Football Manager owns me

I first played Football Manager (or Championship Manager as it was then) since sometime in the late 90’s. I’m not sure when as all you know when you start playing Football Manager is whether you’ve signed that midfielder or whether Partick Thistle have managed to survive another season. This isn’t a game like Call of Duty but the sort of game where statistic geeks like myself look at screens like this and wonder how the player’s stamina is.

Last weekend the game of Football Manager 2013 that I’d been playing for around two years crashed. I’d started as I normally do as manager of Partick Thistle before taking then up to the top flight and then into Europe where I ended up taking Thistle to the quarter finals of the Europa League where we were beaten by Porto. I’d then accepted a job offer from Spurs and took them to their first top flight title in over 50 years and a Europa League trophy. I then stayed with them until 2022 when Manchester City offered me the managers job and I accepted, which really is entering cheat mode for the game as you have unlimited transfer resources. By the time the game crashed it was 2027 City had won three league titles, a European Cup and three FA Cups and a League Cup.I’d also become manager of Scotland and was guiding them to qualification to the 2028 World Cup.

Then last Sunday it all ended. Countless hours lost, well I say ‘countless’ but in reality Stem tells you how long you’ve been playing but it’s best not to look as being told how much of your life you’ve spent in an alternative reality of football where a team like Partick Thistle can get to a European quarter final.It felt like a lost for after all, I’d invested so much time and effort into the game and it owned me like a bitch by then.

It’s impossible to go back and play an older version of the game as after all, who really wants to live in the past in an alternative reality so I bought the 2014 version from Amazon and now I’m about to dive into it. I fully expect to lose hours, even days to this latest version but until you’ve dived into Football Manager you really have no idea what I’m on about. As a game it really shouldn’t be successful. It’s about patience, tactics and endless screens of stats and figures but it’s fantastic.

There is now a documentary about the game and those utter losers like me who obsess about it. It is surprisingly good and I’d recommend it for an evening’s viewing. As for me, I’m about see if Nuno Gomes fancies one last season playing for Partick Thistle.

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