The Arsene Wenger era is over, which brought both good news and bad news to the Emirates Stadium. As you embark on your FIFA 19 Career Mode journey with Arsenal, you step into the shoes of Unai Emery, who has managed to return the feel-good factor to North London, but can you do the same?
A club with great history, but towards the end of Wenger’s reign things weren’t clicking for the Gunners, finishing outside of the top four two seasons in a row. The club have the capacity to be title challengers, and if it had been any other season, they would be at the moment after going on a 22-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Now it’s your turn, just how far can you take Arsenal on Career Mode? RealSport is here to give you a helping hand as you set up your game on FIFA 19.
It’s a four and a half star rating for Arsenal, with a quality 84 attack, 84 midfield and 80 defence.
Although they have used a five at the back system this season, Arsenal’s default formation on FIFA 19 is a 4-2-3-1 Wide. You should stick with this, but other options you may wish to try are the 4-3-3 Attack, 4-2-2-2, 4-4-2 and a 4-1-2-1-2.
The difficulty that you face, as has Emery this season, is getting both strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (OVR 88) and Alexandre Lacazette (OVR 85) as well as attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil (OVR 86) on the pitch. Play around with the systems to see which gets the best out of all three players.
In a 4-2-3-1, you should have Bernd Leno in goal with a back four of the pacey Hector Bellerin (94 acceleration), Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and Nacho Monreal.
New signing Lucas Torreira partners Granit Xhaka in midfield, whilst Henrikh Mkhitaryan, playmaker Mesut Ozil (91 vision) and the lightning Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (95 sprint speed) play behind marksman Alexandre Lacazette (88 finishing).
On the bench, go for Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Sead Kolasinac, Mohamed Elneny, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck.
Tactics and instructions
Arsenal have moved away from their sole-possession based play in recent years, and are now able to adapt to the opponent they play against. So, for your offensive tactics you can use either possession or fast build-up depending on the opponent.
Defensively, you should stick with press after possession loss, but with Mesut Ozil in the side it won’t be as effective.
If you are chasing the game, use the energy of Aaron Ramsey (high/high work rate), Alex Iwobi (84 dribbling) and Danny Welbeck (83 sprint speed) to give your side the edge.
As for instructions, this is where you can really customise the system. Your first order of business should be Aubameyang, as you will want the former Dortmund man as high up the pitch as possible, linking up with striker Lacazette. His defensive support should be 'stay forward', and change support runs to 'get in behind' to utilise his speed. Also, support on crosses should now be 'get into box for crosses'.
For Ozil, to give him the most influence he should be on 'free roam' for positioning freedom.
To balance this out, at least one of your defensive midfielder should 'stay back while attacking' on attacking support to ensure you have cover on the counter attack.
New to FIFA 19 is the ability to customise the formation, tactics and roles for each attacking/defensive mentality. This can be vital if looking for a goal to looking to protect a narrow lead.
Your focus in the training should be on high growth players which are indicated by the green symbol when you open up training on Career Mode. For Arsenal there are many first team players that can still grow plenty, including Lucas Torreira, Hector Bellerin, Alex Iwobi, Rob Holding and Matteo Guendouzi.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £111 million
Starting wage budget: £215,000 a week
Who should go
Given that Arsenal are a side chasing Champions League football with a view to be title contenders in a few years’ time, you need to get rid of the players that don’t fit that mould. Carl Jenkinson has been knocking around the squad for a few years, and with a 69 overall and 71 potential, it’s time for the 26-year-old to be shown the door. The former England international should fetch you £1 million, recouping his £30,000 wages.
Fringe players Jordi Osei-Tutu, Cohen Bramall and Gedion Zelalem can also go, with the youngsters worth a combined £1.3 million, and with total wages of £58,000 a week.
It’s a big squad at Arsenal, but with Europa League action to contend with, you cannot afford to send too many players out on loan. Konstantinos Mavropanos is the fifth-choice centre back so he can be loaned out for the season, as well as Zech Medley and Joe Willock.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £113 million
New wage budget: £273,000 a week
High class left back
Nacho Monreal has been a reliable servant for Arsenal, and Sead Kolasinac has shown promise, but neither can become a top class left back. The position is the weakest in the starting line-up, so you should spend most of your budget on finding a new starter.
Your premier choice should be Porto’s Alex Telles. Playing in a lesser division in Portugal, there should be appeal for the Brazilian to come to the Premier League, and he certainly has the class with an 84 overall and 87 potential. The 25-year-old’s stats of 92 stamina, 89 crossing and 87 curve will set you back around £38 million with his current wages only £19,000 a week.
- Alex Sandro – Juventus, Age 27, OVR 86, POT 86, Cost: £41 million, Wage: £141,000
- Lucas Hernandez – Atletico Madrid, Age 22, OVR 82, POT 88, Cost: £30 million, Wage: £46,000
- Grimaldo – Benfica, Age 22, OVR 81, POT 87, Cost: £26 million, Wage: £12,000
- Raphael Guerreiro – Borussia Dortmund Age 24, OVR 81, POT 86, Cost: £27 million, Wage: £48,000
- David Alaba – Bayern Munich, Age 26, OVR 85, POT 87, Cost: £40 million, Wage: £97,000
Experienced defensive midfielder
Lucas Torreira has been an exceptional signing for Arsenal, and he perhaps deserves more than his 82 overall. He needs help in the engine room however, with only one other feasible first team regular in Granit Xhaka. With Torreira, Xhaka and youngster Mateo Guendouzi able to grow to strong potentials, you only need someone in the role for a couple of seasons.
Blaise Matuidi would be a great acquisition, and with plenty of midfield options at Juventus, he shouldn’t be difficult to get hold of. The French World Cup winner has an 85 overall on the game, with the 31-year-old having attributes of 94 stamina, 86 aggression, 86 sliding tackle. The defensive or central midfielder will cost £30 million with a wage of £128,000 a week.
- Sami Khedira – Juventus, Age 31, OVR 85, POT 85, Cost: £35 million, Wage: £141,000
- Asier Illarramendi – Real Sociedad, Age 28, OVR 84, POT 84, Cost: £32 million, Wage: £45,000
- Joshua Kimmich – Bayern Munich, Age 23, OVR 85, POT 88, Cost: £45 million, Wage: £81,000
- Miralem Pjanic – Juventus, Age 28, OVR 86, POT 86, Cost: £43 million, Wage: £158,000
- Thiago – Bayern Munich, Age 27, OVR 86, POT 86, Cost: £51 million, Wage: £114,000
11 Arsenal players have contracts running out at the end of the season, with the big name on that list being Aaron Ramsey. It’s been well documented that the Welshman is leaving the Emirates at the end of the season, but for squad depth and rotation it is vital that you keep hold of him. The same can be said for Danny Welbeck.
Youngsters Emile Smith Rowe and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have very bright futures, so tie them to long-term deals. Try to give Petr Cech just a one-year contact to buy some time before finding another backup goalkeeper. Pleguezuelo and Zech Medley show just about enough promise to keep them at the club for a few more seasons.
Nacho Monreal is likely to be replaced by a new left back, so you could choose to sell him or just let his contract run down. Stephan Lichtsteiner may have only just joined the Gunners, but at the age of 34, his 79 overall will drop quickly, so you can let him leave for free at the end of the season.
As for Cohen Bramall and Gedion Zelalem, you should be selling the pair so no need to offer them new deals.
The managerial objectives at Arsenal are tough, and you will have your work cut out if you want to achieve all of them in your first season.
Brand exposure has critical importance, and for this you will need to earn £132 million through shirt sales over the season. If you are scoring plenty, especially with big name players like Aubameyang and Lacazette, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Domestic success has a high importance, and as expected, you will need to finish in the top four and pinch a Champions League place. Also, you will be asked to reach the FA Cup final, a tough task given you have European football to deal with.
Speaking of Europe, continental success also has high importance, in which you will need to go all the way in the Europa League and win the competition.
Financial has a low importance, and here you will need to increase the club worth by 15% over two seasons. Maintain a profit each year and pick up some silverware and you will be golden in this department.
Lastly, for youth development you will need to sign one youth player to the senior team and play them five times and sign a midfielder to the youth academy. With four competitions to deal with this season, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Return to title challengers
It’s a difficult set of objectives, and if you are playing on a reasonable difficulty, you will find it very tricky to achieve them all. Finishing inside the top four has to be the priority, but if you, like Arsenal have this year, start the campaign well, you can then target the other competitions.
Whether they have the squad depth to go deep into the cup competitions, is up for debate, so it is vital that you sign well to give yourself a chance. The starting lineup is strong, and you should set yourself the target of going for the title in your third season. Any earlier, and you may want to turn the difficulty up, even with five other sides in the Premier League title frame.
Full Arsenal player ratings
|Petr Cech||36||GK||Czech Rep.||82||82||£3m||£53k|
|Hector Bellerin||23||RB RWB||Spain||80||85||£15m||£75k|
|Nacho Monreal||30||LB CB||Spain||80||80||£7m||£87k|
|Sead Kolasinac||25||LB LWB||Bosnia||79||82||£11m||£78k|
|Mesut Ozil||29||CAM RM RW||Germany||86||86||£38m||£167k|
|Henrikh Mkhitaryan||29||RM CAM RW||Armenia||83||83||£22m||£128k|
|Lucas Torreira||22||CDM CM||Uruguay||82||87||£22m||£87k|
|Aaron Ramsey||27||CM CDM CAM||Wales||82||83||£22m||£114k|
|Granit Xhaka||25||CM CDM||Switz.||81||84||£19m||£101k|
|Alex Iwobi||22||LM RM CAM||Nigeria||78||84||£12m||£71k|
|Mohamed Elneny||25||CDM CM||Egypt||77||79||£8m||£67k|
|Mateo Guendouzi||19||CDM CM||France||71||84||£4m||£18k|
|Ainsley Maitland-Niles||20||CM RM LB||England||71||84||£4m||£33k|
|Gedion Zelalem||21||CM CAM CDM||USA||65||75||£0.8m||£13k|
|Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||29||ST LM||Gabon||88||88||£52m||£233k|
|Danny Welbeck||27||LW ST LM||England||77||77||£8m||£83k|
|Emile Smith Rowe||17||LW RW CAM||England||64||85||£1m||£9k|