Newcastle United third season. Repeat heroics?

We laughed in the faces of journalists and opponents who thought our first season of the FA Cup, League Cup and fourth place was a fluke by finishing second in the Premier League in our second season, a fabulous achievement, and reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League (we were in dreamland at that point). I don’t like to dwell on personal accolades but I did win Manager of The Year in both years. The only silverware we took in the second season was the Community Shield though but qualifying for Europe’s top competition meant we would earn lots of money through TV revenue and grow our reputation.

Manchester United have left us in their wake this third season. They and young Adnan Januzaj are just too good for us and everyone else. Manchester City continue to achieve very little despite having quality players.

adnan

Crazy skills for a 20-year-old

We are third in the table, joint on points with Chelsea; draws have slowed our progress.

I’ve certainly been guilty of a lack of attention to detail this season. I’m impatient with progress and I just want us to be a brilliant side already. This means I often barely watch the games we play, don’t think about what I say in press conferences, don’t even think long about our starting line-ups.

I think I’ve allowed my fear of losing get the better of me for the first time in this save and I’m not playing attacking enough hence why we aren’t scoring a lot and are drawing against weaker teams.

So I’ll get back to my FM scrap book 😉 and I’ll tweak a few things to get one or two midfielders in the attacking action more.

I might even try to get my complete wing backs more attacking if possible.

Philosophy going forward

It’s important to remind yourself how you want your team to play, what sort of progress you want to make (where you see the team in a few seasons), and what players you need to progress.

I’ve noticed our 4-1-2-1-2 (diamond) formation seems to have lost some of its past effectiveness. Maybe I’m not using the right players in the right positions.

I’m also a little uninspired with the shape now so I’m going to try this:

new 433Changing to this formation could be problematic as I don’t have many natural wingers because I’ve been using narrow midfields since I started this career (with success).

However, Rafinha and Cabella can play wide, as can Moreno. I have Julian Green who’s just joined on loan too but I’ll probably have to dip in to the transfer market again in summer.

Another issue is I can’t see me completely scrapping the use of a defensive midfielder (half back) as it seems to have served me so well. I could always swap between the 4-3-3 above and the 4-1-2-1-2 below.

rafinha

Rafinha

diamond formationAs well as experimenting with a new formation I must continue to focus on creating a core of players with exceptional technique with a stress on ability on the ball, dribbling, first touch and, of course, technique.

League table

league

Next update

As you can see we’re just over half-way through the season but I’m ploughing through so I’ll have an update very soon. Please come back soon and share this article if you enjoyed it.

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