To celebrate the release of the 2014 edition of the game, Football Manager guru Iain Macintosh is writing a series of FM-related features exclusively here with Unibet.
Today, in part 5, Iain issues a public health warning, helpfully listing the 21 symptoms you need to look out for in your battle against Football Manager addiction...
1: You shout, “Where’s the passion, lads?” at a big screen in a crowded pub. You receive at least three sombre nods of fraternity from strangers.
2: The shopping list on the family blackboard now includes the names of three French U21 footballers and a reminder to appoint a South American scout.
3: It’s not the fact that you’re conducting post-match interviews in your head that worries you. It’s the fact that you’re sterner with “Geoff Shreeves” than you are with “Gabriel Clarke.”
4: When losing a cup game, you silently convince yourself that ‘the league is your bread and butter’ and you repeat that maxim to yourself as the clock runs down.
5: You develop irrational superstitions, believing that a quick check of the live league table will invite an opposition goal, or that holding your breath will keep one out.
6: In one particularly dark run of defeats, you convince yourself that the game is making you lose deliberately. You never ask why any games publisher would include this feature as standard.
7: You’ve seen dawn break too many times because of your conflicting beliefs that you cannot go to bed on a defeat and that it’s silly to save and exit when you’re winning.
8: You have relatives whose lives you follow with less interest than the career of a player who once scored 30 goals in a season for you on Football Manager 2007.
9: You have perfected the ‘silent, internal roar’, used when playing FM in a room full of people who don’t know you’re playing.
10: You’ve started taking your laptop on the school run, so you can play in the car if your kids are late out. Yesterday, you arrived at their school at 11am.
11: You are far angrier about the influence of agents in football since they started asking for fees in Football Manager.
12: You are incapable of reading a football manager’s autobiography without feeling a desperate urge to start a new game at their old club.
13: Other people count sheep, you fall asleep by silently running through your preferred first and second elevens.
14: You keep elderly players in the reserve squad because you can’t bear to let them go and, besides, they might be a good influence for the kids.
15: You amaze your friends with your knowledge of an obscure real-life transfer target. Halfway through your assessment, you realise that you’ve never, ever seen him play in real life.
16: When your goalkeeper makes a howler, you tell a room full of imaginary journalists that, “he’s got us out of jail so many times, he’s allowed a clanger.’ You imagine the journalists nodding approvingly.
17: You once spent eight hours editing the game to include all of your friends. You know that you cannot rule out ever doing this again.
18: Your partner catches a cold and you can’t go out as planned. They apologise for leaving you with nothing to do on a Saturday night. You assure them that this really isn’t a problem.
19: You put three members of the U18 squad on the bench for the last game of the season, but you have no intention of using them. It’s for ‘experience.’
20: While watching Sunday Supplement, you’re impressed with one of the journalists. A week later, you’ll find yourself imagining them ghost-writing your autobiography. You may even have a book title.
21: You’ve had relationship break-ups that have upset you less than than the sight of a player who is “looking complacent.”
Iain Macintosh is the author of the best-selling book, Football Manager Stole My Life.
Read Part 1:- The Top 5 Games In The History Of The CM/FM Series
Read Part 2:- The Greatest Bargains In Football Manager History
Read Part 3:- The Top 10 Bargian Buys On Football Manager 2014
Read Part 4:- The Top 5 Challenges To Conquer On Football Manager 2014
Read more from Unibet columnist Iain Macintosh.