West Ham are building into a side that can challenge for European football. A big statement, but they now have the stadium, the manager, promising talent and elements of star quality to give the top six a real run for their money.
It may have taken some time for this new-look West Ham squad to gel under new boss Manuel Pellegrini, but they are on course for a top-half finish in the Premier League this season, and if you took away that poor start to the campaign featuring four straight losses, they could be in with a sniff of European football.
So, it’s over to you. With West Ham looking to go global, can you deliver on FIFA 19’s Career Mode. RealSport maps out all you need as you take over the Hammers side.
It may surprise you, but West Ham have a four and a half star rating on FIFA 19. This consists of an 80 attack, 78 midfield and 77 defence.
You should stick with West Ham’s 4-2-3-1 wide formation, with very few alternatives. If you want to play two strikers, you’ll be looking at a 4-1-2-1-2 or simple 4-4-2.
Lukasz Fabianski (84 GK reflexes) is reliable in goal, with a back four made up by Pablo Zabaleta, Issa Diop, solid new signing Fabian Balbuena (84 strength) and Aaron Cresswell.
Pedro Obiang and Jack Wilshere are well balanced defensive midfield pairing, with the useful Andriy Yarmolenko (85 penalties), tricky Manuel Lanzini (89 balance) and star man Felipe Anderson (92 acceleration) in behind hard man Marko Arnautovic (84 strength).
On the bench go for Adrian, Angelo Ogbonna, Arthur Masuaku, Carlos Sanchez, Samir Nasri, Michail Antonio and Pablo Hernandez.
Tactics and instructions
The West Ham side is top heavy, with fantastic options in the final third, and you must use this to your advantage. Felipe Anderson (90 dribbling) is your main man, and you must get the Brazilian on the ball as much as possible. The brilliant aspect of the team, is that Anderson can be freed up by the qualities of Manuel Lanzini (86 dribbling) and Andriy Yarmolenko (86 dribbling), so if you are able to beat a man with either of those two you can get the pacey Anderson in dangerous positions.
The threats don’t stop there, with Marko Arnautovic (85 ball control) leading the line, who can hold the ball up for the others to join him or stretch the defence with the pace and skill. Those front four make you well equipped on the counter-attack, and that’s with Jack Wilshere (84 short passing) running things from midfield.
Your instructions can help you adjust your gameplans between battling the Premier League big boys and minnows, and the thing you must start with is having Pedro Obiang ‘stay back while attacking’ on attacking support. This means you will always have cover in midfield and have numbers back for the counter.
Andriy Yarmolenko already has ‘get into box for cross’ for his support on crosses, Manuel Lanzini’s positioning freedom is on ‘free roam’ and Felipe Anderson’s chance creation is on ‘cut inside’. You don’t have to stop there with Anderson, and against lesser opposition you may want him to ‘stay forward’ on defensive support and if you want to utilise his 89 sprint speed, you could have him on ‘get in behind’ for attacking runs to get through on goal.
In your training sessions you should use high development players to make the most of your time. For the Hammers this is Issa Diop, Arthur Masuaku, Declan Rice, Xande Silva and Grady Diangana.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £55 million
Starting wage budget: £195,000 a week
Who should go
West Ham are targeting a rise up the Premier League table, so there are a fair few names who can be shown the door from the London Stadium.
In your first team, you should let both Robert Snodgrass and Aaron Cresswell. You have heaps of options in wide areas in Snodgrass’s case, and a new left will be on your shortlist to replace Creswell. The pair should fetch you a combined £9.5 million and free up wages of £114,000 a week.
The rest are young fringe players, with Conor Coventry, Nathan Holland, Josh Pask, Jahmal Hector-Ingram and Dan Kemp having no future at West Ham. Sell those five men for a total of £700,000 to save £24,000 a week on wages.
Three players can be sent away on loan, with first team places too competitive for them to get minutes this season. Grady Diangana, Xande Silva and goalkeeper Nathan Trott should be loaned out for more gametime.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £65 million
New wage budget: £333,000 a week
Quality right back
The full back areas are the clear weak link in the West Ham squad let alone starting lineup, with your only options at right back the 33-year-old Pablo Zabaleta and the 73-rated Ryan Fredericks.
Coming straight into your starting lineup for a good price is Chelsea’s Davide Zappacosta. The 26-year-old is ready for more gametime, and with a 79 overall and 81 potential, he’s a safe bet to come into your back four. The Italian international will cost around £16 million with his wages likely to come down from £82,000 a week. His best stats include 86 stamina, 81 sprint speed and 81 crossing.
|Pavel Kaderabek||26||Hoffenheim||Czech Rep.||80||81||£16m||£34k|
|Serge Aurier||25||Spurs||Ivory Coast||80||83||£20m||£72k|
Reliability at left back
Moving onto left back, Aaron Cresswell isn’t dynamic enough and Arthur Masuaku is yet to reach his potential. Sell Creswell, and bring in a new starter for the seasons ahead.
Sead Kolasinac is an attacking option, with the Bosnian starting to show the form at Arsenal he displayed at former club Schalke. The 25-year-old can improve from 79 to an 82 overall, with stats of 93 aggression, 90 strength and 82 shot power. He will set you back £16 million with wages of £78,000 a week.
|Fabian Delph||28||Man City||England||80||80||£15m||£106k|
|Marcos Acuna||26||Sporting Lisbon||Argentina||80||81||£17m||£14k|
|Ricardo Rodriguez||25||AC Milan||Switz.||80||83||£20m||£71k|
Five West ham players have contracts running out at the end of the season, and your first port of call will to extend new signing Samir Nasri’s deal. After 18 months out suspended, the Frenchman only signed a six-month contract, and you should at least renew another year with him, as the former Manchester City and Arsenal man will be useful asset off the bench.
Adrian is your only other first team goalkeeper, and you are likely to keep him around for another campaign before bringing in a younger replacement. As for Andy Carroll, with plenty of strike options and his overall maxed at 76, you can show him the door. If you like his aerial threat, then keep him around solely for that. Youngster Jahmal Hector-Ingram should be sold in your first summer.
None of West Ham’s board expectations are critical, so you do have some leeway as the club is still figuring out where it sits in the Premier League. Surprisingly, brand exposure is the most important, and here you must attain £70 million in shirt sales and increase season ticket holders to 10% of the London Stadium within three seasons. Playing attacking football with some star names will help you achieve both of these.
For domestic and continental success, you will need to finishing in a Europa League spot (fifth) and reach the FA Cup round of 16. Finishing fifth means you will have to displace two of the top six, so you may have to hope that they slip up or if they lift cup silverware, European spots will open up.
West Ham have seen the likes of Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole come through the club this century, and you will be expected to continue that long tradition by growing a youth academy player by five overall points and them play them in five matches this season.
Lastly, your financial goal requires you to reduce player wages by £9,000 a week. Selling off those fringe players, allowing the aging players to be released and not going crazy in the transfer market is the way to go about this.
Take the next step
With the attacking talent at your disposal, there is no reason you can’t cause an upset with his West Ham side. Yes, you may be short in defence at the minute, but if you sign well and the team develops, that back four could be looking strong in the back end of the season.
Your target is probably seventh in the Premier League, which may still be enough to clinch you a European place. As for the cups, you may have to forget about the EFL Cup, but you do manage to wangle your way into the quarter-finals, you may want to give it a go, with a Europa League spot available for the winners.
By next season, fifth spot could be within your grasp, with West Ham never tasting the group stages of European action. This side certainly as the potential to do that and compete in the Europa League, and that should be your springboard to crack the top four.
Full West Ham player ratings
|Winston Reid||29||CB||New Zealand||76||76||£5m||£56k|
|Arthur Masuaku||24||LB LWB||DR Congo||75||79||£6m||£43k|
|Manuel Lanzini||25||CAM CM LM||Argentina||80||84||£17m||£74k|
|Andriy Yarmolenko||28||RM RW||Ukraine||80||80||£13m||£81k|
|Jack Wilshere||26||CM CAM CDM||England||79||80||£13m||£73k|
|Samir Nasri||31||LM CM RM CAM||France||79||79||£10m||£73k|
|Pedro Obiang||26||CDM CM||Equatorial Guinea||77||79||£8m||£57k|
|Carlos Sanchez||32||CDM CB||Colombia||77||77||£4m||£57k|
|Robert Snodgrass||30||RM CM LM||Scotland||76||76||£7m||£58k|
|Mark Noble||31||CM CDM||England||76||76||£6m||£58k|
|Declan Rice||19||CDM CB CM||Rep. Ireland||74||86||£8m||£20k|
|Grady Diangana||20||RM LM||England||64||79||£900k||£9k|
|Nathan Holland||20||LM RM||England||62||75||£500k||£7k|
|Conor Coventry||18||CM CDM||Rep. Ireland||57||73||£200k||£4k|
|Michail Antonio||28||ST RM RWB LM||England||78||78||£9m||£75k|
|Lucas Perez||29||ST RM||Spain||78||78||£9m||£75k|
|Xande Silva||21||ST RM LM||Portugal||67||77||£1m||£16k|