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FM Blog #1: Guess Who’s Back – Back Again

Posted by Graeme McGaw on May 24, 2014 in Football Manager |

Been awhile since I did this – got back into a Football Manager 2014 game.

Long story short: simulated till December making sure Man Utd were shite. 18th position and Moyes got sacked mid-December. I took over. I steered them away from relegation and got us into 4th in the league, for Champions League Qualification. I also won us the Europa League, and got us to the FA Cup Final. We lost just 3 games all season. 1-0 away to Chelsea in the league, 3-0 away to Liverpool in the league, and 2-0 away to Chelsea in the FA Cup Final.

It was an amazing season as we won every game apart from that(except a 2-2 draw against Palace away). I generally stuck with a 4-3-3 although modified it a bit.

Right now it’s the end of the season. I have to figure out transfers for the new season, and formations/tactics. Transfer wise Vidic is leaving as is Nani. I brought in Tom Ince and Ryan Gauld who will be joining us shortly.

I haven’t figured out all the player roles and instructions yet, but this is the 3 formations I will be using:

manu3

manu2

manu3amc

Now I need to go through and evaluate every position and see where we need players and where we are good.

Goalkeepers:

Obviously, De Gea is #1. He played every game of the season for us actually. I’m not interested in rotation.

Other keepers are Lindegaard, Amos, Johnstone, Sutherland and Gollini.

I don’t see the point in keeping Lindegaard at 40k per week. That’s insane. If De Gea gets injured I can maybe get a keeper on loan, or use Johnstone(8k per week), or Amos(10k per week).

Summary: Sell Lindegaard, Sutherland and Gollini. Keep De Gea as #1, and Johnstone and Amos as potential backups.

Right Back:

I use Complete Wing Back here. Players who are eligible for this role are Rafael, Janko, Valencia, Varela, Vermijl and Love. Holy V’s.

Throughout the season I primarily used Rafael. However I retrained Valencia to the role as well. He did fairly well. Nothing amazing but got to give him time. His contract is up at the end of the season, so I can have him in backup/rotation role again here and see how he does.

Janko is only 18, and also shows a lot of promise. He’s ranked 3.5 potential. At only 1k per week I will keep him.

Summary: Keep Rafael, Valencia and Janko. Sell the rest.

Left Back:

Players are Evra, Buttner, Rowley and James.

Evra was my main man and killed in the role. Buttner was rotated in as well, and was solid. Arsenal got relegated and I was tempted to pick up Keiran Gibbs – but eh, I think I will stick with Evra and Buttner.

Summary: Evra #1, Buttner his backup, sell the rest. Potentially retrain Valencia for DL as well.

Central Defense:

I have Jones, Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Ferdinand, Blackett, Keane and Thorpe.

Smalling/Evans were my main defenders all season. Vidic/Ferdinand were part of the rotated squad, and Jones was on the bench due to his versatility.

Vidic is leaving at the end of the season. Phil Jones is ranked as my highest rated defender. So next season I will make Jones/Smalling my #1 and #2, with Evans/Ferdinand as backups.

I’m also going to keep both Keane and Thorpe around just in case, and maybe give either of them some games at some point.

Summary: Vidic is leaving, I’ll sell Blackett, keep the rest.

Central Midfield:

Going by value from most to least – I have Kagawa, Fellaini, Carrick, Cleverley, Fletcher, Anderson, Nick Powell, Lee John(Regen), Pearson, Ekangamene, Pereira, Rothwell, Petrucci, Lingard, Rudge.

This was an area where I wasn’t too impressed this season. I went mostly with a 3 man midfield of Kagawa, Fellaini and Carrick. I’d rotate a lot though featuring Cleverley, Fletcher, Anderson, and even guys like Januzaj and Young due to the fact that I wasn’t using wingers but wanted to use them. No-one really stuck out. Kagawa got 7 assists in 23 apps but a 6.90 rating, Fellaini got a 6.96 rating with 5 assists in 30 games.

This is an era where I think it could be strengthened. I really want that one DMC player – the guy who can sit central in the 4-3-3 and 4-3-1-2 formations. The ball winner, with high teamwork and workrate who also dictates the tempo. Carrick is okay in that role so If I can’t get anyone in that’s okay. Kagawa is by default an AMC but if I can retrain him better to work in the MC role as an AP it could be great.

I should also note for potential ability, it has Lee John as 4.5, Nick Powell at 4 stars.

Summary: Sell Ekangamene, Petrucci, Rudge, Rothwell, Pearson, Lingard, Pereira. That leaves me with John, Powell, Carrick, Kagawa, Cleverley, Fellaini, Anderson and Fletcher. If I pick up a DMC I will look at selling one of the following: Cleverley, Anderson, Fletcher. If not I will rotate all 3, and sell at least one in January.

Actually fuck it – selling Cleverley. Mainly because his contract is up at the end of 2015 and I can’t bring myself to renew it.

Attacking Midfielders:

Throughout the season I sometimes went with 1, sometimes not. Depended on if the opposition had a a DMC or not. I have a ton of players who can play this position, and I’ll need some whenever I use the 3 AMC players of course. I have Januzaj, Mata, Gauld, Zaha, Welbeck, Rooney, Kagawa, Ince, Young, Giggs. And a few others too who can fit the role if needed, like Fellaini or Cleverley.

No need to strengthen this area at this time. If I end up using the 4-2-3-1 formation a lot then yeah I might want to – but otherwise I am good. Selling some of the riff raff, will focus on Zaha and Welbeck and Ince being able to play in AMC better. I’m also going to put Ashley Young up for sale. We just have so many other options and it’d be awesome to get 120k off the wage bill. Going to try and get RVP better in AMC position as well.

Summary: Lots of coverage here. We’ll see how things are by January and if I am using the AMC roles often. If not, I may look at trimming this area further.

Contracts up at the end of the season: Carrick, Fletcher, Anderson, Rooney, Valencia.

I’ll be renewing Rooneys for now and evalute the others later on.

Strikers:

With a 4-3-3, I had quite a few strikers. My main one was Rooney, Mata and RVP. However the star of the season was really Hernandez.

That’s the sole reason I built the 4-2-3-1. To have guys like Rooney, RVP and Mata all behind Hernandez who killed it. I would like to make him a pivotal role.

I’ve got lots of options here including two hot prospects like Januzaj and Wilson. Hell, even Henriquez and Zaha. At this time I’ll be selling WIll Keane and Federicao Macheda, neither of whom make the cut.

Summary: I’m fucking golden here.

Overall Summary:

Mostly looking at trimming the fat. I’d like to strengthen up the midfield area, and with a budget of around 20-30m I might just do that. With Arsenal being relegated for example, players like Ozil, Ben Arfra and Ramsey are available.

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