As one of no doubt many, many tens of fans of Alex Stewart’s excellent Football Manager series, I’ve been reminded of the joy of earning promotion from the lower leagues and the floodgates have reopened on my playing days. I recently booted up my copy of FM 2012 again and dragged Rotherham up to the Championship on no money in two heady seasons before being hit with the drudgery of the scrap to avoid relegation. I’ve taken a brief break from the game (a la Guardiola in New York) to try and salvage my relationship, but I keep having dreams about the FM screens and the flashing goal updates.
I digress. The key question is whether you have ever come across an actual bona fide football manager, who spends his free time playing Football Manager. I imagine the ‘man-motivator’ types would really struggle, beyond giving the lads a bollocking at half time for a poor performance away at Grimsby. However maybe the limitations of the game would also prevent the true tactical tinkerers from rocketing up the leagues too, with only so many slots available for your little player markers to occupy.
In your professional capacity have you ever come across a real enthusiast for the game? I like to picture Wenger huddled over his laptop on many an evening, taking over a big European club on a different career and buying his own reserves for millions, then going on luxurious spending sprees. If he played it properly, it would explain his desire to stockpile youngsters with bags of potential in real life. He’s always on the lookout for the next Cherno Samba.
Ed’s note: There are a great many people in football who play Football Manager, particularly among the players. The game is also used to various levels by many clubs, especially since its database partnership with ProZone. For more information, you might want to check out the movie.
If you’d like to appear on the letters page, just send us an email: [email protected] Please don’t send us any more letters about touching yourself while playing computer games though. Seriously.