After yo-yoing their way up and down between the Premier League and League One, Norwich City are a prime candidate for a long FIFA 18 Career Mode.
You not only get a big club with a big history, but you also get to use Carrow Road as the stadium is on the FIFA database.
The Canaries are built for promotion and only need a few decent players to get them there.
Norwich are rated at a very decent three and a half stars meaning they are ranked in the top echelon of Championship clubs.
Overall, they are rated at 71, with their attack at 73, midfield at 71 and defence at 70.
The game sets Norwich up with a 4-2-3-1 formation, which makes sense as it allows you to include all the highest-rated players within the system.
You could opt for the unconventional 4-2-2-2 as it gives you the opportunity to play both James Maddison and Wes Hoolahan in their preferred CAM positions.
The issue with that formation is the lack of a striker, but Norwich direly need a goalscorer so that is something you should rectify in the transfer market – something we will look at later.
Angus Gunn, Manchester City loanee, lines up in goal and will only improve as the year goes on (POT 83), though it will be frustrating when he returns to his parent club at the end of the season
In defence, the team is reasonably well set with Timm Klose (84 strength) being at the heart. Next to him you should opt for Grant Hanley.
At full back Ivo Pinto (85 sprint speed) and Marco Stiepermann (82 stamina) should slot in nicely and provide decent width going forward because of their dynamism.
Alexander Tettey (83 aggression) and Harrison Reed are two solid midfield options that will offer good cover for your defence. James Maddison and Wes Hoolahan operate as the inverted wide players in the attacking midfield positions.
You have virtually no other striking options after starters Nelson Oliveira and Dennis Srbeny so you will need to invest your budget into that area.
On the bench go for Michael McGovern, Christoph Zimmermann, James Husband, Moritz Leitner, Tom Trybull, Marley Watkins and Onel Hernandez.
With Hoolahan and Maddison being key to your team you must make sure that you play to their strengths, therefore a passing game should be implemented.
James Maddison has the finesse shot, flair, long shot taker and finesse free kicks traits so he will be key to your hopes of getting promotion.
Hoolahan may be 35, but he still has plenty to offer. What he lacks in pace he makes up for in vision, creativity, and passing – the perfect player to find pockets of space between defence and midfield.
And if things aren’t working well, you can easily move Maddison to the wing and bring on Josh Murphy (87 sprint speed) who oozes pace in place of Hoolahan and play a 4-4-2.
Up front Oliveira is a solid option who is rated with a 73 overall and can do most things. He’s not outstanding at one particular thing but can be a target man, run in behind and score from range (72 long shots).
The other striking spot will need to be filled by someone who can run in from balls from Maddison and Hoolahan – the current striker Srbeny is rather slow and is more of a physical battering ram (78 strength).
Focus your attention on Jamal Lewis (potential 81), Harrison Reed (potential 77), Josh Murphy (potential 77) and James Maddison (potential 82).
The transfer market
Starting transfer budget: £13.5 million
Starting wage budget: £50,000 a week
Who should go?
One of the key issues with Norwich is the fact they signed so many players this past summer, meaning it’s difficult to get rid of some of the deadwood as they have just signed contracts.
Louis Thompson could be moved and you should get around £800,000 for him and free up £7,700 in wages.
Matt Jarvis is 31 and on £19,000 per week, you could nab £700,000 for him and free up some wages, and he is only rated at 68 so will not be a huge miss.
You may be tempted to sell James Maddison, but he is too important even if offers exceed £10 million which they could.
Norwich already have 11 players out on loan so loaning out more players could be too risky unless you sign well
That being said Simon Power, Savvas Mourgos and Liam McIntosh could all benefit from a season out on loan.
Who to sign/recall from loans
Transfer budget after suggested sales: £15 million
Wage budget after suggested sales: £76,700 a week
You desperately need at least two strikers so they should be at the top of your agenda. The rest of the squad is serviceable though you may want to stamp your own authority on certain areas of the side.
There is also the option to recall players. Steven Naismith is a 71 rated CAM who can play virtually anywhere in the final third, he may be a good cheap option to bring back, though he is on £22,000 a week.
Kenny McLean also falls into this bracket, he can play anywhere in central midfield and is 71 rated, he has a high value of £2.1 million so you could recall him just to sell him on.
Defender Marcel Franke is just 24 and rated at 70 overall, he is currently out on loan but may be worth recalling to add depth to your defence.
Finally, Russell Martin can play CB and RB which is ideal since there is no cover in that position. So recalling him could be useful as he could fill a hole in the squad.
If you recalled some of these players they would seriously impact on your wage budget. While it is worth considering, we will continue as though you have decided not to bring them back.
Two strikers are at a minimum because Norwich lack a true goalscorer. If you play one up front, you could get away with just one signing, but if you plan on playing with a couple of strikers, you will need two new players.
Ben Brereton is a perfect candidate as he is young and has bundles of potential. He currently has a 68 rating but can grow up to 84 – perfect for a long career mode. His acceleration of 88 and sprint speed of 85 makes him a tantalising prospect. Usually a bid of around £1.9 million is enough to secure him, while he only expects £10,500 in wages a week on a four-year deal.
If Brereton is not your cup of tea, then maybe loaning a player like Dominic Solanke is. He boasts decent stats in every department, with ball control (76) and acceleration (76) leading the way. A 50-50 wage agreement can be made with Liverpool to take him for the season – meaning he will cost you just £19,000 per week in wages.
Other affordable options are to loan Landry Dimata from Wolfsburg or signing Kemar Roofe from Leeds for around £3 million.
- Jann-Fiete Arp, age 17, Hamburg, OVR 64, POT 85, £2.4 million (release clause), wage £5,000
- Leo Jaba, age 17. Akhmat Grozny, OVR 69, POT 84, £4.3 million (release clause), wage £11,000
- Patrick Cutrone, age 20, AC Milan, OVR 69, POT 84, £4.6 million (release clause), wage £25,000
You may opt to play with wingers rather than two CAMs as we advised. If so, you will most certainly need at least one wide player.
Joel Asoro of Sunderland is a cheap option, he can play on either flank and up front and is available for around £1 million and just £2,000 per week in wages, the 80 potential makes him worth the risk.
His best attributes are his physical ones with acceleration on 90 and sprint speed of 87. He also has the speed dribbler trait.
Another option is Andre Green who you can prise away from Aston Villa for between £1-1.5 million – he does not command a high wage either, earning just £12,000 a week. His 68 rating makes him good now, but his potential of 84 makes him a tantalising prospect.
He is not as quick as Asoro, acceleration 80 and sprint speed 83 but he does boast strong dribbling, 72.
- Jadon Sancho, age 17, Borrusia Dortmund, OVR 63, POT 86, £1.9 million (release clause), wage £5,000
- Ben Woodburn, age 17, Liverpool, OVR 65, POT 85, £2.7 million (release clause), wage £13,000
- Cristo Gonzalez, age 20, Real Madrid, OVR 66, POT 84, £3.2 million (release clause), wage: £15,000
The Norwich defence is okay and we would recommend that you do not spend your precious budget on defenders. But there are a few good loan options like Rob Holding (OVR 72) at Arsenal, Declan Rice (OVR 60) at West Ham or Joe Gomez (OVR 70) at Liverpool.
Any of these three would give you much greater depth.
There are no major contract worries beyond Wes Hoolahan, though you may let him go anyway because he is in his mid-thirties and is likely to only get worse, certainly if you are playing Premier League football next season.
The only critical objective relates to your domestic success where you are expected to gain automatic promotion, reach the last 32 of the FA Cup and the long-term goal is to win the EFL title within two seasons (weird as they expect promotion this season).
Finances are of high priority and the board expects you to have £6,160,000 unspent in your transfer budget, while I would recommend adhering to this – you may be tempted to spend your budget and hope that promotion will keep you in the job.
Brand exposure is medium and they expect you to sell out Carrow Road at least 50% of the time – this should be easy provided you are in the promotion hunt.
Youth development has a low priority and the board would like you to sign one academy defender and sign one youth player to the senior squad and play them in five matches.
There are no continental objectives.
Promotion is vital
Promotion is season one is key for Norwich as it will be difficult to keep a hold of James Maddison if you are a Championship club. The other issue is the fact that the critical objective is to gain automatic promotion, the board may let you off with a playoff spot but it could be the end of your term as manager if you fail to go up in season one.
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