With the game now released – many people ready for another year of procrastination, pain and sporadic doses of pleasure – the attention will turn to how players are rated. Like them or loathe them, the ratings require a great deal of studying and deliberation to create the greatest football management simulation on the planet. And going by the judgement of assistant manager Steve Bould, here are the highest rated Arsenal players in the game...
Mesut Ozil (Attacking Midfielder) – Four Star Rating
Notable attributes: First Touch 20, Passing 19, Technique 19, Creativity 19, Flair 19
Unsurprisingly, the blockbuster summer signing is the best player in the team. Ozil gets a four star rating from Bould, and can also play in AMR and AML positions on the game. His perfect role in the team is noted as an “enganche”, which is a new addition to the game.
Santi Cazorla (Attacking Midfielder) – Four Star Rating
Notable attributes: Technique 19, Free Kick Taking 18, Dribbling 17, First Touch 17, Passing 17
Cazorla is rated as Arsenal's second best player, which is also fairly predictable. Like Ozil, Cazorla can play AMR and AML on the game, and whoever manages Arsenal will have a tough choice deciding which player to move out wide. Whereas Ozil is described as an enganche, Cazorla's suggested role is trequartista, where he can roam around the frontline as opposed to Ozil's designated role behind the striker.
Jack Wilshere (Attacking Midfielder) – Three Star Rating
Notable attributes: Determination 19, Bravery 18, Team Work 18, Balance 17, Technique 17
Wilshere looks to be a player to build the midfield around, with his ability to play every midfield position likely being crucial for anyone managing Arsenal. His top rated attributes mirror his aggressive style of play, whilst also displaying how technically gifted Wilshere is too.
Laurent Koscielny (Central Defender) – Three Star Rating
Notable attributes: Tackling 18, Anticipation 17, Bravery 16, Determination 16, Positioning 16
The French defender is a surprise inclusion in the top five, especially considering players like Bacary Sagna and Aaron Ramsey missed the cut. Koscielny is the best Arsenal defender and will certainly be a mainstay of anyone's Arsenal side, with Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen both having just two and a half star ratings.
Mikel Arteta (Central midfielder) – Three Star Rating
Notable attributes: Crossing 17, First Touch 17, Penalties 17, Technique 17, Composure 17
Another possibly surprise inclusion is Arteta, given that Mathieu Flamini has become the undoubted starter in defensive midfield. Arteta, like Wilshere, can play every position on Football Manager and despite being 31 years old, is likely to be a valuable member of the squad for anyone who chooses to play as Arsenal.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald