Football Manager: My Obsessive Side


Sensible World of Soccer, Championship Manager, Football Manager and the many pretenders in between I played them all. Hell I even did the play by mail games you’d see at the back of football magazines.

In fact as I entered the first year of high school, I used to run my own manager competition. That consisted of giving out teams to classmates and have them make transfers between themselves. Often I’d get home and empty my pockets to find numerous bits of crumpled up pieces of paper with names, fees and signatures on it. Then I’d sim the results and print them on a sheet that I’d hand out on a Monday.

When not actually playing football in the park, I would constantly find myself looking at a computer screen rebuilding a football squad or building a ‘legacy’ with a club.

Looking back I suppose you could say I was a bit obsessed.

We’ve all seen Jason Manford’s skit about Football Manager and when he mentions putting on a suit. Now I didn’t put on the full suit, but I admit I’d sling on the suit jacket for certain cup finals. How mental is that? Yet as a teen I thought it was pretty normal!

Talking about cup finals I also used to have a two litre soft drink bottle to hand as that would be the trophy and I would lift if my team won the competition. And lift it I did, at times I’d even stick a scarf around it!

I would be meticulous at preseason time. I would do a tour of a country and that would consist of four games. So I’d pick Italy. But instead of picking four random teams, I would pick a base, say Frascati near Rome, and work from there by playing the local non league side, then another, then a close-by Serie B or C side and end it with a game against either Roma or Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.

See I’d be thinking that I didn’t want my players travelling too much to get to games but they’ll enjoy being in the sun. These were computer generated players!

It wouldn’t be unusual to find me up at 3am or 4am figuring out ways to find a winning formation or getting to the end of a long season (well it felt like it was forever).

One year (2003) I was Everton and I purchased a 16 year old Karim Benzema from Lyon. At that point I hadn’t heard of Benzema. To my amazement in that game he would be world-class by the age of eighteen and scoring at least thirty goals a season. Finds like that and the famous Stefan Selakovic’s and Kennedy Bakicioglu’s of the game would be fantastic.

I was delighted when Football Manager decided to bring out the press conference feature as it meant that I wouldn’t have to do it myself with myself when signing a new player or joining a new club. I may have held up strips kidding on I was posing to the press.

Now about five years ago I would get out the loop. My iMac packed in and then my laptop was ageing and couldn’t really handle much more than writing some blog posts.

But now I’ve got a new laptop and I am seriously considering coming back to the Football Manager scene. That said I am now married and my wife probably does’t truly know that crazy side!

The urge is definitely there!!!

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