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FM12 Arsenal Thread - Life after Cesc


llama3

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Hi,

I was hoping someone could shed some light on what I might be able to ask for Arshavin after the first season (So, summer 2012). He has been playing great so far, but I only use the AMC slot and Affelay (picked him up at the start) seems to be more than capable of replacing him with Vela providing backup in season 2, potentially Arteta might move up a line to AMC and let Wilshere play MC..

I was also wondering whether there are any talented English 16/17 year olds at the start of the game worth taking a look at. I've currently signed a 16 year old striker from Denmark and two midfield players from Austria and Spain, but would really like to get a bit of English.

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you can usually get around the 10million mark for arshavin... give or take a few million..

as for english/british...

zele ismail

jamal lascelles

ross barkley

wilfried zaha

jack robinson

nathan redmond

matthew pearson

devante cole

butland

chalobah

harry maguire

adam campbell

robbie cotton

jamal blackman

robert hall

off the top of my head

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After a while out with an injury picked up in the reserves at the start of the season I was finally able to give Chamberlain his senior debut against Stoke in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final.

The first leg at the Britannia had ended in a 0-0 stalemate (luckily for us as we were gash) and in the first half things looked to be going the same way with little attacking verve from either team. Luckily we broke the deadlock late in the half with a Moussa Sow goal (which was bit of a scrambled poachers effort, but that's what we bought him for)

During the break I gave the squad a bit of a toasting, but told Chamberlain that there was no pressure on him in this game, just go out there and do your thing.

40 seconds in to the second half he cuts in from the right wing and skelps a shots into the top corner past Sorensen. He went on to grab another as we coasted to a 5-0 win over Stoke and picked himself up his first MoM award too.

That'll do Ox, that'll do

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Struggling to get my team scoring goals - Brought in Wilfried, Shaquiri, Niang and more in the Summer but have been persevering with Chamack who gets the odd goal and Van Persie who is always injured, been rotating them in various loan striker systems to try create chances. Any suggestions?

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Arsenal Season Review 2012/13

It has been a bit of a mixed bag for Arsenal in my second season at manager at the Emirates.

League Cup

We were drawn at home to West Brom and West Ham in the 3rd and 4th rounds of the League Cup, winning 1-0 and 5-0.

That set us up with a quarter final at Stamford Bridge. I, against my better judgement, stuck with my policy of resting the regular starters. We played very well but eventually lost 2-1 after extra time courtesy of a pair of Torres goals (he eventually ended up with 48 goals in the season).

So, another cup out the window.

FA Cup

We had a quite soft FA Cup run with wins over Colchester, Tranmere, Sunderland, Fulham and Derby.

That meant we faced an FA Cup final against Chelsea (who were now being managed by a certain Jose Mourinho) at Wembley Stadium.

chelseavarsenalsplitvie.jpg

We just could not hit a barn door. Arteta blazed a penalty over, Cavani, who had been superb in his first season missed two one-on-one's. It was immensely disappointing...I can only imagine Jose's celebrations.

Champions League

We were drawn in what looked a quite comfortable group with Sparta Prague, Zenit and Leverkusen. But a couple of harsh results meant we scraped through in second place courtesy of a 4-1 win at Prague in our last game.

We then drew Bayern in the second round and I feared the worst. We won the first league at the Emirates by 2-1 and headed to Munich in a reasonable position, although I was concerned about the away goal. We were 2-0 down after an hour and were heading out. Howver, on 89 minutes Vermaelen nodded in a corner to send the game to extra time. I was chuffed.

Bayern again took the lead on 114 minutes through Kroos and we were heading out...until the substitute Chamakh tapped in on 121 minutes and we were through on away goals!

But, we lost in the next round to Man City, 3-2 on aggregate. Again, our inability to finish off other sides in the tight games cost us.

Premier League

We had been top all season and boasted a 9 point lead with 10 games to go. Although City did have a game in hand.

We drew 2-2 at Anfield and then faced Chelsea at home. In a complete mirror of the FA Cup final, we couldn't hit a barn door and lost to a 93rd minute goal from Jimmy Briand.

City won their game in hand and then I travelled to the Etihad needing to maintain our slender lead... We didn't and lost 1-0 thanks to a Sergio Aguero 30 yard screamer. I was starting to get very stressed and this meant if City won their remaining games they would take the title on goal difference. Unless I could manage a 8 goal swing in the last 3 fixtures.

City won at home to Stoke, I beat Wolves. City then faced West Brom in their penultimate match of the season and their final away game. My only chance of retaining the title rested on the Baggies shoulders. They had lost 6-0 at the Etihad earlier that season...

westbromvmancityinforma.png

A massive get out of jail for me. I watched the highlights in astonishment, West Brom were utterly clinical and had given us a wonderful opportunity.

If we could win at Hull (who were 1 point above relegation) we would have retained our Premier League title...

It wasn't even close, we won 4-0 and were champions again!

englishpremierdivisionou.png

So, still no cup wins but Arsenal had retained their Premier League title!

It will be another busy summer on the transfer front and we need a little bit of extra quality in the final third...

Welcome any thoughts!!

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Arsenal season one and have brought in Badeji, Khederia, Montoya and Belehanda. Haven't won anything and probably won't and sitting comfortably in second with no chance of catching Man U. Looking to the future so I am chasing newgens any recommendations on how to set up my scouts as the changes have thrown me.

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May update

Champions League Semi-Final 1st leg – BARCELONA 1-1 ARSENAL - Fabregas 72 - Gibbs 8

Astonishing first leg. I played 6 defenders with Gibbs and Vrsaljko coming into misfiled as defensive wingers. Arsenal’s only attack of the half saw Gibbs score his fist of the season. After that it was backs to the wall and Barca deserved their equaliser through some guy called Fabregas. Ramsey should’ve then won the game late on as I brought on Walcott and Schurrle to be a little more attacking but he fluffed it wide. Sagna picked up a knock and would miss the second leg. Vermaelen will be suspended.

Premier League – ARSENAL 3-0 BLACKBURN – Park 4 38 Schurrle 70 -

Figueroa 32

We needed an easy game before the second leg and we got it. Blackburn weren’t helped by the sending off. We had chance after chance after chance. But three will do nicely. Both the Manchetser clubs won biut spurs lost 2-3 at Bolton to effectively kill their fading title hopes. United’s will be killed if we beat Birmingham.

Champions League Semi-Final 1st leg – ARSENAL 1-1AET BARCELONA - Van Persie 23 - Messi 4

Barcelona win 4-3 on penalties

Utter heartbreak. For some reason despite an excellent first leg result I always feared we would go out by some method. Messi who did little else for the rest of the game put Barca ahead after just 4 minutes. Fearing a second goal would kill the game I backed off and was very relieved when Van Peresie struck an equaliser. After that it was an absolute bombardment by Arsenal. So many chances with goal machine Park the most culpable. Barcelona did not have a shot for the entire second half not the first half of the resulting extra time. It was incredible, pleasing and frustrating that we managed 30 attempts. In the end it went to a shootout and the normally reliable takers let me down. I should be writing about a fabulous win with the chance of a quadruple still very much alive. Not to be.

Van Persie Messi

Wilshere Pique

Baines Adriano

Schurrle Puyol

Chamackh Pedro

http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/3135/arsbart.jpg

Champions League Semi-Final 2nd leg review

Manchester City beat Milan 1-0 at Etihad to reach the final. Frankly I couldn’t care less.

Premier League – BIRMINGHAM CITY 0-2 ARSENAL

With the Fa Cup final bizarrely taking place on the Wednesday I rested most of the key players. It meant rare opportunities for Bartley and Lansbury while Fierro made an appearance on the bench. It was Chamakh and Mertersacker that got the goals. Chamackh picked up an injury and would miss the Cup Final and Tottenham. The league became a two horse race. A win against Tottenham at the Emirates will secure the title.

FA Cup Final – CHELSEA 1-3 ARSENAL – Lukaku 24 – Ramsey 19 Walcott 34 85

Having beaten Chelsea in the previous 3 matches this season I was full confident of adding a fourth. The opening stages were cagey with Chelsea eager to stay in the game for as long as possible. Ramsey, who’s only 3 goals all season had come for Wales gave us the lead. Lukaku then equalised against the run of play as Arsenal pushed for a second. It came 10 minutes later we started to flex our muscle and should’ve added to the advantage. In the second half Chelsea tried to get back in it but also had to survive heavy pressure and eventually succumbed to Walcott on the break. A great win.

Seeing as my images never post I’ll have to do this manually

CHELSEA: Courtois Luiz Terry © Alex Malouda (Cole 46) Ramires Lampard Inler (Ivanovic 52) Lukaku Young (Torres 46) Drogba

Subs not used Turnbull Mikel Piazon Vuckojevic

ARSENAL: Adler Baines Vrsaljko Vermaelen Koscielny Schurrle (Vertonghen 73) Wilshere (Chamberlain 87) Ramsey Song Van Persie Walcott

Subs not used Szczesny Gibbs Gervinho Fierro Park

Man of the Match Theo Walcott

Match Stats – Shots - 11 18

Shots on Target – 4 9

Possession - 52 48

Corners - 5 4

Fouls - 17 16

Y Cards - 2 4

Average rating - 6.54 7.31

Best Player - Lukaku 7.9 Walcott 8.8

Premier League – ARSENAL 6-0 TOTTENHAM – Van Persie 29 65 Vrsaljko 48 Park 58 Wilshere 76 Song 89 – El Hamdaoui 23

What a way to win it!! Hamming Spurs 6-0 was just about the perfect way to win the league. To be fair to them the game was pretty even until El Hamdaoui was sent off for a second yellow card. After that the floodgates opened. Van Persie should’ve had 3 or 4. Nice to see Vrsaljko get a goal. He’s currently unhappy with his contract so its good to see he’s still putting in the performances. Overall obviously a great result. Hope it echoes in real life!

Premier League – MANCHESTER UNITED 3-2 ARSENAL – Vermaelen o.g 2 Rooney 43 88pen – Park 54 Schurrle 62

The fixture computer wanted a repeat of Anfield 89 but it didn’t happen as United never got close and we won it with the game to spare. The game itself was a cracker. 0-2 down at half-time was a bit frustrating. The game had been pretty balanced just United were more clinical. We managed to pull it back to 2-2 with all the strength of champions only to be let down by a soft penalty at the end. On another day we would’ve won but I wasn’t too bothered.

So that concludes the campaign. Much closer than the first. Plenty to look forward to. Manchester city beat Barcelona again to win the Champions League. Hamsik getting the only goal on 34 minutes.

I’ll leave the stats until the full end of season review but just some May things to tie up.

GAME OF THE MONTH

A great game. Full credit to Bolton for upsetting the form book.

BOLTON WANDERERS 3-2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Muamba 23 N’Gog 29 Evans 39 /-/ Huddlestone 8 Modric 89

Shots 11 - 17

On Ta 5 - 7

Poss 46 - 54

PLAYER OF THE MONTH – Alex Song

Getting harder by every coming month. This month I’m giving it to Alex Song for sheer consistency.

7.2

8.5(1)

7.5

6.9

6.9

7.8

6.9

STAT OF THE MONTH

Reserves and Under 18’s

There’s never much coverage about the youth teams so a quick catch up on how they are getting on.

Reserves

The reserves had an excellent season and managed to finish in second place. Chelsea with much more experience were only top by 3 points. Ricardo Kishna was the stand out player but Carlos Fierro led the way with 6 goals.Jacabo Prez made the most appearances with 18. In the head to head clashes arsenal and Chelsea shared home wins. Arsenal winning 3-2 and Chelsea 3-0.

Under 18’s

The Under 18’s won their league by 12 points. Winning 20 of the 24 games they played hitting 63 goals and conceding 23. Karl Welch hit 11 goals and hopefully will be pushing for reserves and league cup next season. Highlights of the season included a 2-1 away win at Chelsea and a 6-0 thumping of QPR. Despite beating them in both league games the under 18’s were knocked out by brentford in the 2nd round of the cup.

Season review tomorrow or Sunday

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looking forward to a new arsenal game after the january updates, i hope chambo gets upgraded stat wise a little.....definitely going to look at a 4 4 2 with a new left winger and striekr possibly

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Season Update - 2011/12 - January & February - Beware the ides of March?

Despite remaining unbeaten in the league this has become a slightly worrying period for us, with a couple of very annoying results you'll see below and some major injury concerns developing.

By the end of February I've lost both first team right backs for up to two months, (Sagna picking up a hernia injury in training and Uchida crocked on international duty). Song and Gibbs could be out for a month, possibly two after both were also injured on international duty (though at least I now have a couple of experienced left backs ahead of Gibbs) and RVP limped out of his latest injury comeback toward the end of Feb.

Pleasingly Jack Wilshere returned to full training in February, however less pleasingly under a week after returning to training he complained to me about his lack of first team action :mad: (Have had similar problems on other saves with key players unrealistically bitching about 1st team football right after a long injury lay off)

Wheeling and Dealing

As I mentioned earlier I used the money offered by the board to bring in some reinforcements during the January window, and quickly wrapped up deals for Sevilla's Diego Perotti to add an extra winger to the squad, and Aly Cissokho arrived from Lyon for £10 million to be our 1st choice left back.

I tried a couple of moves for another striker but missed out on Sigporsson from Ajax and wasn't willing to pay the fees demanded for other options as the player would most likely be arriving to be third choice behind Van Persie and Sow. The other area I wanted to strengthen in was midfield, where I wanted another hard working, tough tackling player to provide cover/competition to Song (as both Frimpong and Coquelin were already injured). In the end I agreed a deal with Udinese for Kwadwo Asamoah on the last day of the transfer window. (And of course completely forgot he'd still be absent at the Cup of Nations :rolleyes:, he eventually made his debut in the Champions League toward the end of Feb).

Marouane Chamakh left to join Liverpool in a deal mentioned in the earlier update, and surprisingly Real Madrid put in a £7.5 million bid for Ryo Miyaichi which I decided to accept. (The originally offered just offer £3 million and I decided to ask them for the £7.5 mill just to see what they'd do). Abou Diaby and Park Chu-Young both left for Germany on loan deals, Diaby joining Werder Bremen and Park joining Bayern.

The Results

arsenalfixturesfixtures.png

While there were some very pleasing results and individual performances, 2 results put a major dampner on things. Knocked out of the FA Cup in the 4th round by a late, late Berbatov goal which I was fairly sanguine about, the game was at Old Trafford after all and we'd run them very close. I was more annoyed when a couple weeks later we let Chelsea grab a very undeserved draw, with over 60% of possession we were horribly wasteful with our shooting.

More upset followed as we blew the chance to secure the first silverware of the season, 2 mistakes by Vermaelen and Szczesny allowed Swansea to drag the final to extra-time and then the lottery that followed. Scott Sinclair scored their first equaliser in the 3rd minute of injury time after a Vermaelens slip to take the match into extra time. Then after Vermaelen redeemed himself by scoring in the 1st minute of extra time, Sinclair popped up again after Szczesny dropped a corner to stab home their second leveller on 116 minutes. Theo then missed the vital 5th penalty to send Swansea home happy.

We now face a tough month ahead in March with difficult away matches to Man City and Liverpool and the 2 Manchester clubs are poised only a solitary point behind us in the league as it stands. Should we make it through March reasonably intact we have a theoretically easy run in during April/May apart from the final day visit of Man Utd.

Fingers Crossed.

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What is the best cm role for Wilshere?

I would say as a advanced playmaker, however he will need room to operate effectively in. If you play with an Am already then have him deep lying. He is incredibly creative so make sure wherever he is that he is a focal point of your squad. Whether you play aa short passing game and have him as playmaker or play through the middle with him the outlet. Just trial and error him. I very rarely get over a 7.5 from him on my save but he puts in 4 / 5 key passes and generally 1 - 2 assists a game.

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I would say as a advanced playmaker, however he will need room to operate effectively in. If you play with an Am already then have him deep lying. He is incredibly creative so make sure wherever he is that he is a focal point of your squad. Whether you play aa short passing game and have him as playmaker or play through the middle with him the outlet. Just trial and error him. I very rarely get over a 7.5 from him on my save but he puts in 4 / 5 key passes and generally 1 - 2 assists a game.

I play with a flat midfield 3. If he is the most attacking player he won't be the playmaker as it stands. Or he can be the playmaker but I have Badeji and Arteta in that role.

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I would say as a advanced playmaker, however he will need room to operate effectively in. If you play with an Am already then have him deep lying. He is incredibly creative so make sure wherever he is that he is a focal point of your squad. Whether you play aa short passing game and have him as playmaker or play through the middle with him the outlet. Just trial and error him. I very rarely get over a 7.5 from him on my save but he puts in 4 / 5 key passes and generally 1 - 2 assists a game.

kieran is right there, rating may not reflect how key he is for you. look at the stats too

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2012/13 SEASON REVIEW

A great way to follow up the previous season. More wins, more goals and more points. Looking back at the season it was only the last few games where I felt it was won. Man City came very close and are going to be a real force. I was delighted to retain both cups. This season’s path was easier than last’s but beating City in the semi was fantastic and of course 7-0 in the final spoke volumes for the team. The Champions League is still not breached although we came within a couple of kicks or saves of getting to the final. That will be high on my agenda.

Looking forward to the new season the beauty of things is that I still see much room for improvement. I feel we are still a couple of players short. The hardest thing is finding that balance between youth and buying players. I continue to pick up so many good youngsters that if I buy a Messi or Xavi it will stop them playing. I do however have some targets which I will pursue when I get back from my holidays in July.

The Final League Table

Arsenal P38 W29 D5 L4 GF89 GA 22 P92

Man City P38 W28 D4 L6 GF93 GA25 P88

Man United P38 W28 D4 L6 GF81 GA28 P88

Tottenham P38 W26 D4 L8 GF73 GA41 P82

Liverpool P38 W20 D13 L5 GF60 GA31 P73

Chelsea were Sixth 5 points behind Liverpool and 24 behind Arsenal. Losing 10 games didn’t help. Liverpool would’ve done much better had they not drawn 13 of theirs. Aston Villa took Seventh. Norwich, Portsmouth and surprisingly Newcastle were relegated.

Reading Hull and Wigan were all promoted. Wigan winning the play off final against Burnley

Arsenal results timeline

LWLWWWWWDDWDWWWWWWWWDWWWDWWWWWWWLWWWWL

Excellent consistency throughout the whole season. Almost the perfect home record. Over the two seasons we have won 34 of the 38 league games at home.

Home

P19 W18 D1 L0 GF53 GA7

Away

P19 W11 D4 L4 GF36 GA15

Best league Performances

1. ARSENAL 6-0 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

2. ARSENAL 3-1 MANCHESTER CITY

3. ARSENAL 3-1 LIVERPOOL

Nothing was ever going to beat hammering your greatest rivals 6-0 to win the league. The big games will always dominate these lists and The win over City finally gave us daylight at the top of the table. Having had Van Persie sent off and then vertonghen with 12 minutes still to play against Liverpool the team valiantly held on to secure the 3 points. A lot of tired legs having played United 2 days before but still managed to show the courage to hold on. No away games in the list so I would plump for Aston villa 4-0 as was an excellent performance. Also beating Chelsea 1-0 deserves an honourable mention for not allowing Drogba and co a single shot in the entire game

Worst league performances

1. WOLVES 2-1 ARSENAL

2. LIVERPOOL 2-1 ARSENAL

3. ARSENAL 0-0 BLACKPOOL

Wolves ended our seven match winning streak by catching us on an off day. As bad as we were all season. Just completely flat. The previous season we started with a 5-0 at Norwich but this time succumbed to Liverpool 2-1. Thankfully things got a lot better after that. Blackpool became to only side to get a point at the Emirates all season.

Best cup performances

1. ARSENAL 7-0 WOLVES (League Cup Final)

2. ARSENAL 6-1 AJAX (Champions league group stage)

3. ARSENAL 1-1 BARCELONA (Champions league second round 1st leg)

What can you say when you beat a team 7-0 in the final? Absolutely perfect. Ajax was a tremendous performance. Although it may be a surprising choice to chose the game we got knocked out in the fact we had 30 shots and barca managed over an hour without a single attempt speaks volumes for how well we played and how unlucky we were.

Worst cup performances

1. ARSENAL 0-0 CHELSEA (Community Shield)

2. LYON 2-0 ARSENAL (Champions league Group Stage)

3. QUEENS PARK RANGERS 2-2 ARSENAL (FA Cup 5th Round)

It’s always a good sign when you struggle to pick three bad games. The Community Shield we played quite well just couldn’t score. The annoying with Lyon was that I played a strong team. QPR gave us an unnecessary extra game. The 2-2 draw at Apoel could also have been included.

Stars of the season

Koscielny and Park were again outstanding. Both of their goal counts were incredible. Van Perise peformed much better although still not perfect. When he finally got a run in the team Chmaakh started to produce giving me a headache over whether to keep him or not. Vertonhen had an excellent season and continues to push for a starting role. Of the two newcomers. Definitely Andre Schurrle was the most impressive. Chamberlain continues to improve

Bad eggs of the season

Gervinho was awful and will likely be sold. Likewise Szczesny didn’t take the chances that were handed to him. Adler had a decent season but I expect much better save to shot ratio.

Awards

Month by month awards

Player of the month

AUG/SEP – Laurent Koscielny

OCT/NOV – Chu-Young Park

DEC/JAN – Thomas Vermaelen

FEB/MAR – Marouane Chamackh

APR/MAY – Andre Schurrle

Game of the month

AUG/SEP – Chelsea 2-3 Tottenham

OCT/NOV – Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United

DEC/JAN – Tottenham 0-3 Chelsea

FEB/MAR – Newcastle 4-0 Chelsea

APR/MAY – Bolton 3-2 Tottenham

Player ratings

All Competitions

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/6418/fm12av1.jpg

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/35/arsenalsquadplayers2.png/

goal stats of the season

Overall/League/Cup/Europe

Park – 30-15-11-4

Van Persie - 23-14-4-5

Walcott – 16-9-4-3

Schurrle – 14-10-1-3

Koscielny – 13-10-0-3

Chamackh – 13-7-4-2

Granero – 6-2-3-1

Wilshere - 5-3-1-1

Mertersaker – 5-3-2-0

Song – 5-5-0-0

Ramsey - 4-0-4-0

Chamberlain – 4-1-3-0

Vela - 3-2-1-0

Vermaelen – 3-3-0-0

Lansbury - 2-1-1-0

Gervinho -2-1-1-0

Vertonhen – 2-0-2-0

Arteta – 2-1-0-1

Gibbs – 1-1-0-0

Ghidini - 1-0-1-0

Vrsalkjo - 1-1-0-0

Baines - 1-0-0-1

TOP 3’S AND AWARDS

Goals

1. Aguero (Man City) 31

2. Rooney (Man United) 30

3. D Bent (Aston Villa) 21

-------------------------------

7. Park 15

Assists

1. Silva (Man City) 16

2. Van Persie 15

3. N’Zogbia (Aston Villa) 15

Average Rating

1. Rooney (Man United) 7.73

2. Koscielny 7.56

3. Aguero (Man City) 7.52

Footballer of the year

Rooney ( Man United)

Aguero (Man City)

Silva (Man City)

Player’s Player of the year

1. Park

2. Y Toure (Man City)

3. Koscielny

Players Young player of the year

1. Park

2. D Costa (Liverpool)

3. Kadlec (Wolves)

Manager of the year

KingLara

Mancini (Man City)

Ferguson (Man United)

Team of the year

Hart (Man City)

Clichy (Man City)

Kompany (Man City)

Koscielny

Rafael (Man United)

Schurrle

Kuyt (Liverpool)

Y Toure (Man City)

Silva (Man City)

Rooney (Man United)

Aguero (Man City)

Bench;

Adler

Criscito (Man United)

Modric (Tottenham)

Park

Suarez (Liverpool)

N’Zogbia (Aston Villa)

Ruiz (Man United)

NEXT SEASON PREVIEW

Next season will be interesting. Obviously I would like to win the Champions League but first priority will be to retain the league. I’ve added the German league so any tips on players there would be useful.

Players coming in I have plenty of options. I would still like a goalscoring midfielder as I don’t think they score enough. Chamberlain will certainly get more chances and I have a few loanees returning. Having produced little in the two seasons Gervinho will probably leave. I may also sell Mertersaker to give Bartly or an under 18 a better chance of making it. As for incoming players I failed in my bid to get Robben on a free after he broke his leg meaning I couldn’t sign him as he would fail a medical and then he went and extended his contract. It is only by a year so he may be saved fpor the year after. I’m very tempted to splash on a striker. Tevez is available for around 12, Llorente for 40 and Aguero for 40. Mario Goetze’s asking price is now being touted as 80 million.

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March definitely not turning into a good month for us, horrible 2-2 draw with Aston Villa lost us a chance to open a 4 point gap on the two Manchester clubs. We also lost our most in form player Gylfi Sigurdsson for three weeks due to twisted ankle picked up during the match.

Then the lack of a 1st team right back definitely bit us away at the Etihad with young Carl Jenkinson, then Djourou being ripped to pieces on our right flank, if Edin Dzeko had been in better form we might have lost more heavily than 2-1. As it is the result drops us to third place in the league, although only one point behind Man Utd and second placed City. One bright spot being that they still have to play each other before the end of the season, so we can hope for a feisty score draw between them with several red cards, suspensions and an injury or two :p

The only good news so far in March is the the fact that Pat Rice is very excited by the potential of one of our new youth intake players, Ernie Hughton who looks like he could be a very useful little poacher.

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From bad to worse, :( RVP tears his hamstring during the second leg of our Champs League tie with Marseille. He will have to see a specialist and is out for a minimum of 2 months.

All told this season he's only managed 8 starts and 7 appearances off the bench, scoring 2 and setting up 2.

EDIT: ohhhhhhhhhhhh great, now Bocchetti strains knee ligaments against Newcastle, out for 6 weeks......curse ye FM gods!!! (Mind you we won 5-0 so I'll stop moaning)

EDIT the 2nd: Vermaelen.....shoulder......weight training.....NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

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So Here's my dilema.

I've decided that I will buy another striker. This means I have to pick someone to buy. Here's the choices;

Tevez - Out of favour and valued at 4.9 million. Scouts reckon I'll get him for 8 million

Llorente - Would cost around 40 million

Cavani - Again around the 40 mark

Aguero - Would probably cost the same although a 40 million bid from Chelsea was rejected.

Any of the german players as they are a new league in my game?

Secret option number five is I scrap all of them and buy Gotze. Only thing with gotze is that I don't play an AMC so he would be shunted left or right.

I have around 80 million to spend. I want someone that can play alongside the other strikers I have. Which are Van Persie, Walcott, Chamakh, Park.

Any tips and ideas?

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I recently signed Goetze on my Newcastle save and his natural position is actually at AML, so you wouldn't have to worry too much about not playing with an AMC.

Out of the strikers I'd be inclined to say Cavani or Aguero purely as they're a bit younger than Llorente (though he's a player I'd love to see playing in the Premier league). Tevez would be getting on a bit I assume, and his wage demands are still pretty spectacular even if he's barely played any games for City. I had to wait until City actually released him on a free before he'd drop his wage demands to a level my board could even afford, and they were still over 100k a week. Only kept him for a season then sold him to Liverpool for £10 million.

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So Here's my dilema.

I've decided that I will buy another striker. This means I have to pick someone to buy. Here's the choices;

Tevez - Out of favour and valued at 4.9 million. Scouts reckon I'll get him for 8 million

Llorente - Would cost around 40 million

Cavani - Again around the 40 mark

Aguero - Would probably cost the same although a 40 million bid from Chelsea was rejected.

Any of the german players as they are a new league in my game?

Secret option number five is I scrap all of them and buy Gotze. Only thing with gotze is that I don't play an AMC so he would be shunted left or right.

I have around 80 million to spend. I want someone that can play alongside the other strikers I have. Which are Van Persie, Walcott, Chamakh, Park.

Any tips and ideas?

Tevez became Arsenals all time record goal scorer for me, I strongly recommend him, however you will have to put up with high wages, and being unable to punish him without upsetting him, worth It imo :thup:

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My first season with Arsenal - sacked PAt Rice and brought in Bergkamp as my number 2.

Had a summer spending spree, bringing in Hummells and Subotic from Dortmund, Tiote from Newcastle, Afellay (loan) from Barca, Cissokho from Lyon and Llorente from Bilbao (£38m over 4 years).

Shipped out Arshavin, Koschielny and Rosicky.

Going well, am 3rd, unbeaten in all competitions going into December, Llorente has a goal a game in the league, and my defence is solid as a rock - have Mertesaker and Vermeulen on the bench.

Bale and Lennon have fallen out with Spurs as they are 14th and made an offer for Bale but he's joining Man U in January for £20m (unrealistic to be fair).

Hoping to sign a couple in January to boost my chances.

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My first season with Arsenal - sacked PAt Rice and brought in Bergkamp as my number 2.

Had a summer spending spree, bringing in Hummells and Subotic from Dortmund, Tiote from Newcastle, Afellay (loan) from Barca, Cissokho from Lyon and Llorente from Bilbao (£38m over 4 years).

Shipped out Arshavin, Koschielny and Rosicky.

Going well, am 3rd, unbeaten in all competitions going into December, Llorente has a goal a game in the league, and my defence is solid as a rock - have Mertesaker and Vermeulen on the bench.

Bale and Lennon have fallen out with Spurs as they are 14th and made an offer for Bale but he's joining Man U in January for £20m (unrealistic to be fair).

Hoping to sign a couple in January to boost my chances.

Hold on, you sacked arguably the best Assistant Manager in the game and sold the ROCK that is Koscielny?

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Wish I could down vote a selling for Koscielny. He is arguably one of the best Cb's in the prem on my save. Consistent and doesn't demand alot and doesn't get beaten at all! Shame on you..... shame on you! = P

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So Here's my dilema.

I've decided that I will buy another striker. This means I have to pick someone to buy. Here's the choices;

Tevez - Out of favour and valued at 4.9 million. Scouts reckon I'll get him for 8 million

Llorente - Would cost around 40 million

Cavani - Again around the 40 mark

Aguero - Would probably cost the same although a 40 million bid from Chelsea was rejected.

Any of the german players as they are a new league in my game?

Secret option number five is I scrap all of them and buy Gotze. Only thing with gotze is that I don't play an AMC so he would be shunted left or right.

I have around 80 million to spend. I want someone that can play alongside the other strikers I have. Which are Van Persie, Walcott, Chamakh, Park.

Any tips and ideas?

I have Cavani and he has been absolutely immense. 32 goals in first season and he had 8 in 7 in second season.

I play him up front by himself as an attacking target man.

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You lucky, lucky man? How did that come about?

Great signing nevertheless :D

Very jealous. They turned down £50mil straight from me. I had no intention of paying that, was just checking things.

He broke his leg deal so the deal was very cheap. This is a joint game and the person I am playing with jaw dropped :D

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I don't want Pat Rice there - he's too identifiable with the Wenger regime, I wanted a fresh start. Bergkamp would keep the fans happy.

Yes, sold Koscielny - captured Hummels and Subotic and have the best defensive record in the Premiership, and am still unbeaten in all competitions in January, so feel it's a justified decision!.

Had a January offer of a straight swop of Vermaelen for Tevez accepted, but he wanted £250k pw plus bonuses, so cancelled it and snapped Hamsik instead. Have also captured Michael Carrick for £2m as Song and Diaby were dreadful, and he responded with a MOM debut.

Going well, but a little bit easy, and Walcott is far too prolific for my liking!

Definitely recommend Subotic - he's immense, and a good source of goals too- has 8 thus far!

Also, Llorente scores at a goal a game rate - expensive, but a monster!

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2011/12 - Season update - Race to the Finish

As posted above March was quite a rough month for us, with a slight dip in form coupled to a very bad run in terms of injuries. Both 1st team right backs and Alex Song had already been out for sometime (Uchida & Song recovered to play some part in the run in, but Sagna was only able to play again on the final day of the season) and in the space of a couple of weeks they were joined by Robin Van Persie, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Salvatore Bocchetti, Thomas Vermaelen and Roberto Canella. Early in April we also lost Wojciech Szczesny, Gervinho and Kieran Gibbs.

Fortunately the injuries to Vermaelen and Sigurdsson weren't too severe, and both were back playing by the end of March, Bocchetti, like Sagna only returned for the final day. Van Persie, Gervinho, Gibbs and Szczesny all missed the rest of the season. The biggest disruption came in Europe, where due to the ineligibility of Cissokho and Uchida (when he returned) I was forced to pick some fairly makeshift backlines.

Fortunately some of the deputising players really stepped up when called on, with the likes of Fabianski and Rosicky turning in some good performances, Djourou and Koscielny playing well when forced to play as makeshift fullbacks on a couple of occasions and Jack Wilshere playing his way into some good form after his long absence (and his flexibility proved vital as he had to play at MC, AMC, AMR and AML at various points to help).

The Results

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The defeat at Man City actually dropped us down to third in the table but we were able to bounce back with excellent wins over Marseille to qualify for the Champs League quarter finals and then smashed Newcastle to go back up to second place. The late, late away win at Liverpool proved vital, as both Manchester clubs dropped points that week in draws. A MoM performance from Jack Wilshere was at the heart of it, scoring our opening goal and then creating the winner in the 92nd minute. The goal should really have been credited to him I think, it went down as a Skrtel o.g., but all he did was get a slight touch on a Wilshere shot that he'd already slid under Reina and it was on the way over the line.

We drew Man Utd in the Quarter Finals, which wasn't a fixture I was relishing considering the form of the red hot Javier Hernandez and the state of my patched up back four. Obviously I was right to worry as Utd cruised to a 2-0 half time lead, and probably should have scored more. I decided to take a gamble in the 2nd half and replaced a dissapointing Moussa Sow with Theo Walcott, and brought on Gylfi Sigurdsson for Jali. Sigurdsson was a risk as he had only just reutrned to training and wasn't back to full fitness.

His arrival did make a difference though, his first involvement was to set Theo free down the flank and in for a one on one chance that he fluffed. Minutes later he got us back in the game with an absolute peach of a curling free kick after Johnny Evans had upended Theo. Nani scored Utd's third when he cut in past young Eastmond who was having to play at right back, however the majority of pressure by this time was ours as Gylfi was dictating the game. On the 85th minute wegrabbed a second when he played a perfect through ball to Walcott who didn't make any mistake this time. We might have gone on to grab an equaliser that had looked very unlikely in the first half, but Djourou got himself sent off for a professional foul on Hernandez and in the 4th minute of injury time Evans took advantage of his absence at a Utd corner to score their 4th.

Those 2 away goals though proved to be the turning point, in the return match at the Emirates a now fully fit Gylfi Sigurdsson absolutely dominated the match, scoring a hattrick as he secured a 3-1 win for us and winning the tie on away goals. He opened the scoring with yet another freekick goal, then blasted home a penalty at the start of the second half (Nani backtracking and tripping Wilshere as he was about to score), but he saved the best for last as he scored his third with a 30 yard screamer into the top corner.

In the league that result helped us go on a good run of form at just the right time. Moussa Sow, who'd been dropped for a couple of games after some poor performances, returned against Stoke and went on a nice burst of scoring including a very nice hatttrick against Wolves (2 assists from Gylfi, 1 from Jack). That run of form combined with a feisty 2-2 draw between the Manchester clubs meant we only needed a point against Bolton to secure the title. We duly secured the point...but only just and it required another late contribution from Wilshere to avoid defeat and giving City hopes of a last day miracle.

In Europe our injury problems were a little too much to overcome against the Real Madrid steamroller. They were able to field arguably their strongest squad in both legs, and our patched up backline just couldn't quite cope with them, especially with the sheer pace of their frontline and wide men. I wasn't too despondent about losing out in the Semi-Finals as it meant we'd at the very least met expectations for the competition, and the scoreline at the Emirates rather flattered them considering the performances.

Our final game of the season was against a now very deflated Man Utd, and we ran out surprisingly easy winners in the end with Utd only managing a rather token 4 shots throughout the match, all from long range and only one on target.

Final League Table

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Our defence wasn't quite as tight as either Utd's or City's but it was close, and we managed to outscore both. Considering none of our strikers got close to topping the league scoring charts, I was very happy with the volume of goals contributed from the rest of the squad.

Season Summary

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Awards

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We had several excellent performers over the course of the season, Wjciech Szczesny keeping enough cleansheets before his injury to win the Golden Glove award, and be selected as the GK for the Premier League Team of the Year. He was joined in the select 11 by, Young Player of the Year, Theo Walcott and Salvatore Bocchetti who had a very impressive first season at the heart of our defence. Moussa Sow might not have won any of the awards, but he also enjoyed a productive debut, scoring 30 goals in all competitions and making 10 assists in his 51 appearances.

Obviously there was no doubting the star of the season for us, winning Footballer of the Year on his first year in English football and also topping the league charts in terms of assists and average rating was Gylfi Sigurdsson. Finishing the campaign with an incredible 24 goals and 29 assists in all competitions, from 47 appearances, his impact was massive and I can only hope he keeps up a similar level of performance in seasons to come.

Looking Ahead

My main aim next season is obviously to try and retain the league title if I can, though going by their transfer moves already Man City are going to be hard to stop. I'd like to try and add some other silverware from one of the domestic cups or possibly Europe, though that might depend on a little more luck on the injury front.

Transfer wise I'm not looking to bring many in. Possibly another striker in case Robin Van Persie has another heavily disrupted season, I already have Martin Montoya arriving on a free from Barcelona to add an extra option at right back.

Most of the activity will likely be outbound, with some players allowed to leave when their contract ends and hopefully some of the fringe/reserve players moved on. Although we're quite a ways below our wage budget I'd still like to get some of the bodies in the reserves off our books, and replaced by some of the potential youth signings the scouts have identified. The likes of Bendtner, Squillaci and Andre Santos among others are players I will try and cash in on. With some savings made there, hopefully it will provide some extra wriggle space when it comes to extending the contracts of players like Vermaelen, Song and Van Persie who are all entering the final year of their current contracts.

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Wjciech Szczesny keeping so many clean sheets means he must of been a great goalkeeper for you!

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Wjciech Szczesny keeping so many clean sheets means he must of been a great goalkeeper for you!

He's been very good for me overall. He throws in the occasional absolute stinker of a match at times, but he kept 23 clean sheets from 43 games last season and I'm happy with that. Still improving and with any luck he'll keep even more clean sheets next season.

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guys, I need to replace Pat Rice.. any suggestions?

I've just had to replace him as well, he retired at end of the first season. I've brought in Mauro Tassotti from AC Milan, Giuseppe Baresi from Inter Milan was also in the frame.

If you don't want to pay hefty wages or compensation though take a look at Jair Ventura (Brazilian) or Roberto Rojas (Chilean) :thup:

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I've just had to replace him as well, he retired at end of the first season. I've brought in Mauro Tassotti from AC Milan, Giuseppe Baresi from Inter Milan was also in the frame.

If you don't want to pay hefty wages or compensation though take a look at Jair Ventura (Brazilian) or Roberto Rojas (Chilean) :thup:

I normally go for Mauro Tassotti and Baresi (fm11) but I fancy someone new... il check out the other guys :) cheers buddy

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I normally go for Mauro Tassotti and Baresi (fm11) but I fancy someone new... il check out the other guys :) cheers buddy

Yeah I normally go for a young, relatively unknown Asst Manager if I can find one I like, but figured I'd treat myself this time :D

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I took a free agent Italian called Valter Di Salvo. He is immense although his team talk suggestions are a bit Sh***. Overall though knows his players and sets up very similar to me which is what I wanted.

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