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

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You really need to check your facts before accusing people of cheating toby14. Hazard is 25 in the screenshot, therefore it's 2016, Chelsea probably failed to qualify for the Champion's League in the first season, which quite often leads to star players being available relatively cheaply. Three seasons in, a fallen Chelsea have sold me Zouma for slightly less than his value, and were willing to sell Barbosa for under his value.

It's a perfectly possibly transfer in FM.

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In my save, City finished 7th first season and lost Aguero to Juventus for a similar price, and Toure and Silva to Spurs for a combined £20mil. So I can also vouch for carrunion22 that he likely hasn't cheated to make that transfer.

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Anyway, speaking of cheating. Third season in I got a tough Champion's League group, with Barca and Roma. Came second, despite being unbeaten, and drew Bayern in first knockout round. A 0-0 home leg and 2-0 defeat away knocked me out. Then I had a little (unrelated) tumble and smashed my laptop...

The latest save on the cloud was before the first Bayern game, and I'm now playing on an ancient desktop that barely plays the games on 2D, and takes forever to get through a match on key, so reloading to get the same results would be a slog. Decided to just play on and take what I got.

First Bayern game, 2-0 up and end up drawing 2-2. Pretty much need a win in Munich, which I didn't see happening. Up pops the Ox for a 1-0 win. Long story short, I went on to do my third Premier League and Champions League double (though I was already well on course for the league before the laptop smashed).

Not sure whether to continue the save now, feels a bit hollow.

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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

Yeah that's what I figured, just wanted specifics so I could post appropriate screenshots.

rNeHhgX.png?1

Went for Mourinho's history - you can see total number of days in charge and the current date, plus the highest fee received. You can also seethe lack of the icon for the in-game editor as I haven't purchased it, nor have I downloaded the pre-game editor. It would be pretty daft to do something like that and throw it up on here as if it genuinely happen. Also I'm not 9 years old.

I am actually towards thinking it could be a minor bug; he broke his leg on the 12th December missing 5 months - so missed through till May and effectively the end of the season. Chelsea finished 3rd, not champions as has been pointed out (City won the title). Hazard cropped up on the transfer list which was bizarre and if you saw my previous posts I actually wasn't sure if I wanted to go for him or not. Mata also came up on the transfer list and went to Barca for £27m.

Thanks to johnhughthom and a couple of others for their input, I appreciate it.

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Yeah that's what I figured, just wanted specifics so I could post appropriate screenshots.

rNeHhgX.png?1

Went for Mourinho's history - you can see total number of days in charge and the current date, plus the highest fee received. You can also seethe lack of the icon for the in-game editor as I haven't purchased it, nor have I downloaded the pre-game editor. It would be pretty daft to do something like that and throw it up on here as if it genuinely happen. Also I'm not 9 years old.

I am actually towards thinking it could be a minor bug; he broke his leg on the 12th December missing 5 months - so missed through till May and effectively the end of the season. Chelsea finished 3rd, not champions as has been pointed out (City won the title). Hazard cropped up on the transfer list which was bizarre and if you saw my previous posts I actually wasn't sure if I wanted to go for him or not. Mata also came up on the transfer list and went to Barca for £27m.

Thanks to johnhughthom and a couple of others for their input, I appreciate it.

Wow, apologies. I take it back. Clearly a bug, That transfer would simply not happen in real life.

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Wow, apologies. I take it back. Clearly a bug, That transfer would simply not happen in real life.

No worries, as I said I just wanted to be able to put up the right screenshot. I think it's a glitch in how the game processes a team needing a player - because he missed the entire second half of the season, something clicked and they transfer listed him. Possibly similar to last years January update when you could pick up Marquinhos for peanuts for a brief time. Still, can't complain, spoilt for choice with him and Sanchez for AML!

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No worries, as I said I just wanted to be able to put up the right screenshot. I think it's a glitch in how the game processes a team needing a player - because he missed the entire second half of the season, something clicked and they transfer listed him. Possibly similar to last years January update when you could pick up Marquinhos for peanuts for a brief time. Still, can't complain, spoilt for choice with him and Sanchez for AML!

Surely have to play both! One on either wing

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

January Report

arsenal201_zps9m9ozeyq.jpg

01/01/16 | Barclays Premier League | King Power

Arsenal 3 ( Walcott 57 , Alexis 63 & 87 | Assts: Özil x1 , Cazorla x2)

Leicester 2 ( Mahrez 15 , Dyer 20)

10/01/16 | F.A Cup(3rd Round) | Emirates

Arsenal 3 ( Koshcielny 52 , Giroud 64 , Alexis 87 | Assts: Özil x2 , Giroud x1)

Crystal Palace 0

16/01/16 | Barclays Premier League | Emirates

Arsenal 3 ( Giroud 13 , Özil 30 , Ramsey 88 | Assts: Özil x2)

Man Utd 1 ( Valencia 75)

23/01/16 | Barclays Premier League | Anfield

Arsenal 5 ( Alexis 33 , Giroud 51 , Alexis 63 , Walcott 71 & 77 | Assts: Alexis x2 , Giroud/Ramsey/Bellerín x1)

30/01/16 | F.A Cup(4th Round) | Emirates

Arsenal 4 ( Malcom PEN 13 , Alexis 55 , Saponara 69 , Walcott 74 | Assts: Özil/Saponara x2)

West Ham 1 ( Sakho 76)

arsenal%202_zpsg4q6jyt2.jpg

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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

he isnt really suited do a mc position, he needs to be amc to get the best out of him

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I would disagree with that, if only because I managed 7 goals and 22 assists form him as a CM in one season. His stats are perfect for an Advanced Playmaker (Support) role.

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Well 6 games in and I have brushed aside everyone I've faced and not even close. After beating Chelsea 1-0, I took out United 4-2, and demolished Liverpool 4-0. In the CL, I used a b team and crushed Wolfsburg 5-0. Just playing a 4-2-3-1 attack with 2 inside forwards.

Ozil has been awesome, but is has been Walcott and Rambo that have shone brightest. Alexis struggled until I made him my striker and he's tied with Aguero and Kane for the most goals. Walcott has 5 goals while Ramsey has 4. Gibbs has been great with Monreal injured and I'm peaty impressed with the team. Only negative is that Giroud hasn't quite played well but Walcott has kept him on the bench.

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Time for me to jump in here.

Played on Beta and was going to continue with my save from there but decided I wanted a fresh start with the game play improved and also having gone a little wild with signings and the like.

Finding FM16 a bit tougher than last year. Mainly finding consistency is the toughest part for me. We have had a tough fixture list to begin with though which hasn't helped.

As I play as Arsenal each year I decided to tweak my approach slightly this time round and give myself a bit of a Vision to place restrictions on myself, all obvious and standard stuff, but I will be a bit more strict in some areas.

- Focusing on Club Youth: First season I can spend as needed, however from season 2 onward I can only buy 1 senior player per season. All other movement will have to be promoting from within. I might tighten this in the future too, I can see 1 being all I need after a few years.

- Tactical Vision: Nothing new here, I want to play possession football, while still being sharp in attack. I will be setting myself regular goals to help with this. First season 55% possession, 90 goals overall. Nothing too tough, but I am still finding my way in this installment.

Not too much but it is a start to work from. I will likely add more as I go.

Season 2015-2016 Summer Transfer Window

Things got a bit out of hand, but as I am not fully familiar with the players in the Academy I decided I would give myself a faily deep first team with a good amount of young talent.

Stones wasn't actually planned, but Newcastle came in with an offer to loan Chambers as a Key Player at Centre Back, I couldn't really turn this down and it was a nice excuse to bring in a bit more depth in that area. Was initially looking at Emre Can for a similar price, for his versatility, but decided to bring in another HG player instead.

Outgoing

Mathieu Flamini - Loan (Lazio)

Callum Chambers - Loan (Newcastle)

Joel Campbell - Loan (Man City)

Incoming

Breel Embolo - £7m plus clauses

Saul Nunez - £17.5m

John Stones - £16m plus clauses

Gabriel Barbosa - £10m

Lewis Cook - (Loan Back for Season) - £7.5m

Reece Oxford - £2.4m plus clauses

ECL Group

Barcelona

Dynamo Kiev

BATE

Knowing I was going to be getting a tough team in the draw I wasn't too disappointed with Barcelona. Dynamo complicates things as the away match vs them will be a tough and important one. We get the back to back vs BATE though, and if we have taken our chances in the first two games, could leave the last two vs Barca and Kiev as dead rubbers.

Results so Far

July: WWWWWWWWW

Just friendlies for this month, plus the Terry Testimonial at Stamford Bridge. We won that 3-1 which made me chuckle, but perhaps wasn't a good idea to poke the beast for fixtures to come.

August: LWWLWD

A tough start to the season. The Community Shield was a sluggish game in which neither team deserved to win, which neither really did. Chelsea taking the silverware on penalties.

Our first 5 premier league games included an away trip to Man City and a home stand against Chelsea. A 0-1 loss at the Etihad and 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea. Add in home wins over Norwich and Sunderland. A tough start to the season, mix that with the team struggling to find consistency tactically and things were looking shaky at best.

September: DWWWWW

Starting the month with a 2-2 draw away to Liverpool certainly didn't help my confidence, but we did look more cohesive and the result was probably flattering to them.

Next up was the big home stand vs Barcelona. The boys finally seemed to be finding fluency and put on a swashbuckling show for the fans. Messi opened up the scoring on a corner scramble, but from then on it was all red with Ramsey equalizing before second half goals from Giroud, Embolo and Barbosa.

From there the wins have started flowing, home wins vs Villa and Middlesbrough in the LC, then away wins at West Ham and Kiev.

Player Performances

Goals: 6 - S. Cazorla, 4 - O. Giroud, 3 - B. Embolo, A. Ramsey.

Assists: 4 - A. Sanchez, 2 - O. Giroud, H. Bellerin, K. Gibbs, M. Ozil, T. Walcott

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October

(H) Bournemouth 3-0 (Paulista, Sanchez, Embolo)

(A) Watford 3-0 (Barbosa x 2, Embolo)

(H) BATE [ECL] 3-0 (Barbosa x 2, Sanchez)

(H) Southampton 3-1 (Ozil, Cazorla, Sanchez)

(H) Blackburn [CoC] 2-0 (Mavididi x 2)

(A) Man Utd 3-2 (Ozil x 2, Cazorla)

Player Performances

Goals: 8 - Cazorla, 5 - Barbosa, Embolo, 4 - Sanchez, Giroud

Assists: 7 - Sanchez, 3 - Giroud, 2 - 9 Players

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Ended up having a bit of an issue. Was getting things ready to post an update to the start of January - great start to the season, a woeful Christmas was the essence. Played on a little bit into January before a continuation of awful form and having to get sorted for work meant I shut everything down without thinking it through, and not saving. I loaded up later on when back at home to find my fortunes had turned but after winning a couple of games everything crashed. I tried again, but the magic was lost from the minor hissy fit earlier and throwing away a 2-0 lead at Shrewsbury to force a 3rd round replay in the FA Cup was the nail in the coffin of just not being able to continue.

With hindsight, I blame Eden Hazard - the too-good-to-turn-down signing did actually take the shimmer off and threw out the focus and vision I had in terms of team building, which took a lot of enjoyment out.

So I'm gonna go back to the start and give it another bash. And I can do screenshots now too, thanks to Llew_Arshavin23 for that one. Might end up with similar transfers etc. but looking to get more settled with a system as I was frequently tinkering and was never quite happy with the shape/style that came out. I just need to find the time to get cracking with it...

In other news, nice to see Mark. back this year, one of a few whose updates I enjoyed keeping up with on last years thread.

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Wow, apologies. I take it back. Clearly a bug, That transfer would simply not happen in real life.
Right, because Sir Alex never once sold a single player for less than their "market-value"........Stam, Beckham, Ronaldo, Van Nistelrooy etc.......not once in the history of the game, has a player been sold for under their value. CLEARLY A BUG!!!!

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Ended up having a bit of an issue. Was getting things ready to post an update to the start of January - great start to the season, a woeful Christmas was the essence. Played on a little bit into January before a continuation of awful form and having to get sorted for work meant I shut everything down without thinking it through, and not saving. I loaded up later on when back at home to find my fortunes had turned but after winning a couple of games everything crashed. I tried again, but the magic was lost from the minor hissy fit earlier and throwing away a 2-0 lead at Shrewsbury to force a 3rd round replay in the FA Cup was the nail in the coffin of just not being able to continue.

who's the moron that scheduled replays anyway, and why have big clubs not used their financial power to end that crud yet

it irritates the heck outta me - the opponents going all-out-defense to get a 0-0 draw (or failing to kill off my reserves) giving me more fixtures in a already-hectic schedule

edit: can't tell if the guy above is being sarcastic or not, but i'll bite

Stam - Fergie said that he thought he lost something with a prior injury, and said that the money was too good to refuse (although that is wikipedia)

Beckham - was planning on being sold anyway, as he had had enough of Beckham's character (in his autobiography)

Ronaldo - 80m? That's a talking point for anyone, plus he openly wanted to join them

Van Nistelrooy - wanted out, and was 30 (you could argue that Real overpaid here)

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Maybe Hazard on that save had fallen out with Mourinho a la Beckham, Stam (Fergie only sold him cos Stam outed him as a cheat in his book and Fergie later called it his biggest mistake) and RVN? Given what we've heard about Hazard this year in real life....

Ps on my game (yes started again after downloading fixtures and a data update that added more youth players (and the sons of famous players that are actually in academies - with random PA), I just had much amusement against Spurs at WHL who were 2nd in the league

Injured their new star striker Pratto. Find myswlf 3-0 up with a Theo hatrick (suicidal high line from spuds), and then Jack Wilshere clatters their keeper in the 67th min (after they've made all their subs)...rack up 7-0 win as Kyle Walker has to go in goal....;-)

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Welbeck is on fire for me at the moment. 14 goals in 16 games, and just scored back-to-back hat-tricks home to City and away to Everton.

Alexis having a bit of dry run, though. Only 2 goals in 16 games.

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I've enjoyed a break from everything over the past few days, but I've also enjoyed reading all of your updates. Just a little update from me...

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

After our frustratingly mediocre start to the season - two draws and a win, if you recall - we embarked on a tough run of domestic and European fixtures. Old Trafford, now Diego Simeone's stomping ground, was where September started.

Barclays%20Premier%20League%20results%20-%20September%20to%20November_zpsi6lubcs5.png

Assessing the draw away to United in isolation, it was a very pleasing point. We were good. Debuting our specially-formulated 4-1-4-1 system, we restricted Manchester United to very little and created plenty of chances for ourselves. Chris Smalling's set-piece headed goal was ultimately cancelled out by a thoroughly deserved but late Alexis goal. His penetrating run was found delicately by Olivier Giroud; his first-time volleyed finish was a fitting equaliser to reward a promising away performance.

The wins against Queen's Park Rangers and Wolves followed similar patterns: sheer possession couldn't break down resilient newly-promoted defences, meaning alternative solutions had to be sourced. At QPR, the solution was Danny Welbeck. A late substitute, his pace and power provoked and he also had the quality to find Olivier Giroud with a fine through ball to clinch a victory. Our solution to Wolves' resilience was set-pieces. Gabriel's goal, his first for the club, saw him capitalise on poor marking and good delivery.

Everton at home was a performance and victory of equal quality. As at Goodison Park last term, Mesut Özil sumptuously combined with Theo Walcott to open the scoring. His finish one typical of Theo: a measured, side-footed slot into the corner. New signing Faouzi Ghoulam lost Mirallas for the equaliser. But Aaron Ramsey's winner was entirely deserved. Alexis' centred a ball which ricocheted into the path of an on-running Ramsey, who placed the ball down to stranded Howard's left.

Olivier Giroud scored his fiftieth and fifty-first Arsenal goals at West Ham's Olympic Stadium. His fortuitous first, and fiftieth, made use of his striker instincts, anticipating a poor back pass before planting the ball into Adrián's net. The second was more what most observers would expect of Giroud - attacking Héctor Bellerín's whipped cross at the near-post, heading in with power and authority. Our second London derby in as many league games belonged to Theo Walcott, not Olivier Giroud. Gabriel's scrappy opener was almost instantly cancelled out - and it took us eighty-four minutes to eventually come up with a winner! Walcott collected Alexis' pass following a measured period of build-up play before spearing a vicious shot beyond Hennessey from eighteen-yards. Both London derbies serving as a testament to our character and attitude.

After a string of difficult away trips, the 5-0 demolition of Leicester at the Emirates was absolutely needed. Everyone played superbly well, not least Theo Walcott, who completed his hat-trick within an hour. His best was certainly his first, collecting Nacho Monreal's cross, swivelling and finishing powerfully all in one movement. I decided to use our control over the game to rest and test, replacing Alexis with Ghoulam, before moving Cazorla to a wider position and Nacho Monreal into central midfield. Bellerín's cross found the head of the latter to cap the win slightly unusually, but enjoyably.

Barclays Premier League table; as of November 1st, 2016



Barclays%20Premier%20League%20table%20-%20November%201st%202016_zpsyfyvol6z.png


UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

UEFA%20Champions%20League%20results%20-%20August%20to%20November_zpskvbaj8mo.png

Drawn into a group consisting of domestic champions - Real Madrid, Celtic and Steaua Bucharest - I knew progression into the final sixteen would be tricky, but losing away to Celtic on the opening matchday made it even trickier. Our finishing and/or Craig Gordon's brilliance in goal coupled with Leigh Griffiths' strike condemned us to a frustrating defeat. We did our best to sabotage our chances further at home to Steaua - within four minutes in fact. Nicolae Stanicu beat Koscielny far too easily before finishing beyond Szczęsny at the near post. We luckily turned the game on its head.

A disconcerting start to our Champions League campaign had the opportunity to get much worse at home to Real Madrid (who beat me 7-1 on aggregate in last season's semi-final) - and it did within fifteen minutes, due to a Dybala goal. But we rallied and put in a performance which hopefully signals our improved mentality when approaching big games. Mesut Özil scored against his former club again to equalise. Alexis Sánchez's winner was of equal quality and importance. Mesut found a forward-running Aaron Ramsey. Alexis' initial shot from Ramsey's cross was saved incredibly by Keylor Navas, but the Chilean managed to bundle in the rebound to ultimately clinch a memorable victory.

We now top the group, along with Celtic, on six points. Real Madrid's loss away to Steaua on the opening day has made the prospect of last year's winners missing out on the group stage a real, if maybe unlikely, possibility.


LOAN REPORT

I have a number of younger players away from the club, all seeking regular first-team football to further their development and to better their chances of returning to Arsenal and making a more profound impression.

Aisnley Maitland-Niles, probably the most well-rounded and gifted of the group on loan, is a regular at Premier League side Wolves and is impressing. In contract, Chuba Akpom is struggling to make a real, quantifiable impact at West Brom, failing to score for the first-team in ten outings. In the Championship, Emi Martínez, Isaac Hayden and Alex Iwobi are all starting the majority of games for Middlesbrough, Blackburn and Fulham respectively.

Dan Crowley and Chris Willock, who are both at affiliate club Hibernian of the Scottish Premiership, are averaging over 7.1 ratings-a-game. Their development in all aspects of their games is also encouraging. Similar could be said of Tafari Moore and Stefan O'Connor, who are at League One club Oxford and Southend. Although they're unlikely to make the cut at Arsenal, they are developing into players capable of playing to a good standard for the remainder of their careers.

One deeply frustrating loan spell, though, has been that of Serge Gnabry at Sevilla. Having settled in southern Spain following the move, he had just begun to start games for Unai Emery before an unfortunate injury threatened to curtail his entire season prematurely.

Serge%20Gnabry%20-%20Injury%20broken%20leg%20-%20October%206th%202016_zpsnlz1o6cm.png


ANOTHER ADDITION

In my last update, I discussed the summer transfer business conducted by the club. Julian Weigl and Faouzi Ghoulam joined the club, while Kieran Gibbs and David Ospina left for fellow Premier League sides. But the transfer business didn't stop there. Late into the window, I struck a deal to sign Vélez Sarsfield forward, Maximiliano Romero.

Maximiliano%20Romero%20-%20Veacutelez%20Sarsfield%20-%20October%2025th%202016_zps24wv870k.png

My Argentine scout Andrés Fernández Carbajo rates him highly. His attributes are at a stage where better coaching and greater involvement with a better group of players could see him make considerable steps towards fulfilling his undoubted professional. One obstacle that will likely have to be negotiated is his work permit. The Argentine will join the club when he turns eighteen in the new year.


Enjoy your saves and keep the updates coming...

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Nice update Llew :)

Into October and Arsenal are dominating. Playing a possession based 4-2-3-1 and I haven't dropped any points. Alexis leads the league with 8 goals in 8 games and I haven't just won, I've destroyed teams. The most fun aspect is that I've been able to play a team style where they attack as a group. Ozil has been great while playing Ramsey on the right has really worked out as he's been very very good. Walcott has been a better striker than Giroud although he's starting to improve while Campbell and the Ox have done well as rotation players. Cech, Kosc, and BFG have been rock solid while Gibbs and Bellerin have been blitzing teams at will.

Monreal suffered a major injury at the end of preseason so just starting to get fit. I've also been trying to give as many games to Gabriel and Chambers as well as Debuchy, but he's been inconsistent. Crowley, Reine-Adelaide, Bielik developing alright along with Bennacer

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I think it's time I do a mid-season update, so I think I'll crack on with that in a while. Enjoyed this save so far, and I am 2nd in the league, 4 points behind Man City, who won 13 straight games at the start of the league season. I inflicted their only defeat on them and it's a 2-horse race for the title.

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Started a save with Arsenal and Im currently in October in my second season. Finished the first season in a disappointing 4th place in the league behind Man City (Champions), Spurs and Chelsea. Chelsea pipped me on goal difference. However I had a very successful season with silverware, winning the Community Shield, FA Cup (3-2 against Man City) and the Champions League (3-1 against Juventus).

As I dont have any emotional attachments to any of the Arsenal players out went Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud, Walcott, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal and Wilshere. I completly dismantled the defence as the 2 centre backs were poor for a portion of the first season.

In came Icardi, Felipe Anderson, Zivkovic, Barkley, Dragovic and Stones. Icardi has been fantastic and has 8 goals already in early October. Still unbeaten in the 2nd season and I have some fantastic youngsters coming through, as well as that 16 year old keeper from Milan (Donnarumna I think!)

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2015/16 - January

So first Arsenal save of FM16 - it's been promising so far. Here's the lowdown:

Transfers

None so far, first window budgets off - I have players coming back to fitness and I'll have a look in the summer at who to move on.

Community Shield

Beat Chelsea 2-0 in very convincing fashion. Goals from Walcott and Alexis sealed a comfortable win and the first silverware of the season

Capital One Cup

Eliminated in round 3 by a late 1-0 defeat at Swansea after Modou Barrow's late goal.

FA Cup

Beat Norwich 2-1 away in round 3, and my reward is a home tie against Preston in round 4.

Champions League

Won my group with 4 wins and 2 draws - Lazio, Zenit & Gladbach the opposition. I will face Dynamo Kyiv in the knockout round.

Premier League

After 20 games I am in 2nd place. Man City top on 51 points, me 2nd on 47. We have only lost 1 each (I beat City, and my only defeat was at West Brom) and City won their opening 13 games. Chelsea are 3rd on 41, Man Utd 4th on 39 and Liverpool 5th on 38.

We have some excellent results to note. A 3-0 home win over Liverpool in August was excellent, a 4-0 first half demolition of Man Utd at the Emirates and a 3-0 derby win over Tottenham at the Emirates, as well as blowing Man City away in the first half of a 2-1 win. City came back into it, but we saw the game out for a priceless 2-1 win.

Players

Some notable player performances so far:

Petr Cech

Has made some excellent saves to keep me in the games in places. Notably my draw at Norwich was indebted to a stunning reflex save in the first half and a penalty save in the 2nd half, with 10 minutes to go.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Has not been a regular starter, but is knocking at the door with 8 goals so far this season.

Alexis Sanchez

A quiet December, but has 10 goals so far and is top goalscorer. Had 5 MoM awards and has also provided 8 assists.

Aaron Ramsey

Has 8 assists and has been very effective on the right hand side so far.

Hector Bellerin

Has been Young Player of the Month and received the senior award too. Has been excellent all season, with an average rating of 7.8

Others

My forwards have struggled the most, Walcott on 6 goals and Giroud on 7 - but they are hitting a little more form now. Generally attributing to getting the balance in the team right.

Tactics

Generally playing a 4-2-3-1 system - we try and dominate possession, but not obsessively and are more than capable sacrificing possession to play on the break, or, dribbling at opponents to unlock defences. Ramsey a feature on the right, with Bellerin overlapping, with Alexis direct on the left, cutting inside. Cazorla and Coquelin deep with Walcott up front generally ahead of Ozil.

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Four seasons in and Courtois seems to have lost patience at Chelsea's lack of success in my game. I noticed he was unhappy and had my chief scout check him out, came back he was very keen to join and they would accept between £22 and £28 million for him, also a news report where he supposedly said he'd love to join Arsenal. I'm seriously considering whether to buy him, perhaps offering Cech in part exchange. Cech is out of contract at the end of the season, and I have three good young goalkeepers (Dragowski who is now rated by my coaches as better than Cech, a Serbian regen rated just as highly potential wise but slightly younger and not as good currently, and an English keeper who came through my own academy and has played at all the youth levels for England, he is rated just lower than the other two).

My intention was to let Cech's contract run out and play Dragowski, but I'm torn. This is the comparison between Courtois and Dragowski:

2015-12-09_00001_zpsr2algfpp.jpg

What would you do?

edit: Forgot to mention, Courtois has Spirited personality, Dragowski Professional (Cech's Arsenal legacy, a bunch of young keepers with a professional personality :D)

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Suppose I should start to update on my own save.

b9d6225548e95aaaf2801c730c7ead22.png

I got most of my transfer activity done early. Mainly youngsters from the continent with a Finnish, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Slovakian and Pole joining the youth team for around £2m in total.

I wanted a versatile front player who could be active on the wings or up front, that led me to Inaki Williams from Athletic Bilbao. The 21 year old Spaniard cost me £9m up front with another £3.75m in clauses.

Then a midfield player. I will keep Flamini and Arteta for the year to see out their contracts and provide some tutoring, but Granit Xhaka will slot straight in ahead of them in the pecking order. Able to play anywhere in central midfield and still young, was happy to meet his £21.5m release clause.

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We went into the season lacking confidence after losing on penalties to Chelsea, but easily swept aside Palace in the opener. Giroud picked up an injury at the end of this game though, so Walcott started up front against Leicester in the next game, which was a tight affair in the end after conceding twice late on. Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up an injury in this game, so going into the Swansea match, I was forced to give Inaki Williams a full start, having had a sub appearance against Palace on day one. He didn't disappoint though, and scored a 2nd half brace to secure the points.

The City game was always an uphill struggle. Two early goals conceded made it tricky, and with an injury to Walcott late on, Joel Campbell had to try and score from striker.

So injuries to Giroud, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain already left me short of attacking options, so I made another late move in the market, this time picking up Polish striker Lukasz Teodorczyk from Dynamo Kyiv for just over £9m.



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At 24 he is still young and he is on very cheap wages. At 6'1 he offers physical presence, but also has some good physical attributes to ensure he can offer some all round play. As a backup striker I'm happy with this addition.



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So in our next games we just about dealt with Liverpool. Cech spilt a cross into his own goal after 3 minutes to give us another uphill struggle, but Williams had a great game to earn us another 3 points. Impressive start from the youngster who won Player of the Month for August.

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Then we smashed Celtic, 4-0 up inside 20 mins, and a first goal from Teodorczyk to boot.

Away to Newcastle in the cup soon. May give Jeff and Iwobi a run out.

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Any of you Arsenal guys though about bringing back Afobe to help the striker situation? 2020 FA Cup final from Championship side Watford...



f5c9c6140bd7276af7b29a59a1b43bb3.png

Heard he did an Adebayor celebration in this match too!

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A belated update for my save.

The league is going along well; a lot better than this point last season, when we were well adrift. Man Utd - now managed by Jose Mourinho after he was sacked by Chelsea last summer, and Unai Emery, after only a year at United, went and replaced Ranieri as England manager - had a very strong start to the campaign, winning games by four or five goals, even eight at one point, and not losing at all until recently and are well-placed to be our storngest competition this season. Stoke are the surprise of the season, somehow 3rd with the same number of points despite having a pretty average team. Their striker, Joel, a 24 year old Cameroonian signed from Brazil, has ordinary stats yet has 18 goals this season, and that's propelled them straight up the table. However, like a lot of these sides, I'm expecting them to tail off as the season goes on.

League%20Table%20Jan%202018_zps8rgll73m.png

Our own form started out patchy but eventually started to put together a long sequence of games unbeaten, something we appear to do often (without going on to break the record, sadly). That was recently ended by Liverpool, in a game where the counter-attacking strategy I'm trying, and failing it has to be said, to develop didn't work out as well as I hoped, and Tevez scrambled in a scruffy goal to inflict our first league defeat on us in a long while. On the subject of tactical experimentations, we were knocked out of the COC by Wigan after I decided to play a 3-5-2 with Maitland-Niles and Gnabry playing RM and LM respectively, which left us horribly vulnerable to the overpowered crosses that exist in this match engine. A 3-1 lead became 3-3, then my young side couldn't hold its nerve in the shootout.

The CL gave us an interesting group of Napoli, Monaco and Atletico Madrid, which we negotiated pretty comfortably in the end despite our losing start. We've landed PSG in the last 16 - who've, incidentally, been sniffing around Alexis for the past month - which will be difficult.

Results%20Aug%20to%20Jan%201718_zpsmzesp1l5.png

As for the players, Welbeck is having a great year in front of goal with 17 goals in 25 games, and Walcott managed to get into the final shortlist for World Player of the Year and was selected in the World Team of the Year. Sadly, the goals aren't flowing for him or Alexis so far. They both managed 40 goals between them for me last season, but so far they've only scored 9 between (Walcott with 6, Alexis with a pitiful 3). Not sure why that is.

The youngsters are doing well. Dragomir and Reine-Adelaide are having good loans at Blackburn and Valencia respectively, while Malen is starting to earn more appearances for PSV. As usual I'll have screenshots of these guys in my end of season update.

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Welcome everyone to your Arsenal saves, in particular Suggy33 and llama3. Keep us updated as to how you do.

My save is trundling along nicely. I'm in the January of 2017 and still competing for the Premier League and Champions League, with our FA Cup campaign just about to get underway. Here's how my two months between November and the new year went...

EMIRATES FA CUP

As mentioned in the introduction, my FA Cup campaign is about to get underway. I've been drawn at home to fellow Premier League side Queen's Park Rangers in the third round. While they may be three points of the relegation zone, they've showcased their ability against the big teams already - beating Liverpool and Everton in the league, drawing to Chelsea and knocking Manchester United out of the Capital One Cup in the quarter final.

I will likely field a team consisting of experience, promising youth and peripheral players. Calum Chambers will start in the heart of defence. Jeff Reine-Adelaïde will also start, with the likes of Krystian Bielik, Ismaël Bennacer, Vlad Dragomir and Donyell Malen also in contention.


BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

The period between November and the New Year brought a number of crucial games. Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham were Christmas visitors to the Emirates, while a trip to Anfield was in our festive itinerary.

Barclays%20Premier%20League%20results%20-%20November%20to%20January_zps3tqxaxqn.png

Following the international break, our 2-0 win away to Hull City kicked things back into gear quickly and efficiently. The performance wasn't the best, but the two early goals - and general domination - effectively killed the tie before it had even begun. Our 1-1 draw threatened to follow a similar pattern, were it not for the superb Łukasz Fabiański. A side missing a number of regulars was single-handedly repelled from Swansea's goal by the former Arsenal goalkeeper. His, and our, day was summed up in the 81st minute: Fabiański saved a Santi Cazorla penalty.

The draw at home to Swansea seemingly knocked us into a stalemate slump. Manchester City were the next visitors to the Emirates; a big game for both teams. And we were the better of the two. Again, missed penalties ultimately cost us - this time Aaron Ramsey struck straight at Joe Hart. Kane's goal a minute later following a Weigl mistake especially hurt, but we clawed our way back into it and had chances to take all three points. Our draw away to Jogi Löw's little-changed Liverpool was a fair result, but a tough one to take. We second-best throughout, struggling to contain Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge, but it seemed as if Walcott's goal from a Bellerín pull-back would earn us an unlikely three points. Until Danny Ings raced beyond a pushed-up backline, five minutes from time, to finish beyond Petr Čech.

Three league draws on the bounce meant a result against Chelsea - something which I've yet to achieve as Arsenal manager - was of paramount importance. It made our dismantling of a toothless, hopeless, pathetic Mourinho side all the more enjoyable. The hardly-fit duo of Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil combined twice within sixteen minutes to set up the stage upon which we played out one of our most fulfilling triumphs. Aaron Ramsey raced onto a Monreal pull-back to finish powerfully with his left and to cap a wonderful first-half. Francis Coquelin, on as a fiftieth-minute sub for the flagging Özil, even got in on the act; pouncing quickly on a spilled Coutoirs shot before celebrating with equal intensity in the corner. Our triumphant, swansong pirouette saw Jack Wilshere find Héctor Bellerín; his cross from the byline was met instinctively by Ramsey, who powered past Terry and volleyed into the goal.

West Brom, in the face of our dominance, toiled and tussled in true Tony tact to dampen spirits somewhat, but the Boxing Day victory over North London rivals Tottenham rekindled the festive cheer. As against Chelsea, our first-half was superb and ultimately decisive. Jack Wilshere goal was the pick of the bunch. Vacating his position on the right, he collected Monreal's cross deftly with his chest, settled himself and finished smartly down to Lloris' right. Chadli and Vertonghen goals either side of half-time put us on the back foot, but we adapted well and fought through to win.

We thankfully consolidated our derby victory away to Newcastle - a game which will always be tough, regardless of Newcastle's relegation-threatened status. Struggling to really establish control of the tie, Aaron Ramsey's unfortunate injury (/more later) did provide some fortune. Jack Wilshere replaced him to partner Francis Coquelin in midfield, a partnership I try to avoid at all costs, and his indiscipline rewarded us with a goal. He joined an already fulsome attack, his near-post run was picked out by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and his weaker-foot finish was adept.

Barclays Premier League table; as of January 1st, 2017



Barclays%20Premier%20League%20table%20-%20January%201st%202016_zpslwh5wgj2.png


UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Our heroics at home to Real Madrid turned the table around, setting it up nicely for the final three games of the group stage. Celtic and Steaua still represented a very real threat, but I anticipated qualification into the final sixteen.

UEFA%20Champions%20League%20results%20-%20November%20to%20January_zpsmnf92apn.png

It would be difficult to make our second trip to the Santiago Bernabéu any more different to our first some six months ago. On that occasion, we returned back to London on the back of a five-goal drubbing. In this instance, we came away from Madrid thinking that we definitely deserved more. We created just as many chances as the home side, with one falling to Héctor Bellerín in the eighty-fourth minute. Mesut Özil's reverse pass into his path was simply sublime, but Bellerín did no more than strike the ball straight at Keylor Navas.

Celtic at home, where Craig Gordon, their goalkeeper, once again starred. But he, nor his teammates, couldn't prevent Alexis Sánchez scoring a truly wonderful goal to ultimately win us the game. Collecting the ball from Monreal in his own half, he attacked space created by Özil before weaving past two players and finishing into the roof of the net. Alexis' goal meant that our trip to Bucharest wasn't for a daunting, must-win tie. Aaron Ramsey goal from the edge-of-the-box won it nevertheless.

We finished as runners up in the group, by virtue of goal difference. Real Madrid topped the standings with a plus-six goal difference, as we only managed a plus-two goal difference.

UEFA%20Champions%20League%20last%20sixteen%20draw%20-%20versus%20Internazionale_zps5telbqrb.png

This was probably the best last sixteen draw I could have hoped for, along with Olympique Lyonnais. We luckily avoided the likes of Barcelona, Bayern München and Juventus. Michael Laudrup's Internazionale seem to excel defensively, with many of their standout performers playing at the back. We do indeed have recent previous against Inter: we beat them 3-1 in the semi-final of pre-season's Emirates Cup. A good omen.


JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW

I got into January with some intentions of using the transfer window. I don't always enjoy the January window, but it's come at a time where my need for some sort of reinforcement ahead of a hopeful title tilt is great. I've already lost Santi Cazorla for chunks of the season; his latest injury being a broken collarbone. Aside from an ageing Cazorla, I have no real alternative to Aaron Ramsey, who I will now lose for three months.

Aaron%20Ramsey%20-INJ%20%20torn%20hamstring%20-%20January%201st%202017_zpspyep5zcg.png

I use Jack Wilshere primarily as an advanced midfielder, usually in wider positions. I don't trust him enough in a defensive capacity to use him an area of my team which is absolutely pivotal to the way I play. Francis Coquelin serves as a back-up-cum-alternative to Julian Weigl. 34-year-old Mikel Arteta is yet to start a game this season.

I have two solutions: recruit from outside of the club or promote from within. I'm currently assessing both solutions and their respective options. Victor Kovalenko, Dani Ceballos, Lewis Cook and Manu Trigueros serve as longer-term options, although they may not attainable at this juncture. Bayer Leverkusen's Charles Aránguiz is also available, while Adrien Rabiot and Saúl Ñiguez are also loan listed.

From within, I have two viable options: I could recall Ainsley Maitland-Niles from his loan at Wolves or promote under-21s regular Vlad Dragomir to the first-team squad and give him a chance when called upon.

Vlad%20Dragomir%20-%20Arsenal%20-%20January%201st%202017_zpstbwho3fn.png

It would be interesting to hear what you guys think on what I should do. Indeed, make your own recommendations of players.


Enjoy your saves...

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Ramsey also tore his hamstring on my save. Out for 3 months early in the season. Thankfully Xhaka can slot in.



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Had an alright run since my last update.

Started off with a poor 2-1 loss at WBA where Teodorczyk missed an early penalty. Just nothing clicked. Played the back up side against Newcastle in the cup, including Jeff, and came out on top comfortably.

We held off Bayern for 75 mins, but Alaba scored from a free kick. Then as we pushed for an equaliser they got the 2nd through Lewandowski. Couple of easy league wins after that, Teodorczyk with a hat-trick against West Ham which was nice to see from the new boy.

Sevilla took advantage of Coquelin being red carded and then Ramsey tearing his hamstring to score 3 late goals, but we got revenge with Giroud cracking in 4 on his return from injury.

Good note is our goal scoring. We've scored 3 or more goals in 7 of our 12 league games.

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I'm going to take a long break from my save. I'm enjoying developing the young players but there's too much annoying me right now for the whole experience to be fun anymore. Things like my forwards never scoring in a 1v1, my wide players cutting inside and putting their shots twenty yards wide of the post or straight at the keeper, how crosses are near impossible to defend and how keepers concede a disproportionate amount of goals at their near post are just wearing me down, even when I'm winning most of the time.

Hope people enjoy their saves.

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I'm playing on an ancient desktop that can't even run 2D at more than a crawl, so switched to commentary only. It is a lot less annoying, the silly things that happen in the ME generally aren't seen, though there are a lot of "there's only one outcome here..." and player X must score here" situations missed, but overall it's more enjoyable in my opinion.

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Put out too many youngsters away at Burton Albion and lost 2-0 in the FA Cup 3rd round :D

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Any of you Arsenal guys though about bringing back Afobe to help the striker situation? 2020 FA Cup final from Championship side Watford...



f5c9c6140bd7276af7b29a59a1b43bb3.png

Heard he did an Adebayor celebration in this match too!

I brought him back he's done ok he got 5 goals & 2 assists with an average rating of 6.94 in 10(3) games

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

February Report

02/02/16 | Barclays Premier League | Boleyn Ground

Arsenal 3 ( Walcott 52 , Cazorla PEN 64 , Meli S/O 75 , Alexis 90 | Assts: Afobe/Cazorla x1)

West Ham 1 ( Valencia 23)

07/02/16 | Barclays Premier League | Emirates

Arsenal 2 ( Welbeck 14 & 90+2 | Asst: Cazorla x1)

West Brom 0

13/02/16 | Barclays Premier League | Stadium Of Light

Arsenal 1 ( Özil 78 | Asst: Alexis x1)

Sunderland 0 ( Toivonen S/O 50)

17/02/16 | UEFA Champions League (1st Knock-Out Round - Leg 1) | Estàtadio José Alvalade Século

Arsenal 2 ( Cazorla 44 , Mertesacker 74 | Assts: Özil/Giroud x1)

Sporting CP 1 ( Carvalho 22)

21/02/16 | F.A Cup(5th Round) | Emirates

Arsenal 2 ( Fortune 4 , Mertesacker 45 | Assts: Malcom x2)

Hull 0

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I'm just coming to the end of my first season and have agreed terms with Pogba. At 78m and 250k per week wages though, I'm hesitating. Thoughts?

oI7Hbjr.png

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just downloaded a save 100 year in the future

here is the report

New 81002 capacity stadium called Wenger Arena

Trophies/Honours

Premiership

2037, 2038 , 2039 , 2041 , 2042 , 2048 , 2051 , 2059 , 2067, 2068 , 2069 , 2071 , 2072 , 2079 , 2080 , 2086 , 2096 , 2103 , 2106 , 2109 , 2110

English Community Shield

2036 , 2037 , 2038 , 2043 , 2051 , 2065 , 2066, 2067 , 2068 , 2069 , 2071 , 2077 , 2084 , 2086 , 2089 , 2101 , 2103 , 2104 , 2105 , 2109 , 2110

Capital One Cup

2019, 2024 , 2030 , 2049 , 2051 , 2061 , 2064 , 2068 , 2076 , 2081 , 2083 , 2093 , 2097 , 2106 , 2107

F.A Cup

2035 , 2036 , 2037 , 2037 , 2043 , 2045 , 2065 , 2073 , 2077 , 2080 , 2082 , 2086 , 2089 , 2093 , 2093 , 2096 , 2101 , 2105 , 2106

Euro Super Cup 2022 , 2041 , 2104

Club World Championship

2050 , 2104 , 2105

UEFA Champions League

2041 , 2050 , 2104 , 2105

Records

Higest Attendance: 81002

Highest Transfer Fee Paid: £59.2m for Mauro Icardi - July 21 2018

Highest Transfer fee Recived: £46.52m for Alexis Sánchez - Aug 27 2016

Fastest Goal: 9 secs by José(Regen) against Spurs(Prm) - Sep 25 2083

Youngest Goal-scorer: Marios Georgiou(Regen) 16 yrs & 61 days

Most Games Won In A Row: 15( Dec 26 2100 - March 3 2101)

Most League Apps for Club: 585 - Eamonn Snodden

Top League Goal-Scorer In A Season: Jordy Ramaël(32) - 2094/95 Season

Most Assists in a Season: Kendru Sainas (29) 2050/51 Season

Highest Ave Rating: Sem Doornbos( 8.15 over 46 apps)

Rivals

(all competitive)

Sheff Wed , Newcastle , Everton

Legends

Players: Per Mertesacker , Mesut Özil , James McCarthy , Mauro Icardi | Regens: Maxuell , Yannick Lettinga , Paolo Bonatesta , Steve Boyle , André Guedes , Twan Karreman , Santos , Osman Huseyin , Gerardo Alcántar , Steve Lucas , Eamonn Snodden , José Cheme , Agus Hermawan , Sem Doornbos , Aidan Jessup , Iker Ramos , Georege Parsons ,

Manager: Michael Bradley

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I'm just coming to the end of my first season and have agreed terms with Pogba. At 78m and 250k per week wages though, I'm hesitating. Thoughts?

oI7Hbjr.png

It may be playing a B2B in the high tempo, high pressing style my team plays, but with Natural Fitness of 12 I find he can't play two games a week. That is the only negative I have with him. Here is how he's done for me, he could probably have played one or two more games each season, but I still have Ramsey so I don't need to overplay him. Missed six weeks of the third season (his only injury apart from a couple of 4-5 day ones), and still three games to go so it'll probably jump up to 18 appearances this season.

2015-12-14_00001_zpsaqoqcgid.jpg

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Thanks. I decided to go for it. I always heavily rotate anyway, so no one ever plays more than a game a week anyway!

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just downloaded a save 100 year in the future

here is the report

New 81002 capacity stadium called Wenger Arena

Trophies/Honours

Premiership

2037, 2038 , 2039 , 2041 , 2042 , 2048 , 2051 , 2059 , 2067, 2068 , 2069 , 2071 , 2072 , 2079 , 2080 , 2086 , 2096 , 2103 , 2106 , 2109 , 2110

English Community Shield

2036 , 2037 , 2038 , 2043 , 2051 , 2065 , 2066, 2067 , 2068 , 2069 , 2071 , 2077 , 2084 , 2086 , 2089 , 2101 , 2103 , 2104 , 2105 , 2109 , 2110

Capital One Cup

2019, 2024 , 2030 , 2049 , 2051 , 2061 , 2064 , 2068 , 2076 , 2081 , 2083 , 2093 , 2097 , 2106 , 2107

F.A Cup

2035 , 2036 , 2037 , 2037 , 2043 , 2045 , 2065 , 2073 , 2077 , 2080 , 2082 , 2086 , 2089 , 2093 , 2093 , 2096 , 2101 , 2105 , 2106

Euro Super Cup 2022 , 2041 , 2104

Club World Championship

2050 , 2104 , 2105

UEFA Champions League

2041 , 2050 , 2104 , 2105

Records

Higest Attendance: 81002

Highest Transfer Fee Paid: £59.2m for Mauro Icardi - July 21 2018

Highest Transfer fee Recived: £46.52m for Alexis Sánchez - Aug 27 2016

Fastest Goal: 9 secs by José(Regen) against Spurs(Prm) - Sep 25 2083

Youngest Goal-scorer: Marios Georgiou(Regen) 16 yrs & 61 days

Most Games Won In A Row: 15( Dec 26 2100 - March 3 2101)

Most League Apps for Club: 585 - Eamonn Snodden

Top League Goal-Scorer In A Season: Jordy Ramaël(32) - 2094/95 Season

Most Assists in a Season: Kendru Sainas (29) 2050/51 Season

Highest Ave Rating: Sem Doornbos( 8.15 over 46 apps)

Rivals

(all competitive)

Sheff Wed , Newcastle , Everton

Legends

Players: Per Mertesacker , Mesut Özil , James McCarthy , Mauro Icardi | Regens: Maxuell , Yannick Lettinga , Paolo Bonatesta , Steve Boyle , André Guedes , Twan Karreman , Santos , Osman Huseyin , Gerardo Alcántar , Steve Lucas , Eamonn Snodden , José Cheme , Agus Hermawan , Sem Doornbos , Aidan Jessup , Iker Ramos , Georege Parsons ,

Manager: Michael Bradley

Out of curiosity what does the premier league look like in terms of teams in it....

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My season is becoming quite tense at the business end of the season. A mediocre run of performance had seen us go 12 points behind Man City with a game in hand (after City had played 30 games), but I have hauled it right back now, and I sit 2 points behind them. We have a giant fixture on the calendar - matchday 37 at the Etihad. Which may decide all of it. I am also in the semi finals of the FA Cup against Fulham. So a big month and a half now, potentially 2 trophies to win. Fingers crossed.

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Just a brief update from me; less detailed than my usual efforts. I'm sort of playing through my Arsenal save in anticipation of SI dropping their long-awaited patch. I'm going to start a European save - probably in Germany or Spain - with a club which will pose a greater challenge. I'm currently thinking Hamburg or Deportivo la Coruña, clubs that I'm fairly familiar with.

EMIRATES FA CUP

Having exited last season's competition in the fifth round, away to Championship side Burnley, FA Cup success was high on the priority list this season.

FA%20Cup%20results%20-%2016-17_zps59xnyzw9.png

Frustratingly though, we were dumped out of the competition at the same stage as last year, albeit to Premier League opposition this time. A somewhat lightweight, rotated eleven couldn't handle Wolves' remarkable ability from set-pieces. Positive from the prematurely curtailed campaign: Vlad Dragomir. He was the pick of the youngsters who featured. His two goals, on his full debut, were very pleasing moments and a sizeable milestone in a promising, blossoming career.


UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

After progressing from a tough group in second place, beneath last year's champions Real Madrid, the last sixteen draw of Internazionale was the best we could possibly get.

UEFA%20Champions%20League%20results%20-%20Round%20of%20Sixteen_zpsvtffbcj3.png

Our performances in both legs, but particularly the first, were excellent. I decided the best way to approach both legs was to start quick, pressing high and playing with pace and purpose. We did so and we reaped the rewards. Theo Walcott was very good in both legs, coupling his tremendous speed with a burgeoning technical and tactical understanding. He was the game changer, playing as a central striker, as he has been, even if with little fanfare, all season.

UEFA%20Champions%20League%20quarter-final%20draw%20-%20versis%20Atleacutetico%20de%20Madrid_zpsg3jroxyn.png

Atlético Madrid, now under the managerial leadership of David Moyes, pose a tougher test than Internazionale of the previous round. They had topped La Liga, but have recently been pushed down to third-place. Notable threats include Argentine pair Ángel Correa, Luciano Vietto and France's Antoine Griezmann. The two legs sandwich our trip to title challengers Manchester City and fall before a Liverpool-Chelsea double header...


BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

As you may recall from my previous update, our league form had been very solid - undefeatable, in fact. Here are my league results from January to early March...

Barclays%20Premier%20League%20results%20-%20January%20to%20March_zpswx1toaao.png

Barclays%20Premier%20League%20results%20-%20January%20to%20March%2011%20game%20winning%20streak_zpsdi2vncy4.png

In short, we've been magnificently consistent. In a league where anyone can beat anyone, consistency will be rewarded and our season to date is a perfect example of that. An eleven game winning streak is remarkable; and the prospect of another unbeaten league season is very much on the cards!

Mesut Özil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott have been excellent in our recent run, a great relief to our defence who have started to concede a few goals. The former two finished second and third respectively in January's Player of the Month award, while the latter won it outright in February. Walcott also added to his impressive league tally of fifteen goals - a figure which surprised me, in all honesty.

Olivier Giroud also proved his worth in the squad. He contributed to seven goals - four goals, three assists - from February to March and the general level of his performances were excellent. Jeff Reine-Adelaïde breakthrough into the first-team, benefiting from Alexis and Wilshere's injury issues, was also incredibly promising. A bicycle kick against QPR provided him with his first goal for Arsenal Football Club and also contributed to him winning the accolade of being February's Barlays Premier League Young Player of the Month.

Barclays Premier League table; as of March 4th, 2017



Barclays%20Premier%20League%20table%20-%20March%204th%202017_zpsdynxsx3j.png


JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW

I have very little to report in terms of incomings and outgoings. I was in the market for a player, or indeed a position, as detailed in my previous, and I'm happy with what I managed to do.

Saúl Ñiguez - as you may know, someone I courted during last year's January window - finally joined the club. A six-month loan deal from Atlético Madrid. He'll provide high quality, like-for-like back-up to the currently injured Aaron Ramsey and also offers an alternative to Santi Cazorla as well as depth in a number of positions. To date he's made elven appearances and his performances have been good. Depending any deals financial landscape, I would like to sign him on a permanent deal.

New signing Maximiliano Romero (see previous update) moved to Swedish club Gelfe on a season-long loan, largely due to work permit restrictions. We also engaged in more negotiations with Atlético Madrid, who pushed hard for Nacho Monreal. Their top bid was roughly £11.5 million in total, a fee some way off the £15 million I would have reluctantly accepted. Nacho wanted to leave, but has since changed his mind and I have taken up the option to extend his contract by a further year.


Enjoy your saves...

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A major game indeed in matchday 37 at the Etihad. I am now sitting 1 point ahead of Man City, but they have a game in hand in midweek. So I am going to Etihad, but basically have to win to be in the driving seat. Squeaky bum time indeed!

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A major game indeed in matchday 37 at the Etihad. I am now sitting 1 point ahead of Man City, but they have a game in hand in midweek. So I am going to Etihad, but basically have to win to be in the driving seat. Squeaky bum time indeed!

I was in a similar situation last season, albeit on the final day away to Chelsea. I lost 3-2 and the title in the process, but hopefully you can achieve what I couldn't. Good luck!

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