I haven't had much of an interest in Soccer. I played one season when I was a kid, and all I remember of that season was the one time, when playing goalie and given the instruction 'Be Aggressive'... I tackled a kid.
So, I'm coming into a round with the entertaining Football Manager 11 with a bare bones knowledge of the sport. It's touted as absurdly deep and realistic, and I can agree thus far on the 'deep' part.
As far as realistic, well... it seems so. I created my manager as an Unemployed American with the minimum experience ("Yeah, I played soccer that one time back in, uh, you know."), and spent the first year basically getting rejected for jobs.
Yeah, that was pretty much my entire first season, starting in December of '09. Around the beginning of 2010, I decided to uproot my dude and live in Germany. Got a secondary nationality, and got the added realism of having my manager speak the languages I actually speak (English, Spanish, German). That, and there are more low-league clubs in Germany. The US is dominated by MLS, and I just was NOT going to get a job hanging around with no experience hoping Sporting KC suddenly wanted to hire some schmuck off the street.
Sometime around June of 2010, I was approached with a job offer.
Woo! Kind of amusing that my early high point after about a couple of hours with a football management sim was actually getting the opportunity to manage football.
Erm. The offer was for a 'Premier League' team in Iceland. The semi-pro team Valur Reykjavik was offering me 400 bucks a week. I haggled them up to $500 and took the job. Moving to Iceland.
Valur was sporting a pitch that allowed for the grand attendance of 2000 fans, 500 of whom could actually have seats. Condition was 'Very Bad'. Basically, a field of Icelandic tundra with some bleachers.
I made a few decent signings, but for the most part relied havily on my staff ("Hjalmar, what is 'You Suck' in Icelandic? Okay, go tell Bjornsson that.")
The first few months involved a great deal of pointing and saying 'Hey, you!'.
I was running a base 4-1-2-1-2 that suited my squad fairly well. The only major holes were one of the D slots, and a revolving door at GK up until actually the last match of the season, when the Hot Prospect 17 year old kid I'd scouted out of Denmark came in and offered up a shutout in his first match.
Valur finished the season 5th, and came dangerously close to winning some big matches. The cup semifinals match against the then-ranked #1 club went into overtime.
I brought in four or five very solid foreign players, although it didn't go well. The kid I brought in from Mexico as well as the older player from Ireland were both on leaves of absence by the end of the season (Reason: Bascially being depressed from having to live in fricking Iceland). My starting striker was from Camaroon. No-racist, but he was pretty easy to spot out on the pitch in an Icelandic Semi-Pro match. Many a match disintegrated to a game of 'Pass it to/Keep it from the black dude'.
At the end of the season, the Valur board (Whom I had managed to convince to overhaul the stadium. Now it supported -4000- fans!) expressed their happiness with my performance, looking forward to the second year of my two-year contract.
Then, I applied for a 3rd league position back in Germany. This leaked to the press, and one of the reporters I'd been a bit short-of-patience with brought this tidbit of information to my board. I received a nasty e-mail from them telling me I had the choice of maintaining my reputation and resigning immediately, or being subjected to an ugly public firing and running out of town.
I didn't get the German job.
Now I'm back to sitting around on vacation and applying to any and every job that comes by! Woo!
I'm kind of surprised to find myself recommending a sports management sim in which I've spent MOST of my playing time unemployed, but it is good stuff.