Football Manager 2017: 7 new features we want to see in the new game
August. It comes and goes with the transfer market, leads into an international break and ends with forming ideas about who will be where come the end of the season.
We moan that our clubs didn’t strengthen in the correct positions over the summer and that the first international break has come too early in the campaign; then, after a few weeks, we either catch a sickly feeling that our side's going to struggle or we begin to believe that this could be our year.
It's also a time where we believe we could do a better job of managing a football team than many of the chancers occupying dugouts up and down the country. From November 4, we'll all get the chance to prove it once more. Here are seven things we want to see implemented in the upcomingFootball Manager 2017...
— Miles Jacobson (@milesSI) October 3, 2016
1. A visual trophy cabinet
Very few can engage in a conversation about Football Manager without mentioning their four consecutive titles with non-league Margate, but imagery sticks longer in the memory than words
Imagine it now. There you are, standing in front of your trophy cabinet, looking at the dozens of honours standing before you: “Ah, that one was won in the 90th minute; this beauty was really won in the semis. But this one – this one is my favouri- wait, who's scratched it?!”
Few can engage in a conversation about Football Manager without mentioning their four consecutive titles with non-league Margate, but imagery sticks longer in the memory than words. A visual trophy cabinet would allow players to share their wonderful array of prizes on social media, and then later reminisce about the good times when it all goes belly up.
2. Women’s leagues
The addition of women's leagues would allow for even more variety, and it would be interesting to see how achievements in the men's game translated over
The game allows managers to take charge of clubs in 51 different nations and from over 500 different leagues, yet most users haven't even scratched the surface. The addition of women's leagues would allow for even more variety, and it would be interesting to see how achievements in the men's game translate over.
SI studio director Miles Jacobson has previously stated that the inclusion of women’s club and international teams relies first on an increase in attendances: for the league to even be considered, crowds must challenge those of the Championship. The biggest attendance in the 2016 season thus far is 2,227 at Manchester City (average: 1,443) which is 1,500 fewer than the lowest total in the Championship so far, set at Burton Albion.
3. More varied press conferences
We’ve been here before; you know the exact questions before the journalists even open their virtual mouths
The bane of our existence. Every save we start, we always tell ourselves that we’ll take it more seriously than the last. We’ll go into every detail, micro-manage every aspect and take advantage of all the control we're given.
But that promise is invariably broken. We waltz into our first press conference, slump in our chair and fight to keep our eyes open. We’ve been here before; you know the exact questions before the journalists even open their virtual mouths. From that point on, the media become more familiar with your assistant than you.
There doesn’t even have to be a massive overhaul in press conferences, but less predictability in the questioning would be welcome.
4. Management role models
For those who aren't as picky as to whether man-management is more important than motivation, why not offer the option of basing stats around a current manager?
In the 2015 edition of the game, SI introduced manager attributes. It was a positive step, considered the perfect way of shaping your own managerial style. Are you a tracksuited, training ground fanatic or a smart, cerebral touchline tactician?
Not everyone's a fan, though, particularly as it can take a fair bit of work to find out what all the attributes in the game actually mean. For those who aren't as picky as to whether man-management is more important than motivation, why not offer the option of basing stats around a current manager? It would make it far easier for users to choose their favoured approach, be it the passion of Diego Simeone or class of Pep Guardiola.
5. New animation scenes in the 3D match engine
Managers could be allowed to get up close and personal with their players after a goal, or opt to choose a diffeent type of celebration on the touchline
SI have made some almighty leaps in recent years with the 3D match engine, which was completely revamped a few editions ago. More realistic stadium designs, a wider variety of weather conditions and the addition of burger vans (usually featuring the same fan struggling to make his mind up for the whole 90 minutes) have made the in-game experience much more enjoyable.
There is still room for improvement, though. Maybe managers could be allowed to get up close and personal with their players after a goal, or opt to choose a different type of celebration on the touchline? It would also be good to see players and staff parade around the pitch after winning a trophy, with hundreds of pieces of confetti covering the screen before the camera cuts off.
Stadiums have improved in recent years, but more can still be done
6. Time to make your salary more powerful
Charts could show who the highest-paid manager in the league is, and when you reach the very top you could command wages that put you among the richest bosses in the world
At the moment it only influences your job security, but a big part of it in real life relates to status. Charts could show who the highest-paid manager in the league is, and when you reach the very top you could command wages that put you among the richest gaffers in the world.
The money doesn't have to be spent for it to have meaning – there's no need for users to be able to buy properties, clothing and accessories – but it could make Football Manager more realistic. How about brand endorsements even?
7. Fans to show occasional humility
Most Football Manager players quickly become immersed in their save, holding pre-match press conferences in front of the bathroom mirror and wildly waving their arms around when watching the action unfold.
Not every game is meaningful, however, and it can be frustrating when fans of your club tell you they're disappointed after a defeat in a dead rubber just days after you've wrapped up the league title. A greater appreciation of the wider context wouldn't go amiss.