First and foremost, find the parts of your squad that need upgrading. It’s critical you get these right, especially with clubs that are restricted in their finances. I often ensure I’ve got at least one marquee centre midfielder, a goalkeeper and at least one striker. Know what tactic you’ll be running out, it should be somewhat easy to work this out. We’ll discuss tactics next, but for now you need to work out the following.
- Are you playing with fullbacks?
- What’s your midfield look like? How many do you have in each position?
- Can your striker hold up the ball? If so, it’s most likely you should either buy one that can or play with 2 strikers. We’ll discuss this later.
The second thing to look at is, similar to FM, attribute filters.
For goalkeepers, handling is known as the most important attribute. Whilst reflexes, positioning, jumping and other stats are helpful, keepers with low handling are more prone to make errors in game, for example dropping the ball.
Full backs, they need a few different things for my tastes. I want them to be quick with good movement as I like my fullbacks to attack. Passing, tackling and aggression are good stats to have, and if they can cross, even better!
Central defenders require aggression, tackling, marking, jumping, heading, and generally good fitness.
Defensive midfielders are one of, if not the most important part of a team. They need to be complete on the ball, with the ability to hold it up (strength), pass it, sometimes run with it as well as have some ability from long range. Tackling is also very important, as you’d assume. Whilst it isn’t required, I like this position to have at least 15 influence.
Central and attacking midfielders simply need to be an all-round player. They need to be capable in all areas, on and off the ball, with good mental attributes as well. Just like in real life, the midfield makes the team. Without at least 2 good central midfielders, you’re going nowhere.
Wingers need to be quick, have good footwork as well as passing and crossing. Whilst creativity and flair are important, they’re not a necessity.
Strikers. Ah Strikers. It depends here. Ask yourself if you’re playing with 1 or 2 strikers.
- If the answer is one, find a striker with both pace and strength. They need to be competent on the ball, with the ability to shoot as well (of course.) I like strikers with influence, determination and work rate.
- If the response is two, find two strikers that are completely different in terms of playing style. A good example of this is Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.
With that in mind, it’s important to scout properly as well. Send out scouts as soon as possible, they are the most important part of your player searches
And of course, there’s no point in finding and buying these big-name players if you’re not training them properly. The training module in 01/02 is relatively simple, unlike FM. Here’s how I set out my training.
Central Defenders – Fitness (Light-Medium) Skill (Medium) Shooting (Light) Tactics (Intense).
Fullbacks – Fitness (Intense), Skill (Medium), Shooting (Light), Tactics (Medium).
Midfielders (Central) – Fitness (Light-Medium), Skill (Intense), Shooting (Medium), Tactics (Medium).
Wingers – Fitness (Intense), Skills (Intense), Shooting (Medium), Tactics (None-Light)
Strikers – Fitness (Medium), Skills (Medium), Tactics (Light), Shooting (Intense).
Get these things right, you’re going to succeed.
Thanks for reading!
In the next episode, I'll discuss all the best players to sign in each position. See you there!