After Championship Manager 2010 and Football Manager 2010's titanic clash for football management bragging rights, chances are you may have forgotten all about the third contestant in the annual genre superiority playoff. Traditionally, the FIFA Manager series is written off by many as an also-ran, but with the franchise having made steady progress over the past few years, such a dismissive attitude is tinged with myopia.
Perhaps the hardest thing for many management fans to get to grips with is that FIFA Manager isn't just a team management game, but one that allows you to take control of every facet of club management, whether it's liaising with architects to draw up new plans for stadium expansions or picking the starting 11 for a key derby game. And let's not forget the often unfairly castigated personal life elements (which this year can be disabled) that help provide the series with its unique feel and spattering of quirkiness. Thanks to the game's exhaustive array of customisation features, you can decide exactly how much or how little of day-to-day club management you want to be in charge of, meaning all the minutiae can be ignored if you so wish.
So what's new? Well, the big news this year is the addition of an online multiplayer feature that allows you and up to seven other real people to compete in quick-fire seasons in a host of leagues from across the globe. But we'll come to that in just a moment. When it comes to new single-player features, FIFA Manager 2010 possesses some 400 improvements over its predecessor, though this is a tad misleading as the majority of these are nip-tuck tweaks rather than genuine innovations.