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'Something Pithy About Wayne Rooney'

There's appears to be a widely-held misconception that RPS knows very little about football. This is a lie, spread by ourselves for comic effect. For instance, I know that my own country, England, has a dependably underwhelming team whose fans endlessly hark on about a match that they won by mistake 44 years ago, that an increasing number of the major UK clubs are owned by horrifyingly rich foreign businessmen, and that Manchester United have today announced the rather mysterious decision to sign a new five-year contract with the headmaster from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

I also know that a demo version of the latest Football Manager is huge news for an awful lot of PC gamers, and that 2001-era jokes about the game being a series of spreadsheets are enormously ignorant.

It's over here, and in what I believe has been a tradition for developer Sports Interactive is available in a variety of flavours, depending on how much filesize you can stomach. This remains an enormously smart way to appeal to a less technically-minded PC gaming audience - the sort of man who could casually present you with a 3-hour litany about the recent sale of Liverpool but will curl up in the corner and weep if you ask him to download a gigabyte. It means a thousand megabytes, granddad - that's the equivalent of 737 floppy disks, or 2945 of the old actually-floppy ones.

Strawberry (Steam, Bittorrent, Mac) is your man if you are comfortable with said gigabytes, and features these leagues England, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, Chile.

If you're afraid of filesize, or simply have no interest in football teams outside of this green, pleasant and oh-so-bloody-cold-right-now land, you'll want the 300MB Vanilla version. Only English and Scottish leagues in that one.

Both versions let you play/manage the first half of the 2010/2011 season, and smartly allow you to carry on where you left off in the event you pick up the full version of FM2011. Assorted links, covering Steam, Bittorrent, standard-o-download and hard-to-upgrade computers for rich people may be found here.

The game's out on November 5th, by the way - exactly four days after I'm set to recieve my first-ever tooth filling. Oh God, I'm so scared. Of the filling, that is - not of Football Manager 2011 being released. There's a part of me that would quite like to play it; despite a broad disinterest in following the sport in question regularly, I can appreciate any game with that much depth and strategy.

In conclusion, agreeing to spend massive amounts of money for the course of another half-decade on a moany thug who allegedly pays for sex, cheats on his pregnant wife and isn't even much good anymore seems like a really bad idea to me.

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Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about video games.