Saturday, 28 February 2009

Football Manger 2009

It is the final game of the season, away to City. I must win to take the title, so I go on the offensive. I tinker with my tactics, playing quick, short passes, with lots of movement, players interchanging positions. Using all my knowledge, I push my wingers out wide to stretch the play and create space, relying on their crosses to get the win. During the match I am hit by injuries, and have a penalty saved, but in the final minutes I score from a corner. I leap from my chair, fists pumping with glee at my success. I have won!

But wait. Stop. Reload. It is the final game of the season, away to City. I must win, so I go defensive. Tactics of time-wasting, tackling hard, direct play. My masterstroke, I push up my back line, compressing the play, giving them no space. After injuries and dodgy refereeing, in the final moments my striker runs onto a long hoofed clearance. I sit back in my chair. I have won.

Football Manager ‘09 tries to do new things, and fails spectacularly. The revised transfers are deeply flawed, press conferences are an interminable bore, and this new 3D engine is not the promised revolution. But worst of all I have lost the feeling that I am in control. I no longer sense that my tactics are what drive matches. I am nonger the manager. With newcomers already alienated, it is only the die-hard fans like myself that have a vested interested in the series; and with their push for FM Live and a 3D engine, Sports Interactive have fatally disturbed this iteration of the franchise. While I have faith they will fix the series, this buggy, broken game falls flat of its face.

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