IntroductionEverton are a team admired by many; the ‘neutral’s team’ if you will. Famous for playing some great attractive football over the recent years. As years have gone on, they have always found themselves around and about the European spaces in the Premier League. However lately they look to trying to take their club to the next level. Such FM15 save will present you with an opportunity to do just that.
With the signing of Romelu Lukaku and young talents like Ross Barkley you have the ability to break into that decorative top four. The board will be hoping for you to one day bring Champions League football back to Goodison Park. With this guide I will be hoping to give some tips on how you can achieve such an achievement.
Finances & BudgetEverton are a club famous for how little they have spent over the years and how well previous managers have done, working with what they have. However this year the club splashed the cash and signed both Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry on permanent deals as well as signing Muhamed Besic. Because of this there isn’t going to be much to money left to spend.
If you team is challenging for Europa League you will receive £5 Million to play with, alongside a £1.17 million wage budget. If you are slightly more optimistic and aim at the Champions League you will have £6.25 million with a £1.27 wage budget. If you are extremely confident in your abilities as a the boss, you can aim for a tittle challenge and will you be greeted with a£6.75 million to spend and a £1.3 million wage budget.
If you are a manager that looks to do a lot of buying, you will have to strongly consider selling. However even if you decide to sell a number of your players, one thing you keep in mind is the clubs low transfer revenue that is made available. During my save as Everton over the years it has fluctuated and varied from 25% to 75% and right back up to 100%. Something defiantly worth keeping an eye on.
4-4-1-1The 4-4-1-1 formation has been very popular with Everton over the last few years, it offers the ability to compact your midfield and offer support to your lone striker at the same time. With an attacking midfielder behind your striker it offers players like Barkley or Naismith plenty of room to create chances. Two other positions that have been vital to Everton’s success is their wing backs. It gives you the chance to get them over lapping and exploiting their great crossing abilities.
4-2-3-1The 4-2-3-1 is a very similar formation, however the main difference with this formation is it is slightly more attacking. For this formation you are looking to get the best out of your wingers, by putting them in more offensive positions. This will bring the best out of players like Mirallas or McGeady for example. It also creates space for wing backs to attack. The space that was left by the deeper wide midfield roles.
4-2-3-1 (DM)This formation is very similar to the previous formation mentioned. This one offers you a more solidified midfield with the inclusion of a defensive midfielder as well as your two central midfielder. Because of this you sacrifice the attacking midfielder. This formation focuses on attacking movement and creativity.
It gives an opportunity and freedom to one of your central midfielders to get further forward as well as creating lots of space for your wingers to cut inside. If you choose to set your wingers as inside forwards this will create more room on the wings for your on rushing wing backs. You may find you get the best out of your wing backs in this formation.
First 11 Positional AnalysisGoalkeepers:
Your first choice, as he has been for many many years should be Tim Howard. The American goal keeper starts the season off the back of some very strong individual World Cup performances. Despite being 35, Howard is still going to be a very strong keeper for you, however you won’t be able to hide the fact he is ageing and a replacement should be high on your list of to do’s.
I say this because I do not believe his back up is going to be able to reach the same level. Joel Robles, signed from Wigan following Roberto Martinez to the club. The Spanish keeper will do a job for you as a backup, however if you are looking to take the club forward he will not be enough when Tim Howard eventually steps down.
At the right back spot, Seamus Coleman will be your ideal choice. The pacey Irish defender has been a revelation at Everton over the years. He is always improving on the attacking and defending front. Apart from Coleman you only have the ageing club legend Tony Hibbert. Again he will do a job as a back up, but you should aim to buy a young right back straight away or de-fiantly after a season.
In the central defensive position you have a great mix of young and old. Firstly you have a great young talent in John Stones. Even at the age of 20, he has been tipped to be one of England’s greats. Despite his young age he is ready for the first team but ensure you manage him well to get the best out of him. To partner Stones you have good options, firstly in club captain Phil Jagielka. The 31 year old is a possible tutor for Stones, and he will learn quickly by playing besides him. The England international will add experience to your back line and can form a solid partnership with his fellow countryman.
If you chose to look else were, cast an eye to Silvan Distin. Despite being 36 he should still be in your plans for a short while. The Frenchman can add experience and consistency to your back line. This can also ease pressure off of players like John Stones. A replacement for Distin should not be far from your thoughts with the defender coming to the end of his career. Your fourth choice central defender is another that followed Roberto Martinez to the club. Antonio Alceraz, his time at Everton has been ridiculed with injury and from this he has failed to establish himself in the first team. Because of this I don’t see him remaining at Goodison Park for very long, selling the central defender could free up some funds for new players.
If you are short of funds, look no further than the Everton Under 21’s side. Their defense is full of exciting prospects. It would be worth keeping an eye on Tyias Browning. The 20 year old English central defender comes with a lot of potential.
In the left back position, a man you may have to fight off interest for is Leighton Baines. The left back has been ever present for Everton over recent years. His ability to get forward is something you should look to exploit, and his incredible ability from dead ball situations. He will create chances at will for you and don’t be shocked when you see him grab a few goals either.
Behind Baines you have a solid back up in Bryan Oviedo. His game time has always been limited at Everton because of the consistency of Leighton Baines. Oviedo aswell starts the game recovering from his broken legs. You will have to manage Baines carefully for the first couple of months, or consider calling up youth players as cover. Young Luke Garbett could be one to watch. Lack of game time may frustrate Oviedo, rotation will be key to keeping both players happy.
The right hand side of midfield presents you with a tricky winger in Kevin Mirallas. A player that you may find hard to keep hold of, as he attracts interest from top European clubs. Valued at £19 million you could face a tough decision before a ball is even kicked. If you decide to keep him he will play a big part in your season. He will link up well with his fellow country man Romelu Lukaku and create lots of chances in the final third for your team.
If you do choose to cash in on Mirallas you still have a very strong winger in Aiden McGeady. The Irish winger, he will link up well with Coleman and provide a partnership that can torment defensive back lines. McGeady will provide consistency to your attacking trio, he may not set the world alight, but he will defiantly contribute.
In the central midfield roles you have great defensive protection. You have the experienced Gareth Barry, whom proved himself during his season long loan at Goodison Park. Barry is still more than capable of playing a key role for you, in a holding midfield role he offers a lot of protection to your back four.
To partner Barry you have James McCarthy, one of the more established players of which that Martinez brought to Goodison Park from Wigan. He will be the midfielder that gets around the pitch and will not be afraid of putting a tackle in. He will compliment Barry very well, allowing your more attacking players to have more freedom in the final third.
If you’re casting an eye to the future of the club, look no further than Muhamed Besic. The 21 year old joined Everton over the summer and has the potential to grow into a dominate figure in your midfield. A tireless midfielder but also a very technical one. You should look to include Besic whenever you can. As a backup you have Darren Gibson, another that due to injuries he has soon become a fringe player at Goodison Park. Gibson isn’t likely to improve and probably won’t cut the bill at Everton. A lack of game time will frustrate, you could possibly look to sell Gibson, many lower Premier League sides will be keen.
Onto the left hand side of your midfield, you have a few good options. However this is another position were you may feel you could improve, if you have the funds available. Steven Pienaar is going to be a first choice in my opinion. Over the years Pienaar has linked up very well with Leighton Baines, he will continue to do so. Pienaar is at is best with the ball at his feet. Alongside Pienaar you also have a young talent in Christian Atsu on a season long loan from Chelsea. Atsu comes with potential to grow and should look to make the most of him whilst you have him at Goodison Park.
This is a part of your team that you should pay a lot of attention to. In this position you have strength in depth, with a balance of young and experience. For many they will focus on Ross Barkley, rightly so. The young England attacking midfielder is one many are expecting to develop into a great midfielder. He can be influential in your sides for years to come. Behind Ross you have a possible tutor in Samuel Eto’o, joining the club on a free after his time at Chelsea. The former Champions League winner comes with bucket loads of experience. A great player to look to for a substitution or a great rotation option. Or you could also choose Steven Naismith. Naismith can play in behind or as a sole striker, his pace and work rate will be very helpful to your side and can be a tricky player for defenses to face. As well as these three you also have club legend Leon Osman, a versatile midfielder but primarily plays through the middle, whether that’s in an attacking role or as a deeper role.
For your striker there really is only one man for the job. The clubs record signing of Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian has been free scoring since his arrival to the Premier League and he is yet to reach his best. With lots of potential still to improve he has time on his hands. He can be a vital part to your Everton team. Behind Lukaku there is not much depth, as Everton usually only play with a lone striker. You have Arouna Kone, who starts the save injured, the Ivorian is another that will probably not cut it at top four level and could look to move on to free up some funds. Both Samuel Eto’o and Naismith can play as a striker if need be as well.
WeaknessesYou may have noticed throughout the squad, the word ageing was mentioned quite frequently. This is something you will need to address with Everton, not necessarily all at once. However as time goes on you may want to prioritize the youngsters at the club.
The transfer budget at the club is small. In order to get your hands on some cash you may need to sell. Unless you provide instant silverware in your first couple of seasons. Once you provide the club with some trophy they will provide you with the cash to improve. Remember to always keep an eye on your transfer revenue percentage as well. That could be the difference maker in your next transfer target.
I mentioned earlier about managing some of the finest young talent’s, which is a great experience as a manager. However it does come with some down points. Your players will attract interest from all over the Premier League and Europe. From the start of the save and for years to come. Players such as Coleman, Baines, Stones, Besic, Barkley and Lukaku in my experience have received bids from the top English clubs, and club’s such as Real Madrid and Barcelona.
This could very well provide you with a lot of cash to spend, but it depends where you want to take your side and who you want to keep or sell. Ultimately it comes down to you and what you want from your side.
*Highlight the areas where the team needs improving, and is weakest in, suggesting a player or two who could fill the gap in the side.*