Transfer Deadline Day: Life Imitates Football Manager

As the transfer window to end all transfer windows enters its final hours, David Wild looks at some of the recent splurges inspired by Football Manager…

Oscar Wilde once said that “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”. While he probably wasn’t directly aware of Football Manager at the time he said this, his phrase is just as poignant today when applied to the realms of the Summer transfer window and the popular management simulation game.

Only last week I set up a group LAN Football Manager game in which a friend of mine immediately set about slicing up his Man United squad in order to purchase Bale and Neymar. In many games you can happily snap up four or five of the best young up and coming players of the future, or the big stars of the here and now in one window and watch the resulting team steamroller all before it in the fashion of a rampaging George Elekobi.

But are such crusades, hell bent towards the mass accumulation of talent, bound solely to the realm of Football Manager? More and more we are seeing the real transfer window imitate our own visionary virtual planning; teams snapping up high quality in high quantity.

We can relate to the excitement of such a squad building exercise as it calls out to the Football Manager fetishist within us. We’ve known about these players and their potential for years in advance. Some of them were just 16 year old wonderkids playing in the Finnish leagues when our scouting network picked them up. Continue reading

5 Reasons Why ‘Holistic’ Managers are the new Star Signings

manuel pellegrini

It’s no longer enough to be a great trainer, tactician or transfer dealer. Clubs are seeking more from their managers than ever and the modern game demands polymaths who can do it all. Greg Johnson looks at how managers have risen to the top of the wish list…

Football’s answer to the “artisan” bread loaf has arrived: the “holistic approach” football manager. Once regarded as mere assistants and chaperones to the playing staff, to be undermined and ignored as required, the football manager has risen to become the game’s most iconic figure.

When speaking of Real Madrid’s early successes, their managers are treated almost as an irrelevance, and it took pioneers such as Herbert Chapman and Helenio Herrera to upgrade the status of the profession, leading to managers becoming protagonists in their own right on the sidelines. It would be unthinkable for a team to win major honours today without their coach being recognised as the key driving force, yet while the likes of George Best and Matt Busby enjoy a sort of parity in the annals of the football canon, the balance has recently shifted towards the boss.

In an age where tactical theories are spoken of as game-changers, and the individual is subjugated into the collective, the architects behind these systems have become the stars. The growing distance between fans and players has also helped to shift their focus towards the dugout in search for a more stable, appropriate figurehead for their cause. Continue reading

“Brantastic!” – Guy Branston Interview Part 2


In the second and final part of The False Nine’s exclusive interview with on-loan Bristol Rovers defender, Guy Branston, editor, Andrew Belt, gives space to Guy’s thoughts on a number of aspects of the modern game…

Around a fortnight ago, I spoke on the phone to Guy Branston for TFN’s first exclusive interview. Anticipating a limited time with the footballer and All About Ballerz businessman, I was instead afforded close to an hour and a half with Branston and found the chat entertaining and revealing from a football point of view.

Continue reading