Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Football Manager......

If you don't care about soccer or computer games then save your time and go here!
"What's up with you guys?!When you're not watching ball, you're playing it on the comp or talking about it!You guys are too much!"
The above comments were uttered by an old pal and neighbour of mine to his brother, a mutual friend of ours and myself.He had come home for vacation from Australia and unlike us was more of a rugby than soccer fan.So at times he would feel bored or left out when the 4 of us were together, but I knew where he was coming from so I didn't hold it against him.
Anyway I remembered that comment and the visions of his objects of scorn came back to me.I will not bother talking about the soccer discussions which were not the usual "Our team is buying player X so we will crush you off" variety, but more like this, "I don't know why your manager has bothered buying player X, if you have watched shots of him playing for Club E it is obvious his dribbling skills are suspect and he is more of a long ball merchant and since your club favours playing the ball on the ground; please note player 3,4 and 5's superior player skills and note the build up to most of the goals."To which the anwer would be something like, "If you watched game 31 of the season onwards where our team has been facing more physical opponents who play the ball on the ground it is important for us to have a player who is strong in the air and can provide knock downs for the other players to operate on..." But we in no way whatsoever saw ourselves as soccer gurus.
Back to where I was earlier.My pal's bro and I will never be in the premier league (Kenyan or British) but we found another way to indulge our aspirations to greatness.......Championship Manager!
Championship Manager is a football management simulation game.The player manages a team of their choice from 39 leagues world over.Like a true manager you deal with the board (negotiate the season's objectives), hire staff, deal with the mass media, make training schedules for your players,choose formations,decide player roles in the team,handle the wage bill, buy and sell players,scout for players, discipline players etc.Let's just say it's addictive and time consuming.After all it is one of the most popular and best selling computer franchises of all time!Here are some screen shots.

As you play the game sums up your achievements as you move/or are fired from club to club

You get a match summary and an even more detailed on showing who had the most completed passes and shots on goal so you know who to leave on the bench come the next match

You also get the history of the club since you took over.

I had loads of fun with CM 03/04 even though at times it could get irritating. Buying players in this game is just as challenging as it is in real life.It is not uncommon for another team to jump into the bidding and raise the price, or for you to agree a fee with a team but the player to refuse to join you.I also recall buying (I will never forget his name!) Stephan Dalmat from a French club for a small fee when I was managing Liverpool.I trained him and made him a mid-field star with a value of around 20 million pounds plus I paid him well too.Ngoja time for negotiating a new contract the fool began stalling rejecting offers no matter how much I offered!His contract entered it's last year and teams chose to wait it out then to offer cash as he was going to walk on a free.Since that was the case I used to fine him 2 weeks wages every 2 weeks for no reason at all so as to save cash from the wage bill.Of course he said that he felt that I was fining him because he was leaving the club, I didn't care but unfortunately it did make some of the other players who were his pals concerned.I also recall some players who were constantly on the injury list!Anyway Eidos and the developers of the game split and the next game was developed by Sega.

Football Manager 2005!

This game had new features that made gameplay more exciting!First of all you could face off with rivals in the press.A rival manager would make a comment before your next match and the game would give you a range of responses ranging from no comment to you saying that you were worried about the next game to you saying that you were going to run over the other team!I had loads of fun talking smack to Alex Ferguson and Mourinho.But if you spend to much time talking smack your players complain.Yes that's how intuitive the game is!Also agents of players who want to join your team will reach out to you or talk to the press saying how much they want to join your team.Plus you can also release a statement of itnerest in a player so as to unsettle him or see if he wants to join your team.Of course the other team can object and they can also declare interest in your players too.Players have personalities too, so a player can take a dislike to you and play badly under you so that you have to sell them, other players are not team players and there was a time a there were celebrations in the dressing room when I sold a player, so you have to watch players moods and work on them by either praising them when they play well or berating them if they don't but this too can have unexpected results.The 2d presentation of games n progress is more pleasing to the eye in this version.The tactics are also far more intricate thus making the game more of a challenge.Plus the interface was great and if you had a net connection you could download new skins!

This is where the action begins!

This is your inbox where you get all the info, communication and news from inside the club and out!

You get to pick your line-up.

There are several ways of watching a match

This is the in game formation screen where you can move players to precisely where you want them to be on the pitch

You can watch the game in 2d with commentary running at the bottom of the screen

The 2d game play imitates everything in reality like set pieces etc!

You also get to check on the other teams in your club and see if there are players worthy of promotion to the first team

All in all these games are very time consuming!I recall getting FM 2005 sometime before I left Kenya and I used to to work on a comp the whole day, come home kick back for an hour and start playing!Yes I was a game addict!I once recall there was a season where I had to win the league or be fired.My team had fallen into a rut and had lost their unbeaten streak, so I sat up to 3 am in the morning to make sure we retained the title (When you start talking in terms of WE you know you are hooked).People at work the next day thought I had gone clubbing because of my red eyes!
But I have been dry since last year August.But with the World Cup Fever I think I will save up, buy a PC and guess what?Football Mananger 2006 is in the market!

Anyway I think I have yapped long enough about my addiction.Time to go study for my exams!
Late Edit:- Just found screen shots for FM 2007 that is set to be out by December!Gotta get myself a copy!

Now the even give tips!This game is complex so that really helps!

Detailed team statistics ranging from form to morale!

You can now blast your team if they are losing at half-time!

You can also tell your team to keep up the good performance if they're winning at half-time!

Your personal page is also a whole lot more detailed than before!

Damn!Seems I've got alot of catching up to do!


Movie Buff said...

you have alot of time on your hands.... lol.....

Ken said...

Dude! you are looking at some serious addiction there.
You better have lots of time in your hands.

acolyte said...

@ movie buff
That was in Kenya sadly here in stato I haven't even sniffed those games!
@ Ken
Well I quit cold turkey since I came to the States but once I get back into it I should forget about having a life!

m said...

Give me gratuitious violence any day. Unreal Tournament. Grand Theft Auto.

Acolyte said...

@ M
I love those too for quick thrills!

Anonymous said...


acolyte said...

@ Anon
I'll give it a look, thanks!