CM9798 – The Greatest Team: Right backs/wingbacks

Welcome to the final category of our CM9798 Greatest Team vote. There are only right backs & wingbacks left to consider and I need you to pick one from the 6 candidates if could be so kind. Remember, the results are revealed tomorrow so today is the day to get your votes in.

Your six options…

Kieron Dyer

In Dyer’s early days at Ipswich, he was a promising young full back. As he began to mature, George Burley recognised his great pace would be more useful further forwards, which is why we see him as an option for both full back and wing positions:


His potential is set very high – quite rightly, after all he did go on to play Champions League football and for his country. He’s a favourite of mid-ranging Premier League teams due to his relatively low price of a couple of million and you’re pretty certain to get more for him than you purchased him for if you are in such a position.

Is that enough for him to get your vote though?

Javier Zanetti

One of the greatest right backs ever to play the game, Zanetti had to feature in our voting.


Part of the great Inter Milan squad, he very rarely transfers away showing the same loyalty he did in the real world. I always found him to average better than Cafu, who you’d probably put in the same bracket and for that reason, he makes the list.

Peter Smith

This man is the meaning of a CM legend. You will of course remember MK’s Brighton save, where Smith was a star performer.


His stats are incredible for a third division player worth £200k but he has no big club release, which is great news if you are the Brighton manager. Brighton have operated him in central midfield in this screenshot but with a passing of 3, I’d rather seem him using that stamina to get up and down the right wingback position. Vote Peter!

Thomas Helveg

This category was quite slim pickings but Helveg usually gets a reasonable move from Udinese, so he must have something about him. Here he is enjoying a first season move to Juventus.

Helveg Juve

Available for less than £5m, I’d say he’s a good candidate for you if you are managing a top level team. Wingbacks aren’t that easy to find on the game but Helveg is a good bet. You should get a good 5 years plus out of him too.

Christian Panucci

This one isn’t difficult. He plays for one of the best clubs in the world and has incredible stats.


He quite often makes a move back to his home land but I don’t think he’s fussy as long as you are a massive club. A slight negative is that he technically isn’t a wingback but I’m sure he’d do a job there anyway. His statistical strengths lie in his defensive capabilities anyway.

Eric Rabesandratana

Fun fact for you, when my friend Ross showed me he had signed this guy I thought he had made him up on the editor. Mind you, this was in about 2003.


He often ends up at Man Utd or, in this example, Milan. The AI doesn’t sign bad players for big clubs and this guy is a bit of a marvel. Even after reading his wiki he still doesn’t ring any bells for me, I’m sure he was excellent in his day but he’s very good on CM9798 and that’s all you can ask.

Eric future

There you have it then, 6 right backs or wingbacks and it is now down to you to choose just one. You have 24 hours. The results will be revealed tomorrow as we celebrate CM9798 turning 21. Woo and yay. Bye for now.

Remember to vote in every category – you can do that here

CM9798 – The Greatest Team: Central Midfielders

It’s the penultimate episode of our greatest team series and with just two days until the team is revealed, you better get your votes in sharpish. Today we’re looking at the central midfield option, of which there is only room for one in our 2-3-1-2-2 formation.

Let’s meet the contenders:

Tommy Svindal Larsen

The Norwegian legend, Tommy Svindal Larsen has managed many a midfield in his time. Just look at his stats!


Tommy is probably the Twitter champion. Barely a mention of the game goes by without somebody name dropping this hero. It’s a bit weird as depending on what leagues you load, he doesn’t even make the cut, which is incredible really but the Norwegian leagues are packed full of brilliance. He can be picked up for a couple of million at most, but get him as soon as you can.

Jeff Brazier

Sometimes I ask myself what I was doing when I made this list. Here’s Jeff Brazier, yes TV’s Jeff Brazier.


I think I gave him the nod because his transformed the Academy from Third Division alsorans into…Second Division alsorans when he left for Bolton. I think I like the idea of Jeffrey more than his actual ability, though he is a brilliant free transfer in the lower leagues which might swing him some votes.

Marc Emmers

He’s a Belgian International who will cost you about £100k. He’s also insanely brilliant. Again, incredible stats.


Like TSL, he’ll back up those stats with incredible average ratings. He’s a central midfielder who can attack and defend which makes him, well ideal really. Obviously his age means his shelf life is relatively short but he was still useful for Waregem in season 7 so age is just a number. Will it be enough to earn Marc your vote?

Robert Dunn

It’s a while since we’ve been to Partick Thistle. Robert Dunn is here despite being a midfielder/striker.

Dunn start

Available for about £50k, Dunn’s value is guaranteed to increase over time making him the ideal candidate for clubs at a First Division level or maybe higher if you are willing to nurture him. Here’s Sheff Wed’s attempts after 4 years – again you can see a lot of his stats are randomised, his passing hasn’t nosedived thankfully.

dunn future

Morten Bisgaard

Another hero of mine who I even found a spot for in the all star Ajax team. Morten Bisgaard, ladies and gentlemen:


A little bit pricier at about the £4m mark, Bisgaard is no good to you if you’re in the lower divisions but if you are at the top level, he’s practically a bargain. He won’t sign for just anybody though and you’ll need to get him before he gets really good. In complete contradiction to that, here he is at West Ham.

bisgaard future

Denmark produces a lot of good players, for example Petr Degn just cost Barcelona £13m on the Academy save. Maybe he should be on this list. Anyway, vote Morten.

Gustavo Neffa

I went through a phase of always signing Gustavo Neffa. I’m really not sure why.


He’s about £1m and his contract is often expiring in the first season. This category was a slog.

So…after that inspiring run down of the central midfield options, all that is left for you to do is vote. We’ll have the right wingbacks tomorrow then the final reveal on Wednesday. In the words of Des’ree, oooh I get the shivers. Bye for now.

Vote for your Greatest CM9798 Team here

CM9798 – The Greatest Team: Attacking Midfielders

The deadline to vote for your greatest CM9798 team is drawing ever closer. You have until October 30th to cast your vote ahead of the game’s 21st birthday on October 31st. Does a game celebrate a birthday? Never mind. The time has come to consider our attacking midfield options and you need to select TWO please, in order to fit into out 2-3-1-2-2.

Here are the contenders:

Phil Mulryne

That’s Father Phil Mulryne to you. It’s yet another member of the Man Utd youth team…

mulryne start

I guess the annoying thing here is that although his potential is locked in his stats are somewhat random. It’s unnoticeable on a lot of stats but set pieces is one where it can change a lot. Anyway, I’m a big fan, I signed him on my very first blog save as Wimbledon and many games since. Here he is on the Aberdeen save:

Mulryne future

mulryne career

That 98/99 season was quite something. If that doesn’t show you the power of what he can achieve then nothing will.


The CM9798 researchers must have been patting themselves on the back the night Denilson signed for Real Betis for a then World record fee of £21.5m. His CM9798 equivalent certainly had all the credentials:

denilson start

Aged just 19 and available for as little as £2m, if Sao Paulo were willing to let him go he was a great option to have. Capable of playing up front as well as his more natural attacking midfield positions, it’s a shame Denilson didn’t live up to his transfer fee.

Ibrahima Bakayoko

Hello old friend. Perhaps the most notable CM9798 gem, Ibrahima Bakayoko would set you back about £6.5m.

Baka start

From the moment I signed him to replace the stricken Alan Shearer, 9 year old me was always impressed by Bakayoko and that bond has grown year on year. Whether you play him up front or in the attacking midfield position, expect high average ratings and goals galore.

bakayoko history

We recently had some Twitter chat with a chap who worked at Everton during the Bakayoko era and the consensus is that he wasn’t as bad as was made out. Sadly he didn’t live up to his CM credentials but he’s been nothing but heroic to me and that’s all I care about. But is it enough to get your vote?

Finidi George

Another of the Betis brigade, George Finidi/Finidi George is a bit under appreciated. Just look at those stats.

Finidi start

Even his injury proneness is low. An absolute belter of a player but he is tricky to tempt away from Betis. Supplying the bullets for Alfonso and Oli is a good job though and Finidi excels at it. Just like someone else…

Sanchez Fernando

There was something in the air that night and looking at his stats it’s no surprise the stars were bright. Fernando.

Fernando start

He usually gets a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid within the first few seasons but, like Finidi, he’s got things pretty sweet where he is. That 20 for shooting comes in handy.

Alex Notman

One of the youngest players in the voting, Alex Notman could feasibly give you 20 seasons if you get him early enough.

Notman start

Yet another of the Man Utd youth team, he usually ends up on loan for a few seasons before moving around the lower divisions on a big club release clause. He can play in attacking midfield or up front but he lacks pace which is why I normally play him in attacking midfield depending on who else I have. Because he’s so young it might be 10 seasons before you really see the best of him but he usually ends up playing for England at some stage.

Antoine Sibierski


Sibi start

This man’s versatility makes him particularly useful. As you can see his stats are pretty good all round, but his shooting being at 15 leads me to pick him in an attacking midfield position rather than a striker. He was an integral part of my Ajax team along with many superstars but he never really hit those heights in real life. Will he make your greatest CM9798 team though?

Remember to vote for your Greatest CM9798 team here

CM9798: The Greatest Team – Left backs/wingbacks

The vote for the Greatest CM9798 team ends next week which means you don’t have long to make your choice. With over 2000 votes so far, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support on my latest project. Today we are looking at left backs or left wingbacks depending on the formation you play. We’ve set them up based on the famous 2-3-1-2-2 but you can of course play any formation you want.

Here are the runners and riders:


But who to choose?

Roberto Carlos

I’ll be honest, the wingback category (both sides) is a bit of a noodle scratcher. Getting somebody to play there a whole season and average over 7 is surprisingly difficult, with midfielder (left) Brian Pinas making a reasonable go at it in the Newcastle save whilst the Academy have had a few youngsters have a crack at it with no success. Anyway, like Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos is really one of the most iconic players of this era. He was already a fantastic player before he moves to Real Madrid but his physics defying free kick in Le Tournoi shot him into prominence.

His stats are ridiculous.

roberto carlos

I’d actually be curious to see how he got on in a more forward position because his stats, aside from heading, suggest he’d do well. One for a rainy day. Anyway, statistically he is obviously up to scratch but I guess the one downside is that he’s at one of the biggest clubs in the world so unless you are them you might struggle to get him. He usually gets released several seasons down the line by which point he has declined but for now, enjoy him for what he is.

Bixente Lizarazu

Twitter loves Lizarazu. I asked for suggestions in the left back position and Bixente got plenty of nominations. It’s hardly surprising as France’s starting left back but either way he’s excellent. Bayern Munich seem to love selling their players too so you can probably get him in the first few seasons but as he turns 28 in the first season, he doesn’t have the longest shelf life.


Niclas Alexandersson

There are two ultimate utility men in CM9798. One is Luis Enrique, one of the greatest players in the game. The other is Niclas Alexandersson of Sheff Wed. Fun fact – Alexandersson was only moved to Sheff Wed in the patch so if you’re playing the out of the box version you can get him from Gothenburg for a small fee. Sheff Wed are less keen to sell him.


As you can see from his stats he’s actually quite handy but such is the relative dearth of left backs that’s where I’m putting him. He gets even better too, as we saw in the Aberdeen save.

NA career

Is versatility enough to get your vote?

Darren Young

What makes Darren Young an anomaly is that he is actually a wing back. The others are are all left backs or left midfielders. Not Youngy though. He is a one position man.

young start

He has the big club release clause as we found out in the Aberdeen save (curse you, Rangers) but he usually ends up moving on to bigger things in every save, though he made poor decisions in my example. Anyway, as a natural wing back he is one of the few to thrive in the position but is he your pick?

young career

Lee Hughes

I swear, if I ever meet the Norwegian researcher of this game I have SO MANY QUESTIONS. Lee Hughes of Hodd is available for about £50k and is often the go to in the search for a left wingback.

lee hughes

The problem is, I have no idea who he is. Nobody does. It’s not helped that another Lee Hughes played at the top level and had some trouble with the law so he dominates a Google search but this Lee Hughes is always highly rated by the scout and does a job at just about every level. For Aberdeen he played in the Champions League for me, so a job well done.

Hughes future

Robert Jarni

The Croation Roberto Carlos, Robert Jarni is part of the rather tasty Betis team. His stats show just how good he is and one day I’ll do a Betis save to see just how good they can be.

Jarni start

Jarni went on to star in the 1998 World Cup and secured his dream move to…Coventry. Yep. He then moved to Real Madrid without making any appearances for the Sky Blues in a totally legitimate transfer that wasn’t a ruse at all. No further questions.

See all the nominees for the CM9798 Greatest Team here


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