Well, well, well. Manchester United, still the biggest club in English football, have had a torrid time of late. No league titles in five years is the club’s biggest drought since they won the first ever Premier League season in 1993, with the quality of football also declining since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
It’s not all doom and gloom, for the club have claimed an FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho. The quality of football has diminished however, and with Liverpool and Manchester City flying, things have to change.
The appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been a throwback to the Ferguson era, but now it’s your turn. Can you deliver for the Red Devils and take them back to the top of the Premier League on FIFA 19’s Career Mode?
The slight decline of Man United means they now have a four and a half star rating on FIFA 19. This is made up by an 83 attack, 82 midfield and 79 defence.
Picking the United formation is tough. They have a lot of quality in wide areas and attack, so you may want to start off with a simple 4-4-2. If you want more control of the ball, you can switch this to a 4-1-2-1-2 or 4-3-3, and if you really want to throw caution to the wind, you can chance it with an aggressive 4-2-4.
David De Gea (94 GK reflexes) is the best goalkeeper on the game, and he has a vulnerable back four of Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw ahead of him.
Nemanja Matic partners the superb Paul Pogba (90 ball control) in central midfield, with Juan Mata and the tricky Alexis Sanchez (90 agility) on the flanks. Anthony Martial plays off the powerful Romelu Lukaku (94 strength) in attack.
Sergio Romero, Victor Lindelof, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Fred, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are on the bench, with Marouane Fellaini an option if you want his aerial presence.
Tactics and instructions
A 4-4-2 formation means you are limited in what you can do tactically, but it should allow Man United to throw back to their glory days. Get the ball forward quickly, play it wide and swing balls into the box.
With Romelu Lukaku (90 sprint speed) in the middle, he can either run in behind or get on the end of crosses, making him the prime asset going forward. You then have the movement of Anthony Martial (89 sprint speed) and Alexis Sanchez (87 dribbling), as well as Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard off the bench, to stretch the defence and open up space for the other attackers.
The 4-4-2 may not suit Paul Pogba (90 long passing), but the Frenchman can still be utilised in this system. With Nemanja Matic sitting deep, the World Cup Winner can perform the box-to-box role. He has the ability to drive forward (87 dribbling), play in the attackers (88 vision) and can shoot from range (90 shot power).
You can play around with the instructions to make the players more effective. Firstly, Juan Mata may be playing out on the right-hand side, but he needs to be cutting inside to make the most of his delicate left foot. Have his chance creation altered to ‘cut inside’ and his support runs to ‘come short’.
Nemanja Matic provides the midfield backbone, and he needs to ‘stay back while attacking’ on attacking support to allow more freedom to Paul Pogba.
Lastly, Romelu Lukaku often gets for blamed for drifting too far from his strike role. With the movement around him he should be on ‘stay central’ on support runs to make sure he remains close to the goal.
Training allows you to improve your players outside of matchday. Use those with high growth to make the most of your sessions, with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof the men you want to use at United.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £167 million
Starting wage budget: £284,000 a week
Who should go
It’s no secret that Manchester United have many players on their books who don’t have the quality to play for the great club. Selling them off frees up space in your squad for youngsters and helps you boost both your transfer and wage budgets.
Phil Jones just isn’t good enough to play for Manchester United. The England international has been dropped and recalled countless times from the starting lineup, but with new signings on the horizon, he needs to go. The centre back should collect you £7.5 million and save a hefty £97,000 a week on wages.
It’s the same story for Marcos Rojo. He has looked tidy at times, but a 79 overall aged 28 leaves his space in the squad redundant. The Argentine can be sold for £7 million, freeing up £101,000 a week in your wage budget.
Now you don’t have to sell Marouane Fellaini as his height can make him destructive in a range of positions, but in terms of footballing ability, he just isn’t good enough. The Belgian should collect £6.5 million, give you an extra £97,000 a week for wages.
The first team names keep coming, with Matteo Darmian never doing enough to merit a regular place in the side. The Italian will only get you £3 million, but still frees up £77,000 a week in your wage budget.
Then we move on to the younger fringe players. Scott McTominay has shown promise during his time at United so far, but with so midfielders ahead of him, he won’t get the game time, and his 81 potential doesn’t make him anything special. Sell the Scotsman for £2.5 million and save £38,000 a week on wages.
Goalkeeper Joel Pereira and teenage pairing Callum Gribbin and Joshua Bohui can all go, and they should fetch close to a combined £2 million in the transfer market, making a £36,000 saving on wages a week.
It’s a big squad, so there are many contenders to be sent out on loan. Diogo Dalot has looked decent this season, but his 73 starting overall leaves him a bit short on FIFA 19. Perhaps send him out on a short loan so he can get closer to his 84 potential.
Tahith Chong is another contender for a short loan, with him possibly being required in the second half of the season. As for Angel Gomes, James Garner and Mason Greenwood, they can all be sent away for the season.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £196 million
New wage budget: £740,000 a week
Right back starter
Antonio Valencia is reliable enough at right back, but given his age and lack of quality back-up, this should be your first area of concern. A world class right back needs to come in to improve a leaky defence.
Really, there’s only one option. Joshua Kimmich has taken Europe by storm over the last four seasons and is only going to get better. On FIFA 19, the Bayern Munich man has an 85 overall which can improve to an 87 potential, with his best stats 94 stamina, 90 crossing and 86 short passing. The 23-year-old German won’t come cheap, with around £50 million needed to sign him, and his wages of £81,000 more than likely to rise.
|Dani Carvajal||26||Real Madrid||Spain||84||85||£37m||£163k|
Dominant centre half
Sticking with the defence, a top-quality centre half needs to come in to galvanise the back four. United have failed time-and-time again in the market to correct this, so you must get this right on Career Mode.
We’ve gone right to the top, and Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos should be your target. The 32-year-old has a 91 overall on the game, with attributes of 93 jumping, 92 standing tackle and 91 heading accuracy. You may need a bid of £65 million or more to land him, and crazy wages of £334,000 a week for the Spaniard.
|Diego Godin||32||Atletico Madrid||Uruguay||90||90||£50m||£110k|
|Mats Hummels||29||Bayern Munich||Germany||88||88||£55m||£141k|
|Raphael Varane||25||Real Madrid||France||86||91||£64m||£185k|
A whole host of names have contracts expiring at Old Trafford, with the recent poor football discouraging players from signing new deals. High on your priorities should be midfield technicians Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Andreas Pereira. Antonio Valencia would also be useful to keep around for another season or two.
Ashley Young could be kept on for one additional season, but the likes of Phil Jones and Matteo Darmian should be sold before their contracts expire.
Tahith Chong, with an 85 potential, must be locked to a new contract, but other youngsters Callum Gribbin and Joshua Bohui should be released if you fail to sell.
Give Manchester United’s stutter performances since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, their managerial objectives on Career Mode make a lot of sense. For domestic success, you must finish in the Premier League top four but also claim the FA Cup this season. Not only that, you must win the league title by the end of next season.
For continental success, a Champions League semi-final is the target, and if you have delivered on those first three goals, you can hold your head high at the end of the campaign.
The brand exposure goal of earning £176 million from shirt sales should take care of itself, but youth development is slightly more tricky. You must sign a youth player to the first team and play them in five matches over the season (use the Carabao Cup and early round of the FA Cup for this). Not only that, you will need to sign two players under the age of 20, who have a high potential. This must be above the average current overall of players in the same position in your squad.
Back on top?
You look at that Manchester United side, and you see it being just one defender away from fighting for the title. With a big transfer budget, there is no reason you can’t go all in for Premier League trophy number 14 this season. That said, you must juggle the other competitions, with picking up the FA Cup and going to the semi-finals of the Champions League no easy feat.
That is achievable though, and if you tick off all of those, you can then fight on all fronts next season. Continue to develop the squad next season, and you may not only topple rivals Manchester City, but could you deliver another famous treble like 1999? It’s down to you on FIFA 19 Career Mode.
Full Manchester United player ratings
|David De Gea||27||GK||Spain||91||92||£61m||£229k|
|Eric Bailly||24||CB||Ivory Coast||81||87||£19m||£92k|
|Ashley Young||32||RB LB||England||79||79||£6m||£97k|
|Matteo Darmian||28||LB RB||Italy||76||76||£5m||£77k|
|Paul Pogba||25||CM CAM||France||87||91||£56m||£185k|
|Nemanja Matic||29||CDM CM||Serbia||84||84||£21m||£145k|
|Juan Mata||30||RM RW CAM||Spain||83||83||£22m||£141k|
|Jesse Lingard||25||CAM RW||England||82||83||£23m||£123k|
|Ander Herrera||28||CM CDM||Spain||81||81||£15m||£123k|
|Marouane Fellaini||30||CM CDM||Belgium||78||78||£8m||£97k|
|Andreas Pereira||22||CM CDM RM||Brazil||77||83||£11m||£75k|
|Scott McTominay||21||CM CDM||Scotland||71||81||£3m||£38k|
|Angel Gomes||17||CAM CM LW||England||67||87||£1m||£13k|
|Callum Gribbin||19||CAM LW RW||England||65||78||£1m||£10k|
|Joel Garner||17||CDM CM CB||England||62||83||£500k||£5k|
|Alexis Sanchez||29||LW LM ST||Chile||85||85||£33m||£189k|
|Anthony Martial||22||LW ST LM||France||84||89||£37m||£145k|
|Marcus Rashford||20||ST LW RW||England||82||90||£30m||£106k|
|Tahith Chong||18||RW LW||Holland||65||85||£1m||£11k|
|Mason Greenwood||16||CF ST RW CAM||England||85||85||£1m||£9k|
|Joshua Bohui||19||ST LW RW||England||63||76||£600k||£9k|