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GreyedOutMan

[FM19] Rebuilding Arsenal

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Posted (edited)

So as an Arsenal fan, I’m a bit worried about the future given our situation. It’s clearly going to need a bit of creativity. So I thought I’d do this in FM.

I want to start an FM19 game to play until FM20 with the aim of making Arsenal competitive again. But clearly this will be severely restricted by budget and non CL qualification. 

So my thinking is that I’ll restrict myself to ONLY buying brand new newgens. As in, I’ll set my screen flow to fall onto the transfers page every day so that I see the newgens immediately, scour them and pick up any I like the look of. I will give myself 3 months from the date I first found each player to sign them. After that, none are able to be signed (with the exception below). 

Clearly, alongside sales and wage savings that means the financial situation will improve year on year so my thinking is that I will allow myself either one “normal” transfer a season or one per window. These marquee signings will clearly need to be hugely researched etc, because I’ll be overpaying usually and will want to ensure I get the right one in the right position etc., whereas the newgens I get in will necessarily be quite knee-jerk as they'll be new and I have only a 3 month window to decide. That will be hit and miss, but my hope is that I'll be able to sell every single player that doesn't quite make it on for a profit.

I would plan to post end of season updates plus every transfer in and out as well as my youth intakes which clearly will be vital.

My question before I start - probably this evening - is how realistic you think this is? Should it be one marquee signing per season or one per window? I have been strict on not allowing myself one in the initial window, and will be working with the original squad (not including Denis Suarez, as I used the original DB). Are there any other ideas that could make this more interesting?

Once I get started I will be asking readers for advice as I play, particularly on the tactical side which I’ve found very hard in recent years!

EDT: Is there any way to "preview posts"? Seems to have gone. I have some code I need to check before I post my first season update.

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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in the end it's your save, but I would think 1 "marquee" signing a year is more challenging (and likely more than Arsenal have made in reality recently, depending on your definition of marquee)

also... how would you define competitive, do you want to win everything? is consistent top 4 year in year out acceptable al la Arsene or are you going to push hard for a domestic title and not pay as much attention to other competitions?

looking forward to how this pans out

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1 minute ago, Mandy42 said:

in the end it's your save, but I would think 1 "marquee" signing a year is more challenging (and likely more than Arsenal have made in reality recently, depending on your definition of marquee)

also... how would you define competitive, do you want to win everything? is consistent top 4 year in year out acceptable al la Arsene or are you going to push hard for a domestic title and not pay as much attention to other competitions?

looking forward to how this pans out

Obviously the aim is to be dominant, but with the restrictions that will clearly take time. Especially as I'm not great tactically.

OK, leaning towards one marquee signing per season then, although I might allow myself to move it to January if I decide the right player isn't available in the summer.

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Posted (edited)

And to clarify - by marquee I just mean non-regen in that year. Other than that one signing per season, I am ONLY allowed to sign players within 3 months of their generation (although if they join later due to age restrictions that is fine, but the transfer must be agreed).

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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Slight tweak to the above - I've made Sokratis a no-nonsense CB with "cover" duty, thinking this should mean that if the BPD is caught out of position then he can cover him. Make sense, or are these two roles incompatible?

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Posted (edited)

So I've decided that I will allow myself one marquee signing per season - and though I was strict in not allowing a single transfer in the first window, I don't think I need to be too strict on myself and I will permit myself one in this January window. Going forward, if I sign a non-regen over the summer then I won't be allowed to do so in January (obviously new regens can be signed whenever). 

This means I can look to sign someone this January, work out where I'm going to get reinforcements from my academy/regen signings and then pick one more position that needs strengthening over the summer (I am thinking of cashing in on PEA so it might end up being a striker).

For now, I want to show you my thoughts on the January transfer that will be my marquee signing for 2018/19. It won't surprise many to learn that I'm looking for a centre back. I'm still scouting (one advantage of this system is it means I can concentrate all my scouts on one position), but so far I have three contenders:

Milan Skriniar
Nathan Ake
Ivan Ordets

Any thoughts? Obviously some scouting still to go and I won't need to make a decision on them for a few months at least, but would appreciate any thoughts at this early stage. Ordets is a bit left-field but looks promising so far pending more scouting. Obviously, within reason, money is no object.

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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Milan Skriniar is someone who is wanted in every save i've ever played, he's the youngest with the best stats and obviously the most expensive, you might face stiff competition to get him, but he would plug straight into your 1st team as probably your best defender (going on the comparison chart) making him the potential to be the cornerstone of your defence for years to come. The very definition of Marquee.

Nathan Ake is the same age, not as polished stats wise but considerably cheaper, he does however have a 40 mil 1st refusal buy back clause with Chelsea if you try go and get him, while he isn't as good out of the box as Skriniar he can play both defence and defensive midfield so could be a good option depending how flexible you want your squad to be.

Ivan Ordets does need more scouting, I try shy away from "no nonsense centre backs" as they just fill my head with the image of hoofing the ball into touch and up field, so for me, it depends where in the range of 11-15 his passing stat falls and whether he could be retrained to be a ball playing defender.

To throw another name into the mix have you had a look at Mattijas de Ligt from Ajax, in my save with Chelsea he had bags of potential, which my backroom staff thought he might fulfil in a couple of seasons, I threw him into the 1st team and after 10 games he was gaining stats like a beast. He's 19 and for his ability I don't think he's over priced.

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De Ligt has already moved to Liverpool: he was an option I was already thinking about, but he moved within two days of the start of the game! A snip at £23.5m.

My thinking about Skriniar/Ake was similar to yours. If I can manage to get Skriniar I think I want to but Ake could be a decent alternative. 

As for Ordets. If I play him alongside a BPD as I'm intending to do, wouldn't a NNCB suit quite well? He can act as cover for Mustafi if he gets caught out of position trying to play out? I will definitely keep scouting him, anyway.

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Scouting update:

Ordets was 11 for passing. I think probably not. Doing a comparison of a few players, and I think I've narrowed it down to two. Ake quicker and technically better than both, but in all other areas these two are better and I think it will be one of these. Thoughts?

 

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out of those two I would take Skriniar, they are both of similar value / cost, and he is the younger, plus his current wage is lower, meaning he might demand less from his contract.

With regards to NNCB, I just don't like the position, I prefer to play 2 ball playing defenders one on a cover, or play two of them with a Libero between them, means however I have to find players who can pass the ball as well as defend

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Posted (edited)

Update - I've negotiated for both players now and got deals agreed.

Skriniar - £63m plus 50% profit from next sale (given the nature of the save, I doubt I'll profit from selling him on). Contract: £155k per week, 10% sell on fee percentage, £7.75m loyalty bonus, £34k appearance fee (£9k unused sub), 25.5k CS bonus.

Manolas - had a £34m release clause. Contract: £165k per week, 10% sell on fee percentage, £8.5m loyalty bonus, £35k appearance fee (£9k unused sub), £26.5k clean sheet bonus, £375k FA Cup winning bonus.

Total overall cost of transfer over the length of one contract based on 20 CS per season in 50 games:

Skriniar: £120m

Manolas: £92.3m (rising by 400k for each FA Cup win.

Which is value?

 

Also - Nacho Monreal will be leaving in January for Shanghai for £9m rising to £12m with installments. Saves me £1.8m in wages.

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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Posted (edited)

Decision has been made for me. Manolas signed a new contract with Roma, so Skriniar it will be. Likely that will be all my business for January now - Skriniar in, Monreal out at a net cost of around £107m. Happy with that, I think.

Although if a big enough bid comes in for Aubameyang....nah, probably wait for the summer for that one.

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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Having said that, I'm now thinking of cashing in on Ozil. He is underperforming anyway and clearly would be a huge strain off the finances. I'd probably want to change from a 4-2-3-1 to a 3-4-3 formation with wing-backs. Does anyone know a good tactic using this formation that is not TOO far away from the one I have started with here?

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The last time I had two strikers who HAD to play, I used a 4-3-1-2.

            GK

CWB-CB-CB-CWB

     CM-DM-CM

           AM

      AF       P

 

Emphasis on the complete wing backs replacing the width with no wingers, and a DM (anchor man or similar) staying back to help the defence to make it a back 3 at times.

Would make good use of Bellerin and Kolasinac, and you could have Auba and Laca up top in their preferred roles.

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1 minute ago, sourgrapes11 said:

The last time I had two strikers who HAD to play, I used a 4-3-1-2.

            GK

CWB-CB-CB-CWB

     CM-DM-CM

           AM

      AF       P

 

Emphasis on the complete wing backs replacing the width with no wingers, and a DM (anchor man or similar) staying back to help the defence to make it a back 3 at times.

Would make good use of Bellerin and Kolasinac, and you could have Auba and Laca up top in their preferred roles.

Possible. But that would mean keeping or replacing Ozil....

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1 minute ago, GreyedOutMan said:

Possible. But that would mean keeping or replacing Ozil....

Depends on the strength of the squad - I haven't played FM19 so I don't know how highly it rates the arsenal squad.

Iwobi and Mkhi are presumably still there, could either of them fill the gap for a season until you signed a marquee replacement on far lower wages?

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, sourgrapes11 said:

Depends on the strength of the squad - I haven't played FM19 so I don't know how highly it rates the arsenal squad.

Iwobi and Mkhi are presumably still there, could either of them fill the gap for a season until you signed a marquee replacement on far lower wages?

Hmmm...yes, and that might well be a possible. Ozil has been hugely underperforming so far in my existing 4-2-3-1 formation, so I've started Smith-Rowe at Newcastle. Will report back...


EDT: Oh. He was sent off early in the second half with the score at 0-0 and at a rating of 6.6 - I need something else there really. Will give Mkhi a go in the Europa League and see how it goes.

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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I've signed my first regen, to arrive in mid-January. It's really just an experiment to see how easily I can get them from Ecuador (the first regens of the season), and whilst I seriously doubt he will ever make the first team, he should be someone I can sell on for a profit. He obviously has no work permit so I will be looking to loan him out instantly.

I'm finding it quite useful to see how much each piece of transfer/contract business is affecting the finances overall and will continue to do so. If I only ever give this guy one contract and he never plays for the first team, he will cost me £109,075. In reality, I expect to give him one extension in his first summer and then look to sell him within a few years. I anticipate I should be able to sell him for a few million at least so a profit at the bare minimum.

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Posted (edited)

A few contract renewals lately:

Aaron Ramsey (yes, I did it, and it wasn't that much) - 4 year contract (extension of 3 years) at a net total cost of £27m.
Danny Welbeck (not injured remember) - 4 year contract (extension of 3 years) at a net total cost of £23m.
Bukayo Saka - renewed up to 2020 at a net total cost of £50k.
Arthur Okonkwo - renewed up to 2020 at a net total cost of £46k.
Joe Willock - sent on loan but also renewed up to 2022 at a net total cost of £1.8m.

Happy with each of these. The Ramsey deal at £140k a week is a little unrealistic given that he was turning down almost twice that figure, but it is what it is.

I've also got another regen in, this time due to join in June 2019. Quintero is nothing special, but I'm confident I can get a decent return on the £300k he will cost me (I've based this as with most on an assumption that he will see out his contract and given an estimate of what I expect from him in terms of game time).

This combined with my earlier transfer business (buying Skriniar, Quinonez and now Quintero , selling Nacho) means that my total net spending commitment has already reached close to £150m. The main bulk after the £63m fee for Skriniar is £80m in extra wage commitments, though, and I anticipate trying to sell Welbeck at some point which will free up some of that again.

Playing like this does give you a sense of perspective on finances in football. Skriniar will cost me £47m over the length of his contract, even without his transfer fee!

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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6 minutes ago, GreyedOutMan said:

A few contract renewals lately:

Aaron Ramsey (yes, I did it, and it wasn't that much) - 4 year contract (extension of 3 years) at a net total cost of £27m.
Danny Welbeck (not injured remember) - 4 year contract (extension of 3 years) at a net total cost of £23m.
Bukayo Saka - renewed up to 2020 at a net total cost of £50k.
Arthur Okonkwo - renewed up to 2020 at a net total cost of £46k.
Joe Willock - sent on loan but also renewed up to 2022 at a net total cost of £1.8m.

Happy with each of these. The Ramsey deal at £140k a week is a little unrealistic given that he was turning down almost twice that figure, but it is what it is.

This combined with my transfer business (buying Skriniar and Quinonez, selling Nacho) means that my total net spending commitment has already reached close to £150m. The main bulk after the £63m fee for Skriniar is £80m in extra wage commitments, though, and I anticipate trying to sell Welbeck at some point which will free up some of that again.

Playing like this does give you a sense of perspective on finances in football. Skriniar will cost me £47m over the length of his contract, even without his transfer fee!

You're making me do mental maths haha

what are the weekly wages?

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Just now, sourgrapes11 said:

You're making me do mental maths haha

what are the weekly wages?

Ramsey - £140k a week
Welbeck - £125k a week
Saka - £1k a week
Okonkwo - £1k a week
Willock - £11.5k a week

Signings coming soon:
Skriniar - £155k a week
Quintero and Quinonez - £1.8k a week and £1.3k a week respectively

There are some more regens coming in, I won't bother cataloguing them all until and unless they become massively relevant.

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Posted (edited)

I'm now shifting my scouting focus to my summer targets. I'm thinking about full backs I think: based on the performances of the team this year I think that's the place the squad could use investment. AMN seems to be developing into a wing-back nicely but Bellerin has totally stalled whilst Lichtsteiner and Monreal are leaving.

The question is which side to go for. If we assume that Bellerin will probably stay on for one more season, possibly as a backup, then leaving AMN as a left wing back is the obvious solution: he has been oustanding there this year. I have Lopez and Osei-Tutu coming up as decent players but only Kolasinac will be left as a really capable back-up, so I think I'm going to look for a right back.

A Call To Arms

However, I'd appreciate any thoughts on any of this. If you think I'm missing an obvious place to reinforce, please tell me! I'm intending to put out requests for advice with big red headings so that if you see this, you know that I am asking my (hopefully) loyal followers for advice. Let me take your through my thinking for looking at full/wing backs.

This is the first-team squad currently, and you can see how they're tending to perform at the moment. Obviously there's time for this to change but three months in, I feel this is enough to start making some conclusions.

This is every full/wing back currently at the club. Lopez and Osei-Tutu are decent but not ready yet.

As you may have noticed, Ozil's form has picked up a bit after I threatened to get rid of him so I'm tempted to stick with this formation for now and hope that a replacement for him comes through a youth academy somewhere allowing me to snap him up. Alternatively, I think I have enough to muddle through to June 2020 before signing a marquee AMC. Asensio or Havertz could be decent possibilities there. Other possibilities for 2020 would be a winger (Coman/Brandt?) or a replacement for Aubameyang (Belotti/Sandro/Dembele or perhaps Mbappe/Jesus if it's realistic). I think the centre of midfield looks pretty good for the time being.

So, provisionally, my plan for marquee signings is:

Summer 2019 - wing back, probably right sided (although open to either potentially)
Summer 2020 - attacking player, currently leaning towards AMC, but open to wingers and strikers too.

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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Laughable how highly Mustafi is rated on FM19, and how low PEA is rated.

If it were me I'd look to bring in a LWB but that's just cause AMN on the left still looks odd to me, even though Wenger gave him his break there. Guess you can't argue with preformances though.

I don't think you will need a winger in 2020 imo, ESR is looking pretty tasty. How is Reiss doing on loan? I'd def look to shift Ozil's wages if poss and get a cheaper replacement.

With Kos and Sokratis getting older I'd also be looking to give Holding as much game time as possible.

Shaping up as an interesting career.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, sourgrapes11 said:

Laughable how highly Mustafi is rated on FM19, and how low PEA is rated.

If it were me I'd look to bring in a LWB but that's just cause AMN on the left still looks odd to me, even though Wenger gave him his break there. Guess you can't argue with preformances though.

I don't think you will need a winger in 2020 imo, ESR is looking pretty tasty. How is Reiss doing on loan? I'd def look to shift Ozil's wages if poss and get a cheaper replacement.

 With Kos and Sokratis getting older I'd also be looking to give Holding as much game time as possible.

 Shaping up as an interesting career.

I think Mustafi is massively underrated because Arsenal fans don't understand his role. He is a pure BPD. Which means he will be caught out of position sometimes. The fact he never gets any cover is the issue. Agreed RE: PEA. 

I know what you mean about AMN but he is doing so well...I am scouting both sides though so I guess it'll come down to which side I can get the best player for.

I think I agree about the wingers although ESR I think I see as more of an AMC. Nelson was the main reason why I was leaning away from wingers. Sadly, he has only made three sub appearances at Hoffenheim but no option to recall so it'll be a bit hit and miss. But yes, I think if I can shift Ozil then AMC seems to be the priority for 2020. Ozil will be nearly 32 by then and have just one year left on his contract. One thing's for sure: I won't be extending it. If I can shift, I will.

Holding is playing plenty - I think for this season, it's Mustafi/Sokratis as first choice when push comes to shove, but Holding isn't far behind them. Mavropanos has made an encouraging start, too. With Skriniar to come in January, this is certainly an area of the pitch we're now well-stocked in (seems odd to say that given our struggles IRL). I might even consider moving to three at the back, to be honest: we have only kept five clean sheets in 16 competitive games so far, and two of those were against Qarabag and Ludogorets, a further two at home to Bournemouth and Cardiff! Admittedly the other one was away at City (humble brag), but still...Skriniar is needed. If he doesn't improve us much then I'll need to think about a tactical shift, and look to bring in a load of good young newgen centre-backs. But that will almost certainly mean a shift away from an AMC so that will change my plans a bit.

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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Also, Trae Coyle is really impressing me with two good performances in the Europa League. As we speak, he is making his Prem debut off the bench for 18 minutes at Moulineux. 

....his movement has been really good - a couple of times where Ozil or Ramsey should have found him to put him through I think. Nothing special there, but we will keep trying him out. Coyle on the left, Nelson on the right for the next decade?? Probably not but I think Coyle could be a really useful squad player. can play in any of the three AM positions or even up front at a push.

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Posted (edited)

Anyway, thanks for your help so far to all my assistants. After the first full day of playing, this is the state of play:

First Team Squad
Other players who have played first team games
Results - note just the one injury currently
Future transfers
League table and stats

...and with 4/4 wins in the Europa League, I am already guaranteed top spot. I would say I'll play the kids in the last two, but I already am! 

Do ask if there are any specific screens you'd like to see.

I've lost two games so far. They were back-to-back. One to some team who play nearby in white and haven't won the league since the days of black and white or a major trophy of any description in this century, and then to a rather more glamorous side called Bristol City.

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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Thanks to my excellent run, the board have also agreed to upgrades in the training AND youth facilities. Given the nature of the challenge, this is clearly of paramount importance, so I'm very happy about this!

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do you have any wing back options who can play both sides of the pitch? or any of the ones you have scouted...

I would agree that Ozil needs to go can Joao Felix play in AMC? he's young and talented and I seem to remember a certain london based team that plays in white pipping me to his signature in my Chelsea save, and he terrorised me at least twice a year 

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6 minutes ago, Mandy42 said:

do you have any wing back options who can play both sides of the pitch? or any of the ones you have scouted...

I would agree that Ozil needs to go can Joao Felix play in AMC? he's young and talented and I seem to remember a certain london based team that plays in white pipping me to his signature in my Chelsea save, and he terrorised me at least twice a year 

AMN can play both sides but he is quickly becoming first choice left back which is, admittedly, unexpected. I don't have any versatile full backs other than that though, unfortunately. 

I'm sure Felix will be a candidate for summer of 2020...but who knows what the situation will be then?! I've started scouting him out of interest. It looks like he is equally adept at AMC or AML, but decent in MC and AMR too...could be a good shout except for the fact that I think it's likely he will be snapped up quite quickly. Although I don't think there's anything stopping me from signing him in advance...as long as he doesn't arrive before the summer of 2020, right? You can agree deals at least one transfer window in advance...

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in theory yeah you can sign him at the end of the transfer window before, which means the business wont be completed and the money wont change hands till the start of the next window. So if you cant take him until 2020, you could secure the deal the day after the summer transfer window closes in 2019 

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End of January Update

Jenkinson, Monreal and Martinez had all agreed to leave in advance of January and in the first week of the window Xhaka, who wasn't getting much game time, has also been moved on and I got an eye-watering £27.5m from China. I also managed to get a decent £7m for Cech who wanted first team football and is NOT going to become a coach! I thought that would be it, but then Lyon bid over £20m for Koscielny, who is barely back from injury and 33, so I had no choice but to accept. I have five centre-backs in the first team squad still, so I was fine with that. Finally, I got a Chinese bid for Lichtsteiner, only £400k but it saved me four times that overall with savings on his wages. Basically, this was a window of getting rid of old players and accepting silly money for players who weren't regulars in my starting XI.

One marquee signing (in fact a broken transfer record at £63m) plus a load of South American regens in, without work permits of course. All of them have gone out on loan. Summary here.

Incoming:

Skriniar - made his debut in the FA Cup against Luton and played well.
Maciel
Monzon
Vega
Roman
Quinonez

With so many sales, I think I may have to rethink my policy. I'm thinking of a change of tactic, scrapping the AMC at least for now, and looking for reinforcements in another position, perhaps on the wings. 

Meanwhile, on the pitch, it was pretty cool to go through three full calendar months winning every game bar one. Slightly frustrating that the draw was at Huddersfield when it included wins against United, Chelsea and Liverpool! But the recent defeat to Cardiff was particularly gut-wrenching. Still, second in the table is better than I was expecting.

A Call To Arms

Any thoughts on my developing targets for 2019's summer transfer window? Looking at my squad now, what positions most scream out for help? Or should I wait and see what my youth intake (and any newgens I can sign who DON'T need work permits) throws up? Some excellent performances from Osei-Tutu and Trae Coyle as well as the surprising emergence of AMN as a left-back make it harder than it might have been to decide! Although with the impending return of Takuma Asano and, more importantly, Reiss Nelson, I'm more and more minded to go with a central midfielder. This year I've been playing with Torreira as a BWM and someone else (usually Ramsey) as a DLP...but all of my CMs are best as DLPs, so I'm thinking maybe a BWM...although if I'm scrapping my AMC, then there will be a need for something else. Could I play two DLPs alongside a new BWM? I'm really not sure here. I had been hoping Joe Willock would fill in that gap but he hasn't done well at Stoke, so more and more I'm thinking BALL WINNING MIDFIELDER? Any thoughts?

Finally...with Skriniar coming in I will clearly needed to rejig my defensive tactics a bit. He can play equally well either as a straight central defender or a BPD - but I have Mustafi and Holding doing that, whereas Sokratis is a NNCB...I assume BPD with a DC (cover duty) is ideal? Which is best for Skriniar?? For now, I've been pairing him with Mustafi as a BPD and playing him as a DC in the first league game he played in (Man City, and we managed a draw despite playing the last 20 minutes with ten men).

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Central midfield was where I always felt I was winging it in my team, also where I got most annoyed. 

 

barella.thumb.jpg.a161f196e29dc11a4ed87c0a5030ee97.jpg

I signed Barella as a long term replacement for Jorginho only to find that while they are both excellent "deep lying playmakers" Jorginho can play deeper, in the defensive midfield position as a playmaker and Barella can't. Kante on the other hand is an amazing box to box midfielder, however he can't play anywhere near as well as a holding midfielder. 

In the end I favoured an asymmetrical central midfield, with either my playmaker in the deeper role (Jorginho) with Kante or another box to box midfielder ahead of him, or my defensive holding player sitting deeper and the playmaker further forward. That is when I came across the Segundo Volante role. 

 

pablo.thumb.jpg.682e50b95298e92be5909ec30793f4d1.jpg

 

thiago.thumb.jpg.72f84a6e39cf667ff0467cc802ee68c3.jpg

 

rice.thumb.jpg.e0998c4d195a71d5baf3d4ce8e69f78e.jpg

 

I also favour a 3 man "defensive" midfield, with a playmaker in the middle of the 3 and a SV set to attack either side, think Muso Sissoko from the London team that plays in white, bursting forward with power and pace from inside their own half, but they can actually produce an end product when they get into the oppositions territory. You can also switch them to a support duty and they will do some tackling, however it is a rather vertically mobile role, so they might make you tear your hair out as they are hanging out on the edge of the opponents box making themselves available for a lateral pass. But then your an Arsenal manager, having players going forward en mass is kind of your bread and butter. 

With the central defenders, I would keep the one with the best passing attributes, passing / vision etc as the ball playing defender, where as the player with the best anticipation, positioning, pace, as the mopping over cover player. 

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8 hours ago, Carambau said:

Will you offload Ozil at some point?

I doubt it: he is proving impossible to offload.

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8 hours ago, Mandy42 said:

 

With the central defenders, I would keep the one with the best passing attributes, passing / vision etc as the ball playing defender, where as the player with the best anticipation, positioning, pace, as the mopping over cover player. 

They're pretty similar there, to be honest (Mustafi and Skriniar). 

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8 hours ago, Mandy42 said:

I also favour a 3 man "defensive" midfield, with a playmaker in the middle of the 3 and a SV set to attack either side, think Muso Sissoko from the London team that plays in white, bursting forward with power and pace from inside their own half, but they can actually produce an end product when they get into the oppositions territory. You can also switch them to a support duty and they will do some tackling, however it is a rather vertically mobile role, so they might make you tear your hair out as they are hanging out on the edge of the opponents box making themselves available for a lateral pass. But then your an Arsenal manager, having players going forward en mass is kind of your bread and butter. 

I'm under a restriction in terms of the transfers I can make, remember! I can't make huge changes immediately like that!

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10 minutes ago, GreyedOutMan said:

I doubt it: he is proving impossible to offload.

FM realism in action

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Posted (edited)

I think I've done some really good business. I've got eleven youngsters still due to come in between now and January 2021. Obviously they won't all work but some look very impressive and I love that I've managed to pinch Hunt from Spurs and Clarke-Curtis from United. But more importantly is how the finances have been worked. The eleven between them will cost me just under £40m over their entire contracts, of which just £8m is in compensation fees (more than half of this is Hunt and Clarke-Curtis alone). But I've just done one piece of business which covers that entire outlay with about £9m to spare. Remarkably, I've managed to get £30m for Sokratis! He has done OK this year, but at a 6.99 Average Rating, it's nothing special.

A Call To Arms

Does this mean that I need a new central defender as my marquee signing, though? This is my squad as it stands. I think with Mustafi doing well, plus Skriniar, Holding, Mavropanos and then Bielik coming back from loan as well as Clarke-Curtis coming in, I might have enough in defence still. I was leaning towards either a winger or an attacking midfielder, but in both positions I'm not sure because Ozil has improved and I have Ramsey coming in, and Hunt looks an exciting right winger, not to mention Nelson coming back. So I'm thinking, given that Torreira is not really suited to the BWM position, I might be looking there after all? This is the current tactic I am using, although I'm open to tweaking. Does the BWM/DLP combination work as well as I think it could do? If so, I think it's a BWM that I am most in need of.

With all that in mind, I've started drawing up a shortlist for a summer marquee signing, although part of me wonders if it might be best to wait until January to see which younger players can step up. It's only a start, but it is a start. I think you've got two huge signings (in financial terms) and two slightly more affordable ones.

I have 8 league games left and a Europa League quarter final against Porto coming, sitting top of the league but with just five points between first and fifth, so it's exciting and precarious.

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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Posted (edited)

A slight change to the system I have (and I suppose the rules, but it's marginal). I have now set a reminder on the game for the first of EVERY month. The plan is then to go back through every youth player generated that month and add them all to my youth player shortlist for three months. The rule is I can only make offers for players through that screen, to ensure that the players I sign are ALL newly generated (with the exception of marquee signings once per season). So that probably means occasionally it'll be nearly 4 months I have between the generation and the deadline to sign a player, but this makes it less of a pain to check who is available to me!

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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Posted (edited)

Season Report: 2018-19

It was a season of streaks, surprises and disappointments. We only lost one league game before the new year, and that to Tottenham. Combined with the ignominy of Spurs doing the double over us in February, those games turned out to be crucial. They also knocked us out of the FA Cup. Late in the season, we had it in our hands for much of the time, and indeed I was really happy with a draw at Stamford Bridge against then our closest title rivals. But a defeat to Liverpool shook everything up: suddenly it was out of my hands and although we took it to the last day, even had we managed a win against West Ham, sadly, the worst possible scenario was inevitable, and we ended up 4th at the end of a day when the title was possible.

I would have taken 4th gladly at the start of the year, but to get that close, and to see that lot win the title....well it's not fun.

Transfers
Milan Skriniar was my first marquee signing, in January (note that the 2018 signings are all real-life ones). I detailed all of these during my January post. None of the newgens signed so far have work permits, hence the loans of course. There are loads more youngsters coming in over the next few years already and there will be more to come. I won't post them all, it would take forever, but when they are particularly important you'll know.

Notable performances from youngsters
I played a mixture of sides in the Europa League. At home to Akhisarspor was a bit of a watershed moment, with first goals for the club for Guendouzi and Trae Coyle, the latter bagging a first-half brace. But Maitland-Niles was definitely the standout, making the left wing back position more or less his own this season. Jordi Osei-Tutu also performed extremely well when called upon on the other side of the pitch, and even Joel Lopez played a few games and did really well at left back. Eddie Nketiah was not inspiring, although he did score the penalty to win our first European trophy in 25 years!

Breakthrough youngster of the year
Has to be Ainsley Maitland-Niles, with an exceptional season giving me the confidence to avoid wing-backs for marquee signings for quite a while, I think. 
Honourable mentions, though, to Joel Lopez who was more of a surprise, and Jordi Osei-Tutu

 

Season       League     FA Cup    League Cup     Europe                       Youth Signings (non HG)  Marquee Signing        Achievements/Notes               
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19      4th        R5        R3             Europa League Winners        5                        Milan Skriniar         First European trophy in 25 years, CL qualification

 

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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Overall a successful season well done! Though I understand how you could be feeling a little let down being so close to the title!

What system do Tottenham play? as you need to find a way past them if they beat you 3 times this season.

With regards to your marquee signing, I would say you have 3 options:

2 of the teams who finished above you and one of the teams below you (at least) kept more clean sheets than you did, is an upgrade at goal keeper in order.

Looking at your results from Feb onwards, Auba seems to score a high % of your goals, but he doesn't feature in the top goal scorers chart, does that mean he scored when he played but needed resting for some games? Or he had dry spells? Your potential attacking midfielder signing might be the spark needed to help him through dry spells, but if he needed resting then a backup of equal replacement would help you continue scoring while he was resting.

Finally stick with your BWM plan, if you have confidence in your current personnel and formation, some added midfield grit might be the missing ingredient to help you get over the line next season

 

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Mandy42 said:

Overall a successful season well done! Though I understand how you could be feeling a little let down being so close to the title!

What system do Tottenham play? as you need to find a way past them if they beat you 3 times this season.

With regards to your marquee signing, I would say you have 3 options:

2 of the teams who finished above you and one of the teams below you (at least) kept more clean sheets than you did, is an upgrade at goal keeper in order.

Looking at your results from Feb onwards, Auba seems to score a high % of your goals, but he doesn't feature in the top goal scorers chart, does that mean he scored when he played but needed resting for some games? Or he had dry spells? Your potential attacking midfielder signing might be the spark needed to help him through dry spells, but if he needed resting then a backup of equal replacement would help you continue scoring while he was resting.

Finally stick with your BWM plan, if you have confidence in your current personnel and formation, some added midfield grit might be the missing ingredient to help you get over the line next season

 

Lacazette was scoring just as many if not more...I think more and more that a BWM is what I need...though finding one isn't easy. I've started tracking my squad in terms of a first XI, a 2nd XI and then two sets of young players, all of whom are potentially good enough eventually. This is what I have currently:

2019-20 1st choice 2nd choice U23 1st U23 2nd  
SK Leno Hein Mbayo    
WBL Maitland-N Kolasinac Lopez Fearn  
CD Skriniar Mavropanos Bielik Bailey  
BPD Mustafi Holding      
WBR Bellerin Osei-Tutu Johnson    
DLP Ramsey Guendouzi Willock O'Connor  
BWM Torreira Elneny      
IFL Iwobi Welbeck Smith-Rowe Saka  
AP Ozil Mkhitaryan      
IFR Nelson Lacazette Coyle Crespo  
PF Aubameyang Lacazette Nketiah Beechey Greenwood

And given that Torreira's best position is not CM(BWM), I think more and more that this is what I need to target. I do need a keeper but I don't think that's quite as urgent. Hein is looking a decent prospect.

I should also point out that this is before the young players come in - I have a good winger coming in and a good centre back. Plenty more too but they're the highlights I think.

Maitland-Niles' transformation to a left-back is complete. He has won the club's Player of the Year award.

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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Posted (edited)

So, I think I'm leaning towards this guy as my marquee signing. He's not absolutely top class, but there are no top class BWMs around. £46m plus 5% of the profit from a sell-on fee, overall cost of £88m over the course of a four-year contract in total. The other alternative is to go for Felix to replace Ozil for £51m and 40% of the profit from a sell-on fee, but much cheaper wages so an overall cost of just £71m over four years....what do you think?

Edited by GreyedOutMan

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