Every football season brings a host of exciting accompaniments for fans of the beautiful game, not least those who enjoy replicating their team’s success. Computer games tend to get a yearly reboot and one of the most anticipated is always Football Manager. It is the only management simulation for the discerning fan and has kept people glued to their screens for hours on end.
Databases of players and stats are becoming common, but for any football fan of a certain age, looking up obscure League Two players on their computer formed an integral part of their childhood.
Some of those teens grew up to be real football managers, with ITV documenting how Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley played the game as a youth.
So, why is their database so well-used and informative? We look at five reasons Football Manager continues to be the best player database in the world.
By the fans
The network of researchers involved in the game is huge, with thousands of people watching matches and compiling reports, often fans of the teams being reported on.
A supporter or local journalist covering their team understands more than most and can honestly evaluate players that normal scouts would take weeks to cover.
Ease of use
Need a right back currently out of contract? Easy, a couple of filters later you’ve got your list. There are endless search criteria available and it brings back results in seconds.
Teams won’t rely solely on the game of course, but they can quickly look for exactly the type of player they need in terms of position, age, contract and a host of other criteria.
That will lead to real life scouts heading out to watch a player in the flesh.
There has been a focus in recent years on player databases, an easy way of scouting certain positions or types of player. An article by Forbes explains how the website Wyscout is currently at the cutting edge of that drive.
Managers like Claudio Ranieri were known to use Wyscout to study opponents and track the performance of players. Coral’s guide to the 2018/19 Premier League season details how Ranieri’s meticulous approach to tactics allowed him to pull off the biggest shock in English football when Leicester City won the Premier League.
Football Manager is a stats geek’s idea of heaven with plenty of numbers to help guide scouts and managers when coming up against their next opponents.
The Telegraph’s post on FM explains how other information is considered as well as the main positions and attributes data. That even includes information such as a player’s favourite club or even his injury history.
The level of detail that goes into the game is another reason the database is so important. It evolves yearly and every little aspect is scutinised.
FourFourTwo outline that even if a player had a loan spell with Lowestoft Town and there was a single appearance missing from his record, that would be added.
That level of accuracy is better than any other computer game in the world and it’s why Football Manager remains as popular with managers as it does with actual gamers.