Top Gun – Still England Manager but…..


Welcome to London Colney! That is right I sit here today to announce that I have been given the opportunity to take over from Arsene Wenger, by becoming the new manager of Arsenal Football Club.

The opportunity came about after Arsene stepped down from the role on the 24th of July. I had been looking out for “English” opportunities since the closing ceremony of the World Cup. I had anticipated that I would be looking at opportunities in the Championship or the lower end of the Premiership. But this one came about, I applied, got an interview, nailed the interview and Booooooooooooooooooooom!!!! I’m here!


I have been set the task to continue where Mr Wenger left off, “to keep Arsenal Football club at third or fourth in the league, have a half decent team, play pretty football but never win much more than a domestic cup once in a blue moon” I here you say! Not quite that, to remain loyal to the club, build on the youth development and play attractive football. (So not far off from what you thought!)

I have set myself a task though! To install my 343 (Libero) formation/tactic and to focus this on the youth players in return to improve England. I want to unearth and develop the next big Libero, I also want to develop an English Libero if that is possible.

The Ins

One of my first tasks has been to highlight three players I want bring in and also get rid of a number of players that play in the same positions that could help free up wages and transfer budget.

I quickly look to bring in an English goalkeeper to act as a solid back up to the ever dependable Petr Cech. Jack Butland. Yes he who missed out on being at the World Cup! Jack is on the transfer list at £17m. I will bring him in, in the hope that he can look to either push Cech and improve performances or to oust Cech and be a solid number one. If he can do the latter there will be the high chance that he can push on for England.

The second player I look to bring in is Jamaal Lascelles. Newcastle United accept a £25m bid. The value of Jamaal has escalated after impressing in the two games he played in during the World Cup finals. The powerhouse will bring about some much needed pace to the defence and in time could be a very influential player in the dressing room with his strong leadership qualities. (Which we all know is lacking at Arsenal).

The third player I look to bring in is Terrance Trent Darby (TAA). This lad was unsettled at Liverpool due to the Reds bringing in two other right full backs. I ceased the moment to get Arnold to Arsenal as I see him as being the first Libero to be moulded. Arnold has all of the right attributes but will have to learn the position and learn PPM’s to master the position. At 19 he has time on his side and could potentially be the “one” for England too. I bought him for £19m rising to £40m.


Who has been axed?

Well six players have been axed in the short time I have been at the club.

Lucas, the Spanish forward has gone to Villareal for a deal that could top £29m if he scores plenty of goals and plays enough games for the yellow submarine.

Takuma Asano, the Japanese forward has gone to Hoffenheim for a straight £8m.

Danny Welbeck, can hopefully revive his career by playing as the main man at a club. Brighton bought him for £25m.

David Ospina, the Columbian goalkeeper has been sold to PSG for £8m

Mo Eleney, has gone to China for financial gain, we also profited by selling him for £45m. (I was never going to say no once they showed me the benjamins!)

And Henrikh Mkhitaryan has gone to Barcelona for £40m rising to £66m.

The latter was on £200k a week. I could not justify paying this when I do not really have a position or role for the player in my 343 system.

What is the system?

Nothing new! It is something I have been trying to implement from FM17. Only with tweaks for FM18. The tweaks so far have been to go with out the libero and use a Half back to assist defensively due to the games issues when playing with centre backs in a formation like this. (The centre backs at times are so far apart the opposition can drive a double decker bus through the middle, stop, let off a couple of grannies and still round the keeper to score!).


So what is next on the horizon?

Lets play the first game of the season. I’ll report it back and then see how we get on. I will probably look to highlight key games of the season and wrap the subsequent instalments up in half season chunks. I may also throw in some tactical musings and allow discussion to influence the tactics employed. Oh and I will also look to update the England international team’s progress. That or I may just blog every five minutes like the England stuff just to share my every thoughts to you.

Ta’ra for now!