The Next Challenge: Gunning For Glory

I love a pun! Gunning for glory… I amaze myself sometimes! haha

With the little stint with Dynamo Kyiv over, I’d built up a bit of a reputation. I was linked with several jobs that were going. I knew some good ones were coming up. PSG, Barcelona and Bayern Munich were all available due to the post World Cup, managerial merry-go-round. It was Arsenal that caught my eye though.

Last season they finished in 9th place. A mid-table team. Still with some very good players in the squad. Chambers, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Ox, Welbeck and Sanchez all still here. I like big change when I move to a new club in the middle of a save. Give the squad a face lift and save some money. There were a lot of players on highly inflated wages when I arrived, the clear-out began almost instantly. I’ll not bore you with numbers, but I’ll just say that when I arrived, our wage bill was nearly £3m a week, now it’s under £2m. We sold a lot of players, maybe some unfairly, but I was ruthless.

I took over on the 9th of July, so all transfers after this date were my responsibility.

Arsenal Transfers

Fierro and Fischer arrived just before I did, I was happy with both of those signings. Likewise, Walcott’s departure was not my decision, but one that I supported. I’ll not go into the thinking behind all of the departures, but a lot of it was financially based decision making and trying to get the age of the squad down. I don’t have time for sentiment when it comes to older players. Even some signings from the previous regime were shown the door. Mertesacker also left, but for free to get him off the wage bill, £95k a week and I had little plans to play him. A lot of money raised and a few quid in the bank.

Tactically, I wanted something different as well. I liked the 4141, but I’m growing tired of it, it may feature as a backup plan. I wanted a fresh start with a new idea. I’ve wanted to play three at the back for a while and here, it makes sense. 4141 seems to work really well on this engine, if I stuck with it for this move, I’d have stuck with it for all of my saves in future as well. It’s good to branch out and try new ideas.

I’ve been playing around with some ideas in test saves and I carried that tactical idea over to Arsenal. It’s a 5212 or 532 or 3412 depending on your outlook. I’ll call it a 343 for ease as the defenders do get forward quite a bit. I’m not 100% decided on the roles just yet, so I’ll mention them when/if I get this working as I want. I’ve played a few friendlies and fiddled about quite a bit with my shouts and team shape. A possible tactical article if it goes well though. Here’s a look at it on the tactic screen.

Tactic layout

Not my usual line-up, but it gives you an idea

I’m not planning on spending a lot of time at Arsenal. I’m planning two years initially and anything after that is likely to be down to lack of job availability or if I think I’m in with a chance of winning the league. Still, it’s good to have some aims for the save and so I’ve set myself the following targets.

  • Finish in the top 4 this season.
  • Get to the knock-out round of the Champions League (At this stage, I’m unsure how we’re even in that competition, but we are. Arsenal finished 9th last season.
  • Win a cup within two seasons.
  • Challenge for the league in season two.

I think the cup win is possible, but a league challenge might be out of reach in season two, it’ll really be down to how the team responds to the tactics and how the new signings bed in.

So, I’m going to crack on with this save during the week and hopefully get through a season this week.




  1. Would be interesting too see how you’ll finally find the best set up to make this tactic working as you want.

    Btw, James, how do you see your 3 front line players movement? AF, CF, AM.

    1. I’ve got it pretty close now and surprised myself by some a couple of my team instructions. I’ve ended up with AM/A, CF/S and AF/A for my front three and the movement between them is very good. The AM tracks back a little bit better than the SS/A I tried out did, so I’m much happier. He’ll never come all the way back, the CF/S support comes back further. It’s interesting watching them though. If things progress well, I’ll write something up on it.

      1. You stick with CM-S? How is it going? I saw my CM-S gets too further forward several times in control mentality. Its individual mentality I guess taking huge part of it. I then switch it to DLP-S. Its now more satisfying but still bit away from what I need in terms of tactical balance

      2. Sticking with CM/S just now yeah. He’s playing well, but the DLP/D isn’t playing great. I’m trying to decide if I should change his role to CM/D and give him the PI’s to make him a bit more creative, yet to make a final decision on that one. My midfielder with the defend duty never plays well in any of my tactics, always a low rating.

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