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[FM 21] Arsenal - Still Waiting For Arteta's Tiki Taka!


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Finished 1st season. Only signed Wilshire on a free in JAN, he ended up injured for the last 2 months of the season, what a surprise lol.

Holding went off on loan. Sokratis, Ozil, Mustafi, Cedric and David Luiz all left.

Won the league, Euro Cup (beat Milan, RMadrid and AMadrid) and Community Shield. Got knocked out by ManU in Carabao and FAC. Auba with 36 goals (EURO top goalscorer, league 2nd) and Elneny super useful, definitely keeping him. Xhaka wants to go. Tierney, Saliba, Leno and Auba won several prizes.
 

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I really want to keep as many players as possible and not sign unrealistically but Odsonne Edouard is F/S at 19M. Grealish, Aouar, Mahrez, transfer listed... Also Torreira/Guendouzi coming back... We'll see...

 

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9 minutes ago, bigman said:

Nice work mate! Seems mad saliba is lcb and Gabriel is rcb 

 

what was your tactic ?

I think that is just random in that screen because they played the other way around. I played with 4231, 41221 and VERY sporadically 442 formations. I used vertical tiki taka and kept tweaking for the matches, so there's not a single tactic I've used really. Usually 41221 with Elneny as DLPd at DM position and Partey (RPM/B2B) and Ceballos/Willock (CMa/APa).

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Halfway through my first season right now, started again after the beta. Sharing my save updates here, cause my girlfriend thinks I’m just playing Excel.

Sitting second now and still unbeaten at 10-4, but I expect bad form to come in eventually, but top 4 looks doable.

Nketiah got nerfed and isn’t the chip god anymore. Asked me for a new contract despite average performances, so I might let him go.

Willock is a gem. Auba got injured for half a season, and at first I didn’t know who to cover for him. Turns out Willocks great at creating and nipping in the box for easy goals, so I might let Auba go.

Sold Ozil after he wanted 500k a week, so been using Ceballos at the AM spot. Still wondering whether I should let ESR and Willock fight for the spot next season, or let Willock make the left wing his and find a new AM.

Pepe only shows up for big games. Scored a hat trick away at the Bridge, then just coasts until the next big game.

Saka and Nelson are developing, but they’re still inconsistent but I have faith in them. 

AMN wants a big pay rise, despite just being a rotation player for me. He always does decent, but don’t think he deserves the 100k he wants. 

Xhaka’s great if teams don’t go at us, so been using him against teams that park the bus. His tackling and tracking is iffy against big teams. I want to keep him, but hope he doesn’t demand more playing time.

Laca’s my top scorer now, hopefully the run keeps going. He’s at 10 league goals at Christmas, but everyone is chipping in with goals too so I don’t mind too much.

Gabriel and Holding are surprisingly solid. Chambers and Saliba are good backups. Still wondering whether I need to upgrade as other teams will eventually get better, or just keep faith Saliba will become a great player.

Auba wants me to strengthen my AM area, and I bought Pessina for 7mil, but apparently he’s still not happy.

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16 hours ago, BrickCommo23 said:

Hi all

Just out of interest - has anyone got their side playing 'attractive' football? I'm only a couple of games in but most of my goals are from corners or generally a bit scrappy.

Just wondering

I got them playing pretty decent football using this tactic. 433 is probably the best tactic for them but I wanted a tactic with a trequartista.

It used to be narrower with lower tempo, but they don't have good enough mentals and technique to play super patient. So I changed to regular width so there'll be decent wingplay options.

Only PIs I have are shoot often for Pepe on the right flank, direct passing and take more risk for the right CM so he'll look to switch play to the other side, and roam from position for the CF. This is so I don't have to add it when I change it to a DLFs (Giroud) against packed defenses.

The logic is to build on the right side, then release the IF on the left. I rarely change anything the tactic, probably change crosses to mixed when Giroud is there, and lower tempo if I need to be more patient. Sometimes I'll change the right CM to DLP to if I need help transitioning out of defense. 

I'll also add get stuck in against top 4 teams or aggressive teams, just so we give as good as we get. Narrower defensive width if we're having issues dealing with a lone forward, and maybe even remove offside trap if we're getting caught out too much. 

We're sitting second after 25 games with 50 goals. It's not the greatest goal scoring tactic, but it's really decent to watch.

tactic.PNG

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It’s my tradition to start a new edition of Football Manager with an Arsenal save, indeed I’ve done this since purchasing my first ever game in the series (Championship Manager 3). My reasons are that opening with a good team gives me a chance to familiarise myself with the new features; also, the Gunners are a fine and well-known side. I think it helps to take on a familiar set-up. I’m not an Arsenal fan, but they are my favourite of the ‘big’ clubs, perhaps I think because they always have a capacity to cock things up. I am uncomfortable with teams that win, win and win again. If I supported Liverpool then I’d be far more at home with the early 2010s version that was lovably rubbish as opposed to the world eating juggernaut that they’ve become.

To my mind it’s a good time to take on the Arse. The long, slowly dwindling Wenger era is increasingly in the past. They haven’t found an answer in the years since (Arteta might be it, but the jury’s out). As ever they have some very nice players, but more important is the bedrock of young guns who could be developed into a golden future for them. Saka, Nelson, Nketiah, Martinelli, Willock… All have the potential and suggest if you use them right that the Gunners can be sharpened towards fine weaponry.

Unlike in some previous games, Arsenal start with a tiny transfer budget. I have an (un)mighty £4.5 million to play around with and a modest bit of wriggle room in the wage budget. Changing the vision for the season isn’t an option either. This is it. Clearly, I either need to sell existing players to generate funds, or live with what I’ve been given.

The squad I inherit contains twenty-eight faces, varying wildly in age and ability. There’s riches here. There’s also jetsam, and one of my first tasks will be to whittle the personnel down to a group of twenty-five. The first thing to do is assess who has no business being in my group – looking at you, Matt Macey. Arsenal have two players who are transfer-listed, and several entering the last year of their contract.

Made available for moves elsewhere are Mesut Ozil and Sokratis, and I have no argument about them being on the list. Both can be released in summer 2021; also in this group are David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi. I have no great desire to retain any of them. The Brazilian’s capacity to mess things up is legendary. I don’t fancy being the latest Arsenal manager to look at Mustafi and see the shadow of better German centre-backs in him. As soon as he approaches fitness I intend to make him available for sale. Sokratis is just old and in his waning years – need his £100,000 weekly salary on the books we do not.

As for Ozil, I could write an entire chapter on the folly involved in paying a king’s ransom to someone with all the technical talent in the world but the determination of a puppy sat next to a pile of his own droppings. Imagine having Lionel Messi, but remove the mental will to win, the relentlessly high fitness levels and any degree of care he has for his team’s success, and you still end up with someone who’s far more valuable than Mesut. The German playmaker earns £350,000 per week, monies we could instantly use elsewhere in the side, but that salary will make it very difficult to find a new home for him. He’s the equivalent of a Boris Johnson bridge scheme, an expensive folly. We don’t need him, and I will accept just about any offer that reduces the lag he has on our resources.

I prefer to play with a DM rather than an AMC, mainly because I’ve rarely been able to turn the latter position into a critical one within the line-up, and honestly I prefer the natural balance that a defensive midfielder gives me. With this fellow in place, we have five players whose roles are defensive and five attackers, ergo balance. That’s the plan, and here are the boys who Arsenal have given me to put it into practice:

Goalkeepers

Now in his third year in north London, Bernd Leno has seen off the challenge of Petr Cech and Emiliano Martinez to become our de factor number one. A German international and an excellent handler, the chances are that he will play every minute of the season if injuries allow. Somewhat distant of his abilities is Runar Alex Runarsson, signed to be a back-up and that’s all he will ever be. His presence makes me miss Martinez, who I didn’t rate highly either. As for Macey, he’s in his last twelve months and there’s nothing he can do to change that reality. Consider your bags packed, Matthew.

Right-Backs

Considered to be the domain of Hector Bellerin and rightly so; the Spaniard is like gold dust in that he’s been around forever and is only 25, and he’s a homegrown player. PSG want him apparently, but I’d expect an offer that’s something in the region of double his £27 million value before I would consider selling him. He’s well ahead of Calum Chambers and Ainsley-Maitland Niles, two English options who I can find a role for, and then there’s Cedric, an on-loan Portuguese full-back from Southampton who completed his year with us and then Arteta somewhat unfeasibly offered him a permanent deal. I see the 28 year old as surplus to requirements, and if I can sell him then I will.

Left-Backs

The options here are Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac. I rate the former, consider the latter to be all right and so it’s with a small sense of shock that I see which of these two is viewed as the regular starter. Not on my watch. Ideally, I will keep the Scot, sell Kolasinac, though for now I will accept a scenario in which they are prepared to swap roles. The one downside to Tierney is his capacity to take on long-term injuries, and it may be the case that Sead is a regular starter simply by default; after all, someone has to do the job.

Centre-Backs

Arsenal have a number of central defenders on the books. Some weeding required because we need four, possibly with an additional emergency option, and we begin with six. The best is Gabriel, a newly acquired young Brazilian recruited from Lille who in better sides would be rotated towards reaching his capacity but here is good enough to be a regular. The coaches tell me I should look to partner him with David Luiz, his countryman and senior by eleven years. Looking at the numbers and it’s tempting to agree, but I see the words ‘Gets forward whenever possible’ as a warning. The fantastically coiffured David is never far away from his next gaff, and that’s a concern. The future may be Rob Holding, still only 25 but emerging from a string of injuries, indeed he starts with a rare clean bill of health. He has the talent, but can he manage more than twenty games without clutching his hamstring in agony? I’ve covered Sokratis and Mustafi already, and then there’s Pablo Mari, an Arteta favourite but to my eyes little better than okay. He’s out for up to four months, so if I choose to let him go then it will probably be a January move. William Saliba is our young gun, presently operating at Championship level but much currently rests on his capacity to improve in order to meet out requirements.

Defensive and Central Midfielders

Arsenal have several players who can play in defensive midfield without being considered as absolute naturals for the role. It’s a pivotal position for me, so can I trust it someone who prefers to be used more centrally? The obvious one here is Thomas Partey, expensively drafted in (which probably explains my low transfer fund) and the living embodiment of a Sherman Tank. The Ghanaian looks so obviously great in his defensive duties that I’m tempted to use him here because I think he will be great at it. The alternative – again not a natural – is Mohamed Elneny. The Egyptian is a hangover from the Wenger years, that endless search for a DM resulting in no one who fits the brief. He’s okay though. Unlike many Gunners he isn’t paid the earth for the middling results he produces, and for the moment that’s well enough.

Both players can be placed in central midfield, where the other options are Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka and Joe Willock. The former is here on loan and remains a highly capable technical Mezzala, though it says more for Arsenal’s absence of central midfield riches than his talent that he’s seen as important to the cause. Xhaka is one of many players who has always promised more than he’s delivered with us. Now entering his fifth year, there’s much to like about him, but his reputation for dirtiness precedes him and if Chelsea’s apparent interest becomes a concrete bid then I’d be tempted to set up the deals table. 20 year old Willock is still a bit too raw to be thought of as a regular but the ability is there. An attacker from his central berth, Joe can be exciting and yet I’m reticent about becoming dependent on someone who is playing at Championship standard.

Out on loan are Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira. I’m not desperate to see the latter’s return, but I like Torreira – an actual DM – and I think we will miss him. Saying that, I lament the absence of three former Gunners who remind me of better times. Jack Wilshere is available for free – should I…? Francis Coquelin is at Villarreal and I would welcome him back, and if Aaron Ramsey’s Zebre wages weren’t so prohibitive then I should absolutely consider him to be a possibility.

Right Wingers

It probably says a lot for the club’s disappointment in Nicolas Pepe’s first Emirates season that they brought Chelsea winger Willian in for free. Arsenal’s record signing, Ivorian Pepe has all the pace, agility and flair that he needs to be a considerable success, yet he hasn’t quite clicked yet. It’s to be hoped that with the pressure of that £72 million price-tag behind him he can begin to shine. Willian has been a Premier League mainstay since 2013/14. A bit underrated because he isn’t Hazard and now 31, he’s won just about everything there is to win and we hope to gain from his spirit. His age ensures that he’s a placeholder, perhaps giving Pepe the room to grow into his role, maybe even for Reiss Nelson, a fledgling Gunner who could become a star and is able to fill a gap on either wing.

Left Wingers

The primary pick for this position is someone I don’t consider to be a winger at all. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is Arsenal’s closest thing to a world class player, belying his thirty-one years on this good earth with the physical assets of a much younger man. Maybe he’ll be a success here or possibly it’s just a matter of time before he shuttles back to the striker’s position. Either way, the options behind him are a clutch of budding young Guns. There’s Nelson, but the next option is Bukayo Sako, who has emerged as a highly capable winger who at 18 can only improve. Gabriel Martinelli is out for up to seven months but when fit can operate either here or upfront, and I can’t forget Emile Smith Rowe, still only 19 and most likely to spend the year on loan elsewhere.

Strikers

The best is Aubameyang, operating on the wing currently and no doubt shuffled out there to accommodate Alexandre Lacazette, at one point a £46.5 million signing and in the three years since he’s scored at a rate of broadly one in three. That’s not bad, nor is it terrific, and the coaches don’t have a bad word to say about this 29 year old Frenchman. He works hard and can cause endless problems for defenders, putting me in mind of a more talented and better thought of modern equivalent to Paul Dickov i.e. a headless chicken. The homegrown alternative is Eddie Nketiah, now a bona fide first teamer though in reality more of a breakthrough prospect whose abilities are somewhat short of the two players mentioned above. Still, he has great pace and that’s a great natural asset for any forward to possess.

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8 hours ago, backpocket said:

I got them playing pretty decent football using this tactic. 433 is probably the best tactic for them but I wanted a tactic with a trequartista.

It used to be narrower with lower tempo, but they don't have good enough mentals and technique to play super patient. So I changed to regular width so there'll be decent wingplay options.

Only PIs I have are shoot often for Pepe on the right flank, direct passing and take more risk for the right CM so he'll look to switch play to the other side, and roam from position for the CF. This is so I don't have to add it when I change it to a DLFs (Giroud) against packed defenses.

The logic is to build on the right side, then release the IF on the left. I rarely change anything the tactic, probably change crosses to mixed when Giroud is there, and lower tempo if I need to be more patient. Sometimes I'll change the right CM to DLP to if I need help transitioning out of defense. 

I'll also add get stuck in against top 4 teams or aggressive teams, just so we give as good as we get. Narrower defensive width if we're having issues dealing with a lone forward, and maybe even remove offside trap if we're getting caught out too much. 

We're sitting second after 25 games with 50 goals. It's not the greatest goal scoring tactic, but it's really decent to watch.

tactic.PNG

That's really interesting to hear, thank you. And Giroud is back! Nice!

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4 hours ago, Tee2 said:

It’s my tradition to start a new edition of Football Manager with an Arsenal save, indeed I’ve done this since purchasing my first ever game in the series (Championship Manager 3). My reasons are that opening with a good team gives me a chance to familiarise myself with the new features; also, the Gunners are a fine and well-known side. I think it helps to take on a familiar set-up. I’m not an Arsenal fan, but they are my favourite of the ‘big’ clubs, perhaps I think because they always have a capacity to cock things up. I am uncomfortable with teams that win, win and win again. If I supported Liverpool then I’d be far more at home with the early 2010s version that was lovably rubbish as opposed to the world eating juggernaut that they’ve become.

To my mind it’s a good time to take on the Arse. The long, slowly dwindling Wenger era is increasingly in the past. They haven’t found an answer in the years since (Arteta might be it, but the jury’s out). As ever they have some very nice players, but more important is the bedrock of young guns who could be developed into a golden future for them. Saka, Nelson, Nketiah, Martinelli, Willock… All have the potential and suggest if you use them right that the Gunners can be sharpened towards fine weaponry.

Unlike in some previous games, Arsenal start with a tiny transfer budget. I have an (un)mighty £4.5 million to play around with and a modest bit of wriggle room in the wage budget. Changing the vision for the season isn’t an option either. This is it. Clearly, I either need to sell existing players to generate funds, or live with what I’ve been given.

The squad I inherit contains twenty-eight faces, varying wildly in age and ability. There’s riches here. There’s also jetsam, and one of my first tasks will be to whittle the personnel down to a group of twenty-five. The first thing to do is assess who has no business being in my group – looking at you, Matt Macey. Arsenal have two players who are transfer-listed, and several entering the last year of their contract.

Made available for moves elsewhere are Mesut Ozil and Sokratis, and I have no argument about them being on the list. Both can be released in summer 2021; also in this group are David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi. I have no great desire to retain any of them. The Brazilian’s capacity to mess things up is legendary. I don’t fancy being the latest Arsenal manager to look at Mustafi and see the shadow of better German centre-backs in him. As soon as he approaches fitness I intend to make him available for sale. Sokratis is just old and in his waning years – need his £100,000 weekly salary on the books we do not.

As for Ozil, I could write an entire chapter on the folly involved in paying a king’s ransom to someone with all the technical talent in the world but the determination of a puppy sat next to a pile of his own droppings. Imagine having Lionel Messi, but remove the mental will to win, the relentlessly high fitness levels and any degree of care he has for his team’s success, and you still end up with someone who’s far more valuable than Mesut. The German playmaker earns £350,000 per week, monies we could instantly use elsewhere in the side, but that salary will make it very difficult to find a new home for him. He’s the equivalent of a Boris Johnson bridge scheme, an expensive folly. We don’t need him, and I will accept just about any offer that reduces the lag he has on our resources.

I prefer to play with a DM rather than an AMC, mainly because I’ve rarely been able to turn the latter position into a critical one within the line-up, and honestly I prefer the natural balance that a defensive midfielder gives me. With this fellow in place, we have five players whose roles are defensive and five attackers, ergo balance. That’s the plan, and here are the boys who Arsenal have given me to put it into practice:

Goalkeepers

Now in his third year in north London, Bernd Leno has seen off the challenge of Petr Cech and Emiliano Martinez to become our de factor number one. A German international and an excellent handler, the chances are that he will play every minute of the season if injuries allow. Somewhat distant of his abilities is Runar Alex Runarsson, signed to be a back-up and that’s all he will ever be. His presence makes me miss Martinez, who I didn’t rate highly either. As for Macey, he’s in his last twelve months and there’s nothing he can do to change that reality. Consider your bags packed, Matthew.

Right-Backs

Considered to be the domain of Hector Bellerin and rightly so; the Spaniard is like gold dust in that he’s been around forever and is only 25, and he’s a homegrown player. PSG want him apparently, but I’d expect an offer that’s something in the region of double his £27 million value before I would consider selling him. He’s well ahead of Calum Chambers and Ainsley-Maitland Niles, two English options who I can find a role for, and then there’s Cedric, an on-loan Portuguese full-back from Southampton who completed his year with us and then Arteta somewhat unfeasibly offered him a permanent deal. I see the 28 year old as surplus to requirements, and if I can sell him then I will.

Left-Backs

The options here are Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac. I rate the former, consider the latter to be all right and so it’s with a small sense of shock that I see which of these two is viewed as the regular starter. Not on my watch. Ideally, I will keep the Scot, sell Kolasinac, though for now I will accept a scenario in which they are prepared to swap roles. The one downside to Tierney is his capacity to take on long-term injuries, and it may be the case that Sead is a regular starter simply by default; after all, someone has to do the job.

Centre-Backs

Arsenal have a number of central defenders on the books. Some weeding required because we need four, possibly with an additional emergency option, and we begin with six. The best is Gabriel, a newly acquired young Brazilian recruited from Lille who in better sides would be rotated towards reaching his capacity but here is good enough to be a regular. The coaches tell me I should look to partner him with David Luiz, his countryman and senior by eleven years. Looking at the numbers and it’s tempting to agree, but I see the words ‘Gets forward whenever possible’ as a warning. The fantastically coiffured David is never far away from his next gaff, and that’s a concern. The future may be Rob Holding, still only 25 but emerging from a string of injuries, indeed he starts with a rare clean bill of health. He has the talent, but can he manage more than twenty games without clutching his hamstring in agony? I’ve covered Sokratis and Mustafi already, and then there’s Pablo Mari, an Arteta favourite but to my eyes little better than okay. He’s out for up to four months, so if I choose to let him go then it will probably be a January move. William Saliba is our young gun, presently operating at Championship level but much currently rests on his capacity to improve in order to meet out requirements.

Defensive and Central Midfielders

Arsenal have several players who can play in defensive midfield without being considered as absolute naturals for the role. It’s a pivotal position for me, so can I trust it someone who prefers to be used more centrally? The obvious one here is Thomas Partey, expensively drafted in (which probably explains my low transfer fund) and the living embodiment of a Sherman Tank. The Ghanaian looks so obviously great in his defensive duties that I’m tempted to use him here because I think he will be great at it. The alternative – again not a natural – is Mohamed Elneny. The Egyptian is a hangover from the Wenger years, that endless search for a DM resulting in no one who fits the brief. He’s okay though. Unlike many Gunners he isn’t paid the earth for the middling results he produces, and for the moment that’s well enough.

Both players can be placed in central midfield, where the other options are Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka and Joe Willock. The former is here on loan and remains a highly capable technical Mezzala, though it says more for Arsenal’s absence of central midfield riches than his talent that he’s seen as important to the cause. Xhaka is one of many players who has always promised more than he’s delivered with us. Now entering his fifth year, there’s much to like about him, but his reputation for dirtiness precedes him and if Chelsea’s apparent interest becomes a concrete bid then I’d be tempted to set up the deals table. 20 year old Willock is still a bit too raw to be thought of as a regular but the ability is there. An attacker from his central berth, Joe can be exciting and yet I’m reticent about becoming dependent on someone who is playing at Championship standard.

Out on loan are Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira. I’m not desperate to see the latter’s return, but I like Torreira – an actual DM – and I think we will miss him. Saying that, I lament the absence of three former Gunners who remind me of better times. Jack Wilshere is available for free – should I…? Francis Coquelin is at Villarreal and I would welcome him back, and if Aaron Ramsey’s Zebre wages weren’t so prohibitive then I should absolutely consider him to be a possibility.

Right Wingers

It probably says a lot for the club’s disappointment in Nicolas Pepe’s first Emirates season that they brought Chelsea winger Willian in for free. Arsenal’s record signing, Ivorian Pepe has all the pace, agility and flair that he needs to be a considerable success, yet he hasn’t quite clicked yet. It’s to be hoped that with the pressure of that £72 million price-tag behind him he can begin to shine. Willian has been a Premier League mainstay since 2013/14. A bit underrated because he isn’t Hazard and now 31, he’s won just about everything there is to win and we hope to gain from his spirit. His age ensures that he’s a placeholder, perhaps giving Pepe the room to grow into his role, maybe even for Reiss Nelson, a fledgling Gunner who could become a star and is able to fill a gap on either wing.

Left Wingers

The primary pick for this position is someone I don’t consider to be a winger at all. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is Arsenal’s closest thing to a world class player, belying his thirty-one years on this good earth with the physical assets of a much younger man. Maybe he’ll be a success here or possibly it’s just a matter of time before he shuttles back to the striker’s position. Either way, the options behind him are a clutch of budding young Guns. There’s Nelson, but the next option is Bukayo Sako, who has emerged as a highly capable winger who at 18 can only improve. Gabriel Martinelli is out for up to seven months but when fit can operate either here or upfront, and I can’t forget Emile Smith Rowe, still only 19 and most likely to spend the year on loan elsewhere.

Strikers

The best is Aubameyang, operating on the wing currently and no doubt shuffled out there to accommodate Alexandre Lacazette, at one point a £46.5 million signing and in the three years since he’s scored at a rate of broadly one in three. That’s not bad, nor is it terrific, and the coaches don’t have a bad word to say about this 29 year old Frenchman. He works hard and can cause endless problems for defenders, putting me in mind of a more talented and better thought of modern equivalent to Paul Dickov i.e. a headless chicken. The homegrown alternative is Eddie Nketiah, now a bona fide first teamer though in reality more of a breakthrough prospect whose abilities are somewhat short of the two players mentioned above. Still, he has great pace and that’s a great natural asset for any forward to possess.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with here!

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2 hours ago, BrickCommo23 said:

That's really interesting to hear, thank you. And Giroud is back! Nice!

Yup, got him in January for 600k cause I wanted a cheap alternative against teams parking the bus.

Despite his big meaty French forehead his one goal was a near post tap in on his debut. 

Was actually thinking of bringing Wilshere back too, but was worried of his injury record.

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Following on from my previous post...

Arsenal’s staffing situation is an area for concern. The big worry is our medical unit, the two physios we have on our books that make us the lowest rated Premier League club in this area. We have several first teamers who are injured – how can we expect to get them back on the road to fitness? I agree mutual terms of dismissal with the pair of them and put the feelers out. No way should we be so lacking in this area, especially not given the Gunners’ withering, unwanted ability to lose players to a variety of knocks.

The standard of coaching is fair but not eye-watering. I like my Assistant Manager, Steve Round, but for me the rest are eminently replaceable, and I’m tempted to do exactly that. The way I see it is that we have a lot of fine youngsters, but they may never become stars if they aren’t coached properly so it’s time to hunt for a bunch of highly qualified and reputable new faces. I have little interest in the training aspects of Football Manager, and it follows that I need to find people who I can trust to take on this crucial area.

Where the squad is concerned the choices to me are either to stick with what I’ve got or be prepared to sell in order to buy. The first team does need to be trimmed, I think – I want the young Gunners to get game time, and to give them it I will be looking to move on some of the veteran players. Arsenal have a massive imbalance here. A lot of ageing pros, brought in cheaply and offered big contracts based on their past glories. I want to reduce the average age considerably, and over time increase the homegrown elements within our group. In past games this has involved returning former players to the squad – I’ve re-signed Coquelin, the Ox and Gnabry before now, and all those (especially the latter; who wouldn’t want that?) are under consideration – but a stronger English presence will do for now.

Napoli rush in with a £12 million offer for Mesut Ozil. It can’t be this easy to get rid of him, surely. If agreed, we will have to pay £165k of his weekly salary for another year, close to half of what he’s earning currently, but that would mean we save an enormous wedge, and best of all is that he wants to go. I don’t think I’ve ever loved Gennaro Gattuso quite so much as I do now. Burnley and Brighton place bids for Sokratis, and I urge him to accept one of them. Cedric is transfer listed and offers from Newcastle, Ajax and Palace come flooding in.

We play an early friendly, a warm-up to build some match fitness, against Carno in Wales. It finishes 6-0 and it could and should have been more emphatic than that. Even with a group of players who are working within a new system, for a new manager and often new to each other, they have far too much quality for the opposition and it shows in the difference in movement, vision and overall quality. Lacazette’s propensity for firing shots wide – is this going to be an issue? He bags a double and that’s good, but this was a turkey shot for long passages and I might have expected more from him.

The end of an era is reached as Ozil sods off to Italy. I can’t believe he’s going. He’s the longest serving first team member and a leader, but here’s the thing – I’m trying to build a side with a determined mentality and he’s just the wrong sort of inspiration. There are moments when Ozil has shown glimpses of being the global strider who has won World Cups, a ton of international caps, friends and admirers, yet all that’s in the past. We need the money and letting Mesut go is an important step towards generating some much desired transfer funds.

Sokratis and Cedric earn their moves, the former to Brighton while our right-back is off to Ajax. Our transfer budget is boosted to nearly £27 million, while there is around £650,000 available in salary spends. Wriggle room, in other words. I identify centre-back as a position that requires an injection of quality, and the scouts propose Merih Demiral as the ideal, long-term replacement for David Luiz. At 22, the Turk is just the right age for us, and I fire off an offer that amounts to a £15.5 million initial fee with a further £5 million in instalments. To boost numbers in midfield, I take a deep breath and offer a contract to Jack Wilshere. A long, long way from the potential England star that he once was, Jackie is 28 and on the list of free agents. He’s not brilliant, but we can have him on a very cheap wage and he also contributes to our complement of homegrown players, and that helps to make my mind up.

Matt Macey, Folarin Balogun and Emile Smith Rowe leave on loan. With Demiral installed, forming a starting central defensive partnership with Gabriel and slashing the average age in this position as both players are a tender 22, it’s time to move David Luiz on. There are good reasons for keeping the Brazilian here for the last year of his contract, but more for letting him go. I think of all those unforced errors, hand in mouth moments, and I shudder… Dynamo Kyiv won’t buy him outright, but they will take him on loan. We still have to pay the majority of his wages, however there’s a monthly fee that amounts to £3.4 million over the course of the year, compensation I guess for slicing off one of the more mistake-riddled top flight stars I’ve seen in a number of years.

I expect the squad to mount a revolt over the sale of Ozil. His team leader status leaves a vacuum, yet they aren’t bothered in the slightest. What does concern them is my decision to part ways with David Luiz. Why they would choose Mr Hair Bear Bunch as the hill to die on is anyone’s guess, but many of them are unhappy that he’s gone. Their mood worsens when I dismiss their complaints. As someone who likes to think I have a decent handle on team dynamics it’s a worrying moment. Hopefully some decent results will bring them back onside.

My long-term hope for defensive midfield is to make do and mend before Lucas Torreira returns from loan. For now, Thomas Partey looks like exactly the kind of tank I would hope to occupy this role, however he could use a plucky young back-up to share the load and the man I identify is Lewis Cook, admittedly someone I like because of my experiences with playing him in previous editions. The 23 year old from Bournemouth doesn’t come cheap. With instalments he will set us back £30 million, but he could be part of the set-up for a decade. Lewis accepts squad rotation status happily, can operate either in defensive midfield or centrally as a deep lying playmaker, and can expect to start in lesser games and Europa League fixtures.

As we now have Cook I see no reason to continue our association with Mohamed Elneny, an Egyptian international who has always screamed ‘squad rotation’ at me with no obvious benefits. Keeping the squad numbers to a happy amount isn’t easy and Elneny becomes a casualty. Getting him off the books is another matter. The things I could do with his £24.5 million value, but all I can find for him is a loan season at Zenit. The Russians at least pay most of his salary and the fee for his services amounts to £1.8 million for the duration. A problem set aside for another year then.

After a promising run of friendlies we’re up against Liverpool in the Charity Shield. This is a proper test, and so it proves as I’m left to patrol the technical area helplessly, watching the Scousers run riot. It isn’t pretty. They go ahead through Thiago, have a Salah penalty saved and for long nightmarish passages put us to the sword. Hell, maybe this is just what it’s like to face off against England’s best team, but they’re the standard we are aiming for and we fall well short. Arsenal clock up six shots, not one of them on target. We lose out in terms of possession statistics. Lacazette is wretched as a striker. On the left Aubameyang looks shorn of many of his natural powers and I make a resolution to use him as he ought to be fielded, which is as a pressing forward. Partey works hard at DM, but Xhaka is cut through as though he doesn’t even exist, which hopefully is nothing more than a one-off aberration.

Much food for thought. I learn that Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior is available on loan and, in panic-buy mode, fire off an offer. The Spaniards want me to pay his wages - £195,000 per week – in full and I comply, even though this will put our salary budget in the red. Matters are made slightly worse here when Ainsley Maitland-Niles has a successful international debut and I’m compelled to agree a better contract for him. Things should level out here if we can find new homes for Mustafi and Mari before the transfer window closes.

Going into our opener, on 12 September against Sp*rs, the Gunners roster looks like this (in order of ability), with homegrown players in bold:

 

arsenal2020.jpg

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That’s a nice write up. Lewis cook certainly looks a good talent on the game and is still young. Kerman is another holding midfielder who is there as an option.

 

I have started another new game, I have edited a couple of our younger players to reflect real life more imo in terms of pa (nothing extreme) 

I have disabled the first window as a challenge as I plan to rotate my team and find the best fit and identify areas for replacement 

As the previous poster said, I also got rid of a shed load of staff and scouts etc and bought in db10 and some other higher rated coaches 

 plan to stick with a vertical tiki taka 433 so any talent I identify will have to fit into my system. My ideology is to play attacking football, sign young talent (especially British due to brexit) and make the club mega rich 

currently my lineup in pre season, which I won every game bar one, a 0-0 with Red bull Salzburg, with much higher xg and possession than my opponents 

next game is vs Liverpool in the charity shield, then my first two league games are city away and Liverpool at home. Not exactly an easy start

 

anyway, my lineup is 

St laca

lw auba

rw pepe

lcm ceballos

rcm partey

dm xhaka (dlp)

lb tierney

lcb gabriel

rcb luiz 

rb bellerin

gk leno

i am looking at the following players as transfer targets

camavinga

papetti

ajer

haaland 

sancho 

rice

cook 

aarons

donnarouma

i had camavinga in the beta and he was excellent 

 

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I started over in the full game. Overhauled the whole staff and loaned out Cedric, Sokratis, Saliba, Balogun, and Runarsson. I decided to register Ozil to try and play him, has played 4 games up to December, he handed a transfer request cause he wants to go back home. Galatasaray came in with 4M offer, I still have to pay 70k wages but that is way less than what I had to pay in the beta and I get 4M so I think it worked out well.

I will try to only go for realistic transfers and try to go for 'model citizens' to aid in mentoring of the youngsters. May get rid of most CBs and get Evans just for mentoring, Fornals is also another interesting player who fits the bill. Moutinho and Cazorla also interesting. Let's see how it goes.

I started using a 3-5-1-1 formation HERE which has worked quite well against Liverpool (4-1 x2) and Utd (2-0).

601220816_Screenshot2020-11-30at12_19_52.png.4766bc9c0501985cbe6f78838a94377f.png

 

edit: Have not lost yet:kriss:

930617605_Screenshot2020-11-30at14_30_17.thumb.png.ff1c6227806232b3274ee770114bc394.png

Edited by RogerC
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On 29/11/2020 at 09:53, Tee2 said:

Following on from my previous post...

Arsenal’s staffing situation is an area for concern. The big worry is our medical unit, the two physios we have on our books that make us the lowest rated Premier League club in this area. We have several first teamers who are injured – how can we expect to get them back on the road to fitness? I agree mutual terms of dismissal with the pair of them and put the feelers out. No way should we be so lacking in this area, especially not given the Gunners’ withering, unwanted ability to lose players to a variety of knocks.

The standard of coaching is fair but not eye-watering. I like my Assistant Manager, Steve Round, but for me the rest are eminently replaceable, and I’m tempted to do exactly that. The way I see it is that we have a lot of fine youngsters, but they may never become stars if they aren’t coached properly so it’s time to hunt for a bunch of highly qualified and reputable new faces. I have little interest in the training aspects of Football Manager, and it follows that I need to find people who I can trust to take on this crucial area.

Where the squad is concerned the choices to me are either to stick with what I’ve got or be prepared to sell in order to buy. The first team does need to be trimmed, I think – I want the young Gunners to get game time, and to give them it I will be looking to move on some of the veteran players. Arsenal have a massive imbalance here. A lot of ageing pros, brought in cheaply and offered big contracts based on their past glories. I want to reduce the average age considerably, and over time increase the homegrown elements within our group. In past games this has involved returning former players to the squad – I’ve re-signed Coquelin, the Ox and Gnabry before now, and all those (especially the latter; who wouldn’t want that?) are under consideration – but a stronger English presence will do for now.

Napoli rush in with a £12 million offer for Mesut Ozil. It can’t be this easy to get rid of him, surely. If agreed, we will have to pay £165k of his weekly salary for another year, close to half of what he’s earning currently, but that would mean we save an enormous wedge, and best of all is that he wants to go. I don’t think I’ve ever loved Gennaro Gattuso quite so much as I do now. Burnley and Brighton place bids for Sokratis, and I urge him to accept one of them. Cedric is transfer listed and offers from Newcastle, Ajax and Palace come flooding in.

We play an early friendly, a warm-up to build some match fitness, against Carno in Wales. It finishes 6-0 and it could and should have been more emphatic than that. Even with a group of players who are working within a new system, for a new manager and often new to each other, they have far too much quality for the opposition and it shows in the difference in movement, vision and overall quality. Lacazette’s propensity for firing shots wide – is this going to be an issue? He bags a double and that’s good, but this was a turkey shot for long passages and I might have expected more from him.

The end of an era is reached as Ozil sods off to Italy. I can’t believe he’s going. He’s the longest serving first team member and a leader, but here’s the thing – I’m trying to build a side with a determined mentality and he’s just the wrong sort of inspiration. There are moments when Ozil has shown glimpses of being the global strider who has won World Cups, a ton of international caps, friends and admirers, yet all that’s in the past. We need the money and letting Mesut go is an important step towards generating some much desired transfer funds.

Sokratis and Cedric earn their moves, the former to Brighton while our right-back is off to Ajax. Our transfer budget is boosted to nearly £27 million, while there is around £650,000 available in salary spends. Wriggle room, in other words. I identify centre-back as a position that requires an injection of quality, and the scouts propose Merih Demiral as the ideal, long-term replacement for David Luiz. At 22, the Turk is just the right age for us, and I fire off an offer that amounts to a £15.5 million initial fee with a further £5 million in instalments. To boost numbers in midfield, I take a deep breath and offer a contract to Jack Wilshere. A long, long way from the potential England star that he once was, Jackie is 28 and on the list of free agents. He’s not brilliant, but we can have him on a very cheap wage and he also contributes to our complement of homegrown players, and that helps to make my mind up.

Matt Macey, Folarin Balogun and Emile Smith Rowe leave on loan. With Demiral installed, forming a starting central defensive partnership with Gabriel and slashing the average age in this position as both players are a tender 22, it’s time to move David Luiz on. There are good reasons for keeping the Brazilian here for the last year of his contract, but more for letting him go. I think of all those unforced errors, hand in mouth moments, and I shudder… Dynamo Kyiv won’t buy him outright, but they will take him on loan. We still have to pay the majority of his wages, however there’s a monthly fee that amounts to £3.4 million over the course of the year, compensation I guess for slicing off one of the more mistake-riddled top flight stars I’ve seen in a number of years.

I expect the squad to mount a revolt over the sale of Ozil. His team leader status leaves a vacuum, yet they aren’t bothered in the slightest. What does concern them is my decision to part ways with David Luiz. Why they would choose Mr Hair Bear Bunch as the hill to die on is anyone’s guess, but many of them are unhappy that he’s gone. Their mood worsens when I dismiss their complaints. As someone who likes to think I have a decent handle on team dynamics it’s a worrying moment. Hopefully some decent results will bring them back onside.

My long-term hope for defensive midfield is to make do and mend before Lucas Torreira returns from loan. For now, Thomas Partey looks like exactly the kind of tank I would hope to occupy this role, however he could use a plucky young back-up to share the load and the man I identify is Lewis Cook, admittedly someone I like because of my experiences with playing him in previous editions. The 23 year old from Bournemouth doesn’t come cheap. With instalments he will set us back £30 million, but he could be part of the set-up for a decade. Lewis accepts squad rotation status happily, can operate either in defensive midfield or centrally as a deep lying playmaker, and can expect to start in lesser games and Europa League fixtures.

As we now have Cook I see no reason to continue our association with Mohamed Elneny, an Egyptian international who has always screamed ‘squad rotation’ at me with no obvious benefits. Keeping the squad numbers to a happy amount isn’t easy and Elneny becomes a casualty. Getting him off the books is another matter. The things I could do with his £24.5 million value, but all I can find for him is a loan season at Zenit. The Russians at least pay most of his salary and the fee for his services amounts to £1.8 million for the duration. A problem set aside for another year then.

After a promising run of friendlies we’re up against Liverpool in the Charity Shield. This is a proper test, and so it proves as I’m left to patrol the technical area helplessly, watching the Scousers run riot. It isn’t pretty. They go ahead through Thiago, have a Salah penalty saved and for long nightmarish passages put us to the sword. Hell, maybe this is just what it’s like to face off against England’s best team, but they’re the standard we are aiming for and we fall well short. Arsenal clock up six shots, not one of them on target. We lose out in terms of possession statistics. Lacazette is wretched as a striker. On the left Aubameyang looks shorn of many of his natural powers and I make a resolution to use him as he ought to be fielded, which is as a pressing forward. Partey works hard at DM, but Xhaka is cut through as though he doesn’t even exist, which hopefully is nothing more than a one-off aberration.

Much food for thought. I learn that Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior is available on loan and, in panic-buy mode, fire off an offer. The Spaniards want me to pay his wages - £195,000 per week – in full and I comply, even though this will put our salary budget in the red. Matters are made slightly worse here when Ainsley Maitland-Niles has a successful international debut and I’m compelled to agree a better contract for him. Things should level out here if we can find new homes for Mustafi and Mari before the transfer window closes.

Going into our opener, on 12 September against Sp*rs, the Gunners roster looks like this (in order of ability), with homegrown players in bold:

 

arsenal2020.jpg

Great write up - thank you. I'm probably very sad but really like seeing what everyone else is doing!

Completely with you on the staff by the way - the scouting department is terrible too. There are some scouts with 5 and 6 for JPA and JPP. I've booted almost all of them out, plus the medical department and a fair few coaches (including Steve Round) cost me a fortune in mutual termination agreements but we now have a good staff set up. 

I'm only about half way through pre-season but (partly based on the Wolves game last night) going to try and take a similar approach to the playing squad now. Way too much mediocrity, planning to try and shift: Ozil (I actually played him in a few pre-season games and was no use), Sokratis (already gone), Soares, Xhaka (I know he's better in the game than IRL but hopefully will get some cash) and Luiz

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On 29/11/2020 at 09:53, Tee2 said:

Following on from my previous post...

Arsenal’s staffing situation is an area for concern. The big worry is our medical unit, the two physios we have on our books that make us the lowest rated Premier League club in this area. We have several first teamers who are injured – how can we expect to get them back on the road to fitness? I agree mutual terms of dismissal with the pair of them and put the feelers out. No way should we be so lacking in this area, especially not given the Gunners’ withering, unwanted ability to lose players to a variety of knocks.

The standard of coaching is fair but not eye-watering. I like my Assistant Manager, Steve Round, but for me the rest are eminently replaceable, and I’m tempted to do exactly that. The way I see it is that we have a lot of fine youngsters, but they may never become stars if they aren’t coached properly so it’s time to hunt for a bunch of highly qualified and reputable new faces. I have little interest in the training aspects of Football Manager, and it follows that I need to find people who I can trust to take on this crucial area.

Where the squad is concerned the choices to me are either to stick with what I’ve got or be prepared to sell in order to buy. The first team does need to be trimmed, I think – I want the young Gunners to get game time, and to give them it I will be looking to move on some of the veteran players. Arsenal have a massive imbalance here. A lot of ageing pros, brought in cheaply and offered big contracts based on their past glories. I want to reduce the average age considerably, and over time increase the homegrown elements within our group. In past games this has involved returning former players to the squad – I’ve re-signed Coquelin, the Ox and Gnabry before now, and all those (especially the latter; who wouldn’t want that?) are under consideration – but a stronger English presence will do for now.

Napoli rush in with a £12 million offer for Mesut Ozil. It can’t be this easy to get rid of him, surely. If agreed, we will have to pay £165k of his weekly salary for another year, close to half of what he’s earning currently, but that would mean we save an enormous wedge, and best of all is that he wants to go. I don’t think I’ve ever loved Gennaro Gattuso quite so much as I do now. Burnley and Brighton place bids for Sokratis, and I urge him to accept one of them. Cedric is transfer listed and offers from Newcastle, Ajax and Palace come flooding in.

We play an early friendly, a warm-up to build some match fitness, against Carno in Wales. It finishes 6-0 and it could and should have been more emphatic than that. Even with a group of players who are working within a new system, for a new manager and often new to each other, they have far too much quality for the opposition and it shows in the difference in movement, vision and overall quality. Lacazette’s propensity for firing shots wide – is this going to be an issue? He bags a double and that’s good, but this was a turkey shot for long passages and I might have expected more from him.

The end of an era is reached as Ozil sods off to Italy. I can’t believe he’s going. He’s the longest serving first team member and a leader, but here’s the thing – I’m trying to build a side with a determined mentality and he’s just the wrong sort of inspiration. There are moments when Ozil has shown glimpses of being the global strider who has won World Cups, a ton of international caps, friends and admirers, yet all that’s in the past. We need the money and letting Mesut go is an important step towards generating some much desired transfer funds.

Sokratis and Cedric earn their moves, the former to Brighton while our right-back is off to Ajax. Our transfer budget is boosted to nearly £27 million, while there is around £650,000 available in salary spends. Wriggle room, in other words. I identify centre-back as a position that requires an injection of quality, and the scouts propose Merih Demiral as the ideal, long-term replacement for David Luiz. At 22, the Turk is just the right age for us, and I fire off an offer that amounts to a £15.5 million initial fee with a further £5 million in instalments. To boost numbers in midfield, I take a deep breath and offer a contract to Jack Wilshere. A long, long way from the potential England star that he once was, Jackie is 28 and on the list of free agents. He’s not brilliant, but we can have him on a very cheap wage and he also contributes to our complement of homegrown players, and that helps to make my mind up.

Matt Macey, Folarin Balogun and Emile Smith Rowe leave on loan. With Demiral installed, forming a starting central defensive partnership with Gabriel and slashing the average age in this position as both players are a tender 22, it’s time to move David Luiz on. There are good reasons for keeping the Brazilian here for the last year of his contract, but more for letting him go. I think of all those unforced errors, hand in mouth moments, and I shudder… Dynamo Kyiv won’t buy him outright, but they will take him on loan. We still have to pay the majority of his wages, however there’s a monthly fee that amounts to £3.4 million over the course of the year, compensation I guess for slicing off one of the more mistake-riddled top flight stars I’ve seen in a number of years.

I expect the squad to mount a revolt over the sale of Ozil. His team leader status leaves a vacuum, yet they aren’t bothered in the slightest. What does concern them is my decision to part ways with David Luiz. Why they would choose Mr Hair Bear Bunch as the hill to die on is anyone’s guess, but many of them are unhappy that he’s gone. Their mood worsens when I dismiss their complaints. As someone who likes to think I have a decent handle on team dynamics it’s a worrying moment. Hopefully some decent results will bring them back onside.

My long-term hope for defensive midfield is to make do and mend before Lucas Torreira returns from loan. For now, Thomas Partey looks like exactly the kind of tank I would hope to occupy this role, however he could use a plucky young back-up to share the load and the man I identify is Lewis Cook, admittedly someone I like because of my experiences with playing him in previous editions. The 23 year old from Bournemouth doesn’t come cheap. With instalments he will set us back £30 million, but he could be part of the set-up for a decade. Lewis accepts squad rotation status happily, can operate either in defensive midfield or centrally as a deep lying playmaker, and can expect to start in lesser games and Europa League fixtures.

As we now have Cook I see no reason to continue our association with Mohamed Elneny, an Egyptian international who has always screamed ‘squad rotation’ at me with no obvious benefits. Keeping the squad numbers to a happy amount isn’t easy and Elneny becomes a casualty. Getting him off the books is another matter. The things I could do with his £24.5 million value, but all I can find for him is a loan season at Zenit. The Russians at least pay most of his salary and the fee for his services amounts to £1.8 million for the duration. A problem set aside for another year then.

After a promising run of friendlies we’re up against Liverpool in the Charity Shield. This is a proper test, and so it proves as I’m left to patrol the technical area helplessly, watching the Scousers run riot. It isn’t pretty. They go ahead through Thiago, have a Salah penalty saved and for long nightmarish passages put us to the sword. Hell, maybe this is just what it’s like to face off against England’s best team, but they’re the standard we are aiming for and we fall well short. Arsenal clock up six shots, not one of them on target. We lose out in terms of possession statistics. Lacazette is wretched as a striker. On the left Aubameyang looks shorn of many of his natural powers and I make a resolution to use him as he ought to be fielded, which is as a pressing forward. Partey works hard at DM, but Xhaka is cut through as though he doesn’t even exist, which hopefully is nothing more than a one-off aberration.

Much food for thought. I learn that Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior is available on loan and, in panic-buy mode, fire off an offer. The Spaniards want me to pay his wages - £195,000 per week – in full and I comply, even though this will put our salary budget in the red. Matters are made slightly worse here when Ainsley Maitland-Niles has a successful international debut and I’m compelled to agree a better contract for him. Things should level out here if we can find new homes for Mustafi and Mari before the transfer window closes.

Going into our opener, on 12 September against Sp*rs, the Gunners roster looks like this (in order of ability), with homegrown players in bold:

 

arsenal2020.jpg

Absolutely love your write ups pal, keep them coming!

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4 hours ago, BnadnerB said:

Absolutely love your write ups pal, keep them coming!

Thanks very much, more to come :thup:

 

9 hours ago, BrickCommo23 said:

Great write up - thank you. I'm probably very sad but really like seeing what everyone else is doing!

Completely with you on the staff by the way - the scouting department is terrible too. There are some scouts with 5 and 6 for JPA and JPP. I've booted almost all of them out, plus the medical department and a fair few coaches (including Steve Round) cost me a fortune in mutual termination agreements but we now have a good staff set up. 

I'm only about half way through pre-season but (partly based on the Wolves game last night) going to try and take a similar approach to the playing squad now. Way too much mediocrity, planning to try and shift: Ozil (I actually played him in a few pre-season games and was no use), Sokratis (already gone), Soares, Xhaka (I know he's better in the game than IRL but hopefully will get some cash) and Luiz

Thanks, and I'm exactly the same - I love knowing what others think need to happen with the squad, though with Arsenal I get the impression it's fairly obvious. The staff situation seems pretty dire on the whole - is this a casualty of recent regime changes? I can't see Arsene letting things get so bad on the coaching front.

September 2020

The Liverpool defeat spooks me. We’ve done all right elsewhere, well enough to suggest that I can at least meet the board’s requirements, but despite losing 1-0 we were steamrollered at Wembley and I don’t know what that means. Are the Pool just bloody brilliant, or are we that bad, or indeed are we quite good and it’s my tactics that are terrible?

I prefer a 4-1-4-1 formation, opting for a DM over an AM in an effort to seek the perfect balance between players committed to defensive and attacking roles. I like short passes, working the ball into the box and playing it out of defence. We’re a fast team and passing is something we’re good at, so we should be playing to our strengths; similarly, with our energy levels we ought to be capable of applying the press consistently.

The league campaign opens in tricky fashion with a north London derby against Sp*rs at home. Leno’s in goal. Maitland-Niles and Tierney are our full-backs, with Gabriel and Demiral at centre-half. The critical defensive midfield task is handed to Partey, along with the captain’s armband. Xhaka and Ceballos play in central midfield. Ahead of them, Vinicius and Willian start on the flanks, with Aubameyang asked to do Auba things up front.

And… it’s wonderful, a Christmas miracle, if it wasn’t a breezy afternoon in mid-September. Uncle Jose tasks his players with parking the bus and they let us tear into them from kickoff. Demiral heads in from a corner in the seventh minute, and shortly after Xhaka’s long shot makes it 2-0. The torture continues following the break as Sp*rs refuse to find any answers and we add two more to our account via Auba’s penalty and another set piece effort from Gabriel. Overall we’ve taken twenty-eight shots to the visitors’ seven, been on target with thirteen of them and produced an excellent xG of 3.51. It finishes 4-0. All Tottenham have to show for their efforts is a couple of bookings. We’ve debagged and tea-bagged them in a morale-boosting opener, and hell we know it won’t usually be as good as this but there’s nothing quite so good as entering a happy dressing room after the final whistle.

We’re off to West Brom the following weekend. A likely relegation candidate, but they have the better of us in the first half, only some Billy the Fish acrobatics from Leno stopping Pereira from giving them the lead. All that spirit built in the opener seems to have melted away, and I make an instant change at the break when I bring on Lacazette for Aubameyang, who has done little. This turns out to be a tactical masterstroke for which I claim full credit. Despite being not as good as the Gabonese striker, Laca plays like he’s got something to prove and has bagged a hat-trick within ten minutes of blistering second half virtuosity. Demiral adds a fourth to bring about a second 4-0 victory. What looked like a poor result, the sort for which I was mentally working out my ‘still early days’ comments to the press, has turned into an emphatic victory.

The changes are wrung for our Carabao Cup clash with Crystal Palace. Traditionally Arsenal have used this competition to blood their youngsters, their second stringers, and I see no reason to change that. Only Leno and Gabriel remain from the side that beat West Brom as the likes of Holding, Wilshere, Willock and Saka start. I’m pleased to see us line up with five English players in our eleven. Uncle Roy of course chooses to field his best spread, which turns out to be a mistake as we look much the fresher from kick-off and take a quick lead through Lacazette. Before the break Saka makes it 2-0, and second-half strikes from Laca, Saka and Pepe turn victory into a rout. For their part, the Eagles respond to being five goals behind by having Zaha sent off for a vicious sliding tackle into Willock’s calves. It seems an unnecessary challenge that’s born of frustration. We get to face Peterborough in the following midweek’s Fourth Round clash.

Manchester City are next, at the Emirates and bringing their high-rolling swagger with Bernardo Silva in sizzling form and attention as ever focused on the unpredictable brilliance of De Bruyne. Some of the gloss has rubbed off Uncle Pep’s shine in recent months. After two seasons where his City slickers redefined English football, they looked all too vulnerable in 2019/20 and it’s perhaps this quality that raises our heads as we run out 2-0 victors. Both goals come from Aubameyang, Willian and Xhaka both turning out to be good at finding passes that split the blue defence. Everyone comes out of it looking good, perhaps only Vinicius looking a little short of the pace though perhaps that’s to be expected as he acclimatises to London life. The board sniffily retorts that we might have won but it wasn’t very exciting. I don’t know what they expect… Auba to score after swinging into the stadium via a high-wire cable like a swashbuckler, perhaps.

The month closes with that Posh clash. Win this and we will make the Carabao Quarter-Final. In the meantime, I fail completely to find a new home for Pablo Mari. Teams are interested in him, but not to the extent of putting their hands in their pockets, and with the Brazilian sitting on a four-year contract that’s a lot of time for him to be floating around the corridors. Shkodran Mustafi is a different matter. There’s a part of me that’s stunned he’s still here, after he’s worked so hard to demonstrate why he shouldn’t be. For reasons that could well be down to long distance, he’s become a figure of attraction to sides based in Mexico. Tigres make an offer, but it’s Monterrey that captures both his heart and his wallet, nailing their man for a knockdown price of £5.75 million. I don’t think that’s bad business for an unwanted player seeing out the last year of his contract. The only downside is that he can’t move until January – enjoy your gardening leave, Shkodran.

I play Peterborough twice. In the first effort, we are 5-1 up at Weston Homes Stadium before the game crashes. The second time, our side of reserves prevails in a 2-0 decider. Eddie Nketiah starts and bags both our goals. Most of the time is spent holding off a game but limited Posh team, testing keeper Pym who naturally plays like Lev Yashin (ask your dad) and dominating without humiliating them. Darren Ferguson emulates his equally lovely father by claiming we aren’t as good as we think we are, a reality we will go on to prove against Chelsea at the weekend. We will take on Huddersfield in December.

There’s just time to cover the draw for the Europa League, which pits us in Group C with a former European Cup winner, Red Star Belgrade, along with Zorya and Sivasspor. We have the competition’s highest coefficient (all those Champs League years) and in truth I see little to fear among our group rivals here.

It's been a good month, a really promising start, but our visit to Stamford Bridge before the international break ought to put us back in our place. Burnley and Sheffield United lie in wait among October’s fixtures, as does the close of the transfer window. We will end it having landed another former Gunner – can you guess which one? Here’s a clue – he gets injured a lot and he isn’t French, for those of you who are wondering what possessed me to recall Abou Diaby to the colours.

Mods - my Arsenal account is threatening to become a career update and perhaps these words belong there. I'll leave it up to you...

 

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39 minutes ago, Tee2 said:

Thanks very much, more to come :thup:

 

Thanks, and I'm exactly the same - I love knowing what others think need to happen with the squad, though with Arsenal I get the impression it's fairly obvious. The staff situation seems pretty dire on the whole - is this a casualty of recent regime changes? I can't see Arsene letting things get so bad on the coaching front.

September 2020

The Liverpool defeat spooks me. We’ve done all right elsewhere, well enough to suggest that I can at least meet the board’s requirements, but despite losing 1-0 we were steamrollered at Wembley and I don’t know what that means. Are the Pool just bloody brilliant, or are we that bad, or indeed are we quite good and it’s my tactics that are terrible?

I prefer a 4-1-4-1 formation, opting for a DM over an AM in an effort to seek the perfect balance between players committed to defensive and attacking roles. I like short passes, working the ball into the box and playing it out of defence. We’re a fast team and passing is something we’re good at, so we should be playing to our strengths; similarly, with our energy levels we ought to be capable of applying the press consistently.

The league campaign opens in tricky fashion with a north London derby against Sp*rs at home. Leno’s in goal. Maitland-Niles and Tierney are our full-backs, with Gabriel and Demiral at centre-half. The critical defensive midfield task is handed to Partey, along with the captain’s armband. Xhaka and Ceballos play in central midfield. Ahead of them, Vinicius and Willian start on the flanks, with Aubameyang asked to do Auba things up front.

And… it’s wonderful, a Christmas miracle, if it wasn’t a breezy afternoon in mid-September. Uncle Jose tasks his players with parking the bus and they let us tear into them from kickoff. Demiral heads in from a corner in the seventh minute, and shortly after Xhaka’s long shot makes it 2-0. The torture continues following the break as Sp*rs refuse to find any answers and we add two more to our account via Auba’s penalty and another set piece effort from Gabriel. Overall we’ve taken twenty-eight shots to the visitors’ seven, been on target with thirteen of them and produced an excellent xG of 3.51. It finishes 4-0. All Tottenham have to show for their efforts is a couple of bookings. We’ve debagged and tea-bagged them in a morale-boosting opener, and hell we know it won’t usually be as good as this but there’s nothing quite so good as entering a happy dressing room after the final whistle.

We’re off to West Brom the following weekend. A likely relegation candidate, but they have the better of us in the first half, only some Billy the Fish acrobatics from Leno stopping Pereira from giving them the lead. All that spirit built in the opener seems to have melted away, and I make an instant change at the break when I bring on Lacazette for Aubameyang, who has done little. This turns out to be a tactical masterstroke for which I claim full credit. Despite being not as good as the Gabonese striker, Laca plays like he’s got something to prove and has bagged a hat-trick within ten minutes of blistering second half virtuosity. Demiral adds a fourth to bring about a second 4-0 victory. What looked like a poor result, the sort for which I was mentally working out my ‘still early days’ comments to the press, has turned into an emphatic victory.

The changes are wrung for our Carabao Cup clash with Crystal Palace. Traditionally Arsenal have used this competition to blood their youngsters, their second stringers, and I see no reason to change that. Only Leno and Gabriel remain from the side that beat West Brom as the likes of Holding, Wilshere, Willock and Saka start. I’m pleased to see us line up with five English players in our eleven. Uncle Roy of course chooses to field his best spread, which turns out to be a mistake as we look much the fresher from kick-off and take a quick lead through Lacazette. Before the break Saka makes it 2-0, and second-half strikes from Laca, Saka and Pepe turn victory into a rout. For their part, the Eagles respond to being five goals behind by having Zaha sent off for a vicious sliding tackle into Willock’s calves. It seems an unnecessary challenge that’s born of frustration. We get to face Peterborough in the following midweek’s Fourth Round clash.

Manchester City are next, at the Emirates and bringing their high-rolling swagger with Bernardo Silva in sizzling form and attention as ever focused on the unpredictable brilliance of De Bruyne. Some of the gloss has rubbed off Uncle Pep’s shine in recent months. After two seasons where his City slickers redefined English football, they looked all too vulnerable in 2019/20 and it’s perhaps this quality that raises our heads as we run out 2-0 victors. Both goals come from Aubameyang, Willian and Xhaka both turning out to be good at finding passes that split the blue defence. Everyone comes out of it looking good, perhaps only Vinicius looking a little short of the pace though perhaps that’s to be expected as he acclimatises to London life. The board sniffily retorts that we might have won but it wasn’t very exciting. I don’t know what they expect… Auba to score after swinging into the stadium via a high-wire cable like a swashbuckler, perhaps.

The month closes with that Posh clash. Win this and we will make the Carabao Quarter-Final. In the meantime, I fail completely to find a new home for Pablo Mari. Teams are interested in him, but not to the extent of putting their hands in their pockets, and with the Brazilian sitting on a four-year contract that’s a lot of time for him to be floating around the corridors. Shkodran Mustafi is a different matter. There’s a part of me that’s stunned he’s still here, after he’s worked so hard to demonstrate why he shouldn’t be. For reasons that could well be down to long distance, he’s become a figure of attraction to sides based in Mexico. Tigres make an offer, but it’s Monterrey that captures both his heart and his wallet, nailing their man for a knockdown price of £5.75 million. I don’t think that’s bad business for an unwanted player seeing out the last year of his contract. The only downside is that he can’t move until January – enjoy your gardening leave, Shkodran.

I play Peterborough twice. In the first effort, we are 5-1 up at Weston Homes Stadium before the game crashes. The second time, our side of reserves prevails in a 2-0 decider. Eddie Nketiah starts and bags both our goals. Most of the time is spent holding off a game but limited Posh team, testing keeper Pym who naturally plays like Lev Yashin (ask your dad) and dominating without humiliating them. Darren Ferguson emulates his equally lovely father by claiming we aren’t as good as we think we are, a reality we will go on to prove against Chelsea at the weekend. We will take on Huddersfield in December.

There’s just time to cover the draw for the Europa League, which pits us in Group C with a former European Cup winner, Red Star Belgrade, along with Zorya and Sivasspor. We have the competition’s highest coefficient (all those Champs League years) and in truth I see little to fear among our group rivals here.

It's been a good month, a really promising start, but our visit to Stamford Bridge before the international break ought to put us back in our place. Burnley and Sheffield United lie in wait among October’s fixtures, as does the close of the transfer window. We will end it having landed another former Gunner – can you guess which one? Here’s a clue – he gets injured a lot and he isn’t French, for those of you who are wondering what possessed me to recall Abou Diaby to the colours.

Mods - my Arsenal account is threatening to become a career update and perhaps these words belong there. I'll leave it up to you...

 

PL0920.png

i love your write ups too! its all very interesting. im an arsenal fan i real, so always start a save with them, hopefully do better than the idiots in real life aswell. im just curious at your tactics? im rubbish with tactics, so like to look at others to get an idea. thanks!

 

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18 hours ago, Tee2 said:

Thanks very much, more to come :thup:

 

Thanks, and I'm exactly the same - I love knowing what others think need to happen with the squad, though with Arsenal I get the impression it's fairly obvious. The staff situation seems pretty dire on the whole - is this a casualty of recent regime changes? I can't see Arsene letting things get so bad on the coaching front.

September 2020

The Liverpool defeat spooks me. We’ve done all right elsewhere, well enough to suggest that I can at least meet the board’s requirements, but despite losing 1-0 we were steamrollered at Wembley and I don’t know what that means. Are the Pool just bloody brilliant, or are we that bad, or indeed are we quite good and it’s my tactics that are terrible?

I prefer a 4-1-4-1 formation, opting for a DM over an AM in an effort to seek the perfect balance between players committed to defensive and attacking roles. I like short passes, working the ball into the box and playing it out of defence. We’re a fast team and passing is something we’re good at, so we should be playing to our strengths; similarly, with our energy levels we ought to be capable of applying the press consistently.

The league campaign opens in tricky fashion with a north London derby against Sp*rs at home. Leno’s in goal. Maitland-Niles and Tierney are our full-backs, with Gabriel and Demiral at centre-half. The critical defensive midfield task is handed to Partey, along with the captain’s armband. Xhaka and Ceballos play in central midfield. Ahead of them, Vinicius and Willian start on the flanks, with Aubameyang asked to do Auba things up front.

And… it’s wonderful, a Christmas miracle, if it wasn’t a breezy afternoon in mid-September. Uncle Jose tasks his players with parking the bus and they let us tear into them from kickoff. Demiral heads in from a corner in the seventh minute, and shortly after Xhaka’s long shot makes it 2-0. The torture continues following the break as Sp*rs refuse to find any answers and we add two more to our account via Auba’s penalty and another set piece effort from Gabriel. Overall we’ve taken twenty-eight shots to the visitors’ seven, been on target with thirteen of them and produced an excellent xG of 3.51. It finishes 4-0. All Tottenham have to show for their efforts is a couple of bookings. We’ve debagged and tea-bagged them in a morale-boosting opener, and hell we know it won’t usually be as good as this but there’s nothing quite so good as entering a happy dressing room after the final whistle.

We’re off to West Brom the following weekend. A likely relegation candidate, but they have the better of us in the first half, only some Billy the Fish acrobatics from Leno stopping Pereira from giving them the lead. All that spirit built in the opener seems to have melted away, and I make an instant change at the break when I bring on Lacazette for Aubameyang, who has done little. This turns out to be a tactical masterstroke for which I claim full credit. Despite being not as good as the Gabonese striker, Laca plays like he’s got something to prove and has bagged a hat-trick within ten minutes of blistering second half virtuosity. Demiral adds a fourth to bring about a second 4-0 victory. What looked like a poor result, the sort for which I was mentally working out my ‘still early days’ comments to the press, has turned into an emphatic victory.

The changes are wrung for our Carabao Cup clash with Crystal Palace. Traditionally Arsenal have used this competition to blood their youngsters, their second stringers, and I see no reason to change that. Only Leno and Gabriel remain from the side that beat West Brom as the likes of Holding, Wilshere, Willock and Saka start. I’m pleased to see us line up with five English players in our eleven. Uncle Roy of course chooses to field his best spread, which turns out to be a mistake as we look much the fresher from kick-off and take a quick lead through Lacazette. Before the break Saka makes it 2-0, and second-half strikes from Laca, Saka and Pepe turn victory into a rout. For their part, the Eagles respond to being five goals behind by having Zaha sent off for a vicious sliding tackle into Willock’s calves. It seems an unnecessary challenge that’s born of frustration. We get to face Peterborough in the following midweek’s Fourth Round clash.

Manchester City are next, at the Emirates and bringing their high-rolling swagger with Bernardo Silva in sizzling form and attention as ever focused on the unpredictable brilliance of De Bruyne. Some of the gloss has rubbed off Uncle Pep’s shine in recent months. After two seasons where his City slickers redefined English football, they looked all too vulnerable in 2019/20 and it’s perhaps this quality that raises our heads as we run out 2-0 victors. Both goals come from Aubameyang, Willian and Xhaka both turning out to be good at finding passes that split the blue defence. Everyone comes out of it looking good, perhaps only Vinicius looking a little short of the pace though perhaps that’s to be expected as he acclimatises to London life. The board sniffily retorts that we might have won but it wasn’t very exciting. I don’t know what they expect… Auba to score after swinging into the stadium via a high-wire cable like a swashbuckler, perhaps.

The month closes with that Posh clash. Win this and we will make the Carabao Quarter-Final. In the meantime, I fail completely to find a new home for Pablo Mari. Teams are interested in him, but not to the extent of putting their hands in their pockets, and with the Brazilian sitting on a four-year contract that’s a lot of time for him to be floating around the corridors. Shkodran Mustafi is a different matter. There’s a part of me that’s stunned he’s still here, after he’s worked so hard to demonstrate why he shouldn’t be. For reasons that could well be down to long distance, he’s become a figure of attraction to sides based in Mexico. Tigres make an offer, but it’s Monterrey that captures both his heart and his wallet, nailing their man for a knockdown price of £5.75 million. I don’t think that’s bad business for an unwanted player seeing out the last year of his contract. The only downside is that he can’t move until January – enjoy your gardening leave, Shkodran.

I play Peterborough twice. In the first effort, we are 5-1 up at Weston Homes Stadium before the game crashes. The second time, our side of reserves prevails in a 2-0 decider. Eddie Nketiah starts and bags both our goals. Most of the time is spent holding off a game but limited Posh team, testing keeper Pym who naturally plays like Lev Yashin (ask your dad) and dominating without humiliating them. Darren Ferguson emulates his equally lovely father by claiming we aren’t as good as we think we are, a reality we will go on to prove against Chelsea at the weekend. We will take on Huddersfield in December.

There’s just time to cover the draw for the Europa League, which pits us in Group C with a former European Cup winner, Red Star Belgrade, along with Zorya and Sivasspor. We have the competition’s highest coefficient (all those Champs League years) and in truth I see little to fear among our group rivals here.

It's been a good month, a really promising start, but our visit to Stamford Bridge before the international break ought to put us back in our place. Burnley and Sheffield United lie in wait among October’s fixtures, as does the close of the transfer window. We will end it having landed another former Gunner – can you guess which one? Here’s a clue – he gets injured a lot and he isn’t French, for those of you who are wondering what possessed me to recall Abou Diaby to the colours.

Mods - my Arsenal account is threatening to become a career update and perhaps these words belong there. I'll leave it up to you...

 

PL0920.png

Pablo Marí is actually spanish. hehe. Great write up. Keep em coming

 

 

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22 hours ago, RogerC said:

Pablo Marí is actually spanish. hehe. Great write up. Keep em coming

 

 

No idea where I got that from - oh well, details. Thanks for the compliment.

22 hours ago, oze07 said:

i love your write ups too! its all very interesting. im an arsenal fan i real, so always start a save with them, hopefully do better than the idiots in real life aswell. im just curious at your tactics? im rubbish with tactics, so like to look at others to get an idea. thanks!

 

Okay, so I'm not a tactical commander, in fact often enough I download other peoples' because I can't be bothered to set up for set pieces and that. What matters is making the tactic work for you, and I would go with the following questions:

  1. What sort of football do you like?
  2. Does the tactic play to your team's strengths?

Looking at the team comparison, the Gunners are fast, technically good and possess high levels of flair. They aren't the most physically imposing team and they're crap in the air, but that's okay because I like a short passing style, playing the ball out of defence and breaking at pace. We have good wingers and full-backs so it seems like sense to make full use of the pitch's width. Everything is about working the ball into the box, keeping possession for long periods and starving the opposition of the ball - I'm a big fan of the Spanish style, those endless, patient passing moves, and Arsenal can play that game well enough. 

I like a side with a good balance. That's why I use a 4-1-4-1 with a DM - five broadly defensively minded players, five focused on attack. Additionally, our shaky defensive record is legendary. I find it useful to use the DM primarily to protect the centre-backs. Even with the likes of David Luiz and Sokratis consigned to history things aren't going to improve overnight, 

Those are my thoughts - really it's up to you, and I'd love to know what other people do. For instance, I think that David Luiz works best as the middle part of a defensive three, given more of a free role to move forward while his teammates, no-nonsense types, do all the graft.

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I always usually try and build a tiki-taka 433 variant but I have really struggled in this version. Also, I tend to disagree with @Tee2 and I don't think the current squad is good enough to dominate possession in the way we would like (Although it is probably more likely that I just can't build it!).

As such, I have developed a 442 variant and dare I say it 1) It looks a little like the Invincibles 442 2) It seems to be working (albeit in pre-season friendlies)

I'll do a pre-season write up properly but I also managed to sell Ozil to Napoli (stunning)

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20 hours ago, Tee2 said:

No idea where I got that from - oh well, details. Thanks for the compliment.

Okay, so I'm not a tactical commander, in fact often enough I download other peoples' because I can't be bothered to set up for set pieces and that. What matters is making the tactic work for you, and I would go with the following questions:

  1. What sort of football do you like?
  2. Does the tactic play to your team's strengths?

Looking at the team comparison, the Gunners are fast, technically good and possess high levels of flair. They aren't the most physically imposing team and they're crap in the air, but that's okay because I like a short passing style, playing the ball out of defence and breaking at pace. We have good wingers and full-backs so it seems like sense to make full use of the pitch's width. Everything is about working the ball into the box, keeping possession for long periods and starving the opposition of the ball - I'm a big fan of the Spanish style, those endless, patient passing moves, and Arsenal can play that game well enough. 

I like a side with a good balance. That's why I use a 4-1-4-1 with a DM - five broadly defensively minded players, five focused on attack. Additionally, our shaky defensive record is legendary. I find it useful to use the DM primarily to protect the centre-backs. Even with the likes of David Luiz and Sokratis consigned to history things aren't going to improve overnight, 

Those are my thoughts - really it's up to you, and I'd love to know what other people do. For instance, I think that David Luiz works best as the middle part of a defensive three, given more of a free role to move forward while his teammates, no-nonsense types, do all the graft.

il prob go with 4231 or 433, im not into fancy tactics and def not clever enough to invent one. i dont have a lot of time to work out why my players are not doing certain things, etc. i like the control possesion or vertical tika taka stuff. def want to usa an advanced or pressing fwd aswell.

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4 hours ago, BrickCommo23 said:

I'll do a pre-season write up properly but I also managed to sell Ozil to Napoli (stunning)

Maybe Napoli see Ozil as the new Hamsik, and perhaps the next time we see him he'll be sporting a severe Mohican! Can you picture it?

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7 minutes ago, BrickCommo23 said:

Erm - that was unexpected...

 

You're doing something right. Great result...

October 2020

With the transfer window about to close, we travel across the smoke to take on Chelsea. The Blues have of course dipped into their considerable bank balance for this term, adding the likes of Chilwell, Ziyech, Havertz and Werner to counter the year when they couldn’t sign anyone. They’re the favourites, especially at their home, but for the first half we give as good as we get, playing cautiously, breaking frequently and having clearly the higher shot count. But no goal. Aubameyang is especially wasteful, Vinicius out of sorts and Ceballos makes little impression as we fail to press our advantage. Midway through the second half Giroud returns to haunt us by coming off the bench and handsome-ing the ball into the net from close range. It’s a bullied goal, the Frenchman making full use of his height to shrug off his marker and head in Werner’s cross. Despite the better xG, we slink back to our corner of the city after suffering our first league defeat of the season.

Losing to Chelsea leads to an inquest. We look like flat track bullies – capable of winning at home and against weaker sides, but once we come across a defensively capable outfit it all goes west. Little wonder that Tomori is named Man of the Match; they’re solid and can’t be ruffled at the back, indeed we appear lightweight in comparison.

Of most concern to me is our weak midfield showing. Partey was fine but Ceballos struggled and Xhaka looks like someone whose impact depends on the roll of a dice. Behind them sit three English players – Cook, Willock and Wilshere – who just aren’t as good, meaning we have scant options. Quality is required, and Liverpool might provide it by placing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the transfer list. He isn’t cheap at £35 million, and even with the Mustafi money made available to me I don’t have anything like those kinds of funds. But I can ask the board for help. Sir Chips agrees that we could use the Ox and arranges the deal on my behalf. Just like that, one phone call to the Ivory Tower, and we have welcomed back a player I see as a prodigal son. With any luck his injury troubles are behind him, though perhaps not as he joins us while recovering from damaged knee cartilage. He might be back in time for Burnley in a fortnight’s time.

Mari goes on loan to Basel, which is our last bit of business for the window, and two weeks of international football takes over. Fortunately, we only pick up one additional injury when Kieran Tierney suffers a gashed lower league during Scotland’s 4-0 win over Israel. He’ll be missing for two weeks.

Our trip to Burnley seems like a tonic after the perils of Stamford Bridge. We can’t underestimate the Lancashire opposition, but we should be okay and finally we achieve a first half breakthrough when Vinicius scores at the end of a sustained spell of attacking pressure. It’s felt like a matter of when, not if, and the home team look so distant from threatening Leno’s goal that one score might be enough. Winning 1-0 doesn’t sound especially sexy, but we’ve had to field Holding and Wilshere because Demiral and Xhaka have returned from duty for their countries at considerably less than full fitness and as a consequence they’re rested for this one. During the second half, Uncle Sean’s screaming fits and threats of violence towards his own players terrifies them into performing. They start to attack, more frequently, and steadily we’re pushed back until the inevitable happens and Wood scores a late equaliser. By this stage the Clarets are on top, and we’re grateful to leave with a point.

The good times are tested further still when we travel to Sivas in Turkey for our Europa League opener against Sivasspor. Despite the presence of Ivorian winger Max Gradel they don’t look particularly nasty, indeed we have one of our own in Nicolas Pepe, and he’s £72 million worth of talent. Wait, what? The first half goes to plan. Pepe hits a penalty shot wide and Willock has a goal disallowed, but Holding and Nketiah have put us 2-0 up, and when Nelson makes it three with eighty-five minutes on the clock we’re all looking forward to a celebratory kebab before catching the plane back to Blighty. Perhaps too much though. Xhaka’s mishit pass becomes a dangerous Turkish counterattack, from which Cofie scores. Yatabare has the ball in the back of our net again as we enter injury time, and it’s only the lack of minutes remaining that spare our blushes. Another worrying result. We start well and then we either tire, or lose interest, and we simply must maintain our tempo and vigilance until the final whistle.

Back in the league we’re taking on relegation threatened Sheffield United, who are fielding a FM2020 favourite of mine in former Derby full-back Jayden Bogle. Sutalo scores for them but we add three of our own, courtesy of Xhaka (making up for his Sivasspor error), Aubameyang and a rare Bellerin strike. It’s good stuff on the whole, an instance of us outplaying the opposition, though the rough play on both sides is not for the faint hearted. The visitors slightly edge us on fouls committed, though we earn three bookings to their two as the hard tackles and aggression at times takes over. There’s a part of me that’s happy enough with this. We do need to stop being a soft touch, beatable via sheer bullying, and here’s evidence of an occasionally harder edge that can enter our game.

Our European odyssey continues with a trip to Luhansk in Ukraine to face Zorya. We should win and we do, claiming a comfortable 2-0 win with goals from Pepe and Cook, while Chambers – making his first start on my watch at centre-back – has one ruled offside. Fair enough. He is, moving fractionally too quick to volley in Pepe’s free-kick. It’s a good performance otherwise. We restrict the home team to scraps while hitting them with fifteen shots. They’re a reasonable side, decent at putting bodies behind the ball and breaking up our play, yet we go there as the big-shot glamour side and the tie goes to form.

October therefore ends with us looking a bit more human than we did previously. That’s fine. Effecting the Gunners’ transition towards being a Champions League team again isn’t easy. We have to reverse our league position of the last four years, which has headed gradually downwards, but we appear to be doing it, and for my efforts the board give me a ‘B’ grade. They’re happy with how things are going, though the Chelsea defeat and Mari’s loan deal count as black marks on my record. Liverpool and Manchester United haven’t dropped a single point yet, which shows the scale of the challenge. A defeat and a draw and we look completely off the title chasing pace, but perhaps that is exactly the standard we have to aim for.

PL1020.png

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8 hours ago, BrickCommo23 said:

I always usually try and build a tiki-taka 433 variant but I have really struggled in this version. Also, I tend to disagree with @Tee2 and I don't think the current squad is good enough to dominate possession in the way we would like (Although it is probably more likely that I just can't build it!).

As such, I have developed a 442 variant and dare I say it 1) It looks a little like the Invincibles 442 2) It seems to be working (albeit in pre-season friendlies)

I'll do a pre-season write up properly but I also managed to sell Ozil to Napoli (stunning)

How much did you manage to get for Ozil ??

Had real difficulty trying to move him on ... Napoli seems to be the only team that buys him

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Looking to strip the squad down in 1st window and add some quality youth players by selling the following

Mustafi,  Sokratis,  David Luiz (possibly),  Cedric,  Kolasinac,  Elneny and maybe Lacazette.

If you have had success selling these in the first window can you indicate who they went to, the fee etc.

 

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On 20/11/2020 at 16:02, kidd_05_u2 said:

If you were to rate youth prospects by those type of comments, every team would have like 10-15 prospects with world class potential every year. Oyegoke may well turn out to be much better than FM 21 thinks, but I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to the researchers. Especially when Arsenal is already full of youth prospects with potential to be great premier league players (including Patino, Flores and Azeez. In my save their potential looks pretty high).

I don't give benefit of the doubt to the researchers for Arsenal because after a few years a decade ago of overrating all the kids, the last few years have seen the vast majority underrated. Not that there should be lots of elite kids or anything, but every year there are players who are already playing regularly at league one level on loan, where their potential maxes out at maybe being good enough to play regularly in league one.

I think they do a good job with those who have had first team exposure, but there are always a lack of relative accuracy of those not fully established at u23 level, and little weighting of the CA abilities of those dominating at u18s vs those who barely get a game.

I gave up trying to input a long time ago, because it was made clear that it wasn't welcome. I just try to give them realistic fixes via the editor, so at least the guys who've never been injured don't have injury proneness 16 and natural fitness 5, and the guys playing in the u23s at 16/17 don't have worse CA & PA than the ones glued to the bench at u18s

But then, as someone who writes about Arsenal and has been running a podcast about the club for the past 5 1/2 years, my expectations maybe a little on the high side.

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hace 1 hora, lomekian dijo:

I don't give benefit of the doubt to the researchers for Arsenal because after a few years a decade ago of overrating all the kids, the last few years have seen the vast majority underrated. Not that there should be lots of elite kids or anything, but every year there are players who are already playing regularly at league one level on loan, where their potential maxes out at maybe being good enough to play regularly in league one.

I think they do a good job with those who have had first team exposure, but there are always a lack of relative accuracy of those not fully established at u23 level, and little weighting of the CA abilities of those dominating at u18s vs those who barely get a game.

I gave up trying to input a long time ago, because it was made clear that it wasn't welcome. I just try to give them realistic fixes via the editor, so at least the guys who've never been injured don't have injury proneness 16 and natural fitness 5, and the guys playing in the u23s at 16/17 don't have worse CA & PA than the ones glued to the bench at u18s

But then, as someone who writes about Arsenal and has been running a podcast about the club for the past 5 1/2 years, my expectations maybe a little on the high side.

I understand that if you follow the youth teams very closely you may be frustrated by some of the ratings. But my comment was more in general terms, because if you were to follow the opinions of everyone in the forum, all teams would be full of youth players with world class potential. I'm sure that many of these Arsenal prospects that are supposedly so great and young and already playing for u23 won't ever get more than a handful of starts in the premier league.

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6 hours ago, lomekian said:

I don't give benefit of the doubt to the researchers for Arsenal because after a few years a decade ago of overrating all the kids, the last few years have seen the vast majority underrated. Not that there should be lots of elite kids or anything, but every year there are players who are already playing regularly at league one level on loan, where their potential maxes out at maybe being good enough to play regularly in league one.

I think they do a good job with those who have had first team exposure, but there are always a lack of relative accuracy of those not fully established at u23 level, and little weighting of the CA abilities of those dominating at u18s vs those who barely get a game.

I gave up trying to input a long time ago, because it was made clear that it wasn't welcome. I just try to give them realistic fixes via the editor, so at least the guys who've never been injured don't have injury proneness 16 and natural fitness 5, and the guys playing in the u23s at 16/17 don't have worse CA & PA than the ones glued to the bench at u18s

But then, as someone who writes about Arsenal and has been running a podcast about the club for the past 5 1/2 years, my expectations maybe a little on the high side.

Would you somehow share those changes for others to use?

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3 hours ago, RogerC said:

Would you somehow share those changes for others to use?

I tend not to start many new games so just change it using in game editor rather than the DB, because I find the DB editor clunky!

Happy to share any knowledge or thoughts though.

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8 hours ago, SortitoutsiVP said:

bTc9rUI.jpg

3kSUpMM.jpg

Would love to know more about that!

 

5 hours ago, lomekian said:

I tend not to start many new games so just change it using in game editor rather than the DB, because I find the DB editor clunky!

Happy to share any knowledge or thoughts though.

I'd like to know more about those changes, don't really follow lower categories!

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2 hours ago, RogerC said:

Would love to know more about that!

Just a new tactic I've been using.

Won the Europa first season which saved me my job, second season we're Prem champions. Been trying to give our youth a good chance.

https://i.imgur.com/y0hcxvp.png

https://i.imgur.com/efAW2LW.png

https://i.imgur.com/dttBo8V.png

https://i.imgur.com/DtrHhwB.png

https://i.imgur.com/7Pdd0vZ.png

https://i.imgur.com/MFDj7Vf.png

https://i.imgur.com/6X5sJHJ.png

https://i.imgur.com/VWJuj0A.png

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4 hours ago, SortitoutsiVP said:

Just a new tactic I've been using.

Won the Europa first season which saved me my job, second season we're Prem champions. Been trying to give our youth a good chance.

https://i.imgur.com/y0hcxvp.png

https://i.imgur.com/efAW2LW.png

https://i.imgur.com/dttBo8V.png

https://i.imgur.com/DtrHhwB.png

https://i.imgur.com/7Pdd0vZ.png

https://i.imgur.com/MFDj7Vf.png

https://i.imgur.com/6X5sJHJ.png

https://i.imgur.com/VWJuj0A.png

9 (Nine) nil vs Spurs??? 

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Currently in March 2021

Squad

image.png.874bdd4bb88de72a138bf82d1f36940b.png

Competitions

image.thumb.png.40acf8870dfa56ee336fe3b14b246c4a.png

2020/2021 Cash Transfers (No Additional First Window Transfers)

image.thumb.png.e5057bb188fd9e58edf919fcf69cdcc5.png

Ajer: £5M upfront, £15M installments, additional incentives £2.5M 

Lacazette: £20M upfront, £30M installments

Sead Kolasinac: £5M upfront, £4M installments, £12M installments

Özil: £150k wage contribution

Luiz: £24.5k wage contribution

Sokratis: £7.5k wage contribution

2020/22 Loans

 image.thumb.png.15d345cd2dda8ed26bbe72024560c223.png

Cedric: £18.5M Option

2021/22 Future Transfers Arranged

image.png.c57086173c7333772e322ecbc857cb4a.png

Szoboszlai: £11M Upfront, £21M installments, (additional incentives worth £9M)

Grealish: £15M upfront, £30M installments 

Anticipated Departures

Willian, Mari, Xhaka, Cedríc, and Elneny

Anticipated 2021/22 Squad

image.png.858d5db3c8b2b9070ec34f0c535966e2.png

 

Edited by Harper
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19 hours ago, RogerC said:

Would love to know more about that!

 

I'd like to know more about those changes, don't really follow lower categories!

Just simple things like making dribbling a strength for Marcelo Flores rather just an average stat. Or Brooke Norton-Cuffy having good stamina and some strength. Or not having Bandeira having terrible strength/determination etc. Or making Taylor Hart not bad even by u18 level when he as only poor last year due to injuries, and had been viewed as a great prospect and is now performing well at u23s. Taylor Foran has already made the bench for u23s and is a very highly rated natural leader, but is set as one of the worst guys in u18s with no potential.

I could go on and on. It may be quicker to ask a specific question(s)!

This is my problem with the Arsenal data and has been for years - the most highly rated kids or ones who've been around the first team are generally not to bad data wise, and any disagreements are small, but anyone who hasn't got any publicity, particularly at u18 level is just full of random ratings, with maybe 3 or 4 attributes defined. So you end up with amazing athletes in real life with no fitness stamina or speed, or 6 foot plus players having terrible jumping. Given how much information and video there is out there, I actually find it a bit insulting that the research is so poor at that level - because its basically a lack of homework. Even really simple things like 1) If a guy is on loan in league 1 and is playing almost every week in a winning team, he should have a CA & PA that is at least around the middle of players in that division, or at teh worst teh division below.  or 2) And this one REALLY pisses me off - so many of the ratings are just copy and paste year on year. The amount of players who's profile, PA, attributes etc are almost identical to 2-3 years beforehand, even though they've played first team football which has taught us a lot more about them.
 

Maybe when I'm less busy with work I'll do a database edit, but I'm working every day at the moment - save for 5 breaks like now!

 

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3 hours ago, lomekian said:

Just simple things like making dribbling a strength for Marcelo Flores rather just an average stat. Or Brooke Norton-Cuffy having good stamina and some strength. Or not having Bandeira having terrible strength/determination etc. Or making Taylor Hart not bad even by u18 level when he as only poor last year due to injuries, and had been viewed as a great prospect and is now performing well at u23s. Taylor Foran has already made the bench for u23s and is a very highly rated natural leader, but is set as one of the worst guys in u18s with no potential.

I could go on and on. It may be quicker to ask a specific question(s)!

This is my problem with the Arsenal data and has been for years - the most highly rated kids or ones who've been around the first team are generally not to bad data wise, and any disagreements are small, but anyone who hasn't got any publicity, particularly at u18 level is just full of random ratings, with maybe 3 or 4 attributes defined. So you end up with amazing athletes in real life with no fitness stamina or speed, or 6 foot plus players having terrible jumping. Given how much information and video there is out there, I actually find it a bit insulting that the research is so poor at that level - because its basically a lack of homework. Even really simple things like 1) If a guy is on loan in league 1 and is playing almost every week in a winning team, he should have a CA & PA that is at least around the middle of players in that division, or at teh worst teh division below.  or 2) And this one REALLY pisses me off - so many of the ratings are just copy and paste year on year. The amount of players who's profile, PA, attributes etc are almost identical to 2-3 years beforehand, even though they've played first team football which has taught us a lot more about them.
 

Maybe when I'm less busy with work I'll do a database edit, but I'm working every day at the moment - save for 5 breaks like now!

 

This is exactly what I thought. It does not really make sense that Ryan Alebiosu has more potential as a right back than Daniel Oyegoke. Ryan has done well now and then (I like him on the flank, actually), but Oyegoke is definitely a bigger talent. For 2-3 years Dan Ballard and Zech Medley had no upgrades, despite Ballard breaking into the senior national team setup and Medley playing in pre-season and Europa League. Finally they've got upgrades, but should have had these numbers two years ago. Tim Akinola is also set as a wide player in game, but is a combative midfielder, but I guess that might be on the Huddersfield researcher.

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12 hours ago, Harper said:

Currently in March 2021

Squad

image.png.874bdd4bb88de72a138bf82d1f36940b.png

 

Looking good Harper - how is Chambers working out as a DM? Never struck me as an obvious option, but it's all there, isn't it? Tackling, passing, positioning, all ready to be built upon.

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6 hours ago, lomekian said:

This is my problem with the Arsenal data and has been for years - the most highly rated kids or ones who've been around the first team are generally not to bad data wise, and any disagreements are small,

The Arsenal researcher also maybe has some non-standard ideas about what attributes mean - he said in the Beta thread that he'd dropped Kieran Tierney's Determination attribute because he had differences of opinion:

Quote

Tierney's drop from 19 determination since he first joined (and some other attribute changes both up and down), is essentially just a difference in interpretation of how attributes should generally be rated between myself and whoever the previous responsible researcher was - Celtic or Scottish Premier League.

And he compensated by changing squad morale.  I find that kind of extraordinary, especially as they've apparently got a policy of not revising PA for young players down.

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7 minutes ago, Sunstrikuuu said:

The Arsenal researcher also maybe has some non-standard ideas about what attributes mean - he said in the Beta thread that he'd dropped Kieran Tierney's Determination attribute because he had differences of opinion:

And he compensated by changing squad morale.  I find that kind of extraordinary, especially as they've apparently got a policy of not revising PA for young players down.

Yeah - saying that someone's determination was overrated in Scottish football is almost an oxymoron!

My instinct is that is an overreaction vs the previous researcher who was, shall we say, a little generous...

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1 hour ago, Tee2 said:

Looking good Harper - how is Chambers working out as a DM? Never struck me as an obvious option, but it's all there, isn't it? Tackling, passing, positioning, all ready to be built upon.

He's good for a defensive option, that I've noticed, anyway. He's mostly the bench/backup option. Played mostly in the cups and early EL games (drew Gent and Brugge in the first two knockout rounds of EL). Hasn't played against any real challenging competition.

Great for the bench since he can slot in as a DC, DM, or DR in the event of injury, same with AMN as a DR, DL, MC. Fills a HG spot. If I got a £30M offer for him, I'm ship him on though.

When he starts, it's as a half-back. Usually hangs out near the center circle and helps retain/recycle possession. Guess he provides cover when Tierney or Taylor (FB-Au) and Bellerín (FB-Au) or Maitland-Niles (CWB-At) go forward.

Mostly ratings in the ~7.0 range as a DM (HB) playing against the weaker teams.

832947098_ScreenShot2020-12-04at2_10_39PM.thumb.png.b39feb037b903ee2563dde9e184ca3c1.png685758532_ScreenShot2020-12-04at2_10_48PM.thumb.png.a8ef940e85dbdf4164285b6f8cf8a57e.png

image.thumb.png.431183106d22afcb1151937adf77efca.png

 

image.thumb.png.b81709923999ff4f3c5c1c11571bc9a4.png

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1 hour ago, Tee2 said:

Looking good Harper - how is Chambers working out as a DM? Never struck me as an obvious option, but it's all there, isn't it? Tackling, passing, positioning, all ready to be built upon.

The depth chart I provided isn't entirely accurate to my midfield arrangement is a currently use it, but more reflective to how I am building the squad. I am most often playing a flat three midfield

Xhaka (CAR) - Willock (AP-A) - Partey (BBM) is my go to combo right now.

Elneny (BWM-S) - Willock (AP-A) - Partey (BBM) is my defensive arrangement

Ceballos (MEZ-A) - Partey (BWM-S) - Willock (AP-A) is my offensive arrangement 

Smith Rowe rotates with Willock, but as a RPM rather than AP. Ceballos may rotate in as a direct AP-A replacement.

Chambers is on the bench in all of these scenarios and if he comes on, the formation changes. If he starts, the formation changes to the 4-3-3 DM arrangement.

I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing bringing Grealish in. He blocks the path of Willock and ESR in the central midfield. and Saka and Martinelli as an AML. But, Villa is likely going down and I just started offering bids for Grealish and when they accepted £45M, figured I should take advantage since his release clause is £80M and his relegation clause is £50M. Might consider that a bug in the transfer/squad management AI, now that I think about it.

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Just finished season 3 pre season.

This summer I made my biggest changes yet to the squad, well seeing as I hadn't spent a penny yet I guess that wasn't hard. I spent a total of £273m on four new signings, but these are four I see being a big part of the future of the club.

Transfers & Current Squad

u9OraHf.png

ZXySJvx.png

D0FMFm8.png

Season curtain opener was a typical match from a team managed by me!

4y2VVj5.jpg

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