I have a love/hate relationship with football management sims. I have thoroughly enjoyed them at times, but on other occasions I have found myself hurling expletives at my laptop, getting incredibly worked up at the failings of a team I feel certain should be winning nearly every game (not exactly my finest hour). Years of experience with these games have helped me to refine what works and what doesn’t, and I’ve taken great steps toward managing my anger issues with these games!
There have been some management sims that have fallen short of expectations for one reason for another. Some have been horribly difficult, and some, looking back, were far too easy. For me, the Ultimate Soccer Manager series was pretty good, though the first installment was way too easy to beat – I think I won something like ten consecutive titles on it! USM 98/99 edition was home to what was once my proudest achievement on management games – 11 league titles in 19 seasons (I think), to name but a few of the trophies won.
There is one franchise which has come to define the genre – it grew out of the legendary Champion Manager series to become the dominant force in management games, setting the standard for others to follow – I am of course, referring to Football Manager.
It’s given me a few moments of rage. I won’t lie – it would be fair to say I have not always enjoyed the FM games, but when everything comes together and you start getting results, it definitely releases a few endorphins! On FM 2007 I managed to restrain the urge to force results through reloading matches – and through patience and perseverance, I would guide my beloved Liverpool to several league and Champions League titles, plus I won the World Cup with England! I did however, inject into the game several superstar youth players, with a view to recreating my USM 98/99 team, so it wasn’t a true reflection of the team’s abilities.
I had FM 2010, and FM 2011, but neither game could really provide me with the satisfaction I was after. I was at this point too easily annoyed when results didn’t go my way, and winning via what is effectively cheating… well, it wasn’t the right way to enjoy the game. When FM 2012 came around, I promised myself I would do it properly.
This is the story of my epic FM 2012 career. I hope you enjoy it.
Part 8 – Final Glory