Football Manager 2017: Bournemouth Episode 1
Another year, another edition of Football Manager.
Every twelve months I tell myself I won’t play it because I’ll be busy and don’t want to spend all my time indoors on my laptop; every year I realise it gets cold in winter, my friends are all busy and I’m spending all my time indoors on my laptop.
This time I thought I’d get ahead of the curve and pre-purchase it, meaning I got to play the Beta edition of the game. How exciting!
Why blog about Football Manager?
Usually when I start a game on FM, I spend a good hour picking a team that speaks to me, then another six to eight hours fiddling with sliders and sacking staff members and youth players alike, ruining their hopes and dreams. Then I get bored and do the same thing somewhere else without even playing a match.
I was determined to find a way to keep myself invested, so I decided to do what anyone with too much free time, a laptop and a misplaced sense that people want to read about them playing a video game would do – blog it!
With that in mind, I jumped straight in.
Who to manage in Football Manager
The first big decision I’d have to make was which team was going to ruin. This is usually one of the toughest parts of the game for me as I’m not only indecisive, but have commitment issues even when it comes to a video game. West Brom? Too tall. Chelsea? A bit racist. Sunderland? Didn’t Adam Johnson play for them?
I decided early on I didn’t want to manage a national team, even though the England job is available. There would be way too much pressure to get those overpaid prima donnas to kick the ball right, and The Telegraph would be all over my shady dealings. I didn’t want to end up on the front page for letting Wayne Rooney start up front in exchange for two pints and a Gregg’s sausage roll.
In the end, I opted for plucky Bournemouth. Mainly because it might mean Eddie Howe – the saviour of English football – gets the England job, but also because the Cherries were a breath of fresh air in the Premier League. They were also only promoted a year ago and therefore probably wouldn’t expect me to win the league immediately. I could even imagine I had a nice house in Sandbanks. With a yacht. Maybe even a butler.
Who will be my Football Manager?
The next thing I had to do was create my alias. One thing I noticed immediately was that this year managers seem to look almost like functioning members of society rather than a model made from plasticine by children that had been left in the sun. There was also an option to put glasses and a trimmed beard on them, meaning only one thing.
My manager was going to be “hipster AF”.
After dressing him as close to an Urban Outfitters mannequin as I could (this will be all over the high street next year, trust me) I started filling in his personal details.
I decided to name him Henry McHipster – perhaps it might get into LADbible or something that way – and that he would have to hail from London. Maybe Shoreditch or Hackney – he could even listen to vintage vinyl between games.
Then I had to pick my favourite team. Obviously for me this would be my local team Leicester (again, up the Foxes), but after their title success and Jamie Vardy’s book deal and film, they’re waaaaay too mainstream now.
Instead I opted for Hamburg St Pauli. They’re German, they’re not in the top division (they’re not even the biggest team in Hamburg) and they have a strong affiliation with left-wing politics – perfect for Guardian-reader Henry.
The rest I left undecided; I have no idea what formation I’ll play and even though the game allows you connect to social media, I doubt people would want Facebook and Twitter updates telling them I was playing FM and eating doritos.
So I click ‘play game’ and get a message confirming the news.
Henry McHipster has popped his cherry.
If you enjoyed this bit thought “Hang on, he didn’t do any bloody managing!” then like my Facebook page so you can see how poorly I do.
Or you can follow me on Twitter @SpeltWithAV, where there will be less Football Manager but more complaints about Sainsbury’s meal deals. So there’s that.