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Opinions — The best online manager game

Let’s be honest, most of us have at some point been worryingly addicted to Football Manager games. The chance to take control of a football club and replicate the beautiful game in a virtual interface has been a hobby of millions. The sole chance us below average footballers (yet passionate footy fans) have to experience the ‘real’ thing.

But it’s one thing to take lowly Southend United to Europe’s holy grail and take ‘Old Big Ears’ back to Roots Hall while playing against managers controlled by computer generated algorithms, and another whole scenario to do it against actual managerial enthusiasts like yourself. takes this highly addictive passion and puts it onto the online world, implementing all the necessary features for you arm-chair pundits, and gives you the opportunity to compete. The satisfaction of beating other managers, who you know are controlled by real human beings sitting on the other side of the screen in some corner of the World, is immensely gratifying.

This online manager game allows users to pick from a whole host of clubs across all continents in ‘game worlds’. The game is absolutely free for all, with only a sign-up required. However, certain upgrades for a fee could make the users experience even better, giving them some additional features. New game worlds are made on a daily basis, and if you’re lucky enough to be online at the right moment, you may have the opportunity to pick your favourite club as an intense auction of sorts ensues. Miss the opportunity, and you either take up a challenge with another side, or wait for a new game world to open.

Squads on the latest gameworlds on are updated to include the latest transfers, as seen above with Tevez and Llorente included in Juventus’ squad. But an even better challenge is taking control of a side that has faced some chopping-and-changing at the hands of the previous ‘real’ manager. Do you have the ability of leading a Liverpool side that has sold Luis Suarez and signed Carlton Cole instead?

Transfer windows on are as intriguing as the real thing. Fail to showcase commitment to your side and you may just miss out on some of the top talents. Unlike other manager games, the game-world on SM doesn’t comply to your time constraints, with transfers taking place in real time, irrespective of whether you’re logged on or not. As seen above, the Schalke manager in my game-world is on course to dominating the league with some incredible signings. I too was chasing Isco, Sakho & Rodriguez!

One personal criticism I had against manager games was the ease with which players could be judged. Each player had pre-set attributes on standardised scales (Eg: 17/20 for passing, 11/20 for tackling etc.). This made the virtual game a lot more un-real, as things aren’t quite that simple & easy in the real World. In however, users don’t have access to these attributes, judgements are made purely on how these players perform in the real World. SM Managers have to make their own judgements rather that computerised ones. It’s a chance for fans to put their football viewing to full use, utilising their actual analytic abilities. Above is an example of a Player Profile, powered by the databases of

The real heart of football and any football side is it’s tactics. Everything aside, ultimately what matters in the beautiful game is how the manager can set his team out. Trequartistas, deep lying playmakers, wing-backs- this is what gets the blood rushing for us football enthusiasts. has an incredibly comprehensive Tactics system, with a host of options and variations. Games are played on pre-determined time schedules. To overcome the time constraints, users can wrack their brains and set the tactical instructions to suit their team and opponents prior to kick-off, and the match will take place accordingly. For the record, 4-4-2 is not my tactic of choice! is by far the best online portal for managerial enthusiasts, competing with fellow arm-chair pundits in a real-time game. Be warned though, addiction is a real possibility, and a life outside of the game may seem mundane! Join now and set the managerial world alight!


Twitter: @SoccerManager

Facebook: SoccerManager

Sami Faizullah

Co-founder and Chief Editor here. Obsessed with tactics. Keen follower of young players. Creator of #TalentRadar.
Sami Faizullah


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