Mar 262012

Hey guys and welcome to my FM 2012 Scarborough AFC season 11 report. Last season saw Scarborough narrowly miss the EPL title finishing 2nd, but we did win the FA Cup after beating Arsenal and also the Europa League after a nerve wrecking penalty shoot out against Benfica. All of this added up to make my best season yet and sounded my battle cry. The Seadogs had proven that we can match anyone on our day and should be taken seriously as domestic contenders. So the aim this season is to maintain that standard and try to gain some experience in Europe. As ever I’ll be attempting to make my squad younger and keep finding great young talent to fund the clubs future. But to start today’s post we’ll move onto the boards expectations and budgets etc.

The board tabled an early pre-season transfer budget of £34.65 million and wage budget of £1.4 million per week. This set the tone again as my rich chairmen obviously saw cash as no real issue.

Once the actual pre-season came around my board requested another top half finish and I upped the ante to continental qualification, this was of course to earn a better budget. After the initial budgets were set I spent a fair amount of cash and that is why the chairmen would only allow a further £10 million for transfers.

The media had my boys in for the title just behind Man City with a respectable price of 5-1. I must admit I was surprised to see us up there so soon as the expectations and media odds are usually well behind what the team can achieve in reality.

Now its time for what I’m sure is your favorite part of every season report, the transfers. This season felt like a transitional year, Scarborough had just proven themselves on all fronts and looked destined to challenge for honors, but with that responsibility you need a strong squad. So I examined every player and anyone I felt couldn’t make it in the top four of the EPL were moved on. This bold move led to 13 departures that racked up an impressive £72 million.

I think its fair to say I went a little crazy with my transfers, after selling some pretty good players my new targets had to be top class and Scarborough’s current reputation led to me paying a premium as the pool of quality was rather shallow and resulted in slim pickings. The best of my new players were right winger Roberto signed as a straight replacement for Dincer at £16.5 million and the outrageously talented Huerga in central midfield. The Spaniard cost me a hefty £42 million but looks insane and still has room to grow. All in all my summer transfer spree added up to £103 million but offset against my sales meant a total net spend of £31 million.

The pre-season formalities were over and as I tried to prepare my squad for the season ahead I had the Euro Super Cup to look forward to. It was an all English affair and against a club I struggle to beat in Chelsea. Now I don’t know if it was pre-season luck or a turning point for the club but my boys dominated this tie and beat our title rivals 1-0 to lift the Euro Super Cup. New signing Junior was on the score sheet with a wonderful strike from the left wing.

Premier League results – first half of season

I always find that a good start in the league can be the perfect remedy for success. So you can imagine my disappointment as we lost the opening game of the season away to Sunderland. My boys did make up for it with a fantastic 2-0 victory at Anfield but we failed to beat Chelsea at home in a 1-1 draw. Our start to the season continued like this, in a very inconsistent and unpredictable manner as we won 9, drew 5 and lost one of our next 15 matches.

I failed to win the title last season because of our bad form against the big teams and this season didn’t seem to be any better. One game into January the league table looked a little grim as I had already started to give up on any sort of title challenge. The Seadogs were 5th, four points off fourth and 12 points off Man City at the top.

With the Winter transfer window opening up my chairmen decided to offer a helping hand as the transfer budget was increased to £37 million.

But then the clubs owner went and did something very uncharacteristic by forcing me to sell a very promising youngster, Lopez Fuentes. I had signed the Spaniard for free back in our Championship days and was gutted to lose a talented player I had invested time in developing. Inter’s offer of £15 million seemed short of my valuation but I couldn’t groan as the chairmen had treated me well to date. I just needed to go about my business and find a new talented centre back.

So you know about Lopez Fuentes leaving, there was nothing to be done there. However, there was another quality player departing this Winter as I offered Romagnoli out to clubs for £25 million, a number of suitors came forward but Fiorentina were the only club prepared to offer a decent fee in £20 million. I sold the striker who has developed very well since joining but never really adapted well to my tactics so it felt like a win win.

I spent all of the £35 million gathered from player sales in January, the first was a direct replacement for my departing striker and Matampi will be a beast that  should hopefully repay his £21 million transfer fee. I also signed a 17 year old midfielder from Bayern alongside a new backup keeper. But the next big thing was Funetes’ replacement, Arancibia joined from Goias for £7.5 million and looks right up my street as I love pacey, strong centre backs.

I guess the chairmen felt a little guilty after offloading one of my favored players as he injected another £15 million into the club.

Premier League results – second half of season

After a disappointing start to the season my boys had to offer something extra and that they certainly did. I watched on in amazement as they won 16 and drew just 2 to climb back up the table. We even prevailed through an injury and international absentee crisis during the last few months. This amazing run left just two games in the league calender, but had we forced ourselves back into the title frame?

The answer to that is yes! After an incredible run my boys have climbed to top spot, one point clear of Man City in second, three points clear of Chelsea in third and five points clear of Arsenal in fourth. The only down side is that all three sides below me have a game in hand.

With two games to go, my next opponents were Manchester City at home. A very, very tough game and certainly one I’d call a title decider. But the pressure didn’t get to my players as we ran out comfortable 2-1 winners, enjoying most of the possession and the best of the chances.

That vital victory may still not be enough as all the teams below me have a game in hand. But you know there’s always a twist in the EPL and this season was no different. Chelsea drew while I beat City and they also drew their game in hand leaving them out of the title race with a game to go. After losing to myself Man City also drew away to Everton, leaving them 3 points off the pace but with a sizable advantage in terms of goal difference. Then there was Arsenal, the London club enjoyed the best form winning both their games to climb from fourth to second and just 2 points off myself.

The drama couldn’t have reached a higher climax, I honestly have never experienced such a close finish to any season since buying my first edition of FM. With one game to go Chelsea are out of the title race, but Arsenal play Sheffield Wednesday away and Man City play West Ham at home while I have a very tough away fixture to Tottenham. If I lose to Tottenham (which is the likely results) then I need both Man City and Arsenal to miss out on victory which seems impossible TBH, and even if I draw the title isn’t guaranteed…

One game to go and this match is just like a cup final, if we win we secure the title and if we draw we still stand a chance provided other results go our way…the first half was very nervy seeing Spurs secure the best chances but we remained level at half time. The second half whistle saw my boys take control of the match and score with 11 minutes to go but Spurs soon equalized with 5 minutes remaining. The London club kept pressing but my defense held strong and saw the game out for a 1-1 draw…but was this enough.

Man City beat West Ham 2-0 and Arsenal beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 but how did this translate to my title challenge? Had we secured the EPL tile?

Man City may have won but they were too far behind and my draw meant a one point gap…but Arsenal’s victory meant they drew level on points with the Seadogs, but our superior goal difference made the difference as I lifted my first Premier League title.

I was absolutely ecstatic, this was by far the closest title race I have ever experienced and it epitomizes what makes this game the B’s and E’s!! But the post isn’t over yet, we still have three more competitions to reel off so stay with me. :)

Carling Cup results

After winning the Carling Cup last season I was hopeful of reaching the latter rounds for a second season. Unfortunately we managed to offer fringe players some experience in first few rounds before Arsenal thrashed us 2-0 in the quarter-final.

FA Cup Results

Last season saw us reach the semi-final in this competition and beat some serious competition, but this season was a very different story. After slaughtering Mansfield we lost away to Chelsea, while I was disappointed with the early exit I couldn’t complain considering the opponents and our title challenge.

Champions League results

Due to winning the Europa League I landed a place in the 3rd pot as opposed to the fourth which can lead to a group of death. Galatasaray, PSG and Porto were all drawn in my group as a result, an easy draw considering the possibilities. We breezed through the group stage winning all but one including the 5-0 thrashing of PSG away from home.

We obviously finished top and PSG joined us in the next round.

Despite landing the flush draw we still had to face FC Bayern in the first Knockout round. Thankfully the tie seemed to suit us as every attack the Germans manufacturer led to a Scarborough counter and the tie finished 4-0 on aggregate. I was hoping for a similar if not easier draw in the quarter-finals but last years winners, Chelsea, came out of the hat. Their pace and experience proved too much as my boys were thrashed 3-0 in the away leg and won the home leg 2-1.

Squad stats and finances

This season was weird for sure, we started badly in the league but progressed into ridiculous title winning form, yet we started well in the cup competitions which seemed to fade into nothing. My German centre back, Finke, was solid this season scoring 12 goals with an average rating of 7.47. However it was in attack that we won the league, left winger Carlos banged home 17 goals and 9 assists, new striker Matampi managed 8 goals from 9 starts but Vieira was a little disappointing scoring just 18 goals from 34 starts. The entire squad chipped in scoring and assisting especially in midfield, but Mokoena was the most consistent assisting 25 times.

After the seasons end I went about upgrading the clubs facilities and my chairmen showed his usual ambition accepting every request at a cost of £9.5 million. While the training facilities are starting to look respectful I hold major concerns over the youth facilities and recruitment. Hopefully I can bring them up to a good standard within the next few seasons.

Talking of concerns my stadium is still very small despite been increased to more than treble its original capacity. The Scarborough stadium (original name I know!) started at 3,000 capacity, then we upgraded it to an all seater, after which numerous expansions have brought the stadium upto a capacity of 12,500. And now the board are expanding again, this time by 5,100 to make a new capacity of around 17,500 all at a cost of £6.25 million.

After investing so much in the club, my chairmen felt it necessary to increase the bank balance coughing up £25.5 million.

Come the seasons end our bank balance read £27.8 million, a nice amount to take into next season where I intend to start the Y2G system in an attempt to stop living out of our chairmen’s pocket. But in reality that will take a good few years until we can raise a few youngsters and get the stadium to provide some cash flow.

Well that is it for today’s post, I hope you enjoyed the read despite it being a long one. Scarborough have won the EPL after 11 seasons leaving me to plot out my new target, the Champions League, I think I’ll take my suit to the dry cleaners this week. ;) Until next time please feel free to comment below. Thanks for reading.

  61 Responses to “FM 2012 Scarborough AFC season 11 report: Sooooo close!”

  1. Well done mate up the Scarbs!

    Awesome performance through all the levels mate.

      • Well Done. You make FM look soooo easy! Congrats on getting The Seadogs all the way to the top. Have you ever thought about managing a real life team, maybe down in the lower leagues and working your way up??

        Anyway Well Done on winning the EPL. BRING ON THE CL!!!!
        Good Luck :)

        • Thanks Lakey, the game doesn’t feel easy to me, certain patches of bad form feel like a real struggle and I worry we’ll collapse but we always seem to pull threw so hopefully that’ll continue. I don’t think I could manage a real life club, there’s so much more involved than tactics and scouting, the whole motivation thing and demanding respect as a boss comes into play.

  2. Wow, that was a wild title race! But that makes it even more valuable, you and your lads did a tremendous job! The Champions League is next, fingers crossed for a win next season!

    • Thanks Johnny, it was a very nervous affair come the last three games and I was just in shock to still have a chance let alone actually win the thing. :) I think next season is too soon for CL glory but we can certainly challenge.

  3. Its been great reading this story over the months. I wish I had the perseverance to do what you have done haha.

    In your next post, could you post some screenshots of ex players Southern and Sheppard?

    • Peter, check the comments of last week’s story as I asked the same question. Another great season Darren, winning the PL is a major accomplishment and your team looks very strong. Shame about that Brazillian lad Roberto as he looks very good judging by his stats although it appears he is struggling to match them with form. It appears to be the curse of the right wing for you as well, I’ve had the exact same thing with my advanced playmaker role!

      • @Peter, thanks mate I’m glad you enjoy the post…as for the previous players, Luke is right they are all in the comments of the last post.

        @Luke N, Thanks mate I think the players are all mega talented but most need time to settle and more so than usual due to the multiple languages. I still believe Roberto will come good but he certainly needs a season to settle.

  4. so happy that you won the premier league! when i read the title, i feared the worst. this is by far the most exciting post that i’ve read on this website yet, meaning no disrespect to the other writers who i admire immensely. but this seasons end was just sensational. the title made me think you lost out on the last day so i was ecstatic to find that you actually won. that spanish midfielder and that super-fast centre back are driving me crazy. they are so INSANELY good. hard luck on the cup competitions, but success in them will surely come. this has been, and continues to be, one of the best stories i’ve ever read. keep up the good work mate. cheers! :D

  5. Hi Darren
    Congratulations on the EPL title. Roll on the CL next season

  6. Wow that was close. Shame about the rest of the cups. I didnt think you would win the league but that form was amazing. Shame about the chairmen letting fuentes go the replacements are easily good enough. All in all a great season. :)

  7. Congrats on winning the BPL after years of hard work…greatest story i have ever read
    I have been following your story since the beginning and you are the best FM 12 player around by quite a margin

  8. Fantastic season and what a finish! You make generating young players look so easy! How are you getting by with the players registrations though? I think i Only saw 3 English players in the squad..

    • Thanks John, I get by fine with the registration…if you don’t have enough home grown players you just leave a space for everyone that can’t be filled with home grown talent.

  9. Wow, that was incredibly close! Your second half of the season was very good and that is why you won it. With the title saying so close, I though you had lost it!

  10. Thrilling title race, what a finish … your heart must’ve stopped beating when Spurs scored 5 minutes from time, but deserved winners I feel. It was weird how in the second half of the season you played loads of your games on Thursday, but I’ve never got to 2021 so the game dates must have changed. Anyway no shame in the cup exits, Arsenal and Chelsea are tough teams. (btw, you realise you played Chelsea 6 times during one season!)
    Finally, excitng players that you’re bringing in, and it will be brilliant to see the master demostrate the Y2G system himself, as he wants to “stop living out the chairman’s pockets.”
    Good luck for next season, and when you get to it, leave time before the champo League final, as the tie is always tricky to put on. :)

    • Thanks mate, my heart did stop and though I knew it would take a weird scoreline in the other games I just felt like the game may be against me….thankfully it all finished for the best. I think that the database used for lower leagues has effected the schedule higher up as sometimes there are few EPL games and then 4 games in the space of 9 days. I can live with it though. Didn’t realize I’d played Chelsea so much though, I hate seeing them on the fixture list ;)

  11. I look forward to the suit game.

  12. I’ve never seen a title race run so close. I’ve had a very close one on my Leicester FM11 game, pipping Man City to the title by 4 goal difference (which was due entirely to goals scored!) when we both got 97 points(!!) but never so many teams in with a chance at the end of the season. Excellent way to win the league, shame about the other competitions, but I reckon you can at least get a domestic treble next season.

  13. Congrats Darren I knew you where going to win the Premier League sooner or later but that was some finish. Unlucky with the other comps but the Premier League was definitely the big one here. :D

  14. Congrats on winning the EPL!
    Why do you think is too early to win the CL? I believe that if you won the EPL, this season with a couple of cents that your president will give you, you are a very strong contender.

    • Thanks mate, I just feel like we lack the cutting edge against the best in the world…when its the biggest stage my players have struggled like we did against Chelsea.

  15. wow you are a BEAST at fm !!
    also are you planning on doing a profile on kevin de bruyne from chelsea he signed in the january transfer window
    this website is amazing btw

  16. great season darren, congrats!

  17. Congrats on the league win Darren! It was a very exciting race for sure, well done on pulling through :) I reckon next season could see the start of domestic and european domination, the side you’ve built is fantastic, so you’ve certainly got a chance. Good luck!

  18. Congrats on winning the EPL with quite some finish to the season. Must have been a very nervy last few minutes in that game. Chelsea proved to be a real pain for you, dumping you out of the Champions League and the FA Cup. They are one those teams that are really hard to beat on a consistent basis, and I’ve never quite worked out exactly why.

    I expect you to get further in the Champions League next season. Good luck.

    • Thanks mate, Chelsea and Man City are the two pains in my side and certainly feel impossible to beat over two legs but that just adds to the excitement. I too think we can go further in Europe but it’ll take some luck to make the final.

  19. Oh yeah! Only Champions league you have to achieve now, and I’ll be looking for the suit.

  20. Phenomenal success as always Darren! Are you still using the Arsenal tactic? Do you ever change the starting strategy?
    I am going to start playing FM again tomorrow night. Not been playing for over 4/12 due to newborn twins and also not feeling like it because of my team’s (Rangers) woes in real life, but looking forward to getting back into it tomorrow.
    Thnking of startng a game with 2 teams to trial 2 completely different styles of playing. Going to try and create one tactic with flowing, attacking football and another with backs-to-the-wall and counter with pace (like the Rangers ‘anti-football’ on the way to the uefa cup final in 2008). Should be fun. Any ideas/tips would be greatly appreciated.
    Have yo ever thought about doing an article on how to create a tactic/style of play?

    Looking forward to the next report


    • Thanks mate, I am still using the Arsenal tactic but use poacher upfront and a little less creativity…I also change strategy depending on the opponents. Generally attacking but counter if we are away to someone tough.

      I hope you enjoy the new game, I have thought of a guide on how to create tactics but my schedule is crazy so may not happen any time soon.

  21. That was an awesome season buddy. You spent big, but still managed to recoup a load of cash, and judging by the title of the post, heading into the final game I thought you lost the title but thankfully that never occurred :D Your chairman is amazing, no matter how much money you spend on players or facilities, he always tops you up again :P Shame about the Chelsea result in the Champions League, but I reckon you can reach the semi final next season, perhaps even the final … Good luck :)

    • Thanks Sears, I couldn’t help but mislead you guys, a little naughty I know :) As for the chairmen, lets just say he’d be a bad influence on a night out as the glass would never be empty ;)

  22. Great season mate. Truly sensational. If you wanted some ideas for challenges, check out my latest story on the forums ‘Triple Development’ its the type of thing you could really excel at. Congrats on your work with Scarborough.

  23. Now that’s what I call a title race! I’m late to the party, so I don’t have much to add that hasn’t already been said (I think saltwater hit it pretty close), so I’ll offer my heartfelt congratulations on a season well played. I’m looking forward to the day you lift that Champion’s League trophy. ;-)

  24. Wow it looked like it could have sneaked away on the last day but you managed to snag the EPL on goal difference, I think the victory against Man City was a key result towards securing the title (quite scary considering that you and Arsenal managed 90 points!)

    If you have a striker who can get 20+ goals a season I am sure you will improve, good luck in the Champions League

    • Yeah the victory over City was the difference and to be honest I was expecting that match to be the end of our challenge. We’ll see what happens next season, but can certainly challenge on all fronts.

  25. Wow, what an incredible achievement Darren, congratulations :D Champions league next year?… Better dust off that suit ;)

  26. Hi Darren!
    Congratulations for winning the EPL! It’s your greatest achievement so far and in just 11 season.. Incredible!!! I hope you can win the Champions League also in the next few years.

    • Thanks mate, while the CL would be my ultimate dream I just feel like winning it will see the ride end…I’ll continue the story of course but there won’t be much left to win.

  27. Amazing Darren!

    Title did fool me though as I was thinking that you may have just missed out, I have always been quite gullible though! :)

    Shame about the champions league but that away trip to Chelsea really gave you an impossible task but am sure its just a matter of time!

    Best of luck! :)

    • Hey Ana, it was a very exciting season and by far my most nervy end. Lets just hope we can continue to press in all comps next season, but I just don’t want to draw Man City or Chelsea in Europe as they’re machines in that competition.

  28. Hey Darren!

    Sorry for the little bit of a late comment but I must say this was one of (if not the most!) the most exciting posts I have ever read with concerning the league title very well done! I hope you do keep your promise and we get to see you in your suit when you win the Champions League next year! Best of luck, and keep the exciting post coming!

    • Thanks mate, it was a very exciting save to be involved in and rewriting it just meant living through the emotions again ;) As for the CL, I will wear the suit for the final and take pictures as I’m playing…regardless of whether we win, so if we lose I’ll feel a right twit. :)

  29. Hi Darren
    I think that’s one of the closest title races we’ve ever seen on the site. Quite the drama to watch unfold. Anyway congrats on leading Scarborugh A. to an EPL title and i’m looking forward to seeing how your Y2G works out for you over the coming seasons. Great job!

    • Thanks Kevin, it certainly felt like a close one in game. :) Next season we will start putting things in place for the Y2G system but I reckon in a few seasons time I’ll have to offload my high earners which will lead to two steps back before we can move forward again…not looking forward to that.

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