PES Club Manager for beginners: Drafting a team for Beginner Division

Now that you have a better understanding of team tactics and player attributes in PES Club Manager, it is time to draft a team that can compete in the Beginner Division. The good news is that the skill cap in Beginner Division is rather low, therefore you don’t even need a starting team full of 5-star players to win the league.

It may not be possible to play your dream style of football given the limited resources and quality of players you have at your disposal. Here are some general tips on tactics and players you should have to help you succeed in the Beginner Division.

Overall tactics

I recommend playing short-passing possession game football in Beginner Division. Low rarity players are at least decent enough to reliably make ground passes and simple through balls, but are generally not good at long balls and crosses.

On the other hand, counter-attacking football does not care about possession. It relies heavily on a strong defensive line and a few players with great pace and attacking prowess. But if the opposition’s defence easily repel your attacks, the entire game plan will just collapse. The players that you start out with in PES Club Manager may not be capable of executing this sort of playstyle effectively.

Formation is entirely up to you to decide. PES Club Manager is the perfect environment to test out weird formations like 3-3-4, but if you can make it work then I have no right to complain. Traditional 4-4-2 is a well-balanced formation for both possession game and counter-attacking since there are sufficient players covering all areas of the pitch. Leicester City’s 2015-16 BPL title winning squad inspired me to play 4-4-2 counter-attacking football, which I still have great success with in Top Player Division. My current team with the 4-4-2 formation is shown below:

Goalkeepers

Make sure you have a goalkeeper with at least a 3-star rating. In PES Club Manager, 1-2 star goalkeepers tend to do incredibly stupid things like diving to the wrong side when making a save (or not diving at all) and they tend to get caught out of position when the opponent is attacking. Bad goalkeepers can really cost you the game, so don’t be a cheapskate and just invest in a decent goalkeeper with high rating in goalkeeping and saving.

You may also consider getting a backup goalkeeper in case of injury, although goalkeepers rarely ever get injured so I don’t bother having one. There was a match I played some time ago where the opposition’s goalkeeper got injured, and Mario Götze was sent on as the replacement. Needless to say, things went downhill fast for my opponent.

Defenders

A strong defensive line is indispensable for any team. Get defenders with high rating in ball winning and defensive prowess. Your centre back (CB) pairing is crucial in protecting your goalkeeper. They need to be physically strong and tall in order to defend set pieces and win the ball. Ideally, one of your CB should also have a high rating in speed for chasing down pacey forwards.

Any defensive player, including midfielders, with “The destroyer” playing style is perfect for your team since these players relentlessly tackle and press the opponent when they have the ball.

If you are playing with fullbacks, consider those with the “Offensive full-back” playing style. Your fullbacks should be supporting the team when attacking the opposition’s half. Therefore, you need to look for fullbacks with high rating in speed and dribbling.

Midfielders

I like to play with 2 midfielders on each side, 1 defensive midfielder (DMF) and either an attacking or centre midfielder (AMF/CMF). The DMF protects the defensive line, so he also needs to have high rating in ball winning and defensive prowess.

Wingers are meant to dribble down the sides and cross the ball into the penalty box, so they need to have high rating in attacking prowess, dribbling, speed and lofted pass.

The CMF has a more versatile role. The ability rating you are looking for depends on what you want him to do for your team:

  1. If you want a player to cover the entire pitch and help out in both attack and defence, look for “Box-to-box” playing style and high rating in stamina.
  2. If you want a player to create plays with deft passes but not play too high up the pitch, look for “Classic No. 10” or “Creative playmaker” playing style and high rating in ball control, low pass and lofted pass.
  3. If you want a player to run into the opposition’s box and join your forwards in attack, look for “Hole player” playing style and high rating in attacking prowess and dribbling.

Forwards

Get forwards with high rating in attacking prowess and finishing. You could consider playing one forward in a more withdrawn position, also known as second striker (SS). The role of the SS is to assist the centre forward (CF), so your SS also needs to have a high rating in low pass and dribbling.

The CF should ideally be physically strong and tall so that he is not easily bullied and alienated by the opposition’s defence.

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