Navigating the Winter Transfer Window on Football Manager

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 16.04.04Ok, so we’re back again. I said in the last post that I would update this save every time I thought something major happened that was worth discussing, and it already has. I’ve often said that I think one of my strengths on Football Manager is my ability to quickly build a very strong squad that can compete on a domestic and continental level. Obviously, this is somewhat easier for me having played FM for such a long time, I largely know the players who are good buys every year – although I do try to mix up the players that I sign on each version of the game.

This article will cover the winter transfer window in my first season with Arsenal. The winter transfer window is always a banana skin for your season, because one missed step can quickly turn a positive season into a negative one, so you need to be aware of how things are going before making any rash decisions. As you saw in the last update, my Arsenal currently sit top of the table as a result of the switch to the 4-4-2 system, and by the time we had reached the transfer window, we had extended our lead at the the top of the table to around 9 points following a 4-0 drubbing of Liverpool – with Lacazette scoring all four – even with Mkhitaryan and Özil injured. The main thing about being that far clear at the top, is that I can afford to be relatively aggressive with the moves I make, knowing I have a buffer down to what became Manchester United in 2nd.

There are two key objectives you can use the winter window for. These are:

  • Preparing your squad for the second half of the season, and filling in any gaps you may have.
  • Preparing your squad for the seasons to come – a.k.a. youth.

My New 4-4-2 System on FM19

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 16.04.04First things first, I need to apologise regarding the regularity of the updates on the return of One Man’s Journey. I started the save with the full intention of making it my main save for Football Manager 2019, but work has since got in my way over the last month and a half or so, and I’ve really been unable to devote much – if any – time to playing Football Manager. As a result the save has largely remained untouched – halfway through season one. I’m struggling to find time to play a save that is so time intensive – a quick look at the sheer amount of links and images I need for one update will show you – so for now, I’m going to shelve the save.

However, what I have been able to continue is my beta save with Arsenal and that will form the basis of what I’m going to discuss in this article. If you remember, I wrote about the original system I was using with Arsenal as my first piece for FM19, and the system itself was a 4-3-1-2 that formed a diamond. This system had taken us to 3rd in the League after 7 games, two points behind leaders Liverpool and one behind surprise early runners Burnley. However, I’ve since moved away from that system, and the new system – along with a few other features – will be what I’ll discuss in this article.

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My Setup for FM19

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Well, FM19’s beta is here, so I thought I would do a quick article which will outline what I’ve been doing so far tactically. I’ve been playing my beta save with Arsenal – who are always fun on Football Manager – a team who I’ve played with before on previous editions of FM. They’re usually a very good beta team as well if you want to figure out what works on the latest edition of the game, and what you’re going to use tactically because they have a large amount of players in various positions. Before I start as well, I’ll say that so far I really, really like this year’s game, and some of the changes that have been made are very good, and there are some – like training – that I’m still looking forward to diving into. Bravo SI, bravo.

Of course, on this year’s version Arsenal are slightly weaker than in years past. They no longer have Alexis Sanchez, who was a vital plater for me back when I played as Arsenal on FM17, but they do still have Mesut Özil, and also possess relative new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who I’m very much looking forward to using. There’s also Lucas Torreira, a fantastic new midfielder that Arsenal have signed. All in all, once again, Arsenal look really fun to use on FM.

Spoilers: I’m very tempted to just make this my permanent save, because it’s been so enjoyable so far.

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