defending from a corner and they pounced on the loose ball to take the lead.

We seemed to settle down then and just before half time we levelled the game. Sam Butcher picking the ball up taking his man on, driving into the box and smashing home! 1-1!

The second half started like the first and Man U were all over us, they then took the lead on 64 minutes, again a goal from a corner! So poor! We tried and tried to score, we hit the bar, the post, had one off the line but Man U held firm, the whistle went and we had lost! Gutted.

Premier League

When I left you last we sat in 5th place with a good chance of European qualification.

Our form throughout the second half of the season was really good but it had to be to keep up with the teams around us! The League table was stupidly tight all the way through with only Man U and Chelsea running away at the top. Over January-April we had won 9 games, drew 3 and lost 4. The 4 losses being the ones that really had stopped us moving up the table, all of those were against teams in and around us (Chelsea 2nd, Man U 1st, Watford and Derby both challenging for Europe).

As we entered the final two games of the season we sat in 7th place, we couldn’t go any lower but we were still only 3 points off 3rd placed Derby!

The penultimate game was away to mid-tabled Fulham and with a fully fit forward line we hammered them 3-0 courtesy of goals from Nordin, Butcher and Wagner.

So we headed into the final game with the table looking like this…

Anywhere between 3rd and 7th was possible, our final game? Home to Man City! The final weekend had thrown up some mental games. Derby played Chelsea at home, Spurs played Arsenal at home and Watford played Man Utd at home! All of the top 8 were playing each other!

The game started very cagey with little chances but as we went in at the break Man City were 1-0 up and we weren’t playing well, we needed to win to get us into the Champions League so a bollocking at half time was given and my word did the boys come out the blocks in the second half!

Step up super Sam Butcher, a goal just after the whistle brings the game level and with Derby and Spurs both winning we knew we had to go for it and boy did it work! Ferrari gave us the lead before Butcher made it 3 in what ended as a comfortable win against one of the best teams in the League, redemption for the 6-0 hammering earlier in the season and from being 7th with 2 games left we had turned it around to end 3rd!!!

Absolutely insane but I feel we fully deserved it, we had played so well nearly all season with only the odd drop off, we had survived numerous injuries to our main men but have come out of the other end of it with Champions League football next season!


And just to cap it off I was named Manager of the Year!

FA Cup

My main aim this season was to win something and after losing in the League Cup final I put my main focus on the FA Cup. After beating Sheffield Weds 3-0 in the first round we then faced Swansea and scraped through 1-0 courtesy of a goal from on-loan Left Winger Marmon.

We then faced Fulham in the 5th Round and once again scraped through, another 1-0 win, Sam Butcher with the decisive goal right on half time.

Leicester City were our Quarter Final opponents, the toughest game so far but we played really well, goals from Ferrari and Wagner sealed a 2-0 win putting us into the semi’s, without conceding a goal!

Where we were handed the easier of the ties, Arsenal play Man City, we play Derby!

Derby were much the better team throughout the game but they just could not score. Numerous times our keeper Sam West saved us, goals from Nordin and Ferrari, both scored from corners gave us a 2-0 lead. Derby eventually managed to grab a goal but we held on and booked our second Wembley trip of the season!

And in a big shock Arsenal knocked out Man City on penalties, we had the easier of the sides but could we eventually win a cup final?

So another trip to Wembley, could this one end up a happier occasion than the last one?

No it couldn’t. We played absolutely dreadfully, never troubling the Arsenal goal, it was all Arsenal (on highlights), they had a penalty in the 12 minute saved before somehow having a goal disallowed for a foul after hitting the bar. The eventually took the lead on 52 minutes, a long ball forward wasn’t dealt with by my RB Romero, it fell to Touya who smashed it home.

It was to be the only goal of the game, we only ended up having one highlight which was a snapshot from Butcher from way out.

A disappointing way to end the season, our second cup final defeat of the season but we have to take heart. We have ended 3rd in the League giving us Champions League football next season and had got to 2 cup finals. Yes we end trophy-less but we still had a better season than anyone could’ve imagined.

Star Men

A great season but let’s take a look at who the main men were….

First up is Left Winger Jurgen Kelmendi, his form fell away during the mid-part of the season after interest from Real Madrid but he dusted himself down and ended as the clubs Player of the Year. This guy is so so good, 45 games, 16 goals and 16 assists, 10 POTMs and an average rating of 7.37. I really need him next season!

Next up is the enigma that is David Ferrari, I’d spoken about him in the previous post about how strange his form was. 1 goal in his first 12 games, he then got 14 in his next 15 in the lead up to the New Year. After that his form dipped but he continued to play a vital part in the season ending with 25 goals in 52 games. He does seem very inconsistent though!

Next is the Young Player of the Year Robin Nordin, the central midfielder has been amazing once again, I do feel he is the one guy I may not be able to keep hold of once the big clubs come calling. 43 games, 6 goals and 6 assists and some incredible displays has pushed this guy to the top of the pecking order when picking my first XI.

And finally is what I am now going to start calling “Oleg Wagner-watch“. This guy is pushing along at a steady pace towards the 300 appearances/100 goals achievements for a Youth Intake player. Another quality season, his highest scoring one yet with 18 goals in 49 starts. This now takes his overall tally to 198 appearances and 48 goals, nearly half way there!

The Achievement Hunter Challenge

I’ve eventually managed to tick off an achievement! This one has been a long time coming! Oliver Rergis, the Mexican goalkeeper who came through my Youth Intake in 2032 with Xolos Tijuana has managed to gain his 100th cap (he’s now on 113 caps!). This ticks off the “Youth Intake player gains 100 caps” Achievement! Delighted!

Next Season

Another season is down and it’s been another brilliant one. I feel like I have the club a lot further ahead than I expected. After my second season in charge we gain ourselves entry to the Champions League. It’s just a shame we end with two cup final defeats but we have to look back with pride that we got there in the first place.

Next season is a biggie now, Champions League brings the reputation rise and the money to really start pushing on. The board have rewarded me with £74m to spend on players and the likes of Kelmendi now want to stay as we are doing well.

We do need to improve the squad though. Defensively we weren’t good enough, we let in more goals than any of the top 10 teams in the League. So that is my main focus for next season, a new main-line Left Back is needed as is a new Central Defender. A new Goalkeeper could be in order if one better than what I have becomes available.

Other than that we look “OK”, first-team wise we have quality but we do lack quality in reserve. The Youth players are decent but aren’t really ready to step up yet. I need to replace loanee Marmon on the Left Wing and I may look at bringing in another Attacking Midfielder to take some of the burden off of Sam Butcher and then there is the Striker role I have to look at, is Ferrari good enough or do I need to bring another top quality player in?

Other than that as always it will be to hopefully hold onto my key men and only sign players if I lose anyone.

So a big Summer ahead! I hope you’ve enjoyed the post!

Thanks for reading.


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