Tag Archives: football manager

If I was a player on Football Manager

I played football yesterday (lost 10-0, it went… okay) and I’ve just put Football Manager on, so naturally here’s my stats if I was a proper footballer. The values go from 1-20, with one being the worst.

Acceleration – 3
I am, as they say, ‘bloody slow to get going’.

Agility – 2
I can barely turn around, never mind lift my legs.

Balance – 13
Sometimes – sometimes – I don’t fall over.

Jumping – 1
Nah, don’t like jumping.

Natural Fitness – 3
I can run three paces without dying.

Pace – 12
I’m being generous here because sometimes I can run quite fast.

Stamina – 7
Usually fucked after ten minutes. One time I wasn’t!

Strength – 14
It’s more ‘weight’ than strength, but I can make people bounce off me.

Aggression – 12
Surprisingly low, actually. I hold it in a lot.

Anticipation – 8
I can anticipate when I’m about to lose the ball.

Bravery – 4
Used to be higher; fucked my ankle. Don’t want that pain again.

Composure – 5

Concentration – 9
Decent, but I often forget where I OH A SHINY THING.

Creativity – 17
With caveats: I have to have time to see what’s going on and people have to be actually making runs.

Decisions – 13
Not terrible. Well, apart from that Rustlers burger I had. Oof.

Determination – 9
This is getting a bit dull really, isn’t it?

Flair – 1
Did I ever tell you the story about the mushy peas in my regular pub here?

Influence – 1
See, Bournemouth – and the south in general – tends to not get mushy peas.

Off the ball – 14
Mushy peas are brilliant and delicious, so they should be everywhere.

Positioning – 11
But the south of England just doesn’t seem to understand or want to understand what they are.

Teamwork – 13
So I was delighted to find a pub that actually offered mushy peas on its menu, as part of the pie meals.

Work rate – 10
God, pie meals are great. I wish I was still an uncaring glutton, rather than a pathetic, secretive one who eats tons of fried chicken and feels guilty about it.

Corners – 17
But yeah, to see a pub around here doing pie and mushy peas was a godsend. At least I thought.

Crossing – 15
Turns out it wasn’t to be, and the dream was short lived.

Finishing – 14
I ordered, I sat eagerly awaiting and I got an excellent pie – it was really good.

Dribbling – 9
But the peas were shit. They weren’t mushy peas at all.

First touch – 7
They were traditional garden peas that had clearly been mushed up with a fork or some other kitchen implement.

Free kick taking – 18
I mean – come on. That’s just stupid and ridiculous and misunderstands the entire concept of what a mushy pea truly is.

Heading – 4
I took it as a personal affront and from then on would always complain loudly about the standard of these faux-mushy bastards.

Long shots – 17
But it’s not a story with a sad ending, for once in my pathetic life.

Long throws – 10
See, they saw the error of their ways – either that or they read the Wiki page on mushy peas.

Marking – 9
And now they serve proper mushy peas with their pies.

Passing – 14
But like I said – I don’t eat the pies anymore. In fact, I don’t even know if they still do them.

Penalty taking – 13
Shit… what if they don’t do them anymore?

Tackling – 5
That would be heartbreaking after going through so much.

Technique – 8
My footballing technique is rather poor, though a lot better than when I was younger. It’s all the mushy peas I’ve eaten.

Guess who couldn’t think of a proper blog today.


Filed under Prattle


What do you do to relax? I’m asking because I don’t think I do it right. When I just cannot be arsed, when I want to just veg out and not engage my brain or anything, I fail. I do silly things that make my brain work. I watch wrestling and play Football Manager.

You might well think that would mean my brain is completely switched off, but that would make you a pile of idiotic stupidity. For you see, far from turning my brain off, it actually makes my brain go mental and angry and not relaxed at all.

As such, I clearly fail at the whole ‘relaxing’ thing.

See, wrestling is idiotic and – especially in recent years – almost entirely banal. It’s watched generally by morons, it’s aimed at the absolute lowest common denominator and it doesn’t even have the good grace to have mild swearing and violence on it anymore. Yet, it still manages to make my brain go into overdrive as I come up with different ways they should do things, as I question the logic of anything, as I come up with better lines, better finishes, better moves and generally a Better Product (I’m well good at it, the WWE should hire me).

It makes my brain go mental and not stop working.

Football Manager though, is something that really shouldn’t involve much frenzied thinking. It’s laid back. It doesn’t demand close attention. It runs in the background – literally. Yet it is the single most infuriating, involving and all-consuming thing there is IN THE WORLD. It makes my brain ache. I think possibly literally.

So I ask you, my fair three readers, to band your collective intelligence together (combined IQ of roughly 13) and give me suggestions on how to relax. Don’t suggest a bath. I haven’t got one. Plus I’m too big for the ones in hotels, generally. Plus I’m not going to go and get a hotel room just to have a bath.


Leave a comment

Filed under Prattle


I am currently in that wonderful packing situation we all find ourselves in so often. You know the one: you have to pack to go on holiday tomorrow, so you’re trying to make a list of what to take in order to forget as little as possible. Halfway through writing that sentence you remember you need to take a plug charger. The list isn’t going so swimmingly as you’re half-watching the wrestling and playing Football Manager (hello, ladies). You’re also part-confused because you’re off to another place, this time for work, the day after you get back from your real holiday and you keep thinking to write things down that you don’t actually need until then, plus you keep forgetting you need to take some shit out of your wallet, lest you lose it in Portugal. You have freelance half done – it’ll get done, but it’s still sitting there not quite done. Then you realise John Laurinaitis sounds like the surrogate from Arrested Development (via Dan, naturally). Then you wonder if you left the batteries at work – but it doesn’t matter because you’re still at work tomorrow. You’re not sure if you should pack everything this evening, as you have time tomorrow before catching a 15 minute bus to some shack masquerading as an airport. And you’re still getting mixed up – a Dictaphone is not necessary for a holiday with friends. Friends and Jack.

We all end up in this situation on a regular basis, I’m sure.

Sod it, I’ll just play Football Manager until my eyes explode.

Leave a comment

Filed under Prattle

Leeds Leeds special needs IN A BIT

It’s been more than a year – about 13 months, actually – since I last went to Leeds. I feel I have hyped it up a bit too much in my head, as all I’m going to do is stand around being moody listening to music, have a pizza or two (and likely be let down as I’ve hyped that up too much too) and generally sit indoors, away from all the people I haven’t seen in an age.

But STOP JUDGING ME. Realism doesn’t come into play when I’m reasonably excited about going somewhere for once. I’m even looking forward to the couple of train rides I have ahead of me, what with me now having access to full-on Football Manager 2011 on Tiny Laptop. Great days.

It’ll also be nice to have some days off work. Not that I don’t enjoy being there, it’s just always nice to not have to get up for any job, ever, if only for a few days. The day I can work the hours of 8pm-11pm will be brilliant, perfect times indeed. It’s usually when I’m at my most productive anyway, so I should probably take advantage of that from an employment perspective.

Right, this is another diary-ish entry. Soz. It’s a blog, get over it. I’m going to go finish packing my bag then walk to the train station, then five-and-a-bit hours later I’ll be in Leeds city centre. Meet where the old CEX was, yeah?

Leave a comment

Filed under Prattle

A painful and jarring adjustment period

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Prattle

The fine art of pulling an all-nighter

I was left shocked (and slightly appalled) (and a tiny bit embarrassed) yesterday when, sat around a table with no less than six games journalists, I discovered I was the only one there who had pulled an all-nighter. This has saddened and sickened me in equal measure, and I hope this transgression can be sorted before I have to take drastic measures. I do not know what I am threatening here, I just wanted to threaten.

If you don’t know what I’m on about, let me explain. I am a person who plays video games a lot. Shocking admission there, I know. If you think this is sad, fuck you. That’s one of only very few serious things I’ve ever written on this blog.

Anyway, to pull an all-nighter is to sit and play a game throughout the night, beyond bedtime, through the night, to be playing when loud housemates get home from their smelly clubs of grotty people and until the daylight hours come back around again.

I have done this numerous times in my life. As a child it was easy to do as I had no responsibilities, I had friends who liked games enough to play them for hours on end with me and I started drinking coffee at a young age. As I got into studenthood it continued being easy, as I still had no responsibilities and going to school was clearly well lame, like.

Morrowind, Oblivion, Football Manager, KOTOR, Tony Hawk’s 2, Power Stone 2, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, PES Master League mode, the Smackdown games – just some of the titles that have kept my attention through the times when I should be sleeping. It may be overkill how many games I’ve done it with, but I’m just being thorough. The all-nighter is a rite of passage, and if you haven’t done one then I consider you well crap, like.


Filed under Prattle

I’m easy like Sunday-aaaaaay

Sunday is an interesting one. It bridges the gap between the end of the week, a piss-about day and going back to work. It’s a day when I don’t feel I have to actually go out and do anything, or achieve in any small way. But at the same time, it’s one of those days where I tend to sit thinking so much about what I could be doing that I end up doing nothing bar refreshing Twitter and playing Football Manager.

I cannot think of a time when this wasn’t the case, even during The Dark Period of lengthy unemployment and really-not-doing-much. Even then I saw Sunday as this magical imaginary bridge to the week ahead, even though ‘the week ahead’ only mattered once every two weeks if I had my dole appointment. Still it was this halfway house/day that welcomed in the week with a mixture of hope and melancholy.

Ah, who am I kidding? It’s like every other day off I have. I sit around, do nothing and intend to do a lot that I don’t actually bother doing. Life is short: waste it.

Plus there’s the fact that this week I have to go to work to play games and write about them, as well as go to a few events in London and get free food for my fatty tummy. So the melancholy aspect of this thought-tube has gone down the drain. I should also point out that I’m the least hopeful person about – or at least one of the least – so saying I’m ‘hopeful’ on a Sunday isn’t just a flight of fancy: it’s a lie.

So we’ve narrowed it down thusly: on Sundays I sit around refreshing Twitter and playing Football Manager or some other video game while I feel absolutely nothing positive or negative.

I am a role model for the ages.

Leave a comment

Filed under Prattle