Manchester City are one of the world’s richest football teams, due to their Arab owners. Whilst many claim that money is ruining the beautiful game, City have managed to bring in some top class players and still have tons of cash waiting to be spent. This mentality could work very well in Football Manager aswell, so long as you keep in mind the new Financial Fair Play rules, which were recently implemented into game this year. City play an attacking style of football and with some great strikers like Agüero and with the recent purchases of Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo, they look to be a major force in European football this season. With such a strong squad to work with, can you add to their Premier League titles tally, and maybe even go on and win in the UEFA Champions League? In Football Manager 2014, you will have to make a lot of decisions in order to have a chance of doing so. To make this process a little easier, take a look at our guide below.
Finances and BudgetSeeing as Manchester City have so much to work with in real life it will be no surprise that they have lots of money to work with in game. The board have very high hopes for the squad, which is only to be expected. At the very least, they expect you to mount a serious title challenge. This will reward you with a £32 million budget and a huge wage budget to work with. This should be quite an easy task as it will not even require you to win the league. If you do believe you can win the league, however, and make this your season objective, you will be given a whopping £42.5 million transfer budget. With the fantastic squad already at your disposal, and these budgets, you should really be able to win the league. If you spend your money wisely, achieving your aims this season should be easy, however if you waste it all, it could be a challenge for you.
TacticsOne of the most important things that you need for a successful career on Football Manager is a good tactic. Keeping one tactic throughout a whole save will not be very effective but here are just a few that should work ideally to start off with.
The 4-5-1 is a very effective formation in Football Manager, as it allows for a packed midfield, which in turn helps you control the play, a key part of the game. This formation, although it only uses one striker, has plenty of support for him with the central midfielders dictating the game in the middle of the pitch, and the wingers able to make plenty of crosses towards the lone striker. To make this formation fully effective, you need a tall, strong striker, who is potent in the air, but also someone who is able to get into the right positions and finish when through on goal. You also would greatly benefit from a midfielder with high creativity and flair, allowing him to be the central point of your attack, as well as pacy wingers, who can dribble past defenders and get crosses into your striker.
This formation is ideal for a team which has strong central midfielders, as it has no wide players, apart from the fullbacks. For this reason, the fullbacks need to be strong defensively, in order to stop any oncoming wingers, as they have no other support, but also need to be fast and good in the final third, offering width to the side. The central midfielders will also need to be solid defensively to try to make sure that the ball does not reach the backline anyway. Finally your CAM should be very creative and should be able to thread through balls into your forwards with ease, as this is where most of your goals will come from.
Last, but not least, the 4-1-2-1-2, a formation widely used both in the real world, and in Football Manager to great effect, as it utilises all the main positions on the pitch, and provides the perfect balance between attack and defence. The key part to this tactic is choosing which two strikers should play to the best effect, linking up well, but also able to receive and use the ball effectively when given it by either your attacking midfielder, or your wide players. Generally, having a small, faster player with better control, and a tall, stronger player with good heading and general aerial strenght, works well, as it suits the balanced style.
First 11 Position Analysis
Goalkeepers- Despite his poor performances of late in real life, Joe Hart should still be considered as your first choice goalkeeper. His impressive reflexes and good handling should allow him to be not only your starting keeper, but also a regular for England. Backup comes in the shape of Costel Pantillimon, a 26 year old Romanian keeper, who is more than capable between the sticks during cup fixtures, and if Hart ever were to get injured or leave the club.
Right Backs- This is a position where you have two very capable players to fill the gap. The first choice should probably be Argentine, Pablo Zabaleta, who is very adept attacking and defending, and could be used in the 4-3-1-2 with great effect. Despite his great performances last year, if you want another option, Micah Richards is a great backup or (if you chose) , first choice right back, and can do a solid job preventing wingers from getting past him..
Centre Backs- Manchester City have a wide range of central defenders, of all ages and experiences. Your main man in this position, and also your captain for the coming season, is Belgian national team captain, Vincent Kompany. Kompany is a very solid player, who is also one of your best options from corners, due to his height and power in the air. On the other side to Kompany, you should look to play Matija Nastasić, who despite his injury problems, is one of the world’s best up and coming centre backs. He deserves to be given a chance in the first team and it is also imperative that you do use him if he is going to progress well and turn into the.player everyone hopes he will be. As backup, you have the English man, Joleon Lescott, who can do well in most sides in the league. Him or new signing Martin Demichelis, will both be able to fill in, but as they are both on the older side, it might be a poor decision looking to the future to start either of them.
Left Backs- This is another position where the Manchester club are well stocked, with two players equally able to play in this role. As the fullback position is key to most of the tactics above, you should think carefully before making your decision on who will be your starter. French 28 year old, Gael Clichy, is one of these players. Very attacking, Clichy is the perfect player to fit into the advanced full back role, covering when needed, but playing more like a left midfielder at times. Your other choice is Serbian international, Aleksander Kolarov. Kolarov is much more defensive, but still can be a threat going forward, due to his good crossing and dribbling.
Defensive Midfielders- If you are looking to use a formation with a defensive midfielder, you have plenty of options regarding who to pick. The obvious choice would be Yaya Touré, who has been on fire for City so far this season and is the perfect combination of defence and attack. He is a world class player who will definitely do the job for you, should you choose to play him. New signing Fernandinho, who City spent around £34 million on from Shakhtar Donetsk. The Brazilian will definitely hold the midfield together and he is described as a box to box midfielder, contributing to the attack as well. Other options are Spaniard Javi García, who if called upon, will do a good job of containing the opposition whilst also creating chances as well. Your last option is young English midfielder Jack Rodwell, who has not been heard of since his transfer from Everton. He is still a suitable option, however, and you should look to play him occasionally to aid his development.
Right Midfielder/ Winger- One of the positions City were heavily criticized for last season, due to their apparent narrowness, and inability to use the wide areas effectively. New manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has tried to change this by making the big money signing of Jesus Navas, a Spaniard who was widely courted due to his impressive dribbling, and direct approach, which brings a fresh new look to City’s play. He should definitely start if you are playing with wingers, as his attacking energy can win you matches. However, if you would like a more defensive wide man, who tracks back more, look no further than Samir Nasri. The Frenchman, whose defensive qualities are somewhat underrated, can do a good job both centrally and out wide. Despite his low work rate, he can still be effective and is an ideal option in a game where you are looking to conserve your lead.
Left Midfielder/ Winger- A position which can do with much improvement. This position is lacking depth in players who can naturally play here. However, there are several players who can potentially play in this position, but not as effectively. One of which is James Milner, who is also potent as a fullback and a central midfielder, so should slot into the role of a wide midfielder easily enough.Several other players can also fill this role such as Samir Nasri and David Silva, but their usefulness primarily lies in a more central role. Seeing the lack of options here, a new signing who can fill this role should be your first priority, if you are using a tactic with wingers.
Attacking Midfielder- This is another position City are well stocked in, and where one of their best talent lies. The most effective attacking midfielder is Spaniard, David Silva, who is a brilliant playmaker for City and will feed some brilliant killer balls through to the strikers.His ball control and passing have led him to be one of the most recognised players in the Premier League, and one of City’s most valuable assets. He has also broken into a Spain team with the likes of Iniesta and Mata competing for his role. Other players that can fill this role effectively are Samir Nasri, who has found himself on the fringes of the Manchester City squad, but is more than capable of performing to a high standard if given the chance. Finally, you have Stevan Jovetić at your disposal. Primarily a striker, Jovetic can also play deeper, taking longs shots and approaching defenders more directly, rather than try to create an opening. However, due to his prowess up front, it might be wasteful to play him in this role.
Strikers- This is a position oozing with talent. The best option is Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero who has been a vital part of the squad since joining from Atletico Madrid. He scored their title winning goal and has been a consistent goalscorer during his time at City. Aguero should be used as your main striker as his finishing and dribbling can be a lethal combination. Next up is another Spaniard in the team, new signing, Alvaro Negredo who joined from Sevilla in the summer. Negredo is a stronger, more poacher like striker, who has a knack of being in the right positions at the right times, shown by his great goalscoring record for his last team, which prompted his move to England. If you couple this with his ability to win aerial battles on a regular basis, you have a deadly finisher who is more than capable of getting 20+ goals in the season. The next option is another new signing, Stevan Jovetić. The talented Montenegrin striker who joined from Fiorentina for the same fee as Negredo. He is best used as a poacher, as he can get into very good positions to grab goals, as well as using his advanced dribbling and passing to create chances for not only himself, but for his fellow strikers. Finally, there is the Bosnian forward, Edin Dzeko. The 27 year old has established himself since joining as good cover, and as a real goal scoring threat. He played a key part in their title winning match, scoring the equalizing goal from a corner before Aguero won it. His main strength lies in the air, where he has shown himself to be very able. In recent times he has improved his technical attributes, such as his ball control, but in FM his best role remains as a target man.
Potential WeaknessesDespite City’s very impressive squad, there is still room for improvement.
Position 1- As mentioned before, your main aim in the transfer market should be to bring in a left winger, as you are very short in that role at the beginning of the game. Some players you could look into signing are young Schalke winger, Julian Draxler, who is being currently scouted by Barcelona. He could offer width for both now and the future, and would be a good signing. Another player you could be interested in is AC Milan winger Stephan El Shaarawy, who is one of the world’s most exciting prospects, but you will have to try and pry his away from the Italian club, who will want a high price for him.
You might also want to look at other youth players, that could add something in the future, despite not making a significant impact now.