A Preview of Football Manager 11

A Preview of Football Manager 11

  • Posted by Chris Thomas
  • On September 4, 2010
  • Chris Thomas, Football Manager 11, Footie Tech

By Chris Thomas

On August 11th Sports Interactive announced the details for the newest in its series
of Football Manager games. For the uninitiated, Football Manager (as the title would suggest,) is an ultra-realistic management simulation computer game where the player takes over a football club and manages everything from tactics and training to transfers and press conferences. I have adored the Football Manager series ever since an English foreign exchange student in my high school turned me onto the games almost a decade ago. I for one could not be more excited about this year’s edition.

Every early November the busy bees at Sports Interactive release a demo for that year’s edition, followed by the full game roughly three weeks later. In England the game is known as a notorious time waster, and has been blamed for breaking up many a happy couple. Thankfully, I set the precedent early in the relationship with my current girlfriend that this time of the year is dedicated almost solely to the pursuit of virtual trophies and she has learned that for a few months every year she will be relegated to the metaphorical second division of my attentions.

Each season, Sports Interactive packs their Football Manager games full of new features in an effort to make the game even more realistic. This year is no different. In fact, they claim that this year has more new features than ever before. One of the upgrades that grabbed my attention was the improved contract negotiation mode. In past games contract details were hammered out by an unrealistic pseudo fax system. This year the negotiation process will be hashed out in real time as if you are sitting in a conference room with the player and his agent. How the negotiations unfold will depend on what type of agent is representing your potential new recruit. This is a major upgrade to the old system that will only further increase the immersion into your computer-generated football world.

They have also made press conferences more interactive. Before, reporters would ask a pretty formulaic set of questions before and after every match. Thia banal process was more of a chore than anything else. This year the developers claim to have added over 150 new questions and reviewed the 500 or so existing ones. Hopefully, this will lead to greater Mourinho-esque mind games, Redknapp style freak-outs and multi lingual meltdowns à la Giovanni Trappatoni.

Football Manager has been one of the most successful computer games in Europe, but has never taken off in North America, the way the FIFA series has. The game is certainly not for the casual soccer fan, yet I would strongly recommend it to anyone who has any desire to learn more about the world of football. Football Manager 2010 featured over 117 fully playable leagues from 51 nations and over 5,000 real life professional players.

Thankfully MLS is fully playable. Although it is slightly frustrating to manage a team
in America’s top flight, mainly due to the league’s extremely complicated and baroque transfer system, it is still deeply rewarding. It is a big challenge to keep your squad salary cap compliant, but the satisfaction in drafting an unknown player and grooming him all the way to a national team appearance and an eventual European transfer makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Sports Interactive’s Football Manager 2011 should be the best version yet of the venerable series, if only because every year’s game undoubtedly improves upon the previous year’s. Plus with MLS’s new DP and homegrown player rules likely to be included, there has never been a better reason to waste countless hours of your life managing a virtual football club.

Editors’ Note: Chris Thomas is a new writer here at WVHooligan.com. Feel free to leave him your thoughts and comments below.


  • Sep 4 2010
i just hope that they actually get the MLS roster, cap and DP rules actually right this time. it was frustrating that the MLS team salary cap did not increase each year as it was supposed to. the rest of the game was subject to "inflation" of transfer fees and player salaries but the MLS team cap never went up. made the game nearly unplayable after a few seasons as an MLS team. unless you used FMRTE of course. then it was easy :)
    Christopher Thomas
    • Sep 5 2010
    I agree that they haven't gotten the complicated league rules right all the time, however SI has gotten better at it each year, and I hope this year is no different. Despite that, I still find it fun to play as an MLS club. One thing that frustrated me was that they never took expansion into consideration. I would love it if they added new teams each year.