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FM16: Arsenal FC - Why Fly When You Can Walk on Water

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The Football Manager 2016 Arsenal FC Thread



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Overview

Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Holloway, London. The club play in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. One of the most successful clubs in English football, they have won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and a record 12 FA Cups.

Founded in 1886, Arsenal became the first club from the south of England to join the Football League in 1893. They won five League Championships and two FA Cups in the 1930s and became the second club to win the League and FA Cup Double in the 20th century in the 1971. In the 1990s and 2000s, Arsenal won a Cup Double, two further League and FA Cup Doubles, went through the 2003–04 league season undefeated and became the first London club to reach the UEFA Champions League Final.

The club's colours are traditionally red and white. Founded in Woolwich, south-east London, in 1913 they moved north across the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury. In 2006, they moved to the Emirates Stadium in nearby Holloway. Arsenal contest the North London derby with rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal has one of the highest incomes and largest fanbases in the world. The club was named the seventh most valuable association football club, valued at $1.3 billion, in 2015.

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Famous Managers

Herbert Chapman

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The appointment of Herbert Chapman in the summer of 1925 arguably shaped Arsenal into the football club it remains today.

The Englishman was tempted from his successful Huddersfield Town side by Arsenal chairman Henry Norris but despite immediate success in leading the Gunners to a second place finish in the First Division in 1925/26, the rest of the 1920s were spent in mid-table obscurity. Chapman did take the Club to their first FA Cup Final in 1927 but saw his side lose 1-0 to Cardiff City.

Despite Arsenal's league struggles Chapman persisted and by the early 1930s his hard work was bearing fruit. His innovative tactics, plus shrewd signings like David Jack, Cliff Bastin, Alex James and Eddie Hapgood transformed Arsenal into one of the most feared sides in the country.

Chapman's first trophy came in 1930 when Arsenal saw off his old employers, Huddersfield, in the FA Cup Final. The triumph offset a decade in which Arsenal would be the dominant team in English football. The Gunners won their first top flight title in 1930/31, repeating the feat two years later.

Bertie Mee

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More than a few eyebrows were raised when Bertie Mee was appointed as Arsenal manager in 1966. He had done sterling work as the Club's physiotherapist, but was he really the man to replace Billy Wright? The answer was an unequivocal yes.

Quite simply Mee restored Arsenal to the highest echelons of the European game. He led the Gunners to their first European trophy - the 1970 Fairs Cup - and will always be remembered for masterminding the Double triumph of 1970/71.

George Graham

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A hero of the Double-winning side of 1970/71, Graham returned to Highbury in May 1986 after a successful start to his managerial career at Millwall. Arsenal were treading water in the mid 80s - they had not won the title since Graham himself paraded the trophy 15 years earlier - and needed someone to shake things up.

Graham was that man. He revitalised the Club, bringing through a talented generation of young players such as David Rocastle, Michael Thomas and Tony Adams and supplementing them with a raft of astute signings including Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn and Steve Bould. That trio, along with Adams, became the Back Four, the bedrock on which Graham's success was built.

Arsenal finished fourth in Graham's first season in charge, and they went on to win the 1987 League Cup. At the end of Graham's third season (1988–89), the club won their first League title since 1971 (when Graham had been an Arsenal player), in highly dramatic fashion, in the final game of the season against Liverpool at Anfield; Arsenal needed to win by two goals to take the title; Alan Smith scored for Arsenal early in the second half to make it 1–0, but as time ticked by Arsenal struggled to get a second, and with 90 minutes gone on the clock, Arsenal still needed another goal. With only seconds to go, a Smith flick-on found Michael Thomas surging through the Liverpool defence; the young midfielder calmly lifted the ball over Bruce Grobbelaar and into the net, and Arsenal were League Champions.

Arsenal would go on to win another league title in 1990-1991 under Graham's guidance. They also became the first club to win the FA Cup and League Cup in the same season when Andy Linighan and Steve Morrow emerged as unlikely heroes in 1993. The Cup Winners' Cup followed in 1994 - Arsenal's first European trophy for 24 years - after a stubborn rearguard action against Parma in Copenhagen. 'One-nil to the Arsenal' was born.

Arsène Wenger

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When Arsène Wenger arrived at Highbury in October 1996, Arsenal's fans wondered who on earth he was. A virtual unknown in English football, Wenger had much to prove when he moved from Japan to north London. But if any doubts lingered over his appointment, the Frenchman soon dispelled them.

As his players soon realised, Wenger was a different breed of manager. The old-school habits of throwing teacups and tantrums were not for him. Instead the squad grew accustomed to nutrition and new training methods. Off the pitch Wenger has been just as effective, taking an active role in the building of a new training ground and the Emirates Stadium project.

Results on the pitch vindicated the new man in charge. Wenger won the Double in his first full season in charge and almost repeated the feat a year later. A couple of agonising Cup Final defeats followed but Wenger doubled up again in 2002, clinching the title at Old Trafford.

A second successive FA Cup triumph followed in 2003 and then perhaps Wenger's greatest achievement, leading his team to an unbeaten title season and, ultimately, a league record of 49 games without defeat. Yet another FA Cup win followed in 2005 as the Frenchman continued to rack up the trophies. And of course Wenger took Arsenal to within a whisker of Champions League glory a year later.

But Wenger has always been about more than results and trophies. He has transformed relative unknowns into world-class stars - Vieira, Petit, Anelka, Ljungberg and Pires for example. And he will always be remembered for turning Thierry Henry from a talented winger into a superstar striker.

But perhaps Wenger's greatest legacy will be the style with which he has brought success. Many clubs have won trophies, but few have managed it with the panache of Arsène's Arsenal. When appointed in September 1996 it was a case of 'Arsène Who?' These days, Wenger ranks alongside Herbert Chapman as Arsenal's greatest manager.

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Bronze Players

Tony Adams

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Nicknamed 'Mr Arsenal', Adams signed for Arsenal as a schoolboy in 1980. He made his first team debut on 5 November 1983 against Sunderland in the First Division, four weeks after his 17th birthday. Adams became a regular player in the 1985–86 season, winning his first major trophy in 1987 when playing in the Football League Cup Final win over Liverpool at Wembley.

Adams's strong discipline of the defence was considered a factor in Arsenal winning the League Cup in 1986–87 and then the First Division championship twice; the first in 1988–89 after a win over Liverpool in the final game of the season; the second in 1990–91, losing once all season. In 1992–93 Adams gained the distinction of being the captain of the first English side to win the League Cup and FA Cup double, lifting the European Cup Winners' Cup the following year.

Despite this success, a battle with alcoholism, which started in the mid-1980s, increasingly blighted his life as he was reportedly often involved in fights in nightclubs. His recovery and rehabilitation were helped in no small part by the arrival of Arsène Wenger as Arsenal manager in October 1996. Wenger reformed the club's dietary practices and the players' lifestyles. Wenger stuck by Adams following his confessions about his drink problem, and the improvements in the regime probably extended Adams's career by several years. Adams rewarded his manager's understanding handsomely, captaining the club to two Premiership and FA Cup Doubles, in 1997–98 and 2001–02; he is the only player in English football history to have captained a title-winning team in three different decades.

In August 2002, just before the start of the 2002–03 season, Adams retired from professional football after a career spanning almost 20 years, his last match being the last league game of the season at home to Everton. He played 674 matches for Arsenal (only David O'Leary has played more) and was the most successful captain in the club's history.

Thierry Henry

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Henry transferred from Juventus on 3 August 1999 to Arsenal for an estimated fee of £11 million, reuniting with his former manager Arsène Wenger. It was at Arsenal that Henry made his name as a world-class footballer, and although his transfer was not without controversy, Wenger was convinced he was worth the transfer fee. Brought in as a replacement for fellow French forward Nicolas Anelka, Henry was immediately moulded into a striker by Wenger, a move that would pay rich dividends in years to come. However, doubts were raised about his ability to adapt to the quick and physical English game when he failed to score in his first eight games. After several difficult months in England, Henry even conceded that he had to "be re-taught everything about the art of striking." These doubts were dispelled when he ended his first season at Arsenal with an impressive goal tally of 26.

Coming off the back of a victorious UEFA Euro 2000 campaign with the national team, Henry was ready to make an impact in the 2000–01 season. Despite recording fewer goals and assists than his first season, Henry's second season with Arsenal proved to be a breakthrough, as he became the club's top goalscorer. Armed with one of the league's best attacks, Arsenal finished runner-up to perennial rivals Manchester United in the Premier League. The team also reached the final of the FA Cup, losing 2–1 to Liverpool.

Success finally arrived during the 2001–02 season. Arsenal finished seven points above Liverpool to win the Premier League title, and defeated Chelsea 2–0 in the FA Cup Final. Henry became the league's top goalscorer and netted 32 goals in all competitions as he led Arsenal to a double and his first silverware with the club.

2002–03 proved to be another productive season for Henry, as he scored 32 goals in all competitions while contributing 23 assists—remarkable returns for a striker. In doing so, he led Arsenal to another FA Cup triumph (where he was man-of-the-match in the Final), although Arsenal failed to retain their Premier League title. Henry was named both the PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year. His rising status as one of the world's best footballers was affirmed when he emerged runner-up for the 2003 FIFA World Player of the Year award.

Entering the 2003–04 season, Arsenal were determined to reclaim the Premier League crown. Henry was again instrumental in Arsenal's exceptionally successful campaign; together with the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pirès, Henry ensured that the Gunners became the first team in more than a century to go through the entire domestic league season unbeaten, claiming the league title in the process. Apart from being named for the second year running as the PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year, Henry emerged once again as the runner-up for 2004 FIFA World Player of the Year award. With 39 goals scored in all competitions, the Frenchman led the league in goals scored and won the European Golden Boot.

Henry would go on to captain Arsenal and become the clubs all time leading goalscorer before departing for Barcelona in the summer of 2007.

Dennis Bergkamp

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His arrival signalled a daring change in outlook from the men in charge at Arsenal. George Graham had been replaced by Bruce Rioch and ‘Boring, Boring Arsenal’ was to be replaced by something altogether more beautiful. Bergkamp was the catalyst.

Of course Rioch’s Highbury sojourn came to an abrupt end and in September 1996 Arsène Wenger took the reins. Bergkamp needn’t have fretted over his place in the Frenchman’s plans, though, and Wenger later claimed Dennis’ presence in the ranks had been “a blessing, a gift when I arrived”.

And so it was that under the tutelage of Wenger, Bergkamp redefined football in England’s top division. His textbook technique, physical prowess and second-nature for picking out the killer pass made him the ultimate symbol of fantasy football. Indeed when Arsenal usurped Manchester United as the country’s best team in 1998, Bergkamp, too, succeeded Eric Cantona as the Premier League’s brightest beacon of European excellence. That Double season Arsenal’s No 10 was outstanding and his reward at the end of the campaign was both major Player of Year awards to go with his Championship and FA Cup medals.

Four years after guiding Arsenal to Premier League domination Bergkamp was at it again as Wenger’s men ruled once more. It was a similar story in 2003 as the Gunners marched to another FA Cup triumph, but by now Dennis was almost 34 and his contract was up. But Arsenal couldn’t let him go and he penned a one-year extension. Bergkamp repaid the faith shown in him with a typically classy season. The ‘Invincibles’, especially Messrs Henry, Ljungberg, Pires and Reyes, had a lot to be thankful for.

But time eventually caught up with Dennis and he decided, as Arsenal left Highbury, that his playing time was up. Only something massive and memorable would be good enough to reflect the impact the Dutchman had on the Club. The occasion of Bergkamp’s testimonial fitted the bill perfectly.

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In Football Manager 2016

General

One of the first things you'll notice after you take over is that Arsene Wenger has been moved into a director of football role rather than being removed completely from Arsenal. I find this personally to be a lovely feature and something I won't be changing but if you feel the need to assert your authority and ensure you have no shadow looming over your tenure then you have the ability to relieve him of his duties.

In terms of other coaching staff I find Arsenal not to be the best in this department, there aren't many 4 star coaches which would be a worry for most and my personal preference is to release almost all of the current coaches and bring in my own. I find the medical department to be fairly good so I tend to retain the people employed here but you may also want to revamp this area of the club. The scouting department is very good and extensive at Arsenal. There are several scouts, most of them good, but some of them you will likely want to replace with better and more knowledgeable people as time goes on.

Arsenal are owned by Stan Kroenke, having taken control of the club in September 2008. He is a owner who will have very little to do or say when it comes to the running of the club so you shouldn't expect to run into any hardships when dealing with him. He is nicknamed 'Silent Stan' after all. Arsenal have generally been run by a combination of managing director Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger over recent years. I wouldn't expect this to change anytime soon but for you stepping into the Arsene Wenger role of course.

Facilities

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Arsenal play in the Emirates Stadium (from 2006) which seats 60,272 people. Although it may not have the intimidation factor and fortress feel that the old ground Highbury had it is an exceptional stadium and bringing back that fortress feeling is something you will be hoping to do.

Arsenal have excellent facilities all around the board but if you plan on staying long term you should absolutely be keeping an eye of the training and youth facilities and ensuring they stay up to scratch.

Expectations

The minimum expectations that will befall you in your first season in charge of Arsenal is that you reach the quarter final of the UEFA Champions League, that you also qualify for the Champions League via your Premier League finish and that you reach at least the semi final of the FA Cup (a competition that Arsenal have won for the last 2 years running).

For this you will receive a transfer budget of £63.7 million and a wage budget of £2,589,858 p/w. The clubs current wage budget stands at £2,089,008 p/w so you will have plenty of wiggle room there. You may adjust your expectations however you see fit and if you decide that you can win the Premier League, the FA Cup and reach the final of the Champions League your budgets will be bumped up to £75.37 million to spend and £2,799,319 p/w for wages. The meager increase doesn't make the greater expectations worth if if you ask me, although you may feel you can do something special with that extra 12 million.

With all this being said Arsenal are not a trigger happy club and are likely to give you a chance even if you fail to meet your expectations as long as you show that you may be the right man for the job long term.

First Team Squad

Goalkeepers

Petr Cech | Profile | Report

The former Chelsea 'keeper was signed for £11 million this summer as the clubs only significant signing, but what a signing it could turn out to be. An excellent goalkeeper in his own right but it is the experience and leadership he should be able to bring that could really make the difference for you. He is getting on at 33 but plays in a position that could see him play till his late 30's, even early 40's. Definitely someone you should value highly.

David Ospina | Profile | Report

A divisive figure among Arsenal fans, the Colombian started the second half of last season as number 1 to mixed reception. The arrival of Cech will see him as undisputed back up, but he should be perfectly acceptable at that role.

Defenders

Right Sided

Mathieu Debuchy | Profile | Report

Arriving last summer to replace the departing Bacary Sagna the Frenchman had an impressive start to his Arsenal career, however, an injury early in the season derailed his good start. He would come back and again begin to impress Arsenal fans but once again another long term injury would put a halt to his Arsenal career. He would not come back from the later so easily having lost his place in the side. Not as popular a figure to Arsenal fans as he was when he first arrived due to his mixed performances when coming into the side. He is still, however, a very capable full back in game although he is getting on in years.

Hector Bellerin | Profile | Report

If the last two players have a mixed reputation amongst Arsenal fans then they will be envious of this young man. Had a difficult start last season but quickly established himself as a fan favorite with his incredible pace, excellent attacking displays and rock solid defending (for the most part). At only 20 years of age he is already considered amongst the best right backs in the Premier League and a player you should be doing you utmost to develop to his full potential.

Central

Per Mertesacker | Profile | Report

A World Cup winner and Arsenal vice captain Per Mertesacker has been a key player for Arsenal since his arrival. A generally robust player, he has formed an excellent partnership with Laurent Koscielny. He has excellent defensive attributes but at 6 foot 6" tall he is extremely slow off the mark and if you plan on playing a high line with aggressive pressing this may be an issue for you. He may be a player you want to improve on but for me he is a player I would at the very least keep around.

Laurent Koscielny | Profile | Report

A fan favorite the Frenchman has proven himself a be a top quality center back and has almost everything you could want from a defender. Should certainly be retained and expect him to be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Gabriel Paulista | Profile | Report

A January signing, the Brazilian has made an impressive start to his Arsenal career. A defender in a similar mould to Koscielny he looks to have rock solid attributes around the board. Definitely looks like one to keep and may even be able to force his way into the starting line-up.

Calum Chambers | Profile | Report

I could have included Chambers in the right back section but as the squad stands at the moment he is more likely to your 4th choice at center back. He is a player with immense potential and is certainly one to develop, whether that be at right back or center back. It may be your prerogative to shift Debuchy, make Chambers a full time right back to compete with Bellerin and bring in another center back.

Left Sided

Nacho Monreal | Profile | Report

The Spanish full back has established himself as the first choice in this position in recent seasons. He is an exceptionally solid left back who rarely puts a foot wrong and has excellent feet going forward. He perhaps lacks the pace to make him a top full back but is certainly your best left back at the beginning although this may be a position you look to buy in.

Kieran Gibbs | Profile | Report

Having lost his place to Monreal, Gibbs never really kicked on like Arsenal fans hoped he could have. That's not to say he is a bad player, he is a very solid full back and can absolutely be a valuable squad member but don't expect him to be a top left back for you. Although if you decide to make a big purchase in this position it may be Gibbs rather than Monreal you want to keep on as back up due to his favorable age and home grown status.

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As is tradition, I started the first game of FM16 beta as my favorite team: Arsenal.

Just like last year, Arsenal is in a very strong position to challenge for the league and even the CL, especially with some key signings. In fact, I would argue that we are in a much better position now with the emergence of incredible talents like Coq and Bellerin. That combined with the star players finally reaching their potential could really make Arsenal unstoppable. Assuming, of course, that they can deal with their most dangerous foe of all --injuries. With all that said, let's get started.

TRANSFERS:

As I mentioned before, this time around we have a very well balanced team that needs very little improvements to be competitive. As all Arsenal fans are well aware, the one position we are in need of is a world class striker. In real life, Arsene decided to play Giroud and Walcott up front, and while Giroud is IMO a much better player in FM than IRL, and I definitely plan to use him a lot, I think Walcott's pace will serve us better on the right wing.

  • I looked at different options to fulfill our need, including Benzema, Higuain, Zlatan, Lewandowski, etc., but those options are either too old or too expensive. After searching for a while, I finally decided on Morata, who I think will be a perfect man for our attack force. He ended up costing us £42.5m (coincidentally same price as Ozil).
  • Another gap I see is in defense, so I bought the FM legend Balanta for £3.8m. His stats aren't quite as superhuman as in FM15, but he's still a bargain at this price.
  • Sven Bender is available for £11m or so, but I wanted to use Coq as our main BWM, and I think Arteta and Flamini still have one more season left in them, so I decided against getting him.
  • Kristoffer Ajer was brought in for £1m, purely an investment for the future.
  • In January, Tielemans became available for £10.25m, so I snapped him up also.

TACTICS:

As with last season, I went with an attacking 4-2-3-1 as my main tactic. This works pretty well in most situation, but I also have a more defensive tactic prepared for when I want to run down the clock, as well as a counterattacking tactic for away games against tough opponents (a la Bayern game this year). With the following players in each position:

  • GK: Cech/Ospina
  • LB: Monreal/Gibbs/Balanta
  • RB: Bellerin/Debuchy/Chambers
  • CB: Kos/Mert/Gabriel/Balanta/Chambers
  • BWM: Coq/Flamini/Arteta
  • BBM: Ramsey/Arteta/Wilshere/Tielemans
  • LW (IF): Alexis/Welbeck/Campbell/Jeff
  • RW: Walcott/AOC
  • AMC (AP): Ozil/Cazorla
  • CF: Morata/Giroud

SEASON HIGHLIGHTS:

Arsenal 2 - 0 Chelsea (Community Shield): A great way to start the season (just like IRL), with a brace by Giroud to give us our first competitive win.

Chelsea 2 - 1 Arsenal (PL): Our first and only loss in the league, and it had to be from that douche Mou... Falcao even scored.

Arsenal 6 - 0 Tottenham (PL): Cazorla scored 4 goals, 3 of which were penalties. Very entertaining game for us.

Man City 1 - 3 Arsenal (PL): The title race has been incredibly tight up until this game, with Man City and us even on points for most of the season. This is the beginning of the end for them, with each of our front three (Alexis, Walcoot, and Morata) contributing a goal.

Arsenal 4 - 2 Bayern (CL Qtr Final): We somehow managed to win 3-1 in the away leg after being down 1-0 from a freak goal by Lahm. However, Walcott scored an incredible brace and Alexis sealed it with another goal. We then finished the job in a nerve wrecking 1-1 at home.

Chelsea 0 - 0 Arsenal (Arsenal won 6-5 on penalties) (FA Cup Semi Final): By far the most tense game of the season. None of our attackers were playing well, luckily the defense held Chelsea to draw for 120 minutes. It took 3 missed penalties from Chelsea for us to edge this one out.

Man City 3 - Arsenal 1 (CL Semi Final, 1st Leg): First leg vs. our nemesis Man City was a disaster. Aguero scored a brace, Sterling scored one, and the only goal we got was from a Kompany OG. Thing were looking a bit grim, and I was resigned to defeat, but wait...

Arsenal 6 - 1 Man City (CL Semi Final, 2nd Leg): Let it be known that no one beats us twice in a row. With the hunger for revenge from the previous defeat, our boys struck back in the best possible way. With Alexis and Ozil both scored 2 goals each, and Debuchy & Bellerin each got one (thanks to Agent Gael).

Man City 6 - 3 Arsenal (FA Cup Final): Yup. Them again. I guess you can't win them all. Aguero, apparently super pissed from their last defeat, turned into a cross between Messi, Ronaldo, and Superman and scored 5 goals all by himself. Yeah, not much I can do to stop that.

Arsenal 3 - 0 Juventus (CL Final): That right. WE'VE DONE IT! After trying for 20 years, Arsene's boys have finally won the Champion's League. I imagine Arsene watching from the stand with a single tear of joy rolling down his cheek. Walcott opened the floodgate by scoring an early goal in the 4th minute, and Alexis followed suit soon after. Pogba getting sent of at the 17th minute also helped us immensely, although I think we still would've won even against 11 men. All in all if was a great way to end the season, completely made up for the disappointing loss in the FA Cup final.

SUMMARY:

  • Not surprisingly, Alexis was by far and away our best player. I can pretty much count on him to score in almost every game he played. He ended the season with 40 goals (beating Henry's record of 39!), 12 assists, 17 MoM's, and average rating of 8.37. He also won World Player of the Year and was runner up for Ballon d'Or. Truly an incredible player, both in the game and IRL.
  • Morata didn't disappoint despite his hefty price tag, contributing 23 goals and 11 assists. Better yet, he's still young and can improve even further.
  • Despite this, Giroud ended up being a slightly better CF with 20 goals and a ridiculous 19 assists, only one less than Ozil. Although he'll be 30 next year, so I'll have to think about replacing him sooner or later.
  • The biggest disappointment of the season (if you can call it that), was Ramsey as BBM. He wasn't exactly bad, but he was just meh throughout the season. I feel that with his excellent stats, he should've been able to contribute more to the team,
  • Bellerin, just like real life, was excellent for the first half of the season. Unfortunately, his broke his ankle right after the January window closed and was out for 3 months. Hopefully this did not stall his development. I still think he will soon become the best right back in the world.
  • Overall, I really like FM16 so far. Subtle improvements over FM15, but nothing too drastic. I would've liked improvements with player interactions (although they seem to bitch a lot less this time around, which is good). Injuries seemed a bit better, although I was still plagued with some horror long term ones, but that's not too unrealistic given that we are Arsenal. I struggled a bit with tactics initially, but once everything was in place we were unstoppable.
  • I loved how Arsene was promoted to a DoF instead of just getting fired and going to another team. Feels like he's just stepping back while still mentoring me and seeing his project through to the end. Coincidentally, he announced his retirement after the season was over. I'd like to think that I finally fulfilled his dreams of finally winning the CL and getting back the PL title that eluded him for so long. Now he can finally relax knowing that his beloved Arsenal is in good hands.

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Cheers for getting this up so fast FMF :thup: sure there is a few happy FM'ers who can now post about their game!

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Well, I have also settled on an Arsenal FM save. I am not an Arsenal fan, so not really sure how long it will last, but at the moment I am really enjoying it.

As WingZeroMkII said Arsenal have a very nice, balanced and quality squad this year. So much so that it is difficult to improve them without having to spend an absolute fortune on an individual player. Tactically speaking, I think Arsenal can almost play any formation and style such is the depth and variety.

Transfers Summer Window 2015.

I guess I took a bit of a different view to some other people. As an 'outsider' to Arsenal I think going forward, generally, Arsenal are pretty much okay. Neither Giroud or Walcott are world class, but, with the way I intended to play, I felt they were both more than adequate to do a job. I did try to obtain a world class centre back but I had huge bids for Hummels and Pique rejected, so decided to make do with what we have. One thing about my policy is that I never pay for 1st team players over monthly installments. I will do for youngsters, but not for the likes of Hummels etc.

In

Luan - £3.2m

Embolo - £15m

Del Pierro - Free

Coutinho - £47m - up to £60m with add on's.

Out

Debuchy - £7.5m to Southampton

Winter Window 2016

In

Emeterio - £700k

Zouma - £27.5m

Dozzell - £2.5m

Out

Chambers - £28m up to £36m after 10 internationals - to Chelsea

The obvious big ones out of that lot are Coutinho & Zouma in and Chambers out. I had my doubts about Coutinho, I even asked in the should I buy/sell thread and got told no (I didn't listen :D). However I was sure I wanted to play mostly on the counter attack and Couthino's attributes fit perfectly with how I saw us playing. Zouma was a no brainer once Chelsea came in for Chambers. I didn't really want to lose Chambers, but he wanted to talk to Chelsea, so in the end I effectively got £8.5m plus Zouma for him.

I am in February now, so will do a full report once the season is over, but sit top of the league by 6 points from City, drawn against Valencia in the first knockout round of CL and got Sunderland in the 5th round of the FA Cup. All is going well.

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Was hoping to get more done on this tonight but I've had an Internet outage shortly after the OP. I'll definitely have the whole thing done by the end of the weekend. hopefully sometime Saturday should see completion.

If there's interest in a records and landmarks (biggest win and such) type thing I can do one, I personally wouldn't be overly interested in one but I can run one if enough people are.

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Lucas Romero is a cheap (~4m) and solid backup to Coq in the BWM role. Not sure if his potential is as high as it was in FM15 but he still looks good and is rated highly by scouts.

Anyone able to get Sergi Samper to sign? He has a really low buy-out clause at the start of the game but he normally signs a new contract with Barca rather than accepting an higher offer elsewhere.

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Nice thread fanatic. Cant wait to get see the squad review.

From anyone who has played as the gunners (as I'm waiting for the full release), who would you recommend to sell in the first season to get some money. I was thinking myself of selling the likes of Santi Carzola, Mertesacker, Monreal (want to get Gaya as an upgrade) and Walcott. What have you guys experience with there form and potential offers from other clubs.

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I wouldn't sell Santi .. won't get as much as you think for him and he's too good to get rid of. You already get close to £60 million to spend so I guess it depends on how much money you need, but for me, i'd consider maybe selling the likes of Campbell and other fringe players if you have too, but that's it.

If you really want money, sell Giroud, no doubt you'll want a top class striker in and he just isn't quite there and you should get £40 million or so I would say.

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Last year I kept Mertesacker until he was 36 and his attributes hardly changed. This time I think he has higher determination, which makes him a better tutor.

There's some very good talent in the U21s and U18s this time around, it seems. Zelalem, Crowley, Gnabry, Maiitland-Niles and Akpom, all on loan, look good, and then there's Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Vlad Dragomir and Donyell Malen. Not to mention Chambers and Bellerin in the first team squad. If/when I get round to doing an Arsenal save, I'll likely be focusing on these guys.

I'm looking forward to your thread, FMFanatic2016. :thup:

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Giroud has been absolute topclass for me. At the moment 28 goals, with 5 matches to play in all competitions. I have had an absolute beast of a first season. Totally bossed the league. I bought Balanta, for sentimental reasons, because I have always bought him and don't believe all the stories about him being less. He's stil an absolute beast. I tutored him with Koscielny and his stats are going through the roof as we speak. He is somewhat injury-prone though. That's the one downside I think. I have bought Domenico Berardi as a striker, but he's more a right winger in this game. And trust me, you want to buy that guy! What an absolute beast! Great times!

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6956a681124438c2af984b42e2637a8b.png <<Are they actually set up like this? It always upset me a little that the trophies didn't look right :(

Good thread, looking forward to playing as Arsenal! Sven Bender at GBP 11mil sounds like a bargin

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I assume he has done that himself or has a trophy graphics pack (which I never knew existed) :) I want to get myself a trophy graphics pack now!

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I'll make a proper roundup post when I've finished my first season, but I've made a couple of signings that have worked out pretty well for me. Gabriel Barbosa is banging the goals in up top (keeping Giroud out of the side) and Lucas Lima from Santos (I think) has slotted in very nicely in central midfield and has been rotating with Ramsey for my CM AP(s) slot.

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I'm thinking Nolito maybe my first signing, especially with his min release fee, makes it almost no sense not to get him, I'd love to try and get Marc Bartra to be a main stay of the defence, but from other threads I've read he tends to resign for Barcelona more often than not. Gabriel will be shown the door if his stats relate to anything like he is irl

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Great start to the thread FMFanatic! And welcome to the forums.

Been waiting for this.

I'll have a full update about later, but will just chip in with cover for Le Coq, another player you can look at is Thiago Maia from Santos, picked him up for around £10m including add ons at the start of the game, got Romero too, but when they only cost £14m combined it's rude not to

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I'm thinking Nolito maybe my first signing, especially with his min release fee, makes it almost no sense not to get him, I'd love to try and get Marc Bartra to be a main stay of the defence, but from other threads I've read he tends to resign for Barcelona more often than not. Gabriel will be shown the door if his stats relate to anything like he is irl

I experimented and managed to straight swap Chambers with Zouma ... a Kos and Zouma partnership is the stuff of dreams for me.

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I really rate Chambers, so I'd like to keep him if possible...I even signed him for a Chelsea game on FM15 and he was amazing, I'm hoping he has similar levels of PA this season. I'm really looking forward to playing this new game...so much that I'm tempted to take my laptop on my honeymoon!!!

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Ah see, Not a fan at all, and with Stones and Holgate existing, I can see one of those being more preferable if I need a pacey CB/RB

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I don't usually post on these forums but I have started playing as Arsenal on the beta. First season I finished third, only a few points behind Manchester United and Chelsea. We also won the FA Cup and lost to Chelsea in the third round of the league cup. My transfers were;

First Season

Out

Campbell, Debuchy, Monreal,

In

Horn, Zieler, Balanta, Luan, Ajer, Mammana, Barbosa, Zivkovic, Kovalenko, Vietto, Gaya.

Second Season

In

Pereira, Lavezzi, Pogba, Lincoln, Strootman, Grimaldo (loan) Martins Indi

Out

Welbeck, Coquelin, Luan, Giroud, Cazorla, Gibbs, Gabriel, Zieler, Jenkinson, Ospina, Martinez, Akpom, Iwobi, Sanogo, Hayden, Wellington Silva, Flamini, Toral, Macey, O’Connor, Szczesny, Arteta.

Which leaves my squad like this;

GK - Cech, Horn

DC - Koscielny, Balanta

DC - Mertesacker, Martins Indi

WBR - Bellerin, Chambers

WBL - Gaya, Grimaldi

DM - Wilshere, Strootman, Bielik

MC - Pogba, Kovalenko

MC - Ramsey, Crowley

AMC - Ozil, Chamberlain,

AMR - Walcott, Vietto, Barbosa, Gnabry,

AML - Sanchez, Lavezzi, Zivkovic

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What do you guys do about Jonker the Head of Youth Development? It's going to cost 4.2m to mutually terminate his contract.

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What do you guys do about Jonker the Head of Youth Development? It's going to cost 4.2m to mutually terminate his contract.

I got rid of Jonker and got Brian McClair in

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Apart from Alaba and Bernat of course...

Apart from Gaya is already very similar to both of them, yet 3 years younger, of course............;)

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Jorge from Flamengo is another left back that looks like he could turn out brilliant. Fairly typical Brazilian wing back with some pretty good offensive stats considering his age.

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Jorge from Flamengo is another left back that looks like he could turn out brilliant. Fairly typical Brazilian wing back with some pretty good offensive stats considering his age.

Always wary of Brazilian left backs... nobody wants another Andre Santos...

In other news, Rulli joining on a free at the end of the season :)

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He is the best, but for me he had no interest in joining as he enjoyed working at Roma with Rudi Garcia. It wouldn't even allow me to make him a contract offer.

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Can sell Walcott for 42.5m to man utd . I dont really rate him in fm I play with 1 striker and hes not great as a solo striker and prefer OX on right wing!

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I don't usually post on these forums but I have started playing as Arsenal on the beta. First season I finished third, only a few points behind Manchester United and Chelsea. We also won the FA Cup and lost to Chelsea in the third round of the league cup. My transfers were;

First Season

Out

Campbell, Debuchy, Monreal,

In

Horn, Zieler, Balanta, Luan, Ajer, Mammana, Barbosa, Zivkovic, Kovalenko, Vietto, Gaya.

Second Season

In

Pereira, Lavezzi, Pogba, Lincoln, Strootman, Grimaldo (loan) Martins Indi

Out

Welbeck, Coquelin, Luan, Giroud, Cazorla, Gibbs, Gabriel, Zieler, Jenkinson, Ospina, Martinez, Akpom, Iwobi, Sanogo, Hayden, Wellington Silva, Flamini, Toral, Macey, O’Connor, Szczesny, Arteta.

Which leaves my squad like this;

GK - Cech, Horn

DC - Koscielny, Balanta

DC - Mertesacker, Martins Indi

WBR - Bellerin, Chambers

WBL - Gaya, Grimaldi

DM - Wilshere, Strootman, Bielik

MC - Pogba, Kovalenko

MC - Ramsey, Crowley

AMC - Ozil, Chamberlain,

AMR - Walcott, Vietto, Barbosa, Gnabry,

AML - Sanchez, Lavezzi, Zivkovic

Why did you buy Horn and Zieler when you had Cech and Ospina in the first season? Also not ST formation?

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Okay, so I've started up a save purely with the intent of developing the bevy of good young players at the club. Like in real life, I won't be signing any outfield players, since that would make giving young players game time that much more difficult.

At the moment, my main focus will be on:

Chambers, Bellerin, Reine-Adelaide, Serge Gnabry, Maitland-Niles, Crowley, Zelalem, Akpom, Bielik, Dragomir and Malen

And the following I'll try to develop but they aren't a priority:

Iwobi, Bennacer, Agyei-Tabi, Fortune

I'll post plenty of screenshots if people want me to.

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Can sell Walcott for 42.5m to man utd . I dont really rate him in fm I play with 1 striker and hes not great as a solo striker and prefer OX on right wing!

He's been awesome on my game, top scorer as a ST (CF(a)) even eclipsing Ballon D'Or winner Alexis Sanchez...

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Have got some stuff up about the statued players. Nothing fancy, just stuff copied from wiki or the club website. Don't think people are that interested in this section of the thread anyway. I'll be starting the in game squad stuff early tomorrow.

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Nice thread fanatic. Cant wait to get see the squad review.

From anyone who has played as the gunners (as I'm waiting for the full release), who would you recommend to sell in the first season to get some money. I was thinking myself of selling the likes of Santi Carzola, Mertesacker, Monreal (want to get Gaya as an upgrade) and Walcott. What have you guys experience with there form and potential offers from other clubs.

lS8PLZU.png

there you go

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