Arsenal Guide 2008
Arsenal FC, are a football club based in London, England. They are currently based in the top tier of English football and play at their home ground, the Emirates. They are one of the most successful clubs in English football.
 General Information
Year Founded: 1886
Chairman Status: Loves the club
Favoured Personnel: Thierry Henry, Arsene Wenger, Kolo Toure, Jens Lehmann, Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira
Fierce Rivals: Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Man Utd
Other Rivals: West Ham
Estimated Value: £264M (Loan Debt £202M)
Stadium: Emirates Stadium, London
Stadium Capacity: 60432 All Seater Stadium
Pitch Dimensions: Length: 102m, Width: 68m
Maximum Pitch Dimensions: Length: 113m, Width: 73m
Reserve Stadium: Underhill, London
Training Facilities: Top Training Facilities
Youth Facilities: Excellent youth facilities + Youth Academy
Continental Competition: Champions League
Media Prediction: 4th
Squad Personality: Highly Ambitious
Club Captain: William Gallas
 Transfer Budgets
The first task faced as Arsenal manager will be to pick your transfer budgets, depending on your expectations for the following season, here are the transfer budgets and wages you can get for each option.
» Continental qualification through league finish
- Transfer Budget: £45 million
- Wage Budget: £1 million p/w
» Title challenge
- Transfer Budget: £55 million
- Wage Budget: £1.1 million p/w
- Transfer Budget: £63 million
- Wage Budget: £1.2 million p/w
The option I prefer to take is the Title Challenge one, not only does this take some of the pressure off of winning the league at first attempt, but it also gives enough money to strengthen the team where I feel needs be. If your confident then by all means chose winner because that way you can most likely Budget Adjust to get yourself even more.
The Arsenal board also expect you to reach the Final of both the FA and League Cup and reach the Semi-Finals of the Champions League, this may seem daunting but it shouldn't be too difficult if you are an experienced FM player. Good luck.
 Squad Information
Arsenal are well known for lacking a world class goalkeeper since David Seaman retired, although you have 3 good 'keepers at your disposal which should get you through, it should be the position you look to strengthen in the long term.
- Jens Lehmann
- He has now left Arsenal in real life, but I feel he has one last hurrah left in him on FM and will provide a good solid first team 'keeper for a season. As I chose to spend my money elsewhere in the first season, a goalkeeper is the first position I look for next season. Keep him as first choice this season, he's definitely good enough.
- Lukas Fabianski
- New to the Arsenal set up this season, he certainly isn't out of place. Still young he has a good future ahead of him so should be held on to for sure at least to let his value increase. You should look to play him against weeker opposition, maybe in the cup, or send him on loan to a Premiership Club. He has a PA of 166 so shouldn't be sold. Decent.
- Manuel Almunia
- Although he starts in the reserves, he is certainly one you should be looking to get into the first team as back up at least. I also find you normally receive a bid for him, normally from Man City around £6 million. I usually accept this offer but depending on where you chose to spend your money you may not want to.
 Right Backs
Having invested in a new right back just this term to add to a player that was already one of the best attacking right backs on the game, you are again pretty much sorted in this area of the team.
- Bakary Sagna
- This guy is pretty much the perfect right back, he has the attributes in all the right places to give you someone who won't need replacing for a long time. Not only this but he also has the attacking attributes needed and can certainly cross a ball. He's still not at his prime either and would be a great asset to any team in the world, you are just lucky you have him at Arsenal.
- Emmanuel Eboue
- Again, a very good right back, though he doesn't have the attributes of Sagna he is more versatile down the right hand side. Him and Sagna can be rotated to keep them both happy although Eboue should generally be second choice. Still a top player though and could get into most teams without too much of a problem.
 Left Backs
Arsenal, especially under Wenger, are well known for producing quality left backs. Previously Ashley Cole who went to Chelsea and now these two, you can't go wrong.
- Gael Clichy
- To my surprise he hasn't actually made the France squad in this years Euro 2008. However, he is arguably one of the best left backs on the game and it is no surprise Arsene Wenger let Ashley Cole go when he has Gael Clichy. Clichy possesses great pace and acceleration which means not only can he handle the fastest of wingers, he can also bomb up and down the wings. He has decent all round defensive stats, which will improve if put on the right training schedule. But best of all he is still only 21.
- Armand Traore
- He is another Frenchman in the mould of Clichy. When the two are compared Traore has surprisingly similar stats, pace and acceleration being the most notable. Again, for a 17 year old his defensive and technical abilities are well rounded and will certainly get better, I would actually put him better than Clichy in a few years. With a PA of -9 it means he could be reaching 180 PA. Back up for the first few seasons but definitely the option for the future.
 Center Backs
The central defence is also of amazing quality, however lacks some depth. You have a great pairing already and with a further signing to add to your back up this is one of the best central defences in the country.
- William Gallas
- Versatile in the fact he can play right back he has decent defensive stats. He is definitely more of a center back though as he doesn't have the attacking attributes compared to Eboue or Sagna however can still play his part. Will be a very solid player for sure but he is 29 now and will only last a few more seasons so you should start to look at replacements soon. Him and Kolo are an excellent partnership though.
- Johan Djourou
- He has the stats you need in all the right places for a solid center back, however does seem to lack else where with some of his technical, this doesn't really matter. That being said he does only have a PA of -8 meaning he won't ever reach the greats of others and for this reason I keep him as back up or loan out the first season and look to sell later on.
- Philipe Senderos
- This guy is good for midtable Premiership sides, however doesn't meet Arsenal's standards. He lacks extremely in a lot of technical areas important for a defender, and his main defensive attributes aren't top notch. I usually sell him or use him as backup, but he shouldn't feature regularly in a team such as Arsenal.
- Kolo Toure
- He is an extremely determined player and will generate interest immediately from the likes of AC Milan, which you should look to fend off as you do not want to be selling him. His stats are excellent all round and only 26 has a few years left in him, so he is my first choice without a doubt. Arsenal's rock who has an excellent pairing with Gallas.
 Right Wingers
Arsenal also do not have an out and winger, and like I have already mentioned this may not matter, especially in the system I tend to use when I play as Arsenal.
- Aliaksandr Hleb
- Again, he is in the mold of Rosicky and may not be considered a right winger, but for now he is Arsenal's best option. He has good dribbling coupled with balance and agility only enhancing his reputation as one of the best on the ball players in England. However, he does lack elsewhere and doesn't really have the finishing qualities to make the best attacking midfielder and so I use him as back up, looking to sell in a few years.
- Theo Walcott
- Walcott burst onto the scene at Southampton scoring 4 goals in 21 appearances from the right wing at the age of 15. He quickly signed for Arsenal where he has been progressing ever since. He will be remembered for 'that run' against Liverpool and has found himself appearing more regularly for Arsenal this season. He doesn't have the greatest ability when the game starts on FM however he does have a PA of 174. You should hold onto him with a good training schedule employed and his pace will see him develop into a right winger come striker, in the Henry mold.
 Left Wingers
Arsenal generally lack a left sided winger, however this does not mean you do not have options at your disposal and depending on how you play this may not matter anyway.
- Tomas Rosicky
- In real life Rosicky's season has been troubled by injury. He is a well rounded player with excellent flair, however compared to others his technical stats appear weak. He does not fit into the way I like to play with Arsenal however is very good cover, but should he get unhappy I look to sell him as Inter Milan are usually interested.
- Robin Van Persie
- Although he may not be considered a natural left winger, he can still play a decent role there. He is left footed with a good creative brain and versatile so a very useful player to have. Shouldn't go wrong playing left wing for you although you may find better else where.
 Central Midfielders
Arsenal's central midfield is relatively young, but this does not mean it lacks any sort of inexperience. The players available are all quality at what they do and you should nuture them well, whether you are going to sell for big money later or use them in your team for seasons to come.
- Mathieu Flamini
- A player who has now left Arsenal for AC Milan, he is a complete defensive midfielder. He may not possess the quality of others, but never the less has what you need. His excellent stamina means he can cover a lot of ground and won't need subbing off often.
- Gilberto Silva
- He is getting on a bit now but provides great experience for a young side, he has good stats generally where you need them although passing could be better. First choice if I don't sign another DM, but unfortunately I normally look to and therefore he is back up for me.
- A young Brazilian with a bright future and at only 19 he is a very good player with all the areas covered you need. He also has a decent PA of 172 and so will improve further, a good training schedule and some first team experience should do the trick. Alternatively send him out on loan first season.
- Abou Diaby
- He has played a fair bit for Arsenal recently, however out of all the midfielders Arsenal possess on FM he is probably the weakest. But he is only 21 and with a PA the same as Denilson's he does have a good future, I normally hold on to him and again with a good training schedule he should do well as a squad player.
- Francesc Fabregas
- Arguably one of the best players in the world at this current time he would also get into any team on FM without a doubt. His stats are amazing and he knows how to perform, do not hesitate to play him in the center of midfield and watch him work his magic. With passing of 20 and mental attributes to die for he is the perfect playmaker.
Although the first team only starts with three out and out strikers, the strikers and options you have are still very good. They offer versatility and give you different directions to look to play your football.
- Emmanuel Adebayor
- He just seems to bang them in for fun on this version and so depending how I play I have no hesitation in putting him on. Amazing physical stats make up for a few of the mediocre technical stats but other than that he is one of the best at what he does.
- Nicklas Bendtner
- Decent player in the same mold as Adebayor, but unfortunately not as good. Though he is 19 and with time to improve and a PA of 175 which is impressive, hold on to him and play him against weaker opposition or even loan him out. Does become good but not world class.
- Everyone knows about him in real life, with the tragic accident against Birmingham. However luckily he is not injured on FM and so you still have him as a great option for your team. His mental attributes are top and most of his technical meet the grade meaning he does what he says on the tin. However with Adebayor in your team and perhaps another signing he may not feature in your team. Should be played ahead of Bendtner though.
Arsenal are a club known for producing quality youngsters, and finding amazing bargains. A few examples of players who have come through their youth ranks in recent years include Fabrages and Clichy, just to name a few, and we all know the pedigree of these players now. Well on FM the story remains the same and Arsenal have some top youngsters you should be keeping tabs on.
- Vito Mannone
- Although he is a decent keeper, he will never meet Arsenal's standards and so I look to sell him or loan him to let his value increase. Will do well in a few seasons for a low Premiership club or high Championship one. Only has a PA of 155.
- Justin Hoyte
- One of Arsenal's few English players but unfortunately you already have his position covered in the likes of Eboue and Sagna and so I prefer to sell or let him see out his contract at the club.
- A versatile left back who starts out on loan. He has a PA of -8 but will probably never meet the grade. Again look to sell or loan to let his value increase.
- Havard Nordtveit
- He already has good stats for a 17 year old and these will only get better with a PA -9, should be placed under careful watch with the potential to be a star. Maybe even give him a few games to watch him progress into one of the best on the game in future years.
- Alexandre Song
- Another central midfielder, but will struggle with the competition from all the others you have. Has a PA of 166 so you will do well to sell him to a midtable club for a good price. Alternatively, loaning him would be a good option.
- Francisco Merida
- Another Spaniard, but one to watch as with a PA of -9 he develops into a top player. I would keep him and let him develop in the reserves, just make sure you give him a good training schedule otherwise he may struggle. He has the potential to be great, though.
- Carlos Vela
- A young Mexican wonderkid, he was the player everyone had to have on FM07. He is versatile in attack which is good but works best as a striker, and with a PA of -10, the best you can get, it is essential you do not let him go. A good training schedule is a must.
- Mark Randall
- Another young Englishman who has good potential at -8, but may not reach the level needed to perform at Arsenal with the players and money you have. Never the less, train him well and look to sell him, you might get a good price in a few seasons, meaning it will be worth your while.
- Gilles Sunu
- Overlooked, but he does have a PA of -9 which means it will be worth your while training in from the tender age of 16 in a long term game. Will become a good player in attack or can again be sold.
 Recommended Transfers and Loans
Considering you will have a budget in the region of £55-65M, this is an important part of your career as Arsenal manager. Do you blood your youngsters, or do you spend to get the best? Well depending on what type of manager you will always spend some money. So I will give you a few options of where to invest, but make your own choices as it's your game.
- NB: Potential transfer price indicated in brackets, lower end prices will normally require a % of next sale fee.
- Hugo Lloris (£10M - £15M)
- He is one who you may never of heard of when it comes to real life, but a top keeper on the game. He is the cheaper of the three players suggested but certainly doesn't lack quality. He is also the youngest at only 20, and with a PA of 180 he is definitely one to look out for.
- Sebastien Frey (£16M-£25M)
- Frey is a quality all round keeper who would do the job for almost anyone, one of the best on the game he has fantastic stats in all areas. Won't let many goals in, however his price is a bit steep considering he is only valued around £5M upon starting a new game. I buy him in the second season.
- Craig Gordon (£18M - £22M)
- Gordon only signed for Sunderland this season and has had a mixed one at that. However, on the game he is again a top keeper, and has the advantage of his age over Frey. Also his price is steep which is annoying but he won't let many in and is one of the best you can get. Again, I prefer to go for him in the second season as he has only just joined Sunderland on the game and they are usually unwilling to let him go.
 Right Backs
 Left Backs
- Marcelo (£5.5M)
- I know I have said that Arsenal already have two of the best left backs on the game, however this guy is a steal. He can be purchased for £5.5M fee release right at the start so get in the quickly before he is offered a new contract. He is a classic Brazilian and loves bombing down the wing, so much so he can also make a handy left winger. If you've got any cash left over I highly recommend him as he can easily be sold for more later on and it gives you the option of 3 of the best on the game.
 Center Backs
- Andrea Barzagli (£10M - £15M)
- Everyone knows this guy, but in case you don't let me introduce you. Barzagli is an Italian rock following the likes of Nesta. He has arguably the best defensive stats on the game but does lack slightly elsewhere. Great option to go with the two you already have though, Toure and Gallas.
- Sebastien Squillaci (£7M - £13M)
- Another Frenchman, again with arguably some of the best possible stats on the game for a center back. He can be easily unsettled so declare your interest in him a few times to try to get his price down. Again, I have found you can't go wrong with him and he doesn't seem to put a foot wrong. Him or Barzagli should do the trick perfectly.
 Left Wingers
 Right Wingers
 Central Midfielders
- Alberto Zapater (£7M)
- His release clause is the main reason I buy him, for the money you can't go wrong and he will do a good job for you as DM or in CM. His appear weaker than others in some areas but I still recommend him as he has never personally let me down, and sometimes chips in with the odd wonder goal.
- Rafael Van der Vaart (£10M - £19M)
- This guy is my favourite player on FM, and can outscore most strikers when played correctly. He has the all around ability to be the best on the game at what he does, so use him correctly to reap the rewards. He can also be got for a good price, compared to others so make the most of this in the first season and get him, you won't regret it.
- Sergio Aguero (£28M - £40M)
- If you know who this guy is then need I say no more? If you don't, then where have you been the past two years? This guy is literally an FM god and at only 19 probably the best striker on the game. He has been known to score over 50 goals a season and among this quality of a side you should be able to get this total, bearing in mind you know what instructions to give him. Will come for £28M with a 50% of next sale clause, but you won't be selling this guy.
- Nihat (£13.75M)
- You may also have heard of this guy before. Well, he is quite a player. He has the pace to rip up defences if you know how to play and is definitely recommended as the cheap, but considerably older, alternative to Aguero. He is also versatile in attack and so fits in how I want to play well.
 Formations and Tactics
Generally, it should not be hard to find a winning formula with the potential side you have at your finger tips. But if you are struggling I have compiled a few different tactics which have worked well for me in the past, so give them a go.
- NB: All tactics will need to be given a few games to let your team gel and reap the rewards.
 Tactic One
This tactic is my personal favourite formation on this version on FM and has the potential with this team to rip opponents apart. It focuses on fast movements with attacking coming from all angles, the man up front should be played as a target man in order for the three running in to feed off of, and the other three should all be accomplished finishers. You also have balance with a DM covering back as the others go forward, and then the CM like Fabregas should be used as a playmaker.
 Tactic Two
This is a variation on Tactic One but never the less works very well. Especially with the signings I chose to make. It is more narrow, which fits in with the players as when I play this I do not possess any out and out wingers and so play is mainly focused through the middle. Again, strikers should be accomplished, including the ones coming in from wide for best results. Strong full backs is essential to stop opposition wingers, but this shouldn't be a problem with the likes of Clichy and Sagna.
 Tactic Three
This tactic is based on quick movement and versatile, but creative players. It is quite an attacking 4-4-2 but mentality is set to normal to balance it out, width is also well balanced but wingers should be used to good effect, in this case Hleb and Rosicky. It will also work well if you tick counter attack, which makes it good for playing away against tough opponents.
For other useful tactics and tips, consult the Tactic storage center.
 Key Players and Instructions
Some tactics may never work if you do not have the correct player instructions to couple it. I will give you a few of the more important players for each tactic and what you will need to set them at in order to the best.
- NB: The brackets show which tactic the instructions are best suited for.
 Gael Clichy/Bakary Sagna (Tactic One and Two)
Full backs are key in this tactic as there is little or no width in some cases. They will need to stay far enough back to keep a tight defence, hence the deep defending, but get forward often to support the midfield, hence high forward runs.
 Francesc Fabregas (Tactic One, Two and Three)
Fabregas is the heartbeat, the guy who makes it happen and so it is important he is played to his full effect. This is something what it should look like.
 Robin Van Persie/Nihat (Tactic One and Two)
With how you will be playing these two, the most important factor is to make sure they don't cross the ball, as this will be pointless if you are playing someone like Adebayor up front. You want them running in from either side. Here are some suggested instructions.
 Planning Ahead
With the ideas and information here, this should give you a fair few players to look out for and a good platform for many seasons to come.
Planning ahead with Arsenal will see your spending power increase as you become more and more successful, your budget options will increase and the league and other domestic competitions will become more and more easier.
As a long term challenge, Arsenal doesn't offer as greater challenge as other clubs, however is good for beginners getting into the game. The real challenge lies in a different game, and that is if you decide to blood your youngsters without signing anyone. Working off of regens and improving your scouting, coaches and youth system can be a very enjoyable game, however one which I am yet to try.
Well, I love making guides and although we already have another guide for Arsenal on 8.0.2 I didn't see the harm for making another one. I know a lot of people have already played as Arsenal, but maybe this can give you some inspiration to try something new with them.
Hope you have enjoyed reading it and taken something from it, and also comments and criticism are highly welcome. Thanks.
Credit To Carlyon
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