Arsène Wenger celebrated 17 years in charge of Arsenal this week, an incredible feat. I have been quite vocal about my view of him over the last few years - while others have been critical I’ve said that when we look back it will be seen as one of the all-time great managerial performances - especially during the eight years he oversaw the building of the new stadium, maintained a tight budget and still kept the team competitive... even though he wasn’t able to secure a trophy.
While Arsène Wenger took some degree of criticism during the first few weeks of the season, none of the top tier managers have escaped that now we’re a few months, as the spotlight focuses much more on Manuel Pellegrini, David Moyes and José Mourinho. Being a manager is the toughest job in football, expectations of owners and fans are very high, we’ve already seen the first casualty of the season in Paulo Di Canio’s departure at Sunderland and the pressure will certainly intensify on others in the weeks and months ahead. With that said on a positive note, no one will be happier than Mauricio Pochettino and Roberto Martinez with the way their sides have started the season.
This opening weekend saw millions FUT managers take charge of a team by loading up FIFA 14 and opening their first FUT packs. As we’ve seen so often in the premier league, filling your team with high ticket players is not necessarily the key to success and in my last article I spoke about the importance of chemistry, but there are several other factors involved in building a thriving team.
When starting in FUT most wonder how to go from bronze to gold as quickly as possible and that can be done the way the most successful real life managers do it - by playing games with your team and being smart with who you buy and sell. While we may all aspire to have the likes of FIFA 14 cover stars Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale in our teams, what you shouldn’t get bogged down in is that not all gold players have to cost their own weight in coins... there are some players that I’d put at the top of my FUT shopping list when the coins start building up.
He was a favourite in FIFA 13 and I think he’ll still be good buy now –he’s good in the air but can also dribble. His Hannover strike partner, Didier Ya Konan is also a steal.
A good all-round central midfielder that you can use to build a team around and who is proficient at picking out a vital pass.
Giant striker who can really dominate defences and as expected is very good in the air. With a bit of bargain hunting you could get him for within budget and when partnering him up with someone with speed from the Russian League, like Ahmed Musa or Seydou Doumbia, you can create a cost effective but devastating strike partnership.
Here’s a little tip though - don’t feel obliged to cash in on your bronze or silver player as soon as you have a gold replacement... you never know when they may come in handy. Some tournaments can only be contested with certain level of players or squads, so by keeping hold of them could help you reap rewards that can help you build funds and compete for your Ultimate Team.