This is probably the hardest time of the year, and in fact I have just figured out why I’ve felt so utterly out of it for the last few weeks. You see, once a year, every year, without fail, this comes around and messes with my head. It causes stress, consternation and a general feeling of uncomfortableness with ones surroundings.
It is, of course, the Football Manager Adjustment Period.
You see, to the untrained eye it may appear that each instalment of Football Manager is little more than an incremental update in a yearly series guaranteed to sell millions. To you plebeians I say this: shut up and get out of my face before I have you gunned down by my own private military unit I will have set up solely to have you, as mentioned, gunned down.
For you see, while there may often only be incremental updates between a lot of Football Manager games, anyone who plays the series knows that it’s a lot more than that. Tweaks to the user interface mean you end up losing one or two buttons. Changes to how you sign a player mean you miss the new, exciting option to offer them a different clause in their contract. And, of course, there’s the fact that your tactics never work from one edition of the game to the next.
Every year, without fail, we committed players have to sit down and work out a new way of winning everything with Everton. Every year we have to go through countless variations on the same 4-5-1 theme until we come up with something workable. Either that or we have to wait until the really talented people release their own tactics online.
But it’s a dance we love. A dance I love. It may be difficult and stressful, having to cope with such an adjustment period, but all the same – it is a beautiful thing.