Football Manager ruins lives. It doesn’t care whether it’s your marriage, your grades, your health or your job. It doesn’t care if it’s your best friend’s birthday or even your own. It’s the cheating girlfriend or the 12-inch meat feast pizza of the computing world, we know it’s bad for us but we can’t stop going back for more. It can be the last thing you think of at night and the first thing you think of in the morning. It’s the drug they don’t warn you about at school and its back and ready to reap havoc on our social lives like never before. Or since the previous installment was released last November.
Ok that was a bit dramatic but it isn’t too far from the truth. One of my friends had to throw his copy into the nearby canal because it was distracting him from his University dissertation. This year’s edition looks to be the best yet, with a host of new features including a 3D match engine. EPL TALK will give you an insight into Football Manager 2009 next week with an exclusive interview with someone associated with the game, so until then, why not relay your best all-time Championship/Football Manager moments:
Most Memorable Achievement:
Here are mine:
Most Memorable Achievement: Starting in the lower leagues has never really appealed to me but I do love the challenge of taking teams from smaller nations to glory on the biggest stage. On CM 01/02 I took over PSV Eindhoven and despite finishing second in the Dutch League to Ajax, I won the Champions League 1-0 against Real Madrid with a Mark Van Bommel strike in his last game for the club before he moved on to Juventus for £20m. I used that money to buy Dirk Kuyt from Utrecht, goalkeeper Ivan Pelizzoli from Roma and Pablo Aimar, who was out of favour at Valencia, and proceeded to win the next 3 league titles, 2 more Champions League victories, 2x European Super Cup, 2x World Club Championships, 1 Dutch Cup and went 67 games unbeaten in domestic competition. It all fell apart though when I sold Aimar for £40m to Lazio and replaced him with 34 year old Zinedine Zidane, who was clearly over the hill.
Best 11: PSV CM01/02: Ivan Pelizzoli; Michael Lamey, Kevin Hofland, Wilfred Bouma, Mike Zonneveld; Arjen Robben, Johann Vogel, Pablo Aimar, John De Jong; Mateja Kezman, Dirk Kuyt
Best Buy: Playing with a friend on CM 97/98, I was Arsenal and he was Manchester United, we challenged ourselves to buy a striker from the lower league or reserves of a team and turn them in to a star. He went for Sean Divine for £300,000 and who failed to score in his first 15 games. I spent £60,000 on Robbie Keane from the Wolves reserves. He scored 10 goals in 13 games and I sold him 6 months later for £9m.
Worst Buy: On CM 98/99 I was desperate for some extra fire power for my Arsenal team to give one last final push for the title. As transfer deadline day approached I weighed up my options and decided, with 2 hours to go, that Ariel Ortega was the man for me. Some quick-fire bargaining with Valencia saw me pay £15m, £4m more than I wanted to, but I was happy I had got my man. He scored once in the final 17 games of the season and I lost out on the title to Manchester United once again.