Football Manager is something we talk about a lot at Sabotage Times. Like most young lads, for me it was the natural progression from Pokémon. It taught me everything I needed to know about football. Aged 10, I knew how to train the worlds top players, I knew how to deal with Francisco Totti’s ego and I knew most importantly how to win the premier league and FA Cup double with Bolton Wanderers.
However, the greatest knowledge football manager gave you was that you knew who was good at football and better still, who was going to be good at football. It has a scouting network so good, that David Moyes is apparently a big fan of the vast database. Ahem.
So, when unknown Brazilian right back Rafina signed for Schalke, I applauded it like they’d signed the best player in the world. He’d had a great season for me at the JJB so I knew he would be an exceptional right back. That’s just one example. If you played FM, you knew Robinho from when he was about 16. The same can be said with Tevez and Kompany and Thiago Alacantara. The list really is endless.
However it can go spectacularly wrong. Cherno Samba, George Junior Weah and Freddy Adu all held the weight of the world on the shoulders and unfortunately crumbled under the pressures of having high-teen stats. Cherno is currently without a club, George Junior Weah spent last season rotting in the PSG reserves and Freddy Adu was last seen training with Blackpool. So yeah, it’s probably 50/50.
But when developers, introduced the media into the game, the creators discovered the simile and something amazing spawned. Luke Moore was touted as the next Geoff Hurst, Ever Banega was dubbed as the next Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Pastore was labeled as the next Juan Roman Riquelme so now surely, you know how good these players are going to be.
There are absolutely thousands of comparison across all games from around 2006, so we’ve picked out 10 favourites:
Henri Lansbury - Gazza
The former Arsenal man hasn’t exactly met this expectation. Or could they be predicting his after career? Who knows? Next time a serial killer is on the loose, you never know, Lansbury might be there to drop him off a few bits.
James Morrison - David Beckham
Named after an acoustic singer, the West Brom player looks like your typical run of the mill average premier league player, not quite the global superstar loved by your Grandma, Mother, Sister and daughter.
Sam Magri - Mathew Upson
Oh Magri. Mathew Upson.You’d be gutted wouldn’t you? You tell all your mates that you’re on Football Manager then get hit with that sucker punch. Unlucky mate. At least you might score against Germany.
Robin Cooper - Stephen Warnock
Oh, so it gets worse than Upson. Warnock. Wow, what a complete failure. Remember his ill-fated season at Liverpool when Hodgson was in charge Robin? Well that’s what in store my friend. Chin up.
Enzo Zidane - Papa Zidane
This goes out to the developers, the only comparison I’ve got a problem with. Put a little bit of effort in. It’s his bloody Dad. Anyway, the second generation is never as good. So Enzo, it’s going to be tough mate. That goes for you too Brooklyn.
Phil Jones - Ledley King
This one isn’t really that funny, or interesting. Let’s face it Ledley King was a very, very good centre half. Smooth, slick and didn’t have to put too much effort in. Phil on the other hand, has the makings of a ‘proper’ centre half, the kind you expect to play on with his tibia hanging out his leg, the complete opposite of Ledley. But it gives me a chance to show you a selection some of Phil Jones' best faces.
Jobson - Ronaldo
You probably don’t know who Jobson is but he supposedly had bags and bags of talent when he came through (you can never truly know with those Brazilians). However, he got in with the wrong crowd and was slapped with a two-year ban after testing positive for crack cocaine. Oh how Brazil could have done with a good striker a couple of months ago.
Aaron Spear - Joe Jordan
Once a fairly promising centre forward at Newcastle, Spear was compared to hard man Joe Jordan. Nothing that amazing, but I really wanted to Jordan's scrap with Gattusso again. We all know Joe Jordan would rip Gattuso’s face off.
Nile Ranger - Les Ferdinand
Man like Nile Ranger, the former Newcastle man currently on trial with Leeds is famous for a few things – been a pretty average footballer, having a disgustingly bad tattoos above his eyebrow/on his lip and having more bust-ups with the police than you can count on one hand. You’ve got to feel bad for Les on this one.
Lee Abel - Emile Heskey
If you don’t play the game, when you get to about 2025 the software creates players for you, with horrible generated faces . I’ve tried to ignore these comparisons but this one was too good to let pass by. Lee Abel, you could be the next Emile Heskey. Need I say anymore?
Harry Forester - Matt Le Tissier
Le Tiss, without a shadow of a doubt one of the best strikers of the ball that we’ve ever seen and absolutely cracking penalty taker that converted all but one penalty during his career. He’s also one of the laziest to play the game so Harry, you can allow yourself a few extra calories a day.