~Guide to Managing Arsenal F.C~
Nickname: The Gunners, Red Army
Stadium (Capacity): Emirates Stadium (60,361)
League: The Premier League
Last 5 League Positions: 3rd,4th ,3rd, 4th, 3rd
(Most recent First)
Rivalries: Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, West Ham United
In the first season, the minimum season expectation you can set is to
"Qualify for the Europa league through the league"
However, I'd suggest setting it to qualifying for the Champions League, as you could do with a bit more funds -there are a few areas need strengthening (we'll get onto that later)- you don't want to be getting put under heavy pressure or eventually getting sacked for the sake of 4 or 5 million more!
The board also requires you to "give youth a chance" -Meaning you must play a young team every now and then, but because Arsenal already have a young squad, you should manage that just by playing a weakened, young team in the cups!
They also demand playing "possession" football aswell as being "attacking". Again, the team is already suited to it, and if you get success they aren't going to sack you because of this!!!
The Clubs Facilities:
Arsenal have top training & youth facilities, along with debatabley the best youth recruitment in the country.
The stadium is one of only three in the country ranked as '5 Stars' by UEFA -The others being Wembley and Old Trafford- and has "Perfect" pitch condition along with Under-soil heating.
4-2-3-1 would probably be the best formation for the current Arsenal players,
although 4-4-2 could also be effective without lots of transfers.
In the screenshots above, I have shown what is probably the strongest 11 to begin with, although Gervinho might replace Walcott; and Mertesacker might replace either Vermaelen or Koscielny.
As I've already mentioned, you are expected to play possession-based, attacking football.
If you make your own tactics from scratch (As I do) then I suggest basing your formation as much as possible on how Swansea play in real life -Like Barcelona put with quicker tempo, playing slighlty narrower.
However, if you download tactics, I'd suggest "Koflok's Goals Galore" or "Awesome AMC by Raikan"
Koflok's Goals Galore 2013
Awesome AMC™ by Raikan007 - Downloads - Football Manager 2013 Tactics, Wonderkids & Cheats
Arsenal have a fairly good Starting 11, but lack alot of depth.
This is probably the main problem you will face in terms of the squad, however there are a positions that need strengthening for the Starting 11 too!
Positions that need strengthening:
GK: I'd suggest selling either Fabianski or Mannone and getting a new back-up. However, Szczesny is top-class, and because he is only 21 he can be your first choice for more than 10 seasons!
LB: The LB position is extremely weak, although Gibbs has lots of potential, Santos is simply not good enough. A ready-made player to go in the first team is almost a must. (Although you could get away with Gibbs, as I did!)
DM: The 'Weak-Link' of the team. Arsenal possess NO natural DM who is good enough for the first team (Yet!), although Diaby and Arteta can be played there, neither are suited to it. I doubt you would manage to not buy a player for here, and should be the first position you look to buy for!
AMR or AML: With Walcott, Podolski, Gervinho and "The Ox" this shouldn't be a priority, however a young backup could be considered.
ST: Again, this shouldn't be a priority, as you will already have Giroud, Podolski and Chamakh (Who was actually my best striker in my title-winning first season!) But since Podolski is best played on the wing in an Inside-Forward role (If you play 4-2-3-1) then you may want to get a backup.
Following on from what I said above, these are the players I'd suggest trying to sign:
Bernd Leno: I didn't sign him in my save, as I bought Krul for £10m (Good signing if you want a first-choice 'keeper) because Szczesny broke his arm during pre-season
I don't know how much he will be available for I am afraid, but he looks like he could become world-class!
Baines/Alaba: Although I didn't sign him, Baines is probably the best option available. You should be able to get him for anywhere between £14 and £17m. Plus, being English means he will cover as part of the Home-Grown players rule. However, if you have an extra £5-8m spare, branch out on Alaba instead. Usually becomes one of (Possibly THE) best LB on the game
Fellaini: He is probably the perfect Ball-Winning-Midfielder, and as long as you sign him before Man United and Chelsea become interseted, you should be able to get him for around £14/15m. (I got him for £14.75m in January)
Wellingtom Nem: Due to his release clause of just £3.5m, you can't really go wrong with him. Another option if you have funds spare would be Douglas Costa, who can play anyway in midfield and won Young Player of the Year on my save! He'd cost around the £10m mark.
Huntelaar/Rodrigo/Llorente: I'd say wait till the end of the season and get Llorente on a free, however if you sell fringe players such as Santos, Mannone, etc. you may want to look at any of the 3. You'd be able to get Llorente and Huntelaar cheap, due to both their contracts running out. However Llorente would fit better, unless you play with 2 strikers. Rodrigo is a young, top-quality striker who plays for Benfica, but would set you back around £20m!
Overall, I'd say Rodrigo would probably be the best one if you have plenty of cash to spare!
Of course there are many different, good options out there which would be good signings, these are just my personal opinion on the best signings you could get. Also check out the wonderkids list on this site (Especially Raikan's!!!)
Who to Sell:
Arsenal have ALOT of fringe players on high wages, who aren't good enough for the team. Luckily they can also be sold for decent money. You should be able to decide for yourself who are the fringe players (Santos, Mannone, Bendtner, Denilson, etc)HOWEVER; I'd would keep Arshavin, as despite being on fairy high wages, he actually has quality attributes, and can play anywhere in attacking-midfield! I also kept Rosicky, but he is very injury prone, and after the first season you will struggle to sell him, so I'd sell him ASAP!
If you get in a good DM, I would also sell Diaby -you should be able to get £7-10m for him, and although versatile, he is very injury prone and never performed for me!
Arsenal already have some of the best coaches and scouts in the country, however they are very low on numbers of scouts!
I'd also recommend removing Steve Bould from being your assistant manager -although try to get him to stay on as a coach!- as he isn't particularly good as an Ass. Man. I actually got Johan Cruyff as my Assistant manager, who I'd strongly recommend!
Below is who I hired and fired in the 1st and 2nd season, however you really do need more scouts than I currently have!!!
Arsenal are in an extremely stong financial position, with good sponsorships and not much debt, you shouldn't need to worry about this aspect of the club!
-As long as you don't use the 48 month "cheat" or use any kind of editor to change your budgets!!!-
First Season Targets:
First on your list of things to accomplish is to win a trophy. ANY TROPHY!
After 7 long seasons, any trophy will do! A realistic aim would be the FA Cup, although the league is easily manageable!
As Chelsea showed, you always have a chance of winning the Champions league -a slim chance, but still possible- so don't rule it out entirely, however it is unlikely in the first season. And you'd have to be a bit lucky in the draw to get to the very latter stages at all!
Good luck, and happy managing!
Please give feedback below (Bare in mind it's my first time writing anything like this though! )
Aswell as your own experiences managing The Arsenal!