Past and Present #9

Join guest author Dave Black (@CM9798) as he concludes the first season with Newcastle . Did he still struggle or did he manage to finish in a respectable place? Find out below.

Good day! Welcome to the final part of the journey. It’s fair to say I’ve spent most of the last 5 years playing retro Championship Manager. I’m fairly good at that. FM19 was always going to be a stretch but having come through a fruitless start and the bleakest January on record, we’ve arrived at the final 6 games of the season. Quite how I am really not sure. Anyway, Mike Ashley has finally sold up and a consortium headed by former Leicester midfielder Theo Zagorakis has taken over. The question is, does he want to keep me?

WE!? You pay, I manage.

Financials aside, we’re off to West Ham. They’re flirting with relegation and have re-appointed big Sam to try to stem their downward spiral. I don’t like the fat headed mad man so will be going all out for the win.

Mark Noble’s a funny lad isn’t he? Already on a yellow he properly wipes out Sessegnon inside the box and it’s a penalty. It’s also a second yellow. Ritchie scores and our task become all the easier. Diame is thriving in his mezzala role, so much so he powers in a second. It’s a great away win. A crotch chop to big Sam on the way out.

Theo clearly loves a crotch chop. I’m staying!

To celebrate, the Greeks are doing out the training ground.

I’m quite pleased. The fans…less so. #Blackout.

Bournemouth are 7th so will be a tough opponent. We’re playing with freedom these days though and even Muto is loving it. He hasn’t scored since…maybe last year? He has two in 20 minutes here and despite our traditional lapse in concentration from a set piece, Suarez continues his impressive start. Wilson scores a belter but Ki finishes the job. 4-2, top half, dominant.

Life really imitates art sometimes and Liverpool are on the verge of winning the league. Our visit there seems like nothing but a token gesture on the Liverpool title trail but we are magnificent. Suarez scores a lovely goal on the counter and it’s backs to the wall from there. But since Lejeune regained fitness he and Lascelles have been excellent in most games and they’re unbeatable here. We win, it sends shock waves through the Premier League and I sit wondering where this was in January.

Southampton are 15th and already qualified for Europe having won the Carabao Cup. I’m not expecting much from them as they visit Tyneside. My task is made easier when Lemina two-foots Diame after just 17 minutes and it’s just a matter of time from there. The breakthrough comes from a Lascelles header and Sessegnon adds a second on half time. The game is dead, the squad is fairly tired and the second half is not one for the neutrals. I don’t care though. Me and the Greeks are going places.

MANAGER OF THE MONTH. YES!

Just two games are left and we’re off to Stamford Bridge. They’re now 7th and all the questions pre-match are about Jonjo Shelvey. I know he has a short temper and frankly I’m happy to tell the press that I’m not worried about him. Diame will get the better of him.

As it is, he’s fairly anonymous. Sarri plays Morata and Giroud as a duo and they combine for the Chelsea opener. We’re always in the game though and a few chances go begging but eventually Ritchie powers home the equaliser. I think we deserve to win it on the balance of play but beggars can’t be chooses. A useful point.

Theo’s back. He’s got a contract in his hand…

I will accept it but would like a slightly bigger budget. This team will need work, mostly a striker, and £18.5m will not get me that. They increase it to £20m and I sign. It’s not real money, Dave.

Last game of the season then and we welcome relegated Cardiff. A win could have us finish in the top half and that would be tremendous.

It’s not the best match but Diame has been outstanding in the last few weeks and he scores twice to settle a game we dominate from start to finish. All in all, a job well done.

Let’s see those standings. Liverpool do win the league and we are comfortable in 9th. Big Sam takes West Ham down to round off a thoroughly excellent time.

Finally, here’s the squad details after a long old season. Manquillo came in for Yedlin who really struggled for fitness in the second half of the season and his arrival in the team certainly contributed to our upturn in form. Diame and Ki were a good balance in midfield whilst Sessegnon finally had a run of fitness. The striking position remains a problem. I love Rondon in real life but he was garbage for me.

It’s been a learning curve but one I have thoroughly enjoyed. Even when we were losing every week I liked the challenge of trying to figure out how to fix it. Eventually, we did. I may well carry on into season 2. It’ll be interesting with new owners and the likes of Suarez and Sessegnon now fully integrated. Time is an issue though so it might have to wait – or if someone else would like to carry this on and be better, I’ll be happy to upload the save and hand over the keys.

Thanks for all your comments during this save, it really has been quite funny seeing the reactions to just how bad things got at one stage. My thanks also to Cleon for giving me a home and putting the effort in to promote it, something that goes a long way.

Until we meet again..

One thought on “Past and Present #9”

  1. Really enjoyed this story and how it is written – wasn’t sure you were going to finish the season at some point but you finished very well 🙂 Well done for your overall season – it looks quite promising for the next one.

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