Mike’s Arsenal Guide
Hello all, this is a guide on how to play as Arsenal on Football Manager. I’m going to tell you now it’s not going to be as good as GodCube’s Villa guide, or Mike. [Madsheep]’s. I’m not going to tell you how to play, I shall be recommending. Hopefully you can enjoy a well-organised read and take things in, and get an enjoyable Arsenal save underway.
Note: this was written during patch 11.2, and used a large database with only the Premier League selected – I would have used the recommended approach but my laptop’s shite.
Arsenal Football Club
Chairman: Peter Hill-Wood [Loves the club]
Assistant Manager: Pat Rice
League: Premier League
Last Season: 3rd
Media Prediction: 4th
Fierce Rivals: Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Chelsea
Other Rivals: Liverpool, West Ham United
Start of season
Being the, ahem, superior team that Arsenal is, you have three choices for your expectations: Continental qualification through league finish, Title Challenge, and Winner. Realistically, looking at others’ squads, you should avoid selecting the first option, but it’s entirely up to you. Continental qualification will see you get to spend £15m with £1.2m wage allowance. Title Challenge steps up to £17.25m and £1.3m respectively. Choosing Winner will give you £18.75m to spend and £1.3m wage budget. If you think you’re going to spend, spend, spend, by all means choose Winner (it’s very possible). If you do not want to disappoint at the end of the season, select one of the other options.
There isn’t much here you need to do – Arsenal has a top quality staff recruitment.
Assistant Manager: Pat Rice.
Do not sack him or release him – he is by far one of the best Assistant Managers on the game. He will eventually retire in around 4-5 seasons, so take a look at Everton’s Steve Round when he does retire.
First Team Coach: Boro Primorac.
As above, do not let him go, he is a superb first team coach. If you don’t fancy Steve Round as a replacement for Pat Rice, promote Boro Primorac.
Goalkeeper Coaches: Tony Roberts, Mart Poom, Gerry Peyton.
Do you need three Goalkeeper coaches? To me, no. Keep Mart Poom and Gerry Peyton, and feel free to terminate Tony Roberts’ contract as he is only a part-time coach anyway.
Fitness Coaches: Craig Grant, Tony Colbert.
Keep them both. If you want to save about £2k per week, let Craig Grant go, but as I said, try to keep both of them.
Youth Coaches: Steve Leonard, Carl Laraman, Steve Gatting, David Court, Steve Bould.
You have five to choose from when you only really need 2-3. If you want to let a couple go, release Carl Laraman and Steve Gatting. Gatting almost always gets approached anyway, so you could wait and get a bit of money for him.
Physios: David Wales, Colin Lewin, Simon Harland, Jon Cooke.
Nothing wrong with having four physiotherapists; if I were you, keep all of them.
Scouts: 15 scouts, 12 allowed.
That tells you one thing: get rid of a few. Every so often, you get around 12 scouts coming back with regular reports and it does get annoying seeing as every one names the same people each time. If you want to sack a few, go for these:
Pablo Budner, Peter Clark, Everton Gushiken, Christian Karembeu, Jurgen Kost and Daniel Karbassiyoon.
You could try to promote Martin Keown to some sort of coach, or you could get rid of him too. It’s essential that you hang on to Steve Rowley and Francis Cagigao.
I’m going to break it down into positions and give recommendations for possible ins/outs and replacements.
Manuel Almunia, 1
Lukasz Fabianski, 21
You have a decision to make: stick with your guns or replace them. Out of the two, I find Lukasz Fabianski more reliable. You will have mistakes from these, but they’re decent goalkeepers and if you’re a tight spender, keep them.
Promote Vito Mannone and Wojciech Szczesny, and place the latter (or both if you feel two goalkeepers is enough) on the loan list.
Possible ins: Sebastien Frey, £10.5m; Maarten Stekelenburg, £12.5m; or if you’re feeling brave, Rene Adler, £17.5m; Igor Akinfeev, £23m.
Possible outs: Manuel Almunia, possible release; Vito Mannone and Wojciech Szczesny, loan out.
Thomas Vermaelen, 5
Laurent Koscielny, 6
Johan Djourou, 20
Sebastien Squillaci, 18
Bakary Sagna, 3
Gael Clichy, 22
Emmanuel Eboue, 27
Kieran Gibbs, 28
There is more than enough quality here. Your best central defenders (from experience) will be Koscielny and Djourou. Vermaelen is good but rarely gets any further than 7.1 average rating, which in the Premier League will not be enough to keep out strong opposition. Squillaci is decent cover, but is pushing in age so look for another backup sooner rather than later.
As for the full backs, Sagna and Clichy are two of the top performing full backs in the country. Eboue and Gibbs are good enough backups in case of injuries/suspensions, with the former able to play well on either wing.
Promote Havard Nordtveit, and send him on loan for as long as it takes. Within 3-4 years he’ll be superb backup, maybe even a fringe player. Also keep a look out for Gavin Hoyte because sometimes he trains very well and is decent backup in the right wing back position. Bring up Kyle Bartley, too, but keep available for reserve matches.
Possible ins: Per Mertesacker, £16m; Brede Hangeland, £5m; Jonny Evans, £18.25m; Gregory van der Wiel, £9m.
Possible outs: Sebastien Squillaci, transfer list £1.5m.
Alex Song, 17
Cesc Fabregas (c), 4
Abou Diaby, 2
Jack Wilshere, 19
Andrey Arshavin, 23
Samir Nasri, 8
Tomas Rosicky, 7
A good midfield list here, with Cesc Fabregas obviously being the pivotal player in the whole of Arsenal’s squad. Alex Song is still rising year by year and will become a top ball winner in a few years’ time. Denilson is also good but may not be strong enough a midfielder for a title-winning side. Abou Diaby is on Denilson’s level but is physically better, so look at him closely. Wilshere is an outstanding prospect for the future, and although a first-team regular in real life, he may not be up for starting week in week out on the game. He’s far more effective on the right wing as an inside forward. Arshavin, Nasri and Rosicky are all good wingers/inside forwards, but nobody’s really strong enough on the right.
Promote Aaron Ramsey – he’s only in the reserves because of injury, but when he returns, give him reserve match time until fit. He becomes one of the best midfielders in the world in around 5 years. Also promote Jay Emmanuel-Thomas but put him available for reserve games and send him on loan.
Possible ins: Michael Johnson, £3.25m; Juan Manuel Mata, £27.5m.
Possible outs: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, loan.
Robin van Persie (vc), 10
Theo Walcott, 14
Carlos Vela, 11
Nicklas Bendtner, 52
Marouane Chamakh, 29
Robin van Persie, along with a strong target man, can be the best strike force in the Premier League. Theo Walcott can be put on either wing as well as being a poacher but might not be good enough to get a bag of goals. Carlos Vela, good backup, but can still improve. Nicklas Bendtner is a great fringe player and will get a load of goals if set correctly, but Marouane Chamakh performs better. Use him as a target man and he’ll head in a few. Enough attackers, but not enough quality.
Promote Benik Afobe - send him out on loan for as long as it takes, otherwise keep him eligible for the reserve team squad.
Possible ins: Edin Dzeko, £23.5m; Eren Derdiyok, £9m; Fernando Llorente, £23.5m.
Possible outs: Carlos Vela and Benik Afobe, loan; Nicklas Bendtner, £8m.
Some of the players recommended to buy, as you may have noticed, are backups.
The most common one and the one that works best in my experience and opinion is the 4-4-2 with wingers. I have a tactic that has been incredible and quite (but not literally) unbeatable for 5 years.
Give THIS tactic a go – yes, it’s mine, but it really does work – and I’m sure you’ll be amongst the best in no time.
Use any of the popular training schedules on the site if you wish, although the default training is more that good enough.
Use youngsters and fringe players for cup matches, especially ones against lower teams, to keep the first team fit and fresh.
Winning is key – win a match, morale boosts. Win a cup, morale boosts even more. Win a few trophies, you can improve even more next season due to cash.
If you are struggling for a goal, go Overload at around 70 minutes.
If you want a realistic Arsenal quality database and an emulation of their real-life tactic, go HERE to download.
That’s pretty much it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you ever so much for reading. If you have a query, or any other information that I’ve missed, please post up and you’ll get credit for it.