Several times this season, it's been noticed that Arsenal seem to have the pieces we've been missing at Chelsea. From this, it's been decided to merge the clubs! On Football Manager, anyway. I'll be playing the game and reporting on the results. The question is, who would we take from each club, what formation would we play, and who would we try to buy? Once we answer these questions, I'll create the merged club in the Football Manager 2012 editor. I'll try to make the database available somewhere, if you want to play it for yourself. The official squads for both teams and questions to be answered are after the jump.
1: Where are we going to play? The Emirates, Stamford Bridge, or a new, neutral stadium?
Remember, revenue matters! If we choose a new stadium, what size should it be, and should it be covered?
[Right now, I'm favouring a new stadium. 80,000 sounds like a good number for seats, and since it's almost exactly halfway between The Emirates and Stamford Bridge, and it's fiction, we could call it Regent's Park Stadium.]
2: How rich are we?
Are we going to have enough money to go for anyone we like? What is our bank balance, transfer budget, and wage budget?
[I imagine fairly close to where we are now. Not City rich, not Spurs "poor."]
3: Who is our owner?
Are we sticking with Roman, the Arsenal owner, or someone invented?
[I like the idea that they're both bankrupt, dead, or in prison, and we're now owned by someone else, name to be decided.]
4: Which formation are we going to use?
4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2, Something else? How are we going to play in that formation, or would we rather keep tactics up to each person playing the database?
[I'm thinking of leaving it to individual users who play the database]
5: How many season ticket holders do we have, and how much are tickets, match and season?
[I'm thinking 2/3-3/4 of the combination of both clubs' STs, since a lot would abandon the clubs IRL.]
6: Should we have a 20-, 19-, or 18-team Premier League?
20 teams, we'll get a team from the Championship, and from League 1 for the Championship and so on; 19 teams, we don't replace any teams; 18, we dump QPR into the Championship, and push a team down as in the 20-team proposal but reversed. [Alternately, we could just get rid of Q.P.R. entirely.]
[I'm leaning towards 20 teams, since it's easier to implement.]
7: How many leagues do we want to have?
The standard is down through the Blue Square Leagues, but we could do more or less as well.
[I'm thinking standard.]
8: Do we want to sim non-English leagues, and how many others?
We can have just England, or just the bigger leagues, European leagues, or all leagues. I'll set them as "View Only," since we'll only ever be working at Charsenal.
[This is probably another user option.]
9: What should our Away, 3rd, GK, GK Away, and GK 3rd kits be?
The Home kit will be blue and red stripes or hoops, since FM white sleeves doesn't allow them with white sleeves. Do we want blue or red sleeves? Note: the genuine kit would have white sleeves. [We could also have a purple kit with white sleeves.]
[I'm actually leaning toward the purple with white sleeves, purple shorts, and white socks, so we're not wearing Barcelona kits.]
10: Should I just remove the player clauses and buy backs, rather than trying to move them over?
I know it hurts the authenticity, but it's going to be a bitch to import them.
[I'm thinking so, just because they don't really matter in the game.]
11: Are we going to merge the histories of the two clubs or start fresh?
It'll be a bitch, but a more rewarding one.
[I'm thinking merge.]
12: Who are the clubs rivals?
Spuds of course, but which other clubs are going to dislike and be disliked by us?
[Spuds, West Ham, Pool, United, City, and Barcelona sounds like a good start to me.]
13: Are we going to merge the club legends lists?
On one hand, Zola and Henry never played for Charsenal, but it seems a disrespect to ignore them.
[This seems like a good idea to me]
14: Do we want Charsenal to be a fresh club, or a modified version of Chelsea or Arsenal?
In FM, I can either start from scratch and retire both clubs, or modify the entry for Chelsea or Arsenal, and retire the other.
[This is a technical question, and doesn't really matter. Fresh-made would be a bit more work, but not much.]
15: Who should we keep in the 25-man squad, reserves, and youths, from each team?
Of course, add and subtract Cahill, Anelka, Alex, and any in or out for Arsenal. [Please, let me know who, if any have.]
[I could just merge them all, and let users decide.]
16: Who should we keep from the staffs, or should I just select the best and merge?
Staffs are, Assistants, Coaches, Scouts, and Physios. Dr. Eva has to stay, of course, and I'll edit her to be good enough if I have to!
17: Should we keep Wenger or AVB as Assistants, retire them, or let them take other jobs?
What should our manager be called? I don't want to cut them loose, both out of respect, and because they'll come back somewhere else. My preference is retirement.
[Retirement seems like a good idea. They both got huge settlements in the merger. : )]
18: Should we have a completely new board, or should we mix and match?
We could feature some WAGNH [and possibly TSF] users as board members.
[I like the idea of merging the Managers, Authors, etc. from the blogs, but could just merge the existing board members.]
19: Who is our captain?
JT seems like the obvious choice, but we can have anyone we like.
[JT captain, RVP vice-captain?]
20: What is the club's nickname?
We can't have The Blues or The Gunners any more, so we'll need a new one.
[I've got nothing for this at the moment.]
There we have it. Once we decide on these, I'll create the club and start playing! Maiev will be creating the badge, which will feature both the lion and cannon on a shield with red and blue halves. If you can think of anything else, let me know in the comments.
[The things I've left to the users will have to be decided by us for the game I'll be playing and writing reports from. They'll be left undecided in the undecided database.]