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Perry Garland: Football Manager
Perrygarl (FC Seoul) 5 years ago
The new Premiership season is finally upon us. Hurrah.
Neil Warnock returns to Premiership management after the Sheff Utd/West Ham fiasco on the acquisition of Carlos Tevez, Brendan Rogers will get his first taste of managing a Premiership club, after tasting success as part of the coaching staff with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. And Paul Lambert, getting his first time in the English top league, along with the ol’faces of Ferguson, Wenger, Redknapp, Moyes and co.

Dalglish has returned to save Liverpool, Villas-Boas is trying to convince Chelsea he’s “Special One v2.0” and Tony Pulis is still waiting that ridiculous cap during matches. But one question is burning on my lips.

How hard is it to be a Premiership manager?

I mean, really. From what I’ve seen, you do these things:
Wear either continental suits from Gucci, or the English tradition of sports tracksuit and sheepskin coat (70’s bling and dodgy cap optional.)

You then perform your own club-branded wavy-hand techniques, for your team to figure out what you mean.


Billy Davies instructing his team to perform the Flying V.


Mourinho has his hand-waving techniques inspired by Adam Ant, not many know that.


The "Wenger has no cash on him, but Redknapp will sort him out for a couple of pints" celebration.

You hate the press/chairman/lack of transfer funds/the fans/your wife/the dog/the journalist who photographed you entering the “massage parlour” etc.

You talk about how you deserved to win because your team dominated possession and that’s what matters in football, or that your team deserved to win despite being dominated in terms of possession, because you had the “bouncebackability”, and that's what matters in football.

It doesn’t seem that much of a job to me. So why are so many of them getting fired? Two of the most successful English clubs of the modern era of football, are Manchester United and Arsene Wenger, two of the longest serving managers for one club. That’s the pattern, longevity for a system, that every now and then needs tweaks, but stays the same in it’s foundations. For Manchester United, it’s buying them young, bringing them up in the academies, and producing talent after talent. For Arsenal, it’s bringing young first-team players blend with their experienced veterans, and to continue that trend for every season with teams that have pace, flair, vision and a keen eye for goal. Two different methods, both very effective over time.

However, with the odd exception, other Premiership clubs throw out managers along with the weekly trash collection. Only John Coleman of Accrington Stanley is officially a manager who is currently serving a club in double-figure years (Dario Gradi is questionable, he hasn’t really left the club but did quit management for a time), and David Moyes is close to ten years. In terms of Premiership managers, Pulis and McCarthy are next on the list, with only five years, which in Premiership management terms, means they should have been on their pensions and acquired their free bus passes by now.

Chelsea, despite their successes, have managed to go through eight managers in eleven years. For Newcastle, twelve in seven!. Managers such as Chris Hughton, Roberto Di Matteo and Matk Hughes, were fired despite performing rather well result-wise. Apparently, there is more than just hand-waving and speechs with jargon such as “lollipop”.

Now, obviously, I can’t become a manager of a Premiership Club instantly, and even if I tried to get to that level, I would most likely fail, besides, my letters to Newcastle United of the said position and it’s availability has been unanswered, Mike Ashley is probably busy losing money from his players.

But, there is an alternative to finding out this challenge.


Football Manager 2011 is the most realistic football management simulation ever made. So realistic, that it almost verges in the “too real to be fun” category (but it’s football, so who would think that, I can tweak their set piece training from “medium”, to “slightly more medium than than the previous medium”, gimme some of that!)

An increased influence from the player’s agents over contract talks means you have another consideration to your budgets, with the varying personalities of each one. The press conference section has been revamped and you’re now allowed to produce tactics for pre-match preparation, working on elements such as team blending, or attacking set-pieces for example, to look at ways you can exploit your opponent’s weaknesses. Also, the 3D match engine is used, meaning some better views of those long-range bullets that go way over the bar.

The challenge, take a mid-table club, and look to get a better result than their end-of-season predictions. If I enjoy it, I’ll keep writing for later seasons (yes, it’s for my own satisfaction, I like to write and haven’t done anything here forever) and will see how my team develops, what my management style is and how long I would be on the jobseekers allowance if I had given actual football management a shot.

It will start with a pre-season overview, about the team, the staff and any other news, the next post will be after the pre-season games and how they went, and then after that, it’s each week of football and news from the club and what’s going on around me.

Now, there’s only two questions left to ask.
Suit or Tracksuit?
Scarf or Cap?

Jeroen (Barcelona) 5 years ago
Haha, a joy to read this Perry. I read it all during the Stoke-Chelsea game which is boring as hell so far. This sure is a welcome relief

As for the FM series: I love the games, and have spent countless hours playing it. But it lacks a few crucial (and hard to program) elements. If you watch the games in full, for example, you'll notice how dreadful some of the players play. They often run the ball over the line, miss tap-ins several times a game despite being world-class strikers à la Messi and always do the same when dribbling it gets annoying. Several important things like how well the players link together (as Iniesta-Xavi do for example, or Vidic-Ferdinand) barely exist either, and the personalities of players should play a more prominent role too if you ask me. The quality of AI managers barely matters at all either: it all depends on what formation they prefer. For example if you have guy that likes a 4-2-3-1 with suitable players available to him, the team is bound to do well. I've seen SAF getting fired halfway the season because United played like s**t when I've seen completely rubbish managers (those that FM rates as rubbish anyway) able to win trophies they could probably never win in reality. The influence coaches have on players' morale and the influence of that morale on the players' performances is a lot higher in real football.

Then again, all of that doesn't stop me from playing it and buying it every year, if only for the fantastic work done by their scouting branche. It would just be nice if it were more realistic
Perrygarl (FC Seoul) 5 years ago
Hey Jereon. Glad you like the thread.

Yeah, I know what you mean with the AI in the matches, but I must admit fm2011 seems to be a big improvement on previous games, and it does happen from time to time in real-life, so I guess it isn't that bad.

But it can't get anywhere the psychology of real people in a game, overall, it is a jumped-up spreadsheet, but it's still an awesome game
LumpOfCelery (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Yeah, I want to get I but cat find it in stores down here
Jimmybreeze (Manchester United) 5 years ago
Order it online brother, but be prepared to invest many hours, that is if you get hooked on it
Perrygarl (FC Seoul) 5 years ago
Steam has it, or there's always good'ol Amazon
Jimmybreeze (Manchester United) 5 years ago
I love Football Manager. I was there for the Championship Manager 00/01 game and I'm still here now. My biggest spell of success came in Fiorentina in a trophy laden 9 year stay. 6 Seria As, 2 Champions League trophies and various other less important cups. But there have been plenty of sackings too. A one year stay in the English championship with a recently relegated side let me develop a tactic right before my move to Italy, which remains my favourite league by far. At the moment I'm trying to create a different style of play, but I am not anywhere near close enough in being successful with it. Many hairs have pulled out, too little studying when it was much more important was done in this period. It is an addictive game, just ask my friends, who have seen very little of me when I should have really been out kicking about a football for real with them, rather than instructing a team virtually on how to kick it.
Thanks for the post Perry, I really enjoyed it. Do you mind sharing some of your successes, and how you like your team to play? What's your favourite formation for example? Mine is, without a doubt the 4-5-1, which not only incorporates a lot of different styles, but remains solid, effective and can be balanced too
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
I used to like it until one day it disappeared from the screen for some unknown reason, and six seasons worth down the drain, never played it again since.... I'm back to "age of empires".... Lol
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Btw perry, that s mourinho doing adam ants "prince charming" dance
Perrygarl (FC Seoul) 5 years ago
Adam Ant, or Wonder Woman?  

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