Tricked you!!! No Newcastle here
A game so addictive that it has been cited in more than 35 divorce cases (via Graeme Macpherson of The Herald), the latest installment in the football manager saga is just around the corner.
A format so powerfully simple that it blends the idea of reality, the football management simulator now reaches its 20th year of abducting sane men into a maze of boundless joy and crippling despair.
Bill Shankly once said, “Football is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that." A legion of pseudo-managers would, undoubtedly, lay testament to Shankly’s claims.
The latest installment of the fiendish simulator is released on November 2, and so in the spirit of solidarity, I felt obliged to provide a helping hand to the addicted.
A word of warning, however, make use of these next two weeks: It is coming...
Here for your viewing pleasure, before the last denizens of reality leave us, the top five careers YOU must start in Football Manager 2013.
Don’t mention it.
The nouveau riche from the French capital would make an ideal introduction to the game for any casual gamer.
After a series of high-profile acquisitions during the summer, headlined by the double swoop for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva from AC Milan, PSG are a club on the rise.
Admittedly, with the players at your disposal, added to the inevitable £50 million bounty that new managers will be provided, concurring Ligue 1 may not prove the most onerous of challenges for even the casual gamer.
However, the Champions League is a different story. Without the history of a Real Madrid or AC Milan in the competition, a victory with PSG would simply mean more. Additionally, in a competition where they do not possess the strongest available squad, and therefore do not start favourites, Champions League glory would be all the more fulfilling.
It wouldn't be the hardest challenge you could face in the game, but PSG would be a pleasant introduction to the gaming system for new and returning converts alike.
Difficulty Rating: 2/5
This will, in all likelihood, be among the most popular careers in FM13.
After Rangers, one of the two perennial heavyweights of Scottish football, entered administration last season, it was wondered whether the club would continue to exist at all.
Thankfully, for the good of football’s rich heritage, Rangers were saved from insolvency, but after an embargo by the Division 1 club prevented their relegation to the second tier, Rangers were relegated to the fourth tier of Scottish football.
Rangers loss is most certainly Football managers gain, as the mission of returning Rangers to the summit from whence they came is now an entirely viable career choice.
A swift return to the Premier League should not be a huge task, but to usurp what will be a fairly well established Celtic side from the summit may take a bit more work.
Win the premiership in under 10 years and the fans will love you. Do it in under seven and they will write songs about you. Do it in four? You will become a legend in your own lunch-break.
Difficulty Rating: 3/5
Another once great club for who money woes have initiated a spiral of decline, Portsmouth FC today find themselves in the third tier of English football.
A by-product of the club’s years of excess in the Harry Redknapp era at Fratton Park, Pompey boss Michael Appleton is now forced to operate on a shoestring budget. You could be his successor.
With a squad persisting mainly on loanees and with the vestiges of the crippling debt still hanging over the club, to return Pompey to the Premiership would prove an arduous journey for even the most committed football manager.
Why stop there though? Premiership title? FA Cup again? Champions League.
The sky is the limit of your hard drive.
Difficulty Rating: 4/5
Never has the Australian A League been so in the spotlight. After the high-profile arrival of Alessandro del Piero, Australian football has suddenly become a viable football destination.
Fans on both sides of the pond would have been forgiven for believing that del Piero would be the highlight of the League’s captures. They were sadly mistaken.
In rode, on his mighty steed of victory, a man whose name strikes fear into the hearts of mere mortals. A man of such quintessential English valor that his name has ascended into legend. A man so selfless that he regularly forgoes clear goal-scoring opportunities so a team-mate can have a touch.
Emile Heskey, the man, the myth and the legend, went down under.
Personally, I can think of nothing better than creating an Australian dynasty with Heskey as its savior. Or you could be boring and play with del Piero...
You might even get a tan.
Difficulty Rating: 2/5
Belgium are undoubtedly the developing nation in world football.
The present squad is the greatest generation the country has ever produced. With the current crop Eden Hazard, Marouane Fellaini, Moussa Dembele, Thomas Vermaelen and Vincent Kompany to call upon, this is a team that will only improve.
By the World Cup of 2014, this Belgium team will be reaching its peak. By the European Championships two years later, it will probably be there.
Can you, a humble football manager with only a laptop and a disk to call your own, transform the fortunes of a country with little history of national footballing success? (A second place finish in the Euro’s of 1980 being the highlight)
One thing is for sure, you probably wont get a better chance.
Difficulty Rating: 3.5/5