We start this episode with a match away to Everton. They sit second place in the league, behind me only on goal difference. They also have the joint best defensive record in the league. This match is just three days after my grueling 1-1 draw with Spurs but I haven’t made many changes. Here’s the lineup; Alisson (GK), Lukaku (LB), Ajer (CB), Koulibaly (CB), Toure (RB), Tolisso (CM), Goretzka (CM), Mkhitaryan (CAM), Balde (LW), Williams (RW), Poulsen (ST). Highlights below.
A dud. Very few highlights to even watch. Everton completely shut down the entire game. You can see why they have hardly conceded any goals. I do feel I should have had one or two towards the end but in truth never played well enough to merit it. A draw isn’t the worst result as it does keep me top, but Man Utd beat Spurs 4-0 away, which is a statement win if ever there was one. As luck would have it, I have United next. Massive game!
With that win over Spurs, Man Utd come to the Emirates only four points off the top. It’s up to us, with the home advantage, to make that seven. Unfortunately my strongest lineup isn’t possible given the fixture pile up, so this is what I have went with; Alisson (GK), Kolasinac (LB), Ajer (CB), Mustafi (CB), Toure (RB), Tielemans (CM), Goretzka (CM), Ozil (CAM), Balde (LW), Williams (RW), Poulsen (ST). Toure really shouldn’t be playing this much, but I just can’t trust Bellerin. United are also starting with Ibrahimovic, who is almost impossible to defend against in PES. Unbeaten run is in danger. Highlights are below.
What a win! We came flying out of the blocks and took the lead without United having even touched the ball. By half time it was 3-0 and the game was buried. They got a penalty in the second half but Alisson, who has been amazing all season came to the rescue and saved it. We did end up conceding one, but overall it was a real statement win and performance. Next up is Man City and that’s going to be another tough fixture.
Now it’s time to start negotiating. Top two priorities are Leroy Sane and a new right back. We only have £5m in the bank, but I think I can swing a straight swap between Ozil and Sane. Ozil has been better than Asensio, but looking to the future I’d rather sell Mesut, plus if we get Sane in he will be first choice anyway. As far as I right back go, I have three main targets. Hysaj from Napoli, Kimmich from Bayern and Nelson Semedo from Barcelona. A lot will depend on if any of the parent clubs are willing to do a swap with Bellerin as like I said, until the summer money is tight.
Below are screens of both the league table at the midway point of the season and the December team of the month. Arsenal aren’t overly well represented in the TOTM this time around, but the results have still been good so it’s not that important.
Transfer update. Napoli are happy with the swap deal, so Bellerin will be leaving and we’ll be welcoming Hysaj to the Arsenal family. Sane looks like it could be another saga though after Kobenhaven have turned down my initial bid. The last transfer window Man City turned down about 20 of my bids for him and then sold him to Kobenhaven. Hopefully we’re not in for more nonsense.
As stated above the next match is away to Man City. There was an extra days rest before this one so the only player not fit enough to start was Inaki Williams. The lineup I have went for is; Alisson (GK), Kolasinac (LB), Ajer (CB), Koulibaly (CB), Toure (RB), Tolisso (CM), Goretzka (CM), Ozil (CAM), Balde (LW), Bergwijn (RW), Poulsen (ST). This will be Bergwijn’s first match on the right wing, so we’ll see how he gets on. Highlights below.
A cracking win! Much like the game before against United but without conceding a goal. Definitely another statement win. Next to try and land the final piece of the puzzle; Leroy Sane. If I can get Kobenhaven to accept an offer I’m confident a straight swap with Ozil will happen. At that point I definitely have enough to win the league and in the summer I can look at an upgrade on Ospina as a second keeper and perhaps another right winger if Kluivert isn’t developing fast enough.
That’ll do me for episode seven. They keep coming thick and fast. That’s half a season in just over a week. I’ll be back soon with more, although the episodes may be a little less frequent this coming week with Far Cry 5 dropping on Tuesday. Remember to comment and hit me up on Twitter @VizualDze with suggestions and feedback.