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  1. That concludes my guide to the Toffees. I hope some of these tips are able to help you in the future and look forward to seeing if you can usurp the Reds to be the best team in Liverpool. Good luck!
  2. Definitely agree with you there, though I would add that Richarlison and Iwobi are also players that the club must keep.
  3. Everton Football Club Transfer Market:- Transfers Out:- Oumar Niasse to Al-Ittihad for £3.6M + £7.5K p/w paid by Everton in wages for 1 season Maarten Stekelenburg to Al-Hilal for £925K Cuco Martina on loan to Hull for £35.5K p/m Theo Walcott to Newcastle for £16M + £36K p/w paid by Everton in wages for 2 seasons Nobody would buy Cuco Martina so a loan move to Hull was sorted out. His contract expires at the end of the year and will leave on a free anyway, though his loan does include an option for Hull to buy for £1M if they choose. Oumar Niasse was sent to Al-Ittihad with some wages being paid for a year, a necessary sacrifice. Maarten Stekelenburg was allowed to leave to go to Al-Hilal for £925K. Finally Theo Walcott was sold to Newcastle for £16M with Everton paying £36K p/w of his wages for 2 years. Whilst I am unhappy to be being Walcott's wages it is better than the £110K p/w I was paying him. I decided that keeping Seamus Coleman and Morgan Schneiderlin were the better options, at least until the January transfer window in the case of Schneiderlin. Transfers In:- I started by looking for a backup DC to bolster my defensive ranks. Initially I considered Ukrainian free agent Eugene Khacheridi for his experience, but being wanted by many Arab clubs I knew his wage demands would be high. The same went for Thilo Kehrer of PSG who begins the game transfer listed, coming from PSG he is already on high wages and is unlikely to take a pay cut. I looked at Kevin Bonifazi from Torino before ultimately deciding to settle on taking a player on loan and that player was Lazio's 23 year-old Slovak defender Denis Vavro. Not far behind Yerry Mina in quality Vavro can also play on either flank or defensive midfield in an emergency. Next I shifted focus to finding another goalkeeper after Stekelenburg's departure. I decided to limit my search to players with release clauses under £10M and was surprised to see Real Sporting's Christian Joel available for £2.9M - what was even better was that they didn't even want that much, accepting £2.5M. Joel looks like a prospect who develop into a strong backup/cup 'keeper. Next I turned my attention to the midfield. I heavily scouted PSV utility players Pablo Rosario and Jorrit Henfrix, Marseille's Morgan Sanson, Lazio's Danolo Cataldi and PAOK's Dimitris Pelkas before settling on two signings. First I brought in the versatile 27 year-old Dane Rasmus Falk for £5M after scouting for low release clauses once again. Falk will be Gylfi's main backup but can also be deployed basically anywhere in the midfield. My final signing was one that came as a surprise to me - FC Red Bull Salzburg's 18 year-old future star Dominik Szoboszlai. Szoboszlai has already been capped 4 times by Hungary and looks to be a star in the making, and while he won't get a lot of immediate playing time he will play plenty in cup competitions to develop him. Being 18 I aim to keep him at Everton rather than loan him out so he becomes home grown. The only other change I made to the squad was the previously mentioned promoting of Beni Baningime to the senior squad. He will be used in a very similar way to Szoboszlai. Following these transfers I was left with £6.6M in the transfer budget and £143K p/w in the wage budget which should be enough to bring in some reinforcements in January/sign Sidibé permanently. Below is my final starting squad and bench for the season. Further work will need to be done on improving the squad in the seasons to follow. A backup left-back will be required if Leighton Baines is allowed to leave the club and the futures of Morgan Schneiderlin, Cenk Tosun & Seamus Coleman are still up in the air. Everton have a fairly solid squad base to begin with and hopefully the players I chose to bring in will provide the quality depth required to achieve a top half finish and position the club well for future success.
  4. Everton Football Club Tactical Analysis:- The club recommends a 4-2-3-1 formation which I also suggest. Unlike with Watford I feel as though there really only needs to be two tactics used, although a third could be added with the AMC dropping back to either be a third MC or a DMC. Tactic A (Primary):- In this tactic I look to play a positive game with a lot of focus down the wings due to the club's strong wingers. I've placed Pickford in a sweeper keeper role as he's a natural. At the back I have Michael Keane as the ball playing defender who is going to take a few more risks, whilst Yerry Mina will play as a more conventional defender. On the left flank I have Lucas Digne set as an attacking wing-back as he is the strongest in attack out of him and Sidibé. As a result, Sidibé plays as a defensive wing-back on the right. Digne's attack on the left makes up for Bernard's more conservative role further up the field, while Sidibé's defensive role allows Richarlison the freedom to attack as much as he wants. Ahead of the defence Fabian Delph and André Gomes are paired together in the centre of midfield. Delph is set as a box-to-box midfielder so he can help in both attack and defence, while Gomes is set as a deep lying playmaker to be the "quarterback" of the team. Ahead of them is Gylfi Sigurðsson who is playing as an attacking midfielder. I chose this role as it is natural to Gylfi although I did consider deploying him as an Enganche. On the flanks Bernard/Iwobi will be the more conservative of the two wingers, looking to bring Lucas Digne into play. Richarlison is set to be as attacking as he wants to and both positions are set as inverted wingers. Richarlison has the ability to use either foot very well so shifted him to the right from his favoured spot on the left wing is no big deal. Moise Kean will be the starting striker and while his best role is as a pressing forward, I feel as though an advanced forward is better suited so he can both look for goals himself and create for others. Tactic B (For facing stronger teams):- Some slight adjustments to the previous tactic see this version try to retain possession of the ball. The instruction to overlap on the right has been taking off so Sidibé should remain fairly defensive, while Digne still has the freedom to roam forward and attack. Delph becomes a defensive ball winning midfielder and Gylfi's role switches from attacking to a more conservation support role. I would still go into most games using Tactic A but if the side is overwhelmed I would be looking to switch to Tactic B. As I said you could also drop the AMC role back to the MC or DMC spot if you want to be even more defensive. In conlusion I feel as though these tactics will serve the Toffees well. They should allow for the creativity of Digne, Richarlison, Gylfi & Gomes to flow while still providing a solid structure to defend. Coming up next (probably tomorrow) will be some transfer suggestions based on my play.
  5. Everton Football Club Squad Analysis:- Overall Everton possess a squad that is strong in all key areas, although they do lack quality depth. Couple with that some bloated contracts for players that either declining with age or not good enough (lookin' at you Leighton, Seamus and Theo) and there's an obvious need for improvement. With the club already investing well over £100M in the off-season Everton only have £10M in the transfer budget, although they do have around £100K p/w in the wage budget to play with. This severely restricts what you are able to do and as such you may find yourself needing to make do with certain players until more funds become available. Goalkeepers:- Thankfully this is one area of the team where Everton are set. Jordan Pickford is an established an established international and at only 25 years of age he will only improve with time. Maarten Stekelenburg and Jonas Lössl are able backups however the game begins with Stekelenburg being chased by several Qatari and Arabian clubs and as his £30K p/w contract runs out at the end of the season, you may wish to cash in on him now if you are able to find another 'keeper for depth as your 4th string 'keeper Nicolas Hansen is only 17 years-old and not ready for top flight football. VERDICT: Keep Pickford and Lössl. Consider selling Stekelenburg if you can find a cheap replacement. Defenders:- Another area of the squad where Everton aren't that bad off at first glance is defence. Delve a little deeper, however, and you will find an alarming lack of depth. Lucas Digne and Djibril Sidibé are both very good on the left and right flanks respectively, whilst Michael Keane is your defensive rock in the centre. Your backup for the left and right are Leighton Baines (Vice-Captain) and Seamus Coleman (Captain). Both players are feeling the effects of age and aren't viable in the long-term future. Yerry Mina is Keane's second, although the 24 year-old Colombian definitely has room for improvement I believe he will grow to be a solid player. Mason Holgate is your only other natural DC in the squad and whilst the youngster definitely has an upside to him, he really isn't ready to start Premier League football on a regular basis at this stage of his career. Jean-Philippe Gbamin can play here in a pinch, but really he is more of a midfielder. Cuco Martina rounds out the defenders at the club and he begins the game transfer listed - and rightfully so, he is terrible. Matthew Pennington is on loan at Hull with an option for them to buy which won't hurt as he'll develop into an emergency backup at best. Luke Garbutt is on loan at Ipswich and the attacking left-back has been at the club forever and should only be kept if you are struggling for home grown player limits in Europe. VERDICT: Keep Keane, Digne, Mina, Holgate, definitely. Sign Sidibé if he is willing in the January transfer window/end of season. Keep Leighton Baines until the end of the season when his contract runs out as it isn't worth upsetting the club by selling him with only a year left. Consider selling club captain Seamus Coleman. He's on £70K p/w and if Sidibé is staying you don't need him, plain and simple. Sell Pennington and Martina (if you are able before his contract expires at season's end), consider whether you need Garbutt in the future as his contract is also up at the end of the season. Midfielders:- When it comes to the central midfield roles it is a bit of a mixed bag. You don't have a great deal of depth to cover three positions (2 MC's and 1 AMC). In the two deeper roles André Gomes and Fabian Delph are obvious starters but Delph is injury prone, and indeed starts the game injured for around 2 months. Backing them up will be Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Tom Davies and Morgan Schneiderlin. Gbamin will be out for 6-7 months with injury so some kind of signing here is a must. Schneiderlin is on a massive £120K p/w. Davies has a bright future as does Gbamin, depending on how he returns from injury, but Schneiderlin is a shell of his former self and isn't worthy of those wages be wary as if you sell him you will more than likely be paying some of his wages. In the attacking midfield role your obvious starter is Gylfi Sigurðsson. Unfortunately behind Gylfi your next best options are Gomes and Davies, which definitely doesn't help with the squad depth issues. You basically have 5 players to play across 3 positions since Gbamin is out injured. Backup is needed in both areas. Mo Besic and Shani Tarashaj are both out on loan but neither can be recalled. Depending on how much you can raise in transfer funds you may need to call up players such as Beni Baningime and Anthony Gordon as a short term fix. Both are bright prospects with Baningime being closer to first-team football than Gordon. VERDICT: Keep Gomes, Gbamin, Davies and Sigurðsson. Keep Delph for now since he's just arrived but consider scouting for a long term replacement (or shape Baningime to suit). Consider whether you can get enough money for Schneiderlin and pay as little of his wages as possible to work out whether it is worth keeping him as his wages could potentially bring in 2-3 recruits. Sell Besic and Tarashaj in the future as they add little to the squad. Wingers:- One of the stronger areas of the squad but there is a catch - your 3 best wingers are all natural left wingers. Richarlison is your best winger but I suggest moving him over to the right wing with Alex Iwobi and Bernard covering the left. Theo Walcott provides cover on the right but is on £110K p/w. As with Schneiderlin if you move him on you are likely going to be paying some of his wages which is something you will need to consider. Reinforcement here is only really needed if you do sell Walcott. Yannick Bolasie is on loan at Sporting CP with an optional future fee that they will hopefully take up. VERDICT: Keep Richarlison, Iwobi & Bernard. As with Schneiderlin consider the value of selling Walcott - how much will it bring in in transfer budget, how much of his wage will you have to pay, who can you get in to replace him. If Sporting don't buy Bolasie definitely sell him. Forwards:- Don't do anything. Okay, it isn't quite that simple. Moise Kean will be your main forward with Cenk Tosun deputising when he needs a rest and Dominic Calvert-Lewin likely getting time in the cups. Tosun is a solid player but is on wages of £67K that could be put to use elsewhere. As I said previously consider your options with him as he and Calvert-Lewin are around the same level but for now I recommend keeping him. Oumar Niasse is transfer listed and should be sold ASAP. Sandro is out on loan at Real Vallodolid and I would recommend moving him on at your earliest opportunity as he isn't any better than what is already at the club. VERDICT: Keep Kean, Calvert-Lewin. Consider Tosun's future. Sell Niasse and Sandro. Best of the Rest:- Beni Baningime will probably end up replacing Fabian Delph in the long run, he looks a solid prospect and I would recommend giving him a run in cup matches. Anthony Gordon looks a solid attacking midfield/wing/striker prospect depending on how you develop him. Fraser Hornby looks like he could be a solid second choice striker in the future, maybe even first choice at a stretch. Nicolas Hansen is only 17 and should develop into a solid backup 'keeper in the future so I recommend a series of loans to help with his development. Players like Kieran Dowell, Jonjoe Kenny and Ellis Simms all have bright futures and I suggest ensuring that they all get decent playing time out on loan (Simms starts at the club but should be loaned out). The other players listed should all turn out to be fairly good in the future as well. Baningime probably has the brightest future of the lot. VERDICT: There's no real need to move anyone on unless it is a loan move to further their development. I definitely suggest promoting Baningime into the first team so that he can hopefully learn from Fabian Delph. Everton have a good number of prospects and I recommend going for youth for most of your required backup signings to add to this further.
  6. Everton Football Club 2019/2020 Squad:- Goalkeepers:- 1. Jordan Pickford 22. Maarten Stekelenburg 49. Jonas Lössl Defenders:- 2. Mason Holgate 3. Leighton Baines (VC) 5. Michael Keane 12. Lucas Digne 13. Yerry Mina 19. Djibril Sidibé (On loan from AS Monaco / Optional future fee of £14M) 23. Seamus Coleman (C) 30. Cuco Martina Luke Garbutt (On loan at Ipswich) Matthew Pennington (On loan at Hull / Optional future fee of £750K) Midfielders:- 8. Fabian Delph + Out for 6 weeks-2 months with a groin strain 10. Gylfi Sigurðsson 18. Morgan Schneiderlin 21. André Gomes 25. Jean-Philippe Gbamin 26. Tom Davies + Out for 6-7 months with a torn thigh muscle Mo Besic (On loan at Sheffield United) Shani Tarashaj (On loan at FC Emmen) Wingers:- 7. Richarlison 11. Theo Walcott 17. Alex Iwobi 20. Bernard Yannick Bolasie (On loan at Sporting CP / Optional future fee of £3.87M) Forwards:- 9. Dominic Calvert-Lewin 14. Cenk Tosun 27. Moise Kean 29. Oumar Niasse Sandro (On loan at Real Vallodolid) Best of the Rest:- 52. Nicolas Hansen (GK) 37. Lewis Gibson (DL, DC) 38. Ryan Astley (DC) Harry Hagan (DC) Jonjoe Kenny (DR, RWB) (On loan at Schalke 04) 34. Beni Baningime (MC, DMC) 44. Nathan Markelo (MC, AMC, DMC) 57. Bobby Carroll (MC) Callum Connolly (MC, MR, DMC) (On loan at Lincoln) Kieran Dowell (AMC, MC) (On loan at Derby) 42. Anthony Gordon (AML, AMC, AMR, ST) Nathan Broadhead (AML, AMR, ST, AMC) (On loan at Burton) Lewis Dobbin (ST, AML, AMC, AMR) 50. Ellis Simms (ST) Fraser Hornby (ST, AMC) (On loan at KV Kortrijk) Tom Cannon (ST) -
  7. EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB Introduction - Why play as Everton?:- Why play as the blue side of Liverpool? Because you want to usurp the Reds as the top Liverpudlian team in the Premier League. In real life the Toffees are languishing down near the bottom of the table with current manager Marco Silva under a lot of pressure with many people expecting him to be on his way out the door. Much life in real life, Everton often underperform in FM20. With a decent squad to build on, albeit with some players that need to be moved on, Everton are a team that have always just been "there" and not quite good enough to crack the top 6 of the Premier League. History:- Everton's history is rich with the club being founded in 1878. They currently hold the record for competing in the top division of English football an incredible 116 season, only missing out 4 times since The Football League was created in 1888. The team has a long and storied rivalry with Liverpool with the clashes against the Reds known as the Merseyside Derby. The club hasn't won any silverware since 1995 when they won the FA Cup and the FA Charity Shield. Everton have won the league a total of 10 times (9 First Division titles and 1 Second Division title) with their most recent being in the 1986/1987 season. Everton are a club with a rich history with their most notable managers being Howard Kendall, who led them to their Division 1 wins in the 80's, and in more recent times David Moyes who led the side from 2002 until 2013 when he departed for a stint at Manchester United that would only last 10 months before his sacking after he replaced football royalty Sir Alex Ferguson. Since Moyes left the club the team has dropped down the Premier League table to become a mid-table club finishing as low as 11th. Prior to this the club was often up amongst the big dogs of the Premier League including a 4th place finish in 2004/2005. Flash-forward into the present and the club are currently sitting near the bottom of the Premier League. Having lost the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Ademola Lookman, and Idrissa Gueye in the recent transfer history, the club is struggling despite several big name signings. In fact, Everton spent a whopping £111M in the off-season to bring in the likes of Alex Iwobi, Fabian Delph, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Moise Kean and André Gomes with French right-back Djibril Sidibé also joining on loan. It is this underperformance after large investment that sees Marco Silva currently hanging on to his job by a thread. - Everton Football Club 2019/2020 Season:- Home Ground: Goodison Park (Capacity: 39,572) Training Facilities: Finch Farm, Liverpool -Suberb training facilities -Superb data analysis facilities -Superb youth facilities -Good academy coaching -Excellent youth recruitment Media Prediction: 7th Transfer Budget: £10M Wage Budget: £2,344,184 p/w (£101K p/w available) Season Thoughts:- The club has several requirements to fulfil. Firstly it desires to build a new stadium in the next 5 years, which they will handle themselves. Next they require you to work within the wage budget, which is fair enough as it is fairly hefty for a team that has no European football. You are required to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season and at the end of the 2020/2021 season you are required to be recognised as the 'best of the rest'. Beyond that they expect you to continue being recognised as the 'best of the rest'. The board desires that you play entertaining football and for you to reach the Fifth Round of the FA Cup, both things seem doable at first glance. They would like it if you reached the Fourth Round of the Carabao Cup, however this is not as important. As you can see their long term ambitions are not really too farfetched. They basically want the team to rise back to where they were under David Moyes. But this is FM, we can do better than that. -
  8. Good luck if you decide to go with it. A lot of the players that I actually recommended to keep aren't that flash either, to be honest, or at least they tend to under perform. There's just no point in trying to overhaul the entire squad in one go. I think with Marco Silva's possible sacking soon I might do an Everton guide as well while I'm waiting for the patch to fix the game crashes as they always seem to under perform in FM as in real life.
  9. That concludes my short guide on Watford. I hope you enjoyed it and were able to pick up some tips and implement them into your game. Please share how you go with the Hornets as I really feel they're an interesting team to manage given their current real life situation. If you enjoyed my guide and would like to see something similar for another team please feel free to leave suggestions. I would prefer if they were Premier League teams as that is the division I feel most comfortable in. Thank you for reading!
  10. Watford Football Club Transfer Market:- Watford begin with another player already on the way - yet another striker in João Pedro - who will arrive in the January transfer window. He will be 18 by the time he reaches Vicarage Road and has good potential. He has the ability to play on either wing as well so more training in those areas to increase his versatility would be welcome. However compared to the other players at the club I feel as though he isn't quite as suited for the style of football being played. Therefore I would recommend developing him and then selling him for a profit, fulfilling one of the board's wishes. Transfers Out:- Dimitri Foulquier to Al-Ahli for £4.5M Daryl Janmaat to Burnley for £10M + Watford paying £6.5K P/W in wages Marvin Zeegelaar on loan to Huddersfield for £235Kp/m + plus his £20K wages paid for + a mandatory fee of £1.9M after 20 matches Adrian Mariappa to Al-Ahli for £3.2M José Holebas to Al-Duhail for £875K Daniel Bachmann to Seattle for £1.3M Sebastian Prödl on loan to Swansea with them paying £31.5K out of £45K p/w and an optional fee of £3.7M In total I sold six defenders and 1 goalkeeper. Just these transfers alone increased the transfer budget by almost £20M and added around £150K P/W to the wage budget. After these transfers, however, my once bloated defensive stocks were now in need of reinforcement. All of these sales were made before I signed a single player, ensuring I didn't create an overabundance of a certain type of player. Transfers In:- Starting with the DC position and I easily could've waited 28 days and recalled Ben Wilmot from his loan at Swansea. I chose to wait, however, and allow the youngster to develop. I looked at Mainz' Moussa Niakhaté (available for around £11M), Hamburg's Rick van Drongelen (available for around £6M), FC Red Bull Salzburg's Jérôme Onguéné (club not interested in selling) before deciding on signing Rangers' Connor Goldson for £10M pounds. Goldson, whilst older than the other players I mentioned, has the bonus of being around the same ability as your starting centre-backs so when he steps in there shouldn't be too much worry. On top of that he qualifies as an English homegrown player, something that will become important if Watford wish to compete in Europe again. Next came the left-back position. After being rejected by free agent Fábio Coentrão and finding that most young prospects cost far too much I decided that Adam Masina would be a capable enough starting left-back for this season. Instead I brought in young Norwegian Fredrik André Bjørkan from Bodø/Glimt for £1.3M. While he is never going to set the world on fire I believe he will develop into a reliable backup option and he can also operate anywhere on the left flank as well as the right (to a lesser extent). Now for the position where I had no depth at all, right-back. I identified three targets early on - Czech Pavel Kaderabek, Frenchman Kévin Malcuit and my final choice Thomas Meunier from PSG for £4M. Coming from PSG his wage demands were on the higher side at around £60K P/W however I believe the 27 year-old can operate as the first choice right-back for at least 2-3 seasons. There was still a lack of depth at right back and despite my attempts to bring in a young prospect to develop, nothing eventuated as their clubs were simply asking for too much money. This is an area I will look into more come the January transfer window. For now Craig Dawson and Fredrik André Bjørkan can play there in a pinch, though Dawson is one of the top central defenders at the club and as such will spend most of his time there. Somewhat ironically the last area of the squad that needed strengthening was the position in which the club has the most depth - striker. The club has many strikers - out on loan. In your fist time you have Troy Deeney, who is ageing and injured for 3 months, and Andre Gray who is not Premier League material. I initially considered bringing ex-Man Utd striker Chicharito to the club on loan, however I decided I wanted a player I could potentially sell for profit later on. I looked into players such as Rangers' Alfredo Morelos, Celtic's Odsonne Edouard and Genoa's Michael Kouamé, however all of these were in the £20M+ range. Eventually I settled on FC Porto's 27 year-old Cameroonion striker Vincent Aboubakar, who I was able to bring in for just £8.5M - his exact value. Aboubakar will be a more than capable starting striker - he'll even challenge Troy Deeney for the number 1 spot on his return from injury. Because of all the strikers that the club has out on loan, I only intend to keep Aboubakar for a season or two before selling him off for profit to make way for the more talented youngsters. After this I was left with around £10M in the transfer budget and £28K P/W in the wage budget. After looking at a few players such as Simon Tibbling, Ronaldo Vieira and Erick Gutierrez to bolster my midfield stocks, I decided that the club could do without and the money would be better saved until January after seeing how the club performs. After these signings my starting XI looked like this:- These transfers and the players I looked at were merely suggestions for you to use. I strongly recommend following my clean out of the defensive line and starting to build it again. In the future the club will require more depth at right-back. Other concerns are a replacement for Gerard Deulofeu if he is snatched away by another club. Other than that I believe that in the immediate future your money should go into your defensive line, looking for replacements for Dawson and Cathcart. While the two are perfectly capable, if you wish to go on and play in Europe you will need an upgrade. Pontus Dahlberg is a good 'keeper for the future but you may need to sign someone else while he develops.
  11. Watford Football Club Tactical Analysis:- Your recommended formation of 5-3-2 is completely wrong. While it suits the players at your club (despite the lack of striker depth) it does not suit your star player Gerard Deulofeu. As a result I would recommend any formation that has wingers in it. I will outline the three tactics I chose to go with below. I have also included what your First XI should look like with your starting squad. You will notice that the tactics are "vanilla" I've done little except change a few player roles from the presets - however I adjust and adapt for each game. Tactic A (For general use):- This is your go to tactic for all occasions. It is a tactic that I have had much success with over a number of games, most notably in my Leicester CIty career. Starting at the back Ben Foster plays as a standard GK, he isn't suited to the sweeper keeper role and until you have someone who is I would advise against it. Cathcart and Dawson provide a strong pairing in the centre of defence. I have chosen to have both players as BPD(D) however I have had success with changing one to a CD(C) as well. On the left, Masina will play in a supporting wing-back role to help out Roberto Pereyra when he cuts in from the left wing. On the right Daryl Janmaat is an attacking wing-back to really help focus the attack down the right hand side where you are strongest. Etienne Capoue sits ahead of the defenders as a DLP(D). He will be the midfield general who will distribute the ball to your two hard-working box-to-box midfielders in Abdoulaye Doucouré and Nathaniel Chalobah. I like to use two BBM, however you can go with one and have another in another role, probably an advanced playmaker (on support). On the wings Deulofeu is set as an attacking winger on the right and Pereyra as an attacking inverted winger on the left so he can cut in and use his dominant foot. When he cuts in Masina will provide cover on the left. Finally upfront I have chosen to go with an attacking deep lying forward. I have chosen this because your midfielders are good enough that they could outscore your strikers so having a player upfront looking to spread the ball to his teammates is ideal. Tactic B (For use against stronger teams):- A basically identical tactic however everyone is eased off of attacking duties except for Deulofeu. This is played in a balanced Tiki-Taka style in an effort to keep the ball off of your stronger opposition and try to work it forward for a goal. I would recommend using this against sides like Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal and Spurs, however if you are playing at home I think it is worth starting the game on the previous tactic to see if you can score early. Tactic C (For use when attack is a priority):- This tactic shifts the DLP(D) to the centre of midfield alongside a single BBM and pushes another player into the attacking midfield section of the ground with an AP(S) duty. Using this tactic allows Pereyra to move across into the middle, making way for Sarr, Welbeck or Success. I would recommend use of this tactic against teams you expect to crush or when you desperately need a goal. In conclusion I feel as though these three tactics will serve Watford well. There will be some player retraining required to get them used to their new roles but other than that in my experience they seem to take to it fairly quickly. Next up I will go through some transfer advice.
  12. Watford Football Club Squad Analysis:- Watford have a squad with a lot of dead wood in it - and when I say a lot I mean a lot. There are sweeping changes needed as there are players on big contracts that don't deserve the money and an overabundance of defenders that aren't needed. When you begin the game you will be told that your best formation is a 5-3-2 with wing-backs - this is incorrect. Your best formation limits your best player in Gerard Deulofeu - he has nowhere to play. As such this guide will take into account tactical changes that are to be covered later. Goalkeepers:- Ben Foster (36) is without a doubt your first choice goalkeeper. Heurelho Gomes (38) provides an able backup, but with a year remaining on his contract he will likely retire at the end of the season. Daniel Bachmann is only 24 but doesn't look like being a fantastic prospect in the future and the opportunity to promote the already capped Pontus Dahlberg to the main squad to learn from Foster and Gomes is too good of an opportunity to pass up. This area of the squad will need strengthening in the future. Dahlberg can easily go beyond Foster's current ability but there are doubts over whether he will be a top level 'keeper if Watford get into Europe. VERDICT: Keep Foster, Gomes. Promote Dahlberg. Sell Bachmann Defenders:- Arguments could be made that the forward line is the weakest part of the squad with Troy Deeney injured but I strongly disagree. The defence is a shambles. There are players that simply are not good enough at Premier League level being paid top dollar and players that are suited to the 5-3-2 formation which doesn't suit the club. On top of that a lot of them are getting old. A major overhaul is required here - there is not a single defender that I have marked down to keep in the long run. Dawson has just arrived and he and Cathcart should form your initial central defensive pairing. VERDICT: Keep Dawson, Masina, Cathcart, Femenia, Kabasele, Femenia. Sell Janmaat, Prödl, Mariappa, Holebas, Zeegelaar & Foulquier. Note: I had to pay around £10K P/W to get rid of Janmaat and Prödl was loaned out with an option to buy but it was worth it to clear up wage money. Midfielders:- This is one area of the squad where major upheaval isn't required. Doucouré, Chalobah and Capoue are fine for the moment - note that Capoue will require replacing as he is getting older. Cleverley, Hughes & Quina provide reliable backup. I included Roberto Pereyra here because he is so versatile but he will play mainly on the left wing. VERDICT: Keep Chalobah, Doucouré, Hughes, Quina, Pereyra. Keep (For now) Capoue & Cleverley. Wingers:- Probably the strongest area of the squad with an if - if you can hold onto Gerard Deulofeu. As previously mentioned Roberto Pereyra will also be included in this group and he and Deulofeu should be your main wingers. Welbeck provides alright support when he returns from injury, though he is injury prone. Success is an able backup who has potential, as is Sarr who is has the best potential of the two. Sarr also adds the bonus of being equally capable on either flank. Ken Sema is on loan to sister club Udinese but looks to be little more than a squad player and there are others out on loan that can do it better than he can. VERDICT: Keep Deulofeu, Success, Sarr. Keep (For now) Welbeck & Sema. Forwards:- Watford only have two natural options upfront - Troy Deeney who is ageing and declining, and Andre Gray who is a Championship player at best. Due to lack of funds there isn't much you can do in the way of bolstering the forward line but the club is stacked with forwards out on loan who can replace Gray in season 2. VERDICT: Keep Deeney (club icon, keep him until retirement - use as impact sub as he ages). Keep (For now) Gray. Best of the Rest:- When managing Watford the words "work permit" are poison to your ears. The club has 22 players out on loan and of that 22 a staggering 8 of them do not have work permits to play in England. This severely limits what you can do as outside of these players there isn't a lot of quality in the youth ranks. Goalkeeper wise as previously mentioned Pontus Dahlberg should be promoted (but made available for U23's). James Hoskins is 18 years old and could potentially develop into a backup 'keeper used to fill home grown player quotas. In defence there is Pervis Estupiñán who could be an able backup left-back if you can get a work permit for him. Marc Navarro is on loan at Leganés and has a future fee of £2.58M in place, though he also could be an able deputy right-back. Jorge Segura doesn't have a work permit and doesn't look like it will be worth keeping him around. Ben Wilmot is on loan at Swansea - you could recall him to bolster your defence but I feel he would benefit from more playing time on loan. Moving to the midfield and Tom Dele-Bashiru could develop into a squad player but nothing more. Sonny Lo-Everton is a 16 year-old midfielder who could develop into a squad player eventually. Kaylen Hinds can play as an AMC or ST but lacks real potential. Matheus looks like he could be a good squad option if you choose to cash in on Isaac Success but he is without a work permit. Going to the forward line and this is where Watford have the most options. Juan "Cucho" Hernández has the potential to be a top Premier League striker but wait - no work permit. Hold onto him though as I believe it'll be worth the wait. Next is the (non-bitey) Luis Suárez. He could also be a starting player in the future but doesn't look as good as Cucho, though he has Spanish as a second nationality and therefore has a work permit. Filip Stuparevic is a 18 year-old striker who could develop into a solid backup/cup starter in a few years time. Adalberto Peñaranda could rival Cucho for your starting striker position and is also comfortable on the left wing. He also has a current work permit. Finally young Ryan Cassidy is 18 years old and much like the previous players could prove to be a solid squad/cup striker. VERDICT: Out of all the players needing work permits, Cucho is the one to keep. The others leaving is no big loss. The main players to keep for me are Dahlberg, Hoskins, Wilmot, Cucho, Suárez, Stuparevic, Peñaranda and Cassidy. Yes I realise this overloads you with attackers but retraining them as wingers will help and they can help bring in transfer funds in the future after they've developed more. Tomorrow I will head into some tactical info, followed up by some suggested transfer signings to finish this guide off.
  13. Watford Football Club 2019/2020 Squad:- Goalkeepers:- 1. Heurelho Gomes 26. Ben Foster 35. Daniel Bachmann Defenders:- 2. Daryl Janmaat 4. Craig Dawson 5. Sebastian Prödl 6. Adrian Mariappa (VC) 11. Adam Masina 15. Craig Cathcart 21. Kiko Femenía 25. José Holebas 27. Christian Kabasele 32. Marvin Zeegelaar 36. Dimitri Foulquier Midfielders:- 8. Tom Cleverley 14. Nathaniel Chalobah 16. Abdoulaye Doucouré 19. Will Hughes 20. Domingos Quina + Out for 10 days-3 weeks with a dislocated shoulder 29. Etienne Capoue 37. Roberto Pereyra Wingers:- 7. Gerard Deulofeu 10. Danny Welbeck + Out for 7 weeks-3 months with a broken ankle 22. Isaac Success 23. Ismaïla Sarr Ken Sema (on loan at Udinese) Forwards:- 9. Troy Deeney (C) + Out for 4-6 months with damaged knee cartilage 18. Andre Gray Best of the Rest:- 30. Pontus Dahlberg (GK) James Hoskins (GK) Pervis Estupiñán (DL, ML, AML) (On loan at Osasuna / No work permit) Marc Navarro (DR, RWB, AMR) (On loan at Leganés / Optional future fee of £2.58M) Jorge Segura (DC) (On loan at Atlas / No work permit) Ben Wilmot (DC) (On loan at Swansea) Tom Dele-Bashiru (MC) Sonny-Lo Everton (MC, AMC) Kaylen Hinds (AMC ST) Matheus (ML, AML, ST) (On loan at Mirandés / No work permit) Juan "Cucho" Hernández (ST, AMC) (On loan at Mallorca / No work permit) Luis Suárez (ST) (On loan at Real Zaragoza) Filip Stuparevic (ST) (On loan at Příbram) Adalberto Peñaranda (ST, AML) (On loan at Eupen) Ryan Cassidy (ST) -
  14. WATFORD FOOTBALL CLUB Introduction - Why play as Watford?:- The 2019/2020 season has gotten off to a horrendous start for Watford with them sacking manager Quique Sánchez Flores after his second stint in charge of the club lasted only a matter of months. As such, the club represents a good challenge for players in FM. Watford definitely possess good players, however they also carry a lot of dead weight, which I'll touch on later. Being owned by the Pozzo's they have first rights on any player being sold from Udinese and also have a very, very large squad of players with many of them out on loan. The challenge for the player lies within being able to move the older players on, retain younger players that are actually good, recruit new younger players AND keep within budget whilst trying to finish in the mid-table of the Premier League. With a weak squad it is definitely a challenge, however as I will outline later on it is not impossible. First some history on the Hornets, though since you will be taking charge of the club feel free to ignore the part about this season under Javi Gracia and Quique Sánchez Flores. History:- The Watford Football Club was founded in 1898 with the amalgamation of West Herts and Watford St. Mary's, though the club recognises its founding as 1881. Watford joined the Football League in 1920 and after moving around they finally settled into a home at Vicarage Road in 1922. Perhaps Watford's most notable period was during Graham Taylor's 10 year managerial stint from 1977 to 1987 that saw the club rise from the Fourth to the First Division, even finishing second in the league in 1982/1983 which led to the Hornets competing int he UEFA Cup the following season. Watford also lost 2-0 to Everton in the 1984 FA Cup Final. After Taylor left the club they fell down to the Second Division (now the 3rd tier of football with the creation of the Premier League) before Taylor returned for a second stint from 1997 until his retirement in 2001 which saw the club secure back to back promotions after winning the Second Division in 1997/1998 and winning the First Division play-offs in 1998/1999. Watford only lasted in the Premier League for a single season, however, with the club finished on the bottom of the table. Taylor stayed on for one more season before he retired and was replaced by Gianluca Vialli. During the Italian's time at the club wage bills rose dramatically - especially for a club who were languishing in the mid-table of the First Division. Vialli only lasted a season, largely in part to the aforementioned wage issues leading to disputes with the club's board and was replaced by Ray Lewington. Watford faced administration in 2002/2003 as their financial situation was precarious to say the least. Players and staff agreed to a wage deferral to help the club's cash flow and reaching the FA Cup semi-final provided some much needed funds. The financial constraints were too much, however, with a large number of players released in the summer. The 2003/2004 season saw the Hornets finish 16th with a much weaker squad and the following season started promising with the team initially in the upper half of the (now renamed) Championship. Poor form came to the club and they dropped to the relegation zone leading to Lewington's sacking in March of 2005. Aidy Boothroyd succeeded him and led the club out of the relegation zone ending the season in 18th. The next season was a complete turn around as Boothroyd led Watford to finish 3rd, defeating Leeds United 3-0 in the play-offs to gain promotion to the Premier League once again. While Watford managed to reach the Fa Cup semi-finals again, they also finished bottom of the league winning only 5 games. Boothroyd continued with the club until a few months into the 2008/2009 season when he left the club by mutual consent with Watford sitting 21st in the Championship table. Irishman Brendan Rodgers had a brief cameo appearance as manager leading the team to 13th on the table before departing to Reading at the end of the season. Malky Mackay then took charge. Watford continued to struggle financially and once again came close to administration. Mackay left to manage Cardiff City in June 2011 after achieving nothing of note. His replacement Sean Dyche led Watford to their highest league position in 4 years but was controversially dismissed in July 2012 and replaced by former Italian international and Chelsea icon Gianfranco Zola following the Pozzo family's purchase of the club. With financial woes behind them Watford managed to finish 3rd in the Championship in 2012/2013, losing in the play-off final to Crystal Palace 1-0. The next season Zola was replaced by Giuseppe Sannino and finished in 13th. Sannino resigned before the new season and was replaced by Óscar García who shortly after resigned for health reasons. Billy McKinlay was the next man in charge and despite getting 4 points out of 6 under his leadership he was replaced just 8 days into his tenure by Serbian Slaviša Jokanović. Under Jokanović Watford won promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2014/2015 season finishing 2nd in the Championship. Oddly Jokanović's contract was not renewed by Watford and he was replaced by Spaniard Quique Sánchez Flores. In their first season back in the top flight they finished 13th and reached the FA Cup semi-finals again. Towards the end of the season Sánchez Flores utilised a clause in his contract that allowed him to break his contract as he felt that he and the owners did not share the same point of view about the season. Italian Walter Mazzarri signed next. The following season Watford just beat the drop finishing 17th with Mazzarri resigning after just a single season in charge. He was replaced by Marco Silva who in turn was sacked six months later and replaced by Javi Gracia in January 2018. Gracia was sacked on the 7th of September 2019, replaced by the returning Sánchez Flores, who in turn was sacked on the 1st of December 2019 with the club on the bottom of the Premier League tale. During the Pozzo's ownership of the team significant money has been spent with Vicarage Road's main stand being demolished and replaced by the new Sir Elton John Stand. The Pozzo's also own Udinese Calcio in the Italian Serie A and owned Spanish La Liga side Granada CF until June 2016. This allowed for a lot of freedom of movement of players between all three clubs and allowed Watford to have more players on their books who were loaned out to further their development, and in some cases seek work permits. - Watford Football Club 2019/2020 Season:- Home Ground: Vicarage Road (Capacity: 21,250) Training Facilities: London Colney, St. Albans -Suberb training facilities -Excellent data analysis facilities -Great youth facilities -Adequate academy coaching -Good youth recruitment Media Prediction: 11th Transfer Budget: £15M Wage Budget: £1,251,238 p/w (£41.18K p/w available) - Season Thoughts:- As you can see above the board expects you to finish in the mid-table which is something that should be easily doable. They also expect the team to reach the FA Cup Fifth Round, the Carabao Cup Fourth Round and next season to finish in the top half of the table, with the following years to work towards being recognised as 'the best of the rest'. The board also requires you to work within your wage budget and desires the signing of young players to develop for profit, which is something that Watford are doing in real life. In addition they would prefer if you do not sign players over the age of 32, desire you to sign players under the age of 23 that are first team ready, and desire you to sign players under the age of 21 for the future. All of these are achievable. £15M in the transfer budget is a tidy sum which can be added to by further player sales, something I'll touch on more later. The wage budget only has around £40K p/w spare which in the Premier League is not a lot, so again shifting high earners that aren't worth it is a huge priority. -
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