FM22: Managing Newcastle United on Football Manager (Part 54)

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We asked Iain Macintosh to manage Newcastle United on Football Manager 2022 and it went really well for a while, then he crashed out of all the cuts. But he seems fine now. Energized. Ready for action. Let’s see how long it lasts.

Episode 1 (with links to episodes 1-10)
Episode 11 (with links to episodes 11-20)
Episode 21 (with links to episodes 21-30)
Episode 31 (with links to episodes 31-40)
Episode 41 (with links to episodes 41-50)
Episode 51
Episode 52
Episode 53


“Well, Bouldy,” I said as I poured the tea, “it’s the end of another exciting transfer window.”

“I wonder if we’ll ever have a quiet one,” he mused.

“Not really at all,” I laugh. “I never stop looking for ways to improve this team.”

“And rightly so,” says Bouldy. “But some of the guys who are gone are going to miss me. They have all played their part over the past three years. Apart from Wilfried Zaha, of course. He sucked.

“Yeah,” I say. “But you can’t win them all and at least we got £2.5m from Rangers and cleared £100,000 a week from the salary budget.”

“It wasn’t the only decent little deal,” he says. “Wolves paid £4.3m for Ben Gibson and £1.1m for Shaun Mavididi, it was a tidy deal.”

“Well, that’ll make up for Sven Botman,” I said, leaning forward to take a sip of tea. “But he been in the final year of his contract, so I guess we have to be thankful we got £11.25m for him. I wish it worked out for the boy, but it turned out he just wasn’t very good at football.

“Borna Sosa was very good at football,” says Bouldy, as he opens a packet of Hobnobs. “It’s just a shame that he was such a little pain in our buttocks.”

“I don’t have time to whine,” I say. “I said that to Amanda last week when I was up there complaining about the transfer budget. Sosa was good, but I’ll take the £13.5m and let Aston Villa deal with it. him. I think we could have had more, but he was poisoning the dressing room, so better bring him forward.

“I think I will miss Sergino Dest the most,” says Bouldy. “And I know the boys in the physio room are really angry about it. He was their great traveler. But times change, he never quite became the player we thought he would be. We got three decent years out of him and selling him for £40m to Shakhtar means £5m profit on him.

“And a £17m profit on Noussair Mazraoui as well. But that left us a bit short of full-backs. And now we had money to spend…”

“Joao Cancelo may only have two or three seasons on the top left in him, but he’s a class player and he can cover the left and right of defence. is a decent value.

“Wilfried Singo might just be the right-back that Dest wasn’t. He’s quick, he’s determined and he loves to get forward whenever possible. I think the fans are going to love him and I think 32 million pounds is a bargain.

“He’s the one they’re really going to love. Nicolo Barella, the midfielder par excellence. He cost £89m but he can do it all, he can play anywhere, he can run all day and he’s at the peak of his career. Don’t get me wrong, Bouldy, I still love Sean Longstaff, but this guy is gonna win us trophies.

“And just in case he gets injured, we’ve invested £40m in Ivan Ilic, another great all-rounder with no real weak points. He’s a Serbia international and I think we can improve on him here.

“After that, it was just about filling in the gaps. And for just £6m, Ainsley Maitland-Niles can fill a lot of the gaps. I was a little disturbed to find out only at the press conference that he had an ongoing feud with Kieran Tierney, but they’ll both have to grow up and move on.

“Jarrad Branthwaite might be a walking red card but I think he can develop here and at £7m he’s a good option as a fourth-choice centre-back. I really didn’t want to try and end the season with just three options, so that makes more sense than it initially seems.

“And finally, with the retirement of Fraser Forster, we needed a third goaltender, so here is someone as solid as a rock. It’s £1.6million Alex Smithies who will almost certainly never play a game unless Ugurcan Cakir gets injured. But if Ugurcan Cakir gets injured, we’ll all be in trouble.

Bouldy looks satisfied. He nods his head warmly.

“And it’s a solid 25-man team, Iain. Coverage in each department. Eight Englishmen and one Scotsman, so we will respect the UEFA regulations well too.

NSI

Nicolo Barella – Inter (£89m)

Ivan Ilic – Inter (£40m)

Wilfried Singo – Benfica (£32m)

Joao Cancelo – Manchester City (£28m)

Jarrad Branthwaite – Everton (£7.5m)

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Atalanta (£6m)

Alex Smithies – Cardiff (£1.2m)

TOTAL – £199m

EXITS

Sergino Dest – Shakhtar (£40m)

Noussair Mazraoui – Benfica (£40m)

Borna Sosa – Villa Aston (£13.5m)

Sven Botman – Olympiacos (£11.25m)

Ben Gibson – Wolves (£4.3m)

Wilfried Zaha – Rangers (£2.5m)

Shaun Mavididi – Wolves (£1.1m)

TOTAL – £110m

“And let’s just take a moment to enjoy the new tactic,” I said as I walked over to the whiteboard. “We are going for versatility this year and we have the players to do it. Of them almost identical planes, one inclined to the left, one to the right. So if we get bogged down, we can just quickly shift focus without forcing players to do something crazy like go geggidy geggidy geggidy. There are nice combinations of attacking full-backs and inverted wingers, there is Jools Weigl as a deep playmaker with a license to push, there is a more attacking role for the striker and a more tempo high everywhere. And, to see close wins, we’ll stick to the Throttle Back plan that secured us fourth place on the final day of the season.

Fast forward to the eve of the season and the signs are promising. The new tactic leads us to friendly victories against Celtic, Rangers, Leicester, Leeds and the South Shields team which I am boosting up to the Football League by loaning them my best youngsters. We travel to Southampton for our first game of the season and, unlike the norm… I feel pretty good this season.

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Want to know more about FM de Iain and his team? Why not check out his podcast — The Football Manager Show sponsored by Livescore — free on Apple, Spotify and all the usual podcast platforms, and of course without advertising on The Athletic.

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