Football Manager Live • Page 2

Reboot = the boot?

Perhaps the most compelling factor is that with the reduced influence of star players, you now feel that your management skills are a far more important factor in achieving success. Thankfully, it's no longer possible to sign a team of superstars, leaving precious little talent for those who either arrive late or aren't as familiar with who the world's most talented players are outside of a Nike advert. Since the reboot, even the top teams appear to have a far more balanced mix between household names and those whose own households struggle to recognise them.

Whatever your personal thoughts about the reboot, FML remains a compelling and entertaining game in its own right, one that has certainly evolved since its launch. If you're coming to it for the first time, chances are you won't care about the reset. All you want to know is whether it warrants your time and subscription. So let's look at the game now and see what it offers to the budding online manager.

You start off by selecting a starting squad from a pre-selected pool of players. A stringent wage limit means you begin with a collection of journeymen, though your squad can be quickly added to via clever wheeling and dealing in the transfer market. You must also pick which football association you think is best suited to how often you'll be playing, to ensure you're competing against like-minded players.

Transfers remain one of Football Manager Live's most entertaining features. Players are put up for sale in an eBay-style auction with a minimum starting price. These auctions can last anything from a day to a week. Some players also have an 'Instant Buy' price, and if you're ready to meet the valuation, you can purchase the player right there and then.

Larger stadium = more fans = more money... hopefully.

There are numerous ways to improve your club, both on and off the field. Youth academies can be created all over the world in a bid to unearth new, cheap talent. There are different levels of academies, ranging from the lowly to the grandiose. While larger schools provide more graduates, they're also far more expensive to run. An academy's location is also key. Construct one in Brazil and the pool of talent you'll be fishing from is far larger than in most other countries. However, this is offset by greater competition as numerous other clubs also scout the beaches of Brazil for the next Pele or Kaka.

You can also pump your cash into stadium improvements. Capacity, maintenance and executive boxes can all be constructed to bolster income. However, as is the case with the youth set-up, Sports Interactive has done an admirable job of balancing this side of the game, as you must carefully weigh your team's on-pitch results and its past success against the rate of stadium expansion. Build too many new seats too soon and your home matches will be more akin to a group of hikers trapped in an underground cavern than a roaring wall of noise that acts as the twelfth man.

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Martin Korda

Martin Korda



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