A lot has been made 0f Brendan Rodgers current situation at Liverpool FC in light of the Suarez departure and his (questionable) transfer selections for the 2014/2015 season. If you play EA Sports FIFA 15, it is rather easy to set up a career mode game to replicate a similar situation. Setting up the game is quite simple: all you’ll need is one “Financial Takeover” from the career mode catalogue and a little tinkering with the current (default) roster. The scenario is set up to approximate the conditions directly after Suarez is sold to Barca, the money arrived and it is time for some decision making on summer transfers. Do you bring in Markovic? How about Lovren? Is Lallana worth £25m or can you get him cheaper? Perhaps you go a different directly entirely.
As you can see, from the image below, Liverpool are desperately thin all across the board. There are only two strikers, one out of favor, the other injury prone. The attacking midfield, though okay, is spread exceptionally thin, and the defense requires some much needed patchwork. I should mention, nothing can truly approximate the actual conditions facing Brendan Rodgers but this goes about as close as one can manage in the moderately unrealistic FIFA environment. Let’s get down to setting up the game.
Start up FIFA 15 and go into CUSTOMIZE > EDIT TEAMS then click on DOWNLOAD UPDATES. Doing this first resets the team roster to the current default roster (note: there may be some unforeseen changes due to January transfers which are not listed here). Balotelli, Moreno, Lovren, etc. will all be on the LFC roster, while Agger, Reina, and Kelly have been transferred away.
Staying on the CUSTOMIZE page, go to CLUB TRANSFERS and start with the team you want to transfer players away from. I suggest you start with Liverpool FC and start transferring players back to their original teams. Here is the list of recommended moves which account for approximately £114,000,000 worth of roster transfers:
- Adam Lallana — transfer BACK to — England > Barclays PL > Southampton
- Emre Can — transfer BACK to — Germany > Bundesliga > Bayer 04 Leverkusen
- Ricky Lambert — transfer BACK to — England > Barclays PL > Southampton
- Lazar Markovic — transfer BACK to — Portugal > Premiera Liga > SL Benfica
- Dejan Lovren — transfer BACK to — England > Barclays PL > Southampton
- Alberta Moreno — transfer BACK to — Spain > LaLiga > Seville
- Javi Manquillo — transfer BACK to — Spain > LaLiga > Athletico Madrid (was on loan)
- Mario Balotelli — transfer BACK to — Italy >Serie A > AC Milan
Continue with the club transfers, this time selecting teams from which you will transfer players back to Liverpool FC. Here is the list of recommended moves:
- Germany > Bundesliga > Bayern Munich > Pepe Reina — transfer BACK to — Liverpool
- England > Barclays PL > Crystal Palace > Martin Kelly — transfer BACK to — Liverpool
- Denmark > Superligaen > Brondby IF > Daniel Agger — transfer BACK to — Liverpool
There are a few very low rated players (sub 65 ovr) and some of inconsequential value which have been ducked for simplicity but these recommended adjustments hit the high points and will be challenge enough. Lets begin the season so we can add the Financial Takeover package to the mix.
Return to the main FIFA 15 HOME page then go to PLAY > NEW CAREER > MANAGER CAREER (interestingly, there is a picture of Brendan Rodgers, your competition, looking very sure of himself) then select ENGLAND > Barclays PL > Liverpool. The roster should be updated with our customizations already but we’ll make sure on the next step.
Choose the appropriate CAREER SETTINGS which work for you (i.e., financial rules, difficultly, length of half, etc.) but pay specific attention to two items: SQUADS USED and EUROPEAN COMPETITION 1st SEASON.
In SQUADS USED choose the CURRENT CUSTOMIZED option. This will ensure you use the rosters we just adjusted. Next choose EUROPEAN COMPETITION 1st SEASON and set that up (just follow the simple directions in the FIFA interface). I always use the second “realistic” draw to select the teams — just feels right. After you’re done, advance to MANAGER PREFERENCES, update with your choices then advance and the game will first set up the starting season, then ask you to save the game. I saved the game using something like, “LFC v1 db S1” (v1 = version 1 of this experiment, db = “do better,” S1 = season 1).
Now you have the game saved, take a quick look at your starting transfer budget. It will be something around £34,000,000 with a weekly wage budget of £190,000. Not shabby numbers but you just sold Suarez and the board has been happy with the results from the prior season thus are allowing you to spend heavily in the summer transfer window. Let’s add the Financial Takeover package to bump up those numbers to a more realistic representation of 2015’s summer budget.
Exit the current season and go to HOME > CATALOGUE > CAREER and buy one of the Financial Takeover options (Level 9 for 1,000 FCC -or- Level 39 for 3,000 FCC -or- Level 65 for 5,000 FCC). Once purchased, go back and load the ” LFC v1 db S1″ career you just created. Warning, if you load any other career, the Financial Takeover will affect that career only. You must load the LFC season (i.e., LFC v1 db S1) directly after buying the Financial Takeover for it to be applied to the correct season.
Now you’ve loaded the “LFC v1 db S1” career, check out TRANSFERS > FINANCES section. Don’t be surprised, the numbers won’t have changed — yet. You have to advance the season at least one day for the Financial Takeover numbers to update. You should now be looking at a Remaining Transfer Budget of £114,000,000 with a Weekly Wages Budget around £190,000. That’s a lot of cheddar to mess with as you take the helm of LFC and attempt to do better than the current management.
Some closing thoughts: LFC will face a number of games both on the weekends and during the week with Champion’s League, Capital One cup, etc. If you take a look at the basic roster, post-customization, you’ll see it looks horribly thin. Shockingly thin, truth be told. Now check out the calibre of the players you have at your disposal — again, very pedestrian and lacking impact or punch. Remind you of Liverpool’s current season? Sure it does. Now mess with formations, see if you can get the feared midfield diamond to work. Tough with no impact second striker and limited options in the middle of the park. How about that defense? You think it will stand up to the newly signed Diego Costa or Falcoa? Unlikely.
Now you’re in charge (like it or not) of Liverpool’s renaissance season. You’ve got a pocket full of money, the blessings of the board, so go hit the transfer market and see what magic you can make happen. Do you fatten the roster? Do you boost the defense? Do you put Pepe back in goal? Do you move Gerrard? Perhaps you focus on young talent or bring in impact players to support your current team? So many questions. Time to find out what works. Best of luck!
I’ve had a go at this particular scenario two or three times, each going with a different angle on success. My third attempt appears the most interesting and rewarding, check out the details here. I should warn you, I blow up the current LFC roster entirely, trading almost everyone of value and bringing in new players I’d like to see on the pitch including Lavezzi, Lacazette, and Pogba to name but a few (no one said this had to be realistic but it sure as hell is fun).