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Man Utd guide for FM15

An in-depth guide to becoming an all-time great like Sir Alex Ferguson when managing Man Utd in Football Manager 2015.

By on Dec 24, 2014   31801 views   2 comments
Where to begin with the current affairs with Man Utd? After one of the worst seasons on record and firing the 'chosen one' after just 11 months in charge turned the greatest club in the World into the laughing stock of the League.

And with 'noisy neighbours' Manchester City winning yet another Barclays Premier League title, the misery keeps on piling on the Man Utd fans.

But with lots of money invested into rebuilding the team and star players such as Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao deciding the join the ranks at United, times are beginning to turn back to normal, and hopefully with this guide you will be able to bring back to old times at this prestigious club.

Key Information about Man Utd

Founded: 1878, formally known as Neaton Heath FC.
Ground: Old Trafford
Capacity: 75,731
Chairmen: The Glazer Family.
Manager: Louis van Gaal.
Captain: Wayne Rooney.
League: Barclays Premier League.

Finances and Budget

Despite the summer spending of around 150 million pounds, Man Utd start off with a very nice 60 million pound budget, with 400 thousand pounds to spend on wages, making for a healthy budget to delve into the transfer market to strengthen areas of the squad.

However, you can increase the starting budget by increasing your expectations as the club's minimum expectation is for you to qualify for Champions League football next season. If you believe you can mount a title challenge, you can increase your budgets up to 68 million, and if you are feeling very ambitious, you can choose to win the league which will give you a 76 million pound budget which could really add to your squad.


As I stated above, the minimum expectation is for you to qualify for the Champions League which is doable with the current squad United have. It may be worth increasing your expectation to either 'Title Challenge' or 'Winner' as you will get a 8 million increase on your starting budget, which could help you secure some of the top signatures in World football.

The club will not judge you on winning either the FA or Capital One Cup, but it shouldn't be forgotten as it's always nice to win trophies!

Favourite Tactics

Being a Man Utd fan myself, I have used various tactics within my save and discovered which ones work the best and which ones don't, these are three of my most favourite tactics to use when managing The Red Devils;


This is my most successful tactic managing Man Utd as it gives you lots of fire power going forward but a defensive midfielder who sits in-front of the defence and gets forward when he needs to. Due to United's squad depth, it is very easy to rotate using this formation as many players can fill all the positions.

The defence works well using this tactic however due to the quality of United's defenders, it may be worth investing some money in a more proven centre half as the only defender who does well every game is Phil Jones.
The full-backs play a key part in this tactic as they are allowed the freedom to run up the pitch and combine with the wingers, making wide play the most effective area of this tactic. Luckily Man Utd have some good full-backs who are capable of doing this role well.

The front four are vital in this formation as you have two wider players to combine with the full-backs and an attacking midfielder who plays just behind your advanced forward making this tactic very deadly going forward. Overall it is by far my most preferred tactic which has seen me win many games against the biggest of teams.

Starting XI: De Gea; Rafael Jones Rojo Shaw; Blind Herrera; Di Maria Mata Valencia; Falcao.


This tactic again works well in many cases and is the preferred tactic of current manager Louis van Gaal. It consists of a back three with two wing-backs who do their best to push up forward with every attack. It also includes a midfield three, with one sitting in-front of the defence, one being box-to-box and the other playing just behind the front two. It is a great tactic going forward but I've had a few problems now and again with the defence.

I usually struggle with my wide areas when using this tactic due to playing wing-backs, making most of the goals I concede be from counter attacks down the wide areas. It also doesn't help having centre backs who aren't very established, making them prone to mistakes by having no wide cover. If you decide to deploy this formation, you should bring in a few more centre halves as you'll be playing with an extra one than usual.

Starting XI: De Gea; Jones Smalling Rojo; Rafael Carrick Mata Fellaini Shaw; Rooney Falcao.


And my final tactic is a 4-1-2-1-2 with one defensive midfielder and two central midfielders. This tactic has brought me some success, but due to having just my full-backs providing the width, it becomes a struggle to break through narrow defences, furthermore our flanks get exposed quite frequently. The positives of this formation are simple, the creativity within the team is superb as we create many chances over the course of the game.

Another good point of using this tactic is the ability to field two strikers as they are able to really get at the oppositions defence and work as a duo. Also your attacking midfielder has another option to pick out playing with two strikers which ultimately will get you a lot of goals over the course of the season. Overall, it is a very good tactic to play against teams that you can dominate in midfield but I would not use this against wider teams.

Starting XI: De Gea; Rafael Jones Rojo Shaw; Blind; Di Maria Herrera; Mata; Rooney Falcao.

Starting XI Positional Analysis

Man Utd have brought in a lot of new players and offloaded some of the dead wood, making their squad much stronger than last season. You will notice the good amount of depth in each position but there is obviously a few positions that could use a few new faces, let's take a look at each position in more detail.

Your obvious starting goalkeeper is David De Gea, who won Man Utd's Player of the Season award. He is rapidly improving and has become one of the best in the World. He is also relatively young for a goalkeeper meaning he has lots of potential. He is good at all the roles of being a goalkeeper but his main strength is his shot stopping and one-on-one abilities. You have Ander Lindegaard as your main back-up keeper but it's worth keeping an eye on young Sam Johnstone as he's one for the future.

Right Backs
Again like De Gea, Rafael is probably your best choice at right back. The Brazilian has been a United for a few seasons and possesses all the traits of a successful full-back. He has wicked pace to get up the right side and has a good eye for a cross. His defending may need some brushing over but he should be your starting right back for sure. Antonio Valencia can also play as a right back so do not hesitate to play him if Rafael is injured. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling can also do a job there but I would only play them as a right back if you are down to your bare bones.

Centre Backs
Quite possibly United's weakest position as both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic both left the club last summer. For me, your starting centre backs should be Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo as they have lots of good traits for a centre half. Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans are also both good centre backs but they are more prone to errors making them rotational players in my opinion. Michael Carrick can also play as a good centre half if again you are struck with injuries. Paddy McNair is a promising centre half, so maybe give him a few games unless your plan is to loan him out. Tyler Blackett is also another promising talent but like Smalling and Evans he is prone to mistakes.

Left Backs
You are in a similar situation at left back as you are in right back as Luke Shaw is probably your starting left back. He may have cost a lot of money for such a young player but he has amazing talent and bags of potential which you should look take advantage of. Marcos Rojo is also an accomplished left back, playing there for most of the 2014 World Cup so don't be afraid to start him there if Luke Shaw is out. Daley Blind is another good shout as like Rojo, he played as a left wing-back in the 2014 World Cup for The Netherlands. Ashley Young could potentially play here too but I would only do this if you're stripped for left backs.

Defensive Midfielders
I like using defensive midfielders as they shield the defence well. If you decide to deploy one, I would consider playing Daley Blind as that is one of his best positions. The Dutchman has some very good defensive stats making him the ideal defensive midfielder as he can tackle, pass and intercept. Michael Carrick can also succeed here as he is a very calm and composed figure on the ball who can take the sting out of attacks from the opposition. Fellaini is another option here but he is not the best with possession and you could see him giving the ball away frequently which is never good in your final third.

Central Midfielders
A very strong position in your squad now, which is a big contrast to last season. With Ander Herrera coming into the midfield, he brings creativity and vision which United lacked last season. Herrera in my opinion should be one of your starting centre midfielders, partnered with either Carrick, Fellaini or Blind depending on what tactic you decide to use. I like playing Herrera and Blind as one of them can advance up the pitch and make that final pass whereas the other can sit back and make sure there is no danger coming into the final third. Di Maria is capable of playing as a centre midfielder but I prefer playing him further up the pitch. Darren Fletcher and Anderson should be shipped out to free up some wage budget as they will hardly play any games in your team due to the quality in midfield.

Right Midfielders / Wingers
Another strong area in your team as you have various options who can play here. For me, I prefer playing Antonio Valencia as my AMR as he has some really good traits for a winger, with lighting pace and trickery down the right side, he can cause many problems for your oppositions defence. Valencia can also track back well making him the most all rounded winger you have in your team. You can also play Adnan Januzaj on the right as he can cut inside and cause problems for the keeper on his left foot, however don't expect him to be as solid as Valencia when doing the defensive work. Di Maria and Mata can also play here and are effective but I believe your best pick is Valencia mainly because of how well rounded his traits and abilities are.

Attacking Midfielders
By far United's strongest position mainly due to the amount of options that can play here. For me, Juan Mata is the best player for this position as he is well established and has some world class traits for an attacking midfielder. He can pass the ball very well, possesses great vision and can get a few goals with his accurate shooting, what more could you ask for from your attacking midfielder? Wayne Rooney is another good option for this position as he has some exceptional passing abilities, but can also shoot from almost anywhere and test the goalkeeper. Di Maria, Januzaj and Herrera can also play here but I think they are better elsewhere unless you are stripped of both Mata and Rooney.

Left Midfielders / Wingers
Just like the right side of the wings, United's left side is very strong with new signing Angel Di Maria being your best player for this position as he has world class technique and ability to cause any defence major headaches when he is running at them. He can pass, dribble and shoot making him one of the deadliest wingers on the game and you should only drop him if he is in dire need of a rest! Mata can also do a good job here as I've discovered that he can get lots of goals playing as an AML. Januzaj again can do a good job here, but also look out for Jesse Lingard as the young English man has a deadly shot and exceptional pace making him a very promising AML if you decide to give him some game time.

As Man Utd manager you are blessed with three of the world's best forwards, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao. You could start any of these three and be guaranteed lots of goals! Personally, I love playing Falcao as a lone striker as he's managed to score over 40 league goals for me in my first season in charge, making him such a deadly forward meaning he was unplayable, forcing both van Persie and Rooney out of the team. Young James Wilson is a huge talent too with the English forward possessing some amazing pace and finishing techniques that he could push into the starting eleven! You will be getting lots of goals from your strikers as they are all great forwards with amazing ability.


United's biggest weakness by far is in the centre back position as they lack any experience or leaders after both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic left the club last summer. I would definitely recommended strengthening this position with a couple of new centre backs who are both well established and experienced. You could try and pursue Mats Hummels but he will likely turn you do as his ambition is to play for Barcelona. I would take a look at Inigo Martinez as even though he is a young centre back he performs very well, winning young player of the season for me in my first season.

Youth Academy

Do I even need to justify how good United's youth academy is? The Class of 92 showed the whole world that. There are many bright and promising talents in the youth academy, with James Wilson, Jesse Lingard and Ben Pearson being some of the best the academy has to offer. I would take a handful of them and play them in cup games throughout the season, but apart from that, I would probably loan them out as your team is just too strong to be starting younger players, but don't be afraid to give the odd couple a run out now and again.


To summarise this guide, Man Utd are a great team to play as on FM15 as you have the big challenge of guiding the club back up into the top four of the Premier League and by spending lots of money trying to do this, it adds even more pressure to make sure you achieve the boards goals within the first season.

You have lots of money to build an even stronger team and with the attacking players on show you will be very entertained by the amount of goals you will score throughout your seasons in-charge at the club. I wish you all the very best if you decide to start your journey at Man Utd!

Josh_MU's avatar
About Josh_MU

An avid Manchester United fan who loves watching and playing the beautiful game. I'm also a budding journalist and graphic designer which I hope one day will be what I do for a living.

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Discussion: Man Utd guide for FM15

2 comments have been posted so far.

  • joncs23's avatar
    My formations is 4-2-3-1 and after first transfer window in save my first team in save is De Gea, Mayke, Jones, Rojo, Herrera, Ward Prowse, Depay, Mata, Di Maria, Falcao
  • Kane cullen's avatar
    Which would be better, using a strikerless formation and rooney shadow striker and rvp false 9 or rooney enganche and rvp shadow striker?
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