Apr 082012

Hey guys and welcome to a very special post, not only will you witness my FM 2012 Champions League final featuring Scarborough against Chelsea…but you will also see me wearing a suit for the match. My Seadogs have already won the EPL title and League Cup, but reaching the Champions League final has been the highlight of 2023 for sure. Grab yourself a brew, sit back, relax and watch my build up video below. You won’t want to miss this as it includes my real life preparations for the match, that’s right, its time to suit up!! PUT YOUR SOUND ON FOR THE FULL EFFECT OF THIS VIDEO! And please watch, it’ll get you in the mood for  what will follow, besides its only a minute long! I’ll repeat myself, turn the volume up before clicking the link below.

Click here to see my Champions League build up!

Now we are all ready, let me kick-off the match build up with some analysis and key facts. I have a fair few vital players that could change the tide of any high profile match. Two of these players have been outstanding in Europe contributing 7 goals between them in the Champions League. Fabricio is my main man upfront and Arancibia is my beastly central defender.

But my most important player by a country mile is Mokoena, the central midfielder can break up play, place a killer pass or even finish a chance off himself. Mokoena is the player that makes my team tick and this is evident by his 6 assists in Europe this season.

Now if I was to tell you all three of those key stars are injured for the final I’m sure you’d fear the worst. Well I’m afraid that is the case, my best defender, best midfielder and best striker are all injured and to rub salt into the wound all these injuries came just a few weeks ago. But there is some good news, Chelsea have also endured a few unfortunate injuries including the sidelined Cornwall and Sawyers who made up for 13 of their assists in the Champions League this season. So it would seem that both teams strength in depth could play a huge role.

The only other key fact you need to know is that Chelsea are somewhat of a boggy team for me. They knocked me out of last seasons Champions League and have a good record of pissing me off ;) I have played Chelsea 16 times and my record reads, 7 wins, 2 draws and 7 losses. Now we have all the facts and figures out of the way lets get down to the final its self…

Champions League final – Scarborough vs Chelsea

Venue: OAKA Spyros Louis, Athens

Attendance: 69,618

Scarborough starting XI - GK: HusseinDR: Siviero, DL: Vangjeji, DC: Finke, DC: PedroMC: Rene, MC: Northwood, MC: HuergaAMR: Roberto, AML: CarlosST: Matampi

Click any of the names above to see the players profile. You will see that despite injuries to some of our best players the starting XI is still strong and especially talented going forward. Below are how both sides lined up prior to kick-off.

Starting formations:

The match, first-half: With my squad selected and all my research done all I could do was sit back and hope my plan would work. Before clicking continue, I just sat, perched on the edge of my couch, hoping to see the first chance fall to someone in red.

I had to wait until the 28th minute for a proper chance, but it did fall to Roberto on the right wing who cut inside from Rene’s pass and then blasted the ball over the bar. A few minutes later and we enjoyed another fluid attacking move, but it ended with a similar finish as Carlos fluffed a golden opportunity from the left wing. As the stopwatch hit 40 minutes, time seemed to stay still, my striker Matampi was one on one with the Chelsea goalkeeper and tried for an audacious lob, the ball seemed to be moving in slow motion but drifted over the bar. Then just before the half-time whistle Chelsea manufactured their first threatening attack, but thankfully the ball ended up in my keepers hands as the referee blew for the break.

Half-time score: 0-0

Second-half: I was very happy during the break and made no changes, I also decided that encouragement and praise was the way forward so my team talk consisted of telling the lads how pleased I was. This seemed to work perfectly as Scarborough came pounding out of the traps. Matampi slid a beautiful pass through to Carlos who had made a run inside from the left wing, the Italian took two touches then smashed the ball into the top corner from 18 yards out!! (Click here to see Carlos’ goal.) Needless to say I was delighted.

With the way things were going I could taste sweet victory and European glory. My Seadogs kept pressing, missing one, two, then three chances on the bounce…we were dominating this match with pure attacking intent. I decided to made three changes bringing off Huerga, Roberto and Matampi for Ross, Diomi and Diez. These changes had nothing to do with performance as the three departing players were excellent, I just wanted some fresh legs and to offer a prestigious appearance to the three substitutes. Well my arrogance got the better of me, all three subs looked lackluster and could be blamed for what happened next. Chelsea broke down the left with Lukaku, the Belgian centered the ball to Noble who stuck his header home!! (click here to see Nobles goal.) I was gutted and to be frank, really pissed with myself.

Notice my head in one hand and only if you could see my face…but there was still 28 minutes to go and I had to regroup with the scores level at 1-1. Making tactical changes or touchline shouts seemed irrelevant at the time so I just sat nervously waiting for that gritty determination my side had shown all season long. Chelsea kept pushing forward but never seemed to have that spark, or clinical edge…then on the 84th minute a well placed cross landed on the head of a hero who placed the ball in the back of the net!! (Click here to see the goal and who scored!) My reaction says it all!

 Scarborough were 2-1 up with minutes remaining, we just had to stop Chelsea scoring. But to be honest that wasn’t difficult, bar one corner the final minutes were very comfortable and as the referee sounded his whistle for full-time I spent a second or two thinking, ‘is it finally over?’ And then I just…

…Well I didn’t know what to do, I’ve been building up to this moment for so long and even convinced myself we’d struggle during this final match, but to win it was just incredible! Guess I’m just glad I don’t have to see how it feels to lose on FM while wearing a suit (that would have been embarrassing.)

Match stats:

An absolutely outstanding achievement, to beat my nemesis in the Champions final, with 57% possession, 19 shots to their 2 and even wearing a suit is just plain cool!! (Well some may say its sad, but I had fun anyway.)

Squad stats

This was by far my best season on Football Manager, full stop! So many players chipped in, from Aranciba scoring 12 from corners, to Fabricio hitting 30 upfront. I was so proud of each and every player but now is the perfect time for change…

My finances look very good with £41 million in the bank, but without my rich chairmen’s help that figure would read red and I am desperate to correct that. What makes me tick on FM is finances and developing youth so I am dying to get back to my morale’s.

And this is how I intend on doing so, by offloading some of my stars and promoting youth from within. Looking through the highlighted players below you’ll notice most are my best players, but I have to offload them sooner or later and have decided next season is when I’ll take the risk. By doing so I’ll save around £366K per week, add another £150K for future player wages and I could save around £220K a week which equals £10.5 million a year. This is the biggest risk I have ever taken in Football Manager but I am prepared to win nothing next season if it helps us become self sufficient and stop living out of my chairmen’s pocket.

Well that is all for today, I hope you enjoyed this special post and watching me suit up for the Champions League final. My next post may be a stark adjustment but I can’t wait to get the clubs bank balance back in my own hands. Until then please feel free to comment below and I have been waiting 12 in game years to show the screenshot below so enjoy. ;)

P.S. I have to say thank you to my wife who has supported me throughout my FM obsession, blogging and constant commitment to the community. If that wasn’t enough she even did the video of me wearing the suit and took all the pictures while I played the Champions League final… ;) I know, I’m a lucky man! You also should know that I may be a little absent at times over the next few weeks from time to time. I am due to move home come the 13th of April and have a lot to organize as well as a lack of internet from the 13th onward.

  76 Responses to “FM 2012 Champions League final, Scarborough vs Chelsea: Suit up!”

  1. Absolutely incredible well done. This is my first post on any story and I have loved reading your whole story congratulations.

  2. Loving the into video, looks like you were modelled on the FM logo haha ;)

    Anyway mate, congratulations on your big win, incredible story! A lot of support from the community too which is very nice to see. Good luck with the bank balance, I’m sure you can make them richer than Newcastle last year.

    • Glad you got the theme there jake, that was what I was going for. :) It’s been a great ride and like with any story, the only way to keep interest is by switching the focus so youth and money is what I’m after now.

  3. That was a good video, but the slippers do not match the suit! It has been an incredible story so far, great CL win! Have a good time off!

    • lol, I thought the slippers would add a little humor. :) I’ve really enjoyed the save so far and look forward to the next challenge, I might have a post ready next week but we’ll see how packing goes. :)

  4. Well done Darren, A great win in the CL. I also enjoyed the video at the start. Good luck with your Pre season :D and good luck moving house.

  5. This is excellent, mate!! I came across this on the Facebook page and this is brilliant! Read this post first though, of course, haha. I’ve just finished reading freakin’ ALL of your posts, Darren! Great stuff, great job! Good luck for the revamp of the Seadogs next season!

    • Thanks mate, I’m glad you read through the journey and I hope you can continue to enjoy the story. Next season will see a big change in emphasis but I’m looking forward to it.

  6. Great win Darren!

    You’ve climbed the full ladder so well done! Also I can’t stress how much I hope the guy on the FM logo is actually wearing Simpsons slippers! :)

    • Thanks Dan, its been a crazy ride and capped off well with the slippers lol. Would be cool if the FM model was in fact wearing slippers below what is visible. ;) Who knows maybe this will spark something for FM13!

  7. Hahaha, couldn’t stop laughing when I saw those slippers :D :D :D Well done on winning the CL mate, when you first took over as Scarborough I bet they didn’t expect this kind of success so soon! Well done mate!

    • Thanks Sears, glad you liked the slippers :) I honestly never thought this was even possible when first starting the game. I actually aimed to make the Football league and then see what happened from there…even reaching the Prem seemed too much but Scarborough have surprised me.

  8. Outstanding Darren but I really shouldn’t expect anything less from you! The suiting up video is pure class too, kudos for going ahead and doing it and also to the wife for filming it!

    Best of luck on your house move too!

  9. Hahahaha, I’m with Sears on this one, I loved the Homer slippers! I’d say you deserve a spot on the cover of FM13 for that performance. As for the game itself, it looked like a very exciting game to have watched, and congratulations on finally bagging that CL trophy! To think, just a decade ago you guys weren’t even in the Football League.

    Best of luck on the move, I know how much those are a pain. >.>

  10. Great story mate,

    Does this mean you are finishing your story? And if so, any ideas on the team you will be next?

  11. Haha, well done Darren, I knew you could pull this off! And send my congratulations to the “camera crew”, the opening video was brilliant and the photos as well ;)

  12. Well a big congratulations on becoming champions of Europe! I’ll admit you converted me from a loyal Chelsea supporter for those 90 mins haha

    Loved the report and of course the slippers… meanwhile plenty to look forward to next year with your reshuffling, and a chance for international glory at the ClubWC also.

    • Thanks mate, I love how FM can convert your real life loyalties :) Next season will be very different but I’m looking forward to it, I spent the last 12 years building upto this so I needed to make some new goals.

  13. Well done Darren Great Achievement , However hard work begins now Next season ‘ll be real test for your youth project , Can’t wait for next season !!!

  14. Hahaha, oh yeah, I just love your expression there Darren! But man, who would have thought that Scarborough can becoming like this from 12 seasons (remind me if I’m mistaken)? But anyway, congratulations! And don’t forget the FIFA Club World Cup after this. LOL

    Anyway, I’ll be looking forward on your next story.

  15. darren, i know i might be in the wrong place, but how do you get scarboroughs logo onto the game as i want to do it with my local side i have a save with, cheers

  16. hey darren,
    unbelievable!! just incredible..i dont know how on earth you can take a club, (5 promotions away from the lowest echelons of english football), to the champions league, let alone win it!! absolutely incredible achievement!! rest of the story is going to be even more interesting now. good luck in the club world cup! and the video was really funny!! haha good job on that too!!
    cheers :D and keep up the good work :)

  17. The slippers almost had me off my chair :) … And the video was just … Mourinho-esque.
    When you wrote about wearing the suit I never thought you would achieve that goal so fast, and to score the late goal like that must have had you off your seat (Hopefully your wife celebrated too!) It’s amazing to win the champions League, as it is the elite, but I was surprised none of your players were or had the potential to break the four star barrier. Great season and I believe only the FA Cup to go now.
    (That match must’ve left you wondering if it was sensible to play every match in a suit:)

    • :) Glad you liked it mate. I’m not sure if the players potential struggles to hit 4* because they are all a very similar standard and the more players I have at that level the harder it is to get a higher star potential. What I mean is all the assistant is doing from those star ratings is comparing your squad first with the leagues standard but more importantly with each other.

      But I most certainly won’t be suiting up again, not this year anyway ;)

  18. Wow it’s done, Chelsea weren’t really in it that much so I think you had more strength in depth Darren

    Congratulations on the win, I am not too sure what the fans will think if you sold off Carlos though :(

    The nicest thing was that your laptop had a cushy seat to rest on, I think i’ll do that too and see if it gives me better results :D

    • Thanks mate, I agree Chelsea couldn’t get a foothold on the match and that was what left me bewildered when they equalized…I couldn’t believe it, but we pulled through. The fans may not like me selling the likes of Carlos but it has to happen and as long as we don’t slip too fr back I think I’ll be OK.

  19. Well done Darren.

    You are the king of Football Manager!

    Just waiting for you to do a Very Fluid/Overload Tactic.

    Ajax team tactic of the Michels and Kovcas era

    GK, SW, RB, LB, CD, CM, CM, CM, AMR, AML, FC,

    • Yeah now that would be something else, not sure its possible though unfortunately.

      • I’m going to give your Play like Arsenal tactic and Manchelona tactic, using the Very Fluid and Overload methods, I will leave all the player roles just as as they are for fun as a test for a season.

        Just to see how It goes.

        Just got to find two teams to use the methods with.

  20. Well done Darren, though I never doubted Scarborough’s chances. I admire your courage in offloading some of your star players but I do understand your commitment in making the club self-sufficient

    • Thanks Liam, it will be an interesting season next up, but when I did this last with Newcastle the team went from strength to strength so fingers crossed. :)

  21. Well Done Darren on winning the UEFA Champions League…It just seems Impossible to think that a clubs 5 level below the football league wins the UCL…Incredible work mate…Can you just put up a screenshot of Game Status for all of us to enjoy the Addictness Rating LOL

  22. Great results and congratulations on winning the Champions League. You outplayed Chelsea, but one of those edgy matches where you start to fear the worst. Thankfully that didn’t happen though, and you came away with the trophy.

    Thanks to a really bad habit where I keep forgetting to close the game, and I leave my computer running, I have a very scary addictedness rating. “Congratulations from everyone at Sports Interactive. We never thought you’d make it this far.” :D

    • Wow I don’t think I’ve ever seen that addictedness rating before, I don’t pay close attention to them but that does seem like the pinnacle.

      • Having 2 screens has made me lazy. I’m guessing that is the limit, but I’ll keep being lazy and see if it ever changes to something beyond it.

  23. Darren could you post a screenshot of your club info with Icon, legends ect on there. Also could you post a screenshot of your scarboroughs honours? Well done aswell by the way

  24. What can I add?!

    Amazing achievement Darren, so well done you!! :)

  25. Incredible, simply incredible!!This achievement is so far away even from the original goal so well done! You’ve got my huge respect Sir! :D

    Ps.: what is the future of this story, how long want you manage Scarborough?

    • Thanks mate, I am not sure how long this story will continue but I want to get the club making money and building on youth…maybe even dominating so I reckon there’s at least three seasons left.

  26. Well done Darren! Very well played! Delighted for you!
    I’ll hopefully be there before long with my new team which started in Tier 11. Just got promoted to Tier 10 and about to start season 2.

    I enjoyed this article. The only downer was that I went to the video and one of the comments spoiled the result for me.

  27. Putting a suit on for a computer game?? I take it you don’t have a girlfriend?

    It’s nice to play from time to time…but seriously dude, reality check, get some sun on your face and live a little…..

    A tad sad.

    • I take it you didnt read the post very well as he does mention his wife.

      Its all in jest dave, he said he would do this is he got to the Champions League final with Scarborough Athletic when they where is the 8th Tier of the English Football league. And hats of to the man he stuck to his word.

      You shouldnt take life too seriously!

    • @ Dave

      Its called a joke, a laugh…maybe try getting a sense of humor and stop taking everything so seriously. Besides, you’re not one to talk about getting a life, you can’t have much to do if you feel the need to write comments like that, now that is what I call a waste of time, both yours and mine. As Peter said, I joked around on Facebook saying I’d wear a suit for the CL final if more than 200 people liked the post, obviously not expecting that to happen but it did and I don’t like to go back on my word.

      @ Peter

      Thanks for the support, I think everyone who actually follows FMS like yourself understand the point of this. :)

  28. Hi Darren

    How are you? Long time no talk.

    Not been following your story but I think i visited the site at the right time. Amazing achievements winning all those trophies in 12 years! Good luck with your new home, i moved homes recently and the moving part is a real pain.


    • Hey Sayam, I’m fine thanks mate and hope all is OK at your end, its certainly been a while. Moving will be a pain but also excited so hopefully everything goes to plan.

  29. Unbelievable Darren! What an achievement! Could I just ask what philosophy and formation you mainly used when you were in the lowest few tiers. I got promoted first season and have been on tier 8 for 2 missing out on promotion by just a few points each time. I always have a run of about 6 games without a win and it costs me so I need consistancy. Thanks in advance

    • Thanks John, I have always used a fluid philosophy and used attacking strategy until the form became inconsistent then used counter attack during really tough matches.

  30. I think that may be where I’ve been going wrong. I had been trying to control the games but I don’t think I had the quality yet. About to start 3rd season in this league so hopefully I can do it this time!

  31. Well done mate huge fan I cant believe you did it in 12 seasons! Anyway what are you doing now? Are you continuing the story or starting a new one?

  32. Whens the next update?!?

  33. The video isnt showing up for some reason on my screen, is it on youtube or facebook or anything?

    Congrats on the big win, its been enthralling reading. I wish I could emulate your good self.

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