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

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October Report

03/10/15 | Barclays Premier League | Emirates

Arsenal 2 ( Reine-Adelaide 35 , Afobe 60 | Assts: Cazorla/Oxlade-Chamberlain x1)

Stoke 0

17/10/15 | Barclays Premier League | Vicarage Road

Arsenal 0

Watford 0

21/10/15 | UEFA Champions League( Grp Stage) | Emirates

Arsenal 4 ( Oxlade-Chamberlain 56 , Welbeck 70 , Oxade-Chamberlain 71 , Welbeck 73 | Assts: Afobe/Giroud/Monreal/Cazorla x1)

FC Red Bull Salzburg 1 ( Soriano 60)

24/10/15 | Barclays Premier League | Emirates

Arsenal 3 ( Welbeck 21 , Özil 68 , Giroud 87 | Asst: Cazorla/Welbeck/Giroud x1)

Chelsea 0

31/10/15 | Barclays Premier League | Etihad

Arsenal 1 ( Welbeck 82)

Man City 0

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I think I'm done, I usually don't mind the games you dominate but can't quite win, it happens, but FM really does take the wee sometimes, this is just farcical.

And yet if this was me, I'd be questioning why my name had so many shots from obviously ridiculous places (how many off target???) .. i'd be looking at you only completing 19% of crosses...

You had 7 ccc to their 1 ... not that ridiculous a scoreline really.

Too many people just look at shots and don't question the quality of those shots.

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And yet if this was me, I'd be questioning why my name had so many shots from obviously ridiculous places (how many off target???) .. i'd be looking at you only completing 19% of crosses...

You had 7 ccc to their 1 ... not that ridiculous a scoreline really.

Too many people just look at shots and don't question the quality of those shots.

And too many people like you come in and assume what happened.

The simple answer is that it was a game to clinch the league title, I told them that beforehand and the pressure got to them.

But. Things like this happen much more often in game, and the gulf between the two teams is much greater, than in similar real life examples. Why does pressure only get to them in the box? We had another game this season where we played Bayern at home in the Champion's League, we drew 0-0 and were pedestrian, creating nothing. I was annoyed, but at me and the team, I couldn't inspire them to perform. I have also had other games with the striker seeming to feel the pressure and missing a lot of chances, but not to this extent. If they are pressured, perform badly, fine, but having them perform badly only in the box smacks of lazy programming.

I had eight long range shots, a tad high, but from a total of 47 not bad. 7 CCCs, and proper CCCs, not those silly ones where the player is on the touchline. The goal wasn't one of the CCCs. 13 blocked shots, high, but what can I do about it? Players in the game don't understand the opposition aren't ghosts. 19% cross completion is actually decent, in my opinion, against a three centre back defence in a team with no intention of attacking.

I have won the league first two season, also won Champions League both seasons. 1 FA Cup, 1 League Cup. I'm going to win the league again, so this wasn't frustration at not winning. I want to be sucked into the FM world and this stops that from happening. Other things like the amount of times I hit the woodwork (8 in one match), the English dominance in Europe and silly player interactions hurt that. That post was more a build up of annoyance over everything. Drop my total shots by by half, still a totally dominant display, but not quite as silly, I'd have moved on without even thinking about it. The Premier League record of shots in one game is 52, I nearly matched it myself.

As a long time FM player, your response "it's fine and it's your fault" just makes me wonder if if I'll bother buying in the future

Edit: anyway, this isn't the place for this, let's move on. Apologies if I went overboard Welshace, I know complaints like this must get tedious and you are only trying to help.

Moar Arse success stories!

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Another update from me...

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

Our league form from October to January fluctuated between impressive and frustrating. The objective for this set of fixtures - between January and early-March - was to string together an unbeaten run, to try and reel Chelsea and Manchester City back in. Here's how the hectic two-or-so months went:-

Barclays%20Premier%20League%20-%20Results%20-%20January%20to%20March_zpsx3cm03bz.png

In short: we achieved my initial objective. We strung together a nine-game unbeaten run in the Premier League. But four of said nine games were draws and games which we could have, and should have, won. Our New Year's stalemate away to West Ham sort of set the tone for the next two months in the league. We were the team pushing, we were dominant, but a twenty-five yard strike from Victor Moses really set us back. Cazorla's penalty was deserved, but Theo Walcott sliced a theoretically easy finish from five-yards out in the 92nd minute.

Mesut Özil's goal, his first of quite a few during this period, proved to be a delightful winner against Stoke. But again, just a week later, we struggled to score against a side which afforded us plenty of opportunity to do so. We also didn't have any realistic replacements on a defender-heavy substitutes' bench capable of breaking the deadlock.

Then Manchester City came to the Emirates - and we were absolutely superb. Sergio Agüero's arrowing strike across, into the top corner, made me fear the worst, but we regrouped, re-energised and fought our away back. We restricted City to just the solitary (half) chance and created five of our own. Per Mertesacker towered above Pablo Zabaleta at the near-post to glance an equaliser in just before half-time. After, we stepped it up even further; Héctor Bellerín rushed a couple of half chances before the winner, from substitute Olivier Giroud, was scored. John Stones seemed to have Alexis' through ball into the channel under his control. But his poor back pass enabled Olivier to nip in and finish powerfully at the near-post. A wonderful - and very much deserved - win.

To Sunderland, where another moment of poor luck ultimately won us the game. Olivier Giroud twisted and strained knee ligaments just after half-time, forcing Theo Walcott to take his place. And he scored three goals! His first, and best, saw him latch on to a Wilshere pass, finishing at the near-post. Gladly, we backed up a good win up north with another good win at home, against West Brom. Jack Wilshere assisted another goal, this time for Mesut, who controlled Wilshere's through ball and finished well with his right-foot.

After a hat-trick of much-needed wins, the tough trip to Everton didn't seem so daunting. And we produced a fine performance which should have earned us three points. Walcott scored again, found gloriously well by Mesut Özil, who earlier rattled the crossbar. The second-half was fairly comfortable, but Martínez's decision to introduce Leon Osman was quickly vindicated. Ramsey could've won it late on.

We struggled to break down Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, but were relatively untroubled and easily deserved a point. The victory against a remarkably negative Swansea, still managed by Garry Monk, was very pleasing. Fernández couldn't handle Walcott's movement throughout the game, an example of his troubles would be the opening goal. Theo jinked and jutted around, lost Fernández and tapped-in Héctor Bellerín's driven cross. Mathieu Flamini, a late substitute, scored his first of the season from a corner.

Barclays Premier League table; as of March 6th



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THE EMIRATES FA CUP

Emirates%20FA%20Cup%20-%20Results%20-%2015-16_zpszdkjv5la.png

We were somewhat fortuitous in our draws for each round. Avoiding Premier League opposition, we were drawn against a League One side and two Championships side - with two of the times at the Emirates. Routine victories over Fleetwood and Bolton saw Krystian Bielik, Ismaël Bennacer, Dan Crowley and Chris Willock make their competitive debuts for the club, all impressing in the process.

But Burnley away posed a very different challenge - as the scoreline suggests. We lined-up with an experienced side; Jeff Reine-Adelaïde was the only starter under the age of twenty-three. Both teams struggled to create chances, but Burnley took theirs. Kevin Long wrestled with Gabriel, lunging to convert a lumped set-piece. No FA CUp hat-trick.


UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

As reported in my previous update, we qualified as top seeds from our group and drew FC Porto in the last sixteen of Europe's premier competition...

UEFA%20Champions%20League%20-%20Results%20-%20Round%20of%20Last%20Sixteen_zpsw2laqbnh.png

Top of Portugal's Liga NOS by a considerable margin, managed by the highly-rated Lopetegui and playing in a balanced, dangerous 4-3-3 system, we would have to be at our best to beat FC Porto. And, in the first leg at the Estádio de Dragão, we undeniably were. Lining up with our strongest eleven, minus the injured Nacho Monreal, we set out to carefully control Porto's game; seeking first and foremost to limit the space within which they could play and later, looking to build considered attacking sequences.

We almost got off to the perfect start, but Alexis' chested control was followed by a thunderbolt which smacked the crossbar. Mesut Özil's goal was a result of considered attacking football. The move was assembled by Gibbs and Alexis, with the latter finding Mesut in space, who sweeped it beyond former team-mate, Iker Casillas. We took complete control of the tie when Aaron Ramsey pinged a swerving shot in, first time, from around thirty-yards.

As a result of our superb performance in Portugal, the return leg at the Emirates was a relatively comfortable, relaxing affair - especially after Walcott opened the scoring fifteen minutes after half-time. Aboubakar's curling twenty-five effort came too late and we progress into the quarter-final in impressive style.


PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

Arsène Wenger has recently welcomed the latest youth intake into the academy, with a couple of players looking to be real talents. Instead of featuring them (I may do so in a separate update), I thought I'd focus on some of the talent already at the club.

Calum%20Chambers%20-%20Arsenal%20-%20March%206th%202016_zpstd5ezog4.png

Calum Chambers is developing well. Seen as a long-term replacement for Per Mertesacker - in position, style and qualities - I've used him almost exclusively as a centre-back. His development has been encouraging, as have his performances at centre-back when called upon. He's made important improvements in anticipation and concentration, while I have also taught him to stay on his feet while defending. Next season could see him displace Mertesacker in the eleven.

Ismaeumll%20Bennacer%20-%20Arsenal%20-%20March%206th%202016_zpsys31ugr3.png

As with JEinchy, the steps Ismaël Bennacer has made in his all-round game are very encouraging. He's made three senior appearances to date - including a start against Bolton - and regularly trains with the first-team squad. Now being tutored by Mikel Arteta and capable of controlling tempo from midfield, he's taking strong strides towards becoming the type of midfielder I envisage he will be.

Chris%20Willock%20-%20Arsenal%20-%20March%206th%202016_zps3jnnog4i.png

Chris Willock, another regular at under-21 level who is coming on nicely. Improvements can be made in every aspect of his game, but he has plenty of time, and a couple of loan spells, to further his game. I'd like to see him become a greater creative threat to supplement his close control.


ROUND-UP: JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW

There was a fair amount of activity at the club during the January window, but only one completed deal resulted from it - and that was an outgoing. Firstly, I had to stave off three offers from Bayern München for Gabriel, the last of which amounted to £17 million. Real Madrid also offered £27.5 million for Héctor Bellerín. Both players wanted to leave, but have since changed their mind.

Most of my effort was channelled into signing a midfielder. A £4 million deal for Atlético Madrid's Saúl Ñiguez was scrapped due to a failed medical, but he remains a target, with his contract expiring this June. I made enquiries for Youri Tielemans (Anderlecht), Riechedly Bazoer (Ajax) and Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund) and received proposals for all three, but all were obscenely large. I will reassess my options come the summer, but Bazoer and Weigl will be high up on my midfield list.

The only complete deal: Alex Iwobi joined Championship side Derby County on a three-month loan deal.


Quite a long-winded update, but I hope you enjoyed it. More to come soon...

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in my third season looking to add a attacking midfiled (AMCRL) option in Jan window. I have Sanchez, ozil,Ox, Theo and promoted Adelede and Awobi to first team. Awobi hasnt done much and theo keeps getting injured. I use Embola there too but he is primarily my CF with Berardi. The Options I have are Barkley (around 50 mil) or Odegard trasnfer listed at Madrid for (31) mil. who is the best bet of the two? Odegard seems still very young and Barkley might not be an option outwide. thanks

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Bellerin is robbing me with a new contract, demanded a new contract for playing so well, so gone from 45k a week to 165k a week with 25k every match bonus!!

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in my third season looking to add a attacking midfiled (AMCRL) option in Jan window. I have Sanchez, ozil,Ox, Theo and promoted Adelede and Awobi to first team. Awobi hasnt done much and theo keeps getting injured. I use Embola there too but he is primarily my CF with Berardi. The Options I have are Barkley (around 50 mil) or Odegard trasnfer listed at Madrid for (31) mil. who is the best bet of the two? Odegard seems still very young and Barkley might not be an option outwide. thanks

Why are you limited to those two?

Sisto would be good as would Luan and both would be 20m ish and as good as those two at this stage imo.

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Why are you limited to those two?

Sisto would be good as would Luan and both would be 20m ish and as good as those two at this stage imo.

Fully agree with Sisto, got him in the first window of the game, played 22 games, 11 of those from the bench, 6 goals and 2 assists, great player to have on the bench for the wide positions, although if you still got campbell then hes pretty good to!

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I ended up starting again, and have just finished my first season. I've received an offer for the Ox that I'm not sure about. Man City are offering £40m up front, £11.5m over 12 months and £8m after 10 international games, which will obviously happen with Alex. Do I take it? £60m is a lot of money for someone that only played 19(6) games for me in all competitions. He did, however, score 11 goals and get 6 assists in those 25 games, with an average rating of 7.52. The other AMRs that I've got in my squad are Theo (27(6) games, 14 goals, 11 assists, 7.35 rating) and James Ward-Prowse (24(10) games, 6 goals, 12 assists, 7.37 average rating but not all of these from the right wing). I could also put Alexis there and bring in someone like Reus. Thoughts?

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Cast your mind to 8th May 2016, Spurs v Arsenal, Arsenal need to get the win to seal the title with 1 game left with london rivals chelsea sitting in 2nd place. Game kicks off and spurs take the lead just before halftime with giroud taking a knock. Halftime comes, Welbeck goes up front and scores a hatrick and the score finishes 2-6 to Arsenal. Arsenal win the title at WHL for the third time in history!

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and so the first season if over and done with after winning the league at WHL, suffered more injuries than i care to remember along with an awful mid season blip but we managed to still plow on through after being eliminated in the 3rd round in the capital one cup and in the 6th round of the fa cup, the champions league is another story, first game we won, lost the next 3 on the bounce and then won the last 2 which put us through....just. We made it to the knockout stages, first knock out round was against real madrid, we beat them 7-5 on agg, next round we faced barcelona in which we went through 4-2 on agg. Semi finals we played the old foe Bayern Munich who i had in my group stages as well, we played away in the first leg and snatched a 1-0 win, the second leg was at home and we lost 2-1 going out on away goals.

so the league table finished like this, a bit shocking when you see villa are in 6th place!

http://imageshack.com/a/img907/958/wpnmQ5.png

did quite a few transfers and 2 mistakes were made, gettin sakho from west ham, really wasnt that good, and getting talisca on loan for half the season, played 3 games for me then shoved him in the reserves, was useless. kouyate was a great signing and was a core part of my midfield in games against real madrid and barcelona when he played as a BWM DF and coquelin as BWM SU

http://imageshack.com/a/img908/4033/Wb5ezX.png

Alexis and ozil were crucial to my team in assists and goals, lost ozil the last month and half due to injury, also lost Gibbs for 7-8 months due to a viral infection

http://imageshack.com/a/img903/9027/HST8zS.png

http://imageshack.com/a/img911/2524/6wb2df.png

Now the summer is here and with all the loans coming back, no doubt i will have to trim my squad. cazorla, jenkinson, monreal and sakho will be up for sale along with ospina.

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I ended up starting again, and have just finished my first season. I've received an offer for the Ox that I'm not sure about. Man City are offering £40m up front, £11.5m over 12 months and £8m after 10 international games, which will obviously happen with Alex. Do I take it? £60m is a lot of money for someone that only played 19(6) games for me in all competitions. He did, however, score 11 goals and get 6 assists in those 25 games, with an average rating of 7.52. The other AMRs that I've got in my squad are Theo (27(6) games, 14 goals, 11 assists, 7.35 rating) and James Ward-Prowse (24(10) games, 6 goals, 12 assists, 7.37 average rating but not all of these from the right wing). I could also put Alexis there and bring in someone like Reus. Thoughts?

Three seasons in and he has been injured a lot for me, so it might be worth considering on that basis. In saying that, the team seems to play much better with him on the right, and Alexis performs much better from the left. He also just scored the only goal in a 1-0 win in Munich, after we drew the first leg.

I turned down £63m, but think it may have been the wrong decision.

Llew, I bought Bazoer summer 2016, he cost me £20.5m. His first season he was an able back up for le Coq, and he is a dependable choice for central defence if you want more attacking options on the bench. After a run of poor form from Coquelin midway through season 3, I gave Bazoer a run of games and he is probably first choice holding mid now.

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Really big run-in coming up, so thought it be best to give a brief update now...

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

As detailed in my previous update - see post #308 - I went on an unbeaten run in the league. That run came to an end quite soon after...

Barclays%20Premier%20League%20-%20Results%20-%20March%20to%20April_zpsuuaqi6kf.png

After our victory over Swansea, we had over a week to rest and recuperate before we travelled to Norwich's Carrow Road. The performance and result definitely told. We controlled and probed Norwich throughout. Bellerín squeezed one past Ruddy and Francis Coquelin doubled our lead with a sensational first-time strike from the edge of the area. Özil's saved penalty three minutes after Mbokani's goal frustrated, but Walcott rounded it off with a fine finish and a superb through ball from Aaron Ramsey. The 3-0 win over Southampton was similar - totally deserved, due to a very accomplished performance from a rotated side.

Then two abrupt and totally needless losses sandwiched a gloriously vindictive victory against Diego Simeone's Manchester United. We struggled to match Watford and Newcastle's pace and directness in the two losses, but we bossed United in between. The victory over United was orchestrated by the all-action Aaron Ramsey and superbly gifted Mesut Özil.

Despite the two defeats to Watford and Newcastle, a somewhat laboured yet Mesut Özil inspired win over Aston Villa took use to the summit of the Premier League.

Arsenal%20-%20top%20of%20BPL%20April%2023rd%202016_zpsxwtwvgt1.png

Mesut assisted both goals. Alexis' thwack in an Özil pass first time. It was also nice to see Danny Welbeck get on the scoresheet; his first goal in seven appearances since returning to full fitness.

Barclays Premier League table; as of April 23rd, 2016



Barclays%20Premier%20League%20table%20-%20April%2023rd_zpsimepedu6.png


UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

After dismissing a strong Porto side with relative ease, Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain would be the next obstacle to hopefully overcome...

UEFA%20Champions%20League%20-%20Results%20-%20Quarter%20Final_zpsodcrfqjp.png

A superb win over two legs, if I do say so myself. The first leg was beautifully Arsenal. Anxiety and pessimism set in after Thiago Motta's header, but the spirited reaction was incredible. Thiago Silva had a torrid time trying to nullify Theo Walcott's threat - all three of his goals the result of the Brazilian losing Theo in some manner. Ramsey and Wilshere, playing from wide right, were influential in a memorable win.

But the second leg wasn't quite so fun. I was stuck in between two styles, two gameplans. Paris Saint-Germain set-up in a narrow diamond, featuring a two-pronged attack of Ibrahimović and Cavani, supplemented by the poise of Pastore. Cavani scored two within five minutes. Walcott again tormented Thiago Silva to pull one back, but the two-goal lead was restored minutes before half-time; Ramsey unfortunately deflecting a Matuidi shot into our own goal. Marquinhos brought the aggregate scores level early into the second-half. But Alexis Sánchez turned up just when we needed him. Collecting a lobbed Ramsey pass, he hustled his way into the box, jinked onto his right and fired beneath Salvatore Sirigu.

A superb effort all-round.


CONTRACT EXTENSIONS

Mikel%20Arteta%20Per%20Mertesacker%20and%20Mesut%20Oumlzil%20-%20contract%20extensions_zps6rrqou44.png

Tremendously pleased with all three of these deals. All three joins Alexis Sánchez and Nacho Monreal in signing new contracts, with Mesut Özil becoming the club's top earner at £175,000-a-week. Next up on the renewal list: Laurent Koscielny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the resurgent Jack Wilshere.


THREE OF THE BEST - WENGER'S YOUTH INTAKE

Dan%20Dobson%20-%20Arsenal%20-%20April%2023rd%202016_zpsglfeue1x.png

Dan Dobson - a technically-gifted advanced midfielder, it's fitting that he was brought into the academy by Arsène Wenger - he's exactly his sort of player. Already a well-rounded attacker at just 15-years-old. The PPM of Gets Into Opposition Area opens up plenty of scope for development, as a second striker or even as a Lampard-type deep midfielder. Attributes would be suited to a positional move up to centre-forward, but much depends on if he grows taller.

'Pinga' Démetrio Walker - holding both Brazilian and English passports, Pinga looks to be an interesting prospect. Rated very highly by backroom staff. Attributes provide a decent platform to build upon, as does his Fairly Professional mentality. I'm looking forward to nurturing his development.

Sam Bailey - third highest rated youngster of Arsène Wenger's intake, Bailey has the basic attributes to develop into a fine right-back - one more akin to Nacho Monreal, rather than Héctor Bellerín.


THE RUN-IN...

However unlikely, the Barclays Premier League and UEFA Champions League titles are still on the table. But we'll have to put in some graft to bring either back trophy to the Emirates Stadium for the first time.

Arsenal%20-%20All%20Competitions%20-%20Fixtures%20April%20to%20May_zpsyqpdmugw.png

Chelsea's three games in hand means that the Premier League isn't in our hands for the time being. And it probably won't be this season.

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With Everton underperforming (currently 12th), Stones had a major falling out with Martinez, I figured, lets test the water with a small bid of GBP 10 mil, they obviously rejected it, I declared my interest, put in an offer of GBP 12.5, they rejected, went unto GBP 14, they accepted as Stones put in a transfer request!

I'm happy to say that he'll be my player next season, hopefully I'll be able to buy Lewis Cook on the cheap, Leeds are currently in the bottom 3, and I'm looking at Ward-Prowse as well, looking for a strong English contingent going forward

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got a tough dilemma now, man city have now offered after negotiation, 55m each for ramsey and ox, £35 up front, 10 over 12 months, 10 after 10 international games and with ox its 15% of next deal and ramsey is 20% of next deal.. do i accept both or just ditch ramsey

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wilshere is the replacement anyway and ox i just cancelled the deal, going to sell ramsey if he agrees the deal with city. bloody contract negotiations with current players atm are shocking, getting robbed completely!

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got a tough dilemma now, man city have now offered after negotiation, 55m each for ramsey and ox, £35 up front, 10 over 12 months, 10 after 10 international games and with ox its 15% of next deal and ramsey is 20% of next deal.. do i accept both or just ditch ramsey

those are very good deals especially for Ramsey definatly take the Ramsey one though I'd probably reject the Ox one

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bf097613-79f4-453c-843f-72bbde684679_zps6e4bc9d1.jpg

November Report

03/11/15 | UEFA Champions League( Grp Stage) | Red Bull Arena

Arsenal 3 ( Oxlade-Chamberlain Inj 60 , Alexis 63 , Koscielny 82 , Alexis 90+2 | Assts: Özil x2)

FC Red Bull Salzburg 0

07/11/15 | Barclays Premier League | Emirates

Arsenal 2 ( Giroud 64, oxlade-Chamberlain 69 | Asst: Camacho x1)

Everton 0

21/11/15 | Barclays Premier League | White Hart Lane

Arsenal 1 ( Oxlade-Chamberlain 90+1)

Tottenham 0

25/11/15 | UEFA Champions League | Parc De Princes

Arsenal 3 ( Oxlade-Chamberlain 25 , Giroud 34 , Walcott 86 | Assts:/B] Cazorla x2 , Özil x1)

Paris Saint-Germain 3 ( Cavani 35 & 45+1 & 58)

28/11/15 | Barclays Premier League | Emirates

Arsenal 6 ( Giroud 21 & 36 , Oxlade-Chamberlain 41 , Walcott 51 , Giroud 61 & 72 | Assts: Welbeck/Giroud/Özil x1 , Bellerín x3)

Aston Villa 0 ( Sánchez S/O 78)

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those are very good deals especially for Ramsey definatly take the Ramsey one though I'd probably reject the Ox one

i cancelled the ox and took the ramsey one, now have £140 mill in the bank with a squad that is to big, selling ospina and maybe cazorla to, monreal is almost out the door

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i cancelled the ox and took the ramsey one, now have £140 mill in the bank with a squad that is to big, selling ospina and maybe cazorla to, monreal is almost out the door

what season you in

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just finished the first season

How are people finishing in their first season. Does anyone cheat? i find it hard to continue the game after getting 4-5 poor results in a row.

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How are people finishing in their first season. Does anyone cheat? i find it hard to continue the game after getting 4-5 poor results in a row.

if you read a few post above you will see how i finished for the season, i came first...just! the quicker you get your team to play to the tactics you want you will be fine with a few signings

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2015 / 2016 - SEASON REVIEW

Me again - another update! My first full season on FM16 is over. It was an enjoyable season; plenty of highs, a number of lows and a lot more inbetween. We had our sights set on at least one meaningful trophy this season, the Premier League being prioritised above all else. Here's how the month of May (which I've yet to discuss on here) and the general season unfolded.

CAPITAL ONE CUP AND EMIRATES FA CUP

As my previous reports detail, we were chucked out of both competitions unceremoniously early on into the tournaments. Blackburn dumped us out of the Capital One Cup, which both I and the board deemed unimportant. Our failure to even get close to retaining our FA Cup, though, was much more grating. We were knocked out of the competition away at Burnley; they seemed to want it more than we did and duly got it.

Board Expectations: Capital One Cup - not important; Emirates FA Cup - reach Final (knocked out in fifth round)


UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

After comfortable and dramatic two-legged wins against Porto and Paris Saint-Germain respectively, it didn't get any easier: runaway La Liga champions Real Madrid stood between us and the San Siro.

UEFA%20Champions%20League%20-%20Results%20-%20Semi%20Final_zps5hdmkn9w.png

We were emasculated by Rafael Benítez's incredibly functional, efficient side. We were three-nil down within thirty-one minutes; Carlos Vela scored within thiry seconds, Cristiano doubled the lead and half-an-hour in, Petr Čech's clearance rebounded off Per Mertesacker into our own goal. A conceivable route was offered back into the tie five minutes later, but Keylor Navas saved Mesut Özil's tame penalty, which Theo Walcott did so well to win. Özil's second-half goal was nothing but a consolation.

With the second leg falling three days prior to a pivotal North London Derby, I made the decision to rest a few players. The performance was respectable - we hit the post twice - but Cristaino and Karim were just too good to keep quiet. Real Madrid eventually won the entire competition, beating Juventus in the final on penalties.

Board Expectations: reach quarter-final (knocked out 7-1 on aggregate, semi-final)


BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

We went into our final three league games of the season both needing and hoping: needing at least two wins and hoping that Chelsea, with games in hand, slipped up. Chelsea did slip up. They won just one of their last six games in the Premier League...

Barclays%20Premier%20League%20-%20Results%20-%20May_zpspb18c2lf.png

What a mixture of results. Liverpool away: Alexis' twelfth minute goal and our general early dominance really made me believe, but Klopp's side gradually clawed everything back and beyond. Exploiting our tiredness with long, measured switches of play, both Firmino and Coutinho controlled and influenced the game. Title chances gone?

No! Chelsea lost to both Bournemouth and West Ham, meaning the title was still on! And it certainly was after we thrashed Spurs. One of our best performances of the season, our counter-attacks dragged and destroyed Spurs' back four with remarkable ease. Jack Wilshere was superb, setting up both Walcott goals and sealing victory with the Arsenal stamp prior to half-time. Mesut Özil added to his burgeoning goal tally, but Alexis' assist was the real eye-catcher. A great win.

Thirty-seven games couldn't separate us and Chelsea. Nothing but a win would suffice, due to Chelsea's superior goal difference. This was our chance. This was the chance. An ultimate Premier League 'Final' at Stamford Bridge. And I thought we'd take it after Ramsey collected a poor Terry clearance and instantly released Walcott, who struck a fierce shot across and beyond Courtois. 1-0. Hazard's scrappy equaliser (34') meant nothing after Jack Wilshere blasted a rasping, curling shot from twenty-five yards. 2-1. But Hazard's second qualiser, fifteen minutes from time, did mean something. Another scrappy goal, it asked too much of us. We conceded another, to Pedro, minutes from time as we pushed forward for a title-winning winner. It wasn't to be...

Chelsea%20Football%20Club%20-%20Barclays%20Premier%20League%20champions_zpsdv1roxej.png

Barclays Premier League table; final standings

Barclays%20Premier%20League%20table%20-%20Final%20Standings_zpsrph07qsw.png

Barclays%20Premier%20League%20-%20Summary_zpsohyuqcdt.png

In general, I'm relatively pleased with my season. Failing to keep pace with a rampant Chelsea at the start of the season ultimately lost us the title. After the events of the final day, next season's priority is most certainly the Premier League.


PLAYER STATISTICS - TOP FIVES

*statistics = all competitions

Appearances:-

1. Laurent Koscielny - 47

2. Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin - 46

3. Héctor Bellerín - 44

4. Mesut Özil, Alexis Sánchez, Santi Cazorla, Petr Čech - 43

5. Theo Walcott - 37

Goals:-

1. Theo Walcott - 21

2. Alexis Sánchez - 10

3. Mesut Özil - 8

4. Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud - 6

5. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Campbell - 5

Assists:-

1. Mesut Özil - 14

2. Héctor Bellerín - 9

3. Aaron Ramsey - 7

4. Alexis Sánchez - 6

5. Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Nacho Monreal - 5

Passes Completed:-

1. Aaron Ramsey - 2,292

2. Héctor Bellerín - 2,111

3. Francis Coquelin - 2,076

4. Laurent Koscielny - 1,930

5. Mesut Özil - 1,660

Key Passes:-

1. Mesut Özil - 118

2. Aaron Ramsey - 116

3. Alexis Sánchez - 113

4. Héctor Bellerín - 110

5. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 61

Average Rating:-

1. Héctor Bellerín - 44 apps; 7.67 avg rating

2. Kieran Gibbs - 31 apps; 7.44 avg rating

3. Alexis Sánchez - 43 apps; 7.23 avg rating

4. Jack Wilshere - 21 apps; 7.20 avg rating

5. Nacho Monreal - 29 apps; 7.19 avg rating

Full Statistics - All Competitions


AWARD WINNERS AND RECOGNITION

While we may not have won any silverware as a collective, a number of our players have received critical appraisal for their standout performances throughout the season. Belgium's Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku were named Football Writers' Player of the Year and PFA Players' Player of the Year respectively.

PFA Young Player of the Year - Héctor Bellerín



Heacutector%20Belleriacuten%20-%20PFA%20Young%20Player%20of%20the%20Year_zpsqqj7lupx.png

Barclays Premier League Golden Glove winner - Petr Čech

Petr%20Cech%20-%20Premier%20League%20Golden%20Glove%20Winner_zps85xnsjok.png

PFA Players' Team of the Year - Petr Čech, Laurent Koscielny, Héctor Bellerín and Mesut Özil

Cech%20Koscielny%20Belleriacuten%20Oumlzil%20-%20PFA%20Team%20of%20the%20Year_zpsmyqitajl.png

All were absolutely deserved. Héctor Bellerín was the stand out - and only, in my opinion - contender for his accolade. He's earned himself a new contract until 2021 worth £75,000-a-week. Petr Čech's award is a greater representation of the collective's defensive stability, but Čech certainly played his part. He saved 147 shots - 77% of shots faced - in total. Also fantastic to see Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Özil receive greatly deserved recognition for their seasons.


GENERAL NEWS

The club did win some silverware this season - our under-19 side triumphed in the UEFA Youth League. Breezing through the group and beating Real Madrid and Basel en route to the final, our youngsters overcame Juventus on penalties in the final.

Tomáš Rosický has also announced his retirement from football. I'm hoping to aid his development as a coach for at least a couple of years. I'll have to replace a number of scouts too, namely Pat Rice, Rod Ruddick and Tony Banfield, who are also retiring from the game.


I hope you enjoyed that as much as I enjoyed writing it...

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I may well do a more detailed season post yesterday, inspired by a few others on this thread, but just sharing as I'm heading into the final game, away to Norwich, 2 points behind Man City at the top who go to Southampton. Had a game in hand and the chance to take control but it was a trip to Stamford Bridge and I went down 3-2 in the end. Fingers crossed...

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@Llew_Arshavin23: Seems you were unlucky to have your fixtures work out the way they did. It must have been gutting to see Chelsea hand the initiative over to you, only to lose out to them right at the end. But hey, that sort of thing keep us going, right? It's interesting that you've conceded quite a number of goals away to the big teams, yet ended with the best defensive record in the league. An area to look at, maybe?

Keep us updated on your save. I'm enjoying your updates so far.

I've started my third season. I brought in Timo Horn for £10 million as competition for Cech, who was showing signs of decline in his performances towards the back end of last season. Aissa Mandi also arrived for £11.25 million from Dynamo Kyiv; he's an Algerian defender, natural as a centre back and right back, and accomplished at left back, with very solid stats across the board. He'll be my back-up for Bellerin mainly. Giroud, Campbelland Ospina were the major departures from the squad for a combined £27.5 million, to Marseille, Shakhtar and Everton respectively.

It's been a mixed start to the season. Home wins over Norwich and Liverpool, but two away defeats at Chelsea and Man Utd; both were tight games with few shots from either side, but they managed to create that one major chances whereas we struggled to make anything of note. My record against the big sides continues to suck.

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JEinchy - Quite frustrating to lose out to Chelsea at the very death, yes, but it's made my second season all the more interesting. Encouraged by the steps we made last season; we just need greater consistency. As for the goals conceded away to good sides, it is something I've highlighted. Currently using pre-season to devise a tactic to be used in big games. Hopefully you can pick up some form against big sides on your save too.

Interesting to see you sign Aïssa Mandi as well. Definitely one of my targets to replace Debuchy, who I've moved on to Marseille early into the summer window. My main issue with him is that he'll likely be involved in the African Cup of Nations every other year.

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Last year I converted across to FMC, had a brilliant save with Arsenal and went straight back into FMT this year. After various attempts with Arsenal and other teams I just could not get into a save game until updates on here and a couple of YouTube videos inspired me to jump feet first back into full mode - oh how I love this game! As my girlfriend can only take so much of my rambling, I thought I'd come share on here :D Finished my first season, and apologies for it being a bit wordy, I haven't got my head round getting screenshots on here (when I screenshot with F12, where do they save to??).

I will break down each area of the season in more detail but the best way to sum it up as a whole is this...4 games of the season left, treble in my hands, finish with nothing...

Transfers

Didn't want to spend too much of the huge budget, but did some wheeling and dealing. Started with a bit of a staff revamp to fill up gaps and improve on what we had. In terms of the squad, it's fairly complete, just a few spots to fill. I listed Theo as I'm not a fan, got Man Utd to give me £45m all up front, and brought in Aboubakar for £18m to back up Giroud.

In

Iver Fossum £1.8m

Lucas Romero £3.4m

Breel Embolo £14.75m (loan back to Basel for the season)

Vincent Aboubakar £18m

Gabriel Barbosa £8m

Rodrigo De Paul £11m

Bartlomiej Dragowski £4.3m (January)

Sold Flamini to Lille so needed back up to Coquelin as a ball winner. I know Romero isn't the beast he was last year (tended not to buy him last year tbf) but a solid rotation with room to grow at a cracking price. The plan was to have Sanchez and the Ox for the left, Campbell and Barbosa for the right. But then I moved on Campbell for £6.5m and brought in De Paul who could back up Sanchez and an extra backup for AMC. Fossum was loaned out to Middlesbrough and won the Championship young player of the season, which is promising. Cech picked up an injury in December for a couple of months so Dragowski, who I'd been following, came in as extra cover and a future first teamer.

Community Shield

In a very promising start, we beat Chelsea 2-0 with goals from Cazorla and Aboubakar (from the bench). Nice to get the silverware in early.

Premier League

We followed up the CS win with some excellent form to start the league, winning the first 7 and only conceding 3 goals. Things went very bad from the start of October, winning only 3 games between then and Christmas. After this we hit an excellent run of form, with the next 18 games yielding 15 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat. During this time, teams fell away and it came down to us and Man City. A couple of slip ups from them meant it was in our hands; 36 games down, we were 2 points behind with a game in hand. We could go into the final day in control, but the game in hand was at Stamford Bridge. We lost 3-2, meaning we needed to beat Norwich (away) on the final day and hope Man City lost at Southampton. This was not to happen as we crashed 0-1 and City romped to a 4-0 win and the title.

League Cup

Lost at Stoke 3-2 in the 4th round. No sleep lost.

FA Cup

We beat Notts County, West Brom after a replay, and Leeds to make the quarters. Away to Leicester we dropped a 2-0 lead before a slight tweak so us tear away to a 6-2 win. We drew Chelsea in the Semi Final, with the other being Ipswich vs West Ham. 2-2 after 90 mins, an early extra time goal from Arteta was enough to put us in the final. Having just thrown the league away, and a 3 wins out of 3 record against West Ham this season I felt it was my best chance for a major trophy. We took the lead through De Paul, but a dodgy penalty and an Andy Carroll header sent us to a miserable defeat - probably my worst moment of the season.

Champions League

Drawn in group G with Wolfsburg, Galatasary and Barcelona, I was feeling fairly optimistic of getting through. Even more so after 3 wins from the opening 3 - Wolfsburg and Galatasary both felt defeat at the Emirates, before a trip to the Nou Camp yielded one of my finest moments of the season. Barca played as you'd expect, but we stifled them and they couldn't find the net, before Cazorla's free kick was headed in by Gabriel Paulista in the 2nd and final minute of injury time for a 1-0 win. We then lost 4-3 at Galatasary before smashing Wolfsburg 5-1 to secure qualification and top spot. Barca then got their revenge with a 4-0 win at the Emirates which was just awful from us. We then had a favourable run but found it difficult - drawing home and away against Benfica, we got through on away goals, before losing 2-1 in Greece but 1-0 at home to again go through on away goals against Olympiakos. With big guns falling, it was Arsenal - Lazio and Barcelona - Sevilla in the semi finals. A much more assured performance yielded a 3-1 win at the Emirates before a 2-2 draw in Italy meant we faced Barcelona for a 3rd time. Suarez scored twice, Aboubakar got one back too late and another 2-1 defeat in a final, although the board were very pleased we got that far.

Squad

No big concerns through the squad, as with everyone else Bellerin was outstanding, give him an attack duty and he's pretty much unstoppable. Centre backs were solid, though Mertesaker and Koscielny are both 30+ and need replacing. I feel Gibbs and Monreal did well, but neither are good enough. The midfield is solid although I haven't renewed Arteta's contract so could do with an extra CM, maybe move Fossum into the first team squad. Barbosa provided 17 goals and 9 assists in 46(5) games, with the Ox missing a lot of action through injury. I feel I may move him on this summer but it's another HG player lost if I do. De Paul was a pleasant success, but Sanchez was disappointing with only 5 league goals and 6 league assists in 29, though he did provide more in other competitions. Up front, Giroud and Aboubakar weren't doing great until I changed from a CF(A) to an AF(A) and then they were both on fire - Giroud won the PL Golden Boot and finished with 27 in 33(1) in all comps, and Aboubakar provided 23 in 21(9). Both picked up injuries towards the end of the season, meaning I was without them for the final games before Aboubakar made it back for the CL final.

Mulling over a fair few things in pre-season before continuing, which I'll put into a separate post as this one is essay-like as it is!

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2016-2017 Pre-Season

I'll start with the 3 players who have already joined. In January I did the usual check who I can sign on a pre-contract, and was pleased to see Geronimo Rulli. A free transfer for a keeper of this quality was a no brainer, so he has joined and Ospina has gone to Norwich for £7.5m. Second, I had Ludvig Augustinsson, a left back at Copenhagen, on my shortlist and with other clubs circling in January I decided to make a move. Agreed a deal of £3.4m to go through in the summer. Although he won't reach superstar quality, he is young, cheap and an extremely able backup/rotation option, I feel a step up from Monreal or Gibbs in terms of quality and age. Finally, another player I kept my eye on was Domenico Berardi. His value dropped during the season, and I noticed at one point he had missed a large portion with a broken leg. Sassuolo were then relegated and I was able to get him in for a paltry £9.5m. So I not have Barbosa and Berardi for the AMR spot, for a combined total of under £20m.

A few other players I had an eye on have moved on in big transfers - Rafinha and Bernat have both gone to Man City, Morata to Chelsea, and Icardi is in talks to go to Liverpool. Having noticed Odegaard had a £9.25m minimum fee release clause I went in for him, but he wasn't interested and I couldn't convince him to discuss terms. So you can imagine my surprise when a couple of days later I got a news item through saying he had agreed to join Sevilla. His minimum fee clause is now £28m, so not too outrageous for the future given his talent. I like Dodo at Inter, and he's transfer listed for under £5m, but his potential isn't that high and my scouts say he could have injury problems. Plus I want an absolute world beater at left back, given how strong wing play is atm. I was tempted to change to 3 at the back with wing backs, with explosive counters, but I have too many strong players for AMR/AML, especially with the deal for Berardi. So I'm still gonna go for a slight tactical reshuffle (been using 4-2-3-1) but not quite sure yet.

My big target as it stands is Jose Gaya for his £35.5m release clause, will be putting in a bid imminently. Monreal has left and Gibbs is listed. Bayern came in for Per but wouldn't offer enough, I will sell if they come back in. Mangala is available for £10-£15m from City, despite being valued at over £20m. Looking to move on Debuchy and move Chambers to right-back, so a CB is needed, unless I find a better option to back up Bellerin. Gotze was listed during last season and scouts say I can get him for under £30m, which is tempting, but he's in the last year of his contract so I'm gonna try grab him on a free for next summer. As for outgoings, Dragomir has gone to Bradford and Dragowski to Roma, both to be used as first teamers. Arteta was released, Rosicky retired and as previously mentioned Ospina and Monreal have both moved on (Monreal to Marseille for a measly £2.1m, due to him being in his final year of his contract). I'm mulling over Fossum at the moment, Sampdoria and Swansea both want him on loan as a key player but I don't know if I want him in my first team squad this year.

My final decision, Eden Hazard. I posted this in the Players to Buy/Sell thread - Chelsea have transfer listed him, not by request, and he's currently at an asking price of £35m. AML wasn't a position I was looking to strengthen, but my scouts say 4 and a half stars, sign whatever the price, and I can't decide if it's too good an opportunity to pass up...

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carrunion22 - Congratulations on your first season! You did what I couldn't do. An excellent Champions League run to boot. As for screenshots: I think using F12 saves them to a Steam gallery. I use 'alt + F9' and it saves the screenshots into a Screenshots file within your Football Manager 2016 folder.

Some really nice signings as well. I've been following Embolo for an entire (and very impressive) season; I'm surprised nobody has picked him up yet. Dragowski was also a target, but he joined Real Madrid prior to January. Eden Hazard is an interesting one. I can only imagine the beauty of him linking with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil. I say buy now and think later!

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carrunion22 - Congratulations on your first season! You did what I couldn't do. An excellent Champions League run to boot. As for screenshots: I think using F12 saves them to a Steam gallery. I use 'alt + F9' and it saves the screenshots into a Screenshots file within your Football Manager 2016 folder.

Thanks! Disappointing to come out with only the CS, but I think it was yourself who said it an update that it makes the second season more interesting. I will try that out next time, I'm all set up on Imgur just can't get the images to put up there ha.

Some really nice signings as well. I've been following Embolo for an entire (and very impressive) season; I'm surprised nobody has picked him up yet. Dragowski was also a target, but he joined Real Madrid prior to January. Eden Hazard is an interesting one. I can only imagine the beauty of him linking with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil. I say buy now and think later!

I'm pleased with the business I did, with £64m + the £45m from Theo it would have been easy to bloat the squad with various known wonderkids but I wanted to buy where I needed. Embolo did well, ended up with 20 goals in 40 games for Basel, and Sporting Lisbon want to take him for the next season as a key player so that's about to go through. The aim is to phase in Dragowski for Cech after his year at Roma, to be back up for Rulli. Then he can take over no.1 after another few seasons. I think the Hazard deal may happen, I can shuffle things so it's him and Sanchez rotating on the left, but I'm wondering when I should make a move - he went on the list for £36m asking price, and it's dropped to £34m through a month or two of pre-season. I could see if it drops and get him even cheaper on deadline day (it's not a requested transfer, and bizarrely there are no other clubs interested) but I run the risk of Chelsea taking him off the transfer list again.

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Another update from me - but a brief(er) one this time...

PRE-SEASON

I do enjoy pre-season. For some it may be a labouring draw, but I see it as an opportunity to assess and assimilate. In all, we had seven pre-season fixtures, including a trip to Hong Kong and the annual Emirates Cup.

2015-2016%20-%20pre-season%20results_zpsygjmzljh.png

Early into pre-season, I opened and closed negotiations with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere over contract extensions. Both have signed new deals prolonging their possible stay at the club to 2021 and 2020 respectively. Very pleasing indeed.

As for actual pre-season: results were promising, but I was more interested in our performances, particularly those of the younger players. Jeff Reine-Adelaïde, Krystian Bielik, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Gedion Zelalem, Ismaël Bennacer and Chuba Akpom featured throughout the entire pre-season schedule; Alex Iwobi, Donyell Malen and Vlad Dragomir also made appearances in the earlier games. Every single one, bar maybe Iwobi, impressed greatly and each made a solid case for a place in the first-team squad for the forthcoming season.


BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

After missing out in such dramatic - and heartbreaking - fashion last season, my desire to triumph at the end of this season has never been greater. But it will be tough. Manchester City have hired Carlo Ancelotti, who's spent £115 million this summer. Diego Simeone's United have parted with £80 million to acquire a raft of players. Rather surprisingly though, José Mourinho's spending didn't even reach £30 million. Here's how my August fixtures went...

Barclays%20Premier%20League%20results%20-%20August_zps1xmkwzzo.png

A relatively tough start on paper and a frustrating one on the pitch. Last season we drew at home to West Ham and we managed to achieve a similar feat this season. Early dominance wasn't converted into a goal and Stoke capitalised with a breakaway. We became increasingly flustered, which ironically was the cause of our equaliser. Aaron Ramsey's potshot thirty-yard effort fizzed off the shins of Diouf and flew beyond Butland. Ninetieth minute... Héctor Bellerín was hauled down by Marc Muniesa to win a penalty. Mesut Özil stepped up and evidently ballooned wide. He's now missed three penalties from three.

Southampton, now managed by Fernando Hierro, were next and the match followed a similar pattern to the Stoke game. Jordie Clasie's raking pass to Jay Rodriguez culminated in the forward finishing past Čech at his near-post. It took us just seven minutes to equalise though; Mesut Özil anticipated Forster's fumble, tapping in from two-yards. Southampton-educated Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott then proceeded to miss three guilt-edged chances between them in the second-half.

Our 5-2 win over Watford was a welcome remedy to our early season stutters. Mesut missed out with a stubbed toe, meaning I started with Jack Wilshere closest to Walcott, supported by Alexis, Ramsey and Chamberlain. All combined brilliantly well throughout the game. Wilshere was particularly excellent, laying on Alexis' first of the campaign matching his goal tally of last season in the space of just fifty-three minutes with two lovely goals.


CUP DRAWS

Here are the draws for my initial involvements in the Capital One Cup - deemed unimportant by the board - and the UEFA Champions League...

Capital One Cup - Third Round: Chelsea vs. Arsenal



UEFA%20Champions%20League%20-%20Group%20A_zpslgdivngy.png

Our League Cup trip to Stamford Bridge will be used primarily as a valuable experience for some of the club's most talented youngsters. I'm also relishing and worrying in equal measure about facing Real Madrid again, albeit in the group stage this time. With Celtic and Steaua Bucharest also in the group, I should progress into the last sixteen with little trouble.


SUMMER TRANSFER WINDOW

With a quality-laden squad already established at the club, this summer transfer window didn't require an overhaul of players which it may have needed four or five years ago. I came into the summer absolutely needing a holding midfielder. I also had firm ideas of which other positions I wanted to strengthen if possible.

Arsenal%20-%20Summer%20Transfer%20Window%20-%20Incomings_zpsue0wsuv6.png

I'll cut to the chase: just two senior players were signed this summer, those being Julian Weigl and Algerian left-back, Faouzi Ghoulam. The other names on that relatively short list are youth players, bar maybe João Gomes, who may serve as the club's third goalkeeper.

Julian Weigl - I'm exceptionally pleased with the acquisition of Weigl, a regular for Borussia Dortmund last term and a German under-21 international. He's precisely the type of defensive midfielder I desired: young, blatantly talented, tactically aware, physically sound and technically excellent. This pass map of his completed passes in the Watford win, his full debut, exhibits exactly what I bought him for. He's a holding midfielder capable of keeping possession comfortably, protecting the back four as well as finding advanced team-mates with incisive passing. The fee may rise to £16 million.

Faouzi Ghoulam - with Kieran Gibbs joining Manchester City for a fee rising to £23 million, a sizeable void was left in my defensive options. Ghoulam was scouted extensively last season for this very eventuality. He was my number one target and I'm delighted to get him. He offers a slightly different option to Nacho Monreal, yet there is hardly a disparity in (top class) quality. Six-foot two-inches tall, and possessing well-rounded technical, mental and physical attributes, I see little difficulties in him settling into Arsenal and the Premier League.

Arsenal%20-%20Summer%20Transfer%20Window%20-%20Outgoings_zpsv9sw0xiz.png

There was a number of outgoings during the summer, though. The standout of which is Kieran Gibbs' £23 million transfer to Manchester City. As good a left-back that he is, I simply couldn't turn down such figures. David Ospina and Mathieu Debuchy were also regarded as dispensable, both moving on for regular first-team football. Mathieu Flamini was also let go and has since joined Dinamo Zagreb.

I also loaned out plenty of talent. I'm particularly interested in Serge Gnabry, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Emi Martínez, Chuba Akpom and the two Hibernian boys. Both Akpom and Maitland-Niles will play regular Premier League football this season. Emi Martínez is at a stage of his career where he needs to play an entire season. Gnabry joins a Champions League club, while Willock and Crowley moves to the Scottish Premiership in order to play games and get used to senior football.

My current first-team squad: Goalkeepers - Petr Čech, Wojciech Szczęsny, Matt Macey / João Gomes; Defenders - Per Mertesacker (vice-captain), Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel, Calum Chambers, Nacho Monreal, Faouzi Ghoulam, Héctor Bellerín, Carl Jenkinson; Deep Midfielders - Mikel Arteta (club captain), Francis Coquelin, Julian Weigl, Krystian Bielik, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Ismaël Bennacer; Advanced / Wide Midfielders - Mesut Özil, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jeff-Reine Adelaïde, Gedion Zelalem; Forwards - Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck

I fear I may have left the squad somewhat bear, especially in central midfield. Time will tell...

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Llew_Arshavin23 :you seem to be playing Ozil very well. What position and role do you assign him? Do you have reccomendations for me, my formation is basic 4-4-2. Ozil is playing CM. Thanks!

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Llew_Arshavin23 :you seem to be playing Ozil very well. What position and role do you assign him? Do you have reccomendations for me, my formation is basic 4-4-2. Ozil is playing CM. Thanks!

in my save i play 4-2-3-1 and play him as a amc as a playmaker with a free roam, and these were his stats for the first season and he missed the last month is the season as well

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img911/2524/6wb2df.png

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in my save i play 4-2-3-1 and play him as a amc as a playmaker with a free roam, and these were his stats for the first season and he missed the last month is the season as well

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img911/2524/6wb2df.png

impressive results there. I think he struggles in MC position (442 formation) due to his average physical attributes and playing too deep instead of making the difference in the final third. He is averaging 7.0 on mine which is very poor for a player his quality.

Replacing Ozil for a Pogba liked player have cross my mind many times, as it will better suit my style of play. But that would be insane! :p

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YzKDi54.png?1

You signed Hazard for £32.5m after Chelsea just became champions for the second time in a row?

he should cost £80m +

£32.5m? No chance :herman:

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The league title mentioned there is the one before the game begins, the end of the first in-game season is 2016.

Chelsea have been awful in my save, most of their top players are gone three seasons in, but Hazard is still there.

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You signed Hazard for £32.5m after Chelsea just became champions for the second time in a row?

he should cost £80m +

£32.5m? No chance :herman:

Implying...?

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Implying...?

Implying you have either used the editor, taken over Chelsea or something like that. It is simply not possible for that deal to have happened that cheap. £32.5m is lower than his value & he is the champions star man entering his peak.. doesn't add up, in the slightest

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Implying you have either used the editor, taken over Chelsea or something like that. It is simply not possible for that deal to have happened that cheap. £32.5m is lower than his value & he is the champions star man entering his peak.. doesn't add up, in the slightest

On my game he went to PSG at the end of season one for 37m while I wasn't looking, so its entirely possible

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So I started an Arsenal save and played 4-2-3-1 with transfer window disabled. Of course, in true Arsenal fashion, I lose Monreal and Ospina for 6-9 weeks each. Also, I played Chelsea 3 times in less than 2 weeks (Terry Testimonial, Shield, and season opener). I actually won all 3 matches.

Ozil struggling a little so I'm curious if he's best as a trequartista or advanced playmaker. One bright spot is Ramsey who I shunted to the right but scoring so it's not too bad. I will put him back in the middle though but it was fun

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Implying you have either used the editor, taken over Chelsea or something like that. It is simply not possible for that deal to have happened that cheap. £32.5m is lower than his value & he is the champions star man entering his peak.. doesn't add up, in the slightest

I was about to reply with that.

Anyhoo... my own save. I whinged a few pages back about the tactics seemingly entirely random.

i'm now in season 3 and smashing the league... but stlil none the wiser as to how I'm really doing it.

The overall 'defensive', 'counter', 'normal', 'control', 'attacking' seem to transfer to nothing tactically noticeable of real note on the pitch aside from the fact that if I pick a particular strategy in a game I might get thrashed 3-0 in a game and have no shots, but if I reload the same match and pick another strategy i'll dominate and win 3-0. Those strategies don't actually appear to visually make my players play any differently on the pitch though. I don't seem to counter attack any more often on 'counter' as I do on 'normal' or 'control'.

It seems to be a case of setting strategy to 'normal' most games just to try out and if I don't dominate within 20-30 minutes in the match, switch to another strategy and try it out for 20-30 minutes. That's how I seem to be winning most games comfortably. Won first five league games scoring 25 goals in the process. Currently top and unbeaten after 19 games with 51 points.

So to sum up... I'm smashing it but don't really know why. Classic Darwinian evolution. Randomly change something until it works and then stick with it until it stops working and then try something else.

Oh...... and points to consider:

- Morata is INSANELY good

- Bellerin is probably the best right back that Football Manager has ever seen

- short corners appear entirely pointless (EVERY single one of mine result in a defender being present who blocks the cross. Every time. So what's the point?).

- opposition supa-keepers from the old champ days seem to be back (drawing 1-1 in games where you have 30 shots and 8CCC against a team who score with one deflected long range strike).

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