FM 2012 – Arsenal Guide by Mike
Hello all, this is a guide on how to play as Arsenal on Football Manager. You may remember my previous guide to the club for FM 2011 (found here).
Playing as Arsenal will be a real challenge this year due to departures of key players and signing few replacements. Quality is missing from the squad now and it’s really important to fix it.
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 (maybe frustrating, haven’t decided yet) Arsenal save underway.
Note: this was written at the beginning of the default patch. I have used a large database with England (>League 1), Spain (>Liga Adelante), France (>Ligue 1) and Brazil (>Division 1) all selected. Hopefully this way we can try and find the best players around that fit in with ‘the Arsenal way’.
Arsenal Football Club
Chairman: Peter Hill-Wood [Loves the club] Assistant Manager: Pat Rice
League: Premier League
Last Season: 4th
Media Prediction: 4th
Fierce Rivals: Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Chelsea
Other Rivals: Liverpool, West Ham United
Start of season
Despite the seemingly demise in the squad, this season you only have two choices for your expectations: Title Challenge and Winner. Realistically, Title Challenge is the one you should choose, but if you’re feeling very (very!) confident, choose Winner. Selecting Title Challenge will give you £43.5m to spend and £1.3m wage budget. Choosing Winner will see you with a whopping £49m with £1.4m to spend on players’ wages. If you think you’re going to spend, spend, spend (and come first in the league) then by all means choose Winner (it may be possible but I wouldn’t bet on it). If you do not want to disappoint at the end of the season, select the other option.
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 usually retires at the end of the first season, so take a look at Everton’s Steve Round when he does retire. If Round does not want to join the club for any reason, promoting Boro Primorac is a good idea.
First Team Coach: Boro Primorac.
As above, do not let him go, he is a superb first team coach and not very many are better. Keep offering him better contracts as higher reputation/bigger spending teams (a la Man City) will approach him and once they do, it’ll be very difficult holding onto him.
Goalkeeper Coaches: Tony Roberts, Lee Smelt, Gerry Peyton.
You don’t really need three goalkeeper coaches, so get rid of one. It’s up to you who you wish to release, but try to keep hold of Gerry Peyton. Lee Smelt has only just arrived so maybe Tony Roberts should go. Smelt and Roberts have similar attributes.
Fitness Coaches: Craig Grant, Tony Colbert.
Keep both of them if you wish, but if you want to save on wages let go of Craig Grant as Tony Colbert has far better attributes. I suggest keeping the both.
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.
Physios: David Wales, Alistair Thrush, Colin Lewin, Simon Harland, Richard Goddard.
Nothing wrong with having five physiotherapists, but Goddard’s stats aren’t the best so you may think about letting him go.
Scouts: 15 scouts, 12 allowed.
Really? 15 scouts? You will probably want to sack a few as you don’t need that many. It’s essential that you hold on to Steve Rowley and Francis Cagigao. You may want to think about letting these go:
Martin Keown, Daniel Karbassiyoon, Christian Karembeu, Pablo Budner, Everton Gushiken and Bobby Bennett.
Offering Martin Keown a coaching role normally works so I would consider that.
I wouldn’t bother getting anyone else into the backroom staff until the current setup start to retire, which will be soon.
I’m going to break it down into positions and give recommendations for possible ins/outs and replacements.
Manuel Almunia, 1
Wojciech Szczesny, 13
Lukasz Fabianski, 21
Vito Mannone, 24
You really don’t need four keepers in the first team. Drop one to the reserve squad: my recommendation would be either Almunia or Mannone – Almunia has slightly better attributes but Mannone is still young and improving. Szczesny is very good in the game even if his attributes aren’t great so you definitely need to keep him.
Keep an eye on the development of Mannone and also Damian Martinez (reserve squad). There’s no need to promote anybody though.
Place either Almunia or Mannone in the reserves.
Possible ins: Steve Mandanda, £11.25m; Rene Adler, £17.5m.
Possible outs: Manuel Almunia, £1m; Vito Mannone, loan out.
Bacary Sagna, 3
Per Mertesacker, 4
Thomas Vermaelen, 5
Laurent Koscielny, 6
Andre Santos, 11
Sebastien Squillaci, 18
Johan Djourou, 20
Kieran Gibbs, 28
Attribute-wise, Mertesacker and Vermaelen are the two commanding centre halves in the team, but you must get their roles and duties spot on if you want them to perform solidly. Mertesacker is very slow off the mark so concentrate on upping his pace/acceleration/agility. Koscielny is good backup, and so is Djourou but you might want to let one go out on loan maybe so they don’t get bitchy about not playing. Squillaci shouldn’t be spoken of.
As for the full backs, Sagna is one of the top performing full backs in the country. Decide yourself who to put left back – Gibbs or Santos; either will perform solidly given the correct role.
Promote Carl Jenkinson as there is no cover to the right back area. Get Ignasi Miquel into the first team and make him available for the reserve team. Do not loan him out as you’ll have plenty of chances to play him in cup matches etc.
Possible ins: Stephane Mbia, £15.75m; Nicolas Otamendi, £13m; Leighton Baines, £15m; Daniel Schwaab, £4.5m.
Possible outs: Johan Djourou, £7.5m/loan; Sebastien Squillaci, £500k.
Abou Diaby, 2
Tomas Rosicky, 7
Mikel Arteta, 8
Aaron Ramsey, 16
Alex Song, 17
Andrey Arshavin, 23
Yossi Benayoun, 30
This midfield line-up is decent but is lacking quality big time. Song, Ramsey, Gervinho and Arteta should be regulars as they are near world-class players. Sadly, Wilshere is out for over half a year so he won’t be featuring any time soon. Arshavin plays well at times but isn’t very consistent. Benayoun is good cover and performs well, so rotate when you can. Diaby is also injured, and provides decent backup. Rosicky is ageing but again is decent enough to hold onto.
Promote Jack Wilshere – 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 a few years. Get Alex Chamberlain and Ryo Miyaichi into the first team squad and play them as much as possible: cup matches etc. Also promote Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin but put them available for reserve games and send them on loan.
Possible ins: Yossi Benayoun (end of season, permanent contract); Riccardo Montolivo, £15m; Andre Ayew, £11.25m; Rafinha, £6.25m.
Possible outs: Emmanuel Frimpong, loan; Abou Diaby, [transfer list at] £4-6m.
Park Chu-Young, 9
Robin van Persie, 11
Theo Walcott, 14
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. Marouane Chamakh will do as a target man for now but try to bring in someone bigger and stronger. Park Chu-Young has very solid stats and (speaking from experience) will perform outstandingly in the poacher role.
Promote Chuks Aneke and Benik Afobe - send them out on loan for as long as it takes, otherwise keep him eligible for the reserve team squad.
Possible ins: Carlos Tevez, £51m (ask for more cash); Jordan Ayew, £7.5m; Jese, £6.5m.
Possible outs: Benik Afobe and Chuks Aneke, loan.
*Some of the players recommended to buy, as you may have noticed, are backups and/or players for the future.
It’s entirely up to you – 4-4-2, 4-2-4 with wingers or 4-5-1 seem to work best with Arsenal but it may take time to find the right one especially if you’re signing new players.
I’m currently using the 4-5-1 system and everybody’s gelling really well, grabbing vital away wins and outlasting opponents.
Use any of the popular training schedules on the site if you wish, although the default training is more than 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.
When you start a new game and begin using a new tactic, every so often (few weeks should be enough) change your match preparation between Teamwork, Attacking Movement and Defensive Positioning and set the Workload to High; that way the squad can get used to most aspects of the game. If you’re conceding more than the average amount of goals from set-pieces, it’s critical that you use the Defending Set Pieces option for a period of time.
That’s pretty much the basic side of it, ladies and gentlemen. I’m not going to go into contracts and finances and this and the other because I don’t want to play the game for you, so just look around and play the game the way you want to – it’s your game after all!
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