Football Manager 2022’s beta is out on PC and Mac and that means one thing: Getting to grips with the game, and the best teams to manage!
Newcastle United are surely going to be one of the most popular clubs for people to start a save with, regardless of the machine they’re playing on.
Their new takeover is reflected in the game, meaning you’ve got a huge transfer budget to work with, and plenty of improvements are needed.
GiveMeSport has subsequently put together a team guide for the Magpies, in case you’re dipping your toes into the water with the mega-rich club!
Newcastle have been floating around mid-table mediocrity throughout their time in the Premier League and their initial board expectations reflect that.
When you take the job, the expectations are very achievable given the budget you’ll be working with.
Here’s what Newcastle expect in the first campaign…
Premier League: Finish in the top half
FA Cup: Reach the quarter-finals
Carabao Cup: Reach the quarter-finals.
At the end of 2022/23, they’ll be expecting you to qualify for the Europa League.
This is when your contract will expire but you can earn an extension!
Across the next few seasons, Newcastle want to “work towards qualifying for the Champions League”. More than doable.
This has been widely reported but Newcastle have a massive transfer budget at the start of the game, before you sell anyone.
Transfer budget: £200m
Wage budget: £600,000-per-week
That’s more than enough to bring in a few megastars.
Average training facilities
Average youth facilities
Average youth recruitment
You might want to splash the cash getting these upgraded!
St James’ Park holds 52,405 fans and can be one of the most vociferously noisy stadiums in England, if not the world, provided you’re playing well!
Key player – Allan Saint-Maximin
Club captain – Jamaal Lascelles
Vice captain – Jonjo Shelvey
Assistant manager – Graeme Jones
Director of football – Vacant
SUGGESTED BEST XI
Newcastle’s best team, when you boot the game up, is said to involve a 4-3-3 formation with a defensive midfielder.
The outline of the team is thus: Dubravka; Manquillo, Lascelles, Schar, Dummett; Hayden; Willock, Shelvey; Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Wilson.
More than a few upgrades are needed.
When you set up your tactic, you can do whatever you please, but the suggested tactics, for the squad you begin with, are either wing play, fluid counter attack or direct counter-attack.
That could all change if you manage to bring in some superstars!
Bring in enough fantastic players and you can likely gegenpress your way to success; but you might want to adjust your immediate expectations for success.
KEY POSITIONS TO STRENGTHEN
As you can see above, you’ll need depth across the team.
We’d recommend targeting a new right-back, as the club have just three right-backs in their squad, and both Javi Manquillo and Emil Krafth just aren’t brilliant players. The third right-back in the squad is Isaac Hayden, their defensive midfielder.
Bringing in a new RB over the top of Manquillo would improve the squad immeasurably.
There’s four three-star centre-backs at the club, but you may want to bring in an elite option to partner Jamaal Lascelles.
There’s only one good defensive midfielder in the squad, with Isaac Hayden seen as a three-star option and the remainder of midfielders rated at two and a half.
Bringing in a new defensive midfielder ought to be a top priority, especially if you plan to play the 4-3-3 system suggested. In our testing, Declan Rice can be snapped up for around £85m, which may be a worthwhile investment.
Up front, as well, you’ve got Callum Wilson, Joelinton, and Dwight Gayle. Bringing a new striker into the club should be a real priority.
Add an attacking midfielder on and you’ve got some genuine depth in the squad that is lacking at the start of the save, given that Miguel Almiron can play in a variety of positions.
That’s a new right-back, a new centre-back, a defensive midfielder, a striker, and an attacking midfielder. With £200m in the bank, that should be more than affordable.
YOUNGSTERS READY FOR THE FIRST TEAM
There’s only really two youngsters ready to make the step up any time soon at Newcastle.
Santiago Munoz is one, with the 18-year-old striker secured in the summer, and Elliot Anderson, an 18-year-old attacking midfielder, the other.
FULL 1ST SEASON SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Freddie Woodman, Karl Darlow, Mark Gillespie, Martin Dubravka.
Defenders: Javi Manquillo, Emil Krafth, Federico Fernandez, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Fabian Schar, Paul Dummett, Jamal Lewis.
Midfielders: Isaac Hayden, Jeff Hendrick, Jonjo Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, Joe Willock, Miguel Almiron.
Wingers: Matt Ritchie, Jacob Murphy, Ryan Fraser, Allan Saint-Maximin.
Strikers: Joelinton, Callum Wilson, Dwight Gayle.