CM9798: The Greatest Team – Strikers

Strikers are perhaps the most revered of all the candidates for our greatest team. Traditionally, it will be these guys who will plunder the goals that win you leagues, cups and awards, the only difficult thing is trying to pick two from the list. So much so that we put Bakayoko in the attacking midfielders and poor old Mjelde didn’t even make the list. He wasn’t the only one.

We’re looking for two from the below candidates:

Erik Nevland

As with most of the Man Utd youngsters, they are loaded with potential and with a sprinkling of game time, that potential can be unlocked.

nevland start

Man Utd aren’t short of options or money, so good old Erik the Nev is usually available at the end of the first season. If you’re lucky, you might be able to loan him during the first season but they usually keep him around because Scholes, Cole, Sheringham and Solskjaer just isn’t enough. You’ll get yourself a top striker for about £1m and he basically guarantees goals. Just take a look…

Nevland careernev stats

Is it enough to secure your vote?

Perez Munoz Alfonso

The most expensive player on the game is Perez Munoz Alfonso of Real Betis. Everything was expected of this kid and he did get his move to Barcelona, but it didn’t really take off for him.

alfonso start

In game he usually moves to Barcelona or Real Madrid in the first season – Betis have a great team that features throughout the nominations here – where he will continue to score goals for fun. Not one for those on a budget but if you want the best, you have to pay for them.


Let me introduce you to 8th place – Porto’s finest.

Jardel start

Jardel is popular because he is a goal machine. That much is obvious. But he’s also usually available at the end of the first season if his contract expires and as Matt Porter showed, he’ll even sign for Stockport. You can’t get vexed at that.

Graeme Tomlinson

Everybody’s favourite freebie. Released by Man Utd at the end of 96/97, their loss is your gain!

Tomlinson start

If you’re in a lower league save, Tomlinson is your man. Keeping hold of him is often another matter but he will go on to play for England is he is getting regular game time, as you can see here:

tomlinson career

Good old GT can do a job at just about any level. As he’s free he is typically a lower league signing but as we saw in some of the blog saves he can do a job certainly at First Division level and he was excellent in the Scottish Premiership. Will that be enough to secure your vote?

Andrew Mainwaring

Another lower league legend, Mainwaring can be found in Non-League for just £5k.

mainwaring start

He will be available regardless of who you are as he’s effectively out of contract and whether you pair him with Tomlinson or just add him to your squad, he’s capable of going to the very top. The problem usually comes for him when he moves on for his first big move and can’t get regular game time. The story goes that Mainwaring was rattling in the goals at Newport and it was expected he would get a move so was included in the database. For whatever reason, it never transpired, but he’s been a hero for so many of us.


I didn’t want to include too many genuinely world class players but Ronaldo is an exception. For me, Ronaldo was the best player in the world at this time, but had just joined Inter Milan from Barcelona.

Ronaldo start

This is before Ronaldo got his serious injury and before his World Cup 98 performances and I remember being so excited to be able to see Ronaldo on Channel 4’s Serie A coverage. I always wanted to sign Ronaldo on this game and when it was apparent I wouldn’t be able to do it for Newcastle, I had many games as Inter Milan. He might not be a CM icon in the way some others have cult status but I associate him with the game more than most others.

Sean Devine

Back to the bargain bin and Sean Devine of Barnet will set you back £1m or so.

Devine start

You may recall way back on the first ever blog save I signed Devine for Wimbledon. He was reasonably good. He went on to be player-manager of Liverpool which was quite surreal. He was also amazing for Aberdeen before he left for Rangers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him stay at Barnet, he usually goes on to play at First Division level or higher whilst playing for Ireland for many years.

Tom Youngs

Some people call Youngs the budget Alfonso. Those people would be correct.

Youngs start

Like a lot of the Cambridge squad, their development seems somewhat random. If they get regular game time they will get moves to the Premier League but a bit like Mainwaring, sometimes their big move comes too soon. With Trevor Benjamin, Jamie Barnwell-Edinboro and others for company, Cambridge can be quite a force in Division 3 but they can’t defend. That’s by the by though. Youngs is a typical purchase for a side in Division 1 who can take advantage of his big club release clause and nurture him to realise his potential.

Youngs career

Remember, we need you to select two when you vote!

You can view all of the Greatest Team nominations here

CM9798 – The Greatest Team: Defensive Midfielders

Welcome back to our search for the greatest CM9798 team. So far we’ve discussed goalkeepers and centre backs, but you are able to vote for all positions here. Today though we’ll be focussing on defensive midfielders, a position integral in the 2-3-1-2-2 we’ve found to be the best formation. Let’s see who is up for nomination?

Matthias Sammer

It should be of no real surprise to find Sammer in this list – afterall, he did win the UEFA Best Player award at Euro 96. He’s at European Champions Borussia Dortmund and starts the game much sought after.


He’s usually courted by Barcelona to play the DM role for Louis van Gaal, obviously helped by his passing stats. He has a lot of very good stats but nothing higher than an 18. He turns 30 shortly after the game starts so unless you are managing one of Europe’s best you probably won’t be buying Sammer, however his average rating wherever he ends up is usually pushing 7.50.

Bjorn Heidenstrom

The man, the myth, the legend. A hero of mine after his interview last year, just look at these stats:

heidenstrom start

Absolutely incredible, the only stat lower than a 12 is injury proneness. He’s equally adept in defence or midfield which is why I’ve placed him in this category, his passing stat means he is probably more useful in the centre of the park. He only played four times for Leyton Orient in real life, so quite why he is rated so highly I’m not sure. Orient are in Division 3 so generally available for £100k or sometimes less and he’ll do a job for any club at any level. If you think of all the blogs we’ve had, he’s turned up in most of them. Including Aberdeen. I keep his hand written letter of encouragement in my notebook at all times but will he get your vote?

Martin Lauchlan

If our first two candidates were all about the here and now, how about one for the future?

Lauchlan start

There aren’t many players in the game aged just 16 but Lauchlan is wiser than his years would suggest. The fact he is left/centre means he also does a reasonable job as a left wing back, but he can only improve from his already pretty good stats. In the Aberdeen save that is now 8 seasons in, Lauchlan is a star player for Scotland and you can see his stats filling out.

Lauchlan stats future

A seal of approval from the interested clubs…

Lauchlan future

He has a big club release clause so he can be signed by most sides in the First Division or higher for a couple of hundred grand. When you consider you can get 15 seasons out of him, why not?

Billy MacDonald

Not Billy Mac from Love Actually, sadly. Partick Thistle’s youth team would seemingly give the class of 92 a run for their money, so what does Billy Mac have to offer?

billy mac start

He’s your typical holding midfielder, loves a tackle and is very determined. Again using the Aberdeen save as an example, Billy Mac has done ok for himself.

billy mac future

Like Lauchlan he has the big club release clause and can be acquired for less than £200k.

Martin Djetou

If the previous entries have been bargain buys, Martin Djetou is pure and simply a legend of the game. Like Heidenstrom he can play equally well in the centre of defence or midfield but at just 22 he is already playing for one of the best clubs on the game. Just look at these stats:


As a result, he’s not that easy to get a hold of. Your best hope is that his contract is running down as Monaco often have financial difficulties owing to their small stadium and massive wage bill. But if you can get him, he’s a Champions League quality player who constantly averages highly.

djetou future

Arnor Gudjohnsen (Icelandic Hero)

The Icelandic hero has a name, it’s just he isn’t normally around more than a season or so. With no fewer than six 20’s he’s already quite good, but at 35 going on 36 he doesn’t have great physical stats.

Icelandic start

However, his re-gen is easy to pick up as there aren’t many Icelandic DM/FC’s and there are even less with stats like this. What an absolute hero. Here he is after 7 seasons of development:


Heading off somewhere?

Dadason career

Play him wherever you want, the man is a hero. If you can wait a season to get him, he’ll slot right into your team and stay there for as long as you want him. Whether you’d waste him in DM is another matter…

Who gets your vote? Don’t forget to check out the other positions here

CM9798 Academy – Part 11: Defending for Dummies

Hello hello! Welcome to Season 4, where the CM9798 Academy will have to find a way to bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on the First Division playoffs last season. I promised a squad overhaul but with nobody to keen to buy from us, I’ll just crack on with the new blood. A reminder of the rules:

  • Free Transfers
  • Aged 23 or under
  • All bids accepted by Ike Mashley.

Here are my 6 new faces who are going to propel us to glory…I hope.

Williams signsshilton signsmccormack signsOlneyflembodeary

Fleming will come in as captain, whilst Deary will be the new starting left wing back. McCormack will be the right sided wing back whilst Williams will compete for a start up front with Billing, Howard and Pearson, though Pearson is entering the last chance saloon.

I might not be able to shift players but one former Academy player on the move is Michael Twiss…

twiss to chelsea

What’s stupid about this is that Chelsea have just been relegated. They will surely win the league and with also-relegated Everton in the mix, getting out of this division has never seemed tougher.

We start away at newly promoted Wrexham and…we get stuffed. Bit of a concern, I won’t lie.

4-2 wrexham

A weird twist of fate (not you, the Hardy Boyz) means we face Bury three times in a row. Twice in the League Cup and a league game sandwiched in between. The home leg is a comfortable win and Dr Death Steve Williams is off and running.

2-0 bury

Our defence is going to be a problem this season. Call it a hunch. At least Bury are equally leaky and we win 6-4. We’ll see them again in 3 days for the second set.

6-4 bury away

Three more shipped. Unbelievable tekkers man Andy Ansah gets two more but we get away with it. That’s 11 conceded in 4 games but we won’t play Bury every week.

3-3 bury

We will however play better teams. Like Chelsea.

chelsea 3-0

Twiss doesn’t celebrate his 30 yard rocket. Look at this squad man. It would be competitive in the Premier League but under the watchful eye of Des Walker (who got them relegated) they are in good shape to go straight back up.

chelsea squad

Huddersfield at home. Should be a laugh? It isn’t. My word we are rancid.

0-3 hudds

3-0 down to Everton inside 32 minutes. That makes it only one match this season where we haven’t conceded three goals. Some half time home truths see us restore some pride but we’re in all sorts of trouble here.

everton 3-2

At least Billing is still scoring goals. He did briefly interest Leicester but they settled on Des Hamilton instead. That’s 100% true. Anyway, Billing nets twice to help see off Birmingham before departing on a stretcher. That’s cruel.

3-1 brum

Two months out. An expensive day for us.

billing 2 months

Never mind though, a home game with QPR will give us the…ah diddly hell dong crap, can’t you morons do anything right?

2-1 QPR

I’m sure we had good intentions but we’re in the relegation zone. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Another home game, another disaster only just averted.

2-2 charlton S4

It’s not hard to see where I’m apportioning the blame. Heritage not having a good time of it.

CAFC stats

When things are going badly, I do what I always do. I put Cox in. Immature jokes are all I have.

Cox in

In Cox we trust.

2-0 ipswich

I would go as far as to say I love Cox.

Reading leg 1

Cox out.

4-3 hull

Literally that second half at Hull was like playing without a goalkeeper. Every shot flew in. Come back Heritage, all is forgiven. It also brings an end to those sorts of jokes, to the relief of everyone.

Off to Southend on sea and Dr Death is really coming up with the goods. Buckley has been moved alongside him and they’ve formed a reasonable partnership. We’ve never been good at defending but it’s also never been so vital that we are capable of scoring three or more to win a match.

4-2 southend

Peterborough are the only team in the league to have scored more than us, so our visit there should bring goals, goals, goals. They are 4th yet somehow we cancel each other out into a 0-0. Heritage weeps at full time, his first league clean sheet of the season.

0-0 Peterborough

After seeing off Reading 1-0 at Elm Park it’s rather more comprehensive at the Arena. At least if we get relegated we know we can still smash the second division.

4-1 Reading

Well, this my sting a bit.

Spurs away

A clash with 2nd placed Middlesbrough will bring this update to a close. We have to dig deep after going 2-0 up and an onslaught from Noel-Williams, Merson and Griffiths is withstood. A much needed three points that just about keeps our season going.

2-1 boro

Let’s look at the table. A few things…Chelsea’s defence is outstanding, Everton somehow are only 9th whilst QPR are looking well placed to go up even at this early stage. Our losses to Huddersfield, Wrexham and Chelsea don’t look so bad all of a sudden. You will notice though that we aren’t in the top half…

Div 1 top S4 October

There we are! Just 6 points off the playoffs which at this stage is not too bad. Obviously the goals against column is a concern, as is the fact that Bury got 7 against us across two games. They’ve just sacked their manager. Poor Stan.

Div 1 bottom S4 October

Billing is just a few weeks away from a welcome return but the obvious concerns for us are at the other end of the field, where we’ve totally forgotten how to defend. That’s an itch we are struggling to scratch. Do join me next time to find out if we can salvage something from this rocky start. Toodles!

Have you voted for your Greatest CM9798 Team yet?

When Diego met Paul: Part 4

Ross is back with the fourth and final part of his experiment. Would Spurs have been better with Maradona and Gazza rather than Christian Gross? Two opposite ends of the fun scale there. Part 3 is here if you need to get caught up.

Hello, and welcome to what we all have dreaded. The final part of this story of when a lad from Lanus and lad from Newcastle met at a club in north London. It makes sense if you have read the previous three parts.

Any-hoo. When we last left you, the title was more or less gone, United on this game are a monster in the first few seasons, and now Diego wanted to follow in Ossie Ardiles’ shoes and win the cup for Tottingham.

First game back and it’s a tasty one vs those lot from Woolwich. Our first signing Bakayoko gets a start and doesn’t do half bad.


There will be dancing in the streets of White Hart Lane. Also, nice to see Iversen score a few.

Back in the days Newcastle paid a lot of money for players,


I don’t tell Paul, had to refuse this or this last part would just be called ‘When Diego met…’ not the same twang to it.


Came from him wanting more first team football, this means I have a spot free.

So, who to go for? Denilson? Thuram? Shearer?


Well done for anyone who guessed this lad. He was universally recommended by all three league scouts.

Young Scott wont play this season but a good buy for the future.

Next at the Lane is the big one. 2nd vs 3rd! Owen vs Klinsmann! Diego vs Redknapp! Gazza vs the urge not to wear a curly wig and a shell suit.

It’s a great game, we take the lead through Jurgen and young Owen scores after half an hour. With the game ticking away, our leading German puts daylight between the teams in the match and the league.


7 points between us and only 8 games to go.


Its semi final time. And it’s at Anfield. The locals are not happy, it’s the team who just snatched a victory against Liverpool last time out and Man United.

We start so so well. Either side of a Scholes goal Jurgen and Gazza score. We start dreaming. But you never ever rule out a Fergie side.


Oh the pain, Diego’s dream has gone. Gazza is in tears (again), probably didn’t help me accidentally letting slip about the Newcastle bid.

Our aim now is to finish second and get Champions League football. A first for this club.

Wimbledon womble in and we take our anger out them.


Gascoigne got himself injured trying a bicycle kick, wouldn’t have minded but the ball was no where near him and he was just trying to impress the crowd.

My usual nemesis Southampton turn up next, wow we have had a lot of home games recently. I speak to Diego before the match, he hasn’t been himself after the Man United game. I try and wind him up by telling him that Egil Ostenstad said his perm looked stupid.


2 goals and an assist prove my worth as manager.

We visit Man U again in hope of avenging that late defeat. Therefore the only to happen is…


Again? Oh I give up trying to beat this lot.

We bounce back with wins against Derby and Sheff Weds on a Saturday.

Our final game, also Diego’s for the club, is against Newcastle. Second will be sown up with a win. I give the little Argie the armband for the game and he responds with a great performance.


Sorry Dave.

The league was over in November to be honest. But 96 goals was a great achievement and even our defence wasn’t too bad.


Champions League will be fun.


Derby, Southampton (hahaha) and Barnsley are all relegated.

But this about really about one man. Lets look at his stats.


15 assists and 11 goals are a great return for the 36-year-old. But its only for one season. The guys in the squad have a whip round and by him a t-shirt which says ‘I’m sorry I cheated you in ‘86’ Luckily he can’t read English so smiles politely and walks away for the final time.

Ciao for now and thank you for reading this.

Thanks to Ross for a thoroughly entertaining series. You can follow him on Twitter @Riddley82

Remember to vote for your Greatest CM9798 Team!

Short Stories: Kaiserslautern – Part 2

Guten tag! That’s German for how do. In part 1, we discussed how it was a small miracle that Kaiserslautern won the 97/98 Bundesliga and then came up with a plan as to how I was going to replicate that success. The answer was seemingly Olaf Marschall.

After 9 games, we pick the season up with my new charges in 6th, hanging on to the coat tails of the top sides.

Table October

First off I’ve decided I need a centre back to strengthen out defensive resolve and at £1m I have identified Stephane Henchoz.

Henchoz signs

What I didn’t take into account, because I am a bonhead, is that Henchoz counts as a non-EU player because…Switzerland. This was a mistake, I admit that.

Alex Notman is finally back from his torn hamstring and he’s in for Ratinho, who is our for a few weeks. We still can’t defend but the ever reliable Marschall, with help from our young loanee, gets us over the line despite conceding twice in a minute.

cologne 3-5

Bochum. 3-0. Howard Finkel gets his first goal for the club and we’re loving life.

3-0 bochum

You don’t need him, ffs.

notman recalled

Cheers Alex. That leaves a whole in our team which young Reich will have to fill as we face Bayern in cup. The Pokal sounds less prestigous to be honest, but despite making it to half time at 1-1 once we are down to 10 men it’s a battering. Wave after wave and they just don’t stop. Henchoz is useless.

5-1 bayern

Thankfully Ratinho is back for the trip to Leverkusen, who are 6th but have 3 games in hand. If they win them all, they would be top. But we put a stop to that with a good display away from home. We lead twice but a point will do.

2-2 leverkusen

Dortmund are of course the Champions of Europe so you’ll understand my surprise that we score three times in 12 minutes to brush them aside. Momentum is growing.

3-1 dortmund

A visit to the capital gives us the surprising scenario where Marschall doesn’t score. He always scores. Larry Bob does though as the opening 10 minutes bring all the drama, despite Bryan Roy’s best efforts.

berlin 1 - 1

Stuttgart are another decent side, we seem to be in a rough set of fixtures at the moment. Marschall managed to get injured in training during the International break so he misses this one, which brings Kuka in.

4-3 stuttgart

Larry Bob has pulled his hamstring and will face 2 months out, which poses a problem as I really want to play Pavel Kuka now but will need to drop one of the other non-EU chaps. Ratinho is a set piece maestro which is bad news for Sforza and Kadlec, who may face rotation over the weeks to come.

Marschall only misses one game and he will have to get to know Kuka for the time being. We come from 2-0 down to draw with 1860 Munich as our patchy form continues.

2-2 1860 munich

2nd place Werder Bremen away probably will mean more problems for us. We’re already down to 7th but Kuka has given us a new dimension and his double helps us towards a massive shock result. Well maybe not massive but I didn’t expect to win let alone score 4 goals.

4-2 bremen

We get four again just a few days later as another away trip ends in a demolition. This time Kuka gets a hat-trick as Rostock feel the Kuka burn. We’ll work on better word play.

1-4 rostock

The final game before the winter break is Karlsruhe. Finally a game we are expected to win. Kuka, obviously, scores twice as we lead 3-0 at half time. It ends 4-1 with Marschall’s 23rd of the season, he’s now passed his real life total and it’s not even Christmas. Kuka has 9 in 5.

4-1 karlsruhe

Yes, if you are wondering, I should have picked Kuka from the start. Germany love a winter break, it lasts for two whole months where literally nothing happens. Here’s the table to help pass the time.

top winter break

It’s going rather well. I doubt we’ll have enough to overtake Bayern but you just never know.

It’s been 83 years. Or 2 months. But we’re back in action. The transfer deadline has been and gone, most of my players are wanted and were bid for.

squad feb

Our first game back is Hamburg away. It turns out to be the perfect setting for Marschall to get goal 24 of a brilliant season.

hamburg 0-1

You don’t play for 2 months then all of a sudden you play twice in 2 days. Who decided that?

0-0 schalke

We finish with a trip to Wolfsburg. They’re 17th and not very good and it looks set to be another 0-0 until my left back goes through one on one and scores and Sforza adds some Swiss gloss to the occasion.

2-0 wolfsburg

Bayern mess up at home to Leverkusen so we’re top of the pile. A lovely way to end the update I feel.

22 games

They have 2 games in hand so I’m not too excited but they have to visit us yet, we’re still fighting for this title and Ich würde es lieben, wenn wir sie schlagen, liebe es!

For some reason the Bundesliga is big on Wednesday-Friday for matches despite that break so we’re going to be heavily tested in the last few months of the season as my squad depth isn’t great. Nevertheless, 12 games to go and we’re in with a shout. I’ll take it. Join me next week for the conclusion, auf wiedersehen pets.


CM9798: The Greatest Team – Centre backs

As we continue to search for the greatest CM9798 team, the time has come to try and find two centre halves. Here are your options:


How do you select just two? I’ll try and help…

Robert Page

Page starts at Watford and usually gets a move early on to a midrange Premier League club. He’s captain material and has all the vital stats for a decent centre half. Heading, tackling, strength, positioning and even pace. He’ll cost you about £2.5m and I took him to Aberdeen because he’s mint.
Rob Page

With age on his side Page could marshall your defence for 10 years but there’ll be plenty of interest in him on the way, for example on the Newcastle save he ended up at Atletico Madrid!

Page Atletico

Will your vote go to big Rob?

Andrew Duncan

If Page is the man for the upper echelons of the pyramid, Andrew Duncan is probably more for the lower league sides. That’s not to say he wouldn’t do a job for you but as a free transfer he is particularly attractive to those with less budget.

duncan free

As a former member of the Man Utd academy, Duncan has high potential stats so the dreaded big club release clause will come into play. In the Academy save, he went to York to begin with before exercising that release clause to join Chelsea and then latterly West Ham. He’s worth over £2m and progressing nicely.

Duncan Season 4

Has Duncan won a place in your heart for being a lower league legend?

Steve Haslam

Fans of this blog will know why Haslam is included. He can develop into a good centre half, there’s no doubt about that. But did anybody see this coming?

haslam to real madrid

So that sums up the potential Haslam has, so even though he starts at Sheff Wed you can probably get him on loan in the lower leagues and hope he sticks around.


Whether it be sentimental or you just generally love Steve Haslam, is he getting your vote?

Marlon Broomes

Another young centre half with good key stats for a centre half – heading, pace, tackling – he can go on to do very well in the game.


I’ll be honest, I don’t think Broomes will win this vote but if he gets game time he will go on to play for England. In the Academy save he’s progressing nicely and is a regular at Blackburn. His stats are great though.

Broomes future

Maybe Broomes should be a sweeper?

John Curtis

Maybe that should be Sir John Curtis. My personal favourite centre half starts in the Man Utd youth team but you can immediately see that he has the potential to be a star.

John Curtis

Obviously Man Utd’s team is stacked so JC usually ends up moving away but as soon as he gets regular game time. The Aberdeen save is a good example of that – he moved to the SPL, played regularly and then once I left, so did JC. Back to his roots. But he has 56 caps for England and captains them, so it worked out quite well.

JC future

He’s an absolute hero. The one negative about him is that he has turned down my request for an interview on several occasions. Come on John, the world would love to hear from you.

Teddy Lucic

The Swedish have a strong tradition of being bloody brilliant on Championship Manager and Teddy Lucic is always a treat.


He’s already a Swedish International and can be picked up for a couple of hundred thousand. The problem is IFK are in the Champions League so he won’t just join any old chumps…and he has to be available. He is a little bit slow though. His potential was underlined in the Scotland/Waregem save where he went to Napoli, PSV and Man Utd. Look at those average ratings.

Lucic future

Will Teddy be steady for you?

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand starts the game as an 18 year old at West Ham. He is already more than capable of playing Premier League football with 20 for pace and tackling. Holding on to him is not really on the agenda at West Ham – he normally wants a move to a bigger club and he usually gets it.


Of course Rio went on to be one of England’s greatest centre halves and cost £30m, so hats off to the researcher for getting this one right.  In the NUFC save he’s well on the way to greatness.

future rio

The fact he’s young and already ready for the top level makes him one of the best players to sign at the start of the game. Getting him isn’t always easy and it will probably set you back upwards of £5m but West Ham are a struggling Premier League side, so you’ll probably get him.

Michael Duberry

Poor old Dubes. I think what I like most about him is that he was fairly accident prone in real life yet CM regarded him as one of the best centre halves in the league.


Like Rio he is already capable of playing in the Premier League but is at Chelsea, who are a top 6 side. He usually moves on to Man Utd after a couple of seasons, like he did in the Aberdeen save. Look at how many appearances he made!

dubes future

48 caps for England tells it’s own story.  But will Dubes get your vote?

That’s all of our centre halves – but which two get your vote? Remember to make your opinion count!

If you missed it yesterday, here’s a run down of the goalkeepers available to you





CM9798: The Greatest Team – Goalkeepers

Pull up a seat, it’s time to study some of the greatest stoppers in the game. Well, this game anyway. Here’s the five up for discussion today:

Of course it would be churlish of me not to pay respect to those who narrowly missed out. Mickael Landreau, Fabien Barthez, Christophe Revault, Bengt Andersson and probably many more can all consider themselves unlucky. Let’s take a look at who did make it.


Our first candidate for the number 1 jersey is probably best known for not being as good as Jerzy Dudek at saving penalties in the Champions League final. He’s a hero to me though…


Although he has surprisingly few 20s, he is young enough to improve whilst still being more than good enough now. To take some blog saves as examples, obviously he was my number one at Aberdeen throughout the glory days, whilst on the Newcastle save he moved to Liverpool. On the negative side, he will use up a vital non-EU slot in your squad, which you might not want to waste on a goalkeeper. He’s my go to signing for a mid-range club but can we do better?

Richard Wright

What Dida lacks in stats, Richard Wright more than makes up for it.


Wright doesn’t usually last the season at Ipswich before being snapped up by almost anybody else. Youth is on his side and whilst he probably isn’t ready for the Champions League straight away, a couple of seasons of regular playing time and he’ll be good to play anywhere, anytime. A bit like Crash Holly. Here’s an example of how he develops after just a few seasons:

wright future

Minimal changes there but stats aren’t everything. He has two England caps and isn’t that the main thing? Ignore when he gave away a penalty against Malta, please.

Anthony Betterton



At just 17 Betterton is the most popular of the free transfer goalkeepers available at the lower level. Obviously at just 16 he has a lot to improve which will only come with playing time. Some of these stats are randomised at the start of the game, in fact he’s even just 16 in some games for some inexplicable reason, but anyway, using the magic of the CM9798 Academy save, here he is at the start and at the start of season 4.

betterton future

Did I mention he’s free? I can’t emphasise that enough. In summary, one for the future, but if you’re in the lower leagues he’s one for the here and now.

Neil Finn


neil finn

I guess the important thing here is that his shot stopping is 20. The injury proneness stat is random, so it’s just unfortunate that when I need to sell him to you that this stat is disgustingly high. Anyway, I guess Finn is most famous for his time in the blog save that went all the way to the end of time. He was Real Madrid’s Number 1, this screenshot taken 10 seasons in.

Finn future

Whilst that is remarkable it was apparently not deemed remarkable enough to take a screen grab of his vital statistics. What you can take from this though is that he has hidden stats and potential and if he is played enough he can go right to the top. On the Academy save he is currently at Wimbledon…

Neil Alexander

The remarkable thing here is that Alexander has only just retired, having played for Livingston last season.


Alexander has high potential but a lot of his standard stats are randomised, so don’t be alarmed by his progression over 8 years. They are from different saves. That rushing out stat will hurt him, but I guess the fact it is so low on a save where he’s done well (having been at Chelsea and Liverpool) probably means it isn’t worth a huge deal. What does it any of it mean anyway?

alexander future2

Will it be enough to secure your vote though?

Remember to vote at the top of the page and then join me tomorrow where we’ll look at the centre half options.