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FIFA 17: West Ham United Career Mode guide

After a successful campaign, can you keep West Ham's form going on FIFA 17's Career Mode?


There is no question that West Ham United is one of the best clubs in England. They have great history, winning the FA Cup three times as well as providing many key players for England’s 1966 World Cup win. They have never had a huge amount of money, and have always carried a significant ‘English’ persona about them. In their final season at Upton Park, last year, Slaven Bilic took them to seventh in the Premier League, almost earning the right to move to the Olympic Stadium. This season they have struggled with the move to Stratford, finding themselves in a relegation battle. Prior to that, there was a sense that they had put their flirts with relegation behind them, and for a club of West Ham’s size and calibre they need to find consistency, with European football a realistic target. Their potential makes the Hammers a great choice on FIFA 17’s Career Mode, and you get the added bonus of using the mercurial Dimitri Payet.

How you should line-up

It’s a strong side for West Ham, with competition in a number of places. This competition allows you to use a number of formations, a 4-4-2, an attacking 4-4-2 diamond wide, but you should stick to Slaven Bilic’s 4-2-3-1 system.

Adrian will be in-between the sticks, but your first dilemma comes at right-back. Havard Nordtveit is your highest rated player who can play there at 78, but you may choose to go for the pacier and attack minded Michail Antonio. Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna are your centre-half partners, with Aaron Cresswell or Arthur Masuaku at left-back.

In holding midfield you have Mark Noble and Cedric Kouyate, but the versatile Nordtveit is another name in the hat. For the dynamic three behind the striker, it’s hard to look beyond Sofiane Feghouli, Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet. Up front, Andre Ayew is the highest rated, but you could choose to play him out wide and bring in Simone Zaza or the aerial threat of Andy Caroll.

On the bench, it’ll be Darren Randolph, James Collins, Arthur Masuaku, Pedro Obiang, Gokhan Tore, Andy Carroll and Simone Zaza, with Michail Antonio also in the mix.

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £54 million

Starting wage budget: £245,000

Who should go

It’s a more than decent squad at West Ham, but there is a sense that it needs to be thinned out slightly in order to maximise its potential. Diafra Sakho is the only high-profile name that can go, as he faces competition from Andre Ayew, Simone Zaza and Andy Carroll up front. You should be able to receive around £10 million for the 76-rated Senegalese.

The rest of the players you should sell are the absolute fringe players of Raphael Spiegel, Djair Parfitt-Williams and Declan Rice. You should aim to receive just under £500,000 for all three players.

What the team needs

The Hammers’ squad is almost perfect, and it’s a combination of depth and quality in a handful of positions. With that bank balance of £54 million, that is plenty of money to get what you want, and if you make sensible sales you are could have over £60 million in the kitty. If you can also win a pre-season tournament you are going to have around £70 million to spend.

Solving that right-back dilemma should be high up on your priorities, and it shouldn’t be too expensive. Eibar’s Ander Capa can be a real coup with a price of just £17 million, for which you will receive a 77-rated defender with a potential of 83. The 24-year-old Spaniard has 91 stamina, 88 aggression and 87 sprint speed, with starting wages of just £6,000.

Alternatives:

–       Antonio Valencia – Manchester United, Age 30, OVR 81, POT 81, Cost: £9 million, Wage: £43,000

–       Dusan Basta – Lazio, Age 31, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £8 million, Wage: £43,000

–       Vierinha – Wolfsburg, Age 30, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £12 million, Wage: £43,000

–       Branislav Ivanovic – Chelsea, Age 32, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £5 million, Wage: £43,000

–       Mathieu Debuchy – Arsenal, Age 30, OVR 79, POT 79, Cost: £6 million, Wage: £43,000

West Ham do have some financial limitations, which could come in the form of having a significant profit margin at the end of the season. So to be on the safe side, you should leave the best part of £20 million in the transfer budget, and if you are on course for your financial goal you can always spend it in January. You still have room for one more signing, and this needs to be a central or holding midfielder. Vincent Koziello of Nice is the ideal man to bring in, with the 20-year-old Frenchman rated ay 78 with a potential of 86. He only has two years remaining on his contract so he can be signed for around the £20 million mark. That price will offer you a player with 88 balance, 86 agility and 85 aggression, with his starting wages just £720 per week.

Alternatives:

–       Okay Yokuslu – Trabzonspor, Age 22, OVR 76, POT 84, Cost: £10 million, Wage £32,000

–       Daley Blind – Manchester United, Age 26, OVR 81, POT 83, Cost: £25 million, Wage: £58,000

–       Marco van Ginkel – Chelsea, Age 23, OVR 77, POT 83, Cost: £12 million, Wage: £36,000

–       Will Hughes – Derby, Age 21, OVR 74, POT 83, Cost: £8 million, Wage: £720

–       Yann M’Vila – Rubin Kazan, Age 26, OVR 79, POT 82, Cost: £7 million, Wage: £58,000

Loans

With some promising players coming through, you should definitely consider loaning out some of West Ham’s young talent. There are over 30 players currently in the squad, so you can afford to send out the likes of Reece Oxford, Ashley Fletcher, Marcus Browne, Martin Samuelsen, Domingus Quina and Toni Martinez. It’s up to you whether those moves are for one or two years, with all but Martinez not too far away from a first team opportunity.

Contracts

Four players have contracts running out at the end of the season, but only two of them should be renewed. Although many Hammers fans are still unconvinced by goalkeeper Adrian, he is still the best they have on FIFA 17 at least, and you should give the Spaniard a fresh deal. Marcus Browne is one of the candidates to be sent out on loan, but with a potential of 76, there is no harm in giving him a few more years at the club to see if he can hit or even surpass that rating.

Alvaro Arbeloa was brought in by Slaven Bilic to perhaps help young right-back Sam Byram, as well as to provide some injury cover. The former Liverpool and Real Madrid man is now 33, and will not be able to offer much beyond the end of the season. Djair Parfitt-Williams is a player you should be selling so there is no need renew his contract, with a starting overall of 60 and potential of 68.

Managerial objectives

Domestic and continental will always be the managerial objectives you look to first, make sure to take note of the priority number against each objective. Domestic success has a high priority for West Ham, and you will be given the tough task of finishing in a European place at the end of the season, and to reach the last eight of the FA Cup. Brand exposure is just as important for the Hammers’ board and you will be required to sell a certain amount of shirts during the season, which can be achieved by bringing in big name signings, winning regularly and lifting trophies.

For continental success, you will be asked for a strong showing in the ‘Euro League’, possibly even being asked to win the cup. West Ham’s seventh place finish last season earnt them qualification to the tournament. West Ham have a great record of bringing players through their academy, earning them the nickname the ‘Academy of Football’. Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst, Harry Redknapp, Sir Trevor Brooking, Paul Ince, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, and Jermain Defoe all came through the West Ham ranks, and your task at West Ham will be to bring players through, but much like many of these players, sell them for big money within two seasons. Finally, you will need to have a profit margin of around £20 million to fulfil your financial objective, so be sure to hold back some of your transfer budget in the transfer window.

Look up, not down

After last season’s success, it’s now time for West Ham to maintain their position inside the top half. That goal to finish in a European place is still very ambitious, as you have to remember that the Manchester clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Merseysiders all have stronger squads. But West Ham are perhaps the next in line after that seven, and if any of them slip up, a European place is up for grabs. It may be wise to concentrate on the FA Cup, and take the risk in the Euro League. Your start to the Premier League season will dictate your campaign, if you are in a European place, you can surrender one of your other goals. Your summer signings will have a massive impact, as a couple of injuries to the current squad would leave them a bit thin on the ground in terms of quality. But sign well, and a top five finish may just become possible, but as of January you may have to decide which competition to concentrate on. They pulled it off last season, but can they do it again at the Olympic Stadium?

Know any other tips? Let us know in the comments. 

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Alastair Pusinelli

A 23-year-old sports journalist who covers just about everything on the board. I started at RealSport in February 2016 and have since written on cricket, football, Olympics, rugby, tennis as well as FIFA 17.

Elsewhere, I have been published in The Sunday Times and Variety magazine, as well as working in the offices of Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Hampshire CCC. I am still an active sportsman, playing cricket, football, rugby, tennis and golf... sort of.

FIFA 17: West Ham United Career Mode guide

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