Letters (19/10/15)

A warm welcome back for The Set Pieces’ letter pages, our only occasionally vocalised answer to the horror of below-the-line comments boxes. We always welcome your feedback, so don’t be afraid to write in about anything. There’s lots of good stuff to come, especially for the Football Manager and CM01/02 fans. But first, we say a sad farewell to editorial assistant Phil Costa who was released back into the wild on Friday. 

Phil had been working with us since the summer on a short term contract, helping out behind the scenes for both the site and for Alma Media. His  ‘Focus’ and ‘One To Watch Watch’ articles were always excellent, mainly because they were the product of hours of painstaking WyScout research and assorted analytics, rather than snatched glimpses of clip reels and video games. If there was a full-time job available here, he’d be in it. Phil is an excellent young writer and would be an asset to any media organisation. Further references can be supplied if you email: [email protected] 



What a great piece by Rory Smith, and what a relief that there is somewhere out there which doesn’t presume all football fans have the attention spans of Wayne Rooney in a dark room full of spinning glitterballs and will therefore publish proper, long-form writing on the game.

More of this please.


Jim Clark


Where are all the book reviews? There used to be at least one a week and recently they’ve dribbled away to nothing.  Are you really so busy playing Champ Man that you can’t be bothered to do any real work?

Pull your finger out.

Charlie Parsons

ED’S NOTE: We’ve got a backlog of books because our regular reviewer Alex Stewart has been banging on about egg-chasing for a tournament that seems to have been going on for months. He’ll be back soon and in the meantime, I’ll be ploughing through the pile as best I can.


I’m greatly enjoying the CM 01/02 Everton Challenge and it reminded me of, what I called, The Bastard Challenge that I used to try in earlier incarnations of FM. The objective of the game is to deliberately relegate one of the Big Four cash swilling clubs in the EPL. My particular favourite to try was Man Utd, I did consider Liverpool, but this was in the 2006/7 season and it felt a bit like punching a beloved old Aunt who had fallen on hard times…

To be fair, I was never that successful at the challenge. My first task was to sell Ferdinand, Vidic and tell Rooney he was free to leave and then buy Lee Trundle as my main striker, putting Ronaldo on the bench. Tactics wise I went for a solid 1-8-1 ultra defensive formation, playing it long and tackling hard. Rooney was a bastard though and wouldn’t leave, said I ‘was trying to force him out of the club’ or something. Anyway, I stuck him in goal and put Trundle up front. Things went well to start with and I lost my opening 6 matches. By December we were in the bottom three, bobbling along nicely. Then I only went and got the sack. By the end of the season, the new manager was in place (can’t remember who they hired) and Utd finished a healthy 6th in the table. When I last looked Lee Trundle was in the reserves and transfer listed while bloody Rooney was up front and knocking them in… 


Rob Gray

If you’d like to badger us about things we haven’t done, now’s your chance. Just write to us by emailing: [email protected] 

Letters (19/10/15)
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