Everyone knows about World Football’s (that’s Soccer to you Americans) greatest transfers. Players like Cristiano Ronaldo moving to Real Madrid for the ridiculous amount of 132 Million US dollars and Real Madrid President Perez boasting about a transfer budget in the vicinity of 800 million Euros, which means they can pretty much buy out every other major club in the world.
What about those clubs that are worth less than a pair of Cristiano’s used boots?
I’m talking about clubs like Hyde United, Northwich Victoria and Bognor Regis Town, clubs with almost zero finances that rely on amateur and part time players to succeed.
In this somewhat-regular column, I will be advising Football Manager 2009 players managing the lowest league clubs on where to find excellent footballers on the cheap. I gathered these from my own experiences playing the game as lowly Hyde United as well hanging around the Football Manager fandom. I don’t claim to be the best LLM there is, as stories of conference teams becoming European champions are common in the fandom and that achievement will pretty much melt my face if I ever accomplish it.
This week we’ll be looking at defenders who will help tighten up your defensive unit.
Alexis is a Spanish left back that can fill in just fine at center back, though it’s better if you leave him in his preferred left back position.
His marking and tackling abilities are great compared to the level of players he will be facing, but in truth, it’s his mental abilities that make him shine, with great Aggression (always a good stat for defenders) and Determination. His other skills are also good for the level of competition he’ll be facing.
His great mental stats come from his experience, and frankly if you’re at age 34, you better have good mental abilities because Alexis is at the twilight of his career, so expect only one or two good seasons from him.
Also, he’s a very defensive full back and not very good at going forward and providing crosses into the box.
Wayne Maden starts at Hyde United in the Blue Square North, and you better pick him up quick or his price will rise, as he is just entering the prime of his career.
Wayne is a beast. First off, he’s 194 centimeters tall (that’s about 6 foot 4 inches tall) and weighs 99kg (about 218 pounds). This usually means he hold both the top height and weight rankings in the entire conference league. He will NOT be muscled off the ball. EVER.
Secondly, Wayne’s jumping and heading stats are excellent; he will never lose an aerial ball and he bangs in goals at the other end when he goes up for corner kicks.
His tackling is also excellent, and most of the time he will come out with the all when he goes in for a challenge.
The downside to Wayne’s incredible girth is that he’s slower than a stack of bricks. You can offset this by instructing him to stay back at all times, and therefore not letting anyone get behind him.
Other than that Wayne Maden is top class defender that should fit well into any team.
Sean is the opposite type of full back to Alexis, mentioned above. He’s more of an attacker and quicker than the old timer, and can cross the ball into the box decently enough. Surprisingly, he’s also good defensively, with good tackling ability. He also is a workhorse with high work rate and stamina, which means he can run from box to box all game long with no problems at all.
I’m racking my brain but I can’t think of anything bad to say about him! Just a top class all round full back with no weaknesses at all! And he’s only 22!
Ben Mee is a trainee at Manchester City, but he’ll usually be released on a free one season into the game.
As a defender, Ben is a bit short and not all that heavy, so he’s very unlike the other Englishman on our list, Wayne Maden.
On the plus side, Ben is young (18 at the start of the game) and has plenty of time to improve, and he has decent speed, so he should be able to keep up with most strikers in the conference leagues.
It’s best you play him next to a big man like Wayne so they’ll complement each other’s strength and cover each other’s weaknesses.
Thanh is the fastest defender on our list, and that in itself is important. Most lower league teams will look to hire forwards who sacrifice skill for speed, and you need someone like Thanh to keep up with their pace.
He also has good marking abilities and good overall defensive awareness.
His downside is that he’s not a hard tackler of the ball and not a very good jumper, so like Ben Mee, he needs to be paired up with more physical defensive partner.
That’s all for this week. Next time we’ll look at the final part of your team, Goalkeepers.