I was 12 years old starting secondary school when my old form tutor introduced me to Championship Manager. By luck or by persistence, I somehow came across the demo-version given free in packets of Frosties. My life has never been the same.
But I’m not writing about how I took Gateshead to the Premier League in the revised ‘Football Manager’ series, or how Newcastle United were the biggest team on the continent. No. That would be too easy, and those stories are saved for my grandchildren. Instead, I want to put out my views on how this game should be implemented into the real world.
For those who don’t know, Football Manager is a game in which you take the role, well, of a Football Manager. I’m open to admit that I’m addicted to the point where I compromise sleep; eating, even to a point I was late to an A-Level exam. The game focuses on an intricacy and attention to detail that probably surpasses the workings of football in reality. Players are rated out of 20 in a variety of attributes from work-rate to aggression. There are millions of players on the database, all evaluated with attached details of contract status and footballing history. There is so much more to the game that it would take days to explain.
But my main point is why real managers don’t use the game. The player database shows an accurate depiction of every player in the world. So, if Alan Pardew was interested in a young French super-star in the making – see what the FM scouts say. See what the attributes say. See how much he is getting paid. See what languages he speaks, or if he has any transfer clauses, or if his physical side will advantage him. I could go on. All of this, plus much more without picking up a phone. Simply, installing and running this ‘game’, or more precisely ‘scouting tool’.
As far as I’m aware, it hasn’t been embraced in the modern game. Maybe an egotistical point that experience is far more knowledgeable than a piece of software. But the sooner the better in my opinion. There were mootings that Arsene Wenger signed some of his players via consulting the scouting guru that is Football Manager – it evidently worked for him.
This leads me to think, what’s the point of a director of football or a scouting team? Why not employ someone who has an experience of football manager? I’m sure I can do a better job than the likes of Damien Comolli or Dennis Wise.
I’ll be sending my CV in soon.
- The ‘Ultimate’ Football Manager XI (I’m sure we have all signed them) (footballfancast.com)
- Football Manager 2012 (gamespot.com)