West Ham, a club with great history and they now have the stadium and finances to get towards the European places. The Hammers moved to the London Stadium last season, and adjusting to their new surroundings after the intimacy of Upton Park has been difficult, finding themselves in a relegation battle since making the move. Before David Moyes arrived at the club, it looked as if they could slip out of the Premier League, but the Scotsman has turned a corner, and now a top half finish is firmly within their grasp.
With no stadium adjustment issues, can you build on this talented squad on FIFA 18’s Career Mode? If you're looking for a challenge with a prestigious club, West Ham could be the answer, with the potential to qualify for Europe within the first season.
West Ham receive a four star rating on FIFA 18, which reflects their 78 overall. This consists of an 80 attack, 78 midfield and 75 defence.
West Ham have experimented with their formation this season, so there are many options you can go for. We’ve opted for a 4-3-3 attack, but a 4-4-2, midfield diamond or a five at the back system are viable alternatives.
Adrian pips Joe Hart in goal, with Pablo Zabaleta, Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna and Patrice Evra providing a solid back four.
Joao Mario and Pedro Obiang are just behind Manuel Lanzini in the midfield trio, as Michail Antonio and Marko Arnautovic provide the width. Former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez leads the line.
On the bench, you should go with Joe Hart, Jose Fonte, Sam Byram, Arthur Masuaku, Cedric Kouyate, Mark Noble and Andy Carroll.
The starting lineup is well balanced at West Ham, but with limited options on the bench you will need to get your tactics spot on. In Joao Mario (84 dribbling) and Manuel Lanzini (88 agility) you have two midfielders who can run with the ball, and you should look to beat defenders with the pair to free up space for your attackers.
Marko Arnautovic (84 strength) and Michail Antonio (87 sprint speed) aren’t conventional wide players, and you should look to come inside and drive into the box and link up with striker Javier Hernandez (85 finishing).
If you need a goal late on, the aerial threat of Andy Carroll (90 heading accuracy) will come in serious use off the bench, so make sure you cross balls in to the six foot four striker.
Training gives you the opportunity to improve your players away from matches. For those who aren’t playing every week, it can allow you to top up their skills, but to make the most of your time you should look to use the high growth players. At West Ham, this includes Jordan Hugill, Pedro Obiang, Manuel Lanzini, Arthur Masuaku and Sam Byram.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £56 million
Starting wage budget: £204,000 a week
Who should go
With West Ham now looking to establish themselves as a top half Premier League club, you need to be skimming off the players who aren’t of that standard. Youngsters Grady Diangana, Jamal Hector-Ingram, Dan Kemp and Alex Pike can all be offloaded, and you should look to sell the quartet for a combined £550,000, saving £23,000 a week on wages.
West Ham have produced some of the finest players in the world over their history, including Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard. In order to help your current youngsters grow, you may need to send them out on loan.
Domingos Quina can grow to a potential of 80 so look to send the 17-year-old away from the club for a couple of seasons. As for Nathan Holland, Marcus Browne and Nathan Trott, with all holding potentials less than 77, a loan spell will determine whether you should keep them at West Ham.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £56 million
New wage budget: £227,000 a week
As things stand, you only have three realistic options to play out wide, and they are all in the starting lineup. You should look to bring in two more wingers to add more depth to the squad, and with over £55 million in the bank this should be no problem.
Mohamed Elyounoussi should be top of your shopping list, with the 22-year-old holding a 78 overall rating and potential of 84. The Norwegian international can operate as a left, attacking or right midfielder, and it will cost £20.9 million and wages of £32,000 a week to dislodge him from Basel. Elyounoussi offers attributes of 86 acceleration, 86 agility and 83 balance.
Next up, you should look at Leonardo Bittencourt. The 23-year-old German can play on the left or right of midfield and is rated at 78. His potential of 82 will see his stats of 92 agility, 89 acceleration and 89 balance improve, and the Koln man will cost £21.1 million and wages of £29,000 a week.
- Diego Laxalt – Genoa, Age 24, OVR 78, POT 81, Cost: £20.3 million, Wage: £27,000
- Filip Kostic – Hamburg, Age 24, OVR 78, POT 81, Cost: £20.3 million, Wage: £29,000
- Salomon Kalou – Hertha Berlin, Age 31, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £19.4 million, Wage: £33,000
- Ibrahima Traore – ‘Gladbach, Age 29, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £21.7 million, Wage: £42,000
- Yevhen Konoplyanka – Schalke, Age 27, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £23.2 million, Wage: £46,000
Five players have contracts running out at the end of the season, but there are some tough decisions to decide on their future. Cedric Kouyate is 27, but he has harshly been given no room for growth, and with an overall rating of 76 you could choose to let him go and bring in a more established replacement.
As for James Collins and Patrice Evra, they are coming towards the end of their careers, and with plenty of defensive options at West Ham, you should probably let their contracts expire.
Grady Diangana and Alex Pike are players you should be looking to offload in the transfer window, so there is no need to give them fresh contracts.
Your domestic success objective has a high importance, and you will need to finish in a Euro League spot and reach the FA Cup round of 16. Finishing in the top five will be tough ask, but if one of the big clubs wins a cup competition, this will open the door for European football for sixth place in the league, and that should be your target for this season.
For brand exposure, you will be asked to sign a crucial forward and gain £31 million from shirt sales over the season. Signing an attacker may cause you to change your transfer plans and may even require you to adjust your formation. However, if you do sign a big money forward (Sebastian Giovinco – OVR 83 – £33 million), this should help you in the shirt sales department, especially if you score plenty with them.
Unsurprisingly, your continental success goal is to qualify for the Euro League. For youth development you must sign a youth player to the first team and play them in five matches, and grow a youth player by five overall points and play them in five matches. If you send your youth scouts out straight away and use your youth players in training, you should be able to achieve both tasks with just one player.
Lastly, your financial goal requires you to increase the worth of the club by 20%. This can be done by maintaining a profit, securing European football and lifting silverware.
Raise the profile
West Ham are amongst the most respected clubs in England, but they need to turn this into footballing pedigree. There is no reason why the Hammers cannot get into Europe, but overcoming the top six of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal will be a tough ask. Your objectives allow you to prioritise the league, and by the time the FA Cup kicks off in January you should be firmly in with a shout of Euro League qualification.
Full West Ham player ratings
|Joe Hart||30||GK||England||79||79||On Loan||£85k|
|Winston Reid||28||CB||New Zealand||79||80||£19m||£92k|
|Pablo Zabaleta||32||RB RWB||Argentina||78||78||£7m||£73k|
|Arthur Masuaku||23||LWB LB LM||DR Congo||76||82||£16m||£62k|
|Aaron Cresswell||27||LB CB LWB||England||75||75||£5m||£61k|
|Declan Rice||18||CB CDM||Ireland||63||80||£1.5m||£6k|
|Alex Pike||20||RB CB||England||55||67||£100k||£7k|
|Manuel Lanzini||24||CAM CM LM||Argentina||81||86||£41.7m||£83k|
|Joao Mario||24||CM CAM||Portugal||81||84||On Loan||£57k|
|Marko Arnautovic||28||LM ST RM||Austria||81||81||£30.1m||£101k|
|Pedro Obiang||28||CDM CM||Spain||77||81||£15m||£69k|
|Cedric Kouyate||27||CDM CM CB||Senegal||76||76||£6.5m||£73k|
|Edimilson Fernandes||21||CM CAM RWB||Switzerland||69||79||£2.5m||£31k|
|Sead Haksabanovic||18||LM CAM||Montenegro||66||80||£1.8m||£11k|
|Nathan Holland||19||LM RM||England||60||76||£300k||£5k|
|Domingos Quina||17||CM CAM||Portugal||59||80||£829k||£5k|
|Michail Antonio||27||ST RM||England||79||80||£25m||£106k|
V = Value
W = Wage
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