On November 4th, 2016, will see the release of Sega’s always anticipated annual release of Football Manager 2017 on PC, MAC and Linux. Of course, this game is widely played through ‘Steam’; the service that brings the game right onto your desktop after just a few clicks and then you’re the new manager of basically any football club in the world. But, you can also pre-order your physical copy right here. So, whether you want to be the manager of Accrington Stanley or take over at Manchester City, if only to oust Pep Guardiola and then bring back Joe Hart immediately. You can do that!
We can safely say that we are going to dive in and buy it again this year after the 2016 version. Why? The reason is that this game has as strong a cult following as ‘FIFA 17’, but here you are the tactical mastermind in the most realistic football manager series in history. The long running series which was first released in 1992, as ‘Championship Manager’ on mail order floppy disks on the Amiga (we remember) to its evolution to Eidos Interactive and then future publishing by Sega, renaming & rebranding it as ‘Football Manager’ in 2005. The genius game, which is even used by modern day football managers as a research tool and a risk simulator, is often times pin point accurate in both future transfers and even in future football player success’ stories. So, scouting out the new talent in five years from now, it’s already inside Football Manager and you know your football. The game that was developed by two Brits in their Shropshire bedroom, Ov and Paul Collyer, were turned down by twenty game publishers in the early days, even by Electronic Arts, “saying that it would never work”, but who is having the last laugh now?
So, what is in store for the next release in 2017? One thing that is safe to say is that there will be a lot of lonely girlfriends, fiancés and wives out there, who suddenly are landed with hours upon hours of free time. What will happen? Will there be a growing resentment in the home, will your significant other be more concerned about his current status in the league table, rather than what’s for dinner or if your going to be watching the X Factor with her or not? Will she have an affair? Will your team win the league? Funnily, enough ‘Football Manager’ has been cited in 35 cases of divorce proceedings in the United Kingdom alone, which makes us wonder what that figure is worldwide.
To reiterate the fun and realism of the game, firstly, we applaud the in-game graphics and its playability in dealing with everything from player contracts to who is acting up like a little “prima donna” in your team’s dressing room, causing player unrest due to lack of minutes on the pitch. Yes, it’s entirely your choice to scold the weak link and throw him into the U21 team for not manning up enough, only later to loan him out to Shrewsbury Town to prove his worth. You can do that! We recall starting the 2015-2016 season in Football Manager 2016 game, as manager of Crystal Palace, bringing in Callum Wilson to bang in the goals before breaking his leg (real life 2015-2016), then winning the EFL cup and finishing 6th in our first season. Buying Christian Benteke in the following year, from Liverpool, like Alan Pardew did (in real life), only to sell him for a healthy profit when he proved to be only a sporadic goal scorer at the end of the season, after winning the UEFA Europa League title in only our second season with C. Wilson, Bolasie and Y. Cabaye pulling the strings.
Truly, at Brainstain we are an exceptional tactical mastermind, doing much better than Alan Pardew, ever could, then later deciding to become manager of Atletico Madrid after three seasons. Keeping Antoine Griezmann, bringing in Xherdan Shaqiri for just 16million, selling Koke and Gimenez for a total of circa 110million, bringing in Eric Bailly for Godin (sold), then sticking with the already there, Olivier Giroud up top in his thirties, to even snapping up the out casted Gareth Bale from rivals Real Madrid, to even Kelechi Iheanacho on a free transfer, for some added pace in our sum up of our primary transfer activity with Atletico Madrid in 2020. With some clever signings and tactical genius, we won 4 landmark titles in our first season, including La Liga BBV, Spanish Super Cup, to just to name a few. We think we might just have to finish our second season at Atletico, in order to keep our virtual fans happy, don’t you? They had never seen such success on the other side of town in the city of Madrid before, until we came along, that is.
In saying that, this game does not possess an easy difficulty level, it simply relies on football knowledge and your ability to create the best team possible with your available or limited transfer kitty. So, we feel that we did some shrewd business and deservedly won ‘La Liga’, hands down, “we were the best and it’s a pleasure to say it”. Yes, the level of addiction and satisfaction in winning titles as a virtual manager can begin to feel almost real, such is the appeal of the game.
Here we share what Iain Macintosh told ‘The Guardian’ newspaper about a story he had heard about a gentleman’s experience with the game in 2013, “whose wife found him sat with his head in his hands in the kitchen late one night. ‘What’s wrong?’ she said. ‘I’ve been sacked,’ he mumbled. His wife burst into tears. She was pregnant, they’d just taken out a mortgage, she was terrified for their future. It took him several minutes to clarify that he’d only been sacked on a computer game, not in real life”.
There you have it, it’s gonna’ be realistic and totally addictive as always and in 2017 version, there’s the added confusion of plausible future Brexit implications on EU players, which is still to be confirmed in the real football world, however, ‘Football Manager’ has already made some adjustments. As well as some new additions in transfers and contract negotiations, such as you can now add in a new clause that stipulates that the deal will only go through once you’ve offloaded the player that you’re replacing or to, even promising your new signing to be resident penalty kick taker.
The possibilities are all at your fingertips. But, do remember it’s just a game and don’t let it consume your life completely, you still need to eat, shower, show up at work and even give the missus a kiss in real life, in between all your managerial escapades. We’re pondering who will be our first team to play with on Football Manager 2017? What will be yours? Leave your answers in the comment section below and our sincerest happy managing wishes go out to all the managers out there.
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Check out Leon Goretzka’s screamer for Atletico Madrid here.
Featured image Credit Damonnofar Pixbay