A few thoughts on Football Manager

After listening to Jason Davis’ interview with one of the developers of Football Manager, I figured it was time to give the full-fledged game a chance.

I did the demo version for a while, then used a gift card and a sale price to snag the full version for a low price.

“Addictive” isn’t the right word. Maybe “immersive.” It’s like a Vegas casino — it’s easy to lose track of time. I’m certainly playing it more now than I’ll be able to play it when I get back in my work routine Jan. 2.

A few things I’d like to see improved:

I hated losing my progress when I switched from the demo to the full version. Perhaps there was a way to preserve my progress, but I didn’t see it. And that was a pity. I was really looking forward to clearing some deadwood out of Tranmere Rovers and then buying the 1-2 players that could get us out of the Vanarama (Bananarama wasn’t available?) relegation zone.

Need more warnings of time passing. With the full version, I’ve started two careers — one with Real Salt Lake so I can try to figure out GAM and TAM, another with Cork City in Ireland. With the latter, I knew I had some work to do on deadline day — I have too many defenders for the 3-5-2 I want to run, and I was trying to shift some payroll with a couple of loans. Apparently, one club was willing to finalize terms, but I made the mistake of hitting “Continue” and watching the time skip 15 hours into the future. “Deadline passed” and “Deals canceled” popped into my inbox. Now I’m stuck paying full contracts for these guys.

Need more communication. I can’t seem to get across to my coaching staff that we’re running a 3-5-2 here. Quit telling me we should switch to a 4-1-4-1 or something else. There’s also no back-and-forth — they can recommend things, but we can’t discuss them the same way I can with a player or the board.

Let me search internationally. Yes, I know, scouting internationally costs money. But can’t I just find one specific person and make an offer? How do you know Clint Dempsey doesn’t want to play his final season in Cork?

Little hiccups in timing and communication. An assistant coach recommended that I name a promising forward as the U19 captain. So I did. Then I got another recommendation — that same player should be promoted to the senior squad. So I did. Now one of his teammates is mad at me for “stripping the captaincy” from that player. Also — multiple times, I’ve flipped back and forth between FM and my browser, returning to the game to find that, say, I missed the pregame talk. What?

You can *see* things that you can’t fix. I just saw Dundalk play a long ball up and over my central defender. The left back kept him onside. But I can’t specifically point that out to him.

You can’t *ask* things. The U19 coach took my prize defensive prospect and started him at striker, where he did well. I wish I could ask if he wanted to be re-trained there.

Can’t I sync to mobile? I have the mobile version of this, and it has maybe one-third of the functionality. That’s fine. But sometimes, I’d like to just check in and get through a couple of days. I don’t need to do a full-fledged squad analysis every day. It’d be great to load a game on my phone, make a bit of progress, and then return to fix up the squad on my laptop.

And a few awesome things:

Details, details. I love the fact that we can change almost anything. I got a note from the groundskeeper asking if I wanted to keep our home field at a reasonable 114×80 or switch it to something more amusing, like 95×90. Didn’t even think that was legal.

Customizable views. If I want to compare the fitness levels, form, age, potential level and something random like “key passes,” I can create a table to do that.

Tinker with my lineup all day. Seriously. You could lose hours just picking a lineup for one match. Note to self: Start saving them, or 2018 will not be productive.

tactics

 

 

 

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