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JEinchy

FM15: Arsenal FC

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December Report

02/12/18 | Barclays Premier League | Carrow Rd

STARTING FORMATION/TEAM: GK: Romero 6.8 RB: Kutyauripo 6.2 RCB: Woodward 6.8 LCB: Doria© 8.3 LB: Hearn 6.7 MCR: Law 7.8 MCL: Assis 6.8 AMR: Leandro Robert 6.8 AMC: L.Long 8 AML: Bauer 8.3 STC: Giroud 6.8

Arsenal 2 ( Bauer 28 , Law 53 | Assts: Leandro Robert & L/Long x1)

05/12/18 | UEFA Champions League( Grp Stage) | Emirates

STARTING FORMATION/TEAM: GK: Milankovic Savic 7.1 RB: Kutyauripo 7.8 RCB: Xulu 6.9( Kosicelny 45/7) LCB: Oliveira 8.2 LB: Hearn 7.9 MCR: Law 9(MoM) MCL: Assis 7( Wilshere 78) AMR: Sterling© 8.2( Malcom 69/7.3) AMC: Bäron 7.5 AML: Bauer 7 STC: Ings 8.9

Arsenal 4 ( Sterling 42 , Ings 48 , Roberto O/G 55 , Malcom 74 | Assts: Law x 2 , Sterling & Ings x1)

12/12/18 | Club World Championship( SemixFinal) | Stade Olmpique

STARTING FORMATION/TEAM: GK: Koval 6.9 RB: Kutyauripo 6.7 RCB: Woodward 7.1 LCB: Sestrem 6.8( Paulo Sérgio 45/6.7) LB: Hearn 7.8(MoM) MCR: Kauè Caetano 6.8 MCL: Mangólia 6.6 AMR: Elana 7.2 AMC: Law 7.2 AML: Pintinho© 7 STC: Rosa 7

Arsenal 1( Rosa 24 | Asst: Elana x 1)

Kaizer Chiefs 0

15/12/18 | Club World Championship( Final) | Stade Olympique

STARTING FORMATION/TEAM: GK: Kval 6.7 RB: Márcio Vicente 6.2( Chambers 59/6.8) RCB: Woodward 6.8 LCB: Sestrem 6.4( Stones 51/6.7) LB: Oliveira 6.7 MCR: Law 6.9 MCL: Mangólia 6.6 AMR: Leandro Robert 6.3( Munir 45/6.8) AMC: Kauè Caetano 6.6 AML: Pintinho© 7.6 STC: Ings 6.8

Arsenal 1 ( Pintinho 74 | Asst: Munir x 1)

River Plate 3 ( Allione PEN 42 , Sestremm O/G 45+2 , Lavallén 53)

18/12/18 | Barclays Premier League | Emirates

STARTING FORMATION/TEAM: GK: Romero© 6.9 RB: Chambers 7.7 RCB: Oliveira 8.3 LCB: Paulo Sergio 8 LB: Hearn 6.8( Yenga 60/6.7) MCR: Bäron 6.8 MCL: Neves 6.7( L.Long 64/6.8) AMR: Bauer 7.1( Sterling 60/6.8) AMC: Munir 7.3 AML: Rui Miiguel 8.8(MoM) STC: J.Long 6.8

Arsenal 3 ( Bauer 25 , Paulo Sergio 42 , Rui Miguel 61 | Assts: Munir & Oliveira x1)

Newcastle 0

23/12/18 | Barclays Premier League | The Hawthorns

STARTING FORMATION/TEAM: GK: Romero© 6.8 RB: Chambers 6.3 RCB: Kosicelny 8.5(MoM) LCB: Xulu 8.1 LB: Hearn 6.8( Yenga 45/6.5) MCR: Wilshere 7 MCL: Ruben Neves 7.2 AMR: Bauer 6.5( Sterling 45/6.8) AMC: Munir 6.5 AML: Rui Miguel 6.9 STC: Giroud 6.3( J.Long62/6.6)

Arsenal 2 ( Barbir O/G 54 , Xulu 85 | Asst: Koscielny x1)

West Bromwich Albion 1 ( Dawber PEN 56)

26/12/18 | Barclays Premier League | Emirates

STARTING FORMATION/TEAM: GK: Romero© RB: Chambers 7.8 RCB: Koscielny 6.8 LCB: Xulu 7.9 LB: Hearn 7( Yenga 61/6.8) MCR: Bäron 8.4 MCL: Ruben Neves 8 AMR: Bauer 7.2( Sterling 61/6.6) AMC: Munir 9(MoM) AML: Rui Miguel 7.3 STC: Giroud 6.7( J.Long 82)

Arsenal 3 ( Bauer 4 , Chamber 51 , Munir 90+2 | Assts: Bäron x2 , Xulu x1)

Q.P.R 1 ( Mehmedi 3)

29/12/18 | Barclays Premier League | Stadium Of Light

STARTING FORMATION/TEAM: GK: Romero© RB: Chambers 6.8( Stones 76) RCB: Kosciely 7 LCB: Xulu 7.4 LB: Hearn 6.7( Yenga 62/6.8) MCR: Bäron 6.8 MCL: Ruben Neves 7.1 AMR: Malcom 8.4 AMC: Munir 8.7 AML: Rui Miguel 6.8( Sterling 51/6.9) STC: J.Long 8.8(MoM)

Arsenal 3 ( Munir 23 , J.Long 34 & 64 | Assts: Malcom x2 , Sterling x1)

Sunderland 1 ( Wickham 38)

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Arsenal season 3 – October

Premier League

CHELSEA 1

Costa 61

ARSENAL 1

Ozil 53(pen)

It wasn’t a classic. Wilshere went off early after a tackle from everyones favourite player Ramires. The diagnosis was a broken leg. 5-6 months for him and his first season as captain ruined. Ozil gave us the lead from the spot but we didn’t harass Chelsea enough like I asked and were far too open throughout the game. Costa was left free (he shouldn’t have been) to steer home Chelseas equaliser. They should’ve won it and I went away very happy with a point.

Premier League

SOUTHAMPTON 2

Tadic 6 Osvaldo 90

ARSENAL 4

Ozil 18 Sanchez 31 Walcott 59 Debuchy 87

After the International break we headed to St Marys. Aboubakar failed a fitness test and after decent form with England Walcott started. Tadic gave the saints the lead from their only effort of the first hour. Ozil and Sanchez made it 2-1 at the break. It was the same scoreline in the second half. Walcott giving us breathing space before sub Debuchy hit a rare goal. Saints pulled one back through their second and last shot of the game.

Champions League MD3

MARSEILLE 0

Martin s/o 88

ARSENAL 2

Chamberlain 12 Walcott 20 Koscielny s/o 33

We took a firm grip on the group with a solid and resilient result in France. We started brightly and Chamberlain and Walcott gave us a 2-0 lead. Then koscielny got sent off for two yellows and it became a backs to the walls performance. We also had to do it without Khedira who will miss 3 months with a torn hamstring. Luckily without him we survived and Marseille who had 7 bookings in the game couldn’t break down the yellow wall. A last minute penalty for red Star in Portugal meant we are five clear of Porto in third.

Premier League

ARSENAL 4

Walcott 18 Ramsey 42 Chamberlain 71 86

CRYSTAL PALACE 0

For the first time in 31 days we were back at Home. There was no hangover from the Marseille performance this despite me resting Ozil and Chamberlain. Walcott was paired upfront with Aboubakar gave us the lead before stand In skipper ramsey doubled it. Unlike Palace we had numerous chances to extend it before the Ox lept off the bench with a brace.

League Cup 4th Round

Swansea 1

Bony 82

ARSENAL 2

Cazorla 30 80

We swept into the Quarters with a fine win at Swansea. Out of favour Cazorla with a goal in each half. Bony got a quick one back for the swans but we never looked like letting a third two-goal lead slip.

Premier League

ARSENAL 2

Sanchez 3 54

BURNLEY 0

It was Sanchez’s turn to join the braces gang as he struck once in each half for a very routine win. United lost at City meaning for the first time this season we topped the league.

League Table

We were second all month until the final couple of days. Chelsea are still 6th

1. Arsenal Played 10 Points 26 GD 17

2. Man United Played 10 Points 25 GD 19

3. Tottenham Played 10 Points 22 GD 14

4. Man City Played 10 Points 20 GD 3

5. Liverpool Played 10 Points 18 GD 11

England

We continued on our merry way in World Cup Qualifying. First we battered Montenegro 6-2 at Wembley. Rooney broke CHarltons record with a hattrick and Walcott (2) and Chamberlain added further goals.

The gap was also a four goal margin at San Marino. We had 47 shots on goal with Walcott and Rooney again finding this target. Sturridge scored a brace as well.

Other News

League cup Quarter-Final draw – Arsenal vs Man United.

Rijkaard won manager of the month at City. I was second. Depay won player of the month while young player went to Luke Shaw.

The under 21’s and Under 18s both progressed in their respective cups but are having a horrific time in the league. The under 21’s are 10th (out of 12) and have only won once in six games. They have also lost all three of their champions League games while the Under 18’s are 11th. Drawing 6 and losing 5 of their 12 games.

We set up a partnership with Panathinaikos while the youth facilities recruitment and training were all upgraded.

November fixtures

CL – Marseille (H)

PL – Sunderland (A)

PL – Watford (H)

CL – Red Star Belgrade (A)

PL – West Brom (H)

CL – Porto (H)

England

WCQ – Latvia (A)

Friendly – Slovakia (H)

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Does anyone know the bbcode of the third kit? Tried to find it on the editor but doesn't say.

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So I lose the season on the last day to United by losing to West Brom, not happy. I was top until I crashed out of the CL.

Anyone got any suggestions on how to play Depay and Sanchez together?

Ive been using Sanchez mainly upfront because I have had Depay on the wing.

Depay has been awesome but I feel Sanchez would absolutely destroy on the wing given the chance. Perhaps I could switch them around and have depay up front, he has the strength on his side.

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So I lose the season on the last day to United by losing to West Brom, not happy. I was top until I crashed out of the CL.

Anyone got any suggestions on how to play Depay and Sanchez together?

Ive been using Sanchez mainly upfront because I have had Depay on the wing.

Depay has been awesome but I feel Sanchez would absolutely destroy on the wing given the chance. Perhaps I could switch them around and have depay up front, he has the strength on his side.

Hey dude, I use them both to devastating effect in a 4-4-2. Looking at my line-up there are a few surprises maybe (Robertson, Inler maybe) but in 2 seasons I've won 2 titles, 1 Champions League, 2 FA Cups, 1 Carling Cup, 2 Community Shields & 1 World Club Cup.

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Having parked a long-term Southampton save, and after failing to "get into" a bunch of other saves at all sorts of levels, I've started a FMC save at The Emirates. I'm surrounded by Arsenal fans at work and have been dragged along to The Emirates a few times with them, so I have a tenuous link to the club. Sort of.

My short spell yesterday on the save (only got to the 7th Premier League match) suggested there is "something" which might hook me to this save, at least for a while. As I have no real affinity with the club, my transfer dealings will be blunt and I have absolutely no quibbles about scooping up the "usual suspects" or taking advantage of the FM shambles at P-SG at the start. As such, the headline Ins and Outs are (from memory - especially regarding fees):

IN

Marquinhos / P-SG / £4m

Digne / P-SG / £3.5m

Balanta / River / £4.5m

Musacchio / Vilarreal / £9m

Gil Romero / Estudiantes / £5m

Kranevitter / River / £5m

Gabriel Barbosa / Santos / £26m? (I can remember the fee was £8.5m but then an agent ownership percentage bumped it right up)

OUT

Rosicky / Slavia / £1.5m

Arteta / Everton / £2.5m

Mertesacker / Chelsea / £7m

An entirely predictable shopping spree, but there was a plan:

1. Play 4-2-3-1

2. Improve central defensive pace and depth

3. Beef up central midfield

4. Add a striker

5. Buy young

Digne was something of a "luxury". Monreal and Gibbs are good players, but my instinct is that if I have a decent first season, I can ship Monreal out for £10-20m. In real life I think Rosicky is a great little player, but (as with Arteta), I want to reduce the age of the squad and add a bit more bite in midfield.

Early signs are OK; we're 3rd in the league after 7 games (City are top, and Spurs are second having won 6 and lost once - to us). 5 wins, a 1-1 at Hull and a dreadful 4-3 defeat at Anfield (we clawed back from 4-1 down) where we just got twatted by their 3-4-2-1. I intended to just use a standard 4-2-3-1 Wide throughout the save, but that Liverpool match really annoyed me, so I'll try to come up with an alternative plan for certain matches where I'll drop the shape to a sort of deep 4-2-3-1 Wide, but I'll probably drag the AM line players back to MC, or leave the AMC up high.

My dodgy away form also manifested in the CL where we conspired to throw away a 3-1 lead at Dnipro to concede a late equaliser. That was less to do with the initial tactic and more to do with me sitting on my hands and expecting Dnipro to roll over and give up. Having spent all my transfer money and the transfer window slamming shut, I now have a few weeks to tinker tactically and try to striker the right balance. Our issues are certainly defensive ones, as goals are flowing freely from Giroud and Welbeck, with Cazorla proving to be brilliant at direct free kicks.

Injuries have been pretty hectic, with Man-Of-Glass Wilshere regularly accompanied by Marquinhos in particular in the treament room, and plenty more besides needing medical attention.

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A few (huge) images from my save at the mid-point of the league season, and after a quite brilliant comeback at Stamford Bridge.

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Actual confirmation of my "from memory" transfers is below:

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Cazorla, Diaby (of course!), Balanta, Digne And The Ox are all out for up to four weeks, but generally injuries have settled down. Welbeck has netted 17 in 16 games, Giroud has 12 in 11.

EDIT - Typical! Post that and then lose 1-0 at White Hart Lane to slip down behind Man U in the table :mad:

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An incredibly fixture heavy January has been negotiated, and we've come out of it OK, barring the defeat at Spurs (it was one of "those" games, where on balance we probably deserved to win, but a defensive lapse cost us).

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Really tight at the top, and our game in hand could be crucial. February is easier on paper, with just a home game against Liverpool difficult in the league. Champions League starts up again, and we travel to face "Gelsenkirchen".

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February negotiated with relative ease, with the exception of a frustrating draw at lowly Q.P.R., but the impact of that was diluted by surprise points dropped by our nearest rivals.

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March opens with the Capital One Cup Final against Man Utd. Southampton Away is the trickiest fixture and given that we host Utd in April and Chelsea in May, I think we're onto something here.

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Another good month, and an interesting looking CL QF draw.

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Three points clear in the league, and I'm now focusing on a 4-3-1-2, having used a 4-2-3-1 most of the time, a 4-1-2-2-1 now and then, and a narrow 4-4-2 diamond in a couple of games. If I persist with the 4-3-1-2 it'll prompt a fair few changes to the squad as the MC trio needs to be quite athletic and physical.

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RT - How did you get Digne & Marquinhos so cheap?

It's a bug in the game. If you start a new save, P-SG have both those players listed for peanuts. Looks like you can get Verratti too because Spurs signed him for all of £2.7m!

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Really good season there RT. How are you going about applying your 4-2-3-1? I keep switching between a traditional #10 sitting in the hole playing passes and the forward trying to stay high, or getting the forward to drop deep and encourage the AMC to drift into advanced spaces.

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My 4-2-3-1 lacks subtlety. I have an AM on Attack behind a DLF on Attack. The AML/R are both Support Duty IFs, and Exploit The Flanks sees the full backs provide width.

The DLF and AM combination gives a reasonable balance between a traditional #10 and a toned down Shadow Striker. The DLF is my favourite forward Role now, having been a huge fan of the Complete Forward for ages.

We struggle against formations with an AM behind two strikers (Man U and Liverpool spring to mind) so the 4-3-1-2 has been added to our options. It's a tough formation to balance as it has obvious pros and cons. Probably struggling most with getting the AM "right".

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A perfect April has us set to win the title :)

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Four league games to play and we hold a nine point lead over Chelsea, with a goal difference which is 13 favourable to their +42. It would take the mother of all stuff-ups not to win it. Remaining fixtures are away to Newcastle, home to Chelsea, away to Everton and then home to Villa. We'll face City in the FA Cup. CL is nasty - we play Real Madrid.

Still trying to figure out what my tactical focus will be. I'm lucky that the squad is quite balanced now so can try its hand at a few formations, but it remains best suited to a 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-2-2-1. We're still a bit lightweight to pull off the combative 4-3-1-2 I want, and that shape would dilute the contribution of the wide players in the squad. Our budget for next season is set at £57m and Flamini and Monreal are the only certainties to go.

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It's a bug in the game. If you start a new save, P-SG have both those players listed for peanuts. Looks like you can get Verratti too because Spurs signed him for all of £2.7m!

I've literally just started a new game with Liverpool and neither are transfer listed. Bummer.

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I've literally just started a new game with Liverpool and neither are transfer listed. Bummer.

That's highly unusual - try making a low bid because it has been the case on every save I have started since the final update.

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That's highly unusual - try making a low bid because it has been the case on every save I have started since the final update.

I'm just wondering if its anything to do with me having the 'real name fix' data files enabled?

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I'm just wondering if its anything to do with me having the 'real name fix' data files enabled?

No idea. I play FMC so can't have any editor stuff going on, so that's possible. lewis999 could have a point too.

Either way, it worked for me, and I have a title to show for it :brock:

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Really good win over Chelsea and it is doubly pleasing because the match was sandwiched between Home and Away legs against Madrid in the CL, so I rested quite a few players. First leg? A 1-0 win at The Emirates :)

EDIT - And we won by the same score line at their place too! They used a 4-1-2-2-1 and I elected to do the same. We were pretty awful, but so were they, so we now have two dead rubber PL games to play before the FA Cup against City and the CL Final against Atletico.

EDIT 2 - Transfer activity is under way. We continue our trend of signing the predicatable players; Lucas Romero joins for £11.5m. Possibly less predictable is the acquisition of Krychowiak from Sevilla, but he's a good replacement for Flamini and his fee (£5.5m) will probably be eclipsed by the sum we receive for the Frenchman.

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The season is over, and we had a 50:50 win ratio.

The FA Cup was the lottery of a penalty shoot out, and Aaron Ramsey's saved penalty cost us :(

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Ironically, a penalty set us on the way against Atletico.

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Loads of job opportunities floating about. Guardiola was sacked for finishing second to Dortmund (Bayern lost eleven games in the league!). Both Milan clubs have vacancies, City have sacked Pellegrini in spite of their (jammy) FA Cup win. Enrique is insecure at Barca, having finished second.

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FM15 Arsenal Season 3 – November

Champions League MD4

ARSENAL 4

Aboubakar 6 33 79 Welbeck 82

MARSEILLE 1

Lell 64 Carmona s/o 59

We made it four out of four and easily qualified from the group. Aboubakar hitting his second Arsenal hat-trick. Welbeck adding his first of the season. A good win.

Premier League

SUNDERLAND 0

ARSENAL 4

Aboubakar 31 Ozil 53 Sanchez 63 Romero 86

I expected a tricky game but we were never tested and ran out very easy winners. Chamberlain tore his hamstring and joins Wilshere and Khedira on the sidelines.

Premier League

ARSENAL 6

Mertesacker 8 Walcott 15 40 Ozil 39 Welbeck 85 Koscielny 90

WATFORD 0

Liverpool beat United in the early kick off and I instructed the players to destroy Watford and open up a four point gap at the top. They did just that. 41 shots and we hit the woodwork four times as well. A fourth clean sheet in a row and the return of Bernard.

Champions League

RED STAR 0

ARSENAL 2

Welbeck 86 Walcott 90

Already qualified I rested most of the first team. Bernard started his first game of the season. We dominated the whole game but were unable to strike until the 86th minute through Welbeck. Walcott added a second in injury time.

Premier League

ARSENAL 2

Aboubakar 27 Balanta 40

WEST BROM 0

How on earth this game ended 2-0 I’ll never know. 39 shots on goal. Ben Foster was saving everything. Still mustn’t grumble a sixth win in a row and a fifth consecutive clean sheet in the league. Chelsea beating United meant we extended the lead to six points. City now second.

Champions League MD6

ARSENAL 2

Welbeck 49 Bernard 70

PORTO 1

Varela 56 Nevez miss/pen 18

I named three sixteen year olds on the bench. Balanta started as a defensive midfield pair. It didn’t really work in the first half and Porto missed a penalty. In the second we improved and Welbeck scored a cracker before Porto levelled. Bernard then gave us the lead and we easily held on. Six wins out of six in the group stages. Surely it can’t last?

League Table

Spurs now 6th. We travel to United next.

1. Arsenal Played 13 Points 35 GD 29

2. Man City Played 13 Points 29 GD 9

3. Man United Played 13 Points 28 GD 17

4. Liverpool Played 13 Points 27 GD 18

5. Chelsea Played 13 Points 27 GD 17

England

We had to cope with a few injuries but easily saw off Latvia 4-0 away. Ashley Young scoring a hat-trick. A few days later we hosted Slovakia in a friendly and again easily won 3-0. Six out of six and three clean sheets in a row now. No fixture until March

Other News

Rodgers won manager of the month. I was second again. Ozil won player of the month while young player went to Diego Poyet. We won the first goal of the month in my reign. Walcott for his goal first against Watford. Personally the goal in second my Memphis Depay was better.

December fixtures

Have the club world cup in between the second United game and Swansea. Will do well to end the month still unbeaten

PL – Man United(A)

LC – Man United(H)

CWC – TBC

CWC - TBC

PL – Swansea (H)

CL – Everton (A)

PL – QPR (A)

CL – Notts Forrest (A)

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Finished my first season at Arsenal this weekend, lifting a CL and PL Double! Decided to make no additions to the original squad, adding only Youri Tielemans in January (even then, he was primarily used in the U21 side).

We lifted the Premier League title after going on an unbeaten run from November. Typically, Man Utd had lost only once in the league, so we spent the bulk of the season playing catch up. That is, until we played them with four games remaining. We toppled them 2-1, and they proceeded to crumble - drawing away at Leicester and losing to Swansea!

In the Champions League, we defeated Atletico 3-2 in the final. Facing CSKA, Dortmund and Bayern in the knockout rounds.

There's been a few coming and going in the summer, more of a streamlining effort than anything:

IN:

Zakaria Bakkali - Bosman - PSV

Aymeric Laporte - £31mill - Atheltic

OUT:

Serge Gnarby - £12.25mill (Rising to £24mill) - Dortmund (Was asking for £40k a week, as Man City were interested in him.)

Santi Cazorla - £19.75 (Rising to £24mill) - Juventus (Despite being one of my best players, he was unsettled by Real Madrid in January, and proceeded to unsettle 3/4 of the squad in the process)

Gabriel Paulista - £8.25mill - Inter Milan (Mediocre defender, not needed due to Chamber's emergence as a CB and Laporte's arrival)

Tomas Rosicky - Retirement

Abou Diaby - Free Transfer

With Joel Campbell and Carl Jenkinson returning to the fold, I feel we have reasonable depth to cover for these losses. But ideally, I'd like a Ball Winner in the middle of the park. I relied on Flamini to act as a 'destroyer' in the big games, and while he served his purpose excellently, I felt I was sacrificing a level of quality (my usual midfield pair was Ramsey and Wilshere). So I feel the need to sign a top-class physical midfielder. I've had bids rejected for Hojberg.

Last season's system, for anyone interested:

GK (Sweeper Keeper - Support) Szczesny

DR (Full Back - Attack) Chambers

DL (Complete Wing Back - Attack) Gibbs

DCr (Central Defender - Cover) Koscielny

DCl (Central Defender - Defend) Mertesacker

MR (Wide Midfielder - Attack) Oxlade-Chamberlain

ML (Wide Playmaker - Attack) Cazorla

MCr (Deep Lying Playmaker - Defend) Ramsey

MCl (Box to Box Midfielder - Support) Wilshere

STr (False Nine - Support) Sanchez/Ozil

STl (Advanced Forward - Attack) Giroud

Plan for next season is to move Sanchez to the left wing slot, assuming I can keep Ozil fit!

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Bayern approached me and I turned it down. In the end, Bayern poached Simeone and Atletico recruited Pep! Mancini is back at City and Luis Enrique has had a stay of execution. I would like to get round to managing a "big" club in Spain or Germany, but I want to see just how dominant I can get this Arsenal squad to be

Financially, I got a message suggesting that all debts were cleared, but I can still see some debt on the financials screen; not sure what that's all about. However, I made some significant sales to boost the transfer budget (which was already healthy at £57m). I always sell players by the time they hit 30 (ideally at 29) as it's just something "I do" - I think it is a great time to ensure you get the maximum possible fee for your senior players. We made full use of negotiating 48 month instalments to bump up fees received. Doing this also means I only ever negotiate guaranteed fees; never any performance or appearance related clauses. Sales were:

1. Koscielny. Off to Liverpool for £30m (!) - of which I think £19m is staggered over 48 months. I won't actively replace him as we have Gabriel Paulista (who I have been impressed by, Balanta, Marquinhos (who will now get more starts) and Musacchio

2. Flamini. Off to West Ham for £6m, lower than the £10m I originally, optimistically sought. Replaced by Lucas Romero.

3. Monreal. Takes the same path as Gael Clichy by joining City for £26m. Currently we have Digne and Gibbs, but I'm not 100% convinced by Gibbs and am looking to prise Ricardo Rodríguez from Wolfsburg.

4. The big one. Santi Cazorla was regularly excellent and probably takes the best direct free kick I've seen in FM15; he scored 5 or 6 in the season. However, he's on the verge of 30 and Chelsea were prepared to pay £1m for each of those years, so it was a no-brainer. We are likely to fully revert to a 4-3-1-2 for season two, and Santi doesn't suit the Roles I'm using in the MC line and whilst I'm still tinkering with the AMC Role, I don't think he's a long term option there. To continue the theme of buying the obvious, a £25m bid has been accepted for Memphis Depay.

I really wanted to try to get Courtois from Chelsea as he was second fiddle to Cech all season, but there's no way I'm paying the sort of money they are after. Debuchy is another player who is on my "For Sale" list, but unlike the other players I offered out, there is no hard interest in him - I'll either keep him or sell him for way below value. To replace him, I'm looking at Mayke and another Brazilian whose name escapes me, or I'll see how Bellerin is looking. As such, the likely squad for next season is:

Ospina

Szczęsny

Chambers

Mayke or Bellerin

Rodriguez

Digne

Balanta

Gabriel Paulista

Marquinhos

Musacchio

Gil Romero

Lucas Romero

Krychowiak

Kranevitter

Ramsey

Ozil

Wilshere

Gnabry

Alexis Sanchez

Walcott

Barbosa

Giroud

Depay

Welbeck

Tonight will be spent finishing off the transfer activity and, more importantly, getting the 4-3-1-2 to work. I'm happy with the MC Roles and my Argentine contingent plus Krychowiak absolutely give me the physicality and athleticism I want (we're using a CM (D) flanked by a BWM (S) and BBM (S)). That gives me a game plan which is basically "You aren't getting through here, and watch out for the front three!" - but I don't really have a defined plan up there. It is loosely about overloading the AI DCs because that is what I saw when facing Liverpool and Man Utd. I'll possibly pair a DLF with a Poacher, but also want the AMC to be a creative player who gets forward. I'm consciously avoiding any Playmaker and Target Man Roles as I want the attacking patterns to be varied, so I'll probably just modify an Attacking Midfielder Role if the Shadow Striker doesn't work like I want.

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I'm nearing the end of the 2016/17 season and cruising towards the title.

I was shocked to see how quickly Ozil has declined (even though he's still only 27). One 2 month injury at the start of the season and his attributes have plummeted, despite my careful reintroduction of him into the squad he is still at 2.5 stars on CA and averaging 6.67 on match performance, now Bouldy reckons I should drop him. I expected Carzola to be the first in that position to fall away but he's had a fantastic season. Not sure what to do with Ozil though, the fans will probably go nuts if I sell him. Tempted to sell him and get Sterling.

Has anyone else's Ozil had a big dip in form and did he recover?

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How're you using him? He had some injury issues with me, but once he came back he was excellent as my F9

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No Ozil issues for me in season one, but then he only had a bruised thigh and a dead leg as minor knocks all season.

I'm still wheeling and dealing. Monaco are set to take Debuchy for £10.75m; less than his current valuation but still acceptable. I was torn between Mayke and Daryl Janmaat, but was about to opt for the Newcastle man in spite of him being a fair few years older (almost 26) as his attribute spread is better and more defensively competent and my scouts reckon Mayke isn't far off his maximum. However, it then became apparent that I could prise Gaya from Chelsea (the ex Valencia player) for £28m, which is double the cost of the alternative two, but he is better and younger.

How can we afford all this? Well, we have a Net transfer profit of £27m before the Debuchy deal goes through, and it looks like I can get around £18m for Gibbs - Atletico made an offer but he turned them down. I was just wondering what to do with my forward options after Depay signed, and I decided that 25 goal Danny Welbeck is expendable. Bayern offered £25m up front and I negotiated an extra £20m over 12 (or 48, can't remember) months. Not a hard decision. Now looking at a physical alternative to Giroud and I'm also contemplating losing Walcott. Busy.

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And the spree got sillier :(:D

As I tinkered with Roles up front, I realised that Walcott was definitely not suited to the new system. Offered out for a speculative £60m and Roma and Napoli showed interest. Roma offered a meagre £20m or so, but Napoli were prepared to go to a fee rising to £46m, with instalments again pumping the deal in our favour. Gibbs went to Liverpool in (for once) a deal littered with appearance related clauses which might reach £12.75m. Why the need to bring in an extra £50m or more?

screen-shot-2015-04-27-at-21-38-55.png

In spite of the epic signing of Pogba, we still are in a Net favourable position for the window. £165m spent, £210m recouped. £25m left in the budget and the overall balance is £171m. I'm not sure many clubs can be as well off as Arsenal at the start? All these Ins and Outs are 100% legit - the only dubious transfers I've had were those of Digne and Marquinhos in season one as a result of a P-SG player bug.

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Done quite well there, gone wild with left backs! :D

I was tempted by Rodriguez when Monreal was linked with Juventus, but City got in first... but to be fair, Gibbs has been that good I never felt the need to. Odd one Rodriguez though, his crossing's excellent but his dribbling's a bit naff. He'd be great at crossing from deep I reckon!

Pogba's the type of player I'm after, but I can't bring myself to spend that much! Looking at Goretzka and Hojberg from Bayern...

You think you're Simeone, eh?? :D

Sorry, just spotted this! Can certainly see the comparisons tactically - My initial plan was to replicate the Invincibles Arsenal era, but I soon decided that I needed more of a target man upfront. Any Henry-type forward (I've tried Sanchez, Welbeck, Walcott...), while providing occasional brilliance, ends up flattened by most centre backs in Europe :D. And when I couldn't wish Wilshere and Ramsey into 6ft+ behemoths like Vieira and Gilberto, I decided to tweak to my own preferences...

The team has been set to a defensive (sometimes counter, If I'm feeling fancy) mentality, with the defence instructed to play higher up. Both wingers play narrower roles (The left winger by default, the right via instructions). We try and draw the opposition in, limit and compact space akin to Sacchi's press, then break ruthlessly down the flanks.

It is an aggressive counter attacking system, so you're quite right really :D

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So happy with my team right now. I really recommend "Domenico Berardi" to everybody looking for a good striker. He's playing his third season in a row for me now and he's scored 40+ goals in each one of them. My front three of Neymar, Berardi and Draxler are lethal, needless to say. I have Depay and the Ox as backup there.

Also Sebastien Corchia is still a beast on right back. Average ratings of 7.68. Good times for the gunners.

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Done quite well there, gone wild with left backs! :D

It wasn't quite intentional :) I just felt that Gibbs was short of what we are aspiring to be and when Gaya became likely I felt the need to get him. I'm using Rodriguez on the right and he scored a couple of goals in pre-season cutting onto his left foot. He's already "green" on the right and isn't a left foot only man, so can do a decent job on the right.

In general, pre-season was a success. We had a few games on tour in Germany against mid-to-high rated Bundesliga sides and then a couple of matches back in England. Clean sheets and wins all the way and relatively few tweaks made to the system - mostly applying a PI here and there to refine things. Our first half-competitive match was a penalty shootout win against City in the Community Shield. On balance we were the better side and their 4-2-3-1 narrow was a great test of our new tactic. In truth, they really managed to overload us a couple of times and it's something I'll need to keep an eye on. Meanwhile, our own attack isn't as capable of an overload as I'd want it to be, because I have settled on a forward pairing of a DF (S) and DLF (A) to aid my high-pressing plans.

Pogba only arrived for the last two uncompetitive preseason matches and played 45 minutes in each, netting his first goal and assist on the way. He's a couple of weeks behind the rest in terms of Match Fitness, but having the option of rotating Pogba and Ozil as AP (A) is a good place to be in :brock:

Basic Roles and Duties (I'm at work, so no images) are:

SK (S)

WB (A)

DC (D)

DC (D)

WB (A)

MCL BWM (S)

MC CM (D)

MCR BBM (S)

AP (S)

STL DF (S)

STR DLF (A)

The front two alternates between Giroud (DF) and Barbosa, or Alexis (DF) and Depay :cool: I offloaded Joel Campbell to Hoffenheim for £12m so our transfer pot is up to £35m. I'm fairly keen to try to replace Giroud before the transfer window closes, in spite of his 25+ goals last year, because he's approaching my kick-out age of 29. As the replacement needs to play at DF (S), does anyone have any suggestions of a strong, tall, physical guy with strong work ethic, but one who can also fulfil goalscoring responsibilities? Ideally someone pretty young (this is season two). When you do attributes searches for a Defensive Forward, you basically get a load of central defenders and defensive midfielders! As soon as I add in some Technical attributes, the pool of talent becomes very thin.

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Bit of an "out there" one, bit have you thought about converting a midfielder? Goretzka might be a good one, or even Pogba?

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Bit of an "out there" one, bit have you thought about converting a midfielder? Goretzka might be a good one, or even Pogba?

I had considered converting Pogba and might give that a second look. He's just so good as a creative midfielder that I'm a bit reluctant to have him "just" as a DF (S) - but then I'm arguably lessening Sanchez's attacking potential by using him as one.

I almost think I'm looking for a Diego Costa clone.

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That's some squad you've got there RT! What kind of style are you going for with the 4-3-1-2? Seems like you're after someone like Mandzukic or Leandro Damiao, but there don't seem to be many out there. The best looking young ones I can find are Andreas Cornelius, Haris Seferovic and a guy called Thalles at Vasco who seems the best of some decent if not great options.

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That's some squad you've got there RT! What kind of style are you going for with the 4-3-1-2? Seems like you're after someone like Mandzukic or Leandro Damiao, but there don't seem to be many out there. The best looking young ones I can find are Andreas Cornelius, Haris Seferovic and a guy called Thalles at Vasco who seems the best of some decent if not great options.

When we attack we are playing a very risky game - just the DCs and CM (D) stay back. All the width is from the full backs and the DF who naturally drifts wide. I'm trying (and failing) to overload the AI defence by having an aggressive AMC behind two strikers. My issue is that I have focussed on making an aggressive pressing system where the two striker Roles don't really stretch the AI as much as I want. The DF (S) is just brilliant, so I need to think about my AMC and STR setup.

Defensively, the midfield trio is very aggressive and the outer MCs are a first line of defence on the flanks. The CM (D) drops to form a narrow diamond, so in established defensive phases, we're solid. Our issue is obviously if the AI wins the ball back and launches a quick counter as we have just three men back. If we face any system that commits at least two men forward then we are quite likely to get stretched. It's a compromise I'm currently happy to make - if I get the forward unit functioning a bit better. Depending on opposition quality and their formation, I will reel in a few things, starting with the Role / Duty of the DL/R.

Regarding the forward - I'm definitely looking for a big, physical, hard working player. I'm greedily looking for an excellent all rounder, which does make me think about the Pogba option again.

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FM15 Arsenal S3 December

Premier League

MAN UNITED 1

Mata 25

ARSENAL 0

A first defeat of the season. I parked the bus and kept it at 1-0 for 75 minutes aiming to have a 15 minute all out attacking blitz. It didn’t happen.

League Cup Quarter-Final

ARSENAL 3

Aboubakar 3 Cazorla 13 Ozil 49(pen)

MAN UNITED 1

Januzaj 28

We got our revenge a few days later as we knocked United out of the League Cup at the Emirates. I played a full strength team bar the goalkeeper. Aboubakar and a Cazorla free kick put us on easy street at 2-0 up. A long punt upfield somehow saw Januzaj equalise. Ozil converted a penalty early in the second half as we saw it out. Off to the World Club Championships with smiles back on our faces.

World Club Championships Semi-Final

[bMO field, Toronto, Canada]

CHIVAS 1

Nigris 73

ARSENAL 3

Aboubakar 1 Ozil 14(pen) Bernard 90

When we played the Semi Final a year ago we won 10-0. This game was a bit trickier. It looked like we might beat that score when we went 2-0 up in 14 minutes but we wasted most of our chances before Bernard sealed in injury time.

World Club Championships Final

[bMO field, Toronto, Canada]

ARSENAL 7

Ozil 10 Walcott 27 Cazorla 52 Aboubakar 65 77 84 90

UNIVERSISTAD DE CHILE 0

The final was a much easier game. The Chileans didn’t have a single shot on goal. Aboubakar replaced the injured Walcott at half time and hit 4 to take him to 22 before Christmas in his debut season. Walcott is fine. Bernard who also went off injured will only miss the next game.

Premier League

ARSENAL 6

Aboubakar 6 23 56 64 Podolski 11(pen) Walcott 74

SWANSEA 0

Aboubakar hit back to back quadruples as we returned to England in style after our trip to Canada. He had earlier seen his shot, rebound and second rebound somehow hit the crossbar. Podolski added his first of the season after I assigned him penalty duties. Walcott adding a sixth after only just coming on.

Premier League

EVERTON 2

Baines 43(pen) McCarthy 88

ARSENAL 3

Ozil 47 Koscielny 56 Ramsey 78

I named an unchanged team despite a few players in the “red zone” We were solid enough to start with before Baines put the blues ahead from the spot. We stepped it up a gear in the second half with Ozil and Koscielny turning the game around. Ramsey then scored a swift counter attack before McCarthy pulled one back. We held on to score a vital win.

Premier League

QPR 1

Kalou 55

ARSENAL 1

Bernard 23

On this occasion I made several changes. Aboubakar not even fit enough for the bench. Like the Everton game it was quite evenly matched so I’ll happily take a point.

Premier League

NOTTINGHAM FORREST 1

Wijnaldum 58

ARSENAL 3

Aboubakar 37 Smithies o.g 58 Walcott 88

Last season we beat Forrest 7-1 away (7-2 at home) but it was a tighter affair this time around. We were clinical in our finishing which made the difference.

Happy to take 7 points from the Christmas away fixtures. We have Huddersfield at home on January 2nd.

League Table

Good run of form has seen Spurs climb to 4th. Chelsea are now 6th.

1. Arsenal Played 18 Points 45 GD 37

2. Man United Played 19 Points 44 GD 27

3. Man City Played 19 Points 43 GD 16

4. Tottenham Played 18 Points 38 GD 23

5. Liverpool Played 19 Points 35 GD 18

Other News

Champions League 1st KO Round – Galatasaray vs Arsenal

Not too bad. Bayern and PSG were hovering.

FA Cup 3rd Round – Manchester United vs Arsenal

Annoying but good chance to get revenge for the league defeat.

League Cup Semi Finals – Huddersfield vs Arsenal / Chelsea vs Liverpool

Best possible draw. Could be another Liverpool clash in the final.

Ozil won world Player of the year. He was also in the team of the year as well. Messi won Golden Ball which Ozil was second in. Aboubakar third.

Van Gaal again won manager of the month. I was second again. Dembele won player of the month while Shaw was again voted young player.

Some interesting names floating around in the out of contract in the summer world. Mario Gotze the biggest name. May also plump for Gerard Deulofeu. Alex Song and Mikel are options

while glamour names such as Pirlo and Dani Alves are also there.

January fixtures

Three tough away trips in a row.

PL – Huddersfield (H)

FAC – Man United(A)

PL – Stoke (A)

PL – Man City (A)

LC – Huddersfield (A)

LC – Huddersfield (H)

PL – West Ham (H)

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I'm using Ozil as an AM. But I'll give the F9 a go thanks.

Can recommend Pogba. Cost £70m in summer 2016 and needed a clear-out of Walcott, Podolski, Wilshere and Arteta to fund him. He works really well as a BBM with a poacher up top as he has a lot of long shots on target that are struck so hard that they often rebound off the keeper ready for a simple tap-in.

Already had Depay and snapped up an unhappy Lucas Moura from PSG for £3.5m to replace Walcott and Poldi. Yes £3.5m for a more than adequate Sanchez understudy.

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Just go for Vincent Aboubakar.

He would have been a decent fit, but literally just signed for P-SG. I also tend to steer clear of players who would compete in the African Cup Of Nations because I just can't be doing with losing key players for one month, every couple of years.

I thought I'd found a slight curve-ball solution to the DF (S) conundrum, in the form of Koke at Atletico. He's obviously a creative midfielder, but has the attribute spread to suit the Role and is a good creative, reasonable offensive option too. Our bid was accepted but, for the second time on this save, he preferred to sign a new contract :(

Lukaku looked like a decent option, with many similarities to Giroud and 7 years younger, but the price is too high at the moment (2/3 weeks left until the window closes).

In the end, I blew the cash on Odegaard :confused: :D £33.5m from Madrid (where he hasn't featured). Looks like a longer term Ozil replacement and even though he's still just 16, he's straight onto the bench and will play probably 45 minutes every week. Stay of execution for Giroud and frankly, having surveyed the market, I'd have been mental to offload him at 28 (29 in a month in game) given his suitability for the system.

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what is the best role to play Pogba in? my two formations are 4231 and 41(DM)22(AML and ALMR)1

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what is the best role to play Pogba in? my two formations are 4231 and 41(DM)22(AML and ALMR)1

Depends on the rest of the system. There's no point playing anyone in a specific Role if it doesn't fit with the overall tactic. Pogba is very versatile and can perform well in a number of Roles.

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Used Ozil as trequista behind an advanced forward and two inside forwards. He has run riot. Also takes a very good penalty

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Nice article there. I'm in a mild tactical rut at the moment too. Had an unimpressive start to the season and need to get the team re-invented a little tactically to get on top of it. It's given me a few things to think about.

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Nice article there. I'm in a mild tactical rut at the moment too. Had an unimpressive start to the season and need to get the team re-invented a little tactically to get on top of it. It's given me a few things to think about.

It was an enjoyable system to develop. Ordinarily, I wouldn't use Roles like a Defensive Forward or a Ball Winning Midfielder, but I decided to break from my usual "FM-by-numbers" approach and try something new. Sometimes I find that's the only way to break from a tactical rut - try a new formation, use new Roles, be more open and aggressive than you might ordinarily be.

In season two, that same system has yielded 10 wins and 2 draws (one at Leicester, one at Monaco in the CL) in the competitive games I have played so far. It's a positive start, but to be fair - with those players, my five year old daughter could get a FM tactic to function :)

EDIT - I had been worried about selling Cazorla because of his DFK prowess. No need to worry at all - Sanchez is equally lethal :cool:

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A really pleasing start to the season. Currently just using the system linked before and rotating the squad from match to match - no pre or in-game changes at a tactical level, just a few substitutions.

screen-shot-2015-04-30-at-20-39-51.png

Draws were at Leicester and Man Utd, and at home to Everton. In the latter two we came from behind - it is a system which is being exposed now and then, but it's surprisingly dominant in terms of possession.

screen-shot-2015-04-30-at-20-40-25.png

A draw at Monaco and a defeat in Dortmund, but we navigated our way out of a pretty harsh group.

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